DINNER PARTY INTEL: Shorter workdays | Pimp your tombstone
The topics you have to be able to discuss this week
1. Support for a six-hour workday
The Swedish city of Gothenburg let a group of nurses work six-hour workdays for a two-year period. Though the experiment ended this year, its results have led some to suggest that in the long-term, a shorter working day actually saves money. The nurses were less tired, took fewer sick days, had lower average blood pressure and provided a better quality service to the patients in their care. What’s not to like?
2. Pimp your tombstone
When Joe Mafela’s 6t living room tombstone was unveiled in March, his family — who said they wanted to reflect how he entertained South Africans throughout his life — may not have heard about a Slovenian innovation. A firm in that country has given tombstones a makeover by outfitting them with interactive screens that can show pictures and video. A prototype of a weather-proof and vandal-proof digital tombstone was recently set up at the Pobrezje cemetery outside Maribor.
3. Gone soggy
Attempts to satisfy local consumers’ supposed hunger for a more Western lifestyle don’t always pan out. Reports from Bloomberg that a Chinese government-backed firm Bright Foods will sell cereal company Weetabix coincides with a global shift away from cereals. But its also an admission that making Western food appeal to Chinese consumers can be tough. Why would anyone who grew up on rice noodles, deep-fried dough sticks and rice porridge replace these hot meals with tasteless Weetabix?