+
True
A&E Dogs of War

China just announced that it's doing away with its one-child policy, finally allowing families to have two children.

The BBC reported that "the decision to allow families to have two children was designed 'to improve the balanced development of population' and to deal with an aging population, according to the statement from the Community Party's Central Committee."

This was a long time coming, but it won't erase or immediately ease the many problems that have resulted from the policy. Here's the backstory.


In 1979, the Chinese government introduced a one-child policy.

Photo by WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty Images.

It's exactly what it sounds like — each family in China was only permitted to have one child. The government created the one-child policy to slow China's huge and growing population, which had reached nearly 1 billion people at the time.

There were some exceptions that the Washington Post shared after translating them. One was allowing for a second child if the firstborn was disabled or unable to work. Another was allowing for a second child if both parents were only children themselves. Later, the policy was adjusted to allow for a second child if just one of the parents was an only child. But for most typical Chinese families, one child was all they could (legally) have.

While the reason for the policy made sense in theory, there were many problems in practice.

The policy likely accomplished its goal of slowing population growth in China. In fact, the BBC reports that the one-child policy may have prevented an estimated 400 million births.

But that doesn't mean it was an all-around win. When couples violated the policy, they faced consequences — "from fines and the loss of employment to forced abortions," the BBC stated.

And the policy also meant that the population has now become uneven, with 115 boys born for every 100 girls (compared to 103 boys for every 100 girls worldwide).

The gender imbalance has made it more difficult for men to find women as partners in China.

A Chinese woman is sitting behind an advertisement "to attract other parents while looking for a partner for her child at a marriage market in Shanghai." Photo by Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images.

Reuters reported that the National Health and Family Planning Commission in China made a statement on its website back in January, noting, "Our country has the most serious gender imbalance that is most prolonged and affecting the most number of people." In 2014, it was reported that there were 32 million more boys than girls under the age of 20 in China.

Sadly, the gender imbalance likely resulted from black market ultrasounds to determine the sex of the baby a woman was carrying, and subsequent abortions when the baby was a girl and the family wanted a boy.

Fewer births means there are fewer people to care for the aging population.

An elderly resident at a care center. Photo by Aaron Tam/AFP/Getty Images.

In China, children traditionally care for their aging parents. But not only are there fewer children to physically and financially care for aging parents now, there are also fewer working-age people paying into social security programs to care for elderly folks.

"Undocumented" children have a harder time receiving an education or finding work.

Children at school in a rural village in China. Photo by Guang Niu/Getty Images.

The children of families who violated the one-child policy often weren't registered, meaning that it's much for difficult for them to get an education or a job as they get older.

And of course the one-child policy led to an explosion of international adoptions.

Orphaned children in Beijing. Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images.

More than 100,000 children have been adopted from China by Westerners since the early-1990s because of the one-child policy. For years, the majority of children adopted were girls. And as time went on, children placed for adoption increasingly had disabilities. Limiting families to just one child means that many felt forced to abandon their children for reasons of gender or disability, which is terrible situation.

This week's change in policy will do little to address many of the problems the one-child policy created. But it's also a long-overdue move that needed to happen.

Stuart Gietel-Basten, associate professor of social policy at the University of Oxford, wrote, "[T]he change is really a very pragmatic response to an unpopular policy that no longer made any sense. And much like the introduction of the policy in 1978, it will have little impact on the country's population level."

Regardless of the narrative, this change is good and hopefully future generations won't face the hardships that many people in China are currently experiencing.

As a parent of two children myself (both through international adoption), I admittedly struggle to feel completely positive about an initiative that is decidedly restrictive, although obviously less so than the previous one. It still might result in parents ending pregnancies simply because of gender, placing children for adoption because of disability, or having to hide children who are third-born (or greater) — among many other things. But the bottom line is that it's a push in the right direction for a complicated policy. I'm curious to learn how this changes life in practice, not just in theory, for Chinese families.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Thigh Society – makin’ it easy to love ‘thigh-self’

Thigh Society was born with one mission in mind: make all thighs happy.

Now that fall is here, there’s one thing in particular that doesn’t go away with cooler temperatures: chub rub. If you’ve never experienced the excruciating friction that can come from sweaty thighs rubbing together, well, count yourself one of the lucky few. For the rest of us mere mortals, Thigh Society’s slip shorts are our saving grace! Here’s why:

Keep ReadingShow less
popular

Woman left at the altar by her fiance decided to 'turn the day around’ and have a wedding anyway

'I didn’t want to remember the day as complete sadness.'

via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

“[A groomsman] called one of the maids of honor to explain that the groom had ‘gone.’ We were told he had left the caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 a.m. to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone,” Jordie Cullen wrote on a GoFundMe page.

Keep ReadingShow less