Texas Senate readies to pass bathroom bill and others by end of week

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick presides over the Texas Senate on the second day of a special session ordered by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, July 19, 2017.Click through our gallery that details some of the things you should know about the 'bathroom bill'... Photo: Eric Gay, STF / The Advocate

An early morning start had the Texas Senate on track to pass out all 20 of Gov. Greg Abbott’s priority items by the end of the second week of the session.

After a rare midnight session Thursday and a weekend of around the clock committee meetings, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, had dozens of bills primed to be heard on the Senate floor over the next three days starting at 9 a.m. Monday. That includes bills dealing with highly controversial issues like abortion, transgender bathroom policies, school vouchers and tree ordinances.

DEBATE: 10 hours of public testimony in Austin over ‘Bathroom Bill’

But while the Senate plows through the agenda with Patrick’s promise to pass all of them by week’s end, the prospects of each in the House remains in doubt. House Speaker Joe Straus and the House met for less than 2 hours all of last week and have yet to pass out the one bill considered must pass — a bill reauthorizing the Texas Medical Board and four other agencies. That bill cleared the Senate early Thursday morning.

Though “bathroom bills” targeting transgender people fizzled in deep-red states across the U.S., the issue continues to be white hot in Texas. The Legislature is heading into special session prepared to revive it, and conservative groups are vowing revenge on Republican lawmakers who don’t approve it.

Media: WochIt Media

The Legislature’s regular session ended in May, but Abbott forced lawmakers back into a 30-day special session to restore the Texas Medical Board and the other boards. But he said last week that if he was going to call the lawmakers back, he was going to make it count.

OPPOSITION: Turner tells lawmakers ‘bathroom bill’ tries to solve non-existent problem

That has meant adding 19 other items to the special session call that are mostly celebrated by conservative groups, such as the bathroom bill, which would bar schools and local governments from enacting transgender bathroom policies and instead give the state full authority to set the rules. On Friday, a Senate committee overwhelming passed a bill that would require all people to use the bathroom of the sex that is listed on their birth certificates.

That legislation and other controversial items had hundreds of people filling the Texas Capitol over the last seven days, mostly in protest against the conservative agenda that Abbott has lined out.

[Source”pcworld”]

Delay by Railways in electrification projects, says CAG

Photo: Shutterstock

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) came down heavily on the Railways for the delay in processing, assigning and completing the projects for electrification.

It also said that the Railways did not adopt the e-tendering system to reduce the tender processing period.

The CAG in its report, which was tabled in Parliament on Friday said it had done an audit on the 14 completed projects, 15 ongoing projects and seven new projects for detailed examination.

In its report, the CAG said: “The objective of saving time for deciding whether or not to take up a section for the railway electrification is not being fulfilled due to delays in processing the proposals and preparation of abstract estimates, which was up to 59 months in 24 projects.”

The CAG report also pointed out that variations of six per cent to 62 per cent between the abstract and detailed estimates indicated that the system of abstract estimates were hardly adding value to the process.

“The percentage variation was more than 40 per cent in respect of Karepalli-Bhadrachalam, Shakurbasti-Rohtak, Jhansi-Kanpur, Barauni-Katihar-Guwahati and Gunatakal-Kallur projects,” the central auditor said.

The CAG also highlighted that delays were noticed in assigning the electrification projects to agencies by the Railways Board after inclusion of the electrification projects in the annual works programme.

“There were delays up to 337 days in 17 projects in case of Central Organisation for Railways Electrification (CORE) and in case of Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), the delays were up to 202 days in six projects,” the CAG said.

“Further delays were also noticed in assigning project to their Chief Project Directors by CORE and RVNL, which was up to 229 days and 40 days respectively,” it added.

Rapping the Railways, the CAG said that there were delays in the approval of the detailed estimates upto 35 months in 27 projects assigned to CORE and upto 18 months in seven projects assigned to RVNL.

The CAG said that the e-tendering system which helped in reducing the tender process was not adopted in the case of CORE and RVNL.

“The time taken for the issue of notice inviting tender (NIT) after sanction of detailed estimates was upto 3,177 days in 27 projects assigned to CORE and up to 915 days in 12 tenders in seven projects assigned to RVNL,” it said in its report.

The CAG then said that it was evident that the tenders were processed without giving due regard to the objective of the completion of the project in time.

[Source:-businessinsider]

‘Rocko’s Modern Life’ Revival First Teaser Unveiled by Nickelodeon

JULY 20, 2017 | 04:43PM PT

Rocko, I have a feeling we’re not in the ’90s anymore.

