i never tire of reading about the cognitive basis for irrationality with one of my favorite cognitive biases being the overconfidence effect where, generally speaking, even when you’re 100% certain in something you’re probably only actually correct 80% about of the time. to make matters even more uncertain, new facts are piling up at an astonishing rate and half the facts you know are probably wrong!
everyone and their brother is asking me if i have seen the wsj article “One Running Shoe in the Grave” with the eye-catching quote from an editorial to be published next month in the british journal heart, “Running too fast, too far and for too many years may speed one’s progress toward the finish line of life…” yikes! the folks at runner’s world provide some context to the research in their response, “The Too-Much-Running Myth Rises Again” with the “well, duh” conclusion, “if you exercise for an hour a day, you’re likely to live longer than if you exercise less than an hour a day.” ( i run, on average, 45-60 minutes a day ).
adrian cheok wants to create a sensory internet and, naturally(?), started with poultry and made haptic jackets for chickens which can produce a gentle touch at a distance. and he has research to prove the chickens enjoy it ( “if the chicken enters the blue door we remotely touch it through the pet doll interface” ). i wonder if he’s willing to open-source the system design so i can create for The Girls ( though i should probably first finish the wireless nesting box – based on the wireless tweeting fridge – that tweets when an egg is laid ). oh, and if you’re thinking of making a “choking the chicken” the slashdot commenter, er, beat you to it.
excellent news that the american academy of pediatrics released a clinical report that finally highlights the benefits of organic food, including lower exposure to pesticides for consumers and the workers who produce the food, lower exposure to drug-resistant bacteria and lower overall environmental impact than conventional farming and recommends that, “…Pediatricians should incorporate this evidence when discussing the health and environmental impact of organic foods and organic farming..”
as the organic trade association press release notes this is a major milestone for organics since the pediatric party line has historically been that there’s no difference that makes a difference between organic and conventional foods.
if anything, the AAP clinical report soft pedals the research on pesticide exposure in particular. the pesticide action network also released a report, “A Generation in Jeopardy: How pesticides are undermining our children’s health & intelligence” that reviews dozens of recent scientific studies on the impacts of pesticides on children’s health. the emerging evidence of links between pesticide usage and childhood health harms are impossible to ignore.
it’s hard for me to imagine how anyone can read the 44 page report and not decide to purchase organic food ( and all the more so now that we know GMOs have unleashed a pesticide gusher ).
new research from the prestigious boston children’s hospital, published in environmental health perspectives, “A Strategy for Comparing the Contributions of Environmental Chemicals and Other Risk Factors to Neurodevelopment of Children”, identifies the top five risk factors associated with decreases in children’s IQs. number 3 on the list, right behind lead? organophosphate pesticides which are used in conventional/non-organic food production. according to wikipedia, “there are forty organophosphate pesticides registered in the U.S., with at least 73 million pounds used in agricultural and residential settings.” don’t panic, go organic.
while there’s no doubt changes in our diets over the past 40 years have contributed to the obesity epidemic, there’s growing evidence that sitting at your sedentary desk job isn’t doing you any favors either ( well, duh! ). the people’s pharmacy also had a recent program with james a. levine MD, PhD, author of “move a little, lose a lot” where they discuss some great tips for counteracting the hazards of sitting all day.
related to the cognitive basis for irrationality ( or maybe this is all just a big case of confirmaton bias? ), scientists say we just all aren’t collectively smart enough to elect the best candidates since we, “…simply lack the mental tools needed to make meaningful judgments.”. ( also, incompetent people too Ignorant to know it. )