In late April, Dutch tulip bulb farmers chop off the flowers' heads

Posted by admin on April 24, 2017 in Uncategorized |

As the end of April approaches, Dutch tulip farmers prepare for “topping”, when they run cutting machines through the fields across the north and west of the country, lopping off the colourful flower heads and leaving the stalks and plants to wither.

A woman dressed up as “The Milkmaid” by Johannes Vermeer picks tulips that were placed in front of the Royal Palace at the Dam Square to celebrate the beginning of the tulip season in Amsterdam, the Netherlands January 16, 2016. REUTERS/Michael Kooren/Files

AMSTERDAM:As the end of April approaches, Dutch tulip farmers prepare for “topping”, when they run cutting machines through the fields across the north and west of the country, lopping off the colourful flower heads and leaving the stalks and plants to wither.

Throughout the month, the tulip fields are in full bloom and tourists flock to attractions such as the Keukenhof flower garden in The Hague to see the year’s designs and spectacular new strains.

To the un-initiated, the “topping” that follows may look like senseless destruction.

In fact, it’s all part of the tulip’s growing cycle, as the plant then diverts its energy to the still-living bulb underground, which will bloom again.

The reinvigorated bulbs are harvested in mid-summer and sold to growers for planting in the autumn.

(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag with Zip Closure, Black

Posted by admin on April 24, 2017 in Biotechnology |

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PackIt’s Freezable Lunch Bag is the original bag with built-in cooling that keeps anything you pack cooler, longer. The secret is PackIt’s patented cooling technology. Freezable gel is permanently built into the lunch bag so you’ll never need to buy separate freezable ice packs or gel packs again! To use, fold the PackIt Freezable Lunch bag flat and store it in the freezer overnight (12 hours). In the morning, the walls of the lunch bag will be completely frozen and ready to chill items for hours. PackIt Lunch Bags chill food all day, letting you pack healthy foods that would spoil in other bags such as: yogurt, deli meat, milk, fruits and veggies. The cooling power lasts long enough to bring home leftovers, which reduces waste and saves you money. A zippered closure locks in cool, dry air and a buckle handle easily clip onto totes, backpacks or strollers. This soft lunch bag is made from nontoxic poly canvas and has a food-safe, water-resistant lining. Like all PackIt products, the Freezable Lunch Bag is made from PVC-, BPA-, phthalate-, formaldehyde- and lead-free materials. PackIt’s Freezable Lunch Bag measures 10 inches tall, 8 inches wide and 5 inches deep while open. When folded, this lunch bag measures 8 inches wide, 5 inches deep and 2 inches tall for easy and compact storage in the freezer. Simple care: wipe thoroughly or hand wash the interior and spot clean exterior; allow bag to dry completely before freezing. Not machine or dishwasher safe.This lunch bag features PackIt’s patented cooling technology. Freezable gel is permanently built into the bag, so you will never waste money on separate ice packs or gel packs again!
To use, simply fold the PackIt Lunch Bag flat and store in the freezer overnight (12 hours). In the morning, the walls of the lunch bag will be completely frozen and ready to chill food and drinks for hours
PackIt lunch bags are perfect for packing healthy foods such as: dairy, fruits and veggies. Food and drinks stay cool and fresh all day! It’s ideal for people with special diets, food sensitivities or allergies
The Lunch Bag features a zip top closure to lock in cool, dry air. A buckle handle clips onto totes, backpacks and strollers for hands-free convenience
This soft lunch bag is made from nontoxic poly canvas and has a food-safe, water-resistant lining. Like all PackIt products, the Lunch Bag is made from PVC-, BPA-, phthalate-, formaldehyde- and lead-free materials. Simple care: the interior wipes clean, spot clean exterior
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The curious case of North Korea in Cambodia

Posted by admin on April 24, 2017 in Uncategorized |

PHNOM PENH: On a quiet midweek evening on the streets of the Cambodian capital, the Pyongyang Restaurant is at near capacity.

