It’s a hard “rock” life in Rust

Beware of naked strangers and wild animals in this challenging game of survival.

Beware of naked strangers and wild animals in this challenging game of survival. 

By Stephan Bazzocchi

Anticipation: it can make you do some strange things while you wait for a new game to come out, such as South Park’s Stick of Truth. Sadly, at the time of this article’s writing, Stick of Truth has not been released. Since I haven’t played it, I can’t write about it as of yet.
To pass the time, and to make good use of my valuable time, I have been stuck playing some older games: Rust and Minecraft.
Apart from DayZ, there did not seem to be much in the way of progress in the genre of survival games, but I then discovered another PC game called Rust. Similar in premise to DayZ, you are in a post-apocalyptic world, only this time it is sans zombies. Instead, you are surrounded by radioactive bears and wolves, which are equally deadly and terrifying.
For equipment, you get considerably less than you do in DayZ. To be more specific, you start with a rock. That’s it. A rock. No clothes, no flashlight, no food. Just a rock. Not even pants. This makes it somewhat stressful when running into other players. Thankfully, most of them aren’t wearing any pants, either. Eventually the game allows you to craft pants, which helps against the onslaught of naked men running around.
Still, on heavily populated servers, it’s like being in the men’s locker room at the local Y. So parents beware: this isn’t really a kid-friendly game. At times, I have asked myself if even I am really old enough to be playing this.
Your rock does have its uses. You can club the boars and deer that also populate this world, collecting animal skins that you can fashion into some clothes to hide your shame. The animals also give you sustenance with which to survive.
However, the nuclear event that brought this world into existence must have been a doozy if wild boars can be harvested for chicken breasts. Or maybe they ate all the chickens. This would explain why you don’t see any, but yet all you can harvest is chicken breasts.
All attempts of understanding some of the logic in this game has left me with a desire for a bit of inebriation, but what does one expect from the creators of the infamous Gary’s Mod?
Other uses for your rock include using it as a rudimentary axe, allowing you to harvest wood from trees. Wood that you can turn into planks. Planks that you can turn into walls!
Hidden under all this silliness is a crafting system. One that admittedly needs some improvements and a little more variety. In fact, a lot of the game seems to be borrowed from Minecraft.
The graphics are all its own and can be at times rather nice. Seeing your campfire’s glow through the roughly-thrown-together wood plank walls adds a lot to the ambience of the game, making you feel that it truly is about surviving the night in this radioactive, desolate world.
Sitting on my tower overlooking the valley around me inspires a more hopeful approach to the game.
Most days, I look out for other survivors, who would hopefully want to help me build a town or share some cooked chicken breasts while swapping a tale or two about battling the red glowing bears. Otherwise, I might be tempted to discover another use for my rock.

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The Circle replaces the apple shape in fashion lexicon

Fruit associations are no longer in favour when naming women's body shapes.

Fruit associations are no longer in favour when naming women’s bodies.

In Vogue - Ally Champagne

In Vogue – Ally Champagne

Not so very long ago, the descriptions used to identify all the various shapes which women encompass left the fruit bowl and migrated to the mathematical shapes department.
It seems women felt better about being compared to flow chart items than a pear or an apple.
The Circle was formerly known as the apple. This particular shape carries its roundness around the midsection, and the waist to hip ratio may make the limbs appear smaller than they really are.
This can include tiny wrists and ankles, and more often than not, their best features are their legs and arms. Being endowed with this shape seems to leave one feeling a little conscientious about the tummy area and the waistline may sit quite high – as a matter of fact, the narrowest area may be just below the breast. This trait may also be seen as lacking waist definition.
It’s good to remember that although women may sport a particular shape, we must take into consideration they also come in various proportions. They can be tall or petite, big-boned or small-boned, be bootylicious or boobescent.
Alas, the booty can be a rarity for this shape. With this shape, it’s important to take away the focus from the midsection. To create visual symmetry, try to avoid details around the bust, tummy and hips.
The lines in your clothing should be straight and not form-fitting. Fabrics should be soft to prevent bulking around these problem areas. Detailing should be above the bust line or below the hip line.
The mid zone should be kept simple. Shoulders sculpt a line and it’s important to check this area out from the front and from the sides to correct any posture issues.
These shapes can wear a large variety of jewelry items to enhance the ankles and wrists, which is clever as it showcases their best parts. Bangles, anklets, large watches and beautiful turquoise pieces having width, bulk and substance, can also be layered on without looking garish.
The legs of Circle shapes have often been referred to as gams. Yes, long and sexy like Queen Latifah’s. And those legs are perfect to create a diversion from the mid portion.
Pencil skirts and pants are recommended in stretchy fabrics. This ensures comfort in your waistband, a very small detail but an important factor.
There is nothing worse than sitting down for long periods of time and feeling you are being severely cinched.
Other clothing items which flatter this shape include tunics with flowing sleeves, longer shirts, sweaters or unfitted jackets.
Fashion plates can find a wide array of clothing especially fabricated to play down the Circle. These are specifically designed to take eyes to your best features.
Now, for some strategies to create visual balance in your business garb. A sleek look allows the beholder to do a head-to-toe scan without interruption. There is deliberate flow from the head to your toes, minus a horizontal glance in your widest area.
To create the illusion of length and sleekness, wear an outfit in the same colour scheme also referred to as the monochromatic colour scheme. Using variations of textures helps to pique the visual and makes heads turn, especially if the variations include various depths of hues of one colour. Monochromatic can be anything but boring.
Having a sense of what colours give you a wow factor is also essential. Light colours make you appear bigger and darker colours are more slimming.
Hence, you often see women whom want to appear smaller, wearing black. Fabrics with sheen also add weight, so matte colours are preferred.
Work outfits have so much more variety today. They may consist of darker tops or jackets and lighter coloured pants, skirts or dresses.
For example, you can choose a black jacket and pair it up with a nice soft black trouser or skirt. Adding a loose fitting top in a bright yellow color, as well as a wide cuff-like bracelet, completes the flow. Add a nice pair of heels and you are in the right zone.
Wearing vertical lines or stripes keeps the eyes going in the same direction. Horizontal stripes, if far apart and larger, will do the opposite, so it’s best to avoid them if you want a slimming look.
If in doubt, drop in at a high-end boutique or store with your girlfriends and ask the staff what would look best on you.
Nothing beats professional help when you are not sure how to spend your hard-earned cash on a wardrobe. Far better that your look speaks softly and confidently than screams that you are misguided or lack self-awareness to an employer.

