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Gerry Raftery: Can We Be Grateful Now?

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first_imgWhatsApp Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival Twitter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook TAGSgerry rafterygratefulgratitudeKeeping Limerick PostedlimerickLimerick Post Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live Linkedin Billy Lee names strong Limerick side to take on Wicklow in crucial Division 3 clash Advertisementcenter_img Donal Ryan names Limerick Ladies Football team for League opener Previous articleSinn Féin TD says legislation needed to protect employees working from homeNext articleVirtual Riverfest to take place in Limerick this May Bank Holiday weekend Meghann Scully Email Print Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads People photo created by jcomp – www.freepik.comWITH the restrictions in place due to this phase of cocooning mass gatherings are banned for the summer, no music festivals and GAA games are in limbo.Gerry Raftery is the Co-Ordinator of Mindfulness Programmes at Personal Milestones and shares tips on how we can be grateful during this pandemic. Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Can We be Grateful Now?It has emerged recently that many of the great events we associate with our Irish summer will not take place.No Saturday or Sunday games, no Concerts in large outdoor venues, no Pilgrimages to Knock, no Galway Races, no Summer Festivals, no Agricultural Shows, no Tidy Towns. Probably there will be no holidays abroad and maybe just limited visits to the seaside at home – weather permitting! And possibly no barbers or hairdressers. A bleak picture!This will be the reality of the summer ahead. So how can we make the most of it?Basically, we need to learn to come to terms with it. Though it will not be easy, we have to Accept it as it is. Acceptance frees us to make the most of what we have. It allows us to begin to discover what’s possible, safe and satisfying within the massive limitations imposed as a result of the danger created by the Coronavirus.I would suggest that one of the ways we can begin to do this is to focus positively on what we have right now, rather than moaning about what we haven’t got in our lives going forward. This brings us into what is known as the Gratitude Space.Today the practice Gratitude is being strongly promoted by Mindfulness and by Positive Psychology as the way to healthy living and happiness in difficult circumstances. I believe that it can be very helpful at this time to focus on being grateful, though in reality it is extremely challenging to do so.The Power of GratitudeSo, what is Gratitude? It is an appreciation of what we have and a recognition of what is good in our lives.Gratitude is something ordinary and every-day. However, Gratitude has a depth and a value which we don’t often recognise. We can take so much for granted. If we apply the power of Gratitude to our lives in the present crisis, we can improve our well-being and find greater happiness.The practice of Gratitude brings us into a very positive space where we count our blessings and recognise all that is good around us. This doesn’t mean ignoring all that is difficult in life or the suffering which surrounds us. It can be a real challenge to be in a positive space at the moment. Gratitude can help us to get there.Focusing on what We HaveWhen we focus on what we have now we become aware of opportunities which we didn’t realise we had before?We certainly have a lot of Time, Time to do things we were too busy to do or neglected to do before. We probably have a lot of time to spend with ourselves. From living in a busy crowded world, we can find ourselves thrust into solitude and silence.But maybe this Solitude and Silence gives us a chance to explore the deeper meaning of our lives and get to know ourselves better. We can learn more ways to develop our mental health, strength and well-being. Is this not something for which we can feel a sense of gratitude?Gratitude brings us to focus on what we have. We focus on our gifts, on our assets and on all of the good things in our lives. We can feel Gratitude for the big things of our lives – the people we love, our own talents and interests, our home and our community.We can become grateful even for the little everyday things – a cup of coffee, the song of the bird or the smell of a flower.Oprah Winfrey says, “Be thankful for what you have and you will end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have you will never, ever have enough.”Gratitude PracticesWhy not allow Gratitude to become a mind-set and allow it to punctuate your day?Begin the day with a sense of Gratitude. As the new day begins be grateful for life and for the opportunities which this new day will surely bring. This enables you to begin the day on a positive and optimistic note.Follow the teaching of Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and Philosopher: “When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love. Each day provides its own gifts.”One of the Mindfulness Gratitude exercises which I teach people comes from an Oxford Professor of Mindfulness, Mark Williams. People who do this exercise on a regular basis find that it brings them great contentment and peace even in tough times.Professor Williams recommends his ten-finger Gratitude Exercise: “Once a day bring to mind ten things for which you are grateful, counting them on your fingers. It is important to get to ten things, even when it becomes increasingly difficult after three or four! This is exactly what the exercise is for – intentionally bringing into awareness the tiny previously, unnoticed, elements of the day.”Towards the end of your day why not try this exercise?Despite living a quite restricted life at the moment it is amazing how much happens in your day. In the midst of great loss, we can still find blessings to count. Feel grateful and you will end your day feeling good about yourself and about life.Some people find a Gratitude Journal helpful. Just write down the ten things for which you feel grateful at the end of your day. Read back over them and you see how good life really is.We teach our children good manners by telling them to say the magic words, “Please” and “Thanks”. Thanks, can certainly be a magic word for us today.Take care of yourselves through being Grateful. NewsGerry Raftery: Can We Be Grateful Now? By Meghann Scully – April 28, 2020 185 last_img read more

