first_img19 January 2015Top South African cycling outfit Team MTN-Qhubeka has received an invitation to participate in the 2015 Tour de France – the first African team ever to do so in 101 years.The 22 teams riding in the race were announced by the Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) last week. Along with the 17 World Tour teams, five wild card teams also issued – including one to the South African team.This year will be the first time in the race’s 101 year history that a team from Africa will participate.‘Historic moment’“To receive a wild card for the Tour de France is a dream come true for the entire MTN- Qhubeka p/b Samsung team, while it is also a historic moment for World and African cycling,” MTN-Qhubeka says on its website.“We are extremely proud to be able to represent South Africa and Africa on one of the biggest stages in world sport.”The other four wild card recipients are Europcar, Cofidis, Bretagne-Seche Environnment and Bora-Argon 18.‘Support of the whole continent’The 2015 Grand Depart will take place on the 4th July, starting with a 14km time trial in Utrecht. The riders will tackle 21 stages, covering 3 344km in total before the 2015 Le Tour finishes in Paris, on the Champs Elysees, on 26 July.The ASO has also included the South Africans in the Criterium du Dauphine, which starts on 7 June, and which is “vital in our Tour de France preparation”, the teams says.“I have been waiting my whole life for this news,” said Douglas Ryder, the team’s principal. “The pressure over the years of getting partners and riders to believe in this dream is finally a reality.”He said that the would not only ride in the Tour, they would compete “and we will have the support of the whole continent behind us”.Daryl Impey became the first South African to ever wear the yellow jersey in 2013.The team helps raise awareness of the work done by Qhubeka,a charity that gives bicycles to children in Africa to attend school.According to their website, 8-million children walk to school every way, with more than 2-million walking more than 30 minutes each way.Read more: Qhubeka: changing lives through bicycles“Qhubeka would like to congratulate Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung on their Tour de France Wildcard entry,” said Sarah Phaweni, Qhubeka’s executive director.“This is proof that any dream is possible if you keep moving forward. The team has supported and raised awareness for the work we do as a non-profit for many years. It is great to have the chance to return the favour as we cheer for an African Team in the Tour de France.”Teams for 2015 Tour de France:AG2R-La Mondiale, Astana, BMC Racing, Etixx-QuickStep, FDJ, IAM Cycling, Lampre- Merida, Lotto-Soudal, Movistar, Orica-GreenEdge, Cannondale-Garmin, Giant Alpecin, Katusha, Team LottoNL-Jumbo, Team Sky, Tinkoff-Saxo, Trek Factory Racing, MTN- Qhubeka, Bora-Argon 18, Cofidis, Europcar and Bretagne – Seche Environnement.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

