Poor performance

first_imgThe knock-on effects of someone not doing their job properly can bewide-ranging and poor performers may cover up their shortcomings by blaming andbullying others. Poor performance should be investigated thoroughly and dealtwith, by Linda Goldman and Joan Lewis Poor performance may be responsible for a hidden item in the budget of manyemployers. At management levels, the poor performer may cover up defects byblaming and possibly bullying others. The causes of poor performance should beinvestigated, targets set and training offered. Increased stress levels arereported from those who work with or cover up for those who are not carryingout their job properly. At the professional level, retraining should be considered.Capability for doing the job Capability is an issue that has disciplinary connotations. The EmploymentRights Act 1996 sets out a list of potentially fair reasons for dismissalincluding capability for carrying out the work the employee was employed to do.An employer may have sufficient reason to dismiss someone who is not performingto the standard required of the job but must use fair procedures including afull investigation of the circumstances and effect of the poor performance. Itis a relatively recent aspect of dealing with capability issues that theemployee’s health will be considered as a factor, bringing the occupationalhealth team into enquiries. The employer will need to know if there is an underlying health reason foran employee’s persistent mistakes, attempts to delegate tasks within his/herjob description, blaming others for problems in which he/she is directlyimplicated and inexplicable short-term absences at the time when errors areabout to be discovered. The misuse of workplace stress as an underlying excuse for poor performanceis likely to be curtailed by proper application of the guidelines set out inthe recent Court of Appeal decision in a series of cases (Kigass and others)brought by employees claiming compensation for stress-related illness. Properprocedures for monitoring stress and rapid investigation of apparent problemsare increasingly being devised by OH personnel to limit the scope of potentiallitigation. There is anecdotal evidence that there is a pyramid of poor performance inwhich health problems are caused to others by managers manifesting limited ordeteriorating performance. This may feature in situations where a managercannot or will not keep up with new training or modern trends and expects to delegatetasks which he/she is incapable of performing and covers those deficiencies byrelying on years of seniority. The perceived effect is that of bullying junior members of staff to carryout work that may be within their technological capacity, but for which theylack seniority. The downward spiral is almost always along the health route,but may also reflect in a high turnover of junior staff. Professional failures OH professionals are involved in health aspects of poor performance but arenot immune from suffering capability defects. The continuing requirement forpost-qualification education is a great help in keeping up to date with currentrequirements and assisting with the problems of isolation often experienced bythose working in smaller organisations. It may be difficult to carry out a self-assessment on capability, andproblems of poor performance may be under-identified because many OH teams arevery small indeed. In the general medical world, the Royal College ofObstetricians and Gynaecologists has published an action plan, Further Trainingfor Doctors in Difficulty, for retraining gynaecologists who are currently onsuspension or on “garden leave” associated with performanceinquiries. (Visit www.rcog. org.uk for further information.) The skeleton ofthe plan could be useful as a scheme for dealing with OH practitioners who needhelp with the way forward in these challenging times. Measuring the performance of members of the occupational health team,especially if there is only one member, is a human resource management issuewhich may well need special protocols and a particular eye on the specific jobdescription of the individual(s) concerned. The OH role is changing anddeveloping so that only part of it now is dealing with fitness of the generalworkforce to carry out the requirements of jobs within the organisation. Thereis the perpetual ‘battle’ with GPs signing people off work, now reflected inthe Government’s new Fitness Desk Aid for GPs which it is generally hoped willresolve the problem of the non-medical diagnosis. These are useful criteria forself-assessment for the poorly performing OH practitioner. Poor performance may require a period of re-thinking as well as retraining.The current GP guidelines state that doctors ” …should always bear inmind that a patient may not be well served in the longer term by medical adviceto refrain from work, if more appropriate clinical management would allow themto stay in work or return to work”. The knock-on effect Regular appraisals will indicate whether employees are fulfilling therequirements of their job description, but a wider approach is needed if theappraiser is the one who is not performing properly. The human resourcedepartment will take a global approach where there are difficult interpersonalrelationships resulting in ill-health or absenteeism in the subordinates orco-workers with any pivotal figure whose poor performance is masked by theeffects that it causes. Any investigation into poor performance should be based on a reasonablesuspicion that there is a problem so as to avoid what may be perceived as awitch-hunt. Further, it should be borne in mind that there will always be anindividual with whom others cannot or will not work. Provided there are nounderlying discrimination issues, there may be some other substantial reason(as covered in the Employment Rights Act 1996) for dismissal since goodemployee relations are crucial to the contract of employment. Whatever thereason for poor performance, it should be uncovered and steps taken to rectifymatters. Unless there has been a catastrophic failure to perform amounting togross misconduct, it is the failure to improve under appropriate supervisionthat can give grounds for dismissal. No excuses An employee cannot claim total lack of knowledge of matters that anyreasonable employee can be expected