Kelvinwright's Blog

postmodern thoughts

NASA discovers 715 new planets

Kepler artists concept picture of 62e super earth  Imagine the conversation with the boss at the end of the week:

“What have you done this week?”

“Not much – just discovered 715 planets”

The science team analysing data from Nasa’s Kepler telescope reported this week that it had identified 715 new planets beyond our Solar System. 715! To put this figure into some context, in the nearly two decades since the first exoplanet was discovered, scientists had claimed the detection of just over 1,000 new planets.

Four of these new planets are less than two and a half times the size of Earth, orbiting in their sun’s habitable zone, the range of distance from a star where the surface temperature of a planet may be suitable for liquid water, and thus may be able to support life.

Not a bad week. How was yours?

More information: http://www.nasa.gov/ames/kepler/nasas-kepler-mission-announces-a-planet-bonanza/index.html#.UxDefON5OSo

Image from:  http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/main/index.html#.UxDgauN5OSp

 

 

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February 28, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

The Changing Workplace

Image  A very good friend posted an article on one of my social network sites, explaining how the 21st century workplace is changing, evolving, and how very different it is, not just to the workplace that our parents had, but to the workplace that Generation X’ers experienced when they started working. There are numerous reasons for this, amongst them: technological advancement; the entrance of Gen Y into the workforce, and the influence that I believe they are having on Gen X.

 

It was once seen as bad to have more than three employers on a CV. Fast forward to the 21st Century and Gen Y’ers are moving around: they look to remain at a company for as long as they believe they are developing and learning. It is becoming a positive thing to see change in a CV – this shows desire and ambition. Gaps are no longer a bad thing either – it is now good to see periods of travel, to have written a book, or gone on a three month safari taking photographs. According to the article, not just Gen Y, but USA workers in general remain in the same job, on average, for less than four and a half years. Things have changed since the age of the baby boomers.

 

We are beginning to see trends in the 21st century workplace, which depending on the country, have either arrived, or will come along:

 

-Flexible work patterns and an increase in shorter term project based contracts. As a result, an increase in the number of contingent workers. Is this necessarily a bad thing? Flexible working could be a benefit for people able to negotiate when and how much they work.

 

-Technological advances – the worker is always switched on and is able to access the workplace anytime, anywhere. Whether or not this is a good thing is open to another debate. With the introduction of cloud based storage and virtual meeting tools, the need for companies to spend a fortune on expensive business trips is reduced. Technology is also reducing the need to even come in to the office (telecommuting is increasing), although as I blogged previously, some companies, Yahoo amongst them, have begun doubting the effectiveness of employees not meeting physically (see: https://kelvinwright.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/no-at-home-work-policy-an-epic-fail-or-a-creative-masterstroke/).

 

The workplace is evolving. This will affect our careers, and it will affect the job search strategies that companies execute.

 

 

Original article: http://www.impactlab.net/2014/02/15/the-ever-changing-face-of-the-workplace-infographic/

 

Photo source: http://www.businesscomputingworld.co.uk/are-we-ready-for-a-100-digital-workplace/

 

February 20, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Google’s Olympic doodle

Google olympic doodle  Today, the day of the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Google’s doodle shows illustrations of athletes against a rainbow coloured background, including a passage from the Olympic Charter beneath it:

 

“The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.”

 

Although Google is not itself an Olympics sponsor, its action came the same week that three sponsors of the US Olympic Committee – telco giant AT&T among them, issued statements speaking out against Russia’s anti-LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] law.

 

The Olympic Charter is the set of rules and guidelines for organising the Olympic Games and for governing the Olympic movement. Without singling out any country too much, would it not be a good idea for one of the qualifying criteria just to be able to bid for either the summer or winter games to be that the country is free from discrimination? Should a country not already have an excellent human rights record before being allowed to bid? Surely, a bidding country should already have the spirit of the Olympic Games to deserve the opportunity to host them.

February 7, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment