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Breaking In Your Hiking Boots In San Diego} Mar 16

Submitted by: Nomadrick Chapo

Having grown up in San Diego, I am amazed at how packed and hectic it has become. Hiking for few hours gives you a chance to enjoy the area without the rat race element.

It is Friday afternoon and you are sitting in rush hour traffic on I-5 going north, I-8 going east or one of the other lovely commutes. You have time on your hands, so you start day dreaming. You start wondering if it was always this busy in San Diego? Perhaps it is even time to think of relocating? Easy my friend, a few hours in your hiking boots will renew your faith in our politically corrupt, expensive slice of paradise.

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The first of the treks worth your time is the beach hike. It is relaxing, easy and will remind you why it is great to live in San Diego. You can start and stop just about anywhere. A personal favorite is to head north starting at the beach in front of restaurant row in Cardiff. Depending on how far you want to go, you can just cruise up past Swamis through Encinitas and up into relaxing Leucadia. The really great thing is you can just pop up off the beach and take in lunch on a patio whenever you feel like it.

If you are looking more for a hikers hike, there are plenty to fit the bill. A trip up the San Diego River, particularly in spring, is candy for the eyes. No, I am not talking about the section of the river down in the city. Instead, we are looking at the area out by Ramona. This is a 10 mile hike that takes 10 hours or so. It begins at the Inaja Picnic Area or Ramona Oaks Road on the other end. The hike is 10 miles one way, so you either need to have two cars or turn around at some point. Regardless, you will see waterfalls, hike through canyons, groves of oaks, granite grottos and do some boulder hopping. You will have to exert yourself on this trail, so be warned.

To the east of Poway is one of the more popular hikes in San Diego – Mount Woodson Trail. There is a short version that goes up the mountain, but I am talking about the 4.5 mile version that goes beyond it. Regardless, the hike is picturesque, close to much of north country and a favorite of hikers that like to do a little rock climbing given the boulders on the mountain. The best place to start is at the southwest edge of parking and picnic area at Lake Poway. There is a trail head that will take you to a junction just beyond Warren Canyon. The trail starts here and is marked with a sign. If you cant find it, just ask as it is very well known. It can get brutally hot in the summer, so make sure you have water.

San Diego is a great place to live even thought it is crowded and expensive. Take a few hours to explore the beauty and you will be ready to handle the rush hour on Monday morning.

About the Author: Rick Chapo is with

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– makers of unique birthday gifts for dad.

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French workers use threats in compensation demand
Mar 16

Friday, July 17, 2009 Following similar threats by workers at New Fabris and Nortel, workers at JLG in Tonneins, France, threatened to blow up several platform cranes. The JLG factory announced in April 2009 that it will fire 53 of its 163 workers by the end of 2009, while the remaining 110 jobs will not be secure over the next 2 years.

JLG Tonneins was acquired in 2006 with its parent JLG Industries, a maker of aerial work platforms, by the U.S.-based Oshkosh Corporation. Despite being hugely profitable in the past, production has been much reduced since 2008 with the contraction of the construction industry and lower demand for its products. Despite excellent past results the new American management demanded sweeping cuts at the company.

In the view of locals, “the company’s actions are a disgrace given the expensive perks, such as official cars, for its corporate fat cats, compared to the sacrifice, silence, and dignity demanded by the company of those it has made redundant.”

The management offered severance pay of 3,000 (US $4,200), however the workers demanded a severance package commensurate with “the wealth that their labor has generated.” Worker’s delegates requested a “supra-legal” payment of € 30,000, on Thursday 16 of July the management responded with a counter offer of € 16,000. On Thursday night the worker’s actions secured the € 30,000 settlement initially demanded.

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Al Sharpton speaks out on race, rights and what bothers him about his critics
Mar 16

Monday, December 3, 2007

At Thanksgiving dinner David Shankbone told his white middle class family that he was to interview Reverend Al Sharpton that Saturday. The announcement caused an impassioned discussion about the civil rights leader’s work, the problems facing the black community and whether Sharpton helps or hurts his cause. Opinion was divided. “He’s an opportunist.” “He only stirs things up.” “Why do I always see his face when there’s a problem?”

