Category Archives: Nonprofits & General

What Effect Will The Prime Minister’s Taskforce Have On The Manufacturing Industry?

By Article Contributor, Tuesday, September 3, 2013

In October 2011 the Australian Prime Minister appointed a taskforce to evaluate, make recommendations regarding, and forecast the prognosis of the state of the country’s manufacturing industry. The task force operated under the auspices of the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (yes, that’s a mouthful) and held its final meeting in May 2012 and released a final report, Smarter Manufacturing for a Smarter Australia, in August of last year.

Challenges for the Manufacturing Industry

The manufacturing industry is a vital part of Australian economy and has ties to production, construction, utilities, and service providers, to name a few. Despite how essential it is to the financial stability and growth of the country, manufacturing faces challenges such as elevated exchange rates, global competition, and weaknesses in critical links of industry supply chains. Job loss has been staggering since the global recession occurred and companies that have been able to remain financially afloat are still suffering from the impact to the industry itself and the businesses around them.

Miner Black Guy Dust Mining What Effect Will The Prime Ministers Taskforce Have On The Manufacturing Industry?Prime Minister’s Task Force Optimistic

The Prime Minister’s task force emphasized its feeling of optimism regarding the ability of Australian manufacturing to achieve a level of effective competitiveness on a global scale, provided the government will be proactive in developing and implementing policy changes that fully support endorsement of emerging technological advancements and manufacturing opportunities, as well as providing options for growth of productivity in the manufacturing industry.

Australia has been rated as the world’s best place for mining investment for four years, and the fruits of the mining industry’s labors greatly enrich the economic quality and stability of the country and aid in connecting the country to a global marketplace. Two of the key factors in Australia’s rating were the short turn-around time for obtaining permits and a very low frequency of mining corruption. There are concerns, however, and a spokesman for the Minerals Council of Australia stated that two of the biggest potential threats to the growth and profitability of the mining industry are the high taxes, which only further beleaguer a high-cost country, and a decline in international competitiveness which has an impact because Australia is more dependent upon global trade than local business.

Recently, the Australian mining industry has suffered a major setback requiring the layoff of hundreds, if not thousands, of workers due to increasing production costs and decreasing commodity prices of gold and coal, two of Australia’s biggest mined resources. The mining industry had previously been the country’s “savior” when it came to shielding the economy from serious meltdown during the global financial crisis, so the fallout from deterioration of the industry may produce effects seen on more than just a local or regional level.

How Will the Task Force Affect the Industry?

The manufacturing task force presented a detailed agenda including over 40 recommendations for the industry. The agenda’s goals took into account many factors such as workplaces, supply chains, businesses, initiatives, and technology – preceded by descriptive adjectives such as bigger, better, stronger, and smarter. Recommendations offer support of evaluating all aspects of manufacturing and developing achievable plans for strengthening Australia’s global foothold in the industry, supporting improvements in management, logistics, and operations, and implementing economic and industry-based initiatives that reinforce stability, marketability, and profitability.

Thus far, the task force’s goals and objectives have had little impact on Australia’s mining industry, as it continues to suffer due to lack of expansion, job loss, higher taxes, and global competition. Given the emphasis on manufacturing and mining as critical elements of the country’s economic stability, the Commonwealth Government should strive to ensure the success of these industries to likewise ensure that the country itself continues to thrive.

Article is written by Nicole whose family has been in the mining industry for years. She is fascinated to learn about anything within this industry, from world news with mining, to the best options for fag bearings.

Miner image c/o Julien Harneis

Top Five Ancient Buildings

By benfrisby, Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The builders of the past were more competent than we think; in fact, some of their works make ours seem puny by comparison. Below are some of the most amazing feats of early engineering.

 Top Five Ancient Buildings

Inside the underground city in Derinkuyu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Underground City at Derinkuyu

The underground city was discovered in Turkey in the 1960s during the renovation of a modern residence. It existed for centuries right under people’s feet, and it’s just one of many underground cities built by unknown people around the 8th century. Derinkuyu is remarkable because of its size and complexity–after all, it takes quite a bit of engineering experience to hollow out an underground complex capable of accommodating 20,000 people. It’s believed that the city was used as protection from natural disaster or invasion, but there are certain creature comforts as well. Derinkuyu had access to flowing water, and it also held tombs, livestock cages, shops, escape tunnels and even a school.

