CanadaVOTES: Liberal Sandra Gardiner running in Perth—Wellington
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CanadaVOTES: Liberal Sandra Gardiner running in Perth—Wellington

Friday, September 26, 2008

On October 14, 2008, Canadians will be heading to the polls for the federal election. Liberal Party candidate Sandra Gardiner is standing for election in the riding of Perth—Wellington. A Stratford resident for the last 17 years, she has worked as a Registered Nurse for the last 14, in hospital, long term, and community care settings. She is a member of Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, Canadian Association of Physicians concerned about the Environment, FarmGate5, Common Action for the Restoration of the Environment, Autism Ontario, the Planning Committee for Rotary Respite House, and board member of Optimism Place, the local women’s shelter.

Wikinews contacted Sandra, to talk about the issues facing Canadians, and what they and their party would do to address them. Wikinews is in the process of contacting every candidate, in every riding across the country, no matter their political stripe. All interviews are conducted over e-mail, and interviews are published unedited, allowing candidates to impart their full message to our readers, uninterrupted.

The riding is currently held by Conservative Gary Schellenberger, who was also MP for the previous riding, Perth—Middlesex. Perth—Wellington includes the County of Perth, and the Town of Minto and the townships of Mapleton and Wellington North in the County of Wellington. Also challenging Schellenberger are John Cowling (Green), Irma DeVries (Christian Heritage), Julian Ichim (Marxist-Leninist), and Kerry McManus (NDP).

For more information, visit the campaign’s official website, listed below.

Four Benefits Of Window Tinting Wichita Ks

byAlma Abell

Many people associate Window tinting Wichita KS with a vehicle, but there are also several benefits with tinting windows in your home. NorthStar Comfort Services can tint the windows in your home with a product that allows you to have a clear view of the outside, but those on the outside cant see in. Here are four benefits with home tinted windows.

Energy Efficiency

Tinted windows reduce the amount of heat that comes in the house from the outside air and sun, which reduces the amount of energy used by the air conditioner. During the winter, the tinting acts as a layer of insulation that traps heat inside the house, so you will not waste money on heat escaping heat.

Safety

The tint film installed on the glass window panes prevents the window pane from shattering should it break. The glass is held together with the film so shards of glass do not fly into the house. It also makes the glass more difficult to break away if a burglar tries to break the window to enter your home. Window tinting also provides privacy by preventing those who are passing by from being able to see inside your home.

Save Money

When you have tinted windows the UV rays from the sun are blocked from entering through the windows and damaging carpets, furniture, drapes and cabinets. Direct sunlight can also damage artwork, electronics and fade the color on flooring and walls, so tinted windows will save you a significant amount of money on replacing these items.

Aesthetic Appeal

Window tinting is available in a wide range of colors and shades that can improve the look of your home. The privacy, security and energy efficiency of tinted windows can also help increase the resale value of your home. In order for tinting film to work effectively, it must be installed correctly. It is important that you contact a professional window tinting company to install the tinting film for you to ensure it is fitted and installed correctly. In most situations a professional window tinting company can complete all of the windows in your home in one day. The tint film is easy to maintain, but it is important to follow the manufactures instructions for cleaning. Visit website for more information.

BT Global Services to double US revenues and cut costs
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BT Global Services to double US revenues and cut costs

Friday, September 15, 2006

BT Global Services this week laid out its vision for the next three years: its revenues to double in the USA, Japan, India and China, and £400m of annual savings, achieved through offshoring and slashing its procurement costs. £200m of this will come from a reduction in what it spends on technology from vendors on large systems integration projects.

CEO Andy Green admitted that BT had been slower than rivals such as IBM and Accenture to ramp up its offshore headcount. But he claimed that BT Global Services is thriving as the fastest-growing division within BT. He said that the division was outperforming its closest rivals, T-Systems, Orange Enterprise and AT&T Enterprise, which had all posted revenue declines for the most recent quarter. He said BT was fast becoming a familiar brand to businessmen in New York, Tokyo, Mumbai and Shanghai.

