Students overestimate salaries

first_imgA study conducted on 3,000 students at universities across the country has revealed that they had expectations of earning 10% more than the average graduate wage, estimated at £16,450.The most unrealistic expectations came from first-year students and linguists in particular. In some cases starting wages were overestimated by over 3,000. Finalists had more pessimist views on salaries and in many cases estimates fell below the average.John Jerrim, a PhD student at the University of Southampton carried out the study and presented his results to the Royal Economic Society’s annual conference.His findings have left him eager to encourage people to decide on a university and a course only after they have spent enough time investigating the job market.He said, “It is vital that students thoroughly research their future employment prospects when going to university, so they can make informed choices about the subject they study and institution they attend.”He voiced his fears that students were totally adrift of likely graduate wages commenting, “Some young adults enter university with unrealistic ambitions about future income levels. Simply having a degree does not guarantee a graduate job and a silver-plated salary.”Jonathan Black, the director of the Careers Service at the University of Oxford told Cherwell, “average starting salary for the graduation year of 2008 has risen by 6.5%, which in itself is a 6.5% rise on the year before.”Class of 2009 at Oxford can expect earnings of £25,500. However, only 33% of finalists are expected to join the graduate job market at the end of their students.Jonathan Black believes that the 90% employment rate for Oxford graduates is proof that “most graduates are content with the pay packages they are receiving upon leaving the university.”The number of Oxford students going into research has seen a rise in the last two years. Although many have seen this as a reaction to the current financial climate, Black was eager to highlight that we should not be too hasty in exaggerating the crisis as far as Oxford is concerned.He commented, “One of the first places where recruiters look is still Oxford. It is not all doom and gloom for people graduating at the moment.”Secondary education is the field where the largest proportion of students is going to for jobs. Social Sciences is the division which offers the prospect of the highest average starting salary, at 28,000.Students of humanities have the lowest average starting salary to look forward to, at 7,000. However, for all divisions at the University of Oxford the average starting salary has grown in the last few years.last_img read more

Ambitious undertaking

first_imgThe United States plans to cut its conventional fossil fuel use from about 80 percent of the energy consumed now to just 20 percent by 2050, an ambitious undertaking that requires immediate shifts to be achieved, according to a key U.S. energy official.Kristina Johnson, undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), said an array of measures will be needed to achieve that goal, including conservation and new technologies, such as carbon capture and storage, which would make conventional fossil fuel sources cleaner. But if technology is to help solve the climate conundrum, the process of turning new discoveries into usable products has to be accelerated, since it now can take decades to go from the lab to the market, Johnson said.Johnson spoke Tuesday (April 13) at the Graduate School of Design’s Gund Hall as part of the Harvard University Center for the Environment’s (HUCE) “Future of Energy” lecture series. Her talk, “The Role of Innovation in Solving America’s Energy and Environmental Challenges,” was introduced by HUCE Director Daniel Schrag, who said Johnson is part of an “amazing cohort” of educated leaders brought into the government to deal with energy issues. Before joining the DOE, Johnson, who has a doctorate in electrical engineering from Stanford University, was provost at The Johns Hopkins University.Johnson said the DOE’s energy goals can be summed up rather simply: Put people back to work, get them back to school, and save the planet. Turning innovation in the energy sector into jobs is important, she said, as is ensuring that students graduating from U.S. schools have the skills needed for the energy sector. Saving the planet is part and parcel of the reduction in fossil fuel use needed to fight climate change.Johnson said that switching the transportation sector from fossil fuels is a bigger challenge than reducing such fuels in the electricity sector. The biggest challenge, however, is time. There is little of it if the world is to keep global temperature change to an average of 2 degrees Celsius above 1990 levels. Doing nothing and passing the problem on to our children would be like “rolling up the window of a car on a hot summer day with our children trapped inside.”Americans also have competition for supremacy of the emerging clean energy industry, she said, since China is moving rapidly toward generating renewable energy, investing as much as $12.6 million on clean energy every hour.The United States emits about 6 gigatons of carbon into the atmosphere each year. If no systemic changes are made, she said, that number will mushroom to 8 gigatons annually by 2050. The goal is to get it below 2 gigatons, she said. Energy efficiency could make a significant dent in that number, but alone could only keep it roughly at today’s level. A suite of changes, including increased use of biofuels, more nuclear power, carbon capture, sequestration technology (which keeps carbon dioxide generated by fossil fuel burning plants from the atmosphere), renewable energy sources, and other options will be needed to meet the goal.The DOE has several programs to foster innovation in solar, wind, geothermal, and other energy sources.The United States, she said, has a long history of world-changing innovation, from the model T car to the transistor. The DOE is working not only to foster innovation in the lab, but to speed its transition through the long process of reaching the marketplace.“We have an urgency to invent or discover anything that possibly can help us now,” Johnson said. “We need to create a technologically savvy culture where everyone understands how we use energy.”last_img read more

