Hepatitis scare at New Zealand McDonald’s restaurant

Saturday, December 30, 2006

McDonald’s is asking everyone who ate at a McDonald’s restaurant located in Greenlane, Auckland, New Zealand, in December 15, 2006, to go to their doctor after a worker tested positive for Hepatitis A.

Doctor Greg Simmons, medical officer of health in Auckland, said that it is possible for the food handler worker to have passed on the disease during 7:00 p.m. (NZDT) and 2:00 a.m. as he would have been in the most infectious stage of Hepatitis A and was not wearing gloves. According to a spokeswoman from McDonald’s, Joanna Redfern-Hardisty, food handlers are not required to wear gloves but are required to have thoroughly washed their hands with antimicrobial soap. However Dr Simmons says that the infected worker usually wore gloves.

The shift the worker worked was the only one the worker handled food when he was infectious with Hepatitis A.

It is unknown how many people could have come into contact with food that the infected worker had prepared as Friday night is usually a busy night, according to Ms Redfern-Hardisty.

Dr Simmons says that if someone has been infected with Hepatitis A then they will currently be showing early symptoms. Those symptoms include being tired, no appetite, nausea and skin and eyes will show a yellowish colour.

Ms Redfern-Hardisty, spokeswoman for McDonald’s, confirmed that no more risk is being posed to customers. She said that it is currently unknown where the worker caught Hepatitis A but has stated that it was from an external source.

The worker has been suspended from work.

If you ate at the McDonalds located in Greenlane, Auckland, on late December 15, early December 16, then please either visit your doctor or ring the Auckland Regional Public Health Service on 096234600.

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Submitted by: Goodwinob Fulton

Cysts are inclined to be really distressing and can trigger more considerable infections if they are not taken care of appropriate absent, related to any other form of acne. Cystic acne having said that it viewed as to be the worst sort mainly because of the severity of the breakouts and how stubborn it can be to treatment.

There are a wide wide variety of products and solutions you can use to treat cystic acne, the 1st foremost of these being lotions which moisturize the skin and retain it healthy. These goods are pretty very low chance and won’t injury the skin at all. They do not contain hazardous chemical compounds that cause adverse facet-effects like some other acne remedy prescription drugs do. You will not have to fear about your acne getting even worse, just far better. By using these products, you lessen the total of congestion inside the pores and starts to obvious your skin promptly and proficiently, cleansing deep in the tissue taking away bacteria stuck in the pores. Make confident to be affected person while heading by way of these solutions as some of them may well get some time to see true results. No matter what you do make certain you don’t depart your cysts untreated due to the fact they can flip into a a great deal far more considerable health challenge and spread to other areas of your entire body, even effecting brain purpose and major organs in your body.

Several persons endure from acne at an individual time or yet another, quite a few while in their adolescent several years or even as grown ups. Every time acne indicates up, it is really no entertaining. Cystic Acne is among the most severe types of this skin situation, characterized by the huge red cysts that look on the skin. To obtain the finest cystic acne therapy it is crucial to have an understanding of what brings about the outbreaks and how diet, living conditions and your gender and age figure in to the picture.

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Acne develops as a end result of the skin pores being clogged with dead skin cells, oils or other materials. Bacteria make up and the body’s immune response will cause irritation with redness, swelling and pain. Cystic pustules are characterized by red, massive (5 mm diameter) lumps that are often distressing and unsightly.

Cystic Acne Remedy

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Under are various house based cystic acne treatment solutions that you can attempt…

Apple Cider Vinega

Drink a Blend of 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar with eight-ten oz. two times per day.

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Women’s boxing to be included in the 2012 Olympics for the first time

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Jacques Rogge, The President of the IOC
Lucia Rijker (L), in the ring together with Jane Couch (R) in 2003. Image: Nimueva.

The International Olympic Committee has decided to allow women to compete in boxing at the Olympics for the first time. Up until now boxing had been the only sport in which women could not compete. Three weight classes will be created for the women to compete in, with one weight class being dropped from the male schedule.

President of the IOC Jacques Rogge commented, “Women’s boxing has come on a tremendous amount in the last five years and it was time to include them.” Gerry Sutcliffe, the British sports minister, said, “The move is a massive boost for women’s boxing.”

Not all were supportive of the inclusion of the women’s ranks. 2004 Olympic silver medallist Amir Khan said, “Deep down I think women shouldn’t fight. That’s my opinion.” Despite his comments he said he will be supporting the British competitors at the 2012 Olympics being held in London.

The inclusion of the women’s classes comes after it was announced in 2005 that both baseball and softball would be excluded form the Olympics after the 2008 games.

