Everyone should vote in LAUSD election

first_imgThose afraid to leave their homes at night in fear of gangs – gangs whose recruitment efforts prey on high school dropouts – have reason to go the polls. Keep in mind that your vote in a school board race has a far greater impact than it would in a national or gubernatorial election. In fact, in the 2006 race for school board member Jose Huizar’s vacant seat, less than 25,000 people voted. This means that less than 25,000 people made a decision that would affect all 31/2 million Angelenos. What should we look for in ideal candidates? Without a doubt, the three most critical attributes are a commitment to always placing children first, a will for change and a proven track record. We cannot afford to have people in office who are representing adults rather than children. With so much money poured into school board elections by the unions, this becomes a real and ongoing concern. We must vote for school board leaders who will demand and deliver reform, individuals who feel outraged by the status quo in our schools. The only way we, as voters, can actually know whether this year’s candidates have the capacity to deliver on their reform promises is to look at their track records. Regardless of whether you support Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s mayoral takeover legislation, you must surely agree with its premise. We need real accountability in our school system. Until we have the mayor to hold accountable, as residents of Boston, New York City and Chicago do, then we must take that extra step and show up to vote in off-year elections. We must pay careful attention to our school board members and to these critical races. Our city’s voter apathy is particularly shameful in light of the extreme sacrifices that have been made at home and abroad securing an individual’s right to vote. Democracy is a privilege. Let’s make it work. Only by doing so will we have the chance to make our public schools work, too. Richard J. Riordan, counsel with the law firm of Bingham McCutchen LLP, is former mayor of Los Angeles and former California secretary of education. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! When surveyed, people in Los Angeles and across the nation identify education as their top public-policy concern – as they should. After all, education has a direct impact on our economy, our crime rate and our homeless rate – virtually all of our city’s greatest social challenges. And right now, Los Angeles public schools are in a crisis; despite the almost $8 billion annual district budget, 50 percent of Los Angeles public-school students are dropping out before graduation. Can you imagine a more shameful figure than our schools’ 50 percent dropout rate? Unfortunately, there is one – and that’s the alarmingly low percentage of registered voters who cast their ballots in the last L.A. school board election, a mere 19 percent. If we truly value our children and our democracy, then we need to change our behavior, and fast. Four of the seven Los Angeles school board seats are up for election Tuesday, and I urge every Angeleno to go to the polls to express his or her concern for our next generation. Our public officials need to be held accountable. With more than 700,000 children attending Los Angeles public schools, I believe it is our moral obligation to vote. This is not a partisan issue. Nor is this an issue that only affects the parents of public-school students. It affects every one of us. The wealthy families that currently pay a “double-tax” in the form of their children’s private school tuitions have reason to go to the polls. The employers who cannot find a quality, literate work force have reason to go to the polls. last_img read more

Russia to shut down factories for World Cup

first_imgBut it also betrays concerns that something will go awry and a readiness to use heavy-handed tactics that could see thousands of workers going unpaid for at least five weeks.Security analysts warn that shuttering chemical plants and other high-risk enterprises is simply dangerous.The move is “a typical top-down order to make things look pretty that has nothing to do with actual safety,” said veteran security analyst Pavel Felgenhauer.“This is traditional Soviet showmanship.”– Letter of concern –China closed polluting plants and coal mines for two months across swathes of the country in 2008 to ensure the smog cleared over Beijing for the Summer Olympics.But Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision appears to stem from a fear of industrial accidents and the threat of plants being attacked or blown up.