Could Labeling Sugar-Sweetened Beverages, Push Parents From Not Buying Sugary Drinks For Their Kids

In today’s day and age, many children are consuming way too much sugar than the recommended Dietary Guidelines for Americans. As a result of this high consumption of sugar, many children are at risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. Medical researcher’s from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania were interested in finding out if warning labels on sugary beverages would have an effect on parents in whether if they would be less likely to buy those beverages for their kids. Despite the fact that some states are required by law to have warning labels on sugary beverages, there isn’t much evidence which shows how those labels influence purchasing habits of parents. Since 50% of children under the age of eleven drink sugary sweetened beverages often, many worry about the adverse effects linked with the consumption of those beverages, according to Christina Roberto, PHD. According to Dr. Roberto and her researcher’s because of the believe that certain types of sugary sweetened drinks like flavored waters and other sport drinks are healthier options by parents, those need to be labeled as well.

In conducting the study, Dr. Roberto and her researchers carried out an online survey of 2,381 parents, who had a child between the ages of six to eleven years of age. Moreover, most of these participants came from diverse racial and ethnic minorities. The parents were divided into six groups. These groups were a calorie group, which saw a label that showed the amount of calories in that beverage, a control group, which didn’t see warning labels on beverages, and four warning label groups, which saw one of four kinds of warning labels that warned about the possible negative consequences of drinking sugary sweetened beverages. After categorizing them in groups, the participants were asked to choose a beverage for their kid. The results of their choices, depicted that they were similar to those on effects of tobacco warning labels. To be specific, 40% of parents in the health warning label groups said that they would choose a sugary sweetened beverage for their kids as opposed to 60% of the participants who didn’t look at the labels said that they would also choose a sugary sweetened beverage for their kids. Not only that, but 53% of the participants who looked at the the calorie labels also said that they would choose a sugary sweetened beverage for their kids. Overall these results show that including health labels on sugary sweetened beverages is can be a very crucial and influential method in educating parents about the negative health outcomes linked with sugary sweetened beverages, and therefore push them to make less of those purchases for their kids. Also, 75% of those parental participants supported to have them included on sugary sweetened beverages, when they were evaluated for consumer support.

The link between labeling sugary sweetened beverages and parents being less willing to buy those drinks for their kids is connected with smoking and lung cancer in 1950. In 1950, three scientific papers were published in hopes to persuade Americans that smoking was directly and indirectly correlated with cancer, the scientific papers depicted how the from the preceding fifty years of 1950 that lung cancer rates as tobacco consumption increased, illustrated that the biological mechanism to developing lung cancer was due to smoking, it also showed that hospital patients who smoked heavily were more than likely to develop lung cancer than those patients who smoked lightly and didn’t smoke. Because of these undeniable facts about the connection between smoking and cancer, the US Surgeon requires cigarette companies to have warning labels on their products. In the same way, just like cigarettes there’s been a persona in the US and other parts of the world that soda or other sweetened beverages aren’t harmful to people, but with adverse health effects from consuming these products being more and more prevalent in kids in the US in this case, many parents are being more cautious about making purchasing choices on sugary sweetened drinks. Thankfully, warning labels on these beverages has helped many parents in this study make healthy purchasing choices for their kids, and hopefully this will be a continuous thing all around the world. Personally, growing up, my dad would always emphasize to me not to drink soda and other sweetened beverages often, and because of this I’ve been able to maintain a life free of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
Sources:
The influence of sugar-sweetened beverage health warning labels on parents’ choices, Christina A. Roberto et al., Pediatrics, published online January 2016, abstract.
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania news release, accessed 14 January 2016 via Newswise.
CDC, Consumption of added sugar among U.S. children and adolescents, 2005–2008, accessed 14 January 2016.

Is`the overuse of antibiotics linked to antibiotic resistance in the human body

Antibiotics are drugs that are effective in killing off bacterial infections rather than viral infections. Therefore, when an antibiotic is taken by someone for the purposes of killing off a viral infection; it ends up attacking healthy bacteria. The killing of harmless bacteria leads to antibiotic resistance in the body. Sadly, doctors are responsible for this issue because 10% of doctors write out prescriptions to 95% of patients who visit them with an acute respiratory infection. The reasons as why this occurs is due to a couple of possible reasons according to Mayo Clinic. First, doctors may prescribe antibiotics before receiving test results that show an infection is viral instead of bacterial. Second, doctors may be pressured by patients to be prescribed antibiotic medications.
In this study Dr. Barbera Jones, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Utah and clinician at the VA (Veteran Affairs) Salt Lake City Health Care System, UT along with her colleagues analyzed the Veteran Affairs electronic health record. This health record involved 1,044,523 patient visits only for acute respiratory infections (ARIs). The purpose of this study was to get a better understanding in antibiotic prescribing methods among physicians. One of the first things that the researcher’s found out was that antibiotics were prescribed in 68% of all patients who were visiting a physician for an acute respiratory infection. Outside of that, Dr. Jones and her researcher’s found out that there was a 10% increase in the amount of macrolides being prescribed to patients with an acute respiratory infection. This is disappointing to say the least, because of current medical guidelines, which recommends against the use of macrolides as a primary treatment for most acute respiratory infections. Furthermore, what is more shocking is that the study revealed a great difference in prescription practices among physicians. In this case 10% of physicians prescribed antiobiotics for 95% of patient visits for acute respiratory infections, but only 10% wrote an antibiotic for 40% patient visits for acute respiratory infections. To find out the reasons behind the differences in antibiotic prescribing practices, Dr. Jones and her colleagues carried out an additional analysis of 480,575 patient visits for acute respiratory infection. The results from this analysis showed that 59% of the variation was due to prescribing habits, 13% of the variation was due to differences in prescribing practices in hospital centers, and 28% of the variation was linked with differences in prescribing practices among clinics. Based on all of these results, Dr. Jones and her colleagues believes that by improving and comprehending how physicians make decisions about antibiotic prescribing can assist in helping to reduce antibiotic overuse as time goes on.
Antibiotic resistance in the body due to the inaccurate prescribing of antibiotic prescriptions by physicians, reminds me of the time when physicians used blood letting as a means to treat patients. This was done primarily because of the fact that doctors believed that it was better to do something than nothing. For example, during the time of the Yellow Fever epidemic, Benjamin Rush found a report that stated that Yellow Fever was caused by too much blood. Because of this assumption 2.5 L of blood was taken out by Yellow Fever victims, which unfortunately killed many of them. The point is that those Yellow Fever patients of the past as well as the the acute respiratory infection patients who are not being prescribed accurate antibiotic prescriptions need to be understand that human intuition including doctor’s are lousy, but need to be aware of soft end and hard end points. Personally, I’ve experienced this kind of thing from a physician about a year ago; he wrote me a prescription right away for two antibiotics, when I went to his office, and told him that I had a stomach virus.
Sources:
Variation in outpatient antibiotic prescribing for acute respiratory infections in the veteran population, Barbara Jones et al., Annals of Internal Medicine, published online 21 July 2015.
University of Utah Health Sciences news release, accessed 20 July 2015 via Newswise.
Mayo Clinic, Antibiotics: misuse puts you and others at risk, accessed 20 July 2015.