He disclosed a few revenue figures not revealed before. For the financial year ending March 2006, UK revenues rose just 2% to £5.5bn, while overseas revenues shot up 48% to £3.3bn. And of the £8.8bn total revenue, £1.6bn was captive work for its parent, while of the remaining £7.2bn, 18% came from the UK government sector and 17% from financial services. BT said it still harbours ambitions to conquer America, despite the failure of the ‘Concert‘ partnership with V in the 1990s.

In a separate story, BT announced it has chosen Chinese vendor ZTE to develop a dual-mode handset — 3G and DAB-IP — for launch by its BT Movio subsidiary next year. DAB-IP (in other words, IP over the DAB digital radio network) will enable BT Movio to broadcast four TV channels at acceptable quality to the handset.3G will enable video-on-demand, so that the users can specify what video clips or programmes they wish to watch. UK legislation specifies that no more than 30% of the DAB spectrum can be used for non-radio purposes, so BT is lobbying for more DAB spectrum to be released, to enable higher quality video and/or more TV channels.

News briefs:May 31, 2010
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News briefs:May 31, 2010
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Car explosion in San Pedro, California was act of vandalism, say police
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Car explosion in San Pedro, California was act of vandalism, say police

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Police have said that an explosion in a hotel garage in San Pedro, Los Angeles, California, that sparked an evacuation of a large area was an act of vandalism. What was initially thought to be an explosion, at around 7:30am local time, forced police to shut off a major entrance into the area prompted the Clarion Inn, a two-story hotel, and surrounding buildings to be evacuated. A bomb squad were called to the scene, and an armored robot was sent into the garage to examine the scene.

Los Angeles Police Department Lieutenant John Romero said that investigators were treating the incident as an act of vandalism, and said that detectives will be examining surveillance footage of the garage. He confirmed that a caller had reported an explosion in the area. Officers who responded did not initially find anything suspicious, but a short time later a Port Police officer on patrol discovered a Lincoln Navigator with its windows blown out in an underground garage. The Los Angeles Fire Department also responded to the call.

We still want to be very careful how to proceed. Something did happen to the car. Now they have to figure out what happened and who did it

“On closer inspection and using their training, bomb squad is confident the damage was caused by something other than a bomb. Based on what we know now, they’re scaling the operation way back,” he said. “There’s any variety of things that can sound like a bomb or a blast, particularly in a subterranean environment. The danger has passed.” He refused to speculate as to what may have caused the damage, or, if it was not a bomb, where the noise had come from. He added: “Now that the robots have gone forward and had a good look, we are confidant there was not an explosion. There was a hole blown in the door, and the glass was blown out so, now we have to find out who did it.”

A witness, the owner of a diner two blocks away from the hotel, said that he heard a loud sound while preparing the day’s menu. He said: “I was cooking my food and I heard something like ‘boom’! I said, ‘What happened?’ And I checked everything in the kitchen but saw nothing. An hour later I went outside and saw a lot of police.” Romero added that the vehicle had shown signs of an explosion and that no one in the hotel was killed or injured. At 8:20 a.m. the police issued a citywide tactical alert and surrounding streets were closed to the public. Police have said that there is shattered glass surrounding the vehicle and one of the doors exhibits evidence that an explosion had taken place. Romero added: “We still want to be very careful how to proceed. Something did happen to the car. Now they have to figure out what happened and who did it.”

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UK MPs elect John Bercow as new Speaker of the House of Commons
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UK MPs elect John Bercow as new Speaker of the House of Commons

Monday, June 22, 2009

Following the resignation of Speaker Michael Martin, which took effect yesterday, members of the House of Commons, the lower house of the British Houses of Parliament, today elected John Bercow as the new Speaker of the House.

The three rounds of voting were held as a secret ballot of all Members of the Commons. Each round eliminated from subsequent rounds any candidates with less than 5% support, with the winner to be the candidate who, in any round, achieved a simple majority of the vote. This was a new system for electing the Speaker, and the first time that the Speaker has been elected by secret ballot.

