Tuesday 30 April 2013

The Window Socket - A Panefully Clean Suction Solar Sticker

The Window Socket - A New Pain or extra Pane Charges?
Stick the Solar-Powered Window Socket on Glass and Watch it Charge: Here’s a design that rivals the light bulb in its ingenuity: the Window Socket.  The disc-like socket designed by the Korean duo Kyuho Song and Boah Oh has a base of mini solar panels and a suction cup that ensures effective adhesion to virtually any transparent glass surface that is exposed to the sun. The panels absorb solar energy, which is then converted into electric energy by an embedded converter.

“This product is designed to enable you to use electricity freely and conveniently in a space restricted by the use of electricity such as in a plane, a car or outdoors,” according to Song and Oh’s design brief on Yanko. “Thus this product was designed to draw a socket used indoors outdoors. We tried to design a portable socket so that users can use it intuitively without special training.” It doesn’t get more simple that sticking the window socket on a pane of glass and watch it (or not) while it charges for five to eight hours.

Once completely charged to 1000 mAh, it stays charged for up to ten hours. Although we’re not in love with the plastic components (who needs more plastic in the world), the Window Socket impresses us as a fantastic solution for nomads, off-grid dwellers or other people living alternative lives. It would also make a great backup for small appliances and phones during power outages like those we experience so regularly in Egypt and Lebanon.

Could future power be more personal and off the grid?
Solar outlet gives power from your windows: Your window might be an unlikely place to plug-in your smartphone, but a team of designers has made that possible with a novel take on the portable electronics charger. Industrial designers Kyuho Song & Boa Oh created a solar charger called the Window Socket that suctions onto glass and converts solar energy to function like an electrical socket. The units also contain a 1,000mAh battery, which is equivalent to a smartphone’s lithium-ion. The battery takes 5-8 hours to get fully charged.

“This product is intended to enabled you to use electricity freely and conveniently in a space restricted in the use of electricity, such as in a plane, a car, and outdoors,” the inventors wrote in a design brief. “Thus, this product was meant to draw out a socket used indoors outward. We tried to design a portable socket, so that users can use it intuitively without special training.”

News about the invention was published in Yanko Design on Friday. The Window Socket appears to use the Korean specification for wall outlets, but could become more widely available in the future, the environmental news Web site Grist speculates. Note that there’s one downside: the charge only lasts for 10 hours. The designers do not appear to have created a product Web site with any further information.

An immediately available product is the “OffGrid” solar backpack by New York startup Voltaic Systems. They are available in a variety of styles, with either built-in or detachable solar cells. The solar charger powers an internal battery that connects to devices via an integrated USB port for an output of up to 4 Watts.

A less conventional alternative comes from another New York startup, SiGNa Chemistry, a maker of miniaturized fuel cells. All that’s required to power your smartphone is a tiny chemical hydrogen cartridge and some water, or even urine. The liquid initiates a chemical reaction that generates power instantly.

Plug It On The Window: The Window Socket offers a neat way to harness solar energy and use it as a plug socket. So far we have seen solutions that act as a solar battery backup, but none as a direct plug-in. Simple in design, the plug just attaches to any window and does its job intuitively.

Monday 29 April 2013

Word Of Advise From The Sparkle King

Never a truer word spoken from the Sparkle King (above).
So recently I've been going over the window cleaning forums, my favorite being Window Cleaning Resource, when I came across this post from Jesse Green of Sparkle King in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. What struck me from Jesses musings is that although being quite young, he has captured what every window cleaner has been thinking for eons, but couldn't quite put them into words. His thread was a tongue in cheek response from a newer member who exploded on to the forum to boost his ego, or maybe to sell some "how-to" DVDs. Jesse is known as "greenj26" on the WCR forum.

A so-called expert has told you that your all a bunch of bumbling fools.

Fortunately, the solution is as easy as purchasing his marketing DVDs.

“I mean imagine if the craft you are trying to learn is to be an original. How could you learn the craft of being an original?” - JonathanSafran Foer
Hint: the answer isn't the exclusive prize of a secret cabal of ultra-wealthy carpet cleaners.
The very best window cleaning companies on WCR are a mix of styles because they are scattered across the country and exist in a specific ecosystems which they have adapted to.

The problem with cookie cutter marketing approaches is that they are merely one person's success formula (unlike a online business owner community). A narrow slice of the experiential pie, if you will. The simple fact that one person has succeeded with this formula may be a testament to their own drive and perseverance more than to their magic system.

If a system is developed by a super salesman personality and you are a stay-at-home computer nerd, do you really think it will work?

Why not devote your energy to your website?

There's more ways to be successful than you can count.

Who defines success anyways?

Yesterday I came to the realization that I'm really lazy. Then I briefly thought that, maybe I'm just efficient... but I knew that wasn't true. Then it finally dawned on me that I have no self discipline because I am always doing what I want.

On occasion I feel like a failure because I don't have a level of income commensurate with my level of education... and then I roll out of my hammock and pluck a grape from my harbor and pop it in my mouth.

Thinking about creating my own free videos on here for “The Bohemian Window Cleaner.”

I don't know if I could make a million dollars (p.s. A million isn't what it used to be). I know a few millionaires, though. My uncle rose up from a pig farmer to owning a large construction company worth millions. He's had so many ulcers and surgeries - all stress related...
No thanks.

