Category: wabpzmtr

100 Students to Receive Scholarship

first_imgAn alumnus of the William V. S. Tubman High School and resident of Montserrado County Electoral District #9, Ishmael Sheriff, has pledged 100 scholarships to students of the institution.Mr. Sheriff made the pledge recently at a program held on the school’s campus in honor its founding father, the late President William V.S. Tubman.According to Sheriff, the pledged scholarships and other materials are part of his organization’s promotion of education to improve the quality of learning in Liberia.Alumnus Sheriff said he has a foundation called the Ishmael Sheriff Project Foundation that also works towards building the capacities of young people through education and other programs.He is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the My Owned, Incorporated, a Liberian – owned business employing over 30 Liberians.Sheriff said despite the scholarships pledged to his alma mater, there are other students attending the neighboring J.J. Roberts United Methodist School, who are benefiting from his projects.He said his foundation aims to also carry out other projects to help improve development programs in Monrovia and Liberia at large.Sheriff indicated that the Ishmael Sheriff Project Foundation initiative in District #9 will soon convene additional projects, including the building of palaver huts, provision of more scholarships to students in the district, rehabilitation of damaged drainages, financial loan programs to youth and youth empowerment through other capacity building programs, among others.According to him, some of the projects he has already carried out in District #9 include the construction and dedication of a new drainage in the Soniwein Community, which according to him cost US$6,000 and the provision of scholarships to students in some schools in the district.He also mentioned the donation of several bundles of zinc to the Lion Heart Gym, based in the Slipway Community, to renovate the gym, the dedication of two modern projects – bathrooms and drainage in the Buzzy Quarter Community – as well as several materials to fire victims on 12th and Clay Streets in Monrovia, among other initiatives.“Alumni of Tubman High need to join the Liberian government and help to provide support for good learning facilities so that the school will continue to remain one of the most excellent and best learning high schools in the country,” Sheriff stressed.He described education as a cardinal instrument to the growth of society and therefore called on others to join the cause to improve the Liberian education sector through collective efforts and support.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Classic Transfer: Man United break British transfer record to sign World Cup winner

first_imgThe then 28-year-old had also won the Champions League with Marseille in 1993, prior to a move to Monaco.United shelled out £8.7 million to secure his services, which broke the British transfer record for a goalkeeper at the time, but Barthez was unfazed by the pressure he would soon be under.“I need to be strong but I don’t find it daunting. I have played in a World Cup final and Champions League final before and nothing troubles me,” he declared defiantly.32 days after he penned a six-year deal with United, Barthez added a European Championship winners medal to his trophy cabinet as France edged out Italy courtesy of Sylvain Wiltord’s Golden Goal.The shot-stopper’s debut campaign in England’s top-flight was a success, and his eccentric behaviour was admired by the Stretford End, and beyond. Although he failed to psyche out West Ham’s Paolo Di Canio, there was also a memorable penalty save against Leeds United.However, his risk-taking led to several high-profile mistakes, including two against Arsenal at Highbury, which gifted a brace to compatriot Thierry Henry.And, allthough Barthez’s reaction saves were sublime, questions surrounding his composure began to crop up all too often.Ferguson’s faith eventually ran out during the tail end of the 2002/03 season and the Frenchman lost his place in the side to Roy Carroll, while new arrival Tim Howard was installed as no.1 soon after.Barthez returned to Marseille in January of 2004 after falling completely out of favour. Although he was not the long-term solution to United’s problematic position between the sticks, he is a figure few fans will forget in a hurry. Former Manchester United goalkeeper Fabian Barthez 2 2 Sir Alex Ferguson may have been a master at cutting deadwood adrift at precisely the right time, or identifying when a key player needed to be moved on, but the Scottish manager once struggled to fill a crucial position after the departure of a club legend.Peter Schmeichel had been the epitome of a safe pair of hands at Old Trafford for eight years before he decided, in the wake of the treble-winning campaign of 1999, that his spell between the sticks for the Red Devils was over.No sweat, Fergie will sort out a replacement soon enough, fans thought. Only he didn’t.Mark Bosnich and Massimo Taibi failed to fill the sizeable void left behind by the Great Dane, which left Raimond van der Gouw to finish the 1999/2000 season as a far-from-ideal first choice.Although United had retained their Premier League trophy, the goalkeeping issue needed to be addressed and few could argue with the calibre of the man Ferguson eventually opted to bring in.Fabien Barthez was a World Cup winner and his bald bonce, which was regularly blessed by Laurent Blanc, had kept Brazil’s attacking talent at bay to help secure Les Bleus’ first world title on home soil in 1998.last_img read more

