Fleet Street – End of an Era
Once upon a time, the Fleet Street of London was the home of national newspapers. Sadly the last two remaining journalists had to say their final good-byes, ending the long, exciting history of the street.
Mining for minerals, precious stones and metals from our small planet earth has been undertaken by humans since around 4000 BC, when our stone age ancestors mined stone such as flint to make axes and tools. Since then we have plundered our planet for any mineral that could be used for fuel, manufacturing for most of what we use today including ever increasing demands electronic goods, smartphones, tablets computers and jewellery.
Our earth has only a finite amount of these resources in terms of minerals and metals which are becoming scarcer and harder to mine, alternative sources are now being looked at beyond our pale blue dot of a planet!
Asteroids which orbit our sun and sometimes wander close (not too close we hope) to earth are thought to contain an abundance of the stuff we need.
With more nations and private enterprises now launching space craft and looking to develop fast evolving space related technology, instead of visiting these heavenly bodies to map, take amazing photos and get the odd sample, these new space industries want to mine asteroids. Instead of the famous Californian Gold Rush of the mid 1800s and misquote “There’s gold in them thar hills”. We may say there is gold and more in them space rocks.
The BBC reported that a new venture is joining the effort to extract mineral resources on asteroids.
The announcement of plans by Deep Space Industries to exploit the rare metals present in the space rocks turns asteroid mining into a two-horse race.
The other venture, Planetary Resources, went public with its proposals last year.
Advocates of asteroid mining hope it could turn into a trillion-dollar business, but some scientists are highly sceptical of the idea.
Deep Space Industries wants to send a fleet of asteroid-prospecting spacecraft out into the Solar System to hunt for resources.
These spacecraft, which the company has dubbed “Fireflies”, would use low-cost CubeSat components and benefit from discounted delivery to space by ride-sharing on the launch of larger communications satellites.
The Fireflies would have a mass of about 55 lb (25 kg) and be launched for the first time in 2015 on journeys of two to six months.
The company then wants to launch bigger spacecraft – which it calls “Dragonflies” – for round-trip visits that bring back samples.
These expeditions would take two to four years, depending on the target, and would return 60 to 150 lbs of material from target asteroids.
“Using resources harvested in space is the only way to afford permanent space development,” said the company’s chief executive David Gump.
“More than 900 new asteroids that pass near Earth are discovered every year. They can be like the Iron Range of Minnesota was for the Detroit car industry last century – a key resource located near where it was needed. In this case, metals and fuel from asteroids can expand the in-space industries of this century.”
Asteroids could yield precious minerals such as gold, platinum and rare-Earth metals. But some are also thought to harbour water ice, which could be used as a raw material for the manufacture of rocket propellant or even breathable air.
The other firm in the mining race, Planetary Resources, has backing from several billionaire investors, including Google’s Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, software executive Charles Simonyi and film maker James Cameron.
That company wants to start by launching orbiting telescopes that would identify suitable asteroid targets for mineral exploitation.
However, some scientists struggle to see how cost-effective asteroid mining could be, even with the high value of gold and platinum.
Also what percentage of asteroids would contain material worth mining?
They point out that an upcoming Nasa mission to return just 60g (two ounces) of material from an asteroid will cost about $1bn.
Why did we vote for these people who live in cloud cuckoo land? Oh no we did not really. They were forced on us by this hung parliament, shame!!!
Privatisation of the Royal Mail is the last thing we need. Just like our banks, transport, electric, gas, etc., it would be bought by foreign companies who will not give a crap about its customers. Once again we will all be held hostage to wants and whims of its shareholders and investors. We won’t have a say when they raise the amount of posting which is already rather extortionate.
The Government do not learn. After privatisation, our transport became the most expensive in Europe and we are far from having a first class system. This goes for our Gas and electric too. If we are not careful the Royal Mail will lose its First Class status too.
If UKIP can promise to bring back these basic necessities, which have been summarily privatised, back into the fold, they have got my vote.
“Royal Mail Privatisation Plans To Be Unveiled” alt=”Royal Mail Privatisation Plans To Be Unveiled”
The Business Secretary will announce plans for one of the biggest UK privatisations in decades when he makes a statement on the future of the Royal Mail later.
Vince Cable will tell the House of Commons how the Government plans to sell off the 375-year-old postal operator.
It wants to sell stock in the company to market investors, which could see the company valued at around £2.5bn.
Moya Greene, chief executive of Royal Mail, has held talks with scores of potential investors in recent months in an attempt to persuade them to back the plans.
She faces opposition from unions and many employees, who fear privatisation will lead to a shake-up of services and cuts.
Steve Butts, a Royal Mail staff member for the past 32 years, told Sky News: “I think privatisation will only bring a race to the bottom for employees.
“Any private investor would always want to make money and the way they are going to do that is to drive down our terms and conditions.” Mr Cable’s announcement comes after Sky News revealed many of Royal Mail’s 150,000 staff will receive free shares worth as much as £300m as part of the privatisation.
The share sale would raise hundreds of millions of pounds that experts say could help modernise the mail system in Britain.
