Johannesburg, 25 September 2013 – Infrastructure in South Africa was foremost on the agenda as a group of African journalists embarked on a media tour, hosted by Brand South Africa. The journalists work for various media organisations based in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa.During the tour, journalists will be exposed to South Africa’s infrastructure through the motor industry value chain. Journalists will see the full spectrum of production to shipment and will visit sites in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Durban. The tour is also intended to profile and highlight the opportunities for intra-African trade and how South Africa supports this continental priority.Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola said, “South Africa’s infrastructure gained momentum in the run up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup and has over the years expanded as the foundation of a national growth and development strategy. Our transport, water, electricity and telecommunications networks are being extended and we are thus strengthening the fabric of South African communities. Recent studies have also indicated that in terms of innovation, our country is performing strongly.”On Wednesday, the delegation travelled via the Gautrain from Johannesburg to Pretoria. There, they toured the Roslyn Nissan site, which is a key vehicle manufacturing and assembly plant. The plant is a leader in sound environmental practice with regards to vehicle manufacturing and has won numerous awards for its environmental efforts. This was followed by a visit to the Automotive Supplier Park in Tshwane, which is a Gauteng Provincial government Initiative aimed at stimulating economic growth and job creation in the automotive industry, through investment in strategic infrastructure.As part of the day’s activities, journalists also visited Freedom Park during which efforts to build the emotional, psychological and social capital of the country’s citizens through reconciliation and healing was showcased.The journalists are this week also scheduled to visit Johannesburg’s City Deep Port, Durban’s New Cargo Port and the Moses Mabhida Stadium, among other sites.About Brand South AfricaBrand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness abroad. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.Further resources from Brand South AfricaMedia are invited to visit http://www.southafrica.info/ for further resources which can be reproduced without any copyright infringement. Kindly attribute to Brand South Africa.For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:Nadia Samie-JacobsPublic Relations DomesticTel: +27 11 712 5007 Mobile: +27 (0)72 777 9399Email: email@example.comVisitwww.brandsouthafrica.comEnds
Construction detailsHere are the details as provided by Cascade Built:Exterior walls: Wood-framed 2×6 walls are sheathed with OSB and insulated with blown-in fiberglass in the cavities plus 4 inches of Roxul mineral wool on the exterior (for a total of R-39).Roof: Framed with 11 7/8-inch I-joists and insulated with blown-in fiberglass plus an additional R-15 of polyisocyanurate insulation (for a total of R-63).Foundation: Stem walls for the concrete foundation and crawl space are insulated to R-20, and the floors are insulated to R-38.Windows: Three of the townhouses have double-pane Zola windows; the solar heat gain coefficient (glazing only) of these windows is 0.62, and the whole-window U-factor is 0.21. The other two townhouses have triple-glazed Zola windows with a glazing-only SHGC of 0.5 and a whole-window U-factor of 0.14.Mechanicals: Heating and cooling is provided by ductless minisplit air-source heat pumps. All units have Zehnder Model CA 350 heat-recovery ventilators for whole-house ventilation.Airtighness: The Passivhaus-certified unit had a blower-door test at 0.5 air changes per hour at a pressure difference of 50 pascals (ach50). The other four units tested at approximately 1 ach50.Domestic hot water: On-demand gas-fired water heaters.Renewable energy systems: Units are pre-wired for photovoltaic arrays and electric car charging. The Seattle developer who built the city’s first single-family Passivhaus has completed construction of “View Haus 5,” a five-unit townhouse project that includes one unit built to the Passivhaus standard.It would be the first townhouse in the city to earn Passivhaus certification. The builder is Cascade Built, whose owner, Sloan Ritchie, built “Park Passive,” a three-story home that was completed in 2013.The townhouses were designed by b9 architects. Among the Passivhaus consultants who worked on the project were Mike Eliason of Brute Force Collaborative and Joe Giampietro of NK Architects (the company which designed the Park Passive project). The units range in size from 1,100 to 1,700 square feet and have either two or three bedrooms. Each townhouse is three stories and has two bathrooms.Each of the units has a different look, but only one of them will be submitted for certification by the Passive House Institute U.S.“All units were built using Passive House techniques to achieve a significant reduction in energy use to heat and cool the house,” developers explained in an e-mail. “Passive House is an unknown for many buyers and as a result it’s difficult to secure the needed ROI to make a project like this financially feasible. This project is located on an urban lot in a dense city neighborhood and would have required each unit to be modeled separately, resulting in additional and prohibitive cost increases, so we modeled one unit to Passive House levels and used that same wall assembly for every unit.”One of the two-bedroom units is listed for sale at $690,000 ($403 per square foot), similar in price to a slightly smaller non-Passivhaus two-bedroom nearby, which is on the market for $650,000.
