Journey in Life: 01/31/15

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Saturday, January 31, 2015

"Swing the lead" nghĩa là gì?

Trốn việc đi chơi. Photo courtesy GettysGirl4260.

'To swing the lead' nghĩa là giả vờ đau ốm để trốn việc (to pretend to be ill so that you do not have to work).

Ví dụ
..."I have talked to young couples and they have been brought up to be willing and proud to go to work. "It's a bad example for them to hear or see anyone arguing that if you 'swing the lead' you will get your rent paid, you will get your mortgage (vay nợ mua nhà) paid in part and you can lie in bed all day."

In fact a patient can request a "fit note" before the usual 7 days and indeed a GP or hospital can charge for this. Sounds more like PCH are expecting some employees to throw a sickie and are putting out a warning that it MAY result in deduction of pay - not that it will. I guess if they didnt have employees who are known to swing the lead, this sort of warning not be necessary.

Paxman, 63, said National Service taught his father’s generation the importance of duty, while his own contemporaries “had it pretty easy” and were never “tested”. My dad, who had been conscripted into the Army, later insisted that it taught him nothing except how to “swing the lead” – or skive.

There have always been quitters and those that will "swing the lead" at every opportunity. But I do not believe that they are the majority. As for what the average Canadian is capable of, when it comes to math, geometry (hình học) or whatever. Do not get a lack of training mixed up with a lack of intelligence. Properly trained in the skills required to do a task, I think most "average Canadians" could handle most tasks demanded of them. I do believe that trigonometry (lượng giác học) and geometry is certainly not outside the reach of the "average Canadian" .

Phạm Hạnh

Sửng sốt với nghệ thuật cân bằng đá của “phù thủy" Michael Grab

Art and Photography by Michael Grab/Gravity Glue.

Artist and photographer Michael Grab first ventured into stone balancing in the summer of 2008 while exploring the beautiful landscape of Boulder Creek, Colorado. Ever since, it has become a source of meditative practice and creative passion and Grab has become quite prolific in the art form.

As Grab explains on his website Gravity Glue:
Balance requires a minimum of three contact points. Luckily, every rock is covered in a variety of tiny to large indentations (vết lõm) that can act as a natural tripod (kiềng ba chân) for the rock to stand upright, or in most orientations you can think of with other rocks. By paying close attention to the vibrations of the rocks, you will start to feel even the smallest "clicks" as the notches of the rocks are moving over one another.

Không cần nói lời xin lỗi

The lonely walk. Photo courtesy Vinoth Chandar.

You don't have to defend or explain your decisions to anyone. It's your life. Live it without apologies.
~ Mandy Hale

Kinh tế học về các tu viện Tây Tạng cổ

Mỗi tu viện có những điền trang riêng, và tất cả nông dân cày cấy trên các điền trang này phải nộp thuế bằng tiền và thực phẩm. Một trong những nhiệm vụ chính của các người quản lý là tăng thu nhập này; ví dụ, cho nông dân vay lại những ngũ cốc đó với lãi suất cao, hoặc bán ra thị trường. Trước khi bị phá hủy vào những năm 1960, các tu viện này sở hữu một nửa diện tích đất nông nghiệp của Tây Tạng.

câu trên là về Tây Tạng hồi thế kỉ 15...
"Each monastery (tu viện) had its own estates (điền trang), and all the people farming on these estates paid taxes in money and goods. One of the main tasks of the stewards (người quản lý) was to increase this income; for instance, by lending grain (ngũ cốc) back to the peasants at high interest rates, or selling goods at market. Before the destruction of the monasteries in the 1960s, they owned as much as half of Tibet's farmland."

The description however is referring to the 15th century. Another interesting part of the book concerns how, during Tibet's "Golden Age," the Tibetans tried to impose their language and culture on the neighboring regions of China, and with some success.
That is all from Sam Van Schaik, Tibet: A History.

