<div class=Illinois high schools now required to buy insurance for athletes
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Illinois high schools now required to buy insurance for athletes

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

This past Sunday, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a bill known as “Rocky’s Law” that requires Illinois high schools, through the local school district, to buy catastrophic injury insurance up to US$3 million or medical costs for up to five years, whichever one comes first, that covers student athletes. The insurance must cover student athletes while they are competing.

The legislation was named after Rasul “Rocky” Clark. In 2000, the Eisenhower High School football player became paralyzed from the waist down as a result of a tackle during a game. His school based health insurance covered the costs of his medical treatment. A legislator sponsoring the bill noted that the need for this type of insurance is rare. Clark’s mother attended the legislation signing. Her son died last year.

Before parents can claim money from school insurance, they first must pay out US$50,000. Schools have until January 1, 2014 to comply with the law. Schools cannot charge students more than US$5 to defray the cost of insurance. If a school district already requires student to be covered through private health insurance, they are exempted from this law.

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<div class=Irish National Pensions Reserve Fund gains 2.4% in first quarter
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Irish National Pensions Reserve Fund gains 2.4% in first quarter

Friday, April 22, 2005

Ireland’s National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) has posted a 2.4% return for the first quarter (9.6% annualized). On March 31, the funds value stood at €12.3bn, a rise of €290m (excluding state contributions) since December 31.

Donal Geaney, the fund’s chairman, told the press that growth in the past quarter had been driven by the Fund’s European equity investments.

Mr Geaney, former Élan CEO, has pursued a policy of diversification since February of this year, with the stated aim of placing a larger amount of the funds assets in companies with small market capitalizations and in property funds.

The fund was set up by the National Pensions Reserve Fund Act, 2000 to partially meet the expected rise in Irish pension costs from 2025 onwards.

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How To Build A Water Garden Fountain Yourself

How To Build A Water Garden Fountain Yourself

By Lee Dobbins

Garden fountains are accessories to water ponds – be they small or large. The sound of flowing water, be it rippling or cascading are so relaxing that they add up to the peacefulness and tranquility of outdoors.

There are so many fountains to choose from. You can go for the dramatic fountains that are made out of cast stone. You can save space by going for wall fountains. There are so many finishing to select. There is the garden wall fountains that are appropriate for both indoor and outdoor use. There are sandstone finishes that add classy appeal.

Other factors we suggest you consider before deciding on the ideal fountain for you is your living space situation. Is your garden big enough to accommodate the outdoor fountains made out of copper, stone, and fiberglass? These fountains are normally so large that those who have big gardens consider these to be the center of their exterior.

Another factor that determines the kind of water garden fountain you purchase is if you have pets. If the fountain you get is on ground level, then your pet may think that it is a bathtub, or better yet for him, a swimming pool. Sometimes, they will even drink from it.

For others, water fountains, from the looks of it, may be daunting. You do not have to go to the mall yourself and check how much they are. Obviously, these are expensive. You have a water garden and you are already satisfied with a water feature that is appropriate for the landscape. A small water fountain can do the trick. It is not only cheap, it is also low-maintenance. As long as you hear the ripping of the water, your nerves will be relaxed. Why need a big fountain, right?

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So you decided to build your own water garden fountain. Here are the steps:

1. Consult an electrician who could install the ground fault circuit interrupter near the man-made pond. The cord length depends on how far the fountain is from the pond. Ideally, the landscaping for the garden fountain is inches close to the patio so that while you are relaxing on the patio, you are soothed with the sounds coming from your fountain.

2. Remove the weeds that are surrounding the are you chose to put your water fountain. Double check whether the ground is level. Then that is when you dig the hole. This is where you will put the pond liner. In order for you to get the accurate dimensions of the hole, trace the preformed pond lining plastic and trace around the area.

3. Make sure that your hole is deep enough to accommodate the water garden fountain that you have in mind. Use sand to fill between the gaps. Sand can be used at the bottom because it is malleable and will let you have an easier time adjusting the height of the pond for your water garden fountain.

4. Before instilling the water garden fountain, check whether the ground is level, front and back, right and left.

5. Now you’re ready to put your water garden fountain. If your main concentration on having a fountain is the decoration, then you should build a fountain that is cheap enough for you to go about the total costs. Make sure that you will be able to save more having done the job yourself than buying one and having technicians to install It for you in the first place.

