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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Links - 15th April 2012

How Hiring Makes Uniqlo a Successful Retailer - "The general dogma in recent decades has been that, in order to compete on price, you need to keep labor costs down—hiring as few workers as you can get away with and paying them as little as possible. Although leanness is generally a good thing in business, too much cost-cutting turns out to be a bad strategy, not only for workers and customers but also for businesses themselves... They pay their employees more; they have more full-time workers and more salespeople on the floor; and they invest more in training them. (At QuikTrip, even part-time employees get forty hours of training.) Not surprisingly, these stores are better places to work. What’s more surprising is that they are more profitable than most of their competitors and have more sales per employee and per square foot... every dollar in additional payroll led to somewhere between four and twenty-eight dollars in new sales... Worker-friendly retailers with more employees have fewer phantom stock-outs, which leads to more sales. And happy workers tend to stick around, which saves the costs associated with employee turnover, like hiring and training... Some of the highest-profile retailers to flop in recent years were companies that made a big deal of slashing payroll costs... the benefits of keeping payroll costs low are immediate and easy to see, whereas the benefits of hiring more people are long-term and harder to track"

Exercise can also trigger female 'coregasms' - "Surprisingly, sex may not be the only way to an orgasm. Something as unconnected with bedroom as biking, spinning, abdominal exercises or rope climbing could also trigger climaxes, or coregasms among women, a study suggests"
Finally realised why girls like to go to the gym so much...; a French version is more detailed: "Pour celles que cela intéresse, l'exercice abdominal le plus efficace est celui effectué avec l'appareil de gymnastique appelé le captain's chair (la chaise du capitaine). Il s'agit d'un support métallique avec des accoudoirs matelassés et un dossier droit qui permet de lever les jambes à 90 ° devant soi en gardant le buste vertical. Regardez bien les filles qui s'y emploient. La grimace qu'elles laissent parfois paraître ne serait pas systématiquement due à l'effort."

NCBI ROFL: A novel method for the removal of ear cerumen. - "Neither a formal ear syringe, nor a syringe of any kind was available on the island. The day was very hot, and no one was particularly in the mood to boat to Honey Harbour and then drive 45 minutes to Midland, just on account of ear wax. One of the owners of the property was consulted in his capacity as a professional engineer and the owner of a superbly stocked tool shed (rivalling a mid-sized Canadian Tire). He was not able to offer any substitute contraption of his own but suggested we approach his 4-year-old grandson to see if we could use his pressured water cannon. D.K. (a family and emergency physician) assessed the utility of the Super Soaker Max-D 5000. He was surprised to note that it was able to deliver a superbly pressured narrow stream of water equivalent to, or perhaps exceeding, the quality of that achieved with standard ear-syringing instruments... Midway through the second load’s stream, wax particles began to run out of the ear. Just after starting the third load, a large plug of wax burst forth from the patient’s ear. The 3 generations of family members present took turns admiring (or recoiling from) the specimen. The patient exclaimed in joy, “I can hear again!”... This return to normal enhanced the state of their marital bliss on this island location. Comments: The clinician operator of the device was impressed by the Super Soaker’s ease of use for this procedure"

Keeping Your Options Open Could Be Hurting Your Career - "Actors who typecast themselves (PDF) early in their careers tend to earn more money, have longer lifespans, and enjoy more fame compared to generalist actors. Moreover, young actors who specialize are able to land their first role quicker and receive more job offers over the course of their careers. "

Well played... - Imgur

Where do they keep anchovies in French supermarkets? - "Maurice, who lives up at the big house, visited America recently, and becomes quite emotional when I ask him about the customer service he experienced there. “Can you imagine, in Paris,” he tells me, misty-eyed, “a waiter introducing himself by his first name and kneeling down beside the table to take your order?”"

15 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Bananas

Price discrimination: The adult-book premium | The Economist - "Adult readers are prepared to pay a premium so that strangers on the train don’t think they’re reading children’s books"

Harvard’s Walkout Students Misunderstand Economics - "The students’ general criticism is that Ec 10, in which some 700 students are enrolled, “espouses a specific -- and limited -- view of economics.” Their specific criticisms are that economics as taught in this class, formally called Economics 10, failed to prevent the financial crisis and does nothing to narrow the gap between rich and poor. They’d like a more diverse intro course that includes exposure to more progressive economic frameworks... There are two theories that could have predicted the financial crisis of 2008, and that have much to say about inequality. Neither of them would be considered “progressive”... In assailing Mankiw, the students also miss the mark. Intellectually, Mankiw does sit to the right of some of his predecessors... Look closely at the Harvard protest and you find a problem opposite to the one alleged. Ec 10, though still Keynes-flavored, does feature intellectual variety relative to the rest of Harvard’s curriculum. The course’s message of free markets and trade, and less-regulated prices, rings at odds with the ideology on offer in many Harvard courses labeled “history,” “sociology” or “government”"
"Diversity" means "I want to hear/see things I like"

