Category: yasaioflupro

Seek answers on growing unemployment Mamata tells youth

first_imgKolkata: A day after slamming the Centre for highest unemployment rate in the country in 45 years, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday urged the youngsters to raise questions on growing joblessness. Banerjee assured support to the youth on the occasion of the International Youth Day. “Today is International #YouthDay. In #Bangla, we celebrate Youth Day on January 12, Swami Vivekananda’s birth anniversary. I appeal to the youth, the students & the new generation: be strong and ask for answers. There is no answer to unemployment problems,” she tweeted. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja Referring to central government data that put West Bengal at the top of the states with highest GDP growth, Banerjee said unemployment in the state has dipped by 45 per cent under her rule. “Our State #Bangla has brought down unemployment by 45%. The GDP growth of #Bangla is highest in the country. My support is always with the youth, students and the new generation. May you be inspired to reach new heights,” she said. As per the data, West Bengal has registered a GDP growth rate of 12.58 per cent in 2018-19 while unemployment rate was 6.1 percent during the period. Banerjee had written on Facebook on Sunday,”Our achievement is in sharp contrast to the state of deep recession and complete policy paralysis perpetrated by Central Government leading to significant decline of overall growth rate of the country and highest unemployment in 45 years”.last_img read more

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Former Tory cabinet minister leadership contender Leitch to quit politics

first_imgOTTAWA – Failed Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch says she won’t seek re-election in 2019.Leitch gained notoriety during the leadership race for her controversial proposal to screen newcomers for Canadian values.That followed her role during the 2015 election as a pitch woman for a Conservative plan to launch a hotline for people to report so-called barbaric cultural practices.Leitch was first elected in 2011 and went on to serve as a cabinet minister under Stephen Harper.She finished sixth in last May’s leadership contest and was subsequently left out of winner Andrew Scheer’s shadow cabinet.Her announcement comes as the Tories gather in Victoria to plot strategy for the resumption of Parliament next week.“As much as I have enjoyed public life, the time has now come for me to return to the public service that is core to my being and forms the very roots of who I am: being a pediatric orthopedic surgeon and getting children back on playgrounds,” Leitch said in a statement.There was no guarantee Leitch could even have run again for the Tories in 2019.Two people filed applications to the party late last year to challenge her for the Conservative nomination in the riding.last_img read more

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Black eye to the industry Report delves into polls gone awry in

first_imgCALGARY – A report into wildly inaccurate polls ahead of last year’s Calgary civic election recommends stronger standards and best practices for the polling industry.The report commissioned by Market Research and Intelligence Association, which has announced it’s shuttering its operations, was released Wednesday by the academics who were tapped to independently examine the fallout after the election.“It was a black eye to the industry,” said the University of Manitoba’s Christopher Adams, one of the academics.In the three weeks leading up to the October vote, Mainstreet Research conducted three polls that put incumbent Mayor Naheed Nenshi substantially behind relatively unknown challenger Bill Smith — one by as many as 17 percentage points. The polls were published in the city’s two Postmedia papers, the Calgary Herald and Calgary Sun. The organization no longer has a relationship with Mainstreet.Nenshi won the election by eight points.Prior to announcing its shutdown on July 31, the Market Research and Intelligence Association had commissioned the report.The panel recommended the association update its standards, provide a checklist of those standards, audit its members, conduct an annual review and engage more with the public and media.“Simply put, the MRIA standards need faster updating and more energetic accountability and enforcement, including outreach to the media, if they are to play an effective role in regulating the industry,” the panel wrote.Adams said the association had the report in May, but did not release it publicly.Now that the group is defunct, he and his fellow panel members — Carleton University’s Paul Adams and David Zussman, with the University of Victoria and University of Ottawa — decided to release their report themselves.“Our report, I think, is still quite valuable, in that it provides an analysis of what went on in Calgary,” said Adams, a market research professional who had been certified by the industry group.“While it speaks to the MRIA, we think it also speaks to journalism in Canada and it speaks to those who are practitioners in the industry, as well as companies that buy research.”The heads of some of Canada’s biggest market research and survey firms have said they are interested in forming a new industry body.The 70-page report references an internal review Mainstreet undertook last year that found one of the major reasons its results were so off was its failure to reach young voters who tend not to have land lines.“The panel heard that these polls, which received the greatest media attention during the campaign because of their number, their startling results, and their association with the two Calgary dailies, significantly affected the course of the campaign,” the panel wrote.“They threw Nenshi’s campaign on the defensive, gave impetus to Smith’s campaign, and possibly doomed the prospects of another candidate, André Chabot, who Mainstreet’s poll suggested was not a close contender.”Lorne Motley, editor and chief of the Herald and Sun, declined to comment on the report.The report delved into two other high-profile polls that correctly predicted a Nenshi win, but were flawed in their own right.One, by a group advocating for a new light rail project, was found to have questions that slanted respondents toward Nenshi. The other, conducted by Forum Research, was meant for a longer-term academic project called the Canadian Municipal Election study and not to provide a short snapshot ahead of the election.Some of the report’s recommendations were also targeted toward the media.It urges better disclosure of the financial arrangements between media outlets and the polling outfits they work with, as well as better reporting standards and training for journalists who cover polls.last_img read more

