Australian Muslim killed by her hijab in go-carting accident

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Muslim woman has been killed by her religious apparel during a freak go-cart accident in Port Stephens, Australia. Mariam Dadoun, a 26-year-old mother, was out with her two children and husband enjoying their vacation time. While visiting Port Stephens Go-Karts, the vehicle had twisted her flowing hijab in the wheel’s axle.

Peter Fox of Port Stephens Local Area Command said, “the scarf was pulled across her throat […] from one side of the body to the other side”.

Medical professionals on the scene succeeded in reviving Dadoun. However, she shortly died of severe neck and throat injuries after being airlifted in a Westpac rescue helicopter to the nearby John Hunter Hospital.

The track has since been closed pending further investigation and a lack of proper licensing. The go-cart used in the accident has similarly been taken away for forensic examination by police authorities.

The spokesman of the New South Wales division of WorkCover, an organization tasked with ensuring the safety of amusement devices, commented that, “[Go-carts are] classified as amusement devices that have to be registered for safety purposes”. One go-cart on the property was found to lack proper guarding while the other had not been certified for use.

Sharon and Scott Taylor were waiting in line with their children at the time. Scott said that the injuries were clearly severe as the paramedics began helping her. He added, “Her clothing had wrapped around her neck”. “The cart hit the wall and stopped and she was just slumped over,” remarked Sharon.

Dadoun was the mother of two children, aged six and four. According to her aunt, she was a devoted caregiver and had been always willing to help others. More specifically, she remarked, “If anyone needed help, she wouldn’t say no. She did a lot for everybody – for her friends, her family, her relatives.” Strongly said, “You can’t describe Mariam. She was the best.”

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Australian_Muslim_killed_by_her_hijab_in_go-carting_accident&oldid=3578801”

Girls Aloud win Popjustice £20 Music Prize

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

British pop group Girls Aloud have won the 2005 Popjustice £20 Music Prize with their single “Wake Me Up”. The award, organised by music journalist Peter Robinson, is given annually to the best British pop single of the previous 12 months and is a tongue-in-cheek response to the Mercury Music Prize, the winner of which was announced earlier in the evening.

This year’s shortlist included Basement Jaxx, Robbie Williams and Charlotte Church.

This is the second time Girls Aloud have won the award – they won the inaugural prize in 2003 for “No Good Advice”.

Also announced was the winner of the £20 Invoice Prize for the worst British single of the previous 12 months. The winner, charity single Band Aid 20’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, was the UK’s Christmas number one in 2004.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Girls_Aloud_win_Popjustice_£20_Music_Prize&oldid=717976”

Mayor of London Boris Johnson announces bidders for additional Tramlink vehicles

Saturday, March 26, 2011

On Thursday, London’s Mayor Boris Johnson announced the shortlist of bidders to supply up to ten further trams to Transport for London (TfL) for use on the city’s Tramlink network in Croydon. The trams will be used to supply additional capacity on the network between Elmers End, central Croydon and Therapia Lane — one of the most congested parts of the route.

TfL, who purchased the Tramlink network from Tramtrack Croydon Ltd. in 2008, announced the plans late January, after submitting the tender to the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) on January 29. According to the notice, the additional trams will operate approximately 75,000km per year, will be needed for “at least 10, but not more than 20 years” and can be either new build or existing vehicles that can be modified — at a reasonable cost — to run on the Tramlink infrastructure.

The tram fleet is currently made up of 24 Bombardier CR4000 trams, which were constructed for the opening of the 28km network between 1998 and 2000. 22 of these trams are currently needed to operate the three tram routes each day, and the new service is expected to require at least an additional five trams daily, bringing about the need for a boost to the fleet levels.

The shortlist to supply the trams consists of City of Edinburgh/CAF, Stadler (Stadler Pankow GmBH) and Pesa (Pojazdy Szynowe PESA Bydgoszcz S.A.Holding, and the the three consortia will now be invited to submit proposals to supply the additional trams. The Invitation to Tender will run for four weeks.

