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How to Think Smart on Your Business’ Approach to Corporate Gifting

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Gift-giving isn’t only reserved for people in your personal life; it can also be an effective tool to bring people closer in a professional setting. Whether you’re bridging a connection from one business to another or showing your appreciation for those in your team, being able to give a gift which not only means something to the receiver but also represents your company is a must.

In fact, data shows that the UK corporate gift-giving market is worth £78.3 million. With people offering gifts as a form of reward for employees within a business or as a means of creating a better business reputation, being able to recognise strong business relationships is important.

Katy Baxter, Head of Marketing at Baxters of Scotland says: “Gift-giving doesn’t only have to be reserved for your loved ones; it can be a great way of recognising and building relationships both within your company and with other brands. It can be easy to be sucked into a world of simply sending emails, but gifts can be a tangible, personal way of connecting with your colleagues, partners, and clients. After all, there’s someone else on the other side of the email chain. Business communications are as much about human connection as any other relationship.”

When you should send a business gift

Much of corporate gifting is about knowing when to send a gift. With every sector partaking to some extent, including manufacturing (68%), utilities (67%), and information and communication (62%), standing out is important.

Katy says: “You don’t simply want to be responding to a gift with a gift; this will make your business look inconsiderate or unprepared. Instead, you should be considering a good time to give gifts to colleagues, clients, and other businesses in a way which will be a welcome surprise. Gifts don’t have to be reserved for your team hitting target or for Christmas; they can be a great way of boosting morale and increasing your employee lifecycle. If someone is celebrating something personal or leaving for maternity, even a personalised letter and small gift set can make a lasting impression.”

You should also consider sending gifts for big milestones such as work anniversaries to make employees feel seen. Valuing your colleagues and work partners, both for personal and professional achievements, is important for keeping morale high and providing a supportive work atmosphere.

You’ll also want to get ahead of the seasonal rush, to ensure that your business doesn’t look like they’re leaving gift-giving and strengthening networks to the last minute. Try having your gifts ready to send by the beginning of December, so that everyone can receive their gift before most people’s annual leave begins.

How much you should spend

How much you plan to spend can depend on what you’re hoping the gift says, why you’re sending it, and the strength of your network. The average corporate gift, according to data, costs approximately £50.

Your business doesn’t want to accidentally look to be bribing anyone, so sticking close to the average spend is a must to make sure you’re not overspending or coming across in that way. Making sure you’re checking your gifting with your legal team, or an advisor, as well as your financial teams is a must before sending them out.

It is important to note that your corporate gifting is not tax deductible. This is because any business gifts are classed under entertainment and so they count towards your overall tax.

What to send

Food and drink

Items such as food hampers and drink packages are gifts that can be enjoyed by everyone. Not only is this a great option if you’re not sure what the other person might like, but it is also useful if you want to send a gift to a larger team of people as the hamper can be opened and shared among colleagues with everyone finding something to enjoy. 

In fact, 35% of businesses claim to send food and wine. Gifting these items can offer your clients, customers, colleagues, and connections a chance to try new flavours and foods or enjoy time together sharing. Not only will this item suggest that your company is grateful for the person or people, but it can also signify consideration and warmth.

Katy says: “Food is such a great gift to give as it can simply highlight home comforts, which we can often forget in a corporate setting. By sending a food and drink hamper, you’re able to cater to any dietary requirements and even make sure that everyone on a team can have their share.”

Personalised gifts

It isn’t only about the gift that you send, but how you send it. Personalised items are important for any business to send. You don’t want your receiver thinking you’re sending these gifts to every business they work with – this can take away the special connection you’re trying to build.

Instead, send something personalised and heartwarming. At the end of the day, you’re building a connection with the other person, not just the business. Swap your positive feedback emails for a note of gratitude alongside your gift to make a bigger impression.

If you’re wanting to provide a thoughtful gifting experience, adding a personalised note to any gift can change it from a generic mailout that anyone can receive into something special for the receiver. This is important to make your partners and colleagues feel valued and appreciated.

