Granada has fun before visiting Barça

first_imgThe Pomegranate visit this sunday at Barcelona (9:00 p.m.) and this Thursday Diego Martínez He prepared a very special training. The players got into an inflatable ball to play a game between laughs and many falls that made the session enjoyable and fun as seen in the image to Antonio Doors Y Darwin Machís. Parker & nbsp; (DAILY AS) ‘); return false; “class =” item-multimedia “>Parker (DAILY AS)last_img

Bennett not afraid of losing job

first_imgJamaica Scorpions coach Junior Bennett, has said that while he is concerned about the fortunes of the team in recent years, he is not too perturbed at the notion of losing his job. The former regional four-day and one-day championship-winning coach has for the past three years been prevailing over squads that have produced substandard outcomes. This lack of results has been evident in the regional first-class championship, where two years ago, the team finished fourth, and last year, fifth. The one-day team has not been firing on all cylinders either, with the team over the past three seasons having a record of two semi-final appearances, and a first-round exit. “If you are the coach of the side and they are not playing well, then you have to take responsibility for it,” Bennett told The Gleaner following the team’s eight-wicket defeat to Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the WICB First-Class Championship at Sabina Park earlier this week. “But, in life, just you just have to do what you have to do. That’s the way I see it. That’s the way I work. You are going to have good times and bad times.” The defeat by Jamaica was their fourth of the season in seven outings, with the others being victories. It followed a surprising 82-run defeat away to Leewards Hurricanes the previous week. This has placed them in third position on 60 points and with only a mathematical chance of surpassing leaders and defending champions Guyana Jaguars, who has 107. B’DOS IN SECOND PLACE The Barbados Pride, 90, are in second position with Red Force fourth on 56, Windwards Volcanoes fifth on 41 and the Leewards rounding off the standings with 36. “No, I am not worried,” Bennett said when asked if he was worried that the team’s lack of results could cost him his job. “Anytime you play cricket and dominate for a period of time, you are going to have a time when you just have to rebuild,” Bennett added. The Scorpions, who changed captain from Paul Palmer Jr to John Campbell last weekend in a bid to try and arrest their flagging fortunes, are scheduled to face the Pride at Sabina Park this weekend in the eighth round of the 10-round championship.last_img read more

Kimani’s hope – Convicted Jamaican basketballer finds peace on the court

first_imgIn his own words, the last four years of Kimani Ffriend’s life have played out like a movie. Not a sunny, happy film, but a horror flick; one which Ffriend hopes to walk out of very soon. Things are looking up for the professional basket baller though. After spending two years and eight months of his sentence, part of that period under house arrest after he was found guilty of vehicular manslaughter in 2014 for the November 3, 2012 death of Serbian Nevena Dragtunovic, Ffriend late last year signed a contract with Serbian team OKK Beograd and only a few weeks ago got a new contract with the top team in the country’s domestic league – Dynamic. He’s so far been the leading scorer for the team and is one of the most valuable players in the league. In fact, he says playing basketball has been his therapy as he hovers on the cusp of liberty – not quite free, not quite locked up. He is scheduled to return to court on January 25 for a hearing on an appeal against his conviction. While he awaits the outcome of his appeal, Ffriend has been allowed some freedoms and that is what enabled him to start playing again, and earn a living in the sport which brought him fame. “The basketball for sure has been my therapy. The two hours I’m in training or the weight room or playing that is my way of getting away from the reality of the situation. If it wasn’t for me being able to play here it would have been much harder and being under house arrest it was much harder,” he told The Gleaner. His renewed faith in God has also helped him get through the difficult moments. Ffriend admits that his position has weighed heavily on his psyche. Because he was so well known, and the woman who died was the girlfriend of a Serbian pop star, the case has continued to make headlines. “It’s all been very humbling. I made a lot of money financially and all of that was taken away from me, but although I lost a lot, I gained in Christ and now I rely on my faith and it’s my faith why I’m able to have a positive mind outlook,” Ffriend said. Ffriend, who continues to live in Belgrade, has not been able to see any of his Jamaican family throughout the period and he says the experience has taught him patience. “Everything happens for a reason and I see what my purpose is and now I have to stay patient and trust God that everything will work out,” he said. “It messes with your head but at the same time it’s a blessing because I am able to move around, but my life is stagnant because I have to go back to court and I’m still like a prisoner. I’ve been here four years now but my life is still not moving forward. I can’t do anything in my career. I lost four of my best years in this country,” he said. “It’s traumatising. Those types of stuff affect your mentality. Because of that I can’t really be myself until all of that is over. I’m more aware of my surroundings. I don’t trust people as much as before. I’m not as open or friendly as I used to be. It’s not a good feeling and this is something I have to live with for the rest of my life.” The knowledge that he robbed a family of its daughter also weighs on his conscience. “There is not one day that goes by that I don’t think about it,” he said.  Through basketball and over the last few months Ffriend has been turning things around and one of the best parts he says is that when the newspapers write about him it’s no longer about his court case but his exploits in basketball. “The fact that I’m playing and the coaches want me to play is a big deal. It’s a new year. All I’ve been going so far is up and I just have to believe that God is going to pull me through,” he said. dania.bogle@gleanerjm.comlast_img read more

