4 Reasons To Hire A Pool Inspection Service For Your Pool

byAlma Abell

Inspections are a necessary part of home maintenance. If your property comes with a pool, you’re going to need to make sure you hire a pool inspection firm in Houston. Here’s why:

Identify problems

If there’s been a recurring problem in your pool, an inspection is sure to identify and determine the cause of those problems or issues. By knowing what you’re dealing with, you will have a better idea what solutions are needed to resolve those issues in the soonest time possible. At Manning Pool Service, we can provide you with pool maintenance, repair and cleaning services to help keep it in tip-top shape.

Prevent problems

A pool inspection firm in Houston can help you prevent problems in the future. For instance, a plumbing or electrical snafu that could potentially electrocute or put lives at risk. With an inspector to make sure everything is in order, you can let your family swim in the pool, sans any worries.

Protect against health risks

Before you let your children take a dip in the pool, you’ll want to make sure the water is safe for them and doesn’t pose any health risks. Since indoor pools can make your kids vulnerable for developing asthma, says Parenting Science. By taking proper pool maintenance measures, you can protect your kids from these risks.

Keep accidents at bay

If you have broken tiles or if any part of your pool requires repairs, don’t put those off. Put in a call to experts for pool repairs nearby or close to you right away. You won’t have to go online and search for ‘pool repair services near me or around me. Put us at the top of your list and we’ll take care of any repairs that need to be done right away. With timely inspection and repairs, you can keep poolside accidents from happening.

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Fujitsu launches cloud website for dog pedometer service

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Japanese multinational company Fujitsu launched a website for a dog pedometer which allows customers to monitor their dog’s health online. The device measures data while attached to the dog’s collar. Customers are also able to add more data to the website manually, then it displays the complete set of data graphically. Fujitsu launched the website today (Tuesday) and plans to start the sales in Japan tomorrow (Wednesday).

The pedometer is called “Wandant”, from Japanese “Wan” equivalent to “woof”, and the “dant” of “pendant”. The latter refers to the pedometer, because it is attached to a dog collar. The users can transfer data to an Android phone using a touch-card to make it available online.

Fujitsu said Wandant would be the first cloud-based dog health-care service.

The data include walking, temperature, and shaking motion statistics. The users can manually enter additional data such as food quantities, weight, custom notes, and photos.

Fujitsu said, “The data are presented graphically on a custom website that makes trends in the dog’s activities easy to understand at a glance. This helps owners get a stronger sense of their dog’s health, while enabling communication with the dog.”

British serial killer jailed for three prostitute murders

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A British serial killer has yesterday entered guilty pleas to all three counts of murder he faced. Stephen Griffiths, 40, who attracted tabloid attention by calling himself the “Crossbow Cannibal”, killed the prostitutes in his flat in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England and will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Griffiths, a former van driver with a degree in psychology and studying for a PhD in criminology, was caught when police were alerted to a murder caught on CCTV. A caretaker, reviewing footage from the building where Griffiths’s flat is, saw Suzanne Blamires, 36, and Griffiths enter the flat. Two minutes later, she ran out and he followed, beating her to the ground and shooting her in the head with a crossbow. He raised his crossbow above his head for the CCTV, then dragged the body away. Returning with a drink, he raised the can and one finger to the camera.

Over the course of a weekend, he was seen several times with bin bags and a rucksack. After Griffiths was arrested by armed police on May 24, her dismembered remains were found floating the the River Ayre near Shipley; her head was in a rucksack and it was yesterday revealed a crossbow bolt and broken knife were embedded in it. Robert Smith QC, prosecuting, said she was in 81 pieces.

Smith added that Griffiths confessed to killing her and cutting her up by hand; he had previously used power tools on his victims. Shelley Armitage, 31, had been missing since April when police charged Griffiths; a piece of spine in the River Ayre was later identified as hers. Also found by the river was a suitcase containing knives and saws.

It was yesterday revealed her murder was also on video. Griffiths recorded the act on his mobile, which he then lost on a train. Its finder sold it on twice before police retrieved it, but the footage remained. Armitage is seen hogtied on cushions, the words “My Sex Slave” spray-painted in black on her back. She is also seen dead and naked in his bathtub. “I am Ven Pariah, I am the Bloodbath Artist,” Griffiths said as part of a commentary to the video. “Here’s a model who is assisting me.”

