Les Industries Groom is the Luxurious Canadian Shave You’ve Been Dreaming Of

first_img Editors’ Recommendations The Best Gin Mixers to Have in Your Pantry at All Times The Best Fun Socks for Men to Spruce Up Your Footwear Game Les Industries Groom is Canadian grooming brand creating and testing their own beard and shaving products out of their Montreal workshop. We’ve written about their beard care line previously and enjoyed the luxurious, masculine beard balm, wash, and oil. So, when the company recently released their new shave line, we were intrigued by the style and vibe of the products (and happy with our previous product experience) and decided to give it a go. The decidedly urban and small-batch company is doing exactly what we’re looking for when it comes to natural grooming products and their shave line is no exception.As a guy with very tough and stubborn facial hair, I’ve developed a bit of a routine to prep as much as possible. I use a pre-shave oil ($20 CAD) to soften things up and started using a strop to sharpen my cartridge blades (this is now a necessity).I also always try to follow the manufacturer instructions as best I can. Groom suggests using a shaving brush, but I don’t typically use one, so I applied by hand. Upon opening, a rush of coconut and sage filled my bathroom like a tropical paradise – certainly one of the more inviting aromas from any shaving cream I’ve used recently.The cream ($24 CAD) itself is pretty thick to begin with, almost like the stuffing in a pillow, so it’s highly advised to use less than you normally would and mix in a few drops of water to even it out. Your razor won’t get as clogged and the overall shave is a better experience. (In the event your razor does get jammed up, I found a cotton swab over the blades cleans it out nicely.)Once shaving commenced, the cream set a luxurious glide with little to no hair pull and irritation. The lather is fairly thick, so it does take a bit of time to work through an entire shave, but the experience is so enjoyable that it wasn’t a deterrent.The end product was a smooth, clean mug. Plus, any shave where my stubborn hair and sensitive skin doesn’t end up too irritated or torn up is a success in my book.Their entire line features a number of natural ingredients including seed oils, bark oils, and essences of pine and juniper – each plays a role in offering fresh scents and an even fresher finish.Not surprisingly, Groom’s aftershave balm ($22 CAD) is much the same consistency, scent, and feel of their shaving cream (shout out to their inclusion of cacao butter). It’s a great moisturizer to cap up an overall really pleasant shave. As an added bonus, the balm created a bit of a matte finish on my skin–which is a boon since we’re moving into the warmer, sweatier months.Consider me a fan of this Montreal brand – quality lather, great scents, clean finish.All pricing is in Canadian Dollars. You can purchase your own Groom products here. Sprint Through Airport Security With These TSA-Approved Men’s Grooming Kits Why You Should Give White Zinfandel a Chance (Again) The Barbershop Renaissance and Men’s Grooming Revolution, According to Fellow Barber’s Sam Buffalast_img read more

Yeah, Adidas makes Snowboarding Boots…Check Out Their Best for 2018

first_imgAdidas is known for their heritage street-style shoes. Most notably, the Superstars and Sambas (and now Boosts).These classic Adidas models have become staples in so many of our style identities; infusing athleisure into our suit-game and bringing together a simple jean and white-tee ensemble. There’s no denying the fashion power of the heritage three stripes, so why limit your wear to the streets?Those of us who take to the ski basin for a winter of shredding know the mountain is a popular platform to show your personal style. Snowboarders like to look good, period. If only we could sport our Adidas Originals in feet of fresh powder…The three-stripes Co. made this possible by taking its iconic footwear and designing snowboard boot replica styles that can handle a full day on the mountain. (No more neon astronaut shoes!) Meet the winter snowboarding twins of your favorite Adidas streetwear styles…The Adidas SuperstarPretend you laced up a pair of your freshest Superstars (black and white colorway for us, obviously), then added an ankle guard with traditional boot laces. You’d have the same stylistic pop as the iconic 70s Superstar basketball shoe but with added snowboarding capability. An EVA midsole makes this all-mountain boot super cushy and comfortable for an all-day session. Flex rating is at a medium and the liner is premium. (Note: these boots tend to run large.) Adidas thought of the idea to bring its favorite shoes to the mountain a couple years ago, releasing an Originals snowboarding boot in 2016-17, then new improvements and colorways in 2017-18 (love the white and collegiate burgundy). The Manual also learned at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market this January that the brand is sticking to its guns (or, stripes?) for next-year’s 2018-19 season and we can expect another Superstar come 2018-19. The magic word: originals. And that’s exactly how these make you feel.See itThe Adidas SambaIf you volley back and forth between snowboarding in the winter and soccer in the summer, you’ll likely go GOOAAL for the Adidas Samba boot. Alongside its Originals, this Adidas Classic model was remolded into a snowboarding boot. If this sounds like news to you, wake up and smell the powder. Adidas started making Samba boots in the 2015-16 winter season and isn’t letting up on the trend yet. Samba ADV Snowboard Boots are an icon remastered, mixing Classics styling with a mid-range flex and heat molded Ultralon liners, fitting both park and all-mountain riders. We gladly ditched the chair lift for a hike to the summit with boards on our backs, since these boots are suited for the trek. One wearer called them “warm and comfy,” but also “swaggy.” And it’s true, your style on the mountain shouldn’t be limited to neon bubble astronaut shoes. Look good, board better, that’s our motto. (Here’s Everything You Should Wear Snowboarding this Season.)See itThe Adidas BoostThe biggest innovation from Adidas arguably in the last decade has been its Boost technology. Launched in 2013 for its running shoes, Adidas introduced the world to Boost, explained as “a revolutionary cushioning technology which provides the highest energy return in the running industry.” Boost foam proved three-times more temperature resistant than standard EVA while tested between 104 and -4 degrees F. The unique cell structure acts like thousands of small energy capsules at the bottom of your foot (see the Styrofoam-esk bottom foam). Just imagine if that energy return was in a snowboarding boot… Yep, Adidas released its Tactical Boost boots in 2018 for intermediate and advanced riders who are looking to straight annihilate the mountain.See it Editors’ Recommendations The Best Men’s Waterproof Boots for Tackling All Weather Yes, You Can Wear Boots to the Office: Here are the Best Pairs The Best Documentaries on Netflix Right Now 14 Scandinavian Clothing Brands You Need to Know The Best Men’s Chukka Boots for 2019last_img read more

