Equality. Together. All

first_img“Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.”  That is the theme for International Day of Peace 2017, which will be celebrated on Thursday, September 21. Equality is a necessary condition for sustained peace, for in its absence and the lack of effort to redress inequalities, resentment festers and conflicts flourish.  But what is equality? Here we reiterate our thoughts on the issue:The norm of equality has become the mantra of the age. But in Guyana it has become a very complex issue, which has to be demarcated very carefully so that it can be inculcated and achieved. Even in economic terms, as Thomas Piketty has shown, most of the world has moved further away from this goal and we must ask ourselves why. There are numerous reasons for this condition, but one important one is that “equality” is one of those laudatory words, which are constantly invoked even though its users are not clear as to what it means.Now almost everyone will agree with the statement: we are all equally human, but what does that mean? Isn’t it a tautology? We are not equally tall, strong, intelligent or beautiful, so whither equality? For the term to have any content, we have to choose any area of endeavour or personal attribute or of treatment and then discuss whether or not we are all equal in terms of the identified criteria. Two things or persons can be said to be equal, only with some specific property that we have identified. Equality, from this perspective, has therefore to be contingent on the context or criteria wherein we speak: equality is a triadic relationship. We may talk about three types of equality – those pertaining to personal characteristics, to treatment and to distribution. The last two categories are relevant to politics.There are some theories of equality that are purely formal – they specify no substantive content – simply a formula or policy. For example when Aristotle stipulated that equals were to be treated equally and unequals unequally, there were no description as to what constituted “equals”. As such, once the rule was followed – for example that only Greek men were “equal” – one could claim there was equality. Statements such as “equality before the law” also fall under this category: no questions arise as to what was the content of the law.  Formal equality only demands consistency.It is generally accepted that in any society some inequalities will be morally permissible. Differences in ethnicity, interests, aptitudes, intelligence, and conception of the good are some that seem to have general approval. In Guyana, these are questions that have to be debated and agreed on. Normally the rewards or punishment from one’s efforts (desserts) are also seen as permissible even if not equally distributed. Once those that are not defensible have been identified, then the state/society has to decide what to do about them. Items identified from the latter category at some time or place have been political power, opportunity for scarce resources, welfare or social position, social position/class, economic resources, welfare etc. In general, some stress political equality while others focus on economic equality: Conservatives and Libertarians balk at increased governmental intervention while Socialists/Marxists/ liberals expect the state to intervene to mitigate inequalities. In Guyana, questions of the equality of social status, and political and economic parity are intensely contested between the ethnic groups in the society.As we indicated, we can only have substantive equality when there is a specific criterion identified by which policies can be assessed. For instance, in terms of “equal treatment” or opportunity, there can be formal equality if the law states that offices are open to anyone who is qualified.  In this instance, one is being told that all existent inequalities of talent, birth or station etc. are morally permissible. Substantively, this may not have any effect on the concrete circumstances since there is no stipulation that all applicants should have equal life chances. The question would be for society or the state to decide whether the still surviving inequalities are, or are not, morally permissible. If the latter is decided on, then there may be affirmative action programs or other compensating policies initiated.In Guyana, where there have been historically determined structural conditions that undergird some inequalities there may be the need for affirmative action programs to rectify these imbalances.last_img read more

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Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool: Jordan Henderson wonder goal helps Reds down Blues

first_img Jordan Henderson celebrates his excellent strike 1 Two first half goals were enough for Liverpool to claim all three points against Chelsea on Friday evening.The Blues, who put in a lacklustre performance, were downed by a Dejan Lovren close range finish and an excellent Jordan Henderson wonder goal, and although Diego Costa pulled one back in the second half, Antonio Conte’s men never truly looked like pulling the tie level at Stamford Bridge.It was a quick start to the match, with Liverpool dominating the early chances.Daniel Sturridge almost got lucky when his shot rolled through Thibaut Courtois’ body, but thankfully for the keeper the ball stopped just before the line.Sadio Mane and Jordan Henderson also both had chances, as the Blues struggled to get either Eden Hazard or Diego Costa into the game.The visitors’ pressure finally paid off, when Dejan Lovren netted from inside the box after 17 minutes. A lovely ball into the area from Philippe Coutinho found the Croatian at the far post, and he struck the ball past Courtois to claim the lead for the Reds.It was shameful defending from the Blues, and Sturridge almost capitalised on Chelsea’s struggles moments later, flashing a strike just wide of the far post while trying to double the lead.Chances were few and far between for the hosts; Luiz sent two headers at goal from offside positions, and Simon Mignolet did well to punch the ball clear when Matic was lurking in a dangerous position.And the lack of attacking threat came back to haunt the Blues, when Jordan Henderson netted one of the goals of the season to double the lead.Having picked up the ball 35 yards from goal, the England midfielder sent a strike at goal which flew over Courtois’ outstretched arm and into the top corner of the net.Luiz flashed another header over the bar, but the Blues failed to get back into the game before half-time – with harsh words expected from Antonio Conte in the dressing room.And it was the hosts who started the second half the brighter, Oscar sending Willian’s cross at goal for an early chance.Ivanovic went down inside the area as calls for a penalty went up around Stamford Bridge, but nothing was given, and Chelsea continued to struggle to create chances for Diego Costa.But it only took Costa one chance to get the Blues back into the game, with the Spaniard converting a first-time finish after some excellent build-up play from Hazard and Nemanja Matic.Liverpool started to look shaky at the back, with Costa forcing a save from Mignolet five minutes later.Hazard broke with an excellent counter attack but the move came to nothing, before Willian’s drive deflected into the keeper’s hands with 15 minutes remaining.Courtois then kept the Blues in the game, pulling off a wonder save to deny Divock Origi a close range header which would have restored the Reds’ two-goal lead.Fabregas hit the wall with a close range free-kick in the dying stages, and although Victor Moses threatened after coming on as a substitute, Liverpool held on for the win and headed back to Merseyside with all three points to their name.last_img read more

