Deciding What Your Story Means

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now I sneezed. The young man working in the airport store said, “God bless you.” I replied, “Thank you. Already has.”The young man then challenged me. He said, “What does that mean?” I said, “I am blessed. I have great wife, great kids, and I am happy.” I didn’t expect to be challenged any further, but he wasn’t done. He walked around the counter and said, “How can you be happy?” I answered, “I’ve always been happy. Aren’t you happy?”“I could never be happy,” he said. “It’s impossible.” He went on, “Well I guess I could be happy if I had money. Lots of money, like thousands of dollars.” I said, “Look, you’ve had thousands of dollars and it didn’t make you happy, and that money is gone now.” He said, “You’re right. I spent that money.”He said, “I would be happy if I had millions of dollars then. Millions and millions of dollars. That would make me happy.” I said, “No, you wouldn’t be happy. Money is an amplifier. If you are five star, gold plated jerk, with money you are a five star, gold plated, rich jerk. But, if you think money will make you happy, it’s not that difficult to get.”He said, “I can never have money?” I bit, “Why not?”“Because I didn’t go to college, and I got terrible grades in high school. My parents were divorced,” he said. I said, I know millionaires that have that same story. He said, “Yeah, will I started doing drugs when I was eleven years old.” I said, “Well, you’re not eleven years old, and that isn’t stopping you from doing anything you want to now.”I asked this young man how old he was, and he told me he was 24. I told him that his excuses for not being happy were stories that he was telling himself, and that a lot of people decide to frame those stories as the reason they changed their beliefs, their behaviors, their actions, and their results. I shared with him that I personally shared a good part of his same story myself, that happiness is a choice, and money has very little to do with it, other than offering freedom and choices.I finished our conversation telling him that happiness is a decision you make, and it is mostly made up of being grateful, including being grateful for the adversity that allows you to accept the challenging circumstances and discomfort with producing the results you are capable of. Sadly, he didn’t believe a word I said. He likes his story too much to consider another view.It’s very difficult to let go of our stories. The decision you have to make about your story is what frame you use to tell it. If you use a negative frame, your story is an excuse for what you believe is wrong with your life. If you tell it with a positive frame, your story is the reason you grew through your adversity and are now in a different place.What story do you tell using a negative frame as an explanation for why you don’t have what you want?How would your story be different if that story was the reason why you started taking the actions that moved you closer to your goals?last_img read more

Only Complain Up

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now You are unhappy with something at work, some policy, some recent adjustment to your strategy, a change in the compensation plan, or something that you might interpret as making your job more difficult. Maybe it’s worse, you have long-existing challenge that has not garnered the proper attention, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to contend with.You will never struggle to find people who will commiserate, complain, and bellyache about what is not right, what is broken, and what is difficult. As much as it might make you feel better to vent, it is a mistake to do so unless you are venting up.Not DownIf you complain to people who work directly for you, you are establishing a negative culture. As a leader, when you complain down, you delegitimize the decisions your company makes, increasing the likelihood of failure. You also disempower people by suggesting to them that their failure is a result of the decisions of your senior leaders.This is not to say that you should not complain, nor is it to suggest that you don’t argue vociferously against decisions you believe to be mistaken. If you are going to do either of these, you complain up. You make your case to the people who can do something, not those who are powerless to make changes.There are a few more ideas worth noting here, all of which are useful in dealing with the issues, challenges, and changes that cause people to complain—and potentially struggle.Rules of EngagementAssume Good Intentions: Assume that no one is deliberately putting obstacles in your way. Before you decide to complain, ask for a conversation to better understand why your leadership took a decision and how it is going to benefit the overall success of the organization.Discuss Obstacles: Over time, your company will make decisions that make your job in some way more difficult. Describe and explain how that decision impacts your job and ask for help mitigating any impact it has if it is possible to do so (knowing that sometimes it is possible, and other times it isn’t).Propose Solutions: Show up with a proposal to solve the problem instead of becoming one. When you show up with an idea, you are doing something more than complaining; you are helping to forward the new change or resolve the long-standing, unresolved challenge.last_img read more

