Millions of old New Zealand coins still to be handed in

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

On November 1, 2006 the old five, ten, twenty and fifty cent coins will be illegal tender, but the Reserve Bank of New Zealand says there are still at least 100 million still to be returned.

According to the Reserve Bank, most of the old coins have been lost in drains or buried in rubbish. “We think there is still another 100 million sitting around in people’s homes,” Brian Lang, currency manger for the Reserve Bank, said.

Lang said: “So far, just over 280 million coins have been returned, but there are more out there. Since 1967 the Reserve Bank has issued more than a billion of the old ‘silver’ coins. So if you don’t want to be stuck with loads of old coin – there’s never been a better time to empty your coin jars, sweep the car glove box and rummage behind the couch cushions.”

The coins still awaiting to be handed in, by either spending them, taking them to a bank or donating them to charity, are estimated to be worth between NZ$5 million and $50 million.

“A last-minute burst of publicity may convince people to bring the coins in. It’s a bit of a hassle though. Human nature being what it is, people just don’t care,” Lang said. The Karori Wildlife Sanctuary located in Wellington say that they have collected over $9,000 in old coins. Sanctuary spokesman, Alan Dicks said: “The campaign was particularly fitting because the old coins depicted tuataras and kiwis, both of which can be found living at the sanctuary. The money will go towards supporting general ecological restoration of the sanctuary. We want to get over ten grand, but the more the better.”

Lang said: “Though the coins will no longer be legal tender, banks will continue to exchange them until at least the end of the year,” and the Reserve Bank will always exchange them. “We are still getting people coming in with two-dollar notes,” Lang added.

 

A Few Facts About The Apartments In London

London is the most prime destination of UK and takes pride in being one of the greatest cities of the world. Being a financial center London has been the prime center where a large number of people come and stay from all over the world. London has been home to regional populations who have permanent residence over here and are quite wealthy. On the other hand there is a high demand for rental property especially from the businessmen and employees of multinational companies. Apart from this, London has some of the finest universities of the world drawing a large number of affluent families from all over the world who buy or rent property and homes for the purpose of higher education of their children. Therefore, the apartments in London have always been in great demand. Moreover, more and more people in UK are buying real estates and apartments in London as an investment.

A few facts about the apartments in London:

  • Compared to existing demand the numbers of apartments are falling short in London. Due to shortage of land in the city the number of such residences in London is getting higher than the number of houses. With a large number of overseas investors buying the apartments in London these homes are in high demand. And this ever increasing demand for them in London is sure to lead to a strong growth of property in the coming years.

  • According to estimation the average property value in the UK is likely to increase by 27% by 2015, with London having the greatest gains of 35%. And this surge results from shortage of new houses and apartments.

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  • In comparison with previous prices the London apartments are already receiving excess price offers and this is much higher than even the pick market of 2007. The houses and apartments in London in excellent locations with all the mandatory criteria have received a rise of at least 10% to 12% than before.

  • The rapid growth in property prices is encouraging more and more existing homeowners of London to put their homes for sale. On the other hand, this comes as a concern to those investors and buyers, who for the first time may find it crucial to take the first plunge into real estate venture.

  • However, it is a matter of hope for the buyers that various housing schemes in London are selling growing number of apartments at affordable rates. More than 10,000 such new apartments and houses will be sold at reasonable prices through various housing initiatives and financial support will also be provided by the Homes and Communities Agency.

  • Since the waiting list for houses is really long what it needs most is construction of more apartments including affordable units by enabling the house builders. Apart from building more number of homes, it is also necessary to hand over decision-making power to the local authorities.

This is the time when outdated planning laws need to be altered to get the job done without constraint. Whereas, lots and lots of apartments need to be built to meet the demand for accommodation, low interest rates and affordable prices are also vital to make an apartment in London available for common people.

