theeconomist: Daily chart: which country consumes the most trees? The average American uses the paper equivalent of almost six 40-foot (12-metre) trees a year. In Belgium paper consumption is pushed up by the EU bureaucracy in Brussels.
Am I really the only person who believes it makes mores sense to base a state on Geography, Economics and Political Outlook rather than a shared History, Culture and Language? Sure, it’s fine to accommodate those things, but they don’t necessarily create a successfully functioning state, do they?
Gives a sense of scale of the sheer size of modern cruise liners. I’ve been on HMB Endeavour and it’s not small!
The Queen Mary 2 is saluted by the HMB Endeavour, a replica of Captain James Cook’s ship, off the coast of Victoria, Australia. The encounter occurred as the Queen Mary 2 sailed from Adelaide to Melbourne, where she will make her maiden visit. While Queen Mary 2 has taken 20 nights to circumnavigate Australia (Fremantle to Fremantle) the Endeavour is taking 13 months on its journey around the country.
Picture: James Morgan
The results aren’t fully in yet, but it’s looking like another strong victory for Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
He’s had the job twice already, elected as the country’s second ever President in 2000, and again in 2004. This year’s results are expected to be announced at around 6:00am GMT.
Russian law states that no person can be President for more than any two consecutive terms at a time. Unsurprisingly, in 2008 he put forward Dmitri Medvedev, a close colleague, while Putin himself remained as Prime Minister. In September 2011, Medvedev announced he would not run this year for president. Few were surprised.
Now the elections are happening in the midst of the largest protest seen in Russia since the downfall of communism. And observers, both independent and those brought in by the opposition, are reporting thousands of incidents of fraud, from people being carted from one polling station to another to cast multiple votes.
Tomorrow, thousands of protesters are expected to take to the streets of Moscow again to express their horror at this. And I wouldn’t be surprised if there was international frowning at these results, which have been described by the opposition as illegitimate.
It will also be interesting to see how countries such as the USA and those in Eastern Europe will react. Of course, they want to maintain as good relations as possible, but one wonders how America, the self-proclaimed great pillar of fair democracy can possibly accept that the results of this election are anything but lies.
I do think it’s worth looking at the next popular candidate - Gennady Zyuganov. He’s a communist. And I think this raises the question for Russia and for all those watching; do we want fair elections and communism on the rise, or Vladimir Putin and corruption? I’m not sure I can answer this one, and I do wonder who actually can.
lickypickystickyfree: 25 Napping Facts Every College Student Should Know
- It makes you smarter
According to Dr. Matthew Walker of the University of California, napping for as little as one hour resets your short-term memory and helps you learn facts more easily after you wake up.
- Abandon all-nighters
Foregoing sleep by cramming all night reduces your ability to retain information by up to 40%. If you can, mix in a nap somewhere to refresh your hippocampus.
- It doesn’t mean what you think
If you know you have to pull an all-nighter, try a “prophylactic nap.” It’s a short nap in advance of expected sleep deprivation that will help you stay alert for up to 10 hours afterwards.
- You can’t avoid that down period after lunch by not eating
Human bodies naturally go through two phases of deep tiredness, one between 2-4 a.m. and between 1-3 p.m. Skipping lunch won’t help this period of diminished alertness and coordination.
- Pick the right time
After lunch in the early afternoon your body naturally gets tired. This is the best time to take a brief nap, as it’s early enough to not mess with your nighttime sleep.
- Hour naps are great
A 60-minute nap improves alertness for 10 hours, although with naps over 45 minutes you risk what’s known as “sleep inertia,” that groggy feeling that may last for half an hour or more.
- But short naps are best
For healthy young adults, naps as short as 20, 10, or even 2 minutes can be all you need to get the mental benefits of sleep, without risking grogginess.
- Drink coffee first
The way this works is you drink a cup of coffee right before taking your 20-minute or half-hour nap, which is precisely how long caffeine takes to kick in. That way when you wake up, you’re not only refreshed, but ready to go.
- The NASA nap
A little group called NASA discovered that just a 26-minute nap increases performance by 34% and alertness by 54%. Pilots take advantage of NASA naps while planes are on autopilot.
