McDonald’s is revamping many of its restaurants with 200 outlets set to be ’re-imaged’ by the end of next year.”We are giving the stores a more modern and contemporary feel,” Lorraine Homer, media relations manager of McDonald’s UK, told British Baker. “Furnishings are more tactile and less plastic.”The redesign programme, which has been running for 18 months, features leather and wood finishes with furnishings in new colours, including green, brown and red.The menu has also been updated with a new premium sandwich – the Chicken Legend – launched this month. It comes on a lightly toasted, rustic roll.Other new products include the Toasted Deli Sandwich and Chicken Snack Wraps. And coffee has switched to Rainforest Alliance certified coffee.”The informal eating out sector is increasingly competitive with more and more players in the market,” said Homer. She said the sector had more than doubled over the last five years. “Businesses need to stand out and be more relevant to customers in order to win share. For McDonald’s this means good food served fast, choice and variety, and also refreshing our restaurants, many of which were looking dated.”In October, the company announced that it would roll-out free high-speed wireless internet access across almost 1,200 restaurants in the UK. According to McDonald’s, people are looking to access the internet on the move, whether it’s on their laptops, mobile phones or games consoles.
stay at least 2 metres away from people you do not live with or who are not in your support bubble reduce the time spent in crowded areas where it may be difficult to socially distance (such as shops and supermarkets) avoid direct contact and face to face contact with people you do not live with washing your hands cleaning your surroundings covering your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze Some of the rules on what you can and cannot do changed on 29 March. However, many restrictions remain in place. Find out what you can and cannot do.Protect yourself and othersThis guidance is for everyone to help reduce the risk of catching coronavirus (COVID-19) and passing it on to others. By following these steps, you will help to protect yourself, your loved ones and those in your community.It is possible to have COVID-19 with no symptoms. You can pass COVID-19 on to others if you only have mild symptoms or even no symptoms at all.The main way of spreading COVID-19 is through close contact with an infected person. When someone with COVID-19 breathes, speaks, coughs or sneezes, they release particles (droplets and aerosols) containing the virus that causes COVID-19. These particles can be breathed in by another person.Surfaces and belongings can also be contaminated with COVID-19, when people who are infected cough or sneeze near them or if they touch them.If you have COVID-19, there is a risk that you will spread the virus onto surfaces such as furniture, benches or door handles, even if you do not touch them directly. The next person to touch that surface may then become infected.Even if you try and avoid other people, you cannot guarantee that you will not come into contact with the virus. That is why you need to follow all of the steps in this guidance all of the time, even when you feel well, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is especially important if you live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable.Keep a safe distance (social distancing)If you leave your home: Your isolation period includes the day your symptoms started (or the day your test was taken if you do not have symptoms), and the next 10 full days.Self-isolation means you must stay at home at all times and not have contact with other people, except in very limited circumstances, for example to seek medical assistance. You may have to ask others to do your shopping, and you may have to make alternative plans if you are currently supporting a vulnerable person. Do not invite visitors to your home or garden.There is additional guidance for those who have symptoms or have tested positive for coronavirus and live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable or over 70.Why self-isolating is importantIf you are instructed to self-isolate, it is because there is a high risk that you will spread COVID-19 to others, even if you feel well and have no symptoms at all. It is therefore crucial that you follow the guidance and complete the full period of self-isolation.If you test positive for COVID-19 you must self-isolate immediately and for the next 10 full days because this is the period of time when the virus is most likely to be passed on to others (the infectious period).Self-isolate if you live with someone or are a contact of someone who has COVID-19Self-isolate immediately if: a new continuous cough a high temperature a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia) you develop symptoms of COVID-19 – you should self-isolate at home while you arrange and wait for the results of your test you test positive for COVID-19 Wash your handsWash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day. You should wash your hands after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose and before you eat or handle food. Wash your hands after coming into contact with surfaces touched by many others, such as handles, handrails and light switches, and shared areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. If you must leave your home, wash your hands as soon as you return.Where possible, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. If you do need to touch your face (for example to put on or take off your face covering), wash or sanitise your hands before and after.Why hand washing is importantHands touch many surfaces and can become contaminated with viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer viruses to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, viruses can enter your body and infect you.If you are infected with COVID-19, you can pass the virus from your nose and mouth (when coughing or talking) to your hands and infect the surfaces that you touch.Washing or sanitising your hands removes viruses and other germs, so you are less likely to become infected if you touch your face. Using soap and water is the most