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Jasa rental mobil menjelang Lebaran kebanjiran order. Pemilik jasa rental mobil, Gunawan (40) juga mengaku semua mobil yang ada telah dipesan.

"Semua mobil sudah dipesan tinggal diambil para penyewanya saja. Biasanya seminggu sebelum Lebaran sudah dibawa," ujarnya.  

Menurut Gunawan, kendati tarif sewa mobil naik hingga 300% dibanding hari biasanya, namun permintaan tetap tinggi.  

Dikatakan, larisnya usaha jasa rental karena masyarakat kini lebih mengutamakan kenyamanan. Mudik menggunakan motor sangat tidak aman apalagi dengan keluarga yang membawa anak kecil.  

Selain itu, masyarakat enggan menggunakan angkutan umum yang berdesak-desakan. Maka dari itulah pilihan favorit adalah mudik dengan menggunakan mobil.  

Lebaran tahun ini, dia juga menyiapkan sebanyak 30 unit mobil yang siap disewakan. Sedangkan harga yang diberikan, menurutnya memiliki kriteria tertentu dan sistem paket.  

Pihaknya menerapkan sistem paket. Kalau biasanya Kijang Innova sewanya Rp 350 ribu sehari. Untuk Lebaran dinaikkan menjadi Rp 6,5 juta rupiah untuk paket satu minggu.  

Sementara untuk Daihatsu Xenia dari Rp 200 ribu menjadi Rp 300 ribu per hari, Avanza dari Rp 250 ribu menjadi Rp 750 ribu per hari, Mitsubishi L300 dari Rp 500 ribu menjadi Rp 1,5 juta per hari, Pregio dari Rp 600 ribu menjadi Rp 1,2 juta per hari.  

Gunawan juga menyediakan hampir semua jenis mobil seperti Innova, Xenia, Avanza, Panther, Kijang LGX, Suzuki APV, Pregio hingga Mitsubishi L300.  

Pengelola rental mobil lainnya, Lukman Hadi (30) di kawasan Tlogosari mengatakan, harga sewa yang biasanya harian berubah menjadi paket. "Jadi sudah tidak ada lagi sewa harian tapi paket dalam seminggu," ujarnya.  

Menjelang Lebaran tahun ini, kendaraan yang tersedia sudah habis dipesan hingga H+7 Lebaran. Pemesanan sudah dilakukan sejak awal bulan puasa.  

Bahkan, ada konsumen yang melakukan order sebulan sebelum puasa. Dibanding hari biasa lonjakan pengguna mobil sewaan sangat tinggi, "Kalau bulan biasa paling sehari cuma tiga unit mobil terpakai, sekarang semua unit habis dirental orang," ujarnya.

 

