Beauty and the Beast

WHEN you have two vehicles called Yeti and Grand Cherokee, you tend to know that you are not dealing with city runabouts. However, while these two vehicles -- from Skoda and Jeep respectively -- are at either end of the SUV concept, they both come laden with extras that make a feather-bedded softie out of Marlboro Man.The Yeti is an extraordinary able and well-built vehicle that goes under the "crossover" tag to appeal to both the country set and the urban family. In its brochure, it is pictured in 4x4 form perched on a rocky hillside overlooking a lake; while two pages later, it strikes a pose of urban coolness on a city street. I make no secret of the fact that it is one of my favourite cars launched in the past couple of years and it seems my feelings are strongly echoed in Britain. Last week, it was announced that in the Which Car survey of 52,563 people, Skoda came out top as the 'Most Satisfying Brand to Own'.The Czech manufacturer, which is controlled by the VW group, scored a top-ranked satisfaction rating of 88.4 per cent, putting it ahead of every other car manufacturer in the survey.As well as being named the overall most satisfying brand, four Skoda models made it into the survey's top 10 products -- the multi-award winning Yeti (4th); the flagship Superb Estate (6th); and two generations of the Superb Hatch (9th and 10th). All of them achieved approval scores higher than 94 per cent -- an exceptional performance. The top car was the version of the Toyota Yaris Verso built between 2000 and 2005.Here, Skoda has steadily increased its share of the market, achieving a record 5.6 per cent share in 2010 with a stated goal to become a Top Five bestselling car brand by 2016.So there was probably an understandable bit of smugness around as I drove the Yeti in its Greenline version until early last week. With the Greenline, Skoda has done everything to save consumption and better CO2 emissions from modifying aerodynamics, lowering the chassis, fitting lower resistance tyres, installing a start-stop system, introducing brake energy and regeneration and saving weight by ditching the spare wheel. It has paid off by now giving between 60 and 70mpg and cutting emissions so that the Yeti falls into the €104 road tax band.It also means that a Yeti Greenline with its 1.6TDi engine and the very top spec is available for €26,235. True, you will be working the gear lever hard to make fast progress and it is only in 2WD but it is a lovely, safe and very responsible car in a compact but very useful body. It evokes some of the same feelings I had when I first drove the Subaru Forester. While it doesn't have the same AWD ability of the Subaru, it does have the same fetching blend of practicality and style.I shuddered a bit when I was told that I would be driving the Jeep Grand Cherokee rather than the much smaller Jeep Compass as arranged. For some time I have been keeping the test of the Toyota Landcruiser at bay as really I don't have much use for such beasts in my day-to-day driving.The Grand Cherokee totally dominated my garage and pushed the household's Hyundai i10 into a far corner between a pile of old takeaway coffee cups and the hedge trimmer. It might be a beast of a machine, but inside it goes out of its way to pamper with every possible aid and comfort. It is also massively powerful, with a three-litre TDi V6 e engine, which will power you to 100km in just over eight seconds. Yet it also comes in at the other end of the emission and consumption chart. Road tax is 10 times that of the Yeti and there's even a massive Overland version with road tax double that again at €2k.For all its comfort and power, the Grand Cherokee is a bit ungainly when cornering at any reasonable speed. There are settings for taking it across mud, rock and other surfaces at which I'm sure it will do the job very well. If it doesn't, you can always set up home in the vehicle.There won't be many Grand Cherokees sold. There are more efficient vehicles with better dynamics out there. Yet there is something rather reassuring about its very existence. It plays to our love of the pioneering spirit, and climbing into it is like mounting a horse and leading a wagon train to new frontiers. When I drove it down to Avondale in Co Wicklow, I felt I wanted to power through the forest and across the river rather than politely park in the car park and walk up to Parnell's one-time home.I don't have €60,000 for it either but at a lot less than half that, the Yeti could be a distinct possibility.Sunday Independent

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Coffee Cups Price
1. Absorbing heat from unlikely placesThis is more or less how a modern refrigerator works.Sea water, even though cold, still contains 'some' energy, and that energy, in theory, can be captured through Convection. Put simply, certain fluids and gases are capable of absorbing heat energy really well, thus cooling down the environment around them by extracting their heat. Refrigerators do this with gases like Chloro-fluoro-carbons (CFCs, in the old days when we didn't care about climate change) and more recently, tetrafluoroethane.Once the gas has absorbed the heat, it is transferred to heat sinks like radiators (which used to be on the back of old fridges) to dissipate. In your creature however, it transfers through the body in a circulatory system, like arteries & veins, or the lymphatic system. In point of fact, the lymphatic system would probably be ideal to extend to this unique heat & energy distribution model.Once you have the heat, how that transfers to energy that the body can use isn't that hard to imagine; ultimately while it's hard to envisage, that's what most creatures do when they eat; they release the stored chemical energy for their own needs. In this case, the energy is absorbed directly from the environment through an exotic form of gas or fluid instead. If your creature used this heat to create its own chemical energy stores, pretty much like a plant does with photosynthesis, then you don't even really have to mess too much with exotic biology beyond refrigerant gases.The key problem with this model is that most of these refrigerant gases are toxic or at the very least, damaging to the environment. But, it's possible that a creature could evolve such a gas in their system that acts like a form of refrigesynthesis, drawing heat from the outer (already) cold environment, and you could still use the even colder water as a weapon like you describe. Given that you're already doing this in water, you could even put some of it aside to use to generate the carbohydrates and oxygen you need for your creature to survive------2. User tasks vs. user goals?User goal is a final state which user strives. To get the goal user should perform some tasks (user tasks).How different it could be to satisfy user tasks vs user goals? Offline: car rental company.Online: coffee machine selling site.task is to choose and buy coffee mashine easily.Solution: machines comparison functionality, ordering by price functionality, easy payment procedure.goal is to have a cup of coffee every morning.Solution: in addition to buying task provide also set of recipes of making great coffee and coffee delivering service or so.Also an example of tasks vs goals is in Norman's article.So, goals is more high level comparing to tasks. And tasks are ways to reach the goal. More frequently we think in terms of tasks, that limits ourselfs or our users. To switch from tasks to goals you can use very simple but extremely useful 5 whys technique.