Category Archives: Trends

Starship Medicine

If you’ve ever watched the Star Trek TV show, or any of the franchise’s movies, you’ve probably noticed that spaceship medicine is different from what we’re accustomed to.  Instead of a physical exam, on the Starship Enterprise, the doctor points a blinking device at the patient and arrives at an instant diagnosis of any health issue.

Could that ever happen in real life?  It could—and actually has.

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Workplace Happiness—and Not So Much

What are the happiest and unhappiest jobs in the U.S. economy?   Put another way, what careers would you want to steer your children and grandchildren toward and away from if you want them to be happy during their work hours?

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Economic Progress

It’s not uncommon to hear people wish that we could return to the “good old days,” when the world seemed more prosperous.  Of course, depending on how far you go back, the “good old days” might cover a time when the world was poised on the edge of a nuclear precipice, when the Soviet Union and other communist governments basically enslaved more than 50% of the world’s population, when racism was practiced openly and codified in the legal system, when there was no Internet or smartphones, and when TV entertainment consisted of three or sometimes four channels on a heavy, small-screen device that didn’t include a remote.

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Safer but Poorer

In an effort to secure the U.S. borders, the President has attempted to ban visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, and is meanwhile quietly instituting “extreme vetting” of visitors from other nations—asking them to turn over their phones, social media passwords and financial records.  Even U.S. citizens are experiencing more scrutiny when they attempt to return to their home country.

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Money in Cyberspace

One of the strangest investment vehicles ever designed is something called the Bitcoin, which is at once an exciting new technology for managing online transactions and an alternative currency to national currencies like the dollar, yen and euro.  Last week, people who owned bitcoins discovered that electronic “coins” worth $1,350 were suddenly worth just under $945.  Around the same time, U.S. regulators rejected an effort to create a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

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Drone Transport

The advent of driverless cars has made the future look awfully confusing.  Will you even OWN a car ten years in the future, when all you’ll have to do is pull out your phone and request an automated ride to wherever you want to go?  Will there be automated drones that fly above the streets?

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Where to Find Happy People

The World Happiness Report is out, and a group of independent experts have now compiled surveys of people in 156 countries, asking them to evaluate their lives on a scale of 1-10.  They then looked at some of the factors that seem to contribute to happiness, and identified five: real GDP per capita (a measure of average wealth); healthy life expectancy at birth; freedom to make life choices; generosity; and whether or not they perceived their society to have elements of corruption.

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