A portrait of Scotland: Gallery reopens after £17.6 million renovation

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Today saw Edinburgh’s Scottish National Portrait Gallery reopen following a two-and-a-half-year, £17.6m (US$27.4m) refurbishment. Conversion of office and storage areas sees 60% more space available for displays, and the world’s first purpose-built portrait space is redefining what a portrait gallery should contain; amongst the displays are photographs of the Scottish landscape—portraits of the country itself.

First opened in 1889, Sir Robert Rowand Anderson’s red sandstone building was gifted to the nation by John Ritchie Findlay, then-owner of The Scotsman newspaper and, a well-known philanthropist. The original cost of construction between 1885 and 1890 is estimated at over 70,000 pounds sterling. Up until 1954, the building also housed the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland who moved to the National Museum of Scotland buildings on Chambers Street. The society’s original meeting table now sits in the public part of the portrait gallery’s library, stared down on by an array of busts and phrenological artefacts.

Wikinewsie Brian McNeil, with other members of the press, received a guided tour of the gallery last Monday from Deputy Director Nicola Kalinsky. What Kalinsky described as an introduction to the gallery that previously took around 40 minutes, now takes in excess of an hour-and-a-half; with little in the way of questions asked, a more inquisitive tour group could readily take well over two hours to be guided round the seventeen exhibitions currently housed in the gallery.

A substantial amount of the 60% additional exhibition space is readily apparent on the ground floor. On your left as you enter the gallery is the newly-fitted giant glass elevator, and the “Hot Scots” photographic portrait gallery. This exhibit is intended to show well-known Scottish faces, and will change over time as people fall out of favour, and others take their place. A substantial number of the people now being highlighted are current, and recent, cast members from the BBC’s Doctor Who series.

The new elevator (left) is the most visible change to improve disabled access to the gallery. Prior to the renovation work, access was only ‘on request’ through staff using a wooden ramp to allow wheelchair access. The entire Queen Street front of the building is reworked with sloping access in addition to the original steps. Whilst a lift was previously available within the gallery, it was only large enough for two people; when used for a wheelchair, it was so cramped that any disabled person’s helper had to go up or down separately from them.

The gallery expects that the renovation work will see visitor numbers double from before the 2009 closure to around 300,000 each year. As with many of Edinburgh’s museums and galleries, access is free to the public.

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The expected significant increase in numbers has seen them working closely with the National Museum of Scotland, which was itself reopened earlier this year after extensive refurbishment work; improved access for wheelchair users also makes it far easier for mothers with baby buggies to access the gallery – prompting more thought on issues as seemingly small as nappy-changing – as Patricia Convery, the gallery’s Head of Press, told Wikinews, a great deal of thought went into the practicalities of increased visitor numbers, and what is needed to ensure as many visitors as possible have a good experience at the gallery.

Press access to the gallery on Monday was from around 11:30am, with refreshments and an opportunity to catch some of the staff in the Grand Hall before a brief welcoming introduction to the refurbished gallery given by John Leighton, director of the National Galleries of Scotland. Centre-stage in the Grand Hall is a statue of Robert Burns built with funds raised from around the British Empire and intended for his memorial situated on Edinburgh’s Calton Hill.

The ambulatories surrounding the Grand Hall give the space a cathedral-like feel, with numerous busts – predominantly of Scottish figures – looking in on the tiled floor. The east corner holds a plaque commemorating the gallery’s reopening, next to a far more ornate memorial to John Ritchie Findlay, who not only funded and commissioned the building’s construction, but masterminded all aspects of the then-new home for the national collection.

Split into two groups, members of the press toured with gallery Director James Holloway, and Nicola Kalinsky, Deputy Director. Wikinews’ McNeil joined Kalinsky’s group, first visiting The Contemporary Scotland Gallery. This ground-floor gallery currently houses two exhibits, first being the Hot Scots display of photographic portraits of well-known Scottish figures from film, television, and music. Centre-stage in this exhibit is the newly-acquired Albert Watson portrait of Sir Sean Connery. James McAvoy, Armando Iannucci, playwright John Byrne, and Dr Who actress Karen Gillan also feature in the 18-photograph display.

