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Authorities tighten grip on Tibetan websites and readers

first_img Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes to go further June 2, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information RSF_en Receive email alerts Two new Tibetan websites that are hosted on servers within China have been inaccessible for the past month in most of China including Tibet. The two sites, Tibettl (http://www.tibettl.com/) and ChodMe (http://www.cmbpd.cn/index.html), specialise in Tibetan culture and Tibettl hosts the blog of popular writer Jamyang Kyi.Their blocking has coincided with others signs of the vice being tightened on Internet users in Tibet. A young man, Pasang Norbu, was arrested by the Chinese authorities in Lhasa on 12 August for looking the Radio Free Asia (http://www.rfa.org/english/) website and allegedly violating public security laws that ban viewing photos of the Dalai Lama or Tibetan national flag or reading articles promoting Tibetan autonomy.“We condemn such online censorship methods, which do not hide their aim of stifling any independent expression of Tibetan culture,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We call for an end to government harassment of Tibetan website editors and an end to censorship of online news and artistic expression.”The blocking of Tibettl and ChodMe joins that of many Tibetan exile websites that are hosted abroad such as www.vot.org, www.tibet.net, www.phayul.com, www.lhasapost.com, www.tibetsun.com, www.potalapost.com, www.thetibetpost.com, www.savetibet.org, www.tibetexpress.net, www.tibettimes.net, www.shambalapost.com and www.boxun.com. Access to Radio Free Asia’s Tibetan-language website (www.rfa.org/tibetan) is also blocked.In yet another example of China’s constant reinforcement of its control over the Internet, anyone wanting to post a comment on a news website has been required since the start of August to register first using their real identity.Websites hosted in China have to post instructions to this effect. If the instructions are not respected within a deadline set by the State Council’s Information Office, the site is blocked and visitors find the message, “Sorry, this site is currently down for maintenance.” The webmasters themselves have to block the site to ensure its long-term survival, just as they have to suppress articles banned by the government.In a parallel move, the culture ministry announced on its website on 3 September (http://www.ccnt.gov.cn/xxfb/xwzx/whxw/200909/t20090903_73041.html) that Chinese online music distributors such as Yahoo China, Baidu and Google (which has just launched a downloading service) will have to submit all imported music to the ministry for vetting. This is necessary to protect “intellectual property rights” and ensure that lyrics are “acceptable,” the ministry said.The Google.com website is meanwhile accessible again in China. Criticised by the authorities for not doing enough to combat pornography, the California-based company has eliminated part of its content.China is the world’s biggest prison for cyber-dissidents with a total of 57 currently held, five of them Tibetans. It was ranked 167th out of 173 countries in the 2008 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. March 12, 2021 Find out more China’s Cyber ​​Censorship Figures September 9, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Authorities tighten grip on Tibetan websites and readers Follow the news on Chinacenter_img News News April 27, 2021 Find out more China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison ChinaAsia – Pacific ChinaAsia – Pacific Organisation News Newslast_img read more

Duncan Macmillan’s Every Brilliant Thing Begins Previews Off-Broadway

first_img 1. Ice cream, 2. Water fights, 3. Things with stripes, 4. Christopher Walken’s voice, 5. Rollercoasters. In Every Brilliant Thing, a young boy attempts to ease his mother’s depression by creating a list of all the best things in the world—everything worth living for. Through adulthood, as the list grows, he learns the deep significance it has on his own life. View Comments The 16-week limited engagement, directed by George Perrin, will open officially on December 14. Every Brilliant Thing previously played London and Edinburgh, as well as a U.K. tour. The North American premiere of Duncan Macmillan’s Every Brilliant Thing begins previews on December 6 at the Barrow Street Theatre. Jonny Donahoe, who co-wrote the play, stars in the off-Broadway production. Related Shows Every Brilliant Thing Show Closed This production ended its run on March 29, 2015last_img read more

