Seeing Beijing’s Olympic Pool

In preparation for the Olympic Games, a gigantic blue ‘plastic clad’ block, which looks like a giant block of sterile bubbles was under construction in Beijing.

The ‘Water Cube’ that was housed in the Beijing National Swimming Centre at an estimated price of $100 million, has the height of a 10-storey construction and was the biggest Olympic swimming facility ever constructed.

With a gross floor area of 80,000m2, it seated 17,000 individuals and housed two Olympic pools, a diving pool, leisure water creations such as water slides and a wave pool, together with their associated amenities.

This ambitious project was created by a group of Australian architects and engineers together with two Chinese associate businesses, and the outcome is a completely integrated concept from both an architectural and engineering standpoint.

Engineers from Arup and architects out of PTW Architects in Sydney, in conjunction with the China State Construction and Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) and the China Construction Design Institute (CCDI), develop a theory based on the natural form of water bubbles.

The engineers needed the significant purpose of clearly conveying to the architects exactly what the building needed to achieve when it comes to renewable energy, hydraulic, technical and environmental functionality, thus not seeing any structural timber beams but steel ones intead.

Quick prototyping has been used to physically mimic the intricate arrangement from CAD drawings and assorted CAD-driven situations were introduced to check the potency of the steel construction. A few 25,000 beam size factors and 57 million layout limitations were analysed for advantage.

PTW’s associate manager, Mark Butler, who had been the architect’s design leader for the job, says it was crucial that the architects and architects had an extremely close working relationship in creating the winning entry and subsequently bringing the project to fruition.

A whole team effort was demanded. In the first phases of design, architects out of the China partners worked with the Australian team in Sydney. In the idea/concept stage, they were searching for revolutionary ideas that could allow them to acquire worldwide recognition needed for the competition. The design required to be ‘Chinese’ in a contemporary manner and also to harmonise with the main stadium nearby.

The layout needed to be about water and also possess a green motif. Cross-fertilisation of thoughts was fundamental to this team’s capacity to break new architectural and engineering ideas. The goals of the project and the technology fundamentals were clearly presented at the beginning and then the pressure was on to achieve the agreed objectives.  Throughout the design process, it was especially important to work closely with all the engineers on the crucial innovative areas of the construction including the construction and façade, whether to include architectural timbers or not, and several challenging issues needed to be addressed like the production of their bubbles and fire technology and safety.

To ensure effective coordination, many 3D data models in multiple application formats had been exchanged between the layout partners during the whole design procedure. After the group had successfully finished the first strategy and won the contest, the job then improved to finish the plan documentation and development.

Over 80 Arup engineers and experts spread across 12 areas and four states were included in a variety of elements of the plan. The massive Water Cube is 177m in width, 177m (580ft) in length and 31m (101ft) in height, where the construction is produced of a community of steel tubular members clad with translucent ETFE (Ethyl Tetra Fluoro Ethylene) cushions.

A spread of fluoro polymer, ETFE is a powerful recyclable lightweight substance that allows in more light than glass but is more resistant to the weathering effects of the sun.

It took Beijing’s largest cranes to construct the exterior and interior of the project. The outer layer of the swimming center, which covers both the interior and outside of the construction, has 100,000m2 (1,076,000ft2) of ETFE bubble cladding which contains approximately 4,000 bubbles of different size.

The complex service construction of the Water Cube is made up of 22,000 steel tubes welded into 12,000 steel nodes that vary in size based on the loads put upon them. If placed end-to-end the steel beams would extend for 90 kilometres (56 miles).

A vital design factor has been the requirement to minimise the burden of the steel construction since the long roof spans self-weight is crucial as the roofing spends a whole lot of its durability simply holding up itself. Although lightweight, the Water Cube construction is extremely robust and adheres to the brand new Chinese steel/seismic design Codes.

To keep the aesthetic allure of the Water Cube layout, the roof installation needed to ensure that roof infiltrations are kept to a minimum during the extensive usage of air-admittance valves in the sanitary plumbing.

Since the Water Cube didn’t adhere to China’s prescriptive building Code it had been necessary to show that the design provided for a decent degree of security.

A Smart Construction

The alternative was to use performance-based fire technology to come up with a group of provisions specifically tailored to the construction, including irrigation and smoke exhaust systems.

This allowed the architects to design away from the Chinese Code while being encouraged by research and global guidelines. The group was also able to show that the ETFE facade substance would shrink away from a flame and would let the smoke out by self-venting.

A vital requirement for the construction is ecological sustainability, such as a quite significant energy-efficiency rating along with the capability to recycle at least 80 percent of its own water. The Water Cube is intended to work as a greenhouse to help treat Beijing’s intense climate that may swing out of -13°C (8.6°F) in winter to 36°C (96.8°F) in summer.

