Thursday, May 31, 2012

Why Men Are Rarely Depressed


    Men Are Just Happier People -- What do you expect from such simple
creatures? Your last name stays put. The garage is all yours. 

Wedding plans take care of themselves. Chocolate is just another snack... You can be President. You can never be pregnant. 

You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park. You can wear NO shirt to a water park. Car mechanics tell you the truth. The world is your urinal. You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky. 

You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt. Same work, more pay.

Wrinkles add character. Wedding dress $5000. Tux rental-$100. People never
stare at your chest when you're talking to them. New shoes don't cut,
blister, or mangle your feet. 

One mood all the time. Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat. You know stuff about tanks. A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase. You can open all your own jars. 

You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness. If someone forgets to invite you, He or she can still be your friend. 

Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack. Three pairs of shoes are more than enough.. You almost never have strap problems in public. You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes.

Everything on your face stays its original color. The same hairstyle lasts for years, even decades. You only have to shave your face and neck. You can play with toys all your life. One wallet and one pair of shoes -- one color for all seasons. 

You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look. You can 'do' your nails with a pocket knife. You have freedom of choice concerning growing a moustache. 

You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives and friends on December 24 in 25 minutes.

If Laura, Kate and Sarah go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Kate and Sarah. If Mike, Dave and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Walking Sperm and Wildman.
    EATING OUT When the bill arrives, Mike, Dave and John will each
throw in $20, even though it's only for $32.50. None of them will have
anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back. When
the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.
    MONEY A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs. A woman will pay $1
for a $2 item that she doesn't need but it's on sale. 
    BATHROOMS A man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush and
toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel. The average
number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337. A man would not be
able to identify more than 20 of these items. 
    ARGUMENTS A woman has the last word in any argument. Anything a man
says after that is the beginning of a new argument. 
    FUTURE A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband. A
man never worries about the future until he gets a wife. 
    MARRIAGE A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he
doesn't. A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change, but she
    DRESSING UP A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants,
empty the trash, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail. A man will
dress up for weddings and funerals. 
    NATURAL Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed. Women
somehow deteriorate during the night. 
    OFFSPRING Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She
knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods,
secret fears and hopes and dreams. A man is vaguely aware of some short
people living in the house. 
    THOUGHT FOR THE DAY A married man should forget his mistakes.
There's no use in two people remembering the same thing!  BUT WHEN HE FEELS THAT "DEPRESSION" IS ABOUT TO HIT HIM, HE GOES FOR

Any source

Girlfriends' Request List ...

Guys can laugh at this, or think quietly to themselves "yeah, maybe in the first 3 months ..."
But seriously, if you find one who complete you, these are a cinch ... if you are with someone who is not the love of your life, its a chore after a while ...
Ladies, if you find a guy who keeps finding it harder and harder to "share/give" these things to you, he's not the right person for you ...
Any source
          Puigcerdà - Resum maig 2012

 Temperatura mitjana: 15’3ºC

Mitjana mínimes: 7’3ºC
Mitjana màximes:  22’8ºC
Mínima absoluta: 2’3ºC el dia 3 de maig
Màxima absoluta: 32’7ºC el dia 11 de maig
Precipitació mes de maig: 63’3 mm
Dies de pluja: 17
Dies de neu: ----
Aigua acumulada anual a fi de mes: 209’1 mm
Vent dominant: Garbí
Cop de vent màxim:   Mestral de 36’3km/h el dia 21 de maig

L’inici del mes ve sense pluges i temperatures que la segona setmana van en ascens arribant el dia 11 als 32’7ºC de màxima.
La pluja arriba el dia 13 amb el pas d’una tempesta amb calamarsa i aparell elèctric.

A partir del 14, les temperatures baixen de nou, tant les màximes com les mínimes i s’inicia un cicle de matins assolellats amb ruixats de tarda, practicament cada dia i bàsicament es compleix la dita “Pel maig, cada dia un raig”

El total de pluja acumulat, no arriba al promig de 70 mm del mes de maig, de les sèries climàtiques entre el 1961-1990

Dades meteorològiques d’avui a Puigcerdà, a les 8 del matí 
 Temperatura actual: 11'5ºC 
Màxima d’ahir: 27'5ºC 
Mínima d’avui: 11.2ºC
 Pressió atmosfèrica: 1020 hp 
Humitat ambient: 76% 
Humitat mínima d'ahir: 27% a les 16'58 h.
 Pluja en 24 h: ---- 
 Estat del cel: 2/8 de cel tapat 
Visibilitat: bona
 Cop de vent màxim: SSE de 16'2 km/h
Any source

Questions and answers

There are some questions that keep on coming up, questions that readers keep on asking us, questions that we need to answer over and over again. It’s time to answer them again.

Q. Is it possible to get a degree based on “life experience”?

Several readers have asked this recently. They want to get a degree to help them get a better job, a promotion or to get them onto the Board of a national institution or company. Instead of getting a qualification the hard way, they get the idea instead that they can do it over the internet based on their life experience. They seem to think that because they’ve been working for a long time this is a shortcut to getting a Bachelor, Masters or Doctoral degree. This is made a lot easier for them because of the large number of seemingly legitimate web-based “universities” with impressive names like Rochville, Belford, Ashwood, Headway and Mcford. In fact they’re all fakes.

All of these fake universities offer their degrees for no more than a credit card payment and claim you can get your fake degree within days of payment. No examinations, no coursework, no dissertations, the only work you have to do is type in your credit card number. They are as fake as the degrees they offer, as fake as the people who buy these bogus qualifications.

In fact most of the popular fake universities are all part of a single organization operating out of Karachi in Pakistan. You can see a list of these Pakistani fakes on our blog.

So the answer is no, you can’t get a degree this way. No real university offers degrees based on life experience.

Q. Can you trust import car firms?

It depends on the firm in question and how they operate. You have to consider where the car is when you buy it. If the car is on a forecourt here in Botswana then at least you see it, sit in it and take it for a test drive. You can get your friend the mechanic to take a look at it for you.

However the more risky type of business is the online car importer. These show you the details of a car on the web while it’s in storage in another country. In these cases how can you evaluate the car before you buy it? You can’t take it for a test drive, you can’t inspect it, you can’t even be sure that the car you choose is the car that’ll be delivered. Given that all of these companies demand full payment before they ship the vehicle, what can you do if they send you the wrong car? What action can you possibly take? You have the wrong car and strangers in a foreign land have your money.

I’m skeptical about whether buying a car from overseas is a good idea. I would only ever suggest you buy a car you have driven yourself and that has been inspected by someone you trust to act on your behalf. Even then you need to ask about how the vehicle will be maintained if it’s come from a country far away. Friends of mine still drive a fancy 4x4 from Japan whose radio still talks to them in Japanese. Nobody seems to be able to fix that. Do you want that?

Q. Should I stop paying for my store credit purchases?

No. Never. No matter how the store has behaved, however badly they have let you down, even if you think the world is going to end, don’t stop your credit repayments.

