British pop star Leona Lewis breaks US Billboard records

Saturday, March 29, 2008

British pop star Leona Lewis has broken Billboard records in the United States to become the first female British pop star to reach a number one spot on the music charts in over 20 years and became the third solo British artist ever to reach the top charts.

Lewis made the number one spot with her new hit single Bleeding Love. According to Billboard.com her single ranks number one in the top 100, the pop 100 and hottest digital songs.

“I’m so excited to be able to spend some time in the US and showcase my music to everyone here. Its been a dream of mine since I was a little girl and I can’t wait,” said Lewis on her website.

The last female singer from the UK to top the charts in the U.S. was Kim Wilde in 1987 when she did her own version of The Supremes ‘You Keep Me Hangin’ On.’

Lewis took the UK by storm when she won The X Factor (UK) in 2006 and became the biggest selling female artist of all time in the UK.

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519nitesh

Websites bring excellent results for the company. Having a good and appealing website doesn t works for long time as people love new and novel trend. So, to keep your website with the market pace, you have to maintain your website periodically. Website maintenance services are the matter of modification and beautification of current website design. It is essential for company websites to go up with the market trends. Such service demands high qualification and great experience in the field. A website is only a beginning and a good one no doubt. To upkeep it with changing times and keeping the interest of online visitors intact is the ultimate challenge facing many website owners today. There emerges a need to add fresh content, fix bugs and enhance current applications on your website as frequently as required. There is an obvious need to engage professionals who could handle the web maintenance services with that extra panache. That need surely comes at a price.

As web development and website designing is highly important to bring a website into existence and live, same way website maintenance is important to keep a website alive and keep it in proper working condition. Working on a website is no less than working on machinery. Developing a website is not limited to design, program and host it, it requires on time maintenance to keep it sustained and updated, along with free from glitches and bugs. Designing a website is entirely different from Web Maintenance and Website Development & Designing is one of the important aspects of business development. Software Development Services along with Website maintenance outsourcing has reached sky and this has brought IT Outsourcing to a level that more and more companies prefer to go for software development outsourcing. Today India is a leading country in software application outsourcing, Offshore Outsourcing, Software Development, Application Development Outsourcing, E-Business Application and Shopping Cart Development.

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Website Design Irvine has over the years proved how much important the designing of a website is as far as the sales of the company is concerned. If a person is searching for a company in these terms then one can search the internet first for the best website designing company in the locality. Later they can ask friends or relatives if they have heard or had any experience with these companies in this way they can get some of the best services available. Website Design Company USA costs a lot less than in USA, Canada or Europe. You can get your website design and web development done at half or even one-third the cost in those countries. Off-shoring your website design to India is a cost-effective way of sourcing a great quality website design for your business. Having a website in today s world is a basic requirement for any business professional. In the modern business world, you need an online presence to survive. The way Internet is growing and realizing how important it is for a business to have a web presence, most people are aware of website design and its need.

This web design company employs only best and professional web designers so that their customers are provided with quality web design services at reasonable price as well. They have the perfect knowledge and experience of how to create and develop any website successfully and effectively at the same time make it more attractive and convenient for the visitors and the Internet users. This search engine optimization technique will help your website appear on the top rank of the search engines and this has great impact on generating traffic to your website which in turn results in business growth. Now you can create your own website and they will work on your website visibility so that you are assured of the success of your website and business as well. Even after the work is done, you can contact them anytime to ask for any kind of further support.

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ArticleRich.com

Hugh Carey, former New York Governor, dies aged 92

Monday, August 8, 2011

Former governor of New York Hugh Carey has died at the age of 92. Carey was the 51st governor of the state and held office from 1975 until 1982 as a Democrat. During his tenure he held more power over the finances of New York City than any other governor, before or after Carey’s term. He saw the city through the financial crisis of the 1970’s.

The office of current governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the death. In a statement, Cuomo said “Governor Carey led our state during a time of great financial turmoil and pulled us back from the brink of bankruptcy and economic ruin.”

Carey ran for Governor during the 1974 election after being urged by his wife Helen. Helen was battling cancer and died 18 days before Carey announced his intentions to run. During his first year in office, the state was in a financial crisis and banks had stopped giving the city access to credit due to a $5 billion deficit. He managed to come to a agreement with the bankers that heavy spending cuts needed to be made.

