Wrestling Legend Rowdy Roddy Piper Dies At 61

The world of professional wrestling is in mourning following the death of the legendary Rowdy Roddy Piper last month. Piper suffered a cardiac arrest whilst at his home in Hollywood, California. He was just 61 years old.

For many kids (including myself) that first became fans in the mid-late 1980’s, Roddy Piper was the definitive wrestling heel (industry jargon for a bad guy). Whether hosting his notorious Piper’s Pit segment, or facing off against Hulk Hogan & Mr. T (with partner Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorf) at the inaugural WrestleMania event, Piper was one of the industry’s biggest starts during one of its most popular and lucrative periods.

He was also instrumental in making the WWF (now WWE) brand the biggest in professional wrestling. In addition to headlining the very first WrestleMania event (a pioneering Pay-Per View extravaganza that could easily have ruined the company had it proved to be a failure), Piper also featured in one of WrestleMania II’s three main event matchups, thus securing his position as one of wrestling’s most bankable stars.

His undercard matches at WrestleManias III, VI and (the stone cold classic against Bret The Hitman Hart at) VIII are absolute highlights of a classic era of pro wrestling. He even acted as a guest referee for the main event of Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna at WrestleMania X. Younger fans, however, will undoubtedly remember Piper teaming with fellow veterans Ricky Steamboat and Jimmy Superfly Snuka to face Chris Jericho at WrestleMania XXV.

In an era defined by outlandish babyface characters with bodybuilder physiques and sometimes questionable in-ring abilities, Roddy Piper stood out as a genuine wrestler’s wrestler, an authentic tough guy – and the necessarily evil counterpoint to the simplistic, superheroic good guys being featured at the time by the WWF.

Born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1954, Roderick Toombs was always an unruly personality. Expelled from school at a young age and subsequently falling out with his father, (a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) Toombs hit the road, staying in various youth hostels and earning a buck wherever he could. Eventually, the tempestuous youth wound up in a wrestling ring, making his in-ring debut at the tender age of just 15-years-old.

The kid was tough (he had a Black Belt in Judo), displayed a natural affinity for the ring and he had a roguish charisma all of his own. In addition, he really could play the bagpipes. After early stints jobbing in Verne Gagne’s AWA, NWA Houston and Fritz Von Erich’s Big Time Wrestling promotion in Dallas, Texas, Piper debuted for Mike and Gene LeBell’s NWA Hollywood promotion and soon became the outfit’s top heel. A slew of regional Championships followed.

Whilst working for promoter Roy Shire in the NWA’s San Francisco territory, Piper developed his character and ring work. In Los Angeles, he feuded with Chavo Guerrero Sr, Hector Guerrero and ultimately locked up against their father, Mexican wrestling legend Gory Guerrero (father of future WWE Champ Eddie). In The Pacific Northwest, he unseated former NWA World’s Heavyweight Champion Jack Brisco for Mid Atlantic’s version of the World Heavyweight Championship, a title he would go on to hold twice more.

In the mid 1980’s, Piper entered Vince McMahon’s insurgent WWF. He was billed as being from Glasgow, Scotland and was well known for being the only wrestler to wear a kilt to the ring. Fans ate it up. Feuding with such stars as Hulk Hogan, Adrian Adonis, Andre The Giant, Jimmy Superfly Snuka, Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase, Jerry The King Lawler and Bret Hitman Hart, to name but a few, Piper always brought out the best in his opponents and it was with the WWF that he became a household name, as well as one of the industry’s biggest ever stars.

In the mid-1990’s, Piper wrestled for WCW (World Championship Wrestling), where he debuted as one of the company’s headline stars. He feuded, once again, with Hulk Hogan and also battled old rivals such as Ric Flair, Bret Hart and ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage. Whilst working for WCW, he was even chosen to headline ‘Starrcade’, the company’s flagship Pay-Per-View event.

In his later career, Piper made sporadic reappearances for the WWE, briefly worked for TNA, enjoyed a reasonably successful acting career and also hosted his own podcast. He battled Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after being diagnosed with the illness in 2006, but had completely beaten it into remission as of last year. Despite the setbacks caused by his ill health, Piper wrestled his last match in 2011.

