Apple releases new Magic Trackpad, updated iMacs and Mac Pros

Friday, July 30, 2010

On Tuesday, Apple Inc. introduced a new peripheral, the Magic Trackpad, and refreshed its line of iMac and Mac Pro computers, as well as the Apple Cinema Display.

The Magic Trackpad, a multi-touch trackpad for Macintosh computers, allows end users to use certain gestures to control on-screen actions. It supports gestures already seen on the MacBook and MacBook Pro trackpads, as well as the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, such as swiping, tap-to-click, and pinch-to-zoom. However, the Magic Trackpad also supports physical clicking and supports one- and two-button commands. The Magic Trackpad, which is retailed for US$69, connects wirelessly to a computer using Bluetooth technology and has a claimed four months of battery life. At 5.17 inches (13.13 centimetres) long and 5.12 inches (13 centimetres) wide, the glass and aluminium device is slightly larger than Apple’s laptop trackpads.

In addition to the Magic Trackpad, Apple also began selling the US$29 Apple Battery Charger accessory, a charger pack with six rechargeable batteries usable in the Magic Trackpad, Apple Wireless Keyboard, and Apple Magic Mouse. Apple claims that the nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries can last up to ten years before they lose their ability to hold a charge. The Magic Trackpad uses two AA batteries, and can be used with any Bluetooth-enabled Macintosh computer running Mac OS X 10.6.4.

Another major announcement that came on Tuesday was the first iMac update since last fall. The update included mostly internal upgrades, giving consumers a choice of newer Intel processors: the dual-core Core i3 and Core i5, and the quad-core Core i5 and Core i7. In addition, the SD card slot was expanded to allow support for the Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC) format. The iMac is still available at 21.5-inch (54.61-centimetre) and 27-inch (68.58-centimetre) display options, but has upgraded graphics cards as well. The screens use in-plane switching (IPS) technology, allowing for a greater viewing angle. The base model is still priced at US$1,199.

Apple’s line of Mac Pro computers were also given a refresh on Tuesday. Consumers now have the option to purchase a Mac Pro with twelve processing cores, using two six-core Intel Xeon processors. Four-, six-, and eight-core options are still available. The update also includes the choice of adding up to four, 512GB solid state drives, instead of conventional hard drives. The base model is priced at US$2,499 and will be sold starting in August.

Apple also released a new, 27-inch (68.58 centimetre) LED Cinema Display, a 60 percent increase in display area from the older 24-inch (60.96 centimetres) Cinema Display. The new monitor can reach a resolution of 2560-by-1440 pixels, or Wide Quad High Definition, and has a built-in microphone, webcam, speakers, USB hub, and ambient light sensor, which changes the display’s brightness based on external lighting levels. It is priced at US$999 but will not be available for purchase until September.

The Basics Of Emergency Room Coding

byadmin

The emergency room is oftentimes the very first place that potential patients arrive at a hospital. They are sometimes hurt seriously and will need to be admitted to the hospital for inpatient treatment or transferred to another hospital. Emergency departments are ranked on a one to four scale that determines trauma levels. One is the highest level of a trauma center.

What Is Emergency Room Coding?

This is the process of assessing a patient’s diagnosis and ranking it appropriately based on diagnosis, treatment, and prospective payments. Coders classify all of these figures and bill a patient based on the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS). The coders use Ambulatory Payment Classifications (APCs) to determine where in the OPPS a patient falls.

Ambulatory Payment Classification

Ambulatory Payment Classifications (APCs) are the federal method in the United States to pay for services within the Medicare system. APCs are only applicable to hospital outpatient services. There are other methods by which a physician is reimbursed in the United States. Though APCs were originally created for determining Medicare payments, the standards are applied by some state programs, by Medicaid, and by some private health insurance firms. The streamlined process makes the job of coders more straightforward.

Guidelines

Emergency room coding guidelines vary from hospital to hospital, so it can be very difficult for a coder to properly determine how to code a certain patient’s services. Many facilities adhere to the OPPS and the APCs applicable therein, so it’s merely a matter of a coder being well versed in the statutes.

