February 24th, 2018

PBS show asserts greenhouse gases, atmospheric pollutants dimming future

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PBS show asserts greenhouse gases, atmospheric pollutants dimming future

Saturday, April 22, 2006

This week, the Public Broadcasting Service aired a NOVA program titled “Dimming the Earth”, which presented research by leading scientists on the complex systems of our global climate and human activity’s effect on it. One of the largest interactions (or “inputs”) humans have with the atmosphere is the ever-increasing use of fossil fuels. Consumption has risen 2% per year for this decade.

Fossil fuels burnt in factories and automobiles send their waste into our atmosphere in two forms. The first is CO2 and other greenhouse gases, which have received substantial attention in the last few years because of the way they trap heat in the atmosphere. The second is the tiny particles of sulfur dioxide, soot and ash, which scientists call aerosols (basically smog). Research into understanding the negative health effects of air pollution has resulted in the development of catalytic converters for cars as well as devices to remove particulate solids from industrial waste before it reaches the air.

More recently, atmospheric scientists have come upon the phenomenon of the reduction of direct sunlight reaching Earth’s surface— observing a nearly a 5% decline between 1960 and 1990, with evidence of a recovery since then. This has been dubbed the “global dimming” effect, and is probably due to the way these aerosols act upon clouds. It is important to realise that this does not represent a net loss of this much sunshine to the climate system – if so, large temperature declines would have been observed. Instead, the sunshine is absorbed elsewhere in the system, with a much smaller net loss.

Clouds form when moisture gathers around airborne particles, such as pollen or dust. Clouds formed by the aerosol particles emitted by fossil fuel consumption are made of many more tiny droplets than “natural” clouds. These smog-created clouds have two notable effects: they shield sunlight from reaching Earth’s surface and, due to water’s reflective nature, the millions of tiny droplets suspended in them reflect light back into space, allowing even less light to reach Earth.

Many scientists now believe that global dimming caused by these pollutants has mitigated the temperature rises brought about by global warming. Over the last thirty years, Earth’s temperature has increased by about 0.5 oC.

In the absence of global dimming, however, the Earth might be 0.3 oC warmer than it currently is, suggesting that a “tug-of-war” exists between greenhouse gases and particulates released by burning fossil fuels. Efforts to mitigate the human health dangers of smog have allowed more heat into our atmosphere and brought about a sharper increase in global warming.

Dr. James E. Hansen, professor at Columbia University and the head of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies [1], believes that if we continue on our current pattern, this warming could be as much as five degrees in the next thirty years and ten to fourteen degrees over the course of the century. Such a temperature rise would devastate life on Earth, likely bringing on a cascade of self-reinforcing warming effects. Earth’s forests drying and burning, a steady thawing of the Greenland and arctic ice sheets, and, most dangerous of all, a release of the methane hydrates that are now frozen at the bottom of the oceans, could remake the planet into something inhospitable to human life. Dr. Hansen warns that, according to his research, man has just 10 years to reduce greenhouse gases before global warming and other responses to human activity by Earth’s climate reach a “tipping point”, becoming unstoppable.

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February 24th, 2018

Iconic London mural could be restored

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Iconic London mural could be restored

Monday, September 20, 2010

One of London’s most well known murals could be restored after years of neglect if plans by a group of community activists gain public support. The Fitzrovia Mural at Whitfield Gardens on London’s Tottenham Court Road was created by two mural artists and commissioned by Camden Council in 1980, but the mural has since decayed and been vandalised.

Plans will be presented at a public meeting this Tuesday, to include details of the restoration and promote local public space in contrast to potential commercial developments and the focus of the London 2012 Olympics. If enough funds are raised from charitable trusts and public donations the mural could be restored during the summer of 2011.

Plans to be put forward by the Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association, and the London Mural Preservation Society, will present ways to fund not only the restoration work but also projects to raise awareness of conservation, heritage, and the residential and working community. The heritage and mural project hopes to involve many local people who could learn new conservation skills. Also planned are workshops with local children to involve them in their heritage, an exhibition by local artists, guided tours and a celebratory event at the end of the restoration project. In addition to this, a booklet would be produced containing collected oral histories of the people involved and a preservation trust to protect the mural in future years.

