Pope attacked during Christmas Eve Mass

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A woman attacked Pope Benedict XVI during Christmas Eve Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, causing a disruption to the ceremonies. The pope was unharmed and got to his feet and completed the Mass, although afterwards he was taken to a local hospital for evaluation. French Cardinal Roger Etchegaray also fell down and broke a leg. The accused assailant, Susanna Maiolo, is a 25-year-old Swiss national from the Ticino region, is reported to have psychiatric problems.

Susanna Maiolo also attempted to attack the pope during last years Midnight Mass, although she was stopped by security. During both assaults it appears that she was wearing the same red sweater. Vatican spokesman, Rev Federico Lombardi said that “She is known to the Vatican but she was never thought to have been of any serious danger to the Holy Father.”

Despite the attack the pontiff decided to continue the midnight mass services. Although noticeably shaken, he still delivered the traditional “Urbi et Orbi” speech. In this years speech he mentioned the current financial crisis, conflicts in Africa and Israel, and the state of the Christian minority in Iraq.

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Proposed bill could force federal weather data offline

Friday, April 22, 2005

A bill introduced last week by Republican Rick Santorum in the US senate, S. 786, could prohibit National Weather Service from publishing free forecasts online.

This would have no effect on The National Hurricane Center as the bill exempts forecasts meant to protect “life and property.”

“The weather service proved so instrumental and popular and helpful in the wake of the hurricanes. How can you make an argument that we should pull it off the Net now? What are you going to do, charge hurricane victims to go online, or give them a pop-up ad?” said Dan McLaughlin, a spokesman for Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.

Barry Myers, executive vice president of AccuWeather a service that currently competes with National Weather Service free forecasts , said “the bill would improve public safety by making the weather service devote its efforts to hurricanes, tsunamis and other dangers”.

Last year the NOAA eliminated a policy that had prohibited them from offering services that could be provided by the private industry.

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Local municipalities in Italy ask taxes from religious schools

Sunday, August 2, 2015

In the past few days in Italy, several municipalities have started asking religious schools to pay taxes for property and local services, despite the resistance of the Catholic Church.

The request of the municipalities results from the sentence of the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation on July 8, recognising as legitimate the request of the Municipality of Livorno asking religious schools to pay property taxes.

Requests have come from the Municipality of Bogliasco, next to Genova, and from the deputies of Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S) of the regional counsel of Lombardy. The first case is of the mayor Luca Pastorino that in last years received several refusals of his requests for payment because of the religious nursery school and retirement home. In the second case, the M5S party asks to the regional government to assure the local administrations of the region regularly apply the sentence of the Supreme Court.

The case on which the Court has ruled was of the religious schools Santo Spirito and Immacolata in Livorno, Tuscany, to pay over 422,000 euros in arrears for the period from 2004 to 2009. The request was advanced by the Municipality of Livorno in 2010.

The city reasoned, “because the users of the private schools pay a frequency fee, this kind of activity is considered as a commercial one” ((it))Italian language: ?poiché gli utenti della scuola paritaria pagano un corrispettivo per la frequenza, tale attività è di carattere commerciale.

In 2014 the Italian municipal tax discipline has changed from the ICI system to the IMU system by the Monti government. A mean cost per student criterion is used to tax only the schools that receive a fee higher than the mean cost per student fixed by the State. The new law is not retroactive, so the taxes requested in arrears from 2006 to 2009 are under the ICI system.

Minister of Education Stefania Giannini said a “more general reflection” ((it))Italian language: ?riflessione più generale is needed. Claudio De Vincenti, undersecretary to the prime minister, said “a discussion table will be opened with the non-profit associations, religious association included” ((it))Italian language: ?apriremo quindi un tavolo di confronto con le organizzazioni non profit, comprese quelle religiose.

Undersecretary for Education Mr. Toccafondi says “many schools will increase their fees or they will quit. Then the State will have to find new resources to build new structures and manage them” ((it))Italian language: ?Molti istituti aumenteranno le rette o chiuderanno. Così lo Stato dovrà trovare nuove risorse per costruire nuove strutture e gestirle.

