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Vermont Country Store reports most venues ‘open for business’

first_imgVermont Country Store,The Vermont Country Store, among the state’s top visitor destinations, is open for business. Both of its stores in Vermont, at Weston and Rockingham, were spared the destruction from Irene and are easily accessible from all major routes. However, other busineses in the same communities were not as fortunate and many lost their homes to rushing water.The national news showed images of devastation to Vermont but thanks to the herculean efforts of so many Vermonters and kind folks from other states we are happy to report that the clean up is well under way and visitors are returning. The response and the concern continue to be overwhelming and is a reminder that the inherent goodness in people is wonderful. The hardest hit communities are working together to get back to normal as soon as possible, to be ready to welcome the millions from across the country to enjoy the spectacular fall foliage that Vermont offers. In fact, most of the Inns, B&Bs and attractions that leaf peepers enjoy are open as well.Eliot Orton, proprietor of The Vermont Country Store, points out some essential truths about Vermont and Vermonters. He said, ‘Vermont is open for business. The Vermont Country Store is open for business. And while we’ve been blessed to have been spared the worst of Irene, make no mistake ‘ these are a people and a community that won’t give up. In fact, we are all committed, more than ever, to make this fall’s visitor experience better than ever.’Visitors can use www.VisitVT.com(link is external) as a resource for real-time information on everything related to visiting Vermont in addition to links, FB pages, Twitter and Text feeds to allied/partner resources including destinations, status of roads and highways and more.Open for Business: Proprietors of The Vermont Country Store, standing outside their flagship store in Weston, Vt., were spared the wrath of Tropical Storm Irene and are ready to welcome visitors. Pictured (from left) are Eliot, Lyman, Cabot and Gardner Orton. (Photo: Business Wire)About The Vermont Country StoreIn 1946, Vrest and Ellen Orton printed their first catalogue’just 12 pages and 36 products’and mailed it to the folks on their Christmas card list and sixty-five years later continues to be Orton family owned. As Purveyors of The Practical and Hard to Find, The Vermont Country Store operates as a multichannel merchant through its mailed catalogs, e-commerce web site and two retail stores in Weston and Rockingham, Vermont. For more information, please visit www.VermontCountryStore.com(link is external).last_img read more

Now, Spanish league stall Neymar move

first_imgNOT STAYING: Pique (right) and Neymar (left).Barcelona, Spain | AFP |  Spain’s football league refused to accept a 222 million euro ($260 million) cheque on Friday in a new twist to Neymar’s ‘transfer of the century’ from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain.Representatives of the 25-year-old Brazilian were turned away from the Madrid headquarters of La Liga after their payment to meet Barcelona’s buyout clause was refused by officials who have accused the French club of breaching transfer rules.“We can confirm that the legal representatives of the player attended La Liga to pay the clause and this has been rejected,” a spokesperson told AFP.The move may delay Neymar’s transfer but is unlikely to derail it, according to experts.However, the player, initially expected in Paris later Thursday, is now due to arrive a day later, according to airport sources in the French capital.The transfer dominated front pages across the world with many commentators aghast at the rampant inflation in football transfer fees with Neymar’s new mark more than doubling the previous record set by Manchester United’s capture of Paul Pogba last year.However, in the French capital there is huge excitement at PSG’s Qatari-backed project landing a star name to finally make them feared among European football’s elite.“Neymar to PSG – the transfer of the century”, splashed Le Parisien’s front page with the first five pages devoted to his impending arrival.“Neymar could be wearing the parisian shirt from this week,” added Le Parisien with a possible presentation to take place at PSG’s Ligue 1 opener at home to Amiens on Saturday.French President Emmanuel Macron added to the anticipation, saying the move was “good news.”– Fair play –The mood was understandably more somber in Spain.Madrid-based sports daily AS ran with “pay and go” alongside a smiling Neymar, whilst Marca described the move as “the signing that changes the history of football.In Barcelona, attention turned to who the Catalans can sign to replace Neymar in the month before the transfer window closes with Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho and Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele both linked. There was also scepticism at the role played by PSG’s owners Oryx Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) at a time of political crisis for the oil rich state emirate which has been boycotted by its Gulf neighbours in recent months and will play host to the World Cup in 2022.Spanish newspaper El Mundo described the move as a “state signing.”Whilst coaches, including Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, have lamented that the move could cause even greater inflation in transfer fees and player wages, France’s Budget Minister claimed to be “delighted” Neymar will earn a reported 30 million euros after tax.“If in fact Neymar does come to a French club, the budget minister will be delighted at the tax that he will be able to pay in France,” Darmanin told France Inter radio.PSG’s finances will come under heavy scrutiny in the years to come with both La Liga and Barcelona threatening to report the French giants to European football’s governing body for breaches of financial fair play regulations (FFP).Clubs can be sanctioned by UEFA for making a loss of more than 30 million euros over a three-year period.According to reports Neymar underwent a medical in Porto on Wednesday after saying his goodbyes to his Barcelona teammates before returning to the Catalan capital late on Wednesday night.Once the hype over the astronomical figures involved subsides, Neymar must deliver on the pitch to make PSG’s dreams of lifting the Champions League for the first time and his own ambition of winning the Ballon d’Or come true.By leaving Barca, Neymar is stepping out from under the shadow of five-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi to try and prove himself as the world’s best.“It was a huge pleasure having shared all those years with you, my friend @neymarjr,” Messi posted on Instagram alongside a montage displaying some of the pair’s finest moments together on Wednesday.“I wish you lots of luck in this new stage in your life. See you soon tkm,” he added. “Tkm” stands for “te quiero mucho” (I love you loads).“Thanks brother. I will miss you man,” Neymar replied.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Eureka places second, Fortuna third at Redwood Empire Classic tourney

