Psychologist Confirms Depravity of Man

first_imgIt’s in human nature to do wrong. Experiments show that this is the case.An old preacher used to say, “People aren’t sinners because they sin. They sin because they are sinners.” There’s sound Biblical theology in that simple contrast. The Bible teaches that we are sinners by nature, in need of salvation.Now, a psychologist at The Conversation says, “Scammers don’t cheat because they need the money — they cheat because they’re cheaters.” Because they’re cheaters? How did they get that way?As a behavioral economist, I am fascinated by how money affects decision-making. If money were the driving factor behind cheating, for example, it wouldn’t really make sense for wealthy people to break the law for financial gain.To find out whether cheating is driven by economic necessity or personality, economist Billur Aksoy and I conducted an experiment. We wanted to understand the role money plays in financial frauds.Our findings, published in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization in July, suggest that people’s propensity to cheat does not reflect their economic situation. People inclined to cheat will do so whether they are rich or poor.The author, Marco A. Palma, a Professor of Agricultural Economics and Director Human Behavior Laboratory at Texas A&M University, may not hold to a Biblical doctrine of human depravity. He probably thinks there are people who are good by nature (undoubtedly including himself). So what causes this phenomenon where some are “inclined” to cheat?The evidence suggests that wealth influences cheating much less than a person’s ethics – that is, whether or not they are inclined towards cheating. This conclusion is in line with recent studies suggesting that people who engage in antisocial behavior or commit crimes may have a genetic predisposition to do so.In other words, some people may be born with a propensity to cheat others out of their money. If so, then environmental factors like poverty and opportunity are not the reason for cheating – they are an excuse to explain bad behavior.His answer is genetic determinism. So now, the question becomes, why would Darwinism make some people “born with a propensity” to do evil, and not others? Where is the gene for cheating? If it is genetic, how do we know that Palma and his colleague are not infected with the bad gene? Is this article designed to mislead us?If the Bible’s view of man is the true view, then scientists cannot help but uncover evidence for human depravity, despite their protestations to the contrary.(Visited 314 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Launchpad to a billion consumers

