BP: New cap on Gulf of Mexico oil well in place

Thursday, July 15, 2010 

For the first time since April 20, no oil is flowing into the Gulf of Mexico, though the halt may be temporary, as integrity testing began on a new sealing cap. The cap was installed on a leaking well in an effort by the BP energy company to contain oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico. The previous containment cap, which was removed Saturday, had a much looser fit than the new one and allowed oil to escape into the Gulf. It took about three days for the cap to be removed, the site prepared, and the new one to be slowly lowered into position.

The energy company had planned to begin running integrity tests Tuesday to measure the performance of the well under pressure. The tests were delayed a day for further analysis, but clearance to proceed was given Wednesday afternoon, then a leak in a choke line had to be repaired. BP senior vice president Kent Wells announced at his Thursday afternoon briefing that the final valve on the cap assembly started to close at 1:15 PM Thursday and was fully closed at 2:25 PM, finally shutting in the oil flow. If the tests show that the well is strong enough, the sealing cap valves will likely remain closed. If the well cannot be safely closed from the top, the new cap is designed to funnel almost all the oil to ships above while two relief wells are constructed for a permanent fix. After the old cap was removed, oil flowed freely into the waters of the Gulf until the present cap was installed at about 7:00 PM CDT Monday (00:00 UTC Tuesday).

BP has stated that this oil containment system has never been deployed at the current depths, nor has it been tested in the conditions that it will be expected to operate in. During the testing period, which could last anywhere from six to forty-eight hours, all undersea oil containment systems will be temporarily suspended. The company made clear that, even if the tests succeed, this does not mean that oil leakage has permanently ceased.

Doug Suttles, a BP executive, explained that during the test, the well pressure will be carefully monitored. Suttles said at a Monday briefing that the ideal would be for tests to show high pressure around the seal, indicating that no oil is escaping. He also stated that on the other hand, the pressures could be lower than anticipated, leading to the assumption that the well is damaged and is leaking oil and gas into surrounding rock. If this were to happen, keeping the cap shut could further damage the well. The solution for this scenario is to reopen the valves and funnel most, if not all, of the oil to ships above.

Drilling of the first relief well was suspended until completion of the integrity test. Kent Wells explained at his Wednesday morning briefing that the first relief well is now 4 feet from the original well and there is a remote possibility that the pressure test could open a path to the relief well. Drilling of the second relief well has stopped at 16,000 feet so as not to interfere with the first well and to keep routing options open in case the first relief well fails. Even if the pressure tests do succeed and the main well is shut, work on the first relief well will continue until it intercepts the main well. When this occurs, mud and cement will be pumped into the well for a permanent seal. Containment and clean up operations will continue even after the relief wells are finished to deal with oil already released.

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill began on April 20 when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killing eleven and marking the start of the worst offshore oil spill in United States history.

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Illinois high schools now required to buy insurance for athletes

Tuesday, August 6, 2013 

This past Sunday, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a bill known as “Rocky’s Law” that requires Illinois high schools, through the local school district, to buy catastrophic injury insurance up to US$3 million or medical costs for up to five years, whichever one comes first, that covers student athletes. The insurance must cover student athletes while they are competing.

The legislation was named after Rasul “Rocky” Clark. In 2000, the Eisenhower High School football player became paralyzed from the waist down as a result of a tackle during a game. His school based health insurance covered the costs of his medical treatment. A legislator sponsoring the bill noted that the need for this type of insurance is rare. Clark’s mother attended the legislation signing. Her son died last year.

Before parents can claim money from school insurance, they first must pay out US$50,000. Schools have until January 1, 2014 to comply with the law. Schools cannot charge students more than US$5 to defray the cost of insurance. If a school district already requires student to be covered through private health insurance, they are exempted from this law.

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Comments:U.S. Supreme Court upholds health care mandate

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I’m not quite understanding why liberals think that this is such a good thing, except the liberals that own stock in insurance companies. One thing I know is that car insurance, which anyone who drives is required to have, is too expensive, especially if you’re young because they automatically assume that young people are going to be reckless. Now, with the individual mandate, I expect that health insurance companies will jack prices up knowing that people have to have it, and they’ll probably do the same thing the car insurance companies do; they’ll charge more for young people because they’re supposedly reckless, they’ll charge more for people with preexisting conditions, they’ll jack your premiums up if you ever go to the hospital, etc. How is this supposed to help the poor? Also consider the fact that there are a lot of people that will not take government aide, look at all the homeless people that are homeless because they refuse to go on welfare. How will taxing them for not having insurance help them?

