first_img 2 The star-studded Liverpool team from the 2008/09 season pushed Manchester United all the way, but fell short at the final hurdle. Moyes and Benitez enjoyed some terrific battles during their time on Merseyside 2 “This is a good Liverpool team as well – I don’t know if it’s quite as good as that team at that time. They’re playing a good style, with forward players who are exceptional, and because of that I think they’re a real threat.”The Reds are bout to embark on a mammoth run of games which could define their season.In the space of two weeks, they will play Chelsea in the league and the Carabao Cup, visit Napoli for a crucial Champions League game and then take on title rivals Manchester City at Anfield. David Moyes has rubbished Liverpool’s Premier League title chances and went on to claim the 2008 team his Everton side came up against was better.A 3-0 victory over Southampton on Saturday not only ensured the Reds have made their best ever start to a season, it put them above Manchester City at the top of the table. However, former Manchester United manager boss Moyes was quick to remind Reds fans Rafa Benitez’s star-studded side of a decade ago came close, but ultimately fell short in their quest for the title.With Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres causing defences all sorts of problems and Javier Mascherano and Xabi Alonso patrolling the midfield, it is clear to see what he means.When asked on Goals on Sunday if Liverpool can finally win the league this time around, Moyes said: “No, I don’t think so.“I think they’ve got a really good team, but you look back at teams over the years at Liverpool and they had great teams, when it was Alonso, Mascherano, Gerrard and Torres up front.last_img read more

first_imgThe winning car in the South African SolarChallenge, put together by a team fromTokai University, Japan, heading towardsthe Hex River mountains outside CapeTown.(Image: Zellous Racing) Each car in the race was sandwichedbetween two support cars to protect thesmall and fragile vehicles from other roadusers.(Image: Shane Barrett) The race covered 4 175km of tough SouthAfrican territory.(Image: South African Solar Challenge)Jennifer SternOn Tuesday 7 October a fleet of odd-looking vehicles rolled into Pretoria after an epic two-week, 4 175km round-trip across South Africa’s heartland and back along its coastline. This was the end of the inaugural South African Solar Challenge, the longest and toughest solar-powered race in the world, and the first sanctioned by the Federation International de l’Automobile (International Automobile Federation, or FIA).Setting off from Pretoria in Gauteng province on 28 September, the race covered the 530km to Kimberley in the Northern Cape by that evening. The next day they headed to Beaufort West, and the next to the coastal city of Cape Town, where the cars were on display in Canal Walk shopping centre on 1 October.The route back to Pretoria took the long way, east along South Africa’s coastline via Plettenberg Bay, East London, Port Shepstone, Durban and Ermelo.The South African Solar Challenge is similar to those run in the US and Australia for years, but with the distinction that it is sanctioned by FIA, the body that administers all motor sport including Formula 1 racing.The Australian and US races predate FIA’s interest in alternative-fuel racing, so they have their systems well established. Because the South African Solar Challenge is a brand new event, FIA was on board from the beginning. It’s probably only a matter of time until the other big solar races fall into line with FIA requirements, or the association alters its requirements to accommodate the established races.Energy efficiencyWhile the race is probably the most exciting, and certainly the most visually interesting, part of the event, it is in fact a small aspect of it. What it’s really all about is designing and building the cars. These are not production vehicles – every one is designed and built by the team that races it, and most teams are attached to universities or alternative energy technology companies.Efficiency is more important than speed, as solar cars are effectively electric cars, constrained by battery technology. Batteries have 50 times less energy density than petrol.  