Cape Town’s big noon bang

first_imgA signal from the South AfricanAstronomical Observatory’s atomic clockensures the Noon Day Gun is fired atexactly the right time.(Image © Willy Koorts, South AfricanAstronomical Observatory)MEDIA CONTACTS• South African Navy Public RelationsCaptain Jaco Theunissen, [email protected]• Noon Gun Tea Room and Restaurant+27 21 423 [email protected]• Cape Town Tourism+27 21 405 [email protected] HolmesAs hidden attractions go, Cape Town’s Noon Day Gun is hard to miss.Jaded office workers barely look up from their desks when the cannons of Lion Battery boom across the city, but tourists are easy to spot, jumping in alarm with the frenzied look of someone under attack.In truth, though, the two 18-pounder smooth-bore muzzle-loading guns on the slopes above the city have not been fired in anger since the short-lived Battle of Muizenberg (PDF, 113 KB) on 7 August 1795.That’s just one snippet of Cape Town trivia you’ll discover on a visit to the Lion Battery on the rump of Signal Hill, where each day an officer from the South African Navy regales a small crowd of tourists and curious locals with the history of Cape Town’s oldest living tradition.Cast by London’s Walker & Company in 1794, the two cannons were brought to the Cape during the 1795 British occupation and for over a century were fired from the Imhoff Battery in the city bowl.The noon firing wasn’t simply a case of trigger-happy soldiers, though. The daily firing allowed ships to set their chronometers to the correct time – vital information when navigating by sextant on the high seas. During the First and Second World Wars the daily firing was also used to mark a two-minute silence for the fallen.In 1902, with the city of Cape Town growing around the Imhoff Battery, the decision was made (presumably encouraged by deafened residents) to move them to their current site on the slopes of Signal Hill.The two cannons – only one is fired, but both are loaded daily in case of a misfire – are the oldest of their type in the world and, as the signboard at the Battery will tell you, have been fired over 63 800 times since 1803. In all that time it has failed to fire only once – in January 2005.Although the Battery now falls within the Table Mountain National Park, the South African Navy is still responsible for firing the guns six days per week. Sundays are for rest … and peace and quiet.So, with cannons loaded, how is the gun fired (video) at exactly noon each day? The apocryphal explanation goes like this. A man walks into a Long Street watchmaker, and notices that all the clocks on the wall are showing precisely the same time. “How do you always know the correct time?” the man asks.“Well, I simply listen for the Noon Day Gun, and I set all my clocks by that,” replies the watchmaker.Intrigued, the man decides to visit the Noon Day Gun, and asks the Navy officer on duty how he knows when it’s exactly noon to fire the cannon. “Well,” says the officer, holding a telescope to his eye, “there’s this watchmaker down there on Long Street with a clock in the window …”The reality is far more precise. An electrical signal is sent from the South African Astronomical Observatory (which has an unfailingly accurate atomic clock) a few milliseconds before noon. This burst of energy zips across telephone lines, ignites the firing cap on the cannon, sparks the gunpowder and … boom!The show might be over for another day, but that’s only half the attraction of this corner of Cape Town. Just a short walk from the cannons you’ll find a slice of the Cape’s culinary history.At the top of Longmarket Street, surely the steepest road in Cape Town, the last house on the left has been home to the Misbach family for over 65 years. For the last 16 it’s also been home to one of Cape Town’s loveliest restaurants, the Noon Gun Tea Room and Restaurant.Long popular with overseas tourists, curious locals are slowly starting to venture up the steep cobbled street to tuck into the delicious bredies, breyanis and bobotie cooked up by Zaini Misbach and her family.“These are all my grandmother’s recipes. Passed on from her grandmother, and then her grandmother,” says Zaini. “The original Malay people made do with the spices they found here in the Cape so they are spicy dishes, but toned down from what you’d find in the East.”Main courses range from R75 to R95, but come in hearty portions that offer great value for money.“On Saturday nights we have what we call our ‘Recession meal’, which is just R65 per person for a three-course meal – and there’s live jazz too!” says Zaini.Whether you stop in for a recession-busting bredie or just block your ears at the stroke of noon, this is certainly one corner of the Cape’s colourful history worth exploring.Noon Day GunLion Battery, Military Road, Bo-KaapTurn from Buitengracht into Bloem Street, and follow the signsArrive before 11.45am to hear the history of the Noon Day GunAdmission freeThe Noon Gun Tea Room & Restaurant273 Longmarket Street, Bo-Kaap+27 21 423 9978Open for lunch and dinner Monday to Saturday. Lunch only on SundaysIn keeping with Malay culture, no alcohol is served, or allowed, in the restaurantlast_img read more