first_imgInside a branch of Jumbo Cash ‘n Carry, one of the many big box range of stores operated in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent by Massmart, the company Wal-Mart has offered to buy for $4.2-billion. (Image: Massmart) This article originally appeared on page one of South Africa Now, a six-page supplement to the Washington Post produced on behalf of Brand South Africa. (Click to enlarge.) MEDIA CONTACTS • Brunswick Group LLP, Strategic Communications Advisors: Massmart + 27 11 502 7300 [email protected] ARTICLES • Brewing up a global brand • SA possible new BRIC member • Fortune 500 head to Cape Town • SA-China trade ties strengthen • SA best for regulation of exchangesBy offering to acquire South African retailer Massmart for an estimated US$4.2-billion (R28.5-billion), Wal-Mart in late September 2010 joined the parade of global companies looking to South Africa as a springboard into what is increasingly seen as the world’s last great investment frontier.“What better evidence can there be of Africa’s burgeoning potential as a consumer market than Wal-Mart’s desire for a foothold on the continent?” the Financial Times‘ Beyondbrics blog asked.Wal-Mart’s move followed hard on the heels of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone‘s $3.2-billion (R21.5-billion) bid for Dimension Data, HSBC‘s expressed interest in acquiring 70% of Nedbank, and DuPont‘s decision to seek a majority stake in Pannar Seed.Andy Bond, chairman of Asda, Wal-Mart’s UK operation, said, “South Africa presents a compelling growth opportunity and offers a platform for growth and expansion in other African countries. South Africa possesses attractive market dynamics, favorable demographic trends and a growing economy.”Headquartered in Johannesburg, Massmart operates 232 stores in South Africa stores and 32 in other African countries including Botswana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Nigeria and Ghana, according to its website. The company is known for its big box chains, which include Makro, Game and Builders Warehouse. Other South African retailers with growing African footprints include Shoprite and Pick n Pay.The acquisition would be Bentonville, Arkansas, giant’s largest since 1999 when it purchased Asda. Wal-Mart has already been sourcing fruit from South Africa. It buys 500 000 cartons of citrus for its US stores each year, 2.4-million boxes of apples and pears for the UK and 50 000 boxes of grapefruit for Japan.“Africa’s economic pulse has quickened, infusing the continent with a new commercial vibrancy,” McKinsey and Co concluded in a widely read report released in June, titled Lions on the Move (PDF, 2.8 MB). The report singled out the three sectors represented in the latest series of acquisition moves as “flourishing” – retail, banking and telecoms.McKinsey reckons that by 2020 Africa’s consumer spending will reach $1.4-trillion (R9.5-trillion) up from $860-billion (R5.8-trillion) in 2008, and there will be 128-million Africans with discretionary income.  “Africa’s long-term growth will increasingly reflect into related social and demographic trends that are creating new engines of domestic growth. Chief among these are urbanisation and the rise of the middle class African consumer.”Wal-Mart’s initial offer of R148 ($23) a share for Massmart, a 10% premium on the previous close, reflected in part the solid track record South African companies have established in the rest of the continent. That record, the Financial Times commented last April, gave “weight to government aspirations to occupy a place at the table of the BRICs, the big emerging markets whose rise has begun to transform the shape of the world economy.”Download South Africa Now in PDF format (2.2 MB), or read selected articles online:Powering towards a green economySouth Africa plans to build a massive $21.8-billion, 5 000 MW solar park in its semi-desert Northern Cape province as part of an aggressive push to grow its highly industrialised economy without increasing its carbon footprint.The everyday beauty of SowetoSouth African photographer Jodi Bieber has a special ability to bring out the beauty in the ordinary, even the disfigured. On the cover of Time magazine she made a mutilated Afghani girl look beautiful, and in her latest book Soweto she makes everyday township life shine.Launchpad to a billion consumersBy offering to acquire Massmart for some $4.2-billion, Wal-Mart has joined the parade of global companies looking to South Africa as a springboard into what is increasingly seen as the world’s last great investment frontier.A trek to the start of timeIt will probe the edges of our universe. It will be a virtual time machine, helping scientists explore the origins of galaxies. It’s the Square Kilometre Array, and South Africans are at the heart of its development.Brewing up a global brandMiller Lite. Tastes great. Less filling. And brought to you by world-beating South African company SABMiller.Looking south and east for growthAs the shift in global economic power gains momentum, South Africa’s trade is moving eastwards and southwards in a pattern that both reflects the worldwide trend and helps drive it, writes John Battersby.More than just a celluloid Mandela There is a special bond between Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman and the man he played in the Clint Eastwood movie Invictus, South African statesman Nelson Mandela.Africa in the new world orderKgalema Motlanthe, South Africa’s deputy president, looks at how African economies’ resilient performance during the global financial crisis points to the continent’s new place in a changing world.Mining history for new solutionsMark Cutifani, CEO of the multinational AngloGold Ashanti mining company, examines why South Africa’s past is key to successfully doing business here in the future.Turning up the media volumeSince 1990, South Africa has been a noisy place. After decades of apartheid censorship, the lifting of restrictions on the media led to a cacophony of debate. For the first time in centuries, everyone could be heard, and it was sometimes deafening, writes Anton Harber.A joule of an energy-efficient carSouth Africa, which builds BMWs and Mercedes Benzes for the US market, is in the thick of the race to deliver a truly practical – and stylish – electric car. Meet the Joule.South Africa: Time to believeThe forgiving philosophy of “ubuntu” helps explain how South Africa managed to transcend its turbulent apartheid past and create a unified democracy, writes Simon Barber.Finding sound real estate investmentSouth Africa’s post-apartheid transformation and new middle class are fuelling demand for affordable homes. For private equity fund International Housing Solutions, that means opportunity.My normal, crazy, mixed-up countrySouth African hit movie White Wedding is now showing in the US to rave reviews. Jann Turner, who directed and jointly wrote and produced the film, writes about the place that inspired it – South Africa.Bring on the braaiAll South Africans love it – including Nobel peace prize-winning Desmond Tutu – and its rich, smoky smell floats over the country every Sunday. Celebrate the braai with our great recipe for making boerewors, traditional South African farmer’s sausage.last_img read more

