Why Africa Benefits From Sport Hunting

Hunting, especially African hunting has always been an incredibly emotive and often misunderstood subject amongst people from the western world. The reality of the matter is that most people live in a fairly cosseted environment where their only contact with the wilderness areas of Africa is through the ‘not always entirely accurate’, television and other media. Walt Disney has a lot to answer for by way of anthropomorphism!

So let’s take a look at some of the realities of life in Africa. Despite what most media and Walt Disney will have you believe, hardly any African animal ever dies of old age. Everything eats everything else in the African bush and the ecosystem of Africa is extremely sensitive and requires careful, scientific management if the wild places and it’s inhabitants are to survive into the future for coming generations to enjoy

The hunting safaris that we offer to clients are high income for the country involved, and low impact for the environment (which is the opposite of photo safaris) and are all part of the game management programme run by the government of whichever country the hunt takes place in. All animals hunted, prior to the hunt have all been issued with the necessary (local, national and international) licences and permits that are required to be issued by the relevant Parks Board and CITES (Confederation of International Trade in Endangered Species). All clients are also accompanied at all times by a fully qualified and licenced Professional Hunter during their safari. These Professional Hunters are all regulated, examined and licenced by the relevant National or Provincial Parks Boards and/of Game Departments. These Professional Hunters are a group of highly qualified, knowledgeable and very professional men and women. All are also members of the relevant national Professional Hunting Association of that particular country (i.e. Professional Hunters Association of South Africa).

A hunting client will pay a large sum of money to cover his camp expenses, which pays for his full board accommodation and camp, hunting services and the many and all the varied Government levies imposed on the hunter and his companions. This camp, (which would not be there if it were not for the hunter) provides employment for many local and international staff. (Chefs, maids, cleaners etc) He will then pay a sum of money for each animal that he hunts. This sum is used to pay wages to the hunting staff (local and Professional) to pay for vehicles which are maintained locally by local labour) and a large percentage is paid to the relevant Parks Board or Game Department, who use it to fund further game research and conservation.

The hunter also spends considerable additional amounts of hard currency and provides further employment ‘in country’ with local taxidermists, hotels, airlines and air charter companies etc.

All animals that are hunted are animals that would otherwise need to be culled to maintain the balance of the ecosystem. If one species is allowed to flourish too much it means the decline and possible demise of other species. This happens for example when one species consumes all of one type of tree or bush to a height where the smaller species are unable to reach to feed. When this occurs, the species that is causing it needs to be culled to maintain the balance of the eco-system. If the dominating species is not controlled in numbers, then not only will grazers and browsers suffer, but also the predators and scavengers and eventually, even the dominating species itself may eat itself out of its habitat resulting in mass die off by starvation. Examples of this might be the rise and fall of lion populations in the Masai Mara of Kenya where hunting is not allowed, or a more shockingly graphic example would be the crash of Elephant and other game populations that occurred in the Tsavo region of Kenya during the drought of 1971 when the Government refused to cull some of the respective populations to ensure sufficient food supplies for the remainder. As a result, many thousands of Elephants and a huge number of other game animals in the area died out. The story of this shameful example of political correctness and mismanagement is eloquently told in the book ‘The End of the Game’ by Peter Beard.

One of the best examples of using hunting as a responsible conservation tool used to be found in the CAMPFIRE project of Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwean Parks Board regularly met with a delegation of locals from each area and the licenced hunting operator for that particular area. And would then decide on how many of each species can be healthily maintained by the ecosystem, and therefore how many of each species can be hunted whilst maintaining a healthy balance of age groups and sex. They would also often decide on the level of trophy fee to be charged for each animal of each species. These locals not only benefit from the hunting by gaining the meat from these animals and a percentage of the profits. The hunters also provide regular employment for them and the money is used to finance schools, hospitals, and safe fresh water bore holes etc, free from such diseases such as bilharzia and amoebic dysentery (both of which kill and maim many people in Africa). Since the political and economic collapse of Zimbabwe the CAMPFIRE project is in decline and consequently game populations are suffering enormously from uncontrolled poaching. Some areas have lost over 60% of their wildlife populations

By involving the local populations, the Parks Boards ensure that the local populations will find it more profitable to conserve the wildlife rather than find them in the position where they have to turn to poaching the game to feed their families. In African countries where hunting does not happen due to political upheaval or is banned, the game has no value to the local populations. Consequently the locals only see the game as something that competes with their own survival by eating their crops and further polluting their own water supplies. When this happens, history shows that the game is quickly wiped out by illegal poaching.

