December 2022 A8 Exam Dumps

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Exam Code: A8 Practice test 2022 by team
Preparing and Managing Contracts
CIPS Preparing information search
Killexams : CIPS Preparing information search - BingNews Search results Killexams : CIPS Preparing information search - BingNews Killexams : Google: 5 Ways To Prepare For Site Closure

Are you planning to close your website for a day or longer? According to advice from Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller, here are five ways to prepare.

Mueller shares this advice in tweets while linking to relevant Google help pages.

Spoiler alert — there’s no good way to close a website temporarily. You should avoid doing it if at all possible.

However, there are things you can do to keep the negative impact to a minimum.

Mueller’s recommendations include:

  • Use HTTP 503 status code
  • Keep HTTP 503 up for no longer than a day
  • Change robots.txt file to return 200 status code
  • Prepare for consequences if the site is down longer than a day
  • Expect reduced crawling from Googlebot

More detail about these recommendations and how to deal with the negative impact of taking a site offline is explained in the following sections.

1. HTTP 503 Status Code

When taking a website offline, ensure it serves an HTTP 503 status code to web crawlers.

When web crawlers like Googlebot encounter a 503 status code, they understand the site is unavailable and may become available later.

With a 503 code, crawlers know to check on the site again rather than drop it from Google’s search index.

Mueller explains how to check for a 503 status code using Chrome:

2. Keep 503 Status Code No Longer Than A Day

Googlebot will go back to a site after initially encountering a 503, but it won’t keep coming back forever.

If Googlebot sees a 503 code day after day, it will eventually start dropping pages from the index.

Mueller says, ideally, you should keep the 503 status code for a day at most.

“Keep the 503 status – ideally – at most for a day. I know, not everything is limited to 1 day. A “permanent” 503 can result in pages being dropped from search. Be frugal with 503 times. Don’t fret the “retry after” setting.”

3. Robots.txt – 200 Status Code

While pages of a closed website should return a 503 code, the robots.txt file should return either a 200 or 404 status code.

Robots.txt shouldn’t serve a 503, Mueller says. Googlebot will assume the site is entirely blocked from crawling.

Additionally, Mueller recommends using Chrome DevTools to examine your website’s robots.txt file:

4. Prepare For Negative Effects

As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, there’s no way to take a website offline and avoid all negative consequences.

If your website will be offline for longer than a day, prepare accordingly.

Mueller says pages will likely drop out of search results regardless of the 503 status code:

“Hmm.. What if a site wants to close for >1 day? There will be negative effects no matter the option you choose (503, blocked, noindex, 404, 403) – pages are likely to drop out of the search results.”

When you “open” your website again, check to see if critical pages are still indexed. If they’re not, submit them for indexing.

5. Expect Reduced Crawling

An unavoidable side effect of a serving 503 code is reduced crawling, no matter how long it’s up for.

Mueller says on Twitter:

“A side-effect of even 1 day of 503s is that Googlebot (note: all of this is with a Google lens, I don’t know other search engines) will slow down crawling. Is it a small site? That doesn’t matter. Is it giant? The keyword is “crawl budget”.”

Reduced crawling can affect a site in several ways. The main things to be aware of are new pages may take longer to get indexed, and updates to existing pages may take longer to show in search results.

Once Googlebot sees your site is back online and you’re actively updating it, your crawl rate will likely return to normal.

Source: @JohnMu on Twitter

Featured Image: BUNDITINAY/Shutterstock

Mon, 19 Sep 2022 09:20:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Google App Lets You Remove Personal Information From Search

Google is rolling out an update to its mobile app that allows people to request the removal of personal information from search results.

This update is an expansion of an existing tool designed to make the removal request form easier to access.

Google first launched the personal information removal tool in 2020, though you’d have to go out of your way to find it as it’s buried at the bottom of a help page.

Now, Google is rolling out the ability to access the form in its mobile app. You can access the form from your user profile menu or the search results pages.

How To Remove Personal Information From Search Results With The Google App

If you come across a page in search results containing personally identifiable information, you can tap on the three-dot menu icon and bring up the “About this result” panel.

Click “Remove result,” and Google will take you to the removal request form. The form asks you to provide additional information to help Google understand why you want the page removed from its index.

You can also access the form by tapping on your profile picture and selecting “Results about you.”

