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first_img WhatsApp OpinionEditorialsLocal NewsGovernment WhatsApp Twitter Pinterest By Digital AIM Web Support – December 28, 2020 EDITOR’S NOTE: After a version of this story ran online Monday afternoon, Mayor Javier Joven called and requested an opportunity to clarify comments made in the story. The version below reflects those changes.Odessa’s new Mayor Javier Joven said he is looking forward to the city council’s first work session on Jan. 5 because it will help new councilmembers better understand current issues facing the city and become more familiar with governing procedures.Joven said that three of the four recently elected council members are new to council, but eager to get started. Joven, who previously served on council from 1996-99 before resigning in 2008, is making his return as mayor after emerging victorious from a Dec. 15 run-off against former District 2 Councilman Dewey Bryant. “We need to get up to speed on the issues facing the city,” Joven said. “Three of the new councilmembers (Denise Swanner, Mark Matta and Steve Thompson) are new to council.“There are several issues that the council needs to review, including water treatment, the mask mandate and current litigation. We need to discuss our priorities and if we’re spending taxpayer dollars wisely.”Joven, who works during the day, requested that work session meeting times be changed from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. so that he can participate. Joven said he has spoken about the time change with other council members who did not object. Joven did not know if the council must officially vote to change the time. Joven said he plans to ask the council to eliminate work sessions because he believes they are “redundant.”Joven said he is eager for the council to get to work. He already has several agenda items scheduled for the Jan. 12 council meeting.Joven last week said he has spoken with West Texas Dr. Richard Bartlett about how Odessa can best deal with COVID-19. He also raised the possibility of Bartlett advising the city on COVID-related matters. Joven, who acknowledged his comments had drawn public criticism, on Monday said he had only spoken with Bartlett once to inquire about COVID treatment for himself. He said he did not ask Bartlett if he would be interested in advising the council and denied saying that he had during a previous interview.“That conversation never took place,” Joven said on Monday. “That is a decision that the council would have to make. I can’t make that decision on my own.”Bartlett’s use of an inhaled steroid to treat COVID-19 patients has drawn praise from some patients who claim the treatment “saved” their lives. Many local health officials have disputed those claims, arguing that the treatment has only helped patients with very minor symptoms; very little studies have been conducted to back up Bartlett’s claim that his treatment is a “silver bullet” against COVID. Numerous health organizations have repeatedly stated there is no silver bullet in fighting COVID.Joven, Swanner and Matta – who were all elected after winning a Dec. 15 runoff – were initially scheduled to be sworn into office in January, but the three newcomers changed their minds and opted for a private ceremony on Dec. 22. Joven said one of the reasons the swearing-in date was moved up was to allow the new councilmembers a chance to participate in a workshop and become more familiar with their roles as council.He also said the three were suspicious that they were not consulted on the date of the swearing in.Thompson won his council seat during the November general election and opted to have his swearing-in ceremony conducted on video, which was broadcast live during a virtual city council meeting. Facebookcenter_img Joven eager for first council sessionBartlett not asked to be advisor, new mayor said Monday TAGS  Twitter Pinterest Facebook Previous articleHow to change the way you approach health and wellness in 2021Next articleCLook.tif Digital AIM Web Supportlast_img read more

first_img The plan, intended to replace the existing one published in 2005, aims to present “simpler and more precise definitions” of the six pandemic phases and groups them to emphasize planning and preparedness considerations. The draft also defines “post-peak” and “possible new wave” phases. The agency says it is revising its guidance to reflect scientific advances and increased practical experience in responding to human and avian influenza since 2005. Events have included the development of national antiviral stockpiles, the approval of some H5N1 vaccines, the launch of efforts to create an international H5N1 vaccine stockpile, advances in understanding of past pandemics, and more knowledge of possible control strategies, the WHO said in a July statement on the drafting process. The WHO is seeking comments on the draft and plans to publish the final version in December. Interested people can request a copy through the WHO Web site; to file comments, they must fill out a “declaration of interest” form. Comments must be submitted by Nov 3. Components of preparedness, responseThe guidance lays out five components of preparedness and response to describe actions in each phase of a pandemic: (1) planning