Summary

Where African hunting is practised in a properly controlled manner, it can and does produce large financial and conservation benefits. Revenues from hunting where a portion is given to the local communities, not only improves the material condition of that population, but it also gives them a stake in the wildlife as an incentive to conserving it. This means that poaching and illegal killing is dramatically reduced. The licensing system allows populations to be effectively monitored and controlled by the relevant Game Department or Parks Board.

Compared with the random and indiscriminate slaughter carried out by poachers, selective culling by hunters can and does lead to a healthy and balanced population and prevent one species flourishing to the detriment of another. In many parts of Africa, wildlife has now been recognised as a valuable resource, providing it is managed wisely. Hunting makes a crucial and essential contribution to that. It also helps resolve the conflicting interests of human and animal populations. It is in those countries where sport hunting does not take place that the wildlife is at greatest risk.

One of the greatest and most successful examples of modern species recovery was achieved by KZN Wildlife when they succeeded in saving the white rhino from extinction. This rescue was made possible largely by allowing a few males who were past breeding age and attacking and killing younger bulls to be hunted by sport hunters. The high fees from these hunts have financed most of the KZN Wildlife White Rhino breeding and research project and the same thing is now being achieved for the black rhino in an identical manner by the same organisation.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1810231

Sport Hunting Should Not Be Banned

Hunting for sport of food is a relaxing, exciting and educational experience for hunters of all ages. There are many claims that this type of hunting has no beneficial results and therefore should be banned. However, there are many who do not understand the true purpose for hunting and therefore do not realized that sport hunting should not be banned. Education is lacking when an assumption is made stating hunting is only recreational and leaves damage without good.

Many benefits come from hunting not only to the hunter, but to the natural world as well. Without the hunter, many breeds of animals would become overpopulated and eventually die off from starvation due to the excessive numbers and lower food percentage per herd. Not only would there be an overpopulation of many animals, but there would also be a vast area for disease and inner-herd killings. In nature, it is survival of the fittest, those that are weak and old will be the first attacked, even by their own kind.

Hunting offers benefits to the hunter as well. There are the benefits of education, by watching and studying the animals, the hunter will in turn learn how they associate among themselves, their patters for breeding and migration, and their tendencies of behavior. Therefore, the hunter will not only benefit by this knowledge within his hunt but also an understanding of what animals to harvest when hunting. Sick or deformed animals often give the hunter a sense of sympathy when hunting. It is unlikely that this animal will live very long and may possibly spread its disease or deformities to the other animals or when breeding. It is easy to see why sport hunting should not be banned when taking the information from this perspective and applying it to the natural order of life.

This type of hunting also provides excitement and a chance for a relaxing connection with nature. During a hunt, the hunter is often sitting in silence and connecting with nature. This opportunity allows for the hunter to take in his surrounding and learn the area around him. Knowing the vegetation and the growth rate of the area crops is an important step to being a good hunter. This knowledge comes through conservation of the land being managed for hunting. Through this land management, the plant life and animal life become more abundant and prosperous.

