Flat Roofing The Pro’s And Con’s

Flat Roofing can be a struggle for homeowners, particularly if there are leaks or the insulation is cheap. The good thing is that you can learn how to install the materials on your own. Keep reading for some helpful roofing tips and more information on how to find a good roofer.

Sometimes shingles leak, but the foundation can leak too. If the outside walls of your home get dry rot, water can enter your home there. Just checking the roof is not enough. Consider all the other possible places that water can get in so that you end the problem completely.

Repair Your Roof Safely

The number one priority when doing any roofing repairs is safety. Repairing a roof in bad weather is a recipe for disaster. Put a bucket beneath the problem area, and then inspect the roof to determine the extent of necessary repairs.

When it comes to roofing, you always want to take the climate into account. Roofing made of clay is suited to dry climates as it helps cool the home. Clay tiles applied in damper climates can cause rapid deterioration. Ask an expert for advice.

Make sure you’re safely secured whenever you need to go on your roof. It’s critical, and you can lose balance when you haven’t climbed onto a roof often; thousands are hurt or lose their life from falling each year.

ChooseThe Right Contractors

Be sure to ask many questions of your roofer before hiring him. Do they intend to secure each shingle using more than one nails? Typically, three nails aren’t enough. Question them about their methods and see if you get a satisfactory answer. If you are not happy with their response, find another roofer.

After narrowing down your list of roofers, determine which one offers the best warranty. You need a warranty of at least three years, preferably five. The warranty needs to cover defective materials and poor installation. You should receive a copy of the manufacturer’s warranty too.

If you can’t find a leak, don’t be discouraged. You’ll find it sooner or later, likely by using a hose and having a friend help. If your home is large, communicate with cell phones to prevent unnecessary large amounts of water from getting into your home.

You don’t want to forget the small things when you’re hiring a roofer. Someone that arrives on time for an appointment or calls you when they say they will is probably fairly dependable. Your contractor should also provide you with typed estimate for the repairs needed. Your roofer must do both.

roof replacement

Get several quotes prior to hiring a roofing contractor. There are companies out there that try to gouge their clients. To steer clear of rip-offs, make sure to do your research.

Always inspect the materials that are being used to repair or replace your roof for possible defects. In many cases, shingles develop cracks after being nailed in, which can lead to expensive issues later. Check materials at all points of the process–before, during, and after.

Check to see if the contractor you’re considering will be able to perform yearly maintenance on your roof. Regardless of how good the person installing the roof is, issues are bound to crop up, particularly if you live in an area that has extreme temperatures. Checking your roof every year can help your roof to look good.

Always research prospective roofing contractors by contacting your local Better Business Bureau branch. The BBB is a reliable source to find out about other customers’ past experiences with contractors in your area. Seek out input from the Chamber of Commerce in your area as well.

If you’re looking for a contractor, have them go over each step of the project with you. He should discuss things like the type of products that must be used, the clean-up procedure, the costs, etc. Ask plenty of questions so you fully understand the plan. If your contractor does not appear knowledgeable or seems to withhold information, search elsewhere.

Roofers are not all the same, so choose wisely. Don’t be fooled by snazzy advertising. Recommendations from people you trust are reliable. Check reviews online and talk with your friends. Find out what kind of reputation the contractor has with the business groups in your local area. If your hire a poor contractor it can cost you a lot of money.

As you interview prospective roofing companies, inquire about their current workload. Ask how many workers will be needed to complete your roofing project, and how long it is expected to take? Now, inquire as to the number of employees that can work. If the company doesn’t seem to have enough workers to meet the current workload, then they may not be the company to choose for your project.

You don’t have to hire someone else when you can do it yourself. If you learn all about what’s out there then you’re going to be able to take care of things a lot easier if problems occur. Remember the tips in this article to do the best job, click here for mare info.

How You Can Become A Pro Blogger In No Time

Have you been considering blogging but don’t know how to start? Blogging is easier due to rapid advances in technology. Here are the basics to set you create your own successful blog.

Don’t overuse things like plug-ins, ads, advertising, or keywords. Keep your writing organic, and let it flow in a smooth style.

Keep your blog posts short and to the point. While it is important to provide the depth of detail that your readers are looking for, going on and on will likely lose the interest of your readers. Blog readers are less concerned about mundane details and flowery prose. They want the point!

