Flexible workplaces make it easier to return to career

first_imgMany mothers who leave their jobs to stay home with their kids eventually face the prospect of returning to work. But getting back on the career track can be tricky. Blogosphere debate rages about books such as Leslie Bennetts’ “The Feminine Mistake,” which warns about how hard it can be to return to the work force. The good news for moms is that the workplace is beginning to look a lot more female-friendly. Just in the past year or two, resources available for “on-rampers” – educated women who left careers to be moms but want to break back in – have exploded, said Vivian Steir Rabin, a recruiting executive, mother of five and co-author of a new book titled “Back on the Career Track: A Guide for Stay-at-Home Moms Who Want To Return To Work.” Part-time staffing companies such as Burlingame, Calif.-based Flexperience are cropping up to place parents seeking flexible work schedules. Universities are organizing conferences such as “How Harvard Business School Alumnae on Extended Leave Can Relaunch Careers,” and companies from Best Buy to UBS are not only resurrecting the flextime concept but also actively recruiting stay-at-home moms. Unemployed mothers with college degrees and experience have become a hot commodity. “They’re a relatively recent discovery,” Rabin said, because the growing demand for skilled employees and the retirement of baby boomers in recent years has created a shortage of talent, especially in certain industries. “There are actually re-entry scholarships for nursing in California,” she said. Health care in general is a great place for on-rampers to look. Whichever field job-seeking mothers target, they need to make sure they’re confident enough to return. They also need to take a good, hard look at what it is they really want to do, Rabin said. What seemed like a great position before kids might not be as attractive afterward. Rabin’s co-author on the book, Carol Fishman Cohen, returned to investment banking after six years as a stay-at-home mom, only to quit after just one year.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Cutest Disney Bag Ever

first_imgPhotos: Christina HarrisonIs this bag on your must-buy list? Let us know in the comments. Share This!Like Julia, I’m a big fan of the Disney-themed accessories from Loungefly. They’re less expensive that the Dooney & Bourke bags and more weather resistant than many of the Vera Bradley bags.This new Loungefly pattern that’s shown up in the parks and on shopDisney.com is an instant classic. We found ours in the jewelry shop on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, but they should be available in many locations.It’s like they cutified all the best Disney icons (Dole Whip, turkey legs, Mickey & Minnie, balloons, it’s a small world, Space Mountain, Dumbo, Big Al!, and more) and then placed them on the most lovely field of teal.The pattern is available in a backpack style ($75) or as a wallet ($50). Both are lined in a darling teal and white stripe.last_img read more

Toyota looks toward solar energy

first_img7 May 2008Toyota has become the latest company to answer power utility Eskom’s call for companies to reduce electricity consumption and to find alternative energy sources, by installing over 200 solar panels at its Prospecton plant in Durban.With the country’s growing at some 15% per year and putting strain on existing infrastructure, Eskom had asked businesses to cut power usage by 10% in order to reduce demand by 3 000 megawatts.“We would like to work together with Eskom’s new task team to aid in load reduction,” said Toyota South Africa spokesperson Ferdi de Vos in a statement this week.“This will ensure that our economy does not suffer loss from unnecessary load-shedding.”By the end of 2008, Toyota will have installed 270 solar panels into its Durban plant, which will enable them to operate at full capacity while also reducing demand on Eskom.Where the plant previously used electricity and gas to heat water, it will now use energy converted from the sun as a source of heat. Solar panels collect and convert energy from the sun into energy and heat that is then used by nearby buildings.Toyota’s renewable energy project began in 2006 with the installation of 44 panels, and the second phase was completed in June 2007 when 150 panels were installed. In the third phase of the project, Toyota will install a further 120 panels.While the project has cost Toyota R3.5-million, the company expects to save R95 000 per month on energy costs when the project is completed in the next few months.“Not only is this a significant financial saving, but it shows that Toyota is supportive of Eskom’s energy saving initiative,” said De Vos.The environmental impact of electricity use in South Africa is also a concern that big electricity users like Toyota needed to help address, and the manufacturer pointed out that the change would reduce its carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere by approximately 1 350 tons per year.“Our solar power initiative is done with the environment in mind,” said De Vos.According to the company, over 18% of global final energy came from renewables in 2006.SAinfo reporter Would you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Van der Merwe lifts Soweto Open title

