Easter Must-Dos at Walt Disney World

first_imgResort OfferingsWalt Disney World resorts love to celebrate holidays. At the resort hotels throughout Walt Disney World there will be special Easter events on Easter Sunday, such as Easter egg hunts, scavenger hunts, games and crafts. Some examples include an Easter Family Scavenger Hunt at Fort Wilderness (as part of a larger Easter party at the Mickey’s Backyard BBQ Pavilion from 8 AM-12 PM), an Easter Cake Walk and Bunny Bingo at the Contemporary (with events on the Lawn under the Skyway Bridge and at the Bay Cove Pool), and the Great Golden Egg Hunt and Bunny Hoppin’ Party at the Polynesian (with events at the Lava Pool Deck and the Great Ceremonial House Lawn). Similar events are held at all resorts, so check your resort activities guide for the events taking place an each individual resort.Easter Brunch at Disney WorldFive Walt Disney World restaurants are serving Easter Brunch.:Cape May Cafe (Beach Club)Captain’s Grille (Yacht Club)The Wave…of American Flavors (Contemporary)Trail’s End (Fort Wilderness Campground – the Settlement)Boma (Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House).Religious ServicesLast, but certainly not least, Easter services will be held at the Contemporary in the Fantasia Ballroom. Catholic Mass will be held at 8:00 AM and 10:30 AM and a Protestant service will be held at 9:15 AM. Easter Egg Hunt at EpcotHeld annually during the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, the Epcot Egg-Stravaganza hunt is a family favorite. Oversized Easter eggs with pictures of favorite Disney characters are hidden throughout World Showcase. Although you can wander around to look for them on your own, for a nominal fee, you can purchase the scavenger hunt kit, which allows you to keep track of what eggs you find in each country. Once you are finished, you can show your completed map to receive one plastic character egg to take home.Easter Parade and the Azalea Trail MaidsAlthough an Easter Bonnet (with all the frills upon it) isn’t a requirement to watch the Easter Parade on Easter Sunday, you would fit in great if you had one. The Easter Parade prominently features the Azalea Trail Maids (the “Official Ambassadors” for the city of Mobile, Alabama) in their immense ball gowns, Easter bonnets, and parasols. The Easter Parade is also a great opportunity to see some rare characters, including Thumper and Miss Bunny, Clara Cluck, and the Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh. Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny also make appearance in the parade to celebrate their special day. The Easter parade is only offered on Easter weekend, so even though it is only a few minutes long, it does draw a crowd.Daisy Duck gets into the spirit of things, helping to lead the Azalea Trail Maids in the Easter Parade.Easter MerchandiseIf you want to keep the feeling of Easter around long after the eggs have been found, Disney has some Easter-themed merchandise for sale in the parks and through the Shop Parks app. This year’s limited edition MagicBand (2.0, of course) features a design similar to the eggs from the Epcot Easter egg hunt.In addition, the Easter Bunny helpers at Disney Floral and Gifts can make a custom Easter basket filled with a touch of Disney magic. Share This!Walt Disney World loves any excuse to celebrate a holiday, so it is no surprise that there are some special offerings only available during the Easter season.  Easter is April 16 this year, and here are some of the best that Walt Disney World has to offer for Easter.Meet the Easter Bunny (and Mrs. Easter Bunny, too)It isn’t a surprise to most people that you can meet Santa around the winter holidays, but at Magic Kingdom, Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny are available for a springtime meet and greet. Although they don’t sign autographs, you can get a picture and a special free “autographed card” as a souvenir. Mr. and Mrs. Bunny usually meet in Town Square at the Magic Kingdom from 9 AM to 2 PM daily through Easter.Easter Eggs and More at Grand FloridianEgg decorating at my house usually involves dunking hard boiled eggs into teacups of water mixed with food coloring. For real Easter Egg art, you have to think bigger–and better. At the Grand Floridian, skilled pastry chefs display their work with intricately decorated chocolate eggs, many with Disney and Pixar themes. The hollow chocolate eggs weigh 9-12 pounds each and take 3 weeks to make. This year, eggs at the Grand Floridian will be on display through April 16. Also on display in the  Summer Lace gift shop until April 16 are Cast-created Spring Bonnets. Stop by to vote for your favorite.last_img read more

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Calling all 2009, 2010 volunteers!

