Barbara Hartwell News » August 2016

Monthly Archives: August 2016


Scotland’s New Rail Line And Its Shocking Performance

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Scotland’s newest rail line will celebrate its first birthday on September 6 amidst complaints on its punctuality and shocking performance. The Borders Railway was expected to achieve 300,000 more trips from its target of 1.3 million before its first anniversary, but its poor performance is affecting passengers.

According to the figures of ScotRail, only about one in four trains or 28.4% has arrived on time since the first of the month. At least 70 trains have been cancelled over the first 10 days of August because of track and train faults, a fallen tree and a driver going on sick leave. On the other hand, David Spaven, a railway consultant and author, has stated that the Borders Railways is a classic example of a pound-foolish project.

If the poor performance of Class 158 trains and the frequency of failure on the track and signaling equipment were taken together, there is a clear case for inquiry in order to find out how such problems have occurred and allowed to develop. Rail campaigners have expressed their concerns on the delays and cancellations that have obviously reached epidemic proportions. The concerns have been ignored and travelers are now abandoning the unreliable railway.

According to the Scottish government, Network Rail and Scot Rail, a robust recovery plan was must be established immediately in order to save the Borders Railway otherwise passengers will look for better options. A Scot Rail spokesperson has said that they are doing everything they can for the convenience of travelers and they are working to match reliability with the demand for services on the new rail line.  On the other hand, a Transport Scotland spokesperson also said that they are committed in ensuring that Scot Rail will deliver a reliable and punctual service across the network.

People usually go online when they need to Book a train in Thailand because it is more efficient and convenient than buying tickets at the train station prior to departure. The steps in online booking are very simple because the homepage shows all the tickets that you can purchase. You only have to select and click to go about with the task.


Argentines Crying Out For Additional Employment

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In Buenos Aires, thousands of people from Argentin are making a move after the call made by Pope Francis. They conducted a march starting from the church up to the streets earlier this month. It is a mass protest by people who are demanding to get more employment from the government as well as to lessen the poverty they are experiencing.

It was during the feast of Cajetan, known to be the patron saint of unemployed, that the Catholic worshippers did their march. They prayed to the patron saint at the same church that is named after him which is located in Buenos Aires.

Thousands of people came to join during the street procession which started at the church located at the western part of the city. They marched going to the central square called Plaza De Mayo which is located directly in the front yard of the presidential palace.

The people marched bringing their slogan with them which bears the words bread and work. There are sounds of the beating drums as well as yells coming from protesters shouting for more jobs.

It was the most recent march conducted among the series of rallies that were made in order to stand against the cutting of jobs as well as the increase in utility rate for this year. These unfortunate events happened under the governance of the conservative representative, President Mauricio Macri.

According to labor unions, around 200,000 jobs have been cut off in different industries ever since Macri took the seat as President last December. The government also revealed that there were 52,000 jobs that were cut off coming from the private sector while 11,000 workers from public posts were removed. This all happened within a span of five months – January to May.

It was during a mass in church that Mario Poli, the present archbishop of Buenos Aires, read aloud a letter coming from the Argentinian Pope Francis who is worried about the high number of people who are unemployed within his homeland.

Eduardo Farrel, one of the organizers of the protest, said that it is the reason why they are conducting a march – in order to support the cry of the people for more bread and work.

Individuals in Thailand who are looking for jobs should contact Scooppeople Asia.


Touch Screens As A New Innovation For Motorcycles

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Motorcycle driving is way more dangerous and riskier than car driving. Now, these motorcycles are getting touch screens.

New maker joining the trend

The maker of Indian and Victory motorcycles, Polaris recently announced how it is putting the touch screen displays on its new bikes and off road vehicles. It is joining the innovation BMW and Harley-Davidson started in the past years.

Ride Command will enable motorcycle riders to sync their cellphones with their bike’s infotainment system, to map out their routes, to stay connected with their friends and to even check their social media accounts through the bike’s display screen. To be able to do these, bikers might need to take their hands away from the handle.

How about safety?

According to the company, the safety of doesn’t alarm regulators or riders as it is what consumers want. Executives say, riders are more worried about the touch screens being too high tech. The system can be shut off, though, by tapping the display for 3 seconds.

How about people who don’t need it?

For people who don’t need the technology, Polaris is making sure it is not an intrusion to those people, according to its president of motorcycles Steve Menneto.

Computer gadgets or software are everywhere and in moving and electronic things. Even if the need for simplified vehicles is better, there’s still no avoiding these computer assisted or enabled transportation.

Hindrance vs. Enhancement

A car, a modern one, usually runs millions of lines in software codes, and a motorcycle runs around the same number of codes.

Even though software is what powers most aspects of people’s lives, it is a question whether it is a hindrance rather than an enhancement.

A music system is probably of lesser importance in comparison of a system that detects approaching vehicles which is a transportation necessity.

For navigation systems, Polaris wants a rider to be able to experience anything done in cars. The company is able to integrate these in bikes. The customers are the ones deciding how they can use them.

There are still other innovations worth checking for those who don’t need too much. Solo Moto parts is a great resource to start.


Sena Positive About The Continued Demand For Condos

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Sena Development Plc, a company listed under SET, remains positive regarding the demand for housing projects in Bangkok thus their plan to develop four additional condominiums in the area with a total worth of 2.14 billion baht before the end of 2016.

According to Kessara Thanyalakpark, the deputy chief executive of the company, there are a number of property developers that are still going about their plans to launch their projects for the second half of this year. This is in spite of the not so good economy of the country which resulted to a reduction in home ownership within the metropolitan city. The percentage now stands at an estimate of 60 to 70 per cent.

