Saturday 29 June 2013

What The Most Successful People Do On The Weekend

What The Most Successful People Do With Their Weekends (By Laura Vanderkam): The author of What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend shows us how to have more get-up-and-get-ahead during the rest of the week.

1. They Don’t Keep Spinning. 
Yes, successful people work a lot. Martha Stewart, for instance, has famously claimed to sleep just four hours a night. But there are times to push and times not to. We need both. "A decade ago, I let my days just sort of all blend together," says James Reinhart, whose San Francisco-based online clothing resale platform has grown from 30 employees to 140 in the past year. After starting the company, though, he realized that "it’s the quality of my decision making that ultimately makes the company successful." Without the time to go into refresh mode, "you never end up with the space to think."

So now he makes a point of golfing from 6 to 8 in the morning before his family wakes up, getting out with his daughter, and running. Reinhart claims to do his best thinking while hitting the trails in a nearby state park. "I come back from runs with clarity on decisions I want to make," he says. (He may be onto something: A number of neurological studies have found that exercise improves brain function.)

Of course, in a world where we tether ourselves to our inboxes, unplugging is easier said than done. You take your iPhone along when you meet a friend for coffee. She’s five minutes late. You start checking your email and, boom! Work mode is back. That’s part of modern life, but you can still carve out a few hours for a "tech Sabbath," which is time with no electronic devices. Try turning the smartphone off Friday or Saturday night and turning it back on 24 hours later. Probably nothing has changed, save for the level of your energy.

2. They Don't Go Limp.
If you spend your workweek running -- or worse, flying -- from place to place, you may think you want to collapse on the couch all weekend. But resist the urge: First, it’s impossible to do "nothing." Second: Think of the logistics. Want tickets to Cirque du Soleil? So do other people. Need a babysitter? She won’t show up on a whim. Finally, research into human happiness is finding that anticipation accounts for a major chunk of the mood boost associated with any activity. One well-known Dutch study of vacationers found that holiday-goers were happier than people who weren’t taking vacations, but the increased happiness largely happened before the trips, as people anticipated the fun to come. Compare it to opening Christmas presents: The act only takes an hour, but seeing wrapped gifts under the tree stretches out the joy for weeks. If you make a reservation on Wednesday for a Saturday-night dinner at your favorite restaurant, you’ll spend the next three days imagining your pasta carbonara to come -- which improves your weekend and your week.

3. They Don't Clean the Grout.
Using the weekend to catch up on chores is probably the hardest trap to avoid. After all, if you work full-time, when else are you supposed to do the 15.1 hours (for women) or 9.6 hours (for men) of household activities that the Bureau of Labor Statistics claims the average American does each week? But housework will take all the time you are willing to give it. After all, women in 1965 spent more than 30 hours each week on housework... and we haven’t descended into complete filth since then.

So consider doing your chores during the workweek; the chores will take less time because you have less time. This will leave your weekends free for more rejuvenating activities. Throw a load of laundry in before dinner and have the kids either do the dishes after or fold. Make a quick trip to the grocery store at 8:30 p.m. on a Wednesday. The place will be so empty you’ll zoom through. If a sparkling house is important to you -- and sometimes it is -- then designate a short cleaning time on the weekend, perhaps on Sunday afternoon. That way, if you find yourself looking at a messy house on Saturday morning, you can tell yourself that there’s a time for cleaning, and now is not that time. When the cleaning window arrives, set an alarm and do as much as you can in an hour. When the time is up, it’s up.

4. They Don't Lose the Last 15 Hours.
I struggle with this trap myself. I love what I do, but sometimes the sheer volume of work waiting for me Monday morning makes me look at the clock come Sunday afternoon and fall into a total Sunday funk. But the thing is: At 3 p.m. on Sunday, I still have 15 hours before I’ll wake up Monday morning, including seven hours before I need to go to bed. Why not seize that time?

This is why Sunday nights have become my new favorite time to host parties. Most people are free, and there’s a more relaxed vibe than at the formal get-togethers people expect on Saturday nights. Order food, have a beer, enjoy your friends, and you’ll be far readier for the workweek than if you spend that same time thinking about your inbox. As Reinhart puts it, failing to relax, run and refresh on weekends "makes me not a good husband, not a good dad and a terrible CEO." Success requires recharging the batteries from time to time, so you can hit Monday refreshed and ready to conquer -- if not the world, then at least your own life.

Laura Vanderkam is the author of What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend: A Short Guide to Making the Most of Your Days Off  and 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think.

Thursday 27 June 2013

UK Graduates Forced To Work As Window Cleaners

Oh.. The shock & horror - UK graduates FORCED to take "elementary jobs" such as window cleaning. This article in typical Daily Mail sensation garbage news.
Graduates forced to take jobs as window cleaners and road sweepers - and 20,000 are unemployed SIX MONTHS after leaving university. Recent graduates are being forced to take jobs as road sweepers, window cleaners and office juniors, in a sign of increasing desperation in the job market. Figures published today showed 20,000 students were unemployed six months after getting their degrees, with men more likely to be out of work than women. Thousands more graduates took jobs that do not require a degree.
  • Nearly one student in ten was unemployed six months after graduating.
  • Women graduates fare better than men in the job market, data suggest.
  • But two-thirds of graduates still make it into 'professional' occupations.
Overall, 20,415 UK and EU full-time university leavers were assumed to be unemployed after completing their first degree in 2011/12, according to data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). That's nearly one graduate in ten still languishing in his or her old bedroom. On face value this is around the same proportion as last year, although HESA warned that the latest figures are not directly comparable with previous years due to changes in the way they are collected.

Three years study for this? Around 9,695 graduates were working in 'elementary occupations', taking jobs as hospital porters, waiters, bartenders, road sweepers, window cleaners and shelf stackers.
Women are faring better than men in the job market, the data suggest. More than one in 10 (10.9 per cent) of male graduates whose whereabouts were known six months after they finished their first degree were jobless, compared to 7.2 per cent of women. The HESA statistics also look at the types of jobs graduates were in after gaining their degree. More than a third of new graduates working in the UK were in 'non-professional' jobs that did not necessarily require a degree, the most recent figures showed.

Around 9,695 people were working in 'elementary occupations', taking jobs as office juniors, hospital porters, waiters, bartenders, road sweepers, window cleaners, shelf stackers and lollipop men and women. Rising numbers were working in factories and sales and customer services. In total, 745 were working in factories or plants, against 720 last year, while 21,025 were working in roles such as sales assistant, caretaker, market trader and call centres. Last year this figure stood at 20,675.

But the largest group - 54,435 people, or nearly two-thirds of those graduates whose fate had been discovered - were in the graduate job level group described as 'professional occupations'. This includes vets, dentists, pharmacists, engineers, teachers and solicitors. Professor Michael Gunn, chair of the university group million+ and vice-chancellor of Staffordshire University said: 'Six months is a relatively short time to make a judgement about the value of getting a degree and the occupations which graduates will enter in the future. 'However, these statistics confirm that even in a very difficult labour market studying for a degree on a full-time or a part-time basis remains one of the best ways of securing employment and a career.'

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Window Cleaning News - Bumper Edition

SQUEEGEE CLEAN: A window washer used a squeegee to clean windows in New York’s Times Square Friday. Click to enlarge. (Photo of the Day).

"There have been cases in the last six months of bogus window cleaners going round the streets of Prestonpans and Cockenzie to collect debt. It becomes a concern to residents and is praying on vulnerable and elderly victims."
Closing a window of opportunity for 'serious criminal groups' - Window cleaners and second-hand car dealers will be licensed in East Lothian in a bid to stop "serious and organised criminal groups" after a plea by police. Chief Inspector Colin Brown, Police Scotland's local area commander for East Lothian, made the request to East Lothian Council's licensing sub-committee, which met last Thursday to discuss the proposal. In a letter, Ch Insp Brown said: "The purpose of regulating both these activities would be to assist in the prevention of crime, ensure public safety and to protect the environment.
Window cleaners are unique amongst street traders in that they could have access to the inside and back of domestic premises and in the interests of crime prevention the police would request that they are licensed. "Second-hand car dealers have a huge responsibility when it comes to public safety and protecting the environment. Other second-hand dealers will come into regular contact with stolen property and licensing them will assist in combating the resale of stolen goods, therefore preventing crime. "Both serious and organised criminal groups in East Lothian carry out these activities and the potential for them to utilise these channels is a genuine risk."
He added that both West and Midlothian Councils undertook licensing for both groups, while Scottish Borders Council has licences for second-hand traders. Inspector Andrew Harborow, representing Police Scotland at the meeting, said: "There have been cases in the last six months of bogus window cleaners going round the streets of Prestonpans and Cockenzie to collect debt. It becomes a concern to residents and is praying on vulnerable and elderly victims." He added that there had been instances of people coming to East Lothian from elsewhere to operate as window cleaners or second-hand dealers because no licences were required. The issue was previously visited in 2005 when the council decided against the move.
Councillors heard last Thursday that the licences would not apply to charitable organisations or events, or people who sell cars in their own possession on a one-off or occasional basis. Councillor John McNeil, board convenor, said: "If we are the only local authority in the area who don't have this licensing of premises who sell second-hand cars, I think it is only right that the local authority should be looking at that. "There are enough problems within our communities at the moment. If we could help the police by licensing certain aspects of indiscriminate trading, be it window cleaning or car dealerships, we need to be looking at that very, very seriously."
Councillor Fraser McAllister said: "I think we've got to close this gap and act quickly to close it, to protect the public." While Councillor John Caldwell added: "It's the right way to do it, particularly when there are other local authorities [with this in place] and it's proving successful." Members agreed to grant the request and authorise staff to initiate the process, opting against public consultation. After the finer details of the licence have been agreed, it will be publicly advertised and a nine-month period will allow for relevant parties to make their applications - meaning it could take about a year to implement. The licences will apply to individuals, rather than to entire companies.

