She married a Sri Lankan professor and became a citizen of Sri Lanka in 1956. Her first collection of poems, And the Sun That Sucks The Earth to Dry, was published in 1971. Although primarily a poet, she has also published short stories, essays, and translations. Her works have been broadcast on radio and published in seventeen countries and translated into nine languages. Drawing from her own life experiences, her writing has been described as “vibrantly sensuous or stark and deeply moving.” The Holocaust is a recurring theme in Anne Ranasinghe’s poetry and is contrasted with Sri Lanka’s violent past as in “July 1983.” Themes of alienation and minority persecution are found in many of her poems. She is a founding member of the English Writers’ Cooperative of Sri Lanka and regular editor of its journal, Channels. Her name has been included in the Oxford Companion to Twentieth Century Poetry (Oxford & New York: Oxford, 1994). (Colombo Gazette) Internationally acclaimed Sri Lankan poet Anne Ranasinghe has passed away. Anne Ranasinghe has won numerous local and international awards for her writing including the Sri Lanka Arts Council Prize for Poetry 1985 and 1992 and non-fiction in 1987. In 1994, she won the Sri Lanka Literary Award for best collection of short stories.Born on October 2, 1925 as Anneliese Katz in Essen in Germany, Anne Ranasinghe escaped from Nazi Germany to England.
The NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision is steadily progressing toward a four-team playoff system to crown a national champion. After discarding eight and 16-team playoff models, presidents of the Bowl Championship Series member conferences and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick appear to have settled on a four-team playoff system during meetings last week in Hollywood, Fla., according to multiple reports. The new playoff format would begin for the 2014 college football season, according to the reports. The BCS’s official statement after the meetings said the goal all along has been to protect the regular season. “From the start, we set out to protect college football’s unique regular season, which we see as the best regular season in sports,” the BCS statement reads. Like it or not, it seems the BCS is moving in the direction of eliminating the algorithms associated with the system. “Having carefully reviewed calendars and schedules, we believe that either an eight-team or a 16-team playoff would diminish the regular season and harm the bowls,” the statement read. “College football’s regular season is too important to diminish and we do not believe it’s in the best interest of student-athletes, fans or alumni to harm the regular season.” The location of the semifinal games under the proposed plan has yet to be determined. Multiple reports say an integral factor in the proceedings would be preserving the Rose Bowl and possibly the other BCS bowls. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said he’s open to the idea of change as long as it isn’t too extreme. “Not all change is manageable,” Delany told The New York Times. “You want to control change. You want evolution, not revolution, because you don’t know what the unintended consequences will be.” The BCS officials and other conference commissioners are scheduled to meet again in Chicago in June, according to ESPN.com Some students said they think the Buckeyes will do well in the new system. “I think (a four-team playoff) would be a lot more entertaining and exciting,” said Anthony Chambers, a second-year in biology. “I think (Meyer would) do great. I don’t think that a different format is going to change how good of a coach he is because he’s already proven himself at another college in the existing format.” President E. Gordon Gee told The Lantern in February that he still opposed the idea of a playoff system, but is starting to warm up to the idea. “I’m very much on record of being opposed to a playoff system,” Gee said. “Saying that, one of the things you have to do at my age, you have to understand that the world is changing around you, so therefore you have to take a look and see what the possibilities are … I want to think about it.” Andrew Tirpak, a fourth-year in environmental engineering, said he supports the four-team playoff model and he thinks OSU coach Urban Meyer will succeed in the proposed system. “I mean, (Meyer is) a really good coach and I think he would really shape our team for that kind of system,” Tirpak said. Katelyn Pruchnicki contributed to this story.
Road conditions remain dangerous with motorists across much of the UK warned against driving unless absolutely essential.The AA said £10 million worth of damage has been done to cars in just three days with an estimated 8,000 collisions, two thirds of them due to snow and ice.In Hampshire, police declared a “major incident” on Thursday night as motorists were stranded for several hours on the A31. And the page was flooded with messages of gratitude. One person wrote: “What dedication! The NHS wouldn’t run without people like you all.”Paediatric nurse Lisa Gerrett, 38, from County Durham, was brought in to work by a volunteer driver in a 4×4 and will stay over at the hospital so she can work on Friday.The mother of four said: “I am on shift today and tomorrow and even if I could get home tonight, I would still have to manage to get in again in the morning, and I’d be relying on another 4×4 driver.”If I stay, it means the driver can collect other nurses. It also means I can cover for night staff who cannot get in, if necessary.”Staff at Sunderland Royal Hospital were praised by the public and fellow medics alike: Girlfriend off to work with extra uniforms & toiletries so she can work through the night/sleep there incase hospital staff can’t get in due to the weather, so that patients still get the care they need. Nurses/NHS workers are a different breed. #NHS @NHSMillion #NHSSleepover— chris (@crsklte) March 1, 2018 #NHS #QueenElizabethUniversityHospital Salute to the NICU staff Queen Elizabeth University Hospital 4 staying for the night after a 12 hr day shift to cover 4 those who couldn’t make it to work due to the weather.I have no words to appreciate & thank u all hats off a BIG THANK U— Dr Asma Anwar (@MrsAnwar) March 1, 2018 This is crazy. Hoping that we can all get home soon! #m27 #A31 #Traffic pic.twitter.com/g5z28IxokF— Francesca Goodall (@frangoodall) March 1, 2018 Mr Snell warned: “Generally many places on Thursday will struggle to get anywhere near -1C, a few people will come up above, but many of us will be firmly below freezing.”What the different weather warnings mean Elsewhere, a young boy had a lucky escape when he was rescued from a frozen lake.Firefighters rescued the youngster, who tried to run to the middle of a frozen lake and got trapped when the ice broke up at Laindon near Basildon, Essex on Wednesday afternoonHe was said to have been cold but otherwise unhurt.Dozens die in freezing European weatherFresh heavy snowfalls and icy blizzards are also expected to continue lashing large swatches of Europe as the continent shivers in a deadly deep-freeze that has gripped countries from the far north to the Mediterranean south. “She is operating today on someone who has bowel cancer, she knew that had to be done and so she has made extra effort to get in here to make sure that was actually delivered.”Record number of rough sleeper alertsA record number of homeless alerts have been sent to a major charity. More than 3,600 alerts were sent to the app StreetLink, which connects the homeless to local services, between Monday and Tuesday morning – the highest total ever for a 24-hour period.This app allows concerned pedestrians to alert local authorities about people sleeping rough in the cold weather. Several other roads in Lincolnshire have also been shut, including the A17 and the A15 between the M180 and Lincoln. A woman makes her way through the snow in Balloch, ScotlandCredit:Jeff J Mitchell /Getty Lincolnshire Police warned overnight that the A52 was “impassable” between Boston and Skegness due to drifting snow, and warned that drivers faced becoming stranded.”We are not in a position to recover you,” the force tweeted.The fire and rescue service