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More than 120 million West Africans at risk of yellow fever UN

16 June 2010A persistent budget shortfall means that more than 120 million people in Nigeria and Ghana could remain at risk of contacting yellow fever if not reached with vaccinations, United Nations agencies and their partners cautioned today. Funding shortages are threatening the global supply of the immunization, which means the two West African nations could be left off the list for upcoming campaigns, according to the International Coordinating Group (ICG) on Yellow Fever Vaccine Provision, of which the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO) are members.Over the past three years, campaigns across the region have protected 61 million people from yellow fever, which is caused by a virus transmitted by mosquitoes.The disease is endemic in forest areas and people are at greatest risk at the end of the rainy season. According to WHO, an estimated 200,000 cases and 30,000 deaths occur each year.Although the capacity to produce the yellow fever vaccine has tripled in the last decade so that up to 90 million doses can now be made per year, the lack of funding will likely lead to the reallocation of available supplies and slow down production.The ICG appealed for resources to maintain the global stockpile to respond to outbreaks and reach an extra 120 million people at risk. Vaccine manufactures have indicated they are willing to scale-up production, provided there is a commitment to purchase the vaccines.“We call upon international donors and our country partners to continue efforts to support yellow fever control activities and protect people’s lives,” said Edward Hoekstra, Senior Health Specialist at UNICEF.Nearly 50 million people have been immunized in West Africa, with 14 million people protected through a global emergency response since 2007.The ICG said that an immunization campaign is under way in Guinea, targeting a population of 6.2 million people. It also aims to reach 15 million people in Côte d’Ivoire later this year.However, funding has not been secured for mass campaigns for 2011.The ICG also includes Médecins Sans Frontières and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. read more

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Benin UN disaster team on the ground in response to devastating floods

A United Nations disaster assessment team, known as UNDAC, has arrived in Benin, the hardest hit of the West and Central African countries affected by floods that have killed at least 377 people and disrupted the lives of 1.5 million others.The first members of the team, comprising five specialists, arrived yesterday to assist in the response in the impoverished country, where 360,000 people are estimated to be have been affected, 43 people have died, and more than 90,000 have lost their homes.Emergency support is being provided by the UN, the Government and local and international partners in the areas of shelter, health and food. Other countries hit by the floods caused by torrential rains and exceptionally high water levels of the Niger and other rivers, include Nigeria with 300,000 affected victims and 118 deaths, Niger with some 227,000 victims, Chad with nearly 145,000, and Burkina Faso with over 105,000. Chad, northern Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria are facing a serious cholera epidemic.Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos arrived in Niger today to meet with relief organizations and local authorities to review the flood situation and the wider issue of food shortages and rampant hunger. 14 October 2010A United Nations disaster assessment team, known as UNDAC, has arrived in Benin, the hardest hit of the West and Central African countries affected by floods that have killed at least 377 people and disrupted the lives of 1.5 million others. read more

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SMMT UK automotive manufacturing April 2011

Home12,67873,0343,26715,33415,94588,36838,906238,636 Export73,628370,5025,36625,45678,994395,958151,225636,726 % change1.7%23.0%-22.0%-16.1%-0.4%19.4%2.4%4.5% Total86,306443,5368,63340,79094,939484,326190,131875,362 % of total85.3%83.5%62.2%62.4%83.2%81.8%79.5%72.7% Apr-11YTD-11Apr-11YTD-11Apr-11YTD-11Apr-11YTD-11 % change-51.0%-35.4%-16.1%19.1%-46.4%-29.8%-25.0%10.0% SMMT LtdCarsCommercial VehiclesTotal VehiclesTotal Engines Car output was up 7.0% over the first four months of 2011, but fell by 12.2% in April.CV output fell by 19.9% in April and was down 5.6% over the first four months of the year.UK engine production fell by 4.7% in April, but remained up 6.0% over the first four months. “April’s vehicle and engine production figures reflect the global production challenges resulting from the Japanese earthquake. Output was down across the car, commercial vehicle and engine sectors as parts shortages interrupted regular manufacturing schedules,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. “All manufacturers are working hard to overcome supply shortages and we expect any downturn to be short lived. The outlook for the UK motor industry is extremely good and this should generate new opportunities for vehicle manufacturers and suppliers.”Download the full news releaseClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) % change-12.2%7.0%-19.9%-5.6%-13.0%5.8%-4.7%6.0% % of total14.7%16.5%37.8%37.6%16.8%18.2%20.5%27.3% read more

