Breaking News: Ocean City Wins “Best Beach in America Contest”

first_img“It’s a tradition and a part of life for generations of residents and guests,” Gillian said. “Days on the beach and Boardwalk nights in Ocean City are the fabric of many fond memories for people across the country. We all feel blessed to live in such a wonderful place and proud that so many visitors share our passion.” This was the first ever “Best Beach in America” contest by Coastal Living. The magazine pitted 30 coastal states in head-to-head competition during successive rounds of an NCAA-style March Madness bracket format. Ocean City and Huntington Beach made it to the championship round, with Ocean City ultimately grabbing the crown with more than 100,000 votes. Ocean City topped Huntington Beach, Calif., for bragging rights as the “Best Beach in America” in a national online poll conducted by Coastal Living Magazine. The town that also prides itself as “America’s Greatest Family Resort” was announced as the winner Monday. Coastal Living said it will feature Ocean City’s “stunning shoreline” in its June issue as well as in a special online package.Click here to see the completed bracket!“Congratulations to Ocean City, our 2016 Best Beach in America,” Coastal Living Editor Steele Marcoux said in a statement. “It doesn’t get more all-American than a two-and-a-half-mile-long Boardwalk and eight miles of pale sand. This iconic summer destination has a real family vibe and a fun-loving spirit.” “They reviewed the vote and Ocean City came out as the winner,” McGinnis said. Several readers of alerted the website that Huntington Beach appeared to be getting an unusually high number of votes from France, Germany and the Ukraine, while the overwhelming amount of votes for Ocean City came from within the United States. The abnormally high number of overseas votes suggested Huntington Beach may have benefited from automated or “bot” votes that are set to continually register votes in online polls. As a first step, the city plans to reach out to residents and visitors through social media and email “to spread the word as much as we can” about the contest, McGinnis noted. McGinnis, though, explained that Coastal Living told her that it delayed announcing the contest winner after detecting “unusual voting patterns.” She did not know the nature of those voting patterns. By Donald Wittkowskicenter_img “We worked closely with our polling provider to verify the winner and stand behind the final result,” Marsh said. Shawnda McGinnis, marketing director for the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce, said the contest should elevate the town’s profile in the tourism industry nationwide and help it to attract more visitors. “We’re thrilled to have so many people who voted for us,” McGinnis said. Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian said the voters not only recognized the town’s beautiful beaches, but also its reputation for offering residents and visitors “much more than that.” Coastal Living issued a statement in early April that confirmed it was looking into the voting. Elizabeth Marsh, a spokeswoman for the magazine, released another statement Monday that expressed confidence in the vote totals. “We all love Ocean City. Now that we’ve been chosen as Best Beach in America, it does help in promoting Ocean City,” McGinnis said. “America’s Greatest Family Resort” has added the title of “Best Beach in America” to its tourist-friendly resume.last_img read more