Son strike rescues late point for Spurs against West Ham

first_imgJust as it looked like the visitors would land a crucial blow on their rivals, Heung-Min Son hit back with a similarly brilliant strike, beating Adrian from 25 yards to equalise with six minutes left.The result means Spurs stay fifth but move within three points of Liverpool, while West Ham go 15th and two points above the drop zone.More to follow…0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000The result means Spurs stay fifth but move within three points of Liverpool, while West Ham go 15th and two points above the drop zone.LONDON, United Kingdom, Jan 4 – Spurs missed the chance to close the gap on the top four in the Premier League after playing to a 1-1 draw at West Ham.After the home side had dominated the opening 70 minutes, it was the Hammers who took a shock lead through Pedro Obiang. A venomous strike from the midfielder caught Hugo Lloris off guard and flew into the top left corner.last_img read more

Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri responds to Vardy-Aguero comparisons

first_imgSaturday’s top-of-the-table clash between Leicester and Manchester City will see Jamie Vardy and Sergio Aguero go head-to-head but Foxes boss Claudio Ranieri thinks comparisons between the two strikers are unfair.Vardy’s exploits in front of goal this season – he has 18 Premier League goals – have been pivotal to Leicester’s surprise title challenge and the 29-year-old is in talks about a new improved contract to keep him at the King Power Stadium until 2019.His existing deal expires in 2018.Earlier on Thursday, Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino said: ‘Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane are at the same level as Sergio Aguero.’Former Fleetwood forward Vardy heads to the Etihad Stadium top of the scoring charts, a position Aguero has often occupied since his arrival in England from Atletico Madrid four and a half years ago.Ranieri said: “Sergio Aguero, every year. Jamie just one. I hope he does it next season, next season, next season for us.“Jamie is playing very well and he links very well with his team-mates but he must improve.”Asked if there was any progress with Vardy’s new contract, the Italian said: “I don’t ask. He trains well every day and this is okay.“This is normal, the strikers in every team earn more.”Both Vardy and Aguero were on target again in midweek as Leicester maintained their three-point cushion over City at the Premier League summit.Vardy’s two goals against Liverpool, the first a stunning 35-yard volley from the right side of the penalty area, gave Leicester successive wins for the first time since the week before Christmas, while Aguero netted in a 1-0 victory at Sunderland.Ranieri reckons Vardy’s opener ranks alongside Marco van Basten’s stunning volley for Holland against Russia in the 1988 European Championship final.He said: “It’s incredible what Vardy did. He watched the ball, watched the opponent and watched the keeper. It’s amazing, fantastic.“I can put him with Van Basten when he makes a fantastic goal. I don’t know if you watched (Francesco) Totti when he scored against Sampdoria (in 2006). They are amazing goals.”Saturday’s clash at the Etihad Stadium sees the team with the best home record take on the team with the best away record and Ranieri, who could have recent signing Daniel Amartey available for the first time against City, is expecting an open game.“Both teams want to win,” he said. “They have to win, we have to win and enjoy. It is two different tasks. But I think it will be (an open match).” Jamie Vardy (right) 1last_img read more

