How To Restore Street Furniture: Antique Park Benches

December 15th, 2017

By John Schofield

Just like any item that costs higher when they are antique, park benches are also some of the most sought after pieces of street furniture. Not only are they valuable, they are also beautiful pieces that can lend an elegant feel to any place with their classic looks. However, benches such as these are becoming harder to find and in such cases when they are found they are either in bad shaped or need extreme restorations.

Fortunately, just following a few simple steps can now easily restore an antique park bench. The first step of restoration for this kind of street furniture is preparing a bristle brush to be used to remove the loose paint or accumulated dirt on the metalwork or wooden planks of the bench. After the debris has been removed, the bench should be cleaned with soap and water to remove dirt that was stuck on the middle surface of the bench material.

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After cleaning the surfaces, it is time to scrape off any loose paint with the use of sandpapers with at least 50 grits. In choosing for the roughness of the sandpaper, choose one that can effectively remove the loose paints while not destroying the base of the bench material. After the initial scrubbing of 50 grits, change the sandpaper into 80 grits finish and end it with a 120-grit roughness for even scrubbing. After the scraping for metal or aluminium benches, use a steel brush to remove the metal debris on the bench.

When the cleaning is done, the next step is to repair all the broken wood boards with the use of either wood glue or wood clamps. If glue is used, leave them to dry overnight. Any hole that need to be filled should be puttied and if any bench parts are destroyed remove each of them and have them sandblasted to make them look new again. Once the bench is on a good state already with all the sandblasting and gluing, apply a water-based sealer as a primer before coating the furniture with a new coat of paint. This procedure is very important for street furniture because it does not only help protecting and sealing the paint but also serves as the base colour of the bench coating.

For wooden park benches that need to be restored on their original wood finish, it is best to bring them to a furniture restorer and have them stripped before starting to apply the sealer. In applying the paint, it is important to remove or cover any metal areas with tape before doing the painting. Applying 2 to four coatings of paint is usually the range recommended though wood usually requires the 2-coat rule because they absorb the colour faster. After painting, remove the tape on the metal parts and proceed to applying 1 to 4 coats of clear metal sealant on the bench surface to help prevent rusting and preserve the wooden or iron cast. It does seemed hard to do it this way but once you get started restoring the furniture and complete the restoration, you would surely feel great satisfaction just like the feeling of recreating a masterpiece.

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Author Amy Scobee recounts abuse as Scientology executive

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Author Amy Scobee recounts abuse as Scientology executive

December 15th, 2017

Monday, October 11, 2010

Wikinews interviewed author Amy Scobee about her book Scientology – Abuse at the Top, and asked her about her experiences working as an executive within the organization. Scobee joined the organization at age 14, and worked at Scientology’s international management headquarters for several years before leaving in 2005. She served as a Scientology executive in multiple high-ranking positions, working out of the international headquarters of Scientology known as “Gold Base”, located in Gilman Hot Springs near Hemet, California.

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Spelbound declared winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2010

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Spelbound declared winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2010

December 15th, 2017

Monday, June 7, 2010

An acrobatic group known by the name of Spelbound has been declared as the winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2010, a televised variety talent show competition broadcast on ITV in the United Kingdom. As the winning act of the show, Spelbound have won £100,000 (US$144,580, 120,313, A$175,079) and a place at The Royal Variety Performance, an annual gala evening that is attended by senior members of the British Royal Family.

In no particular order, the top three acts were revealed to be two dancers known by their stage name of Twist and Pulse, gymnastic group Spelbound and Kieran Gaffney, whose act involves playing on the drum kit. After Kieran Gaffney was revealed to be in third place, Anthony McPartlin, who hosts Britain’s Got Talent with Declan Donnelly, said to Kieran: “Well done Kieran. Kieran, you’re a star, you came back, you got all the way to the final. I know you’ve loved this. You’ve loved this, haven’t you?” In response to this, Kieran Gaffney stated: “Thank you very much. Thank you, everyone for supporting me. Thank you.”

Shortly afterwards, on the episode that was broadcast live on ITV1 on Saturday, Anthony announced: “After tens of thousands of auditons, five semi-finals and an amazing final, this…this is it. One of you is about to walk away with £100,000 and a place at this year’s Royal Variety Performance. The winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2010 is…Spelbound!” Glen Murphy from Twist and Pulse commented about finishing in second place, stating: “Yeah, it’s amazing. I can’t even believe it. I can’t believe it at all.”