Valued Veggies.

first_img Some crops store well in a cool, dry place, such as a basement. These include potatoes, onions, winter squash, watermelons, pumpkins, dry beans and cushaw pumpkins (sometimes called crookneck squash). Some Require Refrigeration When you’re growing a vegetable to display in a fair or other special occasion, timing the crop for proper maturity is critical, says a University of Georgia expert. “Many vegetable crops don’t last long in the display, especially in hot weather,” says Wayne McLaurin, an Extension Service horticulturist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. For crops that will mature ahead of time, McLaurin says, pick them slightly immature. And put them in good storage until a day or two before the show. Then take them out to let them ripen.center_img The rest require some refrigeration and/or moisture to keep them in good condition. Right after harvest, clean these and refrigerate them. Those with a naturally waxy or corky skin, McLaurin says, may be refrigerated dry. These include tomato, pepper, cucumber and cantaloupe. Store many root crops and leafy vegetables, he says, in loose plastic bags. Or sprinkle them daily with fresh water and keep them in the refrigerator vegetable crisper. Such crops would include green beans, carrots, beets, sweet corn, cabbage or other leafy vegetables.last_img read more

NEMRC, FEMA and the Vermont State Auditor’s Office to provide informational seminars on accounting for FEMA

first_imgState Auditor Tom Salmon, CPA, and the New England Municipal Resource Center (NEMRC) have joined together to provide informational seminars for municipal officials regarding the accounting procedures required by FEMA and how to prepare for a FEMA audit. Also participating are Larry Arnold, FEMA’s DHS OIG manager, and CPA Fred Duplessis of Sullivan Powers Co. in Montpelier. According to NEMRC President Ernie Saunders these training sessions will help indentify best practices, proper documentation and procurement, and optimal reimbursements. ‘These seminars are designed to help define the expectations and pitfalls that may occur during the coming months and how we can plan and work together to make the best of a bad situation,’ Saunders said.  Salmon agreed saying, ‘It is critically important that we have a good process over the next two years to ensure towns do things right to optimize reimbursement. We don’t want to find out later that a federal audit disallows project costs.’ The two free seminars will be held on Thursday October 13 at the Holiday Inn in Rutland and Friday, October 14 at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee. Refreshments will be served.last_img read more

