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Doctors Debate a New Study That Puts Kids’ Screen TIme in a Positive Light

Is Screen Time A Common Sense Issue, Or Is There More To Learn From A Recent Study?

Children glued to their phones and tablets may give parents a break, but is the overall, long-term effect of “screen time” actually positive? On TV, the show “The Doctors” took on this question in response to a controversial study that seemed to claim that kids benefit from screen time more than they are harmed. Ironically, parents can go online and spend some screen time of their own catching up on this segment of “The Doctors” along with videos from well-known medical sources such as Kaiser Permanente and even the U.S. Government‘s NIH. Why did these doctors get heated about the results of the study?

The Potential Dangers of Children Spending Significant Screen Time

Mental development of children involves diverse sensory inputs, problem-solving, interaction with others and managing of emotions. Screen time may help educate and entertain kids, but overall the brain and personality development of the child could be at risk if they spend too much time face-to-screen.

Is Erosion of Family Life Another Concern?

While studies often focus on screen time as a negative factor in children’s school and developmental progress, the effect on family life as a whole is sometimes omitted. Kids who spend so many hours alone, not interacting with their families when they are at home, would in the past have been cause for concern. They might be depressed, have a developmental issue, or be holding in feelings about some difficult issue in their lives. Screen time is a distraction that could serve to mask these and other concerns. When kids participate in the family, physicians note, they not only grow but they have better access to interactive parenting.

Dr. Judy Ho And Her Analysis Of A Controversial “Study”

On “The Doctors,” the team considered the positive spin on kids and screen time of a new but controversial study. Clinical psychologist Dr. Judy Ho, who had strong opinions on the subject, played the “bad guy” and asked tough questions, offering her own well-developed views. She noted that the study they were discussing was missing several key elements of a well-designed piece of research, and so the conclusions were unlikely to be useful as information for parents. The data simply served as an informal survey of interested parents, and the results were a compilation of general comments about kids’ characteristics. There wasn’t really any direct and scientific way to see cause and effect.

Boiling Down The Issue Of Screen Time For Kids

Parents may use decisions about gadget use as a teachable moment in their children’s lives, but as always peer pressure is going to be a powerful force. Kids who aren’t connected tend to miss out, as previous generations of TV-watching kids did, on social interactions with other kids which revolve around common media experiences.

Teaching Your Children to Grow into Adulthood

Parents have to weigh social “coolness” against developmental, family, and educational concerns. In the end, though it may be difficult for some parents, Dr. Patty’s suggestions are a great starting point: have no-screen zones like the dining room with a basket by the door, have concrete limits for screen time — typically less than two hours a day — and try to make screen time a parent-child experience rather than a media consumption moment. Talk about screen-based experiences, think about them together, laugh at the funny stuff and ask questions about the serious stuff. Use screen time to help your child’s mind grow.

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Volunteers and Camels Team Up to Restore Mojave Desert’s Joshua Trees

Kevin Wells

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The Mojave Desert, with its vast, arid landscape, is home to the iconic Joshua tree. These unique trees have a fascinating history, once coexisting with Giant Ground Sloths during the ice age and now relying on rodents for their slow dispersal. However, a devastating wildfire in 2020 burned a significant portion of the desert, including many Joshua trees, posing a challenge for their restoration.

“Joshua trees seeds don’t spread very quickly,” explained Debra Hughson, deputy superintendent at the Mojave National Preserve. “They don’t move very fast or they don’t move very far with just small mammals around.” Despite these challenges, scientists were determined to help the Joshua trees recover, especially in areas like Cima Dome, where their survival could be crucial in the face of climate change.

To accelerate the recovery process, Hughson and her colleagues decided to plant Joshua tree seedlings in a more spaced-out pattern in the Dome’s burn scar. This approach aimed to distribute seed sources and promote the recovery of the entire area. However, the rugged terrain made it difficult for volunteers to reach the designated planting spots, requiring hours of hiking.

To address this challenge, the team came up with a unique solution — using camels to transport the seedlings and water into the wilderness. “Prehistoric camels were in the Mojave Desert, and the camels came through in 1857,” explained one of the volunteers, highlighting the historical connection between camels and the region. The camels, led by Herbie, Sully, and Chico, have been instrumental in carrying out these restoration efforts since 2021.

