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Category Archives: High Seas

Harmony of the Seas Live Blog – Day 7 – Perfect Day at CocoCay – Royal Caribbean Blog

Posted: November 28, 2021 at 9:57 pm

The last day of our cruise brings us to Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Ideally, I prefer to have my last day onboard be a sea day, but I will never complain about spending time at CocoCay because of how much fun it is spending time there.

While this may have been my fourth time visiting CocoCay in two weeks, the weather last week was far from perfect, so today looked to be a way to end on a high note.

We did not arrive to CocoCay until almost 10am, which meant there would be a rush among guests to get off the ship at the same time. Moreover, we were sharing the island with Independence of the Seas.

What does two ships mean? There are 4100 passengers on Harmony and 3000 passengers on Independence, so while far from a full capacity day (CocoCay can handle 9-12,000 guests), it certainly would be busier than earlier this summer.

We started off with breakfast at Park Cafe, partially because I neglected to put a breakfast order in with my Genie the night before. I certainly don't mind a bagel and schmear to start my day.

By the time we finished eating, the gangway was open and we were on our way downstairs.

Walking down the pier, it certainly looked like a great day. Not oppressively hot and low humidity meant a comfortable outdoor experience.

We had nothing reserved, so grabbed a chair near Oasis Lagoon and then hopped into the pool. The pool was indeed very cold. We all braved the temperature and shivered a bit before getting used to it.

Later in the afternoon, the sun came out more and that helped make being in the water a bit warmer.

The kids went to Splashaway Bay for some kiddy slide time. While not the CocoCay water park by any means, it got some energy out for the kids.

For lunch, I had to go to Snack Shack for my favorite complimentary food: mozzarella sticks and the "secret sandwich".

To my surprise, the line for Snack Shack was really long and moved slowly. I'm not sure if they were just overwhelmed with a lunch rush, or something else, but it was the longest line I've ever experienced there. Regardless, they got the line moving and I had my food soon enough.

The afternoon was spent at the pool, and it was an opportunity to hang out with friends from the group cruise one more time.

All aboard was 4:30, so we headed back to the ship in mid-afternoon.

Since it was a 7-night cruise, unvaccinated kids needs to get a covid test done prior to disembarkation. Our genie escorted us in and got the tests complete quickly.

Back in the room, we showered, changed, and snuck in a quick nap.

Chips and dips from Sabor were waiting for us in the room, which was a nice pre-dinner snack.

We were not sure which restaurant to go to for dinner, but decided on going back to 150 Central Park.

I was glad we went back, because their entrees are really good. I really liked combining the halibut with cauliflower to combine flavor and texture.

After dinner, we said our goodbyes to friends in the pub before calling it a night.

Overall, it was a fantastic group cruise and it felt so good to see friends and make new ones along the way. After two other cancelled group cruises, this was an especially important sailing that I am glad happened without any incident.

If you'd like to join us for a group cruise in 2022, we have two more scheduled.

Thanks for reading this live blog. Our next live blog begins in a month when we fly to California to sail on Navigator of the Seas!

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Harmony of the Seas Live Blog - Day 7 - Perfect Day at CocoCay - Royal Caribbean Blog

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Young high-achievers head to VC land to hunt unicorns at Blackbird – The Australian Financial Review

Posted: at 9:57 pm

Max Meyer, 22, said he was inspired by some of the founders he met as charter guests during his five months living the Below Deck dream after high school.

Beyond hitting the high seas as a deckhand at 19, he is also the youngest law and commerce school valedictorian to come out of Queenslands Bond University.

Bond University law and commerce graduate Max Meyer says hell be looking for the most ambitious founders.Madeline Begley

Ill be looking for the most ambitious founders in sectors that are going to supercharge tomorrow, Mr Meyer said.

While the Australian venture scene is arguably best known for business-to-business software investment success, Mr Meyer said he was interested in finding founders working in clean technology.

For Silk Kadala, 28, her initial foray into the business world came through watching her parents run a gelato store.

Ms Kadala graduated from high school at 15, obtained three degrees from the University of Western Australia, helped to develop a university-to-industry consultant pipeline start-up called Western Australia University Consultants and, more recently, worked as a product analyst at a medical technology company.

In the last year, I took a step away from consulting to really reflect on what was next in my career, Ms Kadala said. I dived into researching the venture capital space, found out what they do on a day-to-day basis, and now Im super-excited to have a job in the area.