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DONEGAL SPORTS PARTNERSHIP PILOT NEW EIGHT-WEEK ‘STEP ON IT’ WALKING PROGRAMME

first_imgCastlefin Local NewsWhist: 12/11/2014Ladies. 1st Mary Connolly, Ballybofey 176 2nd Bob Glackin, Castlederg 172 3rd Annie Callaghan, Killygordon 161. Gents. 1st Willie Meehan, Castlefinn 177 2nd John Mc Granaghan, Castlederg 166 3rd David O Donnell, Letterkenny 1651st Half TIE:Patsy Mc Granaghan, Castlefinn 852nd Half: TIE Tommy Murphy, Letterkenny and Angus Stewart, Lifford Both scored 82BIG WHIST DRIVE IN CASTLEFINN @ 8PM THIS WEDNESDAY 26TH OF NOVEMBER IN ST MARYS HALL IN AID OF PARISH FUNDS. SCORE CARDS 10 EURO. SUPPER WILL BE SERVED.Everyone welcome to attendParent and Toddler GroupParent and toddler group this Tuesday from 10.30 to noon. Please call the CPI on 0749143976 Slim R UsSlim R Us fitness classes are on at the CPI on Monday evenings from 6.30 to 7.30 pm. Contact Tilly on 086 2490095 for more information on how to joinCastlefinn Walking:The walking group every wednesday at 10.30 in the morning. Everyone welcome to join for a relaxing stroll and a chat. Donegal Sports Partnership‘STEP ON IT’ Outdoor Walking ProgrammeDonegal Sports Partnership will pilot a new 8 week ‘STEP ON IT’ Outdoor Walking Programme on Saturday 15th February at The Vestry, St Conal’s Hospital, Letterkenny.The programme aims to improve your functional fitness through walking, and will subsequently concentrate on walking technique, posture, warm ups/cool downs, stretching, goal setting & nutritional advice.The programme has been developed and will be delivered by a fully qualified FitWalk Ireland tutor, and will incorporate different challenges and a different route each week.The programme is suitable for all fitness levels and abilities; regardless of whether you walk regularly or not.Come along and join a walking group that will provide the enthusiasm and motivation to help you achieve your personal goals, and ensure your walking workout is enjoyable and worth while!A tastier session will be run in the CPI on Wednesday the 3rd of December at 10.30amDONEGAL SPORTS PARTNERSHIP PILOT NEW EIGHT-WEEK ‘STEP ON IT’ WALKING PROGRAMME was last modified: November 20th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:DONEGAL SPORTS PARTNERSHIPFeaturesnewsNoticeslast_img read more

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HACKERS TARGET DONEGAL COMPUTERS USERS IN AS GAEILGE CASH SCAM

first_imgHackers are targeting Donegal computer-users by freezing their screens and then demanding money to unlock them – as gaeilge!A man in West Donegal tried to access his computer but found it was locked with an Irish language message.The message demanded the man forward €100 via transfer computer to have the virus unlocked. The virus warns that the person may have accessed pornography and that their device has been frozen by an Irish Government agency.Computer technician Brian McGarvey of Techie2u Computers Repairs has been repairing computers for 12 years around West Donegal and across the county.Mr McGarvey said this is the first time he has ever come across a virus written in the Irish language.“It’s quite a sophisticated and convincing scam. To someone who didn’t have good Irish, it’s looks very legitimate. “I suspect they have used some kind of translation transfer and only about 60% of the virus makes sense in Irish.“It has a logo which features an Irish flag and it looks quite official.“However it looks good enough to scare people and some people might be inclined to hand over some money to have the computer unlocked,” he said.Mr McGarvey says the company will not even unlock the computer but will take them money via an international money transfer company.“People could not unlock it themselves but it can be unlocked by a computer technician,” he added. HACKERS TARGET DONEGAL COMPUTERS USERS IN AS GAEILGE CASH SCAM was last modified: September 5th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Brian McGarveycashcomputer scamTechie2ulast_img read more

