Leave it to a Buckeye to conclude a study about how Facebook causes people to have lower GPA scores. It is pretty obvious that Facebook is a distraction but then again so is partying, TV, beer pong, playing sports, and anything else that college students do in their free time.

Ohio State University Aryn Karpinski student has announced a study that shows that people that use Facebook study less and have lower GPA scores. When Aryn reported this, FOX News and UPI jumped on pointing out Facebook as a culprit.

According to Aryn’s study of about 219 students, 148 Facebook users had a full grade point lower than those who don’t have Facebook. People that didn’t use Facebook reported that they study about 11-15 hours and those who had a Facebook account only studied 1-5 hours per week.

Keep in mind that there are now over 200 million active users on Facebook, many of them are medical students, lawyers, MBA students, PhD doctorates, entrepreneurs, and high school students with perfect SAT scores, etc. This is why I am taking the study conducted by the Ohio State doctorate student with a grain of salt.

Besides, undergraduate students at Ohio State are a small percentage of Facebook’s total user base. And of course they’ll spend a lot of time on Facebook, what else is there to do in Columbus, Ohio? Aryn should conduct the same study at The University of Michigan and Michigan State University. The results will be much different.

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Reference from Wall Street Journal

[Business & Finance]

Dow:7920 (-138)   NASDAQ 1625   Oil $49   Gold $890 (-$3.8)

Bank stocks fell on fading optimism for the secotr and overall economy.
Retails sales tumbled 1.1% last month. Bernanke, however, is optimistic about the economy’s prospect.

Intel’s computer sales “bottomed out” in Q1, net dropped 55%.

J.P Morgan & Wells Fargo and others are stepping up foreclosures on delinquent home-owners. That could futher depress home prices.

The U.S. is considering announcing the resultes of bank stress test to give investors a clear picture into lender.

Some big U.S. banks are getting around TARP restriction on the hiring of foreign workers by placing recruits in overseas offices.

Drug companies & hospitals are raising prices despite economic slump.

UBS & Ashmore will start a fund to by distressed emerging-maket assets, an example of a private venture to repair the markets.

eBay to spin off its Skype Web-calling business in an IPO (Initial Public Offering, first sale of stock by a private company to the public) next year rather than selling the unit.

Yahoo to cut a significant numbers of jobs as its new CEO Bartz seeks to turn the company around.

Chrysler Financial raised some of its lending rates to vehicle buyers more than 1%.

[World-wide]

N. Korea vowed to pull out of disarmament talks.

White House leaning toward keeping secret details allowed in CIA interrogations, despite calls to make the information public.

Pirates attacked three more cargo ships off the horn of Africa.

Reference from Wall Street Journal

[Business & Finance]

Dow Jones: 8083 Nasdaq: 1652 Oil: $52 Gold: $894

Banking institutions bolstered by capital infusions from government face intensified scrutiny from TARP’s oversight committee.

AIG’s financial products head said employee bonus may make wind-down of the unit more costly to taxpayers

Goldman Sachs is wrapping up $5.5b in commitment for a new fund to buy private-equity investments on the secondary market.

General Motors‘s plan for a brief stay in bankruptcy is likely to get challenged by bondholders who fear getting streamrolled.

Financial markets tied to environment have had mixed success. A market tied to greenhouse-gas emissions has doen better than one that rewards cuts in electricity.

Euro & US Dollar face volatility this week.

[World-wide]

US ship Captain Phillip was rescued from the pirates.

Thai protesters clashed with troops in Bangkok amid a state of emergecy and after ex-leader Thaksin threatened to lead a revolution.

UN Security Council to approve a statement condemining N.Korea’s recent rocket launch and enforcing sactions.

China pledged $25b to aid Southeast Asian economies, including an infrastructure fund, loans and credits.

Obama plans to tell Western hemispheres that US is willing to discuss how to improve relations with Cuba but with stipulations.

Pope Benedict XVI said in an Easter message reconciliations is the only way to resolve Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Election (1999) is a wonderful movie by Alexander Payne, adapted from the novel written by Tom Perotta. To be honest, I’m having a pretty good time with my Intro to Film class. If you get a chance to take one, I encourage you to do so. Not only does it help you to get familiar with some classics movies that people talk about all the time, all these great movies are popular for a reason – they are telling you something important, about life and how we should look at them.

There are a couple of major themes in the movie. Tracy Flick, who is an overachiever and tries to get as much attention as she can possibly get by taking up leadership roles in every possible clubs and organizations in her high school, strikes me the most. From time to time, we see such kind of person who tends to make everything perfect, works super-duper hard for her dreams and seems to be enjoying life a lot more than her counterparts. But what’s deep down there in their heart? The irony for Tracy is that, despite her active involvement in various activities and achievement in every field, she does not have real friends, and nobody signs on her yearbook, even though she is the editor creating the souvenir for the class. Achievers like her are lonely, because, on one hand, they tend to have some dictatorship tendencies and underestimate the values of slowing down and looking around the world. On the other hand, they don’t find it important to build a friendship/constructive relationship with others since they don’t share a common interest/ambition anyways. Tracy see little value in friends to help in her success. In other words, friends are only used as means to an end.

Let’s think about the “shining stars” in the entertainment industry or on Wall Street. Many are having a “great life” and earning big bucks. But among them, how many are truly enjoying themselves and not the slaves of a “golden handcuff” or materialism? What about us? What do we want to achieve? Where we are going? And most importantly, WHY? Is it going to do us good, or are we simply chasing an imagery oasis in a desert where we’ve already lost our way?

It was a very…unique, or out-of-the-box idea of Jimmy.

We sure had a very enjoyable conversation on different topics on the day before our final exam (guilty, thanks God we did not crash our finals) .  It was Jimmy’s idea to put all our thoughts and discussions into a blog. The idea itself was great – sharing our thoughts on international events with people around the world, providing there is someone actually read our blog and actually leave us a serious comment. Ok, too much wishful-thinkings.

This blog sure provide us a platform to organize our ideas and thoughts. Let’s see what happen after a couple of posts.

The idea just came back to me when I was taking a shower.

A couple of weeks ago, when Derek and I were pulling all-nighter for our POLI 3 final  (an International Relations class), we had such a good time just sitting there discussing history, politics, economics and all kinds of interesting topics. We could not help ourselves but keep talking about stuff that are not related to the exam for hours and hours – from human rights to Chinese history, from Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Finally we thought, “Wouldn’t it be great that we sit down every now and then and do something like this again!”

I thought even further that we could keep track of the topics that we cover in our discussions, create a blog to put them all together and share it with the world, if anyone is interested to looking at it. That’s a good way for us to keep going and to have some incentives to practice our writing.

Let’s see how far we get this time 🙂