Motor neurons like the one pictured above, found in the crab Cancer borealis, underlie the walking, swimming, breathing, flying and other rhythmic behaviors found in most creatures, including humans.
Award recognizes ‘the best neuroscience research being done anywhere’
The Gruber Foundation today awarded its 2013 neuroscience prize to Eve Marder ’69, a pioneering researcher who has dedicated her career to understanding the nervous system’s basic functions. The Victor and Gwendolyn Beinfield Professor of Neuroscience at Brandeis, Marder studies a relatively simple network of some 30 large neurons found in the gut of lobsters and crabs — a small yet elegant window into humans’ unfathomably rich nervous system, home to billions of neurons and trillions of interconnections.
The $500,000 prize recognizes and rewards “the best [neuroscience] work being done anywhere in the world,” according to the Gruber Foundation website.
“Eve Marder has made a number of remarkable and groundbreaking discoveries that have fundamentally changed our understanding of how neural circuits operate and produce behavior,” says Carol Barnes, chair of the selection advisory board to the Neuroscience Prize. “She has also been an exceptional leader outside the laboratory, working tirelessly to bring people together to improve scientific research, policy, and education.”
For the second time in just five years, Nedbank has been voted Africa’s Socially Responsible Bank of the Year at the African Banker Awards held on 29 May 2013 in Marrakesh, Morocco. This recognition follows a similar acknowledgement that Nedbank received in 2009 in the same category.
The Socially Responsible Banker award goes to an African bank, which has the greatest socially responsible projects and policies. The award is also aimed at companies, which go beyond the philanthropic use of funds, to further use their overall knowledge, resources and reputation to improve the lives of those who are disadvantaged in society. The panel of judges sought concrete examples of projects, policies and initiatives, which have had a sustainable impact on the targeted communities.
In line with the criterion for receiving the award, Nedbank is being recognised for making a lasting contribution through its key focus areas, namely: education, community development, health, socio-economic development, children’s welfare, arts and culture, sport development, the environment and volunteerism.
Finnish designers win a top award in Russian design competition
Finnish architect company Gullstén-Inkinen Design & Architecture (GI), established by Hanna Gullstén and Jari Inkinen, has won a top award in design competition in Russia.
The architects participated in Best Office Award competition which awards best office projects in Russia in ten categories. The Finnish architects won the first prize in the Lighting Design category with the interior design of SIAB Bank’s premium club in Saint Petersburg.
Actor David Gulpilil has won this year’s Red Ochre Award, Australia’s highest peer-assessed award for an Indigenous artist.
The $50,000 prize was presented at the Australia Council’s 6th National Indigenous Art Awards at the Sydney Opera House earlier this week.
South Australian photographer Rhonda Dick received the $20,000 Dreaming Award, for a young and emerging Indigenous artist. And $45,000 fellowships were awarded to visual artist Jennifer Kemarre Martiniello, and writer, activist and musician Richard Frankland.
“These awards and fellowships are a significant recognition of the unique and important work of each of the recipients,” said Lee-Ann Buckskin, Chair of the Australia Council’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board.
“The Red Ochre Award for David Gulpilil is wonderful acknowledgement from his peers of David’s continual efforts to bring the experiences and wishes of his people to national and international attention.
“He is unquestionably one of the most respected Australian actors on the international film stage and a major contributor to the voice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders”.
David Gulpilil was first cast in the 1971 film Walkabout because of his talents as a dancer. He was just 15 and had never acted before.
Since then he has appeared in films that have been milestones in Australian cinema, including Storm Boy, Mad Dog Morgan, The Last Wave, Crocodile Dundee, Two Hands, Rabbit Proof Fence, The Tracker, Ten Canoes and Australia.
David’s latest completed film, Satellite Boy, directed by Aboriginal director Catriona McKenzie, is set in Western Australia and will open in Australian cinemas on June 20.
“Beyond his work on screen, David’s contribution to our people is astounding,” Lee-Ann said.
“He has been, and continues to be, an inspiration to many people, opening doorways and creating career pathways where there were previously none.”
