September 13, 2010 |
The old folk concept that our personal health behaviors rub off on those around us has received a staggering amount of scientific support of late. Over the last few years, study after study has shown that weight gain, drug and alcohol use, even loneliness and depression aren't islands unto themselves but are powerfully contagious — capable of spreading within our social networks just as germs scatter after a sneeze. If your friends are smokers, you tend to light up too, studies show.
November 15, 2010 |
Evolutionary anthropologist Robin Dunbar has a famous theory that the number of people with whom one can maintain a close relationship is limited to 150 by the size of the neocortex, the part of the brain used for conscious thought and language. The Internet has made it quicker and easier to connect with far-flung acquaintances, but Dunbar says it's impossible to overcome that basic brain programming. With high rollers on Facebook boasting up to 5,000 "friends," digital friendship has become increasingly indiscriminate.
May 13, 2011 |
Aries (March 21-April 19): You've wanted a chance to show someone how much he or she means to you. You'll now have the perfect opportunity to do so. Taurus (April 20-May 20): A certain project seems to be taking over your life in some ways, including financial. Don't emphasize how expensive it is. Gemini (May 21-June 21): You are paying attention and firing on all cylinders. You'll receive all the messages clearly the first time, including the nonverbal cues.
September 11, 2012 |
The number of Americans who consider themselves to be in the lower class is growing, rising to a third of Americans from a quarter four years ago. The Pew Research Center surveyed 2,508 adults and concluded that those who place themselves on the lower income rungs tend to be more pessimistic and stressed and less secure and satisfied than their better-off peers. The group of people ages 18 to 29 who consider themselves in the lower class ballooned in 2012 to nearly 40% from 25% in 2008.
March 21, 2003 |
Jim and Kristy Hake hardly consider themselves hawks. The couple met in yoga class 12 years ago. Jim, a computer software guru, has helped spread technology to developing countries in Africa and investigated human rights abuses in El Salvador. Kristy, an artist, spent two years living in Southeast Asia, helping resettle Thai and Cambodian refugees.
February 21, 2000 |
Ever since my kid got a dog, my social horizons have broadened. Postal workers have forged contacts with me, to tell me they couldn't deliver my mail. Neighbors engage in chats over the hedge ("Boy, she was barking last night!"). And I am well-known at the vet's office, where we've engaged in stimulating discussions about ear mange. Of course, many of us have heard that having pets is supposed to lower stress and make us healthier.