You should let visitors leave comments on your blog. This is a great way to network with other in the future. Do not disregard the importance of such relationships. If you ever have a problem, a blogger that you have a relationship with may be willing to help.

Use constructive criticism you receive to upgrade your blog better. If you get a nasty or unfair comment, respond to them politely.

Patience is key when you are trying to expand your blog. It takes everyone some time for your blog to be discovered. Also, unless you already have a sizable quantity of available content, there just won’t be that much content for visitors to read.

If you want to improve your blog’s readership numbers, be sure to focus on producing fresh and relevant content. Users will return if you post high-quality content that they find to be honest and high quality content.

Break up long blog posts with subheadings.This will make your blog easier to read and digest.This is a simple tactic to preserve your blog’s readability and take it to another level.

It is okay to use social media to get your blog known, but take it easy. If all of your Twitter posts are simply ads for your blog, people will ignore you in disgust. Include occasional links, useful information along with the links.

It is important that your keywords be italicized and bold.This makes the point of your blogs clear and can enhance your search engine results. If your keyword stands out, they are much more apt to visit the associated site, which is just what you want them to do.

Take advantage of social media sites in order to promote your blog’s readership. Social media is the newest technology on the internet, so if you’re not utilizing it, you miss out on huge amounts of potential blog readers.

Divide longer blogs into smaller posts.A very long post may be too much for your reader.

It is necessary that you get the appropriate font for your blog content. You want something with balance, not too large or small, making your readers have to strain their eyes to read.

Make sure every blog only deal with one topic. This is a dramatic improvement to the quality of your blog.

Advertisements play an important role in blogging and are utilized by most bloggers as a big part of blogging.However, if your blog is cluttered up with too many adverts, readers may get frustrated and leave.

Try to discuss issues that are always be in demand. It makes sense to create blogs around concepts that have longevity, as this will attract the most traffic to the blog over the long term.

Blogging conferences and conventions are a great source of information if you can afford to attend them. These conferences can provide you with a lot of valuable knowledge that will improve your blogging efforts. As well, the bloggers who attend such conferences tend to be more successful, and that can rub off on you.

Think about whether or not you blog. The difficulty is that they can cheapen your blog and dilute your message. The visitors will know instantly that you are trying to make money.

Don’t stuff your blogs with too many keywords. Selecting good keywords is certainly a key part of getting readers to your blog, but quality trumps quantity. Search engines are even five years ago. When your site is overrun with keywords, it will raise a red flag for your site, and your blog’s ranking will probably suffer. Choose your keywords based directly on traffic instead.

Use link building strategy with your blog to get more from it.

If your posts contain spelling and grammatical errors, you will not be blogging long. While this is the worst that can happen, you have to be vigilant about incorrect word usage and other mistakes that spell check will miss.

After reading this article, you should be better equipped to get into the world of blogging. If you use the advice from this article, you will be well on your way to having a successful and interesting blog. Regardless of your reason for blogging, you can use what you’ve learned to set up and maintain a blog people will want to visit often.

How Home Improvement Projects Make Life Better

It is vital that your home is a place of pride and joy to you. Knowing that you spend lots of time there, the state of your house has a big impact on your emotional state. Your home should be something you enjoy, especially if you work from home. It is probable that you will enjoy any home projects that are undertaken, as they can give you a great sense of pride and peace of mind.

Fix any small imperfections in your home, such as a cracked window or stained ceilings and walls– you would be surprised how the smallest thing can become a huge annoyance over time! If you repair the things that are wrong, this can make your at-home experience even better. If you select cozier furniture, more reachable shelves, and keep everything within a theme you can give your home a better look.

Maximise the amount of space you have. It may be time to build an add-on if you find you are running out of space. This is not unusual. If you can add even a couple of inches of space in a frequently used area, you will have extra room to breathe, and you can more easily reduce clutter and feel less stressed as a result.

To make your home look nicer and increase its resale value, add a hot tub, pool, or Jacuzzi. Other things that you can do include adding exercise equipment or creating a basketball court in your garage. These are cheaper alternatives that still provide great fun. Recreational areas will add enjoyment in your house as well as raising the value of your home.