Finance Minister Says Government Will Continue to Protect the Poor

first_img Opening the 2018/19 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on March 8, the Minister said social programmes for protected groups will continue to receive priority with respect to the allocation of resources, to ensure that overall spending in these areas is not eroded by inflation. Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, says the Government remains committed to protecting the poor and vulnerable in the society. “We will continue, in fiscal year 2018/19, to strengthen the social safety net to ensure that these vulnerable persons are not left behind,” Mr. Shaw said. Story Highlights Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, says the Government remains committed to protecting the poor and vulnerable in the society.Opening the 2018/19 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on March 8, the Minister said social programmes for protected groups will continue to receive priority with respect to the allocation of resources, to ensure that overall spending in these areas is not eroded by inflation.Included are programmes for youth employment, poor relief, children’s homes and places of safety, school feeding, the elderly, and pregnant and lactating women.“We will continue, in fiscal year 2018/19, to strengthen the social safety net to ensure that these vulnerable persons are not left behind,” Mr. Shaw said.He noted that special attention is being placed on the Programme of Advancment Through Health and Education (PATH), which targets some of the most vulnerable segments of the population – children and students aged zero to 19 years; the adult poor, including the disabled, elderly, pregnant and lactating mothers and the destitute – and the Steps-to-Work Initiative, which targets working-age members of PATH for referral to relevant support services to enable them to seek and retain employment.Mr. Shaw said the programmes have the goal of breaking the chain of inter-generational poverty, adding that this is being achieved by ensuring that the next generation has better tools and better health prospects than their parents.“It also provides for support for those parents who need targeted social interventions to improve their living standards,” the Minister said.Mr. Shaw’s presentation was made under the theme ‘Stability, Growth and Prosperity – Our Goal, Our Responsibility’.last_img read more

A rollercoaster of emotions for Fort McMurray man who lost home won

first_imgFORT MCMURRAY, Alta. – Between May and December of last year, Chris Flett went through two life-changing events: his house burned down and he won the lottery.Flett, 34, recalls fetching his daughter from school and rushing home to grab some of his belongings as a forest fire began to threaten his hometown of Fort McMurray.The fire, nicknamed “the beast” for its ferocity and unpredictability, began burning deep in the bush about May 1 and spread into the northern Alberta city on May 3, forcing 88,000 people from their homes for a month or more.In all, almost 2,600 dwellings were destroyed, including Flett’s house in the hard-hit Beacon Hill neighbourhood.Flett, business agent with the International Union of Operating Engineers, went back in early June with some friends to take stock of the damage.“It was incredibly tough to watch everything you worked for in your life to be sitting there and be nothing but ashes.”He dug through the rubble for six straight days in 30-degree heat.“Came out with a couple of pieces of metal and a couple pieces of porcelain, some old tools.”The only thing he could recover of any sentimental value was a piece of a family urn.Flett’s fortunes shifted six months later when he won more than $400,000 in the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation Mighty Millions Lottery 50/50 jackpot.“Disbelief, probably a little bit of fear, happy, sad,” Flett says of his reaction to the win.“It was a roller-coaster of emotions, it really was.”With the cash infusion, Flett didn’t have to make concessions as he planned the rebuild of his home. He was also able to help out his mother, whose home was under-insured, and his younger brother, who had no insurance for the place he was renting with friends.So far, he’s given $35,000 to $40,000 to charities that helped out with the disaster and intends to donate more.Teen Time of Edmonton has been a priority. The charity, which runs Christian summer camps at a ranch north of Edmonton, took in many Fort McMurray evacuees, including Flett, his fiancee and eight-year-old daughter.After months spent at the ranch, in his camper, with friends and lastly in a rented house, Flett and his family are looking forward to settling into their newly rebuilt home in Beacon Hill in June.As the one-year mark since the fire nears, emotions are mixed.“There’s still pain. You still suffer. Every now and then you go to grab something and you realize you don’t own that anymore and that doesn’t exist anymore.“But for the most part, we’ve stayed in a good spot, because we’ve made really good progress.”last_img read more

Network Engineers Time to Give Up Your Blankies

Cisco Gives Certifications a Software Facelift Zeus Kerravala June 17, 2019 A new line of DevNet programs will verify core and advanced skills of Cisco platforms, applications, and APIs. I don’t mean to offend, but why would someone continue to invest time in something that won’t matter in a few years? The answer is they shouldn’t. Software is eating the world, and that includes the network. CLI jockeys need to give up this safety net and modernize their skills. They need to learn languages like Python and YANG, be comfortable writing scripts, and use graphical interfaces. It’s not a sign of weakness and doesn’t mean a lack of technical skills. Instead it lets a single person do more than they could ever do. Log in or register to post comments This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this statement from IT leaders about the technical people who work for them. This situation is no different than years ago when PC admins felt DOS was faster than Windows, telecom managers believed TDM systems were better than VoIP, or server admins had the opinion that virtualization didn’t work. See All in Careers » During the Q&A, I asked Rheams whether the engineering team accepted SD-WAN, and he confessed that many of the network professionals had pushed back on the automation capabilities. They felt they could do things faster through the CLI, he said. Tags:News & ViewsCLInetwork automationSD-WANJob skillsnetwork engineeringCareersAI & AutomationAnalyst InsightBest PracticesDigital TransformationNews & Views Articles You Might Like I understand why network engineers feel this way. SD-WANs are highly agile because they abstract the control capabilities away from the underlying hardware. In legacy networks, hardware changes require network engineers to touch every box. While such updates can take months, this process provides a degree of job safety — businesses need large teams of engineers to run even medium-sized networks. With SD-WANs, control is handled via software and can be centralized, which means a single engineer can make a change and then propagate it across the network. In addition, the end-to-end visibility enables significantly faster troubleshooting. On paper, these trends spell doom for network engineers — the stuff they’re used to doing isn’t needed with a modernized network, like an SD-WAN. I got to thinking about this the other day while attending VMware’s annual user conference, VMworld 2019, in San Francisco. Although VMware is best known as a compute virtualization vendor, it has made significant strides in networking and has been one of the most aggressive vendors on network transformation. It’s particularly strong in the area of software-defined WAN (SD-WAN), its VeloCloud product (which it acquired in late 2017) being one of the industry’s leading solutions. At the event, I attended an analyst Q&A on SD-WAN with Doug Rheams, network solutions architect at VMware customer Franklin Templeton Investments. Rheams selected VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud from a number of options because of its operational simplicity. This resulted in faster changes and turn-up times, reduced complexity, and lower total cost of ownership. One of the pleasant surprises, Rheams said, was the improved application experience. This is an area of strength for VeloCloud in that it has a packet-based approach that mitigate against congestion much better than the flow-based approach that most competitors use. Engineers who embrace modernization will be able to extend their careers into the foreseeable future. Those who don’t will go the way of the TDM specialist. It’s time to shed the comfort zone and embrace reskilling. Don’t Surrender in the Fight for IT Talent Joyce Osenbaugh June 12, 2019 Combat the shortage by looking for your next hires in non-traditional places. Vmware.JPG Network pros should heed this warning and use the automation capabilities of SD-WAN to free up time to reskill. My advice to engineers is that if they’re doing a task today that isn’t strategic to the company or their resumes, then stop! Find a way to automate it instead. Take inspiration from The Office’s Michael Scott: “Don’t be an idiot.” Take Our Survey: Communications Careers in the Spotlight Michelle Burbick November 12, 2018 Share insight into your communications career and earn a chance to win a $100 gift card. Enterprise Connect Research: 2018 Career & Salary Survey Beth Schultz December 12, 2018 A snapshot of your career in enterprise communications, from the skills you possess, your top job factors, and the salaries you earn While this is true, network professionals shouldn’t fear this shift. Rather, they should embrace it as a positive. It’s been well-documented that success in the digital era requires infrastructure modernization. This, in turn, drives the need for skills modernization. In the compute space, businesses aren’t hiring people who can manage physical servers or do backups faster than the next person. Skills required for working with containers, the cloud, and in DevOps are in high demand, while “legacy” skills are moving out of IT. 4 Imperatives for Enterprise IT Communication Managers Marty Parker June 11, 2019 With enterprise communications more dynamic than ever, you must adapt and lead to keep your organization competitive. Remember Linus from the Peanuts cartoon? He was the one who dragged around his blanket wherever he went, as a comfort measure. The same goes for Calvin with Hobbes, the “Good Doctor” Shaun Murphy and his scalpel, and the Fonz with his leather jacket. For many network engineers, command line interface (CLI) serves as their blankie equivalent. I understand that many engineers have grown their careers hunting and pecking on a CLI, but these days doing so is more of a liability than an asset. read more