Although he never held a recognised World Heavyweight Championship, Piper will be remembered as one of the greatest WWF Intercontinental Champions of all time, a reign that was attested to during his appearance at this year’s WrestleMania XXXI, where he congratulated then-IC Champion Daniel Bryan on his victory. He also held other notable belts, such as the United States Championship, the WWF/E Tag Team Championship (with Ric Flair) and the NWA World Light Heavyweight Championship.

Piper was a member of the WWE Hall of Fame and the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame, as well as the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. He was also a member of the Cauliflower Alley Club.

On the August 3rd edition of RAW, the entire WWE roster, each member clad in Roddy’s signature Hot Rod t-shirts opened the show with a very moving ten bell salute in tribute to the fallen legend.

WWE boss Vince McMahon said, “Roddy Piper was one of the most entertaining, controversial and bombastic performers ever in WWE, beloved by millions of fans around the world. I extend my deepest condolences to his family.”

UFC Bantamweight Champion Rowdy Ronda Rousey dedicated her 34-second victory over Bethe Correia to Piper’s memory, “I just want to say that we lost a really close friend, Rowdy Roddy Piper, who gave me permission to use his name as a fighter (…) And so I hope him and my dad had a good time watching this today.”

Former WWE and WCW Champion (and Piper’s frequent in-ring rival) Bret Hart wrote, “I can’t find the words to describe the sorrow in my heart upon learning the news of my dear friend, Roddy Piper, passing away. He was my closest friend in the business, a man that schooled me and guided me throughout my career. In fact, if it wasn’t for Roddy Piper reaching out to help me, I’m sure I would’ve been a mere footnote in wrestling. He was always there for me. He was family to me.” Hart also recalled that, following his stroke in 2002; Piper was the only wrestler who visited him in hospital.

Hulk Hogan, another of Piper’s famous adversaries, said of Piper that, “He was my best friend. He is a legend. God’s gain is our loss. May his family in this time of need, find peace”

Other friends, colleagues and admirers of Piper’s included former WWF Champ The Iron Sheik, who said “Roddy Piper. I love you forever. God bless you Bubba” and multi-time World Champion Chris Jericho Tweeted, “Sorry to hear of the passing of my friend and Wrestlemania rival #RoddyPiper. One of the greatest who ever lived, but more importantly a legit sweet family man with a good heart”. Former WWE Divas Champion Paige called Piper a “legend” and Tweeted a picture of a broken heart, an image which reflected the feelings of many a wrestler and wrestling fan.

Roddy’s son, Colt, said that his father was his “best friend” and a “great man” saying that he would miss him forever and “always try to be the man he raised me to be”.

Rowdy Roddy Piper lived a life littered with accomplishments. Not many of us will ever be declared as legendary by our peers and fewer still will be able to stack 30+ Championship reigns anywhere on our resume, but those weren’t the man’s proudest achievements. Piper had been married to his wife, Kitty, since 1982 and is survived by her and the four children they lovingly raised together. My thoughts are with them, as well as everyone else who knew, worked with, or simply enjoyed to watch the late, great man work his magic in front of a capacity crowd. R.I.P Roddy.

Life On Mars? Scientists Find Liquid Water On The Red Planet

Unless you happen to be a natural history buff or a science nerd, the word extremophile probably won’t mean much to you. However, once the world’s public has a chance to fully absorb the implications of a discovery made this month, I can pretty much guarantee it’ll be on everybody’s lips sooner or later.

Basically, an extremophile is an organism that thrives in conditions that are seemingly too extreme to support any kind of life. Last year, for example, scientists confirmed the existence of microorganisms living half a mile below the ice of Antarctica, but that isn’t the weirdest place you can find microbial life. Different types of extremophiles have been observed in places as inhospitable as the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, the driest deserts on Earth, boiling hot springs and even deep sea hydrothermal vents.

This month’s confirmation that liquid water exists on Mars has gotten a lot of people – myself included – wondering if the Martian landscape may include an extremophile, or two (billion, that is). In general, the rule of thumb here on Earth is that water generally supports life. Of course, it’ll be a while before we know for sure if the same holds true on the Red Planet, but the potential implications for such a discovery are literally enormous. It would be final, incontrovertible proof that Humankind is not alone after all and that, somewhere out there, life does indeed exist on other worlds. Just take a second and imagine that.

…But that isn’t to detract from the enormous significance of finally confirming that there is water on Mars, a planet long considered to be dead and devoid of anything even remotely connected with life as we know it.

