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Issue 104 - Thursday, 19 June 2014 to Wednesday, 25 June 2014
BIRD PARADISE SNUBS LOCALS
TOWER RESOURCES STRIKE OUT
A POSITIVE LIFE
Goodbye Cricket Field, Goodbye Public Swimming Pool, Hello State of the Art Waterfront Development? Tanya Calitz
The residents of the Lagoon area recently received a letter stating that developers have their eyes set on the cricket field and public swimming pool erf to develop a state of the art waterfront complex. However, many of the lagoon folk say they are a bit nervous about what exactly it is the company wants to do there.
A resident living in the lagoon area phoned the paper this week, voicing her concerns over the proposed development, saying she fears that their tranquil open view might be spoiled by containers stacked up high on top of each other, or their peace disrupted by the hustle and bustle of traffic and people flocking to the new waterfront. Continued on Page 3
Preferential Dairy Delivery at Coastal Retailers Siglinde de Villiers
In addition to Namibia Dairies not being able to keep up with local demand due to import restrictions, coastal retailers allege that they have been placed on the shorter end of preferential treatment when it comes to dairy product delivery. “I can understand it if all shops struggle to obtain their dairy products. I order and do not receive, but when
I go to Pick n Pay, they are fully stocked,” lamented a small retail manager in Walvis Bay. “It is very suspicious of an unfair advantage on their side,” he added. Model Pick n Pay belongs to the Ohlthaver List Group of Companies and so does Namibia Dairies. A business analyst who wishes to remain anonymous commented: “Ohlthaver List Group of Companies have an obligation towards
maintaining and increasing their shareholder value. Thus it is imperative that those companies who belong to them always supply at optimum quantity and quality. “The bitter side of the monopoly strikes small retailers,” he added. Roux-ché Locke, Group Manager of External Relations for O&L, in consultation with the Swakopmund Depot Manager, responded to the
allegations of preferential treatment with the following statement: “Firstly, Pick n Pay is handled as any other important Key Account and does not receive any preferential treatment due to its affiliation with O&L. “Kindly be advised that orders for Key Accounts are placed on rate of sale as well as increased orders over busy periods, i.e. monthends and long weekends. This is done to avoid massive write-offs when
a customer is overstocked as Namibia Dairies will be responsible for the write-offs. Therefore the stock Pick n Pay has been receiving is based on its current rate of sale, which is higher than other retailers. “Namibia Dairies values all their respected customers, however, during a specific ‘product shortage’, product quantities are allocated to all key accounts with a small amount of product reserved for our smaller customers. This is always
done in consultation with the Sales Manager.” The Walvis Bay retail manager stated, “It is a constant nightmare to get dairy on the shelves and a disappointment to the customer.” “Not only is this preferential treatment frustrating, but it also affects my profit margins,” he added. This sentiment is shared across a wide group of small retailers at the coast that were visited by the Namib Independent. Another retail manager said, “My profit margins have been affected badly. I was forced to increase the price of milk with N$3 per litre. Before Continued on Page 3
Thursday, 19 June 2014
Walvis Bay Last week a post on the Namib Independent Facebook page criticised the creativity of Spar's Father’s Day display. I would like to unreservedly apologise
for the thoughtlessness of this post and extend my sincerest regrets for any inconvenience this post may have caused.
In the Issue of 5 June 2014, the Namib Independent printed an article, ‘Ambulance Wars’ and miss-quoted a source’s name and title. We quoted a Sonya Malan, stating that she was Corporate Communications for Prosperity Health,
Editor: Gareth Amos
which is incorrect. Ms Malan’s correct name and title is: Sonja Malan, Principal Officer at Renaissance Health Medical Aid Fund. Sincere Apologies Editor: Gareth Amos
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Thursday, 19 June 2014
Waterfront Development Unveiled Continued from Page 1 “I phoned the Walvis Bay municipality, who told me that I could come and view the proposed plans for the development, but when I went to the Town Planning Department, they only had the same letter and map of the area I already had, revealing nothing about the actual plans for the cricket field and Swimming pool erven,” said the worried resident, living opposite the cricket field. Upon investigation, the paper can confirm that there are no such plans with the Town Planning Department. The Namib Independent did however get the proposed plans from Afrikuumba Construction, which are shared in this weeks’ issue. Other residents the paper spoke to said that they fear the municipality will not replace their beloved cricket field, nor make provision for a new public swimming pool. Another complained that the noise pollution will be unbearable when a project of such a big scale kicks
off. Speaking to Town Planning at the Walvis Bay Municipality, they assured the community that they are already looking at new possible areas for the cricket field and swimming pool, but that it is still very premature, due to the processes that need to be followed before any decisions or plans can be made about relocating the facilities. However, speaking to Afrikuumba Construction, the company whose project it is, the residents do not have to worry about looking into an ugly container storage facility. In fact, it will be a beautiful modern development, which will add value to the surrounding properties and area. Afrikuumba Construction also appointed Urban Dynamics to engage with the public about the proposed project, and that nothing is set in stone yet. Recently Urban Dynamics sent out a letter to local residents, giving them the opportunity to put forward their objections, and raise their concerns regarding the proposed development. The document stated that Afrikuumba Construction is looking to obtain statutory approval for the consolidation of Erven
Re/4939 and 4941, as well as approval for rezoning the respectively, +/- 2ha and 3ha land, from a Private Open Space to Business with a Bulk of 1. According to Afrikuumba Construction the plan is to create a lifestyle-oriented retail node with a distinct sense of place and the integration of water into the design. A heavy focus on ‘shoppertainment’ will increase dwell time and the frequency of visits. The new Waterfront Development would boast with an upmarket supermarket, fashion boutique, a handful of great
Preferential Dairy Delivery at Coastal Retailers the import restrictions were in place, I was able to buy bulk quantities so as to get a better price. Now, Namibia Dairies cannot supply me in bulk and I have to pay the normal price. In the end, it affects the consumer’s pocket the most.” “Customers are very price sensitive. Unfortunately, they will have to bear the brunt of import restriction effects,” an industry insider told the Namib Independent. Is the higher consumer price a reasonable sacrifice to protect infant industries? Many beg to differ. “The aim of the import restrictions was to protect the industry against lowpriced imports and ensure constant supply,” an earlier media report stated. Yet, both these arrows miss their aims. “As a family, we are really struggling to make ends meet,” a local shopper told the Namib Independent
when asked if they would support local industries. “I am not sentimental about local industries and support whichever price suits my pocket,” she added. A welfare organisation employee stated, “Poor people do not give a hoot where their milk comes from, as long as it is cheap. Unfortunately, that is the majority of this country.” Sadly, looking back at the history of import restrictions, they mostly had a negative effect on the little guy. The chicken industry is such a case in point. When the Namibian government imposed import restrictions on chicken, the market was left open to be monopolised by the one company who owned Namiba’s poultry industry. Overnight, the price of chicken doubled. Many, for who chicken used to be a staple food, simply could not afford it anymore. Another example is
restaurants and numerous stores to cater for locals’ convenience shopping needs. The estimated Phase 1 project value is over N$200 million, and will provide high quality premises for retailers and bring the V&A Waterfront to Walvis.
