Man, 40, ‘Commits Suicide’ in Gbarnga

first_imgResidents in the LPMC Road Community in Gbarnga on Monday, September 10, were shocked following the discovery of the lifeless body of a man believed to be in his 40s. Community members identified the deceased as Dorwan Beah, alias D-1. Dorwan was discovered in his bedroom, surrounded by bottles of alcoholic beverages.According to an account released by officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP), D-1, a famous tyre repairer in Gbarnga, had persistently accused his fiancée, Bendu Joe, of being in an extra relationship, something which, police suspected, had kept the two separated for a while.Police records established that as a result of the intensity of the confusion between the two, Bendu had been living temporarily with her sister (not named) in the same community up to the time D-1 died.It was also established that the LPMC Community went into confusion when the corpse of D-1 was found on his four inch mattress, surrounded by empty bottles of Pastis (liquor), which were found under a blue plastic chair in the deceased’s room.Police have not established the actual cause of death, but it is widely speculated that D-1 died as a result of excessively drinking the liquor on “empty stomach.”One account has it that since the confusion broke out between D-1 and his fiancée, he has often been in the community shop drinking in order to endure his “frustration.”Bendu Joe told police investigators that her boyfriend in recent times accused her of being in an affair with another man, “and because of the allegation, D-1 has always been in the constant habit of raining insults at me.”“Since we got together, I don’t even know the year, using insult has never been his behavior. But since the confusion started between us, things have been bad with me. Sometimes he will beat on me and insult me in the open,” Bendu told police investigators, with tears streaming down her chest.She said as a result of her boyfriend’s irrepressible behavior, she decided to sleep at her sister’s house in the same community.“The evening D-1 took his own life away, he came to my sister’s house demanding that I go with him to sleep, but I refused, only to see his lifeless body the next morning,” Bendu said.“We have children, but my worry is who will take care of those children,” Bendu cried.A fifteen-man jury was set up on Monday by police to examine the body and establish cause of death, but the jury reported that there was no foul play.Meanwhile, the body has been turned over to the family for burial.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Boys’ basketball: Dominguez sends Lancers on their way

first_imgSeniors Bobby Macias and Jake Poppen sat next to one another on the Thousand Oaks High bench with looks of disappointment written on their faces. To the left, coach Rich Endres shook his head in what appeared to be disbelief. A pair of free throws by Macias cut the deficit to three points with 3:52 left in the second quarter. Dominguez answered with a run capped by a pair of free-throws by Watkins to extend the lead back to 10 with 1:43 left in the half. The Lancers gained some momentum after Macias converted a layup just before halftime but failed to capitalize in the third quarter and fell behind by 10 points once again. Things got worse for Thousand Oaks when Poppen picked up his fourth foul with 22 seconds left in the third quarter and fouled out with more than seven minutes left in the fourth. Macias kept the Lancers close, scoring 10 points in the fourth quarter. At one point, Thousand Oaks trailed 54-52 with 5:22 left on the clock. Watkins, however, put the game away with some timely free throws and Waymon Johnson sealed the victory with a steal and a layup at the other end to make it 65-57 with 38seconds left in the fourth quarter. “Our kids hung in there. Give them credit,” Endres said. “We had a chance to win and that’s all you can ask for.” Macias finished with 23points. Poppen added nine. sean.ceglinsky@dailynews.com (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “Losing is always difficult,” Endres said. “We have nothing to be ashamed of, though. We played extremely well tonight but Dominguez was just too tough.” The Lancers (24-4) never figured out a way to stop Quentin Watkins. The Illinois-bound senior scored eight of his game-high 30 points down the stretch in the fourth quarter for third-seeded Dominguez (21-7), which advanced to Tuesday’s semifinals against second-seeded Artesia of Lakewood. “I felt good, comfortable out there,” Watkins said. “This is the playoffs, that means it’s time for me to step my game up.” Watkins did just that in the first quarter, scoring eight of his team’s first 10 points. His layup just before the first-quarter buzzer gave Dominguez an 18-13 lead. center_img Michael Shelton stood quietly underneath the basket, looking up at the scoreboard despite receiving words of encouragment. The Lancers had done better than most expected in the Southern Section playoffs, but the realization that the season had come to an end Friday still didn’t sit very well after a 68-60 loss to visiting Dominguez of Compton in a Div. I-AA quarterfinal game. last_img read more

