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Monday, May 21, 2007The Top Ten Myths of Divorce
1 Because people learn from their bad experiences, second marriages tend to be more successful than first marriages.
Although many people who divorce have successful subsequent marriages, the divorce rate of remarriages is in fact higher than that of first marriages.
2 Living together before marriage is a good way to reduce the chances of eventually divorcing.
Many studies have found that those who live together before marriage have a considerably higher chance of eventually divorcing. The reasons for this are not well understood. In part, the type of people who are willing to cohabit may also be those who are more willing to divorce. There is some evidence that the act of cohabitation itself generates attitudes in people that are more conducive to divorce, for example the attitude that relationships are temporary and easily can be ended.
3 Divorce may cause problems for many of the children who are affected by it, but by and large these problems are not long lasting and the children recover relatively quickly.
Divorce increases the risk of interpersonal problems in children. There is evidence, both from small qualitative studies and from large-scale, long-term empirical studies, that many of these problems are long lasting. In fact, they may even become worse in adulthood.
4 Having a child together will help a couple to improve their marital satisfaction and prevent a divorce.
Many studies have shown that the most stressful time in a marriage is after the first child is born. Couples who have a child together have a slightly decreased risk of divorce compared to couples without children, but the decreased risk is far less than it used to be when parents with marital problems were more likely to stay together “for the sake of the children.”
5 Following divorce, the woman’s standard of living plummets by seventy three percent while that of the man’s improves by forty two percent.
This dramatic inequity, one of the most widely publicized statistics from the social sciences, was later found to be based on a faulty calculation. A reanalysis of the data determined that the woman’s loss was twenty seven percent while the man’s gain was ten percent. Irrespective of the magnitude of the differences, the gender gap is real and seems not to have narrowed much in recent decades.
I promise you four papers," the young patent examiner wrote his friend. The letter would turn out to bear some of the most significant tidings in the history of science, but its momentous nature was masked by an impish tone that was typical of its author. He had, after all, just addressed his friend as "you frozen whale" and apologized for writing a letter that was "inconsequential babble." Only when he got around to describing the papers, which he had produced during his spare time, did he give some indication that he sensed their significance.
"The first deals with radiation and the energy properties of light and is very revolutionary," he explained. Yes, it was indeed revolutionary. It argued that light could be regarded not just as a wave but also as a stream of tiny particles called quanta. The implications that would eventually arise from this theory - a cosmos without strict causality or certainty - would spook him for the rest of his life.
"The second paper is a determination of the true sizes of atoms." Even though the very existence of atoms was still in dispute, this was the most straightforward of the papers, which is why he chose it as the safest bet for his latest attempt at a doctoral thesis. He was in the process of revolutionizing physics, but he had been repeatedly thwarted in his efforts to win an academic job or even get a doctoral degree, which he hoped might get him promoted from a third- to a second-class examiner at the patent office.
The third paper explained the jittery motion of microscopic particles in liquid by using a statistical analysis of random collisions. In the process, it established that atoms and molecules actually exist.
"The fourth paper is only a rough draft at this point, and is an electrodynamics of moving bodies which employs a modification of the theory of space and time." Well, that was certainly more than inconsequential babble. Based purely on thought experiments - performed in his head rather than in a lab - he had decided to discard Newton's concepts of absolute space and time. It would become known as the Special Theory of Relativity.
What he did not tell his friend, because it had not yet occurred to him, was that he would produce a fifth paper that year, a short addendum to the fourth, which posited a relationship between energy and mass. Out of it would arise the best-known equation in all of physics: E=mc2.
Looking back at a century that will be remembered for its willingness to break classical bonds, and looking ahead to an era that seeks to nurture the creativity needed for scientific innovation, one person stands out as a paramount icon of our age: the kindly refugee from oppression whose wild halo of hair, twinkling eyes, engaging humanity, and extraordinary brilliance made his face a symbol and his name a synonym for genius. Albert Einstein was a locksmith blessed with imagination and guided by a faith in the harmony of nature's handiwork. His fascinating story, a testament to the connection between creativity and freedom, reflects the triumphs and tumults of the modern era.
