Arson, Terrorism, Land Mafia Or Global Warming
Virginia's governor, Timothy Kaine, cut short a visit to Japan and said: "It is difficult to comprehend senseless violence on this scale."
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"So many fires breaking out simultaneously in so many parts of the country cannot be a coincidence," he said in a nationally televised address Saturday.
It is possible the fires in Greece were entirely to do with climate conditions. The temperatures were high enough. The woods were dry. It had already been a summer of thousands of small fires.
But speculations run rife.
One, local arsonists did it. Some have even been arrested. Perhaps those with arson criminal records have been rounded up.
Two, criminal gangs are trying to develop forest land for profit. So they had to destroy the forest first.
Three, I have not head the terrorism angle yet. I guess Arabs are not in sight. But some might argue the whole thing looks too coordinated.
Or it is just plain old global warming.
Global warming is a bigger threat than terrorism and nuclear proliferation put together. And the low points are going to be visually spectacular. Katrina, this fire in Greece. There will be more to come.
We are not ready. We are not being far-sighted enough. We have not build the decision making mechanisms that will help us counter the tide of global warming.
Global challenges ask for a world government. Frankly put, that is what it boils down to. But the idea has so far been anathema to the very powers that preach democracy.
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In The News
'Half of Greece' on fire as blazes rage NEWS.com.au, Australia "Fires are burning in more than half the country," fire department spokesman Nikos Diamandis said. ..... The blaze broke out on Friday afternoon and quickly engulfed villages .... On Saturday, new fronts had emerged as dozens of fresh fires broke out. ..... "So many fires breaking out simultaneously in so many parts of the country cannot be a coincidence," he said in a nationally televised address Saturday. ...... A 65-year-old man was arrested and charged with arson and multiple counts of homicide in a fire that killed six people in Areopolis, a town in the southern Peloponnese. Two youths were arrested on suspicion of arson in the northern city of Kavala. Their parents are also likely to face charges.
Arsonists blamed as Greece burns BBC News, UK six planes, two helicopters, 15 fire engines and 45 firemen .... village after village succumbed to the flames ..... At one stage, the flames were racing at more than a mile every few minutes ..... The rapidly advancing fires caught many people unawares. Those who left the decision to flee too late were caught in their houses, cars, or as they stumbled through olive groves. .... Athens itself was shrouded in smoke that obscured the sun as several fires threatened the city's outskirts. ..... The front is 30km (19 miles) long
Greeks step up fire investigation Anti-terrorist squads have been questioning some of the 32 suspected arsonists arrested so far, as new fires continue to break out around Greece. ..... Greece has the feel of a country on a war footing. .... the country is awash with theories about who could have set fire to the land. .... fires could have been started as a way of getting around Greek laws forbidding development on areas designated as forest land. ...... 20 water-bombing planes and 19 helicopters. ..... "a tremendous solidarity" between EU member states. ..... Hot dry winds helped to spread the fires to the outskirts of Athens, shrouding the capital in smoke that obscured the sun.
Fires roar across Greece...Idaho fire grows...Mine search ... Reiten Television KXMB Bismarck, ND
Rewards offered in suspected Greek arson; seven arrested Nation Multimedia, Thailand individuals or members of a criminal ring suspected of setting the fires .... France, Italy, Cyprus, Germany, the Netherlands, Israel, Romania, Norway and Slovenia were sending aid.
Fires tear through tinder-dry Greece International Herald Tribune, France the fires, Greece's worst in decades .... drought and three consecutive heat waves that sent temperatures soaring above 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit). More than 3,000 forest fires have razed thousands of wooded hectares since June ...... Prayers were held in churches across the country for the blazes to relent. .... Greece's worst summer of wildfires. .... Among the victims in the area were a pair of French hikers who were trapped in a flaming ravine. Their charred bodies were found locked in an embrace
Greece fights fires across the country; Arson suspected in many ... Reiten Television KXMB Bismarck, ND wildfires burning in more than half the country are an "unprecedented disaster" for Greece. .... Crews are battling blazes on 42 major fronts, concentrated in the mountains of southern Greece and on an island north of Athens.
