The news of his death came as a surprise but it was not a shock, as we were all aware of the state of health of “Madiba” given the world media’s 24-hour stakeout at the foot of his hospital bed, almost, in the months prior to his death.
So, it’s funny how, after causing a gaggle of reporters to converge on his Pretoria hospital, a terminally ill Mandela still managed to wrong-foot them all, and somewhat peacefully slip away and avoid a similar distasteful media feeding frenzy.
So his knack of outwitting opponents, detractors and others alike continued to the end and I recall a certain Iron Lady forever being tarnished by her unwillingness to impose sanctions on an apartheid regime and her labeling of Mandela a terrorist.
In 1996, as President of South Africa, that same “terrorist” paid a triumphant state visit to Britain but declined to meet the former Prime Minister. Then, in 2006, as Tory leader and aspiring Prime Minister, David Cameron wrote an article for the Observer newspaper where he recanted Thatcher’s views on Mandela and the ANC.
But one of my enduring memories will be the day that Mandela was released from the notorious Robben Island prison. As a young boy, living on the Caribbean island of St Lucia, I watched, tearfully, as Mandela made his first few steps of freedom after spending 27 years behind bars.
As someone acutely aware of the struggles in South Africa, Mandela’s struggle was my struggle and his struggle was for freedom, equality and dignity for all South Africans; thus, merely the rights enshrined in the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
But what endeared me even more to Mandela was his unequivocal willingness to heal the scars of apartheid, to reconcile a nation, and to look forward to what South Africa could be – a united, rainbow nation under the sun.
This profound legacy was claimed by Mandela whilst a similar one afforded to Robert Mugabe, a hero of the struggles for freedom in former Rhodesia (nka Zimbabwe), was lost.
I never met Mr Mandela, but I’m proud to say that my sister did.
In 1998, as President of South Africa, Mandela paid a visit to St Lucia to attend the 25th anniversary of the founding of Caricom, the Caribbean trade block.
As part of the four-person organising committee for the closing ceremony, my sister was introduced to the great man and she’s very proud to have a snap of the occasion.
Welcome to the New p2people! An experience like no other jobs site!
Over the last several weeks, the p2people team have been working flat-out to bring you an unrivaled and compelling user experience. To ensure that no stone was left unturned, we even delayed our scheduled November 11 launch. However, today, we’re both excited and proud to announce the arrival of our much improved service!
There have been a number of new features added and old ones improved. Some of the new features we’d like to highlight include:
Engaging User Interface
We’ve redesigned p2people’s UI to help you do things easier, quicker and first time.
So, for example, we’ve made options more readily accessible and easily selectable and added more data completion features or “auto completes” to allow you to quickly enter information.
And through our 1message™ technology, you’ll always be informed of every event or required action in a consistent and unobtrusive way.
We’ve made p2people leaner. Overall, p2people will load faster and seem more responsive and this benefit will be felt across most of our site.
So, whether you’re searching for jobs or advertising your job on our site, you should experience this speed boost. This means there’ll be less delay in getting started, so there’s more time to get things done.
Industry Leading Security
The security of your data is paramount and to strengthen site security, we’ve added the leading web application firewall, ModSecurity, to help keep your data safe and secure.
In fact, a recent report found that ModSecurity was more effective than CloudFlare or Incapsula – the two leading providers that offer similar services – in preventing vulnerabilities.
Working alongside ModSecurity to reduce the effects of denial of service, distributed denial of service and brute force attacks, we’ve deployed mod_evasive, Fail2ban and other security best practices to help keep your information safe and secure.
Another new feature that we’re very excited about, is our dockable/undockable bars. They allow convenient access to search whenever your scrolling, for example, jobs or services.
Moreover, they make it easy to share jobs or news of interest with your friends or followers.
And dockable bars are swappable, which means, for example, you can swap out the searchbar and swap in the jobs-by-email bar, if you’d like to save your current search as a job email, which is a real convenience!
Interested in what’s new with p2people but too busy to visit our site? You can now easily submit your email to receive the latest news through our biweekly newsletter.
To sign up, just go to a dockable and click on the “Get biweekly newsletter” link underneath it. We’ll add your email to the newsletter email list and you’ll receive your copy during the next mailing.
We’ve added continuous scrolling to selected pages on our site. This allows you to scroll new jobs or services in real-time, as they arrive!
Moreover, you can now grab the next (or previous) page of jobs or services by simply scrolling down (or up), so there’s no need to jump to the top or bottom of the listing to click on the next page button! We seamlessly handle page navigation in the background, so you can focus all your attention on finding your next job!
These are just some of the new features you’ll immediately notice once you start using p2people. But the list doesn’t end here. We’re polishing off some even more exciting features, which we’ll be releasing in the coming weeks ahead! So why not visit p2people and sign up to our newsletter to keep informed of what’s new with p2people!
We hope you’ll enjoy the New p2people, as we’ve enjoyed making it a safer, more productive and convenient service to help you get freelance jobs and outsource your services!
The p2people team
Over the last several weeks, the p2people team have been working flat out to give our users a new and engaging experience.
All the current changes are now in, and we’re both excited and proud to announce that on Monday, 11 November, you can get your first chance to view and experience the new p2people!
In the interim, please continue to enjoy our site, but don’t forget to visit us on Monday to check out our changes!
We hope you’ll enjoy the new experience!
The analysis from the Kepler data is in and the findings are astonishing. If we account for planets not observed or could not be observed by Kepler, then in the Milky Way alone, 1 in 5 sun-like stars have Earth-sized planets in the same, warm and welcoming habitable zone that gave rise to life on Earth.
This boggles the mind!
Think, the nearest Earth-sized, habitable planet could be a mere 12 light years away - that’s less than 3-times the distance of the Alpha Centauri system, our closest neighbouring star system, from Earth. And it is possible that the closest, habitable Earth-sized planet could actually be hiding in the strong glare of the Alpha Centauri stars, given that an Earth-sized planet has already been found closely orbiting one of those sun-like stars.
But that’s not where this incredible finding ends. Apparently, if you tote up the numbers, the Milky Way alone could harbour up to 8.8 billion habitable earth-sized planets! And given that there are approximately 100-300 billion galaxies, then the universe could have more Earth-sized planets than there are grains of sand on Earth!
So, if we were to look up to the evening sky, and scanned the brightest stars, we could be looking at the light from a star that has an Earth-sized, habitable planet and given the numbers that exist around stars like our own, it is possible, given the laws of physics, chemistry and biology, that several of those planets could have some form of life, just like that which exists on our Earth.
This is truly amazing!
Looking to advertise your jobs or services for FREE, quickly? Well, you can do just that thru p2people Quick Ads!
Quick Ads allow you to advertise your jobs or services and sign up all at the same time. So there’s no delay in making your jobs or services live!
What’s more, you can even sign up and make your ad live through your existing Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn account!
And existing members can also take advantage of Quick Ads to advertise a job or service and sign in, all at the same time!
And remember, p2people is FREE to join and FREE to place ads, so why not try Quick Ads, today!
Making it easy for you to make you ads live is just another way how p2people makes it easy for you to get freelance jobs or outsource your services.
The talk will take place tomorrow, Tuesday 16 April, and is sponsored by the School of Science and Technology of Middlesex University.
I’ll be talking about how I conceived p2people, and the tasks and challenges in turning my idea into p2people.co.uk.
You can learn more about the event here.