Archives April 2021

SpaceX scrubs Falcon I rocket launch

Monday, November 28, 2005

SpaceX called off the much-delayed inaugural launch of their new Falcon 1 rocket on Saturday from Kwajalein’s Omelek Island launch site. The intent was to launch the U.S. Air Force Academy’s FalconSat 2 satellite, which will monitor plasma interactions with the Earth’s upper atmosphere and magnetosphere.

The launch was delayed, then finally cancelled after an oxygen boil-off vent had accidentally been left open. The oxygen was unable to cool the helium pressurant, which then proceeded to evaporate faster than it could be replenished. A main computer issue, probably serious enough to cause a scrub on its own, was also discovered.

This long-anticipated flight was originally expected to be launched in January 2005, however a series of setbacks forced a series of delays, with the flight most recently scheduled to be in early 2006. It was intended to be launched from the Kwajalein atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

The maiden voyage was originally intended to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California with a Naval Research Laboratory satellite and a Space Services Incorporated space burial payload.

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CanadaVOTES: NDP candidate David Sparrow in Don Valley West

Friday, October 10, 2008

In an attempt to speak with as many candidates as possible during the 2008 Canadian federal election, Wikinews has talked via email with David Sparrow. Sparrow is a candidate in Ontario’s Don Valley West riding, running under the New Democratic Party (NDP) banner. The riding was set to vote in a by-election on September 22, 2008, following the resignation of John Godfrey, but Stephen Harper’s sudden election call nulled that effort.

Also running in the Toronto riding are Liberal Rob Oliphant, Conservative John Carmichael, Green Georgina Wilcock, and Communist Catherine Holliday.

The following is an interview with Sparrow, conducted via email. The interview is published unedited, as sent to Wikinews.

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Help Your Branding Efforts With Color Postcards

Help Your Branding Efforts With Color Postcards


Kaye Z. Marks

Postcard printing may not be as popular as other branding tools. Nevertheless, this is a good investment to help a branding campaign.


Whatever kind of product or service that you may want to promote, such can actually be easily adapted and customized to present the kind of brand that you want. If you want to give color postcards a go for your branding efforts, then let me give you five essential things that you can do with them to help in branding. Just read the list below and you should see how this kind of custom postcard branding works. 1. Uses in direct mail marketing – postcards have long been used in direct mail marketing. Their nature has in fact contributed to the ease with which visual and text-marketing messages can be communicated through the postal service. You can use this same tool to promote your specific kind of brand to specific consumers. In this way, the best and most responsive people can know your brand and try it out eventually. So if you can invest on this for your branding campaign, use those cards for quick and easy direct mail marketing and branding. 2. Leave at the shop for visibility – You can also use these as an in shop tool for promoting your brand. Many big and small businesses leave their customized cards at their shop for people to just pick up. These materials with branding images tend to be easy style promotional tools that people can digest easily without a second thought. This helps you maintain that brand image in their minds, helping you gain a psychological advantage in sales. The more people pick up those these tools for branding, the more your brand becomes recognized and memorable of course. 3. Give as freebies for customers – using these cards and giving them as freebies to customers. These are great as giveaways since people tend to have many other uses for them. They use such as collectibles, as actual mailing materials or even as bookmarks, collage items or just for plain decoration. By deploying them just like this, you can promote your specific brand quite easily as the readers do the distribution themselves. 4. Sell as novelty items or collectibles – Now, you can also do a one up in your branding efforts by actually selling them as novelty items or collectibles. If you can design a great looking enough full color layout, this can be your way to deliver that brand and still get profits in the matter. All you have to do is to integrate your brand logo and maybe even your brand theme in these novelty designs. This allows you to subtly deliver your branding message in a nice card without really going over-commercial about it. 5. Include in other kits and marketing products – Finally, you can squeeze in your branding postcards in other types of public relations kits and marketing products. This allows you to reinforce your brand image and presence in all your other types of kits and products for a well-rounded and extensive branding campaign. The more your brand is visible, the more it can succeed. This is how you can use your marketing tools to help with your branding efforts. As you can see, postcard printing can be used in a variety of ways and venues to deliver that branding message in a great and cunning manner.

