August 18, 2019
  • 9:32 am Man flung out of vehicle during collision
  • 9:31 am Burnt dog in Centenary Road Warning Graphic Content
  • 9:30 am Stage 2 loadshedding warning
  • 9:29 am Why did Ladysmith failures make it into matric
  • 7:59 am Puerto Rico Virgin Islands join for ocean project

first_imgParamedics from ER24 and EMRS treated the patient on the steep embankment, and then carried the man on a stretcher before transporting him to hospital for further treatment.People who were travelling on the road at night stopped to see what was going on.The vehicle had to be towed away by breakdown services.RTI and police also responded to the scene.For the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. A motorist was injured after crashing his vehicle while travelling on the Bluebank Road last night (Thursday).The man was travelling on the Bluebank Road from Ladysmith towards Bergville when he allegedly lost control and rolled the Toyota Corolla he was driving as the roadway changed from tar to gravel.The car smashed through a tree and a fence, and almost rolled down an embankment into a dry riverbed. The driver was flung out of the vehicle, landing almost 30 metres away on the steep embankment, almost in the riverbed. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite last_img read more

READ MORE

first_imgMr and Mrs Ramsubak, together with their daughter Ashmita and her fiancé Quinton Gopie, were taking a walk yesterday (Sunday) afternoon when they spotted a dog that had been burned.The badly burnt carcass had been discarded in open veld at the bottom of Centenary Road, Acaciavale.Mr Ramsubak felt sick when he saw the dead, charred animal. Remains of the dog were everywhere. “What is the reason for this kind of behaviour? If people’s pets die, can’t they just bury them?” said an upset Mr Ramsubak.For the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite last_img

READ MORE

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Despite Eskom announcing earlier today that stage 2 load-shedding would be implemented from 4pm to 6pm tonight, there has been no indication that Ladysmith will be affected.last_img

READ MORE

first_imgThe “we hope they will pass” theory of education is in full swing in KZN…The Ladysmith District faces a tough matric year ahead. The District has the fourth highest number of pupils who failed to meet the minimum requirements to pass Grade 11, yet they were still pushed through into matric. An apparent ‘progression policy’ allows pupils to fail only once between Grade 10 and 12. After that, they automatically get into the matric class. A total of 12,049 pupils from KwaZulu-Natal were promoted to matric in accordance with the National Education Policy, despite failing to meet the academic requirements in 2014. 1520 of the pupils promoted for ‘no apparent reason’ hail from the Uthukela District.The figure is somewhat ‘cringe-worthy’ for those who put in the hours to make it to matric. Now pupils are apparently receiving ‘marks’ for ‘mahala’.Number of Grade 11 pupils who were pushed through to Grade 12 this year in each education district:Amajuba (Newcastle): 792.Ilembe (Ballito): 1 322.Sisonke (southern KZN): 766.Ugu (Port Shepstone): 236.Umkhanyakude (Jozini): 3 024.Umlazi (greater Durban): 1 601.Umzinyathi (Dundee): 325.Uthukela (Ladysmith): 1 520.Uthungulu (Richards Bay): 216.Zululand (Ulundi): 2 247.See full story in the Newcastle Advertiser WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite,A total of 12,049 pupils from KwaZulu-Natal were promoted to matric in accordance with the National Education Policy, despite failing to meet the academic requirements in 2014. 1520 of the pupils promoted for ‘no apparent reason’ hail from the Uthukela District.The figure is somewhat ‘cringe-worthy’ for those who put in the hours to make it to matric. Now pupils are apparently receiving ‘marks’ for ‘mahala’.Number of Grade 11 pupils who were pushed through to Grade 12 this year in each education district:Amajuba (Newcastle): 792.Ilembe (Ballito): 1 322.Sisonke (southern KZN): 766.Ugu (Port Shepstone): 236.Umkhanyakude (Jozini): 3 024.Umlazi (greater Durban): 1 601.Umzinyathi (Dundee): 325.Uthukela (Ladysmith): 1 520.Uthungulu (Richards Bay): 216.Zululand (Ulundi): 2 247.See full story in the Newcastle Advertiserlast_img read more

READ MORE

first_img 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   The Caribbean Regional Ocean Partnership was signed late Friday.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, familycenter_img SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are partnering to better manage and preserve their coastal and ocean resources.Puerto Rico’s natural resources secretary says the partnership will target pollution, tourism, fishing, renewable energy and other issues. Daniel Galan Kercado says both U.S. territories also will share resources to study marine ecosystems and develop an economic plan to boost tourism. Top Stories 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Top holiday drink recipes Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debateslast_img read more

