Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Friday, 4 October 2013

Cheating Survey Finds That People Cheat With People Less Attractive Than Their Spouses

Cheating Survey Finds That People Cheat With People Less Attractive Than Their Spouses - 

The age-old assumption that people cheat because with someone better looking than their current partner may not actually be true, according to a new survey by Victoria Milan, a dating site for married people looking to have an affair.

The website polled over 4,000 of their members and found that most people using the site consider their significant others to be more attractive than their affair partners.

Interestingly, male respondents said they consider their significant others superior to their affair partners in other ways as well. Only 30 percent of men cheated with women younger than their current partners, and only a quarter of the men found their mistresses more interesting or more in shape than their partners.

So why cheat at all? Men admitted that they found their mistresses to be more passionate, better listeners and more caring than their significant others.

Over half of the female respondents also found their significant others to be more attractive than their affair partners, but 50 percent said their lovers were in better shape. Similar to the male respondents, women reported that their affair partners listen better and are more passionate than their man at home. And a whopping 89.6 percent of the women indicated that the man they're cheating with makes them feel more appreciated than their significant other.

This isn't the first time a dating site for cheaters has looked into the habits and preferences of its users. Ashley Madison, another dating website for people already in relationships, found that cheating men love drinking Guinness. And in August, the same site revealed what affair anthems cheating spouses prefer. Check out the slideshow below to see which songs cracked the top ten.

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1 In 3 Black Males Will Go To Prison In Their Lifetime

1 In 3 Black Males Will Go To Prison In Their Lifetime

One in every three black males born today can expect to go to prison at some point in their life, compared with one in every six Latino males, and one in every 17 white males, if current incarceration trends continue.

These are among the many pieces of evidence cited by the Sentencing Project, a Washington, D.C.-based group that advocates for prison reform, in a report on the staggering racial disparities that permeate the American criminal justice system.

The report was submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Committee this week in advance of the U.N.’s review of American compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights later this month. It argues that racial disparity pervades “every stage of the United States criminal justice system, from arrest to trial to sentencing.”

“Racial minorities are more likely than white Americans to be arrested,” the report explains. “Once arrested, they are more likely to be convicted; and once convicted, they are more likely to face stiff sentences.”

The report's findings lead its authors to conclude that the U.S. is violating the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states that all citizens must be treated equally under the law. The U.S. ratified the treaty in 1992.

Central to the report’s argument is the simple fact that African-American and, to a lesser extent, Hispanic men, are more likely to spend time behind bars than their white counterparts, according to recent data from the U.S. government.

The reasons for this discrepancy are widely debated, but the report discourages readers from blaming either the higher-than-average crime rate among blacks and Latinos in the U.S. or the presence of deliberate racism in the criminal justice system.

While those factors may contribute to the problem, the reasons go much deeper, the report contends.

The problem begins with police activity. According to Justice Department data cited in the report, police arrested black youth for drug crimes at more than twice the rate of white youth between 1980 and 2010, nationwide. Yet a 2012 study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that white high-school students were slightly more likely to have abused illegal drugs within the past month than black students of the same age.

Blacks are also far more likely than whites to be stopped by the police while driving. The Sentencing Project report largely attributes the racial disparities in both traffic and drug arrests to “implicit racial bias” on the part of the police.

“Since the nature of law enforcement frequently requires police officers to make snap judgments about the danger posed by suspects and the criminal nature of their activity, subconscious racial associations influence the way officers perform their jobs,” the report contends.

The disparities don’t end with arrests. Because blacks and Latinos are generally poorer than whites, they are more likely to rely on court-appointed public defenders, who tend to work for agencies that are underfunded and understaffed. In 2012, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, more than 70 percent of public defender offices reported that they were struggling to come up with the funding needed to provide adequate defense services to poor people. By last March, the problem was so bad that Attorney General Eric Holder declared the public defense system to be in a "state of crisis.”

Racial disparities within the justice system have been exacerbated by the war on drugs, the report argues. The drug war led the country’s population of incarcerated drug offenders to soar from 42,000 in 1980 to nearly half a million in 2007. From 1999 to 2005, African Americans constituted about 13 percent of drug users, but they made up about 46 percent of those convicted for drug offenses, the report points out.

Marc Mauer, director of the Sentencing Project and an author of the report, said he’s optimistic that the country’s criminal justice policies are starting to change. “There’s much that needs to be done, but we haven’t seen this much progress around these issues in quite some time,” he said.

He mentioned the Justice Department’s recent decision to scale back the war on drugs and a series of bipartisan state laws aimed at reducing harsh prison sentences for low-level drug offenders.

The report offers 10 specific steps that the U.S. could take to cut down on such disparities, including fully funding the country’s public defenders, prohibiting law-enforcement officials from engaging in racial profiling and establishing a commission to develop recommendations for “systemic reform” of the country’s police bureaus and courts.