TrackFinger seems like a cool motion tracking tool for After Effects users, but does it work?For more info on trackFinger check out our earlier post here.OverviewTrackFinger is the latest app by Exmachina designed to track your finger movements on an iPad and move them into After Effects. In our previous article we talked about some of the features that TrackFinger offers, but does it really work? In this article we review the features in TrackFinger, analyze the workflow and give the verdict on what we really think of this app. The FeaturesTrackFinger has one main purpose: Convert iPad finger movements to After Effects tracking data. The app features:A project management screen with ratings systemA fully customizable clapboardFinger trackingA green screen for keying.A settings menu with many customizable optionsGetting StartedWe noticed that TrackFinger was difficult to find in the app store so here is the link just in case you can’t find it. TrackFinger is not an easy app to figure out so it is highly recommended that you watch the how-to video before attempting to use it. After watching the video the app interface will be much easier to understand. Using TrackFingerThe app itself is not incredibly intuitive but it does work just as advertised. After selecting “New Track” simply fill out the clapboard with all the information you need and click the clapboard to begin tracking. After the screen turns green you are ready to record your finger movements. Once you’re done simply click the the bottom corner and the tracking will stop. Upon hitting the bottom corner a screen will pop up asking you to rate the track between good, bad and reserve. From that screen you can send the tracking data to up to 2 emails at a time. After a track has been labeled and stored you can sort through and delete previous tracks. The VerdictAs stated before, TrackFinger works exactly as advertised and there is a lot to be said about that. However, even with the app working perfectly the workflow isn’t exactly “convenient”. Our biggest complaint is the fact that you must connect to your email to get the tracking data. It can also can get confusing in After Effects when you have a situation in which a person has picked up their finger and placed it down again. Convenience aside the app works great as a tool to simulate finger movement on an iPad. It is very accurate and it read our finger movements perfectly.Who Should Use ItIf you are a video editor who does a lot of app demos or simply wants to film an iPad screen, than this app is for you. The price is a bit steep at $39.99 but if you need to record finger movements on your iPad this seems to be one of the best options. A free version (trackFinger lite for iPhone) is scheduled to be released in the next few weeks. More info and download on the trackFinger site.
Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC The Bolts haven’t seen action since Aug. 18, when they nipped Phoenix Petroleum, 107-104, and it is a layoff that was a welcome one as far as coach Norman Black is concerned as it allowed injuries on some players to heal. WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games LATEST STORIES Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa View comments Kelly Williams will man the post for TNT KaTropa in their game against Meralco Wednesday night. —SHERWIN VARDELEONMeralco tangles with struggling sister team TNT KaTropa on Wednesday, seeking a win to formally advance to the quarterfinals of the PBA Governors’ Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.Tip-off is at 4:15 p.m., with the Bolts shooting to become the third team to earn safe passage to the next round, and, more importantly, stay in the hunt for a top four finish which carries a twice-to-beat advantage in the first round of the playoffs.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Meanwhile, San Miguel Beer, chasing to complete a rare Triple Crown sweep, will most likely play Terik Bridgeman against Rain or Shine in the 7 p.m. contest as the Beermen await the arrival of new import Terrence Watson.Bridgeman, who came in to replace Wendell McKines, was a huge disappointment in his debut last Saturday, scoring just two points and grabbing six rebounds in a 90-79 loss to Alaska in Angeles City in Pampanga.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutManagement and coaching staff wasted no time and shopped around for a replacement, their third import in the season-closing conference. Watson is expected to plane in either late Tuesday or early Wednesday from the United States.But a ranking team official told the Inquirer that the Beermen would likely play Bridgeman against the Elasto Painters because coaching staff doesn’t feel that Watson would be able to have at least one practice with the team. SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Azkals eye Mid East training Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.