No opinions yet?

I find it sad and funny that Obama spoke of how this is a lovely plan to help people and make sure noone is uninsured in times of need and yet the part that was cut was the one that would’ve extended Medicaid benefits to the people at the bottom of the income scale.

And my bet is that was Robert’s attempt to throw a bone to the right-wing to make them somewhat.

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How To Prepare An Effective Budget Plan For A Project

Submitted by: John Smith17884

Introduction

When a project is started, it is essential that a plan is drawn to facilitate its smooth functioning. During the phase of the Project Plan it is equally important to plan the Project Budget. Planning the expenditure and incomes of the project helps to monitor the money spent on the project. A good Project Manager always tries to ensure that the resources are allocated as per requirements and necessity. It is the responsibility of a Project Manager to ensure that a project is well-managed financially. Project Management Professionals (PMPs) who have cleared the PMP Exam by taking a PMP Exam Prep course are well-aware of budgeting their project to ensure successful run of the project.

1. Define Scope of your Project: – Before drawing a budget for the Project it is important to know all pertinent details about Project. When undertaking a fresh and new project it is important to find out about all the required raw materials and workforces needed for the project. Then drawing an estimated duration and estimated funds for the project gives the required information to make a guesstimate of project funding.

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2. Set your goals: – Once the project limit and deadlines are finalized then set your budget goals. Begin with the end in mind while drawing out the budget goals. A set goal helps to create a more structured spending and keep the project set towards that ultimate goal. For example your goal could be to complete the project within a specified amount and with optimum usage of all available resources. In such a case, it becomes important to structure money spent in the project in a specific way.

3. Know your net Expenditure: – After setting the goal it is important to have rough estimate of what is going to be your net expenditure. Your net Income may be fixed or variable based on the resource allocated for the project. PMP Aspirant during their PMP Prep uses the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK ) Guide, 5th Edition, in which the topic of budget is covered.

4. Make your Budget plan: – With the collected data about scope, goal and net expenditure it time to plan the allocation for each individual expenditure based on categories. By dividing the various expenditures into different categories aids in tracking spending on the project. Having a contingency plan for the money spent on the project, prepares the PMPs to look out for any untoward change in the planned project expenditure.

5. Analysis of Tracked Spending: – Create a matrix for calculating and tracking the project expenditure. If the project is similar to any previous project handled by the company then use that particular project s financial matrix for tracking the spending in your current and new project.

6. Allowance for Modification: – No two same or similar project run the same way as the other. So it is important to be ready to make modification as the project rolls out. Thus, it is important that the budget should not be very tight and has some provisions for some malleability of spending.

7. Create Budget: – Using all the above information prepare the budget for the Project and find the required Accounting software application to use for entering your expenses and incomes. Choosing the popular accounting software like Quick Book or Microsoft Accounting provides you with various tools to calculate and account your project expenses and revenues.

8. Budget Evaluation: – This step comes once the budget plan is implemented and after a few weeks have passed since implementation. The best time to evaluate a budget will be to test your financial predictions against one month performance. Based on the information that you gather on actual performance of your project budget, now plan your modification or changes to the budget expenditure. A PMP Exam Prep Course covers pertinent Budgeting topics for PMP Aspirant thus providing a wide spectrum view of the financial aspect of the project.

About the Author: A well-planned budget for a project helps to ward-off unnecessary surprises. Let s learn about Cost Management based on PMBOK concepts with our PMP Exam Prep CourseContact us –

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New Jersey to consider bikini waxing ban

Friday, March 20, 2009 

New Jersey is considering a state-wide ban on Brazilian waxes, the removal of hair from the bikini area.

Although genital waxing has never really been allowed in the state, the New Jersey Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling plans to propose a ban with more specific legal wording, in response to two women who reported being injured during a wax. The board will consider the proposal at their next meeting on April 14.

If the measure passes, New Jersey may become the only US state to ban the practice outright.

Although millions of Americans engage in bikini waxes, which generally cost between $50 and $60 per session, the practice comes with risks. Skin care experts say the hot wax can irritate delicate skin in the bikini area, and result in infections, ingrown hairs and rashes.

Waxing on the face, neck, abdomen, legs and arms would continue to be permitted in the state under the proposed ban. Although New Jersey statutes have always banned bikini waxing, the laws were unclear and seldom enforced.

