Thursday, April 21, 2011

Daily Dose: Ou Est Le Swimming Pool: Dance The Way I Feel

How to Afford College at All Costs

The nation's total student debt is about $896 billion, according to a recent report by Project on Student Debt, an initiative of the Institute for College Access and Success, a nonprofit independent research and policy organization. That's more than the nation's entire credit card debt.
So, as kids and families receive acceptance letters from schools, the euphoria of getting in is quickly tamped down by the fact that it's going to potentially cost about $30,000 a year -- or more.
So what can you do to make sure you can pay for your dream school?
On "The Early Show," CBS News Business and Economics Correspondent Rebecca Jarvis advised, if you haven't already, you need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as the FAFSA.
"You go to the website and fill it out," she said. "It is a first-come-first-serve type of program. So, for Pell grants, for Stafford loans, for work study, this is what you're applying for through the FAFSA. The first people to fill it out are the first people to get it. On average, they get about $7,000 more just for filling it out earlier."
Co-anchor Chris Wragge said, "A lot of families fill it out saying there's no way we'll qualify for financial aid. You kind of have to appeal to some of these places, these schools and make a case for yourself."
"You do," Jarvis agreed. "And if you received a letter back from a school saying, 'Welcome aboard, we'd love to have you,' there is no reason why you can't go back to the school and say, 'Listen, I would love to attend, but financial aid package that you put together for me is not one that I can live with. It's not one that I can afford to pay.' One great thing to do is, if you get into a handful of schools, and one of them gives you a great financial aid package, take it to the school where you really want to attend and say, 'Listen, I would come here if you could do what the other guys are doing for me.'"
She continued, "If there's been an illness in the family, there's been a change of job circumstances, someone in the family lost their job, you can also appeal to a college or university on those grounds. About 30 percent more people are appealing these decisions now than they were before the recession began. So it's becoming more common."
Wragge said calls and appeals may help.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

University Study: Mothers Diet Link To Child Obesity

An expectant mother's diet during pregnancy can alter her baby's DNA in the womb, increasing its risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes in later life, a team of international scientists has claimed.

Researchers from the UK, New Zealand and Singapore, said the study, to be published next week, provided the first scientific evidence linking pregnant women's diet to childhood obesity.

"We have shown for the first time that susceptibility to obesity cannot simply be attributed to the combination of our genes and our lifestyle, but can be triggered by influences on a baby's development in the womb, including what the mother ate," said Southampton University's Professor Keith Godfrey, who led the research.

The study, which will be published in the journal Diabetes, showed that what a mother ate during pregnancy could change the function of her child's DNA through a process called epigenetic change.

Researchers measured epigenetic changes in nearly 300 children at birth and showed that these strongly predicted the degree of obesity at six or nine years of age.

Children with a high degree of epigenetic change were more likely to develop a metabolism that "lays down more fat," regardless of the mother's weight and how much her child weighs at birth, researchers found.

Professor Peter Gluckman, from Auckland University's Liggins Institute, said the rate of epigenetic change was possibly linked to a low carbohydrate diet in the first three months of pregnancy, but it was too early to draw a definitive conclusion and further studies were needed.

He said one theory was that an embryo fed a diet containing few carbohydrates -- which provide the body with energy -- assumed it would be born into a carbohydrate-poor environment and altered its metabolism to store more fat, which could be used as fuel when food was scarce.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Daily Dose: Shout Out Louds - Very Loud