Do not underestimate the importance of lighting in your space. A few changes in lighting can help with certain vision problems, add a new layer of functionality to a room, and even change the entire design aesthetic. There are a great variety of light fixtures available. Look at displays and choose the ones that will make your home both more functional and beautiful. You may even be able to do this project yourself. When installed, these fixtures may cast an entirely new light on your living space and bring fresh enjoyment of its decor.

If you are good at working in the yard, try to create a calm and beautiful space that has a lot of flowers and other nice details. If you are not skilled at gardening, you will likely benefit from hiring a professional landscaper to do the work for you. Either way, you can benefit from the calming effect of fresh greenery. A variety of plants will improve air quality, provide food and even produce a nice smell.

Making changes to your roof or painting your home’s exterior can change your home’s overall appearance. You will be happy before you even go into your home.

If you spend a lot of time at home, you should be happy with it. As a result, home improvement projects should be viewed as an investment in your own health and happiness.

What are the key issues in facilities management

Facilities management offers one of the greatest chances to develop a career. One can be offered a job in any sector ranging from engineering, building, medical, and agricultural sectors among many other sectors. However, facility management faces different issues. For one to succeed as a facilities manager, one has to learn to deal with these issues effectively. The following form some of the key issues in facilities management.


Pressure to perform highly with few resources
Perhaps this is most key issue in facilities management. It is common to find a facility that wants to make the best out of the few resources present. A manager faces pressure from everyone in the facility to perform at high fm services level. With few resources, one has to find the most effective way perform. This can be very challenging as one is limited to what is present unlike if there were plenty of resources. Resources allow one to exploit different aspects present in the industry and improve service delivery. However, with limited resources one is limited to what the facility can afford thus service delivery is altered.

Socially responsible solutions
Socially responsible solutions are solutions that if effected will be acceptable by everyone. A manager is frequently faced with problems arising from service providers, employees and customers. The best way to deal with such problems is to come up with a No1 facilities management solution that will be accepted with everyone. However, to come up with such solutions, one has to involve a combination of reliable service providers, innovative solutions and working partnership with customers. This can be very costly intimidating managers. It can also be challenging as one can face rebellion from employees and customers.

Ageing assets
All sectors of the economy are facing a surge in development. Everyday innovations are made in every sector. To be able to cope up with customer needs and sufficient service delivery, a facility has to upgrade to new trends in that sector. This can be very costly. Therefore, a facility manager is forced to work with assets that the facility has. These assets age overtime and soon become obsolete. This factor poses a management issue as one is forced to come up with ways to work with available assets which can be very challenging.

Rising energy costs
A facility always relies on energy for its production. Due to changes in the economy, the cost of energy is always the most affected. This can very challenging to a manager, as the cost of production also goes up. One is forced to come up with ways to raise more capital to boost production in order to cope up with the rising cost of energy. The management can be forced to raise the price of service delivery.

Few opportunities for career development
Everyone always dreams for a boost in their career. In facility management, there are very few opportunities to develop your career. Facility management lack recognition in the wider market limiting those in this field to the same job. It takes a considerable amount of time to rise to higher facility management jobs. This discourages people making them perform less in their work.

Facility management can be one of the greatest opportunities one can get. To be successful in this sector, one has to learn to deal with emerging issues and be patient. Facility management needs strategic thinking and innovativeness. One must be an agent of change in the facility and be more comprehensive in financial matters. This places one in a better position to succeed in facility management.

How to Waterproof a Flat Roof with EPDM Rubber Roofing

Rubber roofing EPDM  is considered as one of the best roofing products that can offer waterproof protection for your home. If you are thinking about useing this roofing for your flat roof and a bit confused about the installation process then here are the step by step procedure that you can follow to install EPDM rubber roofing on your flat roof.


Clean the surface before the installation


For installing the water rubber roofing, the first requirement is a clean, dust free and dry surface. Otherwise, the installation cannot be done. Clean it perfectly. If it is an old roof then more attention is required.


Start the process by installing the Drip Batten


Install the drip batten in the gutter. That will help to extend the deck of the roof so that water will go into drips.


Install the Drip Trim


The Drip Trim has both back and the front piece. Install the back piece with the help of the provided nails. Then try to align the curved top edge with the timber batten.


