News briefs:July 14, 2010

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Wikimania 2007 begins in Taipei, Taiwan

Friday, August 3, 2007

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

The third annual conference for users of the Wikimedia Foundation projects, Wikimania, began today in Taipei, Taiwan. Over 1,100 people registered from 98 countries. Fifty-five percent of attendees were from Taiwan. There are over 100 presenters holding a total of 65 sessions.

Florence Devouard, Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation, in the opening to the conference, reviewed what has been accomplished in the past year. Among the accomplishments are the creation of the Wikimedia Taiwan chapter, and the creation of Wikiversity. Florence also said that the Russian Wikipedia was the fastest growing Wikipedia, with the Chinese Wikipedia coming second. There still is huge disparity in language though, with projects such as the Afrikaans Wikipedia having 6 million native speakers, but less than 8,000 articles

An estimation of the current total assets of the foundation was stated to be around $3.5 million. Florence Devouard also discussed the need for scalable sources of revenue for the foundation. These sources, she stressed, must be consistent with the foundation’s non profit status, with the open/free content movement and with community wishes. Potential revenue sources include the continued sale of live datafeeds, a print on demand service, board games, puzzles and other merchandising. She stated that the foundation will not sell DVDs or paper versions due to legal risks.

Also, Jimmy Wales, in the press conference, mentioned that in mainland China, lots of media or information is still unfree or not to be unveiled, such as Baido.com, so that may restrict the development or providing of freely contents and correct information, and is surely not a good example. And then he’ll come to visit mainland China to solve those problems of freely contents developments.

Other speakers included Benjamin Mako Hill discussing the definition of free culture, Kat Walsh on Wikimedia foundation use of free content, Samuel Klein on the one laptop per child and addressing systemic bias, Jimmy Wales, Angela Beesley and Gil Penchina on Wikia.

Canada’s Parkdale—High Park (Ward 13) city council candidates speak

This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Monday, October 30, 2006

On November 13, Torontoians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Parkdale—High Park (Ward 13). Two candidates responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Linda Coltman, David Garrick, Greg Hamara, Aleksander Oniszczak, Bill Saundercook (incumbent), and Frances Wdowczyk.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

Actor Jerry Orbach dead at age 69

Friday, December 31, 2004

New York City – Actor Jerry Orbach died in his home in Manhattan at age 69. Orbach was a staple of American cinema, stage and television, with his most recent role being in the NBC police drama “Law and Order.”

Orbach is survived by his wife of 25 years, Elaine Cancilla, and his two sons Anthony and Christopher.

Orbach was born in the tough Bronx borough of New York City in 1935 to a family of entertainers. His father Leon Orbach was an vaudeville actor and his mother Emily Orbach was a radio singer and greeting card writer.

The family moved often to keep up with travelling Vaudeville acts, but eventually settled in Waukegan Illinois where Orbach played football at the local high school. After graduation, Orbach got a summer job at the Chevy Chase Country Club in Wheeling doing odd jobs ranging from stagecraft to small acting parts in plays.

He then studied drama at the University of Illinois before transferring to Northwestern where he studied the Stanislavsky Method of drama acting. In 1955, Orbach dropped out of college and moved to New York City where he got a job as an understudy in The Threepenny Opera.

Orbach continued to work in theater, eventually earning roles in broadway musicals, but by 1961 had grown dissatisfied with being typecast as a musical actor. He tried briefly to break into film without success, and eventually returned to broadway where he earned numerous accolades for his roles in such musicals as “Guys and Dolls” and “Chicago“.

Orbach finally broke into television in the 1980s as a recurring character in shows such as the mystery-drama “Murder She Wrote” and the hit sitcom “Golden Girls“.

He earned the lead role as the title character in his own short-lived series “The Law and Harry McGraw”, a spinoff of “Murder She Wrote”. Orbach also scored key roles in a few Hollywood films, including the action thriller “F/X”, and the dance-musical hit “Dirty Dancing”, but continued to find his mainstay in television crime dramas.

In 1990, he picked up a role in the new NBC crime drama “Law and Order” as the acerbic-witted Lennie Briscoe, a role which soon become a regular job. Orbach continued in this role in addition to movie roles and occasional musical appearances until his death this last week.

Orbach was diagnosed with Prostate cancer in Spring of 2004, a fact he kept private until November when he checked into New York’s Memorial Sloan-Ketting Cancer Center for treatment. In spite of the aggressive nature of the treatment, he died on the evening of December 28.

FC Barcelona defeats Sevilla FC 5-4 to win UEFA Super Cup 2015

Saturday, August 15, 2015

On Wednesday, Catalonia-based football club FC Barcelona defeated Seville-based football club Sevilla 5–4 to win the 2015 UEFA Super Cup. The match was held in Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena in the city of Tbilisi, Georgia. Pedro, who may leave for Manchester United, scored the winning goal of the match in the 115th minute. This was the fifth UEFA Super cup won by Barcelona.

