Month: May 2014

Who Should We Trust? How Should We Sleep?

Curated by CLAI

You Had Me at Hello: trustworthiness, aggressiveness, confidence, dominance and warmth. In less than a second, the time it takes to say “hello,” we make a snap judgment about someone’s personality.

  • The pitch of the untrustworthy voice was much lower than the male deemed most trustworthy. McAleer says this is probably because a higher pitched male voice is closer to the natural pitch of a female, making the men sound less aggressive and friendlier than the lower male voices.
  • All seem to perceive that one voice is the most trustworthy and another voice is the least trustworthy
Humans make split-second judgments about others based on the way they talk.

Humans make split-second judgments about others based on the way they talk.
(Katherine Streeter, NPR)

SLEEP CULTURE: This obsession with eight hours of continuous sleep is largely a creation of the electrified age. Back when night fell for, on average, half of each 24 hours, people slept in phases.

  • People fell asleep not long after dark for the “first sleep.” Then they awoke, somnolent but not asleep, often around midnight, when for a few hours they talked, read, prayed, had sex, brewed beer or burgled. Then they went back to sleep for a shorter period.
  • There is every reason to believe that segmented sleep, such as many wild animals exhibit, had long been the natural pattern of our slumber before the modern age, with a provenance as old as humankind.

Fairytale Weddings & Fruits in Vogue

Curated by CLAI

Fairytale Romance and Wedding? At Paris Wedding Center, a company with three locations in the Chinatowns of Manhattan and Flushing, Queens, the lines between reality and fairy tale are blurred. Not only are photos and videos often taken months before the ceremony, they also don’t necessarily document actual events.

Instead, couples visit studios crammed with costumes and props, sets and backdrops — some traditionally Western, others straight out of Chinese folklore — and act out romantic fantasies in what has become a trend for Chinese newlyweds in New York, just as it is in China.

Upcoming Fruit in Fashion

Glass Gem Corn

Glass Gem Corn (NPR)

3 US State Maps: Top Spoken Languages, Immigrant States, & Death Penalty

Curated by CLAI


US States’ Most Common Language


Most Commonly Spoken Language Other Than English & Spanish

Most Commonly Spoken Language Other Than English & Spanish (Slate)



Top Immigrant StatesCalifornia, New York, New Jersey, Florida, Nevada, Hawaii, Texas, Massachusetts

Top Immigrant States

Top Immigrant States (Pew)

US States Map with Death Penalty – Lethal Injection? Gas? Hanging?

Death Penalty

Death Penalty (



Memorial Day: From Military Veteran to College Student

By: Michael Dombrowski | Edited By: Christine Lai

As a Marine, OEF veteran, and current student, I was faced with three options when I left the military. I can get a job, go to college, or do both at the same time. Essentially, I, and many other veterans, must pick up where we left off before we joined the military. Civilian college life can be daunting at first for what we have known for the past 4-12 years is military life. Deciding to finish school and step into the shoes of a college student is like being a foreigner in your own country.

The battle does not end for a vet once he or she starts going to school. In many ways, it has just begun. In order to once again find our place in the civilian world, we have to overcome the differences in the military lifestyle and a feeling of isolation. Many veterans have a unique need for counseling that is different from their fellow civilian students. The internal struggles are sometimes overwhelming, which may lead some to self-medicate with alcohol or controlled substances, if other means of help are not readily available.

American Flag with Eagle

Memorial Day (ProjectTurnAbout.Org)

Ways Colleges Can Help Veterans

College offers a unique opportunity to veterans by giving us an environment to redefine ourselves and to work towards an easily identifiable goal. In short, college gives a veteran what he or she needs the most: a mission.

  • Veteran’s Office: A veteran’s office sets aside a space for veterans to congregate. A school can not only consolidate its resources for its service members, but also create a military community that veterans feel familiar and comfortable with. Veterans can speak freely with others and find support during the critical time of adjustment.
  • Career Planner: Along with this meeting place, a career planner can also help former military members with the disorienting prospect of finding a path for themselves.
  • VA Representative: Finally, a Department of Veteran’s Affairs representative can give veterans direct access to much-needed aid, especially for those with mental and physical wounds. Oftentimes, the very system that is designed to help veterans can be one of the most frustrating and laborious processes when navigating without guidance.
  • Veteran Student Organization: Veteran organizations are veterans’ own answer to the problem of finding help and understanding after their military careers. Because of limited funding, colleges should work with these organizations that already have a rapport with the veteran student body.

Colleges can greatly increase the amount of inclusion and acceptance for veterans from the campus community and bolster the veterans’ desire to contribute in whatever way they can. The links between all aspects of a campus community must be forged in order to assure equal opportunities for success in the academic and personal struggles for all students.

What Veterans Bring to the College Campus

Veterans have the potential to add to a campus community in many ways, but they can only benefit the community that actively includes them. Veterans add to the classroom environment input that is derived from their experience and maturity.From a financial standpoint, veterans also inject guaranteed money to the college with monetary assistance from the GI Bill. Both veteran and civilian students would benefit from increased interaction between them.

The judgments made about the veteran community must start with a greater understanding of their struggles. They are not simply a group of older students that carry a government check for education in their wallets. They are their own class in society with memories and pain that is matched only by their will to continue on and better themselves. For the many that choose to do so by furthering their education, most would ask only for acceptance, assistance, and inclusion.

About Michael Dombrowski

Michael is a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps and a current student at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. Michael deployed to southern Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2009.

Can I Make it to the Top 20% Incomes? Does a Prestigious College Make Me Happier?

Curated by CLAI

Most Americans Make It To The Top 20 Percent (At Least For A While): Raises, promotions, new careers, and a spouse entering or leaving the workforce can all create large swings in household income.

  • 61 out of 100 U.S. households will break into the top 20% of incomes (roughly $111,000*) for at least 2 consecutive years.
  • 39 out of 100 U.S. households will break into the top 10% of incomes (roughly $153,000*) for at least 2 consecutive years.
  • 5 out of 100 U.S. households will break into the top 1% of incomes (roughly $360,000*) for at least 2 consecutive years.
  • 20 out of 100 U.S. households will fall into poverty (roughly $23,850 for a family of 4*) for at least 2 consecutive years.
Americans in Top 20% of Income

61 out of 100 U.S. households will break into the top 20% of incomes (roughly $111,000*) for at least 2 consecutive years. (NPR)

Prestigious Colleges Won’t Make You Happier In Life Or Work: The factors that should be guiding decisions on selecting a college are not selectivity or prestige, but cost of attendance, great teaching and deep learning — in that order.

  • There is no link between expensive private colleges and later salary for graduates. Income is much more closely tied to a person’s choice of a major.
  • If you can go to Podunk U debt free vs. Harvard for $100,000, go to Podunk. And concentrate on what you do when you get there.
  • 39% of college grads overall say they’re “engaged” at work (which is 10% higher than the population at large)