Greater Texas FCU beta tests Apple Watch App

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: WB KingApple Watch, the technology giant’s first new product in five years, and first without Steve Jobs, debuts later this month. As time quickly ticks away to the launch date, a handful of credit unions and their vendors are testing companion banking apps.“The app in the Apple Watch will be almost identical to the app we currently offer for iPhone and tablets,” said Greater Texas Federal Credit Union VP of Marketing Brandy Conway. “Because of that, we felt like it would be a good fit for us to be on the leading edge.”Earlier this year the $557 million CU was contacted by its mobile banking partner, Malauzai. The Austin firm was seeking Apple Watch app beta testers.Danny Piangerelli, Malauzai’s co-founder and CTO, explained that while CU beta testers did not physically interface with the Apple Watch, the firm was invited to Apple headquarters for demonstrations. continue reading »last_img read more

Gold Coast block of units sells for $1.36 million

first_img218-220 Cypress Tce, Palm Beach. 218-220 Cypress Tce, Palm Beach.A RARE corner block in Palm Beach has sold for $1.36 million.The property at 218-220 Cypress Terrace includes four units with long-term tenants.McGrath Palm Beach agent Matt Srama handled the sale.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North7 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day agoHe described the property as an incredibly rare opportunity for a buyer to acquire an 817sq m corner allotment with dual street access.“Land in the heart of this thriving Palm Beach hub is in fierce demand and snapped up quickly,” he said.It is the first time the property has been sold since 1995.It is within walking distance to the beach and Tallebudgera Creek. 218-220 Cypress Tce, Palm Beach.last_img read more

Nigeria Olympic Day Run Thrills Ghana, NOC/NSPAC

first_imgNigeria Sports for All Commission has praised the fitness clubs and individuals that trooped out in their hundreds to observe the 2017 Olympic Day Celebration held on Saturday 24th June 2017.Chairman of the commission, Henry Amike, said Nigerians have by their action proved that they love healthy lifestyle which can only be guaranteed through fitness and physical exercises. Amike, a former Nigerian international read the goodwill message from the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach to the appreciable crowd that gathered at the National Stadium, Lagos before taking the flag-off at 7:30 am.He pleaded with Nigerians to always be in contact with the Secretary General of the Nigeria Sports for All Commission, Augustine Odigie in order to be carried along with the day-to-day activities of the body.Meanwhile, the Ghana Sports for all Commission has commended the Nigeria Olympic Committee through the Nigeria Sports For All Commission for the peaceful conduct of the just concluded 2017 Olympic Day celebration.Secretary General of the Ghana Sports For All Commission, Mrs Agnes Abefe who was in Lagos for the celebration made the commendation after witnessing the event. Trilled by large turnout of participants despite the rains, Abefe praised the NOC for their leadership role in the development of Sports in the country by empowering the youths through the activities of the Nigeria Sports for all commission.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Gaeltacht Minister urged to visit stranded Gaoth Dobhair family

first_imgThe Minister of State for the Gaeltacht is being called upon to visit flood-hit families in Gaoth Dobhair who lost a bridge to their homes.The extended O Duibhir families from Bunbeg have been relying on a temporary footbridge to access their houses after their original bridge was swept away by the River Clady in August.But the replacement bridge is so unsuitable that an ambulance was unable to access the home of one ill family member, who is 79 years old, and paramedics were forced to wheel him to the road. Mr O Duibhir at the ambulance.Local councillor Michael Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig is now calling on the Gaeltacht Minister of State, Sean Kyne TD, to visit the O Duibir homes when he visits the area next week.“It is very difficult for the families to get on with their lives when they cannot get their bridge rebuilt. The council’s response is that this is a private bridge, but if you look at LIS roads, they are all private roads funded through the State. So why wouldn’t this bridge be funded?,” Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig said.“Myself and Pat the Cope Gallagher TD have been fighting for these families. As a councillor I appreciate that this is a private bridge, but at the same time the State should look after the wellbeing of all its citizens.”The homes of three families in Gweedore including a wheelchair bound resident who are trapped after flooding demolished the bridge into their homes. (North West Newspix)Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig said he hopes that Mr Kyne TD could find a way of identifying funding sources if he saw the reality of the family’s circumstances. He said: “The Minister will be in Gaoth Dobhair on the 26th, a half a mile from where the families live, and I have invited him to meet the family and see how the situation affects them.“The family has been left in limbo. One man had to get the ambulance called twice since the bridge collapsed and every time he has to be carted from his house. This is not acceptable. It’s very difficult for families to get on with their lives, the oil lorry can’t even reach them.“Next week is a great opportunity for the Minister to meet the family and to help them.”  Gaeltacht Minister urged to visit stranded Gaoth Dobhair family was last modified: November 19th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare 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)last_img read more