6. This can be done sans plumbing, as a matter of fact. You can just drill holes in the bottom of your ‘statue’ and then another one on the top. With a knife, you can make the holes bigger so it would allow the plastic tubing to pass through easily.

7. Discharge the adapter of your pump by half an inch. This is where the water pushes out. Now that the plastic tubing has been fed through your statue, you can bring it over the man-made pond.

8. Fill the pond with water by putting the pump into the water, Let the tubing be submerge but at the same time, make sure that it remains hanging by the bottom of the statue. Double check that it is the right fit above the pump’s adaptor.

9. Plug the pump into the outlet and watch the jet of water shoot out of the statue. You will enjoy it more because your very own hands are responsible for this project.

About the Author: Lee Dobbins writes for watergardens.garden-g8way.com where you can learn more about water gardens and accessories like the water garden fountain.

Source: isnare.com

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<div class=Plane crashes into office block in Austin, Texas/suicide note
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Plane crashes into office block in Austin, Texas/suicide note

This is the online suicide letter authored by Andrew Stack, the man believed to be responsible for flying a light aircraft into a building in Austin, Texas. It was originally posted at Stack’s site, http://embeddedart.com/. The hosting company, T35, took the site offline per an FBI request. The note is reproduced here in its entirety.

If you’re reading this, you’re no doubt asking yourself, “Why did this have to happen?” The simple truth is that it is complicated and has been coming for a long time. The writing process, started many months ago, was intended to be therapy in the face of the looming realization that there isn’t enough therapy in the world that can fix what is really broken. Needless to say, this rant could fill volumes with example after example if I would let it. I find the process of writing it frustrating, tedious, and probably pointless… especially given my gross inability to gracefully articulate my thoughts in light of the storm raging in my head. Exactly what is therapeutic about that I’m not sure, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

We are all taught as children that without laws there would be no society, only anarchy. Sadly, starting at early ages we in this country have been brainwashed to believe that, in return for our dedication and service, our government stands for justice for all. We are further brainwashed to believe that there is freedom in this place, and that we should be ready to lay our lives down for the noble principals represented by its founding fathers. Remember? One of these was “no taxation without representation”. I have spent the total years of my adulthood unlearning that crap from only a few years of my childhood. These days anyone who really stands up for that principal is promptly labeled a “crackpot”, traitor and worse.

While very few working people would say they haven’t had their fair share of taxes (as can I), in my lifetime I can say with a great degree of certainty that there has never been a politician cast a vote on any matter with the likes of me or my interests in mind. Nor, for that matter, are they the least bit interested in me or anything I have to say.

Why is it that a handful of thugs and plunderers can commit unthinkable atrocities (and in the case of the GM executives, for scores of years) and when it’s time for their gravy train to crash under the weight of their gluttony and overwhelming stupidity, the force of the full federal government has no difficulty coming to their aid within days if not hours? Yet at the same time, the joke we call the American medical system, including the drug and insurance companies, are murdering tens of thousands of people a year and stealing from the corpses and victims they cripple, and this country’s leaders don’t see this as important as bailing out a few of their vile, rich cronies. Yet, the political “representatives” (thieves, liars, and self-serving scumbags is far more accurate) have endless time to sit around for year after year and debate the state of the “terrible health care problem”. It’s clear they see no crisis as long as the dead people don’t get in the way of their corporate profits rolling in.

And justice? You’ve got to be kidding!

How can any rational individual explain that white elephant conundrum in the middle of our tax system and, indeed, our entire legal system? Here we have a system that is, by far, too complicated for the brightest of the master scholars to understand. Yet, it mercilessly “holds accountable” its victims, claiming that they’re responsible for fully complying with laws not even the experts understand. The law “requires” a signature on the bottom of a tax filing; yet no one can say truthfully that they understand what they are signing; if that’s not “duress” than [sic] what is. If this is not the measure of a totalitarian regime, nothing is.

How did I get here?