I've been in multi-million dollar homes where the homeowner is following me around telling me how stressful it is to be rich, how everyone is after their money.

I was in a mansion of a gentleman who retired from a high position in a computer software development company in Silicon Valley. He said he had to get out before he had a heart attack as was common for that level of responsibility.

There's no magic secrets. The age of the internet is making that abundantly clear. The same information that Scientologists paid thousands of dollars for can be found free on the web. That's unfortunately making it harder for guru types to fleece people of their money. Accountability. Remember Paul McQuillan, anyone?

Kevin Dubrosky, on the other hand, has had hundreds of testimonials from the WCR community.

As far as vehicle wraps, fancy shirts, etc etc.... do whatever works. How can someone in one part of the country - know what works across the country in all the hundreds of distinct neighborhoods.

You have to think and understand biology to survive the new modern economy. A successful organism adapts and harness it's environment. You want to live in Arizona, be a lizard. You want to live in Alaska, be a bear.

Postcards, letters, vehicle signage, websites, email, facebook, newspapers.....they are all tools. Some of them are more effective than others.

Phone book anyone?

Future: Angie's List and other review sites. Website (quality of appearance and content, SEO). Water-fed pole technology (look at the UK window cleaning industry as a guide for where we are going especially with insurance and safety). Soon, I think I may get a dragonfly or some such system for cleaning high interior windows.

Some of these strict business guys think that it's just crunching numbers and having the best equipment doesn't matter. But I find that the better equipment I have, the better and easier it is to do the job, which results in more $ per hour and more confidence in the presentation of my services to the customer. There's a psychological component to business - it's not just crunching numbers.

I have found that a lot of the secret to my own system is just that it allows me to be more confident when I talk to the customer. Knowing your stuff makes you more confident.

The gap between the social classes is widening. The middle class is disappearing – fact. Targeting the more affluent class is becoming more difficult. Many are on do-not-contact lists.

The most exclusive customers find you. You need to be able to be found.

A little about Jesse of Sparkle King Window & Gutter Cleaning who services Cape Cod, the South Shore, and the South Coast of Massachusetts: "Hi, I’m Jesse Green owner and operator of Sparkle King. I have been helping customers add that bit of sparkle to their homes since 2008. Creating my company, I imagined what kind of experience I would want as a homeowner. I wanted to have someone I trusted in my home, someone with experience and passion, and someone who can explain the process in a simple easy to understand manner. I have sought to embody those traits in my business and hope you will actually enjoy having your windows cleaned when you choose Sparkle King."

Friday 26 April 2013

Window Cleaning News

Paris — Window cleaners work on the glass pyramid of the Louvre museum in Paris. Click picture to enlarge.

Window cleaner injured in 18ft fall: A cleaner suffered serious injuries when he plunged from an 18ft ladder at the Steiner School in Canterbury on Saturday. Contractor John Summerhayes, 61, was cleaning first-floor windows at the school in Chartham at 11am when he overreached and fell sideways. The fall was witnessed by the school's estate contractor Trevor Claysen, who rushed to his aid along with teachers who were there for a training day. Teacher Larry Klatzko said: "There was a fantastic response from paramedics and the helicopter ambulance team. "John was airlifted to King's College Hospital in London where a broken pelvis was diagnosed. He underwent surgery and is making a good recovery. He is very lucky to be alive." Mr Summerhayes, whose wife is a teacher at the school, is expected to be allowed to return home to Canterbury by the end of the week.

New Facebook Group
Can't get enough of facebook? Joe has started the new WFP training academy facebook page. Don't forget to join in the fun. So far it has been proving popular with window cleaners World-Wide joining up.Join up by clicking here or the picture above.

Adam Neylon Sworn Into the State Assembly: Rep. Adam Neylon (R-Pewaukee) today became the newest member of the 101st Wisconsin State Legislature.  Rep. Neylon took the oath of office Tuesday after winning a special election in the 98th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Pewaukee, Sussex, and portions of Waukesha and Lisbon. “I am excited to join the Assembly Republican majority and work on legislation to help grow our state’s economy,” said Rep. Neylon. “It is such an honor to serve the people of the 98th Assembly District at the State Capitol.” At 28 years old, Rep. Neylon is one of the younger GOP representatives in the Assembly. “I hope to usher in a new generation of GOP leaders,” said Rep. Neylon, who served as a capitol staffer under Speaker Pro Tempore Bill Kramer and runs his own commercial window cleaning business. “I have a lot of ideas about how government can operate more efficiently.”

RANDOM THOUGHTS (By Dorothy Copus Brush) - I’m not sure that women still consider spring as the time to do house cleaning. For those who do washing windows is one of the first jobs to be done. Did you ever think how different washing windows at home is from washing windows in tall buildings like the city of New York City?
By 1931 the Empire State Building was just being completed and there were two to three thousand window cleaners in the city. It didn’t take an education, only a strong, brave man. The Poles were the first minority group to do window washing but they were soon followed by Ukrainians and the Italians and Irish. I learned all these facts from a New Yorker article written by Adam Higginbotham.
Window washing of skyscrapers began with the washer standing outside on the two-inch ledge and holding onto the frame of the window. Only his safety belt protected him. Finally bolts were added to the brickwork and over the years more protection was added. Even so there were two hundred accidents and 70 were fatal in window washers between 1983 and 2008. It is a dangerous job.
As far as washing windows it is all very simple. You need only a bucket of water, to which you add a squirt of lemon-scented Joy or Dawn. Then using the squeegee you go to work. Oh yes, every professional window washer will tell others they keep a song in their heart while they work.