It is not currently known whether the bids made by Stadler and Pesa will be for new-build or second-hand vehicles, however the bid from Edinburgh/CAF is to use a number of the currently-dormant trams that were constructed for that city’s own tram network. The system has had several set backs since construction began, with the network now set to open in stages with a number of tram lines (but not the trams to operate them) being cancelled, leading to a large surplus of vehicles that could be hired out in the short term. The trams are amongst some of the longest and heaviest in Europe, though, and will require a large amount of modification to enable them to be able to operate on Croydon’s network if the bid is successful.

Shortly after the announcement, whilst inspecting one of the network’s current trams at East Croydon tram stop, Boris Johnson said: “I have no greater responsibility as Mayor than to ensure people can move around this city with ease, comfort and reliability.

“Trams in Croydon have proved a major success and this is reflected in journey numbers which have soared by 45 per cent since the network opened in 2000.

“I look forward to the extra vehicles developing this vital, much-appreciated, and indeed attractive, form of transport further.”

Funding for the new trams is expected to largely come from TfL, however the London Borough of Croydon has also confirmed a £3m contribution to the project. This will also include the refurbishment of tram stop surrounds.

Croydon Council Leader Mike Fisher said: “This is looking like a great deal for Croydon and shows the benefits of an ambitious local authority and committed Mayor working together, pooling resources and expertise.

“There is real support to get additional trams for Croydon to keep pace with growing demand for Tramlink services and also to secure major improvements for pedestrians and transport users around and between East and West Croydon stations.”

TfL anticipates that, providing a successful bid is made, the new trams would be delivered to the network’s depot at Therapia Lane in late 2011, with an entry into service from early 2012.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Mayor_of_London_Boris_Johnson_announces_bidders_for_additional_Tramlink_vehicles&oldid=3763320”

US novelist Tom Clancy dies at age 66

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The bestselling US novelist Tom Clancy died yesterday in a hospital in Baltimore, according to his publisher. The sixty-six year old is best known for a series of novels themed around espionage, military affairs and geopolitical intrigue, many of which have been adapted into movies and video games.

The Hunt for Red October, Clancy’s first novel, sold over five million copies and was made into a movie with Alec Baldwin and Sean Connery. President Ronald Reagan described the novel as a “perfect yarn”. The protagonist of Red October, CIA analyst Jack Ryan, starred in a series of Clancy adventures featuring wars, terrorist attacks and international political power games. Ryan has been played by Harrison Ford and later Ben Affleck.

Seventeen of his twenty novels have reached number one on the New York Times bestseller list. In 2002, Forbes magazine estimated Clancy’s earnings at US$47.8m. His final novel, Command Authority, is to be published in December.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=US_novelist_Tom_Clancy_dies_at_age_66&oldid=4278642”

The Opportunities In Construction Jobs Abroad

By Duncan Freer

The Construction Industry operates on a global scale with many opportunities to work abroad. The developed world maintains many types of project, including continuation, decommissioning and environmental work, much of which is implemented by some of the industry’s leading companies, who are diversifying into new markets. Factors such as tourism and the continuing rise in the global population have increased the demand for housing, commercial buildings, high-rise constructions, industrial processing plants and new and improved transport infrastructures.

New markets are arising in countries with unused natural resources. Countries such as South Africa, South America and Russia are providing budding opportunities in this area, whilst countries in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia and Dubai are plowing billions of pounds worth of investment into housing, hospitals as well as residential and tourist developments. Other industries are having a positive effect on the construction industry; India has achieved an almost overnight success within its IT sector. As outsourcing and the off-shoring of international business have grown in conjunction with the development of this IT industry so, too, has the demand for commercial, residential and retail constructions. China is also offering substantial opportunities for jobs in construction as its changing infrastructure demands new housing and power developments.

