Expert etiquette

first_imgWe’ve all wondered how to confront a friend who has mastered the art of not tipping or who always seems to weasel out of paying half the check.And who can forget the family member who very obviously gifts you used (not even lightly worn!) sweaters for Christmas when you’re ponying up serious dollars for that new KitchenAid stand mixer?Life’s bottomless cocktail of conundrums calls for a trusted guide to light the way on how to deal with and resolve our conflicts all — mini and tall.Enter Miss Conduct: Manners and etiquette sorceress and Boston Globe columnist.In her regular gig, Miss Conduct, whose real name is Robin Abrahams, doles out advice on readers’ most perplexing dilemmas. But on Jan. 18, she answered questions on workplace etiquette from Harvard’s workforce.The event was a HARVie chat, a series of informal discussions offering members of the Harvard community the opportunity to learn from experts across campus.Abrahams, who is also a research associate at Harvard Business School and author of “Miss Conduct’s Mind over Manners: Master the Slippery Rules of Modern Ethics and Etiquette,” dove head first into University employees’ stressful queries:What to do with a bully boss who loses his temper and raises his voice at you?What to do when your co-workers work late and you leave right at 5?And what about your co-worker’s strong perfume that nobody likes? How do you say something without hurting her feelings?On the topic of the bully boss, Abrahams did not dilly-dally: “If you have a bad boss, you have to get a new job, period. That’s really the only solution. You can talk to an ombudsperson who can help resolve conflicts, but unfortunately, no one can change another person’s nature. Life is too short to work for bad bosses. Take a bad job with a good boss over the reverse any day!”Tough but sensible, Abrahams didn’t sugarcoat the truth: “All organizations employ bad bosses,” she said. “At least at Harvard, there’s a lot of other Schools and departments you can go to in order to escape them without losing your seniority and accumulated years of service.”High-five? Consider the impression you’re giving when you leave right at 5, Abrahams told the questioner. Do you want to give the impression that you’re working hard, or hardly working?As for the smelly situation, Abrahams suggested taking the matter right to human resources. They’re there for a reason, after all.Many inquired about the role of technology in the workplace — from underperforming co-workers distracted by cell phones to co-workers surfing dating sites. Voice your concern to the person, Abrahams said, or speak with a manager.When it came to email etiquette, Abrahams recommended David Shipley and Will Schwalbe’s “SEND: Why People Email So Badly and How to Do It Better.”“Small talk in the office is fine, but work e-communications should only be about work,” she said. “Also don’t keep people on an email chain forever. No one wants to get a whole series of emails discussing the next staff meeting they’re not even attending.”Abrahams said that in all of her history as Miss Conduct, her most bizarre inquiry involved a man who refused to use workplace restrooms and would instead take a cup into the office library, urinate into it, and pour it down the sink.Ah, the joys of work.“Pretend you’re an anthropologist,” said Abrahams. ????Does Jane Goodall take it personally when the chimpanzees throw branches at her? She does not.”For a complete schedule of upcoming HARVie chats.last_img read more

A season of helping

first_imgThe 2011 campaign for Harvard Community Gifts is under way, with a blend of Harvard traditions and new opportunities. The campaign — a workplace giving program that dates back to World War II, lets Harvard faculty and staff donate to nonprofit and charitable organizations by payroll deduction and check.This year, using a new secure website, employees also can make donations by credit or debit card, a convenience many have requested.“The charities and the people they serve benefit from the enormous generosity of our faculty and staff,” said Katie Lapp, Harvard’s executive vice president and co-chair of the 2011 campaign, along with Provost Alan M. Garber. “By joining together with others, we multiply the effect we have on our neighbors and communities.”The 2011 campaign runs through Dec. 9. Employees may donate to up to five charities with one gift. American Express, Discover, Visa, and MasterCard are all accepted. Donations can be made to any 501(c) charity; hundreds of organizations that Harvard employees have supported in the past are already in the website’s database, but employees may also add eligible charitable organizations. Donations are tax-deductible. You can learn more at the Harvard Community Gifts website.Kicking off the annual program, the second annual Harvard Giving Fair was held at the Queen’s Head Pub in Memorial Hall Nov. 17. Hundreds of staff and faculty members dropped by, where they could speak with representatives from more than 25 local organizations, while also mingling and enjoying appetizers and a cash bar.Lapp and other Harvard leaders were guest bartenders at the event, and all tips were donated to the campaign, which last year raised $500,000.“It’s not just the charities that we support that benefit. We also benefit here at Harvard in terms of strengthening our community and building a caring workplace culture,” said Lapp.last_img read more

