Large emperor penguin colony suffers ‘catastrophic’ breeding failure

first_imgArticle published by Shreya Dasgupta Until recently, the emperor penguin colony at Halley Bay on the Weddell Sea in the Antarctic was one of the world’s largest, supporting between 14,000 to 25,000 breeding pairs, or around 5 to 9 percent of the bird’s global population.Since 2016, satellite images have shown that the colony has suffered a complete breeding failure, something that’s never been recorded before.This breeding failure started in 2016 when, following abnormal stormy weather, the sea ice broke up in October, long before the chicks had fledged and were ready to go out to sea. In 2017 and 2018, the sea ice broke up early too, leading to the likely death of all chicks.Around the same time, there was a massive increase in the numbers of emperor penguins at the Dawson-Lambton Glacier penguin colony 55 kilometers (34 miles) south of Halley Bay, suggesting that many of the emperor penguins from Halley Bay had moved to Dawson-Lambton. Antarctica’s second-largest colony of emperor penguins has likely not produced any chicks over the last three years, a new study has found.Until recently, the emperor penguin colony at Halley Bay on the Weddell Sea supported between 14,000 and 25,000 breeding pairs, or around 5 to 9 percent of the bird’s population in the world. There have been fluctuations in the size of the colony over the past decades, according to researchers from the British Antarctic Survey, who have been visiting and surveying the area since the 1950s. But since 2016, satellite images have shown that the colony has suffered a complete breeding failure, something that’s never been recorded before.“We have been tracking the population of this, and other colonies in the region, for the last decade using very high resolution satellite imagery,” Peter Fretwell, a remote-sensing specialist at the British Antarctic Survey and lead author of the study, said in a statement. “These images have clearly shown the catastrophic breeding failure at this site over the last three years. Our specialised satellite image analysis can detect individuals and penguin huddles, so we can estimate the population based on the known density of the groups to give reliable estimate of colony size.”Emperor penguins need intact sea ice until the chicks are ready to leave their nesting grounds. Image by Christopher Michel via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)The emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) is a unique bird in many ways. It is the largest of all living penguin species and the only one that breeds during the Antarctic winter. It is also the only known bird to never breed on dry land, preferring to raise chicks on frozen sea instead. To ensure the chicks are ready to leave their nesting ground by the summer months of January or February, female emperor penguins lay their single eggs around May, then take turns with their partners to incubate the eggs and subsequently raise the chicks through the extremely cold winter months. During this entire process, the emperor penguins rely on intact sea ice. But in 2016, following abnormal stormy weather, the sea ice broke up in October, long before the chicks had fledged and were ready to go out to sea. In 2017 and 2018, too, the sea ice broke up early, leading to the likely death of all chicks, the researchers found.“It is impossible to say whether the changes in sea-ice conditions at Halley Bay are specifically related to climate change, but such a complete failure to breed successfully is unprecedented at this site,” said Phil Trathan, a penguin expert at the British Antarctic Survey and co-author of the study.But it’s not all gloom. Between 2016 and 2018, satellite images picked up a massive increase in the numbers of emperor penguins at the nearby Dawson-Lambton Glacier colony, located 55 kilometers (34 miles) to the south of Halley Bay. Where the estimated number of pairs at Dawson-Lambton had steadily decreased from 3,690 pairs in 2010 to 1,280 pairs in 2015, they jumped to 5,315 in 2016, 11,117 pairs in 2017, and 14,612 pairs in 2018, the authors write in the paper.“It appears that many of the birds from Halley Bay have relocated to Dawson-Lambton, with the rest remaining at Halley Bay, but not breeding successfully,” the authors add. “This number seems to be diminishing on an annual basis as more failed breeders move to the nearby colony. It is possible that some emperors could have formed a new colony elsewhere.”Whether the early break-up of sea ice at Halley Bay will continue in the future is unclear. But scientists have predicted that with future warming of the Antarctic and reduced sea ice due to climate change, penguin numbers will decline. And this study gives a sneak peek into how the penguins might respond to such disappearing stable sea ice conditions, the researchers say.Banner image of emperor penguins via Pixabay.Citation:Fretwell, P. T. and Trathan, P. N. (2019). Emperors on thin ice: three years of breeding failure at Halley Bay. Antarctic Science. doi:10.1017/S0954102019000099. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Animals, Biodiversity, Birds, Climate Change, Conservation, Endangered Species, Environment, Marine, Marine Animals, Marine Birds, Marine Conservation, Oceans, Penguins, Research, Sea Ice, Wildlife last_img read more