Coders have the unenviable task of considering every single documented procedure whether it is by a nurse or a physician. They are must also review a physician’s notes. They must also be very well versed in the medical field to properly assess how the diagnosis relates to the treatment and whether it was warranted. Also, the notes and documentation will have medical procedure codes and diagnosis codes. The coder must read the codes and determine the necessity of the resulting procedures. Also, there are no national or federal standards for what defines a necessary procedure and what doesn’t. That means every management service has to set its own guidelines. This can get very complex very quickly since there is no widespread standard. In fact, the codes between a hospital and a physician, even one with admitting privileges to the hospital, could be different. Determining the proper amount to bill a patient requires intricate knowledge of medical procedures and the medical field. Because of that, it is advisable to hire a firm that is experienced in coding and billing. These management companies can allow you to rest assured that you are getting the best coding and billing services that are available.

Drought conditions hit much of US again in 2012

Monday, July 9, 2012

Over half of the contiguous United States is experiencing drought conditions, according to a report released Thursday by the National Weather Service. The report, addressing the period through this coming September, predicted many states will see these conditions persist, or worsen.

Further government reports indicate that high temperatures have played a role in the drought. Additionally, food supplies are being negatively impacted. 22 percent of the corn and soybean crop in key states is reported in “poor or very poor condition”; other crops have also been reduced in the wake of the conditions.

Only days ago, over one million residences in the greater Washington D.C. area were without air-conditioning following a rash of storms and high winds. Reports indicate that temperatures reached at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit (about 38C) during that period. Overall, 18 deaths were attributed to those conditions which extended to several states. Two Tennessee brothers, ages 3 and 5 died after playing outside, according to one report. When asked about weather conditions, a Texas woman told Wikinews, “This heat has been dreadful. I can hardly stand to be outside for more than 10 minutes.”

The National Weather Service’s report noted that, in the southeastern US, some weather improvements are expected across certain portions of Georgia and South Carolina. An Arkansas woman told Wikinews, “…it’s horrible. We’re not used to these kinds of temperatures. It’s so miserable outside right now. It doesn’t normally get this hot here…this is unbelievable.” Sources are referring to this drought as the worst since 1988.

National Museum of Scotland reopens after three-year redevelopment

Friday, July 29, 2011

Today sees the reopening of the National Museum of Scotland following a three-year renovation costing £47.4 million (US$ 77.3 million). Edinburgh’s Chambers Street was closed to traffic for the morning, with the 10am reopening by eleven-year-old Bryony Hare, who took her first steps in the museum, and won a competition organised by the local Evening News paper to be a VIP guest at the event. Prior to the opening, Wikinews toured the renovated museum, viewing the new galleries, and some of the 8,000 objects inside.

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Dressed in Victorian attire, Scottish broadcaster Grant Stott acted as master of ceremonies over festivities starting shortly after 9am. The packed street cheered an animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex created by Millenium FX; onlookers were entertained with a twenty-minute performance by the Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers on the steps of the museum; then, following Bryony Hare knocking three times on the original doors to ask that the museum be opened, the ceremony was heralded with a specially composed fanfare – played on a replica of the museum’s 2,000-year-old carnyx Celtic war-horn. During the fanfare, two abseilers unfurled white pennons down either side of the original entrance.

The completion of the opening to the public was marked with Chinese firecrackers, and fireworks, being set off on the museum roof. As the public crowded into the museum, the Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers resumed their performance; a street theatre group mingled with the large crowd, and the animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex entertained the thinning crowd of onlookers in the centre of the street.

On Wednesday, the museum welcomed the world’s press for an in depth preview of the new visitor experience. Wikinews was represented by Brian McNeil, who is also Wikimedia UK’s interim liaison with Museum Galleries Scotland.

The new pavement-level Entrance Hall saw journalists mingle with curators. The director, Gordon Rintoul, introduced presentations by Gareth Hoskins and Ralph Applebaum, respective heads of the Architects and Building Design Team; and, the designers responsible for the rejuvenation of the museum.

Describing himself as a “local lad”, Hoskins reminisced about his grandfather regularly bringing him to the museum, and pushing all the buttons on the numerous interactive exhibits throughout the museum. Describing the nearly 150-year-old museum as having become “a little tired”, and a place “only visited on a rainy day”, he commented that many international visitors to Edinburgh did not realise that the building was a public space; explaining the focus was to improve access to the museum – hence the opening of street-level access – and, to “transform the complex”, focus on “opening up the building”, and “creating a number of new spaces […] that would improve facilities and really make this an experience for 21st century museum visitors”.