Google’s information removal tool allows you to request de-indexing of pages that contain:

  • Confidential government identification (ID) numbers like U.S. Social Security Number
  • Bank account numbers
  • Credit card numbers
  • Images of handwritten signatures
  • Images of ID docs
  • Highly personal, restricted, and official records, like medical records
  • Personal contact info (physical addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses)
  • Confidential login credentials

Google will send you an email to confirm the request was received and notify you of any action taken.

Google will only deny requests when the information appears on a page that’s considered broadly helpful, such as a news article.

Information on public records, such as government websites, won’t be removed either.


The ability to request the removal of personal information using the Google app is currently rolling out in beta to Android users.

If you don’t see the option in the Google app, you can always access the request form from the corresponding help page.

Featured Image: mundissima/Shutterstock

Wed, 28 Sep 2022 08:12:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : CIPS inducts four new CIPS Fellows: Dr. Ken Barker, Derek Burt, Beverley Gooding, and Utpal Mangla

CIPS, Canada’s Association of Information Technology Professionals, has inducted four new CIPS Fellows: Dr. Ken Barker, Derek Burt, Beverley Gooding, and Utpal Mangla. Since 2005 CIPS Fellow Membership has been awarded to professionals in the Information Technology sector who have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of the IT profession or industry in Canada.

Being awarded the CIPS Fellow status is earned recognition of significant development or outstanding contribution to the advancement of the profession, computer technology, the ICT sector or the adoption of ICT. Contributions can be made at a local, provincial, national or international level. Contributions can be made within or for the profession, business or government or industry. They can be made through research, systems development, education, authorship, public policy or advocacy.

The Fellow is the highest class of membership offered by CIPS and can only be obtained with approval from the CIPS National Board of Directors. Fellow Members have agreed to uphold the highest standards of ethics and professional conduct. They also help to promote CIPS and the association’s initiatives and causes within their sphere of influence. Fellow Members use the designation “FCIPS” after their name.

CIPS is pleased to induct the following four new CIPS Fellows and thanks them for their contribution to CIPS and Canada’s IT profession and community.

Dr. Ken Barker FCIPS, I.S.P., ITCP is a professor of computer science at the University of Calgary. He holds a PhD in computing science from the University of Alberta (1990) and has many years of experience working with industrial computer systems. He has interest in system integration, distributed systems, database systems, and the privacy and security of data repositories.

He has served as the dean of the faculty of science and as head of computer science at the University of Calgary. He is the director of the University of Calgary’s Institute for Security, Privacy and Information Assurance and the president of the Alberta body of the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS Alberta). He is a Fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, a Senior Member of the IEEE, and a Life-time Member of the ACM.

Ken is currently the President of CIPS Alberta and is a past president of the Canadian Association of Computer Science (CACS/AIC) in addition to having served on the Computer Science Accreditation Council.  As the director of research laboratories at the University of Calgary and University of Manitoba he has supervised over 70 graduate students, in addition to several post-doctorates and research assistants. Dr. Barker has published over 250 peer-reviewed publications.

Lean more at Ken’s CIPS Fellows profile at:

Derek Burt, FCIPS, I.S.P., ITCP has been a CIPS member for over a decade and was a long-time volunteer with CIPS in Saskatchewan (including serving as the President of CIPS Regina and a member of the CIPS Saskatchewan Governance Transition Taskforce) before relocating to Alberta in 2013. Derek is currently serving as Acting Treasurer for CIPS Alberta and has been Chair of the CIPS National Board of Directors since 2017.

In 2010, Derek was awarded the Marilyn Harris Award for IT Professionalism. Derek graduated from a CIPS-accredited computer science program at the University of Regina and has served on numerous private and public boards.

Derek is currently an Enterprise Architect and member the IT Architecture team at WestJet Airlines, Ltd. He is an IT Architect by trade, whose primary expertise lies in Enterprise Architecture as well as Business, Solution, and Application Architecture, particularly producing IT architectures for open platforms. He has experience leading projects, teams, and organizations, has worked with a wide variety of clients from across North America, and has been a frequent public speaker.