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Chelsea BOOST! Blues No.1 Courtois denies claims he is in talks with Real Madrid

first_img Thibaut Courtois is happy at Chelsea 1 Thibaut Courtois has rubbished speculation that he wants to leave Chelsea for Real Madrid.?The goalkeeper revealed during an interview with Marca in September that he planned to return to Spain one day, after previously spending three seasons on loan there with Atletico Madrid.That sparked rumours that Real Madrid were ready to swoop for the Belgian after giving up on Manchester United star David de Gea.However, Courtois has now moved to dismiss talk of moving to the Bernabeu as he is currently happy at Chelsea.“I never had anything with Real Madrid. I did not see anything published, but I never had any contact with Real Madrid,” Courtois told Cadena Cope.“I am happy at Chelsea. Everything is going very well – it is a great club. There is no reason not to be happy at Chelsea.“You never know what will happen in the future, but at the moment I am very well, in a very good atmosphere.’last_img read more

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Scientists actually ‘cloak’ object to produce crude invisibility

first_imgThe cloaking of a cylinder from microwaves comes just five months after Schurig and colleagues published their theory that it should be possible. Their work is reported in a paper in today’s issue of the journal Science. “We did this work very quickly … and that led to a cloak that is not optimal,” said co-author David R. Smith, also of Duke. “We know how to make a much better one.” The first working cloak was in only two dimensions and did cast a small shadow, Smith said. The next step is to go for three dimensions and to eliminate any shadow. Viewers can see things because objects scatter the light that strikes them, reflecting some of it back to the eye. “The cloak reduces both an object’s reflection and its shadow, either of which would enable its detection,” Smith said. In an ideal situation, the cloak and the item it is hiding would be invisible. An observer would see whatever is beyond them, with no evidence the cloaked item exists.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John Phillips“We have built an artificial mirage that can hide something from would-be observers in any direction,” said cloak designer David Schurig, a research associate in Duke University’s electrical and computer engineering department. For their first attempt, the researchers designed a cloak that prevents microwaves from detecting objects. Like light and radar waves, microwaves usually bounce off objects, making them visible to instruments and creating a shadow that can be detected. Cloaking used special materials to deflect radar or light or other waves around an object, like water flowing around a smooth rock in a stream. It differs from stealth technology, which does not make an aircraft invisible but reduces the cross-section available to radar, making it hard to track. The new work points the way for an improved version that could hide people and objects from visible light. Conceptually, the chance of adapting the concept to visible light is good, Schurig said in a telephone interview. But, he added, “from an engineering point of view it is very challenging.” WASHINGTON – Scientists are boldly going where only fiction has gone before – to develop a Cloak of Invisibility. It isn’t quite ready to hide a Romulan space ship from Capt. James T. Kirk or to disguise Harry Potter. But it is a significant start and could show the way to more sophisticated designs. In this first successful experiment, researchers from the United States and England were able to cloak a copper cylinder. It’s like a mirage, where heat causes the bending of light rays and cloaks the road ahead behind an image of the sky. last_img read more

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Transfer Talk: Celtic resist chase for big names, Dons deal for McGinn

first_imgDown south there are reports that Chelsea are submitting a £60m offer for Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez, which would be a club record after Fernando Torres signed for £50m in 2013. It comes after their preferred target, Everton striker Roemlu Lukaku, pledged his future to the Toffees for another season. They are also said to be interested in Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic. The countdown to deadline day has now entered single digits but that’s not getting Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers in a sweat.He says even if Celtic qualify for the Champions League group stages on Tuesday evening he is not under any pressure to shop for big name signings.Former Celtic winger Niall McGinn looks set to commit his future to Aberdeen after expressing his desire to stay at Pittodrie. The club will enter talks with the Northern Ireland international who is out of contract at the end of the season.Meanwhile, former Hibernian midfielder Kevin Thomson has left Tranent Juniors just weeks after signing for the club due to media commitments.last_img read more

