Homecoming floats constructed in half the time as usual

Pi Beta Phi deviated from its original plan for Float to instead highlight its philanthropy. Photo courtesy Pi Beta Phi. By Vivian Roach | Staff Writer. This …
Pi Beta Phi deviated from its original plan for Float to instead highlight its philanthropy. Photo courtesy Pi Beta Phi.

By Vivian Roach | Staff Writer

This year’s Homecoming float participants will be showing their work at McLane Stadium for a pep rally on Friday night where the audience can get an up-close look.

“McLane on Friday night will be the big event, the Homecoming event,” Frisco senior Ashley Madden, parade chairperson, said.

Kappa Alpha Order with Alpha Phi, Phi Kappa Chi with Kappa Alpha Theta and Pi Beta Phi will present their floats for judging on Thursday and will be awarded in front of everyone on Friday.

“It’s kind of like after a normal parade they get parked in front of Tidwell to be able to walk over and look at. That’s the general idea,” Madden said. “We’re hoping to draw more of a crowd this year because they’re more front and center, so people can see the work that has gone into them. There will also be a video shown during the prep rally about the work that went into the floats.”

Madden said groups usually work eight weeks on floats, but this year they only had about four weeks to finish.

“They lost originally two weeks when we came back to school, when no organizations could meet and then they also lost an additional week when Baylor extended that,” Madden said. “And so that was the official build time, but I feel like they lost a lot of time over the summer. In normal years, they submit their themes and their designs in the summer. Then, they get approved, and they can start ordering materials and start on the first day of school, but because everything was so up in the air over the summer, it got pushed back.”

Celina senior Ben Whisman, float coordinator, said his expectations in the beginning also changed over time. There were plans for 13 floats from organization chairs, he said, and only three floats remain now.

Portland, Ore. senior Kate Pitcher, float chair for Pi Beta Phi, said they decided to stick with plans for a float because it has been the only activity chapter members are allowed to do together.

“We felt like it would just be unifying for our organization and fun and to be able to take advantage of that opportunity to see each other in person,” Pitcher said.

No float design rules or requirements have changed except for determining the float class, Whisman said. Floats are organized into classes, depending on how much money each group plans to spend. They are judged by class and a grand champion is awarded across all classes usually. This year is a little different.

“They do not have to designate a class standing until they finalize everything and then go, we spent this much money, so we will be in this class,” Whisman said. “That’s completely fine with me. I think we’re going to have one in each category, but that might change to where they all end up in one class. No matter what, I think all of them are still going to be fantastic because I’m still blown away with the amount of time that they’ve had yet the level that they’ve done.”

Pitcher said they stuck with a simpler theme and promoted their philanthropy this year. In doing so, she said that Pi Beta Phi was able to donate $3,000 to their philanthropy with the leftover float budget and plans on donating the 2,000 books used in the float display to elementary school kids.

“Originally, we had picked a theme with the fraternity that we paired with, but when they dropped out, we didn’t feel like we had the building capabilities to continue with that theme,” Pitcher said. “And so because it is kind of a weird year with COVID, we decided to make our float theme our philanthropy, which is ‘Read, Lead, Achieve.’ So chapter members actually donated books to our book displays on the float, and the main feature on our float is a giant rainbow made out of books.”

Baylor alumni won’t be able to see these floats in person though. The pep rally was approved as an in-person event, but to meet social distancing guidelines and safety requirements, only students are allowed to attend in person. Up to 1,000 students will be allowed in each event location at McLane: the stadium, alumni tailgate area and student tailgate area, Madden said.

CM Labs Hosts Online Showcase for the Latest Ports Training Technology

Pivoting from physical trade shows to virtual events, CM Labs is showcasing the latest innovations in ports training technology to the industry online.

straddle carrier simulator
Advanced straddle carrier simulator (CM Labs)

By The Maritime Executive 09-17-2020 11:20:24

Pivoting from physical trade shows to virtual events, CM Labs is showcasing the latest innovations in ports training technology to the industry online. This Oct 15, CM Labs is hosting a virtual trade show featuring live and on-demand presentations & demos devoted to the latest innovations in the port sector.

