Sep 14

Online Reputation Management

by

Aaron Mathews

Online Reputation Management is a service that more and more online marketing companies are offering. While other methods of online marketing such as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing tend to promote your products and services across the web, Online Reputation Management tends to limit the damage caused by an effective online marketing campaign (that is one that reaches a lot of potential customers) when your goods and services does not meet the expectations of those clients. In other words when a customer does business with you as a result of a successful online marketing campaign but you are unable to deliver a satisfactory service you need an online reputation management service.

Why is it so important to manage your online reputation?

Building a good reputation can take years, gaining a bad one can take seconds – this old adage is as true as ever in the internet age. To take Tesco (retail supermarket) as an example. As a result of their Friday Frenzy promotion that went wrong comments started to surface on Facebook. Comments such as:

What a waste of time, think Ill stick to another company for clothes.

Im off, more things to do and other shops to buy from

Not happy with Tesco now, surely thats against the sales of goods act or advertising or something

Dont forget to unlike the page when you get the code to stop further publicity for Tesco

This is (and was) damaging for Tesco in the sense that potential customers searching for the company are likely to find these comments and will be put off by it, which will result in lost customers. No company ever went into business to lose customers, not especially in this way. In todays market and with the huge growth of consumer generated media, online news and industry news, such as blogs, forums, news sites, network sites and message boards, information can be quickly generated and indexed by search engines. That is why business owners realise the importance of listening to what is being said about their businesses online, especially if these messages are negative. Successful organizations are aware of the importance of brand reputation. A positive brand reputation brings trust, confidence, and sales, which are ultimately reflected in revenue growth and profitability.

A Bad reputation can and does result in lower level of consumer confidence, and in turn, a reduction in revenue and profits.

That is why Online Reputation Management is such a vital service for many companies. But how do online marketing companies manage the reputation of their client, how do they stay ahead of all the negative comments that creep out of the web.

Online Reputation Management tools.

These tools will index conversations from blogs, social networks and other social media. These tools will search the blogging world for comments, articles, posts and tweets. As Twitter is quickly growing to become the number one social networking site, I was interested to find out that there are tools out there that monitor what is being said about your business on the website. I found a tool that provides hourly Twitter alerts sent via email, where you can specify keywords, people and links to track. Ofcourse Google alerts is a popular monitoring tool that can be used to monitor new contents on the web with a keyword that you suggest amongst others.

Obstacles to Online Reputation Management

Googles introduction of real-time results into their SERPs has a negative impact for Online Reputation Management because it means that if your name or brand is sites like Twitter, it is likely to start appearing near the top of the search results. This matters for Online Marketing companies because now all the little tweets of the world surrounding your brand or name become more visible to the generic searcher.

Facebook has announced new privacy settings that also complicate reputation management. Users of the site will now have to opt-out from having their status updates displayed to ‘Everyone’.

Everyone includes the search engines.

The most troubling aspect of this is that most users will not know to ‘opt-out’ to keep their status info private.

It’s a shame, because this is a big deal when combined with Google’s new real-time search.

So in conclusion if you want to better understand the role of online marketing companies in Online Reputation Management, see the disgruntled customer as a villain who is determined to destroy the company (victim) and the Online Marketing company as the hero whos mission is to quickly remove the threat from search engines (battleground) and from every nook and cranny.

Aaron Mathews works as an Online Marketing consultant for Rokk Bottom Media.Rokk Bottom Media is an online marketing company based in Staffordshire, England. They specialise in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Website Design and more.Visit their website at http://www.rokkbottommedia.com

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Sep 14
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NSW fraud squad recognised in Singapore

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

The New South Wales police fraud squad have been recognised for their efforts and successes in credit and debit card fraud in Singapore last week according to a statement issued today. The award was presented at the Visa Asia Pacific Risk Management Conference.

The award recognises efforts made by police to reduce credit card skimming attacks. Skimming occurs when either an ATM or merchant’s terminal is modified to record a copy of a customer’s card. This data is then sold on the black market.

The award received by NSW police was one of three presented at the conference. The National Police Agency of Japan and the Economic Crime Investigation Departments of Shenzhen and Guandong Provinces of China were also acknowledged with awards.

