Greening Soweto, a tree at a time

first_img25 January 2008Since the launch of Greening Soweto – a project aimed at beautifying South Africa’s largest township – in September 2006, over 50 000 indigenous trees have been planted along its streets, leading to Johannesburg’s “biggest greening revolution” yet.Greening Soweto, a legacy project of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, aims to plant more than 300 000 trees in Soweto, to the southwest of Johannesburg.“We are satisfied with the progress of the project,” said Jenny Moodley, spokesperson at Johannesburg City Parks, the municipal agency charged with the mammoth task of implementing it.“It is by far the biggest greening initiative in terms of implementation,” Moodley said. “The landscape of Soweto is changing for the better.”The city’s water, electricity and roads agencies have also come on board to ensure maximum benefit for the project, which won endorsement from the national Department of Water Affairs and Forestry as well as the World Conservation Union (IUCN).Various partners have been working with the City to implement Greening Soweto, including Airports Company of South Africa, Talk Radio 702, Rand Water and former South African Formula One ace, Jody Scheckter.The governments of Norway and Denmark have also contributed more than R2-million toward the programme.Moodley said that the government, greening organisations, companies and Sowetans had responded positively to the project, with many pledging to take care of the trees way after the final whistle of the World Cup has been blown.“It is not only about 2010,” she said, emphasising that the project will benefit Sowetans after the tournament.Many challengesHowever, like any other huge project, rolling out Greening Soweto has its own challenges – the ever-increasing price of street trees being one of them. “The cost of street trees is not as affordable as it was three years ago,” Moodley said.A variety of trees are being planted. Common species of indigenous trees, such as frost tolerant trees, are cheaper than others. “The more common species are affordable and others are more expensive,” she said, but added that companies are “very willing” to fund fruit trees.Nurturing is another challenge. As more trees are planted, City Parks has to increase its capacity to take care of them. “Watering and nurturing can be as expensive as buying the trees,” Moodley noted.Space is another major concern, as Soweto has limited pavement space, with residents using it for other purposes, she said. Trees cannot be planted within 10 metres of an intersection, or within five metres of an electricity pole, vehicle entrance, road sign or storm water culvert.Weather is also on the list of worries, as the ideal time to plant trees is early spring because it is cool, allowing the trees to establish roots in their new location. This means the city cannot just plant trees during any season, which slows the speed of planting.“Summer and spring are more conducive for planting trees,” she said.NurseryAt least 20 000 street trees will be planted this year under Greening Soweto, with 50 000 being distributed to homes. To help reduce costs and fast track the planting, City Parks is developing a tree nursery, to grow its own trees and to supply surplus stock to communities for other greening projects and planting in their gardens.To be based in Nancefield, Soweto, the nursery will produce up to 100 000 tree seedlings a year. At five years, the seedlings will be large enough to plant on pavements and in parks. Younger trees will be given to householders to plant in their gardens, particularly where pavements are too narrow for trees.“There will be a greater sense of urgency this year,” Moodley said.Much focus will also be put on awareness programmes – an estimated 15 000 learners from around Johannesburg will be taught about the importance of a clean and green environment.To achieve some of these goals, it will establish more partnerships with companies, individuals and organisations that want to green Soweto. It will also maintain its existing relationships with external stakeholders.“Clearly they have seen the benefits,” Moodley said. Branding opportunities linked to the World Cup and an opportunity to secure carbon credits to offset company’s carbon emissions are some of the incentives to participate in Greening Soweto. “We will increase these incentives,” she added.As just reward for their efforts, Greening Soweto was a winner at the prestigious Liveable Communities (LivCom) Awards, organised by the United Nations, in London in November 2007, receiving a merit gold award in the natural built project category.Source: City of Johannesburglast_img read more

