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To: Brumar89 who wrote (3769)7/10/2010 10:01:47 PM
From: Brumar89
   of 3816
 
Is divorce contagious?.

editor

by Mira Jacob, Shine staff, on Tue Jul 6, 2010 12:29pm PDT84 CommentsPost a CommentRead More from This Author »Report Abuse..


You know those moments when science confirms something that you just knew in your gut? Well, add this one to the list than includes “cheeseburgers hurt your heart” and “people who drink too much get sad”: Apparently, divorce is contagious.

A new study done by scientists at Harvard University, Brown University and UC San Diego finds that divorce is a contagion that can spread though social groups like a virus, weakening the marriages closest to it. In fact, the breakup of a close friend’s marriage can increase the likelihood of your own marriage ending by a whopping 75 percent.

"We think of a regular contagion like the flu," professor James H. Fowler of UCSD said. "You get a virus and you're more likely to spread the symptoms to someone else. This is not just true for a virus. This is true for a lot of social behaviors."

The study, called "Breaking Up is Hard to Do, Unless Everyone Else is Doing it Too: Social Network Effects on Divorce in a Longitudinal Sample Followed for 32 Years” looked at the data of several generations of people in Framingham, Massachusetts, starting in the 1970s. While Fowler cautioned against extrapolating too much from the 5,000 participants in the study, some of its findings seem less shocking than intuitive, including:

•A person with a divorced sibling was 22 per cent more likely to get a divorce
•A person with a divorced coworker was 55 per cent more likely to get a divorce than someone who works with all married coworkers
•Even witnessing a friend of a friend’s divorce increased the likelihood of a marriage breaking up by 33 percent.
•Couples with children were less susceptible to being influenced by other couples divorces

While I can hardly pretend that my own experience is anything close to scientific, I have noticed that after a weekend of visiting friends going through divorces, I've found myself hugging my husband a little too long, and saying ridiculously obvious things like, "Let's never split up, okay?" I've also lain in bed awake at night, counting up all the things that work between us, as if affirmation were a form of inoculation. To be clear: I’m not judging my friends for splitting up, I’m just saying that I have absolutely noticed their divorces have caused ripples throughout the marriages of the friends and family that surround them, mine included.

shine.yahoo.com

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From: Brumar897/13/2010 8:03:20 PM
   of 3816
 
Belly-buttons key to success in sport: study

By Agence France-Presse
Monday, July 12th, 2010 -- 2:12 pm

WASHINGTON — Scientists have found the reason why blacks dominate on the running track and whites in the swimming pool: it's in their belly-buttons, a study published Monday shows.

What's important is not whether an athlete has an innie or an outie but where his or her navel is in relation to the rest of the body, says the study published in the International Journal of Design and Nature and Ecodynamics.

The navel is the center of gravity of the body, and given two runners or swimmers of the same height, one black and one white, "what matters is not total height but the position of the belly-button, or center of gravity," Duke University professor Andre Bejan, the lead author of the study, told AFP.

"It so happens that in the architecture of the human body of West African-origin runners, the center of gravity is significantly higher than in runners of European origin," which puts them at an advantage in sprints on the track, he said.

Individuals of West African-origin have longer legs than European-origin athletes, which means their belly-buttons are three centimeters (1.18 inches) higher than whites', said Bejan.

Story continues below...
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That means the black athletes have a "hidden height" that is three percent greater than whites', which gives them a significant speed advantage on the track.

"Locomotion is essentially a continual process of falling forward, and mass that falls from a higher altitude, falls faster," Bejan explained.

In the pool, meanwhile, whites have the advantage because they have longer torsos, making their belly-buttons lower in the general scheme of body architecture.

"Swimming is the art of surfing the wave created by the swimmer," said Bejan.

"The swimmer who makes the bigger wave is the faster swimmer, and a longer torso makes a bigger wave. Europeans have a three-percent longer torso than West Africans, which gives them a 1.5-percent speed advantage in the pool," he said.

Asians have the same long torsos as Europeans, giving them the same potential to be record-breakers in the pool.

But they often lose out to whites because whites are taller, said Bejan.

Many scientists have avoided studying why blacks make better sprinters and whites better swimmers because of what the study calls the "obvious" race angle.

But Bejan said the study he conducted with Edward Jones, a professor at Howard University in Washington, and Duke graduate Jordan Charles, focused on the athletes' geographic origins and biology, not race, which the authors of the study call a "social construct."

