Earth Day 2009 celebrated around the globe

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Today is the 39th observance of Earth Day in the northern hemisphere. Earth day is celebrated in Autumn on November 30 in the southern hemisphere. Senator Gaylord Nelson initiated the first Earth Day in April 1970 in the United States, and it is now celebrated by over 1 billion people in over 170 countries worldwide. Earth Day is the biggest environmental event which addresses issues and educates people on environmental awareness on a global scale.

This year, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will beam high-definition images to the NASA website and television. By doing so, NASA hopes to increase appreciation of global climate issues. There will also be a Washington exhibit relating to environmental issues viewed from space as well.

At the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center activities will focus on their slogan for Earth Day 2009, “Just One Drop … PRICELESS” and will demonstrate how the Environmental Control Life Support System operates as used on the International Space Staton (ISS).

Amongst the many festivals, WorldFest is a solar powered music celebration held in Los Angeles, California. Buenos Aires will also feature its second Earth Day event featuring a music festival as well.

“We are in a new era of energy innovation,” said Daniel Yergin at a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) forum. Lithium-ion batteries are providing electric storage solutions for electric cars such as the Chevrolet Volt and the Dodge Circuit EV. Algae fuel is a new form of biofuel, but is still under development.

“Energy Smackdown” was a competitive household activity which compared energy usage between 60 separate households across three cities in or near Boston. The various competitors came up with a variety of innovative methods to cut their carbon footprint, installing solar electric panels, geothermal heat pumps, wind turbines, and using a caulking gun to seal the home from drafts.

“In the average home, 75 percent of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off.” is a United States Department of Energy (DOE) estimate.

Miami is installing a smart grid which will use individual household smart meters to allow energy consumers know via a web site, their exact home energy usage. “To me these are prudent and smart investments that will easily pay for themselves. It will show the nation how to address environmental, energy, and economic challenges all at the same time.” said Miami mayor Manny Diaz.

Cal Dooley, CEO of the American Chemistry Council ACC, says the plastic bag industry is prepared to spend US$50 million to revamp their manufacturing facilities and will collect 470 million pounds of recycled plastic every year to make plastic bags of 40% recycled content. The ACC is providing a donation to the Keep America Beautiful environmental organisation, both of whom endorse this new project. The Earth Day Network (EDN) and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) would like to see an end to the use of plastic bags, however. “We don’t want people to use disposable bags. We want people to use reusable bags,” says Darby Hoover of the NRDC.

Calgary researchers will begin field surveys to help save the “Northern Leopard Frog (Rana Pipiens). “Northern Leopard Frogs are threatened in Alberta, but endangered in British Columbia,” said Dr. Des Smith, Primary Investigator and Research Scientist with the Calgary Zoo’s Centre for Conservation Research. “It is essential to develop new monitoring techniques for Northern Leopard” said Breana McKnight, Field Team Leader and Endangered Species Researcher.

The traditional Earth day ceremony of planting trees is garnering further attention in Japan as Koichi Nakatani, the nation’s Tree Planting Father travels from Hokkaido to Okinawa.

Students can take part in an Earth Day photo contest sponsored by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies which will feature images and scientific student research for the environmental change depicted in each photo submitted.

“Earth Day should be about teaching about the environment every day,” said Sean Mille director of education for EDN, “We emphasize taking action for your classroom, school, district or community.” 25,000 schools across America made use of the environmental curriculum developed by the National Civic Education Project, the Green Schools Campaign and the Educator’s Network. Lesson plans are broad and varied and may focus on water pollution, recycling, composting, using chemistry to convert cafeteria left-overs into biodiesel or ethanol fuel or converting go-carts to operate on biodiesel or ethanol fuels in shop class.

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Interview with Tony Ciufo, City Council candidate for Ward 10 in Mississauga, Canada

Friday, September 22, 2006

The upcoming 2006 Mississauga municipal election, to be held November 13, features an array of candidates looking to represent their wards in city council.

Wikinews contributor Nicholas Moreau has contacted as many candidates as possible, including Tony Ciufo, asking them to answer common questions sent in an email. There is no incumbent in the newly created ward; the sixteen resident competing for the position are Shah Rukh Alam, John Briers, Jamie Dookie, Dale D’Souza, Prag Euclid, Adnan Hashmi, Elias Hazineh, Jack Janiak, Fasal Javaid, Craig Lawrence, Sue M. McFadden, Patrick Mendes, Barbara Polis, Graziano Roti, Ali Tahmourpour, and Scott Wilson.

