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20 Incredibly Bizarre Vintage Halloween Costumes

31 Oct

chickenWhat is it about vintage costumes that makes them so much more bizarre — and so much scarier — than their modern equivalents? Were people really that much stranger back then, or do they only look absurd in hindsight? Fed up with the animal-ears-and-a-bra option that, no matter how many times everyone rolls their eyes over it, seems to be the prevailing trend year after year, we decided to look for a little inspiration in vintage photography. We scoured the web for the wildest, weirdest costumes of yesteryear, and came up with everything from toadstools to telephones — and one guy in “fancy dress as a side of bacon.” After the jump, get inspired — or totally freaked out — by our collection of creepy, funny, or just plain bizarre costumes worn by revelers in decades past. We hope you can sleep tonight. And you can see in this link historical Halloween Costumes

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Can social media get you fired?

27 Jun

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We’ve all been there. Scanning one of your social media profiles, you notice a photo posted by a respected colleague in a less-than-professional situation. Maybe you cringed a bit, knowing the photo didn’t match the professional persona you know your colleague wants to convey.

Increasingly, as personal and professional lives become more enmeshed, even talented professionals run the risk of getting fired or not getting a new position because of what they post on social networks.

Laws in different countries are still evolving in terms of what employers can and cannot do with what they find via social media sites. But it is not uncommon for both candidates and employees, especially in the United States, to be asked to hand over their personal passwords so supervisors or human resources can access their profiles. A recent ruling in the US protected some speech on social networks from retaliation by employers, but it doesn’t cover everything.

Even so, there is little doubt — whether found accidentally or purposefully — that what you post online can impact your career. One in 10 job seekers between the ages of 16 and 34 have been rejected for a job because of something posted on their profiles, according to a recent survey from London-based mobile research firm On Device Research. That figure is expected to grow. Two-thirds of the 6,000 jobseekers in the US, the United Kingdom, China, Nigeria, Brazil and India who were polled for the survey said that they were not concerned that their current use of social media could harm their career prospects.

But now more than ever, it is important for the career-minded to retain tight control over their social media profiles.

One in 10 job seekers between the ages of 16 and 34 have been rejected for a job because of something posted on their profiles.

What is acceptable?

What passes for acceptable to one person may not be to others who scan a profile. While most people realize a professional network like LinkedIn is not the right place to post about a wild party, not everyone recognizes the danger of doing so on sites like Facebook or Habbo.

“Whether it’s their views about religion and politics to personal feelings, some people don’t understand what’s appropriate and inappropriate to post on social media,” said Heather R Huhman, founder and president of Washington, DC-based consulting firm Come Recommended.

One gauge: ask yourself if you would want your grandmother to see the information, said Kathleen Brady, a New York City-based career management coach and author of GET A JOB! 10 Steps to Career Success. If not, refrain from posting.

Complaining about a boss or your job on any social media website is almost always a mistake. Many people think their employer will never see such posts, but you never know when someone will forward something you have posted or simply repost it elsewhere. Such behaviour on Twitter or Facebook could end up costing you a job, said Huhman.

Among the casualties: recently, a Taco Bell employee in California was fired after a photo of him licking a stack of taco shells made its way to the company’s official Facebook page. And a government employee in New Zealand was fired a few years ago after a Facebook posting about her role as a “very expensive paperweight” and described the time she wasted and stationary she stole from the office. Even social media editors are not immune — a Bloomberg social media editor lost his job this spring after a Twitter contact shared a private direct message he had sent about frustrations at work.

Some social media networks allow you to have separate profiles for your personal friends and family and a more professional page for acquaintances and anyone browsing the web looking for information about you. But this is no guarantee that inappropriate posts or photos from your personal page won’t be shared by someone with more lax privacy settings.

If you do find out that racy photos of you or your negative comments about your boss ended up being shared, you should try to delete them. Remember, though, that content on the Internet rarely disappears for good and the wrong person may have already seen it.

“No excuse can cover up one of those mistakes,” Huhman said. You’re much better off admitting the mistake and letting your boss know that it won’t happen again, she said.

The right way

Being found on social media is important to building a career, establishing a presence as an expert in your field and keeping in touch. But sharing too much personal information online is always a mistake. Over-posting can be problematic, too, since it can make you appear unproductive. Having too little information in an online profile can be interpreted as trying to hide something or as a sign you aren’t well-established in a career or community. The key, say experts, is striking the right balance.

Establish yourself on a number of platforms, but make sure to maintain each of them appropriately. For more professional profiles, on LinkedIn or XING for example, you can simply post links to relevant articles to create a presence for yourself or join discussion groups and participate — professionally — in conversations that apply to your line of work or expertise. Keep in mind, your comments on articles and blog posts can often be found in search engines. So be careful what you type when commenting.

You can also draw attention to your more professional profiles by being selective about where you post, said Dan Schawbel, author of the upcoming book Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success. Do you really need a profile on Facebook, MySpace and Google+ to keep up with friends and one on LinkedIn to keep up with your career? Consider culling the number of profiles you maintain.

Take advantage of tools like Hootsuite.com and SproutSocial.com, which allow you to manage all of your profiles from one place, suggested Schawbel. That way, you can be sure to maintain consistency in how you present yourself — or in how you selectively present personal information. Make a spreadsheet of the social networks you’re on and mark the date when you update each profile so you can ensure they are consistent and current.