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SP downgrades Spain two notches

first_imgSTANDARD & POOR’S has cut Spain’s sovereign debt rating by two notches to just above junk level, citing the deepening recession and strains from the country’s troubled banks.S&P cut the rating to BBB- from BBB+, just one level above “speculative” or “junk” grade debt, which could have sent Madrid’s borrowing costs skyrocketing to untenable levels.“The downgrade reflects our view of mounting risks to Spain’s public finances, due to rising economic and political pressures,” S&P said.“The deepening economic recession is limiting the Spanish government’s policy options,” it said, adding that rising joblessness and tighter spending will likely intensify social conflict and tensions between the country’s regions and Madrid.Doubts over recapitalisation Moreover, S&P expressed doubts that all of the eurozone governments will give their backing to the bloc’s effort to recapitalise Spain’s banks, leaving more of the burden at least on the Spanish government and forcing its debt burden to balloon.“Against the backdrop of a deepening economic recession, we believe that the government’s resolve will be repeatedly tested by domestic constituencies that are being adversely affected by its policies,” S&P said.“Accordingly, we think the government’s room to maneuver to contain the crisis has diminished.”The ratings agency also attached a “negative outlook” to the rating, a warning of a possible further downgrade over the medium term.Such a downgrade would come, S&P said, if political support for the government’s reform agenda weakens, if eurozone support fails to prevent Spain’s borrowing costs from jumping above sustainable levels, or if debt tops 100 per cent of economic output or debt payments surpass 10 percent of general government revenues.- © AFP, 2012last_img read more

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Damien Kiberd Health is not just Angola its the original Heart of

first_imgDID YOU VOTE for Fine Gael or The Labour Party last time out? If you did you may have thought you were voting for free access to GPs for everyone who is sick. And for a universal health insurance scheme similar to the one they have in Holland.Two years later health strategy is all over the place. Tens of thousands of families have been priced out of health insurance completely, creating a crisis for the four insurers. The forced exodus from private cover will have accelerated in recent days as Michael Noonan cut tax reliefs on premiums.Simultaneously the government wants to take up to 150,000 medical cards from the elderly and from people who hold them due to a lack of “probity”.  To add to the confusion it will be printing thousands of brand new GP cards for the under-sixes, including the children of the super-rich.What’s to become of the very sick in the squeezed middle who can’t afford cover and who don’t qualify for cards? Does anyone know?The confusionThe Health Minister Dr Reilly shrugs his hands a lot these days. Asked last week to explain the Budget Day savings estimate of €113m on medical cards (the “probity” ones) he indicated that it was a target set for him by “government” and/or “Cabinet”.  He used the terms interchangeably, ignoring the fact that he is both deputy leader of Fine Gael and a senior member of Cabinet.No government minister could give a precise estimate when asked how many of the existing 1.9m cards would be cancelled.  An unpublished consultants’ report from PwC apparently claims the figure could be somewhere between 60,000 and 180,000.Grasping at straws unnamed official sources say many cards exist for people who have died or left the country.Capitation fees for nothingIf that is so then GPs have been getting capitation fees of €400 per year for cardholders who – barring miracles – will never darken the door of their surgeries again.This is a major issue. Radio phone-in shows last week were jammed by callers who claimed that people suffering from acute medical problems – including cancer, cardiovascular problems and severe physical and intellectual disabilities – were already having their “discretionary” cards confiscated.If this is true, then why have both the Troika and the government allowed scarce money to be paid to GPs for looking after the dead and the departed?Policy morassThe confusion over health insurance is another policy morass.Noonan, under pressure, claimed 577,000 would pay higher health premiums as a result of his Budget day tax changes. He gave “credit” for this number to the Office of the Revenue Commissioners, which hasn’t been administering the 20 per cent relief for years.  The insurance industry, which actually provides the tax relief at source to the insured, claims the number exceeds one million. It says 90 per cent of policyholders will be affected.Official sources say the net effect is to increase premiums by 3 per cent. The industry says the figure varies from 8 per cent to 20 per cent.Reports claim – almost unbelievably – that Dr Reilly learned of the tax change either when it was relayed to him at a cabinet meeting just before the budget or during the Budget speech itself. The change took effect from midnight on Budget Day.Insurers, who are legally obliged to give 30 days’ notice of price changes, shut down their websites abruptly rather than sell cover at a loss.Joined-up thinking?Is there any evidence of joined up thinking here? A cynic might say that the under-sixes got GP cards in order to provide political cover to the Labour Party whose poll ratings had slumped to 6 per cent. Meanwhile the back-of-the-envelope numbers on medical cards and health insurance reflected a last minute scramble to cobble together both the health department’s budget and the overall budget for 2014.The health budget contains yet more big numbers that are so far unexplained including a ballpark figure of €268m for savings on pay – a figure which has the unions baffled. It is unclear if this number includes savings agreed during the “Haddington Road” process.Meanwhile the boss of the HSE Tony O’Brien told an Oireachtas Committee that further cutbacks to the health budget of up to €1bn a year could be necessary as a result of legacy issues such as changed demographics and the system of hospital budgeting.Flying squad from Merrion StreetFor the past week the under-fire Department of Health has been shovelling responsibility for various financial projections back onto the Department of Finance. Meanwhile the top brass at the Departments of Finance and Public Expenditure are preparing to send a team of senior officials into Health to try to get the grips with numbers for which, apparently, they are themselves responsible.Sending down the flying squad from Merrion Street offers no guarantee that further confusion can be averted.Some years ago a previous FG/Labour government in need of cash announced a 9 per cent levy on the life assurance industry. The levy never made it into the Finance Bill because somebody from the life and pensions sector explained to the Department that implementation of the new policy would literally close down the life and pensions business in Ireland for good.The Department of Health has had a lot of problems meeting its spending target over the last two years, but the A-team from the Finance Department, when it arrives, may get sucked into grave forecasting problems of an even bigger nature. Health is not just Angola, it’s the original Heart of Darkness. Damien Kiberd: Budget 2014 arithmetic not just iffy – it’s scary>Damien Kiberd: Austerity economics have us locked in Permaslump>last_img read more