The second exhibit in the Contemporary gallery, flanked by the new educational facilities, is the Missing exhibit. This is a video installation by Graham Fagen, and deals with the issue of missing persons. The installation was first shown during the National Theatre of Scotland’s staging of Andrew O’Hagan’s play, The Missing. Amongst the images displayed in Fagen’s video exhibit are clips from the deprived Sighthill and Wester-Hailes areas of Edinburgh, including footage of empty play-areas and footbridges across larger roads that sub-divide the areas.

With the only other facilities on the ground floor being the education suite, reception/information desk, cafe and the gallery’s shop, Wikinews’ McNeil proceeded with the rest of Kalinsky’s tour group to the top floor of the gallery, all easily fitting into the large glass hydraulic elevator.

The top (2nd) floor of the building is now divided into ten galleries, with the larger spaces having had lowered, false ceilings removed, and adjustable ceiling blinds installed to allow a degree of control over the amount of natural light let in. The architects and building contractors responsible for the renovation work were required, for one side of the building, to recreate previously-removed skylights by duplicating those they refurbished on the other. Kalinsky, at one point, highlighted a constructed-from-scratch new sandstone door frame; indistinguishable from the building’s original fittings, she remarked that the building workers had taken “a real interest” in the vision for the gallery.

The tour group were first shown the Citizens of the World gallery, currently hosting an 18th century Enlightenment-themed display which focuses on the works of David Hume and Allan Ramsay. Alongside the most significant 18th century items from the National Portrait Gallery’s collection, are some of the 133 new loans for the opening displays. For previous visitors to the gallery, one other notable change is underfoot; previously carpeted, the original parquet floors of the museum have been polished and varnished, and there is little to indicate it is over 120 years since the flooring was originally laid.

Throughout many of the upper-floor displays, the gallery has placed more light-sensitive works in wall-mounted cabinets and pull-out drawers. Akin to rummaging through the drawers and cupboards of a strange house, a wealth of items – many previously never displayed – are now accessible by the public. Commenting on the larger, featured oils, Deputy Director Kalinsky stressed that centuries-old portraits displayed in the naturally-lit upper exhibitions had not been restored for the opening; focus groups touring the gallery during the renovation had queried this, and the visibly bright colours are actually the consequence of displaying the works in natural light, not costly and risky restoration of the paintings.

There are four other large galleries on the top floor. Reformation to Revolution is an exhibition covering the transition from an absolute Catholic monarchy through to the 1688 revolution. Items on-display include some of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery’s most famous items – including Mary Queen of Scots and The Execution of Charles I. The portrait-based depiction of this historical age is complemented with prints, medals, and miniatures from the period.

Imagining Power is a Jacobite-themed exhibition, one which looks at the sometime-romanticised Stuart dynasty. The Gallery owns the most extensive collection of such material in the world; the portraiture that includes Flora MacDonald and Prince Charles Edward Stuart is complemented by glassware from the period which is on-loan from the Drambuie Liqueur Company which Kalinsky remarked upon as the only way Scots from the period could celebrate the deposed monarchy – toasting The King over the Water in appropriately engraved glasses.

On the other side of the upper floor, the two main naturally-lit exhibitions are The Age of Improvement, and Playing for Scotland. The first of these looks at societal changes through the 18th and 19th centuries, including Nasmyth’s 1787 portrait of the young Robert Burns and – well-known to past visitors to the portrait gallery – Raeburn’s 1822 depiction of Sir Walter Scott. These are complemented with some of the National Gallery’s collection of landscapes and earliest scenes from Scottish industry.

Playing for Scotland takes a look at the development of modern sports in the 19th century; migration from countryside to cities dramatically increased participation in sporting activities, and standardised rules were laid down for many modern sports. This exhibition covers Scotland’s four national sports – curling, shinty, golf, and bowls – and includes some interesting photographic images, such as those of early strong-men, which show how more leisure time increased people’s involvement in sporting activities.