------3. A question about full pure mappingI will be honest. I am not a mathematician. However, consider the unit circle centered at (x,y,z) (0,0,1). Form the unit sphere centered at the same point. The question becomes, "Is there a surjective map from the unit circle (the equator of the unit sphere) onto the complex plane containing (0,0,0)?"I don't know, do you? Allowing the compactification of unit sphere stereographically projected onto the entire complex plane by adding the point at infinity is a common placebo offered to cover the infinite potential of the North Pole. However, your question is about mappings of unit circles onto the complex plane. The Great Circles of the unit sphere passing through the North Pole are unit circles. Allowing the North Pole to be mapped onto the point at infinity, perhaps it is clear every stereographic projection of such Unit Circles gets mapped surjectively onto the complex plane.I am a mathematical economist, knowing little of mathematics. Perhaps this and ten cents will buy you a cup of coffee (pre-inflation prices). Sorry, I truly hope this helps------4. How secure is zero confirmations?Accepting zero-confirmation transactions today is not safe: Especially, with the full blocks of late, it is almost trivial to double-spend.Only accepting the first seen transaction for the same inputs and discarding double-spending transactions had been a policy that made zero-confirmation viable for a while. However, it merely being a suggested policy, it had not been followed by all mining pools for some time.Now, some clients also relay double-spending transactions, in order to make double-spend attempts more visible, which in turn however helps double-spend attempts to spread through the network, therefore enabling their success.Successful attacks have been performed by sending one transaction with low mining-priority due to "dust/low-fee/reused-address/large-size/etc." paying the merchant, then, even after receiving the goods, to send a normal transaction. The payment to the merchant will not get picked up quickly, especially with fairly full blocks, while the normal transaction gets picked up eventually by some mining pool that doesn't enforce the "first-seen transaction policy". See Simon Green on Bitcoin-Dev-Mailinglist: Significant losses by double-spending unconfirmed transactionsFrom what I have been reading, this has already caused e.g. Shapeshift, BitPay, and Coinbase trouble for accepting zero-confirmation transactions.With full blocks, some clients relaying doublespending transactions, and miners choosing highest fee, it is easy to doublespend. Do not accept zero-confirmation transactions.**If a transaction pays a good fee and is highly relayable/minable, it may be safe, but you definitely need to check.------5. Should I make tea for everyone in my open plan office? closedThere's no standard practice for this as workplace habits depend on several factors:As your main worry seems to be making a wrong impression in a new environment, the best strategy is to observe what your colleagues are doing and emulate them. As long as you didn't end up in a toxic environment or among your company's social rejects you shouldn't ever run into any problems doing that.Aside from that, you would generally draw the line based on how much of your own time you're wasting. You presumably weren't hired as a tea brewer so it's not your job to spend an hour a day making tea, even if it saves your coworkers 5 hours. So it would be fine to make a pot of tea rather than individual bags but you wouldn't start serving individual cups, unless that's how you see your colleagues behave and everyone pitches in equally------6. When would you want to model a derivative?Where wouldn't you need it? Almost all natural laws involve derivatives (it's almost always "rate of change equals something expressed with physical quantities"). I won't start enumerating too many things because we could just list everything, from rates of price changes in retail, dynamics of stock markets, measurements of population growth, disease outbreaks, and of course everything you ever heard of in physics and engineering.However, because numerical derivative immensely increases noise, it's rarely done this way unless you need to. If you have a model, it's easier to fit to the original data points (not the derivative). Numerical differentiation is used when you have real-time data and you are not waiting for the entire measurement to complete, and when there is no global law you are fitting to (things change dynamically). Most of the examples above are of this type (there's no model function that predicts the curve).Another a bit different situation is also, that there is an unknown offset in data that you really don't want to deal with and isn't really important for your measurement. If your sensor is giving out something like $g(t)af(t)b$ and $b$ is the bogus signal when it should be zero, and $f(t)$ is what you actually wanted to measure, then differentiation gets rid of the offset. For instance, dividing two different signals that measure the same process (so $f(t)$ should be the same), then $g_1(t)/g_2(t)$ won't give you anything userful, but the derivatives $g'_1(t)/g'_2(t)a_1/a_2$ which tells you the ratio of multipliers.Real-time differentiation is common in electronics: when you move past a sensor that automatically turns on the light on your porch, it is observing the rate of change in the reflected light intensity, because it only cares about motion, not static obstacles (such as a potted plant that wasn't there yesterday). You can actually differentiate with an analog electronic circuit, no digital chips needed - simply a capacitor and some resistors------7. How do I safely accept bitcoins without waiting for confirmations?There are no such arbitrators currently, as far as I know. There have been plans discussed to create trusted sources of Bitcoins. The idea would be that I'd hold my Bitcoins with an e-wallet service and ask them to transfer my coins to you. The e-wallet service would confirm (outside the Bitcoin network) that it was going to send you so many coins.In one plan, the e-wallet service would send you a signed email containing the transaction ID and a copy of the transaction. If a conflicting transaction ever appears in the public block chain, you would have proof that the e-wallet service had cheated you, destroying its reputation.There is another method that doesn't require the sender to use an e-wallet service. In this method, a verifier connects to as many Bitcoin clients as possible over as much of the network as possible. He monitors the transactions appearing. If he sees a transaction on all points and doesn't see a conflicting transaction anywhere, the only possible double-spend attack would be to conspire with a miner who happens to mine the next block by luck.For most transactions, just seeing the transaction posted is sufficient. But if you add in making sure the transaction is seen over most of the network, the risk is low enough to be worth taking for all but the highest-value transactions (say $5,000 or more). For transactions higher than that, it's hard to see how a 10 minute delay is a big deal. But if it is, you'll need to develop a method to handle it.There have also been proposals for "side chains" that generate blocks more quickly and permit