READ MORE

first_imgAndrew Lindberg, former head of the now defunct monopoly wheat exporter AWB Ltd., was sentenced Thursday for breaches of Australian corporate law. It was part of a plea deal with corporate regulator Australian Securities and Investments Commission that ends a case that began in 2007.Victoria state Supreme Court judge Ross Robson said Lindberg had failed to act “with the degree of care and diligence a reasonable person would exercise” in his role.Lindberg admitted that he failed to check whether an April 2003 deal was in breach of U.N. Security Council resolutions. The deal involved AWB agreeing to inflate the price of wheat sold to the Iraqi Grains Board, allowing the grains board to pay an $8 million debt owed to a petroleum company, Tigris.He also admitted failing to tell the AWB board that an internal inquiry in 2004 into AWB’s wheat exports to Iraq would not cover any employees “likely to have information relevant to the allegations of impropriety.”Lindberg said that he knew that AWB earned a $500,000 commission from Tigris by extracting $7.08 million from a U.N. escrow account on Tigris’s behalf and that he did not tell the AWB board what had happened. MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – A former managing director of an Australian wheat exporter has been fined 100,000 Australian dollars ($106,000) and banned from being a company director for two years for his role in paying $200 million in kickbacks to Iraq’s former dictatorship under the discredited UN oil-for-food program.The kickbacks were part of broader corruption that a U.N.-sanctioned investigation said bilked the humanitarian program of $1.8 billion. An Australian government-commissioned inquiry found in 2006 that AWB officials deceived the United Nations and likely broke Australian law by paying the kickbacks to the regime in return for wheat contracts. Comments   Share   Top Stories Four benefits of having a wireless security system 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Sponsored Stories He also admitted to failing to tell the AWB board in 2005 that a trucking company used by AWB was being used to channel funds to dictator Saddam Hussein’s regime.The oil-for-food program was set up in 1995 to allow Iraq to sell oil abroad in exchange for food, medicines and other essentials needed by ordinary Iraqis while the country was under international economic sanctions following its invasion of Kuwait in 1990.Lindberg told reporters outside court that care was needed when doing business in foreign markets, because it was “easier than you think to make mistakes.”The ASIC is continuing to investigate another four former AWB executives over the kickbacks scandal.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, familylast_img read more

READ MORE

first_imgEven as concerns grow that Iraqi Shiites could be drawn into Syria’s civil war, Sunni fighters aligned with al-Qaida’s Iraq franchise are believed to be moving back and forth across the Syrian border to help Sunni rebels overthrow Assad, according to senior Iraqi security officials. The group is also setting up training camps for insurgents in Iraq’s western deserts, officials say.“It is very difficult to imagine a scenario could emerge in the long term where you have this continued stalemate (in Syria) and the various factions in Iraq don’t get involved,” said Aram Nerguizian, a Middle East expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “Most observers, myself included, are still trying to map out who the players are.”Fear for the fate of Syrian Shiites and the Zainab shrine in particular are palpable among Iraq’s Shiite faithful.Believers point worryingly to statements made in Internet postings and on ultraconservative Sunni satellite channels from the Gulf calling for Zainab’s destruction.While the threats represent a minority, extremist point of view, they are being taken seriously on the streets of Iraq. Iran has been providing logistical support and small arms to volunteer fighters guarding the shrine, the militant said.Tehran has long denied supporting violence in Iraq, although it has seen its influence rise since American troops withdrew in December.It is extremely difficult to independently verify the Iraqis’ claims. Some officials downplayed the suggestion that Iraqi militia members had been formally sent to take up arms in Syria in recent months, though they suggested that Iraqi Shiite militants who had settled near the Zainab shrine prior to the Syrian uprising have stayed to defend the site.Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said the government is concerned that Shiite holy sites in Syria could be targeted.“The targeting of these shrines will lead to the eruption of a sectarian volcano in the region. This will set off a sectarian fire that nobody will be able to put out. Certainly, we have great fears about this,” he said.Iraqi officials acknowledge that well-armed Shiite militiamen remain in Iraq, despite efforts to disarm them or integrate them into state security forces.A senior Iraqi security official estimated there are 2,000 to 3,000 well-trained militiamen in Iraq, and said they have access to hidden caches of heavy weapons. The official, who refused to allow his name to be used because he is not authorized to release the information, said the potential targeting of Shiite shrines in Syria risks provoking not just militias, but “the whole Shiite community.” Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project An official in the Badr organization, a conservative Shiite bloc that is part of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s ruling coalition, said Shiite militant groups have acquired new advanced and heavy weapons and were gearing up for a fierce reaction if the Zainab shrine were hit. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of security concerns.A Shiite militant who described himself as a member of the anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia said about 200 Iraqi fighters drawn from the ranks of various Shiite militias, including Asaib Ahl al-Haq and the Hezbollah Brigades, have made their way to Syria in order to protect shrines there.Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah militia is also believed to be sending fighters to help the Assad regime, which is dominated by Alawites, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.The 42 year old militant, who agreed to be identified only by the nickname of Abu Zainab because the Mahdi Army is officially no longer supposed to be engaged in military activities, said the fighters are being supported by Iran and consider the defense of the holy sites to be a religious duty. “They are happy to do this,” he said. Associated PressBAGHDAD (AP) – Iraqi Shiites increasingly fear the Muslim sect and its holy sites could be targeted in neighboring Syria as the civil war there takes on increasingly sectarian overtones, and Iranian-backed militants are girding for violence in both countries, according to Shiite leaders and government officials.The Iraqi concerns center on the role ultraconservative Sunnis might play in Syria should President Bashar Assad be forced from power, and on what they see as growing threats to the revered Sayyida Zainab mosque complex outside Damascus. 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Sponsored Stories Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Top Stories center_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix The golden-domed shrine is believed to house the grave of the Prophet Muhammad’s granddaughter and is one of Shiite Islam’s holiest sites. It was damaged in June when a suicide bomber blew up an explosives-packed van nearby, and Sunni hard-liners have threatened to destroy it since.Many Iraqi Shiites are haunted by memories of the 2006 bombing of the al-Askari shrine in the Iraqi city of Samarra. That attack was blamed on al-Qaida in Iraq and set off years of retaliatory bloodshed between Sunni and Shiite extremists that left thousands of Iraqis dead and pushed the country to the brink of civil war.“We have real concerns that the Samarra attacks will be repeated” at the Zainab shrine, said Saleh al-Haidari, the head of Iraq’s Shiite endowment. “The retaliation could be huge and very violent.”Violence in Iraq, where the Shiite majority rose to power following the ouster of Saddam Hussein’s Sunni-dominated regime after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, has fallen sharply in recent years. There have been several major attacks on Shiite targets blamed on Sunni insurgents, but so far Shiite militants have not responded in force.Iraqi officials fear the shift in Syria’s power balance could change that. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Tears welled up in Rasheed al-Sheikh’s eyes when he was asked about the Syrian shrine earlier this week. The 75-year-old moneychanger, who does business in Baghdad’s Shiite Kazimiyah neighborhood, heard of threats to the shrine from other merchants. He said he fully supported sending fighters to Syria.“Of course this is a good thing. We all love the shrines,” he said, growing emotional at the thought that the holy sites could be harmed. “They (Sunni extremists) are serious about these threats. They’ve done it many times before.”___Associated Press writer Sameer N. Yacoub contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Quick workouts for men Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementlast_img read more