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UK qualifications are well-respected worldwide by construction recruitment organizations, offering British workers considerable opportunities to work overseas. Whilst overseas project tend to favour more experienced graduates, many multinational companies will readily take on more-recently qualified graduates into their ranks. Contracts overseas can mean long periods of time away from the UK and, in some cases, working longer hours than UK contracts stipulate. However, in these circumstances, many companies offer employees additional pay allowances and extra money to assist the costs of intermittent flights back to Britain. Many consider this to be a career for single people, as the long periods away from home and the frequent lack of facilities to cope with dependants often take a toll on married couples or those in relationships.

Construction jobs overseas require a variety of employees with a variety of skills, such as site managers, site engineers, plant engineers, electricians, quantity surveyors, structural engineers, store managers, finance personnel, personnel managers, catering staff and procurement managers. Working abroad can also present language and cultural challenges, whilst trying to oversee a large build, but this leaves extra room for graduates to use their qualifications to their best advantage.

Of course, British engineers and specialists are not confined to finding construction jobs overseas; with the advent of the 2012 Olympics in the UK. Since 2006, the Olympic Committee has been sourcing the best candidates for the required builds and competition between companies is fierce for the relevant contracts. As the Games approach, there will be more and more opportunities for qualified candidates to consider making their mark on British soil, as well as taking into account the benefits offered by working overseas. The Olympics are being heralded as a showcase for the talents of UK construction companies, which is hoped to generate further work abroad.

About the Author: Duncan freer – Director – Construction Jobs Search is a job site dedicated to the specific needs of candidates who work in the building services and construction industry in the UK. We also provide recruiters with an online service that is effective in terms of cost and ease of use. Contacts For interviews, images or comments contact: John Roberts Marketing Manager Email: john@thejobsearchgroup.com

Source: isnare.com

Permanent Link: isnare.com/?aid=306030&ca=Jobs

British warship HMS Invincible put up for auction online

Friday, December 3, 2010

The British warship HMS Invincible has been put up for auction online. Invincible, an aircraft carrier that served in the Falklands, Balkans, and Iraq wars, was decommissioned in 2005 after 25 years of service with the Royal Navy. Jon Rosamond, editor of a naval magazine said that it “has been offered by the MoD for non-warlike purposes.” No bids have yet been received, but it is thought that it could sell for £2m.

During service, the vessel’s four Rolls-Royce engines could propel it to a top speed of 28 knots, with a range of 7,000 nautical miles. The flight deck carried eighteen British Aerospace Harrier II fighter jets, and four Westland Sea King helicopters. In recent years, however, she has been reduced to reserve. Rosamond said: “Even if someone did want to take it on as a going concern it would never be used as an aircraft carrier again.”

The MoD held a decommissioning service for the vessel in in Portsmouth, Hampshire, in August 2005. “Pipers played aboard Invincible while it sailed into Portsmouth Naval Base on 1 August for the last time. A gun salute and a flypast also marked the event,” Wikinews reported at the time. Bids for the ship must be submitted by early January next year. Naval consultant Richard Scott said that the vessel “certainly carved her name out in history in 1982. But every ship reaches the end of its career and she is at the end of hers.”

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=British_warship_HMS_Invincible_put_up_for_auction_online&oldid=1233011”

Addicted To Bingo? Play Free Games Then!

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There are times when you just can’t afford to part with your precious dollars but then you so badly want to play bingo. Then this is the right time to switch to the free bingo rooms where you can play free games without putting a single dollar on stake.

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Source:

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Sirius CEO visits congress

Friday, March 2, 2007

Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin appeared before a newly formed Antitrust Task Force, a sub-committee of the House Judiciary Committee, on Wednesday last week in Washington, D.C. to defend the proposed U.S. merger between XM and Sirius satellite radio services.

The hearing, carried live on C-SPAN, was attended by representatives from various competing broadcast companies. The representatives challenged the merger deal, and some speakers were openly hostile to Karmazin and to satellite radio in general, while other speakers were more civil.

