On the trail of the Big Five

first_imgChris Thurman visits Exeter River Lodge in the Sabi Sand private game reserve in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province, and has a bush experience different to any that he’s enjoyed before. There are those who will tell you that it doesn’t matter how you spend your time in the African bush, or where you stay – it’s enough simply to be there. To some degree, this is true; certainly, no matter what your accommodation and game-viewing is like, it’s better than being in the office. After only a few hours at Exeter River Lodge in the Sabi Sand private game reserve, however, I couldn’t help reflecting that it was different to any bush experience I’d enjoyed before. It wasn’t just that our luxuriously appointed room looked out onto the Sand River, giving us a view of buffalo crossing the water or baboons loping down to the shore. It wasn’t just that the ever-available but never-intrusive staff treated us like royalty. It wasn’t just the food, or the wine, or the afternoon teas. It wasn’t the private plunge pool, the masseuse, the quirky collection of books or any of the other distractions to while away the day. Over and above these pleasures, the highlights of the trip were the morning and evening game drives. A good game ranger is many things: a raconteur, a sturdy outdoorsman or woman, a walking encyclopaedia of information about animal, bird and plant life. He or she can tell you, for instance, that a hunting leopard can leap up to 22 metres in a second – not very encouraging when you’re about 20 metres away – and will explain why the same leopard rubs its neck in the mud around a watering-hole (so that it can mark its territory by brushing the mud against trees and thus leave a more durable scent).Not just the Big Five A major advantage of going on a private game drive is that rangers in different vehicles are in constant radio communication, increasing your chances of great sightings. But our ranger at River Lodge, Ryan, ensured that no drive was a headlong rush from one Big Five member to another. Along the way we also learned about the less glamorous animals, like the numerous species of buck whose presence is so often taken for granted. Kudu, for instance, have big ears and therefore the best hearing, which means they are less skittish than other antelope and provide the most reliable alarm call to anyone tracking big game on foot. Furthermore, we were reminded, if you’re only looking for creatures with four legs, you miss out on half the action. There is an abundance of bird life pursuing the same herbivorous and carnivorous habits as gravity-bound mammals: we saw a juvenile fish eagle on a high branch, trying to crack open a tortoise (don’t worry, it ended well for the tortoise; the eagle dropped him, he fell on his shell and survived). And you don’t have to be a birder to appreciate the exquisite colouring of a lilac-breasted roller. The more time you spend in the bush, the more you appreciate the minutiae – admiring rare flowers that only bloom for a couple of weeks each year, or discovering, courtesy of your ranger, the subtle interactions that take place between interdependent elements within an ecosystem. Oxpeckers remove ticks from buffalo and giraffe; desiccated termite mounds become lairs for warthog and hyena. Best of all, with an experienced tracker assisting the ranger in locating game and a radio always at hand, you’re guaranteed to see a greater variety than you would on your own. And once you’ve spotted something in the distance, you don’t have to strain with binoculars just to catch a glimpse of a horn or tail – the ranger shifts down a gear, engages the diff lock on the 4×4 and you head off-road to take a closer look. What would a late afternoon game drive be without a sunset pause for a cup of coffee or a gin and tonic – and, of course, some snacks to tide you over until supper? Then it’s time to enjoy the magical world of the bushveld at night. Rangers and trackers are careful not to interfere too much with nocturnal activity; and, after many years of conservation efforts, the animals have learned to tolerate the human presence because it is neither intrusive nor threatening.Non-interventionist policy Where possible, the principle of non-intervention is applied. In some cases, however, humans have to undo the damage caused by previous interventions which may have been less well-intentioned or well-conceived. A good example is the challenge of decreasing the prevalence of tuberculosis in the buffalo population: up to 70% of buffalo in certain Kruger-Sabi herds have bovine TB. The solution is an intriguing one – raising disease-free young buffalo who suckle on domesticated Jersey cows before being released into the wild. This has been quite successful, and also provides a curious proof of nature overcoming nurture. The buffalo calves have to learn to suckle from the side as all Jersey calves do, but when they become mothers in turn, they follow their instinct and let their young suckle from behind. This is a vital survival tactic, because it means that cow and calf can keep walking, and allows buffalo herds to keep moving even while the young are suckling. Another little-known fact is that buffalo milk makes delicious Feta cheese! Of course, the conservation programmes being implemented in South Africa’s game parks also require ongoing vigilance against human threats. The recent increase in rhino poaching is a case in point. Countering this disturbing trend requires not only stricter policing within our reserves, but also broader campaigns to stop both the international demand for rhino horn, particularly in east Asia, and the local suppliers. These are the “foot soldiers” of poaching who have no other means of livelihood. Certainly, staying at a place like River Lodge is a luxury. But our natural heritage should be a shared, public concern – protecting it is the responsibility not of the few, but the many. First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more

