The abundant Nguni herds

first_imgSo you think a cow is a cow is a cow? Think again. South Africa’s indigenous Nguni cattle, long the mainstay of traditional Zulu culture, are possibly the most beautiful cattle in the world, with their variously patterned and multicoloured hides everywhere in demand.Their beauty and the lore and terminology that has become associated with them in Zulu culture is celebrated in a richly illustrated coffee table book called The Abundant Herds, which has fast become a worldwide bestseller.imatshoNgoye – the stones of the Ngoye forestFirst published in November 2003, the book was sold out by the end of the year. The reprint of June 2004 was entirely snapped up by September of that year, and it was printed again in November 2004. The third reprint appeared in December 2005.The Abundant Herds: A Celebration of the Nguni Cattle of the Zulu People is an appreciation of the creative imagination and linguistic versatility of the Zulu people. Written by acclaimed author Marguerite Poland and social anthropologist David Hammond-Tooke, it is an overview of the history of the Nguni cattle and their economic, social, political and spiritual importance to the Zulu people, both past and present.There are two species of cattle in the world: Bos taurus, or European cattle, are the more familiar brown-and-black breeds such as Jersey and Holstein. Bos indicus, on the other hand, are found mainly in India and Africa, and include more unusual creatures such as Zebu, Sanga and Nguni cattle. They are characterised by their enormous horns and magnificent hides.inkampu – of cutting in twoWith beautiful oil and watercolour paintings and sepia drawings by artist Leigh Voigt, The Abundant Herds examines the role played by cattle and cattle-related imagery in the oral tradition of the Zulu people – how cattle terminology can form part of the worldview associated with Zulu culture.For hundreds of years, the well-being of the herds and the Zulu people have been so closely connected that cattle have become a part of the people’s spiritual and aesthetic lives.inkomo eyezindlu – the beast which is housesThe poetry of namingThis has given rise to a poetic and complex naming practice. The Abundant Herds explains that the fine and subtle nuance of the isiZulu language captures the delicate interrelationship between cattle terminology and the natural world, where the colour and pattern of a hide or the shape of a pair of horns is linked to images in nature.In a chapter called The Poetry of Naming, Poland discusses this colour-pattern terminology, its origins and its metaphorical associations with natural phenomena such as birds, animals and plants. Animals with specific colours and patterns on their hides are given unique Zulu names, which translate as follows:The eggs of the lark – a creamy coat spotted with fine rust speckles.The gaps between the branches of the trees silhouetted against the sky – a deeply dappled animal.The hornbill takes to flight – a dark beast which shows a flash of white beneath its flank when its walks.What stabs the rain – the upright points of a young steer’s horns.While these terms form the core of a fascinating system of classification, cattle imagery also abounds in Zulu oral history and poetry; in tales, proverbs, riddles and the praises of individual beasts, celebrated by their owners for their fertility, their vigour and their character and which subtly reflect the changing fortunes and social concerns of the Zulu people.engabantubegulile – like old peopleAlthough cattle terms continue to be used today among peasant farmers in rural communities throughout Africa, for the younger, urban generation this knowledge is fading. Despite the resurgence of interest in the economic importance of Sanga-Nguni cattle in South Africa today, there is a real danger that a precious branch of indigenous knowledge will disappear.The aim of this work is not only to record something of this heritage for posterity but also to celebrate the richness of Zulu linguistic versatility and the creative imagination of the Zulu people. imaqandakahuye – the eggs of the larkThe authorsDr Marguerite Poland is a distinguished writer, having published 10 children’s books before turning to adult fiction. She has received the Percy Fitzpatrick Award and the Sankei Honourable Award for Children’s Books for the Japanese translation of The Mantis and the Moon. In May 2005, at the Literary awards, she was presented with a Lifetime Achievers Award in English by Arts and Culture Minister Pallo Jordan. The Abundant Herds is based on research for her doctoral thesis at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, awarded in 1997.The late Professor David Hammond-Tooke was Professor Emeritus of Social Anthropology at Wits University. He conducted extensive research among South African groups, especially the South Nguni and North Sotho, and his theoretical interests included kinship, local government, religion, folklore, indigenous symbolic systems, historiography and comparative ethnography.inala – abundanceLeigh Voigt is an internationally acclaimed artist, known particularly for her paintings of birds and wildlife. She has illustrated eight books and has exhibited in South Africa, Europe, Great Britain, Canada and the US, where her work is represented in numerous private and public collections. Lulu Phezulu: Leigh Voigt’s African Album, her autobiographical account of life in the bushveld, which she both wrote and illustrated, won the prestigious BookData Booksellers’ Award in 2000.The Abundant Herds: A Celebration of the Nguni Cattle of the Zulu People (ISBN 1 874950 69 5) is published by Fernwood Press.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Green Up Your Carpet Life-Cycle