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Continued from Page 1
the infancy industry protection granted to Ohorongo Cement. However, in this instance, the import restrictions saved the company from closing its doors. Hans-Wilhelm Schutte, Ohorongo’s Managing Director, stated in a recent media report, “The absence of infant industry protection will jeopardise the company and may result in the need to retrench employees and downscale or totally halt operations.” Nevertheless, the media report continues to say that the resulting price hike of N$70 to N$90 per 50kg bag continued to be a sore point for many customers. “The government’s promise that cement would be cheaper with the opening of the country’s own cement
plant has left many consumers upset and feeling disappointed,” the report stated. Regrettably, many feel the same way about the dairy industry. It is true that the government wants industries to grow from within Namibia and that they need infancy protection to reach this point. It also creates employment and economic growth, but where does one draw the line between import restrictions and the resulting price hikes? The danger has always existed that one company dominating an industry market can ask whatever price they will while consumers are left with no other choice than to pay that price. If industries are to grow, it should not be a burden weighing on customers shoulders.
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Thursday, 19 June 2014
Beer Ambassadors ... Really? Lavrenty Repin An eye-opening double page article ran last week in a local national paper about how Namibians have steadily been misusing alcohol, a prospect especially ignited by the introduction of more potent beverages, lenient or ineffective laws and aggressive marketing. These have all contributed to a rise in alcohol consumption in Namibia indirectly resulting, many will argue, in higher car accident statistics, an increase in mental diseases and domestic violence. In short, the article outlined how alcohol
consumption has killed success and opportunities for thousands of young Namibians. Two pages over, a double page advertisement by the Namibian Breweries ran the list of nominees for their annual “Windhoek Lager Ambassador Search”. This contradiction has been a common one in Namibia; Government officials urge Namibians to curb their drinking, blaming it for the rising social issues haunting our young country, yet receive thousands of dollars through sponsorships from alcohol companies, sometimes ironically, for campaigns to fight domestic violence or for charity organisations and
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POWER OUTAGE HAKASEB IN USAKOS ON THE 11KV RETICULATION
Notice is hereby given that the electricity supply will be interrupted on the following date: DATE: DAY: TIME:
19 June 2014 Thursday 07:00-17:00
The power outage will affect the power supply to customers in: • Hakaseb • Erongosig • MTC • Telecom/TN Mobile The reason for the power outage is for Erongo RED to replace the 200kVA Hakaseb Mini Sub with a new 315kVA Mini Sub. Erongo RED regrets any inconvenience which may result from this outage. PLEASE NOTE: YOUR INSTALLATION MUST BE REGARDED AS “LIVE” AT ALL TIMES AS THE POWER SUPPLY MAY BE SWITCHED ON AT ANY TIME DURING THE ABOVEMENTIONED PERIOD. Issued by: Public Relations Division Benjamin Nangombe Tel: +264 64 214 600
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environmental projects, the beer flag proudly waving in the wind. The police force also blame alcohol for recent crime increases and traffic violations yet fail to close down illegal shebeens or effectively enforce curfews on alcohol trade. Finally, our alcohol industry is self-regulating, meaning that there is no independent governing body regulating how alcohol companies in Namibia market and distribute their products. (There is, in principal, the organisation “SAIF” whose weaknesses were depicted in the previous week’s issue.) There is no anti-alcohol activism at all by NGO’s
or Government set up organisations, and because of the strength that the alcohol industry holds in Namibia (the Ohlthaver & List Group of Companies, which Namibian Breweries is part of, is the biggest in Namibia) there is an overwhelming concern regarding the long-term effect that blatant, uncontrolled advertising has on a country. The “Ambassadors Search” is right at the centre of it. The competition, which was previously won by arguably Namibia’s biggest musician, Gazza, is a platform to recognise Namibia’s top achievers in categories of Sport, Education, Community, Health, Science and Technology, Business, Conservation and Arts. Many of the nominees have excelled under difficult circumstances, some have dedicated their life to uplifting their communities through charity organisation and philanthropic activates often at the cost of their own finances and health. They all have a following of people that look up to their achievements, and it is on those achievements that the competition focuses. But Windhoek Lager make no secret that this is a marketing strategy like any other; a large green bottle overshadows the nominees, while the terms and conditions remind the participants not to shy away from the product and be prepared to represent the brand. One of the nominees speaking to the Namib Independent explained how he had never applied for the competition, but was rather phoned and asked if he would participate, and after a few months, “all of a sudden my face popped up.” Upon deliberation, it made sense, as a way to promote his environmental cause, explaining that because of the world we live in, overrun by greed and consumption, awareness for his environmental cause is paramount. “I know what it (alcohol) does to families and our society. Obviously they say upfront, to drink responsibly – it’s a legal drug, and it is part of the society we live in,” he stated while admitting that it is a global issue, and is not only reserved to alcohol but to all drugs including those legally prescribed by doctors. “I do support Windhoek Lager in terms of its purity and no added chemicals.” In the end the awareness created by such a competition for a cause or charity is often seen as more advantageous than the moral implications behind it. “I made
a decision rightly or wrongly, and I made it with my team,” the nominee concluded. Another nominee said the advantages are greater on a larger scale, too. “I came from an alcoholic family,” she explained “and I see no problem being nominated with an alcoholic brand and further I don’t see any other companies associating themselves [with similar competitions].” She simply called it a way to celebrate the Namibian people and their achievements. Further, she believes that the underlining causes need to be explored, that depression is high in Namibia, as is poverty, and so social problems should not be blamed on just one aspect. If she wins, she plans on donating a part of her prize money (N$20 000) towards a fund for a Windhoek artist who recently suffered a stroke. The prevailing sentiment has been of people who are passionate about their work and their cause; who are contributing to the development and betterment of Namibia and are glad to be recognised for their efforts – there is a charity made up of grandmothers trying to assist broken people, businessmen who have come from nothing, disabled sportsmen, passionate conservationists and hardworking doctors in remote clinics, all on the list of nominees; people that deserve recognition and deserve a position of ambassador. But ambassadors of what? There is no doubt that a lack of recognition exists for these, and many other people in Namibia, a lack that the Namibian Breweries have capitalised on. A while back they showed African football star Didier Drogba’s face all across billboards with a tagline, “Here’s to World-Class” throughout Namibia. This is a sure way to attract a lot of attention to your product, especially from the younger generation who look up to Drogba as a model of leaving poverty through sport. Now the same effect is being achieved through local ambassadors, still using the same tagline to associate beer with success. As was done with Gazza’s success and with Drogba’s; although now moving towards more wholesome selfless causes, the overtone still remains. It is difficult to otherwise see that association of alcohol and personal success, and when probed logically even more difficult to justify, but yet that link is created, through the wonders of smart, “responsible”, community advertisement.
