Video of the day

Via a cool Kottke post on yo-yo tricks through the ages, the 2013 world yo-yo champion.  Pretty impressive stuff.

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On Siblings

So, a while back I read Selfish Reasons to have more kids a book I’ve been proselytizing about since.   Anyway, it was about the reasons parents (i.e., selfish reasons) should have more kids.  Thus, it did not delve at all into the issue as to why its good for you kids to have siblings.   But reading this book really got me thinking a lot, as well, about the value of siblings.  I could be completely wrong, but I think there’s a huge value to my kids having siblings.  Largely in being forced to learn to share, compromise, get along with others in an intimate environment, etc., on a daily basis.  Not to mention always having someone around to play with, etc.  Of course, there’s some nasty squabbling, but it seems far outweighted from my perspective (though, Evan might feel differently).

I certainly feel like I have value from my siblings, but that it is considerably diminished as my older brother is 10 years older and largely grew up in institutions (that’s what you did with severely autistic children born in the early 1960’s), a sister who is 8 years older, and two half-sisters 12 and 14 years younger with whom I’m close, but never shared a household.

Anyway, that long personal introduction leads into some interesting social science research that suggests growing up with siblings makes one more likely to have a successful marriage:

You might want to thank your younger sister for being a copycat and your brother for being a tattletale. Turns out all that annoying childhood behavior was arming you for a healthy marriage. A new study by researchers from Ohio State University suggests that growing up with siblings lays the foundation for healthy relationships later in life and may even reduce the likelihood of divorce.

The more siblings you have, the better you chance of a long-lasting marriage. With each sibling (up to about seven), your probability of getting divorced is reduced by 2 percent, according to research published Tuesday by the American Sociological Association. “This study suggests one positive benefit of having siblings,” Donna Bobbitt-Zeher, co-author of the study and assistant professor of sociology at Ohio State University, told Yahoo! Shine. “This is significant because it shows a long-term consequence of growing up with siblings.”

Developing ways to handle sibling relationships could be key to making a marriage work. With each new addition to a family, the dynamic changes, forcing a person to navigate differing opinions and personality clashes. That early lesson in adaptation comes in handy when settling down with a partner. “Perhaps the relationship dynamics in larger families differ in such a way as to foster such skill development,” she explained.

Fascinating!  So, there you have it– not only should you have more kids because it’s good for your; you should have more kids because it is good for your kids.

Not sure if I’ve ever written about it here, but after having Alex, we really struggled with the decision as to whether to have more kids, in large part because of the concerns of how it would impact both David and especially Alex who need far more parental resources than average.  But we did it anyway, and it was the best decision we ever made.  Such a good one that we made it again.

Photo of the day

From Telegraph animal photos of the week:

A lion cub is photographed  peeking from its mothers legs. . Laura Romin and Larry Dalton from Utah, USA, spent days with the lioness and her three cubs in the Ndutu Conservation Area, Tanzania, before they got their perfect shot of the playful cub.
A lion cub is photographed peeking from its mothers legs. Laura Romin and Larry Dalton from Utah, USA, spent days with the lioness and her three cubs in the Ndutu Conservation Area, Tanzania, before they got their perfect shot of the playful cubPicture: LAURA ROMIN / CATERS NEWS

Map-a-palooza

Last week, the Post ran an awesome blog post called “40 maps that explain the world.”  So, so cool.  Here’s a couple of my favorites:

19. Economic inequality around the world

Higher gini coefficient scores indicate higher economic inequality. (Wikimedia Commons)

Higher gini coefficient scores indicate higher economic inequality. (Wikimedia Commons)

This map shows each country’s gini coefficient, which measures economic inequality. The red countries are the most unequal under the metric, and the green countries are the closest to nationwide economic equality. More here.

22. The best and worst countries to be a mother

Click to enlarge. Data source: Save the Children. (Max Fisher/Washington Post)

Click to enlarge. Data source: Save the Children. (Max Fisher/Washington Post)

A international NGO designed a complex formula to indicate which countries are better or worse for mothers. Click here to see what their formula measures and to read about the study’s implications for mothers worldwide.

 

Plus 38 more.  Check ’em out.

College student voter suppression

The (transparent) lenghts that Republicans are going to in order to suppress college student voters are truly astounding.  And jaw-droppingly disturbing in a democracy.  Truly just disgusting.  Watauga County GOP election commissioners really don’t want Appalachian State University students to vote.  A FB friend/Political Science professor summed up the situation quite aptly (the article he linked here):

Watauga County GOP commissioners just eliminated the polling place on the App State campus and combined a slew of precincts into one… making the third largest precinct in NC with 9,300 registered voters. But, this polling station has less than 30 parking spaces, is inaccessible by public transportation, and is a mile from campus down a 45 mph two lane road with no sidewalks. So this is how Republicans protect the “integrity” of elections? It’s hard to see this in any way other than Republicans implementing the new voter ID law to intentionally discriminate against the right of students to vote.

Truly disgusting.  Alright GOP readers– and I know there’s a few of you.  Please stand up and condemn this!  If not, there’s truly no hope.

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