Intelligence And Staying Up Late

London School of Economics and Political Science research as summarized by the Winnipeg Free Press:

People with higher IQs are more apt to be nocturnal night-owls. Those with lower IQs tend to restrict their activities primarily to daytime.

Of course it’s important to note correlation does not imply causation. That said, lots of genius work does happen between 10 PM and 4 AM. There are countless stories of overnight success and innovation. I can’t recall many stories of 9 AM eureka moments unless they were the conclusion of overnight work.

Changing Education Paradigms

Educational Paradigms

Another great RSA talk by Sir Ken Robinson animated, it’s well worth the 11 minutes to watch. It’s hardly a secret how poor the education system really is and how many it fails.

I should note the intro video on his website has perhaps one of the greatest quotes I’ve heard in a while: “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original”.

Microsoft’s “Really” Ad

Microsoft "Really" Ad - Urinal

I really like this ad. Over the past 3 years or so this is what America has become.

Truthfully, I try not to use my phone when walking, talking, using the bathroom, at the table or other situations where it just seems grossly inappropriate. I think I’m one of the last holdouts. Given my inclination to prefer gadgets to social norms, this shows how far it’s gone.

Given this behavior skews even younger than me, I fear the worst is ahead of us.

The Myths Of Halloween Safety

An interesting piece on Halloween paranoia in the WSJ notes:

…that there has never been a single case of any child being killed by a stranger’s Halloween candy. (Oh, yes, he concedes, there was once a Texas boy poisoned by a Pixie Stix. But his dad did it for the insurance money. He was executed.)

Regarding the sharp objects in Halloween, it’s a very rare occurrence (at best). Part of the reason is it hardly goes unnoticed before someone eats it for obvious reasons. In almost all cases the reports are a hoax. Of all the sharp object in food injuries only about 10 caused injury since 1959, none serious.

Now compare 10 injuries since 1959 to the following from the, the CDC:

As people’s participation in organized sport activity increases, so does the rate of sports-related injuries. Recreational activities, including sports, account for an estimated 3.2 million visits to emergency rooms each year for children aged 5-14 years. Injuries from organized and unorganized sports account for 775,000 emergency room visits annually for children in this same age group. Sports-related injuries are the leading cause of emergency room visits in 12-17-year-olds.

A child is much more likely to die or suffer a life altering injury playing sports or in gym class than from eating candy on Halloween.

To kill the idea of child molesters having a field day on Halloween:

Rarely were the offenders of young juvenile victims strangers. Strangers were the offenders in just 3% of sexual assaults against victims under age 6 and 5% of the sexual assault victimizations of youth ages 6 through 11.

Satistically more kids are abused by a parent or close family member. It’s also worth noting that cases of a close relative being the abuser are generally thought to be underreported.

It’s interesting how paranoia, misinformation and people’s inability to think rationally on their own have such a strong impact on society. An entire holiday is feared for nothing more than urban legends and misconceptions.