Whether the U.N. review could contribute to these changes isn’t clear. Even if the U.N. finds the U.S. to be in violation of the treaty, the range of repercussions is essentially limited to scolding.


Brain Implants to “Reboot” Depressed People -

Brain Implants to “Reboot” Depressed People - 

Hacker warned medical devices could be accessed remotely for “mass murder”

Scientists are set to treat depression and headaches by implanting electrodes into people’s brains which alter the function of brain tissue by using electroconvulsive therapy to “reboot” the mind.
“The more neurologists and surgeons learn about the aptly named deep brain stimulation, the more they are convinced that the currents from the technology’s implanted electrodes can literally reboot brain circuits involved with the mood disorder,” reports Scientific American.
Is this a potential scientific success story or the first step towards psychopharmacological dictatorship?
Hacker Barnaby Jack warned that medical implants like pacemakers could be remotely accessed by hackers and governments to “commit mass murder.”
Jack was found dead just a week before he was set to present his research at a conference.

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30 Mindblowing Statistics About Americans Under The Age Of 30 -

30 Mindblowing Statistics About Americans Under The Age Of 30 - 

Why are young people in America so frustrated these days?  You are about to find out.  Most young adults started out having faith in the system.  They worked hard, they got good grades, they stayed out of trouble and many of them went on to college.  But when their educations where over, they discovered that the good jobs that they had been promised were not waiting for them at the end of the rainbow.  Even in the midst of this so-called "economic recovery", the full-time employment rate for Americans under the age of 30 continues to fall.  And incomes for that age group continue to fall as well.  At the same time, young adults are dealing with record levels of student loan debt.  As a result, more young Americans than ever are putting off getting married and having families, and more of them than ever are moving back in with their parents.

It can be absolutely soul crushing when you discover that the "bright future" that the system had been promising you for so many years turns out to be a lie.  A lot of young people ultimately give up on the system and many of them end up just kind of drifting aimlessly through life.  The following is an example from a recent Wall Street Journal article...

James Roy, 26, has spent the past six years paying off $14,000 in student loans for two years of college by skating from job to job. Now working as a supervisor for a coffee shop in the Chicago suburb of St. Charles, Ill., Mr. Roy describes his outlook as "kind of grim."

"It seems to me that if you went to college and took on student debt, there used to be greater assurance that you could pay it off with a good job," said the Colorado native, who majored in English before dropping out. "But now, for people living in this economy and in our age group, it's a rough deal."
Young adults as a group have been experiencing a tremendous amount of economic pain in recent years.  The following are 30 statistics about Americans under the age of 30 that will blow your mind...

#1 The labor force participation rate for men in the 18 to 24 year old age bracket is at an all-time low.

#2 The ratio of what men in the 18 to 29 year old age bracket are earning compared to the general population is at an all-time low.

#3 Only about a third of all adults in their early 20s are working a full-time job.

#4 For the entire 18 to 29 year old age bracket, the full-time employment rate continues to fall.  In June 2012, 47 percent of that entire age group had a full-time job.  One year later, in June 2013, only 43.6 percent of that entire age group had a full-time job.

#5 Back in the year 2000, 80 percent of men in their late 20s had a full-time job.  Today, only 65 percent do.

#6 In 2007, the unemployment rate for the 20 to 29 year old age bracket was about 6.5 percent.  Today, the unemployment rate for that same age group is about 13 percent.

#7 American families that have a head of household that is under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.

#8 During 2012, young adults under the age of 30 accounted for 23 percent of the workforce, but they accounted for a whopping 36 percent of the unemployed.

#9 During 2011, 53 percent of all Americans with a bachelor’s degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed.

#10 At this point about half of all recent college graduates are working jobs that do not even require a college degree.

#11 The number of Americans in the 16 to 29 year old age bracket with a job declined by 18 percent between 2000 and 2010.

#12 According to one survey, 82 percent of all Americans believe that it is harder for young adults to find jobs today than it was for their parents to find jobs.

#13 Incomes for U.S. households led by someone between the ages of 25 and 34 have fallen by about 12 percent after you adjust for inflation since the year 2000.

#14 In 1984, the median net worth of households led by someone 65 or older was 10 times larger than the median net worth of households led by someone 35 or younger.  Today, the median net worth of households led by someone 65 or older is 47 times larger than the median net worth of households led by someone 35 or younger.

#15 In 2011, SAT scores for young men were the worst that they had been in 40 years.

#16 Incredibly, approximately two-thirds of all college students graduate with student loans.

#17 According to the Federal Reserve, the total amount of student loan debt has risen by 275 percent since 2003.

#18 In America today, 40 percent of all households that are led by someone under the age of 35 are paying off student loan debt.  Back in 1989, that figure was below 20 percent.

#19 The total amount of student loan debt in the United States now exceeds the total amount of credit card debt in the United States.

#20 According to the U.S. Department of Education, 11 percent of all student loans are at least 90 days delinquent.