SCHOOLBOYS FOOTBALL: LETTERKENNY & DISTRICT LEAGUE RESULTS, FIXTURES AND TABLES

first_imgLETTERKENNY & DISTRICT LEAGUE RESULTS 5th JANUnder 12 Premier LeagueSwilly Rovers 1 – 2 Kilmacrennan Celtic Under 14 Premier LeagueSwilly Rovers 6 – 0 Kilmacrennan CelticDunfanaghy Youths 2 – 6 Bonagee United FIXTURES 12th JANUnder 12 Premier League 10-30amSwilly Rovers v Bonagee UnitedGlencar v Kilmacrennan CelticUnder 14 Premier League 12-15pmSwilly Rovers v Illistrin United Bonagee United v Lagan HarpsUnder 16 Premier League 2pmSwilly Rovers v Lagan HarpsIllistrin United v Bonagee Tigers Dunfanaghy Youths v Bonagee United UNDER 12 PREMIER LEAGUE P W D L PTS DUNFANAGHY YOUTHS 9 8 0 1 24 BONAGEE UNITED 8 8 0 0 24 KILMACRENNAN CELTIC 8 7 0 1 21  SWILLY ROVERS 8 6 0 2 18 BALLYRAINE UNITED 9 6 0 3 18 GLENCAR 9 4 1 4 13 MULROY ACADEMY 10 3 1 6 10 LETTERKENNY ROVERS 9 3 0 6 9 LAGAN HARPS 10 2 0 8 6 MILFORD UNITED 10 2 0 8 6 ILLISTRIN UNITED 10 0 0 10 0 UNDER 14 PREMIER LEAGUE P W D L PTS ILLISTRIN UNITED 8 8 0 0 24 SWILLY ROVERS 8 8 0 0 24 BONAGEE UNITED 8 6 0 2 16 GLENCAR 9 5 1 3 18 MILFORD UNITED 10 5 1 4 16 MULROY ACADEMY 10 4 1 5 13 LETTERKENNY ROVERS 10 3 2 5 11 BALLYRAINE UNITED 9 3 2 4 11 KILMACRENNAN CELTIC 8 1 3 4 6 LAGAN HARPS 9 1 2 6 5 DUNFANAGHY YOUTHS 10 0 0 10 0 UNDER 16 PREMIER LEAGUE P W D L PTS LETTERKENNY ROVERS 6 6 0 0 18 BONAGEE UNITED 6 4 1 1 13 MULROY ACADEMY 7 4 0 3 12 SWILLY ROVERS 4 4 0 0 12 LAGAN HARPS 7 3 2 2 11 DUNFANAGHY YOUTHS 5 2 1 2 7 ILLISTRIN UNITED 5 1 2 2 5 BALLYARE DIAMONDS 7 1 0 6 3 BONAGEE TIGERS 6 0 0 6 0 UNDER 12 RESERVE LEAGUE P W D L PTS CAPPRY CRUSADERS 7 6 0 1 18 GLENCAR HAMMERS 7 5 2 0 17 LETTERKENNY CRUSADERS 7 4 1 2 13 DUNFANAGHY BLUES 6 4 1 1 13 BALLYRAINE CELTIC 7 3 0 4 9 BONAGEE TIGERS 7 2 0 5 6 SWILLY RAMBLERS  6 0 1 5 1 LURGY CELTIC 7 0 1 6 1UNDER 14 RESERVE LEAGUE P W D L PTS GLENCAR HAMMERS 10 7 3 0 24 BONAGEE TIGERS 9 7 1 1 22 SWILLY ROVERS 9 4 2 3 14 BALLYRAINE CELTIC 10 2 1 7 7 BALLYARE DIAMONDS 8 1 2 5 5 MANOR TOWN 8 1 1 6 4SCHOOLBOYS FOOTBALL: LETTERKENNY & DISTRICT LEAGUE RESULTS, FIXTURES AND TABLES was last modified: January 6th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:FIXTURES AND TABLESSCHOOLBOYS FOOTBALL: LETTERKENNY & DISTRICT LEAGUE RESULTSlast_img read more

