Friday, November 26, 2010

A simple intervention can inoculate female college students against the stereotype that they can't do well in science

New research by a team at the University of Colarado, in Boulder, adds to the growing number of studies showing that surprisingly minimal interventions -- in this case having university students in an introductory physics class write two 15-minute essays about the values that are most important to them and why they are personally important -- can boost the grades and achievement levels of students whose performance would otherwise be stunted by the debilitating effects of negative stereotypes.

You can read about research on the surprisingly powerful effects of negative stereotypes in this New Scientist article.

And about some of the research on simple interventions to inoculate the targets of negative stereotypes against them, here.

And about the most recent research in my Suite101 posting, here.

Robert Adler

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Good News for Chocolate Lovers -- Now We Know How Chocolate Protects the Heart

Research just published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Phamacology reveals one of the key ways in which chocolate or cocoa protects the human cardiovascular system. It turns out that pure cocoa and dark chocolate contain substantial amounts of an enzyme that inhibits ACE, which in turn has the effect of lowering blood pressure. The lead author says that this adds to the growing body of data showing that a diet rich in naturally occurring protective substances can help "prevent cardiovascular diseases."

More details about the study at Suite 101:

Robert Adler

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Kimberley Strassel of the Wall Street Journal reveals GOP game plan for next two years


Your piece, "The GOP's 2012 Game Plan" in the WSJ on Mitch McConnell lifted my spirits.

It's always comforting to know we have you and a resident realist in Washington who put the Republican Party above the unnecessary liberal "needs" of the country. Without Mitch we would never have taken back so many seats in Congress. The Republican strategy of the past two years has been the best I've seen in my lifetime as a Republican--take a President who offers hope and bipartisanship and just say no to everything. Limit his accomplishments and register our opposition. The 'green behind the ears' Obama was caught completely off guard--he came into office thinking he could do something for the country! We showed him otherwise. Now, with good game-planning we'll keep him hopping another two years and then we'll put Sarah in office and be able to get those tax cuts back for us rich people. I don't know about you, but I HATE to give money to the government. How else could I have become the multi-millionaire I am?

I can't tell you how excited I am--and that goes for my family too. We flew to France yesterday to look at a new villa (it's 15th century, but new to us). I know we will be able to afford it now. And we stopped by the Caymans on the way home (I'm glad airport security checks for liquids but not for greenbacks--if you get me drift). Boy are we going to have fun, and we can count on Maria and Jose to take care of the place "on the Sound" while we're away.

I don't know what America would do without true Republicans like you to protect the interests of us on Wall Street. Two years ago we thought it was over. And thanks to you and leader Mitch, we're raking it in once more.

I am so sincerely indebted to you and Mitch, I am at a loss for words. Still, you can be sure that I'm not at a loss for other ways to show my appreciation. Now that the Supremes have granted my corporation its free speech rights, I'll be able to help the cause in hundreds of thousands of ways.

Yours truly,

P.S. Did you hear that rumor that Obama is going to be spending $200,000,000 of your money and my money on a junket to India. Hey, me and my buds went there just last year and it didn't cost half that much. We have to put some breaks on that bozo in the WH before he gets out of control--so good luck to you and our Resident Realist.

Lou Miller
for the institute

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Leading geologists warn, "Stop pulling carbon trigger."

The 200 year old Geological Society of London has issued a clear, eminently readable, fact-based statement summarizing what the geological record has to say about climate change. Their understated bottom line is that it would be "unwise" for humanity to continue pouring carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and oceans. Nature ran that experiment 55 million years ago, and the world that resulted would not be suitable for our current civilization. The president of the GSL was a bit more unspoken, writing, "Stop pulling the carbon trigger."

You can read more about this report by clicking here.

Robert Adler
for the institute