19 February 2009The Department of Arts and Culture has tasked the National Library of South Africa with reprinting literary classics in indigenous languages to help preserve the country’s heritage.Launching the Reprint of South African Literary Classics Project this week, Arts and Culture Minister Pallo Jordan said that publishing literature in indigenous languages was part of a campaign to promote reading and writing in indigenous languages, and thereby to help promote literacy.“It is our fervent hope that [the project’s] impact will be to inspire emergent writers and even those who might have given up owing to the discouraging environment of the past, to come forward with their works,” Jordan said.Twenty-seven titles reprintedTwenty-seven titles have already been reprinted, including the works of poet laureate Samuel Mqhayi and writers Sibusiso Nyembezi, ML Bopape, SP Lekaba and TN Maumela.These will be available in public libraries and booksellers countrywide.By reprinting these classic works, Jordan said, the government hoped to nurture people’s capacity to explore and express the broadest human experiences and the profoundest human emotions and wisdom in indigenous African languages.The works wrestled with the same human frailties, foibles, idiosyncrasies and robustness found in other literatures, he said.“We envisage that our school system will very soon become aware of these republished classics, and that many, otherwise lost to memory, will once again be prescribed as part of the school syllabus.“The library system, otherwise starved for literature in the indigenous languages, will now have this resource to draw on.”African RenaissanceJordan said that South Africa was in earnest about an African Renaissance, adding that this entailed the rediscovery of African genius and the dissemination of the best works of African imagination.“If no one else wishes to preserve these works, we as South Africans have a responsibility to our nation and humanity to ensure that they survive into the future.”Source: BuaNews
The days of queuing for printed boarding passes are over for Qantas passengers travelling between Australia and New Zealand .The airline announced Friday that customers travelling between the neighbouring countries can now use mobile check-in and digital boarding passes in a “first step towards more seamless travel across the Tasman’’.It said the technology allowed eligible customers travelling between Australia and New Zealand to finalise check-in and passport checks online and head straight to the lounge or boarding gate after passing through immigration and security.Customers with baggage will be able to be able to use dedicated bag drops and those eligible for Express Path access will have it embedded in the digital boarding pass.The system will apply to all passport holders, although some visa restrictions apply, travelling on direct Qantas marketed and operated services between Australia and New Zealand.But the airline also wants to expand the system to other international destinations.“Seamless domestic travel has been a reality since Qantas pioneered smart check-in technology in 2010, but the barriers have always been a lot higher for international flights,” Qantas International chief executive Gareth Evans said in a statement.“It’s a great example of how industry and Government working together can change what’s possible for travellers. The goal is ultimately to make this technology for international routes the ‘new normal’.’’Qantas will initially offer the technology through its Qantas.com web and mobile sites but plans to incorporate it into its app from June.It will also start looking at progressively extending the service to other international destinations from mid-year and expects it to be installed in all relevant airports by early 2018.
