Humans Aren’t Blue

first_imgI feel the darkened room. My thoughts echo its sounds.There’s someone crawling on my ceiling.Its two eyes taking in my figure.I no longer feel safe in my bed; I no longer feel safe anywhere.There’s no place without it, for it always haunts me.The world seems to pause: no noise, vision, or smell.What will happen? Only time will tell.Then I can feel something crawl down, and I am unable to even frown.Why can’t I move? Why can’t I breathe?The four limbed being is now on top of me.A long arm touches my paralyzed face,Its own countenance with an apathetic expression takes away my mind.Knowing I have lost all aspects of joy, hope, and care,I acknowledge this isn’t fair.Suddenly, something zaps through me.Pain spreading like a disease through my body as it increases until I’m numb.For I am gone, and I am done.But,Do you know who took me?I wonder too, Since humans aren’t blue.By Vera RodriguezAge 13, Our Lady of the Hamptons Sharelast_img read more

Suffolk County Inmates Create Masks

first_img Share Suffolk County Correctional Facility inmates sew masks to be used in the jail and donated to essential workers. Independent/Courtesy Suffolk County Sheriff’s OfficeInmates at the Suffolk County Correctional Facility are busy making hundreds of cloth masks for distribution to fellow inmates, law enforcement officials, and essential workers in Suffolk County.Lt. Adeline Kuhnle, the project leader for the initiative who is in charge of the rehabilitation unit for the Riverhead and Yaphank facilities, said she was approached about the idea. It just so happened she was already looking at organizing something similar.“It truly was a collaborative effort,” she said. “Many years ago, we had a sewing program for the inmates, so I went in search of the old equipment.”An inmate makes a mask at a sewing machine. Independent/Courtesy Suffolk County Sheriff’s OfficeKuhnle found six working industrial-sized sewing machines and material that had been in storage for years. She enlisted the help of any officer who may have knowledge of working with one, and said Sgt. Shawn Springsteen and Officer Susan Agate “came to the rescue.” A group of female inmates, some of whom have sewing skills, and others who simply expressed a willingness to learn, help, and give back also wanted to contribute to the effort.“I think the program is wonderful for the inmates,” Kuhnle said. “They love coming down and participating. They tell me they like feeling productive and are proud to help fight the spread of the coronavirus. I believe it is important because it gives them a sense of accomplishment and purpose. The morale is high, and that is important especially in a time of national crisis and they are separated from their families and children. I have received comments from other officers that work closely with these particular inmates, that they see a positive change in their attitudes and behavior. I believe I speak for the rehabilitation staff when I say that it feels good to see the officers and inmates working together to contribute to the cause.”So far, more than 800 face coverings have been sewn over the last few days. The correctional facility expects to have 1200 in stock by the weekend. Suffolk County Sheriff Errol Toulon Jr. said he couldn’t be more pleased with the work. He believes his staff has come together in creative and unique ways during this pandemic.Inmates and Suffolk County correction officers working together to create masks. Independent/Courtesy Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office“I take the public health component of my responsibilities very seriously, and this is just one of a multitude of ways we are working to prevent the spread of the coronavirus inside the Suffolk County Correctional Facility,” he said. “The inmates are learning skills while giving back to society and helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It’s of great benefit to all.”Every inmate will be issued two washable cloth masks. While sheriff’s office employees already have personal protective equipment as a result of being essential workers mandated to wear the gear, these masks will also be made available and distributed to them as needed. The sheriff hopes to begin donating the masks to outside agencies and essential workers soon.To assist with this effort, Toulon Jr. is requesting donations of cotton cloth and elastic for the ear loops — either 0.125 inches or 3 millimeters flat or round, white or black, woven or braided elastic in spools of any length.“The laundry department then donated new unused sheets for the material and we have already begun receiving donated material from outside sources such as Axis Church [in Medford] and New Hour for Women and Children [a Brentwood-based nonprofit dedicated to supporting and empowering justice-impacted women and their children],” Kuhnle said. “We welcome any donated materials.”Anyone wishing to contribute can contact Lt. Kuhnle at read more

DeepOcean Expands Its Board of Directors

first_imgDeepOcean has elected Philippe Barril as non-executive director to serve on its board of directors.Philippe Barril is currently the chief operating officer of SBM Offshore.He has more than 25 years of experience in the oil and gas contracting and service sectors.He started his career at Bouygues Offshore for 12 years as an engineer, moving into project management, and acted as a regional business unit manager. From 2002 till 2005, he joined Technip as CEO Africa and Mediterranean.Barril was appointed managing director of Entrepose Contracting from 2007 to 2009. In 2009, he moved to Technip working in a number of senior executive positions and was appointed president and chief operating officer in 2014 till February 2015.“We are very pleased to have Philippe on the DeepOcean board of directors. His extensive industry expertise will be a major asset for DeepOcean,” said Thomas Thune Andersen, DeepOcean’s Chairman.last_img read more