Sport hunting should not be banned for lack of knowledge on the part of protesters. There are many environmental benefits to the vegetation and wildlife. The health of the animals and the life cycle that produces from healthy wildlife is important to hunters proving to produce larger, stronger wildlife without damaging their chances of survival. Hunting also brings benefit to humans through the control of the wildlife and the predatory animals that would turn to the neighborhoods when overpopulation occurs. These dangerous animals are wolves, bears, mountain lions, coyotes, and bobcats. Hunting wildlife keeps disease among wildlife at a lower rate and ensures better survival.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1578067

S-Factor secures another win for Huawei

Established in January 2014, S-Factor Sponsorship celebrated their first birthday by facilitating groundbreaking sponsorships on behalf of their client, Huawei South Africa, which sees them become the official smartphone, tablet and talkband supplier to the big five rugby unions in South Africa.
S-Factor secures another win for Huawei
Specialising in ensuring that sport, sponsorship and social media are all a factor in your marketing mix, S-Factor has come of age as an agency leading the market in terms of commercialising of sport and entertainment sponsorships. Whilst celebrating one year in business, partners Justin Sampson and Rich van der Schyff are two industry heavyweights bringing a combined experience of over 30 years in the sponsorship industry.

A unique selling point for the agency is their approach to the use of digital and social media; currently there’s a lot of talk out there, but not a lot of action. “What sets us apart from our competitors is how we combine sponsorship and social media to continue the conversation far beyond live events, and by so doing create genuine engagement between the fan and the brands that we represent,” says award-winning and company CEO, Justin Sampson. Some of their clients include the City of Cape Town, Ajax Cape Town Football Club and Sunbet.

A significant addition to their client list is leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, Huawei South Africa. “S-Factor was appointed by Huawei with the objective of guiding their entry into the soccer and rugby markets in South Africa,” says Rich van der Schyff, Managing Director and account lead. “The first success was securing the title sponsorship of Ajax Cape Town FC, currently ranked fifth in the PSL race which we launched in October of 2014. Then yesterday the unique sponsorship of all of the country’s big five rugby teams, namely the Vodacom Bulls, DHL Western Province, the Cell C Sharks, the Emirates Lions and the Toyota Cheetahs which took place at SuperSport’s studios, sees Huawei fulfill both objectives.

“Huawei have been a pleasure to work with, the Brand is a sleeping giant in global terms, and as their leading-edge consumer-facing products (smartphones, tablets and talkbands) are starting to take off so they are starting to flex their muscles in the local market and these two deals represent significant strides,” continues Rich.

Huawei’s Product & Marketing Director for South Africa, Yudi Rambaran, had the following to say about the S-Factor team: “S-Factor have exceeded our expectations as a sponsorship marketing organisation by bringing the most lucrative opportunities to Huawei and working tirelessly to secure these. Their dedication and consistency in delivery makes them an absolute pleasure to work with and reinforces our decision to appoint them as a preferred vendor. Our strategy of focusing on premium mid- to high-end products has borne fruit, with 2014 resulting in significant achievements in a number of areas including product R&D, brand awareness, channel development and growth in market share which further consolidated our number three position in the global smartphone market. The global influence of our brand has continued to grow, and Huawei has become the first mainland Chinese company to successfully enter Interbrand’s Top 100 Global Brands of 2014 list – we see our partnership in sports sponsorship as a way of enhancing our brand in South Africa.”

Justin elaborates on how S-Factor will be assisting Huawei in realising the full potentail of their sports sponsorships:

“As an agency, our clients are our lifeblood, and the Huawei account gives us a great foundation from which to build: we have a super client who trusts us, and we are directly involved in rugby and soccer, two markets that we both love and understand. The strategy behind our clients’ involvement in sport is two-fold. Firstly brand awareness in terms of getting their name out there, ensuring recognition and correct pronunciation. Secondly, to engage with fans, start conversations and build relationships in order to drive brand love and sales.”

S-Factor is like a 30-year-old in a one-year-old’s body: a wealth of experience combined with a fresh energetic approach. And with the vision of the partners and the agency model envisaged not only materialising but also rapidly producing impressive results, which then effectively propels this “youngster” to the forefront of the South Afrcan sponsorship market.

SA, Vietnam set biodiversity agreement in motion

PRETORIA: South Africa and Vietnam have signed an action plan to implement the Memorandum of Understanding on Biodiversity Conservation and Protection.
SA, Vietnam set biodiversity agreement in motionWater and Environmental Affairs Deputy Minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi and Socialist Republic of Vietnam Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ha Cong Tuan, represented the two countries.