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Day of the Dead Mexican holiday celebrates deceased loved ones

first_imgA line of white flower petals leads to Rosalba Pitkin’s front door, guiding deceased ancestors to her west Vancouver home.Flowers also symbolize Earth and the temporary, fleeting nature of life. They’re used throughout Pitkin’s ofrenda, or altar, in her living room along with candles, representing fire, and water to quench the thirst of deceased loved ones making the journey to the Land of the Living.“For me, they are there. You don’t see them, but they are there,” she said.Pitkin, a native of Toluca in Central Mexico, has put together an ofrenda for Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, since she was 7 years old after her mother passed away. She was raised by her grandparents and aunt and uncle.“This celebration is very important because of the meaning, because of the connection with my ancestors,” she said.Day of the Dead is a major Mexican holiday celebrated today and Thursday in conjunction with All Saints Day and All Souls Day, which are recognized by Catholics. Pitkin said that typically, deceased children are celebrated on All Saints Day, which is today, while everyone else who has died is celebrated on All Souls Day, which is Thursday.Day of the Dead is playful and celebratory, even satirical at times, and not somber. The focus is on family, togetherness and gratitude as the dead are welcomed to visit the living.last_img read more

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Locals hail government as new road being laid

first_imgFateh Nagar: Local corporator Pandala Satish Goud inspected the ongoing road works in the street of Pochamma temple here on Wednesday. Local leaders Syed Imran and others accompanied him. The works were launched by MLA Madhavaram Krishna Rao with a budget of Rs 1 crore. The corporator and the locals thanked Chief Minister KCR and KTR for granting funds for the development of local residential areas.last_img

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Yeh Meri Life Hai star Shama Sikander flaunts her bikini body with

first_imgLife isn’t meant to be lived perfectly, but merely to be lived. Boldly, wildly, beautifully, uncertainty, imperfectly, magically lived…… #life #love #like #instagood #happy #lifestyle #photography #photooftheday #nature #motivation #travel #beach #beautiful #view #smile Shama Sikander and James MillironInstagramTV actress Shama Sikander, who is famous for acting in Yeh Meri Life Hai, is seen flaunting her hot bikini body with shirtless beau James Milliron in the latest photos shared on her Instagram page.Shama Sikander is a model-turned-actress, who started her acting career with Prem Aggan in 1998 and later starred in Mann (1999) and Ansh: The Deadly Part (2002). But, these films failed to establish her as a box office success. However, she made her debut on a small screen with the lead role in Sony TV drama Ye Meri Life Hai (2003-2005), which made her a household name overnight and gave her instant fame.From then, there is no looking back for this talented actress, who has not acted in several films and TV shows but also hosted some reality TV shows. The fashion model also launched own design company Saisha in 2010. She has had a fruitful and successful career in the colourful world in the last two decades. Shama Sikander and James MillironInstagramShama Sikander got engaged to her American boyfriend James D Milliron at Dubai’s seven-star hotel, Burj Al Arab, in 2015 and she has been in a live-in relationship with him all these years. The actress, who will turn 38 on August 4, is now holidaying in Bodrum in Mugla and Croatia with her fiancée.Shama Sikander, who is very active on Instagram, recently shared some photos of their trip. The 38-year-old actress looks stunning in her sexy bikini. On the other hand, James D Milliron is seen wearing short. James is riding a boat on an island in Bodrum, while the actress stands behind him and cheers. The two seems to be setting up new goals for a young couple with this picture. Shama SikanderInstagramThe actress captioned the Instagram pictures with, “A Couple that stays together, live life together, Travells together, Slays together ❤…. with this a beautiful holiday comes to an end… bye bye Bodrum we will miss you ❤❤ thank you existence for always making me experience the best of life’s ups and downs #feelinggrateful #bliss #gratefulformylife #lifeisbeautiful @jamesmilliron.”Shama Sikander also shared some other pictures featuring her bikini during this and captioned them with the following inspiration messages. Shama Sikander and James MillironInstagramIt is not joy that makes us grateful. It is gratitude that make us joyful….. #behumble #begrateful #love #grateful #happy #life #peace #truth #positivevibes #gratitude #selflove #happiness #blessedlast_img read more

