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Performing Successful Staff Evaluations in Self-Storage: Why and How – Inside Self-Storage

Posted: June 22, 2020 at 2:45 pm

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Heres something to think about: When theres no consequence for poor work ethic and no reward for good work ethic, theres no motivation for your self-storage staff. An employee-performance review is a formal assessment of work performance. It fosters open communication between supervisors and team members and, hopefully, improves employees work going forward.

The fact is, hourly workers are the backbone of our self-storage organizations, but theyre often the most neglected staffers on the payroll and often overlooked when it comes to training and professional development. I once heard an owner say that giving performance reviews to hourly employees is a colossal waste of time and resources. In reality, every member of your team is valuable and does his part to enhance the company.

Whats your current practice? Do you review all employees, hourly and salaried alike? Do you evaluate employees after 90 days and never again? Maybe once per year? Its important to engage all workers who are at the front line of your customer experience. A good way to do this is with consistent performance evaluations.

Hourly workers typically represent the highest turnover in any company, and turnover is costly. The Center for American Progress, a public policy research and advocacy organization, puts the cost of replacing an employee who earns less than $30,000 per year at 16 percent of his annual earnings. In other words, to replace a $10-per-hour worker will cost you more than $3,000.

Workplace policies that address the concerns of hourly employees can help reduce turnover. Some states have mandated predictive scheduling laws for these staffers, while other states (and some companies) are increasing their minimum wage. In addition to financial security, these employees want to be valued in the workplace and know their employer is aware of the contributions they make in maintaining market share and customer satisfaction.

Performance evaluations can be key to retention and engagement for staff, particularly those with lower financial incentive. Employees want to know how theyre doing, and reviewing performance is a way to keep an open line of communication, which is key not only when things are going poorly, but when the site is achieving great success.

If an employee is taken by surprise at something revealed to him in a review, his supervisor isnt doing his job effectively. Reviews don't just clarify goals and reinforce positive behaviors, they help adjust behaviors that arent so positive. They assist in building the employee-manager relationship. They also serve as the foundation for career development. That recognition can turn into engagement and retention.

Skipping a performance review, or being late with one, sends a negative message, even if that wasnt the supervisors intention. The time a supervisor spends with each employee is meaningful and could make the difference between the team member staying and thriving with an organization or becoming dissatisfied and perhaps even walking away.

According to analytics and advisory firm Gallup, companies that implement regular employee feedback have turnover rates of up to 15 percent lower than those that dont. Productive employees who do good work want their work to be evaluated, so they can be recognized. In addition to raising engagement and customer satisfaction, what begins with simple recognition can develop into savings and positive outcomes for the employee and the company in the short- and long-term.

Performance reviews serve many purposes. The top ones are:

The first step in conducting a successful employee review is preparation. You should establish a system and process and follow it consistently. It might include things like:

Note: Performance reviews should be separate from any discussion about promotions or pay increases. When employees think the conversation will affect their pay, they may speak more cautiously and avoid sharing information to protect themselves. Consider a performance review a place to encourage professional development, and create a separate review for promotions and raises, even if the latter is held just a few days later.

During each review, use thoughtful communication thatll build the employee up, not tear him down. Performance evaluations shouldnt be all negative or all positive. Being overcritical will likely demotivate the employee, and yet theres almost always something that could be improved. Tactfully sharing positive attributes alongside the items that need work will help the conversation feel more balanced and ensure employees dont feel attacked.

Its also helpful to provide concrete examples for both achievements and areas of improvement. Share them throughout the review. Being able to cite specific instances of behavior to employees proves youve truly done your homework as a supervisor. This type of communication is much more effective than simply saying what your team member has done right or wrong. It shows youve been paying attention and gives your feedback more credibility.

Your company handbook should be clear about how your employee-review program works and whats expected of each team member regarding performance, attitude, attendance, sales and so on. It should explain:

Its important to lay out your entire program in the handbook and go over it with each new hire. Making this clear reduces fear and dread. It also helps protect you legally, which is why you should work with your legal counsel when developing policies relating to employee termination.

Look back on the goals you established for your employee-performance reviews. Ask yourself:

If your evaluations leave things worse than when you started, its time to change your process.

Employee-performance reviews arent there to weed out bad employees. Instead, theyre critical to determining wage increases, promotions, corrections and an overall sense of whats happening in your workforce. By providing regular reviews, youll treat your employees as what they really areyour most valuable assetand encourage and engage all of them.

Susan Haviland is the owner of Haviland Storage Services, which specializes in auditing, manager training, market studies and operational reviews. She has more than 32 years of industry experience, from serving as a site manager to acting as vice president of operations at Extra Space Storage Inc. and Price Self Storage. She's a frequent speaker at industry conferences and tradeshows. For more information, call 760.401.0297; visit

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Performing Successful Staff Evaluations in Self-Storage: Why and How - Inside Self-Storage

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June 22nd, 2020 at 2:45 pm

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Huge spike in ecommerce once COVID-19 hit – Which-50

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Australian ecommerce grew more than 80 per cent year on year (YOY) in the 8 weeks after the COVID-19 pandemic was declared by the World Health Organisation.

The figures are contained in a new report from Australia Post called Inside Australian Online Shopping 2020 eCommerce Industry Report.