Shankbone went to the National Action Network’s headquarters in Harlem with this Thanksgiving discussion to inform the conversation. Below is his interview with Al Sharpton on everything from Tawana Brawley, his purported feud with Barack Obama, criticism by influential African Americans such as Clarence Page, his experience running for President, to how he never expected he would see fifty (he is now 53). “People would say to me, ‘Now that I hear you, even if I disagree with you I don’t think you’re as bad as I thought,'” said Sharpton. “I would say, ‘Let me ask you a question: what was “bad as you thought”?’ And they couldn’t say. They don’t know why they think you’re bad, they just know you’re supposed to be bad because the right wing tells them you’re bad.”

Contents

  • 1 Sharpton’s beginnings in the movement
  • 2 James Brown: a father to Sharpton
  • 3 Criticism: Sharpton is always there
  • 4 Tawana Brawley to Megan Williams
  • 5 Sharpton and the African-American media
  • 6 Why the need for an Al Sharpton?
  • 7 Al Sharpton and Presidential Politics
  • 8 On Barack Obama
  • 9 The Iraq War
  • 10 Sharpton as a symbol
  • 11 Blacks and whites and talking about race
  • 12 Don Imus, Michael Richards and Dog The Bounty Hunter
  • 13 Sources
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Why Not Get Married At Home Like Jay Mcgraw &Amp; Erica Dahm Feb 19

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Submitted by: Chris Morton

A Strange Coule?

Sometimes the unlikliest couples are the ones most likely to walk down the aisle. Take, for instance, Jay McGraw the oldest son of talk show host and self-help author Dr. Phil McGraw and Playboy model Erica Dahm who were married on August 12, 2006. Jay, an author of his own self-help books for teenagers, met Erica while they were working on Renovate My Family, a reality show on the Fox Network.

Who would have thought that a writer and a Playboy model would end up being a good match?

Stay-at-Homes

The wedding was held at Jay’s parents home in Beverly Hills. One of the large rooms was draped in thirty feet of sheer fabric covered in crystals to create the white chapel back drop. The couple wrote their own vows and exchanged them in front of a modest crowd of 70 friends and family members. Jay’s father served as his best man while Erica’s sisters they are triplets stood beside her at the altar.

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Onwards to the Hotel

After the ceremony, the couple headed to a hotel for an incredible reception for over 400 guests.

Of course, you don’t have to marry a Playboy model to learn something from their example. Actually, their wedding story illustrates that you don’t have to say your vows in a church in order to have a beautiful wedding.

Even though your home is probably not as stunning or as enormous as the McGraws’, it could still serve as a perfect location for your wedding. With some decorations and material from any craft store, you could transform your average living room into a romantic setting fit for a ceremony. And if you’re not sold on using your home because it’s too small, too full of pets, or has too little parking, you could always use the home of a friend or family member.

Backyard Tips

If you’re getting married during good weather months, then you might want to consider having your wedding in your backyard. Arches, tables, chairs, aisle runners, and other elements can all be rented, so don’t worry if your backyard’s seating and d cor are limited. Plus, if you start planning early, you could hire a landscaper (probably for a fraction of the cost of renting a church) to add some bushes, trees, or flowers to the yard to create a beautiful look in time for the big day.

The good thing about a backyard wedding is that the location can double as a reception hall. You could have a down-to-earth barbecue (catered, of course) under the stars.

If you like the idea of getting married in a house but not your house, then there is another alternative. Some cities have designated historical houses that are being preserved as tourist attractions. Many of these homes are available for special events, including weddings. To find out if you have a historical home in your area, contact your local tourism information center.

As Jay and Erica have shown, you don’t have to travel far from home in order to have the wedding you’ve always dreamed of.

About the Author: Chris Morton ran hotels and restaurants for 17 years – catering for 100’s of weddings. His wife Sue is a wedding planner with 10 year’s experience. Together they have established

TheWeddingWizards.com

to provide unbiased help for brides and grooms.

