The passport you hold says a lot more than you may realize about your access to the world. Here are the list of 10 most powerful passports based on the travel freedom that each passport holder enjoys.
The Links between Your Blood Type and Your Personality, Diet and More Explained
The Japanese have been studying the link between blood type and personality for over 60 years. Find out what your blood type says about your personality and health.
Could blood type provide a key to wellness and even affect our personality? Canadian naturopathic doctor James D’Adamo and his son Peter D’Adamo think so. In Japan extensive research on blood type and personality began more than 60 years ago. Blood type can be a valuable clue for understanding your own uniqueness.
Today, it is even more common to hear the Japanese ask your blood type than it is for Americans to ask your astrological sign.
To most Japanese both biology and genetics have a role in determining personality. Approximately 90% know their blood type and for decades, blood typing has been used by: employers whenassessing job candidates, dating services for potential love matches and even companies for marketing soft drinks and other products.1
I seem to have a special relationship with Japan. I lived there from the ages of 12 to 15. I also studied with Lima Ohsawa, who founded Macrobiotics with her husband, George Ohsawa.
During my years of travel and study in Japan, I had an opportunity to learn first-hand the ways that the Japanese used blood types and it immediately caught my attention — especially because several years earlier I had also become fascinated with the work of Dr James D’Adamo.
His theory focused on how blood type could indicate the foods and lifestyle choices most compatible for you. One man’s food is another man’s poison. After meeting Dr James D’Adamo and reading his book, I began to question everyone about their blood type in an attempt to verify if blood type diet indeed provided clues to our individual uniqueness.
Twenty six years later, I am certain it does have merit and is worth our attention. In fact, when I began working with children with autism, I quickly saw that 8 out of 10 of them are blood type “A”. An “A” myself, this told me a lot about the little bodies they were in and what their special needs were.
Knowing that blood is the most fundamental nourishment for our bodies, it seems to me that different blood types would react differently to certain substances in food. Please reflect on this theory yourself and see if you don’t agree. While there is not a lot of “hard science” to date on blood type, it makes a lot of “common sense” to look further into this theory. Blood carries the nutrients of foods into our cells and clearly not all blood is exactly the same.
While Dr. James D’Adamo’s theories were based on patient observation, his son Peter D’Adamo has tried to use a more scientific approach on the activity of lectins (proteins found in food). Peter found that eating the wrong lectins for your blood type could cause weight gain, early aging and immune problems.
I credit much of the blood type information presented in The Body Ecology Diet to both James D’Adamo and Pete D’Adamo’s research, but because of my own observations with blood type and my fortunate exposure to the Japanese theory on personality and blood type – and as you will see in more detail in The Body Ecology Diet book — I do not always agree with these two brilliant and creative men.
BLOOD TYPE AND PERSONALITY
There are four blood types: O, A, AB and B, with blood type A being the most common where so much research on blood types have been focused — in Japan. In fact, 74% of the Japanese are blood type A. I find it interesting that the Japanese diet very much favors those with blood type A.
“B” type, the second most common blood type, does not do well on soy, or soba (buckwheat) common foods eaten in Japan. Fish is an important protein for B’s and the Japanese consume more fish that any country in the world. Lamb, an important protein for B’s, is not available there.
Here are some examples of blood type and personality, based on James and Peter D’Adamo’s work:
Blood Type A – Tend to be cooperative, sensitive, clever, passionate and smart. Often bottling up anxiety in order to get along with others, they may hold in their emotions until they explode. Many are tense, impatient and unable to sleep well. While they are capable of leadership positions, they may not take them because the stress is not good for their tightly wired systems. In Japan many “A”‘s are in research. They have roles in discovering more about and refining science, economics, manufacturing, etc. Their research on microflora and other areas of medicine is some of the best and most meticulous in the world. They are perfectionists to say the least. This quality shows up in their perfecting electronics like TV’s and also less expensive more efficient cars that were originally created here in the US.
Blood type A’s tend to have more sensitive constitutions. Too much stress weakens their immunity more quickly than other blood types. Low stomach acid is common among blood type A’s even from birth, so special care should be taken when eating animal proteins. Using digestive enzymes, like Assist Dairy and Protein, along with consuming fermented foods and drinks is really a must for A’s. It is not surprising to me that fermented foods like Miso and Natto play an important role in providing easily digested protein, in the Japanese Diet. They also eat raw fish which is much easier to digest than cooked.