The transparent ETFE cladding assisted by slab scissors upon application, conserve energy prices by allowing a great deal of natural lighting into the Cube, with 90 percent of the solar power to be trapped and used to heat the pools and also the interior. Cladding heat loads are minimised in the summertime but maximized in winter by putting the warmth from the wall cavity in the summertime and comprising it in winter.

Swimming pools may cause condensation and rust problems, so successful air supply is vital. This may be addressed by finding nozzles around the outside of the construction to provide air up the walls. Within this smart construction, the ac process is targeted to stop clogs to regions that aren’t utilized by men and women. By way of instance, the place where audiences sit will be pumped individually by an under-seating distribution system which will only be triggered during occasions.

Heat rejection in the air conditioning may also be used to warm the pools. Other purification systems comprise heat recovery from chillers and out of ice making machines that are used for distance and pool water heating system.

Smart hydraulics

Commercial plumbing sees essential hydraulic design and pipes characteristics of the Water Cube comprise siphonic drainage for storm water, water-efficient fittings, and set of storm water to domestic hot water source, and greywater recycling.

Ken Ma, a senior partner in Arup at Sydney, maintains water in northern China is a precious commodity and Beijing now lacks a trusted water source to meet present and projected need requirements.

Swimming centers consume a great deal of water to sanitary purposes and concerning the pool filtration system backwash. Thus, central to the design philosophy which underpins the Water Cube is the core goal of water conservation.

More importantly, this implies the layout of water-efficient systems will minimise water consumption and increase recycling and reuse opportunities. The purpose is to lower the dependence on the state’s water distribution system and spread into the state sewage system, which in turn will lower the strain on nearby receiving waters.

Travel Devices for a Businessman

There are no longer challenging situations for cellular technology, unless you are on a business holiday. Whatever the event, you will need to keep connected and productive while on the plane, the hotel, the convention center, and anyplace in-between. Here are some favorite travel gadgets to help make your business trip more productive.

Whether we are posting news on holidays, try uploading 1080p hands-free videos in the midst of a convention or chatting with our toddlers through Skype, there is nothing more important than staying connected through a cloud management system. A 3G or 4G hotspot is the perfect way to get your notebook and other devices connected, such as those brought by other people in your travel party.

For trips within the U.S., we love the Liberate ($99.99 w/ contract) because of its blazing fast 4G, all-day battery life and easy-to-use touch screen interface. It can connect up to 10 Wi-Fi-enabled devices. When traveling overseas to technology shows in Europe or Asia, we always rent a hotspot or USB modem from XCom Global, which offers unlimited 3G downloads around the world for only $14.95 per day.

There is nothing better than having a second monitor at your desk for multitasking, so why not get the identical productivity on the road? I always package the 14-inch Lenovo LT1421 in my bag and use it as another display. As an example, I will edit a photograph on a single desktop while I write a news post on the other. Since the 1366 x 768 resolution screen weighs only 1.6 lbs and gets data and power over a single USB connection, I will carry it in my bag and use it from the media centre, my hotel room, or anywhere I have access to a desk.

After this spring, Lenovo is coming out with a new-and-improved model named the ThinkVision LT1423. For $349, the 13.3-inch LT1423 weighs exactly the same as its older brother but provides a sharp 1600 x 900 display and touch / pen support. A wireless version will follow in the summer for $449.

You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much juice. While most external batteries bill USB devices only, the Energizer XP18000 supplies your notebook, phone, tablet or even your camera with a whopping 18,000 extra milliamp hours of additional energy. When walking around a trade show, I slide the XP18000 in my notebook bag’s inner pocket and connect its cable to my laptop so that it could charge as I walk from one place to another. Better still, the battery doubles as an AC adapter, so you can control both it and your laptop over a single link.

The life of a business traveler is filled with multitasking, so why buy the ideal phone for performing two jobs at the same time. Samsung’s Galaxy Notice II ($299 with two-year contract) not only lets you take accurate notes with its stylus, but also lets you to use two applications simultaneously on its huge 5.5-inch screen. By you can even write an email when watching a movie, or you might look at a restaurant review on one side of the screen when looking up instructions in Maps on the opposite side, making it the best mobile job management system to have whilst on holidays. Other highlights include a quad core chip, a quick 8-MP camera along with Samsung’s plethora of special sharing features. On top of that, this super phone lasts over 9 hours on a charge, the longest of any handset we have tested.

Occasionally on a trip, you just need to leave your luggage in your hotel room while you go out to dinner, without leaving all of our gear behind. The Scottevest Fleece 7.0 ($160) has 23 unique pockets, including one that is deep enough to get a tablet computer and another that holds your eye glasses. The sleeves come off to make it easier to wear in warm weather. A new quick draw pocket allows you get your smartphone through the clear touch fabric, and there is even a journey documents pocket with a locking zipper pull.