When you’re a Jew in a glass box, who brings the Windex? Get out your squeegees and glass cleaner. In Berlin, Jews are being put on display in a transparent box, and you might want a clear view. Called “Jews in a Showcase,” the exhibit, which runs through August, invites a Jew to sit and answer questions. Detailed in a j. article two weeks ago (“Berlin museum’s ‘Jew in a Box’ exhibit raises interest, ire”), it’s part of an exhibition called “The Whole Truth … everything you always wanted to know about Jews” that opened at the Jewish Museum Berlin last month. “At selected times, a Jewish guest will take a seat in a showcase and will — if desired — react to visitors’ questions and comments,” says the museum’s website. The museum is confident questions about Judaism and being Jewish will be asked, “the FAQs, the difficult questions, the funny questions, the clever questions, and the questions that really have no answer.”

Number of homes entering foreclosure plunges in California: Abel Romo, 30, a window cleaner in Moreno Valley, said he had fallen behind on his house payments after his adjustable-rate mortgage adjusted upward. With a modification from Wells Fargo on Monday, his payments declined from $975 to $644. The extra cash will help Romo and his wife, as work for him has been scarce in recent months. "Me and my spouse had to make hard decisions," Romo said, "between paying the bills and paying the mortgage."

SEIU Local 26 president honored with Wellstone Award (MINNEAPOLIS) - Service Employees International Union Local 26 President Javier Morillo (pictured) has been honored with the Paul D. Wellstone Award for Lifetime Commitment to Organized Labor. Morillo received the prestigious award April 20 at the Humphrey-Mondale Dinner in Minneapolis for his work in carrying on the late Senator’s legacy of improving the lives of Minnesotans. President of Local 26 since 2005, Morillo has become known as a fierce champion of working people whose innovative approaches have led to landmark contracts for janitors, security officers and window cleaners. “We work to lift the floor on wages and benefits because if people exist below that floor, it hurts everyone,” Morillo said. “A commitment to social justice and the power of collective bargaining for everyone come directly from the Wellstone legacy.”

Trading time: Barter bank brings skills exchange: Misha Rubinstein will teach Spanish but needs some chiropractic work. Sylvia Edmonds offers dog massages, and could use a window washer. They and more than 200 other Sarasotans have pooled their skills and time to create the first bank of its kind in the area, one designed to help themselves — and their neighbors. Through the Common Wealth Time Bank, someone can, say, mow another person's lawn for an hour, creating a 60-minute deposit in his or her electronic account. That deposit can be exchanged for an hour of acupuncture - or numerous other services - posted on the bank's website by someone else. No money changes hands. Participants barter instead using "time dollars." Everyone's time is equal.
The time bank concept has been around for awhile, and has proven popular in bigger cities. But it has quickly taken off in Sarasota, where there is a very visible gap between wealth and poverty and where the idea of leveling the playing field resonated. Established here six months ago, it already rivals Tampa's in participants, though the larger city's effort has been around for more than a year and is the first time bank in Florida. There are now 13 statewide.

Arab writers bring plight of expatriate maids into focus: The opaque world of maids from Sri Lanka and the Philippines, who come to the Middle East to fulfil their dreams, is brought into sharp focus by two Arab writers through their newly-released books. Ana Kumari min Sri Lanka (I am Kumari from Sri Lanka), written by Lebanese writer Hazem Saghieh, and Youmiyat Khadima fil Al Khaleej (Diary of a maid in the Gulf) by Syrian writer Dr Mohammad Al Tonji have been well received by the Arab literati. Through Saghieh, Kumari tells her story in the first person. The story concludes: “All the dreams I carried with me while migrating from my home country were washed away by the detergents used for washing dishes and cleaning window panes.”

Don’t need a college diploma to be a hero: The heroes of this country are the firemen, policemen, construction workers on skyscrapers, highways and bridges, window washers, auto mechanics, water and sewer workers, and the likes of our utility line crews who keep our electricity and phone lines operating 24 hours a day for our much-needed comfort. These men and women were not hired because they were college graduates. These same jobs will always be filled by those who are, and always will be, our neighborhood heroes. Our 3- and 4-year-old children of today will someday fill the shoes of today's heroes and they should not be discouraged from doing so by our educational policies that are being etched in stone, without pretense of accuracy.

Enough people are squeezed, enough know someone crushed – and more will soon. In this deep slump the numbers are so huge that they may pass us by. It's hard to make the scale of suffering feel real. This week, as the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast, unemployment leapt, and is expected to keep rising through next year and beyond. Opponents of this government said it would happen – and it's all too easy to smirk with we-told-you-so glee. But those 70,000 new jobless people have wretched tales to tell, so familiar they risk becoming humdrum. "Self-employed" window cleaners knock on doors fruitlessly. Families collapse under pressure from unpaid bills, as angry workless parents or adult children at home grow more depressed and unemployable. This is politely private behind front doors, not Jarrow marching into the news.

