Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Musings I -- January 23, 2011 (washers, A&P, jobs, bunkers, procrastination)

Waterless Washers: Canadian Business magazine says there's a new machine that uses tiny, electrically charged balls to clean your clothes, with less than a cup of water per load, a drop of detergent, and no you won't need a dryer.  The company making these, Xeros (meaning dry or without moisture in the modern Greek) is out of the U.K.  If everyone in the U.S. switched instantaneously, the would collectively save 17 million swimming pools of water.  The machine use less electricity, too.  Apparently a major washing machine manufacture tried to buy them out to squelch competition, but they weren't successful.  Think of the difference this could make to countries where water is so precious or even not readily available.

The End of a Food Legend: Just in case you missed it, the famous "The Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company" affectionately and in promotions known as "A&P", failed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 in the U.S. last month.  The company started in 1859, was the first chain to reach 100 stores (in 1881), and reached 14,000 stores by 1925.  What killed it?  Canadian Business points to big-box retailers (Walmart and Costco), some bad merger and acquisitions deals, and more recently, the economy.  My how the world changes over time.  There is no guarantee to continued 'manmade' success in anything.  That is true of organizations and it is true of families, and individuals.  This fact is something that deserves our time and thoughts, and perhaps even some changing of our ways as to what really matters.

Jobs With a Future as of 2011: Again more gems from Canadian Business magazine.  Here are the top five types of jobs that are likely to be in demand in the immediate future:
  1. Paralegal -- highest average growth; shortages driving salaries up; B.A. plus 6 mo. certficate.
  2. Dental Hygiene -- currently more openings than qualified candidates
  3. Computer Science -- wages double the Canadian average; 17% job growth set for U.S. in 2011
  4. Biomedical Engineering -- demand to soar 72% over next 8 years because of aging population
  5. MBA -- still a good bet for six-figure salaries, since finance & insurance companies are rehiring.
So, if you get asked "what should I do after high school?", you now have some advice to give your children and grandchildren that may well be within their means.

Bunkers for Servers: Some bunkers intended for protecting human beings have now been converted into "James Bond-like underground lairs" to house and protect hundreds of computing servers.  Canadian Business has an interesting story on this.  The one they feature is in Stockholm, Sweden. But here's the bottom line in the columnist's,  Jacqueline Nelson's, words: "And as PCs and tablets increasingly become access terminals to saved information, rather than storage houses, protecting digital data is more important than ever."  Really.  Okay, it now all makes sense -- data is now as important as important people (the original intention for bunkers).  Of course.  Just think of computer attempts to thwart the Iranian push for nuclear power, Wikileaks, company communications, and your own emails to family and friends.  Why, even this very piece you're reading right now may be stored in one of these bunkers.

Procrastination and Distractions: This is a topic that regularly appears because we all 'procrastinate' in dealing with it.  Those that succeed in actually writing a book about it, as U. of Calgary Professor Piers Steel has done, get a chance to make good money selling it, providing potential readers actually stop procrastinating and buy the book.  You may be interested in his The Procrastination Equation.  The sub-heading to the article by Jordan Timm in Canadian Business magazine is what caught my mind.  It reads, "A professor and recovering procrastinator offers lessons for resisting the siren call of distractions."  I thought about the distractions that detract Christians from becoming more mature followers of their Master.  At a recent conference I attended, featured speaker Hans Peter Royer had some advice for Christians who wanted to be closer to God and Jesus, but found they were constantly being distracted by people, things, sounds, etc.  They just didn't know what to do and they suffered high guilt for not being more faithful to the call of their Lord.  Royer had one miss of advice for them:  "Wherever the distraction takes you, take Jesus with you.  And go together."  What a revolutionary thought, and sound advice.

 
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2 comments:

  1. I could have written the entire book, instead of just a section, on religious procrastination alone. It isn't only Christians, but all major religions struggle with it. Would love to discuss with you.

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  2. Hi "Piers" -- be happy to carry on a conversation here or elsewhere. Please comment back and we'll take it from there. Alternatively, you can reach me through page -- just let me know who your are as "Piers" as there are a few of them. Love to hear from you. Ken.

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