Read More →

Glowing Results: Grading Skin Tones in DaVinci Resolve

first_imgWe’re going to use DaVinci Resolve to get balanced, glowing skin tones in just a few easy steps — without affecting your other edits.First, you need to isolate the skin with a selection so you can work with it without affecting the rest of the image. Then, you can even out the skin, unifying the tone so it’s a universal color, without making the person look like they’re wearing too much foundation. Next, decrease the mid-tone density so that small imperfections disappear. Finally, add a layer mixer node so that the skin color you’ve just worked on is protected from other grades you might make. Let’s look at them in turn. Make a MaskIn a new node, select the qualifying tool, and drag it across the most even and representative part of the face. You’ll need to use the + brush to increase it, as well as the + feather tool. I’ve also found that increasing the clean white helps a lot.Unify ToneOnce you have the skin isolated, increase the contrast and look for yellow, red, or green areas that don’t fit with the overall skin tone. In the Curves menu, select Hue vs. Hue, then select those colors using the curve up or down to shift the problem colors back to the central color.Once you’ve done this, you can change the overall color with offset, or temperature/hue to get the look you want.Color Contrast.Pairing ImperfectionsIn the color tab, there’s a slider marked MD for Midtone Density. Turning this down gets rid of contrast in the skin, effectively hiding imperfections. You can also turn it up for a grittier, more weathered look. You may want to also increase sharpness so the face retains a natural look, rather than looking defocused.SeparateThe last step is to add another node, then hit Option+L to turn this into a layer mixer node. Dragging the blue alpha arrow of the skin mask to the input on the lower of the two mixed nodes means that your skin grade will “pass around” anything done in the latter nodes. This lets you cool down the background — or desaturate it — without also affecting the skin.Interested in the songs we used to make this video?“Sky and City” by Remember The Future“Opulence” by Julian Bell“Murmurs” by Biba Dupont“Tape” by Simba Music“Chilling Groove” by Ulas PakkanWant more on working with DaVinci Resolve? Check these out.Working with Different Frame Rates in the Same File in ResolveEverything You Need to Know About Chroma Key and Green Screen FootageNLE Showdown: DaVinci Resolve vs. Adobe Premiere Pro — Text EffectsHarnessing The Power of Facial Refinement in DaVinci ResolveLearn How to Fix a Variable ND Filter Vignette in DaVinci Resolvelast_img read more

Read More →

a month agoTottenham boss Pochettino: This not the best squad I’ve had

first_imgTottenham boss Pochettino: This not the best squad I’ve hadby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveTottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has had a dig at his players.After two transfer windows without signing a single player, Spurs returned to business this summer and secured the services of Ryan Sessegnon, Giovani Lo Celso, Tanguy Ndomele and Jack Clarke.And although only a handful of key players left, with Kieran Trippier and Fernando Llorente moving on, Pochettino remains unsure just how good the side can be.”We will see at the end of the season. At the moment I don’t believe this is the best squad,” Pochettino said.”But I think if you only see the results, playing in the final of the Champions League, it’s easy to say the better squad was last season’s squad because we got to the final.”We will see if we can repeat, or if we win some trophy maybe we can talk about this being the best squad.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Read More →

The Only 10 Teams That Can Win The 2016 NCAA Tournament

first_imgCollege Spun's NCAA tournament bracket.college spun bracketOn Sunday night, the 68-team NCAA Tournament field will officially be revealed, and fans of each of those programs will begin to map out how they will take home the title, no matter how realistic it may be. While it is always fun to see a Cinderella squad make a run, the group of teams that can realistically win six straight games and take home the title is pretty limited.The 2015-16 college basketball season has been pretty crazy, with a handful of teams hitting No. 1 in the polls. However, as we get into the conference tournaments, an upper tier of teams has started to set itself apart from the pack. Upsets happen, and anything can occur in March, but in all likelihood your next national champion will come from one of these 10 schools.Next: Duke >>>Pages: Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11last_img read more