effective way to clean your hands, especially if they are visibly dirty. Hand sanitiser can be used when soap and water is not available.Clean your surroundingsClean surfaces often. Pay particular attention to surfaces that are touched frequently, such as handles, light switches, work surfaces and electronic devices.Use disposable cloths, paper roll or disposable mop heads to clean all hard surfaces, floors, chairs, door handles and sanitary fittings – think ‘one site, one wipe, in one direction’. Any cloths, paper roll or mop heads used can be disposed of with your usual domestic waste.It is fine to use your normal household detergent when cleaning in your home. Information on cleaning and waste disposal outside of your household is available.Why cleaning your surroundings is importantCOVID-19 spreads through small droplets, aerosols and direct contact. Surfaces and belongings can be contaminated with COVID-19 when people with the infection touch them or cough, talk or breathe over them.Viruses on a surface could infect another person if they touch the surface and then touch their eyes, nose and mouth. Cleaning surfaces will reduce the amount of contamination and so reduce the risk of spread.The more you clean, the more likely you are to remove viruses from an infected surface before you or another person touches it.Cover your nose and mouth when you cough and sneezeCover your mouth and nose with disposable tissues when you cough or sneeze.If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not into your hand.Dispose of tissues into a rubbish bag and immediately wash your hands.Why covering your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze is importantCoughing and sneezing increases the number of droplets and aerosols released by a person, the distance they travel and the time they stay in the air.A cough or sneeze of an infected person which is not covered will significantly increase the risk of infecting others around them.By covering your nose and mouth, you will reduce the spread of droplets and aerosols carrying the virus.You can find more advice on reducing the risks from COVID-19 in your home at GermDefence.Wear a face coveringThere are some places where you must wear a face covering by law.You should also wear a face covering in indoor places where social distancing may be difficult and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.Wearing a face covering may not be possible in every situation or for some people who are exempt; please be mindful and respectful of such circumstances.Why wearing a face covering is importantCOVID-19 spreads through the air by droplets and aerosols that are exhaled from the nose and mouth of an infected person when they breathe, speak, cough or sneeze.The best available scientific evidence is that, when used correctly, wearing a face covering reduces the spread of COVID-19 droplets, helping to protect others. A face covering may even reduce spread in those who are not experiencing symptoms by reducing the amount of the virus being released when they talk and breathe.Face coverings are mainly intended to protect others from COVID-19 rather than the wearer and are not a replacement for social distancing and regular hand washing.Let fresh air in (ventilation)Make sure you let plenty of fresh air into your home by uncovering vents and opening doors and windows, even a small amount for a short period of time. If you have an extractor fan (for example in your bathroom or kitchen), leave it running for longer than usual with the door closed after someone has used the room.If someone in the household is self-isolating, open a window in their room and keep the door closed to reduce the spread of contaminated air to other parts of the household. Leave windows open fully for a short period after someone working in your home such as a cleaner or tradesperson has left.If you are concerned about noise, security or the costs of heating, opening windows for shorter periods of time can still help to reduce the risk of the virus spreading. Wearing warm clothes or extra layers can help you to keep warm. You may be able to change the layout of your room so that you do not sit close to cold draughts from open windows or doors.Why letting fresh air in is importantWhen a person infected with COVID-19 coughs, talks or breathes, they release droplets and aerosols which can be breathed in by another person. While larger droplets fall quickly to the ground, smaller droplets and aerosols containing the virus that causes COVID-19 can remain suspended in the air for some time indoors, especially if there is no ventilation.Ventilation is the process of replacing this shared air with fresh air from the outside. The more ventilated an area is, the more fresh air there is to breathe, and the less likely a person is to inhale infectious particles.Get tested if you have symptomsHow to get a testThe most important symptoms of COVID-19 are: If you have any of these symptoms click get a free NHS test or call NHS 119 to book a free COVID-19 test. You should arrange a test even if you have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or if you have had COVID-19 before.Why getting a test is importantIt is important to know if you have COVID-19 so that you stay at home, self-isolate and do not infect other people.Testing positive means that anyone you may have already infected (those who you recently had contact with) can be identified through contact tracing (contacting people you may have been in contact with) and advised to self-isolate. This is an important action to stop the spread of COVID-19.We do not know exactly how long immunity following COVID-19 infection or vaccination lasts so it is important that anyone with symptoms arranges a test.Self-isolate if you have COVID-19 symptoms or a positive COVID-19 test resultSelf-isolate immediately if: you live with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who has symptoms and is waiting for their test result – your isolation period includes the day the first person in your household’s symptoms started (or the day their test was taken if they did not have symptoms), and the next 10 full days you are a contact of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 who is not from your household – your