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Sunday, January 27, 2013

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In response to the email on how livestock grazing can be managed to ensure vegetation cover is maintained, which helps to stem flooding, I'd like to add my two cents worth on the value of wetland areas too. Wetlands are known to play a vital role in helping to slowly release water downstream and hence reduce the risk of flash floods. The soils in wetland areas act like sponges and the vegetation also helps to slow the flow of water through them. Zimbabwe is rapidly losing its
wetlands to urban sprawl and stream bank cultivation amongst other things. In Harare two important wetlands, the Highlands Vlei and the Borrowdale Vlei are both under threat due to plans for construction over them, which has no regard for their important ecosystem functionality. Covering a wetland with concrete will drastically reduce the capacity of the area to absorb water and will create the potential for flash floods. It also means that water no longer seeps through the soil and slowly flows downstream. This means that the water is no longer purified. Katy Lannas MSc Freshwater Ecology, University of Cape Town. ktlannas@gmail.com
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I was at The life of pi on sat at west gate,3p.m.and was thrilled to have this facility available again and yes there where noisy teens nearby, whom I glared at several times which seemed to shut them up...I genuinely think most go this age group has forgotten how to behave in a cinema situation...and need reeducating in the way to behave! zero tolerance to beeping phones/noisy chat etc. and a simple intro asking for them to be switched of would be a good start, and a few vigilant staff to enforce this would help possibly, let's not let these places revert to chaos so soon when they have only just got going again!! 
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I was quite interested in the photos you sent of the limpopo in flood and further still by the comment one reader made about the last time the river was in flood being about 30yrs ago. As the issue of climate change weighs more and more on our minds I am reminded of a fact discussed in A level geo; that climate is described as the general condition of the atmosphere over a period of 30 to 40 years. I am not sure if there has been an official statement made to say that we are indeed experiencing a change in climate. I wonder if there are any old farmers out there who've had the habit of recording every mm of rainfall for the past 30 years. That would make for intriguing reading and help us to understand our 'new ' weather patterns much better
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We would like to make a suggestion regarding the bad behaviour at the cinemas.  Get other patrons to film the perpetrators on their cell phones and copy the video to ster kinekor management so they can bar future entry or take further legal action.  This can be further extended to bad driving and other anti social behaviour.
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I’ve been following the contributions regarding young people’s behaviour at cinemas, the houseboats, etc. Came across this quote on Facebook, though author is not named: “There are some things that money just cannot buy, like manners, morals and intelligence.”
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Ster Kinekor reply to a readers comment today: We appreciate any positive comments as it shows we are off in the right direction. The sound systems we have put in place are the first of their kind in cinemas on our beautiful continent. They are very powerful and I will attend to the technical implications of sound passing through from the other cinema, it should be resolved as it may be a matter of the sound proofing. As we speak we are receiving a shipment of all our house-rules for public notices in keeping with our standard operating procedures This will also assist in redeveloping cinema etiquette as we communicate the expected conduct from all our customers. We value your patronage and look forward to bringing Great moments at their greatest!
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We also broken into last Sunday at 4 am in chisipite and when reported this at highlands there was a couple reporting a stolen revolver from their home in Montgomery road...maybe linked...We also had lots of effort at trying to get in, and where well prepared.
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It’s all very well having a long story about what happened, and yes it’s not great but it is happening and has been happening for a long time in this country! Well dressed gentlemen, fancy get away cars, certain intersections for smash and grabs, school car parks, being followed from banks, etc.
I just don’t understand why people – aware of this sort of thing – STILL leave their valuables in a car – in view!!!  Surely if you have just drawn cash or have a laptop or fancy phone etc – you either lock them in the boot (still not safe) or just carry them with you? I would rather make the effort of having to carry my goods than have them stolen.  Why leave a car parked outside a gate – even if you are only a few metres away/or for a few minutes (which is all it takes) – obviously this person was not in view of his/her car -  with cash in a brief case on or under the front seat!? That to me is asking for trouble and an easy target for the ever quick and slick thieves.
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We also broken into last Sunday at 4 am in chisipite and when reported this at highlands there was a couple reporting a stolen revolver from their home in Montgomery road...maybe linked... We also had lots of effort at trying to get in, and where well prepared.
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This article does a disservice to people by confusing the issues. The vast majority of people die of Melanoma which is an uncommon type of skin cancer.  Melanoma is only one type of skin cancer. The most common types of skin cancer seldom cause death. There is no conclusive evidence that sunscreen protects against Melanoma. Sun exposure plays a part in melanoma but 2 countries in the top ten of melanoma worldwide are Scotland and one of the Scandanavian countries (Can’t remember which one) There is evidence that preventing children from getting sunburnt decreases their all time risk of developing melanoma. In adults the evidence is far less convincing. Far more important is to prevent deaths from Melanoma by having regular screening. These articles are bad because they say you can prevent Melanoma by sunscreen, something that hasn’t been proved. This gives people a false sense of security. “I use sunscreen so I don’t have to have my skin checked regularly”. Wrong, irrespective of what you do you need to have your skin checked. If you have a family history or previous melanoma yourself regular checking is even more important.

To re iterate THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT SUNSCREEN ALTERS MELANOMA RISK IN ADULTS. Get your skin checked regularly. Photograph all brown spots on your skin. If you are worried, photograph them at an interval and compare them. If they show any change, get them cut out.
Kevin O’Connor doccon@yoafrica.com
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