Carey was a father of 14 children and grandfather to 25. His is survived by 11 of his children. Two of his sons died in a car accident in 1969. Another son, Paul became a commissioner for the Securities Exchange Commission and died in 2001 after a battle with cancer.

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Australia: Wikinews interviews David Liebelt, South Gippsland local election candidate

Monday, September 27, 2021

Since June 2019, the people of South Gippsland Shire, located at the southernmost tip of Australia, have been without a local council, after a state government inquiry found “high levels of tension” within the council. Administrators were appointed by the Victorian state government in July 2019, who have governed the shire since then. However, South Gippsland’s council is scheduled to be restored with an election to be held via post from October 5–22, 2021.

Wikinews interviewed one of the candidates standing in this election, David Liebelt, an independent candidate running in the Coastal-Promontory Ward. The Coastal-Promontory ward covers towns such as Venus Bay, Waratah Bay, Yanakie, Foster, Port Welshpool, and Toora, and elects three councillors to the South Gippsland Shire Council.

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Baur Group Says Goodbye To 38 Trainees

By Lisa Wand

In the past few months 38 young people were able to finish their training in Baur Group companies. Thirty of them completed their training or dual courses of study at Baur Versand. They were trained to become photographers, warehouse specialists, informatics specialists and media designers, amongst other things. The young people who completed a dual course of study specialised in trade, textile management and sales management. Eight former trainees studied at Baur Fulfillment Solutions and can now call themselves “businessmen and women for dialogue marketing.”

According to tradition, Baur director Albert Klein, personnel manager Sabine Kratochwil, head instructor Max-Josef Weismeier and spokeswoman for training Doreen Nagel invited the former trainees to the restaurant Nepomuk in Altenkunstadt. Here, they congratulated them on their successfully completed training and presented them with training certificates and lovingly packed gifts. In an emotional speech manager Albert Klein stressed that a new phase was now starting in the lives of the former trainees in which they can prove that in the past few years they studied not for school but for life. Furthermore, many of them will find employment in the Baur Group. Some will also leave the company, for example to pursue further studies.

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“The Baur Group was extremely happy with the 2012 training graduates,” head instructor Max-Josef Weismeier proudly explains. He adds, “with their training the former trainees have laid a solid foundation that will be the starting point for so many successful carriers.”

Training was successfully completed at Baur Versand by Ana Carolina Alex, Katharina Baierl, Eva Grasser, Kathrin Lindner, Bettina Weber, Carina Wittmann (all dual studies), Lena Schlawne, Oliver Andert, Pinar Kayalar (businessmen and women in retail), Robert Bernhart, Lisa Dinkel, Stefanie Rsner (all specialists in warehouse logistics), Moritz Dautel, Florian Funk, Nicole Viessmann (all warehouse specialists), Judith Hojer, Romina Uhrlau, Natascha Bittner (all photographers), Sonja Fiedler, Stefan Gagel, Manuela Moosleitner, Lisa Schtz (all businessmen and women in wholesale and export trade), Bjrn Erlwein, Sven Herrmannsdrfer, Matthias Knitt, Danny Wessels (all informatics specialists), Nicole Buhl (businesswoman in marketing communication), Kristina Barthold, Julia Hofmann and Clarissa Reinhardt (all media designers).

Roman Brumm, Stefanie Dreel, Kornelia Lieb, Vildan Pracic, Verena Renner, Loisa Skalitzky, Helena Snow and Nina Zcklein were able to successfully complete their training as businessmen and women in dialogue marketing. Simone Snkel, the BFS training commissioner, celebrates with them.

About the Baur Group

As a member of the worldwide active Otto Group, the Baur Group consists of 12 central companies and brands with a focus on commerce and commerce-related services. This includes, for example, Baur Versand, Baur Fulfillment Solutions, I’m walking, mirapodo and the Kaufhaus Kaufwelt Baur. The Baur Group has a total of about 4,500 employees. The headquarters are located in Burgkunstadt, in Upper Franconia. The Baur Group is active in Austria and Switzerland via its subsidiary Unito with brand names such as Universal, Otto sterreich, Quelle sterreich, Quelle Schweiz and Ackermann. The external sales of the entire Baur group were about 616 mil. Euro (IFRS standard) in the 2010/2011 financial year.

