Faster forensics, quicker prosecutions

first_img Source: BuaNews 13 October 2010 The South African Police Service’s Forensic Science Laboratories have made a significant dent in their backlog, leading to more efficient prosecution and conviction of criminals in the country. Addressing journalists in Pretoria on Tuesday, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said the backlog of cases being handled by the Forensic Science Laboratories had decreased by 19% between 1 April 2009 and 31 March 2010. The backlog in ballistics had decreased by 39%, in biology investigation by 33%, and in questioned documents by 21%. Mthethwa attributed the success to the turnaround strategy that was implemented in forensics. The laboratories play a critical role in the prosecution and conviction of criminals. However, most of them were not functioning optimally. Court cases, depending on forensic evidence, were being delayed, lost or dropped. International experts have been assisting the South African Police Service in identifying the causes of the backlogs, and have developed remedial steps to resolve them. Since February this year, an overhaul of human resources and skills, and upgrading of equipment, was undertaken to improve capacity. “We are pleased with this progress, while also mindful that the current functioning of the Forensic Science Laboratories (FSL) is far from ideal,” Mthethwa said. “We shall continue to strive to ensure that we transform the FSL into a world-class unit.” last_img read more

How To Bring Meditation to the Workplace

first_imgEva Del RioLast week I discussed the benefits of meditation in the workplace, pointing out it promises to increase productivity, focus, employee cohesion and resistance to stress. So what’s the best way to bring meditation into the workplace?Let’s pick up where we left off.Make meditation acceptable in your workplace culture. Even though practicing meditation at home has gone mainstream, it’s still not widely accepted -and seen as we strange- if practiced at work. One way to telegraph that it’s acceptable is to invite a speaker to a lunch-and-learn so employees can hear about the topic. “Mindfulness” meditation is the most generally accepted form, the one featured on the cover of business magazines, so it’s safe to start there.Find a champion. This might be an employee, or a manager. Someone who is already committed to the practice and is familiar with the logistics and basics; this will make others feel at ease. What if there’s no such person? Don’t worry, someone who is new to meditation but interested in its potential, will work just as well. Just make sure there is a person who takes the lead and believes in the effort.Provide a place to practice. You don’t need a meditation hall with cushions and incense. All you need is a conference room, break room, or some other quiet space.   This might mean opening your doors a little earlier for employees who want to practice 15 min before work. Or provide access during lunch or after work to an area that may normally be locked or inaccessible. It may sound counterintuitive that employees will stay late before going home, but it happens.Take advantage of technology. Recommend free meditation apps that everyone can use. This way the practice and the benefits can go home with employees. Who doesn’t want to sleep better? Be less anxious? Feel 10% happier? All this will soon be obvious to any employees who take interest in the practice. Note: the workplace practice itself can be based one of these free apps.Recommended free apps:Calm – 7 Daily 10-minute guided meditations. Not just for meditation, keep it open in the background for soothing sounds throughout the day.10% Happier Named after the book by Dan Harris  a news anchor who famously had a panic attack on live TV, an experience that led him to meditation. If other apps don’t speak your language, or sound too flaky, this “meditation for fidgety skeptics” might be for you. Insight TimerIt’s simple, intuitive and user friendly. The free version let’s you set a time, sounds, periodic bells.Hope these tips encourage you to bring mindfulness meditation to the workplace. There’s no downside, it’s a perk, it’s cheap and it may make your workplace 10% happier. Originally published on HR Boxlast_img read more