Alex Uttley, a 24-year-old member of Spelbound, commented on the gymnastic group’s victory, commenting: “Oh, my god. This is unbelieveable. We just want to say thank you to everyone out there. It just shows that all our hard work has paid off.” One of the coaches of Spelbound, named Neil Griffiths, stated about Spelbound: “Oh, they’ve worked so hard over the last few weeks. Um, since the semi-final, we…we really had to pull out the stops to try and up the game. They’ve not known they’ve worked in the gym from six in the morning till twelve…twelve o’clock of the night. I couldn’t have asked for more. Um, it’s a team of coaches. I don’t take all the credit myself. There’s, uh, two people up there that know who they are who’ve been fantastic.”

Spelbound consists of 24-year-old Alex Uttley, Nicholas Illingworth, aged 24, Adam Buckingham, aged 21, 20-year-old Adam McAssey, 19-year-old Douglas Fordyce, 18-year-old Edward Upcott, 18-year-old Leighanne Cowler, 17-year-old Katie Axten, 17-year-old Lauren Kemp, 15-year-old Jonathan Stranks, Abigail Ralph, aged 15, 13-year-old Hollianne Wood and Amy Mackenzie, aged 12. Bookmakers had previously predicted that Spelbound would be the most likely act to become the winner of the series.

The running order for the final started with Twist and Pulse. The second act to perform was Liam McNally, a 14-year-old singer. The running order subsequently continued with 40-year-old impressionist Paul Burling, singer Christopher Stone, aged 28, Tina & Chandi, a woman and dog dancing act, Connected, a five-piece singing group, Kieran Gaffney, aged 12, 22-year-old Tobias Mead, a dancer, 80-year-old singer Janey Cutler and Spelbound in that particular order.

Earlier on in the final, Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden has stated to Spelbound: “We are hosting the 2012 Olympics and I think ‘what a brilliant opening act’.” Fellow judge Piers Morgan also commented that “[t]he purpose of this show is to identify hidden great British talent. You are that act.” After Spelbound won in the final, another judge, named Simon Cowell, stated that “the right boys and girls won on the night” and that he could “only say on live TV that that was one of the most astonishing things I have ever seen. Seriously.”

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Suspect in gay bar attack dies after gunfight with police

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Suspect in gay bar attack dies after gunfight with police

December 14th, 2017

Sunday, February 5, 2006

The man who was suspected of attacking three men in a gay bar in Massachusetts died early Sunday morning after being shot in a gun battle with Arkansas State Police.

Jacob D. Robida, 18, fled Massachusetts on Friday after a warrant was put out for his arrest in the aforementioned gay bar attack. Along the way he picked up his girlfriend, 33-year-old Jennifer Rena Bailey, in Charleston, West Virginia. Robida was pulled over in a traffic stop by Gassville, Arkansas Police Officer Jim Sell. Sell asked Robida to get out of the car, and Robida shot him three times before getting back in the car and leaving. A witness called 911, but Sell died at the scene.

Robida led Baxter County, Arkansas sheriff’s officers and Arkansas State Police officers on a high-speed chase. Robida ran over spike strips in Norfolk and drove on two flat tires for a while. He ultimately wrecked his car into some parked vehicles while trying to avoid a roadblock on Arkansas State Road 5. Robida shot at the officers, who returned fire, shooting Robida twice in the head. Bailey was killed in the gunfight; though some witness said Robida shot her before firing on the officers, an autopsy and forensic investigation will determine how she died.

Robida was rushed to Cox-South Hospital in Springfield, Arkansas, where he was pronounced dead at 3:38 a.m. CST (0938 UTC).

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Four Tips On How To Make The Most Of Meta Tags When You Make A Website

December 14th, 2017

By Scott Lindsay

Meta tags are a tiny but yet important aspect of developing a internet site. These are to any website what hands are to a human body. An individual can live with no fingers, although it’s far easier to get virtually all jobs completed for those who have ten of them. The same thing can certainly be stated whenever you make a website without making use of meta tags. Your website could operate without having them, but will certainly work far better with them, as long as they are used smartly.

Meta tags are HTML tags which can be written right into a web page’s source code. These types of tags are able to be read by search engine robots, as they are utilized by robots to be able to establish exactly what a page’s content material is about. This info is used to help the search engine position a webpage for particular keywords and phrases.

There are two main types of meta tags: ‘description’ and also ‘keywords’ tags. The two forms are widely-used to furnish clues to the search engines in regards to what the page is all about.