Blood Type B – Blood type B individuals tend to be balanced: thoughtful like A’s and yet ambitious like O’s. They are empathetic, easily understanding others’ points of view, yet often hesitating to challenge or confront. Chameleon-like and flexible, they make good friends.
Peter D’Adamo found that While their immunity is strong, they are more prone to slow-growing viral infections like lupus, MS and chronic fatigue.
They may also have problems with hypoglycemia and blood sugar, especially if they eat the wrong foods.
Blood Type AB – Tend to be very charming and popular. They don’t sweat the small stuff and can be seen as spiritual and even at times a bit “flaky”. Only about 2 – 5% of the population are blood type AB. There is never a dull moment in a AB’s life, so if you find one for a friend, consider yourself lucky! Youll enjoy some exciting times together!
Like blood type A’s, AB’s react to stress poorly. They are stronger and more active than type A’s, but need to pay attention to stress levels so that they don’t compromise their immunity.
Sometimes it is difficult to be an AB. AB’s don’t like to fit in anyone else’s “boxes”. If they feel too confined, they’ll break out of that box and do things their own way. When it comes to food choices and AB must discover when they are more B-like or A-like. For example, dairy foods like milk kefir can be excellent for them or not good at all.
Blood Type O – Tend to be loners or leaders and are intuitive, focused, self-reliant and daring. They handle stress better than other blood types and have strong immune systems, a well developed physique and a physically active nature. Blood type O’s tend to have sluggish blood flow and feel better with vigorous exercise for about an hour each day.
Obviously many other factors influence your personality. I think you will find like me that these blood type theories are quite fascinating. Do your own subjective research and see if you agree or disagree.
Leaders in the United Arab Emirates aim to build a human settlement on Mars by 2117, a research project the government promises will bring benefits to generations of people.
UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan started the Mars 2117 Project on Tuesday. The goal of the century-long effort is not just to inhabit the Red Planet, but to further space science research.
“We expect future generations to reap the benefits, driven by its passion to learn to unveil a new knowledge,” Sheikh Mohammed said. “The landing of people on other planets has been a longtime dream for humans. Our aim is that the UAE will spearhead international efforts to make this dream a reality.”
Al Maktoum teased the world with futuristic renderings of the project.
“Mars 2117” is a seed we are sowing today to reap the fruit of new generations led by a passion for science and advancing human knowledge. pic.twitter.com/IExtnpiO2B
— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) February 14, 2017
The “Mars 2117” project will develop an Emirati and international team of scientists to push the human exploration of Mars in years to come. pic.twitter.com/5ujxvyC8As
— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) February 14, 2017
We aspire in the coming century to develop science, technology and our youth’s passion for knowledge. This project is driven by that vision. pic.twitter.com/4QibJjtiM2
— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) February 14, 2017
The government said UAE scientists will start the project and build a coalition of international scientists to “speed” it up. One of the aims of the plan is to make the research available to institutions across the globe, an effort to make the research beneficial to those on Earth as it relates to transportation, energy and food.
The first step of the project is to, “achieve scientific breakthrough to facilitate the arrival of humans to the Red Planet in the next decades.” Part of the government’s goal also is to expedite travel to and from Mars as well as establish what the settlement will look like and how people will move and eat once they arrive.
Mars volcano erupted for 2 billion years
Also at the summit, a team of UAE engineers presented a concept for a Mars city built by robots along. The showcase also featured “the expected lifestyle on Mars in terms of transport, power production and providing food, as well as infrastructure works and materials used for the construction of the city.”
The UAE isn’t new to Mars exploration. The country announced in 2015 it would send a spacecraft to Mars, which would land in 2021. UAE stated the spacecraft would be the first from the Arab world to go to Mars.
“Human ambitions have no limits,” Sheikh Mohammed said, “and whoever looks into the scientific breakthroughs in the current century believes that human abilities can realize the most important human dream.”
Some background behind this video:
Our friend Luz has been complaining to our buddy Luis about her new boyfriend. Luz and her boyfriend met at a Wholefoods, and been dating for almost a year. Recently (the past 3 months) the arguments have started, and Luz got most suspicious of her boyfriend’s distance after he flaked on a date they setup a couple weeks ago, she was unable to reach him (his excuse was his car and cellphone battery both died!).
So Luz told this to Luis, and she thought of this devious plan to test her boyfriend’s faithfulness. Luis set it up with his hot friend Harley, and… well here are the results.
If you’d like to put your man (or girl) to the test, let us know, we’ll have Luis set them up, but we get to record it and put it on Youtube! That’s the stipulation!