On the Blogs: Long Odds on Coal Industry’s Hopes for Carbon Capture and Storage

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Gary Ellem for The Conversation:One of the great hopes of the industry is carbon capture and storage (CCS), a way to burn coal, remove the carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions and store it safely away from the atmosphere. While there have been several breakthroughs, the technology remains expensive.Advances in energy technologies mean that adding CCS doesn’t just need to work; it needs to work at a lower cost than its growing legion of competitors. And while the alternatives are good news for avoiding dangerous climate change, it’s a substantial challenge for the coal industry.One of the great hopes of the industry is carbon capture and storage (CCS), a way to burn coal, remove the carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions and store it safely away from the atmosphere. While there have been several breakthroughs, the technology remains expensive.Advances in energy technologies mean that adding CCS doesn’t just need to work; it needs to work at a lower cost than its growing legion of competitors. And while the alternatives are good news for avoiding dangerous climate change, it’s a substantial challenge for the coal industry.In the 1990s, many believed that renewables (other than existing hydro, geothermal and biomass for heating) might never be able to replace coal cheaply. The future of energy was going to be a centralised grid, rather than the distributed power models being discussed today, and there were only two widely backed horses in the technology race: CCS and nuclear.But the early part of this century has seen an energy revolution in both renewables and fossil fuels. Among renewables, solar and wind have both taken enormous strides in reducing production costs and building manufacturing scale.For fossil fuels, the expansion in gas pipeline infrastructure, the development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipping and the growth of both conventional and unconventional gas production have encouraged fuel switching from coal in European and US markets in particular.Trying to compare the costs of different types of electricity can be tricky. Power stations require capital to build and have heavy financing, operational and decommissioning costs. Nuclear and fossil fuel power stations also have to buy fuel.Analysts use the term “levelised cost of electricity (LCOE)” to aggregate and describe this combination of factors for different methods of electricity generation.A significant challenge for coal and CCS is that the LCOE for wind and solar at a comparable scale is already competitive with coal generation in many places. This is because the cost of manufacturing has fallen as production has increased.In the longer term, there’s a clear pathway for most homes to disconnect completely from the grid, should battery prices continue to fall.The reason that batteries can compete with centralised generation is because the cost of transmission and distribution from a coal-fired power station to your home is considerable.These costs are not normally considered in the LCOE calculations, because it is assumed that all power generators have access to the same, centralised electricity grid.But a battery in your home means that these costs are largely avoided. That makes home energy generation and storage much more competitive with traditional power generation in the longer term.For developing nations without a strong centralised grid it also means that energy systems can be built incrementally, without large investments in infrastructure.This is an ill wind for the competitive future of CCS, which depends on the centralised generation model and a lack of low-cost competitors to stay viable.The odds that CCS will keep coal alive as an industry into the future are getting longer each year.What we are seeing is the start of the great transition from fossil fuel mining to manufacturing as the basis for our energy systems. It’s not dominant yet, but you would be starting to get very nervous if you were betting against it.Full item: Carbon capture and storage is unlikely to save coal in the long run On the Blogs: Long Odds on Coal Industry’s Hopes for Carbon Capture and Storagelast_img read more