The Hypogeum of Hal-Saflieni

This prehistoric underground building is located on Malta, and it was accidentally found in 1902 when excavators broke through its ceiling. Over 7000 skeletons were found near its entrance. Rather than flee in terror, the workers explored further and discovered that the three-level structure was built entirely from giant stones. The Hypogeum is an example of ‘sexist architecture’; if a man stands in a certain position, his voice can reverberate through the entire building. Scientists believe that the building was used for religious purposes, but they don’t know much else–except that the Hypogeum’s builders knew a lot about acoustics.

The Marib Dam

Yemen is a dry, dusty country; that’s probably why the Sabaens built a giant dam there in 750 BC.  The Marib Dam was almost named one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and even though it wasn’t, it is still one of the world’s greatest feats of pre-industrial engineering. The Sabaens built the entire dam before concrete was invented, and it stood strong for over a millennium. Compare that with our modern-built dams, which last for a maximum of a century. The dam at Marib was almost 2000 feet long, and turned Yemen into a lush oasis until it collapsed in 600 AD.

Pumapunku

The ancient Tiwanaku of Bolivia built this city, and what makes it special is the laser precision with which the stonework was created. Using only the crudest technology, Pumapunku’s builders used hundreds of identical blocks to make their buildings. They made all those precise, straight cuts using only rulers and chisels. For structural integrity, they used methods similar to those used in modern earthquake-proofing. The largest stones at Pumapunku are over 25 feet long, and weigh over 100 tons. Without cranes, wheels or writing, the Tiwanaku managed to get the rocks to the site and shape them into intricate, perfect forms. The civilization eventually disappeared, but the Incas who came after them thought they were gods.

Gobekli Tepe

In the 60s, Turkish surveyors found an ancient complex made of huge stone monoliths, arranged similar to those at Stonehenge. Some of those stones were over 30 feet tall, but that’s not what made the site so remarkable; it was amazing because the site predates Stonehenge by about 6000 years. Gobekli Tepe is believed to be the oldest construction site in the world, being built during the Stone Age and before agriculture. Due to the amount of animal bones discovered at Gobekli Tepe, it is believed to be a religious site where animal sacrifices were performed.

Our early ancestors’ achievements tend to be underestimated–we think of those who came before us as ‘savages’, and when our assumptions are proven incorrect by some wondrous engineering feat, we think “aliens did it”. The buildings and structures above prove that those who came before us were more competent than we could ever imagine.

This article was written by B. Frisby on behalf of The Drawing Room.

5 Tips for Investing in Commodities

By WriterEvan, Tuesday, November 6, 2012

marketportfolio 5 Tips for Investing in CommoditiesNew investors familiarizing themselves with the world of stocks and bonds have probably heard the term ‘commodities’ thrown around and wondered exactly what that covers. Commodities is used in reference to physical things that are traded, as opposed to stocks that only represent intangible value. Common examples of commodities include raw materials such as copper, gold and silver, as well as farming crops like grain, corn and soybeans. Experts will often suggest this sort of investing, because it is linked to the true value of a product. When you invest in the commodities market, you could buy stock or futures, index funds, mutual funds or exchange-traded funds. While commodities investment comes with a significant amount of risk, it also is fairly well protected against inflation. Here are five tips to help you along the path of commodities investing.