According to report author Ben Franzi, General Manager, Parcel and Express Services Australia Post, Though its still too early to say how the industry will look post-pandemic, its clear this crisis has set a new baseline. We had predicted that by 2025 online shopping would account for 1618% of total retail spend, but the recent growth weve seen suggests the pandemic has brought this forward. Were anticipating that by the end of 2020, online spend will hold a 15 per cent share of the total retail market.

However while COVID-19 supercharged online sales, other data from the report suggests growth was already strong before the virus sent the population into lockdown.

For instance, the Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2019 sales was a record-breaker, according to the report up more than 31 per cent compared to 2018, with the authors noting, As shoppers become more accustomed to this event, so to do retailers and in 2019 this shopping festival spanned more of the industry than previous years.

The report benchmarked the 30 days from Black Friday onward against the Month of April and found that online purchases were up 7 per cent higher in April compared to the 30 days to 18 December 2019 which encompassed Black Friday and the Christmas rush.

For context, the authors also say that April is traditionally a quiet month for eCommerce, as shoppers recover from their Christmas profligacy.

The report says, This influx of purchasing in April 2020 brought the number of households shopping online for the month to a massive 5.2 million, an increase of 31 per cent when compared to the average in 2019. Consequently, online goods spend grew by 95 per cent year on year in the same month. This industry-wide shift has been as dramatic as it has been swift and will no doubt alter future buying behaviour. While the current acceleration were seeing may begin to steady, many of the changes weve seen are likely here to stay through the rest of 2020 and beyond.

As to what we were wasting our money on in between oom meetings and overeating, the report provides some interesting insights.


Wine and liquor has been a hot favourite for Australians during the pandemic, with online purchases peaking during March and April, and reaching highs of over 160 per cent YOY, say the authors.

Initially, however, shoppers were hunting for essential items Panic buying leading to stores rationing which meant customers shifted online to buy groceries, pharmaceuticals, hygiene items, alcohol, and toilet paper.

As government messaging on restrictions became clearer, understanding grew of what could and couldnt be obtained easily, leading to a more measured consumer approach towards buying essentials.

Overtime spending shifted to entertainment, self-improvement, DIY, comfortable and casual clothing.

Fashion demand softened initially, but soon rebounded recovering to single-digit growth rates before reaching highs of 100 YOY, as more active and leisurewear was purchased (or as buyers felt the impact of all those extra home-cooked meals on their expanding waistlines.

Media, which includes books and stationery, bounced around a bit as back to school and university sales were hit by the shutdown but improved as the year went on and everyone had finished watching reruns of Kolchak the Night Stalker, and the Tiger King (Carole definitely fed him to the Tigers, come on, youre all thinking it!) and people turned back to books.

Finally, the authors say Department store purchases also grew by whopping 400 per cent YOY over the Easter week, presumably because you are more likely to find a sales assistant lurking in your own home than on the shop floor of David Jones or Myers.

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Huge spike in ecommerce once COVID-19 hit - Which-50

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June 22nd, 2020 at 2:45 pm

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How to land a job at Elon Musk’s SpaceX, according to the rocket company’s software team – CNBC

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SpaceXsuccessfully launched two NASA astronautsinto orbit for the first time on May 30 and in doing so, CEO Elon Musk reached a milestone inhuman spaceflightandis one step closer to achievinghis Mars ambitions.

Six of the SpaceX software team members who helped "develop and deploy software that flew Dragon," aka the Crew Dragon capsule used to launch the astronauts,held a Reddit"Ask Me Anything" sessionon June 6.

"We are here to answer any questions you might have about Dragon, software and working at SpaceX," the team wrote on Reddit.

The job of each team member varied from managing software development for the Crew Dragon Demo-2 launch torunning flight software and cybersecurity and each shared a bit of advice on how to get a job at SpaceX.

Here are the team's best tips on getting a software job at SpaceX.

During the AMA, a Reddit user who identified as a high school student asked, "What can I do if I want to get a software job at SpaceX sometime in the future?"

"Get your CS [computer science] degree or something similar" to "really make sure you know how things work,"Jeff Dexter, who runs flight software and cybersecurity at SpaceX, said.

"[E]ngineers who do well at SpaceX are meticulous in their understanding of how their code works, how the network works, how Linux works, how the hardware works, etc.," he explained.

Plus, many of theopenengineeringandsoftware job listingsat SpaceXinclude a bachelor's degree or higher education as a basic requirement.

In addition to a degree, "get real world experience building things and solving hard problems, either through hobby projects or in internships (at SpaceX!)," Dexter advised.

For instance, SpaceX has "noticed particularly good crossover between video game development and what we do,"John Dietrick, leader of the software development effort for Demo-2, said on Reddit."There are a lot of similar math-heavy and performance-centric problems in the two spaces."

In fact, Musk has said his own love of video games inspired him to start programming when he was 12, hecoded a video game called "Blastar," which he latersold for $500to trade publication PC and Office Technology magazine.

While a degree or experience can help, neither is the end all, be all.

"Having different people with different backgrounds (education, experience, and culturally) is a big plus on the team," Matt Monson, who used to work on Dragon and now leads Starlink software, said. "Not much of the team, for example, comes from an aerospace background. Different points of view help us see problems from different angles, and that quite often helps us see solutions we wouldn't have otherwise seen."

When it comes down to it, "we're really looking for a couple things: talent (potential) and the right attitude (desire for self improvement, serving the team over being selfish)," Monson says. "These are more important than specific experience, and we expect to be investing in people to help them grow."

As Musk himself tweetedin February, in order to work at SpaceX, "A super hardcore work ethic, talent for building things, common sense & trustworthiness are required, the rest we can train."

