Monthly Archives: December 2013

Legal Abandonment of Children and Adolescents to the Glamour Marijuana Culture

By William Keevers

Imagine if, when Prohibition was repealed, instead of shielding children from harmful exposure to alcohol, state and federal governments had essentially abandoned them to the glamour drinking culture.

We might have seen documentaries about the social problems by 1938. Socially conservative elements in society might have lamented the situation, given the fact that such conditions couldn’t have prevailed if there were an effective government of laws, not of men.

Eventually, society would have decayed to a film noir alternate reality like that in Dashiell Hammett’s horribly cynical “Red Harvest. The American “City on a Hill” would be well on its way to the complete dominance of brute force portrayed in Alessandro Manzoni’s “The Betrothed”.

This is essentially the situation today, with the news announcement that the US Justice Department will not prosecute any marijuana crimes unless there is indication of organized crime infiltration—as happened in the Netherlands when cannabis and hashish possession for personal use were decriminalized.

The core issue is that underage users are most seriously impacted. There are no public discussions about the effects upon minors of the marijuana gray market. The only group with an organized platform of political agitation is the “medical” marijuana industry, which has substantial incentives for current conditions to remain as they are, including essentially unregulated use by minors. Continue reading

Tablets a Hit With Kids, but Experts Worry

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/tablets-hit-kids-experts-worry-21327183

NEW YORK December 24, 2013 (AP)
By BREE FOWLER AP Technology Writer

Tablet computers are so easy to use that even a 3-year-old can master them.

And that has some pediatricians and other health experts worried.

Since navigating a tablet generally doesn’t require the ability to type or read, children as young as toddlers can quickly learn how to stream movies, scroll through family photos or play simple games.

That ease-of-use makes tablets —and smartphones— popular with busy parents who use them to pacify their kids during car rides, restaurant outings or while they’re at home trying to get dinner on the table. And many feel a little less guilty about it if they think there’s educational value to the apps and games their children use.

The devices are expected to rank among the top holiday gifts for children this year. Gadget makers such as Samsung have introduced tablets specifically designed for kids and many manufacturers of adult tablets now include parental controls. Those products are in addition to the slew of kiddie tablets produced by electronic toy makers such as LeapFrog, Vtech and Toys R Us.

But some experts note there’s no evidence that screen time — whether from a TV or tablet — provides any educational or developmental benefits for babies and toddlers. Yet it takes away from activities that do promote brain development, such as non-electronic toys and adult interaction. Continue reading

Insensitivity Training

http://www.mark-shea.com/insens.html

Insensitivity Training

Every couple of days it seems somebody falls apart due to “insensitivity”. The problem has been buzzing around in our headlines for years. We all remember back in January 1999 when a group of Professionally Aggrieved Grievance Professionals came unglued after David Howard, a white aide to Anthony Williams, the black mayor of Washington, D.C. used the word “niggardly” in reference to a budget. It mattered not one iota that the word has absolutely no etymological relationship with “nigger”. (It’s of Scandinavian origin and means “miserly” or “stingy”.) Letters were written, protests were mounted. Howard himself bowed and scraped in abject remorse like a Stalinist show trial witness confessing to crimes against the regime. Ten days later, he was sacked in a rite of sacrificial appeasement to outraged Sensitivity gods. Only Howard’s own membership in an Approved Victim Group saved him. It turned out that, as a homosexual, Howard was himself backed up by an entire community of Professionally Aggrieved Grievance Professionals with their own deeply rooted sensitivities that likewise demanded appeasement. The mayor therefore offered Howard a chance to return to his position. Howard refused but accepted another position with the mayor instead.

Such tales are not isolated in our culture. One can go on and on, if for no other reason than for the sheer amusement of the thing. Continue reading

Growing up without a father transforms children’s brains

http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/growing-up-without-a-father-transforms-childrens-brains-study

by Ben Johnson
December 10, 2013

MONTREAL, December 10, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A new study shows that growing up without a father not only affects behavior – it transforms children’s brain structure.

