Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Alfa Fellowships for Young Professionals interested in Russia

RantWoman dangles this in front of her various technology / public affairs groupies. The posting intrigues RantWoman but RantWoman gets to put the opportunity in front of someone younger.

Job type:
Moscow, Russia
Program Description:
The Alfa Fellowship Program is a high-level professional development initiative placing up to 15 American and British citizens per year, and, as of this year, three (3) German citizens, in work assignments at leading organizations in Russia in the fields of business, economics, journalism, law, public policy and related areas. Key goals of the Alfa Fellowship Program are expanding networks of American, British, and German professionals, developing greater intercultural understanding, and advancing knowledge of Russian affairs.
The Alfa Fellowship Program begins with language training in the U.S., U.K., or Germany followed by a language course in Moscow starting in mid-June. Throughout the su mmer, Alfa Fellows attend a seminar program with key public and private sector officials to discuss current issues facing Russia. Fellows then work at prominent organizations in Russia, including private companies, media outlets, think tanks, and foundations.
Eligible candidates must have a graduate degree and professional experience in business, economics, journalism, law, public policy, or a related field. Russian language proficiency is not required, but is preferred. The Fellowship includes a generous monthly stipend, language training, program-related travel costs, housing and insurance.
Eligibility Requirements:
  • U.S., U.K. or German citizen between the ages of 25 and 35
  • Graduate degree and professional experience in business, economics, journalism, law, government or public policy. Candidates without a graduate degree must demonstrate extensive and equivalent professional experience in their field.
Desired Qualifications:
  • Outstanding professional achievement and academic qualifications
  • Active involvement in community or public service
  • Evidence of leadership potential
  • Russian language experience is preferred, however not required, at the time of application. Applicants proficient in another second language may be considered.
Application Information:
The application deadline for the 2015-2016 program year is December 1, 2014. To access the online application, please visit: www.alfafellowship.org/application-process. Please DO NOT apply through Indeed.

OJSC Alfa-Bank is incorporated, focused and based in Russia, and is not affiliated with U.S.-based Alfa Insurance.


Monday, October 20, 2014

The Lentils, The Leaf, The Legroom--with a side of prayer and Climate Change for garnish

This is a post about a RantWoman road trip to a lovely site outside Ellensburg. RantWoman promises yummy food and entertaining yarns. First RantWoman needs to detour and digress about climate change, transportation and telecommunication networks, and other face hit palm topics. Readers who want just to stop here are invited to look on the internet for a recipe for Lentils provencal with roasted parsnips, bouquet garnis with herbs from a garden, and sundry other upscale moments.


RantWoman’s faith community does not explicitly REQUIRE her to take more or less regular retreats out of cellphone range, but the most recent such foray reflects may interesting tangles from the life of one Washingtonian concerned about climate change.


Concerned about climate change, as in the topic is big and can sound depressing and how is Faith Community called to action about climate change?

 --Turns out faith community has a statement calling for action signed by umpteen different national bodies connected with faith community. There is clear call for action but the connection between call to action and specific policy choices is kind of fuzzy.

-Also turns out members of said faith community sometimes talk with members of other faith communities who also are concerned but not necessarily connected or thoughtfully organized.

--Oh, and faith community is also all about respectful dialogue both with the concerned and them um unconcerned or even, dare RantWoman say, obstructionist. Well first RantWoman would say obstructionist; then she would in ahle deeply of recent reading from John Woolman about what one author calls “soft persuasion,” attend more deeply to the precepts above and try again.

Doncerned about climate change as in having taken note of initiatives from the office of Gov. Jay Inslee and definitely being in agreement about the need to move forward even if not automatically in agreement about every thread of his office statements. Consider:

Concerned about climate change, as in involved professionally in a number of roles implementing public policies that already work to develop sustainable communities.

--RantWoman counts here a number of people in her faith community whose professions she knows of.

--RantWoman particularly counts one person who is not even required to admit in public that he knows RantWoman: a time or two RantWoman has showed up at some public input opportunity and offered opinions that rather directly antagonize a public official this person needs to work with. Ask RantWoman in person for further comment about bridge tolling if more detail is needed.


Concerned about climate change, as in some people concerned about climate change do not even like taking road trips to meet with other people concerned about climate change because of carbon footprint. RantWoman admires a couple such people because they are willing to work really hard about bicycling and pedestrian issues in urban areas but wonders whether other conversations would be enriched if there were ways for everyone to be in the same room either physically or electronically, although RantWoman does not recommend skype over Wifi as an electronic meeting venue.


