A simple country bake


first_imgOnce again, I have had a brilliant idea, which will make all our fortunes! It came to me when I bought a new telephone with two handsets. All the parts were loose in the box and you had to put them together. This reminded me of cheap furniture – and some not so cheap – which comes in a box and for which you have to turn your home into a furniture factory or electronic assembly plant before it will work.So why waste time baking bread? All we have to do is put the ingredients in a bag, display a few loaves in our shops and, when a customer orders a loaf, just hand him or her the bag with the ingredients and a 100-page book of instructions he or she will never understand.Think of all the time we’d save, not to mention labour. And we’d only need a small bakery as we’d only need to make a few products. Strange, isn’t it, how we so often miss the obvious? When all these great ideas come to fruition, we will all be rich.Many times I have thought we bakers, who are principally retailers, probably tie up far too much cash and time in our bakeries. Wouldn’t we do better spending more time improving our retail shops?When you look at our businesses, we really fall between two stools – producers and retailers. And the hard fact of life is that it is much easier to make the product than to sell it.We probably spend more time on the production side than we do on the retail side; how many bakers do you know who leave the shops to their wives or, as they get larger, hire a sales manager to deal with the shops? They tend to think they are bakers and spend their time with their head in the trough and their bottoms in the air.Yes, bakery is a wonderful craft and, in my experience, the people in it are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. But that doesn’t mean they couldn’t be just as nice spending more time on their core business of selling bakery products. More and more bakers are now buying in their savouries, frozen doughnuts, Danish and a whole multitude of lines and yet, quite rightly, still consider themselves bakers.When you think of it, most – if not all – of the most successful retailers do not make the goods they sell. They buy them in at the best price and quality they can find. Wal-Mart and Marks & Spencer, to name but two, appear to make a lot of money concentrating on the selling and they leave the hassle of production to others.Yet we, with our limited resources think we can be successful at both. As I have so often said, we must be geniuses to succeed as well as we do. The problem is that we all have a great deal of money tied up in the bakery. There is no such thing as a low-priced decent piece of equipment. And, once you have bought whatever it is, you find you have to spend even more because it makes so much that you need extra deep freeze space and more baskets to store the finished product in.Then there is the delivery problem; vans have to be kept clean and looking good. Yet van drivers appear to think you have given them a dodgem car, which just has to hit other vans or knock down walls, fences or anything standing. Then, with a look of total innocence, the van driver always tell you it happened while he or she was away from the van.last_img read more

