When it comes to New York, very few cities in America can capture the name its made for itself when it comes to innovative technology and forward thinking. However, what happens when these machinations begin to take a life of its own and even those in charge have very few answers their purpose.
Wealth and income inequality have many causes, and it’s pretty much beyond dispute that any well-functioning capitalist society will have some degree of disparity between the richest and the poorest.
It’s also beyond dispute that we are approaching a social consensus that wealth and income inequality in the United States today now threatens to seriously damage our social fabric. That fabric is grounded in two fundamental ideas: liberty, or the freedom to determine our own destinies, and equality. The problem is that over the past thirty years – in tandem with rising inequality – we have favored liberty over equality.
Humans and animals need to do several things to pass on their genes: eat, avoid being eaten, reproduce and sleep. Missing any of these biological imperatives leads to death. But when we’re asleep we can’t perform those other functions. One of modern science’s big mysteries, then, is: why do we sleep?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that insufficient sleep is a serious public health concern, because it can lead to many immediate dangers such as car crashes as well as long-term health problems like diabetes. The blame for sleep deprivation is often pinned on our fast-paced, 24/7 lifestyle, made possible by electric lighting at all times of day and night.
Making his name at the front of Australia's glass art scene, Sydney-based artist Ben Young demonstrates his skill by crafting sculptures which depict running water trapped in motion. Using high-tech machinery, the artist hand-cuts glass sheets which are layered into translucent patterns which replicate the rippling of ocean waves.
Is the Earth now spinning through the “Age of Humans?” More than a few scientists think so. They’ve suggested, in fact, that we modify the name of the current geological epoch (the Holocene, which began roughly 12,000 years ago) to the “Anthropocene.” It’s a term first put into wide circulation by Nobel-Prize winning atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen in an article published in Nature in 2002. And it’s stirring up a good deal of debate, not only among geologists.
Health and social workers often choose their profession because they want to help people. But seeing trauma and suffering on a regular basis can have a deep impact on these workers. “Compassion fatigue” is a response to the stress of caring for people at times of crisis and is often referred to as the cost of caring.
Researchers first identified compassion fatigue in the 1970s when they recognised certain psychological symptoms among health care and social service workers. The term “compassion fatigue” was coined in the early 1990s to describe nurses who worked in emergency care and were experiencing symptoms similar to burnout.
In the spring of 1837, a “long, gawky, ugly, shapeless man” walked into Joshua Speed’s dry goods store in Springfield, Illinois, requesting supplies for a bed. Speed said the cost would be US$17, which ended up being too pricey for the visitor, who asked instead for credit until Christmas. The 23-year-old Speed was nonetheless taken with this stranger; he “threw such charm around him” and betrayed a “perfect naturalness.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “A man in debt is so far a slave.” Money has no intrinsic value yet we spend our days damaging our health and spirit in order to obtain it. Why do we sacrifice our well-being for it? Is it the cliché that “we just want to provide a better life for our kids than we had?” Is it just way of the civilized world? The most important question to ask, however, is what power do we have to change this way of thinking and living? The reality is simple: money is a vehicle for social control. Debt makes us good, obedient workers and citizens.