Denied ambulance, family carries body on rickshaw

first_imgIn yet another incident of apathy, a family in Banda district was forced to carry the body of a relative on a rickshaw for post-mortem after the health officials allegedly refused to provide an ambulance. The video of the body being carried on the rickshaw went viral on social media and local news channels.Found on railway track The body of Ram Asrey (44) was recovered from a railway track on Saturday near Atra railway station but as no ambulance was available, the relatives had to carry the body on a rickshaw for the post-mortem. When asked, Chief Medical Officer Santosh Kumar said Asrey’s family had not asked for an ambulance. “After the post-mortem, an ambulance was provided for taking the body for cremation,” he added.More instances Last month in Kaushambi, an uncle of a seven-year-old girl had to carry her body on a bicycle as his plea for an ambulance fell on deaf ears. Seven-year-old Poonam, the daughter of Anant Kumar, a daily wage labourer of Malak Saddi village in Majhanpur tehsil of Kaushambi, died during treatment at a hospital. “Despite repeated pleas, no vehicle was made available to carry the body. I had to borrow a bicycle and carry it for almost 10 km to reach the village,” the girl’s uncle Brijmohan said. In May, a labourer had to carry the body of his 15-year-old son on his shoulders after allegedly being turned away by the doctors at a government-run hospital in Etawah.last_img read more

Pune builder D.S. Kulkarni gets a lifeline from HC

first_imgPune: The Bombay High Court on Monday granted builder Deepak S. Kulkarni a 72-hour extension of his interim relief to repay investors.Mr. Kulkarni, who is accused of fraud, has been granted several breathers since the first FIR filed against him and his wife in Pune in October last year. He was given a temporary lifeline after his lawyers submitted evidence that the builder had the requisite resources to repay ₹50 crore to the investors as mandated by the High Court.Extending the beleaguered developer’s relief, Justice Sadhana Jadhav directed Mr. Kulkarni to deposit the amount in the court registry by January 25.Arguing that the attachment of his properties had caused difficulties in procuring the money, Mr. Kulkarni’s lawyers submitted in court that the builder was due to receive amount to the tune of USD 80 lakh (approx Rs. 51 crore) from one of his concerns abroad.This sum, according to Mr. Kulkarni’s counsel, would suffice to repay investors. Evidence of this transaction was furnished before the court.On December 19 last year, the Bombay High Court, after providing an extended breather to him for a fortnight, had cancelled Mr. Kulkarni’s interim relief, following which the Pune police claimed that the builder was ‘absconding’.The developer and his wife, Hemanti, accused of duping thousands of investors across Pune, Mumbai and Kolhapur, had then filed an online SLP in the Supreme Court on December 20 seeking further extension of his interim relief in a bid to stave off arrest.The Apex court, while granting Mr. Kulkarni a four-week relief period ( till January 19 this year) made it clear that no further extension would be granted to him and accordingly disposed off the builder’s SLP.On January 19, Mr. Kulkarni was given yet another brief extension of his interim relief. A total five of FIRs across Pune, Mumbai and Kolhapur have been lodged against the developer and his family since October 28 last year, with more than 3000 investors filing cheating complaints against Mr. Kulkarni.More than 8,000 persons, a majority of them senior citizens, are said to have invested in the DSK group’s fixed deposit (FD) scheme. The developer is said to owe an excess of Rs. 600 crore to investors. On November 8 last year, a special court in Pune had quashed the interim bail application of Mr. Kulkarni and his wife.The Kulkarnis, facing prospect of arrest, had then moved the Bombay High Court against the Pune court’s order and were granted interim relief, which was extended periodically for nearly a month on promise of repayment to investors.last_img read more

M.P. police gear up for ‘Bharat Bandh’ on April 10

first_imgA call on social media and WhatsApp groups for a ‘Bharat Bandh’ on April 10, reportedly by people opposed to caste-based reservations in jobs and education, led Madhya Pradesh police on Firday to issue an appeal for calm and peace.Large-scale violence A shutdown on April 2 by Dalit outfits opposing the alleged dilution of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act had led to large-scale violence in the Chambal-Gwalior region of the State which left eight people dead and scores, including 54 policemen, injured.Fully prepared: DGP Responding to a media query on shutdown calls being circulated on social media by groups opposed to reservations, Director General of Police (DGP) Rishi Kumar Shukla said the police was prepared to deal with any situation. “We are appealing to citizens to maintain peace and harmony in the State. But we are equally prepared to deal with any untoward situation,” Mr. Shukla told reporters here.‘Peace necessary’ “There may be differences among members of different communities, but they should not resort to violence. Peace and harmony is necessary for the state to prosper,” the DGP said. The violence on April 2 had led to allegations of failure on the part of the police’s intelligence gathering mechanism.last_img read more

