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Progressive Commentary Hour – 05.09.17

And inside look at events in Venezuela and the US efforts for regime change Dr. Maria Paez Victor is a sociologist who sits on the Board of Governors for the Law Commission of Ontario at York University, an independent organization that researches and advocates law and reforms for Ontario citizens. She is also the Chair of the Canadian Latin American …

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What I’m really thinking: the Oxford student

When I tell people I go to Oxford University, they look at me with admiration. “Wow, that’s fantastic,” they say. “You must have the best time there.” There’s not much else to do but smile and agree. You know that, for most people, this is an incredible achievement, but that can’t overcome the feeling of dread you feel at the start of every term. People …

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Four basic personality types identified: Pessimistic; optimistic; envious and trusting

A study on human behavior has revealed that 90% of the population can be classified into four basic personality types: Optimistic, Pessimistic, Trusting and Envious. However, the latter of the four types, Envious, is the most common, with 30% compared to 20% for each of the other groups. This is one of the main conclusions of a study recently published …

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George Monbiot – The Purse is Mightier Than the Pen

What is salient is not important. What is important is not salient. The media turns us away from the issues that will determine the course of our lives, and towards topics of brain-melting irrelevance. Television channel controllers, perhaps the least accountable arbiters in public life, see themselves as edgy and provocative, but they have purged from the schedules almost all …

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Nadia Prupis – You Cannot Explain it by Chance’: Climate Crises Can Fuel Armed Conflict

Climate-related disasters heighten the risk of conflict around the world, according to new research. Armed violence is likely to rise amid drought, heatwaves, and other crises, particularly in countries that are already fractured along ethnic lines, finds anew report from Germany’s Potsdam Institute, published Monday in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Analyzing data on armed conflict from 1980-2010, …

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Daniel Freeman and Jason Freeman – New study shows mindfulness therapy can be as effective as antidepressants

Somehow, somewhere, across those six weeks, something happened inside me – in my head? my body? my soul? – and I began to understand. Sitting still became a boon and a comfort, even a luxury, rather than a threat or an irritation. And the present moment, right here, right now, began to seem a very comfortable (and comforting) place to be, bereft of dread …

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Friendships Better Than Morphine

Friends ‘better than morphine’ – Larger social networks release more pain-killing endorphin, University of Oxford reports People with more friends have higher pain tolerance, Oxford University researchers have found. Katerina Johnson, a doctoral student in the University’s Department of Experimental Psychology, was studying whether differences in our neurobiology may help explain why some of us have larger social networks than others. …

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Nichole Mormann – As Climate Change Decimates Crops, 500,000 People Will Die Annually by 2050

With global temperatures rising, researchers predict there will be fewer healthy fruits and veggies to go around. It’s an age-old scenario at the family dinner table: parents or caregivers nagging kids to eat their vegetables. But while some children need a little prodding to eat their peas or brussels sprouts, according to new research published Thursday in the medical journalThe …

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Derrick Broze – Antidepressants Scientifically Linked To Violent Behavior In Youth

A new study published in the PLoS Medicine journal has found that younger people taking antidepressants are more likely to commit violent crimes. Reuters reports that the researchers “used a unique study design which aimed to avoid confounding factors by comparing the same individuals’ behavior while they were on and while they were off medication.” The study was led by …

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Cody Fenwick – The Silent Crisis of Aging

Our society is plagued by a crisis of aging that is weakening, infecting and killing hundreds of millions of us every year. We rarely think of it this way–aging is seen as a natural part of life rather than a crisis–but many serious researchers and philosophers argue that we our typical views on the naturalness and acceptability of death are …