The critical thing to understand about buying items on credit is that once you sign the deal you are committed to making the payments for the entire duration of the deal. There will be no getting out of it. The items you bought are entirely unconnected with the payments you make. Think of it like this. If you’d got a loan from your bank to buy a computer and that computer was later stolen, would you be entitled to stop repaying your bank loan? Of course not, the bank would have you in court within moments. It’s the same with store credit. If you stop repaying you’ll be the one in trouble.

If a problem occurs with your purchases complain vigorously to the store and demand they fix it. Give them no other option. Just keep paying them what you agreed to pay.

Q. Is there such a thing as “passive income”?

Only if you are exceptionally wealthy and exceptionally lucky. “Passive income” is a term used by multi-level marketing companies and their cousins, pyramid schemes, to catch you in their net. They suggest that once you’re in their scheme large amounts of money will just flow to you as if by magic from the people you recruited and the pyramid of gullible fools who they recruited beneath them.

Of course this is nonsense. Multi-level marketing companies like Amway and Herbalife confess in the statements they are forced to disclose each year in the USA that the VAST majority of their distributors make no profit at all. As for the victims of pyramid schemes, they’re just screwed.

Q. Can I make money from High Yield Investment Plans?

No. HYIPs are just fronts for Ponzi schemes. They promise you astronomical financial returns from your investments but they lying, it’s not true. Any money you get will be from the “investments” of later victims. What they want, and what you won’t get back, is your initial payment. They’ll pretend to give you massive interest payments and they might even give you a few small trivial payments to keep you happy but remember this: they still have your initial payment and they plan on keeping most, if not all, of it.

Q. Are emails from strangers offering me money, jobs or love genuine?

No. Don’t be silly.Any source


Per poter limitare i danni e recuperare, almeno parzialmente, la grave
perdita, i caseifici emiliani messi in ginocchio dal terremoto hanno
avuto un’idea geniale: vendere il formaggio “terremotato” a prezzi
estremamente convenienti, stimolando un’autentica gara di
solidarietà-conveniente che sta mobilitando centinaia di migliaia di
italiani. Le richieste, infatti, sono state già tantissime e in molti
ci chiedono come fare a ordinare e acquistare il parmigiano. Le ditte
emiliane offrono questi prezzi, estremamente vantaggiosi:

Parmigiano Reggiano con 14 mesi di stagionatura a 11,5 € al kg in
pezzi da 500gr. oppure 1kg sottovuoto;
Parmigiano Reggiano con 27 mesi di stagionatura a 13,00 € al kg in
pezzi da 500gr. oppure 1kg sottovuoto;
Crema spalmabile a 11,00 € al kg in confezioni da 250g.

Si può prenotare il proprio ordine sia via email che per telefono. Ecco come:

Inviando un email a o chiamando al cellulare
335/1587303 per le richieste di singole persone o famiglie da lunedì
28 maggio 2012;
Contattando direttamente l’azienda per le richieste di gruppi di
persone provenienti da aziende, enti o associazioni ai questi
recapiti: Azienda Agricola Biologica Casumaro Maurizio, Via per
Cavezzo-Camposanto, 19 – Loc. Solara – Bomporto (MO). Numeri di
cellulare: 346 1779737 oppure 340 9016093. Indirizzo di posta
se avete altri indirizzi comunicatemelo e verranno inseriti

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

Please help me check a Senegalese identity. Are these documents fake or genuine?

This is an obvious fake.

The quality of the ID card is very suspect, look at the changes in font, both typeface and size, the incorrect capitalization and the general quality of the documents. Also there are other clues. Who has an ID card numbered "0001"? The "passport" also shows the same strange use of fonts. If you look closely you’ll see that the signature on the passport is totally different to that on the ID card and neither say “Richard Bongo”.

Both of these documents have been created on someone’s computer and clearly by an amateur. A quick Google search showed that the very same ID document has been used before in "advance fee" scams. Also the name "Richard Bongo" has been used in scams before.

Update: The reader responded and confessed that he had already lost P10,000 to the scam. It seems like we were too late this time. Be warned!

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

I need your advice. I want to buy a car and there is an offer too good to be true. Could you check it for me because I don't understand why their bank is in New York yet they are in Japan?

[The reader attached details of three vehicles he was interested in buying from a Japanese web site. All were Toyotas, between 12 and 15 years old, but all were models that you and I have probably never seen here in Africa and all three were in credibly cheap. One was available for $600, the other two for $950 each. The total bill for buying them and shipping them all from Japan came to $4,950, about P40,000. The invoice they sent also was extremely specific, even giving the chassis numbers of the vehicles they were offering.]

Did you say “too good to be true”? That’s always a clue that something is suspicious.

I'm skeptical about all car import businesses but in this case the banking details are the least of my concerns. The key issue for me is that you have no way of inspecting the vehicle before you pay for it. You have no real guarantee that the correct car will turn up or that it will be in a satisfactory condition. What can you then do if the car you receive isn’t the right one, or isn’t in the condition you expected? Nothing.

I did a bit of detective work and I’m now even more suspicious. One of the chassis numbers they quote, for a Toyota “Windom”, is also available for sale from the same company, not in Japan, but in Georgia which is 8,000km away from Japan. How can the same car be available in these two places? At the very least someone isn’t being entirely open with you.

The prices are, I suppose, reasonable for cars of this type and ages but that would make me even more cautious. A cheap car of that age is not going to be in the best of condition and who will support such a vehicle in Botswana?

All in all I'm very skeptical!

Update: The reader came back to us saying he’d reconsidered and had dropped his plan to buy these cars.Any source

Senate approves House budget after adding education spending

By Jamey Dunn and Ashley Griffin

The Illinois Senate approved the House's budget legislation Thursday after some Democrats demanded additional education spending.

The Senate signed off on the House budget after the House ignored budget bills passed by Senate Democrats. Senate Republicans objected to the spending levels in both bills.

The budget contains funding for state facilities that Gov. Pat Quinn had targeted for closure in his budget proposal in February. Quinn called for shutting down several state institutions, including centers for the developmentally disabled, a mental health center and some correctional facilities. The current legislation also contains funding to retool the state’s controversial supermax prison — where prisoners are kept in isolation for up to 23 hours a day — into a less restrictive system.

 Laurie Jo Reynolds, an organizer for Tamms Year Ten, a group pushing for the closure of Tamms, said it is unclear whether the plan would allow prisoners to have enough communal time outside of their cells. “We sort of need to know what they’re talking about when they are talking about refurbishing the prison and retooling it,” she said. Reynolds said that adding a yard and a cafeteria would not be enough to make Tamms a workable medium-security prison. She said other changes would be needed, such as the addition of a common day-room area and classrooms where education and rehabilitation programs could be held.

She noted that Tamms was built for isolation, so it would be difficult to move prisoners around in the way that they are moved in a medium- or low-security prison. “There's so many doors between the wing and the pods [where inmates are kept],” she said. “It’s just not as easy of a facility to let people in the yard or take them out to the cafeteria. It doesn’t seem very cost-efficient to rework it into a medium-security [prison].”

Reynolds said it is an important step that those in favor of keeping Tamms open support the idea of it no longer being a super maximum security prison. “The fundamental premise of [the state] needing a supermax has been destroyed. That admission is a victory in itself. Now we need to have a conversation about: ‘Do we need a new medium-security prison, and can we afford a new medium-security prison?’”