JELANG LEBARAN, JASA RENTAL MOBIL LARIS MANIS

saco-indonesia.com, Stetoskop atau stethoscope adalah alat kedokteran yang paling sering dikaitkan dengan profesi seorang dokter bahkan sepertinya juga sudah merupakan simbol seorang dokter. Rasanya juga belum sah bila seorang dokter tidak memiliki alat ini. Tidak heran kalau seorang dokter spesialis radiologi ataupun dokter ahli laboratorium klinik yang jarang sekali harus perlu melakukan pemeriksaan fisik terhadap pasiennya secara langsungpun telah memiliki setoskop. Stetoskop telah berasal dari kata Yunani stetos yang artinya dada dan skopein yang artinya memeriksa. Alat kedokteran ini juga merupakan media untuk dapat menyampaikan suara-suara di dalam tubuh seorang pasien kepada telinga dokter yang telah memeriksanya. Fungsi dari stetoskop ini adalah untuk dapat mendengarkan detak jantung, suara usus, dan lain sebagainya. Dengan kemampuannya ini, Stetoskop juga dapat digunakan pula untuk dapat mengetahui kerja paru-paru dan juga untuk dapat mengukur tekanan darah dengan mendengarkan denyut nadi. b. Endoscopy Endoscopy merupakan alat untuk dapat meneropong organ-organ dalam tubuh manusia tanpa sayatan atau dengan sayatan kulit minimal. Salah satu fungsinya adalah untuk dapat mengetahui kelainan yang telah terjadi pada alat-alat pencernaan bagian atas dan juga tenggorokan. Pemeriksaan / tindakan pengobatan didalam saluran pencernaan yang dengan menggunakan peralatan yang berupa teropong (Endoscop) Keunggulannya antara lain : Dapat melihat dengan jelas lokasi dan jenis kelainan dalam rongga saluran cerna Tindakan pengobatan dengan resikonya jauh lebih ringan daripada tindakan operasi. Dapat menggantikan fungsi tindakan operasi, lebih nyaman, biaya lebih murah dan efisien. Hasil pemeriksaan dapat langsung dicetak. c. Colonoscopy Colonoscopy adalah alat kedokteran yang fungsinya untuk dapat mengetahui kondisi saluran pencernaan bagian bawah. Bagian tersebut dimulai dari rectum, anus sampai dengan usus pada bagian bawah. d. Tensimeter Alat kedokteran ini telah dipergunakan untuk dapat mengukur tensi atau tekanan darah. Dipergunakan untuk proses pemeriksaan pasien hipertensi, anemia, dan lain sebagainya. Ada dua jenis tensimeter yaitu tensimeter air raksa dan tensimeter digital. Tensimeter air raksa di luar negeri saat ini juga sudah dilarang untuk digunakan lagi karena bahaya dari air raksanya jika tensimeter tersebut pecah. Tensimeter digital sendiri lebih canggih dan praktis dipergunakan, namun harganya memang lebih mahal jika dibandingkan dengan yang konvensional. e. Termometer Termometer adalah alat kedokteran yang telah dipergunakan untuk dapat mengukur suhu tubuh. Ada dua jenis termometer yaitu termometer raksa dan digital. Perbedaannya telah terletak pada alat pengukurnya. Termometer telah berasal dari bahasa Yunani yaitu Thermos yang berarti panas dan meter yang berarti mengukur. Jadi termometer adalah suatu alat yang digunakan untuk dapat mengukur tinggi rendahnya suhu suatu benda. Untuk termometer digital, jika suhu tubuh sudah di dapat maka alat tersebut akan dapat mengeluarkan bunyi dengan sendirinya sedangkan termometer raksa sendiri deteksinya memakan waktu yang lama, sehingga kurang efisien untuk dipergunakan. Ini salah satu alat yang wajib dimiliki dan tersimpan di kotak P3K Anda. f. CT-Scan CT- singkatan dari Computed Temography sedangkan Scan adalah foto. Sehingga fungsi dari alat ini tiada lain adalah untuk dapat menghasilkan foto bagian-bagian dalam dari tubuh dengan lebih lengkap dan akurat. Hal ini dikarenakan foto yang dihasilkan dari CT-Scan ini juga merupakan foto (gambar) bagian dalam tubuh berupa irisan. g. X-Ray Orang lebih mengenal alat kedokteran ini dengan sebutan Rontgen. Alat ini telah dipergunakan untuk dapat mengetahui bagian dalam khususnya paru-paru. X-ray menjalankan fungsi kerjanya dengan penggunaan sinar radiasi. h. Laparoscopy Alat kedokteran ini adalah alat yang berfungsi untuk pembersihan darah. Selain itu, laparoscopy juga dipergunakan untuk dapat melakukan inseminasi. i. Alat Cek Darah Alat cek darah biasanya telah memiliki tiga fungsi dalam satu alat. Selain untuk dapat mengecek kadar gula darah, juga dapat digunakan untuk dapat mengecek asam urat dan kolesterol dalam darah. Dipergunakan pada pemeriksaan penyakit kolesterol, asam urat, diabetes, dan lain sebagainya. j. Ultrasonography (USG) USG adalah suatu alat dalam dunia kedokteran yang telah memanfaatkan gelombang ultrasonik, yaitu gelombang suara yang telah memiliki frekuensi yang tinggi (250 kHz – 2000 kHz) yang kemudian hasilnya ditampilkan dalam layar monitor. Pada awalnya penemuan alat USG diawali dengan penemuan gelombang ultrasonik kemudian bertahun-tahun setelah itu, tepatnya sekira tahun 1920-an, prinsip kerja gelombang ultrasonik mulai diterapkan dalam bidang kedokteran. Penggunaan ultrasonik dalam bidang kedokteran ini pertama kali diaplikasikan untuk kepentingan terapi bukan untuk dapat mendiagnosis suatu penyakit. USG sering dipergunakan untuk dapat melihat perkembangan janin dalam tubuh ibu hamil, untuk dapat mengecek adanya penyakit lain dalam tubuh seperti kanker, miom, dan lain sebagainya. k. Elektrokardiografi (ECG) Elektrokardiografi adalah alat kedokteran yang fungsinya untuk dapat merekam aktivitas elektro atau kelistrikan yang telah terjadi di dalam jantung. Hasilnya juga dapat terlihat pada elektrodiagram. Biasanya telah dipergunakan pada penyakit-penyakit yang berkaitan dengan fungsi dari jantung. Elektrokardiogram (EKG) adalah grafik yang dibuat oleh sebuah elektrokardiograf, yang merekam aktivitas kelistrikan jantung dalam waktu tertentu. Namanya terdiri atas sejumlah bagian yang berbeda: elektro, karena berkaitan dengan elektronika, kardio, kata Yunani untuk jantung, gram, sebuah akar Yunani yang berarti "menulis". Analisis sejumlah gelombang dan vektor normal depolarisasi dan repolarisasi menghasilkan informasi diagnostik yang penting. Editor : Dian Sukmawati

ALAT ALAT KESEHATAN

Meski harga komputer personal (PC) makin terjangkau, banyak pihak yang masih membutuhkan jasa penyewaan komputer. Bisnis penyewaan PC pun juga masih lumayan. Sebuah perusahaan penyedia jasa sewa komputer masih menangguk omzet ratusan juta rupiah sebulan. Kuncinya harus fokus pada pasar tertentu, serta harus siap untuk merawat pelanggan dan komputer.

Tingginya ketergantungan pada komputer, telah membuat keberadaan produk ini seakan menjadi kebutuhan primer untuk dapat mendukung pekerjaan atau sebagai media hiburan. Apalagi, produsen komputer kian jeli untuk menciptakan berbagai produk tertentu, yang sesuai dengan kebutuhan atau kantong konsumen, sehingga makin banyak orang yang mampu membeli komputer personal.

Namun, meski banyak orang telah memiliki komputer sendiri, ternyata tidak menyurutkan bisnis penyewaan komputer personal (PC). Tengok saja, usaha penyewaan PC milik Andi Susanto. Pemilik PT Megawastu Solusindo di Jakarta ini mampu untuk menangguk omzet hingga Rp 500 juta tiap bulan. "Usaha penyewaan PC juga masih menguntungkan sampai saat ini," ujarnya.