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Egyptian treasures found in ancient tomb

Friday, March 13, 2009

A team of archaeologists excavating an Ancient Egyptian tomb have discovered golden jewelry in a recently-discovered lower chamber at the Valley of the Kings burial site in Luxor, Egypt.

Two golden rings and five golden earrings were found in the tomb of Djehuty, an 18th-dynasty official of Queen Hatshepsut, and were probably the property of Djehuty or his family.

The discovery was announced by Farouk Hosni, Egypt’s current Minister of Culture.

Djehuty was overseer of the treasury and overseer of works for the Queen. Hatshepsut reigned approximately 1479–1458 BCE. Djehuty was responsible for managing the huge amounts of precious goods brought in from Egypt’s military expedition to Punt in the Horn of Africa and the vast building projects of Hatshepsut which have made the female pharaoh one of the most-remembered of any from ancient Egypt.

Djehuty died after Hatshepsut did, sometime during the reign of Thutmosis III. Both Hatshepsut’s and Thutmosis’s names are recorded on the tomb. In a fashion typical of ancient Egyptian rivalries, Hatshepsut’s name was partly obscured on the monument over the tomb sometime after the queen’s death.

The team, led by José Manuel Galán of the National Research Center (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, CSIC), in Madrid, Spain, had been excavating the tomb, designated TT11 and located in the necropolis of Dra’ Abu el-Naga’, since 2002. While much of Djehuty’s funerary equipment was lost to fire in antiquity, the lower chamber of his tomb was concealed at the end of a three-meter shaft and discovered at the end of 2008.

A superficial description of the tomb itself was recorded almost two hundred years ago by 19th-century French Egyptologist Jean-François Champollion, rubble blocking the entrance hindered excavation until the 21st century. In that time, emphasis in Egyptology has changed from the cataloging of treasures to the investigation of ancient culture, life and religion.

Since excavation began, Djehuty’s tomb has yielded a number of surprises. It was discovered that the tomb was re-used repeatedly up to and during the Greco-Roman period. There is an unusual face-on depiction of pharaoh Thutmosis III hunting ducks, and the mummy of a young, bejewelled, as-yet unidentified woman.

In 2007, 44 preserved bunches of flowers thought to be from Djehuty’s funeral were found in the site. In their 8th season of excavation, which ended on February 22, 2009, the team also found considerable evidence that below Djehuty’s tomb is a network of burial sites from the 11th dynasty, four thousand years old.

The lower chamber also displays passages from the Egyptian funerary text the Book of the Dead on its walls and a colorful mural of the goddess Nut, an embodiment of the heavens, on the ceiling. The names of Djehuty and his parents were also intact in the second chamber; the names were defaced in the previously-known first chamber of the tomb, which had also been looted.

According to a press release from Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, Djehuty’s tomb is only the fifth known decorated burial chamber of the 18th dynasty. An additional unusual feature of the tomb is that its upper chamber is decorated in relief, rather than simply paint. When the excavation is completed, Dr Galán’s team plans to open the site to the public as the carved stoneworks will not be destroyed by tourists’ activities as paint would.

The identification of Djehuty is a complicated one, as a number of officials of the 18th dynasty bore the name, including a general and several governors. The name itself is an alternate transliteration of the name of the Egyptian god usually written in English as Thoth.

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Top Mistakes Of Managing Your Own Rental Property}

Submitted by: Jason Kay

Managing your own rental property can be somewhat of a challenge especially if you dont know what mistakes are common and how to avoid them. But by avoiding these mistakes you will not only save yourself money, but you will also save yourself a whole lot of headaches.

While managing your own rental property is not something for the meek, here are some common mistakes that should be avoided at all costs:

Not screening potential tenants: It is of utmost importance that you carefully screen each prospective tenant who wishes to rent your property. You should have each interested party fill out an application that includes things such as rental history, financial stability, credit, and even criminal background. The last thing you want to do is to take someone at their word that they are going to be a great tenant and then find out later that they dont have two nickels to rub together. Nothing will make you feel more foolish than knowing there was something you could have done to prevent a bad tenant from occupying your property. The key to enjoying the rental property business lies in good tenants and if you dont screen properly you may miss out and rent to some less than desirables.

