Petition pressures City of Edinburgh Council to review clause affecting live music scene

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Phoenix Bar on Broughton Street in Edinburgh. Image: Brian McNeil.

Live music venues in Edinburgh, Scotland are awaiting a review later this year on the 2005 licensing policy, which places limitations on the volume of amplified music in the city. Investigating into how the policy is affecting the Edinburgh music scene, a group of Wikinews writers interviewed venue owners, academics, the City of Edinburgh Council, and local band The Mean Reds to get different perspectives on the issue.

Since the clause was introduced by the government of the city of Edinburgh, licensed venues have been prohibited from allowing music to be amplified to the extent it is audible to nearby residential properties. This has affected the live music scene, with several venues discontinuing regular events such as open mic nights, and hosting bands and artists.

Currently, the licensing policy allows licensing standards officers to order a venue to cease live music on any particular night, based on a single noise complaint from the public. The volume is not electronically measured to determine if it breaches a decibel volume level. Over roughly the past year there have been 56 separate noise complaints made against 18 venues throughout the city.

A petition to amend the clause has garnered over 3,000 signatures, including the support of bar owners, musicians, and members of the general public.

On November 17, 2014, the government’s Culture and Sport Committee hosted an open forum meeting at Usher Hall. Musicians, venue owners and industry professionals were encouraged to provide their thoughts on how the council could improve live music in the city. Ways to promote live music as a key cultural aspect of Edinburgh were discussed and it was suggested that it could be beneficial to try and replicate the management system of live music of other global cities renowned for their live music scenes. However, the suggestion which prevailed above all others was simply to review the existing licensing policy.

Councillor (Cllr) Norma Austin-Hart, Vice Convenor of the Culture and Sport Committee, is responsible for the working group Music is Audible. The group is comprised of local music professionals, and councillors and officials from Edinburgh Council. A document circulated to the Music is Audible group stated the council aims “to achieve a balance between protecting residents and supporting venues”.

Interior of the main auditorium of the Usher Hall in Edinburgh. Image: Brian McNeil.

Following standard procedure, when a complaint is made, a Licensing Standards Officer (LSO) is dispatched to investigate the venue and evaluate the level of noise. If deemed to be too loud, the LSO asks the venue to lower the noise level. According to a document provided by the City of Edinburgh Council, “not one single business has lost its license or been closed down because of a breach to the noise condition in Edinburgh.”

In the Scotland Licensing Policy (2005), Clause 6.2 states, “where the operating plan indicates that music is to be played in a premises, the board will consider the imposition of a condition requiring amplified music from those premises to be inaudible in residential property.” According to Cllr Austin-Hart, the high volume of tenement housing in the city centre makes it difficult for music to be inaudible.

During the Edinburgh Festival Fringe during the summer, venues are given temporary licences that allow them to operate for the duration of the festival and under the condition that “all amplified music and vocals are controlled to the satisfaction of the Director of Services for Communities”, as stated in a document from the council. During the festival, there is an 11 p.m. noise restriction on amplified music, and noise may be measured by Environmental Health staff using sophisticated equipment. Noise is restricted to 65dB(A) from the facades of residential properties; however, complaints from residents still occur. In the document from the council, they note these conditions and limitations for temporary venues would not necessarily be appropriate for permanent licensed premises.

Busker sitting in sealed window of St Cecilia’s Hall on Niddry Street, Edinburgh during 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Image: Brian McNeil.

In a phone interview, Cllr Austin-Hart expressed her concern about the unsettlement in Edinburgh regarding live music. She referenced the closure of the well-known Picture House, a venue that has provided entertainment for over half a century, and the community’s opposition to commercial public bar chain Wetherspoon buying the venue. “[It] is a well-known pub that does not play any form of music”, Cllr Austin-Hart said. “[T]hey feel as if it is another blow to Edinburgh’s live music”. “[We] cannot stop Wetherspoon’s from buying this venue; we have no control over this.”

The venue has operated under different names, including the Caley Palais which hosted bands such as Queen and AC/DC. The Picture House opened in 2008.

One of the venues which has been significantly affected by the licensing laws is the Phoenix Bar, on Broughton Street. The bar’s owner, Sam Roberts, was induced to cease live music gigs in March, following a number of noise complaints against the venue. As a result, Ms Roberts was inspired to start the aforementioned petition to have Clause 6.2 of the licensing policy reviewed, in an effort to remove the ‘inaudibility’ statement that is affecting venues and the music scene.

“I think we not only encourage it, but actively support the Edinburgh music scene,” Ms Roberts says of the Phoenix Bar and other venues, “the problem is that it is a dying scene.”

When Ms Roberts purchased the venue in 2013, she continued the existing 30-year legacy established by the previous owners of hosting live acts. Representative of Edinburgh’s colourful music scene, a diverse range of genres have been hosted at the venue. Ms Roberts described the atmosphere when live music acts perform at her venue as “electric”. “The whole community comes together singing, dancing and having a party. Letting their hair down and forgetting their troubles. People go home happy after a brilliant night out. All the staff usually join in; the pub comes alive”. However licensing restrictions have seen a majority of the acts shut down due to noise complaints. “We have put on jazz, blues, rock, rockabilly, folk, celtic and pop live acts and have had to close everything down.” “Residents in Edinburgh unfortunately know that the Council policy gives them all the rights in the world, and the pubs and clubs none”, Ms Roberts clarified.