Weight Loss May Improve Your Memory

Losing weight not only provides a variety of health benefits, but may also help sharpen your memory. These are the findings of new research from Kent State University recently published in the journalSurgery for Obesity and Related Diseases.
John Gunstad, an Assistant Professor of psychology and lead author of the study, reported that results of the research indicate that weight loss may improve concentration and overall cognitive ability. He pointed out, “We've known for a long time that obesity is a risk factor for things like Alzheimer’s disease and stroke, and more recent work really shows that obesity is a link to memory problems and concentration problems before that even begins.” Gunstad then explained that his research team set out to answer the question, “If excess weight causes these problems, can losing weight help reverse them?”
For their study, the researchers analyzed the memory and attention of a group of 150 obese people having an average weight of 300 pounds. At the beginning of the study, each member of the group was given mental skills testing for assessment of baseline abilities of recall and attention. Following the assesment, a number of the study subjects underwent gastric bypass surgery for weight loss, while others did not. After a period of 12 weeks, mental skills testing was once again performed on each participant.
Prior to the weight loss surgery, 23.9 percent of all the participants exhibited impaired learning, and 22.9 percent had poor recognition memory. However, twelve weeks after the surgical procedures and an average weight loss of about 50 pounds, cognitive tests revealed that on average, performance for those underwent the procedure was within or above average range. Among those who did not opt for gastric bypass surgery, no improvements were seen. In fact, findings revealed that the non-surgery group had expereinced a gradual decline in memory over the 12-week period.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Daily Dose: Dr. Dog - Heart It Races

Study Shows College Students Are Addicted To Electronics

A new study suggests that college students worldwide are "addicted" to portable electronic devices, such as cellphones, laptops and MP3 players.
Researchers asked about 1,000 students in 10 countries on five continents to give up all their portable electronic devices for 24 hours. After that break, the students wrote about their feelings and also completed a survey. Most students, whether living in developed or developing countries, are similar in how they use the devices and how "addicted" they are to them, according to the study released by the International Center for Media & the Public Agenda (ICMPA) at the University of Maryland.
The researchers had expected to find some differences among students from different countries, says project director Susan D. Moeller, a journalism and public policy professor at the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism and director of the ICMPA. "But it quickly became apparent, from looking at the student demographics and the students' narrative comments, that all the student-responders in this study are digital natives. It was then that we realized that digital natives have no passports: If we had covered up the place name of a student's comment we would have had no idea of the student's nationality."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Daily Dose: The Big Pink - Dominos

Ethics Seminar Had Exotic Dancers

Students at La Salle University in Philadelphia say exotic dancers were part of a professor's extra-credit symposium on business ethics.

Officials at the private Roman Catholic school say they are investigating the March 21 seminar, which ended abruptly after the business school's dean showed up.

Students say the dancers kept their clothes on. Sophomore Brad Bernardino tells WPVI-TV that one dancer gave a lap dance to assistant management professor Jack Rappaport.

Rappaport did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

La Salle spokesman Joseph Donovan would not comment on Rappaport's status while the investigation continues. Students say they have a new teacher.

The seminar was held at a satellite campus about 10 miles from La Salle's main campus.

Article found:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Daily Dose: Foster The People - Pumped Up Kicks

Burden of College Loans on Graduates Grows

While many economists say student debt should be seen in a more favorable light, the rising loan bills nevertheless mean that many graduates will be paying them for a longer time.
“In the coming years, a lot of people will still be paying off their student loans when it’s time for their kids to go to college,” said Mark Kantrowitz, the publisher of and, who has compiled the estimates of student debt, including federal and private loans.
Two-thirds of bachelor’s degree recipients graduated with debt in 2008, compared with less than half in 1993. Last year, graduates who took out loans left college with an average of $24,000 in debt. Default rates are rising, especially among those who attended for-profit colleges.
The mountain of debt is likely to grow more quickly with the coming round of budget-slashing. Pell grants for low-income students are expected to be cut and tuition at public universities will probably increase as states with pinched budgets cut back on the money they give to colleges.
Some education policy experts say the mounting debt has broad implications for the current generation of students.
“If you have a lot of people finishing or leaving school with a lot of debt, their choices may be very different than the generation before them,” said Lauren Asher, president of theInstitute for Student Access and Success. “Things like buying a home, starting a family, starting a business, saving for their own kids’ education may not be options for people who are paying off a lot of student debt.”
In some circles, student debt is known as the anti-dowry. As the transition from adolescence to adulthood is being delayed, with young people taking longer to marry, buy a home and have children, large student loans can slow the process further.
“There’s much more awareness about student borrowing than there was 10 years ago,” Ms. Asher said. “People either are in debt or know someone in debt.”