Athletics’ 2020 schedule has alarming start, perhaps easy ending

first_imgIf the A’s allow themselves to look too far ahead and glance at their 2020 schedule they may not like what they see.The good news for next season is Oakland plays 17 of its first 23 games at the Coliseum, marking the 12th straight season the A’s are at “home” (including being the designated home team in Japan last March). The bad news is the early competition appears daunting.Here’s a closer look at some of the highlights from next year’s tentative schedule, which Major League Baseball …last_img read more

Animals Are “Overengineered” for Navigation

first_imgAnimals outshine us in many ways, but one capability that should humble us is animal navigation.  From spiders to mice, from birds to bees, the ability of animals to find their way around is truly astonishing, and James L. Gould of Princeton has raised our awareness of just how astonishing in a short article in Current Biology (March 23, 2004).1    He starts by explaining that navigation is more than just knowing which way you are pointed: “Nearly all animals move in an oriented way,” he says, “but navigation is something more: the directed movement toward a goal, as opposed to steering toward or away from, say, light or gravity.  Navigation involves the neural processing of sensory inputs to determine a direction and perhaps distance.”  As an example, he mentions how honeybees have to correct for the angle of the sun from morning to afternoon.  This involves much more than orienting at a fixed angle.  The bee has to use changing sensory information to maintain its internal map.    Gould mentions four stumbling blocks that prevented early investigators from appreciating the navigational abilities of animals.  Researchers apparently assumed natural selection was sufficient to explain it all.  He writes, “Several trends reflecting favorably on natural selection and poorly on human imagination characterized early studies of navigation.”  The stumbling blocks investigators have had to get over include:Spectral Breadth:  Early researchers assumed that animals were limited to our own human senses, but found out they can utilize a shopping list of cues invisible to us: ultraviolet light, infrared light, magnetic fields, electric fields, chemical pheromones, ultrasonic sounds and infrasonic sounds.  We were “blind to our own blindness,” he says, “and there is no reason to assume the list is complete.”Complexity: Another “crippling tendency” of early investigators was “what navigation pioneer Donald Griffin called our innate ‘simplicity filter’: the desire to believe that animals do things in the least complex way possible.”  Perhaps it was from our own pride of place, but according to Gould, we should be humbled:Experience, however, tells us that animals whose lives depend on accurate navigation are uniformly overengineered.  Not only do they frequently wring more information out of the cues that surround them than we can, or use more exotic or weaker cues than we find conceivable, they usually come equipped with alternative strategies – a series of backups between which they switch depending on which is providing the most reliable information.Recalibration:  Early studies assumed animals just needed to learn a trick once (a phenomenon called imprinting, true in some short-lived animals.)  Then they found out that some animals are able to recalibrate their instruments.Cognition:  The school of psychology known as behaviorism, which denies instinct, “puts a ceiling on the maximum level of mental activity subject to legitimate investigation,” Gould chides.  As a result of this bias, “most researchers deliberately ignored or denigrated the evidence for cognitive processing in navigating animals.”  Not all animals exhibit cognitive intervention, Gould admits.  But he then makes a very unDarwinian countercharge: “However, the obvious abilities of hunting spiders and honey bees to plan novel routes make it equally clear that phylogenetic distance to humans is no sure guide to the sophistication of a species’ orientation strategies.”    He gives an example: “One of the problems we inherited from behaviorism was the assumption that exploratory behavior must be rewarded.  However, many species examine their surroundings voluntarily and, in fact, do so in detail.”  (See example on mice below.)Let’s look at just a few of the “believe it or not” examples Gould showcases in the article:Honeybees:  Here is an example of switching inputs to get the most reliable information.  “A honey bee, for instance, may set off for a goal using its time-compensated sun compass.  When a cloud covers the sun, it may change to inferring the sun’s position from UV patterns in the sky and opt a minute later for a map-like strategy when it encounters a distinctive landmark.  Lastly, it may ignore all of these cues as it gets close enough to its goal to detect the odors or visual cues provided by the flowers.”Mice:  Here is an example of the “overengineering” Gould spoke of.  Many field animals, like mice, have a strong drive to acquire information about their home range in advance of need, whether or not (as behaviorism would expect) they get an immediate reward.  “Consider mice,” he says,which not only gallop endlessly in running wheels, but actually prefer difficulty, such as square ‘wheels’, or wheels with barriers that must be jumped.  Given a 430 meter long opaque three-dimensional maze of pipes, mice will work out the shortest path within three days, and without reward.Navigation requires determining direction:This can be achieved in two ways, and mice use both: they can use another landmark from their mental map and triangulate the direction of the goal, or they can use a landmark-independent compass like the earth’s magnetic field.