Discussing how inaudibility has affected venues and musicians alike, Ms Roberts stated many pubs have lost profit through the absence of gigs, and trying to soundproof their venue. “It has put many musicians out of work and it has had an enormous effect on earnings in the pub. […] Many clubs and bars have been forced to invest in thousands of pounds worth of soundproofing equipment which has nearly bankrupted them, only to find that even the tiniest bit of noise can still force a closure. It is a ridiculously one-sided situation.” Ms Roberts feels inaudibility is an unfair clause for venues. “I think it very clearly favours residents in Edinburgh and not business. […] Nothing is being done to support local business, and closing down all the live music venues in Edinburgh has hurt financially in so many ways. Not only do you lose money, you lose new faces, you lose the respect of the local musicians, and you begin to lose all hope in a ‘fair go’.”

With the petition holding a considerable number of signatures, Ms Roberts states she is still sceptical of any change occurring. “Over three thousand people have signed the petition and still the council is not moving. They have taken action on petitions with far fewer signatures.” Ms Roberts also added, “Right now I don’t think Edinburgh has much hope of positive change”.

Ms Roberts seems to have lost all hope for positive change in relation to Edinburgh’s music scene, and argues Glasgow is now the regional choice for live music and venues. “[E]veryone in the business knows they have to go to Glasgow for a decent scene. Glasgow City Council get behind their city.”

Ms Martina Cannon, member of local band The Mean Reds, said a regular ‘Open Mic Night’ she hosted at The Parlour on Duke Street has ceased after a number of complaints were made against the venue. “It was a shame because it had built up some momentum over the months it had been running”. She described financial loss to the venue from cancelling the event, as well as loss to her as organiser of the event.

The Mean Reds at the Blind Poet, Edinburgh during Saturday Wolf Sessions, November 8, 2014. Image: Brian McNeil.

Sneaky Pete’s music bar and club, owned by Nick Stewart, is described on its website as “open and busy every night”.”Many clubs could be defined as bars that host music, but we really are a music venue that serves drinks”, Mr Stewart says. He sees the live music scene as essential for maintaining nightlife in Edinburgh not only because of the economic benefit but more importantly because of the cultural significance. “Music is one of the important things in life. […] it’s emotionally and intellectually engaging, and it adds to the quality of life that people lead.”

Sneaky Pete’s has not been immune to the inaudibility clause. The business has spent about 20,000 pounds on multiple soundproofing fixes designed to quell complaints from neighboring residents. “The business suffered a great deal in between losing the option to do gigs for fear of complaints, and finishing the soundproofing. As I mentioned, we are a music business that serves drinks, not a bar that also has music, so when we lose shows, we lose a great deal of trade”, said Mr Stewart.

He believes there is a better way to go about handling complaints and fixing public nuisances. “The local mandatory condition requiring ‘amplified music and vocals’ to be ‘inaudible’ should be struck from all licenses. The requirement presupposes that nuisance is caused by music venues, when this may not reasonably be said to be the case. […] Nuisance is not defined in the Licensing Act nor is it defined in the Public Health Act (Scotland) 2008. However, The Consultation on Guidance to accompany the Statutory Nuisance Provisions of the Public Health etc (Scotland) Act 2008 states that ‘There are eight key issues to consider when evaluating whether a nuisance exists[…]'”.

The eight key factors are impact, locality, time, frequency, duration, convention, importance, and avoidability. Stewart believes it is these factors that should be taken into consideration by LSOs responding to complaints instead of the sole factor of “audibility”.He believes multiple steps should be taken before considering revocation of licenses. Firstly, LSOs should determine whether a venue is a nuisance based on the eight factors. Then, the venue should have the opportunity to comply by using methods such as changing the nature of their live performances (e.g. from hard rock to acoustic rock), changing their hours of operation, or soundproofing. If the venue still fails to comply, then a board can review their license with the goal of finding more ways to bring them into compliance as opposed to revoking their license.

Nick Stewart has discussed his proposal at length with Music is Audible and said he means to present his proposal to the City of Edinburgh Council.

Dr Adam Behr, a music academic and research associate at the University of Edinburgh who has conducted research on the cultural value of live music, says live music significantly contributes to the economic performance of cities. He said studies have shown revenue creation and the provision of employment are significant factors which come about as a result of live music. A 2014 report by UK Music showed the economic value generated by live music in the UK in 2013 was £789 million and provided the equivalent of 21,600 full time jobs.

As the music industry is international by nature, Behr says this complicates the way revenue is allocated, “For instance, if an American artist plays a venue owned by a British company at a gig which is promoted by a company that is part British owned but majority owned by, say, Live Nation (a major international entertainment company) — then the flow of revenues might not be as straightforward as it seems [at] first.”

Despite these complexities, Behr highlighted the broader advantages, “There are, of course, ancillary benefits, especially for big gigs […] Obviously other local businesses like bars, restaurants and carparks benefit from increased trade”, he added.

