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Submitted by: Abhinav Immigration

Several professionals aspire to immigrate to the Maple leaf country to cash on the chances of enhancing their career. CIC has offered a wonderful opportunity to professionals such as 0111 Financial Managers to relocate to this country through there federal skilled migration scheme, the FSW. This scheme does not only provide them with a chance gain to their location of dreams but it also extends permanent residence to the selected people.

The permanent residential permit grants an unimpeded permission to the visa bearers to reside permanently in the country. You also enjoy an unrivalled freedom to choose employment as per your wish and convenience. The biggest advantage offered by this scheme is that the applicants do not need to obtain a pre arranged full time employment and moreover, you also get a chance to file for the Canadian nationality.

The recent trends in Canadian industry indicate that the downward trend in the generation of employment opportunities for 0111 – Financial Managers In Canada has weakened owing the resurgence of economy in recent years and it is expected this upward trend would continue to persist for some years to come. Currently over 45% of the gross work force in this trade code is nearing 50 years. This fact makes it imperative for the authorities to look for viable alternatives. As per the official estimates, in near future, the generation of employment in this code would result from

Retirement of aging people or promotion to the next and higher levels

Creation of fresh venues in the expanding scope of this code as the services of these managers is not only used in the finance sector but all the companies involved in commercial business, i.e. These people find employment in financial and accounting departments in firms across the private and government sectors.

The compensation package of these finance professionals at managerial level is quite handsome, i.e.

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The fresh entrants with 0-5 years of exposure are obtaining, i.e. Entry level – $ 69000 per yea

The moderately experienced people with 5-10 years of exposure earn $ 81000 per yea

People with exposure with over 20 years earn astronomical amounts of salaries, i.e. $ 78000 per annum.

A typical list of obligations of Financial Managers In Canada includes

Planning, regulating, arranging, assessing and regulating the operations of financial and accounting departments.

Working to boost and enhance and applying the standard financial practices and processes of the companies.

Establishing performance parameters and organizing and preparing a range of financial reports for higher management.

Eligibility parameters for Finance professionals at managerial level:

To qualify as 0111 Financial Managers for Citizenship And Immigration Canada run federal skilled immigrant program, you need to be

At least a graduate in economics, business administration or commerce in a specified domain

Holding a post graduation degree in either in business administration or other masters level management program is highly desirable.

A relevant practical exposure is deemed mandatory in auditing, accounting, financial planning, budgeting and analysis or other financial actions.

We would suggest that you hire some expert Canada Immigration Services because you also need to obtain a positive skills assessment report from a designated credential assessment authority and also write an approved language test to evidence your linguistic skills as being at par with at least CLB / NCLC 7. Furthermore, in the present context, you must make it fast as FSW is due to close in December 2014.

Remember, programs like the FSW may never appear again and the applicability of new scheme is yet not clear so hurry up and prepare.

Professionals in finance willing to shift and settle down in Maple leaf country should avail Citizenship And Immigration Canada Services To 0111 Financial Managers. The resurgence of economy in recent years has fuelled an upward trend in financial sector and this trend is expected to persist for some years to come.

About the Author: Professionals in finance willing to shift and settle down in Maple leaf country should avail Citizenship And Immigration Canada Services To 0111 Financial Managers. The resurgence of economy in recent years has fuelled an upward trend in financial sector and this trend is expected to persist for some years to come.

immigration.net.in/2014/04/04/utilize-citizenship-and-immigration-canada-services-for-hassle-free-beautiful-experience/

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News briefs:July 15, 2010
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Keep your eyes peeled for cosmic debris: Andrew Westphal about Stardust@home

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Stardust is a NASA space capsule that collected samples from comet 81P/Wild (also known as “Wild 2) in deep space and landed back on Earth on January 15, 2006. It was decided that a collaborative online review process would be used to “discover” the microscopically small samples the capsule collected. The project is called Stardust@home. Unlike distributed computing projects like SETI@home, Stardust@home relies entirely on human intelligence.

Andrew Westphal is the director of Stardust@home. Wikinews interviewed him for May’s Interview of the Month (IOTM) on May 18, 2006. As always, the interview was conducted on IRC, with multiple people asking questions.