National Geographic Society To Do Video Games

first_img5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Tags:#gaming#NYT#Product Reviews#web 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… Related Posts 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe Appcenter_img sarah perez 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… The successful science and educational organization The National Geographic Society, best known for their long-running magazine, has just made an interesting announcement. Their next venture in their for-profit operations is video games. This month, National Geographic Games, a newly formed division within the company, will launch three gaming products to be soon followed by another in December and three (so far) are planned for next year. The games will be developed for major gaming consoles, handhelds, and mobile platforms, including, yes, the iPhone.There are few people out there who don’t have fond memories of flipping through the pages of a National Geographic magazine, admiring the award-winning photography that graced its pages as our eyes widened to the wonders of the world around us. Since its launch in the “ancient” times of 1888, the world has gotten a lot smaller, figuratively speaking. Television, air travel, and, of course, the internet, have allowed us to explore much more of the world than ever before. To some extent, the information age has impacted, if not the magazine’s sales themselves, the sense of wonder that was once to be had when perusing the magazine’s articles and images. To keep up with the changing times, the new National Geographic Games division (NGG), will attempt to connect with people once again on the platforms of our modern age, including the Wii, Playstation 3, Nintendo DS, PC and Mac, the PS3 Network, and the iPhone. There will also be free Flash games online at nationalgeographic.com/channel. As always, the company’s goal is to encourage people to explore their world, this time though, it’s through play. Lest you think these games will be wimpy attempts at educational experiences, it’s worth nothing that Chris Mate, a former executive at Take2 Interactive, the company behind “Grand Theft Auto,” will serve as VP and GM of the games venture. Hopefully, his history, which also includes Bethesda Softworks, will bring some spunk to the usually dry “learning is fun!” gaming experience. The first game to launch will be “Herod’s Lost Tomb,” an online game which blends in content from both the December 2008 issue of National Geographic magazine as well as the National Geographic Channel feature broadcast on the biblical figure King Herod, architect of the ancient world. last_img read more

Tourism Minister Highlights Ocho Rios Seafood Festival

first_img “Gastronomy is a US$150-billion business across the world. Events like the Ocho Rios Seafood Festival are the perfect fit to draw some of that business to Jamaica, giving us more opportunities to improve the country’s earnings and also give tourism another reason to smile,” the minister said. Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the upcoming Ocho Rios Seafood Festival represents a unique opportunity for Jamaica to make further inroads into the lucrative gastro-tourism market. Story Highlights The Ocho Rios Seafood Festival will be held on Tuesday, August 1 (Emancipation Day), at the Turtle River Park in Ocho Rios, St. Ann. The event is sponsored by Hah-R-Mony Entertainment, and Marksman. Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the upcoming Ocho Rios Seafood Festival represents a unique opportunity for Jamaica to make further inroads into the lucrative gastro-tourism market.Speaking to JIS News following the press launch of the festival in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, on June 22, Mr. Bartlett added that with food festivals now becoming an attractive draw for tourists, the island is now on track to become one of the world’s major gastronomy destinations.“Gastronomy is a US$150-billion business across the world. Events like the Ocho Rios Seafood Festival are the perfect fit to draw some of that business to Jamaica, giving us more opportunities to improve the country’s earnings and also give tourism another reason to smile,” the minister said.Mr. Bartlett said he is very impressed with how the Ocho Rios Seafood Festival has broadened its appeal for an international audience, noting that “bringing in reputable chefs from overseas, as well as having an international film crew here to participate in the event, is a big move that will give both the festival and Jamaica a major push globally”.“The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport are both on board as sponsors, and we see where the Ocho Rios Seafood Festival can also be used as a template for other culinary events that will assist in broadening our gastronomy network,” he added.Mr. Bartlett said that Jamaican food, rum and music are all critical ingredients in the building out of the gastronomy experience, and that the plan is to have food festivals and other culinary events year-round, “giving us that big opportunity to secure a piece of the gastro-tourism pie”.He pointed out that an enterprise team, led by former President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Nicola Madden-Greig, has been appointed “as our gastronomy gurus” to put Jamaica on the map as a major gastronomy centre.For her part, Marketing Manager of the Ocho Rios Seafood Festival, Camille Miller, said the event, which is also celebrating its 10th anniversary, has been moving from “strength to strength”, to where it is now one of the premier family-oriented festivals in the country.“What we have long recognised is that there is a vast market out there for quality events that cater for the entire family. This also rings true for families overseas who want to come to Jamaica for vacation and having an event of this magnitude to look forward to. Since our roll-out in 2007, we have consistently stuck with our family-oriented theme and this is not about to change anytime soon,” she said.The Ocho Rios Seafood Festival will be held on Tuesday, August 1 (Emancipation Day), at the Turtle River Park in Ocho Rios, St. Ann. The event is sponsored by Hah-R-Mony Entertainment, and Marksman.last_img read more