transactions to be confirmed faster. However, they're really not suitable for large transactions as they are unlikely to ever see enough hashing power to ensure they're resistant to a 51% attack.Note that if you are ever ripped off in this way, you can always prove it. If you see the unconfirmed transaction, you can save it. If no conflicting transaction gets in the block chain, you can still post that unconfirmed transaction. If a conflicting transaction does get in, you'll have both transactions. So you can at least name and shame------8. What specifications should I look for when buying a budget microphone?If condenser microphones (and the pre-amplifier with phantom power) is outside your price range, then I strongly recommend you take a look at the Shure SM58 dynamic microphone. You can get far cheaper microphones, but the SM58 has very usable sound and it's built to last.And I really mean last. I have three SM58 that I bought used more than 15 years ago. They didn't look too great when I bought them. In the meanwhile they've been dragged everywhere, dropped from an impressive range of heights, and even rolled in pools of water, coffee and beer from toppled cups and bottles. You can probably imagine they don't smell that great. But they just keep on going and going.I know you asked for specs, not specific models. But since your emphasis is on budget, a number of compromises must be made which completely depend on your style and preferences and the scenarios you intend to use the microphone for
McDonald's Gives Rivals a Wake-up Call by Offering ...
The coffee wars are heating up across Canada, with McDonald's offering free java for two weeks as high-end chain Starbucks closes locations, Tim Hortons struggles with falling profits and Country Style repositions itself under a new owner.McDonald's said Monday it will give away a small coffee to its customers during breakfast hours at its 1,400 locations across Canada until May 3, and you won't have to buy anything to get one.The promotion is an attempt to lure in customers "and those who haven't been visiting for a little bit," said McDonald's Canada president John Betts.The move is a shot at both the low end of the industry, represented by Tim Hortons, a coffee leader with about 2,800 stores across the country, and the high end, represented by Starbucks, which is closing some of its 500 locations across Canada as it suffers from over-expansion and a drop in consumer spending in the recession.Starbucks is also offering free coffee on Wednesday, which is Earth Day, to people who bring their own mug to the store."It's a jump ball for market share," analyst Michael Krestell of M Partners Inc. said of the McDonald's promotion and the current coffee landscape in Canada."In addition to going after the higher price of Starbucks coffee, it's a direct shot at Tim's. There's no better way to announce your presence than by offering something for free."To some, the McDonald's promotion may be even more enticing than Tim's annual "Roll up the Rim" promotion, which offers prizes ranging from cars andTVs to free coffee and pastries.Recently, Country Style did what industry watchers called a "promo hijack" by giving free coffee for a week in early March to Tim's customers who got the "Sorry, Try Again" message on their cups.Krestell said theMcDonald's two-week free coffee promotion is also an interesting marketing strategy."If you can get someone to try your product every day for two weeks, it becomes an acquired taste," he said."To get them into a routine, you have the potential to break from a previous habit. It's no coincidence."Wendy Evans, head of retail consultancy Evans and Co. Consultants Inc. called the McDonald's move "clever.""I think there's a whole segment of the population that has just left McDonald's. This could certainly be a draw for them to try it again," she said. "Nobody is beyond a free cup of coffee."She said the coffee business is "highly competitive and becoming more so all the time."Earlier this month, Country Style's 490 coffee and doughnut outlets were bought byMTY Food Group Inc., which franchises and operates Sukiyaki, Cultures, Yogen Früz.Under the deal, MTY will have 114 Country Style traditional shops selling coffee, doughnut and sandwiches, 360 Country Style kiosks and 16 BunsMaster outlets.Tim Hortons saw its profit drop 8.7 per cent in the fourth quarter to $69.1 million from $75.7 million a year earlier after charges related to store closures in the United States. Revenues were up 9.4 per cent to $563.7 million and same-store sales, which are those open more than one year, increased 4.4 per cent in Canada and fell 0.1 per cent in the U.S.In its outlook for 2009, the company said it expects operating income to grow 11 per cent to 13 per cent this year. Same-store sales are expected to grow three to five per cent.However, some analysts have called those expectations overly optimistic in the current economy.Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald's Corp.saw its overall revenue dip about three per cent in the fourth quarter and blamed the stronger U.S. dollar.McDonald's, which reports first-quarter earnings on Wednesday, said in March that its quarterly sales will likely be off by at least $600 million US and earnings could be hurt by seven cents to nine cents per share because of foreign-currency rates.Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect profit of 82 cents per share on revenue of $5.18 billion US for the quarter.In February, it said system-wide sales for its worldwide restaurants fell 4.6 per cent but increased 3.2 per cent in constant currencies.Analysts say despite the currency impact on earnings, more consumers are turning to McDonald's as a cheaper alternative as the recession results in thousands of layoffs worldwide and lower consumer confidence.Betts said breakfast represents a large and growing portion of sales at McDonald's, without being specific.He said the new promotion in Canada is for its "premium roast" coffee the chain has been offering for years."It's our version of a stimulus," Betts said.He also said the company is introducing a new coffee cup that is double-walled and doesn't require a sleeve to hold its hot contents. Betts said the cup is made of standard paper board, "which is standard in the industry."Pierre Sadik, legislative manager with the David Suzuki Foundation, said while the cup might be recyclable, the lids aren't.He said the problem with companies such as McDonald's and Tim Hortons is that they don't have alternative to plastic lids. They also don't offer recycling options for the cups and people just throw them away.On the new McDonald's cup, users are encouraged to "put litter in its place," with a diagram of the Ronald McDonald character dropping waste into a bin.Sadik said coffee chains should encourage people to bring their own mugs by charging a high price for cups.Last fall, Toronto city council considered a ban on single-use coffee cups that were overflowing garbage bins.The city's public works committee decided to consult further with coffee companies, including Starbucks and Tim Hortons, to devise a plan to curb the growing number of paper cups landing in the landfill.Paper coffee cups and plastic lids are recyclable in some other cities, but the two items together can't be sorted at Toronto's recycling depot.Discounts for people who bring their own mugs are common at some coffee chains across the country, including Starbucks.