News | 5
Thursday, 19 June 2014
Bird Paradise Snubs Locals Ivan Blazic
The Bird Paradise Sanctuary has failed to acknowledge its local folk when it came to the decision of charging an admission fee at the entrance of the once free bird haven. A few years back this habitat
was open to the public and free of charge, until Namibian Conversation Management (NACOMA) approached the Walvis Bay Municipality with an idea to start a conservation project and tourist attraction. The Municipality was very accepting of their ideas because they were faced with several challenges
in regards to the upkeep of the habitat, as well as a terrible mosquito problem. Today the municipality has no involvement with the project and simply made the land available to NACOMA to use. However, the make-over cost NACOMA a few pennies and they had to somehow make up for the costs. This was when
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they started charging entrance fees to the location. Karel !Naibab, Project Manager at the Bird Paradise, explained: “The idea of moving the area and starting up this tourism business came initially because of the mosquito problem. The Municipality and NACOMA were looking at how they could capitalise on this habitat and contribute towards the livelihood of the people as well as conserving the wetlands. This was when NACOMA took over and developed the area to what it offers today.” Many locals feel that the cover charge to visit the sanctuary is too expensive for them. “If I want to take my family there for a nice outing it will cost me over a N$1000. It just seems a bit outrageous, especially taking into consideration that this used to be free local spot and attraction,” Johan de Villiers told the Namib Independent. Currently the Bird Paradise is charging N$150 per person for a 60 minute guided walk, N$250 per person for a 90 minute guided walk and N$375 for a guided walk, snacks and a visit to the Narraville mud-floods plane. “I can understand the fact that they charge tourist these amounts, but what about the community?” de Villiers stressed. !Naibab responded to these concerns by saying that they will take the complaints into consideration, but need the locals to come and complain at their offices directly. !Naibab also said that they do take the community into consideration by offering free educational tours to school groups. “Other than conservation, we are creating awareness amongst the local schools. We give schools free educational tours and every semester we have an environmental competition for them,”!Naibab said.
“What the community must also remember is that we are a business as well and have many expenses, like wages for the tour guides and security officers, communication bills, insurance and rent,” said !Naibab “The Bird Paradise has fully qualified tour guides who are more than happy to take people on tours around the paradise while giving them insightful information about the various bird species that inhabit the Paradise.” One of the Paradise's challenges is trying to integrate themselves into the existing tour operator businesses, which, according to !Naibab, has been going very slowly. “I think we have to strategise another way round compared to what we have been doing. We have been printing brochures, going to these guys, talking to them, giving presentations and it doesn’t work. We don’t know how to penetrate the existing market. Marketing is a major problem that we are dealing with. Maybe once we have penetrated this market we can drop the prices for locals. We do however give a 10% discount to locals and groups of five and more,” !Naibab said. Another problem is the nearby dumpsite, !Naibab said. “The garbage dump is so close to the sanctuary that the trash from the dumpsite is blown into the sanctuary when Walvis Bay is windy or has a sand storm. Another problem is that the local dogs go into the paradise and kill the birds. They are hunting the flamingos and this has become a big problem,” he explained. !Naibab also said that security on the premises is necessary for the reasons mentioned above, as well as their huge problem with trespassing. “The Paradise also faces problems with quad bikers trespassing and local children swimming in the ponds,” !Naibab defended their high rates.
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6 | News
Thursday, 19 June 2014
Photo Shy Police Siglinde de Villiers
In an earlier media report by the Namib Independent, Nampol Officers reacted violently towards journalists who were taking photographs of an arrest. During another arrest last week, police officers seized the cellphone of a local resident who was taking pictures, and deleted all the photos. In an exclusive interview with the Namib Independent, the Commissioner of Nampol explained why police officers are photo shy. “Pictures have a lot of power,” Commissioner Kashuupulwa said. “I will not say that the media does not have rights to take photos, but
we are no advocates of it.” He explained that whenever police are called out, it involves arrests and even forceful action at times. “Such pictures contain sensitive content and, when published, can be used in court as evidence, often against the police officer who handled the case,” Kashuupulwa said. “That is why police officers do not like pictures to be taken and tell journalists to refrain from doing so.” Yet, what about the instance mentioned at the outset, where police officers used force to delete images on a local resident’s cellphone? “Well, the person should have asked the officer in charge for permission before taking pictures,” Kashupuulwa answered, “then the
embarrassing situation might have been avoided.” However, a picture cannot lie. “That is true,” the Commissioner reverted, “but it also comes down to the content. For example, in the case of an accident, a picture is taken of a mutilated corpse and published. How will the next of kin feel about it? They will probably sue,” she clarified. “Also, the content is sensitive for viewers and they may get offended. In the end, it all comes back to the journalist as well as the editor who did not make an ethical decision,” Kashupuulwa added. “The police are obligated to protect the scene as well as the dignity of the person involved, as set out in the Namibian Constitution.”
According to Kashuupulwa, photographers are often so intent on taking the picture that they destroy evidence in the process and interfere with the investigation. “This does not give a good reputation for
Wardens’ Sports Tour
The China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), who was awarded the Namport Port Expansion Tender, responded this week to a sponsorship request from the Walvis Bay Correctional Service to financially assist them in taking part in a sports week. The Correctional Service department will be travelling to various correctional service
facilities across the country, taking place in a sports week to strengthen relationships and learn from each other, the Assistant Commissioner, Jerry Jacob Moses told the press at a media briefing this week. Also present at the cheque's hand-over was Jeff Wu, Financial Manager for CHEC, and Xu Yuqing, Project Deputy Manager at CHEC, who handed over the donation of
N$12 000, which will be used for accommodation and food. According to Assistant Commissioner Moses, the objective of the trip is not only to learn from other institutions, but also to create camaraderie amongst colleagues and relief stress, seeing that they work in such a stressful environment. According to financial manager Jeff Wu, the company is very adamant to commit to being socially responsible, and donating to the Correctional Service is just a small part of what they perceive as their obligation towards the community. “We are currently looking at finding the right school to assist within our own coastal community. We are very happy to help our fellow Namibians, because we have received such a warm welcome by the Namibians, and want to give back,” Wu said. Asked whether the Ministry is also assisting the correctional institutions to go on these sport trips, Moses replied that they do, but the State has limited funds to support them, and thus the request for the business community to assist them.
