first_imgSome Darwinists think they have figured out the origin of laughter.  When our ape-like ancestors started walking, they found it awkward and often tripped over their feet.  Bystanding apes apparently found this humorous for some reason, and thus slapstick comedy was born.  The Times Online found this story good for some one-liners.How can this be?  Humor and happiness has no intrinsic meaning in Darwinian thinking.  It’s all about selfishness and survival (cartoon).(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more


first_imgBritish Foreign Secretary David Miliband And South Africa’s Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma discussing various issues. Miliband chatting to Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Sue Van der Merwe. (Pictures: Department of Foreign Affairs) Khanyi MagubaneSouth Africa and the United Kingdom have reinforced their relationship following a recent two-day meeting of the eighth SA-UK Bilateral Forum.Speaking at the conclusion of the visit from her counterpart, British foreign secretary David Miliband, South Africa’s minister of foreign affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said on 8 July she was happy with the wide range of issues covered during the talks.“We have discussed everything from health, sports, trade and industry, migration, climate change, general political issues, science and technology, conflict resolution, economic issues, corporate responsibility and so on,” she said.“On the political front we have discussed both bilateral matters, issues on the African agenda and multilateral issues. Of course, issues on the multilateral agenda, included particularly Sudan and all its facets and the one you are all waiting for – Zimbabwe.”During talks, the two ministers agreed that 2008 was a critical year for development as South Africa was halfway towards achieving its Millennium Development Goals (MDG) — the deadline for which is 2015. The goals are set out by the United Nations and cover issues such as health, education and poverty.The UK is South Africa’s largest trading partner in Europe. The forum for bilateral talks was formed in 2000 with a view to regulate and enhance political and economic relations between South Africa and the UK.During the talks a number of resolutions were made:Climate changeThe ministers stressed the importance of pursuing sustainable, low carbon growth. They acknowledged that current climate change trends would undermine the conditions necessary for economic growth in both the developed and developing worlds, making it extremely difficult to achieve the MDG.They acknowledged that a global transition to a low-carbon economy was both affordable and achievable, and presented many opportunities for developing the environmental sector of the economy. It was stressed that a global climate change agreement was needed, which would support long-term cooperative and domestic action from nations worldwide.ZimbabweDuring the meeting Miliband and Dlamini-Zuma discussed the political crisis in Zimbabwe and both condemned the ongoing violence and intimidation there.The two ministers also noted the decision of the Summit of the African Union on Zimbabwe and the respective governments’ stated positions on that issue. They reaffirmed the importance of dialogue between the Movement for Democratic Change and Zanu-PF to establish a lasting solution that reflects the democratic will of the Zimbabwean people.During his visit, Miliband also delivered a keynote address at the University of South Africa, where he discussed the Zimbabwe issue at length.He acknowledged that Britain may have erred during its colonial rule in Zimbabwe, but that what happened in the past did not stop it from condemning the current situation. “Britain has long and historical links with Zimbabwe. I have never believed that the rights and wrongs of our history should prevent us from speaking clearly and frankly about the situation today,” he said.“[President] Robert Mugabe’s misrule does not invalidate the struggle for independence; our colonial history does not mean we cannot denounce what is wrong.”Miliband noted that free and fair elections were only the basics of a free democracy. He said that President Mugabe’s victory in what had been dubbed the “one man election” defeated the basic fundamentals that govern democracy.He said it was encouraging to see the vast majority of African leaders had spoken out against the pre- and post-election violence in June 2008.HealthSouth Africa’s health minister Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang and her UK counterpart, Dawn Primarolo, met to discuss ways in which the two countries would continue working together to share information and expertise on education and training of healthcare professionals.This followed the health ministers renewing a memorandum of understanding that exists between the two countries. The understanding covers a range of healthcare issues, including the ethical recruitment of workers in the sector.