September 18, 2008
Senator Barack Obama is able to invoke emotion while John McCain addresses show signs of clinical depression, a scientific study has discovered.
Using ever more sophisticated software and mathematical algorithms, scientists are increasingly able to pick apart political speeches. They analyzed language, pitch, tone and facial expressions to get a clue as to whether politicians are being sincere. To prove the point David Skillicorn, a mathematics and computer science researcher at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, analyzed the speeches of John McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, during the election race.
His findings published in the New Scientist concluded that even though the candidates receive training and have their speeches written for them, personal traits still shine through. While each of the 150 speeches studied varied no matter who was delivering them. McCain’s speeches fall flat and even showed signs of someone with clinical depression. His voice changes little in pitch as he speaks, and so conveys very little emotion or impact, it was said. Clinton was more neutral.
Mr. Skillicorn has developed an algorithm that evaluates word usage within the text of a conversation or speech to determine when a person “presents themselves or their content in a way that does not necessarily reflect what they know to be true”. “The important thing to recognize is that politicians aren’t typically good at out-and-out lies, but they are very adept at dancing around the truth,” Mr. Skillicorn concluded.
Hollywood actress Kirsten Dunst said she recently sought treatment at Cirque Lodge treatment center in Utah earlier this year for depression, not substance abuse as was rumored. Ironically, Mrs. Dunst is working on a film entitled “All Good Things” in New York. “I didn’t go to Cirque Lodge for alcohol abuse or drug abuse,” Dunst said, “I went there for depression. … It was a good six months before I decided to go away. I was struggling and I had the opportunity to go somewhere and take care of myself. I was fortunate to have the resources to do it. My friends and family thought it was a good idea, too. But I didn’t know where to go. My doctor recommended Cirque Lodge.”
Dunst, 26, has starred in “Wag the Dog,” “The Virgin Suicides,” the “Spider-Man” trilogy, “Marie Antoinette” and “Elizabethtown.” Opening up about her stay Kirsten revealed that she was mulling over whether or not to seek professional help for “a good six months. “I was struggling, and I had the opportunity to go somewhere and take care of myself,” she says. When news first broke of her stint at Cirque Lodge, rumors were rampant that the 26-year-old was caught in a downward spiral of alcohol and drugs after her split from Johnny Borrell. It’s these types of rumors that compelled her to come forth with her depression, Kirsten says. “There’s been a lot of misrepresentation about what is going on in my life, and it’s been very painful for my friends and family,” she explains. “Everyone feels like they have to defend me. They hear the rumors, and it puts them in a defensive position. I’m feeling much stronger now.” Kirsten, AKA “Kiki” set the record straight on another report (that she’s dating her All Good Things co-star Ryan Gosling) “I am not dating Ryan Gosling.”
Kirsten will be gracing the October cover of Harper’s Bazaar. She can also be seen next playing a celebrity journalist in the comedy “How to Lose Friends and Alienate People,” out Oct. 3, based on the hit memoir by a British writer who goes to work for Vanity Fair.
Regarding her depression treatment at Utah’s Cirque Lodge:
“When you spend your entire life as a child actress, being told where to go and where to stand, you’re performing constantly for people. It definitely breeds the kind of person who’s dependent on other people’s approval. If I’d trusted myself and listened to myself all the times that I ignored myself, I would have been fine. But everyone has to learn their lesson, and now I’ve got it… I don’t want to go into too much detail because I give a quote and the it’s blogged about for the rest of my life on the Internet.”
On the Beatrice Inn being a favorite New York hangout:
“They keep people out who will write stuff and blog about it. But I’m not going to go there if what I do is written about. I’m very aware. I’m like an eagle eye. I’m not free as a bird (when I’m there) but I love to dance. And I literally have gone up to people and said, ‘Did you just take my picture?’ I have to protect myself.”
And rumors like the one linking her to Mac guy and Drew Barrymore ex Justin Long,
“They are the funniest thing on planet Earth. I don’t know him from Adam. I met him once and he and his friend were kind enough to walk me home. I’ve never seen him since.”
On her future:
“I can’t wait to have kids one day. I want to have kids and a farm with lots of animals on a lake.”
Angelina Jolie may be suffering from post-partum depression. 3-Question Scale for uncovering Postpartum Depression
Angelina Jolie may have some baby blues. Rumors are swirling that Angelina Jolie is overwhelmed and suffering from post-partum depression following the birth of twins Vivienne and Knox two months ago. The Enquirer is reporting that the twins suffer from colic, making for sleep-deprived nights for Jolie, who is also breastfeeding. In Touch is reporting that Jolie suffers mood swings. Throw in the other four kids, and, even life with Brad Pitt on a country estate in France can be a bit gloomy.
