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Sweden has built quite a reputation in the modern world.

The country has been admired and nitpicked on topics ranging from their furniture to their relative egalitarianism. (Don't lose it! Please!)


GIF via GQ/YouTube.

And with a recent experiment, Sweden has a lot of the developed world craning their necks to see what happens next.

Swedish researchers have been studying the effects of paying people the same amount of money to work fewer hours.

Nurses at Svartedalens nursing home in Gothenburg (Sweden's second largest city) worked six hours a day for the same pay they received for eight hours. They were compared to a control group working standard eight-hour shifts in a different facility. According to reporting by The Guardian, the experiment was quite the success.

Here are five things to know about the six-hour workday:

1. It can make people happier and healthier.

GIF from "Parks and Recreation."

Working fewer hours gives people more time to spend with loved ones and to take care of themselves. Plus, the Harvard Business Review says you're not doing yourself any favors if you work so much that you're losing sleep over it. Overwork could put you on a treadmill of underperformance.

Lise-Lotte Pettersson, a nurse at Svartedelans who participated in the experiment, told The Guardian that she felt able to handle more of what life needed from her. "I used to be exhausted all the time. ... But not now. ... I have much more energy for my work, and also for family life."

2. It can kick productivity into overdrive.


GIF from "Bruce Almighty."

It takes time to settle into a six-hour workday, but when it's on, it's on.

Linus Feldt cut his tech company's workday to six hours in 2014, and he says his team has gotten more focused. He told The Guardian he believes "time is more valuable than money" and that more personal time can motivate people to work efficiently and without dampening quality.

Now there's research to back up Feldt's suspicions. A work study out of Stanford University found that "increases in output as hours rise beyond 50 in a week are relatively small." And there's no productivity difference between 55 and 70 hours.

3. It's a hell of a recruiting tool.

GIF from "The Great Gatsby."

Reduced work hours offer the work-life balance that a lot of professionals want — sometimes more than money. That's what Maria Bråth, CEO of a Swedish Internet startup, has learned since she started the six-hour workday in 2012.

Bråth believes people are a company's most valuable resource and keeping them happy is important. She thinks a six-hour workday can go a long way toward that end. "It has a lot to do with the fact that we are very creative," she told The Guardian. "We couldn't keep it up for eight hours."

4. It puts people in jobs and money in their pockets.

GIF from "Chappelle's Show."

A lot of companies can't cut their workdays without having to hire more people because otherwise work would get left on the table. So if we're looking purely at job availability, a six-hour workday isn't a bad way to boost employment.

Svartedalens hired 14 new people to make up for the staffing shortfall created by the reduced workday. It cost the facility $1 million, but as a state-owned nursing home, revenue isn't a key concern. And what they gained in employee happiness and quality of care for their patients was priceless.

That brings us to our final learning.

5. It can be profitable for businesses.

GIF from "Eastbound & Down."

Gothenburg's Toyota service centers have used six-hour workdays since 2002, and they never looked back. In addition to all of the above being true of their experience, Martin Banck, the managing director who started the policy, told The Guardian they've since enjoyed a 25% increase in profits.

Sweden isn't the first country to experiment with a six-hour workday, and hopefully it won't be the last.

One early adopter was an American company in the thick of the Great Depression. Kellogg's Michigan-based cereal plant swapped its three eight-hour shifts for four six-hour shifts after founder W.K. Kellogg heard about the possible productivity gains.

The company ended up hiring hundreds of people who desperately needed jobs, costs went down, productivity rose like gangbusters, and because of all of that, the company was able to shell out the same wages for six hours that it did for eight.

GIF from "Workaholics."

Sounds pretty sweet, right? Well, the age of the six-hour workday came to an end more than half a century later because Kellogg stopped holding the line on the rule and allowed departments to independently decide their work hours.

Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt, author of "Kellogg's Six-Hour Days," explains that in the decades after World War II, managers everywhere adopted the view that nonstop work was a sign of progress, forgetting the importance of leisure for health and happiness.

The upside is that Kellogg's proved that a six-hour workday can work. And thanks to the city of Gothenburg and Sweden's other experimental enterprises, we now know it still can.

Six-hour workdays may not fit like a glove for every company or industry, but the principle behind it can apply in any setting.

It all comes down to one simple question: Do we live to work, or do we work to live?

Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via Dion Merrick / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.09.21


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Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

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