TRUST HITS BACK AT BALLYBOFEY UNITED IN PITCH ROW

first_imgTHE Trust which took a local soccer team to court over use of a pitch has hit back at them this evening.The Butt Hall Trust got an injunction in the High Court yesterday forcing Ballybofey United to leave the pitch in the town.The club claims to have been using the pitch since 1971. However in a statement to Donegal Daily this evening the Trust insisted it has acted within its rights.“The Butt Hall Trust welcomes the decision of the High Court yesterday restraining Ballybofey United Football Club from trespassing on Trust lands at Chestnut Road, Ballybofey which they currently occupy without permission. This will allow the Trust to honour its obligations under a Contract for the sale of part of the lands concerned to a third party, namely Aldi,” said the statement.“It has been widely reported following the judgement that these lands have been continuously occupied by the Club for a period in excess of 40 years. While this is the Club’s claim, it is contested- as the judgement also states.“The position of the Trust is that the Club’s current occupation of the lands derives from an approach made in 2005 when the Club sought permission to use the lands for a temporary period of years pending its move to a site in Stranorlar- as part of the proposed new Finn Harps development there. The arrangement was also on the basis that the Club would vacate the lands on Chesnut Rd., when sold. The Club has enjoyed the facility without charge in the intervening 8 year period which is already considerably longer than was envisaged at the time- due to delays in the completion of the Stranorlar project. “The facility granted was not unusual and the Trust in the past would have assisted various local groups and Clubs where it could.“The Club also made a separate decision in October of last year seeking to acquire its own site for development (independent of the proposed Finn Harps Stranorlar development) and approached the Trust to purchase a plot on separate Trust lands at Glencovitt, Ballybofey. In a letter at that time, the Club expressed its delight when the Trust agreed in principle to sell those lands to them for the price as offered.“The Trust was then very surprised when in April of this year the Club refused to move off the Chestnut Road site. In response to a request to move to allow the Aldi sale be concluded, the Club for the very first time claimed it had been in continuous occupation of same since 1971; denied the permissive arrangement agreed in 2005 and claimed they were entitled to outright ownership or in the alternative a sporting Lease of those lands. The Trust then engaged with the Club in the months following to seek a resolution of the matter and to avoid the significant cost of proceedings. However with the Club still refusing to vacate and the imperative of completing the binding contract with Aldi, the Trust were regrettably left with no option but to institute the proceedings.“However the Trust bears no ill will towards the members of Ballybofey United and hopes that the Club can ultimately realise its objective of securing a permanent home. While the Trust have always been prepared to assist them in that regard, the initiative for this lies with the Club and parties other than the Trust. In the meantime as there are issues that remain to be determined in the proceedings, it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.”The club is taking a separate legal case against the Trust. TRUST HITS BACK AT BALLYBOFEY UNITED IN PITCH ROW was last modified: November 13th, 2013 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:ba;;ybofey unitedButt Hall Trustcourt caseFinn ParkFootballlast_img read more

