By Christy Barritt
Technology, Elections, and Young Adults
Social media just may be the best way to get young adults to the polls in November.
That’s what the results show from a survey comm-issioned by Generation Opportunity, a social media and grassroots organization focused on organizing and mobilizing young adults through a strategy based on social media and ground operations.
Sixty-six percent of 18- to 29-year-olds polled for the survey said they’d be most likely to vote when reminded through Facebook messages. Fifty-eight percent preferred text messages. Thirty-eight percent would like an e-mail message to remind them to vote, and only 28 percent desired public service announcements. Finally, 13 percent still preferred phone calls.
Headphones and Your Health
A new study has shown that wearing headphones while on your feet could put you in harm’s way.
A new study published in Injury Prevention reported 116 crashes involving pedestrians who were wearing headphones between 2004 and 2011. Eighty-one of those crashes resulted in deaths.
Based on these numbers, the number of serious injuries and deaths occurring to pedestrians walking with headphones has tripled in seven years in the United States.
Half of the victims were struck by trains, the other half by cars, buses, trucks, tractor-trailers, or bicycles. These accidents were due, in part, to the fact that wearing headphones can cause sensory deprivation where people can’t hear warning sounds.
The median age of the victims was 21, and 68 percent were male.
April Fools’ Day
When did April Fools’ Day get its start? Accord-ing to National Geographic News, no one really knows.
Most people think the day began when France changed its calendar in the 1500s under the rule of Charles IX to the Gregorian Calendar so that the New Year would begin on January 1. Previously, France’s calendar began at the start of spring. News of the change traveled slowly, so many people continued to celebrate the New Year around the end of March or beginning of April. Those people became known as “April fools,” according to the story.
Most experts, however, believe that April Fools’ Day grew out of European spring festivals where pranks and concealing identities were common.
Hundreds of Millions Use Illegal Drugs
A new study estimates that between 149 million and 271 million people worldwide used an illicit drug at least once in 2009. Translated, that’s 1 in 20 people from the ages of 15 to 64, who have taken an illegal drug.
Researchers warn that this number is most likely underestimated because most people are hesitant to admit to something illegal in a survey.
The top drugs used were marijuana and hashish, which had approximately 125 million and 203 million users worldwide.
Researchers also found that the highest level of illicit drug use occurred in the wealthiest countries or countries nearest to the drugs’ production.
This study was compiled from a review of several studies looking to estimate the extent of drug use. The results were published in The Lancet.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.