added that even a snowplough was unable to get through to clear the route. A stranded car covered in snow in Whitley Bay in Tyne and Wear on ThursdayCredit:Owen Humphreys /PA A&E departments face ‘perfect storm’A “perfect storm” of appalling weather, persistently high hospital admissions due to flu and a renewed spike in norovirus put accident and emergency departments under considerable pressure last week, with the prolonged cold conditions set to put them under even more strain.NHS England warned that the current bout of freezing weather could increase health risks for vulnerable patients such as the very young, very old or those with chronic diseases.Dr Nick Scriven, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said the severe weather is an “added burden on top of the recent ‘usual’ winter” and hospitals are likely to be forced to cancel routine procedures. “We are in communication with industry partners and are closely monitoring the situation.”The stark warning came as snowfall brought parts of Britain to a standstill, trapping motorists on roads and threatening air, rail and road journeys across the country.Roads, rail and air travel – latest updatesSevere weather has caused another day of travel disruption on the roads, to flights and to trains. Travellers were urged to check the latest situation before setting off on their journeys. Here are some of the latest reported issues:RoadsIn Scotland, 300 motorists remained stuck on the M80. Around 1,000 were there overnight as heavy snow fell.The motorway was closed southbound between junctions 8 and 9.Police Scotland warned people not to travel unless they were an emergency worker. Jock the Shih Tzu plays in the snow in Alexandria, ScotlandCredit:Jeff J Mitchell /Getty Icicles form on seafront railings at Penzance in CornwalCredit:Ben Birchall /PA The victims also include 18 people killed in Poland, six in the Czech Republic, five in Lithuania, four each in France and Slovakia, two each in Italy, Serbia, Romania and Slovenia and one in Spain.How well prepared was Britain for the snow? Join the debate by leaving a comment below. A frozen canal in Little Venice, north LondonCredit:Ben Cawthra/LNP Petra Salva, director of London’s rough sleeper services, said that deaths on the streets over the bitterly cold snap were “a horrific possibility”. Soldiers from 3rd Bn The Rifles and 2nd Bn The Royal Regiment of Scotland transported staff from Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and the Western General. Temperatures plunged to a widespread low of between -6C (21F) and -4C (25F) overnight, and forecasters have warned it could feel as cold as -11C (12.2F) during the day as the winds continue to strengthen. Gusts of up to 60mph could also bring “blizzard-like conditions”.Storm Emma, which wreaked havoc in Spain and Portugal before moving up over the Atlantic, is expected to dump up to 50cm (15in) of snow by Friday.”If you don’t have to go anywhere over the next few days, stay at home,” warned Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge.The storm, a band of low pressure, will mix with freezing temperatures and strong winds brought to Britain by the “Beast from the East”.As the storm hits, there is a chance of freezing rain and black ice, adding to the already dangerous driving conditions. Commuters at Plaistow station in east London facing travel disruption on Thursday morningCredit:Gustavo Valiente/i-Images Schools are shut and weather agencies predict the brutal cold will continue as the death toll from the freezing snap rose to around 48 since last Friday, with icy conditions causing accidents and endangering vulnerable rough sleepers. The Couple, a sculpture by Sean Henry on the coast at Newbiggin-By-The-Sea in NorthumberlandCredit:Owen Humphreys /PA So much respect for the NHS this evening. My neighbours, both doctors, are choosing to leave their kids at home with friends to sleep at the hospital & cover colleagues who are affected by snow. They aren’t obliged, they just care, how lucky are we?!— Lucy Oliver (@LucyOliver_7) February 28, 2018 The M90 near Newbridge, in Midlothian, on Thursday morningCredit:Katielee Arrowsnmith/SWNS A rough sleeper sheltering near Westminster Cathedral in LondonCredit:Teilo Colley /PA The A66 in Cumbria was closed in both directions between Scotch Corner and Brough, due to “severe snowfall”, while the A56 in Lancashire was likely to be closed for “several hours” due to a lorry crash between the M65 and A680.Highways England said the A1 remained closed in both directions glasgbetween the A192 and the Scottish border and shared images on Twitter of lorries stranded in the snow on the stretch of road. Northumbria Police said the A68 was closed between Corbridge and Ridsdale. In Derbyshire, the Woodhead Pass was shut in both directions between Tintwistle and Flouch. Cheshire Police said there were around eight miles of tailbacks on the M62 as officers with 4x4s, Highways England patrols, contractors and snowploughs attempted to clear snow between junctions 21 and 22 eastbound.By 8.30am on Thursday morning the AA said it had already answered calls from more than 100 drivers stuck in snow, with East Anglia and the North East the worst-hit regions.AA president Edmund King compared driving on many “atrocious” UK roads to skating on ice rinks, and said they had added extra patrols and 4x4s to cope with the severe conditions. “There are three UK standby battalions held at high readiness to respond to UK contingencies and emergencies, including support to local authorities.”We have the right people with the right training to respond to a range of contingencies.” Mr Swinney told BBC Radio Scotland the country was experiencing “the most significant snow incident we’ve had since 2010”. And he said the M80 had been a “particular pinch point” after traffic ground to a halt.Speaking on the Good Morning Scotland programme, the Deputy First Minister said: “The M80 has presented much more significant challenges to us overnight and there has been a very strong operation to try to gain traction over the course of the night.”Although many people were stuck for a long time we did get the road moving quite significantly, but there are people who have been stuck there for a long time.”That’s a combination of the intensity of the snow, but also the fact that we have had quite a number of jack-knifed lorries on that particular stretch of the road and the minute that happens the road gets blocked and nobody can get through.” ⚠️Important update⚠️Paddington Station will close from 0800 on 01/03/18 owing to severe weather conditionsAll High Speed Services will start and terminate at Reading Further updates to follow as and when information becomes available— GWR Help (@GWRHelp) March 1, 2018 Streetlink has asked concerned pedestrians to report the time, place and appearance of anyone sleeping rough in these temperatures.A volunteer will then seek out the rough sleeper and offer them a warm bed for the night.Either download their app or contact them online using the link above or call their 24-hour hotline on 0300 500 0914. She said: “If we don’t act, then people could die and… we don’t know yet what the consequences of this prolonged cold weather has been.”She said her mouth had “dropped open” after she walked into the church and saw a homeless person her team have been working with for four years, who, until now, had not accepted offers of a bed inside.She said: “If tonight, he was the only one who came in, it would make it worthwhile.”How to help rough sleepers in cold weatherCouncils across the country have implemented Severe Weather Emergency Protocols for rough sleepers, meaning if passers-by report concerns to their local authority, they will send someone from the Rough Sleeper Team to help.Check with the local council for individual contact details or speak to Streetlink. This is also activated across London, meaning local authorities have a duty to offer emergency shelter to any rough sleepers. Virgin Trains East Coast asked passengers “not to travel” today or tomorrow across the entire East Coast Main Line between London and Scotland.London Paddington, the UK’s seventh busiest station, was closed for several hours from 8am, meaning long distance services had to start and terminate at Reading.Hundreds of flights were also cancelled.Video: Weather so cold even the sea freezes over Man dies after being pulled from icy lakeThe Metropolitan Police named the man who died after being pulled from the water at Danson Park, near Welling, south east London on Wednesday, as Stephen Cavanagh.A statement said: “In respect of the death of a man following an incident in Danson Park, Bexley on Wednesday, 28 February, the deceased has been formally identified as Stephen Cavanagh, 60, who lived locally.