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Elevator Fee Forces Children to Climb 22 Floors for Lunch

Elevator Fee Forces Children to Climb 22 Floors for Lunch

A building’s elevator fee is preventing school children from reaching lunch

Wikimedia/Chris McKenna

Primary school students have been forced to walk up 22 flights of stairs for lunch since the building started charging an elevator fee.

A building’s management company was so tired of people using their elevators that they started charging for rides, but now schoolchildren have to climb several flights of stairs to get to lunch.

According to Shanghaiist, the building is a residential building in Kunming, in Southwest China, with restaurants that serve primary school lunches on floors five, 20, and 22. Because of the restaurants, there were so many children going up and down every day that the building decided to start charging 5 yuan, or 80 cents, to ride the elevator. Building management says the fee is to cover maintenance on the elevators, which require more service because of the traffic. But as a result of the charge, many elementary school children are being forced to climb 22 flights of stairs every day before lunch. That’s a lot for little kids, who are reportedly frequently reduced to tears by the effort.

Parents are upset by the charge, but it is reportedly legal for the building management to charge an elevator fee. Police say the main goal is probably to chase away the restaurants, but if the children are climbing for lunch, it does not sound like the fee has cost the restaurants’ business yet. The restaurants have reportedly been negotiating with the building, and the fee has been temporarily canceled while discussions take place.


Nero Wolfe

Nero Wolfe is a fictional character, a brilliant, oversized, eccentric armchair detective created in 1934 by American mystery writer Rex Stout. Wolfe was born in Montenegro and keeps his past murky. He lives in a luxurious brownstone on West 35th Street in New York City, and he is loath to leave his home for business or anything that would keep him from reading his books, tending his orchids, or eating the gourmet meals prepared by his chef, Fritz Brenner. Archie Goodwin, Wolfe's sharp-witted, dapper young confidential assistant with an eye for attractive women, narrates the cases and does the legwork for the detective genius.

Stout published 33 novels and 41 novellas and short stories featuring Wolfe from 1934 to 1975, with most of them set in New York City. The stories have been adapted for film, radio, television and the stage. The Nero Wolfe corpus was nominated for Best Mystery Series of the Century at Bouchercon 2000, the world's largest mystery convention, and Rex Stout was a nominee for Best Mystery Writer of the Century.


How School Lunch Became the Latest Political Battleground

The lunch ladies loved Marshall Matz. For more than 30 years, he worked the halls and back rooms of Washington for the 55,000 dues-paying members of the School Nutrition Association, the men and still mostly women who run America’s school-lunch programs. They weren’t his firm’s biggest clients — that would have been companies like General Mills or Kraft — but Matz, wry and impish even in his late 60s, lavished the lunch ladies with the kind of respect they didn’t always get in school cafeterias. Many of the association’s members considered him a dear colleague. “He would tell everybody: ‘You are a much better lobbyist than I am. You are how we get things done,’ ” said Dorothy Caldwell, who served a term as the association’s president in the early 1990s. “And people liked that.”

Matz often told the lunch ladies they were front-line warriors in the battle for better eating, and they liked that too. Every school day, they dished out more than 30 million lunches, all of which were subsidized by taxpayers. They also served about 13 million subsidized breakfasts. Many students got more than half their daily calories at school. Few workers, inside the government or out, did more to shape the health of children.

So when Michelle Obama started Let’s Move!, her campaign against child obesity, in 2010, the members of the School Nutrition Association were her natural allies. The average weight of the American child had been climbing at an alarming rate since the 1980s, and now one in three American kids was obese or overweight. One recent study found that by 2030 more than half the adult population would be dangerously overweight, leading to millions of cases of diabetes, stroke and heart disease. Researchers at the Institute of Medicine, meanwhile, were finishing new recommendations to bring school meals into compliance with national dietary guidelines, and Congress was about to reauthorize the school-lunch program. This gave the White House an opening. If there was a war to fight against childhood obesity, then school cafeterias would be a perfect place to wage it.

That year, the Obama administration got behind the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, an ambitious bill that would impose strict new nutrition standards on all food sold in public schools. A generation raised on Lunchables and Pizza Hut, the bill’s authors believed, could learn to love whole-wheat pasta and roasted cauliflower. Kids would be more energetic, better able to focus in class and above all less likely to be obese. But to pass the bill, the White House needed to enlist not only Democrats and Republicans in Congress but also a host of overlapping and competing interest groups: the manufacturers who supplied food to schools, the nutrition experts who wanted it to be more healthful and the lunch ladies who would have to get children to eat it.

Few people understood how to accomplish those trade-offs better than Marshall Matz, in part because he embodied them. He spent his early career advising Senator George McGovern, a Democrat who led efforts in the 1970s and 1980s to defend and expand federal nutrition programs. Matz worked for major food interests, but he still considered himself a nutrition advocate. He advised the Obama campaign on agricultural issues and even helped one of the School Nutrition Association’s former presidents get a post in the new administration. He prized his access to the White House but believed deeply, his friends in Washington told me, that bipartisanship in Congress was what allowed the school-lunch program to endure.

To Matz, it seemed clear that a bargain could be struck. He advised the lunch ladies — a term that almost nobody in Washington uses in public and almost everyone uses in private — to support the legislation, even though it did not provide as much money as they wanted. Under pressure to show concern about child obesity, food companies backed it, too: With $4.5 billion in new funding over the next 10 years, the bill did provide plenty of new business, and their lobbyists could always massage the details later. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act became law in 2010, with overwhelming support in Congress.

But as the government began turning the broad guidelines into specific rules — specific rules with specific consequences for specific players — life became more difficult. What began as a war on obesity turned into war among onetime allies. Republicans now attack the new rules as a nanny-state intrusion by the finger-wagging first lady. Food companies, arguing that the new standards are too severe, have spent millions of dollars lobbying to slow or change them. Some students have voted with their forks, refusing to eat meals they say taste terrible.

Last summer, the School Nutrition Association dumped Matz. In the small world of Washington food lobbyists, the decision provoked unending gossip and speculation. Matz said little about the sudden turn, even to friends. “I was not happy,” Dorothy Caldwell recalled. Several longtime members pressed the association’s professional staff for more information with little luck, and the answer soon became clear to them: The lunch ladies were taking sides, too.