Concerned about climate change as in willing to look at  http://350seattle.org/ and see what actions suggest themselves from materials there.


Concerned about climate change as in WA is a big beautiful state with a backlog of road maintenance needs that it most likely will try to finance with gas taxes.


--Sounds great, right except there is SOME movement away from carbon-fueled vehicles toward electric cars. RantWoman thinks it’s only sporting that electric vehicles also contribute to the road network they too will use; RantWoman has no idea which policy levers to press about this concern.


--RantWoman does know, WA is one of the most trade-dependent states in the nation. The state needs a road and rail network also capable of supporting this trade, both in the sparsely populated east where the crops mostly grow and in the west where the ports are. Lentils and cherries and apples and wheat and potatoes and hops are wonderful, and WA produces way more than its own residents can consume and it’s nice to be able to market these products.


--How can the imperatives of action about climate change help the different parts of the state talk better about how to create road networks we all do need?


Concerned about climate change as in highly preoccupied by concern that there will be buses and public transportation for people who need it, in parts of the state where there really is not room to build more roads, there are lots of people who cannot or should not be driving, and a sustainable urban environment means buses and bridges and tunnels all shared by the vehicles and the passengers they move, preferably with the costs of this infrastructure shared in ways that also reduce carbon emissions.  


Concerned about climate change as in spectacularly alarmed about the impact on WA infrastructure and native American communities of coal and oil shipments through our state from the places inland where these natural resources originate to ports where the fuel is shipped to markets that will just burn it and blow the pollutants back across the Pacific in our direction. RantWoman does not want to minimize the concerns about fuel shipments through our state; RantWoman does note that concern about climate change should motivate action about many other topics as well.


But here, the road trip:


Lately RantWoman has been going to this event to take minutes for meetings related to faith community’s lobbying arm. RantWoman spends a lot of time thinking about transportation, whether or not there will be a bus when she needs one, how WA finances transportation, and other views from the RantWoman window on climate change concerns.


RantWoman always hitchhikes to such events. That is, RantWoman uses the phone and thumbs a ride from someone else also going. This time RantWoman was on the planning committee and needed to arrive early. RantWoman fretted briefly and then phoned….Monsieur Chef. Monsieur Chef also needed to arrive early. He is the hardy soul who volunteered to brew soup for the welcoming meal. Monsieur Chef is a good, enthusiastic cook with upscale tastes and an expansive kitchen repertoire.


Cue the lentils, complete with a few Fun Lentil Facts:


RantWoman rang up Monsieur Chef about a ride. RantWoman had another idea as well: RantWoman currently has something of a surfeit of lentils. Many of RantWoman’s neighbors receive food from food bank food distribution. Food bank food tends to run high in single ingredients for weeks at a time. Lately, lentils have been a consistent item. Unfortunately for this WA state crop, lentils are not necessarily popular, except for nuts like RantWoman.


Not necessarily popular, as in packages of lentils left forlornly in the lobby late into the night after all the moms with kids have had their choice of others’ unwanted leftovers. Free is never a terrible price, except if one is a farmer. RantWoman enjoys being resourceful in culinary dimensions. But reality recently set in: RantWoman has enough lentils to get her through a much harder winter that is likely in Seattle. Monsieur Chef owed the diners one vegetarian and one non-vegetarian soup. He was delighted with the lentil option and vowed to see what the internet had to offer in the way of recipes.


Next came the departure conversation. Reality turned out other than the initial conversation except for the key point: Monsieur Chef, aka Monsieur Chauffeur is currently leasing a Nissan Leaf. The weekend destination is just out of Leaf range and not in a direction with recharging stations. Luckily, the Leaf Lease comes with 20 days / year of option to swap for a gas-powered vehicle; swapping would be needed but the dealership is on the way to the destination.


Monsieur Chef assembled knives, pots, bouquet garnis herbs harvested straight from his garden, some kind of Morroccan spice blend, carrots, parsnips, onions, sundry other soup ingredients. This took him longer than anticipated so the vehicle transfer wound up a little hurried. Hurried but worthwhile! is Tall. RantWoman has been known to choose her hitchhiking options based on driver height and anticipation of legroom never mind size of vehicle and carbon footprint concerns. This time RantWoman scored: RantWoman apologizes for not even registering the model of gas-powered vehicle. What RantWoman cares about: Luck of the draw meant A LOT of legroom.


