Giving the Word

"Giving the Word" Continued...

Issue: "Unify and conquer," June 14, 2008

In further cell phone news, London's The Independent reported that a new study connects cell phone use by pregnant women with hyperactivity and other behavioral problems among their children. The UCLA study of more than 13,000 Danish children born in the late 1990s asked their mothers about cell phone use during pregnancy. About half the mothers had used them and half had not. According to the study, children of the cell phone--using mothers were 54 percent more likely to have behavioral problems. Although the study controlled for other factors like smoking, psychiatric issues, and income, it did not examine whether cell phone--using moms might have paid less attention to their children.

By Susan Olasky

Net opens

One positive result from China's massive earthquake: The Communist government apparently loosened restrictions on information flowing over the internet. The Associated Press reported that "a fast-moving network of text messages, instant messages and blogs has been a powerful source of firsthand accounts of the disaster, as well as pleas for help and even passionate criticism of rescue efforts. 'I don't want to use the word transparent, but it's less censored, an almost free flow of discussion,' said Xiao Qiang, a journalism professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and director of the China Internet Project, which monitors and translates Chinese websites."

Net closed

About 20 million U.S. households (18 percent) don't have access to the internet at home. About 20 percent have never sent an email or looked up a website. About half of those are older than age 65 and slightly more than half had no education beyond high school. Park Associates, which did the research, said in a statement: "Age and economics are important factors, but the heart of the challenge is deeper. Many people just don't see a reason to use computers and do not associate technology with the needs and demands of their daily lives."

Susan Olasky
Susan Olasky

Susan pens book reviews and other articles for WORLD as a senior writer and has authored eight historical novels for children. Susan and her husband Marvin live in Asheville, N.C. Follow Susan on Twitter @susanolasky.


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