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Posts Tagged ‘Time’

How Somalia’s Fishermen Became Pirates

April 19, 2009 Leave a comment

This is a really interesting article from Time.com. It’s an interesting insight into where all this piracy has come from, and the fact that it it is really the creation of the rest of the world’s own greed in Somali waters. Of course, it does not excuse the piracy that is going on at the moment, but it does mean that the west has to take responsibility for creating the industry, rather than complain about being a victim of it.somalia_fishing_0417jpg

Amid the current media frenzy about Somali pirates, it’s hard not to imagine them as characters in some dystopian Horn of Africa version of Waterworld. We see wily corsairs in ragged clothing swarming out of their elusive mother ships, chewing narcotic khat while thumbing GPS phones and grappling hooks. They are not desperate bandits, experts say, rather savvy opportunists in the most lawless corner of the planet. But the pirates have never been the only ones exploiting the vulnerabilities of this troubled failed state – and are, in part, a product of the rest of the world’s neglect.

Ever since a civil war brought down Somalia’s last functional government in 1991, the country’s 3,330 km (2,000 miles) of coastline – the longest in continental Africa – has been pillaged by foreign vessels. A United Nations report in 2006 said that, in the absence of the country’s at one time serviceable coastguard, Somali waters have become the site of an international “free for all,” with fishing fleets from around the world illegally plundering Somali stocks and freezing out the country’s own rudimentarily-equipped fishermen. According to another U.N. report, an estimated $300 million worth of seafood is stolen from the country’s coastline each year. “In any context,” says Gustavo Carvalho, a London-based researcher with Global Witness, an environmental NGO, “that is a staggering sum.” Read more…

Categories: In the News, Interest Tags: , ,

The Growing Case Against Red Meat

March 25, 2009 Leave a comment

From Time.com In more news that has steak-lovers feeling deflated, a study published in this week’s issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine finds that people who indulge in high amounts of red meat and processed meats, including steak, bacon, sausage and cold cuts, have an increased risk of death from cancer and heart disease. The findings add power to the growing push – by health officials, environmentalists and even some chefs – to cool America’s love affair with meat.

The analysis of more than half a million Americans between the ages of 50 and 71 found that men in the highest quintile of red-meat consumption – those who ate about 5 ounces of red meat a day, or roughly the equivalent of a small steak, according to lead author Rashmi Sinha – had a 31% higher risk of death over a 10-year period than men in the lowest consumption quintile, who ate less than 1 ounce of red meat per day, or approximately three slices of ham. Men in the top fifth also had a 22% higher risk of dying of cancer and a 27% higher risk of dying of heart disease. In women, the figures were starker: women in the highest quintile of consumption had a 36% increased 10-year risk of death compared with women who ate little red meat; eating lots of meat was also associated with a 20% higher risk of dying of cancer and a 50% higher risk of dying of heart disease. (Read “A History of Beef, Times Two”.)….”

I’m definitly part carnivore.. maybe this was my problem.. 🙂

Categories: In the News, Interest Tags: , , ,

Doodling makes you pay attention

February 28, 2009 Leave a comment

An article published on Time.com offers some insight into doodling. Having been in lectures for most my life, and prone to doodling, its nice to get some reinforcement on my study techniques. 🙂 Excerpts from the article are below, click the heading to get the full article.

Study: Doodling Helps You Pay Attention

“In her small but rigorous study, Andrade separated 40 participants into two groups of 20. All 40 had just finished an unrelated psychological experiment, and many were thinking of going home (or to the pub). They were asked, instead, whether they wouldn’t mind spending another five minutes helping with research. The participants were led into a quiet room and then asked to listen to a two-and-a-half-minute tape that they were told would be “rather dull.”

…..

Afterward, the papers were removed and the 40 volunteers were asked to recall, verbally, the place names and the names of the people coming to the party. The doodlers creamed the non-doodlers: those who doodled during the tape recalled 7.5 pieces of information (out of the 16 total) on average, 29% more than the average of 5.8 recalled by the control group.

Why does doodling aid memory? Andrade offers several theories, but the most persuasive is that when you doodle, you don’t daydream. Daydreaming may seem absentminded and pointless, but it actually demands a lot of the brain’s processing power. You start daydreaming about a vacation, which leads you to think about potential destinations, how you would pay for the trip, whether you could get the flight upgraded, how you might score a bigger hotel room. These cognitions require what psychologists call “executive functioning” — for example, planning for the future and comparing costs and benefits.”

An Interesting Article From Time.com

February 13, 2009 Leave a comment

The Biology of Belief

Most folks probably couldn’t locate their parietal lobe with a map and a compass. For the record, it’s at the top of your head – aft of the frontal lobe, fore of the occipital lobe, north of the temporal lobe. What makes the parietal lobe special is not where it lives but what it does – particularly concerning matters of faith.