Check out: The best credit cards of 2020 could earn you over $1,000 in 5 years

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How to land a job at Elon Musk's SpaceX, according to the rocket company's software team - CNBC

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June 22nd, 2020 at 2:45 pm

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Windrush Day: Journalist Josh Layton reflects on grandmother’s voyage – Coventry Telegraph

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Having borrowed everything she could to secure her passage, Myrtle Lewars set sail on June 15, 1955.

Efforts to improve her fortunes in Jamaica textbooks were her favourite reading and she could convert any currency mentally in less than a minute had offered no escape from the hardship that meant she had missed out on a formal education. A decent pair of shoes cost more than she could save in months.

Brought up in the rural parish of Clarendon or bush, as she called it Myrtle would move to Kingston and pin her hopes on England, the country she regarded as the motherland.

Two weeks before stepping aboard at the Port of Kingston holding a small suitcase, my maternal grandmother had chanted at dawn White rabbit, white rabbit, lucky white rabbit.

When the day came, she dressed impeccably, fixing a white rose to the lapel of her pressed suit jacket.

It had been shipped to the island in the precious consignments of imported goods known as the barrels.

An attractive young woman, Myrtle had once appeared in front of crowds to draw the sweepstake, with the moment captured on the front page of national newspaper, The Gleaner.

But like the waves of finely turned-out Jamaican migrants before and after her, she had staked everything on the land of The Queen, Vera Lynn and double-decker buses.

Myrtle would never again call Jamaica home.

She sailed from Kingston on the Ortega at 2.30pm, hoping that better must come in the promised land.

Sixty-five years on from that voyage, the Windrush Generation Caribbean migrants who arrived in the UK between 1948 and 1971 are still campaigning for redress after being wrongly targeted by the Home Offices hostile environment immigration policies.

A petition signed by 131,000 people was delivered to Downing Street on Friday (June 19), calling on the Government to act on the findings of a review into the scandal.

The ongoing campaign follows protests about the treatment of British citizens who have been detained, denied healthcare and threatened with deportation. While the Government has repeatedly apologised to the victims, the issue remains in the backdrop of celebrations to mark 72 years since the MV Empire Windrush first arrived with the prospective workforce in Tilbury Docks.

A sense of betrayal remains at the Home Offices treatment of some of its most dutiful subjects, who were wrongly told to leave the country they had spent decades investing in, and helped rebuild, after the war.

As MP David Lammy has forcefully stated in Parliament, the relationship between the Caribbean and UK is inextricable. But a wider debt of gratitude must be given to the Jamaican community, for the boundless energy and creativity that has helped shape the West Midlands.

Paulette Wilson was among those who marched on No10 and has helped to organise the second national Windrush Day as a member of the event's advisory panel.

She said: "We are living in extraordinary times, but the commitment and effort shown by community groups around the country to adapt and adjust their plans to ensure Windrush Day 2020 is acknowledged and celebrated is both inspiring and heart-warming.

"It clearly demonstrates the depth of feeling that exists for the Windrush Generation and their descendants and all they have contributed and continue to contribute to British society and thats to say nothing of the great resilience and fortitude they showed.

"With each passing year, Windrush Day becomes more firmly embedded in the national consciousness. It might not be a Windrush Day like we saw last year, but it will remain a Windrush Day honoured by a community fiercely proud of their heritage, and a day that provides an opportunity for us all to celebrate our shared culture and heritage."

Its only been in recent years that I have taken stock of my late grandmothers journey, feeling humbled as I examine a family anthology detailing her life. Jamaican accents are thin on the ground in Coventry and Warwickshire now, at least in comparison to years gone by.

While this is partly due to the migrants success in assimilating into British culture, a lasting foothold is still needed far beyond the Governments long-overdue back-pedalling.

While the Windrush Day anniversary does include funding for community projects in the West Midlands, the region is crying out for a yearly festival that shares not just Jamaican culture but recognises the way it has fused with British life and traditions over the years.

The exuberant Independence Day scenes that held sway in Birmingham in 2018 are an example of how the Jamaican community, a loose term encompassing many English born-and-bred people of all colours, could contribute towards a major yearly festival in the region.

The Windrush Generation's legacy, and that of the Irish, Indian and other overseas migrants who arrived in Britain at the time, should also be realised amid the relentless development, with the dull grey steel and towers of scaffolding, that swaddles much of the West Midlands.

One milestone has been reached in that June 22 the day the former German naval vessel first disembarked its prospective workforce is officially recognised as Windrush Day.

I believe there is more to do, including putting the subject on the National Curriculum in secondary schools.

One thing I am sure of is that my grandmother would have encouraged all students, from all backgrounds, to make the most of every tool, opportunity and crumb of education at their disposal.

After arriving in South London, Myrtle struggled to settle in her adopted country.

Despite her mental skills, application and willingness for hard work and self-improvement, assimilation into a cold and often hostile world was far from easy.

Life began in the smallest rented room in a Brixton tenement, with any money left over from day-to-day survival sent back to a long list of people in Jamaica. But later generations of her family would step onto the groundstones she had laid for their education and career prospects.

We owe these pioneers a lasting debt of gratitude.

Windrush Day: Journalist Josh Layton reflects on grandmother's voyage - Coventry Telegraph

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June 22nd, 2020 at 2:44 pm

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Today in History: Today is Friday, June 19, the 171st day of 2020. –

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By The Associated Press

Todays Highlight in History:

On June 19, 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was approved by the U.S. Senate, 73-27, after surviving a lengthy filibuster.