 

 

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Power down from work and balance your home life

1181363_88398639By Siobhan Carnegie

It’s never been so important to be tapped in at work – but your home life can suffer if you’re constantly receiving alerts on your phone, bringing your focus back to the workplace.
It’s important to be available for meetings, make time in your day for important phone calls and respond to emails, but you shouldn’t be expected to be attached to your phone at the hip outside of work time.
A study recently flagged by author Dr. Tasha Eurich found that half of employees feel that their workload is currently unsustainable. Thirty-three per cent also think about work the moment they wake up, and for 75 per cent, the thoughts creep in as they lay down at night to go to sleep – or worse, the thoughts keep them up at night.
If you’re starting to feel like your job is taking over your life, with consequences on your relationships, it’s time to try a proactive approach in getting the most out of your downtime.
Workers who have conflict at home are less healthy and happy – and can tend to take on destructive habits to escape rather than cope with the stress.
The following are a few ways Dr. Eurich suggests to stop your job from invading your home life:
1. Work smarter
Working more does not necessarily mean you’re being more productive. Think about some of the time you waste starting your day – firing up your computer, answering a load of emails, and leisurely strolling to the kitchen to pour a coffee.
You run into a coworker and gab for a few minutes, and when you get down to work, you get interrupted by another coworker with her own agenda.
Consider how many hours of your workday are actually productive, and see where you can eliminate time so you don’t have to stay overtime.
You aren’t more important or valuable if you stay at work for ten hours, it’s about efficiency.
To get more accomplished in less time, try Dr. Eurich’s One Less Thing Principle.
For every task, ask yourself:
• Can this activity be focused so less time is spent completing it?
• Can this activity be delegated to another person or group?
• Can this activity be stopped?
2. Take power breaks
Surprisingly, short breaks can help you refocus and maintain sharpness on your task. If you feel your eyes start to glaze over, try walking around the office or grabbing tea or a snack.
Taking quick “power” breaks actually speeds up your progress, and improves performance. Briefly taking a break from concentrating on the task will feel better, and the results are better too.
Powering down from work emails and calls can help you in the long run too. Plan evenings and weekends as a well-deserved power-down – maybe you can’t do this every evening, certainly not around important deadlines or work events, but aim for at least three evenings per week. And if you absolutely have to work on one day on the weekend around important deadlines, make sure you take the alternate day off. If you work on Saturday, make sure Sunday is spent relaxing and recharging, and spending some quality time with friends or family.
3. Work it out
Sometimes it’ll feel like the last thing you want to do is lace up and go for a jog after a long day of work, but the exercise really will give you a renewed dose of energy. And a fresh perspective. High-intensity workouts especially are proven to help reduce anxiety.
Exercise can also help you repair this work-family conflict, because your mood and energy is boosted by the exercise.
In a study of 476 workers, workers who exercised regularly were found to have less conflict between work and home.
It can be a strong way to mentally detach from work and recharge you to be present at home.

