Tag Archives: United States

Against generation labeling

28 Mar

When I was a teenager one of the most irritating things adults would say was some version of “it’s up to you young people to solve the world’s problems.” I always wanted to respond “what, are you dead?”

Obviously some cohort effects exist, how else could you explain the Flynn Effect? But generation talk is often superficial stereotyping. We call one cohort, “The Greatest Generation.” Really? Everyone in the generation was great? Sure some of them fought in World War II, but some of them also caused the war.

In any event, I enjoyed watching Adam Conover eviscerate generational labeling:



Hat tip to BoingBoing

Janet Asimov, it’s never to late to start writing

21 Aug

Janet Asimov writes:

“Now that “aging brains” have been much in the media, I am sure that most people understand the adage “use it or lose it.”

Without working brains we humans are hulks of protoplasm without purpose or joy. Of course, a lot of people with supposedly intact brains also seem to lack purpose and joy, but I can only urge them to get some through writing. “

Read the rest here.

Pesticides linked to depression in pesticide applicators

12 Nov

An article in Modern Farmer reports on a study linking pesticides with depression in pesticide applicators. Here is the original study.  From the results section of the abstract:

“After weighting for potential confounders, missing covariate data, and dropout, ever-use of two pesticide classes, fumigants and organochlorine insecticides, and seven individual pesticides—the fumigants aluminum phosphide and ethylene dibromide; the phenoxy herbicide (2,4,5-trichlorophenoxy)acetic acid (2,4,5-T); the organochlorine insecticide dieldrin; and the organophosphate insecticides diazinon, malathion, and parathion—were all positively associated with depression in each case group, with ORs between 1.1 and 1.9.”

OR is the abbreviation for odds ratio, explained here.

Lead exposure and behavior

13 Aug

Yesterday I blogged about the effects of environmental toxins on brain development. Here is a recent paper titled: “Lead Exposure and Behavior: Effects on Antisocial and Risky Behavior among Children and Adolescents.” The abstract reads:

“It is well known that exposure to lead has numerous adverse effects on behavior and development. Using data on two cohorts of children from the NLSY, this paper investigates the effect of early childhood lead exposure on behavior problems from childhood through early adulthood. I find large negative consequences of early childhood lead exposure, in the form of an unfolding series of adverse behavioral outcomes: behavior problems as a child, pregnancy and aggression as a teen, and criminal behavior as a young adult. At the levels of lead that were the norm in United States until the late 1980s, estimated elasticities of these behaviors with respect to lead range between 0.1 and 1.0.”

This is a video on lead in children’s toys:

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