Next to the Reformation to Revolution gallery is A Survey of Scotland. Largely composed of works on-loan from the National Library of Scotland, this showcase of John Slezer’s work which led to the 1693 publication of Theatrum Scotiae also includes some of the important early landscape paintings in the national collection.

The work of Scotland’s first portrait painter, the Aberdeen-born George Jamesone, takes up the other of the smaller exhibits on the east side of the refurbished building. As the first-ever dedicated display of Jamesone’s work, his imaginary heroic portraits of Robert the Bruce and Sir William Wallace are included.

On the west side of the building, the two smaller galleries currently house the Close Encounters and Out of the Shadow exhibits. Close Encounters is an extensive collection of the Glasgow slums photographic work of Thomas Annan. Few people are visible in the black and white images of the slums, making what were squalid conditions appear more romantic than the actual conditions of living in them.

The Out of the Shadow exhibit takes a look at the role of women in 19th century Scotland, showing them moving forward and becoming more recognisable individuals. The exceptions to the rules of the time, known for their work as writers and artists, as-opposed to the perceived role of primary duties as wives and mothers, are showcased. Previously constrained to the domestic sphere and only featuring in portraits alongside men, those on-display are some of the people who laid the groundwork for the Suffrage movement.

The first floor of the newly-reopened building has four exhibits on one side, with the library and photographic gallery on the other. The wood-lined library was moved, in its entirety, from elsewhere in the building and is divided into two parts. In the main public part, the original table from the Society of Antiquaries sits centred and surrounded by glass-fronted cabinets of reference books. Visible, but closed to public access, is the research area. Apart from a slight smell of wood glue, there was little to indicate to the tour group that the entire room had been moved from elsewhere in the building.

The War at Sea exhibit, a collaboration with the Imperial War Museum, showcases the work of official war artist John Lavery. His paintings are on-display, complemented by photographs of the women who worked in British factories throughout the First World War. Just visible from the windows of this gallery is the Firth of Forth where much of the naval action in the war took place. Situated in the corner of the room is a remote-controlled ‘periscope’ which allows visitors a clearer view of the Forth as-seen from the roof of the building.

Sir Patrick Geddes, best-known for his work on urban planning, is cited as one of the key influencers of the Scottish Renaissance Movement which serves as a starting point for The Modern Scot exhibit. A new look at the visual aspects of the movement, and a renewal of Scottish Nationalist culture that began between the two World Wars, continuing into the late 20th century, sees works by William McCance, William Johnstone, and notable modernists on display.

Migration Stories is a mainly photographic exhibit, prominently featuring family portraits from the country’s 30,000-strong Pakistani community, and exploring migration into and out of Scotland. The gallery’s intent is to change the exhibit over time, taking a look at a range of aspects of Scottish identity and the influence on that from migration. In addition to the striking portraits of notable Scots-Pakistani family groups, Fragments of Love – by Pakistani-born filmmaker Sana Bilgrami – and Isabella T. McNair’s visual narration of a Scottish teacher in Lahore are currently on-display.

The adjacent Pioneers of Science exhibit has Ken Currie’s 2002 Three Oncologists as its most dramatic item. Focussing on Scotland’s reputation as a centre of scientific innovation, the model for James Clerk Maxwell’s statue in the city’s George Street sits alongside photographs from the Roslin Institute and a death mask of Dolly the sheep. Deputy Director Kalinsky, commented that Dolly had been an incredibly spoilt animal, often given sweets, and this was evident from her teeth when the death mask was taken.

Now open daily from 10am to 5pm, and with more of their collection visible than ever before, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery will change some of the smaller current exhibits after 12 to 18 months on display. The ground-floor information desk has available five mini-guides, or ‘trails’, which are thematic guides to specific display items. These are: The Secret Nature trail, The Catwalk Collection trail, The Situations Vacant trail, The Best Wee Nation & The World trail, and The Fur Coat an’ Nae Knickers Trail.

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Young Black Entrepreneur On The Rise

By Franchesca Thomas

Brandalyn Gill is a young Houstonian, performer, poet, aspiring actress and author that recently self- published a book of short stories and poems called Life.