My introduction to the real American nightmare starts back in the early ‘80s. Unfortunately after more than 16 years of school, somewhere along the line I picked up the absurd, pompous notion that I could read and understand plain English. Some friends introduced me to a group of people who were having ‘tax code’ readings and discussions. In particular, zeroed in on a section relating to the wonderful “exemptions” that make institutions like the vulgar, corrupt Catholic Church so incredibly wealthy. We carefully studied the law (with the help of some of the “best”, high-paid, experienced tax lawyers in the business), and then began to do exactly what the “big boys” were doing (except that we weren’t steeling [sic] from our congregation or lying to the government about our massive profits in the name of God). We took a great deal of care to make it all visible, following all of the rules, exactly the way the law said it was to be done.

The intent of this exercise and our efforts was to bring about a much-needed re-evaluation of the laws that allow the monsters of organized religion to make such a mockery of people who earn an honest living. However, this is where I learned that there are two “interpretations” for every law; one for the very rich, and one for the rest of us… Oh, and the monsters are the very ones making and enforcing the laws; the inquisition is still alive and well today in this country.

That little lesson in patriotism cost me $40,000+, 10 years of my life, and set my retirement plans back to 0. It made me realize for the first time that I live in a country with an ideology that is based on a total and complete lie. It also made me realize, not only how naive I had been, but also the incredible stupidity of the American public; that they buy, hook, line, and sinker, the crap about their “freedom”… and that they continue to do so with eyes closed in the face of overwhelming evidence and all that keeps happening in front of them.

Before even having to make a shaky recovery from the sting of the first lesson on what justice really means in this country (around 1984 after making my way through engineering school and still another five years of “paying my dues”), I felt I finally had to take a chance of launching my dream of becoming an independent engineer.

On the subjects of engineers and dreams of independence, I should digress somewhat to say that I’m sure that I inherited the fascination for creative problem solving from my father. I realized this at a very young age.

The significance of independence, however, came much later during my early years of college; at the age of 18 or 19 when I was living on my own as student in an apartment in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. My neighbor was an elderly retired woman (80+ seemed ancient to me at that age) who was the widowed wife of a retired steel worker. Her husband had worked all his life in the steel mills of central Pennsylvania with promises from big business and the union that, for his 30 years of service, he would have a pension and medical care to look forward to in his retirement. Instead he was one of the thousands who got nothing because the incompetent mill management and corrupt union (not to mention the government) raided their pension funds and stole their retirement. All she had was social security to live on.

In retrospect, the situation was laughable because here I was living on peanut butter and bread (or Ritz crackers when I could afford to splurge) for months at a time. When I got to know this poor figure and heard her story I felt worse for her plight than for my own (I, after all, I thought I had everything to in front of me). I was genuinely appalled at one point, as we exchanged stories and commiserated with each other over our situations, when she in her grandmotherly fashion tried to convince me that I would be “healthier” eating cat food (like her) rather than trying to get all my substance from peanut butter and bread. I couldn’t quite go there, but the impression was made. I decided that I didn’t trust big business to take care of me, and that I would take responsibility for my own future and myself.

Return to the early ‘80s, and here I was off to a terrifying start as a ‘wet-behind-the-ears’ contract software engineer… and two years later, thanks to the fine backroom, midnight effort by the sleazy executives of Arthur Andersen (the very same folks who later brought us Enron and other such calamities) and an equally sleazy New York Senator (Patrick Moynihan), we saw the passage of 1986 tax reform act with its section 1706.

For you who are unfamiliar, here is the core text of the IRS Section 1706, defining the treatment of workers (such as contract engineers) for tax purposes. Visit this link for a conference committee report (http://www.synergistech.com/1706.shtml#ConferenceCommitteeReport) regarding the intended interpretation of Section 1706 and the relevant parts of Section 530, as amended. For information on how these laws affect technical services workers and their clients, read our discussion here (http://www.synergistech.com/ic-taxlaw.shtml).

SEC. 1706. TREATMENT OF CERTAIN TECHNICAL PERSONNEL.

(a) IN GENERAL – Section 530 of the Revenue Act of 1978 is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new subsection:

(d) EXCEPTION. – This section shall not apply in the case of an individual who pursuant to an arrangement between the taxpayer and another person, provides services for such other person as an engineer, designer, drafter, computer programmer, systems analyst, or other similarly skilled worker engaged in a similar line of work.