Liverpool loanee Kane signs new extensionby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool have penned Herbie Kane to a new contract and extended his loan spell with Doncaster Rovers.The 20-year-old midfielder has starred for League One side Rovers this season, scoring six goals from 26 appearances.”It is massive, coming from a massive club like Liverpool, so I’m happy,” Kane said after signing the new deal.”I was excited to get it done. It took a lot of hard work to get this, but thankfully it is done. Hopefully I can carry on working hard and get to where I want to be.”On his spell with Donny, he added: “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, to be honest, I’m just trying to do as well as I can for myself and help the team, but also trying to improve.”Hopefully people at Liverpool notice that I’m doing well, and hopefully when I come back to Liverpool it will impact it.”My aim is to come back in the summer and try to make a footprint. I’m hoping I come back in the summer and impress the manager in pre-season.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
TagsTransfersAbout the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say Bournemouth to reward Ramsdale with bumper contractby Ansser Sadiq17 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBournemouth are set to award goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale with a new contract.According to TEAMtalk, the England under-21 international is set to get a new deal that will double his wages.Ramsdale has starred in the Premier League for the Cherries, playing all eight clashes for Eddie Howe’s team.The youngster has beaten out the likes of Asmir Begovic and Artur Boruc for the starting spot.And it appears that his wages will reflect his current status in the squad a little more, if he decides to sign the renewal.
MGM Resorts International today announced the release of UNIVERSAL LOVE, a collection of reimagined wedding songs for the LGBTQ community, celebrating the enduring and overwhelming power of love and music to unite.UNIVERSAL LOVEMGM Resorts is a global entertainment company with a deep-seated belief that entertainment is fundamental to human fulfillment. The company’s passion for the UNIVERSAL LOVE project reflects its profound commitment to embracing humanity and the impact music can have on the human experience.UNIVERSAL LOVE offers six newly recorded versions of iconic love songs that give same-sex couples a soundtrack for their own love stories and feature pronouns changed to reflect the world of LGBTQ relationships.The album includes boundary-changing songs from some of today’s most-beloved artists. Bob Dylan, one of the most influential and successful recording artists in American history, is among the visionary artists participating in this unprecedented project. Dylan re-recorded “She’s Funny That Way” as “He’s Funny That Way.” The album features five additional stellar artists whose involvement is a testament to the urgency of equality in entertainment: Kesha (“I Need a Woman to Love Me”), St. Vincent (“And Then She Kissed Me”), Benjamin Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie (“And I Love Him”), Kele Okereke of Bloc Party (“My Guy”), and Valerie June (“Mad About The Girl”).Phyllis James, MGM Resorts’ Chief Diversity & Corporate Social Responsibility Officer, said, “We believe projects like this will help all of us reach a point where seeing the world through the lens of people who happen to be different from us becomes natural and commonplace. It is an immense honor for MGM Resorts to spearhead this inspirational project which celebrates LGBTQ dimensions of the universal emotion of love.”UNIVERSAL LOVE is a natural extension of MGM’s two decades of advocacy work with the LGBTQ community and the company’s desire to advance initiatives that unite humanity. More than a decade before same-sex marriage was legalized, same-sex commitment ceremonies were performed at chapels at MGM Resorts’ properties. In 2004, MGM Resorts became the first company in the gaming and hospitality industry to offer same-sex health benefits to employees, and MGM was a founding partner of the Las Vegas chapter of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) in 2004.MGM Resorts is a leader in all aspects of the entertainment industry (hospitality, gaming, live events, etc.) and believes in the transformational power of entertainment for all. MGM’s launch of UNIVERSAL LOVE reinforces an inclusive vision of unions that more closely mirrors the incredible diversity of today’s relationships.The compilation album was produced by MGM Resorts in conjunction with global advertising agency McCann and will be distributed by Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music. UNIVERSAL LOVE is available on all streaming platforms beginning today.UNIVERSAL LOVE TRACK LISTING01 “HE’S FUNNY THAT WAY” • BOB DYLAN02 “AND THEN SHE KISSED ME” • ST VINCENT03 “MY GUY” • KELE OKEREKE 04 “MAD ABOUT THE GIRL” • VALERIE JUNE05 “AND I LOVE HIM” • BENJAMIN GIBBARD 06 “I NEED A WOMAN TO LOVE ME” • KESHA
