Sunday, 31 May 2009

"Women Have Never Had it so Good"

An interesting report on the M&S Chair, Sir Stuart Rose. I agree with some of what he says but his tone is provocative and argumentative.

His phrase "there are many girls in here who have kids and come to work" would be viewed as many as demeaning to woman (I, at the ripe old age of 39, am now at the stage when I don't bristle so much to be called a girl, but I used to find it very much a put down "there there, little girl" type of phrase). His old-fashioned forth-right views won't go down well with everyone. It's a shame he wasn't more thoughtful with his language.

I agree that women who want to get somewhere can, in the main, get there (Thatcher is a prime example) but it's still rare to find female role models at the top of businesses. And the support at the top of many organisations is biased towards what the classic testosterone-fueled guy needs. Like tends to breed like. But perhaps that's just my limited view on life.

But perhaps you don't get to be chair of M&S without being outspoken? Shame isn't it?

Saturday, 23 May 2009

So What's So Hard About Geodesy?

A Saturday night random googling on the net finds me this article from 2003 about a guy coming to terms that a geographical position lat/long is not unique.

Or how about a spot of survey mark spotting (US readers only).

Thursday, 14 May 2009

OGE in Town

A delegation from OGE (French surveyors) visited RICS Tues/Wed and I went up to London to meet them. We had a pleasant meal out and the following day continued our discussions on all things surveying and European (with a particular emphasis on FR/UK). CLGE Comite de Liason des Geometres Europeens, the Council of European Geodetic Surveyors, and GE Geometer Europas are merging and much of our talk centred around the politics of how the institutions were going to merge. I think I understood most of what was going on - language wasn't a problem as we had a translator and arm waving pigeon-French got us through - but it was more understanding the nature of the legal systems under which land surveyors work in France and the rest of Europe where surveying is licensed. Perhaps it's the UK which is weird - anybody in the UK can call themselves a geodetic surveyor (although not chartered of course) and gain work.

It was the first time I'd stepped inside RICS Great George Street since it had been refurbished. I'm not overly excited about the reception area. They've boxed it all in with what looks like white partitioning. I asked my colleague when it was going to be completed. "It is," he responded with a weary look. It has a Star Trek feel about which and it's lost its open/buzzy feeling which is a shame. Upstairs was 100x better with mosaic flooring and the coffee shop where it was all happening. It's a shame they've moved the coffee shop off the ground floor. Anyway, my one major shock was the meeting rooms which have all been redone. The wallpaper....absolutely gorgeous! I shocked my host who said I was the first to like it; perhaps I'm a blue stripey woman deep down inside...

PS. This is a bit sad. sad

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Eating Frogs

As a departure from all things geo speak I've been listening to a cd by Brian Tracy today called 'Eat That Frog!'. It's about focusing the limited time we all have on those things which achieve the greatest results. It's about getting on and doing your key, big scary task first and leaving the less important (but more interesting?) tasks for later in the day. It's eating your frog first thing and getting the horrible bit over and done with for the day! How many of us get into work and find, an hour later, that we're still in trivia. Or, even worse, find by the end of the day we haven't achieved that key task which is hanging over us like a big cloud - and we promise ourselves that tomorrow will be different and we'll find time for it.

I'm not going to run my life the Brian Tracy way (I do lists but he DOES lists in a major way) but there are lots of snippets which will be useful. I certainly know it'll make me think twice before agreeing to an RICS meeting. There is only one of me and if I'm going to be best value to the RICS I need to ensure that I appear where I can make the most contribution. But when I do I'm going to eat frogs whilst I'm there and make sure I add value; rather than just go along for the ride.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Maritime Boundary Demarcation

There's been quite a lot in the news recently about maritime boundary demarcation. Argentina have put in a claim for the Falklands, South Georgia, the South Sandwich Islands and part of the Weddell Sea. In fact, you can read all the submissions on the CLCS (Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf) website.The Arctic looks pretty busy and, indeed, the more you look the more you find each nation with a coast seems to be involved with some sort of territorial claim. The UK is no exception.

Kenya and Uganda are surveying Migingo to enable boundary delimitation although some wonder if it's worth it.

Space Spotting

It's a busy world up there in space. In fact there are over 18,000 objects over 10cm in size whizzing around. Goodness knows how many sub 10cm there are. This BBC article articulates the problem quite well although I think it's quite biased to western nations. There is no mention of China or India etc - I'm sure they are equally interested. However looking at where the Space Surveillance Stations are based there are few in the Far East. I wonder why this is?

This ESA site charts the accumlation of space debris from 1957 to 2000.

Now all we need is a space hoover.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Ruth Finds a Friend

I was up on Exmoor today with the family following the Exmoor Challenge that one of my daughters was in. I cycled up to one of the check points with the family (well, for those of you who know Exmoor the phrase 'cycle' involves some bike pushing on the 20% climbs). On the spin back to Dulverton I realised I was passing a trig and, as my husband puts it, "she can't resist passing a lump of concrete without taking a picture of it".

So, here I am with the lump of concrete. Otherwise known as TP0857.