Rangers could sell Taarabt to German club – report

first_imgWolfsburg are set to make a bid for QPR’s Adel Taarabt, according to The Sun on Sunday.Taarabt, who is about to enter the final year of his contract, has been linked with a move to the German club for some time.And it is claimed that Rangers could be willing to sell the Moroccan.Related West London Sport stories:Hughes insists Taarabt will not leave QPRQPR star in line for bumper contract offer Boss Hughes keen to cement Taarabt’s future at QPRMeanwhile, the Daily Star on Sunday claim QPR manager Mark Hughes is looking to sign Paul Konchesky from Leicester in a £1m deal.The Sunday Express, who also suggest Hughes wants Konchesky, report that Joey Barton will be given a final chance by Rangers to mend his ways.The club are tipped to issue Barton with a public warning and move to curtail his outbursts on Twitter. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Frog boom in Tanzania

first_imgThe newly discovered species of toadbelonging to the genus Nectophrynoides(Image: Penelope Whitehorn, Frontier) The tranquil South Nguru mountains, oneof Africa’s biological treasure troves.(Image: Eastern Arc)Janine ErasmusOver a dozen previously unknown new reptile and amphibian species have been discovered in the rainforests of eastern Tanzania, a region known for its rich biodiversity. This is according to a report recently published in the Italian scientific journal Acta Herpetologica, titled “The Nguru Mountains of Tanzania, an outstanding hotspot of herpetofaunal diversity”.The authors are herpetologist Michele Menegon of the Tridentine Museum of Natural Science in Trento, Italy; conservationist Nike Doggart, an advisor to the Tanzania Forestry Conservation Group; and biologist Nisha Owen of the Frontier Tanzania Forest Research Programme in Dar es Salaam.The scientists carried out their explorations between 2004 and 2006 in the forests of the South Nguru Mountains, part of the Eastern Arc mountains of Kenya and Tanzania. This area is the origin of one of the world’s most popular indoor flowering plants, the African violet (Saintpaulia spp.)Tanzania enjoys a reputation as one of Africa’s most biodiverse countries, yet some of its regions are so remote that in biological terms they are poorly known. The South Nguru region, explained the authors in their report, was virtually unexplored – especially from a herpetological point of view (herpetology is the study of reptiles and amphibians).A biological hotspotThe study was conducted in order to compile a comprehensive list of the amphibian and reptile species in the area. In total 92 species of herpetofauna (41 reptile and 51 amphibian species) were documented.Of these, the 16 new species – which include chameleons, tree frogs, caecilians (worm-like animals) and snakes – are believed to be endemic to the Nguru Mountains. The little cold-blooded creatures are now the toast of the international herpetological community.One of the new arrivals, a forest toad belonging to the genus Nectophrynoides, is said to be the largest species found in that genus. The toad, which appears in a range of colours including yellow and green, black and orange, and red, has yet to be given a scientific name.Other discoveries include a new species of tree frog with red eyes, which was added to the genus Leptopelis, and a burrowing toad with a distinctive long snout belonging to the genus Probreviceps.The study was made possible through international collaboration between Frontier, a UK-based NGO dedicated to safeguarding biodiversity, the University of Dar es Salaam, Italy’s Tridentine Museum of Natural Science, and the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group.Other interesting zoological developments in Tanzania include the discovery in 2005 of an entire new genus of monkey, and the new species of giant elephant shrew that caused a sensation in January 2008. The Kipunji monkey, listed as critically endangered with barely 1 117 individuals remaining, is under serious threat from both poaching and the degradation of its habitat.Africa’s shrinking forestsAfrica’s forests, especially lowland forests, are shrinking because of human development. Although the South Nguru region has now been established as a biological treasure trove, it also is home to 56 villages, many of which depend on agriculture as a source of food and income.Crops include sugar and rice, bananas, yams, sweet potatoes, maize, coffee and cardamom. As a result, cultivated land is encroaching ever further into formerly pristine forest areas.“It’s really important that these forests are protected from further agricultural degradation,” said Owen, “as the montane forests of Tanzania hold some of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world.”Menegon and Doggart warn that the Nguru ecosystem is already under threat from fire, logging, gathering of wood for fuel, and clearing for agriculture. But organisations such as Frontier and the Tanzania Forestry Conservation Group are taking swift action to halt forest degradation.Working with local communities and stakeholders, they have proposed a series of strategies which include reducing local dependence on unsustainable agricultural practices, such as the current method of growing cardamom. The situation is delicate as cardamom is a popular cooking spice and an important cash crop for highland farmers.“The programme represents an opportunity to reverse the current trend of forest loss and degradation,” the scientists wrote. “To succeed, it will need sustained commitment from the government of Tanzania, civil society organisations, the local communities and development partners.”Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Janine Erasmus on [email protected] linksSouthern African HerpetologyActa Herpetologica“The Nguru Mountains of Tanzania, an outstanding hotspot of herpetofaunal diversity”.Museo Tridentino di Scienze NaturaliReptile databaseFrontierTanzania Forestry Conservation GroupEastern Arc mountainslast_img read more

