School-Caused ER Visits

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Crux of The Danger of Back to School by Peter Gray:

  • The number of children’s psychiatric ER visits falls drastically during the summer vacation.
  • In Connecticut Children’s Mental Center in Hartford, it falls from an average of about 140 visits per month to about 70.

Deliberate Practice Doesn’t Matter Much

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Crux of Actually, practice doesn’t always make perfect – new study by Alfie Kohn:

  • The popular idea of 10,000 hours is disproved by research: “the amount of deliberate practice in which someone engages explains only 12 percent of the variance in the quality of performance.”
  • The effect of practice depends on the domain: “Practice explained 26 percent of the variance in achievement for games, 21 percent in musical accomplishment, 18 percent in sports, 4 percent in college grades, and less than 1 percent in professional success.”
  • Other factors that do, in fact, contribute to performance: “how early in life you were introduced to the activity […] how open you are to collaborating and learning from others, and how much you enjoy the activity.”
  • It is possible that the amount of practice is a result of intrinsic motivation, and that it is this motivation that affects the performance more than the practice.

Durable Learning Requires Taking Breaks

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Crux of Ditch the 10,000 hour rule! Why Malcolm Gladwell’s famous advice falls short by Katie Mcdonough:

  • “Rapid fire practice leans on short-term memory. Durable learning, however, requires time for mental rehearsal and the other processes of consolidation. Hence, spaced practice works better. The increased effort required to retrieve the learning after a little forgetting has the effect of retriggering consolidation, further strengthening memory.”
  • “The learning from interleaved practice feels slower than learning from massed practice. (…) But the research shows unequivocally that mastery and long-term retention are much better if you interleave practice than if you mass it.”
  • “learning gained through the less challenging, massed form of practice is encoded in a simpler or comparatively impoverished representation than the learning gained from the varied and more challenging practice which demands more brain power and encodes the learning in a more flexible representation that can be applied more broadly.”

Optimal Times For Daily Activities

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Crux of Why most olympic records are broken in the afternoon: Your body’s best time for everything by Belle Beth Cooper:

Science has identified some activities work better at specific times during the day, including:

  • “we should try to get most of our calories earlier in the day, and have lighter, earlier evening meals when possible.”
  • Muscle strength and hand-eye coordination peak in the afternoon, so this is an optimal time for physical exercise.
  • Analytical work is best done in the morning, while creative work is better left for the late evening.

Replace “I can’t” With “I don’t”

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Crux of A scientific guide to saying “no” by James Clear:

  • People who use empowering language like “I don’t eat cookies” are more likely to keep their health resolutions.
  • People who use disempowering language like “I can’t eat cookies” are less likely to keep their health resolutions.

Schizophrenia May Be Caused By Wheat And Dairy

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Crux of Schizophrenia and the Gut by Emily Deans:

A recent paper published in Schizophrenia Research shows that “folks with schizophrenia tend to have markers of inflamed guts and have reactions to common food proteins in wheat and dairy, [namely] gluten and casein.”

Tylenol May Increase Risk of Autism And Asthma

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Crux of Asthma, Autism, and Antioxidants by Emily Deans:

  • Children with autism make less of the body’s own antioxidant – glutathione – and that makes them more vulnerable to toxins in the environment, since their body is less able to repair oxidative damage.
  • “Children under three […] have naturally low glutathione levels”
  • Our brain and airways are especially vulnerable to oxidative damage.
  • “the commonly used over the counter painkiller, acetaminophen (brand name Tylenol), is well-known for rapidly depleting the body’s glutathione stores.”
  • “the rise in childhood asthma does correlate with the disuse of aspirin (due to deadly Reyes syndrome) and increases in the use of Tylenol starting from the 1980s.”
  • There is a rough correspondence between sales of Tylenol and rates of asthma and autism in the 1980’s.

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