isolation period includes the date of your last contact with them and the next 10 full days Self-isolation means you must stay at home at all times and not leave, except in very limited circumstances, for example to seek medical assistance. Do not invite visitors to your home or garden.There is further guidance on self-isolation and support available to those self-isolating.Why self-isolating if you live with someone or are a contact of someone who has coronavirus is importantIf you are a contact (you have recently been in contact with someone who has tested positive or has symptoms of COVID-19), you must self-isolate for 10 full days following your contact with that person.You must self-isolate for 10 days because this is how long it can take to develop the infection after being exposed (the incubation period).If you are instructed to self-isolate, it is because there is a high risk that you will develop COVID-19 and might spread it to others, even if you feel well and have no symptoms at all. It is therefore crucial you follow the guidance and complete the full period of self-isolation.VaccinationThe NHS is currently offering COVID-19 vaccines to people at the highest risk of becoming unwell from COVID-19.The vaccines have been shown to reduce the likelihood of severe illness, but we do not know yet if they stop COVID-19 from spreading.Even if you have been vaccinated, you could still spread COVID-19 to others.To help protect your friends, family, and community you should continue to follow all of the advice above even if you have been vaccinated. If you live in the same household as someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, try to stay 2 metres away from them even when you are at home.Stay at least 2 metres away from anyone who visits your home for work reasons such as a cleaner or a tradesperson doing essential or urgent work.Why keeping a safe distance is importantThe further you can keep away from other people, the less likely you are to catch COVID-19 and pass it on to others.COVID-19 spreads through the air by droplets and smaller aerosols that are released from the nose and mouth of an infected person when they breathe, speak, cough or sneeze. The closer you are to a person with COVID-19 (even those without symptoms), the more likely you are to become infected.Remember the basics of good hygieneNo matter where you are or what you are doing, following the basic rules of good hygiene will help to protect you and others from COVID-19. These are: read more
Comedian Amy Poehler brought her trademark sarcasm and sass to Harvard for Class Day, addressing seniors in Tercentenary Theatre on their last day as Harvard undergraduates, and providing a witty send-off under azure skies.Referring to her own nearby alma mater, the Massachusetts native told the crowd during the ceremony Wednesday (May 25), “I graduated from Boston College, which some call the Harvard of Boston, but we all know that Harvard is the Harvard of Harvard. And you can quote me on that.”If she were offering the graduates advice as a Bostonian, Poehler said, she would “remind you that just because you’re wicked smart doesn’t mean you are better than me.” Advice as a New Yorker would come with an edgy tone in the form of “Excuse me, ma’am; could you move, please?”Her advice on becoming an actor was simple: Don’t do it. There are too many talented, out-of-work actors, complained Poehler. “Sorry, no more room at the inn,” she quipped. “I bet you are great, but, um, just work with the human genome instead.”Poehler’s star has long been rising. Born just around the corner from Cambridge in Newton, Mass., she honed her acting skills first at B.C., then at the famed Second City comedy club and school of improvisation in Chicago. She became a regular on the famed late-night TV sketch comedy show “Saturday Night Live.” She has appeared in several movies and currently stars in the TV series “Parks and Recreation.”In his oration, Scott Alan Levin-Gesundheit noted that Harvard students are not special. “Maybe you thought like I did that you were an exceptional jazz bassoonist. Well, Harvard … has five exceptional jazz bassoonists. They formed a quintet …”She joins the ranks of other SNL alumni, comedians Will Ferrell and Al Franken ’73, who gave back-to-back Class Day addresses in 2002 and 2003. The list of such speakers is eclectic and includes everyone from politicians, peacemakers, and playwrights to authors, activists, and athletes. George Plimpton, Ted Koppel, Hank Aaron, Bill Clinton, and Bono have all addressed graduating seniors.Offering the graduates words of wisdom gleaned from her own life and career, Poehler urged them to lean on others and take to heart the knowledge that the world is filled with smart people.“You can’t do it alone. As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, and spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.”She also urged them to be kind — and quick with a tire iron.“You are all here because you are smart and you are brave, and if you add kindness and the ability to change a tire, you almost make up the perfect person.”Since speakers are chosen by the seniors, Class Day is a more informal celebration than Commencement. The day includes four speeches from seniors in the form of the Harvard and Ivy orations — two heartfelt and two humorous addresses.The “murky paradox” of love and hate was at the heart of the Harvard oration by Timothy James Lambert. Any seniors leaving the College without feeling both of those feuding emotions hadn’t been truly “paying attention,” he said.He offered a “bold assertion” concerning his hate for the “hoops” that he had to jump through while at the College, but also the love he had for the tricks that they taught him; his hate for term papers but his love for friends made during late-night study sessions; his hate for the competitive environment, “but I loved knowing that competing, the things that didn’t matter, ultimately helped me to discover what does.”Class Day traditions include the presentation of the Ames Awards for selfless, heroic, and inspiring leadership. This year’s recipients were Johan Hong and Anna Kamerow (right). Kamerow was with her father Douglas Kamerow ’72 (left) and her mother, Celia Shapiro (center). Photo by Katherine C. Cohen/Harvard Staff PhotographerHarvard orator Laura Jaramillo reflected on her unscripted path to campus, away from it, and back again. The Colombia native was forced to leave the country when her family’s visa expired. She was in the middle of her sophomore year, but the “unexpected” year back in South America taught her much about life, she said.