Nicole Marino cut her sales teeth selling off the plan houses at 19. Tash Sorensen

Consulting is a great job, its definitely accelerated learning, but you dont see your impact quite as much. You work really hard, you learn about a whole lot of industries, but I think on the investment side, you have multiple touchpoints, multiple founders and building multiple companies.

Ms Kadala said she was drawn to Blackbird because of its reputation, its technology investment mandate and the visibility of women such as Samantha Wong, Phoebe Harrop and Florence Doreen in senior roles.

Nicole Marino, 24, was the first person in her family to go to university. She learnt the art of sales and negotiation at 19 by selling off the plan houses often by pretending to be 25 at the time.

Ms Marino then studied economics at the University of Melbourne, graduating with first class honours.

She said Blackbirds contemporary branding was appealing and very tech.

At Blackbird, they said to me that they want to create a meritocracy, and while I dont yet know if thatll be the case, I did like the fact that they said theyd be open to my opinions, even if Im a junior, she said.

Christie Jenkins, 33, an elite athlete who learnt about the art of start-up investors as a partner at Athletic Ventures, is also joining the crew in Melbourne.

The final member of the contingent is Clare Birch, 25, a quantum chemist and former programs co-ordinator at Deadly Science, which teaches STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills to young Indigenous students.

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Young high-achievers head to VC land to hunt unicorns at Blackbird - The Australian Financial Review

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Good causes ride on the crest of a wave, thanks to Lanarkshire Rotarians – Daily Record

Posted: at 9:57 pm

The Rotary Club of Rutherglen marked a welcome return to regular, in-person meetings with a fascinating insight into all things maritime.

President Eddie Goldberg confirmed that meetings have resumed on a bi-weekly basis on Thursday evenings at 5.30pm in the Kings Park Hotel in Rutherglen. These will alternate with online virtual meetings on Zoom every other Thursday evening at the same time.

At the most recent, well-attended get together, everyone enjoyed an excellent presentation by member, Elizabeth Nairn.

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Elizabeths knowledge of the high seas, which began with an interest in stamps, has developed into a true passion, judging by her comprehensive description of Clyde-built shipping.

In particular, Elizabeth gave a very interesting description of the history of the worlds oldest clipper, the City of Adelaide. Built in 1864 to carry immigrants to Australia and later renamed The Carrick, the ship saw service in the North American timber trade, then as a hospital ship, and ended its working life as a Royal Navy Training Ship, finally retiring as the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Club (RNVR ), moored on the Clyde.

Elizabeth followed this with a potted history of the huge contribution made by shipbuilding on the Clyde in both the Merchant Navy and Royal Navy, as set out in her excellent display, and ended with a poignant section relating to Remembrance Day.

A well-deserved vote of thanks was given on behalf of the club by Past President David Paul.

While the pandemic prohibited physical meetings, the club continued to make contributions to local and international good causes.

Recent donations included three Shelter Boxes for the European Flooding Disaster. Erskine Hospital was the worthy recipient of 1000, and a further contribution was made to the local Cambuslang and Rutherglen food bank.

The Club donated 500 towards the National APS awareness and fundraising campaign of recent guest speaker, Rotarian Phil Godfrey. It will go to APS Support UK, which helps people with antiphospholipid syndrome - an auto-immune disease which affects the blood's ability to clot.

Another recipient of a 500 donation was Kay Aschaber, daughter of former Rotary member, the late Phil Spence. Kay completed a sponsored West Highland Way walk in aid of the Queen Elizabeth Colorectal Service, which cared for her dad.

During the pandemic, The Rotary Club of Rutherglen made donations to: CHAS; Christian Aid; Healthy n Happy (CamGlen COVID) Rain or Shine; Shelter Box; Erskine; PoppyScotland; Disaster Aid; MS Society Scotland; Freedom from Fistula; Brothers in Arms; Rutherglen High School; Ashton School Fund; Haiti Disaster Appeal; Salvation Army; Kilbryde Hospice; Well-Fed Scotland; Kidney Kids Scotland; Polio Plus; The Haven; Rutherglen Social Work; APS Support UK; Colorectal Surgery Fund; CamGlen Food Bank.

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Good causes ride on the crest of a wave, thanks to Lanarkshire Rotarians - Daily Record

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What Thrilling Features Can You Find on Odyssey of the Seas? – Cruise Hive

Posted: at 9:57 pm

The word odyssey means an adventurous journey and there are indeed many adventures awaiting guests on every journey of Odyssey of the Seas, one of Royal Caribbeans newest and most advanced ships. How many of these thrilling features will you attempt on your next cruise?

