Showing posts from July, 2009

Weight Discrimination in the Workplace

by Stephanie Davis, Esq., SPHR
EPS Senior Consultant • New York/Tri-State Area

Employers can dictate how we perform our jobs, insist we look professional, and ban us from engaging in certain activities at work. How far into our personal lives are employers legally permitted to go? Can an employer tell us how much we should weigh? Can an employer give preferential treatment to thin employees? This newsletter explores the legal questions surrounding the issue of weight discrimination.[1]

I. The Backdrop
Statistics reflect that Americans are continuing to gain weight. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the past 20 years have brought a dramatic increase in obesity, which is typically defined by the medical community to mean greater than 30% body fat for women and more than 25% body fat for men.[2] “Morbid obesity” occurs when a person is 50-100% or 100 pounds above his or her ideal body weight or has more than 39% body fat.[3] To put it a differe…

A.W.A.D. - I'm not Sure of the Theme

with Anu Garg

MEANING: adjective: Able to adapt only to a small range of environmental conditions
ETYMOLOGY: From Greek steno- (narrow, small) + topos (place). Opposite is eurytopic
USAGE: "Like any gathering of aged immigrants, this was one helluva stenotopic congregation." Haim Chertok; Beating Blindness, and Bureaucracy, in Beersheba; The Jerusalem Post (Israel); Feb 9, 1996.

MEANING: noun: The systematic undermining of a person's beliefs, attitudes, and values
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin ment- (mind) + -cide (killing)
USAGE: "Our compliance with the dictates of Donor Agencies and environmentalists not to use DDT amounts to suicide or at least menticide of our people." Dr. Matthias Offoboche; Tackling Malaria the DDT Way; This Day (Lagos, Nigeria); Nov 29, 2005.

MEANING: adjective:: Capable of living in a wide range of depths in water

A.W.A.D. - Practical Words

with Anu Garg

Why do you learn new words? For some, it's the joy of discovering new and unusual specimens in the language and the stories behind them. For others, it's to improve their vocabulary, whether for college or work. Sometimes readers write to say, "I'll never have a chance to use these words!"
You will. As you can see from the usage examples taken from newspapers, magazines, and books -- words in AWAD are not from a museum. They're words that are in current use, though not very often.
Still, we take the point. What some are looking for are more practical words: words they can use in an office memo or in a term paper; words they are more likely to come across in a trade report or college exam. This week we'll offer you five such practical words. Go ahead, employ them, put them into practice.
PRONUNCIATION: (ee-kwuh-NIM-i-tee, ek-wuh-)
MEANING: noun: Evenness of temper in all circumstances

ETYMOLOGY: From Latin aequanimitas, from aequus (equa…

Article: Something Has Hit Jupiter!

Professional and amateur astronomers around the world are turning their telescopes toward Jupiter to monitor the dark spot that appeared around July 18/19. Although astronomers are all in agreement that something did indeed hit Jupiter, there is growing debate about whether the object was a comet or a minor planet. This debate will probably not end soon, but will hopefully be determined as more observations become available.
Although some astronomers have noted that the spot indicates a single body hit the planet, Mike Wong, a UC Berkeley researcher currently on leave at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, points out that the complex shape of the spot indicates a cluster of objects struck the planet in the same general area.
A cluster of objects certainly is not unprecedented. It has long been known that the gravitational tidal forces surrounding the giant planet Jupiter are strong enough to shatter objects that come too close. The faint rings that surround the planet ar…

A.W.A.D. - Words to Describe Sculptures Formed By Nature

with Anu Garg Last month, with my wife and daughter, I visited the famous sand dunes on the Oregon Coast, a few hours south of Seattle. The Oregon Coast on the Pacific Ocean has miles of pristine beaches, parts of which are dotted with sand dunes hundreds of feet high.
How are they formed? Over the years, boulders tumbling in the water turn into fine sand, and wind sculpts this sand into ever-changing dunes. Standing in that vast expanse of pure sand felt like being in a desert. Handling those grains of sand, I wondered if I were touching people who lived thousands of years ago.After rolling on a sand dune one brings home much sand, unintentionally. It's in the hair, ears, pockets, and elsewhere. And I brought something else -- today's word, which I discovered while learning about wind as a sculptor.
In this week's AWAD we'll see words to describe sculptures formed by nature.
MEANING: noun: An elongated ridge formed by wind erosion, often…

Fire Burning in Yellowstone National Park

A small fire was found burning in Yellowstone National Park Monday evening in the Lamar Valley, about 16 miles southwest of Cooke City.

