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first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Report predicts tenfold rise in marketOn 19 Jun 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Outsourcing and the use of HR technology is set to increase dramaticallyover the next 10 years, according to a survey called Predicting the workplaceof 2010. The research, by HR consultancy Cubiks, shows that HR will becomeincreasingly involved in business strategy and will rely heavily on nicheproviders of recruitment, assessment, training and reward management services. In the future, the responsibility for personal development will shift fromthe employer to the employee, claims the report. Barry Spence, chief executive of Cubiks, said, “If HR professionals canmake software and the Internet work for them, they will see valuable timereleased for channelling into more strategic activities.” The survey is based on 100 responses. www.cubiks.com Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more


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first_img Tags Share via Shortlink Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink DevelopmentmacerichmallsRetail Real Estate Macerich president Edward Coppola and a rendering of the redevelopment in Pheonix (Macerich/City of Pheonix)Macerich Company has sold a Phoenix mall for $100 million, as the mall REIT continues to battle back from a withering year of losses.The buyer is a joint venture affiliated with Red Development, according to the Los Angeles Business Journal.Santa Monica-based Macerich retained a 5 percent interest in the JV, which plans to redevelop the Paradise Valley Mall, on property that encompasses 92 acres, into a mixed-use complex.The redevelopment plan includes adding 3.25 million square feet of multifamily buildings, office space, and retail including a grocery store and restaurants. The mall was built in 1978 and was recently rezoned.Macerich is one of the largest shopping mall operators in the country, with a portfolio of 46 properties and 50 million square feet. Many of its properties are heavily leveraged, and the pandemic brought the firm increased financial pressure.Macerich collected just 26 percent of rent in the first quarter of 2020 and the year with little to celebrate. The firm reported $230 million in losses in 2021, compared to a net income of $96 million in 2019, according to the report.Macerich has a $1.5 billion line of credit coming due in July and around $800 million in mortgages under forbearance plans. Early this year, Alex Goldfarb, a Piper Sandler analyst who covers mall REITs, estimated the firm will need to raise $2 billion in 2021 to meet its debt obligations. In late February, Macerich brought on PJT Partners to help manage its debt.[LABJ] — Dennis Lynchlast_img read more


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first_imgIt has been proposed that plants are capable of producing methane by a novel and unidentified biochemical pathway. Emission of methane with an apparently biological origin was recorded from both whole plants and detached leaves. This was the first report of methanogenesis in an aerobic setting, and was estimated to account for 10-45 per cent of the global methane source. Here, we show that plants do not contain a known biochemical pathway to synthesize methane. However, under high UV stress conditions, there may be spontaneous breakdown of plant material, which releases methane. In addition, plants take up and transpire water containing dissolved methane, leading to the observation that methane is released. Together with a new analysis of global methane levels from satellite retrievals, we conclude that plants are not a major source of the global methane production.last_img read more


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first_img Training & Education November 14, 2013 The Naval War College began a Combined Force Maritime Component Commander (CFMCC) Flag Officer Course at U.S. Southern Command headquarters in Miami Nov. 13.With 13 nations in attendance, admirals and senior captains from Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Uruguay, Canada, the UK, and the United States met in Miami to discuss topics such as command and control, multinational operations, information-sharing, piracy and maritime security.Personnel from U.S. 4th Fleet attending the course include Rear Adm. Sinclair Harris, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/commander, U.S. 4th Fleet, Rear Adm. Jon Matheson, deputy commander U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/deputy commander U.S. 4th Fleet, and Lance Hegerle, political advisor on the 4th Fleet staff.