Prayer Helps Dissipate Anger, Even if You Don’t Believe In It


You can throw away the stress balls, prayer helps.

Suffering from excessive anger or aggression? Well, throw away your stress balls.  A series of studies conducted at three universities show that praying helps dissipate your anger, whether or not it helps the person you are praying for.



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Nasty People May Increase Their Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke


“Trolls die young”

Dan Blankenhorn of Smart Planet was thinking of his commenters when he suggested that “trolls die young”, based on a study researchers of the US National Institute on Aging. They looked at 5,614 Sardinians from four villages, and found that “those who scored high for antagonistic traits on a standard personality test had greater thickening of the neck (carotid) arteries compared to people who were more agreeable. Thickness of neck artery walls is a risk factor for heart attack and stroke.”


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China’s Labor Unrest Helping U.S. Manufacturers

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Worker showing their frustration as wages are not keeping up with rising costs

Their demands may seem commonplace: Better pay and better conditions.
But the impact of Chinese workers walking off their factory lines in recent weeks could one day reshape China’s economic relationship with the United States.
Labor unrest at companies including Honda Motor Co., electronics giant Foxconn and, on Friday, a parts supplier for Toyota Motor Corp. has shifted attention in China toward the gap between rich and poor and the sustainability of cheap labor. It also comes as minimum wages are rising in a handful of provinces and cities.
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For those keeping score, such responses would qualify as a step toward rebalancing China’s economy — something American lawmakers have been pleading for to help the U.S. win back a larger share of global trade.
Workers have not shared in China’s booming economy. In 1999, the ratio of Chinese laborers’ income to the gross domestic product was 53%. Today it has declined to 40% — compared with 57% in the U.S.
Many economists have long argued that boosting Chinese household income is a key to resolving the yawning trade imbalance with the U.S., which grew to $19.3 billion in April — up $2.4billion from March.
In theory, getting more money into the hands of ordinary Chinese would spur the buying of goods and services. That would take pressure off Beijing to rely on exports to keep its share of the economy humming and would give U.S. manufacturers a more level playing field.
The problem is that such structural changes in any economy can take years to achieve. Raising wages too fast could decimate manufacturers and their supply chains and spark ever-higher inflation. And despite robust expansion, China’s efforts to balance its growth are complicated by mounting risks.
As much as policymakers would like to increase wages, they must weigh the effects of the European debt crisis on exports, of a sizzling property market that could jeopardize the nation’s banks and of an end to the Chinese government’s approval of new stimulus projects — and then gauge how much slowdown they can stomach.
“The Chinese government is very closely watching the economic picture at home and the state of other economies before we decide on our economic policies, including on the … exchange rate,” Zhang Tao, director of the international department of China’s central bank, said at a news conference Friday in Beijing on Friday, Bloomberg reported. “The recent volatility in the international financial markets indicates the global economy still faces challenges.”
The World Bank — which predicted strong but slower economic expansion in China this year — noted in a forecast released Friday a menu of moves being undertaken by the central government to better balance the economy. Among those moves: bolstering the nation’s social safety net, curtailing over-investment in state-owned companies and trying to improve conditions for private enterprises.
The problem with imbalances, said Ardo Hansson, the bank’s lead economist for China, is that “it’s not one where there’s a silver bullet…. It’s a slow process.”
Rebalancing won’t come nearly fast enough to ease Washington’s calls for China to revalue its currency. Congress is threatening legislation to urge China to appreciate the yuan if it doesn’t do so after the G-20 summit in Toronto this month.
Raising China’s exchange rate could immediately make that country’s exports less competitive, benefiting U.S. and other international producers.
Some analysts predict Beijing will eventually agree to strengthen its currency this year, but only about 3% against the dollar to combat rising inflation — far below the more than 25% that some U.S. manufacturers believe the yuan is undervalued.
Although it is still somewhat taboo for officials and economists in China to support currency appreciation, speaking in favor of labor and wage increases is acquiring populist cachet.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said this week that conditions for China’s 130 million migrant workers needed to improve. And on Thursday the People’s Daily, a Communist Party mouthpiece, ran an editorial saying that adjusting the gap between rich and poor was crucial for China’s economic development.
In China’s tightly controlled media, coverage of the unrest in factories has been muted. There were reports Friday in foreign outlets that strikes were continuing at a Toyota parts factory in the northern city of Tianjin and at a Carlsberg brewery in the southwestern city of Chongqing.
Factory workers at Honda and Foxconn appear to have won wage concessions, but experts are still divided on whether China stands at a turning point in favor of labor.
Some see the declining population of working-age Chinese and recent labor shortages as evidence that companies will have to raise pay.
Others believe that the demand for workers is cyclical and that ample labor still remains in the countryside, waiting to be pulled into factory towns.
The need for workers could also ease when stimulus-financed infrastructure projects are completed and if a widening European financial crisis stalls exports. In addition, domestic consumption will grab a bigger share of China’s growth this year as investment in infrastructure such as roads, rail and buildings slow down with the tightening of credit, economists predict.
“The effects of the stimulus will diminish and thus will release more labor,” said Yasheng Huang, a professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. “One danger is that there is a massive rise of labor costs, forcing some firms to go to Vietnam, but in two years the stimulus money wears off and you have lots of labor seeking jobs again.”
“I support labor getting their due,” he said, “but I have always argued that it is best to do this in a gradual manner.”

Their demands may seem commonplace: Better pay and better conditions. But the impact of Chinese workers walking off their factory lines in recent weeks could one day reshape China’s economic relationship with the United States.

Continue reading… “China’s Labor Unrest Helping U.S. Manufacturers”


Getting Angry Can Actually Be Good For You


Losing your temper is good for you.

Losing your temper could actually be good for you, researchers have found, because letting off steam can lesson the effects of stress.  The findings appear to back up the common psychological theory that venting emotions is better for mental health than keeping them locked up.


28% of Americans are Tea Party Supporters

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Both political parties are concerned with the strength of this movement

A hefty 28 percent of all Americans identify themselves as supporters of the grass-roots Tea Party movement, according to a new Gallup poll released Monday.
The poll results suggest that along several demographic planes –including age, employment status and race– Tea Party supporters resemble the population at large. 79 percent of Tea Partiers, for example, are “non-Hispanic white”, as compared with 75 percent of the entire country.
The poll confirms, however, that Tea Party supporters overwhelmingly skew Republican and conservative. 49 percent of all self-identified Tea Party supporters classified themselves as Republican; a total of 92 percent were either Republican or Independent, with a mere 8 percent identifying themselves as Democrats.
The Gallup results diverge from those released last week by the Winston Group, a polling and strategy firm with conservative leanings. The Winston study indicates that only 17 percent of the population identifies itself with the Tea Party, suggesting a smaller base of support for the movement.
The Gallup results were based on telephone interviews with 1033 adults, age 18 and above, conducted from March 26-28. The poll results have a margin of error of four percentage points.

A hefty 28 percent of all Americans identify themselves as supporters of the grass-roots Tea Party movement, according to a new Gallup poll released Monday.

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Empty Bellies Bring Rising Anger

Empty Bellies Bring Rising Anger

A woman sifts through the shells of coffee beans searching for any that were not found.

Hunger bashed in the front gate of Haiti’s presidential palace. Hunger poured onto the streets, burning tires and taking on soldiers and the police. Hunger sent the country’s prime minister packing.

Haiti’s hunger, that burn in the belly that so many here feel, has become fiercer than ever in recent days as global food prices spiral out of reach, spiking as much as 45 percent since the end of 2006 and turning Haitian staples like beans, corn and rice into closely guarded treasures.


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