Also the president of the Lombardy region, Roberto Maroni, has reacted by proposing some regional counter-measures to finance private schools.

The secretary general of CEI (Italian Episcopal Conference), Nunzio Galantino, has called the sentence “dangerous” ((it))Italian language: ?pericolosa and “ideological” ((it))Italian language: ?”ideologica: “We face a dangerous sentence. Who takes the decisions, do it with less ideology. Because I have the clear sensation that with this way of thinking, they wait the praise of some ideologized supporters. Indeed, they don’t understand what kind of good service private schools held” ((it))Italian language: ?Siamo davanti a una sentenza pericolosa. Chi prende decisioni, lo faccia con meno ideologia. Perché ho la netta sensazione che con questo modo di pensare, si aspetti l’applauso di qualche parte ideologizzata. Il fatto è che non ci si sta rendendo conto del servizio che svolgono le scuole pubbliche paritarie.

Italian secularist associations are concerned the Government will modify the law in order to maintain an exception for religious schools. The secularist magazine MicroMega describe the court’s judgement as historic.

The Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics (UAAR) has launched a petition which now has more than 11,000 signatures, asking the government to respect and execute the sentence of the Supreme Court. It is also encouraging citizens to ask for application of the law in their local municipalities.

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Translucent Stone Panels Providing Awesome Look To Your Home Or Office

Translucent Stone Panels Providing Awesome Look To Your Home or Office


Shane Goldsmith

Objects that allow light to pass through them slightly are known as translucent materials. Nowadays, translucent materials (translucent metal sheets and translucent stone panels) are being used in construction of modern buildings. It helps in providing an environment that is lit by natural lights during daytime. Due to this feature translucent stone panels are widely being used in partitioning of office premises.

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Translucent stone panels are being used widely in modern building construction. Using translucent stone panels in construction is very easy and flexible. They are not only used in construction of commercial premises but also in home construction. The reason behind extensive use of translucent stone panels is its durability, lightweight nature, and ability to pass light through it. Magical Touch of Translucent Stone Panels Translucent stone panels provide magical touch to places where they are used. Nowadays, when you think of design and patterns of translucent stone panels, there are different options to choose from. These products are made not just for usability but also to provide special effect decoration to various places in your home or office. Therefore, experienced stone manufacturers prepare translucent stone panels with attractive designs and textures. Cost Effective Construction with Translucent Stone Panels Use of translucent stone panels reduces construction costs. By using these light weight panels we can reduce cost of cement and other building materials required. Even, we dont need any coloring solution to give desired look to the places where we will use translucent stone panels. We have already discussed that, they themselves come in attractive designs and textures that doesnt require additional touch or fabrication. Being fireproof provides additional sense of security from unwanted fire threats. Additional Economic Benefits of Using Translucent Stone Panels The most important feature of translucent stone panels is the ability to refract light. If used strategically in construction of homes and offices, translucent stone panels can help a lot in energy conservation. By using them in different partitioning or as wall support unit, we can allow natural light to enter into our home of office. Apart from that these stone panels are resistant. They dont allow external heat to enter inside, thus enhancing the performance of air-conditioning system by protecting your home of office from external heat. That means reduced requirement of electricity for lighting purposes and in turn less economic burden due to less electricity consumption.

Translucent Stone Panel products in best quality, give elegant look to your home interiors and exteriors with translucent tiles and other translucent products. For More Information visit :

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Messi makes new record as Barça beats Real Madrid 3-2 in LaLiga

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

On Sunday, in Spanish LaLiga’s El Clásico clash, FC Barcelona defeated Real Madrid 3–2, with Lionel Messi scoring two goals at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium. Messi scored his 500th goal in the Catalonian colours, in the ending moments of the game, becoming the top scorer of the El Clásico in the league with sixteen goals surpassing Alfredo Di Stéfano’s fourteen.

Messi was left on the ground, bleeding after Marcelo’s elbow hit his face in a clash. The Argentine was taken off-pitch, and later continued the game with a tissue paper in his mouth to stop bleeding. Just before the thirty minute mark, Los Blancos captain Sergio Ramos hit the woodwork from Marcelo’s freekick, but the deflection was converted into a 1–0 lead by Casemiro. Five minutes later, Messi levelled for Barcelona dribbling against two Madrid defenders from Rakiti?’s assist.

