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What makes people happy?

First Person Plural - The Atlantic (November 2008)

If you ask people which makes them happier, work or vacation, they will remind you that they work for money and spend the money on vacations. But if you give them a beeper that goes off at random times, and ask them to record their activity and mood each time they hear a beep, you’ll likely find that they are happier at work. Work is often engaging and social; vacations are often boring and stressful. Similarly, if you ask people about their greatest happiness in life, more than a third mention their children or grandchildren, but when they use a diary to record their happiness, it turns out that taking care of the kids is a downer—parenting ranks just a bit higher than housework, and falls below sex, socializing with friends, watching TV, praying, eating, and cooking.

The question “What makes people happy?” has been around forever, but there is a new approach to the science of pleasure, one that draws on recent work in psychology, philosophy, economics, neuroscience, and emerging fields such as neuroeconomics. This work has led to new ways—everything from beepers and diaries to brain scans—to explore the emotional value of different experiences, and has given us some surprising insights about the conditions that result in satisfaction.

Yet another reason the Democrats should strip Lieberman of his committe post

Talking Points Memo | Another Reason to Can Joe

Besides endorsing John McCain, calling Obama a traitor and being McCain's real first choice for a vice-resident, he just sucks at his job:

As we and many others have chronicled, there's a surfeit of reasons to strip Sen. Lieberman of his committee chairmanship. But one, perhaps the most obvious and substantive, has gone little mentioned. Simply put, he was terrible at it. Lieberman's committee is the senate investigations and oversight committee, the senate's counterpart to Rep. Henry Waxman's committee in the House. And if you remember a lot about Waxman's investigations and hearings and nothing about Lieberman's, that's because Lieberman didn't hold any. Even in the face of endless scandals of the late Bush administration, Lieberman couldn't find anything worth poking into.

Preview: The american re-make of Akira

Mightygodking.com--Oh god I am dying laughing here

November 07, 2008

Obama's First Presidential Press Conference

Talking Points Memo | Seances, Mutts, and Serious Stuff

New Hampshire considering letting kids graduate after 10th grade

Should Kids Be Able to Graduate After 10th Grade? - Yahoo! News

High school sophomores should be ready for college by age 16. That's the message from New Hampshire education officials, who announced plans Oct. 30 for a new rigorous state board of exams to be given to 10th graders. Students who pass will be prepared to move on to the state's community or technical colleges, skipping the last two years of high school. (See pictures of teens and how they would vote.)

Once implemented, the new battery of tests is expected to guarantee higher competency in core school subjects, lower dropout rates and free up millions of education dollars. Students may take the exams - which are modeled on existing AP or International Baccalaureate tests - as many times as they need to pass. Or those who want to go to a prestigious university may stay and finish the final two years, taking a second, more difficult set of exams senior year. "We want students who are ready to be able to move on to their higher education," says Lyonel Tracy, New Hampshire's Commissioner for Education. "And then we can focus even more attention on those kids who need more help to get there."

In case you were curious what Rahm Emmanuel was like . . .

Rahm Emanuel Moves To Cut Cheney's Funding

Here he is trying to cut off funding for Cheney after Cheney claimed the Vice President's office to be part of the legislative branch.

Photo Gallery: Bhutan crowns a new king

Bhutan crowns a new King - The Big Picture - Boston.com

Early voting and universal registration pissing off conservatives

TPMMuckraker | Talking Points Memo | Legislating Early Voting and Universal Registration Create Partisan Rifts

Which raises key questions -- why isn't there early voting in all states? And after all of the debate over voter registration fraud, why not just institute universal voter registration?

"The single most important thing that Congress can do right now is create universal voter registration, which would mean that all eligible voters are automatically registered," said Rosemary E. Rodriguez, the chairwoman of the federal Election Assistance Commission, in an article on the subject in the New York Times this morning. The majority of states -- 32 -- have early-voting, with Congress discussing its expansion, the Times reports.

In fact, legislation for universal registration is already in the works in Sen. Hillary Clinton's office -- which would minimize long lines and the problems created by third-party groups like ACORN, which might sate the appetite of the GOP who has long accused ACORN of propagating voter registration fraud.

Photo: Volcano from space

ISS013-E-24184_lrg.jpg (JPEG Image, 1000x662 pixels)

30 Rock -- Liz Lemon vs Oprah

Hulu - 30 Rock: Believe in the Stars - Watch the full episode now.