As a result, many salons from around the state have offered bikini waxing for years. Many salon owners spoke out against the proposed ban, which they said would severely damage their business.

“I really don’t know if the state can stop it at this point,” said Valentia Chistova, owner of the Monmouth County salon Brazil. “I know a lot of women who are really hooked.”

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Top Germ Ridden Items We Touch

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Top Germ Ridden Items we Touch

by

Alexis Roth

In the age where hand sanitizer rules and we are constantly looking for things to clean, it can be hard to believe that there are things that we touch everyday that are extremely germ ridden. Yes, no matter how much you avoid human conflict or squirt alcohol on your hands, there are still going to be things that you touch that are going to full of germs. Breathe; it is going to be okay. I promise that you are going to be okay. This article will talk about some of the grossest things that you touch every day. With this knowledge and proper healthcare you will be able to protect yourself from getting sick.

Every day when you head off to work, you are bombarded with staircases and escalators. These steps come along with hand rails to help people keep their balance. However, that also means that at any given moment you can touch anyone else s germs. Along with hand rails are elevator buttons. They fall into the same category.

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You spend every day in your kitchen cooking meals for your family and keeping them healthy. While you cook and prepare, germs are spreading. However, you probably think that you are cleaning it all up with the bleach that you spray on the counter. There is one spot that you are forgetting though and that is your sink. When you put the dishes in the sink those germs will spread throughout the sink and you are then touching the same germs that you thought you just cleaned everywhere else.

This one will probably gross you out the most. When you are folding your clean clothes you probably think that they are clean. Well, sorry to burst that bubble, but they are not. All you essentially did was spread matter throughout your wash. Yep, cycle after cycle you are continuing to contaminate your laundry with your undergarments. Make sure you clean your washer. I know that sounds weird. Look it up.

Do you love catching up with your friends for hours on end? Well, it has been proven that your phone has more bacteria on it than you bathroom toilet. Yea, think about that mental picture. You carry your phone everywhere you go so therefore it will catch germs from whatever you put it in contact with. This may be the one thing you want to clean on the regular.

One final germ ridden item to leave you with and that is money. Yea that thing that you use every day to pay for items is full of everyone else s germs. This includes all paper money coins, and even your credit cards.

As you can tell, there are things that you come in contact with everyday that can make you sick. By protecting yourself you can warn off illness. The best way to protect yourself and your family is to get proper health insurance and make sure that it is affordable for you and your family. Most companies will offer their employees group health insurance at affordable prices. Talk to your HR specialist for more information.

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Fifteen people killed in Philippines hotel fire

Sunday, December 19, 2010 

Fifteen people were killed and twelve were injured after an eight hour hotel fire in Tuguegarao City, Northern Philippines, however police and firefighters managed to save many guests. Reports suggest the deceased sought cover in bathrooms where they were burnt beyond recognition.

After entering the building firefighters were left in tears after finding the charred bodies of guests on the upper floors. “It’s so close to Christmas, we wept when we saw their bodies,” said fire investigator Daniel Abana. Nine of the deaths were confirmed to be nursing students from a nearby university. The students were in the city to take nursing exams. Nursing college instructor, Romeo Opido, told authorities that 36 nursing students from nearby provinces were at the hotel. Tuguegarao City counselor said, “It is very unfortunate that this happened just when they were about to take their exams.”

The other deaths were the hotel owner’s and their family, including three children. The cause of the fire is still undetermined although it is known that the fire started on the ground floor and was energized by car tires and other combustible materials. It is also believed that paint cans were still in the building following a recent make over.

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Brazilian environmentalists tell residents to urinate in shower to save water

Wednesday, August 5, 2009 

Environmentalists in Brazil are urging the country’s residents to urinate in the shower while washing themselves, to help conserve water and save the rainforest. Television ads being aired in the country claim that by doing so, the nation could save over 1,000 gallons of water per household each year.

SOS Mata Atlantica ran the ad campaign in an attempt to use comedy to get people to reduce the amount of water they use. “[The ad is] a way to be playful about a serious subject,” said Adriana Kfouri, a spokesperson for Atlantica.

The animated ad narrated by children shows people, including a trapeze artist, an alien and dancers, all taking a shower while at the same time, urinating in it. The ending of the ad then states, “Pee in the shower! Save the Atlantic rainforest!”

Ken Livingstone, former mayor of London, England, proposed a similar campaign in 2006. He said urine should be classified as a “green waste” and that “there is no earthly reason that you need to flush the loo if you have merely urinated. That’s a huge saving of water.”

