Posted in Science & Nature

## Marriageable Age

When is the right time to get married? According to Professor Tony Dooley, you can use an equation to find the right age for proposing. To do this, take “the youngest age you want to marry” and minus it from “the oldest age you want to marry” then times 0.368. Add this number to the youngest age. For example, if you would consider getting married from age 21 onwards and at the latest 30, your ideal age to marry is: (30 – 21) x 0.368 = 3.312 + 21 = 24.312, thus about 24 years and 4 months old.

This equation is very practical as it is a modified version of equations used in financial and medical fields. This equation is used to maximise profit while minimising loss using mathematics. It may not sound romantic, but according to Professor Dooley, after you reach the calculated age you should not waste time and ask the hand of the next person you date in marriage.

Posted in Science & Nature

## Grandmother Hypothesis

There are many physiological events that puzzle scientists. Menopause is one of these as it is very uncommon in other mammals. Why do human females stop having periods after aging? From an evolutionary point of view, an organism that has lost reproductive function cannot aid evolution and thus it is a mystery how a trait like menopause survived natural selection. The leading theory in how such a phenomenon happened is the grandmother hypothesis.

According to this hypothesis, as humans are social animals menopause can still be an evolutionary advantage despite not being able to produce offspring. This is because older women can invest the massive amount of energy and time required to upkeep childbearing in other places. For example, they can help their family and society grow by working or taking care of children instead. Furthermore, as the probability of miscarriages and congenital defects rise with aging (generally after a woman hits the age of 30, the chances of a healthy pregnancy decreases), menopause has the function of protecting the gene pool of the species. These facts combined lead to the conclusion that after an individual has reached a certain age, taking care of their children or grandchildren instead of birthing more offspring is more effective in propagating their own genes. Also, there is no one that can propagate massive amounts of wisdom and information to the next generation like the elderly.

In modern society, menopause has more significance than at any point in the history of human beings. As our average life span has surpassed 80 and heading towards 90, almost half of a woman’s life is post-menopause. In some ways, the grandmother hypothesis contains within it a certain philosophy regarding life. As we age, we give birth to children and raise them until they become independent, at which point we escape our basic biological duty of reproducing to lead our “own” lives. Senescence is like a second spring after one’s “biological” life. It is the start to a new life – a more “human” life of your own where you can focus on seeking pure happiness.

Posted in Psychology & Medicine

## Birthday Cake

The ritual of blowing out candles on one’s birthday is interesting as it shows the characteristics of human beings very well. This ritual shows that the person can make fire while reminding themselves they can extinguish it with one breath. It is a ritual that helps a baby develop into a responsible, social being that is capable of controlling fire. On the other hand, an old person being so breathless that they cannot even blow out a candle signifies that it is time for them to be socially excluded by the active population.

Posted in Philosophy

## Town Musicians Of Bremen

Once upon a time, a donkey who had worked hard for his master all his life on a farm was about to be sold off simply because he was old. The donkey fled to Bremen where he hoped to be a travelling musician. On his way to Bremen, he met a cat, a dog and a rooster who were all placed in a similar predicament. The four animals decide to form a band of animal musicians. While travelling together, they came across a house full of delicious food and a warm fire.

However, they soon found out the house was inhabited by robbers. The animals decided they should somehow chase away the robbers and ultimately came up with the plan of the rooster jumping on the cat’s back, who was on the dog’s back who was on the donkey’s back. The quartet began singing at the top of their voice. The robbers were startled by the strange sound and terrifying figure and ran for their lives, thinking the house was haunted. The musicians then feast on the food and spend a warm night in the house.

Later that night, the robbers returned and sent one of their members to scout the house. In the dimly lit room, he sees the cat’s eyes but believes it to be candlelight. At that moment, the cat scratched his face, the dog bit his leg, the donkey kicked the robber and the rooster chased him out the door. The robber then told his companions about how he was scratched by the long nails of a witch (cat), stabbed by an ogre’s blade (dog), hit by the club of a giant (donkey) and worst of all, chased away by the shrieks of a dragon (rooster). The robbers gave up on the house and the animals spent the rest of their lives in that house happily ever after.

The moral of this story is that even after being thrown away, if you stay optimistic and work through the troubles you can still live a happy life. A similar lesson is found in a quote by General Douglas MacArthur: “Old soldiers never die. They just fade away.”. If you have passion, dreams and a friend who has the same mindset, nothing is impossible.