Friday, May 22, 2015

In The Grand Scheme of Life, is The Title Really Important?

Audrey Borders
Mr. Coward
Period 6
In The Grand Scheme Of Life, is The Title Really Important?


While Americans experience increasing stress with the 40-hour work week, many Europeans enjoy a shorter, more productive and serine work environment. A 30-hour work week would be an improvement to the normal 40-hour work week because it’s better for the environment, it will create a stronger economy, and it’s better for employee health.


If you reduce the work week, companies will use less energy for lighting, heating and electronics needed during work hours. Reducing  the workweek from 40 to 30 hours would burn less fossil fuels and reduce our carbon footprint. If people worked just 10% fewer hours the carbon footprint would fall 15%. If they worked 25% fewer hours the carbon footprint would fall 37% (According to Newdream.org).


Global warming is possibly the greatest threat humanity has ever encountered. The very planet we call home may be rendered uninhabitable if it continues. Though the 30-hour work week may not completely solve our global crisis, it's certainly a step in the right direction. All creatures are affected by our mistakes, but we are the only creatures that can possibly alter the consequences.


Working more hours also has a large impact on the well-being of the workers. Obesity, anxiety, depression, sleep problems, high blood pressure, heart problems, and stress-related illnesses are caused by too long of a work week. Health problems can arise from long hours of  looking at a computer screen; computer screens create glare and glare can cause many long term eye problems and headaches. Doctors office hours coincide with the majority of workers’ schedules, making it an inconvenience that often results in people delaying much needed visits, which may have mortal consequences.


With reduced stress, workers are more productive hour for hour. The amount of absenteeism drops significantly when work hours are reduced. Overtime costs are reduced in direct proportion to reduced absenteeism. This results in a healthier, happier, and more efficient work force. If the workers are at home more often, they can be with their families and friends, creating more positive attitudes and a stronger, healthier commitment to work.


average work time - optimal work time



With people working a shorter work day, others can fill those hours. Thus creating more jobs and a better, stronger economy. “An economy that doesn’t grow usually means widespread unemployment, but if you move to a shorter working week, you can get more people into work, off benefits and paying taxes”, Anna Coote, the head of social policy at NEF, explained in a Tedx talk, “Every 3 people who give up hours will make 1 job”. Lower unemployment will reduce crime resulting in less tax dollars being spent on the expensive court and prison process. The tax savings could be utilized for more beneficial purposes such as: schools, roads, bridges, medical research, public safety and our monstrous national debt.


“The Netherlands and Germany have a shorter workweek than the United States and Britain. But the Dutch and German economies are stronger, not weaker. Workers on shorter hours tend to be more productive hour-for-hour. They are under less stress, they get sick less often and they make a more loyal and committed workforce.” (Coote). Plus, it should be noted, that an average employee needs to work only 11 hours per week to produce as much as if they worked 40 hours a week in 1950, proving that longer work hours are inefficient and uselessly expensive to fund. This was presented by Erik Rauch using data from US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Number of hours per week needed to produce as much as a 40-hour worker in 1975


Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company, reduced the work week from 6 days to 5 days and doubled his employee’s pay. In an interview with Capital World’s Work magazine in 1926 Henry said, “The people with a 5-day week will consume more goods than the people with a 6-day week, people who have more leisure must have more clothes. They must have a greater variety of food. They must have more transportation facilities. They naturally must have more service of various kinds. This increased consumption will require greater production than we now have. Instead of business being slowed up because the people are ‘off work’, it will be speeded up ... This will lead to more work. And this to more profits. And this to more wages. The result of more leisure will be the exact opposite of what most people might suppose it to be”. After Henry instituted the 5-day work week, many other companies followed suit. In the late 1930s the US government adopted the 40-hour standard work week. Between the years of 1947 and 2006, the average workweek gradually dropped 6.4 hours, this shows that the work week is evolving with time, without harm to the economy and arguably strengthening it.


    The old fashioned ideas of industry would have you believe that man should work for long hours to speed up production. In actuality history has shown, with more hours, comes tired employees that are not prepared to work and end up hurting the company. Exhausted workers are expensive, less effective and more likely to call in sick, which increases the company's overtime cost.