“The threats of an accident and terror are closely related,” Moscow’s FBK Grant Thornton consultancy director Igor Nikolayev said.Russian authorities want the world to focus on the action at stadiums like the Luzhniki in Moscow, but critics say closing down heavy industry for the tournament is a heavy-handed approach © AFP/File / DMITRY SEREBRYAKOVA Putin decree from May 2017 says special security measures should cover areas around the 11 cities hosting matches and meet “a higher level of protection than those defined by the Russian government’s approved anti-terror requirements.”A separate government directive issued a month later applied the guidelines to everything from nuclear and chemical facilities to companies transporting hazardous cargo by land or sea.A strict interpretation of the directive could theoretically close Moscow’s only oil refinery and a deep-sea port in Saint Petersburg that — among other things — is licensed to ship radioactive isotopes.Feverish consultations are underway between Russia’s FSB security service and industrial property owners afraid of losing money.A private letter to the government from the RSPP big business lobby obtained by AFP warned of “extremely disagreeable social and economic consequences” if the guidelines are applied in full.“RSPP is receiving letters from companies expressing concern about possible risks during the implementation of this government decree,” the union’s chief Alexander Shokhin wrote on November 29.– Unpaid vacation –Shokhin asked for an explanation that could avoid “unfounded shutdowns of company operations.”The reply he received was brief.“The restrictions will only cover activities of organisations on the list of highly dangerous facilities,” the Rostekhnadzor nuclear and technological safety watchdog said on January 29.There is only one problem: there is no such list.“Russian industrial safety regulations do not use the term ‘highly dangerous facilities’,” a source in the petrochemical industry said on condition that his name not be used for fear of experiencing problems with the authorities.“In reality, they will probably make up the list as they go along.”The Kommersant business daily reported that hundreds of plants could possibly close — some of them 400 kilometres (250 miles) away from the nearest World Cup stadium.It also reported companies making up their best excuses to stay open.Kommersant said one unidentified factory near a World Cup host city, Saransk, told the FSB it was wiser to keep its workers busy instead of “roaming the streets with nothing to do, unhappy about being sent on unpaid vacation.”– Survival of fittest –Facilities such as a nuclear power plant close to Saint Petersburg and another one near the host city of Yekaterinburg in the Urals are almost certain to keep working due to the safety risks of a shutdown.Analysts said those likely to close will do so because they lacked the political clout in Moscow to lobby their case.“I think only the small and the weak will be affected,” FBK Grant Thornton’s Nikolayev said.The busy deep-sea port in Putin’s native Saint Petersburg appears likely to remain largely unaffected by the World Cup.But companies such as Red October — a mill producing 40 percent of Russia’s stainless steel in the host city of Volgograd — said they were complying.“We are completely stopping for the World Cup,” Red October chairman Igor Sizov told TASS. “We are all going to the football.”0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Russia will shut down dozens of major factories during this year’s World Cup to avert accidents and the possible threat of terror attacks © AFP/File / Mladen ANTONOVMOSCOW, Russian Federation, Mar 5 – Russia is overruling fearful big business owners and looking to shut down dozens of gigantic factories to avert accidents and the threat of terror attacks during this year’s World Cup.The halt in production highlights the financial sacrifice Russia is preparing to make when it hosts football’s showpiece event for the first time from June 14.last_img read more

A Tale of Two Cosmic Cities

first_imgTwo organizations have prepared curricula presenting grand panoramas of cosmic history.  Each is divided into seven modules – but that is where any similarity ends.  One is a completely materialistic and evolutionary view composed by scientists and educators from NASA and the federal government and major academic institutions and corporations.  The other is a completely Biblical, theistic view put forward by Answers in Genesis, a creationist group.  Here they are in summary outline form:Cosmic Voyage:  A curriculum named Voyages Through Time was developed by the SETI Institute partnership with NASA Ames Research Center, the California Academy of Sciences, and San Francisco State University with major funding from the National Science Foundation (Grant IMD #9730693), NASA, Hewlett Packard Company, Foundation for Microbiology, SETI Institute, and Educate America, according to an article “Astrobiology 101” on Space.com.  