In the first round of voting, there were 10 candidates: Margaret Beckett, Sir George Young, Ann Widdecombe, Sir Alan Beith, John Bercow, Richard Shepherd, Sir Michael Lord, Sir Patrick Cormack, Sir Alan Haselhurst, and Parmjit Dhanda. All candidates made brief speeches in the chamber at 13:30 UTC (14:30 BST) immediately before the vote.

Four candidates were eliminated by this round — Cormack, Dhanda, Lord, and Shepherd — leaving six candidates to go forward to the second round of voting.

Results of the first round
Candidate Votes
Beckett 74
Beith 55
Bercow 179
Cormack 13
Dhanda 26
Haselhurst 66
Lord 9
Sheperd 15
Widdecombe 44
Young 112

In the second round, Widdecombe was eliminated, leaving five candidates to go forward to the third. All candidates apart from Bercow and Young lost ground. Young gained more votes than Bercow, but Bercow remained in the lead.

Results of the second round
Candidate Votes Change from round 1
Beckett 70 -4
Beith 46 -9
Bercow 221 +42
Haselhurst 57 -9
Widdecombe 30 -14
Young 174 +62

In the third round, all remaining candidates except two, Bercow and Young, withdrew from the contest, after an appeal to do so from the Father of the House, Alan Williams. This appeal was motivated by the length of each round of voting, which required 600 ballot papers to be printed, marked, and counted.

Results of the second round
Candidate Votes Change from round 2
Bercow 322 +101
Young 271 +97

In both the first and second rounds of voting, one ballot was spoiled. Although the ballot was secret and the identity of the person whose ballot it was could thus not be confirmed, John Mann, MP for Bassetlaw, claimed it was him. “None of them have got a strong reforming agenda,” said Mann. “Some of the speeches were shocking, after what we have been through recently.”

After confirmation by a unanimous acclamation, with no “noes” voiced, John Bercow became the Speaker-elect for the 157th Speaker of the House of Commons. In accordance with tradition, he was physically dragged to the chair. At 19:31 UTC (20:31 BST) he delivered a 5 minute speech, paying tribute to the other candidates, before sitting in the chair itself. In that speech he paid tribute to his mother, pointing out that she had taken a keen interest in proceedings.

He also said: “I want just to say this about the responsibility of the office. The Speaker has the responsibility to immediately and permanently cast aside all his or her previous political views. I said it —”. Here he was interrupted by members anticipating the end of his sentence, and calls to “come and join the Labour Party”. He resumed “I said it and I meant it. My promise to this house is to be completely impartial, that is what it’s about. I will do my best faithfully, honourably and respectfully to do my best in the months ahead.”

His first three acts as Speaker-elect were to call upon the Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the Leader of the Opposition David Cameron, and the leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg to speak. Brown and Cameron both commented upon Bercow’s hobby of playing tennis, with Brown observing that Bercow had now permanently taken the position of umpire. The Prime Minister said that on the matter of Bercow’s casting aside of his past political views, “some of us thought you had done that some time ago”. Cameron also pointed out that Bercow was the first Jewish Speaker to be elected by the House in its history.

Cameron and Clegg both reminded Bercow of the comments made by Parmjit Dhanda, who had said in his candidacy speech earlier that afternoon: “All of the 10 (candidates) is capable of doing the job but … do we all really get it? Do we understand the level of crisis out there. Do we understand the level of public’s anger.”

Bercow’s election as Speaker elect remained subject to Royal Approbation. This was not given in person by the Queen.

At 20:51 UTC (21:51 BST), the Lords Commissioners assembled on the Woolsack in the House of Lords, and summoned the House of Commons via Black Rod, who in turn summoned the Commons at 20:54 UTC (21:54 BST). The clerk of the House of Lords read the Royal Commission, authorizing the Lords Commissioners to speak in the name of the Queen. At 21:01 UTC (22:01 BST) the Lord Chancellor Jack Straw, spoke for the Lords Commissioners and declared Bercow to be the Speaker of the House of Commons.