–and they never joined the boy scouts.  What’s more, mice “can also navigate perfectly well, even if the habitat fails to provide useful landmarks.  They will remember the direction and length of each leg of their outward journey and integrate the result when they are ready to return and set off home,” even without a trail of bread crumbs. Pigeons:  Daytime provides celestial cues.  “…once the relationship between azimuth and time of day is memorized,” Gould says, “the animal has a highly accurate compass.”  We’ve all heard about the navigational feats of homing pigeons.  They can discern ultraviolet (UV) light, which accentuates polarization patterns of scattered sunlight, for drawing their mental map, and add to it individual data points like “the average of a night’s attempts to escape from a cage, or some other directional measure.”  The cues help them derive a mean vector, with direction pointing to the goal, and length representing scatter.  When all the cues line up, they’ve got their bearing.Migratory birds:  Birds who migrate between nesting grounds and wintering grounds can use sun cues, star cues, magnetic fields and landmarks to find their way.  Not only that, they can recalibrate the cues for seasonal changes, latitude, and longitude.  This requires recalibration:To infer the pole point through broken clouds, the animal’s map of the sky must be updated.  And as the migrants move south in the fall, new sets of stars in the southern sky appear, while northern stars slip below the horizon.  Clearly, changes in both season and latitude make relearning the stars essential.  Only fairly recently has this constant updating been demonstrated.”In fact, for unknown reasons, “nocturnal migrants calibrate their star pole to the magnetic pole.  Instead of simply taking the pole point as the true guide, the birds constantly recalibrate the magnetic pole to the geographic pole, and then the geographic pole to the magnetic pole.”Latitude: Fish, turtles, lobsters, and birds all determine their latitude by the angle of the magnetic field.  “In theory,” Gould says, “animals could obtain the same information from the sun’s noon elevation, but I know of no case in which this traditional human solution is used.”  The critters must know something we don’t.Longitude: house wrens, pigeons, sharks, salmon, sea turtles and spiny lobsters have all conquered a navigational problem that “bedeviled human navigators until very recently,” the problem of determining longitude.  How do they know distance east from west?  How can house wrens find their way back, unerringly, to the same nest box after a long flight at a different time of year from when they left?  “The apparent answer to this conundrum is provided by a map sense,” Gould answers.  The earth’s magnetic field provides both a map and a compass – just the tools you would need if released in an unfamiliar area. Pigeons again:  When homing pigeons circle around before heading home, they are reading the local map of magnetic gradients and extrapolating it from the one they learned at home.  How do pigeons detect the earth’s magnetic field?  They actually have magnetite grains in their heads, in the ethymoid sinus.  Experiments have shown that magnetic anomalies make the birds disoriented.  A sharp pulse of magnetism can severely impair their compass.  But remagnetize the organ by putting it into a magnetic field, and the bird is back to normalGould ends by pointing out two of the biggest challenges to researchers studying animal navigation: (1) the nature of the map sense, and (2) the issue of recalibration, which is still puzzling.  “The interaction of these specific learning programs,” he promises, “doubtlessly holds many magnificent secrets.” 1James L. Gould, “Magazine: Animal Navigation,” Current BiologyVol 14, R221-R224, 23 March 2004.Wow.  Thank you, Dr. Gould.  This article contains absolutely no hints about how such abilities could have evolved; in fact, it contains a couple of off-handed swipes at the notion that natural selection could explain them, or that skill correlates with “phylogenetic distance.”  This is surprising, considering that James L. Gould is a member of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton.  It could just as well have been written by Dr. Gary Parker at the Institute for Creation Research.  It’s a wonder the editors of Current Biology let this one get by without the required pinch of incense to Emperor Charlie.    Notice that these highly refined and accurate navigational skills are possessed by a wide variety of animals: mammals (e.g., mice), insects (e.g., Monarch butterflies — see 05/23/2003 and 07/09/2002 headlines), birds (e.g., Pacific golden plovers, which can navigate over open sea to the Hawaiian islands without having ever seen them), reptiles (e.g., sea turtles), crustaceans (e.g., lobsters), and fish (e.g., salmon).  Skill does not scale with presumed evolutionary advancement: for instance, the spiny lobster wins the prize for magnetic mapping (see 01/06/2003 headline).  Even bacteria and plants can orient themselves with respect to environmental cues.  Humans were given ability to build tools that can navigate a spacecraft to Saturn, but we must surely stand in awe of a God who could put technology that outperforms NASA into a bird brain.  This article goes to show that the film “Incredible Creatures That Defy Evolution” could become an infinite series.  Click your way back through the “Amazing” chain links for many more examples.(Visited 22 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Diatom Evolution a Mystery

