first_img160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Wild mushroom workshop, 10 a.m.-noon, Soka University, 26800 West Mulholland Highway, Calabasas. Holiday Arts Festival, 10 a.m.-p.m., Brand Library and Art Center, 1601 W. Mountain St., Glendale. Admission is free. Call (818) 548-2051 or see LAUSD Band and Drill Team Championships, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m., East Los Angeles College, 1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park. Winter Arts Festival, noon-4 p.m., Pierce College Art Department quad, 6201 Winnetka Ave., Woodland Hills. Admission is free. Call (818) 719-6498 or see Mail Datebook entries – including time, date, location and a phone number – to Daily News City Desk, P.O. Box 4200, Woodland Hills, CA 91365; fax (818) 713-0058; e-mail [email protected] SATURDAY: Breakfast with Santa, 8:30 a.m., Burbank Town Center Food Court, 201 E. Magnolia Blvd. For tickets, call (818) 238-5300. Pacoima Holiday Parade, 9 a.m., Van Nuys and Laurel Canyon boulevards. Festival follows, noon-6 p.m., David Gonzalez Park, 10943 Herrick Ave., Pacoima. Free admission. Rotary Club Arts & Crafts Faire, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. today and Sunday, Topanga Canyon Boulevard and Oxnard Street, Woodland Hills. Call (818) 754-4743 or see Toy drive and gift-wrapping party, 10 a.m.-noon at Penny Lane, 15314 Rayen St., North Hills. Call (818) 332-8260 or see last_img read more

United boss Ferguson ‘considering shock bid for Chelsea star’

first_imgSir Alex Ferguson is seriously considering making a shock bid to take Ashley Cole to Manchester United, according to The People.It is claimed the Old Trafford boss is desperate to sign a left-back and has made enquires about the 31-year-old England star.There has been speculation about Cole’s future given that he is now in the final year of his Chelsea contract.The Sunday Express report Fulham’s apparent interest in Chelsea’s Yossi Benayoun and Arsenal’s Andrey Arshavin.Meanwhile, Moussa Dembele is Tottenham’s top target to replace Luka Modric, the Sunday Mirror say.With Modric looking set to leave White Hart Lane, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is said to be aiming to sign Dembele for around £10m.It is suggested that Fulham would ask for £15m but Spurs are banking on the 25-year-old pushing for a switch across London. This page is regularly updated.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Creating chances for South Africa’s youngsters

