The North Coast Section prep football playoffs continue today as a trio of local teams will look to advance beyond the first round. St. Bernard’s, the lone home team in action today, will host Albany while a pair of resurgent teams from the Little 4 Conference, Hoopa and Ferndale, will look to pick up upset road wins over St. Helena and Berean Christian, respectively.No. 12 Albany (6-3) at No. 5 St. Bernard’s (6-4)If a match up was ever that of the “new kid on the block” against the …
A new African character comes to Tidmouth Sheds, home to popular children’s television show Thomas and Friends, in 2018. Meet Nia the Kenyan engine, who will be helping to keep fan favourites Thomas, Skarloey and James the Red Engine on a more modern and inclusive track.Nia, a new character in the Thomas and Friends children’s television series, is a female Kenyan train engine whose brightly coloured designs are inspired by traditional Maasai and Samburu patterns. (Image: Thomas and Friends YouTube)CD AndersonAnnouncing a new direction for the Thomas and Friends TV show, Mattel said that several other changes to the 30-year-old show would help to update the brand’s image and popularity, particularly in Africa and Asia, where the characters and stories were hugely popular. The toy and media company that owns the Thomas brand made the announcement on 17 October 2017.Changes include some new female characters, including Nia, a train engine from Kenya, and Rebecca, a strong-willed, outspoken electric locomotive. Other female characters include an aeroplane from Australia and an Indian train yard controller. The changes are all an effort to modernise the Thomas brand and give it a distinctive international flavour.Other new modifications for the story include travels for Thomas and his friends outside their traditional home of Tidmouth Sheds on the island of Sodor. The characters will be going on adventures on railroad systems in Africa, Asia and North America when the new reworked series begins in 2018.Meet NiaIn addition to doing extensive research among the show’s young fans and their parents around the world, Mattel also consulted the United Nations Organisation for Education, Science and Culture (Unesco) to create an accurate and reverent African character: Nia the Kenyan engine.Nia – the Swahili word for purpose – was an adventurous and fun engine who taught Thomas about friendship between different cultures, Mattel said.The train design itself also has an African flavour, based on an East African Railways engine – the KUR ED1 – which ran on the Kenya-Uganda route during the late 1920s.And Nia looks good too, featuring brightly coloured designs based on traditional Maasai and Samburu patterns. “[She] is painted orange with yellow lining. She has yellow, green and red patterns painted along her tanks, dome and cylinders, and her footplate is painted red. Her name and number are painted on the sides of her tanks and cab respectively in yellow,” said Mattel.“We have added new female characters before, but I think, with a show like Thomas, they tend to fall into the background after initial introduction,” said Thomas and Friends producer Ian McCue. “What we wanted to do here was really bring these two female characters to the forefront.”Another of the show’s producers, Micaela Winter, said gender equality was important to the creators in the new series and going forward.“[Thomas’ new direction and the addition of new, more representative characters] is really about learning about the world and bringing the world into the living room for [young viewers],” said Kate Schlomann, vice-president of branding at Mattel. “Which we haven’t done before.”The online response to the new African character has been positive, with children and adults praising the new, modern approach to a beloved children’s show.Gender shakeup at Tidmouth Sheds; meet Thomas the Tank Engine’s new friends Nia and Rebecca. https://t.co/NC5gx7Bhdt pic.twitter.com/5hYmJMGcLy— The Associated Press (@AP) October 14, 2017Thomas and Friends: Big World Big Adventures: Thomas and Nia in Africa!!: https://t.co/BaW4orKDmB via @YouTube— ?Spoopy Spencer? (@TTTE_Fan_03) October 19, 2017Micaela Winter on new Thomas & Friends train Nia: “She’s a strong, empowered woman who boys and girls can really look up to” #MIPJunior pic.twitter.com/xsn0uxmw2h— MIP Markets (@mip) October 14, 2017“Hello, my name is Nia.”Woah! @TheIronEngine and @TheUnluckyTug predicted the future! pic.twitter.com/JRDJWok7n5— ?Thomas Theorist ? (@AdamPhelan5) October 14, 2017Nia and the other new characters will debut in a feature-length special titled Big World! Big Adventures! before becoming part of the regular cast in the 22nd season of the Thomas and Friends TV series in 2018.For more information about the new characters and adventures, visit the official Thomas and Friends website here. Source: Associated PressWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest I like my barn cats very much, and I appreciate the great job they do of keeping vermin out of my barn, but I like to keep their numbers in check. I’m a big fan of spaying and neutering barn cats and all of my cats have had these surgeries.Last fall, three kittens showed up in my barn. They were obviously just weaned from their mother. These little critters were cute, but also really wild.The kittens decided to make my barn their home, and I spent all winter and early spring trying to tame them down enough that I could catch them so they could also be spayed or neutered.As luck would have it, one week before their scheduled surgeries, one of the kittens that had now grown into a juvenile cat gave birth to three kittens. Uh oh.The kittens are cute, but I don’t need more mouths to feed. They are also a testament to just how quickly young female felines become fertile. This little cat was not quite full grown herself when she gave birth to her kittens.The good news is that I have already found homes for the little ones if I can still find them and get ahold of them when the time comes for weaning. The bad news is that I will have to act quickly once they are weaned to make sure this accidental cat pregnancy doesn’t happen again.Thank goodness for the nice folks that run low cost spay and neuter clinics for cats.
New sports minister Jitendra Singh, on his first day in office on Tuesday, stressed on increasing transparency and accountability in sports federations, saying he would like to carry forward “the remarkable job” done by his predecessor Ajay Maken.The 41-year-old politician from Alwar, Rajasthan, added that his aim would be to bring all the concerned parties together on a common platform regarding the implementation of the contentious National Sports Development Bill.”I have just taken over and it would take me some time to get my bearings. My predecessor Ajay Maken did a remarkable job during his stint and I want to carry that forward,” Jitendra said at a media interaction on Tuesday.”Regarding the implementation of the sports bill, I would like to talk to all the sports federations and take everyone on board. We need to work together. At the end of the day, sports and the sportspersons should be our focus.”I always feel that in any job, there should be transparency and accountability.That is important everywhere, be it government or any other organisation. But it will be premature for me to say anything right now.Let me have an interaction with all the stakeholders and try to take it forward.” When asked about his roadmap to capitalise on India’s creditable show at the London Olympics, Jitendra said having been a sportsperson himself made him aware of the problems faced by the fraternity.”I have been a national level shooter myself and am aware of their problems. I would like to get more details and for that I would speak to Ajay Maken. Basically, we need to have a focused plan to develop sports,” Jitendra, who was a trap shooter himself, said.He added that having been part of the home ministry for more than a year, he has realised that sports has a unique power to mobilise youth towards a positive lifestyle.”In a country where more than 50 per cent of the population is young, the ministry that I have been assigned has a very important role to play as it not only looks after sports but also youth affairs,” he said.advertisement