On this date:

In 1775, George Washington was commissioned by the Continental Congress as commander in chief of the Continental Army.

In 1865, Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War was over, and that all remaining slaves in Texas were free an event celebrated to this day as Juneteenth.

In 1938, four dozen people were killed when a railroad bridge in Montana collapsed, sending a train known as the Olympian hurtling into Custer Creek.

In 1944, during World War II, the two-day Battle of the Philippine Sea began, resulting in a decisive victory for the Americans over the Japanese.

In 1945, millions of New Yorkers turned out to cheer Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was honored with a parade.

In 1952, the U.S. Army Special Forces, the elite unit of fighters known as the Green Berets, was established at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The celebrity-panel game show Ive Got A Secret debuted on CBS-TV.

In 1953, Julius Rosenberg, 35, and his wife, Ethel, 37, convicted of conspiring to pass U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviet Union, were executed at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York.

In 1975, former Chicago organized crime boss Sam Giancana was shot to death in the basement of his home in Oak Park, Illinois; the killing has never been solved.

In 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law requiring any public school teaching the theory of evolution to teach creation science as well.

In 2006, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned North Korea it would face consequences if it test-fired a missile thought to be powerful enough to reach the West Coast of the United States.

In 2009, Texas billionaire R. Allen Stanford was indicted and jailed on charges his international banking empire was really just a Ponzi scheme built on lies, bluster and bribery. (Stanford was sentenced to 110 years in prison after being convicted of bilking investors in a $7.2 billion scheme that involved the sale of fraudulent certificates of deposits.)

In 2013, actor James Gandolfini, 51, died while vacationing in Rome.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama used his weekly radio and Internet address to pin blame on Republicans for making life harder for the unemployed and for those who could lose their jobs without new federal intervention. Former NBA player Manute Bol, 47, died in Charlottesville, Virginia, after returning from a humanitarian trip to his birth country of Sudan.

Five years ago: The Obama administration released its annual terrorism report, which said Irans support for international terrorist groups had remained undiminished in the last year and even expanded in some respects. Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees homered for his 3,000th career hit, becoming the 29th player in major league history to reach that milestone. (The Yankees beat the Detroit Tigers 7-2.) Author James Salter, 90, died in Sag Harbor, New York.

One year ago: The Trump administration ordered a sweeping about-face on Obama-era efforts to fight climate change, easing restrictions on coal-fired power plants. In a daylong interview with the House Judiciary Committee, former top White House adviser Hope Hicks refused to answer questions related to her time in the White House. Mexicos Senate voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new free trade agreement with the United States and Canada. (President Donald Trump signed the trade deal into law in January 2020.) Keith Raniere, the guru of a cult-like self-improvement group that attracted heiresses and Hollywood actress, was convicted in New York of turning his female devotees into his sex slaves.

Todays Birthdays: Pop singer Tommy DeVito (The Four Seasons) is 92. Actress Gena (JEH-nuh) Rowlands is 90. Hall of Fame race car driver Shirley Muldowney is 80. Singer Elaine Spanky McFarlane (Spanky and Our Gang) is 78. Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi (soo chee) is 75. Author Sir Salman Rushdie is 73. Actress Phylicia Rashad is 72.

Rock singer Ann Wilson (Heart) is 70. Musician Larry Dunn is 67. Actress Kathleen Turner is 66. Country singer Doug Stone is 64. Singer Mark DeBarge is 61. Singer-dancer-choreographer Paula Abdul is 58. Actor Andy Lauer is 57. Rock singer-musician Brian Vander Ark (Verve Pipe) is 56. Actor Samuel West is 54. Actress Mia Sara is 53. TV personality Lara Spencer is 51. Rock musician Brian Head Welch is 50. Actor Jean Dujardin is 48. Actress Robin Tunney is 48. Actor Bumper Robinson is 46. Actress Poppy Montgomery is 45. Alt-country singer-musician Scott Avett (AY-veht) (The Avett Brothers) is 44. Actor Ryan Hurst is 44. Actress Zoe Saldana is 42. Former NBA star Dirk Nowitzki is 42. Actor Neil Brown Jr. is 40. Actress Lauren Lee Smith is 40. Rapper Macklemore (Macklemore and Ryan Lewis) is 38. Actor Paul Dano is 36. New York Mets pitcher Jacob DeGrom is 32. Actor Giacomo Gianniotti is 31. Actor Chuku Modu (TV: The Good Doctor) is 30. Actor Atticus Shaffer is 22.

Thought for Today: Exuberance is better than taste. Gustave Flaubert, French author (1821-1880).

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Today in History: Today is Friday, June 19, the 171st day of 2020. -

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June 22nd, 2020 at 2:44 pm

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To White People Who Want to Be One of the Good Ones – The New York Times

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Maybe, just maybe, this work I need to do, this learning and unlearning, is not all about me. As a white woman in America, its second nature for me to center myself in the discourse, but also to vanish from it when its convenient. So permit me, please, to make this work of undoing my complicity in white supremacy in the name of racial justice all about me, you and literally everybody else.