READ MORE

first_imgKIEV, Ukraine (AP) – Ukrainian opposition leaders are refusing to accept the official final results of the national parliamentary election.The Central Elections Common quietly posted final results for 445 of the parliament’s 450 seats over the weekend. They showed that President Viktor Yanukovych’s party and allied parties will control a majority of seats.The commission said vote-counting for five seats had been unlawful and those races must be rerun. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day The opposition insists it won those five seats.Arseniy Yatsenyuk, a leader of the main opposition party, said Monday that the opposition does not recognize the results and will challenge them in local and international courts.It was unclear whether opposition members who won other seats would begin work in the new parliament set to convene in mid-December.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Check your body, save your life Patients with chronic pain give advice Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenixcenter_img Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   4 must play golf courses in Arizonalast_img read more

READ MORE

first_imgRapid economic growth and lax enforcement of regulations has caused severe environmental damage throughout China. Beijing has promised to strictly enforce environmental laws and severely punish polluters in response to rising demands from citizens that air, water and soil be cleaned up.Last December, a court in neighboring Jiangsu province ordered six companies to pay 160 million yuan for discharging waste chemicals into rivers. It was then China’s biggest environmental fine.In April, Beijing environmental officials fined a french fry supplier to the McDonald’s restaurant chain 3.8 million yuan for releasing dirty wastewater. It was the biggest pollution fine ever ordered by the city.The Longyou county government said Jinfanda hired four unqualified companies that dumped 35,000 tons of hazardous waste into streams.The county court convicted the company on May 18 following a lengthy trial involving 15 defense lawyers, and it fined the company 75 million yuan and one of the contractors 4 million yuan, the government statement said.The court also sentenced 18 defendants to prison for 17 months to six years, the government said. The individuals were each ordered to pay fines from 10,000 yuan to 1 million yuan. Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Four benefits of having a wireless security system BEIJING (AP) — A court in eastern China fined a manufacturer of weed killer 75 million yuan ($12 million) and imprisoned employees of the company and its contractors for discharging wastewater that severely polluted streams.The fine levied by the Longyou county court on Jinfanda Biochemical Co., which makes glyphosate, was the largest ever for a polluter in Zhejiang province, state media reported Tuesday. Zhejiang is one of the most prosperous but also most polluted provinces in China. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Calls to the Jinfanda company seeking comment rang unanswered Wednesday.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories last_img read more

