Kurtenbach: Why Mark Davis and the Raiders don’t deserve a fond farewell from Oakland

first_img … You only get one chance at a proper goodbye.That makes Monday night’s Raiders game at the Coliseum so strange.While we’ve known for two years that the Raiders are going to leave Oakland, no one — not the fans, the media, an emotional Jon Gruden, or team owner Mark Davis — can say for sure if the Christmas Eve game will be the final Raiders contest at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum or in the Bay Area.How do you say goodbye to a team like the Raiders under circumstances like these?last_img read more

Only the toughest survive the Berg River canoe marathon

first_imgThe beginning of a gruelling 60 km first stage can seem serene. (Image: Berg River Canoe Marathon) • Anthony Penderis Race Organiser Organisation +27 84 306 0331 [email protected] • South Africa is world’s endurance race capital • Andy Birkett gets his green number, at 23 • SA couple row across the world • Paddling through Northern Cape paradise •The pain is soon forgottenLucille DavieOne of South Africa’s toughest endurance races is the Berg River Canoe Marathon, which starts in mid-July. It’s tough because paddlers sit in their boats for some 60 gruelling kilometres each day of the four-day race, paddling in the middle of winter in a river that is at times blocked by trees and requires paddlers to portage.South Africans appear to have a penchant for pushing themselves to the limit, whether on their bikes, in their canoes, in their running shoes, or in their swimming caps and goggles. And this race certainly pushes paddlers to their limits.The Berg River Marathon was started in 1962 by Willem van Riet, who competed in the 1992 Olympics as a canoeist. “Willem van Riet as a young man took on most of southern Africa’s larger rivers in a canoe and wrote a book on his adventures. He was so inspired after these trips that he thought it would be a good idea to start a marathon on the Berg to get more young people involved in the sport of canoeing,” explains Giel van Deventer, who has completed 44 Berg races.It runs from Paarl to Velddrif in Western Cape, a distance of about 240 kilometres. On day one, the paddlers head off with mist rising over the water, to paddle 62km. Day two is a shorter day, at 45km, while day three takes supreme effort, at a hard 74km. The final day is not easy, at 58km. Throw in the north-westerly wind and a rain storm, and it is the only race in the country in which fewer than half the field step out their boats at the end of the four days.Van Riet’s last Berg race was in 2011. That doesn’t mean he is not paddling – he is, but Van Deventer believes he won’t do another Berg as he is now 75 years old. The competitiors have grown more diverse since the race’s beginning in 1961. (Image: Berg River Canoe Marathon) Race recordThe race record was set in 1990 by Mark Perrow in an incredible time of 13 hours, 34 minutes and 32 seconds. The women’s record is 14 hours, 55 minutes and seven seconds, set in 2008 by Abbey Ulansky. In all, 2 892 paddlers have finished one or more Berg races, with about 170 people finishing the race every year. In its 50th anniversary year in 2011, 317 canoeists paddled across the finishing line at the mouth of the river on day four.A friendly competition has existed for many years between Van Deventer and André Collins, a former race winner. Up until last year’s race they had both done 43 races; then, in 2013 Collins could not compete, so Van Deventer takes the honour of being the canoeist with the most races under his paddle.“Only the toughest will survive,” Van Deventer says. “In the history of South African canoe races it still stands as the only race where less than half the starters could finish.”Canoeing is part of his normal routine, he says – he has completed all the major races in the country numerous times. “I have completed more than 800 canoe races in the past 50 years and I am only 64 so still have many years to come to see if I can end my canoeing career after 1 000 races.”Seasoned paddler Hank McGregor has the record for nine races titles between 2000 and 2012. He did not do the 2013 race as he had international race commitments, but will be back this month, hoping to take his 10th victory. This year, the marathon runs from 16 to 19 July. Last minute route planning for the very first Berg River Canoe race. (Image: Berg River Canoe Marathon)last_img read more

Follow the Hippie: Leadership Lessons Through Dance

first_imgHaving first presented the video at this year’s TED Conference, Sivers make the case that instead of the first mover / leader being the catalyst of a movement, it is in fact the first follower that rallies others. Says Sivers, “Being a first follower is an under-appreciated form of leadership. The first follower transforms a lone nut into a leader. If the leader is the flint, the first follower is the spark that makes the fire. “For entrepreneurs, it means that the key to virality isn’t just building a great product. It’s about having the right early adopters to teach others how to use the product and become comfortable with the novelty of something new. Sivers explains that it’s the early adopters that others follow and not the trailblazing / seemingly crazy leader. In other words, it’s important to respect your earliest users and give them the mechanisms to make their support public. Says Sivers, “We’re told we all need to be leaders, but that would be really ineffective. The best way to make a movement, if you really care, is to courageously follow and show others how to follow. When you find a lone nut doing something great, have the guts to be the first person to stand up and join in.”We’ve seen our fair share of angel investors, early executives and engineers follow a lone nut and build successful businesses. As an entrepreneur, who do you credit as your first follower and what efforts have you made to ensure that the act of following is made public? A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#start#startups Related Posts dana oshiro Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting When Sigma Partners’ Richard Dale posted a video of a random dancing guy to his Venture Cyclist blog I was skeptical. I’d seen the original video sans narration and dismissed it as a strange sociological phenomenon condensed into a quick three minute clip. Nevertheless, when the same video is narrated by MuckWork and CDBaby founder Derek Sivers, it provides some valuable leadership lessons for entrepreneurs. last_img read more

Ambala: Army jawan refuses to cut braid citing religious freedom

first_imgA junior commissioned officer (JCO) of the Indian Army, posted in Ambala, has stirred a hornet’s nest by refusing to cut-off his choti (braid) when ordered recently. Citing right to religious freedom, Subedar S.P. Shukla, who has put in 28 years of service with a spotless record, declined to follow the orders issued to him. The army sees Shukla’s carefully nurtured choti as a violation of rules prohibiting display of religion. He is now pitted against age-old army traditions to honour, what he calls, his religious freedom. “On August 15, Major General Alok Dev saw me with the shikha (braid) and directed that I should be asked to remove it. I cannot do so. This is against my religious freedom and is my constitutional right. I replied back very politely to him in a letter that I request that an advice be taken from experts on this,” Subedar Shukla told Headlines Today. He wrote a detailed letter to the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 40 Artillery Division giving out his reasons for sporting the braid. “I am a disciplined soldier and I do not want anything wrong to happen with the army. But I want a decision on this issue so that everyone benefits from it,” he insisted. Despite the stand-off, the army has not initiated any action against Shukla for now even though he has refused to follow a direct order.last_img read more