And don’t forget to Google yourself regularly. A 2012 survey from Connecticut-based ExecuNet found that 90% of recruiters type candidates’ names into search engines to get more information about them than what is on their resume.

Pictures of the Week

21 Jun
June 15, 2013. Chinese authorities display bear paws after 213 were seized from two Russian smugglers in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia. Some in China consider the paws a delicacy.

June 15, 2013. Chinese authorities display bear paws after 213 were seized from two Russian smugglers in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia. Some in China consider the paws a delicacy.

 

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Prime Minister Erdogan popular in Turkey broadly, but less so in Istanbul

7 Jun

As anti-government protests continue in Istanbul and other Turkish cities, a March 2013 poll conducted by the Pew Research Center shows Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to be broadly popular in Turkey. A majority (62%) had a favorable view of Erdogan, while just 34% viewed him unfavorably. This is basically unchanged from 2012, when 59% of Turks had a positive view of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader.

6-4-2013 4-49-20 PMAlthough Erdogan’s national popularity tracks closely with his party’s position in parliament (the AKP party holds 326 seats in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey out of 550 available), he is less popular in Turkey’s most populous city, Istanbul. Only 46% of Turks who live in Istanbul have a positive view of Erdogan, while 54% see him negatively. Istanbul is home to Taksim Square, where the protests began last week over the government’s proposed plans to build replica Ottoman-era army barracks that would house a shopping mall.

Across Turkey, Erdogan also receives less support from more secular Muslims.  Only 36% of Muslims in Turkey who pray infrequently (hardly ever or only during religious holidays) have a favorable view of the Islamist-oriented PM. Meanwhile, three-fourths of Turkish Muslims who pray five times a day have a positive view of him.

Here are more detailed results and survey methodology.

What Muscovites get up to in traffic jams

30 Jan

moskva sekilThe Russian capital is blighted by traffic jams – the total time drivers spend at a standstill each day equals about two and a half centuries. But when their cars grind to a halt, Moscow’s commuters get creative to pass the time.

What do you do when you’re stuck for an age in a traffic jam? I like to write poetry:

“Probka” is the Russian word for jam.

Not the sweet kind.

The street kind.

The kind that clogs, like cholesterol, arteries, the roads,

And makes my commute so slow,

So painful.

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Like a caterpillar in its chrysalis,

I too feel metamorphosis,

Behind the wheel in Moscow traffic.

From correspondent to Slavic snail

Inching along, with my metal shell, in gridlock hell.

Horns blaring, drivers swearing, all staring

At the jam, the probka, stretching well into the distance.

It’s not exactly Pushkin, but it passes the time.

Thinking about it, I probably have time to compile a whole encyclopaedia on the way home from work, because every day I spend about two hours stuck in Moscow traffic. That’s more than 20 full days a year in the car, going nowhere.

But the good thing about Russian congestion is that it sparks creativity. And Muscovites are far more creative than I am when stuck in a jam.

Elena Piskunova, director of a fitness training centre, works out

Elena Piskunova likes to sing melancholic Russian folk songs in traffic jams – she claims it’s the best way to relax muscles and relieve stress. Sitting in traffic congestion, she demonstrates by blasting out a performance of Steppe, The Endless Steppe!

 Piskunova has also developed some special breathing exercises. One involves breathing in and out twice very fast through the nose to boost concentration. (A word of warning: blow your nose first with a tissue to avoid mess.)

“I love exercises in the car which keep me looking feminine,” she says. Having made sure that the handbrake is firmly on, she takes a tennis ball and places it between her knees. Then she tenses her buttocks. “It gives me the feeling that I’m floating up on a cushion of air,” she tells me. “I’d float right out into the atmosphere if there was a hole in the car roof.”

Piskunova is philosophical about gridlock. “There are very few places left in the world where we can be left alone to think about the important things in life. As you sit there not moving, watching the traffic lights changing back and forth, this is the perfect time to stop and think – is this a journey you really need to make? Why are you going? And what would happen if you didn’t arrive?”

The world record holder for longest most accurate shot in archery

28 Dec

imagesMatt Stutzman is an American athlete who competes in archery. He is a member of the 2012 US Paralympic Archery Team. He is currently also the world record holder for longest accurate shot in archery. Stutzman was born in Kansas City, Kansas, and currently lives in Fairfield, Iowa. He was born without arms and he had to learn to do everything one might normally do with one’s arms, but with his feet.

It’s pretty inspirational to see someone who seemingly couldn’t shoot anything to rise up and find their own way of doing things. Stutzman rose to the challenge and found a way to do what he loves in spite of his handicap. Stutzman is a great example of extraordinary talent and fortitude.

World’s most expensive cheese is made from donkey milk

16 Nov

Serbia donkey cheese is world’s most expensive. It’s renowned for its mosaic of aquatic and wetland ecosystems and fragments of flooded forests occupied by beavers and rare birds; but from now on, the pristine nature reserve of Zasavica, just 50 kilometres from the Serbian capital Belgrade, will be famous for its donkey cheese, apparently the most expensive cheese in the world. The unique cheese made from donkey milk is being produced by the reserve’s donkey farm, the only place in the world where donkeys are milked for cheese. Continue reading