▪ Worldwide during 2005, there were 28 full-fledged wars and 11 other armed conflicts.—VITAL SIGNS 2006-2007, WORLDWATCH INSTITUTE.
▪ A team from the Tokyo Institute of Technology has successfully flown a manned ultralight aircraft that weighed less than 125 pounds [55 kg] and was powered only by household batteries. The plane flew 1,283 feet [391 m] in 59 seconds.—MAINICHI DAILY NEWS, JAPAN.
▪ Among Dutch Internet users aged 12 to 20 who visited certain so-called “profile sites” while using a webcam, “40 percent of the boys and 57 percent of the girls reported having been asked to take off clothes or perform some sexual act in front of the webcam.”—RUTGERS NISSO GROEP, NETHERLANDS.
Can Video Games Be Addictive?
“Brain reactions of people who play computer games excessively are similar to those of alcoholics or cannabis addicts.” So says psychologist Ralf Thalemann, leader of an addiction research group at Charité University Hospital, Berlin, Germany. It is thought that stimulation from excessive playing of computer games can cause an increased release of dopamine into a player’s brain, which produces a sensation of well-being that can eventually create an “addiction.” One survey suggested that this may occur in over 10 percent of those who play video games.
The Rich Are Often “Insecure and Troubled”
“Millionaires feel insecure and troubled,” states the Beijing newspaper China Daily. A survey was conducted among individuals from East China and South China who had an average wealth of 2.2 billion yuan ($275 million). The researchers, who studied rich people’s “attitudes toward faith, marriage, life, career and money,” found that “a majority of the millionaires love and hate money at the same time.” A number of respondents said that besides social status and a sense of accomplishment, “annoyance is the main thing money has brought them.”
Farms Healthy for the Mentally Ill
Over 100 experts from 14 countries recently met in Stavanger, Norway, to learn about Green Care, a concept that combines farming, teaching, and health care. According to the broadcasting company NRK, some who have been mentally ill for years no longer need to be institutionalized when they start doing farm work. It is “healthy for mind and body.” More than 600 traditional farms in Norway cooperate with Green Care, for which they receive extra income.
A Use for Church Steeples
“New England churches [in the United States] have found a solution to dwindling budgets: renting their picturesque steeples to wireless companies in need of cell sites,” says Newsweek magazine. Locations for towers that transmit and receive messages from cell phones are limited by zoning restrictions in residential areas, and residents do not want ugly antennas in their neighborhoods. So cell-phone providers are hiding their equipment inside church steeples. The president of one consulting firm for churches says: “The first church we did now has three carriers in it, and they’re getting $74,000 a year for space nobody [was] using anyway.”