Guatemalan families think massacre victims were migrants

first_imgGUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Relatives of migrants from Guatemala believe that at least 13 of the 19 charred corpses found in a northern Mexico border state could be their loved ones. If true, the killings could revive memories of the 2010 massacre of 72 migrants in the same northern border state of Tamaulipas. Ramiro Coronado told The Associated Press his nephew was with a group of 13 migrants who left the province of San Marcos and were travelling together, before family members lost contact with them on Thursday. On Saturday, authorities in Tamaulipas found 19 shot and burned bodies near a town across the Rio Grande from Texas.last_img read more

RoseMERRY Christmas!

first_imgRosemary plants are gaining popularity as a holiday gift and miniature, living Christmas tree. After the holidays, you can use it as an indoor houseplant. With a little care, holiday rosemary plants can be added to the landscape in the spring.Botanically speaking, Rosmarinus officinalis is an aromatic, woody shrub that originated in the Mediterranean. The word “rosemary” is derived from the Latin rosmarinus, meaning, “dew of the sea.” This refers to where it grows natively, among the misty hills of the Mediterranean coast, in France, Italy, Spain and the Dalmatian Islands. Rosemary is an herb steeped in history, and valued for many reasons. It was used in wine, perfumes and medicines. It was also used as an air purifier and aromatic kitchen herb. And it may help repel mosquitoes when planted near patios or porches. During the holiday season, rosemary plants are often sheared into formal topiaries or Christmas tree shapes. Most of the rosemary plants sold during the holiday season were grown in greenhouses. Therefore, they don’t react kindly to being transported, displayed and then carried through the cold into the dry warmth of heated homes. In northern Georgia , rosemary plants are relatively inexpensive and easy to come by. Every light touch of the needle-like leaves releases enough fragrance to perfume an entire room. Even if the plants don’t survive indoors past the holiday season, they make wonderful temporary houseplants. It’s mostly the dry heat in our homes that make survival difficult for rosemary plants. Raising the humidity level can help the plant survive. Also keep the plant away from direct sunlight, heat registers, fireplaces, televisions and other heat sources. Routinely spray the leaves several times a day with water from a hand mister. Place the plant’s container on a tray of stones or marbles so that as the water evaporates, it helps humidify the plant. Clustering houseplants together also helps keep foliage hydrated. In late winter, if your rosemary plant is still living, start placing it outside in a sheltered spot during the day. Protect it from drying winds, and you may be rewarded by new growth. After it has acclimated itself to the outdoors, you can safely plant it outside where the rosemary plant will thrive year round. Rosemary does best in slightly alkaline, well-drained soil and can handle either full sun or light shade. It can grow to be 3 to 5 feet in height, and because of its Mediterranean origins, rosemary is naturally drought resistant once it becomes established. With a little extra care, the gift of a rosemary plant can survive and become a remembrance of the holiday season and add seasoning to your favorite recipes. For more information about reastablishing holiday rosemary bushes outside after the season, search for the UGA Extension publication “Herbs in the Southern Garden” at www.caes.uga.edu/publications.last_img read more

