10 Of The Toughest Jobs On Earth: For some people, a 9-5 desk job just doesn't cut it. Check out some jobs that require a sense of adventure and a will to live on the wild side. Nª 6, Skyscraper Window Cleaner - Although you may think of window cleaning as an unskilled job, it is actually quite dangerous and requires mastery of special techniques. Previous blog here.
Homeowners can't understand why a solid glass patio door suddenly ends up in a million pieces: Ohio - Homeowners across the country, with different brand doors, said their patio door suddenly broke. They want to know why a solid sheet of glass can suddenly be in a million pieces. "I heard a loud bang," said Brian Kresevic of Auburn Township. "We heard a loud bang, almost like a gunshot," said Kathy Russell of Maine. Russell said living in Maine, she expected a problem during the bitter cold winter months when 4 feet of snow sat against the glass. However, the door broke in the middle of the summer. At the time, the door was 14 years old. In an email to NewsChannel5, Russell said, "We were sitting near the door when we heard a very loud BANG and thought a neighbor kid had hit it with a baseball, but then realized it was in the open position, protected by the fixed panel in front of it. It was very bizarre and a bit nerve racking." Kresevic's door broke recently, so it was a different time of year. His door is five years old and made by a different company. The homeowners said they're not sure why the glass broke. "I opened the door and went outside and thought maybe a bird hit it, and I saw nothing," Kresevic said. Matt Kelly owns Glass Doctor of Cleveland . He said an object could hit your glass, and it may not shatter for weeks. That makes it hard to pinpoint the cause. Other times, the mystery simply remains.
Sometimes, "You can't answer the question," Kelly said. Kelly said sometimes glass just spontaneously breaks. "There are instances where there are imperfections in the glass," Kelly explained. These imperfections may never be a problem. Seeing them would require a microscope. Other times the imperfections cause your glass to randomly shatter. Jeld-Wen manufactured Kresevic's patio door. The company said frame defects are also a cause for glass to spontaneously shatter. It's referred to as "spontaneous glass breakage" or "stress cracks." In a prepared statement, the company said, "Such cracks are the result of rare defects in the frame that put excess pressure on the glass unit. When the frame exerts pressure on the glass unit, the breakage originates near the frame." Although rare, Jeld-Wen said it typically happens during seasonal heating and cooling. To deal with the issue, Jeld-Wen added a one-year warranty so your door can go through one heating and cooling cycle.
Even with all these possibilities, Jeld-Wen said the damage to Kresevic's door appears consistent with impact to the glass. Kresevic disagreed. "My whole thing is not for me to get anything out of this, but I want people to be aware," Kresevic said. Jeld-Wen offered Kresevic free replacement glass, but he's still not sure he's going to take it. He thinks it might get a better glass warranty with a local company. Warranties don't guarantee you'll get replacement coverage. It depends on the determination of the cause. Russell had an Anderson door, and it has different warranties. Her outcome was still the same. She got the company to give her free glass, but she also had to pay to have it installed. Although rare, if this happens to you, try to work with your window or door manufacturer to resolve the issue. You typically have to pay for labor to get the new glass installed. Always read the warranty paperwork before you choose a product so you understand what is covered and what is not covered. See previous blogs - here, here & here.
Another tech company takes Google glasses concept up a notch: Even tech giants can be outdone with enough funding. When Google announced its Google glasses – now known as Project Glass -- they quickly released a series of YouTube videos illustrating the possible uses of their newest toy. Put your specs on, look out the window and see the temperature. Make appointments via voice command. The videos are shot from a first-person perspective, and show the wearer starting his or her morning doing all manner of useful things without touching a smartphone or a computer. Spoofs quickly emerged highlighting the pitfalls of this technology. Running into people on the street because you were paying attention to something your glasses were trying to show you. Accidentally sending e-mails due to imperfect voice-command technology and so on.