first_imgThe hospitality and ecotourism sectorshave gained 142 skilled Umzi Wethugraduates since 2006. Proud Umzi graduates have an 85%success rate at finding employment.(Images: Umzi Wethu)MEDIA CONTACTS • Pinky KondloUmzi Wethu Project Office+27 41 374 0746Emily van RijswijckA unique Eastern Cape social intervention programme aimed at young people affected in one way or another by the HIV/Aids pandemic is using the hospitality and ecotourism industries as a springboard for skills development and employment opportunities.The Umzi Wethu (isiXhosa, meaning “our homestead”) Training Academy for Vulnerable Youth programme gives promising youngsters, who have no access to training and jobs because of their circumstances, a chance to gain hands-on experience, with the eventual aim of finding employment or becoming self-employed.Since 2006, when the project was formally launched, 142 young people have graduated from the hospitality academy in Port Elizabeth and conservation academy in Somerset East, some 165km away.The project’s success in placing its graduates is impressive, with 85% of students finding permanent employment.Among these are Simphiwe Mantile, now a junior sous chef at the prestigious Shamwari Private Game Reserve and Simphiwe Ngubane, who is employed as a marine field ranger at Addo Elephant National Park.“The ultimate goal of Umzi Wethu is to have a seamless transition from being a student to being employed,” says Pinky Kondlo, director of the project office.Kondlo says she still gets a thrill from seeing once shy and uncertain students developing into confident employees guiding tourists and talking knowledgeably about a variety of subjects.“I can see they have a sense of purpose now. Those moments are breathtaking.”Wilderness FoundationThe Umzi Wethu programme is an initiative of the Wilderness Foundation.In 2008 it received international recognition when the foundation’s executive director and the creator of the programme, Andrew Muir, won a prestigious Rolex Award for Enterprise. The Rolex awards recognise individual efforts that have had a profound effect on people or the environment, and Muir is one of only a handful of South Africans to have received the accolade.According to its website, “Umzi Wethu has two parallel ambitions: to close the skills gap that exists within Southern Africa and to provide hope and employment to some of the region’s most vulnerable people.”Every year about 20 students are selected from groups of contenders identified by Umzi Wethu’s partners, among them the Ubuntu Education Fund and the loveLife Campaign.“The selection process is rigorous and stringent,” says Kondlo. “We are not big on numbers and would rather focus on quality.”The emphasis of the programme is on skills, with academic learning just one part of the overall approach. Students live in residences at the academies, are supervised by a housemother and are given three meals a day.For some of these students, most of whom come from an extremely poor and difficult environment, the programme and residence life literally become home, says Kondlo.Nature, nurture, futureLike Pride and Imbewu, two more of the foundation’s social programmes, Umzi Wethu’s emphasis is on the environment.The programme’s pay-off line is nature, nurture, future, and before any actual learning takes place students are taken on a wilderness trail to experience nature at first hand. For most of the students this is their first encounter with the natural environment.“Wow, the programme has changed my life inside out.” These are the frank words of 24-year-old Lwazi Xinwa. His deep voice exudes confidence as he speaks of his newfound belief in himself and his future.Xinwa is now employed at the Umzi Wethu Hospitality Academy where he wears many hats, but there was a time in his life when things looked bleak.Abandoned at birth, he spent his first years in an orphanage and was then adopted, but had to deal with a few more blows when he lost his adopted father and, just before graduation, his mother. There was a point, after matric, when he even considered becoming a gangster, he says.Xinwa says that going back to “school” was not part of his plans when he first entered the hospitality academy in Port Elizabeth for a year-long course. Completely new to both conservation and hospitality, he joined the programme because he was desperate for a job, not knowing that it would involve much more than just employment.He admits that for the first six months he only stuck it out for his mother’s sake, but it wasn’t long before his interest in and passion for cooking began to grow.“I also began to understand how we are all so connected with nature.”While he became quite accomplished in the kitchen and in the managerial aspects of the trade, it is his passion for social work that is now coming to the fore, as he often stands in as housefather, lending his emphatic ear to new students.Encouraging entrepreneurshipThe Umzi Wethu programme itself has gone through a natural and spontaneous growth process since its inception. After feeling the squeeze of the economic recession the hospitality programme was extended, and now has a thriving catering division which forms part of the hospitality students’ hands-on training.Students also work in the coffee shop on site, a joint venture between Umzi Wethu and the Eastern Province Child and Youth Care Centre.In 2011 the Wilderness Foundation came up with a new initiative which complements the existing programme and, in time, will be used as to broaden opportunities for job creation for its graduates.The first of what is likely to be a growing brand of small, niche coffee shops linked to heritage, cultural, and green urban spaces opened on Heritage Day, 24 September 2011, in the Donkin Reserve in Port Elizabeth.The pilot coffee shop project is a partnership with the Nelson Mandela Bay Development Agency and Port Elizabeth Tourism.It is hoped that similar coffee shops will be rolled out as franchises around the country, with Umzi Wethu graduates as the registered owners. The branding of the coffee shop model is still under development.The coffee shop project in the Donkin is entirely run by Umzi graduates and gives them that real-life exposure, says Jean Rigby, coordinator for Umzi Wethu in the project. Students are gaining in confidence daily, she says, remembering a time when the coffee shop kitchen had only a fridge and a microwave.“They saw how we had to start small and make progress gradually. It has taught them a lot about basic business principles and good work ethics.”The Donkin Coffee Shop offers a full catering service, with head chef Sonwabile Tobi “really coming into his own”, says Rigby. All packaging for takeaways is fully recyclable and in time the shop will add organic options to its menu.“Ultimately, we want to see an Umzi Wethu graduate owning his or her own business,” concludes Kondlo.last_img read more