Transforming waste to wealth

first_imgLorna Rutto from Kenya has been namedthe Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards 2011laureate for sub-Saharan Africa.(Image: Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards) EcoPost uses 100% recycled plastics tomanufacture durable and eco-friendlyfencing posts.(Image: EcoPost) EcoPost has created opportunities forunemployed youth and women, whomake a living by collecting, sortingand cleaning plastic waste for reselling.(Image: EcoPost) MEDIA CONTACTS • Lorna RuttoEcoPost+254 721 953 768RELATED ARTICLES• Portable plant makes fuel from waste • Waste gives Such artistic inspiration • Waste drive reaps rewards • CSIR coating gives 40x shelf life • Plastic recycling major job spinner Wilma den HartighLorna Rutto from Kenya has been named the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards 2011 laureate for sub-Saharan Africa for her creative business idea of making fence posts from plastic waste.The Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards is an international business plan competition that was created in 2006 to identify, support and encourage projects by women entrepreneurs.It was established by renowned French jeweller and watchmaker Cartier; the Women’s Forum, the first forum of its kind that advances women’s empowerment; global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company; and the INSEAD business school.Every year, six female entrepreneurs, each representing a major world region, are selected from 18 finalists. The Middle East and North Africa feature in their own award region, alongside Latin America, North America, Europe, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia-Pacific.Each of the six laureates receives US$20 000 (R161 000), coaching for one year, and networking opportunities.The awards initiative is playing an important role in helping women entrepreneurs succeed in the world of business.”Starting up in business has been a taxing venture since 2009, with a sharp decline in access to funding,” says Bernard Fornas, president and CEO of Cartier.“We are delighted to play our part in helping such enterprising women to develop and scale their businesses and bring bright ideas to the world.”A bright idea making a differenceA desire to clean up the environment, coupled with a good business idea, is what inspired Rutto to establish EcoPost, which uses 100% recycled plastics to manufacture durable and eco-friendly fencing posts.Her love for the environment was already evident from an early age when she started collecting discarded plastic to make earrings.”Though it wasn’t really the earrings I was interested in, I just wanted to find a way to get rid of all that plastic!” she says.Years later, she graduated with a commerce and accounting degree. She started her career in banking, but she never forgot her love for the environment.Shortly afterwards, she quit her job and established EcoPost, now known internationally for its contribution to solving Kenya’s waste problem.The company’s plastic fencing posts are versatile and suitable for fencing of farms, homes, national parks, game reserves and commercial premises such as cattle ranches and tourist resorts.They can also be used as support beams for houses, cowsheds and garages.Unlike wood, plastic fencing posts don’t rot; they aren’t prone to termite attacks; they are durable; cost-effective; easy to work with; and cannot be stolen for use as firewood.A solution for wasteThere is no shortage of recyclable plastic in Kenya. Nairobi alone generates more than 2 800 tons of waste every day, of which 20% is plastic.Rutto’s EcoPost initiative provides an alternative management solution to the country’s plastic waste dilemma.The Kenyan government banned the use of polythene bags, also known as “flimsy plastics”, in 2007. However, at the time the country was still producing millions of plastic bags.Although the new regulations are in effect, the ban is largely been ignored and plastic bags are still in use.Once the bags are discarded, they spoil the environment, or pile up in open waste tips or landfill sites.Any plastic waste that can go through the extrusion process, which breaks down raw plastic, can be used.“This includes plastic such as polypropylene and polyethylene – the material used to make those carrier bags that clog the landfills. We can recover and use all of these for our posts,” Rutto explains.In its first eight months of operation, Rutto and her team produced 5 000 posts and removed 300 tons of plastic waste from the environment. Every month, EcoPost uses approximately 20 tons of plastic waste.Plastic helps to save treesEcoPost is also helping to preserve Kenya’s forests and cut down on deforestation. The plastic posts are an affordable alternative to timber, which reduces the need for fencing material manufactured from wood.Kenya has about 2% forest cover, but the high demand for wood to produce fence posts for houses, plantations and game reserves is rapidly depleting the country’s remaining forests.For many years fencing posts were made from Red Cedar trees. However, these trees are now endangered and since 2007 it is illegal to chop them down.This is where Rutto’s EcoPosts are making a major difference. For every 25 posts sold, EcoPost saves a fully matured Red Cedar tree.Creating jobsThe business has created opportunities for unemployed youth and women, who make a living by collecting, sorting and cleaning plastic waste for reselling.EcoPost works in partnership with about 200 collectors and buys the waste from them at a rate per kilogram.Rutto says that by the third year of operation, EcoPost aims to create 100 direct and more than 500 indirect jobs. Currently EcoPost employs 15 permanent staff.She says that the demand for the product is growing so fast that soon they will have to expand their operations.The business has already bought a new extrusion machine that will make it possible to double the number of fence posts manufactured per quarter.She says the demand for their recycled plastic fence posts will also increase as timber becomes more expensive.Future plansFor Rutto the most rewarding aspect of her business is doing what she loves most – caring for the environment, helping people overcome poverty and making a contribution to solving Kenya’s waste problem.Before she was named as one of the winners, Rutto said in an interview that if she won, she would like to use her prize money to grow the business, improve the living standards of the women who work with the project and set up another ten waste collection yards.“It will provide a great entrepreneurial opportunity not only for me but also for the women who will set up and run the additional collection yards,” she explained. “It will also enable us to secure enough raw materials to take our business to the next level,”Now, she can do just that.last_img read more