RBS Scotland’s Real Hero 2013 - Calling all heroes... it’s time for your country to say a big thank you. You, the public, will vote for TWO heroes from two categories. The series finale will see the finalists attending a star-studded red carpet awards ceremony in Edinburgh, where the winners in ten categories will be revealed. And one will be crowned the overall RBS Scotland’s Real Hero 2013. Scotland is famous across the world for being big-hearted. You don’t have to look far to find a local hero — the army of men, women and children who make a difference to the lives of others. Scotland’s Real Heroes celebrates people, organisations and businesses which work selflessly to benefit their local community. It could be the wee lad who delivers your Scottish Sun every morning with a smile in all weathers, the window cleaner who keeps an eye on the housebound, or the carer who comes to help your elderly relative every day.

Murder mystery in southwest Houston - A window washer was shot to death at his old apartment complex on Westward near Gulfton, according to police. Witnesses told police the victim was involved in an argument with two other men. One man pulled out a gun and shot the victim. The suspects immediately ran away. Fernando Munoz saw the victim lying on the ground in a pool of blood. “He wasn’t responding at all. I called 911,” Munoz said. “I tried to give CPR to the victim.” The victim died on the scene, and the suspects are still on the loose. Investigators have no idea why the victim revisited his old apartment complex or what sparked the argument. Video at source.

 Fraser Horne hopes to encourage other young people in Milton Keynes after he started his own window cleaning business
Fraser can see a clear future with new window cleaning business: A man who started his own business hopes his story over the last six months can inspire young people to do the same. Fraser Horne, aged 27, from Hamilton Lane, Bletchley, had the horror of seeing work as a self employed floor and wall tiler dry up completely six months ago after 10 years of giving him a living. Going on benefits with Jobseekers’ Allowance wasn’t much help to him. His wife was earning £420 a month making him only entitled to £2.50 each week.
But three months ago he decided to do something about it by setting up as a window cleaner with a business he’s called ORCA. He then got approval for New Enterprise Allowance and hasn’t looked back, Mr Horne said: “I am now an ever growing business in the area picking up more and more work and in a very short space of time have started earning a living again.” He feels others should give it a go. He added: “I feel my experience shows that it is possible for young people with good ideas to be a success even in times of economical hardship. If a young person is out of work they need not be if they want to set up their own business and put their mind to developing an idea or product with the right target market.”

Voxer’s Secret Plan to Make Money From Mobile Messaging: Sell It to Companies -  Usage of free and cheap mobile communications apps, from WhatsApp to Skype, has exploded around the world. But one startup thinks it has a master plan that makes it more of a viable business than all the rest. That’s Voxer, maker of the free walkie-talkie app, which today is launching paid apps and subscription services for businesses. Voxer Pro — which will include “extreme notifications” that escalate if a person doesn’t pick up, and “live interrupt” mode for selected contacts, like old-school push-to-talk — will be a $2.99 in-app upgrade to the free app. And Voxer Pro for Business, which will include an admin portal and a live map of team members, will cost $4.95 today and then $9.95 starting later this year, when additional features come out. Both of those are launching on Android and iPhone today, and coming to Windows Phone soon.
Selling enterprise apps and services was the secret plan all along, according to Voxer CEO Tom Katis, who founded the company in 2007 out of annoyance with military communication when he was serving in the U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan. After years of work and scrapped efforts, the current Voxer app debuted in 2011. Katis’s solution lies somewhere between mobile messaging and live conversation, with users able to speed through a voice message and start talking back to the sender live if they are both available. “It’s hard to explain intellectually, even though the app is simple to use,” Katis said. “So we just launched the free version so people would think it was useful.”
Along the way, Voxer got caught up in the consumer mobile messaging craze. It had the 13th most-downloaded iOS app in 2012. And it raised $30 million from Institutional Venture Partners, Intel and other investors when it was shooting up the growth charts. But those investors were clued in on the plan to eventually sell Voxer to “people who value response time over etiquette,” such as those working in a trucking business, driving taxis or serving in the military, according to Katis. “Going after consumers is a race to the bottom,” Katis argued. “We’re not just another texting app. We increase productivity in ways that nothing else satisfies.”
When Voxer mapped out its users’ social graphs, it found dense networks of people who were already putting the product to work. For instance, 21,000 Mary Kay cosmetics sales reps were already using the service, Katis said. Voxer Pro beta testers include a cab company in New York and a window-cleaning company in Seattle. Katis said he would like to build the Nextel of the future, with a lucrative business model supported by loyal users of this near-live mobile technology — for which Voxer has some 94 issued patents. The key to understanding Voxer, Katis said, is how fast it transitions users into live conversations. Today, when a Voxer user stops pushing the record button, their correspondent usually starts talking within two to four seconds. “The more it’s live, the more it’s used,” Katis said.

Looking for alternative funding to banks: On average micro-businesses need just £2,143 to set up. Doesn’t sound like an unreasonable amount in the grand scheme of things. But with more and more businesses unable to get off the ground, where is the weak link? In recent years it seems banks have forgotten why they exist – to provide a service to the community. The scandalous truth is that, despite billions of pounds worth of taxpayers’ money being given to them, they're not lending to these entrepreneurs who are the life blood of our economy. Computerised credit scoring systems have shaken the lending industry, turning away thousands of businesses who will often go on to fail before they have even been given a chance.
For many small business owners, once they’ve been turned down by their bank they need to find the money elsewhere, sometimes resorting to extreme measures like taking out a payday loan.  Our latest research showed that just 20 per cent of micro-businesses are funded through a bank loan and one in six have had to resort to a payday loan to fund their business. Just one in ten were able to secure a loan from the bank in their first year of trading with a third having to rely on their business acumen to get them through. It seems absurd that businesses who are starting out with nothing, are being screwed over by 4000 per cent plus APRs, which are undoubtedly to blame for their demise. Yet what happens to those micro-businesses that don’t manage to secure a bank loan, and who don’t want to resort to a payday loan? Our latest research shows of those people who have had businesses fail in the past, a fifth believe it was because they were unable to get a bank loan.
What often gets overlooked are the impracticalities that micro-businesses, which are more often than not one-man bands, have to go through to be at the stage where they can present a case to the bank. They often need to produce detailed forecasts, show accounts, profit and loss and a lot of the time, they're just not equipped to do this. Even many peer-to-peer lenders require this type of input, asking borrowers to put a case to the lenders (the investor). It’s clear banks are dishing out cash to bigger, more established businesses who can present realistic forecasts based on previous profits yet failing to give start-ups a chance. It's clear that the ordinary hard-working people; the window cleaners, the mobile hairdressers, the freelance IT consultants, the driving instructors, (to name just a few) aren't getting the help they need and deserve.
There have been attempts by the government to inject some cash into small businesses but these initiatives seem to have been short-lived. The Funding for Lending scheme was originally introduced to give the economy a much-needed boost and give banks the push they needed to start lending again but it clearly hasn’t worked so far. The amendment to the scheme announced last month begs the question – will it be any different this time round? The Treasury’s new incentive measures of allowing banks to borrow an extra £5 from the scheme for every £1 they lend to an SME, and then up to £10 in 2014, when the scheme is extended, should make a difference in theory but the proof is yet to be seen.
What strikes a chord is that a staggering four in five micro businesses aren’t aware of the lending options available to them. There certainly needs to be more noise within the industry about the alternative forms of business funding available, whether that's guarantor loans, peer-to-peer or crowdfunding, so that small business owners don’t feel forced down a route which could jeopardise their whole business. It’s vital that micro-businesses spread the word that being turned down by a bank is not the end and it certainly doesn’t mean they should run straight to the nearest payday lender. While there is still a lack of awareness about alternative lenders, unfortunately for the time being, businesses need to do their own digging around for an alternative lender who will support their business venture.

