TIME Family

Study: Less-Structured Time Correlates to Kids’ Success

Research found that young children who spend more time engaging in more open-ended, free-flowing activities display higher levels of executive functioning, and vice versa

Parents, drop your planners—a new psychological study released Tuesday found that children with less-structured time are likely to show more “self-directed executive functioning,” otherwise known as the “cognitive processes that regulate thought and action in support of goal-oriented behavior.”

Doctoral and undergraduate researchers at University of Colorado, Boulder, followed 70 children ranging from six to seven years old, measuring their activities. A pre-determined classification system categorized activities as physical or non-physical, structured and unstructured.

The resulting study, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, was led by Yuko Munakata, a professor in the psychology and neuroscience department at the university. Munakata measured self-directed executive functioning using a verbal fluency test, “a standard measure on how well people can organize direct actions on their own,” she said.

The test asked children to name as elements in a particular category, like animals, as they could. “An organized person will group the animals together, listing farm animals, then move on to the next grouping,” Munakata said. “An unorganized person will say ‘cat, dog, mouse’,” providing a disconnected list of animals, inhibiting further recollection.

The results indicated that children who spend more time engaging in less-structured activities display higher levels of executive functioning. The converse also proved true: Children in more structured activities displayed lower executive functioning abilities.

“Executive function is extremely important for children,” Munakata told EurekAlert!. “It helps them in all kinds of ways throughout their daily lives, from flexibly switching between different activities rather than getting stuck on one thing, to stopping themselves from yelling when angry, to delaying gratification. Executive function during childhood also predicts important outcomes, like academic performance, health, wealth and criminality, years and even decades later.”

Munakata added a disclaimer that the study merely proves correlation, not causation. “Right now we don’t know if kids self-directed executive functioning are shaping their time, or if their activities are shaping self-directed executive functioning.”

Causation is the next piece of the puzzle, and will undoubtedly be the focus of a future longitudinal study. Until then, parents looking for the perfect balance for their kids have something else to chew on.

TIME relationships

Taylor Swift and Barefoot Contessa Diss Men Who Go on Diets

The effervescent singer and the culinary star discuss boys and food (what else?) in the Barefoot Contessa kitchen

Taylor Swift joined her ‘hero’ Ina Garten in a Food Network Magazine’s special issue that paired up culinary stars with their musician friends. The affection is mutual; Swift owns the complete collection of the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks, and Garten owns all of the country-pop singer’s albums.

Barefoot Contessa and the Nashville native laughed about dieting over mustard-roasted fish, berry-topped pavlova, and Ina’s favorite drink — Whiskey sours. Their mutual love of food was evident.

“I’ll cook for these boys, and they’ll be like, ‘I’m on a diet’,” the singer says, “I’m like, ‘I can’t hang out with you.'”



TIME world cup 2014

WATCH: Twitter Exploded After Team USA’s Brooks Blasted Game-Winning Goal

Watch Twitter light up after Brooks put one past Ghana's keeper

U.S. soccer fans showed their support on Twitter Monday night after John Brooks’ game-winning header against Ghana. The tweet explosion helps support that the 2014 FIFA World Cup will be the most-tweeted event ever.


Midfielder Graham Zusi served up a beautiful cross from a corner kick, giving rookie Brooks the opportune moment to make his first international goal.


Game of Thrones Finale Had Millions More Viewers Than Last Year


"Game of Thrones" captivates viewers, beating previous season ratings.

Game of Thrones, HBO’s most-watched series to date, is flogging its own ratings records.

Sunday’s Thrones finale had a 32% viewership increase from last season’s final episode — a total of 7.1 million watchers tuned in to Sunday’s season-ender, compared to the 5.4 million who tuned in at the end of last season. After HBO aired Sunday’s finale two more times, it reached a total of 9.3 million viewers.

The current season — season four — averaged a total audience of 18.6 million across all episodes, up 29% from season three.



You Can Now Use PayPal to Buy and Sell Stuff in 203 Countries

PayPal hopes to ease online transactions in fraudulent countries

Internet payment company PayPal is opening for business in 10 new countries this week, bringing the total number in which it operates to 203.

PayPal is expanding into the following countries: Belarus, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Monaco, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe, Paraguay and Nigeria. The latter has the largest potential marketplace for PayPal with 60 million Internet users, according to measurements by Euromonitor International.

PayPal will not introduce all its services at once in the new countries. PayPal executive Rupert Keeley told Reuters the company will only launch the “send money” feature at first, which allows consumers to make online payments to pre-approved merchant sites. The service will not enable payments to local merchants, but Keeley believes that PayPal can still “give our sellers selling into this market a great deal of reassurance.”

The eBay-owned e-commerce company also hopes to increase the number of secure Internet transactions in countries fraught with fraudulence, Reuters reports.



