High-Quality Kitchen and Bathroom Taps at Tapso

Today’s modern homes are built with new ideas that are totally different from the old traditional style. If you are open to idea of contemporary living, then you may want to refurbish your kitchen and bathroom fixtures into newest technologies being offered at Tapso http://www.tapso.co.uk/ .

Tapso is company based in China which is the only trusted company when it comes to the manufacturing of high-end bathroom and kitchen fixtures. Apart from this, the company also offers a vast array of other bathroom and kitchen products. All these are created with precision and accuracy. Running for 14 years now, the company has gathered millions of customers from around the globe. Their products are made from the best and high-end materials in the industry that are said to make each product last for a long period of time.

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It is important to note that Tapso is the first and leading company which created the state-of-the-art LED tap and shower technology that are unquestionably remarkable. Tapso is known all over the world as they cater to customers from Germany, France, Netherlands, Brazil, Holland, United Kingdom and the United States. This is what makes Tapso popular all over the world.

As you visit www.tapso.co.uk, you can browse on a variety of bathroom and kitchen tap products that come in different styles and designs. While the company specializes in water taps, they also manufacture bathroom accessories that are truly attractive for the kitchen and bathroom.

Purchasing products from the website is simple and easy. The first thing you have to do is create an account in order to be able to log-in. Once you have entered the site, there different products from page to page. A shopping cart is provided if you want to purchase more than one products. There are different payment options as well as seen on the homepage for your convenience.

Tapso products are not only for the home. If you a hotel or restaurant owner and want to have unique fixtures for kitchen and bathroom, Tapso is just the perfect venue for you. Your client will surely be amazed with all these fixtures that they can use.

Upon visiting the site, you will realize that Tapso products do not only provide functionality, they also add glamour and charm to your kitchen or bathroom. These fixtures are easy and convenient to use. In contrast to traditional water taps, Tapso products are far more durable and hygienic.

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

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Alternative Health Tips

Naturopathy is Swasha Vritha or the prophylactic or preventive aspect. Ayurveda is the Athura Vritha or Therapy. Both are related sciences.

Daily Routines or Dinacharya, according to Ayurveda

The ideal time to get up is 04.30 AM. This is known as Brahma Muhurtha or the Time of Brahman, the Absolute.After getting up, one should know the condition of the body. Then one should brush one’s teeth and go to toilet for bowel movement. One should brush teeth twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.

Click the link for particulars about halotherapy equipment cost

Then one should go in for an Oil Bath. Oil, preferably coconut oil should be used. This oil should be pasted all over the body and one should wait for at least 30 minutes and then take a bath. Cold bath is ideal but for those suffering from diseases hot water bath is good.

Oil bath gives you good sleep. Weakness of the body will disappear. Your body will grow in strength. Your eyes will sparkle. ” Abhyangam Achareth Nithyam ” says Ayurveda ( Daily you should go in for Oil Bath ). But those suffering from indigestion and excess Kapha should not go in for Oil Bath.

Pathya – Diet Control

When Ayurvedic medicines are taken, one should observe Pathya or Diet Control.

The Six Tastes of Ayurveda are – Sweet, bitter, astringent, sour, pungent and salty. Those suffering from Hyperacidity or Ulcer should not take in foods that are Sour or Pungent. This is known as Pathya.For every disease, there are foods that should not be taken in. For people suffering from heart trouble, cholesterol containing eggs, meat, beef etc should not be taken in. This is Pathya.

Now there is a saying in Ayurveda that for one observing Pathya, there is no need for medicine, as negative food is phased out and Spontaneous Cure takes place. Also for one not observing Pathya, as intake of medicines become useless, as negative food devastates his disease.Pathya means the Way to Health. Apathya means taking in the negative food which foster the disease.

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Man uses home-made flamethrower to set relatives on fire

Sunday, October 5, 2008

An Austrian man is in jail after authorities say he used a flamethrower to burn his two elderly in-law parents to death as they slept in their home located in Hartberg in the state of Styria.

The man, 48, is said to have first doused the bedroom with gasoline and then used a canister filled with propane to light the room on fire.

The victims, a woman and man in their 80’s, were sleeping when the suspect lit them on fire. The woman was bed ridden due to advanced diabetes and had previously had her legs amputated, and died where she slept. Her husband was able to escape where authorities found him dead, lying on a bench in the couple’s garden.

The suspect left the scene of the crime, but was apprehended by police shortly after the incident. In the process, the man stabbed himself in the stomach in an apparent suicide attempt. He is currently in a drug induced coma at a local hospital.

Police are investigating the incident to determine a motive.

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Wikinews interviews winner of 55 Paralympic medals, Trischa Zorn

Monday, September 3, 2012

London, England— Last Friday, Wikinews interviewed Trischa Zorn, 55-time medal-winner. The U.S. Paralympic swimmer’s haul includes 41 golds.

Zorn discussed a variety of issues, including frustration with the classification system that has disadvantaged some United States swimmers because of what she sees as its subjective nature. She also talked about the increased visibility of the Games, how things have changed from when she started in 1980 to the current 2012 Summer Paralympics. Zorn discussed how sponsorship has evolved from her early time participating, and issues with the Paralympics inside the United States at the present.