Odyssey of the Seas is a Quantum-Ultra class ship, measuring 1,139 feet in length and weighing in at 169,379 gross tons. This provides plenty of room for amazing adventures on board, and Odyssey is packed with thrills for passengers of all ages and interests.

Royal Caribbean is well known for offering adventurous thrills on every ship in its fleet, and Odyssey of the Seas continues that tradition with several classic thrills that have come to be expected on many Royal Caribbean ships.

The first thrill Royal Caribbean ever offered is the rock wall, which was introduced in 1999 and then added to every ship in the fleet in 2002. Odysseys rock wall is a colorful climbing adventure located on deck 15, on the starboard side of the ships funnel.

Several skill levels are incorporated into the wall, and climbers of all experience levels or no experience at all! can climb to new heights to ring the bell at the top, signifying their success.

The FlowRider is another classic adventure first introduced by Royal Caribbean in 2006 and now widespread throughout the fleet. This 40-foot long surfing simulator lets guests catch perfect waves and show off boogie boarding and surfing skills right on deck.

The Odyssey of the Seas FlowRider is located on deck 16, aft, and offers both free surfing opportunities as well as private lessons (for a fee).

Sky Pad is a newer adventure on Royal Caribbean ships and was just introduced in 2018. This bungee trampoline offers both an open-view as well as a virtual-reality experience, and guests can choose whether to enjoy classic jumping or to engage in a high-tech adventure with the VR headset option.

Sky Pad has four jump pads to accommodate multiple guests at once, and on Odyssey of the Seas, guests will find the iconic yellow bubble that encases Sky Pad on deck 16.

Royal Caribbean has amped up the thrills on Odyssey with several next-level adventures that allow guests to take to the skies literally!

North Star is the ultimate observation deck, available exclusively on Royal Caribbeans Quantum-class ships. Odyssey of the Seas features the worlds tallest North Star pod, with the ability to extend more than 300 feet above sea level 1.2 degrees higher than the North Star on Spectrum of the Seas, and the tallest of any cruise ship in the world.

While the observation pod operates slowly and gently to suit any passenger, the thrilling views it offers cannot be matched. North Star experiences will vary based on the ships itinerary and whether it is in port or not, and some experiences require additional fees. Access to North Star is on deck 15.

Guests who want an even more thrilling view can take to the skies on Ripcord by iFly, a skydiving simulator that lifts guests to new heights with the guidance of an experienced skydiving instructor.

Available exclusively on the Quantum-class ships, this flight offers just a minute of airtime in the specially designed vertical wind tunnel, but the thrilling memories last a lifetime. Guests can find the access to Ripcord by iFly on deck 15, aft, and view the wind tunnel on deck 16, just forward of FlowRider.

Guests who prefer to stay grounded in their adventures wont want to miss the bumper cars in the SeaPlex on deck 15. This multi-use space is transformed into different adventures throughout every cruise, from pickleball tournaments to soccer shootouts, but the biggest thrill is when the electric bumper cars take the floor.

These full-size bumper cars offer full-size thrills that arent scaled down just because theyre on a cruise ship. The floor is generously spaced so the dozen or so cars reach top speeds and the collisions can be intense be sure your seatbelt is fastened and all belongings are tightly secured! Rides last several generous minutes and there is no charge for the adventure.

With so many adventures on available, everyone can be thrilled at this new ship and this list doesnt cover nearly every thrill on board!

Dont miss the interactive video game arcade, the robot bartenders, Splashaway Bay, the deck games, multi-sensory high-tech shows, and other thrills onboard, not to mention the thrilling destinations Odyssey of the Seas visits, including top ports of call and Perfect Day at CocoCay!

Where will your odyssey of adventures take you with Royal Caribbeans Odyssey of the Seas?

Disclaimer Cruise Hive was invited to participate in a complimentary 2-night trade sailing of Odyssey of the Seas to explore the ships thrills firsthand, but that experience in no way influences the impressions made of the ship or the recommendations made in various articles.

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The conclave of democracies is fine, but its not going to work for India – Deccan Herald

Posted: at 9:57 pm

Twelve days ago, US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke to each other by video conference and then tried to convey as optimistic a message about the relations between the two countries and about global issues as they could manage. The offices of the two presidents issued statements saying they had just had the most substantial talks between them since Biden took office in January. Both sides highlighted the personal relationship the two leaders shared and that the summit was an attempt to ease tensions between the two countries. Yet, no one around the world, and perhaps the two presidents themselves, thought that the talks went well and the world can breathe easy.

