Dinosaur Fight or Common Fate?

first_imgA fossil discovery by amateurs in Montana, reported by the Great Falls Tribune, shows “a meat-eater and a plant-eater – with their tails crossed like swords.”  The fossils show “remarkable detail, right down to tendons and teeth.”  The three amateur discoverers had been scouting on private property in Garfield County.  Finding bone fragments on a canyon floor, they noticed they came from bone sticking out of the hill in crumbly stone on the hillside. He scrambled about 20 feet up the side of the canyon, following a trail of bone fragments, to a flat ledge where he saw what was unmistakably a large fossil: a dinosaur pelvis exposed in the rock.    “Literally his butt was hanging out of the hill,” [Mark] Eatman said.    The team brushed away the crumbly stone, exposing a femur articulated into the pelvis and, even more striking, tendons.    “To see them like guitar strings going down the side of this big bone was pretty amazing,” Eatman said.The “world-class dinosaur find” included a Gorgosaur (like a T. rex) and a ceratopsian.  The carnivore was nearly 100% complete except for a claw.    The article discussed two controversies.  The primary dispute was about the rights of amateurs to find and sell fossils (see also a Nature article this week).  Another concerned the circumstances of the burial.  The discoverers found a tooth in the back of the plant-eater and wondered if the two were locked in combat when they died.  A paleontologist had another view.  “Based on the placement of the skeletons, it’s more likely that the two unfortunates were victims of a flood event and their bodies washed up on the same sandbar,” he said.The hypothesis of mortal combat appeals to our sense of drama from seeing B-movies of dinosaurs, but think about it: would Gorgon be thinking about a meal while drowning?  The pro believed that they were buried in a flood event.  That’s a common explanation for a dinosaur here, a dinosaur there, and a dinosaur over yonder.  The impressive wall of bone at Dinosaur National Monument far to the south in Utah is also explained by watery burial.  They never seem to consider connecting the dots that maybe the same flood event buried them all.  For tendons and articulated limbs to be preserved it must have been a very unusual and widespread event, unlike anything ever seen in Dinotopia before.  Does their entombment in crumbly rock really support the notion that the burial occurred 75 million years ago, and that these explorers happened along just as the bones were disintegrating?  Only if one believes in dumb luck.(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