Businessman Philip Johnston says his 60 holiday cottages at Coniston Coppermines are good for employment in the village. The 59-year-old director employs 30 people, including office staff, gardeners, housekeepers and tradesmen. And he says the firm also generates lots of additional work for local people such as decorators, gardeners and plumbers. “All the properties have to be kept top notch,” said Mr John-ston. “Every window needs cleaning far more often than your home ever would.”
He says Coniston has around six joinery businesses – trades and pay packets that would not exist without holiday lets or second homes. “You have to consider the amount of money they bring into the local economy that would not be here,” explained Mr Johnston, who puts the figure at about £4 million a year for his business alone. “The disposable income and spend of one of our visitors is about three times that of a resident. Without them, Coniston would not be able to sustain the number of shops selling food, the bank, and probably the post office. “Coniston has five pubs and a restaurant - you wouldn’t sustain those on residents alone.”

BOSTON — The crime scene around the city's Copley Square neighborhood started to shrink Wednesday, freeing up more streets and walkways. And as buildings re-opened, workers headed back to their offices, and Boston seemed to resume its annual spring thaw. "It was somber and eerie all day yesterday,' said Jenn Ricci, a Quincy, Mass., resident who works for Liberty Mutual Insurance in the Berkeley Building, also known as the Old John Hancock Building. The structure sits a block away from what is now the most heavily guarded section of the city. Even as investigators in white jumpers continued to comb the Boylston Street crime scene, window-washers around the corner went about their daily work.

Runners get on their marks in aid of hospice: Fund raisers will take part in the country's most famous marathon race in support of a hospice. A group of 13 runners from the region will take to the streets of capital this weekend to raise cash for the Douglas Macmillan Hospice. The dedicated bunch – who will be among thousands of participants in the 33rd London Marathon – will be hoping their months of training will push them through the gruelling 26-mile course. And keen runner Terry Bradbury (2nd from right) admits Sunday's marathon will be his greatest physical test since badly injuring his knee. The 47-year-old, of Weston Coyney, was discharged from the Navy on medical grounds following an incident in 2002.
Terry, who now works as a window cleaner, said: "I was playing in a five-a-side tournament in Norway, it was a competition between the NATO ships. There was a really bad tackle on me and that finished my career in the Navy." The father-of-one, who had been in the Navy for 13 years as a weapons engineer, was left with a torn ligament, torn cartilage and a broken leg. He added: "It took about six years before I was even able to get running again, so I hope it holds out." Like many of the group representing the Blurton-based charity, Terry has his own personal reasons for taking part. He added: "My dad Reg passed away two years ago when he was 70 and the support he got from the Dougie Mac was fantastic."

Two Hastings cleaning companies join efforts: Two small business owners in Hastings have teamed up to provide their clients with even more services. AB CAM Services and Property Tenders, both professional cleaning companies, are teaming up to provide their clients with more comprehensive services. Adam Bonine has run AB CAM Services since 2006. He got into the business at first to supplement his income, but when the economy crashed, he was let go from his career job and cleaning became his only source of income. “I didn’t pursue it, but it pursued me,” he said of the work. His business covers a wide array of commercial and residential cleaning services, including carpet cleaning, janitorial services, construction cleanup, furnace and air duct cleaning, window washing, pressure washing, parking lot maintenance and more.
Jennifer Bongard, the manager at AB CAM Services, is the owner of her own cleaning business, Property Tenders. It’s a business she started with her mother and sisters to give herself a flexible means of income that would allow her to be home with her children. She started by cleaning private homes, but the economy affected her as well, and she lost clients who could no longer afford the service. To make up for the shortfall, she got into the real estate market, cleaning up foreclosed homes to help get them back on the market. She launched Property Tenders in 2011. Now that the economy is recovering, she’s seeing her work shift back to residential cleaning, she said.
About a year ago, Bongard and Bonine met through a mutual friend and started talking about their businesses. Bonine was often asked if his company would do residential cleaning, so he started referring his clients to Bongard. Likewise, Bongard would refer her clients to AB CAM Services for the more industrial work. This past fall, Bonine called Bongard to see if she would be interested in linking the two businesses. He was looking to expand AB CAM Services and it would have spread his staff too thin to try to cover the work Bongard already was doing. “It made sence to team up and offer all of it,” Bongard said. Each business has five employees. Between the 10 of them, they can manage a lot of different services, Bonine said. Bongard and Bonine share a concern for providing high quality work. “We have a lot invested in doing a good job,” Bonine said. The work they’ve done together has earned them nothing but praise from the clients, Bongard said.

South Ottawa resident named businesswoman of the year, Rebecca Page started her own company, expanded to Toronto: A south Ottawa woman was named Businesswoman of the Year in the entrepreneur category by the Women's Business Network of Ottawa on April 17. Rebecca Page, the chief executive officer of Concierge Home Services, said she learned how to strike a balance between home life and a career, following the example of other busy successful managers. Page started her company, which has grown to service Ottawa and surrounding areas and has recently expanded into Toronto in 2011. Concierge Home Services offers custom tailored household management services for busy families and professionals so that they can spend time doings the things that matter most. "I was thrilled and honoured to receive the award," said Page, who said she hopes her designation as recipient for the entrepreneur category will inspire other female entrepreneurs. Knowing that homeowners require more than regular home, cleaning, Page created a one-stop shop for all household management services such as window washing, home checks, and carpet cleaning.