Bharat Bandh: more arrests in Morena

first_imgPolice have arrested two more persons for their alleged involvement in the violence in Morena during the April 2 Bharat Bandh, an officer said.With the arrest of the duo, the total number of those arrested from Morena district in connection with the violence has gone up to 100, police said.“The two accused, identified as Neeraj Chandolia (28) and Jai Kumar (32), were arrested on Thursday based on a tip-off,” city Kotwali police station in-charge Yogendra Yadav said on Friday.“Both the accused had absconded after indulging in violent acts that led to the death of one person in Morena. They were identified based on the CCTV footage,” he added.They were carrying a reward of ₹10,000 each on their heads, Mr. Yadav said.Gwalior, Bhind and Morena districts in Madhya Pradesh witnessed massive violence during the bandh, organised by Dalit groups to protest a recent Supreme Court order that allegedly diluted certain provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.Eight persons had died in the violence in Madhya Pradesh. While four persons lost their lives in Gwalior, three others died in Bhind and one in Morena.last_img read more

Couple thrashed, forced to marry in Assam

first_imgA kangaroo court in western Assam’s Goalpara district thrashed a couple and forced them to marry in a case of moral policing, the second in two months in the area.The police in the district’s Rangjuli, about 95 km west of Guwahati, arrested one Kurban Ali on Thursday for organising a “trial court” that prescribed a thrashing for the “immoral” couple with sticks. Ali, police said, was the “judge” of the court.“The Rangjuli police registered a case after the video of the trial went viral yesterday [Wednesday]. We have also cautioned the people against taking law into their own hands,” Varnali Deka, Goalpara’s Deputy Commissioner, said.The local police said the incident happened in Kheropara village on June 17. The trial, videotaped, was uploaded on social media on Wednesday after the couple left for Hyderabad for work.“We acted soon after the video went viral and picked up the main accused. Almost everyone in the village, including the family members of the couple, attended the trial, but we have identified three more persons for assault,” Bhabesh Biswas, officer in-charge of Rangjuli Police Station, told The Hindu.The man seen in the video beating the couple with a stick was the woman’s brother, he said.Villagers told the police that they were suspicious of the relationship between the man, who was married, and the woman, a divorcee. The man, from another village, was in the habit of frequenting the woman’s house.“The villager caught the two after he stayed at her house on the night of June 16. The trial was held the next morning and the village court topped the caning with a diktat for the couple to get married,” a police officer handling the case said.A cleric solemnised their marriage on June 19, a day before the two left for Hyderabad.A similar incident took place on April 8 at Paikan, about 30 km from Rongjuli. In that case, a Garo tribal woman was kicked and punched for riding pillion on the motorcycle of her Muslim friend. The district police later arrested 12 men on the basis of a video of the assault uploaded on social media.last_img read more

Another ‘bandit queen’ rises from Chambal’s ravines

first_imgAfter Phoolan Devi, another woman bandit leader is ruling the ravines of Chambal. Sadhna Patel (30), born in a village in Uttar Pradesh, is turning out to be another notorious outlaw from the Chambal region, spread across three States — Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.In the last few weeks, the gang led by Sadhna Jiji (a colloquial term for sister) has been involved in several incidents of kidnapping, extortion, and armed robbery, prompting the Madhya Pradesh’s Satna district police to announce a reward of₹10,000 on her head. “We decided to announce the reward after a case of abduction was registered against Sadhna Patel at Nayagaon police station,” said Santosh Gaur, SP, Satna.Sadhna and her gang members have been booked under IPC sections 364A, 342, 324, 149, 120B, section 25-27 of Arms Act and section 11(13) of Madhya Pradesh Anti-Dacoity Act, said a police officer. The bandit and her gang started operating in Madhya Pradesh only recently. Earlier, she was active in the ravines of Uttar Pradesh.Sadhna had joined the bandits as a member, but after the head of the gang was killed, she rose to become the leader herself, said the officer. Being a local, Sadhna is well aware of the uneven ravines of the Chambal valley. She has managed to evade arrest by slipping into remote hideouts and crossing the State border after committing a crime.Recently, the bandit and her gang members were forced to release a landowner’s son they had kidnapped for ransom after the police started closing in on them, the officer said.Madhya Pradesh’s Morena and Gwalior districts and Budelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh have produced the maximum number of dacoits in north-central India in the last five decades.Among the most popular dacoits from the region is late Phoolan Devi, also known as ‘Bandit Queen’. Phoolan became the symbol of rebellion in Chambal when she allegedly massacred 20 upper caste men in Uttar Pradesh’s Behmai in February 1981, to avenge her gang rape at the hands of the Thakurs in the village.After spending two years in hiding, she and her gang members surrendered before the Madhya Pradesh government in February 1983.She never faced any trial for the Behmai massacre and was released after spending 11 years in Gwalior Central Jail. She later joined the Samajwadi Party and was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1996.last_img read more