Are ADHD medications linked to sleeping patterns and dietary issues

According to a peer reviewed study carried out by the Cochrane: Developmental, Psychosocial and Learning Problems Group, researchers are claiming that the drug Methylphenidate, commonly known as Ritalin is used to treat ADHD in children is linked to non-serious adverse effects, particularly problems with having an appetite and sleeping.  The study was a randomized control study that included 12, 245 children and or adolescent’s that had ADHD.  One confounding variable among-st these participant’s is that most came from a high socioeconomic status, which is very odd. I say that, because it’s people from low socioeconomic backgrounds who face prolonged health effects. This is especially true when we learned in class that kids who are infested with worms “wormy kids” come from poor countries from areas of Africa and south East Asia, because the livelihood of kids with worms living in third world countries is based on their low socioeconomic status. Saying this, you would think that these 12, 225 participants would refrain from continuing to use methylphenidate, but it could be that they can’t realize that for themselves since many of them are so young and that they associate sleeplessness and dietary problems as being a part of their lives just like the kids with worms in developing countries do unfortunately. However, in all of the 185 randomized control trials, researchers found that all of them were at high risk for bias. As we learned in class, bias studies are designed to spread a cause many times coming from the funder of a study. In this particular study, Copenhagen University Hospital was one funder along with Region New Zealand, and the University of Southern Denmark. One indication that the funders of this study had an impact in the level of bias in this study, is that it was impossible to assess the long-term effects of methylphenidate because those randomized trials were too small and of low quality.
However, primary and secondary outcomes were present in the study. Findings from the primary outcome of if Methylphenidate can improve ADHD symptoms from the prospective of a teacher show that Methylenidate can help to improve hyperactivity and impulsivity in ADHD children. Findings from the secondary outcome which were the group of children prescribed with Methylenidate show that Methphenidate doesn’t increase the risk of developing a life threatening disease only taking the drug for six months, but it’s linked to ADHD children developing sleeping problems and a deceased appetite.  I personally agree to this because I’ve seen my ex room-mate who had ADHD at times display a decrease in his appetite, and complain about sleeping patterns. In a similar study, one study linked ADHD medications to lower bone density. This study was led by Dr. Jessica Rivera, an orthaepedic surgeon with the US Army of Surgical Research and her fellow researcher’s. Dr. Rivera and her collegeues assessed 5,315 children in the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) by comparing the children who were taking ADHD medications with children who were not ADHD medications. The ADHD medications that the ADHD children were using were lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse), methylphenidate (Ritalin), atomoxetine (Strattera), dexmethylphenidate (Focalin), and dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine). From their assessment on these children, Dr. Rivera and her medical colleugues found that 25% of the children who took ADHD medications met the necessary guidelines for osteopenia, which is characterized by low bone density in the body. Specifically, those 25% on ADHD medications who met the criteria for Osteopenia, had lower bone density in the lumbar spine, femur, and femoral neck compared to the children who were not on ADHD medications. From the findings of these results, Dr. Rivera says that the even though a connection between Osteopenia in childhood and osteoporosis in later life hasn’t been confirmed; the issue is that low bone density in ADHD children could have adverse long term effects as these children age. This is because increases in bone mass and strength is primarily obtained in childhood. The possible biological mechanism as to why ADHD children who take ADHD medications experience low bone density is because the medications that they use can cause gastrointenstinal problems. These gastrointenstinal problems result in some experiencing a decrease in appetite, and therefore an upset stomach, which can lead to some children having a poor diet and a decrease in calcium intake. This study reminds me of topic discussed in class about corticosteriods being proscribed to head injury patients in order to prevent the swelling of the skull, and about anti-arrhythmic medications being prescribed to patients experiencing heart problems. In both situations, the corticosteriods as well as the anti-arrhythmic medications did more harm than good for patients, to the point where it was killing them. In the same way, ADHD medications are having more adverse effects on users than good effects, many are experiencing sleeping problems, a decreased appetite, and therefore a low bone density.

Sources:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons news release, accessed 3 March 2016 via EurekAlert.
CDC, ADHD, accessed 3 March 2016.
Methylphenidate for children and adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Ole Jakob Storeb et al Cochrane Review, doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD009885.pub2, published online 25 November 2015.

 

IS There a Link Between Parental Depression and Children Getting Bad Grades

According to JAMA Psychiatry, there seems to be a connection between depressed parents and their children exhibiting poor academic performance in school. Depression is a mental illness that affects 7.6% Americans who twelve years of age and older, and out of that twelve percent, three percent of them severe depressive symptoms according to the CDC. Individuals from a low socio-economic status are more likely to go have depression, and it is more common in women in the forty-fifty nine age bracket. More specifically, forty-three percent of individuals who have mild depressive symptoms, and ninety percent of individuals with severe depression come across with issues in their daily lives, such as social activities, home, and work. Furthermore, depression increases the chances to experience early death, a disability, and illness, and have a toll on loved ones. According to Brian K. Lee, PHD, of the Drexel University of Public Health in Philadelphia, PA, and other researcher’s, there seems to be a link between depressed parents, and their children performing poorly in their academics. Research was conducted on Swedish youth who were born between 1984-1994, and research was focused on those youth who left school at sixteen years of age. Brian K. Lee, PHD, and other researchers looked for connections that showed a linking between diagnoses of parental depression from inpatient and outpatient records with school grades for Swedish children born between 1984-1994. They also scrutinized the Swedish national data, which consisted of over 1.1 million children, 33,906 mothers, and 23,724 fathers who had depression before a child reached the end of compulsory schooling. What the researcher’s found was that 2.1% of fathers, and 3% of mother’s experienced depression before the final years of their child’s compulsory schooling. Therefore, from these findings, researcher’s were able to affirm that there is a link between maternal and paternal depression during anytime before a child finished compulsory education. However, there isn’t a statistically significant difference between postnatal depression and maternal and paternal depression, but girls were more negatively affected than boys when their mother’s were depressed. There also seems to be a biological mechanism as why girls were more depressed than boys when their mother’s were depressed. According to researchers from the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) led by Dr. Fumiko Hoeft, PHD, an associate professor of psychiatry, they found that gray matter volume found in the corticolimbic systems of mother’s and their daughters to be similar through conducting an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). This similarity was not seen among mothers and sons, fathers and sons or fathers and daughters. The corticolimibic system is located in the brain, which includes the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, amygdala, ventromedial, and anterior cingulate cortex. It’s function is to assess danger, and processes and regulates emotions. Mood disorder’s such as depression cause structural changes in the corticolimbic system. However, environmental factors such as socioeconomic status does play a role in children developing depression. Gregory B. Couch, PHD, of psychiatry at Washington’s School of Medicine and his colleagues conducted a study on 105 prechool children aged 3-5. His team used a income-to-needs ratio to assess the socioeconomic status of those preschool children. During the time of the study $24,250 a year for a family of four was considered to be at the poverty level. Children from the ages of 7-12 went through a functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI), which allowed the researchers to analyze the hippocampus, and the amygdala. Analyzing those two parts of the brain the researcher’s found that children from lower-income families showed weaker connections between the left hippocampus and the right superior frontal cortex, but also weaker associations between the right amygdada and the right lingual gyrus compared to preschoolers from higher-income families. These weaker connections in the brain of children coming from lower-income families is unfortunately linked to those children developing clinical depression between ages 9 or 10. This reminds me of the topic discussed in class about the wormy kids, because the kids who were infected with worms were the ones who came from a low socioeconomic status, and coming from poverty not only put them at risk to be infected with worms, but caused them to perform badly in their academics. Personally, I can speak for myself in that I grew up in a family with very little money to spare, and from my experience I have seen that coming from a low socioeconomic status that it did have a toll on me in being able to academic perform well, and it still does today. Whoever said that money does that bring happiness, just didn’t have of it. Having money can and does make all the difference in life.
Sources
Associations of parental depression with child school performance at age 16 years in Sweden, Hanyang Shen et al., JAMA Psychiatry, doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.2917, published online February 3, 2016.
CDC, Depression in the US household population, 2009–2012, accessed 2 February 2016.
Female-specific intergenerational transmission pattern of the human corticolimbic circuitry, Bun Yamagata et al., Journal of Neuroscience, doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4974-14.2016, published 26 January 2016, abstract.
Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis news release, accessed 19 January 2016.