Chile under Fire


first_imgBy Augusto Scarella Arce/Diálogo February 02, 2017 Chile has been ravaged by a series of wildfires since January 11th, with 142 disasters declared in different regions of the country’s center and south to date. Chile’s president, Michelle Bachelet, responded by issuing decrees declaring several states of emergency, which under the country’s constitution set in motion a set of measures aimed at overcoming the public disaster besetting a large swath of the country. From the beginning of this emergency, General Arturo Merino Núñez, director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (EMCO, per its Spanish acronym), has continuously deployed units from the Emergency Operations Center to maintain precise control and coordination of the defensive measures employed to combat the wildfires. “This effort by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, with the direct consultation of the Ministry of Defense, will remain available 24 hours a day for as long as needed,” Gen. Merino said. National response More than 8,000 members of the Armed Forces are providing emergency assistance, having fought 77 wildfires to date. Of the total wildfires, covering nearly 300,000 hectares, 51 have been brought under control and 14 have been extinguished. Almost 300 vehicles, including all types of tanker and transport equipment, have been flown to the affected areas by the Chilean Air Force. Additionally, 25 planes have been brought in by the Chilean Armed Forces, which together with 18 other government organizations are working to assist members of the National Forestry Service (CONAF, per its Spanish acronym) brigades and firefighters. The national defense is also fighting fires directly through the Army Forest Fire Reinforcement Brigades, with units that provide nationwide coverage and that enjoy autonomy in deployment and logistics. Minister of Defense José Antonio Gómez made another visit to the affected areas on January 25th, accompanied by Rear Admiral Jorge Rodriguez Urria, EMCO’s chief of Operations and Joint Administration, to coordinate the military’s actions on the ground. The minister was clear and quite specific about the aid from military institutions: “They will work night and day to restore conditions that will allow rebuilding from the destruction caused by a fire of an intensity never before seen in this country.” Partner nations step in with support On January 26th, authorities met at the airport with a group of 29 Colombian brigade members who voluntarily came to help. The United States also responded very rapidly to the difficult situation Chileans are experiencing. The U.S. Agency for International Development, through its Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) donated $100 million to the non-governmental organization Caritas Chile for the local acquisition and delivery of firefighting equipment, such as power saws and weather monitoring tools requested by the Chilean National Forestry Service. “A team from the U.S. Forestry Service and USAID/OFDA is being deployed in Chile. It is made up of emergency personnel and staff with technical expertise in fighting forest fires,” said Nicole Gallagher, spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Chile. On January 27th and 28th, fire brigade members from Mexico also arrived. There is a total of 609 firefighters from Argentina, Colombia, the United States, Panama, Peru, and Mexico, among other countries, fighting the flames with their Chilean counterparts. For its part, on January 29th, Brazil’s Air Force (FAB, per its Portuguese acronym) deployed two C-130 aircraft to support Chile in combatting the forest fires. Operated by the First Troop Transport Group, the aircraft arrived in Chile with 28 service members on board. “The crew follows the guidelines provided by ONEMI [Chilean Ministry of Interior’s National Office for Emergency], and the CONAF [National Forestry Corporation], who are responsible for coordinating the international aid, and it will be distributed to the place they will operate from,” explained FAB Colonel Paulo Cesar Andari, military attaché for the Brazilian Air Force in Chile, according to information from FAB. Likewise, the Peruvian Air Force transported 55 firefighters from the Civil Defense Institute and a 212 Bell helicopter aboard an L-100-20 Hercules and a C-27J Spartan aircraft from the Eighth Air Group, to help Chile fight the forest fires, according to information from defense news website Defensa.com.last_img read more

Researchers warn of resistant flu, foodborne microbes


first_imgMar 19, 2008 – ATLANTA (CIDRAP News) – Serious microbial threats, including drug-resistant influenza and foodborne pathogens, remain stubbornly persistent even as unpredictable new threats are emerging, researchers said this week at the leading international conference on new and resurgent infectious diseases.Many of the threats are emerging in parts of the world too poor to fund adequate surveillance and control measures. And industrialized countries’ spending on intercepting those globalized infections is not keeping pace with the need.”Many of the challenges that face us right now are not likely to get better; in some ways, they are likely to get worse,” Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said during the opening speeches of the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases, which the CDC sponsors along with several scientific organizations. “These problems can only be solved by the investment necessary to tackle them.”Research presented at the conference ranged from information on the complexities of controlling and treating influenza and other respiratory diseases to insights into foodborne disease transmission. And as always at such a large conference—a biennial gathering of 2,000 scientists giving roughly 500 papers and posters—there were the scientific equivalent of early-warning alarms.In influenza news, CDC and state health department researchers found that:Adamantane drugs, the older of the two classes of influenza antivirals, are becoming increasingly useless against seasonal flu. A global survey of isolates collected during the 2006-07 flu season found 72% of H3N2 strains were resistant to adamantanes; in Asia, 100 percent of H1N1 strains were resistant, though 94% of US H1N1 strains remained vulnerable to the drugs.Meanwhile, resistance to neuraminidase inhibitors, the second class of flu drug, is creeping up. Between 2004 and the current flu season, the proportion of isolates resistant to neuraminidase inhibitors rose from 1% to 5% among all flu strains. Resistance to oseltamivir (Tamiflu), the more widely used drug in the class, rose to 9% among H1N1 strains.And in further confirmation that the current seasonal flu vaccine did not work as planned, an analysis of military flu-like illness statistics by the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego found the effectiveness of the flu shot against H1N1 strains was 71%, lower than recent CDC estimates.In a warning of the stealthy nature of novel flu strains, a team from the University of Florida, the CDC’s flu branch, and a pet-rescue program called HemoPet/Pet Life-Line found that canine influenza has been circulating without detection far longer than supposed. The disease, which kills by hemorrhagic pneumonia, was first detected in dogs in Florida in 2004 and has since spread to 25 states and Washington, DC. But according to the rescue program’s blood-donor records, the strain has actually been in Florida dogs since 1999, and it may have caused unsolved respiratory disease outbreaks at dog tracks that year and in 2003.Among the reports on foodborne illnesses:The proportion of disease outbreaks linked to leafy greens is rising faster than the consumption of lettuce and spinach, signaling a true increase in the incidence of greens-related foodborne illness, according to CDC researchers.Strains of Salmonella isolated from cattle slaughtered at plants monitored by the US Department of Agriculture showed significant increases between 1997 and 2005 in resistance to cephalosporins, a class of drugs used in both veterinary and human medicine. Proportions of isolates resistant to the veterinary drug ceftriaxone increased from 1% to 2.1%; to ceftiofur, from 0% to 21.6%; and to cefoxitin, from 9.1% to 19.8%.And research done at the University of Pennsylvania found that 22% of raw chicken purchased at retail outlets in central Pennsylvania in 2006 and 2007 was contaminated with Salmonella; 53% of the Salmonella isolates were resistant to at least one drug, and 45% were resistant to five drugs or more.Blood and organ transplants are emerging as a rare and unpredictable route for transmission of infections, according to research presented at the conference, which featured reports of tuberculosis transmitted via transplant and fatal Group C streptococcal infection transmitted by transfused pooled platelets.And in just two of many reports on the increasingly high-profile pathogen MRSA—methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which causes both healthcare-acquired and community-acquired infections—CDC researchers reported a higher-than-predicted rate of community-acquired pneumonias due to MRSA. In addition, Dr. J. Scott Weese, a veterinarian from the Ontario Veterinary College, delivered preliminary results of a survey of 212 raw pork products purchased in four Canadian provinces that found a MRSA contamination rate of almost 10%.last_img read more