Continue reading

The Most Common Types of Personal Injury Cases

By WriterEvan, Thursday, October 18, 2012

neck brace The Most Common Types of Personal Injury CasesLife is unpredictable, and we essentially take risks every time we get out of bed in the morning. It is an unusual fact, but accidents happen and injuries are sustained all over the country every day. You might choose to walk around the block a different way and end up in the hospital. You may try to change lanes on the highway at the wrong time and find yourself in a collision. Anything can happen. This should not cause anyone to live in fear, but it is in fact beneficial to know the most common types of personal injury cases if you should ever need to go to court. Continue reading

Batten Down the Hatches! Hurricane Season is Upon Us

By Scholarly Writer, Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hurricane Weather Batten Down the Hatches! Hurricane Season is Upon UsHurricane season is quickly approaching, and a question you should ask yourself is if your house ready for it. The past few years there have been quite a few powerful hurricanes that have hit the United States. These hurricanes have left many homes completely unlivable or severely damaged. Before a hurricane hits you should prepare your house so it is able to with stand all of the weather conditions that accompany hurricanes.  Some major items to check are the roof, windows and siding.

 

Roof

One of the first things to look at is your roof. Check to ensure that the roof is sturdy. If the roof needs to be repaired or replaced it should be done prior to hurricane season because your roof protects your house from getting damaged. An unprotected roof is one of the main reasons houses get damaged during severe weather conditions. There are many different types of roofing to choose from. Depending on where you live, will determine what type of roof to invest in.

Windows

Windows should be replaced every fifteen to twenty years. They may need to be replaced sooner if there are leaks or cracks from where they were sealed.  It is better to know something is wrong with your windows before they are subjected to high winds and downpours. Consult a window replacement company when deciding to replace them and they will ensure that the windows are installed properly and inform you of any warranties with the windows. They can also show you how to check if anything is wrong with the windows.

Siding

Inspect the siding to see if it is able to withstand hurricane conditions. Siding protects the structure of your house, so it is important that it can handle heavy winds and rain so nothing happens to your house.  An easy way to check is to walk around the house and see if there is any siding that is loose or coming off the house. If it is then it should be replaced. Consult a professional to help decide if you should replace the siding and which siding is best for the area you live in. If you live closer to the ocean your house will need a different type of siding then someone who lives inland.

Call a window replacement company and siding professionals to help you make your home able to withstand a hurricane. Don’t make the decision of chancing your home on a hurricane.

Citations:

Michele Filipkowski specializes in writing home improvement and repair blogs.

How Much Money Should You Have in An Emergency Fund?

By WriterEvan, Sunday, September 30, 2012

piggy bank hammer How Much Money Should You Have in An Emergency Fund?There’s no denying that times are tough right now for a large portion of the population. The costs of putting food on the table, gas in the car and insuring your family against unexpected medical costs swallows up the vast majority of peoples’ monthly paychecks, especially after they squeeze out their rent or mortgage payment. What’s left usually goes into paying for a night out here or there to forget the stresses of the week, or heads right to the banks to pay off credit card debt. There’s not much wiggle room for an emergency fund. But the uncertain economy makes that account you set aside for a rainy day all the more crucial. Millions of Americans remain unemployed, and many of them are finding it difficult to nail down a new job, even after searching for a year or more. With no emergency fund to fall back on, bankruptcy or homelessness could become a real possibility. No one wants to find themselves or their families in that sort of situation, but the only thing you can truly do to prevent it is to set aside money that you don’t touch. But how much is enough? How much money should you have in an emergency fund? Continue reading

REIT Tax Advantages

By WriterEvan, Saturday, September 29, 2012

real estate REIT Tax AdvantagesAs most homeowners are well aware, purchasing property may be considered an investment in real estate. Although your property does not pay out yearly dividends like a stock investment, for example, you put money into it now and when you sell it down the line, the hope is that it will be worth more than you paid for it, showing a significant return. This is considered a long-term investment and it is safer than most because it has at its base an asset that is insurable, meaning the odds that you will lose everything can be minimized. And as real estate investing goes, you may be looking to do more than simply buying your own family home or even purchasing a rental property that will bring in a passive source of income (both of which require some amount of work on your part in the way of maintenance or hiring a management company, for example). And you’ve probably been hearing a lot of buzz about Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), which became extremely popular when they were granted a status change that put them into their own asset class, separate from other unit investment trusts and therefore subject to different rules and regulations. So what makes them so attractive to investors? Continue reading

Are Structured Settlements a Wise Investment?