Removing Moisture from Homes with Air Conditioners

first_imgLast week, I addressed strategies for controlling moisture sources in homes during the summer — one of the contributors to discomfort during hot humid summers. This week, I’ll examine how to remove unwanted humidity using air conditioning equipment, starting with some fundamentals.To understand moisture removal, it’s important to brush up on a bit of physics. Air is able to hold only a finite amount of water vapor, and that amount is governed by the temperature of the air.Warm air can hold more moisture than cool air. This is why water droplets appear on that cold glass of iced tea: the outer surface of the glass is cold so the air close to the glass cools off and the amount of moisture it can hold drops. When that air temperature cools to the “dew point,” it means that 100% “relative humidity” is reached; as it cools further, water vapor in that air “condenses” out as liquid water. (Relative humidity is the amount of water vapor in air, expressed as a percentage of the total amount of water vapor that air could hold at that temperature.)The higher the relative humidity of the air, the higher the dew point temperature. On a really dry day (low relative humidity), not much condensation will form on that glass of iced tea, while on a day with 90% relative humidity, condensed water will drip down the glass and pool on the table it’s sitting on.All this is important to know, relative to moisture removal, because that’s exactly how most mechanical air conditioning systems work. (I’ll cover dehumidifiers next week.) Copper coils in these systems carry cold refrigerant (heat-transfer fluid), and as household air is blown past these coils, moisture from the air condenses onto the coils and is captured.Air conditioners and moisture removalStandard compression-cycle air conditioners (both window units and whole-house models) remove moisture through condensation, as described above. Their effectiveness at moisture removal varies, however. Moisture-removal is reported several ways. On product literature, pints per hour or liters per hour is usually listed. A modest-sized, 12,000 Btu air conditioner, for example, such as the LG model in the BuildingGreen office that’s pictured here, typically removes between 3 and 4 pints of water per hour. Unfortunately, as the energy efficiency of an air conditioner goes up — higher EER (energy efficiency rating) or SEER (seasonal energy efficiency rating) — the moisture-removal performance usually goes down.Dehumidification efficacy is also measured by the “sensible heat ratio.” (More terminology, I’m afraid: “sensible heat” refers to energy associated with a change in temperature; “latent heat” refers to energy associated with a change in phase, such as from vapor to liquid — which might not involve much change in temperature.) The sensible heat ratio is the fraction of the total cooling energy used for sensible heat removal. Thus, a sensible heat ratio of 0.8 means that 80 percent of the energy used by the air conditioner goes toward lowering the air temperature, while 20 percent goes toward moisture removal.Selecting and operating an air conditionerTo achieve comfort in our houses, we need to both lower the air temperature and reduce the humidity. Selecting air conditioning equipment involves considering the desirable balance between sensible heat removal and latent heat removal. In a very humid climate where lowering the humidity is almost as important as lowering the air temperature, a low sensible heat ratio — say 0.75 or lower — makes sense. In highly energy efficient homes, humidity removal is also often more important than cooling (because less unwanted heat gets in), so a low sensible heat ratio makes sense — or even a dehumidifier, which usually provides no actual cooling.Success with air conditioning and moisture removal also involves equipment sizing and operation — it gets pretty complicated. If an air conditioner is oversized, it will operate for only short periods of time, and that will reduce the moisture removal performance. The ideal is to have the equipment sized so that it will operate fairly continuously during peek cooling periods — rather than switching on and off frequently.It also improves moisture removal to operate air conditioners on a lower setting. Blowing air across the coils more slowly increases moisture removal, so if you’re buying a new unit, look for a model with variable cooling output (or a high moisture-removal setting).An air conditioner technician or mechanical engineer will help you choose the right product for your situation. He or she will considerable the variables (climate, moisture sources, cooling loads, etc.) and suggest a solution that makes sense.Don’t forget that less you use an air conditioner, the lower your energy bills, so pay attention to the simple strategies for reducing cooling loads and controlling moisture that I’ve covered in the past two weeks.* * *In addition to this Energy Solutions blog, Alex writes the weekly blog on BuildingGreen.com: Alex’s Cool Product of the Week, which profiles an interesting new green building product each week. You can sign up to receive notices of these blogs by e-mail—on the BuildingGreen.com blog page enter your e-mail address in the upper right corner.Alex is founder of BuildingGreen, LLC and executive editor of Environmental Building News. To keep up with his latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed.last_img read more