Behr criticised the idea of making music inaudible and called it “unrealistic”. He said it could limit what kind of music can be played at venues and could force vendors to spend a large amount of money on equipment that enables them to meet noise cancelling requirements. He also mentioned the consequences this has for grassroots music venues as more ‘established’ venues within the city would be the only ones able to afford these changes.

Alongside the inaudibility dispute has been the number of sites that have been closing for the past number of years. According to Dr Behr, this has brought attention to the issue of retaining live music venues in the city and has caused the council to re-evaluate its music strategy and overall cultural policy.

The Parlour, Edinburgh. Image: Brian McNeil.

This month, Dr Behr said he is to work on a live music census for Edinburgh’s Council which aims to find out what types of music is played, where, and what exactly it brings to the city. This is in an effort to get the Edinburgh city council to see any opportunities it has with live music and the importance of grassroots venues. The census is similar to one conducted in Victoria, Australia in 2012 on the extent of live music in the state and its economic benefit.

As for the solution to the inaudibility clause, Behr says the initial step is dialogue, and this has already begun. “Having forum discussion, though, is a start — and an improvement”, he said. “There won’t be an overnight solution, but work is ongoing to try to find one that can stick in the long term.”

Beverley Whitrick, Strategic Director of Music Venue Trust, said she is unable to comment on her work with the City of Edinburgh Council or on potential changes to the inaudibility clause in the Licensing Policy. However, she says, “I have been asked to assess the situation and make recommendations in September”.

According to The Scotsman, the Council is working toward helping Edinburgh’s cultural and entertainment scene. Deputy Council Leader Sandy Howat said views of the entertainment industry needs to change and the Council will no longer consider the scene as a “sideline”.

Senior members of the Council, The Scotsman reported, aim to review the planning of the city to make culture more of a priority. Howat said, “If you’re trying to harness a living community and are creating facilities for people living, working and playing then culture should form part of that.”

The review of the inaudibility clause in the Licensing Policy is set to be reviewed near the end of 2016 but the concept of bringing it forward to this year is still under discussion.

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Know How To Apply Perfume Correctly

Submitted by: Jarmila Townsend

Do you know that 80% percent of people have no idea regarding the correct method to apply perfume? Whether it is quantity or correct application, here are a few tips and tricks by the connoisseurs of the trade to help you get the best out of your bottle.

The best time to apply perfume is right after a shower. Not only does the smell last much longer, the clean and freshly washed body absorbs the fragrance better without diluting the notes. Keep in mind that your perfume would mingle with scented body lotions and moisturizer and unless you like the mix scent, use unscented lotions.

Dousing yourself in perfume can be irritatingly over powerful and leave you with a headache. For day wear, opt for a couple of sprays at the right places, which is honestly enough and you can either settle for a much stronger perfume or go for a spray or two more for evening or occasion wear.

Apart from the occasion, another factor that the quantity of perfume to be applied depends upon, is the skin type. It has been reported that people who have a dry skin type do not retain fragrance longer, as compared to those with oily skin. Oils secreted by the body mix with the oil concentration of the perfume slowing down the process of evaporation.

The pulse points on the body are areas where the blood vessels are much closer to the epidermis (surface layer of the skin). These points make for the best places to spritz perfume as they emanate heat and the perfume after reacting with this heat would keep being emitted throughout the day. Additionally, you can smear a bit of Vaseline and then spray so that the scent gets a medium to cling on to and lasts longer. The pulse points are:


? Inner Wrist

? Throat

? Neckline

? The area immediately behind the ear lobe

? Cleavage

? Inner elbow

If you are keen on putting perfume onto hair, do so on freshly washed hair so that it reacts with natural hair oil rather than hair serums. Also, apply perfume before dressing up so that it does not get rubbed off when you put on clothes as some brands might stain your clothes or react with accessories if you directly spray on these.

If your favorite fragrance does not smell the same over a period of time, it s time to get a new bottle. When the top notes starts to fade, you can say your perfume has seen better days.

P.S. Have you ever tried to walk through the perfume mist ? No? So here we are, this is my special hint for a special occasion: Freshly showered, before you get completely dressed, spray your favourite perfume just in front of you and quickly walk through the mist cloud. You will feel how the miniature droplets of perfume cling to your skin.

Advise 1: Do not spray it too high above your head it is not pleasant to get perfume on your face or in your eyes.

Advise 2: After you spray it do not go sunbathing either some perfumes may leave difficult to remove stains on one s skin.

About the Author: The author is a longstanding fragrance enthusiast and retails a select range of fragrances at


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Amber alert issued for missing Utah girl

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A photograph of the missing girl

Police in South Salt Lake, Utah are searching for missing seven-year-old Hser Nar Moo, last seen at her home on Monday. In issuing an AMBER Alert, notifying the public of a possible child abduction, police called on anyone with information regarding the child to contact them.

Nar Moo was last seen at her home on Monday at around 2:00 p.m. MDT (UTC-6), and was reported missing at around 6:30 p.m. The alert was issued today at 9:41 a.m.

Police called upon members of the public who have any information about the child to call 801-840-4000 or 9-1-1.

The seven-year-old Asian girl is described as being 3 feet 8 inches tall, weighing about 45 lbs, with brown eyes and long black hair. She was wearing a pink dress to her knees and pink Crocs shoes.

Police reported that she speaks very little English, though she does understand some. Her family arrived from Burma in 2007. Police indicated that she may be in need of medical attention.