THE LAST DANCE OF MARY BREGOVY
The true story of Resurrection Mary!
The Death of the “Original” Resurrection Mary
In the early morning hours of March 10, 1934, a young woman who died in an automobile accident went on to become the original source for Chicago’s most famous ghost – Resurrection Mary. Her name was Mary Bregovy and she was a young Polish factory worker from the Back of the Yards neighborhood, but her death created a legend that is still being told today. There is no ghost in Chicago history that is as famous as “Resurrection Mary,” the beautiful spirit who hitches rides along Archer Avenue on the Southwest Side, but for many years, her origins remained a mystery.
After more than a decade and a half of research, however, I have come to believe there are actually two different young women (and perhaps more!) whose combined deaths created the legend that we know of as “Resurrection Mary.” One of them was Mary Bregovy…
According to legend, the story of Resurrection Mary began with the death of a young woman who was killed while hitchhiking on Archer Avenue in the middle 1930s. This is the popular version of the story and as all of the elements of Chicago’s greatest haunting — a beautiful blonde, a lonely highway, a popular big-band ballroom and, of course, a hitchhiking ghost.
Many would dismiss this story as nothing more than an urban legend gone awry, a bedtime story that has taken on a life of its own over the years. Others would argue this and recount the most widely told version of the tale, never wavering from the idea that they believe the story to be true. Unfortunately though, the story of Resurrection Mary is filled with mystery — and myth — and nothing about it is simple. It’s a complicated tale of two young women and a single legend that became, without question, American’s greatest ghost story.
The Willowbrook Ballroom on Archer Avenue, which started out as the Oh Henry Ballroom in the 1920s
The legend of Resurrection Mary began at the Oh Henry Ballroom (now known as the Willowbrook Ballroom), a popular place for swing and big-band dancing during the middle 1930s. The ballroom is still located today on the south stretch of Archer Avenue in Willow Springs. Many years ago, this was a somewhat secluded place, nestled among the trees in a small town with a “wide open” reputation for booze, gambling and prostitution. Young people from all over the south side came to the Oh Henry Ballroom for music and dancing and owner John Verderbar was known for booking the hottest bands in the Chicago area and the biggest acts that traveled around the country.
The story goes that Mary came to the Oh Henry one night with a boyfriend and they spent the evening dancing and drinking. At some point, they got into an argument and Mary stormed out of the place. Even though it was a cold winter’s night, she decided that she would rather face a cold walk home than another minute with her obnoxious boyfriend. She left the ballroom and started walking up Archer Avenue. She had not gotten very far when she was struck and killed by a passing automobile. The driver fled the scene and Mary was left there to die.
Her grieving parents buried her in Resurrection Cemetery, wearing her favorite party dress and her dancing shoes. Since that time, her spirit has been seen along Archer Avenue, perhaps trying to return to her grave after one last night among the living. Motorists started picking up a young woman on Archer Avenue, who offered them vague directions to take her home, who would then vanish from the automobile at the gates to Resurrection Cemetery.
But is there any truth to this legend? Did a young woman actually die after leaving the Oh Henry Ballroom and then begin haunting Archer Avenue? Many say that none of this ever happened. They speculate that “Mary” never existed at all. They dismiss the idea of bothering to search for her identity and believe she is nothing more than an “urban legend” and a piece of fascinating folklore. She is, they say, nothing more than Chicago’s own “vanishing hitchhiker”.
While the story of Resurrection Mary does bear some resemblance to the classic bit of American highway lore that we call the “vanishing hitchhiker”, the folklorists have forgotten an important thing about Mary’s story that other versions of the don’t have — credible eyewitness accounts, places, times and dates. Many of these reports are not just stories that have been passed from person to person and rely on a “friend of a friend” for authenticity. In fact, some of the encounters with Mary have been chillingly up close and personal and remain unexplained to this day.
In addition, the story of Mary includes something that the urban legends leave out — actually physical evidence of her presence. I’m not referring to the mythical coats and lettermen’s jackets that have been found neatly folded over gravesites but actual physical happenings that have been attributed to her ghost, as well as handprints that have been left behind, scorched into the bars of an iron gate.
And Mary, unlike our highway legends, springs from real-life counterparts for which evidence remains about their lives — and deaths.
Historically speaking, the first reports of Resurrection Mary came from the late spring of 1934. It was at this time that motorists on Archer Avenue, passing in front of Resurrection Cemetery, began telling of a young woman who would appear on the roadway, as if trying to hitch a ride. On some occasions, she became frantic as cars passed her by and many times, actually desperate. Motorists told of the woman running toward them across the road, trying to climb onto the running boards of their automobiles and sometimes, even trying to climb into the open back windows! They all described her in the same way, wearing a light-colored dress and having curly, light brown hair that reached to her shoulders.