Barcelona had stronger possession of the ball in front of Sevilla. The match saw nine yellow cards, four for Barcelona players and five for Sevilla players. A total of 41 fouls were committed in the match. A total of nine goals were scored in the match, with the first goal scored in the opening minutes of the game.

Barcelona defender Mascherano committed a foul in the 2nd minute and thus Sevilla got a free kick. Banega converted the free kick into goal in the 3rd minute of the game. Minutes later, Sevilla’s Krychowiak committed a foul and this early lead was soon equalised as Barcelona forward Lionel Messi scored a similar style free kick.

Krychowiak received a yellow card in the 14th minute and Barca were awarded another free kick for Banega’s foul on Rakiti?. Leo Messi converted this free kick into a goal, giving the lead to Barcelona after 16 minutes of game play. This was Messi’s 36th goal in 37 games in 2015.

Minutes before half time, Luis Suárez assisted Rafinha and the Brazilian tripled the lead for the Catalans. First half ended with scoreline 3–1 with only one booking.

Within ten minutes of the second half, Suárez scored the fourth goal in the 52nd making it a one-sided match. Five minutes later, Reyes scored a close ranged shot making the score 4–2. In the 63rd minute, Andrés Iniesta was substituted off for Sergi Roberto. Iniesta made his 550th appearance for Barcelona. After this substitution, the goal difference kept on dropping. In the 71st minute, Mathieu was booked for a foul on Vitolo. Referee awarded a penalty kick for Sevilla. Gameiro perfectly converted it into a goal making it 4–3.

Within the next ten minutes, Sevilla equalised with Barcelona. Konoplyanka scored an easy tap-in to bring Sevilla from 4–1 to 4–4. Within half an hour, the one-sided match changed into a tensed match.

Coke in the 87th minute and Banega in the 90+2 minute were booked for committing foul on Suárez. The game ended in 4–4. And thus it was extended to additional time.

Additional time saw five more yellow cards. Pedro was substituted in for Mascherano in the 93rd minute and in the next minute, he received a yellow card for foul on Vitolo. Barcelona won a free kick in the dying minutes of the game. Messi’s kick became an indirect assist to Pedro who netted it in the top corner. It was the winning goal of the game.

This was Pedro’s 99th goal in the Catalonia jersey. By this victory, Barcelona joined A.C. Milan as the most successful club. Both the teams have earned the title five times. This trophy was Messi’s and Iniesta’s 25th trophy with Barcelona. Messi was awarded Man of the match.After the match, he said, “We are delighted to start the season with this win, but it was tough […] The most important thing was to win the Super Cup to start well. Now we think of the Spanish Super Cup against Athletic Club”.

On Tuesday, Pedro was asked if he was leaving Barcelona. He replied “The answer is no. But it is a difficult, complicated situation. When you know you may leave it is difficult.” Pedro said it wan’t about money but the playing time. Pedro said “The truth is that I had a good chance to play. The coach has decided not to count on me. I don’t know, I don’t know if I will continue here […] Manchester? Yes, there are nice challenges on all sides. Today I’m here, and I’m happy […] And if I go, I will go with my head held high having always given everything.”


August 11, 2015GET (UTC+4)
Barcelona 5–4 (a.e.t.) Sevilla Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena, Tbilisi, Georgia Referee: Willie Collum (Scotland)
Messi 7′, 16’Rafinha 44’Suárez 52’Pedro 115′ Banega 3’Reyes 57’Gameiro 72′ (pen.)Konoplyanka 81′
  • Match Lineup
  • Match Statistics
FC Barcelona

 

Sevilla FC

 

GK 1 Marc-André ter Stegen
6 Dani Alves 120′
3 Gerard Piqué
14 Javier Mascherano 93′
24 Jérémy Mathieu 71′
4 Ivan Rakiti?
5 Sergio Busquets 117′
8 Andrés Iniesta (c) 63′
10 Lionel Messi
9 Luis Suárez
12 Rafinha 78′
Substitutes:
GK 13 Claudio Bravo
15 Marc Bartra 78′
21 Adriano
20 Sergi Roberto 63′
7 Pedro 94′ 93′
29 Sandro Ramírez
31 Munir El Haddadi
Manager:
Luis Enrique
GK 13 Beto
23 Coke 87′
3 Adil Rami
4 Grzegorz Krychowiak 14′
2 Benoît Trémoulinas
7 Michael Krohn-Dehli 120′
19 Éver Banega 90+2′
10 José Antonio Reyes (c) 68′
8 Vicente Iborra 80′
20 Vitolo
9 Kévin Gameiro 80′
Substitutes:
GK 1 Sergio Rico
25 Mariano 80′
12 Gaël Kakuta
16 Luismi
17 Denis Suárez
22 Yevhen Konoplyanka 68′
11 Ciro Immobile 92′ 80′
Manager:
Unai Emery

Possession

62%
38%

  Goals

5     4

  Total Attempts

24     17

  On target

10     6

  Off target

7     6

  Blocked

7     5

  Against Woodwork

1   0

  Passes attempted

795     407

  Accuracy %

90%     83%

  Offsides

3     4

  Corners

8     4

  Fouls

20     21

  Yellow cards

4     5

Israel Journal: Is Yossi Vardi a good father to his entrepreneurial children?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wikinews reporter David Shankbone is currently, courtesy of the Israeli government and friends, visiting Israel. This is a first-hand account of his experiences and may — as a result — not fully comply with Wikinews’ neutrality policy. Please note this is a journalism experiment for Wikinews and put constructive criticism on the collaboration page.