Some Senate Democrats said money should not be spent to keep facilities open when the state is cutting human services and education. “We cannot afford to go backwards, and we don’t have to go backwards. This is all called priorities, and I think the Senate has a better grasp on what the priorities are,” said Sen. Donne Trotter, a budget point man on the Democratic side. “In my mind and many down here, keeping facilities open isn’t a priority.”

Some Senate Democrats refused to vote for the House's K-12 education budget the first time the legislation was called for a vote, and the measure failed. “We should be voting no on this bill because the House sent us a budget with further cuts to education. The House sent us a budget that only added back $50 million more in general state aid,” said Sen. Kimberly Lightford, a Democrat from Maywood. “We put a whole a lot of burden on the local school districts and at the same time continuously underfunded them.” (For more on the spending levels in the House budget, see yesterday's blog.)

“Maybe some members did not get the memo that we don’t have any money,” said Sen. Dan Kotowski, a Democrat from Park Ridge “We are out of money.” But Senate President John Cullerton proposed some ways to find new revenue for education spending. House Bill 5440 would add a 5 percent tax to the gross profits of satellite television providers such as Dish Network and Direct TV. Cullerton said cable providers already pay the fee and that the legislation would bring in about $75 million. He also sponsored House Bill 5342, which would close some corporate tax loopholes for oil companies. He estimated that legislation could bring in $100 million. “Closing loopholes is definitely fair, and I think targeting certain tax credits is appropriate,” Cullerton said during a committee hearing on the legislation.

Senate Bill 2365 would dole out the new revenues According to an analysis from the Democrats:
  •  $24.9 million would go toward early childhood education. 
  •  $134.7 million would go into general state aid for schools.
  •  $15.4 million would go to the Monetary Assistance Program for college students.
  •  $24 million would go into the Circuit Breaker program, which provides assistance for the elderly.
Cullerton’s bills passed without Republican votes. “It is just another tax increase. Pass it on to the people who have been nickeled and dimed to death,” said Sen. Dale Righter, Republican from Mattoon. But with the additional education spending, Democrats did not need the Republican votes to pass the bulk of the budget bills. The House's education budget passed on a second floor vote.

Republicans said the budget would set the state up for financial peril when the recently enacted income tax increase starts to roll back in 2015, and they said the spending could prompt a vote to stop the increase from phasing out. “This is yet another brick in the wall of the permanent tax increase,” said Sen. Matt Murphy, a Palatine Republican.

They accused Democrats of running counter to the state’s relatively new Budgeting for Results law by funneling money into programs that do not have proven success. The law is supposed to give preference to programs that can document some level of success at meeting in-house goals. “Either apply this new law in a way that is understandable and explainable, or please stop telling us that it has changed the budgeting process at all,” Murphy said.

The additional education spending would still have to be approved in the House. Trotter said that there is time to get it passed when lawmakers return for session during Fiscal Year 2013, which begins July 1. “Those individuals over there represent the same people we do,” Trotter said. “They’re going to go home, like we are. … And they are going to hear from their constituents that say, 'How could we not fund education?' And I think it’s that kind of pressure that’s going to be put on the [House Speaker Michael Madigan]. The good thing about this legislative process is that we get more than one bite at the apple.”

The strategy is similar to one employed by the Senate last year to get additional human services spending. “Last year, we got a sad, sad budget from the House. They gave us the budget and left town. The Senate felt we had a more responsible budget. We presented it, and it didn’t go anywhere. We came back in the fall in veto session and put in all those things that we said we should have put in in June,” Trotter said.Any source

State pension reform postponed

Jamey Dunn

Backers of state-employee pension reform couldn’t get the support they needed to pass a bill before the General Assembly's spring session was scheduled to adjourn Thursday before midnight.

The process started to show cracks on Wednesday when Republicans refused to support a bill sponsored by House Speaker Michael Madigan. Among other things, Senate Bill 1673 would have shifted pension costs to school districts, universities and community colleges over the course of several years. House Minority Leader Tom Cross said  that would result in statewide property tax increases.

Madigan handed the bill over to Cross on Wednesday night. He said moving the bill forward without the cost shift that he supported came at the request of Gov. Pat Quinn. “I think that there ought to be a shift in responsibility in the normal cost so that going forward ... the people making the spending decisions will be called upon to pay the bills. Today it’s very simple: Spending decisions are made. The bill is sent down to the Teachers Retirement System. The state pays the bill. I think that ought to change,” Madigan said when he announced he was stepping away from the bill.

“I feel like … I’m the partner or the associate that was given a huge file the night before and [told] go try this case for me,” Cross said when he presented the bill in committee Thursday morning.“Try this jury trial tomorrow, and I have not been involved in the preparation of it. I have not put the case together, the file together. But nevertheless, here we are. We will proceed as best we can in all the amount of time we have, and we’ll see how things go.”

 Madigan made it known Thursday that he would not be voting for the measure, and Cross said Quinn was unable to rally enough support among fellow Democrats. Cross said 30 Republicans were willing to vote in favor of his version of the bill, which needed 60 votes to pass.

Democrats argued that having the state pick up pension costs favored wealthier school districts with higher payrolls. The state pays more for their employees' pensions, which are based on the heftier paychecks. “Does your proposal do anything to address that inequity?” Sen. Elaine Nekritz, who served on the pension reform working group, asked Cross during the committee hearing Thursday morning.

“If you have suggestions on that…we’re certainly open to having that conversation,” Cross said.

“We did. It was the cost shift,” quipped Nekritz, a Northbrook Democrat.

When it became apparent that the House was not going to vote on SB 1673, which would have affected state, university and K-12 employees, along with legislators, the Senate approved House Bill 1447, which would reduce benefits only for state employees and members of the General Assembly. However, many senators described the vote as “symbolic” and noted that there is still work to do on pension reform. “We’re all on the same track,” said Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno. “I very much look forward to finishing the job.”

The vote in the Senate was 30-24 with one senator, Elgin Democrat Mike Noland, voting present.

The proposed reforms to the state employee and General Assembly pension systems did not contain the controversial cost shift, and Senate President John Cullerton said he called them for a vote because they had bipartisan support. “The other two systems, there still are some very contentious issues. We don’t have an agreement on them,” he said. Neither the Senate nor the House bill would have affected judges, who have their own state pension system.

While the Senate vote was more of a gesture than a genuine effort at change, it still upset public employee unions. “We are disappointed that the Illinois Senate voted in favor of legislation that attempts to shift the lion’s share of the burden for Illinois pension debt onto employees and retirees, who have faithfully contributed their share over their working lives. We do not believe that HB 1447 represents a constitutional or fair solution to the problem of pension underfunding,” Illinois AFL-CIO President Michael Carrigan said in a prepared statement on behalf of a union coalition. Carrigan said the unions are willing to continue working with lawmakers to find a solution.

Cross said that Quinn plans to call a special legislative session to take up pension reform after lawmakers regroup and negotiate some changes. “The last couple days, I think we would all agree, have gotten a little tense around here and emotional, and some things have happened, even that, frankly, I haven’t seen in a while. But nevertheless, it got that way. Pension issues and debates create controversy and a lot of emotion … and I think we’re realizing there will never be an easy solution on pensions,” Cross said on the House floor when he announced that he would not call SB 1673 for a vote.

