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The Made Thing

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Writing for a living was certainly a life goal but I thought it would happen much, much later in life.

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Thomas A. Edison

"Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."

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Could tomorrow’s HR function be delivered by robots?

In an age of digital transformation, all sorts of businesses are adopting different types of services and tools to boost productivity and improve workflows. Some companies are even going as far as using artificial intelligence (AI) in the automation of repetitive tasks.

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Whilst some tasks can only be completed by in-house teams or HR outsourcing services, there are some areas of human resources where artificial intelligence is being employed. The recruitment process is one of these areas, with the likes of Thomsons Online Benefits advocating AI.

James Akers, the company’s director of product management, said that many admin-heavy processes that once took up the time of HR professionals are now being automated to save time and resources.

Making jobs easier

Outsourcing companies such as https://www.mushroombiz.co.uk/homepage/services/hr/ and in-house teams are always looking for ways to streamline processes and maximise efficiency, with many digital tools now employed. These include the likes of interactive platforms that staff can access to view everything from pension information to health initiative facts and figures.

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These interactive platforms can enable workers to engage better with their organisation without placing any sort of administrative burden on HR professionals. The National Federation of Self Employed & Small Businesses (FSB) explains more about the importance of employee engagement.

Another increasingly-used tool is digital feedback software, which gives employers real-time updates relating to the experience and sentiment of employees. This enables HR professionals to feed back data insights and make recommendations on the best way to deal with issues before they escalate. This is much more effective in rectifying issues than an annual survey, for example.

Digital development and learning tools are also proving to be increasingly popular. These web-based services are extremely convenient and can ensure that a consistent service is provided, even if a company’s offices are on different sides of the world.

The AI boom

Many HR professionals are already using AI and the field looks set to grow. Machine learning can make sifting through applications a breeze, evaluating candidates on everything from experience and qualifications to hobbies.

This means that a shortlist of potential candidates can be compiled in just minutes, whereas this task could take many hours if it had to be completed by a human who needed to read page after page of candidate information and data.

 

Things to do to prepare your park home garden for winter

With the cooling temperatures of winter now setting in, it is the perfect time to prepare your park home garden for the freezing weather ahead.

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Here are some tips on how to prepare, protect and care for your garden this winter.

Take advantage of leaves

As the leaves fall from your trees, this provides an unexpected bonus. You could either rake up the leaves to use in your compost pile, or utilise them as mulch for any newly planted shrubs, perennials or trees you may have. Alternatively, you could use a mulching mower to disintegrate the leaves into small pieces which will nourish the soil as they fall between the blades of grass.

For Gloucestershire park homes for sale, contact a company such as www.parkhomelife.com/park_orchardtwigworth.aspx.

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Replace or remove annuals

It is best to remove annual plants after the foliage becomes blackened after the first onset of frost. Place any old plants onto your compost pile unless they are diseased, in which case throw them away as you do not want to spread the disease.

Prune perennials

As perennial flowers die and become dormant, prune them to two inches tall or back to the ground. However, plants with interesting seed heads such as coneflowers or ornamental grasses can be left to create a pleasing winter garden. These seed heads will also create a treat for songbirds as winter sets in. Remember to trim the plants back during early spring as you will want to encourage new growth to emerge.

Protect young trees

Rabbits, voles and mice love to eat the bark found on young trees during the winter months. In order to protect your young trees, wrap the saplings with a plastic tree guard or chicken wire. Plastic tree guards also help to protect young trees from the sun on clear, cold days as the sun will promote the growth of cells on the tree, however, these cells will die as soon as the temperature drops and the sun disappears.

Plant bulbs

Once the nighttime temperatures drop below 10°c consistently, now is the time to begin planting bulbs such as tulips, crocus and daffodils which will flower in the spring.

These plants are easy to care for and will bring some much-needed colour in the early spring to planters, borders and beds.

You may also like to read about strix mythology.

