What Stories Should You Be Telling Kids This Holiday Season?

Marshall Duke, Emory University

In every culture that anthropologists have ever studied, people tell stories.

Families most frequently tell stories around the time of vacations, family reunions, (sadly) funerals, Thanksgiving and, of course, the family-oriented winter holidays of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

Stories are told about times past, times present and even times yet to be. These stories mix real people and places with imaginary people and places. For instance, there was never anyone called Sherlock Holmes, but the town he lived in – London – is real. The street he lived on – Baker Street – is also real. But there is no 221B – his house number in the story.  So, why do we tell these stories?

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The Reason You Work So Hard to Participate in the Rat Race

M.J. HigbyContributor
Waking Times

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “A man in debt is so far a slave.” Money has no intrinsic value yet we spend our days damaging our health and spirit in order to obtain it. Why do we sacrifice our well-being for it? Is it the cliché that “we just want to provide a better life for our kids than we had?” Is it just way of the civilized world? The most important question to ask, however, is what power do we have to change this way of thinking and living? The reality is simple: money is a vehicle for social control. Debt makes us good, obedient workers and citizens.

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Does Truth Really Matter in Politics?

John Keane, University of Sydney

The following remarks on truth and democracy were presented at the opening of a brainstorming session entitled Does Truth Really Matter in Australian Politics? Political Accountability in an Era of Agitated Media. The lively, all-day gathering of journalists, academics, students and web activists was convened by Peter Fray and hosted by the Institute for Democracy and Human Rights (IDHR) and the Department of Media and Communications at the University of Sydney, 9th April, 2013.

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Pleasure is Good: How French Children Acquire a Taste for Life

Marie-Anne Suizzo, University of Texas at Austin

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions people make is to lose weight by dieting. The idea is that restricting the pleasures of tasty foods will lead to greater fitness and a finer physique. But if these rewards are so valuable, why is it so hard for us to stick to our resolution? Maybe the problem is that when we try to lose weight, we also lose the pleasure of eating.

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A Dark Night is Good for your Health

Richard G 'Bugs' Stevens, University of Connecticut

Today most people do not get enough sleep. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has called insufficient sleep an epidemic. While we are finally paying attention to the importance of sleep, the need for dark is still mostly ignored.

That’s right. Dark. Your body needs it too.

Being exposed to regular patterns of light and dark regulates our circadian rhythm. Disruption of this rhythm may increase the risk of developing some health conditions including obesity, diabetes and breast cancer

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Sometimes less is better – so why don't doctors 'deintensify' medical treatment?

Eve A Kerr, University of Michigan; Jeremy Sussman, University of Michigan, and Tanner Caverly, University of Michigan

Doctors know a lot about when to start medications to treat disease. But sometimes our focus on starting medicines means we can confuse providing more care with providing better care. And better care sometimes means fewer medicines, not more.

For instance, patients with high blood pressure who have lost weight or are exercising more may find that they may no longer need blood pressure pills. Patients with heartburn who take proton-pump inhibitors (such as Nexium) may do just as well with a lower dose or occasional therapy. Patients who take medications for osteoporosis may be candidates for “drug holidays.”

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