Several times during the debate, the discussion centered on the failed merger deal between the two satellite television networks DirecTV and Echostar. The comparison between this proposed radio merger and the failed television merger was settled to some extent with an understanding that nearly all television viewers now use either cable or satellite to view available programming. Televised programming content is now delivered mainly in the form of a subscription, rather than airwave transmissions.

Unlike television programming, most radio listeners use over the air receivers to listen to free programming content supported advertisers.

“We come to this hearing with an open mind, but we recognize that the companies have the obligation to convince the Congress, the regulators, and most importantly, the American People that this combination will improve the competitive playing field and benefit consumers,” said John Conyers, the sub-committee chairman. To determine the legality of this merger, Congress first needs to decide whether a combined XM and Sirius would be a monopoly, as the only satellite radio provider in the United States, or whether the new company will actually be in competition with other forms of radio-like entertainment, according to Conyers. The hearing focused on alternatives such as Internet radio, terrestrial radio, portable audio devices, and emerging services, such as cell phone services and WiMax.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Sirius_CEO_visits_congress&oldid=4525617”

Clay Mask Recipes

By John Oleander

Clays are a wonderful beauty product that boast not just rejuvenating skin, but also promote physical health and well-being. Clay types such as Bentonite and White Kaolin are not only used as facial masks but have also been incorporated in bath soaps, lotions, creams, skin care agents, and toiletries, as colorants or beauty-enhancing ingredient.

You can whip up your own clay masks at home or use the powder for your bath water, as poultice, or in first aid treatment. Cosmetic clays are known to have exfoliating properties and are known to detoxify and improve blood and lymph circulation. Around two or three ounces of clay mixed in with scented bath water will leave your skin feeling smooth and refreshed. You can also create a paste with a small amount of clay, aloe vera gel, or distilled water to be applied on rashes, small cuts, minor burns, insect sting and bites. The paste can also be spread on gauze and kept moist on aching muscles or rheumatic joints.

In whipping up your own clay mask, it is important to know that different types of skin require a specific type of clay. White Kaolin is the mildest clay mask as it does not absorb too much oil, making it perfect for dry sensitive skin, while Green Clay are for oily and acne-prone skin. The following are some clay mask recipes that you can use and apply at home during your beauty rest. Just make sure you perform a patch test on a small area of your skin (e.g. a portion of your forearm) before putting the mixture on the face. Always apply the mask over a clean, damp face for better clay action.

Note: You can replace orange flower water with distilled water

French Green Clay Mask (for acne-prone and oily skin)

1 ounce green clay

3 tablespoons aloe vera gel

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1 teaspoon orange flower water

1 or 2 drops of essential oil of your choice (lavender, tea tree, and orange is recommended)

Mix the clay, aloe vera gel, orange flower water, and drops of essential oils in that order to form a thick, fragrant paste. Make sure to mix the ingredients well before applying to the face. Avoid the eye area. Leave the mixture on for 15 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water and then cold water to tighten pores. Apply other beauty products as directed.

Pink Clay Mask (for dull, dry skin)

The Pink Clay in the recipe will exfoliate as well as improve blood and lymph circulation for a fresh, youthful glow.

1 ounce pink clay

3 tablespoons orange flower water

1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin

1 or 2 drops of essential oil of your choice (e.g. orange, Neroli, jasmine or sandalwood)

Mix the ingredients together in a dry, clean bowl. Apply over damp face, avoiding the eye area. Leave on the mixture for 15 minutes and rinse off with lukewarm water. Completely rinse with cold water to tighten pores.

Mature Skin Clay Mask

1 ounce red clay

2 teaspoons finely ground oatmeal

3 tablespoons rosewater

1 teaspoon avocado oil

1 or 2 drops of essential oil of your choice

Combine red clay and oatmeal before adding rosewater and avocado oil. Mix until a thick consistency is achieved; add one or two drops of essential oil of your choice. Apply over face, avoiding the eye area. Leave for 15 minutes and then rinse with cold water to close the pores.

