9 September 2015In a recent interview with News24, the captain of the Maasai Cricket Warriors Sonyanga Ole Ngais said their very unique African cricket team uses the sport as “a tool to spread social messages that are affecting our community.” The Warriors message is spreading globally in 2015, with not only an informal team tour that includes South Africa and Europe, but also in a documentary – executive-produced by English fast bowler James Anderson – that traces the origin of the team and their mission.Posted by LastManStands Joburg on Monday, August 24, 2015Warrior originsThe team, made up of Maasai tribesmen from the rural Laikipia region of Kenya, formed in 2009, after meeting a South African wildlife researcher Aliya Bauer with a passion for the game of cricket.During her time in Laikipia, Bauer missed her favourite sport so much, she decided to introduce a fun, informal version of the game to the local community. “I was missing my passion and I just wanted to share it with others,” Bauer told CNN in 2013.Together with local teachers, she gave lessons to school children. These early sessions also captured the imagination of the young Maasai warriors living nearby, watching curiously from the side-lines until finally some decided to try their hand at the game.“It was the first time we saw this kind of a game, because in Kenya cricket is not well known,” says Ngais. “At the time, it was just fun, but as we went on playing and training, we found out that we were starting to love the game.” Bauer, who is now also the team’s coach, agrees: “Cricket is a fabulous medium to build friendships and to engage people in a positive way.”For the team, the game came naturally, “bowling is a lot like throwing a spear,” says Ngais.Last Maasai standingEven without proper playing facilities, a shortage of funding and the absence of regular competition, the team and Bauer worked hard at mastering the game. The team entered the Last Man Stands (LMS) amateur cricket tournament for the first time in 2013.LMS is a shortened format (even shorter and more fast-paced than the T20 game) devised by South African Wayne Greve, designed to entice and encourage amateur but passionate cricketers and anyone new to game. It is a gathering of some of the world’s best and most enthusiastic amateur teams, and is one of the ways the game of cricket is attempting to gain popularity outside its traditional regions, with teams from North and South America, Asia and, of course, the Maasai Cricket Warriors.While the Kenyan team failed to win any of their games at their first LMS tournament in Cape Town, the team improved on its performance during 2014 in London, winning two of their games to reach the semi-finals of their group and getting the chance to play at the hallowed Lord’s cricket ground.The games and exposure, Ngais says, is fun and exciting, but for the team, cricket is a lot more than fun, it is also a chance to tell the Maasai story to the world. The team also use the game to spread important messages to their compatriots: tackling social issues like poverty and illiteracy, and teaching health and welfare messages on HIV/Aids, female circumcision and gender discrimination.The warrior causeThe Warriors use cricket as an educational tool to bridge between the old and the new. For the young team, there is an importance in communicating with the elders of the community, who sometimes fear the changes brought by the modern world, changes they feel may threaten the Maasai tradition and its existence. This wish to balance an established identity and heritage with the need for community development, education and a modern outlook, is something that resonates even in the game of cricket, where long traditions of play and etiquette in the game are threatened by new ways of doing things.The game is a very powerful metaphor between the conflict of young and old, new and comfortable, tradition and new ways of thinking. And the Maasai Cricket Warriors – playing cricket in traditional dress – are trying to bridge those differences. Such has been the local response to the team, it has even inspired more Maasai to pick up a cricket bat and ball, including ladies and junior teams.The Maasai Cricket Warriors are now tackling another African concern: rhino poaching and other illegal hunting.The Maasai people are considered some of the best hunter-trackers in the world, but have always tried to pass on the understanding of the differences between hunting for survival and hunting for sport or pleasure. The team travel the world, explaining these differences and highlighting the scourge of rhino hunting and other illegal hunting, and the detriment hunting has on nature.Warriors in South AfricaPosted by LastManStands Joburg on Monday, August 24, 2015The team recently visited South Africa to play a couple of exhibition games at Johannesburg’s Zoo Lake field, against an invitational side made up of retired professional cricketers and enthusiastic amateurs. The games, while merely a fun get-together in the park, were enthusiastically supported by locals, and it gave the Warriors a chance to spread their goodwill and their environmental message.The Glorious @MaasaiCricket Team… Dress in their traditional gear when playing cricket. pic.twitter.com/ACeN86a1n9— John Robbie (@702JohnRobbie) September 4, 