Most people enjoy it when the weather gets warmer. Sunny weather often makes people happier but some recent research indicates that a heatwave may not be good news if you’re taking an exam.
Researchers from Harvard Chan School of Public Health found that students who were exposed to hotter temperatures did significantly less well in cognitive tests than those students who lived in a temperature-controlled environment.
The research involved a group of students who had already been allocated accommodation on campus. Half of the rooms had air conditioning and half didn’t.
The students were followed during a 5-day heatwave where temperatures exceeded 26C.
Before, during and after the heatwave, the students had to perform a number of cognitive tests which measured the speed they processed matters as well as their working memory. The results showed that the scores of these students in the hotter accommodation fell by 13% compared to their colleagues in the air-conditioned temperature stable environment.
The researchers said that it was not clear what was behind the drop in performance during an increase in temperature. It could have been because the brain was working harder on maintaining critical body functions such as thermoregulation or it could have been due to a poorer quality of sleep due to the heat.
Either way, let’s hope it’s not a heatwave the next time you sit an exam…
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/stressing-over-exams.png9441678Steve Crossmanhttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve Crossman2018-11-20 22:02:432018-11-20 22:02:43Don’t sweat your exams
Picture the scene. It’s the first night of your honeymoon. You’ve just married a beautiful Italian Signorina called Marianna. You’re Italian and Italian men have a reputation for being some of the most romantic men in the world.
Now, even though some may say this reputation has largely been self created, there are still certain things you should do on your honeymoon and certain things you should definitely not do on your honeymoon.
Due to Italian privacy laws the individuals concerned can only be identified by their Christian names but what did Stefano do on his honeymoon that led to his new wife divorcing him one month into their marriage?
From a project management point of view there are various tools and techniques that can be used to ensure a project runs smoothly. One of these is to ensure that the team is made up of the right type of person as well as the appropriate number of people.
A well known theory behind what makes a good team is Belbin’s team role models.
In simple terms, Belbin’s theory says that people are born with certain characteristics. Belbin gave names to the different types of people. For example, a “plant” is a person that likes to come up with ideas and is usually quite creative. A “Monitor Evaluator” is somebody with a logical eye who can make impartial judgements.
Back to the one month marriage though and Stefano decided that rather than the traditional 2 person project team that goes on the majority of honeymoons he would make his a 3 person team.
To his wife’s understandable annoyance, Stefano’s 3 person honeymoon team included himself, his new wife and his mother.
The project team first started showing signs of a split when the mother-in-law turned up at the airport for the flight to the honeymoon destination of Paris.
A honeymoon in Paris sounds great until you realise that your mother-in-law is staying in an adjoining room at the hotel you’re staying at and accompanying you to every meal and romantic boat trip along the Seine.
One month after the wedding and Marianna left the marriage home they shared in Rome and returned to her home town of Naples leaving the 39 year old Stefano without a wife.
Maybe Marianna is more of a Belbin’s “Completer Finisher” than Stefan and his mum may have thought.
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/belbins-role-models.png9441678Steve Crossmanhttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve Crossman2018-11-14 15:24:282018-11-07 20:47:19The 3 person honeymoon and Belbin team roles...
It’s common knowledge that high street shops are struggling. A number of household names have gone (or are going!) out of business and one of the reasons for this is the rise of online shopping.
But the online stores haven’t got it easy and online clothing stores in particular are facing an emerging threat driven by social media.
A lot of people are reluctant to buy clothes online in case they don’t fit properly. To get around this a number of online stores offer free returns.
This has led an increasing number of people to take advantage of the free returns policy.
By take advantage I mean to order clothes that they have NO intention of keeping. Instead, they want to order the clothes so that they can have their photo taken wearing them and then post those photos on social media sites before returning them free of charge.
Whilst this enables individuals to look super trendy in front of their friends on sites such as Instagram and Facebook, it is proving to be a problem for retailers.
The giant credit / debit card provider Barclaycard, which sees nearly half of the UK’s credit and debit card transactions, recently undertook some research which showed the scale of the problem.
The research showed that 9% of online shoppers in the UK had bought clothes online with the aim of wearing them for a photo to post on social media and then returning them. The age group who were the largest culprits were 35 – 44 year olds where the percentage rose to a staggering 17%.
Perhaps surprisingly, men were more likely than women to “snap and send back” (12% of male shoppers compared to 7% of female shoppers).
It’s a major issue for online retailers.
George Allardice, Head of Strategy at Barclaycard Payment Solutions said “It’s interesting to see the social media trend further fuelling the returns culture. We know from our research that returns are having a big impact on retailers, with a huge figure of seven billion pounds a year in sales that they potentially can’t recognise”.
In summary, “snap and send back” equals #bigproblemswithreturns
The Carlsberg Group is one of the oldest brewing groups in the world. They were established way back in 1847 and their portfolio of products include Tuborg, Baltika and of course, Carlsberg.