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Inside the Test Chamber for NASAs Astronaut Vehicle Double

first_imgInside an 80-foot-tall chamber on Lockheed Martin’s Denver-area campus, backgrounded by red-rock ridges, stands a hulking spacecraft. You have to crane your neck to see the top of the apparatus. At the bottom, wires spew from a porthole to snake up and down and away. The cylindrical structure flows into a duller, funnel-like cone, which tapers into a tower with rocket nozzles. Next to it, the blue scaffolds of an indoor crane resemble a launchpad gantry.But this spacecraft isn’t going anywhere. It’s a copy of Orion, the NASA vehicle that will someday ferry crew and cargo beyond Earth’s orbit—to the moon, to Mars, to deep space. This Orion twin, which we shall call PseudOrion, is architecturally identical to the real thing, which is nearly 2,000 miles away in Florida.It’s a lot safer there. Because here in Denver, teams of engineers are putting its doppelganger through hell, to probe its limits and ensure it won’t crack under pressure. Its sacrifice means Real Orion won’t have to endure that same strife and the potential ensuing damage.Lockheed MartinOn Tuesday, the team—some of whom used to be NASA space shuttle techs and have shuttle tattoos commemorating the 1981-2011 flights—were submitting PseudOrion to a series of vibrational tests, meant to reveal its resonant frequencies. Every object has its own natural frequency, and when you vibrate it at a frequency that closely matches its natural one—putting them, in a literal sense, in tune—it vibrates. Hard. These engineers want to know when that will happen and what it will look like. To pass, the test twin simply has to survive. So, for example, if they put 1.5 times the rated pressure on the crew capsule, and it doesn’t snap, A+. “‘Survive’ means ‘doesn’t rupture,’” says Qvale.In addition to pressure tests, the engineers here will check to see how it holds up to lightning. “If you couldn’t roll onto the launchpad till you knew there would be no lightning for two weeks, in Florida,” says Qvale, “you’d never do it.” They also see how it stands up to other kinds of shocks, like when explosive bolts shear off to deploy the solar array.And then there are the acoustic tests, mimicking the music of the rocket itself. Above PseudOrion, Tuesday, are a few horns. During an acoustic endurance event, engineers shut the 18-ish-inch-thick door, filled with sound-absorbing sand, that rolls closed in front of the spacecraft. The team then pumps nitrogen gas into the horns, which assault the article with 150 decibels.Although that involves frequencies, it’s not the same as Tuesday’s test. That day, a crane hefts a giant shaker motor—which does what it sounds like—up to PseudOrion. Engineers press the motor flush against its fuselage, while the crane holds it in place. And then they turn the motor on. It starts to shake, fast. The motor runs through a range of frequencies, and accelerometers attached to the body measure its response. The team will test the spacecraft as a whole and specific parts—in this case, the panels surrounding the crew capsule. During Tuesday’s test, the frequencies are so high that PseudOrion looks eerily still, the only evidence of its assault that hum in the conditioned air.Orion’s most basic resonance makes it sway from the base. Then there are the harmonics, the multiples of that frequency, the second of which will make it bend in the middle. But engineers can design the spacecraft’s stiffness and connections to account for that flex, kind of like you would for a seismically sound building. Each PseudOrion component also has its own vibrational thing going on. The team has predicted what those resonant frequencies should be. “We don’t expect to find anything new in these tests,” says Qvale. “We expect to find we were right and now we know for real.”As Qvale finishes explaining his test, the sound stops. The motor stills. The silence seems wrong: A room this big shouldn’t be this quiet. Soon, though, a tech starts driving a cherrypicker toward PseudOrion, preparing to replace this motor with a more powerful one that produces a lower frequency. More shakes: just to be sure. Finding out apparently sounds like superpowered air conditioning, or a minor second chord played as a quiet, discomfiting soundtrack. But PseudOrion doesn’t seem to be shaking, or to be being shook: It looks calm and still and immovable.Vibrational, or modal, testing is just one of five tortures that this beast will have to endure. It’s expensive to build two versions of the same thing, especially when you’re just going to brutalize one. But if you value time, this is an economical option. “If we were going to run all the tests we need to run, it would tie up the flight article for around two years,” says Dan Qvale, head of the copy’s assembly and test, talking over the noise.With this twin, he explains, the team can run tests in parallel with Orion’s development (which has experienced cost overruns and delays, like, you know, all spacecraft). And they can treat the twin worse, subjecting it to conditions that the real thing should never encounter—just in case it does.center_img Lockheed MartinWhere Real Orion will (eventually) go, and when, has shifted with the political and financial winds. Mars first? Moon first? To the permanent lunar-orbit settlement NASA has planned? “Through those changes, we haven’t had to tear that thing apart,” says flight director Paul Anderson, when he stops by the test building. Anderson is in charge of Orion’s second mission—its first with people—which will likely take place in 2023. Despite the changes in its future mission plans, the structure of the craft hasn’t changed, because Orion was always supposed to be a multi-destination vehicle.When all these tests and the first two experimental missions are all over, NASA may begin producing, launching, and perhaps refurbishing multiple Orions for regular flights to deep space—wherever in particular that happens to mean at whatever particular time it happens.More Great WIRED StoriesPHOTO ESSAY: Turning silicon into colorful circuit citiesThe transformative power of Reddit’s alien mascotThis nonsensical 3-wheeler might be the future of drivingHow to free up space on your iPhoneWelcome to the highly probable world of improbabilityLooking for more? Sign up for our daily newsletter and never miss our latest and greatest storieslast_img read more