Some may not know exactly what Stardust or Stardust@home is. Can you explain more about it for us?

Stardust is a NASA Discovery mission that was launched in 1999. It is really two missions in one. The primary science goal of the mission was to collect a sample from a known primitive solar-system body, a comet called Wild 2 (pronounced “Vilt-two” — the discoverer was German, I believe). This is the first US “sample return” mission since Apollo, and the first ever from beyond the moon. This gives a little context. By “sample return” of course I mean a mission that brings back extraterrestrial material. I should have said above that this is the first “solid” sample return mission — Genesis brought back a sample from the Sun almost two years ago, but Stardust is also bringing back the first solid samples from the local interstellar medium — basically this is a sample of the Galaxy. This is absolutely unprecedented, and we’re obviously incredibly excited. I should mention parenthetically that there is a fantastic launch video — taken from the POV of the rocket on the JPL Stardust website — highly recommended — best I’ve ever seen — all the way from the launch pad, too. Basically interplanetary trajectory. Absolutely great.

Is the video available to the public?

Yes [see below]. OK, I digress. The first challenge that we have before can do any kind of analysis of these interstellar dust particles is simply to find them. This is a big challenge because they are very small (order of micron in size) and are somewhere (we don’t know where) on a HUGE collector— at least on the scale of the particle size — about a tenth of a square meter. So

We’re right now using an automated microscope that we developed several years ago for nuclear astrophysics work to scan the collector in the Cosmic Dust Lab in Building 31 at Johnson Space Center. This is the ARES group that handles returned samples (Moon Rocks, Genesis chips, Meteorites, and Interplanetary Dust Particles collected by U2 in the stratosphere). The microscope collects stacks of digital images of the aerogel collectors in the array. These images are sent to us — we compress them and convert them into a format appropriate for Stardust@home.

Stardust@home is a highly distributed project using a “Virtual Microscope” that is written in html and javascript and runs on most browsers — no downloads are required. Using the Virtual Microscope volunteers can search over the collector for the tracks of the interstellar dust particles.

How many samples do you anticipate being found during the course of the project?

Great question. The short answer is that we don’t know. The long answer is a bit more complicated. Here’s what we know. The Galileo and Ulysses spacecraft carried dust detectors onboard that Eberhard Gruen and his colleagues used to first detect and them measure the flux of interstellar dust particles streaming into the solar system. (This is a kind of “wind” of interstellar dust, caused by the fact that our solar system is moving with respect to the local interstellar medium.) Markus Landgraf has estimated the number of interstellar dust particles that should have been captured by Stardust during two periods of the “cruise” phase of the interplanetary orbit in which the spacecraft was moving with this wind. He estimated that there should be around 45 particles, but this number is very uncertain — I wouldn’t be surprised if it is quite different from that. That was the long answer! One thing that I should say…is that like all research, the outcome of what we are doing is highly uncertain. There is a wonderful quote attributed to Einstein — “If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called “research”, would it?”

How big would the samples be?

We expect that the particles will be of order a micron in size. (A millionth of a meter.) When people are searching using the virtual microscope, they will be looking not for the particles, but for the tracks that the particles make, which are much larger — several microns in diameter. Just yesterday we switched over to a new site which has a demo of the VM (virtual microscope) I invite you to check it out. The tracks in the demo are from submicron carbonyl iron particles that were shot into aerogel using a particle accelerator modified to accelerate dust particles to very high speeds, to simulate the interstellar dust impacts that we’re looking for.

And that’s on the main Stardust@home website [see below]?

Yes.

How long will the project take to complete?

Partly the answer depends on what you mean by “the project”. The search will take several months. The bottleneck, we expect (but don’t really know yet) is in the scanning — we can only scan about one tile per day and there are 130 tiles in the collector…. These particles will be quite diverse, so we’re hoping that we’ll continue to have lots of volunteers collaborating with us on this after the initial discoveries. It may be that the 50th particle that we find will be the real Rosetta stone that turns out to be critical to our understanding of interstellar dust. So we really want to find them all! Enlarging the idea of the project a little, beyond the search, though is to actually analyze these particles. That’s the whole point, obviously!