Dream start for Jese as Stoke humbles Arsenal

first_imgIt was an early blow to Arsenal’s title aspirations and left them three points behind early pace-setters Manchester United, who won 4-0 for the second game running at Swansea City.Jese, 24, only joined Stoke on Wednesday and he was quick to make an impression on the fans of his new team.After driving at Arsenal’s back four from halfway, he swapped passes with Saido Berahino and then drilled a left-foot shot past the advancing Petr Cech.Arsenal, who remain without the injured Alexis Sanchez, thought they had equalised in the 72nd minute when Alexandre Lacazette lashed home, but it was chalked off due to a marginal — but correct — offside.Stoke had not beaten Arsenal since December 2014.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Jese Rodriguez celebrating after scoring on his debut for Stoke.LONDON, United Kingdom, Aug 19 – Jese Rodriguez made a memorable start to life at Stoke City by scoring the only goal of a 1-0 victory over Arsenal at the bet365 Stadium on Saturday.The Spanish forward, a loan signing from Paris Saint-Germain, finished crisply in the 47th minute to bring Arsene Wenger’s side down to earth after their opening 4-3 win over Leicester City.last_img read more

Pique keeps Barca unbeaten, Atletico cut gap

first_img0Shares0000Barcelona’s Spanish defender Gerard Pique (C) vies with Espanyol’s Spanish forward Gerard Moreno (L) during the Spanish league football match between RCD Espanyol and FC Barcelona © AFP / PAU BARRENAMADRID, Spain, Feb 4 – Gerard Pique salvaged a 1-1 draw for La Liga leaders Barcelona at city rivals Espanyol on Sunday, keeping their bid for an unbeaten campaign on track, while Atletico Madrid edged out Valencia to cut the gap at the top to nine points.Ernesto Valverde’s men were in danger of falling to their first league defeat of the season when Gerard Moreno nodded the hosts ahead midway through the second half, but centre-back Pique met a Lionel Messi corner in the 82nd minute to snatch a point. Barcelona are now nine points clear at the top of the table from Atletico Madrid, who beat third-placed Valencia 1-0 at the Wanda Metropolitano.The Catalan derby was played in pouring rain and Valverde slammed the “dangerous” pitch.“Even though it was raining, we thought that the pitch would hold, but then we saw that the grass was not going to hold up and that the pitch was becoming dangerous,” the Barcelona coach said.“On our passes from defence the ball could get stuck in a puddle and that’s why things got difficult.“We give a lot of value to this draw, because it was hard to get because of this scenario and because it’s a derby and we didn’t want to lose.”The five-time European champions also set a new club record of 22 matches unbeaten to start a league season on Sunday, and are still in the hunt for a La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League treble.“We are still up there (top of the table). The conditions for them and for us were not the best, but it was an entertaining game,” Barca captain Andres Iniesta told BeIn Sports.They were far from at their fluent best against a stubborn Espanyol whose point drags them eight clear of the relegation zone, although Philippe Coutinho came close to scoring his first goal since joining from Liverpool last month when he struck the crossbar in the first half.Faltering champions Real Madrid are 19 points adrift of arch rivals Barca in fourth, after throwing away two points in a 2-2 draw at Levante on Saturday.– Correa stunner cuts the gap –Atletico took advantage of Barcelona’s draw to revive their slim title hopes, as Angel Correa produced a moment of magic to win the game.Neither side managed to create many chances in a sloppy first half, with Saul Niguez seeing a long-range effort palmed away by Valencia goalkeeper Neto, while Simone Zaza dragged a shot wide for the visitors.But Correa stunned Neto with a magnificent long-range strike when nothing appeared on in the 59th minute, with the ball flying into the top corner from 25 yards out to give the 22-year-old Argentinian his sixth league goal of the season.Valencia plugged away but never truly threatened an equaliser, with Diego Simeone’s hosts doing enough to keep Barca looking over their shoulders.But star forward Antoine Griezmann was whistled by the home fans late on, when he opted to run down the clock instead of pushing for a second goal.The Frenchman has had an up-and-down relationship with the Atletico supporters since saying last year he wanted to leave the club in the future.“Griezmann did what he had to do… That’s normal, people want to win,” coach Simeone said.“The players are the ones who best interpret what they have to do on the pitch. Griezmann made only good choices tonight, even though he didn’t score and couldn’t finish.“Everyone is happy, all the fans are celebrating at home and everyone is happy.”Earlier on Sunday, Girona moved into the top half of the table as Uruguayan international Cristhian Stuani scored a double in a 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao, while Getafe and Leganes played out a goalless draw.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Google stock plunges