Grant Program Creates Opportunities for Homeownership in Cincinnati

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first_img Wells Fargo & Company is teaming with several housing organizations to announce the formation of the Cincinnati chapter of the Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program, an initiative designed to offer $5.2 million from Wells Fargo to improve Cincinnati neighborhoods and increase homeownership in the area.Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America, The Home Ownership Center of Greater Cincinnati, Neighborhood Housing Services of Hamilton, and Cincinnati Mayer John Cranley joined together earlier this week to announce the formation of the new program, which will begin with a two-day free homebuyer event on November 21 and 22 at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Downtown Cincinnati.”Making homeownership more affordable and revitalizing our neighborhoods will help make Cincinnati a stronger community,” Cranley said. “This terrific public-private collaboration will make a tremendous difference for families and neighborhoods through sustainable homeownership.”Out of the $5.2 million Wells Fargo is committing to the program, about $4.2 million will go toward down payment assistance grants, which are available to eligible homebuyers designed to help them overcome the barrier of putting forth a sufficient down payment to own a home. To receive a $15,000 down payment assistance grant, a homebuyer must have an annual income that does not exceed 120 percent of the Cincinnati area median income (about $82,000 for a family of four).The prospective homeowner must also meet other criteria to receive the down payment assistance grant, including completing an eight-hour homebuyer education session with The Home Ownership Center of Greater Cincinnati or another approved agency. To receive the full amount of the LIFT program grant, the homeowner must commit to live in the home for five years and qualify for a first mortgage. Homeowners may also use the down payment assistance grant to purchase a home that needs improvement by utilizing a new mortgage purchase 203k renovation loan. The down payment assistance program may be combined with other down payment assistance programs.”This innovative collaboration between NeighborWorks America, our network member, The Home Ownership Center of Greater Cincinnati, Inc., and Wells Fargo will put more Cincinnati families and individuals on the path to homeownership,” said Corinne Cahill, senior relationship manager of the Midwest Region at NeighborWorks America. “The required housing counseling and education classes, provided by certified professionals, have been shown to help homebuyers achieve successful and sustainable homeownership.”In addition to the money Wells Fargo is putting up for the down payment assistance grants, the bank is offering $500,000 toward the stabilization and improvement of Cincinnati neighborhoods.”Like many communities, Cincinnati neighborhoods were significantly affected by the housing crisis,” said J.R. Huber, area manager with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. “While mortgages are available at relatively low interest rates, many families are unable to buy a home because they struggle with making the down payment. The NeighborhoodLIFT program can help local mortgage-ready homebuyers realize their dreams of owning a home.”Wells Fargo has now committed a total of $220 million to 30 housing markets through its LIFT programs with the addition of Cincinnati’s Neighborhood LIFT program. LIFT programs have helped more than 7,850 homeowners purchase homes since February 2012. Cincinnati is the eight city to receive the program in 2014.”The Home Ownership Center is proud to help families qualify for the Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program down payment assistance grants,” said Rick Williams, president and chief executive officer of The Home Ownership Center of Greater Cincinnati. “This investment will help individuals and families become homeowners, and support our larger community. It’s a smart time for families to invest in homeownership and to be first in line to access the down payment grants, people can register to start working with The Home Ownership Center of Greater Cincinnati.” The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / Grant Program Creates Opportunities for Homeownership in Cincinnati Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago About Author: Brian Honea Down Payment Assistance Home Ownership LIFT Program Ohio Wells Fargo 2014-10-29 Brian Honea Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago  Print This Post Subscribe Sign up for DS News Daily The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Grant Program Creates Opportunities for Homeownership in Cincinnati Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago October 29, 2014 874 Views Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Brian Honea’s writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master’s degree from Amberton University in Garland. Previous: Completed Foreclosures, Inventory Way Down in September Next: Zombie Foreclosures Decline Quarterly, Annually Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Related Articles Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, News Share Save Tagged with: Down Payment Assistance Home Ownership LIFT Program Ohio Wells Fargolast_img read more