What made matters worse is that many of the people in these automobiles, who were residents of the southwest side, actually recognized this young woman. Her name was Mary Bregovy and some of these motorists were her friends. They laughed with her, drank with her and often danced with her at their favorite spot, the Oh Henry Ballroom. Of course, that had been in the past because when they began seeing Mary trying to flag them down on Archer Avenue — she had been dead for several weeks!
Newspaper images of Mary Bregovy from the 1930s
Mary Bregovy was 21 years-old in March 1934. She had been born on April 7, 1912 and attended St. Michael’s Grammar School, a short distance from her home. She lived in a small home at 4611 South Damen Avenue, which was in the stockyards neighborhood of Bridgeport. She was of Polish descent and was employed at a local factory, where she worked hard to help support her mother, father and two younger brothers, Steve and Joseph, during the early days of the Great Depression.
Friends would later remember her as an extremely fun-loving girl who loved to go to parties and loved to go out dancing, especially to the Oh Henry Ballroom, which was her favorite place. Her friend LaVern Rutkowski, who grew up with Mary on the southwest side and lived just two houses away from her, recalled in a 1984 interview: “She was personality plus. She always had a smile and you never saw her unhappy.”
Mrs. Rutkowski, or “Vern” as she was commonly known, spent Mary’s final day with her on March 10, 1934. The two of them spent a lot of time together and years later, Vern would vividly recall going out with Mary to dance halls all over the southwest side. Ironically, Mary’s parents had forbidden her to go out on the night of March 10 and Mary might have listened to them if she and Vern had not met a couple of young men earlier that day. These two men, who are believed to have been John Reiker and John Thoel, were in the car that night when Mary was killed.
The former Goldblatt’s store at 47th and Ashland, where Mary and Vern spent their final day together.
Mary and Vern spent that Saturday afternoon shopping at 47th Street and Ashland Avenue and it was in one of the stores located here that they met the two boys. After getting into their car to go for a ride, Vern took an instant dislike to them. She said: “They looked like wild boys and for some reason I just didn’t like them.” Vern added that they drove recklessly, turning corners on two wheels and speeding down narrow streets. Finally, Vern demanded to be let out of the car a few blocks from home. She asked Mary if she planned to go out with the young men that night and Mary said that she did. Vern urged her to reconsider, not only because she didn’t like the boys but also because Mary’s parents had already told her that she couldn’t. Mary shrugged off her friend’s warnings. She simply replied: “You never like anyone I introduce you to.”
Vern stood watching on the street corner as Mary and the young men roared away in the car. It was the last time that she would ever see her friend alive.
The Bregovy home was located here in this row of modest homes in the Back of the Yards neighborhood.
No one knows how Mary Bregovy spent the rest of the day but a few clues have emerged from family members over the years. The wife of Mary’s younger brother, Steve, reported in 1985 that she had received a letter from a friend of Mary’s years before that stated Mary planned to attend a novena at church before she went out dancing that night. The Bregovy’s were devout Catholics and this would not have been out of the ordinary for Mary to do. She also said that she believed Mary had been going to the Oh Henry Ballroom that night.
But did she ever arrive there? No one knows for sure but tradition holds that Mary and her new friends, which now included a young woman named Virginia Rozanski, did go dancing at the Oh Henry Ballroom that night. After the ballroom closed, it is believed that they drove into the city, where most of the clubs stayed open much later. In the early morning hours, they were leaving downtown, traveling along Wacker Drive, likely headed for Archer Avenue, which would take Mary home to Bridgeport, when the deadly accident occurred. One has to wonder if alcohol, combined with the reckless driving described by Vern Rutkowski, combined to cause the crash.
A short piece in the March 11 edition of the Chicago Tribune described the accident:
Girl Killed in Crash
Miss Marie Bregovy, 21 years old, of 4611 South Damen Avenue, was killed last night when the automobile in which she was riding cracked up at Lake Street and Wacker Drive. John Reiker, 23, of 15 North Knight Street, Park Ridge, suffered a possible skull fracture and is in the county hospital. John Thoel, 25, 5216 Loomis Street, driver of the car, and Miss Virginia Rozanski, 22, of 4849 South Lincoln Street, were shaken up and scratched. The scene of the accident is known to police as a danger spot. Thoel told police he did not see the “L” substructure.
