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first_imgThe Houses of Parliament in Cape Townwere completed in 1885. This is the seat of the legislature, although government resides in Pretoria. (Image: Wikimedia) MEDIA CONTACTS • Estelle RandallMedia specialist, Parliament+27 21 403 8195 or +27 76 027 2181 RELATED ARTICLES • Millions vote in record SA election • State of the Nation address • Zuma: SA’s most important year • Government in South AfricaJanine ErasmusOn 31 May 1910 four disparate territories were united under the Union of South Africa, sparking a gruelling, 84-year struggle among the land’s indigenous people, who became disenfranchised.Both the African National Congress (ANC) and apartheid rose out of unionisation, and led to a series of historic events which eventually resulted in the democratic South Africa we know today.The Union originally consisted of the provinces of Natal, the Cape, the Transvaal and the Orange Free State, and was later expanded to include administration of the territory of South West Africa.The Union shaped the political future of South Africa, notably in terms of the rise of the ANC, now in its 16th year of rule.In his State of the Nation speech delivered in February 2010, President Jacob Zuma called on all citizens to use the anniversary of the Union to reflect on South Africa’s many achievements, especially in recent years.“Significantly, the exclusion of black people from this union was one of the chief reasons for the formation of the African National Congress in 1912,” said Zuma. “As we mark this centenary later in the year, we should reflect on how far we have travelled as a country.”While it is a solemn day for many, the date stands as a reminder of the seemingly insurmountable difficulties South Africa has overcome, and the tremendous strides it has made in all spheres – politically, economically, culturally, and socially.Despite many years of turmoil, South Africans today can look back and appreciate that, even with all its problems and ongoing dissension, in many ways the country today is still a better place than it has ever been.Turbulent historyThe Union was formed while the country was under British dominion. The British had colonised South Africa bit by bit since they landed in the Cape in 1795, seizing it after the Dutch settlers lost their grip on the region. The Dutch did manage to regain control for a few years in the early 19th century, but the British finally stamped their authority on the territory in 1806, and began to expand their dominance.The arrival of about 5 000 British immigrants in the eastern Cape region in 1820 entrenched the British presence, although it intensified tension between the Dutch-speaking Boers who had settled on the land and the English-speaking colonists. The last straw for the Boers was the British abolition of slavery in 1828.In the years that followed there were many bloody disputes between the British, the Boers, and the indigenous groups of people living here. A northerly migration of Boers in search of greater independence resulted in the establishment of a republic in today’s Free State province, although they encountered much resistance in the Zulu-controlled Natal territory.The Boers did manage to soundly defeat the Zulus in 1838 at the historic Battle of Blood River, and they proclaimed the newly won territory, Natalia. But, by 1843, the British moved in, forcing the Boers to pack up again and move further north. Here they founded the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR) or South African Republic in 1852, with its capital at Pretoria.In 1900 the British struck again, annexing the ZAR and renaming it the Transvaal colony. It later became the Transvaal province under the Union of South Africa.The Oranje Vrij Staat, or Orange Free State, meanwhile, was pronounced by the Boers in 1837 after the defeat of the Matabele chief Mzilikazi and the capital was named Winburg. But it only became an official republic years later, with the signing of the Orange River Convention in 1854.Like elsewhere, Boer rule there was short-lived and the British annexed it in 1900. The young republic effectively lost its independent status through the Treaty of Vereeniging, which followed the Second Boer War in 1902.Britain had long wanted a united South Africa, and after this, matters seemed to be finally moving in that direction. However, peace was not guaranteed as the rights of the indigenous people were not recognised by the treaty. Discontent grew and eventually spilled over in the Bambatha Rebellion of 1906, which saw the Zulus in Natal rising up against British rule and taxation in that province.The incident is considered by many to be the forerunner of the future struggle against apartheid, which would culminate 88 years later in South Africa’s first democratic elections and