“Our goal is to protect natural systems and natural ecosystems — all the plants, all the animals, but then some animals and some plants wind up being just a little bit more ‘charismatic’ than other ones,” said Hughson, emphasizing the importance of charismatic species like the Joshua tree in garnering support for conservation efforts.

Through the dedication of volunteers and the help of these remarkable camels, the Mojave Desert’s Joshua trees are slowly making a comeback, offering hope for their future in this challenging environment.

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Apes’ Playful Teasing Behavior Mirrors Human Playfulness

Kelly Taylor

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Did you know that apes like to tease and prank each other, just like humans do? Researchers have found that chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans engage in playful teasing behavior, such as poking, tickling, body slamming, hair pulling, and waving objects in front of faces. This behavior is usually one-sided, with one ape trying to get a reaction from another.

In a study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B Biological Sciences, researchers analyzed 75 hours of video footage of apes at the San Diego Zoo in California and the Leipzig Zoo in Germany. The apes studied were between the ages of 3 and 5. The researchers observed 284 instances of teasing behavior, with 129 meeting the criteria for playful and provocative behavior. They identified 18 different teasing behaviors.

Professor Erica Cartmill of UCLA, who led the study, said that teasers often waved or swung body parts or objects in front of the other ape, hit or poked them, stared closely at their face, disrupted their movements, pulled their hair, or performed other behaviors that were hard to ignore.

The researchers believe that playful teasing and joking may have evolved in human ancestors around 13 million years ago. This behavior has implications for the study of emotion, humor, and pretense, and the researchers hope that their study will inspire further research into playful teasing in other species to better understand its evolution.

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Ancient Rainforest Rising: How 100,000 Trees Will Breathe Life Back into Devon

Kevin Wells

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Imagine stepping into a world shrouded in mist, where towering trees, draped in green moss, reach towards the sun. Sunlight filters through the dense canopy, casting dappled patterns on the forest floor, alive with ferns, wildflowers, and scurrying creatures. This isn’t a scene from a fantasy novel; it’s the magic of a temperate rainforest, and soon, a piece of this ancient wonder will be reborn in Devon, UK.

Temperate rainforests aren’t like their tropical cousins. Found along the west coasts of continents in cooler climates, they’re like emerald jewels nestled between the ocean and rolling hills. They’re a treasure trove of biodiversity, bursting with unique plants and animals that have adapted to life in a world of constant drizzle and mild temperatures.

In the UK, these rainforests have a character all their own. Picture gnarled oaks and majestic ash trees, their branches intertwined like leafy arms. Underneath, carpets of mosses and ferns cushion the damp earth, while sunlight dances on the shimmering leaves of holly, hazel, and rowan. The air is alive with the buzz of insects, the flitting wings of butterflies, and the calls of birds like the evocative song thrush and the shy woodcock.

But these precious ecosystems are under threat. Centuries of land use have shrunk their footprints, leaving only scattered fragments of their former glory. Now, in a project to reclaim this lost magic, the National Trust is embarking on a grand mission: planting 100,000 trees across Devon.

From the rolling hills of Exmoor to the windswept cliffs of Woolacombe and Hartland, these saplings will breathe life back into the land. They’ll create new pockets of rainforest, stitch together existing fragments, and weave a vibrant tapestry of green across the landscape.

And it’s not just about beauty. These trees are nature’s silent heroes. They act as carbon sinks, trapping the harmful gas carbon dioxide in their leaves and wood, helping to combat climate change. They filter air and water, creating a haven for wildlife and providing a natural shield against soil erosion.

For the people of Devon, this project is a chance to reconnect with their natural heritage. It’s about creating spaces for quiet contemplation, for family adventures, and for rediscovering the magic of the ancient rainforests.

So, the next time you find yourself in Devon, keep your eyes peeled for a glimpse of this green revival. As the saplings rise towards the sun, they whisper a promise of a richer, wilder future, where nature reclaims its throne and the spirit of the ancient rainforest once again fills the air.