The third murder – that of Susan Rushworth, 43 – dates back to June last year, when she vanished. Although police believe she was killed with a hammer and Griffiths has spoken of the death, no remains were ever found and the only physical evidence was one bloodstain in her killer’s flat. Police found evidence he tried to clean up, with bathroom tiles removed and carpets lifted.

“It was just a slaughterhouse in the bathtub,” he told police at interview. He later confessed to police that “I, or part of me, is responsible for killing Susan Rushworth, Shelley Armitage and Suzanne Blamires, who I know as Amber.” Two crossbows, crossbow bolts, and serial killer literature were seized from his flat.

The day before the final murder, Griffiths wrote on MySpace, using the Ven Pariah pseudonym, he had “finally emerged into the world.” He continued: “What will this pseudo-human do, one wonders. Poor Stephen, pretended to be me, but he was only the wrapping. He knew towards the end, that I supplied the inner core of iron. Hatred Bound Tightly In Flesh. At very long last, the time has come to act out.” He would later tell officers he was having a mental “civil war”.

He told the magistrates’ court on his first appearance his name was “The Crossbow Cannibal.” Yesterday, he was asked at Leeds Crown Court merely to confirm his name, answering “yes”. Each murder charge was read to him, and he answered “guilty” to each. Five security guards flanked him. He has also called himself the SF killer. Although he claimed to have boiled and eaten flesh from the first two victims and eaten the third raw, police could not verify this. The Telegraph says the suspect he invented it to increase his fame, but News Limited quotes Sky News as claiming police believed his cannibalistic claims.

Nobody deserves this. All these girls were human beings and people’s daughters.

Mr Justice Openshaw, the judge, yesterday called Griffiths “wicked and monstrous.” He told the court the killer’s mental health had been investigated and there is “no question that he [i]s fit to plead.” He gave Griffiths the whole life tariff, meaning he will never be released.

Griffiths has attempted suicide while in prison awaiting trial, and police have not yet established if he killed three more women, as he told officers his count stood at six.

At the time Griffiths was charged, Nicky Blamires, 54, has told the press her daughter Suzanne was a “much-loved” family member even though she “went down the wrong path and did not have the life she was meant to have.” “Nobody deserves this,” she said. “All these girls were human beings and people’s daughters.”

Griffiths was known as “the lizard man” in his block of flats owing to his habit of walking his two pet monitor lizards in the area. One neighbour is reported to have quoted him as saying he was studying for “a PhD in murder and Jack the Ripper,” and he has spent time in a high-security psychiatric hospital.

British media was quick to compare the case to Peter Sutcliffe, dubbed the “Yorkshire Ripper”. Sutcliffe was a Bradford killer responsible for thirteen murders and seven attempted murders, including several prostitutes. Since his 1981 conviction he has spent most of the last three decades in Broadmoor high-security psychiatric hospital near London.

Heavy rains start in central and southern Chile while aftershock takes place

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Heavy rains have started on Wednesday early morning through the most of central and southern Chile. At least 29 millimeters were reported by ONEMI in the Bío Bío Region in Wednesday morning; thirteen milimeters in Temuco and 8.8 in Chillán. It has been worsen by the low temperatures. The rains have affected thousands of people that lost their homes after the great 8.8 earthquake and subsequent tsunami earlier this year. In Chiguayante, firefighters emptied a camp that was completely inundated by the rains. It is expected that the downfalls will provoke chills and respiratory problems in children and the elderly. The rains have damaged some roads in Pichilemu, Wikinews’ Diego Grez reported.

President Sebastián Piñera has visited some locations affected by the rains, including Chocholgue, San Pedro de La Paz, Constitución, and Maule. People told him and Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter that the mediaguas, or small houses, given out by the government don’t block out the water and humidity. There are also people that haven’t received tents or mediaguas yet. The government announced that ambulances will constantly patrol the cities.

Meanwhile, an earthquake hit the area, with the epicenter offshore of Maule, 65 kilometers northwest of Cauquenes, at 11:24 am local time (15:24 UTC), with a depth of 30.1 kilometers. The USGS reported the quake measured magnitude 4.9, although the University of Chile Geological Survey reported it as 6.1. There was no tsunami warning.