first_imgSome background on carpetMost carpet has three primary components: the soft tufted face fiber, the primary backing through which the face fiber is punched, and the secondary backing (the visible back side that locks the face fibers in place). Most residential carpet installations also include a separate cushion or pad.The face fibers in residential carpet are most often nylon or polyolefin, both thermoplastics, and recyclable. The primary backing in carpet is usually polypropylene (another thermoplastic that can be recycled) and the secondary backing is either a latex material or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Carpet cushion or pad is usually polyurethane foam, also recyclable. While each of these materials is recyclable individually, it gets tricky when they are mixed or bonded together.Tearing carpet outThis can be a nasty job and the path to the dumpster almost irresistible. But we toss more than 2.5 million tons of carpet a year in this country and lots of work has been done to make recycling of carpet and carpet pad possible.In 2002, the carpet industry, key government agencies, and non-profit environmental organizations, created the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE). CARE has always had ambitious goals for carpet diversion, starting with 40% by 2012. CARE’s latest report shows a total diversion rate in 2009 of around 25%.There are currently 72 CARE reclamation partners in the US; you can find the one nearest you using the interactive CARE map. Many CARE locations also take carpet padding. There is also an interactive location tool for carpet and carpet padding recycling at Earth911. If you don’t find any carpet or carpet pad recycling facility within striking distance, talk with your local municipal recycling or solid waste coordinator. It may be possible to work with your town or city on a collection location that then trucks the material to an existing facility.Recycling costs for carpet and pad are high; while it may be cheaper to recycle than to toss in the landfill, the materials are not high enough in value to mean you will get paid for the material.Selecting flooringNow that you have the old carpet torn out, what flooring material do you use to replace it? Wall-to-wall carpet has lots of advantages: it is relatively inexpensive, it’s comfortable to walk (and crawl) on, and it deadens sound fairly well. And many homebuyers like or even expect certain rooms to be carpeted. But carpet is not without its disadvantages: it is not nearly as durable as hard-surface flooring materials, it is difficult or not feasible to repair rather than replace when damaged, and it can harbor quite a number of undesirables, such as dust mites, pet dander, and moisture.Here are some recommendations for other flooring materials and for greener approaches to carpet.1. Refinish and rug what you uncover – many hard and softwood floors live underneath wall-to-wall carpeting. Refinishing these floors and using area rugs (which can much more easily be properly cleaned or replaced) is a good combination of durability, comfort, appearance, and indoor air quality.2. Consider carpet tile – While this approach is much more common in commercial settings, it has a number of advantages. Carpet tiles have a tight durable face fiber and can easily be patched and repaired.3. Look for greener carpet – Carpet manufacturers are increasingly offering products with recycled content and better air quality profiles. Also look for carpet with the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Green Label.4. Look for greener carpet pad – There are a wide variety of greener carpet pad materials, including natural materials, such as jute or animal hair, and synthetic materials such as rebond.5. Mechanically fasten carpet – Carpet can be installed without any adhesives; stick (pardon the word choice) with nailed-down tack strips for installation.6. Protect carpet from the outdoors – simple things like shoe benches and walk-off mats at entrances to the home and encouraging a no outdoor-shoes policy in your homeowner’s manual can make wall-to-wall carpeting a much better performing flooring.7. Avoid carpet in high traffic and high moisture areas – Bathrooms, kitchens and basements are tough areas for wall-to-wall carpeting. Other less absorbent sheet goods are a better fit in these areas, but let’s save vinyl flooring for another blog!last_img read more

