Thursday, January 20, 2011

Kindle At A Glance

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Lighter Than a Paperback
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Holds 3,500 Books
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Battery Life of Up to One Month
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Share Meaningful Passages
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Simple to Use
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Improved PDF Reader
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Books in 60 Seconds
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Massive Selection
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This Week In History - From Jan 17 To Jan 23

Books On "Historical Events"                         Books On "History"
January 17, 1893
Queen Lilluokalani Queen Lili`uokalani of the independent kingdom of Hawai`i was overthrown as she was arrested at gunpoint by U.S. Marines. American businessmen, particularly sugar plantation owners, led by Lorrin Thurston, had supported annexation of the islands to the United States. The Queen had been working on a new constitution that would restore voting rights to native Hawaiians.
A new provisional government was installed with Sanford B. Dole as president. The troops had landed the day before, providing support "to protect American lives and property."
In 1898, Pres. William McKinley signed a joint resolution of Congress authorizing the annexation.  
January 17, 1993
Native Hawai'ians demonstrated against U.S. control of their homeland on the 100th anniversary of the U.S.-backed overthrow of the independent Hawai'ian government.
January 17, 1961
President Dwight Eisenhower in his farewell address, delivered via television and radio, warned the nation: "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."
President Dwight D. Eisenhower  Pres. Eisenhower delivering his farewell address
January 17, 1970
Some 300 Chicano activists gathered in Crystal City, Texas, to form an independent political party. La Raza Unida (The United People) Party addressed a broad cross-section of issues – restoration of land grants, farm workers' rights, enhanced education, voting and political rights. The party eventually became a political force in California, Texas, Colorado, and elsewhere the southwest. The party's name means "the United People." 
January 17, since 1986
The third Monday in January has been designated a federal holiday honoring the greatness and sacrifice of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 17, 1987
5,000 rallied and about 200 were arrested while protesting the first test launch of the Trident II missile at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Trident D-5 is a submarine-launched long-range (12,000 km or 7,456 miles) multiple-warhead nuclear missile. Trident submarines are one leg of the U.S. nuclear deterrent triad, and part of Great Britain's.
January 18, 1962 
The U.S. began spraying herbicides on foliage in Vietnam to eliminate jungle canopy cover for Viet Cong guerrillas (a policy known as "territory denial"). 

