One Clever Way to Make More Babies

baby-165067_640European fertility rates have plummeted so much that people are going to great lengths to get people to make babies. Italy has the lowest birthrate of any country in the EU, and one of the lowest around the world.

A group of hotels in Assisi, Italy is actually offering couples who conceive with them – a free holiday. Ten hotels have signed up for this baby initiative which plans to either reimburse guests or offer another trip to those who prove they’ve conceived during their stay.

Of course, some are angry with the campaign, arguing that the sexual theme isn’t appropriate in the ancient city’s historic and religious environment.

Now, how can a couple cash in on this free vacation? They have to produce their newborn’s birth certificate that dates nine months after their stay (give or take 10 days). As organizers of the campaign said, “Giving birth to a child is an act of deep love, which should be encouraged despite the multitude of difficulties in life.”

Hotels that are offering the package include: Farm Basaletto; Farmhouse Casa Faustina; Farmhouse Le Mandrie di San Paolo; Hotel Upper Room Hotel Cristallo from Moro Gallery Hotel Assisi; Hotel Dei Priori; Hotel Fontebella; The Castle Hotel; and Hotel Windsor Savoia.

Italy isn’t the first country to have this fertility push. In June, Denmark ran a campaign that urged people to have more sex. The spot was called “Do It for Mom!” and encouraged Danes to go on more holidays to up the country’s birth rate.

Now that’s some interesting marketing for you.

Which Color Do People Select More When Eating?

apple-1726962_960_720We all want our kids to eat more greens, and the fact that they don’t might actually not be their fault. A recent study conducted by the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy and published today in the journal Scientific Reports shows that we are hard-wired to select red food over green. They found that our visual sense is the first one that we use to select our food.

As Raffaella Rumiati, the coordinator of the study and a Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, explained

“According to some theories, our visual system evolved to easily identify particularly nutritious berries, fruits and vegetables from jungle foliage. We are visual animals, unlike others, dogs, for example, who depend on their sense of smell. We are particularly efficient at distinguishing red from green. It is mainly the colour of food that guides us, and our experiments show how. To date, only a few studies have been focused on the topic.”

Interestingly, they found that the preference for red over green doesn’t translate to non-edible objects. Rumiati explained that “This means that the colour code of the visual system activates correctly only with food stimuli.”


Cool Kitchen Gadgets

accessory-1238757_960_720Now, most of us don’t need an egg cracker or a green onion cutter, but it sure would make our cooking days easier if we had some of these gadgets. From the banana cutter to the pizza picker-upper, these gadgets will have you singing happy during your cooking moments. Check out the creative, and at times silly, inventions that people have made for the chef in you!

Daniel Taub is Staying Focused on the Facts for Textbooks and Children

Daniel Taub
Daniel Taub

The vast majority of educated people assume that they are getting a relatively unbiased education through their textbook studies. There is no reason to assume that there are biases in elementary school through the textbooks – but most people would be shocked to see just how prevalent such biases really are. Certainly, many textbooks written in the 1950s in America showed gender and racial bias. The math problems included women who were baking and cooking and men who were going off to work. The story lines would include white people who were successful and black people who were in the fields or in other industries of this sort.

But in today’s world, we don’t expect such biases to continue. And they do. Daniel Taub, a former ambassador to the United Kingdom who headed the Israeli side of the Culture of Peace negotiations at the Annapolis Conference in 2007, has written a great deal about these issues. As UNESCO passes resolutions wiping out Jewish history and Judaism’s connection to Jerusalem, Mr. Taub points out some fascinating, and perhaps not well known truths. In an article in The Jerusalem Post he explained that,

“I served as the head of the Israeli side of the Culture of Peace track of negotiations with the Palestinians during this Orwellian rewriting of history. Our negotiation team was charged, among other things, with examining the role played by schoolbooks and education systems in perpetuating the conflict. In examining textbooks, we chose to place particular emphasis on deliberate distortions of history for political ends.”

He continued by explaining that he actually traveled to Northern Ireland with his Palestinian counterpart, Sufian Abu Zaida, where they learned that both sides of the Irish conflict insisted that history be taught honestly to school children.

Returning from their trip, they developed a program for school textbooks to be reviewed by an independent committee of experts, but the program was rejected by the Palestinian leadership when it became public knowledge.

Daniel Taub gives a concrete example when discussing the bias in Palestinian teachings. As he said, “Palestinian text books were actually rewritten to rename the Tomb of Rachel the Mosque of a Moslem prophet.  And the Guide to the Temple Mount published by the Supreme Moslem Council in the 1920’s said that its identity as the site of Solomon’s Temple was ‘beyond dispute’.”

Certainly, around the world textbooks needs to reflect the reality of the history and the current events as they unfold. When quoting late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Daniel Taub recalled that Senator Moynihan used to say, “You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.”



The 10 Ten Shorelines in the World



You want to go to a shoreline, but which one should you choose? Now, Dr. David Holmes has tried to tackle that question in a scientific way. His study, commissioned by Royal Caribbean, enabled his to create a mathematical equation to prove which shoreline is the best.


The top ten were:
1 Dubai, United Arab Emirates
2 Blackpool, United Kingdom
3 Gulf of Mexico, United States of America
4 Cape Cod National Seashore, United States of America
5 Inchydoney, West Cork, Ireland
6 Twelve Apostles, Victoria, Australia
7 Cape Town, South Africa
8 Cavelossim, Goa, India
9 Krabi, Thailand
10 Whitehaven Beach, Whitehaven Islands, Australia

As Dr. Holmes said, “While this formula may not account for every eventuality, the top ten hopefully helps holidaymakers identify the shorelines which are, scientifically, most impactful. All countries have good and bad shorelines; however some are stunning in their unpretentious beauty combined with iconic features. Shorelines such as Dubai in UAE score well across all elements of the formula, whilst others such as Inchydoney in Ireland offer wonderful experiences with the added benefit of attracting smaller crowds.”