First up, I disagree that this is in fact work. Work is chores, and chores get done. Mopping the floor, watching The Help, getting a root canal; those are chores that thankfully all come to an end. When youre white, understanding racism and anti-blackness is not a root canal, its not a one-time-only, pay-your-money, drill-the-rot-out-and-get-through-it type of experience. This is a lifelong project we get to approach with grace and curiosity and the full understanding that it will be difficult at times and beautiful at times and any chance we have to take part in it is frankly rather stunning.

In a culture fixated on self-improvement, perhaps you could think about rescinding your power as a kind of barre class for your moral compass. In the beginning it will be difficult on those tiny, rarely used muscles, but boy will you be aligned after some years of daily practice.

I hope you dont, though. I hope you understand that grappling with this countrys brutal past and imagining a future that is fair is not something you are expected to do alone. Youre simply one drop in a new wave, a wave that slips easily into an ocean of people, deep and permanent, who have long been eroding the cliffs of white supremacy.

I hope this comes as a relief to you, as it did to me. There is great solace in putting aside the fallacy that youre entitled to a starring role in this story. When you jump from the brittle scaffold built by violence and go tumbling into the tide, youll see that its easy. Youll find leaders and peers there, all around you. You wont worry then about messing up or getting lost; youll know at once where youre needed. Much of the time that will be behind these leaders and peers, often beside them, or when faced with danger, youll be in front of them, bashing into the cliffs yourself so they can float and sparkle and enjoy the world away from the fight.

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To White People Who Want to Be One of the Good Ones - The New York Times

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June 22nd, 2020 at 2:44 pm

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Detecting pesticide residues in fruit and vegetables with smartphone pics –

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With the improvement of living standards, people's demand for food has grown from being full to eating well and safely. For fruits, vegetables, and tea leaves, some people will worry about pesticide residues on them, but in the near future, the ability to self-check pesticide residues at home will become a reality.

On June 8, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) announced that the team of Wang Jing of the Institute of Agricultural Quality Standards and Testing Technology of the Academy, after years of research and development, have achieved new breakthroughs in the rapid detection of agricultural pollutants. Taking pictures through WeChat can complete the detection of multiple chemical pesticide residues in 5 minutes, and the detection results are directly displayed on the mobile phone.

Normally, pesticide residue testing is done by professionals in the laboratory, the testing equipment is expensive, and the testing results usually take one to two days to be issued. However, this higher-cost detection method is not suitable for the needs of rapid detection on the spot.

Professor Wang Jing of the Institute of Quality and Standards of CAAS said that after harvesting many fresh agricultural products, it is difficult to wait for the test results to come out and then go to market. In many cases, "the relevant agricultural products have already been consumed" before the test results come out. Therefore, from government departments to enterprises and consumers, there is an urgent need to quickly and accurately detect pesticide residues.

First of all, the government can use these rapid testing technologies and products in the process of market supervision. Especially in the field of commodity circulation, some quick means are needed to inspect these fresh agricultural products on-site. If rapid screening reveals pesticide residues, they can then be sent to the laboratory for further confirmation.

Second, production bases and large companies must have a check before entering the market, and they also need such self-examination.

In addition, consumers are also concerned about the safety of eating these vegetables and fruits, so consumers also have a need for self-inspection.

After years of research, Wang Jing's team has developed a detection technology for pesticide residues, which is suitable for rapid screening by government supervisors, self-checks by producers and by consumers for home use. Just buy a test package containing test strips and a small tray, take pictures through the WeChat mini-program, and the test can be completed in 5 minutes.

At present, the team has developed colloidal gold rapid detection test strips for pesticides such as imidacloprid, carbofuran, tebuconazole, acetamiprid, procymidone, chlorpyrifos, carbendazim.

According to Wang Jing, if all the ready-made test strips on the market are standardized in the future and mounted on this platform, contaminants, viruses, and pathogens can be detected through this platform. In her opinion, if COVID-19 test strips, as well as a series of developed test strips such as influenza A and influenza B, are mounted on this, then they can all be tested at the same time.


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June 22nd, 2020 at 2:44 pm

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What Is Your Purpose as a Father? – Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley

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Sooner or later, our kids will make us suffer. When theyre babies, their crying keeps us up at night. Later, their teenage shenanigans might rob us of more sleep. Some of us stay at jobs we hate so that our kids will never have to wonder where their next meal will come from. We can battle with our co-parents over issues like housework and discipline, testing love we might have once thought would last forever.

These stresses and sacrifices can be painful, but studies are finding one thing that can help us to weather them: a sense of purpose. That is to say, our long-term, meaningful goals as fathers.

A sense of purpose shapes day-to-day goals and behavior. Seeing a destination on the horizon helps us to lift our eyes over the dirty dishes and temper tantrums, to a future that is better than the present. Purpose makes that pile of dishes matter. It reminds us that we matter, if only to our kids. Purpose keeps us at home with them when we wish we were elsewhere.

Meet the Greater Good Toolkit

From the GGSC to your bookshelf: 30 science-backed tools for well-being.

While purposes can vary, recent studies suggest that just having one is good for you and your family. So, what does purpose look like in a fathers life? How can you find your purpose as a father? These are existential questions that every man must answer for himself. But research does provide some insights to help us understand ourselves betterand see the fathers we want to become.

The chances are good that your purpose is different from the one held by your own father and grandfathers. Scholars say that fathers of previous generations saw their purpose as financially supporting their families and providing discipline to their children. Some saw themselves as leaders and role models for their families, especially when it came to religious instruction. Inherent in these missions is a sense of authority, which could sometimes become authoritarianismthe enforcement of strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom, as the dictionary says.