Silk Way orders two 747-8 freighters

first_imgThe new 747-8 freighter is optimised to provide greater revenue cargo-carrying capability than the 747-400, one of the freighters that Silk Way Airline currently operates, offering 16 percent more cargo volume while keeping its iconic nose door.”One of the goals of the Azerbaijani government is to continue building Baku’s strategic positioning as a trade hub,” said Jahangir Askerov, president, Azerbaijan Airlines, and architect of the country’s present day civil aviation industry. “The addition of the new Boeing 747-8 Freighters will enable Silk Way Airlines to expand its operations and help the government achieve its objective.”Marty Bentrott, vice president for sales, said: “We are pleased that Silk Way Airlines has selected the 747-8 Freighters to serve some of the world’s high growth markets.”www.boeing.comlast_img read more

CSX names Eliasson president

first_imgGooden and the chairman and ceo, Michael Ward, announced plans to retire from the company effective May 31, 2017. According to CSX, the changes are part of a transition of the company’s senior leadership that the board has been considering for more than a year.Eliasson has been with the US transportation company, which provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services and solutions, for 22 years and will maintain his current responsibilities of chief sales and marketing officer in his new position.www.csx.comlast_img read more

UCT students crowdfund to retaliate against GBV

first_imgThuli Matshwe, Faith Marthinussen, Gugulethu Nyatsumba, Sheree Draai, Zoar Lewis, Nomazwi Nkoane, Samantha Perkins, Ziphelele Manzini. University of Cape Town (UCT) students have started a crowdfunding to retaliate against gender-based violence (GBV).This follows several incidents of women and children being raped and murdered in the last few weeks.Over the past month, five other young women in the Cape have died in horrific circumstances: Janika Mallo,14, from Heinz Park was found dead in her grandmother’s yard on Sunday September 1 with her head bashed in and possibly raped; Jesse Hess, 19, a University of the Western Cape student from Parow was raped and killed in her flat last Friday August 30 where her 85-year-old grandfather was also killed; 30-year-old Meghan Cremer’s body was found at a sand mine on a Philippi farm on the morning of Thursday August 8 after being missing from August 3; the dismembered body of Lynette Volschenk, 32, was found stashed in plastic bags in her Bellville flat on Thursday August 22 and eight-month pregnant Sadiqah Newman, 26, was shot multiple times while on her way to a shop in Tambo Village near Manenberg on Thursday August 8.A group of UCT students, lead by Samantha Perkins, 22, and Zoar Lewis, 21, have launched a crowdfunding campaign #IWillNotBeNext on BackaBuddy to stand up against gender-based violence in South Africa.  The initiative aims to honour Ms Mrwetyana, Ms Hess, Ms Jegels, Ms Volschenk and Ms Cremer who lost their lives due to senseless acts of violence.“We currently face what’s akin to a war against women in South Africa. Recent events have demonstrated that women are not at liberty to go anywhere without having to fear for their lives – albeit to, from or at the grocery store, campus, a club, a pre-school, the post office, or even one’s own home. It has been clearly illustrated that there simply is NO safe place for the women of this country.” says spokesperson and law student, Samantha.Police recorded 177,620 reported crimes against women, 36,731 sexual offences, including rape, assault and the murder of 2,930 South African women, according to the SAPS annual report in the 2017/2018 financial year.“This is the breaking point, the ‘enough is enough’ moment, the time to stand up and say that we WILL NOT tolerate this any longer. We have to deal with this culture of violence against women that is so deeply entranced within our society,”  said philosophy and English literature, student Nomazwi Nkoane.Funds raised will be used to purchase and distribute a minimum of 1400 units of pepper spray cans to female students at the UCT.In less than 24 hours, the campaign has already raised a total of R44 523.72 towards the fundraising target of R100 000 with contributions from 80 donors. 1 of 2 Thuli Matshwe, Faith Marthinussen, Gugulethu Nyatsumba, Sheree Draai, Zoar Lewis, Nomazwi Nkoane, Samantha Perkins, Ziphelele Manzini.center_img Samantha Perkins and Zoar Lewis.last_img read more

