FOR most of human history rich people had the most leisure. In
“Downton Abbey”, a drama about the British upper classes of the early
20th century, one aloof aristocrat has never heard of the term
“weekend”: for her, every day is filled with leisure. On the flip side,
the poor have typically slogged. Hans-Joachim Voth, an economic
historian at the University of Zurich, shows that in 1800 the average
English worker laboured for 64 hours a week. “In the 19th century you
could tell how poor somebody was by how long they worked,” says Mr Voth.
In today’s advanced economies things are different. Overall working
hours have fallen over the past century. But the rich have begun to work
longer hours than the poor. In 1965 men with a college degree, who tend
to be richer, had a bit more leisure time than men who had only
completed high school. But by 2005 the college-educated had eight hours
less of it a week than the high-school grads. Figures from the American

Time Use Survey, released last year, show that Americans with a
bachelor’s degree or above work two hours more each day than those
without a high-school diploma. Other research shows that the share of
college-educated American men regularly working more than 50 hours a
week rose from 24% in 1979 to 28% in 2006, but fell for high-school
dropouts. The rich, it seems, are no longer the class of leisure.
In this section
* Barbarians at middle age
* FICC and thin
* Something rotten
* From cancer to pimple
* Rehabilitation and attack
* Patchy progress
* Put your money where your mail is
* Credit where credit’s due
* Nice work if you can get out
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* Oxford University

There are a number of explanations. One has to do with what
economists call the “substitution effect”. Higher wages make leisure
more expensive: if people take time off they give up more money. Since
the 1980s the salaries of those at the top have risen strongly, while
those below the median have stagnated or fallen. Thus rising inequality
encourages the rich to work more and the poor to work less.

The “winner-takes-all” nature of modern economies may amplify the
substitution effect. The scale of the global market means businesses
that innovate tend to reap huge gains (think of YouTube, Apple and
Goldman Sachs). The returns for beating your competitors can be
enormous. Research from Peter Kuhn of the University of California,
Santa Barbara, and Fernando Lozano of Pomona College shows that the same
is true for highly skilled workers. Although they do not immediately
get overtime pay for “extra” hours, the most successful workers, often
the ones putting in the most hours, may reap gains from winner-takes-all
markets. Whereas in the early 1980s a man working 55 hours a week
earned 11% more than a man putting in 40 hours in the same type of
occupation, that gap had increased to 25% by the turn of the millennium.
Economists tend to assume that the substitution effect must at some
stage be countered by an “income effect”: as higher wages allow people
to satisfy more of their material needs, they forgo extra work and
instead choose more leisure. A billionaire who can afford his own island
has little incentive to work that extra hour. But new social mores may
have flipped the income effect on its head.

The status of work and leisure in the rich world has changed since
the days of “Downton Abbey”. Back in 1899 Thorstein Veblen, an American
economist who dabbled in sociology, offered his take on things. He
argued that leisure was a “badge of honour”. Rich people could get
others to do the dirty, repetitive work—what Veblen called “industry”.
Yet Veblen’s leisure class was not idle. Rather they engaged in
“exploit”: challenging and creative activities such as writing,
philanthropy and debating.

Veblen’s theory needs updating, according to a recent paper from
researchers at Oxford University*. Work in advanced economies has become
more knowledge-intensive and intellectual. There are fewer really dull
jobs, like lift-operating, and more glamorous ones, like fashion design.
That means more people than ever can enjoy “exploit” at the office.
Work has come to offer the sort of pleasures that rich people used to
seek in their time off. On the flip side, leisure is no longer a sign of
social power. Instead it symbolises uselessness and unemployment.

The evidence backs up the sociological theory. The occupations in
which people are least happy are manual and service jobs requiring
little skill. Job satisfaction tends to increase with the prestige of
the occupation. Research by Arlie Russell Hochschild of the University
of California, Berkeley, suggests that as work becomes more
intellectually stimulating, people start to enjoy it more than home
life. “I come to work to relax,” one interviewee tells Ms Hochschild.
And wealthy people often feel that lingering at home is a waste of time.
A study in 2006 revealed that Americans with a household income of more
than $100,000 indulged in 40% less “passive leisure” (such as watching
TV) than those earning less than $20,000.

Condemned to relax
What about less educated workers? Increasing leisure time probably
reflects a deterioration in their employment prospects as low-skill and
manual jobs have withered. Since the 1980s, high-school dropouts have
fared badly in the labour market. In 1965 the unemployment rate of
American high-school graduates was 2.9 percentage points higher than for
those with a bachelor’s degree or more. Today it is 8.4 points higher.
“Less educated people are not necessarily buying their way into
leisure,” explains Erik Hurst of the University of Chicago. “Some of
that time off work may be involuntary.” There may also be change in the
income effect for those on low wages. Information technology, by opening
a vast world of high-quality and cheap home entertainment, means that
low-earners do not need to work as long to enjoy a reasonably satisfying

By Elahe Izadi August 15  

Now it can be told: This will not happen to you if you are infected with Ebola. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Everybody, calm down. Ebola isn't a "zombie virus." It will not turn you into a member of the living dead.

