Jester s- Not the Fools You May Think

A jester or fool was a type of entertainer and archetype in Medieval Europe, similar to a modern clown or comedian. With their colorful, eccentric outfits and repertoire of juggling, acrobatics and wit, jesters were a favorite of commoners and noblemen alike. Jesters were commonly travelling minstrels and acrobats, performing at village fairs and festivals. Those who were especially lucky or talented would be hired as court jesters, becoming a regular fixture of a noble or royal court. They would perform tricks, sing fables and satirize daily court life in front of the upper class.

Court jesters were granted special privileges, and were allowed to speak in a way that other commoners were forbidden to. With this license to offend, court jesters served as a “voice of the people” in a culture with rigid social barriers. A court jester could openly mock and satirize their social betters without consequence, and were often favored by their lords as trusted advisors who could always speak their minds. Queen Elizabeth I is recorded as having scolding her court jester for not being harsh enough on her.

A successful jester had to be skilled in both physical acts and possess a quick wit and knack for singing and storytelling. Jester performances were usually a mix of juggling, acrobatics and magic combined with fables, songs, jokes and political commentaries. There was no fixed costume for a jester, but costume usually involved loud, motley colours, bells and baubles and a hood with trihorns or donkey ears. Jesters are often portrayed as carrying a hobby horse or mock sceptre, as a parody of the knightly aristocracy.

While court jesters were generally beloved by nobles and commoners alike, their favored status and constant barrage of insults sometimes wore thin on some nobles. Many of the notable royal jesters ended their careers after developing massive egos and offending the wrong people. Archibald Armstrong, court jester to the Stuarts, was finally exiled from court after repeatedly mocking the Archbishop of Canterbury for being short. Sir Jeffery Hudson, a jester and dwarf who charmed his way into the English and French court, was exiled after killing a nobleman who refused to take Hudson’s military status seriously. Hudson challenged the nobleman to a duel over the perceived insult, and the nobleman, still refusing to take Hudson seriously, brought a water pistol to the duel. Hudson however, used a real pistol.

While fools and jesters were a real profession, their cultural status is generally attributed to their common appearance in the works of Shakespeare. Only some of them are court jesters, but Shakespearean fools appear in 25 of Shakespeare’s plays. They served as comic relief and a satirical voice that a common audience could relate to. As noted by critics and historians, the irony of the fool was that he was the most perceptive character. As Isaac Asimov said ‘That, of course, is the great secret of the successful fool – that he is no fool at all”. The legacy of fools and jesters can also be seen in playing cards; the Fool card in tarot decks and the Joker card in standard card decks.

Court jesters fell out of fashion with the decline of feudalism in Europe, although jesters remained popular in theatre and carnival culture. The modern successor of the jester is arguably the clown, colourful entertainers who perform similar feats of agility and silliness. While society has obviously changed since the days of knights and castles, the people’s love for ridiculous comedy theatre and performance.

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Learning Management Systems for Staff Induction

Staff induction is one of the most time consuming and occasionally most troublesome processes encountered by organisations. Staff retention and worker compliance, happiness, and success, as well of organisational efficiency depend on a great deal on how well employees fare during the first days and weeks of employment. Zahhly and Tosi (2006) found that “formal collective induction contributed to higher job satisfaction and lower work/family conflict” when compared with informal induction processes.

induction-training-leeuwinAn electronic learning management system provides a controlled, consistent platform that includes all information required by new hires, is easy for trainees and trainers to access, provides solid interaction between trainers and trainees, and assists in reinforcing learning for better retention, all contributing to higher initial job confidence. New employees who feel more confident beginning a new job are more productive, happier, and appear to remain on the job longer.

A learning management system is a “platform” onto which information is loaded and managed whereby learners access information, communicate with instructors and one another, and engage in learning practices and behaviours by means of a computer connected to a local system (such as a network in a school or a business) or to the internet. The information is usually constructed as a “course” organized into chapters to break down the information presented into logical and coherent segments. Each chapter provides several means for learners to encounter and work with the information so that it is thoroughly absorbed and retained.