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Jolly fast runners at Jingle Bell jog

first_img The first three male and female finishers in the Elf Run also received medals, with all other children in that event receiving a participation ribbon. In place of the usual race T-shirts, all participants received custom-made jingle bell mementos that could be worn as a brooch or hung as a seasonal ornament. Local radio and TV personality Mitchell Chase served as honorary starter and master of ceremonies for the awards presentation and post-race raffle. Proceeds beyond expenses from the Jingle Bell Jog 2005 will go to support the Antelope Valley Search and Rescue Team, a nonprofit volunteer service organization affiliated with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Complete results of the 2005 Jingle Bell Jog 5K and 1K Elf Run will be posted at www.highdesertrunners.org. Photos of the event are also posted online at www.suecraftphotography.com/hdr/jinglebelljog05.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PALMDALE – Gloves, knit caps and windsuits were the uniform of the day at the sixth annual Jingle Bell Jog 5K and children’s Elf Run 1K runs at Marie Kerr Park in Palmdale. Chilly, blustery winds on Dec. 17 greeted 178 runners, joggers and walkers who circled a newly designed course laid out by the High Desert Runners club. The course is located within the park’s new addition and extending east of the park. A pair of Highland High School distance runners set the pace for the 146 participants in the 5K, with Kurtis Rohrenback, 18, running a strong final mile to beat teammate Jared Jacques, 16. Rohrenback crossed the finish line in 17 minutes, 49 seconds, 15 seconds ahead of Jacques’ 18:04. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake Recent Master’s College graduate Amy Rice, 22, topped the female field in 20:21 to finish 18th overall, just four seconds ahead of second place female Alyssa Craft, 17, who posted 20:25. A host of teen cross-country runners and a few open and masters-class runners dominated the top 25 positions, with 13 runners breaking the 20-minute barrier. In the companion children’s 1K Elf Run, 10-year-old Alex Bridge ran away from the 32-runner field to finish in 3:45, almost 50 seconds ahead of the second-place runner, Nick Macardini, 10. Kaitilin Stephenson, 8, was first female and fourth overall in 4:39. The Jingle Bell Jog 5K and 1K runs are staged annually by the High Desert Runners, the Antelope Valley’s distance running club. Medals were awarded to the top male and female runners in age groups ranging from 12-and-under to 70-plus.last_img read more

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Gruden and Carr’s regressive offense has put the Raiders’ season on the brink

first_img“We’re a young … Click here if you’re unable to view the photo gallery on your mobile device.ALAMEDA — Jon Gruden was keen to remind everyone last year that the Raiders — despite having the oldest 53-man roster in the NFL heading into the 2018 campaign — were a young team.It was a panacea excuse for all of the Raiders’ copious — and in many cases self-inflicted — woes.And after an embarrassing 34-14 loss to the Vikings in Minneapolis, Gruden went back to old reliable on Monday.last_img read more

