ECHO Entertainment News: Paddy Shennan’s TV Review: Ramsay Behind Bars (Channel 4)

ALL hail international superstar Gordon Ramsay! (Gordon Behind Bars, Channel 4, Tuesday).

It seems that Mr Sweary no longer needs to use his full name or surname, so we can only assume he can now be filed alongside the likes of Kylie and Madonna.

And, of course, Sonia.

It would be easy to dismiss this four-part series as a half-baked idea which was dreamt up to get the short-fuse chef’s face on the box, in the hope that fireworks (as well as four-letter words) would be fired off right, left and centre.


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But, as well as all the entertaining swearing, there was also an educational element to this first, mainly scene-setting, programme.

Ramsay has given himself six months inside Brixton Prison (well, he hasn’t been kipping there) to see if he can get a group of inmates to set up a catering business.

Basically, he wants prisoners – or, at least, 12 of them – to get off their backsides so they can (here comes the catchy soundbite) “learn and earn.”

The classic sitcom Porridge was criticised by some for portraying a sanitised view of prison life but, on the evidence of this opener, real inmates have it much cushier than the fictional Fletcher, Godber and Co.

Watching TV all night and then not having to work during the day? Some people on the outside aspire to such a lazy lifestyle.

Ramsay began his task with an audition – he asked a group of prisoners interested in signing up to his scheme to make him scrambled eggs. The results were not good – summed up by one inmate’s verdict on his own creation: “It’s f*****g filth, isn’t it?”

But it was interesting to note that hard man Ramsay saved his most vitriolic criticism for the voice over studio (he’s obviously not stupid).

“This lot can’t tell their a**e from their elbow,” he told us, out of earshot of the prisoners.

The chef eventually reduced his number of would-be caterers from 22 to 12, but stressed: “It’s been hard to get 12 because they are all the same – they are all s***!”

Again, this was not said to their faces – and it would also have been interesting to see him, or anyone, break the news to the rejects.

But we didn’t.

In a show packed with hilarious quotes, most of them involving swear words, the best – and, perhaps, most revealing – came following a conversation the chef had with Darrell Hatfield, who’s in charge of the prison kitchen and its daily, five-choice menu.

Ramsay said: “He says ‘customers’ – I say ‘prisoners’. He says ‘choices’ – I say ‘f*** off!’”

Very funny, but, again, he didn’t say it to his face.

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UNESCO grants funding, Heritage status to Bethlehem

ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) – UNESCO granted endangered World Heritage status and funding for repairs to the site revered by Christians as Jesus’s birthplace in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, despite objections from the United States and Israel.


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Thirteen of the 21 members of the World Heritage Committee voted in favor of the move at a meeting on Friday in St. Petersburg, Russia. The decision was met by a standing ovation. Six members voted against and two abstained.

The 4th century Church of the Nativity, built over a grotto where Christian tradition says Jesus was born, needs repairs but the Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, is short of funds.

The Authority’s request covered part of the Pilgrimage Route, the path which tradition says Joseph and Mary took into the city in their trek from Nazareth some 2,000 years ago.

Palestinians had pointed to what they described as the dangers of Israeli occupation and cited in particular Israel’s 2002 siege of the Church of the Nativity where militants took sanctuary during a Palestinian uprising.

Violence has fallen dramatically in recent years and more than 2 million people now visit the church every year.

Independent experts sent by UNESCO to examine the church recommended turning down the request, saying that while the church roof needed patching up the shrine could not be considered “to have been severely damaged or to be under imminent threat”.

PALESTINIAN STATEHOOD

Friday’s meeting was attended by the Palestinian foreign minister, and the Palestinian Authority has viewed its entry into UNESCO as a strategic milestone ahead of the broader international recognition it seeks for future statehood.

“This gives hope and confidence to our people in the inevitable victory of our just cause,” said Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in a statement following the decision.

“It increases their determination to continue efforts at deepening readiness for the establishment of an independent State of Palestine, with its capital in East Jerusalem within the 1967 borders,” Fayyad said.

Israel has questioned the need for Bethlehem to be registered as an endangered site and sees Palestinian moves at UNESCO and other U.N. bodies as efforts to embarrass Israel on the world stage.

