Jupiter Moon Throws Curve Ball

first_imgThe little inner moon of Jupiter, Amalthea, isn’t dense enough.  A press release from Jet Propulsion Laboratory says that data from the Galileo spacecraft “shakes up long-held theories of how moons form around giant planets.”  Density of moons is supposed to decrease with radius around Jupiter, meaning that Amalthea should be the most solid.  Instead, it appears to be a loose rubble pile less dense than water.  An alternative theory, that it formed farther out and migrated or was captured, is also implausible.  “Amalthea is throwing us a curve ball,” one scientist said.  The original paper was published in Science May 27.11Anderson et al., “Amalthea’s Density Is Less than That of Water,” Science, Vol 308, Issue 5726, 1291-1293, 27 May 2005, [DOI: 10.1126/science.1110422].Planetary science is not exactly batting a thousand these days, even without curve balls.  Looks like she didn’t accept the date when sports dropout McFly proposed, “Amalthea, you are my density… er, I mean, my destiny.”(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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A monkey first in South Africa

first_imgThe unique colobus monkey is a big hitwith visitors at the wild life park. Parrots are just some of the 27 exotic birdspecies found at Mystic Monkey’s andFeathers Zoo. A mother and baby white rhino spottedduring a game drive at Genius Loci. Zuba, a cub born to one of the lions at theGame Ranch.(Images: Genius Loci)Khanyi MagubaneBoasting one of South Africa’s largest collections of primate species, the Mystic Monkeys and Feathers Wildlife Park is not a typical zoo in the city.Its animals live unconstrained and are able to move around freely in their natural habitat.Based at the Genius Loci Game Ranch in the Limpopo province, the wildlife park is home to 33 primate species and it has a large collection of chimpanzees, and it also has 27 different types of exotic birds and rarely seen animals such as lemurs and sloths.Some of the birds found in the wildlife park include variations of toucan, cockatoo, macaw and eclectus birds.History made at the parkThe unique wildlife park recently made headlines after it welcomed its second baby monkey on 13 July, born to an exotic Angolan colobus monkey Kiki.The first colobus monkey(Colobus guereza) to be born in South Africa was Essie, to her Angolan mother Zeta in April.Zani Olivier, the wild park’s marketing manager, says they are excited by the arrival of the two babies. “We are very excited, because these two baby monkeys born here, are the only ones of their type in South Africa.”As Olivier explains, when the colobus monkey is born, its fur is first white in colour, which then darkens to a grey and after three months, the young animal starts developing the black and white fur, this she says, makes them very unique.The name colobus is derived from the Greek word meaning, mutilated, as unlike other species of monkeys, the colobus monkey doesn’t have thumbs on its feet or hands.Other interesting features of the colobus monkey are its behavioural patterns.According to the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), of all African monkeys, the colobus is the only monkey rarely seen on the ground, as it usually suspends itself on a tree.Its movement is usually swinging from tree to tree and it can swing up to 50 feet (15m).“They leap up and then drop downward, falling with outstretched arms and legs to grab the next branch. Their mantle hair and tails are believed to act as a parachute during these long leaps,” reads AWF’s website.Colobus monkeys prefer to live in groups of about five to 10 animals, usually consisting of a dominant male, several females, and their offspring.Essie and the yet to be named newborn monkey, are siblings from the same father Lacoste, a monkey of Angolan origin.Lacoste, Zeta and Kiki were bought from their previous owner in the Czech Republic, although all three were born in Angola.The wild life park was started six years ago when the owner of the Genius Loci, Christa Saayman, started collecting different exotic monkeys and birds as a hobby.However, as her collection grew, Saayman decided to apply for a Nature Conservation Board (NCB) permit to have the animal collection classified as a zoo.The NCB regulates permits for the capture, hosting or hunting of animals, fishing, as well as the growing, exporting or picking of plants and trade in endangered species in South Africa.Healing for animalsOne of the services that they offer at the wild life park is an animal therapy centre.Olivier, Genius Loci’s marketing manager and animal specialist, administers the therapy to those who’ve had traumatic experiences, who suffer from depression, anxiety, anger, neuroticism or even insomnia.During animal therapy, Olivier works on stimulating the endorphin levels, which stimulate the “feel good” hormone serotonin.Adults and kids are encouraged to engage with animals for the therapy to work.Animals used during therapy are horses, monkey, lion and cheetah cubs, birds, cats and dogs.The animal therapy sessions have attracted clients from around the world, and sessions are now offered on a weekend, weekly, or monthly packages.Included in the therapy package are spa treatments at the famous Mangwanani African Spa, which are thought to have a healing element.In addition to the spa treatments, patients who attend the animal therapy sessions are treated to healthy food for the duration of their stay, are encouraged to get plenty of rest and have scheduled contact time with the animals on a therapeutic level.According to Emthunzini (a Zulu word meaning “in the shade”), a non-profit organisation that helps abused children and traumatised animals; animal therapy can have far reaching on humans.“Children who haven’t spoken for years due to trauma have uttered their first words to horses and dolphins.“Those who have been so abused that they are scared to be touched by a human have shown their first sign of emotions and love to animals,” reads their website.According to the organisation, animal assisted therapy has been proven to work for both children and adults in South Africa and other parts of the world.Do you have any comments or queries about this article: Email Khanyi Magubane at: Khanyim@mediaclubsouthafrica.comUseful linksGenius loci Game RanchEmthunzini African Wildlife Foundationlast_img read more

