Humour

first_imgThe earth finally moved for me. It was 7.10am on Saturday September 19, 2009. And there I was, insouciantly au naturel, face flushed, heart racing, on the Island of the Gods. Who says 50-something means one foot in the grave, the other on a banana peel? I listened to birdsong, watched the swimming pool heave, the ground shake, and the windows rattle. It was 5.8 on the Richter scale, the BBC later reported. It was time to get some clothes on. I showered in ten seconds and raced out; not exactly poetry in motion, but efficiently survivalist. The blonde hair on the deck chair was the only reminder of her. She was long gone now. Scooting through the trees. I didn’t even have a picture, but there would be other opportunities to observe lion-tailed macaques in Bali.I was alive. Hallelujah. And it was time for breakfast. The Bible rightly says, “What God hath joined together let no man put asunder.” Thus it was I headed for my sacred tryst with runny underdone eggs, scrambled to perfection. And on this, the sixth day, it was served, and I saw it was good. Not scrambled eggs this time but exquisitely done Eggs Benedict, dripping with hollandaise sauce, on a lush bed of spinach and Canadian ham, bursting with the goodness of what the West calls free-range, barn-laid, organic eggs–usually with a price tag to rival a Mercedes E-Class.In local parlance it’s simply “local eggs”. Hens in Bali, India, and much of Asia don’t have any other option than to dodge passing cars and forage free range. They don’t do Alaska cruises and battery-fed buffets in climate-controlled environs perusing the latest farm-feed menus, driving egg prices ever higher. I had switched to Eggs Benedict today. Not because the resort cooked them to perfection but because I had just had an epiphany. Hotels simply do not know how to cook scrambled eggs. Why can’t hotel chefs–with more titles and decorations than General Douglas MacArthur–make decent huevos? This remains one of the enduring mysteries of modern travel. The elite Ecole Hoteliere Lausanne has been around since 1893, churning out brilliant hoteliers, administrators, oenologists; and chefs in starched aprons and reassuringly stiff white caps strongly hinting at a certain culinary pedigree. I do think a hundred years is long enough to teach anyone how to whisk a spatula. In Singapore I got dour looks from a sourpuss chef who pointed towards the buffet table. “Scrumble over there,” he sniffed. The ready made “scrumble” wasn’t bad at all. But I wanted mine underdone with tomatoes, mushrooms, chillies and ham. With a few honourable exceptions, at almost all hotels I have sampled breakfast at, the scrambled egg exercise invariably resulted in an omelette. All these omelettes look the same, taste the same and they have one other thing in common. They are definitely not scrambled egg.In Bangkok I watched as the chef put the eggs on the fire and then wandered off to have a chat with his friends. By the time he returned my scrambled egg was a pancake. Nowadays I direct the breakfast chefs firmly and stand there glowering at every move.The following week on my flight to Shanghai the air hostess came up and smiled sweetly, “K 4 coffee?” “No, K for kangaroo, C for coffee. Actually I’d like some Japanese green tea.” “And would you like scrambled eggs with sausage?” I sighed. I’d rather knock out all my teeth with a hot iron than eat airline eggs. That’s an entirely different level of gastronomic pain and endurance. I settled for the green tea. The duty-free selection was not bad at all but there was no DVT. I’ve always wanted one–preferably from Sony. It’s all the rage on long-haul economy class and apparently works better than Ambien and Ketamine combined. Best of all, deep vein thrombosis requires no batteries. I later watched the inflight video with interest. Some spoiled sport has packed it with tips to avoid getting DVT. First you need to find a tall oak tree to lean against. Then you proceed to stretch out and pummel the hell out of your neighbours as you swing your arms about. It was good to be back in Hong Kong. I broke open two barn-laid eggs, beat them, dropped in some butter on the skillet and added a dash of chilli and herbs. Let nothing separate a man from good scrambled eggs. Forget the blonds. I’ll take a good breakfast any day.The author edits SmartTravelAsia.comadvertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

Aiming straight as an arrow

first_imgAPTN National NewsIt’ week two of the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax.After a brilliant performance at the North American Indigenous Games two years ago, one archer from the Yukon is drawing back her bow with some of the country’s best.Here is APTN National News reporter James Hopkin with the story.last_img

