Jan 31, 2012

Big Bang!

Big Bang - Never seen it pictured like this before.  Cool Beans!

Geekiest Equations

Jan 30, 2012

Laughter - Medically Proven to be Healthy Too :o)




"A good laugh makes any interview, 
or any conversation, so much better."

- Barbara Walters

Jan 28, 2012

Friends!


"Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving, 
make every day a holiday and celebrate just living!"

- Amanda Bradley

Jan 27, 2012

Japanese Giant Hornets - Nasty MoFo's

The Japanese Giant Hornet. Watch a nest of honey bees make their last stand against just 30 of these vicious intruders. This is amazing stuff.

Jan 26, 2012

Honestly?




People want you to be honest with them, even if you're a leader and honesty means exposing yourself as a little intimidated, or shy, or unsure. That kind of vulnerability doesn't alienate; it attracts. It makes us approachable. It allows people to identify with us, to trust us, and to follow us.

Jan 25, 2012

Are You Wise?


"The wisest men follow their own direction."
 
- Euripides

Jan 24, 2012

Happiness Lament...




"Happiness is the only sanction in life; where happiness fails, existence remains a mad and lamentable experiment."

- George Santayana

Jan 23, 2012

Nuclear Science Week

 

It’s here… 2012 National Nuclear Science Week is January 23-27. National Nuclear Science Week is a national, broadly observed week-long celebration to focus local, regional and national interest on all aspects of nuclear science.

Each day will provide a chance to learn about the contributions, innovations and opportunities that can be found by exploring nuclear science. Key daily focus areas for the week include: 

 
Monday: Education—Get to Know Nuclear
Tuesday: Careers in Nuclear
Wednesday: Energy Generation
Thursday: Nuclear Safety
Friday: Nuclear Medicine

Tools and ideas to encourage activities are provided at no charge online as well as other materials for distribution, education and celebration. To get your inspiration for participation, visit www.nuclearscienceweek.org.


Jan 21, 2012

Tear Down That Wall!


"If you're trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I've had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure how to climb it, go through it, or work around it."
 
- Michael Jordan

Jan 20, 2012

Skallops & Kickstarter



About this project

Skallops are the best way to build big!
They’re a construction toy that uses clever laser cut clips—Skallops—and regular playing cards to let you make anything that you can imagine. We’ve perfected the design so that it’s easy to connect playing cards in countless ways. The Skallops themselves are cut out of the highest-quality, sanded and finished birch plywood.


Skallops Community

Once the Skallops have shipped, we'll be setting up a community website where anyone can post their designs and instructions for building awesome things with Skallops. We’ll be asking you, our amazing backers, to seed the gallery with your favorite creations. And we’ll be there too, posting instructions for the designs you see here.

Click Here to go to this KickStarter Product.

What is Kickstarter?

One of a new set of fundraising platforms dubbed "crowdfunding",[3] Kickstarter facilitates gathering monetary resources from the general public, a model which circumvents many traditional avenues of investment.[4] People must apply to Kickstarter in order to have a project posted on the site, and Kickstarter provides guidelines[5] on what types of projects will be accepted. Project owners choose a deadline and a target minimum of funds to raise. If the chosen target is not gathered by the deadline, no funds are collected (this is known as a provision point mechanism).[6] Money pledged by donors is collected using Amazon Payments,[7] and initiating projects requires a U.S. bank account.
Kickstarter takes 5% of the funds raised; Amazon charges an additional 3-5%.[8] Unlike many forums for fundraising or investment, Kickstarter claims no ownership over the projects and the work they produce. However, projects launched on the site are permanently archived and accessible to the public. After funding is completed, projects and uploaded media cannot be edited or removed from the site.[9]

I have helped fund two products so far, I love the concept.

Jan 19, 2012

Time for Time?


François Mitterrand used to say. "Give time for time." The notion being that you need to make time in order to appreciate the ultimate gift we have been given: time on this earth. Every day, we make conscious and less conscious choices on time allocation.