Check the Wall upstand


Then you can check the motor joints of the brick by using an angle grinder to make sure that it is in a good condition for the installment.


Loosen up Rubber Membrane


After that, you can keep the rubber membrane in a relaxing position for half an hour.


Fold the Rubber Membrane Halfway


Then you need to fold the rubber membrane to expose the half of the roof deck.


Apply Deck and Contact Adhesive


After doing all these preparation, now you can apply water based Deck Adhesive and you can use a 9’’ paint roller for the application. While doing this, just leave a 150 mm area that can be used later for bonding with contact Adhesive. Turn the EPDM membrane back immediately into the position while the adhesive is wet. After it dries up, then you can apply a thin coat of contact adhesive to the cover deck perimeter and you can also apply it on the back of the rubber membrane. Then leave it some time for drying off. Then cut any surfeit material.

Apply Rubber Primer


Now you can apply a coat of EPDM rubber Primer by using a paint brush. Make sure that you have applied it evenly. Then leave it for some time to be dried up, once it dried up completely install elastoform tape.

Installation of some other equipment

After the installation of the elatoform tape, you can install wall trim, Rawl Plug, and Fastener. Then fold the pigs’ ear and fit the trim corner, kerb edge, and joining clip. And finally you can cut the excess of the rubber membrane and with that the installation will be completed.

These are the steps of installing the EPDM rubber roofing. By following these steps, you can do the waterproof installation on your own. But if you have any doubt about the installation process then consider taking the help of any professionals for the installation. A good and safe installation is must since it is about the security and safety of your home.

This video will show you how not to fit EPDM rubber roofing to your flat roof.


How to extract gold from printer cartridge circuitry

Ink cartridges have often been sold to companies in exchange for cash. However, selling the ink cartridge in its wholesome form does not garner a lot of money. The best way to make the most of your cartridge is by extracting the gold on it. Yes, ink cartridges have gold on their circuitry. How can one extract this?

Remove the gold chips from the ink cartridges

The first step is to remove the gold chips from the ink cartridges. The chips are usually located on the exterior of the cartridge. Ensure that the chips are made of gold and not copper, since copper does not garner a lot of money. Use a screw driver on large cartridges and a knife on the small ones. Stick the knife under the gold ribbon and pry it up carefully. When it is properly raised, peel it off gently in order to get all the gold out.


 Go to Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EovsTup4z4c

Extraction Process

For your extraction process, you will need the following tools: gloves, goggles, respirator or a face mask and carry out the extraction outside, or in a well ventilated area. You will need chemicals such as muriatic acid, house bleach and stump out.

Put 150ml of hydrochloric acid in a jar. In a separate jar, pour in 50ml of house bleach. Use glass jars since glass does not react to chemicals. Take the jar with hydrochloric acid and pour in house bleach, a little at a time. Add a few ribbons in to the jar and stir the mixture gently. As you stir, you will notice that the solution starts turning yellow. This means that the gold is moving from the ribbons to the solution. As you continue stirring, add some of the bleach you had left in the jar. When the extra bleach is added, white foam will be formed but it will clear within seconds.


As one continues stirring, you will notice that the solution gets a richer yellow color. Take one ribbon out and check whether the gold has been removed from it. If the gold is off, take the ribbon out completely. Add more gold foils in to the solution and continue stirring. Ensure that you do not suffocate the solution with too many ribbons. Too many ribbons will result to some parts not getting in to contact with the solution, hence the gold will not be removed efficiently.


When you add more ribbons, the solution turns to auric chloride. Auric chloride is a rich chemical combination of chlorine and gold. Such a rich solution can contain up to an ounce of gold if the process is carried out effectively. When all the ribbons have had their gold removed, pour out the solution in to another jar. Filter the solution in order to remove metal particles from it. Particles hamper the effectiveness of the precipitation process. Leave the solution to settle and saturate for a couple of days. When it saturates efficiently, precipitate it to get the gold from it.


In order for you to get a considerable amount of gold, get the ribbons from several ink cartridges. The use of chemicals means that one should be extremely careful in their handling. With this process, you will be able to make a good amount of money from your gold.

Air Pollution is still a big Killer!

