MV Rachel Corrie seized by Israeli Naval Forces

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The 1,200-ton MV Rachel Corrie, an Irish aid ship, was seized by the Israeli Naval Forces, as it attempted to challenge the blockade of Gaza. It was seized in international waters, about 20 miles (30 kilometers) from Gaza’s shore.

The military said its forces boarded ship from the sea, not helicopters and didn’t meet any resistance. The Palestine Solidarity Campaign said: “No contact has yet been made with the kidnapped passengers but we have learned that they have been taken to Holon detention centre where they could be deported as early as tonight.”

Passengers include Irishman Dennis Halliday, a former assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Northern Irish Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire, and a group of Irish and Malaysian pro-Palestinian activists.

The ship, named in honor of American peace activist Rachel Corrie, contains support including: toys, school supplies, wheelchairs, medical equipment and cement, a material that Israel has restricted from entry into Gaza. The crew had rejected an offer to unload its cargo in Israel and accompany it across the border.

The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign initially organised the ship. Jenny Graham, a Free Gaza Movement (FGM) activist, assured that everything aboard the ship had been inspected in Ireland. A FGM activist Greta Berlin, based in Cyprus, said: “We are an initiative to break Israel’s blockade of 1.5 million people in Gaza. Our mission has not changed and this is not going to be the last flotilla.”

This comes after the death of nine activists when Israeli commandos raided the ‘Gaza Freedom Flotilla’ that planned to breach the Gaza blockade.

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Short-haired bumblebees reintroduced to UK

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A small population of Bombus subterraneus, the short-haired bumblebee, was reintroduced to the UK yesterday. The bee was declared extinct in Britain in 2000.

Around 100 queen bees were captured from Skåne, Sweden after the Nordic nation gave the go-ahead. After quarantine, around half of these were rejected to avoid introducing parasites alongside the bees. The rest have been released into a nature reserve in Dungeness, England.

“We’ve screened for four different parasite species,” explains biologist Dr Mark Brown of the University of London, where the bees spent two weeks at Royal Holloway. The parasites “can all damage bees in different ways.”

Work has been ongoing at Dungeness for years, establishing flowers the bees are known to like in meadows at the site, which, although rural, lies at the heart of an industrial area. Habitat loss is blamed for the bees’ extinction in the UK, with more intensive farming methods destroying meadows. South Sweden has less intensive farming, allowing the Swedish population to thrive. A normal survival rate of 20–30% is expected.

Organisations including the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Natural England, and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) are involved in funding the project, with the reserve itself belonging to the RSPB.

The bees were last seen in Dungeness in the 1980s. The same spot lost the shrill carder bee at around the same time, but shrill carder bees have recently been rediscovered there.

It is the second attempt to reintroduce short-haired bumblebees to Britain, after an effort in 2009 using bees removed from New Zealand. British bees were introduced to New Zealand to aid pollination before they were threatened. The bees died in the UK and tests established they had low genetic diversity. There are plans to add more bees to the Dungeness programme to increase genetic diversity there.

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International exhibit of chair art starts in Canada

Monday, November 21, 2005

The international entry mail art show SAT: An Exhibit of Chairs was put on display Friday in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. Held in the Fridge Front Gallery at the Shoppers World Brampton mall, SAT is a diverse collection of artworks focusing on a generally mundane object, the chair.

Works in the show range from realism to abstract, dadaism to surrealism, post-modern to collage.

While some of the entries were submitted directly to Visual Arts Brampton, most came from a previous exhibit. Organized by Pati Bristow, No place to rest, chairs you can’t sit on ran at Shopping Trolley Gallery West and Seaman’s Library at Foothill College, both in Los Altos Hills, California, earlier in 2005. Guest curator Nicholas Moreau was unaware of the similarly themed exhibit, held so soon before. The theme for SAT was based on that of a 1987 juried art show organized by Visual Arts Brampton at the now-defunct Chinguacousy Library Gallery.

Works in Visual Arts Brampton’s showing of the exhibition are from 17 countries including Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Romania, Spain, Uruguay, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

This is Visual Arts Brampton’s third mail art show. In 1999, Susan Williamson created The Great Canadian Mail Art Show for Artway at Bramalea City Centre; the show was so successful that the Art Gallery of Peel adopted it in 2001. The concept of a mail art show was revived in 2004 by Moreau, held at the new Artway Shoppers World. The Snail Mail World Postcard Art Show has been held annually since.

