Dave Stancliff Maniac Monday: Americans are not happy and other stuff… blogarama.com

Monday, June 6, 2011

Maniac Monday: Americans are not happy and other stuff…

Image: Copenhagen

Good Morning Humboldt County!

Good to see you this morning. Have you got a cup of something hot and tasty to drink? All right then. Let’s take a look at the news of the day:

US doesn't make cut for happiest nations list

What makes people happy? The question, which has been debated by philosophers for centuries, now is being tackled by international bureaucrats and the results are interesting, to say the least. Old, stable nations of northern Europe took five of the top 10 spots on our list. These include Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, and Denmark. Switzerland is also on the list and has many characteristics in common with the Scandinavian countries. The resource-rich, English-speaking countries of Australia and Canada made the cut as well. Noticeably absent from the list are any OECD nations in Latin America, southern and eastern Europe and Asia. Many of the southern European nations like Greece, Portugal, and Spain are in economic trouble and have high unemployment.

PHOTO - Danish residents have consistently rated themselves as the happiest in the world for years in several different studies.

No joke! Your laugh lines may reveal bone health

Your laugh lines may offer clues to the health of your bones, according to a new study.

The results show that for women in their 40s and 50s, the worse their skin wrinkles are, the lower their bone density is.

"This information…may allow for the possibility of identifying postmenopausal women at fracture risk at a glance, without dependence on costly tests," said study researcher Dr. Lubna Pal, a reproductive endocrinologist at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn.

Humble cabbage becomes art

Ju Duoqi stocks up on cabbages in the Beijing vegetable market and then transforms the humble vegetables into works of art depicting beautiful women -- that sometimes leave very little to the imagination.

The 38-year-old said she started using cabbages in her work five years ago when she was looking for a way to bring her art together with everyday life.

"Cabbages come in different sizes and colors. Under different light and in different contexts, I can make cabbages into various forms and take photos of them that produce different moods," Ju said.

Biologist

Wind power turbines in Altamont Pass threaten protected birds

Scores of protected golden eagles have been dying each year after colliding with the blades of about 5,000 wind turbines along the ridgelines of the Bay Area's Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area, raising troubling questions about the state's push for alternative power sources.

"It would take 167 pairs of local nesting golden eagles to produce enough young to compensate for their mortality rate related to wind energy production," said field biologist Doug Bell, manager of East Bay Regional Park District's wildlife program. "We only have 60 pairs."

PHOTO - Biologist Joseph DiDonato cradles a golden eagle chick for a Bay Area study. On average, 67 golden eagles are killed each year by wind turbines. (Don Kelsen / Los Angeles Times

 

Conspiracy theories abound in American politics

Gulf of Tonkin incident

Osama bin Laden is alive and well. President Obama is a closet Kenyan. Arnold Schwarzenegger hid his out-of-wedlock child with the help of scheming reporters.

Most people dismiss such talk as obviously untrue, if not downright nutty.

But to the conspiracy-minded, those assertions are not just plausible but absolutely true, making them just the latest threads in a long American tradition of suspicion and skepticism that is woven deep within our political and cultural DNA.

PHOTO - Events such as the Gulf of Tonkin incident have convinced some Americans that their leaders are not to be trusted. In a 1964 press briefing, Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara described "unprovoked and deliberate" attacks by North Vietnamese boats against U.S. destroyers. The claims were later revealed as a false pretense for plunging the U.S. deeper into the Vietnam War. (Bob Schutz / Associated Press)

I hope you enjoyed our time together. It’s time for me to head on down the road…

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