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Jonathan Veitch Leads Occidental College into the Future

Stepping into the position of President of an college that has just named a US President as one of its alumni may seem like a difficult thing to do, the pressure of being in charge of a small college quickly thrust into the public eye means tough decisions have to be made. Jonathan Veitch stepped into this role at California’s Occidental College in 2009 with the oldest liberal arts college in the US facing a number of issues that needed his strong leadership to navigate. Stepping into the President’s role meant Veitch would have to lead the academic institution and make sure the local community was served by a strong academic institution that reflected the local area of Eagle Rock.

Veitch found himself in charge of a college that was changing rapidly after the news broke that President Barrack Obama had attended the college for two years in his youth. Occidental College had quickly taken this news on board and seemed set for an economic boom as enrollment levels rose with applications arriving at the college from around the World. The new President was forced to look at how to expand the college in the best way for the institution itself and the community of Eagle Rock.

A series of plans had been put into place by Veitch’s predecessor at Occidental College, which saw the President forced to face an angry reaction to plans for an expansion of the campus into an area overlooking the small town. Veitch immediately understood the problems and concerns of the local community, stepping in to veto the plans and look for other areas to expand into. The decision has meant a slower and steadier rate of growth, but has drawn many of the local residents back onto the side of Veitch and the college as a whole. occidental is now playing a much stronger role in the community and has developed a number of community programs under the leadership and direction of Veitch.

How to Edit Wikipedia and Why you Should

Wikipedia has become one of the world’s most trusted information sources and yet all the information it contains has been submitted by members of the public just like you. Wikipedia editors have no special qualifications, nor do they need to pass any tests or exams; all they need is to know something about the subject and how to edit a page.

Why should you try this? If you’ve ever read a Wikipedia article on a subject you know something about you might have noticed one or more errors or omissions. You can fix these, help make Wikipedia more accurate and complete and so help Wikipedia’s users.

If you find a page that you think you can contribute to then you can start editing simply by clicking on ‘Edit’ at the top right of the page. This brings up an editable text box that you can type into. This is where the article is edited by you.

As you’ll see this text box contains all the content of the article along with various brackets and other punctuation marks. This extra punctuation is known as ‘markup’ and is used to define the formatting of the article. If you’re just correcting spelling, changing some text or adding another sentence then you don’t need to worry about this – just edit the readable text and take care to keep the markup unchanged. Make a short note of what you’ve changed and why in the ‘Edit Summary’ space below the text box, press ‘Show Preview’ to check your work and, if you’re happy with the result, press ‘Save Page’. That’s it! You’ve edited Wikipedia and (hopefully) improved it a little for its users.

Of course, Get Your Wiki, a consultancy that helps people and companies with exactly this, is quick to remind us that the best source for detailed information on how to make Wikipedia pages is Wikipedia itself. From the main page click the ‘Help’ link on the left hand side. The main help page that this links to has a section titled ‘I want to edit an article’. This contains links to pages that will teach you about the markup used for article formatting and also how to use references and citations when you are adding new information. If you want to practice on a dummy article there’s also a link there to a sandbox area that Wikipedia provides for you.

Learning how to edit Wikipedia properly is remarkably easy, helps out your fellow users and can be a lot of fun!

Changes That Are Taking Place at Walmart

 

Walmart is working hard to improve work conditions and will be paying their employees more. This is going to cost the company about $1 billion this year. But Brad Reifler is a true believer in the theory that taking care of employees increases ROI.  What are some of the changes that Walmart is making?

First, Walmart plans to pay their full time and part time workers more. By April of this year, employees should be expecting to make at least $9 an hour. By February of next year, the pay will go up to $10 an hour. That is the minimum. With this raise, individuals who make $10 an hour will be paid $2.75 above minimum wage.

The pay raise is not all that employees have to look forward to. One of the improvements that Walmart plans to make is making more flexible schedules for their employees. They hope to create a scheduling system that allows their employees to have more control over their personal work schedule.

Another improvement that they hope to make it is to invest more in the training of their employees. Not only is this going to make their employees more competent workers, but it is going to give them a chance to advance farther along in the company. The more training an individual has, the more likely they are to receive a promotion. The more money an individual earns and the more they learn about their work, the happier they are and the more productively they will work.

Christopher Cowdray: Luxury Hotel Manager Extraordinaire

Imagine lounging in exotic luxury complete with exquisite fine dining, indulgent spa treatments and service with a smile at your beckoning call, for a boarding experience like no other, and you share Christopher Cowdray’s, CEO of Dorchester Collection, vision. Under his guidance, the award winning international hotel manager and his team have created the ultimate hotel management company, consisting of 10 hotels in the Americas and Europe. The infamous Dorchester Collection is highly esteemed in both the hotel and travel industry.

