Couples who want to apply for a marriage licence in Beijing will have to dress smartly in future, or risk being turned away.
Beijing’s Civil Affairs Bureau has announced a new rule stipulating that couples won’t be issued a licence to wed if they show up in shorts, T-shirts or other casual wear, the state newspaper Beijing Daily reports.
The bureau’s marriage registration director, Han Mingxi, says people aren’t showing sufficient respect for the process. “It is not unusual to see couples registering in shorts and slippers. It shows their carelessness and disrespect for marriage,” he tells the paper. “From one glance you can see that marriage registration is being treated as a casual affair, and this is prone to many problems.”
Coming into effect on 1 July, the new rule is part of efforts to tackle the capital’s divorce rate. Mr Han says his bureau is currently analysing a large number of divorce cases, and asking experts to “propose methods and ways to promote marriage and family happiness”.
China’s divorce rate has been rising for more than a decade: in 2015, the government said that 3.6m couples ended their unions during the previous year. Beijing had the highest rate among cities, with 55,000 divorces in a single year.
There has been a mixed response to the new rule among Chinese social media users. “Marriage is not child’s play, it should be dignified,” writes one on the Sina Weibo microblogging site. But others think applying for a licence shouldn’t have to be a big deal. “What if a young couple want a low-key event?” asks one user, who thinks that applying for a licence is “simply a boring and tedious process” anyway.
Inaccessible or easily missed on the ground, ancient Maya ruins are increasingly spotted with the help of satellite imagery – but the process isn’t always fool-proof.
Some of the most magnificent Maya murals ever found – dating to 100BC – were discovered deep in the jungle of San Bartolo, Guatemala back in 2001.
It was obvious that San Bartolo had more to offer – but the jungle was thick. “It’s really dangerous walking through the jungle to find sites – it’s really humid, there are snakes,” explains Diane Davies, Honorary Research Associate at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL, who worked in the same area in the mid 2000’s.
“Honestly, you can be literally seven or eight metres away from a pyramid and in the jungle you can’t see it because [the vegetation is] so thick,” says Davies. However, through the analysis of satellite imagery, previously hidden archaeological sites can be found.
Davies recalls the assistance of Nasa scientist Thomas Sever who was later able to identify all sorts of fascinating features – including a lost Maya pyramid – from satellite images. Because many Maya buildings were constructed with limestone, the chemical composition around ruins has been altered over time – this shows up in some imagery.
When scanning areas for archaeological remains, different wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum can be used to reveal patterns on the ground, says Geoffrey Braswell, at the University of California San Diego.
Light detection and ranging (Lidar), which uses lasers, may also be deployed to measure the topography.
“If you are flying over a canopy most of those beams going down get reflected off leaves and other things and don’t reach the ground – but some of them do,” says Braswell. “That allows us to see unique features on the ground.”
But Lidar is expensive and, for many years, was an inaccessible technology only used by the military. Braswell would love to use it to scan entire regions of Central America to see what sites archaeologists may have missed, but so far that just hasn’t been feasible.
There are other issues too. Most Maya scholars agree that sites detected by remote sensing should definitely be confirmed by expeditions on the ground.
This is because a lot of apparent discoveries often turn out to be nothing of interest – a field rather than the outline or a building, or something manmade much more recently than an ancient ruin.
“In the northern part of the Maya area in Yucatan [remote sensing] gives about 70% false positives,” says Braswell.
However, most agree that the benefits such technologies have made to archaeology are stunning. Some fabulous sites have been uncovered that could otherwise have gone unnoticed – and in some cases years have potentially been shaved off the effort to explore dense forest regions.
Many people around the country live outside of their means. Whether it is trying to keep up with the Jones or having an unexpected emergency happen, it’s very easy to go outside of your budget and plunge into debt.
In fact, according to Credit.com, 80 percent of Americans are in debt. This includes types of debt such as credit card and mortgage. If you are one of the millions of American who are plagued by debt, here are five simple ways to get out of it.
Formulate a Budget
Create a weekly or monthly budget and stick with it. You can easily make a template for a budget in a Microsoft Excel document. Be honest with yourself and include all of your bills that must get paid monthly, including your rent or mortgage, utility expenses, car payment, credit card bill, and other necessities, including your weekly food shopping list. Plan on paying all of your bills in full and on time.
Living within your means can be difficult at first, but is a necessary habit to abide by if you wish to get out of debt.
Create a Savings Account
Open up a separate checking or savings account and set aside some money every month that is designated for savings. Do not touch that money unless you absolutely need to. You never know when a rainy day is going to come.