Will somebody please give Norm Macdonald another TV show

first_imgAdvertisement “The only thing that would happen is I would destroy. Which leads to nothing.”It is a strange mix of confidence and fatalism.“I’m telling you, I know. As a matter of fact, if there was somebody writing a story about that night, I would not be mentioned.”I’d mention you, I tell him. This seems to have no effect.“I could do better than all of them. Which is possible. I’m not saying I’m better than them. I’m saying that on any night, I could do material that’s super strong and I’d probably be better than Rock’s material for the Oscars. But it leads to nothing.”Over the next four hours, Macdonald barely budges from his seat in the two-bedroom condo he recently bought in a planned community not far from the airport. But he does talk – about his first book, a kind of memoir that is overdue and torturing him, his various TV ideas, his various TV failures, his dashed dream of hosting a late-night talk show, Rodney Dangerfield, gambling, religion, Russian literature, his son, why he was “Saturday Night Live’s” best “Weekend Update” anchor ever, why he’s a terrible actor, his obsessive tweeting and his belief that nothing is more important professionally than being the greatest stand-up comic of his time. Five more times, he will get up to grab another Klondike. And then, around 2:37 a.m., he’ll stand up, lift up his shirt to rub his stomach and say, “Maybe I shouldn’t have had all six of those.” LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Norm Macdonald has just unwrapped his first Klondike bar when he mentions the Chris Rock show. Turns out he has a chance to appear at a surprise gig at the nearby Comedy Store that also includes Louis C.K. and Dave Chappelle.Wouldn’t performing in L.A. with the hottest comedians on Earth two nights before Rock’s much-anticipated #OscarsSoWhite hosting spot be good for his career?Macdonald, 56, shakes his head. His mouth is full of chocolate crust and ice cream, and he chews as he talks. He’s in his favorite chair, sneakers kicked off, ESPN on with the sound down. Login/Register With: Twitter Advertisement Facebook Advertisementlast_img read more

Anishinabe artist Caroline Monnet to take part in Whitney Museum of American

first_imgSophie-Claude MillerAPTN NewsCaroline Monnet enjoys working with various mediums, cinema, visual arts, sculpture, painting but she says it herself, video is her first love.The artist’s work is one of the two artists from Canada selected for the Whitney Museum’s Biennial exhibition.Three of her videos will be presented in the course of the exhibition.“They are important videos for me because they have a lot of energy in the video and I think that’s where were at right now,” Monnet says. “We want to put positive images in the world. We want to break away from, you know, preconceptions.“And so it’s very interesting to put images of Indigenous people on the screen.Sky Hopinka, an Indigenous movie director from the Ho-Chunk Nation in the U.S., selected Monnet’s work for the biennial exhibition.He had met her at the Sundance Festival in 2015 while they were both presenting.“I have seen some of her earlier works, some of her recent work and there is always this attention to detail and care, which I’m really drawn to and which, you know, compliments obviously a bunch of other works that I have been thinking about, especially as far as what it means to be an indigenous experimental film maker,” says Hopinka.(Caroline Monnet in her workshop, “When you use humor I think you can talk about a lot of things.” Photo: Sophie-Claude Miller/APTN)At 33, the Algonquin- French and self-taught multi-disciplinary artist already has been programmed in exhibitions and festivals all around the world:The Cannes Film Festival, Sundance, the Quebec Museum of Fine Arts, the National Art Gallery and the Museum of Contemporary Arts of Montreal to name a few.APTN News met her in her studio where she was working on future creations.Monnet studied sociology in university and it’s easy to see it in all her work.She uses geometrical shapes that are inspired by birch bark biting patterns and the Algonquin embroidery and beadwork, usually in a contemporary treatment.Her late mother-in-law is the one that passed patterns to her.As was a way of honouring and keeping her memory alive, Monnet started drawing them and did paintings. She enjoys exploring these as traditional Anishinabe designs that she can revisit from a contemporary perspective.Monnet says she inspires herself from tradition and then transposing into her own reality, using the computer and having kind of the digital being in relationship with tradition.“I became obsessed with these patterns and designs when my mother-in-law passed away and I did an entire exhibition in memory of her,” says Monnet.For the artist, the patterns are like subliminal messages, microchips, or even city maps.She feels like there is always a message in them.In Anishinabe tradition, each family has their own designs and she finds it very interesting to explore. Her creativity with these patterns is a way for her to reconnect with that part of her identity both as an artist and as an individual.Her early work in all mediums usually was in black and white and it’s recent that she adds colors to it.‘’Maybe the topic is very heavy, and has a lot of things to it and but then with the color it makes it more accessible a little bit more fun. When you use humor I think you can talk about a lot of things, ’’ Monnet says.The Whitney Museum of American Art’s Biennial exhibition will be presented from May 17 to September 22 in New York City.smiller@aptn.ca@SophieClaudelast_img read more