Article Source: sooperarticles.com/home-improvement-articles/landscaping-articles/few-facts-about-apartments-london-815756.html

About Author:

Rowan Saunders is a real estate advisor who has been in this field for fifteen years by now. He has a thorough knowledge of real estate market trend in UK and the latest developments in this field. He has written a number of articles and blogs on real estate market. His study helps us to understand the current real estate market scenario in UK. Author: David Hopes

 

Bull fighting banned in Catalonia

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The parliament of Catalonia, an autonomous region of Spain, today voted to outlaw bullfighting – an iconic sport in much of the country. The vote was held after animal rights activists, led by Catalonian animal rights group Prou! (Catalan for “Enough!”), who claim the practice is “barbaric”, collected 180,000 signatures to a petition.

In other areas, such as Portugal and southern France, the bulls, which are specially bred for fighting, are not killed in the ring.

The ban, which passed with a 68–55 majority and nine abstentions, will come into force in Catalonia in January 2012, making the region the first place in mainland Spain to outlaw the practice. Supporters of the practice claim that it is an art form which forms an important part of the Spanish culture, and fear that the ban could be the first of many in Spain. They also say that many jobs would be lost as a result of the ban, with estimates that it could cost €300 million in lost revenue.

Both the main parties in the Catalan parliament took the unusual step of allowing their members a free vote in the debate, which saw high emotions on both sides. The debate was officially over the animal welfare concerns; however, many believe that the underlying issue of Catalan nationalism played a significant part in the outcome. Some expressed the opinion that Catalonia, which, while officially part of Spain, has its own language and flag, was attempting to distinguish itself from the rest of Spain by outlawing one of its most famous traditions.

 

On the campaign trail in the USA, October 2016

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The following is the sixth and final edition of a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2016 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after an overview of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail: the Free & Equal Foundation holds a presidential debate with three little-known candidates; three additional candidates give their final pleas to voters; and past Wikinews interviewees provide their electoral predictions ahead of the November 8 election.

Contents

  • 1 Summary
  • 2 Free & Equal Debate
  • 3 Final pleas
  • 4 Predictions
  • 5 Related articles
  • 6 Sources
 

Iconic London mural could be restored

Monday, September 20, 2010

One of London’s most well known murals could be restored after years of neglect if plans by a group of community activists gain public support. The Fitzrovia Mural at Whitfield Gardens on London’s Tottenham Court Road was created by two mural artists and commissioned by Camden Council in 1980, but the mural has since decayed and been vandalised.

Plans will be presented at a public meeting this Tuesday, to include details of the restoration and promote local public space in contrast to potential commercial developments and the focus of the London 2012 Olympics. If enough funds are raised from charitable trusts and public donations the mural could be restored during the summer of 2011.

Plans to be put forward by the Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association, and the London Mural Preservation Society, will present ways to fund not only the restoration work but also projects to raise awareness of conservation, heritage, and the residential and working community. The heritage and mural project hopes to involve many local people who could learn new conservation skills. Also planned are workshops with local children to involve them in their heritage, an exhibition by local artists, guided tours and a celebratory event at the end of the restoration project. In addition to this, a booklet would be produced containing collected oral histories of the people involved and a preservation trust to protect the mural in future years.

The playful painting was created on a Camden Council-owned building in 1980 by artists Mick Jones, (son of the late Jack Jones, trade union leader) and Simon Barber and is a mash up of scenes depicting problems faced by the neighbourhood over the preceding decade.

There is also a caricature of poet Dylan Thomas, who lived in Fitzrovia, and a mocking portrayal of then leader of the Greater London Council, Conservative politician Horace Cutler, who is pictured as a bat-like creature. Other characters include an anonymous greedy developer and a property speculator counting piles of cash.

Peter Whyatt of the neighbourhood association is jointly leading the project to restore the mural. Yesterday he told Wikinews he had a number of concerns about the possible success of the project.

