Extracting Company Profits To Invest In Property, Using Your Pension

Category : Seniors

There are 4 principle type of pension that a person can take out. Indeed when you get talking to the tax and pension specialists, these options seem to multiply by the second. In the end you dont know whether you are coming or going.

I am going to focus on painting a picture to explain a tax efficient method for extracting company profit. This picture, could serve as the basis for a discussion with your financial advisor, and help you then make a more informed decision.

The two vehicles I would suggest are a Self Administered Pension Scheme (SAPS), combined with a pension mortgage.

How a Self Administered Pension Scheme (SAPS) works

Pension premiums paid by a company on behalf of a director are deducted as an expense against corporation tax.

If you are self employed, or are a director with more than a 5% shareholding in your company you can take up to 25% of your retirement fund in cash, tax free. Pension contributions are invested in funds, which grow tax free. This means that you are not liable for the 23% tax that other savings products incur.

The amount of money a company can pay into a pension plan on behalf of a director depends on your salary, the length of time you have been with the company and when you intend to retire. The amount of money which can be paid to a pension is very substantial and allows you to build up a large retirement fund, from which to pay off your mortgage. You can choose to retire any time between age 50 and 70.

The SAPS is probably the most flexible pension for company directors/ self employed. It does, however require a reasonably high level of contributions for it to be cost effective as set up costs tend to be 2,000 upwards and annual management fees around 1,000.

How a Pension Mortgage works.

On March 25th 2004 legislation changed to allow investors to combine the attractions of good quality property investment and related borrowings with the generous tax breaks afforded to pension plans.

A Pension Mortgage is one of the most tax efficient methods of repaying a home loan because customers utilize the cash value of a personal pension fund to repay the amount borrowed.

Some of the typical features of a pension mortgage are as follows;

  • The initial equity amount may be made up of a transfer value, single premium, or the first regular premium. Financial institutions will typically fund between 50% and 75% of the purchase price of the property.
  • All pension contributions can be offset against taxable income within Revenue approved funding limits.
  • Rents can be used to offset interest payments and as such are tax free.
  • A Pension mortgage is like an endowment mortgage, with only interest being paid on the loan.
  • You will probably be asked to take out a life policy to protect the lump sum in the event of death.
  • Investors have to remain at arms-length from any property invested in such a scheme, this means that they, or any person connected with them, may not utilize the property.

On exit from an investment, the property may be disposed of without capital gains and the capital can be put into an approved retirement fund.

This method provides tax relief not only on interest repayments but also on pension contributions (therefore, tax relief is also received on the capital repayments). In addition, the pension fund grows free of tax.

How you combine the two pension vehicles.

This means that a company director with more than 5% shareholding in their can use a pension mortgage to purchase a property in their own name, yet effectively have the company pay for it.

You take out a personal mortgage on which you make the interest payments. At the same time the company sets up your SAPS on your behalf which, at retirement, can be used to pay off the mortgage. The company receives full corporation tax relief on the pension contributions.

It is important that all aspects of the investment are looked at, including the potential for over-funding.


Wikinews interviews biologist Chris Simon about periodical cicadas

Category : Uncategorized

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

In May, periodical cicadas with 17 years life cycle emerged on the East Coast of the USA after underground development as juveniles since 1996. Researchers and scientists worked to map and study the rare wave, and the locals prepared for the noisy event. First recorded in 1666, the Magicicada septendecim species recently emerged in 1979, 1996, this year, with a next wave due in 2030.

This week, Wikinews interviewed Chris Simon, an ecology and evolutionary biologist at University of Connecticut, about the cicadas.

((Wikinews)) What caused your initial interest in periodical cicadas?

Chris Simon: As an undergraduate student, I was interested in the formation of species so when I went to graduate school I looked for a study organism that was likely to be in the process of forming new species. I chose periodical cicadas because they are broken up into reproductively isolated broods (or year classes). Reproductive isolation leads to speciation so I planned to study biochemical differences among the broods.

((WN)) You study the emergence of the periodical cicadas. What do you study? What observations are you making?

CS: We record exactly where each cicada population emerges (using GPS automated mapping and crowd sourcing). We record the presence or absence of each of the three morphologically distinct species groups of periodical cicadas (Decim group, Cassini group, and Decula group). We collect specimens for DNA analysis. We look for cicadas coming up one and four years early and late. We dig up cicada nymphs and monitor their growth rates.