About the Author: Are you looking for more information regarding

clay masks

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Interview with Ton Roosendaal about Elephants Dream and free content movies

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Three days after the Internet release of the free content 3D short Elephants Dream (see Wikinews coverage), we exchanged e-mails with Ton Roosendaal about the reaction to the film, open source filmmaking, and the changes to Blender that resulted from the production. Ton Roosendaal is the lead developer of the Blender 3D rendering and modelling software that was used for the movie. He is also the chairman of the Blender Foundation, a non-profit organization which was formed in support of the software and projects like Elephants Dream.

How much money did the Blender Foundation spend on producing the movie? Has the money been fully recouped by DVD orders and donations?

We still have to finish the final bookkeeping for this project. It has been executed in co-production with the Netherlands Media Art Institute, and we each had our own internal budgeting for the project. When you exclude expenses of pre-production and producer personnel, the total budget was about 120,000 €, of which we covered half. Our contribution was roughly covered half by the DVD sales, and half by European Union support (http://www.uni-verse.org consortium).

One of the most common criticisms of CGI films is focus on technology over content. For instance, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within flopped with audiences, in spite of being an undisputed technical milestone. I’ve seen many reviews that criticized the plot of “Elephants Dream” as too bizarre or confusing. In retrospect, are you happy with the story development process?

Haha, I knew the story and plot would get a mixed acclaim. There’s a couple of reasons I’d like to mention for it.

First of all; the criticism resembles how people witness Blender itself, too. Many people expect that Free Software is an easy accessible mass audience product. We get a lot of complaints by non-artists that they can’t get into the software easily, whilst the complexity of commercial products like Maya or Houdini is perceived as a confirmation of its “quality”. Apparently an Open Movie created similar expectations with the audience.

Luckily we also got many positive reviews of the artistic result of the movie. It is quite abstract, but definitely has many layers of information, inspiring many of the viewers to see relevant real life messages hidden here.

For this project we’ve teamed up with the Netherlands Media Art Institute, internationally renowned as a resource for video art. So for Elephants Dream, we’ve had the luxury to challenge ourselves to create real independent artistic content as well. The artists had a lot of freedom from the start; they were responsible for the concept, story and creative development of the entire movie. This has resulted in a lot of quite personal choices, based on what the artists liked to do themselves. I really cherish such an approach, it has resulted in a very motivated team working crazy hours the last months to get it all realized.

But, most importantly; the main target of our project was not only to create a 3D movie short, but to experiment with ways to improve the efficiency and quality of open source development. On this aspect only, this project was just a huge success, and the main reason for our sponsors (the DVD pre-sale) to support it. I know they might have liked a cartoonish funny movie with furry animals better, but for that you get already pretty well served by the bigger 3D animation studios. 🙂

I’m the first to admit that – looking back especially – certain aspects worked out quite weakly; there’s loose ends and questionable decisions, especially in story development and continuity. That’s just the risk of doing experiments, and nothing I regret really. The five artists from our user community who were invited to make the movie were young people with no professional background in filmmaking. Their personal incentive to participate in this project was also to learn from it, and to create a good portfolio for their future career. I’ve witnessed them grow in competence in the past year enormously, something I’m incredibly proud of.

On the technical level, the only major criticism I’ve seen of “Elephants Dream” is the character animation, especially in the opening scene — many reviewers felt that the movements seemed a bit unnatural. Do you agree with these criticisms? If so, what do you think can be done to improve on that level?

Yeah, the challenge the artists set themselves – to use quite realistic personages – is also something that easily works against you. In many animation movies they introduce characters in the beginning in a way you get used to their specific characteristic movements, so you accept a certain level of non-realism easily. (Check the weird walk cycles in The Incredibles for example). Another aspect is that we’ve started work on the first scenes, and ended with the last scenes. I can clearly see the animation quality increase, and that whilst the ending scenes were done in much less time due to time constraints.