The Right Way to Use Web 2.0 BusinessWeek Technorati, Facebook, and Wetpaint
Innovative Corporate Cafeterias Bloomberg, the financial data business he founded in 1981 ....heavily subsidizing the salad bar in its cafeteria. ..... the success of the employee at work is related to a number of factors, [including] work/life balance, health, and connection to community
Which Way To The Future? The U.S. and the global economies are coming to a crossroads that no one could have anticipated just a few years ago. Globalization and technology together are creating the potential for startling changes in how we do our jobs and the offices we do them in. Offshoring, for one, means work can be broken into smaller tasks and redistributed around the world. And the rapid growth of broader, richer channels of communication—including virtual worlds—is transforming what it means to be "at work." ..... 34% of adult workers in the U.S. now have a bachelor's degree or better, up from 29% 10 years ago. .... the modern workplace no longer resembles the factory assembly line but rather the design studio, where the core values are collaboration and innovation, not mindless repetition. .... 82% of respondents said that self-fulfillment will be a more powerful motivator than fear if we look 10 years out. ....... Only 47% of workers were satisfied with their jobs in 2006, down from 59% in 1995. "The demands in the workplace have increased tremendously" ... especially as technology has made it ever harder to get away from the job. ....... wage stagnation, combined with the 60% rise in college tuitions since 2000 ...... the best way to manage a global virtual team .... how to avoid being "Bangalored" or "Shanghaied" ..... moving up the value chain to take advantage of new opportunities .... improved telecommuting .... In the future, advances in communication could enable new forms of workplace organization and mass collaboration of an unprecedented sort. ..... Will this be an invigorating "new world of empowered individuals encased in a bubble of time-saving technologies? Or will it be a brave new world of virtual sweatshops...?"
A Guide For Multinationals a flurry of online, BlackBerry, and cell-phone conversations across four continents. ...... weld these vast, globally dispersed workforces into superfast, efficient organizations ..... the swiftly shifting nature of competition brought about by the Internet .... getting workers to collaborate instantly—not tomorrow or next week, but now—requires nothing less than a management revolution. ..... something much more fluid ..... an ever-shifting network of suppliers and outsourcers ..... multinationals are hiring sociologists to unlock the secrets of teamwork among colleagues who have never met. .... an arsenal of new tech tools to keep them perpetually connected ..... software that helps engineers co-develop 3D prototypes in virtual worlds ..... thousands of online courses to develop pipelines of talent. ...... Age of Diffusion .... the era of standardized benefits and work requirements is vanishing ..... companies need to accommodate a wide range of cultural and generational idiosyncrasies ..... running these new operations requires much more effort than connecting staff by phone and e-mail ..... you lose the intimacy of talking things through at a local café ..... Members are encouraged to network online and share their photographs and personal biographies. ..... a spate of Web-based services that make it easier for its 360,000-member staff to "work as one virtual team" ..... an innovation portal, where any employee with a product idea can use online chat boxes to organize a team, line up resources, and gain access to market research ...... Developers in IBM labs around the world then can collaborate on prototypes and testing. ..... enterprising staff can build a global team in as little as half an hour and cut the time to start a business from at least six months to around 30 days. ..... Since IBM introduced the portal, in early 2006, 93,000 workers have logged on, leading to 70 businesses and 10 new products. ... Creating a seamless global workforce is hard. But certain multinationals are slowly figuring out how to do it.
