Archive for category News

The Good Call Centre – Fosters

A nice campaign that interacts with you and your friends to keep the party going by calling them out.

http://fosters.co.uk/goodcallcentre

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The More You Sit, The Sooner You’ll Die

Yet another reason to push for stand-up desks: A recent study by Australia’s Sax Institute says sitting down for several hours a day could bring you to an early grave, even if you already exercise.

The study followed more than 200,000 Australian adults aged 45 and older from 2006 to 2010. It found that those who reported sitting for at least 11 hours a day had a 40% higher risk of dying within the next three years than people who sat for less than four hours a day. It’s part of the Sax Institute’s ongoing 45 and Up study, the largest study on healthy aging ever undertaken in the Southern Hemisphere.

While exercise has numerous health benefits, it doesn’t necessarily take away this risk. As reported in The Atlantic, “while the death risk was much lower for anyone who exercised five hours a week or more, it still rose as these active people sat longer.”

Long work hours aren’t the only cause of our sitting styles. According to The Atlantic, it’s estimated that the average adults spends 90% of his leisure time sitting.

“People tend to think they’re okay as long as they get their ‘dose’ of working out each day,” Mark Tremblay, obesity and activity researcher at Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa, told Reuters Health. However, he says, “Getting your 30 minutes of physical activity five times a week is not insurance against chronic disease.”

So what can we do to get on our feet more? For work, a stand-up desk might help — or even a treadmill desk, if you’re feeling more high-tech.

But we can’t forget the lifestyle factor to consider outside of work — especially if we are spending most of our free time sitting. “Try to find a healthy balance between sitting, standing and walking or other physical activities,” Hidde van deer Ploeg, the study’s lead author, told Reuters Health.

Source : Mashable

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Japanese company says they’ll have a space elevator by 2050

 

Last time we checked in with space elevators, NASA had given out a $900,000 prize to a tiny laser-powered carriage that managed to climb a kilometer-long cable. Japan’s Obayashi Corporation doesn’t think that NASA is moving quite fast enough, so the company has decided to build a space elevator for itself by 2050.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, there isn’t a whole lot of detail about this project at the moment. We know that Obayashi wants to build a spaceport on the ground, with a space station some 22,000 miles above the surface of the Earth, in geosynchronous orbit. The two would be connected by a cable, which would extend a total of 60,000 miles into space, serving as an orbital counterweight to hold the cable up. For the record, the moon is only about 220,000 miles away.

space_elev_concept.jpg

To get from Earth to the terminal in space, 30 passengers at a time would take an elevator car upwards at 125 miles an hour. It sounds kinda fast, but the trip would still take nearly eight days. Still, when imagining the view I can’t believe anyone would mind just staring out the windows for a week and feeling their weight gradually decrease to nothing. The terminal itself would house living quarters and laboratories.

The cable is the real sticky wicket when it comes to space elevators. Obayashi says that it’ll be using carbon nanotubes, which is no less crazy than saying the company would make it out of genetically-modified spider silk: yes, the material exists, and yes, it might be strong enough to make a space elevator cable, but “exists” plus “might work” does not a viable space elevator make. It’s going to take a lot of work for Obayashi (or someone else) to come up with a way to make a carbon nanotube cable, and even with a time frame of 35 years and a budget that “cannot be estimated,” 2050 still strikes me as a bit optimistic. I hope I’m wrong.

Source : http://dvice.com

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How Young Women Are Changing The Way We Speak

As to celebrate International Women’s Day today, I thought it would be great to share an article which proves on how women are actually change agents – even the excessively girly ones :

Spoken language changes fast, but who are the agents driving such rapid change? Recent linguistic research is pointing to young women as being very influential in this process and grapples with the question: how do these vocal trends make their way into the mainstream? How do they cross the gender boundaries to the point where it is now men who are more likely to say the word ‘like’ than women?

Recent projects, spearheaded by Stanford linguistics professor Penny EckertMark Liberman at University of Pennsylvania, Long Island University speech scientist Nassima Abdelli-Beruh, and professor Carmen Fought at Pitzer College, are proving the point that there is something deeper here than the merely surface assumption that young women who use certain vocal trends are ‘immature’ or ‘airheads.’

Carmen Fought told the NY Times that:

If women do something like uptalk or vocal fry, it’s immediately interpreted as insecure, emotional or even stupid. The truth is this: young women take linguistic features and use them as power tools for building relationships.

