Bikers Appeal Granted


In a dramatic turn of events, a High Court Judge has granted leave to appeal to the No To Bike Parking Tax Campaign after it’s previous defeat in the high court against Westminster City Council regarding the parking charges introduced for motorbikes and scooters in the borough.

The Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Jackson went firmly against an earlier ruling by Lord Justice Pitchford that the campaign had no grounds to appeal, and ruled that 6 of the 7 original grounds could be argued. He also disagreed with Lord Pitchford on the issue of ‘reasonable grounds of success’, making clear that there was a case to answer.

In a bizarre and unprecedented departure from convention, Peter Large, WCC’s head of Legal Services, telephoned and sent a letter to the Courts on 6th September 2010 requesting Lord Justice Pitchford as the appeal judge, despite his being the original judge on the case.

Warren Djanogly, Chairman of the Campaign, said, “This letter shows the utter desperation of Westminster Council, and it’s blatant attempts to influence the Court. You could not find a better or more ludicrous example of how far they will go to avoid a re-trial, because they know the original judgement is flawed.’

Charlie Lort-Phillips added, “For the Council to try and tell the court who can or cannot make a judgement is appalling for Mr Large to have the temerity to suggest that Lord Justice Pitchford is the only judge in the High Court capable of understanding the case is ill-befitting a practitioner of law.’

Campaigners raised concerns over the judgement of Lord Justice Pitchford from the outset, with many telling how the case culminated in his mumbled delivery of the judgement which ‘lacked any courage of conviction, matched only by his lack of courage to look any of the applicants in the eye’, before leaving the room despite having other judgements to hand down

Others told of his ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ nature during court proceedings. On day one he appeared to be so in agreement with the Campaign’s lawyer, and so dismissive of WCC’s Counsel, that an end of day private meeting descended into ‘a screaming match’ between her & WCC staff, overheard by many still leaving the court.

A date for the appeal has not yet been set.

Allergy Awareness Anthem


Egg-Free Epicurean (peanut-free and tree nut-free too) has released a music video illustrating food allergy awareness and safety during the holiday season.  The Peanut-Free Players perform, depicting safe ways to handle likely  and unlikely holiday situations.  Whether you meet a friendly reindeer who offers you candy as you walk home from school, or you attend a party with plenty of baked desserts available, remember to read labels and avoid unlabeled foods.

Some 4% of the US population suffers from food allergies.  The danger to children during the holiday season is especially high, as candy, sweets, and free food abound.  It is important for them to maintain their discipline of reading food labels, not eating unauthorized food, and not eating unlabeled food.

The video begins by depicting girl returning home from school who encounters a friendly reindeer, who offers her candy.  Not the least bit startled, the girl objects, explaining that she has food allergies and would have to read the label first.  Then the video depicts a girl attending a holiday party, where she is offered some tempting treats from a dessert table.  She politely objects, explaining that she has food allergies, and shows that in fact she brought her own safe treat from home.  The Peanut-Free Players perform, singing their own lyrics written for a traditional holiday sing-along melody.

No animals were harmed in the making of this video and the reindeer’s performance was the reindeer’s own idea.

Sumatran Tsunami Kills more than 100

More than 100 people have died and hundreds more are missing after a 10ft-high tsunami hit the west coast of Indonesia.

The wall of water was triggered by a 7.7 magnitude quake that hit 78 km west of South Pagai, one of the Mentawai islands, early yesterday morning. AFP is reporting the death toll is now at 113, while hundreds are missing.

The wave has washed away hundreds of houses in 10 coastal villages on the Mentawai islands, off the island of Sumatra.

A local official said 113 people had died and more than 500 were missing.

An official in Betu Monga said: “Of the 200 people living in that village, only 40 have been found. A hundred and sixty are still missing, mostly women and children.

“We have people reporting to the security post here that they could not hold on to their children, that they were swept away. A lot of people are crying.”

Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago, is prone to quakes and volcanic activity due to its location on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire.