(b) EFFECTIVE DATE. – The amendment made by this section shall apply to remuneration paid and services rendered after December 31, 1986.

Note:

· “another person” is the client in the traditional job-shop relationship.

· “taxpayer” is the recruiter, broker, agency, or job shop.

· “individual”, “employee”, or “worker” is you.

Admittedly, you need to read the treatment to understand what it is saying but it’s not very complicated. The bottom line is that they may as well have put my name right in the text of section (d). Moreover, they could only have been more blunt if they would have came out and directly declared me a criminal and non-citizen slave. Twenty years later, I still can’t believe my eyes.

During 1987, I spent close to $5000 of my ‘pocket change’, and at least 1000 hours of my time writing, printing, and mailing to any senator, congressman, governor, or slug that might listen; none did, and they universally treated me as if I was wasting their time. I spent countless hours on the L.A. freeways driving to meetings and any and all of the disorganized professional groups who were attempting to mount a campaign against this atrocity. This, only to discover that our efforts were being easily derailed by a few moles from the brokers who were just beginning to enjoy the windfall from the new declaration of their “freedom”. Oh, and don’t forget, for all of the time I was spending on this, I was loosing income that I couldn’t bill clients.

After months of struggling it had clearly gotten to be a futile exercise. The best we could get for all of our trouble is a pronouncement from an IRS mouthpiece that they weren’t going to enforce that provision (read harass engineers and scientists). This immediately proved to be a lie, and the mere existence of the regulation began to have its impact on my bottom line; this, of course, was the intended effect.

Again, rewind my retirement plans back to 0 and shift them into idle. If I had any sense, I clearly should have left abandoned engineering and never looked back.

Instead I got busy working 100-hour workweeks. Then came the L.A. depression of the early 1990s. Our leaders decided that they didn’t need the all of those extra Air Force bases they had in Southern California, so they were closed; just like that. The result was economic devastation in the region that rivaled the widely publicized Texas S&L fiasco. However, because the government caused it, no one gave a shit about all of the young families who lost their homes or street after street of boarded up houses abandoned to the wealthy loan companies who received government funds to “shore up” their windfall. Again, I lost my retirement.

Years later, after weathering a divorce and the constant struggle trying to build some momentum with my business, I find myself once again beginning to finally pick up some speed. Then came the .COM bust and the 911 nightmare. Our leaders decided that all aircraft were grounded for what seemed like an eternity; and long after that, ‘special’ facilities like San Francisco were on security alert for months. This made access to my customers prohibitively expensive. Ironically, after what they had done the Government came to the aid of the airlines with billions of our tax dollars … as usual they left me to rot and die while they bailed out their rich, incompetent cronies WITH MY MONEY! After these events, there went my business but not quite yet all of my retirement and savings.

By this time, I’m thinking that it might be good for a change. Bye to California, I’ll try Austin for a while. So I moved, only to find out that this is a place with a highly inflated sense of self-importance and where damn little real engineering work is done. I’ve never experienced such a hard time finding work. The rates are 1/3 of what I was earning before the crash, because pay rates here are fixed by the three or four large companies in the area who are in collusion to drive down prices and wages… and this happens because the justice department is all on the take and doesn’t give a fuck about serving anyone or anything but themselves and their rich buddies.

To survive, I was forced to cannibalize my savings and retirement, the last of which was a small IRA. This came in a year with mammoth expenses and not a single dollar of income. I filed no return that year thinking that because I didn’t have any income there was no need. The sleazy government decided that they disagreed. But they didn’t notify me in time for me to launch a legal objection so when I attempted to get a protest filed with the court I was told I was no longer entitled to due process because the time to file ran out. Bend over for another $10,000 helping of justice.

So now we come to the present. After my experience with the CPA world, following the business crash I swore that I’d never enter another accountant’s office again. But here I am with a new marriage and a boatload of undocumented income, not to mention an expensive new business asset, a piano, which I had no idea how to handle. After considerable thought I decided that it would be irresponsible NOT to get professional help; a very big mistake.

When we received the forms back I was very optimistic that they were in order. I had taken all of the years information to Bill Ross, and he came back with results very similar to what I was expecting. Except that he had neglected to include the contents of Sheryl’s unreported income; $12,700 worth of it. To make matters worse, Ross knew all along this was missing and I didn’t have a clue until he pointed it out in the middle of the audit. By that time it had become brutally evident that he was representing himself and not me.