The website of Voyages Through Time shows seven headings:The Curriculum:  The overview module stresses the important of key “overarching goals” to be taught students in the year-long curriculum: evolution as cumulative changes over time, the various processes underlying these changes, the differing time scales and rates of change, the connections and relationships across these realms of change, and science as a process for advancing our understanding of the natural world.Cosmic Evolution:  This module teaches that “The universe, the totality of all things that exist, is thought to have begun with an explosion of space and time and the expansion of a hot, dense mass of elementary particles and photons, that has evolved over billions of years into the stars and galaxies we observe today.”Planetary Evolution:  As the title implies, this module teaches that all planets “formed from the same spinning disk of dust and gas,” implying Earth is a cosmic accident that happened to provide an environment suitable for life.Origin of Life:  This module recognizes a lack of scientific understanding, but promises light in the future: “Current evidence from the rock and fossil record indicates that life on Earth began about 3.8 billion years ago.  Yet how life first formed, or even how the biochemical precursors of life developed, and under what conditions these events happened, are not yet understood.  The origin of life is an area of active research, with considerable debate among scientists from various disciplines.”Evolution of Life:  This fully Darwinian module exhibits peppered moths, uniformitarian dating methods, phylogenetic trees and other evolutionary icons to present standard Darwinism: the entire diversity of life on the planet emerged from a universal common ancestor through an unguided process of mutation and natural selection.Hominid Evolution:  The sixth module teaches that humans are products of the same unguided, natural process that produced the first life and all other creatures.Evolution of Technology:  The final module continues its portrayal of evolutionary history up to our present human civilization.  Students are shown the “timeline of major events throughout the history of technology in the context of the evolution of everything, beginning with the Big Bang about 15 billion years ago.”  They are assigned a poster project to show how technologies of the future may evolve.    Nothing is mentioned in the final module, apparently, about the ultimate fate of mankind or the “heat death” of the universe in which all life, and rationality, presumably will have long ceased to exist. :  A curriculum from Answers in Genesis, a private creationist organization funded primarily by private donations and no government grants, takes a very different approach to cosmic history.  The “Seven C’s” outline, first proposed by AIG president Ken Ham in one of his books (see article) also forms the “walk through history” structure of AIG’s Creation Museum that opened last year (05/26/2007).Creation:  The universe began as a purposeful act of an omnipotent, personal God.  The stars, the Earth, all life, the angels and mankind were created in the six days of creation outlined in Genesis 1.  Man and woman were created in the image of God.  They were rational and spiritual beings from the start.  The creation was good and innocent.Corruption:  The first human pair, Adam and Eve, believing a lie of Satan (who had previously led an angelic rebellion), disobeyed God and fell into sin, as described in Genesis 3.  This separated mankind from God and brought a curse upon the world.  Death came because of sin.  The first child committed the first murder.Catastrophe:  The world became filled with violence.  Only Noah believed God; he and his family were spared on the Ark (Genesis 6-9) while God judged the Earth with a world-wide Flood.  This had major consequences in geology and the subsequent environment for life after the survivors spread out over the earth.Confusion:  After the Flood, people again strayed from the Lord and sought to build their own pagan empire.  God confused their languages at the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11).  This began the origin of separate nations, languages and cultures, as people separated from one another to the far reaches of the earth.  False religions sprung up – many with distant but corrupted memories of the Flood, and of the one true eternal Creator God.Christ:  Since the Fall (Genesis 3:15), God had promised a Redeemer, the “seed of the woman” who would crush the serpent Satan’s head.  In the fullness of time (Galatians 4:4), the promise of God’s prophets was fulfilled in Jesus Christ (Luke 4:16-21).Cross:  God’s righteousness demands that sin be punished.  Christ took the punishment for man’s sin on himself at Calvary.  His sacrifice offered a full pardon for sin, and his resurrection demonstrated the power of God to raise from the dead all who have put their trust in him.Consummation:  The curse will be lifted at the end time when Christ returns in glory.  God will create a new heavens and a new earth, where the redeemed of all ages will rejoice with God forever. Augustine of Hippo was an influential Christian theologian and philosopher of the 5th century.  He was well acquainted with the pagan and secular worldviews of his age as well as the Biblical worldview.  