Assistant Commissioner Graeme Morgan from the State Crime Command said the award recognised the amount of work done by the squad in reducing credit card fraud. “The effectiveness of the squad is demonstrated by the results achieved by these detectives, who are amongst the best in the world,” he said.

Detective Superintendent Colin Dyson, Commander of the fraud squad applauded his team for receiving the award. “It’s a reflection of the enthusiastic and thorough work being carried out by the squad’s detectives to dismantle organised crime groups, particularly recent strike forces that have led to significant arrests for credit card counterfeiting and skimming offences.”

Visa’s Executive Vice President for Australia and New Zealand, Bruce Mansfield, said that NSW Police play a key role in reducing credit card fraud in Australia. “In Australia, we are fortunate to have the best per-capita card security surveillance systems in the world and this is matched by a strong commitment from law enforcement agencies to fight and track down those trying to defraud the system.”

“NSW Police exemplifies this commitment with dedicated strike forces focusing on organised crime gangs, both local and international. It is playing a critical role in the dismantling of organised crime groups engaged in credit and debit card skimming,” Mr Mansfield said.

Sep 14
Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green candidate Martin Hyde, Ottawa West-Nepean
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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green candidate Martin Hyde, Ottawa West-Nepean

Monday, September 24, 2007

Martin Hyde is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the Ottawa West-Nepean riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Note that he did not answer the question “Of the decisions made by Ontario’s 38th Legislative Assembly, which was the most beneficial to your electoral district? To the province as a whole? Which was least beneficial, or even harmful, to this riding? To the province as a whole?”

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

Sep 14
Free Software Foundation announces release of gNewSense version 1.0
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Free Software Foundation announces release of gNewSense version 1.0

Thursday, November 2, 2006

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has announced today the release of the first version of gNewSense, a new GNU/Linux distribution based on both Ubuntu and Debian. The goal of the newly created distribution is to offer an operating system which is 100% proprietary software free.

Generally, GNU/Linux distributions comes with proprietary software such as kernel drivers (eg. NVIDIA and ATI card drivers), the Opera web browser or the VoIP Skype software among others. According to its developers: “From a philosophical perspective we wanted to create a GNU/Linux distribution where the user has access to all the sources for all software on the system. This includes everything from the heart of the kernel through to the everyday desktop applications.”

Ted Teah, FSF’s free software directory maintainer explained, “With all the kernel firmware and restricted repositories removed, and the reliance on Ubuntu’s proprietary distribution management tool gone, this distribution is the most advanced GNU/Linux distribution that has a commitment to be 100% free.”

gNewSense will provide users with full security updates and is available for immediate download in LiveCD ISO format along with a version of the Ubiquity graphical installer. The developers have also created a set of tools called Builder that allows users to create their own gNewSense-based distributions.

In the new 1.0 version, gNewSense has removed all non-free firmware from the kernel, removed access to the Ubuntu Restricted component (such as links to LaunchPad which are redirected to the gNewSense webpage for now) and replaced the Ubuntu logos with its own. Also the UniVerse component is enabled by default and Emacs, BSD games, NetHack, and build-essential part of the default install.

There already exists such a distribution called Ututo which aims for zero proprietary software but it never really took off in popularity. A few years ago, Mark Shuttleworth, founder of the Ubuntu distribution, also initiated a similar initiative dubbed Gnubuntu but it never materialized.

Sep 10
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Sep 10
Parts of US airplane fall from sky in Brazil
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Parts of US airplane fall from sky in Brazil

Friday, March 27, 2009

Portions of a DC-10 jet registered to the Miami, Florida-based Arrow Cargo company fell from the sky over a residential area in the city of Manaus, Brazil on Thursday.

Parts of one of the turbines of the aircraft caused some damage to a car and a few houses, but no injuries were reported. The airplane was traveling to its destination of Bogota, Colombia. According to the Brazilian Defense Ministry, the parts that detached are the rear exhaust diffuser and a section of the exhaust. The involved plane, registered N526MD, was built in 1978.

“I opened the window after I heard this huge boom and I see this thing up in flames, right in front of my doorway,” said Aparecida Silva, a local resident, to Globo TV. “I had no idea what it was, I thought it was some weird, ugly thing or a UFO or something.” ((Translated from Portuguese)) Portuguese language: Estava no melhor do sono, ouvi uma pancada, abri a janela e vi algo pegando fogo. Aí eu não sabia o que era e disse: é um bicho feio, um extraterrestre ou algo assim.