This year Zorn was inducted into the International Paralympic Hall of Fame at a ceremony in London. Having last competed in the 2004 Summer Paralympics, if she was swimming today, she would be classified as an S12 swimmer. She currently works for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, helping returning soldiers adjust to life as civilians.

((Laura Hale)) We do Wikinews, which is related to Wikipedia … And, your article on Wikipedia sucks.

Trischa Zorn: Right
((WN)) The sources don’t agree on how many [Paralympic] medals you won. So how many medals have you won?

TZ: 55 medals. 41 gold, nine silver and five bronze.
((WN)) More gold medals than the next nearest total medal winner.

TZ: Correct
((Hawkeye7)) In fact, the next two, three, maybe four, put together.

TZ: Correct
((WN)) You started [Paralympic] swimming in 1980.

TZ: My first games was in 1980, and my last games was in 2004 in Athens.
((WN)) 2004?

TZ: Yes. Eight years ago.
((WN)) And you medalled there?

TZ: I got a bronze. I was only swimming in two events.
((WN)) And you remember all 55?

TZ: I know what events I swam. Relays and stuff. The discrepancy is because early on they weren’t really keeping track of the events. Like my first games in 1980, I won seven medals, and they only recorded five. In 1984, because the games were in New York, and because of the boycott, from when we boycotted in 1980, not a lot of European countries came over. So there wasn’t a lot of statistic keeping.
((WN)) We have found the IPC database had a lot of problems on the Australian side. We have been correcting that.

TZ: I have a whole list of all the events.What ones I won. A British writer was writing a book and wanted to include me, so I collated all my results and sent it to her.
((WN)) When you started in 1980, did they have the three categories for blind swimming?

TZ: They had the three categories, but they weren’t like S categories now. There was B1 for blind, B2 and B3. I was in the middle, a B2. The equivalent to S12 now.
((WN)) Has classification on the blind sports side changed much since you started?

TZ: They would like it to be in the regular classification S1 to S10. They would like everybody to be all one and use a points system. But I’m not a big fan of the points system, and I’m not a big fan of the classification procedure.
((WN)) Blind sports is the only medically based classification left. The rest are all functionality based.

TZ: Correct
((WN)) They are moving towards an evidence based system, but I’m not sure what that is.

TZ: Unfortunately, the classifications are very subjective. And a lot of the classifications, they don’t go by actual evidence of medical documentation, it’s what you can do in the water. So, for example, we have one of our athletes, Mallory Weggemann, that was an S7. She had multiple world records as an S7 and two days before she was supposed to comes here the IPC says: “We want to reclassify you. We want to do your classification all over” So she came here and they put her through a dry land regimen of classification. Then they said “let’s get you in the water. We’ll classify you there.” Then they said: “Oh no! You’re an S8!” Even though she had medical documentation to say that she was a T10 paraplegic with no function in her legs.
((WN)) Did classification ever effect you?

TZ: Not with me, but there has been problems with the S13. It’s supposed to be best corrected. There have been people that I swam against in the past that two years later were disqualified. Their vision, now they found out, was too good. It’s very subjective. There needs to be a test where they can see what you can see. Because, as an athlete, you go in and somebody says: “Can you see this?” or “Can you read that?”
((WN)) You’re involved with the veterans? On the sports side?

TZ: I work for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
((WN)) How long have you worked for them?

TZ: I have worked for them for a year now. I actually see some of the veterans like Brad that have come back lately, and how they have come through Walter Reed. I work more on the business side of it. But its still nice to see that they are being welcomed back, being provided opportunities for sports. Things that they thought that they would never be able to do.
((WN)) One of the criticisms of the US Paralympic Committee, and I don’t want to get you in trouble, is that the reason that the US is having problems right now with funding support is that they have been focused on veterans, and ignoring other people with disabilities. Would you care to comment on that?

TZ: Well I think that anything in the US that deals with veterans, the US is very passionate about, and sports, unfortunately, amateur sports, have become a business. And any kind of funding through the Department of Defense, going for veterans and whatever programs they are involved in is very important. But, as I’ve always said, funds always end up drying up. They’re not always going to be there, so you can’t depend strictly on that. Therefore, you need to have a well-rounded funding base, not just for veterans, for all athletes.
((Hawkeye7)) Where does funding normally come from in the United States?
((Laura Hale)) Hawkeye7’s an Australian, so his model is that the government pays for sport.