and coordination, (2) situation monitoring and assessment, (3) communications, (4) reducing the spread of disease, and (5) ensuring continuity of healthcare provision. This list differs slightly from the list in the existing guidance: (1) planning and coordination, (2) situation monitoring and assessment, (3) prevention and containment, (4) health system response, and (5) communication. Oct 24, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) has drafted a revised pandemic influenza preparedness plan that updates the definitions of pandemic phases and puts more emphasis on the social and economic effects of a global epidemic, among other changes. The WHO plans to publish a collection of “supporting technical documents” with the final guidance, one of which will cover non–health sector preparedness. Others will cover disease-control measures, outbreak communications, surveillance, laboratory preparedness, and healthcare surge capacity. Tools such as checklists, training manuals, and a handbook for the public will also be published. Changes in the phase definitions are clearest for phases 1, 5, and 6, with lesser changes in the other phases. In the existing guidance, phase 1 is defined as a time when, though no new flu viruses have been found in humans, a flu virus that has caused human infection “may be present in animals,” but the risk of human infection is considered low. In the new draft, the phase 1 definition states simply: “No animal influenza virus known to have caused infection in humans has been identified in animals.” All of society should prepareAnother feature of the draft guidance is an emphasis on the principle that all of society, not just the health sector, should prepare for a pandemic. “In the absence of early and effective planning, societies may experience social and economic disruption, significant threats to the continuity of essential services, lower production levels, distribution difficulties and shortages,” it states. Similarly, the new phase 6 definition uses a specific geographic criterion, this one signaling intercontinental spread. Whereas the existing guidance defines this phase only as “increased and sustained transmission among the general population,” the draft defines it as featuring a virus that “has caused clusters of disease in at least two of the following geographical regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Americas, and Oceania.” Phase 3 as defined in the current guidance—the phase the WHO puts us in now—is described as “human infections with a new subtype, but no human-to-human spread, or at most rare instances of spread to a close contact.” In the draft, this changes to: “An animal or hybrid animal-human influenza virus has caused sporadic cases or small clusters of disease in people but has not resulted in human-to-human transmission sufficient to cause community level outbreaks.” Also, practical experience in pandemic planning and in responding to avian flu outbreaks in the past 3 years has led to “a greater recognition that pandemic preparedness planning requires the involvement of both health and non-health sectors,” the agency said. For example, it says, “If the electricity and water sectors are not able to maintain services, there will be grave implications for the ability of the health sector to function.” However, “It is important to stress that the phases do not represent an epidemiological prediction,” the document states. It is possible, in other words, to have early specific threats that do not lead to a pandemic; it is also possible for the first outbreaks of a pandemic to occur in such a way as to skip some intermediate phases. Many of the recommended activities within the various components are the same or similar between the existing and draft guidance, but some differ. For example, for containment efforts during phase 4, the draft advises affected countries to “engage in rapid containment operations in collaboration with WHO and the international community,” among other steps. The corresponding section in the existing document does not mention rapid containment operations, saying only that countries should “implement appropriate interventions identified during contingency planning, and consider any new guidance provided by WHO.” The guidance links the various phases to various responses by countries. However, it says the decision on when to start production of a pandemic vaccine will not be dictated by the phase: “The decision to recommend a switch to pandemic vaccine production will be made independently of phase changes. The ability to act promptly in such situations will depend entirely on access to viruses shared through the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance Network (GISN), highlighting the paramount importance of international cooperation in this area.” The guidance says that “non-health” sectors of society should plan for the likely impacts on businesses, schools, and other organizations; establish policies to be used during a pandemic; allocate resources to protect employees and customers; and educate employees. For phase 5, the draft guidance uses a more specific geographic criterion than the existing document. The existing guidance speaks of larger case clusters but ones still confined to a localized