Nampol,” she said. “I do however commend media in the Erongo region for sticking to ethical journalism and not publishing sensitive pictures,” Kashuupulwa concluded.
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News | 7
Thursday, 19 June 2014
Ghost Pools of the Coast
Staff Reporter Local residents were completely shocked when they wanted to go swimming during the hot east weather days only to find pools at Long Beach and Walvis Bay closed. Our stretch of coastal towns from Henties to Walvis Bay has beautiful swimming facilities to boast with, but very few that are currently accessible to those living at the coast. Henties Bay owns a fantastic water slide. However, it is only by luck that one would find it open. A local resident, who regularly visits Henties Bay, said: “I have been to the town on Easter weekend, other long weekends, during fishing competitions and always found it closed. “It makes me wonder how they are making any money to upkeep the place,” he added. Fun at the Henties Bay waterslide is a dead end. The late impasse of the Swakopmund pool also leaves much to wish for. Granted, being an indoor pool it is open throughout
the year but has an expensive entrance fee. “Poorer children who used to swim were kept off the streets. Now they cannot afford it anymore,” a resident commented. In addition, since its grand opening, the Swakopmund pool struggles to prevent its water from going green. Dolphin Beach is also at zero hour. “We had such a beautiful hot day recently and I decided to spend some quality time with my children at the waterpark. I was really disappointed when we arrived, all dressed up and excited, only to find the place closed,” a local mother complained. Gert Kruger from the Walvis Bay Municipality stated, “Unfortunately we had to close Dolphin Beach for the time being due to a leak.” According to Kruger, they suspected that there was a leak when they constantly had to top up the water level of the small pool at the bottom of the old slide. “The leak is not too great at the moment, but if left unattended, it will become
bigger,” Kruger explained. “We presume that the leak is from one of the old pipes under the ground. They are the only ones left, we have tested all the others,” he added. Kruger continued to say that getting to these pipes is a challenge. “We cannot use a bulldozer, but neither can we use manual labour. These pipes are two metres beneath the ground and it is dangerous to dig so deep. We are trying to locate an excavator and hope to find one and fix the problem by the end of this month so that we can open Dolphin Beach again,” Kruger said. He concluded by saying that the pipes in question were laid more than twenty years ago and that it is about time that they are replaced. Neither did the Walvis Bay public pool bring any relief to those who wanted to swim in cool water during the hot east weather days. Regardless of temperature, the pool is closed in winter. “Usually, we close the pool for maintenance during the winter months,” Piet van Niekerk from the Walvis Bay Municipality said. That said, the public pool is open for six months of the year only, November to April. “While open, we have to use expensive chemicals to keep the pool clean,” van Niekerk explained, “and it is not worth our while for the few people who swim in winter to keep the pool open. If we should ever have an indoors pool, it will be open during winter, but that is still very far off in the making.” Considering the fact that the coast is becoming one of the main economic and tourism hubs of the country, a look at recreation and fitness facilities offered to local residents leaves much to wish for.
Namibia Needs Healing, Not Hiding. Recently, I’ve read more and more negative world stats attributed to Namibia. Let’s see in which areas we are famous. High world rates in deaths on the roads, gender violence, suicides, baby dumping, poor state of mental health. On the other hand – we’re one of the top world tourist destinations. Almost no visitors go back home disappointed. When I am overseas and people learn that I am from Namibia, the usual response is – “oh, such a beautiful country and such friendly people!” Contradiction? One of the most common expressions you will hear in Namibia, as an answer to the question “How are you?” is – “I am surviving”. Even, proudly – “I am [a] survivor!” They say Namibia was in a 100-year war; I am not sure of the permanent state of war, but what I see is a very diverse cultural and anthropological composition built into this society. With a lack of agricultural resources and huge economic and cultural differences resulting in numerous collisions, the people, though seeming to be very friendly, are in reality quite closed inside themselves, inside their families, inside their cultural groups. Each family, each clan, each tribe, and each nation keeps their skeletons in the wardrobes so deeply buried and for such a long time that they’ve lost the keys to the locks. Some even lost the wardrobes and erased the memories of the whereabouts. For each generation the history is rewritten, depending on who is currently in power. Try to find any mentions of the atrocities of Second World War in the Swakopmund Museum or Sam Cohen scientific library. They do not exist. Why? Because Namibian Germans don’t want to keep bad memories. The Hereros rightfully demand contribution from the Germans for one of the most atrocious genocide in recent world history, but do they remember and will they publicly accept the fact that they were imposing similar genocides towards the Damaras? Any mention in the history books about this? Do the present Namas, the ascendants of fearless and furious raiders, remember that their mere name made a horror to the more peaceful pastoralists? Will the Oshiwambo accept the fact that their on-going colonisation (though not through blood shedding) is economically and culturally disastrous? And the Chinese, even softer, colonisation, which starts bringing its not so welcomed fruits, do they think about it right now? Everything is hidden in order to look fine from the surface. Now let’s come down to the family, which is the nucleus of the society. How many cases of customary rape and violence have happened (and are still happening) in Afrikaans families? You will never know because most of it never leaves the family. This is all in order to hide from the outside that something
is wrong inside, hide what can be seen as a weakness – I know people who’d rather kill inside the family than ask for help from outside – an action which they feel ashamed to do. How much cruelties they imposed onto each other within their own cultural group, not to mention towards other nations/races? How many white girls were pushed out of the families unless they give up their illegitimate babies? Those who could afford this. The baby dumpers simply cannot. Where can they go if they would be met with rejection in their own families? Where can the poor suicidal victims go if they find rejection in society and even in their families, which are supposed to give them protection, to be their psychological shelter? For cultures I forgot to mention, no doubt they all had their dark moments, too. All of this is done in order “to survive”. All of this is denied. But any psychologist tells that the denial as the natural psychological reaction is just the first and necessary stage towards mental well-being. The past experience that resulted in denial should be realised, understood, reworked and forgiven. By doing this you can move further. Why am I telling all this? To say that they are bad? To say that we are all are bad? Not at all. As Chesterton once said - we will never know how good we are until we realise how bad we are or how bad we could be. Even more, the harder the individual (or nation) can push its limits exploring the remotest (and darkest) corners of its life continuum, the greater might be the result. Truly great persons (and nations) were never angels. Surely, this country with its extremely rich and diverse nature, history and culture deserves better faith. With such a small population from so various backgrounds we are all truly unique. Imagine what this country would be if everyone could open his/her potential? Imagine that the people who for the past centuries survived successfully the hardships of the nature and war; will live a fulfilled and prosperous life? Denial of the history and polishing of the present will bring only a shallow, superficial look of a seemingly friendly, from the tourist’s glance, society. I call for more sincerity, honesty, open-mindedness, public discussions, apologising, understanding and forgiving. Only then the true reconciliation (for each individual and for the whole society) can be achieved. Whatever happened, we all have much to be proud of ourselves. We survived and now it is time to start living. Until this happens, what else can we do but to “drink and drive”, and die on the roads (at least no one will condemn us as the suicides)? We Namibians are the chancers, after all! Swakopmund Resident
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8 | News
Thursday, 19 June 2014
Smile Condoms Come to International Markets Lavrenty Repin
Last month luck rubbed off on Namibian condoms manufacturing company, Comex, in New York. The company was awarded Gold at the International Quality Summit Award on Quality, Excellence and Technology held by the European Business Initiatives Directions (BID). The company that was pounded in national media in 2012 for failing to deliver sufficient free condoms to
Namibia, resulting in the drying of much-needed stock in clinics and hospitals country-wide, has now unrolled stimulating news to the public – a deal to begin selling their products internationally. This announcement was made after the company snatched up the award from 49 other competitors the summit that represents and is endorsed by an impressive 179 countries, much to the surprise of many Namibians who often regard Smile as an inferior brand,
because of its “free” status. Comex is currently awaiting European and US certification in order to stretch their horizons and explode to potential markets worldwide – the plans in the pipeline include exploring Southern African, European and North American clientele. Manufacturing, laboratory testing, quality control and distributing is entirely local, the Namibian owned healthcare supplier explained, making it the latest local business initiative to penetrate the international ranks.
