Author Archives: Hannah Curran

How Divorce Impacts Children

Personally, my life would be completely different if my parents were not divorced. Considering they have been divorced since I was two, they are like two separate people to me and I could never see them as a couple. Although I am an example of a case of divorce early on in my childhood, I consider myself lucky. In fact, I believe my parents divorce would have impacted me more if it happened a lot later in my childhood. This leads me to wonder how divorce affects children at different ages. \


A report was done on a group of college students who’s parents had divorced at least three years prior to the study. Most subjects agreed that their life and the person that they are would be completely different if their parents had not divorced. They also believed they were forced to grow up at an early age and that their childhood was more difficult than a typical childhood. What bothered me about this study was they only questioned the students on their poor relationship with their father instead of signaling out both parents as a whole or questioning both parents impact separately.

Divorce during teenage years often leads kids to have aggressive behavior, anxiety, and addiction. This is because the teens don’t feel safe with the relationship they have with their parents. The lack of attention kids receive from parents going through divorce is what often causes them to lash out. Because teens often act out for attention, this also leads them to believe that they are a possible reason for their parents divorce.


Children whose parents divorce end up having weakened relationships with both parents and even sometimes grandparents. The children also never learn how to deal with conflict because the parents didn’t exactly set a great example. They often use violence to solve their conflicts instead of communication. They also often have poor social skills given their fear of rejection. There was also a study done that showed children of divorce are more likely to have an accidental pregnancy at a young age. Also, children of divorce are less likely to marry given their fear of divorce.

Although all of these studies done on divorce show all the negative ways divorce affects children, this obviously isn’t the case for every single child, especially if their parents divorced before the child could even remember it. This also doesn’t mean that children whose parents are happily married don’t have problems as well. Divorce is just sort of shitty in general.

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Is Yawning Contagious?

There have been many times that I’ve been in a lecture hall and I see someone across the room yawn and two seconds later I see someone close to them yawn. Why is that? I’ve also noticed that that when I’m aware that someone around me yawned, I usually don’t yawn, but if my attention is elsewhere then there’s higher possibility that I’ll yawn. Is yawning really contagious?


The reasons we yawn in the first place usually have to do with how bored or tired we are. The idea that we yawn due to lack of oxygen in the brain is a myth. Another possible reason for yawning is to cool down the brain because more people yawn in the winter than in the summer.  As for contagious yawning, that doesn’t start until were about four.

A study was done to test how contagious yawning really is. There were 328 participants in the study who all watched a 183 second video that included images and video of people of different ages, genders, and ethnicities yawning. The two categories the subjects were put into were people who contagiously yawned at least once and those who didn’t yawn at all. They used a p-value of 0.01. 67.7% of the participants contagiously yawned between one and fifteen times. The p-value was statistically significant at 0.002. The study also showed that younger people contagiously yawned more than older people.


Although yawns are often correlated with boredom, that is not always the case. Contagious yawning is related to empathy. You’re more likely to contagiously yawn if someone you know personally has just yawned. In fact, it’s possible that yawning is a way of internal communication. So although there is no specific reason as to why we yawn, at least it’s something we all share.

P.S. I probably yawned 20 times writing this blog


Am I Hungry or Bored?

For as long as I can remember I have been confusing boredom for hunger. I’ve always wondered why that is. Is it because I’m bored and eating gives me the satisfaction of something to do? Is it because boredom and hunger are both associated with negativity and snacking makes me happy? Whatever the reason, I want to find out how to put an end to it.


One possible reason for eating when you’re bored is that your body is craving dopamine. If you had a positive experience eating a certain food (which I’m sure everyone has) then I’m sure we’ve all gone to eat that same delicious food even if we weren’t really that hungry. The same thing goes for hunger and boredom. If you’re bored and you go to get a snack even though you just ate dinner an hour ago, it’s probably because your body is craving the sort of pleasure that it felt before when you ate the food. Although the reason for going to get a snack when you’re bored may be because you want to feel the satisfaction of eating the food, it may not feel or taste as good as you’d hoped considering you were never hungry in the first place.

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A study was done to test if people eat when they’re bored in order to escape the boredom or in order to experience the satisfaction of eating something delicious. There were 30 participants and during the first experiment they were given a bowl of M&Ms and forced to watch a documentary for an hour. In the second experiment they were allowed to give themselves a slightly painful electric shock while watching a documentary. Surprisingly, in both experiments the subjects not only ate the M&Ms, but also purposely shocked themselves multiple times. This shows that the reason people eat when they’re bored is most likely due to their want to escape their boredom.