Messi had not scored in the last six Clásicos. In the 39th minute, Welsh forward Gareth Bale, who became the third Briton to reach 100 appearances landmark in La Liga, was substituted following an injury. Marco Asensio replaced the Briton. Bale was out for the last two matches due to injury. David Beckham and Gary Lineker, former forwards of Madrid and Barcelona respectively, previously made over 100 appearances in La Liga. At half time, Madrid had six attempts on target, as compared to Barça’s one.

Madrid striker Karim Benzema missed a chance to score in the 52nd minute when Barcelona’s shot-stopper Marc-André ter Stegen played a goal kick to Benzema. A minute later, ter Stegen stopped Benzema’s six yard header from finding the nets. Ronaldo missed a chance to put Madrid in front in the 67th minute from Asensio’s assist. Minutes later, Casemiro was subbed off for Mateo Kova?i?. Barcelona brought on André Gomes for Paco Alcácer. Casemiro was booked early in the match for bringing down Messi. He later fouled the Argentine in the 45th minute, but got away without receiving a second yellow.

Minutes later Toni Kroos lost mark of Rakiti? as the Croatian faked a shot and scored a 20-yard goal from his left foot, putting the Blaugrana in the lead. In the 77th minute, Ramos was shown a straight red card for bringing down Messi. Barça defender Gerard Piqué missed a chance to make it 3–1 from Gomes’ pass. James Rodríguez was brought on for Benzema, and four minutes later, the Colombian scored from Marcelo’s assist.

With only two minutes added for the injury time, Sergi Roberto’s run from Barcelona’s half was later converted to the match winning goal by Messi from Jordi Alba’s assist scoring his 23rd goal in El Clásico. ter Stegen made twelve saves in the entire match, the most in the league since 2003–2004. Messi was booked for removing his jersey celebrating his 500th goal for Barcelona. He leads the race for the Spanish Golden Boot — Pichichi Trophy — which he last won in 2013.

After the match, Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane said, “We can not be happy. We made a lot [of chances] during the whole game. We had many goalscoring chances, but couldn’t bring the game under control. When you don’t kill the game off, this can happen, and it did. We are disappointed with the result, when you get back to 2-2 with 10 men you have to think a little more and defend together.” ((es))Spanish language: ?No podemos estar contentos. Hicimos mucho, durante todo el partido. Tuvimos muchas ocasiones de gol, para llevar el partido a nuestro lado. Cuando tú no matas el partido puede pasar esto y pasó. Estamos decepcionados con el resultado. Cuando logras el 2-2 con diez hay que tener un poco más de cabeza y estar juntos para defender

The Court of Arbitration for Sports turned down Barcelona’s appeal to play Neymar for El Clásico, who received a three-match ban after sarcastically applauding an official after a red card against Málaga CF in a previous La Liga match. Luis Enrique said, “I am prepared to play the match with Neymar or without him. You will have to wait for the game to see if I risk putting him.” ((es))Spanish language: ?Estoy preparado para jugar el partido con Neymar o sin él. Tendréis que esperar al partido para ver si me arriesgo a ponerlo.

April 23, 2017
Real Madrid 2 –3 FC Barcelona Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid Attendance: 81,044 Referee: Alejandro José Hernández Hernández
Casemiro 28’James Rodríguez 86’Sergio Ramos  77’Casemiro 12’Gareth Bale 39’Marco Asensio 39’Casemiro 70’Mateo Kova?i? 70’Karim Benzema 82’James Rodríguez 82′ 1–1 (HT) Lionel Messi 33’Ivan Rakiti? 73’Lionel Messi 90 + 2’Samuel Umtiti 39’Lionel Messi 90 + 2’Paco Alcácer 70’André Gomes 70′
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CBC’s new show The One sparked some controversy over simulcast

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The One: Making a Music Star is a new reality show hosted by CBC personality George Stroumboulopoulos.

The show airs on ABC and on CBC.

It premiered yesterday and has sparked some controversy over the simulcast, which according to ABC’s schedule means displacing CBC’s The National for a U.S. program.

