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Archive for the ‘Afrikaans’ Category

5 scientific fields to keep an eye on in 2016, according to Innovation author Sarah Wild

InnovationInnovasieSarah Wild, multi-award-winning science journalist and science editor at the Mail & Guardian, has identified the five key scientific areas we should keep our eyes on in 2016.

“Science continues to shift the boundaries of what we think we know and 2016 will be no exception,” she writes.

The five key areas this year will be, in no particular order: SKA and MeerKAT, Lee Berger, gene editing, the Large Hadron Collider and Mars.

Wild’s book Innovation: Shaping South Africa through Science, also available in Afrikaans as Innovasie: Hoe wetenskap Suid-Afrika vorm, is a celebration of the science and innovation happening in South Africa right now, addressing real problems on the ground and helping people to live healthier, happier lives.

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Lee Berger

Palaeoscientist Lee Berger wowed the world in 2015, when he unveiled possible human ancestor Homo naledi and a treasure trove of skeletons in the Dinaledi Cave, in the Cradle of Humankind in Gauteng. Berger, a professor at the University of the Witwatersrand and National Geographic explorer-in-residence, was also responsible for the discovery of Australopithecus sediba in 2008 – another hominin.

While there has been controversy about the Homo naledi find – from the scientific community, with question marks over the researchers’ conclusions, and from South African society at large, where the announcement sparked a race row – there is no doubt Berger has remarkable talent. He makes finding hominin fossils, some of the most rare and precious artefacts on Earth, look easy.

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Sarah Wild Tells the Story of the CoroCAM, an Innovation that Saves Power Utilities Millions

InnovationInnovasieIn Innovation: Shaping South Africa through Science Sarah Wild investigates and celebrates science and innovation happening in South Africa right now.

pArticipate has featured an excerpt from the book, in which Wild tells the story of the development of the CoroCAM, a device that detects electrical current leaks in the transmission lines that traverse South Africa.

The device was developed by Roel Stolper at the CSIR after he was contacted by Wallace Vosloo from Eskom. He devised a way to make the ultraviolet light visible so that defective insulators can be fixed.

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Finding Fault

It all started with a phone call that was forwarded through to Roel Stolper by chance. It was 1992, an that conversation – between Stolper, a researcher at the CSIR, and Eskom’s Wallace Vosloo – and their subsequent research collaboration have saved the power utility millions of rands and created a multimillion-rand business.

Vosloo had a problem: he was completing his docyorate in the use of different insulators on transmission lines – they sometimes look like a collection of stacked side plate or an upside-down bell that connect the powerline to the pole or pylon – but he could not see the effects of the insulator, whether the current was leaking out, or determine how it was ageing.

Which is why Vosloo phoned the CSIR and was put through to Stolper.

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Taking Advantage of SA’s Solar Resources Relies on Many Factors, Most Notably Cost – Sarah Wild

InnovationInnovasieSarah Wild, author of Innovation: Shaping South Africa through Science (which is also available in Afrikaans as Innovasie: Hoe wetenskap Suid-Afrika vorm), recently reflected on a viral image created by Greenpeace Africa which shows Homer Simpson in despair about the “fact” that, despite South Africa being the “third best solar power location globally”, the government is still considering nuclear power.

Wild, who works with Africa Check, looks at the facts and writes: “While experts agree that South Africa is one of the countries with the highest irradiation in the world, taking advantage of its solar resource relies on many factors, most notably cost.”

Read the article to see how she came to that conclusion:

If even dim-witted cartoon character Homer Simpson thinks it’s a bad idea for South Africa to build another nuclear power station — when the country is the “third best solar location in the world” — then why is the country’s government pursuing it?

Environmental campaigning organisation Greenpeace Africa argued this by posting an image of Homer Simpson hitting his forehead with his hand on its Facebook page to encourage followers to sign an anti-nuclear petition.

“Do you also feel a #facepalm moment coming on when you think of South Africa’s crazy #nuclear plans?” the caption read. Nearly 13 000 followers had shared the picture in the last month.

But how does one rank countries according to solar location? And is South Africa indeed in third place?

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“I’m a South African Science Journalist, Ask Me Anything” – Read Sarah Wild’s Reddit AMA

InnovationInnovasieSarah Wild, one of South Africa’s leading science journalists and author of Innovation: Shaping South Africa through Science, recently took part in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything), in which Reddit users sign in to ask the participant any question they like.

The interview was hosted on the channel dedicated to South Africa, with questions ranging from “Why is science so badly reported in South Africa?” and “What is the most exciting science developments you think South Africans should look forward to in the next five years?” to “How would one go about getting their book published in South Africa?” and “How senile is Tim Noakes really?”

Read the AMA to see how Wild answered these pressing questions:

What is the level of cooperation between scientists and the media in South Africa?