The birthday of former president Nelson Mandela was celebrated in hundreds of ways in South Africa and abroad. (Image: Janine Erasmus) Tiny fossilised bones from the woodpecker Australopicus nelsonmandelai are in safe keeping in the South African Museum in Cape Town. (Image: Albrecht Manegold) Excavations at the West Coast Fossil Park have already yielded over 200 species.(Image: West Coast Fossil Park) MEDIA CONTACTS • Dr Albrecht Manegold Ornithology section, Senckenberg Institute +31 620 987 179 RELATED ARTICLES • Madiba’s best birthday gift ever • Town teams up for Mandela statue • Schools to benefit for Mandela Day • Mandela deeds in motion • SA unearths new human ancestorJanine ErasmusThe global scientific community was not left out of former South African president Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday celebrations on 18 July – scientists have now named an ancient woodpecker after him.South African fossils have been in the news of late, with the announcement in July of another significant find of bones of the early human species Australopithecus sediba. The bones are thought to belong to a partial skeleton named Karabo, discovered at the Cradle of Humankind in 2010 by a team from the University of the Witwatersrand.“This discovery will almost certainly make Karabo the most complete early human ancestor skeleton ever discovered,” said Wits palaeoanthropologist Lee Berger, who headed the research team.But the ancient little bird, known as Australopicus nelsonmandelai, tops even those old bones, as it’s the oldest of its kind ever found in Africa and dates back to more than five million years. It lived during the Pliocene era, which extended from about 5.3-million years to 2.6-million years ago.Scientists from the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt made the announcement the day before Mandela celebrated his birthday.They documented their discovery in the June issue of the journal of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, in an article titled Biogeographic and paleoenvironmental implications of a new woodpecker species (Aves, Picidae) from the early Pliocene of South Africa.Senckenberg ornithologist Albrecht Manegold, one of the article’s co-authors, said in a statement that the team had decided to name the new species after the Nobel Peace laureate, as a birthday gift to him from the scientific community.The other author is Antoine Louchart, a French palaeontologist who is associated with Lyon University as well as the Department of Cenozoic Palaeontology at Iziko Museums in Cape Town.Mandela has already lent his name to a South African species of trapdoor spider and several types of flowers, including a species of king protea – South Africa’s national flower – as well as an apartment in the popular British sitcom Only Fools and Horses, and a type of sea slug, among many other objects.Prehistoric treasure troveThe woodpecker was unearthed in the Varswater Formation at Langebaanweg, part of South Africa’s West Coast Fossil Park, located about 150km northwest of Cape Town. This prehistoric treasure trove was discovered through mining activities, which stopped in 1993, and the land is now mined for fossils rather than minerals.The park contains many well-preserved examples of animals that roamed the land about five million years ago and with the fossils of more than 200 species already on record – over 60 of them birds – it is described as possibly the most diverse collection of five million year-old fossils on earth.While it is a true woodpecker, A. nelsonmandelai is said to be distinct from the three types of true woodpecker found in sub-Saharan Africa today – specifically, those belonging to the genera of Campethera-Geocolaptes, Dendropicos, and Dendrocopos. Rather, it’s more closely related to birds belonging to the genera Celeus and Dryocopus, which occur in Eurasia and Central and South America.The European bird, wrote the team, could have become stranded in Africa because of environmental changes in the Miocene era, which is set before the Pliocene. The sub-Saharan woodpeckers colonised the continent during this period, but evidence of the unrelated woodpecker appearing at the same time came as a surprise to the team.The presence of this tree-dwelling woodpecker is also an indication that riverine forests existed in the area, which is now covered mainly by shrub-like fynbos, during the Pliocene.“Birds are particularly well suited for the reconstruction of environmental conditions of the past,” said Manegold.The team found a number of bones, including ulnae and carpometacarpi from the wing, tarsometatarsi from the lower leg, and part of a coracoid, which is found in the greater shoulder assembly.The tiny remains are currently in safe keeping at the Iziko South African Museum.
