Satisfaction with Life and Happiness in the U.S.

Kristine Barseghyan

Kristine Barseghyan, Ph.D. (ABD) Social Sciences

The phrase “I’d rather cry in a BMW than laugh on a bicycle,” now a catchphrase, belongs to a 20-year-old female contestant on a Chinese game show. For her, like for many of us, sadness in luxury is preferable over happiness in necessity. But when the conditions for happiness are that high, frustration with reality makes people unhappy. China is generally not a very happy nation — it finished in a low 93rd in the World Happiness Report published by the United Nations in September 2013.[i] In contrast, Denmark, which has the second most bicycles per capita (4,500,000 bicycles per 5,560,628 people, 80.1 percent of population cyclists)[ii], is the happiest nation in the world. BMW is not for everyone, but bicycles are.

Continue reading Satisfaction with Life and Happiness in the U.S.

The Biggest Killer in Africa

Andrew B. Collier

Andrew B. Collier, Ph.D. Physics

Gorilla Fever

A few weeks ago my wife developed a fever. Many people had colds and the flu at the time, so we were not too concerned. As it was a Friday afternoon, the best treatment seemed to be a quiet weekend of recuperation. She took the normal things: Vitamin C and Aspirin. The fever waxed and waned over the course of the weekend and I persuaded her to take Monday off work. She went to see her doctor, who confirmed that she had a bad case of the flu. The doctor thought that she was also a little anemic, so took blood samples which were sent off for testing.

Continue reading The Biggest Killer in Africa