Helping your dog feel more comfortable around their own kind

Sometimes even the most placid and calm of dogs can suddenly become aggressive when confronted with other dogs. This isn’t because your dog is unfriendly or bad natured but simply because they are scared, and their equivalent of the human fight or flight response has been triggered and they feel the need to make themselves seem as scary as possible. Of course, this doesn’t help you when it suddenly happens when you are out for your evening walk in the park.

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There are some things that are more likely to trigger your dog, and these can include:

  • A group of dogs running near them that are off their lead
  • A dog barking from behind a fence that your dog can not see
  • A dog on a lead walking towards your dog
  • An unknown dog that is approaching you as the owner may trigger your dog into protective mode.
  • Another dog that is taking away the attention from your dog such as a friend’s dog that has joined you on your walk

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There are some easy methods that you can use to help your dog when they are feel uneasy and anxious and perhaps displaying aggressive behaviour as a result of this.

  • One of the easiest things for you to do is to make sure that you have the right Dog Collars and Leads and that you walk your dog on a short lead that is slightly slack and keep your dog as close to your side as possible. If you need to get yourself a more suitable collar or lead it is worth taking a look athttps://iwoof.com/ This helps you dog to feel more secure and safe by your side and also enables you to have control of your dog and to be able to manoeuvre them away from any passing dogs that may be making them anxious.
  • Making sure that you dog is aware and happy to use basic commands such as “down” and “sit” can also help you to deal with any potential issues that may arise, and you can even use these as a distraction method if you notice a dog heading in your direction.
  • Always reward your dog, perhaps with their favourite treat, if they don’t react to something that previously would have upset them and had them barking aggressively. This way you are showing your dog that you are rewarding their good behaviour whilst also keeping them feeling safe and secure.
  • You can you an avoidance technique that means that when you are faced with a situation that would make your dog nervous you simple remove your dog and walk them in the other direction away from the issue.

Mistakes to avoid if you’re considering property flipping

The whole idea of buying a house with the intention of renovating and selling is exciting, yet there are a number of factors that you should take into account before you take the plunge.

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Here’s what you should avoid doing if you are ready to flip a house.

Choose the right location

Before settling on a property, do your research into the area. If you are thinking about putting excesses of money into a property with the hope of doubling the price, you won’t have much luck selling it in an area which is full of low budget homes. It’s no surprise that the top area for flipping houses in the last year also happens to be the town with the cheapest average property prices, something that those looking to flip should take note of.

Ensure you have the skills

Part of the rush of flipping houses comes from getting the job done yourself. This can be an issue when you don’t possess the skills needed to renovate a house completely. Don’t run the risk of ruining a job when you could pay a professional to do it safely and more efficiently.

Time-consuming

Buying, renovating and selling a house takes time, often much more than was initially expected. You may struggle to find time in between your day job, and even if you employ someone else to complete the work, you will still find that you spend a lot of time ensuring that it is up to your standards. Even when the renovations are completed, you still have to look into the selling process, which is where companies such as www.completepropertygroup.co.uk can help. For property management Cheltenham has several options, so choose wisely and leave the management side in their hands.

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Unexpected costs

Even if you have over-budgeted for the price of the property and the renovation costs, there will always be something unexpected that comes up. Don’t go into flipping houses if you are on a tight budget. Ensure that you do have options available should you need them.

Don’t rush

Flipping houses takes patience so you must learn to take your time with the whole process. Do your research before rushing out to buy the first house that fits the bill. If something isn’t quite right then wait for the perfect project to come along.

 

Yee Hay! Ride um Cowboy at the Rodeo.

Once a upon a time the land of the United States of America and Mexico and New Zealand were populated with Cowboys. We know this because we’ve been told all about it in films and books and television documentaries. At least we have in relation to the North American ones and the Mexican ones come into it from time to time when the Cowboys need some one to get annoyed about. There has also always been an argument amongst Cowboys about who is the best one. Out on the range they had several long and deep psychological conversations about this and they decided there was only possible course of action to clear this situation up that didn’t involve gun play which was another factor of the wild west. The obvious answer was staring them in the face, the best way to sort it out was to try and ride the wild cows in front of them until the got thrown violently off. If one of them had a watch (which was unlikely as they really didn’t have a need for one) and they could time it.

