General News

DfT: Acting star Joseph Fiennes is the voice of a new Government campaign to remind motorists of the dangers of driving when tired. One in five of all crashes on major roads are caused by tired drivers but research shows many motorists are ignoring the simplest sign - the common yawn - that it's time for a break.
 
Many drivers believe they can fight fatigue but the only real cure is sleep.  The THINK! campaign's advice is straightforward:
* Don't start a long trip if you're already tired.
* Plan your journey to include a 15-minute break every two hours.
* If you feel drowsy find a safe place to stop (not the hard shoulder).
* As an emergency measure drink two cups of coffee or a high-caffeine drink and have a rest for 10-15 minutes to allow time for the caffeine to kick in.
Press release ~ Research on accidents caused by tired drivers is Driver Sleepiness ~ THINK! – Tiredness Kills ~ The Association of Group Occupational Health Services (scroll down)
 
YF: Four Yorkshire companies who have improved their business by exporting overseas have received awards in recognition of their international success.  The awards, made by Yorkshire Forward and UK Trade and Investment, are part of their drive to encourage regional businesses to grow through international trade.

The awards went to:
* EnviroVent - Best New Exporter
* Bradford food giant Mumtaz - Best Market Entry Strategy
* Flexseal - Most Improved Exporter
* Lubrizol - Best Exporter

Laura Humbles, an International Trade Advisor for UKTI operating in West Yorkshire received the award for Best Trade Advisor, in recognition of her work with regional businesses over the past three years.
Press release ~ Yorkshire Forward ~ UK Trade and Investment ~ Trade Yorkshire - Targeted Export Support Scheme (TESS)
 
ScotGov: Last week marked another major step along the road to a zero waste Scotland, with the launch of the 2008 Composting at Home Campaign and the first meeting of the Zero Waste Think Tank.  The Campaign is a partnership between Waste Aware Scotland, WRAP (the Waste and Resources Action Programme), the Scottish Government and all 32 Local Authorities in Scotland.

The new Waste Aware Scotland Home Composting mini site provides information on how to begin composting, what you can compost and 'doctor compost' to solve all your composting problems.
Press release ~ Waste Aware Scotland ~ 2008 Composting at Home Campaign ~ Doctor Compost ~ WRAP (the Waste and Resources Action Programme)

VSO: As it marks its 50th anniversary, leading international development charity VSO is launching a bid to reach out to the 'missing middle' and reverse a recent decline in professionals in their 30s & 40s volunteering to work with poor communities around the world.
 
The charity says that despite an overall increase in the number of volunteers, the proportion in their 30s and 40s has halved since 2000.  VSO is finding potential recruits in this age group increasingly feel unable to volunteer, because of pressures such as getting on the property ladder, career progression, financial commitments or meeting family responsibilities, that don't affect older 'golden gappers' or younger people.  
 
They also fear that volunteering will not be valued as good experience by current or future employers, so VSO is calling on businesses to make a commitment to support sabbaticals for employees who want to share their skills through recognised volunteer schemes.
Press release ~ Research into global patterns of happiness ~ Career break or career development? - Volunteering - VSO
 
MO: Daily temperature extremes have risen by up to 4C over the last 50 years, say climate experts from the Met Office Hadley Centre. Research published during March in the Journal of Geophysical Research explored how observed extreme daily minimum and maximum temperatures, across different world regions, have changed since 1950.
 
Minimum temperatures have seen the biggest increases, most notably over Russia and Canada, where the coldest days are now up to 4 C warmer than they were in the middle of the 20th Century. The largest changes in maximum temperature were found across Canada and Eurasia where they have typically warmed by 1 to 3 C. Warming across the UK was found to be between 0.5 and 2 C.
Press release ~ Met Office Hadley Centre ~ Met Office – Climate Change
 
OSOrdnance Survey has tested how well information from OS MasterMap Address Layer 2 could improve the fit between billing details and locations on a utility’s delivery network. OS’s address geography was matched against utility records in a series of urban postcode units containing an average of 21,500 addresses. The results show an average of 16% more properties being identified & referenced to the relevant part of the infrastructure.

Two elements of Address Layer 2 made the difference: the inclusion of ‘alternative addresses’ such as aliases, locality and district names; and details of multi-occupancy residences where flats and apartments share postal delivery points. Ordnance Survey supplies these with the reference details of their parent delivery address, making it easier to identify all properties receiving utility and other non-postal services.
Press release ~ OS MasterMap Address Layer 2
 
MoD: A fleet of Airbus A330-200s will replace the RAF's TriStar and VC-10 aircraft under a £13bn PFI deal signed with AirTanker Ltd, Baroness Taylor, the Minister for Defence Equipment & Support has announced.
 
The aircraft - which will be owned by AirTanker under the terms of the deal, although they will fly in RAF 'colours' - will undertake air to air refuelling and passenger air transport tasks.  The aircraft are expected to enter service around 2011, to serve for three decades.
 
The FSTA fleet will customarily carry a minimum of 80 tonnes (100,000 litres) of aviation fuel per aircraft. The total fuel dispensing rate from the aircraft is approximately 5,000 litres/min or about 80 litres per second.  A Mini Cooper would be filled in less than 2 seconds. Using all three refuelling points, you could fill 125 Mini Coopers a minute - more than 2 a second.
Press release ~ Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) ~ AirTanker Ltd
 
STFC: Scientists are increasingly being asked to communicate the social & ethical aspects of their research. However, there are few opportunities for early-career researchers to develop their skills in discussing these issues.
 
Perspectives - a poster session with a difference – could provide valuable experience in discussing your research with a non-specialist audience. The scheme is open to postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers funded by the UK research councils and also provides training in producing & presenting a poster.  Finalists will present their posters at the BA Festival of Science in Liverpool, where prizes will be awarded by a panel of expert judges. Application deadline: 21 May 2008.
Press release ~ the-BA : perspectives
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