Stars seek Libya fillip in Tunis

first_imgThe match kick-off at 5pm local time and for the umpteenth time, Stars find themselves seeking to trace a way back to the international football podium following recent crushing attempts.It will be the third FIFA International friendly week for Stars since last October with a 2-1 home loss to South Africa and a 1-0 reverse to Tanzania under French coach Henri Michel hastening his exit.Belgium Adel Amrouche is tipped to take over the team that faces Nigeria in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier next month with Nandwa who has been penned as his deputy having a last chance to underpin his credentials.“We wish to inform all fans that arising from the results of the match (Burundi), the Federation is studying the situation and will issue a comprehensive report on the way forward for the national team,” Football Kenya Federation chair, Sam Nyamweya stated when the team lost 1-0 on aggregate to exit CHAN.According to Nyamweya, having an experienced coach, tapping for striking talent in the domestic top flight and first division leagues and investing in youth were fronted as the means to raise Kenya from the football doldrums.The same pledges were made when Michel was hired amid much fanfare last September but it took only three months for the Achilles heel of the national team’s football to derail that effort.Michel left under a cloud of controversy, his quit decision announced via the French Embassy after the federation failed to meet his rumoured Sh4m monthly salary, a jaw-dropping figure considering his package alone would have exhausted the meagre monies the team makes.On Wednesday however, the biggest fall back for Kenya – hope – will once again be called upon as Nandwa’s side face a team that featured at the Nations Cup last year.Despite the political turmoil in Libya occasioning the shift of the game to Tunisia, the team has continued operating in a model that Kenya could ape.Nandwa will have the services of AJ Auxerre striker and captain, Dennis Oliech and Celtic FC’s midfield Dynamo, Victor Wanyama, leading his professional line-up for the first time since he took over the senior side at last year’s CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup.Norway based keeper, Arnold Origi and David Gateri also linked up with the squad shorn of Ayub Timbe who cited lack of reimbursement for his air ticket, another bane for Kenyan overseas based players, for declining his call-up.Wanyama’s elder brother, Inter Milan midfielder, McDonald Mariga will also sit this one out with injury but Nandwa has a squad that can force a result against Libya.The Magreb nation is coming to the match having seen their attempts to lure former France international Alain Giresse, to coach the side rebuffed by the man who has now taken over Senegal to lead them to a 1-1 draw against Guinea on Tuesday.Acting coach Abdulhafeed Arbich subsequently called up 16 players to a training camp to be held in Tunisia from January 25 in readiness for the match.So, with all eyes on the Nations Cup semis, will Kenya lift their suffering fans by putting down Libya?0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000NAIROBI, Kenya, February 6- With the rest of Africa glued to South Africa for the Nations Cup semis on Wednesday, Kenya national team Harambee Stars will play Libya hoping to cut a slice of attention back home.Having been knocked out of the second tier showpiece, the Africa Home Nations Championships (CHAN) by neighbours Burundi last month, James Nandwa and his charges need a fillip against Libya in Tunis.last_img read more