first_img Google’s fourth-quarter letdown marks the first major test of Wall Street’s appetite for a stock that investors had been hungrily buying while the company churned out an uninterrupted string of pleasant earnings surprises. The company’s earnings had exceeded analyst estimates by at least 14 cents per share in each of its previous five quarters since its much-ballyhooed IPO. Google’s quarterly profits had at least doubled in each of those quarters, too. The robust performance had helped establish Google as one of the nation’s most valuable companies, with its stock trading as high as $475.11 earlier this month. Most industry analysts have continued to recommend buying the stock, predicting the shares would climb above $500 and perhaps reach $600 by year’s end. But some investors began to fret about Google’s earnings momentum two weeks ago when Yahoo released a fourth-quarter profit that fell a penny below analyst estimates. That news raised fears that the Internet’s advertising market didn’t expand as much as most people anticipated during the pivotal holiday shopping season. The jitters surrounding Google were exacerbated after the company vowed to fight a Bush administration subpoena demanding one week’s worth of search requests as the federal government seeks to revive a law designed to shield children from online pornography. Google then provoked more angst by launching a new search engine in China that will censor some results to comply with the country’s free-speech restrictions. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SAN FRANCISCO – Google Inc.’s rapid financial growth decelerated in the fourth quarter as the online search leader’s profit fell below analyst expectation for the first time since its August 2004 initial public offering. The news rattled previously bullish investors, causing Google’s stock price to plunge by more than 15 percent. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company said Tuesday that it earned $372.2 million, or $1.22 per share, for the final three months of 2005. That represented an 82 percent increase from net income of $204.1 million, or 71 cents per share, in the previous year. If not for a donation to launch its charitable foundation and stock compensation expenses, Google said it would have earned $1.54 per share. That missed the average estimate of $1.76 per share among 31 analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial. Google released its results after the stock market closed Tuesday. Company shares plunged $66.93 – 15.5 percent – in after-hours trading after gaining $5.84 to close at $432.66 Tuesday on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The downturn wiped out roughly $20 billion in shareholder wealth. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card The investor backlash also stung Google’s two biggest rivals, Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Inc. Yahoo’s shares fell 83 cents, or 2.4 percent, after shedding 68 cents to close at $34.38 on the Nasdaq, where Microsoft’s shares gained 15 cents to close at $28.15 before retreating by 21 cents in after-hours trading. Google’s revenue for the period totaled $1.92 billion, an 86 percent increase from $1.03 billion in the prior year. After subtracting commissions paid to Google’s advertising partners, the company registered fourth-quarter revenue of $1.29 billion, matching analyst expectations, according to Thomson Financial. CEO Eric Schmidt told analysts during a Tuesday conference call that the fourth-quarter results topped the company’s internal projections. Management has steadfastly refused to publicly project its earning potential, making it difficult for analysts to reach the calculations that investors depend on for appraising a company’s value. A much higher tax rate during the fourth quarter accounted for the bulk of Google’s earnings shortfall, Chief Financial Officer George Reyes said during the conference call. The company’s effective tax rate in the fourth quarter was nearly 42 percent, well above the roughly 30 percent rate during the second and third quarters. Google also expects its 2006 tax rate to be about 30 percent. last_img read more