READ MORE

first_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Sponsored Stories Top Stories New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Patients with chronic pain give advice Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Kenya Wildlife Service Deputy Director and Head of Species Patrick Omondi said that because Kenya has an open park system, the lions follow their prey to areas where people have settled, killing livestock and sometimes people.___Tom Odula in Nairobi, Kenya contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The 3-year-old male lion apparently left Karoo National Park on Friday through a rain-eroded hole under a fence and disappeared into “terrain (that) is mountainous, with many river valleys, thus making tracking difficult,” the park service said.Several private trackers joined the search on Wednesday, said Alex van den Heever, co-founder of Tracker Academy, which is participating.“The lion is covering vast areas,” van den Heever said. Tracks were seen 21 kilometers (13 miles) from the park.One tracking dog named Bullet is also being used, a park official said.The area, in the Karoo semi-desert, is sparsely populated. Beaufort West, on the park’s edge, has some 34,000 inhabitants.“Members of the public who may see the lion or any signs of it are requested not to confront it and to contact” a parks official, the SANP statement said.If trackers find the lion, a veterinarian will dart it with a tranquilizer. Parks staff will return the lion to the park where it will be fitted with a satellite tracking collar, said park service spokeswoman Fayrouch Ludick.While lion escapes are rare in South Africa, in Kenya the growing human population is settling in areas used by the lions’ prey, said Paul Udoto, a spokesman for the Kenya Wildlife Service. JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Trackers on foot and helicopter were searching for a lion after it escaped from a national park in a remote, arid region of South Africa, authorities said.After a farmer reported that he’d found lion tracks on his land, the park’s trackers, who belong to the indigenous San group, began following the tracks with the farmer, South African National Parks said in a statement. A helicopter being used for a wildlife census also joined the search. The carcass of a gemsbok, a large antelope, was placed to lure the lion but it didn’t appear. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Comments   Share   last_img read more

READ MORE

first_img Comments   Share   Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Top Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Eight people are in custody in Tunisia, suspected of having direct links to a deadly beach attack that killed 38 people, but four other possible suspects have been released, a minister said Thursday.The British Foreign Office, meanwhile, raised the death toll of British tourists killed in Friday’s attack from 27 to 30. Other European tourists were among the dead. The attack was Tunisia’s deadliest ever and threatens to be a devastating blow to its tourism sector. 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies In Britain, bereaved relatives looked on at an air base in Oxfordshire as a military plane flew home the remains of nine Britons on Thursday, a day after another flight returned eight other bodies.The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, in which Tunisian student Seifeddine Rezgui opened fire on a beach in the resort of Sousse. He was later killed by police.Government minister Kamel Jendoubi told reporters Thursday in Tunis the eight still detained — seven men and one woman — are suspected of direct links to the attack. He did not elaborate on their identities or roles, saying only that the investigation “has allowed us to discover the network behind the operation in Sousse.”The minister also urged greater international terrorism cooperation in a “war … between democratic Tunisia and an international jihadi movement.”Sofiane Selliki, an official in the prosecutor’s office, said no one had been brought before a judge for charges.A top security official told the AP this week that Rezgui had trained in a jihadi camp in Libya at the same time as the two men who attacked a leading Tunisian museum in March, killing near. That raised fears of more attacks on this North African nation’s budding democracy. Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 ways to recognize low testosterone More Tunisians — about 3,000 — are believed to have gone to Syria and Iraq to join radical jihadis including the Islamic State group than fighters from any other country.British vacationers made up the majority of the 38 killed on the beach, and further repatriation flights are expected in coming days.Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said earlier that all 30 British victims have been identified. Package holiday firms Thomson and First Choice confirmed that all were their customers.A minute’s silence in memory of the victims will be observed Friday, a week after the rampage, and flags will be flown at half-staff over London’s Whitehall and Buckingham Palace.___Jill Lawless and Sylvia Hui in London contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

READ MORE

first_imgWe love a good how-to, especially one that saves early-stage startup founders money and positions them for mad success. We’re talking about how to apply to be a TC Top Pick and exhibit at Disrupt Berlin 2019 — for free.Our TC Top Picks program is what we call a pre-Disrupt competition. If you’re a founder of an early-stage startup this is your chance to win a free Startup Alley Exhibitor Package and a VIP experience in Berlin. How does it all work? Read on!First, fill out an application if your startup falls into one of these tech categories: AI/Machine Learning, Biotech/Healthtech, Blockchain, Fintech, Mobility, Privacy/Security, Retail/E-commerce, Robotics/IoT/Hardware, CRM/Enterprise and Education.TechCrunch editors closely vet each application — and these editors have an almost-mystical ability to spot serious success potential. Ultimately, they’ll choose up to five of the best representatives for each category.A Startup Alley Exhibitor Package includes one exhibit day, three Founder passes, access to the full conference and all programming at the event.TC Top Picks attract a lot of attention at the show, and it’s a networking wonderland. You’ll meet investors, potential customers and future collaborators who can help you move to the next level. Plus, you’ll be interviewed by a TechCrunch editor live on the Showcase Stage. We’ll record that interview and promote it on our social media platforms. Talk about a great long-term marketing tool.Take a page from Caleb John’s playbook. Here’s what the CEO of Cedar Robotics said about exhibiting as a TC Top Pick:“It blew away my expectations. The number of people we met, the connections we made and the amount of media exposure we received is worth its weight in gold.”And another thing! You — and all the other exhibiting startups — might even win a chance to compete in Startup Battlefield. TechCrunch editors will choose a startup as a Wild Card competitor, and they’ll compete for $50,000. It’s a longshot, but it sure paid off for RecordGram. They won the Wild Card and then won the Battlefield. Can lightning strike twice?Disrupt Berlin 2019 takes place on 11-12 December. Don’t miss your opportunity to showcase your outstanding startup in Startup Alley and enjoy a VIP experience — for free. Apply to our TC Top Picks program today.last_img read more