first_img(Visited 293 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 A science writer is sure diatoms evolved, even if their origins and intricate designs are major mysteries.Michael Gross, a science writer at Oxford, wrote a feature story for Current Biology called, “The Mysteries of the Diatoms” (Current Biology, Volume 22, Issue 15, R581-R585, 7 August 2012).   Gross knows that diatoms are extremely successful and diverse, very important for the carbon cycle, and beautiful to look at, but said scientists still know little about them.  One of the chief mysteries is their evolution:Diatoms — single-celled algae typically enshrined in a cell wall made of intricately laced silica — have fascinated researchers with a whole range of mysteries, from their evolutionary origins through to their morphogenesis and reproduction. They entered the plant kingdom rather late in evolution, and through an unusual entry. Researchers believe they are secondary endosymbionts, meaning that their precursor was a eukaryote that engulfed another eukaryote, resulting in a quadruple membrane around the chloroplasts the diatom gained from this act of piracy.The evolutionary success story of diatoms only begins some 200 million years ago, but they have spread around the globe and diversified into hundreds of genera and around 100,000 species in this short fraction of the geological timescale. Today, they are present wherever there is liquid water, in the oceans, in freshwater, and even in soil. They have already played a significant role in the global cycles of carbon and nitrogen, and are responsible for large sediments of silica including diatomaceous earth.In the article, Gross described many amazing facts about these microbes that live in glass houses:“they have a very efficient way to dissipate excess solar energy, known as non-photochemical quenching.”“In a time span of less than 200 million years, diatoms have branched out into a multitude of species, which can be as genetically different as humans and fish.““While we might want to call diatoms ‘plantimals,’ these things are much more complex than we think,” Chris Bowler says.“Like animals, for instance, diatoms possess a complete urea cycle…. the cycle enables diatoms to recover quickly after prolonged periods of nitrogen limitation.”“…diatoms have a huge influence on geochemical cycles and our climate.”“Diatoms fix as much carbon dioxide as all the rainforests of the world combined….”“The silica frustules with their intricate nanoscale patterns can make any nanotechnologist jealous. Nature can produce such structures at ambient temperature and under benign conditions, an achievement that our technology cannot match yet.”“Diatom adhesives are of interest for two opposite reasons — some may want to mimic bioadhesives like these to produce better glues that work under difficult conditions, for instance under water. Others want to stop diatoms from sticking to things under water, such as ships.”Considering these are widespread, common organisms we can study right under a microscope, surprisingly little is known about them, Gross said.  For instance, the in-depth study of model organisms like water cress and E. coli hasn’t helped scientists understand the molecular physiology of diatoms.  The growth (morphogenesis) of their intricate glass patterns is not understood.  Their role in climate modulation is poorly understood.  It’s not that scientists have not tried; the mysteries of diatoms have so far proved intractable.One thing Michael Gross seemed profoundly confident about, though, was his belief that they evolved from non-diatoms.  This extended not to his endosymbiotic theory but to their subsequent ability to evolve other capabilities that stump human engineers.  He spoke glibly about how “diatoms evolved thicker and denser cell walls and spread across the oceans,” speaking at one moment about the mystery of their “evolutionary origins” but then their “evolutionary success story.”  It didn’t seem to bother him that in half the time horseshoe crabs remained static, diatoms diversified into 100,000 species with genomes that differ as much between them as fish differ from humans.  Evolution works in strange ways.There is no such thing as an evolutionary success story.  Evolution, being mindless, purposeless, and aimless,(see clarification on Evolution News) could not care less about what thrives and what goes extinct.  If the whole world went extinct, “evolution” (whatever that fictional being represents), would yawn and move on.  By using the word success, Gross exposes himself as an unevolved human who cares.In the 12/19/2007 entry, we used the nonsense word gribbleflix as a substitute for evolution, and it worked in the same manner – it explains everything without needing to explain anything.  Readers are encouraged to re-read that commentary to understand how Michael Gross, and the accomplice Current Biology, employed evolution as nonsense masquerading as explanation.last_img read more

