Video Clip:  The Rich Little Bird

first_imgA popular video clip has been circulating around the internet for over a year.  It shows an Australian lyre bird imitating other birds and man-made sounds.  Click here to watch the 3.5 minute performance.  Narrated by David Attenborough, it was voted the #1 most popular Attenborough moment from the naturalist’s TV shows.Speaks for itself.  Incredible and fun.  Thankfully, David omitted any of his incessant Darwin-talk in the narration.  Maybe he couldn’t think of anything to say that would sound sensible.    Teachers should use this clip as an example of animal intelligence.  Think of all the brain power and vocal hardware required for the bird to perform these feats.  This is no hoax or sound-editing trick.  Even Rich Little would be amazed.    For extra fun, visit Fred Newman’s website on MouthSounds and consider the breadth of audio capabilities inherent in the human vocal apparatus (for a hilarious sampler, watch “A Rumination” on his videos page).  Wouldn’t it be a racket to stage a contest between Fred and the lyre bird?Encore:  Now to really freak out, watch the talking cats.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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SA to invest billions in upgrade

first_img29 October 2004South Africa’s government is to invest a massive R121-billion in the country’s energy and transport infrastructure over the next five years, in what it calls a “major phase of construction” of the economy and a decisive moment for private sector investors, who have been told to take the plans “very seriously indeed”.Earlier this year, Parliament was told that South Africa’s rapidly dwindling coal reserves meant that it might need a source of cleaner, better energy by as early as 2008 – and that state electricity utility Eskom could not keep up with growing demand.Minerals and Energy Minister Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said then that the future of the country’s energy would involve private-sector investment in the construction of power stations and nuclear power facilities.On the transport front, South Africa’s rail infrastructure – much of it already decommissioned – has long been in need of an overhaul to reverse local industry’s dwindling reliance on rolling stock, which has placed a heavy burden on the country’s roads.Throughout Africa, high tariffs and the inefficiencies of monopoly rail utilities are considered the core reasons why rail has lost out to the more competitive road transport sector.Similarly, South Africa’s ports have bottlenecked an increase in trade activity in the region. Due to delays at ports, a number of shipping lines have recently taken South Africa off their routes, reducing the country’s ability to compete internationally.Now the government, in an unexpected move – Public Enterprises Minister Alec Erwin admits that it has not invested as much as it should have over the last 10 years – it has approved a massive five-year R165-billion package to upgrade Eskom’s infrastructure and that of transport parastatal Transnet.The two utilities are expected to spend some R121-billion over the next five years, with the remaining R44-billion coming from the private sector.Erwin has described the move as a “major phase of construction in this economy” and a decisive moment for private sector investors, whom he has told to take the government’s plans “very seriously indeed”.Eskom, which has been given the green card to invest some R107-billion in new power stations, transmission and distribution, will receive the lion’s share of the investment – a move that will cement its place as the continent’s dominant power supplier.The reinvigoration of the new power utility comes after delays in finding financial backers for South Africa’s nuclear energy options: a demonstration nuclear plant at Koeberg outside Cape Town in the Western Cape, and a fuel plant at Pelindaba, west of Pretoria, Gauteng.A US$1.2-billion cash injection is needed to get the projects – involving the controversial pebble bed modular reactor – up and running.In a fresh show of faith in Eskom, the utility will be expected to meet some 70% of the country’s future power needs, with the remaining 30% to be provided by the private sector. Tenders for three new power stations are expected to be issued in January 2005.Immediate transport needs are estimated at R37-billion, which will include building a multi-purpose pipeline from Durban to Gauteng, also with private sector participation.Phase two will involve what the government is calling “blue sky” projects. These may include a new railway line from Durban to Gauteng, new container terminals and the expansion of the Cape Town and Ngqurha harbours. These could involve an extra R58-billion capital injection over five to 10 years.Alan Finlay is a freelance journalist and researcherlast_img read more