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SATURDAY SIX: 6 Reasons We Love Universal’s ROYAL PACIFIC RESORT

first_imgShare This!This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Reasons We Love Universal’s Royal Pacific Resort. Currently the Universal Orlando Resort has six on-site hotels, with a seventh (Endless Summer) opening later this summer. Disney has three classifications for their resorts: Value (including Art of Animation), Moderate (Port Orleans Riverside), and Deluxe (Wilderness Lodge). Currently, Universal also has three levels: Prime Value (Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Aventura Hotel), Preferred (Sapphire Falls), and Premier (Hard Rock, Portofino Bay, and Royal Pacific).Loews Royal Pacific Resort. (photo by Brandon Glover)While Disney runs its on-site resorts, Universal partners with a luxury hospitality company in Loews Hotels. Because of this partnership, the level of service at all of Universal’s hotels is extremely high. Now, I understand the arguments of staying off-site, but for my family, staying on-site is one of our favorite parts of a theme park vacation, especially at Universal. Today we’re going to look at one of my personal favorite on-site hotels in Orlando, and let’s kick off the countdown with….# 6 – Location, Location, Location!Disney has several resort areas where location is king. Who doesn’t want to stay at one of the monorail resorts and enjoy a quick ride over to the Magic Kingdom? A stay at Disney’s BoardWalk is a hop, skip, and a jump away from both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Because of the compactness of Universal, a room at the Royal Pacific is within walking distance to everything at the Universal Orlando Resort. You’re less than 10 minutes door to door from your room to Toothsome or Voodoo Doughnut. Unlike the Contemporary, where your walk to the Magic Kingdom includes a stoplight and waiting for traffic,  your walk from the Royal Pacific is along a gorgeous garden walkway filled with lush landscaping. One of my favorite things in Orlando is walking from Royal Pacific to the parks, because as you venture further towards CityWalk, the Ocean Trader Market background music from Islands of Adventure’s Port of Entry begins to get louder and louder. It truly is magical.You don’t have to walk if you don’t want to, as Universal provides complimentary water taxis to CityWalk and there is almost always a pedi-cab more than willing to take you as well (they work solely on tips). Considering every guest who stays at Royal Pacific gets Unlimited Universal Express and early morning entry to the Wizarding World, being so close to the parks allows you to maximize your park time without having to get up at the crack of dawn. It’s also worth noting that the water taxis service only their home resort, so you don’t have to wait long for one or have to sit as they make multiple stops like Disney’s resort watercraft.Shot from inside a room at Royal Pacific. Among other things in the background, you can see the Hulk Coaster, Doom’s Fear Fall, and Hogwarts Castle. That’s how close you are. (photo by Brandon Glover)A water taxi taking guests from Royal Pacific to CityWalk. In the background is IOA’s lighthouse park icon. (photo by Brandon Glover)A water taxi brings guest back to Royal Pacific. In the background is Sapphire Falls, which also has water taxi service. (photo by Brandon Glover)Royal Pacific Resort. (photo by Brandon Glover)Guests have a themed walkway to the parks, but can also walk to the neighboring Sapphire Falls. This is helpful because unlike some theme parks in Orlando, guests at any on-site hotel at Universal can “pool hop” to any other hotel on property and enjoy their amenities. Royal Pacific guests can also walk (or take a free shuttle) to Volcano Bay.Garden Walk. (photo by Brandon Glover)Now THIS is how you walk to a park! (photo by Brandon Glover)Theme park icon @DrunkAtDisney marvels at how close Royal Pacific is to the Universal parks. # 1 – The PoolThe lagoon-style pool at the Royal Pacific Resort is massive. While it is the only Premier resort pool at Universal without a slide, it does feature the gigantic Royal Bali Sea interactive water play area connected to the pool. This play area is themed to a ship, features water cannons, and seemingly dumps about a million gallons of water on the people playing around it. When I was a kid all the pools were the same shape: a rectangle. If pools and play areas existed like this, I’m not even sure my parents would have been able to drag me away to go to the theme parks.For adults, there is plenty of seating, a white sand beach, zero entry, cabanas, two hot tubs, an ice cream place, and the Bula Bar & Grille. The pool area offers towels, magazines and newspapers to read while laying out in the sun, and games such as ping pong. While there is plenty of covered seating at the Bula Bar, servers will come out to the pool area to deliver drinks and food. Our recommendation: Shipwrecked Loaded Nachos (but you can’t go wrong with the Char Siu pork lettuce wraps either).A look down at the massive pool area at the Royal Pacific. Having Dr. Doom’s Fear Fall and The Incredible Hulk Coaster in the background show exactly how close to the parks you really are!Zero entry area of pool. (photo by Brandon Glover)Royal Pacific pool. (photo by Brandon Glover)Royal Pacific pool. (photo by Brandon Glover)RPR pool water feature. (photo by Brandon Glover)RPR pool water feature. (photo by Brandon Glover)When weather gets hot, what’s better than ice cream to cool down? (photo by Brandon Glover)The Bula Bar. (photo by Brandon Glover)Big Bula. (photo by Brandon Glover)Shipwrecked Loaded Nachos, possibly the best value in all of  Orlando’s theme parks. (photo by Brandon Glover)Char Siu pork lettuce wraps. (photo by Brandon Glover)Local organic mix greens salad with tofu. (photo by Brandon Glover)Right outside the Royal Pacific pool are some lovely beaches.Royal Pacific Resort beach area. (photo by Brandon Glover) # 4 – Jake’s American BarLocated on the ground floor of Royal Pacific is Jake’s American Bar, a deceptively large table service that has a lot seating both inside, outside, and at the bar. The original bar themed to a sea pilot (cough – we’re looking in your direction Jock Lindsey), Jake’s American Bar is inspired by the adventures of  Captain Jake McNally, the South Seas pilot who – in storyline – disappeared in Southeast Asia. While we’ve always enjoyed the sit-down service at Jake’s, our best bet is walking up to the bar and ordering off the menu. For those not staying at the resort, it should be noted that parking will be validated by any on-site restaurant as long as you spend $25.  