Pune court defers hearing on activists Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen’s bail pleas till September 14

first_imgThe sessions court in Pune on Thursday deferred till September 14 hearing on the bail pleas of human rights lawyer Surendra Gadling and Nagpur University professor Shoma Sen, who were arrested with three other rights activists on June 6 for their alleged links with the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) and the Bhima-Koregaon clashes.The prosecution sought postponement before the court of special judge K.D. Wadane on grounds that Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Shivaji Pawar, investigating officer in the case, is in New Delhi.Taking strong objection to the prosecution’s reasons, Mr. Gadling, conducting his own defence, alleged that it was merely indulging in delaying tactics that was tantamount to continual harassment of the arrested activists and denial of their rights.“Wasn’t the prosecution aware that ACP Pawar would be absent for the hearing? This deliberate deferring of our bail hearings is a ploy on their part,” he alleged.Denied books in jail, says GadlingMr. Gadling challenged the Yerwada prison authorities’ denial of books and other reading material to the arrested activists.Ms. Sen and Mr. Gadling were arrested along with prominent Dalit activist-publisher Sudhir Dhawale, tribal activist Mahesh Raut and activist Rona Wilson during a multi-city crackdown conducted by a team of the city police ostensibly over the contentious ‘Elgaar Parishad’ organized on December 31 at Pune’s Shaniwarwada Fort and the Bhima-Koregaon riots that erupted the next day (January 1).They were later booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.On August 31, Mr. Gadling’s wife, Minal, filed a plea in the Supreme Court in which she stated that five arrested activists, including her husband, were falsely implicated with mala fide intent in the case.“All five persons hold significant positions in society and have dedicated their lives for fighting social injustices. They are being targeted in this case for being the voice of dissent, and for taking up battles against forces perpetrating injustices,” the plea said.Ms. Minal Gadling further alleged that her husband was harassed inside the jail soon after his arrest, compelling him to be admitted to a hospital.last_img read more

Worker beaten to death in Odisha

first_imgA migrant worker was allegedly beaten to death in Odisha’s Balangir district apparently after he hesitated to accompany a labour contractor to work in a brick-kiln.The victim Jagadish Mirdha, 48, of Dumerpadar village, had taken a token advance from the contractor to work outside the State with his wife and two sons.“My father was forcibly taken in a car by Bhagaban Bariha and Shanti Bariha, henchmen of labour contractor Bishnu, on December 9 evening. The next day, they threw him in front of our house. His condition was critical and we immediately rushed him to a Patnagarh hospital,” said Baikuntha Mirdha, victim’s son.The Patnagarh hospital referred him to the Balangir District Headquarters Hospital, which asked the family to take him to the V.S.S. Medical College Hospital on December 11. As they could not afford further treatment, the patient was brought back to Patnagarh. He died on December 11. A complaint has been registered with the Patnagarh police.“The labour contractor had given us ₹5,000 each. The full advance was not paid and so we were reluctant to go to work,” said Jagdish’s wife Yamuna. “But the contractor constantly threatened us, claiming that we had been paid over ₹1 lakh. My husband was healthy. They brutally beat him up and left him to die.”Balangir, a poverty-stricken western Odisha district, sends thousands of migrant workers to States like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.last_img read more

Opposition slams Maharashtra govt. for not giving kharif loan waiver

first_imgPushing for big-ticket infrastructure projects in the interim Budget, Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar on Wednesday tried to do a balancing act by proposing the maximum allocation of ₹8,733 crore for irrigation, with a focus on Vidarbha and Marathwada and the drought-prone regions.Criticising the interim Budget for neglecting farmers, Leader of Opposition in Assembly, Radakrishna Vikhe-Patil said it has not only failed to address the farmers’ demands but also pushed the drought-affected farmers to the brink of losing hope.The government had in October last year declared drought in 151 talukas in 26 of total 36 districts. A provision of ₹1,500 crore has been made for the government’s flagship Jalyukt Shivar scheme, which proposes to make 22,000 villages drought free by May 2019.Underlining the government’s focus on irrigation and agriculture, Mr. Mungantiwar said, “A provision of ₹5,187 crore has been made for micro-irrigation, wells and farm ponds along with the works under Employment guarantee scheme (EGS). An outlay of ₹3,498 crore has been proposed for agriculture schemes.”An outlay of ₹900 crore has been proposed for electric connections to agriculture pump sets. Reaching out to various sections of society, the government made a provision of ₹572 crore for an educational scholarship scheme for economically backward class students. “This (allocation) will help in effective implementation of the Centre’s decision for 10% quota for economically weaker sections (among General category),” he said.The interim budget also allocates ₹6,306 crore for development of basic energy infrastructure facilities, ₹101 crore for modernisation of bus stations, and ₹5,210 crore for concessions in power tariff for agri consumers.“An outlay of ₹1,097 crore has been proposed for providing nutritious food to children between age of six months to three years, pregnant as well as lactating mothers,” the finance minister said. The government has also proposed an amnesty scheme for settlement of pending and disputed taxes, interest, fines and late fees, which will benefit traders and help government recover pending taxes.“Of the budget outlay of ₹4.08 lakh crore last year, the government has actually spent only 65% of total allocations,” said Mr. Vikhe-Patil. He also slammed the minister for not announcing complete loan waiver on kharif crop loan for 2018. “Most of the provisions in this budget are inadequate for departments such as Woman and Child Development, Rural Development as well as for development of airports in the State,” former finance minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Jayant Patil said.Leader of Opposition in the Council and NCP leader Dhananjay Munde said the interim Budget is cut off from reality.last_img read more