Invitation

Quality time is just as important for business relationships. Being able to spend time with potential or long-standing clients or colleagues is a must if you’re to build a significant working relationship.

Why not try inviting them to an event? This could be an away day for the team or even a lunch to get to know the business and their people better. Don’t make this too work-focused though. You’ll want to make sure you’re making a genuine connection with your network and not simply trying to talk shop all night.

How to align it with your business

Aligning your gift with your business can be a great way of not only highlighting your goals and values, but also having a bit of fun within the workplace. This can be a personalised note which highlights the business connection, some merchandise, or even sending them some of your own products to enjoy.

Katy says: “It is important to note that any gift-giving should be about the receiver and not about the sender, including business gifts. You shouldn’t be sending gifts with the focus on you, as this can come across the wrong way. Instead, focus on what you’re trying to say with your gift – whether this is a “thank you”, “we are excited to work with you”, or simply “hello”.”

 

Business gifts can be a great way to strengthen corporate relationships and connections. It isn’t only about the business at the other end, but the people too, and making an effort to get to know what they like or to make your gift personalised is a step all businesses should take to appreciate growing networks.

 





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Immigration provides important buffer for Canadian economy as population greys: RBC

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By Ritika Dubey

High levels of immigration are helping blunt the economic impact of Canada’s aging population even though it’s worsened challenges with housing affordability, a report by RBC says.

Carrie Freestone, an economist with RBC, said Canada’s retirees are still consuming goods and services, including health care, Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security benefits, creating an imbalance between demand and what the economy can produce. As fewer people pay into public service programs and more people become recipients, Freestone added it widens the gap between government tax revenue and money needed to pay for services.  

“That’s a problem,” she said in an interview. “If we have fewer people working and producing goods and services and we have more people consuming, there’s a mismatch between supply and demand.” 

With Canada’s recent scalebacks to its immigration policies, the country’s population size is expected to be 2.5% smaller in 2027, compared with the original estimates if the policy remained unchanged, the report said. The cap on non-permanent residents means 1.1 million fewer people in Canada by 2027. 

The report suggests the cap will result in 0.9% reduction in Canada’s working-age population and increase the dependency ratio — which measures the number of dependents per 100 working-age people.

The federal government capped the intake of international students for 2024, reducing the numbers by 35% from 2023 levels. It also announced that open work permits will only be available to the spouses of international students enrolled in master’s and doctoral programs. The changes were prompted by strains on the economy including in the housing market. 

However, Freestone said many don’t realize the economic impacts an aging population and low birthrates can have, such as labour shortages.

Statistics Canada says 2022 marked the lowest level on record for Canada’s fertility rate, at just 1.33 children per woman.

As costs for health care, OAS and social programs go up, governments can see higher deficits, which in turn, can lead to higher taxes to offset the shortfall. 

Instead, Freestone said an easier way to tackle this issue is by bringing in working-age immigrants, even if it’s at a slower pace. 

“Our population is still growing each year and the number of permanent residents is still growing each year,” Freestone said. 

“That’s a good thing.”

The U.S. is facing similar issues as the older population outpaces younger taxpayers, Freestone pointed out. But the two countries adopted different approaches — Canada ramped up immigration while the U.S. kept immigration levels low.

As a result, Canada’s age-related unfunded liability was $70,000 per person in 2018, while the U.S. was at $236,000 per capita in 2018, according to the C.D. Howe Institute, the report cited. An unfunded liability refers to the gap between a pension fund’s assets and its estimated benefit obligations.

“That’s a pretty sizable differential,” Freestone said. “In the U.S., this unfunded liability is about three times the size of the U.S. government debt held by the public — nearly three times the size of the economy.”

The issue of housing affordability is a supply-side problem that has been decades in the making, Freestone said. “It’s not three years of bringing in a lot of immigrants that’s spurred the problem.” 

She said the solution to the housing crisis is to build more housing, including finding more construction and skilled labour workers.