Tidy growth means more investment for cleaning company: A Darlington cleaning firm is using its recent contract wins to invest heavily to help with its growth in the coming year. MJF Cleaning Services provides a range of commercial cleaning services for businesses and organisations such as bars, offices, restaurants, hospitals, doctors and dentists’ surgeries, schools and building companies. The business recently clinched new contracts with some prestigious names including Shepherd Construction, Darlington Council and St George’s Park, the home of the National Football Centre and is now making major investment as it plans to expand into the North West and create around 80 jobs in the coming year.
MJF has recently renovated its headquarters in Darlington town centre and increased the space to 100 square meters. In addition, it has invested heavily in its marketing operations, such as its website, and taken on four new staff including an HR manager, two sales executives and a telesales operator. MJF’s expansion will not only secure jobs for its team of over 100 staff and create around 80 new positions in the coming year, but also see a new office open close to the M62 in 2014.
Darlington entrepreneur, Martin Ferguson, established MJF Cleaning Services in 2006 whilst working as a domestic window cleaner. Since starting with just two members of staff, MJF has gone on to create around 125 jobs as it secured prestigious contracts with companies such as Shepherd Construction, Rockliffe Hall, Narec, JD Wetherspoon, Cleveland Cable and Tolent Construction. As well as daily office, commercial and specialist industrial cleaning services, MJF carries out large and small scale cleaning projects such as carpet and upholstery cleaning, window and high-level cleaning and clean-downs on construction sites ahead of handovers to clients.
Speaking about the investment, Martin Ferguson said: “Our biggest investment will always be in our staff- all of whom are local- as they are the most important part of what we do and keep our business growing. The new HQ offices needed a revamp as we’ve got more staff than we anticipated at this stage in our development and the marketing investment is essential if we want to continually seek out new contracts and compete on a national scale.”

Window cleaner Zhao Fei came to Beijing to find work.
China to reform its rigid Hukou internal passport system: China is starting significant reform of one of the most restrictive policies dating back to the Mao era. The Hukou is an internal passport which classes people as either rural or urban. It's probably the largest social engineering project in the world. For the rest of their lives people can only go to school, university and settle down in the place they were first registered. Unless they can pay their way out of it. Based on the old soviet system which separated farm workers from town and city dwellers; the household registration was designed to ensure agricultural production and, to some extent, political stability.
Now China's new leaders are pushing significant new economic reforms which are expected include historic reform of the Hukou system. China's financial capital, Shanghai, announced this week new rules which would allow people from the countryside to move into the city and enjoy the same benefits, the same access to schools and welfare.
Far above the ground and far from home. Window cleaner Zhao Fei came to Beijing to find work. He's a migrant worker, and so finds himself treated as an immigrant in his own country. He was born in a rural province, so China's Hukou system prevents him settling in a city. As he dangles from a rope hanging down the side of a glass clad skyscraper in China's capital, I speak to him through an open window. He tells me state bureaucracy makes him an outsider. "There's nothing for me in Beijing, I'm like a stranger, a passer-by".

Ball lightning in Mannings Heath - A witness has described seeing a ball of white light shooting through Mannings Heath, just before a power cut and major disruption to nearby electronic devices.
The object, which appears to fit descriptions of a rare phenomenon called ‘ball lightning’, was seen in the village on June 7 afternoon. Roger Spinks told the County Times that he was working at The Village Store, Pound Lane, when he saw it shoot past, heading south-west along the course of Golding Lane and Church Road. He said it went past very quickly with a strange motion ‘like a bouncing bomb’. Mr Spinks said it reminded him of the balloon-like entity from cult TV series The Prisoner. “It was just like a ball of white light,” he said. “It flashed down the road, then there was a terrific bang like a bomb going off, and our lights went out. “Our card machine went out - I think it took out a lot of the village’s phones, broadband and Sky. “Our telephone was gone for several days.
“A couple of lads came in, they were window cleaners. “One of them had been up a ladder cleaning and the shock of it knocked him off the ladder.” Ball lightning is rarely seen, and its cause and nature are the subject of a number of hypotheses. These range from it being a form of St Elmo’s Fire - a harmless electrical effect often seen aboard ships - to it being caused by a tiny antimatter meteor reaching ground level. The phenomenon is extremely difficult to study scientifically because it appears so rarely and so unpredictably. Since so little is known about it, ‘ball lightning’ has been used as a handy explanation for many reported mysteries, including UFOs, spontaneous human combustion, and the Star of Bethlehem.

Power-Generating Glass Windows Almost Ready For Market: The technology needed to turn windows, any type of glass window, into transparent power planets is almost ready for commercial production. New Energy Technologies, Inc. developer of spray-on solar cells recently announced that its researchers have successfully achieved faster fabrication time, improved transparency, and a two-fold increase in power conversion efficiency. The new breakthrough means the technology has progressed into advanced development, and large-scale fabrication of mini-module SolarWindow devices may not be that far behind.
Turning see-through windows into full-time solar panels is no easy feat. NET’s method allows researchers to spray ultra-small, see-through solar cells on to glass surfaces. The recent progress has boosted power conversion efficiency of each individual cell by two-fold compared to previous fabrication methods, leading to overall power output improvement of SolarWindow; Reduced fabrication time from several days down to only a few hours, or 1/6th of the time normally required; and Improved the transparency or ‘visual light transmission’ of SolarWindow modules, creating a widow ‘tint’ effect.
More specifically, the team at NET has become more adept at creating clean layers of spray-on solar technology, among other functions, the various layers allow the glass to absorb the sun’s energy, generate electricity, and direct the electricity for collection and use. “This latest breakthrough is an exciting testament to our ongoing efforts as we continuously work to improve the quality and performance of our SolarWindow mini-modules,” explained Mr. John A. Conklin, President and CEO of New Energy Technologies, Inc. “Moving forward, we remain devoutly focused on producing large surface area prototypes which are compatible with high-speed production methods, important to commercialization of SolarWindow. To do so would turn every new high-rise and residential home into a solar power plant, without the installation or maintenance of roof-top panels, so we wish them nothing but success!

Cleaning windows: Shell’s think tank mulls over world’s energy future - Sherlock Holmes solving crimes in foggy London is such a Western image, but not far removed from that of smog-gray Beijing at midday on Jan. 13, 2013. That the capital of an economy in Asia, the new nexus of global economic development, was covered in thick smog earlier this year warns the next wave of “tiger economies” such as the Philippines of the risks that development entails. As such, the Shell Strategy and Scenarios Team, whom political analyst Dr. Cho-Oon Kong refers to as “window cleaners,” are looking at various possible energy futures and what can be done for more sustainable development. Surely, even now people realize that energy transition is taking place for reasons of climate change, among others. Over the next few decades, “We face a range of more turbulent changes, not just in energy but also in economic and geopolitical terms,” Kong says. 

Against all medical odds, a 20-year-old man survived a fall from a 15-story apartment building in New Zealand, after attempting to get into his locked apartment from a balcony above. An American emergency room doctor said the chances of living through a fall from that height are about 1 in 100.
The man, identified by the New Zealand Herald as Tom Stilwell, a British man in Auckland on a "working holiday," returned home after a night out with friends and found he did not have a key to get into his locked apartment. Stilwell tried to jump down to his balcony from the balcony of the apartment above, but instead plummeted to the roof of a building below. Stilwell's story astounded his doctors in New Zealand as well as in the United States. "It made me wonder what the roof looked like that he fell on," said Dr. Nicholas Kman, associate professor of emergency medicine at The Ohio State University Medical Center.
"It's pretty abnormal for someone to fall that far and survive," Kman said. "For every fall like that, the odds of living are very rare." Doctors use a formula called "lethal doses" to determine the likelihood of death in a fall. At four stories, or about 48 feet above the ground, half will survive. But at seven stories or 84 feet, only 10 percent are expected to live -- that is, 90 percent will die, according to Kman. A person's age, the height of the fall, the nature of the surface hit and the body part that first touches the ground are all factors in the severity of the injuries and the prognosis for recovery. "If you fall out of a tree and hit a bunch of branches, it may slow the fall," he said. "Landing on grass is better than cement."
Head injuries have the lowest survival rate, according to Kman. Other dangerous injuries occur when a person lands feet first. "The heel hits and transmits the force up the back," he said. "When someone jumps off a parking garage or building they break their heel bones and then the lower spine. When they break the feet, we always X-ray the back, because that's a common injury." Sometimes, paralysis can occur if there is a spinal cord injury. Emergency room doctors see most fall victims during the summer months, and they are usually window cleaners working on scaffolding and roofers.

Window safety film could deter burglars (SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla.) — A rash of burglaries is forcing Seminole County homeowners to find new ways of protecting their belongings and their homes. Their new plan of protection comes in the form of a paper-thin film. The window safety film comes in a range of colors from clear to a dark tint. It bonds with glass and makes it much harder for a burglar to break in. The city of Sanford has seen more than 800 burglaries in the past year, WFTV learned. The cities of Casselberry, Longwood, and Altamonte Springs have seen an increase as well.
"It's definitely something that's been increasing in the past three to four months," said Matt Fisher with Orlando Window Tint Specialists. Companies that install window safety film that WFTV contacted said their sales are up by as much as three times what they saw six months ago. Surveillance video posted online demonstrates how it works. Two men try to break into a Texas business. The glass shatters easily, but the film remains, making it tough to get in. the would-be crooks eventually give up. "It's going to take a piece of glass that would normally shatter in seconds, minutes; between five to 10 minutes sometimes, for somebody to break in the actual film," Fisher said.

