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April 23, 2007, 5:29 PM CT

Hazards of Getting Too Big Too Fast

Hazards of Getting Too Big Too Fast
Management Insights, a regular feature of the journal, is a digest of important research in business, management, operations research, and management science. It appears in every issue of the monthly journal.

"Getting Big Too Fast: Strategic Dynamics with Increasing Returns and Bounded Rationality" is by John D. Sterman and Rebecca Henderson of MIT's Sloan School of Management; Eric D. Beinhocker, McKinsey Global Institute; and Lee I. Newman, Department of Psychology, University of Michigan.

Positive feedbacks such as network effects, scale economies, and learning curves are increasingly important in hi-tech, information-age industries. Strategy literature generally recommends that firms in such industries pursue "get big fast" (GBF) strategies, expanding capacity and production rapidly, and cutting prices-often below current costs-to gain market share and grow faster than their rivals, thus building the resources and competitive advantages needed to dominate the market.

The authors find, however, that such aggressive strategies often lead to overcapacity when the market saturates. The resulting losses can overwhelm the advantages of market share leadership, which happened during the collapse of the technology bubble in 2001.

The authors developed a simulation model that shows the conditions under which forecasting errors leading to capacity overshoot and large losses are likely. Rather than expanding aggressively when the risk of capacity overshoot is high, they recommend that firms consider conservative strategies, allowing less sensible rivals to play the aggressive strategy, then buying these rivals at distress prices when they fail during the transition from boom to bust.........

Posted by: Edwin      Read more         Source

April 18, 2007, 11:01 PM CT

Impact Of Asian Dust And Pollution On Clouds

Impact Of Asian Dust And Pollution On Clouds
Researchers using one of the nation's newest and most capable research aircraft are launching a far-reaching field project this month to study plumes of airborne dust and pollutants that originate in Asia and journey to North America. The plumes are among the largest such events on Earth, so great in scope that researchers believe they might affect clouds and weather across thousands of miles while interacting with the sun's radiation and playing a role in global climate.

Known as PACDEX (PACific Dust EXperiment), the project will be led by researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. NCAR's main sponsor, the National Science Foundation (NSF), will provide most of the funding. The first mission will be launched in late April, depending on weather patterns in Asia. It will continue for almost two months.

"PACDEX comes at a crucial time in our efforts to understand the regional impacts of global warming," says V. Ramanathan, a PACDEX principal investigator based at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. "It will also help us examine how the dust and soot modifies storm tracks and cloud systems across the Pacific, which influence North American weather patterns in major ways. By focusing on these plumes, PACDEX will shed light on one of the major environmental issues of this decade".........

Posted by: Edwin      Read more         Source

April 12, 2007, 6:09 PM CT

College students know more about politics than pop culture

College students know more about politics than pop culture
Far from being self-absorbed and uninvolved, American college students today are civically and politically engaged, and more likely to be so than those of the same age who are not enrolled in college, according to a new national study from Tufts Universitys Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service.

The "National Survey of Civic and Political Engagement of Young People" compared the community, civic and political engagement of full-time college students age 18 to 24 with young people not enrolled in college full time. Among the more surprising findings: Young people in both categories are much more likely to know the name of their U.S. senator or representative than the winners of "American Idol" or "Dancing with the Stars".

"Young people seem to know more about politics than they know about popular culture," said project director and Professor of Political Science Kent E. Portney. "This level of political knowledge stands in stark contrast to the image of young people as uninterested in and ignorant about politics and government".

Half of the college students and 40 percent of the non-college students could name their respective members of Congress. Nearly two-thirds of college students and more than half of the non-college students could name at least one of their two U.S. senators. In contrast, only about 15 percent of the young people knew the name of the most recent winner of "American Idol" and about 10 percent knew the winner of "Dancing with the Stars." .........

Posted by: Edwin      Read more         Source

Thu, 12 Apr 2007 23:25:20 GMT

National Mall

National Mall
Impressive structures border it, monuments and memorials stand near it, great museums exist upon it, and grand trees help shade it, yet the harmony of these things together merely enhances the concept at its very best. The Mall is the heart of the Nation's Capital and of the entire United States of America. Here, the nation celebrates, honors, and demonstrates its commitment to democracy.

2007 Bike Tour Schedule
Click here to find out more information on the National Mall Ranger led Bike Tour Programs. (pdf download). 
Link to current in depth pages
Click here to go to the current in depth pages. These are being renovated to match the new look of the websites.   
Write to
National Mall & Memorial Parks
900 Ohio Drive SW
Washington, DC 20024
Visitor Information
(202) 426-6841

Washington has a temperate climate typical of the Mid-Atlantic U.S., with four distinct seasons. Summer tends to be very hot and humid Spring and fall are mild. Winter can bring cold temperatures, frozen precipitation and, on occasions, major snowstorms. Did You Know?
The 15th Massachusetts Infantry went into the Battle of Antietam with 606 soldiers. 318 were killed or wounded, the highest number for any Union regiment in the battle. Their monument features a wounded lion carved in granite.

Posted by: Gracy      Read more     Source

Wed, 11 Apr 2007 18:49:06 GMT

Artocarpus odoratissimus

Artocarpus odoratissimus
Eric in SF@Flickr is not only responsible for today's photograph (original | BPotD Flickr Group Pool), but also for suggesting a series on tropical fruits. Sounds like a good idea to me, though I have few (if any) photographs to add to the mix since my trip to a tropical area was postponed by a year. If you have any tropical fruit images, it'd be an ideal time to add them to the Flickr pool or BPotD submissions forum. Thanks again, Eric!

The genus Artocarpus is a member of the Moraceae, or mulberry family (sometimes called the fig family). In addition to the marang shown in today's image, the genus includes the better-known breadfruit and jackfruit. Unlike the jackfruit, however, the fruits of marang are relatively light and small, weighing only 1kg (2.2 lbs). Not many fruits can compare to the 50 kg jackfruit in size, though.

Marang is a local delight in the regions where it is grown. As noted in the Under-Utilized Tropical Fruits of Thailand (where it is cultivated; the species is native to Borneo and the Philippines), Artocarpus odoratissimus “has low yield and short shelf-life as compared to jackfruit”, making broader distribution of the fruit as an economic crop difficult. Too bad in some ways, as it seems to be the highest-prized fruit among the genus.

The USDA's Pacific Basin Tropical Plant Genetic Resources unit has a series of photographs of fruits in the breadfruit genus, including marang.

Posted by: Daniel Mosquin      Read more     Source

Wed, 11 Apr 2007 10:47:23 GMT

The Truth About Volvos

The Truth About Volvos
A few blogs ago I made "Volvo's 70-year history.". My article featured the PV544 and later models. I wish I could have included a few words and a graphic about that very first Volvo, but I'd been guilty of a very foolish move. Several years ago Volvo's pr people gave me a brass model of that original Jacob. It was nicely detailed except that the rear had been modified to accept a cigarette lighter.

I'm a purist (pure crap, some might say) where models are concerned and eventually tossed it. Utterly, supidly, foolish, I now admit. So I was pleased "Autoblog" entry regarding a real 1927 Volvo Jacob at the New York International Auto Show. Says Volvo, "this particular PV4 Jacob was registered in November, 1927, by a school inspector. It changed hands only a few times in the next seven decades before Volvo purchased it in 2001 to have it restored."

No smoking, please.

Posted by: Philip Powell      Read more     Source

April 10, 2007, 7:48 PM CT

Afghans favor and understand democracy

Afghans favor and understand democracy
An overwhelming majority of Afghans favor democratic government and demonstrate a surprisingly sophisticated understanding of democracy, as per a new analysis by UC Irvine political scientist Russell Dalton. Violence and instability in certain regions, however, remain a significant threat to democracy's development.

Dalton, who helped develop and analyze The Asia Foundation's 2006 survey of Afghans, a follow-up to a 2004 survey, finds that 84 percent of Afghans believe that democracy is the best form of government, and the same percentage define democracy in terms of political rights such as freedom and government by the people.