“For over five years friendly maritime nations have gained from their mutual experiences and deepened their partnership with each other through the Naval War College’s Combined Maritime Force Commander Course (CFMCC),” Harris said. “Collaboration that this course provides is more than beneficial to all our partners in the Americas.”The purpose of the CFMCC Flag Course is to develop and deepen relationships based on trust and confidence among partner nations in the framework of regional challenges, serve as a forum to evolve Combined Maritime Command and Control concepts and mechanisms and eliminate impediments to effective coordination, and advance the understanding of those security issues facing participating nations.In addition to international naval attendees, U.S. attendees come from each of the military services. The CFMCC Flag Course addresses the practical challenges confronting the maritime operational commander. Actual regional concerns, and the CFMCC capabilities to address those concerns, are the basis for course discussions and study. Further, the course considers existing CFMCC concepts and doctrine, operational-level capabilities, command and control processes and applications, and the considerations and expectations of the combined force commander as well as supporting functional component commanders.The course is based upon the principles of transparency, non-attribution, and mutual respect for participants to provide a comfortable forum for open discussion of issues to facilitate a better understanding of the various perspectives involved in a combined force. The course also brings in experienced subject matter experts as session instructors to develop perspectives necessary to effectively employ naval forces as a joint, coalition, or interagency environment.U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet employ maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations in order to maintain access, enhance interoperability, and build enduring partnerships that foster regional security in the U.S. Southern Command Area of Responsibility.[mappress]Press Release, November 14, 2013; Image: US Navy Back to overview,Home naval-today USA: CFMCC Flag Officer Course Begins center_img USA: CFMCC Flag Officer Course Begins Share this articlelast_img read more


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first_imgYou don’t hear many complaints from plant bakers these days about retailers selling bread below cost. But that doesn’t mean everything in the bakery is rustic. The sector still faces major challenges of restructuring and adapting to changing consumer lifestyles. And adapting to these will not be painless.Many bakers have succeeded in adding value (and with it margin) to the supermarket bread fixture in recent years. But even so, problems of overcapacity in the own-label sector have persisted: the consequences of which were played out quite graphically with last year’s rise and fall of Harvestime (2005).Innovation will be the cornerstone of bakery’s future success. As Sainsbury’s trading director Mike Coupe succinctly put it when calling for the sector to “drive trends” while remaining flexible to demand: “Differentiate or die.” Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done for plant managers in charge of equipment and production lines that have historically been designed to make ’squillions’ of the same product, rather than lots of different ones.There has been some success in the plant baking sector, however. Take the Federation of Bakers’ (FoB’s) campaign to prevent the European Union passing legislation to abolish ’prescribed quantities’, for example. Bakers had feared abolition would have a detrimental effect on the UK market where, unlike on the continent, 80% of bread is pre-packed. “There is a danger that de-regulation could throw the market into confusion and customers could be deceived,” warned FoB director Gordon Polson in his annual report.The FoB may have won the first battle in getting the European Parliament to vote for retention of prescribed quantities, but this has not been accepted by the European Council and the issue is certain to re-emerge.On health, although bakers have been congratulated for leading the way in making salt reductions, further targeted reductions have been set. But some fear that the technical limits of salt reduction are fast being approached and that any further reductions will have a serious detrimental impact on taste.And then there is the issue of fortification, with a report on folic acid fortification of flour soon to be published by the FSA. According to Polson: “If mandatory fortification is the government’s decision, there are other issues that have to be resolved: including whether the folic acid would be added to organic flour, the impact of labelling, particularly the labelling of products for export, and the costs of addition and who would pay.”Concerns over the carcinogen acrylamide, which is produced during baking, have also focused the industry’s attention. Progress has been made in reducing levels in products like bread, biscuits and breakfast cereals. But some experts believe the solution lies in reducing the amino acid aspargine (a precursor for acrylamide) in wheat, and a three-year research project has been commissioned by the FoB and the National Association of British and Irish Millers to test the theory.Bakers aren’t the only ones with overcapacity problems, however. The same is true for millers, and mill closures continue.Around 6Mt of the 16Mt of wheat produced in the UK each year goes into baking. But the lack of trust between farmers, wholesalers, millers, manufacturers and retailers has resulted in little incentive to collaborate to resolve quality and supply problems. However, things are changing on this front.The government funded Cereals Industry Forum (CIF), part of the Home Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA), has £2.5M funding from the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs and the Department of Trade and Industry, to improve the sector’s competitiveness. It is half way through a three-year programme, which includes eight ’value chain analyses’ and 48 projects called Probes, to promote business excellence.Probably the biggest obstacle the CIF faces is in reassuring suppliers that if supermarkets get involved in the supply chain projects, they won’t just exercise their muscle and grab any financial savings identified.”The problem is people are looking at forecast rather than real demand,” says CIF manager Chris Barnes. “There is still a big challenge in the cereals sector to get the chain more connected.”But better supply chain collaboration is unlikely to happen overnight and many entrenched suspicions will remain. As Barnes admits: “It will take time for the cereals industry to evolve.” FMlast_img read more