to have. Thus, it will never be an excusefor an employee to claim ignorance of discrimination issues or to behave insuch a way as could be construed as discriminatory. Failure to perform to the required standard through negligence, laziness orinsubordination is unlikely to amount to lack of capability, but is more likelyto be misconduct. Although there are some matters that are the employment law equivalent of parkingon double lines, all responsible employers will follow correct procedures toestablish whether there is a problem and if it should be dealt with bydiscipline or education. Linda Goldman is a barrister at 7 New Square, Lincoln’s Inn. She is headof training and education for ACT Associates & Virtual Personnel. JoanLewis is the senior consultant and director of ACT Associates and VirtualPersonnel, employment law and advisory service consultancies. LawlineThe Employment Rights Act 1996defines capability under section 98(3)(a) as being “assessed by referenceto skill, aptitude, health or any other physical or mental quality”. Thecapability must relate to the work the employee was employed to do: section98(2)(a). Some characteristics identified as lack of capability are:– inflexibility and lack of adaptability – Abernethy v Mott,Hay and Anderson, 1974, ICR 323, CA.– abrasive and difficult personality disrupting the standardsof co-workers – Bristow v ILEA, 1979, cited in Unfair Dismissal, 2nd Ed, IDSHandbook.Case round-upDismissed as incapableA J Dunning & Sons (Shopfitters) Ltd v Jacomb, 1973, ICR 448 NIRCJ was employed as a contract manager for shopfitters. He wascompetent and experienced. He had “detailed knowledge of building law andwas loyal, conscientious and meticulous”. However, he was argumentativewith clients and unable to compromise with them on their particularrequirements. Some of the clients refused to deal with him. He was dismissed onthe grounds of incapability under the heading “mental quality”.Although skilled in the physical attributes of the job, his dismissal wasupheld as fair as he lacked the necessary aptitude and mental quality forperforming the full range of roles required of a manager. The problem with hisintransigent attitude was such that a warning would have been pointless.Dismissed following a single actof negligenceAlidair Ltd v Taylor, 1978, ICR 445, CAA was a pilot who crashed his plane on landing it. He wasdismissed on the grounds of incapability of carrying out the job he wasemployed to do since the consequences of the single act of negligence werecatastrophic. According to Lord Denning, “Whenever a man is dismissed forincapacity or incompetence it is sufficient that the employer honestly believeson reasonable grounds that the man is incapable or incompetent. It is notnecessary for the employer to prove that he is in fact incapable orincompetent.” Two elements must be satisfied:– is there an genuine belief by the employer in the employee’slack of competence or aptitude for the job?– are there reasonable grounds for such a belief?The tribunal must consider whether the employer formed its viewon the basis of adequate evidence and must not substitute its own view of the employee’scompetence. Thus, it is up to the employer to produce adequate evidence tojustify both the dismissal and to show that it was within a range of reasonableresponses to the offence committed. In this case, although there was only oneoffence committed and the pilot’s previous employment history was unblemished,there were sufficient grounds for the employer to consider him incompetent tocarry out the job he was employed to do. As a question of procedure,  A was fully informed of the charges againsthim and he was given full opportunities to explain his conduct. One spectacularact of incompetence was sufficient grounds for a fair dismissal. A case of constructive dismissalDutton & Clark Ltd v Daly, 1985, IRLR 363D resigned and claimed constructive dismissal after he had beenthe victim of an attack by a fellow employee. The employer is under a duty ofcare under the criminal law (Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, s.2) and acommon law to ensure that the employee is offered a safe place and system ofwork. Any bullying case carries the potential for a claim for damages by thevictim in addition to compensation for violation of employment rights. Thebully is most likely to be carrying out an act or acts of gross misconduct, butmay be doing so to cover up his/her own incompetence. The employer is requiredto maintain and monitor a safe workplace to ensure that the employee is able toperform his/her contractual duties without risk to health.Liability in stress casesSutherland (Chairman of the Governors of St Thomas Becket RC HighSchool) v Hatton, Somerset County Council v Barber, Sandwell MetropolitanCouncil v Jones and Baker Refractories Ltd v Bishop, 2002, IRLR 263The main factors the courts will consider in determiningliability in “stress” cases are:– there are no special control mechanisms for”stress” – ordinary employer liability applies– the employer will be liable if the harm was reasonablyforeseeable – subject to causation, there must be an identifiable injury tohealth(ie, a diagnosed illness)– causation must be established: any diagnosed illness must beattributable to stress at work – the court will look at what the employer knew or ought tohave known about the alleged stress factors– foreseeability depends on what the employer knows or ought tohave known about the individual. It may be harder to foresee mental disordersthan physical, unless other factors pertain, such as known vulnerability– the test applies whatever the occupation– risk assessments should cover objective and subjectivecriteria (that is covering the perspective of employer and employee)– a full risk assessment will take note of external factorsthat might increase the employee’s vulnerability to stress, including domesticand social factors so that these may be excluded from litigation– employers who take steps to reduce stress and offerconfidential advice services, such as occupational health and counsellingservices to employees, are less likely to be found to be in breach of the dutyof care. Previous Article Next Article Poor performanceOn 1 Jun 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Terra Nova divests remaining interest in Cooper-Eromanga Basin