That’s the verdict reached by the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center and recently published in the journal Cerebral Cortex.

Researchers studied the behavior and brains of Californian mice who, like humans, are monogamous and raise their children as a unit.

Mice separated from their fathers showed greater aggression, anti-social behavior, and “abnormal social interactions” than those raised with both parents.

“The behavioral deficits we observed are consistent with human studies of children raised without a father,” said Dr. Gabriella Gobbi, the report’s lead author.

However, more groundbreaking was their finding that the behavior was not the only thing affected by the lack of a father. Mice raised by one parent had a misshapen prefrontal cortex, the portion of the brain associated with behavior, decision-making, and problem solving.

“This is the first time research findings have shown that paternal deprivation during development affects the neurobiology of the offspring,” Gobbi said.

The report states, “Our results emphasize the importance of the father during critical neurodevelopmental periods, and that father absence induces impairments in social behavior that persist to adulthood.”

The absence of a father has been associated with a string of poor behavior and life outcomes, including higher rates of substance abuse and criminality.

A report published by the Center for Social Justice found that half of all children in Britain are living in a single-parent home, more than 1 million British children in all.

By contrast, the presence of fathers – even uncommunicative ones – raises the levels of positive outcomes for children.

In 2011, researchers at the University of Melbourne found that delinquent behavior was reduced by 7.6 percent among boys who lived with their biological fathers, and five percent points for those living with non-biological fathers only, especially violent and gang-related crime.

Teen pot use could hurt brain and memory, new research suggests

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/teen-pot-use-could-hurt-brain-memory-new-research-suggests-2D11741988

Brian Alexander, NBC News
Dec. 16, 2013

Teenage pot smokers could be damaging brain structures critical to memory and reasoning, according to new research that found changes in the brains of heavy users.

PABLO PORCIUNCULA / AFP - Getty Images New research shows young pot smokers could be damaging brain structures critical to memory and reasoning.

PABLO PORCIUNCULA / AFP – Getty Images
New research shows young pot smokers could be damaging brain structures critical to memory and reasoning.

Research released Monday in the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin showed the brains of young heavy marijuana users were altered in so-called sub-cortical regions — primitive structures that are part of the memory and reasoning circuits. And young people with such alterations performed worse on memory tests than non-using controls, despite the fact that the heavy users had not indulged for more than two years, on average, before the testing.

“We see that adolescents are at a very vulnerable stage neurodevelopmentally,” said Matthew Smith, who led the research team at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “And if you throw stuff into the brain that’s not supposed to be there, there are long-term implications for their development.”

The portion of people ages 12 to 17 who used marijuana during the past month fell to 9.5 percent last year from almost 12 percent in 2002, according to the latest figures from the government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. But that still represents millions of adolescents and teenagers — and the legalization of marijuana has raised the specter that underage people will have easier access. Continue reading

Your Biz Needs a Mobile Site FIRST

Android Google "Speak Now" SEARCHJ

Android Google “Speak Now” SEARCH

yellowLightI was out driving, looking for a movie, (“but not TEXTING”). I was using the little speech recognition gadget on my little Android phone, the cheapest one you can buy; it recognizes speech pretty well—I wish I had it on my other devices!

I swear I wasn’t breaking the law; I would only look at the phone at stop lights, to start the gadget—I did speak into the device while moving, I THINK that’s legal. I would only click on links while stopped.

I HOPE I wasn’t trying to evade detection…Alright, it’s legally “iffy”.

YourBizHereThis type of action is repeated many 100,000s times a day. It’s what the “internet” is used for most commonly as it affects your bu$ine$$.

Your customers are looking for you—you just haven’t informed them of it yet. Your business is at a definite place on GPS, your customers’ phones are in another place, in the time it took you to read this, they’re deciding between you and your competition. Everyday hi-tech will either lead them to you or away from you—depending on how well you use this essentially free technology.