About the Author: Dr. Jrg Hoepfner is the spokesman of the Baur Versand (GmbH & Co KG) A member of the otto group Mail: joerg.hoepfner@baur.de Tel.: 09572 / 91 30 20 Fax: 09572 / 91 11 30 20 Bahnhofstrae 10 96224 Burgkunstadt

BAUR Group says goodbye to 38 trainees

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State of emergency declared in New York over H1N1 swine flu virus

Thursday, October 29, 2009

According to US health officials, New York state governor David Paterson has declared a state of emergency in the state as a result of the H1N1 swine flu outbreak.

The Associated Press news agency reports that the six-page declaration was issued because at least 75 people have died of H1N1 related illnesses in New York since April. Three have died from H1N1 related illnesses just this past week. The declaration also says that human cases of the virus are on the rise.

Paterson says he issued the declaration because “a disaster has occurred throughout New York State, for which the affected local governments are unable to respond adequately.”

The declaration will allow health officials more access to the H1N1 vaccine and the seasonal flu shot. It will also allow for an increase in the number of vaccine doses available in the state and will allow more health care facilities to administer the vaccine, including dentists and pharmacists. Schools with health centers will also be allowed to administer both vaccines.

Despite the declaration, officials stressed that there is no reason to worry. A spokeswoman for the New York State Department of Health, Claire Pospisil, said that “it [the declaration] helps us to be more prepared.”

The order came shortly after US president Barack Obama declared a national emergency last Saturday, a response to the spreading of the virus, which has now been circulated in 46 states.

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National Museum of Scotland reopens after three-year redevelopment

Friday, July 29, 2011

Today sees the reopening of the National Museum of Scotland following a three-year renovation costing £47.4 million (US$ 77.3 million). Edinburgh’s Chambers Street was closed to traffic for the morning, with the 10am reopening by eleven-year-old Bryony Hare, who took her first steps in the museum, and won a competition organised by the local Evening News paper to be a VIP guest at the event. Prior to the opening, Wikinews toured the renovated museum, viewing the new galleries, and some of the 8,000 objects inside.

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Dressed in Victorian attire, Scottish broadcaster Grant Stott acted as master of ceremonies over festivities starting shortly after 9am. The packed street cheered an animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex created by Millenium FX; onlookers were entertained with a twenty-minute performance by the Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers on the steps of the museum; then, following Bryony Hare knocking three times on the original doors to ask that the museum be opened, the ceremony was heralded with a specially composed fanfare – played on a replica of the museum’s 2,000-year-old carnyx Celtic war-horn. During the fanfare, two abseilers unfurled white pennons down either side of the original entrance.

The completion of the opening to the public was marked with Chinese firecrackers, and fireworks, being set off on the museum roof. As the public crowded into the museum, the Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers resumed their performance; a street theatre group mingled with the large crowd, and the animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex entertained the thinning crowd of onlookers in the centre of the street.

On Wednesday, the museum welcomed the world’s press for an in depth preview of the new visitor experience. Wikinews was represented by Brian McNeil, who is also Wikimedia UK’s interim liaison with Museum Galleries Scotland.

The new pavement-level Entrance Hall saw journalists mingle with curators. The director, Gordon Rintoul, introduced presentations by Gareth Hoskins and Ralph Applebaum, respective heads of the Architects and Building Design Team; and, the designers responsible for the rejuvenation of the museum.

Describing himself as a “local lad”, Hoskins reminisced about his grandfather regularly bringing him to the museum, and pushing all the buttons on the numerous interactive exhibits throughout the museum. Describing the nearly 150-year-old museum as having become “a little tired”, and a place “only visited on a rainy day”, he commented that many international visitors to Edinburgh did not realise that the building was a public space; explaining the focus was to improve access to the museum – hence the opening of street-level access – and, to “transform the complex”, focus on “opening up the building”, and “creating a number of new spaces […] that would improve facilities and really make this an experience for 21st century museum visitors”.