Sure you could take photographs with your smartphone, but if you require quality photos for a business presentation or, in our case, a news post, you want a DSLR camera. Sony’s mirrorless Alpha NEX-5R not only shoots high quality 16.1-MP shots and 1080p video, but also allows you to instantly share those images via Wi-Fi after editing them with one of those camera embedded programs. Attach a zoom lens to capture close-up photos of the corporate keynote or throw on the macro lens for detailed product photography.

The Best 4WD tracks in Australia

If you are keen on leaving the bitumen to dirt, then these would be the most effective off-road riding tracks in Australia for you. Australia is something of a road-tripper’s fantasy. All you need to do is collect some friends, find a vehicle, make sure you have a dual battery and off you go. Along with the broad, open paved roads, Australia has some of the best off-road riding on the planet.

There are dozens and dozens of outback 4WD paths which lead you through distant deserts, rocky mountain ranges, and swaths of grassland, although not without an obstruction or two. Here’s a list of iconic Aussie off-road experiences which can leave your tyres caked in sand and possibly even some bragging rights to slip into your back pocket.

Canning Stock Route

Location: Wiluna to Halls Creek (WA)

It is famous as one of the planet’s most distant off-road paths, the Canning Stock Route features reward and challenge. After an old stock route, the trail follows a collection of wells once utilized to water livestock, and which now provides trekkers with a water resource. Do not expect to experience emergency or town service centers along the isolated route which crosses through many slopes (the Gibson Desert, Little Sandy Desert, and Great Sandy Desert) and Aboriginal traditional lands.

While solitude might become your priority, because services aren’t accessible, it is not a good idea to travel the Canning Stock Route alone. Travelling with a convoy of 2-4 vehicles is greatest, as the campsites and points of interest along this course are rather modest and are therefore easy to be overcrowded. Additionally, it is crucial to keep your eye on the weather a few weeks before you begin your trip as the northern reaches of this road can become impassable during the Wet, especially in the region surrounding the salt lakes.

Cape York Track / Old Telegraph Track

Location: Cooktown into Seisia (QLD)

The Cape York Track, also called the Old Telegraph Track, guides you through Australia’s tropical northern reaches. It used to be the area’s only line of communication, but now this trail includes numerous river crossings, like the Jardine River and Gunshot Creek, a few of which involve near-vertical exits. It is therefore critical to have all-terrain tyres and ironman suspension and be sure to assess for sturdy healing points before undertaking those crossings. You will find a number of swimming holes to enjoy, such as those at Fruit Bat Falls, Eliot Falls and Twin Falls. Several scenic stop-off points along the road include Old Laura Station, Lakefield National Park, Weipa, Thursday Island and Chili Beach. Even though the river crossings can make advancements on the Cape York Track somewhat slow occasionally, adopt the chance to get intimately familiar with Australia’s ‘Tip’.

Gibb River Road

Location: Kununurra into Derby (WA)

The Gibb River Road traces throughout the Kimberley area, rewarding you with secluded swimming holes, refreshing water gorges, quintessential outback landscapes and sprawling cattle stations. Make sure to permit time to appreciate points of interest like the drops at Mitchell Plateau and the coastal Aboriginal payoff of Kalumburu. Although this route is surely distant, its prevalence will make it a bit busy during the summit. To avoid an excess influx of travellers, you can travel from April to October, but make certain to call ahead to assess road conditions since they are sometimes closed during the rainy season that runs from December through March.

Binns Track

Location: Mt Dare (NT/SA border) to Timber Creek (NT)

This track is known for its diverse terrain because it courses through mountains, deserts and vast plains – make sure you have the hardiest tyres as they will need to withstand sandy slopes, soft riverbeds, jagged stone, bogs, bitumen and bulldust. The track was named after Bill Binns, a NT park ranger who served for 32 years. This trail takes you through the Simpson Desert into Alice Springs, on into the East MacDonnell Ranges and the fossicking haven of Gemtree. Soak up the historical offerings of Tennant Creek before heading into the cattle stations of Barra Country. Maintain weather conditions in mind before you travel and make sure you have a gps navigation for the car, as access through Gregory National Park is frequently limited from December through May.

Victorian High Country and Billy Goats Bluff

Location: Mansfield into Harrietville (VIC)

The Victorian High Country is a unique departure from outback driving. While hard, the area’s towering peaks feature panoramic views as you wind across mountainous ridgelines. You will see a variety of deserted mining towns to explore along the way which you are able to enjoy with an added car seat heater, an aspect of off-roading which offers a new outlook about the conveniences of a modern journey.