Gucci takes a kinky turn DolceGabbana give a jungle roar

MILAN — Fashion, according to Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele, now is above all “a great platform. It has great power.”Michele has used that platform during his 4 1/2 years at Gucci’s helm to give gender fluidity a voice. The fashion house also put sustainability on stage, saying it would spend millions on a program to become carbon neutral.Fashion is recognized as one of the world’s top pollution-producing industries, and luxury producers are taking additional steps to address the environmental impact of making clothes.The Italian Fashion Chamber, along with Livia Firth’s EcoAge consultancy, was presenting its third Green Carpet Awards to recognize notable contributions to reaching that goal.Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala said while attending the Dolce & Gabbana show that the fashion industry, given its wide influence, may have a power to lead by example that politicians don’t.Highlights from Sunday’s shows on the fifth day of Milan Fashion Week mostly womenswear previews for Spring/Sumer 2020.____GUCCI TAKES A KINKY TURNIggy Pop, A$AP Rocky and Jared Leto filled the front row for the show within a show that gave a kinky turn to Gucci’s equestrian heritage and railed against uniforms as a liberty-depriving force.To start: Immobile models were conveyed down a moving runway wearing white canvas straitjackets – the most extreme expression of the uniforms that Alessandro Michele called “a strong sign of oppression.”Then, after the electricity suddenly cut out, the more conventional – in the Michele-Gucci sense – show began in reverse direction on the runway. Michele said the power outage and shift in moods were intended to show fashion as a restorer of freedom.The collection and staging were sparer and less eccentric than his usual fare. Michele, who has completely upended the Gucci design language during his tenure, finally employed the equestrian motifs that are core to Gucci’s identity.But in deliberate fetish turn, he gave a whip “to a girl coming out of a club” and a series of sadomasochistic mistresses.“I don’t feel like I am a servant of the market,” Michele said, explaining that wealthy horse owners were an ideal target for a luxury brand.The mistresses were at times elegant, dressed in plunging gold lame tops with a corresponding deep-V slit in the accompanying leather skirt and at times kinky – puritan collars on a dark robe with sheer sleeves and chain detailing.At still other times they were overtly erotic, in lace and silk panel slips with red leather gloves and black dominatrix boots. “Orgasmique” was emblazoned on some garments.Michele also rejected the notion that his expression of gender fluidity in collections “was a new 2.0 discovery. Instead, it is something that exists.”The statement clearly understates the impact Gucci has had in almost five years, disorienting the fashion world. But it also taps into his notion of reaching people who were previously under-represented in luxury fashion.The collection continues that exploration with men dressed in hot pink ruffled coats and leather jackets with puckered shoulders.“I don’t want to be bored and I don’t want to bore people,” Michele said. “But mostly, I don’t want to be bored myself.”_____DOLCE&GABBANA’S JUNGLE ROARDesigner’s Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana set their latest collection in a jungle, a mythic Sicilian jungle, an admittedly bold move after Jennifer Lopez broke the internet this week wearing a sheer, sexy jungle dress on the Milan runway of another fashion house.With Sofia Vergara, Monica Bellucci and Lady Kitty Spencer among the front-row guests, Dolce&Gabbana tapped into their own sexy DNA with a series of clingy, flattering black dresses that are the brand’s calling card.The black numbers served as palate cleansers between bursts of inspiration around the jungle theme, starting with khaki safari suiting that echoed similar looks on the menswear runway in June.Animal prints were de rigueur but not overdone. Dresses were done in elegant renderings of zebra, leopard and tiger prints and worn with matching sheer hosiery.The exotic Laceleaf replaced the fashion house’s signature red rose on some prints, and jungle print dresses covered a range of occasions, from summer shopping to seaside attire to evening fun.Dolce&Gabbana also presented a series of bright beach looks fashioned from colorful scarves and muted day looks that showed off craftsmanship with raffia, lace, macrame, crochet and fringe in tan and ivory tones.The designers this week opened a newly refurbished boutique for its women’s collections on Via Spiga, with 920 square meters (nearly 10,000 square feet) over three floors.Guests at the opening nibbled on nuts and fresh parmesan cheese while sipping Sicilian wines around a long table filled with fresh flowers and Baroque decorations.Colleen Barry, The Associated Press read more

Week in Westminster – week ending Friday 31 July 2015

DOWNLOAD1. New commissioner to tackle late payment culture2. Liberal Democrat shadow team confirmed3. Environmental organisations and the AA question VED changes4. Temporary relaxation of EU drivers’ hours rules5. CBI – Quarterly Industrial Trends Survey6. Week aheadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)