Minat perusahaan untuk menyewa PC masih tinggi. Mereka terhindar dari biaya pembelian, biaya penggantian dan perawatan. Sementara PC juga sangat penting dan dibutuhkan terus-menerus. "Dengan menyewa, perusahaan bisa menekan pengeluaran mereka," tutur Andi.

Andi mengawali usahanya sejak 2003. Pria yang semula bekerja di sebuah media ekonomi ini tertarik menekuni bisnis penyewaan PC, karena ia banyak berhubungan dengan perbankan. "Saya melihat bank membutuhkan dukungan PC yang bagus," kata Andi.

Dalam usahanya ini, Andi pun hanya memasok PC untuk bagian trading di bank. Kesuksesannya pun juga tak lepas dari strategi untuk fokus pada target pasar dan merawat konsumennya dengan baik.

Hingga kini, Megawastu Solusindo masih konsisten menyewakan PC khusus bagi kantor-kantor bank. Mereka juga sudah mempunyai klien yang berasal dari 10 bank besar di Indonesia.

Harga sewa komputer dipatok mulai Rp 500.000 hingga Rp 1 juta per bulan. Penentuan tarif sewa juga bergantung pada spesifikasi kebutuhan PC.

Andi juga menawarkan sistem sewa dengan jangka waktu bulanan hingga tahunan. "Tapi, kami juga mempunyai kebijakan kontrak per tiga bulan supaya pemasukan lebih lancar," ujarnya.

Dalam usaha ini, menurut Andi, yang paling penting adalah melakukan perawatan PC secara rutin. Maklum, dunia perbankan membutuhkan kecepatan data dan arus informasi secara real time.

Klien biasanya menginginkan, bila terjadi kerusakan pada PC harus seminim mungkin. Karena itu, Andi juga harus selalu siap menyediakan teknisi bila terjadi kerusakan. Para teknisi pun harus memantau secara rutin kondisi PC yang selalu menyala itu.

Sekali sepekan, teknisi biasanya mengecek PC yang disewa. Mereka akan membersihkan komputer tersebut dari gangguan virus. "Saya juga harus membayar denda jika terjadi kerusakan yang melebihi perjanjian," ujar Andi.

Namun, kesuksesan dari bisnis penyewaan komputer tak hanya dengan mengandalkan klien dari perbankan. Menurut Hery Siswanto, Manajer Marketing PT Natari, banyak perusahaan membutuhkan penyewaan komputer untuk mendukung kinerja perusahaan.

Perusahaan yang terkenal ini telah menjalani bisnis penyewaan komputer sejak 2004 lalu . Hery juga mengakui, konsumennya terus bertambah hingga saat ini. "Bahkan, kami masih kewalahan dalam melayani kebutuhan klien di Jakarta," ujar Hery.

Natari biasanya telah menyewakan komputer untuk keperluan pelatihan karyawan maupun seminar. Karena mengincar pasar ini, mereka biasanya menuai banyak permintaan pada awal bulan dalam triwulan pertama setiap tahunnya.

Berbeda dengan Megawastu Solusindo, Natari menetapkan harga sewa harian. Biaya sewa komputer telah dibanderol antara Rp 80.000 hingga Rp 100.000 per unit setiap hari.

Hery bilang, perusahaan bisa mendulang omzet lebih dari Rp 100 juta per bulan. Untuk mendukung bisnisnya, Natari juga menyiapkan 500 unit komputer personal.

Hery menjelaskan, para kliennya lebih memilih menyewa PC untuk pelatihan atau seminar. Pasalnya, komputer personal lebih nyaman dipakai bila dibandingkan dengan menggunakan laptop. Selain itu, perusahaan juga ingin mengurangi risiko kecurian jika menggunakan laptop.

Ada beragam perusahaan yang menjadi klien Natari. Mulai dari perusahaan asuransi, perusahaan TI dan juga kalangan perbankan. Hery berpesan, dalam bisnis ini yang penting menjaga kepercayaan pelanggan.

JASA PENYEWAAN KOMPUTER MASIH BERPUTAR

saco-indonesia.com, Samsung dikabarkan akan segera meluncurkan sebuah perangkat hybrid gabungan antara smartphone dan tablet ke pasaran pada 2014 mendatang.

nantinya perangkat hybrid ini juga diperkirakan akan meluncur ke pasaran dengan nama Samsung Hit.

Selain itu, perangkat gabungan tablet dan smartphone ini juga sudah masuk ke tahap tes performa Benchmark AnTuTu dengan kode nama SM-G900.

juga diketahui jika tablet di perangkat hybrid ini juga akan mengusung layar super jernih dengan resolusi 2560 x 1440 piksel, sedangkan perangkat smartphonenya juga akan dibekali layar full HD 1080p.

Jika Samsung Hit benar akan diluncurkan dalam waktu atau setidaknya di tahun 2014 mendatang, maka perangkat hybrid ini juga akan menjadi pesaing Asus PadFone yang mengusung konsep yang sama dan juga sudah beredar di Indonesia.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

SAMSUNG SIAPKAN PERANGKAT HYBRID

saco-indonesia.com,

Besi Beton
 
Besi beton merupakan besi yang telah digunakan untuk penulangan konstruksi beton atau yang lebih dikenal sebagai beton bertulang. Beton bertulang yang telah mengandung batang tulangan dan telah direncanakan berdasarkan anggapan bahwa bahan tersebut bekerja sama dalam memikul gaya-gaya. Beton bertulang juga bersifat unik dimana dua jenis bahan yaitu besi tulangan dan beton dipakai secara bersamaan.