“This is proof that UNESCO is motivated by political and not cultural considerations,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement following the decision. “Instead of taking steps to promote peace, the Palestinians are acting unilaterally, which makes peace more distant.”

The U.S. ambassador to UNESCO, David Killion, said he was “profoundly disappointed by the decision”.

The Palestinian government plans to register about 20 more sites with UNESCO, including the ancient city of Jericho and the archaeological site of Sebastia, and has dismissed Israel’s accusations.

“Our goal is to preserve and safeguard these sites in spite of the threat from Israeli occupation,” Hanan Ashrawi, head of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Department of Culture and Information, told Reuters.

Last year, UNESCO granted the Palestinians full membership, a decision seen at the time as a boost to their bid, since largely stalled, to win United Nations recognition of its statehood in the absence of peace talks with Israel.

Israel and the United States, which later cut off its $80 million annual funding of UNESCO, condemned the decision, saying peace negotiations – which collapsed in 2010 – were the only path to a Palestinian state.

(Additional reporting by Noah Browning and Ari Rabinovitch, Writing by Gleb Bryanski; Editing by Tim Pearce)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2012. Check for restrictions at: http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp

Pay extra attention to pet health during heat waves

(Toledo News Now) – The heat has not only been hard on people, it can also take its toll on four-legged friends.

An animal’s body temperature can fluctuate much faster than a human’s, so during a heat wave its health needs extra attention.

Here are some tips from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:

  • If your pet normally travels with you, leave them at home during hot weather. A car’s interior can get hot very quickly.
  • Take them for walks either earlier or later in the day when it’s coolest, and limit their exercise if immediately following a meal.
  • Carry extra water with you, and don’t let them walk on asphalt or even the sidewalk since their paws can burn quickly.
  • Know the signs of a heatstroke, which are heavy panting, excessive drooling, vomiting and collapsing. That goes for both dogs and cats.

Most pets will instinctively try to keep themselves cool, so try not to change their routines in extreme weather situations.

“If it’s used to staying outside all day while you’re at work, then that’s fine. Just make sure it has shade and fresh water. But if it’s not used to being outside, you just can’t put it outside for these hot days,” explained Jeff Studer, an animal control officer.

Another side effect of hot weather are cars overheating, so be on the lookout for puddles of coolant on the road and driveways.

Copyright 2012 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

Google announces cloud-computing service

Google has announced Compute Engine, a cloud-computing service that
allows businesses to run their applications on servers in the tech
giant’s data center.

“We’re introducing Google Compute Engine, an
infrastructure-as-a-service product that lets you run Linux Virtual
Machines on the same infrastructure that powers Google,” said Google in
its official blog Thursday.

According to the company, the economy
of scale and efficiency of its data centers can provide users 50 percent
more computing power than other leading cloud providers, reported
Xinhua.

Industry watchers said Google Compute Engine will compete
and challenge the leading position of Amazon Web Services, which was
launched in July, 2002.

Google has been building a huge amount of data centers to support its own services and applications over the last decade.

In
2008, it started to open up its infrastructure to outside developers
and businesses, launching services like Google App Engine to allow users
to build applications and websites, and store and analyze data on its
servers.

Also Thursday, Google introduced Chrome web browser for
Apple’s iOS platform, offline editing for Google Docs and retail selling
of Chromebooks at Best Buy.

ECHO Entertainment News: Scouse glam website launches … with a celeb party and a belated wedding pressie for …



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Nicole Francis in one of Scouseworld.com's Glitter Rocks bikinis

IT’S the website which promises to give girls the ultimate Scouse look–- big lashes, curly blow and all.

Now the Scouseworld.com website is about to go live with a celebrity guest list and an Independence Day party.

Newly married WAG Danielle Lloyd will be among the Liverpool VIPs at the stars and stripes event on Wednesday, along with X Factor star Marcus Collins.

Danielle Lloyd

And, although Insider hesitates to ruin anyone’s surprise, it can reveal that there’s a belated wedding gift awaiting model Danielle.

Nicole Francis, co-owner of the business, says they’ve created one of their personalised Too Cute bags specially for the model and former Miss GB.