Dentons embraces agile working across UK offices

first_imgGlobal giant Dentons has become the latest firm to introduce agile working into its UK offices, as firms increasingly look to adopt flexible working methods.Dentons is offering its partners, associates and legal executives the option to work remotely for up to one day a week on an ad hoc or informal basis.Agile working will initially be offered across its offices in London, Milton Keynes and Watford, but the firm will consider extending the practice to its other UK offices later in the year.The shift to agile working is in response to feedback from staff in a recent internal survey. The firm said it is part of its drive to establish ‘smarter and more efficient’ ways of working.Jeremy Cohen, chief executive for the UK, Middle East and Africa, said the firm is encouraging its partners to lead the way in supporting this initiative.He said: ‘Modern technology enables us to work in a more agile way and means that we are not tied to working in the office in the way we once were. We want to support staff to find the right balance between being highly responsive to clients while juggling all the other demands on their time.’Dentons is among a number of firms who have recently embraced flexible working. Last summer Linklaters told the Gazette that agile working was available to staff if they want it, while international firm Herbert Smith Freehills said it would implement agile working across all London practice groups following the success of its ‘early adopter’ initiative.The move closely follows international firm Olswang’s announcement that it would move to open plan in its London office by 2017 in order to ‘cultivate a more agile working environment’.A spokesman at the firm said it is in the process of refitting its London headquarters to ‘better use the office space’, including through moving to an open-plan seating arrangement.The firm is also in the process of upgrading its IT systems to a cloud-based platform that can be accessed by more mobile devices, including smartphones, tablets and laptops.Meanwhile, global firm Mayer Brown is piloting agile working in its construction department until July.last_img read more

VIA revenue up

first_imgINCREASING passenger numbers contributed to improved financial results at VIA Rail Canada during 2002. The Crown Corporation’s revenue for 2002 was C$270·8m, an increase of 90% since 1990. In the same period passenger numbers have risen by over half a million. Last year brought an increase of 116000 passengers to almost 4 million, and passenger-km totalled 1·5 billion. There was a 10% rise in traffic on the Québec City – Windsor corridor. ’2002 delivered the best performance results in VIA’s 25 year history’, said President & CEO Marc LeFrançois.last_img read more