first_img18 April 2011Izak van der Merwe went one step better than he did in 2010 when he captured the Soweto Open men’s singles title at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Centre in Jabavu after a hard-fought battle against fellow South African Rik de Voest on Sunday.The final had been moved back a day because of rain and rain, once again, made an appearance in the final, forcing the players from the court for over two hours with Van der Merwe leading 6-7 (4-7), 7-5, 3-2, and the contest on serve. Ultimately, he went on to a 6-7, 7-5, 6-3 victory.The victory, his second in a Challenger Tour event, has lifted Van der Merwe to a career-high ranking of 134th in the world.Last year, he made it into the final but was beaten by Dustin Brown. This time around the fourth-seed made sure of success by defeating the German 7-5, 7-6 (7-5) in a hard-fought semi-final.Tie-breakersIt was far from an easy walk to the title for the big-serving South African who played tie-breakers in every one of his matches.Van der Merwe began his title challenge with a tough 7-5, 7-6 win over Englishman Daniel Cox in his first round match. He followed that up by sending another Englishman packing after defeating Chris Eaton 6-4, 7-6.In the quarterfinals, he faced seventh-seed Andrej Martin and once again it proved to be a tight contest. Van der Merwe won it 7-6, 7-6, claiming both tie-breakers 7-2.Path to the finalOn his way to the final, De Voest, the sixth-seed, recorded victories over fellow South African Raven Klaasen, Denys Molchanov, and Michal Przysiezny before facing Australian Greg Jones in the final.It took a gritty comeback for De Voest to win a match that was interrupted by rain. When the heavens opened, he was 3-6, 4-3 down, but went on to win 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2.In the final, he became the only player in the tournament to win a tie-breaker against Van der Merwe. By reaching the title-decider, he improved his world ranking to 158th.Women’s titleThe women’s honours went the way of Russia’s Valeria Savinykh, who proved to be a giant killer on her way to lifting the title.She ousted fourth-seed Eva Birnerova 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the first round. Then, after an easy 6-2, 6-2 win over Oksana Kalashnikova in the second round, she upset seventh-seed Corinna Dentoni 6-4, 6-3 in the quarterfinals.Savinykh followed that up by disposing of top-seed Ann Keothavong in the semi-finals when the Briton retired at 6-3, 3-0 down.In the final, second-seed Petra Cetkovska proved no much for the 20-year-old Russian, who cruised to a 6-1, 6-3 victory and the biggest win of her career.South African women failed to make an impact as none of the four players in the draw made it out of the first round.DoublesGermany’s Michael Kohlmann and Alexander Peya of Austria claimed the men’s doubles title with a convincing 6-2, 6-2 victory over South African-born Australian Matthew Ebden and Germany’s Andre Bergemann.Sadly, the women’s doubles final was a victim of the weather and was not played.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Transnet, Eskom rated safer than US

first_img11 August 2011Transnet and Eskom bonds are now more highly rated than United States government bonds, according to the latest ratings by Fitch and Moody’s Investment Services.After revising the South African state companies’ outlook last month, Fitch affirmed electricity parastatal Eskom’s national long-term rating at AAA(zaf) with a stable outlook, Business Report said on Wednesday.The agency also affirmed transport and logistics parastatal Transnet’s government-guaranteed bond issue at AAA(zaf).The utility’s national long-term rating was affirmed at AA-(zaf) with a stable outlook.These ratings mean that the two South African utilities are now more creditworthy than the US after rating agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) downgraded the country’s credit rating from the top-notch AAA to AA+ on Friday.The favourable rating will ease the cost of borrowing in international markets for both Eskom and Transnet as they are currently seeking funds for multibillion-rand expansion programmes.S&P adjusted the ratings and outlooks of the two parastatals in January, moving Eskom up to stable from negative.Sapalast_img read more