GAA: ST.MARY’S CLUB NOTES, CONVOY

first_imgBingo continues in the hall at 8.30pm on Tuesdays.The lotto results for May 7th are KE,LM,TY,WH J.MC Namee & K.Smith matched 2. Next week’s jackpot is €3400Training for Senior Ladies Wed from 7 -8.15 Fri from 7.30 and sun 12.30 New Players are always welcome . Gaelic for Mothers and Others takes place on Wed at 8.30 new players always welcome.Training for Underage continues on Fri evening from 6-7 new Players welcomeU…14 Girls Training Sat Morning at 10 New players are welcome come along girls a great way to keep fit and meet new friends.U14 Gaelic boys training at the earlier time of 5.30 this Monday evening. St Mary’s 0-11 Moville 0-6Seniors won away to Moville in 1st round of Championship in a closely contested game with Moville taking the lead early in the game 0-3 to 0-1 St Mary’s settled in to the game and went in at the break 0-6 to 0-4St Mary’s opened the scoring in the second half and lead 8pts to 4 pts Moville replied with 2 points 8pts to 6 pts St Mary’s finished the stronger and won well in the end 0-11 TO 0-6Scorers A.Browne 0-05, P. Blake 0-3 L. Mc Mullan 0-02 J.Doherty 0-1Well dne to all the boys and girls who made thier 1st holy communion at the weekend The Club are hosting a fundraiser RED or Black on June 2nd more details to FollowGAA: ST.MARY’S CLUB NOTES, CONVOY was last modified: May 14th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:St Marys GAA club noteslast_img read more

FOUR MORE DAYS OF DRY WEATHER FOR DONEGAL

first_imgDONEGAL could have four more days of dry weather – before heavy showers hit the county at the weekend.Forecasters believe today will be cloudy but dry, with sunny spells throughout the day.And there will be more of the same on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with temperatures rising up to 16C. However all the main TV forecasters believe heavy showers will hit Donegal on Friday and continue over next weekend.FOUR MORE DAYS OF DRY WEATHER FOR DONEGAL was last modified: April 25th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegal weatherdonegaldaily.comlast_img read more

Friends wish their mayor happy 50th

first_imgVickie Vining took one look around the crowded backyard Saturday afternoon at Dave Spies’ 50th birthday party and said exactly what was on a lot of minds. “I couldn’t get this many people to show up at my birthday party.” True, but then we’re not Dave. Everybody loves Dave. He’s the unofficial mayor of Colfax Meadows, an area of Studio City bordered by Ventura Boulevard, Moorpark Street and Tujunga and Colfax avenues. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals It’s Dave’s turf. His domain. Each day, this remarkable man with a developmental disability leaves his tiny, one-bedroom apartment across the street from Vitello’s Restaurant and patrols the streets of his community on his bike. The cops know him. The firefighters know him. The business people know him. Everybody knows him. Dave can’t go a block without someone honking a horn and waving. He waves back to neighbors and strangers alike. Dave doesn’t care. They’re all friends to him. He doesn’t just shake your hand when you meet. He gives you a hug. Before you know it, you’re smiling and laughing with him – realizing exactly why so many people from all walks of life showed up in Barbara and Steve Benlens’ backyard Saturday to wish the unofficial mayor of Colfax Meadows a happy 50th birthday. Because everybody loves Dave. “There’s no doubt in any of our minds that Dave’s saved a lot of lives,” says neighbor Evan Kaizer. Everybody in this tiny community knows the story. It was Dave who led the fight almost four years ago to get a pedestrian crosswalk at a busy intersection where a car had hit and killed one of his friends, 83-year-old Alma Garris. Dave got off his bike and knocked on every door in the community, collecting more than 230 signatures asking for the crosswalk. Then he walked into City Hall and told the council how it broke his heart the day Alma died, how dangerous that intersection was. Dave got his crosswalk, along with a commendation from the council for his determination. He got another one Saturday from Councilwoman Wendy Greuel, wishing him a happy birthday. “All Dave wants to do is help people and make a difference, and he has so many times,” said Los Angeles Police Department Senior Lead Officer John Caprarelli of the North Hollywood Division, who was also at the party. Caprarelli and Phil Rowe, a former paramedic with the Los Angeles Fire Department, traded stories of Dave beating them to crime and accident scenes on his bicycle. “One night, I rolled out at 3 a.m. on an accident call,” Rowe said. “I was still half asleep when we got there, and all of a sudden, out of the darkness, here comes Dave, peddling on his bike. “I said, ‘Dave, it’s 3 a.m. What are you doing here?’ ” Rowe, like Caprarelli, already knew the answer. Dave sleeps with one eye open, listening to a police scanner he has in his apartment. The way he sees it, the police officers and firefighters in his community are his friends. They look out for him. So when they’re called out on an emergency, the least he can do is jump on his bike and go help look out for them. That’s why everybody loves Dave Spies. His developmental disability doesn’t slow him down one bit, says Vining, a former resource developer at the North Los Angeles County Regional Center, which overseas nonprofit organizations that help people with disabilities lead independent lives. If anything, it makes Dave a better person than most of us. He doesn’t know hate. He doesn’t know jealousy, greed, and all the other hang-ups people without developmental disabilities tend to have. Dave only knows compassion and love. He’s really just a kid at heart, Caprarelli says. On Saturday, the kid turned 50. The tiny apartment where he lives alone was too small to hold all the people who wanted to wish him a happy birthday, so the Benlens opened their backyard. “Thank you for being my friends,” the unofficial mayor of Colfax Meadows said, cutting his birthday cake and giving every last one of his 50 guests a hug. Dennis McCarthy’s column appears Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Dennis McCarthy, (818) 713-3749 dennis.mccarthy@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Incredible Stasis in Evolution: What Does It Mean?

