Coronavirus lockdown, self-quarantine, self-isolation: you’ve been practicing for it, haven’t you?

Let’s be honest here about two things: the Coronavirus is a pandemic, a word that comes from the Greek “pan” meaning “all” and “demos” meaning “people.” At this time, Coronavirus lockdown, self-quarantine or self-isolation is for the good of all people.

The second point is that physical social isolation is something that a lot of people from the West and the East are somewhat used to. After all, in the United States and the UK the average consumer spends almost 4 hours per day watching TV; 2 hours per day for people in Europe and Japan.

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Coronavirus scams, spam and phishing

Criminals are hardest at work when a national or international disaster strikes, playing on peoples’ fears and insecurities. They are using scam, spam and phishing tactics to steal your money during the Coronavirus pandemic.

As the saying goes, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” If you get an email, mobile message or see ads – even on popular online shops such as Amazon and eBay – that offer free face masks, medicines or free toilet paper, ignore it or report it or, where possible, delete it immediately.

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End of world predictions

End of the world

You should live every day as if it is your last. That may be easier said than done. But what if you really knew the exact day when will the world end?

There have been and still are many End-of-World predictions:

In the year 70, Rabbi Jose, the Galilean, predicted that the world would end in the year 130.

In 90 CE, Saint Clement 1 predicted that the world would end at any moment. Read more…

Proper table settings

What goes where on the table and which glasses go with what drinks

Real easy to remember, the etiquette experts tell us. The general rule with utensils is to start from the outside of your place setting, and work your way toward the service plate (the main meal plate): soup spoon first, then fish knife and fork, then service knife and fork.  Read more…

By the numbers: The federal coronavirus economic relief package

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed a massive spending package to try to stem coronavirus-triggered economic fallout that’s hitting the stock market and businesses large and small. The House of Representatives approved the bill on Friday. Assuming President Donald Trump signs it when it hits his desk, the economic relief package will be the biggest-ever in terms of dollar amount. It will include forgivable low-interest loans for small businesses, loans to big businesses and direct payments to Americans affected by COVID-19 and the coronavirus pandemic.

Most Americans will be in line for a one-time $1,200 payment, in addition to hundreds of dollars more per week in unemployment insurance for people laid off because of the pandemic.

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Is @realDonaldTrump addicted to Twitter?

By James A. Roberts, Baylor University

Is President Trump a Twitter addict? He may not know – but he could find out, as could members of the general public concerned about their own use of social media.

Addiction, whether it’s to drugs, alcohol, exercise, sex or social media, is best understood as continuing a behavior despite its negative consequences for you and others around you. And, yes, people can be addicted to behaviors like tweeting. Anything that produces pleasure in a person’s brain can lead to addiction. Read more…

When the brain competes with muscle power

brain vs muscle

New research on our internal trade-off when physical and mental performance are put in direct competition has found that cognition takes less of a hit, suggesting more energy is diverted to the brain than body muscle. Researchers say the findings support the ‘selfish brain’ theory of human evolution.

Human brains are expensive – metabolically speaking. It takes lot of energy to run our sophisticated grey matter, and that comes at an evolutionary cost. Read more…

The US “Offshore” Industry and the Eurasian Connection

Greek Orthodox Church, Cheyenne, Wyoming

In Cheyenne, Wyoming, a small brick-faced house sits between a Greek Orthodox Church and a tired-looking barbershop.

The structure does not stand out. Yet, according to court documents from several years ago, the innocuous-looking house once served as the fulcrum of a kleptocratic scheme. A news story about the case described the Cheyenne house as “a little Cayman Island on the Great Plains.” Read more…

Genes influence ability to read a person’s mind from their eyes

human eye

Our DNA influences our ability to read a person’s thoughts and emotions from looking at their eyes, suggests a new study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

Twenty years ago, a team of scientists at the University of Cambridge developed a test of ‘cognitive empathy’ called the ‘Reading the Mind in the Eyes’ Test (or the Eyes Test, for short). This revealed that people can rapidly interpret what another person is thinking or feeling from looking at their eyes alone. It also showed that some of us are better at this than others, and that women on average score better on this test than men. Read more…

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