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Can Meditation reduce pain in patients

Meditation is a mental practice of the mind and body that has long been used to create relaxation human beings. According to a study carried out by researcher’s from the Duke Cancer Institute in Durnham, NC, there seems to be a link between women undergoing breast cancer biopsies who practice meditation, experiencing a reduction in pain, fatigue, and anxiety. Breast cancer biopsy is a painful procedure for women who go through it. It involves the removal of of breast tissue. Women often times experience pain during after the breast biopsy. In this study, Dr. Soo and her colleagues randomized 121 women who were going through breast biopsies into three groups: guided meditation, music, and a control group. During the breast biopsy, the women in the meditation group listened to audio recorded that was embedded in love and kindess. The goal was for those women too obtain positive emotions and release negative emotions. Then, the women in the music group were listening to relaxing music from either choice of world music, instrumental jazz, flute, classical piano, nature sounds, and classical piano. The women in the control group just received supportive words from the medical biopsy team. Also, before and after the breast biopsy, the 121 women filled out questionnaires that was used to measure their anxiety and nervousness by ranking their biopsy pain from zero to ten, and gauged their feelings of fatigue and weakness. The results from the questionnaires depicted that the women the music and meditation groups showed more post-biopsy reductions in fatigue and anxiety compared to the women in the control group who reported increased pain, fatigue, and anxiety. Moreover, the women in the meditation group experienced much more less pain during the breast biopsy, compared to the women in the music group. From these results Dr. Soo, and her colleagues believe that mediation and music is good alternative instead of the use of drugs on breast biopsy patients, because the drugs administered on breast biopsy patients sedates them, and therefore often times requiring someone to drive the women home after the procedure. Besides mediation and music being an effective alternative to sedative drugs, meditation and music is much cheaper and simpler to administer than sedative drugs.

In a similar study to the breast biopsy study, research findings by scientists at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC, reveal positive patterns in brain activity produced by meditation to be different than those created by a placebo. In this study, seventy-five pain-free participants were categorized into one of four groups: placebo meditation (relaxation), mindfulness mediation, placebo analgesic cream, or the control group. Pain was administered by using a thermal tube to heat an area of the the participants skin to 120.2 degrees Fahrenheit, which a a temperature level most human beings find to be painful. Then, the study participants their pain unpleasantness (emotional response), and pain intensity (physical sensation). After rating those things, the participants brains were scanned with an arterial spin labeling magnetic resonance imaging (ASL MRI), before and after the four days of interventions. The results revealed that the mindfulness meditation group experienced a pain intensity reduction by 27% and associated emotional response of pain to be reduced by 44%, but the placebo cream only caused a reduction in the sensation of pain by 11% and the emotion response to pain to be reduced by 13%. Further more, the placebo mediation group revealed a nine percent reduction in pain rating, but a 24% in pain unpleasantness. The biological mechanism to the reduction in pain by those participants who practiced mindful meditation is due to the the activation of anterior cingulate cortex and orbitofronal brain regions, which are both associated with self-control of pain, whereas the placebo cream only lowered pain reducing brain activity in the secondary somatosensory cortex. The somatosensory cortex is an area of the brain the processes pain the body. The other thing to is that the thalamus was deactivated in the mindful meditation group, which may have caused the incoming signals of pain to not be felt by the participants in that group.
Both of these studies remind me of the discussion that was held in class when we learned that Leibovici in 2001 published a paper in the British Medical Journal that concluded that prayer could retrospectively improve the health of patients with blood poisoning. His paper proved to be false, but I think this happened because the hospital patients were not doing the prayer for themselves and were therefore not in a “mindfulness meditative state”, but rather other individuals were praying for them. The other possible reason as to why prayer was impossible prove to it improving the health of the blood patients has to do with amount of faith that these blood patients had that they would be healed. Faith is often times dictated by people’s life circumstances. In this case, the blood poisoned patients are in a life or death situation, so for a patient of that kind to have the faith that he or she would be healed from it is very hard for a person of that kind to accept and believe, compared to the women believing that they would go through their breast biopsy without experiencing pain.
Sources:
Imaging-guided core-needle breast biopsy: impact of meditation and music interventions on patient anxiety, pain, and fatigue, Mary Scott Soo et al., Journal of the American College of Radiology, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacr.2015.12.004, published 4 February 2016, abstract.
Duke Health news release, accessed 4 February 2016 via Newswise.
NIH, Meditation: in depth, accessed 4 February 2016.
Mindfulness meditation-related pain relief: evidence for unique brain mechanisms in the regulation of pain, F. Zeidan et al,Neuroscience letters, doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2012.03.082, published online 6 April 2012.
Mindfulness meditation-related pain relief: Evidence for unique brain mechanisms in the regulation of pain, F. Zeidan et al.,Neuroscience letters, doi:10.1016/j.neulet.2012.03.082 , published 29 June 2012, abstract via Elsevier
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center news release, accessed 13 November 2015.

 

Are sugary sweetened beverages linked to obesity

Based on one study, there seems to be connection between drinking sugary sweetened drinks, and an increase in visceral fat in the body, which predisposes one to be at risk for heart disease and diabetes. Visceral fat bad form of fat located around the abdominal cavity, and this fat also is embedded around the intestines, the liver, and the pancreas.Visceral fat is found in all human beings in small amounts, but an excess amount puts one in danger for having heart disease and type II diabetes.According to John Hopkins Medicine, men who a waist that’s 35 inches or more, and women who have a waist of 40 inches or more are at a higher risk in developing health problems because of too much visceral fat. This study was carried out by Dr. Caroline Fox, who was a special volunteer at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), along with her colleagues in the sole purpose of investigating how sugary sweetened beverage consumption is linked to the development of visceral fat. Dr. Fox and her fellow researcher’s analyzed the data of 1003 participants who were on average aged 45 years old. These people were part of the Framingham Heart Study, which was a continuous project backed by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. During the initial and ending of the six year follow-up period this study, the participants went through a computed tomography (CT) scans, which were used to measure alterations in visceral fat, and on top of that the participants completed food questionnaires. In those questionnaires, the participants wrote their consumption of sugary sweetened beverages and diet soda. Then, these participants were placed in four sections. These sections were non-drinkers of sugary sweetened beverages, occasional drinkers of sugary sweetened beverages (drank once month), frequent drinkers of sugary sweetened beverages (drank once weekly), and those who drank sugary sweetened beverages once or more daily.

The results showed that the participants who drank sugary drinks daily had the most amount of visceral fat at 852cm, whereas non drinkers of sugary drinks had the lowest amount of visceral fat in the body at 658 cm. On the contrary, occasional drinkers of sugary beverages had a visceral fat increase of 649cm, but frequent drinkers of sugary beverages had a 707 cm increase of visceral fat. These results remained to be standard even after keeping in mind of confounding variables, such as BMI, age, level of physical activity, and gender. While there is no plausible biological mechanism as to what causes visceral fat, one possibility is that the added sugars in these beverages plays a part in insulin resistance, leading consumer’s of those drinks to be at risk for heart disease and type II diabetes. Furthermore, there was no link between drinking diet soda and visceral fat. This study is linked to the sugary randomized control trial experiment in adolescent Hispanics, and the Amsterdam randomized control study on the consumption of sugary drinks. In both of those studies, bottom line was that even a modest consumption of sugary drinks is linked to weight gain and other obesity related diseases such as type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease. I believe that people need to understand that obesity and it’s associated diseases hits anyone, and in order to prevent that from happening people need to realize that “you are what you eat and drink, and its potential implications.”

