Froggy went a’climbing

first_imgANGELES NATIONAL FOREST – When Glendora rock climber Troy Mayr started scaling the steep granite walls at Williamson Rock 15 years ago, he had the place pretty much to himself.Now, on a peak summer weekend, he shares the crags with 250 to 500 people, who come to climb at what has become one of the premier climbing destinations in Southern California.But this season, Williamson Rock, 6,700 feet above La Ca?ada in the San Gabriel Mountains, will be unusually quiet.Williamson has been closed to protect the mountain yellow-legged frog, whose numbers have been decimated. An estimated 100 adult frogs remained in the Southern California population in 2002, when it was listed as a federally endangered species. Scientists have not fully determined why the frog is struggling, but it may be due to fires, non-native predators and disease.The frogs live just upstream and downstream of the main climbing area in a stream at the base of the gorge. The Forest Service on Dec. 27 closed access to 1,000 acres north of Angeles Crest Highway in the Cooper Canyon area.Once considered a sport for only the most adventurous outdoorsmen, rock climbing has exploded in popularity over the past 10 years, with better equipment and the advent of indoor climbing gyms making the sport safer, more accessible and easier to learn.And Williamson Rock, with its 300 climbing routes, mild summer weather and convenient location off the Angeles National Highway, is a climber’s dream.“Anyone who is a climber in L.A. has been there, goes there, or is planning to go there,” said Kenny Suh, 24, of Pasadena, who teaches and works at an indoor climbing gym in Arcadia.Suh avoids Williamson on summer weekends because of the crowds.“There are dogs running around, kids running around. It gets noisy. Sometimes, it feels like a gym. But you can still find places to climb by yourself if you hike in more,” said Suh, who was dismayed at the closure.“I didn’t even know there were frogs there.”But as more crowds have flocked into the canyon, official management of the area has lagged.Two trails leading into the gorge are unmarked, and climbers and hikers who venture offtrail can land in frog habitat, or on easily eroded scree (rock debris) slopes, the home of a threatened plant species, Johnston’s Buckwheat. Some climbers leave behind human waste and trash.Mayr was among the first to set routes at Williamson, and later put the spot on the map with magazine articles and a climbing guidebook he wrote.He said he warned the Forest Service a decade ago that Williamson was going to be extremely popular, and they needed to develop one clear trail with signs, and find a way to dispose of human waste.There is a sign for Williamson Rock at the trailhead, and a parking lot, but no bathrooms.Cid Morgan, Angeles National Forest ranger, said most rock climbers are environmentally conscious.“You don’t notice the 99 percent of people following traffic rules. You notice the one person weaving in and out of traffic,” she said. “Unfortunately, if we have to close it, we have to close it to everyone.”While the likelihood of someone actually stepping on a frog is low, humans could disrupt egg masses, trample down habitat or degrade water quality with trash and waste, she said.The Forest Service may work out an arrangement to eventually allow climbing at Williamson, such as issuing a limited number of passes to visitors, making access to the area weather dependent, or assigning a ranger to monitor the spot, Morgan said.Mayr is organizing a nonprofit organization, Friends of Williamson Rock, to manage the area and raise funds, possibly to pay for a ranger to monitor the area.“The Forest Service has been very open minded to suggestions,” Mayr said.The length of the closure is unknown, but will probably last through the summer at least, officials said. Researchers are studying the impacts of human activity on the frog during the closure, which comes after an environmental group, the Center for Biological Diversity, sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to designate critical habitat for the frog.Lori Paul, a certified wildlife manager from Altadena, said the smallest species can often serve as indicators for the rest of the wildlife in an area. Studies of animals with short lifespans can reveal any damage human activity may be wreaking on a habitat long before any signs in longer lived species would show up.Since the frogs live in just a handful of pockets throughout the state, isolated populations can serve as reserves in case of catastrophic disaster in one region.“No one isolated population in one sense is truly expendable,” Paul said.Staff Writer Kimm Groshong contributed to this story. [email protected](626) 962-8811, Ext. 2306 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson160Want 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

