Pinterest and Zoom IPOs: Here's how to avoid another Lyft disaster

Pinterest and Zoom IPOs: Here's how to avoid another Lyft disasterThe Lyft IPO has rightfully left a bad taste in the mouths of many investors who were clearly bamboozled.



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Nonfiction: Looking Again at the Chernobyl Disaster

Adam Higginbotham’s “Midnight in Chernobyl” explores the causes of the Chernobyl explosion, and Kate Brown’s “Manual for Survival” considers the consequences.
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Netflix to remove real disaster footage from Bird Box film

The company originally said it would keep the clip from the Lac-Mégantic rail disaster in the film.
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Medicine Assistance Donated to After Disaster by Charles Myrick Of American Consultants RX

ACRX Recognition Gallery: American Consultants Rx

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Why Won’t We Learn from the Survivors of the Rana Plaza Disaster?

After more than 1,100 people were killed in the horrific building collapse, hundreds of factories in Bangladesh were shuttered. Five years later, the garment industry looks set to return to business as usual.
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Books of The Times: After Disaster, Japan Seals Itself Off From the World in ‘The Emissary’

Yoko Tawada’s new novel imagines a time in which language starts to vanish and the elderly care for weakened children.
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Can the NHL avoid disaster in new esports initiative?

After the NBA, NFL and FIFA all jumped into the competitive gaming pool, it was inevitable that the NHL would as well. But in order to succeed in this nascent arena, there are a number of pitfalls the league must avoid.
www.espn.com – NHL

Pamela Anderson Calls Tommy Lee a “Disaster Spinning Out of Control” After Altercation With Brandon

Pamela Anderson, Tommy LeePamela Anderson is breaking her silence in regards to the alleged fight between ex-husband Tommy Lee and their son Brandon Lee.
In an open letter on her website titled “Alcoholism is…

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The Stranded Traveler’s Disaster Plan

When a hurricane or other natural disasters hit, people far from home often must get creative to get safe.
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Octavia Spencer Reveals Her Biggest Style Disaster: Wearing Too Much Underwear!

Octavia Spencer has learned the hard way not to go overboard on undergarments.

“Ladies, it’s not worth it,” she told PEOPLE, Entertainment Weekly and InStyle at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday.

“We don’t even say what underwear it is. Just don’t wear too much of it,” she added with a laugh.

The Help Oscar winner, 47, is in town to support her new film, The Shape of Water, in which she plays a high-tech U.S. government lab worker during the Cold War, who, along with costar Sally Hawkins, discovers an otherworldly secret.

Directed by Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth), the film is already earning high praise for its fantastical story and stylish camerawork.

Spencer spoke about her own evolving style at the festival, saying that she has “evolved to accommodate for comfort.” She added, “I think women are sexy when they are confident. I think trying to wear nine inch heels and tights trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey, those days are gone .”

Nowadays, the actress says, “I think it’s all about comfort and knowing what fits your body. And I’m there now, I’m all about comfort and what suits me.”

Check out the video above for Spencer’s current style icons, including the one surprising celebrity whose fashion sense she admires even more than that of former costars Emma Stone and Viola Davis.


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Equifax data hack ‘an unmitigated disaster’

A cyber attack on a credit rating agency threatening the data of up to 44 million people in the UK has been branded an “unmitigated disaster” by security experts.
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Bethenny Frankel Dishes Real Housewives of New York City’s Mexico Trip, From Luann’s Falls to “Disaster” Ramona

Real Housewives of New York City, RHONYWhen The Real Housewives of New York City stars drink some tequila in Tequila, Mexico, anything can–and will–happen.
E! News caught up with Bethenny Frankel, the woman behind the big…

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Bethenny Frankel Dishes Real Housewives of New York City’s Mexico Trip, From Luann’s Falls to “Disaster” Ramona

Real Housewives of New York City, RHONYWhen The Real Housewives of New York City stars drink some tequila in Tequila, Mexico, anything can–and will–happen.
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‘Bachelor In Paradise’ Was Fun — And A Disaster Waiting To Happen

Just one week into production of the fourth season of “Bachelor in Paradise,” it all appears to be over.