Social Is One to Many

first_img Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Now Social Media was once called Social Media Marketing because, when marketers grabbed hold of the tools, they recognized them as one to many. The battle over whether or not the tools are for community or marketing can be traced back to 1999, and I offer the best of all evidence, The Cluetrain Manifesto.Your Facebook post is worthless if it is only seen by one person (unless that is how you define your market). Your Tweets are seen by all of your followers. If your tweet was seen by only one person, you wouldn’t need Twitter. Now LinkedIn offers a publishing platform, recognizing that part of the value of having a network is being able to communicate with that network.Social. Selling?Let’s pretend you found your dream client on LinkedIn. You research the client, looking at their background, their interests, what groups they belong to, and maybe you find something they created and posted themselves. There is nothing social about that. It’s research. The only thing that has changed is the tool you have used.Now you reach out make a connection request. That’s a one-to-one activity, and it feels like sales because you are asking for a commitment (albeit a very small commitment, often one with as much significance as being someone’s friend on Facebook).What do you do next?Let’s say you are one of the nervous kind who wouldn’t dare email your dream client to ask for an appointment. Nor would you dare to pick up the phone call them, cold calling being dead and all. So you decide to publish on LinkedIn, hoping that your dream client will read your excellent opinion on the industry. Maybe you believe that, upon recognizing your brilliance, your dream client will pick up the phone and call you, begging you to come in so they can give your their business. Publishing is one-to-many, and that makes it marketing and that makes it not sales (it’s publishing!).Pretend that your published post didn’t grab your dream client’s attention. I know, it was a great post. Just pretend. You and your dream client are both members of an industry group. You find a question your dream client has asked, and you post a killer response. That post is public, so it’s mostly one-to-many. But wait. Your dream client responds to your comment. Now it’s one-to-one. But there was no ask, no commitment, and you’re not one inch closer to a deal than you were before he commented. No, you’re still not selling.No one is a greater proponent of the social marketing toolkit than me (except maybe Koka Sexton, Jill Rowley, and Jamie Shanks).You have never had a better set of tools for building your personal brand. You have never been able to project the value you create to the people who would most benefit from what you do as easily and effectively as you can now. If you aren’t using the tools, you are woefully behind right now. The line between marketing and sales is so blurry right now it’s difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins. So let me draw the line for you.One to many is marketing (your posts, your tweets, your pictures, etc.). One to one with no ask and no commitment-gaining is nurturing, a more personal form of marketing. One to one with an ask and a commitment gained is selling.Directly asking one-to-one on social is taboo (but Gary Vaynerchuck does it without fear). It looks self-oriented. The social folks generally look down on pitching. Pitching one to many is marketing. Pitching one to one over social is weird.Directly asking for commitments face-to-face or on the telephone is personal. It’s one to one, as it should be.last_img read more

UP orders probe in to Akhilesh’s Gomti River Front project

first_imgTwo weeks after coming to power, the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh has constituted a judicial probe in to financial irregularities in the Gomti River Front project, a much-publicised initiative of fromer chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.The government has constituted a three-member committee headed by retired Allahabad High Court judge Alok Kumar Singh for the probe.A.K. Garg, a professor of the finance faculty of IIM-Lucknow, and retired professor of riverine engineering of IIT-BHU, U.K. Chaudhary, are part of the committee. The probe team is expected to submit its report within 45 days.The Gomti River Front in Lucknow came under the scanner of the government after Mr. Adityanath, last month inspected the site and questioned the progress of work.“People’s money cannot be allowed to be looted at any cost,” he tweeted after his visit. He had said a probe would be ordered into the Gomti River Front project and asked officials to link the project to the Centre’s Namami Gange scheme. The Gomti merges with the Ganga in Jaunpur.State Chief Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar on Wednesday evening issued notifications and orders for the judicial inquiry.A sum of Rs 656 crore was approved for the Gomti River Channelisation project, which was later revised to Rs 1,153 crore.According to a government spokesperson, however, even after the expenditure of around 95% of the revised sanctioned amount only 60% of the project work was completed.Apart from this, the spokesperson said, “excessive amount of money” was spent on “non-essential works” instead of utilising the funds for making the river pollution free. Complaints were also received that the previous Samajwadi Party government did not follow the “laid down procedure” in carrying out the works.The three-member inquiry committee will probe the “quality” of the Gomti River channelisation scheme, delay in project work and irregular expenditure of funds.The probe would also include the verification of costs of various components of the project, accountability of the work complete so far, delay in implementation, determining sustainability of the planning in terms of environmental conservation and checking the status of payments made.According to the official website of the Gomti River Front, the project is inspired by similar schemes in other countries, including Tokyo, wetland area near Putrajaya lake in Malaysia, Danube river in Vienna and Olympic Park on Thames, London.The project includes the construction of a diaphragm wall on both banks of the Gomti river to channel its flow. The land between the waterway and the embankment was developed for public utility and boasts a cycling track, jogging and walking paths, a play-area for children, a fountain, and an amphitheater among other things.The main bridges on the river have also been illuminated with RGB lights, which is enhanced on weekends. The project, though still not fully complete, was inaugurated by Akhilesh Yadav last year.last_img read more