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(Rafal Gerszak for the Globe and Mail)
(Rafal Gerszak for the Globe and Mail)

University offers course on Occupy movement Add to ...

Protest movement studied

“The Occupy movement is moving to academia,” the Chicago Sun-Times reports. “Thirty-two undergrads are enrolled this semester in Occupy Everywhere, a three-credit political science course offered at Roosevelt University that takes a look at the movement and the issue of social inequality in the United States. ‘I study social movements and this was something unfolding right in front of us,’ said Jeff Edwards, who is teaching the class. ‘We can take advantage of being in Chicago.’ … Students will read the Occupy Gazette, the movement’s newspaper, and attend general assembly meetings. Occupy Chicago leaders may present guest lectures. Joining the movement isn’t a requirement, though two students are currently participants.”

Glaciers vandalized

“Glaciers across the globe, at risk from climate change, now face a new threat, a U.N. report says – ice thieves,” United Press International reports. “Criminal gangs are becoming a threat to the world’s glaciers, the United Nations said Friday, citing a case in Chile where police are investigating the theft of some 5½ tonnes of millennia-old ice from the Jorge Montt glacier. … ‘The authorities in Chile are to be congratulated on clamping down on this illegal activity,’ said Margareta Wahlstrom, head of [the U.N. International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction] ‘The Jorge Montt glacier and other major ice-fields are a precious part of our common world heritage. … They deserve all the protection we can give them, including safeguarding from this type of vandalism,’ she said.”

Lessons in failure

“A top [British]girls’ school is planning a ‘failure week’ to teach pupils to embrace risk, build resilience and learn from their mistakes,” reports BBC News. “The emphasis will be on the value of having a go, rather than playing it safe and perhaps achieving less. Pupils at Wimbledon High School will be asked how they feel when they fail. The headmistress, Heather Hanbury, said she wanted to show ‘it is completely acceptable and completely normal not to succeed at times in life.’ … There will be workshops, assemblies and activities for the girls, with parents and tutors joining in with tales of their own failures.”

Wall Street? Not so reckless

“Judging by the volatility we’ve seen on Wall Street recently, you’d think that traders were born to be wild,” says The Boston Globe. “However, a new study suggests that, especially in the case of veteran traders, they’re actually born to be moderate. Researchers took DNA samples from 60 traders in New York in the summer of 2008. Those who had been traders the longest tended to have genes associated with intermediate levels of dopamine activity in the brain, which, in turn, is associated with a balanced risk-taking disposition. Veteran traders were also more reluctant to trade in volatile markets.”

Death in the Internet café

“It took hours for patrons and staff to notice the corpse of a man who died after an hours-long gaming session at an Internet café in Taiwan. … Staff members at an Internet café in New Taipei City discovered the lifeless body of Chen Jung-yu Wednesday night when they came to tell him that the 23-hour gaming pass he had purchased Tuesday night had expired,” says The Huffington Post. “The 23-year-old gamer apparently died 10 hours earlier, according to the Taipei Times. Police [said]they were disgusted when they arrived at the scene to find other gamers were uninterested in the corpse and wanted to continue playing during the investigation. A picture of the crime scene … shows the corpse with outstretched arms reaching toward the keyboard of a computer. The body had apparently been in that position since 3 p.m. Wednesday, about 10 hours into Chen’s gaming session.”

The joy of messy cities?

“What features of a city make for happy inhabitants?” asks Grist.org. “Most of them are pretty predictable. Mass transit, an environment conducive to raising kids and affordability all ranked highly in a survey published in Urban Affairs Review. But, as Kaid Benfield reports in The Atlantic Cities, there was one surprise in this research. It was very important to people’s happiness to see their city of residence as beautiful – but not at all important to see their city as clean. … Of course, this survey could have been pretty skewed just by how much people love New York and Chicago.”

Thought du jour

“Misery is almost always the result of thinking.”

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824)

French essayist

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