area, suggesting that the virus is not yet fully transmissible. The draft document defines phase 5 as featuring a virus that “has established human-to-human transmission in two or more non-contiguous countries in one geographical region.” A phase is not a predictionEach phase is linked to an “estimated probability of a pandemic” in the draft guidance, unlike in the current version. The probability is listed as “uncertain” for phases 1, 2, and 3, and rises for the remaining steps. The draft guidance for the first three phases incorporates the WHO’s existing recommendations on several topics: actions by individuals and households; actions at the societal level, including international travel measures; antivirals and other pharmaceuticals; and vaccines. The draft also defines three more phases after phase 6, none of which is numbered: the “post-peak period” (cases in most countries have dropped from peak levels), a “possible new wave” (flu activity is rising again), and the “post-pandemic period” (cases have returned to the normal range for seasonal flu). The vaccine section notes that the WHO currently makes no recommendations “either supporting or opposing the stockpiling of new influenza vaccines by a country for use either prior to a pandemic or during its early stages [prepandemic vaccines]. A well-matched pandemic vaccine will only be available after the pandemic influenza virus is identified.” While granting that the socioeconomic effects of a pandemic may be major, the WHO says it will measure pandemic severity on the basis of direct health impacts: “Societal and economic effects may be highly variable and dependent upon multiple factors (including the effects of the media and the underlying state of preparedness). WHO will instead assess pandemic severity based on primarily measurable effects on health.” Pandemic phasesThe draft guidance has six main pandemic phases, like the 2005 version. “However, the grouping and description of pandemic phases have been revised to be simpler, more precise and based upon verifiable phenomena rather than inference,” the document states.last_img read more

first_imgPalm Beach County residents woke up on Saturday to the smell of smoke in the air.According to meteorologists at the National Hurricane Center, the likely cause is debris burns that are happening on Grand Bahama Island, as it recovers from Hurricane Dorian.Other parts of the region, include Miami-Dade County and parts of Broward County, are also dealing with some of the storm’s aftermath.last_img

first_imgFirst Lady Sandra Granger on Tuesday encouraged a group of young people of Cuyuni-Mazaruni (Region Seven), to take Information and Communication Technology (ICT) seriously and to utilise it as a tool for developing the region.Lady Sandra Granger along with officials and participants of the trainingSome of the young people who were part of the ICT trainingShe made these statements in her address at the opening of her ICT workshop, held in the Education Boardroom at Kamarang.“You have to prepare yourself as the young people who will inherit this country to be always learning… I want you to recognise also, how serious we are about this programme… It is a time for you to learn and also to build networks among yourselves so that you can plan how you are going to move forward and you can move forward and hopefully gain some money,” the First Lady said.The First Lady cautioned the participants that although there is much excitement and anticipation about the oil and gas sector, there are several other avenues for earning.“Everybody is excited about oil and gas, but I want you to remember, not everybody [should] be going into the oil and gas industry, people who are working in the industry have to be fed, they will need services, so you could focus on agriculture… How do you set up the systems where you could move your produce from farm to airstrip, to Georgetown or wherever it is?” she said.Former Vice Chairman of Cuyuni-Mazaruni, Norma Thomas, speaking on behalf of the Regional Chairman, Gordon Bradford, commended the First Lady for holding the ICT workshop in the region.“Thank you so much. Let’s continue this way… We want such leaders that are action people, like the First Lady, who has put everything in place,” she said.A participant, Barbalee John, is thankful for the knowledge that she will get from the training.“I think it is helpful… I can teach the children how to use a computer… [and help] with typing and so, to do records…these days people want computerised work and I think in that way I can help,” she highlighted.Senior Technical Officer of the Board of Industrial Training, Rondell Jordon; Regional Vice Chairperson, Olinda Kyrenhoff-Griffith; Toshao of Kamarang, Clifford Melville and Vice Toshao, McNeil Reid also attended the ceremony.last_img read more

