Longevity and the future Population Structure
A World Bank report makes it clear: Owing to the demographic evolution, and the consequent shrinkage of a working age population, it becomes important to keep older workers in the labor force longer. A changed pension policy accompanied by a flexible labor market should enable them to remain in the workforce and retain a high level of productivity. Presently, the prognosis for the future population structure resembles a column that may change to the shape of an inverting pyramid – with smaller cohorts of working age population expected to support the larger ones of elderly retirees. With rising longevity suggesting an average life expectancy after retirement of 15 years, the elderly are encouraged to spend their healthy years in the labor force rather than in retirement. This not only feeds pension funds, but also helps maintain the living standard enjoyed while working and reduces poverty among the elderly significantly. The following poem is a reminder of all those well-known facts – and relates to the meetings industry.
Phobias: A Plague or Mutations of the Basic Instinct?
Phobia is Greek and means to be afraid of something. In the non-Greek world, it is mainly used in psychological terms, signifying severe fear as in: terrified and: neurotic and: in need of professional treatment. Those in the grip of a veritable phobia are panic-stricken and paralyzed when it comes to tackling certain situations. Phobias are relics of our evolutionary past and were quite useful back then. Should a ferocious sabre-toothed tiger – teeth bared – spring up inadvertently from the undergrowth with an intimidating roar, the primitive brain would switch to red-alert and reliably signal to the short-legged homo erectus: RUN as fast as you can! It was a matter of survival, and the same basic instinct takes control over us in perilous situations until this day.
When the King is a Queen
As is endorsed, Schloss Neuschwanstein, Germany’s prime tourist attraction perched on a steep rugged rock deep in Bavaria, served as a role model for what was to become the epitome of a castle eligible for the classical Disney story. Its silhouette was even chosen for the logo of the Walt Disney Studios. The elaborate palace is a real estate shrouded in ever-lasting mystery and thus an ideal venue for the incarcerated, bewitched or poisoned princess desperately waiting to be rescued.
Overfishing is only half of the story, says Paul Greenberg in his talk. The other half is about the boom in fish farming and aquaculture, which – over the past few years – has started to exceed the amount of wild fish produced. In America and a great part of the Western World, shrimp is by far the most consumed seafood. 5, 10, 15 pounds of wild fish – deemed trash fish by the fishing industry – are killed to bring one pound of shrimp to the market. Filmmaker Mark Benjamin called the phenomenon “Grinding Nemo“: Shrimp dredgers vacuum up a huge amount of by-catch that is then minced and turned into shrimp feed. An „ecosystem literally eating itself and spitting out shrimp“. A recent study has found that dredging for shrimp represents one of the most carbon-intensive ways of fishing there is.
If there were a scale for guests on which to classify their own attitude and demeanour while staying at a hotel, most would probably describe themselves as the tidy, clean, polite, honest, considerate and fidel type – who, there’s evidence, does exist. We consider ourselves the best examples of that righteous species and are embarrassed by those guests who behave as though they were holding a non-restrictive jester’s licence of international validity.