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Rhiannon12866's Journal
Rhiannon12866's Journal
April 28, 2012

Thinking can undermine religious faith, study finds

Those who think more analytically are less inclined to be religious believers than are those who tend to follow a gut instinct, researchers conclude.

Scientists have revealed one of the reasons why some folks are less religious than others: They think more analytically, rather than going with their gut. And thinking analytically can cause religious belief to wane — for skeptics and true believers alike.

The study, published in Friday's edition of the journal Science, indicates that belief may be a more malleable feature of the human psyche than those of strong faith may think.

The cognitive origins of belief — and disbelief — traditionally haven't been explored with academic rigor, said lead author Will Gervais, a social psychologist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.


Ran across this by accident, but it's something I've long struggled to understand, so I thought others might be interested, too.
April 28, 2012

Syria suicide bombing kills nine in Damascus

Source: Los Angeles Times

A bomber strikes outside a mosque in an opposition stronghold of Damascus, the Syrian capital. Bashar Assad's government blames terrorists, but the opposition accuses the government.

BEIRUT — Two weeks after a supposed cease-fire was meant to bring an end to violence in Syria, an explosion Friday ripped through the capital, Damascus, killing at least nine people and injuring almost 30.

A suicide bomber in the pro-opposition Midan neighborhood detonated an explosives belt near a school and the Zein Abidin mosque as worshipers were leaving Friday prayers, the Interior Ministry said. Those killed included civilians and law enforcement officers, state media said.

The ministry blamed "terrorist groups" for the attack, but opposition activists said the government was probably behind the blast.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-syria-explosions-20120428,0,1769658.story

The bombing came two days after an explosion in the central city of Hama razed several homes and caused numerous deaths. Activists and the regime traded accusations in that attack as well.

April 16, 2012

TIME Magazine - Photos: Oval Office Secrets from Truman to Obama

The inside story of what happens when members of this most exclusive fraternity talk.

Some very cool pix of former presidents and factoids on the unique and secret relationships between those in the exclusive president's club...

More: http://swampland.time.com/2012/04/12/photos-oval-office-secrets-from-truman-to-obama/?photo=presidents_club_02-2#presidents_club_01#ixzz1sBWwwD5a
April 16, 2012

Don't wait for Social Security check in the mail

Source: Business Week


Starting next year, the check will no longer be in the mail for millions of people who receive Social Security and other government benefits.

The federal government, which issues 73 million payments a month, is phasing out paper checks for all benefit programs, requiring people to get payments electronically, either through direct deposit or a debit card for those without a bank account.

The changes will affect people who get Social Security, veterans' benefits, railroad pensions and federal disability payments. Tax refunds are exempt, but the Internal Revenue Service encourages taxpayers to get refunds electronically by processing those refunds faster than paper checks.

About 90 percent of people who receive federal benefits already get their payments electronically, the Treasury Department says. New beneficiaries were required to get payments electronically starting last year, and with a few exceptions, the rest will have to make the switch by March 2013.

Read more: http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-04/D9U5M6RO0.htm

I wonder how popular this will be...
April 11, 2012

Michigan teacher fired for Trayvon Martin hoodie fundraiser

Brooke Harris, an eighth grade English teacher, was fired after encouraging students raise money in support of Trayvon Martin's family. A petition has been started to reinstate Brooke Harris.

A teacher in southeastern Michigan has been fired for helping students organize a fundraiser for the family of Trayvon Martin, a Florida teenager shot to death by a neighborhood watch volunteer, a national civil rights group said.

Brooke Harris was dismissed in March from Pontiac Academy for Excellence Middle School "with little explanation" after she encouraged students to plan a wear-a-hoodie-to-school day in memory of Martin, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in Montgomery, Ala., said Monday. Martin was wearing a hoodie Feb. 26 when he was killed.

The hoodie has become a popular – and sometimes controversial – symbol of those campaigning for justice in the Trayvon Martin case. On March 28, Rep. Bobby Rush (D) of Illinois was removed from the House of Representatives in Washinton for wearing a hoodie. Rush was was in violation of clause 5 of House Rule 17 against wearing hats on the House floor. On March 30, a Delaware high school lifted its dress code for a day so that students could wear hoodies to school.

April 10, 2012

Titanic cruise ship forced to turn back briefly

Source: Reuters

(Reuters) - A cruise ship retracing the Titanic's fateful voyage 100 years ago was forced to turn back towards Ireland on Tuesday after a passenger developed heart problems.

The Balmoral is carrying 1,309 passengers, about the same number as were on the Titanic. Among them are relatives of those who lost their lives, relatives of survivors and historians.

The Titanic Memorial Cruise had departed from Southampton, England, on Sunday to follow the doomed ship's route to New York.

The passengers had intended to hold a memorial service at the spot where it sank on the night of April 14-15.

The Balmoral had left the port of Cobh in Ireland late on Monday night and was sailing through heavy weather when Captain Robert Bamberg announced on Tuesday afternoon it would have to turn back to return within helicopter range of Ireland to allow the sick passenger to be evacuated.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/10/britain-titanic-idUSL6E8FA55K20120410

Not a good year for a cruise...
April 3, 2012

Highway to the cuddle zone: Harry the baby pygmy hippo

Meet Harry the hippo, a baby pygmy so small the average person could carry him around with ease.

Harry, named after Britain's Prince Harry, was born last week at the Cango Wildlife Ranch in South Africa, the Star reports. His handlers are being forced to hand-rear Harry after his mother Hilda refused to feed him. Keeping Harry healthy is a priority, as there are only an estimated 3,000 pygmy hippos left in the wild.

"Pygmy hippo mothers are either great moms or silly moms. She unfortunately has lost a few of her babies after she squashed them," Rob Hall, operations director at the ranch, told the Star.

Harry's handlers are certainly earning their pay, feeding him a mixture of milk and water every three hours, then bathing him after each feeding. "You need to keep his skin moist," Hall said.


How cute is this little guy? LOL. More pix at link.

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