Did you know that on July 11, 1987, the 5 billionth inhabitant of Earth was born? From that day forward, July 11 has been known as the Day of the Five Billion.
And an even more interesting set of numbers follows:
1804: 1 billion 1927: 2 billion 1960: 3 billion 1974: 4 billion 1987: 5 billion 1999: 6 billion
2011: 7 billion 2027: 8 billion (estimated) 2046: 9 billion (estimated)
Just as interesting, the years between billions, shrank. For instance, between the first and second billion, 123 years passed. Then 33 years went by between the second and third billion, 14 years for the next set, then 13 years, then 12 years, etc. However, the years between the next expected billions stops shrinking and starts expanding: 16 years and 19 years, respectfully.
The United Nations Population Fund argues that infertility rates may rise, causing a decrease in the amount of babies being born each year. Another explanation could be an increase in the education of women in Africa and other third world nations about birth control or the natural “family planning” methods of birth control; thereby slowing growth.
And of course there are a myriad of other reasons that population growth might slow. We couldn’t possibly cover them all but a few might be: an unfortunate increase in the amount of attacks by terrorists, bullies, bombers, etc.; a continued increase in extreme weather patterns or climate change resulting in catastrophic death; or even a new disease or epidemic that sweeps a portion of the world.
Hopefully none of those things will happen. But it is interesting to think about. And even more interesting? To think that some of these events wouldn’t have even been possible before, say, 25 years ago. Our society is changing because of the rapid pace of innovation and new technology. And while you can’t try to stop innovation because of what it might create, you should be aware that these changes do change us, and try to understand how.
Because knowledge is power. When you have information, you can control how it gets dealt with, how you react to it, and whether it consumes people or simply gets consumed by people.
[Each one of those red dots represents a city where at least 1 million people lived in 2005.]
July 11, 2013 Comments Off
Today is Second Half of the Year Day! And with it, the chance to pause and reflect over your year so far. Have you met any goals or saved any money? How about your new year’s resolutions – are you still trying to abide by them?
It’s okay if you’ve fallen off the wagon, but Second Half of the Year Day is a great chance to begin again or to keep going if you’ve made it this far. 6 months down and 6 to go to finish out the year.
6 months to find a job, find a better job, get to the gym (or outside – after all, it is July!), do some house cleaning, learn something new, break bad habits, change something you don’t like, etc. The possibilities are endless and all you have to do is jump in!
If you’re currently looking for a job, consider Gigats.com. Match, not search – the new way to find a job. Gigats … Whatever it Takes.
July 1, 2013 Comments Off
Juvenile work programs are popping up all over the country. Targeting at-risk youths, services are provided that include tutoring, life skills, recreation opportunities, community service, and cognitive behavioral programming. In order to decrease bad decision making during the high-risk time frame directly after school, kids in the program report as soon as the school day is over.
One such member has said “I’ve made more progress in three months than in the last three years. My mom is proud of me.” It seems these kinds of work programs are really helping the young kids out there who live in areas where there is simply nothing else to do. That same young lady said also, “”I’d probably be getting in trouble or at home sleeping if I wasn’t here.”
At the start of this particular work program in McLean County, Il, the participants attended a job fair where they learned about various types of work they could do. Then they went to work at whichever business lined up with their interest and skill level, in order to gain work experience. Additionally, they attended a leadership conference, took a college tour, learned how to shop for work attire, underwent various trainings and even took assessment tests. And finally, they worked in a community garden and learned job skills in the classroom.
These programs are providing an extraordinary amount of services to both kids and the communities in which they are a part. It not only gives these kids something to spend their time doing, but also something that they can focus on and feel proud of. It gives them tons of various training, not only on specific skill sets, but also in simply communicating with others. They learn social cues, hard work, and how to show up to work on time, dressed professionally, and ready to go.
But most of all, it gives these kids something to feel proud of – something to strive toward and the ability to meet other kids who have a similar background. Sometimes kids just need to feel like they belong somewhere; to feel wanted and part of a group. Work programs like these give them just that.
And works to solve the real issue in the first place – young kids from similar backgrounds who don’t have access to role models, healthy family lives, or positive activities in which to spend their time. McLean County initiated their program based off of a similar program out of Orange County, CA where research showed that only 8% of juveniles were responsible for 50% of juvenile crime. With early identification of that 8% combined with social programs such as these, we can really reduce instances of recidivism.