first_img1 September 2008Ordinary South Africans, as well as people with specialist skills, now have the chance to be part of the world’s most popular sporting event.South Africa’s 2010 Local Organising Committee (LOC) has taken applications for 5 000 local volunteers for the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup – the first step towards the recruitment and training of around 15 000 volunteers for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.Applications for 2009 Confederations Cup volunteers closed on 31 August 2008Thousands put up hands for 2009Applications for 2010 World Cup volunteers – which will also include some volunteers from the rest of Africa and the world – will open in July 2009.Volunteers ‘crucial to success of 2009, 2010’“The World Cup will call on us to step beyond our boundaries and experiences and cater to the whole world,” says LOC volunteer programme manager Onke Mjo. “Volunteers will be crucial to that process.”Mjo believes that volunteers will “make or break” the Confederations Cup and World Cup programmes.“People will remember the service and support they get in South Africa – that’s why volunteers are so crucial,” Mjo says. “People will interact with the volunteers … How they are received when they’re in the parking lot, at the stadium, at airports or hotels – that’s what will make them feel it was worth their while coming to South Africa.”For prospective volunteers, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions:What kind of people is the LOC looking for?The LOC is looking for ordinary people – including students, unemployed youngsters and retired citizens – as well as specialists in various fields to work as volunteers.General volunteers will be needed in areas such as team liaison, accreditation, spectator services, fan parks, transport, information services, hospitality and logistics.Specialist volunteers will include medical practitioners, translators, people from the legal fraternity, and information technology experts. Volunteers will also be required with good technical sporting knowledge, language and media skills.According to Mjo, the most important thing the LOC will be looking for in volunteers are “people who are committed to helping us successfully host the World Cup … We’re looking for open-minded, pro-active South Africans who will always be willing to assist an individual who needs help with anything.”Is there an age requirement for volunteers?Yes. In order to be a volunteer, you must be at least 18 years old by March 2009 for the Confederations Cup, and by March 2010 for the World Cup.Will I get paid for volunteering?No. The volunteer programme is an opportunity for South Africans to participate in the World Cup by offering their time and services to the Local Organising Committee for free.You will get a travel allowance, however, as well as training, work experience, official World Cup volunteer clothing – supplied by Adidas – acknowledgement in the 2010 Fifa World Cup brochure – and an opportunity to be part of the world’s biggest single-code sporting event.What sort of training will I get?Volunteers will go through a training programme that focuses, among other things, on understanding the game of football and its culture. “Understanding the environment – including understanding Fifa and the World Cup itself – will be crucial to this World Cup,” says Mjo.“Volunteers will be trained in customer services, taught how to deal with irate spectators, and also to understand the behaviour of fans from different places around the world.”Volunteers will also be given venue- and job-specific training.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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Would Students Even Want a Kindle for Textbooks?

first_imgfrederic lardinois Tags:#Amazon#E-Books#news#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts center_img We speculated about this yesterday, and by now, it looks like a given that Amazon will release a larger version of its Kindle eBook reader tomorrow that will focus on the college textbook market. While the exact hardware specs are not quite clear yet, it does seem logical that Amazon would like to push its eBook reader into this market segment. After all, according to some estimates, the textbook market is worth almost $9 billion dollars in the U.S. alone. We do wonder, however, if students will really like this idea. After all, virtually every student already owns a portable device with a nice screen for reading eTextbooks: their laptops.In some ways, wouldn’t it be more advantageous for students if Amazon and its partners released a Kindle for the Desktop similar to the Kindle for an iPhone app? Some of the current eTextbook offerings, like CourseSmart, already give students the option to download eTextbooks for a considerable discount. But at least on CourseSmart, these texts are only available as 180 day subscriptions. For most students, though, that is probably not too much of an issue. Reading Textbooks is Different from Reading a Novel Reading textbooks is a very different activity from reading a regular book. Students, hopefully, don’t just read the text, but actively take notes, highlight sections, and annotate their texts. While the Kindle offers some of these functions, the absence of a touchscreen makes for a rather clunky experience. In addition, students who use notetaking software would probably also want to be able to copy-and-paste text and images from their eBooks to their favorite software (Microsoft has been pushing its OneNote application heavily on college campuses, for example). Kindle eBooks also won’t allow users to print any part of the text. With a dedicated hardware device like the Kindle, students lose all of these abilities and gain relatively little compared to using the laptops they already own. Of course, the Kindle is a great eBook reader, and its screen makes reading a lot easier. But for the purpose of studying, it will remain to be seen if Amazon can find ways around some of the disadvantages a dedicated eBook reader would have over a good desktop application that students could use on their laptops.Let Us Know What You ThinkLet us know what you think of the Kindle as a dedicated textbook reader in the comments, especially if you are currently a college student or instructor.CC-licensed image used courtesy of Flickr user Chrysaora. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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Data Center Energy: Past, Present and Future (Part One)

