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Popular Elsewhere

14:16 UK time, Friday, 18 March 2011

A look at the stories ranking highly on various news sites.

"Friday" by Rebecca Black is "the worst pop song of all time" according to one of the Independent's most popular stories. The track, which details the 13-year-old California girl's excitement at the impending weekend, has become a YouTube sensation, but not for good reasons:

"It could be the robotic vocal delivery. Or the inane chorus of "tomorrow is Saturday and Sunday comes afterwards". But "the worst pop song of all time" has become a global sensation. "Friday" is either a witty parody of saccharine teen-pop or a new low in manufactured song production... It has received 10 million views and now leaped into the official iTunes download chart. Black's name even 'out-trended' the Japanese earthquake on Twitter. However most of the comments are not positive. The lyrics of 'Friday' have come under particular scrutiny. The song follows the teenager as she gets up, eats a bowl of cereal and struggles to choose whether to sit in the front of the back seat of the car."

Talking on a mobile phone while crossing the street may be dangerous for the elderly, but not for young people, according to one of Time magazine's most read stories. Researchers found the younger generation were able to navigate a busy two-way street even while listening to music or making a phone call. But elderly participants were distracted, hesitating before stepping off the pavement, and thus lowering their chances of completing the virtual task. The researchers said their findings support the idea that multi-tasking abilities decline with age.

The owner of the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan has "falsified safety data and tried to cover up problems" in the past according to the Australian's most read news story. The Tokyo Electric Power Co injected air into the containment vessel of Fukushima reactor No 1 to artificially "lower the leak rate", the website reports. When the misconduct came to light, in 2002, the company expressed its "sincere apologies for conducting dishonest practices", says the Australian.

Raises don't make employees work harder, but pay cuts make them slack off according to the most read story in Slate. During the recent downturn, companies have responded to falling sales mostly by laying off workers rather than lowering salaries, the article notes. But why?

"A series of studies in the burgeoning field of behavioral economics provide some insight into why managers seem to prefer handing out pink slips rather than lowering salaries. In experiments where workers were randomly assigned to receive wage cuts, they retaliated by slacking off. If you know that anger and resentment accompany pay cuts, it's easier to understand the response of management during recessions."

 

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