Feeling that you matter matters

Ed Yong at Not Exactly Rocket Science reports on a simple writing exercise that raises academic performance of poor & marginalized students.

Gambling ban could reverse recession

Research, summarized in a hefty book,  is showing that gambling is a drag on the economy. Our governments have become addicted to lottery winnings. Small, authorized lotteries were once a mainstay of local charities; but since the Ontario government has gotten into gambling in a big way, that souce of funds has been reduced to a trickle. Meanwhile, the people who gamble are often those who can least afford it, and the money they spend moves out of the community.

The report refers to international gambling in the U.S., which takes money out of the country; and to crime spawned by gambling. Perhaps that’s the crime of fixing competitions; legalizing gambling was supposed to cure the crime of violence against defaulting gamblers.

The report observes that Russia has improved its economy since it banned most forms of gambling in 2006 – 2007.

Perhaps it’s time to go back to the old system, where if you wanted to bet on the horses you had to go to the race track. It could bring back a lot of the smaller tracks and improve employment options.

In related news, researchers have found that a drug used to control alcoholism also reduces the urge to gamble. So some of the people gambling the rent money perhaps simply can’t help it.

Origami octopus by Joseph Wu

If anyone has a paper anniversary coming up, such as a year of blogging or a year since a creationist promised to “get back to you” about their debunked claim, one of Joseph Wu’s origami octopods might be the perfect gift—to themselves.

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