The cast, after several days on lockdown, was sent home from the Mexican resort where filming took place. Reports have swirled about an inappropriate sexual encounter between two cast members ― an encounter in which at least one person was allegedly too drunk to consent. On Sunday, Warner Bros. issued a statement acknowledging that they “have suspended production” over “allegations of misconduct.

“We are conducting a thorough investigation of these allegations,” the production company said. “Once the investigation is complete, we will take appropriate responsive action.”

Reports differ regarding what actually caused the show to shut down, but most now indicate that two contestants, DeMario Jackson and Corinne Olympiosbecame extremely drunk during the first day of filming and had an explicit sexual encounter in the pool on site as the cameras rolled. A producer, who believed that the female contestant was too intoxicated to consent, reportedly filed a complaint of misconduct after the incident. Production was suspended, and the cast was eventually sent home after filming just a couple days of the series.

Where did it all go so wrong for a campy dating show that has spawned goofy GIFs galore, an alarmingly high rate of engagements and a still more alarming rate of broken engagements?

With an internal investigation still underway and most news about the situation coming to the public through anonymously sourced TMZ articles, it’s far too soon to diagnose exactly where this aborted season went off the rails. It may be weeks, even months, before the public gets any clarity about what happened in Paradise. Of course, that hasn’t stopped many from jumping onto Twitter or Instagram to confidently speculate about which contestants are to blame, or to make racist, sexist insinuations about them.  

Though it’s shocking, in another sense it’s unsurprising that the fun-in-the-sun ethos of “Paradise” has taken such a dark turn. Though this scandal may have been the first to halt production of the show, it’s not the first sign that the crew has been putting juicy plotlines ahead of the well-being, and even the safety, of its cast.

“Bachelor in Paradise,” like all the “Bachelor” shows, harvests entertainment from the irresistible human drama of gorgeous people competing for each other’s romantic attention. It doesn’t maintain its top spot in the reality dating pantheon by just “letting it happen,” though; the show’s producers notoriously coach contestants to make proclamations or romantic overtures that will actually sink their chances, but might make for more titillating TV. On the current season of “The Bachelorette,” the show brought on two unpleasant young men with a pre-existing rivalry from another, lesser-known reality show to milk their bad blood for ratings.

So far, so whatever ― these days, if you admit that you didn’t realize every confrontation and kiss on the show is likely producer-instigated, you’ll be called naive by members of Bachelor Nation. BUT that doesn’t mean we should be blasé about producers standing by during, and possibly even encouraging, dangerous situations.

The particular setup of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” typically keeps a lid on overt misconduct. With just one man or woman dating over 20 people, the jealousy between rivals is almost too spread out to explode. The lead’s desirability is too valuable to the franchise for encouraging criminal misbehavior to be a good business decision, and there’s no one else for contestants to get messy with in the corners (except, on one or two notable occasions, the crew themselves).

Nonetheless, the drama can get out of hand if producers allow feuds to escalate or fail to respond to red flags from certain cast members, and recent seasons have raised questions of how the show is protecting itself from liability. On Season 12 of “The Bachelorette,” several of the men became alarmed by Chad Johnson’s belligerent behavior, physical aggression and colorful threats (“I’m gonna cut everyone here’s legs off and arms off and there’s gonna be torsos and I’m going to throw them in the pool,” he exploded at one point), but he remained in the mansion until star JoJo Fletcher eliminated him from the competition ― albeit with the showy addition of an on-camera security guard to oversee peace in the house.

“Bachelor in Paradise,” with its unstructured setting and roughly equal groups of men and women from the show, takes more after “The Bachelor” franchise’s rowdier, gender-balanced cousins ― think MTV’s “Are You The One,” featuring 20-plus men and women living together and dating each other for several weeks. (“AYTO” has seen physical altercations and raunchy sexual encounters more than once.)

“Paradise” is known as the silly, chill member of the “Bachelor” family, but the combustible mix of partner-switching couples and lax oversight seems destined to have blown up sooner or later.