Bejan is white, originally from Romania, and Jones is black, from South Carolina.

They charted and analyzed nearly 100 years of records in men's and women's sprinting and 100-meters freestyle swimming for the study.

rawstory.com

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From: Brumar897/14/2010 9:14:02 PM
   of 3816
 
I Write Like

Analyzer

Check what famous writer you write like with this statistical analysis tool, which analyzes your word choice and writing style and compares them to those of the famous writers.

Any text in English will do: your latest blog post, journal entry, comment, chapter of your unfinished book, etc. For reliable results paste at least a few paragraphs (not tweets).

Paste your text here:

iwl.me

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From: Brumar897/14/2010 9:25:27 PM
   of 3816
 
Vaseline launches skin-whitening Facebook app for India


NEW DELHI (AFP) - Skincare group Vaseline has introduced a skin-lightening application for Facebook in India, enabling users to make their faces whiter in their profile pictures.

The download is designed to promote Vaseline's range of skin-lightening creams for men, a huge and fast-growing market driven by fashion and a cultural preference for fairer skin.

The widget promises to "Transform Your Face On Facebook With Vaseline Men" in a campaign fronted by Bollywood actor Shahid Kapur, who is depicted with his face divided into dark and fair halves.

"We started campaign advertising (for the application) from the second week of June and the response has been pretty phenomenal," Pankaj Parihar from global advertising firm Omnicom, which designed the campaign, told AFP.

Indian cosmetics giant Emami launched the first skin-whitening cream for men in 2005, called "Fair and Handsome" and advertised by Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan. It came 27 years after the first cream for women.

Since then a half dozen foreign brands have piled into the male market, including Garnier, L'Oreal and Nivea, which promote the seemingly magical lightening qualities of their products in ubiquitous advertising.

In 2009, a poll of nearly 12,000 people by online dating site Shaadi.com, revealed that skin tone was considered the most important criteria when choosing a partner in three northern Indian states.

"More and more, there's an anxiety in the mind of men about having fair skin," sociology professor T. K. Oommen at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi told AFP.

"Indians believe that if you have fair skin you belong to the higher caste, the Brahmins," he added, explaining that a succession of light-skinned colonisers in India reinforced the association of fairness with power.

"The Aryans, who came from central Asia, in addition to the Portuguese, the French and the British colonisers ruled over the country and probably contributed to this negative perception of dark-skin."

nz.news.yahoo.com

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (3775)7/19/2010 10:04:16 PM
From: TimF
   of 3816
 
Results from that link for some recent posts I made

Cory Doctorow (3 posts or parts of posts)
Margaret Atwood
Stephen King
J. R. R. Tolkien
Raymond Chandler
Dan Brown
David Foster Wallace

To the extent that I've read these people I'm not so sure I see the connection to my writing style.

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To: TimF who wrote (3777)7/19/2010 10:22:36 PM
From: Brumar89
   of 3816
 
I'm questioning the value of that site ... I got Dan Brown for something I posted too, and on another attempt got someone name Lovecroft .... a horror writer.

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From: Brumar897/20/2010 7:36:59 AM
   of 3816
 
Amish teen arrested after buggy chase

Heh.

By Kellie Mazur - WIVB 4 | Published: 12:40 PM 07/19/2010



After an investigation performed by the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office, 17 year old Amish boy, Levi Detweiler, was arrested on counts of underage possession of alcohol, overdriving an animal, reckless endangerment and failure to stop at a stop sign.

The investigation found that Detweiler ran through a stop sign in the presence of Sheriff Deputies, an attempt was made to stop the buggy by Deputies and the suspect refused to stop.

Full story: Amish teen arrested after buggy chase | WIVB.com

Read more: dailycaller.com

dailycaller.com

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From: Brumar897/20/2010 12:40:40 PM
   of 3816
 
According to a study carried out by a Chicago sociologist in 2003, women with big breasts had ten point higher I.Q’s. on average than their less well endowed counterparts. This sociologist conducting the study, who admitted to being a 32A in breast size, looked at 1200 women of various breast sizes. She divided the women into five categories based on their breast measurements. These included extra-large, large, medium, small, and extra-small breast sizes.