The festival will also create a platform to support women in small, medium and micro enterprises, development and mentorship. (Image: The Mzansi International Culinary Festival)• Ncami SitholePR ManagerThe Mzansi International Culinary Festival+27 82 293 [email protected]• South African food • Africa’s green revolution ready to grow. Just add investment • The extraordinary real meal revolution of Tim Noakes • As South African as biltong • The simple palate of Nelson MandelaRomaana NaidooA fusion of African and European cuisine will be a feast for the eye and a temptation for the taste bud at the inaugural Mzansi International Culinary Festival, taking place from 7 to 10 August. It has been planned to celebrate the culinary expertise of female chefs from across the globe – Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia.Festival public relations manager Ncami Sithole says: “The aim is to open dialogue around the lack of women in culinary leadership; create opportunities for young women in the food industry and those who wants to get into the industry; facilitate skills development and transfer; identify an authentic South African cuisine; and acknowledge and celebrate the culinary arts.”It will also provide a platform for women in Africa. “It’s crucial to discuss the role of women in the food industry from farm to fork,” she adds.There will be four food talks daily at the festival. Topics will include food security and sustainability, feeding the nation especially its children, and women in food media. It is expected to “air challenges that women face in the hospitality industry, take these and present them to the minister in the Department of Small Business Development and UN Women, who may assist us with issues of policy and advocacy”.The festival will also create a platform to support women in small, medium and micro enterprises, development and mentorship.In an attempt to promote South African cuisine internationally, the festival began with an exchange programme between Johnson and Wales University in New York and Africa Meets Europe, facilitated by the South African Consulate in New York City.In June, the festival hosted 20 students and held four lecturers, introducing them to the country’s culinary aspects, schools and food in Western Cape and Gauteng. It will be followed by a programme taking 20 aspiring African female chefs and caterers to New York in November to participate in a two-week exchange course facilitated by Johnson and Wales and the Black Chefs Alliance, among others.The line-upTwo distinct events will take place on day one, 7 August: a Culinary Industry Talk will be held at the University of Johannesburg’s School of Tourism and Hospitality; and a competition for female student chefs. The first will be open to industry professionals, lecturers, caterers and those looking to get into the food scene.The second will be a closed event. It will be aimed at creating the best South African-inspired recipe and is scheduled to take place at the Prue Leith School of Food and Wine, in Centurion, Tshwane. Three female students will be selected from Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Limpopo, Western Cape, Free State, Northern Cape, Mpumalanga and/or North West to compete.Judges will include Black Chefs Alliance chef Danielle Saunders; chef Kimberly Brock Brown from South Carolina, UN; and chef Darina Allen of Ballymaloe Cooking School, Ireland; as well as three sommeliers hosted by head sommelier Welile Botha. The winner will be announced at a gala dinner on 8 August at the Mayoral Reception Hall in Johannesburg.Day two of the Mzansi International Culinary Festival will be the official start of the festival. Doors will open at 10am and close at 5pm. The event will be held at the Braamfontein Recreational Centre in Johannesburg, and will be followed by the gala dinner. Various food discussions will take place; in one, panellists Allen, Mpume Mqwebu and Ska Mirriam Moteane from Lesotho, and chef Rougui Dia from Paris will talk about food security and sustainability.Other food discussions on the day will be on feeding the nation and its children; training and funding for the food industry; and culinary tourism.These will be followed by the gala dinner. Starting at 6pm, the theme will be “Cooking for Change”. Some of the keynote speakers will include Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the head of gender equality organisation at UN Women and the former deputy president of South Africa, as well as Elizabeth Thabethe, the deputy minister of small business development.On day three there will be an Edible Art Exhibition by pastry chef Janice Wong. Tasting stations will be set up and a Hot Kitchen session will be hosted by Dia. The last day of the festival will be largely focused on women in business and women in food media.Tickets can be bought via Computicket. Gates at the Braamfontein Recreational Centre will be open from 10am to 5pm.