ScienceShot: Stunning Skull Gives Early Humans a New Look

first_imgIn 2005, researchers discovered a remarkably complete ancient hominin skull at Dmanisi, Georgia, a site that holds the earliest human ancestors found outside of Africa. Dated to about 1.8 million years ago, the skull, shown partly excavated, preserves delicate parts of the face that are rare in other fossils. As reported online today in Science, this ancient man had some strikingly primitive features, including a small brain and protruding jaw. But other details mark him as a member of the species Homo erectus, and as one of our ancestors. Researchers are calling the find an iconic new fossil. Combined with four skulls found earlier at Dmanisi, the skull suggests that ancient individuals from one time and place could be very different from each other.For an in-depth news story on this find, plus a slideshow and an artist’s reconstruction of the hominin, check out Science’s full coverage.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

Trillions of Plastic Pieces May Be Trapped in Arctic Ice

first_imgHumans produced nearly 300 million tons of plastic in 2012, but where does it end up? A new study has found plastic debris in a surprising location: trapped in Arctic sea ice. As the ice melts, it could release a flood of floating plastic onto the world.Scientists already knew that microplastics—polymer beads, fibers, or fragments less than 5 millimeters long—can wind up in the ocean, near coastlines, or in swirling eddies such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. But Rachel Obbard, a materials scientist at Dartmouth College, was shocked to find that currents had carried the stuff to the Arctic.In a study published online this month in Earth’s Future, Obbard and her colleagues argue that, as Arctic ice freezes, it traps floating microplastics—resulting in abundances of hundreds of particles per cubic meter. That’s three orders of magnitude larger than some counts of plastic particles in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. “It was such a surprise to me to find them in such a remote region,” she says. “These particles have come a long way.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The potential ecological hazards of microplastics are still unknown. But the ice trap could help solve a mystery: Industrial plastic production has increased markedly in the last half-century, reaching 288 million tonnes in 2012, according to Plastics Europe, an industry association. But ecologists have not been able to account for the final disposition of much of it. The paper shows that sea ice could be an important sink—albeit one that is melting, says Kara Lavender Law, an oceanographer at the Sea Education Association in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, who was not part of the study. “There could be freely floating plastics, in short order.” The authors estimate that, under current melting trends, more than 1 trillion pieces of plastic could be released in the next decade.Obbard and her colleagues based their counts on four ice cores gathered during Arctic expeditions in 2005 and 2010. The researchers melted parts of the cores, filtered the water, and put the sediments under a microscope, selecting particles that stood out because of their shape or bright color. The particles’ chemistry was then determined by an infrared spectrometer. Most prevalent among the particles was rayon (54%), technically not a synthetic polymer because it is derived from natural cellulose. The researchers also found polyester (21%), nylon (16%), polypropylene (3%), and 2% each of polystyrene, acrylic, and polyethylene. Co-author Richard Thompson, a marine biologist at the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom, says it’s difficult to pinpoint the source of these materials. Rayon, for instance, can be found in clothing, cigarette filters, and diapers.Abundances are likely to grow as scientists learn to sift more finely. Law points out that microplastic estimates for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch are based on phytoplankton nets that catch only particles bigger than 333 microns. Obbard, who used a much smaller 0.22 micron filter, says she still probably missed many particles herself; searching by eye, she easily could have missed brownish or clear plastic particles that were masquerading as sand grains.What is the consequence of all this plastic floating around? At this point, it is hard to say. Plastic is chemically inert. But the plastic can absorb organic pollutants in high concentrations, says Mark Browne, an ecologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Browne has performed laboratory experiments with marine organisms showing not only how the microplastics can be retained in tissues, but also how pollutants might be released upon ingestion. “We’re starting to worry a bit more,” he says.last_img read more

