Just in Case it Matters to You
- ONE-THIRD OF EVERY CONFERENCE CALL IS WASTED, on average, dealing with latecomers, distractions and interruptions. “Despite background noise, not knowing who is on or joined, people’s lack of focus, or spontaneous interruptions, a few tips can help increase productivity.” (1) Start On Time. ‘Getting started’ consumes an average of 8 minutes, which can “demoralize those already connected, losing their energy & focus”; (2) Ask participants to mute when not talking and announce when speaking. Up to 10 minutes can be lost from distractions – which further “can take the brain nearly 20 minutes to get back to where it was pulled off track”; (3) Provide clear and detailed advance agenda at least a day ahead, which “forces people to prepare and ensures being on the same page”; (4) Get right to the point — given that our attention spans are only 10-18 minutes, first moments are invaluable for positive results. Supposedly, some 97 billion minutes are spent in U.S. virtual conference calls, which would aggregate over five decades of wasted time. Don’t let your meetings contribute to that waste. [FORBES – 5/20/19]
- A ROBOTIC BEE, smaller than a penny and which can fly comparably to a real insect, has been developed at Univ. of Southern California. ‘Bee Plus’ is capable of “perching, landing, swimming, pursuing a path and avoiding obstacles. Potential applications include pollination of flowers, swarm-based research, taking geological samples, measuring atmospheric gases, etc… Ultimately, this type of robot coud be used in confined or cluttered spaces – for example, indoor navigation or search & rescue missions in collapsed buildings, and used in a variety of commercial, industrial and defense applications.” [DIGITAL TRENDS – 5/17/19]
- “THE END OF CIVILIZATION AS WE KNOW IT BY 2050” is the conclusion of an Australian think tank analysis (Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration), forecasting a “point of no return in which the prospect of a largely uninhabitable Earth leads to a breakdown of nations and the international order… resulting from climate change that threatens premature extinction of Earth-originating intelligent life or the permanent and drastic destruction of its potential for desirable future development.” [FUTURISM COM – 6/4/19]
- ODDITIES & ENDS: (1) I.R.S. processed some 250 million tax returns last year, while auditing nearly one million returns from recent prior years, 75% through correspondence & 25% in person, of which only 22,000 resulted in assessments. A long-running opinion survey found 94% of responders “completely or mostly agreed that paying a fair share of taxes is a civic duty”; (2) Psychological research suggests that “more intelligent individuals seek more novel experiences, including instrumental music.” An Oxford Brookes University study (published in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences) found the relationship between intelligence and musical preferences to be affected by “involvement in type & duration of extra-curricular music education, suggesting that those who prefer music tend to be more intelligent.” (3) The federal courts saw nearly 70,000 cases last year, of which four-in-ten involved non-U.S. citizens. The ‘illegal & Hispanics’ category represented 54% of all offenders, with a roughly 20% each for blacks & whites. Some 83% of all federal crimes involved immigration, drug, firearms or fraud; child porn, robbery, money laundering and sexual abuse most of the balance, according to the U.S. Sentencing Commission annual report. (4) Airlines are testing all sorts of ways to make planes less of a drag on the environment. The newest innovation is the “Flying-V” — a radical new airplane design that puts passenger seats inside the plane’s wings, and it could decrease the amount of fuel needed for flights by a substantial 20 percent.
- THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: In the face of increasing KKK, ANTIFA, and student activist rallies, a reality-based reminder which has been repeated for many decades: ‘First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
Television and Computer screens have changed the civilized world’s children from an irresistible force to an immovable object.