It gives you an appreciation for how easy life is today. When you proceed through the Victorian High Country and pass old gold towns that were bustling from the 1920s, however are abandoned now, it’s amazing simply to consider how they got their mining gear up there in the first place, as James Eling has said, an off-road enthusiast with all the 4X4 Earth Australia association. Be mindful that many sections of this area’s 4WD tracks are really steep. Billy Goats Bluff, is known as a particularly hairy track which directs vehicles 250 metres above sea level to 1480m over only 6km, over changing surface states.

Top Travel Tech Accessories

Holidays are fun (hopefully), but getting to the destination and losing out on a few of the creature comforts of home is kind of a drag. Then you need to attempt and keep yourself amused, expect your bag will not get lost, and ensure that you don’t fry your favourite gadget when traveling abroad. The accessories on this list can give you a hand on all those fronts. They will also help you drown out traveling noise, keep your apparatus nice and billed, and assist your phone endure a dip in the water.

A power converter
Don’t fry your electronic equipment when you go abroad. It’s a tiny investment and will help substantially, buy a power converter. Besides its three outlets, this power converter has 4 USB ports, so you don’t need to take up any outlets if you will need to control your phone, tablet or computer. If you are picking one of those up you’ll be all set for travel to Europe, the US, UK, or Australia.

A waterproof Bluetooth speaker
If you are going on a beach holiday, then it is a fantastic idea to bring a waterproof Bluetooth speaker together. You can listen to your favourite songs without worrying about it getting ruined if a big wave comes or it gets left in the rain.

A selfie stick
Selfie sticks have become a constant companion for many world wide travellers. Once paired, you can snap a photo or zoom in or out through the buttons on the rod’s base. Reviewers on Amazon are usually happy with the device’s overall design and build quality, although one lamented the fact that it wasn’t powerful enough to maintain their DSLR despite Fugetek’s claims.

A battery situation
If you are traveling and do not feel like carrying around an external battery, then it may be a great idea to get a battery case for your cell phone. Like I have said before, nothing is worse when traveling than getting your telephone die on you.

A waterproof phone case
If you are going to be around a great deal of beaches and pools on the next trip, it is critical to be certain that you’ve got a case in your telephone that could stand getting wet. We are going to continue to advocate the Lifeproof Fre as the finest waterproof phone case alternative. It’s a small profile and works as advertised: If your telephone requires a dip while in this situation, you won’t need to run for the rice. If you like the notion of having more watertight tech, do not worry, we have got you covered.

Noise-cancelling cans
Engine noise, kids screaming, and chatty row mates are all a part of the contemporary traveling experience. Tuning out them can be the difference between arriving at your destination well rested or very aggravated, which is where noise-cancelling cans become involved.

A bag tracker
If you have ever lost a bag when traveling, you know how tedious and stressful it’s hoping to get it back. Plus there is the thought that it may never be found and your stuff will probably only wind up in a between-airport limbo. Trakdot would like to eliminate that frustration with its palm-sized luggage tracker.

The tracker has a GSM chip inside of it so that you can be kept current on its latest destination (hopefully you are at the exact same one.) This GPS like system can be purchased from any IT service company around your area. When this device is within 30 feet of you, the Trakdot will send your iOS or Android telephone an alert. Reviews of this product seem favourable, but there is one catch: there is an annual, biannual, or lifetime subscription fee. This makes sense since the GSM chip at the Trakdot is doing the same job as it would in a mobile phone, but it is still something to take into account. However, this information and data being stored is safe as it uses private cloud computing services.

A high-capacity external battery
External battery chargers have become popular, but since they get larger in size as well as how much power they supply, many people just have a small one. Do yourself a favour and invest in a slightly bigger, but make sure it has a much higher capacity battery. There is nothing worse than thinking you have sufficient power to get you through a journey, but getting stuck with a horrible layover or missed connection. In addition, this one has two USB ports, so that you may help out a buddy if you are traveling together.

 

Where to Stay on Your Next Holiday

Summer is finally beginning so it is time to get away. Lucky for us we live in a sun soaked, ocean filled country, that we have got so many magnificent beach houses and holiday getaways to choose from. Here is our list of the best, and make sure you get in fast.

Quarterdeck Clifftop, Blairgowrie, VIC
This enormous beach house located in the highpoint of Blairgowrie has views from every room, overlooking the Marina on one side and Port Phillip Bay on the other. There are decks on both levels to watch the boats float along in the open waters of the Bass Strait for their calm port in the bay.

