1 August 2013Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has become the latest South African to add his footprint to the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site in Maropeng, outside Krugersdorp.Addressing reporters after placing his foot in a wet concrete block on Wednesday, the Nobel Peace laureate said, with his trademark laughter: “I pray that it is also a step into a future where all people shall be united again by a sense of unity and ubuntu.“There is no race which is superior to the other,” Tutu said. “All of us, including those who are in Europe, deep in our sense, we are all Africans. We belong to one family, which is the family of ubuntu.“It is humbling to add my footprint, which is a footprint that takes us back into the past when all people were united by our common ancestor, who was made in the image of God. So as human beings, we belong together. If I want to be human, it can only be in relationship with other people because we are interdependent.”Tutu also took a tour of both the Sterkfontein Caves and Maropeng.Tutu ‘knew what science had yet to discover’Professor Lee Berger, who is recognised the world over for having discovered an entirely new species of hominids in Maropeng in 2008, said that although Tutu was not a scientists, through his campaign against apartheid he had been clear that all human beings belonged to one family that came originally from the African continent.“The Archbishop has been preaching ubuntu throughout the world from his early age, but as scientists we only discovered a while ago that all human beings originated in the African continent,” Berger said.Berger gave Tutu a framed photo of the skeleton hand he discovered in Maropeng, which includes the fossil discovered by his son, Matthew, when he was nine years old.By imprinting his foot in Maropeng, Tutu joined former president Thabo Mbeki and former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan, who became the first to donate their footprints to the site in 2002.President Jacob Zuma and Vaclav Klaus, the former president of the Czech Republic, have also left their imprints.The handprint of Nelson Mandela completes the total of former national presidents currently represented in Maropeng.Tutu’s other donationsIn February 2010, an article was published revealing that Tutu had donated some of his own cells to the human genome project to be sequenced as an example of a Bantu individual, representing Sotho-Tswana and Nguni speakers.The human genome project has demonstrated that all humans originated in Africa, and that the Khoi-San people of southern Africa are among the oldest surviving races and implicitly ancestral to all other human species.It has suggested that the common female ancestor of all living humans (called “genetic Eve”) lived around 143 000 years ago, while the common male ancestor (“genetic Adam”) lived about 59 000 years ago.This supports the so-called “Out of Africa II” hypothesis, for which there is also extensive palaeoanthropological evidence from the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site and elsewhere in Africa.The footprints project represents support for the belief that our ancestors walked out of Africa to populate the entire planet.Source: SAnews.gov.za
12 November 2013 South Africa’s students are addicted to social media – but are almost unanimous that it enhances their academic and social lives, and even helps them during exam time, according to a recent study from researchers World Wide Worx and Student Brands. The SA High-tech Student 2013 research study, which was released last month, was conducted at universities and colleges across South Africa, and included interviews with 1 435 students. Well over half – 59% – said they were addicted to social media. However, only 16% fell into the “highly addicted” category, while 18% said they were “definitely not addicted”. Instant messaging (IM) had similar appeal to students: 62% said they were addicted, of which 22% said they were highly addicted to the quick fix of quick chat. However, respondents felt that this addiction was not necessarily a bad thing. While 45% of respondents said social networking and technology got in the way of their studies, only 10% said it was a constant problem. A surprising 85% said it improved their studies, with a similar proportion – 83% – believing it enhanced their social lives. Asked what impact technology like smartphones and the internet had on their lives in general, 81% said it enhanced their quality of life. “For students, social networking and the internet is not a good or a bad thing in itself, but has become an integral part of their lives,” Daryl Bartkunsky, managing director of Student Brands, said in a statement.Facebook first, then Twitter Facebook was the universal social destination for students, with 96% of respondents using it, with Twitter used by 70% of respondents. Google+ slotted into third place, at 47%, thanks to the pervasive use of Google Apps for student accounts at universities. Mxit still retained a strong user base, with 39% of respondents reporting they used it. LinkedIn, the professional network, claimed a 29% share, largely students who are nearing completion of their studies and using it for employment prospects. Instagram and Pinterest, relative newcomers to the social networking environment, attracted 16% and 15% of respondents respectively. When asked which network they would use if they could only choose one, two-thirds (64%) still cited Facebook. Twitter was in distant second at 16%, followed by Google+ with 7%, Instagram 5%, Mxit 3% and LinkedIn 3%. Only 1% favoured Pinterest.Instant messaging Among instant messaging (IM) apps, similar levels of dominance were seen, this time led by WhatsApp, which was used by 79% of students participating in the survey, and BBM, at 57%. Facebook Messenger claimed 45%, and Mxit 28%. BBM use was directly correlated with the proportion of students who used BlackBerry: 57%. Despite its fading popularity worldwide, it remained the preferred phone among students. Nokia was in a distant second place, at only 20%, with Samsung further back in third place, at 14%, and the iPhone fourth at 5%. Among other findings, the survey found that 68% of students connected to the internet via smartphones, 61% via laptops or notebook computers, 50% on desktop PCs – largely using universities’ and colleges’ machines – and 20% on tablets. This trend was driven by some institutions providing laptops and tablets to students, and low-cost financing of devices by student financial services like Eduloan.Campus wi-fi set to rule In terms of channel of access, 60% used wi-fi on campus, 40% used 3G modems, and 39% used mobile data on their phones. However, a total shift to wi-fi is expected in the next two years. “By 2015, all universities are required to be wireless, providing free internet access for students,” Bartkunsky said. “Already, the University of Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town have stated that all first-year students will have to have a tablet or laptop by 2015.” World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck pointed out that the cost of mobile data was a major inhibitor for students. “A little more than a third of respondents were happy with what they pay for internet access,” Goldstuck said. ‘But 31% are unhappy with the cost and 30% don’t pay at all. For students, the move away from mobile data services is a matter of when, not if.” World Wide Worx and SAinfo reporter
If your video project calls for a pie chart or graph, use one of these tutorials to learn how to create dynamic charts and graphs in After Effects!Charts and graphs aren’t sexy, but using infographics is often the best way to display a data set. It’s common for corporate and business videos to utilize charts and graphs, so it often falls on the After Effects editor/designer to show off this data in a visually compelling way.In the following video tutorials, you’ll see how to create pie charts and bar graphs using tools in After Effects.PremiumBeat blogger and skilled motion designer Evan Abrams shows you how to create a pie chart in After Effects that dynamically animates on and off.Andrew Kramer from Video Copilot shares his recipe for creating bar graphs in After Effects. Although this tutorial is a few years old, it’s still highly relevant and full of useful info. Click the image below to view the tutorial and download the AE project file.Rob Mize did a two-part series for Creative Cow in which he demonstrates how to create create masks and expressions to generate and animate line graphs, area graphs, bar graphs, and pie charts in After Effects.Don’t have the time or energy to make charts and graphs in After Effects from scratch? You can download an After Effects charts and graphs template from FluxVFX for $35.Be sure to check out PremiumBeat’s After Effects archive for plenty of additional motion design tips, tricks, and techniques!