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Google releases test of mapping service

Thursday, February 10, 2005Google Inc. on Tuesday rolled out a test version of its mapping service — a type of service long offered by its rivals Yahoo and Microsoft. The web site, http://maps.google.com, is designed to let users display maps of locations around the United States and Canada, find businesses near those locations, and generate driving directions between locations.

Unlike the competitors’ offerings, Google’s mapping system shows bigger maps and does not require a reload of the web page when a user pans or zooms the map. The site uses the Google Local search to incorporate local businesses onto the map. Google uses mapping data from TeleAtlas and Navteq, according to information shown on the mapping site.

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National Museum of Scotland reopens after three-year redevelopment

Friday, July 29, 2011

Grant Stott, and Bryony Hare opening the museum. Image: Brian McNeil.

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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The Mugenkyo Taiko drummers performing on the museum steps
Street theater for the opening
Animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex entertaining the crowd

The Mugenkyo Taiko drummers performing on the museum steps

Street theater for the opening

Street theater for the opening

Street theater for the opening

Animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex entertaining the crowd

Street theater for the opening

The Mugenkyo Taiko drummers performing on the museum steps

Street theater for the opening

Street theater for the opening

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.

A ‘God of the Sea’ carving from the Cook Islands, on display in the World Cultures Galleries. Image: Brian McNeil.
The newly-opened, vaulted-ceilinged Entrance Hall.Image: Brian McNeil.

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”.

The bridge joining the Old College to the museum. Image: Brian McNeil.
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”.

View of the Grand Gallery from the south-east corner. Image: Brian McNeil.

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 Millennium Clock, centred in the Discoveries Gallery.Image: Brian McNeil.

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.

Newly-installed escalator in the Discoveries Gallery. Image: Brian McNeil.

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.

A GE 950. The oldest colour television in the world, build to a design by pioneer John Logie Baird. Image: Brian McNeil.
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The Grand Gallery on opening day

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

The Grand Gallery on opening day

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

The Grand Gallery on opening day

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.

Captain Cook’s clock, a Shelton regulator, taken on his first voyage to the Pacific to observe the transit of Venus in Tahiti. Image: Brian McNeil.

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 newly-opened, vaulted-ceilinged, ground floor.
The first floor, with the Grand Gallery.
Second floor, including the Ancient Egypt gallery.

Top floor, including the Looking East gallery.

A collection of local signs in the Window on the World; not readily accessible, the red tramways sign may be a sore point with some Edinburgh residents. Image: Brian McNeil.

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.

A display housing musical instruments from around the world, on show in the Performance & Lives gallery. Image: Brian McNeil.

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.

An interactive tonal matrix, constructed by Portugese-Angolan artist Victor Garna. Image: Brian McNeil.

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.

A range of sea creatures are suspended in the open space, with giant screens showing them in their natural habitat. Image: Brian McNeil.

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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The head of the cast life-size T-Rex
Life-size replica of T-Rex
A pair of peacocks fighting

A giraffe shown using his long tongue to forage

The elephant that wouldn’t leave; this exhibit stayed in a corner through the renovations

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.

A giant centrepiece in the Restless Earth gallery. Image: Brian McNeil.

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.

Buddha figures sit alongside a gyrocopter in the Window on the World. Image: Brian McNeil.

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.

A display of Egyptian shabtis, statues thought to act as servants to the dead in the afterlife. Image: Brian McNeil.

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.

The modern extension, housing the Scottish Galleries. Image: Maccoinnich.

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.

A replica Carnyx war horn being played at the museum opening. Image: Brian McNeil.

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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What To Expect By Getting a Facelift


Anna Woodward

Are you thinking about getting a facelift? You’re certainly not alone. They’re one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries that are performed around the entire world. The goal of the surgery is to decrease the general signs of aging by tightening the skin of the face and allowing the muscles to reform, resulting in a appearance that makes the patient look younger and more appealing. When you’re sitting down and considering the various options of the surgery, you’ll want to get the advice of an experienced surgeon and from others who have had the surgery.

The good news is that the facelift has a quick recovery time, as it is done under anesthesia as an outpatient procedure. The patient is placed into a state of unconsciousness and feels a minimal amount of soreness when waking up, resulting in a positive surgical experience. First, you’ll have an initial consultation with a surgeon who will explain how the surgery will work in detail. The surgeon will give you the opportunity to express your goals with the cosmetic surgery and you’ll be told how you can get your dream body type. Keep in mind that you may be suggested to have other procedures in the future as well (such as a brow lift or eyelid surgery), but the amount of work you want done is up to you ultimately. The surgeon may also discuss optional, less invasive procedures, such as a chemical peel, before getting the actual facelift. The optional procedure can help you get a youthful appearance, but the amount of work done depends on you and your budget. Don’t ever feel pressured into getting any kind of surgery that you don’t want.