New data retrieved from a NASA satellite has been used to link the long, dark streaks that appear on Martian slopes with salt deposits. If this is indeed the case, then these salt deposits could allow water to remain in a fluidic state for long enough for it to move around. This is no mean feat, as Mars features average temperatures well below zero and the low atmospheric pressure means that any liquid water would boil instantly. However, it has been theorized that the deposits of salt could change all this, altering the freezing and vaporization points of water and, in the process, allowing for the existence of the life giving liquid.

Long-term observation of the Red Planet corroborates this theory, as the streaks tend to change with the seasons, leading some scientists to link them with trickling water, however this could never be proven, until now.

Luju Ojha, a PhD student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has used data from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which makes use of an instrument called Crism to determine the chemistry at work on the Martian surface, to make the incredible claim.

By employing the Crism data and looking at four separate locations where the dark streaks regularly appear and disappear during the Martian summer, Mr Ojha was able to prove that these formations are covered with salts, particularly magnesium perchlorate, chlorate and chloride, the exact types of salts that are known to alter the freezing and vaporization points of running water.

So, it is fairly safe to say that we now know that there is water on Mars. The next big question (before we get to the possibility of anything living in it) is, where is it coming from? It has been suggested by some that ice exists at a great depth below the surface and by others that the salts are literally pulling moisture from the atmosphere itself. For now, we just don’t know.

…And now back to the million Dollar question, first put to us by the philosopher David Bowie in 1973, Is there life on Mars?

Interviewed by BBC News, Dr. Joe Michalski, a Mars researcher at London’s Natural History Museum was optimistic, “We know from the study of extremophiles on Earth that life can not only survive, but thrive in conditions that are hyper-arid, very saline or otherwise extreme in comparison to what is habitable to a human. In fact, on Earth, wherever we find water, we find life. That is why the discovery of water on Mars over the last 20 years is so exciting.”

The wonderful, exhilarating reality of this discovery is that, through its profound implication, you may very well see within your lifetime an answer to that most vexing (and famously unanswerable) of questions, are we alone in the universe?

Angry Birds 2: They’re Back – And This Time…They Want Your Cash (Part Rant, Part Review, All News)

First of all, the mobile/tablet game that is Angry Birds 2 is, in actuality, Angry Birds 13 – let’s just get that out of the way right now, OK? Good.

Easily one of the most addictive video games of ALL TIME (era/format be damned), Rovio’s Angry Birds will forever be remembered as the most iconic game of the early smartphone era. In years to come, our grandchildren will watch amused as we indulge ourselves in dewey-eyed nostalgia for the birds, the pigs, the licensed merchandise and everything else Angry Birds related – in much the same way that those of us old enough do whenever the early Sonic, Mario Bros or even Pac Man games come up in conversation.

Now, after everyone on Earth has played it to death and after the Angry Birds image has been plastered on absolutely everything (I myself have an Angry Birds coffee mug), Rovio have released Angry Birds 2 which is bigger, badder and (apparently) better than ever.

In preparation for writing this article, I eagerly downloaded this new version, only to find that my iPhone couldn’t run it because the damned thing took up too much space. To better put this into perspective, the previous version of Angry Birds takes up 197MB, while this latest instalment eats up a whopping 255MB. Grumbling in a distinctly Yosemite Sam-like fashion, I deleted a couple of apps, closed down all my presently open apps and set to work trying to run the thing again…With no luck. Next, I drained 5 video clips and something in the neighbourhood of 70 photographs onto my desktop, deleting them from my iPhone before trying again. Still nothing.

So we’ve established that a) My iPhone’s storage capacity is pretty pathetic, but also that b) Rovio have really gone to town on this one, apparently mistaking a smartphone app for a PS4 game in the process. But that actually makes sense the more you look into the game, because if you can’t afford a bigger phone, chances are you can’t afford to play Angry Birds 2, either…

The fact that players using smaller phones/tablets need not apply is disappointing, but what has more players up in arms is the sheer amount of money making strategies the game employs.

For starters, Angry Birds 2 now comes complete with its own in-game currency system. Players can use gems in order to cover all in-game purchases (such as spells to make the levels easier). As the levels get harder, players can use these gems to make their challenges easier and advance further in the game by doing so.

However, like theme park money, you have to purchase any significant amount of extra gems with ACTUAL money from your own bank account. Secondly, if you fail a level and don’t want to pay for another go around with your hard-earned gems, you now have to watch a 30 second advert instead. Thirdly, thanks to the new Life Count feature, you’ll have to use gems (or money) in order to regenerate your character…Unless you fancy waiting around for half an hour between turns, that is.