This is just the beginning. With more planting planned in the coming years, the future of Devon’s rainforests is looking brighter than ever. Let’s hope that this story inspires other communities to follow suit and work towards restoring and protecting these irreplaceable treasures of our planet.

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Unearthing the Secrets of the Amazon: A Lost Ancient City Revealed

Kelly Taylor

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In the heart of the Amazon, hidden beneath lush greenery, archaeologists have uncovered a monumental discovery: an ancient city in the Upano area of eastern Ecuador. This discovery is not just a chapter in history but a rewriting of what we knew about ancient civilizations in the Amazon.

The city, believed to be about 2,500 years old, challenges our understanding of Amazonian history. Before this, many thought of the Amazon as a place of small, scattered groups. But this city, with its complex network of roads, canals, houses, and plazas, tells a different story.

What’s striking is the city’s sophisticated design. “The road network is incredibly advanced, connecting everything with right angles, which is a remarkable feat,” explains co-author Antoine Dorison. This kind of urban planning suggests a highly organized society, far from the primitive image often associated with ancient Amazonian cultures.

Lying near a volcano, the city benefited from rich soils, aiding in agriculture, which was likely the backbone of their economy. The Kilamope and Upano people probably grew maize and sweet potatoes and brewed chicha, a sweet beer. But this proximity to a volcano might also have led to their downfall.

“This discovery forces us to rethink our Eurocentric view of civilization,” says Prof Stephen Rostain, who led the research. It’s a reminder that great societies flourished outside the well-known realms of Europe and Asia. “We’re looking at a civilization as significant as the Maya, but with its unique architectural and cultural traits,” adds José Iriarte, a professor of archaeology.

Estimates suggest that tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people lived here. This vast urban center was thriving for up to 1,000 years, a testament to the capabilities of the ancient Amazonians.

Prof Rostain recalls being discouraged from researching ancient Amazonian civilizations. “But I’m stubborn,” he says with a smile. “And now, this discovery justifies that persistence.”

This lost city in the Amazon is more than a historical curiosity; it’s a beacon illuminating the rich and complex tapestry of human civilization. It challenges our perceptions and underscores the importance of looking beyond established narratives to understand our diverse and intricate past.

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Small Acts, Big Smiles: A Heartwarming Tale of Kindness at the Local Marketplace

Kelly Taylor

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In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, small acts of kindness can illuminate our days, bringing joy and warmth to those in unexpected ways. Recently, at a local marketplace, a simple and thoughtful gesture created ripples of happiness among the elder community. An elderly couple, facing a small predicament with their order, experienced the magic of kindness when a stranger stepped in to make their day brighter.

The story began when an elderly couple, looking forward to a relaxing moment at the local marketplace, found themselves a little short on change. Craving a comforting cup of medium coffee, they only had enough coins for a small one. The prospect of enjoying their desired treat seemed out of reach until a kind soul in line behind them noticed their dilemma.

Without hesitation, the person in line behind the elderly couple decided to turn their day around. Instead of just getting a small coffee, this generous individual pitched in to cover the cost of two medium coffees, along with some delightful donuts and savory sausage rolls. The elderly couple, initially facing a small hurdle, were now greeted with an unexpected display of kindness that brightened their entire experience.

Acts of kindness, no matter how small, have the power to create profound impacts. In this instance, a simple gesture not only provided the elderly couple with their desired treats but also showcased the beauty of human connection. It serves as a reminder that our actions, no matter how seemingly insignificant, can make a significant difference in the lives of others.

While many seniors lead independent lives, it’s important to recognize that they, too, sometimes face challenges that may go unnoticed. In this instance, the elderly couple may have hesitated to ask for assistance due to pride or a desire not to inconvenience others. The story highlights the importance of being attuned to the needs of our elders, offering help when necessary, and fostering a sense of community that transcends age.

As we celebrate this heartening tale, let it inspire us to be more attuned to the needs of our elderly community members. Simple acts, such as offering assistance with a door, helping with groceries, or even just sharing a friendly conversation, can go a long way in brightening their days. By extending our kindness, we contribute to creating a supportive and compassionate community where everyone, regardless of age, feels valued and cared for.

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