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Jul 28, 2012 at 9:25
Great coaches take into consideration an athlete’s talent and heart when they’re building a team, but they consider group dynamics, too.
It’s not just a matter of getting the fastest, strongest and smartest players on your side. If you’re building a championship team, you’re gauging how the individual athletes fit together; how their personalities, talents, drive and abilities will mesh to meet the team’s goals. It’s exactly what you need to do to build a winning corporate team. As Michael Jordan, put it, “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”
In the 2011 film Moneyball, Coach Billy Beane picks his players based on analysis and evidence. He doesn’t ever just ‘go with his gut.’
Here are some key points for building a successful, effective team:
Lead with a team, not a group: A team of leaders behaves very differently than a group of leaders. Many companies don’t know the difference. It comes d...
Jul 28, 2012 at 9:20
If you are amused by history that you just think of as being part of your own life experience there are museums that cater to you. The Royal BC Museum (in Victoria, BC) has a few large display cabinets, for example, that reinforce that theme. There are so many items there that were part of my childhood and the cabinets from 1940 onwards evoke vivid memories. You have to wonder how an engineer can also be such a Luddite…
When I was working at EMI on a large project for the 1980 Moscow Olympics my company vehicle was a Rover 3500 S (sold for a very short time before updating as the 3500 SE) which my Russian visitors were in awe of; they were particularly surprised that I did not remove the windshield wipers every time I parked the car (a big theft item from any vehicle in Moscow at the time). The V8 in the Rover was a delight but the live axle on the rear suspension and the rear drum brakes made it a real challenge to throw around the no-speed-restriction roads of Britain at that time. The infotainment ...
Jul 20, 2012 at 8:56
Over nearly five decades my principal professional membership has been with what was originally known as The Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE) and what is now the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). For several of those decades the elections that the institution has conducted have used proportional representation. You are given a list of candidates and you offer preferential numbers in the boxes alongside their names, starting with ‘1’ and going down ‘2,’ ‘3,’ etc for as far as you care anything about the candidates. Those elected on this basis are a true representation of the wishes of the voters. A truly democratic process.
Compare this with the election of politicians in just about any civilized country. You are given a choice of candidates A or B, sometimes C, or more, but you are allowed only a single vote. A simple majority of votes determines the winner, but not necessarily the wish of the voters. If I wanted to vote for candidate A but you coul...
Jul 15, 2012 at 11:54
About 15 years ago I was invited for a job interview at a company in downtown San José. It was not a position I had directly applied for – which made the invitation more intriguing – and the name of the company meant absolutely nothing to me. The firm was based in a rather seedy house with no signs outside indicating who they were or what they were about.
The conversation rapidly went from introductions and basic chat about image recognition techniques to a demonstration of where they were in their practical technology in identifying people by an automatic comparison of a photo against digital files. The whole thing was close to clandestine, although the team was seemingly quite open with me. Subsequently we have seen a lot of image recall systems in popular television programs, some of which seem to have a similar basis to the demonstrations I saw. What scared me, however, was the fact that all the file photos being used by the company were of convicted felons who were, or had been, house...
Jul 15, 2012 at 11:47
Thanks to popular documentaries and programs like Fearless Planet and Through the Wormhole on TV’s Discovery and Science Channel, studying the universe is no longer reserved for academicians in lecture halls.
Because filmmakers and producers have made it entertaining and present science in language everyone can understand, there’s an increased interest in the genesis of the universe, and its future. What many people don’t realize is that ancient Indian yogis, Israelites and early Christians all agreed on the origins of life and the universe. Moreover, new studies indicate many of their ancient beliefs correspond with the findings of modern science.
For instance, the scientific age of the universe is 13.7 billion years old. When comparing this age to the Bible, if it is divided into six equal days spanning 2.28 billion years each, biblical Genesis’s timeline across all seven ‘days’ suddenly corresponds with past and future episodes in our galaxy and Earth. In total, 21 maj...
Jul 8, 2012 at 2:55
The Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) was not too big to fail. Although it was a massive opportunity for the United States to maintain its primacy in high-energy physics and basic research, the SSC was not sufficiently big on the federal funding list back in the early 1990s even to get built.
I’ll admit that headlines extolling an atom smasher in Waxahachie, Texas, may not be as provocative as those from Geneva, one of the world’s most sophisticated cities. But as an American the thrill of having our every iota of progress toward a commendable scientific goal, such as detecting and quantifying the Higgs boson, broadcast around the globe would have pleased me immeasurably. And, I believe, would have captivated and drawn a superior caliber of young talent to American scientific endeavors, just as the Apollo 11 mission awed me as a boy and set me on a trajectory of scientific study.
How the kingpins of CERN’s accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), have lauded their detector collabor...
Jul 8, 2012 at 2:49
Conventional cylindrical batteries – the ubiquitous AA and AAA sizes, for example – are constructed in rolled-up layers. Although very convenient for dropping into consumer equipment, the technology does not produce the most efficient construction for the volume used. For the rechargeable Li-ion cell, the central layer is the cathode (more correctly the negative connection) – usually aluminum foil connected to a carbon electrode – with a soluble electrolyte and separator – a lithium salt in an organic solvent – and an anode (the positive connection) – a metal oxide with an outer copper foil for the electrical connection. The lithium ions travel to the positive connection during discharge and reverse during the charging process.
What is perhaps surprising is how relatively new Li-ion technology is. The chemistry was suggested in the 1970s but the first commercial cells were not produced until 1991, employed at that time by Sony.
Rice University, in Houston, has now p...
Jul 1, 2012 at 7:53
There is a great tendency to regard electric vehicles as a relatively new idea, and we are reminded by the 2006 Sony documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? (with Martin Sheen, Tom Hanks, and Mel Gibson) that when electric vehicles appeared in California in 1996, it was General Motors who took them off the road and shredded them. The present batch of vehicles from the mainstream manufacturers – plus the like of Tesla – are now the replacements for those dreadful corporate decisions that were made to protect the oil industry.
Those of us brought up in the 1960s in the UK will remember electric vehicles rather differently: as electric milk floats, replacing the milkman’s horse and cart. To a sophisticated US audience those milk floats were probably first experienced in the TV thriller series The Avengers (with the perfect couple of Patrick MacNee and Diana Rigg, not the Marvel Comics Avengers of 1963 or the super humans/aliens movie of 2012) where they inevitably showed up in conju...
Jul 1, 2012 at 7:40
Often, it’s not cancer that kills; it’s the complications of cancer. Complications are common and become more frequent and severe if cancer progresses or spreads. Spotting them early and treating them quickly can lessen their impact and save lives.
Patients and their families are the first line of defense; they need to know what to watch for and seek treatment immediately. Many can be successfully treated if they’re addressed at the first signs of trouble.
What to watch for? The symptoms of six common complications are:
Malignant spinal cord compression: Compression of the spinal cord is caused by a malignant tumor or by bones in the spine damaged by cancer. Symptoms may include pain in the neck or back and weakness in the arms or legs. This is a medical emergency and should be promptly treated, or patients risk paralysis. Cancers of the lung, breast, and prostate, commonly spread to the spine and are the most likely cancers to produce spinal cord compression.
Neutropenic sepsis: This co...