A portrait of Scotland: Gallery reopens after £17.6 million renovation

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Today saw Edinburgh’s Scottish National Portrait Gallery reopen following a two-and-a-half-year, £17.6m (US$27.4m) refurbishment. Conversion of office and storage areas sees 60% more space available for displays, and the world’s first purpose-built portrait space is redefining what a portrait gallery should contain; amongst the displays are photographs of the Scottish landscape—portraits of the country itself.

First opened in 1889, Sir Robert Rowand Anderson’s red sandstone building was gifted to the nation by John Ritchie Findlay, then-owner of The Scotsman newspaper and, a well-known philanthropist. The original cost of construction between 1885 and 1890 is estimated at over 70,000 pounds sterling. Up until 1954, the building also housed the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland who moved to the National Museum of Scotland buildings on Chambers Street. The society’s original meeting table now sits in the public part of the portrait gallery’s library, stared down on by an array of busts and phrenological artefacts.

Wikinewsie Brian McNeil, with other members of the press, received a guided tour of the gallery last Monday from Deputy Director Nicola Kalinsky. What Kalinsky described as an introduction to the gallery that previously took around 40 minutes, now takes in excess of an hour-and-a-half; with little in the way of questions asked, a more inquisitive tour group could readily take well over two hours to be guided round the seventeen exhibitions currently housed in the gallery.

A substantial amount of the 60% additional exhibition space is readily apparent on the ground floor. On your left as you enter the gallery is the newly-fitted giant glass elevator, and the “Hot Scots” photographic portrait gallery. This exhibit is intended to show well-known Scottish faces, and will change over time as people fall out of favour, and others take their place. A substantial number of the people now being highlighted are current, and recent, cast members from the BBC’s Doctor Who series.

The new elevator (left) is the most visible change to improve disabled access to the gallery. Prior to the renovation work, access was only ‘on request’ through staff using a wooden ramp to allow wheelchair access. The entire Queen Street front of the building is reworked with sloping access in addition to the original steps. Whilst a lift was previously available within the gallery, it was only large enough for two people; when used for a wheelchair, it was so cramped that any disabled person’s helper had to go up or down separately from them.

The gallery expects that the renovation work will see visitor numbers double from before the 2009 closure to around 300,000 each year. As with many of Edinburgh’s museums and galleries, access is free to the public.

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The expected significant increase in numbers has seen them working closely with the National Museum of Scotland, which was itself reopened earlier this year after extensive refurbishment work; improved access for wheelchair users also makes it far easier for mothers with baby buggies to access the gallery – prompting more thought on issues as seemingly small as nappy-changing – as Patricia Convery, the gallery’s Head of Press, told Wikinews, a great deal of thought went into the practicalities of increased visitor numbers, and what is needed to ensure as many visitors as possible have a good experience at the gallery.

Press access to the gallery on Monday was from around 11:30am, with refreshments and an opportunity to catch some of the staff in the Grand Hall before a brief welcoming introduction to the refurbished gallery given by John Leighton, director of the National Galleries of Scotland. Centre-stage in the Grand Hall is a statue of Robert Burns built with funds raised from around the British Empire and intended for his memorial situated on Edinburgh’s Calton Hill.

The ambulatories surrounding the Grand Hall give the space a cathedral-like feel, with numerous busts – predominantly of Scottish figures – looking in on the tiled floor. The east corner holds a plaque commemorating the gallery’s reopening, next to a far more ornate memorial to John Ritchie Findlay, who not only funded and commissioned the building’s construction, but masterminded all aspects of the then-new home for the national collection.

Split into two groups, members of the press toured with gallery Director James Holloway, and Nicola Kalinsky, Deputy Director. Wikinews’ McNeil joined Kalinsky’s group, first visiting The Contemporary Scotland Gallery. This ground-floor gallery currently houses two exhibits, first being the Hot Scots display of photographic portraits of well-known Scottish figures from film, television, and music. Centre-stage in this exhibit is the newly-acquired Albert Watson portrait of Sir Sean Connery. James McAvoy, Armando Iannucci, playwright John Byrne, and Dr Who actress Karen Gillan also feature in the 18-photograph display.