The playful painting was created on a Camden Council-owned building in 1980 by artists Mick Jones, (son of the late Jack Jones, trade union leader) and Simon Barber and is a mash up of scenes depicting problems faced by the neighbourhood over the preceding decade.

There is also a caricature of poet Dylan Thomas, who lived in Fitzrovia, and a mocking portrayal of then leader of the Greater London Council, Conservative politician Horace Cutler, who is pictured as a bat-like creature. Other characters include an anonymous greedy developer and a property speculator counting piles of cash.

Peter Whyatt of the neighbourhood association is jointly leading the project to restore the mural. Yesterday he told Wikinews he had a number of concerns about the possible success of the project.

“There are a great number of problems with getting this project off the ground and we also need to act pretty quickly for a number of reasons,” said Mr Whyatt.

“Firstly the mural is in a terrible state and deteriorating quickly. There is more graffiti being daubed on the site every month because one bit of graffiti attracts another bit. We really need to start the work in the next 12 months because going through another winter with the condition of the wall will causes more problems and inevitably more expense. We want to keep as much original artwork on the site as possible to keep the costs down. This is a big mural and it will be expensive to restore,” he continued.

“And that brings me to my second concern: cost. If we don’t get other community organisations on board to bid for money for this with us and to involve their beneficiaries and volunteers, it will be very difficult to secure the money needed. Money is very tight at the moment because to the current financial climate. We need to get support at this meeting on Tuesday and some firm commitments from people and organisations to get involved.

“Lastly there is a danger of a commercial development on the site. A public-private partnership to create a new art feature. Because of the existing mural’s subject matter – it mocks property speculators, and land developers, etc – a commercial scheme probably backed by a property developer would not want to restore the mural’s original message. They’d want some “good news” scheme, some greenwash idea that paints them in a positive light.

“However, despite these problems, Camden Council have offered to do a condition survey on the mural. This will save us a lot of money. But having said that there are five council departments to deal with to get permission for this restoration work, and they don’t always talk to each other.

“But if the public and local voluntary organisations show their support, we can make it happen,” Mr Whyatt concluded.

The mural restoration will be just one part of a year long project of heritage and conservation awareness-raising. “The project is not just about the mural but also wider plans to promote awareness of heritage and conservation in an area of London under threat from commercial development. In fact the bulk of the project is about the heritage and conservation and the mural is just one part of it, and the most visible because of its situation,” Mr Whyatt later added.

There will be a public meeting about the heritage and mural project at 7.30 pm tomorrow (Tuesday), at the Neighbourhood Centre, 39 Tottenham Street. The public can also comment about the proposals on the Fitzrovia Heritage and Mural website.

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February 24th, 2018

The Vancouver Canucks}

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At one time Vancouvers hockey team, the Canucks, held the odious distinction of being the least successful professional sports franchise in history. This was gauged by the win/loss ratio, which for the Canucks, was horrible. Surprisingly, the Canucks had a very loyal fan base that learned to love them, despite their losing ways.

The Canucks entered the NHL in 1970 as Vancouvers professional hockey team. Canada already had two very successful franchises in Toronto and Montreal, both had won the Stanley Cup multiple times and Montreal was already a dynasty. The Canucks had very high expectations to live up to, being a Canadian hockey franchise.

From the start, management adopted a hard nosed play style, drafting tough players who could handle the gritty nature of professional hockey. Theres a saying among Canadians regarding hockey that goes, I went to see a fight last night and a hockey game broke out. This is a tongue in cheek reference to the amount of fighting that occurs in hockey, bare knuckled, blood soaked fighting that you can almost count on every single game played. Its become a part of the sport, fans love it, and if a referee tries to break up a fight before its run its course, the fans boo loudly and bitterly. Attendance slips and revenues drop off, so the league and management no longer try to curb fighting, they let the combatants have their fight, and the arena switches from a hockey arena to a fight arena as soon as a fight starts.

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A spot light shines on the combatants and follows them around the rink, players on both teams cheer their team mate on, players on the bench bang their hockey sticks loudly on the rink walls in support, fans go crazy, everyone is on their feet, and fight style music erupts from the arena speakers. Its big business and the league knows it.

