Thunder hold on to beat Spurs and even series 1-1

first_imgSAN ANTONIO (AP): The Oklahoma City Thunder nearly gave the game away in a wild final sequence that referees acknowledge should have been blown dead before it started. All that matters to the Thunder is that they’re all even with the San Antonio Spurs. Russell Westbrook had 29 points and 10 assists, and the Thunder held on to beat San Antonio 98-97 on Monday night, evening the series at one game apiece when the Spurs failed to score in the final seconds. Kevin Durant added 28 points as the Thunder handed the Spurs just their second home loss of the season, rebounding from a 32-point beating in Game One. With San Antonio trailing 98-97 with 13.5 seconds remaining and Oklahoma City out of time outs, Thunder guard Dion Waiters elbowed Manu Ginobili to get the space needed to inbound the ball. “On the floor, we did not see a foul on the play,” referee Ken Mauer told a pool reporter. “However, upon review, we realised, and we agree that we should have had an offensive foul on the play. It’s a play that we have never seen before, ever, but we feel we should have had an offensive foul on Waiters.” “No, I’m in the game, man, I don’t really know what’s really going on,” Waiters said. “My whole mindset is get the ball inbounds and hopefully we get a foul once the ball the ball gets inbounds, but it was a crazy sequence the last 13 seconds. So we pulled it out, that’s all I care about.” Waiters inbounded to Durant, who was immediately stripped by Danny Green. Patty Mills missed an open three-pointer, LaMarcus Aldridge lost the ball after grabbing the airball and Kawhi Leonard was unable to gather the ball before the buzzer sounded. “I don’t know what it is, to tell you the truth, what type of violation it is,” Ginobili said of Waiters’ elbow. “It’s got to be something. But again, it’s not that play that decided anything. We got the steal, we got the shot, we got an offensive rebound.” Game Three is Friday at Oklahoma City.last_img read more

Datebook for Monday, April 3rd

first_img• Providence Holy Cross Foundation Golf Classic, 8 a.m., Valencia Country Club, 27330 N. Tourney Road. Call (661) 799-7940 or (818) 847-4651. • Glendale Water & Power Commission meeting, 4 p.m., City Council chambers, 613 E. Broadway. Call (818) 548-2110. • Baseball Hall of Famer Dave Winfield book signing, 7 p.m., Vroman’s Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. Free. Call (626) 449-5320. • Shields & Yarnell Reunion Tour, 7:30 p.m., Fred Kavli Theatre, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Tickets: $34-$49. Call (805) 449-2787. • Evening hike, 7, Stough Canyon Nature Center, 2300 Walnut Ave., Burbank. Call (818) 238-5440. • Reseda Neighborhood Council board meeting, 7 p.m., Canoas Banquet Hall, 18341 Sherman Way. Call (818) 419-2513. • Full moon hike, 7:30-9 p.m., Coldwater Canyon Park. Park is at intersection of Coldwater Canyon Avenue and Mulholland Drive. Children and leashed dogs welcome. Fee: $5 for nonmembers of TreePeople. Reservations: Call (818) 753-4600. —Mail Datebook entries — including time, date, location and phone number — to Daily News City Desk, P.O. Box 4200, Woodland Hills, CA 91365; fax (818) 713-0058; e-mail [email protected] 160Want 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