A report released recently by World Health Organisation claims that air pollution is still a major threat to humans causing cancer, strokes and other serious health issues  with one in eight global deaths being linked to toxic air pollution, making it “the single biggest environmental health risk in the world” according to the organisation spokesman.

air pollution 3

It’s not just outside air pollution that causes concern but indoor air pollutants too. The World Health Organisation claim that a staggering 3.3 million people died in 2012 from illnesses directly related to indoor air pollution and 2.6 million deaths were attributed to outdoor air pollution with the low and middle income countries bearing the brunt of these figures.

World Health Organisation’s Dr Maria Neira stated “The risks from air pollution are now much greater than previously considered or understood, particularly for illness such as heart disease and strokes. Few risks have a greater impact on global health today than air pollution. The evidence signals the need for concerted action to clean up the air we all breathe. Reducing air pollution both indoors and outside could potentially save millions of lives worldwide.”

I have often thought that if the fumes we omit from the rear of our cars were bright red so we could clearly see them would we still drive?, cars or vehicles are a major contributor to air pollution outside as is industrial pollution but what causes indoor air pollution? Many of us would not even consider indoor air being a problem to our health but the list of causes is quite extensive. Outside air, second hand cigarette smoke, air bourne bacteria, moulds and dead skin cells even some air fresheners are just a few of the things that can cause internal air pollution and be detrimental to our health.

The World Health organisation claimed that the deaths related to air pollution were linked to cardiovascular diseases and illnesses.

40% – heart disease

40% – stroke

11% – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

6% – lung cancer

3% – acute lower respiratory infections in children.


For deaths related to indoor pollution, it found:

34% – stroke

26% – heart disease

22% – COPD

12% – acute lower respiratory infections in children

6% – lung cancer

Clearly more needs to be done to tackle these important issues by world governments and local councils alike, we can all do our bit by considering what we do and how we do it, after all one thing we have in common regardless of race, colour or creed and regardless of rich or poor is the air we breathe…. It’s everyone’s problem.

Fracking Hell Dave, That’s almost bribery!

Greenpeace’s Lawrence Carter today hit out at UK’s Prime Minster David Cameron following the announcement that UK government expect to see 20 to 30 new fracking wells in the north of England. Councils allowing the fracking will be paid a slice of the action

“This is a naked attempt by the government to bribe hard pressed councils into allowing fracking in their area” claimed Lawrence, and no doubt there will be lots of opposition to this controversial industry adding “Cameron is effectively telling councils to ignore the risks and threat of large-scale industrialisation in exchange for cold, hard cash”

So what is Fracking and why is it causing such a stir? And why is “Dodgy Dave” as he has been called by protesters so keen to get the local councils involved?

Fracking is a term used to describe a type of mining for Gas and Oil; Hydraulic Fracturing is the correct term is a technique used to recover Gas and Oil from shale rock. The ground is drilled from the surface into the shale rock underground then a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas or oil inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well. Forcing the high pressure liquid into the shale rock causes the rock to fracture and release the fossil fuels, hence the nick name of fracking.


(image courtesy of bbc.co.uk)

Fracking is causing a stir with protesters such as Greenpeace for various reasons, the process of fracking involves huge amounts of water being pumped into the ground to fracture the shale rock and release the fuels within, it is the transporting of water as well as the waste water being contaminated that causes concern, also recent fracking tests in Blackpool, Northern England was reported to cause earth tremors measuring 1.5 and 2.5 magnitude on 2011.

The issues has hit the headlines again after French company Total revealed that it is the first company to pledge funds up to £30m to help drill two exploratory wells in Lincolnshire in the North of England. It is the first major fuel company to pledge investment but no doubt others will follow with the UK government’s advisers claiming that an estimated 1,300 trillion cubic feet of shale gas present in the north of England this could be very lucrative investment indeed.


There will be many protests, not just from Greenpeace but local people too; David Cameron is trying to sweeten the deal for local councils that allow fracking to take place by offering them great incentives. The fracking company will pay local communities an estimated £100,000 plus 1% share of any potential revenues from the mining activity, on top of this Cameron expects that local councils could trouser an extra £1.7m per year by charging the fracking companies business rates etc. The UK’s Energy Minister Michael Fallon said local councils could benefit by up to “£10m per wellhead” if shale gas was successfully extracted in their communities, through the 1% levy on revenues alone, as well as it bringing many jobs into the areas. It is this that protesters feel is being used as a bribe by the Government.

