By the end of the year, Velika Gorica will have a Visitor Center

first_imgWork on the project of the Visitor Center of the Tourist Board of Velika Gorica continues in the summer months. The conceptual design of the multimedia exhibition has been submitted, and in two weeks the detailed design will be completed.The Visitor Center should open its doors to citizens by the end of the year, and the estimated total investment of the City and the Tourist Board until the complete completion of the facility, multimedia display and arrangement of the new pedestrian square in front of the Center is eight million kuna. “The visitor center will soon become the new home of the Tourist Board, but also a gathering place for the people of Velika Gorica and visitors to our city. More importantly, the construction of the Center is the first step in which we want to restore and revive the historic center of Velika Gorica” Mayor Dražen Barišić pointed out.In the main building of the Center, through a coordinated digital presentation of cultural tangible and intangible cultural heritage and oral recommendations of the Tourist Board, the visitor will get a picture of the tourist destination Turopolje, offered opportunities and time needed to experience Turopolje through all its potentials. “Modern presentation methods of digital technology will revive our wooden architecture, painting, music, tradition of the Noble Municipality of Turopolje, preserved natural wealth and way of life in Turopolje”, points out the director of the Tourist Board Milada Mesarić, who adds that the construction of this facility begins a new phase of development of the tourist destination.As the need for new tourist content is definitely needed, the data show that in the first six months there were 26 percent more tourists than last year.According to the eVisitor system, in the first six months of this year it was recorded growth of 25,94 percent (10.914) in arrivals and 17.05 post (17.696) growth of overnight stays compared to the same period last year. An increase in the number of tourist arrivals and overnight stays was also recorded during the pre-season June. Data for June 2017 show that the number of tourist arrivals increased by 22,49 percent (2.990 arrivals), while the number of overnight stays increased by 7 percent (4.054 overnight stays) compared to June 2016. In the mentioned period, there was an increase in the arrivals of foreign guests by 30,07 percent (1.959 arrivals) and a decrease in the arrivals of domestic guests by 0,9 percent (482 arrivals). The number of overnight stays of foreign guests increased by 1.45 percent (3.111 overnight stays), while the number of overnight stays of domestic guests increased by 32,25 percent (679 overnight stays).”The tourist travels in search of new knowledge, new experiences, new pleasures. That is why we can offer him a lot in Turopolje; from visits to valuable monuments of tangible cultural heritage, events on the theme of intangible cultural heritage, sports competitions, recreation and active stay in the vicinity of our rivers Sava, Odra and Kupa, to delicious local food and drinks”, Concludes Mesarić.Velika Gorica currently has a total of 350 beds, and at the beginning of 2017, 39 business entities were registered with a total of 36.419 tourist overnight stays last year, while this year the scale has been raised to 40.000 overnight stays. New accommodation capacities are also planned, especially the construction of the Garden Hill Hotel in Rakarska Street at the end of the year, which will make an even more significant step forward in the offer, and offer guests in Gorica top service and comfort.last_img read more

Biological Nanomachines Inspire Nanotechnology

first_imgNano, nano; we’re hearing that morkish prefix a lot these days.  It means 10-9 of something: most often, of meters (see powers of ten).  A nanometer is a billionth of a meter.  This gets down into the range of protein molecules and small cellular components.  A DNA molecule, for instance, is about 20 nanometers across; an ATP synthase rotary motor is about 8 x 12 nanometers, and a bacterial flagellum about 10 times larger.  Now that imaging technology is reaching into realms of just a few nanometers, scientists are keen to understand nature’s engineering in hopes of doing their own.    The premiere issue of Nature Nanotechnology made its debut this month.1  It contains a centerpiece review article by Wesley R. Browne and Ben L. Feringa entitled, “Making molecular machines work.”2  Though the article focuses on human progress and potential in the world of nanotechnology, it contains numerous ecstasies about biological machines unmade by human hands:Consider a world composed of nanometre-sized factories and self-repairing molecular machines where complex and responsive processes operate under exquisite control; where translational and rotational movement is directed with precision; a nano-world fuelled by chemical and light energy.  