In an effort to prove that no flood damaged vehicles will be sold to customers, the Honda factory in Thailand’s Ayutthaya province began destroying over 1,000 cars. The factory was one of the hardest hit by the several months of record flooding, which only receded a few weeks ago. The devastating floods were the worst the country experienced in 50 years and left over 700 people dead. According to AFP, the scrapping process is expected to take one month.
Honda’s production was disrupted from the floods and only recently returned to normal. According to AP, American Honda Executive Vice President John Mendel says it will not be until March that dealers will be fully restocked.
Aerial images of the submerged cars in the Honda lot provided powerful visuals of the effects of the severe flooding on businesses…The area is home to large production centers for global car and computer industries. According to Bloomberg, Toyota had to suspend local production of its Camry and Prius lines, and Apple faced delays in parts used for Mac computers. Western Digital shares hit a year low in October and is now working to regain their losses, according to Reuters.
Not that anyone in the United States would have to worry about buying a car leftover from a flood, eh?
A new study of brain activity in depressed and anxious people indicates that some of the ill effects of depression are modified – for better or for worse – by anxiety.
The study, in the journal Cognitive, Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience, looked at depression and two types of anxiety: anxious arousal, the fearful vigilance that sometimes turns into panic; and anxious apprehension, better known as worry.
The researchers used functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) at the Beckman Institute’s Biomedical Imaging Center to look at brain activity in subjects who were depressed and not anxious, anxious but not depressed, or who exhibited varying degrees of depression and one or both types of anxiety.
“Although we think of depression and anxiety as separate things, they often co-occur,” said University of Illinois psychology professor Gregory A. Miller, who led the research with Illinois psychology professor Wendy Heller. “In a national study of the prevalence of psychiatric disorders, three-quarters of those diagnosed with major depression had at least one other diagnosis. In many cases, those with depression also had anxiety, and vice versa…”
In the new study, brain scans were done while participants performed a task that involved naming the colors of words that had negative, positive, or neutral meanings. This allowed the researchers to observe which brain regions were activated in response to emotional words.
The researchers found that the fMRI signature of the brain of a worried and depressed person doing the emotional word task was very different from that of a vigilant or panicky depressed person…
Despite their depression, the worriers also did better on the emotional word task than those depressives who were fearful or vigilant. The worriers were better able to ignore the meaning of negative words and focus on the task, which was to identify the color – not the emotional content – of the words.
These results suggest that fearful vigilance sometimes heightens the brain activity associated with depression, whereas worry may actually counter it, thus reducing some of the negative effects of depression and fear, Miller said.
“Sometimes worry is a good thing to do. Maybe it will get you to plan better. Maybe it will help you to focus better. There could be an up-side to these things.”
Or you could pour yourself a dram of Jamieson’s and forget the whole thing, eh?