Sap Erp Financial Accounting C Tfin52 67 Questions}

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Microsoft to buy back US$40 B of its stock over 5 years

Friday, July 21, 2006

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT, HKSE:4338) has announced plans to buy back US$40 billion of its stock between now and 2011.

(All further figures in this article are in U.S. Dollars.)

Microsoft, the world’s largest maker of computer software, will make a tender offer to repurchase $20 billion of its own stock by August 17, and will purchase another $20 billion by 2011. This is in addition to a previous $30 billion stock buyback offer it completed two years ago.

The company plans to accept offers in the form of a modified Dutch or “reverse auction”, and based on those offers for stock, come up with a price no less than $22.50 and no more than $24.75, that allows it to buy up to about 8.1% of the common shares outstanding, up to either 808,080,808 shares, or $20 billion. The company stated that it will not purchase shares below a price stipulated by a shareholder, and in some cases, may actually purchase shares at prices above a shareholder’s indication under the terms of the modified Dutch auction. Prior to the announcement, Microsoft shares were trading at $22.75, with the announcement causing share prices to rise $1.32, or 5.8%, to $24.17.

Microsoft has been criticized in the past for “sitting on” huge reserves of cash without making additional purchases of companies or technology.

The company expects to sell more units of its Xbox 360 game console, which currently is unprofitable, helping to shore up weaker earnings from its Office flagship software package, of which a new version is not expected until sometime next year.

On July 20 the company said profit for the year will be $1.43 to $1.47 a share, an increase from an April forecast of $1.36 to $1.41. For the quarter ending September, expected profit will be 30-32c/share on revenue of between $10.6-$10.8 billion. For fiscal 2006, earnings were 11% higher than the previous year, at $12.6 billion on revenues of $44.28 billion, or $1.20 per share. In the year-ago quarter, Microsoft reported net income of $3.70 billion, with legal expenses of 5 cents per share plus tax benefits of 9 cents per share. This produced a net income of 34 cents per share for the quarter, opposed to the 31 cents which would have occurred without the tax benefits. For the previous fiscal year, income was $12.25 billion on revenue of $39.79 billion, or $1.13 per share.

Microsoft held an audio web-cast at 2:30 p.m. PDT (5:30 p.m. EDT) July 20 with Chris Liddell, senior vice president and chief financial officer, Frank Brod, corporate vice president and chief accounting officer, and Colleen Healy, general manager of Investor Relations. The session may be accessed at the Microsoft website. The web-cast will be available for replay through the close of business on July 20, 2007.

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Microsoft to buy back US$40 B of its stock over 5 years

Dell delays filing of financials as accounting investigation continues

Friday, March 30, 2007

Dell Inc., a global leader in computer hardware manufacturing and sales, announced yesterday that it will delay filing of its annual performance report, the Form 10-K, required for compliance with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Nasdaq listing rules.

In a press release, Dell explained that an audit committee of the company’s board of directors is carrying out an investigation into accounting and financial reporting issues. The company stated that it would delay filing of the 10-K since the investigation had not been completed.

The internal investigation has found evidence of accounting errors, misconduct, and deficiencies in areas of financial control.

The chairman of Dell’s audit committee, Thomas Luce III, indicated that the delay in filing would extend past the April 3, 2007 deadline as well as an April 18, 2007 extension date. “As we move toward the conclusion of our investigation, we are committing the time and resources required to ensure a thorough and comprehensive review and resolution of all identified issues and the implementation of appropriate remedial measures,” said Luce.

The investigation is to determine whether the restatement of any financial disclosures are warranted, based on the accounting errors identified. The probe will also assess whether there are deficiencies in Dell’s internal control over financial reporting.

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NASA mission to map the boundary of solar system

Sunday, October 19, 2008

NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) to map the boundary between the solar system and interstellar space will be launched on a Pegasus XL rocket today. The two year mission, costing US$165 million, will study the region in space where the solar wind from the sun suddenly slows down as it reaches the thin, cold gas of interstellar space. This region, called the heliospheric boundary of the solar system, helps to deflect most of the potentially life-threatening forms of radiation coming from elsewhere in our galaxy.