Tottenham transfer report: Talks open over January deal for defender

first_img1 Tottenham have opened talks with Napoli over a deal for defender Raul Albiol, according to reports in Italy.The Spain international moved to Naples in 2013, arriving from Real Madrid for a fee of around £8m.However, he could now be set to end his stay in Serie A with Spurs reportedly keen on acquiring the centre-back’s services.According to Italian broadcaster Rai Sport, Tottenham have begun negotiations with Napoli over a January deal for Albiol.Manager Mauricio Pochettino is said to be eager to bolster his defensive options, especially as the future of Jan Vertonghen hangs in the balance.The Belgian is still yet to sign a new deal and was linked with a move to Manchester United in the summer. Raul Albiol last_img

LACCD union sues over paychecks

first_imgWOODLAND HILLS – The union that represents faculty at the nine Los Angeles community colleges has filed a lawsuit against the district for delays in issuing paychecks and getting the amounts wrong. It was unclear Tuesday how many of the nearly 10,000 full-time, part-time and contract employees within the Los Angeles Community College District did not receive paychecks, or received checks with errors. College officials blamed the problems on software complications. Two of three San Fernando Valley campuses reported that members of their staff had not been paid for a month. Partial payments were sent to a number of workers. Though union representatives say the Los Angeles Community College District is diligently working to correct the problem, faculty members have complained that because their checks were late, they incurred late fees on bills. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John Phillips“The union has been very aggressive in pointing out the problems,” said union representative Don Sparks. “The district is trying to fix the problem but the union is running a lawsuit against the district for the many errors that have occurred on the faculty side.” Sparks said the union would seek only payroll money and any reimbursement for late fees and other costs associated with the delays and errors. At issue is the use of a payroll software called SAP that the district switched to last year. District officials say the system – provided by a German-based company – is widely used among large-scale corporations, but because some faculty members and staff may work on several campuses, or have different pay periods, it has difficulties in accommodating multiple assignments. District officials said emergency pay procedures are under way and those who still haven’t been paid will receive a check in 24 hours of reporting the errors, Adriana Barrera, vice chancellor for the college district said in a statement. “One huge change that we will probably make in the future is to have everyone in the district paid on the same pay schedule,” Barrera said. “Right now some receive checks monthly and some receive them every other month.” College vice presidents will be meeting this month to discuss how to align the pay period. Nearly 20 faculty and staff at Los Angeles Mission College and cooks at Pierce College were affected, but most have now been paid. (818) 713-3664160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Man United lack the fluidity of Man City and Spurs, says Huddersfield ace

