According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driver inattention or distraction is responsible for an estimated 1.2 million crashes per year.

Does that automatically make you think of using your cell phone while driving? Then you'll be surprised to find cell phone use toward the bottom of the list of dangerous distractions. A recent survey conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA) Foundation for Traffic Safety, revealed the following most common driving distractions, in this order:


  1. Reaching, leaning
  2. Changing audio controls
  3. External distraction
  4. Conversing
  5. Eating/drinking/spilling
  6. Miscellaneous internal distractions
  7. Preparing to eat/drink
  8. Grooming
  9. Reading or writing
  10. Talking on a cell phone
  11. Dialing a cell phone
  12. Adult distraction
  13. Answering a cell phone
  14. Child distraction
  15. Baby distraction
  16. Smoking


Spam Leaves a Bad Taste

Annoyed by spam? You're not alone, and the effects of the spam epidemic have gone beyond mere annoyance.

"The huge increase in email spam in recent years is beginning to take its toll on the online world." These words lead the findings of a recent study by The Pew Internet & American Life Project, an impartial nonprofit organization that creates and funds academic-quality research on the impact of the Internet on our lives. The study continues:

"Some email users say they are using electronic mail less now because of spam. More people are reporting they trust the online environment less. Increasing numbers are saying that they fear they cannot retrieve the emails they need because of the flood of spam. They also worry that their important emails to others are not being read or received because the recipients' filters might screen them out or the emails might get lost in the rising tide of junk filling people's inboxes."

More than three-fourths of all Internet users surveyed complained about the offensive, obscene, deceptive and dishonest content of spam, with the largest group being the most put off by porn.

A new US law calls for an anti-spam registry, similar to the "Do Not Call" registry. It may be 2005 before we see that registry implemented, and there are questions about its potential efficacy, given that it will not govern spammers overseas. Reducing some of the spam will certainly be welcomed.




Decision-Making Skills You Learned in Kindergarten

Why struggle to make decisions at home and at work? Have fun and use the age-old decision-maker: "rock, paper, scissors."

And you don't have to do it alone; you can join the thousands who enjoy the growing sport of rock-paper-scissors. Think we're kidding? Vying for $7500 CDN, 320 competitors did just that at the 2003 Rock Paper Scissors International World Championships in Toronto, Canada on October 25.

Founded in London in 1842, the original Scissors Paper Stone Club was officially registered so that players could come together for sport and honor, and not be bound by a national law which stated that "any decision reached by the use of the process known as Paper Scissors Stone between two gentlemen acting in good faith shall constitute a binding contract. Agreements reached in this manner are subject to all relevant contract and tort law."

As the club grew to reflect more international participation and sophistication, so did its name; today it is known as the World RPS Society. It also moved its headquarters from England to Toronto, Canada in 1918. The official web history cites, "Despite the allied victory, the official reason for the move was, 'England is far too dangerous a place to make a suitable home country for a game of conflict resolution.' Canada was seen as an excellent choice, since it was seen as a 'safe, hospitable and utterly inoffensive nation, a part of the commonwealth, yet not inhabited by the descendants of criminals.'"

The World RPS Society is dedicated to the "promotion of Rock Paper Scissors as a fun and safe way to resolve disputes. We feel that conserving the roots of RPS is essential for the growth and develop ment of the game and the players."

You can practice your rock paper scissors skills with the Online Trainer at


What Makes Life Worth Living?

A new science called Positive Psychology is emerging, with more than 100 scientists collaborating to answer questions such as. "What helps people to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives?" Unlike classical psychology, which focuses on the goal of alleviating suffering, Positive Psychology focuses on understanding and fostering positive emotions.

At the individual level, Positive Psychology examines "character strengths, including the capacity for love and work, courage, compassion, resilience, hope, creativity, social skills, integrity, self-knowledge, impulse control, future-mindedness, and wisdom. At the level of community, it is about the civic virtues and the institutions that nurture better citizenship, such as responsibility, civility, parenting, work ethic, leadership, volunteerism, and tolerance."

Positive Psychology focuses on making the world a happier place, complementing clinical psychology's focus on making the world a less unhappy place.

Among the stated goals of Positive Psychology are to develop a science that supports "families and schools that allow children to flourish, workplaces that foster satisfaction and high productivity, and communities that encourage civic engagement."

The Positive Psychology Network is responsible for Optimism Interventions, a large-scale, long-term study showing that teaching adolescents and young adults how to live with optimism prevented depression and anxiety and improved physical health. In its Values-in-Action Classification Project, researchers apply the scientific method to studying the universal strengths and virtues of wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and spirituality.

The Positive Psychology Network is "founded on the belief that people want more than an end to suffering. People want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play. We have the opportunity to create a science and a profession that not only heals psychological damage but also builds strengths to enable people to achieve the best things in life."