2015The team and their tour were given some much needed exposure, even featured on the 702 John Robbie morning radio show. On the air, the team expressed a desire to take the game back into the wild, challenging a team to meet them in Kruger National Park for a game.Once word of the plans got out, fans from all over South Africa and the world took to social media to express their excitement about the prospective game, even begging for it to be broadcast on live television.Captain Ngais, in a post on the team’s Facebook page, wrote that the team appreciated the support and were eager for the game to go ahead. “We are ready for the game and we will give our best, we will use this as a platform to spread out rhino conservation messages to the whole world. We can’t wait for the official confirmation,” he wrote.Speaking to News24 earlier this month, Ngais said the proposed plan to “play with cricket legends in South Africa.in Kruger National Park.would be the best platform to raise awareness on rhino conservation in South Africa.”South African National Parks department, though, say they do not know of any plans to play a game of cricket in the Kruger, but are keen to help. “No arrangements have been made with the park management regarding the cricket match,” SANParks commented on Radio 702’s Facebook post, while general communications manager for the Kruger National Park William Mabasa urged the team and its management to follow up on the proposed plan. “(The team) need to send us a request and we can take it from there,” he told News24.Meanwhile, the Maasai Cricket Warriors carry on taking the cricketing world by storm, looking forward to their next Last Man Stands tournament in 2016, and continue giving the game a fresh and uniquely African twist.Source: News24 / CNN
The default video selections included ones like Twin Peaks, Donnie Darko, Hot Fuzz, Monty Python, and so on. It was a fairly predictable selection, but where Jinni promises to come into its own is when you filter down. There is a ‘Story Tuner’, which presented some interesting filter options. Tags:#Features#Recommendation Engines#web richard macmanus I filtered based on the story tuners (little known, light, realistic, fast-ish) and got recommended a 1990 movie called ‘Mr Destiny’ starring James Belushi. I can’t recall ever seeing it (little known? check!) and while I’m not really a James Belushi fan, it’d be worth a try. I tweaked the light/serious meter up to ‘serious’ and that gave me a neat selection of 9 films, few of which I’d seen – but they all looked interesting. This is what you want from a recommendation engine – to be told about products you didn’t know about before. So Jinni appears to work quite well. There are many other filters other than mood; rating, date, length, plot, genres, and more. In his review, Chris Gampat concluded that Jinni isn’t quite Pandora for movies. That may be true, but we think Jinni is worth a try if you’re a movie or tv show buff. It’s also similar to ClerkDogs, which we reviewed recently. So if you’ve tried either or both, let us know in the comments what you thought.ReadWriteWeb Resources for Recommendation TechnologiesWe will be profiling other recommendation companies in upcoming posts. We also invite you to explore using our custom ReadWriteWeb Resources:RWW Recommendation Industry Feed Favorites OPML file (save link)RWW Recommendation Industry Feeds – Best of Feed (copy and paste to your reader)Click to preview the above feeds before subscribing (pop-up window)RWW Recommendation Site Search (Visit and Bookmark) Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting We’re currently running a series of posts about recommendation technologies and in the comments of our last post about the Netflix Prize, a company called Jinni made itself known. Jinni is a kind of ‘Pandora for movies’, because it aims to recommend movies and tv shows to you based on its Movie Genome (aping Pandora’s Music Genome Project). Jinni’s genome project contains over two thousand “genes” that describe plot, mood, style, setting, soundtrack and more. Jinni says that its ontology was created by film professionals – much like Pandora employs people to create its unique music database. How it WorksJinni says that its video content is automatically indexed, using a mixture of metadata and reviews. It has a strong semantic technologies component, as it uses a proprietary Natural Language Processing solution to assign semantic tags to content and users. The company claims that this allows Jinni to “rapidly index more titles, becoming the universal catalog for professional video.” When it launched in December, Jinni had 10,000 movie, TV and video titles. It also offers APIs for Internet and TV content providers. In terms of its recommendations philosophy, Jinni believes that a mix of algorithms and human selection is the best solution. Although the initial data set comes from humans entering movie information into a computer, the actual recommendations come from its algorithm – which “can deeply analyze the type of content you like” and hence learn about your tastes in movies. Jinni gives you recommendations by “comparing your Taste Types and the genes of all the titles in our catalog”.Does it Work?I took Jinni for a test drive, with a search on ‘mood’. I quite like an “offbeat” movie on a Friday night, so it was an appropriate place to start. Also ‘offbeat’ movies like Napoleon Dynamite are the type of films that have caused the Netflix Prize contestants a lot of problems. So I clicked on that mood to see what came up. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…