The Chinese government mouthpiece Global Times had commented before the summit that The Taiwan question is the ultimate red line of China. And the daggers were out even before the two leaders had logged off from the video call. China warned the US not to play with fire over the Taiwan issue; the US warned Beijing of stricter action against Chinese companies that flout US laws. It is evident that the fig leaf of agreement between the two countries on climate change during the CoP-26 in Glasgow is hardly wide enough to cover all the unpleasant and multiplying differences between the two powers.

Read more:Chinas Arunachal strategy comes into full view

The US has continuously raised the issue of human rights violations in the Xinjiang province where the Uyghur population has been systematically subjected to inhuman treatment by the Chinese State machinery. Beijing has dismissed these charges as baseless allegations and dumped the American protestations with contempt. Beijing has warned the US not to oppress Chinese companies under the guise of protecting American industry and workers from unfair trade practices.

International politics is all about the rise and fall of nations that once were considered leaders of the world order. In about a centurys time, the superpower crown has passed and fallen off multiple heads between the two World Wars and a Cold War and globalisation. Existing powers were challenged by emerging powers, which themselves were sometimes relegated to the background by yet another new comer on the international horizon.

While generally, scholars point out to the exertions of the US post-World War II to build the existing international order, I would think a rather more defining moment to think of in our times is the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis for the strong US decision-making in those 13 days in the face of another superpowers nuclear threat to the Continental United States itself. Will the crisis brewing over Taiwan blow up into such a situation and test the resolve of the US to stand by an ally and a fellow democracy? If it does, how will the US fare today?

The White House has called a conclave of democracies in the second week of December. More than 100 countries have been invited. Of course, China and Russia cant be part of it. Will the conclave signal the resolve of democracies to stand up to authoritarian states and to defeat their hegemonic designs? Will such a conclave help prevent war erupting over flashpoints?

Closer home, India has a vastly challenging regional imbalance to worry about. Geographically contiguous but highly heterogeneous in social, political and economic terms, Indias immediate and extended neighbourhood offers both serious challenges and immense opportunities to New Delhi to lead the emerging multipolar arrangement. The Indo-Pacific region requires an institutional framework and platforms for building supply chains and facilitating trade, transport and technology transfers. A large body of estranged democracies with varied agenda and lacking a unified objective cannot be of much help to New Delhi to play a leading role in the region. Ironically, while Bangladesh, which is playing a greater role in strengthening democracy and fighting terrorism, is not invited to the conclave of democracies, Pakistan, which uses terrorism as State policy and which is Chinas iron brother ally, is invited!

It will be futile to expect such a conclave to add any value to our democratic system, economic revival through supply chain systems or the regional security architecture that we seek to build.

Meanwhile, the Biden-Xi talks were overshadowed by the increasing number of sorties undertaken by Chinese fighter jets into Taiwans Air Defence Zone (ADZ) recently. The US has upped its military posture and put into action its Air Sea Battle Concept and the Joint Concept for Access and Manoeuvre in the Global Commons. These are in response to Chinese anti-access and area denial activities that is affecting freedom of movement in the air and sea in the East and South China Seas. It is clear that Taiwans status has emerged as the focal point and the bone of contention between the competing powers, fuelling questions about the need for countries, including India, to recalibrate their positions on the One China policy.

There is a visible rise in authoritarianism of the State and Party in China, the increasing power of Xi Jinping as its ruler for life, and growing belligerence in Chinas international attitude. On the other hand, Chinas economy is slowing down, its credibility is plummeting, and global acceptance of its leadership is doubtful. In such a situation, the demand for boycott of the Winter Olympics in China is gaining ground. India should support the boycott demand and signal Delhis displeasure to Beijing over the range of issues that bedevil our relations, from whats happening on our Himalayan borders to Chinas disrespect for international law and rules-based behaviour on the high seas.

A coordinated approach to counter Chinas hegemonic objectives is necessary but given the prevarications of the global powers, Delhi needs to look for new partnerships while building up its own capabilities.

(Seshadri Chari reads between the lines on big national and international developments from his vantage point in the BJP National Executive and the RSS)

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NCIS New Orleans premieres its last episode and this is how the series will end – Market Research Telecast

Posted: at 9:57 pm

On 2003, I arrive NCIS with the aim of showing a fiction starring a team of special agents from the Criminal Investigation Service of the United States Navy. Since then, the success has been enormous: today it is one of the quintessential police series and has become a franchise with different locations. This monday will arrive The end of NCIS: New Orleans and here we tell you everything you need to know before seeing it.