What do you get when you cross a dragon and a pelican?

first_imgAn ancient flying reptile may have had a feeding style akin to that of modern birds known as skimmers, which occasionally swoop along the water’s surface to snatch fish swimming there, a new study suggests. Fossils of the newly described pterosaur were unearthed from 120-million-year-old rocks at two sites in northeastern China. The front portion of the creature’s lower jaw had a deep, thin, crescent-shaped keel (artist’s representation above) that may have been covered with keratin, akin to the beaks of modern birds. At the end of that bony keel, researchers noted a peculiar hook-shaped projection—a feature not seen in any other pterosaur, or indeed in any other vertebrate, living or extinct—that might have served as an anchor for soft tissue. That distinctive bony projection suggests the pterosaur’s most distinct feature may have been a pelicanlike throat pouch that could hold fish gleaned from lakes and rivers, the researchers suggest today in Scientific Reports. In a nod to flying creatures of our modern age, the new species has been dubbed Ikrandraco avatar—draco is Latin for “dragon,” and Ikran are the pterosaurlike flying beasts depicted in the 2009 blockbuster Avatar. It’s difficult to estimate how much I. avatar weighed, the researchers say, but the fossils recovered so far hint that adults may have had a wingspan of about 1.5 meters.last_img read more

Politics, science, and public attitudes: What we’re learning, and why it matters

first_imgThe bad news is that everybody does it. The good news is that social scientists are making progress in understanding why people ignore solid scientific evidence in deciding what they think about all manner of science-based issues—including how those topics should be taught in schools and addressed by policymakers.The U.S. research community has long lamented how often the public disregards—or distorts—scientific findings. Many media pundits point the finger at partisan politics, although they offer contrasting explanations: Liberals often assert that Republicans are simply antiscience, whereas conservatives often insist that Democrats tout scientific findings to justify giving government a larger and more intrusive role.A leading social science journal, The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, takes a deep dive into the debate by devoting its March issue (subscription required) to “The Politics of Science.” The issue, edited by political scientists Elizabeth Suhay of American University in Washington, D.C., and James Druckman of Northwestern University, includes some 15 articles that explore “the production, communication, and reception of scientific knowledge.” And nobody gets a free pass.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)“It’s an equal opportunity scold,” says the journal’s executive editor, Thomas Kecskemethy. “I was fascinated by how the knowledge elites are vulnerable to their own biases.”The researchers provide no simple answers. (In truth, some of the articles are nearly impenetrable, larded with jargon and political theory.) But the special issue does offer some useful take-home messages: Scientists shouldn’t beat themselves up for being poor communicators. Yes, they could do a better job. But most people aren’t waiting for scientists to tell them what to think. So the solution is not simply to provide them with more facts and figures.  Ideology isn’t the same thing as party affiliation, although the current gridlock in Congress and enmity between Republican legislators and the White House may suggest otherwise. Overall, they found that deference to science remains quite high, regardless of political self-identification. The scores across all issues averaged to 6.4, suggesting voters generally want policymakers to listen to scientists. But there were differences: Self-identified Democrats averaged 7.46, versus 5.58 for Republicans and 5.84 for independents.Looking at those findings, Shaw concludes that, yes, conservatives are less willing to defer to scientific recommendations. But no, it is not accurate to accuse Republicans of holding antiscience beliefs, or to single them out. For starters, their attitudes are nearly indistinguishable from independents. Second, the ratings showed that Republicans still defer to science in 14 of the 16 policy areas. The exceptions were mandatory health insurance and gay adoption, where “being a Republican correlates with a decreased willingness to defer to what science says,” Shaw and Blank write.In contrast, Democrats deferred to science in all 16 areas. And Shaw says the overall average score of 6.4 “is pretty positive … at least it’s more, rather than less, supportive” of tapping scientific expertise for policymaking.The researchers also found that a person’s deference to scientific evidence depends on the specific policy under consideration. There was little difference across the ideological spectrum on using animals in research, for example, whereas there was a huge disparity between conservatives and liberals on regulating carbon emissions to combat global warming. (The researchers identified the scientific consensus on those issues as being in favor of the use of animals in research, and supporting some type of regulatory mechanism to reduce emissions, respectively.)None of this means that evidence necessarily trumps ideology, the researchers note. In fact, they found that ideology usually wins when the two are in direct conflict in a voter’s mind.To Shaw, the biggest mystery is why Democrats put so much more faith in science to inform policy than do Republicans or independents. No other factor, such as education, income, or race, appears to explain that difference, he says.Even so, the researchers believe that their findings might be useful to campaign strategists. “If you want to get Democrats on your