Different Sources of Income
If you find that you’re not making enough money to cover all bills, it may be helpful to find a supplement source of income. Pick up a part time job for a period of time to help you pay off some of your debt. You can also invest in real estate, stocks, or other items to pick up some extra cash.
Lower Your Rates
Do you know your exact credit card rates? You may be paying high interest rates on existing debts that can really mount up, making it almost impossible to pay off.
Based on your credit, you may be able to qualify for better interest rates on your existing credit cards. Or you may be able to consolidate all of your credit onto one card for easier payment options.
Get the Numbers
Once you have consolidated your debt and know the exact number you need to pay off, it’s time to formulate a real goal to work towards. Total the three-year pay-off amount of your debt and add monthly payment of everything else you owe. Write the results down and that is your total monthly payment.
Getting out of debt and bankruptcy is totally doable. You just need to make a plan of action and stick with it.
The British drink more than 60 billion cups of tea a year – so what is it about this humble brew that refreshes them so?
Whether they take their tea with milk, sugar, lemon or just plain, it’s clear that the British have a fondness for its flavour. There’s something about that firm bitterness that sparks devotion: the British consume 60 billion cups per year, according to the Tea and Infusions Organisation. That’s more than 900 cups a year for every man, woman and child in Great Britain – though we no doubt all know someone who likes many more than that.
Tea has become entrenched in the British way of life, from the humble tea break to the high tea to be enjoyed – in a jacket and tie, of course, gentlemen – at the very swankiest of London hotels. But what are the molecules behind the taste of this beloved beverage? And does how you take your tea say something about who you are?
To answer that, it’s worth first trying to work out what it is exactly that makes tea taste the way it does. Tea’s flavour is intimately affected by how it is grown, processed, and brewed – beginning with the light. Tea bushes – Latin name camellia sinesis – are grown in terraces all over the tropics and subtropics. But if the intent is to make certain kinds of green tea from them, like matcha, growers will make sure they are carefully shaded with nets or mats. Less sun causes them to produce more chlorophyll as well as fewer polyphenols, a class of molecules that imparts tea’s singular astringency.
Of course, some of us may like that taste, and tea processing can amp it up. After the new leaves and buds have been plucked from a bush, they are laid out to dry. How long they lie again depends on the kind of tea intended. For green teas, the leaves are almost immediately tossed in a hot pan or steamed (tea might look like the rawest of edibles, but it is actually cooked, or at least heat-treated). An oolong results when the leaves are dried a little, bruised and only then cooked. And a black tea – the most popular variant, accounting for 78% of the tea drunk world-wide – results when the bruised leaves dry quite a long while before being finished in the pan.
What’s behind all this is that as the tea leaves are drying, enzymes native to the tea plant are busily transforming simple molecules into more complex ones. The longer the tea spends drying, the longer those enzymes have to work – and the more these molecules build up in the tea leaves. The most famous in tea-chemistry circles is probably theaflavin, a tangle of carbon rings responsible for some of the ruddy colour of black teas as well as some of the astringency.
Firing the tea leaves calls the process to a halt by destroying the enzymes. As a result, there’s very little theaflavin and related molecules in, say, green teas. But aside from polyphenols, hundreds of other compounds build up in the tea over time; their roles in crafting tea’s bouquet and taste are not yet clear. Regardless, the end result is a different chemical profile for each kind of tea.
Given how much tea people drink, there’s growing interest in understanding whether this habit has any medical benefits. It appears that molecules found in tea can protect cells in a dish from some kinds of damage, but despite copious research, there is conflicting evidence on whether tea-drinking provides benefits beyond warm hands and an alert mind.
Because, of course, there are the stimulants. Brewed tea has roughly half the caffeine of an equivalent volume of coffee, but it is still plenty for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. You might have heard that caffeine in tea gives a different high from the caffeine in coffee. Many studies have found that if this is the case, it’s because of an amino acid called theanine, which occurs in tea.
When volunteers consume both caffeine and theanine – versus caffeine and other tea molecules – they show moderately more alertness and better ability to switch between tasks than with caffeine alone. The amount in a given cuppa may not be the same as the doses given during a study, however, and the effect of theanine is not enormous. But all on its own, the caffeine will give you a nice lift.
So that’s what makes tea taste how it does (not to mention energise its drinkers). But why do these melanges of molecules mean so much to British people? And what does your preference, in terms of tea type and how you drink it, mean about you?