“The family of Mr Cavanagh have requested that they are not contacted by the media at this difficult time. We ask the media to please respect their wishes.” A council worker breaks the ice on the fountain in London’s Trafalgar SquareCredit:Henry Nicholls/Reuters A woman battles wintry conditions on a housing estate in Alexandria, ScotlandCredit:Jeff J Mitchell /Getty Around 50 stations in Kent and East Sussex were closed on Thursday as operator Southeastern advised commuters to work from home if possible.Northern said the severe weather had left several routes blocked, with delays and cancellations across the whole network.FlightsAirports have been severely affected by the conditions, with hundreds of flights cancelled.Heathrow was badly hit, with airlines forced to reduce schedules on Thursday and Friday following discussions with airport officials and air traffic control provider Nats. In severe conditions, the civilian authorities can call on the military for help, in situations such as #StormEmma ❄️ Experienced drivers of No 2 MT Sqn from @RAFWittering1 have been assisting the emergency services. pic.twitter.com/BzufPaLLp3— Royal Air Force (@RoyalAirForce) 1 March 2018 Due to the current weather & road conditions, we are being assisted by members of the RAF. This kind chap was able to get through the snow & help one of our 999 control room colleagues get in today, helping to protect the county. pic.twitter.com/zljnB6F0Er— Lincs Fire & Rescue (@LincsFireRescue) March 1, 2018 Thursday’s low temperatures set a record for the UK’s coldest spring day. In Tredegar in Wales, the mercury never got above -5.2C, beating the previous record low of -4.6C at Cassley in Sutherland, Scotland, on March 2 2001.Nearly all train operators warned of cancellations and disruption and all cross-border trains between England and Scotland were suspended. A woman was forced to give birth on the storm-battered A66 near Darlington when she became stranded in terrible conditions.Sienna Waring was delivered by her father Andrew as he tried to get her mother Daniella to hospital. She was born near Stockton-on-Tees moments before paramedics arrived at the scene.Mr Waring, from Catterick, North Yorkshire, said: “Having been present at the birth of our two other children, I just copied what I had seen then.”I opened the passenger door and knelt in the snow.” “There’s been more information this morning, I know it’s been tricky for (the airport) because of maybe a lack of workers and it’s difficult for everyone.” “If their flight is in the European Union or their airline is an EU carrier, customers will be entitled to food, refreshment and overnight accommodation or a refund of proportionate costs and will be flown home as soon as is possible at their airline’s expense.”Honeymoon couple heading for Maldives among hundreds stranded in airportA newlywed couple are having an unexpected honeymoon – stranded in Glasgow Airport amid the wild weather.Chris and Vicky Robinson, from Stranraer, got married last weekend and were looking forward to a luxury holiday in the Maldives when heavy snow closed the airport on Wednesday.Instead of enjoying 30C heat in the Indian Ocean, they spent the night in chairs in Glasgow Airport’s main terminal – catching a few hours sleep as they waited for news on a rescheduled departure.Mr Robinson, 29, said: “We were about to board the plane yesterday at 1pm, and 15 minutes before we were to take off they cancelled it and we’ve been here since (in the terminal), slept here with a lack of information through the night.”It was very subdued, people were quiet and a bit confused because there wasn’t much information. We’d heard about camp beds and blankets, but we got no information about that. A bicycle covered in snow outside The Colosseum in RomeCredit:Simona Granati/Corbis News Motorists reported being stuck for up to 13 hours, with some spending the night in their cars, and others abandoning their vehicles on the motorway.Emergency responders and volunteer agencies, including mountain rescue teams, checked on stranded drivers, with some good samaritans also handing out food. Several sports fixtures have been disrupted by the weather conditions including the postponement of four Super League rugby league games and the Premier League Darts in Exeter being cancelled.Seven-year-old girl dies in collision in CornwallDevon and Cornwall police confirmed that a seven-year-old girl died in Looe, Cornwall.In a statement the police said: “Police were called at around 2.30pm today to reports of a Nissan car colliding with a house on Bodrigan Road.“A seven-year-old girl, believed to be a pedestrian, suffered life-threatening injuries and was declared deceased at the scene.“Her next of kin has been informed. Localised closures area in place as emergency services attend this incident.”Elsewhere a 75-year-old woman has been found dead in a snowy street in Leeds. She was found partially hidden beneath a car in the Farsley area of the city.Royal Air Force drafted in to help relief effortsThe Royal Air Force (RAF) has been drafted in to help relief efforts in snow-hit Lincolnshire, with 10 4×4 vehicles and some 20 staff aiding emergency services.A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “The RAF is assisting in helping to transport health staff to hospitals and support health workers in visiting vulnerable people in the community in Lincolnshire following heavy snowfall. Emergency vehicles manoeuvre past stationary traffic on the M80 in GlasgowCredit:Andrew Milligan /PA Queuing traffic stuck on the M80 in Scotland overnightCredit:Gavin Rodgers/Pixel He said the “overwhelming majority” of Scots had heeded warnings to stay at home. Weather map for Thursday and week ahead One person was taken to hospital after a crash involving 16 vehicles on the M66 southbound between the Ramsbottom and Bury junction. Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) said two fire engines and an off-road vehicle were sent to the scene at 11.25am.TrainsNearly all train operators across the UK are suffering cancellations and disruption on Thursday.All cross-border trains between England and Scotland were suspended.The West Coast Main Line was closed until at least midday between Carlisle and Scotland, with no trains or replacement buses. Meanwhile, it has emerged that a Glasgow surgeon walked for eight miles in the snow to operate on a cancer patient.The unnamed medic walked from Anniesland to Paisley so she could get to work on Thursday morning.Her colleague, Glasgow-based colorectal surgeon Andy Renwick, told BBC Radio Scotland: “I won’t give her name because she would be genuinely upset with me.”She walked from Anniesland to Paisley – it took her two hours and 50 minutes. I saw her come in, she had snow goggles on, Gortexed up, top and bottom, snow shoes and walking poles. If you see rough sleepers out in the snow during daytime hours, please remember that you can use our app to locate the nearest day centre so that the individual can get into the warm, and get some food and advice on how to end their homelessness. https://t.co/rlxzLP2NvS— Street_Link (@Tell_StreetLink) March 1, 2018 Virgin Trains East Coast asked passengers “not to travel” on Thursday or Friday across the entire East Coast Main Line between London and Scotland.ScotRail halted all operations in the affected red area until late morning.London Paddington, the UK’s seventh busiest station, was closed at 8am. Long distance services are starting and terminating at Reading. Frozen Britain: Snowy scenes around UK British Airways cancelled more than 180 flights, affecting long haul and short haul routes.Other airlines to cancel flights at the west London hub include Virgin Atlantic, Lufthansa and Flybe.A total of at least 76 flights serving London City Airport were cancelled on Thursday. He added: “Today and the next few days will particularly stretch trusts, with staff struggling to get to work and ambulance trusts having immense problems getting patients to and from hospital.”A lot of hospitals will cancel routine work over the next few days as a consequence of both of these. Overall NHS staff are pulling together and making immense efforts to keep people our hospitals safe.”The latest data shows more than 12,300 patients had to wait longer than 30 minutes to be seen after arriving at A&E units in ambulances last week, with more than 2,870 patients having to wait more than an hour, both down on the week before.’What dedication!’ NHS staff camp out on wards to defy snow – and surgeon walks eight miles for cancer operationNHS staff who slept in wards to ensure patient services could continue despite the weather have been praised by the public.Medical staff stayed overnight at Sunderland Royal Hospital, while others who were brought in by 4×4 volunteer drivers will do so on Thursday night into Friday.When the City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust posted a message about its staff and asked for the public to thank them, more than 20,000 people “liked” it. The Met Office said the highest temperature in the UK on Wednesday was 1.7C (35F) recorded in Katesbridge, County Down and the coldest in Braemar, Aberdeenshire at -5.3C (22F). Traffic is directed as the M876 to Glasgow is closed due to heavy snowCredit:Andrew Milligan /PA Conditions to worsen as ice set to form on snowThe extreme weather shows no sign of letting up, with fears snow in the south west could turn into freezing rain on Friday – making conditions “even more treacherous”.Heading into Friday the snow in the south west might turn into freezing rain and could give a glaze of ice on top any lying snow – making conditions even more treacherous.Video: Latest Met Office weather forecast Newly wed couple Chris and Vicky Robinson at Glasgow AirportCredit:Paul Ward /PA Gavin Williamson, the Defence Secretary, said: “Our service personnel are showing great dedication and a spirited sense of duty as they support local authorities and keep the British people safe.”Meanwhile energy minister Claire Perry was forced to try and downplay the National Grid’s gas deficit warning, as she told people: “Do carry on using your gas heating and cooking meals as normal.”An unusual red weather warning, the second in 24 hours, was issued for south-west England and south Wales as Storm Emma moved in with strong winds, “blizzard conditions” and “severe drifting”. The warning, valid until the early hours of Friday, is just the third issued in seven years and means “widespread damage, travel and power disruption and risk to life is likely”. Some parts of the south west could see up to 50cm (1ft 8in) of snow.Met Office forecaster Sophie Yeomans said: “Things could yet get worse, there is more snow on its way. The problem will be when the snow gets trodden down and compacted and turns to ice.”Meteorologically, it’s the first day of spring but winter is clinging on and giving us a right old kicking. “It’s still in control.” The Environment Agency activated five coastal flood warnings urging the public to take ‘immediate action’, with two in Cornwall, one at Swanage in Dorset, and others for the Tyne Estuary and one for the North Sea at Whitley Bay.Sixteen further flood alerts have been issued telling people to ‘be prepared’ across South West and North East England due to strong winds combined with high tides. In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon criticised transport company bosses who had continued to send drivers out on to the roads despite official warnings to avoid non-essential journeys.Army and Royal Air Force personnel were called in to ferry health workers through blocked roads in Lincolnshire and in Scotland. Ten RAF 4×4 vehicles with 20 airmen began transporting health staff from dawn in Lincolnshire after an urgent request from local police. A car is covered in snow in Saddleworth, Greater Manchester, as motorists in parts of Britain are urged to only travel if necessaryCredit:Mercury Press and Media A gritter on the M9 in ScotlandCredit:Andrew Milligan /PA National Grid warns of gas supply shortageThe National Grid has issued a “gas deficit warning”, as fears mount that supplies could run empty amid extreme weather conditions across Britain.The power operator said the warning has been issued in response to a series of “significant supply losses resulting in a forecast end-of-day supply deficit”.Household supplies are not expected to be affected, but shortages could hit industrial users as the Grid attempts to balance supply and demand into Friday.It plans to do this by limiting industrial use and buying in more gas if necessary. According to the National Grid’s forecast, there is a shortfall of around 50 million cubic metres. It said in a statement:”National gas demand today is high and due to the extreme weather conditions, there have been gas supply losses overnight.”At 5.45am this morning we issued a ‘Gas Deficit Warning’ to the market.”This is an indication to the market that we’d like more gas to be made available to ensure the safe and reliable operation of the national gas network. A motorway in Glasgow covered in snow is closed to traffic on Thursday, as more sub-zero temperatures are forecastCredit:Andrew Milligan /PA A man has died in hospital after being pulled from the water at Danson ParkCredit:Danson_WSC/Twitter Glasgow Airport announced it will remain shut for the second day in a row due to heavy snow.The closure had originally been expected to last until 11am on Thursday, which was then extended until 3pm. However, continuing extreme conditions have forced the airport to close for the rest of the day. Edinburgh Airport tweeted that most airlines had cancelled services until lunchtime. There were also cancellations and delays at Gatwick Airport.The runway at East Midlands Airport was temporarily closed on Thursday morning, and travellers were warned it could affect flights.Ryanair said it has cancelled all flights to and from the following airports for the rest of Thursday: East Midlands, Leeds Bradford, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cork and Kerry. The low cost airline also cancelled a number of flights serving Dublin Airport.Here are the number of flights cancelled at some airports in the UK and across Europe, according to flight data website Flightradar24:Dublin: 194Heathrow: 157Edinburgh: 129Glasgow: 105Geneva: 96Gatwick: 77Amsterdam: 69London City: 67Bristol: 48Charles de Gaulle (Paris): 41A spokesman for travel trade organisation Abta said: “Customers who are overseas and whose flight arrangements are delayed or cancelled should liaise with their tour operator or airline regarding changes to their travel itineraries and new flight arrangements. Some parents have let their children dress up regardless, whereas others have sent them into school in ‘weather-appropriate’ costumesCredit:Twitter World Book Day costumes wasted as schools closedParents who toiled over making costumes for their children have spoken of their dismay as the snow meant many World Book Day events were cancelled across the country, reports Helena Horton.Some schools remained open, but called off the dressing-up event because they feared pupils would get too cold in their fancy dress outfits.Others have closed and some parents said they were worried the effort that had gone into the costumes was wasted.But some parents let their children dress up in their costumes anyway during their “snow days” at home, setting up activities at home such as themed painting. Click here to read more. I’m making sure nobody has to sleep out in the cold. My team here at City Hall are working hard with charities and councils to make sure emergency shelters are open across London and everyone can be cared for properly. One way you can help is by donating: https://t.co/hLm3VLzYXR— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) February 28, 2018 The force said they were unable