  • Are you satisfied with the level of communication between scientists and journalists?
  • Is there something like a “professional scientists’ press club” – a collection of go-to scientists in different fields that journalists can contact in case of an applicable story breaking?
  • Is it easy for scientists to suggest a story to journalists? Typically, a scientist will know about an interesting event long before the media catches on.

Different people have different experiences of this. I understand some scientists are very suspicious of journalists because they have been burned by the experience of interacting with them.

I have never had that problem, and I know that my science journalist colleagues have very good relationships with scientists in this country.

So, 1. I am satisfied with my communication with scientists, but I can’t speak to general reporters. 2. There is an association: South African Science Journalists Association (for journos and comms). But the South African science space is relatively small. It is not difficult to pick up a phone and find a specialist. 3. Scientists often contact me with stories — papers that they are publishing, problems they have, etc. But that is the result of years of relationship building.

Innovation: Shaping South Africa through Science is also available in Afrikaans as Innovasie: Hoe wetenskap Suid-Afrika vorm. It was published in August and celebrates all the science and innovation happening in South Africa right now, addressing real problems on the ground and helping people in South Africa to live healthier, happier lives.


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“Een uit elke vyf kinders in Suid-Afrika is ondervoed” – Leonie Joubert oor die gevaar van suiker

The Hungry SeasonEen uit elke vyf kinders in Suid-Afrika is ondervoed weens die oormatige suikerinhoud in hul dieet. Só het die medeskrywer van The Hungry Season: Feeding Southern Africa’s Cities, Leonie Joubert, onlangs verklaar.

Netwerk24 het verslag gelewer vanaf die bekendstelling van die Wêreldnatuurfonds (WWF) se verslag “Reconnecting South Africa’s food systems to its ecosystems“, waar Joubert haar navorsing oor die nadele van suiker, veral in arm gemeenskappe, met die gehoor gedeel het.

Joubert het verder gesê: “’n Algehele revolusie sal moet plaasvind om ’n toekomstige honger wêreld van 9 miljard mense (binne die volgende paar jaar) te voed.”

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Joubert het gesê deur jou vol suiker te stop, word hongerpyne tydelik gestil en jou bloedsuiker skiet die hoogte in, maar sodra daardie euforiese gevoel weg is, daal ’n mens se bloed­suiker en slaan moegheid toe.

In haar navorsing vir The Hungry Season het sy bevind een uit elke vyf kinders in Suid-Afrika is ondervoed. Sy het op arm huisgesinne op die platteland afgekom waar ouers hul kinders soggens witbrood, gedoop in suikerstroop, gee voordat hulle skool toe gaan.


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FW de Klerk oor Tafelbaai-boulevard-bohaai: “Ek het nie gevrá dat ’n straat na my genoem word nie”

Last Trek - A New BeginningOudpresident FW de Klerk het onlangs aan Willemien Brümmer gesê dat Suid-Afrika nie moet toelaat dat die ANC die land se geskiedenis herskryf nie.

In ’n onderhoud met Netwerk24 vertel De Klerk dat die ANC die bydrae van ander politieke partye, veral die Nasionale Party, uit die nasionale diskoers wil verf.

Oor die opstand teen die besluit om Tafelbaai-boulevard na hom te vernoem sê die oudpolitikus: “Dit maak regtig nie seer komende van wie dit kom nie. Tony Ehrenreich het my selfs ’n monkey genoem as ek reg is. Feit is ek het nie gevrá dat ’n straat na my genoem word nie.”

De Klerk gesels oor sy rol in Suid-Afrika oorgangsprosesse na demokrasie: “Ek het nie gedoen wat ek gedoen het om erkenning te kry nie. En ek loop nie rond met die gevoel ek verdien erkenning nie. So, sonder om nou heilig te klink – ek is eintlik regtig ’n beskeie mens. Ek het gedoen wat ek gedoen het, omdat dit móés gedoen word.”

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“Dis asof die ANC die enigste party is wat krediet moet kry vir wat hier in Suid-Afrika gebeur het. Ek dink nie ons moet toelaat dat die geskiedenis op dié manier herskryf word nie.

“Wat gebeur het tussen 2 Februarie 1990 en 1994 was dat deur onderhandeling ’n plegtige verdrag gesluit is langs die weg van gee en neem. Dit was ’n gesamentlike poging, en daardie gesamentlike poging wat die wêreld verbaas gelaat het, behoort erkenning te gee aan alle partye en alle instansies wat daaraan deelgeneem het.”

Die groot dryfkrag vir hom en sy kabinet destyds, sê hy, was geregtigheid. “Ons het op ’n plek beland wat moreel onregverdigbaar is en dít was die dryfkrag – nie sanksies nie, nie druk nie, nie die moontlikheid dat die ANC daarin kan slaag om ’n effektiewe burgeroorlog te ontwikkel nie.”