BH Coach of the Year: Bret Bielema


first_imgBret Bielema and the Wisconsin Badgers overcame an early loss and returned to the Rose Bowl.[/media-credit]After back-to-back Rose Bowl championships in 1999 and 2000, the Wisconsin football program had its fair share of talented teams. But in the years following, the Badgers regularly crumbled under the weight of high expectations.That changed in 2010 as the Badgers won a Big Ten title and earned a trip back to Pasadena under the steady leadership of head coach Bret Bielema, who gets the nod for Wisconsin coach of the year.For the first time in his tenure at Wisconsin, Bielema led a squad comprised solely of players he recruited. His star-studded senior class represented his first signees and everyone around the program knew there was a chance for UW to have a special season.But after an inconsistent start to the year, onlookers began to doubt Wisconsin’s conference title chances.A sloppy win over San Jose State created concern among Badger fans, and after a blocked extra point paved the way for a one-point victory over Arizona State the following week, the sense of doubt heightened.Still, Wisconsin was 4-0 heading into the conference portion of their schedule. A trip to Michigan State in the Big Ten opener, though, quickly ended the undefeated run.UW piled up the miscues and missed opportunities in East Lansing and it seemed as though the term “underachievers” would once again become attached to the Badgers.But Bielema was convinced this team was different. He never wavered in his belief his team was capable of competing for the Big Ten crown.He was proven right.Bielema and the Badgers absorbed that loss at MSU and rolled through Minnesota to claim Paul Bunyan’s Axe for the seventh year in a row.Then Bielema led the 18th ranked Badgers to a historic win over No. 1 Ohio State. Bielema’s message finally got through as UW began limiting the penalties and mental miscues. The Badgers protected the ball and executed their game plan brilliantly against the nation’s top ranked team.The win over OSU was Bielema’s first signature conference victory, and he wasn’t about to stop there.The very next week, UW went on the road to No. 15 Iowa and pulled off a heart-stopping come-from-behind victory over the rival Hawkeyes.Bielema rolled the dice with a fourth-down goal line attempt and a fake punt, and during the game-winning drive, the coaching staff put the run-oriented Badgers in an empty backfield formation.Each one of those decisions worked in UW’s favor, as the Badgers came away with a 31-30 victory to reclaim the Heartland Trophy – making Bielema 2-0 in the Badgers’ trophy games.From there, the skeptics waited for a late-season collapse. But it never came.The Badgers dominated the rest of their opponents as Bielema kept his foot on the gas and never let up. UW piled up 83 points against Indiana and totaled a measly 70 against Northwestern in the regular season finale to clinch a share of the conference title.Wisconsin lost a heartbreaker to undefeated Texas Christian in the Rose Bowl, but despite that disappointment, Bielema and the Badgers produced one of the most memorable seasons in Badger football history.Bielema knew he had talent, but to meet the high expectations UW needed to play clean, disciplined football. Turnovers and penalties could not be tolerated, and there would be an unyielding commitment to running the football.That early season loss to Michigan State could have crippled the Badgers and sparked panic within the locker room as the pressure mounted.Instead, Bielema kept his team composed and the Badgers played to their potential, finishing 7/8 in the polls with an 11-2 record.last_img read more

