Nevil Shute’s – On The Beach

Many classic science fiction novels are passed over or age out of relevance. Such is not the case with Nevil Shutes On the Beach. The novel’s relevance and the fact that it was made into a now-classic 1959 film with Ava Gardener, Gregory Peck, Anthony Perkins, and Fred Astaire (playing one of the few serious roles of his career) has helped its legacy.

The book takes place in Australia after WWIII has left every but Australia a nuclear wasteland. Our protagonist, Dwight Towers, is an American submarine captain who happened to be stationed in Australia while the rest of the world was destroyed “in a matter of minutes”. Although Australia is livable it is clear that in a matter of months the nuclear fallout will sweep down and kill the remainder of the world’s population. For all intents and purposed everyone in the world is dead, except for a mysterious Morse code signal coming in from Oregon.

Albeit a bleak concept, the book is fairly optimistic with characters living out their dreams and not dwelling on the fact they only have a few months to live. The book explores the different ways people find meaning in the last months of their lives.  It is great and has something for both science fiction fans, and people looking for an uplifting read about the end of the world.

Read more: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer Study Guide

Patrick Süskind

What is an open-door policy?

An open-door policy is much more than propping open an office door, although that certainly is a start. (I would be very suspect of an individual who always keeps an office door closed.) Colleagues, administrators, other division or department employees, customers or students (who really are customers) all must communicate with you. And one of the most important communications involves face-to- face or one-on- one communication. Have you ever sat down to write a letter, an email or even to “tweet” a message to someone and thought, “I really don’t even know this person. How should I begin this email?” You do not want to appear too forward or presumptuous, but you need to communicate something. Such thoughts may be entirely appropriate and even necessary. However, they do slow down efficient communication.

Why is an open-door policy important?

Now, by contrast, suppose this person who we will call Joe, even though new to the organization, had engaged you in conversation several times in the hallway, usually kept his office door open and just this morning acknowledged you at the door and invited you to come in his office. Joe created a very friendly atmosphere and even shared some important information with you about the project you are currently pursuing. You were only there less than five minutes. Now you are sitting down in your own office. You think of a very important idea or question about your project and want to query Joe. You start typing an email, “Hi Joe, about that project you mentioned…” You get right to the point and efficient and effective communication is taking place.

The above scenario might involve any of the colleagues, administrators, other division or department employees, customers or students referenced above; or it might involve still others. However, the scenario certainly underscores the importance of something as simple as an open-door policy. Additionally, Joe will similarly be able to communicate back to you.

Are you approachable?

But such efficient and effective communication may never have taken place, or even been possible, if Joe had not had an open-door policy – both physically and by the atmosphere, he created when he invited you into his office. Are you like Joe? Or, are you so caught up in your own little world, with your own myriad of problems and concerns, that you really do not have time for other people? Or, do you give this impression even though you really do have time for other people and want to be approachable? Either way, other people at your work are not going to engage and communicate with you the same as they would with Joe.

Develop a rapport with people. The benefits will far outweigh the value of the time invested. Even when you are extremely busy with your work or special project, let other people know they are important enough for you to take time out of your busy day to acknowledge and spend at least a few minutes with them.

Although there were other notable professors in my many years as a college student pursuing college degrees and during my tenure at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, there are only two, who really stood out as exceptionally approachable and extraordinarily effective teachers. These were Mr. Gray at Frisbee Junior High School in Kittery, Maine, and Mr. Rhodes at Robert W. Traip Academy also in Kittery, Maine (who later taught Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, NH). If anyone reading this ever attended these schools and knew these individuals (who undoubtedly have passed on now), I am sure you would agree. They immensely enjoyed their work, were extremely knowledgeable about their subjects (health and history) and were highly respected by students, parents, colleagues, nd administrators. And they consistently employed and open-door policy.

As always, your comments are most appreciated and welcome.