Up to 70 turn up for Cant Pay Wont Pay septic tank meeting in…

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first_img Facebook News By News Highland – January 25, 2013 LUH system challenged by however, work to reduce risk to patients ongoing – Dr Hamilton Twitter Up to 70 turn up for Cant Pay Wont Pay septic tank meeting in Gweedore Guidelines for reopening of hospitality sector published WhatsApp Up to 70 people turned out for a Cant Pay Wont Pay public meeting on septic tanks in Gweedore last night.The meeting was addressed Donegal South-West Deputy Thomas Pringle and Cllr John Campbell in Dore Community Centre.The meeting is one of a number of meetings the Cant Pay Wont Pay group are holding in the West of the County over the next few weeks.Spokesperson for the group, Michael Mac Giolla Easbuig, says people feel that they are being completely ignored by the Government….[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/mich8301.mp3[/podcast] RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter Previous articleControversial Mill River power station in Buncrana given the green lightNext articleDonegal museum appeals for historical items to be returned News Highland center_img NPHET ‘positive’ on easing restrictions – Donnelly Google+ Calls for maternity restrictions to be lifted at LUH Facebook WhatsApp Three factors driving Donegal housing market – Robinson Google+ Pinterest Pinterest Almost 10,000 appointments cancelled in Saolta Hospital Group this weeklast_img read more

Ørsted in Quest of Offshore Wind Software Team

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first_imgØrsted has issued a tender looking for a company to deliver an offshore management system dedicated to its offshore wind farms.Ørsted plans to sign a global framework agreement for the system, which will enable it to coordinate, monitor and supervise offshore activities across multiple wind farms and make logistics data available for further analysis.The ambition is to have one global implemented digitalized, scalable solution across both engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) and operations (OPS), the Danish developer said.Primary users of the management solution will be marine and helicopter coordinators and offshore, logistics management staff within both EPC and OPS, as well as offshore.According to Ørsted, the system should support HSE, regulatory and authority requirements, knowledge harvesting, and so on, related to activities at offshore wind farms, as well as be able to adapt to special future requirements in project construction and operation phases.Among a number of other requirements, the IT solution needs to provide an overview of all assets in the wind farm and their status, and visually track all vessels, helicopters and personnel working offshore.The contract will be signed for a duration of five years, with the possibility of a two-year extension.Deadline for submitting applications is 01 February at 12:00 local time.last_img read more

Clear Lake councilman Smith says he’ll run for Iowa House District 54 seat

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first_imgCLEAR LAKE — Clear Lake city councilman Bennett Smith has announced he will run for a seat in the Iowa House. Smith is an instructor of history and political science at North Iowa Area Community College and is currently serving his first term on the Clear Lake City Council. Smith announced last month that he was exploring the possibility of running as an independent candidate for the House District 54 seat. Smith says in a written release that he’s had the opportunity to listen to many people about legislative issues and he’s been grateful for the overwhelming response toward his potential candidacy. Smith adds that as an independent candidate, his objective will be to build a coalition of Republicans, Democrats and independents that want to move Iowa forward with a positive vision for conserving our natural resources, improving our educational outcomes, reforming our healthcare system and promoting economic development across the state. The House District 54 seat covers Clear Lake, the western third of Cerro Gordo County, all of Franklin County, and the northwestern part of Butler County. Incumbent Linda Upmeyer of Clear Lake in October announced that she was stepping down as Speaker of the House for the upcoming session as she planned not to seek re-election to the seat.last_img read more

