Monday, December 5, 2011

Kids digging for gold, Post Office woes, and smelling neuroticism

12% of the world’s gold comes from Mali, and 20% of the workers are children.

     Good Morning Humboldt County!

Welcome to my little corner of the world. Step right in and find a confortable seat. I have hot coffee on so don’t hesitate to grab a cup. Here’s some stories to start your day:


Digging for gold, children work in harsh conditions, paid with bags of dirt

Mali is Africa’s third largest gold producer. Artisanal mines rely on heavy human labor and little mechanization.  People throughout West Africa are flocking to work in the primitive pits.“Globally, we’ve seen an increase with the number of artisanal gold miners because of the rise of gold prices, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to better living conditions,” said Juliane Kippenberg who helped author a forthcoming Human Rights Watch report on Mali’s mines. The skyrocketing price of gold has led to a rush on the precious metal in the United States and throughout the world, but some of the mining that’s helping feed the world’s craving involves child labor and a dangerous process involving mercury.

Cash-strapped US Post Office to slow first-class delivery service

Unprecedented cuts by the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service will slow first-class delivery next spring and, for the first time in 40 years, eliminate the chance for stamped letters to arrive the next day.

The cuts would close roughly 250 of the nearly 500 mail processing centers across the country (Eureka, California is one of those facilities that will be closed) as early as next March. Because the consolidations would typically lengthen the distance mail travels from post office to processing center, the agency would also lower delivery standards for first-class mail that have been in place since 1971.

          People can smell your neuroticism

Getting to know someone usually requires at least a little conversation. But a new study suggests you can get a hint of an individual's personality through his or her scent alone.

Participants in the study assessed, with some degree of accuracy, how outgoing, anxious or dominant people were after only taking a whiff of their clothes. The study is the first to test whether personality traits can be discerned through body odor.

Time to walk on down the road…

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