Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Canada's fertility rate hit a 15-year high!


Good work, ladies over 30!

(this kids cracks me up.. I'm in the office, and can't stop smirking... needing to pretend that it's something funny someone else said!)

Women aged 30 to 34 gave birth to 115,415 of the 367,864 babies born in 2007, more than any other age group and the second consecutive year they led all age groups. And all women 30 and over accounted for 56 per cent of all births.
The trend of more women having children later in life helped Canada hit a number of fertility milestones.
  • The total number of births was the highest since 1995 and the fifth consecutive annual increase.
  • The fertility rate, or the average number of children per woman, increased from 1.59 in 2006 to 1.66 in 2007, the highest since 1992.
  • Total births from 2006 to 2007 increased by 13,247, or 3.7 per cent, the fastest annual increase since 1989.
The increase in births from 2006 is all the more surprising because 2006 was itself a banner year for births.

Baby boom happening around the world

The baby boom is not unique to Canada, Statistics Canada said in its report. Other countries with low fertility rates, such as the United States, Australia, Spain and Sweden, have also experienced an increase in their fertility rates.

Personally, I think this is pretty freaking awesome. I mean, people are making adult choices these days and are able to advancing their lives/education/careers as they choose! There seems to be a mini-baby boom as children of baby boomers have the fantastic opportunity to wait... and hence the delay in child birthing in developed countries for all women(?)... and now it seems to be time if you did want a family(?). I don't know, maybe my perspective is not full enough. I guess, a decrease in religious importance may play a factor?... I think I'm gonna stop here with the printed over-analysis on this subject!

Gravitational waves


So there have been a few of these proposed, and some have been built on earth... to my knowledge, none have been done in space yet. Ok, first things first; what are gravitational waves and why are they important?

Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space and time produced by violent events in the distant universe, for example by the collision of two black holes or by the cores of supernova explosions.

Quoting from the article: "The team says the observations should help them understand how galaxies and supermassive black holes evolve together, shed light on the physics of the early universe such as inflation as well as probing the nature of space-time, perhaps revealing quantum gravity corrections to classical gravity. It may even throw up some new sources of gravitational waves."

The "this applies to everything" theory... and yeah, it kinda does. It would be great to see how one coudl unify classical gravity to quantum gravity. Moreover, Einstein predicted them in his theory of general relativity, they are potentially a source of energy (just as ocean waves are on earth), they mesh/work with multi-dimensional theories, and seem to be essential to the unification theory.

How to detect these waves: basically, shoot a light across a long distance and see if it ripples, or strains under 'gravity'..

How one of these wave detectors looks on earth - The LIGO detector can see ripples in space from neutron stars...

And future projects: have detectors calibrated in space over much larger distances for greater sensitivity.

The NANOGrav team estimates the cost of its project over ten years to be a mere $66 million.

It expects to be up and running by 2020 and at that price looks remarkably good value. Of course, this will not happen on time or budget.

2009 Polaris Music Prize winner - Fucked Up "The Chemistry Of Common Life"

Well, they certainly put on quite a performance!