Why you really can’t say that priests are the happiest people, and publicans the most miserable.

Really interesting article looking at happiness and earnings. Interesting because its conclusions are seemingly statistical drivel.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26671221

The fact that the data for the study is almost impossible to find, being poorly cited in the government document this article has taken it from, and ultimately unpublished, says a lot. In the end I found this: “Cabinet Office. “Life Satisfaction by Occupation in Mid-career”, unpublished analysis (2014).” Unpublished!!

It also draws conclusions which are of no statistical significance because it takes no account of participants’ individual outlooks on life, or whether or not different professions have a more realistic outlook on their jobs. For instance, Care Workers are probably quite realistic about how happy their job makes them, whereas Marketing and Sales Directors could have a “pie in the sky” sort of blind obsessive happy attitude, despite possibly being more miserable than people who actually help others. And the Clergy, the allegeded happiest group, can’t exactly turn round and write that they hate being a representative of God (or equivalent)!

Basically, where are the error bars? The answer is simple: if they included errors then the study would be pointless, because even if you asked every single participant to put how happy they were +/- a certain number of points, the errors would be so astonomically large than no sensible conclusions could be drawn! For one thing, the difference between the happiest and most miserable is 1.911 out of 10. I’ve had days at work when I might have rated te job 2/10, but then you also get 10/10 days! The errors involved easily account for the difference — NO STATISTICAL SIGNIFICANCE!

Another thing: people don’t know what their lives are like compared to those of people in other jobs. So how can they rate their lives on the same scale as people in a different life reference frame? They can’t, not accurately.

Why does the government bother with these sort of useless, poorly thought-out studies?

What I hate is the way the BBC and others try to use these sort of studies as if they actually tell us anything. They really don’t.

URL to the government paper: http://li.com/docs/default-source/commission-on-wellbeing-and-policy/commission-on-wellbeing-and-policy-report—-march-2014-pdf-.pdf?sfvrsn=5

sav3mys0ul:

theeconomist: Daily chart: which country consumes the most trees? The average American uses the paper equivalent of almost six 40-foot (12-metre) trees a year. In Belgium paper consumption is pushed up by the EU bureaucracy in Brussels.

sav3mys0ul:

theeconomistDaily chart: which country consumes the most trees? The average American uses the paper equivalent of almost six 40-foot (12-metre) trees a year. In Belgium paper consumption is pushed up by the EU bureaucracy in Brussels.

A question on States, not Nations

Am I really the only person who believes it makes mores sense to base a state on Geography, Economics and Political Outlook rather than a shared History, Culture and Language?  Sure, it’s fine to accommodate those things, but they don’t necessarily create a successfully functioning state, do they?

Gives a sense of scale of the sheer size of modern cruise liners. I’ve been on HMB Endeavour and it’s not small! 
sav3mys0ul:

The Queen Mary 2 is saluted by the HMB Endeavour, a replica of Captain James Cook’s ship, off the coast of Victoria, Australia. The encounter occurred as the Queen Mary 2 sailed from Adelaide to Melbourne, where she will make her maiden visit. While Queen Mary 2 has taken 20 nights to circumnavigate Australia (Fremantle to Fremantle) the Endeavour is taking 13 months on its journey around the country.
Picture: James Morgan

Gives a sense of scale of the sheer size of modern cruise liners. I’ve been on HMB Endeavour and it’s not small! 

sav3mys0ul:

The Queen Mary 2 is saluted by the HMB Endeavour, a replica of Captain James Cook’s ship, off the coast of Victoria, Australia. The encounter occurred as the Queen Mary 2 sailed from Adelaide to Melbourne, where she will make her maiden visit. While Queen Mary 2 has taken 20 nights to circumnavigate Australia (Fremantle to Fremantle) the Endeavour is taking 13 months on its journey around the country.

Picture: James Morgan

Has Putin elected himself? - Russian Presidential Elections 2012

The results aren’t fully in yet, but it’s looking like another strong victory for Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. 

He’s had the job twice already, elected as the country’s second ever President in 2000, and again in 2004. This year’s results are expected to be announced at around 6:00am GMT.

