Archive for December, 2009


“Only when the last tree has withered, the last fish has been caught, and the last river has been poisoned, will you realize you cannot eat money.” 

– Cree Tribe ( Native Americans)


Johns Hopkins scientists discover a controller of brain circuitry

By combining a research technique that dates back 136 years with modern molecular genetics, a Johns Hopkins neuroscientist has been able to see how a mammal’s brain shrewdly revisits and reuses the same molecular cues to control the complex design of its circuits.

Read more at:  Eureka alert

Arctic Could Face Warmer and Ice-Free Conditions

Source: United States Geological Survey

There is increased evidence that the Arctic could face seasonally ice-free conditions and much warmer temperatures in the future.
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Asthma Gene May Show Connection to Allergies, Way to Treatments

A gene linked to asthma susceptibility in children has been identified that may reveal the respiratory disease’s connection to allergies and lead to new treatment for 6 million U.S. child asthmatics, a study said.
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My favorite Business and Finance Blogs

Though I’m into Science and Technology, I’m more passionate about business and finance. I never had a chance to learn about stocks, bonds, investments, futures, pasts. It’s still complicated and  difficult to learn.  I have few blogs from where I slowly teach my self all about business.

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Single Molecule sequencing

One day Helicos would make $1000 genome possible

What an employer looks for in an employee

Basic qualities

As a small business owner, I think these are the basic qualities an employer looks for in an employee:

  • They generally know how to do their job. (The level of supervision they need can vary depending on their experience.)
  • They show up for work every day.
  • There are no important problems with their personalities.
  • They have a good work ethic, and will do what their boss asks of them.

Problem employees

On the other end of the spectrum there are the “problem employees”. These are the attributes that I see in problem employees, i.e., the things that will get you fired without much notice, or will make you the first person to be laid off in a bad economy:

  • Some part of their personality is a problem. They don’t fit in, they are anti-social, constantly argumentative, they lead the gossip pool, they have a “can’t-do, sky is falling” attitude, etc.
  • They don’t give you an eight-hour workday. They either take a lot of breaks, spend a lot of time socializing, or sneaking around doing personal things that don’t pertain to work while they’re being paid to work, or have other issues in their personal lives.
  • They don’t know how to do their job.

Employees who get big raises and promotions

My final list shows the attributes of employees that get better raises and promotions than everyone else:

  • They have a positive, can-do, team-oriented personality and work ethic.
  • They get their work done with little or no supervision.
  • They offer ways to improve the way things are done.
  • They may be the best at what they do.
  • They are capable of leading or managing other people.

Where this comes from

I’m motivated to write this for several reasons. First, I’ve run into several people lately who either

(a) don’t know what they’re doing

(b) don’t put in full days

(c) have poor attitudes, what Zig Ziglar calls “a hardening of the attitude”.

While I’m in this neighborhood, this discussion reminds me of my ex-business partner. As a consultant, I worked with a small team of developers at a client site, and my partner would often say “If D, or R, or N have to come back to the office we’re going to have to lay them off”. He was extremely pessimistic for someone in a “leadership” position, and these people had done nothing to deserve to be laid off asap. They were all good people and good workers.

Alvin Alexander have worked in the programming field for 20 years now, starting with languages like Fortran and C, then moving to Java, Perl, PHP, and Ruby and he  also founded a consulting company named Mission Data