3-Question Scale for uncovering Postpartum Depression
A new study found that asking a new mother 3 simple questions as routine screening for postpartum depression may be just as effective as a longer survey.
Karolyn Kabir, MD, Department of Pediatrics, Colorado Adolescent Maternity Program, University of Colorado and Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado and colleagues asked 199 young women, aged 14 to 26 years, to complete the 10-question Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale during well-child visits to the paediatrician during the first 6 postpartum months. Three subscales of the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale were examined as ultrabrief alternatives: the anxiety subscale (3 items; Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale-3), the depressive symptoms subscale (7 items; Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale-7), and 2 questions that resemble the Patient Health Questionnaire (Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale-2).
The reliability, stability, and construct validity of the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale and 3 subscales were compared. Criterion validity was assessed by comparison with a score of >=10 on the full, 10-item Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale. Researchers found that answers to the 3 questions of the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale that focus on anxiety — a prominent feature of postpartum depression — identified 95% of depressed mothers. It also identified 16% more mothers as depressed than the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale did.
The performance of the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale-2 was markedly inferior, with sensitivity at 48% to 80%. Moreover, the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale-2 was unreliable for mothers who had not been depressed in the past. In clinical situations where a very short screening tool may be necessary, using the 3-item anxiety subscale of the Edinburgh PostpartumDepression Scale is a useful and brief screening tool for a primary healthcare setting in which the goal is to detect postpartum depression, not to assess its severity. The study is published in the September issue of Pediatrics.
In one of the biggest upsets at the Beijing Olympics, out diver Matthew Mitcham won a gold metal in the 10m platform. The Chinese were heavily favored in the event, and Mitcham was behind Zhou Luxin by about 35 points going into the final dive. But Mitcham hit an unbelievable score of 112.10 on his sixth and final dive to win by just over three points.
Los Angeles Times: “Not only did he quit diving, but he battled depression and then took a big step, coming out in an interview…”
“It’s absolutely surreal. I never thought that this would be possible,” Mitcham said. “I wasn’t even sure of my medal chances at all. After I did my last dive and I saw I was in first, I thought, “That’s it, it’s a silver medal, I am so happy with this’ and then I won. I can’t believe it, I’m so happy.” The win capped an amazing journey for Mitcham, who had quit diving two years ago battling depression and burnout.“Coming back and doing everything I did was to win an Olympic gold medal,” Mitcham said. “When I was training every single day, twice a day, eleven sessions a week, thirty hours a week before every single dive I said to myself; ‘I want to win an Olympic gold’. “It was all worth it.”
Mitcham’s win denied China a sweep of the men’s and women’s diving gold medals. On his final dive, Mitcham to decided to go for broke, attempting a routine with a high degree of difficulty — a back 2 1/2 somersault with 2 1/2 twists. He nailed it and scored a stunning 112.10 points, getting perfect 10s from four of the seven judges. The door to the gold was left open when the previous diver and leader, China’s Zhou Luxin, flubbed his last dive, a reverse 3-1/2 somersault in the tuck position. He got a quite low 74.80 score, which put Mitcham in front by only 4.8 points. How close was it? Zhou’s score on his last dive was seven points less than his second-lowest scoring dive of the round. In the crowd watching his day for ages were members of his family and friends and his partner, Lachlan. Mitcham celebrated, cried and laughed as the results were announced. Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times described the scene after: “Not only did he quit diving, but he battled depression and then took a big step, coming out in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald earlier this year. The first thing he did in the mixed zone with print journalists was hug the reporter who handled the story with particular sensitivity.”
“Being gay and diving are completely separate parts of my life,” he told journalists. “I’m happy with myself the way I am.” Exhausted, Mitcham let the moment sink in. “My cheeks hurt from smiling, my face hurts from the chlorine, my legs are sore from jumping up and down,” Mitcham said. “I’m in pain and I’m tired, but I’m so happy.”
NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel has issued an apology for his reporting team not mentioning on air that gold-medal diver Matthew Mitcham is gay and has a partner: “We regret that we missed the opportunity to tell Matthew Mitcham’s story. We apologize for this unintentional omission.”
Gay sporting website Outsports compiled the list of the gay athletes, which consists of nine lesbians and Mitcham, who has said that he just wants to be known as a good diver, not as a gay man, and that his homosexuality should not be an issue. “It’s everybody else who thinks it’s special when homosexuality and elite sport go together,” Mitcham said in the lead-up to Beijing. Mitcham, who grew up in Brisbane but now lives and trains in Sydney, recently talked to Who Magazine about being the first openly gay Australian to go to an Olympics.
Along with being a trailblazer for the gay community, Mitcham proved to be a model athlete after his 10m platform gold medal, giving interviews in fluent French and Mandarin.
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