Toyota chuyển sang áp dụng chế độ xét thưởng dựa trên thành tích

không dựa trên thâm niên như truyền thống lâu năm của các công ty Nhật Bản, nhằm thu hút các tài năng trẻ, áp dụng cho 40.000 nhân viên nhà máy, khoảng 60% lực lượng lao động từ 18-65 tuổi, các nhân viên sẽ được đánh giá 2 lần một năm và lương điều chỉnh mỗi sáu tháng...
Toyota will change the way it pays factory workers, focusing on their performance rather than their seniority, the Nikkei reported on Monday.
Toyota's new arrangement, designed to attract young talent, will apply to about 40,000 employees, or about 60 percent of its workers, aged between 18 and 65, according to the Nikkei. (
The automaker has unveiled the proposal to its labor union and is hopeful of rolling it out next January, the Nikkei said.
Employees will be evaluated twice a year, with wages adjusted every six months, the Nikkei reported.
Besides revamping (tân trang) its seniority-based system, the new arrangement will also reshuffle (cải tổ) allowances (trợ cấp) for dependents (người phụ thuộc) to provide greater benefits to workers who are raising children, the financial daily reported.

Cách độc đáo để thu hút khách du lịch ở Thụy Sĩ

khu nghỉ dưỡng trượt tuyết ở làng Grächen, Thụy Sĩ thiết lập tỉ giá hối đoái riêng (không theo quy định mức sàn của Ngân hàng Trưng ương) để thu hút khách du lịch châu Âu trong đợt khủng hoảng đồng euro vừa qua, áp dụng từ mùa đông năm 2011, và tỏ ra rất hiệu quả, trong khi nhiều nơi khác khách du lịch hủy phòng rất nhiều...
The idyllic (điền viên, thôn dã) Swiss village of Grächen, flanked (bên sườn) by better-known competitors Zermatt and Saas-Fee, has declared itself a financial microclimate, with constant exchange rate of 1.35 francs to the euro. The rate has been in place during winter months since 2011, and squarely (kiên quyết) ignores (phớt lờ) the official rate (tỉ giá chính thức), which is currently closer to parity (tỉ suất cân bằng). It's observed by the vast majority of hotels, shops, lift pass providers and restaurants—and has particularly paid off during the last two weeks. The only catch? You have to pay cash.
"In 2011, when the euro started falling during the eurozone crisis, bookings decreased rapidly for the winter season because it was just becoming too expensive for tourists, especially those from abroad," explains Berno Stoffel, director at the tourism office in Grächen, which has less than 1,400 permanent residents and is almost exclusively economically dependent on farming and tourism. As the Swiss franc has soared (tăng vọt ở mức rất cao), resorts in neighboring France, Austria and Germany – all in the eurozone – have become cheaper. "We had to do something so we decided to play central bank," says Mr. Stoffel.
And so far it's proved (tỏ ra) lucrative (sinh lợi).
"I have heard from colleagues in other resorts that they have seen a huge number of holiday cancellations after the Swiss National Bank removed the currency floor, because it's just become too expensive. We haven't had a single cancellation on a holiday home or in a hotel due to the currency," he says.

Thụy Sĩ sẽ làm gì với những phòng nhỏ giống gara ôtô?
Nông dân Thụy Sĩ cũng ăn thịt... chó, mèo
Đề xướng chống lạm dụng trong lương bổng ở Thụy Sĩ
Drum Corps ở Basel, Thụy Sĩ
Kỹ thuật pho mát Thụy Sĩ