By WriterEvan, Monday, September 17, 2012

dollar Are Structured Settlements a Wise Investment?If you’ve made investments in the past or you currently hold a portfolio of stock, bonds, mutual funds, and so on, you are probably no stranger to the cold calls from brokers informing you of great investment opportunities. And the latest call to action seems to include funneling money into structured settlements. While most people are aware that these settlements occur in lawsuits where the claimant is awarded a monetary payoff that is structured so as to be doled out incrementally (annually or at specified intervals) rather than as a lump sum, you might not know exactly how this equates to a chance for you to invest. The long and short of it is that investment groups purchase these settlement by paying a lump sum to the claimant (less than the total value of the settlement), who then signs over the structured payments. You will then buy in for the promise of payments down the line (as the annuities “mature”, so to speak). It sounds simple enough, but is there more to it? And is it a wise investment? Continue reading

There Are Countless Ways to Help People Online

By Scholarly Writer, Sunday, May 27, 2012

Helping Hand Help 389x238 There Are Countless Ways to Help People OnlineWhenever we help somebody with a problem, it always makes us feel a little bit better about ourselves. Some people like to dedicate their lives to helping other people as they take great satisfaction that maybe they have managed to put a smile on another person’s face. The problems that people encounter in live are hugely varied ranging from a minor inconvenience, to something that is seriously affecting their lives for the worse. If you do like to help people out at any given opportunity, then you may wish to consider using the power of the internet to help even more people than usual. It could be something from helping them to learn a new skill, to something that could make a big difference in their lives.

Be an Agony Aunt

If you feel as though you are good at dealing with emotions and can give helpful advice when it comes to relationships and family matters, you could consider becoming an agony aunt. Many people turn to the internet for advice on a wide variety of matters so you can make yourself available to help them. If you know what you are doing then you could possibly make a real difference in somebody’s life. It will be quite simple to set up a website and you can begin to make a difference in peoples’ lives straight away.

Create a Review Site

When people are looking for a service or product, they may not always be sure of what they should choose. Sometimes the choices that need to be made are very important and could have a significant impact on their lives. Financial matters and health matters are areas that could be very important to people, and the right advice could be extremely valuable to them.

If you are an expert in a particular field you may be able to use your knowledge to offer reviews on the various products and services that can be found. By creating a review site that outlines the positives and negatives of each product or service, you can make it much easier for somebody to make the right decision.

Create a How to Site

Countless people visit the internet to learn how to complete various tasks, and you could create a site that will help them to find what they are looking for. If you are skilled in your field then it should be no problem for you to create ‘how to’ articles and videos that will help people with particular problems. With even basic writing skills you can create articles that people will find useful and if you add images then it will make your instructions even easier to follow. Videos don’t need to be high-tech and can be easily uploaded onto your website using a media site like YouTube.

Build a ‘What’s On’ Site

Quite often, people want some advice when it comes to leisure and a site that lets people know where to go and what to do will be much appreciated. Whether it is restaurant recommendations, nightclubs, gigs or seeing the sites people will often turn to the internet to see what their options are. When collecting your information for this site you could be having a great time yourself as you visit various places to find your recommendations.

Make Some Money for Yourself

As much as you may love helping other people out, remember to help yourself out where possible also. You still need to pay your own bills and make your own purchases so there is nothing wrong in with using your sites to make a little money as well. You can maybe ad some advertisements that could generate some revenue or perhaps you could try to sell something. If making a little revenue helps you keep your site up and running and useful to its readers then that will justify any money you make. If your site makes a lot of money for you, you could always choose to give something to charity if you so wish.

You could also try creating a site that teaches people to play poker so they can then go and win at www.pokerstars.co.uk

Lottery Winners turned Philanthropists

By austin.weaver, Thursday, May 24, 2012

lottery winners donate guest blog 3 389x130 Lottery Winners turned Philanthropists

Source: K-Ideas

There are those people who magically pick the Mega Millions winning numbers and spend their fortunes on private islands and fleets of SUVs. Then, there are people who acquire unimaginable amounts of wealth virtually overnight and distribute their millions to local charities and worthy causes. While millions of lottery dollars are already recycled back into the community through public works projects and social reform, these lottery winners take matters into their own hands, building housing or funding hospital renovations.