Lean more at Derek’s CIPS Fellows profile at:

Beverley Gooding, FCIPS, I.S.P. (ret.)  has worked in the IT sector since 1970, working at SaskTel, INCO, and SGI,.and retired in 2014. Bev has been a CIPS member and I.S.P. Certification holder since 1991 and has held many positions in CIPS over the years on both CIPS Saskatchewan and CIPS National, including being on the CIPS National Board of Directors from 2001 – 2008 as a Regional Director and National Student Director.

In CIPS Regina (a former section of CIPS Saskatchewan) she was co-Chair of the Programming Committee, Regional Director, Vice-President, President, and Chair of the annual conference, Spring Seminar.

Bev became the CIPS Saskatchewan Registrar in 2005 and still holds this position on the CIPS Saskatchewan Executive Board.

Bev noted: “Personally, I am very grateful for the opportunities I have been provided while working with CIPS. I have developed and enhanced various skills which have helped me personally and with my career. e.g. project management, working with volunteer staff, interviewing, mentoring, learning nuances of dealing with government, etc.”

Lean more at Bev’s CIPS Fellows profile at:

Utpal Mangla (MBA, PEng, CMC, FCIPS, I.S.P., ITCP, PMP, ITIL, CSM, FBCS) is a General Manager responsible for Telco Industry & EDGE Clouds in IBM. Prior to that, he was the VP, Senior Partner and Global Leader of TME Industry’s Centre of Competency. In addition, Utpal led the ‘Innovation Practice’ focusing on AI, 5G EDGE, Hybrid Cloud and Blockchain technologies for clients worldwide.

Utpal has been with IBM (and PwC) since 1998. With 20+ years of experience, Utpal is a highly motivated & dynamic leader who thrives in challenging environments. He is reputed for his trust, problem solving and organizational skills. Recipient of numerous client excellence awards, he is recognized as “IBM Top Talent”.

Utpal is a regular speaker at industry forums, univ and business conferences globally, including MWC, THINK, TMForum, Dreamforce, Cannes, Fierce 5G and CEM Telecoms. With 50+ articles, Utpal contributes to industry blogs, analyst reports and emerging marketplace trends. He has been quoted in Fortune, Bloomberg, GSMA, LF and BusinessWire.

Utpal is an active contributor & member of FORBES council, AI Think Tank at Cognitive World, is current chair of ISSIP Strategy Council, member of CompTIA’s IoT Advisory leadership and was on board of ATIS. Utpal is also member of IBM’s Executive Partner Promotion committee, Talent Ecosystem & 5G EDGE Acceleration teams.

Lean more at Utpal Mangla’s CIPS Fellows profile at:

Learn more about CIPS Fellows at and view CIPS Fellow Members at:


CIPS (Canadian Information Processing Society) is a National IT Federation of 10 Provincial regulators that license IT professionals in Canada and abroad. Since 1958 CIPS has helped advance Canada’s IT profession by establishing standards, best practices, and integrity for the benefit of IT professionals and the public interest. As “Canada’s Association of Information Technology Professionals” we represent thousands of members across the country.

CIPS provides:

Learn more about CIPS at

Follow CIPS on LinkedIn:


Jonathan Elias
Chief Marketing Officer
CIPS – Canada’s Association of IT Professionals

Mon, 19 Sep 2022 07:32:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : How to prepare your agency for sale
Mark Pestronk

Mark Pestronk

Q: In your Legal Briefs column, "Gauging the best time to sell your agency," in the Sept. 12 issue, you stated that the best time to sell is when you have had one year of good financial results and you have taken the necessary steps to prepare your agency for a sale. You have already covered the financial results issues, but what about the necessary steps to prepare your agency for sale?

A: Assuming that you have had -- or by year-end will have -- a good year of profits, here are the steps you should take in order to facilitate the transaction and maximize the selling price.

Generally speaking, the larger the agency, the more you probably need to do to prepare for sale. Conversely, if you have a small agency of just a million or a few million dollars in gross sales, you can probably stop after the first three steps below.

• First and foremost, every agency owner needs to have accurate and clear income statements (also known as profit and loss statements or P&Ls) and balance sheets, collectively called "financial statements." Unless you have a large (i.e., $10 million-plus) agency, you don't need them to be prepared by a CPA.

• Second, you need to be familiar with your financial statements so that you can answer any questions from prospective buyers. Nothing is a bigger turnoff than sellers who cannot answer basic questions such as, "What is your mix of cruises versus hotel sales?" or "What are the long-term liabilities on your balance sheet?"