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Comex has filled many holes in our industry with popular brands such as “Sense”, “Cool Rayders” and their free version “Smile,” while also prevailing in helping Namibia fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic, erecting education campaigns and urging the public to reduce STI transmissions – as well as introducing female condoms to Namibia’s convoluted social environment. Comex was established in 2002 and presently, at their
climax, manufactures up to five million condoms a month distributed throughout our busy country. As the company spearheads through the
Namibian industry, it seems that there is light at the end of the tunnel for the ambitious project to reach new heights.
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News | 9
Thursday, 19 June 2014
Tower Resources Strike Out Tanya Calitz The drillship Rowan Renaissance once again returned empty handed after their latest unsuccessful attempt at finding oil at their Welwitschia-1A well in the Walvis Basin. Apart from the drilling disappointment, the company’s shares also dropped by nearly two-thirds of its value after news broke last week Friday that their explorations were futile.
Despite Tower Resources’ (TR) success in Kenya, Zambia and offshore South Africa, this one (Welwitschia) was always their leading project. Jeremy Asher, TR-Exploration Chairman, said, "Obviously we are disappointed, but we await the more detailed analysis and will then consider our options afresh. Shareholders will recall from the CPR that the chances of success in these upper targets ranged from 31% downwards to 8%, with lower
chances as we went deeper, and facing odds like this is the nature of our business. Knowing this, our strategy has been to diversify our asset portfolio with the recent acquisitions of assets offshore South Africa, Zambia and onshore Kenya, and we have applications in progress in Cameroon, Ethiopia and elsewhere. We want to keep our options open on PEL0010, but we also want to conserve sufficient funding for the commitment work that lies ahead on our other assets,
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which hold great promise." The estimated cost of continuing the current well to test the deeper targets, including the Albian, now appears to be as much as a further $40 million gross. Despite the interest in the deeper targets, with their large potential resources, this raises the question whether it may be better to wait for the full analysis of the current well before deciding whether and where to drill a second well and test the deeper targets with the benefit of that further information. As a result, the partners have agreed not to drill further at this time and to evaluate the information and its implications for the Block. The well is being plugged and abandoned. Nigel Quinton, Head of Exploration, commented: "Our first well in this huge frontier block has shown that the Maastrichtian and Palaeocene reservoir
sands were less well-developed in this location than we had hoped for, which was always recognised as a critical risk factor. As of now, our view of the prospectivity of the deeper section, including the Albian carbonates, remains unchanged. As usual in frontier areas, it will take time to fully interpret the results of the well and assess the implications for the remaining prospectivity of PEL0010." Graeme Thomson, CEO, stated: "The well emphasises the risk of exploration and the wisdom of having moved to diversify our portfolio. We expect much activity in the coming months on and in the areas surrounding our assets. In South Africa we await the new 3-D on our Algoa-Gamtoos block and Total is scheduled to be drilling its Brulpadda-1 well on the adjacent block shortly. Planning for our year-end Badada-1 well on Block 2B onshore Kenya is underway and regional activity is rising. Our projects in Zambia, SW Orange Basin SA, Cameroon, Ethiopia and elsewhere are gaining momentum." The latest result has been a huge blow for Tower, and their once optimism over finding commercial oil off the Namibian coast. Last Friday the company’s shares were down by 64%.
The Community Facebook page “No to Nuclear Storage in Walvis Bay” was created on Tuesday morning and had nearly 1000 fans by Wednesday morning. Already a heated debate on the advantages and disadvantages of a potential nuclear storage facility in the coastal town was going on. The public outcry was sparked by Native Holdings’ attempt to penetrate the market when they announced their intention last month to use an abandoned bunker as a storage facility for anything from hand-grenades to discarded nuclear waste. Walvis Bay resident Danny Beukes, who together with Stan Baumann began the page, spoke to the Namib Independent about his concerns regarding the project. Here are some noteworthy points from the chat. “[I did this] to raise awareness for those who don’t know about these plans, and so that more people understand the
risks.” “The chances that the company will go ahead with it (the bunker) are there. They’ve spent money on it already, and they have more to spend. If someone wants to make this [facility] they have the money. I have my suspicions.” “They say they are coming here with noble causes. That they are cleaning up already existing material, but that [material] got here through dubious circumstances, so this should be a police issue.” “I think we should be more careful, they come here in an innocent manner, the next thing you know, they’ve spent millions on the facility, and say they need broader markets to justify their investments while using the pretences of providing
employment. I think we’re better off with people stealing or unemployed than all of us running for the mountains.” “Let the government steal, or the Mass Housing Projects steal, but don’t mess with my kids. This is something that I’m willing to die and kill for.” “We are poor; we’re coming up against multimillion companies with power, so it is difficult.” “I will do all, you can quote me on this, I will do all I can to bring it down, [if it is built] I’ll go as far as bombing the building. We’ll start a little war in Walvis if we have to.” He says he chose the quirky Simpsons cover page because he’s a fan and it suits the purpose quite well. Check out the page, and like if you will, on Facebook.