Most of us will spend more than one-third of our lives and more than half of our waking adult hours in our workplaces. A natural concern, and one worthy of a New Year's reflection and resolution, is how can we be better, more honest and more efficient with that time. Here are five gut-check questions to see if you are making the greatest impact with your work time:

1. Are you working towards a purpose?



2. Are you running hard, but not getting ahead?

3. Have you done a calendar audit lately?
Do you have a real sense of where you spend your time?



4. Are you booking sufficient think time? For most meetings there is at least a 1:2 ratio of prep time to meeting time, and it can go upwards of 20:1. If a meeting is an hour you probably need 30 minutes to prepare. For critical meetings you may need 20 hours of preparation for each hour.

5. Are you multi-tasking your way to lower productivity?
Focus on the task at hand when you have scheduled the time to do so.



Source

Jan 17, 2012

Mathew Brady, Photographer Extraordinaire!



  


It was interesting reading the Man of The Year issue of Time Magazine and contemplating the technology that made every aspect of the protests and conflicts front and center; Twitter, Facebook, Network TV, Blogs, On-Line News, Cable.  The Arab Spring was riveting, making it hard to tear your eyes away.  

While we were on vacation in November, we had the chance to go to Occupy Wall Street and see things for ourselves.  Again, there were cell phones, computers, generators, many modern conveniences considering that this was a "camp".

I only mention this because I was recently reading an issue of National Parks, and one of the feature articles was about photographer Mathew Brady.  Mr. Brady was the original "field correspondent", filming battlefields during the civil war.  It was fascinating how his first experience was in the heart of a battle, and after that, he only went in after the fact (which was a challenge with the bloated bodies, the insects, and the elements).  In the later part of the war, his team started photographing dead bodies - and it was a shocker to the public to be exposed [pun intended] to the horror of the war.

I hope I have set the hook and you will click through to the source link below, I know I thoroughly enjoyed the article.

Source

Jan 16, 2012

We must Demand Equal Rights for All. This is not a Dream...

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a United States federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around the time of King's birthday, January 15. The floating holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, though the act predated the establishment of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by 15 years.  


 File:Martin-Luther-King-1964-leaning-on-a-lectern.jpg

Jan 14, 2012

Good Bye 2011 College Football Season

First weekend without college football, sigh...


Maybe this play will tide us over for a while.

Jan 13, 2012

Recycle Machine!












We all know that batteries and CFL light bulbs don't belong in the trash, but recycling locations are not always convenient.  What if your local retail stores just had a vending machine where you could drop these items?  Well, that convenient option could be coming to us soon.



A company called reVend Recycling Ltd. has begun installing recycling vending machines for light bulbs and batteries in the U.K. that not only sort the items, but offer immediate rewards.


The first pilot machine was installed at an IKEA in London with great success.  At that location, recyclers were offered store credit to IKEA based on the amount they were recycling or the choice to donate to one of four charities -- the World Wildlife Fund, Woodland Trust, UNICEF and Save the Children.


The machines accept incandescents, CFLs and LEDs as well as any domestic batteries.  The machines are able to track the bulbs and batteries by type, manufacturer and volume so that each can end up in the appropriate recycling facilities.


The company has signed an agreement with IKEA to install their machines throughout the U.K., Germany and Denmark.  They plan to expand their reach to more parts of Europe as well as into the U.S. very soon.

Jan 12, 2012

Can We Learn From Political Campaigns?


Here are five lessons from political campaigns that every business can learn from.


Find the New Voter/Consumer. Focus on new demographics, new passion, new trends.


Use new Disruptive Technology. First TV, now social networks.  What will be next?


Make it a Choice, not a referendum on you. There is always an alternative, so find your opponent's weakness and go on the offensive.


Correct misperceptions. Communicating the facts. When the numbers come back that people are buying the opposition story, it is invariably time to set the record straight hard and fast.


Tell people what you're going to do and keep your promise.


Source

Jan 11, 2012

Got Love?


"A man without ambition is dead

A man with ambition but no love is dead."
 