((WN)) What equipment do you use?

CS: Nets, shovels, automated GPS recorders, cameras, laptop computers, automated DNA sequencers.

((WN)) Do you study the periodical cicadas with anyone else? What is their role?

CS: Yes, there are a large number of people studying periodical cicadas in my lab and in other labs. My lab is made up of Research Scientists, Postdoctoral Researchers, a technician, graduate students, and undergraduates. Research Scientist John Cooley is the leader of the GPS mapping project; he invented the automated GPS recorder; he built our crowd-sourcing website, and he is instrumental in public outreach. Postdoctoral research David Marshall also participates in the mapping project and leads the part of the research related to the mapping of stragglers. John and Dave and Technician Kathy Hill all study periodical cicada mating behavior and conduct mating and hybridization experiments. One of my graduate students Beth Wade has participated in the nymph collections and will soon start genetic work involving genome wide association mapping designed to locate genes related to life cycle. My graduate student Russ Meister is studying the genes of the bacterial endosymbionts of cicadas. My current undergraduate honors student Erin Dwyer is also studying the development of Magicicada nymphs and is helping to design a lab exercise for college students around the eastern US to do the same. Many of my past undergraduate students have studied the biochemical genetics and development of periodical cicadas. See the Simon Lab website.
CS: We are collaborating with Teiji Sota at the University Kyoto and Jin Yoshimura at Shizuoka University in Japan. They are studying the phylogeography of Magicicada. We are collaborating with John McCutcheon of the University of Montana who is studying the endosymbiont genomes.
CS: We are also collaborating with ecologists Rick Karban and Louie Yang, both professors at UC Davis who have an interest in cicada population dynamics and nutrient cycling in the ecosystem.

((WN)) You studied the periodical cicadas in 1979 and 1996 too. What changes with time?

CS: I have studied periodical cicadas since I was a student back in 1974. What changes with time is increased human development constantly shrinking the patch size of cicada populations.

((WN)) What are your thoughts on the long life span of the periodical cicadas? Why could it be so? What advantages and what disadvantages does it have?

CS: Most or all cicadas have long life cycles compared to your typical annual insect. Examples have been found of two-year to 9-year cycles in different species. Periodical cicadas evolved an even-longer life cycle and I think that part of this relates to the evolution of their synchronized life cycles and peculiar safety-in-numbers strategy for survival. To become synchronized, periodical cicadas had to evolve an exact length life cycle and all adults would have to appear in the same year. Because the nymphs grow at different rates underground, a longer life cycle and a way of counting years must have evolved so that the individuals that get to the last nymphal (underground juvenile) stage first would wait long enough for all other individuals in the population to become ready to emerge.

((WN)) News reports mention this is ‘Brood II’ of the periodical cicadas. What are the distinctive features of this specific species and what is its full scientific name?

CS: The same species exist in multiple broods. No species is restricted to Brood II. The three species present in Brood II are: Magicicada septendecim, M. cassini, and M. septendecula. These same three species are found in every 17-year brood (except the farthest north which only has M. septendecim).

((WN)) At what depth do the cicadas juveniles live underground?

CS: Most live within the top foot of soil but some have been found deeper. We do not know if they go deeper in winter. We need to do much more digging to understand the nymphs.

((WN)) How do people prepare for the cicada emergence?

CS: Of course various people prepare in different ways. Ideally, everyone prepares by studying information available on the web (especially on our websites Magicicada Central and Magicicada.org).

((WN)) Do cicadas affect transport in the local area?

CS: No, not really. Occasionally individuals can be seeing flying across highways and sometimes they smash into cars.

((WN)) Do cicadas usually stay outside or do they also invade houses too?

CS: They stay outside. One might accidentally fly in through an open window but that would be rare.

((WN)) What do the cicadas eat?

CS: Cicadas suck xylem fluid (the watery fluid coming up from the roots of plants) in deciduous forest trees and herbs. Essential amino acids in the cicada diet are supplied by their bacterial endosymbionts. There are two species of endosymbionts. One makes 8 essential amino acids and one makes two essential amino acids.

((WN)) Do cicadas damage crops or city vegetation? What damage?

CS: Cicadas do not chew leave so they do not damage crops like other insects. They can inflict some damage by their egg laying. Cicadas lay eggs in pencil-sized tree branches. If there are not enough branches available, too many female cicadas may lay eggs in a single branch weakening it and making it susceptible to breakage by wind. This can sometimes cause damage in fruit orchards. If the branches break, the eggs die so this behavior is selected against by natural selection.