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Tips and tricks to optimize your responsive web design

first_imgLoosely put, website optimization refers to the activities and processes that improve your website’s user experience and visibility while reducing the costs associated with hosting your website. In this article, we will learn tips and techniques for client-side optimization. This article is an excerpt from Mastering Bootstrap 4 – Second Edition by Benjamin Jakobus, and Jason Marah. In this book, you will learn to build a customized Bootstrap website from scratch, optimize your website and integrate it with third-party frameworks. CSS optimization Before we even consider compression, minification, and file concatenation, we should think about the ways in which we can simplify and optimize our existing style sheet without using third-party tools. Of course, we should have striven for an optimal style sheet, to begin with, and in many aspects we did. However, our style sheet still leaves room for improvement. Inline styles are bad After reading this article, if you only remember one thing, then let it be that inline styles are bad. Period. Avoid using them whenever possible. Why? That’s because not only will they make your website impossible to maintain as the website grows, they also take up precious bytes as they force you to repeat the same rules over and over. Consider the following code piece: Note how the rule for defining an item’s height, style=”height: 400px”, is repeated three times, once for each of the three items. That’s an additional 21 characters (or 21 bytes, assuming that our document is UTF-8) for each additional image. Multiplying 3*21 gives us 63 bytes, and 21 more bytes for every new image that you want to add. Not to mention that if you ever want to update the height of the images, you will need to manually update the style attribute for every single image. The solution is, of course, to replace the inline styles with an appropriate class. Let’s go ahead and define an img class that can be applied to any carousel image: .carousel-item { height: 400px; } Now let’s go ahead and remove the style rules: Now save and refresh. That’s better! Last but not least, let’s update the css. Take the following code into consideration: #services-events-content div { display: none; } #services-events-content div img { margin-top: 0.5em; margin-right: 1em; } #services-events-content { height: 15em; overflow-y: scroll; } Replace this code with the following: #services-events div div div { display: none; } #services-events div div div img { margin-top: 0.5em; margin-right: 1em; } #services-events div div div { height: 15em; overflow-y: scroll; } That’s it, we have simplified our style sheet and saved some bytes in the process! However, we have not really improved the performance of our selector. jQuery executes selectors from right to left, hence executing the last selector first. In this example, jQuery will first scan the complete DOM to discover all div elements (last selector executed first) and then apply a filter to return only those elements that are div, with a div parent, and then select only the ones with ID services-events as parent. While we can’t really improve the performance of the selector in this case, we can still simplify our code further by adding a class to each page: … … … Then, all we need to do is select by the given class: $(‘#services-events’).hide();. Alternatively, knowing that this is equal to the DOM element within the .on callback, we can do the following in order to prevent us from iterating through the whole DOM: $(this).parents(‘#services-vents’).find(‘.page’).hide(); The final code will look as follows: $(‘#services-events-pagination’).bootpag({ total: 10}).on(“page”, function(event, num) { $(this).parents(‘#services-events’).find(‘.page’).hide(); $(‘#page-‘ + num).show();}); Note a micro-optimization in the preceding code—there was no need for us to create that var in memory. Hence, the last line changes to $(‘#page-‘ + num).show();. Use Shorthand rules when possible According to the Mozilla Developer Network (shorthand properties, Mozilla Developer Network,, accessed November 2015), shorthand properties are: “CSS properties that let you set the values of several other CSS properties simultaneously. Using a shorthand property, a Web developer can write more concise and often more readable style sheets, saving time and energy.”                                                                                    – Mozilla Developer Network, 2015 Unless strictly necessary, we should never be using longhand rules. When possible, shorthand rules are always the preferred option. Besides the obvious advantage of saving precious bytes, shorthand rules also help increase your style sheet’s maintainability. For example, border: 20px dotted #FFF is equivalent to three separate rules: border-style: dotted; border-width: 20px; border-color: #FFF; Group selectors Organizing selectors into groups will arguably also save some bytes. .navbar-myphoto .dropdown-menu > a:hover { color: gray; background-color: #504747; } .navbar-myphoto .dropdown-menu > a:focus { color: gray; background-color: #504747; } .navbar-myphoto .dropdown-menu > .active > a:focus { color: gray; background-color: #504747; } Note how each of the three selectors contains the same declarations, that is, the color and background-color properties are set to the exact same values for each selector. To prevent us from repeating these declarations, we should simply group them (reducing the code from 274 characters to 181 characters): .navbar-myphoto .dropdown-menu > a:hover, .navbar-myphoto .dropdown-menu > a:focus, .navbar-myphoto .dropdown-menu > .active > a:focus { color: gray; background-color: #504747; } Voilà! We just saved 93 bytes! (assuming UTF-8 