Be sure to try the Fly Boy Beef & Cheese Fries along with a beer flight.Throughout the year Jake’s American Bar hosts a Beer Dinner that is well worth going out of your way to check out. A five-course meal paired with select ales and lagers–What’s not to like about that?Jake’s American Bar. (photo by Brandon Glover)Jake’s American Bar. (photo by Brandon Glover)Jake’s American Bar seating near the bar. (photo by Brandon Glover)Jake’s American Bar. (photo by Brandon Glover)Jake’s American Red Lager. (photo by Brandon Glover)Crooked Can. One of the many draught beers available, many from local beer makers. (photo by Brandon Glover)Beer flight. (photo by Brandon Glover)Crispy Calamari. (photo by Brandon Glover)Fly Boy Beef & Cheese Fries. (photo by Brandon Glover)Cheese Pizza. (photo by Brandon Glover)Burgers are a favorite at Jake’s. (photo by Brandon Glover)Churro Bread Pudding with a Chocolate Stout. (photo by Brandon Glover) Double Secret Honorable Mention – The GymnasiumFor the most part gyms at Disney resorts are relatively nondescript. Universal meanwhile has a gym at Cabana Bay that is probably bigger than the Planet Fitness in many towns and The Gymnasium at the Royal Pacific includes a spa pool straight out of a Hollywood movie. It also includes tons of cardio equipment, free weights, and Nautilus equipment  – all complimentary – but while you’re working on those FitBit numbers we’ll be over at Jake’s sipping on a cold one.The Gymnasium. (photo by Brandon Glover)The Gymnasium. (photo by Brandon Glover)The Gymnasium. (photo by Brandon Glover)The Gymnasium. (photo by Brandon Glover)The Gymnasium. (photo by Brandon Glover)The Gymnasium. (photo by Brandon Glover) # 5 –  Exotic ThemingOur family has vacationed in many areas of the world, but my absolute favorite place that we have visited was Hawaii. I love the tranquility and relaxing nature that you find there, and that feeling exists in Royal Pacific’s exotic theme. The entire resort is filled with ambiance in the form of landscaping, torches, and water elements. Fresh orchids are found throughout the resort, and the outdoor courtyard near the lobby is amazing with elephants playing in the water (along with a great sign asking guests not to disturb the elephants). The whole resort has an exotic Pacific-region theme that just draws you in, and is the perfect area for either a break during the afternoon after battling the Florida sun, or a great way to unwind after a hard day of hitting the parks.Whimsical frogs playing instruments line the bridge leading to Royal Pacific’s lobby.Royal Pacific signage. (photo by Brandon Glover)Statues are found throughout the resort. (photo by Brandon Glover)Statues. (photo by Brandon Glover)Courtyard area located directly next to Royal Pacific’s lobby. (photo by Brandon Glover)Courtyard theming. (photo by Brandon Glover)Courtyard theming. (photo by Brandon Glover)E-Ticket sign. (photo by Brandon Glover)Considering how many Americans can’t find America on a map it’s safe to say they don’t know where Indonesia is either. (photo by Brandon Glover) While the regular menu at Islands is top notch, the highlight of Islands Dining room is the legendary Wok Experience, which includes an all-you-care-to-eat soup and salad bar, along with an unlimited amount of trips to the wok station. Guests combine their choice of vegetables, proteins, and sauce (mixed with noodles or rice) to make a unique dish – cooked right in front of them – that just so happens to taste out of this world. I love ‘Ohana as much as the next person, but – for me – the Wok Experience is overall much better and you never feel like the restaurant is trying to get you out of there as quickly as possible in order to turn the table. The cost is just $25 per person, making it a tremendous value as well. The Wok Experience is available on Friday and Saturday nights from 6-9p.m. and gets our highest possible recommendation.When guests walk into Islands on a night when the Wok Experience is available, they will see the Wok station set up in the middle of the restaurant. (photo by Brandon Glover)Guests can start their meal with a trip to the salad bar. Like ‘Ohana’s bread service, I personally consider this to be fool’s gold as you don’t want to get full on this great salad bar right before an amazing meal. Our dining party included a vegan who thought everything was fresh and tasted great. Meanwhile the rest of us when straight to the Wok station…Wok Experience salad bar. (photo by Brandon Glover)Here is a step-by-step process of a Wok dish being prepared.The first step in creating your own Wok dish is to grab the amount of veggies you want mixed in. (photo by Brandon Glover)You can add as much, or as little, as you want. The vegan at our table added two full cups of vegetables to their Wok dish. (photo by Brandon Glover)The Wok chef working their magic. They make every dish to order, switching pans out for each dish. It is amazing to watch in person. (photo by Brandon Glover)Once you grab your veggies, the Wok chef will ask which protein you would like. Their is beef, chicken, shrimp, and tofu available. You can also mix proteins, such as this wok with beef and shrimp. The chef will also ask if you would like garlic or ginger added. (photo by Brandon Glover)The chef later adds in your already chosen vegetables. (photo by Brandon Glover)Noodles or rice is then added to the dish. You can ask for as much or as little as you prefer. (photo by Brandon Glover)Along with the rice or noodles, the chef will ask if you want a sauce added. There are six types avaliable including: coconut curry, teriyaki, Szechwan, sweet & sour, orange sauce, and my personal favorite Thai peanut. There are additional toppings you can ask for as well including soy sauce and sriracha. (photo by Brandon Glover)Lo-mein noodles added to the Wok. (photo by Brandon Glover)Wok chef mixes everything to perfection. (photo by Brandon Glover)Once poured into your dish, the Wok chef will ask if you would like it topped with cilantro or green onions. (photo by Brandon Glover)For those who travel with vegetarians or vegans, the Wok Experience is great for them as well.Wok dish featuring tofu as the protein. (photo by Brandon Glover)Wok dish with beef and chicken with almost no vegetables added.(photo by Brandon Glover)Across from the Wok station are tables set up with soups and desserts.Dessert and soup station. (photo by Brandon Glover)These strawberry cheesecake squares were wonderful. I found myself snacking on them while waiting for my Wok dish to cook. I was like Buddy the elf popping cotton balls into his mouth. Would have like to take a plate of these home.Cheesecake squares. (photo by Brandon Glover)The chocolate cake dessert was also very good.