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Forget monogamy – it’s a fairytale

Cinderella wedding

Forget monogamy; it’s a fairytale

“The Western fairy tale of pairing off with one person for life is a relatively modern one,” New Scientist touts. “And we’re not very good at it, but there are other options available!”

Wedding rings

Not sure about you, but this sounds like an old story. Don’t like it? Chuck it. Want more? Take more. Don’t like the way things work? Change the way things work. Painting monogamy as an impossible fairytale is part of that change, much like denouncing parenthood as “worse than divorce, unemployment – even the death of a partner,” as the Washington Post reported.

“In reality, it turns out that having a child can have a pretty strong negative impact on a person’s happiness, according to a new study published in the journal Demography. “In fact, on average, the effect of a new baby on a person’s life in the first year is devastatingly bad!”

Funny how what comes naturally – having children – is devastatingly bad and making a free choice – to commit – is apparently impossible.

But hey, News Beat reports even actress “Scarlett Johansson … says she doesn’t believe monogamy is ‘natural’ for anyone in a relationship and she’s not alone.” Of course, Johansson said as much a mere month after her divorcing Roman Dauriac, her husband of four years. But that couldn’t mean anything. Forget that monogamy was apparently on the table and expected at the time each said “I do.” And absolutely forget that the other options of polygamy, polyamory, or open relationships are no assurance of the happy idyll.

Apparently what doesn’t kill you, no longer makes you stronger, just miserable – like living.

Not listening. Just waiting till I’m 18

Not listening. Just waiting till I’m 18

Construction zone ahead

“I can’t wait till I’m 18!” Ever get that from a fuming-faced kid? Remember saying that when you were underage and mom or dad got in your way? Well, regardless of whether you were on the giving or receiving end of such loveliness, reality is, eighteen doesn’t equate to being an adult – at least not in the thinking department.

Don’t believe it?

Sorry. Recent Harvard studies confirm young adults (teens in specific) suffer from less-developed brains (and so do we, as a result) when tasked with what’s important. Don’t misunderstand; the gray matter is all there, but the wiring – just like in a new house under construction – needs to be completed before full functionality is achieved. Check out the video below to get the details:

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To prove this premise, grad student Catherine Insel and her team at Harvard conducted an experiment involving a money game, an fMRI brain scanner, and a pool of willing adolescents aged 13 to 20. Participants played a game of varying cash points while having their brains simultaneously scanned.

While results were relatively the same when the risks were low, older volunteers’ performances increased as financial plusses and minuses climbed. Younger experimentees didn’t do so well. Win big, win little, didn’t matter. Age did matter as even among the older participants, successful performance ran consist with increased years. … years of development, that is.

“When the team looked at the brain activity of the volunteers, they found that their ability to improve their performance was linked to how developed their brains were,” Insel explained to New Scientist. “A region called the corticostriatal network seemed to be particularly important. This is known to connect areas involved in reward to those that control behavior, and continues to develop until we are at least 25 years old.”

That’s right, the human brain is not fully developed at 18. Maturation continues to at least 25. So those with young adults at home, take heart!

“The findings explain why some adolescents are so nonchalant when it comes to risky behaviors,” says Kathrin Cohen Kadosh at the University of Surrey, UK. “Teenagers are much more likely to drive dangerously, for instance, especially when one of their friends is nearby.”

Not in my car, mister!

Not in my car, mister!

Ya think? Most seasoned adults are not scientists but, having long observed the disconnect between teen thinking and teen doing, recognize the syndrome. (Same goes for young 20-somethings.) Prepping for life by way of study, hard work, and good spending habits – pfft! But add a cute girl, a bad enough bad-boy, or a friend’s goading … and off to the races we go. Even older teens, because they “think” they have more experience, stuff what sense they have.

The result? Bloomberg reports , “U.S. teenagers are more reckless after their first few years of driving, often becoming overconfident in their abilities and putting themselves at higher risk for accidents, a new study shows. More than half of high school seniors have car accidents or near misses, compared with 34 percent of sophomores, according to the study conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. and the group Students Against Destructive Decisions.”

So before you get taken down that road, wondering where you went wrong with junior, stop! Think! And do cut yourself a break. Adulthood does not equal 18. Brain development continues to age 25 at least. Keep giving that much-needed guidance and be patient with yourself.

Dealing with an underdeveloped brain is no easy business, especially not for those who actually think and do.


Grass: Most costly crop in America

If you think this bit is about the increase of pot farming in America, it isn’t. Home is where the heart is. Follow the money ($77 billion in industry revenue back in 2016). And America’s heart is in love – a costly affair – with grass (the turf variety!). Front lawn, back lawn, side lawn, golf courses, highway islands, central parks … the clipped green crop that feeds no one reigns supreme.

“A study published in the journal Environmental Management found that over 40 million acres of land in the continental U.S. has some form of lawn on it. That’s three times more than corn or any other irrigated crop,” Business Insider reports.

As the need to mow our precious greens winds down with falling temperatures, the ongoing cost of upkeep is ever-present.

“We disproportionately treat our grasses with environmentally harmful chemicals like fertilizers and pesticides,” notes Business Insider. Blech! And all those chemicals don’t just stay in the lawn. They leeth into the water table.

Business Insider continues: “Golf courses typically use between 100,000 and 1 million gallons of water per week in the summer, according to the Alliance for Water Efficiency.” Back at home, three-quarters of the American water bill can be attributed to outside usage. Ouch! Put into context by Scientific American, “Lawns require the equivalent of 200 gallons of drinking water per person per day.”

But vanity has always been costly, and the European roots that equate a lush green lawn to a privilege status symbol are no exception. The video below will give you all the details on how the love affair began:

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