We also didn’t schedule to do 9.5 minutes of animation either…. Originally it was more like 6. But, it’s always easier to look back to define the right decisions, eh? 🙂

I’m very happy with the reviews we got so far; luckily the movie was perceived as a professional quality product, and reviewed based on comparisons with what the big studios come up with. Even when we couldn’t satisfy all these quality demands, it has luckily not been branded as a pathetic presumptuous attempt by amateurs!

Do you think there is hope for a full-length open movie project in the near future? Would the Blender Foundation be interested in such a project, or do you intend to continue focusing mainly on shorts?

I’d like to wait a little while with defining what a next project would look like. Given the constraints of “organizing projects to improve open source development”, we might have not much choice either. It would probably mean to work with a new team each time, so most likely be based on shorts only. On the other hand, there’s also clear signals that this approach works well, and creates excitement and involvement of a lot of people, also from producers and sponsors. That might enable us to set up a next project based on larger targets. For a full-length feature film however, we should involve a sufficient amount of experienced film makers as well, and/or invite the first team to participate again. That would put a lot of pressure on the required budget…. You can’t do that based on a 1000 DVD pre-sale target. Would more be like 20,000 or so…. 🙂

How did the process of making the movie feed back into the development of Blender? Are there major technical changes that were made only or primarily because of the film?

Already during the pre-production phase the artists have defined the key targets for Blender development. This then was coordinated with the online development community too. I’ve done the most crucial (re-)development mostly myself, though. Especially on the character animation tools, on the rendering pipeline and compositing tools.

It is especially the latter I’m most satisfied with. In 3D movie production the compositing stage creates a giant content bottleneck. By transparently integrating this in our render-pipeline, a very efficient workflow has been achieved. And, not to forget, Blender now also offers the first production-level open source compositor on the market!

The current summary you can find in our work-in-progress release notes.

What are the key technical features in Blender you want to add or improve for future movie projects?

Depends on what the movie is about! There’s always hundreds of features you can work on. However, we’ll have to work on that anyway, movie project or not. There’s a lot of professionals using Blender now, and they can’t wait for the Blender Foundation to do movies! Look at this studio for example:http://www.plumiferos.com/

I read that at least one proprietary software package, Reaktor, was used for the sound effects. Is this because no equivalent free software solution exists yet? Will future projects have a “free software only” policy?

We’ve limited the “Open Source tools” requirement to our own Studio Orange only. That was what we could keep in control at least, and I can tell you it was not always easy even… 🙂

For sound and music we’ve decided from the beginning to seek an external sponsor. We have chosen to work with the best quality studio and composer we could find, preferably using open source, but not as a prerequisite.

My own competence is solely within the CG [computer graphics, Ed.] side of movie making. When it comes to music editing, or video encoding and DVD authoring, I could only decide to choose to work with external parties with proven competences in that area. I have to be practical in projects like this, especially to ensure it will be realized.

Hopefully, now we’ve got so much attention world wide, we can involve more non-CG open source next time, too. I will definitely strive for the maximum here, but it will fully depend on the amount of professional support we can get.

Blender itself was originally closed source freeware, until it was “liberated” through a fundraising campaign. If you could choose one proprietary application to “set free” where such a goal could be realistically achieved, which one would it be?

Well, the “realistically achieved” demand makes it quite difficult. 🙂 Looking back at similar cases, like Mozilla and OpenOffice.org, it was always very circumstantial. It just happens sometimes, you can’t organize something like this to happen in advance. The only common denominator is “a company in troubles”… so, who’s in trouble now?

What is your personal favorite computer-animated full-length film?

Uuuh… that differs every week! Probably Ice Age (the first one). Mostly because they didn’t overdo showcasing 3D technology so much, but created truly adorable characters and great funny gags.

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