Material Girl Veers Dangerously Close To Child Trafficking

Madonna overlooked one tiny detail. To legally adopt a child in Malawi she needed to be a Malawian resident for a minimum of 18 months. But silly rules like these are not stopping celebrities from kid-shopping in Africa.

The idea of Madonna giving up her posh NYLON digs to live in a nation where the average income is around $160 a year is difficult to conceive. Residency requirement or not, Madonna is intent on going through with her adoption of Mercy James, the four-year-old girl she found in an orphanage outside Blantyre. Until the High Court decides on her case, let's ponder the celebrity adoption rage sweeping the developing world.

Brangelina, Hugh Jackman, Sharon Stone, and Mia Farrow all count adopted children from the developing world in their clans. Critics question why celebrities would go to such lengths to adopt foreign children when foster children in the U.S. number half a million. Could there be a premium on compassion?

There is also the larger concern that celebrities, with their penchant for egregious largess and public domestic disputes, may not be the best role models for children who have already had it rough.

As one Malawian observer said of the Madonna, "We hear a lot of nasty stories about her appearing in dirty movies. Won't she teach these children immorality?"

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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How pharmaceutical companies game the patent system

When these companies compete, the people lose.

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  • 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 phenomenon happens in the pharmaceutical world, companies quickly apply for broad protection of their patents, which can last up to 20 years, and fence off research areas for others. The result of this? They stay at the top of the ladder, 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 the same as product invention. Companies should still receive an incentive for coming up with new products, he says, but not 20 years if the product is the result of "tweaking" an existing one.