to move the vehicles off the carriageway for “at least the next few hours”, but were working to evacuate the most vulnerable people from the scene. Around 500 extra beds in shelters, hostels and churches have been made available in the capital through local authorities, charities, faith and community groups after a Swep (Severe Weather Emergency Protocol) plan was triggered.In response to the bitter conditions, St Mungo’s homeless charity and the City of London have opened a new emergency shelter – in the Guild Church of Saint Mary Aldermary – which took in seven people on its first night.St Mungo’s has said London is experiencing its most prolonged period of freezing conditions for seven years, which could prove deadly for people sleeping outside. “Many people have responded to those warnings very significantly but we do face challenges at particular pinch points, and the M80 has been our most difficult situation to try to manage,” he said.”I assure members of the public there has been an extensive operation in place to try to maintain traction on that road and to get motorists on the move as quickly as possible.”He also stressed people should stay at home today unless they are essential workers.Driver stuck in West Yorkshire films treacherous conditions As well as the red alerts, amber warnings have also been issued for the north-east of England and the central belt of Scotland, in place between 10am and 8pm on Thursday, and for south west England and south Wales from 12pm until 8am on Friday. Panic-buying and snowbound delivery lorries left supermarket shelves empty of food in some parts of the country.Theresa May has been forced to move her long-awaited Brexit speech from Newcastle to London, while households are being urged to “carry on cooking” after the National Grid issued a “gas deficit warning”, prompting fears of a shortage. On top of these, yellow snow warnings have been issued for vast swathes of southern, central, and northern England, Northern Ireland and Wales – in place for most of Thursday.The prolonged cold spell will collide with Storm Emma, which is hitting southern and western parts of the UK. Blizzards, strong winds and travel disruption are predicted for southern, western and central England, as well as parts of Wales and Northern Ireland. Seven-year-old girl is latest victim of extreme weather RAF helps with relief efforts as roads, trains and flights halted and schools closedRed alert for south Wales and south west EnglandMajor rescue operation underway in HampshireNational Grid warns UK will not have enough gas to meet demandChangeable weather could fuel rise in heart attacks, study suggestsPanic buying leads to empty supermarket shelvesThe Armed Forces have been forced to step in as police and hospitals struggle to cope with freezing weather sweeping across Britain.Nearly every part of the country was hit by snowfall and gales as the Met Office said Thursday was the UK’s coldest spring day on record.Forecasters are warning of life-threatening conditions and said winter “is still in control” as Storm Emma arrived with the country already in the grip of Siberian cold air nicknamed the Beast from the East.The death toll from the storms rose to 10 after a seven-year-old girl died whilst playing in the snow in Cornwall when a car hit a house.More than 1,000 schools were closed during disruption which is being described as the worst “in a generation”, and hospitals cancelled non-urgent operations and appointments. Police said they were also carrying out a “rescue operation” to help people stranded in their vehicles across Somerset, including about 100 vehicles stuck in snow on the A303 at Ilminster.In Greater Manchester, dozens of volunteers have been battling through snow to take supplies to people stranded on the M62 motorway. Police say wind speeds over the Rakewood Viaduct in Greater Manchester have reached 90mph.Eleanor Kelly, 19, said local residents in Milnrow, Rochdale, had been taking hot drinks, food and blankets to those stuck on the carriageway – including to a father with a baby and toddler in the car.The South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, which provides services in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Hampshire, has appealed for help from 4×4 owners to move its staff around in the adverse conditions. Mrs Robinson, 27, said she had shed a few tears on Wednesday.”If we don’t get away by tonight then we’ll probably not go because it’s only a week we’re going for and it’s too far to go for any less than that really,” she said.”There was tears to start with but there’s not much you can do. We had the perfect wedding so you can’t ask for everything.”My suitcase isn’t going to work out for this weather in Glasgow for a week so we might need to go home.”The airport said it has faced an unprecedented weather situation. Many staff also stayed at the airport overnight to help with the situation, and runway teams have been working since Tuesday night to try to clear flight paths.Drivers stuck for up to 13 hours as good samaritans hand out foodExtreme weather and jack-knifed lorries combined to cause “significant challenges” on one of Scotland’s main roads where motorists were stranded overnight.Deputy First Minister John Swinney said there had been an “extensive operation” taking place to try to get traffic on the M80 motorway – which links Glasgow and Stirling – moving again.
Short URL Darren Ryan Oct 23rd 2016, 11:00 AM 577 Views Sunday 23 Oct 2016, 11:00 AM “DO YOU HAVE the next big idea to change Ireland?”This was the question we asked people across Ireland earlier this year. Hundreds of people replied, from every corner of the country. The ideas that came back were incredible.We often think that we have to wait for the system to change things. But there are people all over the country who have innovative ideas to solve Ireland’s social problems and they have the drive and determination to put these ideas into action.These people are entrepreneurs. But not in the traditional sense. Instead of having an idea to make a profit, they have an idea to create a social change, to make life better for people and to create a better society.At Social Entrepreneurs Ireland we select the best entrepreneurs with the best ideas and give them funding and support to make that idea a reality.Some of the previous Social Entrepreneurs Ireland winners have been FoodCloud – an app developed by Aoibheann O’Brien and Iseult Ward which matches retailers who have too much food with charities that have too little; and the Irish Men’s Sheds Association founded by John Evoy which has had a huge impact in combating isolation and suicide among men in Ireland.Like Dragon’s Den, we filter through the applications, interview the entrepreneurs and finally, after a thorough and in-depth selection process we have found the top nine ideas to change Ireland for 2016 and the entrepreneurs behind them.And they are…A Lust for Life – Niall Breslin and Susan QuirkeSometimes an idea arrives at just the right time, when people need it most and when a country is really ready to embrace it. For Ireland, this idea is A Lust for Life. There are hundreds of thousands of people across the country who are experiencing or have experienced a mental health issue. This can be very lonely. It can also be daunting and overwhelming. Source: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ieA Lust for Life aims to bring people together, to show solidarity in doing activities together, like a run or a cycle. They are creating strong communities so no one has to feel alone, no matter what they are going through.A Lust for Life has also created a platform where experts can give advice and people can talk about the mental health issues they are experiencing. A Lust for Life is a national wellbeing movement utilising a holistic approach to promote positive mental health, suicide prevention and physical health. Through the media and grassroots advocacy A Lust for Life aims to change the way we talk about and treat mental health issues in Ireland.Lakers- Meeting Special Needs – Claire BradyLakers is changing people’s lives in a big way. It is an idea that is set to take off across the country. The idea behind