The campaign aims to redress international perceptions by communicating South African achievements in a compelling manner. It raises awareness of South Africa’s status as an excellent place to do business.The campaign also aims to showcase South Africans as ingenious. We’re a nation that always finds new ways of doing things, developing new, fresh and practical solutions to our challenges.John Battersby, Brand South Africa’s Country Manager for the UK, says: “London is the financial capital of the world. Without a doubt, South Africa is being noticed in London for all the work that is going into sustaining our economic growth and the taxis enhance our overall efforts into the global thrust.”
The Internet age has made it easy to find information. Occasionally you can find some that’s even true. That’s where it becomes helpful to have someone more knowledgeable than yourself to be able to ask for advice and input on stuff you read online, get feedback on ideas you’d like to try on a project, or discover what cool things other home energy pros are doing.One place that’s been great for that since it started in 2008 is Green Building Advisor, of course. Another equally valuable place, which also began in 2008, has been the LinkedIn group called “RESNET BPI – Energy Audit and Home Performance.” Unfortunately, it’s been in decline lately.One of the best online home performance hauntsI joined the RESNET BPI group on LinkedIn way back in early 2009. It was a great place to ask questions of other home energy pros and do some online networking. One thing that was always cool was to interact with someone in the group and then meet them at a conference. (And speaking of conferences, were you in Nashville last week for the Home Performance Conference?) The group was created by Claire Rutiser in 2008, and in the early years she also moderated it. With changes in her work and family life (having a child), Rutiser had to give up the group. David Butler, an electrical engineer who knows more about HVAC than just about anyone else I know, took over the moderating responsibilities and eventually the whole group. Since 2011, he’s been wholly responsible for the group. And all of us who have used the group owe him a big debt of gratitude.Butler has been an amazing administrator, moderator, and contributor to the group. He has participated in many of the discussions as well as keeping the group running smoothly. Oh, and he’s kept the spam that dominates many LinkedIn groups out of this one.The decay began a few years ago when LinkedIn pulled resources back from the groups. Then they stopped sending email notifications for discussions you might be following. That’s when Butler knew he had to do something.Meet the Home Performance ForumIn 2015, Butler began working on a way to move the group away from LinkedIn. He assembled a team and found a sponsor, too. Mike Rogers of OmStout Consulting (bonus points if you know the origin of his company name) connected Butler with the Home Performance Coalition. (You know, the great organization that hosts the Home Performance Conference that was in Nashville last week, formerly known as Affordable Comfort.) The HPC helped Butler make the move.So, after a year and a half of work on getting a lot of the archived discussions into the new site, the Home Performance Forum (homeperformanceforum.org) has launched! Go there. Become a member and set up your new profile. Participate!When I spoke with Butler last week, he showed me the new site and talked about some of the advantages. “The archives are rich,” he told me. The search function “is absolutely awesome.” That was one of the big complaints about the LinkedIn group. We had all these really in-depth discussions but a lot of that knowledge was practically inaccessible because it was so hard to find. Not so with the new site.If you’re a member of other online forums, homeperformanceforum.org should seem familiar. It’s similar to HVAC-Talk, Heating Help, flyertalk, and many others. You join and discuss.One restriction worth noting here is that the Home Performance Forum is for professionals only. Butler and the Home Performance Coalition don’t have the resources to take homeowner questions here. Homeowners and everyone else will be able to read the discussions, however.What are you waiting for, home performance pros? Get over there and join!If you need another way to get there, here you go: Take me to the Home Performance Forum! Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, building science consultant, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. RELATED ARTICLESA Web-Based Information Resource From the DOEDisseminating Building Science KnowledgeEmbarking on the Building Science Learning CurveA New Book Helps Builders Tame Social MediaBuilding Science Information for BuildersBooks for Homeowners Interested in Saving EnergyNew Books on Green BuildingBooks on Insulation and Energy-Efficient BuildingCarl and Abe Write a Textbook