This left me stuck in the middle of this disaster trying to defend transactions that have no relationship to anything tax-related (at least the tax-related transactions were poorly documented). Things I never knew anything about and things my wife had no clue would ever matter to anyone. The end result is… well, just look around.

I remember reading about the stock market crash before the “great” depression and how there were wealthy bankers and businessmen jumping out of windows when they realized they screwed up and lost everything. Isn’t it ironic how far we’ve come in 60 years in this country that they now know how to fix that little economic problem; they just steal from the middle class (who doesn’t have any say in it, elections are a joke) to cover their asses and it’s “business-as-usual”. Now when the wealthy fuck up, the poor get to die for the mistakes… isn’t that a clever, tidy solution.

As government agencies go, the FAA is often justifiably referred to as a tombstone agency, though they are hardly alone. The recent presidential puppet GW Bush and his cronies in their eight years certainly reinforced for all of us that this criticism rings equally true for all of the government. Nothing changes unless there is a body count (unless it is in the interest of the wealthy sows at the government trough). In a government full of hypocrites from top to bottom, life is as cheap as their lies and their self-serving laws.

I know I’m hardly the first one to decide I have had all I can stand. It has always been a myth that people have stopped dying for their freedom in this country, and it isn’t limited to the blacks, and poor immigrants. I know there have been countless before me and there are sure to be as many after. But I also know that by not adding my body to the count, I insure nothing will change. I choose to not keep looking over my shoulder at “big brother” while he strips my carcass, I choose not to ignore what is going on all around me, I choose not to pretend that business as usual won’t continue; I have just had enough.

I can only hope that the numbers quickly get too big to be white washed and ignored that the American zombies wake up and revolt; it will take nothing less. I would only hope that by striking a nerve that stimulates the inevitable double standard, knee-jerk government reaction that results in more stupid draconian restrictions people wake up and begin to see the pompous political thugs and their mindless minions for what they are. Sadly, though I spent my entire life trying to believe it wasn’t so, but violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer. The cruel joke is that the really big chunks of shit at the top have known this all along and have been laughing, at and using this awareness against, fools like me all along.

I saw it written once that the definition of insanity is repeating the same process over and over and expecting the outcome to suddenly be different. I am finally ready to stop this insanity. Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.

The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.

Joe Stack (1956-2010)

02/18/2010

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<div class=Oversight Committee: White House attempted to influence Congressional elections
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Oversight Committee: White House attempted to influence Congressional elections

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A report released by the US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform today found that the White House had “used the political affairs office to orchestrate an aggressive strategy to use taxpayer-funded trips to help elect Republican candidates” during the 2006 Congressional elections. The actions of the White House may have breached the Hatch Act, which prohibits government involvement with taxpayer dollars in political affairs.

The Office of Political Affairs coordinated the efforts, and while it has been used in the past to support political parties, the Committee called the level of involvement “unprecedented” and a “gross abuse of public trust”. A total of 99 Republican candidates were supported by the actions.

Political Affairs requested that its officials attend events of and support key members of the 2006–2007 Congressional race. Administration officials attended a total of 425 events, including parties, fundraising dinners, speeches, and appearances with Republican candidates — an average of more than an event each day of the election season. A third of the events were paid for with tax dollars.

White House emails used in the report referred to the taxpayer-funded events as “top priorities”.

Former Political Affairs director Ken Melhman said during an investigative interview that it was a “big part” of his job was to “help elect allies of the President”. The job was legal, he said, because it promoted executive allies. Mehlman had discussed his actions with the White House Counsel of the time, Alberto Gonzales, who approved of the efforts.

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The Committee noted that the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, John Walters, helped with nineteen events though his position was restricted from campaign activities.

Mehlman said that his department had worked directly with the National Republican Congressional Committee on the strategy. They had worked together to pick “vulnerable Republican incumbents”, “battleground races” and “places where they agreed the most help was needed”. The White House kept a ‘target list’ of ‘allies’ who were in tight races.