‘As a CEO and self-publisher of Illumination Literary Publishing by the age of 18, I’ve experienced the ‘game’ of this industry. It is clear that the African American community at large needs to be touched and inspired by myself and the book,’ Gill explained.

The book contains pieces that are motivational as well as encouraging. She is also an entrepreneur and a motivational speaker that has touched many young lives in the Houston area. Her motivational speaking is helping to accomplish a greater goal of being a mentor to a larger group of youth in the Houston Independent School District.

Through the passion to want to help mentor and be a positive influence in the community, Gill and those who accompany her have identified 20 middle and high schools within the Houston Independent School District which encompass over 20,000 African American and Hispanic students.

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‘I discovered that there were very few African American role models my age attending college and becoming an impacting role model and mentor to underachieving students within the HISD system,’ said Gill.

The visible factor of the lack of role models settled within her to truly embrace her role as a motivational speaker and developed the ‘This Is My Life’ Youth Development Program.

‘Being a motivational speaker was the next step in my realization of reaching young middle and high school students. My impact amazed even me and their response was inspiring,’ Gill said.

Gill touches the lives of so many, not only through her motivational appearances, but through the stories that her life entails. This allows her to create a more intimate setting with her audience, allowing them to know that her reason for being this passionate comes from her wisdom gained through the lost figures in her life.

‘After my mother physically stopped using all forms of communication with me at 10 years of age, my father a military veteran embarked on his quest to raise me on his own. My inspiration was experiencing real life through the eyes of a child who was never really allowed to be a child, because I had to help raise myself,’ said Gill.

Her life story is one of many in the Houston area and through sharing Gill wants to reassure the youth that there is a positive future for those who feel otherwise.

‘My book of short stories and poems written from age 10 through 16 was my silent cry, my silent smiles, my silent hardships, and my experiences interpreted in a way others could learn from and use for themselves.’

Gill is the epitome of a modern day community activist set out to change the thoughts and minds of whoever is in her presence.

She wants other entrepreneurs to know valuable information on not only being successful but also being a contribution to your community.

‘I would advise them to connect themselves with as much positivity as possible. To find out who they are and what they want in life – based on no one else but their true being – they should hit the ground running, and never look back,’ Gill expressed.

She is a true motivator that only wants to see her community as well as the entire world know to not let negative aspects of their life cause it to be the end rather but to let it be the strength to your successful beginnings.

About the Author: Franchesca Thomas is a writer for

; Regal Black Mens Magazine The publication focuses on ; African American Community News Politics Sports Health The magazine features a ; Local Online Classifieds & Job Classified Black Business Directory Visit to read about ; Brandalyn Gill

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Sweden’s Crown Princess marries long-time boyfriend

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sweden’s first royal wedding since 1976 took place Saturday when Crown Princess Victoria, 32, married her long-time boyfriend and former personal trainer, Daniel Westling, 36. The ceremony took place at Stockholm Cathedral.

Over 1,200 guests, including many rulers, politicians, royals and other dignitaries from across the world, attended the wedding, which cost an estimated 20 million Swedish kronor. Victoria wore a wedding dress with five-metre long train designed by Pär Engsheden. She wore the same crown that her mother, Queen Silvia, wore on her wedding day 34 years previously, also on June 19. Victoria’s father, King Carl XVI Gustaf, walked Victoria down the aisle, which was deemed untraditional by many. In Sweden, the bride and groom usually walk down the aisle together, emphasising the country’s views on equality. Victoria met with Daniel half-way to the altar, where they exchanged brief kisses, and, to the sounds of the wedding march, made their way to the the silver altar. She was followed by ten bridesmaids. The couple both had tears in their eyes as they said their vows, and apart from fumbling when they exchanged rings, the ceremony went smoothly.

Following the ceremony, the couple headed a fast-paced procession through central Stockholm on a horse-drawn carriage, flanked by police and security. Up to 500,000 people are thought to have lined the streets. They then boarded the Vasaorden, the same royal barge Victoria’s parents used in their wedding, and traveled through Stockholm’s waters, accompanied by flyover of 18 fighter jets near the end of the procession. A wedding banquet followed in the in the Hall of State of the Royal Palace.

