Archive for category food for thought
Scientists have found that geese flying in formation in a flock can travel around 78% further in a session than geese flying solo. Working together on the task of flying is beneficial in a number of ways:
* Aerodynamic Formation – The V formation of geese is a way that maximizes the energy expended by those flying as part of it. The bird at the front of the flock breaks the air for those flying behind it and creates a slipstream for them to be dragged along in. The birds behind also help those in front as the upward motion of their wing also creates an upward draft that propels them forward. This push/pull relationship ensures all birds in the formation benefit from the work of others.
* Rotating Leadership – Even with the pushing effect of those behind it – the front bird uses the most energy and becomes tired more quickly than others. The geese know this and instinctively rotate leadership of the flock – allowing tired birds who have used a lot of energy for the sake of the flock to take a rest and be dragged a long for a while until it is their next turn up front.
* Dropping out of the Flock – as a result of sickness or injury a bird will occasionally begin to fall away from the flock – unable to keep up. Instead of allowing this bird to fly on alone – at least two others will always drop out of the flock with it. This ensures that the injured bird will be defended and cared for until it is ready to resume flying – and that it will fly on with the benefit of flying in formation.
* Power of the Honk – From the ground the V formation of the geese is a beautiful thing to watch – serenely gliding across the sky these birds look quite majestic and peaceful. However get up into the flock and you find its quite a noisy affair with the geese constantly honking at one another. There are numerous theories about this honking and it could be partly about letting each other know where they are so there is no midair collisions) but many believe that this honking is actually about creating an environment of success and mutual encouragement.
As a result of some of these dynamics the geese can fly amazing distances without stopping for rest – so much further than if they tried to do it alone.
Reproduced from Problogger
The first decade of the 21st century is over. So how did outsourcing fare ?
Since so much of what we do consists of looking at trends, here are some of the top of the hat trends that breezed around and then hung like a fog over the decade.
1. Black-swans and wormhole wizards – And I’m not just referring to the Joe Satriani album, I’m including Taleb and the princess of magic, Ms. Rowling here. I know she made her BIG DEBUT last decade but tell me really, when did you read about wizarding wormholes, actually?
This decade’s real black swan was the GEC (to the uninitiated global economic crisis, or slowdown rather as they like to call it) – What a blimp that was – is .. Whatever.
Having recently watched Michael Moore’s Capitalism my understanding of what “they” did is further enriched, I also understand that it was ‘just waiting to happen’. For those in the banking, finance and related sectors or trade, industrial, outsourcing, manufacturing, transport, practically every sector, the impact of this slowdown has been pretty evident. Job markets dried up, pay scales went down or at best remained stagnant, layoffs, and cost cut backs- basically we all cleaned up our acts. Perhaps in a way it was a good shake and wake up, for a price naturally.
Outsourcing by and large stayed gung ho – more cost cuts equals more outsourcing right? Though at peak crisis time the industry did look a little like a wet dog, but by now they’ve managed to shake off the excess and emerge clean and shiny-ish.
2. The decade from Hell – That’s what TIME magazine called it in 2009- what with terror attacks, two terms of GW Bush, the great big Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac and subsequent housing fiasco– it’s no wonder that Americans are really tired. Well, that and no more MJ, the junior Elvis and only bigger actually – globally and in terms of being BAD.
3. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (and Avatar) – I’m referring to Climate Change here, there everywhere as it seems now. As Carlos Saldhana tried so hard to yell from the rafters – guys, the ice is melting. As a country that provides such a large chunk in the pie of outsourced services, more emissions are being blown out of Indian industrial chimneys and as yet more natural resources deplete, tipping the balance of yet more natural ecosystems though the average Indian still doesn’t give a hey about the phenomenon. But excuse me Mr Pandit, your Ganges is turning grey and the ice on the shivlinga black. (Although we know of a certain Mr Pandit who would love having the cit(i)y ‘turning black’ now ! )
Meanwhile countries like UK are happy to have the ‘illusion’ of reduced emissions though in fact these are more of outsourced emissions. (Sigh), global warming indeed, is an ugly word.
4. Rise of the Asian tiger(s) – More than ever before, China and India have arrived. It is interesting to know just how important a part outsourcing plays in this context. The Indian outsourcing industry which draws annual revenues in excess of USD 11 bn accounts to 40% of global outsourcing market. At the peak of the 2008-2009 financial slowdown, China alone generated a revenue of USD 2.59 billion (for Q1/2009).