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Donegal’s little drummer boy ready to rock the Toy Show!

first_imgby Katrina TaskerRathmullan’s little drummer boy Finlay Sheridan is only seven, but he’s already been tipped as Ireland’s youngest rock star – counting Minister Joe McHugh as one of his biggest fans.And the whole of the village, and indeed Donegal, will be glued to their screens this Friday night when Finlay rocks The Late Late Toy Show in front of 1.5 million viewers. Totally unfazed by all the attention he’s been getting, the first-class pupil from Drumhalla NS, which only has 32 pupils,  has been wowing audiences locally with his amazing talent, and has already played live on BBC Radio Foyle.Finlay Sheridan with The Late Late Toy Show presenter Ryan TurbridyFinlay Sheridan at RTE StudiosAnd recently he gained a new fan when Education Minister Joe McHugh visited his school to raise their Active Flag.Finlay who plays in the family band My Generation along with his dad, Daniel and brother Evan jumped on the drums in his school uniform to play Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes, and the Minister for Education and Skills was blown away by the performance.Now, as Finlay and his family head off to Dublin for Friday’s Late Late Toy Show, Minister McHugh sent a good luck message to them all. Recalling the first time he’d watched Finlay at Drumhalla NS, McHugh said: “I had the pleasure of meeting Finlay on a recent visit to Drumhalla National School, and got to hear Finlay play the drums in the band with his dad Daniel and brother Evan.“What a fantastically talented child Finlay is, and I had to remind myself quite a few times, that he is only seven years of age!“Being chosen to be part of the Late Late Toy Show is an outstanding achievement for Finlay, considering over 5000 acts applied to be part of this national event.“I would like to pass on my best wishes to Finlay for an amazing magical few days in Dublin and hope his parents Rachel and Daniel and all the family enjoy this lovely once-in-a-lifetime experience.”Finlay Sheridan with The Late Late Toy Show presenter Ryan TurbridyDonegal’s little drummer boy ready to rock the Toy Show! was last modified: November 29th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Finlay Sheridanthe late late toy showlast_img read more

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New solar plants in sunny Northern Cape