Bercow’s first act as Speaker, after returning to the Commons and formally notifying it of events in the Lords, at 21:06 UTC (22:06 BST) was to call upon the Leader of the House, Harriet Harman. She proposed a motion, carried by acclamation without dissent, for the Commons to call upon the Queen to elevate the previous Speaker, Michael Martin, to the House of Lords. Bercow’s second act was again to call upon Harman, who proposed a motion to adjourn, again carried by acclamation without dissent.

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National Museum of Scotland reopens after three-year redevelopment
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National Museum of Scotland reopens after three-year redevelopment

Friday, July 29, 2011

Today sees the reopening of the National Museum of Scotland following a three-year renovation costing £47.4 million (US$ 77.3 million). Edinburgh’s Chambers Street was closed to traffic for the morning, with the 10am reopening by eleven-year-old Bryony Hare, who took her first steps in the museum, and won a competition organised by the local Evening News paper to be a VIP guest at the event. Prior to the opening, Wikinews toured the renovated museum, viewing the new galleries, and some of the 8,000 objects inside.

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Dressed in Victorian attire, Scottish broadcaster Grant Stott acted as master of ceremonies over festivities starting shortly after 9am. The packed street cheered an animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex created by Millenium FX; onlookers were entertained with a twenty-minute performance by the Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers on the steps of the museum; then, following Bryony Hare knocking three times on the original doors to ask that the museum be opened, the ceremony was heralded with a specially composed fanfare – played on a replica of the museum’s 2,000-year-old carnyx Celtic war-horn. During the fanfare, two abseilers unfurled white pennons down either side of the original entrance.

The completion of the opening to the public was marked with Chinese firecrackers, and fireworks, being set off on the museum roof. As the public crowded into the museum, the Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers resumed their performance; a street theatre group mingled with the large crowd, and the animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex entertained the thinning crowd of onlookers in the centre of the street.

On Wednesday, the museum welcomed the world’s press for an in depth preview of the new visitor experience. Wikinews was represented by Brian McNeil, who is also Wikimedia UK’s interim liaison with Museum Galleries Scotland.

The new pavement-level Entrance Hall saw journalists mingle with curators. The director, Gordon Rintoul, introduced presentations by Gareth Hoskins and Ralph Applebaum, respective heads of the Architects and Building Design Team; and, the designers responsible for the rejuvenation of the museum.

Describing himself as a “local lad”, Hoskins reminisced about his grandfather regularly bringing him to the museum, and pushing all the buttons on the numerous interactive exhibits throughout the museum. Describing the nearly 150-year-old museum as having become “a little tired”, and a place “only visited on a rainy day”, he commented that many international visitors to Edinburgh did not realise that the building was a public space; explaining the focus was to improve access to the museum – hence the opening of street-level access – and, to “transform the complex”, focus on “opening up the building”, and “creating a number of new spaces […] that would improve facilities and really make this an experience for 21st century museum visitors”.

Hoskins explained that a “rabbit warren” of storage spaces were cleared out to provide street-level access to the museum; the floor in this “crypt-like” space being lowered by 1.5 metres to achieve this goal. Then Hoskins handed over to Applebaum, who expressed his delight to be present at the reopening.

Applebaum commented that one of his first encounters with the museum was seeing “struggling young mothers with two kids in strollers making their way up the steps”, expressing his pleasure at this being made a thing of the past. Applebaum explained that the Victorian age saw the opening of museums for public access, with the National Museum’s earlier incarnation being the “College Museum” – a “first window into this museum’s collection”.

Have you any photos of the museum, or its exhibits?

The museum itself is physically connected to the University of Edinburgh’s old college via a bridge which allowed students to move between the two buildings.

Applebaum explained that the museum will, now redeveloped, be used as a social space, with gatherings held in the Grand Gallery, “turning the museum into a social convening space mixed with knowledge”. Continuing, he praised the collections, saying they are “cultural assets [… Scotland is] turning those into real cultural capital”, and the museum is, and museums in general are, providing a sense of “social pride”.