5. Technology – Technology – Ten years back, cloud was a fuzzy misty condensation in the sky. Social network – meant the weekly meet up with friends and Android was just another robot that featured in many sci-fi Hollywood action flicks.
Through all the technological advancement that is taking shape, ‘borderless outsourcing’ is now easily possible. As a circular effect of the phenomenon new career avenues are opening up, Social Architect … and you can prepare yourself at the ‘Social Media Academy’.. well why not , there is also the ‘BPO Certification Institute’ and BPO Management has now become a specialized branch, which means that probably ‘undergrad. with good English’ will not last long.
In all, this has been a good decade for the outsourcing industry! There’s more happening, all over, newer countries, consolidation, specialisation, cost savings, revenues, technology development, breaking down barriers and crossing new frontiers.
Outsourcing jobs to more cost effective locations does hurt someone though – the one who’s job was lost in the first place. In countries where a large amount of offshoring has taken place, like the US and the UK there is strong public sentiment against outsourcing , (more so offshoring) and there are a few states in the US that have actually passed laws that prevent offshoring- however, the ‘good for long term and for the greater economy’ principle prevailing dwarfs this opinion. In conclusion even for those that consider outsourcing negative, it has proven itself to be a ‘necessary (if not lesser) evil’ and the world has come to terms with that. Industry participants, buyers or suppliers however have a different story to tell.
Business Process Re-engineering is a savvy way of bringing back the job that was outsourced in the first place, the company is happy first that its cutting back on costs, the supplier is happy because ‘he got the deal’, the supplier is then very happy that he’s getting the work done at a faster, cost effective pace. The supplier is happy that the BPO/KPO employee is getting a value addition across the learning curve and is making money in the process. The when the job goes back, the buyer firm is happy that a ‘process’ has been set which allows one person the do the job of three for a far lesser value than earlier employed. The vendor is happy to consult on a periodic basis, and a pre agreed price. Employees on both sides are now happy – and the shareholder, the supreme, is so happy that benefits have been passed all along! What more could you want from!
I could talk about the joys of culinary modernism and of promoting forgotten ways of cooking….but these would but only be empty rhetoric ?
Somehow in a world of limitless possibilities we limit ourselves to the known when it comes to food. I am not afraid of experimenting, within the confines of a
more or less restricted and mostly as is easily available ingredients at any given place or time.
But wait a min. what am I trying to say really.
Today I cooked. at 12 am. do you know these pangs ?
the midnight hunger pangs.. (ahem, the astronomical ones por favor)
The recipe tends to be then very close to disaster. You start off with whatever catches ones fancy in the refrigerator. If you’re lucky you’ll get something sensible out. If you’ve been lazy that weekend and let the supplies dwindle then heaven help the disaster….
Here are some quick fixes that always have worked for me
Eggs – Miracle stuff ..
Marie Biscuit and Jam and Milk – Viola. Trifle
Maggie- No, its not a restrictor. Use as a base for mixing with vegetables and as an easy peasy pasta make of your own.. Junk the tastemaker si’l vous plait.
Day (of sometimes two_ old chappati. rice – Manna from heaven, any Maharashtrian worth their weight in salt will know what to do next !
Assorted fruits and nuts – Mix with cold milk.. my personal fave is a banana honey and date mash….. sweet but scrumptious…. try throwing in a few walnuts for that extra crunch.. or even muesli ?
Wait a min, do you find some ice cream ? Quickly brew a nice hot cup of coffee as strong as you dare….. pour over vanilla ice cream and that’s my stairway to heaven.
Not really much more to report, I did say these are my quick fixes… I would like to mention a friend whose sole midnight munch comprises “Muri” or puffed rice. Infinitely healthier and definitely easier to fix, open box , stuff face.. good night.
PS: The disaster in all this is the effect on my waistline…. if you’d notice its almost all sweet tooth material 😦
Growing up, I vaguely recollect discussions about how some countries change time back and forth on certain dates in Winter and Spring each year. I never really paid much attention to this concept till I started working for client interfacing services. Ironically, in a predominantly sunlit country like India there are thousands of people who, by virtue of their global careers, are affected by this essentially western concept.
full article published at the RESEARCH OPUS:
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