David Dow is a Death Penalty Lawyer and over his twenty year career, he has increasingly seen the need [and the good] of a reform of the juvenile system. His 18 minute speech on this subject as part of a TED Talks broadcast, David explains how, for every $15,000 spent on programs like these, as a country, we could save $80,000 worth of legal and related fees.
He knows that programs like these will cost money, but says that we already have the money it would take. We’re using it to pay for fees in the back end. But if we, instead, put that money up front to create more work programs – and continue to pay for them – then we’d actually be lessening the amount of people who go through the juvenile system in the first place. And, ultimately, the prison system.
If you’re currently looking for a summer job, head on over to Gigats.com. Match, not search – the new way to find a job. Gigats … Whatever it Takes.
June 25, 2013 Comments Off
Today is the summer solstice which means it’s the day with the longest amount of sunlight. Not to be confused with the hottest day of the year, although the amount of sunshine will be at its greatest today, versus any other day of the year. In fact, did you know that while today may have the most amount of sunlight, it actually takes a bit of time for that sunlight to really warm up the earth?
While June 21 is the official first day of summer, it actually takes a few weeks for the oceans and atmosphere to heat up the earth – resulting in July and August typically being the hottest months of the year. Isn’t that a fun fact?
This year, the summer solstice (Friday) will be followed by a supermoon (early Sunday morning). A supermoon is the coincidence of a full moon while it’s the closest to Earth that it will be, throughout the year – resulting in the largest appearance of the moon. So go for a romantic stroll on Saturday after sunset to see the moon at its biggest and brightest!
Another fun fact? The word solstice come from the Latin sol which means sun and the word sister which means to stand still. At the solstice, the sun comes to a stop and stands still before reversing direction on the sun’s seasonal path.
If you’re currently looking for a fun summer job, consider going to Gigats.com. Match, not search – the new way to find a job. Gigats … Whatever it Takes.
June 21, 2013 Comments Off
The following post follows employment trends in Australia. What does that have to do with the U.S., jobs, and employment? Well, because it’s happening in Australia and not here at home, we might be able to see certain parallels more clearly and without bias.
The first sentence of the article entitled: Majority of new jobs go to migrants, written by Time Colebatch goes like this: “People born overseas have taken almost three-quarters of the net growth in full-time jobs in Australia in the past two years, even though they make up just 31 percent of the adult population.”
It goes on to say, “The figures raise doubts about employers’ claims that they must hire workers from overseas because Australians are not available to do the jobs.”
Isn’t this oddly similar to the situation we’re seeing here in the United States? It’s a trend that America is currently also experiencing and it’s interesting that we’re not the only ones. Other countries are facing the same migration of workers into a tight job market – which begs the question: why?
Employers perhaps prefer a tight job market, which meaning they can pay lower wages because there is less competition. But when the job market opens up and there are more employment opportunities, they suddenly have to start paying higher wages for the same job in order to compete with other employers – which lowers their bottom line. So keeping a tight job market by allowing migrant workers to do the work that “Australians are not available to do…” is one way to keep paying lower wages. And, of course, this helps all employers and so they are all in favor of the same immigration reform laws.
They use optimistic sounding titles for things like the Immigration Innovation Act to make their efforts seem proactively for the immigrant’s best interests. And, actually, they are helping. The new laws would allow additional immigrants to work here legally, which in turn allows people from other countries to earn wages higher than they ever have in their lives; to be able to send money home to their families; to have a higher quality of life than in their home countries.
But what it also does is allow an influx of low paid labor into a country that already has too many people looking for work. Big corporations will tell you that there is no one to take the jobs they are offering. But with unemployment hovering at 7.6%, I sincerely doubt that that’s true. Big corporations will then tell you that there are people to take these jobs, but they just don’t want them – that they are too labor-intensive, too dangerous, too demeaning; that they won’t get paid enough to do that kind of work; that they’d rather take an unemployment check and sit on the couch than do hard work for little pay.
Well, shouldn’t the pay you receive reflect the work you do? Manufacturing employs approximately 13 million people. That’s rather a lot of people doing labor-intensive work for traditionally low pay. So to say that now, when people need jobs more than any other time since the Great Depression, they aren’t willing to perform hard work for a paycheck is not only incorrect but grievously destructive on behalf of the biggest corporations in the country.