Newly hired personnel are often nervous and apprehensive: there is considerable paperwork to be filled out, they find themselves in an unfamiliar environment surrounded by too many new people with whom they must interact professionally in order to make a good impression. A group orientation is more a distraction than helpful, and much of the information provided is often lost in a blur of stress and too many tasks. Retention of important directives may be limited during the orientation phase, causing a loss of confidence from day one, which can impact employee confidence, ongoing comfort or discomfort, and even job longevity. The use of a learning management system has been found to eliminate some the difficulties listed here through reducing several of the stress factors involved.

One of the primary values of utilising a learning management system for staff induction process is that all the necessary paperwork can be loaded onto the platform, completed by the new employees electronically, then automatically saved into the company filing system. The new employees are able to take the time necessary to verify that information entered is correct and complete, which saves Human Resources staff considerable time and confirms that nothing is lost in the process as often happens when paperwork is handled by several people.

The learning management system also allows the new employees to access and learn vital information on their own terms, in their own time. The system provides readings, examples, questions for consideration, and other learning tools, as well as quizzes and exams to assist student learning as well as track and save learning progress for certification or accreditation processing.

While some learning management systems are self-contained, whereby learners simply work alone to access and integrate orientation information, other learning systems also provide the means for interaction, questions, and discussion both learner-to-learner and learner-to-trainer. This allows new hires to meet electronically with one another or trainers and to comfortably learn about one another and the new work environment, discuss important information necessary to individual success within the company, and gain knowledge of company structures, goals, and procedures in an environment less stressful than traditional orientation before they begin their new jobs.

Learning management systems may also be of great value long after new employees have been successfully integrated into the company. One of the most important advances in education at all levels has been the implantation of electronic learning. From preschool to graduate school, students may take entire courses or complete degrees in an online environment supported by a learning management system or take electronically based courses integrated with classroom learning or on the job training. Because training is such an important part of every business beyond the induction stage, from initial skills necessary to learn a new job or to trained for advancement, to ongoing training for certification attainment, introducing new employees to a company specific curriculum accessed the learning management system stabilises anxiety not only in regard to the first day on the new job but also develops a comfort zone with regard to a highly efficient in-house training protocol that employees can access on their own in groups to hone old knowledge and skills and learn new ones.

One of the most valuable aspects of learning management systems is their ability to increase information retention, both in the system and by its human users. Since information is loaded onto the platform, it is always available and can be accessed as often as is necessary by the employee, who can go over it as many times as necessary, to increase recall and clarity. Information can be updated as necessary to allow training updates and policy changes, and be made available to any specific employee on a one-time basis or all employees simultaneously. Learning modules can easily be updated with the most recent information in real time which is particularly important in companies in particular industries such as the financial industry where numbers change second-by-second.

Finally, a learning management system can be used to track ongoing processes for individual jobs, for work groups or teams, or for the entire organisation. In many organisations, it is essential that updates to ongoing work be made available to designated individuals, work groups, departments, management or other in-company entities. While such information is often stored in a static filing system, a learning management system can be adapted to update information daily and access through the learning platform for any employee designated to utilise the material.

Learning management systems are an ideal means of processing newly hired employees. These systems are both a data retention device and a complete learning system that eliminate many flaws in the traditional HR induction process as well as in-house training procedure. Utilising a learning management system in HR induction smooths record keeping and provides a less scattered and easy to access method to orient and train new employees who research shows are much happier and more efficient through the use of the system.

Source:
Zahhly, J. and Tosi, H (2006). Journal of Organizational Behavior 10:1, 59-74,

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Communication: a fundamental ingredient in a successful relationship

It’s a well-known fact that communication is a key ingredient in a successful marriage. Without effective communication, a couple is unable to discuss important issues and resolve their disagreements. This can often lead to feelings of detachment, anger or resentment in the long term. Although I refer to communication in relationships these tips are equally important in any important relationship in your life.

Communication can be tough, especially if it is with someone you have been in a relationship with for a long time. After a while, couples get comfortable with each other and, as a result, the level of communication tends to decrease. Assuming your partner already knows something or not taking the time to communicate with them can lead to a relationship breakdown over time.

Comfort should not equal less communication. There are many issues that may arise if you don’t keep yourself open and make an effort to communicate with your partner. Follow these simple tips to keep the communication lines open between you and your partner.