Visual Arts Brampton’s Fridge Front Gallery primarily hosts artwork by youth from its kids classes, and from schools in Brampton and Oakville. In contrast, the nearby Artway Gallery hosts artwork by professional and amateur adult artists from across Peel. VAB has successfully sought permission to create a third display space in Shoppers World, in the Zellers corridor. The space will host shows of mail art and works on paper year-round. The planned “World Art Gallery” will be the first ever permanent display space for mail art.

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

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Wikinews interviews 2020 Melbourne Lord Mayor Candidate Wayne Tseng

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

2020 Melbourne Lord Mayor candidate Wayne Tseng answered some questions about his campaign for the upcoming election from Wikinews. The Lord Mayor election in the Australian city is scheduled to take place this week.

Tseng runs a firm called eTranslate, which helps software developers to make the software available to the users. In the candidate’s questionnaire, Tseng said eTranslate had led to him working with all three tiers of the government. He previously belonged to the Australian Liberal Party, but has left since then, to run for mayorship as an independent candidate.

Tseng is of Chinese descent, having moved to Australia with his parents from Vietnam. Graduated in Brisbane, Tseng received his PhD in Melbourne and has been living in the city, he told Wikinews. Tseng also formed Chinese Precinct Chamber of Commerce, an organisation responsible for many “community bond building initiatives”, the Lord Mayor candidate told Wikinews.

Tseng discussed his plans for leading Melbourne, recovering from COVID-19, and “Democracy 2.0” to ensure concerns of minorities in the city were also heard. Tseng also focused on the importance of the multi-culture aspect and talked about making Melbourne the capital of the aboriginals. Tseng also explained why he thinks Melbourne is poised to be a world city by 2030.

Tseng’s deputy Lord Mayor candidate Gricol Yang is a Commercial Banker and works for ANZ Banking Group.

Currently, Sally Capp is the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, the Victorian capital. Capp was elected as an interim Lord Mayor in mid-2018 after the former Lord Mayor Robert Doyle resigned from his position after sexual assault allegations. Doyle served as the Lord Mayor of Melbourne for almost a decade since 2008.

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Influential rock drummer Ginger Baker dies at age 80

Monday, October 7, 2019

Yesterday morning, English drummer Ginger Baker died in a hospital at the age of 80. The news came from the Twitter account in his name and was independently confirmed by Associated Press with his daughter Nettie Baker. On September 25, it was reported Baker was hospitalized in critical condition. Baker was widely known as the drummer and co-founder of the rock band Cream, an early supergroup.

Baker, a life-long smoker and former heroin addict, suffered from health problems for years. The list of ailments included hearing loss, osteoarthritis, emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as heart problems for which he had surgery in 2016. Although known to have lived his latter years in South Africa, his daughter said he died in Britain without elaborating.

Ginger Baker was born Peter Edward Baker in Lewisham, London, in 1939. His father was killed in combat in 1943 during World War II. Baker — who was reportedly nicknamed Ginger due to his red hair — began playing drums in his teens. In a story he sometimes told, he had a habit of tapping on school desks. When an opportunity arose at a party, his classmates encouraged him to sit down at a drum set. “I’d never sat behind a kit before, but I sat down — and I could play! One of the musicians turned round and said, ‘Bloody hell, we’ve got a drummer’, and I thought, ‘Bloody hell, I’m a drummer’?”, he recalled in a 2009 retelling of the story to the The Independent.

Baker began his career as a drummer in jazz bands. He played with Acker Bilk and Terry Lightfoot. In 1962, when fellow drummer Charlie Watts was leaving Blues Incorporated for The Rolling Stones, Watts recommended Baker to be his replacement. Later, Baker found early success with rhythm and blues band The Graham Bond Organisation where he met bassist Jack Bruce.

In 1966, Baker, Bruce and singer/guitarist Eric Clapton, who was known from The Yardbirds, formed Cream. The rock trio was a massive success, selling tens of millions of records, including the first ever platinum certified album Wheels of Fire. Cream recorded four albums, then in 1968 disbanded with Baker and Bruce having developed a volatile relationship. Clapton and Baker were subsequently in another supergroup Blind Faith with Steve Winwood and Ric Grech. Blind Faith recorded only one studio album but notably played before a crowd of a hundred thousand at a free concert in London’s Hyde Park.