The Annual Report on South Africa’s 50 Most Valuable Brands

first_imgBrandFinance® South Africa Top 50Top 50 brands are a catalyst for South Africa’s growth and a winning nationThebe Ikalafeng, Chairman – Brand Finance Africa; Founder, Brand Africa & Brand Leadership GroupDespite another year of difficult global trading conditions, the total brand value of the BrandFinanace South Africa Top 50 brands increased 18% from R343bn from 2013’s value of R291bn. Surprisingly though, the Top 10 brands have only grown at 14% against the 22% of the bottom 40 brands, indicating the momentum is with the smaller players. These top 10 brands account for 52% of total brand value amongst the Top 50 with MTN accounting for a massive 16.5% of total brand value.By sector, there are 13 financial services brands (banks and insurance) in the Top 50 generating R89bn (26%) of value, followed by 5 telecom brands generating 25% of value and 16 food and beverage brands generating 22.6%.Among the BrandAfrica 100 Most Valuable Brands in Africa, South Africa leads Africa with a 72% share, compared to Nigeria at 26% and Kenya at 2%. MTN tops the table in Africa too.In the category of South Africa’s Strongest Brand, MTN and FNB are both rated as this year’s strongest brands – this is the third year running that FNB have achieved this ranking. In the year that South Africa lost it’s founding democratic President and Most Valuable Icon, Nelson Mandela, it’s interesting to note that the underlying core values of these brands closely follow those of Madiba’s. It’s no surprise then that these brands resonate with South African consumers where others battle.It also comes as no surprise that more than half of the brands have a significant presence beyond South African borders. While Nigeria has the highest GDP in the continent, South Africa dominates the branding landscape across Africa – with 80% of the Top 50 all essential staples in a continent that is turning the corner from being a consumer to becoming a creator. It is estimated that if intra-Africa trade is increased by 1%, it will generate $50bn in revenues. With its experience in building and creating portfolios of world-class brands, South Africa is in a good position to play a leading role in that African renaissance.The brands of a nation are not only a vector of its image, but a catalyst of its wealth too. There is empirical evidence that the value of the brands with the top nations has an almost direct correlation with their GDP.That South Africa is not among the six African nations in the Top 10 fastest growing economies globally (Economist) and not one of the three African frontier markets that are recognized to offer high returns and improving economic institution (Botswana (#2), Rwanda (#5) and Ghana (#10)) (Foreign Policy Magazine’s Baseline Profitability Index) is a challenge that South Africa needs to address if it is to remain the most admired African nation, and competitive with fellow African and BRICS nations.A thriving ‘Made in South Africa’ and entrepreneurship spirit are what built South Africa’s wealth, reputation and competitiveness – and the BrandFinance South Africa Top 50 brands. For Africa and certainly for South Africa to grow independent, create jobs and reduce inequality, it will need to invest in the attributes that built these brands – on top of increasing intra-Africa trade – to challenge global brands in Africa.The pan-African dominance, global reputation and success of the Top 50 shows that South Africa has the creativity, skill and experience to continue building great brands and a great, growing nation. Top 50 brands are a catalyst of South Africa’s growth and a winning nation – and Africa.Top 50 Most Valuable brandsRank 2014Rank 2013BrandParent CompanyIndustry Group11MTNMTN Group LtdTelecommunications23SASOLSasol LtdChemicals32VodacomVodacom Group LtdTelecommunications44Standard BankStandard Bank Group LtdBanks55ABSABarclays Africa Group LtdBanks66NedbankNedbank Group LtdBanks78First National BankFirstRand LtdBanks810MediclinicMediclinic International LtdHealthcare-Services918InvestecInvestec LtdDiversified Finan Serv107WoolworthsWoolworths Holdings LtdRetail119ShopriteShoprite Holdings LtdRetail – Food Specialists1217MultiChoiceNaspers LtdMedia1314NetcareNetcare LtdHealthcare-Services1411SparSpar Group Limited/TheFood1513MondiMondi LtdForest Products&Paper1615*CastleSABMiller PlcBeverages1712Pick’n PayPick n Pay Stores LtdRetail1819*Carling Black LabelSABMiller PlcBeverages1920TelkomTelkom Sa LtdTelecommunications2022SappiSappi LimitedForest Products&Paper2116SanlamSanlam LtdInsurance2226*Hansa PilsenerSABMiller PlcBeverages2321Mr PriceMr Price Group LtdRetail2428DiscoveryDiscovery LtdInsurance2524*GrindrodGrindrod LtdTransportation2631WesbankFirstRand LtdBanks2723TruworthsTruworths International LtdRetail2825Media24Naspers LtdMedia2929African BankAfrican Bank Investments LtdDiversified Finan Serv3032BidvestBidvest Group LtdHolding Companies-Divers3134SABMillerSabmiller