The second exhibit in the Contemporary gallery, flanked by the new educational facilities, is the Missing exhibit. This is a video installation by Graham Fagen, and deals with the issue of missing persons. The installation was first shown during the National Theatre of Scotland’s staging of Andrew O’Hagan’s play, The Missing. Amongst the images displayed in Fagen’s video exhibit are clips from the deprived Sighthill and Wester-Hailes areas of Edinburgh, including footage of empty play-areas and footbridges across larger roads that sub-divide the areas.

With the only other facilities on the ground floor being the education suite, reception/information desk, cafe and the gallery’s shop, Wikinews’ McNeil proceeded with the rest of Kalinsky’s tour group to the top floor of the gallery, all easily fitting into the large glass hydraulic elevator.

The top (2nd) floor of the building is now divided into ten galleries, with the larger spaces having had lowered, false ceilings removed, and adjustable ceiling blinds installed to allow a degree of control over the amount of natural light let in. The architects and building contractors responsible for the renovation work were required, for one side of the building, to recreate previously-removed skylights by duplicating those they refurbished on the other. Kalinsky, at one point, highlighted a constructed-from-scratch new sandstone door frame; indistinguishable from the building’s original fittings, she remarked that the building workers had taken “a real interest” in the vision for the gallery.

The tour group were first shown the Citizens of the World gallery, currently hosting an 18th century Enlightenment-themed display which focuses on the works of David Hume and Allan Ramsay. Alongside the most significant 18th century items from the National Portrait Gallery’s collection, are some of the 133 new loans for the opening displays. For previous visitors to the gallery, one other notable change is underfoot; previously carpeted, the original parquet floors of the museum have been polished and varnished, and there is little to indicate it is over 120 years since the flooring was originally laid.

Throughout many of the upper-floor displays, the gallery has placed more light-sensitive works in wall-mounted cabinets and pull-out drawers. Akin to rummaging through the drawers and cupboards of a strange house, a wealth of items – many previously never displayed – are now accessible by the public. Commenting on the larger, featured oils, Deputy Director Kalinsky stressed that centuries-old portraits displayed in the naturally-lit upper exhibitions had not been restored for the opening; focus groups touring the gallery during the renovation had queried this, and the visibly bright colours are actually the consequence of displaying the works in natural light, not costly and risky restoration of the paintings.

There are four other large galleries on the top floor. Reformation to Revolution is an exhibition covering the transition from an absolute Catholic monarchy through to the 1688 revolution. Items on-display include some of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery’s most famous items – including Mary Queen of Scots and The Execution of Charles I. The portrait-based depiction of this historical age is complemented with prints, medals, and miniatures from the period.

Imagining Power is a Jacobite-themed exhibition, one which looks at the sometime-romanticised Stuart dynasty. The Gallery owns the most extensive collection of such material in the world; the portraiture that includes Flora MacDonald and Prince Charles Edward Stuart is complemented by glassware from the period which is on-loan from the Drambuie Liqueur Company which Kalinsky remarked upon as the only way Scots from the period could celebrate the deposed monarchy – toasting The King over the Water in appropriately engraved glasses.

On the other side of the upper floor, the two main naturally-lit exhibitions are The Age of Improvement, and Playing for Scotland. The first of these looks at societal changes through the 18th and 19th centuries, including Nasmyth’s 1787 portrait of the young Robert Burns and – well-known to past visitors to the portrait gallery – Raeburn’s 1822 depiction of Sir Walter Scott. These are complemented with some of the National Gallery’s collection of landscapes and earliest scenes from Scottish industry.

Playing for Scotland takes a look at the development of modern sports in the 19th century; migration from countryside to cities dramatically increased participation in sporting activities, and standardised rules were laid down for many modern sports. This exhibition covers Scotland’s four national sports – curling, shinty, golf, and bowls – and includes some interesting photographic images, such as those of early strong-men, which show how more leisure time increased people’s involvement in sporting activities.

Next to the Reformation to Revolution gallery is A Survey of Scotland. Largely composed of works on-loan from the National Library of Scotland, this showcase of John Slezer’s work which led to the 1693 publication of Theatrum Scotiae also includes some of the important early landscape paintings in the national collection.

The work of Scotland’s first portrait painter, the Aberdeen-born George Jamesone, takes up the other of the smaller exhibits on the east side of the refurbished building. As the first-ever dedicated display of Jamesone’s work, his imaginary heroic portraits of Robert the Bruce and Sir William Wallace are included.