Sejak tahun 1950 konstruksi konstruksi besi beton telah mulai digunakan sebagai elemen utama dalam pembangunan gedung tinggi. Pada awal abad ke-20 kebanyakan gedung tinggi di Amerika telah menggunakan Baja profil sebagai elemen struktur utamanya. Baru pada 1950-an konstruksi beton mulai ikut berperan dalam konstruksi gedung tinggi. Di Indonesia sendiri, besi beton lebih sering digunakan untuk pembangunan gedung, karena bahan ini telah lebih mudah didapat sehingga dirasakan lebih ekonomis jika dibandingkan dengan konstruksi lainnya. Besi beton atau beton bertulang boleh jadi juga merupakan bahan konstruksi yang paling penting karena digunakan dalam berbagai bentuk untuk hampir semua struktur baik besar maupun kecil seperti bangunan, jembatan, perkerasan jalan, bendungan, dinding penahan tanah, terowongan, jembatan yang telah melintasi lembah.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

BESI BETON
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Many bodies prepared for cremation last week in Kathmandu were of young men from Gongabu, a common stopover for Nepali migrant workers headed overseas. Credit Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

KATHMANDU, Nepal — When the dense pillar of smoke from cremations by the Bagmati River was thinning late last week, the bodies were all coming from Gongabu, a common stopover for Nepali migrant workers headed overseas, and they were all of young men.

Hindu custom dictates that funeral pyres should be lighted by the oldest son of the deceased, but these men were too young to have sons, so they were burned by their brothers or fathers. Sukla Lal, a maize farmer, made a 14-hour journey by bus to retrieve the body of his 19-year-old son, who had been on his way to the Persian Gulf to work as a laborer.

“He wanted to live in the countryside, but he was compelled to leave by poverty,” Mr. Lal said, gazing ahead steadily as his son’s remains smoldered. “He told me, ‘You can live on your land, and I will come up with money, and we will have a happy family.’ ”

Weeks will pass before the authorities can give a complete accounting of who died in the April 25 earthquake, but it is already clear that Nepal cannot afford the losses. The countryside was largely stripped of its healthy young men even before the quake, as they migrated in great waves — 1,500 a day by some estimates — to work as laborers in India, Malaysia or one of the gulf nations, leaving many small communities populated only by elderly parents, women and children. Economists say that at some times of the year, one-quarter of Nepal’s population is working outside the country.

Nepal’s Young Men, Lost to Migration, Then a Quake
Children playing last week in Sandtown-Winchester, the Baltimore neighborhood where Freddie Gray was raised. One young resident called it “a tough community.”
Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Children playing last week in Sandtown-Winchester, the Baltimore neighborhood where Freddie Gray was raised. One young resident called it “a tough community.”

Hard but Hopeful Home to ‘Lot of Freddies’

Hard but Hopeful Home to ‘Lot of Freddies’

Ms. Rendell was a prolific writer of intricately plotted mystery novels that combined psychological insight, social conscience and teeth-chattering terror.

Ruth Rendell, Novelist Who Thrilled and Educated, Dies at 85

BEIJING (AP) — The head of Taiwan's Nationalists reaffirmed the party's support for eventual unification with the mainland when he met Monday with Chinese President Xi Jinping as part of continuing rapprochement between the former bitter enemies.

Nationalist Party Chairman Eric Chu, a likely presidential candidate next year, also affirmed Taiwan's desire to join the proposed Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank during the meeting in Beijing. China claims Taiwan as its own territory and doesn't want the island to join using a name that might imply it is an independent country.

Chu's comments during his meeting with Xi were carried live on Hong Kong-based broadcaster Phoenix Television.

The Nationalists were driven to Taiwan by Mao Zedong's Communists during the Chinese civil war in 1949, leading to decades of hostility between the sides. Chu, who took over as party leader in January, is the third Nationalist chairman to visit the mainland and the first since 2009.

Relations between the communist-ruled mainland and the self-governing democratic island of Taiwan began to warm in the 1990s, partly out of their common opposition to Taiwan's formal independence from China, a position advocated by the island's Democratic Progressive Party.

Despite increasingly close economic ties, the prospect of political unification has grown increasingly unpopular on Taiwan, especially with younger voters. Opposition to the Nationalists' pro-China policies was seen as a driver behind heavy local electoral defeats for the party last year that led to Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou resigning as party chairman.

Taiwan party leader affirms eventual reunion with China

A lapsed seminarian, Mr. Chambers succeeded Saul Alinsky as leader of the social justice umbrella group Industrial Areas Foundation.

Edward Chambers, Early Leader in Community Organizing, Dies at 85

Under Mr. Michelin’s leadership, which ended when he left the company in 2002, the Michelin Group became the world’s biggest tire maker, establishing a big presence in the United States and other major markets overseas.

François Michelin, Head of Tire Company, Dies at 88

The career criminals in genre novels don’t have money problems. If they need some, they just go out and steal it. But such financial transactions can backfire, which is what happened back in 2004 when the Texas gang in Michael

Take the Money and Run

WASHINGTON — The last three men to win the Republican nomination have been the prosperous son of a president (George W. Bush), a senator who could not recall how many homes his family owned (John McCain of Arizona; it was seven) and a private equity executive worth an estimated $200 million (Mitt Romney).

The candidates hoping to be the party’s nominee in 2016 are trying to create a very different set of associations. On Sunday, Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, joined the presidential field.

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida praises his parents, a bartender and a Kmart stock clerk, as he urges audiences not to forget “the workers in our hotel kitchens, the landscaping crews in our neighborhoods, the late-night janitorial staff that clean our offices.”