TV technology company Motive Television has launched Video2Go, a new software offering that it says provides broadcasters and pay TV operators with a low-cost way of delivering services to iPads and other devices.Video2Go delivers pre-prepared content to set-top boxes or other devices in the home, which can then be transferred, initially to iPads, via a ‘home cloud’ environment, with no need for transcoding within the set-top. Video2Go can be bought as a standalone product or as a complement to Motive’s existing TV Anytime technology, which enables broadcasters to deliver on-demand services via one-way networks.Len Fertig, CEO of Motive, said that Video2Go would enable broadcasters and operators to stream or download recorded content to iPads via an app. Motive already provides TV Anywhere, a software platform that delivers content to other screens but which requires greater processing power in the set-top.
Brynhild VinskeiNetherlands-based multiscreen TV app provider 24i Media has named former Xstream chief marketing officer Brynhild Vinskei as chief markets officer.In her new role, Vinskei will be charged with heading up global sales and marketing activities for the company and play an instrumental role in the strategic development, expansion and growth of the company globally.At Xstream, she helped establish the company as a leader in OTT solutions.“We are delighted to welcome Brynhild as Chief Markets Officer at 24i. Brynhild brings extraordinary business expertise and marketing leadership, and is recognized in the industry for developing and executing strategies that have accelerated growth and created significant brand value. Her insight and industry knowledge will help us elevate the 24i brand, enable us to respond to the increasing demand for our services globally, and drive revenue growth across our entire product portfolio,” said Martijn Van Horssen, CEO at 24i.“I am thrilled to be joining the 24i team at such a pivotal time in the company’s history. 24i has been growing extensively over the past few years and is well poised for its continued growth ambitions, helping customers to create highly flexible, personalized and cost-effective TV app solutions across all devices. The consistent 50% yearly growth in sales, achieved through its innovative product stack, validates its commitment and passion to offer their customers future proof, best-in-breed technology. I look forward to applying my expertise to leverage industry trends and drive revenue growth, while being a part of an incredibly innovative, ambitious and close team,” said Vinskei.
Doctors cannot cure a patient in severe pain by pumping him full of painkillers; they need to accurately diagnose the root cause of the pain before treatment. Without an accurate diagnosis, it is nearly impossible to fix a problem, medical or otherwise. And the stakes are high: a misdiagnosis can trigger treatment that may compound a problem instead of making it better. That’s exactly what happened with the bank bailout five years back: the “cure” set in motion new challenges for seniors and savers. Forget all the technical mumbo-jumbo. Here are the need-to-know facts: for generations seniors and savers could invest the bulk of their retirement nest egg in safe, interest-bearing CDs, government bonds, and utility bonds. That, coupled with Social Security, allowed for a comfortable retirement. Those 6-7% yields are gone, as we all know.Was the 2008 financial crisis properly diagnosed and treated? That depends on whom you ask. Most Americans, however, don’t think so. According to Pew Research, “Five out of eight Americans surveyed (63%) earlier this month believe the US financial system is no more secure in 2013 than it was before the economic crisis of 2008.” In September, Sheraz Mian broke down the 2Q earnings reports of the S&P 500 companies in Zacks Earning Trends: “Yes, the total earnings tally reached a new quarterly record in Q2 and the rest of the aggregate metrics like growth rates and beat ratios look respectable enough. But all of that was solely due to one sector only: Finance. … Finance results have been very strong, with total earnings for the companies that have reported results up an impressive +30% on +8.5% higher revenues. Excluding Finance, total earnings for the remainder of S&P 500 companies that have reported would be down -2.9% from the year-earlier period.” Too-big-to-fail banks are certainly succeeding. The report continued: “Earnings growth was particularly strong at the large national and regional banks, with total earnings at the Major Banks industry, which includes 15 banks like J.P. Morgan and Bank of America.” Pew Research also reported that 33% of people it surveyed thought things were more secure in 2013 than they were in 2008. Those people must work in