TZ: It’s funny, I look and I see what the Paralympic athletes get now, and what we even got in ’08 compared to when I first came. We had to pay to go to the Paralympics. We had to pay for our uniforms. It was only from Sydney that we didn’t have to pay anything, and we were provided uniforms. So each games has built on certain things. So, for example, 1988 was the first time that we had the same venues as the Olympics. ’92 was the first time that we were able to actually hear our national anthem, because before you didn’t, you just heard a games recording. So then in ’96 obviously because it was in the US, I think they thought that that was going to bring more awareness, and it did to an extent; but, once it was gone it kind of dwindled away. And then, in 2000 in Sydney, things had become … we were the first – there were four of us – we were able to train at an Olympic training centre. Not with the team, but we were able to use the facilities at the Olympic training centre full-time. But now they have a full time resident program. They are not training alongside Olympic athletes, but at least they are funded by the Olympic Committee. They get to train there, they get to live there. So things have changed. And then people argue about prize money, and sponsorship. It’s different.
((WN)) Do you think they should be sponsored? In Australia, Evan O’Hanlon, he’s an athlete, he has cerebral palsy, her covers his shoes with tape, because he feels that he is advertising for whoever makes his shoes, and he feels that he should get sponsorship. Do you think that we have reached the point with disability sports on the world stage where the elite athletes should be sponsored?

TZ: Well I think that there are certain talented athletes in the US that are now getting the global sponsors such as Jessica Long being a Visa athlete and having opportunities with Coke. And Rudy Garcia-Tolson with BP. And those big companies are jumpingon board and seeing the opportunities not just from a marketing standpoint, but you are allowing the young athletes to see that and touch it, and before it wasn’t. I mean you are basically competing because you love the sport. Now it’s just like Olympic athletes. They know what the possibilities of an outcome is going to be. Now, granted, Paralympic athletes don’t get $50,000 for a gold medal, or $10,000 for a bronze. We’d be lucky if we get $5,000 or $10,000.
((WN)) Do you think that all 55 of your Paralympic medals are equivalent to Olympic medals?

TZ: They are equivalent in respect that I did the same training as any Olympic athlete. I trained alongside able bodied athletes in the club setting where I trained, and a college setting.
((WN)) Which clubs and which colleges was that?

TZ: Actually, when I was younger I swam for San Diego Matadors down in California, and in college at the University of Nebraska, and then when I moved to Indiana I was training there with a coach it was with the Riviera Swim Club.
((WN)) You’ve been all over.

TZ: I’ve been going east as I’ve left my home state of California.
((WN)) Because of sport?

TZ: Because of coaching. My club coach left the club and went to the college level. So when I went to college he continued coaching.
((WN)) Did you get a scholarship?

TZ: I was on a full athletic scholarship. I was the first physically disabled athlete to get a full Division One scholarship.
((WN)) That is so cool.

TZ: I guess they say, they are not as equal, but medals are medals, and whatever your heart is and whatever you think of it, that is what it means.
((WN)) In Australia, my impression is that they do view them as exactly the same, whereas in America, some people do not even know that the Paralympics are on.

TZ: Yes. And unfortunately it’s a stereotypical society. In the US we don’t typically stereotype Paralympic athletes as the Australians or the Europeans do, and especially if you don’t look disabled. If you put me next to Jessica Long, she’s an incredible athlete but her story is going to be more desirable, because her disability is more noticeable. Don’t do that for me. But it’s to the extent where you are losing the focus of the athletics.
((Laura Hale)) Is there anything else we should know in terms of the history of the Paralympics?
((Hawkeye7)) Particularly about yourself.
((Laura Hale)) Are you a shy and retiring individual?

TZ: I am. And I think that’s part of it. I’m not very good with bragging.
((WN)) At selling yourself?

TZ: At selling myself. And I feel that my medals and my performance in the water speaks for itself.
((WN)) You were out there tonight presenting a medal.

TZ: And it was an honour to be on that side of it for these games. In 2008, I was honoured to be part of the Presidential delegation. I am involved with the US Olympic Committee as an athlete adviser on the rules and regulations and the rights of athletes. That’s basically where I want to be right now. I want to be an advocate for athletes.
((Hawkeye7)) We were at water polo match in Canberra, watching the Australian Olympic water polo team. And Ellie Cole walked in and they announced: “Ladies and gentlemen, this is Ellie Cole!” These Olympians applauded Ellie Cole.
((Laura Hale)) They do that at the Canberra Capitals games. They introduced Ellie Cole and her dad. It’s a completely different perspective. People outside the United States ask: “Why don’t you acknowledge them? What is wrong with the US?”
((Hawkeye7)) Every ad break [in Australia] there’s a Paralympian
((Laura Hale)) Grace Bowman! You haven’t done any commercials have you?

TZ: No to the extent that some athletes do, but for Visa and Coke. For Atlanta we did some commercials for Coke, it’s headquarters is in Atlanta. I’ve done Hartford Insurance, but not globally.
((Laura Hale)) Thank you.
((Hawkeye7)) Thank you.

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Indonesian health officials investigating possible human to human transmission of H5N1 Bird Flu virus

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Indonesian Health officials are concerned that a 9-year-old girl who died of the H5N1 Avian Flu virus, contracted the illness as a result of human to human transmission and officials say a team of experts are on the way to the area to determine if a cluster exists.

“The tests were positive. She died of bird flu. A team left this morning to check if there is a cluster or not,” said Bird Flu Information Center scientist, Nurdin.

Ai Siti Amanah who lived in Garut, located in West Java died on August 15 before health officials were able to determine that she had the deadly virus and only one day after arriving for treatment at the hospital.