In this way, Rovio have employed pretty much every moneymaking scheme currently used by app designers, all within the confines of one game. The effect is much the same as an insistent panhandler or perpetually cash-strapped friend bugging you every 25 seconds for money. Although most reviewers are quick to point out that such profit generating methods are common to mobile apps of every description, the big marketing blitz that has accompanied AB2 has gone to great lengths to make the game feel like a big, blockbuster event, whereas the game’s annoying habit of constantly asking you for money gives it a stink of desperation, causing reviewers to look towards the relative failure of Rovio’s recent games such as Amazing Alex and Retry as reasons for their newfound profiteering.

Now, I want you to imagine all those times you ran out of rings on Sonic The Hedgehog, right before the boss turned up. There was no rich boy get out of jail free function to buy more rings in those days. Putting the kibosh on a boss like that took effort, skill and a level head – and it made a man (or woman) of you. It put hairs on your chest (but hopefully only if it made a man of you first). Want a continue? Earn one in the Special Stage or don’t have one at all. Yessir, we worked for our power ups in the old days. Good times.

…Sorry, what was I saying?

To better put all the fan outrage into perspective, Angry Birds 2 holds you up for cash BEFORE the tutorial that begins the game is even over. In-app purchases are a key revenue source for mobile games developers – and it would be nonsensical to take a stand against them. To do so would be akin to demanding that ITV loses the ad breaks. However, I can’t help but wonder why AB2 is so heavily peppered with them.

Surely the idea is to be enjoying the game so much that you don’t mind making the odd in-app purchase, not to be absolutely bludgeoned over the head with popular video game characters repeatedly demanding your money.

In some respects, then, Angry Birds 2 appears to be the gaming equivalent of accidentally catching eyes with a charity troll on a busy urban street, mistaking their eye contact and slight smile for a sign of attraction and not noticing the GreenPeace shirt and clipboard until its too late.

That, or being mugged.

Boys From The Dwarf: Classic Sci-Fi Comedy Show To Return For Two New Series

The boys from the Dwarf are back! UK TV channel Dave has announced that it has commissioned two new series of the long-running science fiction comedy, the first of which (series XI) will be set to air in 2016.

Series co-creator Doug Naylor, who has been in sole charge of the franchise since 1997’s seventh series, said, “[We were] originally asked for more shows back in 2012 (…) but frustratingly it’s taken until now to get our ducks in a row and all the boys available at the same time. Now they are, we’re all absolutely delighted.”

Craig Charles, who portrays Dave Lister on the show, has reportedly left his long-running role as Lloyd Mullaney on British soap opera ‘Coronation Street’ in order to better commit to the part.

“Lloyd has become a huge part of my life and I’ve had an absolutely fantastic ten years,” the poet-turned actor told Empire Online. “…But I feel I owe it to my colleagues on Red Dwarf to join them in filming the new series and finding out what is in store for Lister and the others.”

The BBC initially aired 8 series of Red Dwarf from 1988 – 1999. From there, Dave optioned the rights to the series and produced a three-part special entitled ‘Red Dwarf: Back To Earth’ in 2009. Fan reaction to this new series was mixed and many saw it as a creative miss-step. However, both viewing figures and DVD sales for the specials were strong and so Dave commissioned a new series, ‘Red Dwarf X’ in 2012. This time around, with the characters returning to the original ‘sit-com in space’ format, the fan reaction was much more positive, which left many fans hungry for more.

Although the viewing figures for Series X were not as strong as they were for the ‘Back To Earth’ specials, the series was still Dave’s highest rated show of 2012.

Since then, however, it’s been a long wait. Having said that, three years between series is nothing for fans of Red Dwarf. After Series III wrapped in 1989, fans had to wait until 1991 for Series 4. Then, after Series VI ended (on a cliffhanger, no less), viewers had to wait four years until Series VII kicked off in 1997. Two years passed before 1999 saw the release of Series VIII and from there it was a decade before Dave aired the three part special, ‘Red Dwarf: Back To Earth’. Even after that venture proved to be (financially, if not entirely critically) successful – it was still three more years before fans saw any new episodes coming their way.

