Friday, January 25, 2008

Around the 'tubes

Which are the best self-help books for depression?

Bear in mind that studies on bibliotherapy are at an early stage. The ones that exist have only examined a few of the books available, and generally these books are only for mild depression.

A quick way to assess cognition in the elderly: walking speed.

Having excluded participants with major neurological impairment or obvious cognitive difficulties, Kevin Duff and colleagues timed 675 older adults (average age 73.2 years) walking 25 feet in one direction and then back again. The participants also completed the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS), which tests a range of abilities including language, memory and attention.

The participants were divided into three groups based on their walking speed (50 feet in less than 14 seconds; between 14 to 17 seconds; more than 17 seconds) and it turned out they differed in their cognitive performance, with the slowest walkers performing least well cognitively.

Apparently tax cuts--all of them--are progressive. Who knew?

Yet a new report from the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) says the Bush tax cuts made the tax code more progressive, no matter how progressivity is measured. In fact, the report concludes that every major tax change (Republican or Democrat) over the past two decades has increased the share of taxes paid by the wealthiest Americans.

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