- Pearl Bailey


Luckily, I have both :o)

Jan 10, 2012

Honesty In The Workplace




Honestly, you'd like to beat the other person over the head with your briefcase.


Possibly, you walk out with a sliver of dignity, promising yourself you will never put up with that sort of abuse again.


Actually, you force a smile, avoid eye contact and tell the client, through gritted teeth, that you look forward to getting their feedback.


Ideally, you detach for a moment, taking in the measure of the man, smile graciously, extending your hand and saying you'll be interested to see how things progress. You walk out feeling that you have demonstrated grace under pressure, maintaining your dignity and your status.


Source

Jan 9, 2012

Hold the Mayo!

The Two-Year Sandwich via BBC
The military’s M.R.E.--the Meal Ready to Eat, or those air-sealed packages full of gummy pastes and freeze-dried dreck that soldiers carry into the field--is getting a much-needed upgrade. But it’s not in the form of better tasting dehydrated foods or better freeze-drying technology. Rather, the U.S. Army has developed the world’s most cutting edge sandwich, the BBC reports, one that can be served fresh after sitting on the shelf for a full two years.
When food breaks down--when it rots--it does so as a result of various chemical and biological processes. Some of these are inherent in the ingredients themselves, others are caused by bacteria. But almost universally, these processes require water and/or oxygen to transpire. So the Army didn’t need to reinvent the sandwich or its ingredients to create its long-duration lunch items. But they did need to figure out how to make a sandwich that eliminates water and oxygen from the equation.
Perhaps more difficult is keeping oxygen away from the sandwich. To do so, each one is packed in an air-sealed package with an oxygen scavenger--a small packet of iron filings that pulls oxygen from the ambient air and locks it up in a layer of rust. This keeps oxygen away from things like bread, where it could feed a reaction resulting in mold and decay.
Devoid of oxygen and water, a sandwich can last a long time--two years in this case. And, if the BBC video report is to be believed, the grunts seem to like the two-year sandwich. 

Jan 7, 2012

Solar Paint & ND, Perhaps a new local industry?

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame have developed a 'solar paint' that could be slapped on the outside of a house to help generate power for the devices inside.
The 'Sun-Believable' paint uses semiconducting nanoparticles to produce energy - and while it's nowhere near as efficient as the current standard, it's inexpensive and easy to produce in large quantities.
"We want to do something transformative, to move beyond current silicon-based solar technology," says professor Prashant Kamat, who led the research.
"By incorporating power-producing nanoparticles, called quantum dots, into a spreadable compound, we've made a one-coat solar paint that can be applied to any conductive surface without special equipment."
The team achieved this using nano-sized particles of titanium dioxide, which were coated with either cadmium sulfide or cadmium selenide. The particles were then suspended in a mixture ofwater and alcohol to create a paste.
When the paste was brushed onto a transparent conducting material and exposed to light, it generated electricity.
"The best light-to-energy conversion efficiency we've reached so far is one percent, which is well behind the usual 10 to 15 percent efficiency of commercial silicon solar cells," explains Kamat.
"But this paint can be made cheaply and in large quantities. If we can improve the efficiency somewhat, we may be able to make a real difference in meeting energy needs in the future."
Kamat and his team also plan to study ways to improve the stability of the new material.

Jan 6, 2012

Coaching Checklist

Here’s a quick checklist for you to use to ensure you “cover all the bases” in your coaching sessions, after all, it is that performance review time of year.

  • As the coach, have you clearly stated the objectives of the initial coaching session and checked understanding by both parties?
  • Has the employee participated in defining the nature of the problem or an opportunity for growth?
  • Has the employee’s perception about the performance problem or opportunities for improvement received full consideration?
  • Is the employee involved in researching his or her own options for how to take advantage of an opportunity or solve the problem?
  • Has the employee helped to determine his or her own learning goals and the appropriate activities to support the achievement of those goals?
  • Has a clear process been set up to carry out the coaching activities and to measure progress along the way?
  • As a coach, have you asked for feedback regarding the effectiveness of the coaching process?