10 | News
Thursday, 19 June 2014
Are We Missing The Plot With Science? Lavrenty Repin
We love science and technology here at the Namib Independent, so it should come as little surprise that brows were raised when we saw the “Meet the Commissioners” advertisement in a local paper for the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST), depicting the top men of the science institution. Among the 17 commissioners, only three individuals held the “Doctor” (or PhD) title and only the chairman held the “Professor” rank. There is also an attorney, figures from Ministry of Finance, Trade and Industry, and Works
and Transport as well as from the National Planning Commission and National Student Organisation. Granted, there is a UNAM lecturer of Science. That is – Management Science. NCRST was established in April 2014 (about ten years late) as part of Namibia’s government outreach to research and science, and one of its (ambitious) visions is to achieve 2% of Namibia’s GDP investment into to the field by 2018. Despite the lack of appropriate commissioners, NCRST indicates that they employ a number of scientists that participate in exciting projects. For example, NCRST associates itself with the Chinese space station situated outside
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We offer an above average remuneration package, which includes pension, free medical aid, group life and disability benefits, study benefits and generous leave benefits in a very pleasant yet professional atmosphere. Applications must include a Curriculum Vitae in English, stating your experience or compliance with the above requirements and the position applied for. Faxed CV’s are not accepted, no original documents should be included as we do not return documentation. Many of our clients are German speaking and accordingly the ability to converse in German would be an added advantage. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted within 2 weeks after the closing date. Please forward your application on or before the 27th of June 2014 directly to the HR Manager at our Head office, 128 6th Street, P.O. Box 4440, Walvis Bay or through our website: www.fcsnam.com.
Swakopmund, which has helped a number of Chinese spaceships reenter earth’s atmosphere and will be instrumental in landing the Chinese manned moon mission next year. This being said, when the Namib Independent reported on the intriguing station at the beginning of the year, there was no mention of NCRST – the site seemed to be entirely run by the Chinese government, and only provides studying opportunities for a number of Namibians in the space engineering sphere. The place is run - or overrun (equipment looks outdated and station understaffed and unkempt) - by only Chinese nationals, which again begs the question of what NCRST’s role in the project is. Of course, one example should not set a benchmark for the organisation, which (according to its website) dabbles in a number of exciting projects, including the world renowned H.E.S.S. observatory. This has a control centre and array of telescopes near the Gamsberg Mountains, while also holding operations in eleven other countries. Yet again, no mention of NCRST is made on their website – only the University of UNAM Physics department is mentioned as a collaborator. Unfortunately, misrepresentation is a home-grown problem, as the Science and Technology Act (Act no 23 of 2004) itself
with all its revisions and amendments is off the mark; for instance it emphasises on the importance of research in the fields of law, trade and economy and agricultural issues among others and insists that the National Space Council looks at “ethics in space science research.” Surely science should stay impartial to ethical and moral issues for any progress to be realised. Research into ethics is important from a psychological or sociological point of view, but this should not burden an organisation for science. It is difficult to ascertain their success, seeing as the organisation was reluctant to speak to the Namib Independent, promising to call back numerous times to no avail, and further because it is so young – but fundamentally, the framework hierarchy of the vital scientific institution is lacking in scientific knowledge. This can be perceived as yet another halfhearted attempt by the Government, but the hope is that the organisation will not interfere too significantly with the current and important ongoing research facilities run by private companies and governments from around the world, and perhaps the motivation behind the project will materialise into interesting collaborative future scientific work – for the time being, only time (and space) will tell.
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News | 11
Thursday, 19 June 2014
LIFESTYLE How Abstinence-Only Sex Ed Is Driving Up STI Rates
It's no coincidence that the states with the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections are also the same places where young people are taught to simply not have sex. Late last month I interviewed a woman who was 19 when she contracted the herpes simplex virus (HSV1) genitally while still identifying as a virgin. “No one ever told me you could contract an STI by [having] oral sex,” she said. “I thought I was being responsible, because I was saving myself for marriage…I come from a very religious background, and that’s what I was taught. Good girls don’t practice safe sex; they don’t have sex until marriage.” Coming to terms with the realisation that there were still risks, despite abstaining from vaginal intercourse, this young woman now knows she was lacking some basic knowledge that she needed to make informed decisions about her sexual health. What would have helped her? Comprehensive sex education would have helped. “We weren’t told about that stuff,” she told me. “Sex ed was literally a bunch of kids giggling about gross slides and our teacher telling us not to do it. Some of us
even signed a paper saying we wouldn’t until we were married. So I only had oral sex, and look where that got me.” Now 23, she wishes she had been armed with a comprehensive sexual education program, as opposed to the abstinence-only approach she received from her high school in South Carolina. When I asked her if she thought more thorough sex education in school would have influenced her behaviour, she replied enthusiastically. “Yes, definitely! It’s not like I didn’t listen to or respect my teachers. I just didn’t know. I mean, no one told us to use some kind of barrier with oral sex; they didn’t want us to have sex at all. Why would they tell us how to do it safely?” As director of The STD Project, I’ve found that the numbers support giving adolescents and young adults a comprehensive approach to sexual education. What does that mean, exactly? It means helping young people delay sexual activity and/or, among those who are sexually active, increasing their use of barriers and contraceptives; educating them about risky sexual behaviours, which include their number of sexual partners and their frequency of intercourse; along with reducing unwanted pregnancy. Evidence-based comprehensive sex ed is in direct contrast to this young woman’s abstinence-only education, which promoted sexual
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abstinence until marriage and excluded other types of sexual and reproductive health education regarding safer sex, contraceptives, and high-risk behaviour avoidance. A 2012 study from the Guttmacher Institute found that more knowledge about sexual health and contraceptives was directly correlated to a decrease in adolescent and young adult risky sexual behaviours, like having sex without barriers or contraceptives, and increased numbers of sexual partners. The study showed that teens who received comprehensive sex ed not only had lower rates of pregnancy but waited longer to have sex—effectively achieving what abstinenceonly educational programs have been trying to encourage for decades: waiting to have sex. 1 in 5 Do Not Know They Have HIV South Carolina, where this woman was raised and currently lives, is part of the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) grouping of states consistently boasting the highest rates of STIs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. The states with the highest STI rates are also those with largely abstinenceonly programs. This is not a coincidence: Young people who receive only abstinenceonly education tend to engage in riskier sexual health behaviours once becoming sexually active. Southern states report the highest percentage of students having had sexual intercourse prior to age 13; the highest percentage of students who have had intercourse with four or more partners; and the highest incidence of sexual activity without barriers or contraception. All that translates, not surprisingly, into higher rates of STD infection. According to the CDC, “Abstaining from sex, reducing the number of sexual partners, and consistently and correctly using condoms are all effective [STI] prevention strategies. Safe, effective vaccines are also available to prevent HBV [hepatitis B virus] and some types of HPV that cause disease and cancer.” Giving young people the tools they need to avoid STIs— not just the tools we personally agree with— ensures that whenever young adults decide to have sex, they do not end up doing it unprotected, with neither a contraceptive nor accurate information about how to reduce their risk of getting an STI. Source: http://www. takepart.com/
12 | It Happened to Me!