((WN)) Thank you.

CS: You’re welcome. I am happy to have this opportunity to communicate with your readers!
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Semi truck crashes into viaduct in Buffalo, New York

Category : Uncategorized

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Buffalo, New York —According to police in Buffalo, New York, no one was injured after a semi-trailer truck carrying paper from Ontario, Canada hit a railroad viaduct, tearing the truck in half.

At approximately 11:00 p.m. EDT (UTC-4) on April 21, an unidentified man driving the truck westbound on Walden Avenue between Wasmuth and Roetzer streets hit the viaduct which tore his truck in half sending debris and cargo over most of the road.

Police describe the truck’s cabin as a “can of sardines.”

“He made it all the way through, but his truck looks like a can of sardines,” said officers on police radio communications who were on scene.

The driver was given a traffic citation and admits he did not notice signs posted along Walden which state the bridge’s clearance.

The street and the viaduct remained closed into the early morning hours of Tuesday April 22. According to Don Poleto of the city’s Public Works office, the bridge was not damaged.

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Parents arrested after putting baby on Craigslist

Category : Uncategorized

Sunday, June 1, 2008

A couple from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada has been arrested on charges of public mischief after listing their seven day old baby girl on the popular Internet classified ads website Craigslist.

The listing claimed that the baby was unexpected, “healthy and very cute”. It asked CAN 10 000 for the baby. It also listed a phone number belonging to a stolen cellphone, which was used to find the couple.

It was first noticed by a 62-year old grandmother browsing the website for furniture, who said “I was shaking, and I thought, ‘Come on, how did this even get through?'” The couple claimed that the listing, which has since been removed, was a hoax.

The father, Jeremy Pete, had a history of car thefts and evasion of police, while the mother, 23-year-old Bethany Granholm, had convictions of property theft, fraud and impersonation. The parents have now been released, but charges are still being considered. The baby has been placed in provincial care.

A suspected copycat incident occurred just four days later, also offering a seven-day-old baby girl for CAN 10 000 on Craigslist. This incident turned out to be a hoax, and no child was in danger.

Last week saw a similar incident in Germany, where a couple listed a seven month old baby on eBay. In this case the police have launched a child trafficking investigation, despite the parents’ assertion that the listing was a joke.

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Thrills Galore At Six Flags Over Georgia

Category : Parking

Thrills Galore at Six Flags Over Georgia

by

J. Stamps

Visitors will find plenty of fun for all ages at Atlanta’s Six Flags Over Georgia, one of the largest regional theme parks in the Southeast. Thrill seekers can get their kicks on some of the wildest roller coasters in the country. In addition, there are many other ride options for younger children and those who don’t like roller coasters. Six Flags also has great musical entertainment, including the new ‘iLuminate’ show.

YouTube Preview Image

The eleven roller coasters at Six Flags Over Georgia include some of the highest and fastest ones in the country. The Great American Scream Machine is a living legend among wooden coasters. Goliath is the park’s giant steel roller coaster. The Georgia Cyclone, Mindbender, Ninja, and the Georgia Scorcher are for riders with nerves of steel. Batman: The Ride is one of the park’s most innovative coasters. The Dahlonega Mine Train is a Six Flags Over Georgia original. Acrophobia, a non-coaster thrill ride, plunges 16 stories. All of these rides have height restrictions. There are plenty of other amusements in the park. Guests who get hot can cool off on water rides like Log Jamboree, Splash Water Falls, and Thunder River. For a great overview of the park, take a tour on one of the trains or glide across the park on the Peachtree Square Sky Buckets. There are plenty of options for younger children. They may enjoy the Riverview Carousel, Tweety’s Swings, Little Aviator, and Convoy Grande. The whole family will enjoy the shows at Six Flags. The kids will love watching their favorite Looney Tunes characters sing and dance in ‘We’ve Got the Beat.’ Listen to classic R&B hits at ‘Rhythm and Grooves,’ a tribute show to music legends Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, and Ray Charles. Pop 40 is a high energy musical show for all ages. The new ‘iLuminate’ show features state-of-the-art costumes that light up and spectacular special effects. Visitors can make the most of their day and spend less time waiting in line by purchasing a Flash Pass. This special reservation system holds a place in line electronically. Visitors can enjoy time at other attractions, and then return at the reserved ride time. The Flash Pass is $35, and a limited number are available for purchase each day. Meal Deals may be purchased in advance online. Choices include Primo’s Pizza, Flags Famous chicken strips, or Johnny Rockets burgers and fries. Meal Deals start at $13.49. Daily ticket prices purchased at the park are $54.99 for adults. Tickets for children less than 48 inches tall are $39.99, and children age 2 and under are admitted free. Visitors will save $20 when tickets are purchased online at least 3 days in advance. Daily parking fee is $20 per vehicle.

