Archive for December, 2014

Travel listing

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

IT HAS been an interesting year here on the Gulliver blog. We have covered everything from the tragedies of the two Malaysian Airlines disasters, to the diary of a correspondent’s cat, who was forced to follow his master from London to S?o Paulo. But which have been the stories that most captured readers’ imaginations? Listed below are the ten most-read stories on this blog from the past 12 months. 

1. Kissing business acquaintances: X, XXX or XXXXX?
A map showing how many times French people in different regions typically kiss one another when they greet highlights why, in a business setting, it is best to stick to a firm handshake

2. Boeing’s 747: The…Continue reading

Road Conditions in North Eastern Bulgaria Deteriorate

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

The road conditions in north eastern Bulgaria are deteriorating, Georgi Zlatev of the Road Infrastructure Agency told the Focus agency.

It had started snowing again in the regions of Shumen, Razgrad and Dobrich and the high winds are piling the snow on the roads, according to Zlatev.

“Our teams are working hard, but right after the plows and gritters pass, the wind piles the snow back on the road,” he said.

He warned the motorists to be extremely cautious and to avoid travelling, unless really necessary.

The roads in the rest of the country are passable, but are wet and in some parts snowy. 


Number of Norman Atlantic Victims Reaches 13, Survivors Tell Stories of Horror, Chaos

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

The number of victims of the fire on the Greek ferry Norman Atlantic has reached 13, but rescuers fear the figure might rise.

Among the victims are two Albanian sailors on a tugboat who died after being hit by a connecting cable between the vessels on Tuesday, Albanian officials say.

More than 400 passengers were rescued, but it is still unclear how many are missing, as Italian authorities established discrepancies between the official passenger list and the actual number of people on the torched ferry. It is suspected that the people not on the passenger manifest were illegal immigrants.

According to Bulgaria’s Nova TV national channel, the Italian authorities were also investigating a possible arson with intention to kill.

Meanwhile, two of the seven Bulgarians on board the Norman Atlantic said that the crew was in panic and didn’t know what to do when the fire broke out in the vehicle deck of the ship.

“I was in hell, now I am in heaven”, one of the first people rescued Galin Haytov told the bTV national channel from the hospital in the Italian city of Brindisi, where he expects surgery on his broken arm and collarbone. “I woke up to the sound of screams and blasts. It was dark, there was smoke and I realised there was a fire. I managed to get out and get on the open deck. I found my way to one of the life boats, but while I was waiting for the women to board it, someone pushed me and I fell and broke my arm and collarbone. It hurts, it’s unpleasant, but I am alive. I may be in hospital, but at least I am not in the open sea, on a boat on fire. I am in heaven”

Radka Todorova, one of the last ones rescued from the ferry told the Nova TV national channel she tried three times to climb up the stairs to the rescue helicopter and three times she was pushed aside by men. “Three times I tried and three times men pushed me aside,” she said. “They were so much more pushy than us, women.”

Todorova spent 27 hours on the burning ferry, while she finally managed to get to the rescue rope of the helicopter and board the San Giorgio amphibious boat of the Italian Navy, which safely arrived in the port of Brindisi on Tuesday evening.


BovControl is a Cow-Tracking App for Farmers

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014


Brazil has 200 million cattle. That means there are actually more cows than humans. And because of that, the country is the world’s largest exporter of beef.

Clearly, beef is a huge industry in Brazil. But with so many cows, how are ranchers and food producers supposed to keep track of them? Well, there’s now an app called BovControl that aims to help farmers, food companies and even consumers track and gather information about cattle.

The app is currently available on Android platforms, and an iOS version is due out in early 2015.

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Honours achieve karmic symmetry

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Titles awarded by another sovereign lady — Commerce — to noteworthy executives

What Caused the Declining Popularity of Daily Deals Online?

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

122914 ecommerce

There was a time when group buying virtually snatched the popularity away from all other e-commerce models. But that day is long gone. Today, group buying is anything but sought after.

The falling popularity of group buying as an e-commerce model both saddens and surprises me and I never stop wondering what actually went wrong.

In this article, I attempt to piece together all the findings that my research in this area has led to. I do hope once the dots are all connected, the reason behind group buying and its fall from popularity won’t remain a mystery to us.

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US approves more ultralight oil exports

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Change will aid domestic producers but boost global energy supplies

Spotlight: Welcyon Helps Adults Over 50 Get in Shape

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014


For many people, the new year is a new opportunity to get in shape. Gyms are often overcrowded this time of year with people looking to maintain their resolutions. But for some, this type of environment isn’t conducive to getting the best results. Welcyon, Fitness After 50 is dedicated to creating a better environment for some fitness enthusiasts to thrive.

As the name suggests, Welcyon is a health club specifically for adults over 50. The business creates exercise protocols specifically designed for the needs of people in this age group.

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Extreme Cold, Strong Winds Grip Bulgaria for New Year

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

The National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (NIMH) has issued a yellow code for extremely low temperatures and strong winds for the last day of the year.

The yellow code has been issued for the whole of Bulgaria, except for the districts of Pazardzhik, Plovdiv, Smolyan and Stara Zagora.

The temperatures are expected to reach as low as minus 20 in Northwestern Bulgaria, which has been the most affected region by the cold weather.

A state of emergency was declared in the districts of Vratsa, Montana, Lovech and Pleven on Tuesday.

Three people became victims of the bad weather on Tuesday, while 1500 have been left without electricity.

The road conditions in Northwestern Bulgaria have slowly normalised, but there are still blocked roads in the Vidin district.

The minimum temperatures for the last day of the year will be between minus 12 and minus 7, reaching minus 14-15 in parts of Northwestern Bulgaria.

The maximum temperatures will vary from minus 9 to 0 at the southern seaside.

In Sofia the minimum temperature will be minus 13, while the maximum will reach minus 9.

Northeastern Bulgaria, as well as parts of Eastern and Southern Bulgaria will be hit by strong winds.

New Year’s Eve is expected to be cloudy with considerable precipitations occurring in Southeastern Bulgaria.

These poor weather conditions are to remain throughout New Year’s Eve and the first days of 2015.


Oil workers to pay for near 50% price fall

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Big producer groups scramble to make savings