(photo by Brandon Glover)center_img # 3 – Despicable Me Character BreakfastPreviously, Royal Pacific’s character breakfast was held at Jake’s American Bar and featured characters from Despicable Me and Hop. Being huge fans of character meals in general, our family had a great experience. The breakfast is now at the Tahitian dining room (former home of Emeril’s Tchoup Chop) and is completely based around the Despicable Me characters, having added a second Minion and Gru’s three daughters. Upon check-in, guests get their first photo op with Gru and Stuart (the one-eyed Minion). After being escorted to your table, guests are then released to visit the buffet to eat all that you desire. There are two buffet lines featuring a sweet and savory assortment of fruits, eggs, breakfast potatoes, meats, pancakes, sweet rolls, bagels, and cereals. Servers will bring orange juice, water, and coffee to the table at your request. Gluten free options are available.If you’ve dined at any Disney character meal, you will be accustomed to characters visiting each table around the dining room for photos. That is the same system in place here, with three sets of characters roaming throughout the meal. Gru & Stuart the Minion, Gru’s daughters (Margo, Edith, & Agnes), and Kevin the Minion. The characters were very playful, engaging in dancing games or playing tricks on each other. Another layer to the overall Minion theming is the soundtrack of popular music as performed by Minions playing throughout the meal. Universal has nowhere near the amount of character meals that Disney offers, but the ones they do have are a lot of fun and this is no exception.Despicable Me Character Breakfast. (photo by Brandon Glover)Inside the Tahitian dining room. (photo by “Corporal Confetti” @FelipeWWoHP)“Mom’s choice” fruit options. (photo by Brandon Glover)Cereal options. (photo by Brandon Glover)Bread and pastries. (photo by Brandon Glover)Mini-muffins. (photo by Brandon Glover)Bagels and bread. (photo by Brandon Glover)Hot food selections. (photo by Brandon Glover)Breakfast is served! (photo by @FelipeWWoHP)Gru and Stuart. (photo by Brandon Glover)Kevin. (photo by Brandon Glover)Agnes, Edith, and Margo. (photo by @FelipeWWoHP)Sisters having fun with each other. (photo by Brandon Glover)Smile! (photo by Brandon Glover)The Despicable Me Character Breakfast has three seatings every Saturday: 8:00 a.m. 9:30 a.m., and 11:00 a.m. The cost is $34.99 for adults, $20.99 for kids 3-9, and free for children under 3. To make a reservation go to www.LoewsCharacterBreakfast.tix.com. Honorable Mention – Royal Pacific is Pet FriendlyWhile Disney has only recently started to make some of its resorts pet friendly, many of Universal’s hotels – including Royal Pacific – have been welcoming pets for years. In fact, the Royal Pacific not only has an elaborately themed area dedicated just to pets, at check-in they are given their own gift bag filled with stuff and there’s even a gourmet room service menu for cats and dogs. (Sorry, I don’t care how long my Yorkshire Terrier gave me the cold shoulder, I had to draw the line somewhere!) There is one-time resort fee of $100 per stay for guests with pets (limit 2 pets per room).Royal Pet Resort. (photo by Brandon Glover)Royal Pet Resort. (photo by Brandon Glover)Royal Pet Resort. (photo by Brandon Glover)Walkway to the pet-friendly rooms. (photo by Brandon Glover) # 2 – Islands Dining Room and the WOK EXPERIENCEIslands Dining Room is the main table service restaurant for Royal Pacific. Despite being located directly next to the main pool area, inside you would have no idea as it is very quiet. In the mornings, Islands offers a large breakfast buffet along with an extensive a la carte menu that includes their signature Hawaiian pancakes and Tahitian French toast a l’orange. The dinner menu brings a Pan-Asian themed menu that does not disappoint with options such as General Tso’s chicken, Korean bulgogi ribeye, and tofu broccoli lo-mein. There is a children’s menu available, and in our experience the servers have no problem allowing guests to order off the Jake’s American Bar menu so that they can get a burger instead of something like shrimp pad thai. Our family also enjoyed the fact that there is a large room available which has a TV as well as toys for kids to play with. This allowed for the adults to relax and enjoy the meal while the kids could have fun.To book reservations at Islands Dining Room, use OpenTable.Islands Dining Room. (photo by Brandon Glover)Islands Dining Room. (photo by Brandon Glover)Thai Coconut Soup – sweet coconut, lemongrass, & ginger in a light broth. (photo by Brandon Glover)Pork Potstickers. (photo by Brandon Glover)Korean Bulgogi Ribeye. (photo by Brandon Glover)General Tso’s Chicken. (photo by Brandon Glover)Shrimp Pad Thai. (photo by Brandon Glover)Teriyaki Bowl Stir Fry. (photo by Brandon Glover)Yes, there is a children’s menu. (photo by Brandon Glover)Like Jake’s, Islands Dining Room has a large drink menu. (photo by Brandon Glover)Refreshing. (photo by Brandon Glover)Yin & Yang Chocolate Oreo Mousse. (photo by Brandon Glover)Be sure to finish your meal with Island’s signature dessert: the jumbo pineapple donut.Homemade Donut Filled with Pineapple Cream, Coconut Ice Cream. (photo by Brandon Glover) Triple Threat Honorable Mention – Royal ClubThe Royal Pacific Resort offers a Club Level experience as well, as guests can enjoy the amenities at the Royal Club. Inside is a large amount of seating, several TVs, computers, and board games. There is a continental breakfast in the morning, afternoon snacks, evening meal (themed to a different experience each night) and later a dessert offering. Throughout the day soda, coffee, and other drinks are available. Everything is complimentary, including the alcohol options.The Royal Club. (photo by Brandon Glover)The Royal Club. (photo by Brandon Glover)Royal Club. (photo by Brandon Glover)Kid’s area. (photo by Brandon Glover)Alcohol selections. (photo by Brandon Glover)Royal Club. (photo by Brandon Glover)Royal Club. (photo by Brandon Glover)Royal Club. (photo by Brandon Glover)Royal Club. (photo by Brandon Glover)Themed nights. (photo by Brandon Glover)Pork option for Mexican night. (photo by Brandon Glover)Themed nights. (photo by Brandon Glover)Vegan rigatoni. (photo by Brandon Glover)Royal Club. (photo by Brandon Glover)So there you have it: Six Reasons We Love Universal’s ROYAL PACIFIC RESORT! See you next weekend for the latest installment of the SATURDAY SIX, where we’ll look at something fun from the world of Disney and Universal. If you enjoyed yourself, be sure to check out The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! articles, or, for your listening pleasure, check out the E-Ticket Report podcast. You can also follow Your Humble Author on Twitter (@derekburgan).If you enjoyed this article, you will surely like the following: SATURDAY SIX SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: An in-depth look at theme park photography6 Pieces of Disney Merchandise That Don’t Exists (But Totally Should)Are Disney’s Hotels Going To The Dogs? A Review.Walt Disney World Locations Used in Hulk Hogan’s THUNDER IN PARADISESATURDAY SIX Investigative Report: Disney PET PEEVESThe 5th Annual Theme Park TURKEYS of the Year6 Reasons We’ll NEVER FORGET 2018 (No Matter How Hard We Try!)Special Thanks to The Elite Brandon Glover, the Corporal of Confetti @FelipeWWoHP, the SAT SIX Fun Squad of Parkscope Joe and Nick,  and Hermione Granger’s tutor Megan Stump for their invaluable assistance with this article. The SAT SIX is inspired each week by goofballs Aengus Mackenzie and LitemAndHyde and you Potterheads will  enjoy Meg’s other blog work over at the Central Florida Slug Club.FINAL PLUG! Did you know The 2019 Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando has a special edition of the SATURDAY SIX in it?That’s right, ANOTHER NEW ONE EXCLUSIVE TO THIS EDITION!Finally, someone came up with an actual reason to read a book. ORDER this baby now!We’re already looking forward to our next stay… (photo by Brandon Glover)last_img read more