 This story has updates See Hser Nar Moo, missing Utah girl, found dead 

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Race to save Chilean miners trapped underground from spiralling into depression continues

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Rescue efforts to save the 33 Chilean miners trapped 700 meters from the surface continue. After seeing video images filmed by one of the miners Ruth Contreras, the mother of Carlos Bravo, who is trapped in the mine, said the “he’s skinny, bearded and it was painful to see him with his head hanging down, but I am so happy to see him alive.” Image: Desierto Atacama.

It has emerged that the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground after the mine they were working in collapsed could be brought to the surface in a shorter time than was initially feared. While officials publicly announced that the men would not be brought to the surface until Christmas, sources inside technical meetings have revealed that they could in fact be on the surface by early November. The news comes as families were allowed to speak by radio-telephone to their trapped loved ones on Sunday. Over the weekend, video images filmed by the miners emerged showing the miners playing dominoes at a table and singing the Chilean national anthem. The miners also used the camera to send video messages to their families on the surface, saying that they regularly broke into tears, but were feeling better having received food and water.

The grainy nightvision images, filmed on a high definition camcorder that was sent down a small shaft to the mine, show the men in good spirits, chanting “long live Chile, and long live the miners.” They are unshaven and stripped to the waist because of the heat underground, and are seen wearing white clinical trousers that have been designed to keep them dry. Giving a guided tour of the area they are occupying, Mario Sepúlveda, one of the miners, explains they have a “little cup to brush our teeth”, and a place where they pray each day. “We have everything organized,” he tells the camera. Gesturing to the table in the center of the room, he says that “we meet here every day. We plan, we have assemblies here every day so that all the decisions we make are based on the thoughts of all 33.” Another unidentified miner asks to rescuers, “get us out of here soon, please.” A thermometer is shown in the video, reading 29.5C (85F).

As the film continues, it becomes evident that the miners have stuck a poster of a topless woman on the wall. The miners appear shy, and one man puts his hand to his face, presumably dazzled by the light mounted on the cameraman’s helmet. One miner sent a message to his family. “Be calm”, he says. “We’re going to get out of here. And we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your efforts.” Another said that the miners are “sure that there are people here in Chile that are big people, that are powerful people, that are intelligent people, and they have the technology and they will all work together to get us out of here.” Speaking to the camera, one says: “we have had the great fortune that trapped in this mine there are good, professional people. We have electricians, we have mechanics, we have machine operators and we will let you know that while you are working to rescue us on the surface, we are down here ready to help you too.” It has been reported that Mario Gómez, 63, has become the group’s “spiritual leader”, having worked in the mines for over fifty years. He has requested that materials to build a shrine be sent down to the cavern.

Upon seeing the video in a private screening, family members, who are living in a small village of tents at the entrance to the San José copper-gold mine—which they have named Camp Hope—were elated. “He’s skinny, bearded and it was painful to see him with his head hanging down, but I am so happy to see him alive”, said Ruth Contreras, the mother of Carlos Bravo, who is trapped in the mine. The video, of which only a small portion has been released to the public, shows the miners, many of them wearing helmets, cracking jokes and thanking the rescuers for their continued efforts. The supplies are being sent to the men through a small shaft only twelve centimeters wide, and a laboratory has been set up with the purpose of designing collapsible cots and miniature sandwiches, which can be sent down such a narrow space.

CNN reported on Friday that “officials are splitting the men into two shifts so one group sleeps while the other works or has leisure time .. On average, each man has lost 22 pounds (10 kilograms) since they became trapped three weeks ago, and dehydration remains a threat. But a survey of the men indicates that at least nine miners are still too overweight to fit through the proposed rescue shaft. Initially, the miners survived by draining water from a water-cooled piece of equipment. To stay hydrated in the 90-degree mine, each miner must drink eight or nine pints of water per day.”

But while there are jubilant celebrations on the surface that the miners are alive, officials are now nervous that the miners could become depressed, trapped in a dark room the size of a small apartment. Chilean health minister Jaime Mañalich said that, on the video, he saw the telltale signs of depression. “They are more isolated, they don’t want to be on the screen, they are not eating well”, he said. “I would say depression is the correct word.” He said that doctors who had watched the video had observed the men suffering from “severe dermatological problems.” Dr. Rodrigo Figueroa, head of the trauma, stress and disaster unit at the Catholic University in Santiago, Chile, explained that “following the euphoria of being discovered, the normal psychological reaction would be for the men to collapse in a combination of fatigue and stress … People who are trained for emergencies – like these miners – tend to minimize their own needs or to ignore them. When it is time to ask for help, they don’t.” NASA has advised emergency workers that entertaining the miners would be a good idea. They are to be sent a television system complete with taped football matches. Another dilemma facing Mañalich is whether the miners should be permitted to smoke underground. While nicotine gum has been delivered to the miners, sending down cigarettes is a plan that has not been ruled out.

The message sent up confirming that the miners were alive. “We are fine in the shelter the 33” [of us], it reads.