It’s the signals

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Re “MTA weighs bus line cameras” (Dec. 7): With all of the indignation over vehicles striking Orange Line buses, I’m surprised that no one has addressed the heart of the problem: L.A.’s adversarial signalization has created a scofflaw mentality. At far too many intersections, signals are synchronized so that if you wait patiently behind an inexcusably long red light, then drive the speed limit, the next light will turn red just as you’re arriving. In short, you’re penalized for obeying the law. After a steady diet of this, even the most law-abiding motorist is going to be tempted to play “beat the light.” It may be wrong, it may be illegal, but it’s just human nature. John S. Soet Burbank Nonperformance pay Re “Nonperformance pay” (Editorial, Dec. 6): Your Opinion in today’s Editorial page is most appropriate; however, it is obvious that the voters do not care. The voters’ rejection of Proposition 77 ensured senators and assemblymen of their ability to guarantee self-election, and their resulting self-enhancement will continue. Would you publish some details on the “killer benefits package”? I am most interested in seeing what their retirement package is. Jerry Howard Sherman Oaks Closer to home Re “City controller offers to oversee audit of schools” (Dec. 2): I’m assuming that Laura Chick has no work; she’s all caught up. Here are a few projects that her office could audit: There are the Environmental Affairs Department and City Planning Department, which love to issue spot zoning changes and to call for mitigated negative declarations in place of environment impact reports – i.e., for city landfills, Verdugo Hills development and the Van Nuys Airport expansion projects. There are the Bureau of Contract Administration and the Personnel Department, which turn a blind eye when it comes to labor-management agreements (such as the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power deal), salaries, workers’ compensation claims, city staffing levels, disability pensions. If the city controller needs more suggestions: Read the local newspapers. On this occasion, your objectivity is but a ruse. Jose Bonilla Arleta Foster care mess Re “Kids running away from system” (Dec. 5): The “hike” in children running away or being abducted is much worse than 23 percent. Since the number of children cared for per year has decreased in the last three years while the number of runaways has increased, the percentage of missing children has increased by 65 percent for each 1,000 children cared for. Leonard E McGinnis Granada Hills Kennedy is centrist Re “Arnold’s chief of staff is breath of fresh air” (Their Opinions, Dec. 7): Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger made a fine choice in selecting Susan Kennedy as his new chief of staff. Like most Californians, she is a true centrist and pragmatic when it comes to growing our economy. Kennedy will surely help the governor build consensus with the legislative leadership on a variety of priority issues, particularly as those priorities relate to rebuilding our state’s infrastructure. We have full confidence in this appointment. Rusty Hammer President and CEO L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce The long silence Re “Reiner won’t make run for governor” (Dec. 8): Rob Reiner said he is not running for governor. The long silence after that is from all the people who do not care. He said he wanted to concentrate his energy on universal preschool, like his First 5 program. And we all know how good that project has worked out. Reiner, please give that First 5 cigarette tax money to health care, where it belongs. R.J. Johnson North Hollywood Season reminders Re “Wishing you a PC Christmas” (Dec. 3): I have no problem with any tasteful holiday display that promotes peace on earth and good will to all, along with the attributes of faith, hope and charity and the directive to love thy neighbor. In our often-violent, somewhat-spiritually-bankrupt society, we sorely need these holiday season reminders to embrace a better way of living. Lorraine Migliore Northridge Plan ahead Re “Double-decker road rage” (Nov. 27): A suggestion to our city transportation planners. Use a modern type of transport vehicle, such as a maglev or monorail system, and put it down the middle of the so-called Los Angeles River bed. Construction would not disrupt the present flow of traffic. It would connect the San Fernando Valley to all parts of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Orange County, and it would not present the hazardous situation that was experienced on double-deck Interstate 880 in the Bay Area during one of California’s “shake, rattle and roll” experiences. I know this type of thing has been suggested before to our traditional, conservative planners. But this is the 21st century, ladies and gentlemen. Let’s plan ahead, not behind (as in buses). Ken Walkey Thousand Oaks Taxing hybrid miles Re “Hybrid tax considered to fund highways” (Nov. 26): Why should miles be taxed on any vehicles, hybrid or regular? If authorities would just enforce the law on auto registration and charge double to those who don’t get new stickers in time, there would be a lot of money for roads. The Department of Motor Vehicles sends out the registration renewal forms two months in advance. But just traveling in and out of the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys, I see from five to 20 cars each week with expired tags. The Highway Patrol should be able to see stickers that are expired. Each day I see some that expired in March or April this year. Here it is the end of 2005, so these cars have been driven almost seven or eight months on our highways without the owners’ paying for the privilege. Let’s enforce the laws that we have and not just impose new taxes to compensate. Suzie Thompson Saugus Student exodus? Re “Numbers game” (Editorial, Dec. 4): I could not believe what I was reading in the Daily News this morning – LAUSD officials saying that kids are moving out faster than they are moving in. If that is the case, why are you building more schools at taxpayers’ expense, and why do district officials keep asking for more bonds and getting them (unfortunately)? Just look at the traffic out on the street and tell me that they are moving out. Another lame excuse by our Superintendent Roy Romer and other district officials. Just fire them all and put in new ones. Joe Pinoy Lozano Mission Hills Good for him Re “Builder stirs San Fernando” (Nov. 28): Kudos to Severyn Aszkenazy. He is the best thing that has happened to San Fernando. How many bridal shops can one town have? The City Council and Irene Tovar should give thanks to Sev for having a dream to improve their town. When he accomplishes his dream there, he should go to Panorama City. That city used to be nicknamed “The Heart of the Valley.” We had Robinsons, Broadway and Montgomery-Ward. So many businesses have moved out. When driving down Van Nuys Boulevard, I feel like I have crossed the border. What a shame. Continued success to Sev and Martha in all their endeavors. Marianne Castro-Lawson Granada Hills Negative cartoon Re “Portfolio” cartoon (Dec. 5): Democrats speak out of two sides of their mouths. Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., says cut and run right now, and yet, when put to the test, the Democrats had to show constituents that they voted “no.” So your approach in this prevarication is to attack the president once again in a cartoon imported from Seattle. At least the president knows where he stands. Try to ascertain the Democrats’ intentions, and you will get nothing but negativity and lack of ideas. Thank goodness for our positive leadership in the White House. E. Larry Henen Valencialast_img read more