    All in all our economy could be so much better if we let our workers have a 30-hour work week. It would allow for more people to consume products and services, which creates more demand, which creates more jobs, more productive and healthier employees, lover unemployment resulting in less crime and a stronger economy. With less crime, tax dollars could be put to better use, and improve this country. Less greenhouse gasses would be produced and global warming will be slowed down tremendously. Europe is pursuing the future of employment and we’re lagging behind.


The 21 Hour Work Week: Anna Coote at TEDxGhent. Perf. Anna Coote. Ted Talk X 21 Hour Work Week. Youtube, 25 Sept. 2012. Web. 21 May 2015.


Rauch, Erik. "Productivity and the Workweek." - Shorter Hours. Web. 22 May 2015. <http://groups.csail.mit.edu/mac/users/rauch/worktime/>.


Coote, Anna. "Reduce the Workweek to 30 Hours." New York Times. N.p., 9 Mar. 2014. Web. 21 May 2015. <http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/03/09/rethinking-the-40-hour-work-week/reduce-the-workweek-to-30-hours>.



United States. Beaureau of Labor. Statistics. Average Workweek in the United States. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Census. Web.


Crowthers, Samuel. "Interview Wit Henry Ford." The World's Wok Oct. 1926: n. pag. Print.


 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

My Lawyer Made Me Change The Name Of This Blog So I Wouldn't Get Sued

I decided to interview my Mom’s dad. I don’t really know much about him and we do not usually see each other so I was reluctant to ask him. Our relationship is somewhat awkward, well at least from my perspective. He’s really tall and lanky so when I hug him it’s really weird. I always end up on my toes, or off the ground, and he has to lean down really far to even be able to see me! Then, he holds on for too long and I end up being the one to stop the hug. He also is ALWAYS joking around so I can never take him seriously. Then, when he is serious, he always gets really religious; I can’t relate with that. He is also really trusting, and that is usually not good, I kind of feel bad for him. He has really dark eyes that almost look black, it’s hard to focus on anything else, they look like extremely small black holes.


    Last time I met up with him would probably be when I was visiting home, Redding CA. He seemed to have more grey hairs than usual and was strangely mellow, though I only ever have seen him when he’s hyper, so I saw a new side of him. I think he is less rowdy now because I’m not a little kid anymore. Therefore, he doesn’t feel the need to entertain me.


After I emailed him the questions, my mom told me to call him. After I told him about my project, he started to ask awkward questions, like “do you have a boyfriend yet?” or “why not?” so I tried to end it quickly.


    It was about a day later when he replied. My email with his answers are provided here. His answers are in blue.


April 21, 2015 8:13 PM,  "Mike Eaton" <mik*****n@frontier.com> replied:

Hello Grandpa,

I have to do a project where I ask my relatives some questions.

#1) What is one thing that you would change about today’s society? Why?
I would make a single global language mandatory in all societies.  Why, communication is the bedrock of good relationships.
That’s not really what I was looking for, but fascinating answer, really. The idea that the world could have one central language is a really cool concept, if it was possible. There is much culture and history involved in language and you're not just going to change that. Plus, many people are proud of their ethnicity and vocabulary (for some reason) so convincing them to change it will be useless.


#2)What was your favorite pick-up line, back in the day? Why?
My favorite pick-up line was, “ you make me smile”.  Why, it always made them smile.
Somehow I started to smile to. This is really cute and, in my opinion, a great tactic. It is very genuine and will make most people smile and feel special.


#3) What is the most valuable life lesson you have ever learned?
Life lesson, time is precious and we are only guaranteed the present, no one knows what tomorrow will bring.
That has got to be the most generic answer I have already heard before! Though, the older you get, the more sentimental you get and he is pretty old. Besides, even if it’s cheesy, it is a good lesson, but I thought that he would come up with some silly answer.


#4) What was your favorite treat as a kid?
My favorite treat as a child was to play in the snow which we saw very rarely.  
I love snow as well, it is so soft and light. It is also fun to throw snowballs. Maybe the snow is why he loves skiing so much. We try to go every year, but lately the snow hasn't been powdery and he broke his feet.