the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as president.The British Parliament’s South Africa Act of 1909, which brought into legal effect the terms of government drawn up at a National Convention the year before, laid the foundation for the formation of the union. This legislative document served as the country’s constitution until its departure from the Commonwealth in 1961.Unity under the CrownWith the four colonies now united under one treaty and one flag, the British were concerned mainly about loyalty to the Crown, and promoting harmony among the different population groups – although it could be said that this only applied to the white settlers.After eight years of negotiation following the Vereeniging accord, the Union of South Africa was born. Of the four regions, only the Cape allowed coloured people to vote – provided they owned property.Unionisation enabled Afrikaner nationalists to eventually gain the upper hand. This would lead to the country’s biggest shame – the dawn of apartheid.Authorities were unable to agree on which city should be the capital of the Union. They finally decided that the administrative capital would be Pretoria, the judicial capital would be Bloemfontein, and the legislative capital would be Cape Town. This arrangement still stands today.At the end of the First World War in 1918 the Union took over the administration of the former German colony of South West Africa, under the terms of the newly established League of Nations. South West Africa became an unofficial fifth province, being administered in the same way as the other territories in South Africa.Another British colony, South Rhodesia, now known as Zimbabwe, had a chance to join the nion in 1922, but a referendum proved that most people there preferred to live under their own government rather than be absorbed into the neighbouring state.The Union of South Africa remained a dominion in the British Commonwealth until the enforcement of the Statute of Westminster in 1931 took away legislative power from British. This bestowed on South Africa a status equal to that of other Commonwealth territories, and did away with Britain’s right to pass laws on its behalf. The significance of this was that the South African Parliament gained greater freedom in dealing with the contentious “native question”.Power rested in the governor-general and the prime minister. The first prime minister was former Boer general Louis Botha, while the first governor-general was the Honourable Herbert Gladstone.But trouble was brewing. By allowing just two groups, the British and the Afrikaners, to have a say in the running of the territory, the British government had planted the seeds of apartheid. The Land Act of 1913 and the Urban Areas Act of 1923 were further omens of what was to come – complete segregation of the population.In some quarters, disapproval led to far-reaching action. The ANC was founded in 1912 following a protest gathering of Zulu chiefs convened by lawyer Pixley ka Isaka Seme, who is credited as the founder of the organisation.Sol Plaatje was named secretary and the first president was the Rev John L Dube. The organisation, known then as the South African Native National Congress, aimed to unite indigenous people and give them a platform to stand up for their rights.Nationalism on the riseThe establishment of the Union in 1910 also led to the birth of the National Party in Bloemfontein four years later. The party, which first rose to power in 1924, wasted no time in boosting the numbers of white voters, notably by allowing white women to vote for the first time in 1930. This instantly halved the power of the coloured franchise in the Cape.The more liberal United Party, a merger between the South African Party and most of the National Party, governed from 1934 to 1948. A small faction of Nationalists abstained from the merger. Calling themselves the Purified National Party, they rejoined the parent party when it came to power in 1948, to show solidarity with the strong Afrikaner opposition to South Africa’s obligatory participation in the Second World War.The new ruling party immediately put the wheels of apartheid into motion, passing laws such as the Group Areas Act of 1950, and the Bantu Self-Government Act of 1959, which created the so-called homelands. This meant that the greater part of South Africa was under the control of white people.The coloured people of the Cape lost their vote in 1968, and the government even tried to incorporate the administrative territory of South West Africa into South Africa as the fifth province, because it was felt that the Afrikaans and German citizens there would add strength to the Nationalist cause. But this move was not condoned and never officially recognised by the rest of the world.The Union of South Africa became a republic on 31 May 1961 – but not before the National Party’s apartheid policies had earned the world’s wrath. On attaining independence, South Africa’s racial policies were criticised and condemned by other Commonwealth members, and the country left the association under a cloud.http://www.sahistory.org.za/pages/governence-projects/blood_river/index.htmlast_img read more