Jan 5, 2012

Let the Nuclear Renaissance Begin



The Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Thursday, 12/21/11, approved the amended design for the Westinghouse AP1000, a reactor that several power companies intend to use for building the first new U.S. nuclear plants in decades.
“The design provides enhanced safety margins through use of simplified, inherent, passive, or other innovative safety and security functions, and also has been assessed to ensure it could withstand damage from an aircraft impact without significant release of radioactive materials,” NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko said in a statement.

Jan 4, 2012

Snake Charmer Secret!

Snake Charmer John Downer/Getty Images

Can you charm a snake with music?  

No. The charm has nothing to do with the music and everything to do with the charmer waving a pungi, a reed instrument carved out of a gourd, in the snake's face. Snakes don't have external ears and can perceive little more than low-frequency rumbles. But when they see something threatening, they rise up in a defensive pose. "The movement of the snake is completely keyed in on the guy playing the toodley thing," says Robert Drewes, chairman of the department of herpetology (the study of amphibians and reptiles) at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. "He sways, the snake sways."

Jan 3, 2012

Motivate Your Team!


 
1.        Be generous with praise. Everyone wants it and it’s one of the easiest things to give. Praise every improvement that you see your team members make. Once you’re comfortable delivering praise one-on-one to an employee, try praising them in front of others.  

2.        Flatten the Team. Removing levels of reporting and/or team leads and empowering your staff to work together as a team rather then everyone reporting to multiple individuals can do wonders. Think about it. What’s worse than letting your supervisor down? Letting your team down! 

3.        Make your ideas theirs. People hate being told what to do. Instead of telling people what you want done; ask them in a way that will make them feel like they came up with the idea. “I’d like you to do it this way” turns into “Do you think it’s a good idea if we do it this way?”  

4.        Never criticize or correct. No one, and I mean no one, wants to hear that they did something wrong. If you’re looking for a de-motivator, this is it. Try an indirect approach to get people to improve, learn from their mistakes, and fix them. Ask, “Was that the best way to approach the problem? Why not? Have any ideas on what you could have done differently?” Then you’re having a conversation and talking through solutions, not pointing a finger.  

5.        Make everyone a leader. Highlight your top performers’ strengths and let them know that because of their excellence, you want them to be the example for others. You’ll set the bar high and they’ll be motivated to live up to their reputation as a leader.  

6.        Take an employee to lunch once a week. Surprise them. Don’t make an announcement that you’re establishing a new policy. Literally walk up to one of your employees, and invite them to lunch with you. It’s an easy way to remind them that you notice and appreciate their work.  

7.        Give recognition and small rewards. These two things come in many forms: Give a shout out to someone in a company meeting for what they have accomplished. Run contests or internal games and keep track of the results on a whiteboard that everyone can see. 

8.        Throw team parties. Doing things as a group can go a long way. Have a picnic. Organize birthday parties. Hold a happy hour. Don’t just wait until the holidays to do an activity; organize events throughout the year to remind your team that you’re all in it together.

9.        Share the rewards—and the pain. When your team does well, celebrate. This is the best time to let everyone know that you’re thankful for their hard work. Go out of your way to show how far you will go when people help your team succeed. If there are disappointments, share those too. If you expect high performance, your team deserves to know where the company stands. Be honest and transparent.

Lets start the new year off right!

Jan 2, 2012

Waste Not Want Not!

Most communities in the U.S. treat their wastewater just enough to legally dump it, but not reuse it. Pasteurization Technology Group has developed an inexpensive treatment system that yields water clean enough to be returned to aquifers. Instead of using chlorine, the system pasteurizes wastewater by heating it to 180ºF. The warmth comes from the waste heat of a nearby electricity generator running on either natural gas or biogas produced by an associated sewage digester. A PTG water plant opening next year in California expects to make a $160,000 annual profit by selling its extra biogas-generated electricity. Even if the turbine is fueled with natural gas, the pasteurization is energy-efficient enough to be about half the cost of chlorine treatment.

Jan 1, 2012