#21 The student loan default rate in the United States has nearly doubled since 2005.

#22 One survey found that 70% of all college graduates wish that they had spent more time preparing for the "real world" while they were still in college.

#23 In the United States today, there are more than 100,000 janitors that have college degrees.

#24 In the United States today, 317,000 waiters and waitresses have college degrees.

#25 Today, an all-time low 44.2 percent of all Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 are married.

#26 According to the Pew Research Center, 57 percent of all Americans in the 18 to 24 year old age bracket lived with their parents during 2012.

#27 One poll discovered that 29 percent of all Americans in the 25 to 34 year old age bracket are still living with their parents.

#28 Young men are nearly twice as likely to live with their parents as young women the same age are.

#29 Overall, approximately 25 million American adults are living with their parents according to Time Magazine.

#30 Young Americans are becoming increasingly frustrated that previous generations have saddled them with a nearly 17 trillion dollar national debt that they are expected to make payments on for the rest of their lives.

And this trend is not just limited to the United States.  As I have written about frequently, unemployment rates for young adults throughout Europe have been soaring to unprecedented heights.  For example, the unemployment rate for those under the age of 25 in Italy has now reached 40.1 percent.

Simon Black of the Sovereign Man blog discussed this global trend in a recent article on his website...

Youth unemployment rates in these countries are upwards of 40% to nearly 70%. The most recent figures published by the Italian government show yet another record high in youth unemployment.

An entire generation is now coming of age without being able to leave the nest or have any prospect of earning a decent wage in their home country.

This underscores an important point that I’ve been writing about for a long time: young people in particular get the sharp end of the stick.

They’re the last to be hired, the first to be fired, the first to be sent off to fight and die in foreign lands, and the first to have their benefits cut.

And if they’re ever lucky enough to find meaningful employment, they can count on working their entire lives to pay down the debts of previous generations through higher and higher taxes.

But when it comes time to collect… finally… those benefits won’t be there for them.
Meanwhile, the overall economy continues to get even weaker.

In the United States, Gallup's daily economic confidence index is now the lowest that it has been in more than a year.

For young people that are in high school or college right now, the future does not look bright.  In fact, this is probably as good as the U.S. economy is going to get.  It is probably only going to be downhill from here.

The system is failing, and young people are going to become even angrier and even more frustrated.

So what will that mean for our future?

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Storms quell insects' appetite for sex -

Storms quell insects' appetite for sex - 

Sex may feel electrifying, but insects may avoid the naughty act when they detect storms are coming, a new study suggests.

As the climate changes, insect sex and other activity may shift as well, the research also suggests.

Insects are the most abundant and most diverse group of animals on Earth; scientists know of more than a million different insect species. However, their size and frailty make them vulnerable to storms' strong winds and heavy rains, which could easily kill the creatures. [Gallery: Dazzling Photos of Dew-Covered Insects]

"For an aphid, a raindrop is something like what a refrigerator would be like falling on us," said researcher Jeremy McNeil, an entomologist and chemical ecologist at the University of Western Ontario in Canada.

Sexy scents
Preliminary research from McNeil and others found that insects apparently changed how they emitted and responded to pheromones — scents linked with sex — depending on the weather. To learn more about how insects survive the perils regularly presented by storms, McNeil and his colleagues investigated the mating behavior of three very different insects: the cucurbit beetle, the true armyworm moth and the potato aphid. They focused on how sex among the insects varied depending on weather conditions such as falling, stable and increasing air pressure.

Falling air pressure is linked with high rains and winds. When atmospheric pressure naturally fell due to weather conditions, male cucurbit beetles were attracted significantly less toward sources of female pheromones, the researchers found. In addition, when air pressure dropped, nearly two-thirds of male cucurbit beetles in the lab rushed through sex with females, instead of engaging in foreplay activities, such as touching females with their antennae, and the females did not take part in any rejection behaviors, as they normally do.

"Insects are forecasting weather for their own lives just like we do," McNeil said. "We have weather forecasts that we use to not plan a picnic on a day where rain is announced, and since insects can't listen to the news, they have evolved their own ways of evaluating weather and modifying behavior in ways that are beneficial to their survival."

Stormy sex
In the study, when scientists lowered the air pressure in chambers containing insects, female armyworm moths released sex pheromones less often. However, female potato aphids showed less courtship behavior both when the researchers decreased the air pressure and when they increased it.

"The question is, why is there this difference?" McNeil asked.

The difference lies in aphid biology, and the fact that both rising and falling atmospheric pressure are linked with winds. Female aphids emit pheromones by crawling to the edge of a leaf and lifting their back two legs to the air.

"It's wingless, and it's clinging to life at the edge of a leaf with four of its six legs — so if there's wind, there's a chance that it might get blown away to its death," McNeil said. Female armyworm moths, by contrast, are much larger and can resist winds better — and also have wings to fly, so they may not fall to their deaths if they are blown off surfaces.

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