Thursday, 19 June 2014
It Happened to ME!
A Positive Life, Local Man Shares His Experience Living With HIV/AIDS Tanya Calitz “As I awakened from a very long sleep I saw my mother standing at the end of my bed. I asked her how long she’d been standing there and she said, for a while already. With her eyes looking sad and tired she said, I am too scared to leave your room, for the fear that if I return, you will be dead.” “Those words gave me hope that morning in the cottage on the bird sanctuary I had gone to part from this life, but now had the strength to live again. All I needed to know was that someone still loved me, someone still cared whether I lived or died,” *local coastal resident, Andrew Adams (pseudonym) told me during a lunch date in town.
The events that had taken place leading up to that moment were trying, sad and rough to say the least, but it was a journey that made Andrew the person he is today, stronger in spirit and mind than he has ever been. Andrew has been living with HIV for 16 years of his life. He contracted the virus through his partner when he was in his early twenties. “I did not know at the time that the person I was in a relationship with was HIV positive and found out by applying for a life insurance policy,” Andrew said. “I was shocked, but took responsibility for my life immediately. I knew that the choices I made in my life lead me to that moment,” Andrew told me. “I was young and had no time to focus on resentment towards
my ex. I was now only focussed on my own well-being and life,” he said. “Back then there was still a lot of stigma that went with being HIV positive. Many people stigmatised only black people and homosexual men with the death-sentence-disease. I was given six months to live. “But over the year HIV had gone from a terminal illness to a chronic illness.” One would imagine that after being diagnosed with HIV, any form of a romantic love life would be nonexistent, but this was not the case. Andrew made no secret of his status and told every single person he went into a relationship with that he was HIV positive. “I did not experience much rejection,” he stated and added,
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Matches & Lighters
“A crucial and most important survival mechanism is to develop a spiritual relationship with something bigger than you.” Andrew lived a very healthy life, with almost no side-effects from his disease until about 2008. All this time he was not on any form of medication, or on Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs. “I could not afford HIV treatments and drugs available at the time, but I felt healthy and was not even aware of my disease for the longest time,” Andrew shared. According to him, the most important thing to do when you are diagnosed with HIV is to find out as much as possible about the disease. “Do as much research on it as possible, because knowledge is power,” Andrew advised all people diagnosed with HIV/ AIDS. “Being diagnosed with HIV has been a blessing in disguise for me. I know it sounds a bit weird and extreme, but I have experienced immense growth, spiritually, mentally, emotionally and personally, within my HIV positive period.” Andrew really took care of his health until about 2001, when he went through a terrible period of self-destruction. “I had lost my way and respect for myself. I pushed my health to its limits, until I eventually reached rock-bottom in 2008,” Andrew shared. In 2008, Andrew collapsed at work one day and was then taken to hospital in Johannesburg. Andrew describes this year as a big year for him, somewhat of a turning point, where many Good Samaritans came into his life and helped him in many ways. “If it was not for many of these people my fate would have been a lot different.” In hospital Andrew landed up next to a very wealthy man named *James. They started talking and formed a friendship in hospital. James overheard the conversations Andrew had with the hospital and the fact that he had no more money to stay on, even though he was very ill and still in critical condition. The Good Samaritan offered to cover his expenses for another two weeks in hospital, which helped him immensely. After hospitalisation Andrew had nowhere to go for further recovery. James then hooked him up with friend of his
to stay at their guesthouse for further recovery. “I messed up and went back to some of my old self-destructive habits, which led to me being kicked out of the guesthouse,” Andrew said. Two really nice people then took him in, who also had a guesthouse in the city. The lady and her son nursed Andrew for three weeks until they eventually could not accommodate him anymore. “The time with them meant the world to me and they really supported me and saved my life at that stage,” Andrew related. After the second guesthouse, James stepped in again and set Andrew up in his apartment in Johannesburg for the time being, until he found another place. “James went on holiday and set me up with enough food, money and phone credit to find a more permanent place to rest and recover completely from tuberculosis, which was what had attacked my immune system. At this stage I had full blown AIDS.” Andrew then found a cottage on a bird sanctuary outside the city to recover further. James bought him more food and left him with two signed blank cheques. Even too weak to microwave readycooked meals, Andrew only laid in bed, getting progressively worse every day. He became so sick that the sanctuary owners took him to hospital again. The doctor contacted Andrew’s mother in Walvis Bay and said that she had to come look after her son immediately. Within two days she was in Johannesburg. “Healthy people usually have a white blood cell count of between 800 and 1200, mine was under 20. I did not consciously realise it at the time, but I was, without a doubt, dying,” Andrew said. In the next six weeks Andrew became strong enough to travel back to the coast with his mother and slowly but surely took on life again. He decided to fight for his life after his mother’s words at his bed in at cottage on the bird sanctuary. “Since then there has been many setbacks, with illness and a bit of selfdestruction, but now I’m ready for the next phase of my life. I can feel a big change is coming and the game is far from over,” Andrew said. “There is always, without exception, a disguised blessing in adversity.”