Chasing Waterfalls

first_imgJennifer Loow said it barely mattered that the waterfall she was on her way to see—Lichen Falls, in Nantahala National Forest’s Panthertown Valley—had yet to be added to her lifetime list of 681.Waterfalls are too beautiful and varied for mere tallying, she said. They can cascade or trickle, roar or sing. They flow over smooth boulders or craggy, fern-covered ledges. They create their own weather of mists and breezes. They inspire “almost spiritual” contemplation, she said, and give her such a rush that, on the short bushwhack leading to her first sight of Lichen, she wove through rhododendrons like a running back.“Yeah!” she said, after climbing an outcropping at the base of the falls—“682, baby!”For Loow, 43, seeking out and photographing waterfalls is a “lifestyle,” she said, the goal of tough, bushwhacking hikes she schedules at least once a week and sometimes squeezes in before her evening waitressing shifts at a Hendersonville, NC restaurant. Visiting waterfalls is hardly new, but Loow and other members of what she calls the “waterfall community” have in recent years transformed it into a pursuit like peak-bagging or birding, one that values doggedly collecting and counting new sightings.There is no registry of its enthusiasts, no way to count their numbers, but they can be easily identified. They dislike sunshine, the glare of which ruins waterfall photographs, and have no problem wading hip-deep in cold water. Their hearts pound at the sight of lines on a map—blue streams meeting bunched topographical intervals—that promise a trip to an unnamed waterfall. Their cars rack up huge miles on mountain roads and, post-hike, are littered with trekking poles, camera tripods, and damp clothes and towels. Images of waterfalls dominate their Facebook feeds, which also, sometimes, display updates on other waterfall seekers’ lifetime lists.This can inject an unwelcome strain of competition to a pursuit that should be all about appreciation, said Kevin Adams, author of the North Carolina Waterfalls guidebook. “Chest beating,” he calls it. But mostly lists do for waterfall hunters what they do for birders and climbers—propel people to explore nature.“It’s overwhelmingly a great thing,” said Adams, 56, of Waynesville. “I think it’s wonderful that there are so many passionate people like Jennifer out there chasing waterfalls and using them to enrich their lives.”Adams is in a better position than anyone to talk about the evolution of what he sometimes calls the “sport” of hunting waterfalls. His book is its bible and dog-eared, highlighted copies often make up part of the clutter in waterfall seekers’ cars.After the first edition was published in 1994, he received notes from the pursuit’s lonely pioneers, including an old man who sent him a hand-written list of more than 300 falls he had visited—“quite an accomplishment,” Adams said, “considering his age and the fact there was no information available for many of the waterfalls on his list.”An expanded edition was published in 2004, the same year as the founding of Facebook, and together they have provided what that old man had lacked—instructions about how to find waterfalls and a connection to other people who love them.The one-time trickle of letters Adam had received became an “explosion” of emails and online postings, he said. He also noticed that as more people knew what the sport was all about, the less explanation was needed in its name. As “bird watchers” became “birders,” “waterfall chasers” became “waterfallers” and their hobby “waterfalling.”It can never quite be like birding or peak-bagging because it defies standardization, said Adams, who released a third edition of his book last year. There is no firm definition of a waterfall, nothing to prevent a lister from counting one, three-tiered waterfall as three, one-tiered waterfalls.It is, however, unlimited in another way. Adams—who doesn’t keep a personal list but says he has easily visited 1,000 falls just in North Carolina—is the undisputed king of southern Appalachian waterfallers. But even he could never hope to see them all.“Goodness no, no one ever will—never, ever, ever,” he said. “That’s what makes this sport of ours so fascinating and so fun. We know it will never end.”You can be a waterfaller without seeking just waterfalls, said Brenda Wiley, of Brevard, a veteran hiker who loves mapping out waterfall hikes, who scowls at sunbeams that appear once she is set up behind her viewfinder, who is even a member of an informal group of hikers called Team Waterfall. But she also likes to hike through mountain meadows, she said, and walk “along abandoned logging roads with no particular destination.”When Loow hikes, on the other hand, “my destination is almost always a waterfall,” she said. And though she is warm and sociable, talking fondly of her coworkers and adoringly of her husband, adult son, and a pet lionhead rabbit she named after a Norse goddess, she almost always hikes alone.This adventurous streak grew slowly after she received a copy of Adams’ book in 2009. “It sort of sat on the shelf for a year before a light bulb went off in my head,” she said. She started to realize how close her Henderson County home is to the rain-drenched mountains that are more densely packed with waterfalls than any region in the country. And though she was initially intimidated to take on any waterfall hike that earned more than a 7 on Adams’ one-to-10 scale of difficulty, she quickly gained confidence and now embraces hikes that test her endurance and her ability to manage the danger that comes with scrambling around waterfalls.“The more difficult they are,” she said, “the more I love it.”Loow is fit-looking and shorter than average, but carries a larger-than-average backpack, which she needs to hold climbing rope, tripod, and a large, professional-grade Canon camera. The initial, well-traveled stretch of the hike to Lichen she covered at a pace meant to get it over with. “Trails, to me, are a necessarily evil,” she said. She raced through the bushwhack not just because she was eager to add Lichen to her list, she said, but because she loves finding the best route through such obstacle courses of fallen trees and underbrush.“Bushwhacking and creekwalking—that’s the best part,” she said.In fact, her score-keeping—and smiling, and self-aware—celebration at the base of Lichen was about the only sign that she cared about the list at all. After the stop at Lichen, she would wade up the Tuckasegee River to visit two falls she had already seen, Red Butt and Wardens Falls. “Old buddies,” she called them. And she told about the three-year wait required to capture the perfect picture of what is easily the most visited cascade in Panthertown, Schoolhouse Falls. She drove her Toyota Yaris (350,000 miles) there at dawn one snowy morning before the falls was marred with a single footprint. “I don’t know who I was talking to on the way home, but I just kept saying, ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you.’ ”And when she did reach Lichen, she didn’t just add it to her list and move on. She lingered. She photographed it from several different angles. She waded into the pool beneath its main drop, letting the water fall into her upturned palms. She gazed at it to consider whether it deserved Adams’ 7 rating for beauty.It did, she decided. It’s on a tributary of the Tuckasegee, meaning it lacks a dramatic torrent. But falls over ledges are her favorite kind and Lichen appears suddenly in a deep notch in a shelf of rock 30 feet above the river. Loow pointed to the moss and plants clinging to more ledges farther below. She admired the way the falls’ curtains of water broke into shining beads.“It’s the setting that makes it,” she said. “It’s not a big waterfall, but it’s dainty and it’s really beautiful.”last_img read more

