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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 16, 2010 5 Menachem-Av, 5770

Summer Becomes Electronic

By Suzanne Fields




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | WOODS HOLE, Mass. — Three generations inhabit the summer house, and an extended family gathers each evening at the dinner table to talk about the events, reflections and encounters of the day. The adults worry about the growing scarcity of doctors who take insurance because they fear lower fees when Obamacare kicks in. Both children and adults lament the dying fish and birds on the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico 1,500 miles away, and talk warmly of the pleasure of swimming in the cool, clean Atlantic. The boys, ages 11 and 14, taking summer science classes in marine biology, describe how certain parasites look under a microscope, and marvel at the distinctive colors of feldspar and quartz in the neighborhood.

Despite the chatter about computers, iPods and iPads, Twitter and Facebook, the circle of family around the table might have stepped off a cover of the old Saturday Evening Post. The elders at table take a reassurance that maybe the changes wrought by electronics and the mass media might not be quite as bad as they thought. It's clear that the boys who seem to spend an inordinate time with video games and computer surfing nevertheless read books, some even on paper and others on their Kindle, and the conversation reveals that their young minds have not yet turned to mush.

Still, there are those alarming observations from scientific laboratories that the new media are rewiring our brains, forever altering the way we compute information, and this is especially damaging to children and teenagers. We would all like the reassurance of chilling out, but it's impossible to stifle the nagging concerns about the new ways young brains process information.

In "The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains," Nicholas Carr, a science-tech writer, argues that the Internet is the most mind-altering conceptualizer for learning since the invention of the alphabet and numbers. He thinks it's turning us into "lab rats, constantly pressing levers to get tiny pellets of social and intellectual nourishment."

Advertisers are betting on our clicking their links, encouraging us to buy not what we necessarily need but whatever they have to sell. Links connect us to an endless chain of Websites until the constant repetition narrows rather than expands consciousness. A study of 3,500 voters between ages 18 and 24 found that 2008 voters typically looked for sites they expected to agree with, to reinforce opinions. No one was much interested in getting new and contrary information.

Carr's most alarming observations are drawn from discoveries in neuroscience showing how brains change — the evolutionary term is "adapt" — on encountering new information, expanding certain neural pathways in the brain while others atrophy.

"We are evolving from being cultivators of personal knowledge to being hunters and gatherers in the electronic data forest," he argues. He cites a study of London cabdrivers, much celebrated for their minute knowledge of street addresses and how to get to them, who showed a diminished memory once introduced to the GPS screen on the dashboard.

Changes in how we receive information have often led to worries about what moral and intellectual abilities we would forfeit in return. When Guttenberg first operated his press, not only the monks decried its impact on the market for the monastery's beautifully illustrated manuscripts. Political and religious leaders lamented the loss of control over information and interpretation, and worried that the popular press would lead to diminished interest and understanding in the common folk.

They were right to worry. It took decades to find the spark to start the Reformation, but the printing quickly changed power relationships at once by increasing literacy and widening the distribution of knowledge. Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker celebrates the way the electronic media are making us smarter. "Experience does not revamp the basic information capacities of the brain," he writes in "The Stuff of Thought." Just as we are not really what we eat, what we know is not determined by the process by which we learn. We still need self-discipline to read and to pursue additional information if we want to specialize or simply be well-informed.

Matt Ridley, author of "The Rational Optimist," concurs, describing the new electronic processing as sexy, generating an interconnectedness. "Ideas are having sex with other ideas from all over the planet with ever-increasing promiscuity," he says. "The telephone had sex with the computer and spawned the Internet." But it's still up to the rest of us to shape these electronic children, to help them become good citizens. Not an easy task, sexy or not.

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate, Suzanne Fields

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