The two new series will be shot back-to-back towards the end of this year and are being co-produced by Baby Cow Productions. Welcome back, Dwarfers, the slime’s coming home!

The Need For Two-way Radios For Security

Two way radios are invaluable resource to any security team anywhere in the world. These radios ensure fast and efficient communication with one another in a secure and discrete manner . This helps in enhancing security as far as protecting people, their property, buildings and other valuable assets is concerned. Not only are two way radios important for security purposes but they are also useful for ensuring workplace safety is maintained especially in construction sites and other noisy workplaces. The following are the importance of two way radios for security:

Access Control To Different Areas 

Two way radios are very useful when monitoring the situation in various places within a building, a construction site or a highly sensitive area. It enables the security team to communicate seamlessly about the people entering or leaving the site or area. It gives you complete access control of who enters or leaves the building or site. You can easily inform a partner on who looks suspicious and what exactly is happening at the entrance or anywhere in the building.

High Profile Security 

Two way radios offer a high profile security and monitoring of what is happening at a particular place. For enhanced security, direct and prompt communication is vital. Two way radios are among the best communication gadgets that offer fast and immediate communication between security personnel. You do not have to wait for the call to be connected as is the norm with mobile phones and other communication gadgets; it is simply instant communication.

Covert Security

These radios offer covert security. You can easily monitor the movements of suspicious people in an area without them knowing that they are being watched. Due to instant communication offered by these gadgets, it is easy to monitor every step taken by a suspicious individual. Good security requires stealth or concealed monitoring of events in an area. This allows you to monitor the security concerns of an area without being noticed.

Asset Management 

Two way radios or walkie talkies are essential in asset management. They enable timely monitoring of equipment, cars and tracks, buildings and even when transporting the assets. Transporting high value assets require constant monitoring and communication between the owner and the people transporting the assets. Two way radios allow you to communicate and monitor the movement of the people transporting the assets.

Emergency Communications 

There are times when emergency situations in the workplace or building may prevent you from accessing help immediately. without putting your life in danger. On top of that, it facilitates evacuation of other people from the danger zone. You can communicate with the rest of the security team to ensure everyone is evacuated and is safe.

Security Guarding 

Security involves guarding people, building and property. Guarding people is not an easy process especially VIPs. It requires constant communication between the SIA security people. It requires you to communicate in the moment. This is only achieved by using two way radios because these gadgets allow instant communication between two or more people. In case of a problem you can easily request for backup immediately. The latest two way radios allow users to include or attach discrete acoustic earpieces and microphones for covert use. This is very important when guarding VIPs.

Enhances Store Security And Management 

If you own a store or a warehouse that requires constant monitoring, then you should consider getting your security team two way radios. Using these communication gadgets, you create your own store detectives as they will be able to monitor what comes in and leaves the store without other people knowing that they are being monitored.

Immediate Response 

When not sure of what to do in certain security situations, a second opinion regarding the situation is very important. If the situation does not permit you to leave your location to go and find another person, being able to get immediate response or backup by the help of a communication gadget can help you resolve the problem very fast.

In summary, whether it is a hospital, school, factory, security installation or building, home or workplace, security is very important. Security can only be enhanced and achieved through seamless communication between the security team. By the use of two way radios for security purposes, you will definitely enhance the security of your building, workers, store or any other place that requires constant monitoring and security.

What Makes a Brilliant Spy earpiece?

Like any gadget, a good spy earpiece needs to be well engineered and yet adaptable to your specific needs. It should be hardwearing and reliable, especially when you need it most. It also needs to be able to put up with a lot of punishment (it will likely end up under your shirt, down your trousers and stuffed in your ear, after all) and it will probably be operating for very little in the way of thanks (although, you really ought to clean it regularly). In short, a good spy earpiece – or any kind of gadget for that matter – should be, all things considered, a colleague, an instrument and a friend.

OK, we’re laying it on a bit thick there. I mean, you don’t see the engineers on Star Trek cradling their tricorders lovingly and singing lullabies to them, do you? So what else are you looking for when you buy a spy earpiece?

Firstly, the size (and shape) is an important issue. The very smallest spy earpieces are practically invisible, but the sound quality isn’t generally up to much. When choosing an earpiece, you need to be able to wear it comfortably and to operate it in relatively noisy areas, if necessary. Keep this in mind at all times when choosing your earpiece.