The description tag delivers an overall overview of the web page. Quite simply, it is just a quick summary (the ‘Coles Notes’ version) of the textual content that appears on just that page. A search engine spider uses this info to make a determination concerning keyword ranking. Description tags are not normally noticeable to the web-surfing consumer except if they have a look at the page’s actual source code.

The keywords tag is actually one that can be programmed utilizing keywords that are based on the written text on a website page. The developer can easily enclose a term, terms or perhaps a phrase from within the text on a page by using one of these types of tags and also implement keywords in which illustrate that particular term or terms. One example could be tagging the word ‘Chardonnay’ on a page together with keywords such as ‘white wine, wine’.

Just like description tags, keyword tags are implemented mostly to supply data to search engine spiders. Even so, they can certainly be made visible for the internet surfer simply by utilizing the mouse and hovering over a tagged term. The particular keywords are going to be seen above it.

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Various search engines put different values on meta tags in relation to precisely how they list a website. They are certainly not the most crucial element for a page’s rank. In fact, a page can certainly still rank, possibly even rank nicely, without using them.

Nevertheless, implementing them strategically can enhance the appeal of a block of wording to the major search engines. Positioning them into the appropriate locations and using the right kind of wording is going to enhance the writing on a page and also make sure that it does get ranked for the particular keywords that the website’s owner intended it to.

Any of these four suggestions will help you generate more strategic meta tags as well as boost the probability of getting a greater ranking for the appropriate search terms:

1) Never over-use meta tags. Enclosing each and every term of your content with one will probably be seen as ‘spam’ by the various search engines. Search engines despise spam, and therefore do not want to be manipulated. If you are using this strategy, search engines may either disregard the page or drop it from the search rankings entirely.

2) Be certain that meta tags aren’t too wordy. When creating a keyword tag, for instance, restrict the number of terms to twelve or less. This really is enough to get search engines pointed in the proper direction. Plus, like over-using tags in general, stuffing a tag with excessive key terms can hurt one’s search rankings.

Description tags, nevertheless, are meant to be somewhat longer. They need to consist of a maximum of 250 words, and must also consist of a few of the same key terms that one’s written text does. This particular description needs to be a synopsis, and not the story itself.

3) Don’t attempt to fool search engines with deceitful tags. In the early days of search engines, this kind of strategy occasionally worked. Even so, search engine developers got wise to this one very quickly. If the keywords in your meta tags are totally different from the ones in the authentic textual content, they will likely overlook or prohibit one’s own internet page and possibly even the whole website.

4) Don’t over-rely on meta tags to get desired search rankings. Occasionally when a programmer puts together a site he thinks that meta tags alone are going to help the particular website rank effectively, and well. Meta tags, though, are really more like an add-on rather than the full outfit. Nobody would likely go to any elegant function dressed in blue jeans with a t-shirt, carry a fashionable hand bag and believe that they are dressed up enough to be admitted.

This is also true regarding meta tags. They are not intended to stand alone, but to enhance the entire page’s ability to yield a higher standing for the appropriate terminology.

Regardless if you make a website for your business yourself or you actually hire out the task, make certain that those meta tags are implemented appropriately. They might be the difference between Internet profits and Web oblivion.

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Australian Senator arrives at Parliament dressed as a beer bottle

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Australian Senator arrives at Parliament dressed as a beer bottle

December 14th, 2017

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Family First Senator Steve Fielding arrived at Parliament today, dressed as a beer bottle to raise awareness of a bill he intends to move in the Senate today. Senator Fielding will introduce a bill to establish a nationwide refund scheme for bottles and cans.

A similar scheme has operated in South Australia since 1977.

Family First wants a rebate of 10 cents per container, while the Australian Greens want 20 cents.

Speaking to reporters outside parliament dressed as a beer bottle, the Senator said the legislation would reduce litter by 25 per cent. “There’s a message in this bottle.”

“I am no longer trash, I’m cash.”

“We should get the litter off the streets and off the creeks and into recycling – that’s good for the environment and good for the community”

“It’s a win-win and I can’t understand why nationally we don’t have a scheme,” said Senator Fielding.

Senator Fielding said that recycling not only reduced litter, but also consumes less energy than making new containers from scratch. “Recycling a plastic bottle saves more than 80 per cent of the energy used to make a bottle from scratch and recycling aluminium cans uses just five per cent of the energy used making a can from scratch,” said the Senator.

Senator Bob Brown, leader of the Greens said while there were environmental benefits from recycling, it would also create thousands of new jobs.

“This is a very good way of recycling and reducing energy because a lot of energy goes into making cans and bottles,” Senator Brown told reporters.