side, you may want to use scientific research to back up your policy positions,” they write. “The self-expressed willingness of those on the Left to defer to scientists indicates that political arguments based on objective, scientific research might have a powerful influence on opinion. … They are also important for key elements of the Democratic coalition, such as blacks and Latinos.”Reacting to dissonanceAnother way to look at the interplay of politics and science is to examine how people react when faced with so-called dissonant scientific messages—information that doesn’t fit with their worldview. A trio of researchers at Ohio State University, Columbus, found that the public’s faith in science was weakened by such cognitive dissonance. The distrust occurred among both conservatives and liberals, but only on the most contentious topics.The researchers—communications professors Erik Nisbet and R. Kelly Garrett and Kathryn Cooper, a graduate student—conducted an online survey of 1500 people. Participants thought they were evaluating the quality of a new science website. But that was a pretext for measuring their attitudes about information that would challenge their beliefs on certain issues. The survey included questions about climate change and evolution—red meat for self-identified conservatives—as well as fracking and nuclear power—topics expected to elicit opposition from liberals. They also read passages relating to the solar system and the earth sciences, two topics that the researchers deemed neutral.As expected, the participants exhibited high levels of what social scientists call “motivated reasoning.” That is when we rebut or ignore new information on a topic—say, the safety of genetically modified foods—to protect what we already believe. The researchers also found that people reacted more negatively to scientific information that was seen as a threat to their values. The effect applied across the political spectrum, although conservatives reacted four times more strongly than did liberals.Like Shaw and Blank, Nisbet found that “liberals are also capable of processing scientific information in a biased manner,” he noted in a press release. “They aren’t inherently superior to conservatives.” The Ohio State researchers also found that conflict, by itself, can cause people to lose trust in the scientific enterprise. “Just reading about these polarizing topics is having a negative effect on how people feel about science,” Garrett said in the press release.Teaching evolution poorlyA third paper in the special issue examines the attitudes of students being trained to teach one of those polarizing topics—evolution—in the nation’s schools.Previously, authors Eric Plutzer and Michael Berkman, political scientists at Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), University Park, had conducted research that found “a pervasive reluctance [among high school biology teachers] to forthrightly explain evolutionary biology.” Only 28% used evolution as a unifying theme in their classes, they reported in a 2011 Science article. On the other end of the spectrum, 13% included creationism or intelligent design in their lessons.In the current study, Plutzer and Berkman sought to learn more about the beliefs of what they call “the cautious 60%, [teachers] who are neither strong advocates for evolutionary biology nor explicit endorsers of nonscientific alternatives.” So in 2013 they interviewed 35 students preparing to become high school biology teachers, hoping to find clues about how they would handle the subject once they entered the classroom. They selected the undergraduates from a diverse set of institutions in Pennsylvania—a large research university, a state university with a large teacher-training program, a Catholic college, and a historically black university.What they heard troubled them. “We found that the depth of their scientific understanding is not what you’d think it would be,” Berkman explains. “Yes, they were science majors in science education programs, but they weren’t becoming science teachers because they loved science.” And they were “not the ones who were taking apart washing machines or launching rockets when they were kids,” Plutzer adds. “They are not driven to become scientists.”That’s a concern, the authors say, because teachers who consider themselves educators first are likely to handle potentially hot topics like evolution very differently than those who consider themselves scientists, the researchers posit. “Rather than cite facts and discuss the content, most of the students felt they could rely on classroom management and pedagogical techniques if a problem arose,” Berkman says. That approach masks a larger issue, he adds: “Not feeling confident about your knowledge of evolution leads to being less likely to teach it.”The researchers said they were initially surprised to find that students at the Catholic college were more comfortable discussing the topic than were their peers at secular institutions. Their explanation: Rather than shying away from the subject, the students “probably had been wrestling with the issue their entire lives,” Berkman says. “They seemed to do a better job of reconciling their beliefs with what they had learned about evolution.”In contrast, they say, students at secular institutions are unlikely to have had the opportunity to explore their personal views in a science or education class. “You’re not going to get a Penn State professor to talk about that with their students,” Berkman surmises.The researchers admit their sample is not representative of all science teacher–training programs. But they think the responses are still instructive—and highlight how much work needs to be done. “Young preservice teachers are already on a path that is likely to lead to evolution instruction that falls short of the expectations of leading scientific organizations,” they conclude.    