first_img1 Tom Ince believes Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United not only lacked the passion of Huddersfield but showed they cannot match the fluidity of title rivals Manchester City and Tottenham.The Red Devils left West Yorkshire with a bloody nose after arriving at the John Smith’s Stadium second in the Premier League and unbeaten domestically.Aaron Mooy fired Huddersfield ahead before Victor Lindelof’s mistake allowed Laurent Depoitre to strike a quick-fire second, with David Wagner’s men holding out for a 2-1 win after Marcus Rashford’s late header brought a nervy ending.It was Huddersfield’s first Premier League win for two months and left Mourinho bemoaning his side’s poor attitude.“Listen, the manager knows that toe-to-toe we can’t deal with Manchester United,” said Huddersfield summer signing Ince, son of former United favourite Paul Ince.“They have got superior players who are world-class, elite players. But all we can do is give the attitude and have the right mentality and desire to try and work for each other.“We know that if we can cover the yards on the pitch and make it difficult for teams, make it ugly when they come here, then it gives us half a chance.“We managed to do that, everyone to a man, and we have to continue that now.”Defeat leaves Mourinho’s men five points behind swashbuckling Manchester City, who are the Premier League form side of the moment.Pep Guardiola’s men will arrive at the John Smith’s Stadium next month and may wonder which Huddersfield side to expect. In their previous home match before facing United, the Terriers were swatted aside 4-0 by Tottenham.“When you look at United, they’re obviously a top quality side but they don’t really play with the same fluidity as your Spurs or your Man Citys,” Ince said.“They build up the game quite slow, they like to get it out wide and we felt that if we could win the ball the back and try to exploit the space in behind – the space the full-backs leave because they go so high – then we were able to do that.“Yeah, of course, it’s a shock to the system for them because obviously they’ve come here expecting to win, but we’re happy with the three points and a great day for the town.”It was certainly a blueprint of how to frustrate United, who have got lucky at time in their previous Premier League away games.As for Huddersfield, victory boosts morale ahead of next weekend’s trip to Liverpool – a side coached by Wagner’s close friend and former colleague Jurgen Klopp.“He’ll be happy to beat them,” Ince said of dad Paul, who played for both United and Liverpool. “Obviously to get on the scoresheet would be even better“It’s a great three points and next week will be a different test, a totally different challenge.“But this can only give us confidence, give us a boost, going in the right direction, how we want to move forward.“It is important that we showed a performance after (losing at) Swansea, but no-one expected three points and we’re happy we’ve been able to do that for this club and, this town. It’s another bit in the history books for this town.”Ince added: “I don’t think you can show intimidation to a side like this.“If you show that then they see that you’re weak and they know that you’re in awe of the players they’ve got.“It’s Manchester United – of course the occasion is massive, of course to play against those type of players you sometimes have that real sense of ‘what’s going on here?’.“But we’re 11 men against their 11 men, and we work hard for each other, we show the right attitude.“I thought we managed the game well at times, we slowed it down when we needed to and up the other end we’ve managed to create chances and score goals.” Aaron Mooy scored the first for Huddersfield against Manchester United last_img read more

Disney After Hours at Animal Kingdom – Is It Worth the Money?