It was Johnson, brought back to the franchise after his unsettling turn on “The Bachelorette,” who exposed flaws in the “Paradise” safety measures last summer. On the first night of the third season, Johnson and fellow contestant Lace Morris became very drunk, flirted heavily and began making out amid the partying. Fairly standard “Paradise” stuff, except that an intoxicated Johnson began manhandling Morris, sparking an escalating physical and verbal altercation in and around the pool. Despite this, both contestants were allowed to stay as their teary, semi-violent fight continued into the night. At one point, Johnson threw an ableist slur at another cast member, Sarah Herron, who was born with only the upper part of one arm.

Not until the next morning, after Johnson’s unpredictable drunken rampage had petered out, was he removed from the situation; even so, his dismissal from the show by Chris Harrison was filmed in front of the entire cast, squeezing a bit more great TV from the situation. The cast, by the time he left, seemed genuinely rattled by how far things had been allowed to go. Sure, they’d signed up to be on a hookup-fueled reality show packed with tears and drama, but they hadn’t signed away their basic human rights, nor did they come with the expectation of being verbally and even physically abused.

With the night on the verge of a real catastrophe, viewers wondered, why didn’t production step in until it had calmed down? Were they gambling that things would go no further? After years of successfully producing the “Bachelor” shows, were they not even thinking of their liability? Are their contracts ironclad? Were they willing to risk a lawsuit for the sake of the juicy footage?

Meanwhile, contradictory reports on the recent scandal continue to filter through to the media. Reality Steve’s latest update reveals that his sources perceived the encounter as consensual and that Corinne was the instigator, while a Daily Mail interview with an anonymous crew member paints a disturbing picture of producers allowing cameras to roll while a borderline unconscious Corinne was assaulted, then put to bed without any medical care. Which, if any, account is true? It’s unclear. But most reports suggest that producers, as the ostensible adults in the room during a booze-fueled tropical speed dating zone, allowed a situation to escalate to the point that a credible complaint of misconduct could be made against the show.

The contestants, many happily point out, are adults and are not forced to drink or do anything; nonetheless, they’ve signed over a great deal of control in their life to a production team with the understandable expectation that those in charge won’t let anything genuinely dangerous happen to them. After this incident, in combination with past kerfuffles on the show, that expectation appears misguided, but it is a very human one. A production also needs to be prepared to take responsibility for setting up volatile situations and continuing to point cameras at them even after contestants have begun to act harmfully toward themselves or others. Regardless of the severity of what went wrong on set, public sex between drunk cast members arguably falls into that category. 

Fans of the show may be understandably disappointed that this season, and very likely any planned future seasons, will never air. (Though the show has not officially been canceled, all contestants were flown home, filming does not seem set to resume and the original premiere date is rapidly approaching, making it extremely likely that a formal cancellation is coming.) But the disappointment can, and should, be an opportunity for the show itself and for the audience to think carefully about how much messy drama we expect from our reality shows, and what risks cast members may assume in order to meet those expectations. In Johnson’s appearances, for example, production didn’t step in even when overt threats were made or he became drunk to the point of being out of control; fortunately, things didn’t go any further, but they easily could have. 

This season, the outcome was still worse ― and the questions about whether the “Bachelor” shows do enough to protect their contestants have only grown more difficult to ignore.

For more on the “Bachelor in Paradise” scandal, listen to this week’s episode of “Here to Make Friends,” featuring Reality Steve and former cast member Michael Garofola:

 

 

 

 

You can be highbrow. You can be lowbrow. But can you ever just be brow? Welcome to Middlebrow, a weekly examination of pop culture. Read more here.

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Ashley Madison - Have an affair. Married Dating, Affairs, Married Women, Extramarital Affair

‘Disaster’ celebrity festival sued for $100m

Organisers of the Bahamas celebrity festival branded a “complete disaster” have been hit with a $ 100m lawsuit alleging fraud.
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Bella Hadid Distances Herself From Fyre Festival Disaster in Twitter Apology: ”I Feel So Sorry”

Bella HadidAfter promoting the Fyre Festival in its earlier stages, Bella Hadid is doing her best to distance herself from the so-called VIP Coachella of the Bahamas, which quickly turned into…

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Radiohead’s Coachella Set Was Kind Of A Disaster

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival got off to a rough start on Friday night, as Radiohead’s set was chock-full of technical issues that forced the band to walk off stage multiple times.