Task team gets to work on cancer

first_imgBreast and cervical cancers, according to the Health Department, are a growing concern among women; men are mostly affected by lung cancer, followed by prostate and throat cancers.(Image: CANSA)MEDIA CONTACTS • Department of Health enquiries+27 12 395 9150RELATED ARTICLES• Finding strength through breast cancer• Embrace tattoos to fight cancer• World Cancer Day marked in SA• Revamped Aids council launches• Paddlers in the pink for cancerCadine PillayA cancer advisory committee, set up by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, will tackle all matters relating to the prevention and control of cancer.The Department of Health explained that the primary function of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on the Prevention and Control of Cancer would be to benefit the state to plan all-inclusive, preventive services; it would also benefit patients and their families by meeting their needs for quality care. There are eight inaugural members.Updating cancer data to help educate publicCancer is a major killer, both in the developed and the developing worlds; South Africa is not spared. According to the Health Department spokesperson, Popo Maja, the decision taken to establish the committee was a result of the growing number of cancer cases in South Africa. Maja said while cancer accounted for 7% of all deaths in South Africa in 2012, the information available on it was inadequate.Although there are other organisations that educate people on cancer, such as the Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa), Childhood Cancer Foundation (Choc) and People Living with Cancer (PLWC), there is a dire need for an assessment of all available cancer data. South Africa’s official cancer data is irregular at present as cases are only reported voluntarily.The health minister set up a National Cancer Registry in 1986 to facilitate the compulsory registration of all cancer cases. However, it proved ineffective and the registry was last updated in 2004. “Our information is quite outdated and that worries us,” Maja said.The team will educate the public about cancer and how to detect it early. Breast and cervical cancers, according to the Health Department, are a growing concern among women. Men are mostly affected by lung cancer, followed by prostate and throat cancers.Maja said one of the committee’s tasks would be to strengthen research to find ways to make a cervical cancer vaccine affordable to disadvantaged communities.‘Lifestyle changes prevent NCDs’Setting up the committee is in line with a UN campaign launched in late 2011 at a summit to combat non-communicable diseases, as the UN sees these as a global development crisis. A non-communicable disease (NCD) is a medical condition or disease that is non-infectious and non-transmissible among people.In a 2011 review on NCDs, the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) reported that NCDs caused a quarter of deaths in South Africa. Globally, deaths caused by NCDs were projected to increase by 17% over the next 10 years, but the greatest increase – of 24% – was expected in Africa. It was also estimated that NCDs would contribute to 75% of global deaths by 2030.“Inadequate knowledge about how environmental and behavioural factors are causing NCDs among much of the population also allows NCDs to grow at unprecedented rates,” Motsoaledi said.NCDs can often be prevented through lifestyle changes, but the minister said poverty contributed to an increase in such illnesses because in poorer communities there was limited access to information on lifestyle changes. “We cannot expect people to behave in healthy ways unless they know what is healthy and what is not,” he added.He explained that the committee would work with society and communities to try to look for the best ways to do that.Experts to tackle cancer issuesThe advisory committee comprises a diverse group of cancer experts. “Setting up the team was a real affirmation of the minister’s focus to make quality health care accessible to all South Africans,” said committee member Kwanele Asante-Shongwe, who runs an advocacy group for breast cancer called BreastSens.Another committee member, Raymond Abratt, the head of radiation oncology at Groote Schuur Hospital and the University of Cape Town, said that in the past there had been a great emphasis on infectious diseases such as HIV/Aids. Now, South Africa needed to give more attention to NCDs like cancer.The other six inaugural committee members are Professor Vikash Sewram, the head of the oncology research unit at the SAMRC; Dr Jennifer Moodley, the senior public health specialist in the Western Cape health department and a senior researcher in the University of Cape Town’s Women’s Health Research Unit in the School of Public Health and Family Medicine; Professor Paul Ruff, the head of medical oncology at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in Johannesburg; Dr Christina Stefan, a paediatric oncologist at Stellenbosch University; Sue Janse van Rensburg, the chief executive of Cansa; and Nontuthuzelo Somdyala, a scientist from the Burden of Disease Research Unit at the SAMRC.last_img read more

