Wednesday, January 2, 2019
Drawn to nature: Art inspires life after spinal injury
Quadriplegic discovers latent talent after a diving accident at 22 left him paralysed from the neck down
4 min read
Young mom tried everything to lose weight. Now, at last, she has hope
The computer technician underwent a life-changing surgery
3 min read
Six things you need to know
They began on a high – and stayed there
It was only supposed to last a few minutes for a thrill on New Year's Eve, but eight French people ended up spending much of the night stuck high up in the air on a giant funfair ride. "It was long, it was cold and it was frightening," said 23-year-old Antoine. "I never thought I'd get out. It was very traumatic," he said after the fire brigade brought an end to the nine-hour ordeal in the Brittany city of Rennes. Five teenagers, Antoine and two other adults had climbed aboard the 52m metal arm called "BomberMaxxx" for a spin above the town centre. "We saw sparks, heard a big metal noise and feared the worst," said Beatrice, mother of 13-year-old Louna. The ride's owner, Alexandre Thinel, said "a new part broke and it blocked". "It's a technical incident that has never happened before." Fortunately there was no danger to clients. The only problem was getting them down." – AFP
Nasa snaps most distant world yet studied
A Nasa spacecraft has flown past the most distant world yet studied by humankind, Ultima Thule, a frozen relic of the early solar system that could reveal how planets formed. "Go New Horizons!" said lead scientist Alan Stern as a crowd cheered at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland to mark the moment at 12.33amon Tuesday when the New Horizons spacecraft aimed its cameras at the space rock 6.4 billion kilometers away. "Never before has a spacecraft explored something so far away. "The spaceship was to collect 900 images over a few seconds as it shaved by at a distance of about 3,500km. "Now it is just a matter of time to see the data coming down," said deputy project scientist John Spencer of the Southwest Research Institute. – AFP
Pacemaker could stop Parkinson’s tremors
A "pacemaker" for the brain is on the horizon to prevent people with Parkinson's and epilepsy suffering from seizures and tremors. The device is made up of two tiny arrays of electrodes that sit inside the skull and link to a circuit board on the side of the head. It continually records the brain's normal electrical activity and if it detects a change of rhythm immediately fires a stimulating charge to coax it back to normal.Similar deep brain stimulation is already used for people with Parkinson's or epilepsy, but can take years to fine tune. However, the new device, dubbed Wand [wireless artifact-free neuromodulation device], constantly listens for disruptions in the electrical current and makes instant adjustments. It can record activity from 128 points in the brain, compared with eight channels of deep brain simulation. - © The Daily Telegraph
One EFF, one bullet tweet ‘was fake’
Black First Land First (BLF) member Zimasa Mpemnyama has distanced herself from a series of “manufactured” tweets – in her name – lashing out at the EFF and claiming protesters were paid R1m to cause a “race riot” on Clifton Fourth Beach. “Yesterday my account was suspended on Twitter, then I find tweets like this, which I never wrote, circulating,” she said in a tweet on Tuesday. “I would never write such hogwash about killing black people. Stop spreading lies,” she said. “Here are the other tweets which were manufactured. I never wrote these tweets. Right wingers shared these pictures after they got my account suspend to tarnish mine & BLF's name. "I would never use the term 'race riots' plus I know how to spell 'slaughtering' - Thank you very much." BLF leader Andile Mngxitama suggested that the tweets were Photoshopped to incite "black-on-black violence".
Saffers warned about conduct abroad
International relations and cooperation minister Lindiwe Sisulu says it is unacceptable for South Africans to be involved in activities that destabilise other countries. SA high commissioner to Mozambique Mandisi Mpahlwa sent a report to Sisulu about charges against Andre Mayer Hanekom related to his alleged aiding of an extreme jihadist group that is destabilising the northern part of Mozambique. Activities by the group have been linked to the deaths of more than 100 people in the area. Sisulu said on Tuesday the incident was viewed in a serious light. SA law enforcement agencies had been asked to investigate the charges with the aim of ensuring that no citizen becomes involved in destabilising other countries.
Clifton beachgoers chill - for now
Things were back to normal at Clifton Fourth Beach on Monday with many beachgoers looking unperturbed by potential disruptions after days of protests that saw a sheep being slaughtered there. Hundreds of people, including domestic and international visitors, sunbathed on the white sand and swam as the temperature rose to a sweltering 29°C in Cape Town. Meanwhile the EFF called on black South Africans to bring their animal sacrifices to various beaches across the city on New Year’s Day and slaughter them there instead of at their homes.