Worldwide News | 13
Thursday, 19 June 2014
W or l dwide NASA Reveals Latest Warp-
Boy Genius Diagnosed
Drive Ship Designs
With Autism Has IQ Higher than Einstein Kristine Barnett noticed that her little boy Jacob – whom doctors had tagged as autistic – seemed to have a fascination with patterns. So she took him out of his school’s special ED program and let him study the things he’s passionate about. Now Jacob is on his way to winning a Nobel Prize. Jacob Barnett, who was diagnosed with moderate to severe autism at two years old, is now studying for a master’s degree in quantum physics. Jacob was silent for much of his childhood. But when he started to speak, he was able to communicate in four different languages. As a child, doctors told Jacob Barnett’s parents that their autistic son would probably never know how to tie his shoes. But experts say
the 14-year-old Indiana prodigy has an IQ higher than Einstein’s and is on the road to winning a Nobel Prize. He’s given TedX talks and is working toward a master’s degree in quantum physics. The key, according to mom Kristine Barnett, was letting Jacob be himself — by helping him study the world with wide-eyed wonder instead of focusing on a list of things he couldn’t do. Diagnosed with moderate to severe autism at the age of two, Jacob spent years in the clutches of a special education system that didn’t understand what he needed. His teachers at school would try to dissuade Kristine from hoping to teach Jacob any more than the most basic skills. Jacob was struggling with that sort of instruction — withdrawing deeper into
himself and refusing to speak with anyone. But Kristine noticed that when he was not in therapy, Jacob was doing “spectacular things” on his own. “He would create maps all over our floor using Q-tips. They would be maps of places we’ve visited and he would memorise every street,” Kristine told the BBC. One day, his mom took him stargazing. A few months later, they visited a planetarium where a professor was giving a lecture. Whenever the teacher asked questions, Jacob’s little hand shot up and he began to answer questions — easily understanding complicated theories about physics and the movement of planets. Jacob was just 3 1/2 years old. His mom realised that Jacob might
need something that the standard special education curriculum just wasn’t giving him. So Kristine decided to take on the job herself. “For a parent, it’s terrifying to fly against the advice of the professionals,” Kristine writes in her memoir, “The Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing Genius.” “But I knew in my heart that if Jake stayed in special ed, he would slip away.” His IQ rounds out to 170 — higher than that of Albert Einstein. He’s been working on his own theory of relativity. Professors at Princeton’s Institute for Advance Study were impressed. “The theory that he’s working on involves several of the toughest problems in astrophysics
and theoretical physics,” astrophysics Professor Scott Tremaine wrote to the family in an email. “Anyone who solves these will be in line for a Nobel Prize.” Warner Bros. has snatched up movie rights to Jacob’s story. Kristine and her son have embarked on a European book tour, but hope to have some time to rest by July. “My goal for the summer is just to give him a few weeks off,” Kristine told the Indianapolis Monthly. “The last time he had that was when he came up with the alternative theory to the Big Bang. So who knows what he’ll create?” Source: www. nydailynews.com
Look at the picture above. Nope, it’s not a snapshot of a Star Wars scene, or any other sci-fi movie. It’s what you get if you combine a NASA physicist working on achieving fasterthan-light travel with a 3D artist. There are scientists working on faster-thanlight travel, and this is what the ship could look like in the future. According to Einstein’s theory of relativity, nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. But scientists are looking for ways to get around this, and a team based at NASA Eagleworks, led by Dr Harold “Sonny” White, have been working on just that. They discovered a loophole that could theoretically allow faster-than-light travel without breaking the laws of physics. How? Warp drive, of course!
If a spaceship could be designed in such a way that it created a warp bubble, then the space in front of the ship would be compressed and the space behind would expand. This would result in spacetime moving around the object, repositioning the ship without it actually moving. So of course, White’s new design incorporates these ideas and involves “a sleek ship nestled at the centre of two enormous rings, which create the warp bubble,” 3D artist Mark Rademaker explained to io9. According to a report by Gizmodo, White’s team has been using a test instrument called a White-Juday Warp Field Interferometer in order to try and generate and detect microscopic instances of warp bubbles. If they can achieve this, then who knows how quickly the technology could advance. “Perhaps a ‘Star Trek’ experience within our lifetime is not such a remote possibility,” says White. Source: http://www. iflscience.com/
14 | Motoring
Thursday, 19 June 2014
MOTORING Tesla Ditches Patents and Makes Inventions Open Source Tesla Motors made history this week by announcing that they would make all of their products and designs open sourced, instead of patenting them under the legal framework of intellectual property. This is a move that will have far reaching implications for the electric car industry and for copyright law as a whole, which ultimately affects every business that you could possibly think of. On a press release titled “All Our Patents Belong to You,” recently published on Tesla’s website, CEO Elon Musk wrote that “Tesla Motors was created to accelerate
the advent of sustainable transport. If we clear a path to the creation of compelling electric vehicles, but then lay intellectual property landmines behind us to inhibit others, we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal.” He also gave an in-depth look on how he has come to see copyright law after years of experience in many different industries. The press release continued with the following statement: “When I started out with my first company, Zip2, I thought patents were a good thing and worked hard to obtain them. And maybe they were
good long ago, but too often these days they serve merely to stifle progress, entrench the positions of giant corporations and enrich those in the legal profession, rather than the actual inventors. After Zip2, when I realised that receiving a patent really just meant that you bought a lottery ticket to a lawsuit, I avoided them whenever possible.” Musk went on to say that Tesla could never possibly meet the demand for electric vehicles on its own. He acknowledged that in addition to making a profit, his company’s goal is also to help solve the energy crisis. This is a big goal though, and it will take a large number of companies like his to meet the demand for clean energy vehicles. It is an incredibly bold statement for one of the most ground-breaking inventions of our time to be completely open sourced. This will undoubtedly inspire an entire
generation to start their own businesses in clean energy. This situation sheds light on the kind of progress that copyright is holding back. It is a popular myth that intellectual property is a convention that was established to protect inventors and artists in order to promote innovation. However, intellectual property was actually established during the middle ages as a means of censorship and a way of monopolising the popular industries of the time, which does in fact stifle innovation.
As Rick Falkvinge reported last year, Queen Mary the First created the copyright monopoly on 4 May, 1557. According to research from Falkvinge, it was initially created as a censorship mechanism. In exchange for a lucrative monopoly on printing, the London Company of Stationers agreed to let anything printed first pass by the royal censors. Eventually the royalty discovered ways that they could use this concept to monopolise the industry. Source: http://earthweareone.com/
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Motoring | 15
Thursday, 19 June 2014
'Responding to Wife's Voice'
Formula One champion Michael Schumacher is able to respond to the sound of his wife's voice but has lost 44lbs since skiing accident, reports claim Michael Schumacher is now able to respond to the sound of his wife’s voice, but has lost some 44lbs in weight while being treated for the severe brain injuries he suffered during his skiing accident, Germany’s Bild newspaper has reported. The Formula One champion, 45, was on Monday transferred from Grenoble university hospital, where he had been treated since his accident last December, to a rehabilitation clinic in the Swiss city of Lausanne. His manager, Sabine Kehm, said he
was no longer in the artificial coma that the driver had been placed in since early January and would begin the “long process” of rehabilitation in the Lausanne clinic, which is some 20 miles from the driver’s home in the nearby Swiss village of Gland. According to reports in Germany’s Bild newspaper, Schumacher has lost a total of 44lbs (20 kilogrammes) while undergoing treatment, although physiotherapists have been giving the driver regular exercise treatment to keep his muscles active. Schumacher was also said to be able to breathe without assistance for unspecified periods. He is also able to respond to voices around him, particularly that of his wife, Corinna.
“The voice of Corinna has a much stronger effect on him than the voices of other people,” Bild wrote. Dr Martin Grond, a brain specialist interviewed by Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine, has said it would be “irresponsible” to attempt to offer a prognosis concerning Schumacher's chances of making a full recovery. He said the driver’s team had released too little information about his medical condition to make accurate predictions. “There is not a word mentioned about brain function,” Dr Grond told the magazine. He said Schumacher could be in any state ranging from a “waking coma” to being “on his way to recovery.”
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