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French Workers stay at home for Whit Monday
Feb 19

Monday, May 16, 2005

In France, workers by the millions stayed at home during the Whit Monday holiday despite the government’s cancellation of the traditional Pentecost public holiday. Some acted in defiance of the government’s decision, while some took leave or were put on forced leave by their employers due to uncertainties of public transportation.

Following the 2003 heat wave, which caused the deaths of an estimated 13,000 elderly people in France, the administration of prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin has proposed the suppression of one day of public holiday in order to use the supplemental generated tax for a fund for the caring of the elderly.

Whit Monday was selected because, in normal years, France has several public holidays in May. Furthermore, attendance of religious celebrations is low, so holidays of a religious origin are nowadays generally mere family reunions.

However, the reception of this new working day was mixed. The administration says it promotes solidarity with the elderly. Trade unions and opposition groups argue that the measure is an ill-conceived stunt aimed at hiding the government’s bad handling of the problems of the elderly.

For instance, many remember that in 1956, the government created a tax (the vignette) on motor vehicles, allegedly for funding measures for the elderly. But in 1973, the products of this tax came, as any other tax, into the government’s general fund.

With this measure, the French government intends to raise 2 billion to be donated to a new public establishment, the “national fund for solidarity for autonomy.” The new fund would be chartered to deal with losses of self-sufficiency of elderly or handicapped people. 1.2 billion € are earmarked for elderly people, 0.8 for the handicapped.

Trade unions had called for strikes in urban public transportation and paralyzed traffic in 27 cities, including Clermont-Ferrand, Lille, Montpellier ou Strasbourg. However, SNCF (the national railway operator) did not strike and RATP (the Paris transportation authority) suffered only minor disturbances, though both are normally known for their frequent and disturbing strikes.

SNCF considered the day as a holiday for payroll purposes and instead increased the work day by 1’52”, a measure that majority leader Nicolas Sarkozy considered shocking and contrary to the objectives of the government.

The protests are also widely considered to be motivated by the unpopularity of the administration of president Jacques Chirac and prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin. Recent statistics show a five year-high for unemployment at 10.2%.

This discontent may result in a majority of “no” in the vote for the ratification of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe.

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Podolski announces retirement from international football
Feb 19

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Yesterday, Poland-born German football player and Galatasaray S.K. forward Lukas Podolski announced retirement from international football.

Debuting internationally in 2004, Podolski has won 129 international caps, Germany’s third all time most capped player after Lothar Matthäus and Miroslav Klose. 31-year-old Lukas Podolski is the third top-scorer for Germany, netting 48 goals.

Four years ago, Podolski became the youngest player to make 100 international appearances for Germany aged 27 years 13 days. He was part of the German squad for the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament in France making his final appearance for Germany against Slovakia which was his seventh major tournament.

Podolski won the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Podolski was awarded Best Young Player in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, hosted in Germany. Podolski said, “I feel like my focus has shifted […] My time is over […] I arrived in Germany as a two-year-old boy with basically only a football under my arm and am now a world champion. That is more than I could ever have dreamt of.”

German football manager Joachim Löw said, “Just like Basti [Bastian Schweinsteiger], Lukas was always a constant for me. We have always relied on him and still do to this day. He is a role model in terms of his professionalism and attitude, and he always puts the team’s success ahead of anything else.” ((de)) German language: Lukas war genauso wie Basti [Bastian Schweinsteiger] immer eine feste Größe für mich. Auf ihn war und ist Verlass, bei aller Lockerheit und Leichtigkeit, für die er steht, ist er ein Vorbild an Professionalität und Einstellung, dem Erfolg hat er immer alles untergeordnet, auch sich selbst. .

Podolski was the fifth player to retire from Germany’s 2014 World Cup squad. Last month, German captain Bastian Schweinsteiger announced retirement from international football. Other players who left the German national squad after winning the World Cup are Philipp Lahm, Miroslav Klose, and Per Mertesacker.