Sources:
Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption is associated with change of visceral adipose tissue over 6 years of follow-up, Caroline Fox et al., Circulation, published online 11 January 2016.
AHA news release, accessed 8 January 2016 via AlphaGalileo.
CDC, Consumption of sugar drinks in the United States, 2005-2008, accessed 8 January 2016.
Johns Hopkins Medicine, The skinny on visceral fat, accessed 8 January 2016.
Sugary Drink FACTS, Sugary drink facts in brief, accessed 8 January 2016.

Does listening to music help athletes in their performance?

rondo

I love basketball and I used to play it Varsity in the B Division when I was in High School. For as long as I could remember, for some odd reason whether before a game or during a workout I found myself listening to music. I would listen to my favorite songs, whether Rap or R&B and I would feel a rush of energy. I personally feel that listening to music helped increase my performance no matter my skill level. Athletes that I look up to and enjoy watching, also listen to music before any game or during a workout. Does listening to music help athletes in their performance?

When looking for things to enhance performance people tend to think of substances and supplements. A number of studies have shown that music can actually enhance the physical abilities and overall focus athletes need before performing. The relationship between music and general performance is known as disassociation. Disassociation is a process that in which an individual detaches himself or herself from a particular activity. Focusing on the music distracts ones attention from the fatigue and pain. I’ve done research that displays the positives and negatives of music and performance.

Throughout the first study it states how research by an Olympic sports psychologist Professor Peter Terry shows that elite athletes can run 18% longer when listening to music. The study didn’t include who these “elite athletes” were. We don’t know their gender, age, or medical history, which are all important information that could impact the study. Also, we don’t know the sample size of the study to determine which could influence whether the study is a fluke or not. In the study Professor Terry’s athletes running on a treadmill could extend themselves eighteen percent longer if they listened to music in tempo with their stride. In the second study British researches asked twelve healthy male college students to ride stationary on bicycles while listening to music of different tempos. Each of the songs differed in tempo from the other bicyclists. The volunteers were told to ride at a speed they felt were comfortable for 30 minutes. As a result of the study researchers found that as the tempo of the music slowed down so did the volunteers pedaling. With a slow tempo the volunteer’s heart rates fell, and their mileage dropped. When the volunteers listened to up tempo music their heart rates rose, they covered more miles, and produced more power with each pedal stroke.

As we can see the two studies display that music does have an affect on athletes performance. But as we learned in class correlation does not equal causation. There could be something else affecting this data-a third variable like physical condition, or willpower, or even the genre of music that play a role in athletes performance. I feel that I can both agree and trust these studies. Both studies are considered experimental. To draw any conclusions I feel that the sample size for both studies needed to be larger and researchers needed to conduct a different type of experiment. Researchers in the second study could have compared those listening to music and those without. And then compared the different tempos of music to see if it had an affect. Age and gender could also play a role in the difference in athlete’s performance.

Therefore, it is hard to conclude for sure if music plays a role in athlete’s performance and how much. But with the research conducted we could see that there is a relationship between the tempos of music and athletes functions. With research, I found two studies and in those two studies athletes ran 18% longer while listening to music, and bicyclists pedaled faster or slower, gained more mileage or slowed down, based on the tempo of music. I personally am convinced that music plays a role in athlete’s performance due to experience but that isn’t enough, and there isn’t enough information to draw a general conclusion. There needs to be more evidence to consider if music plays a positive role on athlete’s performance.

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/entertainment/music/music-helps-athletes-boost-performance/story-e6freeuu-1225891788955

https://www.jackedfactory.com/listening-to-muscic-increases-athletic-performance/

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/25/phys-ed-does-music-make-you-exercise-harder/

Who’s most likely to get injured in the NBA and how?

kyrie

Basketball is both my favorite sport to watch and play. While recently watching a game Kyrie Irving, my favorite basketball player suffered a massive knee injury, which caused him to leave for the rest of the season. I’ve been playing basketball since the age of thirteen and I’ve been watching it since the age of five. Throughout my years of both playing and watching basketball I’ve seen many players and friends suffer from mainly leg injuries. With research I have found that in the U.S. basketball has the most injuries. Basketball has a total of 512,213 injuries throughout the year. Do the amount of games and the amount of minutes a player receives plays a role on why they receive injuries in their legs?

The NBA season consists of eighty-two games in a span of five months, not including the Playoff season and that can be more than the human body can handle. An analysis was performed on the NBA database from 1988-1989 through the 2004-2005 basketball seasons for league-sanctioned activities including rates of injury. Injury rates were calculated by total number of injuries multiplied by one thousand divided by total number of game exposures. It was a 17-year study and during that period there were 12,594 injuries reported. Of the injuries 6,287 occurred during an actual game. With the injuries stated researchers concluded that the ankle by far was the most common joint injured, comprising 1850 injuries and 14.7% of all injuries. Lateral ankle sprains counted for 8.8% of all games missed. Basketball has evolved to become a highly physical sport with a high rate of injury.

The demographics of the study display that the lower extremity was the most frequently injured body area accounting for 57.8% of all game related injuries. The upper extremity accounted for 19.3%. The torso and head areas both accounted for 10%. And the cervical spine accounted for 1.8% of injuries. In addition to injured areas, the demographics also display that players from 26 to 34 are most likely to get injured. Also the more experience you have the more likely you are to get injured; the more you weight and the taller you are leads to a higher risk of injury. What I do find interesting about the study is that the researchers failed to take into encounter the minutes the players receive and the positions of the players. I trust this information and consider it useful but we still don’t know enough to say who is most likely to get injured and how.

Prior to research, I would have never thought basketball has the most injuries or leg injuries because there are so many dangerous sports out there and basketball shoes are designed to protect your ankles and bring support. With the research provided it makes you question are basketball shoes really made to protect you. Hurt Prolonged seasons mean all injury rates will increase. Basic basketball techniques such as the crossover, jumping for rebounds, and pivoting require a lot of leg and ankle movement. As we discussed in class the idea of the shoe supporting your ankle could be considered a soft end point. Not knowing how much movement the ankle needs can play a role in why there are many ankle injuries. I can agree with the study and see that with constant running, and pressure on your legs in a short span of time can cause many injuries. It seems that the study was observational but also controlled because only NBA players were examined.

I feel that I can trust the study but I don’t know if I can draw a conclusion on who’s most likely to get injured in the NBA and how. I trust the study because it’s from a credible source. The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health published the study. Researchers took the right course of action by reviewing NBA players but should of taken into encounter their positions and the type of shoes the players were wearing. The study doesn’t suffer from the file drawer problem because it was published, but I feel that more research needs to be done. There could be another study conducted over a longer period of time to avoid flukes. You don’t want to receive any false negatives or false positives in your research. I wonder if all the other sports viewed in the U.S. such as NFL, NHL etc. had a similar schedule to that of the NBA if there would be more leg injuries reported.