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first_imgMichael Pollan suspects that his seven-word manifesto on diet — “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” — may go with him to the grave.“I need to come up with another phrase, or that one will be on my headstone,” he jokes.Perhaps the journalist, activist, and author will find inspiration for future pronouncements when he begins teaching in the Creative Writing Program in September as the Lewis K. Chan Arts Lecturer. Blending science, the environment, and culture, Pollan has written five New York Times best-sellers, including “The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals” and, most recently, “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation.” He is the Knight Professor of Science and Environmental Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley, and the recipient of numerous honors, including the James Beard Award. GAZETTE: What will you be teaching in your first semester at Harvard?POLLAN: “Following the Food Chain” is a hybrid of a writing workshop and a background course. There will be enough reading assigned to ground someone who wants to write about food and agriculture, and to understand how our agriculture and diet are part of a system. There are important links between what we grow and government policy, public health, and the state of the environment. The course will help students connect all the dots. This has implications not only for our understanding, but for good storytelling, since the connecting of dots makes for a good narrative technique.For part of the class, we’ll be reading and discussing books on agriculture, nutrition, the food industry, and the American landscape, but the other part of the class is a writing workshop where students will write a series of articles for possible publication. These will be personal pieces, such as the role of food or food practices in one’s life or culture, to op-ed pieces or reported works of journalism. In my experience at Berkeley, I primarily teach graduate students, but I’ve always included a few undergrads to keep things lively. I’m looking forward to the diversity in the student body here. This is not a course limited to students in the humanities. I’m hoping for some science and public health students as well. Food is interdisciplinary by nature, and I’ll definitely want to reflect that in my roster.I’ll also be teaching a writing workshop on the personal essay, “The I’s Have It.” The genre is a lot trickier than people realize. Much of what we read online is in the first person, but it’s usually a generic, undistinguished first person. How do you create a voice on the page that is distinctly yours? We will be reading and writing exemplary essays and unlearning the four-paragraph essay form kids learn in high school. We’ll explore the tradition all the way from Montaigne to David Foster Wallace, Leslie Jamison, and Teju Cole. The idea is to deploy the first person not simply as a means of self-exposure or confession but as a narrative and journalistic tool. There are ways you can use yourself as a character that can be revealing and compelling. I write in the first person all the time, but I don’t really reveal that much about myself — that’s not the point. We all have a multitude of first persons and you choose the one that unlocks this particular story. Depending on the story, I’ve written as an eater, a gardener, a son, a Jew, a Californian. It’s interesting finding which of the several hats you own are particularly right for whatever it is you’re trying to write.GAZETTE: When you were here two years ago researching psychedelics as a Radcliffe fellow, you said your goal was to lay low and do less in the way of public events. Now, as faculty, what’s your plan?POLLAN: I don’t really have one. The heavy lifting on the book is done, so I feel free and light enough to focus on my teaching, which is my goal for the semester. I’m sure I’ll get involved in other activities on campus. I’m not sure what forms that will take yet.The working title of the book is “How to Change Your Mind.” There’s a renaissance of research going on in psychedelics, to explore what these substances can teach us about the mind and consciousness, and to see what therapeutic applications they may have. I researched and wrote several chapters when I was at Radcliffe. Part of the history takes place at Harvard. Not only Timothy Leary; the pioneering ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes also plays an important role in the history. Like all my work, this book layers several different narratives and perspectives. It’s a weave of social history, science writing, case studies, and memoir.GAZETTE: How will your eating habits shift living in New England?POLLAN: I spent the year in Cambridge looking for something really good to eat. I lived on the East Coast before I started teaching at Berkeley so I