- Can’t sleep? Don’t stress
Even if you can’t fall asleep for a nap, just laying down and resting has benefits. Studies have found resting results in lowered blood pressure, which even some college kids have to worry about if they are genetically predisposed to high blood pressure.
- Napping may save your life
A multi-year Greek study found napping at least three times per week for at least 30 minutes resulted in a 37% lower death rate due to heart problems.
- More nap benefits for the brain
Not only will napping improve your alertness, it will also help your decision-making, creativity, and sensory perception.
- But wait, there’s more
Studies have found napping raises your stamina 11%, increases ability to stay asleep all night by 12%, and lowers the time required to fall asleep by 14%.
- The ultimate nap
According to Dr. Sara Mednick, the best nap occurs when REM sleep is in proportion to slow-wave sleep. Use her patented Take A Nap Nap Wheel to calculate what time of day you can nap to the max.
- Fight the Freshman 15
Research shows that women who sleep five hours at night are 32% more likely to experience major weight gain than those sleeping seven hours. A two-hour nap isn’t feasible for many, but napping is a good way to make up for at least some lost night sleep.
- If it was good enough for them…
Presidents JFK and Bill Clinton used to nap every day to help ease the heavy burden of ruling the free world. Of course, they also had other relaxation methods, but we won’t get into those.
- Do like the Romans do
In ancient Rome, everyone, including children, retreated for a 2 or 3-hour nap after lunch. No doubt this is the reason the Roman empire lasted over 1,000 years
- Don’t wait too long
The latest you want to wake up from a nap is five hours before bedtime, otherwise you risk not being able to fall asleep at night.
- Sugar is not a good substitute for a nap
When we are tired, we instinctively reach for foods with a high glycemic index, but after the initial energy wears off, we’re left more tired than we were before.
- It’s a good way to catch up
If it takes you less than five minutes to fall asleep at night, you are sleep deprived. If you never can seem to get to bed earlier at night, a mid-day nap is a great way to catch up on sleep.
- Underclassmen need more sleep
Freshmen and sophomores who are still in your teens: you need up to 10 hours of sleep to feel rested. So odds are, you are sleep-deprived.
- You’ll have to leave the party sooner
After one school-week of not getting enough sleep, three alcoholic drinks will affect you the same way six would when you are fully rested.
- Don’t drive drowsy
Don’t be afraid to take advantage of an “emergency nap” on the side of the road in your car. Every year, as many as 100,000 traffic fatalities are caused by sleepy people behind the wheel.
- The Einstein Method
If you are concerned about sleeping too long, do what Albert Einstein regularly did: hold a pencil while you’re drifting off, so when you fall asleep, the pencil dropping will wake you up. (We do not guarantee you will wake up with a 180 IQ.)
- Missing sleep is worse at your age
For people ages 18 to 24, sleep deprivation impairs performance more significantly than in other age brackets.
fuckyeahfeminists: A favorite for our Science Month theme.
Well this rather puts things into perspective!
Just a quick post, and i’m afraid i’ll have to start by apologising for my ignorance when it comes to this latest US Presidential Election.
That aside, I just looked at a profile for the leading Republican Candidate, Mitt Romney. Now, it seems to me that if I had to choose a Republican for President, it would be him. The reason is simple - he’s moderate. Remember, everything is relative, but his record seems akin to an American Tory, something which is rather unusual these days.
Forgive me if I sound too sympathetic to his cause - i’m not - but during his time as Governor of Massachusetts he seems to have been widely criticised (quite unfairly in my opinion) for some less than characteristic non laissez faire policies, most notoriously introducing compulsory health insurance, a move which Obama tried to replicate over recent months, even offering subsidies to those who would not ordinarily be able to afford the exorbitant cost of insurance. Surely this is a step towards a loose welfare state, something which the Tory party on this side of the Pond supports.
And like the Tories, he’s avoiding the tribalism so often characteristic of both the Labour Party and of his own previous attempt on the White House, instead targeting the President. Again, we see the Politics of the Tory Party.
My concern is that his very popular centrist ideology will extend further than a victory in Florida. He’s not a man i’d like to see in the Oval Office, but it is certainly refreshing to see a Republican more closely suited to British politics.