Mindful Mimi's blog has moved!

You will be automatically redirected to the new address. If that does not occur, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Name the 10 little things that really bother you in daily life.

>> 31 August 2007

The secret of being miserable is to have the leisure to bother about whether you are happy or not. The cure is occupation. 
-- George Bernard Shaw

(not in any particular order of annoyance level):
  1. Men in sandals with socks (I bet a lot of women agree with this one).

  2. Toilet paper in public toilets - especially the one hidden in these big round boxes where you have to go sit on your keens to look up into the drum, roll the thing left and right to find the beginning of it).
  3. Trying on bathing suits or underwear in a shop - especially in winter. The lights are too bright, the mirror shows you every little flaw and you break out in a sweat from trying to get clothes on and off.

  4. Vacuum packaging of thick, hard plastic with which everything is nowadays wrapped and which is just impossible to get open.

  5. Telephone cords that always manage to wrap themselves in a ball - and when the phone rings you have to move your head to the phoneset because the cord won't budge.

  6. Restaurants without baby chairs - how do they expect us to enjoy our meal when the little one, despite the offered pillow, does not reach above the table (i.e. his dinner makes it everywhere but his mouth) and will start running off and around the restaurant in no time (bothering couples during their romantic dinner, breaking glasses and saying hi to the kitchen staff) because there are no straps to hold him down?

  7. Drivers who like who glue themselves to your rear bumper because you are driving at the speed limit and they would like to pass you but can't (because it's a windy road or because their rusty old thing will not make it above the speed limit). Worse are the ones that do pass you - and two more cars - just before a bend or while a car in the other lane is speeding in your direction and you have to hit the breaks with your full weight to let them get in front of you instead of hitting the oncoming car (or bus) and killing all of you.

  8. Reaching the cashier in the supermarket with a full caddy and realising that you left all the plastic bags one is supposed to bring nowadays at home.

  9. The battery of your camera bleeps to tell you it's empty just when your baby is doing something amazing like smiling for the first time.

  10. People complaining about all the things that bother them all the time :-)


To live anywhere in the world today and be against equality because of race or color is like living in Alaska and being against snow -William Faulkner

>> 22 August 2007

Today I feel like writing about equality.

I had first chosen a funnier quote (by Maureen Reagan:
I will feel equality has arrived when we can elect to office women who are as incompetent as some of the men who are already there.)
but actually think the subject serious enough not to joke about it - at least not today.

Definition of Gender Equality:
Gender equality means an equal visibility, empowerment and participation of both sexes in all spheres of public and private life.

Defintion of pay-gap:
The pay gap measures the relative difference in the average gross hourly earnings of women
and men within the economy as a whole.

Some facts:

  • For equal occupation, women still earn less than their male counterparts (in general 15% less)
  • The gender pay gap increases with experience, age and education.
  • Almost 40% of women work in health, education and public administration,
    compared to 20% of men. Moreover, women are mainly employed as administrative
    assistants, shop assistants or low-skilled or unskilled workers — these occupations accounting for almost half of the female workforce. Conversely, only a third of managers are women in companies within the EU.
  • Part-time work is more prevalent among women (over 30% of women work part time compared to less than 10% of men).
My personal experience has given me the following reasons (in no particular order):
  • Work experience is worth less than a degree
  • Female work experience is paid less than male work experience
  • Classification and valuation of jobs is not equal for men and women (for example, more value can be attributed to physical strength than to interpersonal skills, or more value can be attached to responsibility for capital than to responsibility for people).
  • It is assumed that women will work less due to maternity and childcare leave
  • Part-time work is generally less well paid (than full-time work) and is often marginalised within the organisation (fewer prospects for career advancement and limited access to training)
  • Leadership skills are often identified with 'masculine' characteristics
  • Women's job choices are often in lower paying sectors (see facts above)

I do not want to go into what actions should be taken to reduce this gap. I just wanted to know from you what your experiences in this field are. Have you experienced this in your work, sector and country? How?

Thanks for your comments.

Tackling the pay gap between women and men
Best and Worst State Economies for Women - 2006
EU gender pay gap 'not narrowing'
Council of Europe - Equality


The test of democracy is freedom of criticism - David Ben-Gurion

>> 16 August 2007

In 2003, while touring Europe, the Dixie Chicks announced they were 'ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas'. They had not expected the media firestorm, ban from radio stations and protests this created. Last year they were still not making nice and calling Bush a dumb f..k. And this year they were even shortlisted in a public contest to become the theme song for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign (Celine Dion's You and I finally won).