Fortunately, many or even most travel agencies use the Trams accounting system, which is designed specifically for the retail agency business and produces financial statements in formats that are fairly easy to understand and are well known to industry buyers.

• Third, be sure to maximize revenue by choosing preferred suppliers that pay the highest commissions. Join a host agency or operate using a branch appointment of a large agency that has at least some airline commissions as well as provider deals that provide well over 10% on cruises, tours and all-inclusives.

• Fourth, try to put your most important groups or corporate accounts under written contracts. This will make your business more attractive to buyers because accounts under contract are more likely to stay put, even if the contracts provide the accounts the right to terminate.

• Fifth, refrain from signing any new long-term contracts with vendors or landlords. If you have Sabre and sign a new five-year contract today, you are probably deterring almost all Travelport or Amadeus users from wanting to consider buying your agency.

• Sixth, trim any nonessential staff and other expenses so that you can show a high profit margin. This is often the hardest step to take, as many agencies have loyal senior staff, but they may not be contributing to your profits.

• Seventh, if you have a larger agency, train or recruit someone who could take your place in case something bad happens to you or if you want to retire soon after the sale. 

Thu, 22 Sep 2022 06:07:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Google Search adds expanded sustainability info for your online shopping, transportation, and recipe needs

Google is adding new ways for users to choose sustainable options when searching, with a suite of new information panels and eco-friendly markers placed directly in search results.

Based on an increase in search interest for terms like "electric vehicles," "solar energy," and "thrift stores," along with the escalating climate crisis, the search engine will now mark used and pre-owned products (like used vehicles and clothing), include additional specs on electric vehicles and comparisons when users shop for cars, and even provide sustainability information for food items in Google recipes.

Google has made similar updates and eco-conscious pledges in the past. In 2020, the company committed to run all of its data centers and campuses on carbon-free energy by 2030. In 2021, the search engine unveiled its first iteration of the new sustainability tools, including information on carbon impact and sustainability initiatives while users book flights and hotels. The site also added additional context to user searches for "climate change," which link to authoritative climate and climate news sources.

"People come to search during the critical moments that matter," said Hema Budaraju, senior director of product for Health & Search Social Impact at Google, in a call with Mashable. "Climate change is the defining call of our generation, and it requires all of us to take actions, big and small. Many people might not know where to start, and people are coming to Google for answers."

Eco-friendly vehicles and routes

For those in the electric vehicle market, Google Search results will display expanded information menus featuring estimated fuel costs, range and charging speeds, and even public charging stations near you that are compatible with each electric vehicle.

Searchers in the U.S. will also see information on federal tax incentives for electric vehicles.

Find fuel and electricity costs, emissions estimates, and electric charging stations near you when searching for a new vehicle through Google. Credit: Google

In addition to search results, Google is prioritizing environmentally-friendly options for all vehicle-related needs.

In March 2021, Google unveiled its eco-friendly route option for Maps users, which suggests "cleaner" or more fuel-efficient routes using insights from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the European Environment Agency. The option considers road conditions, topography, and traffic and congestion to lower a driver's carbon emissions along their route. When the eco-friendly route is the fastest, Maps defaults to that option, but when it's not, a user gets to see the potential environmental impact and weigh their options.

According to Google, users have been making the more fuel-efficient choice. The company estimates that having the environmentally friendly choice available reduced vehicle carbon emissions by half a million metric tons since its launch, or the equivalent of taking 100,000 fuel-based cars off the road. The company explained to Mashable that this data only includes users that intentionally chose eco-friendly routes when there was another speedier option.

Building on this, Google Maps users can now choose their engine type when searching for routes to customize an even cleaner route to their destination. These tools are also being made available to companies, like delivery or ride-sharing services, for use in their own apps.

Sustainable clothes shopping

Google Search results will highlight pre-owned or used clothing options when people shop from the Google homepage, which the company says will help empower users to reduce the impact of overconsumption, textile waste, and global carbon emissions created by the fashion industry.

When scrolling through shopping listings, users can spot a small green leaf next to pre-owned resale clothing options.

Environmentally conscious food choices

When users search for certain food recipes, like "vegan curry," “bean recipes,” or “broccoli chicken,” Google Search will also show the environmental impact of various food choices, such as the effect of different protein choices (read: the global impact of that food items' production and transportation) on greenhouse gas emissions.