What should be done to change that direction? One paradoxical answer is breaking what the authors call “a cycle of ignorance” by improving biology teaching at the high school and undergraduate levels. “Many students lack good models for teaching evolution in public schools” because they didn’t get good instruction on the topic, the researchers write.Future teachers also need a better grounding in what the researchers call “the nature of scientific inquiry.” Few ever work in a research lab, they note—both because their schedules are packed with courses on content and pedagogy, and because many shy away from such “hands-on” experiences.Faculty members in the sciences also need to understand that teacher trainees, in general, are different than typical undergraduate science majors, Plutzer says. “Future science teachers are not junior versions of themselves,” he says, “and getting them to understand evolution is not simply a matter of having them take more science courses.”Half-full or half-empty?Although the papers in the special issue, taken together, highlight the many obstacles that stand in the way of clear and helpful science communication, Suhay doesn’t think readers should conclude that the situation is hopeless. In fact, she sees rays of sun poking through the current political storms.“I don’t know that we need to be as alarmed as some people are,” she says. Simply understanding that people all across the ideological spectrum sometimes have trouble incorporating scientific knowledge into their worldview could help reduce the finger-pointing, she says. “It allows us to see the world more clearly,” she says. “If you blame only Republicans [for ignoring science], it reduces the chance of striking a compromise.”Such understanding is a necessary prelude to action, she adds. “It may help quell the anger on both sides. And understanding the motivations behind why people act in certain ways should also help us to be smarter in addressing the issue.”  People are heavily influenced by their existing beliefs, often based on ideology and religion, when they evaluate any particular scientific result. And holding strong beliefs makes a person more likely to reject a “dissonant” message, or actively oppose it.  Liberals are just as likely as conservatives to disagree with the prevailing scientific evidence. But those disagreements occur over a different set of issues (see this table). Many liberals object to nuclear power, hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for oil and gas, genetically modified organisms, and some aspects of genomic medicine. For conservatives, hot-button issues include climate change, evolution, and stem cell research, with vaccination a recent addition.  When it comes to teaching evolution, poorly trained biology teachers may be a major factor in explaining why large segments of the U.S. population remain unconvinced. Even those teachers who accept the concept are prone to give it short shrift in their classrooms because they lack confidence in their ability to defend evolution against its critics.  The public tends to hold scientists in high regard. People also generally welcome learning more about a controversial issue, such as geoengineering, in which their minds aren’t already made up. So the situation is far from hopeless.The rest of the piece takes a detailed look at three themes covered in the issue: how deference to scientific evidence relates to political ideology; how people cope with dissonant information; and what students training to become biology teachers think about evolution.Deferring to scienceUnderstanding the intersection of U.S. politics and science is more important than ever, believes Suhay, who has worked with Druckman to examine the political controversies surrounding genetics. “Political values are unavoidably wrapped up with scientific research, because science tells us what’s possible,” she says. “Science is inherently controversial because nobody wants to hear that their options are limited.”The recent surge in polarization in American politics, Suhay says, is forcing “political elites to make their arguments with greater passion. … Part of the battle is marshaling scientific evidence in favor of your point of view. So facts become tied to a particular political view.”Given that polarization, Daron Shaw, a professor of government at the University of Texas, Austin, and his graduate student, Joshua Blank, wanted to know “the extent to which people would defer to science” on various controversial issues.“There’s a long history in this country of believing that ‘the truth will set you free, and that science has the answers.’ It binds U.S. politics together,” says Shaw, who studies elections and voting behavior and who has done survey research for several political campaigns. But if that deference to scientific knowledge “is unraveling as a result of greater polarization,” he says, “that’s a consequential change.”To find out, Shaw and blank surveyed a nationally representative sample of 2000 registered U.S. voters. Each was asked to score 16 policy areas on a 10-point scale; a 10 meant policymakers should totally embrace the advice of scientists, and a zero meant that they should completely ignore scientific advice.last_img read more

India, Nigeria, Vietnam among nation’s nudging their way into US real estate investment

first_imgAfter a run of robust foreign investment capped off by a particularly strong 2016, the real estate industry saw cross-border purchasing decline considerably in 2017, dropping 23 percent year over year.Theories abound about the cause of that dip abound: Chinese capital restrictions probably have something to do with it. A stronger dollar could be repelling European investors. Isolationism may have hampered global commerce. Most likely, it’s a combination of myriad factors.Read it at REW Related Itemslast_img