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Sandals US Travel Agents Golf tourney tees off

first_imgOCHO RIOS:Some 120 golfers will participate in the 13th annual United States Travel Agents Golf Tournament, which tees off this morning at the Sandals Golf and Country Club in Ocho Rios.The two-day event will comprise teams playing in a four-man scramble format, putting their skills to the test competing in various competitions throughout the tournament.Categories to be contested include Overall champions and runners Up; closest to pin female; closest to pin male; longest drive female; and longest drive male.Garth Laird, Sandals Resorts’ director of travel industry programmes, was upbeat about the event, noting that this year promises to be the most exciting yet.”All is in place for what promises to be a great event,” Laird said. “The Travel Agents Golf Tournament is of great benefit to both Jamaica as a golfing destination and Sandals Resorts as it gives the travel partners a chance to experience the products first hand and hence being better able to market the destination and facilities to their respective clients.”He added that as a venue, the Sandals Golf and Country Club has a distinct advantage over most courses.”Our caddies play an important role as they are very good golfers themselves. Wesley Brown, Dane Bailey, and Gifford Wilmot, who have all represented Jamaica in the Hoerman Cup event, are part of our staff.”The awards presentation will take place tomorrow at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort.last_img read more

United customer satisfaction ratings may survive furore.

first_imgUnited Airlines may not take the reputational hit most social media pundits believe it deserves, according to a company that measures customer satisfaction.The American Customer Satisfaction Index, which ranks US industries on their abilities to satisfy consumers, had United improving its reputation with consumers ahead of last month’s public relations debacle involving the forced removal of  69-year-old David Dao from a flight in Chicago.United was the lowest scoring legacy carrier, with 70 points on a 100-point scale with a 1994 baseline, but it had managed to boost its standing by 2.9 per cent. It was ahead of ultra low-cost carriers Frontier and Spirit but below the industry average score of 75 and long way behind industry leader JetBlue on 82.The ASCI report was based on 8,660 customer surveys collected between April 18, 2016, and March 19, 2017 — a few weeks before the airline sparked a global furore over the Dao incident.ASCI said at that time it was unclear how much impact the incident would have on future passenger satisfaction but noted United’s position as the lowest scoring legacy airline.But ASCI director David VanAmburg believes it will be minimal providing the airline does the right thing in future.“In terms of the average customer experience, ACSI does not expect United’s high-profile incident to have an impact on its ACSI score,’’ VanAmburg told AirlineRatings.“It can have an impact on a company’s image and reputation which in turn can drive down financial performance in the form of fliers defecting to other airlines, but customer satisfaction should remain stable as long as the average United passenger experiences the same quality of service as before.”The United juggernaut rolled -on this week as airline chief executive Oscar Munoz made yet another apology, this time before a congressional committee looking at passenger rights.United has already settled with Dao and recently introduced 10 changes that included boosting the ceiling on the amount it is prepared to pay passengers to give up their seat to $US10,000.  It has also vowed that it will not use law enforcement to deal with passengers unless there is a safety or security issue.Nonetheless, the incident focussed the attention of politicians on passenger rights and the airlines are facing attempts to introduce a raft of bills addressing the issue.This week’s hearings saw the chairman of Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Republican Bill Shuster, issue a sharp warning that it expected “real results” from airlines trying to clean up their act.“As a general principle, I don’t believe in overburdening our businesses with regulations or re-regulating industries that are successfully deregulated,’’ Shuster said.“But I shouldn’t need to remind you that Congress will not hesitate to act wherever necessary to ensure your customers, our constituents, are treated with the respect they deserve.“If we don’t see meaningful results that improve customer service, the next time this committee meets to address the issues, I can assure you won’t like the outcome.’’Also present at the hearings were representatives from Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines and the Consumers Union..last_img read more

