Archive for June, 2007

Wind chill

Everybody’s shivering since yesterday. True it’s winter time; but it’s not that cold. The lowest temperature recorded last night was 13.7 deg C on the central plateau (middle and higher region of the island). It was hardly one degree below normal. Night temperature has often dipped to 10 degrees C in the past.

Day temperatures recorded yesterday varied from 21 to 27 deg C, about 2 degrees below normal during this period. However, south easterlies are blowing at an average speed of 25 km/h peaking at 50 or 60 at times, bringing in cold air from the South Pole. And the sea is rough beyond the reefs with waves of the order of 3 meters high.

This is a typical situation due to a strong anticyclone to the south east of the mascarenes. Anticyclones are common in winter and they bring along strong winds, rainy and cold weather most of the time. Although temperatures may be within the range of normal for the period, you feel colder than expected. It’s a sensation of cold due to what is called wind chill or often referred to as wind chill factor.

Wind chill relates to a condition of enhanced feeling of cold due to the combined effect of temperature and wind speed in a relatively dry air. It is usually lower than the actual air temperature. For instance, for an actual temperature of 15 deg C together with a dry wind of 40 km/h, you may have a sensation of 10 deg C. The reason why you can see everybody draped in loads of woolen pulls, coats, scarves, caps and huge jackets. No way can you have a good night’s sleep without double blankets. And while I’m at my keyboard my fingers are virtually numb.

It will become more comfortable by the end of the week as the anticyclone moves away eastwards. That’s what the local meteorological services are forecasting.


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Writing Tools

I just wanted to share what I picked from Nick Daws’ latest post at mywritingblog.com. You remember Nick, the freelance writer, editor and coach I interviewed some time ago?

Nick alerts us on Fifty Tools Which Can Help You in Writing. This is a set of articles written by Roy Peter Clark, Senior Scholar at the Poynter Institute. “These articles,” says Nick, “are aimed primarily at journalists, but any writer could benefit from studying them, and many are relevant to fiction writers as well.”

I must confess I haven’t had time to go through all the articles myself. But I’ve been able to peruse quite a few of them in a random manner. I can tell you they are full of tips, illustrations and exercises that will no doubt help improve your writing. Like Nick I’d be surprised if you don’t find anything useful.

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Everybody wants to become a writer. Everybody cherishes his name in print. But you got to start somewhere. Every beginner often gets stuck right at the start. He’s lost. The first step is the hardest, isn’t it?

Is writing a big deal? …Ummhh. That’s a big question. It depends. Perhaps not for those I’d call erudite. For others, especially beginners, it’s kind of “Ooohh… But how do I get started?” These are the ones that need to do something. What? We’ll try to find out together.

Many writers find it difficult to sit down and write everyday. But that’s just what you have to do if you want to be a writer. So much time is often wasted doing nothing or just dwelling on non-constructive thoughts and activities. If only these times could be used to concentrate on the writer that you want to be, you’ll realize that in the end it may not be that big deal to get started writing a book and getting it published.

I just came across two articles written by Sid Smith at Write and Publish Your Book:
(i) “How to Write a Book: Steps For The Beginner”; and
(ii) “Want to Write a Book? You’d Better Start Now”.

Sid Smith gives an insight on how you can go about writing a book in simple terms. Here’s in brief what you need to do to get started:

1. Invest. Invest time and money in developing and improving your writing skills. No one becomes a writer overnight.
2. A writing class or tuition is essential to learn the lingoes.
3. Read books about writing.
4. Writers’ groups or online forums for writers are very helpful. There are many. Find out the appropriate ones and join them. I belong to one, mywriterscircle.com, where you may interact with many established writers eager to help. You can even submit a piece for professional comments.
5. Equip yourself with the tools required for writing. Basically you’d need editing software.
6. Plan your writing and write. Keep to a strict writing schedule.
7. Keep aloof from time wasters. Just write. Write every single day. That’s what serious writers do.

So sitting down and doing the writing is all about writing that book you so much cherish.

Don’t give up.

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The above carnival is up at Life Insurance Lowdown. My Give… a drop of life posted a while ago is listed there. You may wish to submit yours here.

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carnival os small business issues My “Is there something like a strong password?” is listed in the Carnival of small business issues edition 7.

Take a peek. For any submissions click here.

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When the media hurts

Some time back I wrote about the ill-treatment journalists are subjected to worldwide in the performance of their duties. I was particularly concerned about attacks, verbal or otherwise, from so-called respected and respectable people. In my Reporters and Journalists, beware I mentioned the case of a journalist treated as “stinky Gypsy” by a head of State.

Today I have to concede that my own country is no exception. The Editor-in-chief of a private radio purports to have been victim of hostile attitude from a senior minister yesterday. He says having suffered verbal attacks as he was soliciting him, after an agreed schedule, for a live reaction to the comments made in a radio interview earlier by a former Finance Minister, now a member of the opposition. The Minister, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, was furious and used aggressive tone against the radio team which was already at his office for relaying. He refused to be interviewed and threw them away with the argument that they had no appointment, the Editor-in-chief said in the 8.00 am news today.

The ex-Finance minister, who was dissecting the measures contained in the budget presented on 15 June, severely criticized the actual minister to the extent of calling him a bluffer for having, according to him, manipulated the figures relating particularly to foreign direct investments. He was also very critical on what he referred to as “earlier harvest” for the minister’s assertions on the country’s rapid economic recovery. It seems these blunt criticisms have annoyed the minister.

The Editor-in-chief maintains having, as a responsible and respectable media person, made prior arrangements with the Minister for a live interview to be broadcast at 5.30 pm following the statements of the ex-minister. The radio has been mentioning about this event since more than two hours in its hourly news, at 3.00 pm and 4.00 pm, and also at 4.30 pm when the evening news of the day was being broadcast.

The Minister denies having agreed for an interview and believes there was a misunderstanding.

The Mauritian Association of Journalists has expressed its solidarity with the Editor-in-chief and urged for a better relation with the press from all quarters. The freedom of opinion is guaranteed by the constitution of the country.

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My Budget Day is listed in the Carnival of Cities for June 18, 2007 at “Home Turf Media” and in the Carnival of Budgeting #8 at “Payday Loan Lowdown”.

In one of the posts for the Carnival of Cities Vanessa Latimer tells us that Puerto Piramides offers more than just…whales (Southern Right Whales, that is) posted at Argentina’s Travel Guide with some nice pictures.

In the second carnival Jane Chin presents Couples: Joint or Separate Bank Accounts posted at Jane Chin; and Edithyeung’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective Money Managers posted at Edith Yeung.Com: Dream. Think. Act are quite interesting.

Sugar Shortfall posted here a while ago appears at “The Boring Made Dull” under Economics and Social Policy XXXVIII. Here I was particularly interested with Charles H Green’s How Marketing Can Destroy Sales Trust posted at Trust Matters.

The other posts are equally interesting. Why not take a peek? And if you want to submit a post to any of the blogcarnivals you may do it here.

Have a nice read.

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