Now that his archives have been completely opened, it is possible to explore how the private side of Einstein - his nonconformist personality, his instincts as a rebel, his curiosity, his passions and detachments - intertwined with his political side and his scientific side. Knowing about the man helps us understand the wellsprings of his science, and vice versa. Character and imagination and creative genius were all related, as if part of some unified field.
The big technology conference in Santa Clara, Calif., kicked off yesterday.
The buzz on the expo floor was about Silicon Valley gaming startup Elementeo and its precocious 13-year old founder and chief executive, Anshul Samar. “We inject fun into education,” the fast talking entrepreneur confidently proclaimed, touting his new fantasy role playing board game which he believes will change the way kids learn chemistry.
The conference featured keynote presentations from the likes of Marc Benioff (Salesforce.com), Vinod Khosla (Khosla Ventures) and Tim O’Reilly (Web 2.0 thinker), but the young Samar better represented the theme of this year’s conference: “The New Face of Entrepreneurship.”
VentureBeat interviewed the diminutive executive at Elementeo’s TiECON booth. Like other charismatic Silicon Valley CEOs – think Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison or Marc Benioff – Mr. Samar exudes confidence, vision and a passion to change the world. He’s more articulate than many CEOs four times his age.
Samar argues that textbooks are boring and kids would rather spend their time battling enemies, blowing things up with bombs, and yes, even giving their opponents lead poisoning. So he created a fantasy role playing game that combines the rapturous teenage joys of competition and carnage with the exciting properties of the periodic table of chemical elements.
Here’s how the game works: You command an army of chemical elements, compounds and catalysts — represented within a 66-card deck (the fire and brimstone card at left is for “Sulfur,” for example). Your opponent has his own deck with the same number of cards. Your goal is to battle your competitor and reduce his IQ down to zero. Pit your oxygen card against your opponent’s iron card, for example, and you learn that you create rust. Score one for oxygen. Kind of like rock-paper-scissors, but with chemicals, dice and 66 impressively illustrated cards featuring monster-themed caricatures of chemicals.
Approximately 16 million Asian men can consider themselves to be Genghis Khan’s descendants, but there are no such men among the Russian population. These conclusions were made by Russian geneticists and their Polish colleagues, who had investigated Y-chromosomes with representatives of 18 nations of Northern Eurasia.
Discussions on Genghis Khan’s offsprings began about three years ago when foreign researchers (Zerijal and joint authors) published findings on Y-chromosome variability with 2,123 inhabitants of different regions in Asia, except for its Russian part. The researchers discovered a whole cluster of closely-related lines, which fanned from a common ancestor. The investigations proved that this cluster originated from Mongolia about a thousand years ago, and its distribution coincided surprisingly with the boundaries occupied by the Mongol Empire at that time.
Based on this coincidence, the researchers have assumed that the Y-chromosomes described by them belonged to Genghis Khan and his offsprings. Representatives of the Genghiside dynasty, due to their social status, had a lot of opportunities to leave posterity, and, to all appearances, broadly enjoyed their advantages. Russian and Polish researchers continued the search for the Genghisides in practically non-investigated territories of Northern Eurasia.
The Mongolian State was established in 1206 as a result of Mongolian tribes consolidation by Genghis Khan, it broadened significantly in the future having absorbed the territory of China (Great Khan ulus), Central Asia (Chagatai ulus), Iran (Ilkhan State) and Russia (Golden Horde). The power of khans of the Golden Horde, founded by Batu Khan, Genghis Khan’s grandson, embraced the territory of a significant part of contemporary Russia (except for Eastern Siberia, Far East and regions of ultima Thule), Northern and Western Kazakhstan, Ukraine, part of Uzbekistan (Khoresm) and Turkmenia.