Sunday: U.S. Energy Agency ‘Vastly Overstates’ Future Oil and Gas Production

first_imgSunday: U.S. Energy Agency ‘Vastly Overstates’ Future Oil and Gas Production FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg News:There’s no denying that fracking has turned the U.S. into a force in the global oil and gas markets, which has more than a few people abuzz about the prospect of energy independence.But now, researchers at MIT have uncovered one potentially game-changing detail: a flaw in the Energy Department’s official forecast, which may vastly overstate oil and gas production in the years to come.The culprit, they say, lies in the Energy Information Administration’s premise that better technology has been behind nearly all the recent output gains, and will continue to boost production for the foreseeable future. That’s not quite right. Instead, the research suggests increases have been largely due to something more mundane: low energy prices, which led drillers to focus on sweet spots where oil and gas are easiest to extract.“The EIA is assuming that productivity of individual wells will continue to rise as a result of improvements in technology,” said Justin B. Montgomery, a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and one of the study’s authors. “This compounds year after year, like interest, so the further out in the future the wells are drilled, the more that they are being overestimated.”Extrapolating from field studies Montgomery and his colleague Francis O’Sullivan conducted in North Dakota’s Bakken shale deposit, the research suggests that total U.S. oil and natural-gas production from new wells could undershoot the EIA estimate by more than 10 percent in 2020. Things would get progressively worse each year after that as wells in various sweet spots are exhausted and technology fails to close the gap.Margaret Coleman, the EIA’s leader of oil, gas and biofuels exploration and production analysis, said in an email “the study raises valid points” and the administration is looking at ways to give its estimates a tighter focus. She added that many shale fields lack the detailed well data that informed the MIT study, which means EIA forecasters have to use known geologic information and assumptions about prices and technology to come up with estimates.There’s little doubt the technologies used to extract oil and natural gas trapped within rock formations thousands of feet below the Earth’s surface — like drill heads, mapping software, fracking techniques and so on — have gotten better. And intuitively, it makes a lot of sense that better methods have boosted U.S. shale output and helped lead to new finds.But if the MIT researchers are ultimately right, the implications could be significant.In the past three years, oil prices have been stuck around $50 a barrel on the back of rising shale output in the U.S., while natural gas has been selling for an average of less than $3 per million British thermal units. (As recently as 2014, prices for both were twice as high.)Not only could a slowdown in production mean higher energy prices, but it also might just mark the end of the U.S. shale industry’s role as the one swing producer able to counter OPEC’s might. The shale boom has repeatedly frustrated the Saudi-led cartel’s attempts to control oil prices.The MIT researchers aren’t the first to question the projected growth of U.S. shale. Analysts have long debated varying methods used to predict output. Yet MIT’s findings stand out by providing some evidence that backs those assertions. The problem with the EIA’s numbers, the researchers say, is that they give drillers too much credit for coming up with ways to improve fracking.While the EIA’s model assumes that technical advances — such as well length and the amounts of water and sand used in fracking — increase output at new wells by roughly 10 percent each year, MIT findings from the Bakken region suggest it’s closer to 6.5 percent, according to Montgomery.Some signs of a slowdown have started to emerge. Gas output in the Marcellus basin has fallen 10 percent on a per-rig basis since reaching a high in September 2016. In the Permian, per-rig oil production has decreased almost 20 percent over a similar span.Richard Bereschik knows firsthand that shale isn’t a sure thing.The bearded, burly superintendent of schools in Wellsville, Ohio — a small, Rust Belt community located along the western bank of the Ohio River — recalls the rush he and other townsfolk experienced when Chesapeake Energy Corp. came through some six years ago, leasing out huge tracts of property for development.Wellsville sits atop the Marcellus and Utica shale formations and is only 20 miles from a concentration of sweet spots, but Bereschik says Chesapeake stopped renewing leases after the bottom fell out in prices.“Everyone thought we’d found a goose that laid the golden egg,” Bereschik said. But ultimately, “it’s not the boom we all expected.”More: U.S. Vastly Overstates Oil Output Forecasts, MIT Study Suggestslast_img read more