 Cross said those who are negotiating pension reforms may need a little time to cool off before they give it another shot. “It got really ugly the last couple days,” he said. But he warned that Quinn should not wait too long to call lawmakers back to session and that the issue should be dealt with this summer and not pushed off until after the November general election. “We’re right there. I don’t think you want to lose that.” Legislative leadership in both chambers could also call a special session.

Quinn said that he plans to meet with the leaders next week. “As I have repeatedly made clear, inaction on pension reform is not a choice. We must fundamentally reform our pension system, and we must enact bold reform that eliminates the unfunded liability. We have made great headway on stabilizing our pension system, and we are very close to a solution, but we are not there yet,” Quinn said in a prepared statement.

 Madigan said he was disappointed that pension reform did not pass but congratulated House members on their other efforts during the session, such as passing the budget for the next fiscal year and voting to end a controversial legislative scholarship program. “We’re all very disappointed that we did not resolve the pension question before the legislature. However, I think we should all recognize that there were significant accomplishments in this session,” he told House members just before adjournment.Any source

Facebook Stock: What's Going Wrong?

Just a month ago, among the investing public, nothing was more hip or more fashionable than the planned Facebook stock offering.  This would be the most prominent, most anticipated IPO since Google. Investors from coast to coast--from institutions to moms and pops, uncles and aunts--maneuvered and schmoozed to get a piece of the action. The pre-IPO "road show" was circus-like with the business media clinging to every move of the Facebook management team, especially when the team paraded into New York.  Underwriters spent weeks jockeying for position, while some investors whined when they weren't promised a gold-mine allotment of shares.

A month later, Facebook shares have stumbled out of the gates and fallen flat, and now analysts, market watchers and pundits everywhere are trying to figure out what went wrong. Some blame the lead underwriters (Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan) for mis-pricing the offering, for  over-valuing the company, and for bad timing. Some blame the Nasdaq exchange--at least for the first-day technical blunders. Some blame the worries and threats from Europe.  Some blame recurring fears from retail investors, who shudder and flee equity markets when the going gets rough.

Whatever, share prices that opened at $38/share are now down over 20% in the first two weeks, don't seem to have stabilized, and just haven't found a comfortable first-month trading range. When the IPO was on the drawing board this winter, bankers and traders simply assumed the stock would be comfortably trading in the high 40s now.

What went wrong?  Or what are investors responding to?

1.  IPO Pricing Often underwriters of IPOs are accused of under-pricing shares. Such under-pricing permits a first-day surge and first-day euphoria around the new stock.  Sometimes underwriters are accused of not issuing the stock at the highest price possible to permit the company to generate the highest proceeds possible from the offering.  Aware of this, Morgan Stanley and team may have been extra careful to price the stock to make it attractive to the public, yet maximize the proceeds to the company.

(If the underwriting had been priced (more fairly?) at current prices, the company would have raised about $2-3 billion less in funds.)

2.  Supply vs. Demand.  For much of the past year, the Facebook IPO has been a looming, dominant, and popular discussion topic in investment banking and equity markets. Underwriters, who normally rely on exquisite, near-scientific market intelligence to price shares or measure precisely the market demand for them, may have over-estimated demand after the first day. They may have been influenced more by the "talk" and glow of the underwriting on the first day, less by the actual, expected demand on the second day.

3.  Uncertain Revenue Streams.  With the shares out the door and into the hands of the investing public (including hedge funds, mutual funds, pension funds, and others),  analysts and traders may have realized something they suspected all along.  The company's future revenue streams are more uncertain or undefined than we thought several months ago.  What happens when the number of  users of the social network reaches an inevitable plateau? How will the company reach certain levels of revenue? How will it sustain revenues at that level? And just as important, how will it grow them? What strategies (acquisitions?) will help propel growth? All factors that have impact on the long-term valuation of the company.

Investors, researchers, market-makers and analysts--this week--are asking these questions more emphatically than they did a few weeks ago, when they may have been blinded by the euphoria of the offering, hoping, despite any concerns, to take advantage of the first-day or first-week surge in price.

Some are presenting the same questions to the company and underwriters, questioning whether they explained these uncertainties carefully in regulatory prospectuses or questioning how they could be so imprecise in valuing the company. 

4. Fear of the Fad.  Perhaps some investors, traders and research analysts have fear of the fad. They reason Facebook will remain fashionable until one day it isn't, the day when the next new thing supplants it. The hundreds of millions of account-users are not eternally wedded to it; they aren't locked into long-term contracts, nor is there a substantial cost in fleeing to the next new thing.  This group of investors could be frightened by the immeasurable whims of millions of individual users.

5.  Absence of Bottom-Fishers.  With over 900 million users, an elephantine data base, and a reliable stream of core advertising revenues, the company has a minimum value of some kind, likely still in the billions. That would make it attractive to the market's bottom-fishers, investors who wait for share prices to slide to a perceived bottom and then grab them at a bargain.  With Facebook, the bottom-fishers may be sitting on the sidelines momentarily. They have not emerged en masse, watching the momentum of the slide continue. At some point, the slide ebbs, and they scoop up the bargains.

But where will the slide end? At $20/share? At $15?

Expect the rocky, volatile start to Facebook as a public company to continue, at least until the day in mid-July when Zuckerberg and team have their first earnings conference call with the piranhas from investment firms, research firms, and hedge funds raising their hands to ask what happened and why. That performance could be the pivotal point in the stock's first-year performance.

Tracy Williams

See also  

CFN:  Facebook and Its Underwriters, 2012

CFN: Goldman Sachs and Its Private Equity Investment in Facebook, 2011Any source

Carta Prevista para el Sábado-2-Junio-2012...

Carta Prevista para el Sábado 2 de Junio de 2012, a las 18 utc (15 hs de Argentina).

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Carta prevista para Domingo-3-Junio-2012...

Carta Prevista para el Domingo-3-Junio de 2012, a las 18 utc (15 horas de Argentina).

--- Fuente de las Cartas: Modelo GFS (NOAA/USA).  Los Sistemas Meteorológicos han sido detectados y dibujados por el Autor de esta Nota.

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Mais um novo instrumento de aferição.

Depois do sucesso comercial do cavacógrafo, do coelhógrafo e do riógrafo , a Empresa “F.Louro-Electrónica e Máquinas,Lda” , em franca expansão e em colaboração com o Instituto de Meteorologia, perdão, Instituto do Mar e da Atmosfera , colocou no mercado mais um novo instrumento de aferição.

Desta vez é o relvógrafo que , através do aparo que se desloca sobre o impresso gráfico acoplado ao sistema de relojoaria , mede e regista a pressão que o "Relvas" exerce sobre jornalistas, espiões, ex-espiões ,políticos ,directores de empresas de comunicação e cidadãos em geral.

Como a procura foi muita, o produto encontra-se momentaneamente esgotado.

A Empresa garantiu no entanto, através de uma SMS que enviou para todos os seus clientes, o restabelecimento do stock ainda antes da destituição deste "coiso".
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Masas de aire que afectan a España (V): Advección de levante-aire mediterráneo.