The Ocean Retreat, Falmouth, TAS
Ocean views are one thing, but feeling as though you are hovering above the dramatic waters of the Bass Strait? That is something different. The Ocean Retreat is a glass walled beach house that makes you feel as though you are outside all of the time. The only problem is it is tough to know where to start. Perhaps preparing local delicacies in the chef’s kitchen, lazing on the plush coastal furnishings sunbaking, wading in the heated plunge pool, or even grabbing sunlight on the deck’s chaise lounges? It’s a difficult life.

Wye River, VIC
For an ultra romantic escape from the sea, The Deck House in Wye River is a fantasy. Suspended above a secluded cove of shore, the 180-degree sea views from this house will knock your socks off. The interior style of this magnificent house is to die for, with views of the surrounding beach areas.

Newell Beach, QLD
Located in Boonooloo, this beach house is perfect for any holiday maker. ‘Boonooloo’ means surrounded by water, and the title doesn’t lie; directly on the sea’s edge looking across to Port Douglas, you can jump from the infinity pool and on the sand, run to the waves of the Coral Sea, and then dry off at the palm-shaded hammock on the foreshore. The rooms in this airy wood-clad harbor open up to allow the outside in, and tall glass panels frame the gold beachfront.

Queenscliff, VIC
This house is built on high sand dunes and screened off by tea-trees, by which a private path results in a shimmering stretch of Queenscliff beach. The Dune House’s architect owner specialises in open, contemporary coastal interior design, reflected in the indoor-outdoor feel of the magnificent hideaway where retractable glass doors permit the sea breeze and native gardens in. Outside there is a sumptuous day bed large enough to get a few; enjoy good food and company round the dining table on the deck, and if you have had your fill, lay back on the couch in sunlight.

Tammar Ridge, SA
You are at Tammar Ridge on Kangaroo Island, and this scene is real. A hilltop beach house surrounded by 35-acres, floor-to-ceiling shopfront windows catch the coastal and rural scenery on each side, if lounging, resting your mind or bathing, the stunning views will not escape you. While in a setting that feels totally secluded, you are close enough to partake in all of the gourmet offerings of the island. Though we would suggest picking up supplies in your way because when you arrive, you will want to remain.

Barefoot in Broken Head, Broken Head, NSW
Nestled in rainforest south of the Byron Bay Lighthouse is located Barefoot in Broken Heads. Here, five bedrooms are housed in different Balinese-style buildings connected by walkways and decks, so you can escape to relax whenever you desire. If you can snag it, you will love the egg-shaped bath on the honeymoon suite’s private patio. There is a pathway leading from the home to incredible surf, and you are nearby two of the most deserted and beautiful beaches in the region Bray and Kings, equally hidden down jungle paths. When you are ready to wash off, plunge to the infinity edge plate that flows effortlessly into a 20-metre lap pool.

Gnarabup, WA
With Western Australia’s incredible swells crashing just beyond your doorstep and the Margaret River a 10-minute trip away, this sublimely cool beach house has all of the makings of an exceptional summer retreat. Every room in this spacious home comprises designer furnishings, select artworks, and stunning interior design style. Prop your head across the lap pool’s edge and watch the waves roll in, allowing the Seahorse Beach House work its relaxing magic.

Beachview Bellerive, Hobart, TAS
This trendy Californian style bungalow is only 200 metres from Bellerive Beach. And in enchanting Hobart, you can anticipate the shore won’t be the sole scenery to Look forward to, all of the roads here are lined with outside beautiful heritage buildings. Blossom into super glossy interiors where polished timbers work as a canvas for Designer artworks and furnishings. This trendy beach house, is only a short stroll from Bellerive Village, and a water-taxi can transport one to Salamanca Markets and towns.

Tips for Traveling Solo for Business

We asked expert business travellers like world renowned speakers and entrepreneurs what to do, what to bring and how to make certain that everything goes smoothly on a business trip. Here are their top tips.

1. Tap into networks to minimise solitude

We’re surrounded by hundreds of intriguing people and possible business opportunities in airports and resorts yet business travel remains predominantly a lonely and dull activity, says regular business traveller Cenk Gurz.

His solution to fight the “awkwardness of reaching out” was to install Btrfly, an app which allows business travellers to incorporate their travel programs and job details to share with other people in an identical situation. Users moving to the same conference or event can join via the program and discuss cabs to and from the airport, in addition to making new acquaintances.

 

2. Go remote

Daniel Rowles often travels for work as CEO of Target Web, a digital marketing training firm based in Brighton. He began using Chrome Remote Desktop to keep tabs on his work in the home. This will permit you to log in and use strong office computers from a travel-friendly tablet or low-powered notebook, which can enable you to travel light and maintain expensive equipment secure, he says.

 

3. Schedule in downtime

“When I’m travelling by myself, I schedule low-key activities such as going to a spa and taking a walk in the morning to clear my mind. If I’m with colleagues I always schedule a team-building activity so it doesn’t feel like work,” says electronic marketer and regular traveller Aniesia Williams.