Hoskins explained that a “rabbit warren” of storage spaces were cleared out to provide street-level access to the museum; the floor in this “crypt-like” space being lowered by 1.5 metres to achieve this goal. Then Hoskins handed over to Applebaum, who expressed his delight to be present at the reopening.

Applebaum commented that one of his first encounters with the museum was seeing “struggling young mothers with two kids in strollers making their way up the steps”, expressing his pleasure at this being made a thing of the past. Applebaum explained that the Victorian age saw the opening of museums for public access, with the National Museum’s earlier incarnation being the “College Museum” – a “first window into this museum’s collection”.

Have you any photos of the museum, or its exhibits?

The museum itself is physically connected to the University of Edinburgh’s old college via a bridge which allowed students to move between the two buildings.

Applebaum explained that the museum will, now redeveloped, be used as a social space, with gatherings held in the Grand Gallery, “turning the museum into a social convening space mixed with knowledge”. Continuing, he praised the collections, saying they are “cultural assets [… Scotland is] turning those into real cultural capital”, and the museum is, and museums in general are, providing a sense of “social pride”.

McNeil joined the yellow group on a guided tour round the museum with one of the staff. Climbing the stairs at the rear of the Entrance Hall, the foot of the Window on the World exhibit, the group gained a first chance to see the restored Grand Gallery. This space is flooded with light from the glass ceiling three floors above, supported by 40 cast-iron columns. As may disappoint some visitors, the fish ponds have been removed; these were not an original feature, but originally installed in the 1960s – supposedly to humidify the museum; and failing in this regard. But, several curators joked that they attracted attention as “the only thing that moved” in the museum.

The museum’s original architect was Captain Francis Fowke, also responsible for the design of London’s Royal Albert Hall; his design for the then-Industrial Museum apparently inspired by Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace.

The group moved from the Grand Gallery into the Discoveries Gallery to the south side of the museum. The old red staircase is gone, and the Millennium Clock stands to the right of a newly-installed escalator, giving easier access to the upper galleries than the original staircases at each end of the Grand Gallery. Two glass elevators have also been installed, flanking the opening into the Discoveries Gallery and, providing disabled access from top-to-bottom of the museum.

The National Museum of Scotland’s origins can be traced back to 1780 when the 11th Earl of Buchan, David Stuart Erskine, formed the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland; the Society being tasked with the collection and preservation of archaeological artefacts for Scotland. In 1858, control of this was passed to the government of the day and the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland came into being. Items in the collection at that time were housed at various locations around the city.

On Wednesday, October 28, 1861, during a royal visit to Edinburgh by Queen Victoria, Prince-Consort Albert laid the foundation-stone for what was then intended to be the Industrial Museum. Nearly five years later, it was the second son of Victoria and Albert, Prince Alfred, the then-Duke of Edinburgh, who opened the building which was then known as the Scottish Museum of Science and Art. A full-page feature, published in the following Monday’s issue of The Scotsman covered the history leading up to the opening of the museum, those who had championed its establishment, the building of the collection which it was to house, and Edinburgh University’s donation of their Natural History collection to augment the exhibits put on public display.

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Selection of views of the Grand Gallery Image: Brian McNeil.

Selection of views of the Grand Gallery Image: Brian McNeil.

Selection of views of the Grand Gallery Image: Brian McNeil.

Closed for a little over three years, today’s reopening of the museum is seen as the “centrepiece” of National Museums Scotland’s fifteen-year plan to dramatically improve accessibility and better present their collections. Sir Andrew Grossard, chair of the Board of Trustees, said: “The reopening of the National Museum of Scotland, on time and within budget is a tremendous achievement […] Our collections tell great stories about the world, how Scots saw that world, and the disproportionate impact they had upon it. The intellectual and collecting impact of the Scottish diaspora has been profound. It is an inspiring story which has captured the imagination of our many supporters who have helped us achieve our aspirations and to whom we are profoundly grateful.