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As the Internet Loses its Way – the Cloud Will Carry the Most Importance

first_imgTags:#cloud#cloud computing Related Posts alex williams A well-respected university professor said at a futurist conference today that the cloud will surpass the web in importance.According to CIO.com, Georgetown University Professor Mike Nelson made the remarks today at the World Future Society conference in Boston.His comments came in the context of a discussion about the Internet, the cloud and its future. Nelson said that in the mid-1990s, the people who developed the Internet had a clear purpose. From their vision came the Web.Today, it’s a question if the focus about the Internet is as sharp as it once was. And if the focus is indeed faltering, will the cloud take its place?The cloud is now more exciting than the Internet. What we are seeing is the evolution of the cloud as a central nervous system for a new universal communications infrastructure that is more important than the Web.This may all seem a bit murky as much of the cloud is accessed through the Web. Cloud-based applications are often called Web apps. And the Internet is often used to describe the Web and the cloud.But the distinction about the cloud does fall into a different category when the discussion turns to all that is capable to do with it. Nelson made the point that cloud computing means developing nations may afford software that once only more affluent countries could provide.As we noted in another post today, the cloud also means that companies may shed its IT resources, saving on capital expenses. That may mean a loss of jobs but it’s clear the upsides may be considerable as the cloud scales.And then there is the Internet of Things (ioT), big data and a mobile universe where information is always accessible, anywhere you may be.The ChallengesNelson said forces could prevent society from getting to this universe of what he calls the “cloud of clouds.”The biggest challenges are vendor lock-in and proprietary technologies. If data gets locked in then the flow of data will be disrupted, disrupting he very nature of the cloud itself.Other challenges include the clamp down on content by media giants, who, in the name of privacy, can have a tendency to inhibit expression and as a consequence, the free flow of information. Government may play it own part as it seeks to regulate and in turn creates an onerous environment for the development of the cloud.We have faith that the people who have fought so hard for the open Web will continue to fight for an open cloud environment and in the process, foster that cloud of clouds that Nelson believes we can attain. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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Railways told to pay relief to woman who lost legs

