Archive for November 25th, 2005

Mr. Natural Rides Again


Connecting with nature can improve your health and wellbeing,
say researchers in this week’s BMJ. The theory is known as ecotherapy:
restoring health through contact with nature.

Use of wildlife in some therapies is reported to improve quality of life,
write the authors. Smaller animals (for example, squirrels, owls, and raccoons)
have been used successfully in therapies for children with emotional and
behavioural problems.

People who take part in conservation projects report subjective health
benefits, ascribed to being outdoors and to feeling part of a greater system
connecting beyond the individual.

Such projects can help overcome social
isolation, develop skills, and improve employment prospects, as well as
provide the known benefits associated with exercise.

No wonder we’re heading for the hills in a few short weeks….

from the British Journal of Medicine via Eureka Alert

Law of the Jungle Reigns in Malls


ORLANDO, Fla. — Security guards wrestled a man to the ground
this morning in a Wal-Mart.

Channel Nine has learned that the man cut in line to get laptop computers
that were on sale.

The man started arguing with people inside the store, then fought with
the guards.

One man told reporters that the laptops were being thrown into the air
and people rushed toward them, collapsing on each other. Another man described
the scene as crazy.

Crazy is right. The Dowbrigade
himself arrived at the local Best Buy bright and early, right after coffee
and the Globe crossword puzzle.  We had read on FlexDeals (advertised
and unadvertised specials) about a $379 Toshiba laptop.  When we
found our way to the laptop department and asked it the rumors were true,
the four red-shirted crew members chewing the fat around the cash register (the store was jammed with customers)
had to physically restrain themselves from laughing out loud.

"Each store got 100 of those.  There were
400 people waiting for them when we opened at 4 am." Early birds, indeed.

We wonder how they meted them out. Throwing
them into the air seems less than optimal. As a sales strategy, we suppose
it makes sense. Untold thousands of people like the Dowbrigade probably
dropped in throughout the day looking for those $379 Toshibas, and a
certain percentage (the nerds
at headquarters probably know exactly how many) will end up buying
SOMETHING. We are sure it pays off for the stores, at least on paper.

Yet we can’t helpbut suspect it engenders bad will and
capitalistic cynicism (redundency?) in many of those turned away. And
the first time someone gets shot over an 8 hundred dollar plasma TV,
they’ll probably rethink the whole concept.

story from wftv