“We’re going to give it to her on the night, with a caricature of her and ‘Mrs O’Hara’ on it,” says Nicole.

The site is only just about to launch, but already some of its fashion pieces have had media exposure.

Andy Carroll's girlfriend Stacey Miller modelling Danielle dress from scouseworld.com, priced £149

Andy Carroll’s girlfriend Stacey has modelled for them and TOWIE’s Billie and Sam Faiers and Jessica Wright have all worn Glitter Rocks bikinis designed by Nicole and her business partner Holly Finnegan.

“A lot of the stuff we have is quite different and celebs are starting to spot it and want it, which is great,” adds Nicole.

The July 4 party on Exchange Flags is being organised as a tie-in with Radio City’s Cash for Kids, who are supporting disabled children’s charity WHIZZkidz (www.whiz-kidz.org.uk).

Tickets start from £20 (standard price) or £30 or a VIP ticket, front row seats and goody bag and can be bought from Lip Couture in Crosby and Radio City’s reception.

As for entertainment, Insider has fingers crossed for Marcus to do a bit. “He’s not really allowed,” laughs Nicole, “but we’ll be trying to twist his arm!”

* Read more showbiz gossip from our Insider column here

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Jon Hamm and actress girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt robbed in London


“Mad Men” star Jon Hamm and his longtime girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt were recently robbed in London.

According to Life Style, the couple was dining at a restaurant this month when Westfeldt’s purse was snatched. Making matters worse, the robber then ripped off their hotel room, too.

“They were dining at a restaurant and Jennifer’s purse was snagged by someone,” the source told Life Style. “That person took the hotel key in Jennifer’s purse, which had the hotel name on it, and robbed their room. They had to contact the police, it was horrible.”

Westfeldt confirmed the incident over the weekend in New York, and said that cops are investigating, telling the magazine, “What a mess. [I’m not feeling] great. It is under investigation.”

The pair had been in the UK to promote their indie film “Friends With Kids.”

Moroccan carpet weavers begin US tour

Carpet weavers from a rural village in Morocco arrived in May to gather driftwood from the banks of the Mississippi River and build large wooden looms they’ll use on a U.S. tour demonstrating the craft of their North African homeland.

During their first stop in New Orleans, two Tamazight-speaking women from the Valley of the Roses shared weaving techniques with local weavers interested in the ancient Berber art.

Through a translator, the women also discussed the importance of carpets in daily Moroccan life. In the country’s rural areas, thick carpets woven for warmth and comfort often are the only furniture. Their manufacture also is a source of family income.

“Carpets in Morocco are not just floor decoration,” said Terra Fuller, a U.S. weaver originally from Thibodaux, La., who helped arrange the women’s visit to America. “In Morocco, the carpets represent the home and the nurturing of the family. They represent security and the role of women in the family.”

In villages outside Casablanca and other major cities in Morocco, carpets often serve as a family’s bed or table or chairs, Fuller said. They are dyed in bright shades of blue, orange and red and contain tribal symbols and abstract geometric designs that can represent femininity and childbearing.

“It’s the centerpiece of the room,” Fuller said of the carpets. “Everything in the house is earthen, a terracotta brown, from the oven to the walls to the floors. You walk into a room that’s all terracotta brown and then you have this bright carpet on the ground. It’s the main visual display.”

In the Moroccan villages, women often gather wood and materials from fields to build looms on which they knot and thread the fabric. So when they arrived in New Orleans, the weavers – along with a handful of locals – gathered wood from the riverbank and abandoned buildings to build four looms approximately 5 feet tall and wide.

Fuller said the group was given special permission to mine demolition sites for materials to make the looms. They also used fabric from recycled clothes and thread from worn sweaters.

“Back in their villages, the women would have used all recycled materials,” Fuller said. “Very rarely do they go out and buy things. They mostly use old clothes, old scarves, even old wedding dresses. They will use natural dyes and handspun wool from their livestock.”

The weaving techniques stem from the Berber culture that stretches back more than 3,000 years in North Africa is distinct from the Arabic culture and language.