Kaye Z. Marks is an avid writer and follower of the developments in

postcard mailing


postcard printing

that help businesses in their marketing and advertising campaigns.

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Five injured as Adam Air 737 overruns Batam island runway

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

On Monday, five people were injured after a Boeing 737-400, operated by Adam Air, overshot the runway today while landing at Hang Nadim Airport on the island of Batam in Indonesia.

The aircraft skidded 75 metres (245 feet) into a grassy field after touching down in rainy conditions. Damage was done to the right wing, hydraulics and main landing gear. The plane came to rest with the nose in the air and leaning towards the right.

Of the 176 passengers (one source says 174) and crew on board, five passengers required treatment for neck and head injuries.

Adam Suherman, president of the airline, said the plane had skidded 10 metres beyond the extreme end of the runway. He also gave the time of the crash as 10:40 and noted that the plane was currently resting on soft ground.

Suherman gave the registration of the aircraft as PK-KKT. This would make the aircraft the one Boeing gave the serial number 24353 and owned by CIT Group Incorporated.

Adam Air spokesman Danke Drajat described the plane as having been in “good condition” at its last major inspection in December. He suggested the weather condition may be to blame for the crash, the third to strike the budjet carrier in just over a year. On New Year’s Day in 2007 Flight 574 crashed into the sea, leaving 102 missing, presumed dead. The following month the fuselage of Flight 172 cracked in half during a hard landing. Both involved Boeing 737 aircraft.

Pantun Banjarnahor, Hang Nadim Airport’s chief of operations, said that visibility was adequate for a safe landing. The airport was closed for over two hours. It is unclear how many flights were affected.

The National Transportation Safety Committee is investigating.

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Toothpaste fills cavities without drilling

Thursday, February 24, 2005

A paste containing synthetic tooth enamel can seal small cavities without drilling. Kazue Yamagishi and colleagues at the FAP Dental Institute in Tokyo say that the paste can repair small cavities in 15 minutes.

Currently, fillers don’t stick to such small cavities so dentists must drill bigger holes. Hydroxyapatite crystals, of which natural enamel is made, bond with teeth to repair tiny areas of damage.

Yamagishi and colleagues have tested their paste on a lower premolar tooth that showed early signs of decay. They found that the synthetic enamel merged with the natural enamel. The synthetic enamel also appears to make teeth stronger which will improve resistance to future decay. As with drilling, however, there is still the potential for pain: The paste is strongly acidic to encourage crystal growth and causes inflammation if it touches the gums.

The paste is reported in the journal Nature.

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Bank of England governor warns housing market is biggest threat to UK economy

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has warned that the state of the housing market in the United Kingdom is the current biggest domestic threat to the country’s economy, due to lack of house building, and regulatory issues.

In an interview to be aired on Sky News today, he said the housing market is the “biggest risk” to the economy and has “deep, deep structural problems”. Of house building he said: “There are not sufficient houses built in the UK. To go back to Canada, there are half as many people in Canada as in the UK, twice as many houses are built every year in Canada as in the UK and we can’t influence that.”

“We’re not going to build a single house at the Bank of England. We can’t influence that. What we can influence […] is whether the banks are strong enough. Do they have enough capital against risk in the housing market?”

Carney also said the Bank of England would look into the procedures used to issue loans and mortgages to see if they were being granted appropriately: “We’d be concerned if there was a rapid increase in high loan-to-value mortgages across the banks. We’ve seen that creeping up and it’s something we’re watching closely.”

Kris Hopkins responded to Carney on behalf of the government, saying the government “inherited a broken housing market, but our efforts to fix it are working”. “We’ve scrapped the failed top-down planning system, built over 170,000 affordable homes and released more surplus brownfield sites for new housing. We’ve also helped homebuyers get on the housing ladder, because if people can buy homes builders will build them. Housebuilding is now at its highest level since 2007 and climbing. Last year councils gave permission for almost 200,000 new homes under the locally-led planning system and more than 1,000 communities have swiftly taken up neighbourhood planning. It’s clear evidence the government’s long-term economic plan is working.”