That's the message delivered by Chinese state media, in response to the flurry of rumors, online and presumably elsewhere, about the deadly virus that's ravaging West Africa.

A recent article published by the state-run Xinhua News Agency debunks various assertions about the virus.

According to a translation from Foreign Policy, some people erroneously believe that once people die from Ebola, they can "unexpectedly reawaken, entering into an extremely violent condition in which they bite any moving object, including humans and animals."


On the contrary, an expert said, Ebola victims actually get weaker, not stronger, because they lose so much blood. Additionally, coming back from the dead as a zombie (whether of the traditional slow or new-age fast variety) "can only happen in the movies," the expert said. Noted.

Another rumor that's taken off in China: You can cure Ebola by drinking coffee mixed with raw onions. Nope! (The aromatic elixir would likely fend off people, yes, but not the deadly Ebola virus.)

Nonetheless, Chinese officials are on high alert as the worst Ebola outbreak in history rages on. They have declared that passengers arriving from West Africa will go through special channels at China's airports; state media even released a photo of Nigerians being examined by Chinese health workers wearing full-body hazmat suits.

Ebola has killed more than 1,000 people,  mostly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, and the World Health Organization now says the outbreak's toll has been vastly underestimated.

China isn't the only place where wild Ebola rumors have spread rapidly; in West Africa, rumors and misinformation have had deadly consequences. Health workers have had to combat the notion among some West Africans that the virus doesn't even exist.

As for a zombie outbreak, the United States appears to be well-prepared for the walking dead, thanks to the Zombie Preparedness Initiative from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

August 4, 2014 by Kitty Boitnott  0
Career Advice Work-Life Balance

Stress permeates many workplaces. Depending upon the industry and the level of stress that goes with the job, the amount of stress workers experience varies from place to place. A floor trader’s stress, for example, is different from a kindergarten teacher’s stress, but it is stress all the same.

Related: 7 Strategies For Dealing With Stress More Effectively

Whether you are a neurosurgeon or an administrative assistant with a demanding boss, stress on the job is a very real phenomenon, and increasingly, studies show that ignoring your stress level can lead to serious health consequences for you.

6 Ways To De-Stress At Work
Regardless of your source of stress, here are six ways to lower your stress level at work:

1. Breathe

You don’t even need to leave your desk to practice this one technique. Just remember to BREATHE. We tend to breathe shallowly when we feel stressed. To counteract the oxygen deficit that occurs when you breathe too shallowly, stop for a moment, check in with yourself, and take some deep, cleansing breaths.

Put one hand on your chest, put the other hand on your stomach. Breathe deeply while keeping your eyes closed for a count of six to ten seconds. Feel the air as it enters into your diagram. Breathe out slowly through your mouth. Do this three times in succession, and feel the muscles in your shoulders and neck relax as the result of taking this mini time out.

Do this as often as needed throughout the day. The more stressful your job, the more often you can do it to help yourself maintain a sense of calm and equilibrium.

2. Engage your sense of smell

The sense of smell is the one that is the most connected to your emotions. What that means is that if you can change what you smell, you can change how you feel…in an instant. Some suggestions for smells that have been proven to have a relaxing benefit and are almost sure to soothe you when you are feeling stressed include lavender, green apple, coconut, peppermint, and chocolate. I personally enjoy the scent of vanilla.

You can create these scents right at your desk with potpourri pouches of dried flowers, using a variety of oils, or burning candles that exude your favorite scent. You can even purchase aromatherapy diffusers that emit the scents that help to calm you.

3. Look out the window

Researchers say that the color blue has a calming effect on us. When you are feeling stressed, stop for a moment and simply stare out your window for a moment or two. In addition to the naturally calming effect of the blue sky as you gaze at it, the image of gently floating clouds, according to some researchers, will remind your subconscious of the importance of staying “light.” You may also interpret the image of the infinite skies as a reminder of infinite possibilities. (If it’s a gray and rainy day, try wearing something blue, and stay away from the windows.)

4. Listen to music

Classical music can calm the mind and the spirit and may help you think more clearly. Playing music softly in the background may have a calming effect on you. On the other hand, if you feel down in the dumps, listen to your favorite upbeat song or group of songs for inspiration. They will work to pump you up and make you feel stronger and more confident…perhaps even more creative.

5. Take a walk

Sometimes, just getting away from the phone and walking away from the clutter on your desk for ten minutes can re-set your mood allowing you to come back feeling more refreshed and ready to tackle the mound of work waiting for you. If going outside isn’t possible, take a break long enough to walk down the hall and back. Stop by the water fountain. Check in on colleagues. Just catching up with them and taking a moment to get outside your own head can make a difference.