The MoU was originally signed by the two countries in Hanoi, Vietnam, in December 2012. The Implementation Plan, effective until 2017, gives further impetus to the fight against wildlife crimes, particularly rhino poaching.

According to Mabudafhasi, the plan is reviewable during, and at the end of the said period.

Signing the plan, Mabadafhasi said the objectives of the MoU included promoting cooperation in the field of biodiversity management, conservation and protection. It is also expected to assist in curbing the scourge of rhino poaching, as it seeks to promote cooperation in law enforcement, compliance with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and other relevant legislation on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.

“The signing today of the action plan is the culmination of intensive negotiations and discussions between the two governments. It aims to put into operation the agreements defined in the signed MoU,” she said.

In his response, Ha Cong Tuan said the Vietnamese government was committed to the fight against rhino poaching.

“Action will be taken against people found using rhino horns,” he said.

The signing of the MoU is the direct result of cooperation and continued negotiations following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa and the Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Dr Cao Duc Phat, in Vietnam.

The implementation plan will see the development of joint legislative efforts to conserve biodiversity, build capacity and promote the participation of international organisations and NGOs in the process.

It also includes strengthening cooperation through exchange of information, best practice and research, technology use, transfer and development, natural resource management, wildlife trade and protected areas management.

It also endorses the undertaking of collaborative projects to improve on the conservation of biodiversity and protection of species.

In addition, the two countries will, in the next six months, share information on each country’s legislation in regards to the management of sport hunting for trophies of rhino and other wildlife, with the aim of improving the management of imports of hunted specimens to Vietnam.

‘Blood lions’ sheds a harsh light on the canned hunting industry

Since the first public documentation in 2004, canned lion hunting has, in recent times, become more controversial and the film Blood Lions further stimulates that debate.
‘Blood lions’ sheds a harsh light on the canned hunting industry
© Nilanjan Bhattacharya – 123RF.com
Blood Lions is a sensationalised yet comprehensive true story of the canned lion hunting industry in South Africa. By definition, the term “canned hunting” is not considered as hunting, which is defined as the “chase or search for something (game, wild animals) for the purpose of catching or killing.” Another definition is “the act of conducting a search for something”. By all definitions hunting involves a search. There is none involved in canned hunting. Sport hunters of free-roaming animals have condemned the activity of canned hunting as slander.

Blood Lions not only clearly demonstrates that canned lion hunting is unjustifiable in terms of ethics but also conservation. The conditions under which the animals are kept are not reflective of their natural habitat nor do they conform to zoo or camp standards of enclosure size or quality. And little is known about what happens to lions bred in captivity that are not suitable for hunting.

Hunting for conservation?

Canned lion hunters justify the practice by arguing that for every canned lion hunted a wild lion has been saved. Blood Lions reveals otherwise. The film also clarifies that canned hunting makes a limited contribution to the conservation of the species or genetics.

The revenue generated returns to the owner and is plugged back into the owner’s business. Operating costs include the cost of building and maintaining the camps as well as purchasing and feeding the lions. Each lion can eat approximately US$16,000 worth of meat per year in the wild. However, captive bred lions tend to be fed more to fast-track growth, which pushes the feeding cost higher. Setting up a lion camp depends on the fencing material used, the camp design, water provision, electrifying components and installation.

Standard regulations stipulate that four lions can be kept in a 2 000m² electrified camp. As confirmed in Blood Lions the cost of a lion can be quickly recouped by being put up for auction to a large market of enthused ‘hunters’ and the lion bone trade. Although the profitable returns from the hunt make the activity economically justifiable, this only applies to the owner.

The size of the land where the hunting takes place is small and often does not meet the requirements or standards of captive lion facilities. This means that canned lion hunting gives the land owner high returns on a small piece of land.

More lions in captivity

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Endangered Wildlife Trust, there are more lions in captivity in South Africa than in the wild – approximately 7 000 in captivity and 3 500 in the wild.

