Chinese Claim Early Man Fame

first_imgThe “out of Africa” hypothesis must be wrong, some Chinese anthropologists claim, because they have a modern skeleton 40,000 years old.  The story is reported by the BBC News, EurekAlert, National Geographic News and Science Daily.    The BBC News report starts, “The find could shed light on how our ancestors colonised the East, a movement that is only poorly understood by anthropologists.”  The 34 fragments of bone suggest, according to the discoverers, that the individual was a modern human with some archaic characteristics.  If modern humans had migrated out of Africa 30,000 years earlier, why did this individual retain earlier features?  One possibility offered was that the two interbred.Evolutionary news stories often include two tell-tale phrases.  Such-and-such a new discovery “may shed light” on something that is “poorly understood.”  This is code for “we’re about to tell a fictional tale that props up Darwinian hopes for another day.”  Like we said, they are tell-tale phrases.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

South African golf: a success story

first_imgSouth Africa has the weather, the courses … and the players. The country has produced some of the best in the game, including multiple major winners Bobby Locke, Gary Player, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen, and a host of others that regularly challenge for big titles around the world.Gary Player, a nine-time major winner, will forever be associated with two of the greatest players in the history of the game, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. Together, those three took golf to another level, pulling millions of new fans to the game with their great battles down the years.Player’s career is an astounding catalogue of successes, with 163 career victories, far more than either Nicklaus or Palmer managed. Player is also probably the most travelled athlete in the history of sport, having flown in excess of 17.5-million kilometres during his career!An astonishing talentBobby Locke was an astonishing talent too. He lifted The Open Championship title four times. In a series of exhibitions in 1946, he played Sam Snead, the winner of a record 82 PGA Tour titles. The result? In 14 matches, Locke won 12 times.Ernie Els remains one of the most popular golfers in the world. His best years had appeared to be behind him, but a fourth major victory in the 2012 Open Championship showed that he still has “it”. Like Gary Player and Bobby Locke, he is in the World Golf Hall of Fame.His apparently easy-going demeanour earned him the nickname “The Big Easy”, although Els says that perception is not quite right; he admits to feeling big pressure, just like everyone else.Another reason for his nickname is the beautiful, lazy-looking swing that somehow propels the ball over 300 metres down the fairway.Els has regularly been one of the top money-winners on both the European and US PGA Tours, while also campaigning in Australia and South Africa, and sometimes in Asia.Retief Goosen is a quiet man; the only real noise he makes is by his achievements on the golf courses of the world. They say enough, however. He occupied a place in the top 10 of the world rankings for a long time and, like Els, has fared well wherever he plays.Goosen captured the US Open title in 2001 and 2004. He is also a two-time winner of the European Order of Merit. The man who stopped his three-peat was Ernie Els.New generationIn recent times a new generation of top South African golfers has emerged. It began with Trevor Immelman’s stunning victory in the US Masters in 2008, just four months after having a tumour removed. It was a stunning turnaround of his fortunes and it meant he had emulated his hero, Gary Player.In 2010, Louis Oosthuizen added his name to the list of South African Major winners by capturing The Open Championship at Saint Andrews by a sensational seven shots.Not long after that, his good friend, Charl Schwartzel , lifted the US Masters title at Augusta. He entered the final round four shots off the pace, but ultimately won by two shots after closing with four successive birdies, a feat never before achieved in the Masters.World CupTwo of South Africa’s most successful golfers of recent past, Els and Goosen won the World Cup of Golf for South Africa in 2001 and that success was repeated in 2003 at Kiawah Island, but with Rory Sabbatini and Trevor Immelman flying the South African flag.Previous victories by Els and Wayne Westner in 1996, Bobby Cole and Dale Hayes in 1974, and Gary Player and Harold Henning in 1965 mean South Africa is second on the all-time list of World Cup victories, trailing only the United States of America.Presidents CupSouth African golfers have also featured in the biannual Presidents Cup which pits an International Team, excluding European golfers, against the USA. Ernie Els has appeared in it seven times and Retief Goosen six times. Others to play include Charl Schwartzel, Tim Clark, Trevor Immelman, Rory Sabbatini, David Frost, and Fulton Allem.The 2003 Presidents Cup, played at Fancourt in South Africa, ended in a remarkable tie and led US captain, the legendary Jack Nicklaus, to call it: “the most unbelievable event the game of golf has ever seen.”Sunshine TourA very healthy local tour, known as the Sunshine Tour, that also co-hosts a good number of events with the European PGA, ensures that South Africa continues to produce the golfing goods. Over the years it has attracted some of the world’s top golfers, often early on in their careers.South Africa has the weather, it has the courses, and it has the talented players too.An event that stands out in the minds of many is the Nedbank Challenge at Sun City. The first golf tournament to offer a first-place prize of US$1-million, it has since gone on to be a destination of choice for those among the world’s top golfers invited to contest it towards the end of each year.Foreigners are now discovering why South Africa has produced such consistently good golfers over the years. The country boasts fantastic courses in a wonderful variety of stunning settings, and the golf tourism industry is really starting to hot up. It’s this combination of golfing ideals that continues to produce world class South African golfers.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