“Our intent was to present these innovations at TOC Europe,” says Elena Shalabanova, CM Labs’ Product Manager, Ports Solutions. “Naturally, our goal remains the same at this virtual event: to ensure that the ports industry’s digital transformation is backed by information about the latest innovations in training technology.”

The speaker line-up includes international port professionals and industry leaders from ZPMC for Smart Solutions Group and other international organizations.

Along with thought leadership, the event will feature one-on-one access to technology experts, virtual networking opportunities, and demos of new and emerging ports technology around training and remote operations. Just as in a real event, participants will have access to experts to discuss their projects immediately if need be.

Attendees will obtain actionable insights into the latest advances in remote operations, new predictive training capabilities, and award-winning simulation technology.

The show agenda includes:

• Session by ZPMC Smart Solutions Group

• Training innovation demo

• Sessions on new simulator training packs (yardside and quayside solutions)

• Session on simulator hardware platform highlights

• Session presenting a cutting-edge Remote Operating Station Simulator designed in partnership with ZPMC

Presentations will also be available for download following the event. To register, visit https://info.cm-labs.com/new-emerging-technologies.

The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.

Forget the pub crawl: Today’s pre-wedding parties are luxury getaways with a huge price tag

A recent Credit Karma survey conducted in the U.S. shows 35 per cent of millennial respondents have gone into debt to attend a bachelor or …

Social media has a major influence on the way millennials arrange pre-wedding parties these days.

nikola pejcic/iStockPhoto / Getty Images

Erica Seetner had no idea where she was going for her bachelorette party. Her friends told her what to pack, then drove her to the airport for what turned out to be a five-day trip to Paris. They treated the 27-year-old Torontonian to wine tastings, food tours and a cabaret show, and scheduled enough downtime to manage their jet-lag.

“It was a perfect itinerary,” says Ms. Seetner, a teacher. “I had an amazing time.”

Her husband, Nathan Elias, rented a nine-bedroom mansion on Lake Erie for a weekend for his bachelor party. For about $400 each, his guests had the run of a property that the 33-year-old software consultant described as “an estate.” The money also covered paintball and a “ridiculous amount” of beer and food.

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“It was kind of important for me… to go away on a weekend,” Mr. Elias says. He wanted his closest friends to be together and develop a rapport before the wedding.

The pre-wedding parties of the past – usually celebrated through pub crawls or spa days – appear to be fading away. Instead, the betrothed and their friends are overwhelmingly choosing extended trips to novel locations. The shift is due in part to people getting married later in life and looking for new experiences, now that they have more disposable income. It’s also a good excuse to convince friends to go away on a dream vacation.

Mr. Elias and Ms. Seetner have also participated in their share of elaborate pre-wedding parties for others. “The last six or seven [bachelor parties] I’ve been to have all been out of town,” Mr. Elias says. “Being a little bit older, your idea of what’s fun changes a bit.”

While the ages of grooms, and their financial means, are increasing, one bachelor staple hasn’t gone out of style: strippers.

“Everyone does the same thing, more or less: nightclubs, restaurants, and strip clubs. It’s just in degrees of how extravagant and high-end it gets,” says Oren Bornstein, whose company Connected Montreal plans destination bachelor parties.

Mr. Bornstein says his company can plan a party weekend for a “couple hundred” dollars per person, but specializes in more high-end affairs. This year, one group from Texas arrived on a private jet and spent between $60,000 and $70,000 for 15 people, including $5,000 bottles of wine, a limousine, personalized menus at top restaurants and a rented mansion. Another client, a professional athlete from the U.S., arranged a game of “stripper basketball.”