Netherlands: Landmark station enhances Amsterdam

first_imgLinking two districts which are currently divided by the railway, Bijlmer-Arena will be one of the largest stations in the Netherlands and form a major interchange with metro and bus routesRob Steenhuis, Managing Director, Arcadis ArchitectenFUNDAMENTAL to the architect’s brief for rebuilding the station at Amsterdam Bijlmer-Arena was the requirement that it should act as a local landmark, be easy to use and incorporate a variety of commercial activities. The result combines function, ambition and vision, with an elegance produced through a successful collaboration between two architectural practices, Grimshaw and Arcadis. After three years of discussions, ProRail, Netherlands Railways, the city council and Arcadis reached agreement on the positioning of the railway to satisfy the needs of all stakeholders. As well as the original double-track metro and two mainline tracks, an additional four tracks have been provided for ProRail, with a flyover improving the connections to and from Schiphol Airport as part of the quadrupling of the Utrecht – Amsterdam route. The tracks have been raised almost 2 m above their previous level, putting the platforms 10 m above grade and creating large voids between the viaducts which will maximise daylight penetration to create a well-lit and secure environment below.Design work began in September 1997, and once the initial draft design was agreed, the architects’ contributions complemented each other to create a building which is much more than the sum of its parts. Jan van Belkum was lead architect for Arcadis and Neven Sidor for Grimshaw. Arcadis has been responsible for the infrastructure engineering and technical installations throughout the project.The urban development masterplan drawn up by Pi de Bruijn centres on a 70 m wide boulevard located diagonally beneath the tracks. As well as providing a link to the station, this ensures that the areas to either side of the tracks have sufficient connectivity as part of the development of cinemas, shopping malls, leisure facilities, offices and schools around the ArenA stadium, regeneration which will see the number of passengers rise to 60 000 per day, with peak flows of 25 000 in 90 min when AFC Ajax are playing.The station had to remain fully operational throughout reconstruction. This was achieved by phased construction of four separate concrete viaducts and five self-supporting steel roof elements running the length of the roof. Each bay of the viaduct comprises a pair of large round columns with widened heads, supporting four interconnected 26 m hollow prefabricated beams, with cantilevered platform slabs supported by steel props to either side. The columns maintain the sightlines, standing parallel to the main axis of the boulevard. Bold designThe station hall is located on the south side of the boulevard, where space has been created for retail units, cafés and a passageway to the bus station beyond. The retail zone continues on the north side of the boulevard, with a parade of shops running to the stadium.At rail level the station has three 14·5m wide island platforms, with two 7 m single platforms serving the outer tracks. All are 344 m long, except the middle island used by the metro, which is only 155 m in length. NS standards dictate that canopies should be at least 200 m long, and the form of the roof is key to the station architecture, as the most visible element of the building. Designed to express the dynamics and comfort of high speed travel, the roof is aligned with the diagonal boulevard and features a substantial split in its longitudinal silhouette to draw attention to the escalators linking the platforms with ground level.Viewed from the boulevard, the timber and steel soffit of the roof structure provides the bold public face of the station as it flies overhead. Each pair of tracks is capped with a matching 200 m roof vault, and each vault is linked to the next to form an overall structure of four identical parallel segments. Each of these is supported in turn by four raking A-frame columns, with a special stabiliser element at the southern end, and features 18 m cantilevers beyond the last structural support which amplify the sense of linearity and direction. The tubular steel A-frames have paired pin connections at ground level and support a continuous V-shaped plate-steel fabricated beam that varies in height from 1 700 to 4 500 mm and in width from 800 to 1 850 mm. The underside of the V-beam rises above platform level from a height of 3·10 m at the perimeter to 6·50 m at the centre, and the highest point of the roof is nearly 20 m above platform level. Exposed steel ribs are fixed either side of the V-beam at 3·8 m centres to support platform glazing as well as solid roof areas, which are constructed as an insulated double-skin metal deck with perforated acoustic cladding of Oregon pine on the inside. For cost reasons all roof members have been designed to have the same angle and length, with the variations in the profile of the V-beam accommodated in the clear opening that runs along the apex of each vault. The opening is framed with perforated metal mesh panels varying in height from 800 to 2 500 mm at the highest point of the roof. Fins capture diffuse light glowing through each roof apex at night, enhancing the prominence of the station as a unique focal point on the skyline.Considerable research has been undertaken into passenger flows, wind pressure, vibration, acoustics, passenger security, maintenance and management, and this informed the design in a number of ways. Air vents in the roof and side elevations reduce overpressure caused by the wind and express trains, while the vertical mesh panels minimise wind-driven rain penetration. Acoustic attenuation has been achieved with absorbent materials behind the perforated timber soffits, acoustic sheeting placed alongside trackbeds, and curved acoustic sheeting underneath concrete viaducts, which are completely separate from the roof structure to isolate dynamic train movements. One of the main aims was to design a station which feels secure both day and night. Light grey mosaic tiles and terracotta panels protect the concrete columns and perimeter walls from graffiti, and long voids have been cut into platforms to relieve the 100 m overshadowed section of boulevard below. These voids provide extra visual connectivity between platforms and ground level, and allow daylight to reach the boulevard and bus station areas. The same concerns influenced the design of the station hall located at the heart of the project. Adjacent to the bus station, this will provide a wide variety of commercial facilities including a large cafeteria and restaurant. Future commercial development will be located along the north side of the boulevard, as well as opposite the bus station below the viaduct.The station is due be completed by September 2007, along with the section of boulevard from the eastern side of the station to the Ajax stadium.CAPTION: Exposed steel ribs at 3·8 m centres support platform glazing and solid roof areas CAPTION: A 70 m wide boulevard is being created to link the east and west sides of the railway as part of an urban regeneration scheme CAPTION: The main building contractor for the project is Besix, and the steel structure has been supplied and assembled by Victor Buyck Steel Construction CAPTION: The sequential construction of four parallel concrete viaducts allowed trains to be diverted while the former embankment was removed Photos: Robert Oestermanslast_img read more

Technology roadmap is taking shape

first_imgWORK is in hand to draw up a technical strategy for North America’s railroads covering the next 20 to 25 years. It is being put together by a small working group drawn from the Association of American Railroads, TTCI and its sister business Railinc.The idea originated with a small group of chief operating officers after the AAR board asked them to investigate future research needs. It was quickly recognised that wider issues needed to be considered which involved suppliers and government. From this grew recognition of the benefits of a common vision to define railroad technology needs in broad terms. The roadmap project formally began in January.The model chosen was Foresight Vehicle, the UK’s national automotive research programme which has led to a number of advances in manufacturing processes and product improvements. Aimed at senior echelons of the North American railroad industry, the roadmap will be ‘business-driven’, according to TTCI President Roy Allen. To be finished by the end of this year, it will have sections on trends and drivers, goals and targets and the technology needed to meet the goals. A draft is due for completion by September, after which input will be sought from other bodies such as the Federal Railroad Administration and major suppliers. A major factor behind the decision to look 20 to 25 years ahead is today’s favourable climate for the rail industry. Other influences included growing concern about clogged ports and road traffic congestion, while at state level transport departments are starting to recognise that rail can play a bigger role.How best to handle growth is of major concern to the railroads – even if they just keep pace with GDP over the next two decades, traffic could grow by 80%. A technology roadmap – which Allen says will be ‘a living document updated every two or three years’ – could prove a key element in ensuring that the rail industry stays on top of demand.last_img read more