South African film, actress nominated for Venice Fest awards

first_img30 July 2015The Endless River, a film by South African director Oliver Hermanus, made history this week as the first South African film selected to compete for the Venice International Film Festival’s Golden Lion award. Lead actress Crystal Donna Roberts has been nominated for a Best Actress award.The Golden Lion selection represents the greatest cinematic achievement from around the world in the past year, with hundreds of films considered and only the best nominated. Previous winners include 2014’s Best Picture Oscar-winning Birdman by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Brokeback Mountain and The Wrestler.Hermanus’s film, set in the Overberg, in Western Cape, is an intense human drama about a French expatriate and a waitress who form an unlikely bond after a brutal murder. Roberts plays the waitress.Competition for Hermanus this year includes the animated feature Anomalisa, by Charlie Kaufman, who wrote Being John Malkovich; the Laurie Anderson film Heart of a Dog; and The Danish Girl by director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech), starring Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne.“We are thrilled about this prestigious selection. it is a great achievement for Oliver, the entire team and the broader South African industry,” the film’s producer, Genevieve Hofmeyr, told News24.Hermanus paid tribute to his lead actress, saying: “It’s a great opportunity to celebrate the achievement of South African acting.” He hoped the country “got behind” her achievement. “It’s a huge deal. Coloured actresses get typecast, so this is a big breakthrough,” he said.This is not the first taste of international success for the Cape Town filmmaker. Hermanus’s ground-breaking film, Skoonheid, won the Queer Palm Award at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and was considered, but not shortlisted, for a Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award. He also wrote and directed the provocative Shirley Adams.The Venice Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the world, dating back to 1932, and is regarded as the most illustrious European platform for inventive international filmmakers and innovative films.The Endless River will be released in South Africa in 2015/16 by Black Sheep Films.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Glenn Harsh, March 26

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest I’m a fifth generation farmer in Delaware County. We have about 2,600 acres of corn and soybeans. We sell seed, we have a crop consulting business called Precision Soil Tek, I sell cover crops, and my wife is a crop insurance agent for rain and hail. The economics of wheat don’t work well for us but we are interested in looking at barley for the future.The cover crops were little disappointing this last fall. The first warm spell they looked like they were coming on and greening up and then it turned cold and everything is brown out there again. I am really curious to get another warm up and see what happens. It looks like they went dormant a second time.At first it can seem tough to spend $12 to $18 an acre on cover crops from the standpoint of profitability. But when you look at the increasing organic matter, weather-proofing your ground, holding nutrients and keeping soil and nutrients in place, it definitely helps the economics. It also improves yields by breaking up compaction and improving the soil.I am optimistic that with corn acres down we could see some bumps on the corn price and there is a lot of demand there for beans as long as we keep the politics out of it and keep out exports flowing out of the ports. We need to make sure exports stay strong and ethanol production stays strong to keep the demand out there. If we have much downturn, the economics per acre are going to get pretty bad pretty quick. We are doing too good a job of growing crops and got ourselves into a surplus situation we have to work through. We have to do a good job of marketing to stay profitable.We have moisture in the soil and it sounds like this week we are going to get recharged again. We are getting equipment ready and I am anxious to get out in the fields to see if our improvements are going to work the way we want.last_img read more