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Dr. Yossi Vardi is known as Israel’s ‘Father of the Entrepreneur’, and he has many children in the form of technology companies he has helped to incubate in Tel Aviv‘s booming Internet sector. At the offices of Superna, one such company, he introduced a whirlwind of presentations from his baby incubators to a group of journalists. What stuck most in my head was when Vardi said, “What is important is not the technology, but the talent.” Perhaps because he repeated this after each young Internet entrepreneur showed us his or her latest creation under Vardi’s tutelage. I had a sense of déjà vu from this mantra. A casual reader of the newspapers during the Dot.com boom will remember a glut of stories that could be called “The Rise of the Failure”; people whose technology companies had collapsed were suddenly hot commodities to start up new companies. This seemingly paradoxical thinking was talked about as new back then; but even Thomas Edison—the Father of Invention—is oft-quoted for saying, “I have not failed. I have just found ten thousand ways that won’t work.”

Vardi’s focus on encouraging his brood of talent regardless of the practicalities stuck out to me because of a recent pair of “dueling studies” The New York Times has printed. These are the sort of studies that confuse parents on how to raise their kids. The first, by Carol Dweck at Stanford University, came to the conclusion that children who are not praised for their efforts, regardless of the outcome’s success, rarely attempt more challenging and complex pursuits. According to Dweck’s study, when a child knows that they will receive praise for being right instead of for tackling difficult problems, even if they fail, they will simply elect to take on easy tasks in which they are assured of finding the solution.

Only one month earlier the Times produced another story for parents to agonize over, this time based on a study from the Brookings Institution, entitled “Are Kids Getting Too Much Praise?” Unlike Dweck’s clinical study, Brookings drew conclusions from statistical data that could be influenced by a variety of factors (since there was no clinical control). The study found American kids are far more confident that they have done well than their Korean counterparts, even when the inverse is true. The Times adds in the words of a Harvard faculty psychologist who intoned, “Self-esteem is based on real accomplishments. It’s all about letting kids shine in a realistic way.” But this is not the first time the self-esteem generation’s proponents have been criticized.

Vardi clearly would find himself encouraged by Dweck’s study, though, based upon how often he seemed to ask us to keep our eyes on the people more than the products. That’s not to say he has not found his latest ICQ, though only time—and consumers—will tell.

For a Web 2.User like myself, I was most fascinated by Fixya, a site that, like Wikipedia, exists on the free work of people with knowledge. Fixya is a tech support site where people who are having problems with equipment ask a question and it is answered by registered “experts.” These experts are the equivalent of Wikipedia’s editors: they are self-ordained purveyors of solutions. But instead of solving a mystery of knowledge a reader has in their head, these experts solve a problem related to something you have bought and do not understand. From baby cribs to cellular phones, over 500,000 products are “supported” on Fixya’s website. The Fixya business model relies upon the good will of its experts to want to help other people through the ever-expanding world of consumer appliances. But it is different from Wikipedia in two important ways. First, Fixya is for-profit. The altruistic exchange of information is somewhat dampened by the knowledge that somebody, somewhere, is profiting from whatever you give. Second, with Wikipedia it is very easy for a person to type in a few sentences about a subject on an article about the Toshiba Satellite laptop, but to answer technical problems a person is experiencing seems like a different realm. But is it? “It’s a beautiful thing. People really want to help other people,” said the presenter, who marveled at the community that has already developed on Fixya. “Another difference from Wikipedia is that we have a premium content version of the site.” Their premium site is where they envision making their money. Customers with a problem will assign a dollar amount based upon how badly they need an answer to a question, and the expert-editors of Fixya will share in the payment for the resolved issue. Like Wikipedia, reputation is paramount to Fixya’s experts. Whereas Wikipedia editors are judged by how they are perceived in the Wiki community, the amount of barnstars they receive and by the value of their contributions, Fixya’s customers rate its experts based upon the usefulness of their advice. The site is currently working on offering extended warranties with some manufacturers, although it was not clear how that would work on a site that functioned on the work of any expert.

Another collaborative effort product presented to us was YouFig, which is software designed to allow a group of people to collaborate on work product. This is not a new idea, although may web-based products have generally fallen flat. The idea is that people who are working on a multi-media project can combine efforts to create a final product. They envision their initial market to be academia, but one could see the product stretching to fields such as law, where large litigation projects with high-level of collaboration on both document creation and media presentation; in business, where software aimed at product development has generally not lived up to its promises; and in the science and engineering fields, where multi-media collaboration is quickly becoming not only the norm, but a necessity.