Secondly, you will want to choose a colour that matches your skin hue. Its no good being a hulking 6ft 6in black guy with what looks like a miniature jar of Hellman’s Blue Label sticking out of your left lughole, now is it?

Thirdly, you’ll want a spy earpiece to generate the least amount of background noise possible. If you can find an earpiece that resists electromagnetic interference better than most, then you’ll definitely be on the right path. Most of them will emit a low hum, which you’ll find you get used to in time, but if it is too loud, the ‘hum’ can scupper your whole operation (and annoy you – a lot).

Finally, you will probably also want to make sure that you buy your earpiece from a reputable manufacturer or trader . There are a lot of charlatans out there, so it pays to be extra careful. You want to ensure that you buy an ultra high quality product, without getting stiffed on price. It is possible and you can do it, but you’ll probably need to shop around a bit first.

Spy earpieces, like two-way radios, smart TVs, tablet PCs, iPod docks and other consumer electronics, are likely to be in regular use either at work or at home and, as such, it is important that you are comfortable with your choice.

Therefore, it is useful to see if you can try out a friend’s earpiece first. Even if you don’t like it, you will at least get a taste of what you are (or are not – as the case may be) looking for.

You could even see if a salesperson will let you try one in your local electronics store (although frankly, I doubt it). Maybe if you just smile really nicely and appeal to the kid in them by giving them a nostalgia-inducing test phrase to use on the device. Something like, oh, I don’t know,

“Second star to the right…And straight on until morning”.

That should do it.

2 Way Radios Inside The Construction Industry

The use of 2 way radios on a construction site is the best way to achieve efficiency by saving time, increasing productivity, and enhancing workers’ safety. A Two way radio device allows workers on a construction site to communicate with each other instantly. The radio is incredibly instrumental where the site manager has to communicate to hundreds of workers spread across a large contraction site. On a construction site, workers are always moving around carrying heavy loads and operating machinery. The working environment requires heavy-duty communication devices such as the 2 way radio models. The radio ought to have the same specifications as the radio military personal. These features include shock resistant, water, and dust resistant to guarantee durability for up to 10-15 years. These specifications ensure that the device can operate in harsh environments without spoiling.

A construction manager may need to reach out to workers on a crane, up a sky-scrapper, management office, and security personnel on site using a single network. The Two way radio enables construction workers to communicate over all these possible barriers and achieve clarity and reliability in communication. Whether, it is rainy or windy, the 2 way radio will deliver top-notch communication efficiency. The noisy construction environment does not affect the clarity of the Two way radios.

The Two way radio helps improve the safety of workers while on a site. The radio can make emergency calls in explosive environments such as places with combustible dust or even flammable gas. The radio has an emergency alert features that sends instant distress calls, even when a worker is unconscious. For instance, Man Down features sends an automatic alert if a worker falls or the device stays in a horizontal position for a long time. There is also the Lone man function that ensures any worker isolated, in case of an emergency, has special communication options. During emergencies the radio adjusts its system by interrupting group conversations to allow the distress call to go through to the control centre. Such a function is critical to a situation where a worker is alone and in trouble.

Using the 2 way radio guarantees a reduction in both operation cost and delays. Radio communication ensures that construction managers can pass urgent messages quickly to the different departments working on a site. If there are any changes in the course of the day, the manager does not have to call for a meeting or wait until close of business to communicate. The 2 way radio offers the perfect speed to communicate changes during construction work. The technology also saves on the cost of paying cellular charges if the company is using a mobile network to communicate on the site.

Most radios comes equipped with GPS tracking that aid both security and efficiency. Site managers are able to locate the position of all workers using the communication device. Making it possible to track the movement of vehicles on site and the position of equipment such as forklifts, backhoes, and excavators. The GPS tracking functions also helps construction managers to improve on-site security by identifying where their equipment is. Since most construction workers will use a 2 way radio device, communication is sure to improve deliveries to and from the construction site. In case of a vehicle breaking down, the control room can receive the messages and arrange for support without wasting time.

The flexible nature of the 2 way radio network accommodates construction sites of different sizes. Whether it is a large construction company, a medium sized company, or a small contractor the Two way network delivers. A big construction company can enjoy the increased calling ability using a single network. If multiple sites use the device, it is possible to have an integrated system that shares the same network but does not allow for interferences. The small contraction company can use a few radios on the single network and cut on cost . Therefore, it is possible to employ the services of the communication devices in different circumstances. Construction managers today are aware of the need for good communication in their sites. An efficient communication network ensures that everyday work is stress-free for the managers and the supervisors.