“There are a great number of problems with getting this project off the ground and we also need to act pretty quickly for a number of reasons,” said Mr Whyatt.

“Firstly the mural is in a terrible state and deteriorating quickly. There is more graffiti being daubed on the site every month because one bit of graffiti attracts another bit. We really need to start the work in the next 12 months because going through another winter with the condition of the wall will causes more problems and inevitably more expense. We want to keep as much original artwork on the site as possible to keep the costs down. This is a big mural and it will be expensive to restore,” he continued.

“And that brings me to my second concern: cost. If we don’t get other community organisations on board to bid for money for this with us and to involve their beneficiaries and volunteers, it will be very difficult to secure the money needed. Money is very tight at the moment because to the current financial climate. We need to get support at this meeting on Tuesday and some firm commitments from people and organisations to get involved.

“Lastly there is a danger of a commercial development on the site. A public-private partnership to create a new art feature. Because of the existing mural’s subject matter – it mocks property speculators, and land developers, etc – a commercial scheme probably backed by a property developer would not want to restore the mural’s original message. They’d want some “good news” scheme, some greenwash idea that paints them in a positive light.

“However, despite these problems, Camden Council have offered to do a condition survey on the mural. This will save us a lot of money. But having said that there are five council departments to deal with to get permission for this restoration work, and they don’t always talk to each other.

“But if the public and local voluntary organisations show their support, we can make it happen,” Mr Whyatt concluded.

The mural restoration will be just one part of a year long project of heritage and conservation awareness-raising. “The project is not just about the mural but also wider plans to promote awareness of heritage and conservation in an area of London under threat from commercial development. In fact the bulk of the project is about the heritage and conservation and the mural is just one part of it, and the most visible because of its situation,” Mr Whyatt later added.

There will be a public meeting about the heritage and mural project at 7.30 pm tomorrow (Tuesday), at the Neighbourhood Centre, 39 Tottenham Street. The public can also comment about the proposals on the Fitzrovia Heritage and Mural website.

 

Service held in Nova Scotia on tenth anniversary of Swissair crash that killed 229

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A memorial service has been held in Nova Scotia, Canada to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Swissair Flight 111 disaster. None of the 229 people on board survived the aircraft’s impact with the sea on September 2, 1998.

Hundreds of search and rescue personnel and local fishermen were mobilised after the crash in St. Margaret’s Bay near Halifax to recover fragments of both the aircraft and the victims. The state of the human remains was such that identifying them resulted in what would remain the largest DNA identification operation up until the World Trade Centre collapsed.

At the ceremony, attended by around 100 people, 229 heart-shaped stones crafted from beach rocks and simply decorated with painted stars flowers and hearts were available for the mourners to take and place at the foot of the memorial at Bayswater, one for each of the 229 names upon the granite monument. Many flowers were also laid there.

The aircraft was a wide-bodied jet which had departed John F.Kennedy International Airport in New York at 8:18 p.m. 53 minutes after takeoff pilot Urs Zimmerman and co-pilot Stephan Loew smelt smoke in the cockpit and within three more minutes smoke was visible. The plane, by then in Canadian airspace, tried to reach Halifax Airport but never made it, hitting the water at around 9:31 p.m. at 350 mph (563 kph).

The cause of the disaster was determined to be highly flammable insulating foam, which caught light after an arcing electrical wire triggered a small fire. The fire was ferocious enough to destroy critical power cables, leaving the aircraft uncontrollable.

The investigation was one of aviation’s costliest and most complicated, costing the Transportation Safety Bureau of Canada $60 million. The TSB produced 23 recommendations to prevent a recurance of the disaster, but only five have been implemented in the decade since the crash, including some flammable material restrictions and electrical safety improvements.