The Five Faces Of The 21st Century Chief Citrin has watched CEOs of public companies fight a losing battle against the spiraling demands on their performance and time. "The job of the CEO has become so consuming and complex that if you actually list all the things a CEO is responsible for, no human being can do them all," he says. Add to that a tightening market for talent as more stars jump ship to private equity, and it's clear to him the model of the public-company CEO must change. .... CEOs with deep expertise in one or two crucial areas and enough knowhow in the rest to build a high-performing supporting cast. .... access to local governments, ruling families, and business tycoons .... Corporations' walls are only going to get more permeable, as companies form alliances with outsiders and turn to networks of innovators for ideas to put into practice. Meanwhile, the need for collaboration among corporate units will expand, since demand for new growth areas requires more creativity across divisions. Orchestra conductors will be skilled in getting everyone to play in the same key. ..... A.G. Lafley, who says half of all new Procter & Gamble (PG ) products should come from outside its R&D labs. ..... talent war is only expected to worsen ... emerging-markets managers remain scarce .... CEOs who can retain the best people and deploy them adeptly will be hot commodities. .... "She's been able to put the right people in the right jobs to spectacular effect."
Cog Or Co-worker? the future of work lies in creativity, flexibility, and individualism—broken molds and smashed time clocks .... organizations of the future will have to adapt to their employees, not the other way around .... hierarchy has persisted, in one form or another, to the present day. ..... Even in a creative economy, hierarchy will remain indispensable for getting the work done. That's because in many situations, a well-oiled corporate machine will beat a roomful of free thinkers. ...... "There's a veil of humanism," Leavitt says. "We call each other by our first names. But when the chips are down, the boss says: You're fired.'" ..... "system-centered thinking" will remain a potent rival to the "people-centered thinking" that imagines nearly unlimited freedom to work as you wish. ..... system thinking isn't the crude, man-as-ox discipline it was a century ago .... draws on the latest psychological research to break down barriers to collaboration and fresh thinking .....
aspires to improve hierarchy, not kill it.
No-Cubicle Culture the corporate paradise of the future. Workers organize themselves, coalescing around natural leaders and gravitating to the most exciting projects. There are no middle managers, no hierarchies, no fixed assignments. ..... transform the company's once-stodgy culture into a free marketplace of ideas. .... none of the 150 employees had a permanent desk or office, only filing cabinets on wheels that they pushed from project to project. Meeting areas had no tables or chairs. He called it the spaghetti organization, because the place had no fixed structure yet somehow held together. ..... Yet as the company grew and went public, many of the old structures crept back. .... A degree of freedom sparks creativity, but workers also crave leadership.
The Shape Of Perks To Come The workplace of the future will pay you to learn, move walls to fit projects, and replace pensions with perks. Oh, and did we mention on-site elder care? .... sculpting jobs to fit lives—instead of the other way around. ..... Google (GOOG ) gave new meaning to bringing the home into the workplace (three free meals a day and new T-shirts twice a week). .... offices at the likes of Procter & Gamble (PG ) and Microsoft (MSFT ) are beginning to resemble kitchens and living rooms. Nap stations, gaming rooms, and media lounges are also in the works. ...... more companies put a premium on what you achieve ..... variations of unlimited time off. ..... Wellness programs are the leading edge of a new kind of company paternalism. Companies will be interested in whether you are fat or thin, a fitness freak or a slug ...... If you are the picture of health, you'll get a break on health-care costs
How To Keep Your Job Onshore Young Chinese were intently studying English, science, and math. ........ First it was the software programmers, then call-center employees, then back-office personnel in accounting, banking, and insurance. .... Now it's financial analysts, pharmacists, lawyers, and research scientists. There's practically no limit to the types of white-collar jobs that can be shifted, as long as the work can be done via the Web and telephone. ....... The safest bet is having a job that absolutely requires your physical presence, such as being an electrician or brain surgeon. ..... those that involve deep relationships with customers and extensive knowledge of local market conditions ..... multidisciplinary skills that aren't yet common in many low-cost countries. (Think computer science plus biology, or law and international business.) ....... need to break down their jobs into the tasks that are easy to move and those that are not—and make sure they're excelling in the second category. ....... software programmers, data entry clerks, draftsmen, and computer research scientists ...... 8.2 million people's current jobs as highly offshorable and 20.7 million more as offshorable. ..... The bank's researchers "are moving up the value chain and providing more sophisticated pieces of research ...... LegalEase Solutions ..... The firm's 20 Indian lawyers handle everything from researching legal precedents to writing drafts of briefs. Clients submit requests by e-mail. A LegalEase lawyer in the U.S. reviews them and assigns them to lawyers in India. The Indians do the research, analysis, and writing but are supervised by the U.S. attorney...... legal grunt work. ..... It's the interpersonal and communication skills that will make them vital additions to a legal team in Detroit, New York, or London. ..... Accenture, the consulting giant, has a team of chemists, physicians, statisticians, and pharmacists in Bangalore helping Western pharmaceutical companies review and document the results of clinical trials. ...... craft a job that requires frequent interactions with customers or government labs—stuff that can't so easily be done by a brainiac in Bangalore.
