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No. 89: Sep-Oct 1993

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The birthday: lifeline or deadline?

The following abstract is from a paper in Psychosomatic Medicine:

"This study of deaths from natural causes examined adult mortality around the birthday for two samples, totalling 2,745,149 people. Women are more likely to die in the week following their birthdays than in any other week of the year. In addition, the frequency of female deaths dips below normal just before the birthday. The results do not seem to be due to seasonal fluctuations, misreporting on the death certificate, deferment of life-threatening surgery, or behavioral changes associated with the birthday. At present, the best available explanation of these findings is that females are able to prolong life briefly until they have reached a positive, symbolically meaningful occasion. Thus the birthday seems to function as a 'lifeline' for some females. In contrast, male mortality peaks shortly before the birthday, suggesting that the birthday functions as a 'deadline' for males."

(Phillips. David P., et al; "The Birthday: Lifeline or Deadline?" Psychosomatic Medicine, 54:532, 1992.)

From Science Frontiers #89, SEP-OCT 1993. 1993-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:

Quotes

  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987