Canadian ruling could drive a firm to drink

first_img Comments are closed. Canadian ruling could drive a firm to drinkOn 6 Mar 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Just when employers thought therewas an end in sight to their ever-increasing legal responsibilities, thoseclever lawyers have found a new one. A judge in Canada recently awarded$200,000 (£90,852) in damages to a woman who crashed her car while driving homedrunk from an office party. He found the woman’s employer partly responsiblefor allowing her to drive in an unfit state because the party she attended hadtaken place during company time. Law firm Eversheds is now warningthat UK employers could be held liable for staff drink-driving. Lawyer DamianKelly said, “This case may have happened in Canada, but much of thejudgement was based on English case law. It is not impossible that we may seesimilar cases in the UK.”A totem gesture fromtraining coHow busy is your head of totem poledesign? If they have a bit of spare capacity they might want to enter TotemTraining Events’ competition to design a pole. The native peoples of Canada andthe US originally carved totem poles to represent a clan, its kinship system,accomplishments, rights and values. The totem shown is has foursections of cedar carved with symbols representing the values and aspirationsof one of Totem Training Events’ clients. The winner’s totem pole will besimilarly carved with the company’s logo, images symbolising its products andservices or whatever captures the spirit of business. The totem will be createdat Totem Training Events’ stand at Enterprise South in Bournemouth on 9 May. Sorry the boss is on gardeningleaveGuru wants to be managing directorof the universe. No, he isn’t plotting some dastardly international espionage,but wants to reply to a job advert to run the Catholic newspaper called theUniverse. This is just one of the unusualmanagement titles that readers have sent to Personnel Today since it launchedits competition last month.The most curious we’ve received isfrom a Swedish company called Wideyes – it has a senior manager called”company gardener”, but apparently it has more to do with corporategrowth than green fingers.   Guru has decided to put off thejudging until next week, so if you’ve heard of any other ridiculous titles,send an e-mail to the usual address and you could win a bottle of bubbly.HR staff find it hardto mask true feelingsSometimes it can be hard for HRprofessionals to come up with anything original to write down for an employeeperformance evaluation. Guru was once accused of having “a zest forlife” in an early job review, which he later realised was boss-speak forhaving an attention deficit disorder. Here are a few more blunt effortsfrom one large US corporation that will remain nameless: “Since my lastreport, this employee has reached rock bottom and has started to dig”, or”works well under constant supervision and when cornered like a rat in atrap” or even the priceless “when his IQ reaches 50, he shouldsell”. But Guru’s personal favourites are, “I would not allow thisemployee to breed”, and “this employee is depriving a village somewhereof an idiot”. Guru would like to hear from his disciples on the bestexamples they’ve come across.last_img read more


first_imgCal Ripken Baseball fall registration will be taking place sometime in middle of August. More information and specifics to follow. For information, email Mike Miselis at [email protected] Pictured below is one of our up and coming stars Connor Campbell who plays or Broadway Diner in the Bambino division. ×last_img

Scotmid chooses local bakery partners

first_imgConvenience store operator Scotmid Food is working with a number of Scottish bakery firms as part of its plans to expand its partnerships with local suppliers.The firm is working with Dunfermline-based Stephens the Bakers, Goodfellow & Steven located in Broughty Ferry, Dundee, and The Breadwinner Bakery in Edinburgh. The three bakery companies supply Scotmid’s stores in West Lothian, Fife, Edinburgh, Mayfield, Gracemount and Gorebridge.Scotmid has also formed a new partnership with Aulds the Bakers, based in Greenock, which has seen the bakery firm’s products launch into stores in the west of Scotland, including Armadale in West Lothian and Clarkston in Glasgow.  The move highlights Scotmid’s recent work in refitting bakery counters in a select number of its stores, stocking a range of cakes, savouries, breads and baked goods. The company said its local bakery offer has been rolled out to 24 stores to date, with a further expansion planned later this year.Stephen Brown, who is managing the local bakery roll-out for Scotmid Food, said: “Working with these award-winning local bakeries has been great for Scotmid and our customers, who are really enjoying having an excellent range of high-quality bakery products available in store. Stephens the Bakers, Goodfellow & Steven, The Breadwinner Bakery and Aulds and are all very well-known bakeries and are among the longest-established bakeries in Scotland.“As a Scottish company, we’re committed to working with local suppliers because we know that it supports Scottish businesses, jobs and the communities that we trade in.”Scotmid Food is part of Scotmid Co-operative, which employs around 5,000 members of staff in around 350 retail outlets across Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England.last_img read more

