Dhaka, July 12 (UNB) - When Lisette Sand-Freedman, 42, took a four-day family trip to the Dominican Republic in February, she chose her out-of-office email message carefully. “In case of emergency, please call 911” was what rolled into the inboxes of chief marketing officers, publicists and celebrities who were trying to reach Sand-Freedman, chief executive of Shadow, a marketing and communications agency with offices in New York and Los Angeles. Her goal had been to offer a moment of levity and remind her contacts to pause and rethink their definitions of urgency, reports The Indian Express.
The short note triggered responses like, “You go girl!”, “It’s about time” and “This made my day.” (Because Sand-Freedman is always on call — she said she receives “hundreds” of emails daily — her staff even posted the out-of-office message on their Instagram accounts.)
But not everyone feels so bold and free. The flexibility of email personalisation is dictated by one’s career, institution and job title.
“It depends on the company, the culture and who their customers are,” said Vivian Garcia-Tunon, owner of VGT Consulting Group, an executive coaching business in midtown Manhattan. Garcia-Tunon has worked as a human resources leader in financial services, private equity and investment banking, and noted that the communication differences at creative and conservative businesses are vast. Her client Brunch, a web design and development studio in Washington, D.C., can be sassier than banks she works with, such as Capital One. “They can’t be too edgy because that’s when people get scared,” she said.
It’s important for individuals to remember their audiences and what the implications are, Garcia-Tunon said: “If they’re trying to be a smartass, they need to make sure they’re comfortable in the risky approach and the consequences of their messages.” To avoid drama, she advises asking the office what it considers appropriate.
Or employees can simply follow the leader. Erich De Oliveira, 41, of Marlborough, Massachusetts, first encountered custom vacation memos 2 1/2 years ago when he began working for Simply Business, an online business insurance brokerage in Boston.
“Some of the out-of-office messages were really around ‘Hey, I’m going to be at the beach with my family and my children, so unless you’ve got something more important than that, I’m probably not going to be available for you,’” said De Oliveira, recalling a C-suite executive’s out-of-office email. “It highlights the value of what’s important to each person. For that person, it just happened to be their family.”
Since then, De Oliveira, a chief customer officer, has crafted original, quirky greetings to indicate he is not available. Within days of this year’s “Game of Thrones” season premiere, his contacts received a timely notification:
“Thanks for your email but I’m out of office. My family is headed up north with a supply of dragonglass for our friend, Jon Snow. If we have time, we’ll likely go beyond the wall, but not sure yet. So while we go and do that, I will not have my phone or computer with me (terrible reception beyond the wall anyway).”
Regardless of attitude and approach, many businesses develop templates to keep the tone consistent among automated emails. Organisations can hire consultants to construct these, too. “We’ll create canned responses for everything, and then the team members can pull what’s appropriate. It’s the company’s fingerprint or the leaders’ fingerprint,” said Susie Carder, a profit and business coach in San Diego whose clients include doctors, attorneys, salons and advertising companies. “What they’re saying in their communication affects their brand in a positive or negative way.”
Sand-Freedman knows this all too well, and she dialled it down a bit from her emergency message for a trip with her girlfriends to Miami this past April.
“Spring Break. Until Monday, April 8th. In case of emergency, please call one of the 50 other SHADOWS that work here,” read her out-of-office message, neatly conjuring an image of attentive colleagues. “Every form of communication should truly serve a purpose,” Sand-Freedman said.
Albania, July 12 (AP/UNB) — A joint Albanian-American underwater archaeology project says it has found amphoras that are at least 2,500 years old in the Ionian Sea off the Albanian coast, which might yield an ancient shipwreck.
The research vessel Hercules of the RPM Nautical Foundation said Friday they had found 22 amphoras — a two-handled jar with a narrow neck used for wine or oil — 40-60 meters (yards) deep scattered around the seabed close to a rocky shores near the Karaburun peninsula.
Archaeologist Mateusz Polakowski said they believe the Corinthian A type amphoras date to between the 7th and the 5th century B.C.
"If the remains of a wreck can be found, it will put this discovery as the earliest ship ever to be sailing along the Albanian coast," said Polakowski.
RPM chairman James Goold considered the site as "one of the most important of all of our discoveries ... (and) it will be very important from a historical and archaeological perspective" if confirmed.
Further investigation of the site will be necessary.
Albanian archaeologist Neritan Ceka said similar wine amphoras of Corinthian and Kerkira origin have been found in Durres and Apolonia and other inland areas in Albania, something which indicates the intensive trade during the second half of the 7th century B.C. along the Albanian coast.
Since 2004, RPM has mapped Albania's offshore seabed for ancient and modern shipwrecks, with ongoing plans to open an underwater museum in western Albania.
"It certainly would be a great starting point for a national program around which to establish a museum and show the pivotal role of Albania in antiquity," said Goold.
Ceka said Albanian authorities are planning a new four-to-five-year project with RPM and the Texas-based not-for-profit Institute of Nautical Archaeology, to explore the possibilities of excavating shipwrecks, a financially expensive and scientifically delicate process.
The research in Albania has so far uncovered 28 wreck sites as well as several amphora mounds and additional finds all the way from southernmost Sarande and Butrint to Durres and it is planning to go north of Durres afterward.
