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Jim Liebelt Christian Blog and Commentary

Jim Liebelt

Senior Editor of Publications for HomeWord

What's Hot? 11/21/14

Trending Today on Twitter - 11/21/14
1. #ConnectionDay
2. #LamerCriminals
3. #NightChangesVideo
4. Mocking Jay
5. #HungerGamesMockinjay
6. #ImmigrationAction
7. #MTVStars
8. Pitch Perfect 2
9. Peeta
10. B.O.N
Source: Twitter

Trending on YouTube - 11/21/14
1. Hilarious Golden Retriever
2. Toronto Maple Leafs fans finish singing US anthem
3. Top Soccer Shootout Ever
4. Minecraft: Five Nights at Freddy's 2 Mod
5. Everything Wrong with Maleficent in 13 Minutes or Less
6. Pokemon Omega Ruby...
7. Little White Lie Trailer
8. Minnesota Food Taste Test
9. Pass The Salt
10. Minecraft Modded Cops N Robbers
Source: YouTube

iTunes Top 10 Singles - 11/21/14
1. Blank Space - Taylor Swift
2. Take Me to Church - Hozier
3. Uptown Funk (feat. Bruno Mars) - Mark Ronson
4. Shake It Off - Taylor Swift
5. All About That Bass - Meghan Trainor
6. Animals - Maroon 5
7. I'm Not the Only One - Sam Smith
8. Jealous - Nick Jonas
9. Lips Are Movin - Meghan Trainor
10. Ghost - Ella Henderson
Source: iTunes

Top 10 TV Shows in Prime Time - Week Ending 11/16/14
1. NBC Sunday Night Football
3. The Big Bang Theory
4. NCIS: New Orleans
5. Dancing with the Stars
6. Madam Secretary
7. 60 Minutes
8. Football Night in America - Part 3
9. Voice - Mon
10. Voice - Tues
Source: Nielsen Co.

Top 5 Free iPhone Game Apps - 11/21/14
1. Candy Crush Soda Saga
2. Dumb Ways to Die 2: The Games
3. Stick Hero
4. New Words With Friends
5. Call of Duty: Heroes
Source: iOSappStats

Top 5 Movies - Last Weekend
1. Dumb and Dumber To
2. Big Hero 6
3. Interstellar
4. Beyond the Lights
5. Gone Girl
Source: Rotten Tomatoes

*The following is excerpted from an online article from Youth Health.

Many studies have uncovered the harmful and even long-term effects of teenage drinking. However, not much study has yet been conducted on identifying teens that are most at risk to drink or become problem drinkers or alcoholics in the future.

Two neuroscientists, John VanMeter of Georgetown University Medical Center and Diana Fishbein of University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), along with their colleagues have completed several studies they believe they have identified brain characteristics that when found in teens may point to possible alcohol abuse even before they have their first drink of alcohol.

The research was composed of different brain studies, including the link between impulsivity and abnormal connections of the brain, the link between impulse and the amount of omega-3 fatty acid and sugar the teen has, and the lack of proper connection among important components of a brain network.

More than 130 girls and boys in their preteens or teens participated in the studies. The average age was 12.6 years old. Aside from undergoing MRI scans to detect the structure and performance of their brain, they also underwent a series of tests that measure their level of impulse and preference to either immediate or delayed incentive.

According to the results, to be formally presented in the upcoming Washington meeting among members of the Society of Neuroscience, an impaired ECN (executive control network) of the brain correlates to drinking while still young as well as the frequency of drinking alcohol. However, the study did not suggest that such impairment develops prior to drinking.

Another study showed the relationship between the connectivity between the insular and prefrontal cortices and level of impulsivity. Less connection between these two regions of the brain means a higher level of impulsivity, a problem that can happen even before alcohol abuse.

Researchers also learned that participants who eat too much sugar in their diet tend to prefer immediate rewards and more active hypothalamus, right insula, and right superior gyrus, sections of the brain that govern rewards, impulse, and emotion.

Source: Youth Health

Much has been documented about the Millennial generation - and in recent years - the focus of research into values, attitudes and behaviors has been focused on them. Starting when they were entering their teens, efforts have been made to dissect and explore Millennials from all angles.

But a new generation of teens is emerging (Generation Z), and while many are still wrangling with who ought to be included under the Gen Z umbrella, one thing appears to be agreed upon by culture researchers is that these teens will carve out their own unique characteristics and have their own distinctive values, attitudes and behaviors.

Note: A transition period between generations exists and members of both the previous generation and the emerging generation will always contain some characteristics that are similar. The transition years can make it a challenge to differentiate between the two, especially in the early years. One example: I was born in the waning years of the Boomer generation - and so I recognize characteristics in myself, some of which resonate more closely with Boomers and others that resonate more closely with Gen X.

Given that a new generation is emerging (Gen Z), it is time for research to start turning the lens of examination on them. One recent survey by Northeastern University of 1,015  teens 16-19 attempts to get that ball rolling. It provides us with a window into Generation Z. Here are some findings that begins to build our understanding of today's teens:

• Two in three teens are concerned about the costs of going to college.

• One in four believe no amount of student debt to attend college is acceptable.

• Two in three fear they might not be able to find a job after college.

• Four in ten expect to be self-employed during their adult career.

• More than 60% believe the income gap in the United states is harmful to their generation.

• When it comes to immigration, more than half believe that anyone should have a right to become a U.S. citizen no matter how they enter the country.

• Half receive their news online. Only two in ten get news from watching television.

• Over two in three (69%) prefer to interact with friends in person over connecting online, with only 15% preferring online.

• Seven in ten would not use electronic methods (online, phones, texting, etc.)  to ask someone out.

• Almost eight in ten have bank accounts.

• Teens appear evenly split about how they prefer to make purchases, with about four preferring to make purchases online, and another four in ten preferring to shop in-person at brick-and-mortar stores.

Source: BloombergView