DefinitionLow back pain refers to pain that you feel in your lower back. You may also have back stiffness, decreased movement of the lower back, and difficulty standing straight.Acute back pain can last for a few days to a few weeks.Alternative NamesBackache; Low back pain; Lumbar pain; Pain – back; Acute back pain; Back pain – new; Back pain – short-term; Back strain – newCauses, incidence, and risk factorsMost people will have at least one backache intheir life. Although this pain or discomfort can happen anywhere in your back, the most common area affected is your low back. This is because the low back supports most of your bodys weight.Low back pain is the number two reason that Americans see their health care provider — second only to colds and flu. Many back-related injuries happen at work. There are many things you can do to lower your chances of getting back pain.Youll usually first feel back pain just after you lift a heavy object, move suddenly, sit in one position for a long time, or have an injury or accident.Acute low back pain is most often caused by a sudden injury to the muscles and ligaments supporting the back. The pain may be caused by muscle spasms or a strain or tear in the muscles and ligamentsCauses of sudden low back pain include:Compression fractures to the spine from osteoporosisCancer involving the spineFracture of the spinal cordMuscle spasm (very tense muscles)Ruptured or herniated diskSciaticaSpinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal)Spine curvatures (like scoliosis or kyphosis), which may be inherited and seen in children or teensStrain or tears to the muscles or ligaments supporting the backLow back pain may also be due to:advertisementAn abnormal aortic aneurysm that is leakingArthritis conditions, such as osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritisInfection of the spine (osteomyelitis, diskitis, abscess)Kidney infection or kidney stonesProblems related to pregnancyMedical conditions that affect the female reproductive organs, including endometriosis, ovarian cysts, ovarian cancer, or uterine fibroidsSymptomsYou may feel a variety of symptoms if youve hurt your back. You may have a tingling or burning sensation, a dull achy feeling, or sharp pain. Depending on the cause and severity, you also may have weakness in your legs or feet.Low back pain can vary widely. The pain may be mild, or it can be so severe that you are unable to move.Depending on the cause of your back pain, you may also have pain in your leg, hip, or the bottom of your foot.Signs and testsWhen you first see your health care provider, you will be asked questions about your back pain, including how often it occurs and how severe it is.Your health care provider will try to determine the cause of your back pain and whether it is likely to quickly get better with simple measures such as ice, mild painkillers, physical therapy, and proper exercises. Most of the time, back pain will get better using these approaches.During the physical exam, your health care provider will try to pinpoint the location of the pain and figure out how it affects your movement. See: Back pain – when you see the doctorMost people with back pain improve or recover within 4 – 6 weeks. Therefore, your health care provider will probably not order any tests during the first visit unless you have certain symptoms.Tests that might be ordered include:CT scan of the lower spineMRI of the lower spineX-rayTreatmentTo get better quickly, take the right steps when you first feel pain.Here are some tips for how to handle pain:Stop normal physical activity for the first few days. This will help relieve your symptoms and reduce any swelling in the area of the pain.Apply heat or ice to the painful area. One good method is to use ice for the first 48-72 hours, and then use heat.Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).While sleeping, try lying in a curled-up, fetal position with a pillow between your legs. If you usually sleep on your back, place a pillow or rolled towel under your knees to relieve pressure.A common misbelief about back pain is that you need to rest and avoid activity for a long time. In fact, bed rest is NOT recommended. If you have no sign of a serious cause for your back pain (such as loss of bowel or bladder control, weakness, weight loss, or fever), then you should stay as active as possible.advertisementYou may want to reduce your activity only for the first couple of days. Then, slowly start your usual activities after that. Do not perform activities that involve heavy lifting or twisting of your back for the first 6 weeks after the pain begins. After 2 – 3 weeks, you should gradually start exercising again.Begin with lightaerobic training. Walking, riding a stationary bicycle, and swimming are great examples.These aerobic activities canimprove blood flow to your back and promote healing. They also strengthen muscles in your stomach and back.Stretching and strengthening exercises are important. However, starting these exercises too soon after an injury can make your pain worse. A physical therapist can help youknow when to begin stretching and strengthening exercises and how to do them.Many people benefit from physical therapy. Your health care provider will determine whether you need to see a physical therapist and can refer you to one in your area. The physical therapist will first use methods to reduce your pain. Then, the therapist will teach you ways to prevent getting back pain again.If your pain lasts longer than one