• MILLENNIAL PERSPECTIVE UPDATE: Some 80 million Americans (a quarter of U.S. population) now age 18 – 34 are “the most diverse, well-educated, interconnected generation in history, having lived their entire lives amid the greatest technological shift since the Industrial Revolution.” Roughly half voted in 2012 with 56% preferring “bigger government,” but only 26% consider themselves “politically active,” according to results from a Rolling Stone/Pivot Network survey. Regarding core lifestyle issues, over 30% say they spend at least four hours daily on social media; Only two women to every three men “believe that getting married is an important part of being an adult” and nearly a quarter say they don’t plan to have children; 53% have “no doubt that God exists,” while 68% believe in “angels and demons.” Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds described themselves as “more materialistic” and 40% said “negatively” in comparison with their parents, yet 55% remain “in contact with parents every day.” Oh, and 22% admitted they’d smoked pot “in the workplace” in the past week. [ROLLING STONE – Dec 5, 13]
  • THE HERBAL SUPPLEMENT MARKET IS LARGELY A SHAM. According to a research study of twelve U.S. and Canadian companies, up to a third of the $5 billion Americans spend annually goes to many popular supplements which contain “unlisted ingredients that dilute the advertised herbs, sometimes with outright substitution… including pills with rice and laxatives… The problems are widespread including lax quality control – whether through ignorance, incompetence or honesty… since, despite FDA requirements to test products for safety, the system operates on an honor code that considers supplements safe until proven otherwise.” [THE WEEK – Nov 22, 13]
  • CALIFORNIA RANKS FOUR OF THE TOP SIX SLOTS AMONG AMERICA’S 100 “MOST DANGEROUSLY DRUNK CITIES.” Based on DUI arrests per capita, deaths from alcohol-involved accidents or liver disease, and strength of DUI/DWI laws, Bakersfield/Stockton/San Bernardino/Fresno have the highest stats. They’re places where “people work hard and party harder… tending to reward hard work with a drink at the end of the day, which can turn into ten drinks.” According to Centers for Disease Control, some 23% of U.S. men ‘binge drink’ five or more per sitting. Tips for drinking with less intoxification: (1) Sugar keeps your stomach from emptying as quickly & delaying absorption of alcohol, so bypass diet-soda mixers; (2) Drinking from a straight versus ‘curved’ glass goes slower & you consume less booze; (3) Dehydration from exercise intensifies effects of alcohol unless fluid loss is replaced with water first. Also, be aware that a Smartphone breathalyzer (BAC Mobile) now connects to an i-phone app which measures & monitors blood alcohol level. [MENS’HEALTH – Dec 13]
  • IT’S A STRANGE NEW WORLD; NEWEST TECHNOLOGY COMING FROM GOOGLE/MOTOROLA: (1) A patent has been filed for Bluetooth Tattoo, which “couples an electronic skin tattoo to a mobile communications device” – essentially a headset inked on your throat “to capture vibrations directly from the larynx, freeing up your hands and, theoretically, lending calls greater clarity.” [THE WEEK – Nov 22,13] (2) Another patent filing is for Edible Password Pill, a product which has passed FDA approval and, when swallowed daily, “uses stomach acid to power a tiny chip emitting an 18-bit EKG-like signal that can be detected by your phone or computer – essentially turning your body into a password.” [TIME – Nov 25, 13]
  • TECHNOLOGY BREEDS SIMPLE CRIME AS WELL AS CYBERCRIME. Latest scams: (1) Auto theft from long-term-lot at an airport park identifies the owner’s home address from registration in glovebox or from GPS ‘home’ routing, along with garage door opener, and home gets burglarized while owner is away; (2) Purse snatch yields bank checkbook and cell phone, husband is identifiable in contact list so criminal texts him (from wife phone) asking for reminder of bank PIN number; he texts it back and funds get withdrawn in minutes; (3) Wallet is stolen from purse at a shopping mall, she reports it to store personnel, and later gets a call from ‘Mall Security’ saying they found it; wife is lured to drive back to mall, finds out no call was made, and returns home to discover house was burglarized during her trip. It’s getting weirder and weirder out there.
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: Aggressive recruiting abroad by American universities seeking ‘full tuition payers’ resulted last year in over 400,000 Asian students – nearly 60% from China, 25% from India, and most others from South Korea.

    “The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.”