Covert and Comfortable: A new generation of earpiece designed to maintain awareness

This is a common issue in many industries, the police, event staff and door staff all have to wear earpieces for a long time, this little device is great. We still need to be convinced if this is the answer to a curly tube.

Developed by a team of audiologists using technology originally created for the hearing-aid industry, earHero is a tiny earpiece that provides increased sound clarity without limiting a user’s ability to hear their surroundings, while being small enough to be discreet.

“The response has been really positive. Most guys hate wearing a typical earpiece; after a 10-hour shift, their ears are burning,” said Matt Murphy, founder of earHero. “They just want to do their jobs and be able to hear everything around them without being in pain.”

Built for extreme comfort

Used by the Secret Service, FBI and local law enforcement agencies around the U.S., earHero is more comfortable than a traditional “coiled-tube” earpiece and can be adapted to any standard radio used by law enforcement. Its two tiny speakers, secured by thin silicone guides, fit securely in your ear, providing clear audio without blocking out the sounds around you, all while preventing ear fatigue.

In fact, the earpiece is so unobtrusive that you’re able to comfortably talk on the phone without removing it.

Offers Total situational awareness

A traditional earpiece sits in one ear with a coiled tube leading to the radio, so an officer’s hearing is essentially impeded. Not only does listening through a single ear require the volume to be louder, which can potentially drown out ambient sounds, it also impedes our natural sense of sound localization—the process by which we locate a sound.

“Say you hear something over your right shoulder,” Murphy said. “Because the sound came from the right side, it will be a little louder and come a little bit sooner to your right ear than it will to your left ear. Your brain processes this information and tells you that the sound came from your right. But, with one ear essentially plugged, your brain isn’t able to perform this localization.”

earHero doesn’t obstruct the natural process, allowing users to accurately locate sounds. Having the highest level of awareness of your environment when on the job can be crucial. With earHero, you’re able to hear whisper-level sounds from yards away and determine where they’re coming from.

Easier on your ears

The design of earHero is not only more effective from a performance standpoint, it also is safer for your ears. Because earHero uses tiny speakers in both ears, you can achieve clarity with a lower volume than you would be able to through a single ear. This translates into less pressure on the inner workings of your ear.

In addition, the earHero is small enough to fit inside the ear without obstructing it, meaning that you can hear more and the pressure inside the ear has a way to escape. The result is a more comfortable experience, but also one that is less likely to lead to hearing loss.

Indeed, earHero offers law enforcement professionals a comfortable, effective and covert earpiece option. Its innovative design is easy on the ear and does not impede situational awareness.

Source – http://www.policeone.com/police-products/communications/articles/7522383-Covert-and-Comfortable-A-new-generation-of-earpiece-designed-to-maintain-awareness/

Titanic, Avatar and Star Trek Composer James Horner Dies In Plane Crash

James Horner, one of the best known and most respected composers in cinema history, has died, aged 61. He leaves behind him a musical legacy that helped to define an era.

Throughout an incredibly successful career, Horner scored in excess of 100 movies. First Oscar nominated for his work on ‘Aliens’ (1986) and again for ‘Field of Dreams’ (1989), amongst others, Horner’s work would eventually earn him two Academy Awards, two Golden Globes, ten Oscar nominations, seven Golden Globe nominations and three Bafta nominations.

The list of films scored by James Horner is a long and impressive one. From ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan’ (1982) and its sequel, 1984’s ‘The Search For Spock’, to more recent hits such as ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ (2012), ‘The Karate Kid’ (2010) and ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ (2008), Horner scored more Hollywood blockbusters than some people have seen.

His rich, fluidic tones and warm, sweeping scores were occasionally offset by moments of experimentation, such as the African-style vocal harmonies used in his score for ‘Avatar’ (2009) or the steel drums used in cult Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle ‘Commando’ (1985), all with the effect of serving the plot and the director’s vision. He was also an extremely versatile mind, every bit as capable of scoring hard-hitting drama as flippant comedy or high-octane action. Perhaps this was why James Cameron chose Horner to score ‘Titanic’ (1997), a decision that proved to be very fruitful indeed. Both the score, and the song ‘My Heart Will Go On’ (performed by Celine Dion) won Oscars, while the song itself sold 15 million copies worldwide.