The U.S. ultimately dropped more than 20 million gallons of such defoliants, sparking charges the United States was violating international treaties against using chemical weapons. Many of the herbicides, particularly Agent Orange, manufactured by Dow Chemical, Monsanto and others, were later found to cause birth defects and rare forms of cancer in humans.
January 18, 1968
Invited to a Women Doers luncheon at the Johnson White House, Eartha Kitt, singer and actor, spoke out about the effect of the Vietnam War on America's youth. Lady Bird Johnson had convened 50 whites and Negroes to discuss Pres. Lyndon Johnson's anti-crime proposals.Ms. Kitt first asked the President, "what do you do about delinquent parents, those who have to work and are too busy to look after their children?" He said that there Social Security money for day care, and the group should discuss such issues.
Later, she told the women that young Americans were "angry because their parents are angry . . . because there is a war going on that they don't understand . . . You send the best of this country off to be shot and maimed. They rebel in the street. They will take pot . . . and they will get high. They don't want to go to school because they're going to be snatched off from their mothers to be shot in Vietnam."
Eartha Kitt's career took a severe downturn after this; for years afterward, Kitt performed almost exclusively overseas, while being investigated by several federal agencies. 
"The thing that hurts, that became anger, was when I realized that if you tell the truth – in a country that says you're entitled to tell the truth – you get your face slapped and you get put out of work," Kitt told Essence magazine two decades later.
January 18, 1971
In a televised speech, Senator George S. McGovern (D-South Dakota) began his anti-war campaign for the 1972 Democratic presidential nomination. He vowed to bring home all U.S. soldiers from Vietnam if elected. McGovern had served in the Army Air Corps during World War II, earning the Silver Star and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
". . . we must have the courage to admit that however sincere our motives, we made a dreadful mistake in trying to settle the affairs of the Vietnamese people with American troops and bombers . . . .
" But while our problems are great, certain steps can be taken to recover the confidence of the nation.  The greatness of our nation is not confined to the past, but beckons us to the future.
January 18, 1996
The Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) and the Mexican government reached an agreement in San Andres to recognize and guarantee the constitutional, political, social, cultural, and economic rights of indigenous peoples in Mexico. Treated as second-class citizens since the first colonial entry into their country, the document guaranteed the autonomy and right to self-determination of native communities within the pluricultural Mexican nation.
The Zapatistas tokks their name from Emilano Zapata who played a major role in the Mexican Revolution early in the 20th century. 
When they began their revolt in Chiapas state on New Year's Day of 1994, They wrote:
"We have nothing to lose, absolutely nothing, no decent roof over our heads, no land, no work, poor health, no food, no education, no right to freely and democratically choose our leaders, no independence from foreign interests, and no justice for ourselves or our children. But we say enough is enough! We are the descendants of those who truly built this nation, we are millions of dispossessed, and we call upon all our brethren to join our crusade, the only option to avoid dying of starvation!"
The Mexican government, despite their signature on the agreement, refused later to implement it.  
January 18, 2003
In frigid temperatures, 500,000 converged on Washington, D.C.
There were also joined by many more elsewhere around the world to oppose the threatened U.S. war on Iraq.
This was the largest U.S. peace demonstration since the Vietnam era.
Anti-war protesters march past the U.S. Capitol during the start of an anti-war protest that will culminate by a march to the Washington Naval Yard. Egyptian riot police and anti-war demonstrators face off in Cairo, Egypt. Banners at top read, " Iraq . . . Another war for oil and American supremacy."
Pakistani peace activists hold a rally in Karachi.
Crowds estimated at 80,000 fill the civic center of San Francisco, California
January 19, 1966
The Georgia State House of Representatives refused to seat black state representative Julian Bond despite his election the previous November. 
Their stated objection was his endorsement of a Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee statement accusing the United States of violating international law in Vietnam.
In December 1966, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Bond's exclusion unconstitutional, and Bond was finally sworn in the following month.
January 19, 1991
25,000 marched in Washington, D.C. to protest massive U.S. bombing of Iraq in the first Gulf war, Operation Desert Storm.
January 20, 1920
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was founded by Roger Baldwin, Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin, labor leaders Rose Schneiderman and Duncan McDonald, Rabbi Judah Magnes, and others.
The ACLU was organized to protect the rights guaranteed in the the Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights. Prior to this the first ten amendments had not been enforced.
The ACLU has paid particular attention to
• First Amendment rights: freedom of speech, association and assembly, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion as well as a bar against establishment of a state religion.
• One's right to equal protection under the law – equal treatment regardless of race, sex, religion or national origin.
• One's right to due process – fair treatment for citizens by the government whenever the loss of liberty or property is at stake.
• One's right to privacy – freedom from unwarranted government intrusion into one's personal and private affairs.
January 20, 1942
Nazi Party and German government officials arrived at what they called the "final solution to the Jewish question in Europe."  They developed plans for the coordinated and systematic extermination of all Europe's Jews during a meeting at a villa near Lake Wannsee in Berlin. Notes of the meeting recorded by Adolf Eichmann used vague terms such as "transportation to the east" or "evacuation to the east" (nach dem Osten abgeshoben). But at his trial for genocide Eichmann testified of the meeting that "the discussion covered killing, elimination, and annihilation."
January 20, 2001 
Tens of thousands lining Pennsylvania Ave. to protest the legitimacy of the inauguration of Pres. George W. Bush were systematically excluded from almost all media coverage of the event. They called attention to the election irregularities in Florida, the dispute over a recount, and the ultimate effective choice of the president by a 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court.
January 21, 1661
The Quaker (Society of Friends) Peace Testimony was presented to King Charles II of England. The testimony begins: "We utterly deny all outward wars and strife and fightings with outward weapons, for any end or under any pretence whatsoever. And this is our testimony to the whole world...."
January 21, 1954
The first atomic-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, built by Electric Boat Company, was launched at Groton, Connecticut. All previous submarines were powered by batteries which had to be periodically recharged by diesel-powered generators which could only run if the sub surfaced. The nuclear power plant, developed under the leadership of Capt. Hyman Rickover, and its ability to produce its own fresh water, allowed Nautilus and its successors to remain underwater and undetectable for weeks rather than hours. It carried only conventional torpedoes.
January 21, 1977
The day after his inauguration President Jimmy Carter declared an unconditional amnesty for draft resisters, both the accused and those who might have faced possible prosecution.
January 21, 1984
A Women's Peace Camp was set up near Volkel Airbase in The Netherlands to protest siting of U.S. nuclear weapons there.
January 22, 1953
The Arthur Miller drama, ''The Crucible,'' opened on Broadway. It was a parable that reflected the climate of fear that pervaded American society and the politics of its time, witchcraft in the late 17th century, communism in the mid-20th. In both times there existed also the fear of false accusation. 