first_img Terra Nova divests remaining stake in Cooper-Eromanga Basin. (Credit: Adam Radosavljevic from Pixabay) Terra Nova Resources has received notice from Armour Energy Limited (Armour) that Armour intends to exercise its option right (the “Option Right”) to acquire the Company’s remaining 20.6667% participating interest in Petroleum Exploration Licenses (PELs) 112 and 444 (collectively, the “Licenses”) in the Cooper-Eromanga Basins in South Australia.The Option Right, originally granted to Oilex Ltd. and acquired by Armour from Oilex, was granted pursuant to the option and sale agreement entered into among the Company, Oilex and Perseville Investing Inc. on or about August 13, 2019 (the “Option and Sale Agreement”). Pursuant to the Option and Sale Agreement, the Company initially sold to Oilex a 30.833% interest in the Licenses in consideration for 9,166,333 ordinary shares of Oilex at a deemed price of A$0.003 per share and A$18,750 in cash, issued and paid upon entry in the Option and Sale Agreement, plus an additional A$46,250 in cash to be payable upon completion (the “Tranche 2 Installment”). In lieu of cash, the Company agreed to accept an additional 13,290,646 ordinary shares of Oilex in payment of the Tranche 2 Installment. The Company was also refunded A$30,833 in reclamation bonds in connection with the sale of the 30.833% interest in the Licenses to Oilex.To exercise the Option Right, Oilex was required to issue to the Company an additional 20,666,700 ordinary shares of Oilex at a deemed price of A$0.003 per share or A$62,000. In lieu of the Oilex ordinary shares, the Company has agreed to accept payment of A$62,000 in cash in payment of the option exercise price.“The divestiture of our remaining interests in Australia will allow the Company to now strategically focus on the digital health and wellness sector, and our transaction with WellteQ, a leading provider of corporate wellness solutions within Asia-Pacific” stated Mark Lawson, TNR’s Chief Executive Officer and Director. Source: Company Press Release Pursuant to the Option and Sale Agreement, the Company initially sold to Oilex a 30.833% interest in the Licenseslast_img read more