the financial sector.The problem continues to grow. And it’s a problem that affects us all. While the Federal Reserve holds down interest rates and floods the banking system with money, the retirement dreams of several generations are being destroyed. As interest rates tumbled, investors ran to bonds, utilities, dividend-paying stocks, and master limited partnerships (MLPs), which offer better yields. As one subscriber mentioned to our team, “at least they have a better chance of keeping up with inflation.” Sure enough, the stock market came back to new, all-time highs. So now both the banks and Wall Street are happy. But where does that leave us? In the middle of 2013, Mr. Bernanke uttered the word “taper,” sending the stock market into a tizzy and gold prices soaring. This was a preview of things to come. Many of the investments I mentioned above took a dive, as they have become interest-rate sensitive. Take utility stocks, for example. In September, I highlighted how these stocks took an immediate 11.2% tumble. Since then, although the Fed has tried to calm the markets, there is still real cause for concern.I’m worried, but I refuse to throw down my cards. Doug Casey recently reminded us of one of his basic principles: “My preferred investment style is to look for opportunities where no one else is looking.” If we invest along with the crowd, we can expect to get caught in the rushing tide, regardless of its direction. While the Federal Reserve has been trying to keep things under control, don’t be lulled to sleep. Interest rates may have turned the corner, and it is time to review your portfolio with that in mind. Here are five questions to ask about your current investments. Is this investment likely to get caught in the outgoing tide if the Fed gets serious about tapering? How has this company performed in other down markets? Can the company’s fundamental business thrive in both good and bad economic times? Is the dividend safe? Should the market turn down rapidly, what should you expect from this company? At Money Forever, we put trailing stop losses on our portfolio picks for a darn good reason: We cannot afford large losses with our retirement money.Invest where no one else is looking. All too often these are called “out of favor” investments. That implies there is something wrong with them, and people avoid them accordingly. Seventy-three years on the planet, however, tells me something different. There are many attractive people at every high school prom, but very few are crowned king or queen. The same principle applies to investments. The real challenge is finding those attractive opportunities that have been overlooked by the majority of investors. Where should we look? Can we do the research ourselves? If we want to take on that challenge, do we even have the time and skill set? Or could we turn to our stockbrokers? It’s not likely. Years ago, my broker and I wrote to her company’s research department in New York, asking for advice in a particular market sector. The “research department” sent a summary similar to what I now get from my online broker. Our request was probably handled in less than two minutes. Their analysis: buy their recommendation because 8 of 10 companies rate it as a “strong buy.” No kidding! That was where everyone else was looking. It was the last investment I wanted to make.The good news is: we have other options. Folks like Doug Casey saw a great void in the retail market, and investment newsletters began to flourish. Fast forward to 2013… I asked our team of analysts for tips on looking where no one else was. We started our search with a basic premise: maximizing income and appreciation while avoiding catastrophic losses. With modern tools, an analyst can put in a few variables and get a list of candidates without breaking a sweat. That works well until everyone picks the same investments. Real research takes a lot more time and effort. With that said, here are four tips for finding hidden gems.Being #1 is not always an advantage. In our special report Money Every Month, we ranked the top dividend-paying stocks by dividend yield and payment date. It is common to stop at the stock with the highest yield. But there are a lot of good companies further down the list. They may pay a smaller dividend, but they are just as solid and much less volatile. If there is less money pouring into these stocks, there is less risk of losing dividend income if the stock tumbles and everyone exits.Big does not always mean bad. There are some large companies that have a strong worldwide presence with a good dividend yield. While they may not be #1 name in the industry, they do very well. These stocks don’t necessarily have tiny dividends—just not enough to catch the eye of yield-starved investors. It just takes time to find the right ones. It can be done; I know because we have some in the Money Forever portfolio.Find investments where potential growth