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Women in the Workforce

The website Our World in Data, has just published an fantastic overview of key facts and drivers of the rise of female labor force participation. The last century, labor force participation among women has increased significantly. Especially married women have been joining the work force. The graph above plots long-run female participation rates, and shows that participation rates have also slowed down in industrialised (OECD) nations. Also, the number of women in the global labor force who are younger than 25 is slightly less than what it was fifteen years ago, even though the overall female labor force grew by almost 50% over the same period. (source)

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Epic Product Failures – Exhibited in LA

The Museum of Failure, a traveling exhibition showing flopped commercial products and services, has opened at downtown Los Angeles for two months. It displays some 100 epic failures like Colgate’s Beef Lasagna frozen dinner (yuk!), Coca-Cola BlāK (coffee flavoured cola), the futuristic ‘DeLorean DMC-12’ car, but also the 1993 Apple MessagePad (a.k.a. the ‘Newton’), which was operated by a stylus, but wouldn’t understand what you wrote. Also shown: ‘I’m Back and You’re Fired! Trump, the Game’, which was not even an innovation to begin with, but failed twice in 1989 and 1994. Ironically, the exhibition itself is a huge success, with 17,000 visitors in about three months in Sweden. (source)
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Millennials’ Retirement Gap

A new report by the National Institute on Retirement Security, shows how 66% of ‘millennials’ have put nothing aside retirement, and will miss out on valuable years of compounding returns when they approach their retirement age. Only five percent of working millennials are saving adequately for retirement. The main cause is not that millennials don’t want to use retirement plans (like the 401(k)), but that they often don’t qualify because of their flexible status: they don’t work enough hours or their employers require them to work for a certain amount of time before they offer a plan. The report is based on 2014 census data. (source)

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Renewable Energy Iceland

This waffle graph (gif) shows the rise of the portion of renewable energy to the total primary energy supply (TPES) of Iceland. According to the OECD definition, renewables include hydro, geothermal, solar, wind, tide and wave sources., but also energy from solid biofuels, biogasoline, biodiesels, biogases and municipal waste. With its current 85%, Iceland has highest share of renewable energy of any nation. Most of it (65%) is  geothermal energy, the share of is some 20% – leaving 15% for non-renewable fossil fuels. (source)

 

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The Chinese Years of the Cow

The Chinese demand for milk grows and grows. The milk consumption in China is expected to be triple the current level by 2050. The big question is, where will this milk be produced?  A team of researchers from China, The Netherlands, New Zealand, the UK and Austria has tried to calculate the effects of this increase in milk consumption on, for instance, the international trade in milk and fodder, land use, and emissions of greenhouse gases and nitrogen. One of the several scenarios that the researchers calculated was if 75% of the additionally required milk was produced in China (using the existing production methods) and 25% was imported from Europe, New Zealand and the US. This scenario can be seen at the far left side of each chart. By 2050, the amount of land around the world needed for fodder crops for the dairy industry would have increased by 30%, resulting in an increase in global greenhouse gas emissions of about 35% and increased water use of 65%! (source)

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Food Math Graph

This infographic made by The Plantrician Project, to visualise some basic food math, shows how one person on a standard American diet would have the same footprint (2 football fields) as 14  people on a plant-based diet. Should everyone follow the plant-based diet, some 5 billion football fields would be ‘freed’ for forests or to feed the hungry. In fact, a United Nations Environment Program analysis found that 3.5 billion more people could be fed when croplands would not be used for animal feed. (source)

 

 

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International Women’s Day: The Ongoing Pay Gap Between Women and Men

On the 8th of March, also known as International Women’s Day, we celebrate the women’s rights movement. Although we celebrate the progress we see when it comes to women’s rights, there’s still a lot of ground to be made up. One area Eurostat focused on today, is the width of pay-gap between men and women. On average (per hour), men earn 16,2% more than women. The gap is the largest in Estonia, where men earn 25,2% more than  women, whereas the smallest difference can be found in Romania, where the pay-gap is ‘only’ 5,2%. (source)

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Lucky coincidence, or…?

Last week, US president Donald Trump announced that he would impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminium, leading to all sorts of reactions. Democrats and unions have applauded the efforts, whereas Republicans and multiple business groups reacted negatively. Although it’s hard to say what the immediate impact will be for the American people, one person in particular, namely billionaire investor and longtime Trump confidant Carl Icahn, benefited from this change in rules. Icahn, who held a large stake in a company heavily dependent on steel last week, dumped $31.3 million of stock just days before Trump announced his tariff plans. Lucky coincidence, or a well-informed decision?

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Surprisingly Low Oscars Awards Ratings

Nielsen data, reported by the ABC network that broadcasts the Oscars Awards ceremony announced that the live show had approximately 26.5 million total viewers- the smallest TV audience on record for the event. Compared to 2017 that is 19.5% (6.4 million) less viewers. Interestingly, BBC News claims that advertising slots prices rose substantially on US networks. However, this graph does not include digital and mobile viewing. Thus, the decline could be explained by the development of the streaming online videos. (source)

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Oscars ’18: The Shape of Water is a relatively cheap Best Picture winner

With the last pieces of confetti being swept up, these year’s Oscars have come to a close. The big winner was Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, bringing in a grand total of four Oscars, including the Oscar for best picture. We’ve put all the past winners of that category together, including this one, and looked at their production costs (in millions of 2018 dollars). Del Toro’s The Shape of Water comes in on the lower end of the chart, costing a mere $19 million, whereas movies like Titanic and Gladiator greatly surpassed the hundred million mark. Interestingly, in the last few years we see a decline in producing costs, with only one of the last ten Best Picture winners costing more than $21 million dollars. (source)