Ipsos Mori poll reveals overwhelming public support for rent controls

first_imgA poll by Ipsos Mori of voters across the UK has found that 71% of those canvassed supported the idea of rent controls and that only 9% opposed them.The Labour party has claimed that the poll backs their plan to introduce more radical housing policies, highlighted during their General Election campaign.Labour are proposing national controls to cap rents at inflation with powers at a local level for authorities to limit increases even further.A majority of respondents also told Ipsos Mori they backed Labour plans to build 150,000 more council and housing association homes and, by a margin of three to one, agreed that there was more that could be done to solve the housing crisis.Rent controlsThese polling results may explain why housing secretary Robert Jenrick this week revealed that of re-elected the government would consider limited controls on rent rises.But the Ipsos Mori poll results will also be a comfort to Conservative party strategist. Only 23% of all respondents said housing would be a decisive factor in how they voted during tomorrow’s General Election, although this percentage increased to 28% among younger voters.And the Conservatives and Lib Dems were the most trusted to sort out the housing crisis should they form the next government, with Labour trailing third. Among those polled, the environment and the health service were more important than housing when deciding who put their cross against on their ballot paper.But industry opposition to rent controls remains strong, and leading agent David Alexander (left) recently wrote in The Negotiator magazine outlining his opposition to the measure, saying: “At its heart, the rent control argument fails to accept that the causes of increased rents are complex and that perceived landlord greed, although a politically potent view, is not actually a part of this.”Ipsos MORI Labour Party rent controls December 11, 2019Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » Ipsos Mori poll reveals overwhelming public support for rent controls previous nextRegulation & LawIpsos Mori poll reveals overwhelming public support for rent controlsDespite industry opposition voters have signalled their support for the idea but the poll didn’t outline exactly what kind of rent controls were meant.Nigel Lewis11th December 20190660 Viewslast_img read more

OULC signs letter condemning Chris Williamson

first_imgThe Oxford University Labour Club has become one of 30 University Labour organisations to sign a letter in condemnation of MP Chris Williamson, after he tweeted in support of a musician condemned for expressing anti-Semitic views.Gilad Atzmon, a jazz musician, was prevented from performing in Islington alongside The Blockheads by the local council, which is held by Labour. Williamson tweeted a petition calling for his reinstatement.The letter called on the party leadership to “withdraw the whip from Chris Williamson until he listens to the concerns of the Jewish community and properly educates himself about antisemitism.”The letter, written by the Edinburgh University Labour Club, read: “Today Chris Williamson’s actions have again shown a complete lack of respect for the Jewish community. He repeatedly platforms and supports antisemites and takes no responsibility for his actions. We wholeheartedly condemn this.”Mr Williamson later tweeted: “I was asked to share the petition after being told that a ‘jazz musician who plays with the Blockheads has been banned by Islington Council merely because of his pro-Palestinian views’. Clearly I shouldn’t have taken that at face value.“Gilad Atzmon was undoubtedly banned because of his deplorable anti-Semitic views, which have nothing to do with the Palestine solidarity movement and certainly nothing to do with me. I am truly sorry.”Disabled Students Officer and the Social Secretary of OULC, Isabella Welch, told Cherwell: “Following the motion OULC passed condemning anti-Semitism within the Labour Party as a whole at our Trinity General Meeting, the Labour Club Executive Committee decided without objections that the logical extension of this motion was to sign the open letter condemning Chris Williamson, along with nearly thirty other university Labour Clubs across the country. “An apology from Williamson is not enough, as he has consistently shown an inability to learn from past mistakes. Only a withdrawal of the whip from Williamson will allow the Labour Party to send an appropriate message to the many who have been offended and hurt by his actions. “It is the ethos and a foundational value of the Labour Party to stand up against all forms of racism, and we as a university Labour Club are disappointed that the Party leadership has not yet taken suitable action against Williamson.”The national Labour Party leadership has yet to respond to any condemnation of Williamson.last_img read more

Enjoy Tedeschi Trucks Band’s Entire Lockn’ Performance [Pro-Shot Video]

first_imgThere were dozens of incredible performances to come out of Lockn’ Festival this past weekend, with Tedeschi Trucks Band coming out as one of the best. The twelve-piece powerhouse brought their show to the farm directly after Phil & Friends, which featured drummer Jon Fishman and key-master Page McConnell of Phish, drummer Joe Russo, guitarist Anders Osborne, and virtually all of The Infamous Stringdusters. Fans were treated to the husband and wife joining the cast of characters for an unforgettable “Mr. Charlie” and “Sugaree”, which led straight into the highly anticipated return of the festival veterans.TTB’s set featured mostly covers, including The Box Tops‘ “The Letter”, The Beatles‘ “Within You Without You”, Derek and the Dominos‘ “Keep On Growing” and Miles Davis‘s “Bitches Brew”, along with originals from their newest record “Don’t Know What It Means”, “Laugh About It”, “Just As Strange”, and title-track “Let Me Get By”.Thanks to GratefuLSD25 .5 for sharing pro-shot video from their impeccable performance. Check it out:last_img read more