Once you narrow down the kind of surgery you want, the surgeon will give you instructions for how to maintain good physical health before the facelift. If you’re a smoker, expect to be asked to stop smoking before the surgery to ensure that the healing process goes properly after surgery. If you’re on medication, you may be asked to stop taking it before the surgery, as some medication can cause excess bleeding during the surgical or recovery stage. Make sure you disclose all of your medical issues to the surgeon.

When it comes to the post-operative phase, your surgeon will decide how deep the anesthetic and sedation will work. If you’re only given a mild sedative, your recovery period will be increased. Regardless, you’ll be given instructions to rest and not be active after the surgery. Make sure you have a person on hand who can help you out with any tasks or errands. The recovery period will depend on where the incisions are made on your face and how extensive the surgery happens to be. Because it will take a length of time to recover, it may make sense to do other cosmetic surgeries at the same time to minimize the amount of time to heal and achieve the results that you want. Either way, make sure you follow all the instructions from the surgeon and take as much time to recover as you need.

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What To Expect By Getting a Facelift

Lobby groups oppose plans for EU copyright extension

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

People from all over Europe came to the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s party, which coincided with FOSDEM 2008.

The European Commission currently has proposals on the table to extend performers’ copyright terms. Described by Professor Martin Kretschmer as the “Beatles Extension Act”, the proposed measure would extend copyright from 50 to 95 years after recording. A vast number of classical tracks are at stake; the copyright on recordings from the fifties and early sixties is nearing its expiration date, after which it would normally enter the public domain or become ‘public property’. E.U. Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services Charlie McCreevy is proposing this extension, and if the other relevant Directorate Generales (Information Society, Consumers, Culture, Trade, Competition, etc.) agree with the proposal, it will be sent to the European Parliament.

Wikinews contacted Erik Josefsson, European Affairs Coordinator for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (E.F.F.), who invited us to Brussels, the heart of E.U. policy making, to discuss this new proposal and its implications. Expecting an office interview, we arrived to discover that the event was a party and meetup conveniently coinciding with FOSDEM 2008 (the Free and Open source Software Developers’ European Meeting). The meetup was in a sprawling city centre apartment festooned with E.F.F. flags and looked to be a party that would go on into the early hours of the morning with copious food and drink on tap. As more people showed up for the event it turned out that it was a truly international crowd, with guests from all over Europe.

Eddan Katz, the new International Affairs Director of the E.F.F., had come over from the U.S. to connect to the European E.F.F. network, and he gladly took part in our interview. Eddan Katz explained that the Electronic Frontier Foundation is “A non-profit organisation working to protect civil liberties and freedoms online. The E.F.F. has fought for information privacy rights online, in relation to both the government and companies who, with insufficient transparency, collect, aggregate and make abuse of information about individuals.” Another major focus of their advocacy is intellectual property, said Eddan: “The E.F.F. represents what would be the public interest, those parts of society that don’t have a concentration of power, that the private interests do have in terms of lobbying.”

Becky Hogge, Executive Director of the U.K.’s Open Rights Group (O.R.G.), joined our discussion as well. “The goals of the Open Rights Group are very simple: we speak up whenever we see civil, consumer or human rights being affected by the poor implementation or the poor regulation of new technologies,” Becky summarised. “In that sense, people call us -I mean the E.F.F. has been around, in internet years, since the beginning of time- but the Open Rights Group is often called the British E.F.F.

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Most Tokyo power restored after blackout

Most Tokyo power restored after blackout
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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Stock photo of Tokyo

A power outage hit large parts of Tokyo, and Chiba, Japan. The electrical blackout occurred due to an industrial accident, in which a crane damaged some power lines accidentally at 7:40 AM local time (2240 UTC), the Kyodo News agency reported, quoting Tokyo Power Electric Co. Power was reported to have been restored to most areas within a few hours.

At least two elevators stopped with an unknown number of people trapped inside, said a fire official in Tokyo. Some train services were halted. The number of passengers was lower than normal due to a holiday. About 800,000 residences were affected by the blackout, according to the power company. Most services have since then been restored.

Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea delayed opening by an hour as many rides did not function due to the power problems.

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Category:June 21, 2006

Category:June 21, 2006
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? June 20, 2006
June 22, 2006 ?
June 21

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Police warn new drone owners to obey law after disruption at UK’s Gatwick Airport

Police warn new drone owners to obey law after disruption at UK’s Gatwick Airport
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Friday, December 28, 2018

Police on Tuesday warned new owners of drones to obey the law after Gatwick Airport, the second-largest airport in Britain, faced days of closure on account of drone sightings. About 150,000 travellers have had their plans affected. Two suspects were arrested but later released without charge.

File image of a droneImage: ZullyC3P.

Airport authorities closed the facility’s single runway on December 19. The airport briefly reopened two days later, on Friday, but was shut down again after renewed drone activity. In total the airport, which serves London, was not able to operate normally for about 36 hours.

