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OPINION
July 20, 2013 | By Scott Barry Kaufman
What does it mean to be gifted in the United States? A national survey in 2011 found that the predominant method of assessment, by far, is the administration of IQ tests and standardized academic tests. At least 34 states, including California, consider such tests an indication of giftedness; they are mandated by at least 16 states. In contrast, only nine states require the use of tests that measure "creativity" and even fewer require the assessment of leadership, motivation or a talent for the performing arts.
ARTICLES BY DATE
OPINION
March 9, 2014 | By Christopher Chabris and Jonathan Wai
Laszlo Bock, the head of human resources at Google, made quite a splash with his announcement last year that the technology firm has changed the way it hires people. Gone are the brainteaser-style interview questions that so many candidates abhorred. But also gone, it would seem, is any concern with discovering how smart applicants really are. "GPAs are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless.... We found that they don't predict anything," Bock told the New York Times.
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OPINION
January 26, 2013
Re "Patt Morrison Asks: Raul Ruiz, an Rx for D.C.," Opinion, Jan. 23 It was heartening to read the transcript of newly elected Rep. Raul Ruiz's (D-Palm Desert) interview with Patt Morrison. Although Ruiz's academic credentials and medical background are impressive, his intelligent and perceptive answers are reassuring. Regardless of party affiliation, one can only wish that more like him are called to public service and that he doesn't get trapped in the seeming quagmire that congressional partisan politics have become.
OPINION
February 28, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
On Monday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments about a Florida man, Freddie Lee Hall, who faces execution for a 1978 murder. Hall is intellectually incapable of understanding the arguments, but the state of Florida says that it has the right to execute him nevertheless, in a case that spotlights both the barbarity and the absurdity of the death penalty. This page has a long history of opposing capital punishment on the grounds of morality, overwhelming evidence of its misapplication and public expense, among other things.
OPINION
September 12, 1999
Re "Scientists Create Smarter Mice by Adding Gene," Sept. 2: As a high-IQ, perfect-SAT, National Merit scholar, wife of a chess master and mother of two "highly gifted" teenage sons, I can tell you precisely what you will get with a population of super-IQ humans. You will get people who are much too interested in the movements of stars or chess pieces, or the relationships between prehistoric creatures or of prime numbers, to take any interest in money, politics, business, conquest, or any of the usual human concerns.
NEWS
October 19, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
IQ, or intelligence quotient, has been thought to be unchanging over the course of a lifetime.   But researchers with the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at University College London have found that IQ can rise and fall in teenagers.  Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, they showed that ups and downs in verbal and nonverbal IQ correlated with changes in brain structure.   The team's study was released Wednesday by the journal Nature. Professor Cathy Price and colleagues administered IQ tests and MRI scans to 33 healthy teens -- the first time in 2004, when the kids were 12 to 16 years old, and then a second time in 2007-08, when they were age 15 to 20. They found changes in individual subjects' performance on the tests, with verbal IQ, nonverbal IQ and composite IQ fluctuating up or down, in some cases around 20 points.  In all, 39% of the sample had a change in verbal IQ, 21% in nonverbal IQ and 33% in composite IQ. Studying the MRI scans, the team discovered that changes in verbal IQ tracked changes in gray matter density and volume in a portion of the left motor cortex that is activated by speech.  Changes in nonverbal IQ were correlated with gray matter density in the anterior cerebellum, which is associated with hand movement.
SCIENCE
October 3, 2012 | By Jon Bardin
The children of mothers who have hypertension during pregnancy score lower on IQ tests 20 and 68 years after birth, according to a new study. The report, published Wednesday in the journal Neurology, is the first to draw a connection between high blood pressure during pregnancy and adult intelligence. Hypertension during pregnancy has been linked to premature birth and small body size, which in turn have been connected to deficits in cognitive abilities. But hypertension itself had yet to be connected directly to intelligence, a gap this study attempts to fill in. The research, conducted in Finland, used data collected as part of a survey called the Helsinki Birth Cohort.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 28, 2013 | By Jack Leonard, Los Angeles Times
A teenager charged with killing his girlfriend's mother and stepfather at their Compton mobile home has an "extremely low" IQ that is consistent with being mentally retarded, an expert testified Tuesday. Giovanni Gallardo, now 18, had an IQ of 57 when he was evaluated after the killings, placing him within the range of mild to moderate retardation, Dr. Deborah S. Miora, a clinical and forensic neuropsychologist, told the court. Prosecutors say Gallardo and his girlfriend killed the adults and later went to stores to purchase supplies for a Halloween party while one of the dead victims was in the back of the Jeep they were driving.
NEWS
April 21, 2011 | By Marissa Cevallos, HealthKey
Pesticides on fruits and vegetables may be harmful to a developing fetus — slightly. Children whose mothers were exposed to low doses of a specific class of pesticides may have a slightly lower IQ in later childhood, three new studies suggest. The new research found children had a slightly lower IQ by age 7 if their mothers, mostly low-income and mostly Latina and black, had higher-than-average exposure in pregnancy to organophosphates, pesticides farmers still sometimes spray on fruits and vegetables.
OPINION
May 13, 2007
Re "Death row's IQ divide," Opinion, May 8 Sara Catania misapplies the concept of IQ. The people on death row are there not for a deficiency in intelligence but a deficiency in moral sense. People generally learn right from wrong at an early age, and virtually all know at least by age 7 that killing people or stealing is wrong. It is not at all apparent from Catania's writing why Jorge Junior Vidal, who "has a hard time understanding English or Spanish and struggles with routine tasks," should not be executed for torture and murder.