Congratulatory messages poured in from all corners as former cricket stars took to social media to applaud India’s resounding win against Bangladesh in the World Cup quarter-finals, on Thursday. Australian pace legend Glenn McGrath is amazed at the one-sided games so far in the knockout stage and hopes that his country also has it easy against Pakistan in the third quarterfinals on Friday. “Well played @BCCI on a convincing win over @BCBtigers Both quarter finals have been one sided. Will the trend continue tomorrow?,” McGrath tweeted just after India’s 109-run win at the MCG.Well played @OfficialCSA on a dominate win over @OfficialSLC Sad to see the legends @KumarSanga2 @MahelaJay finish their one day careers Glenn McGrath (@glennmcgrath11) March 18, 2015India now await the winner of the Australia-Pakistan clash in the semi-finals and former Aussie top-order batsman Damien Martyn feels that the ‘Men in Blue’ are in dangerous form for any side that moves into the last-four stage.”A fantastic display today by @BCCI far to good in all areas. They are a side in very dangerous form leading into the S/F,” Martyn said on twitter.A fantastic display today by @BCCI far to good in all areas. They are a side in very dangerous form leading into the S/F @cricketworldcup Damien Martyn (@dmartyn30) March 19, 2015Former India captain Bishen Singh Bedi was indeed pleased with India’s clinical showing but advised Bangladesh not to lose heart after going down to the defending champions.”Well done India once again terrific team effort. Keep up the gr8 work lads & do us all PROUD!God Bless!!”, the spinning great tweeted.advertisement”Bangladesh lost 2 World Cup holders. No disgrace in that at all!!Reaching quarters 1st ever time was an achievement in itself!!,” he said in another tweet.Another spin king Anil Kumble was not only appreciative of India’s efforts but also hailed skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who achieved the feat of registering 100 ODI wins as captain.”Great knock @ImRo45 well done team India. In SF now. Congrats @msdhoni on your 100 victory. Make it 102!!!! This cwc2015,” Kumble said on twitter.Great knock @ImRo45 well done team India. In SF now. Congrats @msdhoni on your 100 victory. Make it 102!!!! This cwc2015 Anil Kumble (@anilkumble1074) March 19, 2015Former India batsman VVS Laxman also praised the team in a series of tweets and had a word of appreciation for the young Bangladesh side.”Congrats India for winning the quarterfinal in a comprehensive manner.The bowlers keep improving & impressing.Clinical performance #CWC2015.” “Bangladesh may have lost the QF but they should b proud of their performance& the way their youngsters played in this World Cup.Good luck:),” Laxman wrote on his twitter handle.Congrats India for winning the quarterfinal in a comprehensive manner.The bowlers keep improving & impressing.Clinical performance #CWC2015 VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) March 19, 2015Indian cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar also expressed his happiness over the way Dhoni’s side outplayed Bangladesh in all the departments. Praising the Rohit Sharma’s match-winning 137, Sachin, who was part of the teams 2011 triumph Mumbai, also hopes that India can defend their title successfully.”Terrific all round performance team India. Keep it going for two more matches. Loved the attitude on the field and the execution of the plans. Congratulations @ImRo45 on a well constructed 100 and great job by the bowling unit #CWC15,” tweeted the batting maestro.
Indian tennis veteran Mahesh Bhupathi made a strong comeback to the circuit by winning his men’s doubles first round but his former partner Leander Paes had to bite the dust as he lost his opening match at the Australian Open here on Wednesday.Mahesh Bhupathi with his Luxembourg partner Gilles Muller took two hours and 13 minutes to oust local pair of Alex Bolt and Andrew Whittington 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-4 on Court No.7 of the Melbourne Park.After sharing the first two sets, it all boiled down to the decider where Bhupathi and Muller got the one break of serve they needed to clinch the set and match and advance to the second round. Though the Australian pair got two chances of breaking the serve, they failed to convert them.Services both flourished and failed during the match. While 26 aces were fired in, 12 by Bhupathi-Muller, both teams also served up five doubles faults each! The Indo-Luxembourgish pair won less points and served less winners than their opponents, but they still managed to win the crucial points and the match.Later on Court No.15, Paes and his partner Jeremy Chardy crashed out after losing in straight sets to Colombian pair of Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah. The 12th seeds took just an hour and 12 minutes to clinch the match 6-3, 6-4.Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna will play their respective women’s and men’s doubles first round matches on Thursday.