Hoskins explained that a “rabbit warren” of storage spaces were cleared out to provide street-level access to the museum; the floor in this “crypt-like” space being lowered by 1.5 metres to achieve this goal. Then Hoskins handed over to Applebaum, who expressed his delight to be present at the reopening.

Applebaum commented that one of his first encounters with the museum was seeing “struggling young mothers with two kids in strollers making their way up the steps”, expressing his pleasure at this being made a thing of the past. Applebaum explained that the Victorian age saw the opening of museums for public access, with the National Museum’s earlier incarnation being the “College Museum” – a “first window into this museum’s collection”.

Have you any photos of the museum, or its exhibits?

The museum itself is physically connected to the University of Edinburgh’s old college via a bridge which allowed students to move between the two buildings.

Applebaum explained that the museum will, now redeveloped, be used as a social space, with gatherings held in the Grand Gallery, “turning the museum into a social convening space mixed with knowledge”. Continuing, he praised the collections, saying they are “cultural assets [… Scotland is] turning those into real cultural capital”, and the museum is, and museums in general are, providing a sense of “social pride”.

McNeil joined the yellow group on a guided tour round the museum with one of the staff. Climbing the stairs at the rear of the Entrance Hall, the foot of the Window on the World exhibit, the group gained a first chance to see the restored Grand Gallery. This space is flooded with light from the glass ceiling three floors above, supported by 40 cast-iron columns. As may disappoint some visitors, the fish ponds have been removed; these were not an original feature, but originally installed in the 1960s – supposedly to humidify the museum; and failing in this regard. But, several curators joked that they attracted attention as “the only thing that moved” in the museum.

The museum’s original architect was Captain Francis Fowke, also responsible for the design of London’s Royal Albert Hall; his design for the then-Industrial Museum apparently inspired by Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace.

The group moved from the Grand Gallery into the Discoveries Gallery to the south side of the museum. The old red staircase is gone, and the Millennium Clock stands to the right of a newly-installed escalator, giving easier access to the upper galleries than the original staircases at each end of the Grand Gallery. Two glass elevators have also been installed, flanking the opening into the Discoveries Gallery and, providing disabled access from top-to-bottom of the museum.

The National Museum of Scotland’s origins can be traced back to 1780 when the 11th Earl of Buchan, David Stuart Erskine, formed the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland; the Society being tasked with the collection and preservation of archaeological artefacts for Scotland. In 1858, control of this was passed to the government of the day and the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland came into being. Items in the collection at that time were housed at various locations around the city.

On Wednesday, October 28, 1861, during a royal visit to Edinburgh by Queen Victoria, Prince-Consort Albert laid the foundation-stone for what was then intended to be the Industrial Museum. Nearly five years later, it was the second son of Victoria and Albert, Prince Alfred, the then-Duke of Edinburgh, who opened the building which was then known as the Scottish Museum of Science and Art. A full-page feature, published in the following Monday’s issue of The Scotsman covered the history leading up to the opening of the museum, those who had championed its establishment, the building of the collection which it was to house, and Edinburgh University’s donation of their Natural History collection to augment the exhibits put on public display.

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Selection of views of the Grand Gallery Image: Brian McNeil.

Selection of views of the Grand Gallery Image: Brian McNeil.

Selection of views of the Grand Gallery Image: Brian McNeil.

Closed for a little over three years, today’s reopening of the museum is seen as the “centrepiece” of National Museums Scotland’s fifteen-year plan to dramatically improve accessibility and better present their collections. Sir Andrew Grossard, chair of the Board of Trustees, said: “The reopening of the National Museum of Scotland, on time and within budget is a tremendous achievement […] Our collections tell great stories about the world, how Scots saw that world, and the disproportionate impact they had upon it. The intellectual and collecting impact of the Scottish diaspora has been profound. It is an inspiring story which has captured the imagination of our many supporters who have helped us achieve our aspirations and to whom we are profoundly grateful.

The extensive work, carried out with a view to expand publicly accessible space and display more of the museums collections, carried a £47.4 million pricetag. This was jointly funded with £16 million from the Scottish Government, and £17.8 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Further funds towards the work came from private sources and totalled £13.6 million. Subsequent development, as part of the longer-term £70 million “Masterplan”, is expected to be completed by 2020 and see an additional eleven galleries opened.