“It will employ tens of thousands of people across Australia.”

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William Salice, creator of Kinder Surprise eggs, dies at 83

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William Salice, creator of Kinder Surprise eggs, dies at 83

December 14th, 2017

Sunday, January 1, 2017

On Thursday, William Salice, credited with creating Kinder Surprise eggs, died at age 83 in Pavia, Italy because of a stroke, according to his foundation “Color Your Life Campus”. Salice had worked with the businessman Michele Ferrero in the 1960s, the creator of the Nutella cream and owner of Ferrero Rocher. Ferrero died in 2015.

In 1974, Kinder Surprise was launched with plastic toys, which are sold within the eggs to surprise children. Due to this, the sale of Kinder eggs is prohibited in the US. A 1938 US law prohibits the sale of food containing objects in its interior. It is also prohibited in Chile, due to an obesity-reduction law brought in last year. Last year a three-year-old girl died in France, swallowing the plastic toy.

In 2007, after his retirement, Salice founded Color Your Life Campus from his retirement bonus of €400,000 in Italy. It aims to help young people between the ages of thirteen and eighteen discover and develop their own talents. Salice’s career spanned 46 years.

Since 2013, the Kinder Surprise Company has been taking care of continuing the manufacture and processing of chocolate eggs. According to the company, the chocolate egg has 32% milk and 15% cocoa in its composition.

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Digital security researchers publicly reveal vulnerability in WPA2 WiFi protocol

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Digital security researchers publicly reveal vulnerability in WPA2 WiFi protocol

December 13th, 2017

Thursday, October 19, 2017

On Monday, digital security researchers Mathy Vanhoef and Frank Piessens of Belgium’s KU Leuven university publicly disclosed a security vulnerability in the WPA2 Wi-Fi (wireless local-area networking) protocol, which they called KRACK (for Key Reinstallation Attack). Their study claimed KRACK affects every modern device using Wi-Fi; it can be fixed by a software update, researchers said.

Vanhoef wrote, “Attackers can use this novel attack technique to read information that was previously assumed to be safely encrypted. This can be abused to steal sensitive information such as credit card numbers, passwords, chat messages, emails, photos and so on.” Vanhoef notified vendors about the flaw in July, including UNIX-like operating system OpenBSD. “If your device supports Wi-Fi, it is most likely affected. […] In general, any data or information that the victim transmits can be decrypted”, he wrote.

The study papers, which were submitted for review on May 19, were kept in confidence allowing companies to fix the security flaw. The United States-based Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) informed vendors on August 28. The Wi-Fi Alliance said it “could be resolved through a straightforward software update.” OpenBSD released their software patch on August 30.

Exploring the flaw which affected every device the researchers had tested, National Cyber Security Centre of the UK said “the attacker would have to be physically close to the target”. But due to this flaw, an attacker can send malware or ransomware on the websites, Vanhoef claimed.

Linux-based operating systems including Android v6.0 and higher are especially affected by this flaw, while Windows and iOS are not as vulnerable as Android by this flaw as they do not fully implement WPA2.

Microsoft reportedly has released security patches for Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10. Google said Android operating systems would receive the updates in the software update scheduled to be made available on November 6. Apple has implemented the patch in the beta versions of their operating system iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS, however it is yet to roll out patches for stable operating systems.

WPA2 protocol has been used for more than a decade, and has been compulsory for Wi-Fi since 2006. KRACK would also affect various home appliances which can be controlled over Wi-Fi, within the so-called “Internet of things”. Andrew Martin from Oxford University said, “We can be sure a lot of these devices won’t be patched[…] Whether that matters for this attack or only for some future attack is yet to be seen.”

The study and its findings are scheduled for presentation at the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) Computer and Communications Security conference on November 1.

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Do I Need To Have A Contract With My Builder?

December 13th, 2017

By Frank Egan – LAC Lawyers

Having building work done is almost certainly going to be a major investment. Not only is it likely to cost you a stack of money, if it isnt up to scratch, the consequences can be pretty dire. Unlike buying a car or a boat, you cant test drive it beforehand and check everythings to your satisfaction. Instead, youll just have to wait and see if the building work that eventuates was what you asked for and meets all the standards. You can imagine that theres a chance for misunderstanding, memory lapses and other shortcomings of the human brain when theres nothing more to the deal than a few comments (perhaps thats why people invented writing). So youve got a lot of money at stake, theres a potential for error, and the consequences could be serious. Do you need a building contract? Thats got to be a no-brainer!

