Weekly Top Shares, 7-20-12

The Daily Beast
Is The Web Driving Us Mad?
New research says, yes, the Internet is indeed making us crazy. We’ve become more depressed, addictive and stressed out than ever before. It’s not the technology itself or the content doing the damage, but the continuous state of connection that has come to seem perfectly normal. In an age where smartphones outnumber their Internet-less counterparts and over a third of people go online before rising from bed, it’s hard to imagine life without the Web. But, maybe this weekend, power off those devices and spend a day looking at anything but a screen. Try it—your mental health may thank you.

Here’s the Most Stunning Photo of Mars the World Has Ever Seen
NASA released a new panorama from its Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, which spent four winter months on Mars terrain investigating spin axis dynamics, atmospheric changes and rock composition and textures. Exactly 817 color images combine to create a full-circle scene that’s as eerie as it is breathtaking. The Mashable article also links to the NASA website where you can download the complete image, which is too large to view in most browsers.

Who Is The Smallest Government Spender Since Eisenhower? Would You Believe It’s Barack Obama?
In the months before the presidential election, Republicans and Democrats alike are evaluating the incumbent president’s performance so far, particularly his influence on the economy. Citing a Marketwatch study, the author reports that Obama isn’t quite the big spender Americans make him out to be. The key fact to remember, he says, is any incoming chief uses the first year in office burdened by the preceding president’s budget, for better or for worse. With over 12,000 shares and 44 pages of comments, this analysis has sparked an online debate so heated—obscene, even—that the writer added a note to the bottom of the piece reminding readers to settle down.

Unemployment Rate Dropped in Every State That Elected a Republican Gov. in 2010
Even more sharing about the state of the American economy, including this article on conservative news and opinion website Breitbart.com. Seventeen states elected new Republican governors in 2010, and according to an Examiner.com analysis, all of those states have since seen a decline in their unemployment rates. The article’s author cites the study as proof of Democrats’ incompetence, though several commenters point out holes in the data. Political statistical spin? Or useful, accurate evidence? You decide.

Olympic Boxer Marlen Esparza Gets Vogue Spot
It’s not every day that boxing gets covered in Vogue. But then again, as ThePostGame points out, history will be made when women’s boxing debuts at the Olympics next week. Marlen Esparza might be the best bet to win the gold, and her in-ring success, not to mention the resulting top-tier sponsorship deals, may in fact warrant the 3,000-word profile that Vogue published about her. However, Esparza told Vogue in the interview that fulltime training is torturous, miserable and just plain depressing. The fame, apparently, isn’t all fun and games.

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