“Have the courage to not have plans,” she told the seniors, “and wait for the wonderful things that can happen … I hope that your plans fail — in really awesome ways.”Adding their own humor to the ceremonies were this year’s Ivy orators, Molly O’Connor Fitzpatrick and Scott Alan Levin-Gesundheit.Fitzpatrick mused about her admittance to Harvard and offered a list of reasons why she should never have attended, including the fact that she has scars from three kinds of irons — “clothes, curling, and waffle” — and once “vacuumed her own foot.”Levin-Gesundheit said that Harvard teaches its students the important message that “we are not special. Maybe you thought like I did that you were an exceptional jazz bassoonist. Well, Harvard … has five exceptional jazz bassoonists. They formed a quintet … and every time you go to their concerts, you cry in the back row in perfect syncopated rhythm.”Class Day traditions include the presentation of the Ames Awards for selfless, heroic, and inspiring leadership. This year’s recipients were Johan Hong and Anna Kamerow.The ceremony included remembrances and a moment of silence for Ilya Chalik, Kathlene Joo, and Michael J. Friedman, members of the Class of 2011 who had died. read more
24SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Kirk Drake Kirk Drake is founder and CEO of Ongoing Operations, LLC, a rapidly growing CUSO that provides complete business continuity and technology solutions. With its recent acquisition of Cloudworks, Ongoing Operations … Web: www.ongoingoperations.com Details Last month, I wrote an article about when to hire a consultant. There’s no doubt that bringing on a consultant is a big decision, but knowing when to fire one can be even more important. Generally, consultants fulfill skill gaps or solve specific problems for your credit union. Unfortunately, they can tend to hang on too long and be difficult to get rid of. Just like an employee, you may become emotionally attached, causing more harm to your organization if you keep a consultant around past their point of usefulness. Here are some key indicators that it’s time to fire your consultant.No longer getting value – This is #1 for a reason. Unlike an employee who should be invested and developed to create key skills and resources for the company – I expect consultants to constantly be adding value, pushing the limits, and driving us to fully be engaged in their discipline. When all the ideas are coming from me, then it is a key sign that it is time to move on.Don’t fit with Corporate Culture – If you are like me, you may not hold a consultant to the same corporate culture standards as you do other employees. This can work out fine, but it can turn into a real issue if a consultant completely violates your cultural principals. When your employees or teammates see you allowing team members (consultant or not) to violate key values, it can implicitly devalue the core tenants of your business and erode trust and morale among the team. So, if your consultant blatantly goes against what you and your company believe, it’s time to cut bait.Disruptive to other goals or team – Sometimes consultants need to be disruptive. They can often provide key momentum builders, energy and excitement around ideas and concepts. At the same time, they can hog resources and stifle other priorities. It is essential to monitor employees stress and the impact of consultants to make sure they aren’t being overly disruptive to the broader goals of the credit union.You have developed in-house expertise – One of the key goals before and during the consulting engagement should be for the consultant (i.e. the expert) to pass on knowledge, frameworks, resources and other skills to key employees. Always have a deliberate plan to create playbooks, tools and trainings so that when the consultant leaves, you haven’t lost the expertise. Once you establish the proper documentation and processes AND have in-house employees dedicated to fulfilling the tasks originally assigned to the consultant, you have successfully absorbed all you needed from the engagement and are likely ready to part ways. Breaching security – We are all in the business of protecting member data. Consultants that don’t get that and don’t interact with our data and our teams with the same confidentiality level we expect from our employees should be dismissed. Feedback is ignored – Giving feedback to consultants can be challenging on both sides. Often you have hired a consultant for a specific expertise. Sometimes their guidance is tough to digest and implement and sometimes it just will not work as prescribed. In those cases, having a frank and honest dialogue with the consultant is critical. If that still doesn’t change or improve the situation, then it may be time to go a different direction.Of course there are lots of other reasons to fire a consultant. If after reading this you think it is time, I might suggest the following ways to approach the situation.First, arrange for a time to sit down with your consultant and be direct. Then use one of the following approaches:Contract Timing – The contract has ended and it is time to go in a different direction. It’s us not you. In Sourcing – We have decided to bring on a full-time person. Your work has been amazing – but we just think we need a permanent member of our team.Performance – Unfortunately you have missed a number of key deliverables, consequently we think it’s time to try something else.Financial – Our budget priorities have changed and we know longer have the budget for this initiative. It can be uncomfortable to fire a consultant, but using the markers mentioned above and assessing the situation independently from your feelings will help you do what is best for your credit union. After all, consultants aren’t meant to work with you forever. read more