first_imgWeighing in at more than 3.5 tons, the new statue of Nelson Rolihlala Mandela unveiled on Monday 16 December 2013 at the Union Buildings shows the father of the nation stretching out his arms.The Nelson Mandela statue at the Union Buildings in Pretoria is one of South Africa’s national heritage sites. (Image: South African Tourism)Brand South Africa reporterA nine-metre-tall bronze statue of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was unveiled at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on the Day of Reconciliation, bringing to a close the official 10-day mourning period for the much loved former state president, who died at his Johannesburg home on 5 December 2013.President Jacob Zuma, who oversaw the proceedings of Monday 16 December 2013, said the Mandela statue would act as a constant reminder for the nation to maintain Madiba’s values of unity, reconciliation, compassion and ubuntu.“The statue will forever remind us of Madiba’s towering vision and stature. It will remind us of his commitment, his leadership and his dedication to the struggle against apartheid. It will forever remind us of his commitment to an improved quality of life for all,” he said.Here is a collection of interesting facts about the new Mandela statue:The R8-million statue at the Union Buildings was commissioned in June 2013.It is 9-metres high, the tallest figurative bronze sculpture of Mandela. The tallest memorial is Marco Cianfanelli’s steel construction at the capture site near Howick in KwaZulu Natal, which is 9.48-metres tall. Cianfanelli’s sculpture commemorates the arrest of Mandela in 1962.Made out of bronze, the statue weighs 3.5 tons. The stainless steel armature inside the statue weighs an additional 800kg.The “wingspan” of the statue – from fingertip to fingertip – is eight metres.It was initially commissioned by the National Heritage Council, an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture, as part of the celebrations to mark the centenary of the Union Buildings, South Africa’s seat of government, in Pretoria.The statue is situated at the Union Buildings, the same place where Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa’s first democratically elected president in 1994. Zuma has since declared the Union Buildings a national heritage site.South African sculptors André Prinsloo and Ruhan Janse van Vuuren were responsible for creating the statue. The artists are part of a stable of sculptors who have been working on various projects for the government’s Long Walk to Freedom project.In the past Prinsloo and Janse van Vuuren worked together on the sculptures of Chief Langalibalele and Dr Abdullah Abdurahman.According to Prinsloo’s site, the sculptors considered various poses like the Raised Fist Salute, but in the Spirit of Reconciliation the current open arm pose was suggested. This was approved and accepted by the client.The project was overseen by Dali Tambo, the son of struggle veteran Oliver Tambo, who was a close friend of Mandela’s. Tambo is the chief executive of Koketso Growth, which managed the project on behalf of the NHC.The project received final approval in mid-July 2013, giving the artists just four months to complete the giant statue. “We finished it in record time,” Prinsloo said in an interview with IOL.The statue was cast in 147 pieces at four different foundries before it was assembled in Cape Town.Metal work and engineering was carried out with assistance from the Knight brothers at Sculpture Casting Services Foundary in Cape Town. The legs and arms were cast by the company’s branch in Nottingham road in KwaZulu-Natal and transported to the site by flat-bed truck.It took three weeks to complete constructing the giant statue with a complementary team of 35 workers, Prinsloo said.The statue shows a smiling Mandela, with his arms stretched out and his hands open, as if to embrace the nation. “You will notice that in all the statues that have been made of Madiba, he is raising his fist and at times stretching it. That derives from the slogan of the ANC,” Zuma explained at the unveiling. “This one is different from many. He is stretching out his hands. He is embracing the whole nation. You shouldn’t say this is not Madiba because we know him with his one [raised] hand.”The design was approved by a committee including Paul Mashatile, the minister of arts and culture, Tambo, and representatives from the National Heritage Council, Prinsloo said.Prinsloo told Brand South Africa that the artists considered his open arms not only as a gesture of reconiciliation, but also one of bestowing a blessing. “Mandela is looking down on the people in front of him, blessing them.” It is also in the spirit of the hymn, God bless Africa, he said.The Mandela statue stand where a figure of former prime minister James Barry Hertzog used to stand. Hertzog was prime minister from 1924-1939. “Following an exhaustive consultation process, and in the spirit of reconciliation that our country has become renowned for, the representatives of Hertzog agreed that his statue be relocated to another spot in the Union Buildings in order to make way for Madiba’s statue,” Zuma said.