The women were then given an I.Q. test to objectively measure their intelligence levels To the researcher’s surprise, women in the extra-large and large categories scored an average of ten points higher than women in the groups with the smallest breast sizes. Even women with medium sized breasts beat out the small breasted women by several I.Q. points.

Read more: beyondjane.com
beyondjane.com

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From: TimF7/26/2010 5:13:13 PM
   of 3816
 
Did Greed Cause the Recession

June 15, 2010 by yunesj

Since I’m a rotation student, I’m new in my lab. I just had my first political conversation with my office mate, and it was about the role greed played in the recession. Here are some of my thoughts on that.

“Greed” is vogue, just as “hope,” “WMD,” and “flip-flop” were. It doesn’t have much meaning.

“Greed” is a scapegoat. Politicians are blaming the economic collapse on “bad people,” without bothering to be more specific. These greedy people already had enough, but they wanted more, just so you couldn’t have it. (But don’t worry, the government can protect you from “greed.”)

How does greed manifest itself in a company? As people working harder, longer, and smarter than what is expected of them. Working harder makes their product better, their customers happier, and their company profit more, and it is therefore greed. Bankers were making a killing for their company, the government was incentivizing them to do it (by aggressively buying up the subprime securities), and they were increasing home ownership for Americans. Sounds like a win-win-win.

Well, is there a better explanation for the recession? How about the central bank’s policy, the laws that demanded banks “meet the needs of borrowers in all segments of their communities (ref: wiki),” and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

calsfl.com

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From: Peter Dierks8/3/2010 10:20:34 AM
2 Recommendations   of 3816
 
The Truth About Tibetan Buddhism
There’s more to this ancient religion than Hollywood celebrities would have you believe
Brendan O'Neill | July 28, 2010

Many Westerners before me have visited Tibet, popped into some monastery on a mountainside, and decided to stay there forever, won over by the brutally frugal existence eked out by Tibetan Buddhists.

I have exactly the opposite reaction. I couldn’t wait to leave the temples and monasteries I visited during my recent sojourn to Shangri-La, with their garish statues of dancing demons, fat golden Buddhas surrounded by wads of cash, walls and ceilings painted in super-lavish colours, and such a stench of incense that it’s like being in a hippy student’s dorm room.

I know I’m not supposed to say this, but Tibetan Buddhism really freaked me out.

The most striking thing is how different real Tibetan Buddhism is from the re-branded, part-time version imported over here by the Dalai Lama’s army of celebrities.

Listening to Richard Gere, the first incarnation of the Hollywood Lama, you could be forgiven for thinking that Tibetan Buddhism involves sitting in the lotus position for 20 hours a day and thinking Bambi-style thoughts. Tibetan Buddhism has a “resonance and a sense of mystery,” says Gere, through which you can find “beingness” (whatever that means).

Watching Jennifer Aniston’s character Rachel read a collection of the Dalai Lama’s teachings in Central Perk on Friends a few years ago, you might also think that Tibetan Buddhism is something you can ingest while sipping on a skinny-milk, no-cream, hazelnut latte.

Or consider the answer given by one of Frank J. Korom’s students at Boston University when he asked her why she was wearing a Tibetan Buddhist necklace. “It keeps me healthy and happy,” she said, reducing Tibetan Buddhism, as so many Dalai Lama-loving undergrads do, to the religious equivalent of knocking back a vitamin pill.

The reality couldn’t be more different. The first devout Buddhists I encountered looked neither healthy nor happy. They were walking from their villages in southern Tibet to Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, Tibetan Buddhism’s holiest site, and the journey had taken them nearly three months. Which isn’t surprising considering that with every third or fourth step they took, they got down on their knees and then fully prostrated themselves on the ground, lying flat on their bellies and burying their faces in the dirt, before getting back up, taking a few more steps, and doing the painful prostration thing again.

It looked life-zappingly exhausting. They moved at a snail’s pace. Their foreheads were stained grey from such frequent, unforgiving contact with the bruising earth. They wore wooden planks on their hands, which made a deathly clatter every time they hurled themselves downwards. I’d like to see Jennifer Aniston try this. Tibetan Buddhism sans latte.

You soon realize that no Tibetan Buddhist sits cross-legged on cushions all day long while staring into space and thinking about the universe. No, worshipping Buddha is a full-on physical workout. At the Lamaling Temple on a hillside in Nyingchi County in south-east Tibet, I saw women in their 50s doing the prostration thing, like an archaic version of a Jane Fonda workout.

