Sep 1, 2007

Some stuff to think about

Recent surfing that caught my attention:

"Married women do more of the housework" Men who are merely living together with their girlfriends, help out more. Studies about what happens after a long-term live-in arrangement becomes marriage have not been done. (Do them!)

"Orchids may have been trampled on by T. Rex" (Bad, Rex, bad!) A paleolithic honey bee with pollen on its back, found in amber, may hold clues to the origin of orchids. Since orchids have never been found in fossils, scientists haven't been sure of their age. Now they know that orchids existed about 76 million years ago, at the time of the dinosaur. Pictures of the captured honey bee can be seen in this article (and if you read Norwegian, you get the whole story).

"Working closely disrupts productivity" One of the big frustrations about living in Scandinavia is that all the brilliant (and all the non-brilliant) ideas about management and worker productivity that the US thinks up, arrives here five years later. By then, the US has often made an about-face in something. For example, open work spaces. No cubicles, no separations. It doesn't work. It takes away uninterrupted work time. And still my employer is forging full speed ahead with the concept company-wide, in spite of it not being a success for the one department that's gone without walls for two years. I love my door and my walls. Why, oh, why does management do that? Why must we try everything from across the pond, even when it wasn't a success?

Finally: The ACE study. This study was done two years ago, but it came to my attention only recently. Basically, Kaiser Permanente wanted to know why their middle-aged patients indulged in self-destructive behavior (smoking, overeating, alcoholism, etc.) even when the patients knew it was bad for them. The conclusion in a nutshell: People don't become addicted to a self-destructive behavior because they can't help it; they adopt said behavior as a way to self-medicate because underlying childhood abuses have not been addressed. IOW, the behavior is a misguided coping mechanism. I read this study, wondering what ills were going to hit me at age 50 (my ACE score is 5). Then I realized that I wasn't at risk - not any more. My abuse was noticed; I was noticed. I didn't have to spend my childhood keeping a secret or hiding my pain. Later on, I learned other ways to handle the bad feelings. And I've never had any of the health-threatening (and eventually life-threatening) behaviors the ACE study brought up. Whew! (A score chart and articles like "Origins of Addiction" and "Gold into Lead" can be found here.)

6 comments:

alice said...

Heavy reading for a Saturday! Interesting, though... ;-)

Keera Ann Fox said...

That ACE thing's been sitting for a bit in my inbox. :-) It is heavy stuff. But it gives a whole new view of why drug addiction, for example, and the implications are huge.

alice said...

It makes a lot of sense. I know *I* been known to self-medicate with alcohol at times (when I quit smoking comes immediately to mind), and I bet if I kept an eye open for it, I could also find some emotional eating...

Keera Ann Fox said...

The ACE study could change health care - if people noticed it and if politicians were willing to act on it. But it means changing everything about how we view addictions. And it means having to address childhood abuses and neglects as well as the high rate of divorce and single-parent households. Whew...!

alice said...

It would also mean changing the training of medical professionals. It would be pretty huge.

Keera Ann Fox said...

I'm told that traditionally a Chinese doctor was paid only if he kept his patient healthy. That would be the direction Western medicine would have to take.