J. Stamps, Director of Sales at the Hampton Inn and Suites

Atlanta Galleria Hotel

. If you’re looking for a great hotel in Atlanta, be a guest at this hotel in Atlanta-Galleria. It’s located within walking distance of the Cobb-Galleria Convention. This Smyrna Georgia hotel also offers a broad range of services and amenities to make its guest’s stay exceptional.

For more information visit: http://www.HAMPTONINNGALLERIA.COM

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Thrills Galore at Six Flags Over Georgia


Miami of Ohio and Boston College advance to 2010 NCAA men’s ice hockey Frozen Four

Category : Uncategorized

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Obviously it was an unbelievable feeling

Miami of Ohio beat the Michigan Wolverines 3–2 at the finals of the NCAA Midwest regional ice hockey tournament Sunday night at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Miami sophomore forward Alden Hirschfeld scored at 1:54 into the second overtime when his shot from the top of the left face off circle deflected into the goal off the skate of the Michigan goaltender Shawn Hunwick.

Pat Cannone led the scoring with two power play goals for Miami during regulation. It looked as though Michigan had won the game in the first overtime when Michigan’s forward Kevin Lynch appeared to score. Unfortunately for Michigan the referee blew the whistle calling a penalty just before the puck went in the net. The Miami goaltender Connor Knapp who made 53 saves in the game was named the most outstanding player of the midwest regional tournament.

This was the first multiple overtime game for the Miami of Ohio RedHawks in their 23 years. Miami will be going to the Frozen Four for the second straight year.

It was great to see all those hats on the ice

The Boston College Eagles advanced to the Frozen Four in a shoot out with the Yale Bulldogs. BC defeated Yale 9–7 last night at the finals of the NorthEast regionals in front of 6,054 fans at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts.

BC forward Cam Atkinson had a hat trick and an assist. Mark Arcobello of Yale also had a hat trick. In an attempt to find a way to stop the Eagles scoring Yale played three different goalies during the game. The sixteen total goals is a NCAA record for a regional tournament game. The previous record was thirteen.

This will be the 22nd time that Boston College has made it to the Frozen Four, it is the ninth for coach Jerry York and their third trip in the past four seasons. BC will face Miami of Ohio in the semifinals on April 8 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.

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National Museum of Scotland reopens after three-year redevelopment

Category : Uncategorized

Friday, July 29, 2011

Today sees the reopening of the National Museum of Scotland following a three-year renovation costing £47.4 million (US$ 77.3 million). Edinburgh’s Chambers Street was closed to traffic for the morning, with the 10am reopening by eleven-year-old Bryony Hare, who took her first steps in the museum, and won a competition organised by the local Evening News paper to be a VIP guest at the event. Prior to the opening, Wikinews toured the renovated museum, viewing the new galleries, and some of the 8,000 objects inside.

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Dressed in Victorian attire, Scottish broadcaster Grant Stott acted as master of ceremonies over festivities starting shortly after 9am. The packed street cheered an animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex created by Millenium FX; onlookers were entertained with a twenty-minute performance by the Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers on the steps of the museum; then, following Bryony Hare knocking three times on the original doors to ask that the museum be opened, the ceremony was heralded with a specially composed fanfare – played on a replica of the museum’s 2,000-year-old carnyx Celtic war-horn. During the fanfare, two abseilers unfurled white pennons down either side of the original entrance.

The completion of the opening to the public was marked with Chinese firecrackers, and fireworks, being set off on the museum roof. As the public crowded into the museum, the Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers resumed their performance; a street theatre group mingled with the large crowd, and the animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex entertained the thinning crowd of onlookers in the centre of the street.

On Wednesday, the museum welcomed the world’s press for an in depth preview of the new visitor experience. Wikinews was represented by Brian McNeil, who is also Wikimedia UK’s interim liaison with Museum Galleries Scotland.

