The Value Of Galvanized Bolts

byPalm Beal

There are many different bolts in New York City; everything from Anchor bolts to Toggle bolts and everything in between. In many cases these bolts are available in various finishes and even materials; it is not uncommon for bolts to be made from stainless steel or to be galvanized when the operating environment is harsh. The special material or the special coating prevents corrosion and in the case of steel bolts; rust. Galvanized bolts are used in many applications, from the extreme demands that are found in bridge construction to the less demanding need when used to build your deck at home.

Galvanized bolts in New York City begin as nothing more than a steel bolt. This bolt, as it is unprotected will begin oxidizing very quickly, especially when they are exposed to moisture. Many of these bolts are subjected to a downstream application of zinc plating which adds potentially years to the life of the bolt and improves the load bearing capacity. A galvanized bolt can be used in far more applications then the plain steel fastener it once was.

It is very easy to identify a bolt which has been galvanized or hot zinc plated, they have a very definitive spangled surface. Although they can be employed anywhere, they are usually used outside where the fastener is constantly subjected to the weather and the environmental conditions prevalent in the area. They are common in areas which are close to the coasts as they can resists salt spray induced corrosion, although not as good as stainless steel bolts and nuts. In many industries where chemicals are processed, galvanized bolts are specified for almost every application.

Bolts in New York City are classified into through bolts and lag bolts. A lag bolt is used when there is no accessibility to both the bolt side and the nut side. A through bolt, or carriage bolt on the other hand is used when the bolt goes completely through the materials and the threads show on the other side of the joint. Lag bolts are often used when fastening wood, carriage bolts are the favorite for fastening metal.

Galvanized bolts are somewhat more expensive to purchase than plain, un-plated bolts but their proven life expectancy is many times greater so their use greatly reduces down time and maintenance expenses. For more information, visit the website

U.S. manufacturer General Motors seeks bankruptcy protection

Monday, June 1, 2009

United States automobile manufacturing firm General Motors filed for bankruptcy and Chapter 11 protection from its creditors at 12:00 UTC Monday, in a Manhattan, New York federal bankruptcy court. This was the largest bankruptcy filing for a U.S. manufacturing company, and with declared assets of $82.29 billion and a debt of $172.81 billion, and the fourth largest bankruptcy filing in recent U.S. history — after the bankruptcies of {{w|Lehman Brothers|| ($691.06 billion), Washington Mutual ($327.91 billion), and WorldCom ($103.91 billion).

The filing, expected to be the first of many, was for a New York GM affiliate, Chevrolet-Saturn of Harlem Incorporated. Numbered 09-50026, it named GM as a debtor in possession, and was filed before judge Robert Gerber.

GM is to be represented throughout the filing process by Weil Gotshal & Manges, a New York law firm specializing in bankruptcy.

The chief restructuring officer, named in the filing, is to be Al Koch, a managing director at AlixPartners LLP in New York, who will report directly to Fritz Henderson, the Chief Executive Officer of General Motors.

In its bankruptcy petition, GM listed its primary creditors as:

Name Amount owed (USD millions)
Wilmington Trust 22,000
United Auto Workers union (UAW) 20,560
Deutsche Bank 4,440

The amount owed to UAW excludes “approximately $9.4 billion corresponding to the GM Internal VEBA”. USD22,760 millions are owed to bondholders.

Analysts have observed that the effect of the bankruptcy filing on the U.S. economy is not expected to be as major as it once would have been. One such voice, Mark Zandy, an economist at Moody’s, commented that “Bankruptcy now is irrelevant in terms of the economic consequence of what’s happening to GM.” Such analysts believe that the economic impact of GM’s problems has already been felt, with its effects on parts suppliers and employment. They also believe that GM’s programme of accelerated payments, and its participation in a U.S. Treasury program to ensure prompt payments to parts manufacturers, will have cushioned the effect of the bankruptcy itself.

Speaking on Bloomberg Radio, David Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, stated that the fragility of the parts suppliers, the loss of whom would threaten the entire automobile manufacturing industry, was of more immediate concern than the GM bankruptcy.

Also filing for chapter 11 protection today were Saturn LLC and Saturn Distribution Corporation, subsidiary companies of General Motors.

As a consequence of the bankruptcy, General Motors Corporation (GM.N) was removed from the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and was replaced by Cisco Systems (CSCO.O), these changes scheduled by Dow Jones & Company to take effect from the opening of trading on June 8.

Coal processing equipment in coal mining

Coal processing is necessary in coal usage and supplying right size coal ores for coal industry. Coal processing is also the important coal mining equipment which process coal with crushing, grinding, conveying and screening, etc.

