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Wed, 16 Sep 2009 04:57:42 GMT

Obama and bad economy boost gun industry

Obama and bad economy boost gun industry
Beware the law of unexpected consequences! The Obama administration's stimulus funds have boosted the gun industry, reports the Christian Science Monitor. According to that report, a record one million guns were sold in the US in August with police departments using stimulus funds to buy new guns. "Gun culture magazines in the '90s named [President] Clinton 'gun salesman of the year,' but I think Obama, without even trying, has become gun salesman of the century," one commentator told the Christian Science Monitor.

Of course, it's not just the stimulus funds. In these uncertain times, people are scared so gun sales soar. That's one reason why Charlie Gasparino at the Daily Beast recommends investors buy up shares in Smith & Wesson which is up around 70%.

As he says, that's not quite the flight to quality we would like.

Posted by: Bose      Read more     Source

Wed, 16 Sep 2009 04:52:18 GMT

Save Money While at College

Save Money While at College
© NCinDC
The financial crunch is being felt in many places. This means that you will need to take some wise shortcuts in order to save money while you are at college. Here are a couple of tips to help you reduce your college and living costs while in school.

1. Get all the scholarships you can. Scholarships can greatly reduce your college costs - and may even be able to eliminate them altogether. This will require that you do some serious online searching to find them, but there still are plenty out there. Take time to fill out the paperwork carefully - including any essays that may be required.

2. Buy your essentials from discount stores. Most everyone knows that you can get clothes at a good price at stores like Wal-Mart. In order to get the best prices, though, and save money, you want to buy the store brands.

3. Buy used books. College books do not have to be new to be in good shape. You can save over 50% of the new book costs by looking for places to buy them used. Then, when you do not need the books anymore - sell them to someone who will need them.

4. Look for discounts or used. If you are going to buy something you need - or want - check with the stores that sell items used. This can lead to great savings and in many cases, the items will be in good shape.

Posted by: FinanceMan      Read more     Source

September 15, 2009, 2:33 PM CT

Scary Music Is Scarier with Your Eyes Shut

Scary Music Is Scarier with Your Eyes Shut
The power of the imagination is well-known: it's no surprise that scary music is scarier with your eyes closed. But now neuroscientist and psychiatry expert Prof. Talma Hendler of Tel Aviv University's Functional Brain Center says that this phenomenon may open the door to a new way of treating people with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other neurological diseases.

In her newly released study, Prof. Hendler observed that the simple act of voluntarily closing one's eyes - instead of listening to music and sounds in the dark - can elicit more intense physical responses in the brain itself. This finding may have therapeutic value in treating people with brain disorders. Her research was just published in PLoS One and builds on her 2007 study published in Cerebral Cortex.

Prof. Hendler's research suggests that, when our eyes are closed, a region in our brain called the amygdala is fired up. The experience of scary music becomes more emotionally and physically intense. And the converse of the scary music effect appears to be true: happy music could produce a joyous effect when our eyes are shut as well.

Listening to sounds with our eyes closed seems to wire together a direct connection to the regions of our brains that process emotions, says Prof. Hendler. "Music is a relatively abstract emotional carrier," says Prof. Hendler. "It can easily take one's subjective personal experience and manipulate it. Our new findings, however, suggest that the effect is not only subjective. Using a functional MRI (fMRI), we can see that distinct changes in the brain are more pronounced when a person's eyes are not being used".........

Posted by: Gina      Read more         Source

September 15, 2009, 8:01 AM CT

Fake video dramatically alters eyewitness accounts

Fake video dramatically alters eyewitness accounts
Scientists at the University of Warwick have observed that fake video evidence can dramatically alter people's perceptions of events, even convincing them to testify as an eyewitness to an event that never happened.

Associate Professor Dr Kimberley Wade from the Department of Psychology led an experiment to see whether exposure to fabricated footage of an event could induce individuals to accuse another person of doing something they never did.

In the study, published in Applied Cognitive Psychology, Dr Wade observed that almost 50% of people shown fake footage of an event they witnessed first hand were prepared to believe the video version rather than what they actually saw.

Dr Wade's research team filmed 60 subjects as they took part in a computerised gambling task. The subjects were unknowingly seated next to a member of the research team as they both separately answered a series of multiple-choice general knowledge questions.

