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  • 20 Facts about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

    Ethiopia is building one of the largest dams in the world, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) formerly known as Millennium Dam and sometimes referred to as Hidase Dam, on the River Nile near the Sudan border. Let's see some of the major facts about the Dam.

    1-Location: The dam is being built on the Blue Nile River in North western Ethiopia, a few Kilometers from the Ethio– Sudan common border, in Benishangul/Gumuz Regional State, Metekel zone, Buamza Kebele, between Lebeyate and Negro mountains. The project is located approximately 500 km north west of the capital Addis Ababa

    2-Area Coverage-The dam will flood 1,680 square kilometers of forest in northwest Ethiopia.

    3-Reservoir Size: Holds about 74 bn cubic meters of water.

    4-Projected Capacity-The project’s projected electricity capacity  more than  6,000MW and when completed it will have an estimated production of 15,000 GWh per year.

    5-Dam size: 145m high and 1,708m long 

    6-Dam Cost: US$4.8bn (equal to about 15% of Ethiopia’s GDP in 2012, and about 60% of the annual budget). 

    7-Site Identification-The eventual site for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam was identified by the United States Bureau of Reclamation during a Blue Nile survey conducted between 1956 and 1964.

    8-Site Survey-The Ethiopian Government surveyed the site in October 2009 and August 2010. In November 2010, a design for the dam was submitted.

    9-Publicity-On 31 March 2011, a day after the project was made public, a US$4.8 billion contract was awarded without competitive bidding to Salini Costruttori and the dam's foundation stone was laid on 02 April 2011 by the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

    10-Initial Name-The dam was originally called "Project X", and after its contract was announced it was called the Millennium Dam.

    11- Renaming-On 15 April 2011, the Council of Ministers renamed it Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

    12-Fund Source-The dam is being funded by government bonds and private donations.

    13-Contractors-The main contractor is the Italian company Salini Costruttori,and other local contractors.

    14-Benefits-A major benefit of the dam will be hydropower production. The electricity to be produced by the hydropower plant is to be sold in Ethiopia and to neighboring countries including Sudan and possibly Egypt.

    15-Job Opportunities-It is expected to create up to 12,000 jobs. 

    16-Resettlement-Approximately 20,000 people will be resettled during the course of the project.

    17-Flood Handling-The dam will be capable of handling a flood of 19,370 cubic metres per second, will reduce alluvium in Sudan by 100 million cubic metres and also facilitate irrigation of around 500,000ha of new agricultural lands.

    18-Total Turbines- The total installed capacity of the dam will accommodate 16 turbines 375 MW installed capacity. 10 turbines will be on the left bank, while another 6 turbines on the right bank.

    19-Upgrading- On March 27, 2012, the Ethiopian government announced a revision of the design to the power plant's design, increasing it from 5,250 MW to 6,000 MW.  

    20-Rank-At 6,000 MW, the dam will be the largest hydroelectric power plant in Africa  and the 11th largest in the world when completed.

    Sources: internationalrivers.org , en.wikipedia.org ,ibtimes.co.ukwater-technology.netsalini-impregilo.com and hornaffairs.com

     

     

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  • 7 best free language learning sites

    Learning a language has a multitude of benefits including making us smarter, building our multitasking skills, improving our memory, and making us more perceptive. In order to aid the development of this important life skill we have compiled a list of top websites for language learning.

     1. Busuu

    As well as winning the the BETT Innovator Award, TechCrunch Europe Award, Busuu has also been named ‘Best Education Startup in Europe’ by EdTech Europe. It has an international community of over 50 million native speakers and is available in 12 languages. The content is curated by an in-house team of educational experts and teachers and the site provides you with personalised feedback on your exercises via an integrated chat feature.

     2.Duolingo

    Duolingo provides language lessons in 13 languages with speaking, listening, translation, and multiple choice challenges at different levels. You can instantly see which answers are correct and set new challenges to help further your progress. Duolingo helps you stay on track by recording how many days in a row you use it and allowing you to earn points from your progress. Teachers can also track students’ learning.

     3. Learn a language

    Learn a language offers interactive audio/visual Learning Lounge to assist you in learning a foreign language. There's also a Lingo Dingo game to help learn a language online. The site includes important phrases like greetings, survival expressions and slang words in 19 languages. 