And this is the huge advantage with this kind of a mission — a “sample return” mission.

Most missions rather do things quite differently… you have to build an instrument to make a measurement and that instrument design gets locked in several years before launch practically guaranteeing that it will be obsolete by the time you launch. Here exactly the opposite is true. Several of the instruments that are now being used to analyze the cometary dust did not exist when the mission was launched. Further, some instruments (e.g., synchrotrons) are the size of shopping malls — you don’t have a hope of flying these in space. So we can and will study these samples for many years. AND we have to preserve some of these dust particles for our grandchildren to analyze with their hyper-quark-gluon plasma microscopes (or whatever)!

When do you anticipate the project to start?

We’re really frustrated with the delays that we’ve been having. Some of it has to do with learning how to deal with the aerogel collectors, which are rougher and more fractured than we expected. The good news is that they are pretty clean — there is very little of the dust that you see on our training images — these were deliberately left out in the lab to collect dust so that we could give people experience with the worst case we could think of. In learning how to do the scanning of the actual flight aerogel, we uncovered a couple of bugs in our scanning software — which forced us to go back and rescan. Part of the other reason for the delay was that we had to learn how to handle the collector — it would cost $200M to replace it if something happened to it, so we had to develop procedures to deal with it, and add several new safety features to the Cosmic Dust Lab. This all took time. Finally, we’re distracted because we also have many responsibilities for the cometary analysis, which has a deadline of August 15 for finishing analysis. The IS project has no such deadline, so at times we had to delay the IS (interstellar, sorry) in order to focus on the cometary work. We are very grateful to everyone for their patience on this — I mean that very sincerely.

And rest assured that we’re just as frustrated!

I know there will be a “test” that participants will have to take before they can examine the “real thing”. What will that test consist of?

The test will look very similar to the training images that you can look at now. But.. there will of course be no annotation to tell you where the tracks are!

Why did NASA decide to take the route of distributed computing? Will they do this again?

I wouldn’t say that NASA decided to do this — the idea for Stardust@home originated here at U. C. Berkeley. Part of the idea of course came…

If I understand correctly it isn’t distributed computing, but distributed eyeballing?

…from the SETI@home people who are just down the hall from us. But as Brian just pointed out. this is not really distributed computing like SETI@home the computers are just platforms for the VM and it is human eyes and brains who are doing the real work which makes it fun (IMHO).

That said… There have been quite a few people who have expressed interested in developing automated algorithms for searching. Just because WE don’t know how to write such an algorithm doesn’t mean nobody does. We’re delighted at this and are happy to help make it happen

Isn’t there a catch 22 that the data you’re going to collect would be a prerequisite to automating the process?

That was the conclusion that we came to early on — that we would need some sort of training set to be able to train an algorithm. Of course you have to train people too, but we’re hoping (we’ll see!) that people are more flexible in recognizing things that they’ve never seen before and pointing them out. Our experience is that people who have never seen a track in aerogel can learn to recognize them very quickly, even against a big background of cracks, dust and other sources of confusion… Coming back to the original question — although NASA didn’t originate the idea, they are very generously supporting this project. It wouldn’t have happened without NASA’s financial support (and of course access to the Stardust collector). Did that answer the question?

Will a project like this be done again?

I don’t know… There are only a few projects for which this approach makes sense… In fact, I frankly haven’t run across another at least in Space Science. But I am totally open to the idea of it. I am not in favor of just doing it as “make-work” — that is just artificially taking this approach when another approach would make more sense.

How did the idea come up to do this kind of project?

Really desperation. When we first thought about this we assumed that we would use some sort of automated image recognition technique. We asked some experts around here in CS and the conclusion was that the problem was somewhere between trivial and impossible, and we wouldn’t know until we had some real examples to work with. So we talked with Dan Wertheimer and Dave Anderson (literally down the hall from us) about the idea of a distributed project, and they were quite encouraging. Dave proposed the VM machinery, and Josh Von Korff, a physics grad student, implemented it. (Beautifully, I think. I take no credit!)