In the 1970s, Baker moved to Nigeria where he established a studio and began playing polo. Here he collaborated with Fela Kuti and worked on Wings’s album Band on the Run with Paul McCartney of The Beatles fame. Later, he recorded with John Lydon’s Public Image Ltd.

Cream was inducted in 1993 into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band reunited in 2005 for several London and New York concerts. Afterwards he moved to South Africa, and still lived there when the 2012 documentary Beware of Mr. Baker was filmed. Baker’s last recording was 2014’s Why? solo album. Baker retired from live performances in 2016 due to his ill health.

Paul McCartney wrote on Twitter, “Ginger Baker, great drummer, wild and lovely guy. We worked together on the ‘Band on the Run’ album in his ARC Studio, Lagos, Nigeria. Sad to hear that he died but the memories never will.”

“A very sad loss, and my condolences to his family and friends. A loss also for his contribution to music. He was well-grounded in jazz from very early on,” wrote Steve Winwood in a statement. “Beneath his somewhat abrasive exterior, there was a very sensitive human being with a heart of gold. He’ll be missed.”

Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones also reacted on Twitter, “Sad news hearing that Ginger Baker has died, I remember playing with him very early on in Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated. He was a fiery but extremely talented and innovative drummer.”

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Choosing Commercial Fire Damage Repair In Plainfield Il

byadmin

No one expects to experience fire damage to their property, but it happens which is why it is important to know where to turn for fire and smoke restoration. If you have a commercial or residential property that has experienced fire and smoke damage it is wise to look to the professionals for clean up and restoration. Commercial Fire Damage Repair in Plainfield, IL comes with many benefits which are as follows.

Supplies and EquipmentBesides having the knowledge and expertise to handle any fire and smoke restoration job, commercial restoration service providers also have the appropriate supplies and equipment for the job. It is unlikely that a home or business owner will have the proper cleaning supplies and industrial equipment to do a good job on cleaning up smoke damage and fire damaged items and structures. They also follow EPA guidelines in their use of chemicals and equipment.

Knowledge and ExpertiseProfessional smoke and fire damage restoration services provide trained specialists for this kind of work. They have a lot of knowledge about what can and cannot be cleaned and restored and what has to be properly disposed of. They go into buildings to thoroughly examine and evaluate the situation. They assess the damage and start identifying what can and cannot be salvaged.

Handling Insurance Companies

Professional fire damage restoration specialists know the complexities of dealing with your insurance company. If you had to handle this on your own after trying to clean up after the fire damage on your own, you would get the least amount of compensation for your losses. However, these professionals know what to say, how to say it, and how to make sure your claim is filed out properly on their end so they get their pay and you get compensated for your losses. Fire and smoke restoration companies often have an insurance specialist on staff to help get you the right payment for your restoration expenses.

As long as you choose a Commercial Fire Damage Repair in Plainfield, IL service provider with experience, it won’t matter how big or small the job. The tragedy of experiencing losses from a fire is enough without trying to handle the clean up and insurance company on your own. Hiring professionals like Integrity Restoration in Illinois will help you during this trying time.

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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Study says poor African American women less likely to receive pap smears

Wednesday, December 28, 2005Black American women living in communities with high poverty rates are significantly less likely to be screened for cervical cancer, a study finds.

The Harvard School of Public Health’s Geetanjali Dabral Datta investigated the relationship between individual characteristics and larger socioeconomic factors and cervical cancer screening rates. The Febreuary 1 issue of Cancer carries the study. More than 40,000 black women from across the United States participated in the Black Women’s Health Study.

“African-American women have twice the mortality rate from cervical cancer as white women,” said Elizabeth Ward, the director of the American Cancer Society. “Researchers need to investigate how those differences are related to socioeconomic status. One of the big factors that may account for this finding is access to high-quality medical care. Often communities that have high poverty rates either lack access to good quality care, or people have to travel longer distances to obtain high-quality care.”

David L. Katz at Yale University’s School of Medicine said; “While this finding is not surprising, it is noteworthy just the same. No one should die of cervical cancer, because a simple screening test reliably finds the condition in its earliest stages when cure is almost universally achievable. Yet, several thousand deaths from this cancer occur each year in the U.S.”