Scottie Pippen Will Not Be Charged in Malibu Altercation

Scottie Pippen former NBA star, will not face any criminal charges after meeting with police officials Monday to answer questions about the alleged altercation at Malibu’s Nobu restaurant.Los Angeles County sheriff’s office spokesman, Steve Whitmore, offered the following: “He came in to be interviewed, he’s been cooperative…Mr. Pippen will not be arrested, there’s more here than meets the eye.”Per witness accounts, a fight began near the valet station outside the restaurant, but there were no other details on what started the fight.TMZ reported Monday that Pippen may have seriously injured the man in the reported altercation and would be charged with felony assault. It said Pippen turned himself in to authorities in Malibu and that the man was knocked out after Pippen allegedly punched him in the face and kicked him repeatedly.There is still no mention as to the impetus behind the ordeal, only that the man suffered “broken teeth and a swollen mouth,” as well as head and back injuries. read more

Klopp unconcerned over Liverpools away from

first_imgLiverpool manager Jurgen Klopp feels that their disappointing 2-0 defeat at Red Red Star Belgrade had nothing to do with being away from homeThe Reds surrendered their lead in Group C on Tuesday night after Milan Pavkov’s superb double earn Red Star a shock victory.It means Liverpool drop to second in the group table with another tricky trip in the Champions League awaiting them in Paris Saint-Germain on November 28.Liverpool have lost both of their away games in Europe this season, but Klopp insists it had nothing to do with the team’s display.“It made sense to make a few changes, a few we had to make and a few we wanted to,” Klopp told the club website. “In the end, it’s easy to say it didn’t work out.divock origi, liverpoolReport: Origi cause Klopp injury concerns George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Divock Origi injury in today’s game against Newcastle is a cause for concern for Jurgen Klopp.Perhaps with one eye on Tuesday’s trip to Italy…“Of course, we need to make sure it will not happen again otherwise it will be difficult because the next game is already an away game again and the last one is a very difficult home game against Napoli.“We have to make sure in Paris we do better. There were a lot of moments when we could get in control of the game and we didn’t do it, we made the wrong decisions.“I don’t think that’s anything to do with [playing] away or home, it just happened.“We will talk about that and will do it better 100 per cent, but for tonight we can’t change it anymore, unfortunately.”In the meantime, Liverpool will host Fulham in the Premier League this Sunday.last_img read more

Jupitermedia Reports 67M Loss

first_imgA previously unreported $40 million goodwill impairment charge, associated with the recent sale of its online images business, has lowered Jupitermedia’s year-to-date profits from a $27 million net loss to a loss of $67 million. The fee was absorbed during the third quarter, which attributed to a net loss of $62.6 million for the period.Jupitermedia reported the goodwill fee Tuesday as part of an amendment to its third quarter financial statement, which it originally released last week. Revenue through the first nine months was $100.5 million, down slightly from $104.2 million during the same period last year.”Our online media division continues to be impacted by the economy, which has put pressure on our advertising and job board sales,” chairman and CEO Alan Meckler said in the original earnings statement. “We have, however, made progress in reducing operating expenses, specifically with our costs of sales and general and administrative expenses.”Last month, Jupitermedia—which also owns online networks Internet.com, EarthWeb.com, DevX.com and Graphics.com—agreed to sell online images business Jupiterimages to digital photograph and online media powerhouse Getty Images for $96 million in cash. At the time, Jupitermedia said it expects to incur a non-cash loss of approximately $95 million upon the closing of the transaction. In July 2007, Jupitermedia acquired New York-based media community and creative job listing Web site Mediabistro.com for $23 million.last_img read more