Creating Brand You you should stand out as a well-defined brand the rest of us can sum up in 15 words or less. ...... reinventing yourself every few years while balancing a series of provocative, fascinating projects. ..... casts branding as 120 ways to promote yourself. Quietly doing a good job is cast as, well, pathetic. ...... "Most people aren't brands," Trump says, after noting that Trump Vodka is the hottest alcohol launch in years. ...... Smart brand-builders look around at the brands that work and adopt the best elements of them .... in the age of Google, MySpace, YouTube (GOOG ), and blogging, everyone is a brand. ..... how to market yourself internally without being "overly aggressive and perceived as a nonteam player." ...... self-branding will increasingly become the mantra of every ambitious individual. .... your co-workers aren't just your colleagues. They're your audience.
The End Of Work As You Know It Picture Apple's (AAPL ) slick iPhone shrunk down to the size of a credit card. Then imagine it can connect not only to your contacts on the latest social network but also to billions of pea-sized wireless sensors attached to buildings, streets, retail products, and your co-workers' and business partners' clothes—all sending data over the Net to you. .... You'll also be able to track events in the physical world, from production on a factory floor to colleagues' whereabouts to how customers are using products. All that information will be much easier to view and analyze, using hand and arm gestures to control commands and viewing results with special glasses that make it seem as if you're gazing at a life-size screen. And you will be able to produce detailed prototypes of your product or design ideas via a 3D printer that creates plastic models from computerized specs as easily as a paper printer spews out reports today. ....... the changes are coming fast and furious....... telepresence systems, which feature life-size, is-it-real-or-is-it-Memorex (IMN ) videoconferencing ..... a 65-inch high-definition plasma screen with full stereo sound ...... "The line between our customers and our staff continues to blur." .... an emerging dynamic variously dubbed mass collaboration, peer production, or crowdsourcing ..... "Google and Wikipedia are just scratching the surface of whole new kinds of economic organisms." ...... use game psychology in business applications: "Enterprises will steal sensibilities from games and virtual worlds and embed them into business." ...... Companies parcel out small pieces of jobs online, such as transcribing podcasts and labeling photos, to people around the world. ..... Amazon is creating an on-demand workforce for companies that can't afford to hire staff for such quick or ephemeral jobs. ...... "A job is a bundle of privileges and obligations ... "All of these technologies .... aren't going to be a substitute for face-to-face interaction."
How To Heal A Sick Office Chemicals in carpet glue, cleaning supplies, and printer cartridges can cause headaches, dizziness, lethargy, rashes, nausea, and respiratory irritation. .... the windows in most modern office buildings are sealed shut ..... Healing sick offices is generally a matter of replacing synthetic materials with natural alternatives, improving the flow of fresh air, and letting some natural light shine in.
How to Resolve Deep-Rooted Conflicts start by sitting down individually with your company's leaders and getting an understanding from them of the political and communication obstacles that they perceive to be holding the company back. ..... You'll need to have a sense of the political landscape and the relationships between your managers ..... the unaddressed rips in the company's cultural fabric. ..... "Can you help me understand your comment, Jack? You're saying you're not surprised that Shari hated your proposal?"