Tapping the power of data: Analytics help you connect directly to your member

first_imgThe value of data for improving the customer experience (CX) is widely recognized across every industry today. Credit unions, in particular, are faced with a wealth of information, coming from members and from within the organization.  It stands to reason that in today’s data-driven environment, the organizations that will succeed are the ones that can make the best use of the data at their disposal. However, then the question to ask is: “Are we analyzing available data to the fullest extent possible?”It’s a question that can be posed concerning every aspect of banking operations. For example, member communications are one area that can both benefit from and feed into data analytics, but too often it falls short of its full potential to impact the CX. Over the past several years, credit unions have been making a solid effort to engage targeting members, understanding their needs and ensuring they are receiving offers and rewards that are tailored to them. But more can be done.Taking data analysis to the next levelThe second question to ask is: Is our credit union looking closely at the channels its members are using to communicate? For example, your member may be sent a perfectly targeted, elegantly designed offer. But if they never open the mail, never click on the email or never reply to an SMS message, then the communication effort was wasted. Deeper analysis can ensure that your member is always sent the right message over the right channel.The next consideration is content. Most members have widely varying tastes when it comes to content, but the member communications sent don’t always reflect this fact. A promotion, such as a direct mail piece on home equity lines of credit, may have some degree of personalization, but the message and content surrounding the personalization remains the same for every member. That’s a missed opportunity to improve effectiveness and speak more directly to your members’ needs.In the current competitive environment, credit unions cannot afford to view members as a single, unified mass. They must be engaged as specific individuals and communications with them need to reflect this approach. Credit unions are investing significant amounts of money and effort in analytics for back-office functions, so extending that investment to the front lines of member communications is the next important step.Member communications and analytics feed each otherThere is a critical two-way relationship that exists between member communications and analytics. Every communication will, in turn, generate its own data which can then be put to use in the business. As members respond to offers, promotions and other communications, your credit union can build an increasingly accurate picture of them.This process can then lead to more accurate predictions, more effective communications and ultimately a greatly improved member experience. For example, if an email communication announcing a mobile banking app leads to a member downloading it, you have engaged that member and know more about their preferences. You can then follow up with targeted offers and other suggestions, secure in the knowledge that the member is listening.Analyzing communications can also help improve the communications themselves. For example, even the smallest factors in an email or website can make a great difference regarding how engaged members are and how they respond. Elements such as color, fonts and even the size and shape of images can all be the final push to entice a member to interact.  Using analytics, your credit union can track member interactions with these communications and pin-point exactly how to maximize their effectiveness. For example, do members click more on square or round buttons? Do they respond more to specific wordings in messages, even if they lead to the same action?With the right analysis, it is possible to refine your member communications dramatically, until they are optimized to the right member, time, channel and message.A holistic approach is requiredIn today’s environment, no credit union can survive as a disparate collection of entities—whether those are regional offices, branch locations, departments or business functions. Data and analytics have to feed into every corner of the organization, however varied, in order for them to work as one. Member communications are no exception.In designing and implementing a data analytics strategy, it is important to have executive buy-in, but also to seek collaboration from every department and functional area within the credit union. Moreover, developing a successful analytics program requires more than finding the right technologies and tools, it also requires aligning the program with the credit union’s overall CX objectives and training staff how to glean insights from the data collected and utilize it to enrich the member experience. Particularly for smaller banking organizations, the best approach is often to start with pilot projects and build from there, rather than seeking to implement an organization-wide analytics strategy from the outset.Data and analytics are a robust source of business value. The more they are used, and the more places in which they are used, the greater the ROI. Finding ways to let critical member touch points like communications be shaped by data and analytics represents a powerful advantage and a strong potential differentiator for every size of banking organization. 21SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Antoine Hemon-Laurens Antoine Hemon-Laurens is Banking Industry Expert at GMC Software, a provider of customer communications management software. His focus is on helping credit unions better engage with their customers through mobile … Web: Detailslast_img read more