Protesters feel that the government should be using money to invest into renewable resources; fracking just continues the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels.

Scource: www.bbc.co.uk

The Rise Of Domino’s Pizza

Ever-longer working hours, diminishing real earnings and the increase of the internet have made lazy-bones out of us after a day’s work, and that has actually been excellent information for the pizza shipment company.

Britain’s largest pizza delivery chain, Domino’s– which as recently been opening nine brand-new outlets a month and now has 777 stores– announced “remarkably strong” UK sales on Wednesday for the three months to the end of December. Total sales were up virtually 16 % to simply over 170m, and, leaving out brand-new branches sales, increased 11 %.

The appeal of an American Hot Double Decadence pizza turning up at the front door after a quick telephone call, or a few clicks on a mouse, seems unstoppable. Also in the depths of the 2009 economic downturn Domino’s thrived as cash-strapped consumers exchanged dining establishment meals for an evening in.


Britain’s Domino’s routine started in 1985 with a single branch in Luton, Bedfordshire. A decade later there were ONE HUNDRED stores and in 1999 the business became the first home-delivery company to drift on the London stock exchange’s Objective market.

Sales soared as the company used greater need for ease and the popularity of just remaining in and watching telly. Sponsoring Saturday evening TV shows such as Britain’s Got Talent and Splash! just increased the lure for consumers.

Such is the chain’s ubiquity in the UK, it is simple to fail to remember that Domino’s is American. In 1960 Tom and James Monaghan opened their DomiNick’s pizza delivery establishment in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

A year later, Tom exchanged his Volkswagen Beetle for his sibling’s share of the company and established himself the goal of broadening to three stores. The rest is fast-food history.

Monaghan spread all over the world making use of the franchising design. Domino’s in the UK pays 2.7 % of sales to Domino’s US to utilize the brand name.

Individual shopkeepers pay the UK business at least 280,000 for a licence upfront, plus a share of sales, and get their products from the company, prepped at 3 huge “distribution centres” at Milton Keynes, Penrith in Cumbria and Naas in Ireland.

Domino’s has 26 % of the UK pizza market, merely ahead of the longer developed Pizza Hut at 25 % but with considerably better dominance of the growing market.

Wayne Brown, an analyst at City brokers Canaccord Genuity, said Domino’s prominence is down to “first-mover benefit”– it introduced and rode the home-delivery surge earlier compared to any person else.

However it has actually likewise kept up with its customers, browsing the web as far back as 1999, welcoming social networks and releasing a mobile phone application in 2010.

Comic Relief’s Red Nose Scandal

We have all become accustomed to the annual Comic Relief event, many of us actually look forward to watching the show on TV and enjoy donating our hard earned cash to the good causes it supports hoping to help make a difference to someone’s life somewhere in the world so you may be surprised to learn that the people behind the charity not only invest the money they collect but have made some really bad investments.

Comic Relief has raised many millions of pounds over the years for charities here in the UK and also abroad. As well as direct donations they also pass funds to smaller charities to assist them in their causes, sometimes in one off donations but often in a maintained schedule that can see some charitable causes receiving funds over a period of years, this means that Comic Relief are constantly managing a revenue stream of many millions of pounds.

To leave this kind of money sat idle in a bank account could be seen as a wasted opportunity as interest rates are dismal at the moment so to try and make the money they are holding some large charities like this use investment funds to grow the pot, and here lies the problem.  A recent BBC show has uncovered that some of the funds collected by Comic Relief had been invested in companies that go against the cause these organisations are trying to combat which is a huge contradiction in terms.

For instance amounts totalling several millions of pounds have been invested in companies such as BAE weapons manufactures, Diageo who supplies alcoholic drinks and even tobacco companies. None of this would have been on the mind of donators when they made their pledge on red nose day.

Like most people I would have expected that the funds this kind of event generates goes direct to good causes, the actual fact that these funds are invested first is not an issue as long as good business decisions are made and the investments are made with full knowledge of who and where the money is going and that all the profits are released back into the charity and not into the pockets of greedy investment brokers. Sadly this kind of behaviour casts a shadow over the hard work that charities do and will no doubt leave many people reluctant to donate in this way in the future.