first_imgA chipmunk-size mammal with Popeye-like forearms and beaver-like teeth resembling an armadillo?  That’s how the discoverers are describing the fossil they named Fruitafossor, a small mammal found near Fruita, Colorado and reported in Science.1  They think it dug burrows and ate termites.  Of special interest were the open-root teeth like those of the beaver.  Lead researcher Zhe-Xi Luo told National Geographic News, “These peculiar teeth in an otherwise very primitive Jurassic mammal were puzzling, as these teeth weren’t supposed to appear until much later, when the armadillos evolved 50 million years ago, and again still later in form of the African aardvark.”    They claim this lineage was unrelated to later burrowing and gnawing mammals.  It went extinct, without leaving the instructions for their specialized teeth and claws for the latecomers, who had to figure it out all over from scratch.  MSNBC echoed this explanation without question: “The discovery shows that anteaters, armadillos and other creatures that dig up insects evolved their specialized abilities several times during the history of the world,” it regurgitates.  “This is known as convergent evolution.”1Zhe-Xi Luo and John R. Wible, “A Late Jurassic Digging Mammal and Early Mammalian Diversification,” Science, Vol 308, Issue 5718, 103-107 , 1 April 2005, [DOI: 10.1126/science.1108875].Science reporters can be such toadies.  They accept whatever a Darwin Party priest croaks like it is the message of the gods, and just dish it out sans jargon for the masses but with all the baloney left in.  Why don’t they ever grill the priesthood with hard questions like they do with politicians?  A skeleton was found in Colorado of an extinct small mammal.  That’s it.  The rest of the tale about 150 million years and convergent evolution is all made up.  Suppose students turned this trick on their teachers.  How did all three of you come up with nearly identical term papers, she asks?  Your explanation: convergent Googlution.  Good luck on your report card.    The Darwin Party gets away with this trick because nobody calls them on the carpet for it and calls it what it is: baloney.  What do you mean, these teeth “weren’t supposed to appear” for another 100 million years?  Has Tinkerbell forgotten her script?  (See 03/11/2005 commentary.)  Did you count how many zaps from her mutation wand were required for the first open-root teeth to be functional?  Gnaw.  You can bet it took a lot – not just for the tooth shape, but for the enamel, the root, the fit to the jaw, and the software to use them.  How many Fruitafossors had to die of starvation before they got it right?  Where are all the transitional forms?  Can “specialized abilities” just “evolve” without that being equivalent to a miracle?  If you can’t begin to explain the tooth, the whole tooth, and nothing but the tooth by evolution, then don’t expect us to believe this particular set of miracles happened three times by convergent evolution, whatever that is.  The rest of us are sick and tired of this charade and can’t take it any more.  Join the Society for Pulling Back the Curtain from the Wizards of Ostentation.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_img11 June 2009It’s been the subject of speculation and debate from the moment the host country was announced in May 2004. Now, with one year to go to the tournament’s kickoff, the 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa is “finally … a given, an accepted reality”.These were the words of Danny Jordaan, chief executive the 2010 Fifa World Cup Organising Committee (OC), on Thursday 11 June 2009, the day that marks one year until home team Bafana Bafana run out onto the pitch at Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium for the opening game of 2010.For Jordaan, the hard work is now starting to pay off.“So many people have worked so hard to make this dream of ours a reality,” Jordaan said in a statement on Thursday. “Now we are ready to go from planning to playing.“When we said time and time again that this World Cup is going to happen and it is going to be successful, it’s been easy for people to cast doubt, because the event hasn’t happened as yet.“But we as South Africans and Africans are undoubtedly in the process of delivering”.Although it’s been a tough road, Jordaan says he’s found inspiration in the men and women who are working tirelessly to make sure 2010 will be a success for the country and the continent of Africa.“People look at the project plans, the timelines and the key indicators to see whether this project will work and will be a success,” Jordaan said. “But for me, my conviction is derived from the hearts of the people who are actually doing the work, who are at the coalface, putting the infrastructure in place.“It’s when you look at the construction workers building the stadiums, upgrading our airports and roads, the staff working on 2010 projects at the host cities and at all levels of government, and the staff of the Organising Committee at Safa House, that you know this project will be a success.“When you look at them and you look in their eyes, you get a sense that they’ve all decided, ‘We won’t let you down, we won’t let the country down’, and that they’re going to make this work”.Jordaan also had high praise for the host cities and the government, who he says have been “exceptional” on the road to 2010.“Host cities have done extremely well, getting first into infrastructural and now operational readiness. South Africa has never experienced an event requiring co-ordination to such an extent.“And the extent to which government has organised itself – into local, provincial and national spheres in a coordinated way – is a model that future Organising Committees will surely use. And we created it”.And when the final whistle has blown and the fans depart back home, Jordaan only has one wish.“We all know the sacrifices Nelson Mandela and countless others made. When we host a successful 2010 Fifa World Cup in one year’s time – delivered by both black and white coming together – I hope Madiba will look back and that he will also come to the conclusion that all his efforts, travels and contributions were not in vain.“I hope he will be smiling”.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