by Sara CroymansWe hear a lot about the concept of resilience in relation to military service members and families. When I think of resilience the concepts of bouncing back or overcoming adversities come to mind. Resilience may be thought of as a trait, a process or an outcome (Southwick, Bonanno, Masten, Panter-Brick, & Yehuda, 2014). It has been reported that each military branch has its own definition of resilience. One such definition adopted by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Heath and Traumatic Brain Injury and the Institute of Medicine is “The ability to withstand, recover, and grow in the face of stressors and changing demands” (Meadows, Beckett, Bowling, Golinelli, Fisher, Martin, Meredith, & Chan Osilla, 2015).A 2011 RAND report, Promoting Psychological Resilience in the U.S. Military, defined psychological resilience as “the process of coping with or overcoming exposure to adversity or stress.” Through an intensive literature review several evidence-informed factors for promoting psychological resilience on the individual, family, unit, and community levels were identified. (Meredith, Sherbourne, Gaillot, Hansell, Ritschard, Parker, & Wrenn, 2011). The identified factors included:Individual level factors – positive coping, positive affect, positive thinking, realism, behavioral control, physical fitness and altruism.Family level factors – emotional ties, communication, support, closeness, nurturing, and adaptabilityUnit/Organization level factors – positive command climate, teamwork and cohesionCommunity level factors – belongingness, cohesion, connectedness and collective efficacyTo continue the conversation about resilience, MFLN Family Transitions, Family Development and Network Literacy teams invite folks to participate in the August Resilience Webinar Series. This groundbreaking webinar series brings together three pre-eminent resilience theorists and researchers, Dr. Ann Masten, Dr. Froma Walsh, and Dr. Michael Ungar, to share insight on addressing barriers, identify various systems and promote protective factors to support individual, family and community resilience. Participants will engage with these influential facilitators and each other to practice resilience thinking and learn how to apply the principles in their work. Learn more about the webinar series and RSVP at https://militaryfamilieslearningnetwork.org/resilienceseries/ References:Meadows, Sarah O., Megan K. Beckett, Kirby Bowling, Daniela Golinelli, Michael P. Fisher, Laurie T. Martin, Lisa S. Meredith, and Karen Chan Osilla, Family Resilience in the Military: Definitions, Models, and Policies. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2015. https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR470.htmlMeredith, L. S., Sherbourne, C. D., Gaillot, S. J., Hansell, L., Ritschard, H. V., Parker, A. M., & Wrenn, G. (2011). Promoting psychological resilience in the US military. Rand health quarterly, 1(2). Retrieved from https://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/MG996.htmlSouthwick, S. M., Bonanno, G. A., Masten, A. S., Panter-Brick, C., & Yehuda, R. (2014). Resilience definitions, theory, and challenges: interdisciplinary perspectives. European journal of psychotraumatology, 5(1), 25338. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3402/ejpt.v5.25338 This material is based on work supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Office of Military Family Readiness Policy, U.S. Department of Defense Award Number 2015-48770-24368. This post was written by Sara Croymans, MEd, AFC, University of Minnesota Extension Educator, and member of the MFLN Family Transitions team. Family Transitions provides education, resources and networking opportunities for professionals working with military families to build resilience and navigate life cycle transitions. Engage with the MFLN Family Transitions team on our website, Facebook, and Twitter.
The State-wide autorickshaw strike scheduled to start on Tuesday was taken back at the last moment after the Chief Minister on Monday invited leaders of various auto unions to discuss their issues. The meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, will also be attended by the transport minister and officials from various departments. There are over nine lakh autorickshaw drivers in the State, of whom 2.2 lakh are in Mumbai. Shashank Rao, president of Autorickshaw Chalak Malak Sanghatana Sanyuckta Kruti Samiti (ACMSSKS), a steering committee of unions across the State, said they had sent their demands to the government several times. “The government is not at all interested in solving our issues. The strike is a result of their complete apathy towards our demands,” he said. According to an union official, a fare hike was the need of the hour as the last one had been implemented nearly three years ago. Moreover, CNG prices have been steadily rising over the last year, with the last price hike on July 1. Union officials said they want the government to implement the recommendations of the Hakeem committee report but the State has not even acted upon the recommendations of the Khatua committee, which also recommended increase in the fare of rickshaws and taxis. The ACMSSKS is also demanding a ban on cab aggregators such as Ola and Uber, and has asked the State government to form district-level flying squads to crack down on illegal autorickshaws on the road.One of the demands includes a freeze on the number of autorickshaw permits, owing to the explosion in numbers. “Illegal autorickshaws eat into the business of those who have the requisite permits and permissions. In Mumbai there are at least 30,000 illegal autorickshaws running,” said an union official.A spokesperson from the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport undertaking said they plan to increase the number of buses on the roads, especially on routes with shared rickshaw services, to reduce the impact on commuters.