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The only problem with this competition, apart from the chance of a serious injury and danger of death, was that only the other Cowboys around them could see the result. So, when they rode back into Tombstone or whatever and started to boast about their achievement in the local saloon no one believed them. You can also recreate this wonderful experience of being chucked of a bucking cow by hiring a Rodeo Bull Manufacturer like the ones that you can get at http://www.gsrodeobulls.com/ The organisers will provide you with some nice crash mats and inflatable cushions so that you don’t injure yourself like the Cowboys did.

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The Cowboys had a way to show who was the best, but they now needed a way to validate that success and so the Rodeo was born. This was a way that they could showcase their Cowboy skills in front of all their peers. They demonstrated the use of the Lasso and the ability to rope a steer or net a Cow. The most exciting part was getting on a wild horse like a Mustang or a wild bull and trying to stay on it long enough to either impress everyone or even better still the animal gives up and become docile. Not all of this is strictly true,  especially the origins part  but the premise is generally there. They still go on today much to the annoyance of animal rights campaigners.

Carrying out an effective fire drill at work

Fire safety is of paramount importance for any business owner and office manager. Ensuring that you have adequate risk assessments and procedures put in place for an emergency situation means that you can ensure that you do your utmost to keep your staff safe during an incident. One of the best ways to make sure you are doing all you can is to contact a Gloucestershire Fire Risk Assessment company and have them complete a Fire risk assessment for you and consult with you on any areas that you may want to look into and adopt into your fire routine.

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Carrying out regular fire drills is important to check that all of the processes that you have put into place work and that people are aware of their requirements should a real alarm occur. These drills are separate to the regular checking of your fire alarms and break glass points.  A fire drill essentially simulates what would happen during a real fire incident without the actual risk of fire. Any fire marshals that you have will need to carry out their given duties during a drill and all staff will evacuate the building and meet at the designated fire evacuation point.

Many companies will carry these out on a given cycle but ensuring that they cover different days of the week and different times of day to cover all staff members and visitors to your offices or place of work. They are also usually carried out following the recruitment of new staff to help make them aware of the procedures for fire evacuation, they should also have the fire procedures included in their staff induction packs and this should be also discussed with them by either their line manager or the person responsible for fire safety.  The best practice timescale is to carry out a drill at least on a year basis but if you work in a school or manufacturing environment these should be carried out more often. Once you have carried out your fire drill this should be recorded with any issues being noted and any remedial action that needs to be put into place.

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There are some key things that you may want to consider when planning and carrying out a fire drill:

  • If you have visitors coming to your place of work, you may want to inform them that there is going to be a fire drill carried out on that day
  • You need to make a decision as to whether you tell employees that you are going to be carrying out a fire drill or whether you are going to leave it as unannounced so that their reactions and the way they exit the building is not affected by the knowledge that it is not a real fire.
  • Ensure that your fire marshals are watching staff members to ensure that they are not returning to their desks to collect bags and coats and that everyone is following the steps in the fire evacuation procedures.

Wedding Superstitions

Weddings are surrounded by many traditions and superstitions, some of which are deserving of a revival and some which are better left forgotten! Even though we think we’re rational and forward-thinking, it’s surprising how many of us still adhere to these old and strange superstitions surrounding our nuptials. Similar to touching wood, not walking under a ladder, avoiding black cats and counting magpies – here are some wedding superstitions that you may or may not have heard of:

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Your surnames must not start with the same letter

We hope that you would know the last name of the person you proposing to, but just in case you forgot to ask, you’d better check it doesn’t begin with the same letter as yours. It is said to be bad luck to marry a person whose surname starts with the same letter as yours. Such is the strength of this superstition, that there is even a rhyme to accompany it. ‘To change the name and not the letter is to change for the worst and not the better’. Consider yourself warned!