1. Never Assume
It’s important not to assume something unless you’ve communicated directly with your partner about it. This could be anything from a roster of household chores, to making assumptions about the way your partner thinks or feels about a particular issue. If you’re unsure, ask your partner and avoid arguments or misunderstandings.

2. Say what you mean
If you have something to say, say it. But make sure you’re clear with your communication and that you’re actually getting the right message across. There’s nothing more confusing (and frustrating) than receiving conflicting messages from your partner. In some cases, it may even help to write your thoughts and feelings on a piece of paper. By writing it down you are able to construct your thoughts in a clear and concise way and ensure you’re getting all the important bits of information across.

3. Don’t be afraid of a disagreement
If you disagree with something your partner has said or done, you should let them know in a calm and reasonable manner. Don’t avoid these conversations for fear of a disagreement. While a disagreement may be difficult to deal with in the short term, an open dialogue about such issues will do wonders for your relationship in the long run. By staying quiet about issues that are important to you, you will only become resentful and angry.

4. Communicate the good, not just the bad
Communication in relationships is not just important when there is an issue to address. If you have something good to say about your partner, say it loud and often. By communicating feelings of love and appreciation with your partner you will nurture the love and trust in your relationship.

5. Make time to communicate
With work and kids and extra curriculum activities it’s easy to see how some couples can’t find the time to communicate with each other. It’s very important you set aside some time on a regular basis to reconnect and communicate with your partner. This may be every day or simply on a weekly basis. Make sure you shut off all electronics and remove yourself from distractions to really focus on what each other has to say.

AusPsychology offers professional counselling services to people having communication difficulties. Their experienced counsellors can help you improve your communication skills and work towards better relationships with your partner or significant others. If you would like to talk to someone about relationship counselling , contact AusPsychology today.

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What to look for in a document storage company

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Document Storage Options at Everton Self Storage

In the modern world, there is an increasing need to store your information safely. The risk of losing information is high, and people are looking for better storage options for your data. However, before you choose a place where you can store your documents, you have to keep in mind that it is a long term decision, and it could affect you immensely. Therefore, it is important that you consider the most important factors, that need to be considered when choosing your storage partner. The main factors to consider have been provided below.

1. Proven track record
The document storage company that you choose should be one that has a clean slate. It is important that you find out as much as you can about the company you choose, on the basis of its life; it is important that you find out how long it has been in operation, its track record, the things that they have accomplished, how they have grown, their development, and the relationship they hold with their existing customers. These are all important factors to consider when you choose your document storage company. You would always be better off with a company that has been clean in its dealings, rather than one that has a bad past, even if it was a small mistake.

2. Security
One of the most important factors to consider, when choosing you document storage company, is the measures that they take to ensure that your information is safe. The main reason, as to why you choose a document storage company is to keep your documents safe. There have been some security lapses in some document storage companies, in the recent times. Therefore, it is important that you look at all their areas of safety, including the retrieval of information and destruction. If your information is not safe in the hands of the document storage company, the whole relationship between you and the document storage company is flawed.

3. Responsiveness
How responsive the document storage company is, is important, when you consider your options of documents storage. The company should be able to reply to your queries, and then respond to you, when you face a problem. It should allow you to obtain your data, when you lose them, as soon as possible. This is a very important aspect of your business community plan, and it could act as a key factor in your choice. Remember, once you choose a company, everything is not done. They have to be there for you, when you need them. If they are not able to meet your requirement quickly, then, there is no point. Delays in the retrieval of lost data could put you in a heap of problems.

4. Innovative
Another important factor to consider is, whether the company is innovative in its ideas, as to how to solve your problems. Are you able to monitor your activity, and review your information, through perhaps, user-friendly applications? This is an important thing to consider, for it would be the thing that it would be of great convenience for you.

5. Client focused
“The customer is king.” So it is important that you are treated like one. When choosing the document storage company, it is important that you choose a company that would give importance to its customers. It should be dedicated to its work, and also provide a service that shows its commitment and also provide a personal service to the customers. It is important that they keep their customers in mind when making their decisions. A company that values their customers, is the best, as they would work to sustain the relationship with their customers, and would, as a result, provide a good service.