With the news that drilling of the main rescue tunnel was expected to begin on Monday, officials have informed the media that they hope to have the miners out of the mine by Christmas—but sources with access to technical meetings have suggested that the miners could actually be rescued by the first week of November. A news report described the rescue plan—”the main focus is a machine that bores straight down to 688m and creates a chimney-type duct that could be used to haul the miners out one by one in a rescue basket. A second drilling operation will attempt to intercept a mining tunnel at a depth of roughly 350m. The miners would then have to make their way through several miles of dark, muddy tunnels and meet the rescue drill at roughly the halfway point of their current depth of 688m.” Iván Viveros Aranas, a Chilean policeman working at Camp Hope, told reporters that Chile “has shown a unity regardless of religion or social class. You see people arriving here just to volunteer, they have no relation at all to these families.”

But over the weekend, The New York Times reported that the “miners who have astonished the world with their discipline a half-mile underground will have to aid their own escape — clearing 3,000 to 4,000 tons of rock that will fall as the rescue hole is drilled, the engineer in charge of drilling said Sunday … The work will require about a half-dozen men working in shifts 24 hours a day.” Andrés Sougarret, a senior engineer involved in operating the drill said that “the miners are going to have to take out all that material as it falls.”

The families of those trapped were allowed to speak to them by radio-telephone on Sunday—a possibility that brought reassurance both the miners and those on the surface. The Intendant of the Atacama Region, Ximena Matas, said that there had been “moments of great emotion.” She continued to say that the families “listened with great interest and they both felt and realized that the men are well. This has been a very important moment, which no doubt strengthens their [the miners’] morale.” The phone line is thought to be quite temperamental, but it is hoped that soon, those in the mine and those in Camp Hope will be able to talk every day. “To hear his voice was a balm to my heart … He is aware that the rescue is not going to happen today, that it will take some time. He asked us to stay calm as everything is going to be OK … He sounded relaxed and since it was so short I didn’t manage to ask anything. Twenty seconds was nothing”, said said Jessica Cortés, who spoke to her husband Víctor Zamora, who was not even a miner, but a vehicle mechanic. “He went in that day because a vehicle had broken down inside the mine … At first they told us he had been crushed [to death].”

Esteban Rojas sent up a letter from inside the mine, proposing to his long-time partner Jessica Yáñez, 43. While they have officially been married for 25 years, their wedding was a civil service—but Rojas has now promised to have a church ceremony which is customary in Chile. “Please keep praying that we get out of this alive. And when I do get out, we will buy a dress and get married,” the letter read. Yáñez told a newspaper that she thought he was never going to ask her. “We have talked about it before, but he never asked me … He knows that however long it takes, I’ll wait for him, because with him I’ve been through good and bad.”

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How To Know If A Guy Really Loves You? Signs Your Man Truly Adores You

Men can be quite mysterious. Any woman who has spent time with a new guy will attest to this fact. Sometimes it’s impossibly hard to read a man. You think you know what he’s feeling and then suddenly he’ll do something that suggests otherwise. When it comes to knowing what’s in his heart you may just be facing a challenge. The question of how to know if a guy really loves you is one that women have been asking forever. Luckily, there are a few signs that do indicate when a man is crazy in love and once you know what you need to look for, you can find comfort in knowing that you’re the only woman he craves and desires.

One answer to the question of how to know if a guy really loves you is he’ll constantly push you to spend time with him. A man in love wants nothing more than to be with the woman he adores. He’ll move his schedule around, he’ll drive across town and he’ll linger until the very last minute if he’s crazy about you. If you’re with a man who rarely makes the time to see you, his heart doesn’t belong to you quite yet.


Another of the signs your man can’t get enough of you is he’ll actually call you and will immediately return your missed calls. Most of us have struggled with understanding what phone calls mean but the rules are fairly straightforward. If you never hear from him unless you pick up the phone to call him, he’s nowhere near being desperately in love with you yet. The same is true if he doesn’t return your messages. He hasn’t put you near the top of his priority list yet. A man in love will call his woman several times each day just to hear her voice and he’ll never want the calls to end.

Have you had the opportunity to meet the other important people in his life yet? This is actually a great way to gauge how much you mean to a man. Men tend to be a little standoffish when it comes to immersing their new girlfriends in their inner circle. They don’t rush to introduce a new woman to their friends and family simply because they’re unsure about whether the relationship is actually going to last. That’s why it’s so telling if your guy has already brought you home to meet his family and you also hang out with his friends. He sees you as an integral part of his life in this case and he wants the people that matter most to him to know you as well.

It’s also wise to pay close attention to his body language. If you want to know if a guy really loves you take note of how often he tries to hold your hand or he reaches out to kiss you. A man in love generally can’t keep his hands off the woman he’s crazy about. Even though some men aren’t comfortable with public displays of affection that typically changes behind closed doors. If he wants to be close physically with you take that as a reflection of what he feels in his heart.

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Every woman has the power to make her man fall in love with her. You can have a deep, undying emotional connection with him. Learn the specific techniques that will make you completely and utterly irresistible to him by clicking here.Author: Gillian Reynolds

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art buys Edward Hopper valued at over $25 million

Monday, March 26, 2012

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) has purchased the painting Intermission, by American artist Edward Hopper. The piece, created in 1963, is one of the last paintings created by Hopper.

SFMOMA Image: WolfmanSF.