first_imgThe Bombay High Court has asked the Railways to take a decision on granting compensation to a woman, who lost both her legs while trying to board a moving train at the Khandala station two years ago.A division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Anil Memon, while hearing a petition filed by the victim, Sejal Ladola, recently directed the Railways to decide on the compensation in the light of the peculiar circumstances of this case and posted the matter for final disposal on Monday.The Railways raised a technical issue and argued that the woman had an alternative remedy to approach the Railways Claims Tribunal to seek compensation.Chased robbersThe victim claimed that thieves entered her compartment at 3 a.m. on February 9, 2015, and ran away with her purse when the Secunderabad-Rajkot Express train she was travelling in made a scheduled halt at the Khandala station. Ms. Ladola got down from the train and chased the robbers, but she aborted the attempt when the train started moving. However, she slipped while attempting to board the train, losing both her legs in the mishap.Following the accident, Ms. Ladola filed a petition, demanding compensation for her treatment on the grounds that the Railways had failed to provide security to train passengers during night hours. The court noted that the petition had raised a basic issue about the alleged failure of the Railways to provide security to the passengers travelling in night trains.last_img read more

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Free webinar: Turn first-time donors into repeat givers

first_imgHow many of your first-time donors go on to give again? What kind of impact would it have on your fundraising if you could retain more donors each year? We’ve asked two of the best fundraising experts to share their secrets. Join our free webinar on Tuesday, September 24 at 1pm EDT to learn from Jay Love and Tom Ahern as they show you how to create a communication plan that will help you retain more donors and raise more money. Register here.If you’d like to see more long-term benefits from your year-end fundraising and donor acquisition efforts, you do not want to miss this session.Turn First-Time Donors Into Repeat DonorsTuesday, September 24th 2013 1 pm EDTlast_img

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#GivingTuesday Success with a Staff of One: Q&A with CASS

first_imgWhat surprised you the most about #GivingTuesday? Because I experience and witness street harassment in Washington, DC, I can see the immediate importance of CASS’ mission. CASS mobilizes the community, through online and offline activism, to end public sexual harassment and assault in the DC metropolitan area. The campaign caught my eye and I was inspired to donate to it on #GivingTuesday. After I became a donor, I was delighted to receive some of the best post-donation communication ever! CASS has become one of my favorite nonprofit customers that we serve in DC. Thank you, Zosia, for sharing these details with us! If you want to put on a great #GivingTuesday campaign in 2015, we can help. Sign up to get Network for Good’s #GivingTuesday resources sent directly to your inbox. ZS: We started reaching out to donors four weeks in advance with soft touches via email. A week or two before, we gave all of them a call and asked folks to pledge. During the campaign, we reached out via email and social media. Afterward, everyone who donated received a special thank you email and a handwritten card. Zosia Sztykowski: We set a very ambitious goal for our end-of year-campaign—triple what we had done in the previous year—and based on our experience, we knew we’d have to get a strong start on #GivingTuesday for that to work. #GivingTuesday and New Year’s Eve are always the best giving days for us. Last year, Network for Good customer Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS) had a great #GivingTuesday campaign and won our prize for Best Social Campaign. The organization raised more than $17,000, came in fourth on our leaderboard for number of donors, and exceeded its original goal by 43%. ZS: We’re planning to reach out to more big donors way in advance to build a lot of momentum for #GivingTuesday. ZS: Yup, just one—me! Needless to say, I had some pretty serious tunnel vision going in late November/early December. But our volunteers are one of our strongest assets. They get the word out and solicit people in their networks. Every time we run a campaign like this, we don’t just reach multiples of our dollar goal, we also multiply the length our donor list, and I think this is directly attributable to our grassroots strategy. If a volunteer team is well organized and engaged—trained, prepared with all the materials they need, and knowledgeable about the organization and its fiscal needs—then they will follow through. Better yet, they’ll make it fun. It’s really about starting a conversation with volunteers that continues throughout the process. Because CASS had such great success on #GivingTuesday 2014, I wanted to do a Q&A with Zosia Sztykowski, the nonprofit’s executive director, to find out how they put together an amazing campaign with just one paid staff member.center_img How did you plan and set goals? ZS: Plan, plan, plan. Read about others’ successful strategies. Get your emails and your social media materials ready well in advance. Know that you’ll need all hands on deck on #GivingTuesday. Have a schedule—but be prepared to throw it out the window if you come up with a better idea at the last minute. How did you manage it all with very few paid staff members? CASS only has one paid staff member, right? And how did you make sure volunteers followed through with their commitments to help make it great? What is the number one piece of advice you would give to nonprofits doing #GivingTuesday for the first time? What will you differently this year? ZS: It’s amazing how generous everyone is even when every other organization is asking for donations at the same time. There’s something very touching about that. It really is a day about giving in the broad sense of the word. In 2014, we managed to quadruple what we raised in 2013 on #GivingTuesday because of this generosity. How did you reach out to donors before, during, and after?last_img read more