first_imgUkiah >> The defending Humboldt-Del Norte league champion Eureka High School wrestling team led a trio of local team that placed in the top five at the Redwood Empire Classic wrestling tournament on Saturday at Ukiah High School.The Loggers had eight wrestlers place fourth or better in their respective weight divisions for a team point total of 170 points, placing them third in the overall team standings behind meet champion Sutter (261 points) and host Ukiah (191).Just behind the Loggers in …last_img read more

Without Integrity, There Is No Science

first_imgScience continues facing a crisis in credibility, leaving Big Science institutions scrambling for solutions.Any college student has likely walked through aisles upon aisles of scholarly science journals, bound into thick volumes. The library stores the collective findings of thousands of research scientists. Now imagine a day when half the reports are fakes or frauds, and there is no way to tell which are real. Such an eventuality would render the library useless. A civilization with that kind of legacy would have to start over from scratch, insisting on high standards of a non-scientific criterion: integrity.The following articles, briefly noted here, point to a crisis in trustworthiness of scientists and their institutions. No longer can Big Science dish out findings for public consumption with presumptive authority, promising that peer review has earned them their trust. Everyone needs to buck up and show why the public should trust what they deliver. They also show that scientific methods and traditions are malleable under heat and pressure. What happens, though, when most of them are evolutionists?Evolution of integrity? Since Darwin’s second major book, The Descent of Man, his followers have appealed to natural and sexual selection to explain human moral traits. A recent example from PNAS by Adam Bear and David Rand is about “Intuition, deliberation, and the evolution of cooperation.” Those are certainly required in a scientific community. Alas, “Our model offers a clear explanation for why we should expect deliberation to promote selfishness rather than cooperation,” they say. If evolution rewards defectors from the “seemingly altruistic behavior” of cooperation, what’s really going on in those science conferences? If it’s only “seemingly altruistic,” it’s an illusion produced by blind forces of nature.Tackling the credibility crisis in science: That’s PhysOrg‘s headline for a piece about an initiative by the Public Library of Science (PLoS) to improve credibility by doing “research on research.” “Widespread failure to reproduce research results has triggered a crisis of confidence in research findings, eroding public trust in scientific methodology.” This follows on the heels of work by John Ioannidis (10/29/14), who “found very poor reproducibility and transparency standards across the board.” Scientists behaved badly. “Specifically, the vast majority of studies did not share their data, did not provide protocols, claimed to report novel findings rather than replications, and did not mention funding or conflicts of interest.” What was it we imagined about those aisles of books in the library?Nature reports that a fake research paper got published with the editor’s knowledge in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice as a satire on “evidence-based literature” and randomized controlled trials. Not everyone caught the joke, even though the title should have been obvious: “Maternal kisses are not effective in alleviating minor childhood injuries (boo-boos): a randomized, controlled and blinded study.” Some complained that the paper should have been “clearly labelled as satirical.”Cashin’ in: Science Magazine reports on the new fad of “transparency” and the need for reproducibility of scientific research. Psychologist Brian Nosek is using a carrot method to promote better behavior by scientists: offering them money to describe their experiments before running them. Maybe that will direct their evolved “seemingly altruistic behavior” (which is really Darwinian selfishness, according to the paper above) against its natural tendencies. What Nosek may have discovered is an infinite regress: “‘Can we find evidence of whether [preregistration] is yielding an increase in the credibility of the research?’ he asks. ‘That is a research question.‘” But then, who would test the credibility of that research? That is a research question, too, and so on, ad infinitum. Somewhere along the line, a researcher needs to be trustworthy by his or her character and personal integrity.Open journal trend.  Peer review is being reconsidered. Nature says, “Open journals that piggyback on arXiv gather momentum.” Cornell’s arXiv server plowed a new furrow years ago, letting scientists post their papers and get them peer reviewed afterward instead of before. Cosmologist Andrew King used it is a general lesson in scientific publishing: “‘Reliability — and particularly fairness — are very hard to guarantee,” he says, pointing out that the backing of long-lived organizations with a stake in the future of a field, such as learned societies, is often crucial to a journal’s success.”Dutch take the lead: Nature reports that the Dutch are taking the lead to open up their journals. All the mainstream journals have opened up more and more of their research papers to public online access, but the Netherlands is pushing for “making more papers free for all users as soon as they are published.” This cannot be welcome news for the publishers whose income relies on subscriptions. The trend is also having repercussions on universities, libraries, and researchers, but it is welcome to citizens whose taxes often pay for the research. It also decreases rivalries, increases transparency, and promotes rapid response. Nature is apparently waiting to see if this will become the international trend, even as their own open-access offerings have been on the rise. In a related piece in Nature, Virginia Gewin writes,It is a movement building steady momentum: a call to make research data, software code and experimental methods publicly available and transparent. A spirit of openness is gaining traction in the science community, and is the only way, say advocates, to address a ‘crisis’ in science whereby too few findings are successfully reproduced. Furthermore, they say, it is the best way for researchers to gather the range of observations that are necessary to speed up discoveries or to identify large-scale trends.What does this say about the situation heretofore? How bad was the lack of openness before now?Opacity, not transparency: PhysOrg gives a partial answer: “Poor transparency and reporting jeopardize the reproducibility of science.” How bad has it been? “Billions of dollars are wasted every year on research that cannot be reproduced,” the article concludes from two studies on biomedical literature, where widespread abuse of protocols was noted, such as the failure to declare conflicts of interest. “The findings of these two studies join a long list of concerns about bias and reporting in basic research.” The authors of one study give examples, but only rely on hope that things will get better. “We hope our survey will further sensitize scientists, funders, journals and other science-related stakeholders about the need to improve these indicators,” they said. If the incentives are all selfish from natural selection, though, why get sensitive about it?Listen up, those of you who have been taught Finagle’s Law, “Science is truth! Do not be misled by facts.” The “Scientific Method” (there is no such thing; see 3/11/15) is not an impartial, impersonal knowledge generator. You can’t turn a crank and watch knowledge pop out, when the one turning the crank is a crank himself.Nothing good can come from a corrupt source. Jesus said, “A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit” (Matthew 7:18). Why, then, do any fallen individuals sometimes come up with good scientific results? For one thing, even a broken clock is right twice a day. For another, they have to pretend to do right sometimes to avoid collapsing in their own corruption. Finally, it can get painful to deny moral reality all the time.The evil trees borrow fruit from the godly trees to hang on their own branches, but it isn’t produced from their own sap. Darwin planted a lot of trees flowing with his own toxic brew of sap that permeates his fruit. Anyone who eats it is a sap himself. 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South Africa is Africa’s top nation brand