For the popular consumer market, Superna, whose offices hosted our meeting, demonstrated their cost-saving vision for the Smart Home (SH). Current SH systems require a large, expensive server in order to coordinate all the electronic appliances in today’s air-conditioned, lit and entertainment-saturated house. Such coordinating servers can cost upwards of US$5,000, whereas Superna’s software can turn a US$1,000 hand-held tablet PC into household remote control.

There were a few start-ups where Vardi’s fatherly mentoring seemed more at play than long-term practical business modeling. In the hot market of WiFi products, WeFi is software that will allow groups of users, such as friends, share knowledge about the location of free Internet WiFi access, and also provide codes and keys for certain hot spots, with access provided only to the trusted users within a group. The mock-up that was shown to us had a Google Maps-esque city block that had green points to the known hot spots that are available either for free (such as those owned by good Samaritans who do not secure their WiFi access) or for pay, with access information provided for that location. I saw two long-term problems: first, WiMAX, which is able to provide Internet access to people for miles within its range. There is already discussion all over the Internet as to whether this technology will eventually make WiFi obsolete, negating the need to find “hot spots” for a group of friends. Taiwan is already testing an island-wide WiMAX project. The second problem is if good Samaritans are more easily located, instead of just happened-upon, how many will keep their WiFi access free? It has already become more difficult to find people willing to contribute to free Internet. Even in Tel Aviv, and elsewhere, I have come across several secure wireless users who named their network “Fuck Off” in an in-your-face message to freeloaders.

Another child of Vardi’s that the Brookings Institution might say was over-praised for self-esteem but lacking real accomplishment is AtlasCT, although reportedly Nokia offered to pay US$8.1 million for the software, which they turned down. It is again a map-based software that allows user-generated photographs to be uploaded to personalized street maps that they can share with friends, students, colleagues or whomever else wants to view a person’s slideshow from their vacation to Paris (“Dude, go to the icon over Boulevard Montmartre and you’ll see this girl I thought was hot outside the Hard Rock Cafe!”) Aside from the idea that many people probably have little interest in looking at the photo journey of someone they know (“You can see how I traced the steps of Jesus in the Galilee“), it is also easy to imagine Google coming out with its own freeware that would instantly trump this program. Although one can see an e-classroom in architecture employing such software to allow students to take a walking tour through Rome, its desirability may be limited.

Whether Vardi is a smart parent for his encouragement, or in fact propping up laggards, is something only time will tell him as he attempts to bring these products of his children to market. The look of awe that came across each company’s representative whenever he entered the room provided the answer to the question of Who’s your daddy?

Wikinews interviews Australian Paralympic skiers Toby Kane, Cameron Rahles Rahbula, and Mitchell Gourley

Friday, December 14, 2012

Recently, Wikinews sat down with Australian standing Paralympic skiers Toby Kane, Cameron Rahles-Rahbula, and Mitchell Gourley who were in Vail, Colorado for a training camp for the start of this week’s IPC Nor-Am Cup.

((Wikinews)) I’m interviewing Cameron [Rahles-Rahbula] with a hyphenated last name, Mitchell Gourley, [and] Toby Kane. And they’re in Copper Mountain to compete with the IPC NorAm cup.

Cameron Rahles-Rahbula: Yes.

((WN)) So you guys can qualify for Sochi?

Cameron Rahles-Rahbula: Not this race, but yeah…
Toby Kane: Any races that we kind of do, I think we can qualify, but technically, for the APC it would have to be a world cup first to qualify.

((WN)) Where’s the world cups?

Toby Kane: We have one this year in Italy, in Sestriere, and one in St Moritz, in Switzerland…
Cameron Rahles-Rahbula: and one in Slovenia, in Maribor, and Russia…
Mitchell Gourley: world championships in La Molina in Spain as well, and Russia, the test event is another world cup in Sochi.

((WN)) You guys are all skiers, right?

all (in unison): Yes.

((WN)) None of you, when they said “we’re doing snowboarding”, said “I want to jump ship and do snowboarding”?

Toby Kane: No.
Mitchell Gourley: No.
Cameron Rahles-Rahbula: No.

((WN)) You all love the skiing.((WN)) (to Cameron Rahles-Rahbula): What did you do to your chin [which is taped up]?

Cameron Rahles-Rahbula: I had a crash last week, and I split my chin open. I kneed myself here, so I had stitches.
Toby Kane: Thirteen stitches.

((WN)) Crashed skiing right?

Cameron Rahles-Rahbula: Yeah.
Toby Kane: Our physio probably took out five last night.

((WN)) As somebody who knows very little about Paralympic skiing, I have a question having watched it. There seems to be three types skiiers: the ones who are in the monochairs, the ones who are blind, and the ones with amputations and the ones without arms. I’ve had this debate. Who’s the craziest amongst you? The ones who can’t see, the ones with no arms, or the ones on a mono-ski?

Mitchell Gourley: The completely blind people are a little nuts.
Toby Kane: A B1 is, blacked out goggles…
Cameron Rahles-Rahbula: … who just follows the sound of their guides. So they’re probably, when it comes to speed events, in terms of fear level, that’s pretty intense.

((WN)) Not having arms, you don’t think, would be scarier?

