South Africa’s adventure diversity

first_imgNight-time miracle Also, the cultural/historical/political dynamic that is prevalent in this land was fascinating to observe. The apartheid era ended only about 15 years ago and the Asian, black and white people are apparently still feeling each other out, so to speak. On our sojourn, we were delighted at how beautiful and varied the South African landscape is. From rolling green hills, fertile lands, soaring mountain ranges, plunging canyons, near jungle environments, Indian Ocean-side paradises, semi-desert regions, big city settings, and a non-stop montage of small African villages, it was one unexpected surprise after another. The lesson here is that there is more to South Africa than the great game parks. Pay a visit to the Drakensberg Mountain Range and other parts of this wonderful land and I guarantee that you won’t regret it. 15 January 2009 We came back sunburnt, cut, scraped, sore – and thoroughly satisfied, as the end result of adventure tourism should be! Our tour guide took us on a 16-kilometre hike as part of our time spent in the Drakensberg Mountains. It was a challenging experience, to be sure, as my bad knee swelled up like a grapefruit during the course of this adventure, as a result of all the climbing and descending. It was the big game parks and the country’s post-apartheid era of change that initially drew us to this land. But it was our observation that there is a relative sense of peace and security here that is missing in many other parts of Africa. Just me and South Africa in the middle of the night. The Barrier of Spears Still, the mountain vistas, the alpine meadows, the plethora of local flowers, plants and insects, a cascading waterfall, examples of Bushman rock art, and the curious mountain antelope and noisy baboons made for a memorable day. It was a breathtaking, emotional moment and it ended up being one of the highlights of a fantastic 18-day tour of this beautiful country. William Lindsay of Vancouver teaches at the University of British Columbia. The Lindsays’ tour was hosted by Drifters Adventure Tours. Particularly beautiful and memorable was the Drakensberg Mountain Range, a world heritage site in the northeast corner of the country. Called “The Barrier of Spears,” this impenetrable-looking wall of mountains looks like a cross between the Grand Canyon and the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. Drakensberg is a favourite vacation spot for many South Africans and they take justifiable pride in it. As well, visiting the famous Paul Kruger National Park and the historic and political black township of Soweto were certainly everything advertised and expected. The big game animals that Africa is famous for were a thrill to see. I awoke and walked outside my mountain cabin to a night-time miracle of sight and sound so spectacular it took my breath away: a three-quarters full moon lighting up the alpine landscape, the nearby mountain range a mixture of moon-tinged clarity and shadowy quarters, moonlit clouds reaching over a part of the range like a ghostly waterfall, croaking frogs and chirping insects adding a background harmony of natural sound, the Southern Cross and Orion constellations standing out in the midst of a starry belt above, with the lights of a faraway African settlement providing an earthly contrast. Cultural/historical/political dynamic However, it was a middle-of-the night event that caused my visit here to rise to the level of the sublime. Our family completed a wonderful tour of South Africa this past December. Our 18-day adventure tour took us from Johannesburg to Cape Town and interesting points in between, with a set of international travel companions from three continents. This article was first published in The Vancouver Sun. Republished here with kind permission of the author.last_img read more