PlcBeverages3230MakroMassmart Holdings LtdRetail3335CLICKSClicks Group LtdRetail-Drug Store3433LibertyLiberty Holdings LtdInsurance3536*HulettsTongaat Hulett LtdHolding Companies-Divers3644Rainbow ChickenRainbow Chicken LtdFood3740AltechAllied Technologies LtdTelecommunications3839CheckersShoprite Holdings LtdRetail – Food Specialists3943LifeLife Healthcare GroupHealthcare-Services4037NampakNampak LtdPackaging&Containers4149SteinhoffSteinhoff Intl Holdings LtdHolding Companies-Divers4245*Capitec BankCapitec Bank Holdings LtdDiversified Finan Serv4338SAASouth African AirwaysAirlines4447Rand Merchant BankFirstRand LtdBanks4548ImperialImperial Holdings LtdHolding Companies-Divers4641GameMassmart Holdings LtdRetail47Cell COger TelecomTelecommunications4842SantamSantam LtdInsurance4952FoschiniThe Foschini Group LtdRetail5046SaskoPioneer Foods LtdFood ServiceFor the full details in the table above, download the Top 50 in PDF format.Methodology Definition of ‘brand’Financial accounting and reporting standards requires a clear definition of what intellectual property is included in the definition of ‘brand’. Brand Finance defines brand as the “Trademark and associated IP including the word mark and trademark iconography”. Royalty relief Brand Finance calculates brand value using the Royalty Relief approach. This approach involves estimating the likely future sales that are attributable to a brand and calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for the use of the brand. The steps in this process are as follows:Calculate brand strength on a scale of 0 to 100 based on a number of attributes such as emotional connection, financial performance and sustainability, among others. This score is known as the Brand Strength Index.Determine the royalty rate range for the respective brand sectors. This is done by reviewing comparable licensing agreements sourced from Brand Finance’s extensive database of license agreements and other online databases.Calculate royalty rate. The brand strength score is applied to the royalty rate range to arrive at a royalty rate. For example, if the royalty rate range in a brand’s sector is 1-5% and a brand has a brand strength score of 80 out of 100, then an appropriate royalty rate for the use of this brand in the given sector will be 4.2%.Determine brand specific revenues estimating a proportion of parent company revenues attributable to specific brand.Determine forecast brand specific revenues using a function of historic revenues, equity analyst forecasts and economic growth rates.Apply the royalty rate to the forecast revenues to derive brand revenues.Brand revenues are discounted post tax to a net present value which equals the brand value.Why we use the royalty relief approachThe Royalty Relief approach is used for three reasons:It is favoured by tax authorities and the courts because it calculates brand values by reference to documented third-party transactionsIt can be done based on publicly available financial informationIt is compliant with the requirement under the International Valuation Standards Authority to determine the fair market value of brandsBrand RatingsThese are derived from the Brand Strength Index which benchmarks the strength, risk and future potential of a brand relative to its competitors on a scale ranging from D to AAA. It is conceptually similar to a credit rating.AAA+                    – extremely strongAA                         – very strongA                            – strongBBB – B                 – averageCCC – C                – weakDDD – D                – failingValuation DateAll brand values in the report are for the year ending 30 June 2014.Contact DetailsDavid HaighBrand Finance [email protected] IkalafengChairman, Brand Finance Africa+27 82 447 [email protected] SchmitzManaging Director Africa+27 82 087 0507; +267 72 984 [email protected] KempValuation director+27 72 459 [email protected] Brand FinanceBrand Finance plc, the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy, advises strongly branded organisations on maximising their brand value through effective management of their brands and intangible assets.  Founded in 1996, Brand Finance has performed thousands of branded business, brand and intangible asset valuations worth trillions of dollars.Its clients include international brand owners, tax authorities, Intellectual Property lawyers and investment banks. Its work is frequently peer-reviewed by the big four audit practices and its reports have been accepted by various regulatory bodies, including the UK Takeover Panel.Brand Finance is headquartered in London and has a network of international offices in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Amsterdam, Athens, Bangalore, Barcelona, Colombo, Dubai, Geneva, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Lisbon, Madrid, Moscow, New York, Paris, Sao Paulo, Sydney, Singapore, Toronto and Zagreb.Valuation | Analytics | Strategy | Transactions{loadposition press_release}last_img read more