Captive raised lions are raised for petting and handling by tourists and volunteers who desire a close encounter with charismatic wildlife. Blood Lions explains how this type of tourism feeds into canned hunting.

Hand-raised lions are notoriously difficult to rehabilitate into the wild – not only behaviourally but also because of limited available land in which to relocate them. Large predators such as lions require large expanses of free roaming land and ample food resources. Although small reserves can sustain lions, this requires management and financial resources.

Although the future of captive lions may seem bleak, there are opportunities to ‘rescue’ a handful. Lion sanctuaries have become a popular means of adopting captive bred lions. However, like those in captivity, the maintenance cost of these lions is high. On their own lion sanctuaries generate very little revenue or enough profit to be considered a sustainable option.

Furthermore, lion sanctuaries require intensive individual action to be driven forward and there is limited monetary incentive. Unless new release strategies are developed, lion sanctuaries and release programs have limited sustainability.

Profit verses ethics

Canned hunting and sport hunting differ in their ethics, execution and overall contributions. Canned hunting primarily focuses on the return of investment and profit from the raising of the animal. Although canned hunting does create employment, trophy hunting contributes to conservation efforts as well.

Thinking outside the box towards alternative land uses and business endeavours has become a necessity. Everyone has equal rights to make a living – but at what cost? The revealing nature of Blood Lions gets the viewer thinking about the negative use of natural resources.

Although there is a legitimate push and drive to have it banned and abolished, history and human nature has proven that canned lion hunting is likely to continue – unwanted but too profitable to exclude as a business opportunity and as the fulfilment of an addiction.The Conversation

Deer Hunting Offers Much More Than Mere Sport

There’s just something about the thrill of the chase that’s perhaps even more appealing to deer hunters than the actual kill itself. A process that harkens back to primeval times, hunting is about more than the act itself. In days gone by, it was nothing more than basic survival the food chain in action. Today, there are other means for obtaining food, but that doesn’t mean the hunt is any less appealing or important. In fact, people in many parts of the world still rely on the skill of hunters for their food. And those who don’t still have in their ranks those who enjoy the sport. But what is it about deer hunting that draws so many enthusiasts today?

There are many reasons why deer hunting remains a strong favorite among hunters. Perhaps one of the top reasons cited is the fact that the end result is something that can be used. While some hunters enjoy the act only, most prefer to only kill what they and their family and friends will eat and use. In the case of deer, the animal does not go to waste. Its meat is edible; its hide useable and so on.

Deer hunting is so popular in North America, for example, that a number of hunting clubs exists in all parts of the country to help hunters further their sport. Private clubs and even some associations exist that cater to deer hunters. These clubs serve a number of purposes, but most include the preservation of habitat for the animals, social activities, lobbying efforts to protect land and hunting rights and so on.

Deer hunting clubs tend to exist in two major forms:

* Associations/social clubs that help hunters get together and book trips, discuss techniques and so on. By banding together for excursions, hunters often can take advantage of group rates, or at least group planning, to visit remote areas where the hunting is ripe and the wilderness vast. These clubs, especially the larger-scale ones, are also active in hunting issues and preservation efforts.

* Cooperative clubs. These tend to exist to help hunters lease private property on which to hunt. By joining together, hunters can ensure land is available for not only hunting, but also to support wildlife. The leases on private hunting grounds can be expensive, but when land is lease or purchased outright by hunting cooperatives, it helps ensure the habitat is available, something that’s become a big issue in these development happy days.

Whether the associations and clubs have just a few members or are national undertakings, the goals are basically the same. Hunters, for the most part, are out not only to catch their quarry, but also to protect the lands on which they sport. Hunting in and of itself is actually a necessary sport, which is why it’s allowed under the law. When animal herds are too big, their members may face starvation during the cold and food short winter months. By thinning the herds, hunters tend to help Mother Nature along and ensure a population that’s strong and stable.

Pheasant Hunting A Thrilling Sport

Pheasant hunting is a popular sport and one that I recommend on a regular basis to those looking to get into a new area of hunting. Not only is it fun but it also a good sport for hunters who like a little bit of a challenge. Of all the different types of bird hunting trips I have taken, I have really enjoyed the pheasant hunting trips the most and go out every chance I get.