encoding). Rendering times When optimizing your style rules, the number of bytes should not be your only concern. In fact, it comes secondary to the rendering time of your web page. CSS rules affect the amount of work that is required by the browser to render your page. As such, some rules are more expensive than others. For example, changing the color of an element is cheaper than changing its margin. The reason for this is that a change in color only requires your browser to draw the new pixels. While drawing itself is by no means a cheap operation, changing the margin of an element requires much more effort. Your browser needs to both recalculate the page layout and also draw the changes. Optimizing your page’s rendering times is a complex topic, and as such is beyond the scope of this post. However, we recommend that you take a look at This site provides a concise overview of the costs involved when updating a given CSS property. Minifying CSS and JavaScript Now it is time to look into minification. Minification is the process of removing redundant characters from a file without altering the actual information contained within it. In other words, minifying the css file will reduce its overall size, while leaving the actual CSS style rules intact. This is achieved by stripping out any whitespace characters within our file. Stripping out whitespace characters has the obvious result that our CSS is now practically unreadable and impossible to maintain. As such, minified style sheets should only be used when serving a page (that is, during production), and not during development. Clearly, minifying your style sheet manually would be an incredibly time-consuming (and hence pointless) task. Therefore, there exist many tools that will do the job for us. One such tool is npm minifier. Visit for more. Let’s go ahead and install it: sudo npm install -g minifier Once installed, we can minify our style sheet by typing the following command: minify path-to-myphoto.css Here, path-to-myphoto.css represents the path to the MyPhoto style sheet. Go ahead and execute the command. Once minification is complete, you should see the Minification complete message. A new CSS file (myphoto.min.css) will have been created inside the directory containing the myphoto.css file. The new file should be 2,465 bytes. Our original myphoto.css file is 3,073 bytes. Minifying our style sheet just reduced the number of bytes to send by roughly 19%! We touched upon the basics of website optimization and testing. In the follow-up article, we will see how to use the build tool Grunt to automate the more common and mundane optimization tasks. To build responsive, dynamic, and mobile-first applications on the web with Bootstrap 4, check out this book Mastering Bootstrap 4 – Second Edition. Read Next: Get ready for Bootstrap v4.1; Web developers to strap up their boots How to use Bootstrap grid system for responsive website design? Bootstrap 4 Objects, Components, Flexbox, and Layout Brazil Skydive Brazil Datsun 260Z Skydivecenter_img My Sample Event #1My Sample Event #2 That’s great! Not only is our CSS now easier to maintain, but we also shaved 29 bytes off our website (the original inline styles required 63 bytes; our new class definition, however, requires only 34 bytes). Yes, this does not seem like much, especially in the world of high-speed broadband, but remember that your website will grow and every byte adds up. Avoid Long identifiers and class names The longer your strings, the larger your files. It’s a no-brainer. As such, long identifier and class names naturally increase the size of your web page. Of course, extremely short class or identifier names tend to lack meaning and therefore will make it more difficult (if not impossible) to maintain your page. As such, one should strive for an ideal balance between length and expressiveness. Of course, even better than shortening identifiers is removing them altogether. One handy technique of removing these is to use hierarchical selection. Have a look at an events pagination code piece. For example, we are using the services-events-content identifier within our pagination logic, as follows: $(‘#services-events-pagination’).bootpag({ total: 10 }).on(“page”, function(event, num){ $(‘#services-events-content div’).hide(); var current_page = ‘#page-‘ + num; $(current_page).show(); }); To denote the services content, we broke the name of our identifier into three parts, namely, services, events, and content. Our markup is as follows: Let’s try and get rid of this identifier altogether by observing two characteristics of our Events section: The services-events-content is an indirect descendent of a div with the id services-events. We cannot remove this id as it is required for the menu to work. The element with the id services-events-content is itself a div. If we were to remove its id, we could also remove the entire div. As such, we do not need a second identifier to select the pages that we wish to hide. Instead, all that we need to do is select the div within the div that is within the div that is assigned the id services-events. How do we express this as a CSS selector? It’s easy—use #services-events div div div. Also, as such, our pagination logic is updated as follows: $(‘#services-events-pagination’).bootpag({ total: 10 }).on(“page”, function(event, num){ $(‘#services-events div div div’).hide(); var current_page = ‘#page-‘ + num; $(current_page).show(); }); Now, save and refresh. What’s that? As you clicked on a page, the pagination control disappeared; that’s because we are now hiding all div elements that are two div elements down from the element with the id services-events. Move the pagination control div outside its parent element. Our markup should now look as follows: My Sample Event #1 … My Sample Event #3 Datsun 260Zlast_img read more