Why South Africa’s Karoo is a palaeontological wonderland

first_imgSouth Africa’s Karoo region provides not only a historical record of biological change over a period of Earth’s history but also a means to test theories of evolutionary processes over long stretches of time.A typical landscape in the Karoo semi-desert region of South Africa. (Image: Media Club South Africa)• Newly found ape-man lived alongside Lucy, 3 million years ago• South African scientists track the sun’s storms• Cape bones add new chapter to human history • Bloggers take a trip back to humanity’s origins • South African research funding fourth-highest in the worldBruce Rubidge and Mike Day, University of the WitwatersrandSouth Africa’s Karoo region has been in the headlines in recent years because of the prospect of a controversial fracking programme to exploit its potential shale gas resources. But, to palaeontologists, the Karoo Supergroup’s rocks hold the key to understanding the early evolutionary history of the major groups of land vertebrates – including tortoises, mammals and dinosaurs.More than 200-million years ago, South Africa formed part of the southern hinterland of Pangaea, the great single supercontinent, which was inhabited by a diverse flora and fauna.In only a few places, where conditions were conducive to their fossilisation, can palaeontologists catch a glimpse of these ancient ecosystems. The Karoo is one such place.A representation of the ancient supercontinent of Pangaea, showing modern country borders. Some 200-million years ago, South Africa formed part of of the southern hinterland of this great continent. Click image for a larger view. (Image: Massimo Pietrobon) Why it’s such a special placeAbout 265-million years ago, the Beaufort Group of rocks within the Karoo sequence was beginning to be deposited by rivers draining into the shrinking inland Ecca Sea. As these rivers filled the basin with sediment they entombed the remains of land animals that lived around them. The youngest Beaufort rocks are around 240-million years old.Today, more than 30 000 fossils of vertebrate animals from the Beaufort are to be found in museum collections across the world. The Beaufort was followed by the Molteno and Elliot formations. The Elliot formation is made up of a succession of red rocks that records some of the earliest dinosaur communities.The area plays a crucial role in revealing the distant origin of mammals, tortoises and dinosaurs. It also covers two great extinction events, the end-Permian (252-million years ago) and the end-Triassic (200-million years ago).Because of its continuity of deposition, the Karoo provides not only a historical record of biological change over this period of Earth’s history, but also a means to test theories of evolutionary processes over long periods of time.Map showing the formations of the Karoo Supergroup. Click image for a larger view.The 400 000-square-kilometre area is internationally noted for its record of fossil therapsid “mammal-like” reptiles. These chart anatomical changes on the path to mammals from their early tetrapod forebears.The Beaufort Group has also yielded the oldest recorded fossil ancestor of living turtles and tortoises – the small, lizard-like Eunotosaurus. The younger Elliot Formation preserves a record of early dinosaurs that could help palaeontologists understand the rise of the giant sauropod dinosaurs of the Jurassic Period.Physiology and behaviourMany studies are still being done on the identification of new species from the Karoo. But a lot of current research is also focused on the relationship between the extinct animals and their environments.The story of the therapsid’s burrow is a good example of how insights are being gained on the behaviour of prehistoric animals. Roger Smith was the first palaeontologist to recognise therapsid vertebrate burrows in the Karoo. He described helical burrows, which he attributed to a small species of dicynodont (two-dog tooth) therapsid called Diictodon. In the fossil record, burrows are preserved not as hollows, but as the plug of sediment that filled them.X-ray tomography at a facility in France was recently used to scan one of these burrows. This showed that it was home not only to its maker – the meerkat-sized therapsid Thrinaxodon – but also to the early amphibian Broomistega. Further research revealed that the Thrinaxodon was probably hibernating, which was why it tolerated the intruding amphibian which was using the burrow to convalesce while suffering from broken ribs.Partners forever, the amphibian Broomistega and mammal fore-runner Thrinaxodon preserved in a fossil burrow. Click image for a larger view.Studying how fossil bones are preserved – a discipline known as taphonomy – can provide similarly rich insights. For example, it has been suggested that changes in preservation style between skeletons in the latest Permian Period (about 253-million years ago) to those in the earliest Triassic Period (about 252-million years ago) can be attributed to changes in climate. The region developed from being seasonally dry floodplains with high water tables to predominantly dry floodplains.Because of the abundance of fossil tetrapods in the rocks of the Karoo Supergroup, they have been used to divide the rock succession into fossil zones, called biozones. This has enabled the biozones to be correlated with equivalent sequences elsewhere in the world and forms the basis of reconstructing global patterns of diversity.Understanding the sequence of events is crucial for testing hypotheses of evolutionary processes. It is an area of research being pursued for both the Permian and Triassic periods.The big wipe-outsThe end-Permian mass extinction, the greatest, was responsible for the elimination of 90% of species living in the sea and 70% of species living on land. Roger Smith’s work on Karoo fossil vertebrates shows this extinction to have lasted some 300 000 years, terminating at the Permian-Triassic boundary 252-million years ago. It was followed by a lesser extinction pulse approximately 160 000 years later in the Early Triassic.Our current work is focusing on the more obscure Guadalupian extinction which occurred 8-million to 10-million years before the end-Permian. This is recognised from marine sequences. For the first, time empirical evidence for this event on land is being discovered from the Karoo fossil record.What’s next?These are exciting times for palaeontologists. Technological and scientific developments have opened up new vistas for their work.A comprehensive database of all the Karoo fossil vertebrate collections in South Africa has been built. This is the first database of Permian-Jurassic continental vertebrates. It is available to scientists globally, an invaluable tool for biogeographic and biostratigraphic studies.Better dating techniques are opening up the possibility of working out rates of evolution in fossil tetrapod lineages. High-resolution scanning techniques are also enabling palaeoscientists to explore areas which were previously inaccessible, or at least not without damaging the fossils.There are a myriad questions that remain unanswered. Were the early mammal ancestors of the Karoo warm-blooded? What can the Karoo tell us about the reaction of terrestrial ecosystems to mass extinction events? How can the Karoo’s shifting ecological make-up shine a light on evolutionary tempo? These are questions we can now attempt to answer.Bruce Rubidge is Director, Centre of Excellence in Palaeosciences at University of the Witwatersrand.Mike Day is Postdoctoral Fellow at Organisational Unit:Evolutionary Studies Institute at University of the Witwatersrand.This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.last_img read more