“It’s important to make sure that immigration is targeted,” Freestone said, adding that Canada can do a better job in skills matching.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 30, 2024.

8 Tips For Conducting An Effective Job Search

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In cold weather climates, the beginning of spring is a time to clean the house and get organized—a practice known as spring cleaning. Through the years, spring cleaning has taken on a larger meaning with people using the time to organize and declutter things in their lives.

For professionals on the job hunt, a little spring cleaning (metaphorically speaking) could be a great way to reinvigorate your job search. Here are a few strategies your job search spring cleaning should include.

Reevaluate Your Job Search Approach

Man thinks about/reevaluates his job search approach/strategy while unemployedBigstock

Make a list of the last handful of jobs you applied for and see if you can identify any positive or negative trends. Consider things like:

  • How did I learn about this job?
  • How did I apply for the job?
  • Did I earn an interview?
  • What was the ultimate result?

A lot can be learned about your job search approach just by answering these questions and identifying patterns. For example:

Negative Trends

You discovered five jobs through job boards, applied to all of them via the job boards, and never heard back from any of them.

The common pattern here is applying through job boards. This isn’t to say that job boards don’t serve a purpose in the job search process, but they have their limitations, and you can’t run your job search entirely off of them. When you apply through a job board, there’s a good chance that your materials will never get past the applicant tracking system (ATS) and never be seen by an actual person.

One simple fix is to research who the hiring manager or recruiter is that posted the position and email your materials to them directly.

The more efficient fix would be to take a proactive approach by putting together a bucket list of companies that you want to work for and start making connections on LinkedIn with people who work at those companies. You may already know some people who work there or have connections that can refer you to some individuals.

This is a great way to network your way onto a company’s radar.

Positive Trends

You applied to three jobs via referral, were invited to two job interviews, and made it through multiple rounds of interviews for one of the jobs before being passed over for someone with a little more experience.

The pattern here is that getting referred to a job by a professional acquaintance is a great way to land a job interview. This indicates that you’re leveraging your network well and you should continue to focus on your networking efforts.

The next step is to review the interview process and determine what went well and what needs to be improved. Sometimes the interviewer will provide feedback, and that feedback can be valuable. However, not everyone is comfortable with giving feedback.

Chances are you probably have a good idea about areas of improvement and the skills you need to gain. Put together a plan for addressing those shortfalls.

The good news in making it deep into any interview process is that it indicates that the company likes you as a potential employee (even if the timing just wasn’t right) and the experience could be a roadmap to a job with that company at a later date, or another similar opportunity elsewhere.

Give Your Resume & Cover Letter Some Much-Needed Attention

Woman on laptop writes and formats her resume to get it past the ATSBigstock

Are you continuously sending similar resumes and cover letters to each job opening with only minor adjustments? If so, your strategy needs some serious spring cleaning.

Let’s start with resumes!

Every resume should be tailored to the position in order for it to stand out to recruiters and hiring managers. It may seem like a lot of work, but it’s actually less work than submitting the same resume over and over again and never hearing back.

The reason why it’s so important to tailor your resume is that throughout your career, you acquire numerous skills, but the job you’re applying for may only be focusing on 6-8 of those skills. In that case, those skills must rise to the top of the resume with quantifiable examples of how you successfully used those skills at previous jobs.

Remember, recruiters go through hundreds of resumes. They need to be able to tell from a quick glance whether or not you’re a potential candidate for the position.

While updating your resume, you could also spruce up your LinkedIn profile by highlighting the skill sets that you want to be noticed for by recruiters.

As for writing a good cover letter, the key to success is writing a disruptive cover letter. When you write a disruptive cover letter, you’re basically telling a story. The story should focus on how you connect with the particular company and job position. The story could also focus on your personal journey, and how you got to where you currently are in your career.

If your resumes and cover letters aren’t unique, now is the time to clean things up and get on track.

Build Your Personal Brand

Just because you’re looking for work doesn’t mean that you don’t have anything to offer. Use previous career experiences and passions to build your personal brand.

Ask yourself, “How do I want other professionals to view me?”