If you’ve ever prayed so hard that you’ve lost all sense of a larger world outside yourself, that’s your parietal lobe at work. If you’ve ever meditated so deeply that you’d swear the very boundaries of your body had dissolved, that’s your parietal too. There are other regions responsible for making your brain the spiritual amusement park it can be: your thalamus plays a role, as do your frontal lobes. But it’s your parietal lobe – a central mass of tissue that processes sensory input – that may have the most transporting effect. (Read “Top 10 Medical Breakthroughs”.)

Needy creatures that we are, we put the brain’s spiritual centers to use all the time. We pray for peace; we meditate for serenity; we chant for wealth. We travel to Lourdes in search of a miracle; we go to Mecca to show our devotion; we eat hallucinogenic mushrooms to attain transcendent vision and gather in church basements to achieve its sober opposite. But there is nothing we pray – or chant or meditate – for more than health.

Health, by definition, is the sine qua non of everything else. If you’re dead, serenity is academic. So we convince ourselves that while our medicine is strong and our doctors are wise, our prayers may heal us too.

Here’s what’s surprising: a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that faith may indeed bring us health. People who attend religious services do have a lower risk of dying in any one year than people who don’t attend. People who believe in a loving God fare better after a diagnosis of illness than people who believe in a punitive God. No less a killer than AIDS will back off at least a bit when it’s hit with a double-barreled blast of belief. “Even accounting for medications,” says Dr. Gail Ironson, a professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Miami who studies HIV and religious belief, “spirituality predicts for better disease control.” (Read “Finding God on YouTube.”) Read more…

Can Your Name Make You a Criminal?

January 31, 2009 2 comments

An Interesting Article From Time.com.

In a new study to be published in the March issue of Social Science Quarterly, David Kalist and Daniel Lee, economists at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, find that adolescent boys with unpopular names are more likely than other boys to have been referred to the juvenile-justice system for alleged offenses. The researchers conclude that the Ernests, Prestons and Tyrells of America are significantly more delinquent than the Michaels and Davids. Why?

The short answer is that our names play an important role in shaping the way we see ourselves — and, more important, how others see us. Abundant academic literature proves these points. A 1993 paper found that most people perceive those with unconventionally spelled names (Patric, Geoffrey) as less likely to be moral, warm, and successful. A 2001 paper found that we have a tendency to judge boys’ trustworthiness and masculinity from their names (as a guy whose middle name is Ashley, I can attest to the second part). In a 2007 paper (here’s a PDF), University of Florida economist David Figlio found that boys with names commonly given to girls are more likely to be suspended from school. And an influential 1998 paper co-authored by psychologist Melvin (a challenging first name if there ever was one) Manis of the University of Michigan, reported that “having an unusual name leads to unfavorable reactions in others, which then leads to unfavorable evaluations of the self.”

Our first names also say a great deal about the extent of privilege enjoyed by the people who picked those names for us, our parents. In the new paper, Kalist and Lee point out that previous research has shown that the name Allison is rarely given to girls whose mothers didn’t finish high school; it is frequently given to girls whose mothers have 17 years or more of schooling. On average, parents with less schooling are more likely to pick unpopular names for their kids. Read more…

Categories: Blog, In the News, Interest Tags: , ,

Food for thought….

January 28, 2009 Leave a comment

This is an interesting article that was forwarded to me and published by The Times Online, by Matthew Parris…….

As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God

Missionaries, not aid money, are the solution to Africa’s biggest problem – the crushing passivity of the people’s mindset

Before Christmas I returned, after 45 years, to the country that as a boy I knew as Nyasaland. Today it’s Malawi, and The Times Christmas Appeal includes a small British charity working there. Pump Aid helps rural communities to install a simple pump, letting people keep their village wells sealed and clean. I went to see this work.

It inspired me, renewing my flagging faith in development charities. But travelling in Malawi refreshed another belief, too: one I’ve been trying to banish all my life, but an observation I’ve been unable to avoid since my African childhood. It confounds my ideological beliefs, stubbornly refuses to fit my world view, and has embarrassed my growing belief that there is no God.

Now a confirmed atheist, I’ve become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people’s hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.

I used to avoid this truth by applauding – as you can – the practical work of mission churches in Africa. It’s a pity, I would say, that salvation is part of the package, but Christians black and white, working in Africa, do heal the sick, do teach people to read and write; and only the severest kind of secularist could see a mission hospital or school and say the world would be better without it. I would allow that if faith was needed to motivate missionaries to help, then, fine: but what counted was the help, not the faith.

But this doesn’t fit the facts. Faith does more than support the missionary; it is also transferred to his flock. This is the effect that matters so immensely, and which I cannot help observing.

Continue reading here…..

Categories: Faith Tags: , , ,