SA in new deep space collaboration

first_img5 April 2013 As the first results from the European Space Agency’s Planck satellite were being released last week, astronomers at the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO) near Johannesburg were working on a new radio telescope that will also shed new light on the earliest moments of the universe. The C-Band All-Sky Survey (C-BASS) is a project to map the sky in microwave (short-wavelength radio) radiation. Like Planck, it will survey the whole sky, mapping out how bright the sky is, and also the orientation of the waves (called polarization). While Planck observes very short wavelengths, C-BASS observes longer wavelengths that are actually easier to observe from the ground. “Because we want to observe at these longer wavelengths, the C-BASS telescope has to be much bigger than the telescope on Planck,” explains South African C-BASS team member Charles Copley. “The C-BASS dish is over seven metres across – much too big to launch on a rocket.” In order to observe the entire sky, C-BASS needs to use two different telescopes, one in the northern hemisphere and one in the southern hemisphere. The northern telescope is already operating in California in the US, while the southern system is now undergoing final commissioning at HartRAO in South Africa. After all the systems have been thoroughly checked out it will be moved to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) site in the Northern Cape, where the full survey will be done.The oldest light in the universe C-BASS is the latest in a long line of efforts to measure the properties of the oldest light in the universe, the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). Tiny variations in the brightness and polarization of the CMB contain information about the conditions present in the early universe, only a few hundred thousand years after the Big Bang. The universe then was nothing like what we see today – there were no planets, stars or galaxies. However, the seeds of all the structures we see today can be seen in the CMB. Understanding these beginnings provides us with an insight into the universe today. The recently released Planck results focus on the CMB brightness, providing more accurate measurements than previous experiments. However, possibly the most exciting data is yet to come, in a year or so when Planck releases their CMB polarization measurements. These measurements may tell us about the physics of the universe when it was a tiny fraction of a second old. However, in order to do this, the Planck mission is faced with a large problem – the Milky Way. Over a large fraction of the sky, any CMB polarization signal is completely obscured by radiation from our very own galaxy, the Milky Way. In order to successfully measure the CMB polarization, it is essential that astronomers understand this foreground radiation.Re-purposing comms technology for science This is where C-BASS will play a key role. Leader of the C-BASS team at Oxford University, Dr Angela Taylor, explains: “C-BASS acts like an extra frequency channel for Planck, hugely extending the range of radio wavelengths we have available. C-BASS will measure the polarization signal from our galaxy with great accuracy, and will hugely improve our ability to remove the galactic signal from Planck data, revealing the true CMB signal.” Both the C-BASS telescopes, north and south, were originally built to communicate with satellites, and have been adapted by the C-BASS team to look into deep space. This re-purposing of communications technology for science is also the idea behind the African VLBI Network (AVN) project, which plans to convert redundant satellite dishes across the continent into a giant radio telescope network. In fact, a twin of the southern C-BASS dish is being re-fitted right now to ship to Mozambique as part of the AVN.South Africa’s growing role C-BASS also highlights the growing collaboration between South Africa and the rest of the world in radio astronomy. South African astronomer Justin Jonas was a member of the group which conceived the project, and two South African students have studied for doctorates at Oxford University in the UK where the radio receivers were designed and built. The southern receiver also uses digital hardware developed by the team working on the SKA precursor MeerKAT radio telescope in Cape Town. C-BASS is a collaborative project between Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory, supported by the SKA project in South Africa, the Universities of Oxford and Manchester in the UK, the California Institute of Technology (supported by the National Science Foundation) in the US, and the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. Source: Square Kilometre Array South Africalast_img read more

Startl’s Accelerator Program for Ed-Tech Startups Now Accepting Applications

first_imgaudrey watters A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#events#start center_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Early stage education technology startups can now apply for Startl‘s second annual accelerator program. The program offers ed-tech startups a three-month residency in New York City and an opportunity to work with the social venture Startl and the tech accelerator DreamIt Ventures.The program involves mentorship from marketing, business development, brand building, and customer acquisition experts, all with a special emphasis on the education technology industry. There’s no funding associated with the program but like most accelerators, it culminates in a pitch day where each team gets to present to potential investors.“This is an exciting time for education entrepreneurism,” says Diana Rhoten, Start’s co-founder. “The first year of our collaboration with DreamIt Ventures graduated a cohort of four companies, two of which have gone on to receive further outside funding.” Noting his excitement that this summer’s program will be held in New York City, VC Fred Wilson says that “programs like the one Startl has developed are essential to ensuring that the best and the brightest entrepreneurs get to market as quickly and smartly as possible, especially in markets like education where innovation has been elusive.”Applications are due March 16, and the program begins May 16.last_img read more

Sebastian Vettel fastest in Abu Dhabi Grand Prix final practice

first_imgSebastian Vettel lapped fastest for Ferrari in the final practice session of the Formula One season on Saturday with Mercedes title contenders Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg fourth and fifth.Vettel, facing a winless year after three victories in 2015, set a quickest lap of one minute 40.775 seconds on the ultrasoft tyres in a hot afternoon session at the Yas Marina circuit.Dutch teenager Max Verstappen was second fastest for Red Bull, 0.137 slower, with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen third on the timesheets.Rosberg leads team mate Hamilton by 12 points going into Sunday’s season-ending showdown, with both on nine race wins, and the German needs only to finish on the podium to secure his first championship.Hamilton, who was fastest in both Friday practice sessions, has won the last three races but knows the title battle is out of his control.Both Mercedes drivers set their quickest times earlier in the session than rivals, with the main focus on later qualifying.Hamilton reported a loss of power early on, a problem Mercedes made light of and described as just an “unexpected de-rate” of the engine.The Briton also complained that he was “constantly getting an issue” with the brakes.last_img read more