The accident occurred along Wacker Drive, just as it curves to the south and away from the Chicago River. At the point where Wacker crosses Lake Street, there is a large, metal support for the elevated tracks overhead. If a driver was coming along Wacker too quickly, it could be easy to not make a complete turn and collide with the support column, which is almost in a straight line around the curve. This is apparently what happened to John Thoel that night.
When the automobile collided with the metal column, Mary was thrown through the windshield and instantly killed. She was also badly cut up by the glass. Before her funeral, the undertaker had to sew up a gash that extended all of the way across the front of her throat and up to her right ear. Tragically, Mary was not even supposed to be sitting in the front seat when the accident occurred. Her parents would later learn that she had switched places with Virginia Rozanski because she didn’t like John Thoel, who she had been sitting next to in the passenger’s seat. She had asked Mary to sit in front with Thoel and Mary had agreed. Unfortunately, her good-natured personality would turn out to be fatal for her.
Vern Rutkowski accompanied Mary’s mother and her brother, Joseph, to the morgue to identify the body. Mary was taken to the Satala Funeral Home, located just a couple of blocks from the Bregovy home, to be prepared for burial. The owner at the time, John Satala, easily remembered Mary. In 1985, he recalled: “She was a hell of a nice girl. Very pretty. She was buried in an orchid dress. I remember having to sew up the side of her face.”
The Satala Funeral Home, where Mary Bregovy was prepared for burial
Mary was buried in Resurrection Cemetery and this is where some of the confusion about her story comes along. According to records, Mary was buried in Section MM, Site 9819. There was a Mary Bregovy buried here, but it was not the young woman who was killed in March 1934. A search for this gravesite revealed that the Mary Bregovy laid to rest here was a 34 year-old mother who was born in 1888 and died in 1922. This is a different Mary Bregovy altogether! Family members of Mary Bregovy said that Mary was actually buried in a term grave and never moved. After World War II, when space was needed for more burial sites at Resurrection Cemetery, some of the term graves were moved but others, like Mary’s, were simply covered over. For this reason, according to Mrs. Steve Bregovy, the location of Mary’s grave is unknown. Could this be one of the reasons that her spirit is so restless?
The stories of Mary Bregovy’s ghost began a very short time after her death. In April 1934, a caretaker at Resurrection Cemetery telephoned funeral home director John Satala and told him that he had seen the barefooted ghost of a young girl walking around the cemetery. She was a lovely girl with light brown hair and she was wearing a pale, orchid-colored dress. The caretaker was positive that the ghost was the woman that Satala had recently buried. Satala later said that he recognized the description of the girl as Mary Bregovy.
Soon after, other reports began to appear, like the earlier mentioned accounts of a woman matching Mary’s description who was trying to hitch rides in front of the cemetery. These Archer Avenue sightings also included reports from people who actually recognized the ghost as Mary Bregovy.
I’m convinced that these reports were the beginning of the Resurrection Mary legend. These were the first stories of a young woman hitching rides on Archer Avenue and thanks to the destination of many of these motorists, combined with the fact that the Oh Henry Ballroom was Mary’s favorite dance spot, the story began to grow. I believe that many of the reports of a ghostly woman being seen around Resurrection Cemetery can be traced to Mary Bregovy — the “original Resurrection Mary”.
But Mary Bregovy does not haunt this stretch of Archer Avenue alone…
As you may have noticed from Mary’s description, she doesn’t fit the description of a pretty blond, which is standard in the Resurrection Mary legend. However, the other girl who haunts Archer Avenue does…
The rest of the story of Mary – and the solution to the mystery of the two ghosts – can be found in THE GIRL BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD, available as a new Kindle title in the “Hell Hath No Fury Series.”
Remember that time you invited all of your girlfriends over to watch the collected works of Woody Allen and forgot to mention it to your partner who was looking forward to watching the game? Or the time you happened to exploit the fact that he used your computer and forgot to sign out of his email? I’m not saying it’s always YOUR fault, but there are certain moments in a relationship when it might be helpful to apologize. So just how important are apologies and what’s the best way to go about making them?
Dr. Guy Grenier, a psychologist and marital therapist, says apologies serve a lot of important purposes. First, they’re an indication that someone isn’t right all of the time and that they acknowledge that. Second, apologizing can make clear that you’re concerned about your partner’s welfare, which is a basic, but fundamental, point that needs to be made over and over in a relationship. Third, apologies can help to de-escalate conflict.