Inside the square room, adorned with dramatic landscape murals, music starts to blast. Waitresses in bright traditional Korean garb drop their trays and pick up their instruments. With great skill they twirl in formation and belt out odes to the homeland. 

It is patriotic, unapologetic North Korea thousands of miles from the secretive state.

This is one of the Pyongyang regime’s money-spinners: Restaurants dotted throughout the world with profits used to raise foreign exchange. 

The shadowy proceeds of the evening seem to matter little to the bustling tables of mostly South Korean, Chinese and local customers. This is a curious glance into a nation that dominates world headlines but remains nothing but an odd cliche to most people. 

In Cambodia, it is just one small aspect of an unusual relationship with North Korea that has morphed over decades. From what was once a warm mutual friendship, current ties are far more uncertain, underpinned by global tensions and leveraged by the region’s main power player, China. 

Now, as Pyongyang finds itself again in the crosshairs of international ire, scrutiny has extended to Phnom Penh to see how it contends with an old ally. The roots run deep, back to the Cold War era. 

Late King Norodom Sihanouk had a firmly knitted friendship with the founder of North Korea (DPRK) and long-time supreme leader Kim Il Sung. In 1974, a winter palace was built outside Pyongyang for the monarch and he sought refuge there for many years, bringing back to Cambodia a personal troupe of North Korean bodyguards, whom he trusted more implicitly than their local counterparts.

“For the DPRK to obtain recognition from one of the most ancient monarchies in Asia was a diplomatic gain, never to be forgotten and for which to be grateful for a long time,” said Julio Jeldres, counsellor to the Cabinet of His Majesty the King of Cambodia.

Those royalist ties still hold, though somewhat tenuously. Sihanouk’s son, Prince Norodom Ranariddh, now a peripheral figure in national politics, just this month renewed royalist ties with a high-ranking DPRK diplomat.

Norodom Sihanouk (L) is welcomed in 1975 to Pyongyang by North Korean President and “Great Leader” Kim Il-Sung (Photo: Xinhua/AFP)

Reaching out to a diminished power in Cambodian politics for “moral support” is an act of desperation from Pyongyang, according to Jeldres. “North Korea feels isolated now and is seeking to gain support from any sources that can give such support,” he said. 

“Today, the same personal relationship that existed between the leaders of Cambodia and the DPRK does not exist.” 

It is true that the Hun Sen-led government is hardly as embracing as the former king. Yet, still Pyongyang keeps popping its head up in the country.


Just a few miles away from Cambodia’s national treasure, the Angkor Wat temple complex, lies another imprint of the Korean regime’s soft power projections.

The Angkor Panorama museum is a US$24 million project bankrolled by the Mansudae Overseas Project Group, North Korea’s propaganda construction group, in grand cooperation with the Cambodian government.

Opened in December last year, it is a celebration of the ancient Angkor empire with one especially striking and epic 120m mosaic. This is no site for explicit propaganda. But the profits are set to flow back to Pyongyang for the first decade of the museum’s operation, no matter how measly they are from the as-yet rarely visited site. 

This type of small commercial enterprise is one many countries do not allow North Korea to set up. Yet Cambodia “permits” it to “retain a quiet, vestigial friendship with North Korea”, according to Sebastian Strangio, author of Hun Sen’s Cambodia.

“But if the relationship became a burden, it would show no hesitation in cutting off what few ties remain,” he said.

The Angkor Panorama Museum is one of North Korea’s soft power projections in Cambodia. (Photo: AFP/Tang Chhin Sothy)

North Korea though has been an irritant in recent years on several occasions, testing Cambodia’s resolve to walk a delicate path of equilibrium with a nation considered a “pariah” by the United States.

In July 2016 it was revealed the kingdom was one of the nations to which Pyongyang had dispatched supposed assassins to launch terror attacks against defectors and South Koreans. That same month, a proposed visit by DPRK foreign minister Ri Yong Ho was rejected by the Cambodian government.

