Plus: Keeping Political Privacy in the Workplace, Introducing the World’s Thinnest House and Combating Counterfeit Parts with DNA.
Mum About Politics On the Job
The elections have ended, but politics are likely still on everyone’s mind. Thankfully for many in the office, folks may feel more comfortable keeping political chat out of the workplace.
Approximately 66 percent of employees don’t share their political affiliation at work, according to a recent CareerBuilder.com survey of more than 4,100 U.S. workers. Moreover, 28 percent of workers said they feel like they need to keep their affiliation secret around the office.
The survey findings also indicate that men are more likely than women to share their political beliefs in the workplace, with 37 percent of men sharing their affiliation versus 31 percent of women. Meanwhile, employees new to the workforce and the voting population are less likely than their older co-workers to share their political affiliations around the office.
Approximately 21 percent of employees aged 18-24 say they share their political opinions at work, compared with 29 percent of workers 25-34 years old and 36 percent of workers aged 35 and older.
“It is easy for a conversation about politics in the office to become an argument about politics,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “For the most part, people want to avoid controversy in the office as much as possible. Avoiding discussions of politics may be one way they can do that.”
Introducing the World’s Thinnest House
Architecture is serious business, requiring knowledge beyond design, including expertise on construction, materials, equipment and facility lifecycles. But architecture can also be, well, a bit absurd.
We’d like to introduce you to the Keret House, which might be the thinnest home in the world. Designed by Polish architect Jakub Szczęsny of Centrala, an experimental-architecture collective, the ridiculously narrow house is situated in an “appealing cushion of air” between two buildings in Warsaw, Poland.
While the Keret House is 33 ft. deep and the ceilings are 30 ft. high at their peak, the home measures 4 ft. at its widest point and 27 inches at its narrowest. Needless to say, it’s an extremely tight fit, yet it manages to squeeze in a bathroom, kitchen and a bedroom.
“The kitchenette is three feet wide…with a miniature sink and a sliding door that conceals one of those cramped airplane bathrooms,” the New York Times reports. “The second floor, reached by a ladder, holds a bed whose dimensions do not encourage overnight guests. The downstairs living area is the skinniest spot in the house, 35 inches wide.”
It has no windows, but there is sunlight exposure thanks to its semi-transparent, polycarbonate walls and ceiling.
“It’s a rather ‘minimal existence unit,’ but I’ve done my best to fight for centimeters in table, seating, kitchenette and corridor widths,” Szczęsny told Fast Company’s Co.Design. “For sure some people might feel claustrophobic, but there’s actually a lot of vertical space.”
About three years in the making, the Keret House opened late last month and will serve as a temporary home for traveling writers.
DNA Marking to Reduce Counterfeit Risks
In an effort to enhance current safeguards to prevent counterfeit parts from entering the Defense Logistics Agency’s (DLA) supply chain, the organization has introduced a new authentication marking requirement – essentially DNA “barcodes” for the electronic microcircuits supply class.
“In the next month, certain kinds of electronic components sold to the military will have to be tagged with an artificial DNA sequence, which will, its designers say, make it well nigh impossible to ship a fake piece of equipment,” Mother Nature Network reports this week. “Stony Brook, N.Y.-based Applied DNA Sciences, working with the Defense Logistics Agency, offered a solution that was originally applied to textiles: plant DNA.”
DLA is requiring the use of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), authentication marking for future procurement of items falling within Federal Supply Class 5962, Electronic Microcircuits. Suppliers who provide DLA electronic microcircuits will be required to provide items marked with a unique, botanical SigNature® DNA mark. The authentication DNA used must be unique to the supplier or the manufacturer of the part.
“The DNA is incorporated into the ink that gets printed on the top of the chip. Shining a laser light on it makes it fluoresce, or glow, so it’s easy to see that the chip was tagged,” Mother Nature Network notes. “But that isn’t all: the DNA tags can’t be duplicated – at least not easily – so it’s a pretty good indicator that the component came from the right factory.”
The agency is initially targeting microelectronics, but the technology can be used with other commodities and has broad implications for other DLA products and equipment at risk for counterfeiting.
Although there is evidence that aerospace and defense electronics suppliers are making headway against counterfeiters, counterfeit parts continue to plague industries worldwide. A recent investigation by the U.S. Senate uncovered widespread incidents of counterfeit electronic components in the Department of Defense’s supply chain. Newer data from information and analytics firm IHS indicate the number of high-risk suppliers to the U.S. government, including companies that sold suspect counterfeit product to military electronics channels, soared 63 percent from 2002 to 2011.
An Illustrated Guide to 50 Years of 007’s Cars
The latest James Bond movie hits theaters today, marking the film franchise’s 50th anniversary. The fictional MI6 agent is synonymous with intrigue, women, martinis and, of course, cars.
For the release of the newest Bond film, car dealership Evans Halshaw has created an infographic on 007’s iconic cars from the past five decades. Peruse James Bond’s auto collection and weigh in about your favorite Bond vehicle: