THE WORLD IS AN OYSTER

An article in the Financial Times stressed on the growing importance of an MBA degree for career-oriented women.

Employers are constantly on the lookout for prospective women armed with an MBA degree.Universities like the IMD in Switzerland and the London Business School are designing prgrammes that harp on the softer skills rather than the hard analytics. These courses are designed to pull in young mothers who are returning to the workplace. Also there has been a substantial increase in the number of women enrolling for an MBA degree.

The flip side is, women with an MBA degree are often paid less. The fee structure for women executives are not at par with that of men.

But the day is not far behind when these women executives take over the world displacing the male order.

The US has gone a step further to customise their MBA programmes to suit the needs of their niche customers like LG Electronics, Rolls-Royce, Texas Instruments to name a few. The courses offer the company executives with expertise to reach the numero uno status.

Diversity is what makes these courses a huge hit, in the UK and the US. Some have also predicted this as the “future of MBA programmes”.

Maybe the day is not far behind when “tailor-made” courses would be the buzz word in every educational institution. Schools, colleges and universities will be awarding customised degrees to students with varied levels of intelligence and capabilities.

The last decade gave rise to the customisation of internet sites. It seems the decade to come belongs to the universities and the paradigm shift in academic focus.          

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1 comment March 7, 2007

MUCH HUE AND CRY

Can you believe the ruling politicians in India regard the soaring price of onions to be a potential tool in determining their office?

An article in last week’s edition of The Economist spoke at length about India’s rising food prices and its relation to inflation.The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) suffered a defeat in a Delhi election after onion prices increased nearly six-times. That was in 1998. The present ruling coalition also fought an election amidst unfair rise in the price of food items including onions.

An average Indian would spend nearly three-fourth of their income in feeding their family . Food-price inflation is a serious cause of concern for this section of the Indian population. The annual food price inflation climbed to 10% from 7.6% a year earlier. Price of oil has risen 12%, while edible-oil prices have shot up 43% in just one year.

Food price inflation elsewhere in the world often results from extreme weather conditions but back home it is the “poor economic management”. Food price stability demands better roads and electricity. About 40% of fruits and vegetable often fail to make way to the market and rot on their way.

Organised retailing is a concept that India has to familiarise with.But with retail giants like Wal Mart’s being refused an entry into the Indian retail scene, would have been an encouraging sign.

Politicians campaigning before elections often make much hue and cry about trivial matters but fail to address issues that demand more attention. True, the indian economy is growing at the rate of 9.2% but why rejoice when rest of the country is battling the food price inflation.             

Add a comment March 7, 2007

Ghost of The Past

Germany’s past has returned to haunt its people again.

An article in the Time magazine discussed at length Germany’s Red Army Faction(RAF), a group of young middle-class German’s,who shook the country with their notoriety and continued to do so for over two decades.

Bankers, business tycoons, jurists, bureaucrats and policemen- were all victims of RAF’s so called “armed struggle”. The Second World War and the Hitler era shook the confidence of many in the country.That was in the past.

But almost 30 years after, the RAF is once again hitting the headlines.It was announced that two major RAF terrorists Brigitte Meinhof and Christian Klar who are serving life sentence will be set free. Oppositions flowed in from all possible directions and some have termed their release as a “slap in the face ” of the victims and their families in whose mind RAF still rings a bell of fear and desperation.

Terrorism in its entirety developed a new meaning since the September11, 2001 attack. Although, Germany was never a target of this new generation of Islamic fundamentalists, yet this does not mean that the country could take things lightly. The modern day terrorists are similar in their operation like that of RAF, only that they are waging a holy war in the name of religion. The need of the hour is to tackle the old menace,in this case, RAFas history repeats itself.

The question now is:will the release of two aging RAF terrorist of the yesteryears pose the same threat to society, when there are enough issues to be looked into.       

Add a comment February 20, 2007

The Desperate British Army

 

Tony Blair’s “war of choice” is taking a heavy toll on the British Army.

 

Last week’s article in the New Statesman talks about tackling this problem but in a unique way.

 

The rising military death toll in Iraq and Afghanistan are factors enough to produce a “retention crisis” in the British Army. As a result the army is on a desperate recruitment drive.

 

The snag is that this time, teenagers and school children, are the targets. Under performing school children aged 14-16 attend a ‘one-day Army Personal Development Course’ involving rifle drills, negotiating an obstacle course, complete a one-mile run, at the end of which they receive a presentation certificate.

 

The British Military system is bribing their prospective 14-16 year olds through the Camouflage youth information scheme, introduced in 2000. This scheme was successful in recruiting 271,000 youngsters. These youngsters sign up for the Camouflage scheme when the recruiting officers pay a visit to their schools (in less affluent areas).

 

 Candidates joining the force can expect incentives of £250 as pocket money, while the government on the other hand is working towards paying £40 to students to stay at school until they are18 years of age.

 

Granted, the army certainly plays a stabilising role, supporting these youngsters many of who comes from broken homes. But it also raises the question- Must the British military system take desperate measures to meet their recruitment target?

 

Must Tony Blair’s government sacrifice more innocent lives at battlefields all in the name of war for a cause?

Add a comment February 13, 2007

A leg tattooTattoo on armsA neck tattooA lower back tattooA butterfly Tattoo                                                                  

                                                                       Tattooing  

Your necklace may break, the fau tree may burst, but my tattooing is indestructible .It is an everlasting gem that you will take into your grave. (Verse from a traditional tattoo artist’s song.) 