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, a preacher’s son, posts on Twitter about his ham-and-cheese sandwiches and boasts of his coupon-clipping frugality. His $1 Kohl’s sweater has become a campaign celebrity in its own right.

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky laments the existence of “two Americas,” borrowing the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s phrase to describe economically and racially troubled communities like Ferguson, Mo., and Detroit.

Photo
 
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida praises his parents, a bartender and a Kmart stock clerk. Credit Joe Raedle/Getty Images

“Some say, ‘But Democrats care more about the poor,’ ” Mr. Paul likes to say. “If that’s true, why is black unemployment still twice white unemployment? Why has household income declined by $3,500 over the past six years?”

We are in the midst of the Empathy Primary — the rhetorical battleground shaping the Republican presidential field of 2016.

Harmed by the perception that they favor the wealthy at the expense of middle-of-the-road Americans, the party’s contenders are each trying their hardest to get across what the elder George Bush once inelegantly told recession-battered voters in 1992: “Message: I care.”

Their ability to do so — less bluntly, more sincerely — could prove decisive in an election year when power, privilege and family connections will loom large for both parties.

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Questions of understanding and compassion cost Republicans in the last election. Mr. Romney, who memorably dismissed the “47 percent” of Americans as freeloaders, lost to President Obama by 63 percentage points among voters who cast their ballots for the candidate who “cares about people like me,” according to exit polls.

And a Pew poll from February showed that people still believe Republicans are indifferent to working Americans: 54 percent said the Republican Party does not care about the middle class.

That taint of callousness explains why Senator Ted Cruz of Texas declared last week that Republicans “are and should be the party of the 47 percent” — and why another son of a president, Jeb Bush, has made economic opportunity the centerpiece of his message.

With his pedigree and considerable wealth — since he left the Florida governor’s office almost a decade ago he has earned millions of dollars sitting on corporate boards and advising banks — Mr. Bush probably has the most complicated task making the argument to voters that he understands their concerns.

On a visit last week to Puerto Rico, Mr. Bush sounded every bit the populist, railing against “elites” who have stifled economic growth and innovation. In the kind of economy he envisions leading, he said: “We wouldn’t have the middle being squeezed. People in poverty would have a chance to rise up. And the social strains that exist — because the haves and have-nots is the big debate in our country today — would subside.”

Continue reading the main story
 

Who Is Running for President (and Who’s Not)?

Republicans’ emphasis on poorer and working-class Americans now represents a shift from the party’s longstanding focus on business owners and “job creators” as the drivers of economic opportunity.

This is intentional, Republican operatives said.

In the last presidential election, Republicans rushed to defend business owners against what they saw as hostility by Democrats to successful, wealthy entrepreneurs.

“Part of what you had was a reaction to the Democrats’ dehumanization of business owners: ‘Oh, you think you started your plumbing company? No you didn’t,’ ” said Grover Norquist, the conservative activist and president of Americans for Tax Reform.

But now, Mr. Norquist said, Republicans should move past that. “Focus on the people in the room who know someone who couldn’t get a job, or a promotion, or a raise because taxes are too high or regulations eat up companies’ time,” he said. “The rich guy can take care of himself.”

Democrats argue that the public will ultimately see through such an approach because Republican positions like opposing a minimum-wage increase and giving private banks a larger role in student loans would hurt working Americans.

“If Republican candidates are just repeating the same tired policies, I’m not sure that smiling while saying it is going to be enough,” said Guy Cecil, a Democratic strategist who is joining a “super PAC” working on behalf of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Republicans have already attacked Mrs. Clinton over the wealth and power she and her husband have accumulated, caricaturing her as an out-of-touch multimillionaire who earns hundreds of thousands of dollars per speech and has not driven a car since 1996.

Mr. Walker hit this theme recently on Fox News, pointing to Mrs. Clinton’s lucrative book deals and her multiple residences. “This is not someone who is connected with everyday Americans,” he said. His own net worth, according to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, is less than a half-million dollars; Mr. Walker also owes tens of thousands of dollars on his credit cards.

Continue reading the main story

But showing off a cheap sweater or boasting of a bootstraps family background not only helps draw a contrast with Mrs. Clinton’s latter-day affluence, it is also an implicit argument against Mr. Bush.

Mr. Walker, who featured a 1998 Saturn with more than 100,000 miles on the odometer in a 2010 campaign ad during his first run for governor, likes to talk about flipping burgers at McDonald’s as a young person. His mother, he has said, grew up on a farm with no indoor plumbing until she was in high school.

Mr. Rubio, among the least wealthy members of the Senate, with an estimated net worth of around a half-million dollars, uses his working-class upbringing as evidence of the “exceptionalism” of America, “where even the son of a bartender and a maid can have the same dreams and the same future as those who come from power and privilege.”

Mr. Cruz alludes to his family’s dysfunction — his parents, he says, were heavy drinkers — and recounts his father’s tale of fleeing Cuba with $100 sewn into his underwear.

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey notes that his father paid his way through college working nights at an ice cream plant.

But sometimes the attempts at projecting authenticity can seem forced. Mr. Christie recently found himself on the defensive after telling a New Hampshire audience, “I don’t consider myself a wealthy man.” Tax returns showed that he and his wife, a longtime Wall Street executive, earned nearly $700,000 in 2013.

The story of success against the odds is a political classic, even if it is one the Republican Party has not been able to tell for a long time. Ronald Reagan liked to say that while he had not been born on the wrong side of the tracks, he could always hear the whistle. Richard Nixon was fond of reminding voters how he was born in a house his father had built.