McNeil joined the yellow group on a guided tour round the museum with one of the staff. Climbing the stairs at the rear of the Entrance Hall, the foot of the Window on the World exhibit, the group gained a first chance to see the restored Grand Gallery. This space is flooded with light from the glass ceiling three floors above, supported by 40 cast-iron columns. As may disappoint some visitors, the fish ponds have been removed; these were not an original feature, but originally installed in the 1960s – supposedly to humidify the museum; and failing in this regard. But, several curators joked that they attracted attention as “the only thing that moved” in the museum.

The museum’s original architect was Captain Francis Fowke, also responsible for the design of London’s Royal Albert Hall; his design for the then-Industrial Museum apparently inspired by Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace.

The group moved from the Grand Gallery into the Discoveries Gallery to the south side of the museum. The old red staircase is gone, and the Millennium Clock stands to the right of a newly-installed escalator, giving easier access to the upper galleries than the original staircases at each end of the Grand Gallery. Two glass elevators have also been installed, flanking the opening into the Discoveries Gallery and, providing disabled access from top-to-bottom of the museum.

The National Museum of Scotland’s origins can be traced back to 1780 when the 11th Earl of Buchan, David Stuart Erskine, formed the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland; the Society being tasked with the collection and preservation of archaeological artefacts for Scotland. In 1858, control of this was passed to the government of the day and the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland came into being. Items in the collection at that time were housed at various locations around the city.

On Wednesday, October 28, 1861, during a royal visit to Edinburgh by Queen Victoria, Prince-Consort Albert laid the foundation-stone for what was then intended to be the Industrial Museum. Nearly five years later, it was the second son of Victoria and Albert, Prince Alfred, the then-Duke of Edinburgh, who opened the building which was then known as the Scottish Museum of Science and Art. A full-page feature, published in the following Monday’s issue of The Scotsman covered the history leading up to the opening of the museum, those who had championed its establishment, the building of the collection which it was to house, and Edinburgh University’s donation of their Natural History collection to augment the exhibits put on public display.

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Selection of views of the Grand Gallery Image: Brian McNeil.

Selection of views of the Grand Gallery Image: Brian McNeil.

Selection of views of the Grand Gallery Image: Brian McNeil.

Closed for a little over three years, today’s reopening of the museum is seen as the “centrepiece” of National Museums Scotland’s fifteen-year plan to dramatically improve accessibility and better present their collections. Sir Andrew Grossard, chair of the Board of Trustees, said: “The reopening of the National Museum of Scotland, on time and within budget is a tremendous achievement […] Our collections tell great stories about the world, how Scots saw that world, and the disproportionate impact they had upon it. The intellectual and collecting impact of the Scottish diaspora has been profound. It is an inspiring story which has captured the imagination of our many supporters who have helped us achieve our aspirations and to whom we are profoundly grateful.

The extensive work, carried out with a view to expand publicly accessible space and display more of the museums collections, carried a £47.4 million pricetag. This was jointly funded with £16 million from the Scottish Government, and £17.8 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Further funds towards the work came from private sources and totalled £13.6 million. Subsequent development, as part of the longer-term £70 million “Masterplan”, is expected to be completed by 2020 and see an additional eleven galleries opened.

The funding by the Scottish Government can be seen as a ‘canny‘ investment; a report commissioned by National Museums Scotland, and produced by consultancy firm Biggar Economics, suggest the work carried out could be worth £58.1 million per year, compared with an estimated value to the economy of £48.8 prior to the 2008 closure. Visitor figures are expected to rise by over 20%; use of function facilities are predicted to increase, alongside other increases in local hospitality-sector spending.

Proudly commenting on the Scottish Government’s involvement Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, described the reopening as, “one of the nation’s cultural highlights of 2011” and says the rejuvenated museum is, “[a] must-see attraction for local and international visitors alike“. Continuing to extol the museum’s virtues, Hyslop states that it “promotes the best of Scotland and our contributions to the world.

So-far, the work carried out is estimated to have increased the public space within the museum complex by 50%. Street-level storage rooms, never before seen by the public, have been transformed into new exhibit space, and pavement-level access to the buildings provided which include a new set of visitor facilities. Architectural firm Gareth Hoskins have retained the original Grand Gallery – now the first floor of the museum – described as a “birdcage” structure and originally inspired by The Crystal Palace built in Hyde Park, London for the 1851 Great Exhibition.