first_img1Venkatesh et al, “Ancient Noncoding Elements Conserved in the Human Genome,” Science, 22 December 2006: Vol. 314. no. 5807, p. 1892, DOI: 10.1126/science.1130708.2Wedmann, Bradler and Rust, “The first fossil leaf insect: 47 million years of specialized cryptic morphology and behavior,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, published online before print December 29, 2006, 10.1073/pnas.0606937104.Do you see how the evolutionary mindset works?  The thought never enters any evolutionist’s brain that evolutionary theory could be at fault.  No matter how bizarre, conflicting and falsifying the evidence, Darwin’s image must be worshipped and the sacrifices* must continue.  It doesn’t matter that no evolution happens in some lineages for tens or hundreds of millions of years (think about that!) for them to keep the pieces of their story straight, while evolution is extremely, fantastically rapid in other quarters.  In the time tree-swinging monkeys supposedly became philosophers, and all kinds of dramatic other changes took place, leaf-mimicking insects changed nada.  Are we to believe that the predators were all so stupid in this time never to catch on to the trick?  “Don’t eat me; I’m a leaf!”  Right.    Even more astonishing is the conservation of noncoding elements between sharks and humans.  Evolutionary theory is so plastic and malleable, like silly putty, (12/14/2004), it makes evolutionists downright silly, buddy.  We are asked to believe that all the radiations of fish into seahorses and angler fish and tunas showed more evolution of these elements from their cartilaginous swimming mates than 530 million years of evolution of all the other vertebrates—reptiles, birds, and every mammal from shrews to giraffes to elephants and man.  We are expected to trust the evolutionists because they are priests of Science and know the Truth of Almighty Darwin (t.o.a.d.).  Don’t be a toady.(Visited 84 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Quite often in phylogenetic research, evolutionists find examples of extreme conservation of genes or traits.  How they explain the lack of change is almost as interesting as the phenomenon itself.  Here are two recent examples.Your cousin the shark:  Surprise: you have more in common with horn sharks than bony fishes do.  Craig Venter’s international team found evidence for “Ancient Noncoding Elements Conserved in the Human Genome” and reported this in Science last week.1  They found more similarities in these noncoding regions between sharks and humans than between sharks and bony fish.  Here’s how they interpreted such an astonishing result:Thus, it appears that, even though cartilaginous fishes diverged from the human lineage before teleost fishes, higher proportions of regulatory elements are conserved between cartilaginous fishes and human than between teleost fishes and human.  This implies that the regulatory regions of teleost fishes have been evolving faster since their common ancestor diverged from the lineage that led to mammals.  The divergent regulatory regions in teleosts may be partly explained by the partitioning of regulatory elements between duplicate gene loci that arose from the fish-specific whole-genome duplication event in the ray-finned fish lineage.  Teleost fishes, with about 25,000 extant species, are the largest group of vertebrates and exhibit vast diversity in their morphology and adaptations.  The accelerated rate of evolution of regulatory regions may be an important factor in the rapid radiation and diversity of teleost fishes.Make like a leaf:  A fossil leaf-mimicking insect said to be 47 million years old is virtually identical to modern ones, reported Mongabay.com.  What this means, according to the article, is that this insect found a “time-tested strategy” to avoid predators.  The article calls this “an outstanding example of morphological and, probably, behavioral stasis.” It means that “leaf mimicry had already evolved early in the Eocene period when insect predators would have included birds, early primates, bats, and other insects.”  See also the story on Live Science.Update 12/29/2006: the paper in PNAS appeared online Dec. 29.2  Portions of the abstract demonstrate the degree of stasis of this fossil:…. Here we report the first fossil leaf insect, Eophyllium messelensis gen.  et sp.  nov., from 47-million-year-old deposits at Messel in Germany.  The new specimen, a male, is exquisitely preserved and displays the same foliaceous appearance as extant male leaf insects.  Clearly, an advanced form of extant angiosperm leaf mimicry had already evolved early in the Eocene.  We infer that this trait was combined with a special behavior, catalepsy or “adaptive stillness,” enabling Eophyllium to deceive visually oriented predators.  Potential predators reported from the Eocene are birds, early primates, and bats.  The combination of primitive and derived characters revealed by Eophyllium allows the determination of its exact phylogenetic position and illuminates the evolution of leaf mimicry for this insect group.  It provides direct evidence that Phylliinae originated at least 47 Mya…. This fossil leaf insect bears considerable resemblance to extant individuals in size and cryptic morphology, indicating minimal change in 47 million years.  This absence of evolutionary change is an outstanding example of morphological and, probably, behavioral stasis.This fossil was found in Europe, while most leaf-mimic insects live today in southeast Asia.  This indicates that leaf insects were much more widespread in the past.  It’s possible that fossil hunters missed finding them before now because the mimics were so good, people mistook them for leaves.    What traits did the authors feel were primitive?  Their paper tries to place the new fossil between the stick insects and modern leaf mimics, but admits that their origin is “poorly understood” and that “exact phylogenetic position of the Phylliinae within the phasmid phylogeny is unknown”.  It seems arbitrary, therefore, that their chart places the new insect halfway between the stick insects and the leaf insects, considering that the fossil shares many characteristics with extant leaf insects.  They only pointed to “straight fore femora and the absence of tergal thorn pads” as “primitive” traits resembling those of the stick insects; yet, clearly, this fossil was not primitive.  They restated at the end of the paper that this fossil is an example of “exceptional evolutionary stasis of a highly derived morphology, most likely coupled with very specialized cryptic behavior that lasted for [greater than or equal to] 47 million years.”    As to how exactly this morphology and behavior evolved, they suggested that necessity was the mother of invention: “In all probability,” they speculated, “this advanced type of crypsis evolved in concert with angiosperm leaves on which the insects feed.  It must have been caused by vigorous selection pressure by visually oriented predators” such as birds, lizards, bats and primates. last_img read more