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St. Anthony Foundation provides hope

Friday, September 23, 2005 

On the corner of Golden Gate Ave. and Jones St. in the Tenderloin, San Francisco, right next to the Civic Center you can see a throng of low-income and homeless people lining up outside of St. Anthony’s Dining Room hall which opens up it’s doors everyday at 11:30 a.m. Volunteers dressed in St. Anthony Foundation shirts help keep the lines moving as hundreds of homeless and low income people shuffle their way towards the dining hall underneath the watchful eyes of a small statue of St. Francis of Assisi.

“There’s a lot of people who go hungry out here and it ain’t right.” says Jimmy Scott, a slightly brawny 44-year-old black man who has been living homeless in San Francisco for the past three years. “There are families out here with kids and everything and they have to walk around all night just to stay awake so they don’t get hurt or killed…Right here in the U.S. this is going on…it ain’t right.”

The dining hall, which has been open for the past 54 years, is owned by the St. Anthony Foundation which helps low income and homeless people and families in the Civic Center, Tenderloin, and SOMA areas with clothing, shelter, food, drug rehabilitation, and many other services. St. Anthony’s administrative offices are found at 121 Golden Gate Ave. with the majority of the foundation’s buildings on Golden Gate Ave. and Jones St.

“We are right in the heart of the homeless population of San Francisco,” says Barry Stenger, 55, who’s been working for the St. Anthony Foundation for one year, and is the Director of Development and Communications, “and people are pushed here because of the economic forces of San Francisco because it’s hard to be upper middle class in San Francisco.”

According to the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, “San Francisco’s cost of living remains one of the highest in the country” with the average household income in San Francisco being around $76,400 and the average price of housing being $543,000. Average household income for the United States in 2002, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, was $42,409 and the average price of housing for the United States according to the National Association of Realtors was $185,200 in 2004.

“We served our 32 millionth meal on Tuesday,” said Stenger, “and we serve 2,500 meals a day. Some of our people who work here actually get served [food] here because they spend all their money towards rent and medical costs.”

The St. Anthony Foundation was started by Fr. Alfred Boeddeker in 1950 one year after Fr. Boeddeker became pastor of St. Boniface church on Golden Gate St. where he was baptized as a child. During his lifetime, according to the foundation’s website, he was referred to as the “Patron St. of the Tenderloin” and had Boeddeker park named after him because of his, and his foundation’s, achievements with helping out the homeless and low income community.

“[St. Anthony’s] is a good thing,” said Jimmy Scott, “they provide a good service and they feed people and they clothe them and provide furniture when you get housing and give you groceries when you have AIDS. It’s a good little organization.”

“Our dining room is open 365 days a year.” Said Stenger. “Our other facilities are open seven days a week. We have a residence for senior women and our [free medical] clinic is open five days a week and we also have a furniture and clothing store. We have 12 programs all together.”

Some of those programs are the Father Alfred Center which provides 61 men two programs for getting out of drug and alcohol abuse, the Employment Program/Learning Center which helps participants in educational and employment opportunities and provides each one with a personal staff advisor, and a Senior Outreach and Support Services center which states its mission is to “promote independence, self determination, and alleviate isolation” for seniors who are 60 and older.

A few homeless people who were interviewed complained that St. Anthony’s had some staff who were rude and that they were kicked out of the dining hall; other homeless within the area refuted those claims saying St. Anthony’s has nice staff and only kicks people out who cause trouble.

“It’s a good place and good people. Everybody is so kind and so respectful and everything is under control.” Said John Henderson, a tall and skinny 57-year-old homeless black man who has only been living in San Francisco for close to two months because he recently moved there from Phoenix, Arizona. “It’s pretty cool because they’re under control because yesterday I saw at Glide [Memorial Church which also has services for the poor and low income] and they were handing out food boxes and people were just rushing in and the woman in charge there was freaking out and so she just sat down. That would never happen at St. Anthony’s.”

“And they clean too!” Henderson said laughing with a grin on his face referring to the fact that there are no drugs allowed in the premises. “Not that Glide ain’t clean if you know what I mean.”

“We [also] have a whole division that deals with justice education and advocacy to change the system that brings people to our doorstep.” Said Stenger. “We hear a lot of appreciation from the people we serve. We get a lot of testimony from our clients who have become clean and sober. Sometimes we have to push them a little to get them out the door because they love the [foundation] so much because it has changed their lives.”

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