“Probably the idea that is most attractive to an average voter, and an idea that both Republicans and Democrats try to craft into their messages, is this idea that you can rise from nothing,” said Charles C. W. Cooke, a writer for National Review.

There is a certain delight Republicans take in turning that message to their advantage now.

“That’s what Obama did with Hillary,” Mr. Cooke said. “He acknowledged it openly: ‘This is ridiculous. Look at me, this one-term senator with dark skin and all of America’s unsolved racial problems, running against the wife of the last Democratic president.”

G.O.P. Hopefuls Now Aiming to Woo the Middle Class

Though Robin and Joan Rolfs owned two rare talking dolls manufactured by Thomas Edison’s phonograph company in 1890, they did not dare play the wax cylinder records tucked inside each one.

The Rolfses, longtime collectors of Edison phonographs, knew that if they turned the cranks on the dolls’ backs, the steel phonograph needle might damage or destroy the grooves of the hollow, ring-shaped cylinder. And so for years, the dolls sat side by side inside a display cabinet, bearers of a message from the dawn of sound recording that nobody could hear.

In 1890, Edison’s dolls were a flop; production lasted only six weeks. Children found them difficult to operate and more scary than cuddly. The recordings inside, which featured snippets of nursery rhymes, wore out quickly.

Yet sound historians say the cylinders were the first entertainment records ever made, and the young girls hired to recite the rhymes were the world’s first recording artists.

Year after year, the Rolfses asked experts if there might be a safe way to play the recordings. Then a government laboratory developed a method to play fragile records without touching them.

Audio

The technique relies on a microscope to create images of the grooves in exquisite detail. A computer approximates — with great accuracy — the sounds that would have been created by a needle moving through those grooves.

In 2014, the technology was made available for the first time outside the laboratory.

“The fear all along is that we don’t want to damage these records. We don’t want to put a stylus on them,” said Jerry Fabris, the curator of the Thomas Edison Historical Park in West Orange, N.J. “Now we have the technology to play them safely.”

Last month, the Historical Park posted online three never-before-heard Edison doll recordings, including the two from the Rolfses’ collection. “There are probably more out there, and we’re hoping people will now get them digitized,” Mr. Fabris said.

The technology, which is known as Irene (Image, Reconstruct, Erase Noise, Etc.), was developed by the particle physicist Carl Haber and the engineer Earl Cornell at Lawrence Berkeley. Irene extracts sound from cylinder and disk records. It can also reconstruct audio from recordings so badly damaged they were deemed unplayable.

“We are now hearing sounds from history that I did not expect to hear in my lifetime,” Mr. Fabris said.

The Rolfses said they were not sure what to expect in August when they carefully packed their two Edison doll cylinders, still attached to their motors, and drove from their home in Hortonville, Wis., to the National Document Conservation Center in Andover, Mass. The center had recently acquired Irene technology.

Audio

Cylinders carry sound in a spiral groove cut by a phonograph recording needle that vibrates up and down, creating a surface made of tiny hills and valleys. In the Irene set-up, a microscope perched above the shaft takes thousands of high-resolution images of small sections of the grooves.

Stitched together, the images provide a topographic map of the cylinder’s surface, charting changes in depth as small as one five-hundredth the thickness of a human hair. Pitch, volume and timbre are all encoded in the hills and valleys and the speed at which the record is played.

At the conservation center, the preservation specialist Mason Vander Lugt attached one of the cylinders to the end of a rotating shaft. Huddled around a computer screen, the Rolfses first saw the wiggly waveform generated by Irene. Then came the digital audio. The words were at first indistinct, but as Mr. Lugt filtered out more of the noise, the rhyme became clearer.

“That was the Eureka moment,” Mr. Rolfs said.

In 1890, a girl in Edison’s laboratory had recited:

There was a little girl,

And she had a little curl

Audio

Right in the middle of her forehead.

When she was good,

She was very, very good.

But when she was bad, she was horrid.

Recently, the conservation center turned up another surprise.

In 2010, the Woody Guthrie Foundation received 18 oversize phonograph disks from an anonymous donor. No one knew if any of the dirt-stained recordings featured Guthrie, but Tiffany Colannino, then the foundation’s archivist, had stored them unplayed until she heard about Irene.

Last fall, the center extracted audio from one of the records, labeled “Jam Session 9” and emailed the digital file to Ms. Colannino.

“I was just sitting in my dining room, and the next thing I know, I’m hearing Woody,” she said. In between solo performances of “Ladies Auxiliary,” “Jesus Christ,” and “Dead or Alive,” Guthrie tells jokes, offers some back story, and makes the audience laugh. “It is quintessential Guthrie,” Ms. Colannino said.

The Rolfses’ dolls are back in the display cabinet in Wisconsin. But with audio stored on several computers, they now have a permanent voice.

Ghostly Voices From Thomas Edison’s Dolls Can Now Be Heard

As he reflected on the festering wounds deepened by race and grievance that have been on painful display in America’s cities lately, President Obama on Monday found himself thinking about a young man he had just met named Malachi.

A few minutes before, in a closed-door round-table discussion at Lehman College in the Bronx, Mr. Obama had asked a group of black and Hispanic students from disadvantaged backgrounds what could be done to help them reach their goals. Several talked about counseling and guidance programs.

“Malachi, he just talked about — we should talk about love,” Mr. Obama told a crowd afterward, drifting away from his prepared remarks. “Because Malachi and I shared the fact that our dad wasn’t around and that sometimes we wondered why he wasn’t around and what had happened. But really, that’s what this comes down to is: Do we love these kids?”

