Archive for the ‘People’ Category

Dyslexia.

How many dyslexics experience a page.

Dyslexia is a learning disorder, among for example dyscalculia and ADHD, and it means that the affected one has problems learning through and grasping text of different kinds. It does not, however, mean that one has trouble understanding or remembering.

As you all know we have different ways of learning. Some might be better off with numbers or pictures, some with melodies or movement. While dyscalculia means trouble learning mathematics and numbers, and ADHD problem concentrating while being still, dyslexia is an extreme branch of the people that have problems with letters and words, and those people are making a 5-8% of Sweden’s population.

Beside this disability, dyslectics often are imaginative, creative and visual multi-thinkers, which is the reason for some to see it as a gift. People over winning their disability and turning it into academic studies often become very successful*, although the road there can be very demanding.

Christel Berg, responsible for management at the University of Lund, tells Sydsvenskan (4 October, 2007) that even though people with dyslexia can get access to a lot of material that will help them improve their studies at the university – such as voice books and extended time at tests – it is nothing that you would wish for. What dyslectics often lack, she continues, is a good study technique. However, dyslexia is no static state, and so reading skills as well as a well formed study technique can be improved.

According to my experiences of this learning disability, what many dyslectics also lack is confidence. When one has a hard time performing certain tasks that most other people do without any difficulties, one starts to blame oneself, which creates another barrier for the learning, above the one already existing.

Dyslexia is divided up into seven groups** depending on what symptoms are shown and what the so called source of the problem is. These groups are General, Writing/Motor Skills, Math/Time Management, Vision/Reading/Spelling, Memory/Cognition and Behavior/Health/Development/Personality. The principle of these groups made by Ronald D. Davis (author of The Gift of Dyslexia) is that if you have at least 10 of the symptoms from any of these groups you might have dyslexia. Ronald D. Davis also states that “The most consistent thing about dyslexia is inconsistency” – meaning that there is more to the learning disabilities than we know right now.

*Examples of famous people having dyslexia are scientist Albert Einstein, actors Tom Cruise and Keira Knightley, artists Leonardo Da Vinci and Andy Warhol, musician John Lennon, founder of IKEA Ingmar Kamprad, film maker Walt Disney, writer Agatha Christie, champion boxer Muhammad Ali, and former U.S. presidents Woodrow Wilson and John F. Kennedy.

**If you are eager for more, go to www.dyslexia.com for more information, or www.dyslexia.com/library/symptoms to get to the groups and list of symptoms.

By: Katja Slonawski, IB11

Advertisements

The extinction of redheads – true?

Ginger-festival

According to genetic scientists, redheads are dying out and will be extinct in about a hundred years, National Geographic reports. The reason for this is the increasing globalization; nowadays people move, meet and produce babies over borders much more than just fifty years ago which leads to the mixing of genes. All dark genes are dominant, and the ginger population has always been small: less than 2% of the world population. The density of gingers is greatest in Scotland, where about 40% are carriers of the red gene, and 13% carries it visibly. The gene is a long ago mutation from the north of Europe and apparently, according to National Geographic, the positive part of being a redhead is the effect of the body being able to take up Vitamin D more efficiently. Although there negative side: the risk for skin-cancer increases along with the sensitivity for heat and coldness.

Some guys who refuse to believe in this science backed-up theory are the organizers of the festival ‘Roodharigendag’ (or ‘the Redhead Day’ in English) that takes place in Breda, Holland, where this year in early September, when the festival celebrated its fifth year, 3000 redheads came together. He reason for this is to strengthen the self esteem among gingers, since a certain type of racism and discrimination against redheads is more common than people think.

At IHGR I estimated the density of gingers to be somewhat 0,02% of the students. The future doesn’t look bright for us, but is 100 years really enough for nature to exterminate all gingers?

By: Katja Slonawski, IB11

Party Like a Rockstar.

"Rockstar" energy drinks.

This is no ordinary drink for all of you that have or maybe haven’t purchased, drank, admired, collected, embraced (etc). Sure it’s just another drink when you see it, but check this out: the average energy drink includes 4mg of taurine (an amino acid protecting the immune system and obtained from meat or energydrinks for you vegetarians) and 32mg of caffeine.

Believe it or not one of these is essential for the human body and it’s not caffeine. Sorry coffee drinkers, but energy drinks beat you with that. The only thing is that these drinks give you an overdose of the recommended amount and yes that is BAD. I’ve only named two things contained within this drink and we’re already going down a bad path. Well while we’re in this pleasant direction we might as well discuss the other harmful substances. Glucose, Sucrose, and anything else that rhymes with gross! These are artificial sugars that no growing teenager needs! Aspartame being one of the biggest ones can cause great pain in the kidneys after a large dose of a “sugar free” drink. Yeah I said it! Just because it’s sugar free doesn’t mean its sugar free! Producers just want to attract a new crowd by making it seem healthier.