I got to meet one of the stardust directors in March during the Texas Aerospace Scholars program at JSC. She talked about searching for meteors in Antarctica, one that were unblemished by Earth conditions. Is that our best chance of finding new information on comets and asteroids? Or will more Stardust programs be our best solution?

That’s a really good question. Much will depend on what we learn during this official “Preliminary Examination” period for the cometary analysis. Aerogel capture is pretty darn good, but it’s not perfect and things are altered during capture in ways that we’re still understanding. I think that much also depends on what question you’re asking. For example, some of the most important science is done by measuring the relative abundances of isotopes in samples, and these are not affected (at least not much) by capture into aerogel.

Also, she talked about how some of the agencies that they gave samples to had lost or destroyed 2-3 samples while trying to analyze them. That one, in fact, had been statically charged, and stuck to the side of the microscope lens and they spent over an hour looking for it. Is that really our biggest danger? Giving out samples as a show of good faith, and not letting NASA example all samples collected?

These will be the first measurements, probably, that we’ll make on the interstellar dust There is always a risk of loss. Fortunately for the cometary samples there is quite a lot there, so it’s not a disaster. NASA has some analytical capabilities, particularly at JSC, but the vast majority of the analytical capability in the community is not at NASA but is at universities, government labs and other institutions all over the world. I should also point out that practically every analytical technique is destructive at some level. (There are a few exceptions, but not many.) The problem with meteorites is that except in a very few cases, we don’t know where they specifically came from. So having a sample that we know for sure is from the comet is golden!

I am currently working on my Bachelor’s in computer science, with a minor in astronomy. Do you see successes of programs like Stardust to open up more private space exploration positions for people such as myself. Even though I’m not in the typical “space” fields of education?

Can you elaborate on your question a little — I’m not sure that I understand…

Well, while at JSC I learned that they mostly want Engineers, and a few science grads, and I worry that my computer science degree with not be very valuable, as the NASA rep told me only 1% of the applicants for their work study program are CS majors. I’m just curious as to your thoughts on if CS majors will be more in demand now that projects like Stardust and the Mars missions have been great successes? Have you seen a trend towards more private businesses moving in that direction, especially with President Bush’s statement of Man on the Moon in 2015?

That’s a good question. I am personally not very optimistic about the direction that NASA is going. Despite recent successes, including but not limited to Stardust, science at NASA is being decimated.

I made a joke with some people at the TAS event that one day SpaceShipOne will be sent up to save stranded ISS astronauts. It makes me wonder what kind of private redundancy the US government is taking for future missions.

I guess one thing to be a little cautious about is that despite SpaceShipOne’s success, we haven’t had an orbital project that has been successful in that style of private enterprise It would be nice to see that happen. I know that there’s a lot of interest…!

Now I know the answer to this question… but a lot do not… When samples are found, How will they be analyzed? Who gets the credit for finding the samples?

The first person who identifies an interstellar dust particle will be acknowledged on the website (and probably will be much in demand for interviews from the media!), will have the privilege of naming the particle, and will be a co-author on any papers that WE (at UCB) publish on the analysis of the particle. Also, although we are precluded from paying for travel expenses, we will invite those who discover particles AND the top performers to our lab for a hands-on tour.

We have some fun things, including micromachines.

How many people/participants do you expect to have?

About 113,000 have preregistered on our website. Frankly, I don’t have a clue how many will actually volunteer and do a substantial amount of searching. We’ve never done this before, after all!

One last thing I want to say … well, two. First, we are going to special efforts not to do any searching ourselves before we go “live”. It would not be fair to all the volunteers for us to get a jumpstart on the search. All we are doing is looking at a few random views to make sure that the focus and illumination are good. (And we haven’t seen anything — no surprise at all!) Also, the attitude for this should be “Have Fun”. If you’re not having fun doing it, stop and do something else! A good maxim for life in general!

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Former Texas nurse charged with murder for allegedly injecting bleach into patients

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A former nurse from Texas is in jail after a grand jury in Angelina County indicted her over allegations she murdered patients by injecting bleach into them. Kimberly Saenz is suspected of killing five people at the DaVita Dialysis Center in Lufkin.