Not to say that people from other countries don’t deserve the chance to make a decent living, life a quality life and have the same opportunities as we have here in the United States. But don’t we have an obligation to our own residents first? If we can’t even get it right for the people who already live here (and I think we can all agree that we don’t have it right), then how or why are we expected to help everyone else?
Don’t all self-help books say that you have to help yourself before you can help others and that you have to love yourself before others can love you? Even airlines tell you to put on your own life-saving mask first, before helping those around you.
The thing is, we’re the country of opportunity; the place to live “the dream”; the place where our bad is many steps above what’s considered good in other countries. And until we can fix our own problems, we’re all in the same sinking boat.
June 19, 2013 Comments Off
Did you know that today is Corn on the Cob Day? It’s about ten days before the official start of summer but June 11 is always Corn on the Cob Day. Yum.
Did you also know that – according to etiquette – the proper way of eating corn on the cob is to use your fingers to hold the cob on each end. So get your butter and salt out and get to munching on some delicious corn!
The most common ways of eating corn on the cob are to boil, steam, roast, or grill it. Or, if you’re in a hurry, you can wrap a wet paper towel around each ear of corn and microwave it for as many minutes as you have ears of corn. It’s not ideal, obviously, but in a pinch, it’s just as crunchy and tasty!
Gear up for summer by picking up some delicious corn on the cob for dinner tonight! And happy Corn on the Cob Day!
And if you’re looking for a job related to summer or corn or anything in between, consider Gigats.com. Match, not search – the new way to find a job. Gigats … Whatever it Takes.
June 11, 2013 Comments Off
It’s World Environment Day!
Activities related to World Environment Day happen all over the world all year round and culminate on June 5. This event started in 1972 and is one of the main verticals the United Nations uses to create awareness of needed political action and attention in general.
The goal is to personalize environmental issues so that everyone can see the power they have to do something positive in support of this issue as well as the responsibility they have to their environment, future generations, and the Earth in general.
The day calls for action – from everyone! You can organize a recycling drive or community cleanup. Initiate a reusable grocery bag trend or start a municipal garden project. The beauty of World Environment Day is that it doesn’t matter what you do or who does what, as long as action is being taken to better the world, communities, and environments.
The theme for World Environment Day changes from year to year and this year’s theme is Think.Eat.Save. – an anti-food waste and food loss campaign. Hoping that you witness the power of collective decisions to do something good, WED encourages you to take action in any form that speaks to you.
1.3 billion tons of food is wasted every year, and when food is wasted, so are all of the resources used in the production and transportation of that food. Think about it. All of the greenhouse gases from all the factories, delivery trucks – even airplanes that produce, transport, and refrigerate our food.
Did you know that global food production accounts for 70% of the fresh water we consume as a planet every year; 80% of deforestation; 30% of greenhouse gas emissions?
By being [and staying] informed, you can choose to limit the destruction of our natural resources. Things like buying organically grown products which mean fewer chemicals or buying locally which means less travel and therefore fewer emissions.
Decisions like these really do make a difference. Just like it takes each single pixel to make up a picture, it takes each one of us making better decisions to change the outlook of our future. And if you’re looking for a job through which you can help save the world (or any job for that matter), consider Gigats.com. Match, not search – the new way to find a job.
Happy World Environment Day!
BTW, below are pictures of Beijing, China in times of both heavy smog and clean air.
June 5, 2013 Comments Off
First, there are a few different techniques in which 3D printing can be executed, but the overall process is the same. You are creating a tangible 3D object from a 3D printer, by building up, one at a time, may thin layers upon each other. Currently, you can use either liquid or powder to so. Because this technology is still so new, there are only a few ways in which to create 3D objects by printing. However, you always need to start with a digital model or design.
If using a liquid or semi-liquid, again, there are a few different ways you can print in 3D. In this process, basically, the printer emits the liquid and then uses one of the hardening methods to solidify the liquid. The first option by which to do this is by using a UV laser beam to trace out the first layer of the final object. The platform where the object is being created, is then lowered and the next layer is traced out on top. This continues until the 3D object is complete.
Another method is to use a projector to solidify the liquid or semi-liquid by cross-section, instead of layers.
And a third way is by emitting a liquid from various nozzles and using a powerful UV light source to solidify that liquid before the next layer is printed on top of it. All of these techniques have their pros and cons and, depending on what your project needs are, will dictate which method you should use.