Soft and Hard in Blackjack

For the individuals who are interested in learning how to play blackjack, the slang language used in the game may sound funny at times. For example, soft and hard hands are the key terms identified in the game. Therefore, it is good to understand how to play them in the right manner especially to people who wishes to become skilled blackjack player.

Hard Blackjack Hands

The hand is associated with any two-card that does not have an ace.

For instance

  1.  10-2=hard 12
  2. 8-7=hard 15
  3.  10-6=hard 16
  4.  9-4=hard13
  5.  7-7=hard 14

In the hard hand, the player is mainly busted with only one hit. Therefore, whenever the player hits the hard hands, he/she must be prepared to exceed 21 and bust.

In order to play the hard hand, it is good to familiarize with the blackjack strategy chart. This will first help to realize the best ways to play the game properly and make it instinctively. The game will always follow some basic rules.

Firstly, it is necessary to assume the dealer a ten in the hole. This require you to add a total of 10 to the cards held by the dealer so to estimate the total. For example, when the up card of the dealer is 10, you should assume that he has 20. Therefore, the estimated total is mainly what you require to win the hand at any given moment.

Soft Blackjack Hands

This type of hand is associated with two cards that contain an ace. For instance:

  1.  A-2=Soft 13
  2. A-3= soft 14
  3.  A-4=soft 15
  4. A-6=soft 17
  5.  A-6=soft 16

In this case, the soft hand cannot be busted by just making a single hit. When you are dealt soft hand, it is not easy to be busted with the first hit. The major thing you can do is to improve the hand. This caused by the fact that in blackjack an ace is not countable to one or eleven. If you are dealt a soft hand, the dealer will always associate your hand with 3 or 13, 4 or 14, and 5 or 15. Determining the value of the Ace is a personal choice.

Playing soft blackjack hand depends on the understanding of the required plans. Notably, when played well it offers wide profitable opportunities to the player. Whenever the dealer is trouble, the up card is a 4, 5 and 6, the player can double down the hand and maximize the profit using a soft hand. The best thing is to combine the skills of card counting with soft blackjack hands with the aim of improving the chances of winning,

Casinos concentrate more on hard 12 since it is difficult to define whether to hit or stand. Most of the experts are always aware that doubling down a hard 12 is mainly profitable when the deck is your favour.

Also, different casino manipulates the blackjack rules to ensure the dealer hits a soft 17. This is because the rule increases the house edge against the player. In case, the dealer is given an opportunity to hit a soft 17, the house receives a free chance to improve their hand for you.

In conclusion, hard and soft hand are relevant in blackjack table. They are differentiated by on single ace card. This means in the case when the two cards you are dealt is an Ace, then you deserve a soft hand. This is interesting to realize that one single card can affect and make a big difference in the game. Therefore, experts should seek to realize the key rules and strategies needed to win a blackjack game.

The 55 secret Rules in Design and Advertising: Workflow 3

Iffyness can stem from a lack of self confidence. If you are not sure which version is to be the final one, try one of these approaches:

  • Set up a contest 
  • and let your tummy be the judge. If you have got more than two possible finalists, put them in direct competition to each other. If you are working on a print job, print out all versions. Stack them up, turn them around (so you see the blank backside of the sheets) and randomly pick two. Place these next to each other – now act on impulse: pick the one your stomach likes best. Put the winner aside and pick the next two, eliminating half of the stack like that. After round one, repeat until you have only one final left.
  • Compare your possible finals with the earliest version. Another possibility is comparing each of your potentials with your earliest comp, or outline. By doing that, you can see the benefits and disadvantages more clearly.
  • Add context. If you are doing a print ad, open up the magazine or newspaper in question. If you have done that already at an earlier stage (which I recommend in any case), do it again. Play around by placing print-outs of your different comps in the magazine. Which one looks best in their natural surrounding?
  • Outline possible follow-up variations. A
  • ssume this is to be the start of a series. Which version is most flexible while emphasizing the CI?
  • Ask for an outsider’s opinion. For that, you have three possibilities:
    • Your friends and family. People not in the business. They can point out flaws and open your eyes for things you haven’t considered. They give you a glimpse at the real world’s perception of a comp, even if it seems worthless: I like blue better than cyan because blue is my favorite color can be valuable information.
    • Fellow designers. If they are not your enemies, they can give you a professional opinion and lead you the right way.
    • A design related community. Various websites form a community where creatives can post their comps and get feedback from other community members.