A sudden string of deaths caused the center to close on April 28, 2008. The center reopened that July. Saenz was fired in April, and arrested last May under suspicion of having caused harm to two patients. It is now believed by authorities she injected ten people with bleach, killing five.

Our patients and the caregivers have been outraged at how the alleged actions of one person have caused so much pain and trauma to so many

She is accused of killing Clara Strange, Thelma Metcalf, Garlin Kelley, Cora Bryant and Opal Few and of harming Marva Rhone, Carolyn Risinger, Debra Oates, Graciela Castenada and Marie Bradley. The 35-year-old is being held without bond after turning herself in.

DaVita’s regional vice president Larry Crisp said of the developments “The grand jury has issued an indictment for capital murder for the death of five patients and further, five additional indictments for aggravated assault. Our patients and the caregivers have been outraged at how the alleged actions of one person have caused so much pain and trauma to so many.”

Centennial of ‘father of contemporary Thai cinema’ celebrated

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Centennial of ‘father of contemporary Thai cinema’ celebrated
Author: RdBXvzh4

19 Jan

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Thailand’s National Film Archive in Salaya, Nakhon Pathom unveiled a new museum and cinema on Thursday night for the 100th anniversary celebration of the birth of Rattana Pestjoni, a filmmaker who is considered the “father of contemporary Thai cinema”.

With Pestonji’s family, movie stars, filmmakers, government officials and fans on hand, the National Film Archive’s museum was opened for tours, and the facility’s 120-seat cinema hosted the screening of a documentary film, Signature: The Life and Work of R.D. Pestonji.

Pestonji was born in Bangkok on May 22, 1908, to a Parsi-Indian (ethnic Persian) family. For his first short film, Tang, in 1937, he received an award from Alfred Hitchcock at a film festival in Scotland. Pestonji directed his first feature film, Dear Dolly, in 1951. He was known for his skills as a cinematographer, and he shot the first Thai feature film to be submitted to an overseas film festival. Pestonji also pushed for innovations in the Thai film industry, such as using 35mm film, and raising the level of cinematography as an artistic element of the films, said film historian Dome Sukwong, director of the National Film Archive.

The now-lost Santi-Weena was submitted to the Asia-Pacific Film Festival in 1954 in Tokyo. Pestonji served as cinematographer on it as well as Forever Yours, in 1955. He then directed four features, Country Hotel in 1957, Dark Heaven in 1958, Black Silk in 1961, and Sugar Is Not Sweet in 1964. His films were never box-office successes, which led to Pestonji retiring from feature-film work to make television commercials, Sukwong said.

Pestonji died of a heart attack on August 17, 1970 at the Montien Hotel Bangkok, while giving a speech to government officials and film industry executives about the prevalence of Hollywood films in Thailand’s cinemas.

Contemporary directors who were influenced by Pestonji include Wisit Sasanatieng and Pen-ek Ratanaruang (Last Life in the Universe). Sasanatieng was among the filmmakers present at Thursday’s event.

Prae Dum [Black Silk] is the film that remains my single major influence,” Sasanatieng was quoted as saying by the Bangkok Post. Sasanatieng’s colorful features, Tears of the Black Tiger and Citizen Dog bear many of the hallmarks of Pestonji’s films. “Khun Ratana was not simply a master storyteller … he knew how to use color, art direction and camera angles to create subtle nuances and charge the movie with strong emotions.”

Pestonji’s sons, Santa and Edel, have continued in the film business. The Bangkok film production house their father started now houses a firm that hires out equipment and film crews to foreign films shooting on location in Thailand. Films that the company has been involved with include Heaven & Earth and The Beach. Pestonji’s daughter, Ratanavadi Ratanabhand, was the lead actress in 1961’s Black Silk.