Mitchell Gourley: No.
Cameron Rahles-Rahbula: Yeah, but you can see where you are going. When you have to trust the other person in front of you…
Toby Kane: .. you have to be fairly crazy to do downhill in sit skis.
Cameron Rahles-Rahbula: Those guys, they start crashing, or they have a mistake, they can’t recover in the same way a stand up can, so even though those classes aren’t going as quickly, probably stand ups in general have a bit more control, and to recover.

((WN)) Can you go and tell me your classifications?

Toby Kane: Yeah, we all ski in the standing class. LW6/8-2

((WN)) Like L1…

Mitchell Gourley: These guys are both LW2s because they’ve both got on leg.
Cameron Rahles-Rahbula: So we ski with just one leg, with crutches, whereas you’ve got people who’ve got below-knee amputations, they may have a longer stump and they ski with a prosthetic leg. Toby and I have got to legally ski on one ski.
Toby Kane: And what you were referring to before was the three classes of alpine skiing is standing, sitting, and blind.

((WN)) So you’ve all been to Paralympics before?

Toby Kane: Cam’s been to three, I’ve been to two, and Mitch has been to one.

((WN)) And what was your favorite one? Do you have one?

Mitchell Gourley: Vancouver. (laughter)
Cameron Rahles-Rahbula: Vancouver it would have been.

((WN)) Because you love Canadians?

Cameron Rahles-Rahbula: It’s also, obviously, skiing comes down to results. So, I loved Salt Lake City. I was there for experience, that was great. My second one, I had bit of a disaster Paralympics. I didn’t ski too well. Sestriere in 2006. The last one, I was able to come away with a couple of medals, so it was… I enjoyed that obviously. They all had different aspects.

((WN)) How did the ski slopes compare?

Toby Kane: Vancouver, they’re good slopes.
Cameron Rahles-Rahbula: Salt Lake City, was a little bit flatter. Probably the type of hill… it was still good, it was my first games, I enjoyed it. Yeah, they usually prepare the courses reasonably well, ’cause they’ve got a lot of course workers on the slopes. That has a big influence on condition, not just the actual hill itself. Vancouver was a challenge in the sense that we had terrible weather, terrible conditions and snow, even though it’s a good hill, whereas I think Sestriere we had sunshine virtually every day. So a lot of it comes down to weather as well as the hill, the time of year.

((WN)) In Australia, the big visibility Paralympics are the summer. Do you guys ever feel vaguely — I know it’s the wrong question to ask — but do you ever feel vaguely cheated because you’re doing neglected, you don’t get the attention, the ABC’s like “nah, we don’t want to cover you”?

Cameron Rahles-Rahbula: umm…
Toby Kane: Give us the official answer? (laughter, interjections from elsewhere in the room)
Cameron Rahles-Rahbula: Australia being a summer sport [country], we’re aware that there’s going to be more focus on the summer games and particularly because there’s a larger… there’s more athletes, there more events, there more medals. There will always be more coverage for the summer games. There’s no winter athlete that could walk away with more than five gold medals. There’s not enough events for that. Whereas I think you can get a swimmer who might get eight gold medals. So, it’s a different sort of exposure.
Mitchell Gourley: And realistically, it’s pretty unlikely for anybody in winter sport no matter how good they are, to walk away with more than one or two, just because of the nature of the sport, which is that anyone can crash. You can be a great skier all the year and then crash. [uncertain] can tell you about that in Vancouver. It’s a pretty unpredictable sport.
Toby Kane: The way that our sport moved after Salt Lake City is that instead of Cam and I skiing against each other, and only people with one leg, to being really competitive across those three classes, means that we think that the winter games are really, really competitive. Quite difficult to win a medal. I think, if you took Michael Milton as an example, he won four gold at Salt Lake out of four events. He won one silver in Torino out of four events with the new system, and he compared both events to be equal. So, yeah, I think you’ve got to look at the value of the medals at the winter games now has been quite high.

((WN)) So you guys like the new point system they implemented?

Cameron Rahles-Rahbula: There’s always challenges, because you’ve got different classes, and varied conditions, so they try and adapt the times to fit, but it’ll never be something that can be always right, because we’ve got a sport that’s got different conditions, and different locations, as opposed to a swimming pool, where you know you’ve got fifty metres. So that’s something that’ll always be a challenge, but in saying that, it has raised the bar, in terms of the standard of skiing, which is good. From an Australian perspective, not necessarily the public will be aware of that but I think from an international perspective, the skiing has moved into a more professional area, which is good, and I think that it will be the best thing for the sport moving forward.

((WN)) Evan O’Hanlon at the summer games was talking about the disparity problem between able bodied athletes and athletes with disabilities in terms of sponsorship. You guys have no visibility, is that something that you guys sit there going “we should have the same sponsorship as the great Australian skiers”?