The increased focus on getaways is often inspired by what people see on social media, Mr. Bornstein says. A steady rotation of vacation shots on Instagram, for instance, is fuelling the urge to travel among millennials. “Travel is a much bigger part of the culture,” he says. “Experiences are valued more than goods.”

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Melissa Haggerty, an event planner with Toronto’s SpectacularSpectacular, says most of the brides she has worked with recently have gone away for their bachelorette parties instead of having more traditional parties at home.

“Not only are they getting married, they’re going to four or five weddings each year. How can people afford this?” says Ms. Haggerty, who has planned about 350 weddings over the past 15 years. “In addition to these bachelorettes, people are expected to buy gifts and dresses and shoes if they’re in the wedding party. These are expensive friendships.”

A recent Credit Karma survey conducted in the U.S. shows 35 per cent of millennial respondents have gone into debt to attend a bachelor or bachelorette party. Nearly half (46 per cent) of all respondents who went into debt to attend a pre-wedding party said they felt “obligated” to fork over the money for the event. The survey also says 30 per cent of millennials have gone into debt to attend a wedding, with about 42 per cent of all respondents who went into debt saying it was a “novel/once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

University of British Columbia economist Marina Adshade, author of the book, Dollars and Sex: How Economics Influences Sex and Love, says the destination pre-wedding or wedding party could put pressure on people getting married to choose bridesmaids and groomsmen who are able to afford travel.

She says spending a few hundred dollars on a pre-nuptial party or a wedding might not be much for people with a job and no kids. “For your sister in first-year university, it’s an undue hardship,” Ms. Adshade says. “It shouldn’t be tied to income to have that role in someone’s wedding.”

Mr. Elias and Ms. Seetner say they wouldn’t have taken declined invitations personally. Mr. Elias’s group pro-rated the cost of the affair, so people could come for a shorter time and pay less.

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Ms. Seetner accommodated people who couldn’t come to Paris by having a second – more traditional – bachelorette in Toronto. She says a friend of hers came up with the two-party system and several people in their group have followed suit since.

“It seems excessive,” she says, “but it’s nice to include everyone.”

Dutch Delight At Brexit Bounty

He said interest in transferring operations was particularly enthusiastic among the financial technology, health, life science and health sectors.

Shippers are rapidly relocating distribution and storage capacity to continental Europe ahead of the U.K.’s expected exit from the European Union (EU).

Britain is scheduled to ‘Brexit’ the EU with no deal on 31 October although multiple outcomes are still possible. However, as reported in FreightWaves, even if a no-deal Brexit is somehow avoided this month, the U.K.’s anticipated eventual departure is already reshaping the European logistics landscape.

Anecdotal evidence that this trend is in full flight was readily available on a fact-finding logistics tour of the Netherlands by FreightWaves last week.

Cuno Vat, CEO of Neele-Vat Logistics, a Netherlands-based logistics provider, said that while the uncertainty around Brexit had been confusing for business, new opportunities have emerged.

“We’ve seen a five-fold increase in requests from overseas companies currently with setups in the U.K. that want to redesign their supply chain. They are considering the Netherlands as a location and want us to be their business partners,” he said.

Video Credit: Mike King/FreightWaves

Timely distribution to the U.K. from this Royal FloraHolland global flower hub and marketplace near Amsterdam will be difficult post-Brexit.

Vat explained that during the 1980s and 1990s many companies from North America and Asia established European bases in Britain to benefit from the advantages of English as a first language, openness to immigrants, a reliable legal system and relatively low taxes. Yet with Brexit threatening labor shortages, customs checks and other transactional costs, many have changed tack and are now looking to continental Europe for safe haven.

For some manufacturers, in the food industry for example, this is a short-term risk management play – they are building up temporary inventory on both sides of the English Channel to guard against short-term Brexit logistics chaos. However, others are making substantial, long-term commitments to shifting large parts of their businesses out of the U.K.

“Some companies only need temporary storage around the Brexit deadline in October, as they did in late March, the previous Brexit deadline,” said Vat. “We make money on this business, but we know it won’t last.

