Just Ask a Woman

Posted on December 10, 2014 under Storytelling with no comments yet


Some research is for the birds



A day rarely goes by when we don’t hear something in the media about ground-breaking research.   An announcer breathlessly declares that some obscure university has followed thousands of participants and has reached some startling conclusions.  The study is usually funded by government, or worse; by private industry which has a lot to gain by results that point to a particular product or service.

Useless research ranks right up there with suspect polling.  In this millennium, election results in Canada and beyond have left us all scratching our heads as candidates, who were doomed to the scrap heap in the media, miraculously won after being far behind in the polls.

I was mulling these things over the other day after hearing the results of a study about infants.  I know a little bit about this subject, having played a role (supporting cast) in raising four of them.  I am also a grandparent three times over so I am witness to child rearing a second time around, albeit from a more comfortable vantage point.

So here are some of the results of recent research projects that have left me shaking my head in awe.  Babies who are rocked by their parents and grandparents are more content and grow up better adjusted.  Now that’s a shocker.  And how about this stunner: kids who are well nourished learn better and faster.  This was a $500,000 study.  Seriously.  And, wait for this, children who are read to as infants and toddlers do better when they arrive at school.  I am flabbergasted.  I am so relieved that this study took many years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to reach this amazing conclusion.  Somehow I have to believe that the dedicated volunteers who devised and implemented the Read to Me! program in Nova Scotia knew instinctively that kids and books belong together.

The only thing more preposterous than government funded studies is those done by private companies, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry.  All of their research eventually concludes that more drugs are the answer.  Don’t you just love the ads on US stations that tell you the merits of a new wonder drug, only to find out that the side effects include the possibility of dizziness, nausea, heart palpitations, sweating, shortness of breath, rash, amnesia, stoke, heart attack and , in rare, cases, death.  Yup.  I’m ready to step up and try some of that, especially when the research has been conducted by a reputable company funded by big pharma.

I have a much better suggestion that would save years and millions of dollars. I have done my own research.  All it took was thirty-two years sitting at the kitchen table.  After reading hundreds of stories and realizing how much research is either self-serving or redundant, I have concluded that investigators could have saved themselves and the tax paying public a lot of grief.

They could have simply picked up the phone and asked my wife, or any of her peers.

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Highland Hearing Clinic

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