Today the School Nutrition Association is Washington’s loudest and most public critic of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Even as they claim to support the act, the lunch ladies have become the shock troops in a sometimes absurdly complex battle to roll back the Obama’s administration’s anti-obesity agenda. Some Democrats in Congress fear that if Republicans win control of the Senate this fall, Obama’s reform will be gutted within a year — and with it, the government’s single-best weapon against childhood obesity. “It’s a war of attrition at this point,” one congressional aide told me. “Right now we’re in that phase where you’re fighting a rear-guard action to hold on to as much territory as you can.”

The federal school-lunch program has always invited martial metaphors, and not without reason: It was the U.S. military that first advanced the national-security implications of a healthful lunch. In the spring of 1945, at the dawn of the Cold War, Gen. Lewis B. Hershey, a former school principal who joined the armed forces before World War I, went in front of the House Agriculture Committee to deliver a stern warning. Hershey headed the Selective Service System — the draft — and he told the lawmakers that as many as 40 percent of rejected draftees had been turned away owing to poor diets. “Whether we are going to have war or not, I do think that we have got to have health if we are going to survive,” he testified.

Within a year, a majority of lawmakers from both parties had voted for the National School Lunch Act. The act declared it “the policy of Congress, as a measure of national security, to safeguard the health and well-being of the nation’s children.” In the way of many programs inspired by the Department of Defense, the School Lunch Program grew in large part because it offered something to everyone. Over the coming decades, the Department of Agriculture would send billions of dollars to states and school districts to help cover the costs of school meals and spend billions more to purchase surplus farm products for the schools. The program was expanded significantly under Richard Nixon, who sought to ensure that poor children got their school lunches free, and by the mid-1970s it fed 25 million kids.

Jimmy Carter made minor cuts to school-lunch subsidies in his last year in office, and Ronald Reagan, arguing that government shouldn’t subsidize meals for children who could afford to pay, made even deeper cuts. His administration also modified the dietary requirements: Among other changes, some condiments could be credited as vegetables. Opponents of the cuts quickly pointed out that, under the regulations, even ketchup could qualify — an observation that led to considerable derision in the press.

Image

The condiment rule did not last, nor did Reagan’s cuts. But they did help accelerate a major transformation in how schools provided food. Most districts require food service to earn enough revenue to cover expenses, including labor. The average school-nutrition director is not unlike the chief executive of a medium-size catering business, but with a school for a landlord and a menu regulated by the government. With lower subsidies, the lunch ladies needed cheaper calories, and they turned to the increasingly efficient processed-food industry to find them. School cafeterias also began to rely more on revenue from so-called competitive foods — snacks and lunches that are not regulated by federal guidelines and “compete” with the regular school lunch on cafeteria à la carte lines. Some districts even struck deals with McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A and other fast-food chains to sell versions of their commercial products directly to school kitchens.

The kids loved it — and so, more or less, did the lunch ladies. The food industry made their programs hum, made it possible to serve hundreds or thousands of meals, often without working kitchens, in lunch periods as short as 25 minutes. Big food companies became partners in every way: Most held associate memberships in the School Nutrition Association and helped finance it with industry advertising and membership fees.

Nutritionists were less happy with the status quo. Instead of exposing children to a variety of foods, school lunches tended to indulge their cravings. There were plenty of white rolls and French fries but not many leafy dark greens or whole grains. Even after many school-food companies made strides in reducing fat and salt in their products, the average school lunch in 2009 still contained 1,375 milligrams of sodium, almost twice as much as federal dietary guidelines recommend for a single meal. Worst of all, competitive foods — most often desserts, salty snacks and pizza — were adding an extra 277 calories a day to the diets of the children who bought them.

In one sense, the school-lunch program was all too successful. No longer was the military having trouble finding well-fed young American men and women. By 2009, according to the Department of Defense, more recruits were being turned away for obesity than for any other medical reason. The recruits, as a letter signed by dozens of retired generals and admirals put it, were “too fat to fight.”

The first shot in the Cafeteria Wars was fired in January 2011. That was when, under the terms of the new law, a team of dietitians, economists and nutritionists at the Department of Agriculture released the revised meal pattern for school breakfasts and lunches. The rules outlined just what schools — and, by extension, their suppliers — would have to do to continue receiving government subsidies. Both groups were struck by just how aggressive the new rules were. Within a few years, schools would need to switch all of their breads and pastas to whole-grain varieties. Within a decade, the average salt content of a high-school lunch would have to be cut by roughly half. When the school year began in fall 2012, lunches would have to offer twice as many fruits and vegetables, and students would be required to take at least half of them. At the same time, plates had to have fewer “starchy vegetables,” obvious code words for French fries.

The starchy-vegetable lobby was quick to take offense. “We didn’t find favor with efforts to paint certain vegetables as, for unspecified reasons, less healthy than other vegetables,” was how Kraig R. Naasz, the head of the American Frozen Food Institute, which represents about 500 makers of frozen foods and vegetables, explained it. The potato and frozen-food lobbies mobilized, orchestrating waves of letters from lawmakers to Tom Vilsack, the agriculture secretary, that extolled the potato’s low cost and high potassium content. When Vilsack went before the Senate to discuss his budget request for the year, Senator Susan Collins of Maine, a state that is one of the country’s largest producers of spuds, marched into the hearing holding a potato in one hand and a head of iceberg lettuce — no one’s idea of a nutrient-dense vegetable — in the other. “My question, Mr. Secretary,” Collins asked, “is: What does the department have against potatoes?”

This, meanwhile, was a minor skirmish compared with the battle over pizza sauce. Pizza is one of the school-food companies’ most popular products schools purchase more than $450 million worth every year. Under the old rules, companies could market pizza slices as a product combining grains, protein and a full serving of vegetables. This was possible thanks to a longstanding loophole: Rather than count the two tablespoons of tomato paste on a serving of pizza as two tablespoons of tomato paste, they could count it as eight tablespoons of tomatoes, the theory being that at some point before being processed, the two tablespoons had existed in the form of several whole tomatoes.