first_imgShare This!In early 2016 Disney introduced Magic Kingdom After Hours, a late-night event for guests willing to spend the money for attractions with minimal to no waits. Laurel Stewart gave her positive review of the event in 2016. After poor sales of tickets in 2016, Disney revamped the event and relaunched After Hours in late 2018.The new After Hours event gives guests three hours of exclusive time in either Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or Disney’s Animal Kingdom parks for $125 per guest ($129 per guest if purchased at the gate). Guests can experience popular shows and attractions along with unlimited snacks and non-alcoholic drinks. Check in for the event starts at 7:00 p.m., at least an hour prior to park closing.With Pandora – World of Avatar the hottest ticket at Walt Disney World, I wondered if After Hours could be a good way to ride these attractions. Could this event work for those wishing to experience Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge when that opens in Fall 2019? Is After Hours a good way to tour Animal Kingdom instead of visiting during normal park hours? How many premium Mickey bars can I eat in three hours?To find answers (and see Pandora at night) I attended the Animal Kingdom After Hours event on February 5.What is Animal Kingdom After Hours?Pandora at nightAnimal Kingdom After Hours is a special ticketed event that provides a limited amount of guests access to the park after closing. At Animal Kingdom, the event runs from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on select nights throughout winter and spring 2019. Check in starts at 7:00 p.m. and the park closes at 8:00 p.m., allowing guests to experience some experiences offered during normal operating hours.The following attractions are open during After Hours:Avatar: Flight of PassageNa’vi River JourneyExpedition EverestDinosaurIt’s Tough to be a BugTriceratops SpinDinoLand U.S.A. Dance Party (continuous)Mickey & Minnie Mouse at the Adventurers Outpost in Discovery Island meet and greetPandora Drummers show (8:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m.; 10:30 p.m.)Tree of Life Awakenings show (continuous)Rivers of Light (9:30 p.m. performance)Select food items are available for purchase at Pongu Pongu, Thirsty River, and at several snack carts in Discovery Island and DinoLand U.S.A. Unlimited popcorn, ice cream novelties, and non-alcoholic bottled drinks are included in the price of admission and are located at snack carts in Asia, DinoLand U.S.A., and Discovery Island. If the unlimited ice cream has you in the shopping mood, then Island Mercantile, Windtraders, Serka Zong Bazaar, and The Dino Institute Shop are open.My VisitI arrived at Animal Kingdom at 7:00 p.m. and followed the Cast Members’ directions to the right-hand side entry points for After Hours guests. My first plan of attack was to experience the attractions that would close during After Hours–this would lead to my first disappointment. I love seeing animals at Animal Kingdom but by the time I was admitted for After Hours at 7:00 p.m. Kilimanjaro Safari and the animal exhibits were closed. I consider Kilimanjaro Safari one of the best attractions at Walt Disney World so it closing before we were admitted to the park is a huge disappointment.I chose to ride the one attraction operating but not featured during After Hours: Primeval Whirl. Despite my worries of lines the attraction had a five minute wait at 7:10 p.m.; Expedition Everest and Dinosaur featured similar waits. After Hours includes a special showing of Rivers of Light. I figured the light crowds on the rides would extend to Rivers at 8:15 p.m. I was right as we walked right to the edge of the river in the standby seating area. Rivers of Light concluded a little after the start of After Hours and the park was mine.If you squint you can see four other guests.If you have never experienced a sparsely populated park, it is exhilarating, haunting, and tiring. For a theme park fan it is like being a kid locked inside a toy store overnight. One gets to play with all the toys with no resistance but finds the push back was what made the toy store special to begin with; it is a monkey paw wish. It was spooky to walk pathways with no guests that on my last trip were shoulder-to-shoulder gridlock, I felt like I was getting away with a crime.Pandora at NightDisney sells After Hours as the premier way to experience Pandora with short waits and bioluminescent dreams. I bought my ticket to see Pandora at night and to ride Flight of Passage enough times to develop my opinion. Pandora was empty at night, allowing me to capture amazing photographs of the glowing rockwork of the land. Both attractions sent guests through the FastPass lines to board but guests who ask Cast Member at load were allowed to explore the Flight of Passage queue more.When I was bored with one ride I would walk to the next, frequently jumping between lands to refresh with bottled beverages and snacks in Discovery Island. When I got sick of Flight of Passage I headed over to Dinosaur. I rode Dinosaur twice, without having to leave my ride vehicle, then decided it was time to change my experience up a bit and ride Everest. After Everest I headed back to Pandora for more rides.After Hours features complimentary snacks and bottled drinks throughout the park, leading me to think it is some sort of Bacchanalia feast. In practice there was only one station across from Tiffins handing out free beverages and snacks during my visit. For $125 a person I would have expected Disney to feature a small cart at each major attraction with said free offerings plus some wandering Cast Members with bottled water and Coke products. By the end of the event at 11:30 p.m. I clocked in four rides on Everest, four rides on Dinosaur, five rides on Flight of Passage, and two rides on Na’vi River Journey to average out a ride every 12 minutes. The snack station across Tiffins closed about 15 minutes prior to the event and on my way out I received two boxes of “road popcorn”.Animal Kingdom ducks wished me safe travels and to return soon.At this point I was delirious, high off the rose water sprayed at me on Flight of Passage, and exhausted after riding more attractions in three hours than most guests do in a whole day. Was Animal Kingdom After Hours worth the $125 plus tax I spent? Yes, I believe it was. I rode many attractions and had a blast. If I went with someone else I likely would have loved it even more. But is After Hours a good event for everyone?Who is this Animal Kingdom After Hours For?Tree of Life at night between shows of Awakens.I recommend Animal Kingdom After Hours with major reservations. While lines are short for Pandora’s attractions many other unique experiences at Animal Kingdom are not available during After Hours. Kilimanjaro Safaris, the walking trails, and shows like Finding Nemo: The Musical are such engaging attractions that not being able to experience them is a major down side. If you are a guest who loves Animal Kingdom not for the rides then I cannot recommend Animal Kingdom After Hours. If I was to do After Hours again I would attend at Magic Kingdom or Hollywood Studios once Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens. There are several groups of guests who would find After Hours worth their time and money:Fans of Avatar or who wish to see Pandora at their leisure will find this event is worth the money. Na’vi-heads can relax in Pandora, watch the drum show, experience the land at night, and ride the attractions with no waits. Guests with a taste for premium experiences (or an expense account) would also find the event worth their money. Pairing After Hours with a first seating dinner at a signature restaurant such as Jiko would make a lovely night with coworkers or friends. Finally guests with limited touring time and a park hopper pass could optimize their touring by park hopping to Animal Kingdom. Park hoppers could arrive prior to the close of the park to see the shows, trails, Kilimanjaro Safaris, and see the remaining attractions during After Hours or visit in the early morning and park hop to another park in the late morning.Tips for TouringAfter Hours limits attendance so the usual touring tips like “arrive early” do not apply. Instead these tips are aimed to maximize your enjoyment of the park during the event and to avoid pitfalls unique to After Hours.Rest – After Hours runs until very late at night and I saw guests leaving prior to the end of the event from exhaustion. Arrival days spent relaxing or shopping would pair well with an After Hours night. Conversely pick an After Hours night where you can sleep in.Eat Prior to Coming to the Park – Yes, After Hours includes snacks but despite rumors to the contrary one cannot survive on Mickey Premium Bars alone. Have dinner prior to the start of the event. Not only will you have the energy to tour, but you will avoid the lines the purchase food.Start in Asia – Normally we’d suggest arriving prior to park opening and heading to Pandora first. With After Hours day guests are still in line for the attractions stand-by lines. Instead start in Asia with Expedition Everest and, if there is availability, Rivers of Light. Then once day guests exit Pandora head over to Na’vi River Journey and Flight of Passage.Take Breaks – My ride average of one attraction every 12 minutes can tire out anyone. Take breaks during the night by watching the Tree of Life Awakens, Pandora Drummers, or Rivers of Light. Resting will give you time to take in the atmosphere of the park, enjoy a free snack, and catch your breath.Have you attended Animal Kingdom After Hours? What did you think, and do you have any tips for touring? Leave your comments below.last_img read more