Monday, April 11, 2011

Daily Dose: Stateless - Bloodstream

Your Safety School May Be The Smarter Choice

The headlines last week weren't pretty. As colleges and universities nationwide revealed their admissions decisions, news broke of a dramatic decline in acceptance rates — and not just at Ivy League schools. The shift means that for the legions of high school students who sunk all their hopes and plans into a dream school find themselves grappling with some serious disappointment this week.

Why were admissions so low? It's a numbers game. This year's graduating class is one of the largest on record. As a result, colleges saw the number of applicants soar to record-high levels, but budgetary constraints kept most of them from upping the number of spots they could offer. Harvard, the school with the lowest admission rate in the country, offered enrollment to just 6.2% of applicants, or a total of 2,158 students of the record 34,950 who applied. But it isn't just the Ivy League schools; both state schools and private liberal-arts colleges saw their acceptance rates decline as well. The University of California, San Diego, is poised to accept 34.3% of the 53,455 students who applied (down from 38.2% last year and a whopping 49% five years ago), while Amherst College in Massachusetts projects it will accept 12.6% of its 8,432 applicants.

It's not that most students won't get into college at all — there are more than enough spots nationwide for every qualified student to find a place to study — but for many, the school they end up enrolling in may not have been their first, or even third, choice. The initial sting of rejection can take a toll on a student's psyche. These are kids who are used to being the best of the best, says Julia V. Taylor, a school counselor at Apex High School in Raleigh, N.C.

But some of that letdown is self-inflicted, says Laurence Steinberg, professor of psychology at Temple University and author of You and Your Adolescent: The Essential Guide for Ages 10-25. He says our nation's obsession with rankings and prestige means that high school students — and their parents — form intense emotional commitments to schools long before admissions decisions have been made. "When they're rejected it's like being rejected by a boyfriend or girlfriend," Steinberg tells TIME. "They internalize it: What's the matter with me? What could I have done differently? Why did they choose that person and not me?"

That emotional attachment is often only about what decal students will paste on their parents' minivan, Steinberg says, but it may lead to families overlooking what may actually be the better school for the students. Taylor agrees. In her state, students most often clamor for admission to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "They don't know a thing about the university. They just know they want to wear a Tar Heels sweatshirt," she says of the university's mascot.

But the good news is, as painful as rejection is, in terms of long-term success, getting into a prestigious college doesn't matter much. A study released in March by Alan Krueger of Princeton University and Stacy Dale of Mathematica Policy Research shows students who are rejected by highly selective schools go on to bank the same average earnings as Ivy League graduates. Krueger tells TIME his study shows too much attention is paid to the schools and not enough to the students. "Students can get a good education at many places," he says. "What matters most is what students put into their education — how seriously they take their studies and how much work they put in." It's what he calls the "Spielberg effect." (Steven Spielberg, one of the most famous directors of all time, was famously rejected twice from the University of Southern California's film school. He went on to attend California State University at Long Beach, a less selective school.) "Even if students don't get in, the fact that they are confident enough to apply indicates they are ambitious and hardworking, which are qualities that will help them regardless of where they go to school," Krueger says.

Read more,8599,2063935,00.html#ixzz1JF8e80tw

Friday, April 8, 2011

Daily Dose: April Smith - Movie Loves a Screen

Is Your Commute Making YOU Stupid?

We know that sitting in traffic on the freeway every morning and night increases anxiety and fatigue -- plus, it's making us fat. Now, a study in mice suggests your hellish commute might also be making you dumber.

Breathing in "freeway particulate matter" -- fossile fuels, weathering car parts and pavement -- may damage neurons involved in learning and memory, according to new research from the University of Southern California. The researchers found that mice with still-developing brains were particularly vulnerable to foul freeway air.

Dr. Todd Morgan, a USC researcher, points out that we don't yet know if these findings apply to people, "but there is suggestive evidence that similar effects may be happening in humans."

How long is your commute? Let's find the reader with the longest trek to and from work -- is it you?