Over the three days, people reported seeing drones fly over the airport 67 times but, according to Sussex Police Detective Chief Superintendent Jason Tingley as of Monday, there was no video of any drone activity and “always a possibility that there may not have been any genuine drone activity in the first place”, though the police generally referred to the sightings as credible and were examining a downed drone found not far from the airport.

“Before anyone uses a drone it is vital that they make themselves aware of their responsibilities and the rules to make sure these devices are operated in a safe and responsible way” said Deputy Chief Constable Serena Kennedy, a national lead on drone policing. The law on drone misuse was tightened in July and presently provides for fines and up to five years in prison. She continued “Police officers will use all available powers to investigate reports of drones being misused and seek the appropriate penalty”.

Police officers will use all available powers to investigate reports of drones being misused and seek the appropriate penalty

The law prevents drone use above 400ft and within a kilometre of airports. UK rules planned for late next year mandate registration of any drone above 250g (about 9oz) and the taking of an online safety exam before piloting them.

Airport authorities grounded all planes in the airport, and diverted the planes meant to arrive at Gatwick to other airports in England or even other countries, such as London Heathrow, Luton, Birmingham, Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Manchester, Dublin in Ireland, Glasgow in Scotland, and Paris in France.

Gatwick Airport authorities instructed travellers to check how their flights had been affected before coming to the airport. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has said since this is an “extraordinary circumstance”, travellers may not be owed money by the airline they were travelling with.

The British army was called in during the incident. Police said there was no reason to think the incident was terrorism, but was probably a deliberate attempt to disrupt the airport.

Couple Paul Gait and Elaine Kirk were arrested on Friday and named in several newspapers, before being cleared by police and released without charge. They said on Monday they feel “completely violated” by the incident and its press coverage. In light of a landmark legal ruling earlier this year, libel lawyer Mark Stephens of media law specialists Howard Kennedy said they were likely in line for a payout of £75,000 to £125,000 if they chose to take any publishers to court.

Hacked Off, a campaign group seeking media reform, was also critical of the media outlets that named the couple. Trevor Kavanagh, former politics editor at The Sun, defended that paper’s decision to release their names, on the basis press attention had hastened the police’s identification of a “cast-iron, watertight alibi” proving their innocence. TV personality Piers Morgan apologised for claiming Gait and Kirk were “terrorists”.

Planes can sustain significant damage from collisions with drones. The Guardian recently outlined a few possible ways to stop drones from entering restricted areas, such as blocking the radio signals. This was used in English prisons in an attempt to stop drugs from being smuggled in via drones. However, in an airport, this could also stop important signals getting through. Training eagles to take down drones has also been attempted by the Dutch police. Another possible method is firing nets at the drones.

File photo of aircraft at Gatwick, with the control tower in the foreground.Image: Andy Potter via the Geograph project.

According to The Guardian, most drones can fly for roughly half an hour. The drone sightings at Gatwick continued for hours. The Guardian speculated there might have been multiple drones involved or an operator changing out the battery packs to allow the drone or drones to relaunch quickly. However, the packs take time to recharge, so it would take a large number of packs and effort to operate drones for so long, constantly.

According to The Guardian, despite this short flying time, most drones’ range is mainly limited by signal strength. Some drones are able to fly up to five miles away from the controller. With a big enough budget, drone range is nearly unlimited.

Gatwick airport’s CEO said that he is sorry about the disruption, but must keep the travellers’ safety as the most important thing. He claimed he was working with the police and government to resolve this problem. He said the incident highlighted a weak area in British aviation and drones should not be able to do this much damage.

Prime Minister Theresa May said she “feels for all those passengers” affected. Britain’s transport secretary said that this was an “entirely new kind of threat”.

Gatwick Airport offered a £50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the ongoing investigation. Crimestoppers chair Lord Ashcroft added another £10,000 to the sum.

Drone incidents are increasing in the UK, with the CAA reporting for the year until December 4, 120 incursions of drones into airspace close to other aircraft. This represents a roughly 30% increase from the previous year. 2014, by contrast, had less than ten such occasions. According to Farming UK on Monday, in an incident earlier this year a Tornado jet belonging to the Royal Air Force came within 22m (about 70ft) of an agricultural drone whilst flying at low altitude at over 500mph. The drone was at a 100m (about 330ft) altitude and the incident came to CAA attention after being reported by the farmer.

Also reported earlier this month, in August a Boeing 737 approaching Stansted Airport, which also serves London, came within 15m (about 50ft) of hitting a drone at a 10,000ft altitude. Gatwick, meanwhile, is not the only English airport to face disruption over the Christmas travel period. On Sunday Birmingham Airport closed for two hours due to malfunctioning air traffic control equipment.

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