first_imgYou would think that establishing a definition for “showerhead” would be simple. But, as the Department of Energy (DOE) is discovering after issuing a draft interpretive rule on the matter, nothing is simple when it comes to getting people wet.Some showerhead backgroundBack in early 1994, under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) of 1975, all showerheads manufactured in the U.S. could have a maximum flow no greater than 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) at 80 psi. The intent, of course, was to save water, particularly hot water and its associated energy use.Over the years, plumbing manufacturers have gotten pretty creative about how people can get wet in their showers or baths. In recent years, the trend has been toward “multi-spray” systems, which have up to six “showerheads” (each of which complies with the 2.5 gpm flow maximum) and “waterfalls,” which aren’t really “showerheads” and therefore aren’t subject to the requirement (see photos for examples of each). These systems can use up to 20 gallons of water per minute, just for one person. And even though the actual installation number for these DOE-dodging plumbing fixtures is relatively low, they represent an important, high-end product for plumbing manufacturers.Manufacturers erupt over new rulingWhen DOE quietly issued a draft interpretive ruling earlier this year that essentially made these systems illegal, the water world erupted. The ruling said:1. “…a showerhead is any [emphasis added] plumbing fitting that is designed to direct water onto a bather.”2. “…the Department will find a showerhead to be noncompliant with EPCA’s maximum water use standard if the showerhead’s standard components, operating in their maximum design flow configuration, taken together, use in excess of 2.5 gpm when flowing at 80 psi, even if each component individually does not exceed 2.5 gpm.”Bye-bye “multi-spray” and “waterfall” direct-water-to-bather devices.Water conservation community not happy eitherIt’s not just the plumbing manufacturers but also the water conservation community and water conservation experts who are upset with the DOE showerhead rule. It all stems from the key word “interpretive”—both camps agree that DOE should have invited them to comment on this “interpretation,” which they say actually represents a rule change.Here is what DOE says about its action in the draft rule itself:“This draft interpretative rule represents the Department’s interpretation of its existing regulations and is exempt from the notice and comment requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act. See 5 U.S.C. § 553(b)(A).“In other words, DOE did not need to treat this rule as a “substantive” rule change, an approach with exacting and lengthy requirements for input from the outside. So plumbing manufacturers and trade industry groups are upset because they consider this change to be more than a little bit substantive and one in which they should have a say (see the trade industry letter to DOE Secretary Chu opposing the interpretive rule affecting multiple showerhead systems).Water conservationists are upset for the same reason, but from a different side of the issue—they’re quite certain that manufacturers will manage to find loopholes. “This is a substantive change and working out all the definitions and conditions to make sure the language is watertight will take a lot of effort from a lot of folks,” says water expert John Koeller, P.E. “And frankly, lots of hard work has been done on this topic within ASHRAE 189.1 (a code-ready green building standard) and the IAPMO Green Building Supplement, work that is not reflected in the DOE interpretive rule.”One source within the plumbing industry who asked not to be named said, “I know that DOE is way behind on its rulemaking and is even under a consent decree including this particular rule, but this is not the way to get caught up.”Rule will harm the elderly? NAHB goes too farOf course, every rule change brings along a few fear mongerers. I was flabbergasted to get an email press release from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) entitled, “DOE Showerhead Rule Limits Choices for Elderly and Disabled, Says NAHB.” The release included this quote from current NAHB President Bob Jones:“This is going to make it much more difficult for older Americans to live independently. Under the new definition, replacing a traditional, single showerhead with one that includes a flexible hose to take a shower while seated will result in half the water pressure for each—which would be too weak for either one.”This sort of overstatement undermines NAHB’s credibility and the legitimate concerns the building industry has with the nature of the rule change. I contacted Marsha Mazz, the Technical Assistance Coordinator for the U.S. Access Board, the agency that handles accessibility issues for the federal government. “We don’t see it as a disability issue at all,” stated Mazz. “People with disabilities will not use both showerheads simultaneously and all the combination hand-held/mounted showerheads of which we are aware have a diverter that directs all of the flow to one head or the other.”NAHB’s e-release (and the NAHB letter to DOE regarding the rule, supplied by NAHB to BuildingGreen) goes on to express the same legitimate concerns expressed in the trade letter above. NAHB should have stuck to that line; the unfortunate title and quote lands them squarely under a compliant showerhead, fully dressed.A bit of good news on WaterSenseMeanwhile, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) WaterSense¯ program is merrily proceeding on its way to market its WaterSense labeled product and new homes, using its specification for water-efficient showerheads and shower compartments—a specification achieved by consensus. And it is not luck but hard and intelligent work that resulted in specification language that holds water and aligns well with the DOE draft rule, ASHRAE 189.1, and the IAPMO Green Building Supplement.last_img read more

first_imgTwo children died in a stampede during ‘Chhath puja’ (offering to the sun god) late on Saturday in Bihar’s Aurangabad district.The incident happened near the Sun temple in Deo area of the district where a large number of devotees had gathered to perform the puja to the setting sun.The district officials said the incident happened when the devotees were returning after observing the religious ritual.Sun temple at Deo in Aurangabad district is famous for ‘Chhath puja’ congregation.The deceased children have been identified as Prince Kumar, 4, and a seven-year-old girl from Bihta of Patna district.District Magistrate Rahul Ranjan Mahiwal and Superintendent of Police Deepak Barnwal said the incident happened as an unexpected number of devotees had gathered at the temple and this led to a stampede.The officials met the family members of the children and said an ex gratia amount would be given to them.The four-day ‘Chhath puja’ ended on Sunday morning after devotees offered obeisance to the rising sun.last_img read more