A hefty boost for conservation

first_imgThe 10-year-old Jessica, who hasdeveloped a strong bond with herfoster family, is helping to furtherresearch into her species.(Image: Jessica’s Place)MEDIA CONTACTS • Tonie JoubertUp close with Jessica Hippo+27 15 795 5249Mark ReidShe appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show in 2010, and is an icon in Japan and Korea. Starring in over 70 documentaries and television shows, she has her own website and Facebook page, and thousands of adoring fans worldwide.One could be forgiven for mistaking her for a Hollywood starlet, but this young girl from Hoedspruit in Limpopo province, South Africa, is a hippopotamus named Jessica who is highlighting the need for conservation of her kind.Jessica was a star at the tender age of two, when she appeared in her first film, the locally produced big screen hit Mr Bones. Since then, the 10-year-old has delighted and educated television audiences of the National Geographic and Animal Planet channels, and has featured in various television programmes both locally and internationally.Jessica’s world renown, and her status as an international star, is fostering a new awareness of her species, and conservation as a whole.The hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibious) is classified as vulnerable on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. After the elephant, the hippo is the largest living mammal on land. The name is derived from the ancient Greek, meaning “river horse”.Hippos are amphibious creatures, graceful in water and deceptively quick on land, able to reach speeds of 60 kph. Once prolific from the Nile delta to the Cape, they are now mostly confined to protected areas.Better hippo conservation neededIn contrast to other large land mammals, very little is known about these hefty animals, as they can be aggressive and are notoriously difficult to study.This is where Jessica is making a difference.Most biologists are keen to take blood samples of the animals they study. Large animals must be tranquillised first, but this is not easy in the case of hippos. The creatures forage on land in the night, which makes it hard to track and dart them. During the day they wallow in their favourite waterhole or mud pool, and here they can’t be darted or they would drown.Although hippos are killed for meat, and to a lesser extent out of fear, a lack of knowledge of the species remains the biggest challenge to their conservation.If the extinction of the hippo is to be prevented, certain steps must be taken. This would include protecting their natural environment, counteracting poaching and gathering and sharing more accurate information.Although she can hardly be called typical of the species in terms of her upbringing, Jessica has been monitored over the years to get a better understanding of hippo behavioural and growth patterns. This information is then passed on to scientists and wildlife programmes.One important discovery, in which Jessica played a role, revealed that hippos communicate with each other under water in a similar manner to that of dolphins and whales.When analysed, her DNA pointed to the fact that the hippo’s closest living relatives are whales and dolphins. Jessica’s DNA is also being used in further tests to unlock the secrets of her species.Gaining valuable informationWith visitors streaming to her Hoedspruit home, owned by her foster parents Tonie and Shirley Joubert, and a growing worldwide fan base, Jessica plays an important role in bringing attention to hippos and their plight throughout Africa.The attention and interest generated around her facilitates the valuable spread of positive information through wildlife portals, as well as blogs and various social media sites. This awareness will soon be taken a step further, as a partnership with local wildlife film specialists Africam will see the installation of streaming video cameras on the farm.Looking to the future, the Jouberts are hoping that, with Jessica now at a suitable weight and in the puberty stage, a pod of little Jessicas is a promising prospect. This will open new doors of discovery and research into how hippos nurse and raise their young.Gentle giantIn early 2000 the province of Limpopo was one of the regions devastated by a five-week spell of heavy rain. People in neighbouring Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Swaziland were also severely affected.The unrelenting rain caused the mighty Limpopo River to rise to its highest levels in 15 years, and eventually burst its banks in places.Washed away by the flood only hours after birth, a traumatised Jessica was found by retired game ranger Tonie Joubert on his farm near the Kruger National Park.He took her home and nursed her back to health, and she soon became one of the family. Jessica’s bond with the farm dogs is particularly strong.Over the years as a game ranger, Joubert has cared for many orphaned animals. He has raised lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo and many antelope species and returned them all to the wild, but said he has never come across an animal quite as unique as this young hippo.“She is gentle and genuinely kind,” said Joubert, “and has never shown any signs of aggression.”Jessica has never been fenced in or kept in a pen, and is free to roam the land and rivers in the area, grazing serenely with neighbouring wild hippos. Grass makes up the bulk of her diet, although it is supplemented with sweetcorn, beetroot and her favourite treat, sweet potatoes.She also drinks up to 40 litres of sweetened rooibos (red bush) tea a day.Tourist attractionVisitors to the farm first watch a video of Jessica’s story and can then spend time interacting with her. They are allowed to feed her and spoil her with rooibos tea.The farm is open seven days a week for day visitors and for those wanting to spend a bit longer in the bush, a handful of self catering units offer cozy accommodation.More information can be obtained from Jessica’s official website, which also has an online store where various items are available.Not only has Jessica’s fame helped her species, but indirectly she also adds value to her community. According to Joubert, Jessica indirectly contributes up to R2-million (US$296 000) a year to the local economy.+27 (0)15 795-5249last_img read more