Beyond reasonable doubt: It’s a well known fact that as a result of the current economic climate, cash strapped consumers are far more likely to pursue a compensation claim for personal injury than they might perhaps otherwise have done during less ‘lean’ times. This trend is further validated by internal data from leading retailers, which shows a clear correlation between the level of compensation claims made and general levels of personal affluence within an area. In parts of the country where shoppers have less disposable income, due to high unemployment levels for instance, the value of payouts for personal injury claims made is higher than in other more ‘well heeled’ areas with lower jobless levels.
What does this have to do with the cleaning profession you might wonder? Well, if cleaning is contracted out to a third party, they may ultimately be responsible for paying the costs of the claim, depending on who is thought to be at fault. From experience, if the ‘venue’ owner who originally engaged a professional cleaning company can demonstrate they had taken due care and attention, they would typically take care of the legal costs because the claim could be defended. If the case is less clear-cut and there may be cause to suspect that the cleaning company had been negligent, the latter would be liable for damages and costs, which, multiplied over the course of a year, can run into six figures.
Research conducted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has showed that over 20 per cent of all claims for compensation are due to slips and trips, which result in typical pay outs of between 3,500 and 12,500 euros. Add to this the fact that most injury claims are presented two years after an incident takes place. This illustrates how difficult it is to defend solely with paper based records, unsurprisingly, many cleaning companies have no option but to write off the costs.

Zdenek Martinovsky lay in the fetal position on the linoleum floor of the television room at the Salvation Army Tuesday, just hours after he was plucked from the roof of his burning Rockland Avenue boarding house. A fire broke out on the top floor of Rockland Manor at 1:50 a.m., blocking the metal fire escape. With flames licking under doors and filling rooms with smoke, some tenants jumped off one roof to another level about three metres below, they said. No one was injured. “I think the hurt is going to be more emotional,” said tenant Meg Macmillan, a longtime resident.
Martinovsky scrambled out of his top-floor smoke-filled room, onto a steep sloped roof, and clung for life from an overhead eavestrough. Traumatized and in his bare feet, he had to be helped by firefighters down a ladder. “I was in shock, I’m still in shock,” said Martinovsky. “I saw flames underneath the door. . . . It was surreal.” Martinovsky, a window washer, was taken to hospital for smoke inhalation, given clothes and a pair of shoes, and released. The early-1900s house had a manually operated fire alarm — which was pulled, according to residents — supplemented by battery-operated smoke alarms, said the Victoria Fire Department.

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POMPANO BEACH -- Sitting on the grass outside the Broward Transitional Center, 8-year-old Bryan Diaz wrote his dad a somber, but hopeful Father's Day card. In Spanish, he wrote: "Happy Father's Day. Daddy, I love you. I will get you out of there." Bryan's promise to help free his father, Jose Diaz, 40, may be unfulfilled. Diaz was detained by authorities two months ago for being in the country illegally and faces deportation to his native Honduras.
Diaz's case was highlighted Saturday during a rally organized by the Florida Immigrant Coalition and a host of other organizations. Their goal: Draw attention to the plight of families awaiting comprehensive immigration reform. About 100 people attended. Some were fearful, because of their undocumented status in the United States. But they showed up to take a stand, they said. "Fear is not going to overcome me," said Bryan's mother and Jose Diaz's wife, Marcela Espinal, of Miami. "I am going to fight."
Organizers said they want President Obama to immediately stop deportations and for politicians to pass immigration reform that offers a path to citizenship, said Natalia Jaramillo, spokeswoman for the Coalition. Jose Diaz, a window cleaner who has three children and a wife in South Florida, is scheduled for deportation Monday, Espinal said.

Tuesday's police log - Wisconsin Rapids: At 12:13 p.m. Monday, a caller reported people were showing up and washing windows on a business in the 4300 block of Eighth Street South without permission.

Window washer: (Brookline) — All information in the following reports comes from the Brookline Police incident log or the Brookline Police blog. A Babcock Street resident witnessed a man urinating on the window of his ground-floor apartment.

Derek Heiser of S & S Window Cleaning LLC washes windows on Main Street, Watertown, Wisconsin. Click to enlarge.

Glass reveals wave-like design of Aquatics Centre at Olympic Park: The wave-like shape of the Aquatics Centre inside the Queen Elizabeth Park can be clearly seen after the first panes of glass were installed this week. The first of 628 panes of glass have been installed and the Centre which will open to the public from spring of next year.
The Park’s chief executive Dennis Hone said: “It will take 70 days to install the 628 panes of glass that make up the external walls of this fantastic building. Each pane weighs 200kg and it takes a team of six people to install a single pane.
“We expect the team to get through 10 panes a day and finish the outside of the Aquatics Centre in late September. Once complete the Aquatics Centre will be a public swimming pool as well as an elite training facility and competition venue.”
The glass will be cleaned by window cleaners, using cherry pickers to reach the high bits. The steel framework will have hot water running through it - which will act like a giant radiator to prevent condensation forming on the glass.

Welsh father wins multi-million compensation payout for 'catastrophic' crash injuries - Anthony Hutchinson has been awarded a seven-figure settlement to pay for round-the-clock care he required after a car crash in 2009. A father who was left in a wheelchair needing round the clock care for the rest of his life following a serious road accident has been awarded a multi-million pound compensation payout. Anthony Hutchinson, from Aberporth, was left with catastrophic brain and body injuries following the crash in Pembrokeshire in 2009. Anthony, known as Punk, was driving on the B4329 New Inn to Brynberian road to give his brother a lift from Cardigan to Haverfordwest when a cattle trailer, being toward by a Land Rover, collided with his car.
Anthony’s wife Jo said he has made good progress with his rebailitation since the accident but said he will spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. She said that because of his ongoing problems, Anthony, who previously worked as a window cleaner, will need round the clock care for the rest of his life. A seven-figure settlement was reached at the High Court in Birmingham this morning which the couple said they are pleased with. This includes a substantial seven-figure lump sum payment and a Periodical Payment Order which will see him receive a six-figure payment each year to cover his care costs for the rest of his life
Jo said: “The value of the settlement reflects not only the catastrophic nature of the injuries Punk received when the cattle trailer collided with his vehicle, but also the life-changing impact that these injuries have had for Punk and ourselves.” Jo and Anthony, who have a six-year-old son, said they can now concentrate on rebuilding their lives. Jo said: “No amount of money can make up for the impact the accident has had on our family but the settlement eases financial worries about the ongoing costs of his care and means we can turn our attention to the future.

Van drivers’ risky behaviour revealed: Many of Britain's van drivers could be putting themselves at risk of theft, and some haven't even got the right level of cover, according to research from Almost two thirds (63%) of those surveyed - which included builders, plumbers, mobile hairdressers, dog walkers, florists, window cleaners and more - said that they transport tools, equipment or goods in their vans; and half (50%) leave these items in their vans overnight. The same research also shows that one in 10 van drivers select ‘social only' as the class of use for their vehicle when buying insurance.
When asked why they chose this level of cover, 71% said it was to get cheaper insurance, 23% said they didn't want or need cover for the items they transport, 13% assumed that the cover was the same no matter what class of use they selected, and 8% admitted to not knowing the difference between the various cover options available. While almost half (46%) of those surveyed had needed to make a claim on their insurance (10% due to an accident, 22% because of theft, and 14% claiming for both), more than a third (34%) said that they'd had a claim rejected or contested by their insurer. Scott Kelly, head of motor services at, said: "For many van drivers their vehicle isn't just for ferrying the kids around or popping to the shops; it's vital to their livelihoods. So it's important to invest in the right sort of insurance policy.
"If you transport goods or tools you need to choose the appropriate class of use so that your insurer can provide you with the right level of cover. There's often a negligible difference in cost between a policy that's for ‘social use only', and one that also covers ‘carriage of own goods', so far from saving you any money, opting for social only could actually land you with a policy that might not cover you adequately, if at all. "We've all seen stickers on vans claiming that nothing is kept inside them overnight, but our research suggests that one in two vans do in fact have things left in them at night. “Lock up your van securely, remove any valuable items, especially overnight or when the van's being left unattended for a prolonged period, and get a van insurance policy that covers your tools or goods too."

What's the magic word? It's 'tenner', say traders - Independent shop campaign group Totally Locally West Bridgford launched the Magic Tenner scheme this week. As a result, independent shops in the area have started displaying posters in their windows spelling out where money spent in their stores is invested. They include paying staff who live locally – who often intern spend their wages in the local economy – to being able to pay for items made by suppliers in the area. Mother-of-one Fozia Manzoor opened gift shop Rainbows and Lemondrops in Gordon Road six months ago. Her shop window now proudly displays details of the local businesses she supports.
Mrs Manzoor, of Lady Bay, said: "It's trying to tell people who have been shopping here that they are also helping to support various other local people, from the window cleaner to the girls who work here who live locally. "By going independent people are doing a lot more than just buying something. They are supporting people living in their area." "I have quite a few things that are locally made, from aprons and cards, to jewellery and baby booties. They are all by people who live in West Bridgford and Nottingham. "We are just trying to support local makers who wouldn't normally get chance to sell things in shops."
The Magic Tenner scheme is so named as research by The New Economics Foundation shows for every £10 spent, £50 is contributed back into the local economy. Karina Wells, co-ordinator for Totally Locally West Bridgford, said: "If every adult in West Bridgford spends £5 a week in local independent businesses instead of online or at a supermarket it will bring £9.3 million to the local economy. "Magic Tenner makes it clear where that money goes. People can see if they spend their money here then there's a whole host of local businesses benefitting."