South Africa supports Nigerian tragedy families

first_imgSouth Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation has had an overwhelming response from people whose loved ones are still missing after the building collapse at the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos, Nigeria, on 12 September.“Since the appeal made for family members to send photographs of their affected loved ones to the Operations Centre at Dirco, we have received an overwhelmingly positive response and we appreciate this gesture of cooperation,” the department said in a statement on Thursday.“We have forwarded the pictures to the South African Consulate in Nigeria and the team on the ground in Lagos is making use of the pictures in the process of identifying those of our fallen compatriots, who can still be identified through the use of photographs.“We understand that some of the bodies may take a while to be positively identified due to the nature and extent of the calamity.”Dirco’s operations centre to help families affected by the tragedy can be contacted on 012 351 1000. Its newly set up operations room in Pretoria also provides consular services and advice to families, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The public can contact the department on the following numbers:012 351 0924012 351 1757012 351 1262012 351 1623Assessment team in NigeriaAccording to the South African consulate in Lagos, there were 349 South Africans visiting the church at the time of the incident. Of these, 265 were found alive.That leaves 84 unaccounted for. The number of South Africans confirmed dead, according to the South African mission in Nigeria, currently stands at 67.The mission said 10 bodies have been positively identified as South African citizens by reference to identity documents found on their bodies. The families of the deceased have been informed. Social workers are available at the Dirco operation centre and OR Tambo International Airport to provide support to these families.Once the deceased have been positively identified, the government will ensure their remains are returned home.The South African high commissioner and consul-general have been working the church’s leadership and other authorities, visiting the scene and going to hospitals and mortuaries to identify those nationals injured or killed.In Pretoria, the 24-hour operations centre is relaying information from Nigeria to families, as well as receiving information from families and sharing the information with the team on the ground in Lagos.Task teamAn inter-departmental team has been put together and the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure has also been activated to provide technical assistance and support to the victims and their families.The team is led by Jeff Radebe, the minister in the presidency, and is made up of a number of ministers of national departments. It will lead efforts to support the families and manage the impact of the tragedy.An assessment team has arrived in Lagos to evaluate the situation on the ground. This will give feedback to the government on the arrangements needed to treat or bring home the injured. It will also work with Nigerian authorities to return the dead to South Africa.“Our thoughts are with the families, friends and colleagues that have lost their loved ones in this heart-breaking tragedy,” Dirco said.“The whole nation shares the pain of the mothers, fathers, daughters and sons, who have lost their loved ones. We are all in grief. This is a time for all of us to work together to bring comfort and support to the affected families during this difficult time.”SANews.gov.za and SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more

Admiral keen to deal with criminal charge get back to serving the

first_imgOTTAWA – Vice-Admiral Mark Norman says he’s eager to deal with the criminal charge he faces and return to serving Canadians.Wearing his full navy uniform, Norman made a brief court appearance Tuesday concerning an accusation he leaked sensitive information about a shipbuilding project.Norman was charged last month with breach of trust and denies any wrongdoing. He is slated to return to Ontario court May 15 to begin setting a timetable for proceedings.“I’m anxious to get to court, get this dealt with as quickly as possible and get back to serving the people of Canada,” he said following the appearance.Norman, who was the military’s second-in-command until suspended from duty early last year, faces up to five years in prison.The case revolves around a November 2015 decision by the newly elected Liberal government to reconsider a $700-million contract the Harper Conservatives had awarded to Quebec-based Davie Shipbuilding.Davie was hired to convert a civilian vessel, the MV Asterix, into a temporary resupply ship that would be leased until a permanent replacement was ready.While the plan to revisit the contract was supposed to remain secret, court documents show the RCMP suspected Norman of being upset with the decision out of concern the government would cancel the project.Norman was commander of the navy at the time and, according to the documents, allegedly worked with Davie to pressure the government to keep the project afloat.None of the accusations has been tested in court.Norman’s lawyer, Marie Henein, told the court Tuesday that disclosure of materials from the Crown to the defence is “substantially complete.”The criminal investigation began in December 2015 when the RCMP received a complaint alleging that cabinet secrets had been disclosed.The Mounties gathered evidence through court-approved warrants and a legal assistance treaty request involving U.S. authorities. The investigation also included interviews and the forensic analysis of “a significant number” of documents, the RCMP says.Henein expressed impatience Tuesday with the length of the process.“I’m tired of shadow-boxing. It’s time to step in the courtroom and deal with the evidence,” she told reporters after the hearing.“I don’t try my cases on the courthouse steps. I try them in a courtroom. And that is what we are ready to do. So we want to get this going, get this dealt with and let the public know exactly what this case is about.”Asked if her client was being treated as a scapegoat, Henein said: “I think that’s self-evident, isn’t it?”— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitterlast_img read more