The science behind why people fear refugees – Vox

There’s been a lot of news recently about refugees – especially those from Syria. Why do we fear these people? Why do we fear people who we believe, are that different from ourselves? Are they really that different? This quite well-written article gives some insight into some of these reasons and, especially, some tactics that might be used to change our minds and feelings about those we believe are not like us. It is generously cited – something that especially appeals to me as it backs up the statements made by the author. I especially liked the passage about a study where Israeli researchers used a technique called “cognitive reappraisal” to reduce the induced negative emotions in their subjects (who were Israeli) towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This technique resulted in the participants being more open to policies that promote peace building, inclusion, and resolution as opposed to conflict and aggression. Maybe we should teach this technique to schoolchildren. Happy reading 🙂

You can’t fight anti-Syrian-refugee bias with statistics.

Source: The science behind why people fear refugees – Vox

Showing Gratitude… (even when you don’t feel like it)

What a nice article (IMHO). My co- workers always give me a raised eyebrow when, in the morning, they ask “How are you doing?”. I almost always respond with a cherished saying I learned from my father – “If I was doing any better I couldn’t stand it.”. Sounds like sarcasm? Hmmm… maybe not – especially when said with smile on face and kick in step. Happy reading 🙂

The Doomsday Scam – The New York Times

This is one excellent article! Reading between the lines, it resembles a metaphor for an almost tragic, and seemingly fundamental, aspect of human behavior. Personally, this probably makes my top 10 list of most liked New York Times articles.

For decades, aspiring bomb makers — including ISIS — have desperately tried to get their hands on a lethal substance called red mercury. There’s a reason that they never have.

Source: The Doomsday Scam – The New York Times