Penhorwood joins staff

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Joel PenhorwoodThis month, Joel Penhorwood joined the staff at Ohio Ag Net and Ohio’s Country Journal as a field reporter and farm broadcaster.He is a recent graduate of The Ohio State University with a degree in agricultural communication. While at OSU, Joel was heavily involved in Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, serving as president for two years. The club won the Ed Johnson Outstanding Student Organization Award during his tenure.Penhorwood got his start in radio at WPKO/WBLL “The Peak of Ohio” in Bellefontaine before starting with OCJ and OAN as an intern in the fall of 2013. He has also worked as the Ohio State Fair Swine Barn Announcer for a number of years.In addition to his work with OCJ and OAN, he stays busy on his family’s small hay, crop and livestock farm in Logan County, which he helps to operate alongside his brothers.last_img read more

Ohio No-Till Conference Videos

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Ohio No-Till Council held their annual conference last week. Ohio Ag Net was there to video all of the information to bring it to you. You can watch each segment below on this page. Our own Dusty Sonnenberg has the highlight story here.Healthy Soils, Healthy Waters, Healthy Life | Mark AnsonSoil Health, No-Till, and Cover Crops PanelOhio Department of Agriculture | Director Dorothy PelandaIndigo CarbonCover Crops PanelMy Farm Story – Nathan BrauseNutrientStar | Karen Chapman, Brookside LabsBusiness MeetingAwardslast_img

VMworld Hints At Post-Windows World

first_imgWindows’ position within the business marketplace is shifting. Witness this year’s VMworld conference in San Francisco. VMworld is the virtualization Mecca — and this year’s show could herald a new era for VMware competitor Microsoft: the post-Windows era.News from a virtualization conference might not seem too relevant to Windows, but VMware’s announcement Tuesday of its new Horizon Suite makes a lot of difference. The suite, available in beta in the fourth quarter, pulls together several of VMware’s multi-platform management tools.This is VMware committing to heterogeneous platforms, and that’s a pretty big deal.“For nearly 30 years, Windows has been the dominant platform in the workplace,” explained Phil Montgomery, senior director of Product Management, Desktop Products at VMware. Now, he added, it’s Windows, Macs, iPads, and Android devices with which an IT manager has to contend.The Horizon Suite promises to manage files, data and privileges across multiple platforms.“It’s not necessarily about just mobile devices,” Montgomery said. “Mobile’s just one part of a much bigger multi-device workspace.”Confronted with so many new and varied devices, managers can enact prohibitive policies, work with mobile-device management systems (which are slightly less restrictive), or just open the gates with a bring-your-own-device strategy.He said one of VMware’s clients, a major college, was to deploy VMware View, a virtual desktop interface that enables employees to log into a completely controlled desktop environment over a network.When VMware asked what hardware the 10,000-seat deployment would be supporting, the college’s IT managers said it would be on the students’ own machines – all of them. The college took bring-your-own to the extreme.Bring-your-own “is the direction that IT is going,” Montgomery said. If that is the future, unified management platforms will be must-haves as all-Windows environments become less common, and perhaps more rare. Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… brian proffitt 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Related Posts center_img IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Tags:#enterprise#Virtualization Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