Divorcee's Touching Craigslist Ad About Moving On
Break ups are never easy, nor is moving house, so when writer Jessica Ciencin Henriquez experienced both, she wanted to share the emotions of "letting go" physically and emotionally.Preparing to move out of her New York home the writer posted items for sale in a Craigslist advert called "'Moving on is hard to do".The listing includes a dining set, books, a wooden rocking horse, and coffee cups from the apartment she moved into with her son when her relationship ended.She split from Hollywood actor Josh Lucas in 2014 after two years of marriage. "Live. Hurt. Heal. Repeat. New York City is no longer for me; I've done what I came here to do. I've grown up and I've outgrown it and now I'm tired of stepping over shed skin," she posted.Describing a queen-size mattress for sale Jessica writes:"No sex was had in this bed. I bought it at the beginning of my year of celibacy. "I believed that maybe I could start over with another someone who was capable of loving me like I deserved to be loved. Anyway, this mattress has no stains, no damage, and the tears have dried." Jessica goes on to describe various household items with a heartfelt anecdote about the memories and emotions attached."These were the first things I bought when I moved out of the home we shared," Jessica writes of the houseplants she hopes to sell."It felt like something an adult would do. But an adult would be able to keep plants alive. I couldn't. For the first few months, they shrivelled and slumped over like lifeless reminders that I did not know how to love things," she posted.Another item Jessica lists for sale is a wooden rocking chair which she admits is a piece of furniture she "doesn't really want to let go"."I brought it home when I was seven months pregnant. The father and I went to the store, determined to choose the perfect furniture for our first (and only) child. "We walked up every aisle and sat in each option they had, laughing at how seriously we were taking this one task. But that baby grew up, and that marriage ended. "I can no longer justify dragging this beast of a rocking chair from house to house."Jessica told the BBC she has had a "fantastic" response to the advert after being "inundated with over 900 messages."Explaining why she felt the listing was resonating with so many people Jessica said that it was probably because "no-body goes to Craigslist to find someone's life story."People are connecting with the notion that the things that we own come with a story. They're connecting with what it means to move on and start over."I couldn't imagine listing those things without capturing the importance of how they helped me to reclaim my life," she said.One of the most touching listings is for a set of four coffee cups."He knew how I liked my coffee; it was one thing I loved about him," she recalls."A friend came over one day and laughed at the single mug in my cabinet and then forced me to order more from Amazon. "There will be other people in your life that drink coffee, hun. "Anyway, I quit drinking coffee the year I finally quit him, the year no one slept in my bed but me. I don't miss it-him or the coffee. I won't miss these mugs either. "Sold as a set because even if you're single, there will be guests...guests who don't want to leave you alone, and so they stay up with you all night while you mourn all that you've lost, and plot out all that's to come and before you know it, it's 3 am. "They'll stay the night and in the morning they will want some coffee," she writes.Jessica is hoping to donate the money she makes from the items to Moms For Moms, a non-profit organisation helping single mothers in New York.
Caf Chain Boss Has 'no Regrets' After Ban on Single-use
Café chain Boston Tea Party lost a quarter of a million pounds since it banned throwaway coffee cups last year.The company took a major financial hit since it stopped selling single-use cups, instead requiring customers to bring their own or purchase reusable cups.The founders of Bristol-based company, with 22 branches across the UK, say there are no regrets about the policy and they knew there would be some financial loss.Co-founder and chief executive Sam Roberts said: "Someone's got to take a stand. We don't have a planet B." "It would be incredibly contradictory to change tack," . "As much as the loss is a painful amount of money to lose, at some point businesses have got to start prioritising the impact on the planet ahead of profits." Boston Tea Party has lost 25 per cent of its takeaway coffee sales since implementing the ban, but says it has prevented 125,000 cups going to landfill.But Sam doesn't have concerns about the company's long-term success, saying it's "only a matter of time" before Government brings in legislation to stop shops selling single use cups.He added: "Anyone who ignores this is on borrowed time."We are dealing with this up front and we challenge other businesses in the sector to do the same."I am not worried about the long term. We truly believe we have acted in the right way and we are proud of that."Customers visiting the café now have to bring in their own cup, buy a reusable cup sold at wholesale prices or pay a deposit to loan a cup, which they can bring back to any branch.