In August, North Korean vessel Jie Shun, sailing under a Cambodian flag, was seized carrying a large shipment of munitions. That action coincided with an end to the kingdom’s flag convenience scheme, known to have assisted North Korea smuggle drugs and weapons throughout the world for years. 

Cambodia has also found itself oddly embroiled in the killing of Kim Jong Un’s estranged half brother, Kim Jong Nam, in February at Kuala Lumpur’s international airport.

At least one of the two women who eventually carried out the assassination using a deadly nerve agent was known to be in Phnom Penh shortly before the attack.

Asked about ongoing investigations in Phnom Penh, police spokesman Kirth Chantharith said he had no knowledge of the case. “I haven’t heard about this,” he said.

The extent to which the plot has formed or rehearsed in Cambodia remains unclear. So too do the reasons why those masterminding the killing chose Cambodia to induct her.

“Cambodia has traditionally been an off-the-radar meeting ground for Islamist terrorists and North Korean elements,” said Geoffrey Caine, a journalist who specialises in Korean affairs.

“Foreign intelligence and diplomats have geared many of their problems to sewing up its porous borders and enforcing the rule of law. But the fact is that Cambodia is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, according to Transparency International.”

Still, these dubious incidents, in clear view of the world, could wear down the Cambodian government’s patience with a partner that no longer serves them much purpose or musters much rapport.

The government could cast North Korea adrift at any point.


The Kim Jong Nam killing has further frayed DPRK ties with Southeast Asia, especially Malaysia. With Cambodia toying precariously with ASEAN solidarity by taking Beijing’s side in the South China Sea contest, the government might be better served holding tight with its neighbours, said Chheang Vannarith from the Cambodian Institute of Strategic Studies.

“North Korea-ASEAN relations are worsening. It is not in Cambodia’s interest to align itself with North Korea,” he said.

Already, it has developed strong economic ties to South Korea and publicly denounced the North’s nuclear program – in a soft tone nevertheless. 

“We asked North Korea, a friendly country, to reason with us,” said foreign ministry spokesman Chum Sounry after a bilateral meeting in January.

“(North Korea) is just a friend, but when a friend does a wrongdoing, Cambodia doesn’t support it and condemns it,” Cambodia government spokesman Phay Siphan told reporters last year. 

That attitude means the likelihood of Cambodia stepping into a mediation void to help settle an inter-Korean dispute, as some observers have suggested as a solution, has likely drifted out of the realm of possibility.

“I doubt very much that the North Koreans would listen to the Cambodians. The only actor with considerable weight to influence North Korea is China,” Jeldres said.

Vietnamese suspect Doan Thi Huong (left) was charged with the murder of Kim Jong-nam. (Photo: AFP/Mohd Rasfan)

Prime Minister Hun Sen has appeared more willing to wade into the global debate but has stayed true to his non-interventionist mantra, which comes thick with criticism of perceived US aggression. His lead now largely comes from Beijing, increasingly propping up Cambodia with no-strings attached investment and loans.

Analysts say the motives for Cambodia’s posturing are purely economic rather than being based on values or moral order.

“Cambodian foreign policy comes down to getting the patronage of the highest bidder. It’s mostly absent of principles and actual policies,” Caine said.

“It’s all about who gives Cambodia the most money. North Korea has little to offer these days.”

What is left, in plain view at least, are the outposts – the museum and handful of restaurants dribbling dollars back to the fatherland, poor fragments of the type of status North Korea once enjoyed here.

As the customers trickle out of Pyongyang Restaurant, the waitresses that had just dazzled with their performances return to their more mundane duties.

Patriotic tunes again seep from the inner sanctum of the building, this time recorded and played through speakers, and for the benefit of the staff members rather than the patrons. 

They are all believed to live in a nearby compound, still isolated from the outside world and not allowed to roam freely in Phnom Penh or mingle with local population.

They are here but not really, far from the turbulence of global politics yet still firmly in the constrained orbit of their rulers. Cambodia, indeed, is a strange place to call home. 