The new pavement-level Entrance Hall saw journalists mingle with curators. The director, Gordon Rintoul, introduced presentations by Gareth Hoskins and Ralph Applebaum, respective heads of the Architects and Building Design Team; and, the designers responsible for the rejuvenation of the museum.

Describing himself as a “local lad”, Hoskins reminisced about his grandfather regularly bringing him to the museum, and pushing all the buttons on the numerous interactive exhibits throughout the museum. Describing the nearly 150-year-old museum as having become “a little tired”, and a place “only visited on a rainy day”, he commented that many international visitors to Edinburgh did not realise that the building was a public space; explaining the focus was to improve access to the museum – hence the opening of street-level access – and, to “transform the complex”, focus on “opening up the building”, and “creating a number of new spaces […] that would improve facilities and really make this an experience for 21st century museum visitors”.

Hoskins explained that a “rabbit warren” of storage spaces were cleared out to provide street-level access to the museum; the floor in this “crypt-like” space being lowered by 1.5 metres to achieve this goal. Then Hoskins handed over to Applebaum, who expressed his delight to be present at the reopening.

Applebaum commented that one of his first encounters with the museum was seeing “struggling young mothers with two kids in strollers making their way up the steps”, expressing his pleasure at this being made a thing of the past. Applebaum explained that the Victorian age saw the opening of museums for public access, with the National Museum’s earlier incarnation being the “College Museum” – a “first window into this museum’s collection”.

Have you any photos of the museum, or its exhibits?

The museum itself is physically connected to the University of Edinburgh’s old college via a bridge which allowed students to move between the two buildings.

Applebaum explained that the museum will, now redeveloped, be used as a social space, with gatherings held in the Grand Gallery, “turning the museum into a social convening space mixed with knowledge”. Continuing, he praised the collections, saying they are “cultural assets [… Scotland is] turning those into real cultural capital”, and the museum is, and museums in general are, providing a sense of “social pride”.

McNeil joined the yellow group on a guided tour round the museum with one of the staff. Climbing the stairs at the rear of the Entrance Hall, the foot of the Window on the World exhibit, the group gained a first chance to see the restored Grand Gallery. This space is flooded with light from the glass ceiling three floors above, supported by 40 cast-iron columns. As may disappoint some visitors, the fish ponds have been removed; these were not an original feature, but originally installed in the 1960s – supposedly to humidify the museum; and failing in this regard. But, several curators joked that they attracted attention as “the only thing that moved” in the museum.

The museum’s original architect was Captain Francis Fowke, also responsible for the design of London’s Royal Albert Hall; his design for the then-Industrial Museum apparently inspired by Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace.

The group moved from the Grand Gallery into the Discoveries Gallery to the south side of the museum. The old red staircase is gone, and the Millennium Clock stands to the right of a newly-installed escalator, giving easier access to the upper galleries than the original staircases at each end of the Grand Gallery. Two glass elevators have also been installed, flanking the opening into the Discoveries Gallery and, providing disabled access from top-to-bottom of the museum.

The National Museum of Scotland’s origins can be traced back to 1780 when the 11th Earl of Buchan, David Stuart Erskine, formed the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland; the Society being tasked with the collection and preservation of archaeological artefacts for Scotland. In 1858, control of this was passed to the government of the day and the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland came into being. Items in the collection at that time were housed at various locations around the city.

On Wednesday, October 28, 1861, during a royal visit to Edinburgh by Queen Victoria, Prince-Consort Albert laid the foundation-stone for what was then intended to be the Industrial Museum. Nearly five years later, it was the second son of Victoria and Albert, Prince Alfred, the then-Duke of Edinburgh, who opened the building which was then known as the Scottish Museum of Science and Art. A full-page feature, published in the following Monday’s issue of The Scotsman covered the history leading up to the opening of the museum, those who had championed its establishment, the building of the collection which it was to house, and Edinburgh University’s donation of their Natural History collection to augment the exhibits put on public display.

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Selection of views of the Grand Gallery Image: Brian McNeil.

Selection of views of the Grand Gallery Image: Brian McNeil.

Selection of views of the Grand Gallery Image: Brian McNeil.

