Venezuelan Consulate celebrates independence

first_imgThe Venezuelan Consulate in San Francisco held a ceremony in celebration of Venezuelan Independence Day on July 5 at the Simón Bolívar statue in the United Nations Plaza. Consul General Antonio José Cordero Rodríguez addressed the small crowd, honoring Bolívar, considered the “father of the nation,” with a floral offering. A reception was held at the San Francisco Consulate office afterwards.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Speech: Speech: Melanie Hopkins welcomes back 2017/2018 Fijian Chevening scholars

first_imgBula vinaka Ladies and Gentlemen,It’s a pleasure to have you all here today despite your busy schedules.This year, we are celebrating Chevening’s 35th Anniversary which was launched 11th October, 2017.Like every year, we take time to catch up with the Chevening alumni and this enables scholars to also build their network.Applications for Chevening scholarships will open again in August and we encourage you to look out for potential leaders who can excel academically and benefit from studying in the UK.British Universities as you all know, are profoundly international, reflecting our belief that knowledge knows no boundaries and that diversity has inherent educational value. The program has a global alumni network of more than 50,000 exceptional individuals who are breaking boundaries across a variety of professional fields.In the 35 years, Chevening has remained constant; to bring the brightest individuals from across the world to the UK to experience all that the UK has to offer. These individuals immerse themselves in our culture and learn at world class universities and institution, making life-long friendships with their peers in the UK.Today, we celebrate your achievements and we are here to let you know how proud we are.I will be presenting certificates to Doctor Lusiana Manoa, who has been recognised and awarded a joint award for the Brian Abel-Smith prize for outstanding overall performance in the MSc in International Health Policy and to Dr Mike Kama who studied MSc in Control of Infectious Diseases.I would like to wish you all the very best in your areas of expertise.Thank you.last_img read more

The Vertical Garden

first_imgGreen walls, or “vertical gardens,” are walls partly composed of or filled in with live plant matter. They filter air and water, soak up carbon dioxide and help lessen the “heat island” effect of urban areas while reducing air conditioning costs in their host buildings. Pictured: a vertical garden at the Anataeum Hotel in London. Credit: Niall Napier, FlickrDear EarthTalk: I’ve heard of green roofs, but what are “green walls?”— P. Spencer, Alcoa, TNGreen walls (also known as biowalls, vertical gardens or vertical vegetated complex walls) are wall structures partly composed of or filled in with growing plant matter. More than just easy on the eyes, green walls work like green roofs by filtering air and water, soaking up carbon dioxide and helping lessen the “heat island” effect of urban areas while reducing air conditioning costs in their host buildings.The self-proclaimed creator of the vertical garden concept, French botanist Patrick Blanc, pioneered the use of hydroponic cultivation techniques—plants grow in an irrigated mineral nutrient solution without the need for a soil substrate—to create large green wall installations in both residential settings and within larger public structures and even office buildings from Singapore to San Francisco and points in between.Blanc’s installations start by placing a metal frame on a load-bearing wall or structure. The frame supports a 10-millimeter-thick PVC plate, upon which are stapled two 3-millimeter-thick layers of polyamide felt. “These layers mimic cliff-growing mosses and support the roots of many plants,” he says, adding that a network of pipes and valves provides a nutrient solution of dissolved minerals needed for plant growth. “The felt is soaked by capillary action with this nutrient solution, which flows down the wall by gravity.”“The roots of the plants take up the nutrients they need, and excess water is collected at the bottom of the wall by a gutter before being re-injected into the network of pipes: The system works in a closed circuit.” Plants are chosen for their ability to grow in this type of environment and depending on available light.“Each vertical garden is a unique wall composition of various types of plants that has to take into account the specific surroundings of the place in which it is created,” says landscape architect Michael Hellgren, who founded the firm Vertical Garden Design in 2004. “It is not only the colorful interplay between the plants on a ‘green wall’ that is fascinating, but also the appearance of the wall itself, which changes daily.”Hellgren, who has designed and implemented large green walls in his home country of Sweden as well as in Spain, Portugal and Italy, among other locales, sources plants for his projects from various climate zones around the world. His favorites are so-called “lithophytes”: plants that can grow on rocks, branches and tree trunks without necessarily being rooted in soil. “Among other things these climbing plants have the enormous advantage of their roots acting as excellent natural drainage on the wall,” he adds.While large “vertical gardens” are surely impressive, critics question the sustainability of such endeavors, given the energy inputs needed to run the pumps and other equipment used to maintain proper nutrient and air flows, and the emissions caused by the manufacture and transport of specialized materials. Also, larger green walls need more water than rain alone can provide, and thus don’t necessarily save water. But as the field matures, practitioners are finding wider arrays of plants to choose from that are better at taking care of themselves—and scaling back on inputs and supporting machinery with the hope that one day many of the walls will be self-sustaining gardens that cleanse our dirty air and compromised storm water.CONTACTS: Patrick Blanc,; Vertical Garden Design,® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine ( Send questions to: [email protected] Subscribe: Free Trial Issue: read more