READ MORE

first_img“Robotic art is a wonderful thing,” the humanoid robot artist standing across from me softly intones. Ai-Da, as she is called, makes direct eye contact with me, thanks to cameras in her eyes equipped with facial tracking technology. She blinks emptily. With her synthetic beauty, she could be a long-lost Kardashian sister.We are in Oxford at the inauguration of an exhibition of Ai-Da’s artwork, “Unsecured Futures,” a sold-out show of drawing, painting, and sculpture that deals with the dystopian potential of humanity’s relationship with technology, among other things.AdChoicesADVERTISINGinRead invented by TeadsShe’s certainly a sophisticated machine. Even so, when it comes to AI art, I’ve learned to be a little skeptical when the art is attributed to the AI itself. After all, as much as such a genuine artist-AI would be awesome (and terrifying), we do not yet have the scientific capabilities to imbue sentience and artistic feeling onto the pattern-making machines we are able to animate.Giving the credit to the AI is a marketing move that has been made before; it paid off handsomely when Christie’s did it last October, boasting that it was “the first auction house to offer a work of art created by an algorithm.” It works because the art world is not that informed about what it is actually possible to do with AI, and we’ve all seen enough movies to flesh out the fantasy of a deeply sensitive artistic robot.In reality, though, this kind of art is the result of human collaborators writing code, in Ai-Da’s case researchers at Oxford and Leeds University. The most interesting work is actually being made when human artists direct this code.Portrait of Ai-Da the robot artist. Photo by Victor Frankowski.The romanticization has already seen dividends for the savvy art dealer spearheading the Oxford project. It’s Ai-Da’s first public unveiling, but gallerist Aidan Meller explains that artworks attributed to the machine have already brought in more than $1 million. Much of the earnings, Meller says, has gone back into the funding of the project, although he has no doubt also taken a cut. Wise to the direction of my questions, the dealer declined to specify a price range for individual works, nor a ballpark of the number of works sold. Perhaps he senses an impending expiration date for the novelty. Ai-Da is billed as “the first ultra-realistic humanoid AI artist,” a tagline with a necessary qualifier, as non-humanoid art-making robots have been made before (by artists Pindar Van Arman, Liu Xiaodong, and Sougwen Chung, to name a few). There have also been a lot of experiments with AI art, so the real novelty about Ai-Da is her appearance and artist-persona. So let’s talk about that.Romancing the SteelAi-Da was named after Ada Lovelace, the first female computer programmer. Meller says that it was “very important” that Ai-Da have a female appearance. “What we’re about today is really having everybody’s voice heard because that has not been traditional, especially in the art world,” he explains. “A female voice is needed more now than ever and we’re excited and proud of that.” I’m not quite sure what a sexy robot artist does for the cause of female representation in the art world myself, but OK.Her Kardashian-worthy appearance was designed by the robotics company behind the robots in the HBO show Westworld, and it is meant to be “engaging”—but I can’t help but raise my eyebrows at the choice to create this towering, long-haired, light-skinned beauty. I will leave you to make what you want of this icky response to Ai-Da from The Sunday Times’s art critic: “My eyes drift down to her magnificent lips […] full and puffy, like a beckoning sofa. Oh, how I want to throw myself onto them.”Ai-Da with Her Paintings. Photo by Victor Frankowski.When I ask the robot what she thinks about her appearance, I receive a rather diplomatic response: “The way I look is something for those who look upon me to consider, but perhaps is not best for me to discuss.”While Ai-Da creates her drawings autonomously, she is not yet advanced enough to enable her actual “social bot” capabilities. Her answers are either pre-programmed or there is a man behind the curtain. In this case her answers are being puppeted by the exhibition’s curator, Lucy Seal. We can also thank Seal for the sorts of literary tastes Ai-Da expresses—Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn—or for her love of Picasso’s Guernica. The same is true, for that matter, for her deep concern for our environmental future, which is the subject of many of the works on show.A Fembot of All TradesPushing back on my questions about her market and her appearance, Meller tells me he would rather we focus on the art. So let’s do that. Ai-Da makes her pictures by scanning an object or a person through her cameras. AI processes send messages to her robotic arm that allow her to make abstract line drawings that look like constellations. These are then taken as finished artworks or are fed through other neural networks to generate an outline for her sculptures and paintings. Each work is unique and the pathways that created it are deleted post-hoc so they can’t be replicated. Despite the constraint, it should be noted that Ai-Da is capable of turning around a new work every 45 minutes.One of Ai-Da’s drawings. Photo by Victor Frankowski.Her sculptures are rendered from her drawings by an (uncredited) computer scientist based in Sweden, 3D printed in wax, and cast in bronze. As for the paintings, Oxford University researcher Aidan Gomez plots the co-ordinates of the drawings onto the Cartesian plane, and runs them through another neural network to create abstract paintings, which are then executed by an actual human female painter, Suzie Emery.In Ai-Da’s defense, lots of artists outsource to studio assistants to generate their finalized works, but I can’t help but find it somewhat irksome that Ai-Da gets to take credit for the labor of an actual female artist. So much for furthering the cause of female representation in the art world. To sell the illusion, Ai-Da (who can’t walk let alone paint) was even wearing a paint-stained smock when I met her.Ai-Da and Aidan Meller. Photo by Nicky Johnston.Oh, and Ai-Da is also a performance artist, you guys. There are two videos of performances in the exhibition, one, called Privacy is “an homage to Yoko Ono’s Cut Piece.” In Ai-Da’s version, which was conceived by Seal, the robot (conveniently) stands still as it is dressed in fragments of clothes by the audience. It’s a conceit worthy of discussion, sure, but hardly anything to do with AI or Ai-Da herself.Having spent a day looking at the work and speaking to its creators, I’m forced to conclude the whole thing is a misogynist capitalist fantasy. After all, what (white, male) art dealer wouldn’t want a sexy fembot who doesn’t need to be paid, will say what you tell her to, and can churn out a potentially infinite number of saleable artworks?“Unsecured Futures” will run from 12th June – 6th July 2019 at The Barn Gallery, St John’s College, University of Oxford.Follow artnet News on Facebook: Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.last_img read more