The Friday-night headliner got through a few songs from their newest album, “A Moon Shaped Pool,” to start the set before the main festival speakers cut out during “Ful Stop.” To make matters more awkward, the band’s in-ear monitors continued to work, so they played on unaware that no one could hear them. 

 Radiohead experiences technical difficulties during “Ful Stop”

After that, the band reportedly made it through “Airbag” from the “OK Computer” album. But the audio issues returned for most of “15 Step,” causing the band to eventually leave the stage.

Frustrated festival-goers, who paid hundreds of dollars for tickets, could only stand in silence and anger looking at a dark stage. When the band returned, so did the audio issues, and the band had to leave the stage for a second time, according to Variety. 

Sound keeps cutting out during #radiohead at coachella #someonesgettingfired

A post shared by Lyndsey Parker (@lyndseyparker) on

Can you actually hear me now?” Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke had to ask at one point. “I’d love to tell you a joke, lighten the mood, something like that. But this is Radiohead, so f**k it.”

Luckily, the end of the set sounds like it went rather well. And hey, they even played “Creep” later on. So it’s not all bad. Let’s just hope the same thing doesn’t happen during Kendrick Lamar’s scheduled performance on Sunday night. 

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Entertainment News-Visit Adults Playland today for the hottest adult entertainment online!

Keira Knightley Once Told Love Actually Director Her Next Movie Was ‘Some Pirate Thing — Probably a Disaster’

The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has raked in billions of box-office booty, but according to her Love Actually director, Keira Knightley wasn’t always sold on the idea.

In an op-ed posted to Radio Times, Richard Curtis, the romantic comedy’s writer-director, reflected on where his stars were in their careers when the film debuted in 2003. “When we shot the film, I remember Keira Knightley saying that her next project was ‘some pirate thing — probably a disaster,’ ” he revealed.

Of course, that project turned out to be the wildly popular Pirates of the Caribbean franchise that made her an international superstar. And Knightley wasn’t the only Love Actually alum to score a role in the blockbuster. As Curtis pointed out, “Bill Nighy was also later a be-tentacled Davy Jones” in 2006’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and 2007’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.

The writer-director also mentioned that Andrew Lincoln, who famously professed his love to Knightley with cue cards in Love Actually, “had never come across, let alone killed, the Walking Dead.” And Chiwetel Ejiofor, who went on to earn an Oscar nomination for 12 Years a Slave in 2014 “hadn’t been a slave for five minutes, let alone 12 years,” wrote Curtis.

From Coinage: See Where 6 Stars Were Before They Were Famous

 

The trip down memory lane comes in the wake of Friday’s U.K. debut of a short follow-up to Love Actually, which promises to catch up with its main characters over a decade later. The reunion features most of the original cast, and was created to benefit Red Nose Day, a popular U.K. children’s charity.

“I know the film is very much not everyone’s cup of tea, but I’ve been surprised ever since it came out, and so grateful, that some people are really fond of it,” Curtis wrote. “So I hope that a lot of you will turn on to BBC1 on Red Nose Day to see the mini-sequel and maybe find it in your hearts to give a bit of cash to save and change a lot of lives, at home and abroad. What a strange and delightful outcome that would be for our little, old, slightly chaotic ‘All I Want for Christmas’ Christmas film.”


PEOPLE.com

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How to Solve This All-Too-Common Laundry Disaster

With a little help from our resident Clean Person.

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Fiction: Death and Disaster Stalk the Characters in Margaret Drabble’s New Novel

Margaret Drabble’s “The Dark Flood Rises” is a fictional road trip through various forms of “senior living” in Britain.
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David Bowie’s Red Ziggy Stardust Hair Was Initially A Huge Disaster

The image of David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust is etched eternally in the minds and hearts of millions of people around the world. The story of how that hair came to be is less familiar, but it’s equally as captivating. 

Suzi Ronson took to the stage in April 2016 to talk about how she came to go on tour with Bowie and his band, a whirlwind story that recently aired on The Moth Radio Hour. It all started with a simple haircut. 

While working as a hairstylist at a local salon in her staid London neighborhood, Ronson met Mrs. Jones, an older woman who came in for a weekly Thursday afternoon shampoo and set and often spoke about her son “David,” an artist who “sings in a band.”