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Coal processing is as follows: After coal comes out of the ground, it typically goes on a conveyor belt to a preparation plant that is located at the mining site. The plant cleans and processes coal to remove dirt, rock, ash, sulfur, increasing the heating value of the coal. During this coal processing, the used industrial equipment can be called coal processing equipments.

Coal processing equipment

Coal processing equipment: coal crusher and coal mill, coal vertical mill. Coal crusher can be named coal processing crusher, and coal mill also named coal processing mill used widely in coal processing production lines.

Coal crusher is widely used in the coal crushing process. As technology developed, now we have many types of coal crushers, including jaw crusher, cone crusher, impact crusher and portable crushing and screening plant. SBM supply a whole set of coal crushing production line to coal processing industry.

Coal mill is the most important coal processing plant as coal is usually fed into fire power plant to generate energy. Coal mill include ball mill, vertical mill, raymond mill etc. SBM vertical coal mill is the one we designed for coal pulverizing and is featured with high capacity, high efficiency and long service time. Ball mill, hammer mill and other coal grinding equipments are also widely used in coal processing.

Coal screening plant is one kind of coal selecting and purifying equipments. Coal screening plant helps to separate the right size coal granules we need from those not passable. SBM vibrating screen is welcomed during coal crushing and coal grinding process.

Coal belt conveyor acts as the transporting part and joint in coal processing production line and so it is necessary during coal processing. SBM coal belt conveyor is rubber belt conveyor and runs in the circumstance temperature range from -20? to +40?. SBM coal belt conveyor can work with both outdoor and downhole operation.

Coal crushing and screening plant is the whole set of coal processing production line, equipped with coal crusher, screening plant, belt conveyor and vibrating feeder. Coal crushing and screening plant is more flexible and more widely used than stationary coal crushers.

Coal processing plant

Coal processing plant is the industrial equipments used for processing coal materials in coal mining industry. Coal processing plant mainly inlcudes coal crusher, coal mill, coal feeders, coal conveyors etc. Usually, coal jaw crusher is taken as primary crushing equipment or crusher machine for first crushing stage. Cone crusher and impact crusher are used as secondary crusher equipments. After crushing process, we apply coal mill such as ball mill, raymond mill, vertical mill as grinding machines or equipments for next grinding process.

In order to use coal more rationally, efficiently and effectively, the coal need to be processed and crushed into different sizes, 0 ~ 25 mm particle size for coal gas stove, 25 ~ 8 mm for steam locomotive, 25 ~ 6 mm for the industrial furnace, and coal power plant requires grain coal of 0 ~ 25mm. So coal processing in coal preparation plant includes coal crushing and coal milling.

Coal preperation plant

A coal preperation plant, nestled among the mountains. Coal Preperation plants generally use gravity process equipment to separate the refuse from the product (coal). Coal has a specific gravity between 1.35 and 1.5, while the refuse rock has a Specific Gravity of 2.1 to 2.3. Heavy Media is the most popular method of cleaning coarse sizes, jig plants are probably the second most common method used for coarse coal. Heavy media cyclones are being used more often for fines size fractions. Flotation is generally used to clean the -28 mesh size fraction, although spirals and heavy media cyclones have shown success in cleaning down to 100 mesh coal feed. Spirals are generally used for middling sizes ( 10 mesh to 60 mesh).

A flow diagram of a 400 ton per hour coal plant that produces both metallurgical coal and steam coal for power generation. Generally speaking, metallurgical coal is cleaner , has higher carbon content and is easier to process than the lower rank steam coals.

At this prep plant, all feed coal (ROM) is crushed to -2″ before entering the plant circuits. The 2″ x 10 mesh coal is screened and goes to the primary dense medium cyclone circuit. The 2″ x 10 mesh coking coal is recovered from the refuse here. The middlings (-10 mesh x 60 mesh) are processed in the Secondary Dense Medium Cyclone Circuit to recover the coal here, this produces a higher ash coal and is used as steam coal. The coking coal product conveyor has an intermediate screen that enables material to be diverted in varying proportions to steam coal if necessary to enhance the coking properties.

The -10 mesh coal is deslimed at 100 mesh and then sized at 10 mesh x 100 mesh is processed in the spiral circuit to produce coking coal. The -100 mesh slimes and -60 mesh coal is then processed in the flotation circuit to produce coking coal.

Four new breeds in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

This year, four breeds of dogs are competing for the first time in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, at Madison Square Garden in New York City, United States.

The new breeds making their Westminister debuts this year, are the Plott, a hunting hound originally bred by two German immigrant brothers in North Carolina; the Tibetan Mastiff, once described by Marco Polo as “tall as a donkey with a voice as powerful as that of a lion.”; the Beauceron, a herding dog originally bred to herd flocks of sheep in France, later used to sniff out landmines and send messages during the World Wars; and the Swedish Vallhund, a breed dating back to the time of the Vikings, used on farms to catch vermin, herd cattle, and as a guard dog, noted for its double coat and harness markings.