Avoid pregnant women and blind men

In the past, the tradition was that a groom would send a trusted friend or family member to start proposal plans. However, on the way to the bride-to-be’s home, the messenger for the groom had to stay watchful for potential bad omens including seeing a blind man or a pregnant woman! Seeing either of these would be enough to stop the proposal in its tracks.

This tradition lives on in China, where pregnant women are seen as bad luck to a bride and groom. They often do not attend weddings because of this reason. Make everyone welcome on your wedding day with a stunning Gloucester Hotel Wedding Venue like hatton-court.co.uk/gloucester-cotswolds-weddings

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Colours affect future happiness

There are quite a few superstitions surrounding the colours you choose for your wedding day. Choosing a certain colour of wedding dress can define how happy you will be together as a couple for example. Superstitious brides should avoid wearing yellow, pink, green, grey or red (unless you’re in Asia where red is a lucky colour). The types of flowers chosen can also determine god or bad luck according to these superstitions. This is why some flowers are much more popular for weddings than others. In some cultures, peonies are seen as a sign of shame and yellow roses symbolise jealousy.

 

Having a good clear out

I am as guilty as the next person of having a very unorganised wardrobe full of clothes that I hardly ever wear or are damaged or don’t even fit me anymore. So, after I had my new wardrobe from Hampshire Fitted Wardrobes company https://lamco-design.co.uk/fitted-wardrobes/ I took the opportunity to have a good clear out.

Here are the rules that I followed and now I have nice clean, organised wardrobe. You can have one to just follow the simple steps.

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First it is important to truly clean your wardrobe and the best way to do this to empty it of everything. I placed everything on my bed and carefully took all the items of the hangers and piled them up ready for sorting through. It was amazing what I came across when I delved into the depths of the back and bottom of the wardrobe. Next, I sorted through the items and placed them into piles relating to their use. Putting all of my work clothes together, casual, going out clothes (boy I had a lot of those) underwear and my pyjamas. Then taking each group in turn I worked through the clothes and asked myself a set of questions before deciding whether to hang them up neatly in the wardrobe or add them to the pile for the charity shop or bin bag:

  • Is it damaged in anyway – if yes and it is beyond repairing myself then it made it into the bin bag. If I thought I could repair it then I applied the next set of questions to that items of clothing to determine what to do with it.
  • Does it still fit me? – if yes then move on to the next questions, if no then place it in the charity shop bag.
  • Have I worn it in the last year – if yes continue, if no then consider whether I really need it and add to the charity shop bag
  • Do I still like it? – If yes, continue, if no then give to charity
  • Would I buy it again if I saw it in the shops? – If yes then hang back up in the wardrobe, if no add to the charity shop pile.

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Once I had worked through all the clothes I then set about organising the wardrobe itself buy hanging together items that were used for the same purpose so all my work clothes together, going out clothes together and so on. It really has made for a nice neat wardrobe and it is easier for me to find what I want too!

Organic soap with active carbon

The variety of skin care soap enables women to cope with the most difficult skin problems at home. So, for example, the use of black charcoal soap allows you to perfectly clean the skin, opening the pores on the face. At the same time, the effectiveness of using such masks is no worse than the cleaning procedures in the cabin. So, we learn all about such masks.

Organic natural soap containing activated charcoal, coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil and cocoa butter. It has detergent and detoxifying properties.

It contains no fragrance, preservatives, and colorings.

Indications: For oily and combination skin. Leave the skin clean, freshened and matted.

Ingredients: Cocos Nucifera Oil (Sodium Cocoate), Aqua, Olea Europaea Fruit Oil (Sodium Olivate), Persea Gratissima Oil (Sodium Avocadate), Sodium Hydroxide, Charcoal Powder, Theobroma Cocoa Seed Butter (Sodium Cocoa Butterate).