In his classic The City of God, he contrasted the pagan and Christian views of reality by portraying them as two cities: the city of the pagans, and the city of God.    The city of the pagans consists of people who live by their sense impressions alone.  Their philosophers build systems of the world from the imagination of their own hearts.  The common people fear natural and political disasters, such as the fall of Rome that had recently occurred in Augustine’s time, and face death without hope or with false hope.    The city of God, Augustine said, consists of those who trust God’s revelation.  They live their earthly lives in hope of heaven, like Abraham, who “waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:8-10).  They walk by faith convinced in the trustworthiness of God’s promises.    The two cities are thriving in 2008 with zeal like that of a presidential campaign.  Both have a message, a mission, and the means to propagate their contrasting views of reality.Among the dozens of arguments that could be debated back and forth between these two opposite world views, let us consider just two: one piece of evidence, and one logical argument.  The logical argument is this: to argue anything, you need confidence in unseen realities that are true, universal, necessary and certain, such as the laws of logic, the validity of inductive and deductive reasoning, the correspondence theory of truth (that our sense impressions relate to an external reality), the correspondence of human rationality with truth, and the moral superiority of telling the truth instead of lying.  None of these things can evolve from an explosion of matter and energy in time.  Remember, they told us that this constitutes the “totality of all things that exist.”  So unless the evolutionists wish to violate their own principles by claiming that these intangibles are real, true, universal, necessary and certain (i.e., by plagiarizing from the theists), their world view has been falsified at the starting gate.    Before getting into the piece of evidence, allow one aside on a practical note.  You see that the evolutionary world view is being promulgated by the government, corporations, and leading scientific and academic institutions.  If the previous argument makes sense to you, you may wonder how it is possible that so many smart people could believe a self-refuting proposition.  If that is a problem, read this article at AllAboutScience.org.  Consider also that the pagan, evolutionary worldview is ancient.  Most leading Greek and Roman philosophers were evolutionists – even those who believed in pagan gods, because to them, the gods evolved, too, from a primordial chaos.  Having a majority of leading intellectuals promoting the secularist world view, therefore, is as old as Rome or Babel – or the antediluvian world, for that matter.  Don’t be surprised.  Truth is not a function of majority vote, popularity, or political power.In our civilization, the Darwinists usurped the scientific institutions in the 19th century (01/14/2004 and 02/25/2007 commentaries) and have systematically marginalized the members of the city of God who had dominated scientific inquiry since Augustine.  So the evolutionists who control Big Science today should be considered no different from a situation where Druids, Gnostics or Epicureans were to wrest the institutions of power and portray themselves as the “scientists” or soothsayers of their day, and use public funds to promote their religion as the cultural truth.    Realize that there is no possible way under heaven for mortals to know any of the cosmic evolutionary stories that were presented above in the secular diorama.  It amounts to a grand, sweeping creation myth for today’s secular culture.  The reigning shamans strive to maintain their power over the propaganda outlets.  That is why, as a minority of the population, they work so diligently with lawyers and special-interest groups to guarantee that the “accepted” cultural myth be inculcated, without contradiction, at the secular monasteries (public schools), where students are unwitting novitiates into the cult, and in the courts, academies, media and government institutions.  Otherwise the common-sense observation that design demands a Designer would be too obvious.    Some of their methods for achieving and maintaining dominance are: shaming the opposition (see ridicule and intimidation), linking their doctrines with “science” (see association and bandwagon), refusing to seriously consider opposing arguments (see card stacking and sidestepping), and clouding the problems of their story in generalities (see glittering generalities and equivocation).  For other techniques see the Baloney Detector.Now, on to just one piece of evidence among many that could be raised in support of the city of God.  Without controversy, scholars know that the book of Isaiah was written long before Christ.  