Does Legal Marijuana Increase the Number of Car Accidents?

Crashes are up by as much as 6 percent in Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, compared with neighboring states that haven’t legalized marijuana for recreational use, new research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) shows.

Source article.

Insurance Agent:

“Why do you need a marijuana questionnaire?”

Underwriter:

“Confidential medical information.  Besides, I’ve seen her driving record and you haven’t.”

Insurance agent:

Silence.

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Growing Up Surrounded by Books Could Have Powerful, Lasting Effect on the Mind

The study, published recently in Social Science Research, assessed data from 160,000 adults from 31 countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Turkey, Japan and Chile. Participants filled out surveys with the Programme for the International Assessment of Competencies, which measures proficiency in three categories: literacy, numeracy (using mathematical concepts in everyday life) and information communication technology, (using digital technology to communicate with other people, and to gather and analyze information).

Respondents, who ranged in age from 25 to 65, were asked to estimate how many books were in their house when they were 16 years old. The research team was interested in this question because home library size can be a good indicator of what the study authors term “book-oriented socialization.” Participants were able to select from a given range of books that included everything from “10 or less” to “more than 500.”

The effects were most marked when it came to literacy. Growing up with few books in the home resulted in below average literacy levels. Being surrounded by 80 books boosted the levels to average, and literacy continued to improve until libraries reached about 350 books, at which point the literacy rates leveled off. The researchers observed similar trends when it came to numeracy; the effects were not as pronounced with information communication technology tests, but skills did improve with increased numbers of books.

Interesting research findings.  Read the source article here.

Only two percent of teens read newspaper, one-third have not read book for pleasure in last year.  We. Are. Doomed.

Is Marijuana Safe?

A new study confirms that cannabis use is related to impaired and lasting effects on adolescent cognitive development.

To understand the relationship between alcohol, cannabis use and cognitive development among adolescents at all levels of consumption (abstinent, occasional consumer or high consumer), the research team followed a sample of 3,826 Canadian adolescents over a period of four years. Using a developmentally sensitive design, the authors investigated relationships between year-to-year changes in substance use and cognitive development across a number of cognitive domains, such as recall memory, perceptual reasoning, inhibition and working memory. Multi-level regression models were used to simultaneously test vulnerability and concurrent and lasting effects on each cognitive domain. The study found that vulnerability to cannabis and alcohol use in adolescence was associated with generally lower performance on all cognitive domains.

Yikes.  Read the full story here.

Only two percent of teens read newspaper, one-third have not read book for pleasure in last year

“Think about how difficult it must be to read even five pages of an 800-page college textbook when you’ve been used to spending most of your time switching between one digital activity and another in a matter of seconds,” she added. “It really highlights the challenges students and faculty both face in the current era.”

My source article

My random thoughts:

  • ADHD
  • Bad parenting
  • Technology addiction
  • Social media is not social
  • Social media is evil
  • The slow agonizing death of newspapers
  • Colleges and universities will be challenged
  • Put the cellphone down and keep your hands where I can see them.

There is a link to the full study in the source article.

Happy Older Asians Live Longer

Happy older people live longer, according to researchers at Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore. In a study published today in Age and Ageing, the scientific journal of the British Geriatrics Society, the authors found that an increase in happiness is directly proportional with a reduction in mortality.

This is one of the few Asian studies to have assessed the association between happiness and mortality among older people, while accounting for several social factors, such as loneliness and social network, therefore extending the generalisability of the findings to non-Western populations.

Stay happy my friends.  Check out the entire article here.

WeWork Will No Longer Allow Its 6,000 Employees to Expense Meals with Meat

WeWork, the shared workspace company, is taking a pass on meat. The company notified workers that its events will no longer include meat and that it won’t reimburse their meal expenses if those meals include red meat, poultry or pork.

Another classic example of minority rule.  Read the source at this link.

Read Nassim Taleb’s thoughts on this topic here.

Fewer U.S. teens smoking, doing drugs, and drinking milk

Kids have shifted from a dairy product rich in calcium and vitamin D to beverages laden with sugar and caffeine, which is likely contributing to the nation’s obesity problem, said Barry Popkin, a University of North Carolina researcher who studies how diets change.

“This is not a healthy trend for our long-term health,” he said.

Read the AP source article here.