Active ingredients for active carbon black soap

  • Active carbon – deeply penetrates the pores of the skin, purifying it from toxins, bacteria, excess sebum and dead cells; antibacterial, exfoliating, uniform skin tone and reduces irritation, accelerates the healing of superficial lesions.
  • Coconut oil – has moisturizing and smoothing properties, effectively combats acne problems thanks to its anti-bacterial properties, and provides natural protection against UV rays. The fatty acids contained in coconut oil penetrate deeply and nourish the skin.
  • Avocado oil – heals superficial lesions, has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, smoothest wrinkles and removes signs of stress and aging, nourishes dry, cracked, damaged skin.
  • Cocoa butter – does not cause allergies, is completely absorbed and moisturized, preventing an excessive loss of water through the skin. It has nourishing, regenerating and firming properties. Contains natural sunscreens.
  • Olive oil – contains vitamin F (unsaturated fatty acids) that protects the skin against loss of hydration, restores the natural lipid barrier, soothes irritated skin, moisturizes and nourishes, gives a healthy and radiant appearance, is a natural UV filter.

When evaluating facial soap for acne, it is advisable to choose those products that are regularly present on the table or are used in everyday life. Cosmetic preparations from sour cream or yeast have good effect, however they are suitable only for a certain type of skin.

Dermatologists strongly recommend before the skin cleansing procedures to determine the cause of acne or black spots. At home, in a domestic setting, it is very difficult to perform an accurate analysis. Acne on the face appears unexpectedly and inopportunely. This annoying phenomenon brings serious grief to a person.

 

Unusual UK Uni Facts

You might think Universities are just libraries and lectures halls, but you’d be mistaken. From a haunted castle to legends about bears, there are some strange tales and unusual facts associated with most of the UK’s university establishments. Here are some weird and wonderful facts and traditions:

  1. University of York and its ducks

You might be forgiven for thinking that York University has been enrolling ducks as well as students. The campus here is home to hundreds of ducks, with around 14 ducks for every quarter of an acre of land. The ducks here are viewed as almost sacred by students and staff alike, with a devoted blog just for the quacking inhabitants.

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  1. Pet Bear

One of the University of Cambridge’s most famous alumni is the poet and socialite Lord Byron and his exploits whilst at the University have become the stuff of legend. He apparently once kept a tame bear as a pet! It is believed that he purchased the bear from a fair at Stourbridge in the early 1800s and smuggled it into his University dorm. You probably wouldn’t want to keep a bear in your Student accommodation Gloucester! For more information, visit http://studentaccommodationgloucester.co.uk

  1. The Old Joe Clock Tower and failed exams

There is a superstition at Birmingham University that if you stand beneath the clock tower of Old Joe as the bells are chiming, you’ll receive bad luck and fail your final exams!

  1. Most Haunted

For those interested in the paranormal, Durham University is said to be the most haunted of all such establishments. There is a Lavender Lady in the Castle’s stairwell and the ghost of an electrician who haunts the student theatre. The ghostly goings on are probably due to the University’s long history and location on creepy castle grounds.

  1. A Tale of Wicked Witches

The Pendle Witch Trials were infamous trials and executions which occurred on Pendle Hill in Lancashire in the early 1600s. Pendle College at Lancaster University takes its name from this event and the college’s logo even features a witch silhouette against a full moon!

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  1. First Females to Share a Campus

University College London made an historic statement in 1878 by becoming the world’s first higher education establishment to admit female undergraduates to study on the same campus as their male counterparts.

  1. The Oldest Newspaper

The oldest continually published student newspaper in the UK is ‘The Student’, produced by students from Edinburgh University. The paper was established in 1887 by the famous author, Robert Louis Stephenson who wrote Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

  1. Stirling University’s Nessie

Scotland in fact boasts more than one mythical creature. Stirling University is said to have its very own version of Nessie residing in the campus lake. Could there be an ancient monster lurking in the depths or is it a canny way to stop students from taking a dip?

 

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