Regardless of what one thinks of the Old Testament, one cannot deny the book of Isaiah precedes the arrival of Jesus of Nazareth by at least a century and a half (liberal view) or seven centuries (conservative view), because a complete manuscript was found in its entirety in Cave 1 at Qumran when the pre-Christian Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947; portions of 21 other copies of Isaiah were subsequently found.  If you agree with this so far, now read the following excerpt from Isaiah carefully, and ask yourself, about whom is the prophet writing? (Isaiah 52:6-53:12).  Read the section now and come back.    This is just one of dozens of Old Testament passages, beginning as far back as Genesis 3, that were fulfilled literally in Jesus Christ.  Jesus himself announced his presence as a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy (cf. Isaiah 61 and Luke 4).  More of these Old Testament prophecies are discussed in the recent DVD The Case for Christ.  They were powerful enough pieces of evidence, in combination with many other arguments and evidences from creation and history, to convince hardened skeptic Lee Strobel that the Bible’s world view was true.  In the film, he challenged viewers to make it a project to look at the evidence fairly, and come to a point of decision.    You may not be ready to hang out with Ken Ham or other creationists, whom the media love to portray as Bible-thumping buffoons (as if media portrayals are any guide to how to think about things).  You may have many more questions about science and the Bible.  At least start considering what city you will call home.  Does anything else matter? (Isaiah 55).(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Film Africa takes African stories to the world

first_img28 October 2016The Film Africa film festival, hosted by the Royal African Society, is considered the premier global film event for showcasing African filmmaking. Held this year in London from 28 October to 6 November, Film Africa will feature 52 features, short films and documentaries from 22 African countries.The selection of African-produced and African-themed films will be supplemented with a series of discussions by actors and filmmakers as well as with exhibitions by African production companies. Professional workshops, live music events and industry seminars will also all highlight film, art and culture from the continent and its diaspora.The best new Nigerian cinema @FilmAfrica this year! https://t.co/EYJQx6kWSL #FilmAfrica16 @kunleafolayan @niyiakinmolayan @femiodugbemi pic.twitter.com/fMUZ1Eblb0— Film Africa (@FilmAfrica) October 11, 2016The festival culminates in an awards ceremony recognising the best of the festival’s acting and filmmaking talents. It includes the Baobab Award for Best Short Film and the Audience Award for Best Feature Film.One of the topical themes at the festival this year is: Why I’m Here: Stories of Migration. It comprises a collection of personal film narratives that reflect the intricacies of migration, political asylum and other challenges faced by Africans living outside [email protected] explores the Somalian refugee experience in A Stray by @Musasyeed https://t.co/l9NrxOPDIk @SomaliWeekFest pic.twitter.com/Nvgt1rQqlt— Film Africa (@FilmAfrica) October 19, 2016Another predominant theme, one specifically focused on South Africa, is the cost of attaining and retaining freedom.The film biography of struggle icon Solomon Mahlangu, titled Kalushi will open the festival. The film looks at Mahlangu’s life during the 1976 Soweto student uprising, as a soldier in Umkhonto we Sizwe and the influence he had on the fight against apartheid. A post-screening discussion with director Mandla Dube and star Thabo Rametsi will also unpack his influence on contemporary protests such as Fees Must Fall.Catch our very own @ThaboRametsi with Minister of @ArtsCultureSA @NathiMthethwaSA on @MorningLiveSABC today #Kalushi pic.twitter.com/33BzXx7bT3— #GoSeeKalushi (@KalushiMovie) September 22, 2016There will also be a screening of the 1994 film about the Soweto student uprising, Sarafina, starring Leleti Khumalo and Whoopi Goldberg. It will be shown along with a companion piece, a new documentary called Soweto: Times of Wrath, which looks at the influence of the 1976 generation on young Sowetans today.The screenings will be followed by a discussion, led by the six young filmmakers involved in the documentary, on the state of human rights in post- apartheid South Africa and how communities are taking action to have their voices heard.Also on at the festival is British director Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom, a film about the love affair between Botswana’s first democratic leader, Seretse Khama, and British office worker Ruth Williams. The film is courting a lot of 2017 Oscar buzz, thanks to powerful performances by stars David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike, as well as meticulous cinematography that convincingly captures Africa and its people.David Oyelowo e Rosamund