Rai Marinho, a representative for the Arrow Cargo in Manaus, said that the jet, which was carrying an engineer and three crew members, had engine difficulties soon after taking off. It was able to keep flying, but was obliged to divert to Medellin due to inclement weather, where it landed without incident. The representative added that his company would pay residents for the damage.

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Sep 10
Elite Boston Marathon runner Emily Levan discusses life and running
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Elite Boston Marathon runner Emily Levan discusses life and running

Saturday, April 23, 2005

The interview below was conducted by Pingswept over the phone with Emily Levan on April 21, 2005. Levan lives in Wiscasset, Maine, with her husband and daughter, and she ran in the Boston Marathon women’s race on April 18, 2005.

To summarize for our readers, you recently came in 12th in the Boston Marathon, right?

That is correct.

You were the first American finisher.

Yes.

There was also a Russian woman who lives in the US who finished ahead of you.

You know, I believe it is, I’m not actually positive, but I think you’re right. There’s often a lot of foreign runners that live and train in different parts of the US for a variety of reasons. Some live in Colorado and might train at high altitude, or they might have coaches in the US.

OK, but as far as you know, for straight up Americans, people who were born here, who have lived here for long periods of time and are not going anywhere special to train, you were the first finisher.

That is correct.

So congratulations, that’s very impressive. In the rest of your life, my understanding is that you are going to nursing school.

I am. I’m at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. and I have been going to nursing school for a couple years now. I’m just going part time right now because of the baby and other things going on in my world.

Your baby is currently one and a half?

She’s fifteen months.

Fifteen months, so one and one quarter. 1.25, sure.

Hopefully I’ll finish up nursing school in December. That is the tentative plan.

So you’re almost done.

I just have a couple classes left. I’ll take one class this summer and two classes in the fall.

You ran the Boston Marathon originally two years ago?

Actually, I ran it for the first time in 99. I’ve run it four times. I did run it two years ago as well.

You ran it two years ago, and you also came in twelfth then, if not the top American finisher then. You were the fourth?

I think third or fourth. I can’t remember exactly.

How long were you actually training for this marathon in particular?

I’d say about 4 months. I typically try to train about four months for each race. It depends a little bit on what kind of shape I’m in leading up to the training. Four months is usually the time frame I shoot for.

And how many miles a week were you doing–I assume you peaked somewhere right before the marathon.

At the peak, I have a month or six week period where I’ve built up to my peak training, and I was probably doing between 90 to 100 miles a week.

Was there a lot of variation in your day to day mileage, or was it pretty much you’re doing 1/7th of that mileage every day?

There’s definitely variation, probably more so in the type of workout that i did each day. For example two days a week I would do a speed workout, so I might be doing mile repeats, which just means that I do a mile in a specific time, and then I might jog for a couple minutes and then another one and another one. I’d do a series of eight mile repeats on that specific workout day. My other speed workout would be a marathon pace run, so I might run 8 or 10 miles at my marathon pace. If my marathon pace is 6 minute miles, I’d do a two mile jog warm up, and then I might do 8 or 10 miles at a six minute pace, and then a two mile cool down.

So you maybe end up running 14?

Sometimes what I would do on those speed workout days– on those days I might end up with about 14 miles. On some other days, I might run twice during the course of the day. Say in the morning, I might run eight miles, and then in the afternoon I might do six or eight more miles.

Wow.

Those days tend to be a little bit more mellow. More of kind of a maintenance run, a little bit of a recovery day. I try to have a recovery day after every hard workout.

Do you think that all of your training could fit into four hours a day? Do you think that’s true?

You mean the workouts for a specific day? Probably even less than that. Depending on the day a little bit, probably between 2 or 3 hours. Usually on Sunday I would go out and do a long run, and that would be a 20 or 22 mile run, all in one fell swoop and that usually takes two and a half hours.

So that explains how you’re able to do this, as well as go to nursing school, as well as have an extremely young child. I assume you talk to your friends occasionally.