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York By Leo CapobiancoDimitrios Haritos and Michael Cardinuto were in the woods off Mount Misery Road in West Hills late one cool September night in 2007 when suddenly, a blue-green ball of light flew at them.The two members of Long Island Paranormal Investigators (LIPI), a local ghost-hunting group, instinctively dropped to the ground, as they recalled in a recent interview. Tales of Native Americans warning settlers of evil spirits there, rumors of a haunted cemetery, and a ghostly police officer—just to name a few—have been passed down through the years, according to Weird New York, a book of local legends. LIPI’s investigators visited the infamous site repeatedly to conduct tests and concluded that it is indeed haunted.“It looked like somebody threw a ball at us,” said Haritos, 33, a captain of LIPI’s Ronkonkoma-based investigative team who works as a medical biller by day. “It was like a blueish greenish ball of light that came at us. Me and him hit the dirt. We thought something was thrown at us.”Mount Misery, of course, isn’t the only place said to be haunted on Long Island. Nor is LIPI the only locally based group exploring hauntings in homes and businesses. Hicksville-based Gotham Paranormal Research Society (GPRS), Fearless Long Island Ghost Hunting Team, LI-based Shadows of the Paranormal, Eastern Suffolk Paranormal, Long Island Paranormal Research Association, Ghost Hunters of Long Island and the Long Island Ghost Hunting and Tracking Society are also searching for proof of a world that lies beyond what we can normally comprehend. Yet while Hollywood and television’s depiction of ghost-hunting and paranormal investigations continue to rise in popularity, these genuine Ghostbusters are adamant that art pales, comparatively, in its imitation of life—or the afterlife, in their case.RELATED STORY: Long Island Haunts: 13 Creepiest Haunted Places on Long IslandOutside LI, more than 3,600 active teams are conducting research in the paranormal field nationwide, according to Paranormal Societies, which bills itself as an online directory of these organizations. Popular cable shows such as Ghost Hunters, which has followed a paranormal team on their investigations on Syfy since 2004, have also fueled interest.“Every time there’s a new paranormal show on TV or a new season of a popular show begins, the calls start coming in,” said Angela Artuso, director of GPRS. “For example, the new Ghostbusters reboot has been released, and the calls are already starting just due to the movie alone.”Besides callers requesting investigations into paranormal phenomena, some want to join the hunt. But joining a paranormal investigation team isn’t easy. Many teams require applicants to get background checks, pass exams, and undergo training on specialized equipment.LIPI ensures that its new recruits understand the different types of spirits they may encounter, how to identify false evidence, and how to analyze videos, audio recordings, and photos.“Is this a full-time job? Yes. We just don’t get paid,” said Cardinuto, 36, the co-founder and lead investigator of LIPI, whose day job is being a caretaker at Able Community. He and his group conduct about 40 investigations annually.Both he and Haritos said they were drawn to this type of research from an early age. Cardinuto recalled a handheld video game that turned itself on after his grandfather died. It had no batteries in it. Even spookier, Haritos said as a child he saw a ghost pilot walk by his bedroom and disappear in his bathroom.“We ended up running over and talking to our mom about what happened there and she took us to the library at town hall to get the history on the house,” Haritos recalled. “We ended up finding out that the house was a summer home for an actress back in the ’40s, and her boyfriend or fiance was a pilot and his plane had crashed around the time me and my brother had seen the spirit walk through our house. It was really crazy.”Haritos later started doing paranormal investigations with a group in Massachusetts. Then he took what he learned back to Long Island. Cardinuto got his start in one of LI’s creepiest haunts.“We were all just hanging out one day playing hockey, and I dared two of my guys to go into Kings Park Psych Center. Sure enough they did, and they heard loud banging, and had no idea what it was,” Cardinuto recounted. “We started investigating after that and bought some equipment. I didn’t think I was going to capture anything.“I thought a lot of the urban legends were just made up,” he continued. “Once we started investigating, that’s when things started to happen, and I started to believe more and more. I’m very skeptical about going into locations, but there’s a lot of things that have happened through the years that I just can’t explain.”Dimitrios Haritos, a member of Long Island Paranormal Investigators, said a ball of light flew at him on Mt. Misery Road (LIPI photo).STRANGER THINGSMany paranormal investigators devote much of their free time to research, and they’ve made personal sacrifices. They’ve invested thousands of dollars into assembling teams, buying equipment and paying for travel expenses. These paranormal investigators often do not consider this as a hobby—it’s their lifestyle.“I literally gave up everything for this organization,” said Cardinuto. “I’ve given up jobs where I could be making over $85,000 a year. It wouldn’t work with the schedule here, so I said, ‘Nope, this is what I do.’ I don’t get paid for it, but money is not everything to me.”Most paranormal investigation teams do not charge businesses and homes for investigations. These investigators only have their passion to motivate them in their research.But paranormal investigation can be dangerous, such as when teams visit historic buildings that are falling apart or have exposed wiring. Before going in, the team will check if it’s safe to visit. They often consult with local historical societies to learn about the locations that they want to investigate, as well as get permission to enter the premises.RELATED STORY: They Believe The same rule applies to investigations in businesses and private homes. Investigators do not know what they’re walking into or what kind of people they’ll encounter, so teams often give potential clients a questionnaire to fill out, as well as conduct an interview before sending a crew along.