IBEX will ride Pegasus to around 200 kilometres from earth, before boosting itself into its final earth orbit 322,000 kilometres away. The probe will capture energetic neutral atoms (ENAs), which are formed when positive ions in the solar wind hit neutral atoms of interstellar material and rip out electrons from them. IBEX-Lo and -Hi detectors will collect data on the ENAs to create a three-dimensional map of the heliosphere.

The heliospheric boundary was first probed by Voyager 1 in 2004 and later by Voyager 2 in 2007. The data from the two missions indicated several indentations on the heliospheric boundary. It is hoped that IBEX studies may reveal the cause of these indentations.

Recent observations indicate the solar wind pressure has weakened by 25 percent over the past decade and is presently at its weakest level in 50 years. Ibex studies could help confirm whether and why the heliosphere is shrinking. Scientists postulate that if the heliosphere continues to weaken, the amount of cosmic radiation reaching the inner parts of our solar system, including earth will increase. This could trigger growing levels of disruption to electrical equipment, damage satellites and possibly harm life on earth.

“Around 90 per cent of the galactic cosmic radiation is deflected by our heliosphere, so the boundary protects us from this harsh galactic environment,” said Nathan Schwadron, co-investigator on the IBEX mission at Boston University. “IBEX gives us a chance to look at how our Solar System’s bubble fits in as a tiny piece of the entire Galaxy,” claimed David McComas of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, and IBEX’s principal investigator.

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NASA mission to map the boundary of solar system

Why Do We Buy Junk Cars?}

Submitted by: Blain Josep

Selling the junk cars to the companies concerned has become one of the leading businesses. The companies linked with the business of buying junk cars willingly accept rusted vehicles and pay a price for it. The amount which you can get can be as high as $10,000. However, the amount you would be offered entirely depends upon the condition of your car.

No one likes old rusty cars standing in their garage, sooner or later they would plan to get rid of them. Throwing it off the hill is clearly not an option. Disposing them in a much vigilant and careful manner will not only save the environment but would also help you earn good money without much struggle. By selling your cars to junk companies will not only benefit them but also the environment you live in. The cars which you have standing in your backyards hardly attract any buyer. Even if some party shows interest in your car, no adequate price is offered. Some may step back just by the closer look of your car. Making them stand forever is better than selling them to us.

Selling junk cars have many benefits other than money. The junk cars standing in your garage takes up the valuable space in it thereby creating problems for you. Moreover, they cause land pollution as metals have many non biodegradable components in it, which never decompose. These components have various effects on land rendering them useless. When sold to the companies, they separate out the degradable and non degradable components and use them accordingly.

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The cars in the junkyards are used in different ways, from some cars the valuable parts are removed and are used again in the making of other things. Some cars may be sold as a whole after slight repairing.

As the cars are made up of metals, the body of the rusted and wrecked cars can be used to make metals like steel and iron. Extraction of a metal from the surface of the earth is not only expensive but also laborious. The expenses are in the extraction, refining, melting of these metals. Reusing the metals helps save money and financially benefits the metal industries. Firstly, less energy is required and secondly the expenses are greatly reduced. Its ultimate benefit is to the environment which is protected against land pollution due to extraction of more metal and due to rotten cars taking up valuable space.

Besides, selling of such cars helps you make extra money for the new lavish cars you deserve. These companies who are concerned about buying of old cars are more or less like a blessing for people who are willing to get rid of their old cars. Such cars hardly attract any potential customers. Letting your car stand either in the garage or under the sun, further deteriorates the condition of the car. Whether they still run or not, you still have to pay for their insurance. So, to show your business skills, it is better to dispose them off in a beneficial way.

So by now, if you are willing to sell your rotten and wrecked cars all you need is to search for one such company in your vicinity or more easily you can surf on the net. Show your car and wait for the offer by the concerned company. You can easily do the paperwork and get satisfactory amount for the car. This hazard free, vigilant and secure method of getting rid of the disintegrated cars is now being practiced by people worldwide. The wise decision of such people saves them from financial loss as well as helps keep the environment clean and beautiful.

