Stuff YOU Should Know

Posted by on Jun 22, 2016 in Stuff You Should Know

British MP Killed Over Brexit

Back in April, btw brought you news of a possible “Brexit”. Last month, the British parliament suffered a personal casualty. Jo Cox, a member of the left-leaning Labour Party, who was particularly vocal about the United Kingdom remaining as part of the European Union (EU) was killed. Her attacker reportedly yelled, “Britain First!” the name of a right-wing nationalist group, which led authorities to believe the attack was politically motivated. He has been arrested, although it has not yet been determined if he acted alone or on behalf of an organized group.

Great Britain’s prime minister, David Cameron, said called the incident, “dreadful, dreadful news.” In response, those on both sides of the issue agreed to suspend activities for the day. It is unclear what impact Cox’s murder will have on the June 23 referendum which has divided the country into pro- (stay) and anti- (leave) camps. Opinion polls have the “Leave” camp in the lead. However, some believe the incident could help the minority opinion. In addition, the value of Britain’s currency rose nearly two cents in the wake of the news.

Dig Deeper Follow news of the results of tomorrow’s referendum to its result. Find out what political experts say will say will come next.

Pressure on Obama Change Policy on Syria

The civil war in Syria has been raging since 2011, with little end in sight. In Washington, a political debate on how best to deal with the situation also continues to rage. Earlier this month, 51 officials from the State Department wrote a cable to the president expressing their disapproval of the Obama administration’s policy regarding Syria. They believe that the U.S. should play a more “militarily assertive” role in the crisis, employing air weapons in particular, punishing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for violating the most recent cease fire.

The cable is representative of an overall, on-going conflict between the president and the State Department (front-line diplomats in particular). The message was considered a powerful one for its tone of frustration and outrage at the more than 400,000 deaths and the displacement of millions more. Many believe that failure to do more is an act of ignoring America’s moral obligations. However, those opposed to military intervention say that nothing good can come from “getting pulled into the chaotic civil war.” Doing is also likely to intensify relations with Russia.

Dig Deeper Continue to follow this story to see what kinds of change (if any) might result in the Obama administration’s policy on Syria. Find out if the cable proposed any specific measures.

Believeland

It’s not easy being a fan of a professional sports team from Cleveland. Until now. . .

Earlier this month, the city’s basketball team, the Cavaliers, won the NBA championship. This victory marks the first major sports title in that city in a half-century. (The last was the 1964 NFL Championship win for the football team, the Browns.) The Cavs were matched against defending champs, the Golden State Warriors in a best-of-seven game series. Going into the final game, the teams had won three a piece. The final score was 93-89.

Cavs superstar, LeBron James is a hometown boy of the highest order. Born and raised in neighboring Akron, Ohio, James began his professional career with the Cavs in 2003 at the age of 19. He rose to stardom quickly, playing in many All-Star games and named MVP several times. In 2010, he became a free agent and signed a deal with the Miami Heat before returning home to Cleveland in 2014 to massive fanfare. After winning the game, he said, “I came back for a reason. I came back to bring a championship to our city.”

What Do You Think? Did you watch any of the seven championship games? If so, what plays stood out to you? If you didn’t watch the game, do you have a favorite hometown team? What is it and what is their record?

Considering Sleep

Close-up of African-American junior high school boy asleep in class with his head on his folded arms. ©Image Source/Alamy. MHE World.

Credit: ©Image Source/Alamy

A recent article published in the New York Times proposes the question if people can train themselves to need less sleep. The conclusion? Probably not. There are many studies that support the notion that people cannot “functionally adapt” to less sleep than they need. According to the National Sleep Foundation, there is a range of normal sleep times (nine to 11 hours for school-age children, nine to 11 for teens, and seven to nine for adults). Falling outside of that range can have a range of consequences.

Evidence suggests that sleep deprivation can have major effects on both your physical as well as mental health. Being awake for 24 hours can cause the same impairment as someone with the blood-alcohol level of 1.0. Judgment and coordination become compromised. Chronic insomnia can lead to heart problems, stroke, or conditions such as high blood pressure, depression, and diabetes. Less severe conditions include the premature aging of skin. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases an excess of cortisol, a stress hormone, which can break down collagen, the protein that keeps your skin elastic.

What Do You Think? How much do you sleep? Do you go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning? How important is sleep to you? What happens when you don’t get enough (or too much)?