first_imgTwo new concentrating solar power (CSP) plants have been announced by the Department of Energy, to be built in the Northern Cape.The first of its kind in Africa, Redstone uses molten salt energy storage technology in a tower configuration able to support South Africa’s demand for energy when it was needed most – day and night, said the company. (Solar Reserve)Brand South Africa ReporterTwo new concentrating solar power (CSP) plants have been announced by the Department of Energy, to be built in the Northern Cape.Kathu Solar Park and Redstone Solar Thermal Power, which will both build 100MW capacity, were the preferred bidders in the third round of the government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), the department said.Concentrated solar thermal power is able to store solar power generated during daylight hours. The two plants will add to the five already commissioned in the hot, dry province, including one belonging to Eskom.A consortium led by GDF SUEZ, and comprising the Sishen Iron Ore Company Community Development Trust, Investec Bank, Lereko Metier and Public Investment Corporation, is backing the Kathu Solar Park.It will incorporate parabolic trough technology and will be equipped with a molten-salt storage system that will allow 4.5 hours of thermal energy storage.The consortium behind the Redstone Solar Thermal Power project is led by SolarReserve, a global developer of utility-scale solar power projects and advanced solar thermal technology, and International Company for Water and Power Projects (ACWA Power), the Saudi water and power developer, owner and operator.SolarReserve said the project, which had the lowest tariff bid to date from any CSP project in the country, was scheduled to achieve financial close later in 2015 and begin operations in early 2018.The first of its kind in Africa, Redstone would use molten salt energy storage technology in a tower configuration able to support South Africa’s demand for energy when it was needed most – day and night, said the company.“The 100 MW project with 12 hours of full-load energy storage will be able to reliably deliver a stable electricity supply to more than 200 000 South African homes during peak demand periods, even well after the sun has set.“Fuelled completely by the sun, with no back up fuel required, the project also features dry cooling of the power generation cycle as an important element to minimize water use.”SolarReserve chief executive Kevin Smith added: “Due to the fully integrated thermal energy storage, the plant will provide dispatchable power on-demand, just like conventional coal, oil, nuclear or natural gas-fired power plants, but without the harmful emissions or hazardous materials and without any fuel cost.”Local economy benefitsPaddy Padmanathan, head of ACWA Power said: “All aspects of the project, from development phase to construction and then operations, have been structured to ensure maximisation of value retention in not just the South African economy, but also within the local economy of Northern Cape.”Redstone will be built in Postmasburg, adjacent to the 75MW Lesedi and 96MW Jasper photovoltaic (PV) solar power projects, developed by SolarReserve and its partners. Together, the three comprise the world’s first combined CSP and PV solar park, with a total of 271MW of generating capacity.Redstone would create more than 800 direct jobs during the construction phase, as well as significant additional jobs related to equipment supply, manufacturing, engineering, transportation and other services, said SolarReserve. Over 40% of the total project value would be provided by South African suppliers, a portion of which would support black economic empowerment activities.REIPPPP going forwardIn December 2014, Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said that a new determination for an additional 3 600MW in the REIPPPP would be announced. It would include an additional 200MW for the small renewable IPP procurement programme.A funding mechanism to support small- and medium-sized South African enterprises to participate in the latter would be established in the first quarter of 2015 in collaboration with the Development Bank of Southern Africa. It would enable the broadening of the local market and create black entrepreneurs in the energy space.In addition to naming Kathu and Redstone the latest preferred bidders, the department and electricity supplier Eskom concluded power purchase, implementation and direct agreements for the 100MW Xina and the 100MW Karoshoek Solar One projects, the preferred bidders in programme’s third bid window.ACWA Power is already building the 50 MW Bokpoort CSP project. Active CSP projects already under way by independent power producers in Northern Cape are:Abengoa, of Spain, is building three projects – the 50 MW Khi Solar One power- tower project, the 100 MW KaXu Solar One project and the Xina project; and,Karoshoek Solar One is being developed by a consortium comprising Emvelo, the Industrial Development Corporation, ACS Cobra Energia, Public Investment Corporation, Investec and the Karoshoek Community Trust.Eskom is also pursuing its own CSP project near Upington.Previous rounds of the REIPPPP have been a success, with 21 renewable projects, which will provide 1 076MW, connected to the grid.The programme is seen as important for closing the power gap, with energy supply in South Africa highly constrained.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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The GOP, Apple And The Power Of Magical Thinking

