Friday, July 24, 2015

5 Things on a Friday: Science Loves Dad-Bods

Hey!  It’s Friday!!!  
How was your week?
Acquisition of Sikorsky for an after-tax price less than its current annual sales will improve Lockheed’s market positioning — already viewed as the best among first-tier defense contractors — in several ways.  First, it will boost annual revenues over $7 billion by acquiring rotorcraft franchises central to U.S. military operations.  Second, it will reduce company reliance on the tri-service F-35 fighter program, which had been projected to grow to over a quarter of corporate revenue as production ramped up.  Third, it will accelerate the company’s efforts to derive a greater share of income from foreign sources, since Sikorsky last year generated nearly half of its revenues overseas (Lockheed was at about 20%).  Finally, it will provide the combined enterprise with a multi-decade stream of sustainment revenues as it supports thousands of Black Hawks and other Sikorsky helicopters in use around the world.
Two Roads Brewery is one of Stratford's biggest recent success stories.
Their signature winter seasonal is called Igor's Dream, in honor of our
town's favorite son.
Meaning that Congress can now afford to cancel the F-35 without putting Lockheed Martin out of business.  I’ll be interested to see if that’s exactly what they do.
Full disclosure: Sikorsky is located in my hometown of Stratford, CT.  I don’t know if this deal will have any actual impact on us locally, but it very well might.
Men, when they have children, get fatter. We’ve known this for a while, and now the first nationally representative sample confirms it. In a study published in the American Journal of Men’s Health, researchers at Northwestern tracked the body mass index of 10,623 fathers and nonfathers over several years. The typical 6-foot-tall man gained an average of 4.4 pounds in the years after having a child; the new dad who did not live with his child gained about 3.3 pounds. During the same age period, the typical childless man lost 1.4 pounds…
Men often talk about the arrival of children as a chance for self-improvement: a moment when they will quit smoking or exercise more. Instead, their BMI inches up about 2 percent…
We’ve recently learned that after babies, men—like women—go through hormonal shifts. Their testosterone levels, which are associated with aggression and libido, fall while their prolactin levels, associated with care-taking, rise… [M]en with children make more money and… are less depressed…  [M]arriage transforms men: It makes them better employees, richer, happier, and healthier. If they have heart attacks, they are likely to make it to a hospital half an hour sooner, and in general, they're much less likely to die. They even report more sexual satisfaction
Even triathletes get Dad-Bod.
This article was interesting mainly because of the knots it twisted up in the writer.  It comes out of Slate’s XX column, which generally takes a feminist view.  But what’s the “feminist” take on the idea that fatherhood and marriage are basically good for men, with the notable exception that the men in question tend to gain a few pounds?  Not that I disagree, mind you.  I personally think that having a good marriage and a nice family are pretty much the only things worth doing in life.  But what does that mean for women?
I don’t know.  Generally on Slate—and especially on XX—we get a lot of articles about the virtues of single motherhood and/or about the evils of the patriarchy.  Here we learn that men benefit by building families…  It’s an unsurprising but breathtakingly conservative revelation.  Personally, I think women ought to be happy if their men are relatively healthy, but that simple conceit seemed beyond Slate’s author.  She does eventually go on to note that maybe wives ought to encourage their husbands to exercise—another breathtakingly obvious idea—but then worries that now we’re somehow making men’s fitness a woman’s responsibility.  Ugh.
Think about like this: your family’s health is the responsibility of the people running the family.  It’s important in the context of this article because not only are healthier dads happier dads but also because kids learn by observing their parents.  Most kids become their parents.  Thus, if you want your kids to grow into healthy, happy adults, then you need to be a healthy, happy adult yourself—and so does your wife or husband.  It seems simple, but as in every other aspect of marriage, it requires some commitment, and it helps to have a plan.
3.  Spectre
The Daniel Craig Bond has finally come full circle.  From a premier that was more grounded than anything we’d seen in decades, now we’re back to trick cars, Bond-girls, and wacky sci fi spy gizmos.  Not that that’s a bad thing.  It looks like old-school James Bond to me.
One in five Ottawa residents allegedly subscribed to adulterers’ website Ashley Madison, making one of the world’s coldest capitals among the hottest for extra-marital hookups – and the most vulnerable to a breach of privacy after hackers targeted the site
The hotbed of infidelity was also the seat of power: The top postal code for new members matched that of Parliament Hill, according to Avid Live chief executive Noel Biderman in a newspaper report published earlier this year.
Biderman said capital cities around the world typically top subscription rates, a phenomenon he chalks up to “power, fame and opportunity,” along with the risk-taking personalities that find themselves in political cities.
I’ve never been to Ottawa, but according to the article it’s cold, dull, and chock full of horny Canadian lawmakers.  I’m guessing they also have a few prostitutes because, well, supply-and-demand is a real thing.  One therefore wonders how many of these “affairs” are actually simple financial transactions.
Jobless claims plunged by 26,000 to 255,000 in the week ended July 18, the fewest since November 1973, a report from the Labor Department showed on Thursday in Washington…
Claims continue to hover near historically low levels as employers are retaining workers to cater to a pickup in demand following a slump in early 2015. Combined with steady hiring across states, the improvement will help sustain household spending, the biggest part of the economy.
Okay, but what’s going on with wages?  No one cares if we’re hiring a shitload of minimum wage temps.  That’s not helping.  That’s what we’ve been doing for a decade or more, and it’s resulting in declining prosperity nationwide.
What we need is an actual labor shortage, and not just at the low end of the social scale.  As it is, folks are moving from having actual careers to prolonged part-time work, and that’s not actually helping.  It looks good for total employment figures, though.
That’s all I’ve got.  We’re swimming across Long Island Sound tomorrow, so if you’ve not donated to the cause, this is your very last chance.
Thanks in advance for your support.

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