It is believed that the girl had contact with a 17-year-old male named Umar Aup from the same town who is infected with the virus , but health officials say he is recovering at a local hospital. He was diagnosed with the illness on August 12. Another boy named Misbah, 20, cousin of Aup died earlier in August and was not tested for the disease but officials say he was exhibiting signs of the illness.

Supari Indonesia’s health minister stated that tests will be done on the two subjects to determine the origin and the “exact type of the virus.”

Three months ago, seven family members died when they contracted the virus through human to human transmission.

So far, 46 people have died from the virus in Indonesia.

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Saudis boycott Danish dairy produce

Friday, January 27, 2006

On January 26, 2006, a massive boycott of dairy produce from Arla Foods started in Saudi Arabia over what is perceived as a Danish attack on Muslim values. The Saudi ambassador to Denmark has been recalled for consultations.

The Danish/Swedish dairy company Arla is facing a massive loss after a spreading boycott of its produce in Saudi Arabia. Four Saudi retail chains have already removed Arla products from the shelves. One retail chain has placed yellow warning tape (common fare for accidents and crime scenes) over Arla products. There have been cases reported of Arla delivery trucks being attacked by stones thrown from bystanders. Marianne Castenskiold, a senior consultant for Dansk Industri, expressed a fear that the boycott will spread to other countries in the region and have detrimental effects on other Danish products. Denmark is one of the leading exporters of agriculture in northern Europe, whose economy is heavily dependent on foreign trade and investment.

The boycott has been announced at Friday prayer services in Saudi mosques since January 20, 2006, obviously helping to foment popular support of the nation’s response to Denmark’s alleged ignorance of Muslim values. On at least one occasion, a delivery truck has been greeted by thrown stones.

The boycott is a response to the publication of an article in a major Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten. In its September 30, 2005 issue, the paper printed 12 drawings of the Muslim prophet Muhammed, as a response to previous news reports that the publisher of a forthcoming childrens’ book about the prophet had had difficulty in finding an illustrator, due to fear of extremist reactions; drawings of the prophet are prohibited by Islamic Law (see aniconism). In an attempt to start a debate over freedom of speech in Denmark, the newspaper printed 12 drawings of the prophet. Four of these were of a satirical nature, with one showing the prophet with a turban hiding a lit bomb.

The immediate reactions to the publication of the drawings included ambassadors from 12 Muslim countries demanding that the Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, denounce the newspaper. Rasmussen rejected this demand, stating that “Danish freedom of speech does not allow the government to control what newspapers print”. He further noted that the only possible legal action against the newspaper would be one under the charge of blasphemy.

A debate ensued over the following months about freedom of speech and its value in relation to avoiding religious taboos. In mid-December 2005, a delegation from several Danish Muslim organizations went on a tour in several Middle-Eastern and Arabic countries, reportedly to gain sympathy for their point of view. Several reports state that during the tour the difficulties faced by Muslims in Denmark were grossly overstated.

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Halema`uma`u crater erupts in Hawaii, USA

Saturday, April 19, 2008

What began as a new gas vent (fumarole) in Halema?uma?u crater sometime between March 10 and March 12 2008, has progressed to be the first explosive eruption in Halema?uma?u Crater since 1924, and the first lava erupted from the crater since 1982. The gases accompanying the eruption have prompted the Hawai?i Dept. of Health to announce no-burn days for the island sugar cane industries.

The March 19 explosion of the gas vent partially destroyed the Halema?uma?u Crater Overlook. On April 9 2008, thousands of people were evacuated from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the nearby villages because sulfur dioxide reached critical levels creating a very dangerous vog. The evacuation lasted two days. Two more explosions occurred on April 9 2008 and April 16 2008, the latter spreading a faintly pink ash on the Overlook parking lot. Scientists think molten lava may reside at a shallow depth within the new vent.

Halema?uma?u is a pit crater located in the summit caldera, of K?lauea, Hawai?i Volcanoes National Park. The roughly circular caldera measures 3×5 km (or 6×6 km, including the outermost ring faults). According to the traditions of the native people, Halema?uma?u is home to Pele, Goddess of Hawaiian volcanoes.

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NTSB releases updates on status of 3 major US investigations

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the agency responsible for investigating transportation accidents in the United States, released updates on three major investigations on June 14.

The NTSB, well known publicly for its involvement in the investigation of aviation incidents which involve harm or loss of human life, is also an agency that oversees the transportation of refined petroleum and gas products, chemicals and minerals.

The agency determined the cause of a natural gas pipeline explosion that killed six. It also detailed the cause of an accidental release of 204,000 gallons of anhydrous ammonia from a pipeline in an environmentally sensitive area, and released preliminary information involving two commercial aircraft coming within 30-50 feet of each other on a runway.