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Canadian judge strikes down marijuana possession laws as unconstitutional

Sunday, July 15, 2007

A judge in the province of Ontario, Canada dismissed marijuana possession charges against a Toronto man, ruling that Canada’s laws governing possession are unconstitutional.

The unidentified defendant, 29, had been charged with possession after police had found him carrying 3.5 grams of marijuana.

Since July 30, 2001, Canada has allowed a medical exemption for the possession and growing of marijuana, under Health Canada‘s Marijuana Medical Access Regulations. The regulations describe eligible persons as those “suffering from grave and debilitating illnesses.” Canada contracts a company, Prairie Plant Systems, to cultivate and package seeds and/or dried marijuana for shipping of a monthly supply to eligible patients. A packet of 30 seeds costs CA$20, plus taxes. Dried marijuana costs patients CA$150 for 30 grams (slightly more than one ounce).

The defendant in the legal case was not suffering from an illness and was not in need of an exemption from the possession laws. The man put forth a defence that questioned the legality of the medical exemption since it was only a regulation, not a law. He argued that all possession laws, therefore, should be struck down.

The judge presiding over the case, Howard Borenstein, agreed with the argument. “The government told the public not to worry about access to marijuana,” said Judge Borenstein. “They have a policy but not law. In my view that is unconstitutional.”

The defendant’s lawyer, Brian McAllister, felt that the ruling may have significant consequences for possession laws throughout the province. “Obviously, there’s thousands of people that get charged with this offence every year,” said McAllister. He suggested that Ontario residents can cite the new ruling as a defence for possession charges. “That’s probably why the government will likely appeal the decision,” he said.

Judge Borenstein will make his ruling official in two weeks time. Prosecutors in the case have said that they will appeal the decision soon.

In related news, a Liberal senator from the province of British Columbia, Larry Campbell, said Wednesday that the federal government should decriminalize marijuana and “tax the hell out of it,”. He said the government should use the revenue for health care priorities. Sales should be controlled by government, he stated, in the same way that alcohol is sold. He noted that organized crime is pulling in large profits on the growing and sale of the drug.

Senator Campbell also suggested that too many resources are placed on the criminal prosecution of people for possession of small amounts of marijuana. “This is not a drug that causes criminality,” he said. “People are getting criminal records for essentially nothing.”

A recent UN survey, the 2007 World Drug Report, has determined that marijuana use in Canada is the highest among developed nations. Some 16.8 percent of Canadians between the ages of 15 and 64 used marijuana in 2004, compared to 12.6 percent of Americans, 8.7 percent for Britain, 8.6 percent for France, 6.9 percent for Germany, and 0.1 percent of Japanese.

York University law professor Alan Young, said the report’s numbers may be skewed higher for Canadians due to the willingness of Canadians to discuss the issue. “It’s become a large part of youth culture in Canada, and more importantly, 50 percent of marijuana smokers are over the age of 30,” he said. “So it’s really gone to all age groups, all class groups. There’s no question about it that there is less stigma in Canada.”

Only four other countries ranked ahead of Canada on marijuana use: Papua New Guinea, Micronesia, Ghana, and Zambia.

The UN data for harder drugs such as amphetamines and ecstasy showed relatively low use among Canadians.

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Repair Your Transmission At A Qualified Warren Transmission Shop

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Common Transmission Problems

The first and perhaps the most likely issue you’ll have with your transmission is leaking transmission fluid. While leaks can come from all over the transmission, the most common area to look for is the reservoir pan for the transmission fluid. In addition, the gasket for the reservoir pan will often wear out over time and can cause fluid to leak. You can look in your car manual to determine the location of these items.

Another area that commonly sees failure is the transmission solenoid. The solenoid unit is the control unit of an automatic transmission. This allows the gears to change as needed and this unit can often fail over time.

Failure will be evident by a dramatic change in how the transmission shifts gears. In other instances, the seal that connects the solenoid unit to the body of the transmission will often wear out, which can cause transmission fluid to leak.

If you have a manual transmission, one of the most common issues that you’ll have is the clutch assembly. Often times, the clutch assembly can fail, or in many instances – especially with older vehicles – the clutch assembly will simply wear out and will need to be replaced.

While there are a wide variety of other things can happen to a transmission, these few issues mentioned above are some of the more likely instances where a transmission will need to be repaired. Regardless of what issues you may be having, whether it is one of these issues or something else, if you notice your transmission not working properly it’s time to search out for Transmission repair Warren services as soon as possible.