Not signing a lease: You never want to take anything for granted when it comes to renting your property. If you dont make the tenants sign a lease you will have a harder time getting them out should they default on the agreement. Whether you are renting month to month or a year at a time, make sure you get it in writing.

Not giving Title X information: This one can cost you big, $10,000 in fact. According to the law, every tenant, new or renewing, must receive a pamphlet from you on the Lead Based Paint Disclosure Law if your house was built before 1978.

Not having the property ready: Make sure that everything that needs to be done to your property such as painting or repairs are done before a new tenant moves in. Failure to do so will result in endless phone calls from the tenant and added headaches for you. Unless you have a written agreement with the tenant prior to them moving in, then it is imperative that all the work be completed before occupancy begins.

Not maintaining the property: Another common mistake is not properly maintaining your property. It is easy to ignore little problems as they begin, but after enough time those little problems become big problems and cost big bucks to fix. It is better to find a company to perform routine maintenance such as clean the gutters and maintain the air conditioning unit so that problems arise on a less frequent basis. The cost of a maintenance program is nothing compared to a major problem that can arise if things are not taken care of from the get go.

While many rental property owners hire a company to manage their rental properties for them, it can be done yourself. Again, managing your own rental problem is a very challenging and difficult thing to do, but avoiding common mistakes can make your endeavor a bit easier.

About the Author: Compare property management companies by reading independent

property management reviews

given by landlords and tenants.


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Italian goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini seriously injured in motorcycle accident

Friday, November 13, 2009

Italian goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini has been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident in London. The player, who plays for Tottenham Hotspurs, was involved in a collision with a car at 10:30 GMT. The football club reported that he has fractured his wrists and injured his pelvis.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police released a statement saying “A 36-year-old male suffered injuries described by the London Ambulance Service as possibly life-changing and was taken to Whipps Cross Hospital for further assessment and treatment”. No arrests have been made.

Cudicini crashed his motorcycle into a Ford Fiesta with a female driver and a child passenger. Neither the driver or passenger were injured in the accident.

Cudicini is the son of former AC Milan goalkeeper Fabio Cudicini. During his career he has played for Lazio, AC Milan and Chelsea. He played for Chelsea for 10 years until he was transferred to Tottenham in January. He made one appearance for the Italian national team.

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Computer professionals celebrate 10th birthday of A.L.I.C.E.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005File:Turing1.jpg

More than 50 programmers, scientists, students, hobbyists and fans of the A.L.I.C.E. chat robot gathered in Guildford, U.K. on Friday to celebrate the tenth birthday of the award winning A.I. On hand was the founder the Loebner Prize, an annual Turing Test, designed to pick out the world’s most human computer according to an experiment laid out by the famous British mathematician Alan Turing more then 50 years ago. Along with A.L.I.C.E.’s chief programmer Dr. Richard S. Wallace, two other Loebner prize winners, Robby Garner and this year’s winner, Rollo Carpenter, also gave presentations, as did other finalists.

The University of Surrey venue was chosen, according to Dr. Wallace, not only because it was outside the U.S. (A.L.I.C.E.’s birthday fell on the Thanksgiving Day weekend holiday there, so he expected few people would attend a conference in America), but also because of its recently erected statue of Alan Turing, who posed the famous A. I. experiment which inspired much of the work on bots like A.L.I.C.E. University of Surrey Digital World Research Centre organizers Lynn and David Hamill were pleased to host the event because it encourages multi-disciplinary interaction, and because of the Centre’s interest in interaction between humans and computers.File:ALICE Birthday Cake.jpg

Dr. Wallace gave a keynote address outlining the history of A.L.I.C.E. and AIML. Many people commented on the fact the he seemed to have moved around a lot in the last ten years, having lived in New York, Pennsylvania, San Francisco, Maine, Amsterdam and Philadelphia, while working on the Alicebot project. The A.L.I.C.E. and AIML software is popular among chat robot enthusiats primarily because of its distribution under the GNU free software license. One of Dr. Wallace’s PowerPoint slides asked the question, “How do you make money from free software?” His answer: memberships, subscriptions, books, directories, syndicated ads, consulting, teaching, and something called the Superbot.