A lot of legroom is awesome in its own right; a lot of legroom also helped RantWoman calm down. Departure was LATE. RantWoman had been ready an hour before Monsieur chauffeur arrived. RantWoman was fretting about underdone lentils and letting down the hungry gathering crowd.


At moments like this RantWoman’s prayer life takes on fairly rigid parameters: Oh God, Dear Lord… bless these travelers and this vehicle and please, please  may people’s interactions with time and space align to get done all that is needed.”



The lentils got cooked.


The hungry got fed, or at least the ones attending this event. People were grateful.


The weather was glorious. Clear skies. Opportunity to “sunbathe” by holding activities outdoors. An early-morning walk through wet grass in sunshine with certainty that one’s socks would be dry by midday.


No wildfires anywhere near and no smoke either.


The weekend was rich in fellowship and spiritual ferment. And the road trip home served up another fascinating theme in the WA economy: the internet / telecommunications revolution. RantWoman could season with more chatter about Bluetooth and a GPS with visual output: this kind of GPS emits fewer noises of distress than the Minerva McGonigle versions RantWoman has met. These latter become frantic out loud. Riding with Monsieur Chauffeur, RantWoman a time or two realized the Monsieur Chauffeur was looking more at the GPS than at the road.  Did RantWoman already say she has enough to worry about and will put no eyes on the road driving on her might get around to hyper ventilating about someday list.



Then came time to LEAVE: for piquant details, see the last item in this post:


Friday, October 17, 2014

The Hard Life of a Russian Translator

From the Moscow Times: The hard life of a Russian Translator


RantWoman note: many of the same issues apply in other langauge pairs only the exact ways for things to go awry vary!

Naked, Rattled, Sauted: Shakeout

RantWoman did participate in the yesterday's Great Shakeout, sort of.

RantWoman participated naked and does not apologize if this is too much information for anyone's delicate sensibilities. RantWoman was again reminded that Drop, cover and hold, sound great as instructions but in her domicile, the drop means difficulties about getting up and the cover means moving chairs out of her way. RantWoman decided she would simply note hazards and resolve to be otherwise situated when The Big One hits.

Either that or...

RantWoman was naked in front of open blinds. RantWoman lives behind the Lighthouse for the Blind. There are LOTS of trees and RantWoman lives on the 6th floor.  On the SLIGHT chance that there is anyone with sufficient vision, satisfactory binoculars, line of sight and taste in lumpy bodies who might have looked in--and been able to see all the way to RantWoman's stove, RantWoman will hope when  The Big One hits that whoever can watch under those circumstances will realize there might be someone or more than one someone in RantWoman's building who will need a lot of help!

RantWoman did not plan during the drill to be standing at her stove, naked, stirring, sauteing chopped carrots, onions, parsnips without a potholder. RantWoman would be in danger of getting conked on the head by boxes of tea, some of it very out of date herbal tea, and by the pots and pans she is tall enough to store ON TOP of her high cupboards. RantWoman could at least be wearing an apron when the big one hits.  A potholder would not hurt too.

Now RantWoman will update her 3+ days supply of bottled water and bottled water in small enough bottles that some can be given away in a pinch.

RantWoman participated naked because on the way to taking her morning shower, it occurred to RantWoman that a recent shopping trip yielded fresh parsnips and several options for pumpkin everything. RantWoman's larder abounds with lentils right now and RantWoman recently learned an awesome recipe for Lentils provencal that involves roasted carrots, parsnips, onions.

The emergency alert came on the radio.

The stew did occur.

RantWoman did finally get her shower.

Today RantWoman is highly entertained by statistics from the website about who signed up to participate:

In fact, mention of participant categories reminded RantWoman she can have another conversation about something or other at her faith community.

And the Friendly Neighborhood Center for Extreme  Computing has some needs so RantWoman will remind people who do not want to go to an internet security training that there is a disaster prepraredness event coming up the same day.

And RantWoman will find some more Spanish language materials to bestow on Little Sister's household or quiz Irrepressible Nephew about whether they did anything at his s school.


now RantWoman will resume fretting about ebola, gun violence, female gamers threatened by gun violence, social media and a sex offender not compliant with conditions of release, global climate change....

A blog post on vaguely related themes:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Applications open for $730,000 in Scholarships for LGBTQ / Allies Students

From the person who sent this to RantWoman:
This just crossed my desk and I've included a mix of people from my address book that I think might know someone who would qualify for one of these scholarships, perhaps one of you. I had no idea GSBA was doing this with such a large fund, and having been a member in the past, I'm rather proud of this accomplishment and offer. In fact, some of you haven't heard from me in a very long time, but you're included because I thought you might know of people who could benefit from knowing about this.
RantWoman is posting here rather than just sharing in her other social media realms for various reasons:


Greetings from Pride Foundation and the GSBA Scholarship Fund!