Hillbrow Tower – symbol of Joburg

first_imgCape Town has its low, flat, Table Mountain. Johannesburg has the long, thin, Hillbrow Tower, one of the tallest towers in Africa.The tower, named the JG Strijdom Tower after a former South African prime minister (1954 to 1958), was built over three years between June 1968 and April 1971. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)Brand South Africa ReporterCape Town has its low, flat, Table Mountain. Johannesburg has the long, thin, Hillbrow Tower, one of the tallest towers in Africa.The Tower dominates the Johannesburg skyline, visible to visitors long before they reach the city itself. It’s a tribute to the tower’s symbolic power that it has been incorporated into the city’s official logo.The tower, named the JG Strijdom Tower after a former South African prime minister (1954 to 1958), was built over three years between June 1968 and April 1971. It cost around R2-million (a rather modest office block costs that much today). It is 270-metres (or 90 storeys) high, making it one of the tallest man-made structures with a lift in Africa.During the years of its construction it gave the flat-dwelling residents of Hillbrow some headaches – construction took place six days a week, 24 hours a day – but also much fascination, as it grew taller and taller.Heather Dharsey, who lived in Hillbrow between 1963 and 1982, says: “As I grew up in Hillbrow (fondly known as Hillies), I watched the Tower grow like a concrete mushroom.”She continues: “We didn’t understand the enormity of the Tower, we thought it was just going to be another building – the Highpoint building was being built at the same time – so we were used to building activity, but this was unbelievable. We watched this thing grow between the buildings.”The first 178 metres went up at an average of 18cm per hour, and to ensure the Tower went up perfectly vertically, a laser beam was used for guidance as the Tower lifted from the ground. The walls of the Tower are 84cm thick at ground level and 38 cm thick at the top.The Tower belongs to telecommunications parastatal Telkom. With the burgeoning of tall buildings in the city in the 60s skyscraper era, the new telephone tower had to ensure that it stayed above the height of the tallest building. There’s another reason for its height: it was to be a microwave tower.Microwaves travel in straight lines from one transmitter to another across comparatively short distances (40-50 kilometres) and hence are not subject to any interference. Because of this, they provide superb clarity of reception. Microwave was the latest technology in the sixties, and Telkom was keen to use it, and avoid further expensive laying of underground cables.Previously a radio wave system of transmission had been used, but radio waves are subject to interference from magnetic thunderstorms, a weather pattern Johannesburg is particularly subject to in the summer months.The Tower has become an emblem of the city, although it wasn’t the first telephone tower to reach into the skies of Johannesburg. The Brixton or Albert Hertzog Tower was built in 1962, taking 20 months to complete. Today it transmits radio and television broadcasts. It is slightly shorter than the Hillbrow Tower, at 240 metres. It once housed a restaurant at its base but this was closed in the 1980s and is now used as office space for Sentech, the present owners of the Brixton tower.Johannesburg’s other tall landmark is the 50-storey Carlton Centre, completed in 1973, and the tallest office block in Africa.Tourist attractionHillbrow Tower was closed to visitors in 1981, for security reasons. But for ten years before that, it was one of the city’s great tourist