Is fear of breaking up (FOBU) keeping you in the wrong relationship?
A key part of apologizing is a full acknowledgement of what you did wrong, and why your partner is upset. “We act the way we act, but it lands on our partners in different ways and it’s important to understand how our partner receives our actions,” says Catherine Morris, a psychotherapist. “When we do something, there’s an immediate reaction from our partner related to their sense of feeling loved and okay. We can have an almost visceral alarm that goes off – even if our partner has no idea that this is happening.”
Though most of us are eager to ease the tension (read: let’s stop this fussing and fighting and get back to eating this leftover pie), that doesn’t mean that an apology is always warranted. “It’s not appropriate just keep saying ‘I’m sorry’ for everything,” says Morris.
“It’s appropriate when you become aware that your partner is truly wounded. If you’re not sincerely sorry, it should invite some dialogue.” Morris adds that you should, at least, be interested in understanding why your partner is wounded. Too many arguments are focused on each partner breathlessly trying to get his or her own point across without actually listening to the other person.
It’s also worth noting that not every conflict requires an apology — especially if it’s not sincere. People who live together can expect their needs to clash on occasion, and that doesn’t mean you should apologize for having your own set of needs. “Apologizing can be really bad communication,” says Dr. Grenier. “There are people who apologize for everything, and it can be related to assertiveness and self-esteem issues. It can send subtle messages that my needs are not as important as yours.”
And what about when it comes to accepting an apology? While most of us are eager to move beyond conflict, that’s hard to do if you feel that the apology isn’t sincere and that your partner is simply trying to placate you. Dr. Grenier suggests that it can be helpful if we abandon our obsession with forgiveness.
“Forgiveness says you did something wrong but that’s okay,” he says. “And it’s not. It requires the forgiver to lie to both themselves and the other person. The reality is that people who love us will hurt us — but we don’t have to say that it’s okay. Reconciliation is possible, and acceptance of imperfection and that our needs are at odds with other people. We shouldn’t apologize for our own needs, but we should apologize for being thoughtless or careless.”
In the end, as Morris points out, being sorry for something isn’t just about words; it’s also reflected in your behaviour. “When my daughter was young, she would do something and then very quickly say sorry,” says Morris. “I would say that I’m more interested in seeing your behaviour change. It’s easy to say sorry, it’s harder to spend the time to understand why you’ve hurt someone and to work on not hurting them again.”
Saying sorry isn’t always easy, so here are some tips:
1. The best way to apologize is “quick and intense,” according to Dr. Grenier. The longer you wait to apologize, the longer you prolong a conflict.
2. Don’t say you’re sorry if you don’t mean it. “Apologies have to be real,” says Morris. They have to be from the heart and the person being apologized to has to feel like the person apologizing gets it.”
3. It can help to show genuine interest in why your partner is hurt; try asking some questions about why they feel the way they feel and what would make them feel better.
4. Take full responsibility for hurting your partner’s feelings, and explain what you might do differently to avoid doing the same thing in the future.
5. Sometimes, sorry isn’t enough. Work on truly understanding why your partner feels hurt and trying to change any hurtful patterns.
TWIN BOYS, TWIN LIVES
Unlike most identical twins, Jim Springer and Jim Lewis share a first name instead of a last. The two were separated at birth and adopted by separate families who, by coincidence, named their respective sons James.
So began their parallel lives. Springer and Lewis shared not only a genetic code and a first name, but they shared more or less the same life, independent of one another until their reunion, 39 years after the initial separation.
Growing up in different homes, both were aware, barely, that they had a twin brother out there somewhere, but neither gave it much thought. Springer’s mother told him his twin had died, while Lewis simply wasn’t interested in meeting his brother.
That changed in 1977, when Lewis, then 37, decided to track down his brother. He found Springer’s name through a local courthouse, and the two of them spoke over the phone, both of them nervous wrecks. They agreed to meet, and their bond was restored on February 9,1979. Now, both consider their reunion the most important day of their lives.
Once they got to talking, they discovered the remarkable similarities they shared, similarities that went beyond simple genetics and almost into Twilight Zone territory.
Both were adopted by families living in Ohio and grew up within 45 miles of each other. Both had childhood dogs they named “Toy.” Both were married twice — first to women named Linda, and then to women named Betty. Both had children — including sons named James Allen. Both lived in the only house on their block. Both Both were chain-smokers, enjoyed beer, had woodworking shops in their garages, drove Chevrolets, and served as sheriffs in separate Ohio counties.
