Q: What do you call 10 UNC* sophomores ..... standing ear to ear?
A: A wind tunnel.
Comment & Forward>>>
*Permission is hereby granted for you to change all humor used in The"E-Mail Newspaper", 'Thought & Humor' and its subsidiaries related to the institution of lower learning hereby known as UNC to another of your choice from the list below:
1) French university students 2) Harvard or U.C.-Berkeley 3) Any accredited high school or middle school 4) Any Loggerheads & Pundits 5) Any and all persnickety individuals or nincompoops 6) Any Chapel Hill, NC Citizen unless same sends an offspring to NCSU, JSU, MSU, USC, UGA, or FSU. 7) It is against international law to transmute any jocoseness found in this newspaper to any school if their mascot is the Wolfpack. If attempts are made, your computer will automatically notify the FBI, CIA, and the KGB and you will be charged with... "performing an illegal operation".
Miserable in the Midst of Plenty - The Progress Paradox
Have you ever thought about what life was like for your great-grandparents? If you really have, you’d agree with Gregg Easterbrook of the Brookings Institution that our great-grandparents would consider the world we live in today to be some kind of utopia.
Yet, all of the progress we enjoy hasn’t made Americans any happier. In fact, the opposite is true—it’s made us more unhappy.
In his new book, The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse, Easterbrook begins by telling us just how good we have it: The average Westerner lives better than 99.4 percent of all the human beings who have ever lived.
For instance, life expectancy has nearly doubled in the past century and continues to increase. Real per-capita income has doubled since 1960. But even that understates the rise in income, since the price of food and many durable goods keeps falling.
Our standard of living has risen to levels our great-grandparents couldn’t have imagined. In the period following World War II, the average new American home was 1,100 square feet; today it’s 2,300. For most of our history, the average home had one room for every two people; today there are two rooms for every one person.
By any measure of affluence—health care, leisure, technology—the average American enjoys a quality of life beyond anyone’s wildest dreams even a few decades ago.
We have more of everything except, of course, happiness. The percentage of Americans who characterize themselves as “happy” hasn’t changed since the 1950s, and the percentage of those describing themselves as “very happy” is down and continues to decline.
During the same period, the percentage of Americans and Europeans who suffer a bout of depression has climbed to 25 percent and shows no signs of abating. An estimated 7 percent of all Americans suffer at least one incidence of major, debilitating depression a year.
For some people, depression is the product of genetic and other biological factors. But for many others, being depressed in the midst of unprecedented prosperity can be traced to spiritual, cultural, and moral factors. For the former, medical treatment is indicated. For the latter, what’s needed is a change in worldview.
And a good place to start is a sense of gratitude. As Easterbrook tells us, the Roman orator Cicero called gratitude not only the “greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” Similarly, the philosopher Immanuel Kant called ingratitude the “essence of vileness.”
Knowing that we are better off than nearly every other human who has ever lived should inspire, as it does with Easterbrook, a daily prayer of thanksgiving, not a sense of dread. And it should prompt us to generosity, rather than a desire for more.
For that to happen, of course, we must first overcome the cultural factors that contribute to our dread and unease. I’ll tell you about these over the next few days. Be sure to keep reading.
While there are certainly reasons to worry about the direction of American life, there is also so much to be thankful for, and Christians should be able to distinguish one from the other.
"BreakPoint with Chuck Colson" is a daily commentary on news and trends from a Christian perspective. Heard on more than 1000 radio outlets nationwide, BreakPoint transcripts are also available on the Internet.
BreakPoint is a production of The Wilberforce Forum, a division of Prison Fellowship Ministries.
Chairman: Charles W. Colson Dean: Nigel M. de S. Cameron, Ph.D. Managing Editor: Jim Tonkowich, D.Min. Senior Writer: Anne Morse Associate Editor: Roberto Rivera Associate Producer: Teresa Woodward Wilberforce New Media Editor: Gina Dalfonzo List Maintainer: Larry Wilson
As you read the Scriptures with your family, I hope you'll have a new appreciation for who the "Word made flesh" really is: He's the Creator who existed before time. He's the Logos Who made heaven and earth, and Who steers the stars in their courses. He is the Truth that is ultimate reality. He is the 'Babe of Bethlehem & the 'Word' of John 1. If you know of others who would enjoy receiving BreakPoint in their E-mail box each day, tell them they can sign up 1-877-3-CALLBP or http://www.breakpoint.org (Not amalgamated with 'Thought & Humor')
Albert Einstein's most famous formula is widely known: E=mc^2, which relates mass to energy. It says that the energy contained in matter is equal to its mass times the speed of light squared.
Since light travels very fast (300,000 kilometers per second, or 186,000 miles per second), there's a lot of energy wrapped up in a very small bit of matter. The energy of one gram (1/28 ounce) of matter would keep a 100-watt light bulb glowing for 28,500 years.
One of the most noticeable examples of the mass-energy relation is in the sun, where hydrogen is converted into helium by nuclear fusion. During the reaction, 0.7% of the hydrogen's mass is released as various forms of energy. The Creator pointed a tiny fraction of that energy toward our planet in order to keep the Earth from turning into a ball of ice. Did you happen to know that the Sun, light, & Einstein's Creator was that Babe in Bethleham?
Listen to Einstein himself explain it: http://www.aip.org/history/einstein/voice1.htm
College-level thought experiments on mass and energy: http://www.phys.virginia.edu/classes/252/mass_and_energy.html
Mathematical derivation of Einstein's equation: http://library.thinkquest.org/3471/energy_mass_equivalence.html