I try to at least– have some sort of social life. This is not a job, so it’s not something that I do 8 hours a day. It’s something that I fit in with all the other obligations, things that I like to do too. I like to be able to pursue other interests as well.

You live on a road with no one else near by. Do you pretty much just run from your house every day?

The winter is harder because with the baby, I often end up running with a treadmill down in the basement. Brad, my husband, has pretty long hours at the farm, and especially in the winter months, it’s hard to find daylight when he’s able to watch Maddy, so I ended up running a lot on the treadmill this winter, as opposed to last summer, I would take her with me. I have one of those baby joggers, and that was great. I could just leave right from the house, and I could take her. She would be pretty happy to go eight or ten miles with me. Typically what I do when I go outside, I just go right from the house. The roads are so pretty around here. We’re pretty secluded, so I don’t have to worry too much about crazy drivers.

Do you ever try to go find big hills to run up and down?

I do. In the past, I have done a hill workout as a part of my training, usually early on in the training during the first six weeks or 2 months of the training I do a hill workout and I would find some place close by that I could find a warm up jog and run to and then do a hill workout. If I couldn’t find one within a couple miles, I would drive to it. It’s a little bit harder now with Maddy because I don’t have as much leeway and freedom with when I go running and where I go running. I’m a little more limited.

You’d have to load up the cart, er, the carriage into the car.

I’ve done that sometimes. Sometimes it’s easier to go straight from home. Running with the jogger up hills is not an easy thing to do.

When you’re in the race, you feel like, “Hey, I’m not even pushing a kid anymore.” Heartbreak Hill without the kid is substantially easier, I suppose.

Yeah.

Do you know most of the elite runners in the race? You know who they are, but are you friends with them, or not really?

It’s funny–I know who people are, but I don’t run that many races to really get to know that many of the runners. If you’re a professional runner, and that’s your job, a lot of those people travel in the same circles. They run the same races and they have the same schedules in terms of when they compete. I pick out a couple of races each year to focus on and because of that, I don’t get to know as many of the runners. As time goes on, you do get a little bit you do get a little more familiar with people.

During the race, do you talk to the other runners, or do you just run along and think things like, “I wish I were at the end right now”?

I think that really depends I find that if I’m feeling good and the run is going well, then it’s easier for me to talk to people, just because you’re feeling strong, and you’re not focusing so much on “I’m not doing so great.” I might talk to some folks along the way. Sometimes if someone passes me, I’ll encourage them and say “Good job, go get them,” and just stuff like that. I certainly find I’m not carrying on lengthy conversations with people because you’re expending energy that should be focused on the race itself. I enjoy getting to know folks along the way and knowing what pace they’re hoping to run.

In races other than the Boston Marathon do you find that you have good competition? I don’t really know what the running scene in Wiscasset, Maine, is like at all, but I imagine that being the fastest female marathon runner in the United States, you might not find a whole lot of competition. You say that you encourage people when they pass you, but having read some of the other interviews with you on the web, it doesn’t seem like people pass you very often.

It definitely depends on the race. Like I said before, I don’t run that many races. At this point, what I’m trying to do is to find races that are competitive so I can be pushed by competition. For example, when I ran the Maine Marathon last fall, there wasn’t a whole lot of competition. That just gets hard. I ran alone for most of the race. Running 26 miles at a fast pace all by yourself without anyone around you to help push you and motivate you, can be pretty hard. Because of that, as I’ve been looking toward the future and thinking about which races I want to do, I’ve been targeting races that will have a little more competition. That’s why Boston was one that I wanted to shoot for and I’m thinking about in the fall going to Chicago because they’ve got a pretty competitive marathon. It’s also a pretty flat course, so people tend to run pretty fast times there.

Most people run a couple of minutes faster in Chicago, right?

Yeah, exactly. And I’ve heard good things about the race too, so I’m looking forward to that.

Have you thought about running internationally?

Not at this point, no. It’s hard to find the time to travel to races, and It gets expensive too. A lot of my family members say, “Wouldn’t it be great to do the London Marathon or the Paris Marathon,” because they like coming to watch. At this point, I think I’m going to stick closer to home. I’ve got a few races, like I was mentioning Chicago, here in the States that I’d really like to do. Maybe once I’ve done those, I might think about something else, it really just depends. A lot of it’s a time issue, because I have other things that I’m pursuing and it gets hard to spend too much time traveling off doing different races.