Flipping heck - this is the amazing moment a free-runner took to the roof of The Sage to flip and jump. Andrew Vasey performed parkour on the curved glass ceiling at dawn yesterday, spending two-hours running up and down while the sun rose. Andrew, 18, from Washington, emerged from a hatch usually used by window cleaners and did a series of leaps and handstands. Commuters on the Tyne Bridge stared at the young dare-devil with one saying: “It was amazing. The guy would surely have been killed if he’d fallen off.” Artist Melanie Manchot was on the roof videoing the spectacle for her new film, Tracer. Commissioned by Great North Run Culture, the film features 10 North East parkour runners, making their way along the course of the Bupa Great North Run. More stunning pictures here.
An opportunity to venture onto one of the most famous roofs in the region has become available - but only at a price and to those of a fearless disposition. Renowned for its concerts and its music education, The Sage Gateshead is now offering a Roof Walk Experience. It doesn’t come cheap - at a “special introductory price” of £69 per person (“usual price £99”, the website states) - and neither is it aimed at the young, the nervous or the infirm. But clearly the management of Gateshead’s famous music institution believe there’s a revenue stream to be tapped above their heads. Most people will know that the famous curvy roof - a little like a heavy swell in suspended animation - is accessible.

Retailers clean up dirty shops: Armed with buckets, scrapers and brushes a group of Arbroath retailers have been tackling some town centre eyesores. On Monday evening a group, led by Chic Grant of the Outdoor Action (Scotland) shop, took to the High Street to clean up the empty shops. This included removing fly posters and stickers that have been left on the windows of empty shops and generally giving some of these vacant units a spring clean. And to assist further Arbroath window cleaner John Connor also provided his services to the clean-up for free.
And after the volunteers rolled up their sleeves and put in some elbow grease, Chic was pleased with their efforts. He told the Herald: “There was quite a few of us turned out and we managed to clear the poster off the windows and already it is looking much better. “We had John Connor, a window cleaner, who also came along to help with the windows and he was a big, big help. “I just want to say thanks to everybody who turned up.” It is thought that more High Street clean-ups could be planned for the future to try and spruce up the town further.
And Chic added: “We are looking into doing something like this again and we will be having another meeting about it. “But this is just one step we can take in trying to improve the High Street. “It is about people coming out and helping with the High Street and actually doing something about it rather than just sitting back moaning about it.”

Bob steps up to aid United Way: Bob Shepherd is once again making strides for his community. Bob Shepherd is offering window washing services to businesses Tuesday mornings in support of the United Way. He is also raising funds with a walk from Armstrong to Vernon July 15. The Vernon resident has completed several one-man walks to raise funds for United Way. “Bob had begun a walking regime for his health and wanted to do something good with his walking,” said Linda Yule, executive director of United Way North Okanagan Columbia Shuswap. “Bob raised $4,000 for United Way by getting pledges to walk around the multiplex.” He is now training and gathering pledges to do a walk from Armstrong to Vernon on July 15 and hopes to raise $3,000. Shepherd has also washed windows for businesses around town for many years. Although he has retired from doing this full time, he wants to offer his services to businesses Tuesday mornings, in exchange for a donation to United Way. He asks that you not pay him but instead send a cheque to the United Way for the value of his work.

The 5 most risky jobs in the UAE are... #1 High-rise window cleaners - An office in a high-rise building in Dubai promises beautiful views, but to be able to enjoy the sights, the windows have to be clean at all times. Cleaning windows in a high-rise building poses great challenges and only the brave hearts can do it. The Emirates 24|7 poll reveals that this job is perceived the most dangerous one in the country, with exactly half (50 per cent) of the respondents identifying it as the most dangerous job in the country. Hazardous it may seem, but today’s high-rise window cleaners follow strict safety norms that have been issued by the municipality, says an expert in real estate who did not wish to go be named. For people who like their feet on the ground, window cleaners for the tall buildings in the country may seem nothing less than Tom Cruise in stature. However, cleaning companies try to minimise the risk by using the latest technology and adhering to municipality guidelines.
For the majority of us, our jobs require very little, if at all, physical risk. The only time we may be exposed to risk, perhaps, is when we are out on the roads, driving from home to work. But then, nobody lives in a cocoon and this much of exposure is but part of a very normal life. And at the end of the day, we may have a healthy bank balance – enough to lead a decent life and support a family – a package where comforts certainly outweigh the so-called perils. But then there are those in the world, and in this country, whose seemingly mundane jobs are attached with more risks than usual. An online poll run by Emirates 24|7 reveals the five most risky jobs in the country.

Imagine a window washer stuck on the side of a tall building. That's exactly the scenario LFR practiced Wednesday afternoon. Atop an abandoned nursing home in Lincoln, a specialized crew of firefighters prepared to scale a building. It was all practice but when the real thing happens, they say they're prepared for it. "When you come do special operations discipline, it's really low frequency but really high risk. Even though it might not be an everyday event, the fire department is the also hazmat to medical to fire suppression from everything in between so they must be trained on all those disciplines," said Brad Thavenet, LFR Battalion Chief. The group practices like this once a month and each day the focus is on a different scenario. Wednesday afternoon it was scaling walls but next time it might be disabling a bomb or using the jaws of life. The battalion chief says that even an emergency these rescuers are taught to take their time and put safety first. Video at link.