first_img11 July 2012 His 555 test dismissals is a massive 139 more than the number two man on the list, Adam Gilchrist. Another way to put his achievement into perspective is that his total of 555 is more than double the number of dismissals made by the man in fifth place all time, Jeff Dujon, who tallied 270 in his career. Boucher was standing up to leg-spinner Imran Tahir when Tahir bowled Germaal Hussein with a googly. In a freak accident, a bail flew off the stumps and hit Boucher in the left eye. He immediately fell to the ground and was surrounded by his team-mates, all thoughts of celebrating the wicket forgotten. “We’re trying to respect what he’s given us and hopefully play with him in our hearts and minds through the next few years. ‘Saddened’South African captain Graeme Smith, who read the statement on behalf of Boucher, said in response: “Bouch, we have walked a long road together, and we are saddened to part under these circumstances. StatementHe released a statement, which read: “It is with sadness, and in some pain, that I make this announcement. Due to the severity of my eye injury, I will not be able to play International cricket again. “I don’t think you can replace Mark Boucher. That’s not what we’re trying to do,” Graeme Smith told ESPN Cricinfo. “I have a number of thank yous to make to people who have made significant contributions during my International career, which I will do in due course. He is number two all-time on the lists of dismissals in one-day international cricket, with 424 to his name. “He’s created a legacy for a lot of us to be a part of and to look up to. We need to respect what he’s done for our country and be proud of that.” “You leave us today with sad hearts, but also with a deep gratitude for your contributions to our team, and to us as people. A two-and-a-half hour surgery followed for the veteran Protea, during which it was established that the damage was severe. Boucher had said he wished to retire after the England series, but after being forced out of the tour he announced his retirement. InfluenceNumbers, however, vastly underplay the role and influence Boucher had on the Proteas. He was renowned for his tough-as-teak, never-say-die temperament and for being a leader in the South African team. He earned the respect of his team-mates and South Africa’s opposition.center_img “For now, I would like to thank the huge number of people, many of whom are strangers, for their heartfelt support during the past 24 hours. I am deeply touched by all the well wishes. I wish the team well in the UK, as I head home and onto a road of uncertain recovery.” He went on to play in 147 test matches, which at the time of his retirement was seventh on the all-time list, and just five games less than the South African record holder, Jacques Kallis, his closest friend. He also took part in 295 one-day internationals and 25 Twenty20 internationals. He also bowled eight balls in test cricket and took a wicket, dismissing Dwayne Bravo for 107 in the drawn fourth test against the West Indies at the Antigua Recreation Ground. “You have been more than a performer, you have been a motivator, an inspirer, an energizer … and a good friend to many,” Smith said. “For the 14 years of your International career, you have been a true Proteas’ warrior, a patriotic South African, a fighter who asks nothing and gives everything. You have been a 100 percenter for this team. As a batsmen, he scored 5 515 runs in tests, including five centuries and 35 fifties. “I had prepared for this UK tour as well, if not better than I have prepared for any tour in my career,” Boucher’s statement read. “I had never anticipated announcing my retirement now, but circumstances have dictated differently. “The fighting spirit you brought to the team remains with us. We wish you a good as possible recovery from your injury. As we bid you a farewell as an international cricketer and wish you well for your future, we keep you as a friend and respected Proteas’ warrior.” He was responsible for exactly 1 000 dismissals in those games, with all but two of them being achieved as wicketkeeper. He added a catch as a fielder and claimed a wicket as a bowler. International careerMark Boucher’s international career began in October 1997 in the second test against Pakistan, when current Proteas’ coach Gary Kirsten was still opening the batting for South Africa. South Africa’s record-setting wicketkeeper Mark Boucher announced his retirement from international cricket on Tuesday after suffering a career-ending eye injury in the opening match of the Proteas’ tour of England against Somerset. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