SCIENCE
August 30, 2013 | By Amina Khan
Whether you're a New Jersey mall rat or a farmer in India, being poor can sap your smarts. In fact, the mental energy required to make do with scarce resources taxes the brain so much that it can perpetuate the cycle of poverty, new research shows. The findings, published in Friday's edition of the journal Science, indicate that an urgent need - making rent, getting money for food - tugs at the attention so much that it can reduce the brainpower of anyone who experiences it, regardless of innate intelligence or personality.
OPINION
July 20, 2013 | By Scott Barry Kaufman
What does it mean to be gifted in the United States? A national survey in 2011 found that the predominant method of assessment, by far, is the administration of IQ tests and standardized academic tests. At least 34 states, including California, consider such tests an indication of giftedness; they are mandated by at least 16 states. In contrast, only nine states require the use of tests that measure "creativity" and even fewer require the assessment of leadership, motivation or a talent for the performing arts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 28, 2013 | By Jack Leonard, Los Angeles Times
A teenager charged with killing his girlfriend's mother and stepfather at their Compton mobile home has an "extremely low" IQ that is consistent with being mentally retarded, an expert testified Tuesday. Giovanni Gallardo, now 18, had an IQ of 57 when he was evaluated after the killings, placing him within the range of mild to moderate retardation, Dr. Deborah S. Miora, a clinical and forensic neuropsychologist, told the court. Prosecutors say Gallardo and his girlfriend killed the adults and later went to stores to purchase supplies for a Halloween party while one of the dead victims was in the back of the Jeep they were driving.
NATIONAL
March 5, 2013 | Tina Susman
The MIT students were stumped, or as stumped as a group of young adults with SAT scores dwarfing the average mortgage payment could be when faced with the question: Is it ever acceptable to dunk? Quiet settled over the roomful of round tables, where not a backward cap, gum-chomping jaw nor buzzing, bleeping or chirping cellphone was to be seen. A young woman's voice emerged from the back with the answer that etiquette expert Dawn Bryan was hoping to hear: "Basically, you don't dunk unless it's biscotti.
OPINION
January 26, 2013
Re "Patt Morrison Asks: Raul Ruiz, an Rx for D.C.," Opinion, Jan. 23 It was heartening to read the transcript of newly elected Rep. Raul Ruiz's (D-Palm Desert) interview with Patt Morrison. Although Ruiz's academic credentials and medical background are impressive, his intelligent and perceptive answers are reassuring. Regardless of party affiliation, one can only wish that more like him are called to public service and that he doesn't get trapped in the seeming quagmire that congressional partisan politics have become.
NEWS
January 15, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
In late August, baby boomers (and others whose teen years were spent in a haze of marijuana smoke) seemed to get the comeuppance they had long feared: A study suggested that early and frequent pot smoking resulted in depressed intelligence scores well into adulthood. But a new analysis suggests that in assigning blame for the lower IQ scores they found, the authors of that study may themselves have gotten caught in a haze of confusion. Social and economic disadvantage in youth -- a factor that predisposes kids to early marijuana use as well as to adult lives that suppress intelligence scores -- may explain the earlier findings, asserts a Norwegian economist writing this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
BUSINESS
October 26, 2011 | By David Undercoffler, Los Angeles Times
When thinking about the all-new iQ microcar's origins, imagine engineers at Scion and parent company Toyota Motor Corp. grabbing a shrink ray and going to work downsizing a normal-size hatchback. They shrank the engine; they shrank the cargo space; they shrank the overall footprint. Then the ray went missing, and they were never able to shrink the price. The result is a tiny get-about that surprises you with its charm and livability but also with a sticker price of more than $20,000 for the loaded version I tested.
OPINION
November 30, 2008
Re "An unfair litmus test," editorial, Nov. 24 Your editorial says that early opposition to the Iraq war should not be a litmus test for appointees in the Obama administration. However, as a test for national security competence and understanding, a nominee's stance on the Iraq war is telling. You mention the litany of excuses one might have for having gone along with the Bush administration in its rush to war, but they all miss the point: This war was an avoidable mistake. More than that, as a response to the threat that reared its head on 9/11, invading Iraq was totally irrational.
NEWS
December 18, 2012 | By Claire Noland
One of them recorded an iconic pop song about Santa Claus, and then died on Christmas Day. Another made certain that Ralphie got his coveted Red Ryder BB gun in the movie “A Christmas Story.” Still another was a modern-day incarnation of Kris Kringle walking through skid row in downtown Los Angeles and handing out money to startled down-and-outers. A number of notable figures with strong ties to Christmas have been featured in Los Angeles Times news obituaries in the last 25 years or so. Here is a quiz to test your knowledge of newsmakers with Christmas legacies.
WORLD
December 4, 2012 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Alexandra Sandels, Los Angeles Times
TEHRAN - His son is named after the river born where the Tigris and Euphrates meet. His wife once complained that he loved a rare species of yellow deer more than her. His realm runs from sprawling salt deserts to the snowcapped peaks of the Zagros Mountains, from southern marshes along the Persian Gulf to damp northern forests known as the "cloud jungle. " Mohammad Darvish, 47, is Iran's green gladiator, engaged in a quixotic, often lonesome quest to elevate his homeland's environmental IQ. In a nation where security and economic concerns overshadow threats to a varied and fragile ecosystem, he even dares to oppose nuclear power, sacrosanct to Iran's leaders.
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