The Dorchester collection is coined as the most beautiful collection of luxury hotels in the world. This prestigious, world renowned collection includes The Beverly Hills Hotel, Hotel Bel-Air, Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan, Hotel Eden in Rome, The Dorchester and 45 Park Lane in London and Le Meurice and Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris. The Dorchester Collection boasts a refined atmosphere of fine dining derived from native cuisine and exceptional spa services with top-notch providers like La Prarie and Dior as well as a strong attention to detail and authentic flair. Each hotel is uniquely designed so that the personality of each individual structure promotes the energy of the city in which it is located.

Dorchester Collection consistently ranks on Elite Travelers 101 Top Suites list and has earned multiple awards including the Lifetime Achievement Award at the European Hospitality Awards, a prestigious honor awarded by a panel of esteemed judges from the hospitality sector, for service to the hotel community and their body of work. When it comes to success, Christopher Cowdray credits his team’s devotion to providing exquisite service, which includes a highly trained staff, personalized service, customer recognition and modern technology, along with an innate ability to blend textures, styles and decor into one luxurious environment.

Christopher Cowdray is a graduate of the Columbia Business School Executive Program, and has been the general manager of The Dorchester Collection since 2007. His extensive background in international hotel management stems from his life in Zimbabwe as well as over 25 years experience managing international luxury hotels across various continents including Asia, Africa, Australia, London and the Middle East. His multicultural background has given him the privilege of understanding the impact that differences have when doing business around the world, which gives him an edge over the competition.

Today, Mr. Cowdray continues to manage Dorchester Collection and is also the honorary Professor at Thames Valley University, fellow of The Hotel Catering Institute Management Association, Master inholder, and past Chairman of the British Hospitality Association.

Poverty Increasing As Programs Are Depleted

 

Poverty is an issue that has eluded a solution since the inception of man on this planet. Some principalities are trying to eradicate the issue, but seem to be making the ‘war on poverty’ as successful as some of the recent military actions in the Middle East.

One such place is North Carolina. This state has long been known for a civil approach to helping and dealing with the poor people that are located there. In recent years though, it seems that the very structures and programs that have been set up to aid the poor, are actually doing more to harm them than help them.

Taxes are being cut in the state, but only if the person is considered in the upper percentiles of the income brackets. According to this article from dealbroker.com that Fersen Lambranho forwarded me, the taxes on the middle class and poor have being exponentially increasing, making their buying power almost non-existent. The same is true of the social programs. Cuts have been made to welfare, as well as social security recipients.

The one place where it seemed logical to go if one was poor because aid was out there for te, is now the one place where many poor are trying hard to escape from. Employment rates are down, minimum wage is insufficient to pay rents and feed a family, and programs are being squeezed out in favor of big business and higher income earners. The war on poverty appears to have taken on a whole new life in North Carolina

Work More Than 25 hours at Staples and Face Termination

 

In an already difficult time for minimum wage earners, the office supply chain, Staples, has sent a memo to employees, forbidding all part time employees from working more than 25 hours per week, citing, “recent changes.” Some employees, like Fersen Lambranho,  scheduled to work a 25 hour week had worked more than this, prompting the company to send what can only be described as a reprimanding memo.

In bold was an entire sentence which read:

“It is your responsibility to manage your time.”

The memo continued in the diminutive tone, warning that going over will “result in documentation from the employee.” If you are wondering what that means, you aren’t alone. The memo continued, listing the consequences of going over which included a series of corporate punishment. The first infraction will result in the employees file being noted. After that, the employee may face termination. The offending employee will have their hours reduced from 25 per week so Staples can insure overages won’t occur.

Other reminders considered helpful was the cheery reminder that employees scheduled for 6 hour shifts to take their 30 minute, off the clock lunch break. The memo continued, reminding employees that because employees worked over, this resulted in a four million dollar penalty.

The author of the memo signed off, encouraging employees to come to the manager with any questions or concerns and a short sentence telling the employees how valued they are.

Navy Unveils Rail Gun

 

The Navy unveiled its newest weapon: the rail gun. Once relegated to the domain of science-fiction technology, the implementation of the rail gun signifies a substantial leap forward in the destructive power of the United States’ arsenal. The gun can fire a projectile to hit a targeted location up to 110 miles away, all the while, traveling at Mach 7 speeds. The projectile is not armed with any explosive power, nor would explosives prove necessary to achieve a desired level of destruction. Traveling at seven times the speed of sound is power enough to ensure successful results. Furthermore, the exclusion of gunpowder and explosive materials decreases safety hazards for rail gun crew members.

The rail gun, as my friend Dan Newlin explains, in addition to the surge in drone strike use, suggests an evolution in military tactics on behalf of the United States. Rather than putting the lives of soldiers at risk, engaging perceived enemies with long-range projectile weapons has emerged as a favored method of combat. Whether or not being removed from immediate action will facilitate a greater reliance on long-range weapons or military aggression on the whole remains to be seen, but is a progression which ought to be monitored with careful scrutiny. On the other hand, it is possible that the threat of such a powerful weapon will deter military conflict from coming to the fore altogether.