Efficiently Lighting and Shooting Product Shots for YouTube

first_imgLighting and shooting products is a common challenge videographers face. Here are some tips to make your life a little easier.Products are among the most common things YouTubers shoot. Yet, there is very little information online about how to do it efficiently. Most product video tutorials are based on commercials, where a dozen crew members have a whole day to get that perfect shot.When I started shooting products, I lit them just like a human face, but I quickly came to realize products come with their own set of challenges.In filmmaking, you’re always struggling against the two-dimensionality of the screen when shooting a product shot. The screen is flat — the product is not. So, it’s surprising how much of cinematography is trying to create the illusion of depth.People see a static shot of a product from one perspective, and they don’t understand its scale, weight, size, or how it fits in with other things. The best way to create dimension is to orbit around an object, dollying as you pan from one side to the other. This creates a powerful feeling of dimension and what the object looks like. It’s also a nice way to have light play off the corners and angles. You almost always see this in TV commercials, where they do an orbit move around the object they’re advertising.Orbit shots are not that simple to do because you need a dolly or a slider. You also need to pan consistently from one side of the object to the other, at the same rate that you’re moving with the slider.Two Ways to Get Around Orbit ShootingSlidersA motion-controlled slider is a great option; however, it’s relatively expensive, and it takes quite a long time to set-up — especially when all you want is one shot of the product. A curved track slider is the cheaper option. ProMediaGear make these — they come in different lengths and different curvatures, which allow for different shooting distances. The interview-specific unit has a radius of five feet. There is also a model for smaller objects, which is great for product shots, where the radius is only two feet away. This allows you to get in close with a macro lens. The move, combined with shallow depth of field and some nice lighting, yields a professional look. This is an elegant solution to the orbit shot, and it eliminates human error in the pan.There are a few different ways to mount a curved slider, but you need to make sure the camera won’t sag or move at either end. You can put it on two tripods — a single tripod with a removable bracket, or even on two lighting stands, which is what I use. You don’t even need to use a tripod head with it — you can simply put the camera on the slider itself, then adjust the height of the stands, or the height of the object.Lighting the ProductThere are a couple of ways to get good reflections when lighting product shots. First, start with a hard backlight that edges the object from its background. Second, add points of light in the background to create a sense of dimension as the camera pans back and forth. Lastly, use a long light source like a Quasar Science or Astera Tube placed 45 degrees above and 45 degrees in front of the object you’re photographing. This creates a nice long line, and it accentuates the object’s build. If you need a fill light, you can either put a second source below and in front of the product (at the same 45-degree angle), or use a light as the stand itself. This shoots light up through the object and works best with transparent or translucent materials.With orbit moves and some good lighting, you can make any product seem like it’s grabbed straight from a commercial, without the time and expenses.Looking for more video production tips and tricks? Check out these tutorials.Quality vs. Quantity: What Should You Record While Traveling?Editing Tips: Sorting Footage and Creating Quality TimelinesFrom The Wizard of Oz to Transformers: 100 Years of Color GradingCreative Uses for Bokeh Overlays + Free Prism Bokeh PackTips for Making High-Quality Small-Budget Video Tutorialslast_img read more