“Others are relocating from the U.K. to continental Europe; here [The Netherlands] and to other places. An enormous amount of new warehousing has been built and that demand has been picked up.”

He was not alone in noting that many shippers are already transferring storage and distribution networks out of the U.K. in anticipation of increased transactional costs at the U.K. border.

Stan de Caluwe, senior supply chain solutions manager of the Holland International Distribution Council (HIDC), told FreightWaves his organization was in talks “with various logistics companies at the moment” about moving from the U.K. to the Netherlands, transfers HIDC helps to facilitate.

“Many are starting with additional solutions such as a second hub here and one in the U.K., then longer term are looking to move their European distribution center here and will then service the U.K. from here.”

De Caluwe said that as the center of gravity in Europe shifts eastwards post-Brexit, this will drive demand for storage and distribution capacity not only in the Netherlands, but also in western Germany and Belgium.

He takes the view that “the main entry points will still be in the west of Europe,” especially via the port of Rotterdam and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, which will ensure the Netherlands maintains its prized “gateway” status.

He said interest in transferring operations was particularly enthusiastic among the financial technology, health, life science and health sectors. “Many have licensing issues if they aren’t located in the European Union when Brexit happens,” he added. “So those companies are in a hurry.”

Jorn Douwstra, business manager for international trade and investment at Rotterdam Partners, also confirmed the trend, noting that financial and insurance companies had already moved to the Rotterdam area to avoid licensing issues.

“We think that a lot of multinationals already have a plan to move,” he said. “A lot of small businesses in the U.K. don’t know what to do and are waiting until there’s a final decision on Brexit. And we see a lot of mid-size companies trying to make up their minds.”

Douwstra continued, “If they have a large market share in mainland Europe instead of the U.K., then for a lot of companies it’s beneficial to try to open a warehouse here to serve those clients, especially if they ship goods from outside the EU because you don’t want to have dual tariffs.”

Michiel Bakhuizen, strategic adviser for the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (organizers of the fact-finding tour), believes many companies are keeping their options open but if a no-deal Brexit proceeds, they will be ready to move after a relatively short interim period.

“They really want to be sure that a no-deal Brexit is definite before investing the amounts of money needed to move over to the Netherlands,” he added.

More FreightWaves articles by Mike


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PICTURES, VIDEO: DP World unveils Expo 2020 Dubai pavilion

The port operator will introduce DP World Cargospeed, the transportation system powered by hyperloop technology at the pavilion, as well as Box Bay …

Dubai-headquartered port operator DP World – the Official Premier Global Trade Partner of Expo 2020 Dubai – has revealed the design of its pavilion for the next World Expo, which opens its doors on 20 October 2020.

According to the company, the pavilion will be based on the concept of ‘making trade flow’, and is in line with Expo 2020 Dubai’s sub-themes of ‘Opportunity’, ‘Mobility’, and ‘Sustainability’.

DP World’s Expo 2020 Dubai pavilion [supplied].

The port operator will introduce DP World Cargospeed, the transportation system powered by hyperloop technology at the pavilion, as well as Box Bay, an automated high-rise stacking system.

We’re building a legacy so that we can all create a better future. Take a first look at the DP World pavilion at @Expo2020Dubai – the #PowerOfFlow. #Expo2020pic.twitter.com/q7CjtHZaPw

— DP World (@DP_World) October 8, 2019

Augmented and virtual reality interactions to showcase the real-time movement of cargo to Expo 2020 Dubai visitors will also feature at the pavilion.

The pavilion will showcase the future of mobility [supplied].

Commenting on pavilion, group chairman and chief executive officer of DP World, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, said: “The pavilion will become a permanent feature of Expo 2020 Dubai’s legacy at District 2020, reinforcing the emirate’s reputation as a knowledge-based economy.

“It will benefit future generations for years to come, long after the event has ended by introducing young minds to career opportunities in logistics and trade coupled with insights into their vital role in keeping the world moving.”