6. Professional
The outside look of the company is almost as important as their inside. Their appearances and the attitudes they hold, are factors that play an important role in their service. To determine their level of professionalism, it is important that you look at the website of the company, and their holding in social media. They have to have the right idea of why you need them; otherwise, this relationship will not work. Being professional would mean that the work they do would meet up to your standards.

7. Reputations
Reputations cannot be built in a day or two. It takes time and effort. They can only have a good image, if they are doing the right thing, and providing a good service. If their work is sloppy, and if they do not meet the quality standards expected of them, then word would get out. Consider what their clients are saying about them and find out more about them, via references and testimonials, on the websites. This would help you get an idea of what the company is like.

8. Flexible
Flexibility is also an important aspect of a choice of a document storage company. Being able to customize, according to the requirements of the customer, is an important feature for a good relationship. This flexibility also applies to the contractual terms and conditions, which apply t the customer. Having a standard level of flexibility is an important aspect of choosing the right document storage company.

9. Quality Standards
Quality is an important feature to consider in any business relationship. Here, it is important to look at whether, this organization is following recognized quality standards, that can be used to determine the level of importance that they have given to quality. A few quality standards such as, ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 are ones that can give evidence of good quality. They need to be able to meet your quality requirements to be able to provide a satisfactory service.

10. Case studies
Is the company providing back-ups of affirmations that they make, with a reliable case study, that has been documented?

Conclusion

It is important that the user looks carefully at all the aspects discussed above, taking into account their needs as well. This will help you to make the right choice in a perfect document storage partner. Most of the big names in the document storage industry, would provide any clarification required on the queries you have regarding the points mentioned above. It is important to remember that this is a long term decision, and that you must take careful considerations before making the final decision.

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WEB DESIGN USING GRID-BASED LAYOUT METHOD

With any beautiful design or structure, from architecture to painting, there lies beneath it a grid-based layout from which these creations were originally derived. It is, in essence, the unseen mathematical component of all design that, for many web designers, has become standard in the pursuit for the perfect web design.

To understand what a grid-based layout for web design is, we first need to understand why it is referred to as “grid-based.” A grid is a structure consisting of intersecting straight vertical and horizontal guidelines that are made up of margins, flow-lines, columns, rows, gutters, modules, and spatial zones. This potentially complex composition provides the perfect structural base that allows a web designer to create graphic elements from, or to organise content within. It is this reason that grid-based layout is used in web design.

By using grids in the website design a sense of uniformed structure is achieved for the overall website, this helps achieve better usability for website visitors as they are able to navigate and engage with the website much easily than if the content was simply thrown together without structure. Another reason grid-based layouts are used is efficiency. By designing to a grid, the actual design process is simplified because design guidelines are already in place, therefore making it easier to decide on design elements, such as width and height.

When using grid-based layouts in our web design, we can either create our own grid, or download a ready-made grid template. If we create our own grid, we will need to rely on what option works best for us and the web design project we are working on. It is therefore valuable to follow some simple guidelines when creating our own grids. These are:

• Use only enough columns as needed for the web design. In other words, if you are only going to use ten columns, then only create ten columns – and not twenty.
• Watch the spacing. As a general rule, columns should have the same number of pixels across as rows are high.
• Don’t box yourself in. If you need to move outside of the grid for specific graphic elements, then do so. A grid is only there for structural support, and is not the end product.

If creating your own grid-based layout isn’t appealing, or you simple do not have the time to invest in it, then downloading a pre-designed grid template is available. There are many online sources that provide such templates, and by downloading a grid template you can save on time and have, at your disposal, an effective grid template ready to use.

It is important to re-emphasise that grid-based layouts for web design should not be mistaken for a strict rule by which all graphic elements or content must adhere to. Naturally, when creating anything we can move beyond specific rules in order to achieve our creative goal, and grid-based layouts are no different. If we use grids as a structural guide in our web design, then we are better able to create amazing web designs that will not only appear organised on our web page, but will hopefully inspire and engage every website visitor. Article from, web developer brisbane Nets and Webs

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