John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

Independent Bookstore Day!

“We feel a bond with other indies…Heck, Amazon has even made Barnes & Noble seem like a relative—what dark magic does that? We are pleased to celebrate shared DNA with our sibling stores.”— John Marshall co-owner of Seattle’s Open Books on Independent Bookstore Day

Independent Bookstore Day Is an Opportunity for Us to Thank You.

In the recent wave of shop local movements, it can be easy to feel lost in the stream of independent businesses frantically waving their arms for attention. Working at (or owning) an independently owned business comes with a whole bushel of stresses that are far too familiar to most of us in this shaky economy. So what makes this Saturday, National Independent Bookstore Day, any different from the myriad of indie campaigns sweeping the nation?
Well, this one belongs to you. Instead of looking at Saturday as a way to drive more business, let’s think about it as a party in honor of Jackson, MS; a shindig to thank our patrons of 40 years. Without all of you there would be no independent bookstore to celebrate, no haven for weary college students, no well-trod path for the kids running from the front desk to the children’s room, no $1 beer or chatting with visiting authors. We at Lemuria are so grateful that you’ve let us into your lives, and want you to know how much you have touched our lives as well.
By being friends of the bookstore and not just nameless customers, you have pulled us into the Jackson community and made us more than a business; you’ve made us family. To thank you for that tremendous honor, we’ve got a pretty awesome Saturday planned to officially celebrate National Independent Bookstore Day (and the beginning of our 40th birthday year!).
The first fifty customers will receive a free tote bag with their purchase, and 5% of all sales throughout the day will be donated to future Mississippi Book Festivals. “Jackson: Photographs by Ken Murphy” will be 10% off all day long, and we’ll have coolers full of ice cold beer for just $1! Come by and chat with some of our special guest booksellers who will be participating in special Author Challenges between 11:00 and 2:00 (there may or may not be a marshmallow eating contest). We’ll have a special singing story time at 11:00 with Katie Hathcock and Paul from Beanfruit Coffee Company will get here at 10:00 to brew up some delicious hot drinks. Balloons for babies, candy for kids, beer and coffee for grown ups, and good cheer all ‘round.
You have given us the best jobs we could have hoped for, and an amazing seat at Jackson’s family table. Thank you.


Common Cents by Tom and John Mills

Nearly 20 years ago, I wrote about some ideas for happiness:
— Plan ahead. If nothing else, plan to write everything down. No surprises. Not only will I write in my well-worn calendar/planner, but I will actually use it as it was designed to be used.
— Keep a budget. Budgeting is not just for those starting out in life.
— Save a little each month. Do it in some account: savings, 401(k), college funds. It doesn’t matter.
— Pay off credit cards early. Those evil plastic demons are modern man’s albatross. Use them sparingly. When used, try to pay the balance off as soon as possible.
— Get a health checkup. With good health you can be productive. Without it, you may not be.
— Review insurance — life, disability, medical or nursing home. Being over-insured is almost as bad as being under-insured.
— Recognize those who make you look good. We all have them and most of us take them for granted. It may be a spouse, partner or a co-worker. Most of us would not be where we are today if it weren’t for the help of another significant person or two.
— Since I’m on a roll here, end relationships that cause you pain. There may be a few people in your business or personal life who cause serious pain.
— Improve relationships that give you joy. Relationships are like bank accounts. If we overdraw, we pay a serious price. If we make regular deposits, we earn the privilege to make withdrawals. How’s your bank account with those who bring you joy? When was your last deposit?
— Avoid procrastination. Every aspect of one’s life is hampered by this nasty habit. If you put it off, it may put you out. Don’t wait. Make the list and do it. You know the areas of your life that need work.
— Clean up the clutter. This is important. Most of us do this. We have too many projects. Undone projects create clutter. It is essential to decide what is unimportant and put those things away.
— Be grateful. Grateful for those who have helped you get where you are. It may be to a higher power or to an important person. Whomever. Show your appreciation regularly and often.
I hope this year will be another year of prosperity for me and for you.

Tom and John Mills are registered investment advisers and certified financial planners. Reach them at 254-0155, MillsWealth.com. Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial. Investment advice offered through Strategic Wealth Advisors Group (SWAG), a registered investment adviser. Mills Wealth Management and SWAG are separate entities from LPL Financial.