When searching for recipes, users can find information about more sustainable food choices. Credit: Google

While responsibility for an unsustainable food (and clothing and vehicle) market certainly doesn't lie with individual consumers, the new Google tools put information in the hands of users who want to know more about the ways they consume, as well as the small choices one can make for more eco-conscious consumption.

The new features will roll out to U.S. users first, in English, followed by a larger global expansion in multiple languages.

Wed, 28 Sep 2022 07:18:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Preparing Your Startup for the Next M&A Wave

Though these alarming headlines seem all too familiar today, each originally ran from 2007-2010: The Great Recession dramatically slowed venture capital fundraising for many companies, just as recessionary fears are curtailing venture markets today. According to PitchBook, VC investments were down 30% in Q2 2022 compared with 2021, and IPOs hit a 50-year low. While a few iconic brands including Uber, Airbnb, and Square emerged successfully from the last downturn, most venture-backed companies struggled during this period, and many ended up pursuing M&A strategies. 

When deal-making slows, VC dollars typically favor the perceived market leader, starving other venture-backed businesses in the same space of capital. While some adapt and survive, others end up retreating and creating M&A opportunity down the line for those left standing. The process starts slowly, but as the chart below shows, venture-backed M&A plummeted during the recessionary period, when venture investing also slowed. During the early recovery, however, VC-backed M&A rebounded and skyrocketed: Annual deal values eclipsed $30 billion in 2010, holding steady before ballooning above $70 billion in 2014.

Startup Acquisitions Recovered Quickly After The Global Financial Crisis.<br /> Venture-backed acquisitions dipped in 2009 but recovered in 2010, surpassing pre-crisis levels.<br /> This chart shows the number of Venture-backed companies acquired with disclosed value, and their values for the years 2008, 2009, and 2010. In 2008, there were 175 acquisitions valued at 17.9 billion dollars. There were 128 acquisitions, valued at 13.1 billion dollars, in 2009. And 232 acquisitions, valued at 35.7 billion dollars, in 2010.<br /> Source: PitchBook.<br />

See more HBR charts in Data & Visuals

Regardless of whether you plan to seek a buyer or take advantage of shifting market dynamics to make a strategic acquisition, it’s important to note that M&A processes typically require 12-18 months from start to finish. Today’s abrupt slowdown in VC investment suggests a post-recession-type M&A wave is on the horizon. Startup founders can start positioning themselves now to be acquired in that wave. Unfortunately, many acquisitions occurring between now and then will be distressed. How can you avoid this unnecessary fate?    

To get a jump on the process, it’s important to know how you’ll be evaluated by a potential buyer. Most will have a ranked scorecard with specific criteria, such as deal terms, strategic fit, competitive gaps filled, cultural compatibility, potential upside, and finally “lift” – how hard will the purchase and subsequent integration be?   

The last category is most actionable. If M&A is likely in your intermediate future, your task today is to reduce a prospective buyer’s lift and increase your “acquirability.” To accomplish this, entrepreneurs should answer the following three questions in preparation for buyers to come knocking: 

How scalable are my systems?

You and your potential acquirer may have different definitions of “scalable systems.” From a buyer’s perspective, scalable means they could grow without immediately requiring a substantial investment in infrastructure, even if all they did post-acquisition was direct their pipeline and relationships to your sales operations. While the buyer may eventually integrate your back-office systems, IT stack, and supply and logistics networks, they will first ask whether they could take a hands-off approach and still get value. As an active board member across several companies, I often advise against acquisitions that require additional investments to actualize value. The more straightforward value actualization is, the lighter the lift.  

In addition to offering systems with excess growth capacity, scalability also implies audited financials and cleaned-up messes. If you’ve been wavering on closing an underperforming division or settling nuisance lawsuits, do that now. And get dissident shareholders — the ones who demand management’s time in excess of their genuine strategic or financial contribution — off the cap table. It’s a delicate message to convey but try framing it as, “It seems the investment no longer meets your needs. When current and new secondary sale opportunities arise, would you like me to contact you?” It’s in the interest of all parties to engage in and explore these conversations early.  

How can I insert my company in M&A deal flow?  