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Ahmed Kathrada gesels oor sy vriend, Nelson Mandela

Mandela“Fakse, rekenaars, mikrogolfoonde, OTM’e . . . ons het dit nie geken nie. Ek dink nie Madiba het ooit geleer hoe ’n rekenaar werk nie,” sê die struggle-ikoon Ahmed Kathrada, een van Nelson Mandela se oudste vriende wat saam met hom op Robbeneiland in die tronk was.

Kathrada, ook bekend as Kathy, het vroeër vanjaar saam met Willemien Brümmer middagete gaan eet om te gesels oor sy “ouer broer” Mandela. Hy vertel onder meer van sy eerste ontmoeting met die man wat later president sou word, die eerlikheid tussen hulle en sy ervarings as staatsgevangene. Hy noem ook dat dit belangrik is om “Madiba se nalatenskap en sy bydrae tot nie-rassigheid en nasiebou” te onthou.

In Januarie 1976 was Ahmed “Kathy” Kathrada meer as ’n week lank aan ’n bed vasgekluister in sy sel op Robbeneiland.

“My rug het ingegee en ek het ineengestort van pyn. Die gevangenisdokter was self ’n soort krimineel, die slegste wat jy kon kry,” onthou dié struggle-ikoon.

“Pleks daarvan om my hospitaal toe te neem, het hy my in traksie gesit op ’n hospitaalbed wat hulle na my sel gebring het. Daar was te min ystergewigte, dus het hulle bakstene gebruik om my liggaam uit te rek.”

Sy verlossing was kamerade soos oudpres. Nelson Mandela wat ure aaneen met hom gesels en by sy bed gewaak het.

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Moonyeenn Lee, akteursagent vir Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, gesels oor Idris Elba en Nelson Mandela

MandelaMoonyeenn Lee, stigter-eienaar van Moonyeenn Lee Associates en Suid-Afrikaanse akteurs se sleutel to Hollywood-sukses, se jongste aandeel in die internasionale filmbedryf was haar taak as akteursagent vir die langverwagte fliek oor Nelson Mandela se lewe, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

In ‘n onderhoud met Schalk Schoombie vertel Lee dat die vervaardiger, Anant Signh, medewerker aan die boek Mandela, graag plaaslike talent wou gebruik. “Anant was vasbeslote dat ons Suid-Afrikaanse akteurs moet gebruik en ek het spelers vir elke rol gevind, behalwe Naomie Harris, wat reeds vir die rol van Winnie Mandela gekies was. Plaaslike akteurs is wel vir die rol van Mandela oorweeg, maar dis groot skoene om te vul.”

Lee onthou haar eerste ontmoeting met Mandela en noem dat sy die sjarme wat sy daardie aand opgemerk het, in gedagte gehou het tydens die rolverdeling. Idris Elba was eenvoudig net die beste kandidaat. “In Idris het ons al die kwaliteite van Mandela gevind: die onpeilbare krag, fisieke teenwoordigheid, charisma, sjarme en sex appeal wat ’n nuwe gehoor wêreldwyd aan die ikoon kan voorstel.”

Daar staan ’n massiewe Oscar-beeld – ’n fris replika – in die voorportaal. Agterlangs pryk ’n plakkaat van Tsotsi, die plaaslike uitvoerproduk wat in 2005 met die ware Jakob bekroon is (Oscar: Beste Buitelandse Rolprent).

Rooi mure, skaakbord-teëlvloere, ’n balfontein wat saggies onder ’n druiweprieël op die koelte­stoep murmel – dié idilliese omgewing, waar Moonyeenn Lee haar hoofkwartier al dekades lank be­dryf skuins agter haar woning in Rosebank, Johannesburg, adem vreedsaamheid. Asof stres hier geen vastrapplek kry nie. Maar…

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Jonathan Jansen Will Be in Conversation with Gareth Cliff at the Launch of We Need to Act

Invitation: Launch of We Need to Act

We Need to ActExclusive Books invites you to the launch of We Need to Act by Jonathan Jansen. He will be in conversation with Gareth Cliff about the book.

The event will take place on Saturday 7 September and will start at 02:00 PM.

See you there!

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Video: Kyk wat Jan Braai hierdie week op Greyton braai in Jan Braai vir erfenis

Red HotJan Braai, Suid-Afrika se eie braaikoning en stigter van Nasionale Braaidag, se jongste kookboek, Red Hot, het pas by Pan Macmillan verskyn. Die nuutste reeks van sy kookprogram op kykNET, Jan Braai vir erfenis, het ook onlangs op die kassie begin draai en met hierdie program wys hy nie net Suid-Afrika se groot verskeidenheid dorpies, stede en bestemmings nie, maar ook hoe om ’n bobaas-braai aan die gang te kry.

In die episode van 9 Augustus gaan Jan kuier in die kunstenaarsdorpie Greyton, skilder hy ’n braaiportret en speel hy rolbal terwyl daar skaapboud op die braaivleisvuur knetter.

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