Why Your Brain Needs Peace and Quiet
Urban noise pollution is associated with increased risk factors for fatal diseases, says the World Health Organization. But sound can also be employed to make cities better places.
What's the Latest Development?
If you can't seem to get away from urban noise, you're certainly not alone. In the last few decades, noise pollution has come to plague many areas once left entirely to nature. That fact has serous health consequences, says the World Health Organization. The global body has said that: "[E]nvironmental noise was responsible for thousands of cases of heart attacks and cases of tinnitus in European Union member states per year. It also backed the findings of other previous studies showing high noise levels can undermine reading, memory, language and attention in children with life-long knock on effects on educational attainment."
What's the Big Idea?
In an attempt to counter those negative health effects, governments often offer incentives to companies who purchase quieter equipment. But noise can also be used in positive ways: "Canadian transport managers were the first to combat vandalism and other anti-social behaviour by playing classical music at remote stations in order to deter teenage gangs." The results of such 'soundscape' policies have been mixed, but what is clear is that sound plays an essential part in our emotional lives. Researchers and casual observers alike know that aggressive men play their music loudly and that music enhances the sexual experience.
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How do we combat the roots of these hateful forces?
- American Psychological Association sees a dubious and weak link between mental illness and mass shootings.
- Center for the study of Hate and Extremism has found preliminary evidence that political discourse is tied to hate crimes.
- Access to guns and violent history is still the number one statistically significant figure that predicts gun violence.
Some games are just for fun, others are for thought provoking statements on life, the universe, and everything.
- Video games are often dismissed as fun distractions, but some of them dive into deep issues.
- Through their interactive play elements, these games approach big issues intelligently and leave you both entertained and enlightened.
- These five games are certainly not the only games that cover these topics or do so well, but are a great starting point for somebody who wants to play something thought provoking.
The Amazon Rainforest is often called "the planet's lungs."
- For weeks, fires have been burning in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, likely started by farmers and ranchers.
- Brazil's president, Jair Bolsonaro, has blamed NGOs for starting the flames, offering no evidence to support the claim.
- There are small steps you can take to help curb deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, which produces about 20 percent of the world's oxygen.