Its this culture into which the Vancouver Canucks launched their franchise, and clearly management had a plan to capitalize on it. One could argue whether or not the management ever had designs on winning in the first place, or whether they opted for a guaranteed fan draw by drafting a team filled with brawlers. Either way, one thing is clear, the Vancouver Canucks rarely, if ever, lost a fight. This made them wildly popular with their fans and the rest of the leagues fans, which loved to watch a game where Vancouver played, since they knew theyd be treated to at least one barbaric display of brutality.

Over the years, times changed, and although fighting was still popular, teams managed to incorporate a degree of toughness into their lineup sufficient to deal with any brawl that occurred, while still putting a skilled team on the ice capable of winning games. The concept of team enforcer was born, where every team drafted a designated tough-guy, whose job was to make sure the teams skilled players werent intimidated or roughed up beyond the norm. His job was essentially to be the team police officer.

As this trend took hold, teams like the Canucks fell in popularity, as fans recognized they didnt have to sacrifice quality for toughness, they could have it all. So the Vancouver Canucks had to change, and change they did. They began drafting skilled players from Europe and Russia, and the team began to win. It was a transition though, and took time, but by the 1980s they were not only in the playoffs, they were winning and progressing to the next round, and in 1982 they made it to the Stanley Cup final, the first time ever. It wasnt to be, but it showed the Canucks and the league that the Canucks had arrived, and were a skilled, quality team.

Through this time, the Canucks fan base grew in size, loyalty, and knowledge. Websites and blogs dedicated to the Canucks were easy to find, and forums discussing the Canucks were active with speculation and the latest news. Your typical Vancouver blogger was a hockey player himself, as Vancouver has dozens of amateur leagues and beer leagues where hockey isnt just a sport, its a religion. As a result, Vancouver blogs are rich sources of hockey information, where trade rumors, management direction, and upcoming games are discussed at length.

Today, the Vancouver Canucks are considered one of the premiere franchises in the NHL, and have established themselves as a first class organization which any player would be proud to play for. Their history as a roughneck team doesnt hurt them one bit, as the fighting culture is still strong in hockey, so strong that hockey commentators regularly debate which teams enforcer is the toughest in the league. They usually dont have to debate long, as enforcers love to challenge each other, almost every game in fact. So, these disputes are settled like all hockey disputes, on the ice.

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February 23rd, 2018

Canadian media company Bell Globemedia to acquire rival CHUM

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Canadian media company Bell Globemedia to acquire rival CHUM

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Canadian media company CHUM Limited has announced that it has agreed to be acquired by larger rival Bell Globemedia Inc. for $1.7 billion CAD cash, bringing the CTV and Citytv broadcast-television networks and such specialty channels as MuchMusic, TSN and Bravo! under the same corporate umbrella.

Shareholders will receive $52.50 per common share of CHUM and $47.25 per Class B (non-voting) share. The estate of the late Allan Waters, who died late last year, has agreed to tender all its shares to the bid, netting the Waters family nearly $450 million.

In a joint statement, CHUM’s chairman, Jim Waters, said, “In Bell Globemedia’s offer, we not only found value for shareholders, but confidence that we would be placing CHUM in the hands of an owner with the financial resources and track record to continue to grow and build on our collective legacy.”

Globemedia CEO Ivan Fecan added, “We are able to make this premium offer because Bell Globemedia is clearly the most logical buyer of CHUM. There is a unique strategic fit to our operations that can make the united company a stronger national champion in broadcasting. We intend to maintain and build the valuable CHUM brands and develop more opportunities for Canadian programming.” He added that CTV and Citytv will remain separate networks and “will maintain separate and independent news divisions in order to ensure a continued diversity and competition in news coverage.”

In a separate release, CHUM announced it would be cutting 281 jobs at its stations across the country, particularly at its Citytv stations in western Canada. Effectively immediately, evening newscasts at CKVU-TV Vancouver, CKEM-TV Edmonton, CKAL-TV Calgary and CHMI-TV in the Winnipeg market are being eliminated, with plans for a new newsmagazine tentatively titled In Your City at the three Prairie stations, and more resources being put into each station’s local version of Breakfast Television. Less drastic changes are planned for its A-Channel stations in smaller markets. The company said these changes will result “in a significant reduction in staffing and operating costs.”