Minimum wage changes 'could damage city economy' - The rate will rise by 12p an hour for adults to £6.31 from October. Those aged 18 to 20 will get an extra 5p, raising their minimum to £5.03 an hour. For 16-17-year-olds minimum wage will go up by 4p to £3.72 Reducing the real value of the minimum wage would undo the benefits achieved since it was introduced in 1999, Cllr Evans said. It would reduce spending power at a time when demand is weak. Low-paid workers spent their money locally, and "every cut you make to minimum wage is a cut to the corner shop, a cut to the window cleaner".
"How do you think shops like John Lewis will be attracted to the city if you reduce the spending power of the majority?" Cllr Ian Bowyer, the Conservative finance spokesman, said the council should not be scare-mongering by reacting to "suspicion and innuendo". He backed the minimum wage and said work should always pay and drawing benefits should not be a lifestyle choice. But he said the recent increase in the minimum wage made Cllr Evans's motion superfluous.

It could be Paradise when an authentic Coldplay tribute band from Grimsby stop off in their home town for one night only as part of their European tour. And it doesn't take a Scientist to figure out that Coldplace, who are fresh from rocking Holland, will be sure to set the Beachcomber alight on Friday – in what could be their only chance to come home this year! After their extravaganza at the resort venue, which will include support from local musicians Scarlett and Saffron and an Ed Sheeran tribute, they will be jetting off to Portugal. The band's reputation as one of the world's premier tributes to the band is well deserved.
Chris Martin is performed down-to-a-tee by look-alike and sound-alike Shane Crofts, who said performing to a home crowd is something really special. He said: "Performing in front of a home crowd is a better atmosphere than performing at a festival in front of 60,000 people. "I love coming home and being up on stage because everyone sings along and you can't beat it. It's a shame we can't visit more often. "We will be singing some new songs and classics such as Yellow and Viva La Vida."
Shane, 36, who is a window cleaner, said the show will be "spectacular" with professional staging such as 6ft luminous rings towering above them and dazzling lasers. "It will be a big production with the full set and confetti ... but I don't want to give too much away," he added. In their eight years together, Coldplace have more than 400 gigs under their belts, across the length and breadth of the UK. They have also played at some of the largest tribute festivals in Europe such as Mathew Street Festival, Bospop (Netherlands), Glastonbudget and the legendary Fake Festivals. see them action here.

Pigeon leaves an eerie but beautiful reminder not to fly into glass: An unfortunate pigeon left more than the sickening sound of his little body smacking into the glass: He also left a perfect greasy imprint of himself at what might have been the exact moment of his death. What's that you say? You've seen a million of these? But look closely and note the details: his eye, his beak, his downy tummy feathers. This poor bird probably met his maker smashing into the glass at Stuart Milligan's house in Dunblane, Scotland. Experts say that mess on the window is a substance called powder down, which preserves the bird's feathers, and now Milligan will have to decide whether to scrub it off or sell it as artwork.

Birds killed after hitting windows in downtown Duluth: Two off-course flights into downtown buildings this week resulted in the deaths of almost 30 Bohemian waxwings and the injury of several others. “We’re on a major migration route,” said Peggy Farr, a Wildwoods rehabilitator and board member. “This is a good time of year to close the blinds so the birds don’t get faked out by the windows.” But the more common problem is birds hitting windows, said Duluth birder Laura Erickson, birding author and host of the “For the Birds” radio program. “It’s a problem everywhere where fruit trees are close to windows, or close to highways and roads,” she said.
The American Bird Conservancy (abcbirds.org) sells tape that reflects ultraviolet light, which is visible to birds while minimizing the visibility to humans, Erickson said. Fifty percent of birds that hit windows die, Erickson said. Birds often strike the windows of homes in Duluth when the birds are coming to or leaving bird feeders, Erickson said. “The safest place to have a birdfeeder is right smack on your window,” she said, “either nailed to the frame or sticking to the glass. That way, they see the window. If they do hit the glass, they aren’t going full speed.” “This is a wake-up call,” Farr said, “to look for opportunities to make our city even better for wildlife than it is.”

For these KVCC students, a college interview 100 feet in the air (KALAMAZOO, MI) – For some of us, a college essay would be so much easier. But for candidates for the Wind Turbine Technician Academy, the chance to climb 100 feet in the air is a plus. Candidates to the 24-week academy conduct their final interview after climbing to the top of the wind turbine tower at the Groves Campus at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. The reason is simple: A head for heights is a requirement for the course, which teaches students how to service and repair wind turbines 250 feet up in the air. 
Acrophobes don't tend to apply. Current program participant Joshua Cheney, a veteran on the G.I. Bill, used to do high-rise work in Kansas City, Mo., as a window washer and inspector. When he stopped doing that, he said he took up sky-diving to get him back up in the air. Cheney said he chose training as a wind turbine technician because it combined two things he loved: "being in high places and working with my hands."