The funding by the Scottish Government can be seen as a ‘canny‘ investment; a report commissioned by National Museums Scotland, and produced by consultancy firm Biggar Economics, suggest the work carried out could be worth £58.1 million per year, compared with an estimated value to the economy of £48.8 prior to the 2008 closure. Visitor figures are expected to rise by over 20%; use of function facilities are predicted to increase, alongside other increases in local hospitality-sector spending.

Proudly commenting on the Scottish Government’s involvement Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, described the reopening as, “one of the nation’s cultural highlights of 2011” and says the rejuvenated museum is, “[a] must-see attraction for local and international visitors alike“. Continuing to extol the museum’s virtues, Hyslop states that it “promotes the best of Scotland and our contributions to the world.

So-far, the work carried out is estimated to have increased the public space within the museum complex by 50%. Street-level storage rooms, never before seen by the public, have been transformed into new exhibit space, and pavement-level access to the buildings provided which include a new set of visitor facilities. Architectural firm Gareth Hoskins have retained the original Grand Gallery – now the first floor of the museum – described as a “birdcage” structure and originally inspired by The Crystal Palace built in Hyde Park, London for the 1851 Great Exhibition.

The centrepiece in the Grand Gallery is the “Window on the World” exhibit, which stands around 20 metres tall and is currently one of the largest installations in any UK museum. This showcases numerous items from the museum’s collections, rising through four storeys in the centre of the museum. Alexander Hayward, the museums Keeper of Science and Technology, challenged attending journalists to imagine installing “teapots at thirty feet”.

The redeveloped museum includes the opening of sixteen brand new galleries. Housed within, are over 8,000 objects, only 20% of which have been previously seen.

  • Ground floor
  • First floor
  • Second floor
  • Top floor

The Window on the World rises through the four floors of the museum and contains over 800 objects. This includes a gyrocopter from the 1930s, the world’s largest scrimshaw – made from the jaws of a sperm whale which the University of Edinburgh requested for their collection, a number of Buddha figures, spearheads, antique tools, an old gramophone and record, a selection of old local signage, and a girder from the doomed Tay Bridge.

The arrangement of galleries around the Grand Gallery’s “birdcage” structure is organised into themes across multiple floors. The World Cultures Galleries allow visitors to explore the culture of the entire planet; Living Lands explains the ways in which our natural environment influences the way we live our lives, and the beliefs that grow out of the places we live – from the Arctic cold of North America to Australia’s deserts.

The adjacent Patterns of Life gallery shows objects ranging from the everyday, to the unusual from all over the world. The functions different objects serve at different periods in peoples’ lives are explored, and complement the contents of the Living Lands gallery.

Performance & Lives houses musical instruments from around the world, alongside masks and costumes; both rooted in long-established traditions and rituals, this displayed alongside contemporary items showing the interpretation of tradition by contemporary artists and instrument-creators.

The museum proudly bills the Facing the Sea gallery as the only one in the UK which is specifically based on the cultures of the South Pacific. It explores the rich diversity of the communities in the region, how the sea shapes the islanders’ lives – describing how their lives are shaped as much by the sea as the land.

Both the Facing the Sea and Performance & Lives galleries are on the second floor, next to the new exhibition shop and foyer which leads to one of the new exhibition galleries, expected to house the visiting Amazing Mummies exhibit in February, coming from Leiden in the Netherlands.

The Inspired by Nature, Artistic Legacies, and Traditions in Sculpture galleries take up most of the east side of the upper floor of the museum. The latter of these shows the sculptors from diverse cultures have, through history, explored the possibilities in expressing oneself using metal, wood, or stone. The Inspired by Nature gallery shows how many artists, including contemporary ones, draw their influence from the world around us – often commenting on our own human impact on that natural world.

Contrastingly, the Artistic Legacies gallery compares more traditional art and the work of modern artists. The displayed exhibits attempt to show how people, in creating specific art objects, attempt to illustrate the human spirit, the cultures they are familiar with, and the imaginative input of the objects’ creators.