SA, Moz step up fight against rhino poaching

first_imgMaintenance and erection of fencing along the eastern boundary of Kruger National Park with Mozambique;Strengthening of a buffer zone in Mozambique through the establishment of the Greater Lubombo Conservancy;Creation of an intensive protection zone in the Limpopo National Park;Deployment of a well-trained and armed anti-poaching unit for joint collaboration with the Kruger National Park team; andSynchronisation of operational plans between the Limpopo and Kruger National Parks. 14 May 2014 South Africa and Mozambique held a follow-up meeting in Pretoria on Wednesday after the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on combating rhino poaching and other wildlife crime last month. A draft implementation plan was discussed at the meeting, which includes initiatives such as anti-poaching measures, fundraising, wildlife trafficking, community development, and raising awareness about the plight of the rhino. The implementation of the MoU in the field of Biodiversity Conservation and Management is expected to be finalised by the end of July. The two countries also agreed that the ministers responsible for the implementation of the MoU, South African Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa and Mozambican Tourism Minister Carvalho Muaria, would meet annually to discuss progress and identify areas for further cooperation. The steps being taken by the two countries since June 2013 on the matter of cross-border conservation of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area to address rhino poaching include: A total of 106 people have been arrested for rhino poaching-related offences since January this year. The Kruger National Park continues to bear the brunt of rhino poaching in South Africa, having lost 245 rhino so far this year. The only province not affected by poaching this year has been the Northern Cape. A total of 39 rhino have been poached in Limpopo, 37 in KwaZulu-Natal and 26 in North West province. South Africans are urged to report incidents of poaching and tip-offs to the anonymous tip-off lines 0800 205 005, 0860 010 111 or Crime-Line on 32211. Source: read more

