Thursday, 3 April 2014

Americans finally understand that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol and other news and views for Thursday 3 April

  • Americans finally understand that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol – “A new Pew survey out today provides yet another illustration of the failure of America’s drug war. By a nearly five-to-one margin, Americans agree that alcohol is worse for you than marijuana… On the relative dangers of marijuana and alcohol, the public is now in line with what medical researchers have been saying for years. A 2010 study in the journal Lancet, for instance, graded common drugs on sixteen criteria relating to how harmful the drugs were to users, and how harmful they were to society overall. On both measures – harm to self and harm to users – marijuana scored significantly lower than alcohol.”
  • Indonesian presidential hopeful Jokowi leaps ahead in opinion polls – “Support for Jokowi leapt to 45 percent after his party named him as its candidate, from 35 percent before, according to a survey released Wednesday by Roy Morgan International. The survey showed support for rival Prabowo Subianto, a former general, holding at 15 percent, while tycoon Aburizal Bakrie trailed with 11 percent.”
  • Apocalyptic prophecies drive both sides to Syrian battle for end of time – “From the first outbreak of the crisis in the southern city of Deraa to apocalyptic forecasts of a Middle East soaked in blood, many combatants on both sides of the conflict say its path was set 1,400 years ago in the sayings of the Prophet Mohammad and his followers.”
  • Why Aging and Working Makes us Happy in 4 Charts – “There are remarkably consistent patterns in the determinants of subjective well-being across people within and across countries and cultures around the world. One of the most striking of these is the relationship between age and happiness (which is good news for those of us who are already on the “back-nine”). There is a U-shaped curve, with the low point in happiness being at roughly age 40 around the world, with some modest differences across countries. It seems that our veneration of (or for some of us, nostalgia, for) youth as the happiest times of our lives is overblown, the middle age years are, well, as expected, and then things get better as we age, as long as we are reasonably healthy (age-adjusted) and in a stable partnership.”
  • U2 Joshua Tree album added to US archive
  • Stop, Thief! When Colleagues Steal From The Office Fridge
A quotation for the day:
In the aftermath of the discovery of evidence for gravitational waves the theologian Giles Fraser has argued that science is becoming like religion: it argues that asking what came before the Big Bang is a non-question, just as monotheists argue the question who created God is a non-question.
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