In the wake of its economic boom, China is seeing marriages crumbling at a higher rate than ever before because of the increased pressures of work, mortgage payments, and managing children in a rapidly changing society. In Beijing, divorce rates have nearly doubled since 2004, and across the country they have quadrupled since China began its major economic changes in the mid-1980s. But who would have thought that Beijing's publicly run postal service would try to play cupid and save marriages from the "seven-year itch" (the critical point when, some say, a spouse's eyes begin to wander)? Now, on a couple's wedding day, newlyweds can write love letters to each other and mail them to a special postal code. The Beijing post office will hold the letters and then deliver them seven years later, in the hopes of re-igniting the couple's initial flame. The post office is also offering other romantic products like a "love passport," which couples can stamp on their anniversaries. The postal service is called "jiu jiu," a Chinese homonym for "forever." But will any of this work? Sun Lubin, a graduate of Beijing's Tsinghua University, told the China Daily, "It'd be more than depressing if I received a love letter from seven years ago and I was no longer with my then-loved one." But the Beijing post office manager said, "No matter what, the sweet moment of taking an oath is worth recording, even if people break up years later. Hopefully, when the letter arrives seven years later the couple will receive it together." Social media are also split on the issue. On Twitter, @LaurenShinfield calls it a "wonderful idea." But @jlojlo says, "Might delay divorces; not sure if it'd save marriages." What do you think? Tell us on Facebook and Twitter!
An online campaign has been launched to save a small shed. But this is no ordinary shack. It's the hut where children's author Roald Dahl wrote all his classics like "James and the Giant Peach," "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," and "Matilda" (my personal fave). According to the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Buckinghamshire, England, the shed was built in the 1950s. Dahl would make the daily commute through his garden to the shed and spend the day writing amid an eclectic collection of objects (including his own hip bone). So he wouldn't be interrupted, he told his children and grandchildren to keep away from the shed because there were wolves inside. The historic shed is now in a critical state. The museum says it wasn't built to last and may not survive another winter. To save it, the museum wants to take it apart and then reconstruct it inside the museum. The project will cost about $800,000. The fundraising launch coincided with Roald Dahl Day yesterday, which was celebrated on Twitter with the hashtag #MyFavoriteDahl. So far the museum's raised half of its goal. To donate and learn about the history of the hut, click here.