"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bad Parenting: Underage Sex and ADHD Edition 

Analysis of survey data from American teens suggests that overbearing parents may actually be encouraging their kids towards underage sex'n'drugs'n'rock'n'roll (Journal of Adolescent Health 43(2), 2008). Even though it's a retrospective, secondary analysis, this is an interesting result, not least because it fits with my own casual observations.

Many parents also tend to keep the TV on when their kids are around, even if it's not something the kids are watching. Besides exposing the kids to whatever bad influences will cause their kids to possibly-but-if-they-haven't-proven-it-yet-they-ain't-gonna grow up to be demented and immoral, it seems that having the TV on in the background disrupts kids' play, and screws with their attentional development. Is this the missing ADHD link? It's probably part of the story.

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Exciting for Some 

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a big fan of schadenfreude, and also of making fun of vegetarians. Not vegetarians generally, no, but the stereotypical American Vegetarian, who insists on (a) making a scene whenever someone consumes a food product deemed Unethical by said AV, (b) demanding that hosts of dinner parties, etc., make huge accommodations (usually without warning prior to AV's arrival) in the menu, and - perhaps most damning of all - (c) insists on making every vegetable-based foodstuff into some overwrought approximation of a meat product and centering meals invariably around tofu and/or polenta.

During the summer, I cook almost exclusively vegetarian at home (except for adding fish sauce or stock), but aside from the occasional veggie burger (they are convenient!), no 'meat alternative' darkens my palette. I take my vegetarian living clues from nature as well as from Indian and other vegetarian cultures: fruits and veggies are the focus and highlight of meals, not disguised as tofurkey or soy cheeze. Not that I don't like tofu, but it has to be cooked properly - like tofu, not a hot dog - and also only in moderation!

Where does schadenfreude come in? Well, it appears that eating lots of tofu may increase your risk of dementia! Which is really very funny, since the AV is also famous for lecturing endlessly on the health benefits of the tofu-thrice-a-day diet.

Alas, my karmic retribution for this joy came swiftly: right after seeing news of this study, I also discover - fresh off paying too much money for a pretty new Prius - that VW, Mercedez, and Toyota itself are going even further with fuel reductions. Oy. Really cool, but ... Oy.

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