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Nadal claims record-extending 10th Monte Carlo title

Posted by admin on April 23, 2017 in Uncategorized |

Rafael Nadal claimed a record-extending 10th Monte Carlo Masters title as he geared up for his beloved French Open with a 6-1 6-3 victory against fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos on Sunday.

Tennis – Monte Carlo Masters – Monaco, 23/04/2017. Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts after defeating his compatriot Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the final of the Monte Carlo Masters. REUTERS/Jean-Pierre Amet

MONTE CARLO:Rafael Nadal claimed a record-extending 10th Monte Carlo Masters title as he geared up for his beloved French Open with a 6-1 6-3 victory against fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos on Sunday.

The fourth seed, who is also targeting a 10th Roland Garros trophy this year, was always in command as he claimed his first ATP title since triumphing in Barcelona a year ago.

The 14-times grand slam champion had won his two previous encounters against Ramos and the 15th seed failed to snap that run on Sunday.

“It has been an amazing week on one of the most important events on the tour. I played well here, which helps me a lot to start the claycourt season with confidence,” said Nadal.

Nadal wasted three break points in the second game as Ramos levelled for 1-1, only for the claycourt king to win the next five games to bag the opening set.

With Nadal’s topspin working with devastating effect, Ramos struggled to stay close to his baseline.

The Mallorcan broke for 3-2 in the second set when Ramos sent a backhand long and from then on Nadal was unstoppable.

Ramos ended his first Masters final with a double fault that handed Nadal his 70th ATP title on the third match point.

(Writing by Julien Pretot, editing by Pritha Sarkar; Editing by XXXX)

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Niceshop Mini Handheld USB Misting Fan with Hairdressing Personal Cooling Fan Student Rechargeable Portable Mini Cooling Fan for Home Office and Travel outdoor (Blue)

Posted by admin on April 23, 2017 in Biotechnology |

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Operating instructions: 

☞ Please Fully charge the fan for 8 hours to fully charge the battery and make batteries play a better performance and efficiency.
☞ Please Turn on the back switch before using.
☞ Please use the bottle to inject water, don’t let it overflow.
☞ The battery should be fully charged before storage.
☞ Don’t put anything into the fan while it is working.
☞ Please use USB/DC 5V power for charging.


▶ Item type: table fan with mist cooling function
▶ Dimension:12*12*9.5cm
▶ Weight:340g
▶ Material:ABS
▶ Blade material: Plastic
▶ Rated speed:3800(rpm)
▶ Voltage:DC 5V
▶ Rated power:3.5W
▶ Powered by:Built-in battery (Firstly charging for 8 hours suggested)
▶ Battery capacity:2000mAh
▶ Charging time:2-3 H
▶ Using time:3-5 H (Depend on working modes)

Package includes:

♥ 1 x nice-shopping Portable Desktop Humidifier fan with built-in rechargeable battery
♥ 1 x Water bottle
♥ 1 x USB charging cable
♥ 1 x Instruction

Our products have been tested, if any problem, please contact us at the first time so that we can supply the best service for you.

One touch sensitive switch to control modes ; Easy to operate. (NOTE:Turn on the back switch before using, turn off it when not use).
Fashionable design and elegant appearance, powered by built-in 2000MA rechargeable battery with a micro USB port. Could used as a power bank to charge mobile phones and digital device through the connection to USB.
Table fan with misting function; 4 modes: Fan&misting-Misting-Low speed fan-High speed fan. Please switch the back key to “on” before using.
Using time: 5 hours for first level Fan; 3 hours for second level fan;2 hours for Misty; 1.5 hours for Fan+Misty.
Note: Please fully charge the fan for 8 hours to make batteries play a better performance and efficiency.



‘Everyone’s high – they gonna arrest everyone?’ Southeast Asian students and the lure of drugs in Australia

Posted by admin on April 23, 2017 in Uncategorized |

MELBOURNE: At almost every rave, concert or music festival Cassandra* attended as an undergraduate in Australia, the likes of MDMA, LSD, GHB and other “party drugs” would be a staple ingredient of her night out – despite the presence of police.

