31    Oct 20121 comment

Halloween: Why we love it

Goblins, ghouls, ghosts and zombies…Oh my!

Why do we love Halloween? Is it the costumes? The candy?

Are you ready for Halloween?

According to a recent US National Retail Federation survey, a record 170 million Americans plan to spend $8 billion on Halloween, for costumes, candy and decorations.

English professor Eric Wilson of Wake Forest University says we love the holiday for deeper reasons than just a night of fun, especially during economic difficulties.

Escapism from hard times is part of this. He says that, on Halloween, we can pretend to be someone else, and not focus on worries or regrets.

Celebrating the enchanted is another part of this and takes people’s minds off their “limitations and mortality.”

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30    Oct 20122 comments

MyHeritage: Technology conference for developers

When we launched SuperSearch - MyHeritage's family history search engine - in June, it created quite a stir in the developer community.

So much, in fact, that we decided to organize a technology conference in our offices where we recently welcomed some 60+ software developers from leading technology companies.

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29    Oct 20126 comments

Grandmothers: Their place in history

Our grandmothers! What do we remember best about them?

It may be special treats found in their refrigerator each time we visited. Making macaroni necklaces. Teaching us to crochet. Allowing us to do what our parents never did. The always-available baby-sitting provided. The list can go on forever about the nurturing of our grandmothers and the importance of that in our individual development, as well as their place in our families.

Even more interesting is a new study based on computer simulations that supports the "grandmother hypothesis:" That we couldn't have done it without them!

The theory is that humans evolved longer adult lives than apes because grandmothers helped feed their grandchildren over some 24,000 to 60,000 years of development.

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26    Oct 20120 comments

Competition: Submit Halloween Family Photos for a chance to win

Following last year's fun, we're really excited to be re-running our Halloween Family Photo competition!

Send your most creative and original Halloween family photos and we'll choose three winners to receive a one-year MyHeritage annual data subscription, providing full access to all family history records in our database.

As Halloween approaches and you've started to think about costumes, don't forget to take a photo, or send us an old photo from a Halloween past!

The rules are simple: Upload your photo* to our Facebook Page or Tweet to @MyHeritage using the hashtag #myheritagehalloween. Don't have a Facebook or Twitter account? Email your photo to marketing@myheritage.com.

We'll be looking for the most ghoulish, wacky and creative photos. Remember, we’re all about family here at MyHeritage, so we'd like to see your whole family getting involved. Check out these photos from last year.

Entries close at noon (in your country of submission) on Friday, November 2, 2012, so you’d better get snapping now, if you’d like to get your hands on a one-year MyHeritage annual data subscription!

Don’t get too spooked.

The MyHeritage Team.

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*We kindly request that all photos be of a reasonable resolution (96dpi at least) and that the submission is your own original work (and not infringing any copyright laws). Any images of under-18s must be cleared for usage with their parent(s) or guardian(s). Three winners will be chosen from all entries received, and will each receive a free MyHeritage annual data subscription for 12 months. Winners will be notified using their original mode of entry and we will make every practical or best-faith effort to contact them. See the full terms and conditions here.

25    Oct 20123 comments

MyHeritage: Hindi translation updated

Our Hindi translation has been updated.

We'd like to make a special, public thank you to our friend John G. M., a volunteer who recently took care of all the missing translations in Hindi, making it possible for millions of people to use MyHeritage to build and share their family history in this language.

This was a big task for which we are truly grateful.

We want to take this opportunity to thank all our volunteers for their translation assistance, which helps millions of people around the world to discover more about their family history.

If you are interested in becoming a MyHeritage volunteer, please send us an email to translate@myheritage.com indicating the language or languages with which you'd like to help.

24    Oct 20120 comments

Webinar: Tomorrow with Randy Seaver

We're delighted to invite you to register for our Online Record Matching Masterclass, tomorrow, Thursday, October 25.

MyHeritage's Mark Olsen will be joined by expert genealogist Randy Seaver, author of the geneablog Genea-Musings, who will discuss the surprises he's received from record matching for his personal family tree.

The webinar takes place at 1pm Pacific US (4pm Eastern US, or 9pm UK).

Visit your family site now to check your Record Matches. Learn more about Record Matching in this blog post.

View past webinars and register for future events on our new webinar website.

We look forward to welcoming you online.

23    Oct 20121 comment

Family: Music in your genes?

Are you one of those rare people who can sing a certain note without hearing any reference tones? We call this perfect pitch.

When I began music classes in school at a very young age, a few of our classmates had perfect pitch. One class focused on sight-reading melodies. The teacher went around the room and called on each of us to sing a specific section.

I definitely did not have perfect pitch and I used every creative excuse to get out of these exercises. I could hear the melody in my head but simply couldn't reproduce it in sound. I knew absolutely and instinctively when someone else got a note wrong but I could never sing it myself. Our perfect pitch friends looked at the melody and sang it perfectly.

Thankfully, the teacher realized I would never be able to do that and eventually stopped calling on me (the rest of the class also appreciated that!). I could play the melody on violin and piano, but could never sing it.

Continue reading "Family: Music in your genes?" »

22    Oct 20120 comments

Family: Creative ancestors?

Were your ancestors innovative or creative? What else do you know about them? Were they social individuals or were they outsiders? Did others consider them “different” in some way?

According to a new Cornell University study, social rejects can be tomorrow’s innovators because being an outcast can lead to heightened creativity and even commercial success.

"If you have the right way of managing rejection, feeling different can help you reach creative solutions,” said Jack Goncalo, associate professor of organizational behavior at Cornell University’s ILR School. “Unlike people who have a strong need to belong, some socially rejected people shrug off rejection with an attitude of ‘normal people don’t get me and I am meant for something better.’ Our paper shows how that works.”

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19    Oct 20122 comments

Television: Is ‘reality’ real?

Why is reality television so popular?

Genealogists think researching our own unique families is real enough!

Of course, genealogists love shows on genealogy, which offer insight into breaking through brick walls. Those shows also allow us to vicariously achieve success along with the celebrity tracking his or her ancestors.

My favorite part of all those shows is how the celebrity always finds a convenient parking place directly in front of every archive he or she visits. That doesn’t happen very often in real life.

If your own family research isn’t quite enough for you, there’s a new book out on reality TV.

June Deery, an associate professor of communication and media at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (New York), says in her book, Consuming Reality, that this genre is changing the face of both the entertainment industry and culture – whether we like it or not.

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18    Oct 20120 comments

Family: Is Mom or Dad more important?

familyDoes it take one or two parents to create a happy child? Is Mom or Dad more important?

According to a new study by University of Iowa researchers, being attached to Dad is just as helpful as being close to Mom.

The study also revealed what families have known forever: Bond with your children when they are infants to make sure they will be happy and socially well-adjusted.

Researchers said that infants who have a close, intimate relationship with a parent are less likely to be troubled, aggressive or experience other emotional and behavioral problems when they reach school age.

They were surprised, however, to discover that infants who felt attached to both parents did not enjoy additional mental and emotional advantages into childhood, compared to those who had been close to just one parent.

Continue reading "Family: Is Mom or Dad more important?" »

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