They sell a lot of beer and their products are sold in more than 150 markets.
The “6 pack” is synonymous with beer and no, I’m not talking about the 6 pack on the beer drinkers abs. Rather, I’m talking about the 6 pack of beer that people can buy from shops.
One unfortunate problem with the 6 pack is that the cans are held together with a plastic wrapping. With so many 6 packs being sold around the world that means a lot of plastic is used.
People are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental damage that plastic is doing and Carlsberg have come up with a pretty innovative solution to reducing plastic on their 6 packs.
They have introduced what they call a “snap pack”.
In the snap pack the cans of beer are held together by glue rather than plastic wrapping. The cans of beer can be “snapped off”.
This saves a significant amount of plastic – according to Carlsberg this equates to reducing plastic waste by more than 1,200 tonnes a year. That’s a huge amount and is the equivalent of 60 million plastic bags.
Bo Oksnebjerg, Secretary General in WWF Denmark, was quoted as saying “Our wildlife is drowning in plastic – and the problem is unfortunately growing considerably. We therefore need to act now. We need less plastic to end up in nature. That is why we consider it huge progress that Carlsberg is now launching solutions that significantly reduce the amount of plastic in its packaging. With these new solutions, Carlsberg has taken the first big steps on the journey towards a more clean and green future.”
Nice work Carlsberg and I’ll drink to that. Or should I say, I’ll snap one off and drink to that…
Are you happy when you spend money? I guess the answer depends on what you’re spending the money on but over in China, KFC have just introduced technology which enables a person to pay for their KFC meal with a smile.
Yes, a smile.
Nothing else is needed – no bank card, no phone app. Just a smile.
That’s a pretty advanced system and involves facial recognition technology.
Customers who want to get their dose of fast food at the KFC branch in Hangzhou can leave their cash and cards behind and instead smile at a scanner, press confirm and then hey presto you’ve paid for your meal without moving your hands and you will soon be tucking into your Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Payment is taken from a cash account which has been linked to the person’s face.
China has some of the most advanced facial scanning technology in the world. Collecting images of the public doesn’t need any consent in China and the technology is likely to spread.
For example, it’s been reported that students in several universities in China are now registering by scanning their faces and lecturers will soon be able to track the facial expressions of students to see how well they are following the lectures.
It may be advisable for these students to master the act of hiding those yawns during a boring lecture and instead start to practice for the KFC they’re planning to get after the lecture…
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/pay-by-a-smile.jpg14122510Steve Crossmanhttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve Crossman2018-10-01 14:42:532018-10-10 21:36:06Is this worth smiling for?
Having people trained in the office to undertake first aid is an important health and safety feature.
Organisations can send people to health and safety training or like the organisation in the video below, can get health and safety professionals to provide on site demonstrations.
Now, whilst most demos will be educational and very professional, as the video below shows, this particular demonstration was more like a slapstick comedy film.
A volunteer was asked to pretend that he was injured but unfortunately when the health and safety “professional” came into the demonstration he accidentally knocked over a shelf which then fell onto the “pretend victim” who suddenly became the “real victim”.
Luckily for all concerned nobody was seriously injured and if you want to see a fine slapstick comedy moment demonstration of health and safety then enjoy the video below.
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https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/health-and-safety-in-the-office.png9441678Steve Crossmanhttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve Crossman2018-09-22 11:15:282018-09-24 19:38:19This is how not to do first aid in the office.
Procter & Gamble, or P&G as it’s commonly known, is one of the world’s largest companies and has an incredible portfolio of products including Gillette, Head & Shoulders shampoo and Pampers nappies.
The business was set up in 1837 by two gentlemen called, yes you guessed it, Mr Procter and Mr Gamble.
Since then it has grown to become a huge organisation and is now quoted on the New York stock exchange. It has annual sales in excess of $15bn.
A recent trademark application in the US though could indicate that there may well be some new brand names joining their portfolio.
They have made applications for trademarks on household and personal care products for certain “text speak”. Or to be more precise they have filed an application for terms including “LOL” (Laugh Out Loud) and “NBD” (No Big Deal).
The move seems to be an attempt to target the tech savvy millennial generation who have grown up with this tech speak.
It’s not certain yet whether we will see cleaning products called LOL and NBD as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has sought clarifications from P&G and they have until January to respond.
One other interesting term which has been included in the application is “WTF”.
Could we soon be seeing “WTF Cleaner” on supermarket shelves?
Explaining what “WTF” stands for is a bit rude to print here so if you don’t know what it means then one of the quickest ways to find out is to say “WTF” when your boss next asks you to do something.
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/ExP-OMG.png9441678Steve Crossmanhttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve Crossman2018-09-10 07:30:372018-09-11 07:31:48OMG - will these hit the shelves?
