It’s Confederations Cup time!

first_imgWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material 8 June 2009 With days to go before kickoff of the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup, South Africa is gearing up to show the world its first-class infrastructure, big-event organisational know-how, African warmth and hospitality, and outright passion for soccer. Fifa’s “Festival of Continental Champions” might never be same again! As the national squads of Italy, Spain, Brazil, Egypt and the US start arriving from Monday – Iraq and New Zealand are already in the country – ticket sales for the two-week, eight-nation, 16-match footballing feast are expected to accelerate, with around 70% of available tickets already snapped up. According to The Times, over 5 000 policemen and a further 3 000 private security guards will be deployed in the four host cities of Johannesburg, Pretoria, Bloemfontein and Rustenburg, with four joint operational centres already working 24-hour shifts. At airports, stadiums and key areas in each city, fans will be directed and assisted by a 4 000-strong team of volunteers, backed up an additional 2 260 ushers and stewards, The Times reports. Edward Griffiths, former chief executive of SA Rugby, told The Times that while the Confederations Cup had always been a “bridesmaid event” to the World Cup, South Africa “could reinvent this tournament over the next few weeks – the passion, the infrastructure, the spirit are that remarkable.” And then there are the superstars who’ll be strutting their stuff on South Africa’s pitches – the likes of Kaka, Robinho, Fernando Torres, Cesc Fabregas, Fabio Cannavaro and Daniele De Rossi, to name a few. European champions Spain, multiple World Cup winners Brazil and current champions Italy are bringing mostly full-strength squads – and not only to test local conditions ahead of the 2010 World Cup. The Confederations Cup may have had relatively humble beginnings, but it has become one of Fifa’s most important events, as can be seen from the prize money at stake – US$17.6-million in total. One of the matches expected to set the tournament alight is the meeting between Italy and Brazil in Pretoria on 21 June. It will take place at the 50 000-seater Loftus Versfeld Stadium, where extensive work has gone into ensuring that the pitch will be of top international quality. To make extra sure that everything runs smoothly, the city of Tshwane/Pretoria has conducted a number of tests on the stadium and its surrounding infrastructure over the last few weeks. “We have had a number of dry runs testing both the stadium and the surrounding areas, with our ‘park and walk’ and ‘park and ride’ facilities being used for the Super 14 rugby semi-final and final as well as for the PSL fixture between Santos and Kaizer Chiefs,” says Tshwane/Pretoria 2010 coordinator Godfrey Nkwane. Similar test runs have been held at Johannesburg’s Coca Cola Park Stadium, which will welcome over 60 000 football fans on Sunday for the tournament’s opening ceremony and opening match, between hosts South Africa and Asian champions Iraq. As much as the Confederations Cup will test the ability of the country’s national team, Bafana Bafana, to hold their own against the best in the world, it will test South Africa’s hosting abilities ahead of the 2010 World Cup. And for Paul Bannister, acting chief executive of the International Marketing Council of South Africa, this is where the everyday actions of ordinary South Africans will suddenly take on an added significance. “It is ordinary South Africans who are pulling off the image we need for 2010 – they have emerged as our major asset,” Bannister told The Times. According to Bannister, four American Confederations Cup fans were stranded on a city street in Cape Town last week after their luggage was lost at the airport. One local citizen stopped to offer support and advice; another drove them to the Waterfront. “That’s the kind of thing I believe will be happening on South African streets for the next three weeks, and next year as well,” Bannister told The Times. “The nature of our people will define our competitive difference over the next 13 months.”SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

SA, Botswana in rhino translocation deal

first_img11 March 2013 South African travel company andBeyond’s Phinda private game reserve in KwaZulu- Natal is involved in a groundbreaking deal to translocate six white rhino to Botswana’s Okavango Delta. It has been reported as the first private game reserve donation of rhino to another country. The translocation began in February following years of negotiation and planning. It is still under way. “The Okavango Delta has proven to be a successful rhino relocation habitat and Botswana has a strong security and monitoring framework in place whereby the military helps to protect the species,” andBeyond said in a statement at the start of the translocation process on 8 February. Game scouts from Botswana received tracking and monitoring training from Phinda to assist with the move. “The movement and behaviour of the six rhino will be closely monitored using satellite collars and telemetry and tracking equipment,” the company said. It forms part of andBeyond’s rhino protection efforts, which fall under its Care of the Land, Care of the Wildlife, Care of the People vision. The translocation was facilitated in partnership with conservation organisation Rhino Force and funded by insurance administrator Motorite Administrators. It follows in the wake of a 49% increase in illegal poaching in 2012, when 668 rhinos were killed in South Africa. “Botswana has an excellent security system in place to protect these endangered animals and will be a safe haven for the six relocated rhino,” said andBeyond CEO, Joss Kent. “Translocations are fundamental to secure the ongoing survival of endangered species and this groundbreaking project led by andBeyond’s conservation team aims to increase Africa’s dwindling rhino populations for future generations to enjoy.” The project has the support of the Botswana Rhino Management Committee, as well as assistance from the Eastern Cape’s Chipembere Rhino Foundation for telemetry and tracking equipment being used by the game scouts. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Joe Lstiburek’s Airtightness Goals