STOMP - Singapore Seen - Sign of desperation? Uni students pray to 'Bell Curve God' to help them in final exam

The Single-Sex School Myth: An Overwhelming Body of Research Shows that Coeducation Is Better for Girls—and Boys. - "One group thinks single-sex classes are wonderful (for girls) because they provide a protected environment in which girls can learn without playing dumb to attract boys, focusing on their appearance, being distracted by (hetero)sexual attraction to classmates, dealing with male classmates’ sexist behavior, or competing with males for leadership opportunities. (This camp tends to be more ambivalent about single-sex schooling for boys, given that elite all-male academies were formerly bastions of privilege)... Teachers in single-sex classrooms tended to reinforce, rather than break down, traditional gender stereotypes... coeducation offers boys and girls the chance to learn positive skills from each other. Mixed-sex groupings tend to buffer the bullying that often occurs in same-sex groups of adolescents. Studies of siblings, meanwhile, have found that girls with older brothers tend to be more interested in sports than girls with sisters, whereas boys with twin sisters demonstrate better verbal skills than boys with twin brothers."

Why the diner is the ultimate symbol of America - "A friend of mine in Pennsylvania ate in a diner and he's in the middle of two guys. One is the chief of police and the other is just some character. The policeman looks over and says, 'Didn't I arrest you last year?' and the guy says, 'Yes you did - pass the ketchup.'"

Men who don't think about sex every seven seconds can rest easy - the idea is a myth, researchers have found - "just 19 times a day. And they think about food 18 times a day, finds study"

8 in 10 Singaporeans have work on their mind while on holiday - "13 per cent of respondents thought that taking a vacation would trigger negative sentiments in the workplace... Singaporeans cited a 'lack of planning' as the biggest factor behind them not using up all their annual leave... Asia represents the world's most vacation-deprived region, with Korea, Japan and Singapore receiving the fewest vacation days each year. On average, Japanese workers cleared less than half of their eleven annual vacation days, and South Korean employees left three of their 10 off days unused"

snopes.com: Worst Job in Singapore - "Claim: The "worst job in Singapore" belongs to a zoo worker who has to help animals masturbate in order to collect sperm samples from them.
Status: False."

The Kama Sutra is a classic, but I swear by the King James - "David Cameron said he’d send a copy of the King James Bible to every school in the land... If Cameron had proposed to distribute The Story of Little Black Sambo the gnashing of teeth couldn’t have been louder... Those who refuse to have the most important text in the English language in our schools welcome texts like The Primary School Sex and Relationships Education Pack. This pedagogical gem argues that “dissuading children from having sex before marriage” and telling “children what is right or wrong” are futile: “such aims are… inappropriate for schools”... But even this pales against what is planned next in “sex and relationships [note the order of these terms] education”. Channel 4 has made a DVD, Living and Growing, to be distributed to the one out of five schools that includes Special Religious Education classes. (Remember how Labour wanted to make these compulsory?) The film (target audience: eight-year-olds) features computer-generated images of a man and woman in a vigorous re-enactment of the Kama Sutra. That Hindu love manual is a classic, too. But not one I wish my eight-year-old to be force-fed. "

'Harry Potter and yoga are evil', says Catholic Church exorcist - "Father Amorth has previously said that people who are possessed by Satan vomit shards of glass and pieces of iron and have such superhuman strength that even children have to be held down by up to four people. He has also claimed that the sex abuse scandals which have engulfed the Catholic Church in the US, Ireland, Germany and other countries was proof that the Anti-Christ is waging a war against the Holy See."

Schoolboy's skirt protest up for human rights award - "A boy who wore a skirt to school in protest at a ban on boys wearing shorts during the summer months has been nominated for a human rights award... "In the summer months, girl students are allowed to wear skirts but boys are not allowed to wear shorts," Chris explained at the time. "It discriminates against boys. I will march in a skirt with other boys waving banners and making a lot of noise." His demonstration made the headlines around the world and prompted the school to review its uniform policy"
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