“Everyone’s high. Are they going to arrest everyone?”

Brazen as it was, the former student at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) became a somewhat seasoned user of illicit substances – and it all kicked off with cannabis, which she obtained “out of curiosity” from a classmate in her first year of university in Australia.

This despite being a “super-sheltered” girl growing up in her home country in Southeast Asia – who only picked up smoking cigarettes when she moved to Australia. Said Cassandra, now in her late 20s: “I wasn’t exactly well-behaved – I went through the rebellious stage too, but I guess I was still a regular teenager.” That would describe her family too – not particularly conservative nor religious, but a typical middle-class unit.

“I remember when I left for Melbourne, on my way to the airport, the one thing my dad said to me was ‘Don’t do drugs’,” Cassandra recalled.

“Sorry, dad.”

Her experience was echoed by nearly all 10 individuals Channel NewsAsia spoke to – a mix of Southeast Asian undergraduates and graduates from Melbourne’s most popular universities: RMIT, Monash and the University of Melbourne.

Some were tempted to take drugs, encouraged by their availability and Australia’s more relaxed attitude towards substance abuse compared with their home countries. Others went a step further, and actually tried drugs for the first time in Australia. Many did so in their first year of studies, and almost always out of sheer inquisitiveness and the desire for overseas adventure.

“It was the newfound freedom,” said Marianne, a graduate now in her late 30s. “My parents weren’t around and I wanted to do as many things as I could, away from home.”


In 2012, Australia was the most popular destination for Southeast Asian students, with World Education Services reporting that out of 220,000 from this region who studied abroad at the tertiary level, approximately a quarter opted to go Down Under.

It is also a country where obtaining illegal substances is comparatively easy, according to Dr Stephen Bright, psychologist and a leading drug expert in Australia. “There are drugs available in Australia and many students at university here will experiment with drugs in some shape or form,” he said.

“Drugs are absolutely everywhere in Australian society,” added Greg Chipp, who heads public health charity Drug Policy Australia. “It’s an open environment where drug use is virtually a rite of passage for young people.”

James Rowe, an RMIT researcher specialising in the sociology of drug use, agreed. “Drug use has become normalised to a certain extent. For example, whereas cannabis remains illegal in Australia, pretty much every state has de facto decriminalisation.”

“Generally Australians – and this is borne out by surveys – are pretty accepting that some people will use drugs like cannabis, and not many want cannabis illegal or punishable,” said Dr Matthew Frei, clinical director of Melbourne-based drug treatment centre Turning Point.

A reveller smokes during the Global Marijuana March, an annual cannabis law reform protest, in the Australian town of Nimbin in 2016 (Photo: AFP/Peter Parks)

Tom, now in his late 20s, said that after spending a few years as an undergraduate in Australia, it felt “normal” to catch a whiff of marijuana or weed (both colloquialisms for cannabis) while walking the streets of Melbourne.

Fellow undergraduate Bob said that he had bought drugs on the street. “It’s so easy because of just the amount of people doing weed.”

“In Australia… I could probably walk on the streets and smoke a joint in close proximity to a cop, maybe 20 metres away,” said former student Willy. “People here are on some kind of substance at any one point in time, especially over the weekend.”

A couple walks through a lane adorned with graffiti in Melbourne in 2015 (Photo: AFP/Indranil Mukherjee)

Matilda Grey, president of the Monash Student Association (MSA), acknowledged that drug use among students is not uncommon.

“If you are going to do drugs at all, do it sensibly,” she added.

She also revealed that the student body was working with an external non-profit organization to provide pill-testing kits for students, to assess if the drugs they wish to take contain pure substances.

Despite this approach, Grey insisted that the MSA discourages drug use. “If there is any instance of drug use at our parties, those people will be removed. It’s not something we promote nor do we have a huge drug culture.”


To better understand the official stance on drug use in Australia, look no further than rave parties, where “drugs are used so frequently and commonly and normally”, said Rowe.