Williams stops Sharapova

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first_imgMELBOURNE, Australia (AP):Serena Williams has never lost in the semi-finals of the Australian Open. Neither has Novak Djokovic.A key difference between the defending champions is that Williams beat the most-experienced and highest-ranked challenger in her half of the draw when she extended her streak to 18 consecutive wins against Maria Sharapova with a 6-4, 6-1 quarter-final victory yesterday.Williams said she wasn’t aware that she had won the Australian Open all six previous times she won her quarter-final match, “but that’s good”.”It’s not a stat that’s set in stone,” Williams said. “I still have to win two matches.”Five-time champion Djokovic, after beating No. 7 Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, still has a daunting semi-final match against Roger Federer, who has won four of his 17 Grand Slam titles in Australia.Federer reached his 12th Australian Open semi-final, and 39th in a Grand Slam event, with a 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-4 win over No. 6 Tomas Berdych. He hasn’t gone past the semi-finals at Melbourne Park since winning the title in 2010, but he’s a serious obstacle for Djokovic.They’re 22-all in career head-to-heads, with Djokovic catching up since usurping Federer in the rankings.TRICKY TIEBREAKERThe tiebreaker will be tricky. Djokovic lost only one of his 28 Grand Slam matches in 2015 – to Stan Wawrinka in the French Open final – and has won 37 of his last 38 matches at Melbourne Park, a run that includes four titles.He beat Federer in the Wimbledon and US Open finals last year, but Federer was back contending for titles.”Any round feels like finals because of the fact that we are, you know, big rivals. We played so many times against each other,” Djokovic said. “There’s a lot of tension. There’s a lot at stake. I’m expecting a great fight in two days.”In the women’s semi-finals, Williams will be facing fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, who beat No. 10 Carla Suarez Navarro 6-1, 6-3. Radwanska has won one of her previous four semi-finals at a major, but never won a Grand Slam title.Williams is 8-0 against Radwanska, including their meeting in the 2012 Wimbledon final.Williams said she couldn’t explain her 11-year domination of Sharapova – she has won 19 of their 21 meetings overall – except to say she rises to the big challenges.”When I play her, I know automatically I have to step up my game,” said Williams, a 21-time major winner. “I think that makes me play better.”last_img read more

DD LOCAL: ANNAGRY COMMUNITY NEWS – WAR DEAD TO BE REMEMBERED

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first_imgJimmy Duffy’s Annagry Community NotesWAR COMMEMORATIONThose from the Lower Rosses who died as a result of World Wars will be commemorated at a series of events to be held in Annagry Community Hall. The commemoration will begin on Monday evening August 25th with an ecumenical service followed by the opening of a 5 day exhibition run in conjunction with Donegal County Museum. On Saturday August 30th there will be a unique display of photos, medals, letters etc relating to the local men who fought. In our own parish of Annagry, a heavy price was paid with seventeen men known to have died in the WW1, four in WW2 along with the civilian victims of the Ballymanus Mine in May 1943. In all it is estimated that several hundred persons from this Parish were caught up in the upheaval in some way or another. If you have material that you would like to display contact 087 1935066 or email [email protected] Personal memorabilia will be display for only one day in a secure environment. SYMPATHYSympathy of the community is extended to the family and friends of the late Paddy O’Donnell Mullaghduff, Julia O’Donnell Kincasslagh, Charlie McBride Kincasslagh, Neil O’Donnell Cragheyboyle, Neily Boyle Ballymanus, Bernadette Donaghey who have passed to their eternal reward in the recent past. May they rest in peace.CEMETERY MASSThe Annual Cemetery Mass and Blessing of the Graves will be held at the New Cemetery Meendernasloe on Friday July 25th at7.30pm and at the Old Cemetery Annagry on Sunday July 27th at 3pm. CHILDREN’S BOOK COURSE FOR ADULTSDublin based children’s book author and illustrator Adrienne Geoghegan will facilitate a 5 day course in Annagry Community Hall. This course will be held from Monday July 21st until Friday July 25th from 10am-4pm. Subjects will include “How to write in Pictures, building a story framework, physical structure of a picture book” among many other valuable topics. For further information, email Kim at [email protected] view Ms. Geoghegan’s portfolio visit http://www.adriennegeoghegan.com/site/portfolio/box-art/LOTTOThe numbers drawn in the Naomh Muire Club Lotto on June 18th were 14-17-18-22. There was no winner of the €1220 jackpot. Sorach Doohan Rann na Feirste, Breid McDevitt An Bhraid and Kathleen Greene Loch an Iúir matched 3 numbers. The jackpot on June 18th is €1280. If you’re not in, you can’t win! GAA TRAININGPeil na mBan will hold training session for U10s and U12s Girls on Thursdays from 5.30pm until 6.30pm. The training for U14 and U16 Minors and Ladies will be held between 6.30pm and 7.30pm also on Thursdays.BROADBAND SCHEMEIn reply to representation by Seamus Rodgers in relation to extension of Broadband services to rural areas the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources has outlined the areas in Donegal targeted by State led intervention under the National Broadband Scheme, the areas referred to is an initial indicative list. Further locations may be identified as the mapping process continues. Similarly it may be determined that some of the locations will be addressed by the commercial sector and will not require a State intervention. The mapping process is expected to be concluded later this year. This strategy will definitively address the connectively challenges faced by rural Ireland in a meaningful and sustainable way. In the Annagry area the following townlands have been identified Braade, Carnboy, Carrickfin, Crolly, Kincasslagh and Rannafast. ROSSES RADIORosses Radio will be holding a concert evening of Irish Music along with Irish Dancers at The Stepping Stone on Friday 4th July doors open from 7.30pm, entrance €7 per person. As we know The Rosses is full to the brim of musical talent and Rosses Radio together with The Stepping Stone are delighted to be able to provide you with a few hours of excellent entertainment from our superb home grown talent!!DD LOCAL: ANNAGRY COMMUNITY NEWS – WAR DEAD TO BE REMEMBERED was last modified: June 25th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Annagry Community NewsJimmy DuffyNotesWar deadlast_img read more