Habitual Shoplifters are an International Concern

first_imgShoplifting and other forms of retail theft cost retailers tens of billions of dollars each year. As a result retail leadership has learned to recognize the value of a well-trained management staff and a professional loss prevention department. We have learned to drive operational efficiency, and ensure that controls are in place and adhered to throughout the organization. We have learned the value of deterrence, limiting the desires and the opportunities for theft and other losses by integrating loss prevention concepts with retail practices. We have embraced a belief in training and awareness as being at the heart of a successful loss prevention program.Despite our best efforts, there will always be those that will test our resolve. For those retail loss prevention professionals that must deal with shoplifters every day, we are trained to recognize that a shoplifter can look like anyone—shoplifters are not bound by gender, race, creed, or social standing. Professionals are trained to identify patterns of behavior and must follow strict protocols before shoplifting suspects can even be approached. There are well-defined principles that guide our decisions, and clear steps that must be followed before an apprehension is made.But there are times when specific individuals will draw our immediate attention. Based on well-established patterns of previous behavior, the habitual thief—those that are known to have stolen from us on multiple occasions in the past—deserve our efforts and focus. While not a definitive indicator of future intentions, their presence in the store warrants priority consideration.- Sponsor – These concepts have become international, and the basic principles and core competencies of loss prevention have become a shared approach across borders and oceans alike. Unfortunately, we also share some of the same problems. Shoplifting can take many forms, and is plagued by many different characters.Britain’s Most Prolific ShoplifterReporting on loss prevention issues worldwide, we have found that there appears to be a “competition” in the United Kingdom to identify “Britain’s most prolific shoplifter.” Each of the following individuals has been granted this dubious honor in previous months:Harry HankinsonHarry Hankinson has a criminal record which includes 523 offenses, 433 of those for theft and dishonesty. Hankinson has a criminal career dating back to 1970. His long suffering spouse has even admitted that she barely knows her husband he has spent that much time in and out of prison. In the latest spree, he was caught stealing goods worth £4,000 from upmarket stores. Hankinson was branded an “uninhibited thief and a pest” as he was incarcerated for his latest offense, adding another notch to an astonishing record.  “When he shoplifts he is almost on autopilot…He offers no excuses for these offences, only remorse and apologies,” reports noted. The court heard Hankinson blame his crimes on an accident in 1970 when he fell backwards out an open window during a family function. Glen StaceyIn his most recent arrest incident Glen Stacey, 56, bit the security tag off a leg of lamb and hid a magazine in his bag at a local supermarket. He had planned to give the magazine to his girlfriend as a gift and sell the meat.Stacey, who has a long history of pilfering low-value items, was issued a Criminal Anti-Social Behaviour Order (Crasbo) in February, barring him from shoppes in Lancashire. While police say the threat of jail does not stop Stacey, they feel the Crasbo provides the opportunity to at least arrest him before he causes any serious trouble.According to the Blackpool Centre Neighbourhood Policing Team, “It’s how prolific he is that’s the problem. Jail doesn’t stop him—being inside is just an occupational hazard.”Blackpool magistrates were told he had 281 previous convictions and that the latest theft marked the 400th time he had been caught shoplifting. Despite reaching the 400 offenses milestone, Stacey walked free from court.Robert KnowlesSerial shoplifter Robert Knowles first broke the law at age 13. He was sent to correctional school in 1959 and has been back in court charged with theft every year since—chalking up 183 court appearances in 54 years.Adding to a criminal career that has stretched over the past seven decades, Knowles was recently jailed for his 341st offense after pleading guilty to stealing a bottle of wine and some items of clothing. The court heard he had been released from prison just days before and had been living briefly in a city hostel before the thefts.“He usually survives for something between 24 and 72 hours before he is arrested again either for theft of clothes or theft of alcohol,” claims his long-time attorney. “Nobody knows whether he is effectively waiting to die in prison. He has no support in the community. He has put the barriers up. Nobody really knows why he does it.”Knowles has spent most of his adult life behind bars. There have been so many incidents that even prosecutors have lost track of his expansive rap sheet.David ArcherA week after spending two days in custody awaiting his appearance on offenses 338 and 339, David Archer face the same court in North Wales after he admitted to four more offenses, including theft from a charity shop— bringing his total to 343.Archer had previous convictions for shoplifting, burglary, and other thefts and burglary, along with previous convictions for breaching an order which bans him from all charity shops.Reports claim that Archer had begun to target charity shops more and more over the years, stealing money, clothing and other items. “He’d lean over the counters and literally feel the weight of the charity box and then if he was happy with the weight he would cut it,” according to reports.Archer’s offenses first began when he was ten years old and have stretched over the past 48 years. The magistrate overseeing the case said he “shuddered to think” what Archer must have cost his victims and the state over the years. He is currently serving an 18-month prison term.Who Holds the Crown?Clearly it is of little consequence which of these individuals carries the label of “Britain’s most prolific shoplifter” because the number of criminal events that these men are involved with only seem to be growing on a continuous basis. These four individuals alone are responsible for more than 1600 criminal offenses, with each involved in theft incidents spanning five decades or more. It’s hard to imagine what these individuals have actually cost the retailers, court systems, and communities where they live and steal. When we consider the lifetime of consequences, it’s quite clear that no one comes out on top.Shoplifting is a Shared ConcernLaws, cultures, and governments may be different, but shoplifting is an international concern that is shared by retail merchants everywhere. These individuals may stand out as exceptions, but similar exceptions can be found everywhere across the world. Often we limit our perspective to what is found in our own back yard. We may notice a million-dollar theft or an international crime spree in some other part of the planet, but it can be just as important to recognize the damage that can be done by a man biting the security tag off of a leg of lamb. Every step that we take to become more educated and aware; every gesture that we make to build our professional partnerships and business acumen; and every opportunity that we seize to learn and grow as professionals is a step in the right direction. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

Combining McAfee ePO with vPro PowerShell Module

first_imgWhat if you needed to isolate a client due to a security threat event reported within McAfee ePO console?One approach is to utilize the System Defense capabilities of the Intel vPro technology.   A cmdlet within the Intel vPro PowerShell Module can enable the base System Defense filter, view the current System Defense statement, or clear all System Defense filters.Combining that capability with an Auto Response within McAfee ePO is demonstrated and explained in more detail here – read more