Earlier this month, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development called on the UK government to “tighten” access to the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme introduced by George Osborne and the coalition government in 2013. ‘Help to Buy’ has also recently been criticised by three former Chancellors of the Exchequer — the Conservatives Norman Lamont and Nigel Lawson, and former Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling. Darling said: “Unless supply can be increased substantially, we will exacerbate that situation with schemes like Help to Buy.”

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Using Electronic Muscle Stimulation Systems To Prevent Muscle Atrophy

By Amy Nutt

Electronic muscle stimulators, or EMS devices, are electronic devices that stimulate the muscles. Many bodybuilders use them to speed up muscle repair after a strenuous workout. When they have worked out hard, they get microscopic tears in their muscles and it is the healing of those tears that allows their muscle mass to grow. This would explain why EMS systems are commonly used in preventing muscle atrophy in those who are physically disabled.

For a person who has a disease or has been in an accident that prohibits them from using certain muscles, those muscles will begin to deteriorate over time. You may notice someone with atrophy in their legs have legs that are smaller than they should be. This is because the muscle is deteriorating away. Along with that muscle mass goes the strength. Although they may not be able to use the atrophied muscles anyway, it is healthier to prolong or altogether prevent the atrophy from occurring.

Other reasons to prevent atrophy


Another reason in which EMS systems are used to prevent muscle atrophy is the fact that there have been medical breakthroughs that have enabled individuals who have not been able to use their muscles for years to suddenly use them. People who could not so much as stand are standing, so it was important to keep the muscles stimulated. Even if there is no hope of a person being able to utilize those muscles, they still need to be stimulated since medical breakthroughs are happening every single day. One just never knows when they’re going to be notified of a new development, so their muscles have to be primed and ready to go.

How an EMS system works

EMS systems involve having more than one electrode placed upon the skin. From there, small electronic pulses are emitted, usually by the push of a button. These pulses cause the muscles to contract. The contraction is similar to what is received when exercising. This is the very contraction that is needed to keep the muscles stimulated. It is true that an EMS system can’t be connected all of the time, but it is great to have that available at a certain point or at points during the day to make sure the muscles get that bit of “exercise” that they need.

As for the effectiveness, EMS systems are quite effective, which is why so many individuals own them for various different reasons. As stated before, bodybuilders own them to help them in their bodybuilding routines. There are even some who use them to relieve muscle pain. The best way to relieve pain is by stimulating the muscle so that it can heal. If you’ve ever heard the saying, “Work it out,” then you understand how an EMS system can do this. These are all reasons why doctors prescribe them to be used for those with such conditions as Muscular Dystrophy, for paraplegics, and for those who have encountered severe injuries that have resulted in severe muscle damage.

Luckily, EMS systems are not an incredibly high investment. Many individuals are able to afford them and every individual can invest in the device that fits their particular needs. Certain ones give off a certain voltage, are different colors, different sizes, come with more or less electrodes, etc. Some may come with one type of electrode while others come with electrodes specially designed for different areas of the body. But again, they are not very expensive, making EMS systems an easily accessible treatment method for anyone. Anyone with a muscle disorder or injury should invest in an EMS system to improve the quality of their life and to keep up a healthy appearance.

About the Author: Tone-A-Matic offers top quality electronic muscle stimulators to supplement your regular workout program without putting stress on your joints, lower back or neck and shoulders.


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Short-haired bumblebees reintroduced to UK

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A small population of Bombus subterraneus, the short-haired bumblebee, was reintroduced to the UK yesterday. The bee was declared extinct in Britain in 2000.

Around 100 queen bees were captured from Skåne, Sweden after the Nordic nation gave the go-ahead. After quarantine, around half of these were rejected to avoid introducing parasites alongside the bees. The rest have been released into a nature reserve in Dungeness, England.

“We’ve screened for four different parasite species,” explains biologist Dr Mark Brown of the University of London, where the bees spent two weeks at Royal Holloway. The parasites “can all damage bees in different ways.”

