Here, on the Trudeau Libs’ biased approach to the Trans Mountain expansion – and the need to take a fair look now, rather than allowingContinue reading
This and that for your weekend reading. – Simon Enoch offers his take on Saskatchewan’s latest budget – including what little the Saskatchewan Party hasContinue reading
This and that for your Sunday reading. – Andrea Gordon offers the latest on the inequality caused by forcing schools to rely on fund-raising forContinue reading
This and that for your Thursday reading. – Elizabeth Piper reports on Jeremy Corbyn’s much-needed declaration that under a Labour government, the financial sector willContinue reading
This and that for your Sunday reading. – Tom Parkin discusses how the growing pile of Liberal disappointments is creating opportunities for Canada’s opposition parties.Continue reading
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Matthew Yglesias offers his take on how to strengthen the U.S.’ economy through full employment and improved wageContinue reading
Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Erika Hayasaki surveys the developing body of research on how poverty and deprivation affect a child’s long-term brain development:Early results show a troubling trend: Kids who grow up with higher levels of…Continue reading
Assorted content for your weekend reading.
– Erika Hayasaki surveys the developing body of research on how poverty and deprivation affect a child’s long-term brain development:
Early results show a troubling trend: Kids who grow up with higher levels of violence as a backdrop in their lives, based on MRI scans, have weaker real-time neural connections and interaction in parts of the brain involved in awareness, judgment, and ethical and emotional processing.
…Though it’s still largely based on correlations between brain patterns and particular environments, the research points to a disturbing conclusion: Poverty and the conditions that often accompany it—violence, excessive noise, chaos at home, pollution, malnutrition, abuse and parents without jobs—can affect the interactions, formation and pruning of connections in the young brain.
Two recent influential reports cracked open a public conversation on the matter. In one, researchers found that impoverished children had less gray matter—brain tissue that supports information processing and executive behavior—in their hippocampus (involved in memory), frontal lobe (involved in decision making, problem solving, impulse control, judgment, and social and emotional behavior) and temporal lobe (involved in language, visual and auditory processing and self-awareness). Working together, these brain areas are crucial for following instructions, paying attention and overall learning—some of the keys to academic success.
The second key study, published in Nature Neuroscience , also in 2015 , looked at 1,099 people between ages 3 and 20, and found that children with parents who had lower incomes had reduced brain surface areas in comparison to children from families bringing home $150,000 or more a year.
“We have [long] known about the social class differences in health and learning outcomes,” says Dr. Jack Shonkoff, director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. But neuroscience has now linked the environment, behavior and brain activity—and that could lead to a stunning overhaul of both educational and social policies, like rethinking Head Start–style programs that have traditionally emphasized early literacy. New approaches, he says, could focus on social and emotional development as well, since science now tells us that relationships and interactions with the environment sculpt the areas of the brain that control behavior (like the ability to concentrate), which also can affect academic achievement (like learning to read).
– Adria Vasil discusses the worldwide trend of water being made available first (and for inexplicably low prices) to for-profit bottlers over citizens who need it. And Martin Regg Cohn examines how the story is playing out in Ontario in particular.
– Mike De Souza reports on how the National Energy Board, rather than acting as a neutral regulator, misled Denis Coderre to try to take free PR for both the NEB itself and fossil fuel development in general. And Carrie Tait points out how the Husky oil spill is raising questions about Saskatchewan’s fully captured regulatory system.
– Ian MacLeod reports on a sudden and unexplained increase in CSE interception of private communications.
– Finally, Andray Domise discusses what Colten Boushie’s shooting and its aftermath say about the blight of racism in Canada.Continue reading
Assorted content to end your week.- Melisa Foster points out why millennials should be strongly interested in a national pharmacare program:Today, young Canadians are searching for jobs in an economy with high levels of precarious employment, unemploym…Continue reading
Assorted content to end your week.- Trevor Hancock writes that if we’re going to designate anything as a public health emergency, poverty should top the list:I was pleased to see the B.C. Ministry of Health use the powers of the provincial health offic…Continue reading
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- John Milloy discusses the difference between trade and corporate control – while noting that recent “trade agreements” have tended to favour the latter without being the subject of meaningful public de…Continue reading
This and that for your Tuesday reading.- Tom Parkin writes about the growing divide between the lucky few who are siphoning wealth out of Canada, and the mass of people facing a precarious economic future. – PressProgress highlights much the same disti…Continue reading
Here, on the Conference Board of Canada’s environmental report card – and the conclusions we should draw from both Saskatchewan’s last-place finish, and the typically appalling response from the Wall government.For further reading…- Brendan Haley dis…Continue reading
Assorted content to end your week.- George Monbiot discusses how neoliberal ideology has managed to take over as the default assumption in global governance – despite its disastrous and readily visible effects:(T)he past four decades have been characte…Continue reading
This and that for your Sunday reading.- John Ross makes the case for a focus on the social determinants of health in all kinds of public policy-making:Many studies show that if you work long hours in low-paying jobs and live paycheque to paycheque, co…Continue reading
Miscellaneous material to start your week.- James Ayre points out Radoslaw Stefanski’s study as to how cutting off fossil fuel subsidies subsidies (among other public policy preferences) would go a long way toward helping a transition toward clean, r…Continue reading
Miscellaneous material to start your week.- Richard Eskow summarizes the basic facts about inequality in the U.S. Ta-Nehisi Coates argues that it’s impossible to fully explain or address that problem without factoring in ongoing racial disparities. And…Continue reading
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- Robert Kuttner writes about the increasing recognition that extreme inequality arises out of power imbalances rather than any natural state of affairs:(I)nfluential orthodox economists are having serio…Continue reading
This and that for your Sunday reading. – Dana Flavelle examines how many Canadians are facing serious economic insecurity. And Kevin Campbell discusses how theContinue reading
Here, on how we’ll soon be seeing both federal and provincial governments alike try to block out their real history with glossy ad campaigns –Continue reading