Teachers to Benefit from Numeracy and Literacy Training

first_imgSeveral primary school teachers will participate in development sessions this month, aimed at enhancing their competence in areas of numeracy and literacy.This was disclosed by Chief Education Officer in the Ministry, Grace McLean, at the official launch of ‘Camp Summer Plus 2013’ at the Ministry’s Heroes Circle offices in Kingston, on Wednesday, July 3.She said the training will ensure that students, with the assistance of teachers and parents, are able to maximise their full potential.“We have recognised that there needs to be re-implementation of the official reading programme of the Ministry of Education. If it means that we have to forego sections of the curriculum to ensure that our students are developing according to the basic levels of literacy and numeracy that is required before they move on to the curriculum, then we are committed to ensuring that that is done,” she said.Camp Summer Plus, which is in its third year, involves collaboration between the Ministry of Education and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Jamaica Basic Education Project.A total of 375 grade three students, who are performing below grade level, will receive critical assistance through the programme.Contact: Chris Pattersonlast_img read more

Clashed over Bible verses Board votes to shut down Alberta Christian school

first_imgCAMROSE, Alta. – An Alberta Christian school that clashed with its school division over teaching certain Bible verses may be forced to shut down.The Battle River School Division voted last week to close Cornerstone Christian Academy in Kingman, Alta., southeast of Edmonton at the end of the school year.The relationship started to fray about a year ago when the school division asked the school to stop teaching certain Bible verses that discussed sexuality.School division trustees said that they believed the verses could contravene Alberta’s human rights code.School board chairman Kendall Severson said that was eventually dealt with, but the bigger issue was a lack of co-operation.The school argues the division’s attempts at censoring biblical references in the curriculum are illegal and wants the courts to stop the closure.“I guess it was the unwillingness to work together for a communications protocol on how we communicate with each other and dealing with issues that arise,” Severson said, pointing to an ongoing legal challenge brought against the division by the Cornerstone Christian Academy Society.“We can’t work together with an organization that’s got legal action against us, and not willing to come together and work on an agreement.”Deanna Margel, the society board’s chairwoman, said there is a “great misunderstanding” of what faith means in today’s culture.“What is happening at the school is a good opportunity for people to discuss their different ideas and talk about how we deal with those things,” she said.“Anybody familiar with the Christian Bible will recognize that there are many, many, many passages of Scripture that are offensive to even those of us who follow Christ.”Parents are already considering their options if the legal fight fails.“Many different parents (are) doing many different things: some going to home schooling, some having to drive their kids 40 minutes to 45 minutes away,” said Gabe Vorhees, who sends his four children to Cornerstone. “None of us really want to be part of this school division.”He said his family was happy with the division before it decided to close the school, but doesn’t trust it anymore.Vorhees said he believes there’s a lot of internal animosity.“We are people of faith and we’re a community of faith and we choose to forgive, but we also have rights.”If things don’t go their way in court, the school society’s backup plan is to reopen as a private school in the fall. Margel acknowledged that would make for a busy summer for the school society, because that would involve a lot of paperwork under tight timelines.Cornerstone teachers also have a choice to make. They are employees of the school division, so staying on at a revamped Cornerstone would mean giving up their jobs with the public school board.(iNews880)last_img read more