Closed for a little over three years, today’s reopening of the museum is seen as the “centrepiece” of National Museums Scotland’s fifteen-year plan to dramatically improve accessibility and better present their collections. Sir Andrew Grossard, chair of the Board of Trustees, said: “The reopening of the National Museum of Scotland, on time and within budget is a tremendous achievement […] Our collections tell great stories about the world, how Scots saw that world, and the disproportionate impact they had upon it. The intellectual and collecting impact of the Scottish diaspora has been profound. It is an inspiring story which has captured the imagination of our many supporters who have helped us achieve our aspirations and to whom we are profoundly grateful.

The extensive work, carried out with a view to expand publicly accessible space and display more of the museums collections, carried a £47.4 million pricetag. This was jointly funded with £16 million from the Scottish Government, and £17.8 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Further funds towards the work came from private sources and totalled £13.6 million. Subsequent development, as part of the longer-term £70 million “Masterplan”, is expected to be completed by 2020 and see an additional eleven galleries opened.

The funding by the Scottish Government can be seen as a ‘canny‘ investment; a report commissioned by National Museums Scotland, and produced by consultancy firm Biggar Economics, suggest the work carried out could be worth £58.1 million per year, compared with an estimated value to the economy of £48.8 prior to the 2008 closure. Visitor figures are expected to rise by over 20%; use of function facilities are predicted to increase, alongside other increases in local hospitality-sector spending.

Proudly commenting on the Scottish Government’s involvement Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, described the reopening as, “one of the nation’s cultural highlights of 2011” and says the rejuvenated museum is, “[a] must-see attraction for local and international visitors alike“. Continuing to extol the museum’s virtues, Hyslop states that it “promotes the best of Scotland and our contributions to the world.

So-far, the work carried out is estimated to have increased the public space within the museum complex by 50%. Street-level storage rooms, never before seen by the public, have been transformed into new exhibit space, and pavement-level access to the buildings provided which include a new set of visitor facilities. Architectural firm Gareth Hoskins have retained the original Grand Gallery – now the first floor of the museum – described as a “birdcage” structure and originally inspired by The Crystal Palace built in Hyde Park, London for the 1851 Great Exhibition.

The centrepiece in the Grand Gallery is the “Window on the World” exhibit, which stands around 20 metres tall and is currently one of the largest installations in any UK museum. This showcases numerous items from the museum’s collections, rising through four storeys in the centre of the museum. Alexander Hayward, the museums Keeper of Science and Technology, challenged attending journalists to imagine installing “teapots at thirty feet”.

The redeveloped museum includes the opening of sixteen brand new galleries. Housed within, are over 8,000 objects, only 20% of which have been previously seen.

  • Ground floor
  • First floor
  • Second floor
  • Top floor

The Window on the World rises through the four floors of the museum and contains over 800 objects. This includes a gyrocopter from the 1930s, the world’s largest scrimshaw – made from the jaws of a sperm whale which the University of Edinburgh requested for their collection, a number of Buddha figures, spearheads, antique tools, an old gramophone and record, a selection of old local signage, and a girder from the doomed Tay Bridge.

The arrangement of galleries around the Grand Gallery’s “birdcage” structure is organised into themes across multiple floors. The World Cultures Galleries allow visitors to explore the culture of the entire planet; Living Lands explains the ways in which our natural environment influences the way we live our lives, and the beliefs that grow out of the places we live – from the Arctic cold of North America to Australia’s deserts.

The adjacent Patterns of Life gallery shows objects ranging from the everyday, to the unusual from all over the world. The functions different objects serve at different periods in peoples’ lives are explored, and complement the contents of the Living Lands gallery.

Performance & Lives houses musical instruments from around the world, alongside masks and costumes; both rooted in long-established traditions and rituals, this displayed alongside contemporary items showing the interpretation of tradition by contemporary artists and instrument-creators.

The museum proudly bills the Facing the Sea gallery as the only one in the UK which is specifically based on the cultures of the South Pacific. It explores the rich diversity of the communities in the region, how the sea shapes the islanders’ lives – describing how their lives are shaped as much by the sea as the land.

Both the Facing the Sea and Performance & Lives galleries are on the second floor, next to the new exhibition shop and foyer which leads to one of the new exhibition galleries, expected to house the visiting Amazing Mummies exhibit in February, coming from Leiden in the Netherlands.

The Inspired by Nature, Artistic Legacies, and Traditions in Sculpture galleries take up most of the east side of the upper floor of the museum. The latter of these shows the sculptors from diverse cultures have, through history, explored the possibilities in expressing oneself using metal, wood, or stone. The Inspired by Nature gallery shows how many artists, including contemporary ones, draw their influence from the world around us – often commenting on our own human impact on that natural world.