The worrying thing that future donators may want to consider is that rather than come out and apologise for the mishap Comic Relief have refused to comment on where the funds are currently invested and have changed the way they present their annual accounts, this means it is now impossible to see where they are actually putting the investments and could also be construed as a ‘ducking and diving’ act, not the kind of behaviour one would expect from a apparently charitable organisation.

Panorama, the BBC investigative show that revealed this story spoke to Helen Wildsmith who as an ethical fund manager looks after the cash of thousands of charities said that she was surprised that Comic Relief would risk its integrity, reputation and future donations in this way,  she went on to say

“If people who’ve been giving them money, after watching the television, next year think twice and don’t give that money, because they’re concerned about their investment policy, then that could be argued to be a breach of fiduciary duty.”

If you usually make a pledge or donation then maybe it’s worth looking at charities at local level from now on rather than donating to what seems to be another cooperate organisation capitalising on its position.

Is selling cigarettes nothing short of drug dealing!

The argument for plain packaging on cigarettes and tobacco products rumbles on and on here in the UK. The government delayed a decision back in July on whether or not all cigarettes should be sold under plain packaging; many people think that it’s merely a delaying tactic as the UK government comes up with a way around the pressurised situation they are in. On one hand they are being pressured by the EU and health organisations to do all they can to discourage smoking and protect the young and on the other they are under pressure from the tobacco companies which are big business, big business that pump a lot of money into the UK economy in revenue and taxes, big businesses that have a lot of political clout. You could argue that Cameron and his pals are stuck in between a rock and a hard place on this issue!

Apparently our Conservative/Lib Dem coalition government, that no one actually voted into power, is waiting for the outcome of trials being held in Australia on packets that are almost plain unbranded and just carry health warnings before they make a decision whereas  Labour, the opposition, saying that action is needed now and not another review.

Regardless which side the fence you are on here, the outcome is probably irrelevant. In my view the sale of cigarettes is nothing short of legal drug dealing on a massive scale. It doesn’t matter which political party happens to be in power now as all parties have taken part in this appalling situation over the decades and have stood by and watched these drugs be readily available and sold for profit to its very own people.

Cigarettes and tobacco are a massive health and safety problem; we know the damage they do to passive smokers that is why smoking in public buildings and work places was banned years ago in the UK and Europe. We know that smoking causes cancer and a whole manner of nasty diseases hence the reason to have warnings on the packets; my question is why aren’t they banned totally?

If we can legally sell these things to our fellow citizens and make a fortune in taxes for our government’s coffers then why are other substances like cannabis illegal?  Millions if not billions of people around the world die or are suffering from illnesses directly related to smoking tobacco, none have ever died from using pure cannabis. It just doesn’t make sense does it?

I know I am not in a position to put the world to rights but it’s my view that any member of parliament in any government that condones the legal sale of tobacco products should be arrested and charged with dealing in a dangerous substance known to cause death. What makes our government and others around the world different from say the Columbian Cartel that trade in Cocaine or the Afghani war lords that trade Heroin?, all supply dangerous drugs knowingly and all make huge profits from the illicit trade.

The government is seen to be almost two faced when it comes to the sale of tobacco, they are happy to receive the revenue that this can generate (which could be construed as immoral earnings) and allow the tobacco companies to trade freely and even protect this revenue stream by not allowing any general member of the public to sell or produce tobacco without a license(something that would never be granted) but imagine what would happen if you or I decided to set up shop selling drugs or even tobacco, our doors would be off the hinges and our homes raided in no time at all….double standards!

Do we need plain packaging on our tobacco products?, I personally don’t think it will make a difference, it’s no coincidence that the majority of smokers are from the lower end of the social scale, surveys done over the years on this and other health issues have shown that the people who find themselves at this end of the social scale are less likely to be aware of health issues or less likely to be in a position to care.



Are Amazons Warehouse Staff Being Pushed Too Far!

Amazon, the internet giant has been accused of pushing staff too far and putting them at risk of stress associated illnesses as they gear up for the Christmas period. According to an article released today Amazon staff that work in the eight distribution depots across the UK are expected to pick a parcel every 33 seconds, and walk distances up and down the warehouse that equal 11 miles of walking per shift.

