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All Posts By Sean Marsh

Fairmont St Andrews Joins ‘Clean the World’ Initiative

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Fairmont St Andrews is mainly known for being a top quality five-star hotel in Scotland with a great reputation, but now the hotel is proving its worth in other areas by showing its support for the ‘Clean the World’ hospitality initiative, demonstrating further its longstanding commitment to green tourism.

Fairmont St Andrews has been donating its soaps and discarded hygiene products to be recycled and sent to humanitarian organisations all over the world, with both staff and guests staying at the hotel now being encouraged to preserve the local habitat, reduce waste and promote a sustainable future to benefit those in need.

“We strive at Fairmont St Andrews to reduce our use of energy, water and waste produced and consumed; I am proud of our sustainability teams, who were presented with a Silver Award from Scottish Green tourism in 2016, we hope for further recognition and a Gold Award this year,” commented John Keating, the general manager at Fairmont St Andrew. “We are dedicated to raising awareness of Clean the World and giving back to those less fortunate. We are extremely pleased to support such a worthwhile cause and look forward to working with the charity.”

Clean the World has been in operation for eight years now, and in that substantial period of time the organisation has managed to distribute over 38 million bars of soap to 115 countries around the world. It has also delivered over 1.1 million hygiene kits and diverted over 5,000 tons of waste from landfills, so the work that is being done is very admirable and for a great cause.

With a big name like Fairmont St Andrews pledging its allegiance to the Clean the World hospitality initiative it only improves the hotel’s reputation, and it is nice to see great work being done aside from the usual day to day running of the hotel.

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Get Local GP Assistance… Whilst Abroad!

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Push Doctor is the world’s largest digital doctor service, and now the company has made it possible to access your local UK based GP whilst you are in a different country, thanks to insurance provider Allianz Global Assistance and in partnership with STA Travel.

This video consultation service can be accessed anywhere around the world, with policy holders able to access a GP on a mobile device as soon as six minutes after enquiring, significantly reducing the stress of having to find a medical centre abroad and then waiting to see a doctor for however long it may take.

“Falling ill abroad is often far more stressful than it needs to be,” commented Eren Ozagir, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Push Doctor. “Indeed, the idea of Push Doctor came as a result of me being ill whilst on a business trip in the US and needing expert and timely, medical advice. Despite a wealth of support services available at the tap of an app, online medical assistance did not exist.

“From not knowing where to go to get appropriate treatment, to language barriers, Push Doctor removes the hassle British explorers face when falling ill abroad. We offer fast and efficient access to a UK based GP with 9 out of 10 users getting a resolution in their first consultation.”

Push Doctor looks set to revolutionise the way that people can access health care abroad, and patients using the system can also pay to receive prescriptions, fit for work notes and referrals should they meet the necessary criteria, all through using this system.

Patients have the ability to book an appointment with a GP on Push Doctor at whatever time is convenient for them, in what is certainly an exciting development that will make receiving health care assistance abroad much easier in the future.

 

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Weetabix New Breakfast Idea Doesn’t Go Down Well

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The wholegrain wheat breakfast cereal that is Weetabix has been a staple member of many people’s morning routine for some time now, and although the brand has grown and adapted with many different forms of the cereal being created, the latest idea has baffled and disgusted many people who clearly believe it is completely wrong.

We’ve had many different branches from the original Weetabix product such as Weetabix Minis, Oatibix and Weetabix Protein, with these as well as flavour additions such as chocolate and fruit and nut have proved a big hit with the customers, unlike the recent innovative idea from the brand – Weetabix with ham and eggs!

Yes, the new idea entitled ‘Benedict’s Eggs’ is apparently the British answer to the popular US dish Eggs Benedict, but instead of the muffin accompanying the ham, eggs and hollandaise sauce, Weetabix have taken it upon themselves to use their traditional breakfast product as the healthy base for the dish.

Understandably the news did not go down well on social media, with posts on Twitter regarding the news including, “An egg on a Weetabix? Unfathomable wrongness. I may have to go and lie down” and “That’s… That’s just wrong in so many ways”, and it was only a matter of time before the company responded to the negative feedback.

Thankfully, Weetabix recognised this severe error of judgement and claimed that it seemed like a good idea at the time when the team were brainstorming ideas, and even responded to a Twitter user asking if they could put this behind them and continue to make breakfast work with the traditional milk.

So eventually everything was fine after the initial shock and disgust of the public, and the breakfast giant was able to laugh at itself for the error, so now we can all move on from this using milk rather than ham and eggs!

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Could the Coca-Cola Christmas Truck Be Banned?

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Christmas is now well and truly over and the January blues are setting in, but for those of you who are already looking forward to December coming round once again you may have to prepare yourself for disappointment, as there has been calls in the media for the iconic Coca-Cola Christmas Truck to be banned from doing its annual tour of the UK.