Hotel Chain Embraces Modular Construction

first_imgMarriott International is betting big on modular construction to overcome construction delays that have slowed expansion. With 31 low-rise modular buildings already under its belt, the company has announced that it will build a 26-story modular hotel in New York City later this year. In a news release, Marriott announced that the AC Hotel New York NoMad would include 168 rooms and stand 360 feet tall, making it the tallest modular hotel in the world. Each of the modules will arrive at the construction site completely finished — painted, furnished, and stocked with toiletries.RELATED ARTICLESPassivhaus Building the Modular WayWorld’s Tallest Modular Tower OpensZeroHouse: A Modular Take on NZE PerformancePassivhaus Goes PrefabRobotics Comes to Homebuilding The building is being designed by Danny Forster, whom Marriott described as a leading advocate for modular construction. Marriott said that it began exploring modular construction — in which components are built in off-site factories and assembled on the construction site — five years ago. Because of labor shortages, the time to build and open a hotel in North America had ballooned by as much as 50% since 2011. Since then, the company and its development partners have opened 31 Marriott-brand hotels that used prefabricated guest rooms and/or bathrooms. It also began meeting with owners, franchise holders, architects, and others to promote the advantages of modular construction as a way of speeding up construction. Marriott also has hosted factory tours and “stacking events” to spread the word. Marriott, based in Bethesda, Maryland, is the largest hotel chain in the world,  operating 30 hotel brands internationally. In the U.S., its brands include Fairfield by Marriott, Courtyard by Marriott, AC Hotels, TownePlace Suites by Marriott, and SpringHill Suites by Marriott. To date, the largest modular building it has constructed is the 354-room Courtyard and TownePlace Suites in Hawthorne, California. In New York, assembly is to begin in late fall and take about 90 days. In addition to the 168 room modules, the roof and rooftop bar on the $65 million building also will be made from modular components. The restaurant and lobby will be built with more traditional methods. The company said that prefabrication not only reduces construction time but also cuts waste and noise at the site and makes for a higher-quality building. While the public spaces are being constructed on site, the guest rooms will be manufactured off site. Forster said in prepared statement that it would be possible to build the hotel at the rate of a floor per day. Prefab construction is getting more attention Marriott thinks that modular construction holds great promise for the hotel industry, but interest in modular and panelized construction is growing on the residential side, too. Companies such as Ecocor, BrightBuilt Home, and Phoenix Haus produce high-performance houses with components built off-site. These and other companies point to the advantages of building components under cover — high quality because they are built in a controlled environment, and speedy on-site assembly. Prefabricated houses are common in parts of Europe and have slowly picked up steam in the U.S. But the technique is hardly novel, and it’s not nearly as simple as stacking Lego-like components into a completed structure, says building scientist John Straube. Speaking at the BuildingEnergy Boston conference in March, Straube said that prefabricated houses go as far back as the kit houses available in the early 1900s. There’s nothing new about claims that prefabricated construction is faster, cheaper, and better than conventional construction. “Every one of these things can be true,” he said. “Every one of these things can be false.” The industry is currently enjoying another spurt of interest, Straube said, but how well prefabrication lives up to its billing depends entirely on how the components are designed, built, and protected from the weather during transit. Prefabricated modules are especially vulnerable as they are being shipped to the assembly site, and manufacturers sometimes aren’t careful enough about protecting modules from rain and snow. “Every step of the way,” he said, “they are vulnerable.” As the components are assembled, the joints between parts, rather than the components themselves, are usually the areas where things go wrong, he said. Managing water, air, and thermal barriers is key. Straube believes prefabricated construction will become more common in the future. Modular construction, he said, can help overcome labor shortages in remote areas, or in cities where labor tends to be very expensive. Overcoming labor problems is one of the chief reasons Marriott says it first got interested in modular construction. But Straube scoffed at claims that erecting a building from modular pieces is as simple as stacking Legos. “It’s not at all like Legos,” he said. No matter how simple construction software like BIM makes the process look, in reality nothing is completely straight or plumb. “The benefits can be real,” he said, “but that takes effort and that often means money.” For the project in New York City, neither Marriott nor Danny Forster & Architecture was specific about construction details. It’s not known where the modules will be built or how big they are, how they will be stacked together and connected, and what the building’s mechanical systems will look like. Marriott didn’t respond to an email, and Danny Forster & Architecture didn’t return telephone calls.last_img read more