Nation Brand FAQs

first_imgYou might have heard of nation branding but do not know what it actually means. You may even want to know more about it. In the spirit of Brand South Africa’s upcoming Nation Brand Forum, we present to you the answers to some frequently asked questions on nation branding.What is nation branding?It is about managing a country’s image, usually portraying it in a positive light.What makes up a nation brand?To create a positive image about a country, there are six things that a brand should cover. These are: business, tourism, exports, culture and heritage, governance and people.Who came up with the nation brand concept?British policy advisor, Simon Anholt had come up with the term and the practice of nation branding. He also created the Nation Brand Index, which was launched in 2005, as a way to measure a country’s reputation.How is nation branding different from product branding?Product branding is concerned with promoting a single or number of products or services, which can be very simple. But unlike the branding of a product, the branding of a nation covers many aspects that make up a country. When a foreign tourist thinks of South Africa, the images that immediately come to mind are of wildlife, Nelson Mandela, gold and diamonds. While those are great selling points of South Africa, we know that there is so much more that makes this country great, such as its beaches, its food and most of all, its friendly people.Who is responsible for branding South Africa?It might be easy to say that it is Brand South Africa’s job to create a good image of the country, but in reality it is up to every South African citizen to build that reputation.How can I create a positive image of South Africa?Start by being an active citizen, or in other words, by helping your community thrive. Start a movement, bring your ideas to life or, if you are a sportsperson, coach the children in your neighbourhood. You as a South African have the power to make this country great.last_img read more

BRICS: Transforming the global political and economic architecture

first_imgDr Petrus de Kock, General Manager for Research at Brand South Africa, speaking at the Brand South Africa and Gauteng Growth and Development Agency research roundtable on BRICS, on Wednesday 30 September.Johannesburg, Wednesday 30 September 2015 – Since its inception, the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) forum has made great strides in challenging the traditional global political and economic paradigm.Today, Brand South Africa in collaboration with the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA) hosted a research roundtable titled “Deepening the relationship between South Africa, Brazil, Russia, India and China”, which reflected on how the BRICS formation challenges the current global political, economic and social paradigm and the implications of this for the BRICS brand. Most notably, the BRICS has reached a high level of institutionalisation through the establishment of the BRICS New Development Bank.Brand South Africa, the GGDA and representatives from various high commissions representing the Russia, China, India and Brazil discussed and interrogated evidence that argues that the increased formalisation of intra- and inter-BRICS interactions, including the establishment of institutions such as the BRICS New Development Bank, has led to the development of the BRICS brand, a collective image of the five member states.General Manager for Research at Brand South Africa, Dr Petrus de Kock, said analysts expressed surprise at some of the successes of the BRICS – particularly in the context of the formation of the BRICS New Development Bank.Dr De Kock said: “Based on research conducted by the BRICS Research Group, and other analysts, the BRICS have achieved a 70% implementation/compliance rate in terms of implementing Summit decisions. As a relatively young multilateral organisation, the high compliance levels by member states are a progressive indicator. This means that levels of co-operation are not only high, but that buy-in into the organisation and its objectives, is of strategic significance for all member states.”The influence of the forum on political and economic developments cannot be understated. BRICS countries have expanded the scope of co-operation and put in place a multi-layered and all-dimensional structure of co-operation covering political, economic, financial, trade, social, cultural and people-to-people exchanges.The five BRICS countries currently represent over 3 billion people, or 42% of the world population. All five members are in the top 25 of the world by population, and four are in the top 10. The five nations have a combined nominal GDP of US$16.039 trillion, equivalent to approximately 20% of the gross world product, and an estimated US$4 trillion in combined foreign reserves. It is estimated that the combined GDP (PPP) of BRICS would reach US$50 trillion mark by 2020.It is principally debated that the accomplishments and growing institutionalisation of the BRICS is enabling the Forum, to develop a brand personality, that consistently advocates for the implementation of the global developmental agenda.And due to the collective influence of collaboration among the members, as the BRICS brand grows and develops (through, among other things, institutionalisation), the nation brands of the five members states stand to benefit not only in terms of trade and economic interactions, but also due to the impact the BRICS brand can have on global governance.Follow the conversation on @Brand_SA #CompetitiveSAlast_img read more

