Category Archives: Research

Creating An Anti-Bullying Culture

This is happening at some of our nation’s schools!  Such an exciting and badly-needed lesson to be learned.  There is an excellent article at NPR titled, “Hit Back At Bullies?  Not At This School.” Continue reading


Filed under hate groups, Life Lessons, Progressive Ideals, Public Education, Research

More Men Claiming Sexual Harassment

According to and article in  THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, not only have men been hit harder by the recession, but a new study shows they are also increasingly reporting claims of sexual harassment. Around 16.4 percent (2,094 incidents) of all sexual-harassment claims were filed by men in the fiscal year 2009, up from 15.4 percent (1,869 claims) in 2006, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Employment lawyers believe that “locker room” attitudes and verbal abuse have been at the heart of many new claims. “More types of behaviors are put in the sexual-harassment bucket when men are the victims,” one lawyer says. Up until the recession, another added, men might have simply dealt with sexual harassment by finding a new job instead of suing. But with fewer jobs on the market, that choice is more limited.


Filed under Psychological Disorders, Research

Pregnant Women Wanted

Would you let a researcher analyze your vaginal fluid, toenail clippings, and breast milk? For months, scientists have been dispatching door-to-door emissaries across the country to recruit pregnant women willing to do just that. With several hundred participants so far, the National Children’s Study aims to enroll 100,000 pregnant women in 105 countries, then monitor their babies until they turn 21 in the largest long-term study of children’s health yet. The study—which was authorized by Congress in 2000 and is projected to cost about $6.7 billion—will examine how environment, genes, and other factors affect children’s health, addressing questions on subjects from ranging from asthma to autism.

Read it at The New York Times.


Filed under Healthcare, Research

Train Your Brain

25 ways to get smarter!

I found this article in The Daily Beast to be fascinating!  I haven’t checked out all the recommended links and don’t know whether their list is one to be relied on, but I’m betting at least a few of these hints will be appreciated!  Here is a shortened synopsis, but be sure to check out the entire list and reasons why these ideas made the list! Continue reading


Filed under Creativity, Life Lessons, Media, Progressive Ideals, Research

Out Of Africa: Human DNA

dna_rgbDid anyone watch “The Human Family Tree” recently on the National Geographic channel? One of the most fascinating facts found out, after checking the DNA of 350,000 human beings from every corner of the planet, is we all come from the same area of Africa.

200,000 – 150,000 years ago: The genetic journey of everyone alive today began with one woman — “Scientific Eve” — who lived in Africa and passed along her DNA through special cell structures called mitochondria, which only women pass down to further generations. What that means is, we are all related: Black, White, Yellow, Brown . . . we’re all the same. Our DNA varies by 1/10 of 1%, and that small percentage is what gives us our individual identities.

The color of a humans skin comes not from DNA, but where our ancestors migrated to. European ancestors lived in cold climates, so skin pigmentation lightened over generations. Those living in warmer or hotter climates retained the darker characteristics. It makes it interesting, then, how much race (which actually doesn’t exist) plays the role it does in society.  I wonder how racists would actually feel if they knew they were hating their brothers and cousins?  My guess is they would not believe the evidence when presented to them. All one has to do is look to people like Linda Jenkins, Bill O’Reilly and their ilk to understand facts have little meaning to them.

So, readers, how do we change the minds of people bent on destroying race relations, when the evidence of DNA points to the non-existence of race? Is it even possible?



Filed under Celebration, Diversity, Evolution, hate groups, History, Life Lessons, racism, Research, Thinking/Considering

INFOTAINMENT SOCIETY: JUNK FOOD NEWS – 2008/2009 by Peter Phillips and Mickey Huff

Does my ass look big?

Does my ass look big?

The late New York University media scholar Neil Postman once said about America, “We are the best entertained least informed society in the world.” From Jessica Simpson’s weight and Brangelina’s escapades, to Britney Spears’ sister and the Obamas’ First Puppy, Americans are fed a steady “news” diet of useless information laden with personal anecdotes, scandals, and gossip. 

Since the middle of the 1980’s, Project Censored at Sonoma State University has annually researched this phenomenon. We have found that topics and in-depth reports that matter little to anyone in any meaningful way are given massive amounts of media coverage in the corporate media. In recent years, this has only become more obvious. 