Do you know Alan Culpepper?

Oh, yeah, yeah.

You at least know of him, right?

Yes, exactly.

Have you ever been in any races against him?

This was the first race that I had run in that he ran in. He was the fourth overall male finisher. That’s a really good showing for an American male. I’ve read a lot about him in different running magazines and just heard a lot about him through running circles. But this was the first time that I’ve actually seen him run. It was neat because in this particular race, they start the women’s elite group about 25 minutes ahead of the rest of the start.

29 minutes actually, I believe.

That’s right, 29 minutes. So, I didn’t see a male runner until pretty close to the end, so it was really neat to see–I think I saw the top five male finishers because they passed me in the last couple miles. It was really interesting–there’s all these cars and press and motorcycles, policemen, so I could tell when the first male was coming up behind me because there was a lot more going on on the course. Alan Culpepper was one of the ones that passed me in the last mile or two. It was pretty neat to see him finishing strong.

You might not be able to beat him in a race but do you think you could maybe, I don’t know, beat him in a fist fight? He’s pretty skinny, right? He only weighs 130 pounds.

I don’t know. I don’t know. I wouldn’t make any bets on it at this point.

No?

No.

OK. Have you thought about doing things longer than a marathon? Like a 50 K or a 100 K?

At this point, I haven’t because I’ve gotten into the marathon, and I’ve really been enjoying that so far. I feel like I still have some room to improve and grow in the marathon, but I think at some point I’d really like to do one of those ultra-type races. For the next several years, I’ll stick towards the marathon distances. Once that competitive part of my life is over, I might move on to something different.

Based on your age, are you likely to peak around now, or you maybe have a few years to go before your legs start to fall off?

Before I can’t walk anymore? I don’t know. It’s really interesting because for marathoning you’ve got a longer life span than in a lot of competitive sports. The fifth place female finisher in Boston this year was over forty. You can still be competitive into your forties. I’m not sure if I’ll keep doing it that long– at least another 3 years or so. One thing in the back of my mind looking at is the Olympic Trials for 2008. I’m looking at that time frame right now. If I want to keep running competitively after that, then I’ll assess things from there.

That sounds good. When you came in as the first American finisher, did you get any certificates or cash or a medal or anything like that?

Yeah, actually, I won $2100.

Oh, great– two thousand bucks!

Which is pretty nice.

That’s a lot of baby clothes.

I know– or a lot of shoes. The shoe expense is pretty expensive, and I’ve been trying to find a shoe company that might give me some shoes.

I would think–couldn’t you just call up New Balance and say, “Hey, look, I’m pretty good, why don’t you give me some shoes?”

Well, this past November, after I ran New York– I usually wear Asics or New Balance– I wrote to both of those companies. I sent them a little running resume. I said I’d be interested in pursuing some sort of sponsorship opportunity, and they both wrote back and said, “Sorry, we don’t have any space or funds available at this time.” I was a little disappointed by that, because I was hoping to at least get someone to help me out with my shoes.

Yeah, at least some sneakers.

But in addition at Boston, they do have these crystal vases that they give out for the top 15 finishers, so I got a little piece of hardware there too.

So you get to put flowers in that.

I had some flowers in it; they’ve wilted so I decided to compost them.

Oh, that’s good.

Yeah, send them back to the earth, you know.

Has anyone else tried to interview you? Local paparazzi following you?

I hide in my car for most of the day. I did some local interviews–with the local NBC affiliate, and I’m going to do an interview tomorrow with the ABC affiliate in Portland, and some affiliated newspaper interviews as well.

You’re officially famous, then.

I don’t know. I guess. It’s been pretty busy.

Has anyone asked you for an autograph yet?

No. No autograph seekers yet, no.

Maybe in the Yellowfront Grocery in Wiscasset? “Hey, I know you!”

“I saw you on TV!” No, not yet.

That’s surely coming. The Chewonki Foundation, which is where you live, recently had Eaton Farm donated to it.

Yes.

And they’re planning on making a 12 mile long trail that runs from approximately your house to Wiscasset.

Oh, you know more about this than I do, that’s great.