Nickelodeon released a first look at the reboot of its beloved cartoon “Rocko’s Modern Life” at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday afternoon during the show’s panel. The clip features voice actors Carlos Alazraqui, Tom Kenny, Doug Lawrence and Charlie Adler.

“Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling” picks up with Rocko, Heffer, and Filburt’s return back to Earth after being blasted into outer space in 1996. The teaser shows Rocko and his crew embracing (or at least trying to embrace) the modern world for the first time — technology and all.

Back in their home of O-Town, the trio is introduced to now long-adapted traditions, including iPhones, social media, food trucks, energy drinks, and 3D printers. While his friends adapt to the new social and technological realities of the modern age, Rocko clings to his nostalgia for the past, believing it can save him from the tortures of present day.

“The 21st century is a very dangerous century,” a frazzled Rocko concludes.

The reboot reunites creator Joe Murray and the entire original voice cast, along with director Cosmo Segurson, for the TV movie special slated to air on Nickelodeon in 2018.

[Source”pcworld”]

GST impact: Prices of home appliances may go up by 1-2%

Consumer durables industry is expecting only a marginal price revision despite the category being placed under the highest tax slab of 28 per cent under GST, as players look forward to the festive season in the coming months.

The festive season accounts up to 35 per cent of the consumer durables sales.

“In the short-to mid-term, I see the fundamentals remaining the same. Though consumer durables industry is being taxed at 28 per cent, which is slightly more than what the previous tax structure, I don’t anticipate any major price increases in the coming months,” BSH Household Appliances MD Gunjan Srivastava told PTI.

Tax rate for the sector was around 25-27 per cent, which has been hiked to 28 per cent under GST.

“I expect the prices to remain constant at least in the initial period before people understand how much is the additional cost. But, that would take some time for people to accurately measure. We are also approaching the festival season, so the industry will like to moderate it,” he added.

Godrej Appliances business head Kamal Nandi expects prices to go up by 1-2 per cent which could impact demand in the short-run, but expects it to pick up during the festive season.

“Home appliances have become a necessity now with evolving consumer lifestyle and a lower tax slab would have made appliances more affordable in a low-penetrated market.

“With 28 per cent tax under the GST, we expect the consumer prices of home appliances to marginally go up by 1-2 per cent. This could have an impact on demand in the short-run,” he said.

“Normal monsoon and the resultant boost to the agricultural economy and hike in allowances to government employees will propel demand during the forthcoming festive season,” he added.

Panasonic India Chief Financial Officer Manish Gupta said they expect a revision in the prices of select category.

“We are expecting the primary sales to retailers from companies to pick up from the second week of July,” he said.

[Source”timesofindia”]

How to create a year-round garden:take a tour of the ultimate ‘outdoor room’ designed by Abigail Ahern

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With a coffee table overhung with a chandelier, a snug two-seater and curvy armchairs ranged around a fireplace, as well as a kitchen and dining table, Abigail Ahern’s back garden has to be the ultimate outdoor room.

When she moved to Hackney with husband Graham 13 years ago, Ahern, an accomplished interior designer but a self-confessed non-gardener, approached the outside space with caution. “At first I did what everybody else did, and had stuff down the perimeter and nothing in the middle,” she says, “but as I became more confident, I realised the same principles I applied to inside could apply to the outside.

“One of these is that you never have everything on the perimeter. I like to design interiors so you can’t walk in a straight line from one end of the room to the other, because there’s always something in your way. It’s the difference between walking in a field, where you can see all around you which is really boring, or in a forest, where you’re not sure what’s around the next corner. That’s what I wanted to do here.”

This atmospheric retreat, with weathered decking, leafy tree canopies and stashes of logs for fires indoors and out, looks like it was built in the heart of a forest. That is, if it weren’t for the cowboy cacti — realistic fakes that Ahern sells in her Islington shop and has tucked in among the hydrangea bushes, adding a touch of Santa Fe to the patio — and the petrol blue cabin at the rear, a £100 eBay find upcycled by Graham.

The roomy patio with York stone paving looks as cosy as the living room on the other side of the huge, two-storey glass doors. Another Ahern design principle is to supersize features and furniture to make a space look larger, so naturally, as well as chandeliers in every room of the house, an outsize chandelier of tiered driftwood pieces hangs over the black lacquer coffee table.

Lighting is a game changer, indoors and out, says Ahern. “I have a problem finding outdoor lights I like, so I put indoor lights outside, and have them professionally rewired.” These include a standard lamp and a Sixties pendant shade, while the bonus of overhanging electric cable is that the mile-a-minute vine scrambles along it, creating playful garlands of green above the patio.