first_imgAnitha Soni (middle) from the IMC received an award of brand recognition for South Africa. The top three best recognised corporatebrands in Africa are South African. (Images: Bongani Nkosi) MEDIA CONTACTS • Charmaine Lodewyk Brand Leadership Academy +27 11 463 5091RELATED ARTICLES • Brand leadership award for SA • Building a global legacy for SA • New board for Brand South Africa • SA driven by World Cup momentumBongani NkosiSouth Africa has been awarded the title of the most valuable nation brand on the continent, with its recent inclusion in the Bric economic bloc and successful hosting of the 2010 Fifa World Cup contributing to strong positive perceptions – both locally and abroad.Anitha Soni, chairperson of the International Marketing Council of South Africa (IMC), received the accolade from UK-based Brand Finance on behalf of the country at the launch of the Brand Finance African Nation Brand League in Sandton, Johannesburg, on 25 May 2011.“This honour underlines the progress the country has made,” Soni said.The rating by Brand Finance’s Global Nation Brands League takes into account the GDP revenue that a country generates.Egypt is the second most valuable nation brand in Africa, while Nigeria takes third place and is followed by Morocco, Algeria, Angola, Tunisia, Ghana, Kenya and Libya.Brand Finance pointed out that the sophistication of infrastructure is what makes Africa’s best three nation brands some of the world’s serious competitors.Hosting the 2010 Fifa World Cup helped South Africa set up some impressive facilities, from which it’s poised to benefit from in future.And the World Cup itself did wonders to enhance the country’s image. “The world saw us and saw what we can do,” said Soni.Joining the Bric economic bloc – previously comprising Brazil, Russia, India and China – has come at the right time for the nation, which is bracing itself for further economic growth. With the inclusion of South Africa, the group is now referred to as Brics.“Brics is a powerful new platform for promoting economic growth throughout Africa. This is a further recognition of South Africa as an important emerging country in its own right,” Soni said.The IMC is now aiming to make the country one of the top 20 most valuable nation brands in the world. South Africa is currently in 41st position.According to Brand Finance’s Global Nation Brands League, the top three most valuable nation brands at the moment are the US, Germany and China respectively. Brazil and India are also in the top 10.Enhanced reputation driving tourismThe positive perceptions of the country are also a driving force in the growth of the tourism sector. “South Africa has become one of the fastest growing tourism destinations in the world,” said Oliver Schmidt, managing director at Brand Finance South Africa.But it’s not just tourism that’s benefiting from the country’s glowing brand – the entire private sector is scoring too. As Brand Finance CEO and founder David Haigh said: “There’s no doubt that nation-branding contributes to the perception of South Africa’s products.”The top three most recognised corporate brands on the continent are South African. MTN is number one, while leading banks Absa and Standard Bank are second and third respectively.MTN is the 199th most valuable brand in the world and the only African brand to be included in Brand Finance’s top 500 rankings.The telecommunications group has seen major growth since being established in South Africa 17 years ago. It now operates in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East, and its services connect over 120-million people.“It’s big thanks to my colleagues,” said Christian de Faria, the group’s senior vice-president for commercial and innovation.Brand Finance tips Standard Bank, which now ranks 510th, to break into the world’s best 500 in the coming years. “Standard Bank is one of the contenders”, Schmidt said.Brands of locally made goods are finding their place onto international markets, said Soni. “South African brands take their place in the global arena. We’ve taken ourselves into the international arena at every level.”All but one of the most valuable corporate brands ranked in the top 10 are from the US. The exception is UK-based Vodafone.Gateway to AfricaSouth Africa has positioned itself as a gateway to the African continent for investors. The IMC’s aim is for South Africa to become a reflection of the continent.“Our role in Africa must contribute to the growth of the continent in entirety,” said Soni.In coming years “people will know that the African agenda is driven by Africa,” said Thebe Ikalafeng, founder of the Brand Leadership Group.“If South Africa does well, the whole continent does well as well,” Ikalafeng added.last_img read more

South Africa moves to stabilise mining

first_img18 June 2013 Key players in South African mining, during a meeting chaired by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe in Pretoria at the weekend, agreed on a draft plan to ensure the long-term sustainability of the sector. In terms of the draft plan, the parties agreed to speed up transformation in the mining sector to ensure that ordinary workers see real change, with the government committed to speed up the process of upgrading human settlements in mining towns and improving infrastructure to support growth in the sector. Mining management committed to managing miners’ issues more constructively, to take measures to protect staff members from violence and intimidation, and to develop protocols for security and law enforcement. And labour committed to manage workplace conflicts by identifying and dealing with root causes, while also educating workers on labour relations and the bargaining process. The meeting was convened amid heighted tensions between rival mining unions with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) over bargaining rights at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine in Rustenburg, where 44 people died during labour unrest last year. The government has committed to increasing police visibility after two fatal shootings involving mineworkers were reported in the area recently. After the Marikana tragedy, President Jacob Zuma appointed a judicial commission of inquiry, currently under way in Pretoria, to probe the circumstances that led to the deaths. “The parties recognise that the mining industry is central to South Africa’s economy, job creation as well as the need to strengthening the mining sector in these difficult global conditions,” Motlanthe told reporters after the meeting. With the annual wage talks looming, Montlanthe said that, for the next two weeks, the parties would engage in a consultative process to determine how best to avert potential conflicts. Motlanthe said there was broad commitment from all parties to achieve industrial peace and ensure that the mining sector continued to play a central role in South Africa’s economy. “All parties will work jointly to identify sustainable support measures required by the sector. Government will ensure that legislative and regulatory programmes provide stability and certainty for the industry,” Motlanthe said. The government would undertake an assessment of economic and social conditions in the mines and would take steps to prevent the abuse of workers by unscrupulous micro lenders, including reviewing regulations on garnishee orders. In the draft framework agreement agreed to on Friday, the parties acknowledge that the rule of law has been lacking in the mining industry, leading to some of the conflict which they all said could have been avoided. “The parties commit to restore industrial peace and that where there are disputes, those disputes are resolved through engagement, and with the support of government,” Motlanthe said. Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