South African creates new Zulu terms

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first_img18 February 2013A South African electrical engineer turned author has developed 480 new Zulu words to explain contemporary science and technology.Phiwayinkosi Mbuyazi has combined his love for languages, science and technology to provide children with new Zulu words through which to explore the modern world, encourage a generation of inquiring minds and preserve his mother tongue.Through his work, he wants to keep the Zulu language current by expanding its vocabulary, promoting mother tongue education, and encouraging people to read indigenous language books.“I wanted to write in Zulu about subjects no one else was writing about,” he says. “I knew that in technical fields there is nothing written in indigenous languages.”He wants to change perceptions about indigenous languages, and with the new words give people tools to understand and discuss contemporary science and technology in their home language.Becoming a language activistThe 41-year-old author, who also studied philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University, decided to leave his day job to write a science and technology book for children.The WIBY Kids – How It All Began, and its subsequent Zulu version, AmaYIPHENDLEYA – IsiQalo Sakho Konke, tells the story about four South African teenagers, Kwethu, Jo, Scott and Bobo, and their journey to learn about mathematics, science, technology, philosophy, history and culture.With the book Mbuyazi wants to show that anyone can cultivate a dream and an innovative mind.While writing the Zulu version he also developed a brand new Zulu numbering system that lends itself to being spoken and translated into other languages with greater ease.“It isn’t heavy science,” the author says. “The WIBY Kids are to science and technology what Harry Potter is to magic and wizardry.”What was 31 000 words in English, translated to 28 000 Zulu words of which 480 are brand new.Once the English version was complete, he started translating the book into Zulu, but he soon realised just how difficult it is to write about science in his mother tongue. It was possible to write extensively about a variety of technologies in English, but this was not the case for Zulu.“This is what is contributing to the demise of the language,” Mbuyazi says. “IsiZulu will eventually become extinct because there are not enough books written in South Africa’s largest official language.”Schools are also increasingly teaching only in English, and there is hardly any literature available in indigenous languages.“What is written for indigenous languages is only for the schools market,” he says. Mbuyazi says this insight led him to create hundreds of new Zulu words to explain popular science-related concepts and words such as planet, Internet, airport, explorer, print, spark plug and even mathematics and technology.He also developed words to explain contemporary phrases such as reduce, reuse, recycle and global warming.Expanding the Zulu vocabularyMbuyazi went about researching the development of indigenous languages, and found that Zulu has anglicised many English and Afrikaans words.But coming up with new words was a difficult process. “I thought long and hard about how to translate English words into Zulu,” he says. “I do wish it was a thumb suck, but that is not how it was.”It took at least five times as long to finalise AmaYIPHENDLEYA than it did to write its English counterpart.He made use of several methods such as learning about a particular word’s origin or creating a word that relates to its function, what it looks like, sounds like, or even based on its movement.This is how he created a new word for ‘planet’.“In Zulu we have the word umhlaba which refers to the earth but there aren’t any other words that refer to Jupiter, Mercury, Pluto and the like,” he says.When he explored the original meaning of ‘planet’, he saw the English word is derived from the Greek planitis which means to hover or wander.“If you observe the movement of the planets, they appear to hover around the sun, which is why I named them umzulane which means going round,” he explains. “This shows the connection between the new word and its English translation.”He created the new Zulu word for ‘print’, gxifa, by drawing on the sound that printers make. The new word for ‘recycle’, buyafuthi, is a combination of the Zulu words for ‘bring back’, buyisa, and ‘again’, futhi.Mbuyazi hopes that through the book he can get more people talking and reading in Zulu.“When I was a child I used to read a lot and this made me passionate about Zulu. I’m afraid of it being lost in time, if you don’t keep on talking it,” he says. “We have to keep our mother tongues alive. People discount the importance of their home language and I want to change this.”First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional features from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more