The Druid Fire was started by a weekend lightning strike. So far, less than a half-acre has burned on the southwest slope of Druid Peak, located north of the Northeast Entrance Road.

Based on the current fire weather forecast, the Druid Fire is expected to grow slowly, but may produce a smoke plume visible from the road, according to Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone is a fire adapted ecosystem, and fire plays an important role in maintaining the health of this area's wildlife and vegetation, the park said in a press release. Firefighters are monitoring the fire and developing management strategies.

The Druid Fire is the fourth fire reported in Yellowstone National Park this summer. All of the fires have been caused by lightning. This is the first fire to grow beyond one-tenth of an acre in size. The fire danger in Yellowstone National Park is li…

Arcus Clouds

I never get to see clouds like this!

"The underside of a weak shelf cloud, a low, horizontal wedge-shaped arcus cloud. Arcus clouds are associated with the leading edge of thunderstorm outflow, or occasionally with a cold front even in the absence of thunderstorms. Rising cloud motion often can be seen in the leading (outer) part of the shelf cloud, while the underside often appears turbulent and wind-torn." I did not see that in Montana, so where do I need to travel to see this?

Article: Solar Eclipse Pits Superstition Against Science

... and science will win! People scare me all the time. And ignorance of celestial events and reading all sorts of "stupidstition" into this is just completely ridiculous! But in this day and age, you would think that people would have gotten past all that. That scientists would have trained people to go out among the regular folks to dispell the ideas that eclipses will do damaging things - other than looking directly at the sun.

To wit:

"MUMBAI (AFP) – Indian astrologers are predicting violence and turmoil across the world as a result of this week's total solar eclipse, which the superstitious and religious view as a sign of potential doom. But astronomers, scientists and secularists are trying to play down claims of evil portent in connection with Wednesday's natural spectacle, when the moon will come between the Earth and the sun, completely obscuring the sun.

In Hindu mythology, the two demons Rahu and Ketu are said to "swallow" the sun during eclipse…

Why Do We Care: An Article About the President's Jeans

I could not believe my eyes when I read that American fashionistas criticised the President - you know, the leader of the free world - on his choice of jeans! Honestly, who cares? Just because you want to give up fashion for comfort, that is up to you. I know I would always go for comfort over looking fash, but I don't bug people who don't.

Let's look at the average fashionista. Can you say, "Shallow"? I can. Caring about what the guy running the country - a whole nation and one as big as this - is wearing is just a little ridiculous. Actually, it is completely ridiculous. Absurd. Buy a life if you can't get one. Check ebay! You never know. Someone may be selling theirs at a really good Buy It Now price.

So here it is:

"Obama On Mom Jeans: 'They're Comfortable'

Last week, when President Obama threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the All-Star Game in St. Louis, he was probably more concerned with getting the ball over the plate than with his ch…

July has Nearly Gone & There's a Million Thigs Left to Say!

When did my life get taken over so much that I cannot find time to post anything at all on my blog? I'm pathetic! I'm also going to the gym and now have a small kitten who as of last night, is running loose about the house.
Last wire has t0 be disaster on a grand level... it's a long story, although short from my standpoint. Once I get the details I can share them. At the moment, there is nothing for me to add...
Guess it is time to get up for work anyway! I've been dying to blog especially about this most magical time of the year - the July-August dearth of traffic! I came back from vacation and driving home from work I realised it was quite a bit emptier on the roads than just Monday-blues traffic. It really was quite deserted. And that is when I realised that the vacation season had snuck up on us all too fast! A freaky Monday does not vacation season make. But Tuesday and Wednesday followed suit. Even at 1700 or 1800, it was quite smooth and fast-moving, with a lot m…

Montana Sunset

It never looks like this. Never.