In the gas explosion disaster, the towing vessel Miss Megan, which was of specifications that did not require inspection by the United States Coast Guard, was being operated in the West Cote Blanche Bay oil field in Louisiana by Central Boat Rentals on behalf of Athena Construction on October 12, 2006. The Miss Megan was pushing barge IBR 234, which was tied along the starboard side of barge Athena 106, en route to a pile-driving location. Athena Construction did not require its crews to pin mooring spuds (vertical steel shafts extending through wells in the bottom of the boat and used for mooring) securely in place on its barges and consequently this had not been done. During the journey, the aft spud on the Athena 106 released from its fully raised position. The spud dropped into the water and struck a submerged, high-pressure natural gas pipeline. The resulting gas released ignited and created a fireball that engulfed the towing vessel and both barges. The master of the towing vessel and four barge workers were killed. The Miss Megan deckhand and one barge worker survived. One barge worker is officially listed as missing.

The NTSB blames Athena Construction for the disaster, citing in the final report that Athena Construction’s manual contained no procedures mandating the use of the safety devices on the spud winch except during electrical work. It was found that if the Athena 106 crew had used the steel pins to secure the retracted spuds during their transit, a pin would have prevented the aft spud from accidentally deploying. Furthermore, the spud would have remained locked in its lifted position regardless of whether the winch brake mechanism, the spud’s supporting cable, or a piece of connecting hardware had failed.

The NTSB also found that contributing to the accident was the failure of Central Boat Rentals to require, and the Miss Megan master to ensure, that the barge spuds were securely pinned before getting under way. The Board noted that investigators found no evidence that the Miss Megan master or deckhand checked whether the spuds had been properly secured before the tow began. While Central Boat Rentals had a health and safety manual and trained its crews, the written procedures did not specifically warn masters about the need to secure spuds or other barge equipment before navigating. The NTSB stated that the company’s crew should have been trained to identify potential safety hazards on vessels under their control.

NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker said of the investigation’s results, “Having more rigorous requirements in place could have prevented this accident from occurring. Not only do these regulations need to be put in place but it is imperative that they are enforced and adhered to.”

The NTSB has made a number of safety recommendations as a result of this accident and the subsequent investigation. Recommendations were made to Athena Construction and Central Boat Rentals to develop procedures and train the employees of its barges to use the securing pins to hold spuds safely in place before transiting from one site to another.

The most major of the other recommendations are:

To the Occupational Safety and Health Administration:

  • Direct the Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health to issue the following documents document to the maritime industry: (1) a fact sheet regarding the accident, and (2) a guidance document regarding the need to secure the gear on barges, including spud pins, before the barges are moved, and detailing any changes to your memorandum of understanding with the Coast Guard.

To the U. S. Coast Guard

  • Finalize and implement the new towing vessel inspection regulations and require the establishment of safety management systems appropriate for the characteristics, methods of operation, and nature of service of towing vessels.
  • Review and update your memorandum of understanding with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to specifically address your respective oversight roles on vessels that are not subject to Coast Guard inspection.

The NTSB also released the result of its investigation into an environmental disaster in Kansas on October 27, 2004 in which 204,000 gallons (4,858 barrels) of anhydrous ammonia was spilled from a ruptured pipeline in Kingman into an environmentally sensitive area. Chemicals from the pipeline entered a nearby stream and killed more than 25,000 fish, including some fish from threatened species.

The incident reached the scale that it did due to operator error after the initial rupture. The 8 5/8-inch diameter steel pipeline, which was operated by Enterprise Products Operating L.P., burst at 11:15 a.m. in an agricultural area about 6 miles east of Kingman, Kansas. A drop in pipeline pressure, indicating abnormal conditions or a possible compromise in pipeline integrity, set off alarms displayed on the computerized pipeline monitoring system. Shortly after the first alarm the pipeline controller, in an attempt to remedy the low pressure, increased the flow of anhydrous ammonia into the affected section of pipeline. A total of 33 minutes elapsed between the time when the first alarm indicated a problem with the pipeline and the initiation of a shutdown.

In its initial report to the National Response Center (NRC), the pipeline operator’s accident reporting contractor reported a release of at least 20 gallons of ammonia, telling the NRC that an updated estimate of material released would be reported at a later time. No such report was ever made. Because of the inaccurate report, the arrival of representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency was delayed by a full day, affecting the oversight of the environmental damage mitigation efforts.

The cause of the rupture itself was determined to be a pipe gouge created by heavy equipment damage to the pipeline during construction in 1973 or subsequent excavation activity at an unknown time that initiated metal fatigue cracking and led to the eventual rupture of the pipeline.

“We are very fortunate that such highly toxic chemicals of the size and scope involved in this accident were not released in a populated area,” commented Rosenker. “Had this same quantity of ammonia been released near a town or city, the results could have been catastrophic.”

As a result of this accident, the NTSB made the following safety recommendations:

To the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration:

  • Require that a pipeline operator must have a procedure to calculate and provide a reasonable initial estimate of released product in the telephonic report to the National Response Center.
  • Require that a pipeline operator must provide an additional telephonic report to the National Response Center if significant new information becomes available during the emergency response.
  • Require an operator to revise its pipeline risk assessment plan whenever it has failed to consider one of more risk factors that can affect pipeline integrity.

To Enterprise Products Operating L.P.:

  • Provide initial and recurrent training for all controllers that includes simulator or noncomputerized simulations of abnormal operating conditions that indicate pipeline leaks.