The new rule counted two tablespoons of tomato paste as two tablespoons of tomato paste, no more — a change that got the full attention of the Schwan Food Company, a privately held frozen-food behemoth based in Minnesota, with 14,000 employees and roughly $3 billion in annual sales. Schwan manufactures a reported 70 percent of all pizza sold in American schools. Publicly, Schwan emphasized its ahead-of-the-curve efforts to create more healthful slices meeting the new requirements, with whole-grain crusts and low-fat cheese. Less publicly, in comments to the U.S.D.A., the company laid out a series of objections, ranging from the sentimental to the scientific. “Many of the products made with tomato paste appeal to children and help sustain participation in the school-meal program,” the company warned, while also maintaining that the final sodium reductions would be “impossible to achieve without significant technological advances.” (The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, among others, agreed with the salt assessment.) Moreover, if sodium were aggressively reduced in school lunches without corresponding changes in home and restaurant meals, Schwan suggested, students would find their school lunches bland and tasteless.

The White House wanted Vilsack to hold firm. They viewed objections to the tomato rule as classic special-interest pleading. The lunch ladies, meanwhile, had filed 11 pages of comments asking for a delay or reconsideration of many of the new rules, and officially they agreed with Schwan about the tomato paste. Marshall Matz found himself, not for the last time, in the middle. The administration, particularly the agriculture secretary, was annoyed by the comments — hadn’t the lunch ladies endorsed the bill? — and Matz counseled caution. But when the lunch ladies’ president sent a letter to the White House pledging to work closely with Vilsack, many in the industry were furious. They viewed it as an apology, perhaps engineered by Matz in an effort to soothe the administration’s ruffled feathers. Some felt that Matz was letting his personal beliefs, and desire to stay close to the White House, override the proper interests of the association. Gary Vonck, a senior executive at one of the country’s largest brokerages for school-lunch products and longtime industry adviser to the School Nutrition Association, told me that “there were a lot of times when people disagreed with him.”

In food circles, OFW Law, the boutique law and lobbying firm where Matz is a partner, is known for its bipartisan roster of lobbyists and its long list of food-industry clients, some with competing interests on legislative or regulatory matters. Matz was not only lobbying for the lunch ladies, who wanted to abolish the mandatory fruit-and-vegetable requirement, but he also was general counsel to the fresh-produce trade association, which loved the requirement. Even allies told me Matz could be vague about which client he was representing in any given meeting. Vonck said, “I think Marshall maybe misunderstood what his role was as it relates to S.N.A.”

That summer, more than a dozen food companies, including Schwan and one of its bigger rivals, ConAgra, recruited their own lunch ladies. They enlisted dozens of school-nutrition directors to join a new group, which they called the Coalition for Sustainable School Meals Programs. To run the new group, they hired a former S.N.A. official named Barry Sackin.

The government wanted children to eat less pizza, Sackin told me not long ago. “How do you go after the pizza companies without attacking them?” he asked. “You limit the tomato sauce,” he said, in the manner of a man describing an aggression that would not stand. In May, Sackin flew to Washington to testify before the House education committee, which oversees the school-foods program. The rules would drive up lunch prices, he said. And to what end? School meals were already the most healthful meals that many children ate. The long-term sodium reductions would be expensive, and children wouldn’t necessarily eat the lower-salt food.


RELATED ARTICLES

Assistant U.S. Attorney Phil Green told jurors that Deuman killed the girl during the oral rape, and then he considered scenarios throughout the evening to suggest she died of an accidental cause.

He didn’t call 911, but told Maitland on the telephone that their daughter wasn’t breathing, wasting valuable time which could have saved her life.

Scene: Ten members of the same family lived in this mobile home in Suttons Bay, Michigan, on land belonging to Chippewa Indians

Green said yesterday: 'This was a very difficult case for anyone to have to hear.

'This is about as heinous as it gets. That’s a tragic reality here. He did do it.

'A beautiful 15-week-old baby girl lost her life, lost her future, because of his need for sexual gratification.'

He applauded the baby's mother Natasha for testifying on behalf of the prosecution, despite 'having to endure a loss no one should ever have to endure'.

According to Michigan Live, he told jurors: 'This was no accident. She couldn’t roll over, much less crawl.

'She certainly wasn’t capable of overcoming the obstacles on her bed, the pillows, to end up on the floor. Even if (she did), how is she going to suck that condom up?'

Finally, he said: 'It’s hard to imagine anything more objectionable than the oral rape of a 15-week-old baby.'

Jurors also heard from witnesses who, as children, claimed they also were sexually abused by Deuman.

The defense attorney argued that his client was a proud father and that the mobile home they shared with ten other people was an 'accident waiting to happen.'

He said prosecutors unfairly portrayed his client as an 'unbridled sex fiend'.


Appendix to 35.151(c)