Do you really have time to linger and ponder deeply on whether or not your “website” looks “cool” to you & your friends? That has to be taken into account, but in a multi-use utility, getting your customers in the front door with their wallets has to be first.

148 Feet – 1/10/95

What “Multi-Use”? Look at some base infrastructure we all take for granted, that can unexpectedly cause serious life interruption if things go wrong, because it’s over-extended: Flood control. How far do you live from a river? I thought I was pretty well set up, I live 10 miles from the nearest river. Then I saw this sign on a little back street—the city doesn’t really advertise it, but somehow this information squeaked through.

This place is ordinary looking, but on January 13, 1952, four people drowned here. It sits in a bowl; as you’re sitting in your car, you’re looking up at the asphalt no matter what direction you’re going. A modest water level surge, flooding only up to people’s knees in adjacent areas, could put you 20 feet under water in a matter of a minute.

Flood control is only part of river use. We expect the Army Corps of Engineers also to deliver agricultural irrigation, transportation and recreation on our rivers, but it’s always a compromise in which failure to put priority on the most important thing–safety–can have most inconvenient consequences.

There are flood control engineering projects working perfectly well in China that are 2,000 years old, but they place safety first. Transportation may be second, irrigation may not be taken into account at all, and the people probably felt adequately “recreated” if they could get something to eat and stay safe.

We expect so much from our hydrological civil engineering, we are in danger of failing to put primary emphasis on the purpose of highest priority: keeping ourselves safe, before recreation, transportation or even irrigation.

redRibbon

How You “See” Things

You can put your biz website to multiple uses–as long as your planning is explicit about what that means. The money trail involves seeing things from your customers’ perspective first, and putting your natural pride in your business accomplishments in a close, second place.

To put your publicity priorities in the right order, just imagine yourself searching for your business services, the way your customers think. Envision yourself driving, you’re in a hurry, you’ve got a lot to do, you want the best deal, you want the business to treat you fairly, you really want some beneficial, expert help guiding you in your “opinion formation”…customer education. Now, wearing your other hat as a goods & services provider, you need your business publicity to take all that into account, and more.

whoWhatWhenWhereWhyThe first thing is to get a mobile site that’s quick, cheap, comprehensive. It needs to tell customers in about 1.5 seconds what you’re going to do for them better than anyone else, how they’ll be smart to go with you—and imply less than optimal results if they fail to take advantage of the opportunity now—quickly & convincingly tell them that when, where and how means you, now!

You certainly do need a regular computer website, to ensure that you get a fair shake from the search engines. That is closer to the 2nd place concern: how your website looks to you. But concentrate first on your customers’ “user experience”—which more often than not, these days, is mobile.

Marijuana’s Harmful Effects on Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Differential Cognitive Functioning in 9-12 Years Olds Relative to Prenatal Cigarette and Marijuana Exposure

Prenatal marijuana exposure … was negatively related to executive function tasks that require impulse control and visual analysis/hypothesis testing, and with a number of the intelligence subtests requiring these same abilities. … In utero exposure to marijuana may have a negative impact on aspects of neurocognitive competence that fall under the domain of executive function.

In an examination of cognitive performance of 131 (one-hundred-thirty-one), 9-12 year-old children participating in a Carleton University longitudinal study since birth, discriminant function analysis indicated a dose-dependent association between higher prenatal cigarette exposure in utero and lower performance on global intelligence test scores, with the verbal subtests of the intelligence test discriminating maximally among levels of in utero exposure. In contrast, prenatal marijuana exposure was not associated with global intelligence or the verbal subtests, but rather was negatively related to executive function tasks that require impulse control and visual analysis/hypothesis testing, and with a number of the intelligence subtests requiring these same abilities. The cigarette results extend observations made in this sample and others at earlier ages. The marijuana findings, combined with results observed at earlier ages, lead the authors to suggest that in utero exposure to marijuana may have a negative impact on aspects of neurocognitive competence that fall under the domain of executive function. Fried, P.A., Watkinson, B.M. and Gray, R. Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 20 (3), pp. 293-306, 1998.