Pick an area of expertise and start sharing your knowledge and experience with your professional network by pushing out content on your LinkedIn and social media accounts. Good content can include blogs, social media posts, and videos.

By sharing content about your experiences and passions, you slowly build your personal brand, and others will start to notice. The content could lead to good discussions with others in your network. It could also lead to reconnecting with connections that you haven’t spoken to in years, or making new connections.

You never know when one of these connections could turn into a job lead or referral. The trick is to get on people’s radars. So, when you’re cleaning up your job search, be sure to build a plan for personal branding.

Maintain Healthy Habits During Your Job Search

People exercise during their job searchBigstock

Your job search is important, but it’s even more important to know when to pull back and focus on personal health and spending time with family and friends.

There are actually things that you can do for your own enjoyment that could help your job search in the long run, such as:

  • Grab coffee with a friend – It’s good to engage in light conversation with friends during challenging times. And if your job search does come up, remember that most people have been through it themselves and you never know when a friend may provide you with a good idea or lead on a job.
  • Volunteer – Volunteering is a great way to get involved in the community and help others. In addition, if you develop a little bit of a career gap while looking for a job, you can always talk about how you filled that time volunteering, if you’re asked about it during a job interview.
  • Continue to focus on other passions – Are you a fitness nut? Blogger? Crafter? Continue to do the things that bring you happiness. And if you’re in a position to profit from your passion through a freelance job or side hustle, even better!

Spring is the perfect time to clean up and improve your job search so you can land the job you want. If you’re struggling to find a job, follow the tips above to reinvigorate your job search—and watch your career blossom!

Need more help with your job search?

Become a member to learn how to land a job and UNLEASH your true potential to get what you want from work!

This article was originally published at an earlier date.



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Rughe da sonno? Il cuscino Omnia di Sleep&Glow è la soluzione.

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Rughe da sonno? Il cuscino Omnia di Sleep&Glow è la soluzione.






















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PlayStation Says Live-Service Games Will Launch Day-And-Date On PC, But Single Player Games Won’t

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PlayStation has reiterated its approach to releasing its games on PC, stating live-service games will launch day-and-date on PC. However, its tentpole single player games will not. 

This comes from one of PlayStation’s dual CEOs, Hermen Hulst, during a public business presentation held earlier this morning. During it, Hulst explained the strategy for releasing PlayStation’s single-player games on PC at a later date, rather than day-and-date, citing it’s part of a strategy to bring more people into the PlayStation platform. 

“Indeed, we are bringing our titles to the PC platform, and we have a dual approach here,” Hulst said. “On the live service side, we are releasing our titles simultaneously, so day and date on PlayStation 5 and PC. But with our tentpole titles, our single player narrative-driven titles that [are] the backbone of what PlayStation studios has delivered in recent years and in our history, we take a more strategic approach and we introduce our great franchises to new audiences, and we’re finding new audiences that are potentially going to be very interested in playing, for example, sequels, on the PlayStation platform.

“We have high hopes that we are actually able to bring new players into PlayStation at large, but into PlayStation platforms specifically. Actually, the same goes for the work that we do with extending our great properties onto other media, such as television series and film, for example, as you have seen with The Last of Us on HBO or Gran Turismo on film, that brings new players into our franchises as well.”

While this doesn’t come as a surprise – we saw the live-service multiplayer Helldivers 2 launch earlier this year simultaneously on PS5 and PC while Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut only just hit PC this month, years after its PS5 release – it’s nice to officially hear PlayStation’s approach moving forward.

For more, read about how the PS5 generation is already Sony’s most profitable yet, and then read about how the PS5 recently broke a sales record for Sony. After that, check out Game Informer’s list of the top 10 PS5 games. 


Do you think PlayStation’s making the right call with how it handles PC releases? Let us know in the comments below!