month, your primary care health care provider may send you to see either an orthopedist (bone specialist) or neurologist (nerve specialist).If your pain has not improved after use of medicines, physical therapy, and other treatments, your doctor may recommend an epidural injection.You may also see a:Massage therapistSomeone who performs acupunctureSomeone who does spinal manipulation (a chiropractor, osteopathic doctor, or physical therapist)Sometimes a few visits to these specialists will help back pain.Expectations (prognosis)Many people will feel better within 1 week. After another 4 – 6 weeks, the back pain should be completely gone.Calling your health care providerCall your health care provider right away if you have:Back pain after a severe blow or fallBurning with urination or blood in your urineHistory of cancerLoss of control over urine or stool (incontinence)Pain traveling down your legs below the kneePain that is worse when you lie down or that wakes you up at nightRedness or swelling on the back or spineSevere pain that does not allow you to get comfortableUnexplained fever with back painWeakness or numbness in your buttocks, thigh, leg, or pelvisAlso call if:You have been losing weight unintentionallyYou use steroids or intravenous drugs.You have had back pain before, but this episode is different and feels worse.This episode of back pain has lasted longer than 4 weeks.PreventionExercise is important for preventing back pain. Through exercise you can:Improve your postureStrengthen your back and improve flexibilityLose weightAvoid fallsIt is also very important to learn to lift and bend properly. Follow these tips:If an object is too heavy or awkward, get help.Spread your feet apart to give you a wide base of support.Stand as close to the object you are lifting as possible.Bend at your knees, not at your waist.Tighten your stomach muscles as you lift the object or lower it down.Hold the object as close to your body as you can.Lift using your leg muscles.As you stand up with the object, DO NOT bend forward.DO NOT twist while you are bending for the object, lifting it up, or carrying it.Other measures to prevent back pain include:advertisementAvoid standing for long periods of time. If you must stand for your work, try using a stool. Alternate resting each foot on it.DO NOT wear high heels. Use cushioned soles when walking.When sitting for work, especially if using a computer, make sure that your chair has a straight back with an adjustable seat and back, armrests, and a swivel seat.Use a stool under your feet while sitting so that your knees are higher than your hips.Place a small pillow or rolled towel behind your lower back while sitting or driving for long periods of time.If you drive long distance, stop and walk around every hour. Bring your seat as far forward as possible to avoid bending. Dont lift heavy objects just after a ride.Quit smoking.Lose weight.Do exercises to strengthen your abdominal muscles on a regular basis. This will strengthen your core to decrease the risk of further injuries.Learn to relax. Try methods such as yoga, tai chi, or massage.ReferencesUS Preventative Services Task Force. Primary Care Interventions to Prevent Low Back Pain: Brief Evidence Update. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; February 2004.Chou R, Qaseem A, Snow V, Casey D, Cross JT Jr, Shekelle P, et al. Diagnosis and treatment of low back pain: a joint clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society. Ann Intern Med. 2007;147:478-491.Chou R, Fu R, Carrino JA, Deyo RA. Imaging strategies for low-back pain: systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet. 2009;373:463-472.Chou R, Atlas SJ, Stanos SP, Rosenquist RW. Nonsurgical interventional therapies for low back pain: a review of the evidence for an American Pain Society clinical practice guideline. Spine. 2009;34(10):1078-1093.Chou R, Loeser JD, Owens DK, Rosenquist RW, et al; American Pain Society Low Back Pain Guideline Panel. Interventional therapies, surgery, and interdisciplinary rehabilitation for low back pain: an evidence-based clinical practice guideline from the American Pain Society. Spine. 2009;34:10660-1077.Jani P, Battaglia M, Naesch E, Hammerle G, Eser P, et al. A randomised controlled trial of spinal manipulative therapy in acute low back pain. Ann Rheum Dis. 2009;68:1420-1427.Dahm KT, Brurberg KG, Jamtvedt G, Hagen KB. Advice to rest in bed versus advice to stay active for acute low-back pain and sciatica. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010, Issue 6. Art. No.: CD007612. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007612.pub2.Walker BF, French SD, Grant W, Green S. Combined chiropractic interventions for low-back pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;4:CD005427. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD005427.pub2.Schaafsma F, Schonstein E, Whelan KM, Ulvestad E, Kenny DT, Verbeek JH. Physical conditioning programs for improving work outcomes in workers with back pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;1:CD001822. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001822.pub2.Anema JR, Steenstra IA, Bongers PM, de Vet HC, Knol DL, Loisel P, van Mechelen W. Multidisciplinary rehabilitation for subacute low back pain: graded activity or workplace intervention or both? A randomized controlled trial. Spine. 2007;32:291-298.Review Date:6/29/2012Reviewed By:Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington; and C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.