first_imgIn commentary recently posted to the Building Science Corporation website, building scientist Joe Lstiburek takes a stroll down memory lane and reflects on his attempts in the early 1980s to help develop an airtightness standard for residential construction in Canada. Later, after signing on with production builders in the U.S., he launched a successful campaign to plug “big holes” in the envelopes of the homes these builders were constructing so that the finished products would be more comfortable to live in.“I picked one of the big builders’ worst divisions in terms of comfort complaints — it turned out to be Chicago — and focused on making the comfort complaints go away. Notice, energy had nothing to do with any of this,” Lstiburek writes. “I figured that if they got rid of the big holes, the comfort problems would go away. The list of big holes was pretty easy to compile. Bathtubs on exterior walls, fireplaces and chimneys on exterior walls, garages attached to houses with bedrooms over them, cantilevered second floors, interior soffits dead-ending into exterior walls, and dropped ceilings under attic insulation. Done. Make these go away with draft-stopping and, presto, the comfort problems would go away.”Blower-door tests in the Chicago-area houses consistently came in at 3 air changes per hour at 50 Pascal pressure difference – an ACH value that, coincidentally, had already been written into building code in Sweden and had originally inspired the Canadians to come up with their own airtightness standard.However, the 3 ach50 goal was rejected as too leaky when Lstiburek was working with the National Research Council of Canada, whose contingent in Saskatoon, he says, favored 1 ach50 as the standard. Eventually, the NRC folks compromised on 1.5 ach50 as the standard for a new residential program dubbed R-2000. As Lstiburek expected, however, the standard was not widely adopted.As airtight as you likeLstilburek salts his discourse on building-envelope airtightness with a few key points:(1) Blower-door tests are terrific for measuring equivalent air-leakage area, but they do not precisely measure the leakage rate of a building in service or the locations and severity of leakage paths in the envelope;(2) Blower-door test results alone shouldn’t be used to declare that the tested building doesn’t need mechanical ventilation;(3) Draft-stop the air leaks;(4) Install a controlled ventilation system and sealed-combustion or power-vented appliances;(5) Airtightness below 3 ach50 is terrific, 1.5 ach50 is difficult to achieve, and the Passivhaus requirement of 0.6 ach50 is really difficult to achieve – but if that’s your thing, fine. Just don’t try to impose 0.6 ach50 – a “number doesn’t seem to be based on anything that makes any sense” – on everyone else, including and most especially Joe Lstiburek.He elaborates on this point somewhat more crisply near the end of his essay: “From my own personal perspective, you should be able to pick any number you want. And hats off to the Passivhaus folks for their own personal program number. It is their program, and they get to do what they want as far as I am concerned. I only get irritated when they criticize everyone else … arbitrary and capricious is OK too — in your own personal program and your own personal life — but not in mine. Public policy and national standards should not be arbitrary and capricious.”last_img read more