Work has been ongoing at Dungeness for years, establishing flowers the bees are known to like in meadows at the site, which, although rural, lies at the heart of an industrial area. Habitat loss is blamed for the bees’ extinction in the UK, with more intensive farming methods destroying meadows. South Sweden has less intensive farming, allowing the Swedish population to thrive. A normal survival rate of 20–30% is expected.

Organisations including the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Natural England, and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) are involved in funding the project, with the reserve itself belonging to the RSPB.

The bees were last seen in Dungeness in the 1980s. The same spot lost the shrill carder bee at around the same time, but shrill carder bees have recently been rediscovered there.

It is the second attempt to reintroduce short-haired bumblebees to Britain, after an effort in 2009 using bees removed from New Zealand. British bees were introduced to New Zealand to aid pollination before they were threatened. The bees died in the UK and tests established they had low genetic diversity. There are plans to add more bees to the Dungeness programme to increase genetic diversity there.

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Explosives pass security checks in Slovakia, arrive in Ireland in failed test

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A failed test of security at Slovakia’s Poprad airport resulted in a 49 year-old man unknowingly carrying plastic explosives from Slovakia to Dublin, Ireland. The explosives were concealed so well that the man did not find them when he unpacked his bag at his apartment.

On Saturday, Slovak authorities planted contraband in passengers’ luggage at Poprad’s Poprad-Tatry Airport without the knowledge of passengers. Seven of the eight items were recovered, while an eighth made its way to an apartment in Dublin. Slovak authorities realised on Tuesday that one package of explosives were missing and notified Irish authorities who searched the man’s apartment.

During the search, parts of Dublin’s inner-suburbs were sealed off and evacuated causing disruption to residents and businesses. At the apartment authorities found the package and arrested the man under anti-terrorism laws; he was later released without charge after it was established he was innocent.

The man, a Slovakian electrician had been living in Ireland for some time. He was holidaying in Slovakia over Christmas.

Ireland’s Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform issued a statement saying, “Following contact earlier today from the Slovakian authorities with the Airport Police at Dublin Airport, members of the Garda Síochána have recovered a small quantity of explosive material from the luggage of a passenger who had flown into Dublin from that country on Saturday last.”

The package contained 90 grams (3 ounces) of the plastic explosive RDX, also known as cyclonite or hexogen. According to Commandant Gavin Young, a spokesperson for the Irish Defense Forces, “On their own, this type of explosive does need to be combined with other elements to make it into a bomb, but obviously this type of high-grade explosive is potentially extremely dangerous.”

Slovakia’s Minister for the Interior Robert Kalinak has apologized to Irish Justice Minister Dermot Ahern over the incident and expressed his “profound regret”. Irish authorities are now investigating the incident and the government has ordered for a full report to be delivered.

The Irish Opposition has expressed concern about the incident. Labour Party spokesman Joe Costello said “This incident led to the closure of roads in the area, the evacuation of businesses and the lives and safety of residents could have been put at risk. We also need to know what protest the government is going to make about this breach of our security.”

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Moscow experiences the snowiest winter in 100 years

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Moscow authorities confirmed they recorded the highest level of snowfall this winter in the capital city of Russia in 100 years. Recent heavy snow has produced major traffic jams since Monday. The traffic stopped in queues up to 20 km long. The weather caused bad visibility and icy roads. The airport services were not affected until late Monday, when the authorities had to divert even the prime minister Dmitry Medvedev’s plane heading from Sochi. The plane landed safely in St. Petersburg and had to wait for better conditions.

The record amount of this winter’s snow was confirmed by the Moscow city hall officer Pyotr Biryukov. He said more than two meters of snow have fallen from sky on Moscow since the beginning of the winter.

The traffic analyst Leonid Mednikov estimated the total length of the traffic jams queues as being up to 3,500 kilometers. The most affected streets included arterial roads: the Volokolamsk highway, the Andropov Avenue and the Kutuzovsky Avenue, as well as the Moscow Ring Road and several highways in the city outskirts. Many Muscovites spent up to 10 hours in cars on their way home from their jobs.

Congestion of this sort is not unusual in Moscow: the last similar incident occurred just two weeks ago, although the authorities of the city deployed thousands of snow-clearing machines to handle the snow. More snow is expected in February and March.

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