To the right of the patio-cum-sittingroom is the dining area, defined by an Indian zinc-topped table from Petersham Nurseries and a customised concrete kitchen from Dutch company WWOO.

“The company customised the kitchen to fit around the Big Green Egg, a barbecue cooker I’m obsessed with ever since I designed a set for a TV programme with Heston Blumenthal, who uses it all the time. You can bake on it, roast with it and it’s all temperature controlled. We put something in on a Saturday morning, slow cook it for 10 hours and come back in the evening and supper’s ready. We even cook the Christmas turkey on it.”

Playing with different textures is a big part of Ahern’s design philosophy, and is apparent in her choice of materials in both hardscape and planting. The decked garden path that leads down to the cabin is a clever fake from Millboard that resembles old, weather-worn oak timber, and is edged down either side with a deep ruff of variegated tufted grass Carex oshimensis Everest.

Pebbles — another textural contrast — are her choice of flooring on either side, giving Ahern the freedom to gradually plant both areas over time. On one side is a wall of rustling bamboo, which she planted so she could look down from her bedroom window and enjoy the constant movement, and on the opposite wall, a sheet of evergreen jasmine. “We planted about 20 tiny plants and now the scent of the flowers in summer is beautiful,” she says. “I’m mad about watering all the time to make them cover the wall.”

 

[Source:- homesandproperty]

 

Sofa with Delicate Curves – Valentim by DAM

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Valentim is a newest product of DAM, sofa that refers to the nostalgia of the serenades dedicated to a maiden at the balcony. Be in walnut or oak, the Valentim sofa is available in key colors to make sure you feel sheltered by exceptional fabrics in inspiring and relaxing colors. Let’s take a look at the four colors of the Fame fabric by Gabriel for the upholstery.

The color Baby Blue evokes the sky and reflects a sense of order and peace. The Shy Blue enhance the idea of freshness and wellness. The color Retro Pink is a reminiscent of the sunset, carrying us to a mystical atmosphere. The Elegant Gray is a serene and sophisticated color. Select the Valentim sofa according to your mood and attitude and blend with other colours into a pleasing combination.

 

 

[Source:- Interirozine]

Be inspired by Jonathan Adler’s iconic redesign of the Parker Palm Springs

Our first look inside designer Jonathan Adler’s first foray into public art is stylish, cool and absolutely fabulous. Along with the redesign of the Parker Palm Springs, Jonathan’s work spans myriad of categories, from pots to swanky sofas. In less than 20 years he’s opened nearly 30 stores.

The home decor expert refurbished the luxurious hotel with his signature flourishes and a vibrant and playful colour palette.

‘This hotel is a psychedelic passion project that has been part of my life for over a decade. When it came to refreshing the vibe I wanted The Parker to stay groovy but feel new.’

[Source:- IH]

Beautiful Lighting Structure by Mariam Ayvazyan

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The slightly curved wooden frame of this ceiling light is enclosing white flowers, made of felted wool creating a beautiful structure that represents minimalist and clean aesthetics from nature. The LED lights, enclosed in crystal and hung on thick red wires, glow vibrantly, achieving a delicate lacy pattern on the ceiling. Different shapes of the flowers create romantic and joyful atmosphere by gently filtering the light that shines through the crystal.

These fixtures will suit anyone who loves both modern or retro design. Materials: LED lights enclosed in crystal, curved wooden frame, felted wool flowers. Handmade by Mariam Ayvazyan where I assemble the fixture with my very own hands.

 

 

[Source:- Interiorzine]

 

Furniture Meets Light: Empty by VIBIA

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EMPTY was designed by Xuclà, its rational structure, and architectonic language are combined in a sophisticated manner for outdoor spaces both green and urban settings. EMPTY achieves this complete spatial integration thanks to its simple straight lines, acting as either auxiliary table or stool while encouraging moments of pause and relaxation.

Through its use of LED light sources located in a non-visible internal part of its structure EMPTY becomes a beacon that provides a pleasant lighting effect and point source for outdoors areas.

 

 

[Source:- Interiorzine]

 

3D Printed Cubic Light by Mariam Ayvazyan

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This cubical table lamp is printed on a 3D printer and presents a complex geometrical structure of crystal lattice. Arrays of regularly spaced interconnected white spheres are increasing in size diagonally. Inside the Cube, there is a cluster of LED lights. This structure diffuses the light creating soft and intimate atmosphere. Could be customized in any size and color.

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[Source:- Interiorzine]