SA’s Baker crowned Big Wave world surf champ

first_img SAinfo reporter Grant Baker (RSA) 2 459.00 ptsKen Collins (USA) 1 140.13Nic Lamb (USA) 1 117.50Shawn Dollar (USA) 938.50Kohl Christensen (Haw) 864.88 2 April 2014 South African surfer Grant “Twiggy” Baker has been crowned the Big Wave World Tour (BWWT) world champion after racking up more than double the number of points of any of his competitors during the 2013/14 BWWT season.‘I gave it my all’ “I gave it my all this year, basically put my personal life on hold and went for it,” said Baker after being confirmed as the champion on Monday. “I only surfed big wave boards for almost nine months. I looked for the most testing, biggest conditions on every swell, even if I knew a perfect point around the corner was going off, and I worked on my mental and physical wellbeing, so I was in the best possible condition to compete.”Two victories The 40-year-old from Durban won the opening two events on the tour at Punta Galea in Spain in December and Mavericks in California in January before placing third at Nelscott Reef in Oregon last month to take a virtually unassailable lead in the rankings. With just one event remaining at Todos Santos in Mexico and his closest opponent, the USA’s Ken Collins, mathematically able to overtake him if Collins won that event and Baker did not compete, Baker had to wait until the season closed on 31 March without the event running before being officially recognised as the world champion. ‘The best part’ “It means quite a bit to have put the time into something and be rewarded for it. And to bring the world title back to South Africa is the best part,” Baker said “With Bianca (Buitendag) doing so well at the moment and Jordy (Smith) ready to pounce, I believe South African surfing is in a strong place and we can build the next generation from this base.” Baker, who is also the only big wave surfer to be nominated for two awards in the 2013/2014 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards that will be announced next month, went into the season after losing his sponsor and knowing that he would have to raise his game in order to be able to continue competing internationally.‘A big motivating factor’ “In the past I was never really into the competitive side of surfing and preferred the more soulful aspect of the sport, but with losing my sponsor in July 2013, I realised I would have to compete and win in order to keep getting paid to surf and this was a big motivating factor,” he explained. “Since winning Mavericks and upping my profile, I have been fortunate enough to sign with VISSLA and Isurus wetsuits, along with upping my existing sponsors with BOS Ice Tea and Future fins, so right now I’m in a great situation and I can continue to surf for another three years.”2014/15 ASP Big Wave World Tour The 2014/2015 ASP Big Wave World Tour commences on 15 April and showcases the world’s premiere big wave surfers. There are three events in the Southern Hemisphere at Punta de Lobos, Chile, and Pico Alto, Peru, with Dungeons, off of Cape Town, being added for the first time. The Northern Hemisphere leg includes Todos Santos, Mexico, and Punta Galea, Spain, with Pe’ahi (aka Jaws) on the Hawaiian island of Maui, also a new addition.2013/2014 ASP BWWT FINAL RANKINGSlast_img read more

9 months agoEx-Man Utd No2 Rui Faria takes Qatari job

first_imgEx-Man Utd No2 Rui Faria takes Qatari jobby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Manchester United assistant coach Rui Faria is taking a job in Qatar.The Sun says the 43-year-old, Jose Mourinho’s long-time assistant, left Manchester United last season to spend time with family and start a career as a No1.And the Special One’s right-hand man has flown out to the Middle East where he will put the finishing touches on a deal for his first big job.He looks set to join Qatari champions Al Duhail Sports Club, who have been looking for a manager after axing Tunisia World Cup coach Nabil Maaloul.Maaloul had his deal terminated by mutual consent and the club have been looking for a replacement. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more