Many presidents have governed during times of racial tension, but Mr. Obama is the first to see in the mirror a face that looks like those on the other side of history’s ledger. While his first term was consumed with the economy, war and health care, his second keeps coming back to the societal divide that was not bridged by his election. A president who eschewed focusing on race now seems to have found his voice again as he thinks about how to use his remaining time in office and beyond.

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Obama Speaks of a ‘Sense of Unfairness’

Obama Speaks of a ‘Sense of Unfairness’

At an event announcing the creation of a nonprofit focusing on young minority men, President Obama talked about the underlying reasons for recent protests in Baltimore and other cities.

By Associated Press on Publish Date May 4, 2015. Photo by Stephen Crowley/The New York Times.

In the aftermath of racially charged unrest in places like Baltimore, Ferguson, Mo., and New York, Mr. Obama came to the Bronx on Monday for the announcement of a new nonprofit organization that is being spun off from his White House initiative called My Brother’s Keeper. Staked by more than $80 million in commitments from corporations and other donors, the new group, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, will in effect provide the nucleus for Mr. Obama’s post-presidency, which will begin in January 2017.

“This will remain a mission for me and for Michelle not just for the rest of my presidency but for the rest of my life,” Mr. Obama said. “And the reason is simple,” he added. Referring to some of the youths he had just met, he said: “We see ourselves in these young men. I grew up without a dad. I grew up lost sometimes and adrift, not having a sense of a clear path. The only difference between me and a lot of other young men in this neighborhood and all across the country is that I grew up in an environment that was a little more forgiving.”

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Organizers said the new alliance already had financial pledges from companies like American Express, Deloitte, Discovery Communications and News Corporation. The money will be used to help companies address obstacles facing young black and Hispanic men, provide grants to programs for disadvantaged youths, and help communities aid their populations.

Joe Echevarria, a former chief executive of Deloitte, the accounting and consulting firm, will lead the alliance, and among those on its leadership team or advisory group are executives at PepsiCo, News Corporation, Sprint, BET and Prudential Group Insurance; former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell; Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey; former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.; the music star John Legend; the retired athletes Alonzo Mourning, Jerome Bettis and Shaquille O’Neal; and the mayors of Indianapolis, Sacramento and Philadelphia.

The alliance, while nominally independent of the White House, may face some of the same questions confronting former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as she begins another presidential campaign. Some of those donating to the alliance may have interests in government action, and skeptics may wonder whether they are trying to curry favor with the president by contributing.

“The Obama administration will have no role in deciding how donations are screened and what criteria they’ll set at the alliance for donor policies, because it’s an entirely separate entity,” Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, told reporters on Air Force One en route to New York. But he added, “I’m confident that the members of the board are well aware of the president’s commitment to transparency.”

The alliance was in the works before the disturbances last week after the death of Freddie Gray, the black man who suffered fatal injuries while in police custody in Baltimore, but it reflected the evolution of Mr. Obama’s presidency. For him, in a way, it is coming back to issues that animated him as a young community organizer and politician. It was his own struggle with race and identity, captured in his youthful memoir, “Dreams From My Father,” that stood him apart from other presidential aspirants.

But that was a side of him that he kept largely to himself through the first years of his presidency while he focused on other priorities like turning the economy around, expanding government-subsidized health care and avoiding electoral land mines en route to re-election.

After securing a second term, Mr. Obama appeared more emboldened. Just a month after his 2013 inauguration, he talked passionately about opportunity and race with a group of teenage boys in Chicago, a moment aides point to as perhaps the first time he had spoken about these issues in such a personal, powerful way as president. A few months later, he publicly lamented the death of Trayvon Martin, a black Florida teenager, saying that “could have been me 35 years ago.”

Photo
 
President Obama on Monday with Darinel Montero, a student at Bronx International High School who introduced him before remarks at Lehman College in the Bronx. Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

That case, along with public ruptures of anger over police shootings in Ferguson and elsewhere, have pushed the issue of race and law enforcement onto the public agenda. Aides said they imagined that with his presidency in its final stages, Mr. Obama might be thinking more about what comes next and causes he can advance as a private citizen.

That is not to say that his public discussion of these issues has been universally welcomed. Some conservatives said he had made matters worse by seeming in their view to blame police officers in some of the disputed cases.

“President Obama, when he was elected, could have been a unifying leader,” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a Republican candidate for president, said at a forum last week. “He has made decisions that I think have inflamed racial tensions.”

On the other side of the ideological spectrum, some liberal African-American activists have complained that Mr. Obama has not done enough to help downtrodden communities. While he is speaking out more, these critics argue, he has hardly used the power of the presidency to make the sort of radical change they say is necessary.

The line Mr. Obama has tried to straddle has been a serrated one. He condemns police brutality as he defends most officers as honorable. He condemns “criminals and thugs” who looted in Baltimore while expressing empathy with those trapped in a cycle of poverty and hopelessness.

In the Bronx on Monday, Mr. Obama bemoaned the death of Brian Moore, a plainclothes New York police officer who had died earlier in the day after being shot in the head Saturday on a Queens street. Most police officers are “good and honest and fair and care deeply about their communities,” even as they put their lives on the line, Mr. Obama said.

“Which is why in addressing the issues in Baltimore or Ferguson or New York, the point I made was that if we’re just looking at policing, we’re looking at it too narrowly,” he added. “If we ask the police to simply contain and control problems that we ourselves have been unwilling to invest and solve, that’s not fair to the communities, it’s not fair to the police.”