Anyways for those of you who like energy drinks enough to go on reading here’s the positive aspects of energy drinks: these drinks are liquid candy with a touch of exotic flavoring that’ll make you feel a rush through your body just after the first sip. Not satisfying yet? Well the rest of the ingredients is pure power from South American berries such as gaurana and the Asian herb ginseng. Just a heads up these herbs are normally included in the double up (500ml) drinks such as Monster and Rockstar. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? It’s like tea, but a cooler version with all that kick behind it. This drink’s definitely great for parties because it’ll last you a few good hours of excitement. Some people think I’m addicted to these drinks, but I think they’re addicted to me.

By: Majid Ahy, IB12

1 Question, 3 Answers.

Do you think being homosexual is a choice or a trait that someone is born with?

Paul R, Paul G & Gustav

Gustav Karlbrink, NP2: I think actually it’s a bit of both but I believe most is choice because like 90% of your actions come from where you live and the people that you live with, so I think I think they get it from their own choice.

Paul Rodriguez, SP3A: For me its 50-50 %. It could be the environment that made him/her in to that kind of person or it could be part of his/her genes.

Paul Greco, IB12: Well actually I think it’s different from person to person. Some people are at an early age very clearly prone to what we see as homosexual tendencies and remain that way their whole lives whereas other people often change their sexual leaning later on in life, having been dissatisfied with their experiences with the opposite sex.
Then again that could also mean that they’ve always been gay.

Homosexuality: A Choice or a Trait?

Nature vs. Nurture?

A question is being debated by not only scientist, but religious leaders and the general public as well: Is homosexuality a choice that someone picks, or a trait that someone is born with?
Some people, like religious leaders view homosexuality as a choice, and go as far as calling it a personality disorder. Others protest that someone’s sexual orientation is a trait that someone is genetically born with, and insist that the reason for someone’s sexual preferences is due to a hormonal change in their genetic make up. Many, however, feel that it is both that determine the sexual stance of someone. Known to be the largest association of psychologists, The American Psychological Association (APA), feel that this question is more complex than some might think it to be.

“There are numerous theories about the origins of a person’s sexual orientation; most scientists today agree that sexual orientation is most likely the result of a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological factors. In most people, sexual orientation is shaped at an early age. There is also considerable recent evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person’s sexuality. In summary, it is important to recognize that there are probably many reasons for a person’s sexual orientation and the reasons may be different for different people.”

Some people refuse to believe that homosexuality is a trait. Gregory Cochran, a physicist who developed some new ideas in evolutionary medicine and genetic anthropology, suggests that genetics will not and can not explain a person’s sexual orientation because such ‘gay’ genes would have been exterminated from the population over time. Cochran suggested that homosexuality can be connected to disorders such as MS, heart disease, chicken pox, or any bacterial or viral conditions. When hearing this ‘Gay Germ Theory’ many people were outraged.

“I think it’s a very interesting idea. The idea that homosexuality resulted from overprotective mothers was also an interesting idea. But when it was tested, it turned out to be completely untrue. Whether Cochran’s theory is true or false is an experimental question and needs to be answered by observation and by experimentation, not by chitchat, says Dean H. Hamer, Chief of gene Structure and Regulation at the Laboratory of Biochemistry at the National Gene Structure Cancer Institute.”

When it comes to religion, many views on whether or not it should be condemned create controversy. One passage from the Old Testament states that:
‘You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination’ (Leviticus 18:22).
Upon reading this, one can obviously assume that the passage bluntly states homosexuality is an ‘abomination’. However, Michele Brand Medwin, Rabbi of Temple Sholom in Monticelle, New York begs to question whether or not the Old Testament really condemns homosexuality.

“These verses [Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13] were not meant to be used to foster hate against homosexuals or to condemn individual gay men and the loving relationships they form…The Canaanites used homosexual acts as part of their pagan rituals. Therefore the Israelites were prohibited from doing this, not because it was an act between two men but because it was symbolic of pagan ritual. In today’s world this prohibition now has no meaning. We are no longer threatened by Canaanite pagan religion and homosexuality today is not a pagan ritual. Homosexuality in Biblical terms is no longer an issue for us today.”

What is more interesting is that the majority of people might not notice that nearly all references refer to men performing intimate gestures with each other, not women. This leads people to further the question on whether or not homosexuality is a trait or a disorder. Either way, this topic will continue to have two sided opinions and will probably always be a questioned too complex to answer.

By: Roxanne Allen, IB12