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Mudstones Form Rapidly

first_imgThe authors also suggest that mudstones form in “high energy” environments, such as hurricanes, storms and wave action in shoals. This is a far different environment than has been long believed and taught. Picture a flood geologist reading this: Our experimental data demonstrated that abrasion of carbonate sand under transport conditions typical of high energy shoal environments produces carbonate mud at considerable rates. In many cases, experimental and model abrasion mud production rates are orders of magnitude faster than algal or precipitative mud production (Figure 3). This indicated that high energy transport of carbonate sand—on a shoal or beach, for example—can produce fluxes of mud comparable to these other mechanisms even over smaller areas of carbonate platforms. Intermittency of grain movement, in particular when grains are trapped within bedforms, plays a role in diminishing the effective abrasion rate of carbonate sand over long timescales (Davies et al., 1978; Trower et al., 2017). However, typical bed shear velocities in many high energy environments, like shoals, are persistently above the threshold for motion for the carbonate sand (Bathurst, 1975; Gonzalez & Eberli, 1997; Rankey et al., 2006), such that the production of mud by abrasion is not affected by the same intermittency factor as the abrasion of any individual sand grain. In quieter and/or deeper environments where fair weather conditions are below the threshold of motion, the production of mud through abrasion would be subject to the intermittency of bed shear velocities sufficient to transport sediment (e.g., storms). Large storms, like hurricanes, although occurring relatively infrequently, could generate mud at a fast rate for a short period of time by transporting grainy sediment in suspension over the area of an entire carbonate platform. For example, recent estimates suggest that the Great Bahama Bank is >65% grainy sediment (Harris et al., 2015). If this sediment is moved near the threshold of washload for one day by one hurricane per year, mud produced by abrasion during a hurricane could account for ~4% of the yearly mud production budget as estimated by Robbins et al. (1997) (Supporting Text S2). In contrast, fair-weather abrasion of the ~45% of the platform covered by “grainstone” facies (Harris et al., 2015) can account for 36% of the annual mud budget at our slowest experimental rate (Supporting Text S21). The true platform-averaged rate is likely to be higher considering the increased abrasion rate in more energetic settings like shoals and contributions from areas covered by “packstone” facies. Fair weather mud production by abrasion is therefore likely to be more significant than storm production over long timescales. Carbonate mudstones are key geochemical archives for past seawater chemistry, yet the origin of carbonate mud remains a subject of continued debate and uncertainty. Prevailing hypotheses have settled on two mechanisms: 1) direct precipitation in the water column, and 2) post‐mortem dispersal of mud‐sized algal skeletal components. However, both mechanisms conflict with geochemical observations in modern systems and are problematic in deep time. We tested the hypothesis that abrasion of carbonate sand during sediment transport might produce carbonate mud using laboratory experiments and a sediment transport model. We documented experimental mud production rates up to two orders of magnitude faster than rates estimated for other mechanisms. Combined with model calculations, these results illustrated that transport and abrasion of carbonate sand is a major source of carbonate mud. In 2007, geologists learned that their theory for mudstones was incorrect. Mudstones—the most common sedimentary rocks—do not have to form in calm water, as tiny particles drift down the water column and collect on the bottom. Instead, particles can clump or flocculate in currents and settle out much more quickly (see 14 Dec 2007). Now, another model, based on experimental evidence, speeds up the process even more. This was just published in the AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters. Trower et al say, One of the most common sedimentary rocks can form a hundred times faster than previously thought. The Grand Canyon contains abundant sandstones and mudstones. The eastern Grand Canyon (Marble Canyon) shows rapid downcutting after sheet erosion. The paper at this time is listed as an “accepted article” by the American Geophysical Union, meaning that it could be subject to revision. Usually, those revisions are minor in papers that have been accepted and announced publicly. Transport implies current flow. Abrasion implies an erosional process on pre-existing larger particles. If this new model is correct, it overthrows the picture of tiny silt particles sinking slowly in placid water. Mudstones, therefore, could form rapidly in dynamic conditions. Rates “two orders of magnitude faster” means, in plain English, up to 100 times faster than other mechanisms that had been proposed. Score another major point for creation geologists who have long doubted the slow-and-gradual processes used by materialists to claim vast periods of time are required for the rock record. Now, the hard work of mathematical modeling of the implications of these findings arrives. Let’s watch and see what comes of this paradigm shift.(Visited 622 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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One impression, one mouth

first_img27 December 2002Four years ago, in 1998, three women became aware of the increasing problem of hunger and wanted to do something about it. They also, on a personal level, wanted to give something back to poorer communities, and decided to combine the two. Along with this and loads of dedication, Feed SA was born.They set up a website with an interactive “one impression, one mouth” function, which allows web surfers to help alleviate hunger for free – by leveraging greater contributions from advertising companies based on the number of click-throughs to the site’s advertiser page.However, they soon realised that Internet page impressions or “hits” alone would not be enough to generate the sort of money they needed to meet the demand they were experiencing.And so, says co-founder Heather Berger, they began looking at ways of generating more income. They initiated fundraising exercises as well as ways of helping those who need food to generate income for themselves.The three, Berger, Lisa Jehosefat and Candice Etberg, assist food recipients to come up with business plans and ideas for start-up projects. They are also developing an online shop to sell crafts made by Soweto residents.A garden project has been established and will soon start selling vegetables grown by the food project beneficiaries. And once a month FeedSA buys food items from a major wholesaler to distribute to seven beneficiary organisations ranging from orphanages to old age homes.Soweto Concerned Youth, for example, packages the food into hampers and distributes it to needy families. The Soweto Old Age home supplies the food to its residents.FeedSA also visits the projects they help to ensure that the food reaches those who need it most. “I’ve been in shacks where 30 people live in the same cramped quarters”, Heather says. “Some of those we help are families where both parents are HIV-positive and can no longer work, and the food is critical to help them and their children.”FeedSA purchases a range of food items, all non-perishable and chosen for their high-protein or high-energy qualities. These include items such as maize meal, soya mince, peanut butter and tinned beans, which are all organised into food packs.“We have had a lot of feedback from the website with people volunteering to help us, and at present we are developing a volunteer programme”, says Heather. Not surprisingly, FeedSA has also been approached by large donor companies to assist other feeding projects with their expertise.Most of the funds collected by FeedSA go to existing feeding programmes in South Africa, while 10% goes towards creating other projects and administrative costs.“As FeedSA becomes established, we aim to set up similar organisations such as clotheSA and educateSA”, the organisation says on its website. “These are all part of the broader mission of helping South Africans in need.”This article first appeared on the Johannesburg World Summit 2002 website Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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OBC quota raised in Rajasthan