“We had a man one time who contacted us and said he only wanted the tiniest investigators, and he only wanted women,” Angela said. “And we were like, ‘That’s not happening.’”The questionnaire also helps the team point the client in a direction where non-ghostly problems can be solved. For example, the preliminary inquiry may reveal that the client should see a medical doctor for mental illness, call Child Protective Services, or get law enforcement involved.“We had one that wanted us to investigate him,” said Angela. “He would cover himself in aluminum foil and be totally naked. He said, ‘C’mon, I’ll show you. You have to investigate. I sit in my house all day covered in foil so they can’t get me.’ We deal with a lot.”Other than environmental threats and odd clientele, paranormal investigators are also faced with another and sometimes greater danger: the paranormal itself.Long Island Paranormal Investigators’ are real-life ghost hunters. (LIPI photo)RETURN TO MOUNT MISERYFive LIPI investigators returned to the Mount Misery woods to conduct another probe in September 2013. While the group walked down the path, they sensed they were being watched. They heard growling and caught a whiff of something that worried them.“One of the characteristics of a demonic haunting is you’ll smell a rotten-egg smell,” LIPI’s Cardinuto said. That was the odor in the woods that day.The group recorded odd sounds on their audio equipment while their feelings of being unwelcome grew. They decided to pack it in early, as a tension in the air made them feel unsafe. Then, one of the investigators saw something scatter across the ground. She went in for a closer look and asked the others if they could see it too. But no one else could—at first.Haritos said he stared hard at the ground where she pointed. Slowly the creature materialized and came into focus. It was a creature with an alligator-like body, a pig-like snout and horns. Its sunken-in red eyes glared back at Haritos.“As soon as I made contact, and I focused in, I got this really intense feeling of ‘You need to leave now,’” he said.Immediately the group grabbed their stuff and walked back to their cars. Cardinuto and Haritos stayed behind to serve as a barrier between the team and whatever might be pursuing them. On their way to the entrance, the group heard another growl. Cardinuto and Haritos’ knees gave out as if something had run into them from behind. But when they looked down, nothing was there.Once the investigators reached the woods’ entrance, they pulled out a Prayer to Saint Michael card and begin to recite the words meant to ward off evil spirits. The group finished their prayer and paused. The woods had become oddly quiet.“As we turn around to leave, we literally audibly hear a woman laugh at both of us,” said Haritos.RELATED STORY: 5 Real-Life ‘Stranger Things’-Montauk, Long Island ParallelsThe team returned to their offices, where Cardinuto sat the two witnesses on different ends of the room. Up until this point, Haritos and the other member of the team had not discussed what they had seen with each other, or with the rest of the group. Cardinuto separately asked each one to draw what they saw.“Their drawings matched,” said Cardinuto. “I’d say about 95 percent.”After they found that the two witnesses’ accounts matched, the team looked through their demonology database and found a match. They prefer not to repeat the creature’s name, for fear of inadvertently summoning it. But six days after that incident, the team returned to the same area and conducted what would be the last investigation LIPI has ever done at Mount Misery.The team went deeper into the woods, expecting to find more paranormal evidence. They kept smelling the rotten odor, catching odd sounds on their audio equipment, and felt a presence watching them. After several hours, the group decided to leave.While they were walking back down the path, Cardinuto said he looked back and saw five figures standing in a row staring at the group. He described the figures as wearing brown cloaks but having no facial features. Inside of each hood was a black void that seemed to swallow any light.The LIPI team quickly left. They have never returned to Mount Misery.“You have to respect what you see and what you feel,” Cardinuto said. “I’m not going back in there because you never know when you push too far and it decides, ‘You know what? I’m going to push back.’ What happens at that point?” HOLLYWOOD VS. REALITYJust like members of law enforcement, real-life paranormal investigators caution against looking to TV and movies for an accurate depiction of what their jobs are like.“What you see on TV, I would say probably about 90 percent of it is fake,” said Cardinuto.Other local paranormal investigators also suspect that reality TV shows about the field exaggerate their findings, most likely to boost ratings.“It’s more about entertainment value, and they take a lot of liberties,” said Bill Artuso of GPRS, an accountant from Brooklyn when he’s not hunting ghosts alongside his wife, Angela.As he and other investigators put it, the media’s exaggeration warps the audience’s perception of what paranormal encounters are really like, and often stirs up a lot of paranoia.“Some of these shows come on and immediately want to say that the house has a demon,” explained Angela Artuso. “People watch that and they’re petrified. We get calls going, ‘I think we have five demons in our home.’ We have to sit there and explain that you are watching TV and it’s a show.”Television isn’t the only culprit. Books and movies that claim to be based on true stories have been found to stretch the truth as well. Perhaps the most infamous example is The Amityville Horror, which has spawned a long list of books and documentaries seeking to prove or disprove the stories of flying pigs, bleeding walls and other hauntings that were made and remade into one of Hollywood’s most enduring horror movies, and put that Long Island community on the paranormal map forever.RELATED STORY: Amityville Horror Survivor Breaks Silence“You have to remember that what you’re seeing in a movie may be based on a true story, but there is always going to be that element of Hollywood attached to it that sometimes even the families don’t even know are going to be thrown in,” Angela said.Not all movies are guilty of this manipulation, local paranormal investigators said. LIPI recalled that the writers of the original Ghostbusters movie did their research. Some of the equipment that the characters have in the movie is used in the field, and some of the science that the characters discuss can theoretically work, according to LIPI’s investigators.