Maropeng brings fossils to life

first_imgA short drive from both Johannesburg and Pretoria and only 10 kilometres from the remarkable Sterkfontein Caves in the Cradle of Humankind world heritage site, a state-of-the-art visitors’ facility has risen from the red Gauteng dust.Named Maropeng, Setswana for “the place where we once lived”, the centre is designed to help tourists, schoolchildren and others explore the rich fossil heritage of the area.The Cradle of Humankind, encompassing the region of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai and environs, has one of the world’s richest concentrations of hominid fossils, evidence of human evolution over the last 3.5-million years.Found in the provinces of Gauteng and North West, the fossil sites cover an area of 47 000 hectares. The remains of ancient forms of animals, plants and hominids – our early ancestors and their relatives – are captured in a bed of dolomite deposited around 2.5-billion years ago.Although other sites in south and east Africa have similar remains, the Cradle has produced more than 950 hominid fossil specimens.Attracting fossil touristsLying in the centre of the Cradle area, Maropeng brings to life the history of humankind in an entertaining and educative way. It offers interactive displays, restaurants, a marketplace, an outdoor amphitheatre and, from March 2006, a 24-bedroom five-star hotel.One of the innovative fossil displays at the Maropeng visitors’ centre (Image: Mary Alexander)The R347-million Cradle of Humankind development is an initiative by Blue IQ and the Gauteng government and the first public-private partnership of its kind in South Africa. The aim is to develop and manage the world heritage site as a premier tourist destination. Other partners include the University of the Witwatersrand, which owns the Sterkfontein Caves and is the major excavator of the Cradle site, while Standard Bank donated 100 hectares of land for Maropeng.Even before construction was complete, Maropeng had garnered major awards. In early November it won the British Guild of Travel Writers award for the best new tourism project worldwide, and later in November the consortium behind the project was named Best Civil Engineering and Building Contractors and Best Public-Private Partnership at Construction World’s premier annual Best Projects Awards event.From Tumulus to underground lakeMaropeng’s interpretation centre enables visitors to explore, by means of zones, the history of the earth and humankind. It lies on the side of a hill, where ancient rocky outcrops will mark the setting of a huge tear-shaped burial mound, referred to as the Tumulus: a partly disguised grassy mound 20m high and 35m wide.A boat ride on an underground lake transports visitors to Maropeng’s remarkable exhibition on human origins (Image: Mary Alexander)The first of its kind in the world, the Tumulus is designed to look like an ancient burial mound from the front and, when exiting on the other side, a very modern structure from the rear. The architecture aims to symbolise the journey through time from our ancient origins to today.On a day’s outing, the visitor approaches the Tumulus along a walkway that covers the significance of Africa and the Cradle of Humankind.Inside the building, a welcome area explains the orientation of the Cradle area and other attractions on offer, and position the world heritage site in context of other South African sites.The journey continues to an underground lake, where a boat ride takes the visitor back 4-billion years in geological time through the basic of elements that make up our world: water, air, fire and earth. Dipping through waterfalls and icebergs, into the eye of a storm, past erupting volcanoes and through the depths of the earth, the visitor then emerges at the beginning of the world.The space-age design of the back view of the Tumulus building contrasts with the ancient and organic feel of the front view (Image: Mary Alexander)Exploring humanity’s historyFrom here, the journey continues through an experience highlighting the history of our world and humankind as a species, brought to life via audiovisual techniques, sound effects, theme-park technology and theatrical displays.The Birth of the Cradle exhibit explains how the caves were formed, the emergence of life on earth and the concept of evolution as a science. The Path to Humanity explores human evolution, with models of five hominid types on display: the Homo florensiensis, Homo habilis and Homo heidelbergensis species, and the Australopithecus and Paranthropus genera.What it Means to be Human looks at how humanity has changed over the course of evolution, how we came to be as we are now and the characteristics we all share. The Science Zone explains how we have arrived at the conclusions we have and, finally, Sustainability examines how we have modified our environment to suit us and the danger we face of actively contributing to our own destruction.Also on display will be original fossils made available by various institutions.Kids’ digs and conferencesOnce through the centre, the visitor exits at the crest of the hill to relax with a picnic basket, taking in a view of the Magaliesberg.At this point there’ll be a children’s cave where the kids can set up their own dig. The cave is built with local stone in a jagged wall, representing shards of broken bone.Maropeng is also ideal for conferences, with three venues in the Tumulus building with a combined seating capacity of up to 500 delegates. There is also a 5 000-seater outdoor amphitheatre and a 150m2 temporary exhibition space within the Tumulus. Some 3 000 people are expected to visit the centre every day.Maropeng’s main attractions include:Visitors’ centre.Conference facilities for up to 350 delegates.Three restaurants.Luxury boutique hotel with views over a private game farm.Outdoor 5 000-seat events amphitheatre.Accommodation for 120 schoolchildren.Retail food outlets.Destination retail store.Visitor information points.Arts and crafts marketplace.Observation deck.Ample parking for cars and coaches.SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