Russian law states that no person can be President for more than any two consecutive terms at a time. Unsurprisingly, in 2008 he put forward Dmitri Medvedev, a close colleague, while Putin himself remained as Prime Minister. In September 2011, Medvedev announced he would not run this year for president. Few were surprised.

Now the elections are happening in the midst of the largest protest seen in Russia since the downfall of communism. And observers, both independent and those brought in by the opposition, are reporting thousands of incidents of fraud, from people being carted from one polling station to another to cast multiple votes.

Tomorrow, thousands of protesters are expected to take to the streets of Moscow again to express their horror at this. And I wouldn’t be surprised if there was international frowning at these results, which have been described by the opposition as illegitimate.

It will also be interesting to see how countries such as the USA and those in Eastern Europe will react. Of course, they want to maintain as good relations as possible, but one wonders how America, the self-proclaimed great pillar of fair democracy can possibly accept that the results of this election are anything but lies.

I do think it’s worth looking at the next popular candidate - Gennady Zyuganov. He’s a communist. And I think this raises the question for Russia and for all those watching; do we want fair elections and communism on the rise, or Vladimir Putin and corruption? I’m not sure I can answer this one, and I do wonder who actually can.

sav3mys0ul:

lickypickystickyfree: 25 Napping Facts Every College Student Should Know

It makes you smarterAccording to Dr. Matthew Walker of the University of California, napping for as little as one hour resets your short-term memory and helps you learn facts more easily after you wake up.
Abandon all-nightersForegoing sleep by cramming all night reduces your ability to retain information by up to 40%. If you can, mix in a nap somewhere to refresh your hippocampus.
It doesn’t mean what you thinkIf you know you have to pull an all-nighter, try a “prophylactic nap.” It’s a short nap in advance of expected sleep deprivation that will help you stay alert for up to 10 hours afterwards.
You can’t avoid that down period after lunch by not eatingHuman bodies naturally go through two phases of deep tiredness, one between 2-4 a.m. and between 1-3 p.m. Skipping lunch won’t help this period of diminished alertness and coordination.
Pick the right timeAfter lunch in the early afternoon your body naturally gets tired. This is the best time to take a brief nap, as it’s early enough to not mess with your nighttime sleep.
Hour naps are greatA 60-minute nap improves alertness for 10 hours, although with naps over 45 minutes you risk what’s known as “sleep inertia,” that groggy feeling that may last for half an hour or more.
But short naps are bestFor healthy young adults, naps as short as 20, 10, or even 2 minutes can be all you need to get the mental benefits of sleep, without risking grogginess.
Drink coffee firstThe way this works is you drink a cup of coffee right before taking your 20-minute or half-hour nap, which is precisely how long caffeine takes to kick in. That way when you wake up, you’re not only refreshed, but ready to go.
The NASA napA little group called NASA discovered that just a 26-minute nap increases performance by 34% and alertness by 54%. Pilots take advantage of NASA naps while planes are on autopilot.
Can’t sleep? Don’t stressEven if you can’t fall asleep for a nap, just laying down and resting has benefits. Studies have found resting results in lowered blood pressure, which even some college kids have to worry about if they are genetically predisposed to high blood pressure.
Napping may save your lifeA multi-year Greek study found napping at least three times per week for at least 30 minutes resulted in a 37% lower death rate due to heart problems.
More nap benefits for the brainNot only will napping improve your alertness, it will also help your decision-making, creativity, and sensory perception.
But wait, there’s moreStudies have found napping raises your stamina 11%, increases ability to stay asleep all night by 12%, and lowers the time required to fall asleep by 14%.
The ultimate napAccording to Dr. Sara Mednick, the best nap occurs when REM sleep is in proportion to slow-wave sleep. Use her patented Take A Nap Nap Wheel to calculate what time of day you can nap to the max.
Fight the Freshman 15Research shows that women who sleep five hours at night are 32% more likely to experience major weight gain than those sleeping seven hours. A two-hour nap isn’t feasible for many, but napping is a good way to make up for at least some lost night sleep.
If it was good enough for them…Presidents JFK and Bill Clinton used to nap every day to help ease the heavy burden of ruling the free world. Of course, they also had other relaxation methods, but we won’t get into those.
Do like the Romans doIn ancient Rome, everyone, including children, retreated for a 2 or 3-hour nap after lunch. No doubt this is the reason the Roman empire lasted over 1,000 years
Don’t wait too longThe latest you want to wake up from a nap is five hours before bedtime, otherwise you risk not being able to fall asleep at night.
Sugar is not a good substitute for a napWhen we are tired, we instinctively reach for foods with a high glycemic index, but after the initial energy wears off, we’re left more tired than we were before.
It’s a good way to catch upIf it takes you less than five minutes to fall asleep at night, you are sleep deprived. If you never can seem to get to bed earlier at night, a mid-day nap is a great way to catch up on sleep.
Underclassmen need more sleepFreshmen and sophomores who are still in your teens: you need up to 10 hours of sleep to feel rested. So odds are, you are sleep-deprived.
You’ll have to leave the party soonerAfter one school-week of not getting enough sleep, three alcoholic drinks will affect you the same way six would when you are fully rested.
Don’t drive drowsyDon’t be afraid to take advantage of an “emergency nap” on the side of the road in your car. Every year, as many as 100,000 traffic fatalities are caused by sleepy people behind the wheel.
The Einstein MethodIf you are concerned about sleeping too long, do what Albert Einstein regularly did: hold a pencil while you’re drifting off, so when you fall asleep, the pencil dropping will wake you up. (We do not guarantee you will wake up with a 180 IQ.)
Missing sleep is worse at your ageFor people ages 18 to 24, sleep deprivation impairs performance more significantly than in other age brackets.

