Beyond the Bubble: February 18

By: Hana Skoblow

After protests inspired by the political revolutions in Egypt, the small island nation of Bahrain has succeeded in convincing the largest party of their lower chamber of parliament to step down. The major party, Al Wefaq, announced its withdrawal from parliament on Feb. 17 after security forces attacked peaceful demonstrators in the middle of the night, leaving three dead and at least 225 injured. In a population of only 1 million, even small numbers of casualties are immense.

A recent study shows that when older people think about delinquent youth, their moods improve. When test subjects ranging in age from 50 to 65 were asked to read articles about young people getting into trouble, the studies showed that they had higher levels of self-esteem. The researchers explained this as a textbook case of schadenfreude — troubles of a group make people outside of that group feel good.

The opening ceremony for the 10th Cricket World Cup on Feb. 17 marked the beginning of the tournament consisting of 14 teams with matches in Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka (Pakistan had to withdraw due to safety concerns). 49 matches will be played from Feb. 19 to April 2 and can be caught on ESPN and BBC.

According to scientists excavating in Somerset, England, ancient Britons may have been cannibalistic. Evidence points to British ancestors carefully cutting up their dead, using skulls as cups shaped with tools for serviceability and comfort, and extracting and eating bone marrow.

Wisconsin schools in 15 districts closed due to a teachers’ protest of Governor Scott Walker’s budget proposal, which would wipe out collective bargaining rights from labor unions. This would eliminate unions’ power to negotiate vacation, sick pay, and benefits. On Feb. 16, Madison schools were forced to close because too many teachers called in sick to be replaced by substitute teachers.

Sources: Scientific American, CNN, BBC



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