Rollo Carpenter gave a fascinating presentation on his learning bot Jabberwacky, reading from several sample conversations wherein the bot seemed amazingly humanlike. Unlike the free A.L.I.C.E. software, Carpenter uses a proprietary learning approach so that the bot actually mimics the personality of each individual chatter. The more people who chat with Jabberwacky, the better it becomes at this kind of mimicry.

In another interesting presentation, Dr. Hamill related present-day research on chat robots to earlier work on dialog analysis in telephone conversations. Phone calls have many similarities to the one-on-one chats that bots encounter on the web and in IM. Dr. Hamill also related our social expectations of bots to social class structure and how servants were expected to behave in Victorian England. He cited the famous Microsoft paperclip as the most egregius example of a bot that violated all the rules of a good servant’s behavior.

Bots have advanced a long way since philanthropist Hugh Loebner launched his controversial contest 15 years ago. His Turing Test contest, which offers an award of $100,000 for the first program to pass an “audio-visual” version of the game, also awards a bronze medal and $2000 every year for the “most human computer” according to a panel of judges. Huma Shah of the University of Westminster presented examples of bots used by large corporations to help sell furniture, provide the latest information about automotive products, and help customers open bank accounts. Several companies in the U.S. and Europe offer customized bot personalities for corporate web sites.

Even though Turing’s Test remains controversial, this group of enthusiastic developers seems determined to carry on the tradition and try to develop more and more human like chat bots.Hugh Loebner is dedicated to carry on his contest for the rest of his life, in spite of his critics. He hopes that a large enough constituency of winners will exist to keep the competition going well beyond his own lifetime. Dr. Wallace says, “Nobody has gotten rich from chat robots yet, but that doesn’t stop people from trying. There is such a thing as ‘bot fever’. For some people who meet a bot for the first time, it can pass the Turing Test for them, and they get very excited.”

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Woman Loses 32 Lbs. In 40 Days With Gastric Bypass Hypnosis

Woman Loses 32 lbs. in 40 days with Gastric Bypass Hypnosis


Debra Graugnard

Here is my final update on Rena Greenberg`s Gastric Bypass Hypnosis Surgery program.

It has been about forty days since I first underwent the surgery. For those of you who haven`t read my previous columns on the subject, I`ll give you a brief summary.

Rena Greenberg, a certified hypnotherapist (and author, among other things) created a hypnosis program that makes the patient feel as if they actually underwent the invasive gastric bypass surgery. Their stomachs feel smaller, they eat less, and so on. I decided to try the program for thirty days because it sounded too good to be true.

It`s not. I began the program about 40 days ago. To date, I`ve lost 32 pounds. That`s a helluva lot of weight to lose in less than two months. My stomach does feel a lot smaller and I cannot eat anywhere near as much as I used to.

When I serve myself, my servings literally look like they were portioned for a four-year-old kid. And on the couple of occasions where I allowed myself one more bite even though I didn`t really feel hungry, I felt as if I had eaten at Golden Corral – -stuffed like a Thanksgiving tur-kay.


I would say that 99 percent of the time I am completely satisfied with childlike portions. As I stated earlier, there have been about two or three times in the past several weeks when the fatty in me demanded an extra spoonful of pork and beans (or hummus, or couscous, or whatever) and after swallowing that bite, I wanted to kill myself and immediately had to go for a walk. I felt as if I had eaten two large pizzas and a meatball sub.

So, does the program work? Absolutely. At least it did for me. I can`t even fathom eating the way I used to eat. Even the thought of pigging out repulses me.

To give you an example, before the program, I could easily scarf down a foot long steak sub and then some. You know what I do now? I ask the submaster to cut the foot long into three pieces and I eat only one of the sections and I give the other two to my kids as snacks (they`re teenagers; they`re allowed).

I have to say that I was surprised; I really did not expect the program to work; especially on me. I tend to be a bit hardheaded.

I should also say that I was not as faithful about listening to the reinforcement CD as I should have been. Greenberg had advised me that the reinforcement was crucial. So maybe I would have lost more weight by now -who knows?

Either way, I honestly believe that hypnosis is an excellent organic, non-invasive method to losing weight, and Greenberg`s program proves it.