Therefore, it is hard to determine who’s most likely to get injured in the NBA and how. A study was conducted on NBA players through the years of 1988 to 2005. In the end it was reported that a total of 12,594 injuries occurred and of those 6,287 were ankle injuries. Basketball is both my favorite sport to watch and play. With my years of experience leg injuries are something that I constantly hear about. With research, I feel that the NBA has the most leg injuries than any other sport but there isn’t enough information to help conclude that thought.

Are Adidas, Nikes, or Jordan’s better to play basketball in?

KK

Basketball and fashion are my first two loves. It’s ironic that the greatest to ever play the game also creates my favorite sneakers. The greatest to ever play the game is Michael Jordan. He holds the NBA for highest career regular season scoring average and highest career playoff scoring average. He has won 6 championships with one team, and holds five most valuable player awards. As a child I idolized Michael Jordan as a basketball player. Now that I’m older I still idolize him as a player but even more as a businessman. Jordan’s seem like they would be the basketball shoes because they come from the best player. Where I’m from everyone either wanted to be like Jordan or have every sneaker he came out with. But players in the NBA play in sneakers from Reebok to Nikes. Most people aren’t aware that Jordan’s are another form of Nikes under their brand subsidiary. So do the shoes make the player or the player make the shoes?

I tried to gain as much research as possible, but with my findings there were no studies done to develop a general answer as to which shoe creates the best performance. When NBA players look for sneakers to play in, they look for shoes that are both secure and durable. NBA players need solid traction and superior lock down in order to maneuver freely without any hesitation. According to ESPN the top ten players of the NBA 2015-2016 season right now are Stephen Curry, James Harden, Paul George, Kevin Durant, Lebron James, Russell Westbrook, Damian Lillard, Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis, and Kyle Lowry. (In that order) Each of these players has their own unique style of play but also all wear different sneakers. Stephen Curry the number one player in the NBA averages 34.4 minutes and 32.2 points per game. He’s the best player in the league right now and he wears sneakers by Under Armour. As you can see by the chart, Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 11.30.22 PM  players who wear Under Armour average the least points. Having the most points doesn’t make you the best player because there are other things to take into encounter such as defense, rebounding, games won with the team etc. But Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors are the reigning champions, he won the MVP award last year, he’s number one in the league at the moment, and the Warriors are leading the NBA with the best record 27-0.

In addition to players wearing Under Armour having the lowest points, they also average the lowest rebounds and steals. Then comes Adidas and then comes Nike. The most common shoes worn in the NBA are Nikes. NBA players who wear Nike seem to have the most points, rebounds, and steals. Of the 442 NBA players 284 wear Nike, and Nike endorses 79 players. Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 11.33.33 PM So how can Stephen Curry be the best and he doesn’t wear Nikes? Could he just be lucky? Or does the man really make the shoe?

Therefore, this idea perfectly demonstrates the concept of correlation doesn’t equal causation. Just because Micheal Jordan is the greatest many people buy his sneakers trying to imitate him. Thinking that wearing Jordan’s would give them his skill or make them a better player. Many people in the NBA wear Nikes but the best player in the league at the current moment wears Under Armour. As stated previously Under Armour has the lowest ratings for players. This shows that basketball is mainly about skill. If I really wanted to find out which shoe generates the best performance, I would conduct an experiment taking random players of gender, age, etc. and giving them random shoes and assess information that way. But even with that you can’t come to a complete conclusion. You can’t rely on a shoe to tell you which generates the best performance because there are other things you have to take into affect when finding out what generates the best performance. There are third confounding variables such as age or height that also play a role in generating a player’s performance level. There is no specific way to tell if Nikes, Adidas, or Jordan’s are better to play basketball in.

http://www.complex.com/sneakers/2012/11/what-the-25-best-players-in-the-nba-wear-and-why

http://espn.go.com/nba/statistics/player/_/stat/scoring-per-game/sort/avgPoints

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-06/adidas-nike-and-under-armour-whose-nba-players-have-the-best-stats-

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-06/adidas-nike-and-under-armour-whose-nba-players-have-the-best-stats-

Does smoking Marijuana cause Lung Cancer?

marijuana-smoke

Many people feel that if you research this topic you either have a connection to Marijuana or a connection to Cancer. I have a connection to neither. What helped pushed me towards this topic and want to learn more about marijuana affecting the body was the Tobacco lecture we had in class. Understanding the human body and knowing what affects you is an amazing thing to me. We basically learned that any type of smoke you put into your body is very harmful and has negative affects. We know there is a direct link to tobacco causing cancer. But can Marijuana smoke cause cancer?

Marijuana is the second most common smoked substance in the U.S. after tobacco. Marijuana smoke is composed of the same ingredients that are in tobacco. You would think if they’re composed of the same ingredients and one causes cancer so would the other. But with the case of Marijuana this is still hard to determine. There are also no deaths reported due to marijuana, so it’s hard to portray the affect it has. Studies have just recently proved that tobacco causes cancer so the same precaution has to be taken for Marijuana. We would have to do a numerous amount of research for basically the same period of time. When it comes to smoking marijuana people inhale the cannabis smoke for longer than cigarette smoke. This is to get the full effect of the cannabis. But it means that the smoke is in contact with the lungs for longer.

Smoking marijuana clearly damages the human lung. Research shows that smoking marijuana causes chronic bronchitis and marijuana smoke has been shown to injure the cell linings of the large airways, which could explain why smoking marijuana leads to symptoms such as chronic cough, phlegm production, wheeze and acute bronchitis. Smoking marijuana hurts the lungs’ first line of defense against infection by killing cells that help remove dust and germs as well as causing more mucus to be formed. In addition, it also suppresses the immune system. These effects could lead to an increased risk of lower respiratory tract infections among marijuana smokers, although there is no clear evidence of such actual infections being more common among marijuana smokers.”

I reviewed a study that was conducted in 2006, and a researchers looked at marijuana use and lung cancer risk. In the study they could not find a significant link between marijuana and cancer, the reviewers reported that smoking marijuana increased tar exposure and caused changes to the lining of the small tubes in the lungs. Researches recommended that, until we have more definite evidence, doctors should warn people of the possible harmful effects of marijuana smoking.

There are difficulties in researching the effects of cannabis. Many people who smoke cannabis also smoke tobacco. And users of cannabis often mix it with tobacco. This can make it difficult to know whether it is the tobacco, the cannabis, or both that has caused a cancer. This shows that although marijuana can play a role in causing cancer there are third variables that can also play a role. Knowing that it affects your learn it just makes you think what else could marijuana affect. Could it affect memory? Could marijuana affect cognitive performance, or business/social life? It’s such an interesting topic that can branch out to anything.

Therefore, we can say that we don’t know if marijuana can cause lung cancer. I agree with the study and finding out the side effects of smoking marijuana but I don’t know if I can trust it because there is no general conclusion and the sample size needs to be much larger. In order to determine if marijuana causes lung cancer we need to conduct a long observational study. And in that study we would need a huge sample size and take into encounter the different forms of smoking marijuana.

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancers-in-general/cancer-questions/does-smoking-cannabis-cause-cancer

http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/smoking-facts/marijuana-and-lung-health.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/?referrer=http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/smoking-facts/marijuana-and-lung-health.html?referrer=http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/smoking-facts/marijuana-and-lung-health.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/?referrer=http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/smoking-facts/marijuana-and-lung-health.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/?referrer=http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/smoking-facts/marijuana-and-lung-health.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/03/marijuana-deaths_n_3860418.html

http://files.iowamedicalmarijuana.org/science/safety/Tashkin%20MJ%20Lung%20Injury%20Monaldi%20Arch%20Chest%20Dis%202005.pdf

Sleep Cycles

As a new college students I feel myself in the situation where my sleep cycle that I used to have before coming here to Penn State, isn’t anymore. A very big portion link of freshmen dramatically extended back and forth with there sleeping schedule during the first semester in particular. This happens for several reasons such as being unprepared, having bad study habits, feeling unmovitated, involved in the non-stop party marathon of the freshmen people, and/or terribling time management or organization skills. Like Andrew told me..