All subjects were given a pile of fake money to gamble with and they shared a pile of money that represented the bank. Their task was to earn as much money as possible by typing in an amount of money to gamble on the chances of them answering each question correctly. They were told the person who made the highest profit would win a prize.........

Posted by: Tom      Read more         Source

September 7, 2009, 2:01 PM CT

Apply For a Credit Card

Apply For a Credit Card
Tired of using your cash to purchase goods? Well, then it is time to get a credit card to make your purchase easy. Therefore, apply for a credit card that will help you to buy stuff without carrying cash. Credit card has become the most appreciated mode payment in the present times because it enables the consumer to get rid of carrying cash. To avail the facility of a credit card you have to apply for one.

Applying for a credit card

Applying for a credit card is easy. Credit card application forms are relatively easy to fill up. You have to provide information such as your name, past and present address, amount of income, social security number, employer address and span of employment. However, it is always advisable that before applying for a credit card you do some homework. While applying for a credit card you must look for certain thing like:
  • Annual Fee
  • Interest Rate
  • Fines or Penalties
  • Special Programs and Exclusions

Credit card offers might not be the same in nature every time. In fact, the credit rating might not be enough to qualify for certain offers. Certain companies make comeback offers in which they offer a small amount of credit at higher interest rates. If you apply for credit cards without doing a good amount of research work then you may end up in a bad deal. Particularly if you are getting a store credit card you must be aware of the fact that these cards are charged with more interest rates on initial discount offers.........

Posted by: Tom      Read more         Source

August 28, 2009, 6:46 AM CT

Job insecurity leads to health problems

Job insecurity leads to health problems
Persistent job insecurity poses a major threat to worker health, as per a newly released study reported in the recent issue of the peer-evaluated journal Social Science and Medicine.

The study used long-term data from two nationally representative sample surveys of the U.S. population to assess the impact of chronic job insecurity apart from actual job loss.

"Dramatic changes in the U.S. labor market have weakened bonds between employers and employees and fueled perceptions of job insecurity," said University of Michigan sociologist Sarah Burgard, a research assistant professor at the U-M Institute for Social Research. "This study provides the strongest evidence to date that persistent job insecurity has a negative impact on worker health. In fact, chronic job insecurity was a stronger predictor of poor health than either smoking or high blood pressure in one of the groups we studied".

Burgard and his colleagues Jennie Brand at the University of California, Los Angeles, and James House at U-M, analyzed data on more than 1,700 adults collected over periods from three to 10 years. By interviewing the same people at different points in time, the scientists were able to disentangle the correlation between poor health and job insecurity, and to control for the impact of actual job loss and other factors. One of the studies was conducted between 1986 and 1989, the other between 1995 and 2005.........

Posted by: Mac      Read more         Source

August 24, 2009, 10:25 PM CT

In the eye of the beholder?

In the eye of the beholder?
Is McDonald's an authentic brand? What about Marlboro? As per a newly released study in the Journal of Consumer Research, consumers are able to find authenticity in unlikely places.

"Consumer identity goals (or their idealized images of themselves) underpin evaluations of whether a brand is authentic (genuine, real, and true) or not," write authors Michael B. Beverland (RMIT University, Melbourne) and Francis J. Farrelly (Monash University).

The scientists identified three primary identity goals: a desire for control, connection, or virtue. "These goals reflect three respective societal norms: the need to be practical, to participate in community, and to be moral," the authors explain. "When seeking to achieve these different goals, consumers choose different brands. When consumers desire to be in control, they may view McDonalds as an inauthentic brand partner because fast food leads to increases in weight. Alternately, McDonald's appears to be viewed as a genuine partner when the same consumer is seeking to connect with others".

Consumers tend to project or infer certain motives onto brands or reduce brand claims to a few basic features, the authors found. For example, several consumers viewed driving the original VW Beetle as a highly virtuous act, because the original motive behind producing the car was to provide cheap transport for everyonedespite the fact that it was the Nazi Government that originally commissioned the car.........