Controversy has surrounded the engagement and wedding between the Crown Princess and Westling, a “commoner”. Victoria met Westling as she was recovering from bulemia in 2002. He owned a chain of gymnasiums and was brought in to help bring Victoria back to full health. Westling was raised in a middle-class family in Ockelbo, in central Sweden. His father managed a social services centre, and his mother worked in a post office. When the relationship was made public, Westling was mocked as an outsider and the king was reportedly horrified at the thought of his daughter marrying a “commoner”, even though he did so when he married Silvia. Last year, Westling underwent transplant surgery for a congenital kidney disorder. The Swedish public have been assured that he will be able to have children and that his illness will not be passed on to his offspring.

Westling underwent years of training to prepare for his new role in the royal family, including lessons in etiquette, elocution, and multi-lingual small talk; and a makeover that saw his hair being cropped short, and his plain-looking glasses and clothes being replaced by designer-wear.

Upon marrying the Crown Princess, Westling took his wife’s ducal title and is granted the style “His Royal Highness”. He is now known as HRH Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland. He also has his own coat-of-arms and monogram. When Victoria assumes the throne and becomes Queen, Daniel will not become King, but assume a supportive role, similar to that of Prince Phillip, the husband of the United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth II.

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Blown for Good author discusses life inside international headquarters of Scientology

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wikinews interviewed author Marc Headley about his new book Blown for Good, and asked him about life inside the international headquarters of Scientology known as “Gold Base“, located in Gilman Hot Springs near Hemet, California. Headley joined the organization at age seven when his mother became a member, and worked at Scientology’s international management headquarters for several years before leaving in 2005.

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UK chancellor raises national insurance payments for self employed in new budget

Friday, March 10, 2017

UK chancellor Philip Hammond announced his 2017 budget on Wednesday, which included a £2 billion pledge to social care and a tax hike on the self-employed. It was accused of breaking Conservative Party manifesto promises.

It was announced there will be a 2% increase in national insurance contributions for the self-employed, with chancellor Philip Hammond citing worries that people were choosing to become self-employed in order to pay lower taxes and his perception of unfairness in the different rates paid by employees and self-employees. There were accusations this change in policy goes against the manifesto promises the Conservative Party ran on in 2015, which promised four times that there would be no increase in national insurance rates. Conservative MP Anna Soubry tweeted saying she believed these new measures would be unpopular as many would see them as unfair. The leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, claimed the new measures will not clamp down on people whose self-employment is just for tax benefits, instead causing problems for those legitimately self-employed, arguing that if they are to start paying similar tax rates to the employed then they should get rights such as statutory maternity pay. The think tank Resolution claimed, however, this increase is outweighed by other government policies and is, therefore, a good move.

In addition to this, the chancellor announced a £2 billion pledge to social care over the next three years, saying he was aware of the stress the ageing population is having on the NHS and social care. Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb described the amount as “wholly inadequate”, saying much more is needed to pay for an increase in care demands due to the ageing population. The lowest threshold at which shareholders pay dividend taxes is to be lowered from £5,000 to £2,000 claiming that the taxes for dividends provided “an extremely generous tax break for investors with substantial share portfolios”. Other budget announcements include an additional £325 million for the NHS, £90 million transport spending for the North of England, £20 million to support campaigning against violence against girls and women and a slight increase in funding for the devolved governments.

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Understanding Agoraphobia

byAlma Abell

Agoraphobia is considered an anxiety disorder and will lead to intense fear that can be brought on by a number of situations. Often it can be caused by crowds but is very commonly triggered when the patient feels they are unable to escape an area. As many as 1.8 million Americans potentially suffer from this disorder including thousands in the El Paso TX region.