Anthropologist Kate Fox writes in her book Watching the English that there are several clear messages sent whenever a Brit makes a cuppa. She observes that the strongest brews of black tea – with the largest doses of these molecules – are typically drunk by the working class. The brew gets progressively weaker as one goes up the social ladder.
Milk and sweetener have their own codes. “Taking sugar in your tea is regarded by many as an infallible lower-class indicator: even one spoonful is a bit suspect (unless you were born before about 1955); more than one and you are lower-middle at best; more than two and you are definitely working class,” she writes. Other rules involve when and how milk is added, if any. Making a point of drinking smoky Lapsang Souchong with no sugar or milk can be a sign of class anxiety in the middle class, Fox suggests: it’s as far as possible as one can get from sweet, strong, milky mugs of the no-nonsense ‘builder’s tea’.
As for why the British drink an infusion of imported dried leaves at all, there are historical reasons aplenty for why tea came to wash up on Britain’s shores. And one could come up with any number of rationales for why the current state of affairs was inevitable (boiling water to make tea, for instance, made it less likely to give you a stomach bug).
A food scientist I once corresponded with pointed out something that seems to apply here. “In my opinion, food choices are driven by one’s environment – the context,” he wrote. You like what you like not necessarily because of any intrinsic quality, though obviously one can develop a taste for almost anything. A food or drink’s real importance in your life may be because of everything the surrounds it – the culture of it.
Kerstin Schneiderbauer, a freelance data analyst, was having trouble sleeping. Her mind would keep running through her work and to-do lists throughout the night when she was overloaded with projects. When she wasn’t working through an assignment, worrying about where the next one was coming from interrupted her night’s rest.
When a friend recommended a sleep coach, Schneiderbauer initially resisted. “I thought, who needs a coach? I’ll keep talking to my husband about it. But I had been doing that for a year and a half,” said Schneiderbauer, who lives near Vienna, Austria. She feared a coach would do nothing but give her a list of dos and don’ts to follow.
To her surprise, her first session with sleep coach Christina Stefan wasn’t so straightforward. The session was more like career, life and sleep coaching rolled into one.
Stefan wasn’t telling Schneiderbauer what to do. “She was asking questions, also about my family,” she said. Her primary problem was not being able to shut down from work. “I never really closed the office door in a metaphorical sense.”
After five of her 10 sessions, Schneiderbauer was sleeping better. She had learned a visual imaging technique for calming herself if she was awake at night and changed key habits that became apparent after keeping a sleep log. For starters, Schneiderbauer began writing down in the evenings all her work to-dos for the next day so she could switch gears, and expressing worries about work was banned from evening conversation.
Almost half of us don’t sleep well: 45% of the world’s population is impacted by sleep problems that threaten health and quality of life, according to the organisers of World Sleep Day, citing a 2008 study. And the health impacts are serious. Poor sleep can be linked to obesity in children and many psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety and psychosis in adults. In the UK alone, more than 10 million prescriptions are written every year for sleeping pills, according to a report by the Royal Society for Public Health.
In the US, more than 2,800 sleep clinics have been opened. Revenue was roughly $7.1bn in 2015, according to IBIS World. And the global sleeping aids market – which includes products such as herbal and over-the-counter drugs, sleep labs, mattresses and pillows, and sleep apnea devices – was valued at an estimated $58 billion in 2014, P&S Market Research reported.
Once just a resource for sleep-deprived parents or professional athletes seeking peak performance, the sleep coach is now for everyone. Sleep coaches charge different rates, depending on location and experience, but anecdotal evidence suggests the coaching costs 70-130 euros an hour in Europe.
It’s good business
Steven MacGregor, the founder of Leadership Academy Barcelona and an expert on executive health, describes sleeping as a “key professional skill” that must be learned and practiced, an activity that needs top priority every day. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, is said to prioritise eight hours of sleep as the most important thing after his 12 hours at the office, according to MacGregor. And Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington frequently talks about the value of good sleep.
Huffington fell asleep at her desk one day and knocked her head so hard that she broke her cheekbone. MacGregor, who teaches at IESE, IMD and other business schools, researches health and wellness for top performers. “We ask executives how they can take their own health and well-being more seriously to improve their thinking, decision-making and life as an executive,” he said. “The type of work that is affected by sleep deprivation is executive thinking, like dealing with uncertainties.”
Stefan also sees proper sleep as a personal “resource” for executives that can help them make the right decisions and handle stress. Yet many people fail to get help if they’re struggling to rest. According to World Sleep Day organisers, most sleep disorders are preventable or treatable, yet less than one-third of sufferers seek professional help. “Sleep is still a taboo topic,” Stefan said.