 

Carolyn Pearson, founder of women’s business travel network Maiden Voyages, agrees. If I can tag on a weekend at the start of a business trip, I will make certain I get to my meetings rested and ready to work, in addition to the jet lag, she says. I always make sure I reserve spa treatments ahead of time.

 

4. Use your flight time

Xenios Thrasyvoulou, founder and CEO of PeoplePerHour, utilises the hours of uninterrupted flight time on business trips to clear his thoughts and concentrate on the big picture and mastering mindset. All of us have a to-do listing of things we are putting off till we know we will not be interrupted, and budget clocks are always on top of mine, he says.

 

As well as applying the time for practical items like this, I also set the time aside to write and strategise. It gives me the space and clarity to consider the bigger picture and not just the daily running of the organization.

 

5. Use technology to stay in touch with colleagues

Ted Nash, from tech group AppBox, utilises Slack, Jeri and Google Hangouts to communicate with colleagues while they’re on the street. Wherever a team member is on the planet, we are still able to communicate as a group immediately via Slack, he says. What we like about this tool is it gives us the capability to socialise all in a single place — this assists our ethos of being completely transparent as a staff, and business.

 

Mr Thrasyvoulou, meanwhile, favours WhatsApp for business travel, I really find it the most user-friendly and useful method of keeping in contact when on the move, he says.

 

6. Less is more when packaging

Expert business travellers do not check luggage. Save time with a carry-on and prevent the risk of losing your luggage, says Michael McCormick in the Global Business Travel Association. David Chapple, from the Business Travel Show, recommends using a program like Dufl or AirPortr, meaning that you don’t need to travel with your luggage in any way. No luggage is perfect for business coaches who offer small business coach training as it often leaves them travelling around the country from city to city.

 

7. Eat well to remain healthy

Instead of using business travel for an opportunity to over indulge in all-you-can-eat breakfasts, make certain you care for yourself so you’re in good shape when you return. Skip the junk food in the airport. Forget about Burger King, visit the healthy salad bar next door and get yourself great mix of vegetables and protein together with the dressing on the side.

If you feel like you will need to have something sweet then buy a few squares of chocolate from one of the numerous restaurants, but avoid that giant brownie, advises Jacob Morgan, author of the Worker Experience Benefit and frequent business traveller.

 

8. Choose a home away from home

When travelling for business, it is important to choose accommodation that fosters a sense of community and is not all about work. Giovanni Valentini, General Manager of Staybridge Suites — London Vauxhall states, three times a week we hold an evening reception called ‘The Evening Social’, providing complimentary food and beverages for our guests.

 

We find this is a superb way for those staying with us to network and build strong personal and professional relationships.

There are Five Staybridge Suites situated in business hubs across the UK, offering rooms with fully equipped kitchens so that guests can cook for themselves. Each includes an on-site convenience store known as ‘The Pantry’ along with a 24-hour fitness center and business center so guests can rest and work regardless of the time zone. Any business coach would suggest good work-life balance to improve worker productivity, the same goes for on-the-go business travelers.

NBA Playgrounds Game Review

The new NBA Playgrounds game is an old school type arcade basketball game that is out to play now on Nintendo Switch. It provides two versus two basketball games with any combination of your favourite players.

 

You unlock new players by opening card packs, earned by levelling up. Your players also level up when used in games, increasing their capabilities. And there is little else to it. You are going to have to really love the mechanisms on offer here in order to get anything from NBA Playgrounds.

 

Who’s got a match?

 

This is not a realistic basketball game. Aside from the basketball apparel, players have enormous bobbleheads, jump absurd heights, and gain a power-up after scoring a couple of times or performing tricks.

The controls are rather intensive though. I don’t know an awful lot about basketball, and because of this it took me a while to get used to the controls. They are not very intuitive. However this has been a common theme amongst other reviews, the game developers could have benefited from hiring a software tester to see how this game plays out for someone outside of the developing team.

 

If you are like me and do not really understand what’s happening, your first few games will probably be a fumbling mess as you pass the ball around and desperately attempt to catch some points.

That is easier said than done however. To score, you need to press and hold Y, Releasing at precisely the right moment to find the ideal combination of power and accuracy.

 

It is a fine system, but one who can do with some visual feedback. More often than not I was left wondering just why my shot went or missed in. A pub with a green piece in the center to aim for would help beginners immeasurably.

 

What’s happening?

 

And that is a problem that infects the whole experience – you are never quite sure what’s happening. Why did that swipe miss the ball that time? What do the power-ups do? How do you activate them?

It’s true that you may extensively read the controls until they’re second nature, but that’s no fun in any way. It’s also possible that you may get it quicker if you’re already a fan of basketball, but what about the rest of us?

