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Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density

“Therapeutic interventions that incorporate training in mindfulness meditation have become increasingly popular, but to date, little is known about neural mechanisms associated with these interventions. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), one of the most widely used mindfulness training programs, has been reported to produce positive effects on psychological well-being and to ameliorate symptoms of a numberContinue Reading

Gasoline prices tend to have little effect on demand for car travel

EIA: “The U.S. average retail price per gallon of regular motor gasoline has fallen 28% from its 2014 peak of $3.70 per gallon on June 23, to $2.68 per gallon on December 8. However, this price decline may not have much effect on automobile travel, and in turn, gasoline consumption. Gasoline is a relatively inelasticContinue Reading

An Analysis of the Navy’s Fiscal Year 2015 Shipbuilding Plan

“The Department of Defense (DoD) submitted the Navy’s 2015 shipbuilding plan, which covers fiscal years 2015 to 2044, to the Congress in July 2014. The total costs of carrying out the 2015 plan—an average of about $21 billion in 2014 dollars per year over the next 30 years—would be one-third higher than the funding amountsContinue Reading

The role of enterprising libraries in promoting economic wellbeing

The Carnegie UK Trust – Beyond Books. The role of enterprising libraries in promoting economic wellbeing. Jennifer Peachey. “Public spending cuts are changing the physical landscape, governance models and staffing of the public library service. Changing demographics, varying consumer needs and new technologies as media for learning and accessing information have also provided challenges to the public library service. Some public libraries have taken these challenges asContinue Reading

An Equilibrium Model of Institutional Demand and Asset Prices

Koijen, Ralph S. J. and Yogo, Motohiro, An Equilibrium Model of Institutional Demand and Asset Prices (December 12, 2014). Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2537559 “We develop an asset pricing model with rich heterogeneity in asset demand across investors, designed to match institutional holdings data. The equilibrium price vector is uniquely determined by market clearing,Continue Reading

114th Congress New Member Pictorial Directory

Via GPO – New Member Pictorial Directory Prepared by the Committee on House Administration. Candice S. Miller, Chairman | Robert A. Brady, Ranking Minority Member.

Captured Documents Illuminate Structure of Islamic State Financing

Boston Globe: The terrorist bureaucracy: Inside the files of the Islamic State in Iraq. An exclusive look at captured documents reveals the tight organizational structure — and vulnerabilities — of a violent movement “The group takes a bureaucratic, systematized approach to maintaining power that makes it look in some ways more like a settled government thanContinue Reading

Patterns of Text Reuse in a Scientific Corpus

Patterns of Text Reuse in a Scientific Corpus. Daniel T. Citron, Paul Ginsparg (Submitted on 8 Dec 2014) “We consider the incidence of text “reuse” by researchers, via a systematic pairwise comparison of the text content of all articles deposited to arXiv.org from 1991–2012. We measure the global frequencies of three classes of text reuse, and measureContinue Reading

Unauthorized Immigrant Population Trends for States, Birth Countries and Regions

Pew – “Explore U.S. unauthorized immigrant population trends for states of residence, as well as for international regions and largest countries of birth, based on Pew Research Center estimates. In 2012, an estimated 11.2 million unauthorized immigrants lived in the U.S., down from a peak of 12.2 million in 2007 and unchanged since 2009. ForContinue Reading

Wealth inequality has widened along racial, ethnic lines since end of Great Recession

Pew – Racial, Ethnic Wealth Gaps Have Grown Since the Great Recession “The Great Recession, fueled by the crises in the housing and financial markets, was universally hard on the net worth of American families. But even as the economic recovery has begun to mend asset prices, not all households have benefited alike, and wealthContinue Reading

Avian Tree of Life Revealed

Science 12 December 2014:  Vol. 346 no. 6215 pp. 1308-1309  DOI: 10.1126/science.346.6215.1308 A flock of genomes – Guojie Zhang, Erich D. Jarvis, M. Thomas P. Gilbert  “Characterization of genomic biodiversity through comprehensive species sampling has the potential to change our understanding of evolution. To study evolution across a major vertebrate class, dissect the genomics of complex traits, andContinue Reading

OECD Pensions Outlook 2014

OECD Pensions Outlook 2014 “This 2014 edition of the OECD Pensions Outlook examines the ever-changing pensions landscape. It looks at pension reform, the role of private pensions and retirement savings. Population ageing and longevity risk is examined as are the means of increasing coverage and providing automatic enrolment. The volume is rounded out by aContinue Reading