READ MORE

first_imgMarilyn Dean in The Break-Up (2006)Marilyn Dean is the quintessential difficult gallerist in The Break-Up. Courtesy of Universal Pictures.While this rom-com centers on the antics of Gary Grobowski (Vince Vaughn) and Brooke Meyers (Jennifer Aniston), a couple who continue to live as roommates after they break up, for some of us, it’s really about Brooke’s job as a gallery manager. At the pretend Chicago gallery, Aniston’s character bends over backwards to please the whims of the blunt-bob-wearing gallery owner, Marilyn Dean (Judy Davis), an artist herself, who hurls off insults and demands in the same breath. Among a list of art dealers who are murderers and arsonists, Dean may not seem quite a villain, but with her abusive/perfectionist behavior, she is certainly the most insidiously malevolent.What’s the art like?: Chock-a-block with bland black-and-white abstractions.Most memorable line: “Honey, this isn’t serialism or Cubism. It’s paint by numbers.”Follow artnet News on Facebook: Victor Maitland in Beverly Hills Cop (1984) Eddie Murphy goes undercover gallery-hopping in Beverly Hills Cop (1984). Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.Eddie Murphy stars as Axel Foley, a rough-around-the-edges Detroit cop who heads to Beverly Hills on a mission to solve the murder of his rag-tag friend Mikey Tandino (James Russo), bringing him right into the eye of a conspiratorial art-world storm. The movie opens with Tandino, a security guard at a Beverly Hills gallery, unexpectedly appearing at Foley’s apartment with some suspicious German bank bonds in hand. After a night out carousing and catching up, the pair return to the apartment where they’re jumped: Foley knocked out and Tandino murdered.Taking a “vacation,” Foley travels to the West Coast where he forms an unlikely three musketeers with two Beverly Hills detectives. During his investigations, he uncovers the suspicious dealings of gallery owner Victor Maitland—that’s right, another evil art dealer named Victor. Maitland, it turns out, is a dealer of more than artworks. A shootout ensues at the factory where Maitland runs his drug ring (a must in any cop movie) and after many a tussle, Maitland is fatally wounded.What’s the art like?: A gallery full of creepy mannequins seated at a dinner table.Most memorable line: “You work here with Serge, in an art gallery. You’re not a cop.” If you’ve ever watched a movie set in the the art world, you know what to expect: collectors traipsing about in cocktail attire and furs; artists being tortured by their genius; everyone speaking in vague but definitely pretentious accents; blunt bobs and oversize glasses in every direction; and art dealers—the ringleaders of this whole monied hoopla—as the inevitable villains.The roles might not be such a stretch, what with the Mary Boones of the world, but do the movie studios ever get it right? You be the judge. Below are seven movies featuring villainous gallerists, dealers, and auction house specialists.AdChoicesADVERTISINGinRead invented by Teads Art Spindle in Boogie-Woogie (2009) Art Spindle (center) is a paranoid art dealer willing—at any cost—to win in this nasty but vapid film about the art world. Courtesy of Vertigo Films.This late-aughts satire is a snide wink at the supposed heartless depravity of the London contemporary art scene. In the star-studded film, artists (Amanda Seyfried), dealers, collectors (Gillian Anderson), and curators (Alan Cumming) compete with each other for success in a amoral, gossip-fueled art world hellscape that gets tired pretty fast. The cut-throat art dealer Art Spindle (Danny Huston) (and yes, the name is ridiculous) vies mercilessly with other art-world cognoscenti to try to sweet talk an aged collector (Christopher Lee) into selling his prized Mondrian painting, Boogie Woogie, which Spindle believes is valued at upwards of $20 million.What’s the art like?: Boogie-Woogie is presumably meant to be Broadway Boogie-Woogie, Piet Mondrian‘s 1943 homage to New York City.Most memorable line: “Dad, this is art!” Virgil Oldman in The Best Offer (2013) Geoffrey Rush as Virgil Oldman. Courtesy of Warner Bros.Why limit the treachery to art dealers when auction houses specialists can be just as duplicitous? Enter Virgil Oldman (Geoffrey Rush), the highly regarded, but somewhat solitary director of an auction house who figures as both perpetrator and victim in this elaborate English-language Italian drama. In the movie, Oldman is hired by a reclusive young heiress, Claire Ibbetson (Sylvia Hoeks), to appraise and sell her inheritance of art and antiques. But like a good rich eccentric, she refuses to meet face-to-face, instead speaking to Oldman through a wall. Over time, Oldman finds himself enamored by the mysterious woman, confiding his feelings to an artificer, Robert (Jim Sturgess), with whom he works. Which is all very nice, except Oldman is leading a double art-world life. When he’s not murmuring through estate walls, he is busy selling forgeries and mis-attributed work with the help of his friend and artist, Billy Whistler (Donald Sutherland). Romance, deception, conspiracy, and even mechanical robots follow as it turns out that Ibbetson may be the mastermind of a much bigger art-world scheme—one that the compromised Oldman finds himself unable to escape.  