  • (d) Scope of coverage. The 1991 Standards and the 2010 Standards apply to fixed or built-in elements of buildings, structures, site improvements, and pedestrian routes or vehicular ways located on a site. Unless specifically stated otherwise, the advisory notes, appendix notes, and figures contained in the 1991 Standards and the 2010 Standards explain or illustrate the requirements of the rule they do not establish enforceable requirements.
  • (e) Social service center establishments. Group homes, halfway houses, shelters, or similar social service center establishments that provide either temporary sleeping accommodations or residential dwelling units that are subject to this section shall comply with the provisions of the 2010 Standards applicable to residential facilities, including, but not limited to, the provisions in sections 233 and 809.
    • (1) In sleeping rooms with more than 25 beds covered by this section, a minimum of 5% of the beds shall have clear floor space complying with section 806.2.3 of the 2010 Standards.
    • (2) Facilities with more than 50 beds covered by this section that provide common use bathing facilities, shall provide at least one roll-in shower with a seat that complies with the relevant provisions of section 608 of the 2010 Standards. Transfer-type showers are not permitted in lieu of a roll-in shower with a seat, and the exceptions in sections 608.3 and 608.4 for residential dwelling units are not permitted. When separate shower facilities are provided for men and for women, at least one roll-in shower shall be provided for each group.
    • (1) Kitchens within housing units containing accessible sleeping rooms with mobility features (including suites and clustered sleeping rooms) or on floors containing accessible sleeping rooms with mobility features shall provide turning spaces that comply with section 809.2.2 of the 2010 Standards and kitchen work surfaces that comply with section 804.3 of the 2010 Standards.
    • (2) Multi-bedroom housing units containing accessible sleeping rooms with mobility features shall have an accessible route throughout the unit in accordance with section 809.2 of the 2010 Standards.
    • (3) Apartments or townhouse facilities that are provided by or on behalf of a place of education, which are leased on a year-round basis exclusively to graduate students or faculty, and do not contain any public use or common use areas available for educational programming, are not subject to the transient lodging standards and shall comply with the requirements for residential facilities in sections 233 and 809 of the 2010 Standards.
    • (1) In stadiums, arenas, and grandstands, wheelchair spaces and companion seats are dispersed to all levels that include seating served by an accessible route
    • (2) Assembly areas that are required to horizontally disperse wheelchair spaces and companion seats by section 221.2.3.1 of the 2010 Standards and have seating encircling, in whole or in part, a field of play or performance area shall disperse wheelchair spaces and companion seats around that field of play or performance area
    • (3) Wheelchair spaces and companion seats are not located on (or obstructed by) temporary platforms or other movable structures, except that when an entire seating section is placed on temporary platforms or other movable structures in an area where fixed seating is not provided, in order to increase seating for an event, wheelchair spaces and companion seats may be placed in that section. When wheelchair spaces and companion seats are not required to accommodate persons eligible for those spaces and seats, individual, removable seats may be placed in those spaces and seats
    • (4) Stadium-style movie theaters shall locate wheelchair spaces and companion seats on a riser or cross-aisle in the stadium section that satisfies at least one of the following criteria&mdash
      • (i) It is located within the rear 60% of the seats provided in an auditorium or
      • (ii) It is located within the area of an auditorium in which the vertical viewing angles (as measured to the top of the screen) are from the 40th to the 100th percentile of vertical viewing angles for all seats as ranked from the seats in the first row (1st percentile) to seats in the back row (100th percentile).
      • (1) Newly constructed or altered streets, roads, and highways must contain curb ramps or other sloped areas at any intersection having curbs or other barriers to entry from a street level pedestrian walkway.
      • (2) Newly constructed or altered street level pedestrian walkways must contain curb ramps or other sloped areas at intersections to streets, roads, or highways.
      • (1) Residential dwelling units designed and constructed or altered by public entities that will be offered for sale to individuals shall comply with the requirements for residential facilities in the 2010 Standards including sections 233 and 809.
      • (2) The requirements of paragraph (1) also apply to housing programs that are operated by public entities where design and construction of particular residential dwelling units take place only after a specific buyer has been identified. In such programs, the covered entity must provide the units that comply with the requirements for accessible features to those pre-identified buyers with disabilities who have requested such a unit.
      • (1) New construction of jails, prisons, and other detention and correctional facilities shall comply with the 2010 Standards except that public entities shall provide accessible mobility features complying with section 807.2 of the 2010 Standards for a minimum of 3%, but no fewer than one, of the total number of cells in a facility. Cells with mobility features shall be provided in each classification level.
      • (2) Alterations to detention and correctional facilities. Alterations to jails, prisons, and other detention and correctional facilities shall comply with the 2010 Standards except that public entities shall provide accessible mobility features complying with section 807.2 of the 2010 Standards for a minimum of 3%, but no fewer than one, of the total number of cells being altered until at least 3%, but no fewer than one, of the total number of cells in a facility shall provide mobility features complying with section 807.2. Altered cells with mobility features shall be provided in each classification level. However, when alterations are made to specific cells, detention and correctional facility operators may satisfy their obligation to provide the required number of cells with mobility features by providing the required mobility features in substitute cells (cells other than those where alterations are originally planned), provided that each substitute cell—
        • (i) Is located within the same prison site
        • (ii) Is integrated with other cells to the maximum extent feasible
        • (iii) Has, at a minimum, equal physical access as the altered cells to areas used by inmates or detainees for visitation, dining, recreation, educational programs, medical services, work programs, religious services, and participation in other programs that the facility offers to inmates or detainees and,
        • (iv) If it is technically infeasible to locate a substitute cell within the same prison site, a substitute cell must be provided at another prison site within the corrections system.

        The remaining text of the 2010 Standards for Title III – the 2004 ADAAG – can be found at 2010 Standards for Titles II and III: 2004 ADAAG


        The Seas with Nemo & Friends Epcot

        INTRODUCTION

        The Sea Makes Our Planet Unlike Any Other Known To Man!

        Located in a corner of Future World, to the right of The Land, is the Seas with Nemo and Friends. As you approach you&rsquoll see a garden area with eight sculptures of Finding Nemo characters including Nemo, Marlin, Dory, and Gil.

        &ldquoThe Seas with Nemo and Friends&rdquo was officially dedicated January 2007 marking the completion of a transition from the original pavilion (which was known as The Living Seas) to a new one themed to the popular Disney-Pixar movie, Finding Nemo.

        Picking up where the motion picture &ldquoFinding Nemo&rdquo left off, the ride-through attraction in a colorful coral reef setting features technology that causes the stars of the motion picture to magically appear swimming amid the live marine life of a 5.7-million-gallon saltwater environment &mdash one of the largest such aquariums in the world.

        The Seas with Nemo and Friends &mdash Board &ldquoclam-mobiles&rdquo and meet Mr. Ray and his class on a field trip and soon learn that Nemo has wandered off. The journey in search of Nemo includes familiar characters such as Dory, Bruce, Marlin, Squirt and Crush. These deep-sea friends inhabit a variety of vibrant vignettes, including the actual aquarium containing more than 65 species of marine life. In the musical finale, Nemo is happily reunited with his class and friends.

        Turtle Talk with Crush! &ndash&ndash This interactive show is the headliner in the Seas with Nemo and Friends. It features a computer-animated version of the surfer dude turtle from &ldquoFinding Nemo&rdquo in 10-minute conversations with visitors. Finding Dory characters are also part of the interactive Turtle Talk with Crush show. The whole family will love this attraction!

        &ldquoCrush is an interactive 3D animation that talks with the audience. He looks at the person he&rsquos talking with and really interacts with people. For example, the host will ask a kid his name and Crush will say, &ldquoHello, Jimmy.&rdquo He makes jokes and takes questions from audience. The show lasts about 10 minutes and is very enjoyable.&rdquo His friend Dory, makes occasional appearances with Crush.