From November 8, A&E began broadcasting the episodes of the seventh season of this derived production. In this way, the series starring Scott Bakula came to the homes of Argentina, Colombia and Mexico With 15 episodes and in just two days, the outcome of the investigators who delve into the crimes and cases involving New Orleans military personnel will be known.

It is not a simple farewell: seven years have passed since this spin-off began with the agent Dwayne Pride to the head. And now, it will not only involve seeing the fight against crime in the city, but also the team led by the so-called King will need all its reserves to be able to face the terrible crisis that caused the coronavirus pandemic worldwide.

During this last season, agents have been seen Tammy Gregorio (Vanessa Ferlito) and Quentin Carter (Charles Michael Davis) They are sent by Scott Bakulas character to investigate a suspicious death aboard a humanitarian ship on the high seas, where they learn that some of the crew are infected with the deadly disease.

Also, they have had their participation the special agent Christopher Lasalle (Lucas Black), the forensic agent Sebastian Lund (Rob Kerkovich y Hannah Khoury (Necar Zadegan), an agent specialized in international counterintelligence. In addition to the support of Dr. Loretta, the team includes a specialist in research informatics Patton Plame (Daryl Chill Mitchell).

I am a very lucky guy, who has had a long career. I am a stage, theater and film actor and I was also able to do musical work. NCIS: New Orleans gave me many opportunities to combine all those rolesSaid the leading actor. Somewhat excited, he remarked: I had never done a series with more than 100 episodes, there were many first times for me on this. It was very hard work, but a very exciting time. I love the real man DWayne Swear, which was who my character was based on. Sadly he passed away a few years ago, but he was the heart and soul of our program, and I did my best to maintain his reputation and memory..

About the filming, Scott Bakula assured: Everything was filmed in the middle of the pandemic, with all kinds of security protocols, in a very careful way so that it is a program that could keep people safe. I was lucky enough to convince the company and the writers that we should include the theme in the series. We show how it affected all the characters on the show, how it affected the members of the forces, and how it affected the city as well. Because once again, that city was the heart of our series.

Titled as Let the good times begin, the last chapter of the series will arrive next Monday, November 29 at A&E. It will be set on the eve of Prides wedding to Rita, just as Connor (Drew Scheid) is entering witness protection. In this framework, the character of Bakula must find who attacked Jimmy (Jason Alan Carvell), while discovering the hidden motives of Sasha (Callie Thorne) regarding his son. Both in Colombia and in Mexico and Argentina, will be broadcast at 22 hours.

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NCIS New Orleans premieres its last episode and this is how the series will end - Market Research Telecast

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the scuttling of the fleet in Toulon Liberation – The Times Hub

Posted: at 9:57 pm

November 28, 2021

For the honor of the flag, in order not to fall into German hands which had just invaded the free zone, the French navy sank all its ships.

Two years after Mers-el-Kbir in 1940, on November 27, 1942, the French fleet once again saw a large part of its ships sink. But this time, it will be scuttling by the very hand of the French. On the evening of November 27, 90% of the ships moored in Toulon harbor were scuttled. All large ocean-going combat vessels are sunk or unrecoverable. A total of 235,000 tonnes rendered useless i.e. three battleships, seven cruisers, fifteen destroyers, thirteen torpedo boats, six avisos, twelve submarines, nine patrol boats and dredgers, nineteen service vessels, one vessel school, twenty-eight tugs and four lifting docks. A suicide for the glory and in respect of the promise made by the admiralty never to fall into the hands of the Germans.

On November 11, Hitler launched Operation Anton in total violation of the armistice agreement signed in June 1940. The Germans invaded the free zone. An invasion in their eyes necessary since the Allies landed on November 8 in North Africa, Morocco and Algeria.

But above all, Hitler feared that the French fleet consigned to the Toulon naval base would consider that after the invasion of the free zone, it was released from article 8 of the armistice agreement which imposed neutrality on it, and does not join the allied forces. The city is now the only unoccupied enclave in mainland France.

On November 26, two panzer columns set in motion to take the arsenal. Code name of the operation: Lila. On the morning of the 27th, the German soldiers arrested the maritime prefect, Admiral Marquis. His Chief of Staff, Rear Admiral Robin, manages to escape and transmit to the Arsenal Major General, Rear Admiral Dornon, the scuttling order which he immediately retransmits to the Admiral. Laborde aboard the Strasbourg, flagship of the high seas forces. This radio launches the general destruction order, also reflected by optical signals. The scuttling teams must act quickly. The German tanks entered the arsenal but lost precious time, being unable to find their way around. This leaves time for the scutters to finish their work.

