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Lifestyle and Awareness


LIFESTYLE and AWARENESS: INTRODUCTION to TOPIC



Jan 11
2016

Traditional Toys May Beat Gadgets in Language Development

Basic toys without sounds or lights, like blocks, may be best for a child's development. Credit Yana Paskova for The New York Times

Conclusions and Relevance Play with electronic toys is associated with decreased quantity and quality of language input compared with play with books or traditional toys. To promote early language development, play with electronic toys should be discouraged. Traditional toys may be a valuable alternative for parent-infant play time if book reading is not a preferred activity.

"The study, published Wednesday in JAMA Pediatrics, found that when babies and parents played with electronic toys that were specifically advertised as language-promoters, parents spoke less and responded less to baby babbling than when they played with traditional toys like blocks or read board books. Babies also vocalized less when playing with electronic toys.

"My hunch is that they were letting the baby interact with the toy and they were on the sidelines," said Anna V. Sosa, an associate professor of communications science and disorders at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, who led the study.

"The study builds on a growing body of research suggesting that electronic toys and e-books can make parents less likely to have the most meaningful kinds of verbal exchanges with their children.

"When you put the gadgets and gizmos in, the parents stop talking," said Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, a professor of psychology at Temple University who was not involved in the new study, but who has found similar effects with e-books and electronic shape-sorters. "What you get is more behavioral regulation stuff, like 'don't touch that' or 'do this,' or nothing because the books and toys take it over for you."




Jan 11
2016

"Electronic toys for infants that produce lights, words and songs were associated with decreased quantity and quality of language compared to playing with books or traditional toys such as a wooden puzzle, a shape-sorter and a set of rubber blocks, according to an article published online by JAMA Pediatrics.

 "The reality for many families of young children is that opportunities for direct parent-child play time is limited because of financial, work, and other familial factors. Optimizing the quality of limited parent-child play time is important.

"Anna V. Sosa, Ph.D., of Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, and colleagues conducted a controlled experiment involving 26 parent-infant pairs with children who were 10 to 16 months old. Researchers did not directly observe parent-infant play time because it was conducted in participants' homes. Audio recording equipment was used to pick up sound. Participants were given three sets of toys: electronic toys (a baby laptop, a talking farm and a baby cell phone); traditional toys (chunky wooden puzzle, shape-sorter and rubber blocks with pictures); and five board books with farm animal, shape or color themes.

 "While playing with electronic toys there were fewer adult words used, fewer conversational turns with verbal back-and-forth, fewer parental responses and less production of content-specific words than when playing with traditional toys or books. Children also vocalized less while playing with electronic toys than with books, according to the results.

"Results also indicate that parents produced fewer words during play with traditional toys than while playing with books with infants. Parents also used less content-specific words when playing with traditional toys with their infants than when playing with books.

 STUDY




Dec 17
2015

I gave my students iPads. They stopped talking to each other.

Tablets are a portal to a million possibilities. But some teachers are asking if the benefits offset the cost.

A teacher writes about how when her third grade students were given ipads they stopped talking, or, from the sounds of it, listening. . . .

"I placed an iPad into the outstretched hands of each of my third-grade students, and a reverent, tech-induced hush descended on our classroom. We were circled together on our gathering rug, just finished with a conversation about "digital citizenship" and "online safety" and "our school district bought us these iPads to help us learn, so we are using them for learning purposes." They'd nodded vigorously, thrilled by the thought of their very own iPads to take home every night and bring to school every day. Some of them had never touched a tablet before, and I watched them cradle the sleek devices in their arms. They flashed their gap-toothed grins -- not at each other but at their shining screens.

"That was the first of many moments when I wished I could send the iPads back.




Dec 7
2015

Digital Amnesia

CBS2's Kristine Johnson reports




Aug 1
2015

The Hidden Hazards of Microwave Cooking

Health-Science - international and historical perspectives

"Over 90% of American homes have microwave ovens used for meal preparation. Because microwave ovens are so convenient and energy efficient, as compared to conventional ovens, very few homes or restaurants are without them. In general, people believe that whatever a microwave oven does to foods cooked in it doesn't have any negative effect on either the food or them. Of course, if microwave ovens were really harmful, our government would never allow them on the market, would they? Would they? Regardless of what has been "officially" released concerning microwave ovens, we have personally stopped using ours based on the research facts outlined in this article. . . "




Jul 31
2015

Hackers can get into most 'connected cars': study

CTV News / Steele on Your Side (2015)

According to the European think tank IDATE, over 420 million connected vehicles will be produced by 2018.

(Washington-AFP)

"Virtually all "connected cars" on the road are vulnerable to hackers who could steal data or gain control of the vehicle, a report from a U.S. senator said Monday. The report prepared by the staff of Senator Ed Markey said the wireless connectivity and Internet access available on the vehicles opens up security gaps that could be exploited for malicious purposes.

"The study found these security weaknesses in "nearly 100 percent of cars on the market" and noted that most automobile manufacturers were unaware of or unable to report on past hacking incidents.

"The senator's staff, which collected data from 16 major auto manufacturers, cited earlier studies on some vehicles which showed how hackers can get into the controls of some popular vehicles, causing them to suddenly accelerate, turn, de-activate brakes, activate the horn, control headlights, and modify the speedometer and gas gauge readings.