Are You Going to Recycle All That? Environmental Activists Sit Amongst Discarded Plastic Bottles, Ol
They have been brought disruption to London for days while campaigning for more to be done to protect the environment from climate change.But protesters from Extinction Rebellion appear to be less bothered about plastic waste after being spotted surrounded by bottles and coffee cups in central London.Plastic carrier bags and disposable coffee cups from chain shops are dotted around their bags and blankets in Oxford Circus as well as separate demonstrations in Marble Arch and outside Jeremy Corbyn's house in Islington.Single-use plastic has become a huge environmental concern with around 104million tonnes dumped in the natural world every year.It mainly ends up in oceans, posing a serious threat to wildlife, while less than 20 per cent is believed to be recycled annually.Experts say just 20 per cent of plastic is being collected for recycling worldwide, while more than half is burned or sent to landfill, raising questions about what the Extinction Rebellion campaigners are doing with their left over bottles and bags.A spokesman for Extinction Rebellion said: 'The Climate and Ecological Crisis is the biggest problem-solving issue humanity has ever faced, no one individual can fix this alone.'We have to come together to respond, and as a species decide how we want to live on this planet.'There have been some people using single-use plastics at the sites - they're a big problem, avoiding them is tough.'We need radical change to provide the infrastructure for people to make sustainable choices.'This is what the Rebellion's about - young and old, working together to find solutions.'Mostly though people have been great at avoiding making rubbish, and when they do, recycling it.'In fact, we've heard from the council cleaner at Marble Arch that he's only having to collect one bag of rubbish a day, rather than the usual four.'The Mail's plastics campaign has been brilliant. If you team up with Extinction Rebellion we could change the world.'Charity WWF International says more than 270 animal species have been entangled in plastic debris, which is how at least 1,000 marine turtles die each year.More than 240 animal species have been found to swallow plastic, which can kill everything from sea birds to whales by blocking their guts so that they die of starvation.Every minute, more than nine million tons of plastic enter the ocean - the equivalent of 1.4 million half-litre plastic bottles. Potentially four times that amount ends up on the land.The protest, which is now in its fifth day, has already brought several parts of London to a standstill by blocking four major routes of Waterloo Bridge, Oxford Circus, Marble Arch and Parliament Square.Today Oscar-winning actress and writer Dame Emma Thompson joined the protests in Oxford Circus and stood atop a pink boat to encourage the activists to continue their efforts.The Love Actually star added: 'We have seriously failed them and our planet is in serious trouble, we have much, much less time than we thought.'I have seen the evidence for myself and I really care about my children and grandchildren enough to want to be here today to stand with the next generation.'Dame Emma, whose flight from Los Angeles to London this week generated at least 1.67 tonnes of CO2, said she had wanted to join the protests sooner but it had been her 60th birthday on Monday.More than 570 protesters have now been arrested as activists continue to ignore orders to leave roadblocks around London.The action also moved to London Heathrow today, although there was no disruption to flights, with about 15 young people unfurling a banner on the pavement outside the transport hub reading: 'Are we the last generation?'.Officers told the protesters they were breaking a bylaw by protesting on airport property, and so arrests are expected.One well-spoken boy told Sky News while fighting back tears: 'I don't want to be the last generation. I've told you I'm here out of love and out of fear and from that comes courage, and that's why I'm here, that's why I'm here.'Another girl said: 'It's about the message that we're trying to send, and that is that we are very possibly the last generation and that our futures have been stolen, the lives we thought we would be able to lead have been taken.'Home Secretary Sajid Javid has urged police to use 'the full force of the law' against Extinction Rebellion protesters.In a statement, he said: 'Over recent days, commuters trying to earn a living have been unable to travel to work and businesses have been disrupted.'Emergency vehicles have faced difficulties navigating the road networks and the demonstrations have put added pressure on police officers whose job it is to solve crimes and protect the public.'Let me be clear: I totally condemn any protesters who are stepping outside the boundaries of the law. They have no right to cause misery for the millions of people who are trying to lead their daily lives. Unlawful behaviour will not be tolerated.'Scotland Yard has warned protesters the force had 'strong plans' in place with asignificant number of officers ready to respond.More than 1,000 officers have been deployed daily to deal with the protest.Some have been asked to work 12-hour shifts, while rest days and leave has been cancelled.The Met said the protests are putting a strain on policing in the capital with officers diverted away from their 'core local duties'.