At 6 am, the first explosions are heard then follow one another. The teams light the wicks, open the valves, drown the bunkers sometimes under the threat of German soldiers. Some ships like cruisers Algeria, Marseillaise Where Dupleix will burn for several days. Three submarines manage to reach Algeria and join the Free French Naval Forces (FNFL). That day, the Royale the nickname given to the navy saved the honor of its flag.

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JIM CARUSO’S CAST PARTY With Billy Stritch Will Return to Myron’s At The Smith Center – Broadway World

Posted: at 9:57 pm

Jim Caruso's Cast Party (with Billy Stritch at the piano) will make a triumphant return to Las Vegas on Wednesday, December 1 at 7pm. The "extreme open mic" will take place at Myron's at The Smith Center, 361 Symphony Park Avenue, Las Vegas.

Over the years, Cast Party Las Vegas has been the place for impromptu performances by Donny Osmond, Clint Holmes, Susan Anton, Frankie Moreno, Keith Thompson, Brent Barrett, Chadwick Johnson, CJ Emmons, Giada Valenti, Michelle Johnson, Jonathan Karrant, Fifth Avenue, Amanda King, Ruby Lewis, and so many more!

Jim Caruso's Cast Party is a wildly popular weekly open mic night that has been bringing a sprinkling of Broadway glitz and urbane wit to the legendary Birdland in New York City every Monday night for the past eighteen years. It's a cool cabaret night-out enlivened by a hilariously impromptu variety show. Showbiz superstars hit the stage alongside up-and-comers, serving up jaw-dropping music and general razzle-dazzle. In the past, Party-ers have been thrilled by impromptu performances by Liza Minnelli, Ariana Grande, Tony Bennett, Michael Feinstein, Natalie Cole, Donny Osmond, Carol Channing, Charlie Puth, Jeffrey Osborne, Larry Gatlin, and thousands more. Cast Party is the ultimate spot to mix and mingle with talented show folk and their fans. The buoyant, sharp and charming Caruso guides the entire affair like a bubbly cruise director, musical genius Billy Stritch (Liza Minnelli and Tony Bennett) holds court at the ivories, and the audience is invited to participate in the festivities! Caruso and Stritch have taken the Party on the road, celebrating talent in London, San Francisco, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Austin, and on the high seas. Cast Party was also part of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Songbook Series, celebrating the Golden Age of Hollywood with an all-star cast.

Jim Caruso made his Broadway debut alongside Liza Minnelli in the Tony Award-winning Liza's At The Palace!, singing, dancing and celebrating the music and arrangements of Kay Thompson and the Williams Brothers. He has won six MAC Awards for his nightclub appearances, nine BroadwayWorld Awards, has performed with the New York Pops in a tribute to Kander & Ebb, with Rosemary Clooney celebrating Bing Crosby, and singing the songs of Hope & Crosby with Michael Feinstein, all at Carnegie Hall. Jim was honored to sing with Barbara Cook, Lauren Bacall and a bevy of Broadway stars at President Clinton's First State Dinner at the White House. For eighteen years, he has hosted the weekly showbiz bash "Jim Caruso's Cast Party" at Birdland, Town Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center and across the country. Jim and pianist/singer Billy Stritch have enjoyed crooning during their weekly residency at The Carlyle Hotel for eight years. During the pandemic, Jim hosted the virtual "Pajama Cast Party" for 72 consecutive weeks, celebrating some of the most dazzling musical stars from the Broadway, pop, and country scenes...all from the comfort of their homes! Caruso's two cds, "The Swing Set" and "Caruso Live and In Person" are available online. Follow Jim on Instagram at @JimCaruso1.