        Bruce&rsquos Sub House &mdash Adjacent to Turtle Talk with Crush, is a hands-on play area geared to kids. The area features some of the more toothy characters of Finding Nemo (including Anchor and Chum) in shark-themed playsets for crawling on, around and through, as well as an open-jawed replica of Bruce the shark (below left), which you can crawl inside &mdash it makes for a great photo op for young and old alike. Along with the opportunity to run off a little steam, kids can learn a few things by lifting the flaps on and reading through the various displays (below right) around the room.

        Nemo and Friends! &mdash Worth a trip for folks of all ages. You can search for Nemo and Marlin (Clownfish), Blue Tangs (Dory), Starfish (Peach), seahorses (Sheldon) and stingrays (Mr. Ray). You can also check out the Can You Find Nemo? habitat, the Great Barrier Reef display, the stingray viewing habitat, Mr. Ray&rsquos Lagoon, and my personal favorite, the jellyfish! This exhibit is simple and low budget and yet enchanting, all at the same time.More Nemo and Friends Photos!

        Mr. Ray&rsquos Lagoon &ndash watch the stingrays swim around as you wait to get into Turtle Talk with Crush.

        Life Support Systems Exhibit and Undersea Robotics &ndash Climb into an open-backed diver&rsquos suit and try to use your hands!

        Take the time to explore the model undersea research facility of the future. These exhibits are worth the time. The latest technologies in ocean surveillance and management can be seen in use, including robotic submersibles, space-age diving suits and communications systems used by oceanographic institutes for monitoring the undersea world. There&rsquos also a human-powered &ldquoSubmousible,&rdquo which was designed by volunteers from Sea Base Alpha and entered in competitions.

        Diver crews from Sea Base Alpha conduct experiments on marine mammal intelligence and on water chemistry within this ecosystem. A tethered submersible containing an underwater camera gives guests a diver&rsquos view of ocean activities.

        Large-screen video shows man&rsquos attempts to harness the ocean&rsquos resources. Visitors can then walk into a two-story central viewing area, completely surrounded by sea windows that allow them to see the divers up close, carrying out research with marine mammals &mdash dolphins and sea lions.

        Restrooms are located on Level One.

        At the entrance to the Observation Deck is the Duty Roster, which has the schedule of presentations for the day. &ldquoSea Base Alpha is a working marine research center. We invite all guests to observe the daily research activities at the times listed. A member of the Sea Base Alpha team will be in the Observation Deck to explain the work during each scheduled activity.&rdquo

        The Observation Deck provides another perspective of viewing the sea life.

        Visit the Manatees on the second level. Meet manatees who have been rescued and are being rehabilitated before being released into the wild. Each manatee eats approximately 50 pounds of food each day. Overhead television monitors show a short video on the manatee.

        Ocean Resource Exhibit &ndash an aquaculture exhibit about farming and husbandry of aquatic plants and animals.

        The pavilion features the Coral Reef Restaurant. Here you can dine in front of windows 50 feet long and eight feet high, allowing you to view the faux-Caribbean coral reef. The seating is tiered so that each table has a view of the aquarium.

        Some of the sealife you might view during your meal: Brown Shark, Cow-nose Ray, Green Sea Turtle, Tarpon, and Grouper. Lunch and dinner are served at the Coral Reef, which underwent a &ldquofacelift&rdquo in 1999 and is beautifully decorated in a variety of blue-shaded tiles. To enter the Coral Reef, exit The Seas with Nemo and Friends and walk to the far right of the pavilion.

        Background music in the Coral Reef is original compositions by Russell Brower.

        Additional Note for Parents &mdash Coral Reef might also be a place to consider bringing your children. The full wall aquarium is entertainment in itself, and there&rsquos a nice children&rsquos menu, as well. Remember to be considerate of those dining close to the aquarium and try not to crowd them while they dine.

        Tour the Seas with Nemo & Friends when you have time to spend inside you will miss the experience if you rush through the pavilion.

        Turtle Talk with Crush is a VERY popular attraction. The theatre is very small. Expect VERY LONG waits! Go early in the day or just before the last show.

        Watch the manatees at feeding time from the upper level. Also, be sure to watch the short film of the birth of a manatee at The Seas with Nemo and Friends.

        Kids will enjoy the Undersea Robotics area on Level One where they can get into a diver&rsquos suit and try to use their hands.

        If you catch a glimpse of the Sea Turtle, you are very lucky!

        Great photos ops outside the pavilion in the Finding Nemo Sculpture area.

        Three special tours are offered at The Seas with Nemo and Friends for an additional fee, DiveQuest, Epcot Seas Aqua Tour and Dolphins in Depth.

        Kids love The Seas with Nemo and Friends and especially Turtle Talk with Crush! Children should sit on the floor in the front of the theater.

        While waiting for Turtle Talk with Crush, be sure to take Mr. Ray&rsquos POP Quiz!

        The large Nemo and Friends sculpture outside the pavillion makes a great photo op.

        Sea Base Alpha &ndash Aquatic gifts including dolphin-themed items. This shop has one of the best selections of pavilion specific logo merchandise in all of Epcot! You can find The Seas with Nemo and Friends T-Shirts, hats, refrigerator magnets, pins, postcards, keychains and more.

        The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion measures 203 feet in diameter, 27 feet deep and contains 5.7 million gallons of salt water. A standard swimming pool holds 20,000 gallons of water. One inch of water from the surface here can fill a standard swimming pool.

        The Aquarium is so large that Spaceship Earth (160 feet in diameter) would fit inside with room to spare.

        There are more than 70 varieties of fish and other marine animals, with a total of over 8,000 inhabitants.

        The acrylic windows into the restaurant have very little distortion or magnification of the marine life and objects.

        The window panels in the second level observation deck measure 8 feet by 24 feet and weigh 9,000 pounds each. They range in thickness from 6 to 8 inches.

        Nearly two tons of food is produced each week for the inhabitants of the Seas. The dolphins dine on herring and capelin, the West Indian manatees eat lettuce, carrots, sprouts and fruit. Animal nutritionists at The Seas manufacture the coral out of dental plaster, mixing in ground fish and other food in the process. Divers place about a dozen of these out each day, and the parrotfish and other coral crunchers eat them up.

        The pavilion uses a reverse-flow filtration system. This process forces impurities in the water to the top, where they flow out with skimmed water. The water is fed into the filter system, then returns to the main environment through the ocean floor. Between these two points is an extensive cleaning system.