That “David,” of course, turned out to be David Bowie, who had just released “Space Oddity.” A series of events landed Ronson in Bowie’s home to give his wife Angie Bowie a last-minute holiday cut. Ronson said Bowie, who had long blonde hair at the time, showed her an image of a female model in a magazine and asked her if she could cut his hair short and dye it red.

Ronson said she wasn’t sure she’d be able to pull off the look, though she told Bowie it was no problem. Unfortunately, the result was initially not the stiff, perfectly coiffed look we’re all familiar with.

Ronson said Bowie’s hair just flopped over to one side, to the dismay of them both. Explaining that the stylists had “no product in those days,” she ended up trying an anti-dandruff treatment she had previously used on women at her salon that “set hair like stone.” Results achieved, she charged the Bowies two pounds for both haircuts and left.

You’ll want to hear the rest of this exciting story i the video above. Ronson’s tale is also featured in the upcoming book The Moth Presents: All These Wonders – True Stories About Facing The Unknown

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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These smart knobs will prevent a kitchen disaster

These smart knobs will prevent a kitchen disasterIf you’ve ever forgot you left the stove on, you may want to look into Inirv React.



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Of Course This Waterfall Proposal Ended in Disaster

Tough break, man.

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After a Disaster, Families Rebuild an Even Better House

Catastrophic events can destroy a home, but owners with the resources and the fortitude can end up with an even stronger property than before.
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Donald Trump’s ‘Presidential Hat’ Is a Design Disaster

Sad!

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Disaster Survival Preparation – What Food and Supplies to Purchase Now For Emergency Survival – And Much More – 101 World Class Expert Facts, Hints, Tips and Advice on Survival and Emergency

Disaster Survival Preparation – What Food and Supplies to Purchase Now For Emergency Survival – And Much More – 101 World Class Expert Facts, Hints, Tips and Advice on Survival and Emergency


Information is power, you know that. But, how do you research the best Survival and Emergency strategies, without spending too much of your time (and money) on it? The average person earns $ 1100 per week, which equates to $ 27 per hour. Trying to do the research yourself would take you at least 5 hours to come up with the best information, AND you’ll have to do this on a regular basis to come up with the most up to date and current information. There has to be a different way to find the info you want! Well, yes there is. we did all the research for you, combed through all the information and got down to the hard core of the 101 most up to date and best Facts, Hints, Tips and Advice here, in this book. The 101 of the most current, most actual and beneficial Facts, Hints, Tips and Advice you can find from experts in the field on Survival and Emergency: – The Importance of Exercising Discretion With Regards to Your Survival Emergency Preparations – 7 Things That Will Cause Your Emergency Power Generator to Fail When You Need it Most – Electrical Fire Extinguisher – Taking Real Form in Carbon Dioxide Extinguishers – Emergency Door Unlocking – A Free Community Service Dedicated to Saving Lives – Which is Better For Long Term Food Supply – Freeze Dried Or Dehydrated? – Emergency Long Term Food Supply – Freeze Dried Foods & Dehydrated Foods – Making the Correlation Between Emergency Preparedness and Blood Supply – Fire Protection Equipment – As Part of Competence and Risk Assessment – Top Ten Reasons I Desperately Needed to Rotate My 72 Hour Kit Foods – Carbon Monoxide Alarm – As Safety Device For Homes and Businesses. And Much More.

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Digital Disaster!

Digital Disaster!


When the newspaper staff goes digital, they learn the hard way that backup files are anything but optional. Cherry Valley Middle School has all-new computers, which means the school newspaper can produce its first-ever online edition of The Cherry Valley Voice. Sam loves desktop publishing and enjoys cutting and editing stories online and getting instant visual feedback. And it’s amazing that the paper can go “live” at the press of a button! But when it’s time for that button to be pressed, a terrible thunderstorm prompts a power surge that wipes out the entire issue. And no one has created backup copies of their work! The next day is the class trip to the amusement park, which Sam and the rest of the newspaper staff have been looking forward to for ages. But will the trip be everything Sam hopes for, or will that, too, turn into a big disaster?