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The Global Stage Needs a Global Audience

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on January 23, 2014November 7, 2016By: Lennie Kamwendo, White Ribbon Alliance Global Board MemberClick 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 email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)As we approach the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals, what does the future hold for international maternal mortality targets? The MHTF is pleased to be hosting a blog series on post-2015 maternal mortality goal setting. Over the next several weeks, we will be featuring responses and reactions to proposed targets from around the world. Please share your thoughts with us!The importance of the global attention that maternal health was given when world leaders recognised that MDG5 was (and still is) the most offtrack goal of all is evident. The $70bn pledged since 2010 to ‘The Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health’ is pivotal in the history of maternal, newborn and child health, and pledges which may not have been made without the broad MDG target and tracking of progress. We, as advocates for maternal and newborn health welcomed this fantastic news – finally women’s childbirth rights were being prioritised – but we know the real work comes when pushing for these promises to be delivered.Indeed, a main challenge that civil society faces when pushing for such promises to be delivered is just how much any of these commitments are discussed in our parliaments and our media. Targets are useful, and absolute targets relative to the reality in the country are even more useful. As we move towards the deadline of the MDGs, we have lessons to learn from blanket targets being set in the international arena with little regard for whether they are attainable in the country. When targets are obviously not going to be achieved it can be demoralizing, even when progress is being made. Perhaps this is a contributory reason as to why accountability is so low on the commitments our governments make on the international stage. The targets are unattainable as are the promises made on how to achieve them, creating a cyclical process of underachievement.The general consensus in Malawi is that our politicians, for the most part, are not even aware of the promises made on their behalf. Our President has been a champion for maternal health and has made impressive commitments to Malawi’s women and children, ensuring free care, strengthening of human resources for health and attaining the WHO standard for emergency obstetric care. Yet there are no numerical targets attached to these commitments, no clear plan as to how they will be achieved and weak accountability at the national level on commitments made. As a Global Board member of The White Ribbon Alliance, I am consistently hearing the same story from our members in many other countries where maternal deaths are high. Perhaps 2014 will see a tangible balance between targeted creation of demand for skilled care for childbearing women and the supply of all the necessary aspects of maternity care. We need the full package from adequate, well qualified and competent human resource to an enabling environment for the provision of quality care.Targets are important. Commitments are encouraging. But we need the international community to invest in building civil society’s capacity to call their leaders and governments to account on making these promises a reality. Now is the time to build on the targets already set and drive home that unmet promises are not acceptable. We know change can happen when civil society pushes for accountability. The global stage needs a global audience.Share this:last_img read more

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Celebrating the Second Year of the PLOS-MHTF Collection on Maternal Health

first_imgPosted on January 29, 2014August 10, 2016Click 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 email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The following was originally posted on PLOS  BlogsPLOS Medicine and the MHTF review highlights of the second successful collection, as part of their 3 Year partnership focusing on improving Maternal Health globally.Back in late 2012 the Maternal Health Task Force, at the Harvard School of Public Health, and PLOS Medicine issued a call for papers on the theme ‘Maternal Health is Women’s Health’, chosen in order to recognise that a women’s health is of crucial importance through her lifetime, and not just during pregnancy and labour.The breadth of the research that has been submitted to PLOS since the call has been of great quality and impact. In this blog, we’d like to highlight just some articles in the collection that represent a selection of the important work recommended to alleviate the poor health, low educational attainment and low socioeconomic status adversities affecting maternal health, that women and girls of experience throughout their lifetimes.To continue reading, visit the original post at PLOS. For more on Year 3 of the PLOS-MHTF  collection on maternal health, including guidelines for submitting to the collection, visit the Year 3 call for papers. To read articles published in the Year 1 and Year 2 collections, visit PLOS Collections.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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mHealth for Maternal Health: mHealth Pilotitis – Time for Recovery or Relapse?