Live testing of the rail gun will commence in 2016.

Direct Sales Expands Into India, Small Companies Compete in a Tough Market

The push towards globalization is not something that is focused just entirely in the Western culture. Communication and global focused strategies are taken for granted in many countries, but this is certainly not the case with Qnet. The company was initially founded in 1998 in Hong Kong, but the company has broken new ground to expand into Malaysia and India, among other countries. The company is present in roughly 100 countries throughout North Africa, the Middle East, and South East Asia.

What makes this company such a successful juggernaut in the Eastern world? The company’s industry provides some indication. Qnet works in the area of direct sales. They sell products in many industries, including apparel, fashion, nutrition, weight management, and others. Notably, these industries are all mainstays in the middle class. This is a class of people gaining prominence in the developing world.

But whenever trailblazers attempt to do something big and expansive, others will argue against it. There are claims that Qnet is somehow cheating in their relationship with India retailers. Zaheer Merchant responded to these claims with blunt affirmations. We didn’t do any wrong. We are a genuine e-commerce company present in the Indian market for 13 years, with mega plans.

Merchant was transparent about the regulations in the India market. He goes on to state that Qnet uis facing additional scrutiny not necessarily present with other competitors. He hopes that legislation could be set in place that avoids baseless claims from holding back business relationships that are healthy and practical for the region.

The company has being doing business for 16 years in various countries, and their vast expansion in such a short frame of time has led people to question their sincerity. But 16 years after its inception is not that long of a time considering its direct competitors. The industry of direct sales is notoriously difficult to compete in. High turnover keeps employees throughout the entire hierarchy chain constantly revolving. Small product price changes can dramatically impact the payment to those facilitating the sales. It is a system that seems intensely vulnerable from the onset. But Qnet’s long term success is a testament to their motivated and driven approach.

Dr. Rod Rohrich Innovations in Plastic Surgery

 

Dr. Rod Rohrich is currently the Chairman and Professor of Plastic Surgery with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Dr. Rod Rohrich has won the coveted Crystal Charity Ball distinguished chair award. He has also won the Betty and Warren Woodward award for plastic and reconstructive surgery. He is the Editor in Chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Dr Rod Rohrich career began at Baylor College of Medicine where he graduated with high honors. He performed his surgical residencies at The University of Michigan Medical Center. Followed by pediatric plastic surgery at the University of Oxford in England. Dr. Rohrich completed his fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. In 1986 he joined the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centers Division of Plastic Surgery. In 1991 he took over as Chairman for the Department of Plastic Surgery at University of Texas Southwestern.

Dr. Rod Rohrich has contributed some informative and significant findings in the areas of cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. He has published several innovative articles on facial fracture repair, rhinoplasty, liposuction, fillers, patient safety, breast augmentation and medical education. He has chaired national and international symposiums and scientific presentations all regarding new techniques and innovations within plastic surgery. In 2005 he was named editor in chief of the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery journal where he has co-authored and estimated 300 publications, and written textbook chapters regarding plastic surgery.

Dr. Rod Rohrich has recently been selected by his peers as one of the best plastic surgeons in Dallas, Texas. Each year outstanding physicians are highlighted. He is also considered one of the top rhinoplasty surgeons in the Dallas area for his work on reconstruction. He has also recently spoken at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons meeting. Dr. Rohrich, lectured on the understanding and using facial fat compartments in fat grafting at the annual symposium. His lecture discussed facial rejuvenation techniques that will revolutionize the facelift procedures. As more knowledge is gained of the anatomical structure of fat compartments the plastic surgery industry will continue to develop and grow. Dr. Rohrich’s lecture included technical and practical information to help assist the surgeons in gaining a better understanding of the anatomical structure and how to use this knowledge successfully.

USW Strike Causes Increase in Oil Barrel Prices

Many American’s have enjoyed the declining gas prices being almost cut in half over the past several months, thanks in part to OPEC’s refusal to cut production despite the demand for the product being reduced. However, the United Steel Workers union obviously has a different plan than the oil companies they work for as they have walked out on strike. Workers claimed poor health and safety conditions, too low of wages, and a poor attitude towards the communities that serve as homes to the refineries as the reasons behind their dispute. Meanwhile attempts of the companies to engage the unions who organized the strike have been unsuccessful signifying that the workers are looking to make the loss of production hurt the companies.

What is significant is that this strike is not the first since oil production began. It is however, the largest strike since 1980 when the world was attempting to overcome the oil embargo caused by a crisis with Iran and the overthrow of the Shah. But just as back then, the loss of production has made the price increase and it is not the company who will suffer for the loss of production but the consumer at the pump. By losing 10% of the US oil refining capacity it has made oil rise by a little over $2 per barrel. Lee Slaughter agrees that at first this may not seem significant, but the longer this strike continues the higher the costs will go up and therefore will make prices at the pump go up as well.