Mouhou Boussine, one of the Moroccan weavers, is in her 70s and has been weaving carpets for most of her life after learning the techniques from her mother.


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“It’s a skill transfer,” Boussine said through a translator. “I learned it since I was young, and when I grew up, I taught also my daughters and many women also in the village.”

Boussine serves as president of Association Assif, which is made up of carpet weavers in rural southern Morocco. She has traveled all over Morocco to sell association members’ carpets and teach workshops.

Stops on the tour also include the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market in New Mexico, Boston and Nevada Mills, Ind., where the women will stay on a rural farm and hold stitching and quilting exchanges with local women.

It takes a month or two to make a carpet, including the gathering and dying of the materials. It’s a very social activity. Women talk as they weave and will often help each other out.

“A carpet is usually started by one woman and several women will contribute to it by the end. It’s interesting because you can see the different hands in one carpet. It’s almost like drawings,” Fuller said.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Veterinary Pet Insurance Announces New Leader

BREA, Calif., June 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), the nation’s oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, has named Scott Liles its new executive leader.  He replaces Dennis Drent, who announced his departure from the company earlier this month.

“Scott has a proven history of strategic leadership and he also has a passion for pets, so he is a perfect fit for VPI,” said Terri Hill, executive vice president, Nationwide Growth Solutions.  VPI is a member of the Nationwide Insurance family of companies.  “As VPI’s new leader, he will be responsible for continuing the rapid growth of the company’s core pet health insurance business, while developing new areas that leverage the company’s unique expertise in pet health care financing.”

Prior to joining VPI, Liles held strategy roles at both Nationwide corporate and most recently for the Nationwide Growth Solutions portfolio of companies, which includes VPI.  During the course of his career Liles has served in a number of senior strategic positions for companies such as McKinsey Company, Accenture Strategic Services and The British Broadcasting Corporation.  One of his first positions was working with the United Nations development program in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Liles has a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Texas AM, a Master of Arts in economics from the University of Cape Town in South Africa, and a Master of Business Administration from the London Business School in the United Kingdom.

About Veterinary Pet Insurance

With more than 485,000 pets insured nationwide, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co./DVM Insurance Agency (VPI) is the oldest and largest pet health insurance company in the United States. Since 1982, VPI has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers.

VPI Pet Insurance plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. CareGuard® coverage for routine care is available for an additional premium. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, nearly 3,000 companies nationwide offer VPI Pet Insurance as an employee benefit. Policies are offered and administered by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and DVM Insurance Agency in all other states. Underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Brea, CA, an A.M. Best A rated company (2012); National Casualty Company (all other states), Madison, WI, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2012). Pet owners can find VPI Pet Insurance on Facebook or follow @VPI on Twitter. For more information about VPI Pet Insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit petinsurance.com.

Alltopics.com Presents Internet News Source


TMCNet:  Alltopics.com Presents Internet News Source

Alltopics.com Presents Internet News Source


Jun 27, 2012 (PRWeb.com via COMTEX) —
Alltopics.com/internet offers readers an insight into the process of information searching, improving online search results and taking the most of the positive side of the Internet. Alltopics.com provides readers with information on web browsers, Internet traps, hacking, and a comprehensive Internet glossary. Alltopics.com/internet is for all beginner and advanced users who want to take their knowledge of to the next level.

What are the most popular websites? What phenomenon stands behind Facebook? How the search engines work? Alltopics.com/internet is a perfect and well-organized tactical roadmap to help readers tackle the online life, step-by-step. Alltopics.com teaches users daily processes, making Internet a helpful tool and a way of business.

Alltopics.com/internet is full of practical advices and expert techniques useful in developing a solid Internet strategies. Alltopics.com contains articles, news, videos and images valuable for anyone wanting to achieve an online success. Anybody interested in blossoming of one’s business or organization cannot afford to miss Alltopics.com/internet.

Internet has now simply become a second life for some people. With unlimited possibilities, it provides users with everything – starting from information and finishing with money making. Thanks to Alltopics.com/internet – understanding this virtual empire has never been easier. Alltopics.com shows readers how to create one’s own place on the Internet. Users can enjoy advice on building a home business from scratch.

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/6/prweb9648842.htm
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