        The Pavilion was added to Epcot in 1986 and originally sponsored by United Technologies. It took 22 months to construct the pavilion.

        As Michael Eisner began the January 1986 Grand Opening of the Seas, Diver Mickey Mouse was joined by Diver Frank Wells to help cut the ribbon.

        The pavilion was originally designed with the guidance of an advisory board of experts in oceanography and related fields. The centerpiece of this attraction is the world&rsquos largest saltwater aquarium tank, which is 203 feet in diameter and 27 feet deep. Within the tank is a complete man-made coral reef inhabited by sharks, tropical fish, rays and dolphins, all exotic and colorful forms of life that normally colonize Caribbean reefs.

        Until late October 2001, you would have entered two-passenger Seacab vehicles for a three-minute voyage along the ocean floor, through tunnels, past the entire coral reef seen through six-inch thick crystal-clear windows. However, this part of the attraction is now closed. You would have exited the Hydrolators into the Gift Shop and walked into the Sea Base Alpha area.

        The background music playing outside the pavilion is the original Epcot music. Songs include: &ldquoThe Seas&rdquo Music by Patrick Gleason, &ldquoAtlas of the Living World&rdquo Music by Richard Bellis, &ldquoSuited for the Sea&rdquo Music by Ralph Ferrara, &ldquoNitrogen Boogie&rdquo Music by George Wilkins Lyrics by Scott Hennesy Vocals by B.J. Ward.

        The Living Seas slowly evolved from 2004 into The Seas with Nemo and Friends (dedicated January 2007). The remake offers new ways to learn about the sea and breathes life into what was a tired, poorly attended Living Seas pavilion. The overall theme is now tied into the animated feature &ldquoFinding Nemo&rdquo!

        At one time in 2007, Nemo and a Living Coral made live appearances during the day.

        Prior to the October 2006 reopening:

        Prior to the 2004-2005 Rehab:

        Entering the pavilion, the lights are subdued and the music soft. The banister curves around as you wind your way over the gently wavy floor, and you gain the sense of bobbing on the waves. There are historical photographs and artifacts of famous undersea explorations along the corridor (Alexander the Great&rsquos glass diving barrel, Sir Edmund Halley&rsquos first Diving Bell, etc.).

        You enter a pre-show standing area, again with subdued lighting and soft music. A five-minute wait time begins to countdown on the screen. Instructions are given and you can either go left and directly to the Hydrolators, which will take you to Sea Base Alpha, or you can turn right into the Pre-Descent Briefing Room.

        Pre-Descent Briefing Room has a 7-minute movie called The Seas. It introduces you to the ocean&rsquos deepest mysteries and the effect on people&rsquos lives of the Earth&rsquos last frontier.

        Theater doors then open to reveal three &ldquoHydrolators,&rdquo capsule elevators that take you to the ocean floor past rock walls and water. The hydrolator elevator that takes you to Sea Base Alpha is VERY small and confining (it holds up to 30 persons). See a Cast Member for an alternate route to Sea Base Alpha. The hydrolator actually only moves a few inches, but the special effects make it seem like you are going underwater.


        CELEBRATE 90 YEARS OF THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING

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        90 minutes. 90 years of history. Join an Empire State Building ambassador for this historic tour of the world's most famous skyscraper, plus you'll bring home a limited edition 90th anniversary tote bag!

        Get a glimpse of New York as the first light of day creeps over the city.
        From our 86th-floor observation deck you can watch “the city that never sleeps” awaken.

        Experience the Empire State Building like true New York royalty with a private guided tour and exclusive access to our celebrity green room.

        Step into our newly revitalized 2nd and 80th floor galleries. See how the ESB was built, relive the building’s defining moments, and put yourself in the clutches of King Kong.

        Before you visit, enjoy our EarthCam views of Manhattan showcasing the beauty of the city's skyline with ESB front and center


        Elevator Fee Forces Children to Climb 22 Floors for Lunch - Recipes

        So I had another session of my irregularly-scheduled hell game. I might as well write about it.

        It's a hellcrawl. The party is running a pirate ship called the Adamantine Ogre, sailing across the burning seas of hell, trying to find repairs for their ship after it was bashed by giant swans in order to stop a ratman mutiny.

        There's a quest for an egg, but who cares. Hell pirates and hellish hives of scum and villainy.

        This post is about Hungry Joe, one of the aforementioned hives.

        You can't die in hell. If you would die, you instead lost 1d3 levels, become undead, and then must make a save against becoming some sort of fucked up NPC. Regardless of your success, you lose memories.

        There is a vast subterranean tapestry where all the souls of the dead trickle down to. This is the Abyss, and it is full of demons (who only grow in power), the dead (who only dwindle), and the paladins , who successfully conquered hell, sundered Satan, and built the Circular Hells.

        Basically just Dante's Inferno. The concept is unimprovable. There are three of them (East Hell, West Hell, and North Hell) and they are all run by the paladins, who collect and imprison the souls of sinners inside these machine-geographies. They are packed with anguished people.

        This is the hell part of hell. Outside of the Circular Hells, life is laughably horrible, but inside, it's torture on a scale we can barely concieve.

        They forced the demons to take the Oaths, creating the devils who wear the Shackles. They ensure that sinners are punished forever, and that no one escapes the Circular Hells. Someday, they will conquer all of the Abyss.

        He is one of the very, very few people to escape from the third circle of hell (Gluttony). That was a long time ago.

        Hungry Joe has eaten armies and cities. They're all still there inside him, still screaming, still dying, because there is no death in hell.

        And he has grown huge. Huge and strange--a self-loathing glutton trapped inside a levitating planet of unthinkable, impossible obesity.

        Two rocks thrusting up from the burning oceans of hell. They hold a barge suspended 50' above the surface of the flames, like a grain of rice held between two chopsticks. One of the chopsticks has a shoulder filled with maimed boats and the sounds of lamentation. This is Joetown.

        The dock is crowded with moored ships, most of them no longer seaworthy. The dock and the ships are built from non-flammable materials (because the sea is fire). Things get dimmer the farther you move from the water's edge, because the ocean is the only light source. There are many, many ships, most of them derelict and filled with crumbling, powerless undead. You can only reach the dock by ramming other ships otherwise you will have to tie up on someone else's ship and cross over their ship to reach the rock.