The extensive work, carried out with a view to expand publicly accessible space and display more of the museums collections, carried a £47.4 million pricetag. This was jointly funded with £16 million from the Scottish Government, and £17.8 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Further funds towards the work came from private sources and totalled £13.6 million. Subsequent development, as part of the longer-term £70 million “Masterplan”, is expected to be completed by 2020 and see an additional eleven galleries opened.

The funding by the Scottish Government can be seen as a ‘canny‘ investment; a report commissioned by National Museums Scotland, and produced by consultancy firm Biggar Economics, suggest the work carried out could be worth £58.1 million per year, compared with an estimated value to the economy of £48.8 prior to the 2008 closure. Visitor figures are expected to rise by over 20%; use of function facilities are predicted to increase, alongside other increases in local hospitality-sector spending.

Proudly commenting on the Scottish Government’s involvement Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, described the reopening as, “one of the nation’s cultural highlights of 2011” and says the rejuvenated museum is, “[a] must-see attraction for local and international visitors alike“. Continuing to extol the museum’s virtues, Hyslop states that it “promotes the best of Scotland and our contributions to the world.

So-far, the work carried out is estimated to have increased the public space within the museum complex by 50%. Street-level storage rooms, never before seen by the public, have been transformed into new exhibit space, and pavement-level access to the buildings provided which include a new set of visitor facilities. Architectural firm Gareth Hoskins have retained the original Grand Gallery – now the first floor of the museum – described as a “birdcage” structure and originally inspired by The Crystal Palace built in Hyde Park, London for the 1851 Great Exhibition.

The centrepiece in the Grand Gallery is the “Window on the World” exhibit, which stands around 20 metres tall and is currently one of the largest installations in any UK museum. This showcases numerous items from the museum’s collections, rising through four storeys in the centre of the museum. Alexander Hayward, the museums Keeper of Science and Technology, challenged attending journalists to imagine installing “teapots at thirty feet”.

The redeveloped museum includes the opening of sixteen brand new galleries. Housed within, are over 8,000 objects, only 20% of which have been previously seen.

  • Ground floor
  • First floor
  • Second floor
  • Top floor

The Window on the World rises through the four floors of the museum and contains over 800 objects. This includes a gyrocopter from the 1930s, the world’s largest scrimshaw – made from the jaws of a sperm whale which the University of Edinburgh requested for their collection, a number of Buddha figures, spearheads, antique tools, an old gramophone and record, a selection of old local signage, and a girder from the doomed Tay Bridge.

The arrangement of galleries around the Grand Gallery’s “birdcage” structure is organised into themes across multiple floors. The World Cultures Galleries allow visitors to explore the culture of the entire planet; Living Lands explains the ways in which our natural environment influences the way we live our lives, and the beliefs that grow out of the places we live – from the Arctic cold of North America to Australia’s deserts.

The adjacent Patterns of Life gallery shows objects ranging from the everyday, to the unusual from all over the world. The functions different objects serve at different periods in peoples’ lives are explored, and complement the contents of the Living Lands gallery.

Performance & Lives houses musical instruments from around the world, alongside masks and costumes; both rooted in long-established traditions and rituals, this displayed alongside contemporary items showing the interpretation of tradition by contemporary artists and instrument-creators.

The museum proudly bills the Facing the Sea gallery as the only one in the UK which is specifically based on the cultures of the South Pacific. It explores the rich diversity of the communities in the region, how the sea shapes the islanders’ lives – describing how their lives are shaped as much by the sea as the land.

Both the Facing the Sea and Performance & Lives galleries are on the second floor, next to the new exhibition shop and foyer which leads to one of the new exhibition galleries, expected to house the visiting Amazing Mummies exhibit in February, coming from Leiden in the Netherlands.

The Inspired by Nature, Artistic Legacies, and Traditions in Sculpture galleries take up most of the east side of the upper floor of the museum. The latter of these shows the sculptors from diverse cultures have, through history, explored the possibilities in expressing oneself using metal, wood, or stone. The Inspired by Nature gallery shows how many artists, including contemporary ones, draw their influence from the world around us – often commenting on our own human impact on that natural world.

Contrastingly, the Artistic Legacies gallery compares more traditional art and the work of modern artists. The displayed exhibits attempt to show how people, in creating specific art objects, attempt to illustrate the human spirit, the cultures they are familiar with, and the imaginative input of the objects’ creators.