Physicists create a quantum refrigerator that cools with an absence of light

first_imgThis new device shows that an LED can cool other tiny objects. Physicists create a quantum refrigerator that cools with an absence of light For decades, atomic physicists have used laser light to slow atoms zinging around in a gas, cooling them to just above absolute zero to study their weird quantum properties. Now, a team of scientists has managed to similarly cool an object—but with the absence of light rather than its presence. The technique, which has never before been experimentally shown, might someday be used to chill the components in microelectronics.In an ordinary laser cooling experiment, physicists shine laser light from opposite directions—up, down, left, right, front, back—on a puff of gas such as rubidium. They tune the lasers precisely, so that if an atom moves toward one of them, it absorbs a photon and gets a gentle push back toward the center. Set it up just right and the light saps away the atoms’ kinetic energy, cooling the gas to a very low temperature.But Pramod Reddy, an applied physicist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, wanted to try cooling without the special properties of laser light. He and colleagues started with a widget made of semiconducting material commonly found in video screens—a light-emitting diode (LED). An LED exploits a quantum mechanical effect to turn electrical energy into light. Roughly speaking, the LED acts like a little ramp for electrons. Apply a voltage in the right direction and it pushes electrons up and over the ramp, like kids on skateboards. As electrons fall over the ramp to a lower energy state, they emit photons.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Crucially for the experiment, the LED emits no light when the voltage is reversed, as the electrons cannot go over the ramp in the opposite direction. In fact, reversing the voltage also suppresses the device’s infrared radiation—the broad spectrum of light (including heat) that you see when you look at a hot object through night vision goggles.That effectively makes the device colder—and it means the little thing can work like a microscopic refrigerator, Reddy says. All that’s necessary is to put it close enough to another tiny object, he says. “If you take a hot object and a cold object … you can have a radiative exchange of heat,” Reddy says. To prove that they could use an LED to cool, the scientists placed one just tens of nanometers—the width of a couple hundred atoms—away from a heat-measuring device called a calorimeter. That was close enough to increase the transfer of photons between the two objects, due to a process called quantum tunneling. Essentially, the gap was so small that photons could sometimes hop over it.The cooler LED absorbed more photons from the calorimeter than it gave back to it, wicking heat away from the calorimeter and lowering its temperature by a ten-thousandth of a degree Celsius, Reddy and colleagues report this week in Nature. That’s a small change, but given the tiny size of the LED, it equals an energy flux of 6 watts per square meter. For comparison, the sun provides about 1000 watts per square meter. Reddy and his colleagues believe they could someday increase the cooling flux up to that strength by reducing the gap size and siphoning away the heat that builds up in the LED.The technique probably won’t replace traditional refrigeration techniques or be able to cool materials below temperatures of about 60 K. But it has the potential to someday be used for cooling microelectronics, according to Shanhui Fan, a theoretical physicist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, who was not involved with the work. In earlier work, Fan used computer modeling to predict that an LED could have a sizeable cooling effect if placed nanometers from another object. Now, he said, Reddy and his team have realized that idea experimentally. Joseph Xu/Michigan Engineering, Communications & Marketing By Daniel GaristoFeb. 14, 2019 , 3:50 PMlast_img read more

REVEALED! Batsmen favour personal milestones over team’s objective

first_imgOver 2,000 Test matches from 1880-2014 were analysed for the studyBatsmen who were close to reaching personal milestones were likely to alter their strategy in a way which, at first sight, seems detrimental to the team, new research suggests.”We found clear evidence that the behaviour of batsmen is affected by their personal rewards in the game,” said Professor Lionel Page from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) who collected data on more than 3,500 one-day matches between 1971 and 2014.Professor Page and researcher Romain Gauriot from QUT business school examined the behaviour of batsmen reaching landmark scores in ODI matches.The research found that players were likely to bat more conservatively as they approached a half-century or century to maximise their chances of reaching it.”We found players react to individual-specific incentives in ways which can be detrimental to the team as a whole. For example, if a batsman is close to making 50 or 100, he will play more conservatively and hence score at a slower rate,” Page added.This increases his chances of reaching the landmark score, but at the cost of the team’s winning chances.”That is because in ODIs, batsmen should adopt a relatively high strike rate, taking the risk of losing their wicket to score more quickly,” Page pointed out.Contrary to the belief when batsmen reach the “nervous nineties” – the idea they are more likely to be dismissed as they approach a century – the researchers found adopting a conservative style at that stage reduced their chances of dismissal.advertisement”We observed that while batsmen are conservative on their way to a milestone, they switch to a more aggressive strategy straight after reaching it, possibly to catch up with lost time,” the authors noted.The data showed the batsmen’s strike rate jumped more than 40 percent after reaching a century compared to the period leading up to it.”This leads to a sharp increase in the rate of dismissals,” they wrote.Analysing more than 2,000 Test matches from 1880-2014, professor Page found captains were far more likely to declare an innings when a batsman had reached a landmark rather than when he was just below one.”One of the most interesting finding from this study shows that team captains also react to individual-specific incentives by accommodating them,” he said.The evidence suggests that team captains are willing to trade a cost to the team in favour of a substantial reward to a particular player – for example eating up valuable time and delaying a declaration so a batsman can reach his individual milestone.The research is forthcoming in the journal American Economic Review.last_img read more