I must say I find it terrible that one cannot freely speak one's mind without any repercussions. By now and because of this post, my blog probably figures on Bush's mile-long black list - but what the heck. What I meant to say is that here in Europe, people bash politicians all the time and it does not create a hullabaloo.
Take France for example: there is a site full of anti-Sarkozy songs and postings. Now I know those exist for Bush as well (he even has his own bumper stickers, something we don't have in Europe...) but when people (famous or not) speak out openly against Sarkozy, all they get is an animated political discussion on television - if that.

So in what way are we different from Americans? And why?
Your comments are welcome!


Choices are luxuries - or are they?

>> 7 August 2007

Strolling through the aisles of the supermarket, I like to have a large choice of jams or teas. New and exotic flavors tingle my curiosity in experiencing something new on my bread in the morning. I choose with pleasure.

However, it is with much less pleasure, let alone curiosity, that I choose my laundry detergent from the large offer on the shelves. I usually go by price and ecology label.

The same goes for restaurants: I enjoy choosing from a smartly chosen list of courses but I hate going through a 20 page menu in a Chinese restaurant where you order a number instead of the name of the plate.

And when my company changed from a default (e.g. safe) pension investment plan to one where I could actually choose where to invest my money (and what level of risk to take), my initial choice was to stay with the default for lack of knowledge of the other options and fear of making a mistake or taking a risk and 'wasting' the money.

So when is it good to have a choice? And how many alternatives are healthy for the human mind to tackle?

If one has a choice of 20 jams, does one buy more than one? If yes, is it out of (positive?) frustration?

The problem surely has to do with deciding what your preferences are. If out of the 20 jams you are unable to say which ONE you like best (because there are at least 2 or 3 you like a lot), frustration is around the corner.

Now, I agree that choosing a jam, even out of a selection of 20 on display, is not that hard and it doesn't affect your wallet all that much either. However, when I suddenly had to choose my pension investment plan, the possibilities left me flummoxed.

Don't get me wrong: I thought it was a good idea to get a choice. I am pro choice. To me it means (although it doesn't necessarily equal) more freedom. But one is only able to make an intelligent choice if one has all the necessary information and views on possible effects of the different outcomes in order to be able to analyse it properly.

Sometimes however, thinking too much about possible outcomes or having too much information can be harming in the sense that it overloads your brain and prevents it from making a clear-headed decision. Sometimes it is good to get other people's opinions. Sometimes it is good to just follow your gut feeling.

I guess the most important thing about having choices is that they are indeed luxuries because they mean a certain freedom. Choice makes you more indepedent and responsible for your future.

So next time you have a hard time choosing something, think about the many people who do not have that luxury. Would you rather be in their shoes?

Here's a related poem:

Make Your Choice
Sometimes you wait for destiny's touch
to help pick your choices, decisions and such
change all your maybe's into yes's or no's
direct your own path that you should have chose

But waiting allows your goals to be tweaked
by weakened decisions preferred by the meek
your roads will be handpicked by unknown fate
and then comes regret, and by then it's too late

Your decisions and choices are easy to make
but your excuses are many, and reasons all fake
step up and stand tall, announce your decision
don't ever look back with mirrored revision.

Poem by Michael Charles Messineo

Related read:


Feminization of the male

>> 2 August 2007

The estrogen hormon is one of many gland produced hormones that regulate the function of major organs and other physiological systems. Such hormones can become endocrine disruptors: an external agent that interferes in some way with the role of natural hormones in the body.

Picture this:

Woman takes birth control pill containing estrogen. Woman goes to toilet. Estrogen in urine is not filtered out and goes into waste water. Hormone is released into waterways.

Fish start reproducing less. Male fish are found to contain eggs or had other female reproductive characteristics.

There's hence growing evidence to suggest that estrogen is linked to the "feminization" of male - at least the male bass tested in West Virginia.

So researchers seem to believe that a special toilet which seperates feces from urine would be the solution to this problem before it becomes too threatening.
Sounds like an valid idea to me. I do believe however that first priority should be to avoid flushing down nice and clean drinkable water down our toilets in order to preserve our water reserves.

What do you think?

http://www.novaquatis.eawag.ch/index and http://www.novaquatis.eawag.ch/tool/nomix121d/nomix.html


Blog template by simplyfabulousbloggertemplates.com

Back to TOP