“In most large party situations, somebody will have cannabis at least, if not MDMA or ‘party drugs’,” he explained. “Certainly not everyone is doing it, but there will be no social condemnation of it.”

From personal experience, Rowe, like Cassandra, observed that police accept drug use as part of such events.

“At some point, the police accept it’s very difficult when drug use is so flagrant and out in the open,” Dr Frei conceded. “Is it worth their while, is that what society wants, for them to just lock everyone up? Do they have the resources, time, energy? Is it a good use of taxpayers’ money to enforce these laws?”

Added Dr Bright: “When I speak to police, they can’t go on record saying this, but they say they’d much rather be posted here, where everyone’s having a great time, not causing any trouble – than where everybody’s drinking. Then they’d be breaking up brawls and there’d be a lot of violence.”

Attendees at a Melbourne rave party in 2016 (Photo: Nathan Doran)

The contrast with Southeast Asian attitudes toward drug use is stark.

Said Dr Frei: “The main difference between most Southeast Asian countries and around here is we have very liberal, more relaxed drug laws. We don’t really lock people up for using drugs much.”

More than half of the countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have the death penalty for some drug-related offences, whereas the maximum punishment in Australia is a A$100,000 fine, 25 years imprisonment, or both.

While Rowe pointed out that Southeast Asian students breaking laws could put their visa in jeopardy, some are willing to put their studies at risk as they pursue – to the fullest extent – what is seen by some as the typical Australian university experience.

“People who come from a background where they have to keep within narrower guidelines do feel able to express themselves more in Australia, where it’s a much more tolerant society,” he commented.

File picture of ecstasy pills, which contain MDMA as their main chemical (Photo: Reuters/U.S. DEA/Handout)


While some Southeast Asian students simply experiment with drugs in Australia, for others their flirtation with illegal substances can be the first step on the road to a much darker and dangerous existence.

Willy can attest to that. He went from socially smoking cannabis – the same week he first touched down in Australia – to pushing for organised crime outfits like local motorcycle and Vietnamese street gangs, and finally developing what he called his “own enterprise” selling drugs in Melbourne.

“The money’s too easy,” he said. “For example cocaine, per kilogram, may cost A$80,000 for the guys at the top shipping it in. To distributors, A$120,000. To someone like me, A$220,000. From me to people on the streets, A$350,000.”

One will typically fork out up to A$400 for a gram of cocaine, or A$200 for around 20g of weed, said the students Channel NewsAsia interviewed.

With that much cash to be made, it is little wonder that data shows most drugs in Australia are easily accessible, said Dr Bright.

“It’s possible to buy drugs anywhere,” said Chipp. “More so than alcohol, which you need a license to sell and must be over 18 to purchase.”

“It’s simply a question of knowing the right person – a friend or a friend who knows a friend.”

These conditions mean that it is easy for Southeast Asian students who are tempted to take drugs to get what they want.

“Drugs are always available,” said Cassandra. “There’s always someone who knows someone.”

“It’s funny because even Singaporeans who don’t live here know how easy it is to get weed here,” said one former student at a Melbourne university. “I’ve had quite a few friends who make prior requests to try weed here whilst visiting me.”

File picture of a cannabis joint being rolled (Photo: Reuters/Jason Redmond)


Despite a willingness to take risks with illicit substances, coupled with the conducive environment of Australia, some students told Channel NewsAsia that taking drugs was a concern, and they had reservations about doing things that were incriminating or harmful to their health.

“I was always a bit paranoid, and there was always some reservation,” said Patricia, a graduate now in her early 30s. “I’d make sure that I’d always be in control.”

Said Tom: “At the back of my mind, I’m worried about the side effects.”

The first time Bob tried cannabis, he wound up vomiting and passing out. “I also almost had a panic attack from combining marijuana and acid (LSD) and DMT,” he added.

Marianne similarly remembers being “violently sick” from a cocktail of drugs, although she still has no idea what she took. “I vomited for four hours straight. It was really horrible. My stomach hurt, I was nauseous, my head hurt, I couldn’t stop twitching even though I was so tired.”