Video: Boeing 747-8F “waves” goodbye in spectacular fashion

first_imgThis footage is managed exclusively by Viralvideouk.com. If you wish to license this footage please contact Info@viralvideouk.com.Five 777Xs in a row. Latest picture. The crew of this Cargolux Boeing 747-8F (Freighter) wave goodbye on departure by waggling the wings.The video was taken by Dipankar Bhakta at Boeing’s Everett plant where the 747 is built.last_img

Finally! Google to Offer RSS Feeds for Web Search Results

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… marshall kirkpatrick Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img Tags:#Features#news#NYT#web A rumor that’s been floating around the web lately is that Google will offer RSS feeds for new results in basic web search. Today Search Engine Land confirmed that Google will “soon” offer this functionality. Why is this big news? Because there’s no better way to keep track of new mentions of a company, person or concept online than through RSS.As Search Engine Land’s Matt McGee points out in his post, Google is the only major web search engine to not offer feeds for basic web search, as they do in blog search and news. We’d previously recommended Live.com for web search feeds, but who really cares about Live.com search results? They’re terrible. Google feeds are good news.Google says that the new feeds will be part of the Google Alerts product, which currently delivers e-mail alerts for new search results in web, blog and other result types. Google Alerts are widely used but are, we’d argue, like training wheels for people not yet comfortable with RSS feeds. There’s nothing wrong with that, but many of us want our feeds.Though blogs and news sites are of growing importance, there’s still nothing quite like good old Web Search for getting a broad picture of who is linking where and what kind of online mentions are occurring. Google says it cannot confirm when the web search feeds will be available.We hope that Google web search feeds will include “site:” searches for new mentions of keywords inside particular domains (Live and Yahoo do), and that they will deliver nice clean direct URLs – which Live.com feeds do but Yahoo search feeds do not.There’s still no alerts or feeds available for Google Image Search, probably because the index is so woefully behind the web at large. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Weekly Writers Round-Up: The Millennial Vote, Lessons from Venezuela, and Politically-Motivated Spying

first_imgEach week, we’ll be featuring opinion pieces from the alumni and current participants of AFF’s Writing Fellows Program. A few highlights from the past week are below. For more information on how the program can help launch your career in writing, see here.Respectful Presidential Town Halls Can Attract Millennials to Politics by Kristiana Bolzman (Spring 2019) in TownhallLike much of the millennial generation, I would prefer to avoid political participation and the baggage that comes with it. But my view is changing in light of the surprising civility and bi-partisanship demonstrated in the recent Fox News town halls featuring Democratic presidential candidates. These events and the constructive conversation they have fostered give me hope for the 2020 election—and my generation’s participation in it…Venezuela Shows Why Socialism’s Failure Still Matters by Chelsea Follett (Summer 2017) in The National InterestLast week, a number of left-wing activists occupied the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, DC, while Venezuelan-Americans counter-protested outside the building and demanded the end of socialism in the Latin American country. Today’s proponents of socialism often fault their critics for equating twenty-first-century “democratic socialism” with totalitarian versions of that philosophy, which dominated many countries in the twentieth century and continue to exist in places like Cuba and North Korea today…Government Surveillance Of Political Activists Is Scary, Illegal, And Common by Luke Wachob (Fall 2018) in The FederalistIn the early years of the Obama administration, newly formed conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status were subjected to lengthy delays and inappropriate demands for information, preventing the Tea Party from operating at full strength.Then there was the John Doe fiasco in Wisconsin, which saw conservative activists subjected to pre-dawn police raids as part of a sprawling investigation ultimately shut down by the state supreme court. Even when a group is not charged with violating the law, constantly being watched and hassled by the government takes a heavy toll…No Evidence, No Problem: The Crumbling Case for Soda Taxes by Guy Bentley (Spring 2017) in The Washington ExaminerNo matter how many times they’re debunked, disproven, or discredited, some policies refuse to die with dignity.Despite a dearth of evidence from anywhere in the world showing soda taxes reduce obesity, the American Heart Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics continue banging the drum against king Coke…last_img read more