Over the years I have bought a lot of hunting equipment and have developed a few tips and techniques that have served me well. I am often asked to share these ideas with new hunters and am pleased to do so. I also love to swap stories with seasoned hunters and have always learned from the experience of others.

If you are new at pheasant hunting it is a good idea to first educate yourself a little about the bird before going out. Pheasants were originally from the continent of Asia and brought to Europe in the tenth century and became a very popular hunting prey. They were brought to the United States in the 1880s where they eventually became so popular that there was a constant demand for them to be raised and released for hunting purposes.

After its height of popularity in the 1960s, the pheasant populations declined due to changes in farming policies, which resulted in the decline of pheasant hunting as well. Though not as popular as in previous decades, pheasant hunting is still a great sport and presents a good challenge that you will enjoy as you develop your skills.

The challenge of pheasant hunting is often what hunters find very alluring and is the one thing that I find most thrilling about this sport. As with each area of hunting there are necessary skills and hunting gear you must acquire in order to have a successful hunt and take home the prize. One thing you should keep in mind is that pheasants are very sensitive in sound and sight making it difficult at times to bring down a bird.

The agility and acrobatic movements, characteristic to this type of bird, also add to the thrill of the hunt. Because of their swift movements, you will need to develop your shooting skills in order to bring down one of these birds. Another thing that I have found very helpful when pheasant hunting is having a good hunting dog.

A dog is very useful when it comes to retrieving fallen birds because sometimes, though wounded, a bird can still move swiftly enough to get away and is where a well trained hunting dog will be of great service to you. Another good area to educate yourself in pheasant hunting is where to find the birds. A basic knowledge of their habitat and whereabouts on the hunting land will serve you greatly and save you a lot of time from looking in the wrong area.

An excellent place to look for these birds are on the edges. These areas are found at the intersections of food and patches of cover and places that I and most hunters have the most success. You will also do well to search out new areas and out of the way places that are not over populated with other hunters.

Keep in mind though that many factors come into play as to where to find pheasants in numbers. Conditions such as the weather, farming patterns, and the number of hunters in the area make the pheasant population differ and change from season to season. For this reason, it is a good idea to seek out information on hunting conditions from officials, friends, or locals to the area where you plan to hunt as it is a deciding factor to your success in pheasant hunting.

Robotics, Artificial Intelligence And The Possibilities

The history of human progress is a testimonial to the strong desire that man has always had to make his life more comfortable. Every invention ever conceived has been designed to make life just a little bit better. Tools have been made for every activity from agriculture, hunting, construction, transportation and even entertainment. The desire for an easier existence for a few has also led to a few bad ideas such as slavery, military conquest, corruption and other manners of exploiting people.

While many tools and machines have been invented throughout history, they have mostly been of use in extending or enhancing the capabilities of the person using them. The ultimate desire of having artificial helpers and companions and the attempts to create them have a long history. We now have many machines and mechanical devices that operate automatically with humanlike skill for a wide range of routine tasks on command,
But the making of a fully autonomous machine that resembles a human has yet to be realized although it may be closer than most people imagine.

Man started out by inventing tools, from tools evolved machinery and most recently in human history do we have programmable functioning machinery. The next step is self-adjusting, self-adaptive and reprogrammable machinery to realize robotics ultimate goal: to create a machine which has equivalent capacity of a human. The refinements in technology that are necessary to create a fully functional robot are not so much founded in the physical design but rather in the development of artificial intelligence (AI).

Whether people realize it or not, we are surrounded by examples of artificial intelligence. Voice activated customer services, the GPS system in your car, the airport scheduling system that chooses the gate where your will disembark when your plane lands, most video games and even the software to write this article contains some form of Artificial Intelligence.

Right now, we are well into the period of Narrow AI which refers to artificial intelligence that performs a useful and specialized function that once required human intelligence to perform and executes those functions at human levels or better. Often Narrow AI systems greatly exceed the speed of humans as well as provide the ability to manage and take into account thousands of variables simultaneously.