On the campaign trail, July 2012

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The following is the ninth in a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2012 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after a brief mention of some of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail: the rules of third party candidate polling are examined, a third party activist causes four other parties to lose their place on the Illinois presidential ballot, and the new vice presidential nominee of the Justice Party speaks with Wikinews.

Contents

  • 1 Summary
  • 2 Polling rules restrict and fuel third party campaigns
  • 3 Ballot access denied in Illinois
  • 4 Wikinews interviews newly-selected Justice Party VP nominee
  • 5 Related news
  • 6 Sources

John Reed on Orwell, God, self-destruction and the future of writing

Thursday, October 18, 2007

It can be difficult to be John Reed.

Christopher Hitchens called him a “Bin Ladenist” and Cathy Young editorialized in The Boston Globe that he “blames the victims of terrorism” when he puts out a novel like Snowball’s Chance, a biting send-up of George Orwell‘s Animal Farm which he was inspired to write after the terrorist attacks on September 11. “The clear references to 9/11 in the apocalyptic ending can only bring Orwell’s name into disrepute in the U.S.,” wrote William Hamilton, the British literary executor of the Orwell estate. That process had already begun: it was revealed Orwell gave the British Foreign Office a list of people he suspected of being “crypto-Communists and fellow travelers,” labeling some of them as Jews and homosexuals. “I really wanted to explode that book,” Reed told The New York Times. “I wanted to completely undermine it.”

Is this man who wants to blow up the classic literary canon taught to children in schools a menace, or a messiah? David Shankbone went to interview him for Wikinews and found that, as often is the case, the answer lies somewhere in the middle.

Reed is electrified by the changes that surround him that channel through a lens of inspiration wrought by his children. “The kids have made me a better writer,” Reed said. In his new untitled work, which he calls a “new play by William Shakespeare,” he takes lines from The Bard‘s classics to form an original tragedy. He began it in 2003, but only with the birth of his children could he finish it. “I didn’t understand the characters who had children. I didn’t really understand them. And once I had had kids, I could approach them differently.”

Taking the old to make it new is a theme in his work and in his world view. Reed foresees new narrative forms being born, Biblical epics that will be played out across print and electronic mediums. He is pulled forward by revolutions of the past, a search for a spiritual sensibility, and a desire to locate himself in the process.

Below is David Shankbone’s conversation with novelist John Reed.

Contents

  • 1 On the alternative media and independent publishing
  • 2 On Christopher Hitchens, Orwell and 9/11 as inspiration
  • 3 On the future of the narrative
  • 4 On changing the literary canon
  • 5 On belief in a higher power
  • 6 On politics
  • 7 On self-destruction and survival
  • 8 On raising children
  • 9 On paedophilia and the death penalty
  • 10 On personal relationships
  • 11 Sources
  • 12 External links

Mujahideen Shura Council claims responsibility for various attacks in Iraq

Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Mujahideen Shura Council, in seven communiqués issued amongst nearly two dozen between today, April 28, 2006 and yesterday, claims responsibility for a suicide bombing in al-Basra targeting British forces, several bombings and sniper attacks targeting American and Iraqi forces, and the attempted murder of the Iraqi Minister of Interior.

1. On Friday, April 21, 2006, a suicide bomber detonated himself on a gathering of British forces in al-Basra, allegedly destroying three vehicles and killing their occupants.

2. The second message states that the judge of appeals of al-Najaf court was assassinated Tuesday, April 25, and his weapon and car were confiscated.

3. An improvised explosive device (IED) was detonated on the motorcade of the Iraqi Minister of Interior in an attempted assassination in Baghdad. In this third message, the group states: “We ask Allah to help us to get his head the next time”.

4. On Wednesday, April 26 an IED was detonated on a “Crusader” armored vehicle in al-Mosul, destroying it and killing its occupants.

5. The fifth communiqué indicates that a rocket was fired at an American Humvee in al-Ameriya on April 24.

6. A “cross soldier” was purported to have been sniped in al-Ameriya on April 24.

7. The seventh communiqué states that two American soldiers were sniped in al-Ameriya on Saturday, April 22.

UN calls on international community to increase aid for Iraqi refugees

Sunday, July 8, 2007

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) called on the international community to increase aid and assistance to the two countries shouldering the bulk of displaced Iraqis. Syria and Jordan have received the largest number of Iraqi refugees and are having difficulty coping with the numbers.