Several people at the hour-long multi-faith ceremony complained at the perceived lack of action. “How come after 10 years we are hearing reports that only five of some 20 recommendations for airplanes have been carried out? What has gone wrong with the bureaucracy – the inertia for that?” asked Rabbi David Ellis. John Butt, who headed the identification effort as Nova Scotia’s chief medical examiner at the time, said it was ‘disappointing’ that action had not been taken and that it was “not very good to think about flying in an aircraft when you know recommendations have been made about the standards of safety and they haven’t been adopted.”

TSB member Jonathan Seymour was also critical of the lack of action, particularly on the US Federal Aviation Administration‘s part. “It’s just that obviously after 10 years you would have hoped that things would have moved on quite significantly further than they have. It’s frustrating that we’re still that far away from where we might want to be after 10 years,” he said.

 

One dead in ski chairlift accident in Switzerland

Thursday, January 3, 2008

At 12:50 pm on January 3, a ski chairlift ride cost a German skier’s life and another German woman was left with serious injuries after the lift cable derailed from the mast sheaves in a windstorm. The derailed chairlift is the two-seater Fallboden lift at Kleine Scheidegg, next to the Jungfrau mountain in Switzerland.

Two more Australian tourists were lightly injured. About 20 further people had to be evacuated from the stopped chairlift. Wind velocity peaking at 90km/h prevented a helicopter from rescuing the trapped passengers, complicating the rescue.

According to 20min.ch, the lift was manufactured by Garaventa AG, a major Swiss ski lift company, now a part of an international group Doppelmayr/Garaventa. When contacted no one was available for comment.

Shortly before the accident, a wind alarm was activated few times by a 60km/h wind. The operator decided to close the lift and waited for the lift to unload all passengers; at the moment of the catastrophe the bottom station of the lift was already closed, but 75 passengers were still on the lift.

According to the Swiss law, every chair lift must be designed to withstand a lateral wind load of 250 newtons (approx. 25kg) per square meter. However there is no law limit at which wind speed or lateral loads the chair lifts have to be stopped. This safety aspect is left to the responsibility of the operator. The safety of the lift was checked by the Swiss Federal Office of Transport in January 2006. This chairlift accident is said to be the worst in Switzerland for the last 8 years.

 

New York tour bus crash kills 14

 Correction — March 15, 2011 The destination of the bus was in Manhattan, not Uncasville as stated in the article. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

At least fourteen people have died after a chartered bus crashed in The Bronx, New York. According to authorities, the tour bus accident also injured eighteen other people, amongst which five were critically injured.

The vehicle was travelling from Mohegan Sun in Connecticut to the village of Uncasville, also located in Connecticut. When the crash occurred on Interstate 95 at approximately 0535 EST (1035 UTC) on Sunday, there were at least thirty-one passengers present.

40-year-old Ophadell Williams, the driver of the bus, reported to the police that the vehicle came into contact with a semi-trailer truck, which was veering across the interstate. He said that he attempted to move out of the way of this vehicle, causing the bus itself to swerve, overturn and scrape the side of a railing for one hundred yards before impacting with a highway sign’s upholding bar.

Captain James Ellson, of the fire service, described the scene as “a pile of humans, either still in their seats or on the floor, wrapped in the metal”. Jose Hernandez, one of the survivors of the bus crash, said that “[w]e tried to help people, but there was twisted metal in the way”.

The semi-trailer truck driver failed to stop after the accident. Police are currently attempting to detect this driver. Raymond Kelly, the current New York City Police Commissioner, stated that the truck was moving on a lane to the bus’ nearside, although whether the vehicles came into contact with each other or not is yet to be confirmed. Both vehicles were travelling at “a significant rate of speed”, according to Kelly.

 

Led Light Kits Their Use Inside The Home

By Barrie Newton

What are LED lights?

Originally, these were small round lights, often fitting into wooden decking, by drilling through a small hole, and pushed in, to give a small light in the surface of the decking. Although they are not impressive during the day, at night they give a delightful effect. They can be stood on, last a very long time, and use very little electricity. They are operated from (usually) a 12V supply, plugged into the mains.