Vividlycolourful Renaissance masterpiece ruled a fake after experts find green pigment not

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Franz Hals, Portrait of a Man now believed to be a forgery  But following the sale, experts looked closer and realised there was a problem staring them in the face. The work’s vivid colours included a green pigment that was invented in the 20th century, 400 years after the artist’s death.Yesterday, after commissioning scientific tests that it said left no room for doubt, Sotheby’s declared the work was a fake. The buyer, who snapped it up thinking it was by the “circle of Parmigianino”, has since been refunded.It is the second high-value Old Master denounced as a forgery by experts hired by Sotheby’s and will come as an embarrassment for the Parma Gallery and the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, both of which attributed it to Parmigianino.In October, Sotheby’s had to return the money when a $10 million (£8.11 million) portrait purported to be by Frans Hals, which sold privately in 2011, was also found to be fake.Scientific research, conducted by James Martin of Orion Analytical, a laboratory bought by Sotheby’s in December, identified 20th century materials in the painting.  When a remarkable piece of Renaissance art appeared for auction at Sotheby’s, experts were immediately struck by its eye-catching colours.The painting, of St Jerome gazing at the heavens, was believed to be a work by the Italian master Parmigianino and sold for £527,000.No one, it seems, doubted that the beguiling work was a masterpiece. After all, it had been displayed in prestigious museums and endorsed by independent specialists. Both paintings were handled by Giuliano Ruffini, a collector who is also connected to Venus with a Veil, a painting attributed by experts to Lucas Cranach the Elder and sold to the Prince of Liechtenstein for €7 million (£6.05 million).The image of the ancient Greek goddess was seized by the French authorities in March last year as part of a criminal investigation.Mr Ruffini has denied any wrongdoing and said that he never claimed that the works were by particular artists.Philippe Scarzella, his lawyer, confirmed to the New York Times that Mr Ruffini had owned the Parmigianino, and said that there was a wealth of evidence from scholars who had authenticated the painting.The Sotheby’s catalogue entry noted that Davide Gasparotto of the Galleria Nazionale in Parma, Italy, had “examined this painting first hand and believes this work to be by Parmigianino, dateable to circa 1530”. Having seen the skill with which the forger operates, if they can paint plausibly then who knows how many of them there could beBendor Grosvenor, art historiancenter_img Bendor Grosvenor, a broadcaster and art historian who specialises in Old Masters, said that the declarations of fakery were “definitely the tip” of an iceberg and predicted that there would be many more embarrassing revelations for all auction houses.”I think Sotheby’s has been very diligent in taking the lead in investigating this,” he told the Times. “There’s been talk of a list of about 20 or so pictures.”Having seen the skill with which the forger operates, if they can paint [such a variety of subjects] plausibly then who knows how many of them there could be.”Experts had been fooled at national institutions including the Louvre, which declared the disputed Hals painting as a “national treasure” and tried unsuccessfully to buy it.Six years ago it emerged that Wolfgang Beltracchi, the “forger of the century”, had created chaos in the art market with his fake paintings. He was found guilty of forging 14 modern European art works which sold for £28.6 million.Sotheby’s said on Wednesday that it had identified several other forgeries of lower value and that it had informed their owners.”When we learned last year that the [Parmigianino] painting may have originated from Giuliano Ruffini, we informed the purchaser from our January 2012 auction and initiated a process including technical analysis that established that the work was undoubtedly a forgery,” a spokesman said. Franz Hals, Portrait of a Man now believed to be a forgery Credit: The painting was handled by Giuliano Ruffini The painting was handled by Giuliano RuffiniCredit:Sotheby’slast_img read more

FGM should not be prosecuted police force says as it claims best

first_imgWest Midlands Police have since deleted the tweet  The stance appears to contradict efforts made by Theresa May whilst Home Secretary to clamp down on the crime, following disclosures last year that there has not been a single conviction for FGM in the UK – despite it being an offence since 1985.Tim Loughton, a member of the Home Affairs Committee, said the reluctance to pursue prosecution was “extremely dangerous”, adding it made “no sense” to go after cases of historic child abuse whilst at the same time allowing FGM offenders to “get away with it”.“It is absolutely key to expose perpetrators and to nail them for it,” he added. “The police must go after offenders. This is deeply disturbing because a key part of eradicating the violence of FGM is exposing, prosecuting, and nailing the perpetrators.“This is something the Home Affairs Committee has looked into closely. Our report in September raised key concerns that nobody has been prosecuted, and that we need a high level prosecution to show people that this is a serious criminal offence.“Every time a prosecution fails to materialise, it encourages those that are behind this – that it is not a serious crime, and they can get away it.” West Midlands Police have since deleted the tweet Credit:Twitter Echoing Mr Loughton’s comments, the NSPCC said that police forces must pursue prosecution where necessary to act as a proper deterrent.An estimated 137,000 women and girls living in the UK having moved here from countries where the abuse is still practised are believed to have been victims of FGM. The number of British FGM victims is currently unknown.However, there is yet to be a single conviction for the crime; police forces across the country have carried out only a small number of investigations since 2003.Wendy Bird, detective inspector at West Midlands Police, said the force was committed to “raising awareness” and educating against the dangers of FGM.“We continue to lead the way in the use of new FGM Protection Orders to safeguard women and girls thought to be at risk. If a victim is identified we safeguard other children within the family and potentially any unborn children.A spokesman for the Home Office said it had “significantly strengthened” the law in recent years, adding that the FGM must be viewed as a crime and child abuse.center_img Parents caught practising female genital mutilation on their children should not be prosecuted, a police force has claimed as it says the best course of action is to “educate parents”.The claims, made by West Midlands Police on social media yesterday, have provoked criticism from MPs and child welfare activists, who said the force’s reluctance to seek prosecution was “deeply disturbing”.The feud comes after a spokesman for the force claimed that it was against “prosecuting/jailing” parents who had carried out FGM on the grounds that it would be “unlikely to benefit” children who fall victim to the crime.Instead, they claimed that the force had opted to focus on “education and safeguarding vulnerable girls”, rather than seeking prosecution in court. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