The companies said that they expect to sell CHUM’s A-Channel stations, as well as Alberta educational broadcaster Access, to third parties, despite CTV’s historical ties to several of them. Many of the A-Channel stations were originally acquired by CHUM from Baton Broadcasting, the predecessor of Bell Globemedia, in 1997, as part of a trade that sent CHUM’s ATV and ASN assets in Atlantic Canada to Baton and allowed Baton to acquire the CTV network itself.

Despite CHUM’s ownership of MuchMusic and CTV’s recent launch of MTV Canada, the companies claim their specialty channels are “complementary” and did not indicate any sale plans.

Bell Globemedia is currently majority-owned by BCE Inc. but is awaiting regulatory approval for a restructuring involving the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, Torstar Corp., and the Thomson family. In the interim, the takeover offer will be made by a new company owned by the proposed new shareholder structure.

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February 23rd, 2018

BDSM as business: Interviews with Dominatrixes

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BDSM as business: Interviews with Dominatrixes

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Whether the Civil War, World War II or the Iraq War, it can be challenging to face how conflict penetrates the psyche of a nation and surfaces in the nuances of life. There are thousands—if not millions—of individuals who indulge in fantasies others would deem perverse that have their nascence in some of the darkest moments of human history. It is possible someone you know pays a person to dress like a German Nazi to treat them like a “dirty Jew”, or to force them to pick cotton off the floor like a slave.

An S&M dungeon is a place where these individuals act out such taboos. Businesses that operate to meet their needs are often hidden, but they do exist and are typically legal. The clients want to remain confidential for fear of ostracism in their respective communities. As Sigmund Freud wrote, “Anyone who has violated a taboo becomes taboo himself because he possesses the dangerous quality of tempting others to follow his example.”

Last week Wikinews published the first in a two part series on the BDSM business: an interview with Bill & Rebecca, the owners of Rebecca’s Hidden Chamber. This week we publish the second part: an interview with three dungeon employees, Mistress Alex, Mistress Jada and Mistress Veronica. In their world, BDSM is a game, a harmless pursuit of roleplaying exercises that satiate the desires of the tabooed. These Dominatrixes are the kind of women men fantasize about, but they all look like they could be babysitting your children this Saturday night. Most likely, they will not be.

Mistress Alex has a distinctive sheen when David Shankbone walks into the room. Her moist skin cools quickly from the blow of the air conditioner she stands in front of. Just having finished an hour and a half session, she is dressed in a latex one-piece skirt and matching boots. Mistress Jada, a shapely Latina dressed in red, joins the conversation and remains throughout. When Alex needs to tend to a client, Mistress Veronica, who looks like she would be as comfortable teaching kindergarten as she would “tanning a man’s hide”, takes over for her.

The interview was neither sensational nor typical, but what you read may surprise, repulse, or even awaken feelings you never knew you had. Below is David Shankbone’s interview with three Dominatrixes.

Contents

  • 1 Starting out
  • 2 What they get asked to do
  • 3 The psychology of S&M
  • 4 Psychological challenges
  • 5 Psychology II
  • 6 Comfort levels in the sessions
  • 7 Advice for those who want to be a Mistress
  • 8 Strange requests
  • 9 What they discover in themselves
  • 10 Boundaries
  • 11 BDSM Culture
  • 12 Dating for Dominatrixes
  • 13 Related interviews
  • 14 Sources
  • 15 External links

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February 23rd, 2018

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green candidate Marion Schaffer, Oakville

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green candidate Marion Schaffer, Oakville

Monday, September 24, 2007

Marion Schaffer is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the Oakville riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed her regarding her values, her experience, and her campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

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February 22nd, 2018

Lg Repairing Center}

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February 22nd, 2018

iPad 2 goes on sale in United States

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iPad 2 goes on sale in United States

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The new version of Apple Inc.’s tablet computing device, the iPad 2, has gone on sale in the United States at Apple Stores and a number of other retailers (including Wal-Mart, Target, Sam’s Club, Best Buy, Verizon, and AT&T), a shift from last year’s launch which was only available through Apple’s stores. The product will go on sale internationally on March 25.

The device was announced on March 2 at an event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California. CEO Steve Jobs emerged from sick leave to make the announcement.