Central Park SummerStage Plots $5M Renovation For 2019

first_imgCentral Park SummerStage is getting an extensive makeover for next summer’s concert season. The flagship venue of the City Park Foundation‘s long-running SummerStage series. The venue, located in the heart of New York City’s iconic Central Park at the Rumsey Playfield, will be revamped with a new stage, cover, and sound system in addition to new lighting and video infrastructure. The upgraded venue will have improved sightlines for fans in general admission and will include a VIP section with seating and covering.As the City Parks Foundation’s executive director, Heather Lubov, explained to Billboard, “We are thrilled to unveil our new venue for our 2019 season and are excited to be ushering in a new era of City Parks Foundation’s SummerStage with a venue that has been planned holistically, one that enhances both the audience’s and the artists’ experience.”As Billboard notes,The Central Park venue will see a 20 percent increase in diameter for its stage canopy and foundational support will be reinforced to accommodate the weight load of larger productions. The new stage will include a front thrust, added side wings and LED screens on either side.Bleacher seating will be raised for better sightlines and ground seating with chairs will be added for up to 1,900 guests. The venue’s full capacity can hold up to 5,500. VIP areas will have increased capacity along with designated bleacher space, backstage bar and air-conditioned bathrooms.The updated venue will now feature improved backstage accommodations with new greenrooms, private viewing area for artists and guests, upgraded dressing rooms and a backstage patio area. The renovations will also include improved ADA access and various hydration stations throughout the footprint. Central Par SummerStage was originally founded in 1986 at the Naumberg Bandshell, which sits adjacent to the current SummerStage venue inside the park. While the bandshell remains in use for a variety of smaller-scale community events and exhibitions, SummerStage shifted their base of operations to the Rumsey Playfield in 1990. SummerStage presents 30 free events each year in Central Park in addition to other free events in parks throughout the city’s five boroughs. The City Park Foundation funds these free events with the profits from their roughly twenty annual ticketed shows at the main Central Park venue.This year’s lineup of Central Park SummerStage ticketed offerings included performances by Phil Lesh, Trey Anastasio, Dispatch, Trombone Shorty, Pete Rock, Old Crow Medicine Show, OAR, Mac DeMarco, Blood Orange, and many more.For more information about Central Park SummerStage, head here.[H/T Billboard]last_img read more

Listen To Marcus King Cover Jimi Hendrix, Grateful Dead, The Beatles In Pittsburgh [Full-Show Audio]

first_imgThe Marcus King Band has been filling venues across the country will their powerful, modernized style of psychedelic southern rock throughout their ongoing 2018 tour. Lead by talented young guitarist/vocalist Marcus King, the rock band has spent the last few months dazzling audiences with memorable shows in major markets like New York City. They even made their late-night television debut on Conan as part of their promotional campaign for their new album, Carolina Confessions.One of the highlight stops of the fall run took place at Pittsburgh’s Club AE back on November 27th, where the band gave their Pennsylvania fans a 15-song performance that mixed in new originals with some tasteful and impressive classic rock covers. Thankfully, full audio of the Pittsburgh show has surfaced, so fans everywhere can relive the magic.The recording starts with the band tearing right into “Welcome Round Here”, one of the dirty, bluesy-rock tracks featured on Carolina Confessions. The band then continues with a mix of their own originals including “What’s Right”, “Booty Stank”, and the radio-friendly “Where I’m Headed”. Following a performance of their own “Opie”, King turns his distortion down a few notches as he starts playing the nostalgically familiar descending guitar riff to The Beatles‘ “Dear Prudence”. After returning to their own catalogue with “Autumn Rains” and “Good Man”, the band mixes things up a bit with a mashup of their own “Self-Hatred” combined with Grateful Dead‘s “Fire On The Mountain” for an eleven-minute medley that Jerry Garcia would surely approve of. The latter half of the set returns back to King’s own mix of songs before the show comes to a close with an energizing finale of Jimi Hendrix‘s wah-wah-fueled classic rock anthem, “Voodoo Child”. Listen to the full show audio below:Marcus King Band – 11/27/2018 – Full Audio[Audio: tmiller2k]The Marcus King Band will continue the final dates of their 2018 campaign with five more shows scheduled throughout December before closing the year as support to As The Crow Flies at New York’s Capitol Theatre on New Year’s Eve. Fans can also reference these previously announced winter 2019 tour dates or head to the band’s website for a full list of shows.Setlist: Marcus King Band | Club AE | Pittsburgh, PA | 11/27/2018Welcome Round Here, What’s Right, Booty Stank, Where I’m Headed, Ain’t Nothing Wrong, Opie, Dear Prudence (Beatles cover), Autumn Rains, Good Man, Self-Hatred > Fire On The Mountain (Grateful Dead cover), 8AM, Slip Back, Rita Is Gone, Plant Your Corn, Voodoo Child (Jimi Hendrix cover)[H/T JamBuzz]last_img read more