The easternmost side of the museum, adjacent to Edinburgh University’s Old College, will bring back memories for many regular visitors to the museum; but, with an extensive array of new items. The museum’s dedicated taxidermy staff have produced a wide variety of fresh examples from the natural world.

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At ground level, the Animal World and Wildlife Panorama’s most imposing exhibit is probably the lifesize reproduction of a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton. This rubs shoulders with other examples from around the world, including one of a pair of elephants. The on-display elephant could not be removed whilst renovation work was underway, and lurked in a corner of the gallery as work went on around it.

Above, in the Animal Senses gallery, are examples of how we experience the world through our senses, and contrasting examples of wildly differing senses, or extremes of such, present in the natural world. This gallery also has giant screens, suspended in the free space, which show footage ranging from the most tranquil and peaceful life in the sea to the tooth-and-claw bloody savagery of nature.

The Survival gallery gives visitors a look into the ever-ongoing nature of evolution; the causes of some species dying out while others thrive, and the ability of any species to adapt as a method of avoiding extinction.

Earth in Space puts our place in the universe in perspective. Housing Europe’s oldest surviving Astrolabe, dating from the eleventh century, this gallery gives an opportunity to see the technology invented to allow us to look into the big questions about what lies beyond Earth, and probe the origins of the universe and life.

In contrast, the Restless Earth gallery shows examples of the rocks and minerals formed through geological processes here on earth. The continual processes of the planet are explored alongside their impact on human life. An impressive collection of geological specimens are complemented with educational multimedia presentations.

Beyond working on new galleries, and the main redevelopment, the transformation team have revamped galleries that will be familiar to regular past visitors to the museum.

Formerly known as the Ivy Wu Gallery of East Asian Art, the Looking East gallery showcases National Museums Scotland’s extensive collection of Korean, Chinese, and Japanese material. The gallery’s creation was originally sponsored by Sir Gordon Wu, and named after his wife Ivy. It contains items from the last dynasty, the Manchu, and examples of traditional ceramic work. Japan is represented through artefacts from ordinary people’s lives, expositions on the role of the Samurai, and early trade with the West. Korean objects also show the country’s ceramic work, clothing, and traditional accessories used, and worn, by the indigenous people.

The Ancient Egypt gallery has always been a favourite of visitors to the museum. A great many of the exhibits in this space were returned to Scotland from late 19th century excavations; and, are arranged to take visitors through the rituals, and objects associated with, life, death, and the afterlife, as viewed from an Egyptian perspective.

The Art and Industry and European Styles galleries, respectively, show how designs are arrived at and turned into manufactured objects, and the evolution of European style – financed and sponsored by a wide range of artists and patrons. A large number of the objects on display, often purchased or commissioned, by Scots, are now on display for the first time ever.

Shaping our World encourages visitors to take a fresh look at technological objects developed over the last 200 years, many of which are so integrated into our lives that they are taken for granted. Radio, transportation, and modern medicines are covered, with a retrospective on the people who developed many of the items we rely on daily.

What was known as the Museum of Scotland, a modern addition to the classical Victorian-era museum, is now known as the Scottish Galleries following the renovation of the main building.

This dedicated newer wing to the now-integrated National Museum of Scotland covers the history of Scotland from a time before there were people living in the country. The geological timescale is covered in the Beginnings gallery, showing continents arranging themselves into what people today see as familiar outlines on modern-day maps.

Just next door, the history of the earliest occupants of Scotland are on display; hunters and gatherers from around 4,000 B.C give way to farmers in the Early People exhibits.

The Kingdom of the Scots follows Scotland becoming a recognisable nation, and a kingdom ruled over by the Stewart dynasty. Moving closer to modern-times, the Scotland Transformed gallery looks at the country’s history post-union in 1707.

Industry and Empire showcases Scotland’s significant place in the world as a source of heavy engineering work in the form of rail engineering and shipbuilding – key components in the building of the British Empire. Naturally, whisky was another globally-recognised export introduced to the world during empire-building.

Lastly, Scotland: A Changing Nation collects less-tangible items, including personal accounts, from the country’s journey through the 20th century; the social history of Scots, and progress towards being a multicultural nation, is explored through heavy use of multimedia exhibits.