There is also very little to the experience generally. You can play exhibition matches against the AI or a friend, or participate in tournaments. Both play types are precisely the same, except one unlocks new courts to play exhibition mode in.

 

You cannot even play online, which might be a really major drawback, online play would be the digital transformation an arcade game needs to transform it into a modern hit. I get the feeling the actual highlight of the experience is the multi player option, with you and a buddy working in unison to do some feats of skill.

 

The controls are there to allow this, but unless you’ve got a buddy or two near you, that entire part of the game is inaccessible until multiplayer gets patched in.

 

He shoots he scores?

 

NBA Playgrounds just feels like a half-baked experience that is lacking in content and essential features. It’s also no fun to play if you don’t know what you are doing, which necessitates extensive staring in the control scheme until it is burned onto your mind.

If you’re a massive fan of basketball, or even have friends close by to play multiplayer with, you could just get a kick out of it. Nevertheless, the general lack of content will drive you away from it sooner or later.

 

Just wait till NBA 2k18 comes to Switch if you are hankering for some basketball. We really can’t suggest this in the current state it is in. In the mean time maybe the real deal is the way to go, grab your mates, put on your basketball hoodies and go shoot some hoops while we wait for a better game to come along.

Ways to Help Your Kids Study While Travelling

Hitting the open road, water, or sky this summer for a little bit of family travel time? When you are on the move, your student’s summer study can accidentally get pushed to the back burner. What should you do if school work needs to be done while the family is travelling? When it’s required summer reading, homework from summer courses, or studying of last semester’s materials to keep it fresh in their minds, here are five ways you as a parent can help your student study when travelling:

 

1. Get ready for on-the-go reviews

Organizing In advance is crucial. You don’t need to carry additional bulk when travelling and you really don’t want to neglect a significant part of the study. Speak with your student (or, depending on age, your student’s teacher and English tutor) about what has to be completed and determine the best method to lessen the physical weight of this. Rather than a textbook for reading, have your student make flashcards. Bring one little binder filled with work instead of notebooks for each class. If you have and are bringing an eReader or notebook, see if any of the work can be carried out electronically, a notebook is ideal because if the student gets stuck, they can easily access online tutoring services when there is Wi-Fi. When possible, stay away from heavy textbooks and hard copies (particularly if it’s the only copy) of assignments. You’re bringing the tools so that your student can remain focused on the work — not so you can waste time worrying about dropping or losing school property.

 

2. Determine studying goals

Set Clearly-defined targets before leaving home. Does your student have to read a specific number of pages? Should they review flashcards two times per day? Understanding how much work is involved — and so much has to be completed daily — sets stopping points, which might make the work seem more manageable to your student. Make sure it’s a reasonable amount of work, if you are only spending one day in the Yarra Valley, do you really want your child to be studying on that day when they don’t have much time to enjoy where they are.

 

3. Designate space and time

 

As the Parent, it’s critical you schedule time for required studying when you plan your journey. If work needs to be completed while you’re gone, you will need to keep this in mind before you fill every spare moment with vacation fun. Including a 20-minute study session between your daytime activities and dinner plans might be a logical fit. And do not forget to clear an area for said studying to happen. Whether it’s the kitchen table in Grandma’s house or the desk in a hotel room, find a place and leave your student to their work.

 

4. Take Benefit of downtime

 

Flight delayed? Waiting for different members of the family to get ready? Taking a break so that your toddler can nap? Have your student use unexpected pieces of downtime as analysing time. Studying during breaks in holiday adventures avoids having to miss any fun afterwards!

5. Reward dedication

Just like you surely don’t wish to bring your work on holiday; your child likely is not eager to bring homework on the holiday either. Consider rewarding their dedication to studying with simple travel-related rewards. You don’t need to get a prize simply for performing required school work, but you can ask your child to choose one of the restaurants in yarra valley for supper or choose which museum you’ll visit. Demonstrate to your child how impressed you are with his or her commitment to school!

Designer Shoes To Travel With On Holidays

It’s a dilemma all tourists, male and female, are familiar with: which ankle boots should you take on holidays? As one of the bulkiest products in your travel luggage, some tough decisions remain in order. Can you bare to prioritise useful shoes over knee high boots? Is 3 sets of sneakers a lot? And are your preferred leather boots really worth the blisters after a day sightseeing?

To make sure you’re putting your finest foot forward on your next vacation we have actually sourced Australia’s most fashionable shoe designers and asked to share their favourite footwear with us– as well as which travel destinations they were made to be worn in.

Habbot Studios

Who they are: A high-end series of leather shoes made in Italy and designed in Melbourne by Annie Abbott. The streamlined brand name includes quirky twists of unusual products and colour in classic shoe patterns.

