Your Comments: Mixed martial arts and digital devices
Mixed martial arts fighters run the risk of severe injury and head trauma, the Canadian Medical Association says. (Denis Poroy/Associated Press)
Mixed martial arts: Should it be banned?
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has called for a ban against mixed martial arts, about one week after the Ontario government announced it would sanction the combat sport in 2011.
Mixed martial arts (MMA), sometimes referred to as ultimate fighting, incorporates several styles of fighting including boxing, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling.
The CMA, which has also spoken out against boxing, says the sport is dangerous because the fighters are at risk of sustaining lifelong injuries and head trauma.
MMA is currently allowed in seven provinces and 44 U.S. states.
We asked readers whether MMA should be banned in Canada. As of 2 p.m. ET Friday, more than 300 votes were cast. Almost 60 per cent of respondents said MMA events should be allowed.
Commenter geebertheape argued that modern mixed martial arts has more rules in place, which makes it much safer than the no-holds-barred contests of the early 1990s.
"There are special trained referees for every single match. They are there to protect the health and safety of the fighters. These referees will halt the match the moment the fighter is in danger. There are doctors and paramedics on site for every sanctioned event.
There should not be an issue. These are adults who KNOW what they are signing up for. We are talking about grown men and women participating in a sport they love ... It is silly there is even a debate about allowing this in Canada."
Catherine Saunders Bates is not a fan of the sport, but said via Facebook that banning it would be unfair to the people that want to do it. "I'll defend [the fighters] as much as I can because they should do with their bodies as they like within the context of this sport, the rules and effects are known to EVERY participant."
Iaian Ross said the CMA shouldn't single out MMA because there's a potential risk for severe injury in almost every sport. "The CMA's job is to report and advise on actual medical problems, not to recommend laws based on perceived possibilities."
Commenter Robert7 disagreed with banning MMA and said people uncomfortable with it should simply pay no attention. "This debate is ridiculous. Nobody is forcing anyone to engage in or watch this sport."
Most readers who want to see MMA banned in Canada argued that it's just too violent and dangerous.
"This shouldn't only be banned in Canada it should be banned internationally," Flukester wrote. "Is there not enough violence in this world that we now have a blood sport people make money at? It's not a matter of turning off the TV, switching channels. It's the common sense of it, period. It's stupid and it's senselessly violent."
Kensington Smyth, the 23rd is a fan of amateur and professional boxing, but believes MMA should be barred because MMA fighters are even more at risk of sustaining serious injuries. "The problem with mixed martial arts is that it combines a menu of low-end martial art skills with various forms of boxing and wrestling thrown in to liven up the performance. Under these terms, the human body becomes subject to some very brutal conditions that could result in head trauma, cardiac arrest, and spinal cord injuries."
What do you think? Should MMA be banned in Canada?
Digital devices: How much time do you spend on them?
New research suggests overusing digital devices deprives our brain of needed downtime to learn and process information and come up with new ideas, the New York Times reported.
Scientists at the University of California, San Francisco, found that when rats have a new experience, like exploring an unfamiliar area, their brains show new patterns of activity. But only when the rats take a break from their exploration do they process and solidify those patterns, creating a long-term and permanent memory of the experience.
Researchers suspect the same holds true for how humans learn, and some are concerned that when people spend every free moment tuned in to their digital devices, such as cellphones, MP3 players and laptops, they might be taxing their brains.
We wanted to know how much time you spent each day using digital devices. As of 2 p.m. ET Friday, more than 700 votes were cast. More than 40 per cent of respondents said they spent more than 10 hours each day using digital devices. A little more than one-third of people spent five to nine hours, while about 20 per cent spent one to four hours.
Most readers agreed that spending too much time on cellphones or laptops wasn't good for people physically or mentally.
"It seems intuitive for the body to need time to recharge after it's been used," 5angles wrote. "Sensation is only meaningful in contrast to sensory deprivation. Listening to music starts to irritate the ears and becomes noise if there are no moments of silence. A barrage of information without time for contemplation has the same callousing effect."
Crystalinbc is concerned about relying on digital devices too much. "I always thought that those who always needed to have their phone or computer or email or Facebook were crazy. But I am slowly coming to the realization that I am one of them! Do I like it? No. Am I willing to change it? No. It does scare me. What happens if a power outage hits, or the 'big one'? I had to think how to use an old-fashioned phone book the other day. I think it is important to embrace technology, but to also be able to fend for yourself."
Commenter rubenoso believes that digital devices are essential in the modern world. "I feel that those who embrace technology and use it more often are training for the future of business, social interaction, and way of life. If you're one of the 'not on the Facebook' or 'don't have one of those computery phones' type of people, you don't stand a chance of remaining relevant."
Some readers said stepping away from technology from time to time is important and could even help with productivity.
"I do a bit of computer programming," wrote ACommonTater. "Reading this article, I got thinking about the problems I've solved over the years and it hit me ... The solutions to most of my coding quandaries usually come shortly after I get up from the computer to take a break."
What do you think? Do you spend too much time on digital devices?
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