Learn the Lingo: 15 Weird Filmmaking Terms

first_imgFrom cheeseplates to deadcats, let’s take a look at some strange filmmaking terms.When it comes to filmmaking, there are a lot of strange terms. Learning the lingo is a rite of passage that every filmmaker has to go through. Let’s take a look at some of the stranger filmmaking terms out there and figure out what they mean.C-47Other Names: CP-47, 47, Peg, Ammo, BulletOn a film set, a C-47 is simply a clothespin. The origin of why it came to be called a C-47 is somewhat fuzzy. Some say it was named after the C-47 airplane because of it’s versatility. Others say they were named after the bin in which they were stored. No matter the origin, a C-47 is one of the most-used tools on a film set. Typically they are used to clamp filters to the barn doors of lights, but they can also be used to hold up fabric or prank unsuspecting crewmembers.JuicerOther Names: ElectricianNo, a juicer isn’t a kitchen appliance or muscular person. In film, a juicer refers to an on-set electrician. A juicer is one of the most important roles on set, as there’s typically a lot of power required to operate all of the various pieces of equipment associated with shooting a film.MartiniOther Names: Martini ShotA Martini, or Martini Shot, is the final shot before wrapping the set for the day. It’s supposedly called the Martini shot because the next shot would be taken out of a glass, aka post-wrap drinking. It’s also been said that in the early days of Hollywood, stars would begin their post-wrap party a little early and start drinking martinis during the last shot. When you hear the term martini said on set, it brings about as much joy as a couple of real ones.StingerOn a film set, stinger refers to a single extension cord. A stinger refers to any size of extension cord. Typically on a film set, stingers will be black instead of the bright orange cables found at local hardware stores.LegsWhen a filmmaker is talking about legs, they’re typically talking about the legs of a tripod. On most professional tripods, the head and the legs can be easily separated. Professional tripod legs are usually made out of carbon fiber, as they are light, tough, and good in extreme conditions.SticksSticks is another word for tripod on a film set. If someone were to say grab the sticks, they would be referring to both the legs and head of the tripod.BabyOther Names: Baby Stick, Baby LegsA baby on a film set is a small set of tripod legs. Tripod legs come in all shapes and forms, but if you are wanting to put your camera extremely close to the ground, you’ll want to go lower than what most standard tripod legs will allow. To do this you will want to use a baby, or small tripod legs, to get low-angle shots.StrikeOther Names: StrikingTo strike on a film set simply means to turn on a production light or series of lights. While it is less common in modern filmmaking, every now and then you might hear someone yell “striking” when turning on a light. However, some argue that it is much better to simply say “mind your eyes, light coming on.”CheeseplateA cheeseplate is a metal plate with holes designed to serve as a multipurpose utility bracket for various film related accessories. While cheeseplates come in all shapes and sizes, they are almost always used to create camera rigs. The holes allow the user to mount screw-based devices easily.Abby SingerAbbey Singer refers to the second-to-last shot at a specific film location. It was named after Abbey Singer (pictured above, far left), a famous production manager who would alert his crew two shots before the set needed to be collapsed.CookieOther Names: CucolorisA cookie is a device used to mask light patterns onto a background. Cookies can come in all shapes and sizes, but they’re almost always placed on a stand separate from the actual light source. They’re called cookies because their hole patterns look like a chocolate chip cookie.Run and GunRun and gun is a term used to describe a style of filmmaking with very little production equipment besides a camera. Run and gun is typically used in documentary-style filmmaking, as filmmakers aren’t always given the luxury of a controlled set. With cameras quickly progressing in dynamic range and sensitivity, it is becoming increasingly popular for indie filmmakers to utilize a run and gun approach to their craft.Dead CatOther Names: Wind Muff, Mic CoverOn a film set, a dead cat is a fuzzy cover that goes around the end of a boom mic to block out wind distortion. The name fits the accessory perfectly, as its furry exterior makes it look just like a dead cat. Rode currently sells a DeadWombat that is slightly larger than a traditional dead cat.ClapperOther Name: Film Slate, Clapboard, Slate, Clapperboard, Slapperboard, Time Slate, BoardA clapper is a board used for syncing and identifying a shot in post. A clapper is most notably the most iconic accessory on any movie set. Typically a clapper will have a place to write the scene, take, and shot with some other information like production title, director, and DP.Know of any other weird film terms? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

