Lead is a naturally occuring metal used in everyday consumer products like toys, accessories, and furniture. When someone is exposed to lead, either through inhaling or absorbing it through the skin, it can poison their necessary organs and affect the nervous system, causing behavior and attention problems, hearing problems, reduced IQ, slowed body growth, and poor brain development. All this definitely can affect one’s performance in school. I personally feel lead is super dangerous and if people disregard the issue, it can cause serious problems.Read more...
Originally published on Turnstyle News.
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Say you're at Walgreens to buy shampoo. While browsing the hair product aisle, there’s one bottle that calls out to you like a familiar face in an overwhelming array of hair tonic options. It just feels like… the ONE. Why is that?
If you believe the scientists doing research in the growing business of neuromarketing, it all comes down to what happens to your brain when you encounter an advertisement. Using the tools of neuroscience, these researchers and entrepreneurs say they can measure how a good ad grabs your attention to makes you aware of a certain brand. And, perhaps more lucratively, how a great ad triggers your emotions and primes you to be drawn to the brand when you encounter it again.
Which may sound scary to some people. But I’ve always thought my brain was different from other teenage brains. See, my therapist mom taught me from a young age never to surrender to the manipulations of advertising. When I was in second grade, she even started an after-school class where my classmates and I analyzed commercials and tried to spot product placements in our favorite TV shows.
“The kids were used to going into that zone where you just stop thinking and just watch,” said my mom when I asked why she had developed the class. “This interrupted that, and made people stop watching and start thinking.”
I, for one, started thinking a lot about ads, and really never stopped. But recently, I’ve been wondering if that critical thinking has made any difference and, in the end, just how much control I have over my own thoughts when it comes to ads. Which is how I ended up looking at my brain waves with A. K. Pradeep, a neuromarketing pioneer and CEO of the Berkeley-based company, NeuroFocus. Although it makes some scientists antsy, he tells advertisers how to make better commercials by replacing focus groups with an electroencephalogram.
“What neuroscience had done is taken us a step further,” said Pradeep, “close to where the action happens, to where the truth really is.”
To measure that action, Pradeep monitored the electrical currents in different parts of my brain as I watched a commercial – a Honda Civic ad that was chosen especially for my demo. Watch the video below to see Pradeep’s analysis of how my brain responded to those images and sounds of zooming cars.
Did you know that if a 3 year-old eats too much processed food, it can affect their IQ by the age of 8? Me neither; you learn something new everyday. Researchers say that a toddler whose diet is made up of foods that are high in fat and high in sugar and are processed, may be more likely to have a below-average IQ five years later.Read more...
The following originally aired on KCBS.
By Meisha Sanders
Every day I see Oakland’s biodiversity – the birds that chirp from the telephone wire, the squirrels that scurry across the street… and the pit bull that sleeps in my bed.
You’ve probably heard of pit bull owners who train their pets to be mean by starving them or feeding them gunpowder. Some put weights on their leashes to train them for dog fights.
But I love my pit, Momo. I feed him healthy food, play with him, and give him as much attention as possible.
Momo’s best friend besides me is a Bluenose named Diamond. She’s only a few months old, so he teaches her how to play. The little one jumps on my dog as they chase each other until she tires him out.
Pit bulls have a reputation for viciousness. But that’s their training, not their nature. And if I had judged my dog by his breed, I wouldn’t have this meaningful bond.Read more...
This story was broadcast on NPR's All Things Considered on 6/3/2011, and was originally published on Turnstyle News..
A lot has changed since the 80’s. Or so I’m told. I wasn’t born until 1991 – the same year Magic Johnson announced that he had HIV. I’m 19 now, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people joke that Magic Johnson discovered the cure to AIDS…money.
Katherine Hood knows the same joke. She’s a senior at UC Berkeley and has grown up knowing about the disease her whole life. Regardless of the jokes, we both know HIV is still deadly serious. “I think it’s interesting because while I don’t think it’s the same sort of death sentence mentality,” says Hood, “To me if I actually stop and think about it, it still seems like a horrifying thought.”
Hood and lots of kids we talked to say their school Sex Ed classes were pretty good. Thanks to my school’s health classes, I had seen a condom by the 7th grade and knew what it was for. My mom even bought me a book called Deal With It. I remember my friends coming over after school to giggle about stick figure illustrations of sexual positions.Read more...
By Robyn Gee, Turnstyle News
Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal and President of the Thiel Foundation announced the first class of 20 Under 20 fellows last week. Each under-20-year-old receives $100,000 to leave school and pursue their visions in science and technology for the next two years.
But interestingly enough, only two of the 24 fellowship winners are women. Jonathan Cain of the Thiel Foundation said they did not take gender or ethnicity into account when considering applications for the fellowship.
Eden Full, one of the female winners, received a Thiel Fellowship to pursue her research into solar energy. At the age of 19, she is "stopping out" of Princeton University to take this opportunity, but has every intention to return to school after the fellowship. She has already re-modeled the traditional rotating solar panel to make it cost-efficient, and deployed her new technology to Kenya. She plans to alter the design and apply for a patent during the fellowship.
Full said when she came to San Francisco for the finalist round of interviews for the fellowship, there were five girls out of 40 finalists. “I did feel that my work wasn’t taken too seriously,” she said. In the back of her mind, there was a fear that she was included for media purposes only to show some diversity. “I’m a minority female in engineering... I don’t mind being the underdog. I would rather have people not take me seriously and then I can go do something amazing. Or maybe not - and if I don’t, then I won’t have let anyone down,” she said.
