Using functional magnetic imaging, they watched the brains of 45 volunteers in action and responding to money being given to charity. The findings, reported in Nature Neuroscience Today, are also good news for the lazy. The altruistic part of the brain is stimulated by the way people view the world rather than the way they behave. So thinking nice thoughts without doing anything about them also counts.
There is confirmation that the latest up-to-the-minute financial management techniques are being used in the charity sector. Alchester Royal British Legion in Warwickshire is asking the Charity Commission to let it spend £2,300 of its own money on helping ex-servicemen in the area. Why the bureaucracy? The local rag, the Stratford-upon-Avon Herald, revealed that the money was originally donated in the 1920s to build a new clubhouse, but has been sitting in a bank account ever since, earning tiny amounts of interest. Good to see you eventually got round to it, lads. Are you going to write a thank-you letter to the donors?
Three-quarters of us want official St George's Day celebrations, according to a poll from Mori. The RNID, the Association for International Cancer Research and the WRVS are already raising money on the back of a campaign to bring this about. But the poll revealed some traditional English miserabilism behind the enthusiasm for a day off work. Nineteen per cent said they would do nothing to celebrate the birthday of England's patron saint.