As a group, todays fathers see their role somewhat differently.

For more than a century, the number of women in the workforce has steadily increased. Today, there are roughly as many women as men working for paythough men still tend to make considerably more money than their female coworkers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What does this have to do with purpose? As women made more money, mens participation at home started climbing. Todays dads are spending much more time with their children than did their fathers. Moreover, the United States has become increasingly diverse. Immigrants have brought new conceptions of fatherhood to America. Fathers of color face challenges that are shaping their sense of purpose.

As a result of these developments, many fathers today add nurturing to their purpose, along with providing. In a discussion I hosted on my Facebook wall, a number of dads said their purpose was to be better than their fathersand to raise kids who would be better than them. What they meant by this, more often than not, was to be physically and emotionally present in the lives of their children.

I lost my dad a few months ago, said Jason Avant, a dad in California. Nowadays I find myself looking through the lens of my childhood, and I do my best to be everything he was, and everything he wasnt. San Francisco writer Andrew O. Dugas, one of those who defines his purpose as to be a better father than mine was, says: My son turned out better than I did. Stronger. Tougher. Kinder. Smarter. Wiser.

For many men, raising kids means that they need to make self-improvement and self-care part of their purpose. After the birth, It was no longer acceptable for me to simply go through the motions, said Blake Overbay, a sergeant with the Massachusetts Army National Guard. I had to outwardly demonstrate that I was working to better myself. Like deliberate and exaggerated movements to warm-up before a workout.

In fact, a new study links a strong sense of purpose to healthier behaviors. Boston College psychologist James R. Mahalik and his colleagues surveyed over 200 men (mostly white, employed, heterosexual, and married) about their sense of purpose and health behaviors like eating right or exercising, and then analyzed how those factors interacted.

Our results suggest that when men who are fathers experience greater purpose, they lead healthier lives, write the authors. It would be logical to presume that they do so to promote outcomes such as improving their health to make a difference in their childrens lives.

This finding adds to a rising number of studies that show that more purposeful people are happier, have better health and cognitive functioning, and live longer.

From an evolutionary perspective, it makes sense that purpose might lengthen lifeand that the purpose that comes with fatherhood might drive healthier behaviors that could be taken up by our kids. After all, evolution involves passing on our genes. Our offspring have a better chance of growing old enough to have their own children if we stick by their side to make sure they stay healthy and strong. A sense of purpose is a tool evolution put into the hands of fathers, to remind us to do that.

In the Facebook discussion I hosted, many fathers mentioned how a sense of crisisthe pandemic, police brutality, and economic turmoilis affecting or clarifying their sense of purpose.

For Berkeley, California, writer Shawn Taylor and his daughter, My primary purpose is to prepare her for the racist and sexist bullshit shell encounter, without robbing her of her sense of wonder and joy.

As the author Ta-Nehisi Coates once told me, in an interview for my book, The Daddy Shift: I just thought, it was the ultimate service to black people if I can be a great father. It was almost a nationalist, Afrocentric way of seeing it. For San Francisco attorney David Pai, watching younger generations rise up has energized his sense of purpose:

Their inherent curiosity, empathy, and general goodness makes me believe that, while I may not see it in my lifetime, I can certainly help lay the foundation for my daughters generation to build a more sustainable and equitable world. So that means being very intentional and self-aware in my thoughts and actions (avoiding cynicism is my challenge), not just around her, but touching upon nearly everything I do. Or, in a nutshell, trying hard not to pass on negativity, even in the end times.

A sense of crisis hasnt fundamentally changed the paternal purpose of Scott Behson, a professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University and author of The Working Dads Survival Guide. However, the #metoo and Black Lives Matter movements have led him to redouble his efforts to make sure that he is a good man to women and a good ally to people of color.

COVID-19 has powerfully affected how writer and Dads4Change founder Whit Honea sees his purpose. The global pandemic has provided many more examples of right, wrong, empathy, kindness, ignorance, sacrifice, and all the isms. The lesson plan changes by the headline. Right now, he said:

History isnt only being told, but fought, lived, and written. It has made my boys realize that their previous, comfortable view of the world was framed in window treatments and could benefit from a brick or two. Granted, these are the lessons my wife and I have been teaching our boys all along, but the reality of the moment is that they are now paying more attention. They are finding their voice and amplifying others. Their masks cant muffle the message and they dont hide anything. Well yell again tomorrow.

John Anner has three grown daughtersand he has found that raising them has changed his sense of purpose in life. Today, he is the business development director for a nonprofit called Women for Women International.

I long ago landed on my two central valuesgenerosity, and care for women. So, my purpose, as I age, is to focus intently on those two things, building off the things my daughters have taught me. Women in general, and Black women in particular, have labored for too long for no recognition and no pay. The world is built on their uncompensated and unacknowledged labor. So now is a great time for old white guys like me to do the workfor freeand make sure women get paid.

Oakland author and illustrator Innosanto Nagara sees his purpose as going beyond the selfa quality inherent in the scientific definition of purpose, which includes goals that are not just meaningful to us but make a difference in the world. Nagara sees his mission as creating the space for his son to explore, challenge himself, and push his limits, take risks, fail, and succeed but not incur/cause irreparable damage/trauma in the process.

For Nagara, this goes back to the basic Khalil Gibran idea that our children are not our children. They are the children of lifes longing for itself. They are with us but dont belong to us. Their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which we cannot visit, not even in our dreams.