Moreover, if society writes off some people, he said, “that’s not the kind of country I want to live in; that’s not what America is about.”

His message to young men like Malachi Hernandez, who attends Boston Latin Academy in Massachusetts, is not to give up.

“I want you to know you matter,” he said. “You matter to us.”

Obama Finds a Bolder Voice on Race Issues

Imagine an elite professional services firm with a high-performing, workaholic culture. Everyone is expected to turn on a dime to serve a client, travel at a moment’s notice, and be available pretty much every evening and weekend. It can make for a grueling work life, but at the highest levels of accounting, law, investment banking and consulting firms, it is just the way things are.

Except for one dirty little secret: Some of the people ostensibly turning in those 80- or 90-hour workweeks, particularly men, may just be faking it.

Many of them were, at least, at one elite consulting firm studied by Erin Reid, a professor at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. It’s impossible to know if what she learned at that unidentified consulting firm applies across the world of work more broadly. But her research, published in the academic journal Organization Science, offers a way to understand how the professional world differs between men and women, and some of the ways a hard-charging culture that emphasizes long hours above all can make some companies worse off.

Photo
 
Credit Peter Arkle

Ms. Reid interviewed more than 100 people in the American offices of a global consulting firm and had access to performance reviews and internal human resources documents. At the firm there was a strong culture around long hours and responding to clients promptly.

“When the client needs me to be somewhere, I just have to be there,” said one of the consultants Ms. Reid interviewed. “And if you can’t be there, it’s probably because you’ve got another client meeting at the same time. You know it’s tough to say I can’t be there because my son had a Cub Scout meeting.”

Some people fully embraced this culture and put in the long hours, and they tended to be top performers. Others openly pushed back against it, insisting upon lighter and more flexible work hours, or less travel; they were punished in their performance reviews.

The third group is most interesting. Some 31 percent of the men and 11 percent of the women whose records Ms. Reid examined managed to achieve the benefits of a more moderate work schedule without explicitly asking for it.

They made an effort to line up clients who were local, reducing the need for travel. When they skipped work to spend time with their children or spouse, they didn’t call attention to it. One team on which several members had small children agreed among themselves to cover for one another so that everyone could have more flexible hours.

A male junior manager described working to have repeat consulting engagements with a company near enough to his home that he could take care of it with day trips. “I try to head out by 5, get home at 5:30, have dinner, play with my daughter,” he said, adding that he generally kept weekend work down to two hours of catching up on email.

Despite the limited hours, he said: “I know what clients are expecting. So I deliver above that.” He received a high performance review and a promotion.

What is fascinating about the firm Ms. Reid studied is that these people, who in her terminology were “passing” as workaholics, received performance reviews that were as strong as their hyper-ambitious colleagues. For people who were good at faking it, there was no real damage done by their lighter workloads.

It calls to mind the episode of “Seinfeld” in which George Costanza leaves his car in the parking lot at Yankee Stadium, where he works, and gets a promotion because his boss sees the car and thinks he is getting to work earlier and staying later than anyone else. (The strategy goes awry for him, and is not recommended for any aspiring partners in a consulting firm.)

A second finding is that women, particularly those with young children, were much more likely to request greater flexibility through more formal means, such as returning from maternity leave with an explicitly reduced schedule. Men who requested a paternity leave seemed to be punished come review time, and so may have felt more need to take time to spend with their families through those unofficial methods.

The result of this is easy to see: Those specifically requesting a lighter workload, who were disproportionately women, suffered in their performance reviews; those who took a lighter workload more discreetly didn’t suffer. The maxim of “ask forgiveness, not permission” seemed to apply.

It would be dangerous to extrapolate too much from a study at one firm, but Ms. Reid said in an interview that since publishing a summary of her research in Harvard Business Review she has heard from people in a variety of industries describing the same dynamic.

High-octane professional service firms are that way for a reason, and no one would doubt that insane hours and lots of travel can be necessary if you’re a lawyer on the verge of a big trial, an accountant right before tax day or an investment banker advising on a huge merger.

But the fact that the consultants who quietly lightened their workload did just as well in their performance reviews as those who were truly working 80 or more hours a week suggests that in normal times, heavy workloads may be more about signaling devotion to a firm than really being more productive. The person working 80 hours isn’t necessarily serving clients any better than the person working 50.

In other words, maybe the real problem isn’t men faking greater devotion to their jobs. Maybe it’s that too many companies reward the wrong things, favoring the illusion of extraordinary effort over actual productivity.

How Some Men Fake an 80-Hour Workweek, and Why It Matters

The 2015 Met Gala has only officially begun, but there's a clear leader in the race for best couple, no small feat at an event that threatens to sap Hollywood of every celebrity it has for the duration of an East Coast evening.

That would be Marc Jacobs and his surprise guest (who, by some miracle, remained under wraps until their red carpet debut), Cher.

“This has been a dream of mine for a very, very long time,” Mr. Jacobs said.

It is Cher's first appearance at the Met Gala since 1997, when she arrived on the arm of Donatella Versace.

– MATTHEW SCHNEIER

Cher and Marc Jacobs

A 2-minute-42-second demo recording captured in one take turned out to be a one-hit wonder for Mr. Ely, who was 19 when he sang the garage-band classic.

Jack Ely, Who Sang the Kingsmen’s ‘Louie Louie’, Dies at 71

Mr. Paczynski was one of the concentration camp’s longest surviving inmates and served as the personal barber to its Nazi commandant Rudolf Höss.

Jozef Paczynski, Inmate Barber to Auschwitz Commandant, Dies at 95
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