World champ claims eighth SA marathon title

first_img10 June 2014World Marathon Champion Hank McGregor entrenched his status as the continent’s premier paddler by mastering the icy Highveld weather and a large and very powerful field to claim his eighth South African Marathon K1 title in Benoni on the weekend.The three-time world champion outsprinted Jasper Mocke and under-23 world champion Andy Birkett to win a tightly contested K1 affair on Saturday, and then teamed up with Mocke to add the K2 title on Sunday.‘Tough racing at altitude’“It is tough racing at altitude for us coastal guys,” he said fterwards. “You can’t just go out like a bull in a china shop and you need to conserve your energy and keep the heart-rate down, so I am really happy with my performance this weekend.”McGregor was up against a tough field and explained that he knew his tactics were going to have to be spot-on in order to take victory, which would secure him a place in the South African team for the Marathon World Championships in Oklahoma City in September.‘A really high quality field’“It was a really high quality field and so I knew that tactically I had to be on point, and I think I managed to outsmart the others, which gave me the edge,” he reckoned.“I felt really comfortable throughout the race and it was a case of everyone gunning for positions with World Champs places up for grabs.”The Durban-based McGregor had only recently returned from the Gruelling Maui Jim Molokai Surfski Challenge in Hawaii and so felt that he was a little underdone in terms of his marathon preparation, but with the World Championships a few months away his focus has shifted to marathon training.Shift of focus“I have been doing a lot of surfski training recently and so marathon hasn’t been the main focus for me, but with the Worlds in September I will be focusing a lot more on marathon paddling and portaging as well,” McGregor said.The paired up with fellow surfski ace and Dusi Canoe Marathon partner Jasper Mocke in the K2 event to take the title ahead of the Van der Walt brothers, Grant and Brandon.The win meant that McGregor has now won five K2 SA Marathon titles. He said he felt that the impressive performances by South African paddlers on the national stage have led to a great interest in marathon paddling.‘World titles and medals’“We have got a strong history of bringing home world titles and medals from marathon events and I think that this helps to get people interested. Not only the youth are getting involved but the masters have also become more involved,” he said.The 2014 edition of the SA Marathon Champs was one of the largest in the history of the event with hundreds of paddlers braving single-digit temperatures to show their worth against the best paddlers in the country, with dreams of being on the plane to Oklahoma in September. The large subscription to the event was something that overwhelmed by McGregor.Huge numbers“When you look back at the SA Champs last year, I was so taken aback by the numbers that we saw out there this year,” he exclaimed.“It was so great to see so many people getting involved in such a well-run event and it was not just the senior categories, but there were a number of junior paddlers that were involved and that is exciting to see with a World Marathon Championships here in South Africa in 2017.”Women’s K1 winnerThe women’s K1 title was won by Olympic bronze medallist Bridgitte Hartley, who powered her way to the win on the back of a solid Sprint World Cup campaign in Europe. She dominated proceedings with a mammoth four-minute gap between her and second place finisher Nikki Russell.The K2 title went the way of Abby Adie and Laura O’Donoghue, who edged out Hayley Arthur and Jenna Ward by one second for the honours.Runner-up to Andy Birkett at the 2013 World Marathon Champs, Brandon van der Walt proved too strong for the competition in the under-23 category as he beat fellow Western Province paddler Stuart Maclaren for the title, while Jenna Ward won the women’s under-23 category from Brittany Petersen.JuniorsThe under-18 division was also a tightly contested affair with the Kwazulu-Natal pair of Louis Hattingh and Bryan Leroux fighting it out for the K1 title, with Hattingh sneaking it from Le Roux by four seconds.The girl’s race was not as close as Julia Trodd raced away from the chasing bunch to win by two minutes over Australia’s Bronwyn Martin.Le Roux earned a gold medal in the K2 event with Western Cape paddler Stuart Bristow, while Trodd did the double when she won the under-18 girls’ K2 title with Donna Hutton.Veterans and MastersThe huge field of 441 entries included a large field of veteran and masters age group paddlers, contesting the places in the national team that precedes the marathon world championships every year.The event, held at Homestead dam and superbly hosted East Rank Kayak Club and the Gauteng Canoe Union, underscored the strength and interest in the discipline of flatwater marathon racing, given the consistent success enjoyed by South African paddlers internationally over the past decade.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Why the Universe Is Ignoring You