The truck originally came into the public eye in the Coca-Cola Christmas adverts, which were arguably the original popular festive adverts which started the trend for so many companies such as John Lewis most notably to jump on board every year. However, more recently the truck has captured the hearts of the nation when it makes its yearly trip around the UK visiting towns and cities everywhere, creating a popular visitor attraction with many turning up for photographs etc.

Cumbria’s former director of public health, Professor John Ashton, has claimed that the truck is promoting the consumption of unhealthy, sugar-laden soft drinks, which he believes can have a significantly negative effect on the diets of young children here in the UK.

“They (Coca-Cola) have wrapped themselves up in Christmas – the red, Father Christmas, the sleigh” commented Professor John Ashton.The vehicle also looks like a big fire engine, which children love. This is what they call subliminal advertising, to take something people feel warm and positive about then associate it with a product. It feels similar to how the tobacco industry marketed products with roadshows 20 to 30 years ago.”

So should the Coca-Cola Christmas Truck be banned in the UK for these reasons? It would certainly be an unpopular decision should it ever happen, and it certainly isn’t in the Christmas spirit. Coca-Cola Great Britain has fully defended itself following Professor John Ashton’s claims, and I’m sure many others will be fully behind the company too.

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Casino Apps Rising in Popularity

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Gambling has always been a popular hobby or profession for many people around the world, with the increase in ways to bet only increasing this popularity in recent years, and this has paved the way for the casino experience to become a big hit in the form of an app for mobile phones or tablets as well as websites.

For those who enjoy playing casino games without using real money, apps and websites have tended to be perfect as they provide exactly the same experience but with the option to play without risk, and for those who do wish to bet real money there are options for that too so it provides the best of both worlds.

One of the most popular casino apps out there at the moment is the simple but effective ‘Roulette’ app, which is a free app to download and allows millions around the world to enjoy all of the thrilling aspects of the real games, but with no risk of losing any money therefore it can be played purely for fun.

Other popular apps that are around at the moment include Roulette Royale, Roulette Casino and Roulette Live, which run alongside successful betting websites such as Mansion Casino that attract plenty of budding gamblers each day, and allows people to bet with real money online with the potential to win big.

So what is it about betting and in particular casino games that attracts so many people? It quite simply has to be the unpredictability and the fact that anybody who is going to play these casino games for real money are going in knowing that there is a possibility of winning a lot of cash, and the new online and app platforms that are available for betting is shaping the way people gamble today.

This is why gambling will always be popular, because money is arguably the biggest motivator for most people, and therefore the possibility to win a lot of it is something that many will always jump at the chance of doing.

So if you’re feeling lucky then get onto one of the online betting platforms and try it out, but always gamble responsibly of course.

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Shower Beer Created in Sweden

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A Swedish brewer and design agency have teamed up to change the way people shower around the world, by creating a beer that is solely dedicated to being consumed in the shower, so will this ‘sweet but strong’ pale ale change the shower game forever?

PangPang Brewery and Stockholm-based Snask have joined forces to create this 10% ABV Shower Beer, and the 18cl bottles are small in size with the aim for people to finish the beer in just a few sips to last the duration of a shower, and it will be perfect for before a night out when that valuable drinking time cannot be wasted.

It has strangely been a long-running viral trend for people to post online regarding the ‘shower beer’ craze, so it is no surprise that breweries are jumping at the opportunity to give the people what they want, and this has come in the shape of these high percentage, mini beer bottles.

“We’ve always wanted to have our own beer, like all hipsters do” commented a representative of the design agency Snask. “But not any beer and certainly not just a regular creative agency brew saying ‘Snask lager’. We wanted an idea, a concept, something bigger than just the actual beer.

“Something that could kick-start the night and act as your power-up while fixing your hair and listening to Dressed for Success on repeat. We already work with the local genius brewer Fredrik ‘PangPang’ Tunedal so it felt obvious that he would be the backbone of the brewing part.”

So will this ‘slender, elegant and different’ beer be a game changer for the pre night out ritual? We shall have to wait and see but it certainly serves a purpose, so if the beer passes the taste test then there is no reason why it cannot be a hit.

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Coca Cola Launch Abbey Well Twist Bottle

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A brand new twist bottle format has been revealed by Coca Cola European Partners (CCEP) for its Abbey Well Spring Water, in an attempt to encourage customers to recycle the products more due to the environmentally friendly nature of the bottle.

The bottles have been designed by UK packaging company Kinneir Dufort, who have ensured they are 100% recyclable thanks to a £14 million investment at the Northumberland bottling facility, with all of the products made with 32% less plastic than previously and requiring less energy to make, transport and recycle.

The changes enable Coca Cola to harmonise their water business across multiple markets, according to Kinneir Dufort’s managing director Merle Hall, and it is scalable across many sizes so if you haven’t already spotted the new twist bottle feature you certainly will do soon.

There has also been a new design for the label which includes the words ‘recycle me’, so the message that is coming out of this announcement is very clear, but whether this revamp will work in encouraging people to recycle remains to be seen.