The market for Narrow AI applications in 2007 was estimated to be over 21 billion dollars. A small list of areas where Narrow AI is currently being used includes

Defense and Intelligence
Space Exploration
Medicine
Science and Math
Business
Finance
Manufacturing
Language and Speech
Entertainment and Sports

While Narrow AI gives machines the ability to perform specific tasks, what is needed to develop and construct a fully functioning robot is Strong AI. Although there is no total agreement on what defines Strong AI, most researchers in the area of artificial intelligence agree that the properties of Strong AI should include the following:

” Ability to reason, strategize and make judgments under uncertain conditions
” Ability to represent knowledge including knowledge that is categorized as common sense
” Ability to plan and learn
” Ability to communicate in a natural language
” Ability to integrate all the above skills

Development in the area of Strong AI draws upon tools from three main areas: first, on what is currently known about the brain; second, based on the decades of research in Narrow AI; third, reverse engineering of the brain. Many tools have been developed and are emerging that provides the spatial and temporal resolution necessary to produce adequate data from extremely accurate scanning and sensing of neurons and neural components.

For a human being, the learning process required to master the knowledge necessary to function in any scientific area is decades. For a robot with artificial intelligence, learning will be just a matter of the time required to download the information from one machine to another. Once a human level of artificial intelligence is reached then technological advances in all areas will accelerated at an incredible exponential rate.

From the physical aspect, the development of a human like robot is much closer to being realized. In many depictions of robots in science fiction they are metallic and awkward but current technology already exists that can create an almost human appearing robot. In Japan, a new artificial outer covering gives the feel of real human skin by covering a 1-cm thick “dermis” of elastic silicone with a 0.2-mm thick “epidermis” of firm urethane. Countless tiny hexagonal indentations etched into the urethane epidermis provide it with a very realistic texture.

On the other hand, advances in medical technology are creating many artificial parts to replace some of our worn out or broken biological parts. Today, knee, hip and shoulder replacements are common. Artificial limbs are used by many who have lost their original ones. Advances will continue at a rapid pace so that in the near future we may be able to replace any organ or limb with a new and improved one. Some scientists hypothesize that all the information and memories in our brain may one day be downloadable. It seems possible that one day we may reach a point where the distinction between human and robot becomes too close to distinguish.

Robots have long been dreamed of as helpers and companions to enhance the lives of humans. Could it also be possible that the inadvertent direction of robotics will be, not to replace humans, but perhaps the next step in human evolution?

Fishing, Is An Interesting Hobby

Fishing, is an interesting hobby. This can be done anywhere that has water so it won’t be that hard to get started. In some countries such as the United States, this is considered to be a popular sport. In order to win, the player must reel in the biggest Fish, and not how many are in the bucket. When it is captured, an official will weigh it and then throw it back into the water. This sport is better known as Bass fishing. Bass Fishing, is something that the person will not learn or be good at overnight. Here are some tips for those who want to excel in Bass Fishing.

If you are looking for a wonderful recreational sport that will take you far away from your comfort zone, look no further than Bass Fishing. The sport of bass fishing has quickly risen into the ranks of a multi billion dollar industry. This Fishing, sport has acquired a great following throughout the years and is now one of the most popular sports in America.

This fact is no accident. While bass fishing is done all around the world, its popularity in America stems from the fact that the most popular types of bass fished for sport can be found in multitudes in the waters of North America. Bass Fishing, in America is so popular that bass fishing masters have become household names among American sports enthusiasts.

Perhaps it is the lure of going back to basics and getting in touch with man’s hunting urges in nature that lures millions upon millions of individuals to this wonderful world of Bass Fishing, for sport and recreation. If you are new to this sport or if you are only beginning to think about taking up this hobby, the whole concept of fishing may be a little daunting. Fortunately, what general knowledge we all have on Fishing, applies for the sport of bass fishing. The exciting task of catching bass is done with a hook line and sinker. If you are looking for bass Fishing Techniques, look no further than that.