first_imgToday IT organizations face extreme pressures to cut costs and drive efficiency at every level. Approximately $24.7 billion is wasted each year on server management, power and cooling for unused systems in data centers. This figure is significant and represents on average 15 percent of a data center server population that is completely idle but consumes power and cooling.On average, annual energy costs are $800 or more for a 400W server. Do the math, and you can’t ignore that data center energy inefficiency is staggering, especially since idle servers represent only one vector of the efficiency problem.Crude AssessmentsBefore you can optimize energy efficiency, you have to understand your nominal power and thermal conditions under the range of workloads supported by your data center resources.In the past, most data center managers had only minimal energy-monitoring capabilities. They often assessed power consumption and cooling efficiencies by solely relying on returning air temperature at the air conditioning units. When that didn’t provide much insight, they would manually collect additional power data on a per-rack basis. Also, to estimate future growth, predictive models were developed and used to translate these static measurements into assessments of future energy consumption. The models deviate from reality by as much as 40 percent, however.Clearly a more accurate method is required to assess and predict energy and ultimately avoid the need to overprovision power and cooling. The large margin of error also makes modeling ineffective for predicting power spikes or other problematic events that lead to equipment failures and service disruptions.Calculating Power vs. Measuring PowerAlthough expedient, this approach has deficits that fall short of most efficiency goals. The problem with the method is the conservative nature of the vendor data. Manufacturers notoriously lean toward worst-case estimates, and overprovisioning is understandably the result when planning is based on this data alone. Opinions also vary widely about how to de-rate the vendor data, with data center managers citing 20 to 50 percent reductions as common practice.Some skeptical data center managers get out the power meters to verify the specifications and adjust data to their specific configurations and workloads, and intelligent power distribution units (PDUs) are deployed by those who can afford another layer of hardware. The PDUs can supply a steady stream of power data, but this data then must be collected and analyzed. Even then, the data is completely focused on power and does not address airflow or temperature patterns throughout the data center.An Expanded Continuous Data SetIn the quest for a more accurate energy map, many data center teams acknowledge the need to continuously aggregate more data points and take advantage of automation to minimize the time required for assessments. In response to these customer demands and energy trends, data center equipment vendors began integrating capabilities to provide power and thermal data without the need to employ meters or absorb the cost of intelligent PDUs. Today, data center managers can collect readings for server inlet temperatures and power consumption levels for rack servers, blade servers, and any deployed power-distribution units (PDUs), as well as the uninterrupted power supplies (UPSs) related to those servers. Energy-monitoring solutions are now available to aggregate this data and can give data center managers a detailed view of the conditions at the individual server or rack level. The data can drive a picture of the entire data center and also support drilling down to understand the energy requirements and usage patterns for groups of users or physical resources.By continuously collecting data in real time, it is possible to generate thermal maps of the data center and uncover hot spots and airflow inefficiencies before they lead to failures. Data logs can also be analyzed to identify trends and fine-tune power and cooling systems accordingly. The primary benefit of a fine-grained, real-time data collection and aggregation solution is the ability to avoid designing data centers on the basis of worst-case situations.Solid Solutions for Holistic Data Center Energy ManagementArmed with the ability to automatically collect and aggregate power and thermal measurements, data center managers and facility teams quickly recognized the value of emerging middleware solutions and tools that go further than passive monitoring. Energy-management solutions have evolved to enable the following: Jeffrey S. Klaus is the director of Data Center Manager (DCM) at Intel CorporationOpens in a new window.In part two of this seriesOpens in a new window, Jeff overviews the trends and industry changes that are affecting today’s data centers and accelerating the need for energy efficiencies. The series will conclude with part three, which outlines the best practices that employ the latest approaches, along with examples of the benefits being gained by enterprises that are pioneering next-generation energy management.Leading article photo courtesy of bandarjiOpens in a new windowFollow Intel DCM:  https://twitter.com/IntelDCM This post originally appeared in The Data Center Journal on September 12, 2012. ConclusionsData center teams face energy challenges in every direction. Users want 100 percent uptime. Management wants lower costs and sustainable practices. Facilities teams need to divert power to other site needs. And utilities companies are saying they can’t meet the service levels required for expanding data centers, even if companies can pay the escalating prices for energy.The days of overprovisioning are over, and holistic energy-management solutions have arrived on the market. Today’s challenge is to accurately define the main requirements for an energy management solution and to choose a solution that puts a data center on the lowest-risk path, considering the current trends and energy outlooks. Proactive threshold detection to identify and correct problems and adjust conditions, extending the life of data center assetsIntroduction of controls that enforce policies and allocations designed for optimized service and energy efficiencyDynamic adjustment of server configurations during times of outagesBilling for services using a model that takes into account total energy consumptionIntegration of energy management with systems- and facilities-management consoles and methodologies An Audit of Data Center Power Efficiency—or InefficiencyThis article is part one of a three-part series on energy management in the data center. (See parts twoOpens in a new window and threeOpens in a new window.) About the Authorlast_img read more