A litre of petrol weighs a bit less than a kilogram, and that will take the average car about 10km. One kilogram of fully charged battery, however, will take a car of about the same weight no more than a couple of hundred metres. In order to race an electric car 4 000km, you need to regularly recharge the batteries, hence the solar panels. So the race is not judged on speed, but on distance covered.Each car is accompanied by a trailer and, if they run out of power, they can opt to get back on the trailer and get credit for the mileage they’ve done, or they can stop and wait for the batteries to recharge.The more experienced drivers plan their energy consumption in such a way that they never run out of power, by driving slower, planning their stops and understanding the energy losses in the total system. If the weather is particularly bad or the road conditions unsafe, the organisers can call for all vehicles to be trailered.All the vehicles, regardless of class, have to have effective brakes and regulation lights. But they aren’t actually roadworthy, so each car is sandwiched between two escort cars to protect them from careless fellow road users, and protect other road users from them.In a previous solar race elsewhere, one of the cars had brake failure, but – fortunately – only crumpled its nose against its escort vehicle. What would be more disastrous is for an 18-wheeler to drive over one. They’re hard to see – being close to the ground, streamlined and almost invisible as the top surface is covered in dark, reflective solar panels. The top of some cars wouldn’t even reach the wheel nuts of a big truck.Challenge, Adventure and TechnologyThe race has three categories: Challenge, Adventure and the rather anomalous but exciting Technology Class, or Green Fleet. This last is open to either production vehicles using alternative fuels, or one-off designs. But the first South African Solar Challenge had only one entry in this class – a hybrid motorcycle from Malaysia.Winstone Jordaan, the event organiser, said that he hoped that in the next event, scheduled for 2010, commercial vehicle manufacturers would use the race to showcase their alternative-fuel models. By then there should be many more alternatively powered cars on the road, so this class could become seriously competitive.The Challenge Class is the most demanding, as the cars need to be a bit more “normal”. They must have a sit-up seat, not a reclining one, and generally be something that most people could actually imagine driving. Of the two leading vehicles in the race, that belonging to Team Sunna and designed, built and driven by Divwatt was the only one to qualify for this class.The Japanese entry, designed by engineering students from Tokai University, is by far the fastest and most efficient car in the fleet. Competing in the Adventure Class, it was the overall winner and an inspiration to the other competitors.At 11 years old the vehicle is a solar-race veteran, and the Japanese team exude an air of professionalism that shows they have been doing this for some time. While most of the other drivers are students, alternative technology buffs or engineers, the Japanese team has a string of five professional race drivers – all capable of doing repairs on the vehicle – as well as a small battalion of engineers.The spirit of the raceWhile it is an actual race, the spirit of the event is not particularly competitive. There were only six teams and, by the time they had reached Cape Town, only two cars had managed to run under their own steam – or sunshine. Most were plagued by technical or logistical problems.The two Indian teams were struggling to get their cars through customs into the country in time. In the spirit of the event they were hoping to drive a leg or two, even if they had no chance of winning. Two of the three South African teams had technical problems they were hoping to sort out so that they could, at least, do some of the race.Hermann Oelsner, the owner of Silver Fox, relates how Georg Brasseur, the FIA technical representative, stayed up until early in the morning trying to help him sort out his technical hitch after his car blew up its controller at the start. A few sparks, a fizz and then a sinking feeling as, after an exhausting resuscitation attempt, the phrase dreaded by every car owner was said: “We need this one small part …” This particular part had to come from Germany.It hadn’t arrived by Wednesday 1 October and Oelsner decided to take his car back home to Darling, where he runs South Africa’s first privately owned wind farm, which supplies electricity to the City of Cape Town. Even though the vehicle had done no actual mileage, he said, he had learned a lot on the race and will come fully prepared in 2010 – probably with a huge box of spare parts in the support vehicle.Being the first time the event was run, all involved have used it as a learning experience – the organisers and the competitors.“It’s a huge learning curve,” Jordaan said. “We’ve had no sponsorship so we haven’t managed to do much in the way of publicity or marketing, but we’re hoping to rectify that in 2010.”The organisers had hoped for more international competitors, he said, but the top teams stayed away because there was little in the way of exposure or kudos. They’d had a few nibbles but, Jordaan thinks, perhaps the course put them off.Tough goingIt’s not only the longest solar-powered race in the world, it’s the toughest. It’s mostly downhill from Pretoria to Cape Town, but the Hex River Mountains outside Cape Town pose a challenging barrier, with some nasty climbs. Getting out of Cape Town via the coast means negotiating Sir Lowry’s Pass and Houwhoek Pass, both high, steep and twisted.There are a few bumps and grinds further along the coast, such as the notorious Kei Cuttings in the Eastern Cape.  