April Caregiving Webinar: Understanding Narcotic Medications for Service Members

first_imgJoin the Military Caregiving Concentration for a FREE monthly professional development webinar on, ‘Understanding Narcotic Medications for Service Members.’Date: Thursday, April 9, 2015Time: 11:00 a.m. EasternEvent location: Understanding Narcotic Medications for Service Members*No registration is required.Narcotic medications are used for a variety of treatments such as, pain management, anxiety, and sleep disorders. Narcotic prescriptions may be given to augment and extend the effects of medications for service members with acute and chronic pain.Within the presentation, participants will be able to:Understand the role that professionals play in medication management for service members.Identify various classes of narcotics, their actions and potential dependence it may cause for wounded warriors.Highlight differences in the therapies for acute and chronic pain management, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).PresentersThe April caregiving webinar will feature two presenters from West Texas A&M University (WTAMU), Kristen Kuhlmann, Ph.D., and Nancy Turrubiates, MSN, RN.Dr. Kuhlmann is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at WTAMU with a research interest in exploring what motivates people to begin or maintain a healthy lifestyle, in order to reduce chronic health problems. Nancy Turrubiates is an Instructor of Nursing at WTAMU and is also a direct commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Reserves and was promoted to Captain (CPT) in 2011. Turrubiates currently teaches in the Bachelor of Science Nursing program at WTAMU to senior level students in community health courses.CEU Credit Available!The Military Families Learning Network will be providing 1.0 National Association of Social Workers (NASW) continuing education credit to credentialed participants. Certificates of Completion will also be available for training hours as well. For more information on CEU credits, see NASW Continuing Education Instructions. Interested in Joining the Webinar?*No registration is required; simply go to, Understanding Narcotic Medication for Service Members, the day of the event to join. The webinar is hosted by the Department of Defense so you must install security certificates if you are not located on a military installation. Instructions for certificate installation can be found by clicking on DCO Adobe Certificate Installation. You can connect to the Adobe webinar using iPhone, iPad, and Droid apps. Search for DCO Connect in the respective stores.For those who cannot connect to the Adobe site, an alternative viewing of this presentation will be running on Ustream.This post written by Mikala Whitaker of the MFLN Military Caregiving concentration team and was published on the Military Families Learning Network blog on March 17, 2015.last_img read more

Bezier Curves: What Are They and How Do You Use Them?

first_imgOnce you’ve decided on your keyframe points, you have several Bezier curve options at your disposal. In Premiere Pro, the standard options include Linear, Bezier, Auto-Bezier, Continuous Bezier, Hold, Ease In and Ease Out. Each operates slightly differently, but you can try them all out yourself to get a feel for which one looks and feels (or sounds) right for your project. Here’s a breakdown of each option:Linear: consistent rate of change between keyframes from beginning to end.Bezier: allows for manual adjustments to the shape of the curve and rate of change on both sides of your keyframe.Auto-Bezier: Like the manual Bezier, auto-Bezier automatically creates a smooth rate of change through each keyframe.Continuous Bezier: Similar to Bezier and auto-Bezier, but still gives you the option to change the shape of the curve on one side of the keyframe.Hold: non-Bezier option that changes the keyframe value without a gradual Bezier effect.Ease In: Simply slows down the value change when entering a keyframe.Ease Out: Simply slows down the value change when exiting a keyframe. For more info on keyframing and video editing options, check out some of these links below.Video Editing: Animation and Keyframe Basics in Adobe Premiere ProHow To Create a Blinking Eye Transition in After EffectsSpeed Up Your Sequences with The Jump CutHow to Layer Text Behind Objects in Adobe Premiere ProVideo Editing Techniques for Color Correcting Skin Tones While they were originally for designing automobiles, Bezier curves are now your best friends for keyframe interpolation.Cover image via Shutterstock.When working with motion and movement, it’s important to understand your Bezier options. The process of keyframe interpolation has come a long way as a means of digital motion, and Adobe programs like Premiere Pro and After Effects make great use of the technology.If you’re working with keyframes and motion, you’ll notice that you have several similar options for how to ramp and smooth your motion. Whether that’s for digital zooms, motion, audio dips, or anything in between, it’s important to know how to choose the right option.So, let’s dive into what Bezier curves offer, and how you can use them on your next project.What Are Bezier Curves?Based upon the mathematical theorems of the Bernstein polynomial, the modern “Bézier Curve” was pioneered by a French engineer named Pierre Bézier, who used them to help with his work as a automobile designer in France. The basis of the Bezier curve is how to model smooth curves that are indefinitely scaleable and unbound by the limits of rasterization. For our purposes in video editing and keyframe interpolation, Bezier curves can specify the velocity over time of an object moving from a point A to a point B — rather than simply moving at a fixed number of pixels per step (Wikipedia).How to Use ThemSo, how do we use Bezier curves in video editing? Well, when working with motion that has clearly defined beginning points and ending points (a point A and a point B), a Bezier curve is a good way to smooth the curve of the motion (as opposed to linear interpolation, wherein values change at a consistent pace from point A to point B). For example, if you’re working with two keyframes on a video clip in Premiere Pro (say motion, scale, or opacity), you can use the Bezier curve to smooth that transition’s pacing. Or, in a Premiere Pro timeline, you can use the Bezier curve for working with audio tracks when changing decibel levels.Understanding Different Optionslast_img read more

General Woes

first_imgA number of senior generals of the Indian Army are sporting long faces. It is learnt that the Defence Ministry has scrapped their special promotion board that was held in January. The next promotion board will only be held in April under new rules drafted by Army chief V.K. Singh. Many officers would have reached their mandatory retirement age in the interim.last_img