The centrepiece in the Grand Gallery is the “Window on the World” exhibit, which stands around 20 metres tall and is currently one of the largest installations in any UK museum. This showcases numerous items from the museum’s collections, rising through four storeys in the centre of the museum. Alexander Hayward, the museums Keeper of Science and Technology, challenged attending journalists to imagine installing “teapots at thirty feet”.

The redeveloped museum includes the opening of sixteen brand new galleries. Housed within, are over 8,000 objects, only 20% of which have been previously seen.

  • Ground floor
  • First floor
  • Second floor
  • Top floor

The Window on the World rises through the four floors of the museum and contains over 800 objects. This includes a gyrocopter from the 1930s, the world’s largest scrimshaw – made from the jaws of a sperm whale which the University of Edinburgh requested for their collection, a number of Buddha figures, spearheads, antique tools, an old gramophone and record, a selection of old local signage, and a girder from the doomed Tay Bridge.

The arrangement of galleries around the Grand Gallery’s “birdcage” structure is organised into themes across multiple floors. The World Cultures Galleries allow visitors to explore the culture of the entire planet; Living Lands explains the ways in which our natural environment influences the way we live our lives, and the beliefs that grow out of the places we live – from the Arctic cold of North America to Australia’s deserts.

The adjacent Patterns of Life gallery shows objects ranging from the everyday, to the unusual from all over the world. The functions different objects serve at different periods in peoples’ lives are explored, and complement the contents of the Living Lands gallery.

Performance & Lives houses musical instruments from around the world, alongside masks and costumes; both rooted in long-established traditions and rituals, this displayed alongside contemporary items showing the interpretation of tradition by contemporary artists and instrument-creators.

The museum proudly bills the Facing the Sea gallery as the only one in the UK which is specifically based on the cultures of the South Pacific. It explores the rich diversity of the communities in the region, how the sea shapes the islanders’ lives – describing how their lives are shaped as much by the sea as the land.

Both the Facing the Sea and Performance & Lives galleries are on the second floor, next to the new exhibition shop and foyer which leads to one of the new exhibition galleries, expected to house the visiting Amazing Mummies exhibit in February, coming from Leiden in the Netherlands.

The Inspired by Nature, Artistic Legacies, and Traditions in Sculpture galleries take up most of the east side of the upper floor of the museum. The latter of these shows the sculptors from diverse cultures have, through history, explored the possibilities in expressing oneself using metal, wood, or stone. The Inspired by Nature gallery shows how many artists, including contemporary ones, draw their influence from the world around us – often commenting on our own human impact on that natural world.

Contrastingly, the Artistic Legacies gallery compares more traditional art and the work of modern artists. The displayed exhibits attempt to show how people, in creating specific art objects, attempt to illustrate the human spirit, the cultures they are familiar with, and the imaginative input of the objects’ creators.

The easternmost side of the museum, adjacent to Edinburgh University’s Old College, will bring back memories for many regular visitors to the museum; but, with an extensive array of new items. The museum’s dedicated taxidermy staff have produced a wide variety of fresh examples from the natural world.

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At ground level, the Animal World and Wildlife Panorama’s most imposing exhibit is probably the lifesize reproduction of a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton. This rubs shoulders with other examples from around the world, including one of a pair of elephants. The on-display elephant could not be removed whilst renovation work was underway, and lurked in a corner of the gallery as work went on around it.

Above, in the Animal Senses gallery, are examples of how we experience the world through our senses, and contrasting examples of wildly differing senses, or extremes of such, present in the natural world. This gallery also has giant screens, suspended in the free space, which show footage ranging from the most tranquil and peaceful life in the sea to the tooth-and-claw bloody savagery of nature.

The Survival gallery gives visitors a look into the ever-ongoing nature of evolution; the causes of some species dying out while others thrive, and the ability of any species to adapt as a method of avoiding extinction.