Moving Toward Passive House in New Zealand

first_imgFor mechanical engineer Jon Iliffe and homebuilder Baden Brown, who both live on New Zealand’s North Island, the urge to create a line of high-performance homes began percolating about a decade ago. They kept talking as the years went by, until Iliffe returned from an 18-month stay in Europe, where he did contract work for Rolls-Royce and had an opportunity to study Passivhaus design and see homes built to the standard.Iliffe and Brown, joined by their wives, have since channeled their enthusiasm for energy-efficient homes into the launch of a development company called eHaus that recently commenced construction on a 2,422-sq.-ft. prototype home in Wanganui, on the North Island’s west coast. Iliffe told GBA that the four-bedroom, two-bath house will not quite meet the Passivhaus performance standard, “but the build will be pretty close.” (Both men are training in Passivhaus design at Unitech Institute of Technology in nearby Auckland.)Creating a new marketThe exterior walls of the prototype feature ECO-Block insulating concrete forms along with double-glazed, argon-filled aluminum-frame windows from Open Building Solutions, a New Zealand company. The windows – which were pressure tested at 50 Pascals before they were installed – feature a thermal barrier, sandwiched between the outer and inner sections of the frame, that is designed to prevent both heat transfer and condensation. Much of the window coverage is, of course, on the north side of the house, where passive solar gain from the Southern Hemisphere sun can be maximized.The house will be equipped with a heat-recovery ventilator, a solar hot water system, and accommodations for a photovoltaic system. Weather conditions in this part of New Zealand tend to be relatively mild, with a mean temperature, on the Fahrenheit scale, of 54, a high of 90, and a low of 27. Annual rainfall averages about 34 inches. The eHaus prototype will include a water recycling system designed to meet all of the occupants’ water needs except drinking and cooking.Iliffe told the Wanganui Chronicle, a local newspaper, that he and his partners understand eHaus will be catering to what is, at the moment, a niche market, but that stringent energy efficiency standards such as Passivhaus suit their personal philosophy about energy conservation.“Making money isn’t the be-all and end-all for us,” he said. “Building low-energy houses really fits with who we are as well.”last_img read more

2018 MFLN Virtual Conference and Cooperative Extension

first_imgMilitary Family Learning Network is offering a free 3-day online learning event from Tuesday, September 18th through Thursday, September 20th.This  learning event is a virtual conference for professionals in any field, who will be able to engage in conversations with colleagues across the country and world.The 2018 MFLN Virtual Conference allows our Cooperative Extension professionals to gain knowledge concerning topics that can, and do,  affect our military members and their families. Cooperative Extension professionals can earn education credit for select sessions throughout the conference.last_img

Oceanside Fundraiser for DUI Crash Victims

first_img KUSI Newsroom, KUSI Newsroom Categories: Local San Diego News, Traffic & Accidents FacebookTwitter February 16, 2019 Updated: 9:04 PMcenter_img Oceanside Fundraiser for DUI Crash Victims 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) -A fundraiser was held today in North County for three victims of a DUI crash. Residents from the area came together to show their support for the family whose loved ones were lost.El Camino high school’s “Latino Leadership” hosted a fundraiser at Buccaneer Beach to raise money for the three victims of the crash. Rufina Rodrigues,74, and her two daughters, Petra and Eloina Arango were killed earlier this month.All the money that was raised today will be used to fund funerals for the victims. The Go Fund me ages can be found here Posted: February 16, 2019last_img read more