Gillian Anderson, who when not unsuccessfully trying to capture serial killers on The Fall, is probably still best known for playing Agent Scully in The X-Files, the one where the skeptical FBI agent continually refused to believe in extra terrestrials despite meeting one nearly every week. Towards the end of the series it just got embarrassing. It was like refusing to believe in window cleaners despite seeing one wipe his squeegee down your patio doors every second Tuesday.

Channel 4′s hospital documentary (UK) continues with an installment about couples reflecting on their enduring marriages and the changing nature of love. Meanwhile the hospital’s staff discuss the wisdom that comes with experience. Finally we meet Alfred who, despite being 78, still maintains a job as a window cleaner. However, Alfred is still struggling to come to terms with life without Peggy, his wife of nearly 60 years, who recently died in a nursing home. 24 Hours in A&E continues tonight on Channel 4 at 9pm.

Zepik runs against premier for MLA (B.C.) - A Vernon man is serious about taking on decision-makers in B.C. over global warming. Korry Zepik says he wants to be Westside-Kelowna’s MLA after the July 10 byelection although he placed last in the polls for Vernon-Monashee during May’s provincial vote. “Before, I was running with the hope that people would vote for someone else (NDP) but this time is different,” he said. “I’m looking forward to getting votes.” Zepik, who is currently employed as a window cleaner, believes there will be some residents concerned about him not living in Westside-Kelowna. “I like the area and if I am elected, I will move there,” he said. “I consider the Okanagan my backyard and there’s no major difference between Vernon and Kelowna. If Clark is elected and the pipelines get in, it’s not just Westside-Kelowna affected. It will be the people of B.C. impacted.”

Obama at the Brandenburg Gate: Snipers on the roof, a glass wall in front of the lectern - President Obama spoke at the Brandenburg Gate under heavy security. It was over 40 degrees Celsius: guests and journalists sweltered. When faced with snipers, there's no joking around. For that reason, the windows in the DW offices on the top floor of a building in the government district remain closed on Wednesday (19.20.2013), despite the sultry heat that wafts through the hallway and collects under the desks. "Whatever you do, don't open the windows," warns an experienced colleague, as two small figures move about on the roof of the government building opposite. They might be window cleaners, but they're more likely to be snipers - sure to be targeting us, according to the colleague. It's not quite clear whether he's serious. The windows remain closed for safety reasons. With US President Barack Obama in Berlin for 25 hours, security is at maximum.

Rugby club aims to clean up opposition - Rugeley Rugby Club have secured a new 1st XV shirt sponsorship deal with local commercial window cleaners Elite Services. “I’m grateful to Elite Services for their support and hope we can reward it with success on the pitch,” said club chairman Carl Johnson. Elite Services is a partnership run by Mark Hewitt and Ade Radley (pictured, cente with team members) and the former said: “I think it is important for businesses to support groups who make a contribution in their local community and I’m impressed how Rugeley (RUFC) operates.” 

Carefully document every rule violation to defend against surprise claims - You never know which fired employee might sue or for what reason. That’s why you should always carefully document all discipline, up to and including the final reason for discharge. The fact is, a legitimate business reason almost always defeats a discrimination claim.
Recent case: Richard worked for FedEx for over two decades. Like other employees, Richard had a discount FedEx account that he could use for personal shipments. However, company rules prohibited using the account for commercial purposes. When an audit showed that Richard had used his personal account to ship 382 commercial packages promoting a friend’s window-cleaning business, he was fired. He sued, alleging reverse race discrimination and age bias.
The case was dismissed when Richard couldn’t point to anyone else working in the same facility under the same supervisor who had shipped nearly as many packages in violation of the rules. The court concluded that FedEx had a perfectly legitimate reason to fire Richard. (Carey v. Federal Express, No. 11-3898, 3rd Cir., 2013).
Barbara McDougall was a reporter with the Vancouver Sun before serving as a Member of Parliament and holding several cabinet positions between 1984 and 1993. In my lifetime I have been both a politician and a journalist. I used to say I was more proud to have been a politician. The next time someone asked me what I used to do I’m going to tell them I was a window washer on the outside of the Toronto-Dominion Centre; that’s something to take pride in.

Jerry McLaughlin (CEO Branders): The mothers of invention - I’ve always enjoyed working for myself. In fourth grade, I mowed lawns. In high school, I expanded into window washing. Later on, I started a janitorial company and an outdoor advertising company. Eventually, I raised money from venture capitalists and started a business to sell marketing supplies online. Supposedly, all of that was a single kind of activity called “being an entrepreneur.” “Entrepreneur” however, is a stretched out word. It may have been a perfectly good word at one time, but it isn’t very useful any more. A fellow who owns a McDonald’s restaurant is called an entrepreneur, and so is Mark Zuckerberg who started Facebook. The word has come to mean something like a “businessperson” who takes “risks” to make money.
There is certainly risk in starting any new business, just as there is risk in investing in any business, no matter how large or well-established. But the essence of entrepreneurship in its most exhilarating and important sense has to do with originality, not risk. There is greater value in the discovery of new things than in the refinement of the known. That is why cooks and bakers proudly guard their newest recipes, while the best of the tried and true are free online. Over the past 150 years, our ability to do so has changed and improved dramatically. Each great leap forward depended on imagineurs, be it Thomas Edison and his phonograph, or Nobutoshi Kihara and his Walkman, or Steve Jobs and his iPod and iTunes store. Each imagineur’s efforts enhanced our ability to listen to the music we love.
Imagineurs don’t have to be technological wizards or tinkerers in the lab. Walter L. Jacobs started America’s first rental car business with 12 Model T Fords; today that company is called Hertz. Reed Hastings upended the video rental business by sending discs through the mail on a monthly subscription basis and started Netflix. Imagineurs are architects, designers, creators and seers of the unseen. Through curiosity, ingenuity and discovery they contribute a founding insight without which, neither they nor any other business builder can proceed successfully for very long. They find a way to give customers what they’ve always wanted, but better, faster or cheaper than before. Just as every great inventor had a mother, every great invention began with an imagineur.

Peter Merrett, the company's head of customer service in Sydney, Australia, told the Building Owners and Managers Association International convention in San Diego on Monday, that his buildings offer manicures at your desk. "We need to really start to open our hearts to our customers and make a difference for the experience, day to day," Merrett said. He also said he sends Father Christmas -- Santa Claus to us -- onto the window cleaning equipment at holiday time to cheer up the building workers.  "It isn't money," he said of such flourishes." It's the mystique of service, the aura of mystery and surprise... What more can we do and add a bit more to surprise and delight people?"

Some 1,500 jobs and lucrative supplier contracts for local companies are on offer at a major new tourist attraction. Mr Dolby said Center Parcs is looking to work with a range of local firms who will all have to pass stringent quality checks. “We’ve seen 150 busineses today,” said Mr Dalby on Wednesday evening. “Fifty-seven had appointments and the others walked up and said hello.” The kind of businesses the firm is looking to work with includes taxi companies, plumbers, glazers, keep-fit instructors, window cleaners and “people who make cup cakes” and other food producers as long as they meet tough hygiene standards.

More and more Peterborough businesses are starting to promote themselves through social media. And three months ago Clare Szurek of the Big Local App & Rachel Parkin of Reba/Balagan came up with an idea to bring city stores, companies and peoeple with ideas even closer, over a cup of coffee, a conversation and a can-do attitude. ‘Peterborough Hour’ runs every Monday night on Twitter, from 8pm to 9pm, using the hashtag #pborohour. Hundreds of interested parties, from restaurants to window cleaners, and from printers to journalists, log in and get chatting, making contacts, discussing ideas, and planning meetings. Rachel recommends that once a conversation has started why not try using a picture or two, or finding out about upcoming events.

BERESFORD — On Aug. 1, 1949, Mid Olbertson washed the windows of her rural Beresford farm house. It probably seemed pointless to some. After all, all around her on the farmplace she shared with her husband, Elmer, and their two children was the devastation left behind by twisters that darted between Garretson, Beresford and Elk Point. Mid Olbertson’s response when someone asked why she cleaned the windowpanes when a barn, windmill, two silos, a new hog house, a new machine and cattle shed and machinery had been lost has become Olbertson family legend — and motto. “(A neighbor) said, with all the desolation around you, why were you washing windows, and she said, that’s where I stood to wash dishes, and I want to be able to look out and not see a dirty window,” says her son, John Olbertson, now 70. “Our family, now, when you’re facing a monumental task or something, you start ‘washing windows.’ You’re getting something accomplished.”