Earth in Space puts our place in the universe in perspective. Housing Europe’s oldest surviving Astrolabe, dating from the eleventh century, this gallery gives an opportunity to see the technology invented to allow us to look into the big questions about what lies beyond Earth, and probe the origins of the universe and life.

In contrast, the Restless Earth gallery shows examples of the rocks and minerals formed through geological processes here on earth. The continual processes of the planet are explored alongside their impact on human life. An impressive collection of geological specimens are complemented with educational multimedia presentations.

Beyond working on new galleries, and the main redevelopment, the transformation team have revamped galleries that will be familiar to regular past visitors to the museum.

Formerly known as the Ivy Wu Gallery of East Asian Art, the Looking East gallery showcases National Museums Scotland’s extensive collection of Korean, Chinese, and Japanese material. The gallery’s creation was originally sponsored by Sir Gordon Wu, and named after his wife Ivy. It contains items from the last dynasty, the Manchu, and examples of traditional ceramic work. Japan is represented through artefacts from ordinary people’s lives, expositions on the role of the Samurai, and early trade with the West. Korean objects also show the country’s ceramic work, clothing, and traditional accessories used, and worn, by the indigenous people.

The Ancient Egypt gallery has always been a favourite of visitors to the museum. A great many of the exhibits in this space were returned to Scotland from late 19th century excavations; and, are arranged to take visitors through the rituals, and objects associated with, life, death, and the afterlife, as viewed from an Egyptian perspective.

The Art and Industry and European Styles galleries, respectively, show how designs are arrived at and turned into manufactured objects, and the evolution of European style – financed and sponsored by a wide range of artists and patrons. A large number of the objects on display, often purchased or commissioned, by Scots, are now on display for the first time ever.

Shaping our World encourages visitors to take a fresh look at technological objects developed over the last 200 years, many of which are so integrated into our lives that they are taken for granted. Radio, transportation, and modern medicines are covered, with a retrospective on the people who developed many of the items we rely on daily.

What was known as the Museum of Scotland, a modern addition to the classical Victorian-era museum, is now known as the Scottish Galleries following the renovation of the main building.

This dedicated newer wing to the now-integrated National Museum of Scotland covers the history of Scotland from a time before there were people living in the country. The geological timescale is covered in the Beginnings gallery, showing continents arranging themselves into what people today see as familiar outlines on modern-day maps.

Just next door, the history of the earliest occupants of Scotland are on display; hunters and gatherers from around 4,000 B.C give way to farmers in the Early People exhibits.

The Kingdom of the Scots follows Scotland becoming a recognisable nation, and a kingdom ruled over by the Stewart dynasty. Moving closer to modern-times, the Scotland Transformed gallery looks at the country’s history post-union in 1707.

Industry and Empire showcases Scotland’s significant place in the world as a source of heavy engineering work in the form of rail engineering and shipbuilding – key components in the building of the British Empire. Naturally, whisky was another globally-recognised export introduced to the world during empire-building.

Lastly, Scotland: A Changing Nation collects less-tangible items, including personal accounts, from the country’s journey through the 20th century; the social history of Scots, and progress towards being a multicultural nation, is explored through heavy use of multimedia exhibits.

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Kidney Doctor: Discussing Kidney Failure

byadmin

If you reside in Salt Lake City and are experiencing trouble with your kidneys, your primary care physician will send you to see a nephrologist – a kidney doctor. He or she will examine them closely, run several tests, including blood work and talk to you about your concerns. One issue that may crop up is potential kidney failure.

What Is Kidney Failure?

The importance of the kidneys to your well-being cannot be overstressed. They filter the blood, disposing of waste products and control the production of red blood cells in your body. The kidneys also regulate your blood pressure. Kidney failure – the inability of the kidney to perform these tasks, results in certain physical manifestations. Your body swells up; you may retain fluid and, overall, you lack energy. Kidney failure can also result in serious health issues, although, initially, you may not experience any obvious ill effects.