PAC recommends suspending Zimbabwe from the KP as violence and intimidation in

first_imgA new PAC report about Zimbabwe’s contested diamond fields is about many things, smuggling and frontier hucksterism, a scramble fuelled by raw economic desperation and unfathomable greed and heart-wrenching cases of government sponsored repression and human rights violations. It’s a story about political intrigue, ambition and a complete disregard for decency or the rule of law. It is also a story of how the Kimberley Process – the international initiative created to ensure that the trade in diamonds does not fund violence and civil war – has lost its way.Zimbabwe is not the only country failing to meet some or all of the basic requirements asked of diamond producing nations by the Kimberley Process (KP). But Zimbabwe sets itself apart from the others because of the government’s brazen defiance of universally agreed principles of humanity and good governance expected of adherents to the KP. As such Zimbabwe poses a serious crisis of credibility for the KP, whose impotence in the face of thuggery and illegality in Zimbabwe underscores a worrisome inability or unwillingness to enforce either the letter, or the spirit, of its founding mandate.There have been glimpses recently of a new strategy by Zimbabwe in advance of the June 2010 KP Intersessional Meeting in Tel-Aviv, where Zimbabwe’s compliance with the KP’s minimum requirements will again be reviewed. For months both Zimbabwe government officials and representatives of two new exploration companies, Mbada and Canadile, have gone through the motions of presenting themselves as legitimate partners in their efforts to mine diamonds in the Marange region. In May, Mines Minister Obert Mpofu pretended for once to recognize the authority of the KP by issuing an export ban on all Zimbabwean diamonds until the KP gives its blessing.“It is, of course, a deception and a charade,” explains Alan Martin, Research Director at Partnership Africa Canada. “It’s calculated to confuse and soften the criticism of some KP members as they congregate in Tel-Aviv in June. The Zanu-PF leadership has no intention of voluntarily changing its tune. Zimbabwe should be excluded from the KP.”On the eve of the publication of PAC’s report, the crisis in Zimbabwe’s diamond fields deepened. The special KP monitor sent to assess Zimbabwe’s compliance with the KP has produced a report extremely favourable to the Zimbabwe authorities, a report which is effectively a whitewash. At the same time, Farai Maguwu, the leading Zimbabwean human rights activist monitoring the abuses in the diamond fields perpetrated by Zimbabwe army and police units, has been arrested following a meeting with the KP monitor.“This is the latest in a series of attempts by the Zimbabwean authorities to intimidate human rights activists, and stop them from investigating and publicising ongoing abuses in the Marange diamond fields,” said Bernard Taylor, Executive Director of Partnership Africa Canada. “Such harassment is wholly unacceptable and must stop. Farai Maguwu must be freed unconditionally”.The PAC report, Diamonds and Clubs: The Militarized Control of Diamonds and Power in Zimbabwe, makes a series of recommendations to deal with the crisis in Zimbabwe and in the KP. Recommendations include suspending Zimbabwe from the KP and creating a new, broader definition of ‘conflict diamonds’.last_img read more

Man dies after car collides with lorry in Kerry

first_imgA MAN HAS died following a road crash in Kerry this morning.Gardaí in Rathmore, Co. Kerry are investigating the two vehicle fatal road traffic collision on Main Street, Rathmore at approximately 7.30am.A man in his 40s was seriously injured when the car he was driving collided with a lorry.He was brought toKerry General Hospital where he died of his injuries this afternoon. The driver of the lorry was uninjured.Gardai wish to appeal for witnesses to contact Kanturk Garda Station on 029 20680, the Garda Confidential Telephone Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.last_img read more

Microsoft develops NFC alternative using a microphone and speaker

first_imgMicrosoft Research has come up with a very slick alternative to NFC called Dhwani. Developed by a trio in the company’s offices in India, the new system utilizes sound to transmit data — and it doesn’t require any specialized hardware.All that’s required is two components that are already part of your smartphones and tablets: a microphone and a speaker. They handle the transmission and reception of data, and software handles the rest of the process. As with NFC, Microsoft’s sound-based system has a very short range.But wait… couldn’t an eavesdropper listen in on a Dhwani transmission and intercept data? In a word, no. Microsoft’s team uses an ambient noise “shroud” called Jamsecure. It ensures that nearby snoopers won’t pick up anything they shouldn’t, and the extraneous sound is easily stripped away from the data transmission by the Dhwani devices.Dhwani isn’t fast, but it’s not supposed to be. It’s not meant to move large files, so the 2.4Kbps data rate is acceptable. That’s certainly fast enough to handle digital wallet transactions. Ambient noise doesn’t affect transmission, either, so Dhwani should work just fine in crowded coffee shops, busy baseball stadiums, or noisy subway stations.Theoretically, anybody who wants to add this functionality to a device would just have to strike up a deal with Microsoft. There’s always the possibility that Microsoft could allow OEMs that already have a licensing agreement in place to implement Dhwani. That would certainly be music to the ears of numerous Android device manufacturers.Heck, even Apple might be interested. It’s never been a fan of NFC, but a similar system that doesn’t require any additional hardware to be crammed inside devices? That’s a bit more exciting.last_img read more

Monarch Watch

first_imgAfter this year’s dramatic decline of the western Monarch butterfly population in North America, a report released earlier this week shows recovery with a 144 percent increase of overwintering colonies in Mexico compared to last season.“This is a very positive report showing some significant recovery in Monarch numbers to 6.05 hectares, said ASA Director Wayne Fredericks. “For reference, a long term goal of 6 hectares overwintering population on a consistent basis is what monarch conservation initiatives are aiming for.” See chart here.In 2015, the Keystone Policy Center brought together a diverse group of committed stakeholders, including farmers, scientists, conservationists, and the private sector, to form the Monarch Collaborative and find solutions to strengthen monarch populations and habitat. The American Soybean Association (ASA) is a member of the Collaborative and supports its ongoing efforts to develop strategies to promote and implement actions that will aid monarchs in agricultural landscapes and identify how partnerships in the farming and ranching community can support and enhance habitat for a sustainable monarch population.last_img read more

Two hurt in evening accidents on Vancouver freeway

first_imgTwo people were injured Friday in two accidents in heavy eastbound traffic on state Highway 14 in Vancouver, according to the Washington State Patrol.Two people were injured Friday in two accidents in heavy eastbound traffic on state Highway 14 in Vancouver, according to Washington State Patrol.The first crash occurred at 6:02 p.m. near milepost 4, when a 2007 GMC Canyon pickup driven by Evan E. Bryant, 26, of Vancouver crashed into a 2006 Kia Spectra driven by Joshua M. Daugherty, 28, of Vancouver, who had stopped for traffic on the freeway, a WSP accident bulletin said.A passenger in Daugherty’s car, Jessica L. Daugherty, 32, of Vancouver was hurt in the crash and taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. She was being treated for minor injuries later Friday evening. Neither Joshua Daugherty nor Bryant were injured.Bryant was cited for negligent driving, the patrol reported.The second crash occurred at 6:22 p.m. near milepost 6, when a 2005 Dodge Neon driven by Sara S. Cole, 41, of Vancouver crashed into a 2005 Mercedes E320 driven by Louis C. Schnell, 81, of Camas, who had stopped for heavy traffic. The impact propelled the Mercedes into a 1995 Ford Aspire driven by Nicholas L. Plamondon, 30, of Vancouver, the WSP said.Cole was hurt in the crash and taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. She was being treated for minor injuries later Friday evening. Neither Schnell nor Plamondon were injured.Cole was cited for following too close, WSP said.last_img read more

