Swiss Immigration Reforms, Risky

je20130305_schweiz22a_image_512x288_3Article Summary:

The voters of Switzerland just passed a reform to limit the immigration of citizens of the European Union into the country. This nullifies a freedom of movement agreement between Switzerland and the EU. While Switzerland is not a member of the EU, they have adopted many of the union’s policy. Furthermore, the two have significant bilateral trade and over half of Swiss’ exports go to the EU. The EU has yet to decide on a response to the termination of this agreement. There is the distinct possibility that this could lead to some level of Swiss exclusion from the markets of the European Union as this is only one piece of many bilateral agreements that took years to develop between Switzerland and the EU. If exclusion occurs, it would harm the Swiss’ Economy.

2014 Sochi Lack of Suit Testing

Tucker FredricksArticle Summary:

The United States speed-skating team performed poorly in the Sochi Olympics. According to Yahoo Sports, the new suits impaired the skaters’ speed. These suits, designed by Under Armour and named “Mach 39,” were revealed to have never been tested in competition. The reasoning for not testing the news suits was because the United States wanted to keep the suit secret for fear that other nations would copy the technology. As a result, the suits were finished only six weeks before the opening ceremony. The company continued to tout the features of the Mach 39, despite complaints from the skaters that the suits felt uncomfortably tight and made breathing difficult. Meanwhile, the designer of the Dutch speedskating team’s suits tried the Mach 39 suit and noted that it did not make the user faster. In fact, the designer believed that a vent installed in the back of the suit slowed down performance.

What Makes a Good Leader?

Article Summary: A Harvard study asked the question, what makes a good leader? Research showed that emotional intelligence is the most important component of a good leader. The article identifies emotional intelligence as self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill. Performance metrics were examined from multiple leaders in different positions. A look at the data

Choose Wisely

Artificial.intelligence Article Summary:

A recent article delved into the “most regretted majors” of college graduates. It shows the average salary and discusses the narrow range of work opportunities stemming from these fields of study. The article shows a great flaw in our education system today: students are not studying what they enjoy and  do not enjoy academics while attending college.

Reading Literary Fiction Improves Theory of Mind

reading-fictionArticle Summary:

A study published in Science by David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano at The New School for Social Research in New York concluded that reading “literary fiction” improves your ability to empathize with others. According to the NPR article, the authors of the study define “literary fiction” as “focus[ing] on the psychology and inner life of the characters […] and importantly, characters in literary fiction are left somewhat incomplete. Readers have to watch what they do and infer what they are thinking and feeling.” Based on the study, reading books where you have to analyze the motivations of characters can help you to analyze the motivations of real-life people.

Forgetful, but Observant

download (3)

At the age of 27, Henry Gustave Molaison underwent a life-saving round of brain surgery for his severe case of epilepsy, losing half of his hippocampus and most of his amygdala in the process. The procedure cured Henry of his epilepsy, but also destroyed his memory. Unfortunately, Henry’s surgery took place in 1953, and at the time doctors believed the hippocampus to be in charge of the sense of smell and nothing else – an inconvenience to lose, but certainly worth losing to cure epilepsy. Henry’s doctors were entirely incorrect. Losing this very important memory center wiped out much of Henry’s past memory and destroyed his ability to create new ones. Henry lived the rest of his life with half a minute of memory, a life permanently in the present. And while this destroyed Henry’s ability to care for himself, he spent the rest of his life in a specialized nursing home, his ordeal greatly advanced the science of memory and his actions show that even in terrible circumstances, people can still live happily.

J.J. Abrams Not Directing Next Star Trek

jj-abrams-star-warsArticle Summary:

J.J. Abrams recently announced that he will not be directing the third Star Trek movie due to his commitment to Star Wars: Episode VII.  Though Abrams intends to stay on board as a producer, he will not have as big of a say in the plot and pace/style of the movie.  Abrams says that he will work closely with his fellow producers to pick a new director that will keep the “cast and crew in good hands.”  The cast of the movie is confident that the new director will be someone that Abrams “trusts implicitly.”  Will the new film perform (both financially and with critics) as well as the previous two movies have?

Boulder Crushes Arizona Man

Article Summary:

On September 11, 2013, U.S. Daily News reports a 27-year-old Arizona man is alive after a 30-ton boulder crushes him. The Cocoonino County Sheriff’s Office reports the man and four others were part of a radio tower crew that was heading up Mount Elden to repair a down radio tower. While on the way up the mountain, the Arizona man attempted to move a boulder to clear a path, when suddenly another massive boulder directly above it gave way and slid down the mountain putting the man between a rock and a hard place [road] crushing his lower extremities. The Weather Channel reported there was heavy rain in the area the night prior to the crew’s accent on Mount Elden.