Posted by: Tom      Read more         Source

August 24, 2009, 10:22 PM CT

Placing ads: Location, location, location

Placing ads: Location, location, location
Marketers have always known they must carefully choose where they place their ads, but a newly released study in Journal of Consumer Research shows that even the nearby content in a publicationits difficulty and designaffect consumers' perception and acceptance of the ad message. They also observed that the ad's relationship to the editorial material affected consumer acceptance.

After a series of experiments, scientists Hao Shen (Chinese University of Hong Kong) Yuwei Jiang (Hong Kong Polytechnic University) and Rashmi Adaval (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) found "the thematic relationship between the magazine article and the advertising is critical in diagnosing which type of effect is likely to occur." For example, when the content of the ad is correlation to the article, negative feelings elicited by difficult-to-read articles spill over to the advertisement and the advertised product. "However, if the advertisement is uncorrelation to the article, placing it after a difficult-to-read article leads to more favorable assessments of the advertisement and the product," the authors write.

In one study, participants were asked about their reactions to movie reviews of films shown at a film festival in both difficult and easy-to-read fonts. Participants were presented with an easy-to-read advertisement for a watch. However, in one condition the relationship between the movie and the watch was made explicit (i.e. the watch was listed as a sponsor of the film festival). In the other, the relationship was not mentioned. The scientists observed that "as the difficulty of reading the movie review increased, participants found it easier to process the advertisement and reviewed the watch more favorably. However, when the watch was listed as a sponsor of the film festival, the negative feelings elicited by the difficult-to-read movie review apparently spilled over to the watch. That is, as difficulty in reading the movie review increased, assessments of the watch became more negative".........

Posted by: Tom      Read more         Source

August 16, 2009, 9:21 PM CT

Arabic chemists from the 'Golden Age'

Arabic chemists from the 'Golden Age'
The Arabic chemist Geber is shown in his laboratory.

Credit: "From Alchemy to Chemistry," by Arthur Greenberg, 2007, Wiley-Interscience

You've heard of Louis Pasteur and George Washington Carver, no doubt. And probably Joseph Priestley, one of the founders of modern chemistry. Names like Antoine Lavoisier, John Dalton, and Amadeo Avogadro may even bring a twinkle of recognition to the eye for their famous roles in establishing chemistry as a modern science.

But what about Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi ("Rhazes")? Or Jabir ibn Hayyan ("Geber")? Or Abu Jusuf Yaqub ibn Ishaq al-Kindi. Huh?

"You should know them," Benjamin Huddle, Ph.D., declared in a report presented here today at the 238th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. They're chemists from the Golden Age of Arabic-Islamic Science, which stretched from the 8th to the 13th centuries. During this era, science and medicine in Muslim countries from southern Europe through North Africa to Central Asia and India flourished and was unrivaled anywhere in the world. Muslim physicians and researchers made advancements that built the foundations for the emergence of modern science and medicine in Europe.

"Science in the early Muslim period is largely forgotten today in the Western world, or relegated to pseudo-science," Huddle said. "We are rediscovering the fact that from 750 to 1258 A.D. the best science in the world was being done by Arabic-speaking peoples. In chemistry we use language from the Arabs, apparatus and techniques, a number of chemicals (particularly perfumes), and a number of materials".........

Posted by: Tom      Read more         Source

August 13, 2009, 7:09 AM CT

Football injuries in US high school athletes

Football injuries in US high school athletes
Injuries can occur during a sporting competition at any time. However, new research finds that during football, injuries sustained at the beginning or middle of a game are more severe in comparison to injuries sustained during the end or in overtime. This finding suggests that the changes of intensity throughout competition influence risk of severe injury.

The beginning of a football game accounted for 16 percent of injuries, with 54 percent occurring during the middle of the game. The end of the game or during overtime accounted for 30 percent of injuries, as per the study published in Research in Sports Medicine and conducted by scientists in the Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP) in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital. This is the first study to assess the effects of competition intensity on injury severity in high school football.

"Not only does the time in competition affect injuries but also the phase of play," explained one of the study's authors, Dawn Comstock, PhD, principal investigator in CIRP at Nationwide Children's Hospital. "During kickoff and punting, a greater proportion of severe injuries occurred in comparison to all other phases of play. Thirty-three percent of injuries occurring during kickoff and punt were severe and 20 percent were concussions".........

Posted by: Jim      Read more         Source

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