NOW HIRING 60 New Job Openings In Wilmington Week of April 15 2018

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below are job listings previously published on Wilmington Apple during the week of April 15, 2018:Full-Time Carpet Cleaning Technician at New England Carpet MasterFull-Time Tech Lead at New England Carpet MasterFull-Time Carpet Cleaning Summer Job at New England Carpet MasterFull-Time Food Service/Coffee Service/Account Manager at Canteen Refreshment ServicesFull-Time Project Administrator at Trinity Building and Construction ManagementFull-Time Billing Person at Northeast Air SolutionsFull-Time Sales Engineer at United Tool & Machine CorporationFull-Time Certified Electrician at SunRunFull-Time Installer at SunRunFull-Time Territory Sales Representative at Patterson CompaniesFull-Time Product Manager at World Travel HoldingsFull-Time Electronics Technician at MT-Unirepair, Inc.Full-Time Global Sourcing Analyst at UniFirstFull-Time Business Account Executive at ComcastFull-Time Movers & Drivers at Two Men And A TruckFull-Time Movers & Drivers at Xpress MoversPart-Time Delivery Driver at OptimaFull-Time Engineering Technician at MKS InstrumentsFull-Time Sales Engineer at United Tool & Machine Corp.Full-Time Electrical Design Engineer at AmetekFull-Time Procurement Intern (Contract Management Database) at Charles River LabsFull-Time Shipping & Receiving Associate at Concordia International Forwarding CorporationFull-Time (Temporary) Summer Maintenance Associate at Avalon Bay CommunitiesFull-Time/Part-Time Electronics Team Member at TargetFull-Time/Part-Time Apparel & Accessories Team Member at TargetFull-Time Delivery Associate Driver at AramarkFull-Time Operations Assistant Manager at Dollar TreePart-Time Sitter/Nanny For 2 Wilmington ChildrenPart-Time Member Services Representative at Planet FitnessFull-Time Package Handler at FedEx WarehousePart-Time Accounting Administrative Assistant at FJ RobertsFull-Time Youth Counselor at Milestone Group HomeFull-Time Mental Health Clinician at Milestone Group HomeFull-Time Food Manufacturing Machine Operator at Stuffed FoodsFull-Time Product/Contracts Administrator at D.B. RobertsFull-Time Contract Recruiter at ComcastFull-Time Talent Acquisition Specialist at Charles River LabsFull-Time Director (ERP Support & Maintenance) at Charles River LabsFull-Time Sales District Leader Designate at Pepsi Co.Full-Time Technical Lead at SOVOS ComplianceFull-Time Sales Data Analyst (Entry Level) at SOVOS ComplianceFull-Time Multimedia Coordinator at SymboticFull-Time Reagent Manufacturing Associate (Contract) at T2 BiosystemsFull-Time HR Systems Analyst at Charles River LabsFull-Time Supervisor (MDX) at Charles River LabsFull-Time Laboratory Technician at Charles River LabsFull-Time Product Marketing Specialist at LEDVANCEFull-Time Marketing Specialist at AltroFull-Time Bench Worker at TecometFull-Time Pesticide Applicator at Garrick-Santo Landscape Co.Part-Time Sales Floor Team Member at TargetFull-Time Food Service Professional at Cafe Services, Inc.Full-Time Chef Manager at Cafe Services, Inc.Full-Time Management Trainee at UniFirstFull-Time Lead Technician at New England Carpet MasterFull-Time Intern at AramarkFull-Time Assistant Controller at AMETEKPart-Time Settlement Advisor at AmetrosFull-Time Client Engagement Coordinator at AmetrosFull-Time Customer Service Rep at Olympia Sports(NOTE: Wilmington businesses — Feel free to send me your job postings at wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedNOW HIRING: 60 New Job Openings In Wilmington (Week of August 11, 2019)In “Business”NOW HIRING: 60 New Job Openings In Wilmington (Week of July 7, 2019)In “Business”NOW HIRING: 60 New Job Openings In Wilmington (Week of June 16, 2019)In “Business”last_img read more

YKHC lands huge loan for new hospital

first_imgYKHC consists of a regional hospital in Bethel. Photo Courtesy of YKHC.The Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation has secured the majority of the funds needed to expand its facilities in an effort to improve health care throughout the YK Delta.At $165 million, YKHC received the largest loan commitment ever granted by the United States Department of Agriculture Community Facilities Program on Thursday. The program funds facilities that serve an “essential” community purpose, according to the program’s website.YKHC’s hospital was built in the 1980s, and the corporation is planning to renovate the building and construct a new primary care facility. The USDA loan will kick in once construction is complete.Jim Nordlund is the Alaska USDA Rural Development Director and said YKHC partly received the loan because of its antiquated state.“YKHC’s hospital is old fashioned, doesn’t really meet the modern health care standards, rooms are too small, different areas of care are spread across the facility.” Nordlund continued, “There are some areas of care that are not even provided inside the facilities.”Nordlund said this jumbled arrangement makes receiving and giving care inconvenient for patients and health workers.Michael Faubian, YKHC Interim Public Relations Director, said the new facilities will consolidate services and usher in a new model of care.“What we want to do is implement a patient-centered care,” Faubian explained.What that means is bringing health services to the patient rather than sending the patient to different areas of the hospital to seek care. So tests, x-rays, pharmacy, et cetera will all be brought to the exam room.“It creates a more efficient and a better experience for the patient,” said Faubian.Care will also change in the villages.When YKHC finishes the facilities Indian Health Services will pay to staff about 200 new employees, including heath care providers and support staff. The workers will operate in teams assigned to various villages. When patients from a village come to the hospital, they will be seen by their designated team, and team will travel to their allotted villages.“The idea,”Faubian explained, “is the patients will have the same set of providers when they go to get services.”YKHC is the primary health care provider for the 58 communities throughout the YK Delta.The loan commitment comes a week after President Barack Obama signed a bill transferring 23 acres of federal land to YKHC where the corporation plans to build its new facility.The USDA loan covers about 70 percent of the YKHC funding goals. The corporation is working to secure the remaining capital from the Alaska Municipal Bond Bank Authority and the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority.last_img read more