BP CEO Tony Hayward to resign, say analysts

Sunday, July 25, 2010

BP Chief Executive Anthony Bryan “Tony” Hayward is negotiating the terms of his departure and will stand down from the company; effectively taking responsibility for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, according to journalists. The New York Times cites an anonymous source “close to the board”, and the BBC’s business editor makes a similar analysis. It is expected that President and CEO of the company’s Gulf Coast Restoration Organization Bob Dudley, a Mississippi native, member of the Board of Directors, and most senior American executive of BP, will replace Tony Hayward as Chief Executive.

A report by the BBC World Service said a BP press release asserted that, “[Hayward] has the full confidence of the Board.” The resignation, and change of leadership, at the multinational UK-based oil firm are expected to be discussed by the company’s Board of Directors on Monday, and will potentially be ratified as early as Tuesday.

Hayward’s position was, essentially, undercut when United States President Barack Obama said he “would have fired him.”

Labrador Rescue Denver, Colorado}

Submitted by: Anna Hart

Labrador rescues in Colorado are frequent, which is both good and bad news. It is good news in that more Labrador rescues means fewer Labs that are left to a cruel fate in animal shelters. It is bad news in that more Labrador rescues means more people have not thought about the responsibility they were incurring when they bought a cute Labrador puppy.

Labrador rescue in Denver alone is responsible for hundreds of Labrador Retrievers going to good homes instead of being left on the streets.

Labrador rescues in Colorado are accomplished in several ways.

* Labs may be rescued from shelters. If a Lab remains in the shelter a certain length of time, and no one chooses to adopt it, Labrador rescue comes to its aid, preventing euthanasia.

* Sometimes, Labrador rescues in Colorado are made, not by going out and getting the dog, but by the dog being delivered to the rescue group. Families that decide they can no longer provide the kind of home the Lab needs donate the dog, hoping it will find a good “forever” home.

* From time to time the Labrador rescue in Denver, Colorado receives Labs that were left behind when their owners died.

Labrador rescues in Denver, Colorado are not very different from those in other cities and states, of course. Many places are rescuing Labrador Retrievers and finding permanent homes for them.

Safe Harbor Lab Rescue

Safe Harbor Lab Rescue is a non-profit organization in Golden, Colorado a western suburb of Denver. Like so many other Labrador rescue groups, Safe Harbor Lab Rescue is run by volunteers. Their purpose is to care for stray or surrendered Labrador Retrievers until a permanent home can be found for them.

Safe Harbor is in urgent need of foster homes in the Denver-Boulder area to help save the lives of lovable Labs.

Labrador Rescue Stories

Read stories of Labrador rescues, and you will see that these groups provide an important service. Just one story will give the idea.

Labrador rescue saved a 7-year old Lab from life in a small crate. From the time it was a puppy, this dog had been confined to its crate most of the day. It received little attention. It received little exercise. It had grown to be nearly 100 pounds, and had been house-trained, but still it remained in that small crate. Imagine its joy when Labrador rescue got it out of the crate and into a place where it could run and play. With the boundless energy of a Labrador Retriever having been held back for so long, a dog like this appreciates whoever gave it a second chance. Now this particular lovable Lab is just waiting for someone to give it a permanent home similar to the one it has at the Labrador rescue home.

Labrador rescue dogs are not always comfortable when they first go to a permanent home. They remember being in a home before. They may have had a bad experience. Many times, Labrador rescue dogs are afraid of everything in the new home. They hide behind furniture or in closets. They are very adaptable, however, and with patience and lots of love, new owners can turn a Labrador rescue dog into a lovable Lab.

Finding a Labrador Rescue Group

If you think you would like to adopt a Labrador rescue dog or puppy, you can easily find a Labrador rescue group. Use you favorite search engine, and enter the words “Labrador rescue” without quotation marks. If you have trouble finding one near your home, contact one of the others on the Internet and ask for help. They will often know, or can find out, whether there is a Labrador rescue home in your area.

About the Author: © 2007, Anna Hart. Anna Hart invites you to read more of her articles about Labrador Retrievers at

lovablelabradors.com

. Anna has posted additional information on that site about training Labrador Retrievers. If you are interested in information on

Labrador Retriever training

, youll enjoy Annas perspective on the subject.