From the New York Times review of the Broadway revival in November 2001:
"Today, the play is a cautionary tale of astounding immediacy. Its themes include the pathology of rumor, the arrogance of the religiously righteous, the dangers of private panic in the face of public terror, and the individual's difficulty in acting rationally in the face of mob hysteria."
January 22, 1973
Women won control of their reproductive rights when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that Americans have a constitutional right to privacy, and thus women may terminate a pregnancy before the last 10 weeks. Only during the last trimester, when a fetus can survive outside the womb, would states be permitted to regulate abortion of a healthy pregnancy.
Prior to the Court's ruling that the decision was private and belonged to the pregnant woman, abortion was essentially illegal in all states except New York (as of 1970).
January 22, 2001
President George W. Bush signed a memorandum the day after his inauguration reinstating full restrictions on U.S. overseas aid that might go to any program that provided abortions or considered them an option for women.
Known as the Mexico City policy, or global gag rule, first signed by Pres. Ronald Reagan, it had been withdrawn by Pres. Bill Clinton as soon as he took office.
January 23, 1962
Fifteen members of the Committee of 100, the non-violent direct action wing of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), sat in at the British House of Commons demanding a halt to nuclear weapons testing.
January 23, 1970 
Called as witnesses, folksingers Judy Collins, Arlo Guthrie, Country Joe McDonald, Phil Ochs, and Pete Seeger were denied permission to sing as part of their testimony for the defense at the trial of "The Chicago Seven."
Seven leaders of demonstrations at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago were being tried for conspiring to incite a riot as they protested the Vietnam war.
January 23, 1973 
Pres. Richard Nixon announced a Vietnam peace deal. The president appeared on national television and said that National Security Adviser Henry A. Kissinger and North Vietnam's chief negotiator, Le Duc Tho, had initialed an agreement in Paris "to end the war and bring peace with honor in Vietnam and Southeast Asia."
The agreement had actually been initialed six days beforehand.
January 23, 1976 
The Continental Walk for Disarmament & Social Justice began in Ukiah, California, heading for Washington, D.C. Its purposes were "to raise the issue of disarmament through unilateral action . . . to educate about non-violent resistance as a means superior to armament . . . and to demonstrate how global and domestic and economic problems are interconnected with militarism and the causes of war . . . ."
Initiated by the War Resisters League, and co-sponsored by the Fellowship of Reconciliation, American Friends Service Committee, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Catholic Peace Fellowship, Clergy and Laity Concerned, SANE, and Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, the walk took 10 months and covered 8,000 miles through 34 states.
Thanks to Carl Bunin / Peace Buttons


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Monday, January 17, 2011

Creating A Question-Friendly Environment

Books On "Communication Skills"       
Books On "Management and Supervisory Skills"      
Books On "Interpersonal Skills"

The challenge is creating a question-friendly environment.


Although you have little (or no) control over the people in the environment, you do have (some) control over the environment itself.




And that's why you need to let things organically and naturally occur, organically and naturally .


If you create the right kind of environment, the right atmosphere, the right space and the right energy, the people inside of it will take care of themselves.


This doesn't mean "getting" employees to ask questions. This means creating an environment in which questions can be comfortably asked and answered.


If you want to build this type of environment, there are four key tasks ahead:


1. List the reasons why employees might (not) ask questions.

2. Maintain a question-friendly attitude.

3. Affirm your employees when they ask questions.

4. Reinforce a question-friendly environment.


Identifying Barriers to Question Asking

Creating a question-friendly environment begins with identifying barriers to question asking.


This is one of my favorite questions to ask my audiences in my seminars:  Why don't people ask questions? There are lots of potential answers:


1. They don't want to look stupid.

2. They don't want to hear the answer.

3. They don't want to share responsibility.

4. They don't want to waste someone's time.

5. They don't want to appear in need of help.

6. They don't want to risk ridicule and rejection.

7. They don't want the other person to lose face.

8. They don't want to hold up the discussion or class.

9. They don't want to question authority or the challenge the status quo.

10. They don't want to rock the boat, ruffle the feathers or commit one of those other clichéd corporate sins.

11. They fear being politically incorrect.

12. They fear going deep inside the issue.

13. They fear making a big mess and getting in trouble.

14. They fear their questions (and the answers) will later be used against them.

15. They have low self-esteem.

16. They have (not) discovered a safe place to be vulnerable.

17. They think it's the wrong time to ask.

18. They think they know the answer already.

19. They think the answer will be threatening.

20. They think their questions will be threatening.

21. They think their questions aren't good questions.

22. They think that everyone else in the room already understands everything.

23. They want to protect their self-image.

24. They want to avoid change (or BEING) changed.

25. They want to sidestep psychological pressure.

26. They want to steer clear of any threats to formality.

27. They want to avoid reflexive resistance to (perceived) interrogation.

28. They want to maintain control of the conversation.

29. They associate question asking with conflict.

30. They were in trouble, victimized or frightened.

31. They were highly emotional and not thinking clearly.

32. They were ridiculed when they questioned in the past.

33. They were never educated on the topic of asking questions.

34. They were put on the spot and couldn't think of anything to ask.

35. They were talking to someone really smart whom they thought knew best.

36. They were never given permission—directly or indirectly—to ask questions.

37. They were told NOT to question by parents, teachers, peers, religious or authority figures and other childhood influencers.


Of course, those aren't the only reasons employees don't ask questions.


However, by first identifying the obstacles and objections to questioning, you calm the silent dialogues that often prevent questions from being articulated.


Adopting a Question-Friendly Attitude

Here's how:

—Think verbs, not nouns.

—Think dialogue, not debate.

—Think searching, not snooping.

—Think curious, not judgmental.

—Think insinuating, not imposing.

—Think harmonizing, not manipulating.


See, inasmuch as questioning is valuable, it's not really about finding the answer. In fact, it's not really about asking the question, either! It's about the process:



—Encouraging of diverse viewpoints

—Admitting that there are multiple solutions to every problem


So, seek conclusions not to elevate yourself above everyone, but to bring us all closer together. Make sure you maintain a questioning-friendly attitude.  It will shape all future questions, conversations and question-friendly environments. You don't need suggestion box—you need a question box!


Reinforcing the questions.

You must give employees reminders that they work in a question-friendly environment.  So, here's a list of observable actions and "phrases that payses" to reinforce your commitment to approachability:


1. Make anonymity optional.  Go back to your recent list of barriers to asking questions.  As you probably learned, it's important to give employees, customers and members the option to remain nameless. This will increase the probability of a question being asked.


For example, you could introduce an anonymous question box, a secure online forum, or a name changing policy for all questioners.


REMEMBER: people tend to speak up when their name isn't on the line.


2. Diffuse defensiveness.  Yes, it always exists.  Consider these suggestions:


    * Instead of saying, "Does anybody have any questions?" consider saying, "What questions do you have?" It's less threatening.

    * Encourage people to write their questions on cards ahead of time and pass them to the front. This approach is less aggressive and diverts attention so people aren't put on the spot.

    * If you're holding a group meeting, having a one-on-one interview or delivering a speech, make sure to say, "We'll have plenty of time for questions at the end!" or "Feel free to ask questions at any time." That way people can prepare themselves.


REMEMBER: your primary task is to make the other person(s) feel comfortable.


3. Post past questions. On your Website, in your marketing materials, and all around your facility, post lists of frequently (and infrequently) asked questions and their answers.


This accomplishes several goals. First, it's a visual representation of your question-friendly environment. Second, it immediately addresses the key issues faced by the people you serve. Third, it builds a foundation of comfort and enables people to move past their primary concerns.


Ultimately, your employees and members will start to ask more specific, more penetrating questions, now that they've been given permission to do so.


REMEMBER: ask the first question and people will follow.


4. Be curious, not judgmental. Honestly ask yourself: Are you genuinely curious to hear people's answers? If not, don't bother asking. We live in a "gotcha" culture.  It's easy for people to presume that your questions are just a means to an end, just a way to catch them in the act.


So, give signals to people that you're their partner, not persuader. Prove to them that questioning is merely a small part of the discovery process. That way, they'll perceive your questions as helpful, not threatening; curious, not interrogating.


REMEMBER: ask with the intent to listen and learn, not to control the conversation.


OK, let's review!


You learned that creating a question-friendly environment (QFE) requires three essentials:


It STARTS with understanding the barriers. Listing the reasons why people might (not) ask questions.


It CONTINUES with modifying your attitude. Being curious. Being always watchful and open for better conclusions.


It ENDURES with observable actions.  Doing (not just saying) specific things that enable and reinforce a question friendly environment.


If you can understand and practice these key ideas, you'll be certain to uncover the answers you're looking for. Keep curiosity burning!


About the Author(s) Scott Ginsberg , aka, "The Nametag Guy," is the author of 12 books, including his most recent, The Approachable Manager, from which this article is excerpted. He is a professional speaker, award-winning blogger, and the creator of


Thanks to By: Scott Ginsberg



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