Danielle Demetriou reports for the Daily Telegraph:
The Japanese government has launched a campaign encouraging people to go to bed and get up extra early in order to reduce household carbon dioxide emissions.
The Morning Challenge campaign, unveiled by the Environment Ministry, is based on the premise that swapping late night electricity for an extra hour of morning sunlight could significantly cut the nation's carbon footprint.
A typical family can reduce its carbon dioxide footprint by 85kg a year if everyone goes to bed and gets up one hour earlier, according to the campaign.
The amount of carbon dioxide emissions potentially saved from going to bed an hour early was the equivalent of 20 per cent of annual emissions from household lights, "Many Japanese people waste electric power at night time, for example by watching TV until very late," a ministry spokesperson told The Daily Telegraph.
"But going to bed early and getting up early can avoid wasting electrical power which causes carbon dioxide emissions. If people change their lifestyle, we can save energy and reduce emissions." The campaign also proposes that people take advantage of an extra hour of morning sunlight by improve their lifestyles in general by running, doing yoga and eating a nutritious breakfast.
It is the latest initiative tackling climate change by the Japanese environment ministry, which is faced with the challenge of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 25 per cent from 1990 levels within the next decade.
It was the same government department that launched the high profile Cool Biz campaign five years ago, which encourages workers to wear short-sleeved shirts and offices not to turn air con lower than 28 degrees during the summer.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Danielle Demetriou reports for the Daily Telegraph:
Researchers have discovered that being unable to smile when you are happy feeds back to the brain reducing the intensity of feeling.
Botox, used to fight facial wrinkles, is made of an extremely toxic protein called Botulinum toxin that temporarily paralyses the muscles that cause creases.
That means no lines, but also no moving of the muscles at all which often makes faces look frozen.
Now the lack of facial expressions may influence emotional experiences as well, the research found.
A person with limited ability to make facial expressions was found to also have a limited ability to feel emotions.
"With Botox, a person can respond otherwise normally to an emotional event, [such as] a sad movie scene, but will have less movement in the facial muscles that have been injected, and therefore less feedback to the brain about such facial expressivity," said researcher Joshua Davis, a psychologist at Barnard College in New York.
"It thus allows for a test of whether facial expressions and the sensory feedback from them to the brain can influence our emotions."
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Listen to this fascinating Philosophy Talk radio show here.
What is it?
You might think our thought simply determine what we say. But maybe the language we speak is what really determines the thoughts we can have. As Wittgenstein famously wrote, "The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." And Benjamin Lee Whorf held that the language you speak has a systematic influence on how you think about and interact with reality. John and Ken wrestle with the relationship between language and thought with Lera Boroditsky from Stanford University.
About the Guest
Lera Boroditsky is an Assistant Professor of Cognitive Psychology at
Stanford University. She runs the Cognation Lab at Stanford University and
researches mental representation; language learning, meaning, and use.
John and Ken begin by asking which comes first--language or thought? For a long time it seemed like thought obviously came first, but more recent philosophy suggests that language molds our thought more than previously considered. Ken points out that you can have a thought and then express it in language, but also that your language creates the world for you and determines the way you think. Ken argues that the categories of language allow us to interpret the world, while John thinks that differentiating between categories of objects is a much easier task and evolves far before language does. Is there any way to tease apart this chicken or the egg problem?
John and Ken introduce Lera Boroditsky, Professor of Cognitive Psychology at Stanford University. John Perry asks Lera to explain the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis mentioned earlier--is language a straight-jacket for thought? Lera describes how the connection between language and thought was first noticed because different languages described the world in very different ways structurally. She describes how different languages use different genders, tense, and case, and how this may alter the way speakers of said language view the world--mainly that in languages that use different genders or tenses or cases, these differences must be noticed in the real world in order to be applied.
John points out that just because, say in Indonesian, there is no past tense, that does not mean that Indonesians have no sense of time. Lera agrees that language is sparse, and describes the opposite of the Sapir-Whorf position which claims that everyone notices the same things about the world, regardless of language. Ken asks for some stronger and weaker alternatives to these disparate camps, and Lera describes how some of these theories can be altered to be more reasonable and experimentally validated.
John, Ken, and Lera discuss the concept that certain things are just untranslatable between languages, and even two individuals who speak the same language! Lera uses positions in sports to illustrate these differences. Lera discusses experimental evidence for and against the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis with callers who relate their own personal losses in translation and theories of language and thought.