Neurocognitive function in clinically stable men with bipolar I disorder or schizophrenia and normal control subjects

Within the bipolar group there was … a subset with significant [executive functioning] impairment.

Patients with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia have been shown to have neurocognitive deficits when compared with control subjects. The degree and pattern of impairment between psychiatric groups have rarely been compared, especially when subjects are psychiatrically stable. … Subjects with bipolar disorder were impaired in two specific domains (verbal memory and executive function). Furthermore, within the bipolar group there was a subset with relatively normal executive functioning and a subset with significant impairment. Possible reasons for the persistence of these neurocognitive deficits in some subjects with bipolar disorder during periods of euthymia are reviewed. – Biological Psychiatry, Volume 56, Issue 8, Pages 560-569 (15 October 2004).


Marijuana and Mental Health

The strongest evidence links marijuana use and schizophrenia and/or related disorders. High doses of marijuana can produce an acute psychotic reaction … the onset or relapse of schizophrenia in vulnerable individuals … distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, difficulty in thinking and problem solving, and problems with learning and memory … problems in daily life or make a person’s existing problems worse … drug impaired several important measures of life achievement including physical and mental health, cognitive abilities, social life, and career status.A number of studies have shown an association between chronic marijuana use and increased rates of anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and schizophrenia. Some of these studies have shown age at first use to be a factor, where early use is a marker of vulnerability to later problems. However, at this time, it is not clear whether marijuana use causes mental problems, exacerbates them, or is used in attempt to self-medicate symptoms already in existence. Chronic marijuana use, especially in a very young person, may also be a marker of risk for mental illnesses, including addiction, stemming from genetic or environmental vulnerabilities, such as early exposure to stress or violence. At the present time, the strongest evidence links marijuana use and schizophrenia and/or related disorders. High doses of marijuana can produce an acute psychotic reaction; in addition, use of the drug may trigger the onset or relapse of schizophrenia in vulnerable individuals. … Marijuana intoxication can cause distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, difficulty in thinking and problem solving, and problems with learning and memory. … Marijuana has the potential to cause problems in daily life or make a person’s existing problems worse. In one study, heavy marijuana abusers reported that the drug impaired several important measures of life achievement including physical and mental health, cognitive abilities, social life, and career status.

Does smoking pot cause man [breasts]?

By Dr. Anthony Youn, CNN Contributor
December 5, 2013
http://edition.cnn.com/2013/12/05/health/youn-pot-moobs/

Editor’s note: Dr. Anthony Youn is a plastic surgeon in metro Detroit. He is the author of “In Stitches,” a humorous memoir about growing up Asian-American and becoming a doctor.

Many plastic surgeons tell men with gynecomastia, or “man [breasts],” to stop smoking pot.

(CNN) — A young man in his 20s — let’s call him George — sits across from me in the exam room.

“Dr. Youn,” he says, “I have man [breasts].”

I notice a not-so-unfamiliar smell wafting from his body. It’s the same odor that floated my way during a rock concert I recently attended.

“How long have you had a problem with this, George?”

“Hard to say. But it seems to have gotten worse over the past year or so.”

“George, the first thing you need to do is stop smoking pot. Marijuana could be causing your man [breasts].”

Dr. Anthony YounGynecomastia, otherwise known as man [breasts] (or moobs for short), is a condition that affects approximately 33% to 41% of men between the ages of 25 and 45. It’s even more common during puberty, affecting 60% of 14-year-old boys. Interestingly, it also affects 55% to 60% of men aged 50 and older.

Although most cases of gynecomastia resolve spontaneously within a few months to a few years, in 2012 nearly 23,000 people underwent surgery to correct the condition. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), it was the fifth-most common cosmetic surgery in men. Continue reading