Para que se produzca una advección de levante o del este, hace falta tener una zona de altas presiones al N de la península y bajas presiones al sur de tal manera que entre ambos centros de acción se canalice una corriente de vientos del E desde el Mediterráneo que arrastre aire húmedo desde dicho mar, una masa de aire que en realidad suele ser una de tipo cP o cT pero desnaturalizada y humedecida en capas bajas sobretodo debido a su trayectoria por el mar. En altura puede haber una dorsal estirada desde el Atlántico hacia la zona de altas presiones al N,e incluso dicha dorsal puede llegar a aislarse formando una burbuja de aire cálido que alimente dicha zona de altas presiones como pasa en el ejemplo a analizar. Por otra parte, la zona de bajas presiones al sur de la península puede ser una baja cálida o anómala(baja térmica africana) o ser una baja fría y por tanto que tenga aire frío en altura que es lo que pasa en este ejemplo. Cuando las advecciones de levante se dan con aire frío en altura pueden producirse precipitaciones copiosas, a veces torrenciales si es  finales de verano o comienzos de otoño, en las comunidades del E peninsular; y si la advección es intensa las lluvias pueden avanzar de forma más débil al interior de la península. En el caso de que la advección de levante sea sin aire frío en altura, las lluvias son mucho más débiles y no avanzan hacia el interior de la península donde incluso el tiempo es estable o con nieblas si es invierno. Con las entradas de levante, las temperaturas son más bajas de las normales en el E de la península y más altas en el W debido al recalentamiento que sufre la masa de aire al cruzar la península.

En cuanto a las temperaturas a 850hPa, si la advección de levante es con aire frío en altura (como la que analizamos), aparece una lengua o una masa de aire frío debajo del embolsamiento de aire frío que avanza de E a W hacia la península. En este caso vemos como la configuración térmica tiene una forma de omega, con una masa de aire cálido que avanza hacia el NE, rodeada de dos masas de aire frío.

En el caso del mapa del jet, en las advecciones de levante aparece un ramal del jet fuerte rodeando por el oeste y norte a la zona de altas presiones y un ramal más débil retrógrado cerca de la península que pasa de nuevo a ser zonal en el Mediterráneo o N de África si hay aire frío en altura. Sino lo hay este segundo jet no aparece.

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Bishop Tim Dakin & Lord Raymond Plant

In Winchester Cathedral Close on a summer May evening yesterday the brand new Bishop Tim Dakin and Lord Raymond Plant were brought together by Dean James Atwell with an audience of about 100, for a dialogue. The subject was: Church for the Nation. Can the Church of England be both a Church for the Nation and an anchor member for the Anglican Communion? 
The Bishop is making his mark quickly and widely and he speaks his mind. Lord Plant set the scene as to how human rights and equality legislation removes a specific religious base for law - since religious belief lies in the heart of the believer and cannot, in a secular society, bind non-adherents. But then, human rights legislation is largely equivalent to rights in common law, so not too many problems there perhaps, although someone has asked (whatever next!): 'Is the new Archbishop of Canterbury expected to be an Anglican?'  A current issue is House of Lords reform and the pressure to deny seats to the 26 bishops out of over 800 other members. 

Bishop Tim with a teasing: 'Did Jesus intend to start a world movement' said that dealing with pluralism was included at the start.  Jewish Christians had to come to terms with  Gentile Christians who carried no Jewish cultural heritage - but they worked it out. A danger lies in thinking our church business is tied up with a 'philosophy of law' when it is essentially about 'hope in Christ'. This involves a change of personality - such as St Paul clearly admitted to in his writings. The Anglican Church has moved through various phases to modern times from its Reformation start, but has not fully resolved its latest modern missionary movement period. To many we are strangers bringing a strange gospel, and we are aware of the power of the metropolitan media, of London and the big newspapers in setting agendas.

Faith and church order are part of how we relate to culture.  But what if a new Archbishop of Canterbury is not of our own culture? Appreciating another person's point of view may help us to see that our understanding is limited, and help us change our views. Bishop Tim said that the Anglican church is a highly complex thing with lots of baggage associated and he has  appointed as chaplain a barrister versed in canon law (Gavin Foster) to help him steer though.  Raymond Plant was nervous of tradition and it should only be appealed to because it brings benefits, not just because it has authority as tradition. The Bishop said we need humility about our western church tradition - it is not for everyone, what if someone from elsewhere says we are wrong? They may be right.  But to drop all tradition and rely on reason alone could mean a new 'tradition of reason'. 

On a practical level of how and where to engage in society, agreeing with Lord P he said that we must use moral language, but not with churchy words. Ethics is the thing. The ethics of the economy is an important area for Christians to engage in but not in religious terms. A starting point is that economics is a study of 'God's generosity'. Lord P referred to the work of Michael Sandel on how markets are dangerous places if we let them rule [see this 6 min. YouTube clip] . 

posted by Charles Bazlinton
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Chartres 2012 - Part Two

...In which our intrepid pilgrims march out of Paris, and brave the hottest day of the year...

The Mass at Notre Dame started at 7.00, and it was about 8.30 by the time the procession had left the Cathedral.

The walking started at about 8.45 for the first Chapters.  As you would expect, a statue of Our Lady leads the whole pilgrimage, and is carried the entire distance on the shoulders of a succession of volunteers.

This year, the Rhone-Alpes region led the pilgrimage for the first day, and the first chapter was the parish of St André, from Grenoble.  The 12 chapters from Rhone-Alpes were followed by another 12 from Provence/Languedoc (led by the chapter of Sainte Madeleine of Le Barroux), and then 20 chapters from the Nord region.  After them were the Normandy chapters, which included us and the Australians as guests.  So we left Notre Dame at about 9.00.  There were another 9 regions behind us (as well as the Family and Children groups of chapters, which had a different itinerary). In total there were nearly 200 chapters, with about 50 pilgrims in most chapters, so I think that makes it nearly 10,000 people marching.  The last pilgrims were due to leave Notre Dame at 9.30, though I didn't stay around to check that they did.  So it took about 45 minutes for the procession to pass any one point.

The first march took us through the streets of Paris: down the Boulevard St Michel, past the Sorbonne and the Luxembourg gardens, and then through various suburban parks.  In our chapter, we started with a Morning Offering, as we did every day, and then sang Faith of Our Fathers and other hymns and then some marching songs as we walked through the bright Parisian sunshine. Once we were out of the traffic, we sang our first rosary of the day: the Joyful Mysteries.  These were sung in Latin, and took the best part of an hour.  For all of that time, our priests were available in the spaces between the chapters to hear confessions, and we were frequently reminded of the importance of confession as part of the pilgrimage.  This first march of the day was long: about 2 hours and 45 minutes (12.5 kilometres).  So we were grateful to reach the first rest point, and collapse on the grass, having been handed fresh bottles of water and apples as we arrived.

