Leave It To Silvio Berlusconi To Lighten The Mood

Despite his relatively nonexistent role in the political realm of the G-20, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's appearance at yesterday's London summit is making almost as many headlines as the $1.1 trillion funding agreement.

Sure, Berlusconi doesn't seem to be taking the global economic crises as seriously as the rest of the world, but maybe huge personalities and a sense of humor are what we need in these times.

If the G-20 was a schoolyard, Berlusconi would be the class clown, and the Queen of England would be his disapproving headmaster. After shouting "Mr. Obamaaa, this is Mr. Berlusconi!" during a group photo shoot, the ruffled Queen asked why he "had to shout." A relatively small disturbance from a man who once suggested that New York investors move to Italy because the secretaries are allegedly more attractive there, or who remarked that President Obama was "sun-tanned."

Berlusconi is on the brink of being considered an entirely comedic entity, but his actions are monitored by a large audience nonetheless, even during a set of heavy political discussions. Long-time political columnist of the UK's Guardian, Michael White, wrote that Berlusconi's "cheesiness" caught his eye. "Let me confess right away that I was mesmerised by the summit pictures of Silvio Berlusconi sticking himself between Presidents Obama and Medvedev, a hand on each shoulder, and posing like a tourist. How could he? Very easily in Berlusconi's case. He'd do it to God," he said.

White went on to mention the Michelle-Queen hug debacle: "Rather more delicately intriguing is another bit of what: was the Queen or Michelle Obama first to put their arm around the other? Does it matter, I hear you shout. No, but it's interesting," he wrote. Perhaps during July's G8 meeting in Italy, Berlusconi will do something outrageous enough to distract us from the fact that we're about to sink into depression and lose all of our jobs.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Brain study finds circuits that may help you keep your cool

Research by neuroscientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory helps explain how the brain regulates arousal.

Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP/ Getty Images
Mind & Brain

MIT News

The big day has come: You are taking your road test to get your driver's license. As you start your mom's car with a stern-faced evaluator in the passenger seat, you know you'll need to be alert but not so excited that you make mistakes. Even if you are simultaneously sleep-deprived and full of nervous energy, you need your brain to moderate your level of arousal so that you do your best.

Keep reading Show less

34 years ago, a KGB defector chillingly predicted modern America

A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
  • The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
  • According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
Keep reading Show less

How pharmaceutical companies game the patent system

When these companies compete, in the current system, the people lose.

Top Video Splash
  • When a company reaches the top of the ladder, they typically kick it away so that others cannot climb up on it. The aim? So that another company can't compete.
  • When this happens in the pharmaceutical world, certain companies stay at the top of the ladder, through broadly-protected patents, at the cost of everyday people benefitting from increased competition.
  • Since companies have worked out how to legally game the system, Amin argues we need to get rid of this "one size fits all" system, which treats product innovation — "tweaks" — the same as product invention.