For Portland restaurants, big windows can be too much of a good thing: For most restaurants, windows are a great advertisement, a living billboard offering glimpses of happy couples at candlelit tables or well-dressed folks crowded at bustling bars. It's the reason customers at quieter restaurants are seated by windows first. A full-looking restaurant is an attractive restaurant, and is a (potentially) popular restaurant. Yet in Oregon, windows can be a liability.
When John Gorham was scouting locations for Tasty N Alder, his new downtown Portland steakhouse and brunch spot, he was intrigued by the former Cox's Dry Cleaners space at 580 S.W. 12th Ave. But he was concerned that some diners would sour on the floor-to-ceiling windows. "All those windows can make a restaurant seem cold, especially in the Northwest," Gorham said before the restaurant opened in January. "I had to figure out how to take some of that away without making it look funny."
For restaurant owners, windows can be a blessing and a curse. You want passers-by to peek inside, but you need to protect customers from the overly curious and, especially downtown, aggressive panhandlers. And in the summer, too much sunlight can turn a restaurant into a hothouse. Some upscale restaurants, including Northwest Portland's Ringside Steakhouse and Southeast Portland's Genoa, cover up or do away with windows entirely.
Glance in from the sidewalk outside 5519 N.E. 30th Ave. and you might spy cooks shucking oysters or searing steaks behind windows lined with pickle jars and red-and-white checkerboard curtains. "The front windows are actually work spaces," owner Dayna McErlean says. "One is the dish pit, the other is the dessert station. You have to actually walk through the kitchen to get to the dining room. That separates us from so many restaurants in the world." And, as it turns out, the kitchen makes a great view.

Window Cleaners support Port Vale: 'It really means the world to us': Port Vale fans react to securing promotion. Simon Taylor, aged 32, of Birches Head, a self-employed window cleaner, said: "I have got so many good memories from watching the Vale. I remember being at Brighton when we got promoted. Shaun Hodgkinson, aged 25, of Sandyford, a window cleaner, said: "There have been a lot of good times this season and it will go down as the best campaign I have known since I have been watching the Vale. "As long as the club keep doing the right things I can see them going for another promotion."

Cops took me to the cleaners: A furious grandad claims his car was seized by cops who said he needed special insurance to collect window cleaning cash during a visit to his daughter. Robert Miller was heading to his girl Jacqueline’s home to drop off his grandson’s jacket and pick up £3.50 she owed her brother-in-law for the work. Police stopped him because they suspected he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. And when they heard about his errand, he claims they told him he that he needed business insurance to cover the car trip — even though he hadn’t actually collected the cash yet. They impounded his Kia Rio then hit him with a £200 penalty notice for driving without insurance and six points on his licence — as well as another £60 fine for not wearing a seatbelt. And he also had to fork out £150 to get his car back after being stopped in Irvine, Ayrshire, last Sunday night.
Window cleaner Robert, 56, said: “I’ll go to jail before I pay. “They told me that I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and I said it was impossible for them to see if I was or not from where they were positioned and I wanted to take pictures to prove it. “I don’t think they liked me challenging their authority. “They asked where I was going and I explained I was dropping my grandson’s jacket at my daughter’s home then taking money she owed my son-in-law. “But the officers said I needed business insurance, even though I hadn’t picked up the money, How can they fine me for something I haven’t done yet?” If Robert refuses to pay, he will be reported to the procurator fiscal and could be charged. He added: “They have abused their position. I’ve seen my solicitor.” His local SNP MSP Willie Coffey has also vowed to take the matter up with police. A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “A 56-year-old man was issued with a fixed penalty notice for alleged road traffic offences.”

Backlash over plan for street parking: A permit parking scheme looks likely to go ahead despite an angry backlash from residents claiming the move is unfair and targets the wrong area. Parking pressures are causing tempers to boil over in residential streets off High Street South, Dunstable, with elderly residents of Albert Court accused of being “awkward and stubborn for the sake of it” after requesting a permit parking scheme for their cul-de-sac. Central Beds Council carried out a consultation on the possibility of a permit scheme after residents complained that drivers who lived elsewhere were parking up in their road, preventing them from parking outside their own homes.
“During the day people are parking on King Street and walking into the town to avoid paying for car parks. Many workers from businesses on High Street South are parking and householders often can’t get near their address. “At teatime and all weekend there are commercial vehicles left parked – a scaffolding firm van, two builder’s lorries, a window cleaning van and unmarked white van. Over Christmas I had a large white van parked there for 12 days – meaning I couldn’t get near my front door and blocking light.”

An art gallery selling paintings by Rolf Harris has been vandalised. Threats were made against the Triton Gallery, in Torquay, Devon, if it did not remove the artwork, staff have confirmed. Black paint was smeared over the shop window early on Tuesday morning, Devon and Cornwall Police said. Mr Harris, 83, has been questioned by police over historical allegations of sexual offences. He was arrested on 28 March and bailed until May. A police spokeswoman confirmed officers were called to reports of criminal damage at the gallery where it is suspected a man smeared paint on the window with his hands. She added "specialist cleaning", which had cost about £300, was required to remove the paint. The force said it did not know the motive behind the vandalism and the man was being sought. Gallery staff confirmed it would continue to sell Mr Harris' paintings.