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Rena Greenberg is CEO and Founder of offers

Private Hypnosis Sessions, Weight Loss


Stop Smoking Seminars, Gastric Bypass Hypnotherapy,

at home programs for

Weight Loss, Stop Smoking, Self-Esteem, Stress Reduction, Pain Control and Gastric Bypass Hypnosis Surgery

and a unique liquid herbal formula for weight loss and energy: Slender Cider

Rena Greenberg ( ) is the Author of The Right Weigh (Hay House Publishing) and The Craving Cure (McGraw-Hill) and has helped over 100,000 people to lose weight and stop smoking. Rena`s wellness program has been reviewed and sponsored by over 75 hospitals and offered in 100+ corporations such as AT&T and Walt Disney World. Rena`s success has been featured in over 100 newspaper and television stories on NBC-TV, ABC-TV, FOX-TV and CBS-TV and Women`s World Magazine.

About Author:

We all have turning points in life. It was 1987 and I was just about to graduate from college. I was living a fun but very full life full-time student working 30 hours/week at a bank, hitting every 2 for 1 meal special in town yes, the standard American college student diet and partying whenever I could fit it in! (and I always could who needed sleep?). More information please visit site

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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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British Airways and Iberia sign merger deal

Friday, April 9, 2010

British Airways (BA) and the Spanish airline Iberia have signed a merger deal, which will create one of the largest air carrier groups in the world.

The two announced the merger yesterday, and said that the deal, which has been expected for a long time, is to be implemented by the end of 2010. The move will make a group with a market value of US$8 billion. The deal has been negotiated since July 2008.

Under the plan, both companies keep their own brands and operations, but will be owned by International Airlines Group, a new holding company. It will be listed in London, but taxed in Spain.

The airlines believe the merger will save $530 million annually. In February, BA reported a loss of $102.4 million for the final three quarters of 2009, whilst Iberia posted an operating loss of $629 million.

Meanwhile, investors in BA will receive an IAG share for every BA share they own, and stockholders in Iberia 1.0205 shares for each share in the Spanish airline; thus, BA shareholders will take 55% of IAG.

“The merged company will provide customers with a larger combined network,” commented BA chief executive Willie Walsh. “It will also have greater potential for further growth by optimising the dual hubs of London and Madrid and providing continued investment in new products and services.”

Meanwhile, Iberia chief executive Antonio Vázquez remarked: “This is an important step in creating one of the world’s leading global airlines that will be better equipped to compete with other major airlines and participate in future industry consolidation.”

Independent aviation specialist James Halstead said he believed the merger was necessary for BA to remain competitive amongst other European air carriers. “BA’s unique position at Heathrow could help it survive for a short while, but in the long run it needs more than just Heathrow. The main point of the Iberia deal is to be able to cut costs and put the combined company in the position that Air France-KLM and Lufthansa are already in,” he said, quoted by The Independent.

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Benefits Of Installation And Siding Repair In Charles Mo


Whether someone is building a home or they simply want to give their current home a new look, investing in top-quality siding is important. Companies that do installation and siding repair in Charles MO know there are a variety of options available, but none match the durability of vinyl siding. Today’s contractors are here to point out some of the benefits of residential vinyl siding. For those considering the investment, below are some of the reasons why vinyl siding comes so highly recommended by contractors and homeowners alike.

Cost Savings

If a person is concerned about their budget, vinyl siding can be more cost-efficient than fiber cement or natural wood siding. In most cases, vinyl siding is about half the cost of other materials. Furthermore, because it’s easier to install, the customer spends less on labor during the process of installation.


One of the main benefits of vinyl siding is that it is much more durable than other siding options. Unlike wood siding, which can gradually rot, vinyl siding is not affected by water and it is made to stand up to the elements. Most vinyl siding offered by local contractors comes with an extensive warranty for additional peace of mind.

Energy Efficiency

Many of today’s homeowners are concerned about the home’s overall energy usage. Investing in insulated siding can provide the owner with hundreds of dollars in energy savings each year. Certain kinds of energy-efficient vinyl siding may also make a homeowner eligible for rebates and discounts as well.

Low Maintenance

Some homeowners prefer to invest in vinyl siding because of its easy care and low maintenance. It is highly pest resistant, and it does not rot, crumble or fade with time. The only maintenance it generally needs is the occasional treatment with a pressure washer.

To find out more about the advantages of vinyl siding installation and Siding Repair in Charles MO, call the local pros. They specialize in siding repair, roofing repair and installation, decks, patio covers and more. Be sure to visit the website or contact us to learn about all their services or to schedule an appointment.