Perpetually happy individuals are wonderful to have around, until you experience something worth complaining about. Recent research in PLOS ONE suggests that people who are generally cheerful are not so great at reading other people’s negative emotions, though what’s especially interesting is that they think they’re very good at it.

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Have a look. Beautiful pics.

Twentieth-century America gave birth to a world-class public educational system that, for all its flaws, gave an astonishing number of people a distinctive liberal education. Unfortunately, for a few decades now we’ve been walking with misplaced confidence toward inequality and empire once again.

But we should refuse to “sit down fatalistically before the croaker’s picture.” As a new world order is taking shape, we have the opportunity to shine like never before as the country where, with the help of the liberal arts, citizens widely participate in the government, workers have a voice in an innovative economy, and the widest number of people enjoy the best of the human inheritance.

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Following the frenzy of cat lovers that lined up to visit North America’s first cat cafe, a pop-up event hosted in New York City last April, the city will finally become a permanent home to this unique trend that’s already become popular in Europe and Asia.

Meow Parlor will combine a cat room, where visitors can play with adoptable cats, and a patisserie around the corner, where guests can enjoy “catified” baked goods and beverages. Macaron Parlour’s Christina Ha and Emilie Legrand are the cat ladies behind the cat club, which will open in New York City on December 15.

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In Eastern cultures, the emphasis is on attainment of social harmony, where community and belonging are held in high regard. In Western cultures, the emphasis is on attainment of happiness, where the individualistic self tends to be celebrated.

These values translate to different weights placed on personal happiness. In one paper, Oishi and his colleagues examined the definition of happiness in dictionaries from 30 nations, and found that internal inner feelings of pleasure defined happiness in Western cultures, more so than East Asian cultures. Instead, East Asians cultures define happiness more in line with social harmony, and it is associated with good luck and fortune. Indeed, when researchers measure feelings of positive affect or pleasure, they go hand in hand with enhanced feelings of happiness by North America individuals but not by East Asian individuals. Instead, social factors – such as adapting to social norms or fulfilling relational obligations – were associated with enhanced feelings of happiness in East Asia.

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Even with their faces obscured, Shepard’s drawing manages to give each character a unique sense of self — courageous Christopher Robin hangs over the top rail, while Pooh mimics his best friend below. The ever devoted Piglet gently places her hand on Pooh’s back, watching the water from a safer distance as it floats by. Nostalgia oozes from ever cross-hatched line.

The illustration is set to fetch anywhere between £100,000 and £150,000 ($159,000 and $239,000) at Sotheby’s English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations sale. In honor of the rare occasion, we’ve compiled a few more retro looks at Winnie-the-Pooh. You can take a peek at the vintage sketches pulled from the archives below.

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Recent studies by neuroscientists of FMRI scans show that whereas activities like reading a book, doing math problems, or even listening to music only stimulate partsof the brain, playing an instrument engages the whole organ. Not only does the musician’s brain light up like the sky on the Fourth of July as it hustles to process “different information in intricate, interrelated, and astonishingly fast sequences,” it also seems to store memories more efficiently than its counterparts, using a complex “tagging” method the narrator compares to that of a “a good internet search engine.”

 

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Domestic violence (also known as intimate partner violence) can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, income, or other factors.

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Good holiday gifts
November 26th, 2014

I’ll make my usual offer of donating 30% of the price of my popular Afghan Hound memoir, Baltho, The Dog Who Owned a Man, and 20% of any of my other books, to any good cause, BUT ONLY WHEN you order directly from me on my site. I have no way of tracking otherwise. I’ve made this offer earlier. Please remember that it’s a standing offer. Just be sure to tell me when you order what you want me to donate to. www.thomasrameywatson.com/edit

These popular books make good gifts, by the way. Some buy extras to give to charitable events, fund-raising drives, and so on.

The books are also available on amazon.com and from other online outlets and local bookstores. www.thomasrameywatson.com/edit

These popular books make good gifts, by the way. Some buy extras to give to charitable events, fund-raising drives, and so on.

The books are also available on amazon.com and from other online outlets and local bookstores. BalthocovericonsizeLoveThreads_COVER_LSTRWatson_NecessityOfSymbols_cover

Ever wondered why your cat keeps rubbing against your leg? Or why kitty goes crazy over catnip? Well, you’re in luck.

A new YouTube video (above) from the American Chemical Society uses chemistry to answer these and other questions about familiar feline phenomena.

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Thomas Ramey Watson is an affiliate faculty member of Regis University's College of Professional Studies. He has served as an Episcopal chaplain (lay), trained as a psychotherapist, done postdoctoral work at Cambridge University, and was named a Research Fellow at Yale University.

In addition to his scholarly writings, he is a published author of poetry and fiction.

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