Here we go!

These are the 5 Rules of Workflow and Getting it Done I consider vital for creatives. They are not intended to be ultimate rules – rather guides that have proved to be useful and work for us. Maybe they can help you come to better results with your work – being in the creative business myself, I wanted to share them with you. Can you relate to these guidelines? Also, possibly you have a rule of your own I haven’t mentioned? Share your thoughts!

The 55 secret Rules in Design and Advertising : Workflow 2

You might be familiar with accidents turning out to be a major benefit of your design. If you know this, why not extend your options? In the realm of creative freedom, you can stumble over most interesting approaches by simply playing around. Sure you know your stuff, but you can do so much better.

Experiment! Color Dodge instead of Color Burn! Make the dashed line 1 mm instead of 1 px! Make that gradient radial! Use another brush! Add a third layer mask! Make 

 

 If you are not a perfectionist, you are not a designer

Tell me: in Photoshop and Illustrator, how much time do you spend at 6400% magnification? How often do you hit Ctrl+Z because you think a line is placed half a millimeter too low? How extensive is your changelog for an average composition?

Because we know that even the most minor change of an element’s attribute can make the difference between Hillary and Britney, we blatantly take the word perfectionist as a compliment.

It comes with the job and a certain amount of self-respe

it different! Play around! You may come to interesting results by simply using what you left behind as you grew older: your play instinct.

ct. You have no other choice than to identify yourself with your work – because on the reverse side, your work will always identify with you. that is why you should always, always, always quintuple check your design before calling it a final. Then again, we have one rule left:

 There is no such thing as the final version

This, our final rule of workflow in design and advertising, is a vital one. With possibilities given and creative juices flowing, you will usually have a hard time deciding that this is it. Instead, you go on and on, changing this, tweaking that, adding and deleting, sharpening and softening, enhancing and simplifying. And again, it is in the nature of our profession. Because there is not a single way to do it, but at least a couple, if not a thousand possible avenues, we have to possess the integrity and self-confidence to set an end to a design.

The 55 secret Rules in Design and Advertising : Workflow 1

It is always easy to neglect these things, especially as a creative. Sometimes, you are in a state of flux, you are being overly productive and in the middle of it, and you do not want to stop. Taking a break in order to eat, drink and sleep is hard. Gee, even standing up to go for a pee is. But it is necessary – not only to keep her runnin, but to maintain the level of quality. So if you feel tired, sleep, for heaven’s sake! Wake up in the morning and you’ll be thankful that you listened to me.

 Time is a rare commodity. Spend it wisely

Let’s be honest, friends: being on time isn’t exactly one of our most renowned values. We might be excellent designers, but sometimes, we could just be not so late. Can you refer to this?

Well, many creatives I know can. Its because of the nature of our business. Read rule #1 of Workflow: You laugh at nine to five. So it is necessary to undertake certain steps to ensure our punctuality and credibility.

  • Don’t take on more than you can manage. When you start off in the design field, you’ll probably take every job you can. You’re in your early years and besides needing the money, you’ll want to gain experience – and referrers, because you know that your happy clients are the best source for new jobs. And this is my point exactly: Happy clients generate new clients. You won’t do your client a favor by delivering crappy and unsolid work due to a lack of time – nor will you do yourself a favor.
  • do not wait for the last moment to start work. Even if you think that you are able to do a job standing on your head, you should start working on it early. The longer you are in the business, the more you learn that a project’s true extent is being disclosed in the process. So do not make the mistake of underestimating your workload. This directly reflects on our next tip for time management

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