first_imgTags:#Android#Apple#evolution#Google#GOP#Microsoft#Mitt Romney#Windows 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Related Posts I appreciate the value of myth and storytelling, but nevertheless I’m constantly struck by the power that myths have over us, and the ability of human beings to engage in what psychologists call “magical thinking.”One example is the GOP, whose adherents last week kept believing that Mitt Romney was going to win the Presidency despite a statistical analysis that proved this to be highly unlikely. Even after the numbers came in, some GOPers (I’m looking at you, Karl Rove) refused to believe them. GOP supporters simply could not tell the difference between what they wished to be true and what was in fact true. (Of course many of these same people also don’t believe in evolution, and think that dinosaurs walked the earth alongside humans, so they have a track record in this space.)Magical Thinking In TechThere’s also a form of magical thinking that takes place in technology, when people confuse what they wish to be true with what actually is true. One example was Linux. How many times were we told that desktop Linux was going to take over the world and kill Microsoft? And now there is Apple, whose legions of supporters continue to believe that what happened to Apple in the PC market (cheaper rival comes along and grabs all the market share) won’t happen again in mobile.But it will happen. It is happening. Heck, in some ways it already has happened.The latest numbers from IDC show that Google’s Android operating system now has 75% share in smartphones, up from 23% two years ago.And Apple? Two years ago it had 15% share. Today it has … 15%.I don’t know how much market share a product needs to be considered to have a monopoly, but 75% sure seems close. I mean, people claim Google has a monopoly in search, but there it holds only a 66% market share.Seriously, tell me: How is this not Windows v. Mac all over again? The Magical CounterargumentsWell, the magical counterargument goes, this time things are different because iOS is better than Android. I don’t agree, but it’s also beside the point. Windows was never as good as the Mac, at least according to Apple fans. That was what made the ascent of Windows so galling, that it won without ever really being the best.Then comes the tablet argument. You have to look at tablets and smartphones together, as one market, they said. Somehow these folks believed that because Apple once had all the share in tablets, it always would.In their minds tablets would be different from smartphones (somehow) and thus immune to competition. Just like smartphones were going to be different from PCs and immune to competition.But here comes reality. Last quarter Apple’s share of tablets dropped to 50%, as “Android shipments, led by Samsung and Amazon, surged during the quarter, at the expense of Apple, which saw its share slip notably during the quarter,” according to IDC. This isn’t bias. This isn’t ideology. These are numbers.The Windows-vs.-Mac movie is playing out all over again, with Google in the role that Microsoft played last time.Apple Still Has An Amazing BusinessDon’t get me wrong. Apple is a fantastic company that makes great products. I have a house full of them, including every iPhone ever made, up to the iPhone 5, which I have on order.Apple has a $500 billion market cap and about a zillion dollars in the bank. It still gobbles up most of the profit in the mobile phone market.Apple isn’t “doomed.” Apple has built a great business that is the envy of the world. Near term, Apple is probably going to set new records in this holiday quarter. The mobile market is so big, and growing so quickly, that all Apple has to do is grow at the same rate as the market and it will have an amazing business for the foreseeable future. (That’s precisely what Apple has been doing.)But if you start believing that we aren’t seeing the sequel to Windows-vs.-Mac, if you start ignoring the fact that Google’s platform now outsells Apple five-to-one, or pretending that this doesn’t matter – well, you might as well believe that evolution isn’t real, or that Mitt Romney is President. Good luck with that. dan lyonslast_img read more

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Ishige proves she’s more than a pretty face as she makes a name in MMA

first_imgHer picturesque appearance doesn’t help her cause either, but with two stoppages under her belt Ishige knows she can break the stereotypical appearance of a fighter.“I always say martial art is my passion and when someone loves to do something, they give every thing to do it,” said Ishige. “Martial arts is my passion, I really give it all.”“It isn’t just me, there’s Angela Lee and Ann Osman they showed the world that girls can’t just do ballet or tennis, we can fight, and our abilities are the same as men’s.”ADVERTISEMENT Gonzales happy with Batangas’ q’finals feat despite exit MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Rika Ishige. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOMACAU—Rika Ishige walked to the ONE Championship panel at The Venetian Thursday decked in a black Chinese sundress with a white feather boa draped around her neck—a stunning figure in the middle of a crowded hall.Her voice sounded of childish excitement, a stark contrast from what she’s about to do on Saturday at Cotai Arena here.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ Ishige is on her third fight in ONE Championship, this time against Filipina debutante Jomary Torres in the Kings & Conquerors card.An event of such magnitude, especially in Asia, is set to catapult Ishige into greater heights—from an anonymous pretty face from Thailand to being the country’s “face” in female MMA.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“It’s an honor because last year nobody knew me,” said Ishige as she giggled from her realization. “But this year everybody knows me, I want to make not only the Thai women proud, I want to make Thailand proud and inspire everyone.”Standing a hair above five feet and weighing 48 kilograms, Ishige doesn’t look like someone who fights for a living. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’last_img read more

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