know what to expect and what not to expect. I vividly remember my first farmers’ market in Berkeley, realizing just how good a peach could be. It was an order of flavor and quality that was completely new to me. It’s harder to find that kind of life-altering produce here. The farmers market fizzles out in November. I’m not coming to Cambridge to eat. But I did find some great restaurants. I love Sofra [in Belmont], and in the fall the apples are wonderful — better than California’s.GAZETTE: How would you characterize the state of food today? Do you feel like you’re moving the needle?POLLAN: There’s no question the needle is moving, but I don’t take credit. Journalists might accelerate social or economics trends but they seldom create them. People give me credit, yet when I published “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” in 2006, there was already a lot going on — Eric Schlosser’s “Fast-Food Nation,” Marion Nestle’s “Food Politics” were both published in 2002 when I was just starting to write about the food system. The whole time I was writing that book I felt like I was actually late. Would the changes we’re seeing in the food system have happened without me? Absolutely. There was something in the air already. A publishing mentor of mine once said, “You want to be a short-term visionary.” Because if you see too far ahead, no one will know what you’re talking about. I don’t have that problem. As journalists, we’re good at picking up faint breezes of change before others notice them, but they’re already moving. We’re not making them happen.This interview was edited for clarity and length.last_img read more


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first_imgAs a graduate embarking on my career, I feel it’s important for me to share my experiences, thoughts and feelings on what it’s like to enter the workplace as a millennial.We are living in a time where there is so much pressure to thrive and show the best version of ourselves – especially when it comes to our careers. Social media broadcasts the ins and outs of people’s lives, mostly highlighting their successes but not often their failures. This can put a tremendous weight on young people when applying for their first full time job. I remember this time last year feeling really disheartened because I hadn’t secured myself a graduate scheme for September. It was difficult to see daily Instagram posts from other students who had. It was a confusing time because I felt this insane pressure to commit myself to a specific career path; though, I didn’t know what I wanted for dinner that night, let alone what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.Fast forward 1 year and thankfully those feelings are nowhere to be seen. I’m writing this blog in the hope that it resonates with future graduates who are in that difficult limbo part of their lives, wondering “what am I going to do for the rest of my life?” or “how do I get there?”. We’ve all been there and there’s no need to stress.My personal transition from university to work lifeTransitioning from being at university and living the student life to becoming a full-time employee is not easy, at least it wasn’t for me. Stepping into the big wide world was something that I found very daunting and if I’m being perfectly honest, I struggled at first. I felt like a little fish in a very big pond. University provided me with some of the best years of my life and leaving it all behind is not something you can fully prepare yourself for. For me personally, it was a very bittersweet feeling to leave behind such an important chapter in my life to make room for the new one. After speaking with friends in a similar position, it was a sigh of relief to find out that I wasn’t alone in this feeling. They also felt slightly lost and apprehensive when starting their first job after graduating. I’m not sure why I felt like this, because I always knew that after university I would go out and find a job, but when reality hit that I’ll likely be working until I’m at least 70, I felt dejected.Having said that, this transition was also exciting and liberating. For the first time in my life, I felt like I could do whatever I wanted, and I loved having this new-found freedom. I felt accomplished and proud to have secured myself a job at such a well-known and successful company as Dell Technologies. On top of this, I was more than ready to not be a student anymore and earn myself some decent money!One thing I found helpful when coping with this big life change was taking the graduate scheme role rather than the standard ISR role. It has provided me with the additional support that I didn’t know I needed or wanted, and also helped me form bonds and friendships with people I wouldn’t have otherwise met.The reason I am being so honest and not sugar coating my experience is that it’s important for young professionals to know that it’s okay to not have everything figured out by the time you graduate. If you feel nervous or a bit out of place during the first few weeks at a job, that’s okey, it’s normal. Give yourself time to adapt and settle in.My first few months at Dell TechnologiesMy first week at Dell Technologies was a whirlwind. I attended the FRS Cascade on my second day, which felt crazy, but a good kind of crazy. It was a great event to attend so early on as I had the chance to meet lots of new people. It was my first opportunity to properly network with other professionals, and not surprisingly I got