For instance, CNN’s coverage of celebrity Anna Nicole Smith’s untimely death in early 2007 is arguably one of the most egregious examples of an over abused news story. The magnitude of corporate media attention paid to the event were clearly out of synch with the coverage the story deserved, which was at most a simple passing mention. Instead, CNN broadcast “breaking” stories of the event uninterrupted, without commercials, for almost two hours, with commentary by lead anchors and journalists. This marked among the longest uninterrupted “news” broadcasts at CNN since the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Anna Nicole Smith and 9/11 are now strange bedfellows, milestone bookends of corporate news culture.  Continue reading


Filed under Humor, Media, Psychological Disorders, Research, torture, Weird news, Wingnuts!


  Did you ever think it was silly when you hear people say, WE’RE WITNESSING HISTORY! My first thought was always, “GEE, isn’t every waking moment ‘witnessing history’?” I know, I’m just parsing words. What they surely mean is that we are witnessing milestones, tipping points if you will.

Remember the good ol’ days of the internet, say 8-10 years ago in ancient internet times? We had these quaint things called ‘chat rooms’ and ‘message boards’? I thought that was so cool. Leaving a message that somebody on another continent could read. Wow. Not quite what Kubrick envisioned in 2001 A Space Odyssey. But to me, very cool. My Aunt and Uncle were Kansas dairy farmers who just got electricity and plumbing in the mid 1950’s.

So what’s the big milestone? The Iranian (so-called) election, or rather the way it is being exposed! A phony rigged election in a theocracy, I have no doubt that will happen again. The milestone is that we have reached the age of super-connectivity. An exponential proliferation of connectivity, made possible by; Emails, Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon,, Digg this!, Linkedin, Reddit and RSS feeds.

Not to mention the old fashioned thing you’re reading now, a blog post. Many blogs are networked to ALL of these, making them accessible practically everywhere. And, here’s the Big Brother part, the proliferation of cheap mobile devices that access any or all of these in virtually real-time.

No longer can an oppressive nation publish strictly controlled press releases and suppress the truth for any period of time. Even though the Iranian govt has tried, the networks have just become overwhelming! Just as electrical grids are re-routed when one connection fails, modern networking has proved to resistant to attempts to block and disrupt the flow! I believe that the 2009 Iranian farce elections should be held as an epic moment, just as Tienamen Square is now.

The Iranian people were not allowed to be counted in their own country, dismissed as mere ‘motes of dust’. They will not be dust to the rest of the world. Their voices have become a swarm on every network possible. The age of governments hiding their deeds behind ‘iron curtains’ is over. We, the citizens of the world can be the antithesis of the Owellian Big Brother. Let North Korea’s people be heard next!



Okay, enough playing politics for NOW. For more about networks – Continue reading


Filed under Diplomacy, Diversity, Elections, Evolution, hate groups, History, Media, New Technology, Political Reform, Populists, Religion, Research, World Politics

Puzzled about Jumps in Blog Traffic…

We tend to have increases in our traffic toward the middle of the week.  Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are our big days.

Anyone have an idea why this might be?  My dear and precious spouse says that people are bored at their j0bs on those days and check in as a result.

Myself:  I have no idea.

Your theories are welcome.  Let us know…

Iggy Donnelly


Filed under Creativity, Life Lessons, New Technology, Other blogs, Research, This humble little blog...

Wolfram is a Calculator and not a Search Engine

<i>Wolfram|Alpha isn’t sure what to do with your input.</i>

This is in response to my question:  “how many white men are  in Washington, D.C.?”

Wolfram is supposed to be a calculator rather than a search engine.

I hate it when I am unable to stop the italics command.  This Wolfram thing may be way over-rated.

<b>Google is safe for now</b>.


Filed under Creativity, Economics, Life Lessons, New Technology, Research

To Feed the Trolls, Or To Not Feed the Trolls…

Hug troll from Trollshop Norwegian Troll

Trolls are  posters who write outlandish comments to disrupt discussions on blogs.  See Wiki for a history of the term.

The abreviation DNFTT stands for “Do not feed the trolls.”  The rationale for this feeding avoidance is “the most effective way to discourage a troll is usually to ignore him or her, because responding tends to encourage trolls to continue disruptive posts.” (See the Wiki source above).

I have a different thought about this subject;  the DNFTT premise has an underlying premise that how trolls are responded to has an effect upon how they act.  I would counter that premise by contending that all trolls are who they are and were the same yesterday and will be the same tomorrow.  Trolls are nothing, if not predictable.