Article found: 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Daily Dose: Passenger - Walk You Home

Save On College Tuition, Studying Abroad

Today's college students are often looking for ways to lower the cost of their college tuition. One way that students are increasingly discovering is spending a semester abroad. By studying abroad, many students are able to actually lower their college bills significantly. Those attending a 4year college in the U.S. pay an average of $9,700 per semester for in-state tuition. For example, a Costa Rica Study Abroad program costs less than $7,000 per semester. Add in airfare and some spending money and the savings is still at least $1,500. Remember this savings is compared to average in-school tuition so the savings for out-of-state and private colleges is many thousands more and can be as much as 75% compared to a semester in their home university.

Not only is this monetary savings significant for students, but the enhanced cultural experience adds a extra dimension to a student's education. Survey after survey of human resource department personnel show that job applicants with international educational experiences and additional language skills standout compared to applicants without these experiences and skills. This translates into more interviews and a higher percentage of job offers. Further, bilingual employees have been shown to earn more over the course of their careers.

In addition to the savings, many college students are just now learning that the myths they have heard regarding studying in other countries are actually far from true. For example, Federal financial aid, scholarships, and certain grants can be used to pursue College Study Abroad. According to industry leader AmeriSpan's co-founder John Slocum, "One of the biggest myths out there is that studying abroad costs more than a regular semester. Prices are lower than in-state tuition at many public institutions and the savings are huge compared to out-of-state or private college tuition. Moreover, financial aid can be used for studying abroad including travel costs." On top of this, study abroad scholarships are available to help students who might otherwise not have the means to pursue this course of study.

Founded in 1993, AmeriSpan Study Abroad offers more than 100 study abroad, language-learning and volunteer programs worldwide for participants of all ages and language level. The Philadelphia-based organization has long been an innovator in the study abroad field, building its reputation by offering high quality, low cost language immersion programs. In September 2010, the company was awarded its 2nd consecutive 'Star Award' as the Best Agency in North America. The industry's prestigious Star Award is voted by organizations worldwide and awarded annually.

Article found:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Daily Dose: Whitest Boy Alive - Burning

Working Hard May Kill You..

A new study has found that office workers in England significantly increased their chances of having a heart attack by working more hours than their peers.
The study, conducted by researchers at University College London, found that employees who regularly worked 11-hour days or longer were 67 percent more likely to develop heart disease than those who worked seven- or eight-hour days.
One U.S. expert said many factors could account for the rise in risk among those tied too long to the office.
"Those working long hours may have less time for exercise, healthy eating and physicians visits," said Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow, associate chief of cardiology at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine. "They may be exposed to more stress, get less sleep and engage in other behaviors which contribute to cardiovascular risk."
The study, published in the April 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, followed a low-risk population of almost 7,100 British civil servants from 1991 until 2004, screening out those with signs of heart disease.
About 70 percent of the workers were men, and most (91 percent) were white. Roughly 2.7 percent developed coronary heart disease by the end of the study, the researchers found.
Participants reported how many hours they spent on the job, including work they took home with them. More than half (54 percent) put in between seven and eight hours a day, while 21 percent worked a nine-hour day, and 15 percent spent 10 hours on the job daily, the study found. Slightly more than 10 percent labored 11 hours or more.
Besides bumping up the risk for heart disease by 67 percent compared to people working an eight-hour day, working 11-plus hours a day also put some people into a whole other risk category, the team found.
"Adding working hours to the Framingham risk score improved identification of persons who later developed heart disease," explained study co-author Mika Kivimaki. The Framingham risk score, aimed at gauging heart disease risk, is developed from data that includes age, sex, blood pressure level, cholesterol levels, and whether or not a patient smokes, said Kivimaki, a professor of social epidemiology at University College London.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Daily Dose: Peter Bjorn And John - Young Folks

Snooki Talks To Rutgers Students

What does $32,000 get you?
Rutgers University students got two hour-long question-and-answer sessions tonight with "Jersey Shore" icon Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi. In the first hour, Snooki offered anecdotes about her reality show, dance lessons, a demonstration on styling her iconic "pouf" hairdo and her lessons for life.