Window washers Nat & Dave on the Downtown Seattle Library on a cloudy day. Nat sent the photo in. Yikes! Click to enlarge.

Parenthetically, whatever happened to Chinese names like Charlie Chan or Mr. Woo The Window Cleaner? In the modern People’s Republic, they’ve gone rococo with the spelling of surnames and place names alike. Any public figure of note is doomed to oblivion without an X or two in his name. And they’ve even done away with Peking. Is it just bourgeois sophistry, or did those former Chinese such as the Ming Dynasty just not know how to spell in English?

The Rochester Fire Department held one of their technical training rescue drills Tuesday. This drill came with real fears. The rescue training had Rochester fire fighters hanging over the edge. The Rochester firefighters that participated in the drill are all members of the Minnesota Task Force one team. Climbing a water tower is just one of scenarios they need to be ready for. "Working more than 10 stories off the ground," said Rochester fire fighter Mike Schultz. This drill will help prepare them for a high angle rope rescue. "Anytime were talking about any kind of medical or trauma related incident at elevation whether it’s on a water tower, construction crane, or window washer," said Battalion Chief Chris Bailey. It's important for them to refresh their skills with the special tools needed. "Rope skills, knots, everything that goes along with harnesses, and we went to do it as safely as we can," said Schultz. To learn what can happen when they out their hanging feet from the ground. "We want to be ready for anything that happens," said Schultz. The Rochester Fire Department does do training drills about once a week, but they only do these types of technical drills every 3 or 4 months.

Firefighters from the Salem Fire Department practiced rescues using mountaineering equipment Monday at the Equitable Center in downtown Salem. The weekly technical training prepares them for dangerous situations that don’t happen very often. They called Monday’s exercise the “window washer” scenario. BJ Grimmer of the Salem Fire Department rappels off the roof of the Equitable Center as part of training.

Fargo, ND - Superhero window washers have been flying across the country and today they made a stop in Fargo. Two popular superheroes took time away from saving the world to brighten the day of so many. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's window cleaners. Two grime fighters dressed up as Batman and Spiderman to cheer up tiny patients at Sanford children's hospital. First the superheroes did their job, scaling the side of the building making the windows sparkle but then the real work kicked in.
Leah Busse, Noah’s Mom: “He was speechless when they walked in. He just looked at them and his eyes got huge and he couldn't even say anything because he was so excited because they were coming just to see him.” Four-year-old Noah Busse and his mom Leah were shocked to see Spidey and the Dark Knight roaming the halls. Busse: “He's not feeling the greatest right now and it was really fun that they came and saw him.”
Tony and Barb Hampson, Owners of A and B Window Cleaning say when Sanford called they didn't hesitate. Tony Hampson, Owner/A&B Window Cleaning: “It just touches us with the kids and everything.” And watching the childrens faces light up made it all worth it. Barb Hampson, Owner/A&B Window Cleaning: “It was just an awesome feeling doing something nice for some kids and we really enjoyed it.”
Tony Hampson: “Were always in such a rush to go from job to job and then we got to stop and all of the kids got in front of the windows and everything and waived and that, it just never turned into a work day for us today.” Now that the windows are washed and the smiles are from ear to ear, it's back to crime fighting for the caped crusader and the web slinger. This is the first time these superheroes have visited Sanford, hopefully not the last.

Avier Burgos, 8, Jersey City and Spiderman – Julian Lopez, Englewood of Alpha Window Cleaning based in Wanaque.
NEW BRUNSWICK — Batman and Spiderman reported to work at PSE&G Children’s Specialized Hospital on Wednesday, May 29 in New Brunswick to wash windows and surprise the patients and families at the pediatric rehabilitation hospital. “Our patients at the PSE&G Children’s Specialized Hospital spend every day working really hard recovering from serious injury, or being born too early – all preparing to be home with their families. As we do that work, we want to make sure we provide opportunities to remind all of us that regardless of how sick, injured or fragile our patients are, they are still children and we need to find ways to create fun and smiles,” said Amy B. Mansue, president and CEO, Children’s Specialized Hospital. “Many thanks to Alpha Window Cleaning for bringing joy and laughter to our families; it is an essential part of the healing process.”
Window washers from the Wanaque-based company immediately agreed to dress like the famous caped crusader and wall-scaling Spidey. When hospital staff approached Alpha Window Cleaning owner Ronn Kidd with this idea; he was more than willing to help. The super heroes then went inside to make their rounds on the units and greet patients for pictures. Fun is part of a patient’s rehabilitation at PSE&G Children’s Specialized Hospital. These children are recovering from brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, premature birth, developmental delays or life-changing illnesses. “We have been cleaning the windows of PSE&G Children’s Specialized Hospital for years now and we jumped at the chance to help these kids feel even a little better. We know these patients are going through a tough time,” said Ronn Kidd, president, Alpha Window Cleaning. “The look on the kids’ faces when Batman and Spiderman descended down the building was priceless. But, the real super heroes are these children and we can’t wait to do it again next year.”

An idea spawned by super-hero window washers.
Cancer Stricken Kids Given Superhero ‘Superformula’ Chemo To ‘Regenerate Powers’ -A brilliant marketing campaign in Brazil has made chemotherapy — an arduous prospect even for adults — into “superformula” for superheroes in need of regenerating their powers, in a move that will hopefully spread to other children’s treatment facilities worldwide. The superhero superformula story has been huge in geek realms, and it’s easy to see why. Everyone loves comics and superheroes, and the idea of kids having a less clinical and more imaginative hospital stay due to a clever bit of branding makes the idea of kids battling cancer ever so slightly more palatable.
 A.C.Camargo Cancer Center in São Paulo, Brazil, has also undergone a makeover — becoming the Hall of Justice, with the theme carried throughout the ward in partnership with D.C. Comics. A press release from agency JWT, the ad agency in part responsible, explains: “Covers for intravenous bags were constructed based on characters from the Justice League, creating … a child-friendly version of the treatment. Co-developed with doctors, the covers are easy to sterilize and handle and meet all hospital hygiene standards … (The) experience went far beyond the covers by also providing a new look to the entire Children’s Ward: the game room was turned into the Hall of Justice, corridors and doors were decorated in the same theme, and the exterior acquired an exclusive entrance for these little heroes.” The boxes that hold IV bags of chemo solution are brightly colored and superhero themed, and children learn about the “superformula” before their treatments. The hospital in Brazil isn’t the first to recently boost the morale of ailing kids with superheroes. Another hospital recently utilized window washers dressed as comic book legends to brighten the stays of kids in their facilities.

Alex Martinez, 11, "Morpho Man," (from left); Evan Tolfa, 9, "Lightning Sonic" and Max Nieman, 11, "Element Troller," patrol the sidewalks on Friday, June 21, 2013, looking for chores to do for area businesses as part of a class, "The Art of Becoming a Superhero," put on by Urban Legends Artisans and Art, in the University Place neighborhood.
Superheroes sweep up, giving back and growing - Morpho Man sprayed Windex and wiped the window with a paper towel inside The Northside Café, where all eyes were on the boy in the cape and mask. And after the glass was sparkling, Morpho Man -- aka 11-year-old Alex Martinez -- turned to his audience with a stern face and gave a thumbs up, as many superheroes do. Later, he was all smiles. “Normally I smile less if I’m doing nothing,” Alex said. “I smile more if I’m actually out helping people.” Lightning Sonic, Black Ghost and Element Troller picked trash out of the bushes outside.
For much of the day Friday, this ragtag group of vigilantes walked through the University Place neighborhood, grabbing garbage and cleaning windows. The four boys had spent a week's worth of mornings in The Art of Becoming a Super Hero! class at the neighborhood's Urban Legends art studio. They created aliases, wrote comic strips and designed costumes. But above all, they learned what it truly takes to be a superhero: Lead, help others, identify villains and stand up to them, act like a gentleman. And learn that being a superhero often comes without recognition.
Friday's lesson: Pick up trash even though it’s not yours. “(It’s) one thing to tell your kid to be a gentleman and another thing to practice it,” said Urban Legends co-owner Anna Alcalde, aka Awesome Art Woman. “We like to bring art down to a tangible, community level.” Alcalde and fellow co-owner Cindy “Optimiss” Schroeder intertwined art and community leadership lessons during the week. And after a short safety lesson, the boys sewed their costumes entirely on their own. At this age, kids are open to new ideas, Alcalde said. “This is the perfect time to plant those seeds and let them grow.”
On Friday, the young boys-turned-superheroes finally showcased their handcrafted costumes and newly learned art of being good citizens. Max Nieman, 11, shimmied into a black body suit. His cape -- Element Troller stitched on the back -- came next. In his comic strip, Max's alter-ego fights Borg, or Boring Old Rich Guy. Isaac Tolfa, 10, threw on a black cape and white mask. As Black Ghost, one of his many super powers is the ability to split into Black Shredder so he can be in two places at once. His little brother Evan wrapped a jeweled eye mask around his face and slipped on a Lego arm cuff, transforming into Lightning Sonic. They call him Smiley too, mostly because he doesn’t smile. Challenge the 9-year-old to a staredown, and you’ll lose. Awesome Art Woman and Optimiss donned their colorful capes and arm cuffs, too.
Then the superheroes put on their medallions and grabbed their brooms, plastic bags and gloves. Time to make a difference in the community. First stop: Gaga’s Greenery and Flowers next door. The superheroes vacuumed and washed windows. Anything else I can do for you?” Element Troller asked. “Those are the words of a true community leader,” Alcalde responded. Few empty lots, glass doors and picnic tables were left untouched. The heroes pulled weeds out of sidewalk cracks and collected trash. They moved from grassy areas and parking lots to businesses, felt capes whipping in the wind. “It’s kind of out of their element,” Alcalde said. “For 10-year-old boys, they’re really stepping out.”
Max’s mother, Gina Steele, said sending him to the art class was a great decision. “I think it will continue to grow in him,” she said. The class is the first of its type at Urban Legends. Alcalde said she did something similar when she was a grade school art teacher. “It’s good to let kids know you can gather more bees with sweetness than anger or negativity." Over a snack of orange juice and doughnuts as a reward for their hard work, Alcalde raised her glass and proposed a toast. “To the community and superheroes!” Morpho Man said. “And to the young gentlemen who are good community leaders,” Alcalde added. “I think we made a difference in the community today.”