Fitting sleep in
The good news is that sleep doesn’t need to be done in a controlled environment, like your bedroom. Napping or nodding off for a few minutes between meetings is equally beneficial. The National Sleep Foundation says a nap of under 30 minutes can help you feel more alert and improve your performance, without interfering with night-time sleep.
MacGregor advises executives who fly frequently to teach themselves to sleep on planes, perhaps by rehearsing it at home. Or maybe you’re among the lucky few whose company has installed a sleeping pod in a break area. It’s there for a reason.
While counting sheep never really works, there is something to be said for distraction. In Schneiderbauer’s case, her coach advised her to create an image in her mind that stimulates relaxation and evoke that image as needed. At Stefan’s Vienna office, she was stretched out on a sofa and asked to describe in words and pictures an ideal state of relaxation.
Schneiderbauer imagined diving over a coral reef, feeling weightless and hearing only the sound of her own breathing. “I see myself over the corals and with the fish, and I hear myself breathing. Then I begin to shut down,” she said. Schneiderbauer evokes the image one to two times a day in low-stress periods and up to 10 times a day when she needs to calm down or nod off. “I really try to not only see a picture, but to feel it. Now it’s automatic. Now it takes only minutes [to get calm],” Schneiderbauer said.
A willingness to change
A sleep coach alone cannot make a client sleep. The desire to change has to come from within, said Sibylle Chaudhuri, a coach and trainer in Ratingen, Germany, who offers individual sleep coaching as well as workshops.
Chaudhuri once turned down a client who was caring for her sick mother, wasn’t getting help with the kids and house from her husband, and had a job. She wasn’t willing to find help to lighten her load. The woman frequently woke up in the night and couldn’t fall back asleep. She would say, “Can’t you just make me sleep? You’re [certified] in neuro-linguistic programming, can’t you just make my brain do it?”, Chaudhuri recalled. “This is self-development and you have to be ready to change your thinking. Coaching is about change, and change is difficult for most people.”
Seeing the light
Part of achieving a breakthrough is challenging your own beliefs. “Most people think that sleep is something that just happens naturally, and it’s just supposed to happen, no matter how you treat your body. I think the worst thing is to take [sleep] for granted. It’s like going to the gym, we have to do something for our psyches and bodies to sleep properly,” Chaudhuri said.
Chaudhuri said the secret to sleeping better is really a change of lifestyle, and there’s rarely only one reason that you can’t sleep well. “Usually it’s the sum of several bad habits. Usually it’s us who have done this to ourselves,” Chaudhuri said. “The most difficult thing is that people have to change their habits.”
Birth Name: Sarah Jane Hyland
Date of Birth: 24 November 1990
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA
Height: 5′ 2″ (1,57 m)
Sarah Hyland was born in New York City to actors Melissa D. Canaday and Edward James Hyland. She began in the business at the age of 4 with commercial work and voice overs. Her first film was Gizli noktalar (1997). She then moved on to Askimin hedefisin (1998) and then spent time on Another World (1964) as “Rain Wolfe”, a child found in the park, and fostered by Josie and Gary. Sarah would go on to work with Amy Carlson (“Josie” on AW) several more times: Falcone (2000), Law & Order (1990) and Law & Order: Trial by Jury (2005).
Sarah was cast as one of the young “Audrey Hepburns” in Jennifer Love Hewitt’s The Audrey Hepburn Story (2000) the same year she was cast as “Molly” in ABC’s Annie (1999) starring Kathy Bates, Audra McDonald, Alan Cumming, Victor Garber and Kristin Chenoweth, Joe Gould’s Secret (2000) and Falcone (2000). Aside from all of her film and television work, Sarah studied voice, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, tap, Theatre Dance, and performed with her tap and Theatre dance class at “Reel to Real” at Lincoln Center as invited performers.
A New York-born and raised girl, Sarah spent much of her time working in film, television, and voicing many radio ads, as well as traveling with her father, Edward James Hyland, while he worked at many different theaters in the country. She was home schooled by her mother until 2nd grade and then attended Public School. In 6th Grade, she was accepted into PPAS (Professional Performing Arts School) where she stayed until she graduated in 2008.
When Sarah turned 18, she moved to Los Angeles, CA and, within two weeks, had landed a pilot named “My American Family”. Once picked up the name was changed to Modern Family (2009). To date, Sarah portrays “Haley Dunphy”, the eldest Dunphy child. Modern Family (2009) has won multiple awards most notably the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series.