Randy Smith won a $79 million Powerball lottery jackpot in August 2010. Already a county sheriff, Smith went on to donate millions to local emergency service departments and needy individuals. In December 2010, Smith even sponsored the building of a 24-unit apartment complex worth more than $1 million. His mission: to provide emergency housing for families suffering from illness, unemployment, fires and other tragedies that resulted in home-loss. The massive facility includes an emergency shelter apartment, 9 one-bedroom apartments, 11 2-bedroom apartments and a 4-unit apartment house. Smith rents out the apartments at highly-subsidized rates with all proceeds going to benefit United Way. The project will bring in $30,000 a year and benefit the community greatly.

Then there is the story of Allen and Violet Large, an elderly couple from Nova Scotia who won a lotto jackpot worth $10.9 million in 2010. After putting 2% aside for emergency funds, the Larges donated the remainder of their money to various causes. Yes, 98% of $10.9 million is a whopping $10.68 million and the Larges’ philanthropy has made big news in Canada and abroad. For self-proclaimed “plain country folks who didn’t need more than what they have,” this couple has made a huge impact on millions of lives. They donated money to churches, fire departments, cemeteries and the local Red Cross. The Larges also chose to give generously to the hospitals where Violet has been treated for cancer.

Perhaps the most amazing story of all came in an unmarked envelope to a post office box in Kansas. In August 2010, the executive director of the Mitchell County Regional Medical Foundation in Beloit, Kansas, opened the post office box to check for any mail or donations to help with much-needed renovations. The director found a nondescript envelope containing 2 pieces of paper – a Powerball lottery ticket and a note that read, “Please accept this gift for the Mitchell County Regional Medical Foundation for the good work you do. God Bless!” The ticket matched 4 of the 5 main numbers and the Powerball. It was worth $10,000.

These are only 3 examples of countless lottery jackpot winners who use their millions for good. And with today’s massive super prizes, lucky winners have plenty of money to splurge on a yacht and still donate a wing at the hospital.

Top 3 Fundraising Ideas That Anyone Can Do

By Gregg Michaelsen, Saturday, May 5, 2012

Fundraising used to be something that is hard and almost impossible to succeed at.  It’s easy to see why this is the case.  After all, you are faced with a lot of pressure.  Add that to the fact that you probably used ineffective ideas and you’re facing failure right straight in the eyes.  It also didn’t help that implementing these ideas are hard.  How can you succeed with hard, ineffective ideas?

Easy Fundraising Ideas

You have to know that nowadays, a lot of individuals and organizations are succeeding with their fundraisers thanks to easy fundraising ideas.  Of course, you’re looking for these ideas because you’re sick and tired of failing in your fundraisers which is a shame considering the fact that they’re for a good cause.

Here are the top 3 fundraising ideas that anyone can do:

1.  Sell pizza.

No, you’re not going to set up a pizzeria.  Here’s what you need to do.  First, you’re going to team up with the most popular pizzeria in town.  Buy dozens of boxes of pizza.  Make sure to ask for discounts because you’re ordering in bulk.  Also, make sure to tell the owner that it’s for a good cause and it’s going to help their marketing efforts as well.

11 389x291 Top 3 Fundraising Ideas That Anyone Can DoWhat’s next?  Head over to the biggest university in town and knock on dorm room doors!  Sell the pizza by the slice or by the box and make sure to charge a little extra so you can raise funds.  Here’s something that most people know – university students will rarely say no to pizza.  It’s their official food!

2.  Sell candy bars.

If you can knock on doors, you can run this fundraiser.  Timing is very important.  Sell the candy bars before Halloween, Christmas and Valentine’s Day.  Knock on doors around the community and if there’s something that people absolutely love, it’s candy bars!

3.  Use the power of the Internet.

Set up a Facebook fan page for the cause that you’re trying to raise funds for.  There are also available apps on social media sites that can help you with your fundraiser.  Using social media, you can easily reach out to tens of thousands of people.