Billy Stritch is one of the premier singer-pianists on the New York and national jazz and cabaret scenes. He began his career in Houston, Texas, where he formed the vocal trio Montgomery, Plant and Stritch. The trio performed all over New York and Europe from 1983 until they disbanded in 1990. A chance meeting with Liza Minnelli in March of 1991 resulted in her asking him to create vocal arrangements for the record-breaking extravaganza Liza Stepping Out at Radio City Music Hall. In addition to his 25-year collaboration with as accompanist and opening act for Liza, Billy recently toured with the legendary Tony Bennett as Tony's pianist and musical director. A solo entertainer in his own right, he has performed his own shows (including tributes to Mel Torm and Cy Coleman) in concert halls and nightclubs across the country. Billy also serves as music director for such leading vocalists as Marilyn Maye, Linda Lavin, Linda Eder, Christine Ebersole and Paulo Szot. He is the co-writer of the number one Grammy-winning song "Does He Love You" recorded by Reba McEntire and Linda Davis. Lightning struck twice for this song as a new version was released in 2021 by Reba and the legendary Dolly Parton. When he's not on the road, he is the pianist for Jim Caruso's Cast Party open mic night every Monday at New York's legendary Birdland Jazz Club and he and Jim hold forth on Sunday nights at Bemelmans Bar in Manhattan's fabled Carlyle Hotel. During Covid-19, he created his own weekly Facebook live-stream show "Billy's Place", celebrating the Great American Songbook with songs and stories from his varied career. He has recorded five solo CDs and his latest CD release "Billy's Place" (Club44 Records) is a collection of his favorite songs from these online concerts. Follow Billy on Instagram @billystritch.

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Jim Caruso's Cast Party with Billy Stritch at the pianoWednesday, December 1 at 7pmMyron's at The Smith Center, 361 Symphony Park Avenue, Las

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Pakistan Navy marks 50 years of diplomatic ties with Bahrain with port visit | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN – News of Bahrain- DT News

Posted: at 9:57 pm

TDT | Manama

The Daily

Pakistan Navy along with coalition partners remains committed to keeping around 3.2 million square miles of international waters safe.

Ambassador of Pakistan Muhammad Ayub said that Pakistan Navy is a longtime contributor to international security operations as a participant in the multinational Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), particularly the Groups Combined Task Force 150 and anti-piracy Combined Task Force 151.

The ambassador was speaking during an onboard reception held onboard PNS Behr Masah at Salman Port marking the 50 years of diplomatic ties between Bahrain and Pakistan.

As a partner of the Combined Task Force, Pakistan Navy ships with strategic assets and personnel are carrying out important missions to promote security, stability, and prosperity across approximately 3.2 million square miles of international waters, encompassing some of the world's most important shipping lanes, he said.

Pakistan Navy has the rare distinction of commanding CTF-150 and CTF-151 eleven and nine times, respectively. Pakistan also has created its own Regional Maritime Security Patrol. Pakistan Navy and Bahrain Royal Naval Forces have been working together to promote maritime security in the region over the years."

The reception was attended by Rear Admiral Mohammed Yousif Al Asam Commander Royal Bahrain Naval Forces, BDF officers, diplomats, and Pakistan community members.

Our Defence forces enjoy deep-rooted cooperation in diverse fields, including training, joint exercises, consultations, and coordination on matters of mutual interest. The Pakistan Navy, in particular, has played a pivotal role in strengthening our bilateral relations," he said.

I am confident that this goodwill visit of Pakistan Navy ships will bolster Pakistan Navys bilateral relations with the Royal Bahrain Naval Forces in diverse avenues.

The ambassador said the current mission is of immense significance as it coincides with the 50th anniversary of Pakistan- Bahrain diplomatic relations.

To celebrate this historic milestone, we have planned several events, including cultural and sporting activities throughout the year. Pakistan and Bahrain enjoy long standing relations rooted in our common faith, shared cultural and social values. These relations are based on solidarity, fraternity, mutual trust, and support. The Pakistani diaspora, including skilled workers, businessmen and educated professionals, is a strong bridge between our two countries."

Commodore Rehan Ali Khan, Mission Commander of Pakistan Contingent in his speech highlighted the importance of the Pakistan Navy and its coalition partners in maintaining peace, stability and free flow of shipping lines in the region which accounts for a major trade route.

The current PNS mission to Manama comprises two ships from the Pakistan Navy and one from the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency.

Pakistan believes in promoting peace and security in the region and has remained committed to international community for maintaining stability and to curb terrorism in all its forms, Commander, Rehan Ali Khan told the reception.

Pakistan Navy, as an instrument of Government policy, has a mission to safeguard freedom of seas and trade. In this regard, the Pakistan Navy has taken initiative by deploying its units for Regional Maritime Security Patrol (RMSP), he said.

The objective of RMSP is to maintain presence along critical choke points and areas in the region to fulfill international obligations for maritime security and safeguard national shipping while observing freedom of navigation across high seas, he added.

Our current visit of Pakistan Navy ships to Bahrain opens new vistas for future cooperation in the maritime arena and also a contribution from Pakistan navy towards the celebration of the 50th year of Pakistan Bahrain diplomatic relation. Pakistan also shares the will and desire to make all out efforts for eradication of piracy and elimination of its underlying causes.