“The severity of this release of dangerous chemicals into the community could have been prevented,” said Rosenker. “The safety recommendations that we have made, if acted upon, will reduce the likelihood of this type of accident happening again.”

As well as concluding their investigation of the above accidents, the NTSB also released preliminary information regarding a serious runway incursion at San Francisco International Airport between two commercial aircraft on May 26, 2007.

At about 1:30 p.m. the tower air traffic controller cleared SkyWest Airlines flight 5741, an Embraer 120 arriving from Modesto, California, to land on runway 28R. Forgetting about the arrival airplane, the same controller then cleared Republic Airlines flight 4912, an Embraer 170 departing for Los Angeles, to take off from runway 1L, which intersects runway 28R.

After the SkyWest airliner touched down, the Airport Movement Area Safety System (AMASS) alerted and the air traffic controller transmitted “Hold, Hold, Hold” to the SkyWest flight crew in an attempt to stop the aircraft short of runway 1L. The SkyWest crew applied maximum braking that resulted in the airplane stopping in the middle of runway 1L. As this was occurring, the captain of Republic Airlines flight 4912 took control of the aircraft from the first officer, realized the aircraft was traveling too fast to stop, and initiated an immediate takeoff. According to the crew of SkyWest 5741, the Republic Airlines aircraft overflew theirs by 30 to 50 feet. The Federal Aviation Administration has categorized the incident as an operational error.

The NTSB sent an investigator to San Francisco, who collected radar data, recorded air traffic control communications, and flight crew statements, and interviewed air traffic control personnel prior to the NTSB making the preliminary release.

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Alex Necochea and Bryn Bennett: the ‘Guitar Heroes’ of Bang Camaro

Monday, October 8, 2007

When a fan connects with a band, it’s often during moments like a drive down a highway at night reflecting on some aspect of his or her life; sitting at home after a fight with a girlfriend; singing in the shower; or celebrating at a party with her friends. Music becomes a soundtrack to an individual’s life, and a connection with the musician forms when the listener is able to peg a perfect moment or feeling to a song. Boston-based mega-member rock group Bang Camaro‘s fan base claims a different level of interaction: they often have learned to play their music before they ever had a moment associated with it. Bang Camaro found fame on the video game Guitar Hero II, where an aspiring rock god uses a guitar-shaped peripheral to play rock music as notes scroll towards him on the screen.

Wikinews reporter David Shankbone journeyed to the Bowery Ballroom to talk to the two founding members of Bang Camaro, Alex Necochea and Bryn Bennett. But when MTV.com shows up at the same time as Wikinews to do an interview, the band must split up. Below is our conversation with Necochea about touring, influence, politics, throwing his corpse out of a plane and flatulent women.


David Shankbone: How’s the tour going?

Alex Necochea: The tours is going great! We just played in Poughkeepsie last night with the OCC house band.

DS: Poughkeepsie, huh?

AN: Yeah! [Laughs] Poughkeepsie, it’s kind of a dark town. Not much of a built-in crowd there.

DS: What kind of crowd is there?

AN: From what I could tell, we played for a lot of Guitar Hero fans and people who heard about us through friends of friends, or came across us on MySpace. That sort of thing. But for the most part a lot of the kids we meet are anywhere between…well, I guess at a club like that they have to be over 18, but usually they are just much younger kids who are video game fans, who have heard about us through Guitar Hero II.

DS: What’s that like to have a fan base that comes from primarily video games? Have you noticed a difference between being known as a local band playing in your city and being known through video games? How would you compare the audience?

AN: It’s different. In our hometown it started off as just a big word of mouth thing. We had twenty guys in the band, so everybody had friends-of-friends. We started a groundswell that way. But when we get out of town, not in New York so much, but when we go to Chicago and Milwaukee and places like that they generally tend to be much younger people. It’s a really big thrill for Bryn and I in that we are meeting kids who are just like us: young video game fans, aspiring musicians, usually males who picked up guitars. They come to us and say, ‘Nobody plays guitar anymore like you guys do!’ or ‘My parents used to listen to music like that!’ It’s just a big thrill for us to meet young kids like that who remind us of ourselves when we were kids.

DS: How does it feel to be looked-up to by the kids, by America’s future?

AN: [Laughs] It’s terrifying! [Laughs]

DS: Do you see parents at the show?

AN: Oh, yeah, oh yeah. Parents with their kids—

DS: That must reduce the crotch grabbing.

AN: [Laughs] Yeah, a little bit of macho posturing. I tell you man, it’s a really big thrill, just to go out and play in towns we’ve never been to. Kids come out and they know all the songs. We’ve had situations where we’ve played New York and girls are in the front row singing along to our guitar solos. Like, wow…we’re on stage playing and we can hear them singing back at us. Something else Bryn and I have noticed is at larger festival shows when we get to the end of our shows we play Push Push Lady Lightning, the kids would just light up and start air guitaring! But not actually playing air guitar, but playing air guitar hero–like, they knew where all the notes were!

DS: Which is a lot different for audiences of many bands.