Nah, I mean, do I have to have a building contract?

Well, all right, I probably only gave you the reason why you should have a building contract. Okay, thats not quite the same thing as needing a building contract. Lets put it this way, then: are you required by law to have a building contract? Depending on where you are and what youre building, yes. In New South Wales, the Home Building Act 1989 says you must have a building contract for all residential housing work worth more than $1000. There are similar requirements in Victoria.

If my builder and me just sign a scrap of paper saying hes going to build my house, will that do?

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Thats better than nothing, but the Home Building Act wants you to take this contract thing seriously. For example, the Act requires building contracts to include the date, the builders full name and license number, a description of the planned work, and the full contract price. The contract must have a number of warranties and affirm that all building work will comply with relevant building standards and codes of practice. And any variation to the initial agreed building work must be put in writing and signed by both parties before it can become part of the contract. Before entering into the contract, the builder must inform you about the dispute resolution procedures in the Home Building Act, and they must give you a copy of the contract within five days of the date you signed it..

Yeah, but seriously, do I really need to bother with all this legal stuff? My builders a top bloke, its a pretty straightforward job, nothing can really go wrong.

Of course, most builders are thoroughly decent tradesmen or women whose word can be firmly relied on, but unfortunately there are a few shonks and wonks out there. And like Ive said before, even the best of people can have disagreements. NSWs courts and tribunals are full of them, every day. The law requiring you to have a contract is not just mindless bureaucracy indulging its love of complicated forms; its the result of years of unhappy punters realising that theres nothing much they can do when the building work theyve invested so much in turns out to be a lemon.

So if there is a stuff-up, what happens?

In NSW, the Home Building Act has a set procedure you can follow, which involves putting your complaints to the builder, then to the Fair Trading Office, and finally to the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal, with a similar counterpart in Victoria. (For more information, please see our other article, How can I recover money to get defective building work fixed?) There is also the general law of contract, in which a breach of contract gives rise to a claim for loss or damage (ie, youre allowed to sue and get compensation). The law of contracts does apply to oral (spoken) contracts, but its much easier to prove your case if youve got it in writing.

You lawyers just want to get yourselves involved.

Well, yes, we do. There is a reason for lawyers, for pedantic i-dotting, t-crossing, legalese-speaking lawyers. The law is basically about resolving disputes. Lawyers job is to prevent disputes as well as resolving them. If youve got a proper, detailed contract, you know where you are: its all there in writing, in a form that everyone will agree on. Theres much less room for disagreements.

About the Author: Frank Egan is the Chief Executive Officer of

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Fires burn across eastern Australia amid summer heatwave

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Fires burn across eastern Australia amid summer heatwave

December 12th, 2017

Sunday, January 13, 2013

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Despite earlier cooler weather, heatwave conditions are expected to resume in New South Wales, Australia. Local weather service forecasts expect temperatures to rise above 40°C (104°F), as-experienced earlier in the week. The percentage of uncontained fires jumped as high as 20%. On Friday, local fire authorities have declared total fire bans across Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Fire crews at the east coast of Australia are readying to battle an increased rate of bushfires during the weekend.

Uncontrolled fires have also been burning across the states of Tasmania, Victoria, and Queensland.

Extremely hot weather and strong winds played havoc with the fires early in the week. A minor change in the weather assisted crews on Thursday but the high temperatures are set to return on Friday and through the weekend.

Thirty devastating fires in Tasmania are now being controlled after burning 130 properties and 110,000 hectares of land throughout the past week.

In Victoria there are two significant fires being fought with several others now under control but concerns remain for the weekend with the temperature forecast to rise to 42°C in the north of the state.

Queensland firefighters continued to battle fires north of of the capital Brisbane on Bribie Island, with at least 22 fires still burning throughout the state.

New South Wales has 120 fires burning as of Friday with 370,000 hectares of land, 10,000 livestock and one property already destroyed.

…an awful lot of fireline for firefighters to monitor…

Deputy Commissioner of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, Rob Rogers briefed reporters on the bushfires at the Rural Fire Service Headquarters on Friday.

“They are very large, all either in excess or very close to 10,000 hectares (and) in some cases 100 kilometres of fireline. That’s an awful lot of fireline for firefighters to monitor and obviously that’s going to be troubling over today and particularly tomorrow when it will be even hotter.”

One fire at Dean’s Gap in New South Wales had authorities concerned due to its proximity to an old military range that contains unexploded ordinances at Tianjara plateau. Firefighters have used earth moving equipment to create containment lines and specialised gel to protect the range.

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