But the brutal organisers only allow 15 minutes for a break, so all too soon we were on our feet again, putting our boots back on, shouldering our packs, raising our banners,hearts and spirits as best we could for the second leg.  It was getting much hotter now, and we were grateful that some of our way, at least, was through woodland paths.  We listened to a meditation, sang more marching songs, and then sang a second rosary. As we approached the lunch field, some 90 minutes and 6 km later, we were asked to stop singing, as the Children's Mass might not be finished.  It transpired the family and childrens' chapters (some 20 of them) had not been made to get up for the early sung Mass.  Instead a magnificent altar had been set up in the field and they had heard Mass there just prior to our arrival.

For lunch, you are issued with bread rolls and water.  Anything else you want, you bring with you - or scrounge from friends.  We had some wonderful cheeses and cold meats which Mrs T had thoughtfully put in a cool bag - and they had indeed stayed cool.  The lunch break was alleged to be 60 minutes, but it passed all too soon.

Then came the toughest march of the day.  In the bright, hot sunshine, from around 2.30 to 5.00, we marched another 10 km. Again, we spent the time singing the rosary, listening to meditations, chatting convivially, singing rounds and marching songs, and simply keeping each other going. The spring in the step was noticeably less than a few hours earlier, and the only relief was the fact that packs were lighter after lunches had been eaten.  However, this is also the time when friendships are being forged: not the easy conviviality of the morning, but friendships forged in the heat of the day, when it is easy for the mask to slip...

And so it went on. We had another break, another march, another break and a final march.  All the way along, there were regular first aid posts, doing a brisk trade in treating people for sprains, heat stroke and so on.  Likewise there was ample water, and we were constantly reminded to drink plenty and keep our heads covered. There were also buses at each stop to pick up anyone who could not walk any more. Nonetheless, it was hard walking: so much so that my eldest, Antonia, who has done the pilgrimage many times in its entirety, was overcome by the heat and was brought into camp in an ambulance...

It was soon after 8.00 pm that we arrived at the Camp Site, and we marched in singing, to show the French we were undaunted by a stroll like that.  It was about 11 hours since we had started walking and we had covered 41 km on a blisteringly hot day.

One of the nice features of the Pilgrimage is that the children's chapters, who walk only part of the distance and are then bused ahead, are encouraged to wait at various points and cheer us on to encourage failing limbs...  So we were frequently greeted by hoards of small French Scouts and Guides singing 'Allez, les anglais!' with great gusto.

I have to admit that I was pretty tired by this stage, so Dominique and I collected our luggage and Ant's from the Etrangers lorry, and found a spot in the Normandie enclosure to pitch our tent.  I then lay down (just for a moment, you understand) and next thing I knew, Dom had pitched the tent, and Ant had turned up, feeling ready for bed.  So she crawled into her sleeping bag, while Dom and I got some of the communal soup which is served up by the vast makeshift catering facility.  Then after a quick splash in the cattle troughs that pass for basins, we too, gratefully, crept into the tent.  Sleep was instant.

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Please respond to consultation on conscientious objection

The General Medical Council (GMC) has issued new draft guidance for doctors on "Personal beliefs and medical practice". The draft deals with the important issue of conscientious objection, and it seeks to control how doctors deal with requests for treatments which they do not in conscience provide, which may include abortion, IVF, contraception, the morning-after pill, or euthanasia.
There are serious flaws in the draft and doctor who hold pro-life values could be penalised or prevented from practising medicine as a result. The GMC has the power to strike doctors off the medical register and they warn doctors what the consequences may be:
"Serious or persistent failure to follow this guidance will put your registration at risk."

Please respond to this consultation yourself and/or ask others (especially doctors). This consultation is being conducted online only. Please visit: and click on "Consultation on Personal beliefs and medical practice"

You need to register to contribute but it is free to do so. The deadline for comments is 13 June 2012.
SPUC has published a guideline brief to help you respond to the questions in the consultation.

Comments on this blog? Email them to
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Follow SPUC on Twitter
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Please support SPUC. Please donate, join, and/or leave a legacyAny source

Scossa 4.0 alle 16.58

Un terremoto di magnitudo (Ml) 4.0 è avvenuto alle ore 16:58 italiane del giorno 31 maggio 2012. Il terremoto è stato localizzato dalla Rete Sismica Nazionale dell’INGV nel distretto sismico denominato Pianura Padana Emiliana. source

Pflimlin à l’heure des comptes…dans moins de 6 mois France Télé pourrait se retrouver sans le sou !

Pflimlin à l’heure des comptes…dans moins de 6 mois France Télé pourrait se retrouver sans le sou !

Le blog CGC Média, à plusieurs reprises, a tiré la sonnette d’alarme sur les comptes dégradés de France Télévisions. L’organisation syndicale est heureuse de constater que Christophe Beaux, Président Directeur général de la monnaie de Paris mais aussi administrateur à France Télévisions, fait de même.

Dans un très récent post du blog CGC Média intitulé : « Pflimlin va devoir expliquer aux services de l'État la dégradation « soudaine » des comptes de France Télévisions ! », le syndicat tentait d’alerter les services de l’État, La Direction Générale des Médias et des Industries Culturelles (DGMIC) [ex Service Juridique et Technique de l’Information (SJTI), devenue en 1995 le SJTIC (C pour "Communication") et en décembre 2000, la Direction du développement des médias (DDM)] ainsi que l'Agence des Participations de l'État (A.P.E.) sur la situation financière catastrophique de France Télévisions.

Que dit aujourd’hui très courageusement et très clairement, Christophe Beaux, "Les comptes sont mauvais. On se berce d'illusions… Si on continue comme ça, dans six mois, il n’y aura plus d’argent dans les caisses".

Comme cela est vrai…exactement ce qu’a dit et écrit la CGC Média, encore  quelques jours avant le Conseil d’Administration de France Télévisions, le 25 mai 2012, « Il serait particulièrement étonnant que le résultat net de l'entreprise soit à l'équilibre, comme cela a déjà été annoncé par Rémy Pflimlin, alors que la trésorerie nette aurait fondue de plusieurs dizaines de millions, voire une centaine, en 2011. »

Plus que jamais, la CGC Média persiste et signe ses propos repris, semble-t-il en cœur par des administrateurs inquiets.

Comment alors que Pflimlin annonce 13,6 M€ de recettes publicitaires supplémentaires non prévues au budget, soit 423,7 M€ pour 2012, la trésorerie établie à quelques 200 M€ en 2010, s’est retrouvée siphonné de près de 130 M€ sur une seule année pour ne finir qu’à 71,9 M€ en 2011 ????? 

Pflimlin qui s’est félicité devant les membres du CSA, les députés et sénateurs qui l’ont auditionné de la « sage » décision Nicolas Sarkozy, l'homme qui l’a nommé après avoir amputé la publicité du service public, devrait la mettre un peu en sourdine au lieu de s’enorgueillir  de cette manne publicitaire inattendue !

Ce qui est dès lors incroyable, c’est comment avec 13, 6 M€ en plus, France Télévisions n’a quasiment plus de trésorerie ?  C’est incroyable de constater qu’avec des recettes en plus, Pflimlin arrive à dégrader la trésorerie de 130 M €…Il va devoir s’expliquer et plus vite qu’il ne le pense.

Les charges ont explosé depuis l’arrivée de Pflimlin et ses équipes alors que dans le même temps ne cessaient de monter tandis que les recettes diminuent. 