SA hotels on ‘world’s best service’ list
Three Cape Town hotels have made it onto the “World’s Best Service” list in the Africa and Middle East category in an international survey by the US edition of Travel and Leisure released in the magazine’s June 2013 issue.
The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa (pictured above) took top spot, while the Cape Grace and the One & Only took second and fourth respectively.
The best service category of the magazine’s annual “World Best Awards” survey aims to recognise the best hotels, resorts, airlines and cruise liners around the world as rated by its readers.
“Excellent service is a definitive factor in repeat visits by overseas travellers,” Western Cape Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Minister Alan Winde said in a statement last week.
“I hope these awards serve as an inspiration to the Western Cape hospitality industry to consistently strive for the highest service levels. I am also confident these awards will encourage more international visitors to our world-class destination,” Winde said.
Johannesburg’s Saxon Boutique Hotel, Villas & Spa also featured on the best service list in the Africa and the Middle East category, scoring the same as the One & Only.
Singita Kruger National Park and Singita Sabi Sand also made their way onto the list, coming in at second and fifth respectively in the resorts and lodges category.
The overall results for best service were reached by surveying the general managers at the top 16 hotels in each region.
According to the results of this survey: 44% of general managers admit to using Google and Facebook to research guests prior to check-in; 31% ensure each guest is personally greeted by a manager upon arrival; 50% have a staff-to-guest ratio of at least 1.5 to 1; and 56% offer room service 24 hours a day.
Waiting hours for a cellphone to charge may become a thing of the past, thanks to an 18-year-old high-school student’s invention. She won a $50,000 prize Friday at an international science fair for creating an energy storage device that can be fully juiced in 20 to 30 seconds.
Coldplay are to receive the best British act award at this year’s Nordoff Robbins O2 Silver Clef Awards.
The Grammy award-winning group gained worldwide fame with their first top 10 track, Yellow, in 2000.
Since then they have sold more than 60 million records, had five number one albums and won several awards including eight Brit awards and seven Grammys.
Frontman Chris Martin said receiving the Silver Clef prize meant a “huge amount” to the band.
“Nordoff Robbins is an organisation that lies very close to our hearts,” he said.
“They provide life-changing music therapy for thousands of people each year and we’re humbled to collect this award in their honour.”
The band will receive their prize at a London ceremony on 28 June.
Out of a total of 655 entries, Shire was shortlisted along with six other African up-and-coming poets.
The 24-year-old Kenyan born, England-raised poet has read her work globally, and her poetry pamphlet Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth was published in 2011 by flipped eye.
The judges praised Warsan’s poetry for its combination of substance, beauty and drama. Her work was described as “…beautifully crafted, subtle and understated in its use of language and metaphor yet still able to evoke a strong sense of mood and place that touches the reader.”
“I’ve never been to Somalia, and I’m Somali. So the poems for me are a way of creating a connection to a country I’ve never been to. I don’t know how it feels to belong, or to be home or anything like that,” - Shire
Three Native Artists Awarded $50,000 Grants
LeAnne Howe (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma), Edgar Heap of Birds (Cheyenne/Arapaho) and Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit/Aleut) were among the 54 artists to receive 2012 USA Fellowships from United States Artists.
The fellowships were awarded in December with unrestricted grants of $50,000. “The USA Fellows for 2012 are not only incredible artists, they also give back to their communities and engage with the most pressing social issues of our time. We are proud to honor 54 of this country’s greatest living artists and celebrate their extraordinary contributions,” said USA Executive Director Katharine DeShaw in a press release.
SA scientist wins award for TB research
South African scientist Valerie Mizrahi from the University of Cape Town’s Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine has been awarded the Grand Prix Christophe Mérieux Prize by the Institute de France in Paris for her tuberculosis research.
The institute’s Academy of Sciences presents the annual €500 000 (approximately R6-million) prize to talented scientists and for innovative research projects.
“What characterises Valerie Mizrahi’s work is not only her excellent research on Mycobacterium tuberculosis and tuberculosis, but also her very active involvement in the tuberculosis community in South Africa, on the African continent and internationally,” Academy of Sciences member, Pascale Cossart, said in a statement.