On the west side of the building, the two smaller galleries currently house the Close Encounters and Out of the Shadow exhibits. Close Encounters is an extensive collection of the Glasgow slums photographic work of Thomas Annan. Few people are visible in the black and white images of the slums, making what were squalid conditions appear more romantic than the actual conditions of living in them.

The Out of the Shadow exhibit takes a look at the role of women in 19th century Scotland, showing them moving forward and becoming more recognisable individuals. The exceptions to the rules of the time, known for their work as writers and artists, as-opposed to the perceived role of primary duties as wives and mothers, are showcased. Previously constrained to the domestic sphere and only featuring in portraits alongside men, those on-display are some of the people who laid the groundwork for the Suffrage movement.

The first floor of the newly-reopened building has four exhibits on one side, with the library and photographic gallery on the other. The wood-lined library was moved, in its entirety, from elsewhere in the building and is divided into two parts. In the main public part, the original table from the Society of Antiquaries sits centred and surrounded by glass-fronted cabinets of reference books. Visible, but closed to public access, is the research area. Apart from a slight smell of wood glue, there was little to indicate to the tour group that the entire room had been moved from elsewhere in the building.

The War at Sea exhibit, a collaboration with the Imperial War Museum, showcases the work of official war artist John Lavery. His paintings are on-display, complemented by photographs of the women who worked in British factories throughout the First World War. Just visible from the windows of this gallery is the Firth of Forth where much of the naval action in the war took place. Situated in the corner of the room is a remote-controlled ‘periscope’ which allows visitors a clearer view of the Forth as-seen from the roof of the building.

Sir Patrick Geddes, best-known for his work on urban planning, is cited as one of the key influencers of the Scottish Renaissance Movement which serves as a starting point for The Modern Scot exhibit. A new look at the visual aspects of the movement, and a renewal of Scottish Nationalist culture that began between the two World Wars, continuing into the late 20th century, sees works by William McCance, William Johnstone, and notable modernists on display.

Migration Stories is a mainly photographic exhibit, prominently featuring family portraits from the country’s 30,000-strong Pakistani community, and exploring migration into and out of Scotland. The gallery’s intent is to change the exhibit over time, taking a look at a range of aspects of Scottish identity and the influence on that from migration. In addition to the striking portraits of notable Scots-Pakistani family groups, Fragments of Love – by Pakistani-born filmmaker Sana Bilgrami – and Isabella T. McNair’s visual narration of a Scottish teacher in Lahore are currently on-display.

The adjacent Pioneers of Science exhibit has Ken Currie’s 2002 Three Oncologists as its most dramatic item. Focussing on Scotland’s reputation as a centre of scientific innovation, the model for James Clerk Maxwell’s statue in the city’s George Street sits alongside photographs from the Roslin Institute and a death mask of Dolly the sheep. Deputy Director Kalinsky, commented that Dolly had been an incredibly spoilt animal, often given sweets, and this was evident from her teeth when the death mask was taken.

Now open daily from 10am to 5pm, and with more of their collection visible than ever before, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery will change some of the smaller current exhibits after 12 to 18 months on display. The ground-floor information desk has available five mini-guides, or ‘trails’, which are thematic guides to specific display items. These are: The Secret Nature trail, The Catwalk Collection trail, The Situations Vacant trail, The Best Wee Nation & The World trail, and The Fur Coat an’ Nae Knickers Trail.

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Iran’s morality police crack down on un-Islamic dress

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Iranian police forces have faced criticism from Ayatollah Hashemi Shahrudi, the head of the judiciary who was appointed by Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, for their re-invigorated campaign to do away with un-Islamic dress.

Ayatollah Shahroudi proclaimed, “Tough measures on social problems will backfire and have counter-productive effects.” Others have, of course, made it clear that un-Islamic dress can lead to moral corruption, engender innumerable vices, and hurt the Islamic character of the nation.

Some believe that no one had any issue with the creation of an Islamic atmosphere. The core of the matter revolves around the implementation of the Islamic dress code; additionally, heavy-handed measures should be shunned. For instance, Mehdi Ahmadi, information head of Tehran’s police, told Al Jazeera: “Some citizens may complain about the way the law is being enforced but they all agree with the plan itself.”