\R London, Jul 4 (AFP) From Serena Williams’ tearful decision to stop breast-feeding to Victoria Azarenka’s guilt over the time she spends away from her baby, life isn’t all fun and games for Wimbledon’s mothers.Few female players have succeeded at Grand Slam level after becoming mums.Belgium’s Kim Clijsters returned to win the 2009 US Open, while Margaret Court and Evonne Goolagong Cawley won majors after giving birth in an era when the physical demands on players were less intense.But Williams, 36, and her fellow mothers are doing their best to cope with the stresses of parenthood as they bid to reverse that trend at Wimbledon this week.Williams is back at Wimbledon for the first time since giving birth to Alexis Olympia in September.The seven-time champion’s life is still a blur of nappies and interrupted sleep, but that didn’t stop her grinding out a 7-5, 6-3 win over Holland’s Arantxa Rus in the first round.Serena’s victory was one of four by mothers in the singles on Monday, with formerWimbledon runner-up Vera Zvonareva hoping to join the club when she plays on Tuesday.Germany’s Tatjana Maria enjoyed the most surprising success with a 7-6, 4-6, 6-1 victory over fifth seed Elina Svitolina to the delight of her four-year-old Charlotte.There were also wins for former world number one Azarenka, the Belarusian beating Ekaterina Alexandrova 7-6, 6-3, while Russian Evgeniya Rodina defeated Antonia Lottner 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.Azarenka’s one-year-old son Leo travels with her on the tour amid a stressful custody battle that forced her to step away from the sport last year.advertisementThe former world number one admits every moment she spends away from Leo is difficult, while juggling her tennis schedule with the constant demands of parenthood is a never-ending battle.”It’s difficult for me because I schedule everything around him. I do try to maximise my time with him,” two-time major winner Azarenka said.”So whenever he’s sleeping, that’s when I’m working, and other times I’m a full-time mom. It’s more challenging, but I wouldn’t change it.”The tougher balance is to be able to spend time away from my son and be okay with taking sometimes time for myself, which is a struggle, because I really want to spend every second with him.”I feel guilty if I take 15 minutes for myself to stretch. I’m trying to run back to him and spend every second with him.” Williams’ glittering career has brought her 23 major titles.But those achievements count for nothing when Alexis Olympia needs feeding, an issue that led Serena to make an emotional decision in favour of her career recently.Williams had complications after childbirth and her condition was a concern at the start of her comeback this year.After a tearful conversation with her coach Patrick Mouratoglou, she agreed to stop breast-feeding because it was making it difficult to lose weight.”For my body it didn’t work. No matter how much I worked out, no matter how much I did, it didn’t work for me. Then it was just emotionally letting go,” Williams said.”That was a different thing. I literally sat Olympia in my arms, I talked to her, we prayed about it. I told her, Look, I’m going to stop. Mommy has to do this.”I cried a little bit. She was totally fine. It was the strangest thing.”I just learned from that experience, every physical body is different.” Despite all the stresses of learning to balance a child with a successful career, for Wimbledon’s mums the process is an empowering feeling.”The thing about being pregnant and coming back is such a powerful thing now, and I think it’s an advantage, in a way,” Azarenka said.”You’re able to kind of do a tick, okay, I am a mom now, so I can continue to do more of what I love to do.” (AFP) APAAPA