Conde Nasts New Address Will Be 1 World Trade Center

first_imgA decade after New York City sustained one of the largest terrorist attacks in recent American history on September 11, 2001, Conde Nast has decided to move its head quarters, 18 magazine titles and 5,000 employees to 1 World Trade Center.Currently at 4 Times Square, Conde Nast will anchor the 1 World Trade Center building; the million- square-feet-lease is estimated to be worth $2 billion over the next 25 years, according to NYTimes.com. The lease will go before the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s board (who owns 1 World Trade) on May 26 for final approval. Conde Nast is slated to occupy floors 20 through 41, beginning in 2014. Annual rent is set for $60 per square foot, around the same price Conde currently pays in Times Square. Security around the Ground Zero area has been a concern for Conde, “The negotiations involved reams of traffic studies and security discussions, to ensure that its black cars (more than 100), its racks of designer dresses and its well-shod executives would be able to pass swiftly each day through the police-imposed security zone that is to surround the complex,” says NYTimes.com.After the 1,776 foot-tall building at 1 World Trade Center was erected, critics believed that only government agencies, not corporate tenants, would be willing to move to the site. Dubbed “The Freedom Tower”, construction began in 2006; the Port Authority board approved a $2.9 billion budget in February 2006 for the project. The building is now the tallest in Manhattan.last_img read more

Runners World Sees Boom In Social Media

first_imgWhile the industry sits back and reconsiders its newsstand strategy in the face of Tuesday’s bleak Fas-Fax report, Rodale’s fitness title, Runner’s World, is looking at its social engagement platforms and enjoying success.In one year, the magazine was able to increase its Facebook following by 111 percent, up to 309,070 likes as of February 8, an increase of 163,000 from January 2011 and an increase of 15,070 from since the first of this year. Similarly, the publication’s Twitter followers also saw steep increases—in one year the title increased its following on the platform by 293 percent, from 54,000 to 212,000. Furthermore, the magazine’s Twitter platform increased by 18.4 percent from 179,000 to its current number since the first of this year. “In January, we covered the U.S. Olympic Marathon trials, which selects the runners who will compete in the Olympics,” she says. “This year, NBC owned the rights and they decided to broadcast it the afternoon of the race so there was no live broadcast available. We really crept into an area where people needed coverage—we were able to live blog it, live tweet it and updated Facebook with posts midway through the race and at the end. People could follow the race live when they couldn’t do it any other way.”Leveraging itself within the running niche to create exclusive content opportunities is one way the publication has increased its value proposition to users, prompting them follow the brand. In addition to filling gaps in coverage, the magazine rolled out special social media initiatives, which also contributed to its growth.Loftus and a running pal formulated a plan to run every day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day—a time of year that presents the hardest challenge to staying in shape, she says. The editor brought the idea to the staff of Runner’s World, which implemented it on social media—creating the hash tag RWRunStreak.“A lot of our audience struggles in the same way that we do in staying fit through the holidays since marathon season ends with the fall and training for spring races doesn’t start until January or February, it creates a gap that a lot of people have trouble with,” she says. “We were able to get into that space and create this initiative that people really got into. I believe the final number on that hash tag in that 40 day period between Thanksgiving and New Years generated about 7,000 unique tweets, which is pretty significant. Some people have decided to keep the streak going so the hash tag is still in rotation.”In all, the RWRunStreak hash tag generated a total of 10 million impressions—the maximum number of people that could have seen it through other people’s Twitter accounts. In the 43 days the campaign was active, the title added 34,000 new followers, a 22 percent increase.The brand’s editorial also supports its social media efforts—its most popular hash tag is RunningTips, which is supported by service driven content with original web copy or pieces from back issues. About three to five times a day the group posts original articles that include running related data, tips for motivation and racing news, which are also shared on social media sites to heighten engagement.“What helps us is we know our audience runs,” says Loftus. “They want to hear about what runners are doing so we can use these platforms to put them in touch with that and with us.” “We’ve had a few separate initiatives that have created really big boosts,” says Meghan Loftus, associate multimedia editor for the title. “For national marathons, we have a large presence on Facebook and Twitter. For those kinds of things we live Tweet the races and we point people to our website which has live blogs.”The magazine creates specific hash tags to cover live running related news from events like the New York City or Boston Marathons or other large sporting events.last_img read more