#5) If you could have had a different job, would you take it? What would you change it to?
A different job would not have interested me.  It is not what a job brings to me that is important but rather what I bring to the job that matters to me.
That’s a funny way to think about it, honestly, I’m mostly worried about whether or not I’m enjoying what I’m doing or not. I guess that’s a childish way of thinking, huh.


#6) Do you think the world is improving or not?
From any vantage point it would be no small task to judge whether or not the world is doing better or worse.  I am only compelled to make sure what I bring to the table is productive. I only have control over my actions and no one else.
Somehow I feel like this is some cheap cop out. I mean, he kind of just danced around the subject and gave some philosophy that hardly actually answers my question. That kind of is annoying.


#7) What is your most vivid memory of childhood?
My most vivid memory as a child was when my older brother stood up for me against a bully.
I never knew he had a brother, that’s cool that his brother protected him. As opposed to me, I barely know my brother. We talk a lot, but I don’t really know him. All his flaws and quirks are oblivious to me.


#8) If you could do it all over again, what would you change?
If I could do it all over again the only thing I would change is that I would just do it better!
I started to laugh, my mom liked that answer to. I think that, that answer is the best anyone could come up with because it’s true and very abstract, yet an obvious course of action.


    All in all, I’m glad I chose him, I got to know him better and it was interesting nonetheless. I also feel like this assignment was an indirect bonding method. Man, that’s cheesey.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Can you read the blogs of past students?

     Von is a girl who had her brother betray her and leave her with a debt that she is forced to repay by standing in the room of a conman be cause he thinks that she is a "good luck charm". Creep. I think that the chick on the front page is the main character. I don't really know if she is a skaa or not but I think she is. I think this world consists of 2 main social classes: Skaa and the rest (nobles, the families of the great ruler/ normal people). They describe Von's employer (I don't know his name and I don't know where my book is) like a pig. He waddles, he's pudgy and kind of gross. He tricks nobles out of their money (like a door to door salesman).

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I'm not in a creative mood

                Apparently Tresting actually is a rapist and dead. There is this traveling skaa that is called the troublemaker. He stole Tresting’s food and called it sucky. An obligator is another way to say  a nobel or an advisory or an priest. I think the main characters will be the group of skaa who escaped when the troublemaker killed the nobles and Tresting. I think the trouble maker is immortal and survived the pits. The pits is the place where skaa go when they act up. It’s kind of like the containment camps used with the Jews.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Most Opinions in The World are Relative


                I just started Mistborn and it seems good so far, but most books I read look good at first. There is this king, King Tresting, that seems very quiet and wise, kind of scary. There are these people (or creatures. I don’t really know) called Skaa, they are used as slaves and farmers. The King Tresting is very strict with his Skaa and quite cruel. There is a rumor that he is shacking up with his Skaa women. I don’t believe it. There is also this one old Skaa woman that is very wise, she refused some fancy food that was offered to her by a Skaa named Tepper. The End.

Monday, April 13, 2015

You Never Realize Just How Boring Your Life is Till You're Asked What You do for Fun.

     I don't really have a book I want to read so I just grabbed something till I find something worth my time. I picked up Anne of Green Gables. The movie was ok. I'm not exactly an avid consumer of
dramatic characters, like Anne, they kind of annoy me. It's not really interesting to me and (as I've said) I've watched the movie and I have hardly the patience to watch something then read about it. I have to read it, then I can comfortably watch the movie. I can't really make too many theories because I know how it ends. I'm actually planning on reading Mistborn. My one question about this book is, why did the author put so much detail into a side character that leaves early in the story?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

There is no Time in Antarctica, or You Could Say That There is All The Time

     Evil McEvilkins recently acquired a huge robot hair dryer chair thingie army that he will promptly use to "improve the minds of the world". Mr. MainCharacter and his rag tag team of misfits have to figure out what Home Base means by "know thy enemy". I have new names for the kids, Constance is Highness, Kate is Super Bucket, Sticky is The Bald Bandit and Ray is Mr. MainCharacter. Oh, and The Institute is The Insane Children's Jail. I'm wondering, why is Trenton Lee Stewart stalling for so long before he proves Highness is worthy? It's getting old, dude. Funny video of the day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3GJycgu-cs