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Teenage plus: The new adolescence April 26, 2012

Posted by tkcollier in Life, Lifestyle, Science & Technology.
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Remarkable new research suggests that conventional assumptions about how we mature are wrong – and that young people do not become true adults until they are 24

via Teenage plus: The new adolescence – Life & Style – The Independent. (more…)

China’s Next Generation December 2, 2010

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics.
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“Prison Break” is huge in China and its star, Wentworth Miller is not only mobbed everywhere he goes in China, he’s the frickin’ face of GM on TV commercials!

The show has never been aired on any Chinese TV network, only on the Web.

Xi Jinping (China’s next president and in his late 50s), for example, still remembers vividly being thrown in jail as a kid as a political prisoner on his dad’s behalf during the Cultural Revolution.  He’s China’s leader for the next decade, and his “Sixties’ were a bit different from the Boomers.

Conservatives in the West keep saying, Nixon went to China 40 years ago and look how the Party still rules! They say that because that’s all they want to see.  But we need to go back and read our history here.  The Cultural Revolution was a “long national nightmare” that trumps our Vietnam and Watergate by . . .  more than just a bit.  It was a national insanity and the bite it took out of the national psyche was closer to our Civil War than anything we’ve experienced since

So rather than expecting that much more  by the 50-something crowd, think of this more in terms of post-Cultural Revolution generations.  The first truly post-CR leadership generation comes online in 2022.

Read more: Thomas P.M. Barnett’s Globlogization – Thomas P.M. Barnett’s Globlogization

via Thomas P.M. Barnett’s Globlogization – Thomas P.M. Barnett’s Globlogization.

Middle-Aged Myths May 1, 2010

Posted by tkcollier in Lifestyle.
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A lot of the myths we think of in terms of middle age, myths that I grew up with, turn out to be based on almost nothing. Things like the midlife crisis or the empty nest syndrome. We’re brought up to think we’ll enter middle age and it will be kind of gloomy. But as scientists look at real people, they find out the contrary. We used to think we lost 30 percent of our brain cells as we age. But that’s not true. We keep them.

One study of men found that well-being peaked at age 65. Over and over they find that middle age, instead of being a time of depression and decline, is actually a time of being more optimistic overall. (more…)

Divorced at 10 in Yemen March 28, 2010

Posted by tkcollier in Lifestyle, Religion.
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Nujood is a Yemeni girl, and it’s no coincidence that Yemen abounds both in child brides and in terrorists (and now, thanks to Nujood, children who have been divorced). Societies that repress women tend to be prone to violence.First, those countries usually have very high birth rates, and that means a youth bulge in the population. One of the factors that most correlates to social conflict is the proportion of young men ages 15 to 24.

Second, those countries also tend to practice polygamy and have higher death rates for girls. That means fewer marriageable women — and more frustrated bachelors to be recruited by extremists.

Consider Bangladesh. After it split off from Pakistan, Bangladesh began to educate girls in a way that Pakistan has never done. The educated women staffed an emerging garment industry and civil society, and those educated women are one reason Bangladesh is today far more stable than Pakistan

via Op-Ed Columnist – Divorced Before Puberty – NYTimes.com.

Why Teenagers Can’t Learn March 22, 2010

Posted by tkcollier in health, Lifestyle.
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…this temporary learning deficit could be traced to a remarkable change that occurs at puberty in the hippocampus, a region of the brain that is involved in remembering places and integrating other kinds of learning. The change affects the GABA neurotransmitter system. GABA, which is present in all mammals, inhibits or down-regulates nerve signals, as opposed to exciting them; this calming, relaxing system is activated by tranquilizers like Valium and the popular sleep drug Ambien, which attach to GABA receptors and act similarly to GABA. But at puberty, female mice experience a 700% increase in an unusual GABA receptor that helps calm the nervous system, except when under stress.

GABA is not the only neurotransmitter system that goes out of whack at puberty, Giedd notes. Recent studies at Harvard suggest that dopamine receptors also temporarily proliferate, a change that might be related to the impulsiveness and risk-taking behaviors seen in teens. These bursts of brain changes seem to be connected to developmentally sensitive periods, says Giedd.

(See “Secrets of the Teen Brain.”)

Start School Late To Get Ahead January 16, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Lifestyle.
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The Early Bird Gets the Bad Grade – New York Times
Research shows that teenagers’ body clocks are set to a schedule that is different from that of younger children or adults. This prevents adolescents from dropping off until around 11 p.m., when they produce the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, and waking up much before 8 a.m. when their bodies stop producing melatonin. The result is that the first class of the morning is often a waste, with as many as 28 percent of students falling asleep, according to a National Sleep Foundation poll. Some are so sleepy they don’t even show up, contributing to failure and dropout rates.

In 2002, high schools in Jessamine County in Kentucky pushed back the first bell to 8:40 a.m., from 7:30 a.m. Attendance immediately went up, as did scores on standardized tests, which have continued to rise each year. Districts in Virginia and Connecticut have achieved similar success. In Minneapolis and Edina, Minn., which instituted high school start times of 8:40 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. respectively in 1997, students’ grades rose slightly and lateness, behavioral problems and dropout rates decreased.

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