AngelConf: A How-To for Prospective Angel Investors

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting audrey watters Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Tags:#events#start Related Posts Interested in learning more about how to become an angel investor from experienced angels this month? Later this month, Y Combinator will reprise its AngelConf, an event first held last year that gives prospective angels the opportunity to meet and hear from experienced investors.These experienced angel investors will offer insights into the legal and financial how-to’s, as well as their thoughts on identifying promising startups.Confirmed speakers include Ron Conway, Paul Graham, Paul Buchheit, Michael Arrington, and Naval Ravikant.AngelConf will be held the afternoon of July 29, at the Y Combinator headquarters in Mountain View, California. You can request an invitation via the AngelConf site. And if you can’t be in California on July 29, you can watch the event via, where archives from last year’s AngelConf are also available.last_img read more

Lighting for Video: The Tools You Should Have In Your Lighting Bag

first_imgLighting your next film or video project? Make sure you have the right support tools to get the job done.In our series on Lighting for Video we’ve previously tackled different types of professional lighting instruments. Knowing which type of light to use (and when) is essential for getting the best picture. But’s it not just about the lights. Anytime you use pro lighting equipment you should be prepared with the right support gear to assist you on set.In this video, I cover my essential lighting support tools – gear that should be included in any professional lighting kit. A quick rundown of these tools includes:High quality multi-tool (I prefer the Leatherman Wave for durability, warranty and varied toolset)Metric and standard hex wrenchesAdjustable wrenchExtra bolts, nuts, screws and washers (these can be a lifesaver)Clamps: varied assortment of big, small, metal, plasticGlovesGaff tape and Industry Tape (Industry Tape is strong and won’t leave residue behind like other kinds of tape)High quality extension cordsVelcro cable ties for cord managementWhat gear is a MUST have in your lighting kit?Share your experiences and advice in the comments below!last_img read more