She also went skinny-dipping while high, but had a word of warning: “It’s like going from soft to hard drugs. The risk-taking gets bigger and bigger too.”

“I had a friend, from Southeast Asia, who was hallucinating on acid and stabbed himself in the neck during a rave I was at. He barely survived,” said Marianne. “Another friend crashed a car while high on pills – survived but the passenger died.”

Then there is, of course, the danger of addiction.

Bob believes that, for a time, he was hooked on weed and needed to smoke it to sleep. But Marianne had more harrowing tales to tell.

“I had a friend who returned to Malaysia addicted, and now keeps doing rehabilitation in private hospitals so she won’t get caught. But she’s never kicked the habit.”

“And I had another two Malaysian friends who went off the deep end, became heroin addicts, dropped out of university altogether and went back.”

File picture of a man injecting himself with heroin using a needle (Photo: Reuters/David Ryder)

Said Dr Frei: “Young people will continue to choose to alter their consciousness, to change how they feel, no matter how much we tell them they shouldn’t and it’s bad for them and that they should say no. That seems to be a universal truth.”

“I think we all know it’s wrong, yes,” said Marianne. “But you do stupid things when you’re young, then you grow up and get good.”


*All the names of the student interviewees in this article have been changed.

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Irish citizens' assembly recommends change to abortion laws

Posted by admin on April 22, 2017 in Uncategorized |

Ireland’s parliament is to consider changes to the country’s restrictive abortion laws after a panel of citizens voted overwhelmingly on Saturday to recommend reform.

FILE PHOTO: Demonstrators take part in a protest to urge the Irish Government to repeal the 8th amendment to the constitution, which enforces strict limitations to a woman’s right to an abortion, in Dublin, Ireland September 24, 2016. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

DUBLIN:Ireland’s parliament is to consider changes to the country’s restrictive abortion laws after a panel of citizens voted overwhelmingly on Saturday to recommend reform.

Prime Minister Enda Kenny last year called together 99 members of the public, randomly selected, to advise government on the politically divisive issue.

The panel on Saturday voted by a margin of 6 to 1 that the eighth amendment of the constitution, which enshrines an equal right to life of the mother and her unborn child, should be changed.

A series of votes on Saturday and Sunday were to make further recommendations.

The assembly is due to produce a report by the end of June and the government has promised to set up a parliamentary committee with six months to respond, potentially paving the way for a referendum in 2018 on changing the eighth amendment.

A complete ban on abortion in the Catholic country was relaxed only in 2013, to allow a termination if a mother’s life is in danger. Anti-abortion supporters want no further changes to the law.

A protest movement calling for more relaxation of the law has held big demonstrations in recent months and opinion polls show a large majority of voters want some change. Thousands of Irish women travel abroad, mostly to England, for abortions each year.

(Reporting by Conor Humphries; editing by Andrew Roche)

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Low-Cost Home Heating and Cooling

Posted by admin on April 22, 2017 in Biotechnology |

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Supplementing your home’s central heating and cooling system with space heaters, room or portable air conditioners and other inexpensive equipment may be able to help you save money, reduce energy consumption and increase your level of comfort.

With sections addressing heating, cooling, humidity, and air quality, this book can help you select and use equipment, devise energy-saving strategies, and maintain better control of the comfort conditions in your home. Low-Cost Home Heating and Cooling focuses primarily on low-cost, electrically-powered equipment that is commonly available and affordable for people on nearly any budget.

Included in the Heating section: Converting back and forth from watts to BTU ratings, estimating the correct size of heater for a given space, determining the best type of heater, comparing the benefits of natural convection, forced convection and radiant heating, operating an electric heater safety, and understanding the benefits and limitations of kerosene heaters.

In the Cooling section: Understanding and comparing window air conditioner efficiency ratings, guidelines for proper sizing of a window air conditioner, tips on installation and efficient window a/c operation. Also in this section, a special chapter addresses the advantages and limitations of portable air conditioners, and offers selection guidelines and operational tips for these unique cooling devices.

