Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Being tall has many advantages

It has been known for over 50 years that high IQ people are taller and have better health.  So I have long argued that this is evidence of a general syndrome of greater evolutionary fitness -- of which IQ is just one marker.  The findings below are rather strong evidence in support of that.  All men are NOT equal.  Nature is in fact rather unfair.  Wise people live with that

Being tall may come with practical problems, such as the lack of legroom on aeroplanes, but there are some perks, too. Last month, researchers at Ohio State University reported that tall people are, on average, cleverer and have better social skills.

They said this could explain why studies in the past have found that tall people tend to earn more — as much as an extra £100,000 over a 30-year career.

That study followed research showing tall people are less likely to develop heart disease than short people. In fact height is now attracting a great deal of attention as a predictor of future health, affecting your risk of a range of diseases, from dementia to stroke.

A number of studies suggest that height is linked to the risk of developing dementia. Perhaps the strongest evidence for this came from a study published last November in the British Journal of Psychiatry, which analysed data from 18 studies.

The team found that men under 5ft 6in (167cm) had a 36 per cent higher risk of dementia than men over 5ft 10in (177cm).

That doesn’t mean being short causes dementia. Shorter height can be associated with certain pressures in early life, such as stress, illness or poor nutrition, which may predispose someone to dementia, says lead author Dr Tom Russ, lecturer in old age psychiatry at the University of Edinburgh.

He says early life stresses may affect a person’s cognitive reserve — the brain’s resistance to age-related damage. ‘People think of dementia as a disease of old age, but this suggests you are accumulating risk factors throughout the course of your life.’

When it comes to heart health, the news for shorter people may not be great, either. It seems they may also be more prone to heart disease, according to research published last month by the University of Leicester.

The researchers found a 5ft (153cm) tall person had a 32 per cent higher risk of heart disease than someone who is 5ft 6in (167cm).

This association isn’t new. Analysis of data from more than a million people, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology in 2012, found clear links between shortness and higher risk of dying from heart disease, stroke and heart failure.

The latest research suggests the link is down to genes, rather than environmental factors such as diet. The team looked at 180 genetic variants that are known to control height, and found that those variants linked with shorter stature also had an effect on cholesterol, fat levels and overall heart disease risk.



Virginia: African refugee from Togo in US for nine days before attempted rape

Tchalim Koboya Lidawo, your friendly refugee next door?  He gets only ten years for attempted rape?  If a passerby hadn’t come along it wouldn’t have only been “attempted.”

By the way, I wondered if he was a legitimate ‘refugee.’ or here through some other legal program.  So, I checked the State Department stats and was surprised to find that we do take refugees from Togo.  Why?

So much for that security screening the US State Department and its contractors are always bragging about!
Leesburg, Va. – A West African man who attempted to rape a woman just nine days after arriving in the United States has been sentenced to ten years in prison.  Tchalim Koboya Lidawo pleaded no contest to two counts of attempted rape and one count of abduction with force in connection to an incident that occurred on December 4th, 2014, the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office said.

The incident occurred at an Ashburn apartment complex, according to officials. The victim told law enforcement that she was taking out her trash when Lidawo approached her near the dumpster. He grabbed the victim and dragged her into some nearby woods, officials said.  A struggle ensued, the victim fell down, and Lidawo climbed on top of her, according to the attorney’s office said.

A passerby heard the victim’s screams and approached, causing Lidawo to get up and run into the woods. The victim provided police with a description of Lidawo, leading to his arrest.

Lidawo was sentenced to ten years with additional five years of suspended time according to officials. He must also pay a $5,000 fine.

As a native of Togo, Lidawo may be removed from the United States when he is released.  [He won’t be!]  So now we get to pay for his prison stay!

I think there should be a requirement that the US State Department and its contractors pay for the legal costs of criminal trials and imprisonment for every refugee who commits a crime.  Of course, that would still come out of our pockets (the taxpayers), but it would send a very important message to the public.



Mediterranean Diet and Age-Related Cognitive Decline: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Ancel Keys' mistaken claims (from the 1950s!) about the wonders of the Mediterranean diet seem to have everlasting life so it always provokes me when they pop up anew.  But I can't justify reproducing or saying much about this study.  They found that elderly Spaniards -- who had presumably been on a Mediterranean diet anyhow -- were slightly less likely to go demented if they were given extra olive oil and nuts.  So it is not at all clear that it is a study of the Mediterranean diet. It seems to be a study of oil and nuts.

They used a large range of tests to assess mental function but the effect of the intervention on test scores was in all cases only marginally significant statistically, despite the large sample size.  Composites of the tests got much better statistical significance but the effects remained very small.  Suffice it to say that it would be incautious to draw any general conclusions from this rather idiosyncratic study.

It's all HERE

There is a  new  lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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