Green Consumers – Market Research Report

Companies across multiple industries are developing products and services to harness the opportunities arising from environmentally conscious consumers. Targeting and reaching those customers requires sophisticated intelligence which relates to specific industries and includes breakdowns based on demographics, attitudes and behaviors.

Scope

* An examination of how environmentally conscious consumers in BRIC nations are, and how this translates into green behaviours.
* An exploration of which factors affect a consumer’s choice to undertake green behaviours and purchase sustainable products
* A snapshot of BRIC nations’ energy, retail and automotive sectors, and analysis on the presence of green consumerism in these markets
* Insight into which demographic groups are most responsive to environmental concerns in each sector

Report Highlights
Consumers across all the BRIC nations (especially those in India) are highly aware of environmental problems and consider environmental damage as key threat to the world, with air and water pollution being the two key areas of concern for consumers across all countries.

Chinese consumers come out as leaders among the BRIC nations in terms of adopting green practices in all of the three sectors while Russians are found to be the least responsible in terms of green adoption among all the BRIC nations.

Chinese consumers are most willing to opt for ‘green tariff’ as compared to consumers in other BRIC nations. Also females and urban dwellers display the most sustainable behavior across all the BRIC nations, and are therefore likely to be more receptive to green marketing campaigns.

What is PC Pandora?

Do you know what is PC Pandora? If you are a parent who wants to know what his kid does on the Internet with his computer, you should pay attention to this program. And if you are a businessman who wants to protect the information of his company in the computers, you should also learn about this program.

The PC Pandora is a monitor system which records all the operations on one computer. It is well-used by some parents and companies. The parents use this system to learn about what does their kid concern about on the Internet and whom they are chatting with through the Internet, even though some are deleted by children. In this way, the parents can keep their kids using the Internet in a right way. The companies use this system to monitor their computers to prevent someone stealing the business information or some secret materials.

With the development of economy and technology, the PC Pandora is becoming more and more popular in modern time. We should also protect our privacy in our computers. The PC Pandora can make this come true while it can tell you all the activities took by the one who use your computer. What’s more, no one can change the records on the computer.

Maybe you are worried about the situation that you can not check your computer when you are far from it. This problem is also solved now with the system sending you some emails about the using record now and then. At the same time, this system works automatically, so you needn’t spend too much time to operate it.

In spite of the complex work, the usage of the PC Pandora program is very easy to master. So you needn’t spend too much time and energy to learn it. This system is fit for any type of computer, so every one who own a computer have the chance to use it. Be careful however, as there are many dangerous websites that sell this product.

Isle of Skye Voted One of Europe’s Top Island Destinations

Scotland’s Isle of Skye has been named as one of the top island destinations in Europe according to a new poll of the continent’s top island getaways.

Tourists from across the world voted it eighth in the Top 10 European islands category of the prestigious Conde Nast readers’ choice awards. More than 25,000 people voted in the poll.

Three Scottish golf hotels, The Old Course Hotel in St Andrews, the Turnberry Resort and the Gleneagles hotel, were also named in the Top 20 European Resorts category.

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, said: “The results of this survey are fantastic news for Scotland, especially as they are voted for by visitors themselves.

“Skye plays a prominent role in our Meet The Scots campaign, a European marketing drive which is expected to generate £85million for the Scottish economy.”

New Christmas Music by Charles Xavier


Happy Note Records recording artist, Charles Xavier, aka: The XMan, is proud to announce the release of his new CD, Xmas Vibe, on October 20, 2010.

Xmas Vibe is an enchanting, avant-garde, mystical, eclectic and original approach to festive, traditional and contemporary Christmas classics, with the inclusion of one Xavier-original song, performed on vibraphone and electric guitar with vocal accompaniment.

Charles Xavier has been called many things, including a “Rara Avis” a rare and unique person or thing by the legendary Down Beat Magazine. Therefore, it’s not unusual that this “true music Polymath,” according to The Mondo Project’s Mark Saleski, is releasing Xmas Vibe in stereo and 5.1 surround sound, possibly the only Holiday music offering available in the latter format.