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on March 31, 2014August 10, 2016Click 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 email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)mHealth for Maternal Health is an ongoing blog series that aims to share the knowledge and experiences of academics, implementers and funders from the mHealth and maternal health communities. As part of the series, we reached out to experts to gain insight on pressing questions around financing, partnerships, challenges and innovations in mHealth for Maternal Health. The post below includes responses by Patty Mechael, Executive Director of the mHealth Alliance and Ken Warman, Senior Program Officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.The last few years have seen a proliferation of mHealth pilots, particularly in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. A review published in PLOS Medicine showed that more often than not, these pilots failed to reach scale, leading to the coining of the term “mHealth pilotitis”.Due to a lack of coordination between organizations, pilots often lead to duplication of efforts and can take scarce time and resources away from local governments. Uganda’s decision in 2012 to place a moratorium on mHealth pilots was a wake-up call for the ICT4D community that perhaps it was time to take a step back and reconsider the scatter-shot approach that had become the norm. However, while organizations are eager to scale up their mHealth interventions, it has quickly become apparent that there might not be an easy cure for pilotitis. Despite the number of pilots, there is a lack of a strong evidence base and consensus regarding what would work at scale.To gauge where the mHealth community should focus its efforts moving forward, we asked experts and donors the following question: Do we still need more pilots in mHealth or do we know enough to say what works and should be scaled?According to Patty Mechael, Executive Director of the mHealth Alliance, “When asked the question on whether we need more pilots- my general response is absolutely not – except in the increasingly rare case of a completely new use of mobile technology within the health sector or for health promotion that has never been tried.  We do know a great deal about what works.  The reality is that, you can make almost anything work in a pilot phase with enough undivided attention and resources.Rather than viewing the development of a successful mHealth intervention as a binary transition between the pilot phase and scale-up, organizations should be willing to take an iterative approach. Mechael adds, “The latest thinking is to design for scale from the outset and approach implementation as well as complementary monitoring and evaluation in phases- similar to any technology development and/or program life cycle- where by assessments of each phase informs the next- including the decision to abandon course or adapt when something does not seem to be working in the early stages.”In the poetic words of Samuel Becket, “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”However, for an organization to successfully adopt an iterative approach, it is critical that donors also shift their mindset. According to Ken Warman, Senior Program Officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, “Many mHealth interventions take several iterations to become operational and integrated into a health workers daily routine.  Most pilots are not sufficiently funded to reach this milestone so they are never really adopted and embraced for going to scale.  I feel we, the mService community are still focused on vertical, niche applications and are not yet paying enough attention to larger, systemic issues and working towards an integrated ecosystem servicing a broad array of user needs.”For mHealth to move to the next phase in its development and become integrated into health systems, there need to be collective efforts by developers, implementers, donors and governments to work together to collect robust evidence about what works, and act nimbly to adapt and improve programs at different phases in their life-cycle.Do you have an opinion on the role mHealth can play to improve maternal health? What do you see as the biggest advantages of mHealth? The limitations? If you are interested in submitting a blog post for our ongoing guest blog series on mHealth for Maternal Health, please email MHTF Research Assistant Yogeeta Manglani.Share this:last_img read more