Since the correlation between hunger and boredom does not have to do with the satisfaction of eating, if you have problems with eating when you’re bored like I do, try these tips.

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Dangers of Contacts

Most people with impaired eyesight don’t think twice about contact lenses or glasses considering its necessary in order for them to see, but are there more dangers to contacts than meets the eye?

The creation of contacts dates all the way back to 1508 when Leonardo De Vinci discovered that looking through water altered vision. Then one hundred years later René Descartes tried filling glass tubes with water and putting them in “contact” with the eyes, which is where the term contact lenses came from. IT wasn’t until the 1920s that Dr.s began creating lenses that formed to the eyes shape. Then in 1948 Kevin Touhy accidentally created the corneal lenses we know today. Over the years contacts have gotten thinner and more functional, but are the improvements sanitary?


According to the FDA, there are slight risks and serious risks to wearing contacts. Some of the slight risks include eye infections, pink eye, eye irritation, and corneal abrasion. On the other hand, a more serious risk to wearing contacts are corneal ulcers, which can lead to blindness. I learned through the FDA all the ways I’m exposing myself to further infection due to contacts such as swimming with them in and “topping off” the solution in my contact case instead of rinsing it out and replacing the solution.

A study done by the NYU Medical Center noticed over 5,000 different types of bacteria in the eyes of contact wearers and non contact wearers, but the bacteria found in the contact wearers was similar to bacteria found on the skin. The four types of bacteria that were three times more common in contact wearers were Methylobacterium, Lactobacillus, Acinetobacter, and Pseudomas. It’s obvious that this bacteria is more common in contact lenses wearers due to the fact that they are placing contact lenses that are more easily exposed to bacteria in their eye every day.


What I learned from this study is that the only way to decrease your risk of infection if you wear contacts is to either wear the contacts that are replaced daily or be extra careful and sanitary when dealing with contacts. Especially because a lot of contacts are stored in the bathroom over night there is much more of a risk for bad bacteria in your eyes if you wear contacts.

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Screen Time Before Bed

The other night after binge watching hours of The Office on Netflix, I noticed that not only was I more exhausted than I usually am at the end of a school day, but it also seemed more difficult for me to fall asleep. Additionally, even though I got the same amount of hours of sleep that I normally do, it seemed a lot more difficult for me to wake up in the morning and stay alert.
Over the years, technology has become a bigger and bigger aspect of our daily lives, but is it doing more harm to us than good?


More than three quarters of the United States population admits to watching Tv or using some type of electronic device within the hour before they go to sleep(
The blue light emitted from technology is one of the main reasons that watching TV before bed is not one of the best ideas in order to get a good nights sleep. Blue light suppresses the release of melatonin, which is typically triggered by the circadian rhythm, or the body’s natural clock. Since the circadian clock operates and secretes hormones according to whichever light the body is exposed to, the more blue light the body is exposed to, the more the body is going to think it has to stay awake and the production of melatonin will be suppressed.

Since it takes so long to fall asleep after looking at blue light for a long period of time, it makes sense that someone would be more tired the next day even if they got the same amount of hours of sleep that they usually do. Forcing yourself to fall asleep before your body clock is prepared to disrupts the circadian cycle. This disruption of the circadian cycle causes the body to get less deep sleep than it usually does because the usual amount of melatonin secreted before bed ends up being secreted much later in your sleep.

According to multiple studies done at Harvard Medical School, the blue light from electronics may be doing more than altering the bodies circadian rhythm. Some of the health risks that may be caused by this issue are diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. Although the study only included ten people, all of the subjects were placed in the same situations. The shift in their circadian rhythms caused them to have an increase in their blood sugar levels, which is a cause for diabetes.

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Science Hurts My Brain


My name is Hannah Curran and I’m from Los Angeles, California. I am a freshman in the Division of Undergraduate Studies, but i plan to transfer to the Smeal College of Business. In order to achieve the requirements to get into my major, I must maintain a certain GPA, and since science is a requirement, but it does not interest me in the slightest, here I am in SC 200.

For as long as I can remember, I have never enjoyed science or seen myself in a profession that has anything to do with science. The only “science” thing that has ever interested me is Grey’s Anatomy (and I’m not even sure that really counts). I’m not sure if my lack of interest in science is due to a lack of engaging science teachers or if the material just never interested me in the first place. The one thing I know for sure is that as much as i would love to love science, given its endless possibilities, it is not for me. I am excited for this class more than i have ever been for another science class because the topics are interesting and it involves critical thinking instead of memorization.