a bit trigger happy with the connect button on LinkedIn!The following Sunday, I flew to Dublin to begin my 4 weeks of graduate training. I remember sitting in my hotel room slightly overwhelmed, but feeling content at how lucky I had been already.The month in Dublin flew by and was made more fun by the fantastic group of people I got to spend it with. Our training group was made up of graduates from all over. We had representatives from the UK, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Slovakia. From the very start, I could see that Dell Technologies was a workplace full of diversity and culture, something that I found very appealing. Returning to Wales after training was slightly deflating. Even though I was more than ready to be back in my own bed and raring to properly start my job, I was gutted to leave behind new friends.Looking back, I think I found my feet very quickly. I truly believe this was a result of having my lifelong friend by my side from the day one. Having a familiar face in the office was comforting. She has always has been a solid support system for me, in and out of work. I was also given a fantastic mentor/buddy who has helped me learn and understand the role and company. To this day he is still willing to answer all my questions, and believe me when I say, I ask a lot of questions.There was one thing that I struggled with during my first few months at Dell Technologies and this was the tiredness. No one warned me quite how tiring it was, which seems silly when my job entails sitting at a desk all day. As a very sociable and extroverted person, I really pushed myself to fill my weekends with plans to see friends, family and my boyfriend. But in hindsight, I think I overloaded myself and around Christmas time I crashed and burned. I learned from this and I now make sure that I give myself enough down time to relax and recuperate instead of packing in plans every spare minute I have out of work.8 months in It’s safe to say I feel a lot calmer and settled now. I’m not exaggerating when I say Dell Technologies is one big family that makes you feel welcome the moment you step through the door. The relationships I have built with my fellow graduates, colleagues and customers has solidified that applying for a job at Dell Technologies was the right decision for me.I work in a small office in Newport, South Wales. There are only 12 of us based there. We are all a similar age and get on like a house on fire – which is a huge relief considering we spend 37 hours a week together. We socialize outside of work and all support each other as if we have been friends of years. I don’t think you come across a dynamic like the one in my office very often and I’m grateful that I can be a part of it. I’m thankful for my colleagues because they’re a big reason why the worries and fears I first had have completely subsided and why I am so happy at Dell Technologies. The culture we created in our little office is a pleasure to be in. The only downfall being in such a small team is the lack of ERG’s. I would love to get involved with initiatives such as Gen Next, Women in Action and Planet, but unfortunately, we don’t have the facilities or resources here.What do we look for in an employer?What an employer must bring to the table is constantly changing. What would draw my fellow graduates and me into taking a job now, will be very different to the graduates in a mere 5 years. After speaking with other graduates and old university friends, I have found 6 key things that would entice us millennials to apply for a job.FlexibilityNow I can’t talk for all my peers, but I live by the motto; “work to live rather than live to work”. A work-life balance is very important to me and it’s an idea that has been reciprocated by those in management roles within Dell Technologies. The typical 9-5 office constrained job is slowly disappearing as the workforce transforms to suit the needs of its employees. This change is fundamentally being driven by millennials. We desire the ability and resources to excel at our job from any location, stemming from the need to create a healthier work-life balance.I recently read an article on LinkedIn that highlighted that many workplaces are changing by giving their employees more time off to enjoy life. This extra time off means that they are generally happier, resulting in a positive effect on their commitment, motivation and performance at work. It’s a win-win in my opinion.DiversityAs previously mentioned, a big appeal for myself and many of my peers is a diverse workforce. Living in such a multi-cultural and diverse country as the UK, seeing this reflected in the workforce and culture of a company is so important. This is something I’m happy to say that Dell Technologies celebrates. I’ve met people from all walks of life and experienced so many ways of living. When attending the first F2F event in Lodz, Poland, I was able to meet and socialize with other graduates from 20+ different countries, every one unique in their own way. It was truly humbling to be among such diversity.I would expect diversity within a company and to be honest if it was something they didn’t have it would deter me from applying.Modern Technology and FacilitiesHaving grown up surrounded by technology, I would be much more drawn towards a job that offers modern facilities and technologies to support my work. I was more inclined to apply for universities which had the best resources and facilities and I kept