The easternmost side of the museum, adjacent to Edinburgh University’s Old College, will bring back memories for many regular visitors to the museum; but, with an extensive array of new items. The museum’s dedicated taxidermy staff have produced a wide variety of fresh examples from the natural world.

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At ground level, the Animal World and Wildlife Panorama’s most imposing exhibit is probably the lifesize reproduction of a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton. This rubs shoulders with other examples from around the world, including one of a pair of elephants. The on-display elephant could not be removed whilst renovation work was underway, and lurked in a corner of the gallery as work went on around it.

Above, in the Animal Senses gallery, are examples of how we experience the world through our senses, and contrasting examples of wildly differing senses, or extremes of such, present in the natural world. This gallery also has giant screens, suspended in the free space, which show footage ranging from the most tranquil and peaceful life in the sea to the tooth-and-claw bloody savagery of nature.

The Survival gallery gives visitors a look into the ever-ongoing nature of evolution; the causes of some species dying out while others thrive, and the ability of any species to adapt as a method of avoiding extinction.

Earth in Space puts our place in the universe in perspective. Housing Europe’s oldest surviving Astrolabe, dating from the eleventh century, this gallery gives an opportunity to see the technology invented to allow us to look into the big questions about what lies beyond Earth, and probe the origins of the universe and life.

In contrast, the Restless Earth gallery shows examples of the rocks and minerals formed through geological processes here on earth. The continual processes of the planet are explored alongside their impact on human life. An impressive collection of geological specimens are complemented with educational multimedia presentations.

Beyond working on new galleries, and the main redevelopment, the transformation team have revamped galleries that will be familiar to regular past visitors to the museum.

Formerly known as the Ivy Wu Gallery of East Asian Art, the Looking East gallery showcases National Museums Scotland’s extensive collection of Korean, Chinese, and Japanese material. The gallery’s creation was originally sponsored by Sir Gordon Wu, and named after his wife Ivy. It contains items from the last dynasty, the Manchu, and examples of traditional ceramic work. Japan is represented through artefacts from ordinary people’s lives, expositions on the role of the Samurai, and early trade with the West. Korean objects also show the country’s ceramic work, clothing, and traditional accessories used, and worn, by the indigenous people.

The Ancient Egypt gallery has always been a favourite of visitors to the museum. A great many of the exhibits in this space were returned to Scotland from late 19th century excavations; and, are arranged to take visitors through the rituals, and objects associated with, life, death, and the afterlife, as viewed from an Egyptian perspective.

The Art and Industry and European Styles galleries, respectively, show how designs are arrived at and turned into manufactured objects, and the evolution of European style – financed and sponsored by a wide range of artists and patrons. A large number of the objects on display, often purchased or commissioned, by Scots, are now on display for the first time ever.

Shaping our World encourages visitors to take a fresh look at technological objects developed over the last 200 years, many of which are so integrated into our lives that they are taken for granted. Radio, transportation, and modern medicines are covered, with a retrospective on the people who developed many of the items we rely on daily.

What was known as the Museum of Scotland, a modern addition to the classical Victorian-era museum, is now known as the Scottish Galleries following the renovation of the main building.

This dedicated newer wing to the now-integrated National Museum of Scotland covers the history of Scotland from a time before there were people living in the country. The geological timescale is covered in the Beginnings gallery, showing continents arranging themselves into what people today see as familiar outlines on modern-day maps.

Just next door, the history of the earliest occupants of Scotland are on display; hunters and gatherers from around 4,000 B.C give way to farmers in the Early People exhibits.

The Kingdom of the Scots follows Scotland becoming a recognisable nation, and a kingdom ruled over by the Stewart dynasty. Moving closer to modern-times, the Scotland Transformed gallery looks at the country’s history post-union in 1707.

Industry and Empire showcases Scotland’s significant place in the world as a source of heavy engineering work in the form of rail engineering and shipbuilding – key components in the building of the British Empire. Naturally, whisky was another globally-recognised export introduced to the world during empire-building.

Lastly, Scotland: A Changing Nation collects less-tangible items, including personal accounts, from the country’s journey through the 20th century; the social history of Scots, and progress towards being a multicultural nation, is explored through heavy use of multimedia exhibits.

