Five Lessons Learnt This Week

Another week has come to an end… Before you all head off to your Halloween parties and weekend frivolities, make sure you’re up to date on the latest weird and wonderful news from around the world with Five Lessons Learnt This Week.

So what has this week taught us? Where billionaires go to school, why having a beard is good for you and hoovering is just as good as going to the gym, and that 3D printers are the future (while phone calls are dying out). Read on to find out more…

1. Where billionaires study

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 15.13.57Ever wondered what the secret to becoming a billionaire is? Yeah, us too. It looks like education plays a big part in your likelihood of becoming super-rich, after a study this week revealed that two thirds of the world’s billionaires had a university degree.

A quarter had gone on to rack up postgraduate degrees, while one in ten have a doctorate. And in the UK, an even greater proportion of the wealthy are university educated, with four out of five billionaires having gone on to further education.

It’s not just having a degree that’s important, though. Where you study also plays a part, and the study identified the top 20 universities for producing billionaires. Perhaps somewhat predictably, elite US institutions dominated the list, taking 16 of the 20 places. Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cornell, Stanford and the University of Southern California all made the grade, with the University of Pennsylvania coming out on top.

It seems stateside is the way to go if you want to make mega-money – the only UK institution to make the cut was the London School of Economics. Neither Oxford or Cambridge made the list.

The study also showed that dealing in money is the most likely way to make money, with the majority of the billionaires surveyed making their fortunes through banking, finance and investment. Good news!

We’ve also looked at where the Bank of England’s MPC studied… find out this and more (including who to watch out for) in Get to know the MPC

2. Household chores keep you fit

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 15.16.56Good news for any gym-phobes out there… a study this week has shown that you don’t need to hit the gym to get the recommended 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. Instead of donning the lycra, grab your pinny and marigolds – vacuuming, mopping, washing windows, cleaning the car, mowing the lawn and planting flowers all count as least moderate-level exercise.

Scrubbing the floors and bathtub clocked in at a MET (Metabolic Equivalent of Task) rate of 6.5, putting it in the ‘vigorous’ category and lowering the recommended time to 75 minutes.

So it might be worth making sure you’re keeping on top of the housework before shelling out for that gym membership…

But if you’d rather burn your calories doing something more fun than cleaning the loo, we’ve got 7 ways to keep fit in the busy trading week for you…

3. Having a beard is good for you

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 09.11.11Good news for any of you who are going to be embracing Movember and Decembeard this year – a study has shown that having facial hair may actually be good for you.

The health benefits of growing face fuzz include increased resistance to allergies (as the hair can filter out dust and pollen) and reduced risk of skin cancer (because a good beard will provide 90-95% UV protection).

If you suffer from asthma, having a beard can also help reduce symptoms by filtering out dust mites and other irritants that can act as a trigger. And if that’s not reason enough to ditch your razor, there are cosmetic benefits, too – growing a beard reduces eliminates shaving rashes, zits and irritation, and the UV protection means you’ll get less wrinkles.

If you’d rather keep your face fuzz-free, we’re giving you a £10 gift voucher for top new shaving brand Cornerstone – and all your products will be delivered on a subscription basis, so you’ll never find yourself short of shaving supplies again.

4. 3-D printers are the future

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 12.09.193D printing has already brought us cars, cameras and medical models – and the latest feat in this new area of tech is prosthetics. Robotics expert Joel Gibbard printed a bionic hand for Daniel Melville, who was born without his right hand.

He contacted Gibbons about making him a new hand, and the pioneering scientist obliged by scanning his good hand before using the images to create a bionic hand using a 3D printer (Luke Skywalker, eat your heart out).

The process took around 40 hours, while it can take months to produce prosthetic limbs from moulds. It’s believed to be the first time a custom-fit hand has been made on a 3D printer, and manufacturing the prosthetic in this way offers an affordable option to the robotic hands that Melville says cost more than his car.

What will they create from 3D printers next? Answers on a postcard…

5. Emails > phone calls

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 14.34.40Okay, we all know the average phone does a lot more than just allow us to make phone calls these days. But you’d probably still assume that making calls would be up there in the most common uses of a phone, right?

Wrong. Making calls isn’t even in the top 5 uses of a mobile phone – sending and receiving text messages, surfing the internet, taking photographs, reading emails and the alarm function were all used more frequently than the option to make a call. And a survey revealed that four in ten people in the UK reckon they wouldn’t miss the call function on their handset at all.

The calendar, calculator and navigation apps were also popular, and checking Facebook came out as the 10th most used function of a smartphone.

What do you think? Would you rather send a text or an email (or even a Facebook message) than pick up the phone and make a call?

Find out why we love the Blackberry Passport for all of the above and trading on the go (and if you’re not a Blackberry fan, there are more options in our Mobile Trading Gadgets). 

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