Doctors fight gun ‘gag laws’

first_imgDoctors across the country are taking action against ‘gag laws’ that would prevent then from asking patients if they have guns in their homes.One such law, passed in Florida in 2011, is currently being fought in the courts by a coalition of physicians. Similar laws are pending in 12 other states.In a March 29, 2015 Worcester Telegram & Gazette article, about a group of doctors and medical students in Worcester, Mass. who are fighting the gag laws, David Hemenway of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health said that “the evidence is just overwhelming” about the health risks of access to guns.“If you care about kids’ health, then you have to care about what is most dangerous to children,” said Hemenway, director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center. “In the same way, physicians should be asking about guns because they’re very dangerous to children.” Read Full Storylast_img read more

Taking the brain apart to put it all together again

first_imgTo determine how the endothelium influences metabolites in the brain, the scientists administered radioactive carbon-labeled glucose, pyruvate, or lactate to brain chips that had been decoupled from the BBB chips. They found that the production of both glutamine and the neurotransmitter GABA was lower in unlinked brain chips than in chips linked to the BBB. This demonstrated that products of vascular endothelial cell metabolism become substrates for the production of neurotransmitters that mediate neuronal cell information processing in the brain — suggesting that the health of our blood vessels could directly impact mind function.“The big breakthrough here is that we have teased out communication networks between cells in a way that never could have been done with traditional brain research techniques. In vivo studies simply do not offer the granularity to determine how complex these metabolic networks function in heterogeneous cell populations within living tissues,” said corresponding author Kit Parker, a core faculty member of the Wyss Institute and the Tarr Family Professor of Bioengineering and Applied Physics at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.“We are seeing here an unanticipated level of complexity that raises the bar in terms of what it will mean to successfully map the brain’s connectome.”This work was supported by the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, DARPA, the Sweden-America Foundation, the Carl Trygger Foundation, and the Erik and Edith Fernström Foundation. The human brain is the most complex and delicate of all the body’s organs, and the one most in need of protection from toxins and other harmful substances — including those we deliberately ingest. But to understand the effects drugs and disease have on the brain, scientists have needed to study how blood vessels, brain cells, and the blood-brain barrier (BBB) influence each other.That’s been a challenge. In vitro models, like cells in a dish, have been too simple, and in vivo models — human brain tissue — too complex. Now, as reported in Nature Biotechnology, researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have created a “just right” model of the BBB-brain interface using microfluidically linked organ chips that react to drugs like methamphetamine the same way the human brain does. The linked chips give researchers an unprecedented look into how the brain’s vasculature influences and regulates its metabolic function.“We realized that the brain is already so complex that we couldn’t analyze it on one chip, so we did the opposite and divided one organ onto multiple chips,” said first author Ben Maoz, a former technology development fellow at the Wyss who is currently an assistant professor at Tel Aviv University. “Organ chips were able to open up another dimension for neurological research that no other method could, decoupling a very dense organ to unveil new interactions between the different structures within the brain.”The BBB is comprised of blood vessels and a unique network of supporting pericyte and astrocyte cells. The blood vessels supply the brain with oxygen and nutrients, and they are highly selective about which molecules they allow to cross from the blood to the brain, and vice versa. When the BBB is disrupted, as it is when it is exposed to methamphetamine (“meth”) and other drugs, the brain’s sensitive neurons become