This brings the number of unique breeds competing in the famous dog show to 169.

The Plott, the Beauceron, and the Vallhund were shown on Monday. The Tibetan Mastiff will be shown tonight as part of the Working Group.

Understanding Your Car Insurance: Glossary of Contract Terms

The best way to understand your car insurance policy is to become familiar with some of the terms used in your contract when signing up for a deal. It can be easy to get lost in insurance jargon and end up confused about some of the stipulations of your policy.

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The car insurance glossary below lists several terms that you are likely to encounter when reading over your contract.

Cancellation Clause/Cooling off Period

The cancellation clause is an important part of your contract that gives both you and your insurer the right to cancel the policy within a short period of time after it has gone into effect. This period of time is typically around 14 days, so make sure to cancel within this time if you have any issues with the policy. If cancelled within this period, you will not need to provide any reason for why you wanted out of your policy.

Cash Surrender Value

This is the amount of money that you could get back if you cancel your insurance before the year has ended. Your contract will determine how much you can be reimbursed.

Compulsory Excess

A compulsory excess is the amount that you would have to pay if you ever make a claim. Your insurance will cover whatever is left to pay after the compulsory excess. People who are seen as a greater insurance risk will have to pay a higher compulsory excess.


Exclusion refers to some event that your insurer will not cover. You will not be able to make a claim if you receive any damages as a result of this stipulated event.

Geographical/Territorial Limits

These are the limits within which your car insurance will be considered valid. The typical geographical limit for your UK insurance will be within the UK. Take a look at your contract to see if you will be covered in any other countries.


An indemnity simply means that you have been compensated or have received reparation payments. It is when you have returned to the same state that you were in before a loss, after having your damages paid for and repaired.


This is simply a contract term that refers to the person who is being covered by the policy.

Legal Liability

Legal liability means that it is your responsibility to compensate someone after causing damages.


“Partner” is a term that may be used in your contract to refer to the person you are living with. They do not have to be married to you to be considered your partner.


This is another term for “insured.”


“Proposer” is another term for both “insured” and “policyholder.” It is the person taking out insurance.

Registered Keeper

The register keeper of a vehicle has the responsibility of making sure that the car is licensed and for paying any tickets. The registered keeper, however, does not have to be the owner of the car. They just need to be the person who uses it.


The payout that you or somebody else received from an insurance company is referred to as the settlement.

Social Domestic and Pleasure (SD & P)

When you take out a car insurance policy, your insurer is going to want to know how you intend to use your car. They will ask whether you will be using it to get to and from work, for SD & P purposes, or for both. If you are going to be using your car to do things such as take trips, visit friends, and go shopping, then you are using it for SD & P.


An underwriter assesses how much of an insurance risk you are likely to present for an insurer, and how much your premiums will be. They take into account factors such as where you live, how old you are, any points on your license, what sort of car you drive, and even where your car will be parked overnight.

Voluntary Excess

A voluntary excess is how much you can agree to pay on top of your compulsory excess. If you can afford to make a bigger payment in the event of a claim, then you may benefit from lower premiums, as this will guarantee a smaller cost for your insurance company.

Eva Kurilovaappreciates that the language used by insurance companies can be confusing and difficult to understand which is why she likes the idea of an online car insurance glossary. Visit the website to use their free glossary tools and learn more about your insurance.

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The History of Treadmills

The first Treadmills date back as far as 1875, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that they actually began to get used by humans. Up until the 1920s, they were designed only to be operated by animals, making production more effective for machines like butter churns, wheels, and water pumps. It was when they began to appear on factory floors as conveyer belts – used to transport parts and products easily – that they began to get noticed.

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First Treadmills
The first Treadmill intended for use by humans was designed as a stress test, helping doctors of the time detect potential heart problems. It didn’t take long for investors and business types to realise that the Treadmill could be used as a commercially viable product, to allow exercise in the household and at the gym, and so today’s Treadmill was born.

Treadmills turned into a symbol of futuristic living, parodied in science fiction pop culture as a way to rid us of the inconveniences walking to travel from place to place produces. As we move forward allowing machines to do more and more for us, the Treadmill – or conveyer belt in this sense – epitomises this. It is interesting then that we now use Treadmills more than ever to keep fit, and that losing weight is now a fashionable thing to do.

Treadmills of Today
Treadmills have come a long way since their conception; it’s now not too difficult to find an affordable Treadmill jam-packed with special features and built-in training programmes. Tunturi, now a well-known and reputed global manufacturer of Treadmills and Fitness Equipment, started out as a bicycle-making business in Finland.

Treadmill Features
Many of the features modern Treadmills boast include MP3 functionality, meaning you can plug in your MP3 Player and listen whilst you workout, through built-in speakers. Integrated fans are also designed to keep Treadmill operators cool during their training.