“When they’re on top of the Temple of Gozer and you see Egon say, ‘These readings are off the charts!’ they show a little gray box,” said Haritos. “That’s an IM 17 Geiger Counter. We use them in the field today.”The Geiger Counter is an instrument that detects any ionizing radiation, such as alpha particles, beta particles, and gamma rays. Many believe that when a spirit manifests itself, it gives off Radiation and Electromagnetic Frequencies. EMF meters are also used.“They use sound meters, and they talk about how if a ghost has a constant ionization rate,” Haritos continued. “With the Psychokinetic Energy Meter, if you can depict what range of ions a ghost would exist in, using protons you could grab it like a lasso. So the science is sound. We’re just not there yet with the technology.”The PKE meter is a fictional device in Ghostbusters that, in the movie, detects any ghosts in the surrounding area.Dan Aykroyd, who played Ray Stantz in the original Ghostbusters, also grew up in a spiritual home. His parents believed in the paranormal and would host séances in their home. His father, Peter Aykroyd, published a book called A History of Ghosts: The True Story of Séances, Mediums, Ghosts, and Ghostbusters. Dan Aykroyd used a lot of his firsthand experience and incorporated it into the film.“Dan Aykroyd did his homework,” said Haritos. “He is a true believer in all things paranormal. He talks about UFOs that he’s witnessed and all of this other stuff.”For more than 10 seasons, Ghost Hunters has given a reasonably accurate depiction of how paranormal teams conduct their investigations. The group who stars in the show, The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS), was in operation for 14 years before the show even launched.“They were a team way before the show even came out, and they’ll still be a team way after the show stops,” said Cardinuto. “They’re a great group of people.”TAPS has 130 teams nationally and worldwide. GPRS is a member of the network, which continues to grow. These paranormal investigation teams on LI and beyond have collected countless photos as well as audio and video evidence over the years they’ve been out in the field.Perhaps if more people accepted that there may be things in the world that they don’t understand, these groups may yet prove the existence of a parallel world. But the question remains, when there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call?RELATED STORY: Inside Plum Island: Mysteries, Myths & Monsters Explained read more
GemLife Pacific Paradise.A new multimillion-dollar over-50s lifestyle resort on the Sunshine Coast has recognised the changing lifestyle demands of older Australians. GemLife Pacific Paradise, by Australian retirement resort developer, GemLife, will include 96 premium homes, set within a secure, gated community with extensive, first-class recreational and sporting facilities. One of the homes at GemLife Pacific Paradise.To be built on 4.4ha of prime land on the Sunshine Coast, the development features larger-than-standard size homes, high ceilings, and upgraded, luxury fittings and finishes. In keeping with GemLife’s other over-50s resorts, the Pacific Paradise development is designed to support active, engaged living in a resort-style environment, providing high quality, low-maintenance homes for empty-nesters or Australians looking to downsize.GemLife CEO and director Adrian Puljich said he had set out to transform over-50s living with an innovative approach.“Wellbeing and vibrant living are a priority. Our resorts deliver an exceptional blend of first-class recreational and leisure facilities for active and social lifestyles, together with meticulously designed, modern and stylish homes,” Mr Puljich said.“We want homeowners to have maximum opportunities to connect and enjoy a quality lifestyle. Our country clubs, which form the heart of our communities, play a big part of this.”The GemLife Pacific Paradise country club will be modelled on GemLife’s award-winning clubhouses on Bribie Island and Highfields, near Toowoomba. What a place to relax and unwind at GemLife Pacific Paradise.It will accommodate an extensive range of recreational facilities including an outdoor yoga studio, pool with spa, fully equipped gym, sauna, ten-pin bowling alley, tennis, bocce and pickleball courts, a gold class-style cinema, art and craft studio, music room, wine room, and bar and coffee lounge.While the Sunshine Coast is the second most popular destination for interstate migration, driven by its mild subtropical climate, relaxed lifestyle and comparatively affordable housing, the area continues to be popular within the state too, with its coastal centres favoured by empty-nesters and retirees.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus11 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market11 hours ago CHARITY HOME FETCHES ALMOST $1M AT AUCTION MORE QLD NEWS: GemLife Pacific Paradise is a new Sunshine Coast development.According to GemLife, Pacific Paradise buyers are coming from in and around the Sunshine Coast region, Brisbane area and the Gold Coast.GemLife Pacific Paradise has eight home designs, each with multiple facade and colour- scheme options. All homes have three bedrooms with seamless indoor-outdoor living and feature top-of-the-range appliances, integrated surround-sound systems, security alarm systems and energy-efficient inclusions such as solar PV panels.Unlike other providers in the industry, GemLife does not charge entry or exit fees, providing financial transparency and certainty for home buyers. Homeowners also retain 100 per cent of capital gain. DESIGN AN $8M PENTHOUSE Follow Reshni Ratnam on Instagram read more
