Drug Abuse Among Unsuspecting Professionals

Addiction does not discriminate and our drug and alcohol programs here at Harmony reflect this fact well – with programs for young adults, men and women in all stages of life.The need for more addiction rehabs to focus on professionals in their programs has been highlighted in the news recently with professionals under fire for drug abuse. Last week, a high school IT teacher in England was sentenced to over 3 years in jail and permanently banned from teaching after being caught with more than 100 grams of cocaine in a narcotics lab in his home.His sentencing came after an investigation found that he was involved in high-level supply of cocaine leading to his arrest in 2012. At first the teacher denied being a distributor and said …

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Guns Loom Large in Childhood Death Statistics

You can’t go more than a couple of months without seeing another news headline about a school shooting, or a shooting incident involving a child. While these stories are shocking, school shootings account for only a small number of the gun-related injuries and fatalities that children suffer every year as a result of gunshots. In fact, most gun injuries happen in the home and at the hands of other children who had no intention of hurting anybody.Children and Gun DeathsAccording to a recent study presented to a conference of the American Academy of Pediatrics, over 500 children die every year from gunshot wounds. That number represents a 60 percent increase in a single decade. Handguns, by far, account for the most injuries and deaths. Over 80 percent of all children who are injured by firearms suffer injuries inflicted by handguns.The study looked at data compiled between 1997 and 2009. In 1997, 4,270 children under the age of 20 suffered a gunshot injury. By 2009, that number increase to 7,730, a jump of about 55 percent. Further, 317 children died of gunshot injuries in 1997, while 503 died of such injuries in 2009.Disproportionate DangerOther studies have shown that gunshots pose a disproportionately high fatality risk to children. Even though gunshot wounds account for only 1% of the total number of injuries children suffer each year, they account for 21% of deaths that result from childhood injury.When a child is shot, that child has a 32% chance of requiring major surgery. …

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Hey, Wake Up, It’s Brain Awareness Week

Your brain doesn’t come with an instruction manual.The Dana Foundation’s annual Brain Awareness Week (BAW), March 10-16, seems particularly appropriate and useful this time around, after a year in which brain-based disease models of human behaviors came under fire from social scientists and neuroscientists alike.A recent analysis of the coverage of neuroscience in the popular press showed that the number of news articles using the terms “neuroscience” or “neuroscientist” had increased by a factor of 30 between 1985 and 2009. Moreover, the NIH’s massive Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, designed to speed up our understanding of the neural workings of the human brain in the years ahead, is in progress.Brain Awareness Week, which takes place each year during the third week of March, is …

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Extreme weather images in the media cause fear and disengagement with climate change

The paper ‘ Images of Extreme Weather: Symbolising Human Responses to Climate Change’, by Brigitte Nerlich & Rusi Jaspal, published in Science as Culture, reveals that extreme weather images represent human suffering and loss. They are iconic of climate change and are symbols of its natural impacts.Reporting on extreme weather has increased over the last few years. In the past social scientists, and media and communication analysts have studied how climate change is depicted in the text of media and social media. While researchers have become increasingly interested in climate change images, they have not yet studied them with respect to symbolising certain emotions.The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a draft report on extreme weather and climate change adaptation. The report was covered in the news and illustrated with images. Some of these depicted ‘extreme weather’, in particular with relation to floods, droughts and heat waves, hurricanes and ice/sea-level rise.Researchers studied images published in the news to illustrate their coverage of the IPCC report. They used visual thematic analysis, examining the way they might symbolise certain emotional responses, such as compassion, fear, guilt, vulnerability, helpless, courage or resilience.Results showed that images of flooding displays people in the developing world ‘getting on with it’. It portrays individuals accustomed to flooding and that they can overcome the extreme weather. The images showed cheerful behaviour of those who are affected by flooding; lack of victimhood; engagement in their day-to-day activities and communal aspects of coping with flooding.New research has shown that images of extreme weather in the media create negative emotional meanings and might lead to disengagement with the issue of climate change. The images symbolised fear, helplessness and vulnerability and, in some cases, guilt and compassion. …

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Fires, floods, winds and snow – 4 seasons in 1

By being connected through social media we find out and éxperience’ where others live around the world without actually leaving home! That is what makes social media so fascinating – the fact that we can keep in touch thanks to modern technology, being connected to the internet and even seeing/sharing immediate pictures of our lives and day to day experiences. Fires have been near here the last few days, floods and strong winds in UK and heavy snow falls in USA and Canada.Valentine’s day yesterday was interesting as to how it is celebrated globally. What is extra special is seeing not just it being celebrated with couples in love, but also families counting their blessings having the love of children, friends and other ‘friends’ they have …

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Bloggers: get paid to work for great brands with #Markerly’s blogging network

Bloggers: get paid to work for great brands with #Markerly’s blogging network Emily Dickey posted this in Blogging~This post was written in a partnership with the blogging network Markerly. All opinions are my own.My blog started as a place to connect with friends and family when my husband and I lived out of state. It grew and turned into so much more. Now, my blog is my business and I make a very nice additional income for our family working from home. I love it!Part of how I make money is through blog networks that offer paid posts and sponsored content for influencer marketing. There are a lot of them out there so when you find one, sign up! You never know what opportunities might…

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Warning against Wi-Fi in cars: Drivers will be too distracted even if devices are voice-operated, study shows

Oct. 16, 2013 — Plans to provide high-speed Internet access in vehicles, announced last month by Canadian telecommunications company Rogers Communications and American provider Sprint Corporation, could do with some sobering second-thought, says a researcher in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto.”Because of the potential for driver distraction, safety should be of great concern,” said Professor Ian Spence, author of a new study on the impact of auditory distractions on visual attention. “Many people assume that talking to a voice-operated device will be as safe as using a hands-free cell phone, but neither activity is safe.”Spence and a team of researchers asked subjects to perform an attentional visual field test in which they repeatedly identified the random location of an object in visual clutter displayed on a computer monitor. Poor performance on the test is known to be a good predictor of unsafe driving. Subjects performed the test while carrying out a range of listening and/or speaking tasks or in silence.An example of an easy task was listening to recordings of news items, much like listening to a car radio. More difficult tasks required subjects to answer simple yes-no questions while performing the visual test. Subjects answered by either speaking out loud in some experimental conditions, or merely thinking of the answer in others. The most-demanding questions required subjects to take the last letter of a presented word (e.g. apple) and speak another word beginning with that letter (e.g. elephant).Subjects who completed the test of visual attention coupled with the listening/speaking tasks were as accurate as those who completed the visual test in silence. …

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Is Addiction Inherited?

