OPINION NUGGETS; Pray and Be Happy

The Florida Times Union, December 22, 2007 | Go to article overview

OPINION NUGGETS; Pray and Be Happy


Looking for the happiest people in America?

Try firefighters and the clergy, followed closely by ticket agents, architects and special education teachers.

For the least happy by occupation, start with gas station attendants, followed by roofers.

Journalists are in the middle-unhappy range with soldiers, plumbers, physical therapists and preschool teachers.

So says Time magazine in an "America by the Numbers" special report.

Though Americans take a lot less vacation than other Western nations, 9 in 10 of us say we're pretty satisfied with our jobs. In fact, 1 in 4 people from age 65 to 74 are still working.

Other results from Time:

- One-third of households have just two people.

- The people who get the most sleep: those over 65 and teens (from 15 to 19).

- A warning: 13 percent of parents slept with their infants in 2000, up from 5.5 percent in 1993. That can be a risk factor for infant mortality.

- The average commute time in Jacksonville is 25 minutes; in Atlanta, it's 31 minutes; in New York City it's 34 minutes.

Time concludes that the average American has a balanced life. In fact, the average America lives 13 years longer than the average celebrity.

SEEKING 9B SOLUTIONS

St. Johns County's fledgling Florida 9B road project has taken a small, but important, step forward.

County Commissioner Tom Manuel had a "brainstorming" session this week with representatives of the Jacksonville City Council, the JTA and state Department of Transportation.

The JTA seemed at least receptive to his suggestion that it build the road - and be compensated, of course.

Also, Councilman Jack Webb promised to sponsor a resolution calling for that stretch of roadway to be designated an "emerging part of the state's Strategic Intermodel System," which would help it get funding.

Manuel plans to meet soon with state Rep. Dick Kravitz, to lobby for money.

St. Johns is a rapidly growing county, and its roadways are congested.

It's good to see Manuel and Webb look for innovative ways to get the project moving.

DISTURBING NEWS ON STD RATES

Sexually transmitted diseases "remain a major health challenge," the Centers for Disease Control announced.

The biggest impact can be seen among young adults and minorities, the CDC reported.

There are 19 million new infections each year, half among young people 15 to 24.

Direct medical costs are estimated at $14.7 billion.

The three major diseases:

- Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that is easily cured with antibiotics but can occur without symptoms and often goes undetected. It can cause serious health effects on women, such as ectopic pregnancy and infertility. Therefore, the CDC recommends annual screening for sexually active women under 26. …

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