Children Under Four and Children With Autism Don’t Yawn Contagiously

Children Under Four and Children With Autism Don’t Yawn Contagiously

If someone near you yawns, do you yawn, too? About half of adults yawn after someone else does in a phenomenon called contagious yawning. Now a new study has found that most children aren’t susceptible to contagious yawning until they’re about 4 years old — and that children with autism are less likely to yawn contagiously than others.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Connecticut, appears in the September/October 2010 issue of the journal Child Development.

To determine the extent to which children at various stages of social development are likely to yawn contagiously, the researchers studied 120 typically developing 1- to 6-year-olds. Although babies begin to yawn spontaneously even before they leave the womb, most of the children in this study didn’t show signs of contagious yawning until they were 4.

A Woman’s Walk Reveals Her Orgasms

A Woman’s Walk Reveals Her Orgasms

Ladies, what if I told you that the way you walk reveals a lot more about your sex lives than you might have thought? Don’t worry, there’s no need to feel uptight about it. Let me explain…

A study conducted by Dr. Stuart Brody, at the University of West Scotland found a relationship between the fluidity with which a woman walks and her ability to have vaginal orgasms. They discovered that women with a more fluid stride were reported to experience orgasms more readily than women with locked and rigid pelvises. None of the researchers were provided with their subjects’ sexual history. Yet, 80 % of the time, they were able to correctly predict whether the women were orgasmic, simply by watching a video of them walking at a distance. According to Dr. Brody, “Blocked pelvic muscles, which might be associated with psychosexual impairments, could both impair vaginal orgasmic response and gait.” On the other hand, unblocked energy around the pelvic area, resulting in more walking fluidity, was associated with greater ability to have orgasms.

Why I just sold all of my possessions (and killed my Facebook account)

Why I just sold all of my possessions (and killed my Facebook account)

I’ll admit it. I’m a bit weird. I always have been. And maybe you are too, and that’s what makes us “special.” Or at least that’s what our moms always told us. I like doing “experiments” on myself. I think it’s a great way to grow as a person and to learn more about yourself — which can help in one’s personal or business life.

I once read how Leonardo Da Vinci slept only about 3-4 hours a day by taking short 20-45 minute naps throughout a 24 hour cycle. Many years ago, I tried my own sleep experiment after I found myself pulling a lot of “all nighters.” I decided to go every other night without sleep. So I would stay awake for stretches of 30-35 hours straight and then crash for 9-12 hours. I got a lot of work done by doing this.

A Small Act Can Change the World

A Small Act Can Change the World

One day in the mid 1970s, a pre-school teacher living in Sweden named Hilde Back decided to sponsor an African student. Hilde, a Holocaust survivor whose parents were killed in the camps, lived modestly as a refugee in the safe haven of Sweden. Every month she put a few dollars in an envelope and sent it to a Kenyan boy named Chris Mburu. This was enough to get Chris through school. (In Kenya, at the time Chris was in school, students had to pay for their primary and secondary school education. Today, primary is free in Kenya, but secondary still costs.) Chris was inspired by his mysterious benefactor who lived so far away. Not only did he become a star student, he moved on from his village to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School. He became a United Nations human rights advocate, a post he holds today.

One small act — a couple of bucks — changed his life. But it gets better. Chris decided to honor the benefactor he had never met. He established the Hilde Back Education Fund to sponsor more Kenyan students, to improve more young lives. Eventually, he tracked down the 80-year-old Back and brought her to Africa to see the results of her generosity.

It sounds a little like fiction, but this is the true story told in A Small Act, a documentary directed by Jennifer Arnold. Jennifer attended the University of Nairobi with Chris’s cousin, and experienced firsthand what Kenya was like. She wanted others to have the experience of a prosperous Kenya with a sizable middle class. She set out to make a film about that and discovered even more.

World’s Biggest, Strongest Spider Webs Found

World’s Biggest, Strongest Spider Webs Found

A river-spanning spider web dwarfs a park ranger in Madagascar in 2008. Made of the world’s strongest known biological material, the web is the product of a new species, the Darwin’s bark spider, which makes the world’s largest webs of any single spider, new studies say.

Zoologist Ingi Agnarsson and colleagues have found Darwin’s bark spider webs as wide as 82 feet (25 meters)—about as long as two city buses.

In Andasibe-Mantadia National Park (pictured), “the park rangers knew about them, and I think they’ve shown them to tourists for a while,” said Agnarsson, of the University of Puerto Rico.

Unsecured vs. Secure Loans – What is best for Students?

There is a lot of debate around the issue of secure vs. unsecured loans. Students (of course) suffer a lot more for many reasons- age, a lack of income, and a lack of a credit history.

The choice of what to get can already be overwhelming for the regular borrow, imagine how crazy complicated it feels to the average student who is not fully educated on secure and unsecured loans? The notice can definitely be seen when investigating deeper into each one of these offers. Since you probably haven’t researched into them, I did it for you.

So what is there to look out for in a nutshell?

On one side, there’s the matter of lower interest rates on secured loans – since the lender feels there isn’t as big of a risk involved. On the other hand there is less risk and more convenience for the borrower when it comes to unsecured personal loans. Then (as always) there’s the matter of credit history, which may make unsecured loans inaccessible for some, or make the interest rate too high.

The average student, who is worrying about dealing with college, has absolutely no way of proving a steady income- especially if they’re slangin burgers as a waitress or a mixologist bartender- and because of this, has no way to prove their ability to pay back those dreaded loans. If this is the case, a parent is usually involved in the transaction – whether it be in a supporting role, or providing security. The non-existence of any credit history also tends to translate in to a perception of a higher risk, which again translates into higher interest rates.

Pretty much, any security offered by a parent puts that item at risk. If the student fails to meet the payments, the parent has to foot the bill – or risk losing the item offered to secure the loan. But! If a home equity loan was obtained, it would mean that the repayments can be spread over a longer period, at a lower interest rate – resulting in much lower monthly repayments that are manageable. For the burger slanger.

One of the greatest features of unsecured personal loans is that they pose less of a threat to personal assets. While the higher risk is likely to result in a higher interest rate being charged, there is little risk of losing any assets.

There’s another factor you need to realize when it comes down to something like purchasing a vehicle. Financing the vehicle would demand insurance acceptable to the lender – which, in the case of a student, is likely to be really expensive. Depending on the car (which unfortunately is usually a small second hand car), it is possible that the monthly insurance costs may exceed the installment. In such cases, it is better to consider unsecured loans, and simply obtain liability insurance. This option is, for many students at least, the only affordable one.

At the end of the day, the choice between a secured vs. unsecured loans really just depends on your particular situation, and how much stuff you want to lose. What is the possibility of dropping out of school? What are the possibilities (probably really high) of not finding a job after you graduate? If any of these should happen, would your parents be able too carry any repayments for a loan that he or she offered to provide security for? Are they going to hate you forever if they can’t?

If there is even a smidgen of risk floating around out there, it would probably be better to look into unsecured personal loans. At least this way, you won’t be putting your parents at risk for losing an asset that took years to obtain, and which might not be possible to replace after damage to his or her credit record. And I know I stated this as a question previously, but if this were to happen… they would probably hate you.

Photo Credit: “Loans” by Omar Omar

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