In London, the lions of Trafalgar Square share space with the towering image of an Inuit woman and her child. In Paris, an inukshuk greets people leaving the Metro. In Oslo, Ottawa is opening an Arctic political office. And in Brussels, officials are fanning out to promote the image of a cold, northern Canada.
The Harper government has launched an aggressive campaign across Europe to brand Canada as an "Arctic power" and the owner of a third of the contested land and resources of the Far North. Ministers and ambassadors have been instructed to deliver a strong message, through every channel available: Canada owns it; hands off.
This new assertiveness has caught European and Russian officials off guard as Ottawa pushes to fend off attempts by other northern powers and the European Union to claim stakes in the Northwest Passage and the open seas of the High Arctic.
While this involves hard diplomacy, such as Canada's leading role in a move to exclude the EU from sitting on the Arctic Council, Mr. Harper's officials have also ordered embassies abroad to mobilize their cultural resources to deliver this policy message, to create a visual image of a fully Arctic Canada.
The stakes are high. Yesterday, Russia released a report arguing that Arctic resources could spark military confrontations, and Canada recently released a major atlas of the Arctic, the result of research intended to back claims of Arctic land ownership under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
"Canada is an Arctic nation and an Arctic power," Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon told European leaders in Tromso, Norway, at the end of April, while directing his diplomats to adopt an assertive new language around Canada's Arctic possessions. Under his instructions, the new phrase "Arctic power" has begun appearing in communiqués and speeches.
The message for Europe's leaders and citizens is simple and abrupt: The Arctic is not up for grabs. "Through our robust Arctic foreign policy," Mr. Cannon said, "we are affirming our leadership, stewardship and ownership in the region."
The word ownership is key. As Arctic jurisdictional disputes make their way through the United Nations, Ottawa wants to assert its claim to be owner of a third of Arctic land, ice and water, as well as any oil and minerals that happen to lie below.
The goal of Effing Hail is to destroy houses, skyscrapers and airplanes with huge hailstones. Hold the left mouse button to start an updraft and control the wind with your mouse. Hails grow larger the longer you keep it in the air. Have fun with this weather simulation game!
Hold the left mouse button to control the wind.
Hail grows larger the longer you keep it in the air.
Hurl large hail at objects to rack up points!
A man was to be sentenced, and the judge told him, "You may make a statement. If it is true, I'll sentence you to four years in prison. If it is false, I'll sentence you to six years in prison." After the man made his statement, the judge decided to let him go free. What did the man say?
Let’s face it – water is so dull. But vitaminwater, with its kaleidoscopic pinks, peaches and violets, is like Vegas in a bottle! Vitaminwater’s shimmering hues even seduced rapper 50 Cent, the inspiration for amethyst-tinged Formula 50. But aside from using star power and flashy colors, vitaminwater’s parent company, Glaceau (owned by Coca-Cola), markets the drink by emphasizing its nutritional value. Is there any science behind the marketing though?
A vitamin-fortified drink may sound like a swell idea, but there are two caveats to keep in mind. First, most Americans aren’t vitamin-deficient, according to Marion Nestle, a nutrition professor at New York University. A government survey in 1999 showed that the median American adult man or woman already consumes more than the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamins thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B6 and B12, and three-quarters of the RDA of vitamins C, B9 and A (including carotenes). In fact, vitamin E is the only surveyed vitamin Americans consume at less than half of the RDA – but it’s found in only a third of vitaminwater drinks.
If you want to drink your additional vitamin E, there’s a second caveat: your body may not absorb it. To understand why, it’s important to know that vitamins can be divided into two groups: water-soluble and fat-soluble. Vitamin C and the B complex group are water-soluble and can easily enter the bloodstream with water. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble. That means they can only enter the bloodstream to carry out their functions if they are dissolved in dietary fat, like that found in a meal. An Italian study published by the American Heart Association in 2001 showed that subjects who took vitamin E for two weeks on an empty stomach increased their vitamin E concentration in blood little or not at all, compared to an 84 percent increase in subjects who took the vitamin E supplement during dinner. So unless you prefer vitaminwater to wine with your meal, vitamins A and E will pass largely unused into your city’s septic system.
Even if you were to absorb all the vitamins, vitaminwater might have trouble living up to its image as a salubrious alternative to sugary soft drinks: Each bottle of vitaminwater contains 32.5 grams, or two heaping tablespoons, of crystalline fructose. Fructose is a simple sugar that sweetens many fruits, although the crystalline fructose in vitaminwater is produced from cornstarch, not fruit, by crystallizing the fructose in fructose-enriched corn syrups. As one would expect, nobody needs these extra sugars, according to Nestle, the NYU nutritionist. One research team has even indicated that the intense sweetness of sugary drinks may be addictive.
“The way that vitaminwater is marketed and positioned it’s made to look more healthful than other sugary beverages, but it’s not – it’s still just a soft drink,” said Margo G. Wootan, Director of Nutrition Policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “It has this aura of healthfulness that is not deserved. Adding vitamins and minerals to junk food doesn’t make it healthy.”
YELLING, scheming and sabotaging: all are tell-tale signs that a bully is at work, laying traps for employees at every pass.