Camera Insights: The Best A-Cam and B-Cam Video Setups

first_imgInvesting in a solid setup is well worth your money. Let’s take a look at three of the best A-Cam, B-Cam video camera setups currently on the market.There are more video cameras available today than ever before. Not only do you have your great line of DLSR and mirrorless prosumer cameras, there are also many high-end cinema cameras that run the gamut of specs and price tags.Speaking from experience, when I worked in-house with a video production company, there were often times when I needed at least a couple of cameras for a shoot. In many cases, these are A-camera and B-camera setups, where your A-cam is your high-end option for the majority of your filming, while your B-cam is usually your slightly lower-end camera, used for off-angle coverage and pickup shots.In any situation, you can always mix and match your camera selections for the unique needs of your project. However, if you’re looking to invest in a solid setup — or just looking for some good go-to options — here are some of the best A-cam, B-cam setups currently on the market.Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro and the BMPCC 4KBlackmagic isn’t quite the “legacy” brand like some other names on this list, but the masterminds behind DaVinci Resolve are trailblazing their way into the forefront of the digital video camera game. While the URSA Mini Pro has been a solid A-camera (4.6K, ProRes 444 + 422 recording) cinema workhorse since 2017, the real variable in this equation is Blackmagic’s new Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, which is a popular B-camera companion that boasts many of the same specs but at a fraction of the price.You could also consider Blackmagic’s recently announced URSA Mini Pro G2, which features greater high-frame rate recording. However, now may be a good time to strike, with the original Mini Pro most likely about to drop in price, thanks to the next-generation release.Specs for the Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro:Super-35mm CMOS sensor4608 x 2592 video up to 60pCompressed raw recordingReady-to-Edit ProRes 444 + 422 recordingDual CFast 2.0 memory card slots12G-SDI output, timecode & REF input1080p flip-out screenTouchscreen interface2 x XLR audio inputs with phantom powerMagnesium alloy bodyPrice: $4,995Specs for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K:4/3″-sized HDR sensorRecord DCI 4K 4096 x 2160 up to 60 fpsDual-native ISO to 25,6005″ touchscreen displayActive micro four-thirds lens mountRecord up to 120 fps windowed HDCFast 2.0 & SD/UHS-II card slotsExternal recording via USB Type-C13-stop dynamic range, 3D LUT supportPrice: $1,295Canon C300 and the Canon 5DI might be one of the last people in the world who still likes Canon cameras, but I spent years shooting on the Canon C300 — and both the Canon 7D and Canon 5D. Most of my career has been run-and-gun videography (and sometimes photography, to boot), so a reliable camera like the 5D or 7D has been invaluable.Meanwhile, Canon’s C300 has been a very solid cinema A-camera offering — a favorite of documentary filmmakers and corporate video producers (also for its reliability and favorable color science).And while we list the Canon 5D Mark IV as a good B-camera pairing (the brand’s latest version of its flagship camera), the 5D Mark III is actually pretty comparable as well, and you can find it much cheaper (or possibly used). You can also combine your combo workflow with the C100 as an A-cam, as well as other Canon cameras, like their new mirrorless EOS R or EOS RP. Or other DSLR options like the 7D or the 6D for the B-cam.Canon C300 Mark II specs:Super 35mm CMOS sensor4K,1920×1080 60/50i, 23.98/25p True 24pCanon XF AVC H.264 codecEF lens mountDual-pixel CMOS AF technology>Rotating 4″ LCD monitor2 x 3G-SDI output, 2x XLR inputs2 x CFast card slotsTimecode I/O, genlock in & sync outCanon Log 3 gammaPrice: $9,999Canon 5D Mark IV specs:30.4MP full-frame CMOS sensorDIGIC 6+ image processor3.2″ 1.62m-dot touchscreen LCD monitorDCI 4K video at 30 fps; 8.8MP still grab61-point high density reticular AFNative ISO 32000, expanded to ISO 102400Dual pixel RAW; AF area select buttonDual pixel CMOS AF and movie servo AF>7 fps shooting; CF & SD card slotsBuilt-in GPS and Wi-Fi with NFCPrice: $2,999 (body only)Sony FS7 and Sony A7 IIILet’s not leave out the other major player in digital mirrorless and cinema cameras of the past several years. Going full Sony for your A-camera/B-camera setup may be your best image capture option. The Sony FS7, with its Super 35mm-sized CMOS sensor, is one of the most diverse and multi-functional A-cams on the market.Combined with the full-frame Sony A7 III (or perhaps the Sony A7S II), you should get the best of Sony’s sharp and crisp color science, and superior low-light performance, for more uncontrolled and vérité-style shoots.Here are the specs for the full Sony PXW-FS7 XDCAM Super 35 Camera System:Super 35-sized CMOS sensorSony E-mountDCI 4K (4096 x 2160) up to 60pUHD up to 60 fps, HD up to 180 FPS4096 x 2160 via external recorderXAVC-I, XAVC-L, MPEG-2XAVC-I Up to 600 Mb/sDual XQD memory card slotsDual HD/3G-SDI & HDMI outputErgonomic handgrip with camera controlsPrice: $6,999And the specs for the Sony A7 III:24MP full-frame Exmor R BSI CMOS sensorBIONZ X image processor & front-end LSI693-point hybrid AF systemUHD 4K30p video with HLG & S-Log3 gammas2.36m-dot Tru-Finder OLED EVF3.0″ 922k-dot tilting touchscreen LCD5-axis SteadyShot INSIDE stabilizationISO 204800 and 10 fps shootingBuilt-In Wi-Fi and NFC, Dual SD SlotsUSB Type-C Port, weather-sealed designPrice: $1,999 (body only)Cover image by lapandr.For more camera and gear insights and advice, check out some of these articles:NAB 2019: Our Favorite Releases From This Year’s Show5 Steps for Prioritizing Your Filmmaking Gear InvestmentsIndustry Roundup: Top Destination Jobs for VideographersGear Roundup: Finding the Best SD Cards for Your CameraThe Cameras Behind Popular Netflix Originals: Films and Serieslast_img read more

Tendulkar who? Asked another well-known celebrity in India

first_imgSachin TendulkarTennis grand slam champion Maria Sharapova revealed on Wednesday that she did not who Sachin Tendulkar was. Forgive Sharapova, not everybody on this earth know the cricket legend who has scored a century of centuries in international cricket for India.When asked, another well-read and well-travelled celebrity with India connection was unaware of Sachin Tendulkar. That, while watching a cricket match. The person is the Dalai Lama. In 2011, when Tendulkar had not retired from international cricket yet, the spiritual leader was attending an IPL cricket match at HPCA stadium in Dharamshala. The game was between Kings XI Punjab and Deccan Chargers.During the match, the Tibetan spiritual leader was asked: “Do you know a certain Sachin Tendulkar?””No, I don’t remember,” said the globe-trotting, knowledgeable celebrity.last_img read more