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Press release: Brand South Africa urges South Africans to respect, preserve and be responsible with their freedom

first_imgBrand South Africa will partner with Freedom Park to celebrate 23 years of freedom in South Africa. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)Johannesburg, Wednesday 26 April 2017 – South Africa commemorates Freedom Day on the 27 April 2017, a day honoured and remembered for its historic occasion that took place in 1994 when South Africa achieved its first non-racial democratic elections. It is a day which marked the end of apartheid, a day, a new democratic government led by Nelson Mandela and a new constitution was born. For that, the country is admired for its remarkable history and accomplishments, in particular, obtaining its freedom and for its human rights.The country has faced positive as well as negative challenges post-1994, however, these challenges faced by our young democracy need not disintegrate the sacrifices made by of our heroes. Brand South Africa calls on all South Africans to join in celebrating Freedom Day responsibly across the country and the continent.“South Africans need to preserve its hard earned freedom despite the challenges we currently face, let us remember that the price of freedom was never cheap. It is of vital importance that the youth of today take charge of their future and opportunities to lead towards finding ways in working together to resolve societal issues that we currently face and to build a better tomorrow”, said Brand South Africa CEO Dr Kingsley MakhubelaBrand South Africa will partner with Freedom Park to celebrate 23 years of freedom in South Africa. Freedom Park is a cultural institution housing a museum and a memorial dedicated to chronicling and honouring the many who contributed to South Africa’s liberation. The museum aims to preserve and narrate the story of the African continent, and specifically South Africa, from the dawn of humanity, through pre-colonial, colonial and apartheid history and heritage, to the post-apartheid nation of today.On this Freedom Day, many will gather to commemorate the role played by all South Africans and to be reminded to respect, preserve and be responsible with their freedom.last_img read more

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New South Wales leave it late in women’s open

first_imgBy BEN HARRISNew South Wales led only once in the first game of the women’s open and it was at the time when it counted the most.The women in blue got some revenge from their 2012 series defeat when they defeated Queensland 6-5 at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Friday night.The two sides were never far away from each other, in fact you would have thought they were identical in many aspects.Only a touchdown separated the pair throughout the entire match.Queensland had a chance to send the match into drop-off when New South Wales player Kristen Boss found herself forced-subbed, and with a one woman advantage for the final 10 seconds, Queensland could not score the much-needed touchdown.It was a thrilling end to an entertaining match.It took seven minutes for the first touchdown to be scored, which came courtesy of Savannah Pratten for Queensland.New South Wales captain Louise Winchester showed her experience when she darted through a gap to even the scores a short time later.Queensland took a 2-1 lead into half-time when Kate McCarthy scored.While it was tight in the first half, both teams broke free of their shackles in the second half as they went touchdown for touchdown.Four touchdowns had been scored in as many minutes.Another two touchdowns for both teams and Queensland held a 5-4 lead with 10 minutes to go.Both teams were good in attack but even better in defence as any touchdown-scoring opportunity was foiled by some desperate touches on the line.But two long balls by New South Wales led to touchdowns.The first was thrown by Danielle Davis to Samantha Rodgers.The second was a superb right-to-left pass by Jessica McCall to Elisabeth Hewitt, which put New South Wales into the lead for the first time.It proved to be decisive as New South Wales held on for the win.NEW SOUTH WALES 6 (Samantha Rodgers 2, Louise Winchester 2, Yasmin Meakes, Elisabeth Hewitt touchdowns) def QUEENSLAND 5 (Savannah Pratten, Brooke Walker, Shenae Ciesiolka, Kim Sue See, Kate McCarthy touchdowns). HT: QLD 2-1; NSW lead division 1-0.There are plenty of ways to keep up-to-date with all of the latest results, news and information from the 2014 State of Origin. The Touch Football Australia and State of Origin websites will be updated regularly throughout the event with all of the latest information and can be found by clicking on the links below: www.soo.mytouchfooty.com www.touchfootball.com.au All of Touch Football Australia’s social media pages will be regularly updated throughout the NYC event, so be sure to ‘like’ and ‘follow’ us by clicking on the links below. Facebook – www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustralia Twitter – www.twitter.com/touchfootyaus (be sure to use the hashtag #soo2014) Instagram – www.instagram.com/touchfootballaustralia (be sure to use the hashtag #soo2014) The TFA YouTube channel will also have highlights and live games streamed throughout the event. Please click on the link below to be taken to the channel, and be sure to become a subscriber to the channel – www.youtube.com/touchfootballausPlease note, the link for the Open’s games by television production company, Power Productions – https://new.livestream.com/powerproductions/2014stateoforiginseriesRelated LinksSOO Women’s openlast_img read more

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