Five Juneau residents ordered to pay fines restitution for deer poaching

first_imgAlaska Wildlife Troopers say this photo, believed taken on or about Dec. 13, 2015, is evidence of Juneau residents poaching deer. (Photo courtesy Alaska Wildlife Troopers)State wildlife officers have closed the case on what they call one of the most egregious cases of deer poaching in Southeast Alaska.Listen nowMost of the defendants — including an Auke Bay charter operator — have pleaded guilty or no contest to the charges and must pay fines and restitution.The operation dates back more than two years ago when a conscientious Alaskan hunter tipped off Alaska Wildlife Troopers.Trooper Jake Abbott took the lead on the investigation.Others from Wildlife Troopers, Alaska State Troopers and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Law Enforcement helped out as the case mushroomed.After tallying over a dozen illegally taken deer, Abbott said he pretty much stopped counting.“With this case and the length of the investigation, I finally just kind of reached a point where I just went ‘OK, I need to stop poking the hornet’s nest and just get people charged,’” Abbott said. “What often happens through the course of these investigations [is that] we take investigatory steps such as getting search warrants and stuff. Usually, through the course of that we end up finding other violations that have been committed.”The hunting violations included shooting from a boat, exceeding the bag limit and abusing the proxy hunting system for elders and the disabled, Abbott said. He said the poachers evaded answering their questions because they knew what they were doing was wrong.Most of the violations occurred during the fall 2015 deer hunting season near Chichagof Island’s Elfin Cove and on Admiralty Island’s Glass Peninsula.Abbott said the Glass Peninsula is a pretty popular hunting area.“It’s an area that can be harder to get to, especially later in the season if people don’t have adequate boats because the Taku Inlet area can be a pretty nasty piece of water,” Abbott said.All of the defendants were either co-workers or somehow acquainted with each other, Abbott said.“With these people, these are all avid outdoorsmen,” Abbott said. “The majority of them, they were all involved either in the sport fishing industry as guides or they’re all avid hunters.”Abbott said troopers conducted interviews, served search warrants on the defendants’ homes, and combed social media for trophy shot pictures.Abbott said it’s hard to have your mind set on looking for just that one piece of evidence, that one thing.“You never know what might be that little piece of evidence, that little nugget of gold that can send you over the edge as far as being able to make a case or not,” Abbott said. “That was kind of the instance here in which we just kept finding little nuggets of gold, and more little nuggets of gold, then people’s statements corroborating what we were seeing or not seeing.”Grantley Moore, 43, of Juneau pleaded guilty in Feb. 8 to misdemeanor charges of unlawful possession, providing false information on a hunt report, and taking an over-limit of deer.“I’ve been pretty much been fishing my entire life,” Grantley Moore said in a promotional video for Moore Charters. “I grew up out in the middle of nowhere in Tenakee Springs.”Investigators determined that many of the deer hunting trips occurred on Moore’s charter vessel Eclipse.Moore did not return messages placed at his business seeking comment.As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, charges of taking big game from a boat and unlawful possession or transportation of game were dropped.Moore was fined a total of $3,500 and ordered to pay the state $1,600 in restitution for illegally harvesting four deer.Moore was also put on probation for a year and lost his hunting privileges for two years.Tyler Matthews, 24, of Juneau pleaded guilty Feb. 1 to unlawful possession, taking big game from a boat and as a non-resident harvesting deer as a proxy when prohibited.As part of a plea agreement, the misdemeanor charges were reduced to violations, and two additional misdemeanor charges of unlawful proxy hunting and unlawful game possession or transportation were dropped.Matthews was fined a total of $900 and ordered to pay the state $800 in restitution for illegally harvesting two deer.Matthews could not be reached for comment.Others charged in the case include Benjamin Olson, 30; Mckenzie Wilson, 24; and Wyatt Weimer, 25, all of Juneau.They earlier pleaded no contest at arraignment to violations of taking big game from a boat, unlawful possession, and unlawful proxy hunting.They were each ordered to pay fines up to $1,650 and restitution of as much as $800.There are two other defendants with unresolved cases.Daniel Collins, 22, of Oklahoma did not appear in court and a $500 arrest warrant has been issued. Anies Sadeghi, 25, of Juneau awaits trial, which begins May 22.last_img read more

Metro Begins SafeTrack Closures Single Track Schedule

first_imgDespite a hotly contested debate between District Mayor Muriel Bowser and Metro executives, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) begins its SafeTrack repair and replacement program this weekend.Metro released its revised scheduled for almost a year of maintenance work that will require trains to share a track or take entire stretches of track out of service for weeks at a time. Click on the image to see a larger version. (Metro)The accelerated track work plan addresses safety recommendations and rehabilitations needed to ensure passenger safety and system wide efficiency.In accordance with the plan, as announced by WMATA General Manager Paul Wiedefeld in May, Metrorail would shutter at midnight on weekends and expand its weekday maintenance schedule by single-tracking certain lines and shutting down line segments for several weeks at a time.Bowser petitioned the transit agency in a five-page letter just days ago asking that alternatives be made to the plan which, she said, would adversely impact “the late night riders and nighttime workers who support and sustain the District’s economy.”  Metro Board Chairman Jack Evans dismissed the concern in an e-mailed statement.“As I can only say to the bars, restaurants, hotels: [Metrorail] will close at midnight. There is no option to not close at midnight. And we will work with everybody to try and figure out how we can provide, if possible, some alternative transportation methods,” Evans said.  “I think every jurisdiction, including the District, is raising issues with events, etc. that they have, that they would prefer not to have them disrupted, but as [Wiedefeld] said, ‘If I start accommodating one, we’re going to be back to where we started. And we’re never gonna get this done.’ So, this is my plan, as he said, and we’re sticking with it.”SafeTrack accelerates three years’ worth of work into approximately one year, using a “Safety Surge” method that shuts down entire segments of each line for extensive repair.  Due to reduced capacity and longer expected travel times, Metrorail riders are encouraged to consider using alternate travel options while safety surge work is scheduled on their line. Trains and platforms are expected to be extremely crowded during peak periods and customers may experience extended delays. During line segment shutdowns, limited shuttle bus service will replace trains between the shutdown zones.last_img read more