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

Thursday, December 1, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Know The 6 Home Remedies For Sciatica Nerve Pain Relief

Irritation and compression of the nerve cause sciatica pain. It mainly disturbs only a single part of the body but tends to transfer to other parts of the body over a period of time. This pain normally spreads from the lower back to the rear thigh and further extends down the leg.

Major symptoms of sciatica pain include; burning, shooting pain, numbness, tingling down the legs, and weakness in the affected leg that causes difficulty in sitting down or standing up.

No doubt, there are many conventional sciatica nerve treatment methods available right now, but they only ease the pain for a limited time. Apart from this, steroid injections are also available for sciatica nerve treatment but can cause adverse effects as well.

Today, we are going to discuss some home remedies and natural therapies with you, through which you can reduce the inflammation and pressure on the disturbed sciatic nerve. The top home remedies forsciatica nerve treatment are discussed here as under:

  1. Hot and cold compresses: Using the hot and cold pack can provide some relief from severe pain and irritation. The process to use this pack is:
  • Place the hot then cold pack on the affected area for 20 minutes.
  • Repeat the same process after every one hour until you feel some relief from the pain.
  1. Turmeric: This is another natural and effective remedy forsciatica nerve treatment because turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, which help in getting relief from the pain. The compound called curcumin contained in turmeric helps relieve pain and inflammation.
  • Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to a hot cup of milk. Boil it properly and drink it twice a day until you notice an improvement. If needed, you can add honey to sweeten the milk.
  • Another alternative is to have 250 to 450mg of turmeric supplement three times a day, but you must consult a doctor before starting taking it.
  1. Capsaicin cream: This cream contains a pain reliever called capsaicin, which helps in depleting the level of a substance called P that transfers the pain signal. Buy the cream from the market containing 0.025% to 0.075% capsaicin. Apply it to the afflicted area four times a day for at least one week.
  2. White willow bark: This home remedy is used to get relief from long-lasting pain. The White yellow bark contains glycosides with salicin that contributes to anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Take the dosage as prescribed by the doctor.
  3. Fenugreek seeds: For sciatica nerve pain, a powder prepared from the fenugreek seeds also acts as a great pain reliever. This powder is also helpful to get relieved from pains like gout and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Grind a small quantity of Fenugreek seeds.
  • Mix it with enough milk so as to get a soft paste.
  • Apply the paste to the affected area and leave it for more than two hours.
  • Wash it off.
  • Repeat the same process daily until you see some signs of improvement in pain.
  1. Massage: This also comes under sciatica nerve treatment. Massage helps in mitigating the pain caused due to muscle contraction. Moreover, it helps in releasing the tension and encourages circulation inside the nerves. You can visit a massage parlor for taking a massage or buy the best massage chair consumer reports to enjoy massage in the comfort of your home.

Several businesses catch fire in Queens, New York

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sunday, a fire rushed through seven businesses at the Whitestone Shopping Center in Whitestone, Queens, New York, near the Cross Island Parkway in New York City.

The fire started at around 1:00 AM EST (UTC-5) on November 2, 2008 in a diner known as Lollipops. According to local sources, Lollipops was a popular restaurant in the area. The fire spread through the stores, up an awning and continued all the way to a corner of the shopping center. In the end, seven businesses were destroyed, including two banks, two restaurants and a GNC Nutrition Center. It took dozens of firefighters to put out the large blaze.

According to WCBS-TV, with his diner Lollipops destroyed, the owner was too upset to comment.

Nearby Chinese restaurant, King’s Chef, was also damaged. “I cannot open because of whatever rules – tomorrow’s Monday, Tuesday is a holiday,” the owner, Patrick Chan, told WCBS-TV. “If I cannot get them to come tomorrow, I am going to lose big time.”

This is a calamity for many of these small businesses to be out of business, particularly in this economy.

Nearby residents reacted to the situation. Several residents have reported that it is a major loss to the community as they considered Lollipops to be a landmark. Several residents have reported knowing members of either the victim stores or others in the strip mall.

State Senator Frank Padavan commented on the loss of the shopping center.

“This is a calamity for many of these small businesses to be out of business, particularly in this economy,” he said.

The next day, investigators were boarding up the windows of the damaged stores. No one was hurt because all the stores were closed at the time of the blaze.

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