this mindset when applying for post graduate jobs. Those who have experienced their entire lives through smartphones and similar technologies are entering the workforce in the near future—the demand for employers to have modern technologies is only going to increase.OpportunityWhen interviewing for a job, one of the first questions I ask is in regard to the opportunity to progress through the company. If there isn’t any, it would be a major factor in deciding if the job is right for me. While this is something that has applied to all generations, I believe it’s felt much more keenly by millennials. Moving into such an uncertain world and economy and possibly saddled with a large amount of debt, it’s important to know that the company you are putting your time and hard work into cares about you and will encourage you to develop your skills.TravelOne of my favorite things about working for Dell Technologies is the opportunity to travel. Since September I have visited Dublin, Lodz and Krakow and will be going to Montpellier next month. I always knew that I wanted to see the world and if I could do so when I was working, then I would take every opportunity to do so.Whenever I meet with friends, they constantly tell how lucky I am to be able to travel with my job and how they wish they could do the same. I do believe that this is more of a luxury than a necessity, but the idea of travelling and seeing different countries and cultures is an attractive offering from an employer.Being eco-friendlyWe are amidst a climate change crisis and our planet is at breaking point—it’s important for large corporations to do all they can to be sustainable and eco-friendly. I would always favor a company who shows care and concern for the effects their business has on the environment and acts against it. Dell Technologies’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility was one of the main factors in why I decided to apply.Advice I would give to future gradsIf I could go back to my newly graduated self and give her some advice it would be the following; be open minded, change isn’t always a bad thing and these changes will let you meet the most fantastic people and give you experiences you’ll treasure for life. Take risks. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone will only help you grow and realize your true potential. It might be scary at first, but it’s worth it in the end. Don’t let a lack of knowledge about something put you off. You will learn, and you will feel so proud and accomplished for doing so. You’re going to be super tired for a while, so stop watching Netflix and go to sleep before 11pm. Take every opportunity thrown your way, it will help build your confidence. Lastly, apply to Dell Technologies – you most certainly won’t regret it.last_img read more


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first_imgEveryone should get Rad.Those of you born in the ‘80s probably remember the bitchin’ BMX movie RAD, which followed Cru Jones (awesome name) in his attempt to race Helltrack (awesomer name). It was one of those undeniably bad movies that helped define my childhood, and every time I see a hipster wearing an ironic T-shirt that says “Rad,” I’m immediately transported back to a dusty, homemade BMX track built quickly in the vacant lot of my best friend’s neighborhood. It was no Helltrack, but I was no Cru Jones either.Now there’s a beer that’s poised to transport me back to those dirt riding, day-glo wearing days of innocence—Sixpoint Brewery (out of Brooklyn) has released RAD, an ale mixed with a blend of fruit juices. Yep, beer and juice. They’re calling it a “Cycliquid,” (as in Cycle-Liquid). It sounds crazy, but apparently there’s some history to this sort of drink. Back in Germany in the ‘20s, an industrious bar owner started mixing beer with lemon soda and serving it to thirsty cyclists on tour. The cyclists loved it—the drink quenched their thirst without knocking them on their ass.A revived interest in sessionable beers has brought the style back.  Leinenkugel Brewery makes a Summer Shandy (beer and lemonade) and Coors is doing something similar with their new Summer Brew, which takes your standard Coors Light and blends in citrus juice.Personally, I’d like to see more of this beer, particularly from local breweries that have big cycling connections (I’m looking at you Devils Backbone and Pisgah). In the meantime, you can get Rad all on your own. Take your favorite light beer (any lager or pilsner will do) and mix in some lemonade. Try a three parts beer to two parts lemonade ratio.It’s like drinking Juicy Fruit gum with a bit of alcohol in it. Everyone get Rad.last_img read more