"The report also noted that many of these connected cars collect data on driving that could be kept in violation of privacy.

"It said that the "alarmingly inconsistent and incomplete state of industry security and privacy practices" raises questions about the need for new U.S. rules from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or other federal agencies.

"Drivers have come to rely on these new technologies, but unfortunately the automakers haven't done their part to protect us from cyberattacks or privacy invasions," Markey said in a statement.

"Even as we are more connected than ever in our cars and trucks, our technology systems and data security remain largely unprotected."

"The report said the manufacturers appeared to take little or no action following disclosures from researchers in 2013 and 2014 about these vulnerabilities. . . .




Jun 25
2015

Sleepless in America

How Digital Devices Keep Us Up All Night

" . . . The problem? Those electronic devices may be contributing to our sleep-deprived society. Eight-five percent of American adults tell the Better Sleep Council they have trouble sleeping at night. One in ten suffers from more serious chronic insomnia, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Since lack of sleep is linked to obesity, depression, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, the CDC declared sleep deprivation a "public health epidemic" in 2014. . .

"So what can you do to boost your chances of getting a good night's rest? . . .




Jun 12
2015

FRAMINGHAM - At a forum Wednesday night, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, former president of Microsoft Canada and other experts warned of the dangers of wireless radiation to children.  

"The panelists told an audience at Plymouth Church that children's brains absorb more radiation than in adults, and research shows that surrounding kids with technology devices is causing harm. Dr. Devra Davis, founder of Environmental Health Trust, said children today have toys that radiate energy, from the digital "iPotty" to a plastic teething rattle iPhone case. . . .  

"Unlike some environmental problems, like global warming, this is something you can fix tomorrow," Davis said.

"Cities and towns can pass cell phone right-to-know laws that require public postings that tell users of devices how to use them safely, Davis said. . . . .

" . . .children today are gazing into a screen 7 to 11 hours a day, more than any other activity in their life, and one out of seven sets of parents allow their infants and toddlers to have screen time for up to four hours a day. .......She called it the "Magic of the iPad," but said those devices are neurological stimulants and society needs to stop denying the ramifications.  

"Adults may joke they are "so addicted" to their smartphones, yet they give children the same devices and are really psychologically dependent, Steiner-Adair said.  

"They function in our lives like little blankies do for children," she said.

"In children, the devices are causing deficits in language development and their capacity for frustration and self-soothing, she said. . . .




Jun 12
2015

Scientists petition UN for better radiation exposure standards

Cindy Sage, co-author of Bioinitiative Report. (Important links included)

An important article regarding the Paris Appeal and the efforts of industry, in collusion with major organizations like the BC Cancer Society, to block efforts to educate the public and to reduce exposures to RF radiation. Please share widely.

Our cancer institutes have colluded with the industry to downplay the sharp rise in brain tumours and other cancers since the introduction of these technologies, especially in those under age 40. According to Eileen O'Connor of Powerwatch UK, one study has shown over a 700 percent increase in brain tumours in young adults compared to other cancers.


"Do you use a cell phone? Wifi? An iPad? Do you have a 'smart' meter on your home? A baby monitor or DECT (cordless) phone? You should be aware these are all serious health hazards that have been covered up by the multi-billion dollar telecommunications industry. Scientists who have been raising warnings about exposure to microwave frequency radiation (the spectrum used by wireless devices) have been marginalized, and in some cases their careers ruined by telecom corporations. Now they are raising the alarm with the UN and World Health Organization (WHO). "The health effects (of electromagnetic exposure) are now inarguable," said Cindy Sage, co-author of the Bioinitiative Report on electromagnetic radiation (EMR) research. "What we need--now--are biologically-based standards for public health." Tragically, the mainstream media are ignoring this important scientists' petition . . .




Apr 14
2015

Your cellphone is killing you: What people don't want you to know about electromagnetic fields

Dr. Martin Blank - Excerpted from "Overpowered: What Science Tells Us About the Dangers of Cell Phones and Other Wifi-age Devices"

The industry doesn't want to admit it, but the science is becoming clearer: Sustained EMF exposure is dangerous. MARTIN BLANK

" . . . My message is not to abandon gadgets--like most people, I too love and utilize EMF-generating gadgets. Instead, I want you to realize that EMF poses a real risk to living creatures and that industrial and product safety standards must and can be reconsidered. The solutions I suggest are not prohibitive. I recommend that as individuals we adopt the notion of "prudent avoidance," minimizing our personal EMF exposure and maximizing the distance between us and EMF sources when those devices are in use. Just as you use a car with seat belts and air bags to increase the safety of the inherently dangerous activity of driving your car at a relatively high speed, you should consider similar risk-mitigating techniques for your personal EMF exposure.  

"On a broader social level, adoption of the Precautionary Principle in establishing new, biologically based safety standards for EMF exposure for the general public would be, I believe, the best approach. Just as the United States became the first nation in the world to regulate the production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) when science indicated the threat to earth's ozone layer--long before there was definitive proof of such a link--our governments should respond to the significant public health threat of EMF exposure. If EMF levels were regulated just as automobile carbon emissions are regulated, this would force manufacturers to design, create, and sell devices that generate much lower levels of EMF.  

"No one wants to return to the dark ages, but there are smarter and safer ways to approach our relationship--as individuals and across society--with the technology that exposes us to electromagnetic radiation."




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