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+ - Demographers Says Older, Better Educated Women Are Having More Children

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: The Economist reports that based on an analysis of census data the proportion of all women who reach their mid-40s without ever having a child has fallen, but the decline is sharpest among the best-educated women. In 1994, 35% of women with a doctoral degree aged 40 to 44 were childless; by last year, this had fallen to 20%. Their families are bigger, too. In 1994, half of women with a master’s degree had had two more or more children. By last year, the figure was 60%. Why might older, better-educated women be having more children? Partly because access to education has widened—and so women who were always going to have children are spending more time in college. Another reason is that fertility treatment has improved dramatically, and access to that, too, has widened. Older women who, in the past, wanted children but were unable to have them are now able to.

But according to demographer Philip Cohen this does not explain the entire leap. Social changes in the nature of marriage seem to be driving the change. Whereas marriage was once near-universal and unequal, in recent decades it has become a deliberate option and more equal. Well-educated women have been able to form strong relationships with similarly brainy men, in which both parents earn and both do some child care. Getting an education and having a career are no longer always a barrier to having children; sometimes, they make it easier. Also as more career-minded women have had children, they have become powerful enough to demand time off from their employers. Although America has no national system of paid maternity leave, many professional firms now offer paid maternity leave—Ernst & Young, an accountancy firm, offers 39 weeks to its employees, for example. Meanwhile poorer women have had little luck of that sort. "Iif I’m a lower-income woman," says Stephanie Coontz, "do I want to hitch myself to a guy who may become just another mouth to feed?”

+ - Scientist fools millions into thinking chocolate helps weight loss->

Submitted by __roo
__roo writes: Did you know chocolate helps you lose weight? You can read all about this great news for chocoholics in the Daily Star, Daily Express, Irish Examiner, and TV shows in Texas and Australia, and even the front page of Bild, Europe's largest daily newspaper. The problem is that it's not true. A researcher who previously worked with Science to do a sting operation on fee-charging open access journals ran a real—but obviously flawed—study rigged to generate false positives, paid €600 to get it published in a fee-charging open access journal, set up a website for a fake institute, and issued press releases to feed the ever-hungry pool of nutrition journalists. The doctor who ran the trial had the idea to use chocolate, because it's a favorite of the "whole food" fanatics. "Bitter chocolate tastes bad, therefore it must be good for you. It’s like a religion."
Link to Original Source

+ - Ways to travel faster than light without violating relativity

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang writes: It’s one of the cardinal laws of physics and the underlying principle of Einstein’s relativity itself: the fact that there’s a universal speed limit to the motion of anything through space and time, the speed of light, or c. Light itself will always move at this speed (as well as certain other phenomena, like the force of gravity), while anything with mass — like all known particles of matter and antimatter — will always move slower than that. But if you want something to travel faster-than-light, you aren’t, as you might think, relegated to the realm of science fiction. There are real, physical phenomena that do exactly this, and yet are perfectly consistent with relativity.

Comment: Re:Answer : as little as practical (Score 1) 333

by rwa2 (#49788291) Attached to: How Much C++ Should You Know For an Entry-Level C++ Job?

Well, you really weren't that far off the mark.

I went to an Ivy League engineering school about 2 decades ago. They did just about all of their classes in anything *but* C++ . Intro to intermediate courses were in Java, because it pretty much worked as documented. Higher level courses were in scheme, lisp, or whatever. Low-level assembly language classes were done in your own virtual machine that you had built in the java courses. Engineering programming classes were in C (for low-level I/O), Labview, and Matlab. There was *one* small 2-credit elective on C++ that taught the vagaries of C++ for the students who wanted official exposure to that stuff. That was enough to land them at Microsoft or Apple or Google or whatever big shop they wanted to run off to or start their own thing.