In addition to these luxurious comforts included are an array of technologies designed to actually bolster and support the user’s workout, including orthopaedic belts or shock-absorbing running decks. A variety of speeds allow you to challenge yourself and open the Treadmill up to any level of fitness.

Storage has also become easier as technology advances, and they are now hugely accessible and affordable.

The Future of Treadmills Future technologies are making the potential of Treadmills all the more exciting. Anti Gravity Treadmills let the user workout inside a pressurised bubble that surrounds their body from the waist down, giving the sensation of running or walking through water. This sort of Treadmill would be advantageous for people undergoing rejuvenative physiotheraphy or who have joint issues.

Vertical Treadmills are also in development, which will let you climb up walls whilst remaining stationary and supported. Knobs mounted on to the Treadmill belt will let you grapple your way up, and, to top it all off, you give yourself a full body workout! Treadmills have changed and will continue to change the way we live, and, as the world gets busier – and fatter – and the chance of taking to the stars becomes more apparent, they’ve never been more relevant.

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The Roles And Importance In The Industry!

In the modern economy, construction is considered as the lifeline and this can surely be attained by using the most advanced equipments. The defined target and goal can also be acquired by using the magnificent robots along with the higher accuracy and the success rate. The huge civilization of past days is now reached its peak through the usage of the various types of the equipments and the tools. Nowadays with advancement in the area of the technology, it has become very easy for the mankind for reaching the highest peak of the modern civilization. The construction equipments supplier is the one who is responsible for providing the equipments to construction workers and the builders, so that work is completed in the right time.

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The construction equipments suppliers are the ones who deal in various types of the equipments which are used basically during the construction of the project. These equipments can include some of the simple tools as well as the complex tools which are available Nowadays. Some of the very common examples of these types of the tools include bulldozers, cranes, material related transport vehicles and the trucks. Some of these equipments are usually been given on the contract basis. After the completion of project, these equipments are returned back to the providers of the equipments. On the other hand, there are certain options been available where the equipments can be provided completely to the company of the construction.

The construction equipments suppliers generally deal in certain kinds of the equipments. The various equipments with their usages are explained further. To start with, the first equipment is cranes. Cranes are the machine which is designed especially for transferring the material quickly from the low level area to high level area. The use of the crane is basically for outperforming human beings through transferring the things at a much faster pace. A crane is usually used for carrying the materials such as large concrete mixes, or the fragile materials such as granite bars or the glass to the high locations in an uncompleted building. One should note here, a crane is a very huge instrument for the construction and therefore requires a very experienced operator.

The second type of the equipment is the bulldozer. The construction equipments supplier basically provides them as per the requirement of various clients. The use of this special equipment is to help in the leveling off the ground. Apart from this, it is also used for cleaning of the huge debris of the waste materials. It has become a must for all the construction companies.

Apart from these two above mentioned equipments, there is some other equipment also and it is impossible for the sector of the construction to get completed without them. One of such type of the equipments is the elevator. The elevators are helpful at the construction site. These are designed especially for providing the fast completion to transport the work and the raw material from one place to the other.

Emily Ralph is an independent small business consultant who advises and counsels small business owners and helps them. To access more information about small business manufacturer, free tenders, building equipments manufacturer and construction equipments supplier visit
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Sorts of Window Blinds

Vertical blinds are good since they can successfully command how considerably normal or exterior mild arrive in to a place, for the reason that slats can also be closed tightly.

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Venetian blinds are the blinds with horizontal slats, one slat over a different. They are hanging by way of strips of clothing or by cords that are capable to choose them up together to 180 degrees. They can be arranged in 3 unique techniques:

*Overlapping with a single side dealing with inwards
*Overlapping with other facet dealing with inwards
*No overlapping at all going through an individual aspect inwards

There are holes in every single slat to pass the lift cord from each slat. To open the blinds these lift cords are pulled and the bottom of the blinds moves upward because of to this slats stacked on just about every other as the blind is raised. Venetian blinds are usually of metal or plastic. Slat width ranges from 16-120 mm typically slat’s width is 50mm.

Some other types of window blinds also exist. These include mini blinds These are the Venetian blinds with very slim slat 1″roughly 25mm broad, micro blinds (12mm extensive), louers, jalousies, brise soleil, Holland blinds, pleated blinds, honeycomb blinds, Roman shades and roller shades.

Automobile Blinds
Auto blinds are used in cars to secure from sun. These blinds are very effortless to use. They can be connected with brackets on windows or on entrance glass. Suction cups and Static clings are employed to attach blinds on auto windows and entrance and again glass.

Materials Used to Make Window Blinds

Blinds can be designed from a assortment of products and in range of various tactics. Cloth and wood are the most popular elements that are utilized to make blinds.