The reality is likely to be somewhere in between, but the amount of power packed into a simple pair of glasses is impressive, especially given its “coming very soon” status. Not to be outdone, a company called Innovega announced it was working on a prototype for contact lenses that match or exceed Google glasses’ capability. Tech companies make bold predictions like this all the time, and they don’t always come true, but now the government think-tank DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, a.k.a. the guys who really invented the Internet and a whole bunch of other stuff), has put in an order for the prototype lenses, known as “iOptik.” These lenses don’t just project information in front of your eye like Google’s glasses do – instead they employ “multifocal” technology.
The center of the lens contains the display, which projects itself toward the middle of your eye, while the outer part allows for a normal field of view. This allows wearers to focus on the display and the world around them at the same time. While the military usually gets its hands on all the coolest toys years before the average civilian does, Innovega hopes to clear all of the remaining hurdles, both medical and practical, to have its lenses on the market by 2014, no doubt with a hefty price tag attached. For those of you eagerly awaiting a set of Google glasses or Augmented Reality Contact Lenses – consider the following: If you’re prone to motion sickness, just imagine what having a relatively motionless image projected over a constantly moving background will look like. It’s bound to cause problems for some people, so have your Dramamine handy. Previous blog here.
Boston leisure centre (UK) to install large-scale tanks to save on water usage: New large-scale water storage tanks are to be installed at Boston's Geoff Moulder Leisure Centre as part of steps to mitigate the effects of the current drought. Despite recent rainfall Lincolnshire is said to be in the midst of a drought that has led to Anglian Water imposing its first hosepipe ban for 20 years. In an effort to do its bit for water conservation Boston Borough Council has announced a series of initiatives including plans to put the tanks on the roof of the Geoff Moulder and at other properties run by the authority.
Council leader Peter Bedford told the Target: "We have already taken a number of measures to reduce the council's water consumption and are putting in place plans to do more. "We have been saving water at the Geoff Moulder Leisure Centre by only flushing filters when needed rather than as a matter of course. "We are also keeping a closer check on pool water and air temperatures and putting pool covers on individual pools that aren't in use to reduce levels of evaporation. "Water and energy use at the complex have been on our radar for a long time, which is why we have introduced measures such as solar-energy generation and push-button showers which cannot be left running, for example. "Rainwater harvesting is also being considered where practicable, at a number of council sites, with new provision planned for 5,000, 2,000 and 1,000 litre storage tanks. "These investments will be funded from the council's existing green initiatives budget.
Other actions will include water-retaining reservoirs on planters, use of water-retaining gel in hanging baskets and containers, mulching and reducing the frequency of watering hanging baskets and floral displays to once a week. Councillor Bedford said: "We have also spoken to Boston BID which has said the contractor responsible for providing and watering hanging baskets at the town's commercial premises will come from large rainwater storage tanks." The council leader stated that council properties will have their window cleaning frequency reduced to once a year and water-conserving devices are being fitted in toilets. And the authority's vehicles are now only being washed once a month but with windows, number plates and lights being kept clean in between. Previous blog here.
|SPRING CLEANING: A Greenpeace protester polishes up a handbill at Apple's San Francisco store.|
The competitive advantage of green grids: As Greenpeace attacks Apple for the coal clouds firing its data centers, green grids from Iceland to Quebec are attracting some surprising new customers. All kilowatt-hours are no longer created equal. As somewhat bewildered Apple shoppers in San Francisco, New York and Toronto learned firsthand last week, Greenpeace has a new enemy: dirty data. To attract attention to its new report, “How Clean Is My Cloud?” – which draws attention to the coal and nuclear power plants supplying energy for the “cloud computing” server farms of many prominent digital businesses, including Apple and Amazon – Greenpeace launched a series of coordinated in-store protests at trendy downtown Apple stores across North America.