Lakers is to create a place where people of all age groups with different intellectual disabilities can participate in a wide range of sporting, social, recreational, and developmental activities.Lakers asks its members what activities they would like to take part in and facilitates the various interests of its members. Lakers also provides a strong, supportive network for parents and families of its members. If you have an intellectual disability in Ireland sometimes the choice of activities that you can take part in can be very limited.This has a huge effect on the quality of life for people with intellectual disabilities and their families. Lakers is changing people’s lives by giving them diversity and choice and creating an environment where people can thrive and reach their full potential.ReCreate – Dara ConnollyMany businesses have surplus materials at the end of the day, which are often sent to landfill. Meanwhile, many communities around Ireland cannot afford art materials, which can be very expensive. ReCreate is a fantastic idea which bridges this gap. ReCreate salvages materials from businesses, like Avoca handweavers or Bewleys and makes art materials out of them. Source: Recreate Ireland/YouTubeThey have created a Warehouse of Wonders which is full of incredible materials. They hold workshops and invite groups and schools from disadvantaged communities to join in the workshops or avail of art supplies. ReCreate’s mission is to be an inclusive social enterprise by inspiring curiosity, creativity and care for the environment by supporting businesses nationwide to divert materials from landfill. This is a very special project and a trip to the Warehouse of Wonders is a must for children and adults alike.Buddy Bench Ireland – Sam Synnott and Judith AshtonBuddy Bench Ireland is a simple but wonderful idea – to put a colourful bench in school yards around Ireland. The aim is to encourage children to use the bench to talk to each other about their feelings.This is coupled with a programme they have developed, which aims to teach children how to express their emotions and talk about how they are feeling. This has mental health benefits and creates a supportive and communicative environment for children from a very young age.It is surprising how many young children experience anxiety issues and don’t know how to express what they’re going through. Sam and Judith’s vision is to have a buddy bench in every school in the country. This could make all the difference to the mental health of the next generation.CyberSafeIreland – Alex Cooney and Cliona CurleyOne third of internet users are children. This may surprise you. What may surprise you even more is what these children are doing online. Many parents worry about children being on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. But what they may not realise is that there are a whole host of other apps and websites that children are accessing that parents don’t even know exist.One in five children has come into contact with a stranger online and many of the dangers of the internet like cyberbullying and grooming are very real concerns when children are growing up with the internet as part of their daily lives. And yet, there’s no national strategy to help parents and teachers to deal with this issue.CyberSafeIreland works with children, talking to them about the apps and websites they are using. They then advise parents, teachers and children about how kids can be stronger, smarter and safer online. This idea is timely and will help our society to adapt to a fast-changing world.DabbledooMusic – Shane McKenna and Killian RedmondMany primary school teachers don’t know how to read music, and yet they are supposed to teach it in the classroom. Remember this? Source: w3aselThis can be daunting and often means that teachers avoid teaching the subject as they’re not confident about it themselves. The reality is, because of this, a lot of children around the country are missing out on music education and the joy and skills that come with it. DabbledooMusic has the solution.By creating a programme that uses colours in place of musical notation, they are making teaching and learning music more accessible, engaging, and fun for teachers and students. If you’ve never played music in your life, you’ll be playing a polka in a matter of minutes! Check it out.Mobility Mojo – Noelle Daly and Stephen CluskeyFor many people with mobility issues- whether they are in wheelchairs, are elderly, or pushing a pram or buggy, accessibility is a major issue. And yet, it can be incredibly difficult to find any reliable information about whether hotels, bars, restaurants or tourist sites are accessible.This makes life very difficult for more than 600,000 people affected by reduced mobility in Ireland and their friends and families too. Mobility Mojo is an exciting new app which aims to solve this.It’s like ‘TripAdvisor’ for those with mobility issues. Developed by Noelle and Stephen, who are both wheelchair users themselves, it is a platform for people to give live reviews on transport routes, public buildings, tourist attractions and accommodation.Their mission is to create a barrier-free travel environment for people with limited mobility and make Ireland the most accessible destination. It’s one of those ideas you just can’t believe doesn’t exist already.Problem Gambling Ireland – Barry GrantWith the tap of a phone these days you can lose your paycheck, your rent money, your relationships, your job. This is because gambling is so easy to do on your mobile phone. For people who are addicted to gambling this is a major problem.Barry is an addiction counsellor and witnessed first-hand the devastating effects of problem gambling – from mental health issues to family breakdown to crime committed to support addiction.Problem Gambling Ireland is an independent resource dedicated to reducing gambling related harm through preventative education, awareness-raising of gambling addiction and lobbying for statutory regulation of the gambling industry.Its mission is to provide an independent suite of supports, resources and referral pathways for problem gamblers and their families. This idea is tackling a complicated issue in a real and meaningful way.Step Out Ireland – Francis Cleary One in eight people in Ireland suffer from social anxiety disorder. That means probably one of your friends or family may go through this at some point in their lives. It is a very isolating and overwhelming condition which can make friendships, relationships and even keeping down a job very difficult.It can also lead to substance abuse and other mental health issues. Francis Cleary was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder at the age of 27. He knew he had to do something to help people who were going through the same problem.He founded Step Out Ireland which creates a welcoming and safe space for people with social anxiety disorder to meet and talk with one another. Its aim is to facilitate meaningful connection so that social confidence and a sense of belonging can be fostered. Step Out Ireland hosts facilitated meetings in locations around Ireland and is already changing lives across the country.So far Social Entrepreneurs Ireland has supported over 200 big ideas which are having an enormous impact on lives across Ireland. Stay tuned to see how these ideas grow and scale over the coming years. And keep a look out for our call out in March as we look for more people to Think Big, Act Now and Change Ireland. Darren Ryan is CEO of Social Entrepreneurs IrelandMore: Two Irish outfits that want to fix our food-wasting habits are going globalRead: Ireland is the 15th best country in the world to be a young person – survey Could these 9 ideas change Ireland for the better? We often think that we have to wait for the system to change things – but we don’t, argues SEI’s Darren Ryan. 18 Comments https://jrnl.ie/3039706 Share266 Tweet Email4 By Darren Ryan Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
