Real estate consulting firm Knight Frank released its annual power ranking of important cities for the rich, and for the second year in a row, London is at the top spot. This year’s list doesn’t look very different from last year’s, except for a few cities being shuffled around. Knight Frank’s prediction for the year 2024, however, looks slightly different.
According to the firm, London will be finally dethroned by New York City while Mumbai kicks Paris off the list. Cities in Asia and the Middle East will increasingly gain prominence, while the U.S. and China will remain the only nations with two cities on the list.
File this one under “who knew?!” - Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were not only founding fathers, but huge Shakespeare fans and travel buddies:
"In April I786 Adams recorded in his Diary an account of the trip he and Jefferson made to Stratford-upon-Avon. Among other tourist attractions they were shown, “an old wooden chair in the chimney corner where [Shakespeare] sat. We cut off a chip according to custom. A mulberry tree that he planted has been cut down, and is carefully preserved for sale.” The note expresses disappointment that nothing is “preserved of this great genius which is worth knowing; nothing which might inform us what education, what company, what accident, turned his mind to letters and the drama”, and concludes with the observation that Shakespeare’s “wit, fancy, his taste, and judgment, his knowledge of nature, of life and character, are immortal.”
A randomized controlled clinical trial of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) found that shorter doses of virtual reality exposure therapy (VRE) reduces PTSD diagnoses and symptoms. The study was published in the April 18, 2014 online edition of the American Journal of Psychiatry.
Researchers at Emory University conducted the study with 156 veterans with combat-related PTSD. After an introductory session, each veteran was randomly assigned to receive d-cycloserine (DCS) (53 subjects), alprazolam (50 subjects), or a placebo (53 subjects) before each of five sessions of VRE.
The study found PTSD symptoms significantly improved from pre- to post-treatment with the VRE therapy and the DCS may enhance the VRE results for those veterans who demonstrated better emotional learning in sessions. In addition to self-reported symptoms, researchers used objective measures of cortisol, a stress hormone, and the startle response, and found reductions in reactivity after treatment. Alprazolam, known more commonly as Xanax, impaired recovery from symptoms.
"D-cycloserine, combined with only five sessions of the virtual reality exposure therapy, was associated with significant improvements in objective measures of startle and cortisol and overall PTSD symptoms for those who showed emotional learning in sessions," says lead researcher Barbara Rothbaum, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University School of Medicine and director of the Trauma and Anxiety Recovery Program.
The double-blind, placebo-controlled study consisted of an initial screening assessment, six treatment visits, and follow-up assessments at three, six and 12 months post-treatment. The virtual reality exposure therapy involved 30-45 minutes of exposure to virtual environments on a head mounted video display that attempt to match stimuli described by the veteran. Scenes depict a variety of Iraq and Afghanistan environments, including street scenes and neighborhoods, as well as from different points of view, i.e. as a driver, passenger, or walking on foot. Thirty minutes before each session, participants took a single pill.
"We were very excited to see the substantial gains in self-reported and objective indices of PTSD with only five sessions of the virtual reality exposure therapy combined," says Rothbaum.
To quote George Packer’s essay on the anniversary of the Rwandan genocide:
We have kept saying “never again,” but it keeps on happening, again and again—in Syria today, in the Central African Republic tomorrow.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday limited the amount of damages that those who possess child pornography must pay victims, throwing out a $3.4 million award that went to a woman whose childhood rape has been widely seen on the Internet.
This is wonderful, she is simply stunning.
We agree, Emma!