Xavier describes Xmas Vibe as “a World Music-meets George Winston and Gary Burton-influenced soundscape of Holiday favorites with a blend of innovative and unusual Rock, Soul, Funk and New Age styles that will appeal to a wide range of listeners.”

With a production and compositional skill clearly influenced by Frank Zappa, Xavier’s highest praise comes from TheCelebrityCafe.com’s Michael Mardings in reviewing his previous CD The XMan Cometh Expect the Unexpected. Mardings states, “The XMan is an audio chef mixing ingredients in a CD bowl.”

Two tracks on the primarily all-instrumental Xmas Vibe, Christmas Day Is Almost Here, which is the CD’s original opening number and is being released as the single, and Christmas Time is Here, the Vince Guaraldi classic best known from A Charlie Brown Christmas both feature the Jazz-infused vocals of San Francisco-based singer/actress Tina Marie Murray. Xavier offers up Tom Waits-tinged lead vocals on the classic,

Xavier said, “Through my music and performances, I hope to encourage others to get involved in their communities to help others rise up to their potential.”

Successful Conversion of Algal Oil to High Quality Biodiesel

The National Alliance for Biofuels and Bioproducts (NAABB), a consortium of leading scientists and engineers from universities, private industry, and national laboratories announced today that they have met a significant benchmark by successfully producing biodiesel using oil extracted from algae that meets specifications set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).  ASTM develops international standards for materials, products, systems and services used in construction, manufacturing and transportation.

Eldorado Biofuel, one of 13 industry members of the NAABB consortium, provided the algal oil while Catilin, Inc. converted the oil to biodiesel using the company’s commercially available T300 solid catalyst.  Conventional conversion methods use highly caustic materials such as sodium hydroxide.  Using Catilin’s method, researchers verified that they could produce high-quality algal based biofuel that meets ASTM standards more efficiently and economically while producing highly purified glycerin, a valuable byproduct which can be used by the food and pharmaceutical industry.  

“We are very pleased to have demonstrated that our catalytic process is effective for algal oil feedstocks.  Not only are the conversion costs reduced relative to the conventional process but the quality byproducts produced in the process will open additional markets,” said David Sams, vice president, business development, Catilin Inc.

“We are happy we could provide this resource to help move the algae biofuels industry forward,” said Paul Laur, CEO, Eldorado Biofuels.

“This step represents a major success and illustrates the high level of interaction between members which is a good sign that we are starting to reap the benefits of the consortium concept,” said Jose Olivares, executive director, NAABB.  “It demonstrates our member’s commitment to developing the industry.”

The next step will be to distribute samples of the ASTM algae based biodiesel among members of the NAABB consortium for follow-up analyses necessary for the evaluation of engine emissions.

Holiday View of Chicago at The Signature Room


The holidays are spectacular when enjoyed from over 1,000 feet above the white lights and city festivities at The Signature Room at the 95th.  Today, the iconic restaurant announces a November line-up of events and opportunities to create memories and continue traditions.  From private gatherings with friends and associates, to family traditions and kid-friendly events, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in the restaurant that Chicago looks up to. Visit www.signatureroomholidays.com for a complete listing of events.

Throughout the Holiday Season

Private Holiday Gatherings

There are still select dates available for private holiday parties at The Signature Room.  Seven private dining rooms offer breathtaking views of Lake Michigan and the sparkling city below, setting the stage for events that feature impeccable service and exquisite cuisine. The private dining professionals will direct everything from the room set-up, planning a special menu, and customizing room decor.  This is truly a great way to see Chicago during the holidays.

Jean Claude Van Damme Has Heart Attack

Belgian-born film actor Jean Claude Van Damme has reportedly suffered a minor heart attack on the set of his new movie in New Orleans.

MTV News said the 50-year-old action star fell ill Tuesday before he was to begin filming his scenes for “Weapon” in the U.S. city. He was briefly hospitalized in New Orleans and returned to Belgium after he was released.

The incident happened just a day after he celebrated his 50th birthday.

Production on the movie, Weapon, has been put on hold to give Van Damme time to recover.

“He is OK,” his representatives told MTV via e-mail.