During this downturn, as stress levels rise, workplace researchers say, bullies are likely to sharpen their elbows and ratchet up their attacks.
It’s probably no surprise that most of these bullies are men, as a survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute, an advocacy group, makes clear. But a good 40 percent of bullies are women. And at least the male bullies take an egalitarian approach, mowing down men and women pretty much in equal measure. The women appear to prefer their own kind, choosing other women as targets more than 70 percent of the time.
In the name of Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, what is going on here?
Just the mention of women treating other women badly on the job seemingly shakes the women’s movement to its core. It is what Peggy Klaus, an executive coach in Berkeley, Calif., has called “the pink elephant” in the room. How can women break through the glass ceiling if they are ducking verbal blows from other women in cubicles, hallways and conference rooms?
Women don’t like to talk about it because it is “so antithetical to the way that we are supposed to behave to other women,” Ms. Klaus said. “We are supposed to be the nurturers and the supporters.”
Ask women about run-ins with other women at work and some will point out that people of both sexes can misbehave. Others will nod in instant recognition and recount examples of how women — more so than men — have mistreated them.
“I’ve been sabotaged so many times in the workplace by other women, I finally left the corporate world and started my own business,” said Roxy Westphal, who runs the promotional products company Roxy Ventures Inc. in Scottsdale, Ariz. She still recalls the sting of an interview she had with a woman 30 years ago that “turned into a one-person firing squad” and led her to leave the building in tears.
Jean Kondek, who recently retired after a 30-year career in advertising, recalled her anger when an administrator in a small agency called a meeting to dress her down in front of co-workers for not following agency procedure in a client emergency.
But Ms. Kondek said she had the last word. “I said, ‘Would everyone please leave?’ ” She added, “and then I told her, ‘This is not how you handle that.’ ”
Many women who are still in the work force were hesitant to speak out publicly for fear of making matters worse or of jeopardizing their careers. A private accountant in California said she recently joined a company and was immediately frozen out by two women working there. One even pushed her in the cafeteria during an argument, the accountant said. “It’s as if we’re back in high school,” she said.
A senior executive said she had “finally broken the glass ceiling” only to have another woman gun for her job by telling management, “I can’t work for her, she’s passive-aggressive.”
The strategy worked: The executive said she soon lost the job to her accuser.
ONE reason women choose other women as targets “is probably some idea that they can find a less confrontative person or someone less likely to respond to aggression with aggression,” said Gary Namie, research director for the Workplace Bullying Institute, which ordered the study in 2007.
But another dynamic may be at work. After five decades of striving for equality, women make up more than 50 percent of management, professional and related occupations, says Catalyst, the nonprofit research group. And yet, its 2008 census found, only 15.7 percent of Fortune 500 officers and 15.2 percent of directors were women.
Leadership specialists wonder, are women being “overly aggressive” because there are too few opportunities for advancement? Or is it stereotyping and women are only perceived as being overly aggressive? Is there a double standard at work?
In the late nineteen-sixties, Carolyn Weisz, a four-year-old with long brown hair, was invited into a “game room” at the Bing Nursery School, on the campus of Stanford University. The room was little more than a large closet, containing a desk and a chair. Carolyn was asked to sit down in the chair and pick a treat from a tray of marshmallows, cookies, and pretzel sticks. Carolyn chose the marshmallow. Although she’s now forty-four, Carolyn still has a weakness for those air-puffed balls of corn syrup and gelatine. “I know I shouldn’t like them,” she says. “But they’re just so delicious!” A researcher then made Carolyn an offer: she could either eat one marshmallow right away or, if she was willing to wait while he stepped out for a few minutes, she could have two marshmallows when he returned. He said that if she rang a bell on the desk while he was away he would come running back, and she could eat one marshmallow but would forfeit the second. Then he left the room.
Although Carolyn has no direct memory of the experiment, and the scientists would not release any information about the subjects, she strongly suspects that she was able to delay gratification. “I’ve always been really good at waiting,” Carolyn told me. “If you give me a challenge or a task, then I’m going to find a way to do it, even if it means not eating my favorite food.” Her mother, Karen Sortino, is still more certain: “Even as a young kid, Carolyn was very patient. I’m sure she would have waited.” But her brother Craig, who also took part in the experiment, displayed less fortitude. Craig, a year older than Carolyn, still remembers the torment of trying to wait. “At a certain point, it must have occurred to me that I was all by myself,” he recalls. “And so I just started taking all the candy.” According to Craig, he was also tested with little plastic toys—he could have a second one if he held out—and he broke into the desk, where he figured there would be additional toys. “I took everything I could,” he says. “I cleaned them out. After that, I noticed the teachers encouraged me to not go into the experiment room anymore.”
Footage of these experiments, which were conducted over several years, is poignant, as the kids struggle to delay gratification for just a little bit longer. Some cover their eyes with their hands or turn around so that they can’t see the tray. Others start kicking the desk, or tug on their pigtails, or stroke the marshmallow as if it were a tiny stuffed animal. One child, a boy with neatly parted hair, looks carefully around the room....