    4. FSI Languages Courses

    Foreign Language Institute courses were designed by linguists and have high-quality learning materials. They were developed by the United States government and lessons are available in 48 languages.

     5. Open Culture

    Open Culture offers a repository of free resources in 48 languages. Resources are curated on a regular basis. 

     6. Erasmus Plus Online linguistic support

    There is a specific tool available for Erasmus Plus participants, the Erasmus Plus Online linguistic supportThis tool is available in six languages and it is specifically designed for participants in mobility. These courses are developed to assist beneficiaries to improve their language skills before they travel to their country of destination. Students are required to undertake a language assessment and need to have been selected by their sending institutions before they use the tool.

    7.Memrise

    This site uses ‘mems’, which are mnemonic flashcards that use your pre-existing knowledge to help remember new vocabulary. The Portuguese mem for “yo quero,” for example, showed a man in a shop saying to the helpful clerk, “you care! Ohh!”

    Happy language learning!

    Sources: https://ec.europa.eu  and http://www.telegraph.co.uk 

     

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  • 5 Places to learn Online for Free

    According to neuroscience professor Ken Kosik, adult education, or specifically engaging in challenging new learning experiences, encourages brain plasticity. And plasticity is associated with flexibility, innovation, and joy.

    Equally as compelling, continued learning has been shown to protect your brain from developing diseases like Alzheimer's.

    Finally, in today's charged political climate, it's worth noting that an educated populace has always been shown to withstand challenging times more effectively.

    Here are a few ways to get educated this year, quickly and powerfully:

    1. Coursera

    Take classes from universities like Stanford, Penn, Duke, or Yale without the $60,000-plus per year price tag. Coursera offers over 1,500 courses from over 145 university partners.

    Courses usually include videos and coursework like online quizzes monitored by a professor. You can search by topic or university.

    Sample classes:

    • Positive Psychology: This course looks at research findings in the field of positive psychology as well as practical applications that you can put to use immediately to help you live a "full and meaningful life."
    • Become a More Effective Manager: Learn how effective managers assess performance and use coaching to create clear expectations and accountability, as well as how to have powerful conversations that get results.
    • Securing Digital Democracy: Learn about the potential security risks of electronic and internet voting. This course covers the past, present, and future of election technologies.
    • The Making of the U.S. President: A Short History in Five Elections: The course description says: "As Trump takes office as 45th president of the U.S., this course explores presidential elections in historical perspective.... It tells the story of key campaigns, and by doing so it investigates how politics changed over time--and how understanding the past sheds light on the current campaign."

    2. Alison

    If you're an entrepreneur or a globally-minded businessperson, you'll love Alison, a U.K.-based learning hub. It's got classes in English, French, and German, with practical courses on everything from American copyright law to nonprofit fundraising. Sample courses:

    Completion of a course grants you "certification," a British designation.

    3. Academic Earth

    The advantage of Academic Earth is that it creates curated playlists, collecting relevant lectures from different courses around a specific topic. Sample playlists:

    It also has interesting and occasionally entertaining video electives, such as:

    4. 99U

    With the tagline "Empowering the Creative Community," 99U is kind of like TED for entrepreneurs only: Its focus is heavily on creativity, innovation, and business development. Sample lectures:

    • Why Unrest Is Gold for Creatives: "In an era of upheaval and crisis, creative expression takes on new urgency.... For those creatives feeling discontent in these fractious times, it's a reminder that the simmering feeling of anger can be best used to issue a call to action and serve as a tool for change."
    • How to Beat the Imposter Syndrome Feeling: "Approximately 70 percent of us will experience a period of self-doubt at least once in our lives. Rebuild your confidence using these five strategies."
    • Paola Antonelli: Rejection Is a Sign You're Onto Something New: "Your creative work can make the world a better place. But only if you allow yourself to shock, disgust, and--yes--even fail."