Read More →

Southwest Agent Asks College Basketball Coach to Provide Proof

In an Aug. 30, 2017, photo, California women’s basketball coach Lindsay Gottlieb holds her then-6-month-old son, Jordan, during NCAA college basketball practice on the campus.  (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)LOS ANGELES (AP) — Southwest Airlines apologized Tuesday to the Cal women’s basketball coach Lindsay Gottlieb after she claimed an airline employee stopped her from boarding because the worker didn’t believe her 1-year-old biracial son was hers.A desk agent questioned Gottlieb ahead of a flight from Denver to Oakland Sunday, saying she “had to ‘prove’ that he was my son, despite having his passport,” Gottlieb said in a series of tweets.“She said because we have different last name. My guess is because he has a different skin color,” Gottlieb tweeted Monday. The head coach from the University of California, Berkeley was traveling with her fiance, Patrick Martin, the boy’s father, who is black.Airlines aren’t required to match the last name of a child and guardian for domestic flights.“We have reached out to Ms. Gottlieb directly to address her concerns and will utilize the situation as a coaching opportunity for our Employee,” Southwest said in a statement. “We apologize if our interaction made this family uncomfortable — that is never our intention.”Gottlieb said Tuesday that the encounter was hurtful, but she appreciates Southwest’s apology.“I felt that in this situation it was my responsibility to say ‘Hey, this isn’t ok,’” Gottlieb said in a statement to The Associated Press. “I hope the coverage this has received can serve as a learning opportunity and that all families — regardless of how ‘traditional’ they may or may not look — are treated with dignity and respect.”Gottlieb, Martin and their child were eventually allowed to board. read more

Read More →

Ohio State mens basketball looks to build on 2game winning streak with

Junior guard Sam Thompson takes a shot during a game against Penn State Jan. 29 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 71-70.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorBig Ten basketball — especially this season — can mess with any team’s confidence because of the conference’s competitiveness.The Ohio State Buckeyes are no exception to difficulties and frustrations the conference can provide, having won their first two Big Ten contests before dropping five out of six.Now, OSU (18-5, 5-5) has won back-to-back road games against top 20 opponents — a 59-58 win against then-No. 14 Wisconsin Feb. 1 followed by a 76-69 victory against No. 17 Iowa Tuesday — and the feelings around the team have been a bit on the lighter side.“The mood is way better. I mean in the gym, we go to the weight room … the mood is better,” junior forward LaQuinton Ross said Friday. “In the locker room, everybody’s laughing, where like a week ago, you come in there and it’s sad in there. You can almost put on some gloomy music in there, it’s been real bad in there for us.”The two wins against ranked opponents on the road, though, has gotten things back to where they should be, Ross said.“I think winning — winning cures all,” Ross said. “We was down, we was at our lowest point this season when we lost those couple games, but I think right now, it’s looking good for us.”While the team’s confidence might be on the upswing, its coach doesn’t want the team to head into a Saturday matchup with Purdue (14-9, 4-6) with the attitude that just because the Buckeyes are returning home, a win is guaranteed.“The fact that you’ve won two games on the road and you’re coming home, I know in this league means absolutely nothing if you’re not ready to play at the level you need to play at,” coach Thad Matta said Friday. “There’s no rhyme or reason with why teams are winning right now. It’s just, ‘Hey, whoever plays best for that 40 minutes.’”OSU was able to hold off the Boilermakers, 78-69, in West Lafayette, Ind., Dec. 31, but had its hands full with sophomore center A.J. Hammons, who scored 18 points and snatched 16 rebounds. Hammons also blocked five shots, doing his best to clog up the lane.OSU junior center Amir Williams will likely shoulder the bulk of the responsibility of containing the 7-footer, but taking him out of the game is a team effort, Ross said.“He clogs up the lane. So we’re going to have to find ways to spread him out, get him out of there,” Ross, who scored a game-high 25 points in the win against Purdue on New Year’s Eve, said. “He’s a real big dude. So we gotta work on getting him off the block, and we also gotta give Amir help down there.”A big reason for the Buckeyes’ recent success could be the change in their starting lineup, as junior guard Shannon Scott has been replaced with junior forward Sam Thompson. Scott has come off the bench to average 10 points in the Buckeyes last two games, seeming to be more aggressive than before and give OSU another option offensively.“I think I got my edge back a little bit. I know coming off the bench gotta bring a spark to the team, so I feel like now that’s my role,” Scott said Friday. “And if I’m able to do that by being aggressive, I gotta keep doing that every game.”The Buckeyes have been able to finish off the two close victories on the road by making big plays down the stretch as well as hitting their free throws. That late game confidence for the Buckeyes was missing during their tough run of losses, Matta said.“We’ve been right there in every game that we haven’t won and shots haven’t fell for us in the timely fashion that we needed them to,” Matta said. “I’ve always told our guys and I’m telling them now in late game situations: Be as confident as you possibly can. Take and make a great shot. We’re perfectly fine with it.”Tipoff between the Boilermakers and Buckeyes is set for 6 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center. read more

