April 22nd, 2024

Noteworthy: Quality time spent face to face crucial for youth mental health

By Bruce Penton on March 20, 2024.

The good news is that people identified as part of the Gen Z group (roughly aged 12 to 27) aren’t indulging in underage drinking as much as their predecessors, nor are there as many teen pregnancies. But there are troubles, thanks to electronics.

Gen Z kids are reportedly facing poorer mental health because they spend more time socializing online rather than in person. A recent online report said spending time with people releases chemicals in our brain that helps to boost our mood. So here’s a suggestion, Gen Z people: Don’t just chat with your buddies or girlfriends online. Make arrangements to hike on over to the local Tim Hortons for a coffee and an in-person chat. You and your mental health will be better for it.

• People who follow golf will be aware of the Saudi Arabian LIV Tour siphoning off some of the best players from the PGA Tour (Jon Rahm, Cam Smith, Brooks Koepka, Joaquin Niemann, for four) and where the pro game is headed is up in the air. But one thing is certain: While LIV may be grabbing a bunch of great players, its impact is minimal: This is from Fried Egg Golf, an online site that goes behind the scenes of the pro game: “LIV Jeddah (tournament) felt as pointless as you’d think, with a bunch of money changing hands in the middle of a barren desert course populated by the players, a scattering of LIV employees, and seemingly no one else. The team aspect has often yielded only ancillary, drama-free side games.”

Meanwhile, a number of rookies/no-names have been racking up wins on the PGA Tour, which may result in LIV gaining ground as the months go by. The cream has lately been rising to the top on the PGA Tour, though. Scottie Scheffler, ranked No. 1 in the world, has won the last two events.

• Unless Tigers’ Gavin McKenna explodes for eight points in his final two games this weekend, he’s going to fall short of 100 points, but his 92-point season to date is still amazing for his young age. Everyone ahead of the Whitehorse native in the WHL scoring race is older than McKenna, who didn’t turn 16 until last December. McKenna leads the Tigers in scoring – a rarity for a 16-year-old in the WHL – and is a bona fide superstar. Medicine Hat fans should not eschew opportunities to see this young talent, because as soon as he’s eligible, he’ll likely be NHL-bound, a la Connor Bedard at age 18.

• ‘Pi’ day, March 14, or 3/14, was last Thursday, but our house commemorates Pi day as ‘Pie’ Day, which means somebody sent me to our favourite grocery story for a pumpkin pie. “And don’t forget the Cool Whip for the pie,” was the directive I received. But then the circle of supply and availability took over. After everyone had a serving of delicious pie, there was half a tub of Cool Whip left over, so the obvious solution to this dilemma was to purchase another pie so the Cool Whip could be used up. But then we ran short of Cool Whip with the second pumpkin pie, so that may have necessitated another trip to the store for more Cool Whip and … around and around it would go. Three pies and two tubs of whip is our dubious record.

• Short Snappers: Craig Wilson, a Hatter who works for CBS News in New York, has been nominated for another Writers’ Guild of America award, reports his proud mother, Colleen. Craig is a three-time Emmy Award winner and twice has won Writers’ Guild of America awards, so he’s going for the Writers’ Guild hat trick. …The worst job in the world today must be done by the people in charge of promoting tourism in Haiti. … Is Naheed Nenshi the favourite to win the NDP leadership? If the vote was based on name recognition, Vegas oddsmakers would probably have the former Calgary mayor as the candidate to beat. … A celebration of life for the late Bill Wahl, Medicine Hat’s concert conductor extraordinaire, will be held March 30 at 1 p.m. at the Cypress Centre. Naturally, there will be music by local musicians. … Nice to see golfers actually playing golf at Paradise Valley last week. Desert Blume’s driving range was open last week, but the course is still a few days (and a few degrees of warmth) away from starting the 2024 season. … Did you know the Ewart Duggan house by the Esplanade is the oldest brick residence in Alberta?

Bruce Penton is a retired News editor who may be reached at brucepenton2003@yahoo.ca

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