Emergency system testing at Brock this week

Brock officials will be co-ordinating an upgrade and test of the University’s emergency notification system this week.The work will take place over two days (Thursday, April 24 and Friday, April 25) and could impact emergency communications systems in various areas around campus.“Occupants on campus during the upgrade will experience activation of the emergency notification system at various points during the day on Thursday and Friday,” says Rick Fraser, manager of emergency management and life safety.“We’re going to attempt to keep the interruptions to a minimum,” says Fraser. “This work will improve our ability to effectively communicate across the entire campus as well as to specific buildings.”Thursday will consist mainly of behind-the-scenes work with little impact to the broader public. However, Friday’s tests could get loud.Testing will include activating University-wide messaging systems as well as building-specific systems such as digital signs, PA systems, voice mail, and email and text messages.The warning notice “Test, test,” will preface all audio and video messages related to this planned test exercise. Messages that do not include the “Test, test” warning should be treated as a real emergency and appropriate action should be taken.Any test messages received via voice mail, text or email can be deleted.Representatives from Campus Security, Information Technology Services and Residence Life Staff (in residence only) will be on hand during testing to respond to questions. Campus Security may also be contacted at any time during the testing at x3200. read more

Global shrimp crisis is hitting menus across the world

first_img The 12 biggest controversies in the NFL’s 100-year history How Google pulled the plug on a Pixel smartwatch and let Apple steal the market (GOOG, GOOGL, AAPL) Most scientists don’t care about UFO videos because they don’t indicate extraterrestrial life PRICES FOR SHRIMP or prawns, as they are often referred to, have soared to a 12-year high since a deadly illness called Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS) swept through shrimp farms in Thailand causing havoc to restaurateurs across the world.In October, Jamie’s Italian, a restaurant chain owned by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, pulled shrimp linguine from its menu. In the US, Red Lobster were forced to scrap its all-you-can-eat “Endless Shrimp” special which lasted just six weeks this year instead of three months.RestaurantsThe impact of the disease on this food source shows how the globalisation of the food-supply chain has expanded to include not just commodities like coffee, sugar and beef, but virtually everything on the table.Once a local delicacy prized for freshness, shrimp is now produced at farms in Asia, South America and Mexico and sucked up by distributors wherever the price is cheapest.Fluctuation of shrimp pricesShrimp reproduce quickly, can be frozen easily and have a freezer life of 12 months. That has spawned a multibillion-dollar global shrimp farming business and made the crustacean a popular item on menus.But the shrimp trade also illustrates how volatile that global supply chain can be. A restaurant can feel the effects of changing weather patterns, natural disasters or disease on the other side of the world.These days, Santa Monica Seafood, the Southwest’s largest seafood distributor, says the Asian shortage has sent prices soaring for Mexican shrimp it buys. Even with an upscale wholesale and restaurant clientele, Santa Monica Seafood isn’t passing along that extra cost, for now.Menus“Most restaurants are cautious about menu price increases in this challenging economy,” says Don Henry, vice president of purchasing and distribution at Sizzler. “And I know retailers are just as competitive – but seem to have some more flexibility in pricing.”In their own intense price competition, shrimp growers may have disregarded health and safety issues to cut costs, according to seafood buyers like Casey Hartnett.“In Asia, the ponds are disgusting,” he says. “Of course, if you have tons of shrimp in a single pond there’s going to be disease.”A pound of jumbo white shrimp from Asia cost $8.40 a pound in October, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s weekly report on frozen seafood coming into New York. Prices have subsequently dipped a bit.DiseaseEMS first appeared in 2009, when an outbreak in China spread to Vietnam, Malaysia, and now Thailand.The bacterial infection produces toxins that slow growth, prevent reproduction, and eventually kill the shrimp. Infected farms have reported losses of up to 70 percent. Many farms have had to shut down and Thailand’s shrimp exports to the US in July declined 58 percent, from a year earlier.In May, researchers at the University of Arizona identified the cause of EMS as being bacteria whose growth is fostered by overcrowding in ponds. But because farmers are reluctant to move to lower-density farming, shrimp production isn’t likely to return to pre-epidemic levels without significant increases in farmed area.Experts estimate it will be several years before Southeast Asia can eradicate the disease.Shortages in Asia sent buyers to Latin America to fill the void. However, Mexico and Ecuador couldn’t produce enough to make up for the losses.That has created tension for businesses, such as Sizzler and Santa Monica Seafood, which have shouldered the extra costs.“We [buy] three-quarters of a million pounds of wild Mexican shrimp,” says Logan Kock, head of sourcing for Santa Monica Seafood. “EMS, which kills farmed shrimp, has caused this wild shrimp to move up more than 50 percent over the last year.”center_img Column: Feeling bloated? Here’s your guide to the best, safest way to detox…>Read: The five-star chef feeding the homeless on Christmas day> How to delete games on a PS4 in 3 different ways, to free up storage space last_img read more