 

This ancient art form has a history of more than 5000years .The word tattoo is derived from the Polynesian word “tatao” which means, “to tap”, although researchers believe that tattoo is a Tahitian word “tatu”, which means ‘to mark something.’ This traditional art form suffered a decline during the spread of Christianity in Europe where it was considered ‘unholy’ fitted for outcasts, drunkards and convicts and tattoo gained popularity only several years of its existence. It is practised worldwide and right from movie stars, models to rock artists and sports personalities- all sport a tattoo. Tattoo is now more of a fashion statement than just a simple mark. A poll conducted online between July 14 and 20, 2003 (Harris 2003) revealed that 16% of all adults in the United States have at least one tattoo. 36% of Americans between the age group of 25 to 29 years wear tattoos. Such is its popularity.

 

Agrees Martin Roberts professional tattoo artist from Rebel Rebel, “The immense popularity of tattoos is evident from the heavy footfall that the shop experiences every week.” People between the age group of 18 and 35 throng this shop. Martin also cherishes the memory of tattooing his oldest client, a 79-year-old woman. Gary Jones, another seasoned tattoo artist of fifteen years from Moko Tattoo Studio, unanimously agrees with Roberts, “A decade back, tattooing was less popular catering to a different section of society but things have definitely changed.” Jo Edwards, a PhD. Student, feels proud of her tattoo, a tribal motif, “The tattoo on my right arm successfully hides a scar from a childhood accident.” Ray Charles a 31, year old architect has got an anchor motif done only last week and still remembers the two-hour session, “I was apprehensive in the beginning but my artist really made me feel at ease.”

 

According to Martin, a few years back one would have to make one’s own needle, and sterilise them after each use, but now one can readily buy disposable needles that are pre-sterilised and saves the hassles of taking all the pain of meticulously cleaning needles to avoid infection. Also a lot of advancement has been made in tattoo pigments and an overall refinement of the equipments. Gary reiterates that maintaining studio hygiene is of utmost importance. A responsible and a reputable tattoo artist will always follow the ‘universal precautionary measures’ of washing his hands before starting a tattoo and will always use fresh ink and sterilised needles for each session.

 

As for tattoo designs, the old school designs like daggers anchors, scrolls are making a comeback, although more than 80% of the people frequenting tattoo parlours bring in their own designs, to maintain the exclusivity. Tattooing is definitely a lot safer than before because at Rebel Rebel and elsewhere one needs to sign a disclaimer stating that he/she is not suffering form any health complications and also the use of sterilised disposable needles has made tattooing a much safer option.

1 comment January 10, 2007

Add a comment January 8, 2007

The Charisma of Theatre

 

Camilla Jones, a seventeen year old student is a movie buff and defines cinema as enthralling, but is equally fascinated by the world of theatre. She is seriously thinking of pursuing Arts and Drama for her Undergraduate studies. Cinema is supposed to be “the most beautiful fraud in the world” and in the 21st century world of SFX and CGI, one might think that live art form such as the theatre is dying out. Well it is definitely not.

The recent Soapbox Debate held at the Menier Chocolate Factory concluded with the audience forthrightly supporting that theatre is a far more superior art form than cinema.

 The debate was attended by eminent personalities from the field of theatre, film and contemporary art, where the Guardian Theatre critic Michael Billington said, “You lean forward to watch a play because you are actively engaged with what is happening on the stage, you lean back in a cinema.” simultaneously describing a film’s vocabulary as something which is predictable and unoriginal. According to him, “Theatre is more responsive to the times in which we live and the politics of the day.” Even financially, English theatres are in a better state than ever before. Theatre companies like Hijinx Theatre, Moving Being Productions, Big Foot Theatre, play a pivotal role as a training ground for amateur actors, new writers to develop their craft.     

Billington’s views are well supported by theatre companies based in and around
Cardiff. David Wilson, Administrator of Cardiff International Festival of Musical Theatre, maintains, “It is true that not just the elderly but the young also enjoy theatre over films. This art form has a different appeal altogether; moreover the quality of our shows is very high, celebrating various forms of musical theatre.” Wilson also added that the theatre scene in
Cardiff is thriving with more people returning to the arts.

The New Theatre located in the City Centre has staged a couple of plays over the past week. Box Office assistant John Walsh of the New Theatre adds, “Dickens’ Christmas Carol staged on November 11th was heavily booked whilst House of the Gods staged on November12th demanded a specialist audience who knew about the plot.”  This could be attributed to the popularity of Dickens’ novel or possibily the universal appeal of theatre. It’s a busy time of the year for most theatre companies with the spirit of Yuletide just round the corner. The History Boys, an Alan Bennett comedy about school life in the 1950s opened to a full house in the New Theatre, with tickets being sold out in advance.

Although Charles Evans, Touring Company Manager for The History Boys claims, “Theatre is for a more mature audience, in other words people should have a call for it”, Joanna Evans, an Architecture student, refutes, “Stephen Moore’s portrayal of Hector was highly commendable. The production is of a very high quality.”

Therefore one can rightly conclude that theatre doesn’t begin and end simply with the rise and fall of curtains, there is something more to it.(504 words)

Add a comment November 16, 2006

Welsh Theatre

1.The story is about Welsh Theatre.

2. The reason why I want to do the story is because I want to find out if, in today’s modern day world of cinema and movies, is theatre a big hit? Does it have a decent fan following?

3.   I would go about interviewing theatre groups based in Cardiff, talk to their respective directors. Maybe watch a play myself and try and get audience feedback, and their take on theatre watching. 

1 comment November 8, 2006

Welsh Theatre

Add a comment November 8, 2006

Coyel’s Blog Tutorial

This is the first post in my waffling around the subject of blogs

4 comments October 16, 2006

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