From a Buddhist perspective

Dear friends

How much do we really know about happiness? From a Buddhist perspective, all sentient beings, including animals, seek happiness. We have a subconscious instinct to seek happiness - even though many of us don't have a clear idea what it is, or how to achieve it.
From a Buddhist perspective, there are two types of happiness: Emotional Happiness and Timeless Happiness. Emotional Happiness could be described as seeking relief from the cold, or searching for sources of earning, position, or status. Although there is nothing wrong with this type of 'worldly' happiness, when we reflect on it, we might understand that all of these examples, by their very nature, are temporary. Emotional Happiness does not last. Therefore, Timeless Happiness becomes something very important to seek.
Timeless Happiness
Timeless Happiness is gained from understanding our own inherent qualities, such as compassion and loving kindness, and gaining wisdom about our true nature. When we reflect on the nature of this type of happiness, we find something unchanging, permanent - and therefore worthwhile to seek.
We might find ourselves confused about 'Timeless Happiness.' We are, after all, so closely connected to Emotional Happiness, and get an instant reward from it every day. Timeless Happiness might sound noble, even wonderful, but is it visible, attainable in everyday life? Actually, yes.
Happiness in Family
My late grandmother led a very simple life, as a mother to my father. But the way she lived her life is something that will stay with me always, and is perhaps my greatest personal example of Timeless Happiness. Without having particular responsibilities that one might consider 'amazing' or 'newsworthy' - but simply by being a mother, just practicing loving kindness, and other basic qualities of life, and of herself - what I witnessed is that no matter who approached her, no matter what kind of situations she was in, she had an unaltering attitude towards life. Whomever she met, she had the attitude of kindness and care - just like a mother. Visibly, you could see it, verbally, you could hear it. All of her words were extremely warm and gentle. And of course, all of these qualities stemmed from her own consciousness.
As Karmapa, I of course lead my life as a spiritual practitioner, but I learn so much from the way she carried herself, the way she carried her attitude to life. This memory for me is very precious because it helps remind me that Timeless Happiness is visible and evident in all of us. The happiness we are seeking is already here. So this example always helps me, always puts a smile on my face, and in my heart.
Buddha and Happiness
I am sure that every one of you have similar experiences, memories, that you can recall. From a Buddhist perspective, it is said that the potential, the seed and the quality of true happiness or enlightenment, are all there within every sentient being's centre.
Therefore, it is important not to consider Timeless Happiness as something that is distant or unattainable, or something to be celebrated on special occasions, and put on the shelf for the rest of the year. Instead, Timeless Happiness is something that we can really get involved in, take part in, no matter what type of life we are living, no matter what type of conditions we might have. But first we have to notice it.
The benefit from taking the first step of achieving Timeless Happiness is captured in the word 'timeless' itself. From a Buddhist perspective, the benefits are noble, decent and virtuous from the very beginning. It is noble, decent and virtuous in the middle. And it is noble, decent and virtuous at the end as well - not just in this life, not just later on, but until the end, until we have given full rise, full realisation to Timeless Happiness.
From a Buddhist viewpoint, the best example of this unchanging happiness would be none other than Buddha himself. Buddha means 'Enlightened Being' - a fully awakened being. Now if we reflect on the way he sought and ultimately achieved Timeless Happiness, it is the same as we are doing today: reflecting on and examining the causes and conditions of happiness.
The Happiness Exam
The only way in which we can truly examine happiness, is by looking deep into ourselves: our way of being; the way we carry ourselves; our everyday behaviour and habits. By doing so, it helps us understand more about ourselves. If we understand more about ourselves, we understand more about others.
All of us have the basic qualities to attain happiness, we all share the potential - simply because we all have consciousness. We all have the same wish and aspirations, as we are all searching for happiness.
If you look at Buddha's life story, it is clear that he could have had, and indeed he did have, everything he could wish for from worldly life. But after examining it, he could see that - no matter how pleasant or satisfactory a feeling or situation he was experiencing - these were all temporary. He saw that it was not the ultimate goal or priority to attain this type of experience, what we are calling Emotional Happiness. Therefore, he left that life in search of something that is lasting, something that is unchangeable. This is what students of Buddha's way and path are practicing: the practice of Timeless Happiness.
Having said all of this, to seek happiness, do we need to suddenly change the way we live? Do we need to renounce and abandon things from our lives? We may naturally have these kind of questions and doubts. I would say that it is all about the attitude - how we want to live our lives. It all depends on our priority, our ultimate goal. If our priority is to seek Timeless Happiness, the first thing we must do is reflect.
Five minutes a day
It is beneficial to reflect every day on what we are really seeking, the conditions that we have been gathering, and the methods that we have been applying. There is no harm in taking a little time every day from our schedules. We can start by taking just five minutes a day - it's not much - and the practice itself doesn't need to involve intensive methods or rigorous procedures. All we need to do is sit, or stand in a place where we feel comfortable, quiet and peaceful.
Then, simply meditate and reflect, with a calm state of mind and body. Reflect on the past 24 hours - nothing more - reflect on exactly what has happened. Do this in an unemotional way, without judgment. By doing so, there is so much benefit. You will understand more about yourself, the various interesting aspects of your life. Not only will this help your memory, gain clarity, but it can truly help you understand yourself, and the true nature of happiness.
I encourage all of you to try this. I follow this practice as much as I can, and it definitely brings a lot of benefit. It helps me to understand exactly where I am, what I have experienced in the past, and by doing so it also helps me understand what may happen, the possibilities. In this way, this simple practice can help us understand the past, the present and the future. We feel confident, and can gain an insight into happiness.
I hope this is beneficial to all of you. I offer my aspirations and prayers that we all are able to achieve Timeless Happiness. I pray that we will all gain clarity, and that we will all find the conditions to appreciate the connection that we have. I pray that we cultivate the conditions to realise the potential that we have, the bond that we all share such as the bond of family, the bond of friends. And I pray that this will grow not just Emotional Happiness, but Timeless Happiness in our world.