Getting acquired by the right partner is challenging enough, but if the market doesn’t know both your company and its story, or worse, if the market has the wrong story, a successful M&A process is virtually impossible. Thankfully, there are two tangible things you can do to Strengthen your position. 

If you’ve avoided the process until now, it’s time to meet and get to know the three to five investment bankers who know your space cold, and participate in the active transaction flow in your industry. Introductory breakfasts and site visits to your office are a good start, followed by regular 60- to 90-minute check-in conversations. Beyond educating potential advisors, these discussions often yield valuable industry insights.  

When you look to hire an advisor, they will need to understand your company, your team and its strengths, and what you’re attempting to accomplish so they’re able to accurately articulate your story to a potential acquirer. This is an exercise in setting your plot line, and while you may never actually activate all these relationships, what you share with a potential financial advisor will likely inform the process later on. Who knows — they may be advising your perfect buyer. This is your opportunity to establish the narrative. 

A second non-traditional way to enter the M&A stream is through strategic board enhancements. People join boards for many reasons, but one of them is to leverage their networks. Adding board members who operate in adjacent categories or who have recently retired from larger players in your industry is one of the least expensive ways to expand your profile, gaining access to potential business or strategic partners.  

Is my company considered a good business partner?

Buyers are busy, often evaluating several opportunities at once. They’re also humans, and will naturally focus on options that appear most prepared to complete transactions. In establishing your company as a good business partner, ask yourself these questions: 

  • Are your operating plans current?
  • Is there a detailed version that encompasses the current fiscal year and another higher-level plan for the next 3-5 years?
  • Do these include detailed organizational design and hiring strategies?
  • Is your IP fully scheduled and in digital form?

Best practices entail maintaining a consistently refreshed virtual data room even if the business is not actively pursuing M&A. It’s well worth considering how quickly your company could offer this deal-essential information without stressing the organization, or risking underperforming in the middle of acquisition negotiations.

The best CEOs I know keep three active lists on their desks. The first is a list of top executive talent they’d like to hire — a course for another day. The second is a list of potential acquisition targets, businesses that for the right price and at the right time would increase their long-term value. The third is shorter: companies that could be their right potential acquirer.  

Knowing who belongs on your list, and how to get on another company’s list, could make the difference between finding the right partner and settling for a lesser one. When acquisition waves start, they move very quickly. One of the most unsettling feelings is watching weaker competitors get stronger in a downturn by getting acquired by outsized enterprises simply because they were better prepared.  

Many of the actions that make your company a desirable acquisition target will also enable you to better weather economic uncertainty. Selling during a period of consolidation isn’t necessarily inevitable, so the goal is to create the option, enabling you to efficiently decide whether that’s the right outcome. The proactive steps above will ensure that the decision to sell is your choice — not a necessity. 

Tue, 27 Sep 2022 12:00:00 -0500 text/html
Killexams : Tips on preparing your garden for winter

Fall will soon be upon us, and with it, a winding down of our gardening season. How can we best use fall’s pleasant working conditions to make our gardens attractive over the winter and to plan for a vibrant next season?

The guidelines for vegetable gardens differ a bit from landscape beds. Vegetables tend to develop various fungal, bacterial or insect diseases over the season, and some of these can over winter in debris left on the ground.

It’s usually best to clean off the soil surface to remove spent plants, dropped fruits and other debris. Most of those materials can be composted, but if you’re dealing with a particularly problematic disease or insect issue, you may want to cook the debris in direct sun in a black plastic bag for a few days before trashing it.

For landscape beds, particularly mulched ones, disease issues are less problematic. Annual plants may be removed and composted as they finish their season. Perennials can be tidied to remove spent blossoms or dead tissue.

How much to cut back perennials and shrubs is an aesthetic issue but also an ecological one. We now understand how important spent plant material is to many of our insect and bird friends, who use hollow stems and seeds to help them over winter. And many dried seed heads are quite attractive in the winter landscape.

A Master Gardener volunteer helps to clean up the Demonstration gardens at the Berks County Agricultural Center. Fall is the time to get things in order for next year's growing season. (Courtesy of Kim Trusty)
A Master Gardener volunteer helps to clean up the Demonstration gardens at the Berks County Agricultural Center. Fall is the time to get things in order for next year’s growing season. (Courtesy of Kim Trusty)

If leaving dried plant material offends you or your neighbors, try removing it in your more public space, usually the front curb view, and leave it in backyard areas where you can enjoy winter wildlife activity out of the public eye.