Short URL By Christina Finn A SEANAD DISCUSSION on a motion calling on the government to provide free sanitary products has heard that in many public buildings, such as Leinster House, tampons and sanitary pads cost €2 each.The motion was tabled by the Oireachtas women’s caucus, and calls for the provision of sanitary products in all public buildings including schools, universities, hospitals, Direct Provision centres, refuges, garda stations and prisons. The issue of “period poverty”, where girls and women struggle to afford sanitary products, has repeatedly been highlighted in Ireland and other countries, and was debated in the Dáil last week.Half of females aged 12-19 in Ireland who were surveyed last year said they have experienced issues paying for sanitary products.The motion also calls for Ireland to work with other EU states to have VAT removed on such products. There is 0% VAT on such products in Ireland.Today, the Seanad was told that women can spend around €8,000 on sanitary products over a lifetime.Cost of tampons and sanitary pads Speaking during the debate, Senator Lynn Ruane said cost is even an issue in Leinster House, where it costs €2 to buy one tampon or one pad in the ladies bathroom machines“That price is the same across most State building, and that means people are capitalising on women’s needs,” said Ruane. “Being in your flowers, the commies are in the garden, the reds are playing at home this weekend. We have been very creative in trying to hide conversations about periods,” she said, adding that women who can’t afford the products are at risk of health problems. “I remember hearing one woman who tried to make a sanitary product out of a stocking and needing several days hospitalisation to treat the ensuing infection,” she said. There was cross-party support for the motion, with Junior Health Minister Catherine Byrne stating that she wasn’t going to promise, but was going to fully commit to implementing the actions outlined in the motion. “Boys, girls, men and women need to go hand in hand on the issue of period poverty. Products need to be free, accessible and reasonable,” said independent senator John Dolan.Senator Anthony Lawless said the discussion about free sanitary products should also happen alongside the debate about free contraception.National Strategy for Women and Girls The minister said that while the issue of period poverty is not specifically mentioned the National Strategy for Women and Girls, she gave a commitment today that it will be on the agenda for the next meeting. She said the issue must be “seriously looked at” by government, adding that she looks forward to developing the action points in the motion with the support of Health Minister Simon Harris. “It is not a promise, it is a commitment,” she said, adding that the government will deliver on this.“It has been left in the closet too long,” she added.Speaking about how there needs to be a more open discussion around periods, particularly with young girls, she said that now that men play such a hands on role in family life and have more input into the raising of their children “it’s imperative” that men talk to their children about all their sexual health issues and to their daughters in particular, about periods.She said such open and honest conversations will break down the barriers and stigma girls and women often feel when talking about what is normal bodily function. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article https://jrnl.ie/4563688 Image: Shutterstock/tommaso79 37 Comments Mar 27th 2019, 4:10 PM Image: Shutterstock/tommaso79 Share300 Tweet Email1 14,333 Views Wednesday 27 Mar 2019, 4:10 PM Minister commits to taking action on free sanitary products in public buildings The Seanad heard that in many public buildings, such as Leinster House, tampons and sanitary pads cost €2 each.
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram It all started back in September 2016, when, whilst sitting in her bedroom reminiscing her younger years, 59-year-old Vasiliki Varitellis Danas decided to launch the Early Greek Australians Facebook page that honours and celebrates the lives of Greek immigrants since the 1800s.“I was looking through some old black and white family photos that reminded me of my life in Greece and Australia and I was feeling homesick and nostalgic. That’s when the idea of Early Greek Australians was born,” Vicky said in an interview with Neos Kosmos.Initially, EGA started as a tool for the mother of three to share her own photos and fond memories online but, within months, the page was saturated with requests from other migrants who wished to join and share their own life experiences and migration stories.“Today we are proud to say that our little community counts over 16,000 members who actively interact with each other, share their own remarkable adventures, post old photos and openly discuss the difficulties and struggles their grandparents and parents endured after leaving Greece,” said the 59-year-old English School teacher.The photographic material and historical data shared amongst the members are regarded by many as a real treasure and an important part of Australia’s Greek migration history.“I feel that through this page we all have the opportunity to celebrate and bequeath to the next generation the experiences and stories of those remarkable strong and unique people, who from 1825 onwards, lived and worked in Australia seeking to create a better life for themselves and their families.Photo: Supplied by the Early Greek Australians Facebook pagePhoto: Supplied by the Early Greek Australians Facebook page1. Saying goodbye to a friend. 2. Leaving behind family was not easy for the first newcomers to Australia. 3. Vicky and her parents. Photos: Supplied by EGAPhoto: Supplied by the Early Greek Australians Facebook pageVasiliki Varitellis Danas and her mother at home. Photo: Supplied by the Early Greek Australians Facebook pagePhoto: Supplied by the Early Greek Australians Facebook page“When I communicate with members that constantly express their gratitude about how important this page is to them, I feel happy and content that I am in a position to give back to our wider Greek Australian community in such a positive way,” said Vicky whose parents originated from the island of Lesvos and migrated to Australia, in May 1960, just months after she was born.The young family moved in a little house in Redfern, in the inner suburbs of Sydney, which they had to share with other families, before moving permanently to Monterey.Vicky attended Bourke Street Primary School in Surry Hills.After completing her studies, she started travelling the world teaching English to foreign students.Despite the fact her work took her to places such as Saudi Arabia, London, Paris and Geneva, Vicky felt a connection with her birth country and moved to Greece to have her own family.“I will never forget the years I spent in Australia and I make sure l go back to visit my mother and sisters every couple of years, but my heart will always belong to Greece,” she concluded.
Recyclage : quand les mégots se transforment en fauteuils de jardinTom Szaky a lancé au Canada un programme de recyclage de mégots de cigarettes qui connaît un incroyable succès. Son entreprise TerraCycle s’apprête maintenant à exporter le modèle dans plusieurs pays européens.Chaque année, des milliards de mégots sont jetés dans les poubelles voire pire, abandonnés dans les rues où ils mettent des années à disparaitre s’ils ne sont pas ramassés. Pourtant, ces déchets sont composés de substances toxiques capables de polluer l’environnement mais aussi de matériaux qui peuvent tout à fait être réutilisés. C’est justement l’idée qu’a eu TerraCycle, une entreprise américaine créée par un jeune entrepreneur, Tom Szaky, qui a mis en place un vaste programme de recyclage des mégots. Lancé au Canada en mai, étendu depuis aux Etats-Unis et en Espagne le principe est simple : assurer la collecte des mégots et des cendres via des bénévoles, les transformer en plastique puis les réutiliser pour fabriquer de nouveaux produits tels que des cendriers ou… des fauteuils de jardin. Les bénévoles sont tous des adultes et ils récoltent les mégots qu’ils envoient à l’antenne nationale de TerraCycle, qui paye l’affranchissement. Une fois stérilisés et disséqués le tri est effectué : le papier et le tabac finiront en compost, l’acétate de cellulose (une matière plastique) constituant