The Bulletin publishes a collection of analysis and opinion pieces from the world’s top experts; it aggregates these writings to create a valuable resource for readers.
Archive for March, 2011
Stress decreases the ability to resist smoking and potentiates smoking intensity and reward
Despite tobacco being responsible for 5.4 million deaths per year and well publicized as one of the most preventable causes of mortality in the developed world, many of us still reach for a cigarette at the first sign of stress. Using a novel human laboratory model this study examined stress as a causal factor in accounts of smoking relapse, identifying a clear link between stress and reduced ability to resist smoking. The findings of this research have implications for understanding motivation as well as the putative value of tobacco, and point to a potential mechanism underlying stress-precipitated relapse behavior.
The shifting meaning of happiness
This article reveals that for some people, excitement leads to happiness, and for others, nothing brings happiness so much as a peaceful life. Which you prefer depends on how old you are, and whether you focus on living in the moment or planning for the future. The researches trawled blogs searching for examples where authors expressed feelings of happiness, using the word ‘happy’ and where the bloggers age could be identified. For the youngest bloggers, “happy sentences” tended to include excitement words like ecstatic, giddy, excited and elated. But as bloggers got older, fewer excitement words were used. Instead their happy sentences contained words like relaxed, calm, peaceful, and relieved. It suggests that in youth happiness comes more from excitement, from looking toward the future, from planning possibilities and making them real. With age, happiness comes more from calm and contentment, and living most fully in the present. As we age the things that make us happy shift from future possibilities to appreciating the now.
Tomato Consumption and Health: Emerging Benefits
Researchers looked at the role tomato products play in health and disease risk reduction. Results indicate that eating more tomatoes and tomato products can make people healthier and decrease the risk of conditions such as cancer, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. The article is particularly timely since the recently released Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 moved tomatoes to a newly established category of “orange/red” fruits and vegetables to encourage higher consumption of these healthy foods.
The Challenge of Climate Change and Energy Policies for Building a Sustainable Society in Japan
In response to last week’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the role and safety risks of nuclear power are being reassessed globally. The 1990s witnessed an unprecedented recognition that environmental problems were occurring at a global level. Demonstrating Japan’s commitment to the Kyoto Protocol it switched from fossil fuels to nuclear power as its primary energy source. Nuclear power has become central to its climate change and energy policies. The shift to secure increasing energy demand instead of reducing energy consumption has been widely criticised. Through an in-depth analysis of Japan’s climate change policy, this study assesses to what extent Japan has succeeded in environmental reforms without generating other environmental impacts to provide insight into this debate. Are the recent devastating events in Japan a warning to review its nuclear policies?
When what you see is what you get: the consequences of the objectifying gaze for women and men
From Psychology of Women Quarterly
Women who are looked at as sexual objects not only react as sexual objects, they also exhibit less proficiency with math, according to this research. Undergraduates from a large Midwestern university were studied; findings suggest that the objectifying gaze affected women’s behavior and lowered performance, but not men’s. The authors observe “The objectifying gaze is particularly problematic for women, it may lead to a vicious cycle in which women are first objectified and, as a result, underperform, confirming the notion that women’s looks are more important than what they can do.”
Chernobyl 25 years later: Many lessons learned
Dramatic events over the last week have produced heartbreaking images from Japan as its people face unimaginable adversity. In the wake of an earthquake of historic proportions, a tsunami of biblical scale and now potentially a nuclear emergency of terrifying magnitude, the ripples of fear span the globe. Natural disaster has collided with manmade hazard and this may prompt a full-scale nuclear meltdown. Many governments on the brink of a nuclear rebirth have been forced to reassess their nuclear strategy. Germany has already shut down some nuclear plants while it reconsiders its approach.
In a piece recently featured on SAGE Insight, we highlight again this timely essay from the former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, contributed to a special issue – Chernobyl 25 years later where he looks back at the catastrophic accident in 1986 at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in Ukraine and writes how, two and a half decades later, the nuclear accident offers many lessons for preventing, managing, and recovering from such a horrible event.
Special issue: The Peace Support Operations Model: Stabilisation Strategy
From Journal of Defense Modeling and Simulation: Applications, Methodology, Technology
Technology via modeling is changing the way we approach military operations. This special issue looks at the Peace Support Operations Model (PSOM). Created originally in 2004 as a dedicated analytical program to study ‘problem space’, the model has evolved from a ‘simple’ Excel spreadsheet tool to a more interactive, player-friendly war-game with increased functionality and wide application. Articles examine the philosophies and concepts that underpin the model and consider future developments, recognizing that model-based war is the way forward.