Research in this area looks at vocal trends driven by young woman like uptalk (where we pronounce statements as if they were questions), new slang, vocal flying (that raspy, croaking intonation that usually comes in at the end of a sentence), and of course, the use of the word ‘like.’ Professor Eckert asserts that:

A lot of these really flamboyant things you hear are cute, and girls are supposed to be cute. But they’re not just using them because they’re girls. They’re using them to achieve some kind of interactional and stylistic end.

In discerning the cultural drivers, general conclusions revolve around the idea that vocal trends double as social cues and help women navigate through social interactions. Other theorists see it as an empowerment tool, while others want to say that young women simply want to get away with speaking flamboyantly because they can. It’s not easy to discern because lowering one’s voice in a ‘vocal fry’, for example, can help the speaker sound more authoritative, but it can also express indifference.

However, the ability of these speech quirks to linger and get picked up by other segments of the population aside from women, demonstrates some type of deep-rooted  linguistic influence by women.

via PSFK

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Uncommon Sense Tips: Do What You Love and Love What You Do

Uncommon Sense Tips: Do What You Love and Love What You Do

People who seem to have that spark, who are passionate about what they do and how they live their lives are fantastic to be around, and they seem to make what they do look so easy. It’s not a new thought, but doing what you love seems to be an elusive concept for most. We spend more of our waking hours at work than anything else, so loving how we spend that time, and what we do, should be a high priority for every one of us. Dee McLaughlin, the CMO at Country Music Television, is a person passionate about life and music. Through the following five uncommon sense ideas, you’ll learn about how Dee has combined her love of music with her career.

1. When you were a kid, work and fun were opposites, so, as an adult, it actually takes a lot of time to combine the two. Don’t feel bad if you haven’t succeeded yet. In fact, if you admit to yourself that you’re dissatisfied, you’re a step ahead of most people. 

Dee grew up in Ireland and was surrounded by live music from a really young age, and one her first memories was looking at the musical symbols and instruments on the bedroom wallpaper as a baby. Maybe the fact that the Irish are the only country to have a musical instrument as their national symbol has something to do with her passion for music.

2. Look to other people for ideas. The more possibilities you find, the more likely your chances of finding your true passions are. People are more than willing to give advice.

“Whether you are Jack Welch or the Dalai Lama, it is dangerous not to do what you love,” Dee says, quoting the book, “Built to Last,” and goes on: “If you don’t have a level of passion that drives your thinking about what you’re doing day in and day out, there will be others out there who are passionate who will overtake and outrun you. People who care will take the initiative away from those who are half-hearted. So loving what you do is a competitive imperative, not simply a nice thing to have.”

3. Doing what you love will make you feel fulfilled. But you don’t need to get paid for it. 

Music is so important to society at large because it’s a universal language. Dee loves that it inspires common feelings and bridges gaps between cultures that spoken languages cannot. The fact that many religions use music to help express spirituality speaks volumes. Music creates ambiance, and she uses it to liven up a party or to create a romantic atmosphere. It’s a simple pleasure that can inspire people and influence emotions. All it takes is your ears and some imagination. Dee’s mood can change with the selection of the right track and a hit of the play button.

4. Have patience. Everything won’t come all at once. 

“I’ve always been really driven to succeed in my career so it was a no brainer to stir my love for music into it. I’ve always tried to keep music in my working life, whether as a journalist or as a marketer.”

5. A job doesn’t make your life great, family and friends do that.

While Dee does what she loves, she admits it’s complicated. “We’re all multifaceted, multilayered people, and most of us don’t love just one thing, so the idea that there is just one passion for your life, and when you know what it is, you’ll be happy, is rarely true. For Dee, her secret is that she concentrates on what’s of the greatest importance to her. Dee surrounds herself with passionate people, and her rule is she never employs anyone who isn’t passionate about the work they’d be doing, because passionate people stay on top of trends, keep morale and motivation high and take pride in the outcome of their work.

Motivated by my multiple passions, Dee has a burning desire to see things through to the end. Driven, even in times when she’s tired and frustrated, she believes you can find passion in most situations. Passion manifests itself in the enthusiasm she brings to the tasks at hand because she loves what she does. “I get into a flow where I’m energized, positive and aligned with the project”.

Every day is a gift and we don’t get to do it over again, so we should strive to be doing what we love, understanding where our natural talents and our passion collide.

via PSFK

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Got to hand it to Greenpeace. Ambitious bunch.

Always had a soft spot for NGO’s and the like. Somehow they always seem to come up with creative that cuts through and puts a smirk on your face.

Check out Greenpeace’s latest spot.

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