le filtre sera fondu et réutilisé pour faire toutes sortes de nouveaux produits qui seront à leur tour commercialisés.Un programme qui a conquis l’industrie du tabac Le comble c’est que “le programme, est payé par l’industrie du tabac”, souligne Tom Szaky. “Quand nous sommes allés voir l’industrie du tabac, et leur avons montré le plastique que nous faisons à partir des mégots, ils n’en revenaient pas. Ils se sont engagés, et non seulement ils payent le programme, mais ils en font la promotion”. C’est pour elle faire preuve de bonne volonté et surtout essayer de s’acheter une bonne conduite. Le succès du recyclage de mégots est ainsi devenu phénoménal. “Nous avons récupéré très vite plus d’un million de cigarettes. Des organisations formidables ont assuré les ramassages”, souligne Tom Szaky. “Dans les quatre prochains mois, le programme sera lancé en France, en Allemagne, en Suisse, en Autriche, en Norvège, au Danemark, en Suède, en Finlande et peut-être au Mexique”, poursuit-il. Pour se faire une idée, il faut savoir que “pour faire un cendrier, il faut de 1.000 à 2.000 mégots. Pour un fauteuil de jardin en plastique, probablement plus de 200.000”. Mais si les 1.000 à 2.000 milliards de mégots jetés chaque année dans le monde ont poussé Tom Szaky à se lancer dans leur recyclage, il a également eu d’autres idées. Les deux autres objectifs qu’il s’était fixé était le recyclage des chewing-gums et des couches usagées. Mission remplie en 2012 avec le programme de collecte des chewing-gums qui va être lancé au Brésil et celui des couches usagées, aux Etats-Unis. Une soixantaine de déchets traités À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Reste que TerraCycle n’en n’est pas à son coup d’essai puisque depuis dix ans elle s’est spécialisée dans le recyclage et le transcyclage, c’est-à-dire a transformation d’un objet en quelque chose de nouveau et de valeur supérieure. Elle traite aujourd’hui une soixantaine de déchets différents des bouteilles en plastique aux papiers de bonbons en passant par les brosses à dents, les claviers d’ordinateurs ou les stylos. Et les bénévoles ne sont pas délaissés puisqu’ils reçoivent des points, qu’ils peuvent ensuite utiliser pour financer des projets d’école ou d’associations caritatives. Dans 22 pays, 35 millions de personnes, majoritairement des femmes et des enfants, s’inscrivent sur le site internet, choisissent leur produit, le collectent, et l’envoient à TerraCycle qui prend ensuite le relais. La société emploie désormais une centaine de personnes dans le monde et espère s’étendre en 2013 à de nouveaux pays d’Europe de l’Est et d’Amérique latine. “Je veux régler tous les problèmes de déchets qui existent, affirme M. Szaky, et avant tout, les produits dont on pense qu’ils ne sont pas recyclables”.Le 24 janvier 2013 à 17:32 • Maxime Lambert
Stay on target Everyone already knows that McDonald’s has some of the best fast food fries you can get around the world. They don’t really need anything to pep them up, and they’re even good without sauce. But let’s face it, a bunch of meat and cheese on top of them like some sort of tasty McDonald’s nacho fries can’t hurt, right? The latest creation from McDonald’s Japan comes in the form of the “Try Pour Some Cheese Bolognese” fries, which are McDonald’s french fries covered in a warm, meaty bolognese sauce and delicious cheese.The Italian twist with the chunky, meaty sauce and the melted cheese will give the french fries a spaghetti-like lilt, with tomato and cheese and acidic deliciousness mingling with the fries and create a symphony in your mouth. It sounds a lot like replacing the spaghetti noodles with fries, and that’s all I need to know about totally digging in. I’m trying to watch my carbs, McDonald’s Japan! Why do you do this to me?2/28(水)の発売まであと3日チーズとろとろ、ひき肉の食感ごろごろの贅沢なソースをかけて楽しむ、マックフライポテトに #カケテミーヨ チーズボロネーゼ pic.twitter.com/ZRxSRdywVV— マクドナルド (@McDonaldsJapan) February 24, 2018The “Try Pour Some Cheese Bolognese Fries” are making their debut in McDonald’s in Japan starting February 28 through the end of March. You can nab them alone or with a combo including a drink, or you can have them as part of a meal with a burger or sandwich for 100 yen more than the 390 yen fries or 490 yen combo. These look like the kind of decadent treat you’d want to have on their own though, perhaps.McDonald’s Japan keeps coming up with delicious combinations of foods like these fries, sakura floats, and other awesome flavors, and meanwhile, we get Shamrock Shakes and the McRib. Come on, America. You can do better than that, right? Otherwise, we’ll just have to get our Big Macs in Japan. Launchpad Blaze Postpones JAXA’s Cargo Ship Launch to ISSJapan’s Hayabusa-2 Probe Packs Up Space Rock Cargo From Asteroid Ryugu Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.
OLYMPIA — Voters have rejected Tim Eyman’s anti-tolling measure, Initiative 1125.The measure was getting only 48.44 percent of the vote in unofficial returns released Wednesday evening. Many of the remaining hundreds of thousands of ballots left to count were in King County, the state’s most populous, which was sharply rejecting I-1125.“Considering how much I-1125’s opponents outspent us, we are amazed at how close it was for I-1125,” Eyman said late Wednesday. “We are very proud of the extraordinary number of voters who approved I-1125. We look forward to continuing to fight for the taxpayers and give voters more choices at the ballot box.”Eyman did have success in local measures that he backed. A year after he led a successful movement to oppose traffic cameras in his hometown of Mukilteo, three cities took a similar approach. Bellingham passed an advisory vote to remove the cameras. Monroe voters indicated they wanted to end the traffic camera program in 2013. Longview opposed red-light cameras while giving the OK to speed cameras in school zones.Traffic camera foes argue that the ticketing systems don’t significantly improve safety and that cities use them to collect revenue.Eyman’s statewide measure struggled against broad opposition, from business groups to Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire to Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna. State leaders have complained that it would eliminate a key source of revenue that would be used for major transportation overhauls, such as the 520 bridge replacement and a new Columbia River bridge connecting Vancouver and Portland.The measure also proposed a major provision that would have effectively ended a plan to run light rail across the Interstate 90 bridge into Seattle. Eyman’s initiative campaign was largely funded by Bellevue developer Kemper Freeman, who has battled against light rail proposals for years.
Lawn Chair PilotsJoe Barbera and his team will launch a cluster of three weather balloons and a modest payload Sunday morning from a field next to his house.If things work out well this weekend, the half-dozen guys will try it again later this month on a larger scale. And on that June 21 flight, the payload will include Barbera.He’s looking forward to seeing the world from his high-flying lawn chair.“It’s seriously cool technology, but it’s stuff you can build in your backyard,” Barbera said.Lawn-chair ballooning has been on his to-do list for more than 30 years, Barbera said. So, this is not a spur-of-the moment enterprise.That’s the reason for Sunday’s test flight, when three helium-filled balloons — each about 5 feet in diameter — will lift off with a payload of about 11 pounds.“We’re doing an unmanned flight first, to prove a couple of technology things,” Barbera said.The launch is tentatively scheduled for 10 a.m. “Maybe earlier, depending on the weather,” Barbera said.“We need winds that are blowing away from Portland and Seattle, to the northeast,” he said at his home in a wooded area north of Battle Ground.The team has plotted out a climb rate of about a meter a second. It’s a slow, steady ascent — not the trajectory of a rocket launch — although they need enough lift to ensure that the craft will actually leave his own property. Joe Barbera models his makeshift flight suit as he relaxes in the lawn chair he hopes to pilot on a June 21 flight featuring 45 helium-filled weather balloons.