According to one student, “You simply can’t tell people what to wear. They don’t understand that use of force only brings hatred towards them, not love.” Nevertheless, Hojatoll-Islam Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi, Iran’s interior minister who is in charge of policing, prognosticated positive feedback from the populace when he said, “People are unhappy with the social and moral status of the society. They expect that the fight against social insecurity be properly implemented.” Thus, Hujjat al-Islam Pour-Mohammadi re-iterated the necessity of proper implementation and methodology towards the restoration of morality in the Islamic Republic. Islamic officials and religious people affirm that this is indispensable to promote righteousness, curb sin, and bring open sinners to justice.

Following the Islamic Revolution in 1979, hijab became mandatory in Iran for every woman including foreigners after over 98% of citizens voted for an Islamic government. Women may face caning up to 74 strokes for failing to observe hijab. In this recent crackdown, the authorities have arrested many citizens throughout the country. Not only have women been taken into custody for their hair being uncovered on their foreheads and tight clothes that show body shapes, For men they need to cover from knee to their waist as according to Sharia. Even a foreign journalist was detained because the photograph on her press card was indecent.

It has not been clear whence the directive for the re-newed clampdown emanated. Some have blamed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad while Gholam Hossein Elham, the government spokesman, stated to reporters, “The police work as agents of the judiciary to confront crimes. The government as an executive body does not interfere in the affairs of the judiciary.” The following pre-election speech seems to corroborate this latter statement:

In reality, is the problem of our people the shape of the hair of our children? Let our children arrange their hair any way they wish. It doesn’t concern me and you. Let you and me overhaul the basic problems of the nation. The government should fix the economy of the nation and improve its atmosphere…[It should] better psychological security and support the people. People have variegated tastes. As if now the arch obstacle of our nation is the arrangement of our kids’ hair and the government disallowing them <He chuckles>. Is this the government’s responsibility? Is this the people’s merit? In actuality, this is the denigration of our people. Why do you underestimate and belittle the people? It is the real issue of our nation that one of our daughters donned a certain dress? Is this the issue of our nation and the problem of our nation?
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Have Fun And Stay Fit In Atlanta S South Metro

Have Fun and Stay Fit in Atlanta s South Metro

by

Anne Jiles

As we get ready to ring in the New Year, many of us will be thinking about making New Year s resolutions. A top priority on many lists will be to make healthier lifestyle choices and get more exercise. Most of us start out with good intentions, but fall short after a few weeks. Varying the exercise routine and location can help many people keep their focus. Atlanta s south metro area offers some great places to stay fit while enjoying the outdoors.

Panola Mountain State Park in Stockbridge offers unique opportunities to exercise while enjoying the natural surroundings. Visitors can participate in 3.5 mile guided hikes every Saturday to the top of the mountain. This is the only way to access the fragile environment of the park s granite outcrop. A special New Year s hike is scheduled for January 1. After the hike, enjoy hot chocolate around the campfire. Advance reservations are required, and the cost is $7 plus $5 to park. Panola Mountain State Park is also an access point for the 12 mile paved PATH Trail to Arabia Mountain. The PATH Trail is open to walkers and bicycles. In addition, the park offers Tree Top Excursions one Saturday each month. These rope assisted climbs into the tree canopy are moderately strenuous. Preregistration is required, and the fee is $15 per person. Climbers must be at least 8 years old. Panola Mountain State Park is located at 2600 Hwy 155.

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For a quiet hike through the woods, try Reynolds Nature Preserve in Morrow, Georgia. Visitors can explore the highest ridges in the county on the 3.5 miles of hiking trails. The Perimeter Loop Trail, Summit Loop Trail, and Pond Loop Trail wind through woodlands of mixed hardwoods and pines. The preserve is located at 5665 Reynolds Road. It is open weekdays from 8am until dusk, and admission is free.

Clayton County s International Park has one of the best tennis facilities in the south metro area. There are 17 lighted courts, locker rooms, and a pro shop. Court fees are $3 for non-residents during the day and $4 after 6pm. Muscle Beach Fitness Center is also located at the park. The facility has a full gym with free weights, machine weights, cardio equipment, and certified trainers. A one day pass is $5. Monthly and yearly memberships are available. International Park is located at 2300 Hwy 138 SE in Jonesboro.

