WORLD NEWS NOW
Medical Tourism in Asia
More and more patients from various parts of the world are traveling abroad to receive quality medical care, often at a fraction of the price they would have to pay at home.
Business World reports that one million “medical tourists” are expected per year in the Philippines by 2020, and the same number are expected in South Korea by 2021. India, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand are also popular destinations.
Demand is not limited to Westerners seeking help in such areas as orthopedics and cardiology. Many newly affluent Chinese are also visiting plastic surgeons with pictures of “celebrities they want to look like,” says the report.
Multitaskers Perform Poorly
Technology often obliges employees to work on two or more complex tasks simultaneously and answer queries immediately. Yet, “workers who are doing multiple things at one time are doing them poorly,” says Clifford Nass, director of the Communication Between Humans and Interactive Media Laboratory, at Stanford University, U.S.A.
Reportedly, multitaskers are often stressed, are more easily distracted by irrelevant stimuli, do not think deeply and, as a result, miss important details. Nass suggests: “When you start to do something, do it and nothing else for 20 minutes. This trains you to focus, to think deeply.”
How Much Does Facebook Retain?
An Austrian law student wanted to know how much data about him had been stored by the world’s largest social network during his three-year membership, so he requested a copy.
Facebook sent him a CD containing 1,222 pages of data. As reported by the German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel, the student said: “Everything had been stored—every message, every chat, including sensitive information about friends.” Included was information that he was sure he had deleted!
Risks of “Heading” in Soccer
In soccer, ball control with the head—or “heading”—is part of the game. However, recent studies using advanced imaging techniques and cognitive tests have raised concerns over the safety of repeatedly heading a soccer ball. According to researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, U.S.A., the practice “increases the risk for brain injury and cognitive impairment.” Detectable injury was observed among amateurs who headed the ball more than 1,000 to 1,500 times a year—which amounts to just “a few times a day for a regular player.”
Why Do We Yawn?
Scientists cannot explain why every person on the planet yawns—in most cases, several times a day. Even babies in the womb do it. So do hedgehogs, ostriches, snakes, and fish. There are lots of theories, often contradictory, but none satisfy all the researchers. Many scientists have proposed that an explanation for this gulp of air, lasting six seconds on average, is to augment the brain’s oxygen supply. Yet “so far, researchers haven’t found evidence supporting this suspicion,” says Science News. New studies on rats seem to suggest that “a yawn may be a thermostat, cooling an overheated brain.” But no one really knows.
Young Leaders in Malaysia
A popular TV competition in Malaysia has the theme of picking a good imam, or Islamic religious leader. Entitled “Imam Muda,” or “Young Leader,” the show is filmed in Kuala Lumpur. Contestants, aged 18 to 27, who come from various backgrounds, are gradually eliminated until just one remains.
Prizes consist of money and a new car, but the winner is also offered employment as an imam, a scholarship to study in Saudi Arabia, and a paid pilgrimage to Mecca. Contestants must master the duties of an imam, be able to debate religious and current issues, and recite from the Koran. The show’s creator says that his aim is to “attract the youth” to Islam.
Many users of social networks do not foresee the possible consequences of disclosing private information. Yet, indiscretions online can catch up with you later in life.
According to school headmaster Timothy Wright, quoted in Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald, “modern technology means that the careless word, the slanderous comment, the inappropriate photograph or the revealing of someone’s private details is on the permanent record and freely available to anyone who has access.” This means that “mistakes made at 15 may be still retrievable by an employer 10 years later,” says Wright
A Good Time to See a Judge?
Can irrelevant factors influence judicial decision making? One study suggests that they can. A team of researchers analyzed more than 1,000 parole rulings handed down by experienced judges in Israel.
The study found that in the work sessions following the judges’ lunch and snack breaks, favorable rulings gradually went from about 65 percent to nearly zero and then abruptly returned to 65 percent after the next break. The researchers concluded that rulings are not always based solely on fact and law but “can be swayed by extraneous variables that should have no bearing on legal decisions.”