* Polly Stryker the Roving Philosophical Reporter (Seek to 3:54): Polly Stryker interviews Linda, who is trying to resurrect a dying native american language that is part of her heritage. This ancient language reveals how close her tribe once was to nature, and may indicate how one's language can transform one's perception of the world.
* Ian Schoales the 60-second Philosopher (Seek to 49:29): Ian Schoales discusses the development of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and Chomsky's universal grammar--at lightning speed!
Alice Ann Bailey, a leading disciple of the Russian theosophist Madame Helena Blavatsky, formed the Lucifer Publising Company in 1920. 1922 saw the organization's name changed to Lucis Trust though the advancement of the Luciferian beliefs remained true. Beliefs that in Blavatsky's words: “oppose the materialism of science and every dogmatic theology, especially the Christian, which the Chiefs of the Society regard as particularly pernicious.”
Lucis Trust promulgates the work of an "Ascended Master" who was working 'through' Alice Bailey for some 30 years. The Lucis Trust Publishing Company and their many fronts and organizations worship an "Externalized Hierarchy" of "Ascended Masters," who carry out the work of a Luciferian "master plan" for the establishment of a permanent "Age of Aquarius" ruled by one "Sanat Kumara", the "Lord of the World."
Lucis Trust is a powerful institution that enjoys "Consultative Status" with the United Nations, which permits it to have a close working relationship with the U.N., including a seat on the weekly sessions, but most importantly, influence with powerful business and national leaders throughout the world.
Through its founding of World Goodwill, Lucis Trust is "aggressively involved in promoting a globalist ideology":
Authors and participants in its various conferences read like a Who's Who of globalist insiders. Featured on its website, for example, is the Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities, put forth in April 1998 as a companion document to the notorious UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Signatories to the World Goodwill document include: Helmut Schmidt, former chancellor of West Germany; Malcolm Fraser, former Australian prime minister; Oscar Arias Sanchez, former prime minister of Costa Rica; Shimon Peres; Robert McNamara; Paul Volcker; and Jimmy Carter.
... it is as much a political organization as an occult religious one.
- New Age Roots, by Steve Bonta
Lucis Trust is run through an international board of trustees whose membership is said to have included: John D. Rockefeller; Norman Cousins; Robert S. McNamara; Thomas Watson, Jr. (IBM, former U.S. Ambassador to Moscow); Henry Clausen, Grand Commander of the Supreme Council, 33rd Degree, Southern District Scottish Rite and Henry Kissinger. This would then tie Bailey's influential occult organization into the international conspiracy of elitists, including the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Bilderbergs, and the Trilateral Commission.
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Israeli leaders are facing more legal action from rights activists who are filing new lawsuits in connection with Israel's war crimes against Palestinians in Gaza.
Two Belgian lawyers filed an indictment on Wednesday on behalf of more than a dozen Palestinians, calling for some 14 Israeli officials to stand trial for crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed during Tel Aviv's December 2008-January 2009 offensive against the Gaza Strip.
The list comprises of various politicians and military and intelligence officials — including Defense Minister Ehud Barak, then Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, and former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert — who had a role in the deadly onslaught The Jerusalem Post quoted Hungarian News Agency MTI as saying.
The indictment defines Israel's deliberate targeting of places known to hold civilians as well as attacks on plantations and water systems, among other things, as war crimes committed during the 22-day offensive that killed more than 1,400 Palestinians and left thousands more injured.
Belgium's "Universal Jurisdiction" law allows for the trial of war criminals in Belgium while the events in question took place elsewhere.
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The Council of Europe called Thursday for a probe into the World Health Organisation's handling of the H1N1 swine flu outbreak, which it said led to unjustified scares and waste of public money.
A council parliamentary assembly identified "grave shortcomings" about WHO transparency about its position on the flu, "generating concerns about the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on decisions taken," a statement said.
The session adopted a text that says there was "overwhelming evidence that the seriousness of the pandemic was vastly overrated by WHO".
Paul Flynn, British author of a report endorsed by the assembly, told the session that the WHO's June 11, 2009 declaration of a H1N1 pandemic had enabled the pharmaceutical industry to reap large profits.
The handling of the pandemic by the WHO, EU health groups and governments led to the "waste of large sums of public money, and unjustified scares and fears about the health risks faced by the European public", the statement said.
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