Clayton State University in Morrow, Georgia has a one mile walking trail around scenic Swan Lake on its campus. There is also a 1.5 mile loop around the perimeter of the campus. The City of Morrow is developing a new 3 mile Pathway Trail for walking and biking through the city. A new tunnel adjacent to Clayton State University and the Georgia Archives lets trail users go safely under busy Hwy 54. Reeves Creek Trail in nearby Stockbridge is a 3 mile concrete path for walking and biking. Trail access, parking, and restrooms are located in Memorial Park, at 106 Jennings Way.

Anne Jiles is the Director of Sales of the Hampton Inn

Morrow Georgia hotel

in Atlanta-Southlake. Located in the heart of Morrow, the hotel is just across from Southlake Mall and 18 miles from downtown Atlanta. This property offers a full range of services and amenities to make your stay exceptional. For more information visit: http://www.HAMPTONINNSOUTHLAKE.com

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Have Fun and Stay Fit in Atlanta s South Metro

UN Report: Earth ecosystem in peril

Thursday, March 31, 2005A report Tuesday from a United Nations-backed project, consulting more than 1,300 scientists from 95 countries, and written over the last four years, warns that 60 percent of the basics of life on Earth — water, food, timber, clean air — are currently being used in ways which degrade them. Furthermore, fisheries and fresh water use-patterns are unsustainable, and getting worse.

“The harmful consequences of this degradation could grow significantly worse in the next 50 years,” according to a press release from the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), a massive four-year study begun in 2001.

“We’ve had many reports on environmental degradation, but for the first time we’re now able to draw connections between ecosystem services and human well-being,” Cristian Samper, director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington and a chief architect of the study, told the Christian Science Monitor.

The project’s Synthesis Report, first in a series of eleven documents and published yesterday, explains the objective: “to assess the consequences of ecosystem change for human well-being and to establish the scientific basis for actions needed to enhance the conservation and sustainable use of ecosystems and their contributions to human well-being.”

It then goes on to report on four main findings:

  • Changes over the last 50 years to meet rapidly growing demands for food, fresh water, timber, fiber and fuel, have effected substantial and largely irreversible loss in the diversity of life on Earth.
  • Net gains in human well-being and economic development are offset by growing costs, in the form ecosystem degradation, the possibility of abrupt and unpredictable ecosystem changes, and worsened poverty for some groups. Unless addressed, these problems will substantially diminish the benefits that future generations obtain from ecosystems.
  • Ecosystem degradation could grow significantly worse over the next 50 years, presenting a barrier to meeting UN Millennium Development Goals.
  • The challenge of reversing the degradation while meeting increasing ecological demands can be partially met under some scenarios, but only with significant changes in policies, institutions and practices — changes that are not currently under way.

Walter Reid, the study’s director, speaking at yesterday’s London launch of the report said it shows that over the last 50 years “humans have changed ecosystems more rapidly and extensively than in any comparable time in human history.”

“This has resulted in substantial and largely irreversible loss in the diversity of life on Earth,” he said.

It is unclear what this will mean to future generations or the possible emergence of new diseases, absence of fresh water and the continuing decline of fisheries and completely unpredictable weather.

With half of the urban populations of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean suffering from several diseases associated with these problems, the death toll is reaching 1.7 million people a year. Entire species of mammals, birds and amphibians are disappearing from the planet at nearly 1,000 times the natural rate, according to the study. Oxygen-depleted coastal waters and rivers result from overuse of nitrogen fertilizer – an effect known as “nutrient loading” which leads to continuing biodiversity loss.

With the United States’ non-participation in the Kyoto Treaty, former U.S. Senator Timothy Wirth, president of this U.N. Foundation, says “U.S. leadership is critical in providing much-needed expertise, technological capabilities and ingenuity to restore ecosystems.

“We can take steps at home to reduce our nation’s adverse impact on the global environment.”

“At the heart of this assessment is a stark warning,” said the 45-member board.

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Sex, mental and physical exercise, fight dementia

Friday, April 8, 2005Professor Perry Bartlett of University of Queensland‘s Brain Institute recommends sex, cryptic crosswords and a good run to stave off dementia.

The researcher, interviewed on Australian ABC radio today [1], said that with 52,000 Australians expected to be diagnosed with dementia by the end of the year, people wishing to ward off the degenerative disorder may benefit from activities which stimulate growth of new cells in the brain, accompanied by mental exercise to select for survival of the resulting crop of new cells.

