Glamorous flying

first_imgRemember when everyone dressed for the occasion and flying was glamorous?And the occasion – flying – was very special and extremely expensive with a return trip from London to Australia costing a whopping 55 weeks average weekly earnings.It was the province of the super-rich, glamorous movie stars, top business executives and of course politicians who never had to worry about paying!So the passengers for a flight look more like models on a catwalk as you had no idea who you would run into – Charlton Heston, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck or John Wayne to name just a few.Pearls, hats, fur coats and corsages were the order of the day for ladies while expensive Italian suits were standard attire for men.See the way we used to entertain ourselves in flight.And the mode of transport was typically the great Douglas piston engine airliners of the day. Up until the early 1960s more people traveled on Douglas commercial aircraft than all other types combined such was the popularity of its aircraft designs. However, Boeing had its superb double deck Stratocruiser and Lockheed its sleek Constellation with the triple tail that kept competition keen.And there were no aerobridges you walked out on the red carpet and up the stairs into your luxurious cabin where there was no such thing as cramped seating.Even in the new tourist class (economy class), introduced in the early 1950s, there was loads of legroom.But the downside was that the planes of the era were extremely noisy and vibrated thanks to the reciprocating piston engines.And the planes flew at about 25,000ft, often in bad weather, so the ride more often than not was very bumpy. Air sickness was a common problem despite what the publicity videos touted.Interestingly introducing tourist or economy class wasn’t easy!Pan American’s President Juan Trippe launched one of the first real no-frills services known as, “tourist class” between New York and San Juan in September 1948.The airline used DC-4s in a five-across arrangement, adding 19 seats to increase capacity to 63. The cabin crew was reduced to one and only soft drinks were served, while boxed dinners could be purchased before departure.The fare was $75 one-way compared to the normal $133 and within five months of the introduction of the service, passenger numbers had trebled.These services were extended to most South American destinations, with governments keen to make travel more affordable. By 1951, tourist class flights accounted for 20% of air travel on those routes.But on routes to Europe, Trippe needed to get the approval of the airline cartel, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), plus a host of governments that controlled the major European airlines. This proved to be a marathon effort that took four years.However on 1 May 1952, a DC-6B “Clipper Liberty Bell” operated the first tourist class flights between New York and London. The one-way fare had been set at $270 compared to $395 for first class. The lower fare was achieved by upping the seating from 52 to 82 and the tourist section was five across rather than four. But tourist class passengers still retained the generous 40-inch (101cm) seat pitch, compared to today’s standard of 32-inches (81.28cm).Tourist class was an instant hit. Traffic doubled within a year and the service was extended to Paris, Rome, Brussels, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, and Glasgow. By 1954, tourist class was available on all Pan Am routes and most routes around the world.The effect of the fares was stunning, with traffic increasing by 37% in 1955 on the North Atlantic. In that year, (system-wide) 62% of passengers were traveling on tourist tickets.AirlineRatings.com has acquired a special collection of color images of the era and some of these have been restored by experts such as Christian Bryan of Oregon in the United States.In some cases, many hours of work was required to bring the faded and distorted colors back to their former glory.last_img read more

South African chemistry kit to inspire young scientists

first_imgA locally created chemistry experiment kit was created to ignite a love of science in learners. Developed by social entrepreneur Bathabile Mpofu, ChemStart is a fun and practical learning aid for high school science.Launched in 2016, the ChemStart chemistry kit offers high school learners the chance to gain much-needed hands-on experience with practical science experiments and enhance their STEM education. (Image: Nkazimulo Applied Sciences)CD AndersonInspired by her own experiences of struggling with science and chemistry at high school and university, Bathabile Mpofu set about developing a locally manufactured chemistry kit, ChemStart.ChemStart is a product of Nkazimulo Applied Sciences, a company founded by creator Mpofu. It is packed with hands-on chemistry and applied science experiments that learners can use to enhance their understanding of the high school science syllabus.Consisting of 52 individual exercises, ChemStart is aimed at helping learners grasp various scientific concepts through self-motivation rather than traditional instruction alone.(Image: Nkazimulo Applied Sciences)(Image: Nkazimulo Applied Sciences)The idea is doing its part to develop much-needed skillsets for economic growth in South Africa and the rest of the continent.According to research by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the demand for specialised skills in fields such as mining, engineering and agriculture is increasing. The building blocks for success begin with a dynamic and modern approach to developing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education at high school level.Mpofu says South Africa needs to boost STEM education to empower future generations, adding that while “the curriculum is fantastic… its implementation is facing challenges because most schools do not have adequate infrastructure in place. Learners watch their teachers demonstrate, but they usually don’t have an opportunity to be hands on.”In making chemistry and science fun and interesting rather than dull and intimidating, Mpofu says “science concepts [can] be linked to student’s daily lives to make it [more] relatable… everyone can be a scientist; it doesn’t matter what your economic background is.”Since launching in June 2016, more than 2,000 learners have been using the ChemStart kit in their science studies. The product is also sold commercially, with proceeds from sales used to subsidise learners in disadvantaged communities.The concept won Nkazimulo Applied Sciences a 2016 Total Startupper of the Year award sponsored by LifeCo Unlimited.Mpofu, however, has bigger plans to take the ChemStart idea nationwide, working closely with the Department of Basic Education, private science- and technology-related companies and communities to invest in making the concept a success. She says, though, that communicating the benefits of the idea remains a challenge.“Since we work with schools, it requires meticulous co-ordination because there are several stakeholders involved. Understanding the culture of the school you are dealing with is important. Sometimes when people are faced with a challenge, they are unwilling to see the value in the solution you are offering, so we have to go the extra mile,” says Mpofu.Ideas such as ChemStart are gradually beginning to inspire a new energy in science learning, making it fun, practical and a worthy investment in the future of the country.For more information on ChemStart and Bathabile Mpofu’s continued efforts to develop science education in South Africa, visit the Nkazimulo Applied Sciences website.Source: News24, Destiny MagazineWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Dairy Producers Previously enrolled in the Livestock Gross Margin Program now eligible for 2018 MPP