The appeal was made by UNHCR spokesman Ron Redmond at a press conference on Friday at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. He criticized governments for earlier expressing concern and pledging support for the refugees but not following through on promises. “Syria and Jordan have still received next to nothing in bilateral help from the world community,” said Redmond.

There are an estimated 2 million Iraqi refugees total in Syria and Jordan with the numbers increasing daily. Each day, Syria receives approximately 2,000 Iraqis and, of those, about 1,000 will stay for an extended time. There are a further 2 million displaced Iraqis who move and settle in safer areas within Iraq.

The large numbers of refugees is putting pressure on the infrastructure of the host countries, resulting in difficult living conditions for the inhabitants. Ron Redmond acknowledges that some US$70 million in donations have been received by the UNHCR, and a further $10 million promised since the Iraq displacement conference in April, 2007. He points out, however, that much more is required. “We stressed then and we say it again, donors must provide direct bilateral support to these host countries whose schools, hospitals, public services and infrastructure are seriously overstretched because of the presence of millions of Iraqis they have so generously welcomed,” said Redmond.

It is unconscionable that generous host countries be left on their own to deal with such a huge crisis. We strongly urge governments to step forward now to support them in dealing with this situation…

Schools are particularly difficult to set up and staff in a refugee situation. Syria has currently hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugee children, but only has resources for 32,000 students. Syria offers free access to public schools for refugees, but doesn’t have the infrastructure to cope. Some 14,000 Iraqi refugee children in Jordan attend school, out of the possible 250,000. The refugee children in Jordan don’t have access to public schools and instead go to private schools. UNHCR is partnering with UNICEF to provide 150,000 classroom spots in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon, but the coordination of the required resources, such as buildings, teachers, and school supplies is proving difficult.

Health issues for the refugees is also a concern. UNHCR has set up three primary care medical facilities in Syria, with two more in the works. But approximately 10,000 Iraqis per month require a doctor’s attention, 3,000 of which require serious medical treatment.

Refugee situation in numbers
  • 2,000,000 in Jordan and Syria
  • 2,000,000 internally displaced
  • 750 in the United States
  • 14,000 out of 250,000 children in Jordan attend school

“It is unconscionable that generous host countries be left on their own to deal with such a huge crisis,” said Ron Redmond at the press conference. “We strongly urge governments to step forward now to support them in dealing with this situation and renew our call for international solidarity and burden sharing.”

The president of Refugees International, Ken Bacon, agrees that a more comprehensive approach to the situation is required and believes that it would be good investment for the United States to increase its aid to the region. “The United States ought to be pumping money into Jordan and Syria,” Bacon suggests. He feels that the sheer numbers of refugees can have a destabilizing influence in the Middle East. However, the complicated diplomatic relationship between the U.S. and Syria has resulted in slow progress, according to Bacon, as bilateral discussions have not taken place and the UN is forced to mediate.

Both Jordan and Syria have put in place new entry and residency conditions, which has resulted in thousands of refugees being stranded on Iraq’s borders. Families have been separated based on a person’s age and type of passport held. Jordan and Syria have not signed on to the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.

The non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch has been critical of Jordan and Syria on their policy of returning refugees, saying they “are violating on a daily basis the most fundamental principle of refugee protection – nonrefoulement, which prohibits the return of refugees to persecution or serious harm.”

To gain access to Jordan, Iraqi refugees must be over 40 or under 20, and must prove they have sufficient funds to support themselves in the country. They must also be in possession of a new generation passport.

Nasser Hikmat Jaafar drove 900 km from Baghdad with his family to reach Jordan in mid-June, 2007. Half of his family was refused entry to Jordan. “They allowed entry just for my wife and two daughters and denied me and my three sons. They didn’t tell us the reasons, but just said they are fed up with men of such ages [between 20 and 40 years old],” said Jaafar. He changed plans and traveled with all his family to the Syrian border, a distance of approximately 500 km from Iraq’s Jordanian border.

Syria has less restrictions on gaining entry, but has imposed residency conditions. Refugees can only stay up to three months and must then leave Syria and re-enter to be eligible to stay for another period.

The United States government has a program set up for Iraqi asylum seekers in Jordan who meet specific criteria. If they meet the requirements, listed below, they may be eligible for resettlement under the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP).