What You Should KnowThere is no known cause of agoraphobia which tends to develop following the occurrence of panic attacks in patients. Those with agoraphobia will often find it hard to leave the safety of their home and can trigger many other fears including crowded rooms, small spaces and even wide open spaces. The disorder will make people feel helpless and often like they are not in control due to their anxiety. The fear and anxiety can be so extreme it can lead to physical symptoms such as chest pains, shortness of breath and dizziness. Some people might even gasp for breath or appear that they are choking. Agoraphobia treatment is available and can begin with a discussion with your doctor or by contacting a mental health clinic.

Agoraphobia TreatmentAnxiety reducing medications or antidepressants are often prescribed to those with severe symptoms of agoraphobia. However medication alone is not always the best approach. A combination of medication and psychotherapy can do wonders for those suffering from this disorder. In some cases patients might prefer trying therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy before being prescribed medication.

Symptoms of AgoraphobiaIf you are worried you or a loved one has agoraphobia watch for growing fear of the following:

• Being alone• Crowds• Open spaces• Public transportation• Elevators• Death

Other issues might include a feeling of detachment from others and feeling a sense of helplessness due to fear. This can lead to signs of agitation and in many cases the person might have a loss of control when faced with certain situations that might trigger their feels. Patients might also express a feeling that they feel their body or their environment is not real.

A patient with severe agoraphobia may find it impossible to leave their home on their own. They will often require the assistance of a friend or family member to take them out to doctor’s appointments or shopping in order to avoid panic attacks. Even with help patients might still have physical symptoms of panic when they leave the home. Speaking to a doctor or a clinic offering agoraphobia treatment will help make functioning easier for patients.

If you are seeking agoraphobia treatment in El Paso TX, University Behavioral Health can help. Visit Ubhelpaso.com for more information on their services.

Fur fans flock to Toronto’s Furnal Equinox 2019

Monday, March 25, 2019

From March 15 to 17, the Canadian city of Toronto played host to the tenth Furnal Equinox, an annual event dedicated to the “furry fandom.” Wikinews attended. Programming ranged from music to gender, science to art, covering dozens of aspects of the varied subculture. The event’s featured guests were visual artists Moth Monarch and Cat-Monk Shiro, as well as the co-owners of US fursuit costume builders Don’t Hug Cacti.

The event raised nearly CDN$11,000 for Pet Patrol, a non-profit rescue organization in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, run by volunteers. This exceeded their goal of $10,000, the funds needed to finish a rural sanctuary. The furry community is well-known for their charitable efforts. Along with direct donations, the funds were raised through a charity auction offering original artwork, and a fursuit design by guests of honour “Don’t Hug Cacti.” Last year, Furnal Equinox raised funds for a farm animal sanctuary.

While only 10–15% of people within the fandom own a fursuit according to a 2011 study, event organizers reported this year 908 of the 2240 attendees at Furnal Equinox brought at least one elaborate outfit to the event. The outfits are usually based on original characters, known as “fursonas”.

Guests of Honour Cherie and Sean O’Donnell, known within the community as “Lucky and Skuff Coyote”, held a session on fursuit construction on Saturday afternoon. The married couple are among the most prominent builders in the fandom, under the name Don’t Hug Cacti. The scale of their business was evident, as Sean had made over a thousand pairs of “handpaws”, costume gloves.

The couple encouraged attendees to continue developing their technique, sharing that all professional fursuit makers had developed different techniques. They felt that they learned more from failed projects than successful ones, citing the Chuck Jones quote that “every artist has thousands of bad drawings,” and that you have to work through them to achieve. Cherie, known as Lucky, recalled receiving a Sylvester the Cat plush toy from a Six Flags theme park at age 10. She promptly hollowed the toy out, turning it into a costume. Creating a costume isn’t without its hazards: the company uses 450°F (232°C) glue guns. They’re “like sticking your hand in an oven.”

Other programming included improv comedy, dances, life drawing of fursuiters, a review of scientific research by a research group at four universities called FurScience, a pin collector’s social, and workshops in writing.