This is an edited transcript of a live-streamed public talk by Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, which he gave on the occasion of the United Nations International Day of Happiness 2015. Karmapa can be followed @karmapaorg, on Facebook, or his website is www.karmapa.org

Follow His Holiness Karmapa Thaye Dorje on Twitter: www.twitter.com/karmapaorg



Never Buy Books From ... BOOKJACKERS
From Zuel Books
Bookjackers: Who they are, what they do, and why YOU should NEVER purchase from them.
We've been selling books online since about 1995. Over the years we've seen many changes in our own company as well as at sites like Abebooks.com, Amazon.com, and Alibris. One of the worst developments has been the rise of the BOOKJACKERS.
Who is a bookjacker? A more appropriate question may be what is a bookjacker. From what we've been able to piece together, there are about 40 "sellers" on Abe & Amazon (we don't really bother looking at Alibris and Half.com all that much) that do not own any of their own stock, but simply hijack other legitimate booksellers' listings from other websites and then post the listings with inflated prices. The availability of APIs 
(http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/A/API.html) from Abe, Half.com and (especially) Amazon have made it very easy for people with computer programming skill to become bookjackers and pull the wool over unsuspecting consumers' collective eyes.
Here's how it works. A legitimate seller is selling a book on Half.com. Perhaps he's offering the ONLY copy on Half.com and coincidentally, there are no copies available on Amazon. The bookjacker, by way of his advanced software, is able to quickly detect the presence of this title on Half.com, it's ABSENCE on Amazon.com, and then upload his own offer for this title at Amazon.com at an inflated price. What then follows is that most of the other bookjackers quickly follow suit and you have a marketplace that looks like this:
At 10 a.m. on Monday morning:
Book A becomes available on Half.com by a legitimate seller for $25
Book A is currently not available on Amazon.com
Shortly thereafter bookjacker software detects the book on Half.com and quickly posts it to Amazon.com. So a few hours later the Marketplace on Amazon looks like:
Bookjacker1, $89.95
Bookjacker2, $89.99
Bookjacker3, $91.11
Bookjacker4, $95.50
The same scenario happens with books that appear on Amazon.com by legitimate sellers and not on Abe as well as the other way around. It pretty much occurs with all online book selling sites.
Why is bookjacking not to be encouraged or tolerated?
Bookjacking is inherently deceptive, manipulative, and confusing to the consumer. What appears to be a common book at a very high price is actually an uncommon book whose price has been greatly inflated so the bookjacker can make a profit and whose single listing has been reposted repeatedly by other 'jackers.
What can you do to stop bookjacking?
The best thing to do is NEVER purchase from a bookjacker. 99% of the time when you see a listing by a bookjacker, that very same book can be found for AT LEAST 50% less expensive at another site (a foreign Amazon site perhaps, half.com, abe, alibis, etc..).
How can you identify a bookjacker?
A dead giveaway that the listing you're seeing is from a bookjacker is that they'll have generic descriptions for their books like:
"Good overall with moderate wear; Has dust jacket if published with one, which MAY contain tears/rubbing;" (caps are ours).
"This is an ex-library book that MAY have library markings and attachments and normal wear"
"Good condition"
"Very Good condition! Huge seller with millions of transactions! Satisfaction Guaranteed!"
and so on.
To help save you some time, we've compiled a list of bookjackers:
Any Book
Book Deals
Book Smart
Booked Again
Castle Rock
Crashing Rocks
DailyDeal USA
East West Academic Books
International Books
lana's Shop
lance books
Lost Books
Migna Book Store
Murray Media
Park Place Products
Summit Read
Vault Media
Vault Media
Woody's Books
Wisepenny Books

Hopefully, one day, Amazon, Abe (who's owned by Amazon!) and other sites will outlaw bookjackers and clean up their marketplaces. In the meantime, the best thing that we can all do is find the REAL listing of the book that we want and purchase it directly from a REAL bookseller. Do not feed the bookjackers!

Word origins

Mogul   1 :     (capitalized Mogul) an Indian Muslim of or descended from one of several conquering groups of Mongol, Turkish, and Persian origin; especially : Great Mogul
 2 :       a person of rank, power, influence, or distinction often in a specified area

Started by Babur, a descendant of Genghis Khan, the Muslim Mogul dynasty ruled much of India from the early 16th century to the mid-18th century. The Moguls (whose name is also spelled Moghul or Mughal) were known for their talented and powerful rulers (called "Great Moguls"), The English the word mogul came to denote a powerful person, as in today's familiar references to "media moguls

The Joy of Scents

Smelling a happy person may make you happy.
By Rachel E. Gross

  Oozing happiness from every pore.

 “By being a guy’s best first move … Axe is designed to keep guys a step ahead in the dating game,” boasts Unilever, the company that sells Axe products. Of course, if you don’t happen to be a gullible 13-year-old boy, you probably don’t believe that body spray or deodorant is a magic elixir with the power to turn nice girls naughty. But what if it were possible to change a person’s mood with just a scent? The idea may not be that far-fetched, according to a new study in the journal Psychological Science—reporting work that was funded by Unilever. The study found that it might be possible to subconsciously trigger a state of happiness using the scent of—deep breath now—human sweat.
People send all kinds of secret messages through their secretions. When smelling chemicals in male sweat, women become more alert, and they can even tell whether that sweat was made by a guy who was particularly turned on. (Cautions the New York Times: “No man should imagine that based on these conclusions he can improve his sex life by refraining from bathing.”) But until now, most sweat studies have focused on sexual arousal or negative emotions like fear. For obvious reasons, these emotions are crucial to survival and evolutionary success. If your friend spots a puma, it may be helpful for you to be able to sniff out instant cues to be on the alert or flee for cover.
Being able to transmit positive emotions may also have a profound social impact, says Gün Semin, a psychologist at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and lead researcher on the study. After all, “the pursuit of happiness is not an individual enterprise,” as he and his fellow researchers write rather eloquently in the new study. So Semin’s team decided to test whether people could communicate happiness via sweat.
First, the researchers needed to make some sweat. They had 12 sweater-clad male participants refrain from sex and garlic and shave their armpits (apparently a tall order, as three failed and their sweat had to be discarded from the study) and placed them in a dark, warm room. Over three sessions, each man sweated into sterile pads while watching one of three types of videos: happy-inducing (the Bear Necessities singalong from Disney’s The Jungle Book), fear-inducing (The Shining), or neutral (weather forecasts).
What if companies could manipulate you with an aroma?
Next, 36 lucky ladies had the honor of getting to sniff each type of sweat while researchers monitored their facial movements. After each sniffing, they were given a cognitive test and a self-assessment on the “pleasantness and intensity” of the sweat they had smelled. The study was triple-blind, meaning neither the researchers nor the participants knew what kind of sweat they were smelling, nor did the researchers analyzing the data.
Remarkably, the women reacted differently to each type of sweat, the researchers found. When the women smelled the “happy sweat,” they displayed the physical markers that reflect a state of happiness, including a “Duchenne smile”—a smile that extends all the way to your eyes, as opposed to the fake grin known as a Pan Am/Botox/Joan Harris smile. They also displayed a broader thought processing style, reflective of a positive mood.
Advertising gets at you through your senses. Commercials worm their way into your psyche with nostalgic jingles. Fast-food restaurants entice you with huge photos of gleaming burgers and bold hues that say, “quick, eat here!” But what if companies could manipulate you with an aroma? “If we can actually extract the biochemical combination that is induced by happiness, then you can have products that are ‘laced’ with this biochemical and will make people feel more positive,” says Semin, who is also the director of the William James Center for Research in Lisbon, Portugal.
The possibilities are wide-ranging—and a little scary. Need to calm down an angry mob? Forget tear gas and try blasting them with a haze of happy human sweat. Want to make sure everyone at your party has an amazing time? Stick some sweat in the fog machine. Feeling blue? Just spritz it on for an instant mood lift—it’s like Prozac in an aerosol can! Of course, in reality, the effects are a bit subtler: “It’s not going to kick you off your feet and suddenly you’re in seventh heaven,” says Semin.
Moreover, mimicking human sweat for commercial use would be massively difficult. First, researchers would have to parse out its unique chemical cocktail from among the 180 to 200 known chemicals that make up human body odor. That’d be like determining Coca-Cola’s proprietary formula from scratch. “It’s almost like a chemical barcode,” says Johan Lundström, an associate professor of clinical neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, who researches how the brain processes chemical signals. “It would be enormously difficult to identify thepatterns.” It would also be crucial for researchers to make sure they’re getting a clear signal across many sniffers because people tend to associate certain scents with memories that have their own personal history.
But, with enough time and money, it would be possible, says Lundström. In fact, researchers have successfully synthesized the mixture of two compounds that convey stress and anxiety to rats. But who would have that kind of time and money? Well, for instance, Unilever. Are you finding yourself in a great mood on a date even though the guy’s a jerk? Better ask him what deodorant he’s wearing.

Rethinking Basic Income in a Sharing Society

By Rajesh Makwana

Few debates highlight the moral issues around how wealth is shared across society more than the growing demand for a universal and unconditional basic income. At face value, the idea of receiving a regular income from the state presents a fair and inclusive solution to the financial constraints many people face in a consumerist society--especially at a time when unemployment and inequality are on the rise. But it's not clear whether a guaranteed citizen's income would ultimately help or hinder the creation of truly sharing societies, in which 'freedom from want' can be achieved within a re distributive economic framework that reinforces the social ties that bind people and communities together.

The arguments in favour of a basic income are persuasive and should not be dismissed lightly. Aside from the clear case for reforming means-tested benefit systems that are failing many targeted claimants, there's the question of how to maintain decent wage levels when jobs become increasingly scarce. In 1930, John Maynard Keynes famously posited that standards of living would be between four and eight times higher in a hundred years' time, and that people would need to work a mere 15 hours a week. Although Keynes' era of leisure is still a pipe dream for most people despite the tremendous improvements in living standards he predicted, it's likely that formal working hours will have to be significantly reduced in the years ahead.

For the past three decades the demand for labour, and wages as a share of GDP, have both been declining. Meanwhile, people are living longer and retiring later, and part-time work, insecure casual contracts, and self-employment are increasingly the norm for the precariously underemployed. The reductions in wages that could follow this dramatic shift in employment patterns provide a pragmatic case for the state to grant a supplementary unearned income to all citizens in order to prevent millions more people falling below the poverty line. A basic income could give people the freedom to work fewer hours if they choose. Sharing the work available more equitably across society would also have a range of additional benefits such as reducing levels of consumption and markedly improving the quality of life.

Despite these convincing arguments, there are plenty of reasons for being cautious about the basic income, particularly since it is most often proposed as an alternative to existing systems of social protection.

From an ideological perspective, there are important differences between the provision of a universal basic income and the insurance-based benefits it would replace. Welfare states essentially promote social solidarity through a process of economic sharing, since they provide collectively-funded services that ensure everyone has access to social protection without having to rely on commercial alternatives. Rather than sharing risks and pooling resources in this way, unconditional cash transfers provide people with the money they need to fend for themselves, which is a highly individualistic approach to achieving social security.