Re-thinking Patterns
I remember my grandmother's kitchen cabinet, stacked with a lineup of white coffee cups. She would say something like, "there's no room for colored cups there; all need to be the same, everything needs to match." By age 12, I brought my favorite cup, a round deep blue with sunflowers designs on it. It was destined to be moved to a separate shelve because it didn't match, didn't belong with the rest. As I grew older, the white coffee cups became a symbol of what life is for most of us. If we don't "match", if we are not the same, we are thrown to the outcast's rooms where we must either learn to live in our own small world or be brave enough to move the other white cups and claim our space among them. Becoming a teacher reaffirmed my belief. Children spend their lives in a system which ultimate goal is still to make them a duplicate; where seeing different colors label them as ADD, ADHD, and all the other acronyms we have created to place them in separate shelves. It doesn't matter if they attend the public or private system. They both carry their business aiming at the same target; a college degree in one relevant to society subject that would eventually generate the kind of revenue that would help that same society in repeating the story over and over; mass workers echoing the past. So here we are in the 21st century, spending more money in education but cutting the freedom of the mind. The private system is endless in resources; a very well structured business. The wealthy along with the hardworking upper middle class pays for their expectations. In paying a false sense of entitlement grows. You see high school students enrolling in 4 and 5 advanced placement classes; a heavy load that leaves no room for them to be who they are. Parents push them and the teachers hard - really hard- to take those AP courses hoping this would guaranteed acceptance to the best colleges with the best scholarships. A b average is not an option; not for the student neither the teacher. But, what does that child really wants? Well, it doesn't matter in most cases. The girl whose passion is music is told she can always pursuit her dream later, after becoming a doctor and positioning herself in the world. The public system lacks what others waste. Many parents work one and two jobs to keep the family afloat. Many students need to work as well to help out. Some of them are parents themselves, trying to achieve that college dream or at least a diploma; that piece of paper that authenticates their ability to be a productive and skilled citizen. Counselors are the driving force pushing to get those numbers and the funds the school needs. The goal however is the same, to keep that replicating machine going. You might think things would have changed over the years. No, they haven't. Like my grandmother, we still arrange the cups following the same pattern; no room for variety and contrast. As a society we have more resources or so we believe -many of which we haven't learned to use wisely- but we haven't learned to mix and match, to accept and allow the infinite designs of life. We continue to "educate" our children for the earthly purpose instead of freeing their minds for the higher one. We line them up to be the same instead of letting them explore and nurture their unique talents. We paint them in one color not teaching them the infinite possibilities of the multi-colored configuration of life.
Letters, June 18: 'B.C. Will Make Trudeau Pay at the Polls'
Here's what's going to happen: the pipeline gets approved, because $4.5 billion of taxpayers' money has bought it already. B.C. goes crazy (the hypocrite province, mass exporters of coal that China burns.) They decide no to voting Libs because they are betrayed, and will never vote Cons, so they vote Green. Andrew Scheer gets a minority. Now the Quebec Libs and the B.C. Greens are eventually in charge with a handshake. Take me now, God. So, former Liberal cabinet minister and current honorary director of West Coast Environmental Law, David Anderson, has reached out to the Trudeau government to encourage them to reject the TMX. He states there is no "reliable or significant market" in Asia. While perhaps not "reliable", it certainly is significant as demand is projected to increase for decades to come. He however feels they are better served by Nigeria and the Middle East, perhaps due to their stellar environmental record and their steadfast support of human rights. OK then. While I am not sure why progressives hate Canada so much, as someone who believes Alberta secession (in one of its many forms) is inevitable, it is a moot point. I believe Albertans who oppose another term of Trudeau and the Quebec Liberals are taking the wrong approach. Just look at the momentum secession has, thanks to the hate-filled, divisive ways of Trudeau and the rest of the corrupt, intellectually challenged Quebec Liberals. Anyone who is a true Albertan will be voting Liberal (or almost as good - NDP) this fall as that will ensure a referendum on secession happens sooner rather than later. Let's take advantage of the hatred progressives have for our province and Confederation. The Toronto Raptors have united all of Canada from coast to coast. This is completely opposite of what Justin Trudeau is doing. Trudeau keeps picking fights with the provinces and proved that he's unfit to lead this country after his speech about banning plastic straws. On the world stage, he and his sidekick Christia Freeland have made Canada a laughing stock everytime they open there mouths. For the betterment of this great country, we should get rid of Trudeau and get the Raptors in Parliament. (Prime Minister Justin) Trudeau is out to kill small business Canada-wide. No fork, knives or spoons for take-out. No water bottles, no coffee cups (lined with plastic), how will all his hired protesters get their Starbucks coffee and litter the roads Trudeau is going to be a one-time use PM this October if businesses start to wake up The cost of heating and cooking will be so off the charts too with carbon tax and all the deliveries and merchandise they use will all be added to their costs.