“Northern pike!”

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest “Northern pike!”I opened up my eyes to my six-year-old’s gruff voice with his face about an inch away from mine on the first morning of a recent trip to my family’s cabin on a lake in southern Michigan. I looked across the room to the clock: 6:40 a.m.He had been up until nearly midnight the previous evening and I figured my son would sleep in for a while as result. Not the case. By the time I had poured a cup of coffee he had his fishing pole in hand and was headed to the dock.Leading up to the trip, we had talked about the various fish species we could possibly catch in the lake, but the one of most interest was clearly the northern pike. We spent several days researching the fish online to see what baits could work best, the preferred habitats and its habits.Since my childhood, my brothers and I have shared a similar affinity for the allure of the elusive “fish of a thousands casts.” Each morning around 7 a.m. or so, there is surface water movement near the dock of the cabin in the adjacent shallows that indicates something very large is looming just below. We have long assumed that it had to be a pike and have had many broken fishing lines — but no actual fish — to ever show for it. Even after decades of trying, my brothers, father and I have never caught a northern pike on that lake. Inevitably, legendary fish tales have evolved through years about the supposed near misses we have had with this monstrous beast of the lake that remained just beyond the reach of our fishing nets.It was a crisp morning and a thin mist rose up from the warm, still waters through the slanted rays of the eastern sun. Between my son and I, we had three poles in the water. We were focused on the task at hand when, almost on cue at 7 a.m., there was a violent splash to the left of the dock, over near the lilies growing in the shallows. We missed the surfacing of the beast but clearly saw the wake that remained.My son’s eyebrows raised: “Northern pike?”Indeed.We fished on that morning and over the course of the next couple of days. We caught a score of bluegill, a couple catfish, a few rock bass and a large-mouth or two. As expected, no pike.Later in the week a friend of mine brought his bass boat and two teenage sons with him for a couple days of fishing. My son and I loaded in the boat with them and cruised over to a neighboring attached lake. The fishing was fairly slow, though we did catch a beautiful red-ear sunfish. My son was quickly losing interest in fishing for the day, and for the week. He was more enamored with the bass boat and the new tackle box full of lures it held. He was also quite fond of the bag of pretzels we’d brought along.We dropped anchor over a narrow strip of shallow water with heavy weed growth. Our fishing hadn’t improved much. We reeled in the lines, all but one with a pink lure that was left dangling over the side of the boat. My friend’s son jigged the line a couple of times when a violent commotion stirred the weeds below. Something hit the line HARD. There was a flash of a tail under water. Bass? Maybe…no. Not a bass.After what seemed to be an eternity, the catch was netted. It was not trophy sized, by any means, but was definitely worthy of a quick few photos on my phone and a flurry of social media torment to my father and brothers who were not present. After flailing his torpedo-like body around in the net, the fish grew still and glared at us from his new, foreign surroundings.My son looked at me with a question in his eyes.“Wow,” I nodded and smiled in somber reverence. “Northern pike.”last_img read more