first_imgI love the movie The Secret. There is definitely something to the Law of Attraction. I’ve seen the law work for longer than I have been aware of the idea. If what you put out is negative, what comes back is equally negative (and sometimes even more negative). If what you put out is positive, then what comes back is equally positive, and oftentimes even more positive.A friend of mine sent me a clip of someone insisting that just thinking something would make it come true, and writing it down would ensure it. This isn’t the law of attraction; it’s wishing.The law of attraction works, but only if you do.Attracting NegativityHow do you produce negative results? You think negative thoughts. You harbor negative beliefs about yourself and about others. You take actions that are perceived as negative. Have you ever seen someone who just looks angry? Just that look is enough to put people off. Negative thoughts and negative beliefs lead to negative actions, and negative actions produce negative results.Doing nothing at all is taking a negative action. So is wasting your gifts or your talents. Those actions are negative enough to attract bad things to you.Attracting SuccessJust thinking positive isn’t enough to produce positive results (even though it is critical to producing those results). Having positive healthy beliefs isn’t enough either. It’s only when you couple your positive thoughts and positive beliefs with positive action that the Universe listens. The rest of the time, the Universe is quite content to watch you wallow around in mediocrity, getting by.It looks like luck when someone puts out so much positivity that it comes back to them. But it isn’t luck. It’s the fact that they’ve been hustling, taking so much positive action that the only possible results are positive.If the Universe is ignoring you, you better make more noise.last_img read more

Communication experts in high demand

first_imgOn my first day at business school our professor told us that the best managers were able to communicate using only their eyes. Today I realise that learning how to communicate effectively was one of the most important lessons I learnt in management school, which later helped me earn my colleagues and seniors trust in the company,” says Vikram Gupta, 42, who attended Wharton Business School for his MBA in 2001.Communication management isn’t simply about learning to speak, read and write. It is about learning to manage communication channels that play a vital role in businesses. The fundamental principles of communication management include research, consumer insights, marketing strategies, evaluating the media, analysing sales channels, advertising and data analytics.Communication MBAs aim to produce leaders who are strategically sound and functionally adept. The curriculum emphasizes both the left and right sides of a student’s brain, and constantly urges them to focus on multiple avenues such as understanding finance, human behaviour and the work environment.Students do study conventional MBA subjects like micro and macro economics, finance, supply chain management, accounting. To supplement this they are also taught modules on culture, audience research and strategic media planning, semiotics, Indian cinema and film appreciation, which include studying metaphors and narratives. How a communication degree differs from a ‘traditional MBA’ course would be in terms of the kind of emphasis put on the latter courses,” explains Prof. Nagesh Rao, director, Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad.The accelerated use of information technology and the frenetic proliferation of media has established new challenges for communication specialists to manage. In specific, the indispensability of new media technology has made communication important in a variety of other fields as well. “Career options for Communication MBA graduates cut across all industry verticals. These include FMCG, BFSI, Telecom, Automobiles, Consultancy, Media & Entertainment, Advertising Agencies, Research Companies, Technology, Sports Marketing and emerging sectors of New Media,” says Rao.advertisementlast_img read more

Diana Shipping Agrees New USD 75 Mn Loan

first_imgzoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license Athens-based dry bulk owner Diana Shipping has signed a term loan facility with French banking group BNP Paribas for up to USD 75 million.On July 16, the company completed a drawdown of USD 75 million, secured by the vessels m/v Alcmene, m/v Seattle, m/v Electra, m/v Phaidra, m/v Astarte, m/v G. P. Zafirakis and m/v P. S. Palios.The proceeds from the loan facility together with available cash were used to voluntarily prepay in full the balance of USD 130 million of the existing credit facility with BNP Paribas which had maturity date on July 24, 2020.Diana Shipping said that the new loan facility, which has a maturity date of July 16, 2023, has resulted in the release of mortgages on 17 of the company’s vessels.The company’s fleet currently consists of 50 dry bulk vessels, including 4 Newcastlemax, 14 Capesize, 5 Post-Panamax, 5 Kamsarmax and 22 Panamax vessels.last_img read more

NOW HIRING Wilmington Public Schools Seeks A Director Of Technology Digital Learning