Day One of Montana

It's been almost two weeks since Day One in Montana, but when I look at the images I took, all 354 of them, it all comes flooding back. People always wonder why I take so many images - two reasons: I love capturing great things and so I can remember things. I have a memory like a sieve, so having images makes it so much easier.

I was up around 0545, but I probably wasn't completely adjusted to Mountain Time. I sat there and processed the previous day's images from the trip out. I checked my e-mails, played with Orion and Nova, and did other computer things. The light of the not yet rising sun was lovely, and the sun rises earlier and later... which sounds weird. The sun rose about ten minutes earlier than here (around 0535) but nestled in the mountains, it did not become visible until quite about later - around 0615. But the way it slowly lit up the mountains opposite the house was amazing.
David and Donna got up around 0700 and we had a great breakfast of Almond Amaretto pa…

Saturday Six - Episode 274

Hope you’re having a great weekend! I tried to make this week’s set of questions pretty simple, but it might not be quite as simple when you start looking around your pantry for the answers! Good luck!

Thanks for stopping by and for playing this week.

First to play last week: NikkiD of Memes By Me. Congratulations!

(According to the rules, “First to Play” requires you to be the first to include the link to the specific entry in which you answered the questions, not just the general link to your blog.)

Here are this week’s “Saturday Six” questions. Either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your journal…but either way, leave a link to your journal so that everyone else can visit! To be counted as “first to play,” you must be the first player to either answer the questions in a comment or to provide a complete link to the specific entry in your journal in which you answer the questions. A link to your journal in general cannot count. Enjoy!

1. You have a…

A.W.A.D. - Words With Three Letters in Sequence

with Anu Garg

I've been alerted to an event that will take place later this week, something that happens once and only once over the course of history. Shortly after noon on July 8, comes the moment that can be called 12:34:56 7/8/9. To mark this momentous event, this week we'll feature words that have three consecutive letters in order, something that doesn't happen very often either (there are hundreds of everyday words, but we are talking here about unusual and interesting words).

It's not exactly true that this sequence of time/date happens only once. If you follow the day/month/year convention, you can observe the same sequence next month, on August 7. And even though it appears to be a rare occurrence, such interesting patterns aren't that unusual.

Consider these from the past:
01:23:45 6/7/89
12:34.56 7/8/90
01:02:03 04/05/06

In a couple of years we'll have 11:11:11 11/11/11. What other unusual patterns can you think of that are in the near future?


A.W.A.D. - Slang Words

with Anu Garg

Poet Carl Sandburg once described slang as "a language that rolls up its sleeves, spits on its hands, and goes to work." Nothing wrong with words in a tie and suit, but sometimes only slang can do the job.

Since slang is often born in the back-alleys of language rather than in a sanitized hospital room, it's not easy to pin down its origins. Does that matter? Go ahead, hire this week's five hardworking words for your verbal mill.
MEANING: adjective: Satisfactory; all right; okay

ETYMOLOGY: Of unknown origin

USAGE: "So far as the state is concerned, everything is jake. But the council seems determined to throw a monkey wrench into the works." James Gill; Council Seems Eager to Trip Up Churchill; The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana); Apr 20, 2005.

MEANING: noun: A heated dispute; brawl

ETYMOLOGY: The origin of the plant name rhubarb is from Greek rha (perhaps from Rha, an ancient name of…

Monday Morals - Episode 3

This week’s question involves one of everyone’s favorite pet peeves: handicapped parking spaces! How far would you go to make sure they live up to their full potential?

First to play last week: Jeff of Jeff Tompkins. Congratulations!
(According to the rules, “First to Play” requires you to be the first to include the link to the specific entry in which you answered the questions, not just the general link to your blog.)

Here is this week’s “Monday’s Morals” question. Either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your blog…but either way, leave a link to your site so that everyone else can visit! If you repost the questions on your site, you must link back to this site as the source.

You see someone park in a handicapped parking space, pull a handicapped parking permit from their glove compartment and hang it on the rear-view mirror, and then walk — without any difficulty — inside a store. If you see that the person is alone and…

Article - Ten Phrases that Kill Résumés

Laugh all you want, but take it from one who looks at thse things all day long...

