The findings revealed that parts of the brain are less reactive to stress when somene is with a person they consider themselves married to. “We really pay close attention to when it’s safe to let down our guard and to outsource our stress response to our social networks,”
both groups weren’t considering the optimal results, but rather how much work they could bear. Instead of trying to create the most enjoyable experience, they unthinkingly worked as much as possible, stockpiling useless treasure. The researchers call this behaviour “mindless accumulation”—the tendency for people to forgo leisure to work towards rewards they’ll never be able to use. They argue that it’s a distinctly modern problem. For much of human history, earning rates were low and people needed to work as much as possible just to survive. The idea that you could “overearn” simply wasn’t realistic. If you’re one of today’s highly paid office workers, however, earning comes comparatively easily, yet the drive to hoard as much as possible remains. The researchers compare overearning to overeating, another distinctly modern problem caused by a life of surprising abundance.
people turn to charity food as a last resort following a crisis such as the loss of a job, or problems accessing social security benefits.
… The review, written by a team of food policy experts from the University of Warwick, was passed to ministers in June but has remained under wraps until now, creating speculation that the government “suppressed” its findings.
… Ministers have repeatedly said there is no robust link between welfare changes and food bank use, while the welfare minister Lord Freud claimed the rise in food bank use was because there were more food banks and because the food was free.
But the Warwick researchers explicitly reject Freud’s claim in a statement accompanying the report: “We found no evidence to support the idea that increased food aid provision is driving demand. All available evidence both in the UK and international points in the opposite direction. Put simply, there is more need and informal food aid providers are trying to help.”
If George Orwell and Laurie Lee were to return from the Spanish Civil War today, they would be arrested under Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006. If convicted of fighting abroad with a “political, ideological, religious or racial motive”, a charge they would find hard to contest, they would face a maximum sentence of life in prison(1). That they were fighting to defend an elected government against a fascist rebellion would have no bearing on the case. They would go down as terrorists.
Sue Hemming claims it is “an offence to go out and get involved in a conflict”, but that is not always true. You can be prosecuted if you possess a “political, ideological, religious or racial motive” for getting involved, but not, strangely, if you possess a financial motive. Far from it: such motives are now eminently respectable. You can even obtain a City & Guilds qualification as a naval mercenary(13). Sorry, “maritime security operative”. As long as you don’t care whom you kill or why, you’re exempt from the law.
Why and how non-violent campaigns outperform violent ones (via http://www.youtube.com/attribution_link?a=T3DENP-n8Jc&u=/watch?v=YJSehRlU34w&feature=share)
The churches are very much larger than any British political party. Even the Methodist church has more paying members than the Conservative or Labour parties – more than the Conservatives and Ukip together. The Church of England has five times as many people in church every Sunday than the number of Tory party members.
today, we have a country that has spent vast sums of money on futile militarism; that is currently preparing to spend another £2 billion or so on a fleet of fighter planes so that Britain can continue to ‘punch above its weight’, yet which cannot – or will not – find the £500 million shortfall identified by the government advisory body, the Committee on Climate Change, to strengthen the country’s flood defenses. These priorities must change, or we are going to see some truly horrendous events over the coming years.
But if there is one good thing that might come out of the terrible series of weather events we have seen both in the UK and beyond this this winter, it must surely be to reach a common consensus that we are facing a real emergency - not the pseudo-terrorist emergency that has been so wildly exaggerated and blown out of all proportion since September 2001 – and used for all manner of objectives that have nothing to do with anyone’s security. On one level ‘national security’ is a misleading prism through which to view climate change. What we are really talking about – or should be talking about – is human security, and the need to develop common national and international policies that can mitigate the worst effects of global warming and try and prevent some of the catastrophic disclocations that seem almost certain to take place if we don’t do anything.
today’s teenagers – or youth, as certain newspapers prefer to dub them – far from being antisocial hoody-clad riot-mongers, are actually highly concerned with social issues, keen to volunteer, and take fewer drugs and drink less alcohol than previous generations.
Like many of you I lay in bed listening to the radio on Wednesday morning as the story about statins for all over forties broke and I began to sob and rock gently in a foetal position. But then I saw the world through the cold, hard eyes of a profiteering multi-national and the scales of naivety fell from my eyes. They weren’t just after me… they wanted to hook the next generation too. By launching a campaign to get every single forty plus onto statins then their cash tills will begin to chime like never before… but there is a subliminal message that became clear to me – and it goes like this. Overtly they are saying that folk are doomed to a life of chronic heart problems due to succumbing to unregulated consumption of fast food, ready meals and cheap booze, but can save themselves with a daily statin. Covertly they are telling our kids to pig out on all of the burgers, chips, pizzas, microwave horsemeat lasagne and bargain basement alcopops that they can because there is a magic pill to save them further down the line. How about that for a piece of cunning.
Steven Croft, the bishop of Sheffield, described the threat of climate change as “a giant evil; a great demon of our day”, adding: “Its power is fed by greed, blindness and complacency in the present generation, and we know that this giant wreaks havoc though the immense power of the weather systems, which are themselves unpredictable.”
Throughout my life, the Bible has been a constant source of personal inspiration. Because of this, I feel deep sorrow that, on the one hand, vast numbers of people around the world consider it at best, to be confusing and at worst, intolerant and violent. On the other, I am frustrated that our responses, as the Church, to their questions are so often ill thought through, poorly articulated and laden with in-house, inhospitable, inaccessible language. To put it more bluntly, I believe it is the responsibility of all those who are not ready to agree with, what I regard as, Professor Dawkins’ rather superficial and juvenile conclusions about the biblical text, to create space for a deeper discussion and debate around the way in which we work with it and, as a consequence, who we understand God to be.