Mitchell Gourley: The problem in that is that in our sport we would probably be the most visible alpine skiers from Australia. The able bodied alpine team is pretty average and has been for a few years now, since a couple of guys retired after Vancouver. So we’re probably, while its still very small, it’s a lot less than the summer guys, even the summer Paralympics guys, were are more visible than the Australian alpine team.
Toby Kane: I think a few of us, well Cam and I and I think Mitch is along the same lines, is that we’re not here for a career as an athlete. so I know I haven’t actively a lot of sponsorships. I have a life away from skiing with what I’m doing at the university and I’m here because I really love to do it, and I love to compete, but I’m not overly fussed about the public recognition of it all. I’m more concerned with skiing with our able-bodied counterparts and showing them what we can do.

((WN)) Do you guys get equal treatment? Your share of the same facilities, same trainers, that sort of stuff?

Toby Kane: We train on the same hills.
Mitchell Gourley: And last week we had pretty much the same races as the able-bodied had the week before on the same hills, and what they ski on next week, and we follow on that, so we don’t have to start. But with a hundred of… that’s why I’m a level below world cup for able-bodied skiers, and skiing on the same hill, and running pretty comparable times, and getting a lot of comments from coaches and athletes there. And yeah that’s what we all, I think, strive for. It’s an awkward thing to ever try and illustrate it to the Australian public, ski racing, and let alone Paralympic ski racing, and what we’re doing. So […] we’ve got to accept that we’re not going to get the recognition publicly probably that we may or may not deserve, and we more look towards our peers, whether they’re able bodied or disabled, and if they respect us, if the best able bodied skiers in the world respect what we are doing, and think that we are doing it bloody well, then we can hold our head high and feel really good. Had one of the best slalom skiers in the world walk up to me a few years ago when we were in training, and say “that’s some of the best slalom skiing that I’ve ever seen, wow that’s incredible. One-legged. I couldn’t do that on one leg”. That kind of thing. So that obviously makes us all feel like we’re doing something that while the recognition might not be there from the public, that we feel as though we are doing a really competitive and really difficult sport, and doing it to a really high level.

((WN)) You mentioned Australia being like a country of summer sports. What attracted you to winter sport in the first place?

Mitchell Gourley: I think it’s a better sport. (laughter)
Cameron Rahles-Rahbula: Australians, considering we don’t have many hills, Australians do love skiing, those that do it. It’s a unique sport in the sense that you get to travel at high speeds, on different mountains all over the world, under your own power, going down a hill at 130 or something k’s an hour, that sort of thing. You don’t get… to me, running up and down a track, or…
Toby Kane: I think to me it’s a fun sport. There aren’t that many sports that people, a lot of people, spend heaps of their own money to go and do, as a pastime. As something that they want to do on the holidays and with their family and all that kind of stuff. It’s kind of cool that that’s what we do. Like, lots of people would spend a sh-tload of money to go skiing, and that’s our sport. Not many people would pay a heap of money to stare at a black line in a pool, or to run around a track against the clock.
Cameron Rahles-Rahbula: Yeah, we love it, and that’s why I’ve done it for so many years, because I love the sport. I mean, racing’s one thing but if I didn’t enjoy skiing I wouldn’t be here and there’s not a day when… I mean you have cold days and weather and stuff, but you don’t… for us to get out and get on the hill isn’t a burden I don’t think in the same way as other sports can be.
Toby Kane: I think the change for me — I think I can speak for Cam as well, ’cause he’s been around for a while — the change between racing in so many classes to racing in so few probably kept us around, I think. It made it a lot more competitive; it made it a lot more of a challenge, that previously it wouldn’t have been, and I think if we took an LW2 class right now we’d be getting similar results to what Michael got in Salt Lake City, so, the fact that it did get a lot more competitive is probably why I’ve been here for so long, in the challenge to keep competing and keep improving and keep performing at the highest level.

((WN)) Are there any skiers that you’re looking forward to racing against this week coming up?

Cameron Rahles-Rahbula: This week I think Australia has a pretty good, strong team from a standing perspective, so we’re probably racing against each other.

((WN)) So you do not care about the Chileans, or whoever, hanging around?

Cameron Rahles-Rahbula: The Canadian and American teams are here, and they’ve got some developing athletes. Probably more the Europeans who are developing who’ve got the highest others skiing in our particular division, and the Americans are very strong with their sit skiers. So this week being just a North American-based race we’ll probably be looking at the other two in terms of racing, but yeah, when we get over to the world cups over in Europe in January, that’s when the whole field’s together, and gives us some idea of what we’re racing against.

((WN)) I feel like we’re almost coming to a close. What do you do outside of skiing? You had some life you said.

Cameron Rahles-Rahbula: I work as a physiotherapist, and I am a family man. Since Vancouver I haven’t skied a huge amount since then. I’ve got a little boy, and so other priorities definitely start to take effect. I think as a skier, it’s a challenge from the travelling perspective when you do have family. I think that’s unlike a lot of summer athletes who have their training base next door. For us, we need to be always on the move, so that’s always one of the challenges with alpine skiing. You get the privilege of travelling but you’re away from your family, so for me, my last year I have focused more on family life and sort of getting back into the skiing this year.

((WN)) What do you do Mitchell?

Mitchell Gourley: I’m still studying. I’m a bit younger than these guys so I’m…

((WN)) Which university?