Causal Factors

Your kidney doctor will explain potential causes of kidney failure. The type you have will influence the kind of treatment possible. The two most common causes of End-stage renal diseases (ESRD) are:

1. Diabetes2. High Blood Pressure

If you do not suffer from either, kidney failure may be the result of some form of genetic or autoimmune diseases, Nephrotic syndrome or problems in the urinary tract. Once the diagnosis is sure and causal factors investigated, treatment may follow.

Your Kidney Doctor and Kidney Failure

Your doctor in Salt Lake City may be able to treat kidney failure by addressing the underlying cause. In some instances, such as heart attack, drug abuse, and urinary tract problems, the problem may disappear following treatment of the cause. However, in many cases, the only approach is such drastic measures as dialysis or a transplant. Only by consulting with a kidney doctor will you know how to best treat the health problem.

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Man banned from keeping animals after forcing cat to inhale cannabis
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Man banned from keeping animals after forcing cat to inhale cannabis

Friday, September 11, 2009

A 19 year old from South Tyneside, England has been banned from looking after animals after stealing a cat and forcing it to inhale cannabis.

Mark Kane, from South Shields, England, was banned from looking after animals for 10 years after causing “unnecessary suffering” to a tabby cat in January 2009. Kane was originally sentenced to three months in jail which was suspended two years. Kane also has to pay £100 (US$167) in fines.

Kane had stolen the cat from a friend of his girlfriend. A mobile phone camera recorded the incident and showed Kane putting the cat into a bag, inhaling some cannabis and blowing it into the bag. He then swung the bag around his head in a similar fashion to a lasso. The cat survived the attack but it ran off afterwards and has yet to have been found. During the video Kane is quoted as saying “This cat is getting stoned off its head” and “Get it stoned to fuck”.

This was a vile offence.

Kane was prosecuted by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in a court in South Shields. He was found guilty and sentenced to twelve weeks in prison, two years suspension and a ten year ban from looking after animals as well as being ordered to pay £100 costs. In a previous court hearing, Kane had also admitted two counts of cruelty to animals.

Chairman of the Bench Ken Buck said, “We do think the charges of animal cruelty are appalling in nature and caused real stress and unnecessary suffering to a domestic pet which was in your care.” Clive McKeag, who was prosecuting Kane on behalf of the RSPCA described the attack as “sadistic and wicked” and stated: “This was a vile offence.”

In regards to the case, RSPCA inspector Claire Hunt said, “He thought it was a funny thing to do to a defenseless animal.” Claire also stated that she was happy with Kane’s sentencing saying, “It deters people from doing the same thing.”

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10,000 refuse to pay U.S. taxes to protest Iraq war
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10,000 refuse to pay U.S. taxes to protest Iraq war

Sunday, April 16, 2006

An estimated 10,000 conscientious objectors chose to withhold some or all of their U.S. income taxes due Monday, April 17, in protest to the use of US military power in Iraq. Some plan to instead donate their required tax to charity.

The Internal Revenue Service does not distinguish tax resistors from any other person behind on their taxes, and will apply the same fines and interest used against the other Americans who do not pay their taxes on time. Legal action is possible for extreme cases, but more commonly the IRS uses wage or bank account garnishing.

The tax protestors are well aware of these risks, yet refuse to pay on principle. Jim Allen, who served in the Army for 20 years and now teaches at St. Louis University, acknowledges that he will likely end up paying more due to the fines than he is refusing to pay today. “I am not opposed to paying taxes, but I am when such a large percent is going to pay for war. Sooner or later, they’re going to get their money, but until that happens, I’m going to continue protesting. This is too important not to.” Allen and his wife withheld $1300 – or 42% of what the couple owes the IRS, estimating this to be the proportion of his taxes that would otherwise go to military spending.

Other protestors simply refuse to file at all. Becky Pierce of Boston fills out a 1040 to determine her tax, but then donates that amount to charity without filing. Pierce says she follows in the footsteps of American protesters like Henry David Thoreau, a protester of the Mexican-American War who went to jail rather than pay taxes. “You need to have control of your money,” Pierce says. “I’m a self-employed carpenter. No one is reporting what I make. That’s why I can go unnoticed.”

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