The Jim twins, as they’re now called, were perfect candidates for behavioral research. The two participated in a study of reunited twins conducted by Dr. Thomas Bouchard of University of Minnesota. In one test measuring personality, the twins’ scores were so close that it may well have been the same person taking the test two times. Their brain-wave tests were similarly near-identical, as were their medical histories.
The parallels between the two would go on to shape theories on the influence of environment and hereditary factors on personality — nature vs. nurture, to use another term. Some use their case as evidence of telepathic connection between twins.
To an outsider, it seems as if the Jim twins may as well have been the same person. However, Jim Lewis noted that there are, after all differences.
“The differences between Jim and me may be the differences between living in the city and country.”
For behavior geneticists like Eaves, who do the nitty-gritty work in the nature-nurture debate, twins are the perfect people on whom to test hypotheses about what is molded by life’s pressures and what is inborn. But such scientists wage the battle from a distance, using statistics to describe the behavior of populations — of aggregates, in other words — rather than individuals.
These statistics have shown that on average, identical twins tend to be around 80 percent the same in everything from stature to health to IQ to political views. The similarities are partly the product of similar upbringing. But evidence from the comparison of twins raised apart points rather convincingly to genes as the source of a lot of that likeness. In the most widely publicized study of this type, launched in 1979, University of Minnesota psychologist Thomas Bouchard and his colleagues have chronicled the fates of about 60 pairs of identical twins raised separately. Some of the pairs had scarcely met before Bouchard contacted them, and yet the behaviors and personalities and social attitudes they displayed in lengthy batteries of tests were often remarkably alike.
The first pair Bouchard met, James Arthur Springer and James Edward Lewis, had just been reunited at age 39 after being given up by their mother and separately adopted as 1-month-olds. Springer and Lewis, both Ohioans, found they had each married and divorced a woman named Linda and remarried a Betty. They shared interests in mechanical drawing and carpentry; their favorite school subject had been math, their least favorite, spelling. They smoked and drank the same amount and got headaches at the same time of day.
Equally astounding was another set of twins, Oskar Stohr and Jack Yufe. At first, they appeared to be a textbook case of the primacy of culture in forming individuals — just the opposite of the Lewis-Springer pair. Separated from his twin six months after their birth in Trinidad, Oskar was brought up Catholic in Germany and joined the Hitler Youth. Jack stayed behind in the Caribbean, was raised a Jew and lived for a time in Israel. Yet despite the stark contrast of their lives, when the twins were reunited in their fifth decade they had similar speech and thought patterns, similar gaits, a taste for spicy foods and common peculiarities such as flushing the toilet before they used it.
Bouchard’s collection of twins-raised-apart is unique in American behavior genetics. In most twin studies, including Eaves’s research, scientists are comparing the similarities between identical twins and fraternal twins; in other words, they compare comparisons. To test the assumption that genes play a role in IQ, for example, scientists ask whether the IQs of identical twins (who share all their genes) are more similar than those of fraternal twins (who share an average of 50 percent). To have any statistical validity, such studies must examine thousands of twin pairs. But enough studies have been done to show that identical twins are roughly 85 percent similar for IQ, fraternal twins about 60 percent. Crunching the numbers, behavior geneticists say about half the variation in IQ, whether among twins or non-twins, may be due to genes.
It was this figure that provided the grist for the controversial 1994 book The Bell Curve, whose conservative authors argued that little could be done to help the poor because they suffered from low IQs that were fixed, for the most part, by their genes. The book has been disputed by many critics, including those who deny that IQ is a worthy measure of intelligence. Even if it is, though, the genetic component of IQ that The Bell Curve trumpets is not an overwhelming factor: Even if half of IQ variation is due to genes, that leaves room for plenty of average kids to be born to brilliant parents, and vice versa. And when children of smart parents are smart, it is nearly impossible to know whether this is due to the “smart” genes they inherited, or the “smart” environment their parents provided.
When it comes to social policy, genetics provides no worthy pretext for neglecting the disadvantaged, as geneticist and child development expert Sandra Scarr has pointed out. Scarr, a former University of Virginia professor, is considered a hard-liner for nature; she believes that if a child’s basic needs are met, genes become the dominant control on how far the child will go in life. But she also has called for massive intervention to help underprivileged children. Infants and toddlers lacking the basics in food, shelter and affection, she says, are likely to be stunted in ways that outweigh genetic considerations.