Hopper’s realist style, which visually examined American urban and rural life in the first half of the 20th century, made him one of the most influential and important American artists of the modern era. The painting, which was sold by a private collector, is believed to be valued at over $25 million.

Intermission shows a woman sitting alone in the front row of a theater. The theater is empty, and is described, by San Francisco Chronicle art critic Kenneth Baker as expressing emotion and social isolation, a standard theme in Hopper’s works. The inspiration for the painting came to Hopper while he was watching a film.

Hopper’s wife, Josephine, had scheduled Hopper to create the painting in a theater, however Hopper would complete the painting at his studio in New York City. Original sketches of Intermission show a second person sitting in the third row — a figure that never made it into the final painting. Baker calls Intermission a “prime example of Hopper’s austere realist vision”.

[This is] a necessary practice in an art market where prices for historically important art continue to rise steeply.

SFMOMA will not disclose how much they paid for Intermission. When the painting Hotel Window, which is of similar size and from the same period, sold at auction in 2006, it sold for $26.9 million. It is believed that “Inspiration” is worth just as much, if not more. Intermission was purchased with the help of donor funds, and acquired through the San Francisco-based Fraenkel Gallery, which sold if on behalf of a private collector.

In exchange for the acquisition of Intermission, SFMOMA is selling another Hopper painting: Bridal Path, from 1939. A lesser known work of Hopper’s, Bridal Path shows a horseback riding path in Central Park. By selling Bridal Path, SFMOMA is able to help fund the acquisition of the more well known Intermission. This practice is slowly gaining popularity within a museum and art market that previously disapproved of the sale of lesser known works for more popular acquisitions. Baker acknowledges the past practices, but believes that this is “a necessary practice in an art market where prices for historically important art continue to rise steeply.”

Intermission goes on display for the public on Friday, at SFMOMA.

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Several episodes of ‘Orange is the New Black’ released prematurely by hacker

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A hacker, or group of hackers, operating under the alias of The Dark Overlord uploaded ten episodes of Netflix’s web TV series Orange is the New Black on Friday and Saturday on The Pirate Bay after they said the online streaming service failed to meet their demands. Netflix had planned to release the season on June 9.

According to The New York Times, the unreleased content from the upcoming fifth season of Orange is the New Black was likely stolen from a postproduction company Larson Studios, based in Los Angeles. Netflix in a statement said, “A production vendor used by several major TV studios had its security compromised and the appropriate law enforcement authorities are involved.” In a tweet on Saturday, the hacker said, “Who is next on the list? FOX, IFC, NAT GEO, and ABC. Oh, what fun we’re all going to have. We’re not playing any games anymore.”

The hacker tweeted about uploading the first episode on The Pirate Bay on Saturday saying, “Let’s try to be a bit more direct, Netflix”. The hacker allegedly demanded an amount of money which they publicly described as “modest”, from Netflix for not releasing the episodes prematurely. The New York Times reported that the final three episodes were not pirated since the security breach occurred before the postproduction studio was handed those episodes. In January, the hacker erased the data from the servers of a Muncie-based charity called Little Red Door Cancer Services of East Central Indiana demanding 50 bitcoins to restore their data, which was estimated to be about US$43,000.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is reportedly investigating this cyber crime. Netflix has more than 100 million subscribers, CEO Reed Hastings announced recently. Variety noted that Netfilx’s shares experienced a 0.57% loss on the day the first episode was uploaded by the hacker.

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How To Look For A Skilled Mesquite Electrician

How To Look For a Skilled Mesquite Electrician


Sami Jack

Whether you are renovating your home or office, or building a new home, you will definitely need the services of a skilled Mesquite electrician. The electrical system is the lifeblood of any modern habitat. It doesn’t matter if it’s your home or office, you will need your lights to come off and on, the TV, blow drier, washing machine, refrigerator and computer to work when you ask it of them.

Electricity is inherent to modern life and this means that when the electrical system fails for some reason or another, our normal rate of life is disturbed to a larger or smaller degree.

This is why making sure that you are working with an experienced Mesquite electrician professional is so important, and the way you do that is by properly researching several companies till you find the one that works best for you.


When you’re looking for an electrician to work on your electrical system the first thing that you will have to check is their license. This ensures that the person or firm that you are hiring is indeed capable of doing the things that you are hiring them to do.

Another thing that you need to look and ask for, are references from previous jobs that they have undertaken in the last couple of months. A good private electrician or company will usually have a few references ready for this purpose. It’s a great way of making sure that the company that you are dealing with is actually genuine and that they do good work.

Now considering they have all of the above, the next thing on your list should be to check if they are properly insured. This is a step that you’d take when hiring any type of craftsman to work in your home, and especially so considering that working with electricity is rather dangerous.

The number of services that a Mesquite electrician provides should also be an important factor in your final decision. You have to consider that once you choose a certain firm or person and if you’re satisfied with their services you’ll want to hire them for other things as well, whether it’s upgrading your electrical system, replacing it, re-wiring it, you should check through the list of services that each potential candidate offers.

There can be other advantages to working with the same firm for a longer period of time, such as fidelity discounts for various jobs, as well as having easier and in some times cheaper access to various parts that you might need because some firms get their parts cheaper than the average retail price that you see. So as you can see there are quite a few things that you should consider when looking for a Mesquite electrician but doing all of them will net you the best possible results.