The “Dealer’s Den” hall was expanded this year, with even more retailers and artists. While many offered “furry” versions of traditional products, at least one business focused on “pushing the boundaries of fursuit technology.” Along with 3D printing a bone-shaped name tag when Wikinews visited, Grivik was demonstrating miniature computer screens that could be used as “eyes” for a fursuit. The electronic displays projected an animation of eyes looking around, blinking occasionally. The maker has also developed “a way to install a camera inside suit heads, to improve fursuiter visibility.” He hopes the tech would reduce suiting risks and accidents. Without the need for eyeholes, fursuit makers would have “more options for building different eyestyles.”

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Morkies

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By Robert Corter

A breed of dog which is rather popular is Morkie. This is a dog which is a cross between a Yorkshire terrier and a Maltese. A littler of Morkies can be anywhere from two to six pups and they can live to be anywhere from 14 to 16 years of age. A Morkie is a dog that is very sociable and dearly comes to love his owner and longs for affection. Morkies love to cuddle. However when confronted with a stranger they will bark. If introduced to the stranger by their owner they will be sociable. This breed of dog is also great around children. Morkies are great to have if you live in an apartment because they count as miniature dogs. An average Morkie grows to be 6 to 9 inches tall but there are some which can grow to be 15 inches tall and they weigh between 5 and 16 lbs. Be aware that this type of breed is affectionate and gentle therefore it does not respond well to harsh discipline.

Morkies do not shed much but it is best to keep their hair short and shampooed in order to be sure that the fur doesn’t build up with dirt. You must brush your Morkie’s hair daily. Another thing to remember about this breed is that starting from puppyhood you should brush your dog’s teeth at least twice a week so that they won’t have the tendency to lose their teeth at a young age. Morkies like to have constant attention or else they get bored and lonely so it’s a good idea to have toys for them with which they can occupy themselves. Otherwise the dog can start chewing on objects they find lying around. Morkies love going on long walks so when time allows taking them for strolls in the park is ideal. For instance a twenty minute walk can help your Morkie burn off some calories and loose some excess energy. Morkies are an adorable looking breed of dog and are easy to love. You can choose from a large assortment of Morkies at Little Puppies Online. They have both males and females available. You can go to their site and see pictures of the Morkies available. Each picture has the Morkie’s name and gives a brief description about them. There are many of these wonderful dogs just waiting to be taken home. They are ideal for apartment living as they are miniatures, they are great with children and since they love long walks they are also great for homes with gardens as they can romp to their heart’s content. This is a breed of dog that has so much love and affection that you just have to love them. So if you are looking to have an adoring and faithful companion but don’t want a large breed dog then a Morkie is well worth the consideration. If you happen to live in Ohio you can make an appointment with Little Puppies Online and go and see the dogs in person and choose a Morky puppy for your own

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Toxic chemicals found in four Canadian politicians

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Toxic chemicals were found in four Canadian politicians after they volunteered to have their blood tested as part of Environmental Defense’s report titled Toxic Nation on Parliament Hill.

The federal politicians that were tested are:

Godfrey at number 55 had the highest total number of pollutants followed by HealthMinister Tony Clement and Jack Layton at 54 and Environment Minister Rona Ambrose at 49.

They were tested for a total of 103 chemicals, which are related to cancer, developmental problems, respiratory illnesses, and nervous system damage. The chemicals found in them were mainly from household items which can cause cancer. In total, 54 carcinogens, 37 hormone disruptors, 16 respiratory toxins, 54 reproductive or developmental toxins, and 33 neurotoxins were found within the four politicians.

According to Dr. Rick Smith, Environmental Defence’s executive director, the politicians are more contaminated than the ordinary citizens tested last year.

“Our tests show that pollution affects everyone. From Parliament Hill to kids in Vancouver and Saint John, harmful pollutants are contaminating the bodies of Canadians no matter where they live, how old they are or where they work, play or go to school,” said Dr. Rick Smith. “I don’t know why that is. Maybe it has to do with their strange lifestyle — eating out a lot and a high-stress existence,” he said.

“Maybe its attributable to the unique lifestyles these guys lead,” Mr. Smith said. “Politicians have a very strange, very stressful lifestyle that results in them grabbing a bite to eat when they can and eating a lot of junk food.”

All four politicians were more polluted than child and adult volunteers that participated in a survey released last June for pollutants in families.

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