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=149052&ca=Pets}

Large creature loose in London suburb

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Police organized a search in the Sydenham Park area of south-east London after a local, Anthony Holder, was attacked by a 6ft long black animal while looking for his kitten in his back yard that borders a woodland.

Holder said the animal pounced, knocked him to the ground, and then he was “in its claws for about 30 seconds. Its teeth were out and I tried to defend myself and eventually I got the thing off my body.” Holder was scratched all over his body and suffered swelling and bruising to his hand and the back of his head. He called the police at about 2:15 am while the animal sat in the garden next door.

While Holder was being treated by paramedics, the Metropolitan Police conducted a search of the area. A citizen and a police officer saw the creature, believed by some to be a panther. Another officer also believed he saw the animal and reports it as approximately the size of a Labrador Retriever. The neighbourhood is being patrolled by an armed police response vehicle staffed by officers equipped with rifles and Taser stun guns.

Scotland Yard is currently seeking specialist advice from experts from the RSPCA and London Zoo. A spokeswoman said: “We are trying to establish exactly where the animal may have come from. In the meantime we are asking the public to be vigilant. If anyone does see the animal, do not approach it but dial 9-9-9 immediately.”

People are also being advised to keep pets indoors.

Sightings of big cats have increased in recent years. The notion of a large predator in London was initially dismissed by scientists, but evidence from footprints and droppings has led to other conclusions. The British Big Cat Society estimates 50 to 100 are currently loose across England. Livestock has supposedly been attacked a number of times. Farmers near Burford in Oxfordshire have offered a £5,000 reward for the capture of a large black creature suspected of killing livestock in the area. However, there have been virtually no human encounters.

Rescue teams try to save London whale

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Wikipedia has more about this subject:

Rescue teams are attempting to save the life of the whale which has been swimming in the London Thames river over the past few days. The northern bottle-nosed whale, which had gotten weaker and weaker, became beached this afternoon. Rescue teams quickly moved the whale onto an inflatable pontoon, keeping the whale in water but with its blowhole above the surface.

Experts then tried to evaluate the condition of the whale by performing ultrasound checks to see how much blubber and blood the whale has, and by taking some blood tests. The breathing rate of the whale was around four inhalations per minute.

The pontoon is currently being towed by a barge slowly downstream.

The British Divers Marine Life Rescue team lead the rescue effort. They hope to be able to release the whale in as deep water as possible, but only if it is in good enough health. If the whale is considered to be in too weak a condition to survive, it may be euthanised, experts have said.

The rescue mission is being filmed by television crews, including from helicopters, and broadcast live onto rolling news channels. Mark Stevens, a member of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue team reported on the situation live on TV using a mobile phone, direct from the scene where he was standing in the water. At one point he asked the BBC to tell their helicopter to fly higher, as the noise made the whale’s breathing rate temporarily go up.

The whale sightings have captivated the British public, with spectators lining the banks of the Thames to take photographs and try and spot the whale. However, the inital surprise at seeing the whale soon turned to concern as experts fear for the whale’s long term health. Initial plans to transfer the whale from the barge “Crossness” to a deep-sea ship have been abandoned as the condition of the whale deteriorates, but it is still hoped to release the whale in the Thames estuary.

Australian man arrested after dragging dead possum behind car

Monday, June 26, 2006

Police in the Australian state of New South Wales have arrested a 22-year-old man following an incident in Narrabeen, a Northern suburb of Sydney on Saturday. Police allege the man dragged a dead possum behind his car along a busy Sydney road.

According to a police statement, a number of citizens contacted them after seeing a vehicle driving along the Wakehurst Parkway in Narabeen with what appeared to be an animal tied to the rear. The police were told that the animal was dragged for several hundred metres before breaking free from the rope.

After receiving further information from the public, police found the body of a brush tail possum on the side of the road. Witnesses then provided police with further information that assisted them to locate a 22-year-old male, believed to have been driving the vehicle the possum was tied to.

Police attended a house where the man was staying and took him to Dee Why police station where he was interviewed. Police have stated that another three youths have been interviewed regarding the incident.

The 22 year-old man was charged with offensive conduct and is to appear in court on a later date. Under NSW law, the maximum penalty the man faces is 3 months in jail or an AUD$660 fine.

Police and the RSPCA will conduct an autopsy on the possum, which they expect will confirm that the possum was already dead before being dragged.