“Organization is the key to happiness, well at least some happiness…”

Now that I am at the very end of the semester I can see this a clear as water. If I had listen or really understood the circumstances I was being involved with, I could have avoided myself a lot of stress during this fall semester.

Why procrastinate?

Procrastination is putting tasks that we should be doing on hold by getting ourselves distracted.

But maybe a more technical definition would be: Procrastination in large part reflects our perennial struggle with self-control as well as our inability to accurately predict how we’ll feel tomorrow, or the next day.

Most of us would agree to have experienced the stress that comes out of not having enough time to complete an assignment, at least once in our lives.

procrastination_illo_300And our distracting factor doesn’t have to be twitter in particular. We may be more easily distracted by other things such as watching t.v. or funny YouTube videos about cats falling down or being scared to death…

There is science behind everything, and procrastination might be one of the human behaviors we might have thought to be much more simple than thinking of it as a scientific inquire. It is actually more of a deep and complex explanation than just being lazy.

The Neuropsychology of Procrastination

Recently the behavioral research into procrastination has ventured beyond cognition, emotion, and personality, into the realm of neuropsychology. The frontal systems of the brain are known to be involved in a number of processes that overlap with self-regulation. These behaviors — problem-solving, planning, self-control, and the like — fall under the domain of executive functioning. Oddly enough, no one had ever examined a connection between this part of the brain and procrastination, says Laura Rabin of Brooklyn College.

BBC Magazine had this article about procrastination a while ago where it showed many real-life procrastination tales from people around UK and America. These are some examples of the cases BBC published:

•”I bought a book called 52 Steps To Defeating Procrastination. I’ve still never read it- it was over 10 years ago, and I’m not even sure where it is now.” -Craig, Bedfordshire, UK

•”A client sent me a cheque for £6,000. I lost it. I always intended to ask them to issue another but never got round to it.” -Ian Bain, Edinburgh

•”A friend of mine, who I’ll call “Dave” (because that was his name) said he would do anything to avoid A-level revision. At one point he infamously found himself weighing the cat, convinced that he would only be able to settle down to work if he had that data to hand. As a result, some 25 years later, the act of procrastination is referred to by my family as “weighing the cat”. -Ian Whitten, Sittingbourne, Kent

So as we see, procrastination can seem pretty harmless at first-hand, but as time goes on this simple tasks can become embarrassing stories.

If we want to keep our lives straight and achieve goals we set for ourselves we might want to seriously consider getting rid of our procrastination habit. But for breaking this habit, we must first understand some of the psychological reasons why people procrastinate.

Why do we procrastinate?

  1. Lack of motivation
  2. Fear of failure
  3. Fear of success
  4. Unskilled
  5. Being a perfectionist
  6. Lack of self-control

Lack of motivation:

To believe that you must feel motivated in order to begin a task has the order of events in reverse. People often have this pattern of doing things only when they are feeling at least a little motivated in doing them.

A way to overcome this issue is by simply starting the task, don’t matter how small the progress is, motivation can begin to build, therefore making the task at hand feel easier to accomplish.

Fear of failure

Fear of failing can be also a very common reason why people tend to put things off for later. Many people who identify with this reason might have found themselves saying this: If I really try hard and fail, that is worse than if I don’t try and end up failing.”

A way to change this around is by tackling the kind of attitude and approach towards failing the standard set. Instead we could be thinking that it is not in our control to perfectly accomplish the unrealistic standards set for us to fulfill without any flaw.

Fear of success

Some of us may feel that if we do succeed, it may be to overwhelming to keep up with that standard. Or perhaps you are more comfortable being in the back, cause success tends to put you on the spotlight.

Procrastination of this kind may indicate an internal identity conflict. If your self worth is tied to your level of achievement. If your self worth is tied to family acceptance, then how much more does it take for them to be satisfied? We may try to first understand were we stand, and what our real identity demands from us. We should be thinking of doing this for ourselves and not to bring about the satisfaction of our family’s expectative of us.

Unskilled

There are tasks were we are great at doing, but there are always others we can’t do as well. This is nothing to be embarrassed about, because at the end skills comes after practice and we might just have been handed a task to carry out which we’ve never done before. This goes from practicing a new sport to learning a new concept in your math class.

Putting off this type of tasks for later, which we are not very familiar with, will not make you better at them thereafter than when you first encounter them. So begin now, on building that new skill.

Being a perfectionist

Being a perfectionist can have its perks the moments when you are actually doing stuff, however it is more often than not that perfectionists are tempted to put things off, or delay completing tasks simply because you’re worried about the outcome being less than perfect.

Best argument against having this kind of approach is quite simple: a completed, albeit imperfect, task is better than an uncompleted task.

Lack of self-control

Self-control is a skill that varies from person to person. Often insufficient self-control might make a person procrastinate. This type of procrastination comes more often to people who do not have a discipline towards doing tasks in a organized and timely manner.

However this issue can be tackled by building up your discipline towards approaching the tasks handed out to you with a better attitude. As discipline is built by repetition, by committing to perform each of the next tasks given to us in this way, will help of get over this lack of self-control problem.

song-chart-memes-procrastination-homework

If you don’t want your life to continue to be as stressful as the chart above portrays, take some of the advice on this blog to know how to overcome some aspects of procrastinating you might identify with, and START TODAY…

Citations

  • “9 Common Reasons Why We Procrastinate.” Lifehack RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2015. <http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/9-common-reasons-why-procrastinate.html>.
  • “Six Reasons People Procrastinate.”  Academic Success Center, OSU. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2015. <http://success.oregonstate.edu/six-reasons-people-procrastinate>.
  • “Procrastination.” – Academic Skills Center: Study Skills Library. Student Academic Services, n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2015. <http://sas.calpoly.edu/asc/ssl/procrastination.html>.
  • Jaffe, Eric. “Why Wait? The Science Behind Procrastination.” Association for Psychological Science RSS. Observer, n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2015. <http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/2013/april-13/why-wait-the-science-behind-procrastination.html>.
  • Spencer, Amy. “The Science Behind Procrastination.” Real Simple. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2015. <http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/time-management/procrastination>.
  • “Following the Thought Paths of My Mind.” : Procrastination Distraction. N.p., 6 Apr. 2011. Web. 18 Sept. 2015. <http://thoughtpaths.blogspot.com/2011/04/procrastination-distraction.html>.

Horoscopes True or Scam?

Astrology dates back about 10,500 B.C. the real age of sphinx… I’ve wondered way many things and concept involving our own horoscopes seem to be so true for us. For me there was no logical mechanism that could involve planets or astrology with the way I am. How can that even be possible? Depending on the day of the year you’re born you automatically belong to one of the 12 zodiac signs of the year. What exactly makes horoscopes get so close to absolute precision? Or Is it a Texas Sharpshooter fallacy overall? Guess we’ll find out..

