Fudgetastic

Fudge — we’ve all heard of it and many of us have tasted it. Invented in the 17th century the word fudge was a verb meaning ‘to fit together — clumsily’. Not long after ‘fudge’ made it into popular English vocabulary and is still used to this day, often as a supplementary expletive for other, more offensive cuss words. Created by complete accident, fudge, much like many discoveries of yesteryear, was created as a result of a botched attempt to make caramel.

Despite its popularity in the 1600s, this treat wasn’t mass produced until the 1800s, almost 20 years following its discovery. What’s more, some claim that the US version of the confectionery is a descendant of a Scottish treat, which is harder in texture and less rich… but this remains wide open for debate. (For more coverage on the subject, please see our affiliate’s — cordish companies — report on the subject.)

What’s all the fuss about? National fudge day is almost upon us. Set to kick off on 5 July, the masses will be spoiled for choice by all participating sweet shops and confectionery vendors. This year, sweet makers will be pioneering new twists on the popular sweet, so keep an eye out for something special. Elite fudgers will compete in the world’s only title, which marks the victor as the best fudge maker in the world! Last year’s winner sported a bold and interesting flavor combination, which included pistachio nuts, cheese, blue berries, and caramel. Despite it’s sound, this spin on the popular treat won John Douglas from Douglas treats the opportunity to make his award-winning treat for the president of the united states.
All attendees of this year’s event will be hoping for his return (not including the competition), to see what he has in store this year.

Wet wipes, a sewers worst enemy!

What most people don’t know about London, is that the sewage system was mostly developed by the Victorians in the 19th century. This was their solution to increases in disease an infection as London swelled in size due to an economic boom, resulted in an increase in population. The river was, for all intents and purposes, an exposed sewer back then. All waste, human and otherwise, went into the river. What made matters worse, is that the same water was being used for industry and sanitation.

As with most Victorian structures, London’s sewers were generously over engineered. As of this day, the original infrastructure remains unaltered and is simply maintained as it is fit for purpose and probably will be for many years to come. We had the opportunity to talk with John Adams from Drainage survey London, who said:

‘I’m not sure if it is by luck or design… however, the way the Victorian section of London’s sewers is a marvel of engineering. By today’s standards it is still exceptional and is on a par with our ideal for a sewage system. To think the network was built more than 100 years ago is mind boggling for some like me. For use, it makes our job easier to maintain.’
John continued to detail the finer points of the system. One thing that readers should note however — wet wipes (like those used to wipe children’s bottoms) are the sewage system’s worst enemy. More akin to plastic than paper, these wipes do not break down in water, and block drains fast. John attributes 90 percent of his wok to the removal of such things. From the end of this month, London council will be running a campaign to raise awareness among wet-wipe users in an attempt to reduce the cost (some £4 million per year) of removing these annoyances from the sewage system.

SEO Expo

Founded in 1998, Google has become the largest provider of internet search provider in the world. With over $50 billion in annual revenue, Google’s innovative and perpetually cutting-edge search algorithm delivers the world over the most relevant search results for any given term. What’s more, Google’s business model centers around revenue generation through paid advertising.

This is all good in theory… but Google in inadvertently spawned a multi-million dollar industry that specializes in manipulating their algorithms. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is big business; it comes in many flavors… but primary it is used as a means of ‘gaming’ Google’s system for monetary gain in some form or other.

Every year SEO professionals get together at the biggest gathering in its industry–the houston seo expert convention. At this event SEO professional network and discus everything from Google’s algorithm updates, up-and-coming changes, affiliate marketing, local SEO, and much more.

Houston Expo

What makes this event special (other than being the largest of its kind) are the big players in SEO. People like Kotton Grammer, Alex Becker and other attend the event. Group thought leadership sessions are performed where professionals can get to grips with the latest techniques to improve their craft.

Other affiliated events are hosted throughout the year for those who are unable to make the main event. Locations change, however there is usually one extra event held on the U.S. west coast, while the others are topically located in the north and east coast. Ticket prices vary dependent on memberships and other factors. However, expect to pay circa $50 for one day entry or $75 for the weekend pass.