Activists carried black-and-white balloons or came dressed as cleaning crews, spraying down windows to cleanse the company of its dirty greenhouse gas emissions. This campaign comes as part of a larger Greenpeace effort to draw attention to the climate-changing clouds of coal smoke that power the Internet; the organization’s greatest breakthrough to date may have been its “Unfriend Coal” initiative, which convinced Facebook to embrace renewable energy as the preferred power source for its data centers. See previous blog here.
Addison Lee's John Griffin company to give drivers cycle awareness training: London minicab firm seeks to build bridges with cycling community after April's PR disaster. Addison Lee’s John Griffin, whose comments about bike riders infuriated cyclists last month and led to calls for a boycott of the minicab firm, has become one of the latest – although perhaps least reluctant – owners of an I Pay Road Tax jersey. He was presented with the garment by I Pay Road Tax founder and BikeBiz executive editor Carlton Reid at a meeting at the firm’s offices in Camden on Monday.
Reid spent an hour and a half with Addison Lee’s PR manager Alistair Laycock – in a comment to an article about the meeting on the I Pay Road Tax website he reveals that he has started commuting to work by bike – who outlined some of the steps the company is taking to repair the damage caused by the backlash to the comments made by its chairman and founder. Griffin had ended his column about cyclists in the company magazine Add Lib with the words, “It is time for us to say to cyclists, ‘You want to join our gang, get trained and pay up’,” but instead it’s the company’s drivers who will be receiving training to help raise their awareness of cyclists, to be provided by David Dansky of London-based Cycle Training UK.
The company is also considering installing front-facing video cameras in its vehicles to record journeys, which could be used to provide evidence of what happened in incidents that lead to a subsequent complaint from a cyclist, potentially showing whether the driver or the cyclist – or, indeed, neither – may have been at fault. As reported on road.cc two years ago, similar video evidence led to a London window cleaning firm sacking one of its drivers after footage showed that he had deliberately swerved into a cyclist. Scroll down in this blog to find out about the cyclist run over by a window cleaning van.
'The Amazing Spider-Man' Swings and Breaks Glass in a New Poster - From the two slick posters that surfaced a couple weeks ago to the battle damaged poster that just showed up yesterday, the print marketing for this franchise reboot is pretty bad-ass. Now we have another poster with the same motif, but this time Spidey is swinging high above New York City, presumably into the window of some sort of high skyscraper and glass breaks around him. I feel like this is the poster that promotes the 3D part of the release as well. See previous Spiderman window cleaners here, here & here.
Window-washing rule may be difficult to enforce: Lawyers, maid agencies (Singapore) - A new rule by the Indonesian government to protect maids from high-rise falls may not be feasible, according to lawyers and maid agencies in Singapore. The rule, which took effect on May 1, aims to stop Indonesian maids from cleaning out-facing windows or hanging laundry outside high-rise homes. Besides undergoing safety training programmes, Indonesian maids in Singapore will be getting more safety assurances with a new rule introduced by the Indonesian Embassy. Employers and new maids now have to sign a contract which includes a clause that forbids maids to be placed in precarious situations. This after eight maids fell to their death in the first four months of this year, which is double that for the whole of last year.
But lawyers said this new rule may be hard to enforce. Mr Sunil Sudheesan, a lawyer at RHT Law, said: "This is a contractual term between the employer and the maid. If there are any breaches of this nature, it seems more of a breach in contract. There's nothing in the penal code to criminalise this sort of behaviour. "Some contracts allow for damages to be paid while some contracts just say that the employment is over and you have to pay everything to the maid agency so it depends on the contract." Lawyers added that the onus is on employers to advise their maids on safety procedures.
Maid agencies in Singapore also said the new clause may make employers more hesitant in choosing Indonesian maids. Allie Ooi, a customer service manager at Advance Link International, said: "Some employers... will feel uncomfortable about this new regulation. At the beginning, they may consider to hire maids from other countries instead of Indonesia." But they said that the demand for Indonesian maids will recover very soon as they are still the top pick for local employers. See previous blog here.