A Step Toward Fairer Green Home Valuations

first_imgTo say this is an era of heightened scrutiny of the appraisal industry is an understatement. Flat-lining home sales and prices have sellers – including homebuilders – sharply focused on the fairness of lender valuations, especially those in markets afflicted by foreclosures.Another factor complicating appraisals: the green home, whose energy-saving features have so far been ignored in most valuations. That’s partly because green homes are still relatively new to the market and suitable comparables difficult to find. It’s also because the market value of green home features has been poorly understood by many appraisers and lenders.But at least one industry group is trying to address the issue. Last month, the Appraisal Institute, an industry group based in Chicago, issued an appraisal form designed to help appraisers analyze green features in a consistent and fair way. The new document, officially labeled Form 820.03, was presented as an addendum to Fannie Mae Form 1004, a widely used valuation form completed by appraisers and accepted by mortgage guarantors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration.If it’s filled out, will lenders use it?It’s a reasonable first step, since it will help bring green features to the attention of lenders. Whether lenders will choose to factor those green features into their valuations is another matter. A look at the three-page form indicates they should consider green features if their valuations are going to be fair, since the items listed on the addendum focus almost entirely on features that can reduce energy costs when the home is occupied and fully operational. RELATED ARTICLES Seeing Red on a Green Property Appraisal — Part 1Seeing Red on a Green Property Appraisal — Part 2Seeing Red on a Green Property Appraisal — Part 3Green Building Appraisal and Financing IssuesGreen Home Appraisal WoesWhen Green Poses an Appraisal ProblemGetting a Grip on Green-Home Appraisals and InsuranceQ&A: Bad Appraisal on a New Green HomeQ&A: Refinance and Appraisal of Net-Zero Home Items eligible for consideration within the appraised value of a property include insulation systems (their type, location, and R-value); water efficiency systems; daylighting features; appliance performance ratings; average utility costs; energy audit data; photovoltaic systems; LEED for Homes and National Green Building Standard certifications and scores; and government incentives that may have been applied to the purchase or installation of the property’s energy efficiency systems.It will take time for the green-home addendum to catch on, although pressure from homebuilders and other home sellers who have invested in energy efficiency measures – a steadily growing group – are likely to keep the pressure on until they’re satisfied the improvements are fairly factored into valuations.“We hope this new form will be a big step toward establishing more accurate home valuations that recognize all of the key features of a home,” Kevin Morrow, senior program manager of green building programs at the National Association of Home Builders, said in a press release touting the addendum. “Green homes can offer significant cost savings to home owners over a comparable home built to code, so we are pleased that this new form will finally provide a vehicle to demonstrate some of these key differentiators.”last_img read more