So What Next? Personal Sugar Monitors?

In typical governmental/bureaucratic fashion, we find yet another idiot policy that was implemented – it has no apparent effect – and the answer is to keep on doing what doesn’t work:

Policies that rid Maine high schools of sugary drinks seem to have had little impact on teenagers’ overall intake of sugar-laden beverages, according to a new study.

The study compared four high schools that eliminated soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks from cafeterias and vending machines with three schools that did not take such measures.

Researchers found that over one school year, students in both groups of schools cut down on their average daily intake of sugary drinks — but there was no evidence that the school soda bans led to greater reductions.

Seems like teenagers know how to get sodas and if they aren’t present in school they still will be able to satisfy their thirst as they wish.  Pretty straightforward application of logical thinking supported by research findings.

And the answer from the school ‘administrators’?

Lead researcher Dr. Janet E. Whatley Blum said she would not conclude that such school policies are “ineffective” based on these findings.

Students’ consumption of sweet drinks did go down, she told Reuters Health; the study just failed to find a statistically significant difference between schools that cut back on sweetened beverages and those that did not.

Boiled down to its essence, this answer means “we didn’t find what we wanted, but that doesn’t prove anything.  We are still sure we are right”.

And some hugely interesting afterhtought seems to have come to the nanny-state researcher:

On average, the study found, students at both groups of schools curbed their intake of sugary beverages to a similar degree over the school year.

According to Blum, keeping such drinks out of teenagers’ reach during school hours may not be enough.

“School appears to be just one source of sugar-sweetened beverages for youth,” she said, “and it may be that an educational component…is needed to have an effect on consumption from sources other than school.”

Do you actually mean parents might have an influence on their children’s consumption of beverages?  Knock me over with a feather.

But don’t look to find any soda dispensers in those Maine schools – ever again.  Nanny has spoken and even if they have to do this study over again 1000 times, they will eventually get the results that prove what they want.

The Lottery – A Tax on Stupid People

Apparently Science Digest isn’t willing to put it that bluntly, but their research does show that:

“Some poor people see playing the lottery as their best opportunity for improving their financial situations, albeit wrongly so,” said the study’s lead author Emily Haisley, a doctoral student in the Department of Organizational Behavior and Theory at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business. “The hope of getting out of poverty encourages people to continue to buy tickets, even though their chances of stumbling upon a life-changing windfall are nearly impossibly slim and buying lottery tickets in fact exacerbates the very poverty that purchasers are hoping to escape.”

The lottery is a tax on people who don’t understand mathematics.  And if you don’t understand math you are more likely to be poor.

I just love the squishly little recommendation this bunch of academics makes though:

In the study, the researchers note that lotteries set off a vicious cycle that not only exploits low-income individuals’ desires to escape poverty but also directly prevents them from improving upon their financial situations. They recommend that state lottery administrators explore strategies that balance the economic burdens faced by low-income households with the need to maintain important funding streams for state governments.

So its a great revenue stream for governments (and organized crime) but they want it to be structured in such a way as to balance the economic burdens of the poor with their stupidity in playing the lotto which gives the states the money to economically exploit the poor.

Kind of circular thinking, eh?

Today’s Scientific Duuuuh Moment

Entire NFL is shocked!
clipped from www.eurekalert.org
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—New research from Vanderbilt University shows for the first time that the brain processes aggression as a reward – much like sex, food and drugs – offering insights into our propensity to fight and our fascination with violent sports like boxing and football.
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When To Care For, Abandon, or Eat Your Offspring

A new suggestion for Thanksgiving dinner?

clipped from americandigest.org
Ah, what would we do without science to keep us on the moral path?
cannibalidss.jpg“When to care for, abandon, or eat your offspring: the evolution of parental care and filial cannibalism,”

….highlights the potential importance of a range of factors in the evolution of filial cannibalism using a mathematical model of analysis. It is potentially affected by the ability to selectively consume lower quality offspring, preferences associated with mate choice, density-mediated survival, and population dynamics. Professor Michael Bonsall, a Royal Society Research Fellow and University Lecturer in Mathematical Biology at Oxford University, said: ‘This sort of behaviour – cannibalising your offspring – is widespread amongst different animal groups. We show that there is not a single benefit to eating your offspring, and it depends on several factors and explanations.’

Unless, of course, you are stranded with a kindergarten class on a desert island in Colorado after global warming kicks in.

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