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ALLA SCOPERTA DI TIRANA: UN TESORO NASCOSTO NEI BALCANI

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ALLA SCOPERTA DI TIRANA: UN TESORO NASCOSTO NEI BALCANI

Tirana, la capitale dell’Albania, è una città vibrante e dinamica che sta rapidamente emergendo come una delle destinazioni più affascinanti dei Balcani. Se stai cercando un mix di storia, cultura, cucina deliziosa e un’atmosfera vivace, Tirana è il luogo perfetto da visitare.

La città offre una finestra affascinante sulla storia complessa dell’Albania: è un vero mosaico di influenze ottomane, italiane e comuniste.
La sua architettura è un mix unico di stili. Passeggiando per il centro, noterai edifici colorati in stile italiano, strutture brutaliste dell’epoca comunista e nuove costruzioni moderne.

La Piazza Skanderbeg, recentemente rinnovata, è il cuore pulsante della città e un ottimo punto di partenza per esplorare i dintorni. Qui potrai ammirare la Moschea Et’hem Bey, uno degli edifici più antichi di Tirana, e la Torre dell’Orologio.

La vita notturna di Tirana è vivace e variegata. La zona di Blloku, un tempo riservata all’élite politica durante il regime comunista, è ora il centro della movida cittadina, con una vasta gamma di bar, ristoranti e club. Qui, potrai gustare cocktail innovativi, ascoltare musica dal vivo e ballare fino all’alba. Per un’esperienza più rilassata, visita uno dei tanti caffè lungo il Lago Artificiale di Tirana, dove potrai goderti una serata tranquilla con vista sull’acqua.

La cucina albanese è una deliziosa scoperta per ogni gourmet. I piatti tipici combinano influenze mediterranee, balcaniche e ottomane.
Gli albanesi sono noti per la loro ospitalità calorosa e accogliente. A Tirana, sarai sempre accolto con un sorriso e un senso di genuina ospitalità. Che tu stia chiedendo indicazioni per strada o chiacchierando con i proprietari di negozi e ristoranti, ti sentirai subito a casa.

Oltre al fascino urbano, Tirana offre anche accesso a splendide aree naturali.
Anche la sua scena artistica è in piena espansione. Gallerie d’arte contemporanea, installazioni pubbliche e murales colorati decorano la città, riflettendo una vibrante comunità creativa.

Tirana è una città che sorprende e affascina, offrendo qualcosa per ogni tipo di viaggiatore. Che tu sia un appassionato di storia, un amante della buona cucina, un esploratore della natura o semplicemente in cerca di un’esperienza culturale unica, Tirana ti accoglierà a braccia aperte.

(Clicca qui @ paola_lauretano se vuoi rimanere aggiornato su tutte le più recenti tendenze moda).

LOCATION: Tirana – Albania

OUTFITS:

MIUMIU

GUCCI

CHANEL

MAISON ALAIA

LOROPIANA

LUMINA FASHION

The post ALLA SCOPERTA DI TIRANA: UN TESORO NASCOSTO NEI BALCANI appeared first on Paola Lauretano.





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Security for Children – by Bill Bright

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“Reverence for God gives a man deep strength; his children have a place of refuge and security”  Proverbs 14:26


Mary, the daughter of African missionaries, recalled how her father – the leader of a large missionary thrust – would on occasion call the family together and share something in his life that he felt was not pleasing to God, which he would confess both to the Lord and to his family whenever they happened to be involved.

This he did for at least two reasons: (1) he had a reverential fear of God, a fear that he might grieve or quench the Spirit by acts of disobedience, and (2) he wanted to be an example to his wife and children, not parading as one who was perfect. Like them, he needed to breathe spiritually, exhaling and confessing his sins whenever he became aware of them and inhaling and appropriating the fullness of God’s Holy Spirit by faith so that he could keep walking in the light as God is in the light.

He would then ask other members of the family if they wanted to share anything in their lives that was grieving or quenching the Spirit, so that together they might pray for each other. This, Mary said, was such an encouragement to her and to other members of the family, helping her to have a greater sense of security and feeling of refuge, knowing that her father was a man of God who was honest with the Lord and with his family.
The example of her father and mother had played an important role in inspiring her to become a missionary, and now God is using her in a marvelous way for His glory.