Therapy dog helps recovery process in Wallingford Patient Harvey McCartney pets therapy dog Brody, held on a leash by his owner Kevin O’Rourke, at Masonicare Thursday. O’Rourke brings Brody to Masonicare about once a week.
WALLINGFORD — Brody, a two-year-old Labrador mix, is quite popular with just about anyone he runs into during his weekly visits to Masonicare. “He’s one of the friendliest dogs I’ve ever had,” said Brody’s owner, Kevin O’Rourke, who owns Fish Window Cleaning on Quinnipiac Street. O’Rourke purchased Brody as a rescue dog when he was still a young pup. Due to Brody’s easygoing demeanor, O’Rourke always thought about volunteering him as a therapy dog. “I always thought it would be a great idea,” he said. “He’s very lovable and just wants to see people.” Now, every Wednesday, O’Rourke and Brody visit with rehab patients at Masonicare, bringing smiles to both patients and employees. About 20 different dogs visit Masonicare every week, said Mary Ann Baer, a recreation therapist at the facility. Dogs aren’t the only method of therapy, she added. Cats, and even baby chicks, have made appearances at the healthcare center. Visiting pets provide total sensory stimulation for patients, an important factor in their mental and physical recovery, Baer said.

City of Cisco Reminds Citizens of Water Restrictions: The Stage 2 notice issued by the city follows. In order to help ensure the continued supply of water to all our customers, the following restrictions will be strictly enforced: Target water use in Stage 2 is to maintain water use at less than 1.75 million gallons per day. Car washing, window washing, and pavement washing shall be prohibited except when a bucket is used. The following lawn watering schedule is implemented immediately: Residences with odd numbered addresses shall be permitted to water on Wednesdays. Residences with even numbered addresses shall be permitted to water on Fridays. Watering shall be limited to the hours of 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Shrubs and newly established lawns may be watered with a hand-held hose with a sprayer limiting nozzle discharge to 2.0 gpm. Public water uses not essential for public health and safety are prohibited: street washing, water hydrant flushing, filling pools, and golf course watering.

65,000 additional Calgarians cleared to go home after floods - There are exceptions to the Water Utility Bylaw. They include:
-Washing outdoor surfaces for health and safety reasons for childcare facilities, food and beverage establishments and kennel and animal care facilities.
-Washing of vehicles to follow health and safety regulations.
-Watering of plants, shrubs and trees offered for sale.
-Businesses that have a license to operate exterior window washing services and car washes.
Calgarians can continue to use rain water captured in a rain barrel to water outdoors. The City of Calgary continues to restrict non-essential water use for its own operations. In addition The City of Calgary continues to request that Calgarians, businesses and regional customers in Strathmore, Chestermere and Airdrie continue to restrict indoor tap water use.

Emu Plains to Oxley Park, on the barriers of Sydney, Australia; Father and son window cleaning duo Jarrod and Gary Sutton ply their trade in St Marys.

Cleanliness freak robot - Though all inventions revolved around social issues, students from Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering, Bangalore stood out with the High Clean Spiderbot. Complete with brushes and wheels, the robot is designed to clean glasses of high rise buildings. “It works on the principle of suction. It can climb vertical glass surfaces. It can also used for inspecting bridges and gathering information,” said the students. The idea was born two years ago when Shanmugha T S, witnessed a horrible accident in Mumbai. “I had gone for an event. After the event we were all standing out when a man, who was cleaning window panes on the opposite building fell and died. That’s when the idea struck me,” he said. The engineers said that the robot is an effective device for a city like Bangalore which is flooded with high rise glass buildings. With this invention, companies don’t need to hire a team of cleaners. They can cut down on their costs too. However, the engineers said that still a lot of work needs to be done before the product is finally launched in the market.

Window cleaner, Matthew Perez saved the driver.
Drivers rescue woman from fiery car wreck (CASCADE LOCKS, Ore.) -- Passing drivers rescued a woman from the burning wreckage of her car before firefighters arrived Monday morning, according to Oregon State Police. The rescue happend after Ketsy Roeder, 60, of Kennewick, Washington, lost control of her 2010 Toyota Camry on Interstate 84 eastbound. The car left the road, hit a rock mound and went airborne before crashing into some trees and overturning, coming to rest on its top before bursting into flames. One of the other drivers who stopped kicked out a window and tried to free Roeder, who was unconscious and held in place by her seatbelt. When they were unable to pull her from the wreckage, the passersby worked together to roll the car onto its side. Using a baseball bat, one of the drivers broke out the sunroof.
Reaching inside, the man cut off the safety belt as Roeder was regaining consciousness. Several people teamed together to pull Roeder out of the burning car, police said, before moving her about 20 feet away while waiting for firefighters to arrive. Matthew Perez, 28, of Portland, was one of those rescuers. "I was headed out to Hot Springs Resort for some much needed rest," Perez told KATU. "I've been working to start my own business - a window cleaning business - and it's been stressful getting everything off the ground, getting my business license and all that." Perez said he had decided to head out to the resort for a couple of days to recharge his batteries. "I was driving right behind this woman and she went right into the embankment. It looked like she was going to be able to correct things but it didn't work out."
Perez said he and a couple of other people immediately rushed out to help her. "I don't think I was a hero. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do." Cascade Locks Fire & EMS arrived and extinguished the car fire and flames that had spread up the embankment into nearby trees. Medics treated Roder at the scene. She was taken by ground ambulance to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland, where she is in fair condition, state police said. The fire closed all eastbound lanes of I-84 for about 90 minutes while firefighters battled the flames. Perez said he never made it out to the resort. "I couldn't go. I just needed to come home," he said. "I'm still processing what happened."

Glass window crashes down on man (Cambridge) — An Everett man was taken to the hospital after a glass window caved in on him at the Galleria Mall. Police responded to a report of a glass window falling on a man’s head at around 6:11 a.m. on June 8 at the Cambridgeside Galleria Mall. A 28-year-old Everett man told police he was leaning against the window waiting for the sneaker store to open for the release of new sneakers when the 12-foot by 3-foot piece of glass crashed around him. Police said the man appeared to be intoxicated and initially refused medical attention despite several prominent wounds to his head and arms. Fire personnel reportedly pleaded with him to go to the hospital, and the man eventually consented.

Firm liable for killer glass: A local property management company must pay more than 800,000 yuan (US$130,480) to the family of a woman hit and killed by a piece of glass that fell from a high-rise building during Typhoon Haikui last year, the Baoshan District People's Court said yesterday. The woman, surnamed Lu, in her 50s, was hit by the glass at around 7am on August 8. She was found dead at the scene. The glass was ripped from the high-rise by the typhoon, the court heard. Lu's family sued the building's property management company. The family said police found swaying panes of glass and other pieces of broken glasses in the high-rise. The undisclosed company did not convince the court that Lu should also take partial responsibility for her death because she went out during a typhoon.

Suspect in Melbourne vandalisms could be using slingshot (MELBOURNE, Fla.) — West Melbourne police are fed up with a vandal who's been shattering storefront windows for months. The latest round of damage happened over the weekend, when four businesses were targeted. Channel 9's Melonie Holt found out it's a frustrating situation for Sun Clean Dry Cleaners and close to 50 others targeted in south Brevard County since December. Investigators said the vandal may be using a slingshot to propel ball bearings at businesses.
A metal hurricane shutter served as a temporary window at Sun Clean Dry Cleaners in west Melbourne Monday. Most of the glass from the business' shattered storefront was cleaned up. "Now we have to replace the whole front, and that's costly. And all the lettering on our windows," said owner Janice Turnbaugh. Turnbaugh said she has no idea why someone is causing all the damage, but they need to be stopped. "They're causing a lot of damage unnecessarily," Turnbaugh said.
Police have been collecting ball bearings fired through storefronts along the 192 and Wickham Road corridors. Investigators said the issue is larger than one of vandalism. "It could be somebody hurt, they're propelling this projectile very quickly. Somebody could be hurt by falling glass and/or the ball bearing they're using to break the window," said Lt. Richard Cordeau with Melbourne Police. "Right now, we don't have much to go on and we're asking the public to report it so we can follow up on any leads we may get," Cordeau said. Police are asking area business owners to review their surveillance videos, in the hopes their cameras may have captured the culprit. Crimeline is assisting investigators by offering up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the cases.