“I do wish that more women were selected, but If I am the under dog, fine. I’ll use that to my advantage,” said Full.
Laura Deming, also a female fellowship winner, feels completely different about the lack of gender diversity. She is adamant that gender doesn’t matter, and thinks it’s a great sign that there was no affirmative action in the Thiel Fellowship. Deming began doing anti-aging research at the age of 12 at in a lab at UCSF, and matriculated into MIT at the age of 14. At 17, she is dedicated to curing aging.
“Growing up, I knew I wanted to be a biologist. I idolized scientists like Nikola Tesla and Micheal Faraday. But I didn’t know I wanted to focus on curing aging, until one night when I was eight years old. It suddenly hit me that we were all going to die – I and everyone I knew – from a horrible, painful, degenerative disease that nobody could cure. Ever since, I haven’t been able to imagine anything more important, or interesting to work on,” she said.
Female Scientists Weigh InRead more...
By Robyn Gee, Turnstyle News
University of Southern California (USC) is set to become, “the country's largest not-for-profit teacher prep program by 2013,” according to The Atlantic. All due to their online Masters of Arts in Teaching program - MAT@USC. USC now graduates 1500 teachers, many of whom attend classes via video chat.
According to Margo Pensavalle, Professor of Clinical Education at the Rossier School of Education at USC, and a member of the faculty for the MAT@USC program, insists that the program is really top notch. “We didn’t want to be like DeVry - this is USC and we wanted to do a really good job... The syllabi for the courses are identical and the faculty are identical [to the on-campus courses],” she said.
“There’s really no difference. You do make relationships with your students... it’s like having a real classroom. You’re looking at their faces,” Pensavalle added.
Once getting accepted to the program, students don’t have to be in Los Angeles to attend class. They can join the group from all over the country.
So how does it work?
When Pensavalle enters the program on her computer, she starts a live session. The students on her roster enter the live session, similar to a chat room set-up. The list of students shows up on the left. Below, there is a text chat where students can contribute to the conversation by typing comments. Students’ faces show up in the center. “Picture the Brady Bunch,” said Pensavalle.
There is a space for presentation materials where she can post an agenda and her Power Point slides. On the right, she can upload files to share with her students. If a student wants to say something, or ask a question, a figure with a raised-hand shows up next to their name. Pensavalle said you can also have breakout sessions during a class. The program can randomize the small groups, or the professor can make the small groups. There’s even a place for coursework where students post their assignments when they are finished.
Students must still do field work throughout the program, and they complete a year of student-teaching in their place of residence. The application process to MAT@USC is identical to applying for USC’s on-campus teacher credential program.
Pensavalle thinks that the students who get their masters through the online program might use technology differently when they have classrooms of their own. “These students have to be technologically savvy. We use a lot of video - they send us a teaching video, a planning video, and a reflection video,” she said.Read more...
The following originally aired on KCBS.
By Tajah Jones
Lately I’ve been wondering which water is healthiest to drink— water bottles or tap.
In my home we have a water dispenser, water bottles, and filtered water from the sink and refrigerator. I prefer using filtered water or water bottles, but my mom only drinks from the water dispenser.
Many websites say reusing plastic bottles can leak chemicals like BPA which can affect the body’s hormones. Using bottles like Camelbak and Klean Kanteen are encouraged because they haven’t been proven to cause side effects. But since the radiation leaks in Japan, I started to wonder if reservoirs were at risk of being contaminated.
There are a lot of confusing messages in the media about what isn’t good for you. Scientists are known to question and find out the truth, which is great, but there are so many new facts I don’t know what to do with the information. If there was one trustworthy resource that gave clear recommendations, we could be confident in making decisions-- even when it comes to simple things like whether to drink tap or bottled water.Read more...
There is this new law being proposed called California SB 242, which lets parents access their child’s Facebook account and remove any information that they think is inappropriate if their child is under the age of 18.
Instead of letting parents snoop in their teens accounts doesn’t that question their parenting skills?
Opinion: I think this law is uncalled for because it’s an invasion of privacy for parents to be able to see their teens Facebook account without permission. Some parents think if they delete their kid’s Facebook account, their teen will stop posting inappropriate things. Wrong! Teens have other ways to communicate with other people. Teens can make a new face book, they can interact with people on cell phones with camera phones, and nowadays, cell phones can do most of the things Facebook do. Kids also can lie about their age on Facebook so their parents can’t access.
To me it shows parents don’t see their kids as trustworthy enough.
Parents should be able to trust their teen to have a Facebook. Without trusting them, they’ll be more likely to sneak around. If your kid is out of control, you are probably doing something wrong as a parent.
In my case there was some drama on my Facebook and my aunt told me to delete my face book but what she didn’t know is that if you deactivate your face book you can reactivate. This is a way to show the government that their law is going to be a waste of time because teens will find a way to get on Facebook. A parent should should know how to raise their children without the government telling them how.
I know teens today are crazy, but be a parent by having discussions with your kids instead of being harsh and taking away Facebook. Teens should have rights too!
There are many terms that are misleading in the food advertising industry today. Think of how many times you see healthy phrases plastered all over food containers. For example: Fat Free , Reduced Fat, Low Fat, Sugar Free, No Added Sugar, and Diet. All this means that we are supposed to believe that each of these labels makes a food product healthier. In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth. This upsets me because they dish out advertising about their products knowing that it's no good for us and they still don't care.Read more...