When journalists first began interviewing Bouchard’s twins-raised-apart, they focused on the spectacularly similar pairs, like the Springer-Lewis twins. But those twins turned out to be outliers in the Minnesota study. Most of the other twins weren’t nearly as alike. Furthermore, since no one is claiming there is a gene for flushing the toilet before you use it, or a gene for marrying women named Betty, such coincidences are statistical anomalies, as Bouchard is quick to acknowledge. The quirky cases strengthen our sense of the power of nature, but they don’t provide enough data to make a scientific case. “There probably are genetic influences on almost all facets of human behavior,” Bouchard says today, “but the emphasis on the idiosyncratic characteristics is misleading. On average, identical twins raised separately are about 50 percent similar — and that defeats the widespread belief that identical twins are carbon copies. Obviously, they are not. Each is a unique individual in his or her own right.”
Geneticist humor: A little joke is posted on the bulletin board of the clinical genetics department at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. It’s a diagram of the X chromosome, with the names and descriptions of imaginary genes scribbled at intervals along it: “visa” — the gene for shopping addiction; “klutz” — the inability-to-manipulate-mechanical-objects gene; “blab” — the gene for prolonged telephone conversation; “eek” — the fear-of-bugs gene. There’s even a gene for emotional instability — “shrill” — and one for learned helplessness: “honey . . .”
Variations on this joke can be found at labs around the country, pushpinned next to the job notices and 401(k) plan announcements and postcards from colleagues at the beach in Aruba. Like the “You want it when?!” posters on the walls of auto repair shops, the joke map parodies popular perceptions of the profession but contains a kernel of truth. Scientists have made some pretty remarkable claims recently about the impact of particular molecules on behavior. In journals such as Science and Nature Genetics, they publish news of genes for neuroticism and thrill-seeking and risk-taking, genes for alcoholism and aggression and anxiety. In 1993, a National Cancer Institute researcher reported the location — on chromosome X, as it happens — of a gene that seemed to cause homosexuality.
It must be said, however, that the meanings of such discoveries shed their precision as they travel from the scientific literature to the popular culture. Genes don’t really make homosexuals or violent kids or depressed adults, and no reputable scientist would claim that they do. Genes make proteins that contribute to chemical pathways that play a role in complex neurological and existential events. But that’s a long story, so spare us the details. Something inside us — a “fatalism” gene, perhaps? — makes us want to believe that the genetic blueprint holds the secrets of who we are.
Something of this fatalism imbues the folklore of twins. In the books and magazine articles and Web sites about their lives, twins tell uncanny stories of wordless understandings, of moments of grief or joy communicated at a distance without benefit of a phone, by some kind of genetic magnetism. On one Web site, a woman named Gilia Angell recalls wandering into the St. Patrick’s Cathedral gift shop in New York and buying a postcard of an airbrushed Jesus, which she mailed to her twin sister in Olympia, Wash. A few days later, she says, a letter postmarked the same day arrived from Olympia. Enclosed was a refrigerator magnet “with the same filmy airbrushed picture of Jesus!” Then there are those twin pranks, adding to our general sense of wonderment over their doubleness — duped boyfriends and confused motor vehicles officials, cheating on SAT tests — and the good twin/bad twin dichotomies, exemplified by Jeen Han, a California 23-year-old who was recently convicted of trying to kill her twin.
Yet for all of that synergy stuff, natural-born clones don’t have to be told they are separate individuals — they know it. “You could take 50 cells from my leg and make 50 other people who look and sound like me, but they won’t be me,” says Richard Bausch, a novelist, short-story writer and George Mason University writing instructor. “To any twin, the idea that human clones would be the same is absurd. When you’re a twin you know that. People are much too complicated to be replicated, no matter how many genes they discover.”
On the face of it, Bausch’s convictions seem undercut by his biology. His identical twin, Robert, is also a fiction writer, and also a writing instructor, at Northern Virginia Community College in Woodbridge. But these are writers, of course, whose job is to be finely aware of nuances. Robert is the more intellectual one; Richard is more religious. Their take on cloning is similar, but Robert’s analogies are Jesuitic. “If everything that we call the will is just genetics and chemistry,” he asks, “then who in the hell are we talking to when we try to remember something that’s on the tip of our tongue?”
At 51, the Bausch twins see less of each other than they used to. They each have their own work and their own children to worry about. They have been profiled too often to really enjoy being a novelty act anymore. Neither feels that being a clone is what defines him. But Richard will say this: “How people react to life is determined by their nature, but I don’t think nature is biological. I still believe in good and evil, and that there is such a thing as sin.
” ‘Genes’ is just the word we use to describe God.”