There are almost no recent scientific studies of how fathers develop a sense of purpose. However, researchers are starting to understand the factors that shape our purposes across our lifespans, providing insights that can help fathers to find their purpose. Here are some of the pathways you might take to explore your own purpose.

1. Read books and watch movies

There are countless novels, comic books, movies, and TV shows that thoughtfully portray fathers, as well as nonfiction books and articles on the history and meaning of fatherhood. When I was becoming a father, I found particular inspiration in Michael Chabons novels, the short stories of Alice Munro, the graphic-novel series Starman, movies like The Pursuit of Happyness, daddy blogs, and books by feminist scholars like Stephanie Coontz and Arlie Hochschild.

The stories that inspired me may not inspire you. Perhaps youll look more to religious texts, or even to the stories of sports stars. The important thing is the search for inspiration. Seeing the purposes of other fathers, both real and imagined, can help you to see your own.

2. Talk to your co-parents, friends, and family

While purpose is a very personal thing, it often emerges from our connections to other people.

Its important to thoughtfully, intentionally sit down with your co-parent and talk explicitly about what shapes your idea of a good father and what your goals areand to listen to what the other parent has to say. It was incredibly meaningful for me to interview my grandfather and father for my book, The Daddy Shift, because in my family, we never discussed fatherhood. You can talk to the fathers in your own family right now.

If your kids are young, think about joining a neighborhood group for moms and dadsand then, later, volunteering at school. All of these conversations will help inform and sustain your purpose as a father.

3. Look to your hurtsand turn them into healing

Many men have described to me feeling hurt by their own fathers. Sometimes, the pain came from physical punishment. More often, its emotional, arising from absence or verbal abuse. As we saw in my Facebook discussion, men do turn this pain into a purpose to be better than their own fathers. Other fathers described being hurt by racism or some other form of collective discriminationand so are raising their children to fight back against injustice.

Youll incur hurts as a parent, too, when you feel overwhelmed or heartbroken. Instead of beating up on yourself, you can ask yourself what that pain means and how you can do better next time. Your purpose as a father never stops evolving, because we learn something new (about ourselves and others) at every stage of our childs life.

4. Move toward joy and meaning

Theres more to purpose than pain, of course. Many fathers describe their purpose as raising happy kids, and so they try to be happy themselves. I want my kids to be happy and to put good into the world, to do the right thing rather than the easy one, says Honea. My purpose is to model that, sometimes (often) fail, and let them see me learn from it.

In his book The Path to Purpose, Stanford psychologist William Damon argues that purpose happens when our skills meet the needs of the world. While that idea doesnt precisely translate into parenting, its always the case that were better at some aspects of parenting than others. When you play with your kids, you shouldnt always just do the things they enjoy; its important to do the things you like to do, too. If youre good at baseball, see if theyll play ball with you. If its Star Wars you love, watch the movies over and over with your kids, and talk about the messages the movies impart.

We constantly inject joy into our lives, said Taylor. We dress up, we play, we talk about what make us happy and ask what makes each other happy. Hes on the right track: There is a great deal of research suggesting that fostering positive emotionslike happiness and gratitudecan lead us to a sense of purpose.

That can be difficult to do in the face of disease and quarantine, violence and protest, unemployment and uncertainty. But making the pursuit of positive emotions a part of your purpose as a father can help your family to navigate the multiple, interlocking crises that we are facing. Confronting those crises provides us with a sense of purpose, too. Thats why I go with my son to Black Lives Matter protests, and why I talk with him about the work Im doing at home, in quarantine, for the Greater Good Science Center. In this way, I teach my son to have a sense of purposeand so open the door to its benefits for him.

The gift of having a sense of purpose is that it reminds us of the future we want for our children, and it shows us how we can work toward that future today.

This article is part of a GGSC initiative on Finding Purpose Across the Lifespan, supported by the John Templeton Foundation. In a series of articles, podcast episodes, and other resources, well be exploring why and how to deepen your sense of purpose at different stages of life.

What Is Your Purpose as a Father? - Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley

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June 22nd, 2020 at 2:44 pm

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IMS Launches Industry-First, Claims-Focused Telematics Solution, IMS Connected Claims, to Drive Loss Ratio Improvement for Insurers – GlobeNewswire

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June 22, 2020 06:55 ET | Source: IMS


Utilizing IMS' new Wedge telematics sensor to transmit data via the policyholders smartphone, the IMS Connected Claims solution can be deployed for as little as $1 per policy, per month with the opportunity for a near-term 3x return on investment (ROI) via claims cost reduction.

Most insurers believe that the benefits of telematics data are limited to UBI programs, but this no longer has to be the case, said Ed Rochfort, Chief Product Officer for IMS. IMS Connected Claims solution is a claims-focused telematics offering, allowing any insurer, with or without an existing UBI program, to distribute a low-cost connectivity solution to policyholders. It offers reliable collision notications, but more importantly, it gives a clear picture of the circumstances of a collision, enabling faster settlement of liability claims and reductions in claims handling shelf-life. Its a win-win set of outcomes for insurers and policyholders alike.

Boston, MA and Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, June 22, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- IMS (Insurance & Mobility Solutions), part of Trak Global Group (TGG) and one of the worlds top three providers of connected car data solutions to insurers, mobility operators, OEMs and governments, is pleased to announce the availability of the new IMS Connected Claims telematics solution.