What images come to mind?  The fantastical universes described in the science fiction of Asimov and his contemporaries?  To a scientist, perhaps the ‘simple’ cell springs more easily to mind with its intricate arrangement of organelles and enzymatic systems fuelled by solar energy (as in photosynthetic systems) or by the chemical energy stored in the molecular bonds of nucleotide triphosphates (for example, ATP).Biological motors convert chemical energy to effect stepwise linear or rotary motion, and are essential in controlling and performing a wide variety of biological functions.  Linear motor proteins are central to many biological processes including muscle contraction, intracellular transport and signal transduction, and ATP synthase, a genuine molecular rotary motor, is involved in the synthesis and hydrolysis of ATP.  Other fascinating examples include membrane translocation proteins, the flagella motor that enables bacterial movement and proteins that can entrap and release guests through chemomechanical motion.Whereas nature is capable of maintaining and repairing damaged molecular systems, such complex repair mechanisms are beyond the capabilities of current nanotechnology.In designing motors at the molecular level, random thermal brownian motion must therefore be taken into consideration.  Indeed, nature uses the concept of the brownian ratchet to excellent effect in the action of linear and rotary protein motors.  In contrast to ordinary motors, in which energy input induces motion, biological motors use energy to restrain brownian motion selectively.  In a brownian ratchet system the random-molecular-level motion is harnessed to achieve net directional movement, and crucially the resulting biased change in the system is not reversed but progresses in a linear or rotary fashion.Biosystems frequently rely on ATP as their energy source, however very few examples of artificial motors that use exothermic chemical reactions to power unidirectional rotary motion have been reported to date.That biological motors perform work and are engaged in well-defined mechanical tasks such as muscle contraction or the transport of objects is apparent in all living systems.It is clear that the biological machines are inspiring the human drive toward exploiting the possibilities of mimicking, if not duplicating, what already exists in nature.  They say in conclusion,The exquisite solutions nature has found to control molecular motion, evident in the fascinating biological linear and rotary motors, has served as a major source of inspiration for scientists to conceptualize, design and build – using a bottom-up approach – entirely synthetic molecular machines.  The desire, ultimately, to construct and control molecular machines, fuels one of the great endeavours of contemporary science….….As complexity increases in these dynamic nanosystems, mastery of structure, function and communication across the traditional scientific boundaries will prove essential and indeed will serve to stimulate many areas of the synthetic, analytical and physical sciences.  In view of the wide range of functions that biological motors play in nature and the role that macroscopic motors and machines play in daily life, the current limitation to the development and application of synthetic molecular machines and motors is perhaps only the imagination of the nanomotorists themselves.1Nature Nanotechnology, Vol. 1, No. 1, October 2006.2Wesley R. Browne and Ben L. Feringa, “Making molecular machines work,” Nature Nanotechnology, 1, pp25-35 (2006), doi:10.1038/nnano.2006.45.These superlatives call for an explanation: how did nature achieve this level of technology, a level our best scientists can only view with awe as they attempt to catch up, using their brightest intelligence applied to design?  Here is the simplistic, hand-waving explanation.  In what should have been a paper permeated with unadulterated intelligent design, both human and biological, they slipped into the old Darwinian bad habit.  Get ready with your baloney breathalyzer.Understanding and harnessing such phenomenal biological systems provides a strong incentive to design active nanostructures that can operate as molecular machines, and although our current efforts to control motion at the molecular level may appear awkward compared with these natural systems, it should not be forgotten that nature has had a 4.5 billion year head start.This is bad breath caused by Dar-wine.  