RPM's presence in the last 12 years has been a "huge step" to Albania's science of underwater archaeology, according to Auron Tare, UNESCO head of the Scientific and Technical Committee for World Underwater Heritage.
"If confirmed this ship wreck can be associated with the foundation of two major cities in Albanian coastline, Dyrrachium (modern Durres) and Apolonia, both the gates of Via Egnatia, the ancient road to the eastern trade," said Tare.
"We have discovered not only ancient shipwrecks but also a good number of WWI and WWII shipwrecks shedding light to an unknown chapter of our history," said Tare.
Albania is trying to protect and capitalize on its rich underwater heritage, with scant funding for its preservation from the government one of Europe's poorest nations.
Seoul, Jul 12 (AP/UNB) — Dozens of people opposing dog meat consumption, including American actress Kim Basinger, have rallied in Seoul to mark a "dog meat day" in South Korea.
About 20 others stood on the opposite side calling for a legalization of dog meat. There are no reports of violence.
Under a traditional belief, Friday is the first of three hottest days in South Korea. Many South Koreans believe eating dog meat or chicken soups on those three days gives them strength to beat the heat.
Basinger says, "We have to end this cruelty on this planet."
Dog meat is neither legal nor explicitly banned in South Korea. Dog meat restaurants are a dwindling business in South Korea in recent years.
Sydney, July 12 (Xinhua/UNB)-- An Australian study has revealed that eating a high fiber diet during pregnancy could dramatically reduce the risk of preeclampsia, a serious illness which the study has also shown could lead to allergies and autoimmune illnesses in babies later in life.
Researchers from the University of Sydney's (UoS) Charles Perkins Centre, the Barwon Infant Study from Deakin University, Monash University, James Cook University and the Australian National University released the joint study on Wednesday.
Senior author, Professor Ralph Nanan from UoS told Xinhua that the link between diet and preeclampsia is due to acetate, a compound produced in the gut bacteria of mothers as they process fiber.
Currently, preeclampsia occurs in up to 10 percent of pregnancies and symptoms include high blood pressure, protein in the urine and severe swelling in the mother, frequently leading to preterm deliveries.
The first revelation of the study was to directly link acetate with mothers who develop preeclampsia.
"We measured acetate levels in (a group of pregnant women) and we found that mothers who developed preeclampsia have significantly lower levels of acetate than mothers who are healthy," Nanan said.
Then, through experiments on mice, the researchers showed that the development of an important immune organ called the thymus was greatly reduced but could be rescued through the acetate.
"Babies from preeclamptic pregnancies have a smaller organ, an immune organ called the thymus which sits behind your breastbone," Nanan explained.
"And the thymus is actually a very important immune organ because it produces cells which prevent allergies and autoimmune disease."
"So what this means is that we now have a mechanism to understand why a diet low in fiber, like the Western diet, is associated with more allergies and autoimmune disease later in life," he said.
Based on the research Nanan recommends pregnant women maintain a diet high in plant-based and unprocessed foods, which he said is likely to be better for health anyway.
"Eat real food, not processed food, it should mainly be plant-based, a bit of meat and a bit of fish but mostly plant-based and not too much," he said.
Nanan added that the Chinese diet which tends to include a lot of vegetables and unprocessed foods is better than the western diet which includes a high amount of preservatives.
The team responsible for the study hope that further research will confirm the link between fiber and preeclampsia and could lead to prevention of the disease as well as reduced instances of allergies and autoimmune disease later in life.
Dhaka, Jul 12 (UNB)- A two-day ceramic art workshop titled '50 Artists 100 Mugs' began at Cosmos-Atelier71 Printmaking Studio in the city’s Malibagh area on Friday.
The workshop is being conducted by Ashim Halder Sagor, a renowned artist in this form of art with support from Artpro.
Members of Cosmos-Atellier71 studio are participating in the ceramic art project.
They are Sujit Sarker, Nasrin Jahan Onika, Dr Mohammad Emdadur Rashed, Minhaz-Ul-Islam Sudipto, Kamruzzoha, Ajoy Sannyal, Rasel Rana, Shipra Biswas, Faisal Abir, Faijul Islam, Tahera Tanzim Juthi, Jayanta Sarker John, Nobanita Chowdhury, Upoma Hairder, Tanjima Tabassum Easha, Rafiuzzaman Rhythom, Abu Kalam Shamsuddin, Sampa halder, Zakia Afrose, Ahsana Nasreen Hoque Angona, Humayra Kabir, Jannatul Tamanna Liza, Tanim Rahman, Fariha Rahman, Sameen Yeasaar, Shahed Hossain, Sabina Yesmin, Rajib Mahabub, Diptha Modak, Sree Bishnu Chandra Day, Shaibal Saha, Ummey Mabruka, Tariqul Islam Herok, SM Ehsan, Shahida Akter Tilat, Muslima Rahman Moon, Sakib Salim, Prodipta Bala, Prosun Halder, Atia Maibam, Imam Mahdi, Raju Ahmed, Shazed Ul Hoq Khan Abir, Samia Proma and others.
The ceramic project will remain open for the viewers from 10 am to 5 pm till Saturday at the Cosmos-Atelier71 Printmaking Studio at Cosmos Centre.