In a day when children and young people lack a feeling of security, perhaps more than at any other time in history, it behooves Christian parents to cooperate with God in helping to provide for their families such a sense of security and refuge.

Bible Reading: Proverbs 14:15-21

Today:  I will begin to pray regularly that God will grant to me an understanding of His attributes as I study His Word so that I will learn to reverence God and thereby provide refuge and security to those who look to me for leadership.

By Dr. Bill Bright
Used by Permission

FURTHER READING

•  Praying for Children

•  Ways to Spend Quality Time with your Kids

•  Top Ten Ways to Teach Values to Your Kids

RECEIVE These Devotionals Daily by email:  FOLLOW THIS Link to Subscribe


Follow Us On:  Facebook  • Twitter  •  Instagram  • Pinterest





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A Field Trip to Japan’s Earthquake Preparedness Store

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Many countries that possess seismically active areas have some regions that are more prepared for earthquakes than others, such as San Francisco being far more earthquake-conscious than Miami in the USA.  However, as a country that basically is one entire large quake zone and prepares/builds accordingly, it’s hard to beat Japan.  

While it might sound like I’m writing this article about the New Year’s Day Noto Peninsula earthquake, I had actually already started to work on it before the quake.  In fact, I’m really surprised at how much damage there was because Japan is essentially the gold standard for seismic construction and personal preparedness and behavior.  It still fared quite a bit better than many other countries have in comparable or smaller quakes, presumably because they take quake preparation so seriously at every level.  At any rate, while this article is not about the recent earthquake there, I do send my best thoughts to people there including my friends and their families.

(Click to enlarge). You can’t see it, but Matt’s eyes are

wide open and his jaw is on the floor. Shoppers probably 

assumed he was an artificial garden gnome statuette

that had been misplaced in the wrong section.

I try to remain pretty up-to-date on what kinds of quake preparation devices are out there, at least that I know how to purchase.  I keep running into impressive surprises though and they almost always are from Japan (such as the Murakoshi cabinet latch, and the ceiling bracing stilts for tops of tall furniture, about which I’ve written in previous articles).  Thus, when my wife and I took a trip to Tokyo earlier this year, I made it a point to visit the massive Tokyu* Hands store in Shinjuku to see their earthquake preparedness section (*not a typo; there are several of these stores in Tokyo but this is the one with the impressive earthquake section about which I was tipped off by a friend).  If you want to read about Hands, here’s a cute description of them at Buzzfeed, including the description that “It shares Hobby Lobby’s love of crafts, Walmart’s size, and Amazon’s broad selection of both the normal and the weird. Then it takes it all up 10 notches.”

(Click to enlarge).  Bracing rods and shim strips.

I was initially a bit disappointed at how small the section was (just a couple of short aisles) but then I realized that they didn’t have very much of any one product out on the shelf, so that small area actually contained many different kinds of products.  Looking over the available products, I saw several versions of things we can get in the US from companies like Ready America (a.k.a. Quakehold).  I saw some clever variations on what I’m used to seeing; for example, I have long used small plastic shims (that is, wedges) under objects that might be otherwise unstable but are hard to appropriately brace, such as floor lamps, and even under a box of emergency supplies to stop it from sliding in a closet to block its own door.  Here, they mean business; they had long shim strips that would stretch across the entire front edge of a wardrobe or bookcase.  I was also delighted to see a whole array of the very wardrobe bracing rods that I had purchased from Japan to brace my massive wardrobe to the ceiling, about which I had written before.

(Click to enlarge). 