No matter the object under consideration, from a nanoscopic rotary motor with near perfect efficiency to a narwhal’s antenna or a butterfly’s photonic crystals, Darwin-drunk researchers continue to ascribe these wonders to blind, aimless, materialistic processes.  If nature’s advantage were merely a head start, then Nature Nanotechnology would do better to tell its researchers to close their labs, put on blindfolds, and wander aimlessly about, bumping into each other, till something interesting happens.    As we wag our heads at the inebriation of scientists believing such things, let’s not forget what they said about biological machines.  Those machines really do exist.  They’re keeping you functioning.  They’re enabling your brain to think.  So think.  Don’t try to drink and think, lest your breath stink and your common sense shrink.(Visited 221 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Do something to help others

first_imgSello Hatang of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory has taken part in the Bikers For Mandela initiative before so this year he will be doing the Trek4Mandela climb of Mount Kilimanjaro for Mandela Day. (Image: Shamin Chibba)The spirit of active citizenship and volunteerism is the backbone Brand South Africa believes will make Nelson Mandela International Day a success and change South Africa for the better.To capitalise on the goodwill of others, the organisation and its partners launched the Play Your Part for Madiba campaign at the Mandela Centre of Memory in Houghton, Johannesburg. Mandela Day is held annually on 18 July, Mandela’s birthday, and the campaign was launched on 6 July as a run up to the day.At the event, various people spoke about the importance of the day and the reason Mandela Day is celebrated worldwide.According to Brand South Africa, the new campaign is aimed at building a spirit of active citizenship among all South Africans, which is required to drive the implementation of the National Development Plan or Vision 2020.The goal of the month-long Play your Part for Madiba is to uphold the ideals, values and actions of Madiba. Madiba was Mandela’s clan name, and the name by which he was fondly known. His legacy encourages South Africans to play their part in the creation of positive change by building their communities and upholding a spirit of ubuntu and social cohesion.Brand South Africa board member Geoffrey Rothschild said: “We acknowledge and thank all South Africans who commit themselves to ensure that Mandela Day is a huge success… I would like to quote Madiba and ask all of you to live by his motto: free yourself, free others and serve every day.”Yusuf Abramjee, of LeadSA, said: “Although Mandela Day falls on a weekend this year, it does not mean you should not participate. There is no activity too big or small… Through acts of kindness we will make South Africa a better place and uphold Madiba’s legacy.”BIKERS AND CLIMBERSThere are two official Mandela Day events taking place: Bikers for Mandela Day, which is in its sixth year, and Trek4Mandela, which is in its fourth year.Zelda Le Grange, who was Madiba’s long-time assistant and convenes the former, said: “We will be embarking on a ride from 16 July to Eastern Cape and do a lot of charity work. Bikers for Mandela Day was launched so that South Africa’s large biker community could pay tribute to Madiba and his legacy. Madiba strongly believed that small acts of kindness could change the world for the better and gave 67 years of his life fighting for the rights of humanity.”Sello Hatang, from the Nelson Mandela Foundation, added: “I ran away from bikers now I find myself climbing a mountain,” to laughter from the audience.Hatang will join South African adventurer Sibusiso Vilane in ascending Mount Kilimanjaro for the legacy campaign.Trek4Mandela benefits Caring4Girls, a programme to provide sanitary towels and menstrual hygiene information to underprivileged girls in rural communities.THE GEM PROJECTBrand South Africa has also partnered with the GEM Project, or Go the Extra Mile. The two have developed a Play Your Part app which contains a number of organisations needing assistance from South Africans.These include, among others, those that provide clothing, assistance with homework, job shadowing and skills development, which all South Africans will be able to support.The GEM Project works by rewarding individuals: once they have helped a cause, they are eligible to receive a reward via the app, termed a GEM. The GEMS can be converted into a number of products such as airtime, data, pre-paid electricity, or even movie tickets.