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Marshfield golf hopes to save its best for last

first_imgBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterMARSHFIELD — Marshfield boys golf coach Paul Foegen said the Tigers have yet to play their best, but with only three Wisconsin Valley Conference meets left, time is running short for them to make a move in the standings.Marshfield sits fourth in the seven-team conference after the fourth of seven WVC meets was played Tuesday at Greenwood Hills Country Club in Wausau.For the second meet in a row, Marshfield finished in fourth. The final three meets will take place over eight days, starting Friday at Wausau Country Club.The Tigers had their best score in the tournament series on Tuesday with a 337 but ended up two shots behind third-place Wausau West. On May 6 Marshfield had a 358 at Stevens Point Country Club, one shot behind Wausau East for third.While close in the last two meets, the Tigers have only been able to crack the top three once: at Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids on May 3 when they tied Wausau East for second.As it stands the Tigers will need high finishes in the final three meets — combined with Wausau West and East faltering at some point — in order to move up.“We’re starting to get there and play better, but we haven’t reached our peak yet. That’s for sure,” Foegen said. “We have to have a better mental approach. The last two weeks we didn’t. We would get down on ourselves after a bad hole or two. Tuesday was the best meet for us as far as thinking around the golf course and our mental approach goes.”To cut some strokes, it comes down to eliminating the double and triple bogeys that have kept the Tigers from placing in the top two or three.“It comes down to cleaning up a few big holes here or there, staying away from that big mistake,” Foegen said.One positive coming up is that Marshfield hosts the sixth leg of the conference tournament on Tuesday at its home course of RiverEdge. Earlier this season the Tigers shot a 342 there to finish second in a four-team meet to Stevens Point, the WVC leaders, and Derek Michalski was meet medalist with a 2-over-par 74.Michalski has proven tough at RiverEdge, winning medalist honors last year during the WVC tournament and in the WIAA Division 1 regionals.Michalski sits in sixth in the individual WVC standings but could make a big move in the final three meets.“He’s played well on our home course,” Foegen said. “RiverEdge is a tight course and tougher than people think. The kids like playing at the three courses we have left (Wausau Country Club, RiverEdge, Merrill Public Golf Course), and we are still shooting for second place. It looks tough now, but we can finish second in two of the three, or even all three, and can move up and get us ready for regionals.”Brendan Schneider had his best round of the season on Tuesday for the Tigers, tying for 10th with an 83. Grant Michaelis, Zach Hanson, and Joe Kirschnik have all scored points for Marshfield in WVC meets, shooting in the high 80s to low 90s range.Paul Lecker is publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com, a contributor to Hub City Times Sports. You can reach him by email at paul@marshfieldareasports.com.Remaining Marshfield Boys Golf Schedule—May 13 WVC Meet No. 5 at Wausau Country Club.—May 14 at Merrill Invitational (Merrill Golf Course).—May 17 WVC Meet No. 6 at RiverEdge Golf Course.—May 20 WVC Meet No. 7 at Merrill (Merrill Golf Course).—May 24 WIAA Division 1 regional at Stevens Point Country Club.—May 31 WIAA Division 1 sectional at Eau Claire (Wild Ridge Golf Club).last_img read more