And it’s all uphill from the coast back up to Gauteng.  So not having much to gain and everything to lose if the terrain proved too taxing, the really competitive teams stayed home.The event was held as a stage race, with all the teams leaving together and spending each night in the same place. The organisers therefore had to make a call to put the vehicles on the trailers if it looked like they were not going to make the daily target.Ideally the teams should have all set off and kept going, spending the night wherever they ended up at sunset. But the logistics of this were too complicated with the resources the inaugural race had at hand.An advantage of this was that all the cars were in one place, so locals could come and have a good look. There was a surprisingly good turnout at Canal Walk in Cape Town, with fascinated onlookers asking the team members all kinds of questions – a good advertisement for alternative energy.Once the race is more established, and there are more resources, it will be run as a straightforward race, with each team heading off on their own with the leaders quite possibly finishing days ahead of their competitors.By the afternoon of Friday 4 October the race was almost in East London, a coastal city in the Eastern Cape. With glorious sunshine to push them on, the Japanese team were ahead of the organisers, who were flirting with speed limits to catch up to them.“Oh well,” Jordaan said, “it won’t be a total disaster if they get there before me, but it would be a bit embarrassing.”It was later discovered that the Japanese team followed some incorrect road signs and went via Grahamstown instead of Port Alfred. This was a far more complex climb, with worse road conditions, but they completed it like champions.Sunday 5 October saw the shortest stage – 128km from Port Shepstone to the Gateway shopping mall north of Durban. Not a single sunbeam broke through the clouds and there was heavy rain for most of the distance, but the Tokai University team drove the whole way on battery power, averaging a speed of about 45km an hour – much less than they can do with sunshine. It was good to have one car, at least, drive up to Gateway and through the parking lot with its trailer following empty.The Indians got their vehicles through customs on Sunday and, after a long night of scrutiny, the Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology car was passed for racing. The other Indian team Delhi College of Engineering was held back because the wiring was a not up to standard, and might pose a danger in the case of an accident.So on Monday four cars headed off towards Ermelo and then, on Tuesday 7 October, continued to Pretoria. That was where the Japanese car – to nobody’s surprise – passed the finish line first and, more importantly, registered by far the longest mileage.Related articlesSappi and Volvo greening SA Electrifying SA’s motor industry A power plant in your home Wind power on SA’s national grid Motorwind-powered energy Rallying around cleaner energy Useful linksSouth African Solar Challenge Federation International de l’Automobile American Solar Challenge World Solar Challenge Divwatt Iritron The Innovation Hublast_img read more

first_img15 December 2011Consumer inflation breached the South African Reserve Bank’s target range of 6% in November, driven by higher food and energy prices.“The headline CPI [Consumer Price Index] annual inflation rate in November 2011 was 6.1%. This rate was 0.1 of a percentage point higher than the corresponding annual rate of 6% in October 2011,” Statistics South Africa said on Wednesday.On average, prices increased by 0.3% between October and November 2011. The food and non-alcoholic beverages index increased by 0.5% between October and November 2011.The market had expected consumer inflation to rise to 6.2%.Continuing upward trendNedbank economists expect inflation to continue on its upward trend in the coming months, coming off a low base. Higher food and administered prices (regulated prices like fuel and electricity) are expected to remain the main drivers of inflation.“It seems likely that the Reserve Bank will keep interest rates unchanged for most of 2012 unless evidence of second-round inflationary pressures emerge,” Nedbank said.“For the moment, the Bank will continue to focus on the threat posed by the on-going European debt crisis and the adverse effects on domestic growth, particularly if the recession in Europe turns out to be more severe than many anticipate.”Standard Bank economists said the door remained open for further interest rate cuts in 2012, given evidence of a slowdown in the domestic and global economy.