Stuff YOU Should Know

Posted by on Jul 14, 2016 in Stuff You Should Know

GOP Comes to the CLE

Television camera as it pans the crowd at the 2004 Republican National Convention. Jill Braaten /©McGraw-Hill Education. MHE World.

Television camera as it pans the crowd at the 2004 Republican National Convention. Credit: Jill Braaten /©McGraw-Hill Education

In another week, the nation will be knee-deep in coverage about the Republican National Convention. But what is already happening in preparation for next week? Perhaps the highest profile news regarding the convention is the official nomination. Despite the fact that Donald J. Trump is the presumptive nominee for the GOP, there continue to be efforts to prevent this by his critics within the Republican Party . Finalizing the Republican Party platform will also be a challenge. This is the document that lays out the official positions on various issues, from economic and foreign policy to more controversial issues such as climate control and gun control legislation.

The names of those intended to speak at the convention are trickling out. Among them are Iowa Senator Joni Ernst; former opponents Scott Walker, Ben Carson, and Chris Christie; House speaker Paul Ryan; and Republican notable Newt Gingrich. Rounding out the list are a number of Trump’s friends and family, including his three children Back in June, Trump had said that if someone did not give a formal endorsement, there would be no invitation to speak (this includes former rival John Kasich, despite the fact that the convention will take place in his home state).

Related Link To stay up-to-date on more details about the Republican Convention and other political news, make sure to visit Election Central.

Dig Deeper 50,000 people are expected to attend the GOP convention (not including those who plan to protest). Trump has warned of riots if his nomination is blocked. Find out what the city of Cleveland is doing to prepare. List at least three specific measures.

U.S. Job Growth Update

If you are a consistent reader of btw you have seen our regular coverage of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly Jobs Report. In it, several areas of the state of employment across the country are measured. In June, the unemployment rate increased .2 points, but is still under five percent.

Of the 287,000 new jobs added by employers, the biggest increase was in the leisure and hospitality (largely due to seasonal employment at vacation locations), followed by health care and social assistance (likely due to the increase in aging Baby Boomers). There was also a spike in information (largely due to workers returning from a strike). Demographically, unemployment among adult women and Whites in general rose, while that of teenagers, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Hispanics showed little to no change. The average hourly wage went up $.02, increasing earnings by a 2.6 percent over the year. Despite the positive report, some economists are weary of the immediate future, based on global events such as Brexit.

Dig Deeper Despite a glowing overall jobs report, the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) was less than glowing. Find out what this is, what it means, and write up a few sentences on your findings.

Wanna Become a Citizen of Denmark? Better Study

Many countries have certain requirements that must be met if one wants to become a citizen. For many, there is a civics test that asks general questions about how a country was founded and the basic tenants of its government. Denmark (located in Europe) recently made changes to its test, and it is raising a lot of eyebrows. The 40-question test covers typical questions about the Vikings and the function of local government, but also includes questions about Danish films and classical composers.

Critics of the new test say that it is a deliberate measure to discourage immigrants. The recent wave from Syria in particular is putting a strain on many European countries. Applicants must now also score at least 80% to pass (up from 73% previously). Those who defend the difficulty of the test say that the government provides free material that covers all of the test’s contents. The country’s “integration minister” added that becoming a Dane is a privilege and that “citizenship is something you have to earn.” In addition to the written and oral tests, applicants must prove that they have financially supported themselves for the past four-and-a-half of five years.

What Do You Think? Go to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Web site and take a practice Civics test. How did you do?

Can Gaming Make You More Productive?

Are you a gamer? If so, have you ever been accused of being lazy and ineffectual? A new article at the BBC (British Broadcasting Company) suggests that gaming can actually help individuals develop better problem solving and creative thinking. Unlike more passive electronic pursuits, like scrolling Twitter or Facebook, games can provide a kind of stress relief and even an ego boost. This is because the act of stepping away from a particularly daunting task can provide a different state of mind in which to work. In addition, playing video games can provide outlets for emotional well-being and opportunities for meaningful social connectedness.

Instead of frowning on the practice of gaming, some employers are actively encouraging it for their employers and making it easier to integrate into the workday. At tech companies like Google, it would make sense to integrate such practices, but more traditional firms are embracing the practice. A 2014 study confirms their decision, at least in terms of a “happier” workforce.

What Do You Think? If you are a gamer, do you believe that playing video games helps you in your studies or work life? How so? If you are not a gamer, do some research and find a game that might appeal to your sensibilities and describe your choice.