Tag Archives | Youth

Letters To Santa Have Taken A Sad Turn

Has the “modern family” structure put pressure on children to grow up too quick, or just be more considerate? Letters to Santa usually contain kids’ materialistic desires, but lately they’re more concerned with the happiness of their family and education of their siblings. Via NPR:

This year, postal workers opening and processing letters to Santa Claus have noticed a significant change in tone from years past.

“Normally the letters would be greedy-type things — big televisions, Xbox, Wiis, things of that nature,” Pete Fontana, the head elf in New York City’s main post office, tells NPR’s Robert Siegel. “This year, the letters are single moms, three kids, no winter coats, no shoes, blankets, can’t pay the bills, not enough food in the pantry. So the need has changed tremendously.”

Fontana, who has been working in U.S. Postal Service’s Operation Santa Claus program for 15 years, shares an example:

Dear Santa, my name is Chisertopher.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Suicides In Japan Cost Economy $32bn

I would think the number one problem is that Japan has the highest suicide rate in the world, not the fact that it’s hurting the economy. BBC reports:

The government in Japan says suicides and depression cost its economy almost 2.7tn yen ($32bn; £21bn) last year.

The figures refer to lost incomes and the cost of treatment. It is the first time Japan has released such figures.

Japan has one of the world’s highest suicide rates, with more than 32,000 people killing themselves last year. PM Naoto Kan sees it as proof of an economic and emotional downturn.

The government is setting up a task force to try to reduce the rate.

From Friday, it will run a video clip of a footballer from the J-league on its website, urging people to be more aware of the problem.

Continues at BBC News

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Teenagers Using “Digital Drugs” To Get High?!?

HeadphonesI'm finding this, strange. Maybe I am old-fashioned about so-called drug use ... but where there is a perceived threat to young people, your local TV news folks will be on the story. Ryan Singel writes on WIRED's Threat Level:
Kids around the country are getting high on the internet, thanks to MP3s that induce a state of ecstasy. And it could be a gateway drug leading teens to real-world narcotics. At least, that’s what Kansas News 9 is reporting about a phenomenon called “i-dosing,” which involves finding an online dealer who can hook you up with “digital drugs” that get you high through your headphones. And officials are taking it seriously. “Kids are going to flock to these sites just to see what it is about and it can lead them to other places,” Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs spokesman Mark Woodward told News 9. I-dosing involves donning headphones and listening to “music” — largely a droning noise — which the sites peddling the sounds promise will get you high. Teens are listening to such tracks as “Gates of Hades,” which is available on YouTube gratis (yes, the first one is always free).
Continue Reading

New Supernova Discovered By A 14 Year Old

From ScienceBlogs:
There is no age restriction on the chance to make a significant contribution to our understanding of the universe. Caroline Moore, a 14-year-old from Warwick, NY, has made such a mark on astronomy with the discovery of Supernova 2008ha. Not only is she the youngest person to discover a supernova, but this particular supernova has been identified as a different type of stellar explosion.
Continue Reading