South Africans queue to say goodbye to Mandela

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first_img“Madiba said poverty was as much a crime as apartheid. We must do all we can to fight it, that’s why we volunteered to work in South Africa.”“Mandela helped rebuild our lives with pride and dignity. Like I tell my children, we must forgive but never forget,” says Henrietta Pitsi.Madiba’s journey home to his village of Qunu, where he will be buried on Sunday, began at 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria on Wednesday 11 December 2013 as a glass-sided hearse carried his flag-draped coffin through the streets of the capital to the Union Buildings. There, the seat of government and the scene of his inauguration as the first president of a democratic South Africa, Nelson Mandela will lie in state for three days.South Africans cry for MandelaThe slow 9-kilometre drive to the renamed Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre at the Union Buildings was shepherded through the streets by a motorised honour guard. A large crowd watched the procession pass, some waving flags and cheering, and others standing silently, heads bowed and tears in their eyes.Thousands of citizens lined up for an opportunity to view the statesman, dressed in one of his trademark Madiba shirts, as he lay in state.Twenty years into South Africa’s democracy this was Mandela’s dream made flesh. The people of the rainbow nation queued as they did in the historic elections of 1994, keeping their heads pointed to the sun and their feet moving.Among them was Atteridgeville pensioner Henrietta Pitsi, with her husband and grandchild. She said she felt it was important that she be there to say goodbye to Mandela, and thank you. Dabbing at rheumy eyes she said the man who had given her back her dignity was owed as much time as it would take for the line to wind its way towards the security checkpoints closer to the Union Buildings.Pitsi’s children returned from exile in Tanzania when Mandela was released from prison in 1990. Today they are influential diplomats, businessmen and soldiers in the country of their birth. Mandela made their lives possible, she said. “Mandela showed us we had the right to want and have in our own country. He enlightened us, he made it possible for me to send my children to Cambridge, to international schools. Their lives are better thanks to Madiba.”Leaning on her grandchild’s shoulder, Pitsi said she had once queued for five hours to get into Wimbledon. If she could do that, then she could stand as long as she needed to say goodbye to Mandela. “Every day I tell them how they came to be free,” she says of her grandchildren. “They know we are all looking to them to ensure that Madiba’s sacrifices were not in vain.”Further back in the queue Penny Abboo watched her two spirited toddlers wander among the crowd. While they were far too young to understand why they were there, she said, “one day I will be able to tell them they were a part of history”.“I was clearing out my father’s house after he died and I found his dompas,” Abboo said, referring to the apartheid pass book black South Africans once had to carry in urban areas. She was never politically active, she said, and even being among the first group of black students allowed into universities formerly reserved for whites did not make her feel she was part of history. “It was finding that document that brought it home to me how much the country had changed.“I looked critically at my father’s generation and saw all these brilliant people who were denied opportunity because of the colour of their skin. In one generation we changed, we all became true citizens of this country, and that was thanks to Mandela.”A group of younger white girls holding South African flags edged forward as the line began moving.“He has finally escaped the grip of illness,” one of them said in a distinct British accent. “He can go home now he has done all we can expect of one man.“Mandela would have been so proud to see South Africa forget what divides them.” She was part of a group of foreign students volunteering in KwaZulu-Natal, who drove through the night to be a part of the day’s events.Fashionably dressed Lerato Moloi, in line with her niece and sister, smiled when she heard the foreign accents in the crowd. The whole world, she said, is mourning with South Africa. “We South Africans think he belonged just to us, but he gave a voice to people all over the world.”Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela will lie in state for three days, giving South Africans a chance to view his body and say goodbye. The country has never staged an event like this before. As the crowd inched closer to the Union Buildings, Mandela taught them another lesson: how to grieve as a united nation.last_img read more

