NRA president Ollie North partially blames school shootings on Ritalin

On Fox News Sunday, the National Rifle Association's incoming president Oliver North partially blamed the increase in school shootings on the ADHD medication Ritalin:

"The problem that we've got is, we're trying like the dickens to treat the symptom without treating the disease, and the disease in this case isn't the Second Amendment; the disease is youngsters who are steeped in a culture of violence. They've been drugged in many cases. Nearly all of these perpetrators are male, and they're young teenagers in most cases, and they've come through a culture where violence is commonplace. Many of these young boys have been on Ritalin since they were in kindergarten. Now, I am certainly not a doctor, I'm a Marine, but I can see those kinds of things happening."

Over at CNN, psychology professor George DuPaul of Lehigh University counters North's bullshit:

"No, there is no evidence of that. In fact, if anything, there's stronger evidence that Ritalin and other medications that are used to treat ADHD would reduce violence and aggressive behavior."

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A smartphone-shaped fidget-gadget to soothe your instinctive need for stimulus

Viennese artist Klemens Schillinger created these "Substitute Phones" as fidget toys with kinetic worry-beads that you can stroke and fondle when your conditioned reflex to reach for a distraction rectangle kicks in; the beads are set in channels that allow you to replicate smart-phone gestures like unlock, swipe right, and pinch-zoom. (via Red Ferret) Read the rest

The Bathgate Ratchet, a clicky, machined fidget-toy that works like a socket wrench

For the past year, sculptor machinist Chris Bathgate has been designing a series of handheld, kinetic fidget toys, starting with a "slider" and then a top, a worry stone, a spinner, and a netsuke. Read the rest

Embrace chaos by making your own double pendulum fidget spinner

If the novelty of holding an elaborate bearing (possibly connected to some motion-sensitive LEDs) is wearing thin, have no fear: with a 3D printer and a little ingenuity, you can make your own double-pendulum fidget spinner, a chaotic system that is intensely sensitive to initial conditions, such that it becomes very hard to predict the motion of the pendulum when you set it to swinging. Read the rest

Fidget spinners, a brief video history

"Engaging in fine motor activity may assist students with ADHD in resisting the pull of distraction."

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