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Sing a song for Madiba

first_imgStory by Bhekumuzi MdakaneSouth African’s from all walks of life will also be joining in.The song is one that is really easy to learn:“Happy birthday to you “Happy birthday to you “Happy birthday dear Madiba“Happy birthday to you“We love you Tata“We love you Tata“We love you dear Madiba“Happy birthday to you”Musicians Danny K and Kabelo will lead the singing.The event, an initiative of the Department of Basic Education, LEAD SA and the Shout Foundation, is supported by Brand South Africa as well as the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and Proudly SA.Other artists and celebrities taking part include the Bala Brothers, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, the Drakensberg Boys Choir, Baby Jake Matlala, comedian Joey Rasdien, TV presenter Leanne Manas, and Miss South Africa 2011, Melinda Bam.International Mandela Day is celebrated each year on Mandela’s birthday, 18 July.On the day, individuals and organisations are called on to do something that is “of service to one’s fellow human”.According to the Mandela Day website, the aim of the day is “to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better and, in doing so, build a global movement for good”.This year, the Department of Education and Lead SA hope to bag a place in the Guinness Book of Records with more than two million South Africans singing the birthday song on Mandela’s special day.At almost 94 Madiba may be frail, but his legacy of selfless service to humanity is strong and his spirited fight for a world of freedom and racial equality continues.And in return South Africa will sing him a birthday song which, it is hoped, will not only break a world record but will inspire the people of South Africa to unite and work as one for the greater good.Source: City of Johannesburglast_img read more

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NDP implementation framework unveiled

