Generation Z, Extinguish Fire Using Sound, Can Canada teach Us, More

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Make Way for Generation Z

I recall the exact moment the temperature changed in the workplace. It was 2005, and I was speaking to an audience of 100 young professionals. I was relating my experiences building a career as a Gen Xer (born 1964-79) in a world of traditionalists (born before 1945) and baby boomers (born 1946-63).

Every time I threw out phrases like “paying your dues” and “playing the game,” the audience stared at me blankly. This was not the reaction I had come to expect from early twentysomethings. Usually they took notes on how they could get ahead in corporate America as quickly as possible.

I would soon learn, however, that the millennial generation (also known as Generation Y, born after 1980), had come on the scene. Generally speaking, these guys didn’t like my advice about coping with bureaucracy and office politics. It seemed to me that some of them didn’t want to grow up, but at the same time they felt they deserved to do meaningful work right away. Many were not afraid to speak their minds and made it clear they wanted to change the status quo. And at 80 million strong, they had the numbers to do it.

It took 10 years before most organizations identified the millennials as a talent issue on fire. By now, the oldest millennials are 35. They aren’t children anymore — in fact, a majority of them are leaders with decision-making power and direct reports. While executives have been fretting over the millennials, though, a new generation is growing up behind the scenes — Generation Z (born starting in the mid-90s to the early ’00s depending on whom you ask). Within the next three years, Gen Zers will be the college grads in my audiences, and they are poised to be somewhat different from the millennials.

I’ve now had the opportunity to meet lots of Gen Zers, and here’s what I’ve noticed. To start, they tend to be independent. While a 2015 Census Bureau report found that nearly a third of millennials are still living with their parents, Gen Zers are growing up in a healthier economy and appear eager to be cut loose. They don’t wait for their parents to teach them things or tell them how to make decisions. As demonstrated by the teenagers attending the recent Generation Z Conference at American University in Washington, Gen Z is already out in the world, curious and driven, investigating how to obtain relevant professional experience before college. Despite their obvious technology proficiency, Gen Zers seem to prefer in-person to online interaction and are being schooled in emotional intelligence from a young age. Thanks to social media, they are accustomed to engaging with friends all over the world, so they are well prepared for a global business environment.

Gen Z is also diverse. My 15-year-old next-door neighbor is a quarter Hispanic, a quarter African-American, a quarter Taiwanese, and a quarter white. That’s Gen Z — they are often a mix of ethnicities.

Read all of this HERE.

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George Mason University engineers use low-frequency sound waves to put out a blaze

A pair of engineering students at George Mason University in Virginia managed to create a fire extinguisher that operates using sound waves.

This started as an idea for a senior research project, and after a year’s worth of tinkering (and spending $600 of their own money), Seth Robertson and Viet Tran created something fully functional, the Washington Post reports. As you’ll see in the clip above, the portable device puts out a blaze in mere seconds.

Sound waves are also “pressure waves, and they displace some of the oxygen,” Tran told the Washington Post, explaining how the apparatus works. At the right frequency, the sound waves “separate the oxygen [in the fire] from the fuel,” he said. “The pressure wave is going back and forth, and that agitates where the air is. That specific space is enough to keep the fire from reigniting.”

After quite a bit of trial and error, Tran and Robertson found the frequency that worked. Before applying for a patent, though, the engineers plan to do a lot more testing. Stay tuned for the day when you’ll be able to use this in your kitchen.

Found this HERE.

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Can Canada teach the rest of us to be nicer?

Every August my family embarks on that great American ritual: the road trip. And we always head north. Canada may not be the most exotic of destinations, but sometimes, exotic is overrated. Canada tempts us with familiarity, blissfully cool weather and, most of all, a deep reservoir of niceness.

We experience Canadian nice as soon as we reach customs. The US border guards are gruff and all business. The Canadians, by contrast, are unfailingly polite, even as they grill us about the number of wine bottles we’re bringing into the country. One year, we had failed to notice that our 9-year-old daughter’s passport had expired. They, nicely, let us enter anyway. The niceness continues for our entire trip, as we encounter nice waiters, nice hotel clerks, nice strangers.

Canadian niceness is pure, and untainted by the passive-aggressive undertones found in American niceness (have a good day, or else!). It’s also abundant. Canada is to niceness as Saudi Arabia is to oil. It’s awash in the stuff, and it’s about time, I say, the rest of the world imported some. (France, Russia and the UK topped one recent list of rude countries as perceived by travelers.) Researchers have yet to analyze Canadian niceness empirically, but studies have found that Canadians, perhaps in an effort not to offend, use an overabundance of “hedge words,” such as “could be” and “not bad.” Then there is the most coveted of Canadian words: “sorry.” Canadians will apologize for anything and to anything.

“I’ve apologized to a tree that I walked into,” confessed Michael Valpy, a journalist and author, noting that many of his fellow citizens have done the same.

Traffic in Toronto and Montreal may be awful, but “you almost never hear a horn, even in the most frustrating traffic jams,” said Jeffrey Dvorkin, a Canadian journalism professor at the University of Toronto. Horn-honking is regarded as unnecessarily aggressive. And murder rates in Canada are low, he said, partly because “it’s quite rude to murder someone.”

Continue reading this HERE.

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