Today I’d like you to set aside your own troubles for a minute and consider some disturbing news coming out of Norway. I will then suggest some concrete steps we can take to keep it from crossing the ocean and onto U.S. shores.
Oh, and I’m not referring to the Norwegian Broadcasting Company’s production of National Knitting Evening, a four-hour film where smiling Norwegian knitting enthusiasts attempt to break a knitting speed record. I mean, that film is already available here on Netflix. In fact, I’m watching it this very moment. I give it five purls!
No, the disturbing thing I’m referring to is the new report that finds IQ rates in Norway and other Western European countries are falling. Even the gifted children of gifted parents are not, shall we say, receiving as many presents as they once did.
Now you might be tempted to put two and two together and blame the decline in Norway’s collective IQ on the Norwegian Broadcasting Company.
But you would be wrong. The research found that IQs started to drop back around Y2K, a time when people were so afraid their computers were about to stop working that NO ONE had time to knit.
The good news is, the IQ decline has not made it to America. At least, not yet. But researchers say it’s coming. Unless, of course, we do something to stop it.
But what? Should we take away our toddlers’ smartphones? Require second graders to binge watch The Magic School Bus? Those are reasonable ideas.
But I’ve got one that could be even more effective: Set your thermostat for 78 degrees.
I mean, that is what I’ve got mine on right now and, not to brag, but I am watching a knitting film AND writing a column at the same time. Plus, I don’t even have to wear a shawl – which I normally must do when my husband and kids are home and the temperature is a frigid 75.
I’m not the only one wanting to turn up the heat. Science agrees: Women THINK better in warmer rooms. In one study, women performed better on math and verbal tests taken in a 90-degree room, compared to a 61-degree room. Men were the opposite.
My point is, we still live in a man’s world, thermostat-wise. Raise the temperature a few degrees, and IQ test results are sure to follow.
I realize there may be some holes in my argument. But let me turn off the air-conditioning altogether, and I’ll have the whole thing fine-tuned in under an hour.
In the meantime, we should salute the producers of National Knitting Evening. All those sweaters aren’t part of the problem. They are part of the solution.