A Brief Introduction to WUFI, in 5 Easy Pieces

first_imgStep 2: Set up your assembly and enter all the inputs.The screen shot below shows the main screen of WUFI 1-D. The first thing you do is set up the layers of your assembly. The one you see below has brick on the outside, a 1-inch air space, building paper, oriented strand board, fiberglass insulation, and drywall. You choose and adjust the parameters to match the actual materials being used.You also set a lot of other parameters that control how the simulation will run: orientation, coatings, permeance of paint, climate, wind-driven rain, and initial conditions. The program gives you a lot of power to set everything up with hundreds of inputs. You really have to know what you’re doing to get this right or you could end up modeling a wall that WUFI says will be a disaster even though it’s been working well in the real world for decades. Or you could model a wall, as one architect did, that WUFI says will work fine and then your builder says they won’t build it because it won’t work.Remember the GIGO principle: Garbage in, garbage out. PrologueNow let me cover some of the basics. First, you may be wondering what the WUFI acronym stands for, and it is Wärme- Und Feuchtetransport Instationär. According to Google Translate, that’s German for transient heat and moisture transport. Recall what I said about it being a hygrothermal modeling tool, so it basically looks at the movement—or accumulation—of moisture and heat through an assembly over a period of time. The Fraunhofer Institute in Germany originally created the software, but Oak Ridge National Laboratory (where Dr. Achilles Karagiozis used to work) and Owens Corning (where Achilles now works) are involved in its continued development.The version of WUFI that I’m discussing here is the one-dimensional WUFI 1-D. Other versions include WUFI 2-D, WUFI Pro, WUFI Passive, and WUFI Bio (mentioned in step 1 above). They have different capabilities and aims but all address the flow and accumulation of moisture and heat. If you’re ready to go a bit deeper in understanding it, I recommend the Fraunfhofer introduction to WUFI page.That’s it. That’s what WUFI’s all about. I’ll have to come back to this topic because Joe Lstiburek, who likes to argue with everybody, and Achilles Karagiozis have had an ongoing clash over WUFI. Last year at the Passive House conference in Denver, Joe said that if you need to use WUFI, you’ve done something wrong. Achilles opened the two-day class I just took by saying, “No one can do hygrothermal analysis in their heads.” More on that later.Now, if you want to go even further back, go watch Guy Pearce play Felicia Jollygoodfellow in the movie, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Footnote†Achilles, by the way, is one of the most interesting and entertaining teachers I’ve had. He’s a dynamo who’s full of information and stories. Although he dashed my hopes with what he said to start the class (see my quote at the end of this article), I loved the class and his teaching style. Entering the assembly layers and their properties is the most critical part of using WUFI. There are many entries, and it’s easy to mess things up here. Step 4: WUFI shows how your the water content of the materials over time.The graph below shows that the OSB sheathing in this wall assembly doesn’t dry sufficiently over the three year period of the simulation. Ideally, you’d like to see it stay below 15-16% (right axis). This screenshot of the WUFI analysis animation shows only one point in the hourly simulation. One of the outputs of WUFI is a video showing how the moisture and temperature change over time in the different layers. RELATED ARTICLES WUFI Is Driving Me CrazyMakin’ WUFIEnergy Modeling Isn’t Very AccurateQ&A: Using WUFI to check wall moisture Step 3: Run the simulation and watch what happens in the different layers.The graph below is one screen shot of the animation you can watch as WUFI goes through all the calculations for moisture and heat flow, hour by hour. The top graph shows the temperature profile, from outdoors on the left to indoors on the right. The red line shows the temperature at that particular hour of the simulation. The pink area shows all the temperatures reached in the various layers, including the minimum and maximum.The graph below with the green and blue lines and areas shows the moisture analysis. Relative humidity is in green and water content is in blue. Step 5: WUFI Bio tells you if your assembly will grow mold.Once you’ve done all the modeling, you can take your results to the add-on program, WUFI Bio, to see if your assembly will be wet enough to grow mold. The graph below shows a material that doesn’t dry out and ends up being a good mold factory. Note the red light at top left. If you have any involvement with the world of building science, you may have heard about something called WUFI and wondered what the heck it is. Maybe you’ve heard that it’s a piece of software (several pieces, actually) that does hygrothermal modeling. Well, today’s your lucky day because I recently went through a two-day class on WUFI 1-D with Dr. Achilles Karagiozis† and Mr. Mikael Salonvaara of Owens Corning, and I’ll give you a brief explanation of what it’s all about.And I’ll give it to you the way we learned about Guy Pearce’s character in the movie Memento; that is, I’ll start with the results and work my way back to the inputs. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. Step 1: Solve the partial differential equations for the flow of heat and moisture.The equations are shown below. WUFI solves them numerically so you don’t have to.last_img read more