Mononucleosis

first_imgDefinitionMononucleosis is a viral infection causing fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph glands, especially in the neck.See also: Infectious mononucleosis (acute CMV infection)Alternative NamesMono; Kissing diseaseCauses, incidence, and risk factorsMononucleosis, or mono, is often spread by saliva and close contact. It is known as “the kissing disease,” and occurs most often in those age 15 to 17. However, the infection may develop at any age.Mono is usually linked to the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), but can also be caused by other organisms such as cytomegalovirus (CMV).SymptomsMono may begin slowly with fatigue, a general ill feeling, headache, and sore throat. The sore throat slowly gets worse. Your tonsils become swollen and develop a whitish-yellow covering. The lymph nodes in the neck are frequently swollen and painful.A pink, measles-like rash can occur and is more likely if you take the medicines ampicillin or amoxicillin for a throat infection. (Antibiotics should NOT be given without a positive Strep test.)Symptoms of mononucleosis include:DrowsinessFeverGeneral discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feelingLoss of appetiteMuscle aches or stiffnessRashSore throatSwollen lymph nodes, especially in the neck and armpitSwollen spleenLess frequently occurring symptoms include:Chest painCoughFatigueHeadacheHivesJaundice (yellow color to the skin)Neck stiffnessNosebleedRapid heart rateSensitivity to lightShortness of breathSigns and testsThe doctor or nurse will examine you. This may show that you have:Swollen lymph nodes in the front and back of your neckSwollen tonsils with a whitish-yellow coveringSwollen liver or spleenSkin rashBlood tests will be done, including:White blood cell (WBC) count – will be higher than normalMonospot test – will be positive for infectious mononucleosis.Antibody titer – tells the difference between a current and previous infectionTreatmentadvertisementThe goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms. Steroid medicine (prednisone) may be given if symptoms are severe.Antiviral drugssuch as acyclovir have little or no benefit.To relieve typical symptoms:Drink plenty of fluids.Gargle with warm salt water to ease a sore throat.Get plenty of rest.Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain and fever.You should also avoid contact sports while the spleen is swollen (to prevent it from rupturing).Expectations (prognosis)The fever usually drops in 10 days, and swollen lymph glands and spleen heal in 4 weeks. Fatigue usually goes away within a few weeks, but may linger for 2 to 3 months.Complications Complications of mononucleosis may include:Bacterial infection of the throatHemolytic anemiaHepatitis with jaundice (more common in patients older than 35)Inflammation of the testicles (orchitis)Nervous system problems (rare), such as:Guillain-Barre syndromeMeningitisSeizuresTemporary facial paralysis (Bells palsy)Uncoordinated movements (ataxia)Spleen rupture (rare; avoid pressure on the spleen)Skin rash (Gianotti-Crosti syndrome – acrodermatitis ofchildhood)Death is possible in people who have aweakened immune system.Calling your health care providerThe initial symptoms of mono feel very much like a typical viral illness. It is not necessary to contact a health care provider unless symptoms last longer than 10 days or you develop the following:Abdominal painBreathing difficultyPersistent high fevers (more than 101.5F)Severe headacheSevere sore throat or swollen tonsilsWeakness in the arm or legsYellow discoloration of your eyes or skinCall 911 or go to an emergency room if you develop:Sharp, sudden, severe abdominal painSignificant difficulty swallowing or breathingStiff neck or severe weaknessPreventionPersons with mononucleosis may be contagious while they have symptoms and for up to a few months afterwards. How long someone with the disease is contagious varies. The virus can live for several hours outside the body. Avoid kissing or sharing utensils if you or someone close to you has mono.ReferencesFrye R, Bailey J, Blevins AE. Clinical inquiries. Which treatments provide the most relief for pharyngitis pain? J Fam Pract. 2011;60(5):293-294.Weber R. Pharyngitis. In: Bope ET, Kellerman RD, eds. Conn’s Current Therapy 2012. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 1.Jenson HB. Epstein-Barr virus. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed.Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 246.Schooley RT. Epstein-Barr virus infection. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2011:chap 385.Review Date:5/15/2012Reviewed By:Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.last_img read more

Families of Sisters in Spirit raising hope

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe families of missing or murdered Aboriginal women are taking action to support each other, to end violence and raise awareness.They held their first “Families of Sisters in Spirit” fundraiser in Ottawa.The event began with a vigil on Victoria Island to mark the eight anniversary of the unsolved murder of Terrie Ann Dauphinais.Dauphinais was a young Aboriginal mother who was murdered in her home outside Calgary.It was a small gathering to honour and remember other victims of violence across Canada.last_img