TIME health

World Cup Refs Run 6 Miles Per Game

Assistant referee Toshiyuki Nagi, referee Yuichi Nishimura and assistant referee Toru Sagara of Japan walk on the field at the end of the match during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014 in Sao Paulo.
Elsa—Getty Images Assistant referee Toshiyuki Nagi, referee Yuichi Nishimura and assistant referee Toru Sagara of Japan walk on the field at the end of the match during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014 in Sao Paulo.

Referees rack up the mileage when officiating a soccer match

Updated: June 13, 7:17 a.m. ET

With the FIFA World Cup 2014 now in play, pretty much all the attention is on the greats and the underdogs and the scandals. But what about the refs? In addition to making tough, often unpopular calls, they are undercover athletes, running as much as 6 miles per game to keep up with the ball, Runner’s World reports.

For the 90 minute games, a referee must stay at least 20 yards from the ball at all times, and with the best soccer players in the world on the field, that adds up to a lot of ball chasing. “The closer we are to the ball, the more credibility we have in our decisions,” Greiger, 39, told the running enthusiast website. He is the first American referee to officiate a World Cup game since 2002.

That means refs need to train—hard. The Professional Referee Organization (PRO), which Geiger is part of, has high standard for its refs, pairing them with trainers who lead them in high intensity interval workouts and analyze their “strength levels, explosive levels, [and] aerobic levels,” according to Runner’s World. And before referees even reach the World Cup pitch, they must complete FIFA’s required fitness test.

Maybe during this year’s World Cup, viewers will think about walking a mile in the referees shoes—or six.

TIME Crime

Where Are They Now? The OJ Trial’s Key Figures, 20 Years On

Twenty years after the most publicized trial of the century—what are the key figures doing now?

Twenty years ago Thursday, the bodies of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were discovered at her Los Angeles home. Former NFL star OJ Simpson was charged with his ex-wife’s murder, and the resulting televised trial gripped the nation. Simpson was controversially acquitted of all murder charges in Oct. 1995 — a verdict that still reverberates, some two decades later. Here’s a look at where the main players in the OJ trial are today:

OJ Simpson
Involvement in the case: The man accused of the killings.
Where are they now: Simpson, 66, was convicted in 2008 of armed robbery and kidnapping over the theft of memorabilia from a Las Vegas hotel room. He was sentenced to 33 years in jail, and his request for a new trial was vetoed in 2013. He remains in state prison.

Robert Kardashian
Involvement in the case: The father of Kim, Kourtney and Khloe, Robert Kardashian was a lawyer and friend of OJ Simpson. Simpson sent him a message protesting his innocence shortly before he attempted to flee the LAPD in a white Ford Bronco, which Kardashian made public. He was also on Simpson’s legal team.
Where are they now: Robert Kardashian died in 2003 of esophageal cancer at 59.

Judge Lance Ito
Involvement in the case: The judge who presided over the trial, and was criticized for allowing television cameras inside the courtroom.
Where are they now: Ito remains on the Los Angeles Superior Court bench and has presided over at least 500 cases since the Simpson trial, Associated Press reports.

Marcia Clark
Involvement in the case: The chief prosecutor.
Where are they now: Clark stopped practicing law after the Simpson trial, but her 1998 memoir Without a Doubt—in which she criticized the justice system that allowed Simpson to walk free—reportedly netted her $4 million.

Johnnie Cochran Jr.
Involvement in the case: Simpson’s colorful lead attorney, whose courtroom quip about a bloodstained leather glove found in Simpson’s home — “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit”— became a heavily-quoted catchphrase.
Where are they now: Cochran died of brain cancer in 2005 aged 67, but not before defending a host of other celebrities including Michael Jackson, Tupac Shakur and Sean “P Diddy” Combs.

Mark Fuhrman
Involvement in the case: The LAPD detective who found a glove with traces of Brown’s DNA in Simpson’s home, and whose use of racial slurs on a tape recorded some ten years prior to the case allowed Simpson’s team to portray him as an unreliable witness.
Where are they now: Fuhrman is currently a forensic and crime scene expert for the Fox News Channel and is the radio host of “The Mark Fuhrman Show” in Spokane, Wash.

Kato Kaelin
Involvement in the case: The actor lived in a bungalow on Simpson’s property at the time of the murders, and was a key witness in the trial. At the time, he said Simpson had no obvious cuts or injuries on the night of the murders.
Were are they now: Kaelin used his new-found fame from the trial to score some appearances on reality TV shows over the years—including Celebrity Boot Camp—and is now creating a loungewear line called “Kato Potato” meant for couch potatoes.

