Lessons in the "Business" Category

Bad Office Etiquette – part 2

Today, we are going to be looking at more bad office etiquette. For example, bad language is often used at work. It shouldn’t be. Whilst some is probably ok, endless swearing is not ok!

Boasting to others how much you earn is another big no-no. Perhaps it’s better to be a bit coy. Bragging about your salary to someone who you then discover actually earns more than you might make you look like a fool! That person, if earning less, might then resent you. Simply by buying your round of coffees might signal your earning power in a more subtle way – right?

Bad Office Etiquette – part 1

Today, let’s talk about bad office etiquette. We’ll discuss many things; including checking your phone while talking to a colleague to not buying a round of coffees… It’s incredible just how many bosses check their emails while talking to their staff. Does yours? It’s bad manners, but everyone does it!

Bad behaviour at work is rife! Nobody likes to admit bad behaviour and we probably do it without thinking. Many of us have bad electronic manners. Some people might steal other people’s ideas.

The UK Airport Shop VAT Rip-Off!

Today, let’s talk about how airport shops in the UK are ripping off many of their customers. They do it by asking to see their customers boarding passes. After processing it they get it back. What they don’t tell the customer is why they actually do this.

The answer was revealed by The Independent newspaper. It is simply an elaborate ruse by airport shops to save on their tax bills while keeping prices high.

North Sea cod stocks bounce back

New data recently released has shown that cod stocks in the North Sea are now bouncing back from their historical lows due to overfishing in the 1980s and 90s. In 2006, stringent regulations were imposed by the industry to help cod stocks recover. Since then there has been a steady recovery. Today, they are approaching the level of maximum sustainability yield, which is the measurement widely accepted as the gold standard of responsible fishing.

The chat revolution

Today, let’s talk about the chat revolution. Chat today is either by sending an SMS message or by using video chat that allows us face to face contact with our friends and family. Popular networks for communicating with each other include Skype, Viber, Blackberry’s BBM, Google's Hangouts, Tango, Apple’s Facetime and Facebook.

As a result over the last few years, especially since video chat came about, a chat revolution has taken place. It continues to evolve. Right now it means we can communicate instantly with people right around the world.

Category: Communication / Video Chat / SMS

Bangladesh Clothing Factories’ Tragedy

Today, let’s talk about the Bangladesh clothing factory building that collapsed at the end of April. The disaster at the Rana Plaza building in Savar, near the capital Dhaka, killed many of those who were working inside it.

The building that housed five clothing factories killed more than 427 people with more than 2,500 injured. Another 140 workers are still unaccounted for. Recovery teams used special lifting equipment to prise apart piles of collapsed concrete slabs. The army brought in sniffer dogs in the search for victims.

Category: Asia / Bangladesh / Clothing Factories

The top ten places in the world to lose or make money in property over the last year

Today, let’s look at the top ten places in the world where you could have lost or made money in property over the last year. We need to take into account the 2008 world economic crisis together with the euro crisis. Both continue to hold many parts of the world to ransom. We are living in the worst economic downturn since the great depression of the 1930s with thousands losing their jobs. Property prices have thus been affected.

Category: Economic / Property / Property Prices

Interactive Whiteboards

Today we will talk about how education was taught in the past, how it is taught today and how it might be taught in the future. In particular we will look at an exciting new way of teaching subjects to students in classrooms using interactive whiteboards. Before we do, let’s quickly go over some of the old fashioned ways lessons were, and current ways lessons are, presented in the classroom.

To begin with in the past most schools taught their pupils using blackboards using mostly white and coloured chalk. In my day, it was like this! Books were also used. In some classes we had whiteboards using black or coloured marker pens.

During the last decade this evolved into overhead projectors, where teachers could write on a clear plastic sheet that projected and magnified the written matter onto the whiteboard. Teachers or students could present whatever they had prepared on the clear plastic for overhead use.

Category: Education / Learning / Whiteboards

Why doesn’t the USA have high speed rail?

Why doesn’t the USA have high speed trains? Good question! China has them, so does Japan. They are all over Europe. All run between 300-431kph (186-268mph). Yet in America the fastest train does a mere 241kph (150mph) and that is over a very short distance.

The average speed in the USA of a high speed train is an incredible 127kph (79mph)! The USA seems to have got left behind. The definition to Americans of high speed trains is the Acela Express that runs from New York to Washington DC. Why is this so? It is probably because Americans prefer to fly between cities, as it’s cheaper. The other reason is the motor car. Another reason is the lack of investment.

Considering the size of America these days it is cheaper and quicker to fly than to take the train between cities. However, if the price was right and the speed of the railways was increased all that could change. The latter though involves some considerable investment.

Category: USA / Railways / High Speed Trains

Russia begins to cut off gas to Belarus

Russia has begun to cut off gas supplies to its neighbour Belarus. On Monday it cut gas supplies by 15% amid claims Belarus owes ₤135m (US$200m) in unpaid bills. On Tuesday it cut the gas supply by another 15%. This follows Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s order on Monday to Russian gas monopoly Gazprom to cut supplies from Monday.

Russia has said the cuts will rise day by day to 85% if Belarus does not start paying off its debts, accrued when it failed to pay increased prices. This has raised fears in European countries in that deliveries to Europe might again be disrupted. Relations between Russia and Belarus have soured since they failed to agree on unified customs rules and Belarus gave refuge to ousted Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

Russia supplies a quarter of Europe’s gas needs. It uses Belarus, which borders European Union member Poland, as one of the key transit routes for oil and gas to the continent. Previous pricing disputes with Minsk led to oil supply cuts, with Poland, Lithuania and Germany being affected most. A similar standoff with Kiev halted Russian gas supplies across Ukraine for two weeks in January 2009. This left many Europeans without heating and fuel during a harsh winter.

Category: Energy / Belarus, Russia / Gas