I decided to purchase three products to play around with them at home.  The first one was grippy blocks to be placed under flat objects.  “YAWN” you say, “big deal, you’ve written about Gripeez lots of times for sticking down small light things, so what’s new?”  Well, the strongest of these products there advertises that it braces 100 kg!  (That’s 220 lb, for us Yanks.)  Check out the photos, including the Google Translate “Lens” screenshot showing what is says in English (for us Yanks).  (Got to take those Google Translate Lens shots with a grain of salt though; on the same trip, it translated the plaque near a statue of a famous person to say his name was “Fast Food.”)  I got one and plan to use it to brace something when the need arises.  As the diagrams suggest, this product is for large flat-bottom furniture on smooth hard floors (although Google Translate Lens initially suggested that this product was intended to stick down bicycles).  Never try using grippy pads of any strength to attach things to vertical surfaces like walls.

What I wonder about is how easy it is to move the furniture again after it’s stuck down.  Many of us have found that if you use too much quake putty on a large flat bottom item so it spreads out at too large of a diameter, it can be extremely difficult to remove the object afterward.  Google Translate Lens says that the back of the product mentions that if it is difficult to remove afterward, slowly peel it off from one side to another, but what if your cabinet that’s already 220 lb is stuck to the floor?  It also says that if the item is hard to remove, use fishing line wetted with water or neutral detergent and slowly move it back and forth between the pad and the surface.  I’m worried…  

(The year is 2358, at the world-famous art museum in massive downtown Bakersfield: “Why is this vintage 21st Century wardrobe on display between the Mona Lisa and Clarke’s famous holopainting of Dame Taylor Swift?” “It’s because someone in 2024 used too many Japanese grippy squares to stick down their wardrobe in a house that used to be on this site, and since they could never remove it, they just built the museum around it.”)

Another interesting product I wanted to get and play with was a refrigerator “seismic isolation” disk; in plain English, a grippy saucer that prevents the fridge from moving.  This is a complicated issue.  Refrigerators have several special challenges for quake safety: first, the doors can swing open causing the contents to scatter.  There are braces that swing into place to prevent full-width doors from opening and have to be manually moved out of the way each time the door is open.  I have had “French Door” fridge/freezer units for a long time and have less concern about those doors, since they are not as wide and don’t have as large of a lever arm (go check your old Physics textbook for that one). Second, they can tip over.  There are braces for fridges to attach them to the wall like other tall furniture, but they are frequently in pretty tight frames in modern kitchens that don’t really give the top enough room to tip over.  The thing that bedevils people still is when they roll out of their cubbyholes, and I THINK that is what these disks are supposed to prevent. 

(Click to enlarge). 

These disks are basically metal saucers with a grippy outer ring on the floor side, and a grippy inner plug for the fridge side.  I’m a bit confused by the diagrams.  If the fridge has only wheels, then I can see tipping it up and placing the front wheels on the grippy saucers, which come in pairs. However, my fridge has adjustable leveling feet in front of each front wheel, and it appears in the diagram that it’s the leveling feet that go on the grippy saucer.  However, I would have thought that simply by leveling those feet so that they are on the floor and taking the main weight of the fridge rather than the wheels taking the weight, the fridge would not be able to roll.  Unlike my previous refrigerator, which I could easily roll out to retrieve things that fell behind it, the current one does not roll, so I’m not sure I need these saucers and probably won’t use them.  (That’s the cue for my various quake expert colleagues to pile on and correct me… I’ll update this article should that happen.)

Lastly, longtime readers of this blog know that I’m really interested in quakeproof cabinet latches, so when I saw a new cabinet latch I hadn’t seen before, I had to get it.  I tend to not like motion-activated latching mechanisms where something has to fall into place during an earthquake to prevent the cabinet from opening; I’ve seen that kind of latch fail many times.  The ones I’ve liked have been push latches (touch latches), and the relatively recent Murakoshi latch (yep, from Japan) in which a small pendulum inside the mechanism needs to be perfectly straight for the latch to open; in other words, motion-DEactivated unlatching.  Well, here was another motion-activated latch but instead of something having to fall in place, the slight motion in the outward direction makes a spring-loaded latch shoot down instantly, very effective.  
(Click to enlarge). (Warning: reading the instructions can cause seizures)

Things to like about this latch: from my limited playing around with it, it seems like the mechanism will be very effective and reliable.  Unlike any of the others I’ve tried, there’s no drilling or screws; it’s all done with wide pieces of adhesive tape (good if you never plan to remove the latch, bad if you want flexibility to put it elsewhere.)  With the supplied templates for installation, it seems like there’s no guessing as to position.  And, there’s a nifty extra arm that swings into place after it activates that will push the catch part back up out of the way the next time you push the door into place, restoring the ability to open the door.