Sami Jack has been writing about and working in


field for several years, giving him access to a lot of first hand experiences and knowledge which he now shares please visit


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Ballarat candidates debate climate at election forum

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Four local candidates standing for the Division of Ballarat discussed climate policy today at the Ballarat Tech School.From left to right — John Barnes (Greens), Alex Graham (independent), Catherine King (Labor), and Kerryn Sedgman (Australian Federation Party).Image: Alison Newman.

Ballarat, Australia — In the lead-up to the upcoming Australian federal election, four candidates for the Division of Ballarat met last Sunday at the Ballarat Tech School in a climate-centred forum organised by local group Ballarat Renewable Energy and Zero Emissions (BREAZE).

In attendance were sitting Labor member Catherine King, Greens candidate and former mayor John Barnes, Australian Federation Party candidate Kerryn Sedgman, and independent candidate Alex Graham. Local Liberal and Liberal Democrats candidates gave apologies in place of attendance.

The event was preceded by a climate action rally outside the Ballarat Civics Hall and the Ballarat Town Hall, which featured speeches from both representatives of BREAZE, the Ballarat branch of Extinction Rebellion, Environment Victoria, the Public Transport Users Association, and the Ballarat Trades Hall.

The forum began with each candidate being given three minutes to summarise their policies on climate before questions were taken from members of the public. John Barnes, the Greens candidate, began by claiming “the Greens have the most ambitious program of any of the parties on addressing climate change”, and said if the Greens were in the balance of power in the coming election, they would work to push Labor towards the “reforming zeal of past generations”, invoking former Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. Barnes stated the Greens have a target of 75% emissions reduction by 2030, by which time they would also end the mining, burning, and export of coal in Australia.

Independent candidate Alex Graham began his speech by saying he was “passionate about our environment” and claimed to have “absolutely, without question, the best policy”, explaining the focus of his candidacy was to introduce a referendum that would allow the Australian government to “write its own money supply into existence”. Graham said this policy would deliver “money beyond the pale to totally restore our environment”.

Incumbent MP Catherine King said that in her twenty years as an MP, the Australian Parliament had been unable to deal with the climate issue. She referenced previous attempts by the last Labor government to legislate policies to tackle climate change, such as the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS), but stated these efforts were “completely and utterly dismantled” after the 2013 election.

King referred to the Powering Australia policy announced in December 2021 by Labor energy and climate spokesperson Chris Bowen, stating the policy had been supported by the Business Council of Australia (BCA), National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) and “some” environmental groups. King stated the policy included a commitment to 43% emissions reduction by 2030, net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and it would overall “grow jobs, increase renewable energy, and bring emissions down”.

Kerryn Sedgman of the Australian Federation Party promised to centre the opinions of views of the community, and read from the Federation policy on climate directly, saying “carbon is not the enemy. Toxic pesticides are the true enemy.” Sedgman claimed pesticides were the primary source of nitrous oxide (N?O) released, and that N?O was “300 times worse than carbon”.

After the candidates concluded with their opening summaries, members of the public were open to ask questions. The first question asked candidates what their first two priorities were for climate action. Barnes said the Greens’ top priority was “prompt action”, and they would also focus on transforming the nation’s economy to “a new way — a new sustainable way — of making our living in the world”. Graham stated if Australia had a limitless supply of money, there would not be a climate change issue and Australia would become a model for the world. He said his two priorities would be creating more money and introducing newer technologies.

Barnaby Joyce (pictured) is the current Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development.Image: Australian Government.

King said her first priority would be getting more renewables into the grid and generally increasing the amount of renewables, and also added a third priority, saying that as Minister for Transport and Infrastructure in a Labor government, she would add a climate section to the department and work to create a network of electric vehicle charging stations. Sedgman stated “there’s more than two top priorities”, but remarked that soil regeneration was a key part of carbon sequestration, and called for a more immediate approach to deal with climate through education and community hubs.

The event was then disturbed slightly by a person asking about a supposed “ninety-year suppression order suppressing the names of twenty-eight VIP alleged paedophiles”, who was asked to leave by organisers for disrupting the event. King labeled the belief a “QAnon conspiracy theory”.

After this, the topic shifted to the proposed Western Victorian Transmission Network, a proposed overhead transmission line from Bulgana to Sydenham. Graham said his proposed referendum, if successful, could lead to the federal government subsidising a plan to put the transmission line underground beneath the Western Highway, emphasising we shouldn’t “let money interfere with saving this planet”. King noted the location of a proposed transfer station was “really problematic”, but stated the issue lay more with the regulatory process, and Labor would work with state and territory governments to reform this process.

Sedgman admitted she was not fully aware of some of the background King had bought up, and she would like to speak to those affected personally. Barnes said the consultation of AusNet, who propose building the transmission line, had not been good, and hopes an extended time granted for the environmental impact statement will allow all people affected to be properly heard. Barnes also stated AusNet had claimed diverting the line underground would cost thirteen times more than the overhead alternative, while a Shire of Moorabool study showed it would only cost five times more.