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BCCI officials to sign no conflict of interest undertaking

first_imgIn its bid to clean the image of the sport, the BCCI has notified all the Board members to sign an undertaking declaring that they do not have ‘conflictof interest’ while holding functionary posts in their respective cricket associations.A couple of state associations have already received a letter from BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur instructing all office bearers to declare their business interests and sign the undertaking.Sundar Raman is an employee not decision-maker in BCCI: Anurag ThakurIt has also been learnt that the letter has been sent to all officials who are in various sub-committees formed by the BCCI. The undertaking will also be signed by president, secretary, joint secretary and treasurer.The ‘no conflict of interest’ clause would include no direct business links with any cricketing affairs in BCCI including interest or stake in IPL teams, sponsorship or looking after specific players’ interests.Tainted N Srinivasan still holds BCCI remote”Yes, we have received a letter from BCCI secretary today. He has categorically stated that the image of the BCCI in the wake of recent scandals have taken a hit. He has asked that we all give a written undertaking of our business interests,” a senior state association official, who has received the letter, said.He added, “He has clearly stated that from now on, no BCCI official will be allowed to continue in his position if there is even a slightest hint of conflict of interest. A time-frame has been given but I cannot reveal anything about that. All I know is that it is applicable for all BCCI officials.”advertisement”I personally feel that the concept of appropriate declarations not merely by the Officials of the BCCI but also of the State Associations must be revived in larger interests of transparency, evenhandedness and impartiality. This would ensure that the reputation and integrity of the Board are secured.” said  BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya.last_img read more

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Shooting in Oklahoma City After Thunders Victory Injures 7

The celebration around the Oklahoma City Thunder’s victory over the Los Angeles Lakers quickly turned to horror last night when a gunman opened fire into a crowd of women just blocks away from the arena. Police spokesman Dexter Nelson said a group of men were arguing with a group of females at 11:35 p.m. when the men began shooting into the crowd.According to News9, OKC police confirmed seven people were shot; one is in critical condition while all other gunshot wounds caused non-life threatening injuries.

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Unique tectonics on Venus modeled in lab to explain coronae

center_img Explore further For many years, planetary scientists have been frustrated by their inability to better understand the major processes that impact the structure of Venus’s crust, i.e. its tectonics. Probes sent to study the planet have returned data that has allowed for creating maps of the surface, but that has only heightened the problem, because it appears there is no plate movement (the large number of craters suggest there is no churning). But trenches have also been observed that are similar to those seen with Earth’s subduction zones. Compounding the problem is the fact that all of the factors that go into defining how a planet’s crust look are too complex to be modeled on a computer accurately. In this new effort, the researchers took a different approach—they created a physical model.The model the team built was simple. They placed a quantity of finely ground sand in a bowl, added some water and then heated it from below. The team was not looking to recreate the entire Venus landscape, or even a portion of it. Instead, they were looking to explain the way that coronae (volcanic-tectonic looking features) are formed. Coronae are circular depressions with bulges in the middle surrounded by trenches.In heating their bowl of mud, the researchers noted that a crust formed due to evaporation at the surface and then bulges formed as hot parts below the crust forced their way upward. Eventually, the material that was pushed from below (similar to Earth mantle plumes) pierced the surface and leaked out onto the surrounding surface (rather like a pie in the oven). As material leaked out, pressure was relieved, causing the bulge to deflate even as more material made its way through the puncture wound, which soon hardened, creating a small bulge in the center of a depression surrounded by trenches.The researchers report that comparing their model to maps of Venus’s surface depicting coronae showed them to be very similar, suggesting they may finally have solved the mystery of how coronae are formed. More information: A. Davaille et al. Experimental and observational evidence for plume-induced subduction on Venus, Nature Geoscience (2017). DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2928AbstractWhy Venus lacks plate tectonics remains an unanswered question in terrestrial planet evolution. There is observational evidence for subduction—a requirement for plate tectonics—on Venus, but it is unclear why the features have characteristics of both mantle plumes and subduction zones. One explanation is that mantle plumes trigger subduction. Here we compare laboratory experiments of plume-induced subduction in a colloidal solution of nanoparticles to observations of proposed subduction sites on Venus. The experimental fluids are heated from below to produce upwelling plumes, which in turn produce tensile fractures in the lithosphere-like skin that forms on the upper surface. Plume material upwells through the fractures and spreads above the skin, analogous to volcanic flooding, and leads to bending and eventual subduction of the skin along arcuate segments. The segments are analogous to the semi-circular trenches seen at two proposed sites of plume-triggered subduction at Quetzalpetlatl and Artemis coronae. Other experimental deformation structures and subsurface density variations are also consistent with topography, radar and gravity data for Venus. Scaling analysis suggests that this regime with limited, plume-induced subduction is favoured by a hot lithosphere, such as that found on early Earth or present-day Venus. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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