Mitchell Gourley: I’m at Melbourne University studying. So I’ve got pretty much a year to go now, but that’ll take me two years to do just because of where Sochi is, in March 2014 I’ll cut back this year coming, 2013, and I’ll only do probably about half — I’ll do five subjects as opposed to eight, just because when you’re out travelling during the year and prepping, using your weekend to ski will it getting to you like that. With the schedule, from June to the end September will be pretty much flat skiing. Last time I did that leading into Vancouver, I mean I do that every year but probably a bigger load in the games lead that kind of thing. And I did that in the middle of Year 12 last time, and that was interesting, but now I can actually…

((WN)) You finished your VCEs then?

Mitchell Gourley: I finished that during the…

((WN)) And you did well?

Mitchell Gourley: Yeah, I was happy with how I went, so that was good of me. I moved schools to pursue what I was doing with skiing, to an international school that really helped structure things around me with my environment, and I sort of cut back on subjects and things but managed to make it work those times, but yeah. For me, it’s university for a couple of years, or for a year and a half or so to knock that over. So then I have to think about getting a real job and that’s a scary thought, a real job, or eventually doing further study, based on the Melbourne model, being what it is now that you can’t usually do much with your first degree. (laughter)

((WN)) And Toby, what are..?

Toby Kane: I’m halfway through postgraduate medicine, so I am just trying to balance that and getting in to Russia. And Russia will be my third games, and most probably my last. And then it’ll be the start of my fourth year of medicine so, yeah, I’m a bit like Cam, I’ve skied probably less over the last two years since Vancouver, just with uni and I’m kind of looking forward to putting everything that I’ve got left in me into skiing until Russia.

((WN)) Thank you very, very much. It was much appreciated. ((WN)) Look forward to seeing you guys in Russia!

How To Find The Perfect Bar Stools For Your Basement Bar

By Bill William

Have you ever contemplated having your very own bar? Its a great idea for entertaining friends, family and yourself. Playing bartender can be quite an experience. The perfect spot to add a bar to your current abode is to redo your basement. Take down on the cobwebs and transform it into the most happening place on the block. Of course, you want to have the best bar with picture perfect lighting, and plenty of liquor, but there is one key area you have to concentrate on firstthe bar stools.

Bar stools come in a huge range of unique shapes, sizes and colors. They can be retro, funky, classic and grown up, modern and arty, fun and creative, or simple affairs. Given this variety, its imperative that you consider both quality of construction and comfort. A high quality bar stool, which holds you up when youve had a few is well worth shelling out the extra bucks.

One of your first considerations should be height. Measure the height of your bar so you know how high your stools need to be. You should allow for around ten to thirteen inches between the top of the seat and the bottom of the bar, so that no one gets winched in. You want a balanced proportion for legroom and convenience. Also, you should know how many stools will actually fit around your bar without overcrowding. When positioning your stools, leave enough space for people to be able to move around freely, without feeling cramped.

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Some bar stools come with armrests and seatbacks; these generally take up more room than their backless counterparts. If you choose stools with armrests, make sure you can push the stool under the bar for storing purposes. Generally, bar stools come in heights of between 17 and 30 inches. This means you may have to compromise, as you might not find a design that also meets your height requirements.

Bar stools may be upholstered or plain. If you choose upholstered stools, you can customize the fabric and pattern yourself. Vinyl, leather and natural cowhide are popular choices. Additionally, you can purchase stools that come equipped with detachable cushions which tie on to the seatbacks or to the bottom of the stool itself. These are usually easier to clean and to change the covers.

The body and legs of the stool may come in a huge variety of materials. There are your classic, simple wooden bar stools. There are stools made from steel and chrome; plastic stools are often found in retro stores. There are also swiveling bar stools.

Modern designs can be quite creative. There are barstools with saddles for chairs. There are stools which look like double decker hamburgers, and then there are stools which look like little headless cows and sheep. There are stools which come apart to form low slung chairs and stack back together to form an innovative stool.

Remember when shopping for stools to look for a marriage of aesthetics and functionality. Dont forget take accurate measurements and to do your research. There are tons of different bar stool styles out there, so take your time and have fun.

About the Author: Looking for a contemporary

Sydney furniture

store? Look no further. Beyond Furniture take pride in having unique furniture that takes peoples breath away. Having a house full of furniture from the Beyond Furniture range spells pure class.

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=362180&ca=Home+Management

Controversy over whether New Orleans Mayor failed to follow hurricane plan

Sunday, September 4, 2005

New Orleans’ Mayor Ray Nagin is facing criticism over the evacuation of citizens before Hurricane Katrina struck.

In the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina, hundreds of buses were sitting in bus yards, some less than a mile from the Superdome. Louisiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco commented, “The buses could have saved an estimated 20,000 people if they had been used for emergency evacuations which President Bush had declared two days before Katrina hit.”, however the evacuation was ordered by Mayor Nagin, President Bush having no direct authority to order evacuations. Thursday, after the storm, Blanco by executive order used school buses for evacuation.