Long-ago freeze carries into the present

first_imgThe sixth and seventh centuries were times of upheaval — famine and disease, migration and invasion, the rise and fall of empires.They were also times of climate change. New research examining European and Central Asian tree rings identifies an abrupt 124-year freeze, which researchers have dubbed the Late Antique Little Ice Age.The cooling was severe enough that researchers call it an “unprecedented thermal shock,” similar in magnitude to the warming predicted by today’s climate scientists for the end of the 21st century. It was likely triggered by a trio of volcanic eruptions between the years 536 and 547, including a massive blast in 540 thought to exceed the largest in recorded history, the 1815 eruption of Tambora, which caused “the year without a summer” across the northern hemisphere.The work was published in the journal Nature Geoscience by an international consortium spanning 18 institutions. Using 660 tree-ring specimens from the European Alps and Central Asia’s Altai Mountains, it reconstructs 2,000 years of summer temperatures in the two regions and proposes beginning and end dates for the Late Antique Little Ice Age from 536 to 660.“The synchronicity of the impact of 536, the sudden, dramatic drop in temperature between the heart of Europe [and Central Asia] is really quite remarkable and an unmistakable signal of a major development,” said researcher Michael McCormick, the Francis Goelet Professor of Medieval History and chair of Harvard’s Initiative for the Science of the Human Past. “The second thing is that the cold continues. … This looks pretty robust.”Though defining the extent of the cold period is the report’s highlight, it also zeroes in on the modern era’s unusual warmth. The researchers found the current decade to be the warmest on record in both Europe and Central Asia, with Europe’s warmest summer occurring in 2010. In Central Asia, six of the 12 warmest summers have occurred since 2004, though the warmest of all dates back to 982.By contrast, the coldest decade in the Central Asia record was the 540s, which is the second-coldest in the European record.While the volcanic eruptions likely kicked off the freeze, researchers think that increased ocean ice cover coupled with an “exceptional” minimum of solar activity in the 600s reinforced and extended the cooling.For the people living in the most affected regions, that meant a host of ills. Though the study cautions that causal links need to be more closely examined, McCormick pointed out that that the deep and prolonged environmental shock could have contributed to any number of significant disruptions.“One [failed] harvest is bad. Two bad harvests is devastating. Three bad harvests and you have major problems.”Among such events were migrations and invasions by the people of Central Asia east to China and West to the Middle East, and the fall of the Iran-centered Sasanian Empire, which stretched from Egypt in the west to Pakistan and Turkmenistan in the east. The period also saw the Justinianic Plague, one of history’s most devastating outbreaks, recently identified from ancient DNA as bubonic plague.McCormick said the work points to new avenues of exploration for historians and archaeologists, and calls for reexamining historical interpretations of events that have often relied on human-centered explanations — population growth, conquest, government mismanagement. The findings add to a growing body of evidence that external forces, like disease and shifting climate, have played a significant role in such events.“Now we have to go back and re-examine this history we thought was settled … with evidence we couldn’t see before,” McCormick said.For example, McCormick said, the Roman Emperor Justinian is widely viewed as a failure, a leader whose attempt to re-conquer lands of the ancient Roman Empire was an overreach that ultimately failed. But the new findings complicate this narrative.Justinian’s campaign coincided with the volcanic explosions that plunged Europe and Asia into deep chill. The striking concurrence of dates, McCormick said, may force historians to reconsider the record of the emperor, who led the Eastern Roman Empire after the Western territory, including Italy and Rome, had been lost. His reconquest of Roman North Africa in 534 was successful, as was his capture of Sicily in 535. In 536 — the year of the first volcanic explosion — he crossed to Italy, but progress slowed. He was able to conquer Naples and Rome before the campaign stalled entirely.“Was Justinian really foolish or was he the greatest Roman Emperor, who played an amazing hand with unbelievable cards that came to him out of the blue?” McCormick said. “I don’t think anyone has investigated the potential role of a new little ice age in slowing down the conquest of Italy.”The work also holds a message for modern leaders, McCormick said. Though the ancient period dealt with cooling rather than warming, the universal lesson is that leaders should be mindful that unexpected factors can have civilization-shaking impact.“Modern leaders, with their careful preparation and with their detailed planning, sometimes lose sight … that there are exogenous jokers, wild cards, out there that are coming out of the blue and are capable of knocking civilization off its wheels.”last_img read more