Cape Town: most beautiful city

first_imgThe majestic tree is a favourite with visitorsto the area, and may now be viewed againafter a hiatus of 36 months.((Image: MediaClubsouthafrica.com. Formore free photos, visit the image library) MEDIA CONTACTS • Gert BamCity of Cape Town sports and recreation+27 21 400 5090 or +27 82 222 1242Janine ErasmusCape Town has made it onto Forbes magazine’s list, released earlier in 2010, of the 12 most beautiful cities in the world.According to Forbes, the Mother City is on a par with Paris, Vancouver, Sydney, Florence, Venice, San Francisco, Chicago, New York City, Cambridge, Tokyo and London as the most scenic travel picks.While the list has generated much heated online discussion, and many people have agreed or disagreed with the selections, most would concur that Cape Town is one of the most visually pleasing destinations to be found anywhere.The Forbes list is drawn up in consultation with experts from a range of relevant fields, including architecture, urban planning and sustainable development.Learned consultants included Amanda Reynolds of the UK-based Urban Design Group; architect Michael Kaufman of Goettsch Partners in Chicago; and Raymond Levitt, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University.UK urban designer and architect Tony McGuirk; J Hugh O’Donnell, CEO of engineering firm MMM International, and Ken Drucker of the New York office of architectural firm HOK also provided input.Towards the end of 2009 Cape Town was also named one of the world’s top 10 party cities by the travel guide Lonely Planet, in its 1 000 Ultimate Experiences publication. The city joined Buenos Aires, Dubai, Montreal, Thessaloniki, Belgrade, La Paz, Baku, Auckland and Tel Aviv as a desirable destination for those who love a laid-back atmosphere during the day and a festive vibe at night.Open spaces impressCape Town is the only city from a developing nation to have made the cut, and the only one on the African continent.Forbes was particularly impressed by Cape Town’s open spaces. According to environmental engineer Levitt, the city was also singled out for its small ecological footprint compared to sprawling metropolises like Tokyo and New York. This, he said, was a result of its “manageable size”.A 2010 Fifa World Cup host city, Cape Town is gearing up for the tourist influx with a host of infrastructure upgrades, such as the Integrated Rapid Transit system and the impressive new Cape Town stadium and its associated Green Point Common, which is being developed now that the stadium is fully functional. The common is expected to become an important social gathering site once complete.Cape Town also hosts a number of other popular sporting events, such as the annual Cape Argus and Cape Epic cycle tours and the Two Oceans ultramarathon. Participants from all over the world descend on the city to pit their skills and endurance against the best athletes in these taxing sporting disciplines.The city has an abundance of unspoilt beaches for those who love to soak up the sun, and it is also known for its bustling nightlife and fine restaurants. Some of the top establishments in the country are to be found here, a number of which have also won international acclaim.A little further inland, the Cape winelands offer award-winning wines from many world-renowned estates, some of them possessing an ancestry that dates right back to the early days of the Cape’s colonisation by the Dutch.The city also boasts many highly rated hotels, ranging from the brand-new One and Only – part of a growing international chain developed by South African hospitality tycoon Sol Kerzner – to the venerable Mount Nelson, which opened on 6 March 1899 and is a favourite of well-heeled travellers.No description of Cape Town would be complete without a mention of its most spectacular landmark, the flat-topped Table Mountain, part of the 30 000ha Table Mountain National Park, administered by South African National Parks. Not only is the site home to a wide range of animals and birds, it’s also popular with thrill-seekers who are able to hike, climb, cave, and base-jump from its many cliffs.last_img read more