Cloth made blinds incorporate Roman blinds, Roller blinds, Austrian blinds.

Wood blinds consist of Venetian blinds and Pinoleum blinds.

Blinds can be produced with materials other than wood and fabric, this sort of as products resembling to wood, metal, or plastic and gentleman made artificial supplies.

Blinds normally referred to as window blinds, are an unique variety of covers developed for the windows. These are generally manufactured of slats of fabric, wood or metal. A window blind is operated via adjustment of the material, wooden or metal, by rotating from an open up placement, to a closed place. This method is achieved by the slats which are permitted to overlap.

Utilizes of the metal window blinds

The metal window blinds have range of employs. These are utilised as protection for the houses or offices, against burglary, extreme temperatures, bad climatic conditions, and also hearth. The automobile blinds are employed in rear or rear facet windows of a motor vehicle. They assist protect the vehicle and also the people traveling in the vehicle from immediate rays of the sunlight. The auto window blinds are normally fitted with brackets, and are extremely effortless to install or eliminate.

Kinds of blinds

There are numerous types of window blinds available in the market. They are the Persian or the Slat blinds, the Venetian, the vertical and other kinds like as mini blinds, micro blinds, Holland blinds, pleated blinds and the honeycomb blinds. The most well-known kind of window blind is the slat blind. This wide variety is made up of metallic or vinyl horizontal slats or strips.

National Museum of Scotland reopens after three-year redevelopment

Friday, July 29, 2011

Today sees the reopening of the National Museum of Scotland following a three-year renovation costing £47.4 million (US$ 77.3 million). Edinburgh’s Chambers Street was closed to traffic for the morning, with the 10am reopening by eleven-year-old Bryony Hare, who took her first steps in the museum, and won a competition organised by the local Evening News paper to be a VIP guest at the event. Prior to the opening, Wikinews toured the renovated museum, viewing the new galleries, and some of the 8,000 objects inside.

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Dressed in Victorian attire, Scottish broadcaster Grant Stott acted as master of ceremonies over festivities starting shortly after 9am. The packed street cheered an animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex created by Millenium FX; onlookers were entertained with a twenty-minute performance by the Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers on the steps of the museum; then, following Bryony Hare knocking three times on the original doors to ask that the museum be opened, the ceremony was heralded with a specially composed fanfare – played on a replica of the museum’s 2,000-year-old carnyx Celtic war-horn. During the fanfare, two abseilers unfurled white pennons down either side of the original entrance.

The completion of the opening to the public was marked with Chinese firecrackers, and fireworks, being set off on the museum roof. As the public crowded into the museum, the Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers resumed their performance; a street theatre group mingled with the large crowd, and the animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex entertained the thinning crowd of onlookers in the centre of the street.

On Wednesday, the museum welcomed the world’s press for an in depth preview of the new visitor experience. Wikinews was represented by Brian McNeil, who is also Wikimedia UK’s interim liaison with Museum Galleries Scotland.

The new pavement-level Entrance Hall saw journalists mingle with curators. The director, Gordon Rintoul, introduced presentations by Gareth Hoskins and Ralph Applebaum, respective heads of the Architects and Building Design Team; and, the designers responsible for the rejuvenation of the museum.

Describing himself as a “local lad”, Hoskins reminisced about his grandfather regularly bringing him to the museum, and pushing all the buttons on the numerous interactive exhibits throughout the museum. Describing the nearly 150-year-old museum as having become “a little tired”, and a place “only visited on a rainy day”, he commented that many international visitors to Edinburgh did not realise that the building was a public space; explaining the focus was to improve access to the museum – hence the opening of street-level access – and, to “transform the complex”, focus on “opening up the building”, and “creating a number of new spaces […] that would improve facilities and really make this an experience for 21st century museum visitors”.

Hoskins explained that a “rabbit warren” of storage spaces were cleared out to provide street-level access to the museum; the floor in this “crypt-like” space being lowered by 1.5 metres to achieve this goal. Then Hoskins handed over to Applebaum, who expressed his delight to be present at the reopening.

Applebaum commented that one of his first encounters with the museum was seeing “struggling young mothers with two kids in strollers making their way up the steps”, expressing his pleasure at this being made a thing of the past. Applebaum explained that the Victorian age saw the opening of museums for public access, with the National Museum’s earlier incarnation being the “College Museum” – a “first window into this museum’s collection”.

Have you any photos of the museum, or its exhibits?

The museum itself is physically connected to the University of Edinburgh’s old college via a bridge which allowed students to move between the two buildings.

Applebaum explained that the museum will, now redeveloped, be used as a social space, with gatherings held in the Grand Gallery, “turning the museum into a social convening space mixed with knowledge”. Continuing, he praised the collections, saying they are “cultural assets [… Scotland is] turning those into real cultural capital”, and the museum is, and museums in general are, providing a sense of “social pride”.