 

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Liberal arts grads earn more at their career peaks

Liberal artsBy Siobhan Carnegie

Surprisingly enough, the sometimes off-putting entry-level salaries of careers in the arts have a way of leveling out with other realms along the way.
A report called “How Liberal Arts and Sciences Majors Fare in Employment,” shows that at their career peak, employees with liberal arts bachelor’s degrees make more than people with professional or pre-professional undergraduate degrees.
It also reveals that the unemployment rate among recent liberal arts grads, and mature people with liberal arts degrees, is much lower than the national average in the U.S.
One way to look at the ol’ wide-spanning Bachelor of Arts degree is to look at it from the perspective of a potential employer. Employers often see this degree as representative of well-rounded people with the ability to succeed in a myriad of roles.
Instructors believe they are preparing students for success throughout the course of their careers, not just at the start, even helping them as they advance into their second and third jobs.
“A liberal arts education develops leaders who can overcome challenges, adapt to the changing world, and weather economic shifts to achieve career success over decades. So the findings of this study come as no surprise to us,” says Matt Bailey, senior director of external relations at Centenary College of Louisiana.
The study also points to employers’ preferences for liberal arts and sciences majors, as they seek candidates with broad knowledge in these subjects. About four out of five employers are looking for this well-rounded expertise.
Ninety-three per cent of employers also look for critical thinking and problem-solving skills in candidates, which is one of the most touted results of a post-secondary education.
Employers also found these skills more deciphering than, say, a graduate’s major.
Essentially, the study was out to prove naysayers wrong about the merits of a general arts education.
The report “mirrors what those who teach in liberal arts institutions have argued for some time,” says Centenary professor of economics, David Hoaas.
“An education rooted in the liberal arts not only makes individuals productive global citizens, but it also leads to increased lifetime earnings. The world needs and has always needed individuals who have a firm foundation in critical- thinking skills.”
So whether you waltz into the perfect job right out of the gate, or take a little time getting into a rewarding career, expect your arts degree to pay off, especially a little ways down the road.
It’s never a waste of time to expand your critical thinking or grow your mind.

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Manrex dishes about its employment wish list

John Webster and Fiona Webster Mourant are the vice-president and president of Manrex Ltd.

John Webster and Fiona Webster Mourant are the vice-president and president of Manrex Ltd.

Manrex is a healthcare product provider that has been growing steadily since it opened its doors in 1973.
With a staff of about 50 at the local flagship office in Winnipeg, employees get to work in a family business environment under Fiona Webster Mourant and brother John Webster, whose father created the company.
Though staff retention is strong, the company has expanded its horizons and now reaches Europe and Australia, and is looking to do more business in the U.S.
With different “rivers” of opportunity always being explored, Manrex is a business where jobs are being created to meet the demands of its market.
Currently, Manrex is looking for a purchaser, who ideally would have experience but the company is more than willing to train a worthy candidate.
Fiona Webster Mourant has been hiring people for over three decades, and has gathered a wealth of advice to bestow to prospective employees in the workforce.
What is the most important quality for an interviewee to possess?
“I really like people that come and learn different parts of the company and you can move them around. The more cross-trained and the more diverse they are, the more valuable. In a smaller company, it’s not about just doing what you do.”
What are some assets to the customer service positions at Manrex?
“Not everyone in the general public knows what we do – they have to know all the products. They’re more of a servicing people person. We have people that are multilingual (mostly English and French) but with customers in Europe, some know Portuguese.”
“We always try to keep our structure really flat. We always want to be able to respond to what the customer needs. I really like people that have the ability to make a decision.”
Do you have to have past experience or a degree to work there?
“We’re open to lots of different ideas if the fit is right. As long as they’re trainable.”
“People who have been doing something for a long time are not always the best. If you can show that you can take initiative and can learn, that’s not a bad thing either.”
Manrex has a certified accountant and a general manager with a business degree, but many positions don’t require a certain level of education.
What is your pet peeve in a job interview?
“Not looking me in the eye, or having those limp handshakes.”
By the time a resume arrives on Webster Mourant’s desk, her staff has already pared down the stack to a handful of hopefuls.
It’s important to stand out amongst the inevitable stack of resumes.
How can you make your resume stand out as a worthy candidate?
“It really is about showing instead of talking about it.”
Webster Mourant gives the example of saying you’re detail-oriented, but following it up with a specific example of when you established a new filing system at your previous job, or an example from school or past experiences. Show rather than tell by citing examples.
Lastly, what’s in it for people interested in working at Manrex?
“There is a different atmosphere, a culture. We try to do a lot of fun things to make it more appealing.”
Manrex has a social committee and a profit share plan where staff splits anything above a 25 per cent threshold equally.
“It’s all incentive for everybody to look at how they can improve.”
Manrex’s products also directly help health care workers do their daily jobs more easily – their popular pill bingo cards help them deliver error-free care, and a new pill-crushing device allows them to avoid health defects from the repetitive action.
Webster Mourant herself knows what it’s like to climb up the corporate ladder, even with her father at the helm.
She worked for nine years splitting her time between the warehouse, accounting, and sales and marketing, which she feels her father did to prepare her to run the company – learning the ins and outs first. She advises it takes time to get to the top, but it is absolutely possible to earn it.
She finished a management program through the University of Manitoba over four years of night classes to even better prepare herself for the role and complete her education.
But, education is not the only way to find your place at Manrex.
“We believe in educational training. Once you get the job, we’ll train you,” says Webster Mourant. The opportunities will grow from there.

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