"The strength of support for democracy and the richness of the Afghans' understanding of democratic concepts are stunning," said Dalton, professor of political science and a faculty member in UCI's Center for the Study of Democracy.

Support of democracy is stronger in Afghanistan than in Pakistan, Iran, Iraq or Indonesia, as per Dalton, and Afghans' support is relatively uniform across social groups like Pashtuns, Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras.

"We want democracy to bring peace in our country and to rebuild the country," said one Tajik male in Jalalabad who was interviewed in the course of the research.

However, Dalton's analysis shows that in some areas of the country, democratic principles may be undermined. Belief that political opinions can be freely expressed varies across regions, and Afghans in regions of conflict in the Southwest, near Kandahar, and the East, near Pakistan, have the greatest doubts about their ability to express themselves freely. These doubts can dangerously erode democratic participation, Dalton notes.........

Posted by: Edwin      Read more         Source

April 9, 2007, 11:10 PM CT

Long-term Effects Of Logging After Wildfire

Long-term Effects Of Logging After Wildfire
A new study on the effects of timber harvest following wildfire shows that the potential for a recently burned forest to reburn can be high with or without logging. Recently reported in the journal, Forest Ecology and Management, the study demonstrates that the likelihood of a severe reburn is affected by the timing not just the amount of fuel accumulation after fire.

The study examines fuel accumulation with and without logging after a large wildfire in the Blue Mountains of northeast Oregon. Three therapys were examined: commercial logging that removed only dead trees with value for wood products, commercial logging plus thinning that removed all dead trees larger than 4 inches in diameter, and unlogged sites.

The year after logging (3 years after the fire), sites that were logged and thinned had four times more fine fuels on the ground, as a result of logging residue, in comparison to unlogged sites. Those same sites also had fewer snags which provide habitat for woodpeckers, owls, and other animals that nest in tree cavities and contribute to large woody debris on the ground. However, logging activity caused no change in the litter or duff, the upper soil organic layers that also affect how a fire burns. The study was led by James McIver of Oregon State University and Roger Ottmar of the Pacific Northwest Research Station, U.S. Forest Service.........

Posted by: Edwin      Read more         Source

Sat, 07 Apr 2007 05:33:31 GMT

Home Business Legalities Checklist

Home Business Legalities Checklist
Here are the rest of the items that you should add to your home business launching checklist.

• Your business will need licenses and permits depending on the goods and services that you offer, as well as your business structure. Take note of the different kind of permits that may apply to you. These may include a liquor license, police permits, building permits, or state occupational licenses such as those required for doctors or lawyers. Without the proper permits and licenses, your business may be closed or even sued if you choose to operate, but are caught without the proper documents.

• You will also need savings and a checking account for your business. Check with your bank on specific requirements for holding such accounts.

• You will need an official sales tax number if it is required in your state or country. You may be charged with tax evasion if you operate without such a number.

Posted by: noel      Read more     Source

Thu, 05 Apr 2007 04:11:26 GMT

What Does Domestic Violence Cost Your Company?

What Does Domestic Violence Cost Your Company?
Domestic violence. Two words we hope never to have to deal with and yet 1 in 4 homes are affected.

But that's outside work. Work is a safe environment. We've worked hard to implement and enforce a "no harassment" policy so that all associates feel safe.


Think again. Domestic violence costs in time lost, medical bills, emotional attitude, confidence, etc.

Beginning June 17 in Northeast Ohio the Women's Network along with the Women's Central Project is sponsoring V-Day, Until the Violence Stops festival in which people will come together for theatre, spoken word, performance and community event to raise awareness and our voice to end violence against women and girls.

But how does that impact a company's profitability?

Checcorporate calculator - you'll be astounded. Enter the total number of your employees, the percent that is female and the average hourly wage to quickly see just how much this silent travesty is costing your company.

V-Day is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. For more infclick here.

For information about the NE Ohio Until the Violence Stops click here.

Each person can make a difference to stop the violence. What will you do?

Posted by: Deborah Brown      Read more     Source

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