Investigators also questioned Sara Taylor, a former director of Political Affairs and Karl Rove aid. According to the report, Taylor resisted questioning and “misled the Committee about her actions”. Taylor said the trips were efforts to be helpful but could not remember why some were helped and others not.

The report recommended an amendment of the Hatch Act and for the Political Affairs department to be abolished.

Republican Representative Tom Davis, a senior member of the Committee, said that every administration since Eisenhower has done similar things. He said the Democrats had set out to find banned activity and had “feigned shock”, calling their response “righteous indignation”.

A White House spokesman accused the Committee of trying to “score political points”, and that the report was a waste of time and taxpayer money.

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The Opportunities In Construction Jobs Abroad

The Opportunities In Construction Jobs Abroad

By Duncan Freer

The Construction Industry operates on a global scale with many opportunities to work abroad. The developed world maintains many types of project, including continuation, decommissioning and environmental work, much of which is implemented by some of the industry’s leading companies, who are diversifying into new markets. Factors such as tourism and the continuing rise in the global population have increased the demand for housing, commercial buildings, high-rise constructions, industrial processing plants and new and improved transport infrastructures.

New markets are arising in countries with unused natural resources. Countries such as South Africa, South America and Russia are providing budding opportunities in this area, whilst countries in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia and Dubai are plowing billions of pounds worth of investment into housing, hospitals as well as residential and tourist developments. Other industries are having a positive effect on the construction industry; India has achieved an almost overnight success within its IT sector. As outsourcing and the off-shoring of international business have grown in conjunction with the development of this IT industry so, too, has the demand for commercial, residential and retail constructions. China is also offering substantial opportunities for jobs in construction as its changing infrastructure demands new housing and power developments.

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UK qualifications are well-respected worldwide by construction recruitment organizations, offering British workers considerable opportunities to work overseas. Whilst overseas project tend to favour more experienced graduates, many multinational companies will readily take on more-recently qualified graduates into their ranks. Contracts overseas can mean long periods of time away from the UK and, in some cases, working longer hours than UK contracts stipulate. However, in these circumstances, many companies offer employees additional pay allowances and extra money to assist the costs of intermittent flights back to Britain. Many consider this to be a career for single people, as the long periods away from home and the frequent lack of facilities to cope with dependants often take a toll on married couples or those in relationships.

Construction jobs overseas require a variety of employees with a variety of skills, such as site managers, site engineers, plant engineers, electricians, quantity surveyors, structural engineers, store managers, finance personnel, personnel managers, catering staff and procurement managers. Working abroad can also present language and cultural challenges, whilst trying to oversee a large build, but this leaves extra room for graduates to use their qualifications to their best advantage.

Of course, British engineers and specialists are not confined to finding construction jobs overseas; with the advent of the 2012 Olympics in the UK. Since 2006, the Olympic Committee has been sourcing the best candidates for the required builds and competition between companies is fierce for the relevant contracts. As the Games approach, there will be more and more opportunities for qualified candidates to consider making their mark on British soil, as well as taking into account the benefits offered by working overseas. The Olympics are being heralded as a showcase for the talents of UK construction companies, which is hoped to generate further work abroad.

About the Author: Duncan freer – Director – Construction Jobs Search is a job site dedicated to the specific needs of candidates who work in the building services and construction industry in the UK. We also provide recruiters with an online service that is effective in terms of cost and ease of use. Contacts For interviews, images or comments contact: John Roberts Marketing Manager Email: john@thejobsearchgroup.com

Source: isnare.com

Permanent Link: isnare.com/?aid=306030&ca=Jobs

<div class=Australian researchers confirm stress makes you sick
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Australian researchers confirm stress makes you sick

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Australian researchers say they have scientifically proven that stress causes sickness. The Garvan Institute in Sydney has discovered that a hormone, known as neuropeptide Y (NPY) is released into the body during times of stress. Their findings show the hormone can stop the immune system from functioning properly.

“Neuropeptide Y is one of those hormones that gets unregulated or released from neurones when stressful situations occur…it’s known for example that it regulates blood pressure and heart rates so your heart rate goes up but it hasn’t been known that it actually can affect immune cells as well,” said Professor Herbert Herzog, one of the researchers.

Herzog feels it is good to finally have proof of something people have suspected for so long.