Her parting advice to Rutgers students: "Study hard, but party harder."

About 500 students attended the 8 p.m. sold-out show at the Livingston Student Center in Piscataway. A second show was scheduled to start at 10 p.m. Snooki was paid $32,000 for the two shows using money that came from the mandatory student activity fees paid by Rutgers undergraduates.

Among the highlights and lowlights of the first show:

• Snooki and her sidekick, comedian Adam Ace, brought eight students on stage to teach them the "Jersey Shore" fist pump and her signature "tree branch" dance. Snooki also judged a "Situation" contest to see which of five male students had the best abs.

• Snooki introduced her father, who was in the audience and lifted his sweater to reveal a sleeveless T-shirt with "Papa Snooki" printed on the back. "My Dad is what you call... a retired guido," Snooki said.
• A student asked Snooki to be his date to his fraternity formal next month. She briefly considered it. "When is it?" she said. "May 3," he said. "I'll be in Rome," she said, referring to the filming of Season 4 of "Jersey Shore" in Italy.
• When asked to describe her perfect man, Snooki said his name has to end with a vowel, he can't be boring, he has to make her laugh and he must be close to his parents. He also needs to be tan. "I can't be with anyone pale, that would be awkward," she said.

• When asked her inspiration in life, Snooki said: "Being tan. When you're tan, you feel better about yourself."

• Snooki brought a Rutgers student on stage and offered to put her hair in a "pouf" using a banana hair clip. Snooki wasn't thrilled with the results. "That's as good as it's gonna get," she said. When asked what she uses to style her own "pouf," Snooki said he relies on Aussie-brand hair products. "Smells good and stays in good," she said.

• If Snooki had a choice she wouldn't spend summers in Seaside Heights, where "Jersey Shore" is filmed. She prefers Belmar, she said. 

• Snooki said she had partied at Rutgers before, but the details were hazy. "I'm pretty sure I came here. I don't remember what happened," she said.

• When a student asked what kind of oil she uses to make fried pickles, one of her favorite foods, Snooki was horrified. 
"I don't fry them, I buy them," she said with distain.

• Snooki's final words for Rutgers: "I love you bit***s!"

Friday, April 1, 2011

Daily Dose: Sara Bareilles - King Of Anything

Have a pop filled weekend!

Fast Food Twice As Bad For You With Coffee

Blood sugar levels are not a major concern for everyone, but they should be of moderate concern to the general population considering the rising trend of diabetes. This why a new study from the University of Guelph regarding the combined affect of saturated fat and caffeine on blood sugar levels is worthy of note.

The study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, discovered that eating a fast food meal high in saturated fat with a coffee is even worse for you than without one. Researchers noted that not only does a healthy person’s blood sugar level spike after eating a high-fat meal, but that the spike doubles after having both a fatty meal and caffeinated coffee – jumping to levels similar to those of people at risk for diabetes.

“The results tell us that saturated fat interferes with the body’s ability to clear sugars from the blood, and when combined with caffeinated coffee, the impact can be even worse,” said lead resarcher and PhD candidate Marie-Soleil Beaudoin in a statement. “Having sugar remain in our blood for long periods is unhealthy because it can take a toll on our body’s organs.”

Participants in the study were healthy young men between the ages of 20-30. In the second part of the study, the men drank about one gram of a specially designed saturated fat drink for every kilogram of body weight. They then drank either two cups of caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee five hours later, followed by a sugar drink an hour later. The results showed blood sugar levels rose to 65% above what they were with the caffeinated coffee and fat drink. With just the fat drink, participants blood sugar levels only rose 32%.

“Ultimately we have found that fat and caffeinated coffee are impairing the communication between the gut and the pancreas, which could be playing a role in why participants couldn’t clear the sugar from their blood as easily,” said Beaudoin.

Referring to the impact coffee had five hours after the fat drink, she adds, “This shows that the effects of a high-fat meal can last for hours. What you eat for lunch can impact how your body responds to food later in the day”.

Article found