How rich are you?
A London media company has created a site that tells you where you rank among the world's richest people. The ultimate goal is to make you realize "how rich you are", but instead of an empowering sense, you get some guilt and some cents less in your account to charity. How profitable is that?

Can a pair of flickering dots help you beat the nicotine craving?
Plus more data on a smallpox vaccine that may protect people from AIDS, and doctors find that we are naturally driven to eat to reduce stress.
Near death experiences are to be tested.
And cancer drugs can also help prevent cardiac hypertrophy, a new study found.

First, check out what James Hetfield -lead singer of Metallica- has to say about the drive behind Metallica's music, and his new status, followed by Sofia Coppola's remarks on her latest film, and her own experience figuring out life.
Then, read on Annie Lennox's struggle against detachment from her art, her quest for peace and getting trapped in a circle of suffering in order to create.


   September 18th, Thursday, 2003, ip nš56
Our brains are not trying to be happy, but we should
The Futile Pursuit of Happiness


Here you'll find an article on the study of what's known as "affective forecasting", that is, the ability to figure out what will make us happy. The piece tackles different ideas: to start with, we seem to have a big deal finding out what we want in the first place. But the article also refers to the notion that we tend to adapt to almost everything, thus making it harder to feel pleasure for things, and proving us wrong when choosing things we thought would make us happy. However, instead of condemning ourselves to erring endlessly, we should understand the importance of building a personal technology to find the way of experiencing meaningful things in life differently, and of course of keeping the quest for new things as well. After all, it's adaptation what makes us live a more complex existence, and keep searching for more.
Link: http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/~dtg/Futile_Pursuit.htm
Eternal friends
Female Freshmen Miss Their Friends


To end with, here's an interesting small story on a health condition known as "friendsickness", experienced mainly by female freshman students at the beginning of their college years. It consists of the difficulty to let go the pre-college friends, and meet new people as well as to adapt to the new environment. All in all, this is a nice note to point out people's difficulty, and up to some degree the resistance, to meet new people -especially when they already have a constitute social cluster-, the laziness to invest in new social assets, and in some way also the impossibility to detach from their past in order to keep growing and living.
Link: http://abcnews.go.com/sections/living/Healthology/HS_girlfriends_030916.html
Here, the extended study.
Link: http://www.psu.edu/ur/2003/friendsickness.html


Appeared in Times Magazine







Find out how new anti-terrorist laws are holding up scientific research harassed by bureaucracy.

> Showbiz News:
A Canadian Copyright Act dating from five years ago makes copying music virtually legal in Canada.
Are universities finally admitting defeat by offering their own digital music services?


Go figure! According to scientists, Venus may have been habitable for billions of years.
Read on the singing black holes.
And "thermophiles" may be the key to determine if there could be life on other planets.

Another twist to the Friendster phenomena, and more data on the coming up friendster-like services.
Afterwards, marrying to ease tax-payments? According to recent data, there could be a new trend consisting of people who are not interested in marrying but in making the most of their financial situation.