Without most people realizing it, there has been a revolution in office work over the last ten years. Before that time, large computers were only used by large, rich companies that could afford the investment. With the advancement of technology, small computers have come onto the market which are capable of doing the work which used to be done by much larger and more expensive computers, so now most smaller companies can use them.
The main development in small computers has been in the field of word processors, or WP's as they are often called. 40% of British offices are now estimated to have a word processor for both secretary and manager. The secretary is freed from a lot of routine work, such as re-typing letters and storing papers. He or she can use this time to do other more interesting work for the boss. From a manager's point of view, secretarial time is being made better use of and money can be saved by doing routine jobs automatically outside office hours.
But is it all good? If a lot of routine secretarial work can be done automati¬cally , surely this will mean that fewer secretaries will be needed. Another worry is the increasing medical problems related to work with visual display units. The case of a slow loss of sight among people using word processors seems to have risen greatly. It is also feared that if a woman works at a VDU for long hours, the unborn child in her body might be killed. Safety screens to put over a VDU have been invented but few companies in England bother to buy them.
Whatever the arguments for or against word processors, they are a key feature of this revolution in office practice.
Most of us trade money for entertainment. Movies, concerts and shows are enjoyable but 11 .If you think that you can't have a good time without spending a lot of money, read on. A little resourcefulness and a few minutes of newspaper-scanning should give you some pleasant surprises.
People may be the most interesting show in a large city. 12 through busy streets and see what everybody else is doing. You will probably see people from all over the world; you will 13 see people of every age, size, and shape, and you'll get a free fashion show, too. Window-shopping is also a 14 sport if the stores are closed.
Check the listings in your neighborhood paper. Local colleges or schools often 15 the public to hear an interesting speaker or a good 16 . The film or concert series at the local public library probably won't cost you a penny. Be sure to check commercial advertisements too. A flea market can provide hours of pleasant looking round. Perhaps you can find a free cooking or crafts 17 in a department store.
Plan ahead for some activities. It is always more pleasant not to have people in front of you in a museum or at a zoo. You may save some money, too, since these places often 18 aside one or two free 19 days at slow times during the week. Make sure that you are including the indispensable 20 that people travel miles to see. If you feel like taking an interesting walk, find a free walking tour, or plan one yourself.
Despite these alarming statistics, the scale of the threat that smoking causes to women's health has received surprisingly little attention. Smoking is still seen by many as a mainly male problem, perhaps because men were the first to take up the habit and therefore the first to suffer the ill-effects. This is no longer the case. Women who smoke like men will die like men. WHO estimates that, in industrialized countries, smoking rates amongst men and women are very similar, at around 30 per cent; in a large number of developed countries, smoking is now more common among teenage girls than boys.
As women took up smoking later than men, the full impact of smoking on their health has yet to be seen. But it is clear from countries where women have smoked longest, such as the United Kingdom and the United States, that smoking causes the same diseases in women as in men and the gap between their death rates is narrowing. On current trends, some 20 to 25 per cent of women who smoke will die from their habit. One in three of these deaths will be among women under 65 year of age. The US Surgeon General has estimated that, amongst these women, smoking is responsible for around 40 per cent heart disease deaths, 55 per cent of lethal strokes and, among women of all ages, 80 per cent of lung cancer deaths and 30 per cent of all cancer deaths. Over the last 20 years, death rates in women from lung cancer have more than doubled in Japan, Norway, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom; have increased by more than 200 per cent in Australia, Denmark and New Zealand; and have increased by more than 300 per cent in Canada and the United States.