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We buy junk cars

There are a few points and tips that one has to keep in mind when going to car junkyard. People sell car for cash normally when it gives the problems like losing the value in the market and cannot be repaired. Click here for

Cash for junk cars

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Doctor robbed, car-jacked and locked in boot while car set alight

Monday, March 19, 2007

A 34 year old obstetrician from Forestville on Sydney’s Northern Beaches has escaped after he was robbed, car-jacked and locked in the boot (trunk) of his BMW, which was set alight. Police say the doctor was locked in the boot while his car was set alight, but was allowed to escape before flames engulfed the vehicle.

The Doctor was believed to have been heading to The Mater Hospital in North Sydney when he was waiting at the intersection of West and Falcon Streets in Chatswood around 3:15AM AEDT when a small red sedan with two men claiming to be police officers signalled him to stop. After crossing the intersection, the doctor stopped his car at the side of the road.

The doctor was then approached by the two men and when he asked to see identification, one man grabbed the keys from his car’s ignition before they both pulled the doctor out of his vehicle, hit him in the stomach with a hammer and stole his mobile phone and wallet. The robbers also demanded his key and credit cards along with their access codes before locking him in the boot.

Police allege that the men drove to several locations to withdraw cash and buy things before driving to Carisbook Street in Linley Point at around 4 a.m. local time where they set the car alight with the doctor still in the boot.

Crime Manager of the Harbourside Local Area Command, Detective Inspector Houlahan said that the doctor then “heard a click in the boot area and he heard someone call out: ‘Get out of the car'”

“When he pushed the boot up he found his car engulfed in flames.”

Det. Insp. Houlahan said the doctor told police he did not unlock the boot himself, and it appeared the man’s captors unlocked it before fleeing.

Det Insp Houlahan said that the doctor appeared to be “very distraught” and tired after the ordeal, and wanted to get home and see his wife and two young daughters.

He could only provide police with a vague description of his captors, but said the men were both Caucasian males aged in their 20s, and that one of them was about six feet tall (183cm) with short blond hair and medium build said Det. Insp. Houlahan.

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Doctor robbed, car-jacked and locked in boot while car set alight

Last British volume car manufacturer closes down

Friday, April 15, 2005

The last British-owned volume car manufacturer, MG Rover, has closed down, with the loss of 5,000 jobs.

International accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCooper was brought in last week to put the company into administration. Today PwC announced that MG Rover’s only hope, the Chinese car company SAIC, had no interest in buying the ailing firm. With no further source of revenue, PwC has closed the company’s factory in Longbridge, Birmingham and has laid off 5,000 workers.

Some 1,000 workers will continue for a while to complete the remaining cars left on the production line.

The BBC reported PwC joint administrator Tony Lomas as saying “We’ll explore what we would describe as the break-up of the business, we will carry on with the interested parties who want to talk about pieces of the business.”. PwC said around 70 offers for various parts of the company had been made but no serious offers of money made.

Recent efforts to save the company had been centered on convincing SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp.) to buy the company as a going concern, but the Chinese company stated it would only buy the company if it’s financial position could be guaranteed to be secure for at least two years. The British government could not make such a commitment due to European Union trade and competition rules.

The SAIC company did buy the designs for the 75 and 25 models and for the K-Series engines for £67m.

The Rover car company has a long but troubled history. It was formed in 1968 after a series of mergers of existing car manufacturers, and was nationalized in 1975 after it ran into financial difficulties. In 1979 a long-running deal to collaborate on developing new vehicles was established with the Japanese company Honda. In 1988 the company was privatized and was bought by British Aerospace. In 1994 British Aerospace sold the business to BMW, who then sold the Land Rover brand to Ford and finally sold the company in 2000 for just £10, retaining the well-known Mini brand for themselves. The MG Rover company was run by a private group until its collapse.

MG Rover has not launched a new model since the 75 was introduced in 1998 during the period of ownership by BMW. Their next newest model was the 25, originally launched as the 200 series some ten years ago. Rover also produced the 45, which dates from 1990, and the ZF sports car first launched in 1995. Sales of Rover cars accounted for just 3% of the UK car market in 2004.