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Your Survival: The Complete Resource for Disaster Planning and Recovery [With DVD]

Your Survival: The Complete Resource for Disaster Planning and Recovery [With DVD]


"As Seen on FOX’s Geraldo and CNN’s Larry King Live." ***Includes important information on FLU PANDEMICS and what you can do to protect yourself and your family from outbreaks such as SWINE FLU.*** Dr. Bob Arnot, America’s most trusted medical correspondent, and Mark Cohen, present Your Survival, a practical handbook that makes planning for a disaster so simple, easy, and inexpensive that there’s no longer an excuse to put it off. Complete with checklists to help you stock an emergency food closet, vet your insurance policy, improve the chances your S.O.S. calls and emails will get through when no one else’s can, and protect your home and your family against earthquakes, tornadoes, mudslides, terrorist attacks, flu outbreaks… any crisis you may face. Your Survival provides a wealth of life saving knowledge: – Explore a 90-minute DVD which includes interviews with the nations foremost disaster experts – Learn first-hand the most common mistakes people make – Discover the 10 most important items you should have on hand at all times With advice from survivors and experts alike, Your Survival is a vital investment.
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Types and Events of Disasters Organization in Various Disaster Situations: Part I

Types and Events of Disasters Organization in Various Disaster Situations: Part I


F.A. Bauhofer, Geneva In disaster situations, the particular concern of WHO is not so much to offer immediate relief and assistance for affected communities, but to have ready prepared plans for the provision of primary medical care as well as for resuscitation and casualty services. Disast- ers are characterized by a need for rapid assistance and by the inability of affected communities to cope with the large scale mortality, morbidity, and damage to essential installations and homes. In some highly elaborate and centralized societies even small- scale events may assume the proportion of a disaster, if they result in the serious break- down of vital services. The Executive Board of the World Health Organization has defmed disasters or “emergencies”, as situations where there are unforeseen, serious, and immediate threats to public health. Particularly severe disasters may be classified as catastrophes; such -occurrences, whether natural or man-made, disturb or overthrow the existing order. For planning purposes, it is important to distinguish between different types of catastrophes since they require special relief measures. In the past, medical assistance was primarily needed in epidemics of, for example, plague, cholera, and smallpox. Today, health authorities face emergency problems brought about by major accidents and outbreaks of chemical pollution and poisoning, which may have long-term effects. The role of health services may differ quite extenSively in different types of cata- strophes, and an attempt must be made to draw up specific plans to deal with them.

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Survival: DIY SURVIVAL GUIDE for Beginners: Survival – The Best Strategies and Advice you Need to Know to Store Food and Water in Order to Survive a Disaster!

Virtualpolitik: An Electronic History of Government Media-Making in a Time of War, Scandal, Disaster, Miscommunication, and Mistakes

Virtualpolitik: An Electronic History of Government Media-Making in a Time of War, Scandal, Disaster, Miscommunication, and Mistakes


New – Government media-making, from official websites to whistleblowers’ e-mail, and its sometimes unintended consequences.

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How To Keep Your Linen Closet From Disaster | #OWNSHOW | Oprah Winfrey Network

The linen closet is traditionally used to store linens… unless your like us. Beth Ziegler, professional organizer and owner of Bneato Bar has the perfect solution to keep those odds and ends tidy in your closets.

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About OWN:
Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey’s heart and creative instincts inform the brand — and the magnetism of the channel.

Winfrey provides leadership in programming and attracts superstar talent to join her in
primetime, building a global community of like-minded viewers and leading that community to connect on social media and beyond. OWN is a singular destination on cable. Depth with edge. Heart. Star power. Connection. And endless possibilities.

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How To Keep Your Linen Closet From Disaster | #OWNSHOW | Oprah Winfrey Network
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Miss Robbie’s Roller Skating Disaster – Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s – OWN

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Miss Robbie takes a serious fall while having fun skating at the rink—one of her favorite hobbies. Tim tries to convince her to retire her skates after hearing she will need surgery for her fractured wrist, but this young spirit refuses to stop doing what she loves.

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First Nighter: Beth Henley’s “The Jacksonian,” The Seth Rudetsky-Jack Plotnick “Disaster!”

