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August 05, 2010

Overnight Open Thread

Happy Thursday all. Or is it?

So Which Countries Are Happiest?

Typically the happiness ratings of countries are based on surveys like this one. And usually the scandi countries come out on top especially Denmark. That's a paradox in its own way since the Danes often seem dour and not especially joyful. Mostly they're satisfied internally and value having their lives be hyggeligt which roughly translates as 'cozy'. But are they really happy or are they mostly just convinced they are?


Well David Goldman AKA Spengler has come up with an alternate way to determine which countries are happiest using a more objective way of measuring peoples' happiness with their lives. He surmised that in general happy people would tend to have more children and also not kill themselves and that the unhappy would generally do the opposite. [Note that he seems to have baked in the assumption that the people have access to birth control and reasonable medical care otherwise third world countries would completely skew the results] And when you graph fertility rates versus suicide rates for various countries, you get this chart:


Surprise, surprise - by this measure Israel comes out on top as the happiest country in the world. Well at least based on their actions. It would interesting to see which countries fall lower on the curve. I suspect that people in many European countries are comfortable but necessarily happy. And I would guess that the unhappiest country at the bottom right is probably Russia or one of the former Soviet states.

Did Shirley Sherrod Run a Slave Farm in the 70's?
Well based on this evidence that Zombie has uncovered it certainly looks like her and her husband's “New Communities” farm commune in the 70's essentially kept black laborers as slave-workers. So not only did she hate white farmers but she hated black ones too. Just the person you want working at the USDA:

The swirling controversy over the racist dismissal of Shirley Sherrod from her USDA post has obscured her profoundly oppositional behavior toward black agricultural workers in the 1970s. What most of Mrs. Sherrod’s supporters are not aware of is the elitist and anti-black-labor role that she and fellow managers of New Communities Inc. (NCI) played. These individuals under-paid, mistreated and fired black laborers–many of them less than 16 years of age–in the same fields of southwest Georgia where their ancestors suffered under chattel slavery.


Who Do Democrats Trust More - Fox News or the NYT?
Well according to this poll it's Fox News by 43% to 39%. Yet the media elite like the NYT's ombudsman are oblivious:

I watch Fox News from time to time, and I’m always fascinated by its view of the world compared to the view of the world you see in other media outlets that I would not consider partisan.


Q: Do Home Computers Help Or Hinder Education?
Well the results of various studies seem to say hinder:

Abroad, researchers found that children in Romanian households who won a $300 voucher to help them buy computers received significantly lower school grades in math, English and Romanian. Stateside, students in a North Carolina study posted significantly lower math test scores after the first broadband provider showed up in their neighborhood, and significantly lower reading scores as well when the number of broadband providers increased. And a Texas study found that 'there was no evidence linking technology immersion with student self-directed learning or their general satisfaction with schoolwork.'"


Low Self Esteem and Cryonics
Make sure your wife is on board before you decide to get yourself frozen. And that she has enough self-esteem to believe she's worthy of living longer:

“You have to understand,” says Peggy, who at 54 is given to exasperation about her husband’s more exotic ideas. “I am a hospice social worker. I work with people who are dying all the time. I see people dying All. The. Time. And what’s so good about me that I’m going to live forever?”


Slate: How to Pick an Environmentally Friendly Gemstone For Your Girlfriend
Because everything has to be political, super-meaningful, and complicated.


Nimoy And Shatner Together
And Leonard discusses why Shatner stole his bike.

Odd Restaurants From Around the World
Planes, ships, roofs, and trees.


Yahoo group. That is all.

Tonight's post brought to you by 1961:


Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to maetenloch at gmail. Otherwise send tips to Ace.

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posted by Maetenloch at 09:30 PM

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