Interested asylum seekers are encouraged to apply directly with the U.S. Overseas Processing Entity (OPE) in Amman, Jordan, which is operated by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Individual Iraqis and their immediate family that meet one of the conditions below may seek access through the direct program:

  • Individuals who worked on a full-time basis as interpreters/translators for the U.S. Government or Multi-National Forces (MNF-I);
  • Locally Employed Staff (LES) engaged by the U.S. Government under the authority of the Chief of Mission or the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA); or
  • Surviving immediate family members of interpreters/translators or LES.

According to the U.S. government information on the process, those individuals initiating a case with the OPE will not be guaranteed an interview for resettlement in the United States. Applicants would be screened for eligibility as per the requirements listed above and are subject to approval.

In a February 14, 2007 press briefing, U.S. Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs Paula J. Dobriansky addressed the Iraq refugee crisis. “Our key immediate objectives are to assist internally displaced Iraqis and Iraqi refugees by building up the capacities of UN agencies and NGOs,” said Dobriansky. “This includes increasing opportunities for permanent resettlement for the most vulnerable Iraqis, to establish specialized programs to assist Iraqis who are at risk because of their employment or close association with the United States Government, to work diplomatically with regional governments through bilateral and multilateral channels to uphold the principle of first asylum,” she continued.

In the February press briefing, the U.S. committed to receive 7,000 Iraqi refugees by fiscal year end, September 30, but clarified that perhaps only half that number would be “travel-ready” subsequent to the interview process as described above. The U.S. could accommodate 20,000 to 30,000 Iraqi refugees per year without difficulty, according to Ken Bacon of Refugees International.

To date, the U.S. has allowed 750 Iraqi refugees into the country.

Magnitude 5.3 earthquake strikes Taiwan

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Preliminary reports by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) say that a magnitude 5.3 earthquake has struck Taiwan at 00:55 UTC (8:55 a.m. local time). Other reports say that the magnitude was 5.7.

The epicenter was reported to be 40 kilometers (25 miles) east, northeast of Kao-hsiung, Taiwan at a depth of 35 km (21.7 miles), but the Central Weather Bureau in Taiwan says that the depth was only 5 km.

So far there are no reports of damage, injuries or deaths, but reports say that buildings located in Taipei swayed and shook during the quake.

Taiwan is currently recovering from tropical storm ‘Pabuk’ and is expected to be hit by another one named ‘Wutip’.

The quake struck just after the Wikimedia Foundation held its third annual Wikimania convention in downtown Taipei.

In September of 1999, 2300 people were killed in central Taiwan after a magnitude 7.6 quake. Another quake in 2006 struck just off the shores of Kao-hsiung with a magnitude of 6.7, which severed telephone and internet lines in the sea.

Chair of European Parliament’s agricultural committee discusses biofuels with Wikinews

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Neil Parish, a Member of the European Parliament and the chair of the Agricultural committee of the European Parliament, was recently interviewed by Wikinews on the subject of biofuels and renewable transport. The interview was held after a workshop was held in the European Parliament on the subject of biofuels.

“I believe that the mixing of biofuels with mineral oils can provide us with significantly cleaner fuel,” said Mr. Parish.

In a press release by the European Parliament about the workshop, the legislative body stated some possible disadvantages to biofuels:

In the last year scientific evidence, though disputed, has indicated that biofuels may not be as good for the environment as was once thought. Critics point out that the intensive production of biofuels themselves may add to the release of nitrous oxide – a potent greenhouse gas. Also, the clearing of large tracts of forest to grow biofuels, especially in South America, may lead to the destruction of biodiversity, huge water usage and the felling of forests that act as huge ‘carbon sinks’.

In the interview Parish also said that encouraging public transport was an important method of combating climate change. Below is the relevant quote:

I believe that the way to deal with pollution caused by motor vehicles is not by making peoples lives more difficult or by pricing them out of their cars without giving them viable and cheap public alternatives. In many rural areas, cars are the only viable way of moving around and we need to remember this.

Mr. Parish also mentioned road pricing in the interview.

On a national level, the British government could look at a road pricing system which could replace the current vehicle tax regime, with revenue being placed back into public transport systems.

Biofuels are often used because they provide a way of limiting the emissions of carbon dioxide. Many people do, however, note that rainforest are destroyed to make space for the production of biofuels.