Postal worker and Project Veritas falsely claimed fraud, gave Graham, Barr fuel for ‘investigations’

first_imgWhether that actually was part of the Trump campaign’s fraudulent call for voter fraud or just people who don’t understand how elections work is unknown. But knowing how Republicans love to commit voter fraud, you’ve got to wonder. – Advertisement – That Graham and Barr are using O’Keefe to call the results into question in Pennsylvania is so Trumpy it’s disgusting. And completely predictable. When it comes down to the whether there was any actual fraud in Pennsylvania, though, and when lawyers are facing a judge, in court, the fraud claims melt. When it comes to real legal jeopardy of lying about voter fraud—interfering in an election, which is a crime—these people fold.There’s another bit of fraud by the Trump campaign, though, that could be happening. Remember how the Trump campaign in Wisconsin was recruiting volunteers to call Pennsylvania Republicans to get them to send in ballots after the election? Illegally? Well, thousands of ballots were received in post offices Monday, which “included hundreds meant for closely fought contests in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Arizona.” More than 400 were received in Pennsylvania. None of them will count. Pennsylvania is the only state among the aforementioned ones that had an extended deadline for receiving ballots, but the deadline was this past Friday.- Advertisement –last_img read more

En primeur 2018: Never a larger number of Istrian winemakers

first_imgThat Zagreb loves Malvasia is confirmed by more than 700 visitors who enjoyed the excellent Malvasia of the 2017 harvest, and this year En primeur gathered as many as 57 producers of the most famous Istrian variety.They were accompanied by producers of Istrian cheeses Latus and Špin and olive oil OL Istria, and this year the Istrians were joined by several producers of žlahtina and about twenty producers of indigenous varieties of Bregovita Hrvatska. “This is an opportunity for our customers and consumers to get to know the wines of the current vintage in one place, and the 2017 vintage gave wines of exceptional potential, harmonious, drinkable and fresh, which will soon be on the market.”, Said Nikola Benvenuti, president of Vinistra, the Association of Winemakers and Winegrowers of Istria, which together with the Wine Association of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce is the organizer of En primeura.”The Croatian Chamber of Commerce will continue to promote wines from Croatia through such events, and we will support our winemakers all over the world through a wine envelope. This year we have presentations of our wines in the United States, Switzerland, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and we also plan to have Canada. Our wines are of exceptional quality and are well received everywhere”, Said Ivan Skoric, vice president of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce for agriculture, forestry and fisheries.Nicola Benvenuti / Photo: Rene KaramanOn that occasion, seven interesting Malvasia from five different parts of Istria were presented. Nikola Benvenuti, president of Vinistra, said that the last wine-growing year was meteorologically extremely demanding. “During the vegetation, Istrian winegrowers and winemakers faced extremely high temperatures and a dry period with very few rainy days. On the other hand, the ripening time is marked by a drop in temperature and a long rainy periodSaid Benvenuti. Marko Gržinić, the owner of the family farm of the same name, pointed out that he was very satisfied with last year’s harvest. “The harvest was a bit harder for us due to the bad weather, but otherwise the year was very good, and that can be felt in the quality of the wine.”, Grzinic emphasized.En primeur 2018 showed that Istria again has great Malvasias and this year will be an unavoidable eno-gastro destination for true wine lovers and connoisseurs. By the way, this Malvasia tasting was first organized by the Vinistra association in 2012, following the example of traditional tasting in France, and the organization so far has shown that En primeur is at least a complete success.Related news:ISTRIAN WINERY ANNOUNCED THE DEVELOPMENT OF A STRATEGY FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF WINE AND VITICULTURE UNTIL 2030LAGUNA POREČ AND VINISTRA SIGNED AGREEMENT ON BUSINESS COOPERATION UNTIL 2019last_img read more

ODPM signs up with Hermes in Leeds

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img