“Many countries have learned from our example of ethical recruitment of health workers, and indeed, admire such an effective example of bilateral cooperation,” Tshabalala-Msimang said.South Africa stressed that although Britain was free to recruit South African doctors and nurses, it was important the country was not left stripped of its workforce. The two nations have agreement to work systematically on the issue.The understanding, which was due to expire in October 2008, has been renewed for another five years. More clauses have been included in the agreement, which will explore new areas of health the UK and South Africa could be involved in.Other issues that the two foreign ministers addressed included persisting conflicts on the continent in Abyei, south Sudan, as well as the lack of progress in Darfur. On a positive note, the ministers welcomed the recent signing of the Djibouti Agreement between the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia and the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia. This was described as an important milestone on the road to a peaceful Somalia.Useful LinksDepartment of Foreign AffairsBritish Foreign and Commonwealth OfficeMillennium Development goals Do you have any queries or comments about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at khanyim@mediaclubsouthafrica.comlast_img read more


first_imgWood is a renewable fuel and, assuming that new trees grow up to replace those cut for firewood, it is carbon-neutral, meaning that it doesn’t have a net contribution to global warming. That said, wood burning also churns out a lot of air pollutants, some of which are highly visible as smoke. Fortunately, there’s a lot we can do to reduce the pollution generated by wood burning—and boost the efficiency.Our discussion here focuses mostly on wood stoves; pellet stoves and larger central-heating wood boilers will be covered in future columns. Fireplaces, for the most part, shouldn’t be thought of as heating systems. They are aesthetic features that can add wonderful ambiance on special occasions—we use ours two or three times a year. But fireplaces burn very inefficiently, and they result in so much airflow up through the chimney that they can actually cause a net loss of energy. Cold air leaks into the house to replace all the room air going up the chimney, and this forces your central heating system to work harder.Burning wood cleanly and efficiently depends on three primary factors: the choice of wood stove; how the wood is stored and managed; and operation of the stove.Choosing a Clean-Burning, Efficient Wood StoveThe starting point in clean, efficient wood stove operation is the selection of the stove. Since July 1, 1990, all new wood stoves sold in the U.S. have been required to carry U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certification. (The 1988 law banned the manufacturing of non-EPA-compliant wood stoves after July 1, 1988 and the sale of such stoves two years later.) The EPA standard for non-catalytic wood stoves is 7.5 grams per hour of emissions and for catalytic wood stoves 4.1 grams per hour. By comparison, older, non-certified wood stoves typically produce 40 to 60 grams per hour of pollution, according the EPA.Instituting stringent air pollution standards for wood stoves was a bold and controversial move by the federal government. It put over 80% of wood stove manufacturers out of business because it was too expensive for smaller companies to change their designs. But it also dramatically reduced pollution from wood stoves and boosted combustion efficiency—reducing air pollution by as much as 85%.Manufacturers achieved these improvements by significantly redesigning wood stoves—for example by insulating the firebox, adding baffles that lengthened the smoke path through the stove resulting in more complete combustion, and providing air-inlet holes above the combustion chamber to preheat combustion air. The new-generation, non-catalytic Vermont Castings Defiant NC 1610 and Encore NC 1450 wood stoves are the cleanest-burning models available, with EPA emissions ratings of less than 1 gram per hour, but all new wood stoves are far cleaner than their ancestors from two decades ago.Properly Seasoning FirewoodThe single most important factor for clean, efficient wood burning is using only dry wood. Wood should be seasoned at least six months off the ground and under cover after it is cut and split. Properly seasoned wood is usually deeply checked (checks are end-grain cracks that form as wood dries) and makes a hollow sound when two pieces are knocked together. If the moisture content of wood is high, that water evaporates as the wood is burned, which keeps the combustion temperature low. Even the most advanced wood stove will generate a lot of pollution and burn less efficiently if green (unseasoned) wood is used in it.The six months’ drying of firewood should be considered a minimum. Ideally, several