sav3mys0ul:

lickypickystickyfree25 Napping Facts Every College Student Should Know

  1. It makes you smarter
    According to Dr. Matthew Walker of the University of California, napping for as little as one hour resets your short-term memory and helps you learn facts more easily after you wake up.
  2. Abandon all-nighters
    Foregoing sleep by cramming all night reduces your ability to retain information by up to 40%. If you can, mix in a nap somewhere to refresh your hippocampus.
  3. It doesn’t mean what you think
    If you know you have to pull an all-nighter, try a “prophylactic nap.” It’s a short nap in advance of expected sleep deprivation that will help you stay alert for up to 10 hours afterwards.
  4. You can’t avoid that down period after lunch by not eating
    Human bodies naturally go through two phases of deep tiredness, one between 2-4 a.m. and between 1-3 p.m. Skipping lunch won’t help this period of diminished alertness and coordination.
  5. Pick the right time
    After lunch in the early afternoon your body naturally gets tired. This is the best time to take a brief nap, as it’s early enough to not mess with your nighttime sleep.
  6. Hour naps are great
    A 60-minute nap improves alertness for 10 hours, although with naps over 45 minutes you risk what’s known as “sleep inertia,” that groggy feeling that may last for half an hour or more.
  7. But short naps are best
    For healthy young adults, naps as short as 20, 10, or even 2 minutes can be all you need to get the mental benefits of sleep, without risking grogginess.
  8. Drink coffee first
    The way this works is you drink a cup of coffee right before taking your 20-minute or half-hour nap, which is precisely how long caffeine takes to kick in. That way when you wake up, you’re not only refreshed, but ready to go.
  9. The NASA nap
    A little group called NASA discovered that just a 26-minute nap increases performance by 34% and alertness by 54%. Pilots take advantage of NASA naps while planes are on autopilot.
  10. Can’t sleep? Don’t stress
    Even if you can’t fall asleep for a nap, just laying down and resting has benefits. Studies have found resting results in lowered blood pressure, which even some college kids have to worry about if they are genetically predisposed to high blood pressure.
  11. Napping may save your life
    A multi-year Greek study found napping at least three times per week for at least 30 minutes resulted in a 37% lower death rate due to heart problems.
  12. More nap benefits for the brain
    Not only will napping improve your alertness, it will also help your decision-making, creativity, and sensory perception.
  13. But wait, there’s more
    Studies have found napping raises your stamina 11%, increases ability to stay asleep all night by 12%, and lowers the time required to fall asleep by 14%.
  14. The ultimate nap
    According to Dr. Sara Mednick, the best nap occurs when REM sleep is in proportion to slow-wave sleep. Use her patented Take A Nap Nap Wheel to calculate what time of day you can nap to the max.
  15. Fight the Freshman 15
    Research shows that women who sleep five hours at night are 32% more likely to experience major weight gain than those sleeping seven hours. A two-hour nap isn’t feasible for many, but napping is a good way to make up for at least some lost night sleep.
  16. If it was good enough for them…
    Presidents JFK and Bill Clinton used to nap every day to help ease the heavy burden of ruling the free world. Of course, they also had other relaxation methods, but we won’t get into those.
  17. Do like the Romans do
