Say Hello To Patrick, The World’s Oldest Wombat

August 26, 2014

Oldest Wombat Close

World, meet Patrick. He’s 29 years old and single, and today is his birthday. This means that not only is he the world’s oldest living wombat, he’s also–as our sources at Imgur say, the oldest living wombat who is also a virgin. Typically, these nocturnal creatures live for about 15 years in the wild, which means that Pat is essentially the wombat version of Methuselah.

Oldest Wombat Held

Oldest Wombat Smile

Stolen Youth: Child Brides Around The World

August 25, 2014

Girls in many developing nations have their childhoods cut short when they’re forced to marry before they’ve even hit puberty–some as young as five. Worldwide, almost one in five teenage girls (age 15-19) are currently married. Typically transferred to their husband’s family to pay a debt or settle a grievance, these girls are property who are often abused by their husbands.

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Child Brides India

In India, 47% of girls marry before age 18. Although it doesn’t have the highest percentage of child brides in the world, it has the highest number, due to population. Source: Gender Focus

Child Brides India Jewelry

Child marriage is an economic problem as well. If only half the population has full access to school, that’s half a population that cannot develop social capital and help the economy grow. As CARE puts it, “No country has been able to reach sustained economic growth without near universal primary education.” Source: GosippMe

Five Year Old Bride

Young boys are pulled into child marriage as well, but with far less frequency as girls. 720 million women today were child brides compared to 156 million men. Rajani and her groom, pictured, will live with their parents until they are teens, when she will move in with his family. Source: National Geographic

Child Brides Bangladesh Girl

Bangladesh has the highest rate of child marriage in the world, even though they’ve outlawed the practice. Only 29.3% of women in Bangladesh are literate. If they’re allowed to leave their home to work for wages, they receive low pay for manual labor. Source: Dhaka Tribune

Child Brides Bangladesh

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child considers anyone under eighteen to be a child. The UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights bans forced marriage. The confusing part is that it doesn’t say at what age a child can consent, though it calls marriage a right of “men and women of full age.” Source: UCA News

Child Brides Nepal Crying

Sixteen-year-old bride Surita wails as she’s carried to her future husband’s village. Source: NPR

Child Brides Nepal

From photographer Stephanie Sinclair: "’Whenever I saw him, I hid. I hated to see him,’ Tahani (in pink) recalls of the early days of her marriage to Majed, when she was 6 and he was 25. The young wife posed for this portrait with former classmate Ghada, also a child bride, outside their mountain home in Hajjah, Yemen.” Source: Blogspot

Child Brides Afghanistan

In 2010, the Afghan Ministry of Public Health found that 47% of deaths of women aged 20 to 24 were pregnancy-related. One Afghan woman dies from pregnancy complications every two hours. Source: Too Young To Wed

Child Brides Nepal

Worldwide, nearly 39,000 girls become child brides EVERY DAY. Source: Wiki Nut

Child Brides Yemen Family

Yemen: When he was fifty, Muhammad, the founder of Islam, married Aisha, his third wife of an eventual stable of thirteen. Historians who have studied traditional Islamic texts disagree on her exact age. One camp argues that she was six at their marriage and nine at its consummation. Another contends that she was ten at their marriage and fifteen at the consummation. Regardless, Aisha was a child bride, which some Muslims believe justifies the practice of child marriage. Source: National Geographic

Child Brides Nujood Ali

At age nine, Nujood Ali married a man in his thirties. After months of beatings and rapes, she’d had enough. Her father’s second wife quietly gave her money for a cab and directions to the courthouse. Ali walked in and declared that she wanted a divorce. The court was stunned. A female lawyer took her case and at age ten, she won. Her memoir, “I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced,” garnered international acclaim. In 2013, it was reported that her father was planning her younger sister’s wedding. Source: National Geographic

Child Brides Yemen

Save the Children and other nonprofits have found that because child brides have little power in their marriages and not much education, they can’t control the number and spacing between their children, making their chances of health problems much higher. Source: National Geographic

Child Brides Ethiopia

Ethiopia: In 1985, the median age at first marriage was fifteen. After nearly thirty years of changing laws and educating the public, it’s nineteen. Source: Women News Network

Child Brides Tanzania

Tanzania has a practice called Nyumba ntobu in which a rich older woman essentially buys a young girl to be her wife. The woman chooses a man to impregnate the girl, who then becomes a baby machine. All children belong to the older woman. Source: Gosipp Me

Child Brides UK

United Kingdom: The Forced Marriage Act, which was made law in 2007 in the UK, allows a girl who is at risk of being taken to another country for a forced marriage to get an order of protection against her parents. Source: Wordpress