Pike em posters internacionais de A United Kingdom. pic.twitter.com/OCatJasoZd— Cinemito (@cinemito) October 26, 2016The festival ends with the world premiere of Wùlu, a Mali-France co-production. A political thriller set amidst the 2012 Mali political rebellion, the film blends elements of traditional African storytelling with fast-paced action.Wùlu , a Film by Daouda Coulibaly. Starring Ibrahim Koma & Inna Modja . pic.twitter.com/mKwLbMTEoZ— Inna Modja Official (@Innamodja) September 15, 2016International critics have hailed the film and its director, Daouda Coulibaly, as Africa’s answer to atmospheric action auteur Michael Mann. It is being touted for selection for a Best Foreign Language Academy Award in 2017.Source: Film Africa festival 2016SouthAfrica.info reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SouthAfrica.info materiallast_img read more

IBM Doesn’t Compete With Google Drive. Really

first_imgCloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… Tags:#google drive#IBM#smartcloud docs Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts center_img How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud antone gonsalves IBM has launched a cloud-based office-productivity suite called SmartCloud Docs that some industry observers say is a competitor to Google Drive (nee Google Docs).But the comparison is apples to oranges. OK, well maybe Fuji to Granny Smith.Different Ends of the MarketWhile Google Drive started with consumers and gradually became a business product, IBM’s focus here is the enterprise.SmartCloud Docs is only a small piece of the company’s corporate collaboration services, called SmartCloud for Social Business. SmartCloud Docs adds the ability to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations.“If customers, the press, or analysts position this as going toe-to-toe with Google Docs, or frankly, for that matter, parts of [Microsoft] Office 365, they’re missing the fundamental differences between the vendors,” Tom Austin, an analyst for Gartner, says. “IBM is into solution-selling.”That means IBM’s quarry isn’t a department head or branch office. It wants to sell Social Business to the whole organization to tackle a core business operation. Instead, picture a medical research facility looking to collaborate with hospitals in other countries.“What it’s really doing is trying to penetrate the boardroom and the [C-suite],” Austin said.Social Business also includes features for creating and managing blogs and wikis, a cloud version of the Lotus Notes email client, calendaring, archiving and mobile access to services.IBM is far behind Google in releasing a cloud-based productivity suite. Google rolled out its services in stages, starting in 2006. But that’s not seen as a particularly bad mistake for IBM. Corporations adopt slowly, giving IBM time to adopt and adapt.What About Microsoft?Within the enterprise, Microsoft, which sells Office 365 as a cloud-based collaboration-and-productivity suite, is a much stronger rival to IBM.For companies heavily invested in Windows and Microsoft’s on-premise Office suite, Microsoft is easing enterprises into its cloud by giving them the option of leaving some workloads behind the firewall, Forrester Research analyst TJ Keitt wrote in a recent report.“Google’s vision, on the other hand, is to leave the desktop behind for a cloud ecosystem based in the browser –- a vision for which many enterprise IT leaders aren’t ready,” Keitt wrote.A Different TakeUnlike research rival Gartner, International Data Corp. sees Google and IBM as competitors, but says IBM has taken its product a step further when it comes to helping people work together.For example, SmartCloud Docs can analyze versions of a document and help authors reconcile the differences, said IDC analyst Melissa Webster.“That’s a new level of functionality” in that feature segment, said Webster.Before SmartCloud Docs, such features were primarily used for code-management, helping developers reconcile code. “It’s a sophisticated problem to solve,” she said.Enterprise features like these set IBM apart; that and its focus on comprehensive technology packages.Google has its own large-companies, though. It’s integrating Drive in Salesforce.com, Workday and other online apps.“This resonates with IT shops that seek to move as many commodity application workloads into the cloud as possible,” Keitt wrote.So while SmartCloud Docs and Google Drive are similar in function, they are entering the market from opposite directions. And while they haven’t met yet, the growing use of the cloud will change that.last_img read more

The Leadership Playbook: The Leader You Need to Be Now