“I feel honoured to have been asked to work on a statue of Madiba who have actually gone through a lot during his lifetime,” Prinsloo said in an interview with SAnews.“After serving 27 years in prison, Madiba walk out smiling and fully embracing everyone including those who had locked him up in jail. He was not angry and never thought retaliating, so a nation, I think this statue must always remind us to embrace each other.”This article was originally posted on 17 December 2013.Sources: Fotoman Photography, IOL, André Prinsloo Scuplture, and South African Government News Agency.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? 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first_imgAlthough it’s hardly a new technology, recent cyber-skirmishes and demands for better privacy online have put the anonymizing network the Tor Project in the spotlight, including a story earlier this month in The New York Times Magazine, a harbinger perhaps of mainstream adoption. Tor has been around for almost a decade, originally developed by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and now used by activists, dissidents, journalists, and well, anyone in order to protect the privacy of online activities. According to the Tor Project’s metrics, the network has had between 100,000 and 300,000 users per day over the course of the past few months.How Tor WorksTor protects its users from surveillance known as “traffic analysis.” Even if you encrypt your data, as the Tor website notes, traffic analysis can still reveal “a great deal about what you’re doing and, possible, what you’re saying” as it focuses on the header used for routing – something that discloses the source, the destination, the date and time, and the size of what’s being send. Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Flaws in the System?According to a report this week in Wired, researchers at the University of Regensburg have found some vulnerabilities in the Tor network. “The attack doesn’t quite make a surfer’s activity an open book,” writes Wired’s John Borland, “but offers the ability for someone on the same local network – a Wi-Fi network provider, or an ISP working at law enforcement (or a regime’s) request, for example – to gain a potentially good idea of sites an anonymous surfer is viewing.” According to the research, someone could run the Tor network, monitor how certain sites appeared when accessed through Tor, and develop a database of this sort of “fingerprint.” Using pattern recognition software, it’s possible to glean a match (with about 55% certainty) between a source and destination.The article does add that there are some ways to help mitigate against this and muddy any results: requesting multiple sites at once, for example, would complicate the analysis. And with increasing attention to privacy issues – from the prying eyes of advertisers and governments alike – it’s unlikely that this research will discourage people from using the Tor Network. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting audrey watters Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tor obscures this traffic data. It works to anonymize your identity and activity by distributing your transactions over several places on the Internet, so that no single point can be linked to you or your destination – “a deliberately byzantine system of virtual tunnels that conceal the origins and destinations of data, and thus the identity of clients,” as The New York Times describes it. In other words, rather than taking a direct route from the source to destination, data on the Tor network takes a random pathway through several relays, so that no one can tell where the data came from, where it’s headed, or the complete path of the data. Each “hop” along the way is encrypted separately as well. Tor doesn’t solve all privacy problems online. (It doesn’t try to.) It doesn’t anonymize your visits to websites, prevent cookies or other tracking mechanisms, for example. But it does protect the traffic of your data along the way. Tags:#security#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more