Clippers will buy The Forum for $400 million so they can build a $1.2 billion arena in Inglewood


first_imgBallmer and the Clippers previously offered to spend an additional $100 million on a community benefit package, including $75 million to support affordable housing. The exact terms of the package are still under negotiation.Traffic concernsThe new ownership of the Forum will alleviate potential traffic congestion in the corridor by allowing the two venues to coordinate programming, according to the Clippers.“We know traffic is something that many Inglewood residents worry about. While we have gone to great lengths to provide an unprecedented traffic-management plan for the new basketball arena, this acquisition provides a much greater ability to coordinate and avoid scheduling events at the same time at both venues,” said Chris Meany, a principal of Wilson Meany, the developer overseeing the new basketball arena project.An environmental impact report released in December estimated a simultaneous concert at The Forum and a basketball game at the arena could impact 61 intersections and eight freeway segments. The arena is expected to contribute to a “significant and unavoidable” increase in traffic, noise and pollutants, according to the report.Millions spent on lawsuitsMadison Square Garden Co., which bought The Forum for $23.5 million in 2012 and invested $100 million in renovations, has waged an all-out war to try to stop the Clippers from coming to the city. MSG sued Inglewood and its mayor, James T. Butts Jr., in 2018, alleging he tricked the company’s executives into giving up their rights to the land needed for the proposed arena. Clippers vs. Mavericks: 3 trends to watch in their NBA playoff series Clippers see room to improve vs. Mavericks in Game 2 The owners of the Los Angeles Clippers will buy The Forum concert venue in Inglewood for $400 million as part of a settlement agreement with Madison Square Garden Co..The agreement ends years of legal battles that threatened the feasibility of a proposed $1.2 billion Clippers arena in the city that soon will be home to an adjacent $5 billion NFL stadium for the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers. That 18,000-seat arena just south of the new NFL stadium will still move forward.Under the newly formed CAPSS LLC, the Clippers’ owners will continue to operate the historic Forum — the former home of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kings — as a music venue and has offered to hire all of current employees, according to a press release Tuesday.“This is an unprecedented time, but we believe in our collective future,” said Steve Ballmer, the chairman of the L.A. Clippers. “We are committed to our investment in the City of Inglewood, which will be good for the community, The Clippers, and our fans.” Clippers mindful of Mavericks’ role players thriving in the bubble Clippers’ Montrezl Harrell credits his grandmother for his love of basketball Clippers’ rhythm is missing but their spirits strong before playoff opener The Forum’s owners claimed their fight was not about stopping the competition and instead was an attempt to protect Inglewood residents from a project that would “inflict severe traffic congestion, pollution and many other harms” on the city.Both sides spent millions on the war, with the two parties heavily lobbying state and local officials for support. MSG’s opposition stalled efforts to fast-track the arena by nearly a year.As part of the settlement agreement, MSG will drop its lawsuit against the city and others challenging the environmental review of the project at the corner of Century Boulevard and Prairie Avenue, just across the street from SoFi Stadium.“This is the best resolution for all parties involved and we wish the new owners every success,” the company said in a statement.With MSG out of the way, the Clippers will have eliminated the last of the arena’s roadblocks.Smiling mayor signs settlementThe Inglewood City Council approved the settlement at its meeting Tuesday. Butts, smiling ear to ear, paused the agenda so he could sign the document immediately. A copy of the agreement was not available Tuesday.“The city of Inglewood is overjoyed to welcome Steve Ballmer as the new owner and operator of the Fabulous Forum,” Butts said in a statement Tuesday. “He’s a true community partner.”The purchase is expected to close during the second quarter of 2020, according to the Clippers. The team, which currently plays at Staples Center, wants the arena ready by the 2024 season.Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more