On The Lighter Side

The Terrible Career Advice Women Give Each Other

Here are the three worst pieces of advice about how to succeed as a woman in the workplace.

1) You can wait to have kids. There’s no rush
Of course there’s a rush. Your chances of having a Down Syndrome baby skyrocket after you are older than 35. If you have two kids after age 30, you will probably have a miscarriage. Sixty percent of women do. And you’ll want time between kids. Most women do. Which means it will take you five years to have two kids, if everything goes well. If everything does not go well, you are in the fertility danger zone. So, if you want to be pregnant when you’re 30, you need to be married by 28, because marriages do best if there is time alone before kids. If you want to get married by 28 you probably need to find the guy at age 26. So you’d better get cracking; In fact, you should probably get married first and then focus on a career.

2) Report sexual harassment, even if it’s just a minor infraction
This was good advice for the 1970s, when people didn’t believe it was happening. But now everyone knows it happens all the time. Please find me one woman who did not experience some sort of inappropriate behaviour from a man during her first five years of work. We all know it is happening. But we also know that there is no longer a salary gap between men and women, and we know that there are more unemployed men than women. So it’s hard to show that women are actually victimized at work today.

What there is, instead, is a major acknowledgment among senior management that the company does not want to be embroiled in sexual harassment lawsuits. They are terrible for companies for a range of reasons. So human resources people are trained to protect the company from these lawsuits. Which means as soon as a woman complains of harassment, the company does everything it’s legally obliged to do to protect itself from a lawsuit. Companies are not legally obligated to comfort the woman. HR’s job is to protect the company.

And, the retribution against women who report harassment is huge. Sure, it’s illegal. But it happens all the time. So there’s widespread consensus that women shouldn’t report harassment. Besides, you can handle it yourself. Men harass women all over the place, not just at work.

3. Read business books to become a good leader
Forget it. Most business books are written by men, and the latest research shows that men and women lead differently. Above all, women who lead like women do better than women who try to lead like men. This is not surprising. Because people who are authentic really true to themselves – do better at work. Good leaders are, above everything else, their true selves. If you cannot be your true self, then no book will make you a good leader. So spend time on self-knowledge instead of business books.
Shared by Penelope Trunk, founder of Brazen Careerist, a social network for young professionals


Octopus Steals Diver’s Camera, Shoots Home Movie with It

It’s not every day that an octopus steals your camera while it is recording. This happened to a diver named Victor Huang in Wahine Memorial, Wellington, off the coast of New Zealand. He chased the animal and was lucky enough to catch up with it and get his camera back. The resulting footage is worth seeing! Victor added this context to his Youtube video:While trying to get video of a wild octopus, it suddenly dashed towards me and rips my shiny new camera from out of my hands, then swims off, all while the camera is recording! He swam away very quickly like a naughty shoplifter. After a 5 minute chase, I placed my spear gun underneath him and he quickly and curiously grabbed hold of the gun as well, giving me enough time to reach in and grab the camera from out of his mouth. I didn’t feel threatened at all during the whole ordeal. He seemed to be fixated on the shiny metallic blue digital camera. The only confusing behaviour was how he dashed off with it like a thief…cheeky octopus!
Shared by TreeHugger, an online media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream

McDonald’s Responds to April Fools’ Story (via Twitter)

It looks like McDonald’s has a Big Mac-sized sense of humor.

The official McDonald’s Twitter account responded to readers’ questions about our April Fools’ Day report saying that McDonald’s is scrapping a composting plan because its food won’t decompose. While some people didn’t realize it was fake news, McDonald’s did, and responded to a tweet from Edible San Francisco saying:

@EdibleSF: This one had us laughing :) It’s an #AprilFools joke!

And here’s another: @aarieff: They say April Fools jokes are a form of flattery! This one had us laughing too! ^Mol @aarief responded: “But what are you doing about waste?”

McDonald’s linked to the company’s sustainability practices, where, regarding packaging and waste management, they are “exploring ways to reduce the environmental impacts of our consumer packaging and waste in our restaurant operations.”

McDonald’s points to the 1990s where they “eliminated 300 million pounds of product packaging.” Come on McDonald’s, that’s sooo last century!

They’ve got a long way to go before they hear us saying, “I’m lovin’ it!”
Shared by Grist, an online environmental news magazine

Toxic Chemicals Make Beautiful, Haunting Art

Photographer, filmmaker, and sculptor Algis Kemezys was inspired to make a series of surreally altered pieces of environmental art by an incident that would have left many people too bereft to have done much at all: a catastrophic fire that burned down his family home and destroyed much of his previous work.

The slides Kemezys discovered in the rubble were badly damaged, but the flames had left some of them with a haunting quality – something he began seeking to intentionally replicate by applying household chemicals to other photographs.

"Someone is melting the earth"  by Algis Kemezys

“This body of work is made from Kodacrome slides that were burnt after painting them with toxic household ingredients like EasyOff, rubber glue, fingernail polish, Magic Markers, bleach, shoe polish, and more. In some cases the image was burnt off the slide, and then after freezing, the image was burnt back onto the slide,” the Canada-based artist writes on Open Salon.

With titles such as “What breath of fresh air,” “Flowering destruction,” “Someone is melting the earth,” “Toxic Toronto,” “Acid rain,” and “Who killed the whales?” the images allude to the fact that the materials that make the photos strangely beautiful can also be damaging to the environment.

“These move me in so many ways,” one commenter wrote in response to Kemezys’ online gallery. “Wonder how mother Earth feels as we pour these on her body?

Buy Green: Laptop Computers

The greenest notebook computer is the one you have and keep using, but that can be tough; people say that notebook computers are the greenest because they sip electricity; it’s true that they use less power than a desktop but you still have to choose carefully; there are a lot of other factors to consider as well. Notebooks are harder to fix and really hard to upgrade; where a desktop can be taken apart for recycling easily, a notebook often just gets thrown away. Being portable, they get dropped, spilled on and banged about, so you not only have to think about what it is made of, but how solid is it and how good is its service.

As in desktops, processor speed fades into irrelevance with most current machines; almost any unit out there will run most tasks that people do on notebooks. The upgrade cycle on hardware now is also much longer than it used to be, because the new machines do not perform significantly better on most of the common tasks that people use their computers for. So which are the greenest notebooks out there? The best way to tell is by it’s EPEAT score “a clear and consistent set of performance criteria for the design of products, and provides an opportunity for manufacturers to secure market recognition for efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its products.” But that is new, and manufacturers are being quiet about it.

What: XO Laptop (the computer formerly known as the $100 Laptop)

Where: One Laptop Per Child

Why:It’s not just a computer, it’s a community; “a unique harmony of form and function; a flexible, ultra-low-cost, power-efficient, responsive, and durable machine with which nations of the emerging world can leapfrog decades of development.”

How much: 2 for $ 400, one for you and one for a kid who needs it.

Nice touch: Too many for our servers to store. Pull a cord to charge it; create instant wifi networks with everyone around you; filled with open source software; cute as a button. It doesn’t get any greener than this.
Shared by TreeHugger, an online media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream

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