It’s wedding season!

Everything from a surge in engagement ring sales to booked-up venue rentals indicate we’re headed for a major marriage boom
The boom isn’t all due to pent-up demand.

Previous marriage booms suggest that human emotions, particularly those associated with collective traumas, play a big role in nudging people to the altar — and determining whether they remain married or split up
If you look at marriage booms and busts over the long run, a few trends stand out.

Data scientist Randal Olson compiled the data to show the effects of major events like world wars and economic crashes on U.S. marriage and divorce rates
Economic distress puts a halt to tying the knot: The Great Depression, for example, led to a 20% decline in marriage rates from 1929 to 1933.

The drop was a direct consequence of economic hardship, with the biggest declines coming in areas hit hardest
Yet marriages consummated during economic downturns actually proved longer-lasting than unions in periods of relative prosperity — possibly because of the stronger bonds forged by enduring tumultuous times together
If economic traumas depress marriage rates, other types of society-wide shocks goose them far more dramatically than the simple return of prosperity.

Wars, for example, almost always spark significant increases in union
🇫🇷Take France: Prior to the end of WWI, the number of newlyweds each year had dropped to about four for every thousand people.

Once peace returned, that number skyrocketed to 32 — a rise of 800%
Postwar marriage booms are often accompanied by a dramatic increase in divorces.

The only big divorce spike in the U.S. in the past 150 years took place at the end of WWII, when a number of marriages forged as lovers prepared to leave for war unraveled
When a collective trauma hits a society, it forces people to reevaluate their priorities and their partners.

Some individuals tie the knot; others get divorced; others do both, repeatedly
While military conflicts fuel these changes, natural disasters can, too. Increases in marriages (and divorces) have been found after:

➡️The 1906 San Francisco earthquake
➡️Earthquakes in China
➡️Hurricane Hugo in Florida
Strangely, disasters created by fellow humans — terrorist attacks like 9/11, for example — actually depresses divorce rates in areas directly affected by the calamity.

By contrast, natural disasters seem to fuel both divorce and marriages
The Covid-19 pandemic may well have lasting impacts on the marital status of many Americans.

It may speed some divorces, yes. But that's countered by the huge swell of weddings across the country that we're beginning to see
💍Will these marriages last? One study on weddings is worth considering:

The money couples spent on rings and the ceremony was inversely related to the long-term viability of the marriage. The more ostentatious the wedding, the less likely it would endure
If you’re invited to a post-pandemic wedding, then, don’t worry if it’s a simple, understated, inexpensive affair.

These are the couples whose unions are most likely stand the test of time, no matter what disasters await us in the coming years

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More from @bopinion

21 Jul
It was just a matter of time before Singapore’s commitment to live with Covid-19 would be tested.

The only surprise is how quickly that moment came and how avoidable it was
Singapore announced it would tighten certain social-distancing measures to contain a cluster that started at a karaoke lounge.

The outbreak will delay reopening plans, which could be rolled back significantly if virus numbers surge
The announcement came days after restrictions eased and weeks after the government announced its intention to shift from a “Zero Covid” strategy to a “new normal.”

For risk-averse Singapore, it promised to be a significant step
Read 10 tweets
20 Jul
NEW: Will rising inflation wreak havoc on U.S. markets?

These 35 indicators from @johnauthers show how economic growth, policy and a pandemic are impacting the future of American money💵

Read The Big Take:
A year ago, Covid-19 crushed prices.

As expected, that has created inflation 12 months on as the economy reopens and rebounds. Now the market seems to believe that a resurgence of the pandemic will rein in inflation before it grows out of control
Either market players remain confident that the Federal Reserve can keep rising prices under control…


They’re worried the economy won’t keep growing fast enough to push inflation numbers higher
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19 Jul
Life had been close to normal in Sydney until a few weeks ago.

Less than five dozen cases of local transmission occurred in New South Wales this year until June 16, when a driver caught the delta variant.

The outbreak brought Sydney to a standstill
Restrictions in Sydney have tightened — but cases keep rising. The outbreak that resulted has now infected more than 1,000 people.

While many parts of the world are emerging from a year of restrictions, Sydney is entering its winter of discontent
Australia's failure to heed warnings before it gets too late bodes poorly for the ability to navigate other complex global crises in the coming years, writes @davidfickling

How did it go so wrong?
Read 10 tweets
18 Jul
The cost of feeding the world is the most expensive it’s been in years.

The FAO’s food price index, which tracks a basket of grains, vegetable oils, meat, dairy and sugar, rose to its highest level in a decade in May
On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the prices of some commodities have soared including:

🌱Soybean oil
🍖Lean hogs
🌱Palm oil

Even the price of moving food around the world is surging Image
Food prices have always been cyclical, but there’s reason to believe the current disruptions won’t disappear immediately as the world returns to pre-pandemic norms.

Here’s why certain foods are going up in price Image
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17 Jul
By Tuesday, two of the Earth’s wealthiest individuals will have flown into space.

🚀 Richard Branson has already been on July 11 aboard a Virgin Galactic spaceship
🚀 Jeff Bezos’s rocket trip with Blue Origin is on Tuesday
It’s taken a couple of decades for both men to realize their ambition of going into space: Blue Origin was founded in 2000 and Virgin Galactic four years later
Critics will say that they could have devoted their time and money toward more worthy terrestrial endeavors (and paying more tax).

Hopefully seeing Earth’s majestic curvature inspires better care of this planet
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16 Jul
“Living” with Covid-19 has been talked about since the pandemic first began.

This so-called “endemic” phase would see Covid-19 look more like influenza, with regular vaccine campaigns and a focus on primary care. Not eradicated, but managed
🇫🇷Paris is swarming once again with workers
😷Masks are dangling from wrists rather than noses
🎶Nightclubs are back open

It’s becoming clear that living with Covid will remain an elusive goal without a renewed boost to pandemic management
The reopening of Europe’s major economies is starting to hit a speed bump as cases rebound. Hospitalizations are on the rise in:

🇪🇸📈 Spain
🇫🇷📈 France

The more contagious delta variant is ripping through the continent
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