The 1904 Sinking of the General Slocum

By Samuel Phineas Upham

New York has no shortage of interesting stories to tell, there is history on just about every corner, and much of that history lies in the realm of architecture. Skyscrapers, for instance, were meant to be tourist attractions and sparked a competition that was widely publicized around the nation. New York became not just a cultural hub, but a tourist attraction too. In 1904, that cultural hub was brought to a standstill as the General Slocum caught fire and sank.

June 15, 1904

The General Slocum, a passenger vessel that took people on excursions around New York, was readying itself for a chartered boat ride that morning. St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Little Germany District had organized the event. It had been an annual affair for 17 years, and everything looked to be going off without a hitch by 9:30 AM. Not soon after, a discarded match or cigarette caught an oily rag. No one noticed for at least 30 minutes, with eyewitnesses claiming that the blaze seemed to spring up from multiple locations.

The owners of the ship had never replenished the fire hoses, so they fell apart when the crew tried to use them put out the fire. It’s also been suggested that a combination of cheaply manufactured cork and small iron bars were used to bring the life preservers up to weight. Essentially mimicking a preserver in weight alone. Those that were up to code had been hung on deck, subjected to the elements for more than 13 years.

The aftermath caused New York to make serious revisions to building and safety codes.

About the Author: Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Samuel Phineas Upham website or Twitter.


3 Tips That Will Get You An A+ Score In A Discussion Posting

Online learning is an excellent way to balance both studies and work. Without a doubt, it’s an excellent way to learn given that innovation is an important element of this type of learning.

Apart from being flexible, facilitators are very encouraging too. An important element of online learning involves discussions that take place in a forum.

This can be thought provoking since there can be a number of points of view that come up in peoples’ responses.

So, heducationalsolutionere are 3 tips that can help you score an A+ in a discussion posting:

1: Understand the Purpose of Discussion

An online discussion is very different from a regular classroom discussion. Instead of your voice, you will have to use certain keywords to express your opinion. In order to answer appropriately, you have to first understand the purpose of the discussion. For this, read the discussion posting very carefully.

2: Analyze the Direction of the Discussion Posting Carefully

In most cases, you might have to post a formal answer expressing your unique take on a topic. In others, you will have to post a personal one. Knowing when to post either matters greatly. Make sure you read other answers posted and related to the discussion too.

3: Gather References

Since you don’t have to respond to the question immediately, it’s important to gather references and read them carefully. Make sure these references are accurate and relevant. Try and use your own words instead of copying text from these references. Ensure that the response you offer is completely unique by mixing thoughts and the aforementioned references too.

Why Unions Were So Divisive

By Samuel Phineas Upham

In the early 1900s, just after the American Civil War, New York was faced with a unique challenge. It needed to restructure itself, because it had lost significant revenue generated through Southern business interests. This restructuring was helped in large part by immigrants from Ireland, who had moved to New York to escape the potato famine.

Coupled with the city’s sizable African American population and New York had a decent-sized workforce for factories and manual labor. The problem was labor standards, which were about to get a shot in the arm. Strikes were breaking out in the wharfs and piers of New York Harbor, which was busy producing fish and other canned goods while moving stock in and out of port.

Those workers were banding together all across Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and other major cities in search of higher wages and favorable working conditions. Business interests invoked an English common law called “restraint of trade”, which functioned like a modern day non-compete agreement. They argued that the collusion of wages violated this statute because it gave groups of workers an unfavorable advantage that a single worker might not have otherwise had.

Of course today’s reader might not see the divisiveness in this argument, but it was the hot topic of the day. Newspapers ran headlines and eloquent op-eds on the topic, while business leaders argued ferociously for their right to run a business the way they saw fit.

The reason why worker’s rights prevailed had to do with the courts, which provided precedent that established how workers could collude for wages ethically and legally.

About the Author: Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Facebook.