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that dairy producers who elected to participate in the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy Cattle Program (LGM-Dairy) now have the opportunity to participate in the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) for 2018 coverage. Sign-up will take place March 25 through May 10, 2019.Producers enrolled in 2018 LGM-Dairy, administered by USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA), previously were determined by the 2014 Farm Bill to be ineligible for coverage under MPP-Dairy, a safety net program available through USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA).“The 2018 Farm Bill included substantial changes to USDA dairy programs,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “This includes the ability for producers with LGM coverage to retroactively enroll in MPP-Dairy for 2018. It also integrated recent improvements to the MPP-Dairy in the new Dairy Margin Coverage program, beginning with the 2019 calendar year.”The MPP-Dairy program offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the national all-milk price and the national average feed cost — the margin — falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producers in a dairy operation. LGM-Dairy is an insurance product that provides protection when feed costs rise or milk prices drop. The gross margin is the market value of milk minus feed costs.This retroactive sign-up is only for dairy producers with 2018 LGM coverage who produced and commercially marketed milk in 2018 but did not obtain full year MPP-Dairy coverage. FSA will notify eligible producers by postcard and provide a one-time payment for all of the months in 2018 that had margins triggering MPP-Dairy assistance.“I’m pleased that dairy producers will now be able to take advantage of enrolling in both Livestock Gross Margin and the Margin Protection Program for 2018 coverage,” said Martin Barbre, RMA Administrator. “The 2018 Farm Bill gave dairy producers more options like these and when combined with the new Dairy Protection Program offered by RMA, that means more overall coverage for dairy producers.”Eligible producers can enroll during the sign-up period at their local USDA service center.last_img read more

Video: How Twitter Scales with Scala

first_img7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… Last week we told you about how Twitter is migrating its search stack from Ruby to Java. But Twitter is also known for being an early adopter of Scala. This presentation by Marius Eriksen at the Commercial Users of Funtional Programming 2010 conference explains how Twitter uses Scala to scale. klint finley Scaling Scala at Twitter by Marius Eriksen (Twitter) from Scott Smith on Vimeo.A few of the things Twitter uses Scala for:Social adjacency store (FlockDB)Namesearch“Who to Follow”Kestrel/queueingStreaming APIStorage systemsGeoEriksen mostly focuses on the geospatial applications powered by Scala at Twitter. Eriksen and another engineer built Rockdev, Twitter’s geospatial backend, without any previous experience in Scala or the Java Virtual Machine.Eriksen also talks about the role distributed databases, Apache Cassandra in particular, fit into the team’s scalability projects.See also: How Twitter Uses NoSQL. Tags:#hack#tips Why You Love Online Quizzes How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Related Posts Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoidlast_img read more