These researches imply that the theory behind horoscopes still is unanswered and has many holes. It seems to be natural symmetry and not causal.

a0e6411f-95b0-4414-839b-7c9574470970Astrology can be generalized as the study of celestial bodies but is there a different meaning? The argument that astrology is intuitive needs to be abolished. It needs to be looked at as a symmetry, cosmic symmetry instead. The examples of this could be an individual’s behaviors or the environment around a person. Cosmic symmetry is what makes astrology real rather than fictitious. This symmetry that was talked about exists between a macro and micro world. In astrology, there are five different ideas but I would like to focus on nativity. According to Ken McRitchie, “All things are born from one thing by adaptation”. Each individual, whether it is a person, thing, or an event, is a microcosm born at the center of its own macrocosmic universe. Each individual has its own planets, identifies with its native circumstances, and has a sensitive dependence on its initial configuration within the world of experience that it known and shared among other individuals.” I have said before when you are born you are automatically a part of one of the twelve signs. This idea of nativism means someone is born to the sign. It will affect who they are from the start because it is a native foundation from the start. Adjustments are being made to this idea still because we don’t know if it is completely accurate being that star constellations have no symmetry and are simply just imaginary. THis is why boxes are developed to relate traits and similarities between different signs. We utilize the planets to gain an understanding of the individual meanings of the signs. It is just a beginning to try and connect behaviors with astrology. These ideas become more believable because of the social sciences. THere have been theories developed in this field that we correlate with personality types and can apply it to astrology. For instance, the quantifiable types of “intelligence”, this is a trait a person is presumed to have according to Ken McRItchie. THis is why we can take the astrological references and try to make sense of them by realting them to real theories. The symmetry of an environemt and the person’s trait correlate. Astrology is not a hoax and has real theory behind it. A theory is principles or ideas trying to explain something and that is science.

 

Insanity

 

Insanity-1Insanity is one of the most known exercising programs in the world. It was a paradigm shifter because it completely inverted the conventional exercising programs and techniques. The reason why nobody had ever really created a fitness plan so effective as these one is because the difficulty involved in performing this program is by far harder than any other long-term fitness program created before it. The majority of people creating a new habit of exercising, or even leveling up on the intensity of their training, when committing to this program wouldn’t have persisted to continue with it simply because it is very hard for beginners or people not accustomed to this level of activity. At first no-one really sees big results that motivate us to keep going further into something we’re unskilled at. But very efficient advertisement techniques and a smart use of the media created a trend on the consumption of its products. People that managed to abide to this heightened routine later on went creating influential testimonies and so the trend began to gain more strength. People generally get their motivation regarding exercising the body in two ways: by experiencing their own results or by subjects having performed the activity desired and showing results wanted by potential participants. A genius marketing strategy created this appeal by rewarding insane practitioners if they posted before and after the program pictures of themselves. Reward like small monetary reward or gray t-shirts were given away by the beach body company that sell the whole Insanity program. Another thing this company did was offer a 60-day 100% money back guaranteed. So with the before-and-after pictures, the money back guarantee, and a pure motivation of getting healthier or a better body abetted with the constantly uprise in sales and amount of people using there product.

 

Talent vs. Skill

Always as a young boy and ever since I can remember I’ve heard repeatedly and from many different people, mostly grown-ups, about how just some kids had the talent and others instead had to develop the skill playing a sport, an instrument, or performing any other task. messi-has-been-playing-soccer-since-he-was-a-little-boyPersonally I’d prefer if someone said I had talent instead of skill because I thought that if I had talent and at the same time worked as hard a pure-skill-delevoped player, I would still be excel a little more. However one day while having dinner with the team I came up into a debate with one of my teammates claiming how practice was everything and there was no such thing as talent. Evidently, he was the only one in the table with that point of view, everyone else including me knew the concept talent truly existed. However, my friend was so determined and went on saying how he read a book about it particularly, therefore creating that strong held belief for him. He pointed out how everybody firmly believes Messi is incredibly talented and Cristiano Ronaldo is purely skilled, developed by hours and hours of work.  Yet he claimed that Messi might have put just as much hours in training as Cristiano, thus making a doubt that Messi might also be only skilled. So it created in me a small doubt that he might be on to something. This claim is definitely intriguing for me so I looked into it. Does the concept of talent exist or are everyone that are called talented became practiced to the point there were as skillful that people might’ve just mistaken it for talent?

Null hypothesis: Practice creates skill, or talent

Alternative hypothesis: Practice only creates skill, not talent

According to the article “What is talent?” published by David Ulrich and Norm Smallwood, talent=competence x commitment x contribution. Competence is referred to as the knowledge, skills and value which are needed for today’s jobs. Commitment is also highly important in this formula because an employee that is competent but not committed will be prepared for the job but wouldn’t work as hard as a committed employee, and companies definitely prefer employees whom will work hard, do what they are asked for, and go out of there way to get better skilled and perform better at their jobs. While contribution means that employees are feeling that the time that they are investing in their work is meaningful not only to them but to the organization or their co-workers as well. Briefly, talent constitutes of skills, wills and purposes, because it turns oneself someone capable, committed and contributing. While this article doesn’t necessarily answer the hypothesis, it support the idea that talent isn’t just something magical or esoteric only few people have or are born with.

The take away message is that talent is something people can work toward for. Purpose is something that keeps individuals thoroughly engaged in activities where one day someone might call them out for having talent. The formula by David ulrich and Norm Smallwood seem to make sense out of how talent is formed. Therefore, the null hypothesis was unable to be rejected.

 

How energy drink affect our body

Energy drinks can give you a physical and mental boost if you are feeling tired, and specific brand of energy drinks claims that it increases your energy and focus. Red Bull Energy Drink provides nutrients such as the amino acid, taurine and some vitamin B. Yet, this energy drink may also give some risks and those side effects that you should be aware of before you drink it.

 

Caffeine is a natural complex in coffee, tea, and chocolate. Also many companies add caffeine to their energy drinks because it is a stimulant. Some of the research states that caffeine improves mental focus, concentration and attentiveness. But caffeine can affect your nerve system for at least six hours. Pretend that you drink energy drink about to the time to go to bed; you may have experience difficulty sleeping because the caffeine may still be stimulating your central nervous system and prevent you from fall asleep. A can of Red Bull has 80mg of caffeine, which is quite a lot for daily recommendation. Caffeine has greater effects on people with higher caffeine sensitivity.

 

Drinking energy drink constantly could possibly increase the risk for chronic health problems. Sugars added such as the glucose and sucrose in the drink cause tooth decay. The research from Kids health warns that if you frequently depend on energy drinks with caffeine to keep yourself awake, you may become dependent and have difficulty on concentration without drinking them. Another side effect of energy drink is that increasing the risk for osteoporosis because caffeine causes our body to lose calcium. Also Caffeine can interact with heart disease medications and it can also cause heart attack or arrhythmia.

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Image: http://www.caffeineinformer.com/energy-drink-side-effects

Pets

Animals can be our faithful companions throughout the life. We look to our pets when we are ready to play and laugh, and they instinctively know when we need their support.

 

But some parents concern about keeping a pets in the house when they bring home a newborn baby, worry about that the pet could be harmful to the baby’s health, or that a jealous dog or cat could become aggressive to the infant. But according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, dogs actually make babies healthier. The report gives strong evidence that infants living with dogs and cats are actually better off than kids living without them.

 

What do dogs or cats have to do with your baby’s risk of catching a cold? According to the research, they may help lower the infants’ risk of coughs and sneezes during the first year. In the journal Pediatrics, researchers say that babies who grow up in homes with a pet are less likely to get sick or develop in allergies than children who live without pet. The results support the idea that keeping infants’ environments overly sanitized is not good for their health. It’s normal thoughts that when a newborn baby enters a home that the environment must be completely sanitized; but the baby will get sick. Overly sanitized environments are not good for their overall health.