years’ worth of firewood should be kept on hand, with the oldest burned first. One way of organizing this is by stacking green wood outdoors, and then after a season or two moving a heating-season’s worth of wood into a fully covered shed, from which a supply is brought into the house as needed. Green wood should not be stored indoors because of the significant amount of moisture that it will introduce to the house.In splitting firewood, keep the diameter of the split logs relatively small, especially for smaller wood stoves, so that there will be a lot of surface area during combustion. Smaller logs will also dry out more quickly.Operating Wood Stoves EfficientlyTo achieve optimal performance of a wood stove, it should be operated hot. Start the wood stove with crumpled newspaper and kindling. As the fire burns down, rake the coals toward the front or side of the stove, creating a mound (rather than spreading them out), and add several logs at the same time. In milder weather, build smaller fires, but still operate the stove hot, rather than keeping a large fire going and damping it down (restricting the air inlet). Regularly remove ashes so that air flow in the firebox is not impeded and there is plenty of room for wood.Fortunately, there’s an easy way to tell how cleanly (and efficiently) you’re burning your wood stove: the smoke coming out of your chimney. If you generate lots of smoke, the combustion isn’t very complete and a lot of particulate (and other) pollution is being created. This may occur if the wood isn’t very dry, as noted above. A lot of smoke may also indicate that you’re not bringing enough combustion air into your wood stove—most wood stove have an air inlet control. If unsure about proper operation of your wood stove for optimal performance, consult with the company you bought it from or a chimney cleaning service.To minimize pollution, never burn household trash, any manufactured or painted wood (including plywood and particleboard), or pressure-treated wood—burning any of these materials is illegal in Vermont.Also avoid moldy or rotten wood and even driftwood (the salt may corrode the stove and stovepipe or result in toxic emissions).For both safety and efficient operation, have the chimney or stovepipe cleaned at least annually. Build-up of soot can restrict the chimney draft and diminish stove performance. For safety, install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and make sure they are functioning properly. Replace batteries on battery-powered detectors at least annually, or whenever the low-battery alert sounds.last_img read more


first_imgYou can now upgrade your royalty free music licenses directly from our site! It’s a quick and easy way to start growing your project’s audience today.Often you don’t know the full scope of a project until it’s released into the wild. For instance, a client may love that web commercial you made so much that they want to use it for broadcast television. Or perhaps you’ve created a film for festival distribution that gets picked up for a major theatrical release.Previously, we worked with PremiumBeat customers through email support to upgrade music licenses when their needs expanded. Although the process was typically quick, we knew there was a better way to approach the upgrade process.We’re excited to share with you the latest feature addition to PremiumBeat: the ability to upgrade to our Premium license directly through the website. You can now choose any track in your account history and instantaneously upgrade it to one of our extended licenses… so you’ll only pay for the licensing you need.TRY IT NOWIt’s quick and easy to upgrade your PremiumBeat license. Here’s how it’s done.1. LoginLog into your PremiumBeat account. Go to your user menu and select Orders and Downloads.2. UpgradeFind the song you’d like to upgrade. Click Order Details. Then click Upgrade License. Simply select the Premium License by clicking Enhance Now. Your new license is now in your cart!3. CheckoutTo complete your purchase, simply go through the normal checkout process. Then, download your new license from the confirmation page. That’s it!We’re constantly adding new features to the site, implementing feedback, and improving the overall customer experience. Are there new features you’d like to see on PremiumBeat? We’d love to know. Don’t hesitate to contact our team via support!last_img read more


first_imgThe WBJEE results have been declared.The results of WBJEE 2011 (West Bengal Joint Entrance Examination) have been declared on Tuesday by the West Bengal Joint Entrance Examination Board (WBJEEB).The WBJEE 2011 results were declared at 2PM on Tuesday. The results are available on the websites http://results.banglarmukh.gov.in and www.wbjeeb.in.The WBJEE is held for admission to engineering courses in colleges across the state.The examination was conducted on April 17, 2011.For more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.last_img read more