(Click to enlarge).  Stepped cabinet frames present
challenges for many types of latches.

Things to not like: As mentioned, it can’t be repositioned or reused unless relying on different adhesive if you trust it. The thing that worries me, though, is that if you have a cabinet in which there’s a little step, as shown in this figure lifted from my earlier articles about latches, you still have to either build up extra material to fill in the step, or, you might be able to put this latch’s main part further back behind the step (see figure at right). However, if the latch is too far back away from the cabinet door, then even though it will still activate and stop the door from opening, it looks like pushing the door closed won’t push the moving catch back up because that little nifty swinging arm I mentioned won’t reach it.  It’s hard to describe, but I’d be worried that a door with such a recessed latch could be permanently latched after a quake.  Also, just like the other latches, they won’t work on cabinets in which the ceiling of the cabinet is much higher than the top of the frame, which is common in lower cabinets.

Ok, the fatal flaw in this article is that while I’ve seen various references to the ability to purchase from Hands online, I’ve been unable to find a way to do it.  The online store exists but currently has a note saying that overseas delivery is not available.  The Buzzfeed article that I mentioned earlier says that there’s a company that purchases from Hands and then sends to people overseas but the link doesn’t appear to work. I had managed to purchase the wardrobe bracing rods via Rakuten online, but that site appears to be gone.  But these products are out there, hopefully available somewhere in the global online economy; and if you happen to be around Shinjuku, go check it out.  (Omitting my typical more lighthearted endings out of respect for the current quake recovery effort in Japan.)





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Filipino Priest Who Defied Duterte Passes Away


Fr. Amado Picardal, a Redemptorist priest who exposed killings by the so-called Davao Death Squad in the Philippines, died on Wednesday at age 69. Colleagues said Father Picx, as he was known, died from cardiac arrest in Cebu province, where he had been living a life of solitude and silence as a hermit.

Picardal was one of the first to sound the alarm about extrajudicial killings in Davao City on the southern island of Mindanao in the late 1990s and 2000s. This was long before the International Criminal Court (ICC) would investigate killings committed during President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war on drugs” as alleged crimes against humanity. Duterte, the longtime mayor of Davao City, was elected president in 2016 and modeled his abusive anti-drug campaign after Davao City’s.

Picardal was instrumental in helping the media and human rights organizations document the killings. The Coalition Against Summary Executions, which he helped found in 1999, played a key role in the research that led to Human Rights Watch’s 2009 report exposing the death squad. Picardal also assisted human rights groups submit information to the ICC.

Picardal helped activists, labor leaders, Indigenous peoples, and other victims of rights abuses for decades. During the Ferdinand Marcos Sr. dictatorship, he was arrested, jailed, and tortured for his work. Aside from being a prolific writer, blogger, columnist, and poet (he posted a poem online hours before his death), Picardal also walked, ran, and biked across the Philippines and Europe to bring attention to human rights.

After accusing Duterte of serious crimes, Picardal said his life was in danger, forcing him briefly into exile abroad before he returned to Philippines in 2018 to build his hermitage in the mountains of Cebu, where he lived until his death. When I last visited him in 2022, he said that he was still receiving threats but remained unafraid.

“I choose not to be silent, I choose to speak up and denounce evil in our midst. If it means [being] picked up, imprisoned or gunned down, so be it,” Picardal wrote in a blog post in 2006. “I am not afraid to suffer.”

Picardal never wavered in this conviction. He will be remembered as a champion of human rights both in the Phillipines and around the world.



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Le location della fiction tv “Marconi” – SiViaggia

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Le location della fiction tv “Marconi”  SiViaggia



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