Satellite communications provider NSSLGlobal has signed a three-year contract with offshore support vessel provider Wind Energy Marine.The contract comprises the deployment of NSSLGlobal’s FusionIP VSAT terminal alongside its Oceanic Dynamics system aboard Wind Energy Marine’s new crew transfer vessels (CTVs) operating on the Nordsee One offshore wind farm in the German North Sea.Paul Rutherford, Service Engineering Director at NSSLGlobal, said: “Wind Energy Marine has been building its presence in the market and we’re delighted it has decided to invest in our solutions to further strengthen its growth. A three-year contract is a real demonstration of its commitment to our technology, and we’re excited to be able to implement a combination of two NSSLGlobal flagship solutions that will ensure seamless network coverage and efficient vessel performance.”FusionIP will automatically switch between VSAT and cellular connectivity, whilst the Oceanic Dynamics suite will centralise vessel performance, and assess the impact and “push on forces” reported on offshore structures.Oceanic Dynamics will provide Wind Marine Energy with the ability to monitor engine data, route information and GPS position, fuel efficiency, seasickness and whole body vibration HSE analysis, as well as passenger comfort and wellbeing analysis. It will allow vessels to contextualise cost efficiencies and ensure total onboard awareness with the help of a CCTV suite. The new system will also allow Wind Energy Marine to maximise on cost savings by improving efficiencies, NSSLGlobal said.Andrew Bagshaw, Managing Director at Wind Marine Energy, said: “NSSLGlobal has demonstrated the expertise, experience and superior quality of solutions which we were looking for to support our growth in the maritime marketplace. Oceanic Dynamics will be indispensable in terms of ensuring efficiency and consistent quality of our services, whilst the FusionIP terminal will allow us to stay fully connected to our shipping network at all times. The team at NSSLGlobal has also been extremely hands-on throughout the installation process, which was completed without a hitch.” read more
Malaysian vessel operator EA Technique has lost a case against the compatriot engineering and construction firm Malaysia Marine Heavy Engineering (MMHE) and has been ordered to pay over $21.7 million.Illustration only: The North Malay Basin project location / Image by HessThe dispute stemmed from the two companies’ 2015 deal related to the EA Technique’s contract with Hess for the supply of an FSO vessel for its North Malay Basin project.In February 2015, EA Technique entered into an engineering, procurement, construction installation and commissioning contract with Hess to deliver a floating storage and offloading facility for deployment in the North Malay Basin, located approximately 150 km North East off the shore of Kota Bharu in the state of Kelantan.EA Technique then signed a deal with MMHE for where MMHE committed to carrying out the demolition, refurbishment, and conversion of a donor vessel into the FSO facility.As per the previous statements by EA Technique and MMHE disputes arose relating to invoices for additional work orders related to the FSO contract leading to the two companies laying claims against each other.While MMHE claimed it had not been paid for additional work carried out, EA Technique claimed it had overpaid for the original contract.MMHE on Wednesday said that on 27 May 2019, the Adjudicator allowed MMHE’s claim in the sum of $21,6 million “including goods and services tax of 6% to be paid [ by EA Technique] by 28 June 2019 with interest of 1.5% per month from 5 October 2018 until full and final settlement.”“EATech is also directed to pay all costs of the adjudication including MMHE’s cost. Further, EATech’s cross-claim and set off for the sum of USD87,200.00 was allowed whereas the remaining cross-claims were dismissed,” MMHE said.In a separate statement, EA Technique said: “The adjudication decision is not expected to have any potential business or operational impact on the company. At this juncture, the Adjudication Sum to be paid by the Company to MMHE has sufficiently been provided for in the Company’s accounts. The Company is in the midst of reviewing the Adjudication Decision to determine whether there are clear and unequivocal errors in the Adjudication Decision.”Offshore Energy Today StaffSpotted a typo? Have something more to add to the story? Maybe a nice photo? Contact our editorial team via email. Offshore Energy Today, established in 2010, is read by over 10,000 industry professionals daily. We had nearly 9 million page views in 2018, with 2.4 million new users. This makes us one of the world’s most attractive online platforms in the space of offshore oil and gas and allows our partners to get maximum exposure for their online campaigns. If you’re interested in showcasing your company, product or technology on Offshore Energy Today contact our marketing manager Mirza Duran for advertising options. read more
If you have followed the Big Ten basketball season, you know that there is no longer a home (and home) schedule. When there were only 10 teams, you played the other 9 at home and on the road each year. Now you play all 13 teams once and 5 of them twice adding up to 18 games. I don’t know how they determine the schedule, but it certainly is not even.Some of the schools played Maryland, Michigan State, Iowa, Indiana, and Purdue twice while others faced these top teams only once. This will make quite a difference when the seeding for the Big Ten Tourney comes out. Supposedly, it is the Big Ten Tourney that eventually determines your NCAA seed. I don’t know what the solution for this is. No one wants to play 26 league games nor do they want to play just 13. If I had my say, the Big Ten would have stayed an actual 10 team league. Everybody in Indiana wants to see Purdue and IU play home and home. read more
Metamora, IN — While the shops and restaurants are still open in quaint Metamora, officials have announced that the annual Canal Days event that brings 1000’s of shoppers from all over, is canceled for 2020. Vendors who rent from Historic Metamora Inc., Duck Creek, and Gateway Park should receive notice and will be contacted by the appropriate organization. Vendors who rent from private property owners need to reach out to them individually.