Ralph Baer VideoGame Pioneer Dies at 92

first_img Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 2 min read Ralph H. Baer, the creator of the Magnavox Odyssey (known as the “Brown Box”), the first commercial console for home video games, died at the age of 92 on Saturday.A pioneer in the now $93 billion gaming industry, it’s likely you’ve played with the games and systems Baer invented or influenced. In addition to building the first light gun — a gun-shaped controller that allows users to shoot objects on screen — he created the forerunner to Atari’s Pong game as well as the colorful electronic memory game Simon, which made its debut in 1978 at Studio 54 and continues to be sold today.Related: Across the U.S., Bars Are Letting You Play Your Favorite Childhood Video GamesIn 1971, while employed at Sanders Associates, a defense contractor in Nashua, N.H., Baer filed for the first ever video-game patent. His papers are now housed in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and he was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2006.So, what can entrepreneurs learn from Baer’s legacy? The biggest takeaway is this: he never stopped inventing. And, as is the case with the best entrepreneurs, his work has inspired generations of new innovators, with a promise of more to come.Related: Can Video Games in the Office Make Employees More Productive?center_img December 8, 2014 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.last_img read more

Winter Olympics 2018 The Science of Ski Wax

first_imgIf you want to watch Morehouse’s skiiers in action, here’s your guide to viewing all the Olympics activity this year. During classical style cross-country ski races, a sticky layer of kick wax is applied under the mid-section so that the skier can grip the snow when climbing hills. Smoother glide wax goes on the tips and tails. The stiffness and camber of each individual ski also determines how they will grab and glide on the snow surface.On race day, Morehouse melts, scrapes, and polishes a layer of wax before applying the next layer. Then he will join the coach and skier on the racetrack and see which ones work best. The wax layers form a protective coating, while channeling water down and away from the ski in tiny grooves along the structure of the ski base. “Our job is all about reducing friction,” Morehouse says.At the Pyeongchang Olympics, Morehouse will keep track of all this data in his notebook (the Norwegians use a mobile-based wax app) so that he can get a rough idea of where to start—and then, it’ll be up to the racers.More on the Olympics A good wax job won’t win an Olympic race, but it will keep things close, according to experts.Similar waxing problems also plagued Kikkan Randall, a US cross-country skier who competed at Sochi and will be attending her fifth Olympics at Pyeongchang, South Korea.In Sochi, Randall failed to qualify for the women’s sprint event by five one-hundredths of a second. She believes her skis didn’t glide enough to escape the other racers on the final descent to the finish line. “I made a break and they all came back on a downhill,” Randall says about her qualifying heat in Sochi. “Even one of my teammates came sailing by.” Maybe she also lacked a final sprint, Randall admits. But good wax would have given her an edge in the two and a half-minute race.In South Korea, it will be Andrew Morehouse’s job to make sure Randall and the other Americans don’t have a repeat of the problematic wax conditions in Sochi. “We don’t want a fit athlete that can’t compete because the skis are bad,” Morehouse said from a pre-Olympic training camp in Austria. “We have won some races when our wax is better.” At the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, the 4 x 10 kilometer relay was supposed to be a battle of cross-country ski titans Norway and Sweden. Felix Breitschädel watched from the sidelines as the race unfolded under a warm Russian sun. But when the first skiers emerged from the woods onto the arena packed with spectators, Norway’s first skier was nowhere to be seen. He dropped to ninth place, while the rest of the team rallied to finish fourth. For medal-hungry Norwegian ski racing fans back home, “it was a disaster,” remembers Breitschädel, equipment and technical director for the Norwegian Olympic Committee. “We were called traitors in the Norwegian media.”The culprit? Hydrocarbons gone amok.Technicians like Brietschädel had applied the wrong combination of chemical waxes to the base of the athlete’s ski. These hydrocarbon and fluorocarbon compounds—which take the form of waxes, fluids, and powders—must accomplish two contradictory tasks for skiers to win gold: grip the snow on the uphill while also gliding on the downhill.The compounds adhere to the base of the ski, which is made of ultra high density polyurethane, but dissipate over time. For a two-minute downhill ski race, competitors want the slipperiest surface possible. For two hour-long cross-country marathon, it takes six or more layers of wax to keep the racer moving up and down over the course.At Sochi, Brietschädel and other Norweigan ski technicians tested dozens of combinations of skis and waxes alongside the athletes in the hours leading up to the race. But just before the event began, race organizers decided to spread a layer of salt on the course. Salting a course is a common way to preserve a course by reducing the snow’s surface temperature by up to 4 degrees Celsius (7 degrees Fahrenheit). That happens because of an endothermic reaction that pulls heat from the snow to the salt. Nitrogen-based fertilizers like ammonium nitrate or ammonium sulfate are also used to harden snow on race courses. “We tested in one condition and the organizers decided to put out salt on the ski track,” Brietschädel said. “The whole package didn’t work as well as we hoped for.”center_img Excitingly, you can watch most of the events in real-time (like, really real) for the first time this year. Ski waxing is a combination of art and science. Morehouse will be lugging not only his laptop and several suitcases of wax to South Korea’s Olympic skiing venue, but also devices to measure the moisture content and temperature of the snow and air, as well as climate conditions and windspeed. The technicians also need to know the position of the sun on each section of the race course, which often runs through shady forests and sunny open areas.For longer races, Morehouse begins with a standard paraffin base wax that is melted and then brushed into the pores of the ski base. Then comes layers of fluorocarbon powder and liquid waxes that often contain nasty solvent-based additives such as benzene, toluene, and xylene. To protect himself, Morehouse wears a respirator, and the US Ski Team recently purchased semi-truck with ventilation hoods to create a safer work area. This move came after scientists in Sweden and Norway found wax technicians who prepare hundreds of skis at championship events were tested with high levels of harmful fluorinated compounds in their blood. (The European Union also considered banning certain types of ski waxes because of the fluorine compounds produce a climate-warming greenhouse gas, though that move has been postponed for now.)The composition of those mixes are carefully guarded secrets; big European ski teams carefully guard their wax selection and use code names on two-way race radios. The various chemicals in the wax combine to perform at different temperatures, Morehouse explains: “In cold conditions, you want waxes that are hard and durable so the snow crystals can’t dig into the ski base as much,” he says. “As you get warmer, you want waxes that repel water and shed dirt. The more fluorocarbons, the more hydrophobic they are. In wet conditions, you want waxes that have a lot of fluorocarbons in them.” Longer races are harder because the wax has to last, and because weather conditions can change during the event. And keep your fingers crossed that none of them gets struck down by norovirus!last_img read more