first_imgAnil KumbleFormer Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain Anil Kumble has announced his withdrawal from the auction of players for the upcoming DLF Indian Premier League (IPL), 2011.The legendary Indian leg-spinner cited business commitments, including his association with cricket and wildlife in various capacities, as the reasons for the withdrawal. He said he wished to withdraw from the IPL-4 auction process, scheduled for January 8 and 9 in Bangalore.”I wish to withdraw from the players’ auction for IPL-IV scheduled for the 8th and 9th of January, 2011 in Bangalore. I have enjoyed my stint at the IPL so far and thank all concerned for the support extended,” Kumble said on Monday.The former Indian skipper was largely responsible for the RCB’s turn around in the IPL’s second and third season after a disappointing finish in the opening league.After being named captain in IPL 2009 season, Kumble led his team to the final of the Twenty-20 extravaganza. A year later, Kumble inspired his team to third position in the 2010 edition. Consequently, the team qualified for the Airtel Champions League Twenty-20 tournament twice under his leadership.Kumble took 45 wickets in the three editions of Indian Premier League to reaffirm his dominance even in the shortest version of the game.’I have to concentrate on the management part’Asked why he pulled out, Kumble said, “I have played this game for more than 20 years and there comes a time when you have to take a stand about the future. My association with Karnataka cricket, as the chairman of NCA and also my business to run… I am also involved in wildlife.”advertisement”I have decided to concentrate on the management part of it (RCB team). I leave the actual playing. I will still be involved with RCB in a leadership role. Hopefully what I was not able to achieve as a player, I would be able to achieve in the IPL in the years to come,” he added.On how senior players were not retained by various IPL franchisees Kumble said, “I am not angry, but you will be angered when you do not retain players… but as such not angry. There must be some reason, but that’s not why I pulled out of IPL. In my career I don’t need any uncertainty and I am sure what I want to achieve.”Kumble dons mentor mantle for RCBMeanwhile, RCB issued a statement on Kumble’s new role in the team. “After playing a brilliant innings in season 2 and season 3 of the IPL, Royal Challengers are now game for more challenges this season with the legendary cricketer, Anil Kumble, as their chief mentor. Anil will work closely with the Royal Challengers team owner, Dr Vijay Mallya,” the statement said.The statement quoted Mallya as saying, “Anil’s leadership, both on-field and off-field augured well for the Royal Challengers in the last two seasons of the IPL as well as the Champions League. I sincerely believe Anil’s presence in the RCB leadership team will provide a fresh dimension and perspective to our IPL strategy in the medium and long term.”last_img read more

first_imgAdvertisement Login/Register With: Twitter Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Advertisement While working a photography gig, she found out about plans to redevelop the West Don Lands, an ex-industrial site east of the Distillery Distrct. Excited by the area’s potential, she decided to make it the starting point of her condo search. With a $300,000 budget, she began hunting. A pre-construction Streetcar Developments condo in Corktown seemed perfect, but when she showed up at the sales centre, there weren’t any units left. “I was so bummed,” she says.READ MORE Alexis Jardin, 50ArtistWhere: Corktown, TorontoHow big: 497 square feetHow much: $256,000When Alexis Jardin left her rented Liberty Village penthouse behind in 2008 after a breakup, she was ready to buy a home of her own, but she did not want to bring more than a few suitcases with her. She had a short wish list: the place had to be small, it had to be easy to rent out when she was travelling and it had to have at least a little bit of outdoor space. (Jardin grew up in Muskoka and can’t abide by an indoor-only lifestyle.)last_img read more

first_imgThe Walt Disney Company is reportedly eyeing a deal to buy social media platform Twitter.According to Bloomberg, Disney sees Twitter as a key video distribution platform, and as such has hired the Bank of America to evaluate a deal.Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey is the board of Disney, meaning the two companies already have top-level lines of communication open.Twitter operates primarily as a social messaging service, with an average of 313 million monthly users. It currently has a market capitalisation of US$20 billion, with its shares rising to US$23.41 on news of Disney’s interest.However, it is increasingly used as a video distribution platform and would offer Disney a new way of getting short-form video from US broadcast network ABC, sports cable channel ESPN and its Disney Channel networks out to younger adult audiences.Disney already owns multichannel network Maker Studios, paying an initial US$500 million for the business. It was due to pay another US450 million, but targets were missed, meaning the total value was less than US$700 million.The Mouse House also has a 25% stake in VOD service Hulu and shareholdings in Vice Media, both directly and another through the part-owned A+E Networks.Rumours that Dorsey and the Twitter management team are looking at selling have been swirling on Wall Street for some time.Last week, it emerged San Francisco-based cloud computing company Salesforce was exploring a deal, while YouTube parent Google has also been linked.last_img read more