Child Brides Jesse Bender

United States: Jesse Bender, a thirteen-year-old girl from Hesperia, California, ran away from home in February, 2011, prompting a nationwide FBI search. Turns out, she was hiding at her uncle’s house because her mother had planned to take her to Pakistan, where Jesse’s stepfather is from, to marry her off. Source: Act For America Omaha

Child brides have a high incidence of fistulas, or tears in the vaginal wall that cause incontinence. They’re more likely to lose their virginity to rape, compared to women that marry after age eighteen. They have a 41% higher risk of mental illness like depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. They’re five times more likely to die in childbirth than a woman in her twenties, plus their infants’ mortality rate is higher. Despite being prohibited in some countries, the weddings continue, especially in rural villages. It’s prevalent in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and in mostly sub-Saharan Africa. And no, the West isn’t immune to it, either.

In this candid video, an eleven-year-old Yemeni girl who ran away to avoid marriage speaks about her decision:

How Income Can Affect Your SAT Score–And Future

August 24, 2014

Average SAT Scores By Family Income Graph

Unsurprisingly, there is a positive correlation between a family’s income and how well their child does on the SAT. While SAT and related test scores aren’t the sole determinants of an applicant’s admission to a university, the fact that one can predict with a fair degree of accuracy how well (or poorly) a student will do on a standardized test if provided with his or her family’s tax returns is fairly disconcerting in a country that considers itself to be an exemplar when it comes to equal opportunity.

5 Unsolved Serial Killings That Will Haunt You

August 24, 2014
Unsolved Serial Killings West Mesa Memorial

A police officer visits a memorial for the West Mesa victims. Source: Albuquerque Journal

Freeway Phantom

Unsolved Serial Killings DC

Source: Wikipedia

Beginning in the spring of 1971, only a year and a half after the civil rights riots, Washington, D.C.’s Freeway Phantom haunted the metropolitan area for 16 months, brutally killing six girls, ages 10 to 18. Police know that at least three of them suffered rape and all of them were strangled. Their bodies were found along roadways and freeways between D.C. and Maryland. All victims were black and it has been suggested by victims’ family members that the case would have received more media and police coverage had the victims been white.

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10 Popular Slang Origins You Need To Know

August 23, 2014

Like it or not, you’re human. This means that at one point or another you use slang. It’s not to look cool, per se, but a sort of verbal shorthand or way to identify with a certain group. But because we use it all the time, slang constantly evolves, adapting its meanings and usage according to our tastes and needs. Many slang words you’ve likely already used today have some pretty surprising origins.

Fanboy

Slang Origins Fanboy

What a bunch of nerds!
Source: WordPress

Nowadays, if you defend your favorite comic book or sci-fi franchise on a forum with too much fervor, you are ruled a fanboy. However, geeks everywhere can rejoice knowing that this word was first used to describe their archenemies – jocks. Right at the beginning of the 20th century, the word was used to refer to sports fans, although back then it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Booze

Sling Origins Booze

Here’s a shocker – humans have always loved alcohol
Source: Employee Ownership

In its strictest sense, booze is supposed to mean a potable liquid, but it is used as slang for alcohol. However, the OED again lists its usage much farther back than we would expect. It can be found in a compendium of slang words dating all the way back to the mid 19th century and it is also found in a court report from 1896 printed by the Daily Telegraph. Supposedly it is derived from the Middle Dutch word “busen” which means “to drink heavily”.

Kinky

Sling Origins Kinky

Sir, are you aware that you are driving a kinky car?
Source: Life Hacker

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The 6 Spookiest Hotels In The World…That You Can Actually Visit

August 22, 2014
Spookiest Hotels Crescent Clouds

The hotel’s haunted past makes it a very popular tourist destination Source: Eureka Thyme

Fear is a primal sensation felt by every human being. It’s something unifying – even though we are all scared of different things, there is always something that makes us jump and scream. Some people actually enjoy this feeling and will go chasing it on purpose. One of the best ways to do this is to travel the world, finding the spookiest places on Earth. We’ve got you off to a good start with a look at some creepy hotels where you can actually spend the night. Just don’t expect to get any sleep.

Clown Motel

Located in Tonopah, Nevada, this motel’s name makes it pretty clear why it appears on our list. Fear of clowns (coulrophobia) is one of the most common phobias in the world. Even though clowns are meant to evoke joy and laughter, all they generally manage to do is scare the hell out of people.

Clown Entrance

At least there’s free internet Source: WordPress

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