Sadness and the arts
“New research discovers that teens who participate in after-school arts activities such as music, drama and painting
are more likely to report feeling depressed or sad than students who are not involved in these programs,” says Psych Central. “Researchers comment that
this is the first study to find that young people’s casual involvement in the arts could be linked to depressive symptoms. [They] are quick to point out that the evidence does not show that depression leads to artistic aptitude or that participating in arts results in depression.”
How to have a poker face
“A doctor of esthetic medicine in New York is taking a gamble that poker players are going to be the next big growth market for Botox,” says The Huffington Post. “Dr. Jack Berdy has just introduced ‘Pokertox,’ a program of Botox and facial fillers designed to enhance a player’s ‘poker face,’ their ability to hide any sign of facial emotion that might tip off other card players on whether they have a good or bad hand. The process requires Berdy to consult with players about what they believe their ‘tells’
are – the unconscious signals they give off to other players. ‘Some people might get a card they like or don’t like and raise their eyebrows,’ Berdy told The Huffington Post. ‘If that’s the common reaction, we can put Botox in certain areas to minimize them.’ ”
Young? It’s a warm world
“Nowhere on the surface of the planet have we seen any record cold temperatures over the course of the year so far,” says Grist.org. “Every land surface in the world saw warmer-than-average temperatures except Alaska and the eastern tip of Russia. … If you were born on or after April, 1985, if you are right now 27 years old or younger, you have never lived through a month that was colder than average.”
Today is American Thanksgiving. It is the second-deadliest U.S. holiday after New Year’s for alcohol-related fatalities, experts say. “Alcohol Monitoring Systems, which monitors more than 258,000 hard-core drunk drivers for compliance with court-mandated sobriety, said violations involving repeat, high-risk, convicted drunk drivers … increase an average of 54 per cent on Thanksgiving Day,” reports United Press International.
Big Brother on campus?
“Data mining is creeping into every aspect of student life – classrooms, advising, socializing. And now it’s hitting textbooks, too,” reports The Chronicle of Higher Education. “CourseSmart, which sells digital versions of textbooks to big publishers, announced [this month] a new tool to help professors and others measure students’ engagement with electronic course materials. When students use print textbooks, professors can’t track their reading. But as learning shifts online, everything students do in digital spaces can be monitored, including the intimate details of their reading habits. … [CourseSmart can] track students’ behaviour: how much time they spend reading, how many pages they view, and how many notes and highlights they make. [Those] data will get crunched into an engagement score for each student.” Faculty members can reach out to
students showing low engagement.
Model T’s many colours
“Contrary to legend,” says Discover magazine, “Ford’s Model T originally came in a variety of colours … and black was not one of them. The ‘any colour
so long as it is black’ philosophy arrived in 1913, as Henry Ford sought to simplify production.”
Thought du jour