first_imgDifferent circumstances require different leadership approaches.Turnaround: When an organization is in trouble, it requires leaders who will take charge. Difficult circumstances or an existential threat require that people take action now, without having the time to debate the choices of action, without a chance to build consensus around the approach, and without concern for tradition. The turnaround leader can break things on their way to making things better, and they can create ill will along the way. But when survival is at stake, this approach is necessary.Change Agent: A turnaround is a shift of 180 degrees; the organization is moving in the wrong direction. A change agent needs to adjust the organization’s direction by degrees, more than 1 degree and less than 180. The strategy isn’t quite right and needs to be significantly adjusted. The business model isn’t producing the expected results, and the go-to-market strategy need to be significantly modified. There isn’t all the time in the world to debate the choices and build consensus, but there is some time to enlist the support of other leaders to help make change. When things aren’t working, a leader has to make change.Execution: There are some circumstances that require a leader who can execute and deliver results. The organization is in no danger, no real change is needed, other than greater execution of what is already in place. This choice is often overlooked by new leaders, who believe they must be a turnaround leader or a change agent. But sometimes all that is necessary for the leader to help the organization reach its full potential is to create accountability for executing on what is already in place. The execution leader has time to build consensus, build traditions, and inspire greater action.One of the ways to be a great leader is to know what role you need to play to best serve your organization.When your organization needs better execution, being a turnaround leader or a change agent will prevent you from producing the results you need. Likewise, when something is broken, execution isn’t enough to realize the organization’s potential.last_img read more

Lowdown on Diwali decor

first_imgFestivals are always occasions when one looks at beautifying the home. This is when most households carry out pending repairs, give a lick of paint to the walls and pick up new furnishings. The preparation starts at least a month in advance so that the house is well-appointed to celebrate the festival of light. The spirit of Diwali is contagious. If you look around, you will see proud homemakers going into frenzy to give their spaces a makeover and introduce fresh dcor ideas.Refurbishing and redecorating however doesn’t mean you have to burn a hole in your pocket. There are a few simple and inexpensive ways you can follow to turn your turf into a stylish arena without going overboard. All it needs on your part is a little creative magic to transform the house into one that expresses your personality in an aesthetically compelling manner.The trick is to take a hard look at existing accessories and give them a new twist. To begin with, give a new complexion to your rooms by redoing wall finishes. From rich maroon and muted gold, to soothing turquoise and shimmery silver, lend your walls some elegance. Elegant cream and glowing copper is a personal favourite.This is the season when gardens are normally a riot of colour. Dressing up interiors with flowers, mostly marigolds and roses, is the simplest perk-up method that works. Natural, colourful, and easy to maintain, you can bunch them in just about anything. While putting them in metal, ceramic and crystal vases is the tried and tested option, to give your home a unique appeal, use jars, wine glasses, tea pots and even aluminium buckets. Using flower petals and candles for ornamentation is another relatively fuss-free tip. Take an urli or a silver-foiled deep platter, fill it with water and throw in petals of your choice. Floating candles add a further spark.Diwali is the best time to play around with lights and illuminating devices like lamps, candlestands, tealights and lanterns. Use them in different ways to add tone, character and personality to a space. For instance, take out your brass lamps and diyas or even brushed steel and aluminium candlestands and arrange them in eye-catching patterns. Use niches effectively, and in case the dcor of the room is minimalist and not amenable to brass, opt for candles, tealights or glass oil lamps.The traditional diya plays a central part during this season. Make a design statement by taking a paint brush to the diyas and top off with beads and sequins. Another great trick is to pick up traditional lanterns and hang them around the home. Don’t get hooked on to a particular shape or size, but generate a variety by mixing and matching. Using twinkling lights or Christmas lights to create a festive atmosphere is a great idea. Wind them around your garden plants, convert them into a bright arch at the entrance, or shape a string to look like a giant diya.Last but not the least, work with rangoli. Go beyond the traditional patterns and accent the design with diyas and glass bowls sporting floating candles. So give your home a makeover that is sure to be the envy of all this Diwali.advertisementlast_img read more