susceptible to harmful damage. In addition, the BBB is thought to directly interact with the brain and help regulate its functions.,To replicate the way that supply blood vessels, the neuronal compartment, and draining blood vessels are linked in the brain, the Wyss created an “influx” BBB chip, a brain chip, and an “efflux” BBB chip, all physically distinct but connected by microfluidic channels that allow the exchange of chemicals and other substances. The BBB chip has a channel lined with endothelial cells through which flows a culture medium that mimics blood, separated by a porous membrane from a parallel channel containing pericytes and astrocytes perfused with artificial cerebrospinal fluid (aCSF). The brain chip has a similar aCSF flow channel that is separated by another semipermeable membrane from a compartment containing human brain neurons and their supporting astrocytes.The three chips’ aCSF channels are connected in a series, creating a fully linked system in which substances can diffuse from the vascular channel across the first BBB into the aCSF, enter the brain neuronal cell compartment, flow back into the aCSF, and ultimately diffuse out across the second BBB into another vascular channel, as happens in vivo.The team cultured human cells in the linked BBB-brain chips and exposed them to meth, which is known to disrupt the junctions between the cells of the BBB in vivo and cause the barrier to “leak.” When meth was flowed through the BBB chip’s blood vessel channel, it compromised the junctions of its vascular endothelial cells and let through molecules that normally wouldn’t be able to cross. This experiment confirmed that the model worked, and could be used in research to better understand and develop treatments addressing drugs’ effects on the human brain.Something in the chips that weren’t exposed to meth also caught the scientists’ attention. They realized that cells on BBB and brain chips that were fluidically linked and cells on unlinked chips expressed different proteins. For example, cells in all of the linked chips expressed higher levels of metabolism-associated proteins and lower levels of proteins involved in proliferation and migration than cells in unlinked chips, suggesting that the different cell types do in fact help each other maintain proper function.,“Blood vessels are frequently thought to just be a barrier or a transporter of chemicals. But when we looked at the linked BBB-brain chips, we noticed that there seemed to be some crosstalk between the endothelial cells and the neurons,” said co-author Anna Herland, a former postdoctoral fellow at the Wyss Institute who is now an associate professor at the Royal Institute of Technology and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. “We also know from studies of long-term meth abusers that this drug affects the brain’s metabolism, so we started to dig deeper to see if we could characterize the metabolic link between the BBB and the brain.”The modular nature of the BBB-brain chip system also allowed the researchers to individually analyze all of the molecules secreted by discrete cell populations, and then connect the chips to trace where they traveled. The chemicals secreted by cells on the uncoupled BBB chip were largely related to neuron maintenance and protection, demonstrating that the molecules produced by the BBB give neurons chemical cues. “The big breakthrough here is that we have teased out communication networks between cells in a way that never could have been done with traditional brain research techniques.” — Kit Parker, Wyss core faculty member The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.last_img read more

Maldives police say they uncovered plot to attack school

first_imgMALE, Maldives (AP) — Police in the Maldives say they have uncovered a planned attack on a school involving eight suspected members of an Islamic State-affiliated group arrested last November. Police say the suspects attempted to build an explosive device on a boat at sea, conducted training on uninhabited islands and attempted to recruit children. Police raided the boat and found items that could be used to build a bomb on board and gun cartridges in the shallow sea. They say the suspects were arrested after police were tipped off by foreign intelligence agencies, and evidence was found in seized cellphones of a plan to attack a school while exams were in progress.last_img read more