Robert Hammond, director of post and market analysis at Consumer Futures, told Sky News: “I would hope that a privatised Royal Mail would be looking to expand on their products and services, and to make those services ready for 21st century consumers.”
Mr Cable is expected to deliver his statement after Prime Minister’s Questions.
I don’t know whether to be amused or blow my top regarding the recent article about call centre experience from a Philippine-based company. It is already an excruciating experience to speak to someone on the phone of some problematic issues regarding your account or something but if the person on the other line is not sympathetic or fully present during the conversation, then that is out-of-order.
I have read that the Philippines is fast becoming the call centre capital of the world. To keep this progress in a more permanent basis, I think the people or clients should be the focus at all times. Leave the chanting at break time!
This short article was from London’s Metro newspaper today.
‘It’s normally the people receiving cold calls who are too busy to talk. But staff at a Philippines-based company have been putting potential customers in Britain on hold so they can join in with motivational’ energy chants’. “Most people would just hang up, but I was so astonished I wanted to know exactly what was going on” said Mark Swayze, of Birmingham. Another Briton was given an apology by a worker at Manila -based i-Tech Global Business Solutions, when he was unable to hear her over the chanting. She then broke off their discussion to lend her voice to the chorus. Workers at the centre-who need motivating as they have to make 200 calls a day-contact customers on behalf of Newcastle- based company Resolve. The debt management company declined to comment (or chant!).’
‘‘ It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.’’
– Bill Gates
Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.
Zest is the secret of all beauty. There is no beauty that is attractive without zest.
– Christian Dior
The best dressed movie stars at the moment are clothed by Dior. Cannes 2013 highlighted Dior classy and elegant creation. Jennifer Lawrence, current Hollywood darling, changed from one sumptuous Dior to the next which showed her youth, vibrancy and chic!
The current Dior corporation celebrates 1947 as its opening day but actually the House of Dior was established a year earlier on 16 December 1946, in “a private house” at 30 Avenue Montaigne Paris B.
The designer was Christian Dior of course but the company was really operated by Marcel Boussac who put up the capital. Nevertheless Christian Dior had a free run on how the house should move forward. And how it moved forward!!!
Christian Dior admired his beloved muse, Mitzah Bricard, as much for her refined and distinguished taste as for her mysterious personality that inspired him throughout his career.
Legend has it that Mitzah used to wear a panther print chiffon scarf at her wrist to hide a scar. Fascinated by her elegance, Mr Dior decided to include this magnificent Jungle motif in his collections from 1947 onwards.
“Madame Bricard is one of the rare people for whom elegance is their sole reason for living,” Christian Dior.
Often, it is assumed that Henry Ford invented the automobile.
What he actually did was to ensure that many of middle-income Americans would be able to afford to buy an automobile. Ford developed and manufactured reasonably priced cars for the masses, thereby revolutionising transportation and ultimately the American industry.
“Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black.”
– Henry Ford
“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”
Don’t find fault. Find a remedy.
“History is more or less bunk. It’s tradition. We don’t want tradition. We want to live in the present, and the only history that is worth a tinker’s damn is the history that we make today.”
– Henry Ford (Chicago Tribune, 1916).
It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and money system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.
– Henry Ford
Luck and destiny are the excuses of the world’s failures.
– Henry Ford
Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it not small jobs.
– Henry Ford
”Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”
– Henry Ford
Wow, megawow!!! If you want a second home, a holiday home, and have a spare £65.5million, then the former house of Gianni Versace is waiting for you to claim. The sumptuous mansion comes with beautiful sunshine .
Ten-bedroom mansion has 11 bathrooms
The mansion where world-famous designer Versace was murdered
The Miami home where fashion designer Gianni Versace lived before he was gunned down is now on the market for $100 million (£65.5 million), after dropping $25 million (£17million) from the asking price.
The mansion’s current owner made the “agonising decision” to sell after buying the stunning property 10 years ago.
Versace, founder and head of the eponymous fashion empire, lived in Casa Casuarina on Miami’s glamorous Ocean Drive, the pinnacle of South Beach, before he was shot dead on his doorstep in 1997.
At the address, Versace hosted star-studded soirees, welcoming the likes of Elton John and Madonna to the 10-bedroom, 11-bathroom opulent home.
Current owner Peter Loftin said he carried on the tradition, “hosting wonderful parties and entertaining celebrities from all over the world” at the 19,000 square foot property.
But despite the high profile status attached to dazzling property, it has struggled to sell since being put up for sale in June last year.
The home was initially built in 1930 at the height of the Art Deco design movement. But the Italian designer invested $33 million (£22 million) to renovate and expand the property in line with his trademark lavish and ostentatious Versace style.
His expansions and renovations included a south wing, a 54-foot long mosaic pool lined in 24-carat gold and numerous frescos.
Loftin has preserved and maintained all of the Versace’s design features.
“This is an iconic property and whoever owns it will enjoy instant celebrity”, said estate agent Jill Eber.
The property is being sold through Hamptons International in association with Coldwell Banker.