Ms. Kessara also added that despite the high competition within the market, the developers are still pushing forward with their plan to launch new projects. This is because of the number of migrants in the city that are still not registered and are looking for housing units either for rent or sale.

Condominiums are also now considered a great investment because of the lower interest rates when it comes to deposit payments as well as the changing pattern of the stock market.

People looking to buy their own home will now face a stricter approval method when it comes to their mortgage, according to Ms. Kessara. She also revealed that clients under Sena are already facing rejections from bank and the rate for the first six months of the year is at 20 to 30 per cent.

Sena is planning to launch for more condominiums. The first project in the area of Bang Kradi will have a total of 348 units and will be worth 210 million baht. The second project in Sukhumvit Soi 50 will have 578 units amounting to 1.13 billion baht. The third and fourth projects located at Rama II Road and Bang Na Area will have 322 and 42 units with a respective with of 540 million baht and 160 million baht. The project will continue because the company recognizes that many are still looking for condos for sale in Bangkok.


What Is The Big Deal With Ugly Christmas Sweater?

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Last year, the National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day fell on December 18 and it has been considered a tradition for the last few years. You may have seen the continued increase in interest when it comes to the ugly Christmas sweater and some of you may have even been invited to attend an ugly Christmas sweater event last holiday. What really is the big deal for this trend?

According to sources, the very first ugly Christmas sweater party was held in Vancouver, Canada during 2001. The reason why the apparel might have so much appeal can be attributed to the fact that it is a major source of nostalgia for many. It is also a representation of the entire festivity no matter how cheesy. It is also another chance to appreciate the well meaning gifts that are given to young people mostly from their moms or grandmas who are fond of the holiday apparel.

Atlantic, on the other hand, has a new take on why many people nowadays seem to indulge in wearing the ugly Christmas sweater. If some people start a war with Christmas then the ugly Christmas sweater which is terrible looking but provides an awesome appeal is considered the demilitarized zone. Despite the fact that it is called ugly Christmas sweater, it does not point to the fact that people hate Christmas but rather it is a symbol of an inclusive and a safe celebration.

Other people are considering that the ugly Christmas sweater is one way for people to let out their holiday stress brought about by the holiday season since it can be emotionally and financially draining. If you talk to sociologists they will give you a list of the stress which can be obtained during the holiday and holding parties such as the ugly Christmas sweater event is just one way to ease out the tension.

According to Fred Davis, the bringing back of the ugly Christmas sweater can be one way of expressing nostalgia. This usually happens in periods where usual traditions are no longer being performed. Some people may feel that they have to use the sweater as a way to think of the past happiness that the item brings during the holiday season. Whatever the case is, it is safe to say that the next holiday will be filled with ugly Christmas sweaters.


Impact Of Latest Change In Home Delivery To Packaging

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Many years ago, door to door is a common occurrence but the products delivered are milk and newspaper. This practice has already stopped and people thought that door to door deliveries would be a thing of the past but they are wrong. With the rise of online shopping, home deliveries are now coming back in trend. You may have noticed around your neighborhood that there are daily deliveries of different products from milk to dry cleaning as well as deliveries made by the local supermarket as more and more people are doing their shopping on the phone or online.

Back in 2010, the biggest name in home delivery in the United States is the Peapod and other businesses such as Waitrose in the United Kingdom. In the case of France, the home deliveries are mostly accomplished with the help of La Petite Reine while the inner city is being delivered their package through what they call cargo bikes. The biggest name in courier services of today is the DHL but during that time it was only a startup business.

For some time, various sectors such as the government, the consumers and the groups under the trade industry are calling out to the big brands to reduce the amount of carbon footprint that they are contributing into the environment. There are also data offered in different things such as the ingredients used and the provenance is just among many others. The resulting packaging is one that is full of data with very little space left for the design elements that are the main eye-catcher to consumers.

There is now a new technology utilized by smartphones wherein all the users have to do is point the phone in the specific product and another portal will open which contains all the product information. Shoppers will be able to see all the ingredients of the product, where to acquire recipes and watch videos regarding the product. These can be used both on products on shelf or on the internet. For reliable packaging items, take a look at the wide array of choices from


Wood From Baltimore Rowhouses Converted To Furniture

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Jim Klausmeyer who is a woodworker, is busy choosing plank from thousands of lumbers that are for sale at the Riverside shop. According to him, the yellow pine that he has chosen is denser compared to other planks that can be bought at the local home stores, evident by the rings stamped on the wood in tight group.

The 27 year old woodworker also shared how years before, the trees used for lumber is given time to grow before harvesting. The pine that was chosen by Klausmeyer will be transformed into a barn-style door which is one of the well known items being orders from Sandtown Millworks. Sandtown Millworks is known as a woodworking company that make use of salvaged lumber coming from the old establishments in the Baltimore area such as old buildings, rowhouses and factories. They are transformed into rustic furniture with high quality.

Klausmeyer is the production manager as well as one of the partners in Sandtown. He started doing carpentry works at the age of 17 and he was one of the carpenters who renovated the rowhouses that are given to the New Renaissance Architects and Builders which is the parent company of the company he is working now – Sandtown.

Klausmeyer revealed that many of the houses that they are working on was built more than a century ago and because of the work they do on these houses they were able to appreciated the wood that are used to build one.

The woods that are utilized on those houses are usually made out of trees that are more than a century and they are referred to as old-growth lumber.

Sandtown Millworks was founded in 2011 with the goal of using wood salvaged from rowhouses and perform woodwork without losing its natural beauty. This is according to the founder of Sandtown Millworks as well as the New Renaissance, John Bolster, who is now 47 years old. Bolster got into renovation more than 20 years ago and that when he saw that many of the wood taken from the houses are being saved. Now he is making sure that every wood is saved and transformed into furniture such as vanity units.