"The 2009 job market is very different from job markets of the past. If you haven't job-hunted in a while, the changes in the landscape can throw you for a loop.
One of the biggest changes is the shift in what constitutes a strong resume. Years ago, we could dig into the Resume Boilerplate grab-bag and pull out a phrase to fill out a sentence or bullet point on our resume. Everybody used the same boilerplate phrases, so we knew we couldn't go wrong choosing one of them -- or many -- to throw into your resume.
Things have changed. Stodgy boilerplate phrases in your resume today mark you as uncreative and "vocabulary challenged." You can make your resume more compelling and human-sounding by rooting out and replacing the boring corporate-speak phrases that litter it, and replacing them with human language -- things that people like you or me would actually say.
Here are the worst 10 boi…

Something Freaky Going on Here...

I spent all day (well, a large chunk of it) in my hammock. I went out around 1030 and was in it until 1600. I went in to get bottles of water, go to the loo and at one point to get a snack, otherwise I finished reading The Demon Lord of Karanda and started The Sorceress of Darshiva, book four of The Malloreon by David Eddings. I'll have this series wrapped up by the weekend, I think. I don't get a lot of reading done during the workweek. But within my 11 days off, I began reading The Malloreon, his usual five-book trilogy (don't ask) and I have only one and seven/eighths left...
These are not little books with large print.

David gave me two books to read by S.M. Stirling, called Island in the Sea of Time and Dies the Fire, two in a series about how Nantucket Island disappears from present time to end up in 1250 B.C.E. (I don't do B.C. and A.D. because to me Jesus walking the earth should not change how time was kept. I go for "Before Common Era" and "Commo…

Penn & Teller's New Season of Bulls**t

Every time a season of any show ends, I have my concerns about the upcoming season. There have been shows were a whole season was bad news. Other seasons may have one or two weak shows but the rest are great and I love them. Most of the time, it is an interesting mix of strong and weak episodes and I hope that they don't begin a severe downhill slide.
The first episode of Penn & Teller's Bullshit was about orgasms. I'm not sure how you can debunk orgasms... they are (for most of us) a normal physiological reaction to sexual stimulus. But for whatever reason they decided that this would be the opening episode for this season (I think this is Season 6, but it may be 7). Luis, David and Donna thought it was weak, too - no their best effort.
However, episode number 2 was on Friday night and was Astrology. I have some friends who are really into astrology and I am all about astronomy. I love astronomy and can spout all kinds of facts about the planets and the Sun and Moon, bu…

Crazy Sam's Saturday 9: Yankee Doodle Dandy

Saturday 9: Yankee Doodle Dandy

1. What is your favorite 4th of July memory? (If you aren't in the U.S., then use your own national holiday.) I don't know what specific memory I have. I always do the Parsippany Township fireworks standby now, so I find that is enjoyable.

2. Do you consider yourself patriotic? In my own way, yes. I'm not one to give my allegence to a flag or other object but as a citizen of the United States and of the world, yes, I am patriotic. But I think it is important to view oneself as a citizen of the world first and foremost, as drawing lines between people is not always a positive.

3. Do you like fireworks? I do. I'm not crazy about people doing it in their backyards and playing with professional fireworks unwittingly - I think New Jersey is right to make it illegal for Joe person to play with dangerous things like that. But the professional ones are great.

4. What are your plans for this weekend? Lay in my hammock today, as it is the first sunny …

Monday Morals - Episode 1

Here’s the launch of the newest meme here at Patrick’s Place. Each week, I’ll give you a little moral dilemma. You tell me how you’d handle it.

Pretty simple, right?

But remember: it’s more than a simple “yes” or “no” answer. Tell me why, too.

And as always, the first person to either answer here in a comment or to do a post at their own blog then leave a link to that specific entry here in a comment will be recognized the following week as “First to Play.” Since this one is the inaugural edition, there’s no “First to Play” from last week, but I’m sure you’d already have figured that out.

So let’s get on with it! I’ll kick this off with a situation that actually happened to me. The reason I was at the specific location I describe was different, but what happened there was real. What would you do?

Here is this week’s “Monday’s Morals” question. Either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your blog…but either way, leave a link to your site so that everyon…