The temple itself is packed with weird statues. Red demons with contorted faces. Smug-looking Buddhas smiling patronizingly at the poor, exhausted worshippers. There’s a statue of the “Living Buddha” (now deceased) who administered this temple in the 1950s and 60s and it is wearing sunglasses. Terrifyingly, it looks like a cross between the Buddha and Bono.

The Lamaling Temple, like others I visited, is painted in the most obscene colors. No inch of wall or centimeter of roof beam has been left untouched by the possibly colorblind decorators of Tibetan Buddhism’s sites of worship. Everywhere you look there’s a lashing of red or green or bright blue paint, a weirdly fitting backdrop to the frequently violent imagery of this religion: the statues of sword-wielding demons, the fiery paintings, the images of androgynous Buddhas, some with breasts, others with balls. “Peace” and “calm” are the last words that come to mind when you’re inside one of these senses-assaulting places.

The Lamaling Temple also brings home the fact that Tibetan Buddhism, like every other religion on Earth, is made up of various, sometimes horn-locking sects.??I excitedly lined up an interview with one of the monks and asked if he’s looking forward to the day when the Dalai Lama returns from exile in northern India. He patiently told me—dumb Westerner that I am—that he doesn’t worship the Dalai Lama, because he is a member of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism while the Dalai Lama is head of the Gelug school. Then there’s the Kagyu school and the Sakya school—making four in total—which have hot-headed disagreements and have even come to blows in recent years over which deities should be worshipped and which should not. Religion of peace? Yeah, right.

Tibetan Buddhism has a whole lotta hang-ups about gays and girls, too. It says gay sex is “unnatural.” The Dalai Lama declared in a talk in Seattle in 1993, during one of his whistle stop, U2-style world tours, that “nature arranged male and female organs in such a manner that is very suitable… same-sex organs cannot manage well.” (Someone needs to explain to His Holiness how gay people get it on.)

And as Bernard Faure of Columbia University says: “Like most clerical discourses, Buddhism is… relentlessly misogynist.” So while Tibetan women can become nuns, they can’t advance nearly as far as men. Because according to Buddhist teachings it is impossible for women to become “the perfectly rightfully Enlightened One,” “the Universal Monarch,” “the King of Gods,” “the King of Death,” or “Brahmaa”—the five highest, holiest positions in Buddhism.

Of course, this only means that Tibetan Buddhism is the same as loads of other religions. Yet it is striking how much the backward elements of Tibetan Buddhism are forgiven or glossed over by its hippyish, celebrity, and middle-class followers over here. So if you’re a Catholic in Hollywood it is immediately assumed you’re a grumpy old git with demented views, but if you’re a “Tibetan” Buddhist you are looked upon as a super-cool, enlightened creature of good manners and taste. (Admittedly, Mel Gibson doesn’t help in this regard.)

I am well aware of the fact that I am not the first Westerner to be thrown by Tibet’s religious quirkiness. A snobby British visitor in 1895 denounced Tibetan Buddhism as “deep-rooted devil-worship and sorcery.” It’s no such thing. But what is striking, and what caused me to be so startled by the weirdness, is the way in which this religion has come to be viewed in Western New Age circles as a peaceful, pure, happy-clappy cult of softly-smiling, Buddha-like beings. Again, it’s no such thing. The modern view of Tibetan Buddhism as wondrous is at least as patronizingly reductive as the older view of Tibetan Buddhism as devil-worship.

Frank J. Korom describes it as “New Age orientalism,” where Westerners in search of some cheap and easy purpose in their empty lives “appropriate Tibet and portions of its religious culture for their own purposes.” They treat a very old, complex religion as a kind of buffet of ideas that they can pick morsels from, jettisoning the stranger, more demanding stuff—like the dancing demons and the prostration workout—but picking up the shiny things, like the sacred necklaces and bracelets and the BS about reincarnation.

It is all about them. They have bent and warped a religion to suit their own needs. As the Tibetan lama Dagyab Kyabgon Rinpoche puts it, “The concept of ‘Tibet’ becomes a symbol for all those qualities that Westerners feel lacking: joie de vivre, harmony, warmth and spirituality… Tibet thus becomes a utopia, and Tibetans become noble savages.” Western losers have ransacked Tibetan Buddhism in search of the holy grail of self-meaning.

Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked in London.

reason.com

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