The Pestonji centennial celebration was the first major event held in the new facilities at the National Film Archive, which moved around 10 years ago to the Fine Arts Department compound in Nakhon Pathom Province, about 50 kilometers from Bangkok, where the archive had been previously located. The museum and cinema complex were built in the last year, and Thursday’s event was the first major function held at the facility, said Chalida Uabumrungjit of the Thai Film Foundation, which has worked closely with the National Film Archive to preserve Pestonji’s legacy. The foundation holds the rights to Pestonji’s films and plans to issue a DVD set of his works later this year.

The centerpiece of the archive’s museum is a wax figure of Pestonji, seated with his prized Mitchell camera in front of a recreation of the set from his 1957 musical comedy Country Hotel.

In a manner similar to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, handprints, footprints and signatures of celebrities are being collected in the concrete outside the museum’s cinema. That initiative started on Thursday with actor Prompong Nopparit, a spokesman for the Ministry of Culture, being the first to make his marks.

Other stars making impressions included actor Suthep Wongkamheng, who starred in Pestonji’s Dark Heaven. A rain storm dampened the festivities, but didn’t keep 1970s action star Sombat Metanee from making his mark in the slab, albeit under cover of umbrellas. Other figures adding their marks to the wet cement were pioneering animator Payut Ngaokrachang and Santa Pestonji, Ratana’s eldest son.

2008 YODEX Review: Varied competitions, Vast creations

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2008 YODEX Review: Varied competitions, Vast creations
Author: RdBXvzh4

19 Jan

Monday, May 26, 2008

The 27th Young Designers’ Exhibition 2008, recognized by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) as the largest show of student creations, recently ended Sunday May 18. It was held at the Taipei World Trade Center. Improvements and expansions were seen with 107 academical and industrial units. Different design competitions participated and showcased their products and also received awards.

It’s no doubt that companies related to design and cultural industries want to discover creative talents from academical units in this exhibition. However, most companies still try to showcase different conceptional and applicative products in order to promote Taiwan’s designs into the world market. A typical example is Fora Series, a photo-voltaic product series by the Tsann Kuen Trans-nation Group.

Before entering into their careers, students participated in this show and showcased varied styles that differ from the usual industrial businesspeople. To get more opportunities and in order to interact with the design and cultural industries, students also participated in vast competitions and tried to get the top places. Some students also tried to design conceptional products in conjunction with industrial designs, especially in some design competitions.

In summary, not only did the 2008 YODEX, have companies which can discover talents and showcase achievements of industrial design in the exhibition, but students can make their stages to showcase excellences from their creations in several competitions related to YODEX.

Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 9 browser

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Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 9 browser
Author: RdBXvzh4

18 Jan

Friday, March 18, 2011

At 9:00 p.m. PDT Monday (0400 UTC Tuesday), Microsoft rolled out the first stable Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) release, available in 39 languages, for Windows Vista and Windows 7. Internet Explorer is the most used web browser, responsible for 56% of webpage hits. The new version adds support for new technologies with relation to the HTML5 specification and several feature changes. The browser was released as a beta with a campaign promoting the benefits of HTML5.

It includes support for SVG and the HTML5 canvas, audio, and video tags. It has a failing Acid3 score of 95/100, below Mozilla Firefox 4.0’s 97/100, rating and the 100/100 in Google Chrome 10. The program is the first of its series not to run on Microsoft Windows XP. It includes a redesigned layout of the address bar and the ability to pin sites to the taskbar on Windows 7, along with several minor improvements.

The browser received mixed reviews. “IE9 as a Consumer Browser — Not Worth It,” Jason Mick, DailyTech, concluded. A study by Which? on Tuesday showed that IE9’s Tracking Protection Lists, an optional anti-tracking feature, may mislead users. “We’re disappointed with the way these lists work, and feel consumers who install multiple lists could be left with a false sense of security.” Dr. Rob Reid, Which? Policy senior advisor, said.

In a more positive review, a PC Magazine reviewer said that the positives of the new browser outweighed the negatives, and it is “a major improvement over its predecessor.”

The announcement comes after the company launched a campaign to get Internet Explorer 6 usage down to 1%. Microsoft delayed the Japanese release “to reduce load on network bandwidth at such a critical time” with reference to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan this past Friday.

