Saturday, November 01, 2014
No, kids CAN'T study while they're texting: Research finds teenagers struggle with multitasking
- Young people struggle with simple tasks when distracted, study finds
- Research undertaken by two teenagers and overseen by Stanford University
- Just 15 per cent dubbed 'high media multitaskers' improved with stimuli
- More than 400 students, with an average age of 14-and-a-half, were analysed
PUBLISHED: 06:23 EST, 19 October 2014 | UPDATED: 02:15 EST, 20 October 2014
Teenagers are often seen trying to study while listening to music, watching TV and juggling texts and tweets.
But new research by two final year school girls, overseen by Stanford University, found that 85 per cent of young people struggle to perform simple tasks when distracted by music, phones or email.
For a fortunate 15 per cent of so-called 'high media multitasks , performance actually improves when there is outside stimuli.
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New research by two final year school girls, overseen by Stanford University, found that 85 per cent of young people struggle to perform simple tasks when distracted by music, phones or email
More than 400 students, with an average age of 14-and-a-half, were analysed during the three-year study which was overseen by Clifford Class, a Stanford University professor.
Sarayu Caulfield, 17, one of the study's authors, said: 'We really wanted to see how media multitasking is affecting young people.
'Media multitasking is a huge part of young people's lives. So we may be able to cope with switching between tasks better ... but most people still work at their best while focusing on one thing.'
The researchers used a series of cognitive tests to measure how distractions affected the ability to complete simple tasks.
They were then classified as high, medium or low media multitasks using a standardised test developed by researchers at Stanford University.
Those rated at the high level reported spending an average of three hours a day multitasking, including at least 50% of the time they were doing homework.
Students at the low level spent 20 minutes a day multitasking on average, and barely at all while doing homework.
Of the 403 total participants, 60 were classified in the high group, 50 in the low group and the rest were moderate media multitasks.
Alexandra Ulmer, 18, who worked on the project said: 'But this one group of people—the high media multitaskers—performed best when they are in a multitasking environment. The high media multitasks actually excelled in the multitasking room.
'Maybe we see high media multitaskers excelling in this area because they've grown up with technology their entire lives ... The results mean students should focus on what kind of learner they are, so they know how to work best.'
The students, who say they aren't heavy multitasks themselves, conducted the study as part of the Oregon Episcopal School's science-research program.
'My friends laugh at me because I have to sit in a totally silent room to concentrate,' said Ms Ulmer.
Previous research has suggested that the use of multiple digital devices simultaneously can change the structure of the brain.
Academics at Sussex University, published in the online journal PLOS, found high media multitasks had a lower grey-matter density in a part of the brain that determines how we think and feel.
Other studies have suggested that genetics could play a part in ability to multitask.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2798930/no-t-listen-texting-research-finds-teenagers-struggle-multitasking.html#ixzz3J0fywGpe
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Childhood Cancer and Corona Ions from Powerlines
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This new paper from National Grid's Dr John Swanson and the team from what used to be the Oxford-based Childhood Cancer Research Group attempts to test Professor Denis Henshaw's corona-ion hypothesis. The Institute of Physics Journal of Radiological Protection paper contains unjustified conclusions and erroneous physics. The paper really does not, in our opinion, add anything useful and should not have been published in a scientific journal - especially in a non-atmospheric pollution journal which would have had more critical reviewers with appropriate knowledge. Despite the hard work that clearly went into this research, we believe that it should be ignored and not used to confuse the scientific literature.
This new research sets out to test the hypothesis by trying to look up-wind and downwind from powerlines to see if there are differences in childhood cancer incidence. They conclude that the new work does not prove or disprove the Henshaw hypothesis, nor does it provide any support for it.
We at Powerwatch are not surprised by their conclusions. We claim that the work is badly flawed due to confounders, by mistakes in scientific modelling and lack of adequate knowledge of weather patterns and aerosol science leading to almost meaningless data. It really stood no chance of properly judging the hypothesis. We explain our reasons below.
