Saturday, May 29

Secondary school bans bikes over health and safety fears

I can understand the school’s perspective that due to Health and Safety, biking to school is no longer allowed. But this is ridiculous, the idea is not to ban biking but to try to get some racks. It shouldnt be that difficult to get some racks fitted. Instead the school and the head turn out sounding like utter prats. I quote:

Wodensborough Community Technology College in Wednesbury, West Mids, said that health and safety issues prevented them from allowing bicycles onto the premises. Staff are concerned they will get knocked over in the narrow driveway and also said there is nowhere practical for them to leave their bikes.

Instead, they have been told if they must cycle they have to leave their bikes at friends or family nearby.

But a local councillor said the move went against everything they were trying to do in promoting a healthier lifestyle for young people.

Mavis Hughes, who Sandwell Council ward covers the 1,000-pupil, mixed comprehensive, said: “Cycling to school is the only exercise some of these children get. We have been saying for ages that parents shouldn’t take their children to school in cars. The pupils should be walking or cycling in.

“This is ludicrous; we should be encouraging children to cycle to school. It contradicts everything we are for. It is health and safety gone too far.”

Another issue involves bikes being stolen. Mrs Hughes said she had been contacted by two sets of parents whose children had had their bikes taken after chaining them up outside of the school grounds.

“When the children returned at the end of the day, someone had cut through the chains,” she said.

Ken Ellis, the school’s head, has written to all parents, saying: “Reluctantly, on the grounds of health and safety, we have asked students not to bring cycles into school.

“At the moment, we have one relatively narrow drive into school and several times a day 1,000 students and more than 100 cars, minibuses and taxis use this.”

Mr Ellis also told parents the school has no cycle racks to accommodate youngsters’ bikes.

I agree, its health and safety gone mad.

Wednesday, May 26

Well-paid mothers breast feed longer

This made me blink as well. I quote:

Mothers with high salaries breast feed their children longer than mothers with lower incomes, according to a new Swedish study. “Our results suggest that those of us within maternal and paediatric health ought to give mothers from low-income groups more attention when it comes to questions about breast feeding,” said nurse and PhD student Thomas Wallby, to the Upsala Nya Tidning (UNT) newspaper.
Wallby and his colleagues followed roughly 12,000 children from
Uppsala County in eastern Sweden for the study, which was carried out jointly by Uppsala University and the county's child health services. Using information collected from the child health service, researchers looked for connections between nursing patterns and socioeconomic factors affecting the mothers.
After six months, three-fourths of the children were still being nursed. However, smoking mothers breast-fed their children for significantly shorter periods of time, the study showed. The study also revealed differences in breast feeding habits of women with different income levels. The higher the income, the greater the chance that the mother was still nursing after six months,” Wallby told the newspaper.

What’s the connection between smoking mothers and breast feeding? Is this because they have to go to have a smoke and dont want to breast feed? That doesnt make sense at all. Do you think it makes sense?

The well paid mothers breastfeeding for longer makes sense. It is well known that breast feeding is better for the baby, and given that there is a good relationship between pay and health/knowledge, it makes sense that a well paid highly educated mother will breast feed for longer. Plus lets not forget that if you are well paid, then you do not have to go to work compared to lesser paid women. Thus you can be at home and breast feed, unlike lesser paid women who have to go out to work, makes it more difficult to breast feed babies while you are a receptionist or a waitress. Yes, Sir, what would you like to have today Sir? Oh! sorry, excuse me, hold on while I go suckle. Doesnt work.

But the smoking thing worries me, why are they smoking in the damn first place?

Monday, May 24

Italy Post Office May Depend on Nepotism to Cut Costs

This made me blink. I quote:

Italy’s postal service, the country’s biggest employer, has proposed an innovative way to cut costs and usher out older workers: nepotism. Under a draft plan detailed to unions, postal workers at 140 branches who agree to early retirement can cede permanent job contracts to their children. The “heir” must be at least 30 years old with a high school diploma. Talks on the policy are at an “advanced stage,” and it could be implemented by early October, said Walter de Candiziis, head of Failp-Cisal, the union that first suggested the plan in 1997.

Under the new proposal, postal workers can deliver job security to their kids, at a time when most Italian companies are shying away from offering such jobs for life. For employers, the permanent contracts are difficult to break when staff cuts are needed and they require more generous social-security contributions that increase as the worker ages.

Presumably the idea of just cutting the jobs would not apply, eh?

This is also interesting and I didn't know this.

Nepotism has deep roots in Italy. The word derives from the Latin for nephew and has its origins in the practice of popes elevating their nephews to the position of cardinal to create papal dynasties.