The IMS Connected Claims solution combines the powerful data-gathering capabilities of IMS new, patent-pending Wedge telematics sensor while leveraging TGG sister company Carrot Insurances decade of experience in partnering with insurers to deliver loss ratio reductions and better claims outcomes for policyholders. As the industrys first claims-focused telematics solution, IMS Connected Claims can be introduced to an insurers existing claims operation without the requirement for complex, costly systems integrations and with minimal disruption. Additionally, IMS Connected Claims can uniquely be a standalone solution, rather than having to be a component of a usage-based insurance (UBI) program.

Most insurers believe that the benefits of telematics data are limited to UBI programs, but this no longer has to be the case, said Ed Rochfort, Chief Product Officer for IMS. IMS Connected Claims solution is a claims-focused telematics offering, allowing any insurer, with or without an existing UBI program, to distribute a low-cost connectivity solution to policyholders. It offers reliable collision notications, but more importantly, it gives a clear picture of the circumstances of a collision, enabling faster settlement of liability claims and reductions in claims handling shelf-life. Its a win-win set of outcomes for insurers and policyholders alike.

Utilizing the self-install, self-powered Wedge telematics sensor to transmit data via the policyholders smartphone, the IMS Connected Claims solution can be deployed for as little as $1 per policy, per month with the opportunity for a near-term 3x return on investment (ROI) via claims cost reduction.

We can point to existing insurance customers where weve helped them gain eight points of combined operating ratio improvement purely from the use of telematics data in claims, said Rochfort.

Insurers can build out from the IMS Connected Claims solution and add modular, configurable capabilities leveraging the wider IMS DriveSync technology platform from a rewards and messaging system that drives customer engagement to the creation of a full-blown UBI proposition, such as a Pay-as-You-Drive program.

While most insurance executives recognize the opportunity to digitally transform the claims process, the potential for operational disruption has traditionally made it a daunting shift to initiate. As a result, most insurers and technology vendors have concentrated on single pinch points, such as First Notice of Loss (FNOL), as the focus for claims transformation. However, insurers can achieve greater results by concentrating on areas of greatest cost savings and benefit using telematics data alongside existing systems and processes - such as the use of data to facilitate quicker, more accurate liability decisions and to make determinations on the likelihood of bodily injury. IMS helps insurers achieve maximum benefit by working in partnership with insurers with experienced claims professionals who guide the implementation path to reduce claims operation impact and ensure solution ROI.

We recognize that digital claims transformation has to go beyond just standing up a technology solution its about knowing how and where in the value chain that data can be used to unlock meaningful benefits, said Nick Street, VP of Connected Claims at IMS. Thats why weve created what we describe as Claims as a Service (CaaS) professional services as an additional claims solution component for our customers. CaaS encompasses implementation planning, process management, claims team training, and ongoing case-by-case support to help an insurer quickly get on the path to ROI. IMS is more than just a tech provider. We function as a true business partner that has a track record in delivering real-world results.

For insurers seeking additional details, register for free to attend the IMS claims technology presentation during the Connected Claims USA Tech Spotlight on June 24 at 2:15 PM ET at:

Additionally, insurers can download the IMS Claims ROI whitepaper, or review Wedge product details at

# # #

About IMS (Insurance & Mobility Solutions)

IMS is a leading connected car solutions provider delivering services and analytics to insurers, governments, automotive OEMs and mobility operators. IMS is the developer of the cloud-based DriveSync connected car platform which has received industry acclaim for its ability to offer customers a data source-agnostic, multi-device strategy for service provision versus a single focused technology approach. IMS is part of Trak Global Group, an international connected solutions provider with technology deployed in over a dozen territories, and its own in-house telematics insurance business, Carrot Insurance. For more information, visit

About Carrot Insurance

Carrot Insurance, part of Trak Global Group, is a UK-based, award-winning, telematics insurance business. In 2015, Carrot received the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award for its work in reducing driver accident frequency, and launched Better Driver, one of the first app-based connected auto insurance products in the world. Carrot offers both hardware and app-based solutions to its policyholders, and has won multiple awards, including Claims Partner of the Year in 2017 and Best Consumer App at the Insurance Times Tech & Innovation Awards in October 2019. For more information,

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IMS Launches Industry-First, Claims-Focused Telematics Solution, IMS Connected Claims, to Drive Loss Ratio Improvement for Insurers - GlobeNewswire

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June 22nd, 2020 at 2:44 pm

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Summer Solstice rituals that you can perform to celebrate the longest day of the year – Republic World – Republic World

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This year, the Summer Solstice in Indiawill fall on June 21, 2020.The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year, as well as the shortest night of the year. For many, it is also a day of religious and spiritual significance. Some people consider the Summer Solstice to be atime of self-reflectionand personal growth. This day is atime of renewal, love, self-improvement, and spiritual thinking.

The Summer Solstice is highly significant for hundreds of cultures and religions all over the globe. From the Ancient Egyptians to the Far East, most cultures in the world have rituals and religious beliefs related to theSummer Solstice. Here are some culturally significant Summer Solstice rituals that are celebrated each year.

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The Summer Solstice will start at3:13 am (Indian Standard Time) on Sunday, June 21. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may not be able to perform some of these rituals that require groups of people. However, you can still enjoy the longest day of the year with your friends and family online.

Also Read |Summer Solstice Quotes To Share With Friends, Family, And Loved Ones

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Summer Solstice rituals that you can perform to celebrate the longest day of the year - Republic World - Republic World

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June 22nd, 2020 at 2:44 pm

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