first_imgThe mystery and thrill of Alfred Hitchcock‘s MacGuffin: What it is and how it can be utilized in your next film and video project?It’s odd to think about at times, but what is the purpose of film?The earliest iterations of moving pictures, film, and cinema were just meant to entertain. However, as the years went on, more practical uses for film and video developed. From documentaries to corporate videos to YouTube Vlogs to blockbuster movies, the medium has an endless amount of styles and uses.Yet, if you go back and look at classic cinema, or even modern mainstream movies and television, we’re still watching stories that feel like they’re simply meant to entertain and pass the time.At the heart of every narrative film, play, or book are many different storytelling devices and technique. And thanks to auteurs and film theorists like Alfred Hitchcock, we have one device that’s a powerful tool for not just understanding how stories work, but making them compelling.What Is a MacGuffin?From the official Wikipedia definition, a MacGuffin is “an object, device, or event that is necessary to the plot and the motivation of the characters, but insignificant, unimportant, or irrelevant in itself.” And while the term is most often associated with Hitchcock (more on this below), it was actually originally coined by the English screenwriter Angus MacPhail — a contemporary and collaborator of Hitchcock’s.In layman’s terms, a MacGuffin is that magical “thing” that advances the plot, builds the narrative, and helps push the story forward. It’s closely associated with mysteries and thrillers — Hitchcock’s bread and butter — but viewers can find it in all style and manner of films, as well as other story forms.Alfred Hitchcock’s MacGuffin TechniqueHitchcock used the MacGuffin technique in many of his films. Image via Wikicommons.The reason Hitchcock’s name is synonymous with the MacGuffin is due to the director’s heavy use of the device. Hitchcock also gave a series of lectures in which he would often talk about MacGuffins and how he used them. Hitchcock explains,It might be a Scottish name, taken from a story about two men on a train. One man says, “What’s that package up there in the baggage rack?” And the other answers, “Oh, that’s a MacGuffin.” The first one asks, “What’s a MacGuffin?” “Well,” the other man says, “it’s an apparatus for trapping lions in the Scottish Highlands.” The first man says, “But there are no lions in the Scottish Highlands,” and the other one answers, “Well then, that’s no MacGuffin!” So, you see that a MacGuffin is actually nothing at all. For many of Hitchcock’s films, the MacGuffin was a meaningless “thing” in the narrative that moved the story forward in the first act, only to be of little to no consequence later.Other MacGuffin ExamplesThe Ark of the Covenant was used as a MacGuffin in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Image via Paramount.Hitchcock taught that the MacGuffin was meant to be of little significance. However, modern filmmakers adopted the technique and experiment with having the MacGuffin as a central piece of the film’s plot.From the Dude’s rug in The Big Lebowski to R2-D2 in Star Wars: A New Hope, having a meaningful MacGuffin device at the center of the narrative as an object, place, or thing in which all other characters are interested in can be more effective if the MacGuffin’s presence remains strong throughout the story.Other notable MacGuffin examples include (but are not limited to):The suitcase in Pulp FictionThe ring in The Lord of the Rings“Rosebud” in Citizen KaneThe Maltese Falcon statue in The Maltese FalconThe Ark of the Covenant in Raiders of the Lost ArkMacGuffins aren’t just things either. Anything from a person like Private Ryan in Saving Private Ryan to the knowledge of Hamlet’s father’s death in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.How to Use a MacGuffinImage from Star Wars (via Warner Bros).Determine early on in your creative process if and how to use a MacGuffin in your film or video projects. It’s also worth exploring whether or not a MacGuffin already exists — chances are it does.Understanding what a MacGuffin is, and how the technique was used both traditionally and recently, can be a fun way to view your story and film narrative. If the MacGuffin is something you’ve seen many times before, it might be helpful to explore other objects, people, places, or things to put the emotional weight of your film into.Cover image from The Maltese Falcon (via Warner Bros).For more film theory and filmmaking advice, check out some of these cool articles below.What “The Righteous Gemstones” Teaches About Directing StylesThe Prototype Rigging of Vintage Lenses in “Ford v Ferrari”The Ad Astra Editing Team on Creating “Quiet Intensity” in the EditFilmmaking Lessons from the Making of the Sci-Fi Horror Classic “Alien”7 Filmmaking Interviews with Real-World Career Advicelast_img read more