Over the past few weeks, CBC’s decision to simulcast The One has drawn criticism from a number of individuals and groups, including Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, NDP MP and federal heritage critic Charlie Angus, and a retired CBC journalist Knowlton Nash.

Since the show airs on Tuesday night, the episodes will bump The National to an earlier slot in Atlantic Canada and a later one in Ontario and Québec, which means it will air at 11:00 PM instead of 10:00 PM in Ontario and in Quebec. The Wednesday night editions will also bump The National to an earlier slot in Ontario and Quebec.

A Canadian version of the series will launch in the fall in another time slot, but a condition of the CBC’s franchise deal for this production was to simulcast the ABC production. This also represents the first time in over a decade that the CBC has scheduled an American-produced series in prime time.

The CBC’s will continue to show The National at different times on the main broadcast network and on CBC Newsworld. “We get discouraged that people don’t appreciate the fact that [The National] is on Newsworld. . . . People watch their news on the Internet, on cable, on broadcast and we’re giving it to them in all different kinds of ways. We’re very proud of The National. I just hope that gets across.” , said Kirstine Layfield, CBC’s executive director of network programming.

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How To Compact Soil And Gravel

By Ken Hunter

When it comes to structural building projects, I don’t have many pet peeves. Most conventional wood-frame structures feature tried and true building practices that will stand up well to most environmental stresses short of severe quakes and tsunamis. Good materials well braced and supported are generally sufficient, even when used by less experienced builders. If there is an area of neglect, it is that many builders, professional and amateur alike, often forget that a substrate – the ground – is also a building material.

So this is my pet peeve in a nutshell: why go to the trouble of installing rigid, durable materials like concrete and wood when these rest on a material that if neglected or untreated are incapable of supporting their own weight, let alone a building above them. It’s equivalent to piling bricks on a sponge.

Compacting the Soil

The solution to this problem is easily remedied in a word: compaction. That first of structural materials – the substrate – common to every building project from skyscraper to woodshed can be turned to a sound building material by compressing (also called “tamping”) it until it is so tightly packed that it will properly support almost any building load. In typical highrise construction, piles are used. You may have heard these being pounded into the earth, often from a great distance away. These piles are aiming for bedrock, the outer surface of the earth’s mantle. Due to settling and other compressive forces, bedrock is an ideal substrate for building.

Most buildings, however, do not rest on bedrock. Although this would be ideal, it is far too expensive to drive piles deep into the earth, and in the case of most buildings, unnecessary. This is because properly compacted substrates will easily bear the building loads above them.

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Some substrates require no compaction at all. Some clays, for example, have been so tightly compressed over time that if dry, are said to have greater compression strength that concrete. The same can be said about some stone. We’ve often built directly on both of these materials, pinning building footings to the substrate by embedding steel pins that tie substrate to concrete footing. In some cases a clay substrate can be so dense that a sledgehammer will do no more than lightly dent its surface when struck. A similar test for compressive strength can be used for stone substrates. A hammer striking most sandstone and some granites will turn these materials to dust, but as for supporting buildings, few stone substrates will be exposed to the pound-per-inch striking force of a steel hammer.

Most buildings sites don’t offer such substrates as these. Instead, what a little digging reveals is a composite of sand and gravel ranging from fines to boulders, these just beneath a layer of organic material usually called topsoil. As topsoil usually contains a high percentage of compostable materials, it does not usually make a good building base and should be excavated until a so called “undisturbed” base is reached.

This brings me directly to my pet peeve. In 20 plus years of building, I have watched as numerous builders simply scrape of the topsoil, then place their footing forms directly on an undisturbed base. I long ago gave up saying anything about it; the glassy stares alone demonstrate the futility of mentioning that they are simply, and returning to the analogy, placing a brick on a sponge. Let’s stop here for a moment to consider what will happen to a building so placed. Will it fall over? Not likely. As mentioned, conventional building practice is far too sound to allow this. Instead, what will happen is that the concrete footings will settle, usually irregularly, meaning the overall building may drop inches in one area and a fraction of that elsewhere. Builders (and even some inspectors) often over optimistically assume that at least the building will settle consistently, but the result will be those cracks or fissures visible in all improperly foundated concrete work from house foundations to sidewalks and driveways. Further, the building may have a disjointed, uneven look under extreme circumstances. This is not a doomsday scenario, of course, but again, why go to the trouble of using durable materials when these are so quickly and unnecessarily compromised?