“However, we maintain our base case scenario that the SARB is likely to keep the repo rate unchanged at 5.5% next year,” Standard Bank saidSource: BuaNewslast_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest For much of the Eastern Corn Belt it is widely understood that the optimal planting period is between April 20 and May 10. Research has proven that corn loses yield potential daily when planted after the beginning of May. For the Central Corn Belt, the declines in yield potential due to planting delays vary from about 0.3% per day early in May to about 1% per day by the end of May (Nielsen, 2013).Knowing that this is true, it can be frustrating during a wet spring or when field work is delayed for one reason or another. Planting is a critical component of a successful crop as it sets the stage for the entire growing season. However, it is important to keep in mind that early planting is just one of many factors that contribute to high yield potential. Planting early favors high yields, but it does not guarantee them and growers should not focus entirely on the calendar.Growers don’t have to look very far into the past for confirmation of this fact. According to data collected by the National Agricultural Statistics Service USDA/NASS, only 62% of the 2009 corn crop was planted by the week ending May 17. Despite later planting dates, the national average yield for the 2009 crop was 164.4 bushels per acre. In 2012, 96% of the corn crop was in the ground as of the week ending May 20th. The crop was off to a great start, but thanks to the drought, the national average yield was only 123.1 bushels per acre in 2012. Although it is widely understood that planting date is an important management practice influencing corn yields, 2012 proved other factors (such as the drought) can diminish the yield potential of an early planted crop.Several other factors must be considered at planting. What are the field conditions? If the soil is too wet, any field work can cause yield-robbing compaction. Planting into wet soil can cause smearing and sidewall compaction of the seed furrow.What is the soil temperature? Soil temps should be 55 degrees F or above for corn to promote germination and early growth. What does the weather forecast look like? Will it promote germination and growth or will it be a pattern for cold and wet weather, which could delay emergence and cause damage to seedlings? Planting into less-than-ideal field conditions just to beat a date on the calendar usually results in problems that hurt yield potential more than a slight delay in planting would. As spring planting approaches, producers should take into consideration all important factors when making planting decisions and avoid focusing only on the calendar.last_img read more

first_imgView comments Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena Jonel Dapidran, cousin of Manny Pacquiao. Photo by Roy LuarcaAustralian Brent Dames claimed a unanimous decision win over Filipino bet Jonel Dapidran in the first fight in the preliminaries of Battle of Brisbane Sunday at Suncorp Stadium.Judges scored 58-56, 58-56, 59-55 in favor of Dames, who improved his mediocre record to 6-3, remained in search of his knockout victory in his professional career.ADVERTISEMENT What ‘missteps’? Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Cayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Games Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Dapidran, a cousin of WBO World welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao, slipped to 8-2 and lost his second fight in three bouts.This is also Dapidran’s first match outside of Philippine territory.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars LATEST STORIES Going for the jugular China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more

first_imgThiago Silva celebrates after scoring the opening goal for Brazil Brazil made its way into the World Cup semifinals for the first time in 12 years by beating Colombia 2-1 Friday, with the goals coming from defenders Thiago Silva and David Luiz. Brazil, which had been eliminated in the quarterfinals at the last two World Cups, will next play Germany on Tuesday.Silva gave Brazil the lead in the seventh minute, scoring with his left knee after a corner from Neymar. Luiz added the second from a free kick in the 69th, sending a swerving long-range shot into the top of the net.Colombia got one back in the 80th when striker James Rodriguez scored his tournament-leading sixth goal from the penalty spot.Team Line-ups(from):Brazil: Julio Cesar; Maicon, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo; Fernandinho, Paulinho (Hernanes, 86th), Oscar; Hulk (Ramires, 83rd), Neymar (Henrique, 88th), FredColombia: David Ospina; Juan Zuniga, Cristian Zapata, Mario Yepes, Pablo Armero; Juan Cuadrado (Juan Quintero, 80th), Fredy Guarin, Carlos Sanchez, James Rodriguez; Victor Ibarbo (Adrian Ramos, 46th), Teofilo Gutierrez (Carlos Bacca, 70th)last_img read more