Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

When our President said that marijuana is no more dangerous to a person’s health than alcohol, not everyone agreed. Consider these 1o points:

1) The American Medical Association opposes marijuana legalization and continues to see it as a public health concern.

2) Stuart Gitlow, director of the Annenberg Physician Training Program in Addictive Disease at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, says that marihuana use can cause a loss of productivity.

3) Gitlow also notes that in 1% of heavy users, psychosis is possible. And marijuana use impairs perception, judgment, thinking, memory, and learning.

4) Marijuana can be addictive, even though fewer than 10% of uses become dependent.

5) Marijuana does contain carcinogens, including tar and other toxins. That said, people don’t tend to smoke marijuana in the same quantities as cigarettes.

6) Today’s marijuana is more potent than days gone by. It contains a higher concentration in THC.  Here is the science: “The human brain’s cannabinoid receptors are typically activated by naturally occurring chemicals in the body called endocannabinoids, which are similar to THC. There is a high density of cannabinoid receptors in parts of the brain that affect pleasure, memory and concentration. Some research suggests that these areas continue to be affected by marijuana use even after the “high” dissipates” (Quote from Well by Roni Rabin, Jan 17, 2014). Memory defects may persist six weeks after last use.

7)  According to Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, teens who start smoking at an early age tend to smoke more and more often, heightening their risk of addiction.

8) Those with an addiction, have withdrawal of anxiety, sleep problems, appetite and mood changes, irritability and depression.

9) Brain scans show that people who start smoking before 16 may lose cognitive function later in their brains.

10) A regular habit can take a toll on the lungs.

The greatest concern is adding another health risk to the teen population. Smoking pot impacts the developing brain and we don’t have enough long term data to know the extent of that impact. We do know that smoking marijuana affects health, brain function and memory. This is based on science, not someone’s opinion.

 

talkingJack and Kirsten are out to dinner. Kirsten begins the conversation.

“How was your day?”

“Fine.”

That was it. Jack stopped talking. Kirsten was frustrated. Kirsten is thinking that a little more detail would be nice.

Let’s say Kirsten began the conversation, it might go more like this.

“I had a crazy day at the office. Joyce got mad at our boss and lost it. Everyone was upset, but afraid to say anything. It was a nightmare. What was your day like?” 

“Actually good.”

The men reading this are thinking, good grief, too much information!

But are Jack and Kirsten’s answers a function of the different social behaviors between men and women?

Studies have shown the differences in men and women’s brains to be more of a matter of degree, not of kind, meaning the two genders are more alike than different.

But a study at the University of Pennsylvania says that the different brain wiring in men and women may account for this difference. According to the researchers, gender differences in brain wiring begin to be seen in adolescence. Images of male brains show more connections WITHIN hemispheres. Women’s brains show more BETWEEN hemispheres. This means that women are more suited to multitasking and analytical thought; they express themselves using emotional states  and are more socialized towards emotions from an early age. Yes men, this might be why you find us overwhelming at times.

Men are better at linear tasks that require attending to one thing at a time. They too feel things deeply, but  don’t process things as quickly as women or put those feeling into words.

Furthermore, when an argument happens, women may stay upset longer. This is possibly due to the enhancing effects of estrogen that can prolong the secretion of the stress hormone. So when a man says, “Let it go, get over it. He already has!”

We know that sharing emotions does help relationships. So men, take a deep breath and think about what you might be feeling.

Ladies, don’t ask men “to talk” when they are watching football or fixing the sink. When you do “talk,” edit your speech and tell him what you need.

Men, pay attention to your physical body and verbalize what you are feeling. Share a few more thoughts than a one word answer.

In other words, let’s become more fluent in each other’s language.

 

Reference: Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, Co-authors  Madhura Ingalhalikar, Alex Smith, Drew Parker, Theodore D. Satterthwaite, Mark A. Elliott, Kosha Ruparel, and Hakon Hakonarson of the Section of Biomedical Image Analysis and the Center for Biomedical Image Computing and Analytics.

 

text“Going to O’Reilly’s. Join me at 7”

When Sarah received this message, she wasn’t sure if Jason was asking her on a date or just wanted her to hang out with friends. The message came by text. She was hoping for more than a friendship with Jason, but not sure where he stands. Was this a gesture of dating? She wasn’t sure. 

Sarah isn’t the only one. A survey by USA TODAY among 2647 singles found that 69% of people between the ages of 18-59 who are single are equally confused.

Is a date a planned evening withe friends, an individual invitation or a direct ask out?

Usually, we think we need to show special interest in a person and ask him or her out. But technology makes the ask a bit unclear.

So what can you do if you are uncertain?

Text back and clarify? This may back fire. If it the invitation was only a friendship one, awkward!

Go and find out as the evening unfolds. Probably an OK strategy. Be ready for either option since you can’t always determine what a person is thinking or asking from a text!

Call, talk to the person and see if you can get more information. Sometimes, a live interaction can help you read tone and intent better.

It’s a new frontier but nothing beats the face to face contact!

 

This was inspired by a satire on THE ONION about Eminem.

What would happen if Rapper Eminem’s 17-year-old daughter brought her boyfriend home to meet dad? Would dad, Marshall Mathers, AKA Eminem, have a wake-up call?

Let’s say the boyfriend was raised on heavy doses of Eminem’s music along with Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre and Ludacris, all famous for their lyrics about violence and devaluing of women. Their lyrics, if printed, would make you nauseous. And let’s say the boyfriend’s favorite Eminem song is “Superman,” a song about putting anthrax on a woman’s hygiene product and then slapping her until she can’t stand. He also likes the song, “Kill You,” a brutal story of killing a woman and hiding her in a closet.

What would Eminem think about his daughter dating a man raised on his music? Would he have serious doubts about his character and wonder how the music influenced his world view? Of course, Eminem wrote the lyrics, but when someone dates your daughter who loves this music, well…Yes, lyrics about having sex with prostitutes and then painting the room red with blood are quite disturbing. Do you think this impacts the boyfriend’s views about women?

What happens when any boy grows up listening to lyrics about beating women and treating them like dirt?

They go out in the world and date somebody’s daughter.

The problem is artists like Eminem have  sold over 80 million copies of his albums world wide, making him one of the bestselling artists in the world. HIs disrespect for women have taken root in the hearts of many. Now, those boys to men will date women with violent and objectifying lyrics in their heads.

Too many daughters  will be victims of violence and misogyny. Unfortunately, the damage is done even if a violent hip hopper were to have second thoughts.

Entertaining lyrics shape the thoughts of many and have real consequences.

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