How to Tamp

So now that we appreciate the importance of tamping, how is it done? The easiest method is a power compactor. These come in various sizes and models, and usually rely on vibrating substrate materials until they can settle no further. Weight is a factor here also, and compacters tend to be heavy. The beauty of this method is that it exposes the substrate to far more pounds-per-inch force that the building ever will. In the event a trench foundation is being used, a compactor often called a “jumping jack” can be dropped into a trench or pad hole and let to work its magic. Compactors will usually cause your hands to itch, and may even cause blistering, so use padded gloves when using them. When tamping a small area, I’ll attach handles to a six by six beam of wood and pound the earth with this low-tech device. It, too, subjects a substrate to powerful pounds-per-inches forces, but also subjects the body to a good deal of perhaps unwanted exercise.

How much compaction is required? I will usually use a length of 2″ x 4″ (5 cm x 10 cm) (or even a hammer depending on the substrate composite), pounding this against the substrate to test it. Like striking dense clay or stone with a hammer, there should not be much ‘give” in a properly tamped base. There are other ways to test for degree of compaction, but this simple method works well for most purposes.

Another important note on compaction is something a great many experienced builders do not know. Regardless of the type of compaction devise used, no compacters adequately compress more than a few inches of substrate at a time. This means that if you are adding fill to create a building base, it must be done successively. For example, if you’ve removed loose soil to the “undisturbed” level, then need to bring that level up (because you’re backfilling an excavation, perhaps), add a few inches of backfill, compact this, and repeat the process until the desired elevation of compacted substrate is reached. I once watched an excavator backfill a newly-formed swimming pool, adding approximately twelve feet (4 metres) of backfill to create a grade surrounding the finished pool, and all in one go. The crew then tamped this unstable mixture at grade, and placed a standard thickness concrete slab on it. Bearing in mind your know-how on prepping substrates for subsequent materials, you know the answer to the question of how well that newly-placed concrete slab held up.

Building on Bog

Sometimes there is no point in compacting a substrate at all. This scenario is encountered worldwide, usually in lowland areas where buildings are located on boggy soils. In such circumstances piles could be driven to bedrock, but because of the cost and other considerations, this is not usually done with smaller buildings. Theoretically, such efforts to compact here will continue until the tampers and their equipment reach bedrock far below days or weeks later. Typically, building in these cases anticipates a high degree of settling, and gives a building a correspondingly shorter lifespan. Sometimes under this less than desirable situation, a wood-frame foundation is constructed to ensure living areas are elevated above the grade and the building essentially floats on the bog. Occasionally, builders will “float” a concrete slab or some other similar building support, then build on this. Without exception though, gravity eventually has its way.

Recently on such a substrate, we constructed supports by driving many steel rods through the bog to bedrock six feet (2 metres) below. These steel rods were hand driven, and wrapped in concrete at and above grade, essentially becoming a piling. No settling has occurred, and the solution has worked well, although the complexity of this approach will certainly increase the further down a load-bearing base is found to soon become impractical. Any deeper, and we would have needed to resort to conventional pile driving as “floating” a base was not an option.

Except for those circumstances when a solid base is impractical such as on a bog, building is always better on the solid base that sound compaction practice creates. Buildings look better, work better, and last longer when builders take the time to tamp.

About the Author: Ken Hunter is chief structural designer, service director and owner of Hunterstruct Construction, a Vancouver based construction company offering design, building, structural repair and

home renovations

throughout Southwest British Columbia, including the BC interior and Sunshine Coast. This

deck builder

showcases its best sundecks on the website. We love building, and it shows!


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New York bridge shut down after suspicious truck found

Thursday, May 6, 2010

New York Police Department spokesperson Paul Browne said that New York City’s Triborough Bridge was shut down after a U-Haul truck with Arizona state license plates was found abandoned.