App.net Members Can Now Invite Friends With A Free Trial

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first_imgLead image courtesy of Shutterstock. Other photos courtesy of App.net What’s Wrong With Facebook And Twitter?App.net is an idea for a world in which for-profit advertising companies — Facebook, Twitter, Google — are not also verbs that mean “to communicate.” We’ve been led to believe that Facebook and Twitter are media in themselves, that they’re synonymous with what we use them for: talking to each other. But that would be like calling TV “Fox News” or the Internet “Comcast.”Those services have been good enough for most people, but they’re making themselves worse and worse in order to pay the bills. Ads interrupt your conversations, the rules of what’s private and what’s public constantly change, and features we use all the time are moved around to increase “engagement” and other things only advertisers care about. Even Twitter, which started off as a playground for developers making delightful and powerful new user experiences, decided to shut all that down and be an ad company instead.If you don’t think you’d ever pay for a social Web service, indulge me in this thought exercise:What is it worth to you to have an online identity you can use for communication you can control, but which you don’t have to maintain yourself, on your own servers? What is it worth to network and communicate the way we’ve learned to do, but to do so on a service you can leave, no-questions-asked, whenever you want and bring your data with you? What is it worth to you to have a choice over how the apps you use to communicate look and work? Is it worth $3 per month? Well, if you’re not sure, now you can try for a month and see.What You Get When You Join The App.net experiment is hard to understand from the outside, so now you have a chance to check it out risk-free. And for people who are active on the service, key friends who haven’t joined are the biggest missing piece. The gift of a free month of service can help remedy both problems, and it could catalyze another burst of growth for App.net.The launch of Netbot on October 3 drove a huge bump in activity on App.net as tech people saw big-time app developers like Tapbots committing to the App.net platform. According to Caldwell, and in my own experience, that activity level has been maintained.There’s the germ of a real community on App.net of people who care about the value of online social networking but want it to work differently than the ad-riddled, anti-privacy media silos that dominated the last decade.There are tons of great apps, too. I’m a die-hard Tweetbot user on Twitter, and though I love the familiarity of Netbot, I’m now using Felix on my phone, while still using Netbot for iPad. On my Android devices, I’m using Dash, which is first-rate. On the Mac, my preferred client is Wedge, which is still in beta, but it’s had some great updates lately. There are Windows and Linux clients, too. There’s an official directory keeping track of all the clients on all platforms.What’s Missing?There are two things missing from App.net right now. One is private messaging, which is almost here, and App.net has put out a fascinating podcast about how it’s going to work. The other is more users. There are more than 20,000 people on App.net, enough to keep me coming back every day, and it’s almost at the point where I can start leaving other, noisier networks behind. More people using the service will make all the difference.Take a look at the global stream and see if App.net is your kind of place. If you’re interested, anybody already on there can now hook you up with a free month. Read more on the App.net blog.Check out my 30-minute interview with Dalton Caldwell about the future of App.net: App.net announced Thursday that its paying users can invite friends to a trial period of the service in which the first month is free. The number of invitations is limited at first. Now people who interested in an ad-free, community-funded social Web infrastructure can try before they buy.Existing users who are on a yearly plan have “a small number” of invitations in their accounts (click here to view your invitations). The invitation goes out by email, and the recipient must click a link in that message to begin the sign-up process.Trial users do have to enter a credit card, which will discourage frivolous sign-ups. The card will not be charged during the first month, and users can stop payment and cancel their account at any time through their account settings. Still, that’s a barrier that might cause many interested people to hesitate.What’s App.net, And Why Is That Its Name?App.net is what founder Dalton Caldwell likes to call “social infrastructure.” Like Twitter, it’s a service for sending short Web messages, but the business model is completely different. Users pay to access it and have it host their name, profile and payment information, and it provides the pipes — and business incentives — for software developers to build all kinds of apps on it. It has the blandest possible name because it wants to be thought of as a utility company; the exciting things are the APPs on the NETwork, get it?App.net users pay $36 per year (or $5 per month), and developers pay $100 per year for access to the app-making tools. Developers can make money by selling apps on the various app marketplaces, and they also get meritocratic bonuses from App.net itself based on how much users like them.It all creates a virtuous cycle in which people get to pick the communication software that suits them, developers compete to build the best apps, and App.net develops the underlying features and keeps the messages flowing. As Twitter cracks down on the ways software developers can build on the experience, App.net has people happily hacking on social software again. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification jon mitchellcenter_img Tags:#advertising#App.net#Messaging Services#twitter Related Posts Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more