We reported on the group's previous paper that related to this topic in our news story earlier this year. We are grateful to the authors for commenting on our atomic bomb fallout theory in this new paper. We still believe that enhancement by corona ions of radionuclides from this source could well be an explanation of the effect which these authors have shown was strongest in the 1960s and had faded by the 1990s. Their new analysis in this paper shows the effect more strongly than ever. Recent work shows that there is still, 50 years after the tests, some Strontium 90 and Caesium 137 from the bomb tests in the upper atmosphere. Their half-lives are both about 30 years, so that also fits with the plateauing of the incidence rate of childhood leukaemia that has now occurred since about the year 2000 (it rose by over 1% per year from the 1960s).
Background: The Henshaw hypothesis proposes that corona ions, charged atmospheric ions produced by high voltage overhead powerlines, attach themselves to toxic pollutants (like carcinogenic radioactive or chemical particles). When these charged particles are breathed in they are much more likely to be retained in the lung and enter the bloodstream and be distributed throughout the body. The mechanism of toxic particles carrying electric charge being more dangerous when inhaled is well documented and is not in doubt. The questions arise about how much of this goes on near to powerlines and what the likely effect on human health might be.
The analysis was carried out to see if the corona-ion model could explain the previously found associations of childhood cancer with distance from high-voltage powerlines that extended out to some 600 metres away from the power line - far too far for electric and magnetic fields from the powerline to have any effect, as in most cases these fall off to low levels within 100 metres or less. The team only used English and Welsh data with the birth address being used for the children. In their previous (Bunch) paper they included data for Scotland. Omitting Scotland reduced the case numbers by about 2000 (about 14%) but will probably not change the results much.
Our main reasons for dismissing the analysis
- The authors assume in their analysis that corona ion emissions arise chiefly from the cable-arrangement and voltage of the powerlines. However they also admit that the main cause of such emissions arises from corrosion of the cables by pollution which, for any given line, is unkown and cannot be modelled meaningfully.
- The authors point to a decrease in recent decades of the large-size (PM10 and PM2.5) particulate air pollutants, but fail to discuss a larger increase in "ultrafine" particles (100-200 nanometres in size), mostly resulting from the 1992 mandatory introduction of vehicle exhaust catalytic converters. Such ultrafine particulates travel large distances from their source, even crossing international boundaries. As a result, it is misleading of the authors to suggest that exposure to total air pollution both near and away from powerlines has decreased in recent decades, rather the overall exposure of children across the country has increased with large numbers of smaller particles - this could be a significant confounder as it changes the exposure of the controls.
- The authors claim to consider wind direction in carrying corona ions downwind of powerlines. However, wind direction is very variable and all locations will have winds at times from other directions including opposite to their assumed one. They have averaged annual data for a restricted time-period for just 8 weather stations in the whole of England and Wales.
An important review of wind variability was published by Alan Lapworth and James McGregor in 2008 . This shows that even for an almost ideal flat land Met Office weather station site (Cardington, East Midlands) the wind direction has enormous variability over the year. Even if (as there) there is a predominent direction, who is to say that on the day the critical toxic particle is being inhaled that the wind is not blowing in the opposite direction?
They also point out: "An even greater effect, however, is caused by relatively local topographic effects." These include local hills, valleys, etc. This will also be the case in urban areas which many of the 132 kV lines cross, with buildings and streets considerably diverting the air flow.
Swanson et al also fail to acknowledge that Westerly winds that originate over the Atlantic, are largely devoid of pollutants, whereas Easterly winds can bring pollutants from Europe as illustrated in the smog event predominant in the Southeast of England in April 2014.
- The inclusion of 132 kV lines is important as they are significant sources of corona ions. However, many are over urban areas where air-flow resistance by buildings and convection currents are very complex and will greatly distort the diffusion patterns from a simple prevailing wind model.
- The use of the 1/r factor in the modelling distorts the convection effect by greatly suppressing effects at longer distances, including the 200 to 600 m category. Whether that makes much difference in overall results is another matter, but it is an important issue for closer comparisons of this version of the corona hypothesis with a simple distance model. The factor 1/r seems misconceived and should simply be removed. This is discussed by Professor Mike O'Carroll in the linked document .
Overall we conclude that the data and the modelling are both so poor as to render any conclusions fairly worthless, despite the effort that has clearly gone into to the analysis. This paper, which to be fair it admits, fails to prove or disprove Henshaw's corona ion hypothesis. It was clearly incapable of attempting such a feat. We wonder how and why it was published and hope that it is not cited in the future as if it did disprove the hypothesis.