“The app is a social development drive that aims to mobilise communities within themselves so that they can help each other rise,” explained David Shields, GEM Project co-founder. “Volunteers are encouraged to donate their GEMs back to the needy causes during Mandela Month.”In South Africa, to extend the goodwill, Mandela Day has been stretched for the whole month of July.“In order to ensure continuity and mobilise support even beyond Mandela Month, corporates are also encouraged to donate GEMs so that they can be allocated towards causes on an ongoing basis.”This was a call to action so that every day could become a Mandela Day, said Brand South Africa’s acting chief marketing officer, Sithembile Ntombela.“This partnership is an extension not only to the commemorative month’s activities and actions of goodwill by South Africans, but we hope that the nation will continue to contribute to positive change because a nation of people who care deeply for one another, and the environment in which they live, is beneficial for everyone.”last_img read more

Remembering Muhammad Ali in Africa

first_imgAmerican boxing legend Muhammad Ali had a deep connection with Africa: the continent’s fighting spirit influenced his own articulate political and spiritual philosophy. Ali also fought his greatest fight in Africa – the famous “Rumble in the Jungle” – and was a close friend of Nelson Mandela, freedom fighter and another iconic boxer.Muhammad Ali, “The Greatest”, born 1942, died 2016. (Image: Wikipedia)CD AndersonAli and AfricaThere is no doubt that Ali identified strongly with Africa and its people. From an early age, as a descendant of African slaves, Ali looked to the continent to help define his unique identity and form his strong political and spiritual convictions.For Africans, Muhammad Ali’s appeal went far beyond the boxing ring: he was a strong black role model during a time when there were none, at least not as high- profile as he was.As an early champion of black consciousness, Ali’s outspokenness on war, racism and inequality made him more than just a boxer, it made him a symbol of power and hope. He inspired generations of Africans to not only take up the sport, but also to make a defiant stand against injustice.Ali, the fighter in AfricaAli in Kinshasa, Zaire. Rumble in the Jungle #RIPChamp— oneinonepointfour (@Shabs_i_r) June 4, 2016When Ali arrived for his fight against George Foreman in Zaire (today’s Democratic Republic of the Congo) in 1974, he was greeted by thousands as a returning African son.Throughout his time in the country, he was followed everywhere by adoring fans, including youngsters chanting what would become Ali’s unofficial African fight song: “Ali Bomaye!”The fight itself was a spectacle, a down-to-the-wire battle between the era’s best fighters inside a brutally hot Kinshasa stadium filled to the brim with over 60 000 people. Ali and Foreman both gave as good as each got, but it was Ali who triumphed with one of his trademark knockout blows in the eighth round to conclude what many call “the greatest sporting event of the 20th century”.The fight and Ali’s trip to Africa became the basis for a number of films, including Michael Mann’s Ali, starring Will Smith as Ali. It was also celebrated in literary works, such as Norman Mailer’s The Fight, and by other great sport writers of the era, including George Plimpton and Hunter S Thompson.The Rumble in the Jungle brought Africa to a worldwide audience for the first time in the modern era, all helped by the iconic status of Ali.Ali and MandelaNelson Mandela, a former boxer himself, had always been a big fan of Muhammad Ali, calling him his personal hero and keeping a photo of Ali in his office as inspiration. The feeling was mutual. When Mandela was released from prison Ali rushed to meet him, calling him a “fellow freedom fighter, both in and out the ring”.Upon Mandela’s release Ali travelled to South Africa to greet his brother; a freedom fighter in&out of the ring too.— Beauty’sOnlySkinDeep (@BlackPearlMoi) June 5, 2016The two met regularly over the years, and together used their influence as living legends to draw attention to many shared charitable causes – including HIV/Aids and poverty awareness – as well as to strengthen Africa’s presence in the rest of the world.Nelson Mandela kept a photo of Muhammad Ali on his desk. He was Mandela’s hero, says the Mandela Foundation— Shreeya Sinha (@ShreeyaSinha) June 4, 2016On the day Mandela died in 2013, Ali eulogised him as “a man whose heart, soul and spirit could not be contained or restrained by racial and economic injustices, metal bars or the burden of hate and revenge. He taught us forgiveness on a grand scale.”Source: Wikipedia Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa materiallast_img read more