Tea and coffee have been around for a long, long time. Many a person has grabbed a strong coffee to keep them going over a long day in the office or a long night studying.
Coffee is said to originate from East Africa where legend has it that a 9th century Ethiopian goat herder by the name of Starbucks Kaldi noticed that after his goats had ate some coffee beans they started bouncing around like teenagers at the local disco.
This started the journey of coffee and associated caffeine hits so loved by students around the world.
Tea however is often seen as a healthier option but the tea industry is facing several challenges at the moment. In particular, the 16 to 34 age group in the UK are changing their drinking habits.
Only 1 in 6 people in this age group now drink 5 or more cups of tea a day.
People in the 55 to 64 age group on the other hand drink twice as much tea.
And the reason for the reduction in drinking tea amongst the younger population?
A number of reasons have been put forward. These include the fact that the younger generation feel that black tea could stain their teeth. It is also felt to be unhealthy given the amount of caffeine black tea contains.
It’s not all bad news for the tea industry though as the younger generation are drinking more green teas and fruit teas. Green tea is claimed to enhance brain function and sales are up by 39% over the last two years.
The increase in green tea sales though has failed to stop the fall in overall tea sales as the combined market in tea was down 5%.
Maybe the famous quote “Keep calm and drink tea” should be changed to say “Keep calm and drink green tea”…
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/latest-tea-prices.png9441678Steve Crossmanhttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve Crossman2018-07-27 14:30:312018-07-28 15:53:37Put the kettle on (or maybe not?)
One of life’s great mysteries for men when they are at a bar or club is why women always seem to go to the ladies “powder room” in groups.
There could soon be an equally mysterious occurrence that women will puzzle over and that is why men will soon disappear to the “gents” together during a social evening out.
Well, it won’t be to adjust their makeup or to catch up on the local gossip.
No, if UK company Captive Media has anything to do with it the visits to the toilet by men could soon be a great marketing opportunity.
It’s been estimated that on a night out a man spends on average 55 seconds relieving himself each time he visits the urinals in the gents (if you ever saw a person with a clipboard and a stopwatch behind you at the urinals now you know why…)
In the eyes of Captive Media this represents a great advertising opportunity as rather than staring blankly at the wall in front of you (or telling the person with the clipboard and stopwatch to go away) they have developed a urinal-based games console which allows men to, how can we say it but aim and shoot at targets with their “stream”.
The games are mixed with adverts and include for example a downhill skiing game which is controlled by your “stream”.
It remains to be seen what products will be advertised in this way but one thing for sure ladies is that if your boyfriend or husband returns from the gents whilst you’re out together on a social evening and he says that he’s just beaten his personal best then you know what it refers to.
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/unusual_advertising_methods.jpg478849Steve Crossmanhttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve Crossman2018-07-19 08:19:552018-07-20 08:13:01Gentlemen, you've got 55 seconds to beat your best...
The World Cup is well underway and whilst football fans around the world are enjoying a feast of top football there are a number of “missing faces”.
By “missing faces” I’m not referring to players who aren’t at the World Cup but instead I’m referring to some top global companies.
Johnson & Johnson, Sony, Continental and Castrol were leading sponsors of the World Cup but decided not to renew their contracts when the corruption scandal at FIFA (the governing body of the various football associations around the world and the body that organises the World Cup) hit the headlines a few years ago.
The money that FIFA gets from sponsorship is significant. It’s believed that a 4-year top tier sponsorship costs in the region of $150 million.
Previously, Johnson & Johnson, Sony, Continental and Castrol had no doubt spent that type of money in the expectation that it raised their profile and increased their sales
Their hope was that football fans around the world would be watching the games and then be exposed to, for example, the Sony brand and as a result somewhere down the line would end up buying a new Sony television or other electrical product from Sony.
The new sponsors for the current World Cup are a bit different though. They include major state backed companies such as Gazprom (Russia’s oil giant), Qatar Airways and Wanda (the Chinese conglomerate).
Wanda calls itself the world’s biggest property developer and Gazprom has a virtual monopoly.
It’s difficult to see how their sales would receive a boost from the World Cup exposure.
It’s not just sales though that are in the mind of sponsors. With the World Cup being held in Russia there’s an obvious link to sponsorship. Qatar are hosting the next finals in 2022 and the presence of Wanda will help increase the exposure of football in China where it’s been reported that President Xi has ambitions to make China a great footballing nation.
Either way, I’m sure the supporters of the team that ends up winning the World Cup won’t really care too much over who sponsors the World Cup – It’s the winning the tournament that counts as far as they are concerned…
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/world-cup-sponsorship.png9441678Steve Crossmanhttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve Crossman2018-06-29 08:11:202018-07-05 08:22:05Missing faces at the World Cup.
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