Argentina and United States Renew Close Relations after Years Apart

first_imgPresident Obama spoke with young Argentine entrepreneurs at the Usina del Arte in the district of La Boca for over an hour, as he answered questions and elicited surprise from his audience with his frank and informal tone. He spoke about having read Argentine writers like Borges and Cortázar at school, saying that since then he had been curious to try mate. “And I am proud to announce that I just tried mate for the first time,” President Obama said. U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Buenos Aires on March 23rd to inaugurate a new age in U.S. relations with Argentina. President Obama and his Argentine counterpart, Mauricio Macri, expressed their enthusiasm to work together to bolster security, trade, education, and technology. The Argentine Ministry of Security and the U.S. Departments of Justice and Homeland Security (DHS) signed the “Preventing and Combating Serious Crime Agreement” to facilitate the exchange of information on suspected criminals and terrorists. The Joint Interagency Task Force-South agreed to exchange information with the Argentine Ministry of Security, whereas the Department of Defense invited the South American country to participate in the State Partnership Program so as to cooperate with the National Guard. On the morning of March 24th, presidents Obama and Macri concluded the official visit by paying their respects to the victims of the last Argentine dictatorship (1976-1983). They marked the 40 years since the last coup d’état at the Parque de la Memoria (Remembrance Park), in Buenos Aires’s North Coastal region. “We seek good relations with all the countries in the hemisphere, but obviously Argentina – historically one of the most powerful, largest countries in the hemisphere – needs to be a critical partner with us,” said President Obama, recalling that [the partnership] “is for us not only to help our own people, but also to help promote prosperity and peace and opportunity in the region as a whole.” By Dialogo March 25, 2016 The last time that a sitting U.S. president visited Argentina was in 2005, when George W. Bush attended the Summit of the Americas in Mar del Plata, and during President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s two terms (2007-2015), the U.S. share of Argentina’s foreign commerce has been less than 10 percent, the lowest level in the past 80 years, according to Argentina’s Chamber of Commerce. Declassified files In May, the U.S. Department of Defense will hold its first Bilateral Working Group with the Armed Forces of Argentina since 2009. The schedule includes peacekeeping efforts, disaster planning and response, and cooperation in defense of the Western Hemisphere, according to the White House. To reverse that trend, the two governments have announced measures to boost investments and deepen their cooperation in the G-20. “Reflecting significant private-sector interest in Argentina, U.S. companies announced multi-billion dollar investments that will help build upon the more than $20 billion in annual United States-Argentina trade,” the White House said in a press release. “In the coming months, six trade delegations will help U.S. and Argentine businesses identify further opportunities.” The terrorist attacks in Brussels, Belgium, which left 31 dead and approximately 270 wounded, cast a pall over President Obama’s visit to the Argentine capital. Presidents Obama and Macri denounced the attacks and promised to work together to fight terrorism, drug trafficking, and organized crime. “My top priority is to defeat ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) and to eliminate the scourge of this barbaric terrorism that’s been taking place around the world,” President Obama said. Both countries announced the implementation of various bilateral agreements to enable cooperation. “The United States will help build Argentine law enforcement capacity, including through assistance from the Department of Justice related to terrorism and terrorist financing in the Tri-Border region,” the White House said in a press release. After talks in Buenos Aires between presidents Obama and Macri, the White House announced the signature of the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement and support for Argentina’s full participation in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other key international financial institutions. Argentine Minister of Defense Julio Martínez stated that President Obama’s visit marks the beginning of a new era for the two countries. “It is our fondest wish that the U.S. president’s visit go as smoothly as possible, and that it be just the beginning of a new stage in the relationship between our countries,” Minister Martínez said on March 22nd, while overseeing the Air Force Defense System at the El Palomar Air Wing. Speaking to civil society “Under President Macri, Argentina is reassuming its traditional leadership role in the region and around the world,” President Obama said at a press conference at Casa Rosada, the Argentine government’s seat. The U.S. leader said he was “enormously impressed” with the work President Macri completed during the first 100 days of his administration to create more sustainable growth and renew Argentina’s ties with the international community. The Argentine Ministry of Security and the DHS also signed an agreement to augment protection measures on board airplanes. Meanwhile, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network signed a memorandum of understanding with Argentina’s Financial Information Unit to intensify cooperation against money laundering and terrorist financing. “The United States will also assist Argentine efforts to reduce drug demand, train Argentine officials at the International Law Enforcement Academy, arrange study tours to the United States for Argentine officials, and provide training by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),” the White House wrote in a brief. “The FBI will also help Argentina’s Ministry of Security establish a nationwide network of Intelligence Fusion Centers to detect and disrupt terrorism and organized crime.” Both presidents finalized the ceremony by throwing flowers into the Río de la Plata (River Plate), an offering in remembrance of those who disappeared. “This is a tribute to their memory, but also homage to the bravery and perseverance of those whom we remember for refusing to abandon their efforts in the search for truth and justice,” President Obama said, prior to heading to Bariloche, where he rested with his family before flying back to Washington. That evening, the Obamas hosted a formal dinner at the Kirchner Cultural Center that was attended by approximately 400 guests, including business owners and politicians from the government and the opposition party. The U.S. president accepted an invitation from a famous dancer to dance to the famous tango “Por una Cabeza,” by Carlos Gardel (music) and Alfredo Le Pera (lyrics). President Macri highlighted that both countries have a “gigantic” amount of work in common before them. “After years of nearly non-existent relations, many opportunities are now open that could create jobs for Argentines and U.S. citizens,” he said. In a strategic gesture to Argentina, President Obama requested ahead of the visit to declassify sensitive military and intelligence records linked to the “dirty war.” President Obama announced that, at Argentina’s request, he would declassify more. “We all need and are entitled to know what the truth is,” President Macri said, according to AFP. After a press conference at the Casa Rosada, President Obama went to the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral, where he paid his respects to General José de San Martín – considered the prime leader of the southern part of South America’s successful struggle for independence from the Spanish Empire – and also visited a mural honoring Holocaust victims. Later, First Lady Michelle Obama gave a speech about the “Let Girls Learn” program – a U.S. government initiative to provide young women with access to education – to young women at the Metropolitan Design Center in the district of Barracas. President Macri said that he has been inspired by the leadership of President Obama, whose visit has a special meaning. “We have interpreted it as a gesture of their consideration and friendship at a time when Argentina is embarking on a new journey. We believe that our countries share profound values: respect for human rights, individual liberty, democracy, justice, and peace.” Terrorism and drug traffickinglast_img read more