first_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts Tags:#Google#news#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… We have been hearing rumors about the Google Drive online storage service for years now. This mythical GDrive would give users the ability to easily store and access all of their files in the cloud. Lots of other services already offer this, of course, but few of them are at the center of our online lives as much as Google is. Yesterday, Google Sites, a service that lets users build their own websites without ever having to touch the HTML or CSS code, just launched an update to its unified ‘insert’ dialog. This dialog brings together all of your files from almost all of Google’s services and looks a lot like we would imagine the GDrive to look like.Even more interesting, as Alex Chitu at the Google Operating System blog point out, is that you can use this link to access the ‘document picker’ used in Google Sites directly – though most of the items in it are meant to be inserted somewhere else and don’t open in the standalone dialog (yet?). Internally, according to Chitu, Google calls this service OnePick, though we weren’t able to find any other references to this so far. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting frederic lardinois What makes this dialog interesting is that this is likely the first time Google has brought all of these services together and also made it easy to search for documents across all of these services. Of course, in the context of Google Sites, it makes perfect sense to see all of these assets in one dialog, but until now you couldn’t directly access Picasa’s albums from Google Sites, for example.We can’t be sure if this is really a harbinger of the Google Drive, but hopefully Google will bring this interface to other services like Gmail or even Google Wave.last_img read more

first_imgcormac foster 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… Tags:#gaming Aging ConsolesIf you have any interest in playing an XBox 360, a PS3 or a Wii, you probably already own one. The Wii U is new, but it was released half-way through November, so we won’t really know what sales are like until the December numbers come through. With new hardware on the horizon, sales are supposed to slump. It happened with the iPhone 4, and it’s happening here. Aside from must-have releases like Madden NFL 13 and Halo 4, gamers who are waiting for the next-gen system slow their software purchases, too.NPD realizes this, stating that it’s “important to compare this month’s results to November 2005, which was the last time the industry began to transition between console generations with the launch of a new platform.” When you compare those years, the industry is up 97%. NPD also acknowledged that there’s momentum building into the holidays. So in meaningful numbers, business looks doesn’t look that bad. 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…center_img The latest numbers on the video game industry aren’t encouraging. But don’t worry, you can probably ignore them.In a preview of its upcoming report, research firm NPD announced its November gaming numbers. The results? Despite strong sales for the top five titles (led by Call of Duty), the industry continues to slide. While November had “the smallest year-over-year decrease we have seen for dollar and unit sales so far this year,” it was still a drop, and the last year has seen an overall 11% ebb from the previous 12 months.According to some in the blogosphere, the sky is falling and gaming is in trouble.They’re wrong. You can now return to fighting redcoats in Assassins Creed. Here’s why. What’s Not Being CountedThe NPD numbers don’t include digital downloads, subscriptions, or any in-game purchases. So online marketplaces like Steam, F2P games like League of Legends, and subscription-based products like World of Warcraft – also an aging platform with slowing sales, but still a strong generator of ongoing revenue – are off the table. And there there are the growing number of ad-supported casual games.  According to Wanda Meloni, Founder and Senior Analyst at M2 Research, “Retail sales alone do not provide an accurate picture of the overall market. Steam’s revenues are estimated to be well over $2 billion alone. There are also publisher-specific sites such as Origin from Electronic Arts that provide consumers access to all of EA’s product line, and all the mobile, social and online games that don’t get counted in a pure retail play cumulatively make up well over $5-$10 billion annually.”It’s pretty clear that the market has outgrown the traditional “units shipped” metric. A more accurate estimate of industry health might be gaming company revenue, though privately held companies, indie developers, and a blurring definition of the term “game” make that difficult too.Maybe, as Ben Kuchera suggests, we should just stop trying to quantify it at all. As long as the games keep coming, someone’s making money.Especially the titles on NPD’s best-seller list for November:Call of Duty: Black Ops IIHalo 4Assassin’s Creed IIIJust Dance 4Madden NFL 13Skylanders GiantsNeed for Speed: Most Wanted 2012NBA 2K13WWE ’13FIFA Soccer 13Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock. 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Related Posts last_img read more