Frugal Happy: Introducing the Share Shed

first_imgEditor’s Note: This post is one of a series by Chris Stratton and Wen Lee, a husband-and-wife team living in the Los Angeles area who are turning their 1963 suburban house into an all-electric, zero-net energy home. They chronicle their attempts at a low-carbon, low-cost, and joyful lifestyle on their blog Frugal Happy. This post was written by Wen. This summer, our front yard vegetable garden was especially bountiful. We found ourselves with more squash, tomatoes, and eggplant than we could eat on our own. I started putting extra veggies on a chair on our front porch to share with our neighbors. This sort of worked, but since people couldn’t see what was on the chair unless they walked up to the porch, it wasn’t very efficient. This made me think: What if we moved the chair next to the sidewalk? Also, what if instead of a chair, we had a cute little stand? And what if we invited all neighbors to contribute items, too?RELATED ARTICLESResilient Communities The idea for the “Share Shed” was born! I’m not an architect or designer whatsoever, but I made some simple sketches and showed them to Chris (who actually understands how to build things). He seemed to think we could construct something like this in a weekend. Well, then, I said, let’s go for it! My first construction project since the seventh grade. Here I am with the tape measure looking like I know what I’m doing. Ha! This was pretty much my first construction project since seventh grade woodshop class (which I did poorly in), so I was rather overwhelmed. Luckily Chris was patient and gave lots of guidance. Chris suggested we use scrap wood that we had lying around after all the demolition work on our house. So we sifted through our wood pile and pulled out pieces that we needed. Most of the frame was built out of old Douglas fir 2x4s that were salvaged when we vaulted the ceiling in our living room. For the sides and roof we used leftover plywood. By using scrap wood we were able to 1) reuse perfectly good wood that was just sitting around, and 2) save money on materials. Since the salvaged wood came in different shades and textures, the shed ended up looking a little cobbled together, which I rather liked. Homemade and with character! Chris was definitely the main builder for this project, taking my simple drawings and figuring out how to translate them into a real-life, functional structure that won’t fall down. It was a neat experience to watch the shed slowly take shape, one piece at a time. It’s like putting together a 3-D puzzle, but you have to cut all the pieces yourself. Who says geometry isn’t fun? The most complicated part of the build turned out to be the roof. In my sketches, the roof was magically plopped on top, which didn’t explain at all how it would actually be attached to the frame (details, details). Chris had to get creative and cut a pentagon-shaped ridge beam. Nice one, Chris! Once the base was complete, Chris could start working on the roof. That was one of the more challenging parts of the job. After the frame was done, Chris attached two sheets of plywood. Ta da! We had a roof. A little lopsided perhaps, but perfectly sturdy. At this point our shed looked kind of like a well. Or a giant mailbox. Let’s add color and a friendly sign Next, we wanted to decorate the Share Shed and make it look friendly and fun. Instead of buying new paint, I asked around the street to see if any neighbors had extra paint we could use. They did! To my pleasant surprise, neighbors were very generous and excited to donate paint for the project. Even better, all the random colors ended up looking great together. It’s our street’s very own color palette. Neighbors and friends offered to help paint the Share Shed. I was very touched! Priscilla from next door was an especially huge help — she came over two days in a row, not only to paint the sides of the shed but also lend her artistic skills for the Share Shed sign. My friend Jessica (who grew up nearby and I have known since 7th grade) also came over to help with painting. Look how beautiful the sign turned out! The lettering is Jessica’s, while Priscilla painted the camellia (our city’s symbol) and adorable vegetables. Jessica (left) and Priscilla helped create the sign. There was a long discussion about whether or not the veggies should be smiling, but in the end Priscilla thought it would be best to leave them expressionless. Our street has quite a few Chinese neighbors who are not fully fluent in English, and I didn’t want them to be left out. So I asked my family for some translation help. We came up with 鄰 居 分 享 站 = “Neighbor Sharing Station.” Another neighbor, Jenny, generously offered to paint the Chinese characters on the sign. This was very helpful because my penmanship in English is bad enough, but my Chinese is downright terrible (I write like a 5-year-old). Jenny’s calligraphy looks awesome. I’m extremely grateful to Jessica, Priscilla, and Jenny for volunteering their time and skills to create the Share Shed sign. Also to my cousin Janet for all her translation help. Priscilla had the honor of hanging the Share Shed sign up for the first time. As a final touch, Chris thought it would be neat to add shingles on the Share Shed roof. Because we had leftover shingles in the garage and, heck, why not? We went all out, including lining the roof with underlayment first and topping it off with ridge shingles. Chris even applied roof sealant on the exposed nails — 100% unnecessary, but the Share Shed roof is so waterproof now it can handle anything. Neighbors helping neighbors It ended up taking about three weekends to finish, but it was totally worth it. Even better, we spent exactly zero dollars building it! All the materials were reused, left over, or donated. I love that many neighbors were involved in its creation, by donating paint or helping with decoration. It felt like a true community project. We placed the Share Shed in the front corner of our yard, next to the sidewalk so people can easily see it when walking or driving by. The white sign says: “Everything here is free! Take what you love; Donate what you don’t need. Sharing builds community.” I also stuffed little fliers (in English and Chinese) in everyone’s mailbox on the street explaining the Share Shed and what it is for. That way all the neighbors know that it’s a community resource for everyone to use. I purposefully kept the language vague, not limiting the Share Shed to just vegetables. Maybe some neighbors would contribute fruit or other foods, or even non-food items like books and toys? I wasn’t sure and wanted to leave it open. So far, the community response has been very positive. Curious neighbors have come by to take a look and many have told us how much they like it. Whenever we put veggies on the shelf they disappear within a couple days, which feels gratifying. It’s working! Some neighbors slow down when they drive by, while others have even pulled over to grab things off the shelf. Which is funny because we never intended this to be a drive-through! Especially on cool summer evenings, neighbors go out on walks with their families, and we often see them pause at the Share Shed to peruse the goodies. Sometimes we’ll hear children giggling outside and Chris will call to me, “Someone’s at the Share Shed!” And I’ll peak through the window or go out and say hello. I’ve seen people fill their arms with our extra zucchini, kids carefully pick out a tomato (we made sure the shelf was low enough for children to reach), and once I saw a little girl peer into the shed and yell in Mandarin back up the street (to her sibling?), “今 天 沒 有 東 西!” (“Nothing in here today!”) I love that the Share Shed is becoming a destination for our street. So, has the Share Shed been a two-way exchange? Well, not too much so far. Most of the activity has been us sharing our garden vegetables. However, I think the sharing concept is a new one for our neighborhood (for most neighborhoods, actually), so it’s understandably a little slow to catch on. As far as I know, there have been two instances when other people besides us contributed to the Share Shed. The first was when some homegrown jujubes appeared in the Share Shed (woohoo!). The second was pretty surprising; I walked out one day and there was a leather backpack sitting in the shed! Very exciting. The backpack raised some questions. It was the first non-food item in the Share Shed and Chris said to me, “Ummm, what if no one takes the backpack? Will we have to take it to Goodwill? Is this going to become a dumping ground for people’s unwanted crap?” The backpack disappeared a few hours later that day (yay!), but nevertheless these are good questions. When I told my friends about the Share Shed, they also asked me questions like, “What if people outside of the neighborhood find out about the shed and start coming to steal stuff? What if homeless people start hanging out in front of your house? Aren’t you worried?” Here’s the thing: the whole thing is an experiment. I don’t know what will happen. But I want to try. The Share Shed is an experiment. If it doesn’t work, it can come down. But if it brings neighbors closer together, it would have to be called a success. (Photo: Matthew Escobar / Temple City Connect) Will neighbors use it? Will outsiders start stealing stuff? Will it just sit there empty, gathering dust? We’ll find out. If it’s a total failure or causes problems we’ll simply take it down. Easy peasy. But if it makes people smile, helps us share resources and reduce waste, and brings the neighborhood closer together — I call it a success.   Other posts by Chris Stratton and Wen Lee An Introduction A Car-Free Experiment Demolition Our House Becomes a Giant Foam Box, Part 1 Giant Foam Box, Part 2 Let’s Kill the Lawn Vaulting the Ceiling Our First Year With Solar Panelslast_img read more