6. Go out for lunch

You need to take care of yourself which means pacing yourself throughout the day. Go out for your lunch break. Eat your bagged lunch in a nearby park if it is a pretty day. Sit outside and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Reconnect with friends or co-workers over your lunch break when you can. The work will still be there when you get back, but you will return to it feeling more refreshed and able to tackle the rest of your day.

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Agência Estado
Com o prazo da Fifa se esgotando para a entrega dos estádios para a Copa do Mundo de 2014, um recorde já está garantido para o Brasil: o País ergueu os estádios mais caros do mundo. Um estudo da consultoria KPMG levantou o custo de cada assento nos estádios construídos pelo mundo. Uma comparação com os valores oficiais dos estádios brasileiros revela que um dos legados do Mundial será a coleção dos estádios mais caros do planeta. 

Dos 20 mais caros, dez deles estão no Brasil. Já pelos cálculos de institutos europeus, a Copa de 2014 consumiu mais que tudo o que a Alemanha gastou em estádios para a Copa de 2006 e a África do Sul, em 2010.

Seja qual for o ranking utilizado e a comparação feita, a constatação é de que nunca se gastou tanto em estádios como no Brasil nesses últimos anos. A KPMG, por exemplo, prefere avaliar os custos dos estádios levando em conta o número de assentos, e não o valor total. Isso porque, segundo os especialistas, não faria sentido comparar uma arena de 35 mil lugares com outra de 70 mil.

Com essa metodologia, os dados da KPMG revelam que o estádio mais caro do mundo é o renovado Wembley, na Inglaterra, onde cada um dos assentos saiu por 10,1 mil euros (R$ 32,4 mil). O segundo estádio mais caro também fica em Londres. Trata-se do Emirates Stadium, do Arsenal, onde cada lugar custou 7,2 mil euros (R$ 23,3 mil). Mas a terceira posição é do Estádio Mané Garrincha, em Brasília. 

Com custo avaliado em R$ 1,43 bilhão, o estádio tem um gasto por assento de R$ 20,7 mil, ou 6,2 mil euros. Na classificação, o Maracanã aparece na sétima posição, mais caro que a Allianz Arena de Munique. Manaus vem na 10ª colocação, com praticamente o mesmo preço por assento do estádio do Basel, situado em um dos países com os maiores custos de mão de obra do mundo, a Suíça.

O estádio do Corinthians, em Itaquera, seria o 12º mais caro do mundo, seguido pelas Arenas Pantanal, Pernambuco, Fonte Nova e Mineirão. Todos esses seriam mais caros do que estádios como o da Juventus, em Turim, considerada a arena mais moderna da Itália e usada como exemplo de gestão. O Castelão e o estádio de Natal também estão entre os 20 mais caros do mundo. Se o ranking fosse realizado considerando os custos totais dos estádios, o Mané Garrincha seria o segundo mais caro do mundo, com o Maracanã aparecendo na quarta posição.

Para o prestigiado Instituto Braudel, na Europa, os custos dos estádios no Brasil também surpreenderam. Em colaboração com a ONG dinamarquesa Play the Game, a entidade publicou nesta semana levantamento que revela que, em média, cada assento nos doze estádios brasileiros custaria US$ 5,8 mil (R$ 13,5 mil). O valor é superior ao das três últimas Copas. Na África do Sul, em 2010, a média foi de US$ 5,2 mil (R$ 12,1 mil). Na Alemanha, em 2006, US$ 3,4 mil (R$ 7,9 mil). Já no Japão, em 2002, chegou a US$ 5 mil (R$ 11,6 mil).

Em termos absolutos, o gasto total com os estádios bate todos os recordes. Se todo o gasto de sul-africanos em 2010 e alemães em 2006 for adicionado, não se chega ao total que foi pago no Brasil para 2014, mais de R$ 8 bilhões. Em apenas nove meses, o valor aumentou em quase R$ 1 bilhão, segundo dados oficiais do Comitê Organizador Local (COL), em sua quinta edição do balanço geral do andamento das obras da Matriz de Responsabilidade.

SEM EXPLICAÇÃO - Jens Alm, analista do Instituto Dinamarquês para o Estudo dos Esportes e autor do levantamento dos dados sobre estádios da Copa, insiste que a inflação e os custos dos estádios no Brasil não têm explicação. "Quando um país quer receber uma Copa, é normal que queira mostrar estádios bonitos. Mas nada explica os preços tão elevados no Brasil e porque são tão mais elevados do que na Alemanha e na África do Sul", disse.

Henrick Brandt, diretor do Departamento de Esportes da Universidade de Aarhus, também aponta para os custos elevados das obras no Brasil. "Os dados são surpreendentes", indicou. "Um dos debates agora é o que será feito para tornar esses locais rentáveis, principalmente os estádios públicos", alertou.

Game Over Zombies !!!