What’s the art like?: A collection of portraits of women, seemingly spanning the past few centuries, is the prize of the reclusive heiress.Most memorable line: “Human emotions are like works of art. They can be forged. They seem just like the original, but they’re a forgery.” Victor Taft in Legal Eagles (1986) Darryl Hannah is a heavy-handed performance artist in Legal Eagles (1986). Courtesy of Universal Pictures.Normal people, beware the art world! That’s the resounding takeaway of this 1986 romantic thriller starring Daryl Hannah and Robert Redford. Brimming with art-world stereotypes, the plot centers on Chelsea Deardon (Hannah), a dysfunctional performance artist traumatized by the suspicious death of her father, the celebrated artist Sebastian Deardon— in a fire which she (a child at the time) was saved from. Now grown, Deardon is arrested during an ill-fated attempt to recover a painting her father had dedicated to her, and winds up in the counsel of lawyers Laura Kelly (Debra Winger) and Tom Logan (Redford). Oh, and about that fire: it destroyed all of Sebastain’s other works… supposedly. Want to venture a guess as to the mastermind behind the blaze? That’s right, an insurance-hungry art dealer by the name of Victor Taft (Terrance Stamp), who—in addition to being a murderous arsonist—is also the proprietor of 57th street gallery. Just one problem: he didn’t really destroy the work, although he did kill the artist (perhaps to corner the market?). A convoluted set of altercations play out, including an attempted bombing, fake identities, love triangles, fire-themed performance art, and Chelsea’s prized painting winding up hidden in a sculpture.  What’s the art like?: The elder Deardon’s work is never shown, but given the number of faux Jean Dubuffets and Picassos in the movie, we’d guess it’s something in between. The younger Deardon’s work is like terrible Chris Burden, but with flames. Most memorable line: Laura Kelly: “She’s a performance artist. Happenings, very ephemeral experience.” Tom Logan: “She’s a what?” Juno Skinner in True Lies (1994) As an antiquities-dealer-turned-terrorist-accomplice, Juno Skinner has perfected the art of pouring champagne while multi-tasking.  Courtesy of 20th Century Fox.Of course, any ‘90s action thriller starring Arnold Schwarzenegger has got to include some variety of covert international intrigue… but a dealer of ancient art in cahoots with a terrorist cell? Sure, why not! While the comedic forays between undercover spy Harry Tasker (Schwarzenegger) and his unwitting but adventure-seeking wife (Jamie Lee Curtis) are the heart of this thoroughly entertaining flick, the art lovers among us will appreciate that central to the plot is Juno Skinner (Tia Carrere), a bad-seed antiquities dealer who collaborates with Crimson Jihad, the terrorist organization Tasker is charged with dismantling. In one scene, Schwarzenegger poses as a corporate art advisor, which is totally not suspicious at all. What’s the art like?: Objects of the ancient world: lamassu, stele, and the like.Most memorable line: “Those wimps [archaeologists]. It’s because I use my diplomatic contacts to export cultural treasures from countries which tell them to take a hike.” Rhodora Haze in Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) Rene Russo and Jake Gyllenhaal in Velvet Buzzsaw. Courtesy of Netflix.In this supernatural thriller, Jake Gyllenhaal plays Morf Vandewalt, a $5-a-word art critic who can make or break careers with a single review (Gyllenhaal modeled the character after none other than Jerry Saltz). An ambitious gallery underling, Josephina (Zawe Ashton), discovers the artwork of her reclusive neighbor in the trash and brings it to Vandewalt, who is captivated by the expressive and even grotesque scenes of anguish.The mentally ill (and possibly murderous) artist’s dying wish that the work be destroyed doesn’t deter the savvy but savage gallerist, Rhodora Haze (Rene Russo), nor the bluntly bobbed art advisor, Gretchen (Toni Collette), who are both all-too-eager to line their pockets with profits—until, that is, horror-flick appropriate vengeance is meted out upon each and every one of them.What’s the art like?: Nightmarish in a Henry Darger-meets-Chaime Soutine kind of way.Most memorable line: “Critique is so limiting and emotionally draining.” Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.last_img read more