You can also write a press release and email it to the local networks that are looking for stories to run.  If your organization is trying to raise funds for a good cause, there’s a good chance that these networks will run your press release on their websites or newspapers.  These networks can help you with exposure that will continue to help you even if you’re already sleeping.

What’s Next?

As you can see, there are a lot of easy-to-implement fundraising ideas that can really help you raise the funds that you need.  It’s just a matter of taking advantage of these ideas!

Five Really Awesome Old People

By Scholarly Writer, Thursday, May 3, 2012

Most people think of old people as slow moving and cranky individuals who possess a weird mothball-like scent. They assume old people sit in their pajamas all day watching reruns of old TV shows and yelling at children playing on the block for being too loud. These old fogies usually have plastic adorning every piece of furniture they own and quite possibly have more than one cat living in their home.

But not all old people can conform to this stereotype. Some old people are more frisky and more fun than those in their 20s. This demographic is not obsessed with their smartphone or their tablets, and they can hold a conversation with a person face to face instead of via text message.

We’ve all seen the pictures or videos of old people doing extraordinary things. There are plenty of YouTube videos with old people skateboarding, dancing and even doing a beer bong. Some old people out there like the have fun, and it’s important to recognize them. The following is a list of five really awesome old celebrities.

1. Betty White

Betty White 250x250 Five Really Awesome Old People When the phrase “cool old people” is said, Betty White should be the first person to pop into your head. The bubbly and talented woman recently turned 90 years old, and she continues to have more fun than most people. She has been in numerous comedies throughout the years with some very risqué parts. She has also played Beer Pong against Jimmy Fallon on his late-night TV show, and she even hosts her own reality show, “Off Their Rockers”, which is a hidden camera show that features old people pulling pranks on today’s youth.

Though Betty had an amazing career in her younger years, it seems as if the older she gets, the more popular and in-demand she becomes. In fact, she was able to host Saturday Night Live because of a Facebook group that was started as a petition to get her on the show. Betty White is by far the most awesome old person, ever.

2. Blythe Danner

Blythe Danner 250x250 Five Really Awesome Old People Blythe Danner has been wowing us on stage for many years, but she really stole our hearts as Ben Stiller’s mother in law in the “Meet the Parents” trilogy. Blythe has been a dedicated and amazing access for years, but she really started to shine as she grew older.
In interviews, she is always a funny and happy-go-lucky individual, that she just seems like an old person we’d like to have a drink with.

3. Kurtwood Smith

Kurtwood Smith 250x250 Five Really Awesome Old People His real name may not ring a bell, as you know him best as Red Forman from “That 70′s Show”. His crabby, snarky and smart-mouth attitude propelled him to one of the most loved characters on the show. He told it like it was and had plenty of catch phrases that viewers came to love. Because of his great acting talents, Kurtwood Smith is a really awesome old person.

4. Danny DeVito

Danny DeVito 250x250 Five Really Awesome Old People Viewers have fallen in love with Danny DeVito since he claimed to be Arnold Schwarzenegger’s twin brother in “Twins”. He has always made us laugh with his comedic style in real life as well as the characters he played on TV and in films.
His current role as Frank Reynolds  in “Always Sunny in Philadelphia” has people laughing so hard they cry. Hit wit and humor continue to amaze us, and he is not afraid to get a laugh simply by walking around in his underwear.

5. The Most Interesting Man in the World

The Most Interesting Man in the World 250x250 Five Really Awesome Old People Whether Dos Equis is your beer of choice or not, you have heard of The Most Interesting Man in the World. Though he is a fictional character, we can’t help but love the witty and creative things he says and how he makes us want to try Dos Equis simply because of how sophisticated he is. Cheers to you Most Interesting Man, you are also one of the most awesome.

Michelle Leigh is a celebrity expert and avid writer who loves to spend her free time informing the world of her interests. One thing she is not interested in is grammar rules. She always has to write with a grammar checker to ensure her work is quality, professional, and free of any grammatical errors.