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first_imgView of Booking.com’s new categorization system (red ellipse) “Search by star rating is the most used filter on Booking.com“, Explained Olivier Grémillon, Vice President of Global Segments. “Previously, when someone searched on Booking.com for three, four or five star accommodation units, holiday homes would not be displayed. Now, when they search using the same filter, they are displayed and everyone benefits from it.” Jeff Hurst, chief salesman at Expedition-owned Vrbo, finds it difficult to be precise when determining stars. “Personally, I often knew how to stay in a four-star hotel without my experience being up to standard.” Source / photo: Skift; Booking.com The new grading system was first unveiled during a presentation at this week’s conference of the Holiday Accommodation Management Association in New Orleans, USA. But several property managers disagree with the ratings given by Booking.com to their facilities. For example, a few said they would have preferred the agency to give them a lower grade. They would rather keep the user’s expectations a bit lower because they could pleasantly surprise the guest and thus are more likely to leave a review with a better rating. Some feel that user reviews have a greater impact on potential guests. Booking.com’s move is quite bold because the agency arbitrarily determines ratings. Holiday homes and apartments are no longer aligned with hotels, which have long been categorized by government organizations and third parties according to the number of stars. The number of stars is separate, ie there is no correlation with the average accommodation result determined by user reviews. Olivier Grémillon, whose job involves overseeing rental units within Booking.com, said guests on average give better ratings to holiday homes or apartments than hotels. This new system of the company will provide an additional reference point that will help users in comparing real estate, Grémillon believes. Others have complained that this process will confuse many users because, for example, Airbnb displays user review ratings in asterisk form. Booking.com rates real estate including about 400 different factors. For example, an apartment that has an espresso machine is more likely to get a fifth star more easily. Some experts supported Booking.com’s move. “I find it important not only to have user review ratings, but also official categorizations to better determine user expectations. For example, there may be a two-star accommodation that has impeccable user ratings, but the mere fact that the property has only two stars would certainly help put the review rating in a different context.”, Said Steve Milo, founder and CEO of Vtrips. Earlier this month, Booking.com began applying star ratings to its short-term rental offerings. An online travel agency ranks properties from one to five stars – where a five-star rating indicates the most attractive accommodation, reports Shift. The company strives to adjust the calculations to make them as relevant as possible. For example, an accommodation facility in cold Copenhagen will not have a worse rating due to the lack of air conditioning, unlike some holiday homes in the tropics.last_img read more


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first_imgExperts from various fields are dissatisfied with the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, urging it to prioritize health care in tackling the crisis, a recent survey reveals.Pollster Indikator Politik Indonesia conducted the survey in July involving 304 opinion leaders in 20 cities, including academicians, business people, journalists and NGO activists.Among them are Nadhlatul Ulama’s (NU) Mustofa “Gus Mus” Bisri, former Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) chairman Busyro Muqoddas and Persahabatan Hospital pulmonologist Erlina Burhan. The reasons behind the government’s inefficient response, they said, were ineffective rapid antibody tests, insufficient funds to help those affected, poor identification of affected patients, slow distribution of aid, non-integrated regulations, inconsistency at implementing regulations and poor coordination among different sectors.However, the level of trust toward President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto was not much different between the public and the surveyed opinion leaders.The majority of the public (60.9 percent) and opinion leaders (57.6 percent) trusted Jokowi, according to the survey. Terawan, meanwhile, had the trust of 37.2 percent of surveyed opinion leaders and 38.9 percent of the public.The survey also revealed that the majority of expert respondents (71.1 percent) believed health care should be the government’s number one priority in solving the crisis rather than the economy.“This is in contrast with the measures taken by the government lately, which seem to focus on economic recovery, with 47.9 percent of the public supporting the approach,” Burhanuddin said.Surabaya-based Airlangga University political expert Kacung Marijan said the disparity between these opinions resulted from the different impacts felt by the public and the opinion leaders, who were part of the elite.“Most of the elite have not been not hit [economically] by the pandemic, unlike the public. After three months of the outbreak, the public has lost its patience.”He added, however, that the elite group urged the government to prioritize health care in order to revive the economy in the long term. Indikator executive director Burhanuddin Muhtadi emphasized the importance of the survey, saying that experts tended to be more critical of the government’s efforts as they have better knowledge and understanding of relevant details that the general public may not be aware of.Released on Thursday, the survey revealed that 36.8 percent of respondents approved of how the government is dealing with the pandemic — less than 51.5 percent of members of the public surveyed in May.A majority of respondents, or 64.4 percent, were of the opinion that COVID-19 transmission in Indonesia was not under control.Read also: Public trust in Jokowi’s COVID-19 response declines, survey findscenter_img Topics :last_img read more


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