Contrastingly, the Artistic Legacies gallery compares more traditional art and the work of modern artists. The displayed exhibits attempt to show how people, in creating specific art objects, attempt to illustrate the human spirit, the cultures they are familiar with, and the imaginative input of the objects’ creators.

The easternmost side of the museum, adjacent to Edinburgh University’s Old College, will bring back memories for many regular visitors to the museum; but, with an extensive array of new items. The museum’s dedicated taxidermy staff have produced a wide variety of fresh examples from the natural world.

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At ground level, the Animal World and Wildlife Panorama’s most imposing exhibit is probably the lifesize reproduction of a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton. This rubs shoulders with other examples from around the world, including one of a pair of elephants. The on-display elephant could not be removed whilst renovation work was underway, and lurked in a corner of the gallery as work went on around it.

Above, in the Animal Senses gallery, are examples of how we experience the world through our senses, and contrasting examples of wildly differing senses, or extremes of such, present in the natural world. This gallery also has giant screens, suspended in the free space, which show footage ranging from the most tranquil and peaceful life in the sea to the tooth-and-claw bloody savagery of nature.

The Survival gallery gives visitors a look into the ever-ongoing nature of evolution; the causes of some species dying out while others thrive, and the ability of any species to adapt as a method of avoiding extinction.

Earth in Space puts our place in the universe in perspective. Housing Europe’s oldest surviving Astrolabe, dating from the eleventh century, this gallery gives an opportunity to see the technology invented to allow us to look into the big questions about what lies beyond Earth, and probe the origins of the universe and life.

In contrast, the Restless Earth gallery shows examples of the rocks and minerals formed through geological processes here on earth. The continual processes of the planet are explored alongside their impact on human life. An impressive collection of geological specimens are complemented with educational multimedia presentations.

Beyond working on new galleries, and the main redevelopment, the transformation team have revamped galleries that will be familiar to regular past visitors to the museum.

Formerly known as the Ivy Wu Gallery of East Asian Art, the Looking East gallery showcases National Museums Scotland’s extensive collection of Korean, Chinese, and Japanese material. The gallery’s creation was originally sponsored by Sir Gordon Wu, and named after his wife Ivy. It contains items from the last dynasty, the Manchu, and examples of traditional ceramic work. Japan is represented through artefacts from ordinary people’s lives, expositions on the role of the Samurai, and early trade with the West. Korean objects also show the country’s ceramic work, clothing, and traditional accessories used, and worn, by the indigenous people.

The Ancient Egypt gallery has always been a favourite of visitors to the museum. A great many of the exhibits in this space were returned to Scotland from late 19th century excavations; and, are arranged to take visitors through the rituals, and objects associated with, life, death, and the afterlife, as viewed from an Egyptian perspective.

The Art and Industry and European Styles galleries, respectively, show how designs are arrived at and turned into manufactured objects, and the evolution of European style – financed and sponsored by a wide range of artists and patrons. A large number of the objects on display, often purchased or commissioned, by Scots, are now on display for the first time ever.

Shaping our World encourages visitors to take a fresh look at technological objects developed over the last 200 years, many of which are so integrated into our lives that they are taken for granted. Radio, transportation, and modern medicines are covered, with a retrospective on the people who developed many of the items we rely on daily.

What was known as the Museum of Scotland, a modern addition to the classical Victorian-era museum, is now known as the Scottish Galleries following the renovation of the main building.

This dedicated newer wing to the now-integrated National Museum of Scotland covers the history of Scotland from a time before there were people living in the country. The geological timescale is covered in the Beginnings gallery, showing continents arranging themselves into what people today see as familiar outlines on modern-day maps.

Just next door, the history of the earliest occupants of Scotland are on display; hunters and gatherers from around 4,000 B.C give way to farmers in the Early People exhibits.

The Kingdom of the Scots follows Scotland becoming a recognisable nation, and a kingdom ruled over by the Stewart dynasty. Moving closer to modern-times, the Scotland Transformed gallery looks at the country’s history post-union in 1707.

Industry and Empire showcases Scotland’s significant place in the world as a source of heavy engineering work in the form of rail engineering and shipbuilding – key components in the building of the British Empire. Naturally, whisky was another globally-recognised export introduced to the world during empire-building.