NTSB releases updates on status of 3 major US investigations

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NTSB releases updates on status of 3 major US investigations
Author: RdBXvzh4

18 Jan

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.

India: Maharashtra plastic ban comes into force

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India: Maharashtra plastic ban comes into force
Author: RdBXvzh4

17 Jan

Monday, June 25, 2018

On Saturday, the plastic ban in the Indian state of Maharashtra came into force. In an attempt to minimise pollution, the state government has introduced a ban on single-use plastics.

The leader of the Yuya Sena political party, Aaditya Thackeray, said on Twitter, “The ban on single use disposable plastic cups, plastic bags, plastic straws, plastic plates and cutlery, styrofoam cutlery and non woven bags”. He added, “these are global issues now and we have taken a step to combat it”.

Plastic pollution has led to the choking of drains, marine pollution and a risk of animals consuming plastics. This year, India’s motto for World Environment Day — June 5 — was “Beat Plastic Pollution”. People violating the plastic ban are to face a fine of 5,000 Indian Rupees (INR) for the first offence. For the second offence, the fine is INR 10,000 and the third time offence is INR 25,000 and a three-month prison term. Deputy municipal commissioner Nidhi Choudhary said, “To weed out corruption, we plan to give inspectors payment gadgets for electronic receipts of the fines”.

The Maharashtra government has given a 90-day period for manufacturers to dispose of existing polyethylene terephthalate (PET/PETE) plastic spoons and plates, while shopkeepers and citizens in general have six months to dispose of plastics. However, the ban does not prohibit plastic usage for wrapping medicines or milk cartons thicker than 50 microns.

The state government had announced the decision for the plastic ban on March 23. According to NDTV’s report, Maharashtra is the eighteenth Indian state to enforce a state-wide plastic ban. Aaditya Thackeray also said, “I congratulate the citizens for making this into a movement, even before the ban was enforceable, giving up single use disposable plastic.”

ACLU President Strossen on religion, drugs, guns and impeaching George Bush

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ACLU President Strossen on religion, drugs, guns and impeaching George Bush
Author: RdBXvzh4

16 Jan

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

There are few organizations in the United States that elicit a stronger emotional response than the American Civil Liberties Union, whose stated goal is “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States”. Those people include gays, Nazis, women seeking abortion, gun owners, SPAM mailers and drug users. People who are often not popular with various segments of the public. The ACLU’s philosophy is not that it agrees or disagrees with any of these people and the choices that they make, but that they have personal liberties that must not be trampled upon.

In Wikinews reporter David Shankbone’s interview with the President of the ACLU, Nadine Strossen, he wanted to cover some basic ground on the ACLU’s beliefs. Perhaps the area where they are most misunderstood or have their beliefs most misrepresented is their feelings about religion in the public sphere. The ACLU categorically does not want to see religion disappear from schools or in the public forum; but they do not want to see government advocacy of any particular religion. Thus, former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore’s placement of a ten ton monument to the Ten Commandments outside the courthouse is strenuously opposed; but “Lone Ranger of the Manger” Rita Warren’s placement of nativity scenes in public parks is vigorously defended. In the interview, Strossen talks about how certain politicians and televangelists purposefully misstate the law and the ACLU’s work in order to raise funds for their campaigns.

David Shankbone’s discussion with Strossen touches upon many of the ACLU’s hot button issues: religion, Second Amendment rights, drug liberalization, “partial-birth abortion” and whether or not George W. Bush should be impeached. It may surprise the reader that many ideas people have about the most visible of America’s civil libertarian organizations are not factually correct and that the ACLU often works closely with many of the organizations people think despise its existence.

Contents

  • 1 Strossen’s background
  • 2 Religion in schools
  • 3 Religious symbols
  • 4 How the ACLU is misrepresented by politicians and televangelists
  • 5 The abortion debate
  • 6 Judicial activism
  • 7 Capital punishment and criminal justice
  • 8 Decriminalization of drugs and suicide
  • 9 War and threats to humanity
  • 10 Should George Bush be impeached?
  • 11 Gun rights
  • 12 Strossen’s philosophy
  • 13 Sources