I believe it would be possible to organize a series of experiments that would test the hypothesis that trolls change or cease their posting if ignored.  My prediction is that they would not change or cease trolling.

Just think:  we could use internet trolls as lab rats for experiments.  They are just as plentiful as rats, and it is more difficult to get attached to them, so  destroying them at the end of the experiment would be less traumatic.  How convenient!

Your thoughts?

Iggy Donnelly


Filed under Humor, Psychology Ramblings..., Research, Science without political control

Yes, Dr. Walter Bishop really was at work…

Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction:


Filed under Crimes, Life Lessons, Media, Psychology Ramblings..., Radical Rightwing groups, Research

Newspapers vs. the Internets

grouchoI am a huge fan of Mark Fiore.  Check out his animation from Mother Jones.  I am sure on hot and humid days like these, Mark needs a “huge fan” – my apologies to Groucho for always stealing his best stuff…

If this doesn’t work, let me know, and I will figure out something else.

iggy donnelly


Filed under Humor, newspapers, Research, The Public Square

Increased Mortality Associated with Frequent Night Time Urination

I got interested in this subject based on a recent discussion on one of the Public Square Threads.  This study shows in people older than 70 that urination two or more times per night is associated with death.  This relationship held even after the following covariates were controlled:  “age, sex, BMI, diabetes, hypertension, history of coronary heart disease, nephropathy, alcohol consumption, and use of tranquilizers, hypnotics or diuretics.”

Read the article here.

As the article concludes, it is advisable to talk to your doctor if you are having this problem.

Iggy Donnelly

1 Comment

Filed under Healthcare, Research, Universal Healthcre

Neuroenhancement: Will Your Life/Career Require It?

Reporter Margaret Talbot (in a New Yorker article – due out Monday) explores the underground world of neuroenhancing drugs.  Prescription medications such as Adderall and Provigil are taken by individuals for these drugs performance boosting properties instead of medically treatable conditions.  Adderall was developed for the treatment of ADHD and Provigil was developed to counter the symptoms of narcolepsy.  Non-ill users of these drugs can perform better in college and on the job.  Anonymous internet surveys reveal that use of these medications as brain boosters for those without treatable medical conditions is accepted by a wide variety of respondents.

Employees and students who do not take these enhancing medications often feel at a competitive disadvantage.  Physicians expect that in the near future the use of neurocosmetics will be commonplace.  Big Pharma is working at a furious pace to develop medications that will delay the effects of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and the normal cognitive declines  associated with old age.

What I’ve wondered is – if the me that becomes the better me,  which is solely detertimed by a pharmaceutical, will I still be the same old me?

Iggy Donnelly


Filed under Healthcare, Psychology Ramblings..., Research

The Origins of Political Hate

Over the last twenty years the social sciences have made inroads into understanding bias and the forms of hatred that lead to discrimination and overt mistreatment of minority groups. Two theories emerge as being particularly helpful in understanding these virulent forms of intergroup prejudice: Right wing Authoritarianism (via the work of Altemeyer and colleagues) and Social Dominance Orientation (from the work of Jim Sidanius and Felicia Pratto).

The authoritarian personality construct developed by Reich and others in the 1940s, was an appealing theory that offered promise in understanding the Fascism that developed internationally in the 1930s. Reich’s authoritarian personality theory had its empirical and measurement limitations and was pretty much abandoned by the 1980s. Altemeyer in the 1990s revived this theory and developed empirically defensible methods of measuring a construct related to Reich’s, which Altemeyer termed Right-Wing Authoritarianism. During the same decade, Sidanius and Pratto developed their construct of Social Dominance Orientation which arose from their Sociological theory, Social Dominance Theory.

People who scored high on Altemeyer’s Right-Wing Authoritarianism (RWA) scale

  • tended to be submissive to authority (they did not like to take charge);

  • were punative to those who were considered unconventional and minority groups;

  • were more conventional in their attitutes and behavior regarding issues such as sex, religion, and social customs.

Also according to Altemeyer, authoritarians are more accepting of illegal acts by government officials such as wire-taps, and searches without warrents. In one survey authoritarians expressed belief that Nixon was innocent of wrong-doing. Interestingly in mock jury experiements, authoritarians tend to be more punative to unconventional type defendants but more lenient with “establishment-type” white collar offenders. Authoritarianism is a quite strong and direct predictor of prejudice and discrimination.

Continue reading


Filed under GLBT Rights, hate groups, libertarians, Radical Rightwing groups, Republicans, Research, World Politics