Virat Kohli’s passion makes a world of difference: Ravi Shastri

Thomas Helbo Swedish operator Com Hem will focus o

first_imgThomas HelboSwedish operator Com Hem will focus on developing its Com Hem Play app offering in the coming years in order to deliver a “complete TV environment”, according to CTO Thomas Helbo.Speaking at the OTTtv World Summit yesterday, Helbo described Com Hem Play – an authenticated service that launched last year letting users access live TV and Play services from computer, phone and tablet – as “the first step”.“We will move on and hopefully we will have a complete TV environment which is focused on continuous delivery within the next few years, but it will take some time,” said Helbo.He described a three-year plan to move to a “technology agnostic environment” and to have a mindset where Com Hem strives to continue to improve.“I don’t really see that there is an endgame to this, because the services will continue to evolve,” said Helbo.“The entire e-gaming environment or universe will be part of the perception of content in the future, and we need to find a way to monetise giving access to all of that.”Asked about Com Hem’s biggest challenges, Helbo cited a cultural change happening internally at the company.Separately he said that everything the company is doing today is focused on “improving customer experience”, as five years ago the company’s reputation “wasn’t really that good”.“Customers were complaining, it wasn’t a very attractive place to work. But the overall transformation of the company has led to a new and improved Com Hem which the customers actually like and the net promoter score is going up every year.”Helbo said that Com Hem’s recent SEK 1.33 billion (€144 million) acquisition of rival Swedish pay TV operator Boxer marks “the next phase” of its transformation, “because we need to extend the footprint, we need to enable more customers to get access to the services that we provide and to be able to be more aggressively targeting the SDU (single dwelling unit) market.Com Hem closed its acquisition of Boxer at the end of September and will continue to operate both brands.last_img read more