The 2000 edition of the southeast Louisiana evacuation plan on page 13, paragraph 5 states:

5. The primary means of hurricane evacuation will be personal vehicles. School and municipal buses, government-owned vehicles and vehicles provided by volunteer agencies may be used to provide transportation for individuals who lack transportation and require assistance in evacuating.

There were however alternative emergency plans, including ones held by state Homeland Security offices, and it is unclear which one was being operated to.

The Superdome had been opened shortly before the storm as a shelter of last resort for those who had not evacuated. As FEMA observed at that time: “Most residents have evacuated the city and those left behind do not have transportation or have special needs.” Roughly 150,000 people were not evacuated from the city. During the Hurricane Ivan evacuation 600,000 people failed to evacute the city.

According to WWLTV, during a news conference on Sunday before the hurricane struck, Mayor Nagin claimed he “could and would commandeer any property or vehicle it deemed necessary to provide safe shelter or transport for those in need”. However photos circulated appear to show unused school and privately owned busses left stranded in flood waters.

It is unclear whether Mayor Nagin knew these particular buses existed, since the Orleans Parish School Board is not under his jurisdiction and his office would not normally know the location of OPSB bus yards or be able to contact the drivers of those buses to place them into service. Normally it is the job of FEMA to coordinate between the various local jurisdictions such as the OPSB and the City of New Orleans in this case. That is, under the rules of prior hurricane responses, FEMA would ask all local jurisdictions for a list of resources under their control. Then FEMA would have taken a request from Nagin for buses, relayed it to the Orleans Parish School Board or other local jurisdictions which had buses, and at that point the OPSB would have provided the buses to Nagin. That coordination did not happen here, but it is unclear whether Nagin ever made such a request prior to the hurricane and after the hurricane they were underwater and useless.

However, if he had known about them, the declaration of a state of emergency on August 26 gave him the right under Louisiana law to commandeer them for the duration of the emergency. The failure to issue a timely evacuation order in effect made it physically impossible to evacuate the nursing homes, hospitals, and those without automobiles.

In a radio interview on WWL-AM shortly after the hurricane, Mayor Nagin said, ” I need 500 buses, man. We ain’t talking about — you know, one of the briefings we had, they were talking about getting public school bus drivers to come down here and bus people out here. I’m like, “You got to be kidding me. This is a national disaster. Get every doggone Greyhound bus line in the country and get their asses moving to New Orleans.” “

Eva Hassett, VP of Savarino Construction Services Corp. answers questions on Buffalo, N.Y. hotel redesign

Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “120 year-old documents threaten development on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

Monday, February 27, 2006

Buffalo, New York —Wikinews was the first to tell you that the Elmwood Village Hotel development in Buffalo, New York was to undergo “significant changes”.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a proposed project that would be placed at Elmwood and Forest Aves. in Buffalo. In order for the development to take place, at least five buildings that house both businesses and residents, must be demolished.

To confirm and to get more information about the changes, Wikinews interviewed Eva Hassett, Vice President of Savarino Construction Services Corporation, the development company in charge of building the hotel.

Wikinews: The hotel proposal is being redesigned. Could you comment on that? What changes are being made? Are they significant?

Eva Hassett: The hotel has been resized as a 72-room, four story building. This is 10% smaller in number of rooms and a full story lower. We are also redesigning the facades in a way that will minimize the mass – more of a vertical feeling than horizontal. Different materials, windows, details. The smaller size of the hotel also makes the number of on-site parking spaces more appropriate and hopefully represents less of a challenge to an already difficult parking situation.

WN: Will you still be going before the city’s planning board as scheduled on February 28? Same for the Common Council?

Hassett: We will be on the Planning Board agenda this Tuesday morning but I do not expect that the Board will vote on the item that morning. I think we will be mainly explaining the new design and hearing input/questions.

WN: Will there be anymore public meetings?

Hassett: We would be happy to do one more big public meeting. We will be talking to Forever Elmwood about that on Monday (February 27, 2006). We would like to see if there is support for the new design and we also want to honor the public’s request for another meeting. I am hopeful that meeting can take place the week of March 6th.

WN: Is Savarino considering Mr. Rocco Termini’s design/proposal? If no, do you (Savarino) support/oppose?

Hassett: We are hopeful that we can build the hotel as redesigned. We think it would be a great addition to the Elmwood Ave. area, a good way for out-of-towners to see what Buffalo offers and a big help to the businesses there.

WN: Are you considering more time for the community to make a judgment?

Hassett: As I mentioned above, we expect to have one more meeting to get public reaction to the new design, and I think the Planning Board may want an additional meeting to make their determination. We do however, have constraints that will limit the amount of extra time. We still think it is a great project for the City and Elmwood; and we still want it to be something that the community wants as well.

So far, the City of Buffalo’s City Planning Board is still scheduled to meet at 8:00 a.m. (Eastern) on February 28, 2006 followed by the Common Council meeting at 2:00 p.m. on the same day.

Images of the design are not yet available. “We are working on the renderings this weekend, but I will likely have some early in the week,” stated Hassett.

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