I don’t know if it’s going to start right at your front door; you might have to cut through the woods a little bit.

That’s OK, I can do that.

Have you run on trails at all, or is it just, “I want to run on the pavement because I don’t want to twist an ankle”?

I’m not a big trail runner. Maybe it’s because I’m not used to running on trails. Now it would be much more difficult, because I have the baby with me. The baby jogger has some nice wheels on it, but I don’t know if it could handle trail running.

Yeah.

It’s a nice change of pace every once in a while. I don’t worry too much about twisting an ankle–you just have to be careful. I figure I can walk out my door and step in a pothole and twist my ankle, so I don’t worry too much about that. That goes along with being alive in our world. We’ll see. I’m going to have to look into that 12 mile trail.

Because 12 miles, you do that there and back, you’ve got a marathon on your hands.

There you go.

What’s your next target? Can you walk right now?

If I train well, I’m usually not sore. Especially on the long runs, my body gets used to running for that length of time and sure, I’m running faster during the marathon than I do on my long runs, but I think my body tends to adjust to the rigors. It’s usually a good sign if a few days afterwards I don’t have any major soreness. I certainly feel like I’ve done something significant.

Yeah, I can imagine feeling too.

No major aches or pains.

That’s great. What’s your next race? Do you have one targeted? Is it Chicago?

Yeah, I think the next marathon will be Chicago in the fall. there’s a 10 K race, the Beach to Beacon, you may have heard of it.

In Portland?

It’s actually in Cape Elizabeth. It’s put on by Joan Benoit Samuelson. It’s in August, so I’ll probably do that one and then shoot for the fall marathon.

Well, I think that’s all my questions.

Nice, well, thanks for calling. I appreciate it.

Sure, well, thanks for running so fast.

No problem.

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Sep 9
Diecast Model Cars Are For Big Kids Too

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Diecast Model Cars Are For Big Kids Too

by

chickie maxwell

Race fans and diecast hot-rod collecting are natural partners. Whether race fans ever get the opportunity to actually meet their favorite drivers, or see their cars up close, fans can still collect model cars representing the real race cars. Diecast models are especially desirable, as they are small scale replicas of the genuine hot-rods.

What Are Diecast Model Cars?

Diecast model cars made their initial appearance in the early to mid 20th century, as manufacturers created molds or dies for metal alloys, in order to cast replicas of popular hot-rods and other vehicles. Matchbox models and Hot Wheels were some of the early favorites in the 1960s and 1970s. Diecast models became increasingly popular as details improved on the models and NASCAR racing gained ever increasing numbers of fans in the 1990s.

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What Types and Sizes of Diecast Models are Available?

Diecast models exist in numerous types and sizes. They range from model cars and trucks, to planes and helicopters, to motorcycles, trains, boats, and farm and construction equipment. Racing vehicles and hot-rods seem to be the most popular among collectors of diecast model cars. Sizes also vary, from miniatures only about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in length, to larger models up to 14 or 15 inches long. These sizes are available in measurements known as scales, which are proportional representations in keeping with the full-size dimensions of actual vehicles.

What Are the Scales of Diecast Models?

There more than a dozen scales used for various diecast models, but the most common scales for model cars and hot-rods are as follows:

1:12–This scale represents a model 1/12th the size of the original vehicle.

1:18–This scale represents a model 1/18th the size of the original vehicle.

1:24–This scale represents a model 1/24th the size of the original vehicle.

1:64–This scale represents a model 1/64th the size of the original vehicle.

1:128–This scale represents a model 1/128th the size of the original vehicle.

Ironically, as the scale number increases, the model vehicle size decreases. For instance, considering race cars specifically, a 1:12 diecast model car may measure about 14 inches in length; a 1:18 model may measure about 12 inches in length; a 1:24 diecast model may measure about 8 inches in length; a 1:64 model may measure about 3 inches in length; and a 1:128 model may measure about 1 inch in length.

Other considerations for collectors of diecast models in regard to scale are available investment funds and display space. Obviously, the larger the model cars are, the more funds and space you will need to purchase and display them. Some model car collectors prefer to keep their models in uniform scales, while other collectors like to have assorted sizes of model cars. Whatever your choices are, showcase those diecast models proudly, but resist the urge to “play” with them if you want to increase their value over time.