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6 Steps to Improve Your Year-End Strategy

first_imgIt may seem too early to think about your year-end campaign, but trust us…it’s not! The final two months of the year are a crucial time for nonprofits. The numbers speak for themselves — 30% of annual giving occurs in December, and 10% occurs on the last 3 days of the year. Now is the time to start planning how you’ll boost your fundraising efforts to attract the generosity of people who are focused on giving at this point in the year.The best way to create a strategic year-end plan is to base it on your donor data. Using this data will optimize your efforts, ensuring you don’t waste resources. In this post, we’ll share five steps for using data to inform your year-end strategy.1) Segment Your DonorsDonor segmentation is important for two reasons. First, it gives you a better idea of who your donors are, how involved they are in their chosen cause, and their giving habits. Second, it provides a way to deliver relevant, customized communications that will pique donors’ interest. The more personal you get with your communications, the more your supporters will feel like part of your team. Segmenting your donor list serves as the foundation of your year-end strategy. Use our Donor Segmentation Cheat Sheet to get your donor data in order today.2) Recruit Top Advocates, Participants, and Volunteers for a Peer-to-Peer CampaignPeer-to-peer fundraising (also known as social fundraising or simply P2P) leverages your network of supporters to fundraise for you. Social fundraising campaigns are most successful when the campaign has a firm deadline — which is why they’re perfect for year-end fundraising. You can tie your P2P campaign to the theme of giving thanks, the holidays, or plan one that celebrates the upcoming new year and ends on January 1.Once you’ve segmented your list according to the detailed data on your contacts, you’ll know who to recruit for your P2P campaign. Focus on those who are consistently involved with your work, whether they volunteer, contribute financially, or simply spread the word about your organization.3) Promote Your Monthly Giving Program Across All ChannelsThe end of the year is an ideal time to promote your monthly giving program. People are in a giving mood, and they’re setting resolutions for the new year. Make it easy for them by inviting them to join your team of active, monthly supporters. Make the most of your monthly giving program in your year-end campaigns. Feature it in your email and direct mail appeals, promote it on your social media accounts, make it the default donation frequency on your giving page.You can promote your program across all your channels in a variety of ways. The first step in gaining new supporters is to make them aware of the opportunity. Again, use your segmentation to send messages customized to each group of donors.4) Approach a Major Donor for a Matching GiftMatching gifts increase not only the revenue per solicitation, but also the response rate of campaigns. There are several reasons why matching gift campaigns work, not the least of which is the desire to be part of a meaningful movement.Year-end campaigns gives you a reason to approach a major donor for a matching gift. Again, this time of year is when people are already in a giving mood, and they’re looking for opportunities to get involved. If you present a major donor with an innovative campaign idea at this time of year, the chances are high that she or he will agree. Scan your data to see which major donors are likely to be open to this idea and focus on those donors first.5) Build Direct Mail and Email Templates Specifically for Year-EndSwitch things up by creating special branding for your year-end communications and donation page. Celebrating the end of the year will get people freshly excited as they see you making the most of this time of year. These banners and templates might include snippets of what you and your supporters have accomplished together throughout the year. Use your data to see which donors celebrate which holidays and customize your direct mail and email templates accordingly.6) Create a CalendarAs you’re brainstorming ideas and creating to-do lists, don’t forget to plan out your calendar in detail. Once you’ve decided what your year-end strategy will consist of, create a calendar that outlines the tasks associated with each campaign and tactic and specifies who within your organization will be responsible for each. From #GivingTuesday to holiday cards to major donor phone calls, assigning dates to the campaigns and tactics you intend to implement will ensure nothing gets lost in the hubbub. You’ll also be able to identify opportunities you missed by noting any holes in your calendar that could be filled. Schedule your social media posts, note which hashtags you’ll use, and include links to relevant materials.Be Sure to Send Your Thank YousStart the new year right! Follow up your year-end campaign by using the first week in January to send your thank yous, expressing gratitude for the role your supporters play in the work you’re doing together. These thank yous will reinforce the good vibes and motivate donors to continue their support.Close out the year with a bang by taking advantage of your donor data. Create a targeted, effective strategy by following the steps we’ve outlined and rest easy knowing that your strategy is based on a firm foundation.last_img read more

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