“Quite prolonged exercise is very good to make new neurones,” said the Professor. “These new nerve cells are really quite vital to our ability to function in the higher brain functions, such as memory and learning. Most of them die. We now know that we can preserve some of them by giving direct stimuli.”

Professor Bartlett explained recent research findings, including those from collaborator Jeffrey D. Macklis [2] at Harvard in the US.

“There are a lot of hormones and changes in blood that go up and down after exercise, and so that may be a lead to some of the chemicals that can drive the production of nerve cells.

“One of the chemicals that seems to promote neurogenesis is prolactin, and prolactin levels are very high in pregnant females. Prolactin levels, by the way, also go up during sex as well. So one could think of a number of more entertaining activities than running in order to regulate the production of nerve cells.

“Perhaps doing something a little more inquisitive or intellectual might be good at selecting their survival. So perhaps one should run a long distance and do the cryptic crossword or something like that,” he said.

Professor Bartlett gave the same suggestions as being potentially helpful in depression, last year in an interview on the ABC Science Show. [3]

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Airport Valet Parking | Valet Parking Uk | Compare Airport Parking

Airport Valet parking | Valet Parking UK | Compare Airport Parking

by

John Mark2

Right now parking in Heathrow Airport terminal is not really a headache anymore, like a well-managed as well as expert valet car parking service are often be accessible generally there. This particular parking support seems advantageous for regular arrivals, offering them comfort and ease combined with the protection of the automobiles.

Heathrow Airport is actually London\’s 2nd largest airport terminal, wherever parking your automobile might be a significant trouble. It might be much more troublesome in case you are along with kids as well as heavy suitcases, or even getting later to capture your trip. Daily, lots of people is visible having difficulties either to locate a safe parking location or obtaining their automobile back following a sacrifice of fowl.|leaving the|a|using} lengthy tiresome trip. Good results. An expert valet car parking support, this issue could be fixed. Car parking your automobile within a guaranteed parking location, valet car parking service offers you comfort and ease together with a feeling of protection.

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Valet car parking service is actually safe, well-managed associated with higher regular. When you achieve at airport terminal, an experienced as well as attentive car owner should receive a person gladly as well as park your automobile within a guaranteed parking area.

It really is in case of such as these which Airport Meet up with solutions feel as if the benefit. Just in case you have the flight in order to capture, Airport terminal Meet up with solutions ensure that individuals reach the actual airport and don\’t encounter any kind of issues throughout their own method. This particular service makes sure that individuals are obtained at airfields and decreased home or the actual destination pointed out by all of them within the preferred way. The ease of those solutions saves individuals through the trouble of getting to accomplish simply by on their own.

He can help you together with your suitcases and decrease you her at the actual fatal. The actual parking support should offer personal focus on person parking requirements, making sure highest support standards with regard to client satisfaction. Along with recreation area your automobile safely, the actual attendant might offer a little extra services such as oiling, automobile and more based upon the kind of support you get. Becoming familiar with the actual parking region, the actual attendant might get the job done effectively and rapidly. Therefore, the actual valet car parking is really a handy and period saving option the airfields.

Valet car parking is definitely a handy option for your flight passengers who choose in order to park their own vehicle without having looking for an area. The actual parking remain is generally situated at fatal curbside, through in which the fatal building reaches simple walking range.

John mark lives in country United Kingdom. He spends his time building blogs and writing articles on a variety of subjects to his knowledge.

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On the campaign trail, December 2011

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The following is the second in a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2012 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after a brief mention of some of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail: the campaign manager for a candidate already seeking two presidential nominations discusses the likelihood his candidate will run for the Reform Party’s nomination; a lesser known candidates forum reveals an alternative fuel possibility and concludes in a dramatic fashion; and the newly nominated candidate for the Boston Tea Party talks with Wikinews.

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Nigeria’s cabinet dissolved by acting president

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Nigeria’s acting president, Goodluck Jonathan, has announced the dissolution of the country’s cabinet.

In a statement after a cabinet meeting, Nigeria’s information minister, Dora Akunyili, said that “the acting president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, dissolved the Federal Executive Council [cabinet].” In the same statement, Akunyili said that Jonathan had provided no reason for the move, although analysts said that it was due to the impediment of the cabinet to Jonathan’s efforts to put his own mark on the office.