So whether you’re a fan of Dale Earnhardt Junior or Mark Martin in the NASCAR Series, Danica Patrick or Elio Castroneves in the IndyCar Series, Todd Bodine or Ron Hornaday in the Camping World Truck Series, or any other driver in any racing series, you’re sure to find diecast models representing their vehicles, along with hot-rod model cars of numerous race car drivers. Visit Diecast Models Today! Visit Diecast Models Today!

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Diecast Model Cars Are For Big Kids Too

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Sep 9
Guards uncover 600-foot escape tunnel at US prison in Iraq
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Guards uncover 600-foot escape tunnel at US prison in Iraq

Sunday, March 27, 2005 US troops guarding Camp Bucca in southern Iraq have apparently foiled an escape plan by uncovering a 600 ft of escape tunnel leading from the sprawling, 6,000+ person, detention center. The tunnel had apparently not been used, and officials were uncertain how long detainees had been working on it. No information has been given regarding any prisoners who may have been responsible for the effort.

A number of such tunnels had been found before, but none of this scale or quality.

“We were very close to a very bad thing,” said Major General William Brandenburg, US commander of detainee operations in Iraq.

The prisoners may have planned to make their move under cover of dense fog that often rolls in from the Persian Gulf.

“There was a good chance they would have got out of the camp,” he said.

Extending from beneath the floorboards of a detainee tent to the exterior of the camp, and dug using shovels fashioned from thick poles, canvas, pieces of metal and rope from the tents, the tunnel was buried between 12 to 16 feet underground over its 600 ft length, and around 3ft wide. Dirt had been removed using a cut-open, five-gallon water jug, according to Lt. Col. Guy Rudisill, speaking for the detainee system.

Colonel Rudisill said the guards had begun searching for underground escape passages after finding a 300 ft tunnel last week. They then noticed dirt in latrines and piles of dirt by the camp perimeter.

The facility, with 6,049 prisoners, is twice as large as the notorious Abu Ghraib in Baghdad and holds nearly two-thirds of all those detained in Iraq.

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Sep 9
Four Boy Scouts killed in Iowa tornado
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Four Boy Scouts killed in Iowa tornado

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A major storm suspected to be a tornado has reportedly killed four Boy Scouts camping at the Little Sioux Scout Ranch in Little Sioux, Iowa. Roughly ninety-five Scouts aged thirteen to eighteen and twenty-five adult staff members were believed to be camping at the time the alarm was raised. Most of the scouts were from Omaha-Metro Area, including Omaha and Bellevue, Nebraska and Council Bluffs, Iowa. It is believed that the scouts had as little as twelve minutes to seek shelter from the time the alarm began to the time the storm hit. Early reports stated that thirty to forty scouts had been injured, that number was later reduced to twenty.

A spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America‘s Mid American Council, the region in which the camp was situated, has stated that the storm activated sirens but she couldn’t confirm whether the scouts were staying in tents or buildings.

The Scouts were participating in a training exercise at the 1,800 acre ranch roughly 40 miles northeast of Omaha. Julie Tack, a spokesperson for Iowa Homeland Security, stated that the camp was littered with debris and downed tree branches after being struck by a tornado at or around 7:00 PM Central Daylight Time. Tack went on to say that a search and rescue team had been deployed to the area.

Camp counselors have stated that they were aware of the possibilities that storm was coming and they had heard the tornado sirens going off. There was no underground shelter for the scouts, however they had shelters designated and emergency plans had been discussed the first day of camp. Officials said most of the boys were on a hike when storms moved in.

A camp staff member said that many scouts were injured when a fireplace in one of the shelters collapsed. Most of the injured scouts were treated at hospitals in Sioux City and Missouri Valley, Iowa. Six scouts were brought to the Missouri Valley hospital, most treated for minor injuries and broken bones. One scout suffered a broken hip and was transferred to Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha.

Mercy Medical Center, in Sioux City, have reported two patients arriving by helicopter at 8:13 PM with a third arriving by ambulance. A fourth patient arrived later, again by helicopter. A spokesman for the hospital said the victims are all juveniles and all have serious injuries. Mercy does not expect to receive more camp victims. The names of the victims have not been released.

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