Boy, 10, Killed By Falling Airport Sign: A 10-year-old boy was killed and several members of his family injured after an electronic information sign fell on top of them at an airport in Alabama. Deputy Coroner Derrick Perryman said Luke Bresette was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Two of his siblings were being treated for injuries while their mother, Heather Bresette, was in a critical condition at University Hospital. Firefighters estimated the arrivals and departure sign at Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport weighed between 150 kg and 180kg.
Albert Osorio, 46, described hearing a loud boom when the sign fell, followed by the screams of the family and witnesses. It took him and five other people to lift the sign off the family. He said: "The whole thing flipped down on those kids. It took all of us here to stand it up." Jefferson County Deputy Coroner Derrick Perryman said the family are from Overland Park, Kansas. Airport spokeswoman Toni Herrera-Bast said officials were unsure how the sign fell over. The airport continued to operate while rescue workers tended to the family. It completed the first phase of a $201m modernisation effort and opened newly-renovated concourses last week.

Bad news about bad news by Gary Tetz: Imagine if CNN, the most trusted name in news, decided to report on the disappearance of a bottle of window cleaner from a nursing home supply closet. We would first be told it was really several gallons and possibly radioactive, that window cleaner can be used to build a bomb if it's combined with things that explode, that a member of the housekeeping staff looks like he's Muslim and the reporter is not implying anything by simply pointing that out, and that someone close to the investigation has confided to an associate of an extremely reliable source that the alleged perpetrator is definitely perhaps handcuffed to the Coke machine in the break room. Followed by an apology — maybe.
In other news, that bottle of window cleaner has been found unharmed behind a stack of towels. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Anoka Man Caught Burglarizing City Heights Window Cleaning: An Anoka man has been charged after police say he was caught red-handed burglarizing City Heights Window Cleaning on Fifth Avenue. Officers responded to the building around 5:56 a.m. Saturday, April 13. The City Heights Field Manager told police he got to work that morning and found a two-wheeled dolly in the middle of the room stacked with three computer towers, two computer monitors, two keyboards, computer cables, and mouse devices. He and the other employees searched the building and surrounding area and found 52-year-old Steven Ronald Grbich of Anoka hiding under a vehicle, according to the criminal complaint.
Police searched Grbich and say they found two folding knives and a flashlight in his pocket. A cordless grinder and jack were also found outside the building, police say. Grbich told police he broke into the building using a screwdriver and that he intended to sell the stolen items to pay his rent. Grbich has been charged with first degree burglary and third degree burglary. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison and $35,000 in fines on the first degree charge and up to five years in prison and $10,000 in fines on the third degree charge.

Drunken night out proves costly for Loveclough window cleaner: A drunken night out after being dumped by his girlfriend proved costly for a window cleaner. Robert Brierley, 26, was hit with compensation and costs of £1,500 by Blackburn magistrates after admitting causing damage to a taxi. Brierley, of Burnley Road, Loveclough, pleaded guilty to criminal damage. He was given a conditional discharge for 12 months. Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said taxi driver Naseer Hussain was waiting at the rank in Accrington town centre at 4.20am when Brierley got into his car. Mr Hussain was third on the rank and tried to explain to Brierley he had to get in the first taxi. Miss Allan said: “He took his anger out on Mr Hussain’s car by repeatedly kicking it.” Peter King, defending, said it had been a ‘moment of complete and utter madness’ by his client who had no previous convictions. He added: “In the cold sober light of day he is not the kind of man who would act in this way.

A banned driver who smashed a stolen new £16,000 car into another vehicle has walked free from court. Shaun Hennessy, 23, was arrested at the crash scene, where he was said to have been trapped in the Citroen C4. His eyes were glazed and his speech slurred and the ignition key was in the footwell, Burnley magistrates heard. The hearing was told how Hennessy, who had taken drugs the night before, told the police he had bought the car from a person he refused to name for £300 and admitted he thought it was ‘a bit dodgy.’
Hennessy, who had been ordered off the road for a year last October, is set to start a new job as window cleaner. The bench told him it was the prospect of work that had saved him from custody, as he would be able to pay compensation. The defendant, of Griffin Close, Burnley, admitted handling stolen goods, driving while disqualified, driving without due care and attention and no insurance. He was given 18 weeks in jail, suspended for 18 months and was banned for another 12 months. Hennessy also received a four month curfew, between 6.30pm and 6.30am, seven days a week and must pay £500 compensation and an £80 victim surcharge.

Sittingbourne window cleaner Nicholas Bryce jailed for 15 years after sexually abusing young girl: A judge has today jailed a Sittingbourne (Kent) window cleaner for 15 years after he admitted 14 sex offences against a young girl in "the most callous abuse of trust imaginable". Nicholas Bryce, of William Street, also received an extended sentence of five years, with other shorter sentences to run concurrently. He must serve at least 10 years in prison. The 39-year-old (pictured) admitted 14 sex offences against the girl. Canterbury Crown Court was told the offences included rape and also related to Bryce touching the girl sexually, forcing her to touch herself, to perform sex acts on him and to view extreme level 5 pornographic material.
Judge Simon James said Bryce had subjected the girl to a "catalogue of systematic sexual abuse" and that if he were to impose appropriate consecutive sentences they would run for "50 years or so". Karen Holt, prosecuting, told the court Bryce had made "full admissions" about the offences and had said he had started because he was lonely with "just a bit of fun that began with tickling". He had admitted being sexually attracted to children. He said that aged 14 he had sexually abused a younger girl. In April 2011, he had been given a 12-month jail sentence - suspended for two years - for possessing extreme pornography, including images depicting children.

Search This Blog