AN: Absolutely! I can’t imagine other bands having the same experience, because we come from such a unique perspective that a large part of our music is driven by the instrumentals, and that sort of thing.

DS: Your fans are so engaged with your music, far more than most bands have. Most bands they have fans who feel their music speaks to them, but your fans can say, ‘I learned to play guitar on your shit and not on Eleanor Rigby!’

AN: It’s an honor. It’s still unbelievable to me. I had a message from a friend of mine who was at Guitar Center and he heard one of the kids cranking out one of our songs when he was trying out the guitar. To me, it’s like we made it.

DS: At this point of your career, you’re not playing stadiums, but you’re also not playing Otto’s Tiki Lounge on a Tuesday night. When you reflect upon it, what do you think about?

AN: In the past two years, since Bryn and I started this project, we’ve both been playing in bands locally in Boston for years. We had some mixed success, we played large venues in and around Boston. We got to the point where we said fuck it, we just want to have some fun and we’d laugh a lot going over old Ozzy Osbourne stuff we listened to as kids, just giggle about it. Bang Camaro started that way, something for us to do and invite our friends to come sing on it. Now, just two years later, it’s amazing what happens when you stop trying. It’s something not contrived or born of any desire to reach an audience. We just did it for fun, and that spoke to people more than anything else we worked on.

DS: Do you have other areas of your life where you’ve been able to apply that?

AN: [Laughs] You mean as an ethos? Don’t try? [Laughs] You know, not really. I have found the greatest success in the things I have put most of my effort into. This band has been a complete unique experience in that respect, at least in terms of trying to forge a ‘career in music.’ Bryn and I had gotten to the point where we thought maybe this wasn’t the way to go. Bryn was going to go back to his career as a video game programmer and I was just going to find something else to do. So not really, I don’t really apply that in any other portion of my life.

DS: What are some dream projects you’d like to work on?

AN: As a musician, obviously for me it would be to meet and work with some heroes of mine since I was a kid. Like Mutt Lang; he always made my favorite records. At the same time, it has also been a dream of mine to meet people like Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse. Those guys made honest sort of rock n’ roll, for lack of a better comparison, the way people like John Lennon or Bob Dylan would. To me those are the artists of my generation. It would be my dream one just to meet those guys and two just to work with them on some level. I’d also be lying to say that it would just be my dream to take this project with twenty of my best friends and take it as far as we can take it. So far in my life it’s been the most rewarding thing.

DS: In the creative process it’s so difficult to be original today. Everything has been done. Do you ever let that trip you up, the Simpsons Did It problem?

AN: No, not really. I found I would end up falling into that cycle playing in indie rock bands, just trying to come up with the next thing, like Radiohead they stopped using guitars and things like that. Trying to kick the ball forward a little bit instead of kicking it side to side. With this band we don’t get hung up on that. We originally just started it as a celebration of the things we loved when we were kids. We’re not out here trying to reinvent the wheel. We’re fortunate in that when we were putting the project together we wanted that big vocal sound. What set us apart was how we went about doing that. We just invited all of our friends because we didn’t want to multi track everything ourselves. Soon after we had to figure out how to pull it off live, and people would approach and say ‘we heard you have this crazy project with all these people.’ The project grew into the live monster it is out of necessity. We’re not rich people, we don’t have refrigerators and the big tour bus. Speaking of dreams, maybe one day we’ll have a tour bus. For now, we travel in two very smelly vans.

DS: If you could choose your own death, how would you die?

AN: [Laughs] I would want to steal what I heard a mutual friend of ours said. He said when he died–it’s not how he died, but this is what I heard–he said when he’s dead, he wants his corpse to be dressed up like Superman and thrown out of an airplane. I thought that would be fitting. But I’m not ready to think about death, not just yet.

DS: You guys have been described as Metal and Glam rock. What would you describe your sound as?

AN: I would call us anthem rock. We’re really not heavy metal. I think our focus is more on writing great singles, as best as we can make them. Pop music. That’s just something Bryn and I grew up on. We’re big fans of melody and big driving hooks, that sort of thing.

DS: Would you say anthem rock more in the Mötley Crüe vane or more in the T. Rex vane?

AN: I would say half and half. Our influences don’t just stop with hair metal and things like that. We draw on things like Thin Lizzy, Boston, bands like that. Not necessarily virtuosic sort of musicianship, but things that are put together. We like to spend the time when we are writing our songs that we are taking all the extraneous crap out of it. We just want to make good, hook-drive pop music.

DS: Does the war in Iraq affect you artistically at all?

AN: [Laughs] No, not at all. No, you could say I’m just like everybody else. I read the paper and blogs, and I’m just as horrified as everybody else. I’m definitely not a fan of this war.

DS: If you had to fight in Iraq or Afghanistan, where would you fight?

AN: Oh, the fight was definitely in Afghanistan. Iraq was a much different animal.

DS: Are you more inspired by things in nature or things that are man made?

AN: I would probably have to go with nature. I’m a student of science. I have a degree in environmental geology. When I was 19/20 years old I went through all the regular existential questions people that age go through: why am I here and my place in the universe, that sort of thing.