In Beth Henley’s quasi-Southern Gothic play The Jacksonian, the establishment of the title is a Jackson, Mississippi motel with decorated-for-Christmas bar that Walt Spangler has neatly designed.
It would be nice to say that the stage-right bar is busy, but the only denizens–seen over a period of several months–are guesting dentist-on-his-uppers Bill Perch (Ed Harris), his occasionally visiting estranged-because-sometimes-battered wife Susan (Amy Madigan), his manic 16-year-old daughter Rosie (Juliet Brett), possibly suicidal bartender Fred Weber and blowzy motel worker Eva White (Glenne Headly).
The Perches spend time in the stage-left room that Bill occupies. He’s hoping Susan will take him back. She’s hoping anything but. Eva also drops in on official and unofficial motel business. Fred remains in the bar, mixing a drink from time to time but mostly attempting to extract himself from the promise of marriage he’s made to Eva.
The Jacksonian–imported to The New Group’s Acorn stage from Los Angeles’s Geffen Playhouse, where it premiered in February 2012–begins with Rosie, wrapped in a blanket, howling that a murder is going to take place. It’s immediately followed by Bill, wearing a bloodstained white shirt, entering to scoop ice from a large container.
Whereupon the action waffles back and forth from the holiday season–which isn’t very festive for these folks–to the preceding summer and fall months. During the action, they either sit in the bar or gather in Bill’s room.
Playwright Henley, darker here than in most of her previous works, intends, it would seem, to display five misfits as their sorry expectations disintegrate–and Rosie’s desperate opening outburst edges toward fulfillment. Actually, that’s what she does display, but as she progresses through the intermissionless 85-minutes she’s allotted herself, she has trouble working up sufficient interest in the inhabitants.
Maybe what’s called for here is more information on the characters. As it is, they’re a quintet of sad sacks, with Bill not only sad but–unable to practice dentistry as a result of some misdemeanor–also dangerous. This is clear, of course, from the early glimpse of him in the soiled shirt.
What involvement there is in the exercise is Robert Falls’s vigorous direction of the actors–four of whom are already known as more than reliable–and one of whom, newcomer Brett, gives unquestionable signs of making herself welcome in the manner of previous stage performers like Peggy Ann Garner, Phyllis Love and Sandy Dennis.
Well-known trivia: Harris and Madigan are married, and, from the evidence they’ve given by working together frequently, have to be a much happier couple than the Perches Bill and Susan. It’d be interesting, don’t you think?, to eavesdrop on Harris and Madigan discussing the challenges of taking on Bill’s and Susan’s sorrows.
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Be advised that Jack Plotnick and the always risible Seth Rudetsky have joined a series of 1970s chart-toppers into a send up of that decade’s disaster flick The Poseidon Adventure. They’ve called it–what else?–Disaster!.
And yes, camp followers, it’s mighty entertaining. The plot–really an excuse to get a crowd of terrific singers to reprise a tidal wave of golden oldies–involves the opening night of the Barracuda casino on a ship moored to a dock that happens to be floating over shifting tectonic plates. You guessed it: There’s a humongous quake, after which some characters survive (the young lovers, natch) and some don’t (the villainous ship’s captain, natch).
Rudetsky and Plotnick–please don’t call the cruiser-tuner a rude/plot–probably could have trimmed their fandango, rather than suggest they want to include every ’70s click ever written. Only for starters, the ditties run to “Alone Again, Naturally,” “Don’t Bring Me Down,” “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother,” “Hooked on a Feeling,” “Hot Stuff,” “Knock on Wood” and “Knock Three Times.” Often, for maximized amusement, Rudetsky and Plotnik pun on the song titles or play on the lyrics.
Then, of course, and under Plotnick’s direction (Rudetsky plays a disaster expert, whatever that is), there are those top-drawer belters. Undoubtedly all of them voice-maven Rudetsky’s chums, they are, among others, the great Mary Testa, the great Jennifer Simard, hot newcomer Matt Farcher, Haven Burton, Charity Dawson, John Treacy Eagan, Michele Ragusa and young Jonah Vernon as identical fraternal twins. (Remember this is fiction.) It should go without saying that every one of the singing comics makes it all worthwhile.
With that large cast in the relatively small St. Luke’s auditorium, Disaster! may look as if it’s been produced for $ 1.99 (his it been?), but it plays as if it’s titanic, if not Titanic.
Arts – The Huffington Post
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