Body Found in Vehicle Fire at Jones Beach

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A dead body was found in a vehicle that was found on fire at Jones Beach State Park over the weekend, officials said.New York State Parks Police officers and Wantagh Fire Department firefighters responded to the blaze in the parking lot of the Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater at 5 p.m. Friday, officials said.After the flames were extinguished, an unidentified person was found in the vehicle.The body was taken to the Nassau County Medical Examiner’s office, where an autopsy will be conducted to determine the person’s identity and cause of death.Police are continuing the investigation into the cause of the fire.last_img read more

Merkel rival Merz in bid to succeed her as German Chancellor

first_imgWith the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) still ahead in the opinion polls, he would be well placed to succeed Merkel as she steps down after 15 years in office.Merz, a 64-year-old lawyer, is preparing to stand in internal party elections expected in the coming months, the daily Bild and DPA news agency reported.If he succeeds in becoming party leader it will become difficult for his rival Merkel to remain in power until her mandate ends next year. Early elections would become a distinct possibility.Merz has never forgiven Merkel for driving him out as head of the party’s group of MPs in the Bundestag in 2002. Friedrich Merz, a longtime rival of Angela Merkel within the ruling CDU party, is hoping to replace her as German chancellor, local media reported Wednesday.Merz, who wants to shift the centre-right party further to the right, is throwing his hat into the ring after Merkel’s chosen successor, CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, gave up her leadership ambitions on Monday in a deepening party crisis over ties between the centre and far right.The next CDU leader will also be the party’s candidate to become Chancellor at elections due by the end of 2021. He was narrowly beaten in the vote for party leader by Merkel’s preferred successor Kramp-Karrenbauer in December 2018, and has been waiting in the wings ever since.- Return to full-time politics -He announced this month he was quitting his job on the supervisory board of the German arm of investment firm BlackRock to dedicate himself to politics and to helping the CDU “renew itself”.In recent months Merz has attacked Merkel and her “failed” leadership.Favoured by the CDU’s most conservative members, Merz wants to shift the party to the right to woo back voters lost to the anti-Islam, anti-immigrant AfD.Kramp-Karrenbauer opted out of the race after barely a year in the post — a period marked by internal battles over whether to cooperate with the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD).AKK, as Kramp-Karrenbauer is popularly known, said she had had “a difficult time” as party leader.While the CDU party has a policy of no cooperation with either the far left or far right at a national level, regional CDU lawmakers last week nevertheless voted with MPs from the AfD to oust a far-left state premier in Thuringia.The breach in the political firewall against the AfD prompted Merkel’s junior partners in the national government, the Social Democratic Party (SPD), to call urgent talks at the weekend about the partnership’s future.Topics :last_img read more