McNeil joined the yellow group on a guided tour round the museum with one of the staff. Climbing the stairs at the rear of the Entrance Hall, the foot of the Window on the World exhibit, the group gained a first chance to see the restored Grand Gallery. This space is flooded with light from the glass ceiling three floors above, supported by 40 cast-iron columns. As may disappoint some visitors, the fish ponds have been removed; these were not an original feature, but originally installed in the 1960s – supposedly to humidify the museum; and failing in this regard. But, several curators joked that they attracted attention as “the only thing that moved” in the museum.

The museum’s original architect was Captain Francis Fowke, also responsible for the design of London’s Royal Albert Hall; his design for the then-Industrial Museum apparently inspired by Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace.

The group moved from the Grand Gallery into the Discoveries Gallery to the south side of the museum. The old red staircase is gone, and the Millennium Clock stands to the right of a newly-installed escalator, giving easier access to the upper galleries than the original staircases at each end of the Grand Gallery. Two glass elevators have also been installed, flanking the opening into the Discoveries Gallery and, providing disabled access from top-to-bottom of the museum.

The National Museum of Scotland’s origins can be traced back to 1780 when the 11th Earl of Buchan, David Stuart Erskine, formed the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland; the Society being tasked with the collection and preservation of archaeological artefacts for Scotland. In 1858, control of this was passed to the government of the day and the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland came into being. Items in the collection at that time were housed at various locations around the city.

On Wednesday, October 28, 1861, during a royal visit to Edinburgh by Queen Victoria, Prince-Consort Albert laid the foundation-stone for what was then intended to be the Industrial Museum. Nearly five years later, it was the second son of Victoria and Albert, Prince Alfred, the then-Duke of Edinburgh, who opened the building which was then known as the Scottish Museum of Science and Art. A full-page feature, published in the following Monday’s issue of The Scotsman covered the history leading up to the opening of the museum, those who had championed its establishment, the building of the collection which it was to house, and Edinburgh University’s donation of their Natural History collection to augment the exhibits put on public display.

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Selection of views of the Grand Gallery Image: Brian McNeil.

Selection of views of the Grand Gallery Image: Brian McNeil.

Selection of views of the Grand Gallery Image: Brian McNeil.

Closed for a little over three years, today’s reopening of the museum is seen as the “centrepiece” of National Museums Scotland’s fifteen-year plan to dramatically improve accessibility and better present their collections. Sir Andrew Grossard, chair of the Board of Trustees, said: “The reopening of the National Museum of Scotland, on time and within budget is a tremendous achievement […] Our collections tell great stories about the world, how Scots saw that world, and the disproportionate impact they had upon it. The intellectual and collecting impact of the Scottish diaspora has been profound. It is an inspiring story which has captured the imagination of our many supporters who have helped us achieve our aspirations and to whom we are profoundly grateful.

The extensive work, carried out with a view to expand publicly accessible space and display more of the museums collections, carried a £47.4 million pricetag. This was jointly funded with £16 million from the Scottish Government, and £17.8 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Further funds towards the work came from private sources and totalled £13.6 million. Subsequent development, as part of the longer-term £70 million “Masterplan”, is expected to be completed by 2020 and see an additional eleven galleries opened.

The funding by the Scottish Government can be seen as a ‘canny‘ investment; a report commissioned by National Museums Scotland, and produced by consultancy firm Biggar Economics, suggest the work carried out could be worth £58.1 million per year, compared with an estimated value to the economy of £48.8 prior to the 2008 closure. Visitor figures are expected to rise by over 20%; use of function facilities are predicted to increase, alongside other increases in local hospitality-sector spending.

Proudly commenting on the Scottish Government’s involvement Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, described the reopening as, “one of the nation’s cultural highlights of 2011” and says the rejuvenated museum is, “[a] must-see attraction for local and international visitors alike“. Continuing to extol the museum’s virtues, Hyslop states that it “promotes the best of Scotland and our contributions to the world.

So-far, the work carried out is estimated to have increased the public space within the museum complex by 50%. Street-level storage rooms, never before seen by the public, have been transformed into new exhibit space, and pavement-level access to the buildings provided which include a new set of visitor facilities. Architectural firm Gareth Hoskins have retained the original Grand Gallery – now the first floor of the museum – described as a “birdcage” structure and originally inspired by The Crystal Palace built in Hyde Park, London for the 1851 Great Exhibition.

The centrepiece in the Grand Gallery is the “Window on the World” exhibit, which stands around 20 metres tall and is currently one of the largest installations in any UK museum. This showcases numerous items from the museum’s collections, rising through four storeys in the centre of the museum. Alexander Hayward, the museums Keeper of Science and Technology, challenged attending journalists to imagine installing “teapots at thirty feet”.