 

Previous research has accompanying the presence of pets with a lower risk of allergies among babies, while a recent study that highlights the dust from household with a dog prevented infection with a common respirational virus that is thought to escalate the risk of early childhood asthma symptoms.

From the Wolf to the Chihuahua

For a lot of people like me, dogs are just a regular part of life. I grew up with at least two big dogs in the house at all times, and it just doesn’t feel like home without a big lovable slobber hound waiting for me when I walk in the door. Dogs are such a normal part of life here in America and all over the world, its easy to forget that these pooches all came from wolves. It is also very easy to forget that wild wolves are not dogs, something IWolf-Dog have to remind myself of when I find myself 30 minutes into YouTube searching of wolf dogs. (I mean come on, who wouldn’t want this) When I was thinking about this, I realized that I have absolutely no idea how we went from the mighty wolf to the Chihuahua, and I was extremely surprised to find out that it is actually because of us.

The way that most species evolve over generations is through mutations in offspring that prove to be advantageous in its current environment. This mutation either helps the animal survive or makes it less likely to. If it survives, it passes this gene down to its offspring, and so on. The case of wolves becoming dogs is a bit different though. It started out with a small genetic mutation, making some wolves less prone to running away from a human (or anything it perceives as a threat) at a closer distance. Because of this, wolves would hang around camps where humans have settled, and feed off of any left overs or thrown away food, where other wolves would not get so close to the humans. This began a symbiotic relationship between wolves and humans. Eventually, humans began to take in these wolves slowly, seeing their potential as hunting partners and as protection. They would then breed the ones that were friendlier and more loyal, while not breeding the less desirable ones.download (2) This kind of artificial selection allowed humans to pick what qualities they liked in the wolves, and which they didn’t. For example, if they breed ten wolves, they then raise the puppies but only breed the friendliest 10% of those puppies, and so on. This process speeds up evolution exponentially, quickly leading to many different types of wolves that were fitted for their specific environment. In colder harsher climates, wolves with thicker coats would be preferred, whereas in warmer areas, shorter haired dogs were more useful. Some dogs were bred specifically for hunting, aka what became the retrievers, some dogs were bred for protection, German Sheppards and Rottweilers, and some just for companionship or warmth, poodles and many small dogs.

Over thousands of years, as dogs spread out over the world with humans, they began to develop into all of the diverse breeds we see today as a result of the needs of the humans they were with.

E-cigarette

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Already many people know and recognize that the cigarettes are harmful to their health. For that reason, a lot of smokers try to quit the smoke or find the other substitution goods of cigarette. E-cigarette is the well-known substitution goods of cigarette for several reasons. I researched that how E-cigarette works and benefits of E-cigarette.

All e-cigarette works basically the same way as a traditional cigarette. An e-cigarette is a battery-powered device that converts the liquid nicotine into mist or viper that the user inhales. That’s why people say e-cigarette as a “vaping”.  It looks like totally same as traditional cigarette, there is a heavy cloud of smoke, but there are no fire and smell.

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Here is several reasons that people choose e-cigarette instead of traditional cigarette. The first reason is that the customer can save them money. Approximately, one cartridge of e-cigarette is equal as a pack of normal cigarettes. However, the price gap is huge. The second reason is an e-cigarette is safer than traditional cigarette. The biggest danger of tabaco is smoke, but compare with that we don’t need to burn the e-cigarette. Therefore, there is less chemical reaction to the e-cigarette. Also, according to the report, published by Public Healthy England, stated that e-cigarette are 95% safer than normal cigarettes. The most important reason is that e-cigarette can help to quit the regular cigarette. According to the research, “E-cigarette have been shown to be as effective as nicotine inhalers in reducing both craving and withdrawal effects.”

Already, there is a lot of reports about e-cigarette. Almost report mentioned about the benefits of the e-cigarette and explain how good it is. However, we should recognize that even government officials say that there is still a lot we don’t know about the e-cigarette.

 

IMAGE: http://www.howtovape.com/page4/page4.html

http://www.ecigsavings.com/electronic-cigarettes/about-electronic-cigarettes/

Where are all the Aliens?

The famous Fermi Paradox is as follows: Where are all the aliens? In our known universe, there are 500 billion sun-like stars, with anywhere from 1-10 planets revolving around them. That’s anywhere from 500 billion to 5 trillion planets that could theoretically host life. Surely, some of these planets nurtured the early seeds of life, and surely some of that life developed into intelligent life. Even the most pessimistic estimate about when humans will settle other planets is a billion years. So why then, is there no intelligent life, which would have had billions of years head start on us, spread out across the universe? It would, after all,

It is possible that there are life forms spread out on many planets, however, it is strange that we have seen no sign of them. There are more pessimistic theories about why there is no sign of life, ranging from ‘all intelligent life destroys itself as soon as it can’ and the idea that there are no other life forms in the universe.

This relates to class in that it is the scientific community posing a question and theorizing about answers, while being unable to prove/support a theory.  

NFL Concussion

Millions watched as the St. Louis Rams faced off against the Baltimore Ravens in what served as a showcase for the health drawbacks of repeated hits endured by football players throughout the season. Rams quarterback Case Keenum dropped back to pass in the fourth quarter before being slammed to the ground by a Raven defender. Moments later, as teammates tried to help their quarterback up off the ground, Keenum appeared visibly dizzy and unable to get to his feet. Obvious to everyone watching, Keenum had suffered a severe concussion. However, Keenum remained in the game for the remainder of the fourth quarter. The NFL has protocols for players with concussions, but all those protocols failed to protect the player from himself, knowing that exiting the game would be squandering an opportunity to prove that he can be a professional football player, something he has undoubtedly dreamed of since being a kid.

With social media highlighting player injuries more than ever, and a new movie being released next month starring Will Smith about the beginnings of concussion research, the issue is in the spotlight more than ever. So the question remains: how damaging are concussions?

One study conducted by Johns Hopkins University recruited nine former NFL players ranging in age from 50-80, with the same number of control people who never played football or sustained any head trauma. The researchers conducted brain scans of several types, as well as memory tests on the 18 subjects. The study found that not only did the players have serious abnormalities in their brains, they also suffered from having a worse memory than the control subjects.

Several other studies have been conducted to find similar alarming results, however, the research into the science behind concussions and how to better treat/prevent them is low.  As Phd Paul Comper puts it, “despite the proliferation of neuropsychological research on sports-related concussion over the past decade, the methodological quality of studies appears to be highly variable, with many lacking proper scientific rigour.” Concussion research is not nearly at the levels it needs to be to match the seriousness of the injury.

This is an example of a scientific topic not having enough research to be definitively understood, which is something that leads to harmful consequences for athletes.   

Demographics in Politics

Politicians are always looking for a way to gain the upperhand over their opponent, and demographics are a huge part of that. For example, people under the age of 40 lean democrat 60% of the time, and jewish people tend to lean democrat 70% of the time. These data points are incredibly important for the outcomes of elections.

Republicans in the upcoming election are asking questions like “what percentage of the Hispanic vote do we need to win to take the election?” and “how can we gain ground in the low income sector”. There is a science to these questions that can radically alter the outcome of an election.

This is an example of a science that has real applicable value in our world that many people do not think of as science. Data is becoming more and more prevalent in our society, and the best politicians and corporations are using it to their advantage.