“Now we have proven without doubt that there is a direct link and that stress can weaken the immune system and that makes you more vulnerable when you for example have a cold or flu and even in the more serious situations such as cancer can be enhanced in these situations,” said Herzog.

The Garvan Institute study centres on two key events that enable the human body to recognise foreign substances and control invaders. When our body encounters a pathogen (bacteria and viruses), the immune cells retain and interrogate suspects. Their activation is made possible by NPY. These cells then return to the lymph nodes, which are found all over the body, with information about the foreign invaders. The lymph nodes are where decisions about defence are made.

“Most of us expect to come down with a cold or other illness when we are under pressure, but until now we have mostly had circumstantial evidence for a link between the brain and the immune system,” said lead Garvan researcher, associate Professor Fabienne Mackay. “During periods of stress, nerves release a lot of NPY and it gets into the bloodstream, where it directly impacts on the cells in the immune system that look out for and destroy pathogens (bacteria and viruses) in the body.”

In the case of bacteria and viruses, TH1 cells are part of the attack team that is sent out on the ‘search and destroy’ mission. But when their job is done they need to be turned ‘off’ and the immune system reset. The same hormone, NPY, that activates the sentry cells now prompts the TH1 cells to slow down and die.

“Under normal conditions, circulating immune cells produce small amounts of NPY, which enables the immune cells on sentry duty and the TH1 immune cells to operate – it’s a yin and yang kind of situation. But too much NPY means that the TH1 attack is prevented despite the foreign invaders being identified – and this is what happens during stress,” added McKay.

The impact of stress on the body has been observed in athletes. Ph. D researcher at the University of Queensland, Luke Spence, together with the Australian Institute of Sport, studied elite and recreational athletes over five months.

They found elite athletes were more susceptible to respiratory diseases under stress.

“A lot of elite athletes put themselves through vast amounts of physical stress in their training, but also their emotional, psychological stress of feeling the pressure of Australia on their shoulders, wanting to compete and wanting to do their best,” said Spence.

It’s not just athletes who are prone to stress. Pressures at work and at home may cause emotional and mental stress that can be equally damaging. Almost a third of all work absenteeism in Australia is due to illness, costing employers over $10 billion a year.

“I think it has a huge impact for the work force and also for employers – if their employees are constantly stressed, constantly under pressure, they are more likely to get sick,” Spence said.

Further research could lead to the development of new drugs which may inhibit the action of the neuropeptide Y hormone.

Herzog warns people to minimise stress before it becomes a problem.

“Relaxation methods like yoga will help you to prevent that but there will still be people out there that are not responding to that and treatment by interfering with the system will be important,” he said. “There’s obviously some time until such a treatment will be available but this is something we will definitely work towards.”

The Garvan research will be published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, Volume 202, No. 11.

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<div class=Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green Party candidate Gordon Kubanek, Nepean Carleton
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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green Party candidate Gordon Kubanek, Nepean Carleton

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Gordon Kubanek is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the Nepean-Carleton riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

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<div class=Germany legalises medical use of cannabis
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Germany legalises medical use of cannabis

Friday, January 20, 2017

Yesterday, the German Bundestag passed a law to legalise cannabis drug for medicinal purposes. The law is to come under effect in March.

“Seriously ill people must be treated in the best ways possible” ((de))German language: ?Schwerkranke Menschen müssen bestmöglich versorgt werden., German health minister Hermann Gröhe tweeted. Doctors can prescribe marijuana — cannabis — for patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, or loss of appetite or nausea from cancer’s chemotherapy treatment.

Christian Democrats (CDU) lawmaker Rainer Hayek said this law would still prevent recreational use of cannabis. The cost of cannabis is to be covered under health insurance. Patients can buy dried buds or cannabis extracts from pharmacies with a prescription or get synthetic derivatives from other countries, though possession of the drug in large quantities is not allowed.

Cannabis cultivation is to be monitored by the government. Germany has joined other European countries such as Austria, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and Netherlands in legalising the drug to some extent.

In October, a 53-year-old multiple sclerosis patient showed cannabis was the only solution to reduce his pain, and the court granted him permission to grow as many as 130 plants in one year for personal use. Purchasing, rather than growing, medical cannabis at the time cost about €15 (US$16.85) per gram.

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