More people can drive in the carpool lane. Possession of less than an ounce of marijuana will be an infraction, not a misdemeanor in California. These were among a flurry of new bills passed by the state legislature, Monday. Add to that, spending caps for public officials and increased penalties for sexual crimes against children. What else will lawmakers tackle before the session ends at midnight, tonight? And will the budget merit a mention?
The 25-member Fair Political Practices Commission met on Monday to begin reviewing the state's law governing political donations and lobbying activity. The task force has been charged with drafting recommendations by the end of the year but the proposed changes must be approved by the legislature. Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger endorses the commission's work and is calling for more transparency in politics. What might this review accomplish? What changes would you like to see in Sacramento?
You may not know many people who smoke but millions still do. Holdout smokers persist in their habit despite scary health warnings, social stigma, legislation banning smoking from almost everywhere and the high cost. What does it feel like to be a smoker in a culture that is so anti-smoking and what are the latest pharmaceutical methods being used and in development to help people quit?
There’s so much research and help available now for people who suffer from clinical depression. But what about when the symptoms of depression manifest in small children? Researchers and child psychologists are finding that many pre-school children exhibit the same kind of crushing, debilitating sadness that is so ruinous for adults. What does depression look like in children? And can they be helped, either through therapy or medication? And is it right to give children new anti-depressant drugs?
Creativity has been defined as the production of something original and useful, and our ability to employ this kind of divergent thinking is called the creativity quotient, or “CQ.” In 1958, four hundred Minneapolis children completed a series of tasks designed by psychologists to assess their innate creativity. Over the next 50 years, the psychologists tracked the “Torrance kids,” noting patents earned, buildings designed, art exhibitions, scientific innovations and other examples of creative achievement. What’s surprising is that the correlation between childhood CQ and lifetime creative accomplishment is triple that of childhood IQ. What’s alarming? Unlike IQ scores, which have increased by about ten points with each succeeding generation, CQ scores among Americans have fallen significantly since 1990. In a recent poll, 1,500 CEO’s identified creativity as the Number 1 “leadership competency” of the future. What’s behind America’s drop in creativity, and what does that bode for the future of innovation?