Grizzly Bear Hunting Moratoriums In Canada

In March of 2006, the government of Alberta imposed a ban on the hunting of grizzly bears for sport. The move showed a considerable lack of reaction when compared to a similar ban by British Columbia in 2001, and indeed a comparison of the actions in the two provinces sheds a lot of light on the ridiculousness of the whole scenario surrounding the decision in British Columbia.

The moratorium on grizzly bears in Alberta was not spearheaded by a coalition of environmental groups who believe in preservation at all costs. On the contrary, it seems as if some of the more famous, if less reputable, groups such as the World Wildlife Fund were totally in the dark about the decision. As late as October of 2006, the WWF was sponsoring update shows on many stations wherein Kelsey Grammar called the policy regarding the grizzly bear hunt in Alberta into question. It looks like the WWF missed the bulletin about the new policy.

The hunt in British Columbia was a different matter entirely. The ban came about on the eve of an election that was to see the annihilation of the highly unpopular New Democrat Party. In a last ditch attempt to gain some votes, Premier Ujal Dosanjh suddenly announced a moratorium on the grizzly bear hunt, a program that brought in huge amounts of money from foreign hunters and which was needed to keep the grizzly population in check. The move was quickly overturned when the Liberal party swept into power, and has been kept in place ever since.

Among the issues that stand out when reaction to the two provinces’ policies from environmental groups is considered is how very little input and reaction there was on the Alberta front. Environmental groups suggested at the time of the B.C. ban that grizzly populations in the entire province were as low as 4,000 bears (this was in contrast to the government numbers of 10,000, which in turn were low compared to biologist counts which put the number of grizzlies at 12,000 or higher). Best estimates from all sides puts the number of grizzlies in Alberta at only 700, a figure that is staggeringly low when one considers that it includes the healthy grizzly populations of Banff and Jasper National Parks. One can only assume that environmental groups missed their research on the desperate situation of the grizzlies in Alberta, where about ten grizzlies were taken each year previous to the ban.

Another stand-out issue in the B.C. ban was the incredible callousness of pollsters and environmental groups alike when it came to publishing the truth in order to truly measure public opinion. When commissioned by the International Fund for Animal Welfare to poll people’s reaction to the ban, COMPASS directors acted shocked when the numbers reflected a staggering majority favored the ban. While they did disclose that only 800 people from around the province (which has a population of over 4 million) were polled, they forgot to add how many from each area were included. They did disclose that five “areas” of British Columbia were included in the survey, but left out the fact that three of the five were major metropolitan areas whose population are made up mostly of people who had probably never seen a grizzly bear, much less ventured into the wilderness areas they occupied. Comments by survey director Conrad Winn further clarified his institution’s approach to the study, as he suggested that the group only surveyed people who had recently moved to B.C from the east.

Wilderness hunting outfitters in Canada and outdoor enthusiasts breathed a sigh of relief when the Liberals came into power and immediately lifted the ban. The province currently sees 400 grizzlies a year harvested, with 60% being taken by resident hunters and the other 40% taken by foreign big game hunters, who make a major contribution to the province’s economy. Bear experts suggest grizzlies continue to thrive in the province, with suggestions that in order to even keep the bear numbers even, the hunt would need to be doubled. With the current harvest, many believe that grizzly numbers will continue to grow, with the potential of more bear/human conflicts, livestock predation, and lower numbers of wild ungulates as some of the results. As grizzly bears are highly aggressive to their own species, more numbers of mature male bears might mean that less sows and cubs are left alive at the end of each season due to male kill rates (one study showed that in three weeks, one Alpha male was responsible for killing and eating nine other grizzlies in his range; three sows and their cubs of the year).

It is the responsibility of every outdoor enthusiast to protect the nature and the animals that remind of why we love the outdoors. As the ludicrous situation in B.C. demonstrated, however, all people truly interested in keeping the wild, ‘wild’ must approach controversial matters in an informed manner, with a willingness to learn from the facts.