Ce n’est pas l’enfumage savamment entretenu en C.A. entre les comptes de France Télévisions SA, les comptes consolidés de France Télévisions groupe, le passage permanent à vous donner le tournis, aux années n (2011), n-1 (2010) mais aussi n+1 (2012) qui va changer les choses. La conclusion sous forme de question sera sans appel : Comment France Télévisions peut-elle annoncer un résultat net de l'entreprise à peine supérieur  à l'équilibre alors que la trésorerie nette a fondue de près de 130M€ en 2011 ? 

Ce n’est pas non plus, la pirouette exécutée en C.A. toujours par Pflimlin pour demander mandat à son Conseil pour déposer une requête auprès le Président du Tribunal (selon l’article L 225-64 du Code du Commerce) visant à demander un délai de prorogation pour le dépôt des comptes mi-juillet, qui brouillera les pistes. 

Tout le monde pourrait se demander pourquoi ce nouveau délai ?! L’explication est assez simple. La loi fixe à 45 jours incompressibles, le délai entre le Conseil d’Administration et l’Assemblée Générale Ordinaire…En l’occurrence, le Conseil arrête les comptes qui sont présentés pour approbation en AGO un mois et demi après.

Pflimlin n’ayant déjà pas respecté la loi, notamment l’article L 225-100 qui prévoit expressément le dépôt des comptes avant le 3 juin de l’année en cours…Pflimlin ayant prévu hors la lois donc, la tenue de son CA le 30 mai,  il n’y a pas 45 jours de délai entre le Conseil d’Administration et l’Assemblée Générale Ordinaire, d’où la demande a posteriori.

Rappelons également que le CCE n’a pas été réuni préalablement au CA et cela le plus sciemment qui soit.

Enfin c’est encore moins l’argument de Martin Ajdari, le directeur général en charge des finances, qui convaincra qui que ce soit quand il explique – sans rire –  qu’ « une trésorerie ça fluctue avec des hauts et des bas, selon les cycles ». Une affirmation qui ne pouvait pas vraiment convaincra Christophe Beaux qui précise "Que la trésorerie fluctue, c'est une chose, mais au 1er janvier, elle devrait être au même niveau qu'un an plus tôt", comme elle n’a convaincu aucun des administrateurs d’ailleurs ! 

On se demande parfois si on n’atteint pas là des sommets d’amateurisme…nous ne sommes ici qu’au début d’un long combat pour que toute la vérité apparaisse.
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Job Openings

We have two Job Openings today; one from our friends at AFC First Financial Corporation and one from the good people at Klunk & Millan.  As always, if you are a Chamber member and have a job opening you'd like to promote, please E-mail it to me at

Position Available: Corporate Accountant 

AFC First Financial Corporation , a Lehigh Valley based private financial institution which specializes in lending for residential energy efficiency projects is looking for a talented, detail-oriented and upbeat individual for the position of Corporate Accountant.

The ideal candidate will fit into a smaller company team environment, while working on interesting projects that support lending programs for energy efficiency and other "green" improvements and education across the country. AFC First, founded in 1947, is one of three Fannie Mae approved energy-lenders nationwide and administrator of state and utility programs including Pennsylvania's Keystone Home Energy Loan program, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Treasury, the Connecticut Solar Lease Program, the  national EnergyLoan program and programs for many other states and utilities. The US EPA and DOE recently named AFC First the nation's first private, non-utility Home Performance with ENERGY STAR sponsor.

Dynamic and creative thinking, financial discipline, personal integrity and conscientiousness toward employees, customers and business partners are the cornerstone beliefs of the company.

Job Description:
This position is a key part of AFC First's Energy Loan financial team. Primary functions include the effective management of financial and accounting tasks as related to Accounts Payable, Payroll and General Ledger Reconciliations. This will involve establishing and maintaining protocols and procedures for integration of our various internal financial systems with outside data sources such as banks and investors. Establishment of a positive rapport with colleagues and external constituents is essential. You will work in concert with the Accounting Analyst and Customer Service Manager, report to the Chief Financial Officer and work closely with the CEO and COO. The position is based at AFC First's headquarter in the AFC First Energy Center on Brookside Road in the West Allentown/Lower Macungie Township area.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Administration of all accounts payable in a timely manner
  • Oversight of and timely and accurate reconciliation of all depository and general ledger accounts
  • Administration of payroll and accounting aspects of HR benefit programs
  • Assist CFO with timely and accurate production of monthly financial statements reconciled to all sub accounts within 10 days of month end
  • Assist CFO with administration of all tax related issues in coordination with CPA
  • Preparation for and assistance in audits and other reporting requirements
  • Analysis of Green Energy Training Center expenses and accounts
  • Coordination of general ledger and cash accounts with co-workers responsible for loan disbursement, payment and investor reporting
  • Participate in accounting and corporate projects as assigned
  • Maintain the chart of accounts
  • Other duties as assigned (including but not limited to invoice creation, rebate processing and other duties) 
  • Full-time, salaried position, Accounting Degree required. Compensation, including medical and retirement benefits, commensurate to experience.  
Please forward resume to Laura Nelson, CFO at

Account Executive

Klunk & Millan is looking for an Account Executive with project management, web and marketing strategy experience. This position requires the ability to acquire new business, manage the agency's day-to-day relationship with key client contacts and drive web/interactive projects from conception to completion. Individual must acquire in-depth knowledge of, and be conversant in, each client's business – their key issues, competitive situation and industry trends. Position requires an individual with entrepreneurial spirit, a strategic-thinker who drives marketing initiatives with great organization skills and persuasive style to manage and service various accounts and multiple on-going projects.

Position responsibilities include:
Complete accountability to drive multiple on-going projects with a special focus on web/interactive projects from conception to completion.
o Assess internal and/or client issues/challenges in order to consider and supply a variety of options as the need arises in to order to keep the team moving forward on a path of success.
Creation of timelines with key milestones/checkpoints and implementation of processes to manage day-to-day workflow
Development of new business
Serve as the primary point of contact for assigned clients to resolve concerns or needs that are required throughout the operational process
Collaborate and coordinate with internal resources to ensure all client expectations and deadlines are met
Ensure compliance with agency/client Scope of Work documents
Insertion of web content for clients utilizing the Content Management System
General project planning across the web and interactive department
Develop strong relationship with clients for development of marketing programs
Anticipate client needs, keeping the agency in the position of leading rather than following
o Ensure consistent and clear communication to and provide strategic solutions for client through status reports, timelines, performance metrics, and marketing recommendations
Resolve conflicts through creative problem solving with acute decision-making skills that keep project teams motivated to overcome high-pressure situations, and ensure best possible results
Prepare materials for and participate in business development meetings, creative presentations, and strategy discussions
Minimum of 2-5 years of project management or interactive account experience within agency environments
Bachelor's degree in related field
Strong familiarity with content management systems, social media, and ROI metrics as well as basic understanding of HTML
Intimate knowledge of agency core disciplines and capabilities
Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, with people at all levels of an organization
Strong sense of urgency and commitment to get the job done quickly and with high quality
Self-motivation, independent spirit with an analytical mindset and the ability to work independently or as a part of a team
Strong attention to detail and proven ability to manage multiple tasks with complete accountability
Proficient in Microsoft Office and the ability to quickly learn and use complex software technology
A passion for marketing
Local candidates only. No phone calls please. Send resume and cover letter

Article any source

Where do you get your TV news?