New York Poised To Lift Veil On Police Disciplinary Files

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Cutout Photo: Elvert Barnes / CC BY-SA 2.0ALBANY – A decades-old law that kept law enforcement officers’ disciplinary records secret in New York appeared to be headed for an overhaul this week as state lawmakers moved to act on a number of police accountability measures prompted by street demonstrations over the death of George Floyd.The state law, known by its section title, 50-a, was passed in the 1970s to prevent criminal defense attorneys from subjecting officers to cross-examinations about irrelevant information in their personnel file. The law applies to jail guards and firefighters, as well.But over the years, the law also draped a veil over most records of alleged police misconduct. Formal complaints about excessive force by officers are not public in New York. In recent years, police departments have cited the law in refusing to say even whether officers have been punished.The Democrat-led Legislature planned to pass a repeal this week and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday he intends to sign it, noting that such records are already available for other government employees, such as teachers and toll takers. “Their records will be available,” Cuomo said. “It is just parity and equality with every other public employee.”The leaders of a coalition of police unions argued in a statement Monday that releasing such records, including complaints, could leave officers facing “unavoidable and irreparable harm to reputation and livelihood.”The legislation would provide officers with some privacy protections, including redaction of home addresses, personal phone numbers and email addresses.The legislation was among a package of police accountability bills that began to move through the legislature Monday, and some of which were passed. The state Senate and Assembly passed legislation that bans police chokeholds, guarantees the right to record police activity and collects more data on deaths in custody.Another bill that makes it easier to file civil lawsuits against people who call 911 and falsely accuse someone of criminal activity based only on their race or background also passed.A vote on opening police disciplinary records could come as soon as Tuesday.Meanwhile, the protests that sparked the reform push continued around New York City on Monday, and organizers urged people to stay in the streets.Protest organizer Carlos Polanco was cheered by hundreds at Washington Square Park as he asked for further change, including diverting funding from the city’s police department to the school system, social workers and programs that prioritize rehabilitation over punishment.“This is the closest we’ve ever been” to lasting reforms, he said, but added “we don’t want crumbs. We want all of it.”Later in the day, Polanco urged a crowd gathered at Gracie Mansion to call their senators and demand that the state’s police records law be repealed Tuesday.Civil liberty and criminal justice reform groups have long pushed for a repeal of the law, but that effort got new momentum amid huge protests over Floyd’s death and images of violent confrontations between officers and demonstrators.Only New York and Delaware have state laws that provide law enforcement “with special carve outs from records disclosure,” according to a statement from advocacy groups including Common Cause New York and the New York Public Interest Research Group.“What’s become increasingly clear over the past few days is how much a lack of transparent accountability measures leads to police acting with impunity in our communities,” said Michael Sisitzky, lead policy counsel for the New York Civil Liberties Union.“We’ve seen police officers drive cars into crowds of protesters and pull down a person’s face mask in order to pepper spray them,” Sisitzky said. “We’ve seen lawmakers arrested and pepper-sprayed while attempting to mediate.”Critics of the repeal include Republican Sen. Patrick Gallivan — a former sheriff in Erie County, home to the state’s second largest city, Buffalo — who noted the overwhelming number of complaints against officers are deemed unfounded.“I think people are calling for a reform that doesn’t get at any of the problems that we face as a society,” Gallivan said in an interview.The law gained widespread attention in 2016, when New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio argued it prevented the release of disciplinary records of the police officer involved in the chokehold death of Eric Garner.Garner’s death — after he refused to be handcuffed for allegedly selling loose, untaxed cigarettes — came at a time of a growing public outcry over police killings of unarmed black men that gave impetus to the national Black Lives Matter movement.Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, last year urged Cuomo and New York state lawmakers to repeal a law that she has said “is harming me and my family.”last_img read more