Read More →

Football Urban Meyer satisfied with Ohio State at halfway point of regular

Starting the season with offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day as head coach while Urban Meyer served his 3-game suspension, Ohio State did not miss a beat, winning each of the first three games. When Meyer returned to the sidelines, the Buckeyes continued their momentum, winning the next three games, including a road win against then-No. 9 Penn State. As the team heads into its game against Minnesota on Saturday, Ohio State is halfway through its regular season, winning each of the first six games on the schedule. In his Monday press conference, Meyer said the team has not gotten to this point without difficulties. “We’ve overcome significant injuries. Most notable is Nick Bosa. And we’re still finding ways to win games,” Meyer said. “And just really good people on this team. We go out to practice and guys want to get better.”Through the first six games of the season, Ohio State is the No. 2 scoring offense in the Big Ten, averaging 49 points and 565.7 yards per game, which leads the conference. However, without Bosa on the line, the defense has been one of the main storylines in terms of improvement after the first six games of the season. Despite allowing only 20 points per game, which is fourth-fewest in the Big Ten, Ohio State has given up 365.2 yards of offense to opponents per game, allowing 5.4 yards per play. Meyer said despite a first half against Indiana in which the defense allowed 20 points on 317 yards of offense, including 239 yards through the air, he thought the defense improved in the second half, matching the improvement he thinks the Buckeyes have made all season. “We tried to build on positives and the positives are that the second half they played outstanding,” Meyer said. “Against Penn State we gave up some yards but it was 14-13 going into the fourth quarter. So there are some positive things.”Brian Hartline impresses Meyer Throughout the season, Meyer has had to change his view of the offense. With redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins at the helm, the Ohio State offense has become more pass-friendly in the first six games of the regular season. After taking over from former Ohio State assistant coach Zach Smith on July 23, interim wide receivers coach Brian Hartline has helped lead a Buckeyes wide receiver room to the best pass offense in the Big Ten, with quarterbacks completing 73 percent of all passes thrown. Through the first six games of the season, Meyer has been impressed with Hartline’s job as the wide receivers coach. “He’s learning on the run still,” Meyer said. “Doing some great things. And one thing about our job, it’s very valuation-friendly. They’re playing very well.”When asked about whether Hartline’s interim tag could be removed after the job he has done this season, Meyer said “sure he could,” but made no indication that it would happen. read more

Read More →

National Bike To Work Week May 1319

first_imgEveryone is invited to take part in the bike to work week beginning, Monday, May 13 through Friday, May 17. The group envisions bike-friendly communities where bicycling is a convenient, routine, safe, and healthy transportation option that contributes to the high quality of life for Kenai Peninsula residents. Mayor Anderson: “Through the month of May the residents of the City of Soldotna and its visitors will experience the joys of bicycling through educational programs, races, community events, charity events, or simply getting out and going for a ride.”  May has been declared as ‘Bike Month’ by the City of Soldotna. Soldotna Mayor Nels Anderson presented the proclamation at the council meeting on Wednesday, April 24. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Monday is the first day of Bike Month, so pump up those flat tires and stretch those winter leg muscles because it is time to ride your bicycle. Kaitlin Vadla with BIK&S: “I just want to thank the city staff, council, and parks department for your spirit of collaboration. I hope to see you at many of those awesome bike month events.”  The proclamation was presented to representatives of BIK&S a community-led advocacy group working to promote safe bike travel within and between the cities of Kenai and Soldotna.last_img read more

Read More →