More or less, there are three cable news networks that cover news 24/7 (not including CNBC, Bloomerberg or other "niche" news networks): FoxNews, MSNBC and CNN.  The three networks are in constant competition with each other.  They also, of course, have dramatically different political slants - FoxNews is openly conservative, MSNBC is openly liberal and CNN is the closest to neutral of the three.

New ratings numbers also show clear winners and losers: FoxNews is, far and away, leading the pack.  Check out the link for those ratings numbers - in the all important 25-54 demographic, Fox is leading every timeslot.  MSNBC has gained ground over the past few years and is actually within striking distance of Fox in at least one timeslot (10pm).  CNN?  Not even close.

Indeed, CNN is facing a major ratings crisis, with viewership hitting a 20-year low in the month of May.  Is this a statement about people preferring news with a slant, or just not liking CNN?   That's a much larger question.

So, is FoxNews the undisputed news king?  Well, in TV, maybe, but not the internet.  Check this out:

CNN is is the 63rd most popular website in the world and 21st in the US.  FoxNews, by contrast, is the 174th most popular site in the world and 43rd in the US.  MSNBC?  They are way, way, WAY back, ranking as the 7,839th most popular website in the world and 1,477th in the US.

Funny how different mediums get different results.

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Facebook Shares Continue To Fall

Shares in Faecesbook, the IPO that just keeps giving, are now under $28 each.Any source

Spain Haemorrhaging Cash

Data from the Bank of Spain shows that a net of Euro66.2BN was sent abroad last month, the most since records began in 1990.Any source

Cardiff's Green Investment Bank Bid Update 2

Following the revelations made in March about the poor quality of the bid the Green Investment the Welsh Government submitted there was little Government reaction apart from a half hearted apology from Carwyn Jones.

However I came across this story from the Welsh Icons news site on the weekend from Conservative Shadow Business & Enterprise Minister Nick Ramsey about comments Business & Enterprise Minister Edwina Hart made promising to learn lessons from the bid process.

Commenting on the admission made to AMs yesterday afternoon that the Welsh Government has lessons to learn from its bid for the Green Investment Bank,  Nick Ramsay AM, Shadow Minister for Business, Enterprise, Technology & Science, said:

“The Minister has identified some of the mistakes which contributed to the failure of the Welsh Government’s bid for the Green Investment Bank, not least the refusal to work constructively with Cardiff Airport to develop routes to European economic hubs.

“In addition to the strategic failings, the Welsh Government’s bid was also rushed, repetitive and littered with mistakes.

“This was a missed opportunity for Wales as the Bank had the potential to bring £3billion of green investment into Wales.

“It is sensible to learn lessons for the future, but this opportunity has been lost and Cardiff  prospects as a financial centre are in the balance after Labour’s decision to axe plans for a business district.”

As critical as i have been about Edwina and Carwyn over this it's a step in the right direction and welcome, but I’ve checked the record from the Assembly last week and there was no statement from Edwina Hart in the Chamber, so I can only assume this  was an exchange made during the Business & Enterprise Committee last Thursday (24th May) – does anyone know more to shed light on the matter further?
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Spain Effectively Insolvent

ZeroHedge has quoted Charles Diebel (Lloyds Head of Market Strategy) as saying that Spain is "effectively insolvent".Any source

Eliminate Silos, Increase Results

Welcome to this week’s Discuss HR, the HR blog written for and by members of Human Resources UK.

Firstly a bit of group news, today we have the final networking event of May.  After a lot of hard work by a number of group members, we will be hosting the Newcastle event tonight, so well done Antoinette and everyone else.  If you would like to attend you can find the details here

One thing I am particularly good at is finding extremely tenuous links! Our Newcastle event is satellite of our country-wide events, you could even call it a silo... And today our regular writer Una Doyle looks at how you can remove organisational silos and improve performance... I did say it was a tenuous link!!

Finally, I hope you all have a very enjoyable Jubilee weekend. (Ed Scrivener)

Eliminate Silos, Increase Results

Too literal?!
Something that I’m always focused on in one way or another is alignment within organisations, or in many cases, the lack thereof.

I believe that this is the underlying cause for so many complaints from managers and employees. Think about what you may hear around the water cooler such as to how various teams are preventing them from doing their work, that senior management don’t get what really needs to happen and that cross-functional teams are anything but functional!

Think of an iceberg and how much of it is beneath the water. A hairline crack barely visible on the surface is probably a gaping chasm below the water line. All it takes is a little pressure for it to break apart.

Apply this to a leadership team and you’ll understand how even subtle misalignment or gaps at the top could cause chaos among the rest of the organisation.

“By failing to eliminate even those small gaps, they are leaving employees below them to fight bloody, unwinnable battles with their peers in other departments.”
Patrick Lencioni, The Advantage

When there is enough clarity and alignment at the top on the key issues and that is communicated well to the whole organisation then it makes all the difference in the world.

So what are the key things that require such clarity and alignment?
  • The number one organisational priority over the next 3-12 months
  • The key activities required to achieve that one priority
  • The ‘business as usual’ objectives (which mustn’t clash with the top priority in terms of direction)
  • Who is responsible for what

Gaining alignment on the top three is something that I think a lot of organisations think they do, yet don’t to the extent that it eliminates or at least massively reduces silos and negative politics.

Something that really helps in this process is when people throughout the organisation understand that it’s only by helping others to be more effective, can they themselves get into flow. You see in addition to the leadership team being aligned on these four points above, there also needs to be alignment between the talent in the organisation, responsibilities and accountabilities and the company’s objectives.

When this happens too, then you eliminate wasted time and other resources and get to leverage the value offered at individual, team, departmental and organisational levels effectively. This itself leads to further alignment between the systems and processes, people and the organisational objectives.

Not only does all this result in incredible (yet sustainable) increases in turnover and profit, it leads to a workforce that is more motivated and engaged. Why wouldn’t they be? They get to use their strengths to work on priorities and objectives that they and their peers are clear on and are all working towards.

So the next time you see something not functioning in or between teams, or hear somebody moaning ask yourself, what is not in alignment here? What can I and/or they do to help this? How can I add more value to the organisation in my HR capacity by helping to increase the alignment in my team and the teams that I work with?

About the author
Una Doyle is an accredited Talent Dynamics Performance Consultant and an award-winning speaker, coach and consultant. Una has worked with organisations such as Argos, Asda, Yorkshire Forward, Kodak and local authorities from a one-to-one basis, to groups as large as 2,000.   She is passionate about helping to create intrapreneur teams; getting the right people, in the right place, doing the right things with ownership and commercial acumen. Una has learned how to apply many of the world’s top-thinkers’ ideas in a way that is simple, profound, gets massive bottom-line results and a more empowered, motivated and engaged workforce.


Discuss HR is the blog for Human Resources UK, the leading LinkedIn group for those involved with HR in the UK.  Next week’s Discuss HR will be published on Thursday 7th June and will be written by HR recruitment specialist Ed Scrivener

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