Lastly, Scotland: A Changing Nation collects less-tangible items, including personal accounts, from the country’s journey through the 20th century; the social history of Scots, and progress towards being a multicultural nation, is explored through heavy use of multimedia exhibits.

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Nigerian parliament votes to make vice president acting president

Category : Uncategorized

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Goodluck Jonathan, vice-president of Nigeria, has become the country’s acting president after president Umaru Yar’Adua travelled to Saudi Arabia last November to receive medical treatment for a heart condition.

In a televised address, Jonathan commented, “I am fully aware of the responsibilities reposed in me, and I want to reassure all Nigerians that this is a sacred trust, which I shall discharge to my fullest abilities. […] The circumstances — in which I find myself assuming office today as acting president of our country — are uncommon, sober and reflective.”

He added, “[m]ore than ever therefore, I urge all Nigerians as a people who have faith in God to pray fervently for the full recovery of our dear president, and his early return”.Yesterday saw both houses of the Nigerian National Assembly approve a motion for Jonathan to become president until Yar’Adua is able to return. Under the country’s constitution, executive power can be transferred when parliament is formally informed by the president that he is absent. Yar’Adua apparently had not done so; however, senate leader David Mark said that Yar’Auda’s comments in an interview with the BBC last month were sufficient notice.

Some political analysts, however, have indicated the assembly’s move might not be legally binding, and could face a court challenge.

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Waste Management And Skip Bins

Category : Waste Collection

Recycling products and materials is becoming the norm due to the growing understanding of the effects it has on our environment; concern about waste disposal practices to our surroundings and is an important issue to companies and local governments. Once, the management of waste would have meant the dustbin truck taking your refuse and transporting it to the local rubbish tip. Fortunately rubbish tips are no longer regarded as an appropriate solution to dealing with waste; refuse, garbage, trash, rubbish, scrap, however you want to name it, is now being accepted as a valuable resource that shouldn’t only be land filled but found many valuable and resourceful uses for. Governments and private companies aim to control waste by offering facilities to households and businesses to dispose of it, one of the main methods used are the provision of skip bins. Skip bins can be hired to collect a variety of waste including food, plastics, metal, furniture, timber and construction, garden and electronic waste. The kind of skip bin required will depend on the type of materials you are planning on disposing of. For example, green waste skip bins are used for anything from tree clippings to grass and hardfill skip bins for substances like concrete, soil, rubble and tiles. Hazardous chemicals and contaminated waste cant be put into skip bins due to the dangers involved and so for these materials it is necessary to call the local council and they will advise on how to dispose of them, hazardous substances include acids, solvents, cyanide waste materials, paints and oils. There are also bulk bins and skip bin hire solutions for the collection of refuse from businesses such as building and construction sites, large size developments and industrial companies. As well as skip bins, amenities are provided to safely dispose of and destroy private documents such as quarantine stock, computer hardcopy, tapes and microfiche and out of date products. Electronic waste is also recycled these days and includes components from disused computers and other IT equipment. Collection and treatment services exist for clinical and medical waste from businesses and industries such as laboratories, surgeries, veterinaries, dental surgeries, food processing plants and hospitals. The skip hire industry and resource recovery facilities are particularly essential for the future of the environment as they create an awareness of how everyone can help in increasing the amount of waste recycled and thus reducing landfill. Nations all over the world are joining in the attempt to find ways of recycling waste, from using complicated methods to change the calorific content present in waste into electricity or sorting through landfills to remove recyclable materials and reduce the amount of waste that needs to be disposed of. Waste management is an ongoing problem for society, a problem that will never go away, but if managed effectively, can be controlled.

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Australia: Mat Morgan, Greens candidate in South Gippsland, talks climate, tourism, and local issues with Wikinews

Category : Uncategorized

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Since June 2019, the people of South Gippsland Shire, located at the southernmost tip of Australia, have been without a local council, after a state government inquiry found “high levels of tension” within the council. Administrators were appointed by the Victorian state government in July 2019, who have governed the shire since then. However, South Gippsland’s council is scheduled to be restored with an election to be held via post from October 5-22, 2021.

Wikinews interviewed one of the candidates standing in this election, Mat Morgan. He is running as a candidate in the Coastal-Promontory Ward, and is endorsed by the Australian Greens. The Coastal-Promontory ward covers towns such as Venus Bay, Waratah Bay, Yanakie, Foster, Port Welshpool, and Toora, and elects three councillors to the South Gippsland Shire Council.

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