Nhật Bản: Dùng robot phục vụ cho khách sạn thông minh

khách sạn 2 tầng ở Nagasaki dùng robot làm nhân viên, và sử dụng công nghệ nhận diện khuôn mặt để khách mở cửa phòng...
A hotel with robot staff and face recognition instead of room keys will open this summer in Huis Ten Bosch in Nagasaki Prefecture, the operator of the theme park said Tuesday.
The two-story Henn na Hotel is scheduled to open July 17. It will be promoted with the slogan "A Commitment for Evolution," Huis Ten Bosch Co. said.
The name reflects how the hotel will "change with cutting-edge technology," a company official said. This is a play on words: "Henn" is also part of the Japanese word for change.
Robots will provide porter service (khuân đồ), room cleaning (dọn phòng), front desk (lễ tân) and other services to reduce costs (giảm chi phí) and to ensure comfort (bảo đảm sự thoải mái).
There will be facial recognition technology so guests can enter their rooms without a key (không cần chìa khóa).
At least for now, the facial recognition bit means you cannot send your robot to stay there…

Bạn có muốn đi tàu điện ngầm miễn phí?

hãy tăng cường tập squat, thành phố Mexico có sáng kiến chính sách chống lại bệnh béo phì bằng cách cho những người béo phí đi tàu điện ngầm vé trị giá 5 peso cho mỗi 10 lần đứng lên ngồi xuống...
Good lord. Mexico city has decided to fight obesity by giving people a 5 peso metro token for doing 10 squats. Really.
No, really.
They have installed 30 squat monitoring machines some of the stations. Did I mention that 4,000,000 people ride the subway in the D.F. every day? And that the stations can tend to get a bit crowded?
People, would 10 squats a day really to anything with weight control? In Russia, the price of a free ticket is 30 squats in under two minutes.
The D.F. government is also giving away 80,000 pedometers. Again, there are 4,000,000 riders every day.
As always, it is so gratifying to me to see a government finding simple, effective solutions to seemingly complex problems.

Nếu bạn còn luyến tiếc thời Xô viết...

và có 220 USD để vứt qua cửa sổ, hãy đến Lithuania, nước này tân trang các boong ke thời Xô viết để làm địa điểm du lịch, du khách có thể trải nghiệm: bị tịch thu tiền, máy ảnh và điện thoại ngay từ ngoài cửa, sau đó mặc áo choàng Xô viết xơ xác và bị lùa như bầy thú vào boong ke, có thể xem các chương trình TV từ năm 1984, đeo mặt nạ chống khí ga, học quốc ca Xô viết khi bị cầm tù, ăn thức ăn Xô viết đặc trưng (với bộ đồ dao dĩa chính cống), và bị thẩm vấn và kiểm tra y tế như trong trại tập trung...
from cherokeegothic: If you happen to be in Lithuania, have $220 you'd like to throw in the toilet (quẳng xuống sông xuống biển), and have a burning nostalgia to be reminded of the good old days under Soviet rule, I have quite a deal for you.

In an article titled "The Un-Funnest Vacation in Europe," Mental Floss reports that the Lithuanians have decided to convert an old Soviet bunker into a tourist attraction for those who have a very strange definition of "tourism" and "fun."

The so-called fun lasts for two and a half hours and includes the following activities:
"On entry, all belongings, including money, cameras and phones, are handed over and under the watchful eye of guards and alsatians (chó bec giê Đức), tourists change into threadbare (xơ xác) Soviet coats and are herded through the bunker. Experiences include watching TV programs from 1984, wearing gas masks, learning the Soviet anthem (quốc ca) under duress (cầm tù), eating typical Soviet food (with genuine (chính cống) Soviet tableware) and even undergoing a concentration-camp-style interrogation and medical check."

In case you worried that doesn't sound fun enough as it is, the article reassures potential masochistic tourists that "all of the actors involved in the project were originally in the Soviet army and some were authentic interrogators." Well, thank goodness for that. I wouldn't want some poseur as my interrogator for the day!

Apparently when school groups come though, the actors know to "cool it" and not go too rough in the re-enacted KGB interrogations [note: what kind of hellish school administrator thought of this as a good activity?]

Afterward you at least get a shot of vodka and your belongings back (the latter is a guess; if the experience truly hewed to reality though I would think some valuables would be missing).

ahh, the good old days..

Bài trước: Ngôi làng giả

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