Reporters on the Job

Internet Cafe in Banda Aceh: Correspondent Tom McCawley was a beneficiary of the computer "geeks" in Banda Aceh, Indonesia (this page). "They've set up an outdoor Internet cafe which consists of a table, six chairs, and a series of cables where you can plug in your laptop. It's outside the Aceh governor's residence and near a refugee camp. A 5-year-old named Fadel kept drifting over while I filed my story," says Tom.

The "cafe" is a locus for relief workers sending e-mail to their organizations and families. And there's an assortment of random volunteers, says Tom. "While I was there, a Muslim man from Manchester, England, of Pakistani origin, sat down. Also, a woman from San Francisco came by. She is providing massage therapy to aid workers and victims."

Worst Day of the Year? Cliff Arnalls, a British psychologist at Cardiff University, has a formula that suggests Jan. 24 is the most depressing day of the year in Britain. The equation:

[1/8W+(D-d)] x 3/8TQ

M x NA.

The variables: (W) weather, (D) debt, (d) monthly salary, (T) time since Christmas, (Q) time since abandoned resolution, (M) low motivational levels and (NA) the need to take action.

A BBC forum ( asked readers how to beat the blues. Among their suggestions:

• Create your own formula: "How do you put a numerical value on weather, motivation, and initiative?" asked Keith in Canmore, Canada.

• Solstice solace. The days are getting longer.

• Count your blessings.

• Watch "The Sound of Music": "The heady mixture of drama, action, romance, and music lifts the spirits no end," offered Ketan B. Shah, of Harrow.

David Clark Scott
World editor

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
QR Code to Reporters on the Job
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today