Some North Idaho students could get a rare, and rather uncomfortable, lesson in First Amendment rights when a group of anti-abortion protesters greet them Monday morning as the students make their way to school.
This morning's Coeur d'Alene Press reports that officials with Coeur d'Alene High School have alerted parents that members of a group calling itself the Abolitionist Society of North Idaho are planning an "initiative" this coming week on the city of Coeur d'Alene's public right-of-way in front of the school.
According to the letter to parents, "The group's intention is to engage with high-school students and provide anti-abortion information. It is not the role of our school district to take a stance on this issue, but it is our job to protect freedom of expression/free speech and primarily, to protect our students and their learning environment."
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the Coeur d'Alene Police Department said their role will be to ensure that the anti-abortion protesters abide by city ordinances and stay off of school property.
Students are being asked to refrain from the demonstrators and to "exhibit respectful behavior as this group exercises its right to free speech," according to the letter to parents.
Maybe the SATs should be held at coffee shops.
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University say 200 milligrams of caffeine may improve the brain's ability to consolidate memories.
The study, just published in Nature Neuroscience, showed a series of everyday objects to 160 participants, and were then given either a 200-milligram caffeine pill — the equivalent of a strong cup of coffee — or a placebo.
Twenty-four hours later they were shown another set of images and asked to identify the ones they had seen the day before. The tricky part was that some of the pictures were slightly different.
The results showed that the people who took the caffeine pill were better than their noncaffeinated counterparts at identifying the images that were similar but not the same as the ones they had seen the previous day.
The research is important because it shows “for the first time a specific effect of caffeine on reducing forgetting over 24 hours,” according to researchers.
But the quantity of caffeine is important, the researchers said. More than 200 milligram of caffeine and the brain might be too agitated to consolidate memories. Too little and there may be no effect at all.
For more on the study, check out this interview from Johns Hopkins University:
While a moderate amount of coffee has been found to be beneficial—credited with everything from preventing depression to boosting weight loss—new research indicates that too much coffee can increase the risk of early death in young people. In fact, researchers found that drinking more than four cups of coffee a day increased the risk of premature death by 21 percent. If you're under the age of 55, that increased risk jumps to 50 percent.
The study notes that a cup of coffee is 6 to 8 ounces. Most Americans drink about three of those a day.
"From our study, it seems safe to drink one to three cups of coffee a day," said study co-author Xuemei Sui, assistant professor of exercise science with the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. "But more than four cups of coffee a day may endanger health."
Order a cup of French Roast at Starbucks and baristas will still leave some room for cream and sugar, but there's no more room for smoking outside of the coffee house chain.
Beginning today, Starbucks is banning smoking within 25 feet of its stores in the U.S. and Canada, where the law allows. That impacts the majority of Starbucks' stores. A company representative estimated that it will be in effect at about 7,000 outlets. The rule won't apply to Starbucks which are housed in other stores.
The policy only applies to seating areas and other company property around its stores.
And if you can legally smoke in the streets of the city—for example Garden City—there's nothing Starbucks can do to prevent you from lighting up.
"If it's public space and something we do not have control of, and the law allows it [smoking] then we can't enforce it," said spokeswoman Jaime Lynn Riley.
Joining the highly caffeinated marketplace of five-hour energy drinks, sodas that offer big jolts and the traditional cup of coffee, Wrigley—the world's largest gum producer—announced plans March 8 to start selling caffeinated chewing gum next month.
While it's not the first caffeinated gum, Alert Energy will be the first to be widely distributed in the nation's convenience stores, supermarkets and mass retailers.
One piece is equal to about a half cup of coffee or a 16-ounce soda.
The Wall Street Journal reports that some health experts aren't sweet on the idea, but Wrigley says the gum will bear a warning label and cost $3 a pack—about twice as much as regular gum.
It also has a bitter, medicinal flavor.
"If you come at this as a piece of gum that you chew for enjoyment, it's not going to deliver on that," Wrigley President Casey Keller told the Journal. "Kids won't like the taste."
The Center for Science in the Public Interest blasted the idea and decried the growing proliferation of caffeinated foods and drinks.
"It doesn't seem like a good idea," said Roland Griffins, a professor at Johns Hopkins medical school. "To the extent that this makes caffeine more readily available to children, it's a potential concern."
Illinois Republican Rep. Joe Walsh may want to try a little decaf at his next coffee meeting with constituents. Last weekend, he seemed to have gone slightly overboard on the java. Interestingly enough, after his tirade, he shouted, "I need more coffee!"
"Of course, coffee shop affiliations can be a touchy topic. While numerous sources reported that Otter was once a frequent visitor [at Dawson], Hanian was quick to deny that the governor was doing any caffeinated flip-flopping."Ledgard's customers--Dawson has a distinctive group of regulars--had urged him for some time to confront the governor over his choice of Spokane-based Hammer, which has nine shops in Washington and Idaho. And last week he did, approaching the governor as he left the shop.
The “Buy Idaho” message is simple but profound: Doing business with the family helps us all. That was the idea 20 years ago when I helped found Buy Idaho, and it’s still the idea today.