outweighs interest-rate sensitivity. If the primary driver in market price is not solely the dividend, the investment won’t be as affected during a period of rising or dropping interest rates as it might be otherwise. In the Money Forever portfolio, we have a convertible bond fund with a good yield, but its performance is affected by the performance of the underlying stocks. The one we selected has a large share of defensive stocks in sectors we are comfortable with, thereby reducing risk and raising the potential for appreciation.Understand how various sectors react in a down market with rising rates. Concentrating on defensive sectors reduces risk. A company can have good dividends with growth and appreciation, but it might be a terrible investment in a downturn. The financial sector is a prime example: The dividends are good, and a strengthening economy can make the sector grow, but those dividends won’t pay off if another 2008 is just around the corner. The term “bond bubble” is being tossed around a lot lately. Should this bubble burst (much like the real estate bubble before it), the financial sector will be dramatically affected. It has been five years since interest rates tumbled. We don’t need any more proof to know the political class is either unwilling or unable to fix the problem. We can’t sit around and wait for the good old days to come back, nor can we afford to just follow the crowd. We have to deal with our problem to have enough for retirement and make it last. —- Sometimes laughing at yourself can be humbling; it can also be a great learning experience. I recently had an exchange with one of our regular readers; he wanted to know if our premium subscription was worth the money. With my marketing background, I have always believed that you should put the value before the cost. We discussed how our team is educating readers on subjects they are unlikely to read about elsewhere. And the Money Forever portfolio is doing quite well, to boot. Some subscribers have mentioned that their gains have paid for our services for many years to come. I told this particular reader that the current promotional price is $8.25/month, and if we can’t bring more value than that to our subscribers, we wouldn’t be in business. His response was humbling: “Gee, I didn’t know that was the price. Had I known that, I would have signed on weeks ago.” So much for my marketing expertise! On a recent trip to Vermont, we cut a short video outlining what we’re all about and how we fit in to the big picture—your big picture. I urge readers to take a few moments to watch. The best part is this: You can sign up for the subscription, download my book, and all our special reports and back issues. If, after you have read through them, you decide this is not for you, you can cancel within 90 days and receive 100% of your money back. And you can keep the material as our thank-you for looking us over.On the Lighter Side Obama has officially nominated Janet Yellen to head the Fed. I shared my thoughts on this news long ago. Ms. Yellen is not concerned about inflation, and she wants the Federal Reserve to continuing to buy US debt. She is, however, concerned about unemployment… or so she would have us think. If that’s true, I have a humble suggestion: eliminate all federal taxes. That will spur the economy and create millions of jobs. Then let the Federal Reserve buy all of the US debt instead of the mere trillion dollars a year it’s buying now. She will be heralded as a genius for bringing Camelot to us all. Heck, if just printing money to pay the government’s bills is OK, why not go all out? In the meantime, Congress is fiddling with the debt ceiling and trickling a lot of misinformation down through the press. As long as I’m making suggestions, I have one for Congress: if it wants to raise the limit, it should also cut domestic spending and military spending. They are sure fretting over those ideas. This is absurd. Last week I was in a small family restaurant in Fountain Hills, Arizona, and a note scrolled across the television screen. It was about some federal agency that has 7,000 federal workers. They furloughed 6,000 nonessential workers and 1,000 remained on the job. The restaurant owner and I looked at each other, bewildered. What the hell is a nonessential worker? As tough as times are today in the private sector, if a person is nonessential, he doesn’t have a job. Tough economic decisions are made regularly in the private sector, but seemingly impossible for our so-called leaders to even understand, much less act on. I don’t want my raise my blood pressure (or yours) to rise further, so let’s get to the funnies, finally… We can always count on our dear friend Toots for some clever puns: A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other, “You stay here; I’ll go on a head.” I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said, “Keep off the Grass.” Until next week…