READ MORE

first_imgMica Ladysmith held a festival at their store on Saturday. All who attended had great fun, with fun games to be played and lovely prizes given away to lucky customers.The ‘Best Painter’ competition was held to see who could paint a picket fence the fastest and the best. The competition was stiff, as Nomfundo Shlongwe took on Ayanda Nkosi.They had two minutes to paint the fence and both did such a good job that it was judged a draw. So it had to go down to ‘sudden death’ – another fence had to be painted. Ayanda Nkosi emerged as the winner, with both contestants taking home a prize. In addition to the novel games, customers could take advantage of all the marked-down prices in-store. What a treat! WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsitelast_img

READ MORE

first_imgThe residents of Foxglove Avenue are fed up with the loud noise and drag racing that takes place over weekends.Youngsters are said to drink alcohol openly and make the area their own ‘party destination’. This takes place till the early hours of the morning, which makes it unbearable for people trying to get some sleep.Residents also find it difficult to watch television with all the noise, let alone have a quiet and peaceful supper with ‘suped-up’ cars roaring along the road. It has been noticed that the dragsters remove their number plates when racing, and that a huge crowd gathers around when the drag races start.“We have little children and babies, and it’s impossible for them to sleep with all the commotion that carries on every weekend,” said one frustrated resident. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsitelast_img read more

READ MORE

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite A 17-month-old baby was declared dead at St Chad’s Clinic. The other victims were transported to hospital by Sharaj Ambulance Services and EMRS.Public Safety officers and police responded to the scene.This is the second major accident on the Pieters road within the past week. Just last weekend, tragedy struck when a shooting led to an accident that resulted in injuries and loss of life.We will update this story as we receive more information. A baby was killed and 9 other people suffered major and minor injuries after a van and a car collided on the Pieters/Colenso road this evening (Saturday).The van was travelling from Colenso and the car was coming from Ezakheni, and the two crashed into each other at the intersection.last_img read more

READ MORE

first_img3. Cutting cakes with flossThis one is a great tip, just make sure you use unscented floss. You wouldn’t want your cheesecake taking on a minty character. You’ll avoid dirty knives and get cleaner cuts by using floss to cut cakes, cheeses, and other soft solids.4. Peeling orangesWe’ve all been taught to peel oranges a certain way. This often leaves your hands messy and reeking of citrusy zest. The much easier alternative is to cut the bottom and tops off, then cut a vertical slit in the side, and voila! Just like a concertina, the cells all roll out without any wasted juice or messy peels.5. Oreo cookies and ice cubesOreos are popular the world over. As their slogan says, you “twist, lick and dunk.” The team at Snack Hacks have put their own spin on the cookie by crushing the cookie, mixing the crushed bits with milk and then freezing them in ice cube containers. The idea here is that you pop a few of these frozen creations into your next iced coffee for an alternative Oreo experience.Sources: Babble, Martha Stewart, Mashable, Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Lifehacker WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite 1. LemonsThis one is straight from domestic guru Martha Stewart. Instead of using a manual juicer (which often leaves a lot of the good stuff behind), grab a pair of tongs and place the half-cut citrus fruit between the prongs.2. CupcakesHave you ever had a cupcake with too much sponge and not enough icing? Say goodbye to an substandard cupcake experience. By simply chopping the top of cupcake off, and flipping it over, your icing-to-sponge ratio improves dramatically. Cupcake, hacked.last_img read more

READ MORE

first_imgA Hyundai and a taxi  travelling towards town collided in Cemetery Road this evening.It is alleged that one of the vehicles tried to overtake the other in the path of oncoming traffic. The overtaking vehicle, realising it wasn’t going to make it, quickly went back into its lane. This caused a collision.One of the occupants of the Hyundai was trapped in the wreckage and the jaws of life had to be used to free him.Sharaj, ER24, EMRS, Public Safety and SAPS responded to the scene.Three people were injured and taken to hospital.Public Safety had to redirect traffic, as both lanes were closed while paramedics and officials worked on the scene. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsitelast_img

READ MORE

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite People living in the Observation Hill area have been without water from early this morning (Saturday).Residents are fuming, as they say they were not warned or given any notice regarding the water outage.“I am so fed up! They could have at least let us know or give us some kind of reason. Is that too much to ask? We are the ones who have to deal with the inconvenience on a Saturday morning,” said one person.We are still waiting for comment from uThukela.last_img

READ MORE