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In fact, all it takes are a few easy steps. So if you're thinking of celebrating this year with a real evergreen, check out the five tips below to by Kathryn McLamb
1. Choose Your Tree Wisely
Of course, when aiming to maintain your tree's freshness, you'll want to ensure you choose a fresh, healthy one from the start. Therefore, when it comes to selecting your tree, remember to test for long-lasting freshness, especially if you are buying from a shop or roadside lot, as these trees have likely been exposed to drying winds during transit.
During your inspection, gently pull on the needles and leaves of the outer branches. If they fall off easily, that will be your cue to move on. The same goes if you notice the tree loses a lot of needles — even green ones — when it's tapped on the ground. When inspecting the needles, bend them. Make sure they feel flexible, not brittle and dry. And remember: the fewer brown needles, the better.
Lastly, don't forget to examine the trunk. This part of the tree should be as straight as possible so it can easily fit into the stand. Unfortunately, if you have to tear away some of the bark to make it fit, the tree will ultimately dry out sooner.
2. Handle With Care
After choosing your own healthy, green tree, it's important to start taking care of it right away. For starters, wrap the tree for the journey home. Because the blistering winds it will inevitably experience travelling on the top of your car can dry out the tree, avoid any damage by tightly covering all sides with either a plastic tarp or blanket. This will ensure your tree remains fresh with a capital "F."
Also, allow your tree to become properly acclimated before bringing it directly into your home. As eager as you might be to start the decorating process, exposing the tree from one extreme to another — such as the cold temperatures outside to the warmer ones indoors — will cause significant stress to the tree. To avoid dryness and the premature loss of needles, set the tree in an unheated area for about a day or two before bringing it inside, and remember to keep it in a bucket of water. Garages and cellars/basements are two great options for this transitional period. No matter which unheated area you use, make sure it is protected from wind or freezing temperatures.
3. Take Time to Trim
If you bought a precut tree, there's a good chance it has been patiently sitting around for several days. Who knows? Maybe even a week or two. What this means is the vascular system that draws up water from the base has most likely become clogged. Therefore, it is crucial to take time to trim the trunk in order to reprime your tree. Cutting off a half-inch slice from the bottom will assist the tree in regaining its ability to absorb water more readily.
When you make the trim, a simple straight cut across is all it takes. As shocking as it might seem, drilling holes in the sides and/or cutting at an angle does not improve how well the tree will take in water. It will only make it harder for the tree stand to securely hold the tree.
Speaking of tree stands, make sure you choose one that properly fits your tree. If you choose one that's too small in size, your tree will not get as much water as it needs and will lose its healthy state faster. In addition, select a sturdy stand that holds at least one gallon of water.
4. Remember to Hydrate
Just as we humans need constant hydration, they need an abundance of H2O, too. So remember to get your tree in water as soon as possible, because the longer the base keeps from drying out, the healthier and fresher your green giant will remain. Although the absorption rate of water varies from day to day, a good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that a typical tree drinks approximately a litre of liquid for each inch of its diameter. Therefore, always make a point to top off the tree stand with water each day. And if you want to be extra cautious, check the stand's reservoir twice a day to ensure it stays completely full.
So if you want to make your tree last longer, forget about any magical mixtures. Plain water — and lots of it — will work just fine.
5. Location Is Key
Deciding on a spot to place your tree is one of the most important factors for keeping it healthy. Without a doubt, your tree will last longer if it is placed away from all sources of heat and sunlight. So when it comes to any fireplaces, radiators, vents, or air ducts, avoid them all. To maintain the most freshness, you may want to go as far as using a humidifier or lowering the temperature in the room to keep the air moist. Because, as you might guess, the lower the heat, the longer the tree's needles and leaves will stay intact and the more vibrancy it will maintain.
Why are there so few women in cybersecurity and how can we change that?originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
This is a really important question as women comprise roughly 10% of the cybersecurity workforce and that number doesn’t show any signs of improving. Clearly, women are not a homogenous group, so the answer varies based on each individual, but I can provide some general thoughts based on my own experience and research on this topic. I tend to look at this as a pipeline problem (i.e., why women aren’t entering) as well as one of retention (i.e., why women leave).
Let’s address the pipeline issue first. There are more and more programs aimed at getting girls and women into security, and these must continue and seem to be sparking interest in the field, so that is positive progress. At the same time, media portrayals and popular culture have left cybersecurity with a horrible branding problem. When I speak to high school and college students, and ask what comes to mind when they think of cybersecurity, inevitably the response is a shady, socially inept young guy in a hoodie. That’s not quite the image to attract a more diverse pipeline. This media portrayal began in the mid-80s - when girls in computer science peeked - and since then has helped trigger a decline which has generally bottomed-out to the current state. This has also helped prompt the brogramming culture. Even for companies and academic programs that have avoided this issue, the perception that it exists and that the field is hostile toward women deters many girls and women from entering.
Retention is another issue. Last year I completed a study on retention in cybersecurity. The key reasons people leave the field are burnout, lack of career advancement, and the industry culture. Similar to across the tech industry writ large, most efforts to address greater inclusion and diversity extend little beyond PR pitches and lack any substantive bite. Women are often still paid less, promoted less, and deal with discrimination and harassment, prompting the pursuit of other career paths. Importantly, this doesn’t just extend to the workplace, but also professional conferences (cons), each of which has its own culture and vary in their degree of inclusivity. Bad experiences at these conferences, coupled with limited professional growth, can have broader impact and may discourage women from attending these professional events or staying in the industry.
So more importantly, what can be done? First, we need MUCH greater visual and written representation of underrepresented groups in cybersecurity across all aspects of media and society. There are very strong female role models in cybersecurity whose voices must be amplified: news outlets should stop citing only male experts; industry conferences should include more female speakers and demonstrate their commitment to inclusive codes of conduct; and talk shows should reach out to more female experts. As I’ve been told by many of these organizations aimed at getting more girls into cybersecurity, if they don’t see it, they won’t be it. Women must be visible and seen as experts. Unfortunately, when women are contacted for their insights, often it is on gender issues and not their technical capabilities, so when girls see female role models, they only hear about the dire statistics and not the cool work women are doing in cybersecurity.
Next, there are wonderful events for women in cybersecurity - such as the Diana Initiative, Women in Cybersecurity, and Grace Hopper - that are great for networking and supporting women entering the field. These can help both with retention and recruitment and should be supported. In addition, college courses and job descriptions tend to be geared toward ‘brogramming’ verbiage. This is changing, and schools and corporations should put more effort into ensuring their descriptions appeal to a larger segment of the population. Finally, way too often the workload of diversity and inclusion efforts are placed on women and underrepresented groups. This is a gender tax and quite frankly not fair or sufficient to change the status quo. Men must become more active - as allies, as proponents, and as sponsors for underrepresented groups. Until that happens, very little is likely to change and half the population will not be included in solving one of the greatest national and economic security threats of our time.
This question originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. More questions:
Koko: What's in the warehouse?
Mr Teddy Bear: You mean the hanger?
Mr Teddy Bear: Honey we are moving house soon. You can decorate for real sometime this year.
Koko: Pick me up by the airstrip 10pm sharp
Mr Teddy Bear: Leave the Teddy here honey for our future child.
Koko: For their scientific Future Bedtime Stories Mr Teddy Bear okay
Mr Teddy Bear: Keep talking to me...
Mr Teddy Bear: Pawoooo