January update

Time for the monthly glance into the computer files, to learn what people are looking for, when they knock on the door of the Virtual Stoa. Highlights include…

revolutionary literary constructs
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the biography of kim jong il political philosophy
d’squared clothing in san francisco
Diana memorial cricket match
bbc world nation once again
cwu porn club
nabucco verdi free download
I’ve seen the obituaries of leaders, but never have I seen a birth announcement
kim jong il anecdote
coventry swingers
pictures of asian elephants

Many, alas, will have been disappointed.

News just in…

Protesting May Be Good for Your Health

LONDON (Reuters Health) – Taking part in protests and demonstrations can be good for your physical and mental health, a new British study suggests.

Psychologists at the University of Sussex found that people who get involved in campaigns, strikes and political demonstrations experience an improvement in psychological well-being that can help them overcome stress, pain, anxiety and depression.

The finding fits in with other studies suggesting that positive experiences and feeling part of a group can have beneficial effects on health.

“Collective actions, such as protests, strikes, occupations and demonstrations, are less common in the UK than they were perhaps 20 years ago,” researcher Dr. John Drury said in a statement.

“The take-home message from this research therefore might be that people should get more involved in campaigns, struggles and social movements, not only in the wider interest of social change but also for their own personal good.”

The results emerged from in-depth interviews with nearly 40 activists from a variety of backgrounds. Between them, they had more than 160 experiences of collective action involving groups of demonstrators protesting against a range of issues. These included fox-hunting, environmental damage and industrial matters.

Volunteers were asked to describe what it was about taking part in such collective action that made them feel so good..

“Many published activist accounts refer to feelings of encouragement and confidence emerging from experiences of collective action,” said Drury. “But it is not always clear how and why such empowerment occurs, so we aimed to explain what factors within a collective action event contribute to such feelings.”

He said the interviews revealed that the key factors were that participants felt they had a collective identity with fellow protestors. They also derived a sense of unity and mutual support from taking part.

Such was the strength of the feelings they experienced that the effects appear to be sustained over a period of time.

“Empowering events were almost without exception described as joyous occasions,” said Drury. “Participants experienced a deep sense of happiness and even euphoria in being involved in protest events. Simply recounting the events in the interview brought a smile to the face of the interviewees.”

From the Yahoo news site.

Dead Socialist Watch, #12

In Memoriam James Joyce, died 13 January 1941, Z�rich.

James Joyce isn’t a familiar figure on the list of Dead Socialists, and it took me a long time to realise the extent of Joyce’s socialist politics, given the apolitical pose he liked to strike from time to time. But a useful passage in Vincent Cheng’s Joyce, Race and Empire, pp.129-134 summarises the evidence, which includes the testimony of his brother (“He calls himself a socialist, but attaches himself to no school of socialism”), the contents of his library in Trieste (he owned a great deal of socialist and anarchist literature), and a consistently anti-imperialist politics in his various writings.

Democracy in Action

Last year the BBC World Service authoritatively determined that “A Nation Once Again” was the World’s Favourite Song. Now Time magazine is asking the readers of its website to answer the question, “Which country poses the greatest danger to world peace in 2003?”, giving them a rather limited menu of Iraq, North Korea or the United States.

Voting has been going on for a while now, and with almost 57,000 votes cast, the US is in the lead by 70.3% to Iraq’s 18.9% to North Korea’s 10.8%. And the polls are still open

Nick provides an update [16.1.2003]: The US now leads with over 80% of the vote; Iraq and North Korea have under 10% apiece.