When Traditional Schooling Fails

By Wood Creek Academy

Here in the United States, we try to do our best to give every child a complete education. Hopefully, we succeed at this goal the majority of the time, but we know this isn’t always the case. Instead, what often happens is that some kids fall through the cracks, so to speak. For many of them, the answer may lie somewhere like homeschooling or private schools. However, for many children, especially, teenagers, something more drastic is called for.

woodcreekacademy1You may have heard of a boarding school for troubled boys before or even boot camp for teenagers. The two types of programs differ in many ways, but their main goal is always the same. They’re there to help bring your child away from an environment that may be fostering a destructive lifestyle. It could be your household, unfortunately, but more often than not, it’s the school they go to, their neighborhood or the friends they spend time with. Once you remove these factors for a long enough period of time, the child is often just fine.

It also helps that these programs help build self-worth and teach confidence. When a child lacks either of these elements, it’s generally only a matter of time before something goes wrong in some area of their lives.


Troubled youth programs are often the best—and sometimes, the only—way to help your child get back on the right track so they can lead long, fulfilling lives. This is where Wood Creek Academy can help.



3 Reasons Why You Should Go Back to School

There is a close connection between website interaction design and communication. In fact, it consists of several disciplines. This could be either non-technology or technology-related disciplines.

Among these words, visual and space make up an important part. So, here are 4 tips that will contribute to better UX Design:

1: Every Word Matters

Just a single call-to-action, instruction or a change of words can make a difference. User testing can help you find the right words. You can find out which part of your site seems confusing. You’ll have to add further instructions also. Of course, you don’t want to overload the user by explaining every little thing.

2: Think About UI Patterns

Using tried-and-tested UI patterns, one can save users the need to think too much. This is because they are familiar too. You can find UI patterns since they exist on many sites too. That said, trying to stand apart from your competition can cause your visitors frustration.

3: Consider chunking

Short-term memory can only remember 5-9 items before forgetfulness sets in. So, UX designers should limit the number of items to about 7. Chunking is another approach that one can take. Using this method, one can group similar items together. For example, if you have 32 items, you can group them into 8 groups of 4. This will make it easy on site visitors.

4: Use White Space As Much As Possible

Leaving more white space isn’t considered a good idea. Still, it adds to your design even if you think it doesn’t. First, it attracts attention. Also, it clarifies relationships as white space between groups of information. Best part: it helps in improving comprehension by making elements on the page legible


4 Tips That Will Help You Succeed in School

No matter whether you are a student who is taking remedial classes or even one who has reached the point of no return with your academics, there’s still some hope if you want to get back on track with school education.

Given that there are certain fundamentals that almost ensure success in high school, following these might help you doing so.

Having said that, here are 4 tips to succeed in school:

#1: Attend Class Regularly and In Time

Attending class regularly and being in time is very important to your studies. If you don’t, they you won’t be able to take notes and understand what is being taught throughout the year. Also, ensure that you pay attention to what is being taught in class.

education#2: Turn Work In On Time

Ensure that you start on your assignments as early as possible. If you’re finding it hard to do so, then break them into smaller chunks as this will make learning much easier than you think. In fact, maintaining a calendar would be a good idea since you will know which assignments are due.

#3: Take Notes

Without taking class notes, it isn’t possible to review any lessons that have been taught. Reviewing your notes will help you retain the information in your long-term memory. Also, it is a good idea for you to consider a tried and tested notetaking system such as Cornell, outline or think link.

#4: Set Aside Enough Time For Studies

If you want to excel, ensure that you put in two hours of study for every hour of class. Also, complete the assignments first but after which take some time to enjoy yourself. As for studying, concentrate for 30 minutes and then take short breaks in between.


Engaging in Personal Development for a Better Career

Learning is a lifelong process and when engaged with passion and curiosity, it can effectively lead to personal as well as professional enhancement. The ability to engage in personal development is one of the most sought-after characteristics that employers look for in potential employees. This is about having the right attitude towards the company and the work being performed. Even though employers might be spending a significant budget in providing training and development, they are encouraged by employees who demonstrate an ability and keenness to learn and acquire new skills by themselves.


Most organizations would be engaging in continuous improvement initiatives in order to stay ahead of competition. Lifelong learners contribute to these strategies as the organization benefits from the new set of skills and knowledge acquired by the employee. Employees who embrace lifelong learning are also more apt to adapt to changes and are more flexible.