The liquid to be used can vary, but because this technology is relatively new, most 3D printers are using either a liquid photopolymer or hot thermoplastic. There have even been 3D printers that can print objects made of cheese, chocolate, or even concrete!
If using powder, the 3D printer works to stick together two successive powder-based layers. In this method, a glue or some kind of binding agent is emitted from nozzles that stick together two layers of powder that have been designed to comply with the digital model. The powder that is most widely used is a gypsum-based composite.
Yet another method of 3D printing is when a layer of metal powder (typically bronze or stainless steel) is emitted and the nozzles spray a layer of a binding agent or glue to bind together the layers of metal powder. Once the object is complete, it is placed in an oven to carefully cure the binder, and finally, into a kiln where it is infused with extra metal powder, making the object very solid and at least 99.9 percent a solid metal.
And finally, a similar powder method can be used where the layers of powder are fused together using a laser. There are a few other variations of both the liquid and powder based versions of 3D printing, but these are currently the most widely used.
As mentioned above, this technology is quite new. And because it’s new, the terminology associated with 3D printing is also new. Some inventors had the foresight to patent and trademark their processes and, because they were the first to do so, created the terms that became industry standards. This causes a bit of confusion because other inventors had to refer to the same process using different terms and today, there are multiple acronyms for the same process.
A similar example of this is Band-Aid, which is the name of a company and the name of their product. Every day, people still use the word band-aid when they need an adhesive bandage, without realizing that it’s actually a brand name. Great for Band-Aid, but awful luck for competitors.
Hopefully you now understand a bit more about 3D printing. For a much more detailed explanation, you can check out this great article on 3D Printing. And if you’re looking for a possible career related to technology, 3D printing, or anything else for that matter, consider Gigats.com. Match, not search – the new way to get a job. Gigats … Whatever it Takes.
June 3, 2013 Comments Off
Contrary to intuition, a bad economy actually seems to prolong life expectancy. High unemployment rates cause a variety of problems but apparently also cause other, not so bad things to happen as well.
One of the major [helpful] things it does is cause fewer fatalities due to automobile accidents. Think about it. High unemployment equals less traffic on the roads. In fact, “From 2002 to 2007, the number of Americans dying in motor-vehicle accidents was roughly constant, at about 42,000 or so per year. By 2011, that figure had dropped by almost a quarter, to 32,367 – the lowest since 1949.”
Isn’t that crazy?
And without a job, most people don’t have access to affordable healthcare, so the amount of unhealthy behaviors also decline. The number of smokers, drinkers, fast food eaters, and indoor tanners all fell on average about five percentage points. But the number of people who got more sleep, rose – adding to more healthy individuals.
Additionally, because there are less cars on the road, air pollution rates also fall. The, albeit slight, improvement in air quality benefits people’s health, especially those with respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
And finally, whenever there are fewer jobs to be had in the economy, people start to consider jobs they wouldn’t normally take – such as working in a nursing home. With an increased level of staff, the number of deaths among the elderly people who live there, diminish.
Of course we’re not saying that high unemployment is a good thing. But it’s nice to know that there might be something positive to come of it.
If you’re currently looking to find a job, consider Gigats.com. Match, not search – the new way to find a job. Gigats … Whatever it Takes.
May 30, 2013 Comments Off
As many people are affected by high unemployment rates, and rightly so, there are other issues out there that can pose as a threat to our jobs, local businesses, and towns. For example, in Washington over the weekend, the Skagit River Bridge collapsed – part of a major West Coast highway.
It’s hard to imagine something like a bridge collapsing could effectively cause people to lose their jobs but it’s true. About five years ago, a flood wreaked havoc on a similar stretch of highway, causing an economic output loss of $47 million and 290 lost jobs for an entire year following the flood over the Interstate.
Traffic pattern disruptions and detoured routes really put local businesses that rely on that traffic to pass through, at risk. About 70,000 vehicles cross the four-lane bridge on a daily basis – all of which also pass several small businesses.
Aside from the gas stations, restaurants and other local shops, there is an outlet mall that both Americans and Canadians frequent regularly that will be affected by the collapsed bridge. Especially because of the difference between the U.S. and Canadian dollar, the economic loss for the area could be far-reaching.
No one was killed, which is a good thing. But it makes you realize that on top of a bad economy, other things can happen over which no one has control.
If you’re currently looking for a new job, consider Gigats.com. Match, not search – the new way to find a job.
May 28, 2013 Comments Off