Cameroon: Kalu Warns No Repeat of History

first_imgKalu who followed the tournament specifically to size up the Indomitable Lions, insisted he did not bargain for the tremendous showing of the now five-time winners especially in the absence of some of their super stars.He said: “The Indomitable Lions have become a looming threat to Eagles World Cup aspirations. I did not give them a chance at all but now we have all seen that the road to Russia 2018 is going to be rougher. For Cameroon to excel without Liverpool’s Joel Matip and the trio of Eric Choupo-Moting, Andre Onana and Alan Nyom, that’s incredible.”He then urged the Super Eagles to remember the ill-fated journey to Italia ’90 during which the Indomitable Lions stopped Nigeria despite the death of Sam Okwaraji.“History must not repeat itself. During the Italia ’90 qualifiers, Cameroon and Nigeria were in the same group. We needed just a draw in Yaounde to advance having beaten them 2-0 at the Adamasingba Stadium, Ibadan, the day Austin Eguavoen scored his first goal for the Eagles. It did not happen. Peter Rufai was dropped at the airport by Clemens Westerhof, David Ngodigha was injured in the game that turned out to be Aloysius Agu’s debut.“And the Lions were at the time Nations Cup champions having won Maroc 1988 edition. François Oman Biyik sealed it with a header that gave the hosts a 1-0 victory,” Kalu warned.He has also volunteered to open up talks between former captain Vincent Enyeama and Rohr.“I think there is communication gap between Rohr and Enyeama. I am ready to bring them together. We need good keepers to support Carl Ikeme. The Eagles also need to play friendlies with Senegal and Burkina Faso. They are francophone and play like the Indomitable Lions,” Kalu said.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram WORLD CUP 2017Former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, has warned handlers of the Super Eagles not to allow a repeat of Nigeria’s capitulation to Cameroon again following the triumph of the Indomitable Lions in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) which ended in Gabon on Sunday night.Cameroon defeated Pharaohs of Egypt 2-1 to win their fifth AFCON title.But with the Indomitable Lions’ trip to Uyo in August to confront Eagles in the first leg of the 2018 World Cup qualifier, Kalu who is also Pillar of Sports in Nigeria, advised the country’s Franco-German gaffer, Gernot Rohr, to keep more than an eye on the team of the moment.last_img read more

49ers RB Matt Breida, WR Pierre Garcon sustain injuries

first_imgSANTA CLARA — Running back Matt Breida and wide receiver Pierre Garcon exited with first-quarter injuries Sunday to further deplete a 49ers offense that lost Jimmy Garoppolo and Jerick McKinnon to ACL tears last month.Breida sustained an ankle injury on the final play of the first quarter and did not return, although he wasn’t ruled out until after halftime.One series earlier, Garcon left with a left-shoulder injury, and Garcon actually headed to the locker room with doctors when Breida got …last_img read more

New Designs Make Buildings More Bird-Friendly

first_imgAn architect at a New York-based firm is leading an effort to introduce new features into building façades that will reduce the number of bird strikes, a problem that kills an estimated 750 million birds every year.Guy Maxwell, a partner at Ennead Architects, is working with Audubon chapters, glass manufacturers, and others to study what architectural features successfully deter bird strikes, and introduce them into building designs, according to an article posted at Wired.Maxwell began the venture some 15 years ago after his firm designed the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History. As dramatic as it was, the giant glass building also proved deadly for birds that couldn’t tell it was there.Since then, Maxwell and his partners have created two research facilities where different building and glass features can be tested. Among other things, they’ve discovered that birds will not try to fly through vertical patterns less than 4 inches apart. The group has worked with glass manufacturers to produce ceramic patterns and UV coatings that let birds know the glass is a barrier to be avoided.Their research is on display at the Bridge for Laboratory Sciences at Vassar College. Vertical metal sunscreens and a special UV coating on glass manufactured by Arnold Glas, plus ceramic fritting in the glass, all are designed to keep birds from colliding with the building.Maxwell’s group has made progress, including the introduction of a pilot credit in the LEED certification program that rewards collision deterrence. But Maxwell would like to see more research, new legislation, and a wider appreciation among architects about what they can do.“I’m amazed that there are still many people who don’t realize the enormity of the problem,” Maxwell told Wired.last_img read more