What influences them: According to Abbott, the materials are always the starting point for each new line. Traveling to a leather and fabric producer in Milan twice a year, the designer searches tanneries and fabric houses for noteworthy products that form the basis for each brand-new collection.

Volley

Who they are: Volley is an Aussie brand name that has its roots in tennis, along with skating. High-grade suedes and leathers form the basis of this uber-urban business’s most current shoes collection.

What inspires them: Clean lines, using Volley’s tennis heritage, individualism and Australia’s simple, relaxed lifestyle.

Which shoe to pack: The high-leap Hairy Suede boots and shoes must absolutely make the packing list for a trip to Rome. The basic, fuzzy hi-tops were produced for stomping around the ancient cobblestone streets; they’re the type of shoe you can venture off the beaten path and get lost in.

Squire Shoes

Who they are: Understood for putting coloured footwear on the men’s shoe map in Australia, the Squire Brothers are the brains behind a brand that is everything about instilling convenience in a visually pleasing bundle.

Nina Armando

Who they are: Nina Armando shoes are acknowledged for their strong fashion appeal, as well as for being completely contoured, colourful and easy to wear in their flat boots. The eponymous designer started the brand in 2005.

What’s the next phase for garden centre catering?

It’s no longer enough for garden centres to merely offer catering for functions as an option – the need for permanent catering services are at an all time high and today stores must wow their clientele to stick it out in the catering game.

Improving the calibre of the meals, instead of blindly following trends is what’s important to clients, Hillier managing director Chris Francis, who’s leading a roll out of restaurant updates at Hillier’s 12 garden centres, which began at Newbury in 2016 said of the increasing demand of chef prepared meals.

The shift from grab and go meals off the specials table case doesn’t suggest the offer of microwavable meals is appropriate, however it might suggest re-understanding local produce and how restaurants and cafes can adapt the produce in a healthy, trendy and tasty way.

Over 3 million people in the UK have visited a garden center cafe while grabbing their landscaping needs from the store within the last few months, and it’s showing no signs of slowing. The marketplace, worth £200 million when valued in 2011 by HTA, is expected to improve by around 10% every year.

Belle and Joe’s Kitchen cafe at Timmermans Garden Centre makes just under half of the company’s annual return, based on an overview of its records in March. With over 1,400 garden centres currently providing catering services, specialists within the area state garden centres have to do more to go forward and stick out in the market.

Green Pastures garden center has stormed towards the top of marketplace with this pattern. The Garden Kitchen Diner was built-in 2015 when the company noticed a chance to branch into catering and take home meals.

The Norfolk-based garden center was named winner of the Catering Excellence Award at Horticulture Week’s Garden Retail Awards in February. The restaurant redefines the use of local resources by using produce grown within the farm-house on the property.

Garden centres are adding extra catering places to handle customer flow. An expense- effective method of doing this is through the use of mobile catering services or pop up stores.

Timmermans Garden Centre found an alternate way to handle customer demand with no inclusion of the second area. The Timmermans sold a classic path-master coach, to extend Belle and Joe’s Kitchen with the inclusion of a landscaping design that allows for an outdoor eating area as well.

The expansion, that has an approximate budget of £75,000-100,000 increases seat covers by 50%. The path-master coach has partly funded the project. Timmerman believes that the expansion may be the correct choice for that garden center to handle customer demand since the restaurant is really popular; adding another food outlet to the centre might be a waste of money.

 

Merchants don’t have to put money into making a pop up catering company but may still produce revenue and manage demand. Garden centres may outsource and obtain rental revenue from the pop up caterer which could quickly put up within the car park.

To capitalise best from the restaurants spaces, business owners should think about increasing the hours of the cafe beyond the opening times of the garden centre itself if it’s possible. There’s a missed chance to open catering services during the night, you wouldn’t find a high street cafe open only a couple hours each day, why would a garden center cafe close early? Obviously, everything depends upon the interior logistics of the centre but when the space allows for it than it’s an excellent opportunity.

The Gardeners Kitchen has tried staying open later with regular themed evening meals. These fine dining nights attract diners and can include live entertainment.

Stewart believes there’s large possibility of garden centre restaurants to remain open later, but only when restaurants opt to do this throughout the whole week. Since the facilities already exist, it makes much more sense to utilise what’s there rather than opening a new pop up store or truck.

The lunch time rush is something all catering services can understand. These are the crucial intervals where the garden center is most active. Providing longer services might help control visiting times and offers on the garden centre may help bring in people.

The rise of garden centre dining popularity is something that all centres’ can capitalise on, and so they should. Garden centres provide a unique area for dining that restaurants and cafes just can’t offer. Have you ever seen a cafe with a travel crate full of plants?

 

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