first_imgThe Rajasthan Assembly on Thursday passed a Bill that has increased reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC) in educational institutions and government employment in the State from 21% to 26%. The Bill created a new ‘most backward’ category within the OBCs for providing quota benefits to Gujjars and four other nomadic communities.The Backward Classes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions in the State and of Appointment and Posts in Services under the State) Bill, 2017, provides 5% reservation to the Gujjar, Banjara, Gadia-Lohar, Raika and Gadariya communities. With the Bill’s passage, reservation in Rajasthan now stands at 54%, exceeding the 50% ceiling mandated by the Supreme Court.The ninth session of the Assembly that started on Monday, also witnessed a major controversy over the introduction of a Bill giving immunity to public servants from investigation without prior sanction.last_img read more

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People would rather be electrically shocked than left alone with their thoughts

first_imgAt some point today you will disengage from the rest of the world and just think. It could happen any number of ways: if your mind wanders from work, while you’re sitting in traffic, or if you just take a quiet moment to reflect. But as frequently as we drift into our own thoughts, a new study suggests that many of us don’t like it. In fact, some people even prefer an electric shock to being left alone with their minds.“I’m really excited to see this paper,” says Matthew Killingsworth, a psychologist at the University of California (UC), San Francisco, who says his own work has turned up a similar result. “When people are spending time inside their heads, they’re markedly less happy.”To conduct the study, Timothy Wilson, a social psychologist at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and colleagues recruited hundreds of undergraduate student volunteers and community members to take part in “thinking periods.” Individuals were placed in sparsely furnished rooms and asked to put away their belongings, such as cellphones and pens. They then were given one of two tests that lasted between 6 and 15 minutes. While some were told to think about whatever they wanted, others chose from several prompts, such as going out to eat or playing a sport, and planned out how they would think about it during the period.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Afterward, the team asked the volunteers to rate their experience on a nine-point scale, where the higher the number, the more enjoyable their time was. In both the free-thinking and planned-prompt scenarios, about 50% of people did not like the experience, reporting an enjoyment level at or below the midpoint of the scale. Participants generally gave high ratings of boredom, too, according to Wilson.To see if a change of scenery would help, the team let participants do the studies in their own homes, but still found similar results. Overall, the subjects said they enjoyed activities like reading and listening to music about twice as much as just thinking.The researchers then decided to take the experiment a step further. For 15 minutes, the team left participants alone in a lab room in which they could push a button and shock themselves if they wanted to. The results were startling: Even though all participants had previously stated that they would pay money to avoid being shocked with electricity, 67% of men and 25% of women chose to inflict it on themselves rather than just sit there quietly and think, the team reports online today in Science.“We went into this thinking it wouldn’t be that hard for people to entertain themselves,” Wilson says. “We have this huge brain and it’s stuffed full of pleasant memories, and we have the ability to construct fantasies and stories. We really thought this [thinking time] was something people would like.”He suggests that the results may be mixed signs of boredom and the trouble that we have controlling our thoughts. “I think [our] mind is built to engage in the world,” he says. “So when we don’t give it anything to focus on, it’s kind of hard to know what to do.”Although daydreaming is spontaneous and can be enjoyable, Wilson says the pressure to think on command—whether it’s being demanded by researchers, or while you’re waiting in line with nothing else to do—may be what’s difficult and unpleasant for so many.“I found it quite surprising and a bit disheartening that people seem to be so uncomfortable when left to their own devices; that they can be so bored that even being shocked seemed more entertaining,” says Jonathan Schooler, a psychology professor at UC Santa Barbara who studies consciousness. “But I can’t help but feel that there has to be more to the story. I’m confident that there are conditions in which at least a subsample of the population enjoys this quiet opportunity for self-reflection.”Some people seem to enjoy thinking more than others. For instance, the study found that people who are more agreeable or cooperative were more likely to enjoy themselves when they were told to think about anything. Individuals who admitted that their daydreams normally leave them happy fared better, too.Because people so often find themselves intentionally or unintentionally wrapped up in their thoughts, the research team suggests that meditation or other techniques to relax and learn how to gain control of the mind could be helpful. If we knew how to steer our thoughts in a pleasant direction and enjoy the experience, maybe we wouldn’t hate to be alone with ourselves.last_img read more

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