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Pakistan Navy marks 50 years of diplomatic ties with Bahrain with port visit | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN - News of Bahrain- DT News

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Microplastics are not just polluting the seas they are blighting our soil too –

Posted: at 9:57 pm

One of the environmental legacies of Covid-19 may well be vast amounts of plastic pollution. Since the beginning of the pandemic, scientists have warned of the long-term threat of littering face masks and other personal protective equipment into the environment.

These large plastic items break down into microplastics, which wash into our waterways and agricultural land. Microplastics are commonly defined as solid plastic particles or synthetic fibres of the size between 1 m and 5,000 m, or micrometres.

The problem is of course much bigger than face masks: industrial and private activities release microplastic into the environment in different ways, where they negatively impact ecosystems. Microplastics are found in many ecosystems and even ingested by many species.

Microplastic pollution is best known as a pollutant in oceans, lakes and rivers. But microplastics also have an impact on land: they can break down the structure of soil and harm the creatures that live there, for example when it is ingested by earthworms.

The two environmental problems are related microplastics in soils can also be transported from agricultural fields into rivers, lakes and the ocean by erosion and surface runoff.

In both water and soil, microplastics can have an extremely long life. In soil, plastic particles can last up to a hundred years or more, depending on the characteristics of the plastic particles and the environmental conditions in the soil.

There is a lot we still do not know about how microplastic pollution gets into the environment, and how much is there.

One challenge is determining the content of microplastics in soil. The difficulty lies in the fact that the chemical and physical characteristics of microplastic particles are similar to organic matter, which makes the separation of plastics from soil very difficult.

This means it is very expensive to analyse individual soil samples, and the prohibitive cost limits the number of samples which can be examined at a time. The low number of available samples are normally not enough to derive regional information on emissions or pollution.

But we can use modelling to build a picture of the environmental situation at a regional scale. This can help with identifying pollution hot-spots and potentially useful sample sites.

Our recent study presents an environmental regional model to analyse microplastic emissions into German agricultural soils.

In Germany, microplastic in agricultural soils comes from sewage sludge, compost and from plastic films used in agricultural production (for example, mulch film in vegetable growing).

Farmers apply sewage sludge to use its organic matter and nutrients, including nitrogen and phosphor, as organic fertiliser for crops. Microplastics such as textile fibres from clothes or microbeads from cleaning and cosmetic products enter the sewage sludge via waste water. This means high concentrations are found close to regions with significant population density and with a strong application rate for sewage sludge in agriculture, like Hanover in the mid-north.

Microplastics enter compost as fragments from plastic food packaging in collected biowaste or from plastic littering along parks or highways. Compost is applied for the same reason as sewage sludge. High concentrations of microplastic pollution from compost are identified in densely populated regions where biowaste is used agriculturally, for example around Cologne.

Microplastic from plastic films enters the soil when the film is damaged, for example when removing or changing it. Mulch film is applied in different production systems for vegetables to protect fruit, maintain soil temperature and humidity and to prevent erosion and weeds. Pollution from plastic films is very high in regions where vegetables are grown under mulch film such as the areas south of Berlin or northeast of Munich.

Our modelling shows that the concentrations of microplastic from applied sewage sludge are higher than those found in areas where it comes from compost and plasticulture. Depending on their location, some hot-spots could be more critical than others, for example, if they are close to rivers and lakes.

These findings can help to identify high-risk areas as focus regions for further soil sampling and analysis.

In situations where empirical information on microplastic pollution is rare, model-based analysis is a complementary tool we can use to assess the situation, both currently and in the future. But the results require continuous updating according to new knowledge on quantities and impacts of microplastic in soils.

Regional results can also feed into other simulation models, which, for example, simulate microplastic transport via river systems to the sea. This approach is already in use for other environmental pollution problems including nitrogen and phosphor emissions.

Our general lack of knowledge on the scale of microplastic pollution requires rapid progress in research.

More evidence is required to evaluate the situation and decide whether there is a need for new environmental policies to tackle the problem. Until then, farmers will face the conflict of recycling biowaste as fertiliser for the sake of the circular economy, all while polluting their fields with unknown substances.

Martin Henseler is a Research Engineer, Equipe dEconomie Le Havre Normandie at the Universit Le Havre Normandie.

Elke Brandes is a Scientist and Peter Kreins is a Research Associate at the Thnen Institute.

This article first appeared on The Conversation.

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Microplastics are not just polluting the seas they are blighting our soil too -

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