We are excited to announce that our LGBTQ & ally scholarship application opens October 15th and to ask you to share this opportunity with students of any age from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, or Washington who are pursuing any post-secondary education, including community college, public or private colleges & universities, trade schools/apprenticeships, or certificate programs. Since 1990, more than $5.4 million in Pride Foundation and GSBA scholarships have been awarded to support the educational pursuits of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, (LGBTQ) and straight-ally students. There are fifty different types of scholarships with awards up to $20,000, but only one web-based application for students to complete.

Please help us spread the word about these scholarships to students in your school or community by putting up these flyers prominently and announcing this on your website, social media accounts, newsletter and/or school newspaper. Our scholarships have the power to make a significant impact on the lives of LGBTQ and ally students. Some LGBTQ students may not be “out” in their school or community and some straight ally students may not be aware that our scholarships are available to them as well. We have also included sample announcement text in this email for you to use.

Download our 8½”x11” color flyer to share with students and help us promote the scholarship application.

Scholarship applications must be submitted by 4:00pm AKST/5:00 pm PST /6:00pm MST on January 16, 2015 and are completed online at http://www.pridefoundation.org/scholarships/ or at http://thegsbascholarship.org/apply.php

To further assist students applying for these scholarships, we will hold Scholarship Application Workshops throughout the Northwest and online in the fall. For specific times and locations or to request a workshop, please email scholarships@pridefoundation.org or call 800-735-7287 x11.

If you would like to learn more about this history and mission of our organizations, please visit: http://www.pridefoundation.org/ or http://www.thegsba.org/.

We look forward to receiving applications from your students and thank you in advance for playing your part to support tomorrow’s leaders!

Quick Reply

FindItFixIT s too long for Twitter

#finditfixit s too long for Twitter:


#finditfixit  More UGLY potholes. The intersection of Rainier Ave S, 23rd and a couple other things all controlled by one stop light cycle. The offending potholes are about bus axle width apart right along the N side of the painted crosswalk across Rainier, lane closest to the W side of Rainier.


RantWoman is THRILLED that a #finditfixit item about #graffitti at a #kcmetrobus stop on the E side of Rainier and Walker has been followed by disappearance of the offending #graffitti. Unfortunately, there is also another piece of #graffitti on the green lighted bus arrival time schedule. This #graffitti is white against the green paint. Begone!


“This is your week on Twitter” Hah! RantWoman’s most-viewed Tweet was a #finditfixit about potholes on a regular RantWoman walking and shopping route. The particular issue is harder to fix than can be solved in a week; RantWoman is meditating about how to rate the attention in terms of insights about digital inclusion but is throwing the comment in here as part of general meditations about wayfinding and potholes.





Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Help Name New WA State Ferry

RantWoman is unclear how long this survey will be open: it is designed to collect input for a meeting in November that RantWoman did not look up the date for.

RantWoman thoroughly enjoyed reading the short history of the names proposed and RantWoman ALWAYS likes being asked for her opinion. Enjoy!

Oops. RantWoman has learned that the link in the email text below will think readers are RantWoman and not provide another opportunity to complete the survey. Sigh.
Instead to be offered your own opportunities to weigh in, please sign up at the WA Dept of transportation Voices of WA State link here:

And to those who created the survey, rantWoman does not necessarily apologize for doing it "wrong" and hopes future surveys will imagine the possibility that people want to share particular surveys!

The WA State Transportation Commission (WSTC) needs your help in selecting a name for our newest state ferry that is currently under construction. There are four names under consideration and the Commission would like to hear what your preferences are. So please click on the link below and take this short (3 minute) survey to help guide this decision.

Start Survey

Thank you for your time and input.

Anne Haley, Chairman
Washington State Transportation Commission

Usability notes:
--RantWoman spent slightly more than the advertised 3 minutes on this and would suggest wording the time estimate something like "will take most users about 3 minutes to complete."

--RantWoman is unclear why Mr. JAWS (14 or 15, RantWoman is not sure and not sure that matters)  paired with IE9 read all entries twice. This is not a catastrophic problem especially for something that is ephemeral. That means the content will not last very long. RantWoman means this comment more for people who design automated survey builders than the end users who hopefully use the tools as built and automatically create decent accessibility. RantWoman can live with some variability in experience some of the time, and meditates about which things she most wants accessible.