Fall is also a good time to check your mulch. By this stage in the season, it is often either dried to a crust on top or is compacted, or both. Use a long-handled hand cultivator to gently loosen and fluff the compost. This will allow fall rains to penetrate to the roots of your trees and plants. You may find that you have more mulch in place than it first appeared, so always fluff before adding new mulch on top of old.

As an alternative to commercial mulches, consider shredded, dry leaves. They often are free, they don’t compact or crust over, and they are friendly to beneficial insects whose eggs and larvae develop in the loose duff of such a covering. Over time they will disintegrate and enrich the soil.

And what about the falling leaves? These are a composter’s delight, as they can be raked for use in the fall compost bin, or even bagged and stored toward next spring’s compost bins.

If grass is still green and growing as the leaves fall, attach a grass catcher to your mower and mow right over grass and leaves together. This produces a wonderful, pre-mixed ratio of browns to greens that’s ideal for composting.

Do not feel that you must remove every fallen leaf. For the health of your lawn, you’ll want to pick up any wet mats of shingled leaves that can smother grass, but a light covering of leaves can simply be left to decompose and add to the health of your soil and turf.

Fall is soil-testing season. A soil analysis done now will alert you to which nutrients are in low supply, and how to remediate for best plant health next season. Adding amendments now will provide them time to incorporate before next gardening season.

Penn State soil test kits are available for $9 at the Berks County Extension Office, or online at The advantage of PSU’s analytical results is that they include a customized recipe for how to amend your soil to bring it into alignment for the needs of your particular plants.

Fall is a perfect time to reflect on your gardening season and make sketches and notes for next season. Knowing what you planted in May is helpful, but knowing what survived and what was worth the time and effort can be a different tale.

If certain plants need to be divided or moved, this is a great time to do it, as they will not be stressed by extreme heat, and with care, can settle into a new spot before winter.

It’s a good time to note chores. Dealing with the abundance of crabgrass this season might prompt a note for the March calendar to put down a pre-emergent crabgrass preventer, a chore that could well be forgotten by springtime.

Elizabeth Finlay is a Berks County Master Gardener volunteer.

Wed, 21 Sep 2022 21:29:00 -0500 Elizabeth Finlay en-US text/html
Killexams : How to prepare for a hurricane

Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. In the Pacific Ocean, it starts May 15.

Preparing for a hurricane or tropical storm and gathering your resources before one hits is critical to ensuring your safety and protecting your property.

Here is a hurricane preparedness list and some tips to help you get ready for hurricane season.

Determine the risk to your area


Sample hurricane evacuation zone map for the Tampa, Florida area. All coastal communicates have similar maps.

First things first, determine what type of risks you face in the event of a landfalling hurricane or tropical storm.

The wind is the first thing that comes to mind for most when they think about hurricanes, and rightly so. These storms can produce some terribly damaging wind. However, one of the biggest threats from any tropical system is flooding. That flooding can come in two forms — storm surge along the coast or inland flooding from heavy rain. Tropical systems can also produce tornadoes as they come ashore and rip currents along beaches.

With that list in mind, determine what types of problems you might face during a hurricane or tropical storm. In most cases, it will be more than one or maybe even all of them. Knowing this helps you develop a hurricane preparation plan.

Create a hurricane evacuation plan


File: Southbound lanes of I-95 near the Georgia-South Carolina border are empty as northbound lanes are packed as people evacuate ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Irma September 8, 2017 in Savannah, Georgia. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

If you live in a coastal region, you’re most likely in some type of evacuation zone. Before a hurricane or tropical storm hits, you should determine whether you live in an evacuation zone. Some places handle evacuations by ZIP codes, while others handle it in predetermined zones. Your local or state emergency management office has maps available to help you determine whether you live in an evacuation zone.

Once you figure out your evacuation zone, start figuring out where you would go for shelter. Maybe it’s a relative who lives outside the area. Maybe it’s a hotel in a safe place. Maybe it’s a hurricane shelter opened by local officials.


Follow all the evacuation instructions that you’re being given by local officials. Most evacuees will be required to use a specific evacuation route to get out of town. Familiarize yourself with the route. Don’t get on the roads unless you’re told to do so. Unnecessary traffic slows down the evacuation process.