Colbert Report Round-Up: November 7, 2008

Daily Show Round-Up: November 7, 2008

How to: Revoke the Mormon church's tax-exempt status

Revoke LDS Church 501(c)(3) Status

The LDS church, through inciting its members to donate time and means to support Proposition 8 (resulting in millions of dollars of cash contributions from its members and countless volunteer hours), and in-kind campaign contributions to a group that supports Proposition 8, has now made a substantial part of its activities attempting to influence legislation.

You can help! Send the IRS an official complaint about the LDS Church’s activities, either by email, fax or US Mail.

Did Georgia shoot first?

Talking Points Memo | Surprise, Surprise ...

Newly available accounts by independent military observers of the beginning of the war between Georgia and Russia this summer call into question the longstanding Georgian assertion that it was acting defensively against separatist and Russian aggression.

Instead, the accounts suggest that Georgia's inexperienced military attacked the isolated separatist capital of Tskhinvali on Aug. 7 with indiscriminate artillery and rocket fire, exposing civilians, Russian peacekeepers and unarmed monitors to harm.

The accounts are neither fully conclusive nor broad enough to settle the many lingering disputes over blame in a war that hardened relations between the Kremlin and the West. But they raise questions about the accuracy and honesty of Georgia's insistence that its shelling of Tskhinvali, the capital of the breakaway region of South Ossetia, was a precise operation. Georgia has variously defended the shelling as necessary to stop heavy Ossetian shelling of Georgian villages, bring order to the region or counter a Russian invasion.

Get Your War On: New World Order

Get Your War On: New World Order - 236.com - Video

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at 236.com.

"Do you know what a dashiki is?"
"Some sort of special mustache?"

November 06, 2008

Obama may appoint Robert Gibbs as Press Secretary

Think Progress -- Robert Gibbs will be White House Press Secretary.

Politico’s Mike Allen reports today that Robert Gibbs, communications director in Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and a key strategist who “helped plan and package” his “rapid move to the national stage,” will be named as the Obama administration’s White House Press Secretary.

Here is a video of him in action:

Department of Defense developing pack-hunting killbots

Robots That Hunt in Packs | Popular Science

Target Women: The View

Target Women: The View // Current

Obama on pop culture favorites

Barack Obama: My pop-culture picks | Barack Obama | Election 2008 | News Notes | Entertainment Weekly | 2

Last question, and the fate of the Republic hangs on your answer: If you could be any superhero, which superhero would you be?

I was always into the Spider-Man/Batman model. The guys who have too many powers, like Superman, that always made me think they weren't really earning their superhero status. It's a little too easy. Whereas Spider-Man and Batman, they have some inner turmoil. They get knocked around a little bit.

Oxygen Bleach is a murderer's best friend

Why hair bleach is a murderer's best friend - tech - 06 November 2008 - New Scientist Tech

BUDDING crime-scene investigators take note: a common household bleach can render the forensic techniques for detecting blood useless.

There are two types of bleach found in household cleaning products. Chlorine-based bleaches are known to make bloodstains invisible, but applying chemicals such as luminol or phenolphthalein will still reveal the presence of haemoglobin - crucial for identifying blood - even after up to 10 washes. In contrast, oxygen bleach, which contains an oxidising agent such as hydrogen peroxide, erases all trace of haemoglobin. Its effect seems to have been untested until now.

To Sarah Palin from Goodwill

The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century : Joey deVilla’s Personal Blog

What To Do When It Finally Hits You And Your Mind Explodes: A Safety Guide

David Rees: What To Do When It Finally Hits You And Your Mind Explodes: A Safety Guide

By David "Get Your War On" Rees.

If you're like most people, you're still in shock. THIS IS NOT THE SAME THING AS HAVING YOUR MIND BLOWN.

Even if you're stumbling around the office saying, "I can't believe it . . . I can't believe it . . . it blows my mind . . ." that doesn't actually mean the absolute, glorious, unfuckingbelievableness of it has caught up with you and officially blown your mind.

Neurologists expect most Americans' minds to blow sometime around 11:00 PM EST tonight (Nov. 5), approximately 24 hours after the election was called.

Click through for the guide.

So all of Peanuts is now online free

Peanuts free online library at comics.com. - Comics.com

Holy crap. It's the ultimate doomsday weapon of procrastination.