Before moving to L.A., Sarah did a multitude of film and television and, at the age of 11 1/2, she made her stage debut at Papermill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ in the title role of “Annie”. From there, Sarah added many more stage productions to her resume including “Bad Girls”, “Dark Part of the Forest” and both productions on and off Broadway of “Grey Gardens” in the role of “Jackie Bouvier”. “Grey Gardens” was nominated for Best Musical at the Tony Awards, and Christine Ebersole and Mary Louise Wilson won Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress Tony’s for their work.
William Ivey Long won for his costume design. Sarah also did many development workshops including: “A Little Princess”, “Bye Bye Birdie’, and “Shrek, the Musical”, to name a few. Sarah has worked with some of the top talent in the Industry: Tim Robbins, Stanley Tucci, Ian Holmes, Steve Martin, John Turturro, Hope Davis, Keir Dullea, Frances Fisher, Brooke Shields, Kim Raver, Lindsay Price, Timothy Busfield, among so many other incredible talents. She has guest starred on Touched by an Angel (1994), Law & Order: Trial by Jury (2005) and twice on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999). Her second turn on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Hothouse (2009) gave her a breakthrough role where she portrayed “Jennifer Banks”, a student at a school for the gifted who kills her roommate in a drug fueled rage.
Her work on Lipstick Jungle (2008) as Brooke Shields’s daughter further showcased her talent and, because of LJ’s cancellation, drew her to Los Angeles and the role of “Haley Dunphy” on Modern Family (2009).
Sarah has a maltipoo named Barkley, and is happily living in the Los Angeles Area. She is the Face of “Wallflower Jeans”. Sarah’s brother, Ian Hyland, is also an actor and, even though most think Ian is her older brother, he is really 4 years her junior. Her father is a stage and film actor based in New York, and her mother is an acting coach to young actors.
Madison Wolfe has never been afraid of the boogieman under her bed. While the young actress, 13, has starred in more than a few thrillers including Devil’s Due and the upcoming The Conjuring 2 (in theaters June 10), she remains unfazed and open to all opportunities presented to her.
Here are five things to know about The Conjuring 2’s lead Madison Wolfe:
1. She believes she’s been in touch with the supernatural.
“I’m never ever scared on set,” Wolfe tells PEOPLE about her experiences with playing and surrounding herself with chilling characters. “I was never haunted by my character, but I did do a lot of research on Janet and the Enfield Poltergeist before and during filming, actually.”
She adds of a particular situation that caught her off guard during pre-production: “When I was taping the auditions and my acting coach uploaded it on her computer, the date was 1979 and that is in the time period of Conjuring, and obviously we didn’t upload it in 1979, so that was pretty creepy.”
2. Congratulations are in order for the new graduate.
“I just graduated middle school, so I’m really looking forward to beginning high school because here [in New Orleans] high school is eighth grade,” she says. “It’s kind of weird.”
While most of her days are spent in a director’s chair rather than a plastic desk chair, she makes sure to never let herself fall behind in school. “I really keep up with my schoolwork and my parents help me so much with that,” says Wolfe. “It’s hard sometimes because I’ll be on set and I’ll be doing a really intense scene and I’ll have to go work on algebra while staying in character.”
3. There’s more than one Wolfe in town.
Wolfe and her younger sister, Meghan, 9, have played sisters twice onscreen – once on True Detective and another time in Trumbo – which happened to be “the coolest thing ever.”
“I think that we both learn from each other and we’re constantly taping and auditioning together, and it’s great because if I get an audition and I need someone to read with me or even have a question, she’s younger than me, but she’s amazing and an amazing actress,” says Wolfe.
4. She’s a budding writer and director.
“When I was younger, I used to write scripts and make my grandmother and my aunt play different characters, and eventually my aunt signed me up for Launch, which is an acting school here in New Orleans. I started taking classes and really fell in love with the craft,” says Wolfe. “It actually just began as an extracurricular activity, and I didn’t really expect anything out of it because I loved it, so it just turned into something amazing.”
5. And she has even more extracurricular activities outside of acting.
As if Wolfe doesn’t have enough on her plate, she also enjoys cheerleading, swimming, photography and horseback riding, which she’s “pretty good” at.
“I love really anything with animals,” says Wolfe, who has yet to get a horse of her own, but does have a dog named Molly.
“Really, I just like to hang with my friends because I’m away so often,” she adds of how she spends her, so to speak, “free” time. “The time that I spend with them is really valuable, and my family, also.”