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first_imgHowever many friends you may have on Facebook, humans brains cannot cope with more than 150 friendships, according to a recent Oxford study.Robin Dunbar, who studies social circles and the brain, developed “Dunbar’s number” in the 1990s. He says it is the neocortex, a part of the brain, which limits the size of our social group.Despite the rise of social networking sites where many members have thousands of friends, the professor of Evolutionary Anthropology insists his theory still holds true today. Preliminary results from his research on the “Facebook effect” looking at Facebook traffic show that even the most sociable people do not really care about more than 150 friends.Dunbar commented, “People obviously like the kudos of having hundreds of friends.”He added, “There is a big sex difference though … girls are much better at maintaining relationships just by talking to each other. Boys need to do physical stuff together.”last_img read more

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first_imgBy Dialogo October 16, 2009 Some 1.9 million people in Haiti — more than one in four Haitians — are undernourished, according to a new report by the country’s National Food Security Coordination Unit (CNSA). Haiti’s Minister for Women’s Affairs Marie-Laurence Lassegue said rural women are among worst affected and tend to suffer disproportionately. “Rural women are among the first victims of crisis and are the worst hit,” she said on Thursday, when United Nations marks Rural Women’s Day. CNSA Director Pierre-Gary Mathieu noted that the situation has improved somewhat in the country since 2008, when three million Haitians were without food in the wake of four devastating hurricanes. He attributed the improvements to a good spring harvest and “the combined efforts of the government and non-governmental organizations, which have distributed plenty of food to disaster zones and invested in agriculture.” Nevertheless, Mathieu warned that the number of Haitians going hungry could quickly shoot back up to 2008 levels if crisis struck again. “The risk of new storms, unavailability of food products, difficulties accessing production zones and the quality of the available food products, along with high rates of poverty, are among the factors that could produce a new crisis,” he said. Children under the age of five, women, and HIV/AIDS patients are among the most vulnerable, said Mathieu, whose organization published the report a day ahead of the Food and Agriculture Organization’s World Food Day. The group recommends continued support for school cafeterias and an increase in environmental protection projects, which could provide jobs in a country suffering from nearly 60 percent unemployment. The World Food Program (WFP) and its partners have prepositioned more than 8,000 tonnes of food ready to be distributed in 13 regions in Haiti, which is among 16 countries identified by the WFP as particularly vulnerable to food insecurity.last_img read more

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first_imgIllustration (Photo: flickr/Emlyn Stokes/Eastokes Productions; Cropped) Marine Power Systems (MPS) has published a report outlining the potential for wave power to contribute to 10% of global electricity demand by 2050.The report titled Making Wave Power Work provides an analysis of the economic and environmental potential that wave power offers both the UK and the rest of the world.It calls on industry and trade bodies to join up their communications around the 10% target, and businesses and governments to ramp up steady financial support and policy stability.In the light of Paris Agreement commitments, the report explains the potential of an estimated exploitable global wave resource of 4,000TWh per year and urges the industry to embrace this currently underexploited resource.Gareth Stockman, Managing Director of MPS, said: “The world is rapidly transitioning to a low carbon future. Our vision is for wave power to provide 10% of the world’s electricity by 2050. With stable government policy, steady investment and joined up communications from industry partners, the wave energy industry can become an economic success story, following in the footsteps of more mature renewable technologies such as wind and solar to become a source of reliable, affordable, clean energy.”Looking first at the global potential for wave energy of 337GW by 2050 with a market value of £76 billion, the report goes on to examine the strength of the European market.With 45% of wave energy companies based in the EU, the report suggests that subject to the right support over the coming decades, Europe will be able to exploit an annual market worth of €53 billion.Within the European market, the UK is the marine energy leader, according to MPS, holding over a third of Europe’s wave energy generation potential, and over £450 million already invested in the sector.The report also suggests a lack of information for investors, government and the public on how wave power works needs to be addressed and that discussion must move away from short-term concerns, embrace new low cost technologies and focus on its long-term potential.MPS is a Swansea-based wave energy company which has been developing a wave energy device called the WaveSub over the last nine years.WaveSub device is currently in phase three of its development, with plans to launch a 1:4 scale device for 12 months of operational sea-testing off Cornwall this fall.last_img read more

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