The Town That Turned Its Back on Plastic (and How You Can Go Plastic Free Too)
They call them "mermaid's tears" in Penzance: the small plastic pellets that line the beach at low tide along with a seemingly endless flotsam of plastic bottles and bags snarled up on the sea shore.As she picks up the lids of Christmas chocolate boxes that have materialised overnight like Frisbees on the Cornish town's main beach, Rachel Yates recalls the other more exotic forms of detritus she encounters on the shingle: platoons of toy soldiers, a severed Halloween finger and the remnants of 4.8m Lego pieces dumped off the coast of Land's End by the container ship Tokio Express during a storm in 1997 which still get washed up today."It is just this excessive consumption and so much of it is stuff we don't even need to buy in the first place," she says.Last year, the 43-year-old mother of two who was born in Penzance and works for local radio station Pirate FM, decided she had seen enough. It may sound far-fetched to some, but Yates embarked on a proposal to make the town the first "plastic free community" in Britain.Her campaign has touched a nerve, and provoked a remarkable response. In December, Penzance was officially granted the status after the Town Council, local schools, Chamber of Commerce and dozens of businesses put their weight behind the plans.Fighting plastic pollution is one of the defining challenges of our times. In 1950, the world's population of 2.5 billion produced 1.5 million tonnes of plastic; in 2016, a global population of more than 7 billion people produced more than 320 million tons of plastic.Every single day, approximately eight million pieces wash into the world's oceans, where they choke marine life. Around Britain's coastline, 5,000 items of marine plastic pollution have been found per mile of beach.Plastic bottles are a particularly notable offender with on average 150 found per mile of beach. So too are plastic lined takeaway coffee cups, of which a staggering 2.5bn are thrown away every year. On Friday, Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee suggested a "latte levy" of 25p on every cup and a total ban altogether by 2023 unless recycling improves.Slowly, it feels the tide is beginning to turn. Last month the UK's Environment Secretary Michael Gove described himself as "haunted" by scenes of plastic pollution in Blue Planet 2 and stressed the need for urgent action. Come 2020, France will be the first country in the world to ban all plastic cups, plates and utensils.This week, too, China has announced it will take no more of Britain's plastic after being inundated with 2.7m tonnes of it since 2012, and many are resolving to reduce their usage this year after producing an estimated 100,000 tonnes of unrecycled plastic packaging over Christmas alone - making the isolated Cornish outpost of Penzance an unlikely beacon in the war against waste.To win its coveted status, awarded by the campaign group Surfers against Sewage (established in 1990 to clean up the water around Britain's beaches), Penzance Town Council passed a motion pledging its support to all plastic-free initiatives in the town. A steering group has also been established, and regular beach cleans organised where 30 bin bags are filled with rubbish in a single morning.Churches, local Brownies groups, the Women's Institute and six schools have all pledged to reduce their plastic use.Initially, 13 out of some 400 businesses in the town announced they would be removing single use plastics from their premises. At the end of the month, Rachel Yates is organising a plastic-free clinic to persuade others to get involved. "We're up to almost 30 businesses now," she says. "And we don't intend to stop."Emily Kavanaugh, co-chair of Penzance Chamber of Commerce, who runs cosmetics shop Pure Nuff Stuff, was among the first to sign up. The 51-year-old stresses that it is a far easier process than the name might suggest."It is not about getting rid of everything but addressing single use plastic and looking carefully at every bit of plastic in your life," she says.Kavanaugh says she was moved to act after noticing the growing amount of dumped plastic every time she took a stroll along the beach."I don't know anybody now who doesn't go down to the beach and pick up pieces of plastic as they walk," she says. "It has clearly got worse and requires a concerted effort from all of us."In her shop, Kavanaugh now sells hand and body wash bars instead of bottles; moisturising oils in reusable jars and uses corn starch rather than polystyrene packaging."It is about reusing everything we can which is a habit we as a society have just fallen out with," she says. "That should be second nature."Up the road at the Honey Pot Café, owner Rachel Gunderson has similarly embraced going plastic free. The 26-year-old has started refusing to use suppliers that over-package goods and is instead buying as much produce locally as possible - a trickle down effect reducing plastic is having on the Penzance economy. Despite serving 60 lunches a day, her business only produces enough waste to fill one domestic wheelie bin a week.It is not solely middle class cafes and boutiques that have embraced going plastic free. Among the businesses to have signed up is Fraser's Fish and Chip shop and Jubilee Pool, while Penwith College has started banning polystyrene trays and plastic cutlery in its canteen.The Open Air Theatre in Penlee Park, which this year celebrates its 70th anniversary, has also removed all single use plastics from its bar.Dave Hunter, its 62-year-old events manager, admits there is an extra cost to buying properly recyclable cups, wooden cutlery and compostable pots. But this, he says, is far outweighed by the positive reception from its 12,000 visitors a year - many of whom actively requested better recycling facilities."I am massively convinced this campaign is going to make a difference," he says. "People's mind-sets are starting to change. I look at my eight-year-old granddaughter and already she consciously thinks about litter far more than I ever did at her age."Back on the shoreline, Rachel Yates also contemplates how times have changed. As a child, she would play on this same beach by the sewage pipes washing human waste out into the sea before the practise was eventually brought to a halt."We always used to fall ill because of the filthy water we were swimming in but it was just normal back then," she says in amazement.Perhaps one day we will look back on our current plastic habit with similar incredulity.Refuse plastic carrier bags - including plastic 'bags for life' - and always take your own cloth shopping bags.Stop buying bottled water and use a refillable water flask.Buy a reusable coffee mug. At present 2.5bn takeaway coffee cups are thrown away each year. Many places offer a discount if you take your own cup. Pret a Manger recently announced 50p off every coffee served in a reusable cup.Stop buying soap and shower gel in plastic bottles and go back to soap bars.Buy fruit and veg at the local grocer or farm shop instead of the supermarket. The vast majority sell produce loose or use minimal packaging.Go back to using a milkman. Milk and juice are delivered to the door in glass bottles which are then taken away and re-used. Telegraph Media Group Limited 2019Need help?Visit our adblocking instructionspage.