According to Akunyili, the move would not lead to a power vacuum, as the permanent secretaries will step up to take the positions vacated. Jonathan had taken over the role of acting president in February after President Umaru Yar’Adua temporarily stepped down due to sickness, and the cabinet had been entirely appointed by Yar’Adua.

In Akunyili’s statement, she said that an official statement from Jonathan as to the future of the cabinet would be released soon. Additionally, at some time in the future, Jonathan will submit to the National Assembly a list of his submissions for the next incarnation of the cabinet.

In a statement released from the president’s office, a spokesman said that it was “the prerogative of the president to change the cabinet whenever he feels the need to inject new blood, reinvigorate the cabinet and give it a new focus.” According to another, unnamed, government official, the cabinet had become paralyzed by infighting, impeding attempts of governance on major issues.

Yar’Adua has recently returned to Nigeria after being treated for a heart ailment in Saudi Arabia, but has made no public appearances. As a reflection of his impaired condition, Nigeria’s election next year has been brought forward three months, and the ruling People’s Democratic Party, of which both Yar’Adua and Jonathan belong to, has announced that its candidate in those elections will be a Muslim, preventing Jonathan, a Christian, from running. The decision follows a tradition of alternating between Muslim and Christian candidates, allowing each two four-year terms.

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Volunteers endure bed-rest study

Tuesday, March 22, 2005Volunteers began a 60 day bed-rest marathon on March 19 to study simulated weightlessness effects on women astronauts. The study, Women International Space Simulation for Exploration(WISE), is conducted at the MEDES Space Clinic in Toulouse, France.

The 12 women, selected from 1600 applicants hailing from France,Great Britain, Germany, Finland, The Netherlands, Poland and the Czech Republic began the study after a 20 day screening for baseline comparison data as the study progressed.

The women will conduct all activities from eating, bathing, and reading while lying in hospital beds tilted headfirst at a six degree angle. This particular position, called head-down tilt bed rest was determined from previous studies to remove the vertical load of gravity on the body, inducing changes similar to what astronauts in a genuine weightless environment experience [1].

Long term exposure to weightlessness creates a number of physiological and psychological problems in astronauts such as:

  • Reduced capacity for physical exertion
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Affects of confinement and isolation
  • Impaired circulatory function

A total of 24 women will participate in the study. A second group of 12 will join in September.

Three groups of eight women each will be studied over the course of the two campaigns of bed rest. One group will serve as a control, receiving no specific treatments, the second will exercise, while the third will receive nutritional supplements.

The study is designed to fill in gaps of knowledge on the differences between men and women during extended weightlessness. It also aims to develop countermeasures for reducing the debilitating effects of long spaceflights.

Participating agencies in the study include the European Space Agency, NASA, the French Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.

[edit]

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Basic Business Accounting Tips

Basic Business Accounting Tips

by

Kim Chariz Levita

Every business firm really needs to do accounting in every period for them to know any loss or profit they have acquired. And for them to have a look if their business is in boom or will soon be bankrupt. That is why this work is very sensitive and you really have to be careful in everything you compute for everything is accountable, even a cent. Here are some tips for you to achieve proper business accounting.

1. Accounting system

Be consistent with your accounting system. When you do this particular kind of accounting, you have to use until then. If you mix up different kinds of accounting system in one, everything just will not fall right in place. The result will not be what should be exact.

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2.Keep timely records

You can t keep track of the money that you received and spent if you will not have a record. Keep an accurate daily records of everything that you have transactions with. This way, you will be able to know the condition of the business financially. And do not forget to keep these records in an organized way.

3.Bank statement

Get bank statements every end of the month so that you can keep track if the records you have on hand, coincides with what is in bank. This way, you will also identify if you have properly accounted everything you need to account.

4.Be careful with checks

When you write checks, you have to be careful. Keep these checks in safe place always. Some people might steal these checks, and unfortunately you have your signatures in there. Even if some checks are written in error, do not just throw or put those anywhere. Those are still usable. Do not be so trusting with anybody, even your employees or bookkeeper. Keep your signatures so distinct and clear so that it will not be forged easily. Checks also play a vital part in your accounting.

5.Have a computerized system

We live in a high- technology generation where almost everything can be done and taken care of by a computer. Computers have more advantage than that of using manual, paper system. Computerized system allows you to keep records that will never be lost; you just need to backup it always. And computers allow computing easy for you.

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