        An unlit lamp post leans over the dock. Atop it, a hookman named Jarrack watches for incoming ships, and charges them a small fee to dock.

        Sample Ship: The Last Gamble. Signs of violence. Sails have been knotted and the anchor has been hung high upon the mast. Mostly abandoned, except for the wailing coming from the hold, which contains six "mermaids" lamenting and arranging bones. Melania has three bone fish hooks threaded through her cheek, each one a single use of summon fish if used as a conventional fish hook. She and her five sisters are looking for news of the living merfolk (up under the sunshine). She will pay money for water (a rarity in hell). They offer shelter but will attempt to kill and eat you if they think they can succeed. Locked in a box they have a whaler that that they have been slowly eating over the last six months. Every so often one will open the box and take a nibble. They are saving his eyes for last. (His living, terrified eyes.)

        Another Sample Ship: Empty rooms. More empty rooms. In the boiling hot bilge is a mass of weeping flesh, half-submerged in its own suppurations. (Stats as black pudding.) Arranged carefully at the back of the bilge is a dolorite sculpture of a deformed uterus (worth 3000c) surrounded by sculptures of miscarriages, made from garbage and mucus.

        At the end of the dock is a Joe Lump.

        The Joe Lump is a blistered clump of skin and hair. It wears a hat. Up close, you can see the dozen eyes buried amid the fleshy folds. Some are rolling madly and some are closed, but most are looking at you with calm regard. Under the hat is a slobbering mouth. At its base is a row of sphincters that constatly ooze black treacle. It weighs about 400 lbs. Joe can see through its eyes.

        How much can you compress human suffering? Into how small of a space can you compress it?

        If you put a bunch of people in an oven, you have achieved a great deal of suffering, to be sure.

        But if you cut off their arms and legs, and then piled them into the oven, you would surely have created a greater density of suffering.

        But what of the superfluous material of the body, the bones and the skin and the digestive tract? Why not excise that as well? Why not peel a man down to the marrow and layer his anguished nerves across the oven floor, as compressed as possible?

        This is the principle behind dolorite, except that it made with much more extreme efficiency than our example would seem to imply. The details are best left unspoken.

        Dolorite is fabulously expensive to create. It is prized by demons, who manufacture it into daggers and dildos and other such blasphemies.

        For most people, touching dolorite causes immediate and catastrophic depression, and a near-complete loss of the will to life. (Mechanics: Upon touching dolorite, save or drop your HP to 0. At the start of each of your turns, make a save. If you succeed, you regain all of the HP you lost.)

        From the Book of Creatures
        The whole site if pretty awesome.
        Joetown Shanties

        Points of interest: a skinny man begging for food, smoke rising from a beached rowboat, a group of people amid four half-ships, and a path up the rock to the upper barge.

        This close, it is possible to see the top of the rock through the haze. The barge has something ascending from it, an irregular pillar, possibly made from thick smoke.

        The starving man is running away from Hungry Joe. He will follow the party if they seem to have food. He is bruised around the face and temples, as if beaten recently. He is (briefly) helpful if fed. He will become aggressive in 10 minutes if not fed. He is not hard to deceive, but he is desperate and willing to attempt anything.

        The beached rowboat hides a trapdoor, leading to a man-burrow. The first room holds pair of blind, syphilitic "dogs"*. The back room holds Jayak. He will give free advice to anyone who does business with him. He will sell cockatrice eggs. He will buy drugs at a high price. He will also pay beautiful ladies to reach into his chest and caress this small, shriveled heart, which does not beat, but merely trembles like a bird.

        The four half-ships are exactly that. Two ships that have been broken in half and assembled around a town square of sorts. In this square a witch is attempting to commit suicide. She has convinced her 10 friends to call upon Zulin, condemn her as a witch, shame her, beat her, and then burn her at the stake. She hopes that this will consign her to oblivion, rather than an eternity of suffering.

        One person is cursing the witch more than the oters. She is Rendrada Fly-Heart, and she was the witch-hunter who killed the witch when they were both alive. In death she is her deepest friend.

        You can stop the ceremony. No one will thank you if you do.

        Gran Begina, the Witch: HD 4, warp wood, steal voice, water to fire. Her spellbook is written on the bottom of her shoes, and will be lost when she burns.

        Rendrada Fly-Heart: HD 3, leather, broadsword. Save +4 vs magic. Enemies struck by her have a 50% chance of fumbling spells for 1 round.

        Up on the cliffs, you can see hookmen scrabbling up and down. clickclick--clickclick--clickclick. They wear baskets on their backs and seem to be collecting things. (They are collecting giblets that missed the Buckets.)

        If you climb the switchbacks up the cliffs, you will be accosted by 1d4-1 hookmen who demand that you pay 20c to ride the elevator. This is not robbery, just a local rule that encourages hookmen to collect elevator fees from travelers.

        At the top is the barge, perched precariously between two gripping crags. Above it, the elevator writhes. In the fire-damaged hold is meeting place that doubles as a shrine to Jubilex (one of the strongest elements of the demonic rebellion against the paladins). In an open chest is a pile of meat hooks, for the hookmen's guests.

        Whales are so fucking weird
        and no one seems to notice.
        The Elevator

        There's a loop of enormous chain. It is large enough that you could not pick up a single link. It goes through a ring on the deck of the barge. It loops up, getting lost in the smoke from the ocean. 450' higher, it loops through another hook in the ceiling of the landing lodge.

        Wrapped around this enormous chain is one of Hungy Joe's intestines, sealed off in a closed loop. The intestine still has directionality, however, and so it writhes around the chain with peristaltic contractions. (Here's a video of what your stomach does everyday.)

        It's a bit like a three-dimensional conveyor belt, where the chain is the floor and the skin of the intestine is the surface of the conveyor belt. It moves about 1' for every 2 seconds (and so it takes 15 minutes to be conveyed from one end to the other).

        Hookmen ride the elevator easily, since their hooks are perfectly suited to clamber onto the fleshy skin of the intestine. Hookmen are friendly and helpful as long as you continually give them small amounts of money. They ask for money a lot.

        Non-hookmen can reach Hungry Joe by stabbing a meathook into the intestine and hanging on for dear life.

        The elevator is fed by cutting it open and pouring in some half-digested chyme, harvested from Hungry Joe's intestines. (The waste liquids are similarly drained beforehand.) This is why the writhing flesh-elevator is covered in long, garish scars.