Weekend Poll Top Three: Fans Want Megan Hilty as Mona in Whorehouse!

first_img Megan Hilty 2. Orfeh—21% Immoral pleasures? She played a stripper in The Great American Trailer Park Musical. Business smarts? She seemed to do pretty well running The Hair Affair in Legally Blonde. Obviously, it’s a natural fit for her to play the owner of a brothel down south. Plus, just imagine those riffs. Star Files As soon as we heard the news that Rob Ashford was bringing The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas back to Broadway, we were, a) doing the sidestep with excitement and b) wrapping our casting director minds around who would be the perfect Mona. The role landed Carlin Glynn a Tony Award back in 1979, so whoever takes on Mona now has some big cowboy boots to fill. So, who do you want to see run the Chicken Ranch? The votes are in, and here’s what you had to say! 3. Kristin Chenoweth—19% Maybe not everything is bigger in Texas. Kristin Chenoweth certainly has the spunk, but it’d also be interesting to see the Tony winner take on a role that’s also no-nonsense. We’ve heard her coloratura soprano and her classic Broadway belt. Now it’s time for Cheno to bring her proven country chops to the Great White Way!center_img 1. Megan Hilty—27% Hmm…Megan Hilty in a role Dolly Parton has played on screen. Has that ever been done before? Oh, right. Sure, she’s a bit younger than the part is traditionally portrayed, but this Smashing starlet would bring a welcomed youthful energy to Mona, and as she’s proven in several roles, has both the camp factor and dramatic flair to bring some life to that “Little Bitty Pissant Country Place.” View Comments Kristin Chenowethlast_img read more

India’s largest power company planning 5GW mega solar park

first_imgIndia’s largest power company planning 5GW mega solar park FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:India’s NTPC Ltd. plans to set up a 5-gigawatt solar park in the western state of Gujarat, which would be the biggest in the country, as the top electricity generator shifts toward cleaner energy.A site has been identified for the project, which is expected to cost as much as 250 billion rupees ($3.5 billion) and begin operations by 2024, according to a company official, who asked not to be named as the plan isn’t public yet. The company may also invite bids from developers to set up projects in the park.The plan is part of the NTPC’s aim to build 32 gigawatts of renewable capacity by 2032 and reduce the share of fossil fuels in its energy mix to 70% from about 96% now. Government regulations to cap emissions from coal-fired power plants, which increase the costs of building such projects, have also prompted the New Delhi-based company to turn to green energy for growth.In addition, the generator is considering building a new 500-megawatt hydropower project in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, where it already operates one such plant, according to the official.Prime Minister Narendra Modi is targeting 175 gigawatts of renewable capacity in the South Asian nation by 2022, more than double the 80.6 gigawatts today. However, that goal has come under threat from contract breaches and payment delays by some distribution utilities, as well as sluggish foreign investment in the nation’s renewable energy sector.More: India’s top electricity generator to build mega solar parklast_img read more