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Buffalo, New York warehouse fire injures 12 firefighters
Feb 19

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Buffalo, New York — 12 firefighters in Buffalo, New York, United States have been taken to the hospital where they are being treated for smoke and chemical inhalation after a massive fire broke out at a warehouse on Buffalo’s west side, early Monday morning. At least three fire companies started battling the blaze, which engulfed the entire warehouse, sending a plume of smoke into the air which could be seen for several miles, at one point darkening the sky. All 12 firefighters are being treated at Erie County Medical Center, but their conditions are not known. At least 80 firefighters were reported to be on scene along with a total of nine of the 19 fire companies in Buffalo. Firefighters were still on scene as of 9:15 a.m. EDT (UTC-4) today, nearly 24 hours after the fire started.

The fire started at the Leisure Living Pool Supplies warehouse at 1130 Niagara street between West Ferry and Albany streets behind the Rich Products building at around 10:30 a.m. Monday and was not brought under control until 6:30 a.m. today. The warehouse is three floors tall. Firefighters had the fire under control just before 12:00 p.m. Monday, but wind off Lake Erie reignited the fire at around 3:00 p.m. At around 7:00 p.m., most of the blaze was under control, but smoke could still be seen coming from the building. All employees from both Rich’s and the chemical company have been sent home for the day and made it out safely. The building is owned by PoolSupplies.com which is a division of Leisure Living, selling supplies, recreation and chemicals for swimming pools. Leisure Living is a company of Island Pools.

The fire reignited again sometime this afternoon. It appears it reignited due to the earlier collapse of the roof and the winds off the lake.

At 9:00 p.m., firefighters reported that most of the fire was contained under the collapsed portions of the building, but around 10:00 p.m. firefighters reported that more thick black smoke started to rise from the building. Black smoke usually indicates burning, whereas white smoke often indicates water putting out a fire. Firefighters are using a helicopter, courtesy of the Erie County Sheriff’s Department, that is equipped with infrared cameras in order to see the areas of the building which still contain a significant amount of heat or fire.

After having fought the fire for over 24 hours, fire officials stated that the fire was mostly extinguished and ordered fire companies to start shutting down the hoses and pack up their equipment. Just before 1:00 p.m. the fire command post stated that fire investigators were on scene and that “they can call us (firefighters) back if they need anything.”

Officials have urged all residents near the blaze to stay indoors and to shut all windows and doors due to the smoke which has been blowing close to the ground. At least one civilian who was inside a park at the foot of Ferry was also taken to the hospital for smoke and chemical inhalation. Officials were able to evacuate the park and no other injuries were reported. At one point, the sun was blocked by the black smoke rising from the building.

“The fire reignited again sometime this afternoon. It appears it reignited due to the earlier collapse of the roof and the winds off the lake. Right now, one thing fire officials would like to get out and stress is anyone in and around the Niagara and Ferry area, if you could please go indoors, and shut your doors,” stated Michael DeGeorge, a spokesman for the Buffalo Police Department, to reporters. DeGeorge also stated that no residents have been evacuated.

The northbound lane of the I-190 expressway, which lies just to the west of the warehouse, was closed at the Porter Street exit at the Peace Bridge to the exit leading to the 198 expressway for several hours. At 11:15 p.m., firefighters stated they would begin to reopen the lane. Niagara street from Albany to West Ferry reopened to normal traffic in the late morning hours of Tuesday.

Throughout Monday afternoon and early evening, employees of Marco’s Restaurant on Niagara and Albany were providing ice and beverages to firefighters and police officers who were on scene. Temperatures were quite warm, in the upper 70’s (F), with winds gusting to nearly 15-20 MPH, coming out of the southwest. Although the wind assisted in reigniting the fire, it also assisted firefighters by quickly clearing the area of smoke.

The warehouse is a storage and distribution facility for pool chemicals, especially chlorine. Chemical drops could be felt flying through the air, which also had the smell of bleach. According to a source who spoke to Wikinews on condition of anonymity, the warehouse contained over US$8 million in supplies and chemicals.