Sex Ratios

first_imgIt may seem like everyone on Earth has an equal chance of being born male or female. It’s about a 50-50 split, after all.But University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Associate Professor Kristen Navara has found that it’s not that simple.Stress and a lack of resources can trigger hormonal shifts that make it more likely for a mother to produce female offspring.Navara has found that it’s true for birds, and although the mechanism is different, it’s true for humans and most mammals.Women who gain less weight during pregnancy are more likely to have female offspring, and wild birds that experience food shortages or other environmental stress produce more female chicks.“So all birds and mammals produce these hormones, and that’s what elicits physiological responses that help them survive environmental challenges,” Navara said.“When we knew that wild birds were able to adjust the sex of their offspring, our first question was, ‘What is responsible for transducing those environmental conditions into physiological signals that could control sex ratios?’ The answer was stress hormones,” she said. “We believed those stress hormones might mediate this effect on sex ratio, and we have found that they are, at least in part, a player in the process of manipulating sex ratios.”They found that treating laying hens with corticosterone, the stress hormone, can influence the sex chromosome the hens’ offspring inherit.In early 2018, Navara published a book exploring the factors that skew sex ratios in animals, “Choosing Sexes: Mechanisms and Adaptive Patterns of Sex Allocation in Vertebrates.” It is one of the only works that takes a comparative approach to explain the powerful use of hormones to manipulate sex ratios across species.Understanding how stress hormones affect the sex of the hens’ chicks is invaluable information for the poultry industry, which needs male chickens to populate broiler houses and female chickens to populate laying houses.“We know that birds in the wild have the ability to alter the sex of their offspring without our help,” Navara said. “We want to harness that ability for the industry …In the poultry industry, the sex of the chicks is particularly important. So we’re trying to find a treatment that would program the hen to produce more of the desired sex.”Currently, with the help of the Georgia Genomics and Bioinformatics Core at UGA, Navara’s team has identified a handful of genes that could potentially be the links through which stress and stress hormones control the sex of progeny. They are now in the process of verifying whether expression of these genes does, in fact, change when stress triggers sex-ratio skews.Up until this point, they’ve only been able to affect the sex ratio of the hen’s chicks by treating her with hormones, a practice that is banned in the poultry industry.Their next step is finding a hormone-free treatment to trigger the gene responsible for translating stress into hormones to skew the sex ratio of chicks. Eventually, this could be accomplished through breeding, but that is a project for the future, Navara said.last_img read more

Financing complete for 3.6GW Dogger Bank offshore wind farm, world’s largest

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享CNBC:A major offshore wind farm, set to be the largest on the planet, took another leap forward Thursday with SSE Renewables and Equinor announcing the completion of a deal to finance the project.Once completed, the Dogger Bank Wind Farm in Britain — a 50:50 joint venture between the two firms — will have a total capacity of 3.6 gigawatts (GW). The first two phases, Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B, will be built simultaneously, with each having a capacity of 1.2 GW. The third phase of the project, Dogger Bank C, is being developed to a different schedule, with a financial close expected toward the end of 2021.In a statement, SSE said funding for the first two phases of the project represented “the largest ever offshore wind project financing anywhere in the world.” Investment for Dogger Bank A and B will amount to approximately £6 billion (around $8 billion), it added.According to the website of the Dogger Bank project, which will be located in waters off the northeast coast of England, the final group of lenders is made up of 29 banks and three export credit agencies. SSE Renewables is heading up construction of the facility, while its operations are to be led by Equinor.The scale of the overall scheme, which is due to be finished in 2026, is considerable. Equinor and SSE have both described it as the “world’s biggest offshore wind farm.”Phases A and B will use GE’s 13 megawatt Haliade-X turbine, while the wind farm as a whole will have the ability to power as many as 4.5 million homes in the U.K. annually. Onshore construction works for the project started earlier this year.[Anmar Frangoul]More: World’s largest offshore wind farm seals financing deal worth $8 billion Financing complete for 3.6GW Dogger Bank offshore wind farm, world’s largestlast_img read more

Mobile getting bigger for small businesses

first_img 27SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr More small business owners are getting into the mobile payment game. Recent research found 34 percent of small businesses now accept mobile payments. This is a sizable increase from 2015 when just 13 percent accepted mobile at the point of sale.These predictions coincide with a recent eMarketer study, which forecasts mobile payment usage will climb to just shy of 70 million consumers over the next three years. The study further predicts mobile payment transactions will account for an average annual spend of $3,017 per mobile user by 2019. continue reading »last_img read more