This is a key distinction for progressives to bear in mind, since a citizen's income would be competing for the same government funds that currently pay for a wide range of social services. Under the present trajectory of public policy--in which welfare services are being subjected to increasing waves of neo-liberal reform--it is therefore likely that basic income schemes would undermine existing mechanisms of redistribution and social solidarity.
It's also clear that the cash transfers most universal programmes would deliver in industrialized countries would be too low by themselves to keep households above national poverty lines. A truly comprehensive programme for a citizen's income is likely to remain unaffordable unless it is accompanied by a substantial shift in the way governments raise taxes, while a less costly version may not provide a worthwhile alternative to means testing.
In light of these problems, it is worth considering an alternative approach that sidesteps many of the arguments against the idea of a basic income: a universal social dividend that's based on the value of shared resources.

This model of economic sharing recognizes that all citizens have a right to income from the commons--such as land and other resources that are either inherited or co-created by society. Although this approach is rarely part of the popular discourse on implementing a citizen's income scheme, the idea can be traced back to the work of the American 
revolutionary Thomas Paine, who stated that "the earth, in its natural, cultivated state was, and ever would have continued to be, the common property of the human race."

As explained by Peter Barnes in his book With Liberty and Dividends for All, the majority of the wealth that's inherited or created in society is captured and extracted by the rich, rather than distributed fairly among citizens. Meanwhile, the damaging social and environmental costs of this process are largely borne by the public or the biosphere. The simple idea at the heart of most proposals for a social dividend is therefore to charge user fees on shared resources, which can then be distributed to all citizens as a basic right.

Although an agency would initially have to be set up by governments to administer the programme, it would operate independently of the private and public sector as a 'commons trust' that could conceivably manage a range of shared resources--from land, fossil fuels and atmospheric carbon storage, to the electromagnetic spectrum and intellectual property. According to calculations by Barnes based only on a specific selection of shared assets, the programme could provide every American citizen with as much as 5,000 USD a year.
The real advantage of a social dividend from resource rents is that it would facilitate, rather than impede, the creation of a more equal society that embodies the ethic and practice of sharing. Unlike the standard basic income proposal, this alternative approach would not compete with existing welfare budgets, and it would therefore complement solidarity-based systems of social protection.

The social dividend also acknowledges that all citizens are entitled to a fair share of co-owned wealth and resources, which is a common sense proposal with the potential to dramatically reform economic systems and enhance social cohesion. Since the value of common resources would be shared more equitably, social dividends present an important systemic solution to poverty that can counterbalance the injustice of a global economic model in which wealth predominantly flows to the richest one per cent of the world's population.
In line with some of the common arguments made in favour of a basic income, social dividends would also increase our sense of personal freedom, since people would no longer feel forced to do menial or difficult jobs that they would otherwise undertake reluctantly or for reasons of survival. This would leave them free to devote more time to creative, cultural and caring pursuits, sparking a much-needed debate on the nature and purpose of work at a time when the escalating environmental crisis necessitates a radically new economic model that is no longer predicated on consumption-driven economic growth.

Furthermore, social dividends could have a transformative impact on individuals and communities, which could pave the way for more extensive changes across society. The additional income received by individuals could help sustain the indispensable unpaid activities that take place in the core economy by giving people the freedom to act on their inner desires to give or be of real service to others. This includes raising children and caring for the elderly, maintaining community relationships and mutual support networks, and participating in voluntary action and civil society organizations.

According to Edgar Cahn, the core economy produces "love and caring, coming to each other's rescue, democracy and social justice", which is why there is a clear imperative to rebuild and strengthen this fundamental aspect of society that is increasingly under assault. The profound relationship between genuine compassion and the creation of a more equal world was also vividly expressed by Martin Luther King, who once declared that "Standing beside love is always justice."

Embodied in these insights is the hope that strengthening the bonds of love, empathy and reciprocity within communities could spark a cultural shift in favour of social justice, and that this could eventually find expression in democratic institutions and policy debates. By helping to resuscitate a rapidly diminishing core economy, a basic income derived from the value of collectively owned resources could therefore empower citizens to take a crucial first step in the co-creation of a truly sharing society.

