Author: CLAI

World traveler, explorer of cultures & societies. Wine beer food enthusiast. Lover of language, books, and art. Management consultant: turning ideas into action.

Birth, Death, and Beyond

The Bicentennial of the Bicycle: The first bicycle – velocipede – began in Germany in 1817, a pedal-less, foot-propelled bicycle, constructed almost entirely of wood.

  • Boneshaker (1863): Bicycling becomes a fad following the introduction of front-wheel pedals, though the comfort level remains “boneshaking.”
  • Penny Farthing (1866): This icon of “old-timey” has an enlarged front wheel that allows for a notable increase in both speed and accident rate — thus the term “taking a header” is born.
  • Tricycle (1884): Tricycles gain in popularity, boasting safety, stability and the ability of women to ride while dressed in the traditional (read: constricting) fashions of the time.
  • Rover (1885): Combining safety, comfort, speed and affordability, this forerunner to the modern bicycle finally elevates bicycling from semi-hazardous hobby to everyday practical transport.
  • Tandem (1898): Daisy, Daisy, your famed “bicycle built for two” potentially offers twice the speed — or twice the odds of tipping over, depending on the coordination between riders.

The first bicycle (NYTIMES)

Japanese Corpse Hotels: Checkout time, for the living and the dead, is usually no later than 3 p.m. The Hotel Relation is what Japanese call an “itai hoteru,” or corpse hotel. About half the rooms are fitted with small altars and narrow platforms designed to hold coffins. Some also have climate-controlled coffins with transparent lids so mourners can peer inside. Part mortuary, part inn, these hotels serve a growing market of Japanese seeking an alternative to a big, traditional funeral in a country where the population is aging rapidly, community bonds are fraying and crematories are struggling to keep up with the sheer number of people dying.

Curated by CLAI

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Kids: Money & Marshmallows

Marshmallow Test: Want to teach your kids self-control? Ask a Cameroonian farmer. Now for the first time, there’s a study reporting on what happens when psychologists give the marshmallow test to kids outside Western culture, specifically 4-year-old children from the ethnic group Nso in Cameroon. Compared to German children in the experiment, the Cameroonian kids waited, on average, twice as long for the second treat. And way more Cameroonian kids — nearly 70% — waited the full 10 minutes to snag the second marshmallow. Only about 30% of the German kids could hold out.

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Source: Addicaid

What to Tell Your Ultra-Rich Kids about Money: Money is the last taboo. People will tell you about their sex life before they will talk about money. Such is the dichotomy for the ultra-wealthy as they work to strike a balance. They want to live well, but they don’t want to spoil their children. They want their kids to be well-adjusted and advantaged, but they don’t want them to lack ambition. Wealthy people on both sides of the equation — the wealth creators and the heirs — often consider it gauche to even discuss money. Some are embarrassed by it.

  • “What I make a point to do when all my kids have just turned 18 is visit our estate attorney in Richmond who my dad and now me have done business with for 28 years.”
  • All three children have attended public schools, and all work at the company starting at 11 or 12. They also must work outside the company after college, so they “learn what you have to do to make $100,000 a year.”
  • “Each child has a small trust set up when they were born that will mature in stages when they graduate from college, turn 30 and, finally, turn 35.”

Curated by CLAI

The Opposite Sex

Americans Are Wary of Being Alone With the Opposite Sex: Many men and women are wary of a range of one-on-one situations. Around a quarter think private work meetings with colleagues of the opposite sex are inappropriate. Nearly two-thirds say people should take extra caution around members of the opposite sex at work. A majority of women, and nearly half of men, say it’s unacceptable to have dinner or drinks alone with someone of the opposite sex other than their spouse.

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Source: Morning Consult survey of 5,282 registered voters, conducted May 2 to 5. Questions were shown in random order. The grey bar represents those who said they did not know or had no opinion.

Do Millennial Men Want Stay-at-Home Wives? Fewer of the youngest millennials, those aged 18 to 25, support egalitarian family arrangements than did the same age group 20 years earlier. The proportion of young people holding egalitarian views about gender relationships rose steadily from 1977 to the mid-1990s but has fallen since. In 1994, 83% of young men rejected the superiority of the male-breadwinner family. By 2014 that had fallen to 55%. Increased support for male leadership in home life among 18- to 25-year-olds may reflect an attempt to compensate for men’s loss of dominance in the work world.

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New York Times

Curated by CLAI

The Best Middle Seats & Best Cities for Work

MIDDLE SEAT REDESIGNThe Slide-Slip Seat, by Molon Labe, BMW Groups’ Designworks, and Panasonic Avionics, extends the curved armrest back to ensure the middle seater has access to at least half of its length. That also gives the middle seat’s in-flight entertainment system room to grow to a whopping 18 inches, compared to the puny 15-inch screens on other seat backs. For all this design prowess, however, this thing gets you nothing in extra legroom. Let’s see if airlines think that an uptick in passenger happiness may be worth the extra weight of, say, an extra-wide seatback entertainment system. Wired

The aviation design company’s newest concept moves middle seats back and down, giving passengers an extra 3 inches of width compared to fellow flyers. MOLON LABE

MOST ATTRACTIVE CITIES FOR WORK: the most (and least) attractive places for today’s workforce were ranked financially — salary, tax, and cost-of-living data. net purchasing power of a typical salary in each city. Similarly, the lifestyle ranking takes into account living conditions and social benefits, including physical threat and safety (e.g. violence, crime, medical), discomfort (e.g. climate, geographic isolation, cultural or psychological isolation) and inconvenience (e.g. availability of housing, recreation, goods and services, and education facilities).  For individuals, younger workers see a flatter world and prioritize international experiences and mobility for career development. 71% of Millennials desire to work abroad at some point in their career. HBR

10 Most Attractive Cities for Workers

  1. Zurich, Switzerland
  2. Geneva, Switzerland
  3. Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
  4. Munich, Germany
  5. Vienna, Austria
  6. New York City, U.S.
  7. Berlin, Germany
  8. Toronto, Canada
  9. Calgary, Canada
  10. San Francisco, U.S.

Top 10 Based on Financial Score

  1. Manama, Bahrain
  2. George Town, Cayman Islands
  3. Zurich, Switzerland
  4. Geneva, Switzerland
  5. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,
  6. Kuwait City, Kuwait
  7. Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
  8. Macau
  9. Amman, Jordan
  10. Seattle, U.S.

Curated by CLAI

What Kind of Sleeper Are You?

We each have an inner clock that influences when we feel like sleeping and waking and how tired we are. This clock in the brain tends to run slower than the 24-hour clock tied to the solar day — in fact, depending on genetics, it could be off by an hour or more. The inner, or circadian, clock controls the production of the hormone melatonin, which promotes sleepiness. When melatonin is delayed, you may suffer from insomnia. It also means the hormone may still be in your system when you want to start your day. This can cause fatigue and poor concentration, and leave you at risk for depression.

Take the 10 question quiz to see what kind of sleeper you are. (NYTIMES)

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Photo credit: Expertrain