The redeveloped museum includes the opening of sixteen brand new galleries. Housed within, are over 8,000 objects, only 20% of which have been previously seen.

  • Ground floor
  • First floor
  • Second floor
  • Top floor

The Window on the World rises through the four floors of the museum and contains over 800 objects. This includes a gyrocopter from the 1930s, the world’s largest scrimshaw – made from the jaws of a sperm whale which the University of Edinburgh requested for their collection, a number of Buddha figures, spearheads, antique tools, an old gramophone and record, a selection of old local signage, and a girder from the doomed Tay Bridge.

The arrangement of galleries around the Grand Gallery’s “birdcage” structure is organised into themes across multiple floors. The World Cultures Galleries allow visitors to explore the culture of the entire planet; Living Lands explains the ways in which our natural environment influences the way we live our lives, and the beliefs that grow out of the places we live – from the Arctic cold of North America to Australia’s deserts.

The adjacent Patterns of Life gallery shows objects ranging from the everyday, to the unusual from all over the world. The functions different objects serve at different periods in peoples’ lives are explored, and complement the contents of the Living Lands gallery.

Performance & Lives houses musical instruments from around the world, alongside masks and costumes; both rooted in long-established traditions and rituals, this displayed alongside contemporary items showing the interpretation of tradition by contemporary artists and instrument-creators.

The museum proudly bills the Facing the Sea gallery as the only one in the UK which is specifically based on the cultures of the South Pacific. It explores the rich diversity of the communities in the region, how the sea shapes the islanders’ lives – describing how their lives are shaped as much by the sea as the land.

Both the Facing the Sea and Performance & Lives galleries are on the second floor, next to the new exhibition shop and foyer which leads to one of the new exhibition galleries, expected to house the visiting Amazing Mummies exhibit in February, coming from Leiden in the Netherlands.

The Inspired by Nature, Artistic Legacies, and Traditions in Sculpture galleries take up most of the east side of the upper floor of the museum. The latter of these shows the sculptors from diverse cultures have, through history, explored the possibilities in expressing oneself using metal, wood, or stone. The Inspired by Nature gallery shows how many artists, including contemporary ones, draw their influence from the world around us – often commenting on our own human impact on that natural world.

Contrastingly, the Artistic Legacies gallery compares more traditional art and the work of modern artists. The displayed exhibits attempt to show how people, in creating specific art objects, attempt to illustrate the human spirit, the cultures they are familiar with, and the imaginative input of the objects’ creators.

The easternmost side of the museum, adjacent to Edinburgh University’s Old College, will bring back memories for many regular visitors to the museum; but, with an extensive array of new items. The museum’s dedicated taxidermy staff have produced a wide variety of fresh examples from the natural world.

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At ground level, the Animal World and Wildlife Panorama’s most imposing exhibit is probably the lifesize reproduction of a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton. This rubs shoulders with other examples from around the world, including one of a pair of elephants. The on-display elephant could not be removed whilst renovation work was underway, and lurked in a corner of the gallery as work went on around it.

Above, in the Animal Senses gallery, are examples of how we experience the world through our senses, and contrasting examples of wildly differing senses, or extremes of such, present in the natural world. This gallery also has giant screens, suspended in the free space, which show footage ranging from the most tranquil and peaceful life in the sea to the tooth-and-claw bloody savagery of nature.

The Survival gallery gives visitors a look into the ever-ongoing nature of evolution; the causes of some species dying out while others thrive, and the ability of any species to adapt as a method of avoiding extinction.

Earth in Space puts our place in the universe in perspective. Housing Europe’s oldest surviving Astrolabe, dating from the eleventh century, this gallery gives an opportunity to see the technology invented to allow us to look into the big questions about what lies beyond Earth, and probe the origins of the universe and life.

In contrast, the Restless Earth gallery shows examples of the rocks and minerals formed through geological processes here on earth. The continual processes of the planet are explored alongside their impact on human life. An impressive collection of geological specimens are complemented with educational multimedia presentations.

Beyond working on new galleries, and the main redevelopment, the transformation team have revamped galleries that will be familiar to regular past visitors to the museum.

Formerly known as the Ivy Wu Gallery of East Asian Art, the Looking East gallery showcases National Museums Scotland’s extensive collection of Korean, Chinese, and Japanese material. The gallery’s creation was originally sponsored by Sir Gordon Wu, and named after his wife Ivy. It contains items from the last dynasty, the Manchu, and examples of traditional ceramic work. Japan is represented through artefacts from ordinary people’s lives, expositions on the role of the Samurai, and early trade with the West. Korean objects also show the country’s ceramic work, clothing, and traditional accessories used, and worn, by the indigenous people.