World Happiness Report favours the cold (and the rich)

Cape Town - The third ever World Happiness Report has been released, and reveals the secrets of what really makes us Earth dwellers warm and fuzzy inside.
2015's report, created by the UN's Sustainable Development Solutions Network and co-edited by economists John F Helliwell, Richard Layard, and Jeffrey Sachs, shows that not only are the people in countries with more money happier, it also shows that those living further away from the equator as being jollier.
The World Happiness Report, which focuses less on momentary emotions - emotions that change quickly - than on people's evaluations of their lives, taken as a whole, found that GDP per capita was one of the most important explanatory variables in determining national happiness, reports vox.com. 
Along with the wealth factor, it also took into consideration social support (if you have someone in your life you can count on), healthy life expectancy, freedom (answer to the question "Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with your freedom to choose what you do with your life?"), generosity ("Have you donated money to a charity in the past month?"), and government corruption. "Taken together," the authors write, "these six variables explain almost three-quarters of the variation in national annual average ladder scores among countries."
The top 20 countries considered to be the happiest in the world are also coincidentally almost all first world countries, rolling in cash. If you're betting on being happy, it best to travel here in the near future, as it seems that money ultimately can buy you happiness...
The top 20 happiest countries, along with their happiness count in brackets, are:

1. Switzerland (7.587)
2. Iceland (7.561)
3. Denmark (7.527)
4. Norway (7.522)
5. Canada (7.427)
6. Finland (7.406)
7. Netherlands (7.378)
8. Sweden (7.364)
9. New Zealand (7.286)
10. Australia (7.284)
11. Israel (7.278)
12. Costa Rica (7.266)
13. Austria (7.200)
14. Mexico (7.187)
15. United States (7.119)
16. Brazil (6.983)
17. Luxembourg (6.946)
18. Ireland (6.940)
19. Belgium (6.937)
20. United Arab Emirates (6.901)

In contrast, the top 20 unhappiest countries in the world, which their happiness count in brackets, are all concentrated relatively close to the equator. They are:

20. Congo (Brazzaville) (3.989)
19. Comoros (3.956)
18. Uganda (3.931)
17. Senegal (3.904)
16. Gabon (3.896)
15. Niger (3.845)
14. Cambodia (3.819)
13. Tanzania (3.781)
12. Madagascar (3.681)
11. Central African Republic (3.678)
10. Chad (3.667)
9. Guinea (3.656)
8. Ivory Coast (3.655)
7. Burkina Faso (3.587)
6. Afghanistan (3.575)
5. Rwanda (3.465)
4. Benin (3.340)
3. Syria (3.006)
2. Burundi (2.906)

1. Togo (2.839)

Good words to have

Commodious: Comfortably or conveniently spacious roomy

Teen's act of kindness towards elderly man goes viral

Christian Trouesdale

A heartwarming act of kindness has taken the internet by storm today and is bringing a smile to countless faces. On April 27 in Horwich, England, 23-year old Samantha-Jayne Brady happened to see Christian Trouesdale, an 18-year-old part-time employee at the local Aldi supermarket, walking an elderly man home with his groceries. Brady was so impressed by Trouesdale's upstanding deed that she asked if she could share it to Facebook. The two agreed and Brady snapped a photo of the pair which has already been shared over 50,000 times all over the world.
The 96-year-old man was shopping at the Aldi where Christian works and asked for some help going home. He was worried about the strong winds and possibly falling, which could prove life threatening to a 96-year-old. Christian was more than happy to oblige, he carried the groceries in one arm and held the elderly man's hand with the other. A week later, the same customer returned to the store and asked for assistance again, Christian of course was happy to help.
The only one who seems to be surprised by any of this is Christian himself, he says he can't believe the reaction the photo is generating. On his Facebook page alone he says he can't even begin to read all the messages he's getting. “One woman posted to my wall from America saying that she wished there were more people in her country like me, it has been really amazing. I went back into Aldi this afternoon and a lady came up and hugged me and said she loved what I had done.”

The short trip from the store to the elderly man's home was a fun experience for both of them according to Christian who said that they talked about everything from elections to the history of the town and that the man seemed to know a lot about everything. Brady said she wanted to share the picture of the two because she feels that there aren't enough positive stories about young people being widely shared these days. Christian's parents say he's shy and doesn't really know how to respond to the sudden outpouring of attention. “It is very strange because this is just something I would normally do, my parents have raised me to treat other people like you want to be treated.” Christian stated.