first_img8 August 2014 Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Jeff Radebe on Thursday released the government’s comprehensive framework for implementing the National Development Plan (NDP) over the next five years. The Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) will serve as a prioritisation framework to focus the government’s efforts on a set of manageable programmes, as well as the principal guide to the allocation of resources across all spheres of government. Radebe said the MTSF was a mechanism through which all five-year strategic plans and annual plans across government were being aligned to the NDP and made to pull in the same direction. “The aim of the MTSF is to ensure policy coherence, alignment and coordination across government plans.” He added that the MTSF would form the basis for performance agreements between the President and ministers. “Cabinet will use the MTSF as the basis for monitoring the implementation of the NDP over the next five years. Cabinet will consider progress reports for each of the outcomes at least three times a year, and these progress reports will be made public through the Programme of Action website managed by the [Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency]. “We will use our monitoring and evaluation work to inform improvements to our plans and programmes as we implement the MTSF.”14 priority outcomes The MTSF is structured around 14 priority outcomes, covering the focus areas identified in the NDP, namely: In each of these outcomes, the MTSF document outlines goals, indicators, targets, actions and responsibilities. Regarding the rapid economic growth outcome, Radebe said the MTSF would set the wheels in motion to grow the economy by a rate of 5% by 2019. “Government’s programme of radical transformation is about placing the economy on a qualitatively different path that ensures more rapid, sustainable growth, higher investment, increased employment, reduced inequality and deracialisation of the economy.”Targets for the economy MTSF targets include increasing the investment rate to 25 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), increasing public sector investment to 10 percent of GDP, adding 10 000 megawatts of electricity to the national grid, and reducing the country’s unemployment to 14 percent. MTSF also includes actions aimed at diversifying in order to reduce economic concentration. “It focuses on ensuring growth in the core productive sectors of manufacturing, mining and agriculture, and opening new areas of economic growth such as the oceans economy, the green economy and shale gas.” There are also actions to ensure that small business can make a much larger contribution to growth and job creation, as well as actions to promote increased private sector investment. This is critical for higher growth, Radebe said, as the private sector accounts for 70 percent of production and employment. “The MTSF includes actions aimed at achieving an economic environment that encourages business investment and rewards competitiveness, especially in sectors that can catalyse longer term growth and job creation.”More opportunities for young people He said the NDP and MTSF included a range of actions aimed at creating more opportunities for young people, many of whom did not currently share in the benefits of economic growth and development. “The priority areas of youth development are employment creation, entrepreneurship support and education. By rapidly absorbing youth into the mainstream development of our country, we will have responded effectively to the fact that of the approximately 25 percent unemployed in South Africa, the vast majority are young people between the ages of 15 to 35 years.”Local government outcomes Radebe said the MTSF also introduced a range of actions to improve municipal management, such as providing basic water, sanitation, refuse removal and road services as well as fixing potholes, traffic lights, service interruptions and billing problems. He said the Auditor-General’s 2014 audit outcomes report indicated that local government was far from achieving the vision of an efficient and effective local government as outlined in the NDP. Actions in the MTSF related to improving local government include addressing maintenance and new infrastructure requirements in each municipality; addressing water and sanitation challenges among water services authorities; improving the financial management and governance of municipalities; and tackling corruption at local government. The MTSF also aims to expand the Community Work Programme sites in 234 municipalities in order to reach one-million participants.Reducing crime and corruption South Africa has unacceptably high levels of crime, especially serious and violent crime, according to the NDP. This affects economic development, undermining people’s well-being and their ability to achieve their potential. Some progress has been made over the past five years in reducing serious crime rates. But weaknesses in forensic, detective, investigation and prosecution services hamper the government’s efforts to reduce the overall levels of crime, particularly contact crimes. “The NDP highlights the need to address the crime that is damaging our communities, and the MTSF contains a range of actions and targets in this regard,” Radebe said. The NDP vision is that, by 2030, people living in South Africa feel safe at home, at school and at work, and enjoy a community life free of fear. Women should be able to walk freely in the street and children should be able to play safely outside. Businesses should be able to invest confidently and create jobs without the threat of livelihoods being undermined by crime. Source: SAnews.gov.za Quality basic education.A long and healthy life for all South Africans.Safety, and sense of safety, for all people in South Africa.Decent employment through inclusive growth.A skilled and capable workforce to support an inclusive growth path.An efficient, competitive and responsive economic infrastructure network.Vibrant, equitable, sustainable rural communities contributing towards food security for all.Sustainable human settlements and improved quality of household life.A comprehensive, responsive and sustainable social protection system.Responsive, accountable, effective and efficient local government.Protected and enhanced environmental assets and natural resources.An efficient, effective and development-oriented public service.A diverse, socially cohesive society with a common national identity.A better South Africa contributing to a better Africa and a better world.last_img read more

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Ford’s autonomous vehicle work opens wallet for Civil Maps

first_imgBreak the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and… Ford recently announced it invested alongside others in a $6.6 million round for California startup Civil Maps, a firm that is using AI-driven smart mapping software for self-driving cars.Ford executives know that self-driving cars are going to happen — they have over 100 experts trying to perfect the self-driving car — and they want in on this lucrative venture.The round was led by Motus Ventures and, aside from Ford, investors include Wicklow Capital, StartX Stanford and Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Ventures.See Also: Accenture sees nearly half of cars autonomous in 25 years“Autonomous vehicles require a totally new kind of map,” said Sravan Puttagunta, Chief Executive Officer, Civil Maps. “Civil Maps’ scalable map generation process enables fully autonomous vehicles to drive like humans do – identifying on-road and off-road features even when they might be missing, deteriorated or hidden from view and letting a car know what it can expect along its route. We are honored to work with Ford and the rest of our investor team to pave the way for fully autonomous vehicles at continental scale.”Ford has been road testing its technology, with technicians looking at the sensors and other aspects of autonomous vehicles.  By teaming up with Civil Maps, Ford can take the next step into designing a reliable self-driving vehicle.Civil Maps building a mapping backbone“Civil Maps’ pioneering mapping technology is building the backbone of our fully autonomous future,” said Jim DiSanto, managing director of Motus Ventures.“By creating and managing live semantic maps of all the roads in America, the company is providing a technology essential for the leap to fully autonomous vehicles that can transform the future of transportation.”Civil Maps has created the software that will allow for raw 3D data to be processed from LiDAR, which is a high-resolution laser imaging device. Sensors and cameras will be incorporated in these autonomous vehicles as well.By creating special maps, Civil Maps makes it possible for self-driving vehicles to be their own drivers.  Features on and off the highway can be detected, making a trip easyWith the aid of this technology, the possibility of accidents in greatly diminished, to a near zero chance, reducing stress on drivers.  This makes perfecting autonomous vehicles one of the biggest goals of big companies like Ford. Amanda Razani 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle… IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A…center_img For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… Related Posts Tags:#autonomous vehicles#Civil Maps#Ford#Internet of Things#IoT#lidar#Self-Driving last_img read more

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