Robert Downey Jr. has been in the news recently, not because of Iron Man or his past drug problems, but because of his son – 20-year-old Indigo – who is reportedly in rehab.Robert Downey Jr. had a very public battle with addiction when he was in and out of jails and institutions while trying to salvage his career. People watched as the extremely talented actor struggled with addiction to heroin, alcohol and cocaine and now praise him as a hero – not only because he is Iron Man, but for having overcome his powerful addiction to drugs and alcohol – he has been sober since 2003.His son apparently went to treatment for trouble with prescription pills. His mother – Downey’s ex wife Deborah Falconer reportedly …

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From embarrassing Facebook posts to controversial Tweets, why are consumers oversharing online?

July 26, 2013 — Increased use of digital communication is causing consumers to lose their inhibitions and “overshare” online, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.”Sharing itself is not new, but consumers now have unlimited opportunities to share their thoughts, opinions, and photos, or otherwise promote themselves and their self-image online. Digital devices help us share more, and more broadly, then ever before,” writes author Russell W. Belk (York University).Blogging beckons us to tell all. YouTube’s slogan is “Broadcast Yourself.” Social media sites ask us “What do you have to Share?” Consumers can rate books, movies, or restaurants online and engage with other consumers on forums and on the websites of sellers like Amazon, Yelp, or IMDB. The possibilities for sharing online are endless and many of the most popular websites and smartphone apps are devoted to sharing.This week, the media was abuzz with the news that the 70-year-old Geraldo Rivera had shared a shirtless “selfie” on Twitter. Countless celebrities, from “30 Rock” star Alec Baldwin to Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace, have lived to regret controversial tweets. Meanwhile, ordinary consumers routinely post photos online of themselves nude or engaged in embarrassing activities.While a limited number of people see our physical selves, a virtually infinite number of people may see our online representations of ourselves. Appearing literally or figuratively naked online can come back to haunt consumers in future school and job applications, promotions, and relationships.”Due to an online disinhibition effect and a tendency to confess to far more shortcomings and errors than they would divulge face-to-face, consumers seem to disclose more and may wind up ‘oversharing’ through digital media to their eventual regret,” the author concludes.

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Living fossils? Actually, sturgeon fish are evolutionary speedsters

June 6, 2013 — Efforts to restore sturgeon in the Great Lakes region have received a lot of attention in recent years, and many of the news stories note that the prehistoric-looking fish are “living fossils” virtually unchanged for millions of years.But a new study by University of Michigan researchers and their colleagues reveals that in at least one measure of evolutionary change — changes in body size over time — sturgeon have been one of the fastest-evolving fish on the planet.”Sturgeon are thought of as a living fossil group that has undergone relatively slow rates of anatomical change over time. But that’s simply not true,” said Daniel Rabosky, assistant professor in the U-M Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a curator of herpetology at the Museum of Zoology.”Our study shows that sturgeon are evolving very quickly in some ways. They have evolved a huge range of body sizes. There are dwarf sturgeon the size of a bass and several other species that are nearly as big as a Volkswagen.”The sturgeon finding is just one result in a wide-ranging study of the rates of species formation and anatomical change in fish. The work involved assembling one of the largest evolutionary trees ever created for any group of animals. The evolutionary relationships between nearly 8,000 species of fish are delineated in the branches of the tree, allowing the researchers to make inferences about all 30,000 or so species of ray-finned fish.The study’s findings are scheduled for online publication in Nature Communications on June 6. Rabosky and Michael Alfaro of the University of California, Los Angeles, are the lead authors. U-M computational evolutionary biologist Stephen Smith is a co-author.The main goal of the project was to test a longstanding idea in evolutionary biology that has anecdotal support but which had never been rigorously evaluated, Rabosky said. It was Charles Darwin who coined the term “living fossil” to describe extant creatures, such as the gar (another Great Lakes resident) and the lungfish, which have been present for many millions of years in the fossil record yet appear to have undergone very little anatomical change.Paleontologists have long suspected that these observations reflect a fundamental coupling between the rates of species formation and anatomical change: groups of organisms that contain lots of species also seem to have greater amounts of anatomical variation, while groups with only a few species, such as the gar, lack much morphological variety.Rabosky and his colleagues assembled a time-calibrated evolutionary tree for 7,864 living fish species using DNA sequence data and body-size information from publicly available databases. Their data set was so large that they had to develop new computer programs from scratch to analyze it.The new computer models and the vast amount of data enabled the team to study the correlation between how quickly new species form and how rapidly they evolve new body sizes on a scale that had not previously been possible.They found a strong correlation between the rates of species diversification and body size evolution across the more than 30,000 living species of ray-finned fish, which comprise the majority of vertebrate biological diversity.”We’re basically validating a lot of ideas that have been out there since Darwin, but which had never been tested at this scale due to lack of data and the limits of existing technologies,” Rabosky said.Most of the fish groups fall into one of two categories. …

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