Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Avalanche Awareness

Avalanche Skier POV Helmet Cam Burial & Rescue in Haines, Alaska

In this video, a skier with a helmet cam on gets caught in a huge avalanche, getting buried for four and a half minutes and then getting dug out....oh dear!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Objects of Desire

Lmac Touch

Everyone is going green and ergonomically these days. It’s the new black. Off course Apple has to follow. That’s why rumors are out that they have a new concept Macbook, the Lmac Touch. It’s ergonomically designed to be flexible for comfort of the user, it’s got a touch screen and an adjustable screen and it’s totally green, which I already told you is the new black! So if you want to be really sophisticated, go green, go Lmac Touch.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tannenbaum & Schmidt’s Leadership Continuum

One criticism of early work on leadership styles is that they were shown in strictly black and white terms. The autocratic and democratic styles or task-oriented and relationship-oriented styles which they described are extremes, whereas in practice the behaviour of perhaps most leaders will be somewhere between the two. Contingency theorists Robert Tannenbaum and Warren Schmidt (1958, 1973) proposed that leadership behaviour varies along a continuum and that as one moves away from the autocratic extreme the amount of follower participation and involvement in decision taking increases.

This diagram makes it clear that at the left of the continuum the leader enjoys total, autocratic leadership. This is usually a very safe style but can be stifling for the followers. At the other end of the continuum, the leader has abdicated decision-making processes and so allowing followers to make their own decisions and mistakes (Barnes, 2002). There is a time and a place for this style of leadership as much as there is for autocratic decision-making. However, it could quickly lead to unsafe or out of control situations (Ogilvie, 2005). It may seem as if the ideal is a position somewhere between the two extremes, but the truth is that the amount of decision-making a good leader displays can swing constantly between them (Priest & Gass, 2005).

Tannenbaum and Schmidt (1958) also identified three forces that led to the leader's action: the forces in the situation, the forces in the follower and forces in the leader. This recognises that the leader's style is highly variable, and even such distant events as a family argument can lead to the displacement activity of a more aggressive stance in an argument than usual. Norman Maier (1963) noted that leaders not only consider the likelihood of a follower accepting a suggestion, but also the overall importance of getting things done. Thus in critical situations, a leader is more likely to be directive in style simply because of the implications of failure (Bass & Bass, 2008).

Friday, September 18, 2009

Objects of Desire


Sure, now you’re laughing. But in 20 years time – when there’s no more oil and the polar caps have melted and wild cats are roaming the streets – you’ll be happy that Apple invented the iProtection. The iProtection is a pocket-sized security system which you can carry around with you always. Not that you’re afraid, just because you have street smarts. And why wouldn’t you carry a flashlight/tazer/alarm thingy with you when it looks as cool as this?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Styles of Leadership

Research into behavioural leadership categories highlighted the importance of leadership style. In order to get the best from their followers, leaders need to be able to motivate, encourage high morale, and create a spirit of involvement, co-operation, and a willingness to work. These aspects are arguably the components of an individual’s leadership style, which give rise to another heading under which to investigate leadership behaviour (Hughes et al., 2008).

Laurie Mullins (2005) describes leadership style as ‘…the way in which the functions of leadership are carried out and, the way in which the leader typically behaves towards the group’ (p. 267). The research into leadership style is based upon the belief that followers are more likely to work effectively for a leader who adopts a certain style of leadership. Traditionally leadership style has been classified into groupings such as, autocratic, democratic, unitary, bureaucratic, charismatic, consultative, participative, and paternalistic. However, leadership style towards subordinates and the use of power can be classified within three different, encompassing headings (Lewin, Lippitt, & White, 1938).

• The autocratic style: The focus of power is with the leader and all communication is likely to be downward as the leader instructs his or her followers to carry out their duties. The leader alone exercises decision-making and determines procedures and plans for the achievement of goals and tasks (Barnes, 2002).

• The democratic style: The focus of power is with the group as a whole, there is also greater interaction within the group. There is two-way communication between the leader and the work group resulting in the sharing of decision-making, planning and procedure, the leader is viewed as part of the team (Priest & Gass, 2005).

• Laissez-faire leadership style: Often known as ‘leave it alone leadership’. The focus of power is with the group, the leader allows the group to work on their own. The group is allowed freedom of action and is left to make decisions that rightly belong to the manager. As consequence the work group can lose its sense of direction (Surridge, 2000).

Friday, September 11, 2009

Objects of Desire

Apple Tri Book

It appears that our friends from Apple have leaked some drool-worthy information on the net with their latest concept, the triBook. Are you impressed yet? These side screens are perfectly sandwiched in between the main display and the keyboard. Every time a user wants to use the triBook, you just have to unfold it like opening a cardboard box. A user also has the option of combining all three screens for a landscape display of about 21 inches. The triBook is just a concept, but who knows what the future will bring.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Single Pitch Award Training

Course provider: Ross Ashe-Creggan

Staff: Mark Tozer

Locations: London Crag, The Beacon Climbing Centre, Upper Tier of Tremadog

Weather: Slight rain & overcast, sunshine & strong winds

Get in touch should you wish to do your Single Pitch Award

Further information can be obtained by visiting the Mountain Leader Training UK website

Friday, September 04, 2009

Objects of Desire

iPhone Nano

Imagine an iPhone 3GS and an iPod Nano G4 having a baby…tadaa… you’ll get an iPhone Nano. We like it a lot! It has all the same features as an iPhone, but it’s smaller and more compact than an iPhone. On the other hand we can’t ignore that this maybe is something you would give to your girlfriend rather than buy yourself. Real men have to have bulkier equipment so for now we can stick to the iPhone 3GS. When it’s time to switch from aftershave to moisturizer, it’s time for the iPhone Nano.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Climbing Wall Award Assessment

The purpose of the assessment is to make certain that all candidates for the award have a sound understanding of both the environment in which they will operate and climbing in general.

The intention is to create an atmosphere whereby candidates can show their best in terms of personal abilities, knowledge and supervising skills.

I am happy to report that all the candidates, who where from the Outdoor Instructor Academy in Kidderminster, were successful on this occasion

Course provider: Andy Newton

Staff: Mark Tozer

Locations: The Beacon Climbing Centre

Weather: Dry :o)

Get in touch should you wish to do your Climbing Wall Award

Further information can be obtained by visiting the Mountain Leader Training UK website