Analysis: Russia Continues to Invest in Venezuela in an Attempt to Control Latin America

first_imgBy Antonio Belchi / Voice of America March 06, 2020 In recent years, Russian oil company Rosneft increased its presence in Venezuela. What’s its purpose? Voice of America spoke with several analysts who said that the Russian state-owned company is not driven by gas or oil needs. Rather, its interest consists of “geopolitical reasons” aimed at eventually controlling the Latin American region.“Russia wants to have a significant presence in Venezuela, like it had in Cuba for the last 50 years,” said Edward Glab, co-director of the Global Energy Security Forum at Florida International University.Glab believes that the increase of investment in Venezuela is due to “a foreign policy” of the Russian government, to which the Nicolás Maduro regime owes billions of dollars that it cannot pay because of the decrease in oil sales.According to Glab, the weak situation in the country, as a result of the serious economic, social, and political crisis, does not encourage foreign investment, since other places in the world with the ability to export oil are far more secure and economically stable.The Russian oil company’s continued multi-million dollar investments in Venezuela are connected to the Kremlin’s strategy to control South America, he said.“Rosneft has favorable conditions to invest in Venezuela. But who is going to invest more money in Venezuela in light of this situation and such an enormous debt?” said the expert, who spent 25 years in Venezuela working on various Exxon operations.PDVSA’s serious situationAccording to Juan Fernández, who worked for nearly two decades at state-owned oil company Petróleos de Venezuela Sociedad Anónima (PDVSA, in Spanish), “the degree of deterioration in the Venezuelan oil industry is massive.” Today, he added, “we are at the same level that we were in the last century.”“Despite all the talk about having the largest oil reserves in the world, the Venezuelan oil industry has practically no influence,” he said, adding that the country “was the first oil producer in the world, the first oil exporter in the world, and also one of the founders of OPEC [Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries].”Fernández, who in 2002 created Petroleum People (Gente del Petróleo) and lives in exile in south Florida, believes that oil and mining are still businesses that serve as “leverage for the economic recovery that the country needs.”However, he says that it’s “important that the model that should be applied to the economy” must also include the private sector. “The state’s monopoly in the oil industry and others, such as mining or electricity, must come to an end.”How does Rosneft help to avoid U.S. sanctions?PDVSA has been under tough U.S. sanctions imposed on the company and its senior staff. According to the Venezuelan expert, the economic and commercial climate has forced Venezuela to resort to Rosneft, which became “the trading arm of PDVSA.” All this is aimed at “putting barrels out on the international market.”TNK and Procerium Energy are two companies that rely directly on Rosneft.The so-called “export structure” to avoid sanctions against PDVSA is the strategy that Venezuela has adopted lately.“Barrels that Rosneft export are sent to a refinery called Nayara Energy in India, which processes heavy crude. TNK and Procerium send the shipment to Singapore to be able to process heavy crude in China,” he says.“When you export oil and unload it into a Rosneft tank, that oil becomes Russian property immediately,” said Fernández, who also referred to the “ship to ship” oil exchange operations between vessels in open waters.That’s another way to be able to export crude to international markets, he says, since “oil has no DNA” and it is impossible to identify its origin.The Venezuelan debt in the oil sectorHoracio Medina knows the Venezuelan market very well, because he worked at PDVSA from 1980 to 2002. He says that no one knows what the future of the oil industry in Venezuela will be, or what impact Rosneft could have in the region in the short term.Although Venezuela’s debt to Russia is unknown, the Kremlin continues to take its chances with the South American country. “From a strictly commercial viewpoint, China, Russia, or India would be much more interested in a transition process in Venezuela, so that they could have some guarantee on the debts incurred,” he says.It seems that Rosneft will continue to operate in Venezuela with a long-term perspective. Analysts say this is not the best scenario, but Venezuela is the most strategic country to give them a greater presence and power in the Latin American market.last_img read more