A Redding woman with a penchant for destroying windows so she can go back to jail was once again arrested early today after she allegedly went on a downtown window-breaking spree, smashing scores of windows and glass doors throughout the region. Reyes, who was described as homeless, was arrested in November on suspicion of felony vandalism after she broke numerous windows at Gerlinger Steel, the Redding Post Office and the VFW Hall because she wanted to go to jail, police said after that arrest. She pleaded no-contest in April to vandalism over $10,000 and was sentenced to 176 days in jail and placed on probation for three years, according to electronic court records. Janis Logan, co-owner of Vintage Wine Bar & Restaurant on Market Street, said Reyes broke seven windows at her business early Monday. “She broke a window for every year we’ve been open,” she said, noting her business is celebrating its seventh anniversary on Saturday. She estimated the damage at more than $2,500. Although admitting she was angry about the vandalism, Logan said she’s been trying to make light of it to help diffuse her frustration. “The windows were dirty,” she said. “Now I don’t have to wash them.”

Suspect linked to series of Farms home invasions in 2012, 2013 - Police say a would-be handyman was actually helping himself to the valuables of trusting residents who hired him to wash their windows or perform other odd jobs. And he could have the bucket he carried with him to blame for his identification and subsequent arrest by police. The 45-year-old Detroit man, who was on parole at the time of his arrest last week, is facing multiple new charges and is believed to be responsible for at least seven larcenies in the Farms since last year in an area between Chalfonte and Mack, Detective Lt. Richard Rosati said.
Rosati said the suspect went door-to-door offering his services as a window washer. At the home of one of his victims last year, on Chalfonte, the suspect is said to have accidentally left his bucket behind, along with paperwork that included his name, address and Social Security number. The victim didn’t realize the bucket belonged to the suspect at first, but he and investigators finally made that connection. According to a Farms Municipal Court official at press time, the suspect was slated to be arraigned on four charges at 3 p.m. June 18 in front of Municipal Court Judge Matthew Rumora. Those charges are: home invasion first degree, larceny of $1,000 or more but less than $20,000, and two counts of weapons/firearms possession by a felon.
First-degree home invasion carries a possible penalty of 20 years in prison or a $5,000 fine or both, while the larceny charge carries a potential sentence of five years in prison, a $10,000 fine or both. Each weapons charge carries a prison sentence of up to five years, a $5,000 fine or both. Rosati said the suspect “has a long criminal record” with previous convictions for larceny and dangerous drugs. His most recent conviction, in 2012, was for breaking and entering with the intention of committing a larceny in Detroit, for which he received a 10-month sentence and was apparently released early, Rosati said.
The suspect is said to have struck again this spring, allegedly stealing bicycles, guns, jewelry and other items from homes in the 400 blocks of Bournemouth and Barclay. Rosati said once police had the suspect’s name, they were able to track down some of the recently stolen items to a pair of pawnshops in Detroit, where the suspect had reportedly dropped off these items in his name. Fingerprints lifted last week off of a stolen jewelry box were a match to the suspect, Rosati said. “We have quite a bit (of evidence) now,” he said. Unfortunately, police have thus far not been able to recover items the suspect is said to have stolen last year.
Rosati said one of the saddest elements of this case is that the victims were all people who hired the suspect after he knocked on their doors. In many instances, he said residents felt sorry for the man and agreed to pay him for odd jobs. “I’m definitely thrilled that he was caught,” said Rosati, who arrested the suspect at the home of the suspect’s mother in Detroit June 10, after the suspect failed to show up for a meeting he had set up with Rosati. “He really hit us hard. People like that destroy (the spirit of) charity.” The suspect was being held at a Michigan Department of Corrections parole facility in Detroit awaiting his arraignment.
At press time, the suspect did not have an attorney representing him. It was not known whether he would be seeking court-appointed counsel at his arraignment. Rosati said police planned to send out a report to police departments in Harper Woods, St. Clair Shores and the other Grosse Pointes to see if the suspect could have been involved in larcenies in any of those communities. He said the suspect “has quite a bit of pawn activity,” leading police to believe that he may have stolen items from homes in other cities. Another article here.

Man sentenced for 'brutal' baseball bat attack - A window cleaner who hit a disabled woman around the head with a baseball bat on Christmas Eve has been spared a jail term. Kevin Wadsworth, 48, who lives at Stream Farm Kennels, Pirbright, appeared at Guildford Crown Court last Friday (June 7) to be sentenced for assault by beating and possessing an offensive weapon. Wadsworth had been drinking at a local pub before the incident, on December 24 last year, and when he returned home he went to his neighbour Debbie Privett’s mobile home with a baseball bat, believing she had traumatised his dog. Prosecutor Fahmina Islam, speaking during a previous hearing at Guildford Magistrates’ Court last month, described the victim as vulnerable as she has osteoarthritis in her lower spine, which affects her mobility to the extent that she sometimes uses a wheelchair.
The court was told Wadsworth accepted he had been drunk, having consumed five pints of beer and various other drinks. After finding his caravan in a state of disarray, he went over to Ms Privett’s caravan next door and began shouting, screaming and hitting it with the baseball bat. The victim, having heard the banging, opened the front door and saw the defendant holding the baseball bat, the court heard. She tried to close the door, but Wadsworth managed to land a blow to the right side of her forehead and threatened to "smash her face in".
Sentencing him last Friday, Judge Christopher Critchlow ordered Wadsworth to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work and demanded he pay £340 costs. Judge Critchlow said: “It is 30 years since this man was last before a court as a 17 or 18 year old. “What happened to make him behave like this?” Yusuf Solley, defending, said: “This was a grave error of judgement. He thought the complainant had harassed his dog.”
During the previous hearing, magistrates heard that Wadsworth had found his dog, which he described as a "second child", distressed and having ripped his curtains. Addressing Wadsworth, Judge Critchlow said: “You are 48 years old and it is sad to see you in court. “You are plainly a man who is responsible, who works and has worked for 16 years as a window cleaner. “Fortunately there were not more serious injuries, which could easily have been inflicted. “I think you are ashamed about what you did and have been extremely worried about it for the past six months. “But it does not justify you using such brutality.”

A man who sexually assaulted a woman before viciously biting her face after a drunken birthday night out has today been jailed for two and a half years. Nicky Clark, of Hampden Gardens, was his victim’s window cleaner and the two had been sending flirtacious text messages. After celebrating his 24th birthday on November 24 last year, Clark went to the woman’s flat in Aylesbury to try to have sex with her. When she resisted, Clark got angry and bit her on the cheek, leaving her with an ‘extremely nasty’ bruise. An elderly neighbour who had a key to the woman’s flat heard her screams, came down to help and got Clark to leave.
Rachel Drake, prosecuting, told Oxford Crown Court that Clark drunkenly text the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, saying he wanted to come round, but she told him she did not want to see him. When Clark arrived at her home, she was in bed and quickly put a dressing gown on. Ms Drake said: “It was clear to her the defendant was only interested in one thing. “She made it clear that she wasn’t interested in anything sexual. “He was shouting ‘I’ve finished with my girlfriend and it’s my birthday’.” Clark pinned her down on the bed, ripped off her clothes and pressed himself against her. When she resisted he bit her cheek.
Clark’s defence lawyer, Daren Samar, said his client had not sought out a victim but was acting on previous interactions with the woman. Mr Samar said: “This complainant had expressed, physically and verbally, sexual interest in the defendant. “I’m not suggesting what happened was right, but the reality is this was a young man who had never behaved in this way. “He is of good character. The court can be confident he is unlikely to come back to court again.” Sentencing, Judge Ian Pringle said he regarded the attack as a ‘serious sexual assault’ and the bite as a ‘serious aggravating factor’. Judge Pringle jailed Clark for 21 months for sexual assault on a woman and nine months for causing ABH, to be served consecutively – a total of 30 months. Clark, who has been living with a partner and children, will also be put on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

White Plains Man Charged with Forcible Touching in Pound Ridge: A White Plains man is scheduled to appear in court Monday after he allegedly made unwanted sexual contact with a 25-year-old woman inside her home in Pound Ridge Tuesday. State police in Somers arrested Hernan D. Salazar, 34, of White Plains, and charged him with forcible touching, a misdemeanor. Police said Salazar, who is employed as window cleaner at a local cleaning business with accounts in Westchester County, was working at single family home when the incident allegedly occurred. Salazar was arrested and released to reappear in Pound Ridge Court Monday.

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