The iPad 2 has an all-new design and has several improvements over the original iPad. The device runs on a dual-core Apple A5 CPU. According to Jobs, the CPU’s new dual-core capability enhances multitasking and doubles the processing speed. Apple additionally introduced a magnetic ‘Smart Cover’ accessory that snaps to the front screen of the device along with several new apps ported from the Mac OS X operating system and the iPhone. These include iMovie, GarageBand, and Photo Booth. The new iPad introduces front and rear cameras which enable FaceTime and video. The new tablet is fifteen percent lighter and 33 percent thinner than the previous version—thinner than an iPhone 4—and has beveled edges. It is available in black and white and continues to be capable of ten hours of battery life on a single charge.

The announcement came after months of rumors about the successor to the original iPad. Competitors have designed tablets to compete with the iPad, such as Motorola’s Xoom powered by the Android operating system. Apple, who normally follows a yearly product cycle, has pressed its iPad successor into the marketplace almost a full month earlier than usual.

Tablet computers have existed for years but, until recently, have not been popular amongst consumers. Tablet sales totaled 90,000 in 2009. Apple sold nearly fifteen million iPads worldwide in 2010, generating US$2 billion in revenue within three months. In 2010, Apple held a 75% share of the tablet computer market. According to one analyst, even with competition, iPads will still make up at least 20 million of the more than 24 million tablet computers sold in the United States in 2011. An analyst predicted ‘conservatively’ that 35 million iPad 2s will be sold in 2011. One analyst credits Apple’s enormous App Store for the iPad’s continued domination. Apple also holds an advantage in price over other tablets, many of which are still first generation devices. An analyst at J.P. Morgan predicts an overabundance of tablets caused by faltering demand. This could have drastic effects on competitors.

The iPad connects to the Internet over Wi-Fi and 3G models of the new device can connect to the wireless networks of AT&T or Verizon Wireless. The iPad 2 will start at US$499—the same starting price of the original iPad. The equivalent model of the original iPad has been reduced to US$399.

Timeline of Apple touchscreen devices

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February 22nd, 2018

Dr Karl to run for Australian senate

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Dr Karl to run for Australian senate

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki has announced that he will run for the Australian senate in the upcoming federal election. Kruszelnicki will be number two on the Climate Change Coalition‘s New South Wales Senate ticket.

“I’m in the business of communicating important ideas. I’ve dedicated my life to it. This is another way to continue that dedication. And I’m looking forward to the opportunity to talk about the big questions in a political context. The personal is political,” Mr Kruszelnicki said in a media release.

According to his ABC bio, Kruszelnicki has worked as a physicist, labourer, roadie for bands, car mechanic, filmmaker, hospital scientific officer, biomedical engineer, TV weatherman, and medical doctor at The Kids Hospital in Sydney. However Dr Karl is best known for his work as a science commentator on Australian TV and radio.

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February 22nd, 2018

Canadian charter airline Skyservice suspends operations

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Canadian charter airline Skyservice suspends operations

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Skyservice, a Canadian charter airline, has cancelled several flights from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, with reports that the airline has ceased operations.

The company cites debt levels and changes in the vacation travel market with its decision to shut down operations and file for receivership. At the time of the filing in Ontario Superior Court, Skyservice is said to owe almost $9 million CAD to long-term partner and Thomas Cook subsidiary Sunquest Vacations. This situation exacerbated the debt load already put on the airline by a leveraged buyout in 2007 by Vancouver-based private equity firm Gibralt Capital Corporation. That placed more debt than was workable on the troubled airline, along with Roynat Capital calling in their loans to Skyservice earlier in the year.

Skyservice has stated that it will work with its partner companies and other providers to ensure customers stranded by the airline’s sudden shutdown are dealt with effectively, according to a company representative. In addition to customers impacted by the cancellation of flights for the month of April, approximately 860 jobs are expected to be lost as a result of this shutdown.

Tour operator Signature Vacations, under a contract with Skyservice until 2013, has stated that they were prepared for the airline’s receivership, having joined forces with rival service Sunwing Airlines.

Last year, operator Conquest Vacations declared bankruptcy, allegedly due to the economic downturn and reduced revenues throughout the industry.

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