Sick of Political TV news? It’s OK to skip it.
By Jim Schuh
Many of us have grown accustomed to the major news stories these days – many involving President Trump and Congressional inaction, the wall on the Mexican border, Russia interference in our elections, China and trade, the upcoming North Korean meeting and sexual misbehavior – you know the daily litany of news we receive. This diet, although interesting to some, has become tedious and mind-numbing for others. One news report even suggested that Politics Is TV’s New Entertainment Programming.
The Washington Post developed a remedy for folks who can’t pry themselves loose from ingesting every twist and turn in political news. The newspaper suggested, “tuning out politics and tuning in to pop culture isn’t just a guilty pleasure. Doing so can help keep our minds from exploding.” Some news escapes our notice because it’s overshadowed by political stories. This time, I want to offer some reports to help make sure your mind doesn’t explode.
One offered some good news for old people who think they’ve long ago reached their potential: our vocabulary is at its peak when we reach 67.
MIT Researcher Joshua Hartshorn says that as we age, we get better at some things and worse at others. He questioned thousands of people from ages of 10 to 90, seeking to determine how they remembered word lists, recognized faces, learned names and did math. He found that regardless of a person’s age, there’s nearly always something at which he or she excels.
A chart developed by Business Insider’s Skye Gould spotlights some of Hartshorn’s findings. At 18, people do well at keeping track of details and use their brain’s processing power best. At 32, they’re tops at learning new faces. Concentration abilities reach their peak at age 43. The capability to read others’ emotions excels at age 48. And at 50, we do best at understanding or learning new information as well as having our mathematical skills and overall knowledge peak. Vocabulary skills top out at 67.
Knowing this information helps us understand why many of us can’t remember where we put things as we age. That skill, it turns out, is at its peak when we were 18. Understanding or learning new information tops out at 50, so that’s why many of us older folks can’t easily figure out how to install and use a new computer or smartphone. Assuming Hartshorn’s findings are reliable, we should just accept the fact that we’re not very good at some things as we grow older. That’s not to say some of us may still want to work hard to learn new skills, but it doesn’t mean all of us should give up and go sit quietly in the corner. We should be satisfied with our status and offer our knowledge and experience, also known as wisdom, to others who seek it. There’s a great deal of satisfaction in doing that.
On a different note, although it may be hard to believe, GPS technology has now been around for 40 years.
The first global positioning satellite (GPS) began operating four decades ago and along with further developments, it has fundamentally transformed the global economy – from aviation and aerospace to military uses to helping us find our way using smartphones. GPS gives us the ability to tell where we are within a foot or two. It allows us to find places like restaurants and shops that are close to where we happen to be. Emergency personnel can find us. Delivery firms – including those using drones – can track shipments.
We can’t hide anymore!
Can this be so? The actual number of TV sets per household is decreasing. We know that the number of people who pay for cable and satellite TV service has declined. But now we have fewer sets in the average home – 2.3 versus 2.6 a few years ago. A big reason is that many people have switched their viewing from big screen TVs to small screen tablets and smartphones. Another reason is that users can do other things on personal devices and that means there’s even more competition for TV watching.
Last football season, Fox TV introduced six-second commercials as a test. Six-second ads are common in the digital environment world. The result could be more clutter for TV viewers who already are inundated with too many ads although a few networks have pledged to reduce commercial time in their programs. Who knows how effective six-second ads might be? But even if the advertiser never changes the ad, the pain of sitting through one would last just a few moments.
We’ve seen more giant food stores break out grocery home deliveries. That’s led to convenience stores considering drive-through service. Fast food restaurants have offered it for years. But now convenience stores are striving to come up with solutions on how to make drive-up service practical and profitable as they seek to make it easier for customers who stop by for a few food items and don’t buy gas.
One challenge they face is that drive-up customers aren’t tempted to buy additional items they might see at the cash register while waiting in line to check out. But solutions to obstacles will come and before long, you’ll see drive-up convenience store windows. If you’ve become a new or repeat grandparent in the past year, check out whether the parents named their new offspring one of the most popular current names.
The Social Security Administration compiled a list of the most popular. For boys: Liam, Noah, William, James, Logan, Benjamin, Mason, Elijah, Oliver and Jacob. For girls: Emma, Olivia, Ava, Isabella, Sophia, Mia, Charlotte, Amelia, Evelyn and Abigail.