attractions.At the top of the tower, from 131 metres upwards, were six public floors. One of them housed a revolving restaurant, called Heinrich’s Restaurant, the highest restaurant in Africa at 197 metres, which seated 108 people in “luxurious comfort”, says a promotional brochure from the period.It offered an unrestricted 360-degree view, as well as “superb service . with at least one waiter to every 10 visitors – a very high proportion by even the most specialised standards”.The floor revolved at between one and three revolutions per hour in an anti-clockwise direction. When the restaurant was full, it weighed 64 metric tons, yet its movement was “so smooth and well-balanced”, that it required only a three horsepower motor to turn it.If you couldn’t get into the restaurant, there was an alternative – the Grill Room, which provided “superb cuisine”, seating 113 people, also in “luxurious comfort”. The Grill Room had an open grill, allowing guests to see their meals being prepared.The restaurant and grill room each had their own bar and lounge, with a bar service being “one of the very few in South Africa which is licensed to serve visitors with any drink at any time between 11am and 2am the following day”. There was another public, but more exclusive room – the VIP room.It was a “spectacular room decorated in the Louis XVI style” available for parties, seminars and meetings of up to 50 seated or 100 standing. When not being used for private functions, it was open to the public as an “exclusive, intimate table d’hote restaurant”.The public observation deck could accommodate 200 people, and provided a 360-degree view of the city and surrounds through 24 large windows. There were seven coin-operated telescopes available, as well as hot and cold drinks, and snacks from a self-service counter.Unbeknown to visitors, when they were sitting eating at the restaurant or having a drink at the bar, they were swaying, by up to 41cm on a windy day. This wasn’t as far as is normal in a building of this height – normally it would sway several metres, but due to “special structural techniques”, which included taking the foundation down 42 metres, the sway was reduced to just under half a metre. A full sway would take eight seconds. Too much sway would put the Tower out of alignment with other towers.The sway at the mast at the very top of the Tower was 86cm, with winds at times reaching 190 kilometres per hour. The windows were wind and storm resistant. This mast, according to Dharsey, was put in place by a helicopter, a remarkable spectacle she remembers watching.Visitors reached the top via two high-speed lifts, shooting upwards at six metres per second. A third lift was for staff.No corners were cut. The interiors and furniture were specially designed by celebrated South African artists, and the decor was “the ultimate in comfort and luxury”. The restaurants and lounges were decorated with “magnificent Ernst Ullmann applique wall tapestries depicting South African bird life, the history of communications and scenes of early Johannesburg”.The tapestries and furniture have been removed, and now reside in Telkom buildings in Pretoria.For Dharsey, and for many other Johannesburgers, the Tower become a “wonderful tourist attraction”, so it was a “great shame” when it closed to the public in January 1981. It was closed because in the turbulent eighties when strategic points around the country were becoming targets for guerrilla attacks, it was felt that the Tower was at too great a risk.Unfortunately, the tower is not likely to be re-opened to the public. It is now used as an office block for Telkom employees.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more