Sunday, April 29, 2012

Left side of face more emotional, appealing

A new study says the left side of the human face expresses more emotion that the right side and is therefore more attractive and appealing to others.

James Schirillo and Kelsey Blackburn of Wake Forest University asked 37 male and female students to rate photos of 10 male and 10 female faces.

The photos were presented to participants as originally taken and in mirror image form, so that an original right-cheek image appeared to be a left-cheek image and vice versa.

According to the findings published in the journal Experimental Brain Research, students rated the left sides of faces more “pleasant” than the right sides.

“Our results suggest that posers' left cheeks tend to exhibit a greater intensity of emotion, which observers find more aesthetically pleasing," wrote researchers.

“Our findings provide support for a number of concepts--the notions of lateralized emotion and right hemispheric dominance with the right side of the brain controlling the left side of the face during emotional expression.”

Scientists say their study also suggests people to show more of their left cheek to the camera.

“Practically, people should turn slightly so that they show more of their left, than right, cheek when being photographed," says Schirillo."Others will find these images more appealing than the reverse (more right cheek exposed).”

Party Secretary General urges struggle against ideology erosion

Party Secretary General Mr Choummaly Sayasone has urged all Party members and government officials to strengthen the Party by preventing the erosion of political ideology.
Mr Choummaly, who is also President of the Lao PDR, made the call on Saturday while addressing the 9th Nationwide Organisational-Personnel Meeting in Vientiane.
Mr Choummaly Sayasone speaks at the meeting.
“To date, we can confirm that the directions and policies formulated by the Party are basically correct, especially the renovation policies, while we should properly implement propaganda, education and training, and realise the breakthrough approach on knowledge and imagination in order to achieve fruitful results of the implementation of our directions and policies,” he said.
President Choummaly acknowledged the importance and attention the Party gives to its personnel, building and strengthening officials to ensure the Party's continued existence and growth.
However, the Party has also realised its weaknesses and deficiencie s such as insufficient dedication by Party organisations and units to implementing the two national strategic missions, with a central focus on economic development .
“This requires Party oganisations at al l levels to strengthen their leadership and the knowledge and skills of their personnel. However, what we have done doesn't meet the requirements,” Mr Choummaly said.
He noted issues of concern about which public criticism is on the rise, saying this pointed to the erosion of political ideology, diligence of heart and ethics among civil servants, as evidenced by non-transparent livelihoods, opportunism and corruption.
Recognising that these problems directly affect the Party's role and power, stability and political strength, he called on Party members and all involved officials to study the issues properly in depth, to identify comprehensive measures and tools for solutions.
Mr Choummaly stressed the need for political ideology training to be conducted in the right direction, to achieve the correct understanding of Party directions and policies, success in political alertness, and activeness in national defence and development, and poverty reduction. He also highlighted the need for officials to earn a living legally for the enrichment of their family and nation.
He recommended that political ideology training should be conducted alongside a struggle against negativity and the erosion of ideology and revolutionary diligence of heart, and other undesirable behaviour. “Conducting political ideology work should involve both building and struggling against erosion. This means we should summarise, conclude and widely disseminate the lessons learned and the good and progressive models we have, while persistently uncovering, preventing and minimising antagonist ideology and beh aviour,” he said.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Optimism reduces risk of cardiovascular diseases: Harvard study

Happier folks with more optimistic view of life are less likely to experience heart diseases or strokes compared to those with negative worldviews.

A Harvard School of Public Health review of more than 200 studies found a significant association between positive psychological characteristics-- such as optimism, life satisfaction and happiness-- and cardiovascular health.

While many prior findings disclosed ties between stress, anxiety and anger with health problems such as heart disease, the new study has provided a better understanding of positive mental status and health.

“The absence of the negative is not the same thing as the presence of the positive. We found that factors such as optimism, life satisfaction, and happiness are associated with reduced risk of CVD (cardiovascular disease) regardless of such factors as a person's age, socioeconomic status, smoking status, or body weight,” said senior researcher Julia Boehm.

“For example, the most optimistic individuals had an approximately 50 percent reduced risk of experiencing an initial cardiovascular event compared to their less optimistic peers,” added Boehm, whose study was published in Psychological Bulletin.

The study says people with a sense of well-being are more engaged in healthier behaviors such as exercising, eating a balanced diet and getting sufficient sleep.

Furthermore, greater well-being is associated with better biological function, such as a lower risks of obesity, high blood pressure and LDL or bad cholesterol level.