Self-motivation and confidence

Personal development also pertains to the way individuals choose to innovate their work practices and improve their attitude towards work. Engaging in personal development initiatives contributes to enhancing the self-motivation and confidence of the employee and improves the way they are perceived by their colleagues and superiors.

Career Development

A boost of motivation, coupled with the acquisition of new skills and confidence could effectively contribute to bringing enhanced responsibilities. Individuals engaging in personal development are better perceived by management and could be more apt to be promoted. Learning also leads to an improved internal culture focused on the acquisition of knowledge within the organization.


How to Write a Personal Statement for Your CV

An important aspect of an effective CV is about including a personal statement. This is sometimes also called a profile or career summary. This allows the recruiter to quickly identify strategic benefits that candidates would be able to add to their organization. The CV in itself is a self-marketing document which aims to persuade recruiters to contact and interview the candidate. The personal statement is conducive to making this happen.

Candidates often struggle with this aspect of their resumes and by following a few simple guidelines, this can be made easier. Generally, a well-written statement should be between 50 and 200 words. However, the candidate should focus on keeping it concise. The cover letter would provide all the scope to elaborate further and bring in more engaging information. In order to write a target personal statement, the job specification would also need to be carefully considered. This would ensure that the skills and experience reflect the job requirements. In order to render the statement more personable, the first-person style is preferred. The idea would be to target transferable skills in the statement.

An ideal personal statement should provide brief descriptions of past achievements and skills acquired and how these can be transposable to future organizations. The candidate should also mention his/her career aim in order to guide recruiters in determining whether the candidate’s expectation and their offering would be matching. For instance, candidate would be mentioning skills acquired in working for a particular sector and industry and that they would aim to continue their career within the same industry but with more responsibilities and tasks.


How to Declutter a Resume In 3 Steps

When preparing for any job search, candidates would be dusting off their previous resume and adding their most recent job along with new skills and training. If the resume is not often uncluttered, it might end up looking like a list of outdated achievements and information. The steps below can be followed to effectively unclutter a resume.

Step 1: Narrow Your Career Goal

The first step is applying for a job is to determine the career goal sought. Recruiters are often frustrated by resumes which do not seem to go in line with what the company has advertised. A solution to this would be to create alternative resume each targeting a particular industry or a particular job type in order to ensure relevance with the job applied for.

Step 2: Condense Your Opening Summary

Every resume needs a summary in order to provide a general idea on the career level and achievements of the candidate. However, this summary would need to be short and to the point. The content featured on top would need to be compelling enough to make the recruiter want to continue reading the resume.

Step 3: Edit Work Experience

For professionals having over 10 to 15 years of experience, it might be more appealing to summarize the most outdated experiences rather than elaborating on them. Early career, though being important, becomes quite redundant after a decade. Young professionals who are just starting out might also consider leaving out details pertaining to experiences in retail stores or during holidays where these are not relevant to the post applied for.


Preparing to Secure a Job Before Graduation

As per a poll carried out by Accenture in 2013, only 39% of students of the classes of 2011 and 2012 had managed to secure a job by the time that they had graduated. For the year 2013, only 16% of students had job offers a month before they reached commencement. If you are about to graduate, the following tips might come handy in securing a job.

  1. Focus on Building a Career

Most students believe that they would be landing their dream job right after the moment of graduation. While lucky situations do happen, it might be more realistic to set aside aspirations of landing the ideal job and focusing on building a career to get there. Students might be faced with the fear of taking up just about any job. However, a first job would enable you to build a network and gain skills that would be transferable to your dream job.

  1. Make a Plan

Before the end of the semester, you might consider mapping out each remaining week and setting out tasks to perform in order to be ready to apply for jobs. For instance, your tasks might consist of the creation of a LinkedIn profile, seeing a career consultant and building a new resume.

  1. Keep an Open Mind

A career consultant might advise you to keep an open mind when it comes to applying for first jobs. Limiting oneself to a particular company, job or industry might narrow down the response rate. After graduation, there are less chances of landing “wrong jobs”. Moreover, any relevant experience would be seen as a plus for future applications.