Progress for health and safety in Auz

Things are changing down under! The federal government has made a host of changes that have a significant implications among the building/tradesman sector.

From October of this year tighter regulations are aimed at improving health and safety standards, while holding home-improvement professionals more accountable for damages and injury. Arguably long overdue, injury law in Australia is one of the most neglected in the Asia-Pacific region. What’s more, it is steadily becoming common place for building contractors to take advantage of lax laws by doing substandard work and leaving projects in an unsafe state.

Changes were inevitable and, following a damming report from a government enquiry into national incidents of related injuries and deaths, a raft of legislative improvements were made.

So what is to be expected? We’ve taken the liberty to summarize the winners an losers from the recent changes:

Winners
Electricians and related small enterprises (like those found on http://snowman.com.au/electrical) benefit from more rigorous checks. A blessing in disguise, this is likely to drive out cowboy and rogue traders. Similarly, standards have increased, which puts the more qualified electricians in demand. The consumer benefits from decreased risk of injury through substandard work and access to well-trained electric professionals.

Losers
On the other side of the argument, the consumer will now pay a significant premium for skilled labor. This will be in stark contrast to today’s prices. Arguably, increased labor costs will have wider effects on the building trade and the economy. However, despite the predictions of some of the nations leading economists, this is all speculation that is no precedent and has little basis in fact.

We have focused on the biggest area of change; it’s worth noting that other trades will be affected and we encourage readers to do their own research to understand how they might be affected.

Keeping it apart — meant for travelers

As of writing this, there are more than 5 million business travelers and expatriates the world over. Consider that this statistic does not include holiday makers, it puts into consideration the sheer volume of business travelers.

A regular challenge for such folk is to find the best accommodation apartments. Options vary from location to vary, as do standards, so what is the average traveler to do? The temporary accommodation industry is catching up with people’s needs and has discovered a niche in the market. Set to go live towards the end of this year is a new, innovative temporary-accommodation website, which is being specifically designed to cater for business travelers and expats. It will be called Travel Com. More details are to follow, but were able to get a few pieces of information from the London-based founder.

This will be a Web-based service, which will be funded through both private and corporate subscriptions. This platform will host a comprehensive array of temporary accommodation services providers. Information included will be location, available rooms options, prices and a few other details. Convenient and easy to use, clients will be able to log in and see the best choice for their location. Preferential prices and offers will be available to customers… however, the best feature is the live-pricing system. The owner was hesitant to tell us more about it. However, it sounds like some form of bidding system. Our guess is that users will complete their travel details, which will be uploaded to the system. Prospective service providers will then post their room rates to attract the  business. A very cleaver platform if they can pull it off… this systems leverages Travel Com’s customer volumes and drives competition within the market to achieve competitive pricing — very shrewd indeed. That’s all we have for now, check back for updates as they emerge.

A marriage of fashion

There’s nothing new about weddings and we all now that the majority of you are likely to get married at least once in your lifetime. We’re not trying to be facetious… the stark truth is that many of us choose to marry more than once. There’s no denying that divorce is now a socially accepted norm with the legal system catering to an increasing demand. But as the Black Eyed Peas once said… where is the love?

You’ll be happy to know that many of use choose to marry and stay married… but is the real story here? The news that’s on everyone’s lips is the latest wedding trends. With today’s wedding market offering infinite choice to prospective buyers looking to create a tailor-made wedding experience that is unique and in line with their wants, is it any wonder that wedding fashion is a thing?

Take wedding venue north shore ltd. These guys specialize in everything from wedding venues to accessories, to dresses, suites, food… you name it, they do it. So what is the latest wedding craze? We met up with WVNS’ managing director — Paul Savory — to find out.

“With weddings, the sky really is the limit when it comes to budgets. The trick is balancing the needs of the couple with available funds. With that being said, we’re seeing a move away from the more traditional settings in favor of more ‘bling-like’ events.”

Yes… ‘bling-like’ has just become a word. Paul continued:

“If you’re looking to create your own wedding in the season’s current trend, we recommend going for colorful, extravagant and loud decorations and flowers. Similarly, a floral setting is very popular, so a summer wedding is a must. However, be prepared to pay a premium… as we know very well that everyone wants to get married in the summer.”