Living Without Electricity

first_imgThis year’s hurricane season brought extensive power outages to areas of Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. In some cases, electricity was restored in two or three days. In much of Puerto Rico, however, the electricity has been off for weeks, and may not be restored for months.While most news stories from storm-devastated regions focused on deaths, injuries, and property destruction, a few stories mentioned a seemingly trivial issue: namely, that some families living without electricity weren’t sure what to do with their bored children. Facing a day without access to television or iPads, many children (the stories report) “have forgotten how to play.”Clearly, these news stories are squishy and anecdotal. Moreover, the stories risk trivializing the pain and loss experienced by families who have been victimized by recent hurricanes. Before veering off to discuss children’s entertainment, I want to make it clear that my heart goes out to all the families that have lost loved ones, or their homes, in these storms. “It’s like coming off drugs” I recently read a news story about frazzled parents with bored children in the wake of Hurricane Maria. When I later looked for a link to the story, I couldn’t find it again.But similar stories have been published for years. For example, in a New York Times article published in 2012, Aimee Lee Ball wrote about children deprived of electricity by tropical storm Sandy. She wrote, “The storm provided a rare glimpse of a life lived offline. It drove some children crazy, while others managed to embrace the experience of a digital slowdown.” A woman named Lauren Handel Zander “likened the first days of the blackout to rehab. ‘It’s like coming off drugs,’ she… This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.center_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log inlast_img read more

Dont take major decisions on an empty stomach

first_imgWhether you are going for a crucial business deal or salary negotiation for your new job, make sure you do not take major decisions on an empty stomach, suggests new research. Hunger significantly alters people’s decision-making, making them impatient and more likely to settle for a small reward that arrives sooner than a larger one promised at a later date, said the study. “People generally know that when they are hungry they shouldn’t really go food shopping because they are more likely to make choices that are either unhealthy or indulgent. Our research suggests this could have an impact on other kinds of decisions as well,” said researchers. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainParticipants in an experiment designed by Vincent were asked questions relating to food, money and other rewards when satiated and again when they had skipped a meal. While it was perhaps unsurprising that hungry people were more likely to settle for smaller food incentives that arrived sooner, the researchers found that being hungry actually changes preferences for rewards entirely unrelated to food. This indicates that a reluctance to defer gratification may carry over into other kinds of decisions, such as financial and interpersonal ones. There is also a danger that people experiencing hunger due to poverty may make decisions that entrench their situation. Researchers found there was a large effect, people’s preferences shifted dramatically from the long to short term when hungry. The research was published in the journal Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.last_img read more