The Ancient Egypt gallery has always been a favourite of visitors to the museum. A great many of the exhibits in this space were returned to Scotland from late 19th century excavations; and, are arranged to take visitors through the rituals, and objects associated with, life, death, and the afterlife, as viewed from an Egyptian perspective.

The Art and Industry and European Styles galleries, respectively, show how designs are arrived at and turned into manufactured objects, and the evolution of European style – financed and sponsored by a wide range of artists and patrons. A large number of the objects on display, often purchased or commissioned, by Scots, are now on display for the first time ever.

Shaping our World encourages visitors to take a fresh look at technological objects developed over the last 200 years, many of which are so integrated into our lives that they are taken for granted. Radio, transportation, and modern medicines are covered, with a retrospective on the people who developed many of the items we rely on daily.

What was known as the Museum of Scotland, a modern addition to the classical Victorian-era museum, is now known as the Scottish Galleries following the renovation of the main building.

This dedicated newer wing to the now-integrated National Museum of Scotland covers the history of Scotland from a time before there were people living in the country. The geological timescale is covered in the Beginnings gallery, showing continents arranging themselves into what people today see as familiar outlines on modern-day maps.

Just next door, the history of the earliest occupants of Scotland are on display; hunters and gatherers from around 4,000 B.C give way to farmers in the Early People exhibits.

The Kingdom of the Scots follows Scotland becoming a recognisable nation, and a kingdom ruled over by the Stewart dynasty. Moving closer to modern-times, the Scotland Transformed gallery looks at the country’s history post-union in 1707.

Industry and Empire showcases Scotland’s significant place in the world as a source of heavy engineering work in the form of rail engineering and shipbuilding – key components in the building of the British Empire. Naturally, whisky was another globally-recognised export introduced to the world during empire-building.

Lastly, Scotland: A Changing Nation collects less-tangible items, including personal accounts, from the country’s journey through the 20th century; the social history of Scots, and progress towards being a multicultural nation, is explored through heavy use of multimedia exhibits.

UK revokes visa of former Thai PM

Saturday, November 8, 2008

An email circulated to airlines yesterday revealed that the UK government has revoked the visas of Thai ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife. Both have been convicted and sentenced to jail terms in Thailand. The email instructs airlines not to facilitate travel for the couple to return to the UK. Reports indicate that the deposed and convicted ex-PM is currently in China with plans to travel to the Philippines this weekend. The whereabouts of his wife are not currently known.

Thaksin and his wife, Potjaman Shinawatra, have spent much of the past two years living in exile in the UK after jumping bail on charges against them in Thailand. The visa revocation, issued by Immigration Liaison Manager Andy Gray of the UK embassy in Bangkok, will come as a harsh blow to Thaksin, who had expressed a strong interest in remaining in England as an exile, asserting that charges back home were politically motivated.

Lawyers involved in the successful prosecution of Thaksin were known to be in the process of drawing up extradition papers to submit to the UK’s Home Office; with his chosen country of refuge now in doubt it may become more difficult to have him returned to Thailand to serve his two year sentence for corruption. In an email to Wikinews the UK Home Office declined to comment on the extradition, specifying it was policy not to discuss individual cases.

Extradition would have been covered under a treaty drawn up in 1911 between the two countries and the onus would have been on Thailand to prove that the conviction ties up with similar UK laws. Claims by Thaksin that such a request would have been politically motivated would be considered by the court under the UK’s Extradition Act. The Home Office also confirmed that Thaksin’s diplomatic passport would not have exempted him from such proceedings.

Potjaman, Thaksin’s wife, escaped prosecution in the corruption case over a Bangkok land deal, however she already faces a three year sentence for tax evasion. Visas for the couple’s children were unaffected by the action, they remain free to travel to and from the UK.

Nobody can bring me back to Thailand, except royal kindness of HM the King or the power of the people

Despite his self-imposed exile, the ex-PM who was deposed by a bloodless coup in 2006 has remained in the news and public consciousness in Thailand. Several high-profile court cases alleging corruption and malfeasance during his time as premier and leader of the now-banned Thai Rak Thai (lit: Thais love Thais) political party remain outstanding.

Last Saturday, he gave a telephone address to pro-government protesters rallying at the country’s national stadium in Bangkok. Members of the current government, which is accused of being a proxy for Thaksin, managed to amass tens of thousands of red-shirted supporters to listen to the address. The rally has been condemned by the Law Society of Thailand as contempt of court, and their statement on the November 1 phone-in warned that media repeating its content could be added to the defendants in any legal proceedings.

During the phone-in Thaksin said, “Nobody can bring me back to Thailand, except royal kindness of HM the King or the power of the people”; this can be construed as an appeal for a royal pardon, or for his supporters to be more vocal.