Army Leaders Highlight Readiness Shortfall Need for BRAC Round

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR Fiscal constraints have forced the Army to focus on near-term readiness, putting its future capability at great risk, the service’s top civilian and military officials told lawmakers Wednesday.“We’re mortgaging our future readiness because we have to ensure success in today’s battles,” said acting Army Secretary Patrick Murphy.Murphy and Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee that readiness is their top priority as the Army shrinks its active-duty end-strength from 490,000 to 450,000 while fulfilling the requirements of combatant commanders around the globe, reported Army Times.The Army entered 2016 with 482,264 soldiers on active duty, leaving the force about 7,000 soldiers from reaching its goal of 475,000 troops by this coming October. The newly released FY 2017 budget calls for the service’s end strength to drop to 460,000 by Oct. 1, 2017.To free up more resources for training, the witnesses urged Congress to authorize a new round of base closures.“Let us manage your investments,” Murphy said. The service spends at least $500 million annually on excess or underutilized facilities, according to the written testimony Murphy and Milley submitted.“In short, smaller investments in Army installations without the ability to reduce excess infrastructure jeopardizes our ability to ensure long-term readiness. To continue the efficient use of resources, the Army requests congressional authority to consolidate or close excess infrastructure,” the testimony stated.Milley told one committee member that retaining 480,000 soldiers in the active force, 350,000 in the Guard and 205,000 in the Reserve would help the Army better meet its readiness goals, but he emphasized the importance of providing the necessary funding to maintain the extra troops’ proficiency in combat operations.“The short answer would be sure, I think that having increased numbers would help out with readiness, but if, and only if, we had the money to support that,” Milley said.last_img read more

Enhance Your Résumé with Essential Excel Skills for Less Than 40

first_img Here’s a fun fact: Microsoft Excel is among the most in-demand tech skills out there, with nearly 80 percent of middle-skill jobs requiring Excel proficiency (among other digital know-how).”But wait,” you might be thinking. “Excel isn’t all that special. I mean, isn’t it just a simple spreadsheet program?” Well, yes and no. It is a spreadsheet program, to be sure, but its functions extend far beyond basic number-crunching and table-making. “Simple” it is not.From creating data-based charts to forecasting trends, you’ll become an expert in all of Excel’s capabilities when you enroll in the 2019 Microsoft Excel Bootcamp Bundle. On sale for a limited time in the Entrepreneur Store, its 78-hour education is designed to turn you into a data-crunching pro with tools and training you can someday use as leverage to score a better salary or professional title.The bundle includes five different courses on various uses of Excel, the first being a beginner-friendly primer on the program’s latest edition. (You need to start somewhere, right?) Across 160 lectures and 32 hours of content, you’ll discover how to use Excel to solve complicated problems, automate spreadsheets, design graphics, and use Pivot Tables — basic yet essential knowledge that’ll serve as a solid foundation for the rest of your learning.Next up is “Advanced Excel,” a 20-lecture class covering intermediate-to-advanced functions within Excel. It’ll show you how to create complex graphs within minutes, automate your spreadsheets with macros and VBA (Visual Basics for Applications) — i.e., Microsoft’s programming language — use superpower functions to solve problems, and crunch intricate sets of raw data using Pivot Tables and Power Pivots.Once you’ve mastered those topics, you’ll move on to a course dedicated solely to Pivot Table. Within Excel, this feature lets you automatically sort data from one table and present it in another, which helps you draw conclusions from said data more efficiently. It can be a tough function for many users to grasp, but after completing all 39 modules within this training, you’ll be a Pivot Table pro in no time.The bundle’s fourth offering comes in the form of a CPDUK-accredited class on VBA, the aforementioned computer language that’s built into most Microsoft programs for streamlined data analysis. As you work your way through four hours of content, you’ll learn how it can be used to automate tasks and operations within Excel; define and manage different variables; set up subroutines; and more.The bundle concludes with a comprehensive course on how Excel can impact business decisions. Using a process inspired by a methodology that’s taught to major financial institutions around the globe, this class will show you how to use financial modeling and forecasting techniques to turn data into solid business decisions. It (as well as the four other courses in the bundle) will make an excellent addition to your résumé.For the next few days, Entrepreneur readers can sign up for lifetime access to the 2019 Microsoft Excel Bootcamp Bundle for only $39.  Register Now » 3 min read Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global February 2, 2019 Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.last_img read more