This was brought to light during undercover filming for a popular BBC topical news show which airs tonight. Under cover reporter Adam Littler applied for a temporary post in one of Amazons giant 800,000 square feet Swansea based distribution depots as a picker. He was assigned a trolley and a hand held computer/scanner which relayed information telling him what item he should pick and where it is located and was counting down from the moment the order was received. An average of 33 seconds was allowed per pick with an audible alarm being sounded, if a mistake was made or he took too long locating the item then the handheld terminal would basically report this to a member of the management team who would then demand to know what is causing the delay.

Health experts think that added to the long hours this kind of pressurised job could lead to increased number of stress related illnesses due to its high demand nature. Amazon employs many staff through employment agencies at peak times with most working for the average hourly rate of £6.50 per hour rising to over £8 pounds for 10 hour evening shift.

The undercover agency reporter/agency worker said he felt like a machine that was not encouraged to think for himself and just follow the computer, he said he had walked approx. 11 miles during his 10 hour night shift and that his feet were left feeling painful and sore.

Amazon hit back claiming that new recruits are warned of the active nature of the roll stating that many staff actually enjoy the exercise with employees volunteering for the roles especially because of the activeness of the job. The also went on to say:

“Amazon said it had invested £1bn in the UK and created 5,000 permanent jobs. It added that it relied on the good judgement of thousands of employees. The company said: “Together we’re working hard to make sure we’re better tomorrow than we are today.”

The full programme is available now in the UK on BBC iplayer: Behind the click is part of the Panorama series aired earlier this evening at 20.30.

Xbox One V’s PlayStation 4

Tensions are rising as the world’s biggest gaming titles go head to head with the Xbox One gamer console’s imminent release in the UK and around the world at midnight tonight, 22nd November. The release of Sony’s latest gaming console the PS4 follows a whole week later in the UK on the 29th November, although it is already on sale in the US and Canada.

Both consoles are hotly anticipated by gamers around the globe and the current financial situation shows no signs here with gamers seemingly happy to cough up an eye watering £349.00 for the PS4 and a budget busting £429.00 for the Xbox One. Gamers will be forced to part with more cash as each console only comes with one controller as standard in the box.

Sony’s early release in the US and Canada saw the new PS4 flying of the shelf with a reported              1 million sales in 24 hours, making it the world’s fastest selling console ever!. It’s unlikely that UK sales will come anywhere near so many so quickly for either of the new arrivals but people will literally be queuing out the doors to get their hands on what is surely going to be the most wanted must have gift this year regardless of the high price tags.

The upcoming games and entertainment Expo in 2014 will be the place to be in the coming New Year, with the release of these two new games consoles, surely all eyes will be on this event as the rivals showcase their new titles for the future. The E3 2014 held in Los Angeles is the must-attend event where the video game industry unites to debut, showcase, and experience the future of games. This trade Expo convention will be held on June 10th-12th 2014.

Both consoles have the big titles ready to run on the new platforms, games such as Fifa 14, Assassins Creed, Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty-Ghosts, all red hot releases for this year, and worthy titles too. Along with these generic releases both the PS4 and Xbox One have exclusive titles too.  Microsoft’s Killer Instinct and Sony’s Resogun certainly look like good fun titles whilst PS4’s Killzone looks to outshine Xbox’s  Ryse: Son of Rome although to be fair they are both amazing games when showcased on the new respective platforms.

Gamers around the world have an exciting year ahead with many Expo and convention meetings being held around the world. Here is a few exhibitions, conferences and Expo to look out for in 2014

Global Electronic Entertainment Expo 2014  AsiaWorld-Expo, Hong Kong,  Date: Tue 18th Feb – Thu 20th Feb.

Amaze/Interact 2014 Venue TBA Berlin Germany

New Media Expo Las Vegas USA January 2014

Pocket Gamer Expo-Conference London UK January 2014

Global Game Jam (multiple venues) January 2014

Independent Games Festival and Expo- San Francisco March 2014

Gamescom Cologne August 2014

Eurogamer Expo London UK Sep 2014

There are many more events going on around the world, from games developer’s conferences to gamer fan events so there will be probably one near you, search online for local and national events.

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