Samantha Cameron Hosts Reception For The Lullaby Trust

first_imgSamantha Cameron – wife of British prime minister David Cameron – hosted a reception this week at 10 Downing Street London to mark 25 years of a unique maternity support service, the Care of Next Infant (CONI) programme, a collaboration between the safer baby sleep charity The Lullaby Trust and the NHS.CONI, which is a health visitor- led programme, helps parents who have lost a baby to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), providing support before, during and after the birth of their next baby.The service is highly rated by parents who are offered weekly or regular contacts at home with their health visitor, a special ‘baby passport’, which gives them priority access to a paediatrician, a symptom diary and a breathing movement monitor. All these elements provide significant comfort and reassurance during the frightening early months of their new baby’s life.CONI combines two of The Lullaby Trust’s key priorities: supporting bereaved families and preventing more babies from dying. Since it began, the service has helped 8,600 families and 12,000 babies.The charity launched a special edition anniversary brochure at the reception, featuring inspirational stories from families who have been supported by CONI.Francine Bates OBE, Chief Executive of The Lullaby Trust, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Mrs Cameron has shown her support for CONI by hosting our anniversary event.“The programme is funded entirely through donations and she has helped enormously to raise public awareness of this unique and vital service.“Research shows that CONI prevents subsequent deaths and without the support it provides for some of the UK’s most vulnerable babies it would be impossible to achieve The Lullaby Trust’s goal to halve the rate of SIDS by 2020.”Christian Jones, Managing Director of the Gro Company, said: “I am honoured that The Gro Company was able to support The Lullaby Trust’s 25th Anniversary of CONI (Care of Next Infant) in the presence of Samantha Cameron at 10 Downing Street last night.“The Lullaby Trust is The Gro Company’s valued charitable partner whose research was responsible for the significant drop in the numbers of babies dying suddenly and unexpectedly in the UK. Safer sleep advice is still vital and it is important to ensure that every new parent is aware of the recommendations. We are supporting The Lullaby Trust in order to make this happen,” he added.Find out more about the Lullaby Trust here.Source:PRWeb.comlast_img read more

Elders discuss how to bring Indigenous wellness centre to NWT

first_imgCharlotte Morritt-Jacobs APTN National NewsThe Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation (AIWF) is hosting 23 Dene, Inuit and Métis elders from across the Northwest Territories in Yellowknife to discuss how a proposed healing centre should practice and deliver healing.“My vision is that when you come into the building there should be a little area for inuit people,” said AIWF board member Rassi Nashalik. “Inuit learning with let’s say a Qammaq with a Qulliq everything in it to make it more welcoming with elders sit there. Everything to make it comfortable to enter this building.”The vision for the centre is to serve the needs of the NWTs 30 First Nations, Inuit and Métis in a distinctly Indigenous way.AIWF has already made agreements with the City of Yellowknife to dedicate two hectares of land with waterfront access to a wellness centre, with plans of setting a canvas tent by the summer.But before any of that can take place, input from elders is needed.“You know elders are really the main people that will be overseeing the project but delivering those services as well too,” said board member Nicole Redvers.AIWF is currently completing a funding study – but expects the centre to cost upwards of $10 million.But more important than the price tag is the mandate. The centre would operate independently of government-funded health care in the NWT.“It has to be accepted by both Inuit, Dene and Métis,” said Nashalik. “It’s their building it has to be attractive, culturally, traditionally and comfortable.”Over the gathering, there has been an emphasis on how elders can prevent youth suicide and tackle addictions.“I hope that the centre would have people with knowledge in area of psychology, indigenous psychology traditional forms of healing,” said Dene board member Francois Paulatte. “To work with young people and that we can maybe take this to the communities through mobile talks.”The centre will also focus on connection with the land, to people and to oneself.“You could go right from traditional food to medicines and hopefully this centre would have a greenhouse that would have traditional medicine growing all year round,” said Paulatte.The AIWF is in the process of receiving charity status, after that, the foundation will move forward with design concepts.There is no date for construction to begin, but board members are hoping for funding that reflects the TRCs reccomendation number 21, which calls for the creation of a healing centre in the [email protected]last_img read more