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The magic word, flushing with Mozart, closing the outdoors

Do you look like Friday?

"Women spend an hour and a quarter getting ready for work on a Monday, more than any other day of the week," The Daily Express reports. "By Friday, this has slumped to 19 minutes, a survey found. Men, by contrast, take an average 28 minutes to get ready on a Monday, a figure that halves the next day before falling to a constant low of 11 minutes for the rest of the week. The [figures were]compiled by fashion store Debenhams."

The magic word

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"A doctor at a British hospital said a new rule requiring doctors to write 'please' on blood test request forms could put patients at risk," United Press International reports. "Administrators at England's Worthing Hospital confirmed the new policy of refusing blood tests during weekends if doctors have not written 'please' on the form, The Sun reported Tuesday. The managers said the move is aimed at easing pressure on hospital workers charged with performing blood tests by making doctors consider whether the tests are essential. However, a doctor at the hospital said on condition of anonymity that he sees the policy as a money-saving measure that could prove dangerous for patients."

Some hiring tips

"I have a few little [tips]that I use whenever I hire someone for any purpose," Trent Hamm writes for The Christian Science Monitor:

- Never hire someone going door to door.

- Ask someone you're thinking of hiring for a task what they expect from the customer. This is usually an open door for a negative person to start blasting away at some of their "awful" customers from the past. If you start hearing this kind of negativity from anyone you're considering hiring, back away quickly.

- Ask what they can do better than a competitor. If they can't come up with anything, then they likely don't pride themselves on their work.

- Ask them about their experience. I'd rather hire someone new who admitted they're new than someone who tries to put up a false front about their experience

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- Describe the job you want them to do and ask if they're up to it. If their immediate reaction without asking any sort of follow-up is, "Yeah, sure, no problem," then I get nervous. That means they're claiming to be able to easily do something without knowing what it is.

Flushing with Mozart

"A German sewage plant has unveiled a new scheme to speed up the sewage process - by playing Mozart to their microbes," Orange News U.K. reports. "Officials believe the composer's music helps to stimulate activity among the tiny organisms that break down waste, the Markische Allgemeine newspaper said. It is hoped that Mozart's soothing symphonies and operas will drive down energy costs at the waste-treatment facility in Treuenbrietzen, southwest of Berlin. Classics such as The Magic Flute and The Marriage of Figaro are being piped in around the clock, via a series of speakers designed to replicate the acoustics of a concert hall. The scheme was developed by scientists at German firm Mundus who say microbes are particularly partial to harmonies and rhythms."

Got a fat kookaburra?

"An Australian kookaburra bird is undergoing personal training after growing too fat to fly because she ate too many sausages," Reuters reports. "The kookaburra got into trouble with her weight when residents at a Sydney park began feeding her sausages at barbecues. The porky kookaburra weighed in at 1.2 pounds, nearly 40 per cent heavier than a normal adult bird, rendering her so unfit she couldn't fly." A member of the public brought the bird to the Sydney Taronga Zoo after spotting dogs chasing her along the ground. After following an exercise regimen of up to three times a day with a personal trainer, the bird is now winning her battle of the bulge.

Closing the outdoors

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"In these hard economic times, when much of the [United States]could use a walk in the woods or a night in the mountains or a wade in the river or a picnic by the lake, states across the country seem to be creating obstacles to the great outdoors," William Yardley writes for The New York Times. "Seeking to streamline their budgets, states have made their parks easy targets. Campgrounds are closing, fees are increasing, employees have been laid off. In Colorado, some parks are down to one lone ranger."

Thought du jour

"Cigarettes are very like weasels. Perfectly harmless unless you put one in your mouth and try to set fire to it."

- Boothby Graffoe, English comedian

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