The award was announced last week, and the prize will be conferred to Mizrahi in Paris on 5 June.
Safmarine recognised for it’s commitment to community development
On Saturday, April 20, 2013, Safmarine received the South African Maritime Industry’s ‘Commitment to CSI’ Award for its pioneering Containers-in-the-Community programme which uses decommissioned shipping containers for community development purposes.
The award – which was presented to Safmarine by event sponsor, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) – aimed to recognise the efforts of those within the maritime sector who reached beyond their own structures to uplift, empower and skill fellow South African citizens.
Safmarine South Africa’s Patricia Simons dedicated the award to all those who had partnered Safmarine in making a difference to communities in need. “This award goes to the many customers, Safmarine staff and A.P Moller-Maersk Group companies who have contributed time, money and energy to support our community projects in their own and very meaningful way.
“Not only have these partnerships allowed Safmarine to deliver on its promise of being the ‘people making the difference’, but together we have been able to positively impact the lives of many communities.”
Champion for Change Chosen for Helping Fellow Native Students
Dahkota Franklin Kicking Bear Brown, a 14-year-old Wilton Miwok student, from Jackson, California was chosen as a 2013 Champion for Change by the Center for Native American Youth because, as the organization says, he “understands the importance of education and the need for encouragement from peers, family, community members, and the school system.”
The British government’s main Gov.uk website has won the prestigious Design of the Year award, praised for its well thought-out but “understated” design.
Judges appointed by London’s Design Museum voted for the winner of the contest’s digital category to claim the overall prize, chosen from 98 entries and beating winners in six other design categories.
Museum director Deyan Sudjic dubbed Gov.uk the “Paul Smith of websites” in a reference to the successful British designer and described it as simple, direct and well-mannered.
“It makes life better for millions of people coping with the everyday chores, from getting a new passport, to paying their taxes,” Sudjic said in a statement announcing the awards.
Members of Cuba’s Ladies in White opposition group will finally pick up Europe’s top human rights prize from 2005 in person next week in Belgium, the European Union and the daughter of the group’s former leader said Wednesday.
In a statement, the EU said several representatives of the Ladies will be awarded the Sakharov Prize in an April 23 ceremony at the European Parliament in Brussels.
“It will be an honor to go in representation of the Ladies in White and above all my mother, Laura Pollan,” said Laura Labrada. Pollan, the group’s co-founder and most prominent leader at the time, died in October 2011.
Labrada said she and Belkis Cantillo would leave Sunday and later meet up with Berta Soler, another co-founder of the Ladies, and Blankita Reyes.
They became known for their Sunday post-Mass marches down a leafy Havana boulevard, dressed all in white. All 75 prisoners have since been released.The Ladies in White formed in 2003 to demand freedom for their loved ones, 75 government opponents who had been jailed that spring in a crackdown on dissidents.
The EU honored the Ladies eight years ago for their activism, but they were denied permission to travel to receive the Sakharov.
Cuban authorities did not immediately comment on the news of their upcoming trip. Havana routinely calls dissidents traitorous “mercenaries” who accept foreign money and try to destabilize the country.
This January, President Raul Castro’s government ended the much-detested exit visa that had been required of all Cuban travelers for decades.
Since then a number of dissidents have traveled overseas including noted blogger Yoani Sanchez, who has been on a tour of at least a dozen nations since February.
However other government opponents with pending legal cases against them have been denied passports.
PICTURED ABOVE: Content manager Tarryn-Anne Anderson and content curator Oscar Masinyana show off our latest piece of silverware.
Paperight has won the Digital Minds Innovation Award at the London Book Fair – one of the world’s most prestigious publishing events.
The showcase was held Sunday night at the Digital Minds Conference, a precursor event to the London Book Fair, where dozens of illustrious speakers from around the publishing world speculate and postulate about evolution, innovation and disruption in the publishing industry. Keynote speakers included authors Neil Gaiman and Robert Levine, as well as Will Atkinson, Sales and Marketing Director at Faber & Faber.
Paperight beat out seven other shortlisted candidates after a short presentation in front of an audience of hundreds of the world’s publishing thought leaders, and won thanks to a popular vote.