Emergency vehicles block off several mile stretch of NY-79 between Richford and Lisle

first_imgStay with 12 News as we continue to learn more about this developing story. Authorities told 12 News local traffic is being allowed to pass through. The cause of the crash is under investigation, it is unknown how many injuries there are. (WBNG) — 12 News is on the scene where emergency crews have blocked off a several mile stretch of NY-79 between Richford and Lisle. There is no word yet on what is causing the blocked off area. The restricted stretch goes from the intersection of NY-79 and Route 38 to the intersection of NY-79 and Howland Hill Road. Emergency crews could be seen including Berkshire Fire. 12:10 A.M. UPDATE: According to 511 NY, the road is back open and according to 511 NY they say it was a crash with injuries. This is a developing story, stay with 12 News for further updates.last_img read more

HZJZ issued recommendations for the program of tourist animators

first_imgThe Croatian Institute of Public Health has issued recommendations for the prevention of COVID-19 infection during the activities and programs of tourist animators. More details attached: Although the very essence of animators in tourism is direct contact and interaction with guests, in accordance with the “new normal” CNIPH recommends avoiding physical contact, and for activities where it is not possible to maintain physical distance, it is recommended that the same people always do rehearsal and activity. Attachment: HZJZ: Recommendations for the prevention of COVID-19 infection during the activities and programs of tourist animators When organizing the program, eg the election for Miss and Mr. Hotel, adhere to the Recommendation for the Prevention of COVID-19 Disease during cultural programs and events available on the CNIPH website.center_img Photo: Valamar Riviera When activities of children’s groups in various creative-educational contents or games (for example treasure hunts or games without borders), pay special attention to maintaining physical distance. The same is true for maintaining programs with people over the age of 60 to minimize the possibility of disease transmission among vulnerable groups. Activities such as morning gymnastics, aerobics, tournaments in various sports (basketball, football, table tennis, beach volleyball, tennis), cycling tours, swimming pool activities are performed according to the currently valid Recommendations for swimming pools and water parks during the epidemic of COVID- 19, Recommendations for training and sports-recreational activities in indoor sports facilities and Recommendations for trainings, preparatory matches and sports-recreational activities in outdoor sports facilities during the COVID-19 disease epidemic, which are available on the CNIPH website.last_img read more

A rum do

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img