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Qantas staff reject safety video

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Qantas flight crew are said to not be the biggest fans of the airline’s latest safety video, which stars Hollywood veteran John Travolta. Staff described the in-flight video as “cringe worthy” because the actor called the crew a ‘team’ and even said a more suitable pilot to welcome Qantas passengers would be Captain Richard de Crespigny, who stopped the A380 plane from crashing over Singapore last year, The Sunday Telegraph reported. According to the source, flight attendants have shared their opinions anonymously in an online forum, with one stating that the video was “corny [and] tacky”.”We feel it’s demeaning to be called ‘the team,’” one staff member said.”It makes us feel like we work at McDonald’s.” However, despite the negative online chatter a Qantas spokesperson told the source that the airline had only receive positive feedback from staff.”We’re really happy with the video and we think it’s really engaging,” the spokesperson said. What do you think, should Qantas have replaced Hollywood with a hero?last_img read more

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Qantas Business Rewards

first_imgQantas Business Rewards Qantas is launching a new loyalty program aimed at small to medium-sized firms (SMEs), with members of Qantas Business Rewards likely to range from sole traders to people with several hundred employees.The new program is an evolution of the existing Aquire initiative, which has grown to over 125,000 members since launching in 2014. It adds several new features, including earning Qantas Points from the first dollar spent and the ability to increase your earn rate by flying more, with three levels of membership opening up bigger opportunities to earn and access significant savings on future bookings.Under Qantas Business Rewards, when an employee flies on Qantas for work, their business earns Qantas Points. This is in addition to the Qantas Points and Status Credits the employee can earn as an individual Qantas Frequent Flyer.Similar to the Frequent Flyer program for individuals, companies can also earn points for purchases on the ground, ranging from office supplies to recruitment and telecommunications.In the air, eligible flights on partner airlines Emirates and American Airlines will also earn Qantas Points for the business. On the ground, so will making purchases at more than 40 non-airline retail partners.Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the new program was designed to attract and reward small to medium-sized companies for doing business with Qantas and its partners.“Qantas Business Rewards works in much the same way as Frequent Flyer, with a mix of partners that reflect the kind of transactions small businesses make most often, including air travel.“We expect some companies will use the points they earn to reward employees, perhaps through incentive trips for high performers. Others will use them on flights to help reduce their overall travel costs,” said Joyce.last_img read more

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December 8 2006 DirectorCurator David Tooker and

first_imgDecember 8, 2006 Director/Curator David Tooker and associate curator Lori Toczek of Director/Curator David Tooker and associate curator Lori Toczek of Archives Director Tomiaki Tamura shows and explains some of Paolo Soleris work in the Soleri Archives Department. [Photo: ssc & text: Julian Louzanna] Work selected for the upcoming show revolves primarily around the SOLARE Lean Linear City proposal. Additionally, select original sketches were chosen to show the progression of Paolo’s work from the 1950’s concepts of Cosmic Potential, through the 2 Suns series into the SOLARE proposal. [Photo: ssc & text: Julian Louzanna]last_img read more

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s Americans Vetera

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