Tony Blair announced a £150 million support package for the recently unemployed workers of the MG Rover plants, though it has been claimed that his generous offer may be more as a result of the nearby marginal seats in the upcoming elections than compassion on his part.

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Last British volume car manufacturer closes down

A Guide For Replacing Alienware Laptop Video Cards}

A Guide for Replacing Alienware Laptop Video Cards

by

Alienware Laptop Expert

As we all know that Alienware Gaming Laptops are the best and expensive gaming laptops along with their parts and accessories including Alienware laptop video cards, motherboards etc. As a result, Alienware laptop repair is a costly option and if you are just looking for upgrading few components then it may not cost you as dear.

Alienware laptops come with good configurations but still if you are fed up of the graphics / video card installed in it or just want to replace the troubling graphics card, there are certain points that you need to consider before you go about an Alienware laptop repair job.

Replacing or installing a graphics card in your laptop is not a very cumbersome task, just few steps and you are up with a new found brute force for your Alienware beast.

First step is to uninstall current graphics card drivers and to do so just right click on My Computer and select Properties. Find your graphics card listed under the hardware tab. Just uninstall it from there.

Shutdown your laptop now and locate the AGP slot. Get rid of the static charge your body might have before you start touching internal components of the machine as you might end up damaging some electronic parts. Using an antistatic strap could be a good option. To remove the old graphics card, all you need to do is to open the casing first and unscrew attached back plate.

It would be better if you go through your new graphics card manual before you install it inside. Once you have read it all and sure about its configuration, just slide it into motherboards AGP slot. Make sure you have securely placed it into slot before you screw back its back plate and close the laptop casing.

Now you can turn your laptop ON to install drivers for the new graphics card. If Windows does not detect the new hardware installed then just click Settings from the Start Menu, open the Control Panel and click Add Hardware and you can install drivers through easy to follow steps. Once you have installed drivers you are finished with your Alienware laptop repair. Just restart your Alienware laptop and experience the change.

The author is a computer and networking consultant and regularly writes about computer repair services. For more information on Alienware repair, Laptop repair, Aliewnare motherboard repair,

Alienware laptop repair

, Alienware service, Alienware laptop computer repair and Alienware repair service, visit: http://service.ztronics.com/

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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 GalleryImage: Brian McNeil.

Selection of views of the Grand GalleryImage: Brian McNeil.

Selection of views of the Grand GalleryImage: 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.

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National Museum of Scotland reopens after three-year redevelopment

City to sue owner of partially collapsed 19th century livery in Buffalo, New York

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Buffalo, New York — Two weeks after a 19th century stable and livery on Jersey Street partially collapsed and caused 15 homes to be evacuated in Buffalo, New York, residents still do not have answers from the city despite a court order to work with them and come to an agreement on a way to save some or all of the building, Wikinews has learned. Despite the frustration from residents, the city is planning on suing the building’s owner. A rally was held at the stable’s site where residents are hoping to bring more awareness to the situation and gain more support to save the building.

On June 11, a significant portion of the stable’s right side wall collapsed into the yard of a resident’s home. Authorities, including the Buffalo Fire Department were called to the scene to evaluate the collapse and evacuate 15 homes of residents surrounding the stable as a precautionary measure. The following day, the city ordered an emergency demolition on the building, which was stopped by a restraining order residents with Save The Livery (www.savethelivery.com) won on June 14. Two weeks later, five homes are still evacuated and residents don’t know when they will be able to return.

On June 19, Judge Justice Christopher Burns of the New York State Supreme Court ordered a halt to the emergency demolition and ordered the city and residents to come to an agreement to save the building, or at least a significant portion of it. Despite a court date today, no agreement has yet been reached between the two parties.

“It is in the interest of the city to have a safe environment–but also important to maintain a sense of historical preservation,” stated Burns in his June 19th ruling. The court ruled that a limited demolition could take place and that the city was only allowed to remove material in immediate danger to residents and pedestrians, but stated that the demolition could only be performed with “hand tools.” The court also ordered that any rubble which had fallen into neighboring yards when the building collapsed, to be removed. Since then, most of not all the significantly damaged portions of the building or portions in immediate danger of falling have been demolished. The roof has also been removed to put less stress on the stable’s walls.

