Generation Self-Esteem

Obsessing over our kids' happiness may be dooming them to unhappy adulthoods. A therapist and mother reports on what she learned from books and then from patients. 

What's the Latest Development?

A series of books have been published on a contemporary psychological phenomenon: A generation of young people, pumped up with self esteem by their parents, are finding life to be hollow in their adult years. Therapist Lorri Gottlieb tells of patients whose only complaint seems to be they have nothing to complain about, yet they lose sleep, feel consumed with self-doubt and are terrified of making even the smallest of errors. The cause, Gottlieb says, is modern parenting techniques that obsess over making children happy at the expense of letting them experience life and grow as individuals. 

What's the Big Idea?

While parents have the best of intentions trying to guarantee their children are happy, it often means shielding them from the real world. Weather that implies rushing to their aid at every possible moment or rewarding them for what should be expected behavior, the dogged pursuit of happiness is not the same as experiencing happiness, say psychologists. Happiness, ideally, should result naturally from living one's life rather than become the center around which all activities are structured. Parents should step back, says one psychologist, and realize that "children are not our masterpieces."

How to make a black hole

Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.

  • There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
  • CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
  • Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
  • Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.

Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
  • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
  • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
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China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
  • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
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