I'm back to checking out Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes. If you like trivia, behavior patterns, and small , but growing trends in our society--this book will please you. I wrote a little about it in this post a while back, then set it aside for some fiction.
The 30-Winkers chapter discusses the trend toward sleep deprivation. Sleep Experts recommend between 7.5 - 8 hours sleep per night, yet the number of people who sleep fewer than 6 hours per night has increased "from 12 percent of American adults in 1998 to 16 percent in 2005." Lack of sleep can have tragic results, causing more than 50,000 traffic accidents a year; the Exxon Valdez and the Staten Island Ferry crash were also a result of drivers falling asleep at the wheel.
But lack of sleep can also mean less productivity, more domestic problems, and obesity.
Southpaws Unbound discusses the rise of left-handedness. Left-handedness is no longer discouraged as it was in the past, and children are no longer forced to switch with the same aggression. Other facts: "Lefties are disproportionately represented among twins"; lefties are 128 percent more likely to be born to Moms over 40; and lefties are often associated with innovation and self-expression. As a result, allowing lefties to be lefties may mean an increase in the number of people with these qualities,and with the rise of lefties, more products may be designed with the lefty in mind. I can't imagine the inconvenience of always having to overcome difficulties with products designed for right-handers.
Other chapters have dealt with the working retired, extreme commuters, Protestant Hispanics, Moderate Muslims, and the effects the growing numbers in these groups have and will have on society.
I'm about to begin the chapter on Old New Dads - men who are fathering children at older ages (Mick Jagger -55; Strom Thurmond and Rupert Murdoch - over 70!). It should prove interesting.
If you'd like to be included in the drawing for copies of The Sonambulist or Nameless Night, don't forget to comment on the previous post.
Addendum: Check out what Robin is doing here! What a fabulous collaboration she and her husband have worked out!