Visualizing Digg: Tree Rings

first_imgTags:#Visualization#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Harrison created a series of ring graphics showing all stories, as well as breaking them down by month and day (above). He also made rings using the entire set of Digg historical data going back to December 1, 2004. I won’t try to guess what trends one might be able to identify from looking at the Digg Rings (though the above graphic seems to indicate more site volume on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday), but the results are simply gorgeous. Certainly one of the coolest Digg visualizations we’ve seen. You can download full PDFs of the rings at Harrison’s site. josh catone 1 A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts The wonderful Information Aesthetics blog points us to human-computer interaction student Chris Harrison’s Digg Rings visualization. Digg Rings is the latest in a series of awesome visualization projects from Harrison, and it displays a year’s worth of Digg data in an absolutely stunning manner. These are interactive visualizations like those from Digg Labs, but they’re equally beautiful and would make one heck of a poster.Harrison used the Digg API to grab the top 10 most dugg stories between May 24, 2007 and May 23, 2008. He then rendered those stories as a series of tree-like rings moving outward. Ring thickness is determined by the number of diggs each story received, and color is determined by which of Digg’s eight top-level categories the story falls into. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

ERP: Cloud and Mobile Features Entice Businesses into Migrating to Newer Systems

first_imgMany companies turn to ERP software to gain competitive advantage. “Competitive pressure is driving ERP adoption, as companies have to stay at the forefront of their peer group. If they fall too far behind, the ability to remain competitive becomes strained and the bottom line gets negatively impacted…  Dramatic business benefits from ERP, which traditionally could have taken years to reflect, are more tangible much sooner and, therefore, are more easily justifiable,” said Kamal Ramsingh, Technology Leader at Deloitte.A majority of businesses now say that ERP software is absolutely vital to their operations.  But new technologies like mobile and cloud technologies are dramatically changing the way ERP systems are implemented and used.Brian Sommer, CEO of TechVentive, said that “many major ERP buyers will start to move their old ERP vendors off the ‘strategic IT vendor’ list and replace them with the Workday,, Marketo, etc. vendors of the new era of cloud ERP solutions. These software buyers are tired of bad behavior, vendor indifference and old products. Given a choice, customers will look for true love elsewhere.”A study sponsored by Netsuite found that the top reasons why businesses look towards moving their existing ERP software are as follows:Reducing IT costs and maintenance (36 percent)Moving to a more functional and cheaper alternative to the current solution (28 percent)Looking for a way to more flexibly access business information, particularly via mobile (25 percent)Streamline business processes (24 percent)Worry that their current solution can’t scale to handle finances associated with expected company growth (19 percent)last_img read more

“Ready Player One” Author Ernie Cline Talks Oculus And The Future Of Virtual Reality