DS: Did you answer any of them?

AN: Oh, God! I play rock guitar in a twenty man band!

DS: That’s important for a lot of people – you see your audience. You’re giving a lot of inspiration to a lot of people. You don’t know who you might be inspiring to pursue music.

AN: [Laughs] Oh, kids, don’t be like me! I would definitely go with nature over man made.

DS: What’s your favorite curse word?

AN: Fuck.

DS: What’s your favorite euphemism for breasts?

AN: Big guns.

DS: Have you used that recently?

AN: Actually, I think I did use that in the last week, and no comment.

DS: I read that you named the band after fast women and fast cars.

AN: [Laughs] Who told you that? No, Bang Camaro were two words out of the English language that were the two sexiest words we could think of. We put them together and they roll off the tongue. Bang Camaro. It says a lot more than it means.

DS: What sort of qualities do you look for in a woman?

AN: I need a girl who is going to make me laugh. I need a woman who is smarter than I am. A woman who will always keep me guessing. Absolutely. Calling me out for my own jerky bullshit. I like a girl who is fiercely independent, knows what she wants, and doesn’t need me.

DS: Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama?

AN: Oh, man, I’m going to get in a lot of trouble for saying Obama. I would probably go with Obama. There’s just something in his rhetoric and his oratory that is a lot more inspiring than Hillary. Hillary, to me, represents not much of a changing of the guard.

DS: What would be the greatest of misfortunes to befall you?

AN: [Chuckles] Oh, if I were to die alone. No, probably one of my greatest fears is injuring or maiming any of my appendages, to be honest.

DS: Do you have any special things you do to make sure you don’t injure or lose an appendage?

AN: [Chuckles] I don’t keep my hands in my pockets when I am running down stairs.

DS: That’s a conscious choice?

AN: Yes, that’s a conscious choice.

DS: What if you are just walking down stairs?

AN: [Chuckles] You can’t realign the stars, man. Shit will happen, shit will happen.

DS: What possession do you treasure most?

AN: That’s a good question. Probably my cat. I love my cat more than anything.

DS: What’s your cat’s name?

AN: Sadie.

DS: Like Sexy Sadie?

AN: Yeah, like Sexy Sadie. That’s exactly what I named her after. Big John Lennon fan, so I couldn’t resist.

DS: What trait do you deplore most in other people?

AN: I’m a lover, not a fighter. Jealousy, greed. But I try to look for the best in everybody. Who knows.

DS: What do you think are the greatest threats to humanity?

AN: Humanity itself. You can typically read anywhere that humanity is a virus, a plague, on Mother Earth. I really think the greatest threat to humanity is not a meteor or comet hurtling toward the planet, it’s us. We’ll be our own undoing. Bad politics, the spread of…oh, man, I could get in trouble…

DS: Who would you get in trouble with?

AN: No, I don’t know who I could get in trouble with. But I definitely think that capitalism is something that having gone unchecked for so long isn’t doing right in delivering civil freedom. It’s not delivering on its promises. Then again, I play in a rock band and people come pay to see me. I understand it works on both levels.

DS: What would be a bigger turn-off in bed: a woman who spoke in a baby voice, or someone who was overly flatulent?

AN: Oh God! I’d go with the baby talk, man.

DS: You’d prefer the baby talk?

AN: No, I would go with the flatulent woman. At least she’s real.

DS: Have you ever been faced with either scenario?

AN: No, I don’t think women should be flatulent.

DS: At all? Not even if she lets out a little giggle afterwards?

AN: Yeah, well, so be it.

DS: What if she was really flatulent?

AN: Like, extremely flatulent? I’d go more for the flatulence. Baby talk…that’s a real boner killer. Sorry, man.

DS: And you’ve never had a baby talker?

AN: No, not since high school.

DS: In high school?

AN: Oh, yeah. She had to go.

DS: What if she was Dutch oven flatulent?

AN: Is it really one or the other? Can I just go gay?

DS: You can always go gay. It’s the new millennium.

AN: Yeah, well, I’d probably end up with a baby-talking overly flatulent man, I’m sure.
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Volkswagen CEO resigns after emissions scandal

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen AG’s CEO, resigned yesterday after it was discovered the German motor vehicle company has been rigging emissions tests for their diesel vehicles.

The company has not announced who his successor will be, but plans to discuss the issue tomorrow. Winterkorn has said that he was “shocked” by the rigging of the emissions tests. “Above all, I am stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen Group”, Winterkorn said in a statement issued yesterday.

This resignation came after he issued an apology on Sunday about the emissions test rigging, which involved installing a program onto the company’s diesel vehicles to manipulate test results. The program, referred to as a “defeat device”, causes the vehicles to emit less nitrogen dioxide, a pollutant contributing to smog and possibly linked to asthma, during testing.

Volkswagen’s share value has dropped by one third, The Toronto Star reported. The stock prices of France car manufacturers Citroen, Renault, and Peugeot have also dipped. The Associated Press states that this may be due to concerns other car manufacturers are also engaging in illegal acts.

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