    5. Udacity

    If you're serious about learning how to code this year or need to bone up on computer science or math skills, this clean site is ideal. It includes an icon next to videos to let you know just how advanced a course is, so you can start with an easier one if you're new to a subject. Sample courses:

    • Android Basics Nanodegree by Google (beginner): "Get a solid grasp on the basics of foundational programming skills used in creating mobile apps."
    • VR Developer Nanodegree (intermediate): "Virtual Reality is the future of creative content. Job opportunities are skyrocketing, making this the perfect time to launch your career. Built by Google VR, Vive, Upload Collective."
    • Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree (advanced): "In this program, you'll learn the skills and techniques used by self-driving car teams at the most advanced technology companies in the world. Built by Mercedes, Nvidia, Otto, Didi, BMW, McLaren, NextEv."

    "Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school." --Albert Einstein

    Source: inc.com

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  • 18 Effective Habits to develop and become a Highly Successful Person

    Whether we like it or not, a big part of what we do in life is governed by habits. Even more importantly, habits can lead us to think and feel in certain patterns.

    Since habits are so powerful, it's worth paying attention to the ones that are most effective.

    Here are 18 effective habits of successful people, learn them, implement them and make them your own.

    1. Successful people are persistent.

    They know nothing can take the place of persistence and determination, so they make a habit of never quitting until they get results.

    2. Successful people are self-confident.

    Self-confidence comes from the habit of mastering yourself, your skills and talents. It's a process that slowly but surely builds unshakeable trust in yourself--which is a vital element of success.

    3. Successful people think big.

    When you think big, you act big, and big things happen. What is the next big idea, project, business that you can think about?

    4. Successful people have an unswerving commitment.

    Their strong convictions mean they'll structure everything else in their life around their most important goal, doing whatever it takes to make it happen.

    5. Successful people contribute generously.

    Successful people make it a habit to bring value to others. To become successful, look for ways to give, not to get.

    6. Successful people have tremendous willpower.

    They have the strength to see things through without vacillating or procrastinating. When you want it, you make it happen. The world's greatest achievers are those who have had the willpower to stay focused on their goals and consistent in their efforts.

    7. Successful people have patience.

    They understand that in everything there are failures and frustrations. To take setbacks personally just slows things down that much more. Their habit of patience is not so much about the ability to wait as knowing how to act while they're waiting.

    8. Successful people are optimistic.

    They choose positivity instead of fear. Optimism is an ideal strategy for making a better future--you have to first believe that the future can be better before you can step up and take responsibility for making it so.

    9. Successful people are flexible.

    They make it a habit of being agile and adaptable. Many of them have become successful doing something different from what they initially started out to do. They know the world is always changing and they refuse to lock themselves into a box.

    10. Successful people know their "why."

    Successful people make a habit of knowing why they do what they do--what they're in it for. They've given thought to their reasons and motives, which in turn gives them the courage and the determination to continue.

    11. Successful people think long term.

    Most people think short term, because they want instant gratification. Successful people know how to set that desire aside and cultivate the habit of thinking in the long term. They plan ahead because they know that lasting success beats momentary gratification.

    12. Successful people are strong communicators.

    People who can communicate effectively excel in life. Successful people understand that in order to achieve great success, you must first must understand your central message and how best to communicate it.

    13. Successful people take risks.

    They know you can't make important gains without important risk. If you take risk out of life, you take opportunity out along with it.

    14. Successful people have self-management skills.

    In the end, everything boils down to personal relationships and self-management. Successful people make those areas a priority--people skills and personal development.

    15. Successful people are resourceful.

    They develop networks and cultivate contacts, and they know how to make things work. They know when you have the right people with the right abilities in the right place at the right time, everyone benefits.

    16.Successful people take definitive actions.

    If there's one critical thing that separates successful people from the herd, it's this: successful people take action. They don't talk about what they're going to do or think about their intentions. They get up and get it done.

    17. Successful people play by their own rules.

    They make a point of working harder than everyone else and learning every single detail from scratch. And because they do what most people aren't willing to do, they get to set the agenda.

    18. Successful people think winning thoughts.

    They don't allow any room for negativity or doubt. They may even visualize how success will look and feel. They intuitively understand that once you can think it you can achieve it.

    In the end, successful people know the importance of having effective, healthy winning habits, and they work hard on creating, building and cultivating winning habits to make their success a reality.

    Source: inc.com

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