They are now available in sizes ranging typically from 15mm to 90mm, square as well as round, in white, blue, red, green and colour changing. They are now considerably brighter than originally. While they are still used for decking and other garden installations, they can also be used to stunning effect in a variety of locations inside the home. Single LED lamps will become the next generation of low energy lighting. They are already taking over from compact fluorescents for certain applications, although they are still not as bright as these on a cost comparison basis.

Some ideas for indoor locations for LED lights

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LED lights can be inserted into any ceiling. Drill a hole in the plasterboard (taking care to avoid joists) and just push the light through, the same as if you were pushing it into decking. You can fit any number of LED lights in this way. Each will look like a flush fitting spot of light in the ceiling. The effect is the same as fibre optic lights give, but at a fraction of the cost. Each light will have its cable coming from it, and these are all plugged into one or more junction boxes, in the loft above. The junction box(es) then plug into a power supply, which must be plugged into mains socket. If the socket is installed in the loft, it can be switched remotely, using a wall switch or pull cord switch in bathrooms. (Remember to follow local electricity regulations). It is often convenient to leave them on permanently as they use little electricity.

Bathroom ceilings are particularly suitable for LED lights, often used alongside the lighting already there, such as halogen downlighters. If the LED lights are left on all night, there is usually sufficient lighting to not need any other lighting if you get up during the night. This avoids you being blinded by bright light, which is only needed for such things as shaving, make-up, etc. Furthermore, if the main lighting is fitted to pull cord dimmer switch, stunning effects can be created by dimming the main lighting with the LED lighting on. A few candles as well give a really relaxing ambience, for a soak in the bath. I prefer blue LED lights in bathrooms, but other colours, or colour changing ones can be used.

Kitchens are also suitable locations for such lights. They can be mounted in the ceiling as above, under wall cupboards or in plinths.

Other locations include stairs, to illuminate the steps, skirting boards, plate racks, glass fronted cabinets, fire surrounds, etc. You can probably think of more, to suit your particular house. If it is difficult to drill through, very slim surface mounting fittings are also available. Colour changing kits are often preferred in these environments. They have a control box, which can be set to give fast or slow colour changes, be frozen on one colour, or be sound activated.

They are also ideal for low level all night or emergency lighting (they can work of a 12V battery instead of the power supply). I have been asked in the past to design lighting for elderly peoples’ bedrooms, where they can see if they have to get up in the night, without fumbling for a light switch. PIR detectors, to switch on the room lights are unsuitable, because any movement of the person in bed would switch them on. Low level LED lighting is ideal. It can be left on all the time, with very little electricity consumption, and minimum background light to disturb sleep. Such a system would also be suitable for children’s rooms. A dusk to dawn photocell could be incorporated as well.

In conclusion, stunning effects can be obtained with LED lighting, the electricity consumption is very low, the lifetime of LED lights is very high and it can be useful for emergency lighting as well.

All the kits described in this article can be found on the links below.

About the Author: Barrie Newton is the owner of Rhyl Lightworks Co. see:

thelightworks.net

Some of the lighting kits described here can be found at:

thelightworks.net/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=29_40&sort=20a&page=1

and:

thelightworks.net/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=49

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=219185&ca=Home+Management

 

Chinese animator Te Wei dies at age 95

Friday, February 5, 2010

Chinese animator Te Wei has died at the age of 95 in Shanghai.

The cause of death was announced as respiratory failure. Wei was known for his traditional style of art.

Born in 1915 as Sheng Song, Wei was classed as one of the founders of Chinese animation. He worked in animation for several decades and won several awards for his work. He has the credit of being the only Chinese artist to be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Animated Film Association.

During the Cultural Revolution of China, Wei was not permitted to carry on with his work.

One of his best works was the short animated film The Conceited General in 1956. Other notable works include Where is Mama, The Cowboy’s Flute and Feeling from Mountain and Water.