However, the list of hit films helped along to box office success by Horner’s talents doesn’t end there. 90’s crowd-pleasers ‘Braveheart’ (1995), ‘The Mask of Zorro’ (1998), ‘Deep Impact’ (1998), Apollo 13’ (1995), ‘Casper’ (1995) and ‘Jumanji’ (1995) all benefited from Horner’s orchestrations, as did later films like ‘Troy’ (2004), ‘The Legend of Zorro’ (2005) ‘The Forgotten’ (2004), ‘Iris’ (2001), ‘A Beautiful Mind’ (2001), ‘Bicentennial Man’ (1999), ‘Windtalkers’ (2002) ‘The Perfect Storm’ (2000) and ‘Enemy at the Gates’ (2001).

The list of films upon which Horner worked, or conducted for, is longer still. After you’ve read this piece, head on over to IMDB and be amazed.

James Horner was born in Los Angeles, California in 1953. His father, Harry Horner, was an Oscar winning art director and set designer who had won the coveted awards for his work on 1949’s ‘The Heiress’ and 1961’s ‘The Hustler’, respectively. James learned to play the piano at age 5 and went on to study at the Royal College of Music in London, before studying music at the University of Southern California and doing postgraduate work at the University of California, Los Angeles.

His early successes included the movies ‘48 Hours’ (1982), ‘Cocoon’ (1985), ‘*Batteries Not Included’ (1987) and ‘An American Tail’ (1986) – which earned him an early Oscar nomination.

From there, Horner became one of Hollywood’s most in-demand composers, scoring ‘Willow’ (1988), ‘Honey, I Shrunk The Kids’ (1989), ‘The Rocketeer’ (1991), ‘Ransom’ (1996) and ‘Mighty Joe Young’ (1998), amongst (many) others.

On the 22nd June it was reported that one of Horner’s private planes had crashed into the Los Padres National Forest near Ventucopa, California. He was the sole occupant of the craft when it crashed. Our best wishes and sincerest condolences go out to Horner’s family, friends and fans. He shall be missed.

New Tomb, New Queen Discovered in Egypt

The tomb of an ancient Egyptian queen previously unknown to history has been discovered this month.

Queen Khentakawess III (also referred to as Khentkaus III) lived in the fifth dynasty and is believed to have been the wife of Pharaoh Neferefre and the mother of Pharaoh Menkauhor Kaiu.

Until this discovery, this ancient queen was completely unknown to recorded history.

The tomb was found in Abu-Sir, South-West of Cairo, within the funeral complex of Pharaoh Neferefre. It is thought to be some 4,500 years old. Reliefs in the tomb referred to Khentakawess both as “wife of the king” and also as “mother of the king”, which suggests that she was the wife of Neferefre and the mother of his possible son, the Pharaoh Menkauhor Kaiu.

When archaeologists discovered that the name Khentakawess had been inscribed on the walls, they dubbed her Khentakawess III, as there are two prior queens to have used the name, including the mother of Neferefre.

The queen’s tomb held around 30 utensils fashioned from limestone and copper.

Phahaoh Neferefre’s reign is believed to have been a short one. Modern scholars contend that he only reigned for one, or maybe two years at best. This is corroborated by data from the Turin King List and the fact that his tomb was never properly completed, but was seemingly rushed to competition following his premature death (detailed analysis of the king’s remains suggests that he died in his early 20’s).

Today, Egyptologists know the tomb of Pharaoh Neferefre as ‘The Unfinished Pyramid’.

Pharaoh Neferefre was succeeded by his brother Nyuserre Ini, who is thought to have reigned for at least 24 years. Nyuserre Ini was himself succeeded by his nephew, Menkauhor Kaiu, apparently the son of Kentakawess III.

Pharaoh Menkauhor Kaiu ruled for 8-9 years and was eventually interred in a badly damaged tomb today known as ‘The Headless Pyramid’

Tracking the lineage of Egypt’s ancient kings and queens is a tricky task and the notion that Khentakawess III was the wife of Neferefre and the mother of Menkauhor Kaiu is disputed. However, at the time of writing this, the consensus seems to be that this is her likeliest place in history.

Egyptian antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty was hopeful that the discovery of this new tomb/monarch would help archaeologists and historians understand more about the Fifth Dynasty, which, along with the latter days of the Fourth Dynasty “witnessed the construction of the first pyramids”.