Don’t forget about your pets when developing your evacuation plan. Shelters and hotels may not allow animals. Pet hotels in the area may not be open in the event of a storm.

One last thing, make sure you bring important documents such as insurance paperwork with you.

Assemble your hurricane supply kit

You’ll need to assemble emergency supplies that you can use during and after a hurricane before one is bearing down on your area. People will flock to stores upon word of an approaching storm, so getting those supplies ahead of the rush will save you critical time and a lot of stress.

Here are some things the National Weather Service says you should include in your kit:

  • Enough non-perishable food, water and medicine to last each person in your family a minimum of three days.
  • Extra cash.
  • A battery-powered radio.
  • Flashlights.
  • A portable crank or solar-powered USB charger for your cell phones.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency also has a list of emergency items you should include.

Check your insurance policy's hurricane coverage

The last thing you want to deal with during and after a storm is the insurance company. provide your agent a call now and make sure that your coverage is adequate to cover the risks that you may face during a hurricane or tropical storm.


It’s worth noting that standard home insurance policies do not cover flooding from a storm. If your area is prone to flooding, you should consider getting flood insurance. There’s a 30-day waiting period for most flood insurance policies, so sooner is better. You can get more information about the National Flood Insurance Program at

Prepare your home for a hurricane


File: Lindsay Rogerson takes his share of plywood after waiting in line 6 hours in preparation for Hurricane Frances at a Home Depot on September 1, 2004 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jeffrey Langlois/Getty Images)

Before a storm hits, prepare your home for the storm.

Install storm shutters that will be helpful in providing protection from the wind for your windows and doors. According to the National Weather Service, a garage door is the most vulnerable part of a home. Make sure it can stand up to the wind.

Trim trees to prevent branches from falling into your house. Also, secure any loose items like patio furniture or garbage cans so that they don’t become projectiles during the storm.


Wed, 21 Sep 2022 04:10:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Preparing for ‘the conversation’

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Mon, 26 Sep 2022 19:01:00 -0500 en text/html,29952
Killexams : Want An Academic Job? Start Preparing Your DEI Statement.

In many American universities, prospective professors are now expected to include lengthy diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) statements in their job applications. Eschewing academic freedom concerns, these schools are requiring applicants to state their allegiance to a specific political perspective, to the point even of penalizing people who express their affinity for diversity in the "wrong" ways.

Last week Tablet magazine published an overview of the phenomenon, written by John Sailer of the National Association of Scholars. "It's conceivable that job candidates could list their plans to contribute to diversity and inclusion without indicating a commitment to any particular political or social viewpoint, but the most commonly available rubrics for assessing diversity statements demonstrate a clear ideological gloss," he reported. Berkeley's rubric, for example, gives a low score to any applicant who "states the intention to ignore the varying backgrounds of their students and 'treat everyone the same.'"

A 2021 American Enterprise Institute survey found that 19 percent of academic faculty jobs require diversity statements. Another survey, this one from the American Association of University Professors, found that 21.5 percent of universities require the statements for tenure evaluations; nearly 40 percent of institutions reported that they are considering the idea. Of the large institutions surveyed, only 18.8 percent neither have nor are considering such a requirement.

Many schools' guidelines for mandatory diversity statements are thinly veiled ideological litmus tests. For example, the Board of Governors of the California Community College system, which Sailer notes is "the nation's largest system of higher education, governing 116 colleges that together enroll 1.8 million students," recently approved changes to its employee evaluation policies. Among its criteria: a "race-conscious pedagogy and/or curriculum."

This poses a clear threat to academic freedom. Mandatory diversity statements, particularly when specific versions of "diversity" are explicitly preferred, can have a chilling effect on faculty who disagree with the approach. And when institutions, such as the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, require instructors to write about their specific actions to bolster DEI efforts, they raise of the spectre of punishing faculty who aren't interested in becoming diversity activists.

Faculty DEI statements end up "shifting the focus away from research and teaching explicitly to making it about a cause," says Samuel Abrams, a political scientist at Sarah Lawrence College. "It takes a lot of the decision-making process away from faculty and into the hands of administrators. So suddenly academic freedom is under threat and expertise is under threat."

Mon, 19 Sep 2022 03:01:00 -0500 Emma Camp en-US text/html

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