1/. J Swanson et al 2014, Childhood cancer and exposure to corona ions from power lines: an epidemiological test, J. Radiol. Prot. 34 873.
2/. A Lapworth & J McGregor 2008, Seasonal variation of the prevailing wind direction in Britain, Weather, 2008, Vol.63, No.12 online free access pdf
3/. M J O Carroll, Comment on Childhood cancer and exposure to corona ions from power lines: an epidemiological test, Comment v3
Seminar - Cell Phone Radiation, Health Hazard and Precaution - Professor Dariusz Leszczynski, Monash University
Seminar - Cell Phone Radiation, Health Hazard and Precaution - Professor Dariusz Leszczynsk
i, Monash University
show/sphpm-seminar-cell-phone- radiation-health-hazard-and- precaut#.VFOItfWJ6qA.facebook
Professor Leszczynski is an internationally recognized expert in biological and health effects of radiation emitted by the wireless communication devices. Among others, in 2009 he testified in the US Senate hearing on cell phones and health, and in 2011 he was one of the 30 experts, invited by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which classified cell phone radiation as a possibly carcinogenic to humans.
We, the cell phone users, are seriously misled when buying a cell phone. We assume that this radiation-emitting product has been tested for human health safety before it was put on the market. We assume that cell phones are safe to use. However, this might be a wrong assumption.
In three separate epidemiological case-control studies, adult participants used regular, off-the-shelf, cell phones. These cell phones were built to fulfil ICNIRP safety standards. However, avid use of such “safe” phones, for a period of over 10 years, led to an increased risk of developing brain cancer.
This means that the current safety standards do not protect sufficiently users of cell phones. This situation of scientific uncertainty calls for an action – implementation of the Precautionary Principle.
Read the post here.
Friday, October 31, 2014
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Public Hearing on Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity
From: Joel MOSKOWITZ <firstname.lastname@example.org>Object: Public Hearing on Electromagnetic HypersensitivityDate: Oct 30 2014 12:34:55 UTC−4Public Hearing on Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity
Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) is causing distress and loss of quality of life to a growing number of Europeans and according to new estimates, between 3 % and 5% of the population are electro-sensitive. The most common sources of Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) pollution are mobile phone masts, cordless phones and Wi-Fi routers installed in the homes. All these emit microwaves permanently (24/7) in the places where they are installed.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) study group on electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) will hold a public Hearing on EHS on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 in Brussels, Belgium.This event will gather all relevant stakeholders from a broad range of European civil society for a debate on how to deal with this issues at EU level and to give input for the future EESC's opinion that is scheduled for adoption in January 2015.
The EESC is a consultative body of the European Union that gives representatives of Europe’s socio-occupational interest groups and others, a formal platform to express their points of views on EU issues.
Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Family and Community Health
School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley
Electromagnetic Radiation Safety
News Releases: http://pressroom.prlog.org/
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
MD EMF Symposium
Please take the time to watch this excellent Symposium (http://www.c4st.org/
petitions/congress-and- president-obama-help-protect- our-migratory-birds-and-our- health
petition/New_York_State_ Attorney_Generals_Office_File_ an_injunction_against_NYC_ DoITTs_payphone_hotspot_ scheme/?mzJmuib
s, Science and Lies” Documentar y Reveals a Product Defense Strategy
From SkyVision Solutions, Posted on August 30, 2014
For the past ten years worldwide, questioning on the safety of mobile phone antennas has been increasing. Numerous scientific studies have revealed the adverse effects of electro- magnetic waves on health. Yet, most health agencies, industry representatives, and a portion the scientific community claim that current health standards adequately protect the public.
Earlier this year journalist Nancy Meritens and film director Jean Hèches completed their documentary Ondes, Science et Manigances [or Microwaves, Science and Lies], that demonstrates how the telecommunications industry creates doubt about harmful radiofrequency waves through the manipulation of science. Through interviews with several whistleblowers, including citizens, journalists, and scientists, this film reveals how, like the tobacco industry, the lobby of the mobile phone industry has built a strategy of “product defense” by artificially creating a scientific doubt about the harmful effects of electromagnetic waves. In addition to revealing collusion among various organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO), the film documents the actions of specific individuals like Emilie van Deventer of the WHO and Peter Valberg who works for the product defense firm Gradient.
Read the post here.