Barry Scheck
Involvement in the case: Scheck, a member of Simpson’s defense team, cited DNA evidence to contradict the prosecution’s forensic evidence case.
Where are they now: Along with Peter Neufeld, who also worked on the Simpson case, he founded the Innocence Project, which uses DNA evidence to exonerate wrongly convicted individuals.

F. Lee Bailey
Involvement in the case: Bailey was a part-time member of the defense team who cross-examined Mark Fuhrman.
Where are they now: Years later, Bailey was disbarred in Massachusetts and Florida for mishandling a client’s case, according to the Associated Press. The 80-year-old continues to seek readmission to the bar and in 2011 he wrote a 46-page document claiming he has evidence of Simpson’s innocence.

White Ford Bronco
Involvement in the case: The vehicle driven by Al Cowlings, Simpson’s childhood friend and teammate, in the slow-speed police chase on the day .
Where is it now: After the trial, a collector named Michael Pulwer purchased the Bronco for $75,000—more than twice its original value, according to ESPN. The vehicle can now be rented out for events and parties.

OJ’s children: Jason, Arnelle, Sydney and Justin
Involvement in the case: Arnelle and Jason are Simpson’s surviving children with his first wife, Marguerite Whitley. Nicole Brown Simpson’s two children with Simpson, Sydney and Justin, were 8 and 5 respectively at the time of their mother’s murder.
Where are they now: Various gossip sites have reported minor scandals about Arnelle Simpson and Sydney Simpson, and in 2012, Jason Simpson was the subject of a book arguing he committed the murders his father was acquitted of. Justin Simpson, now 25, lives in the Miami area, according to Sports Illustrated, but has largely stayed out of the public eye.

TIME Research

29.1 Million Americans Now Have Diabetes

The CDC reports an increasing number of Americans are diabetic

About 29.1 million Americans—nearly 10% of the U.S. population—now has type 2 diabetes, according to a new report.

Of those Americans with the illness, 27.8% of them are undiagnosed, according to the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention’s 2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report released Tuesday. The report uses data collected between 2009-2012, as well as national surveys.

The CDC estimates that the direct and indirect costs of the disease have reached $245 billion, with direct medical costs making up 72% of that amount. People with type 2 diabetes incur medical costs on average 2.3 times higher than people without the disease, the CDC found.

Type 2 diabetes is caused by various factors that result in a heightened amount of blood sugar in the body. The disease is divided into two types; type 1 diabetics do not produce enough insulin, a hormone integral to metabolizing blood sugars, while in type 2, the body cannot use the insulin it makes. Diabetes can in the most severe cases result in serious complications including heart and kidney disease.

TIME China

China Now Has the Second-Most Millionaires in the World

A clerk counts U.S. dollar banknotes after counting Chinese 100 Yuan banknotes at a branch of the Agricultural Bank of China in Qionghai
China Daily/Reuters A clerk counts U.S. dollar banknotes after counting Chinese 100 Yuan banknotes at a branch of the Agricultural Bank of China in Qionghai, China's southmost Hainan province, November 12, 2012.

China surged into second place behind the U.S for the highest number of millionaires

China now has the second-highest number of millionaires in the world, according to a new report. That puts it firmly in second place — right behind the U.S.

China recorded 2,378,000 millionaires in 2013, compared to the U.S.’ 7,135,000 millionaires, according to Boston Consulting Group’s 2014 Global Wealth Report. China’s millionaire growth skyrocketed last year, shooting up 82% from 2012. To put that in perspective, the U.S. only grew 18% during the same period.

China’s staggering growth accompanies a nearly 50% increase in the country’s private financial wealth, which includes bank deposits, securities and pension funds but excludes luxury goods and real estate. BCG credited this growth to China’s growth in its “shadow banking” sector, wherein credit is exchanged through alternative financiers.

China and the Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) are driving an overall increase in global private financial wealth, despite the U.S. continuing to post high numbers. The region boasts $37 trillion, or 24%, of the world’s $152 trillion in private wealth.

At current growth rates, the Asia-Pacific is expected to surpass Western Europe in 2014 as the world’s second-wealthiest region, trailing behind North America.

TIME Crime

Barbara Walters to Interview Father of Santa Barbara Killer

Interview with Peter Rodger will air on an upcoming edition of ABC's 20/20

ABC announced Monday that Barbara Walters will interview Peter Rodger, the father of the Santa Barbara killer.

The father of Elliot Rodger will speak with Walters about his son’s killing spree at University of California Santa Barbara that left 6 people dead, and 13 injured. The 22-year-old, who filmed a manifesto about women he believed had rejected him before his murderous rampage, later committed suicide.

Peter Rodger, who was an assistant director of the 2012 movie The Hunger Games, has not yet spoken publicly about his son’s actions.

Walters, who recently retired from daytime television, will host the interview on an upcoming Special Edition of 20/20, said ABC.

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