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The editors of this book draw upon professionals in seven industrialized nations to examine the prevalence, causes, trends, demographics, and health concerns of homelessness and to evaluate potential solutions. They also report on the resources available to the homeless by the public and private sectors in each of the seven countries studied; the United States, Germany, the Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Russia, and Spain. Also provided is a comparison of social welfare systems in industrialized nations with perhaps the most current and accurate statistics regarding Russia available in the literature. The two East European countries, the Czech Republic and the Russian Federation, represent the most radical changes, from a state to a free market economy with their social systems turned upside down. While the former socialist governments provided a system of universalistic care and control, the released uncontrolled free market forces have been eroding most social protection for the individual. Consequently, homelessness as a new phenomena affects those who are not able to compete in the free market economy. The editors tie the data and country-specific chapters together with a series of concluding chapters that include discussions of resources to prevent homelessness, financial resources for the unemployed, social welfare benefits for the indigent, access to health care and sickness benefits, affordable housing and housing policies, and public and private resources for the homeless.
Although urban historians point to the creation of the American public library as one response to the chaos experienced by big cities at the end of the 19th century, this study shows that the library developed in the rural community of Hagerstown, Maryland, resembled its urban counterparts. Business elites, concerned about the image of the town, created a library as the first cultural institution in Hagerstown. This book traces the societal changes in Hagerstown from 1878 to 1920, examines the motivations of the businessmen for creating the library, and explores the changes in attitude of the librarian who spent her career there. By using the experience of Hagerstown as a case study, the author makes a valuable contribution to the history of rural librarianship and the place of the library in American cultural history.
After completing her degree in cognitive science at UC Berkeley, Janine Kovac became pregnant with she thought was her second child. Instead, it was twins. Not just any twins, but high-risk, mono-chorionic/mono-amniotic twins, a condition that occurs in one out of 45,000 twin pregnancies. Survival outcomes hover at the 50/50 mark. Mono-chorionic/mono-amniotic twins share a placenta and an amniotic sac and there's nothing to separate the umbilical cords. Nothing to keep one baby's cord from strangling his brother.
After carefully outlining the risks and the protocols the doctor, "There is nothing you can do to prevent the babies from dying. Don't let it stress you out. You can't do anything about it." Then he sent her home.
There was anger, denial, panic and lots of Googling.
But there was something else, too. A thesis she'd just written titled "A Cognitive Linguistic Analysis of Parenting." As the parent of a toddler girl, she was trying to make sense of the parenting books she'd read. If all these people were experts, why they didn't all agree?
Janine took a novel approach to answer her questions--she analyzed the metaphors that parenting experts used to describe morality, emotional development, and human nature. This analysis became the topic of her thesis, which received the Robert J. Glushko prize for "Distinguished Undergraduate Research in Cognitive Science."
Talking to doctors about her risky pregnancy was very similar to reading conflicting opinions from parenting experts. One doctor thought she should be on 24/7 bedrest. Another saw no problem with light exercise. One doctor advised, "Try not to think about it." Another reminded her, "You have to be prepared at every ultrasound to have a dead baby."
Her high-risk pregnancy was just the beginning of her challenges as the mother of twins. She went into labor before she hit the six-month mark and her babies were born weighing just over a pound and a half apiece. The boys spent the next three months in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where they had IVs, breathing tubes, feeding tubes, x-rays, blood transfusions, and surgery to fix their heart murmurs.
An undergraduate in cognitive science learns the basics of neural networks: when some neurons are activated, other networks must be inhibited. It's called mutual inhibition. It's the reason a person can't feel fear and joy at the same time. Fear activates the fight-or-flight resources while joy makes one want to stop and smell the roses. Cognitive science students, at least the ones at UC Berkeley, learn something else, too. They learn that words and concepts are directly connected to neural networks. In other words, fear-related thought and messaging is directly connected to a network. Joy-related messaging is directly connected to a different network. If you could activate the joy-network through words, then you'd simultaneously inhibit the fear network. The doctor's advice, "Try not to think about it" was actually not that ridiculous. And according to her thesis, Janine already knew how to do it.
These essays explore some of the techniques that helped her cope as a mom: the practical application of putting on her oxygen mask, expressing gratitude, managing flow, and cultivating a growth mindset--but with a twist of cutting-edge cognitive science.
There is a great desert in the interior of North America. It is almost as large as the famous Saara of Africa. It is fifteen hundred miles long, and a thousand wide. Now, if it were of a regular shape-that is to say, a parallelogram-you could at once compute its area, by multiplying the length upon the breadth; and you would obtain one million and a half for the result-one million and a half of square miles. But its outlines are as yet very imperfectly known; and although it is fully fifteen hundred miles long, and in some places a thousand in breadth, its surface-extent is probably not over one million of square miles, or twenty-five times the size of England. Fancy a desert twenty-five times as big as all England! Do you not think that it has received a most appropriate name when it is called the Great American Desert?"