The truck reportedly smelled of gasoline according to the toll booth operator. Officials reported that the police department’s bomb squad investigated the vehicle. There was no report of a bomb, says Reuters.

Police say witnesses reported seeing a man fleeing from the vehicle on Wednesday night.

This comes just days after the bomb scare in Times Square.

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California jury orders Skilled Healthcare to pay $671 million in damages

Friday, July 9, 2010

A California jury in a Humboldt County courthouse ordered nursing home operator Skilled Healthcare (SH) to pay $671 million (about €531 million) in a class action lawsuit from patients of SH’s 22 California facilities and their families. The jury found that SH failed to properly staff its facilities to comply with California state law.

The jury has not heard the case for punitive damages; however, it awarded the plaintiffs $613 million (about €484 million) in statutory damages. The remaining $58 million (about €46 million) was in restitution.

After the verdict was issued, Skilled Healthcare stocks plunged over 75% to a record low.

An official statement from SH says it “strongly disagrees” with the jury’s verdict. SH plans on filing an appeal to the decision. The company could possibly face bankruptcy because of this verdict.

One of the lawyers for the nearly 32,000 plaintiffs, Timothy Needham, claimed that inadequate staffing levels put SH’s patients at risk. He said, “The company knows that this lack of staffing causes a higher risk of problems for patients. Call lights don’t get answered, persons don’t get proper hygiene, persons don’t get their medications on time or the care they need.”

This lawsuit does not apply to SH’s facilities in Arizona, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas.

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Froth Up With Whipped Cream Chargers}

Submitted by: Roxanne Andrew

For lay persons, the compound nitrous oxide is vaguely remembered as a by-product of important chemical reactions back in the days of grade seven in school. Popularly known as laughing gas or nangs,’ nossies or whippets in some linguistic circles, the whipped cream chargers have a huge industrial application and is in demand as an anesthetic and for making delicious recopies. Read on to find out more about cream chargers.

Typically, nitrous oxide is tasteless and has a faint sweet smell about it. Nitrous oxide chargers are mostly legally used for cooking purposes. For culinary aesthetics, chefs use nitrous oxide to make whipped cream and many more delicious concoctions which have a frothy texture.

Simply breaking it down, the physical process to make whipped cream is that the nitrous oxide dissolves itself into the grease of the cream, and the resultant effect is the foamy cream. The product thus made had a uniform texture and is without residue. The whipped cream chargers used have a long life and are easy to store at room temperatures. For casual chefs, one single charger can last up to a few weeks or a month. For culinary houses, about four to five chargers can be used up in a day.

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Whipped cream from the chargers is different from hand whipped cream. The former method yields substantially more volume than the latter. The Chargers are also a much faster alternative. Also, opting for the cream chargers will ensure that your whipped cream is safe from bacterial decay and putrefaction because the nitrous oxide gas does not allow the oxygen to interact with the fat of the cream. This saves it from atmospheric oxidation and hence delays the process of it getting stale. Other food-based uses of nitrous oxide include innovative additions to sauces, batters, mousses, etc

These nitrous dispensers are very easy to use and can give you fancy and artful twists to your home-made desserts. Or you can also give your daily coffee installment a jaunty zing by lathering it with some whipped cream. All you have to do is mix in about 16 ounces of heavy cream with about three teaspoons of vanilla essence. Put this mixture into the dispenser and attach the whipped cream charger. Shake the apparatus properly and froth up anything that you care to revamp. Bon appetite!

Nitro brew coffee is also a very hip thing to try these days. It is incredibly easy to make. The coffee brew is kept concentrated and is maintained at cooler temperatures. This concentrate is then out under pressure with nitrous oxide and water while being dispensed from a nozzle. The resulting mixture is a beautiful eddy of brown and white colours as it is collected into a cup. The flavour of this delightful preparation is often compared to stout beer, and in appearance too, the analogy is understandable because of the firm foam that floats atop.

So get one cream charger today and enjoy the new sassy twist to your meals!

About the Author: Check out a wide range of whipped cream chargers (

) in our site. There are many options that you can choose from. Make a fruitful addition of cream chargers (

) to your kitchen. Browse through and see what suits you the best.


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