Is the 40 Hour Work Week Justified?

For the most part, in the IT services industry, what is achieved in 40 hours can be achieved in 30 too…

Journalism From Mars

The 40 hour work week is accepted and implicitly encouraged by mainstream political parties (with the use of phrases like “hardworking families”), and to some extent by education and mainstream media outlets. Is it justified?


Arguments for the 40 hour work week are usually founded explicitly or otherwise on an economic basis, so first let’s look at the correlation between working hours and economic productivity. Below are the 10 countries that work the least of the 31 OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries for which there is data:

Graph - 10 shortest work weeksChart by Journalism From Mars

It shows that the Netherlands works the least of all “developed” countries, at 29 hours per week (part-time and full-time average), compared to the UK’s 36.3 (this figure increases to 43 hours for full-time work – 21st of the 31 “developed” countries). The OECD figures show that the UK is…

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Should a Poverty Stricken India Go To Mars?

My sentiments exactly….

Chasing Atlantis

Hey Chasers,

In a few hours, India will launch its Mangalyaan space craft to Mars from Sriharikota. If the mission is successful, in 11 months India will join only 3 other countries/space agencies that have sent a probe on the Red Planet after the US, Russia and the European Space Agency.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has indicated that the mission objectives are the studying of the Martian surface and atmosphere by the orbiting probe’s instruments. The probe will also look for clues to unlock the history of Mars’ atmosphere thought to be once far more substantial but lost into the void of space.

This certainly will be a historic moment for India, but the launch is significant in terms of recognizing our planet’s increasing efforts to reach our solar system neighbour. Specifically, the launch is being called an escalation of a growing space race between India, China, Japan…

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500 miles away from home

Ok. 677 miles to be exact.

Joining the workforce, especially in the organized service sector, in India today is synonymous with breaking away from family and friends and moving lock, stock and barrel to one of the overcrowded cities. So about a decade a half ago you did the same.


For new-age migrants like you this new home is always temporary. ‘Home’ is always 500 miles away. Phones and now increasingly, internet, make it easy to keep in touch with ‘home’. Travel budget, frequently is the single biggest expense item for homesick immigrants who head home at every half opportunity/ long weekends and are the primary source of passenger traffic for buses/ trains. You seek out people with similar cultural leanings on Facebook, Yahoo groups and the like try to ensure that ‘your’ culture is protected in this alien city. They say scarcity drives up the value, and so it is with this cultural fascination.

You routinely find people from the previous generation who were ‘posted’ in a remote part of India by the Indian Govt (most of this generation were either civil servants or bank employees owned by the govt.) and now can speak the local language, and can effectively preside over their festivals.

For your generation, the ‘home’ hotline means we find less and less time and inclination to assimilate the culture of this new home. Its not rare to find people who even after a decade in a new city can’t speak the local language and know even less about the cultural nuances and festivities. You are content with the immigrant status, permanently.


The toll such a move makes to your relationships with relatives, friends, siblings and parents who are back ‘home’ is however, permanent.

You have reached an age where acquaintances in a generation or two higher than you suddenly start dropping dead. Gentle people who commanded immense respect and love during childhood and early youth, the gran-mom and her siblings, an uncle here or a neighbor there….

As a child, you played with this uncle’s kid and were responsible for breaking half a dozen of this neighbor’s windows with a tennis ball. The gran-mom’s jars full of pickles, afternoons full of stories, cricket games with your best friend are just the best memories you will ever have.

Today you are at a loss to find the right words to say to this bereaved friend. The trains are full, you will never reach in time for the funeral and lend a shoulder. In any case, you are saving up on your vacations.  The phone and the internet is fantastic to send frivolous ‘smileys’ and ‘likes’, but it sucks at impressing such delicate emotions.

Actually, these ‘delicate’ emotions evade you altogether. You feel cold, distanced, a little ashamed even, but not compassionate enough. You worry more about the loss of emotion than the loss of the dear one. When did she stop being dear to you?

It all started about a decade ago when on a ‘home’ trip you skipped visiting her due to other pressing engagements. Then one year you forgot to wish her on Diwali. Somewhere along the line you forgot she still had a birthday once a year. On phone conversations with parents, minor updates of the extended family were slowly omitted. Only major life events were reported. You didn’t know she stopped making pickles five years ago. Or that your old neighbor changed his windows for the new aluminium sliding variety. All you knew was the neighbor’s son post pictures from the Niagara falls last month. You ‘liked’ 5 of them. Somewhere during this the connect broke. You just didn’t hear it from you noisy city perch.


I stop looking at the mirror. Suddenly realize the walls of my new home are bare. I make a mental note to buy some local art I saw at the neighborhood exhibition. I pick up the ‘learn a language in 30 days’ book from the bookshelf.

10 foods to burn fat (vegetarian)

This came up on my company mail. Here’s how to reduce fat while remaining a couch potato. You get to eat too…
I can personally vouch for the honey remedy as listed below, but others can’t harm either.
  • oats: tastes great but also reduces your hunger. oats contains fiber which helps and stabilizes the levels of cholesterol.
  • eggs: eggs are the rich sources of proteins and low in calories. eggs help us to build the muscles and develop the good cholesterol.
  • apples: apples are enriched with powerful antioxidants and other supplements. most importantly it contains pectin which helps to reduce the fat cells in the body.
  • green chilies: green chilies helps to develop the body growth cells and burns the calories in quick time.
  • garlic: garlic also has anti-bacterial properties
  • honey: add honey in warm water and take it daily in the early morning.
  • green tea: green tea is the most effective one which helps you to lose weight. it contains antioxidants which helps and stabilizes our body weight.take daily 2 cups of tea for better results.
  • wheat grass: it boosts our metabolism and helps to reduce the fat.
  • tomatoes: tomatoes helps us to burn the fat in quick time. it also helps us to stay away from cancer. So take tomatoes in your diet regularly.
  • dark chocolate: dark chocolate has anti-inflammatory properties which helps to reduce the cholesterol levels in the blood. it boost the growth of serotonin in the blood and also burns the fat.

Really, all this will work better if you stop being (and eating) a potato!