My wife and most of my friends went to State University. Intro-intermediate CS were total weed-out classes, and taught in C++ . They spent all of their homework time fighting the tool, debugging stack and buffer overflows, adjusting ulimits, tracing pointers... anything but actually learning about data structures or algorithms. The smarter students figured out how to use the debugging tools and source control to get by, which weren't covered in the curriculum. The State U. didn't exactly produce CS grads so much as CS survivors. Which I guess is an important quality for employers too.

Comment: Re:But I love it when slides are read to me (Score 1) 323

by rwa2 (#49780231) Attached to: Why PowerPoint Should Be Banned

Hmm, I try to take a more graphics-intensive approach, banishing all of the bullet talking points to the notes section, and filling the wide-aspect ratio slide with full-screen diagrams and visuals to provide some sort of guttural association with the topic I'm covering, like a sinking ship with women and children screaming while falling over the rigging into frigid waters in the aftermath of some application failing due to a careless buffer overflow.

But the place I work now tends to put more emphasis on appropriate cat gifs to augment the content. So there's that.

Comment: Re:But I love it when slides are read to me (Score 1) 323

by rwa2 (#49780215) Attached to: Why PowerPoint Should Be Banned

Aw, yeah, that guy was certainly the best TED presenter of the handfuls that I've seen! One (most?) of his big projects was on data visualization, though, and he's pretty good at presenting. I doubt anyone without his particular data viz toolset and mad presentation skills would be able to deliver his pitch adequately, though, even without his strong accent.

For the flip side, I sorta wonder what he could do if we made him present something passionate and heartwarming on "continuous delivery technologies for distributed cloud computing". Hmm.

Comment: Re:Time for a change? (Score 1) 232

by rwa2 (#49780189) Attached to: Elon Musk Establishes a Grade School

health care and pensions, both of which we've seen being raided by the politicians in the past few administrations.

What?? It this "opposites" day? Both health care (Medicare) and pensions (Social Security) have not only not been "raided", but are being unsustainably financed by politicians too terrified to attempt any reform. I wish that spending was being "raided". We should be investing more in young families with children, and get spending on retirees under control.

Heh, I hear you... but health care (esp. Medicare) is more about providing money for the insurance companies than old people, though. You can see that just about every COLA (cost of living adjustment) to SSA is accompanied by a corresponding rise in Medicare premiums. ACA ("Obamacare"), without the public option, simply gets younger people to pay into the insurance system. I'm guessing the hospitals are still doing the same thing they've always done for anyone who stumbles into the emergency room.

Comment: Re:Time for a change? (Score 1) 232

by rwa2 (#49780169) Attached to: Elon Musk Establishes a Grade School

Hey, thanks for the story bro, or, er, gramps, or, er whomever :-D

Yeah, I probably fall under the atheist / Buddhist camp too, though Buddhism is generally very compatible with just about any other school of thought. My father actually picked it up while he was serving in the Vietnam war and had it on his dog tag, so supposedly if he had died in action he'd be cremated according to Buddhist custom.

Yeah, PopeRatzo's sig is the best. I hope I age as well as you guys... all we have is that when my wife lost her job a couple years ago, we just went on a strict budget and didn't bother applying for unemployment.

I support public education : I married a teacher.

Comment: Re:Time for a change? (Score 1) 232

by rwa2 (#49780151) Attached to: Elon Musk Establishes a Grade School

Oh, SSA is all fine and good. I mean, I'm a bit worried about the baby boomer generation all hitting retirement age about now, and the millennials hitting the job market are making relatively less money compared to previous generations. But whatever. As long as the US Military can keep the US Dollar strong by making sure it's the only currency used to buy and sell oil in the global market, I'm sure we'll be fine.

Anyways, I was actually referring more to the 2008 financial crisis and the earlier Savings and Loan crisis, where cozying up with Wall Street led to real estate bubbles that burst, taking people's 401k savings with them, and ultimately taking further infusions of taxpayer bailout cash to re-inflate to acceptable levels.

The question of whether computers can think is just like the question of whether submarines can swim. -- Edsger W. Dijkstra