South Australia Considers Ban on All Single-use Plastic Products
Ditching single-use shopping bags is just the beginning. There are more things we can do to help reduce the amount of synthetic non-biodegradable rubbish in our landfill.State looking to ban all single-use plastics.Source:istockSouth Australians may soon be banned from using a range of single-use plastics as the government considers a major crackdown.Plastic items such as straws, cutlery, shopping bags and coffee cups are on the chopping block after the state's Environment Minister, David Speirs, released two discussion papers on the issue yesterday.One deals with the possible single-use plastic ban and the other is a review of the state's container deposit scheme reviewing what sort of containers should be included and whether the refund amount should be revised.There are a variety of alternatives for single use plastic items, such as metal straws.Source:istockMr Speirs said it was important to keep the impact of single-use plastics at the forefront of conversation so South Australia could continue to be the national leader in recycling."I am keen to keep South Australia at the forefront of these areas, and to maintain this position while also increasing economic activity," Mr Speirs said."Plastic is a valuable material, integral to modern life. But when littered, it ruins our environment's pristine image, and harms marine and terrestrial life."There is a growing global trend towards doing away with plastics and Mr Speirs said it was important for South Australia to keep up.LET'S TACKLE SINGLE USE PLASTICS! I want to hear from you! Tell me what you think of a ban on single use plastics in...The European Union announced its intention on October to ban a range of plastic items."We can take more immediate local action on items that are designed and intended for disposal after only a single use, are prone to being littered, are unlikely to be recycled and for which more sustainable alternatives are available," Mr Speirs said.Mr Speirs' paper, entitled "Turning the tide on single-use plastic products", suggests a ban on these products be implemented the same way single-use plastic bags were banned at check-outs across the state in 2009.Plastic lined coffee cups would be among the items ousted under the ban.Source:News LimitedSwitching from lightweight shopping bags to reusable ones has resulted in 400 million bags being removed from circulation in South Australia, according to the paper.The paper seeks views from the community and business on what they consider are the problems associated with plastic products, alternatives and if there is a need for government intervention.Environmental groups, including Conservation SA, have welcomed the government's move."Despite this, the recent State of the Environment Report shows that per capita waste in SA still increased by over 40 per cent over the last five years," chief executive Craig Wilkins said."It's time for stronger action."
Are You Poisoning the Planet with Your Coffee Habit?
Are you poisoning the planet with your coffee habit? More than likely - but you're far from alone. Less than one per cent of the estimated 2.5 billion paper and plastic cups used in the UK each year are recycled (it's because of the difficulties of ripping out the plastic lining apparently). So for those of us who love our takeaway coffee, what's the solution?The government has given short shrift to a suggestion by one minister that disposable coffee cups, like plastic bags, should be taxed to make us think twice before using them. There are "no plans" for such a tax, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. But with campaigners like Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall focusing the spotlight on the problem, pressure is mounting on retailers, consumers and the government to do something.Some campaigners have pointed the finger at coffee chains, for misleadingly printing the three arrows recycling symbol on cups even though they are "virtually impossible" to recycle. But Peter Goodwin, co-founder of Simply Cups, a specialist paper cup recycler, says it is possible to recycle coffee cups - albeit only at two specialist facilities in the UK.The problem has been, he says, that businesses simply haven't believed it was worth doing, and consumers haven't been much bothered about it either - until recently. "The technology is now there to strip the plastic lining off the cups, so they are now a viable thing to recycle," Goodman says. "But more businesses need to see the value in turning waste into a resource, and so do consumers. This is a call to action now - the systems are in place to do something about this problem."Simply Cups has now collected 10 million coffee cups from airports, train stations, sporting venues and fast food chains around the UK and given them a second life. But whether your latte-to-go is reborn as a cardboard box largely depends on where you throw it away. Certainly if you toss it into a dustbin on the street, it's more likely to be destined for landfill than a recycling plant, as most councils don't recycle cups separately. At the end of the day, it pays to think before you drink.Biodegradable cup are available, but not widely. Le Pain Quotidien chain claims its cups are "100 per cent compostable and 100 per cent recyclable", with inner linings made from biodegradable plant starch, not plastic. Caravancoffee shop in London's King's Cross and Exmouth Market use takeaway cups made from sustainable forest paper.Other coffee shops offer incentive schemes to encourage customers to bring their own cups. Starbucks, for example, offers a 25p discount on hot drinks if you do this, while smaller coffee shops are beginning to offer deals too. Primrose Hill Market in north London offers a 50p discount on coffee if you bring your own cup. But for many small, independent cafes, this kind of discount isn't financially viable when disposable cups only cost around 10p each.Tim Salter, owner of Rafferty's café in Sevenoaks, has just launched an incentive scheme whereby customers can buy a colour coded reusable cup in exchange for a 10p discount on every hot drink they buy. "My view is that it's the right thing to do and it's the right time to do it," Salter says. "I have been talking to a lot of customers and the feedback is great, they are definitely behind it. It's more than the fact that people can recoup the cost of their cup over 100 coffees - they are doing something for the environment and get a funky cup in the process."Some industry experts argue that reusable cups are not the answer. "Coffee is an impulse buy for most people - you just don't carry a cup with you all the time, and if you do it needs washing up," Goodman says." But Salter disagrees: "Men and women all carry bags these days and I've carried a reusable cup in mine for years."In Australia and the US, reusable cups made of silicone, plastic, stainless steel and ceramic are widely accepted by cafes. KeepCups were among the first on the market, made in easy-to-clean plastic and available in a range of funky colours. The JOCO cup is also highly praised; made of glass, it has a rubber grip that makes it durable and light. Uppercup, an uber-hip Australian version made of BPA-free "Tritan copolyester" is now available in some UK outlets and online.But Chloë Callow, Editor of Caffeine Magazine, wonders if we're all barking up the wrong tree. Perhaps we should simply wean ourselves off drinking large milky coffees from cardboard cups while we walk. "In a dream world, we wouldn't need to use disposable cups at all," she says. "For me, enjoyment of coffee is as much as a punctuation of the day. If I'm in a hurry I adopt the Italian way of a quick espresso at a coffee bar - no need for a paper cup as it's enjoyed in seconds,along with a quick chat with whoever's to your left or right." Telegraph Media Group Limited 2019Need help?Visit our adblocking instructionspage.