Caroline Cater, who is the director of operational marketing at Coca Cola European Partners, has commented, “With the water sector continuing to grow, it’s more important than ever to minimise our environmental impact and encourage more recycling.”

This was followed by a comment praising Coca Cola from Linda Crichton, the head of resource management for the Waste and Resource Action Programme (WRAP), who stated, “Reducing material usage whilst ensuring the bottle remains recyclable is really important for resource efficiency.”

So people are fully behind the changes, which will be implemented on many of the Abbey Well products such as the 500ml Abbey Well Still, the 250 and 750ml sports caps and the 500ml sparkling drink, and they are available from this month onwards here in the UK.

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Restaurants and Shops… For Mice!

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There are plenty of great new shops and restaurants opening all of the time around the world, however in the Swedish city of Malmo they are doing things a little bit differently, by opening up miniature versions on street corners that are aimed at rodents.

A mysterious group that goes by the name of ‘Anonymouse’ has manufactured this wonderfully weird scenery, which includes a miniature nut shop called ‘Noix de vie’ and an Italian bistro known as ‘Il Topolino’, and people have gradually began to take notice of it.

We were hoping that pedestrians walking by would find the thing charmingcommented a member of Anonymouse, using the pseudonym Parlan Mousekewitz. “But we are very happy that so many people have enjoyed it so far. We are a loosely associated network of mice and men, and since the main point has been to show the scene and not us, we intend to remain anonymous. Also, Anonymouse is quite a good name, so if we revealed who we are, then we’d have to change it.’

The new scenery has certainly proved to be a big hit for the locals, with the hashtag #Anonymouse being used on social media for both the locals and tourists to upload their own photographs of the work, so what started off as a little bit of fun is now spreading on a global level.

 

Many people have even made their own contributions to the miniature scenes by bringing along plastic animals, cheese and posters, and in some cases people have even brought along their own pet rodents to enjoy the shops and restaurants for themselves.

 

It seems that the locals really do love these pieces of art in their city, and although we may never know who is fully responsible for this, I’m sure everybody is hoping to see some more creations in the near future.

 

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Coca Cola CEO to Stand Down

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It has been confirmed that the chief executive officer of Coca Cola, 64-year-old Muhtar Kent, will step down from his position and hand over the reins to his current deputy James Quincy in May, after eight successful years leading the world’s largest beverage company.

Mr Kent will continue to work with the company as a chairman once he leaves his current position, when Quincy will bring his 20 valuable years of experience within the company to the table as he takes a step up to the main role with the $180 billion giants.

It is certainly shaping up to be a very different 2017 for the beverage industry, following the surprising news last week that Howard Schultz would be stepping down as chief executive officer of Starbucks, with both Muhtar Kent and Howard Schultz leaving big boots to fill.

“It has been the most wonderful and unique privilege to serve as chairman and CEO of our great company over the past eight years” commented Mr Kent in his statement on Friday morning. “Having worked closely with James during the past 10 years of his 20-year career with our company, I know that his vast industry knowledge, expertise with our brands, values and system, coupled with an acute understanding of evolving consumer tastes, make him the ideal candidate to effectively lead our company and bottling system.”

The change comes at a time when companies such as Coca Cola are having to deal with pressures coming from health-focused consumers, however many professionals have been very supportive of the move, and the transition that occurs in 2017 is expected to run smoothly with James Quincy seeming the ideal candidate to take the company forward.

Muhtar Kent will surely be missed as the CEO, but he will be staying on with the company so there are no plans for retirement just yet.

 

 

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Is Ed Sheeran Back?

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It looks like the return of Ed Sheeran is imminent, as the singer has returned to social media after a year away to post a cryptic blank blue image on his Twitter and Instagram accounts, fuelling speculation that the singing sensation is back with new material.

A year ago Sheeran explained that he would be taking a break from his phone, social media and emails for a while as he wanted to travel the world and see everything he has missed, but he promised that he would be back with his third album which he has dubbed as his best work so far.

Sheeran burst onto the scene with his debut album ‘+’ in 2011 and went on release his second record in 2014 in the shape of ‘x’, which included the hit single Thinking out Loud that won Ed two Grammy Awards for ‘Song of the Year’ and ‘Best Pop Solo Performance’, so there is plenty of expectation for his next project.

The return to social media comes just days after the X Factor final, which saw winner Matt Terry performing this year’s original winner’s song ‘When Christmas Comes Around’, which of course was written by Ed Sheeran himself and gave fans the first taste of the much anticipated return.

Ed did return to live performing in November, when he played at a gala dinner for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices at the Natural History Museum in London, however there is no word of any other chances to see the singer in action any time soon.

So 2017 could be a big year for Ed Sheeran, as we are now expecting the release of his third studio album at some point with a tour almost guaranteed on top of this, but fans will have to wait until an official announcement is made before they get excited.

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