Earlier tests performed on the air by firefighters and Haz-mat officials had shown that the smoke and fumes rising from the fire are not dangerous or toxic. Further tests were performed, but those results are not yet known and officials don’t believe there was any danger to the air. Officials will testing the water runoff from fire hoses to make sure that it is not contaminated as it is emptying into the Niagara River. The warehouse is located just down stream from a drinking water pumping station with several more scattered along the River from Buffalo to Niagara Falls.

The cause of the fire is not known and is under investigation. Last year, on May 14, 2007, at least five buildings that were part of a warehouse complex about 1/3 of a mile from Leisure caught fire, and required nearly 130 firefighters to battle the blaze. Smoke from that fire was seen over 40 miles away.

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The Convenience Of Online Perfume Stores Jan 22

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Submitted by: Sammy Kay

Women understand the power of scent. And just as they pay an enormous amount of attention to the clothing they choose, the shoes they wear, the hair that they style, and the makeup they don, they will pay just as close attention to the perfume they apply.

Perfume, when chosen to complement your body, will linger for hours as your signature scent. Finding that special perfume that will elevate your style to the next level often takes a bit of research and trial. Most designer and brand name perfumes are available in high-end department stores. But there are also online perfume stores where you can find a variety of products at affordable prices, as well as shop from the comfort of your own home.

Shopping for perfume has always been a popular pastime among women and the men who buy for them. But what was once exclusive to department stores and discount perfume stores, has now been adopted by online commerce. With the growing popularity of the Internet, the world of retail has changed. Gone are the days of limited choices and exhausting price comparisons.

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Now, consumers have the ability with just a few clicks of their computer mouse to find the lowest prices on their favorite fragrances. And while the ability to test perfumes is not available through computer shopping, there is the benefit of narrowing down your choices based on price and consumer ratings. And if you are simply re-purchasing a scent you have already used, online outlets can be your best bet for savings and convenience.

Online perfume stores do not discriminate when it comes to their offerings. You can just as easily find high-end designer fragrances as you can find lower priced replications or stand-alone scents at rock bottom prices. And what you pay for in shipping is most often made up for by the discount you receive by shopping in this manner. Some stores even offer free shipping on certain products. It’s a benefit to keep your eye out for deals of this nature as well as for periodic sales offered through online resources.

Best of all, shopping through online perfume stores allows you to skip the chaos of the department stores and complete your shopping in mere minutes in the comfort of your home. Your purchase will then be quickly and efficiently shipped straight to your door. With the different choices of shipping options offered you can even have your order by the very next day the perfect choice when you’re in a rush or have an event to attend for which you need that special fragrance.

Online perfume stores are just one of many, many shopping experiences offered through the Internet today. The computer has transformed the world of commerce, allowing consumers to find all that they need with the push of a button. Such convenience has changed the way women shop; the Internet has made clothing, hair care products, makeup, shoes, and fragrance instantly accessible. Online perfume stores have made designer, brand-name, and discount perfumes available to the masses giving women everywhere the ability to choose their scent in the most efficient way possible.

About the Author: Get all the latest in perfume know how from the one and only true source at http://www.AllPerfumeInfo.com. Be sure to check our

perfume store

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National Museum of Scotland reopens after three-year redevelopment
Jan 22

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 GalleryImage: Brian McNeil.

Selection of views of the Grand GalleryImage: Brian McNeil.

Selection of views of the Grand GalleryImage: 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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Wikinews interviews Joe Schriner, Independent U.S. presidential candidate
Jan 22

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Journalist, counselor, painter, and US 2012 Presidential candidate Joe Schriner of Cleveland, Ohio took some time to discuss his campaign with Wikinews in an interview.

Schriner previously ran for president in 2000, 2004, and 2008, but failed to gain much traction in the races. He announced his candidacy for the 2012 race immediately following the 2008 election. Schriner refers to himself as the “Average Joe” candidate, and advocates a pro-life and pro-environmentalist platform. He has been the subject of numerous newspaper articles, and has published public policy papers exploring solutions to American issues.

Wikinews reporter William Saturn? talks with Schriner and discusses his campaign.

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