Monthly Archives: September 2012

What Does a Week of Gun Violence Look Like in America?

ResearchBlogging.orgThe reason for carrying a gun in America is an obvious and understandable one: protection. After all, there are lots of weapon-wielding psychos out there in dark masks – just think about what happened at Aurora. This is what one Connecticut man thought yesterday when he saw someone in a black ski mask wielding a knife in his sister’s driveway (the next door over to his house). When he came to investigate, he took no chances, and made the fatal shot. The victim, Tyler Giuliano, was a fifteen year-old high school student. It was also the killer’s son. “It’s something out of a Hollywood script” said one top elected official. I disagree. It’s just an ordinary day in America.

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Iranian Woman Beats Up Cleric After Being Told to Cover Up

Don’t mess with Iranian women. Iranian cleric Hojatoleslam Ali Beheshti was just doing his regular religious duties, politely telling an Iranian women to cover herself up. She brashly responded with “You should just close your eyes.” What happened next was a quick escalation. The woman began to insult the cleric, and when he told her to stop, she started threatening him. The woman soon pushed him to the ground and started kicking him while shouting insults at him. Evidently, this cleric picked the wrong ass-kicking Iranian woman to oppress.

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Japan’s Social Network Wars – Facebook Beats Twitter and Mixi

It’s official – Facebook wins. The American-based company struggled to make an impact in Japan at first, but now it seems as though Japan has warmed up to Facebook. Their only real competition was Mixi – the MySpace of Japan (which came out before Facebook) – and Twitter. They both had a good run, but it seems that the island has spoken, and Facebook won’t be surpassed by either of them.

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Political Satire and Censorship in the Middle East

The Danish cartoons started cultural clashes; riots and embassies burned down to ashes. Still there is hope in the dissident voices; who see beyond jihad more civilized choices.

These words begin the chapter on the Middle East, in the book entitled “The Offensive Art – Political Satire and Censorship around the world, from Beerbohm to Borat.” The book can help us understand what’s happening in the Middle East, with the furor over the pathetically-made video that has gotten Muslims up in arms.

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Does Drinking Make College/University Students Happier?


A study on the social life of binge drinkers in college was published a month ago, and it’s not a good sign for the health of students. In short, binge drinkers reported being more satisfied with their social lives than their non-binging counterparts.ResearchBlogging.org Furthermore, the higher a student’s social status was, the higher the probability of binge drinking was. But before we speculatively run away with these findings, we have to be careful when interpreting them.

Posted in Culture, Featured, Medicine & Health, Psychology, Science, Social Psych | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

If You Study Islam, Be Careful in the U.S.

If you’re studying Islam and you’re going to America, you had better have a squeaky clean record – and even then, you still might get questioned more than a bit aggressively. This is the story of one man who went into the field of Islamic Studies for his PhD, and went through an ordeal that for no reason ended up with him having a permanent record. He was just a regular PhD student from McGill University, and the fact that he had dual American and French citizenship didn’t seem to matter – he was suspicious. Evidently, there’s something wrong with learning more about Islam in America, even when it’s done in Canada.

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U.S. Military and Law Enforcement Train for Zombie Apocalypse

It has just been revealed that a controversial new training program has been issued to take place next month in San Diego, California. The security firm HALO Corp. will have its annual Counter-Terrorism Summit – a five-day event with hands-on training, intensive courses and lectures, and realistic demonstrations. In attendance will be military and medical personnel, federal government workers, and law enforcement officials. In other words, this is serious business. America is making sure that they are prepared for what HALO Corp. president Brad Barker has called the “Zombie Apocalypse.”

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Chaos in the Middle East – Muslims Up in Arms Over Anti-Islamic Film

I stop checking the internet for just a few days and what happens? The Middle East goes absolutely insane. Well, not simply the Middle East, but believers of Islamic persuasion who are up in arms. They’re violently opposing America and all that’s associated with it. Why are they so upset? Another episode of a satirical children’s cartoon, perhaps? Actually, it appears as though what caused this was actually a video that insults the prophet Muhammed. In truth, it’s not so different from a satirical children’s cartoon.

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Why Can’t Japanese People Say L’s or R’s?

Most Westerners who come into contact with Japanese people first wonder why they can’t seem to pronounce R’s and L’s. Those who are around them more often tend to observe that they actually can pronounce them, but they always mix them up. Neither of these assumptions are totally accurate. In order to understand the confusion with these English letters, we have to know a bit about the Japanese language.

Posted in Culture, Japan | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Religious or Non-Religious: Who is More Likely to Be a Good Samaritan?

Imagine that you’ve been asked to give a presentation for your school on the Parable of the Good Samaritan. You’ve researched it, prepared your talk, practiced it, and now you’re about to give it. When you arrive at the lecture hall, you’re informed that the location of your presentation has changed at the last minute, and it is now at the other end of the campus. You have to hurry to make it in time. On your way, you see someone slouched over in pain. What would you do? Would you help the man and miss or be late for your talk, or would you dismiss the very situation regarding which you have prepared a speech. This isn’t just a thought experiment – this classic study has been conducted, and the results will probably surprise the modern inquirer.

Posted in Culture, Featured, Psychology, Science, Social Psych | Tagged , , | 14 Comments