Lets go for indigenous defence manufacturing Rajnath

first_imgNew Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday that India needs to cut down dependency on foreign manufacturers in defence production and instead develop indigenous comprehensive capabilities. Singh was delivering the inaugural address at a seminar on ‘Modernisation and Indigenisation of the Indian Air Force (IAF)’ here. He praised the IAF for striking the terrorist hubs in Pakistan. “The recent offensive strikes against terrorist forces in our neighbourhood speaks volumes about the reach and lethality of the formidable armed forces. However, the IAF needs to keep pace with advancement in technology in order to enhance its operational capabilities.” Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ Singh said India continued to be one of the largest importers of defence equipment in the world. “Of that which is produced within the country, there is a sizeable dependency on foreign original equipment manufacturers for sub-systems and components. We need to cut down dependency on foreign manufacturers and develop comprehensive capabilities ourselves,” he said. In his address, Singh listed out a number of policy initiatives taken by the government to promote indigenous production of defence equipment. The cumulative production of all defence industries in the country in 2018-19 was about Rs 80,000 crore. The contribution of private sector defence industries to it was in the range of Rs 16,000 crore.last_img read more

Small Labrador town grieving after snowmobiler killed in avalanche

first_imgNAIN, N.L. — The mayor of a northern Labrador town that lost a young man in an avalanche over the weekend says all of Nain is grieving.More than 100 people aided in the search for the young snowmobiler caught in an avalanche Saturday, along with two other men who survived the event.An RCMP spokesperson said Sunday that the man was found after about two hours and brought to a clinic, where he was pronounced dead.Mayor Joe Dicker said everyone in the largely Inuit town of 1,125 is feeling the loss and supporting the affected families.The three men were trapped in the popular snowmobiling spot known as the “blowhole” outside Nain in northern Labrador.Dicker said avalanches can occur depending on snow conditions, but the community does not have funding to run controlled testing for avalanche risks.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

US delays Keystone pipeline project

first_imgAPTN National NewsOTTAWA-It has faced protests on both sides of the border, and now the U.S. State Department has ordered a review of the $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline in a decision that could delay the project until after 2012 U.S. Presidential election.TransCanada has been working to build the 2,735 kilometre pipeline to move Alberta tar sands oil to the Gulf of Mexico since 2008. Native American and First Nations groups, along with environmentalists, have been campaigning to stop the project.Thousands have recently protested the pipeline at the White House and a sister protest on Parliament Hill ended with over 100 people arrested.The U.S. State Department wants TransCanada to study re-routing the pipeline around environmentally sensitive areas in Nebraska.U.S. President Barack Obama released a statement backing the U.S. State Department’s decision.“Because this permit decision could affect the health and safety of the American people as well as the environment, and because a number of concerns have been raised through a public process, we should take time to ensure that all questions are properly addressed and all potential impacts…properly understood,” said Obama in a statement.Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in statement released to the media that he was “disappointed” with the decision.“While we are disappointed with the delay, we remain hopefully the project will be decided on its merits and eventually approved,” Harper’s statement said.last_img read more

Trump says changes coming on hightech visas

first_imgWASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says changes are coming in the way that the U.S. handles temporary H1-B visas, which allow American companies to bring high-tech and other skilled workers into the U.S. from abroad.Trump tweeted Friday that those who hold the temporary H1-B visas can “rest assured” because changes are coming that will bring “both simplicity and certainty to your stay, including a potential path to citizenship.”Trump says the U.S. wants to encourage talented and highly skilled people to pursue careers in the U.S. As a candidate, he promised to stop H-1B visas from being used as a “cheap labour program.”A draft proposal circulated in January to review regulations, find ways to allocate visas more efficiently and ensure that beneficiaries are “the best and the brightest.”The Associated Presslast_img read more