One questioner asked about what the candidates would do to investigate the possibility of direct air capture. Barnes remarked “the best way to sequester carbon is not to release it in the first place”, and said the mechanical removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere was “probably a pipe dream”. Graham quipped he was “prepared to ask my friend if he could do it, and I’m sure he could.” King argued the technology was “a fair way off yet”, but noted A$3 billion was reserved in Labor’s Powering Australia plan for new technologies to reduce emissions. Sedgman stressed the importance of reducing the “extraordinary rate” at which deforestation occurs.

Protesters holding a sign in support of ending new fossil fuel projects earlier in the day at the Ballarat Rally for Climate Action.Image: Alison Newman.

Candidates were then asked if they would commit to no new coal and gas infrastructure. King confirmed a moratorium on new coal and gas was not part of Labor policy, but they were not interested in investing taxpayer funds towards them, contrasting it with what she said was the current government’s approach to projects such as the Collinsville Power Station. Graham said, as someone who had previously worked in the industry, he would “close down every coal-fired power station as soon as it was possible” and disallow the construction of new coal-fired power stations. Graham also pledged to close down coal mines and ban fracking.

Barnes stated the Greens take the advice of the International Energy Agency seriously, and would not allow any new coal, gas, or oil projects, as well as closing down coal-fired power stations by 2030, to be replaced by renewable energy. Barnes emphasised the need to lower emissions before 1.5 °C of global warming was reached.

One questioner asked candidates what they would do in the event of two scenarios after the coming election — one being that Labor had a clear majority, the other that the Greens held the balance of power. King stated the “beauty of power in Australia” was it didn’t require any legislation. However, she said Labor would still attempt to legislate targets of 43% emissions reduction and net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Barnes reiterated the Greens in the balance of power would push Labor to be more ambitious, and that while compromise would be needed in a hung parliament, the Greens would “play hardball” on addressing the climate.

Candidates were then asked about a proposal from Beyond Zero Emissions to turn northern Australia into the “battery of Asia”. Barnes stated Australia could become a “energy superpower”, and good government policy could have the market “with us” on this issue. King declared over 600,000 jobs could be realised under Labor’s Powering Australia plan, and concurred in saying Australia should be a renewable energy superpower and exporting technology to the world. She highlighted the need for a government that “believes in climate change, believes that we have to do something about it”, and restated that Labor’s plan was endorsed by the BCA and NFF.

The Eraring coal-fired power station in the Hunter Valley.Image: Nick Pitsas, CSIRO.

The final question asked how those in coal communities such as the Hunter Valley could be helped to deal with the potential loss of jobs with a transition to renewable energy. Graham responded by calling for a “basic, living universal wage to all people”, while Sedgman asked who was eligible to have these jobs in the first place “due to the current mandate conditions”. King said the demand for fossil fuels was running out, with trading partners setting targets of net zero emissions by 2050. She underlined the “really good jobs in renewables”, and emphasised the need to start now in training people for new, good-paying renewable jobs, as otherwise these workers wouldn’t get jobs again.

Barnes stated the Greens had announced A$19 billion over ten years with the aim of transitioning communities affected by a move away from fossil fuels, they would aim for renewables running the power system by 2030, and they would run retraining programs and maintain existing incomes for “up to a decade” if workers cannot find “equally lucrative” jobs. Barnes emphasised the need to not vilify those working in mining communities, and a plan must be in place for these communities to maintain their dignity.

The forum concluded with representatives from Environment Victoria in the local area invited to present copies of an open letter calling for “faster and fairer climate action”, and which was signed by 125 people. Among other things, the letter called for a replacement of “coal, oil and gas with clean energy”, “a national plan to slash climate pollution this decade with strong targets that, at a minimum, match our trading partners”, and an accelerated rollout of renewable energy projects with the aim of creating “a healthy, prosperous economy while ceasing new energy generating projects from fossil fuel sources”.

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Seattle shooting leaves seven dead

Monday, March 27, 2006Seven young people are dead with two more hospitalized in Seattle, Washington, after a murder-suicide shooting Saturday morning in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. The gunman, identified by police and witnesses as Kyle Huff, 28, left a party briefly to retrieve a pistol-grip shotgun and a handgun from his nearby truck. When he returned, he started firing. He turned his shotgun on himself when apprehended by a police officer on the porch of the house where the shootings took place. The King County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the dead as Jeremy Martin, 26, Christopher Williamson, 21, Jason Travers, 32, Justin Schwartz, 22, Suzanne Thorne, 15, and Melissa Moore, 14.

No altercation was reported at the party, and no motive has been identified for the killings. Before returning to the party, Huff spray-painted the word, “now,” on the sidewalk, and on the steps approaching the house. Seattle police officer Steve Leonard heard the shots, and arrived on the scene to find Huff emerging from the house. Huff was warned to drop his weapon, at which point he aimed his shotgun at his own head and fired.

Three of the victims were killed in the living room, and another two were found dead on the porch and steps of the house. Another died at the hospital. One of the hospitalized victims was initially reported in critical condition, but was upgraded Monday morning to satisfactory condition.

Huff, originally from Whitefish, Montana, had been charged in 2000 with felony criminal mischief for firing on a sculpture with a shotgun, according to Flathead County, Montana Sherriff Jim Dupont. Police found an assault rifle, a machete and ammunition in Huff’s truck, and a search of his North Seattle apartment turned up three more rifles.

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