In the Humidity and Air Quality section: Understanding and controlling humidity, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, air cleaners, and duct cleaning.

At the end of the book are 40 specific energy- and money-saving tips that cost little or nothing to implement and can start saving you money immediately.



Apple self-driving car testing plan gives clues to tech program

Posted by admin on April 22, 2017 in Uncategorized |

Apple Inc outlined a plan to train operators of self-driving cars in documents submitted to California regulators earlier this month, the latest clues to the company’s autonomous vehicle technology aspirations.

The Apple logo is pictured inside the newly opened Omotesando Apple store at a shopping district in Tokyo June 26, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino/Files

SAN FRANCISCO:Apple Inc outlined a plan to train operators of self-driving cars in documents submitted to California regulators earlier this month, the latest clues to the company’s autonomous vehicle technology aspirations.

Apple was granted a permit to test self-driving cars on April 14 by the California Department of Motor Vehicles but the company has never said anything about its plan.

The state released 41 pages of Apple application documents to Reuters that give some clues about the company’s highly secret self-driving effort, which it has never openly acknowledged.

The iPhone maker joins a long list of carmakers, start-ups and technology rivals, including Alphabet’s Waymo, that are testing cars on state roads. Apple is looking for new hit products and autonomous car technology is expected to revolutionize the traditional auto industry.

As part of the application, Apple included a 10-page training plan that appeared to be related to operators taking back manual control of the car during automated driving exercises of the system, which it calls a development platform.

Apple declined comment beyond the filing.

The plan includes a document called “Automated System: Development Platform Specific Training Overview” whose objective is “to train safety drivers in various automated driving conditions.”

“Development platform will be controlled electronically (e.g. joystick) and safety drivers must be ready to intervene and take control,” the document reads.

The document highlights different scenarios to be tested, from high speed driving and tight U-turns to lane changes.

One letter sent from Apple to the state Department of Motor Vehicles noted that Apple’s development platform “will have the ability to capture and store relevant data before a collision occurs.”

The document does not include detail on how Apple’s self-driving platform actually works or other technical details. It also does not say what kind of sensors are found on Apple’s three permitted vehicles, all 2015 Lexus model RX450h.

The permit does not necessarily mean that Apple itself is building a full car. Apple could instead be designing a self-driving platform that can be integrated into other manufacturer’s cars.

(Additional reporting By Stephen Nellis; Editing by Peter Henderson and Bill Trott)

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BearsFire Portable Handheld USB Mini Misting Fan with Personal Cooling Mist Humidifier Fan Rechargeable Battery for Home Office and Travel (Purple)

Posted by admin on April 21, 2017 in Biotechnology |

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1. Item type:Misting fan 
2. Power:3.5W 
3. Battery specification:3.7V/2200mA (Built-in) 
4. Charging time:4 hours 
5. Working time:2-6 hours 
6. Charging voltage:DC 5V 
7. Charging current:1000mA 
8. Water capacity:20ml 
9. Atomization:30ml/Hr 
10. Size:180*100*48mm 
11. Net weight:190g 

1. Please use the bottle to inject water, don’t let it overflow 
2. The battery should be fully charged before storage. 
3. Don’t put anything into the fan when it is working. 
4. Please use USB/DC 5V power for charging.

Package includes:
1 x Rechargeable portable mini misting fan spray water fan 
1 x Water bottle 
1 x USB cable 
1 x User’s manual 

If any questions in your order, please don’t hesitate to contact us to serve you and earn your 100% satisfaction  
Functional personal fan, rechargeable USB mini cooling fan and beauty humidifier 2 in 1
Built-in battery: rechargeable battery fan with adjustable 3 speed wind and 2 modes of spraying
Mini Handheld Fan + Humidifier + Beauty + Air Condition + Spary, Face & Skin Need Moist and Refreshing
Handheld portable fan, light-weight and handle design, convenient to carry with
This small fan helps we often keep the face or skin moist and refreshing at office, bedroom or travel and outdoor


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