“Its been over three years since we have been having problems with part of the livery falling down. There was an implosion two weeks ago and suddenly the city wanted to have an emergency demolition,” said Catherine Herrick who lives on Summer Street immediately behind the stable and is the main plaintiff in the lawsuit against the city. Many homes on Summer are small cottages which were used as servants quarters when the stable was in operation, many of which were built in the 1820’s. At least seven homes on Summer border the stable’s back walls. Residents in those homes have significant gardens which have been planted against the building and growing for decades.

“Both parties are to continue to work together to see how we can meet everybody’s needs. This is the third time we have been in that courtroom, and that is what we were basically told to do,” added Herrick who said the rally was held today because this “is Buffalo’s history. Buffalo is a wonderful place to live because of its history and this is a historical, beautiful building and we need to keep those beautiful buildings.”

Herrick states that the city is working with residents, but also believes that its “slow moving” and they are allowing the owner to get away with neglect on the property.

“I believe right now that they are letting the owner get off. The owner was negligent for 20 years, and hasn’t done anything to it despite what he has claimed to say. Now that this is an emergency situation, the city has a lot to say about it,” added Herrick.

Currently the building is owned by Bob Freudenheim who has several building violations against him because its poor condition. He has received at least five violations in three months and residents who live near the building state that Freudenheim should be “100% responsible” for his actions.

Freudenheim gave the city permission to demolish the building on June 12 during an emergency Preservation Board meeting, because he would not be “rehabilitating the building anytime soon.” Freudenheim, along with his wife Nina, were part-owners of the Hotel Lenox at 140 North Street in Buffalo and were advocates to stop the Elmwood Village Hotel from being built on the Southeast corner of Forest and Elmwood Avenues. They also financially supported a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the hotel from being built. Though it is not known exactly how long Freudenheim has owned the stable, Wikinews has learned that he was the owner while fighting to stop the hotel from being built. Residents say that he has been the owner for at least 22 years. Attorneys for Freudenheim confirm that the city is starting proceedings against him for his violations beginning as early as Wednesday June 25. Freudenheim has not released a statement and could not be reached for comment.

Many residents want the building preserved and Herrick states that their engineer can have it stable in “four days” as opposed to the 14-30 days it would take to demolish the building and “at a lesser cost than what it costs to demolish it.”

It will cost the city nearly US$300,000 to demolish the building which is paid for with tax money collected from residents in the city. The Buffalo News reports that fees are approaching $700,000. Though reports say there is a potential buyer of the stable, Wikinews cannot independently confirm those reports.

Residents say the stable was designed by Richard A. Waite, a 19th century architect, and was first owned by a company called White Bros., used as a stable and housed at least 30 horses at any given time. It also stored “coaches, coupes, broughams, Victorias and everything in the line of light livery,” stated an article from the West Side Topics dated 1906. According to the article, The company first opened in 1881 on Thirteenth Street, now Normal Avenue, and later moved into the Jersey building in 1892. The Buffalo Fire Department believes the building was built around 1814, while the city property database states it was built in 1870. It is believed to be only one of three stables of this kind still standing in the country.

At about 1950, the stable was converted into an automobile body shop and gasoline station.A property record search showed that in 1950 at least four fuel storage tanks were installed on the property. Two are listed as 550 square feet while the other two are 2,000 square feet. All of the tanks are designated as a TK4, which New York State says is used for “below ground horizontal bulk fuel storage.” The cost of installing a tank of that nature according to the state, at that time, included the tank itself, “excavation and backfill,” but did not include “the piping, ballast, or hold-down slab orring.” It is not known if the tanks are still on the property, but residents are concerned the city was not taking the precautions to find out.

Wikinews has called the city along with the Mayor’s office several times, but both have yet to return our calls. There are conflicting reports as to the date of the next hearing. According to Herrick, the next hearing is July 1, 2008 though the Buffalo News states the next hearing is July 8. The News also states that Burns will make a final ruling on the stable at this time.

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City to sue owner of partially collapsed 19th century livery in Buffalo, New York