Sound Design for Filmmakers

first_imgMap out your sound design during pre-production for better audio in your film or video. This quick tutorial offers tons of great sound design tips for filmmakers.“Fix it in post” has become an industry wide cliche – with all the powerful post production tools sometimes it’s just easier to clean up production mistakes on the backend, right? This shouldn’t be the case. Any real video pro will take their time to get it right during pre-production, not only to save time in post but also to create a better product. That’s the premise of this sound design tutorial from Lights Film School.With useful info for sound newbies, as well as solid reminders for industry vets, this tutorial covers the basics of the sound department and explores ways you can better formulate your sound design strategy (click image for larger view).Picking the right location and taking into account ambient noise and distractive audio is a primary component for ensuring clean audio during a shoot. Loud ambient noise is often problematic to remove in post and can lead to an unnatural sounding result. Learn what other considerations should be made when picking your shooting location.Lastly, the tutorial shares 10 simple things you can do to increase the quality of your audio recordings:Turn off all mechanical and electrical devices.Windows and doors need to stay closed.Scout for quiet times at the location.No talking.Bring the boom op and mixer into rehearsals.Do a test recording and check playback.Record wild lines.Crew should minimize movement.Be on the lookout for noisey props.Capture room tone.We’ve covered Lights Film School previously on the blog (here and here). It’s a great resource for any video or filmmakers looking to up the quality of their work!last_img read more

Do You Remember How to Close?

first_imgTwo weeks ago I told a client that his team needed to go back to the playbook I helped them build and the planned dialogues therein. He said, “To you those words are easy, but to our people they sound aggressive.” He’s not wrong. It’s contextual and cultural. I get it. But I don’t know anyone who uses softer direct language than I do.I don’t believe salespeople will say words that make them feel bad about themselves. But you do have to ask for your dream client’s business.Even a Child Can Do ItWe teach small children to close by showing them how adults exchange value. We trade them dessert for eating their dinner. We offer to read them a story in exchange for their going to bed on time. We show them grown up human beings trade value for value to get what we want. And they quickly learn to mimic what they see.Children then become better closers than the grown ups who trained them to close by being far more persistent (if you have children, you’ll remember this painful period). Children ask for what they want. If they hear the word “no,” they ask again. Given another “no,” a child will ask “why not,” trying to understand how they need to change their pitch to get what they want.When a child doesn’t get what they want, they’ll change tactics. They’ll change from happy and eager to angry and distraught. No matter how young they are, they look for a new angle to get what they want rather than giving up.Beat the Ask Out of ThemBut over time, we train children to give up. They go too far and ask for things we can’t give them, and we have to say “no.” In the pre-teen years they ask to do things we can’t allow, and so we say “No. Are you out of your mind?!” They offer to trade value, like good grades or a clean room, but there is no exchange. We then teach them to take “no” for an answer. We teach them to give up. We say, “Stop asking! I am never going to allow you to . . .”You Still Need to AskClosing isn’t a popular topic anymore. Very few people teach closing, and very little is written about it. This is unfortunate because most salespeople aren’t great at closing, whether that means asking for their dream client’s business at the end of the sales cycle or some other commitment earlier in the sales process. But you still need to know how to close.You need to know how to say the words, “I very much want your business. Can we go ahead and get started?” I know salespeople who have never said the words “I really want your business,” believing that would somehow alienate their dream client or make them less consultative. But their prospective clients want them to ask. They want to give their business to someone who wants it. No prospect knows that they have to ask their salesperson if it’s finally okay to buy from them.You also need to know how to say, “If there is nothing else you need us to change, your signature right here is all I need to get to work.” Too many salespeople leave the paperwork with their client or email it, hoping that their dream client will sign it of their volition. These salespeople are horrified at the thought of asking for a signature.Ask AgainA lot of salespeople are horrified by the idea that they have to ask a second time if their dream client says “No, we’re not ready to buy,” or “We need some time to think this over.” A child would persist and say, “What do you need to think about,” so that they could figure out how to change the value proposition. But grown ups say, “Okay, when would you like me to call you back,” allowing their dream client to try to sort things out for themselves—making the one person responsible for helping them sort things out, the salesperson, completely irrelevant.If any part of this makes you uncomfortable, you likely already have a problem closing—and asking for all the other commitments you need.What language do you confidently use to ask for the commitments you need?How do you persist when your dream client says “no” or says they need time to consider your offer?last_img read more