    In ancient Rome, everyone, including children, retreated for a 2 or 3-hour nap after lunch. No doubt this is the reason the Roman empire lasted over 1,000 years
  18. Don’t wait too long
    The latest you want to wake up from a nap is five hours before bedtime, otherwise you risk not being able to fall asleep at night.
  19. Sugar is not a good substitute for a nap
    When we are tired, we instinctively reach for foods with a high glycemic index, but after the initial energy wears off, we’re left more tired than we were before.
  20. It’s a good way to catch up
    If it takes you less than five minutes to fall asleep at night, you are sleep deprived. If you never can seem to get to bed earlier at night, a mid-day nap is a great way to catch up on sleep.
  21. Underclassmen need more sleep
    Freshmen and sophomores who are still in your teens: you need up to 10 hours of sleep to feel rested. So odds are, you are sleep-deprived.
  22. You’ll have to leave the party sooner
    After one school-week of not getting enough sleep, three alcoholic drinks will affect you the same way six would when you are fully rested.
  23. Don’t drive drowsy
    Don’t be afraid to take advantage of an “emergency nap” on the side of the road in your car. Every year, as many as 100,000 traffic fatalities are caused by sleepy people behind the wheel.
  24. The Einstein Method
    If you are concerned about sleeping too long, do what Albert Einstein regularly did: hold a pencil while you’re drifting off, so when you fall asleep, the pencil dropping will wake you up. (We do not guarantee you will wake up with a 180 IQ.)
  25. Missing sleep is worse at your age
    For people ages 18 to 24, sleep deprivation impairs performance more significantly than in other age brackets.

sav3mys0ul:

fuckyeahfeminists: A favorite for our Science Month theme.

 Well this rather puts things into perspective!

Is Mitt Romney a Tory?

Just a quick post, and i’m afraid i’ll have to start by apologising for my ignorance when it comes to this latest US Presidential Election.

That aside, I just looked at a profile for the leading Republican Candidate, Mitt Romney. Now, it seems to me that if I had to choose a Republican for President, it would be him. The reason is simple - he’s moderate. Remember, everything is relative, but his record seems akin to an American Tory, something which is rather unusual these days.

Forgive me if I sound too sympathetic to his cause - i’m not - but during his time as Governor of Massachusetts he seems to have been widely criticised (quite unfairly in my opinion) for some less than characteristic non laissez faire policies, most notoriously introducing compulsory health insurance, a move which Obama tried to replicate over recent months, even offering subsidies to those who would not ordinarily be able to afford the exorbitant cost of insurance. Surely this is a step towards a loose welfare state, something which the Tory party on this side of the Pond supports.

And like the Tories, he’s avoiding the tribalism so often characteristic of both the Labour Party and of his own previous attempt on the White House, instead targeting the President. Again, we see the Politics of the Tory Party.

My concern is that his very popular centrist ideology will extend further than a victory in Florida. He’s not a man i’d like to see in the Oval Office, but it is certainly refreshing to see a Republican more closely suited to British politics.

For all those who Love the theme tune to Brazil!

(It’s about 7:30 minutes in)

Brilliant

minimalmovieposters:

Hitchcock Collection by Mr-Bluebird