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60 Second Idea

Happy minute should replace hour

Each week a global thinker from the worlds of philosophy, science, psychology or the arts is given a minute to put forward a radical, inspiring or controversial idea – no matter how improbable – that they believe would change the world.

This week, American biologist Stuart Firestein says that instead of a happy hour, we should just have a happy minute.

“In America, at least, we have something happy hour. Typically this is really about two hours from 5pm to 7pm when saloons, bars and pubs offer drinks at some subsidised price. Traditionally it has been half price or at worst two for one, which assured you had at least 2 drinks rather than just one.

“To be honest this was a come on by the tavern owners to get people in after work and to get them started on a night of drinking after a day of working. Arguably this is not socially redeemable or culturally valuable or politically correct even, but it was fun often.

“But the pure idea of a happy hour is certainly not a bad one. So I would like to suggest instead of a happy hour – that is too long. Too much of a commitment and certainly too dangerous, we just have a happy minute after work you get a shot of your favourite alcoholic beverage in a toast with your co-workers.

“You are done in a  minute whilst wishing them a good night and congratulating them on what a good job they have made of it today and then go off to home or whatever plans you have for the evening happier less tense and renewed.”

You can listen to Dr Firestein discuss his idea in more detail on the BBC World Service programme The Forum, where you can also download more sixty second ideas.

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