September 10th, 2003



According to this morning's Metro 60% of people believe in God. This is 4% down on 1998, obviously a good thing in my book.

What's possibly more interesting is that just 18% of people are practising members of a religion, while 25% of them don't practice. Registering as a non-practising member of a religion tends to indicate that you were raised in that religion and still feel a vague connection, but don't actually believe in any strong way (certainly not strong enough to get you into a place of worship for anything less than a wedding, funeral or birthing ceremony). A further 24% of people are 'spiritually inclined', which probably covers everything from those people who have a vague feeling about the universe to strongly believing magicians who don't happen to follow an established religion.

14% went for agnostic and 12% went for atheist, which is interesting as I tend to encounter more of the latter - many of whom turn out to be agnostic when actually queried on their beliefs. I wonder if the questions asked people to respond to definitions rather than to the words themselves.

62% said their life experiences moulded their religious views, versus 56% who were parent-led. Obviously there's crossover there, but I wonder if life experiences tend to push people into or out of religion/belief.

Oi! Americans! Your country sucks!

Says so here.

U.S. workers are putting in longer hours on the job and taking fewer vacation days than any other industrialized countries," ms_sue_collins writes. "Labor statistics show that U.S. workers have even surpassed the Japanese in the number of days at work per year. Working Americans average a little over two weeks' vacation anually, but unlike all other industrialized countries, the U.S. has no legislative requirement guaranteeing a minimum number of days of paid leave. A national survey by Oxford Health plans found that one out of six Americans who receive paid vacation are unable to use it, nearly one-third of employees work through lunch and 19 percent reported feeling obligated to work even when sick or injured. Whether such numbers reflect workers' anxiety or a stronger work ethic, experts worry about the physical and psychological ramifications while policymakers argue over proposed solutions.