John Wall leads Wizards past Lakers

first_imgWall ended the first half with a baseline jumper over 7-foot-1 center Tyson Chandler to make it 71-51. Wall turned and slapped palms with a couple of front-row folks, then spread his arms wide and basked in the ovation from a home crowd populated by plenty of spectators in LA jerseys.“I know all the Lakers fans out there probably was upset,” Wall said, rolling his eyes.By then, Wall already had 28 points, outscoring LA’s five starters — James, Ball, Chandler, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart — by six.Recently acquired reserve forward Sam Dekker scored a season-high 20 for Washington, including a buzzer-beating bank shot at the end of the third quarter that put the hosts ahead 99-76.Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored a season-high 25 points for the Lakers, 15 in the second quarter.Washington was without starting center Dwight Howard, who had back surgery, and injured starting forward Otto Porter Jr., while a pair of players — Kelly Oubre Jr. and Austin Rivers — were unavailable because they are on their way out of town via a trade that is still not officially complete.Didn’t matter on this night, thanks in large part to Wall.“When he gets going,” Dekker said, “it really sets the tone for us.”TIP-INSLakers: Michael Beasley was back with the team, but didn’t play, after being away for personal reasons. … JaVale McGee missed the game with flu-like symptoms. … A pair of sneakers James wore during a game at the Wizards a year ago Monday — one black, one white, with the word “equality” in capital gold letters on the back of each — was recently placed on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. … Ball finished with 10 points, five rebounds and four assists. Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening View comments Dwyane Wade makes more New Orleans memories, Heat beat Pelicans Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño So it made sense that Wall’s reeling and undermanned Washington Wizards, amid so much losing and infighting and roster flux, would dominate James and his rising Los Angeles Lakers throughout a 128-110 victory Sunday night.“We’re a team that’s built on energy and depth,” James said. “We didn’t have either tonight.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefA day after he and Lonzo Ball each registered a triple-double in a win at Charlotte, the four-time NBA MVP had six rebounds and three assists and sat out the fourth quarter of a lopsided laugher.“We did a good job of making it a little difficult on him, showing him a lot of bodies, active hands,” said Wizards guard Bradley Beal, who had 25 points and 12 rebounds. Wizards: The deal bringing Trevor Ariza to Washington from the Phoenix Suns is still not official, so Oubre and Rivers were listed as inactive Sunday because of “trade pending.” … Markieff Morris left at halftime because of a neck strain. … Porter missed his third game in a row with a bruised knee. … Jeff Green started in Porter’s place and scored 20 points.UP NEXT:Lakers: At Brooklyn on Tuesday to close a four-game road trip.Wizards: At Atlanta on Tuesday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting LATEST STORIES Lacson: 2019 budget delay due to P75-B House ‘insertion’ SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Wall said the key for Washington was its defensive effort, something often missing this season.“Tried not to let LeBron get going,” Wall said. “He missed a couple easy shots he always makes. Didn’t get a couple calls driving to the basket. … It’s one game, but we know he is who he is.”Nothing the Lakers tried to do to slow Wall worked as the Wizards emphatically ended a four-game losing streak, going up by as many as 18 in the first quarter and 27 in the third.“Box-and-1. Triangle-and-2. I haven’t seen that since high school,” Wall said.James and the Lakers had been 5-1 in the second half of back-to-back sets this season, but they opened Sunday’s game by going 5 for 19, 0 for 8 on 3s. Washington, meanwhile, made its first five shots and 13 of its first 18, taking a 26-8 lead on Wall’s layup.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) goes for a layup past Los Angeles Lakers guards Lance Stephenson (6) and Josh Hart (3) as Washington forward Troy Brown Jr. (6) looks on during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Al Drago)WASHINGTON — John Wall was at his attacking best: 40 points and 14 assists; one no-look, through-the-legs assist; one buzzer-beating rainbow step-back jumper.LeBron James was at his sluggish worst: a season-low 13 points on 5-of-16 shooting.ADVERTISEMENT PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krausslast_img read more

NBA launches basketball school in Mumbai

first_img 0 COMMENT SHARE SHARE EMAIL April 07, 2017 COMMENTS Published on The National Basketball Association today announced the setting up of its first basketball school, a network of tuition-based basketball development programmes, in Mumbai.The school, as part of a multi-year agreement announced today with India On Track (IOT), is open to male and female players between ages 6-18, a media release said here.The new initiative adds an additional layer to the NBA’s existing basketball development efforts, including the Jr. NBA, Basketball without Borders (BWB) and NBA Academies, the release said.Additional schools will be launched by NBA in India and around the world in the coming months, it added.“The NBA Basketball School builds an additional track between the Jr. NBA and NBA Academies with the goal of increasing the pool of players who have the talent to attend our academies around the world,” said NBA Vice President, International Basketball Operations and Head of Elite Basketball, Brooks Meek.The school’s curriculum has been developed by the NBA’s Elite Basketball Development team in consultation with current and former NBA coaches, former NBA players, and player development experts, the release explained. SHARE sportlast_img read more