        These are the descendants of the whalers that first befriended and colonized Hungry Joe. They have drank Joe's bitter juices. They have slept atop his troubled brow and let his dreams trouble theirs. They have replaced their extremities with hooks.

        They offer the same surgeries to the PCs.

        Replace a hand (50c). Your hand will forever do 1d8 damage, but it cannot ever hold anything every again (since you have no hand, just a hook). If you replace both hands, you have a single natural attack that does 1d12 damage, but you can never hold anything ever again.

        Replace a foot (30c). You get a hook attached at your heel and another at the front of your foot, like a pincer. For each foot replaced this way, you get -1 Movement and +2 to resist being moved or tripped.

        For each hand/foot replaced in this way, you get +2 to climb. If you replace all four extremities, you can permanently climb as spider climb.

        Replace tongue (100c). You can harpoon things and reel them in like a hookshot. Your tongue has Strength 4. If you have hook feet, you can use the bonus to resist being moved.

        Hookman: HD 1, AC leather, Hooks 1d12. Spider climb. Harpoon tongue (as above).

        They have no hair. Every part of their body that was previously covered with hair is now covered with a soft cuticle, much like a flimsy fingernail.

        The Buckets (Neighborhood)

        About halfway up to the landing lodge are the Buckets. These are hanging platforms. They look more like stained metal trays than buckets. The largest is 200' across.

        They are used to catch Hungry Joe's drippings (from his many sores), giblets (from the meat harvests), and his feces (very little is produced--Hungry Joe's body is too gluttonous to allow much to escape).

        A few hookmen eke out a shitty existence atop the buckets, growing strange crops to feed Hungry Joe. Their shanties are made from from bones and spoorcobble.

        The Dangles (Neighborhood)

        About 90% of the way up to the landing lodge are the Dangles. These are loops of Hungry Joe's intestines, knotted together and looped into paths and foundations. They average about 5' wide. The landing lodge is in the middle of this. A normal-looking man will help you off the elevator, then ask for 20c.

        Like all of Hungry Joe's buildings, they are attached by hooks. Most of the buildings are converted (metal) ships or associated structures. An old dock might double for a wide market road. The harbormaster's office is inside an enormous diving bell.

        The intestines are different colors and sizes. Black, brown, yellow, red. They all move slowly as they contract and pulse. Remember that intestines are muscles. The buildings sway.

        The hookmen sometimes use the road. Othertimes they jump from intestine to intestine. They climb fastest sideways, like a vertical crab. Climbing on the intestines is frowned upon, because it wastes blood, and sometimes Joe's meals spill out a little bit. Most of this is caught by the Buckets, below, but it risks being wasteful.

        Eating the half-digested chyme that spills from Hungry Joe's intestines is not tolerated. That is food-theft, and is punished with death (as you are fed to Hungry Joe).

        There are other places of interest up here. The Nursery, where Flocculent Sneed with perform the operations that turn you into a young hookman. The Tit, a tavern with an inaccurate name, where hookmen, pirates, scabromanders, and a battlesnake get drunk on blood.

        Above the Dangles, you can barely make out the backside of Hungry Joe. It is huge and sallow like a cancerous moon. Occasionally a boil will pop, raining down toxins onto the Dangles. Occasionally a hookman will spill one intentionally onto an invader.

        Black Bottle (Neighborhood)

        A neighborhood on the side of the Hungry Joe. It is inside glassified blisters, which bulge out from Hungry Joe's side like bubble windows made from smoked glass. Inside are the crab-hand wizards, who tend to the delicate chemistries of Hungry Joe's unruly livers and glands.

        The crab-hand wizards replace each finger on their right hand with a crab claw. They do this to cast spells faster. They have other alterations, but the crab-hand is the biggest and most consistent.

        Most of the attention is spent grappling with the moods of Joe's humors, but they are mostly known for the Little Joes that they produce.

        Little Joes are made by cutting off a large piece of Hungry Joe and growing it in a vat. The resultant creature is often mistaken for a whale, until it lifts its head from the water and you can see the patches of hair and the blind, idiot eyes lolling amidst the waves.

        Little Joes are used as boats. Submarines, actually. They compromise the bulk of Hungry Joe's ramshackle Navy.

        The crab-hand wizards offer a variety of modifications to the basic Little Joe. The jaw can be grown to large proportions, to the point where it subsumes the nose and forces the eyes to the side of the head, causing the Little Joe to have a face like a blunt-toothed shark. Or the entire useless face and brain can be replaced with a cluster of cannons.

        • Little Joe: 10,000c
        • Chompers: +5,000c (powerful bite attack, precludes Cannon Cluster Face)
        • Cannon Cluster Face: +5,000c (powerful and expensive ranged attack, precludes Chompers)
        • Voluminous Uterus: +5,000c (huge cargo space, precludes blasphemy glands)
        • Blasphemy Glands: +5,000c (blasphemes against gravity, allowing flight, precludes Voluminous Uterus)
        • Crab Hand: +2 Initiative when casting spells. 100c.
        • Sovereign Glue: 200c. (max 3)
        • Universal Solvent: 200c. (max 3)
        • Elemental Acid: 200c. (max 3)
        • Yoshi Tongue: 300c.
        • Nulligan Nodes: Immune to poison. Whenever you would be poisoned, you rage instead. 500c.

        From the Contemporary Chester
        Yellowbelly (Neighborhood)

        Strains of tumors evolve and fight slow wars across Hungry Joe's tortured belly. This is where the priesthood lives, alongside the butcherboys.

        The priesthood are the actual leadership aboard Hungry Joe. They maintain his body and his mind. They control the Navy and the butcherboys. (They also control access to the dungeon inside Hungry Joe.)

        The butcherboys are specialized hookmen. Their job is to keep Hungry Joe fed. Hungry Joe's diet includes "fish", relatively mundane vegetables from the gardens, intruders, and pieces of Hungry Joe himself.

        While institutionalized autocannibalism may seem self-defeating, it works better than one might suspect because of the sheer efficiency of Hungry Joe's digestive system, due in part to his many miles of digestive tract. And autocannibalism is necessary, because it is important that Hungry Joe is eating constantly.


        Watch the video: Τοποθέτηση ανελκυστήρα σκάλας ΑμΕΑ (November 2021).