Learning the Long Known

Apparently these researchers have never attended a typical school:

Obese grade-school children are more likely to be the targets of bullying than their leaner peers are, a UK study suggests.
Researchers found that among more than 8,000 7-year-olds, obese boys and girls were about 50 percent more likely to be bullied over the next year than their normal-weight classmates.
On the other hand, obese boys were also more inclined to describe themselves as bullies.

The article goes on to describe behavior that is pretty obvious to anyone who has attended a grade school. Of course, they have an astute recommendation:

So besides the long-term physical health consequences of obesity, the researchers conclude, many overweight children may also face the psychological and social effects of bullying.
“This study suggests that parents, school personnel, and health professionals need to reduce the occurrence of this behavior and the social marginalisation of obese children at an early age,” they write.

But, there is nothing in the Reuter’s article that indicates that the researchers made any recommendation as to how to achieve this reduction. So I will: simply stop sending children to these institutions.

So Much for Keeping Eye Contact

I’m not sure that this would be a good technique to use in a job interview:

The researchers said “Given that five-year-old children could readily be trained to increase their use of gaze aversion, coupled with the finding that this training could significantly benefit performance, encouragement of gaze aversion while the child is thinking appears to be a simple, yet effective way in which to significantly improve a five-year-old child’s cognitive performance”.

Of course, to the knowlegeable interviewer it could demontrate respect for the question.

Oh, the next time you catch your significant other, co-worker or good friend in the midst of gaze aversion let them be for a bit! You just might want them to solve the problem they are thinking about.

Via Marginal Revolution.

mcain may be breaking

It looks like mcain may be reaching an unacceptable compromise with bush regarding exemption language in his amemdment barring inhumane or degrading treatment of prisoners:

Instead, he has offered to include some language, modeled after military standards, under which soldiers can provide a defense if a “reasonable” person could have concluded that he or she was following a lawful order about how to treat prisoners.

Hopefully this is not the case. pace got it right a few days ago:

“It is the absolute responsibility of every U.S. service member, if they see inhumane treatment being conducted, to intervene, to stop it,” the general said.
Rumsfeld interjected: “I don’t think you mean they have an obligation to physically stop it; it’s to report it.”
But Pace meant what he said. “If they are physically present when inhumane treatment is taking place, sir, they have an obligation to try to stop it,” he said, firmly.

This damn well better apply to every human being no matter who they work for.
Following orders is never an excuse for for inhumane behavior. Though it might be possible to consider a slightly less excruciating punishment for a perpetrator following orders than that given to one acting on their own or to the one who gave the orders.
Via Talkleft.