first_imgTags:#Ernie Cline#Oculus Rift#Ready Player One#SXSW 2015#virtual reality Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Ernie Cline is running 20 minutes late. Finally, he finds a parking spot and slides in his 1982 DeLorean, its sides emblazoned with the Ghostbusters logo and a license plate that reads ECTO88. Virtual reality and gaming buffs might recognize it as protagonist Wade Watts’ car from Cline’s breakout novel Ready Player One.“It’s bad form to show up late in a time machine,” he says. “What’s your excuse, dude?”Ready Player One was published in 2011, when lifelike virtual reality still felt like a distant conquest. It imagines a dystopia where most of its characters live in poverty and see the OASIS, a vast world accessible through virtual reality goggles, as an escape from their true reality.“Ready Player One” was published in 2011, when virtual reality still felt distant.Cline began brainstorming Ready Player One in 2001, when he asked himself what would if happen if Willy Wonka was a video game designer. James Halliday, the eccentric billionaire who offers up his fortune to whoever solves his geek-tastic 1980s-inspired treasure hunt in the OASIS, is one part Wonka and one part virtual reality pioneer John Carmack. That makes Watts Charlie Bucket. A Mass Consensual HallucinationBack in 2001, consumer virtual reality was just a dream that had been dead since the early 1990s. Cline had to turn to the military to see a modern version of it. He drew on science fiction classics like Snow Crash and Neuromancer to build out his vision of the OASIS metaverse. Like the OASIS itself, Ready Player One is built from a mashup of previous cultural works.“(Creating the OASIS was) very easy when you’re just thinking about the future of video games,” Cline said. “When you’re out on the internet now, it’s not a 3D space, but it kind of is. Websites are like planets. There are virtual realities popping up to serve different fanbases. Can you imagine Hogwarts? If you could teach different classes in that setting, how much more engaging it would be?”The OASIS abruptly came within reach in 2012, when Oculus announced the Rift headset on Kickstarter. Founder Palmer Luckey built the first versions in a trailer in his parent’s driveway as a teen. Like Watts, who uses his knowledge of ’80s video games and movies to solve Ready Player One‘s puzzles, Luckey was a kid with the time and passion to do something many others thought to be impossible. Cline was invited to the company’s headquarters, where he finally got his first taste of modern VR. He remembers snow falling around him in the virtual world as the Oculus team stood nearby. He could see that it would change everything.It’s funny talking to Cline about virtual reality. He’s such a diehard gamer that he almost doesn’t seem to care about virtual reality technology itself. For him, it’s more an obvious progression for gaming. To him, humans have been creating online worlds for themselves since the very first video game consoles, when two friends could sit next to each other and interact on a screen. We have always been seeking to immerse ourselves in alternate realities; this is just the ultimate form.“Up until now, our whole experience has been through a two-dimensional screen,” Cline said, continuing:This is not the human experience. The human experience is 360 degrees, and all your senses immersed. Role playing games are a simulation for all the stuff we’re wired up by evolution to do, which is hunt and form teams and tribes. It simulates all this stuff you’re hardwired to do, but you don’t do it. You sit in a car or in a cubicle.One Virtual World, Or Many?There’s no doubt that gaming will have a place in virtual reality. Oculus was born in pursuit of immersive video games. But will there be an OASIS, an alternate world where Earth’s people congregate in the form of avatars?Cline thinks so, but he is uncertain if it will take the form of one all-encompassing galaxy like OASIS. He pointed to media libraries like Amazon and Hulu, which would make a lot more sense as one giant service. But maybe it would be too much power to concentrate access in the hands of one company. The whole point of Ready Player One is a battle between OASIS advocates like Watts and a mega-corporation battling to gain control.“If it’s one place it has a lot of power, the way Facebook has a lot of power, the way Google has a lot of power,” Cline said. “If the whole world is there, it has a lot of value. If there is a truly free … virtual world that is democratic and free, that’s the one that will prevail.”Ernie Cline’s 1982 DeLorean is a replica of the car “Ready Player One” protagonist Wade Watts drives in the OASIS after he becomes rich.No matter what the metaverse looks like, we are apt to find ourselves there someday, whether it is to access a classroom or play a vintage gaming simulator with a friend across the world. And like (spoiler alert) Watts’ friends Art3mis and Aech in the OASIS, we will experiment with new identities. Cline said people already do this today—they go online and explore how people react to different representations. They cast off the body their parents gave them and assume something new, even if only for a little while.“Video games in virtual reality, it’s all changing the course of human evolution right now,” Cline said. “It’s changing how we interact, and communicate and collaborate with everyone all the time.”At the same time, Cline described leaving his home state of Ohio and realizing that his “weird childhood” wasn’t so weird. He might have felt geeky and awkward as a kid, but there are people around the world who felt the same way. We’re not as strange as we think, and there is a new virtual landscape to help us explore that.Photos of Ernie Cline by Signe Brewster for ReadWrite; photo of Oculus Rift by Sergey Galyonkin signe brewstercenter_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more