Quite possibly the best voice you will hear all day, that’s because when you hear Chris Malone weekdays from 3pm to 7pm, your workday should be about done. Chris keeps your favorite music going strong as you head down the home stretch. Keep 98.5 KTK with you in the car, as hitting the rush hour adds stress; Chris keeps it away with the Stress-Free Drive Home, starting weekday afternoons just before 5.
Little tiny ants have been spotted around the house! Ewwww! What to do? Of course there are the chemicals that'll do the job, but do you really want to spray these all over the house? Here are some natural remedies that work to repel the little army of invaders.
1. Lemon juice
Spray lemon juice where you see them enter your home. Something about the acid messes up their sense of tracking…
Use ground cinnamon or cinnamon oil. Draw borders around everything with a Q-tip dipped in it. They won't cross it.
Some people have enjoy success with peppermint essential oil around windows and doors (any entries). Plus it makes your house smell awesome.
4. Borax, water and sugar
A mixture of borax, sugar, water and a touch of peanut butter appears to work too. It takes a couple of weeks but really works. Here is the site where I found the recipe:
Make a thin paste and spread it on little pieces of thin cardboard or stiff cardstock and placed them near where it seems they are coming into the house. They'll eat it and take it back to their colony (just like the Terro liquid you can buy). The paste will dry up in a couple days, so you'll have to make more. But I think I only had to do it twice before they were gone.
6. Diatomaceous earth
Yes … diatomaceous earth (DE) works well . Use food-grade not swimming pool DE. It should be sprinkled around the perimeter of your home and you can also safely sprinkle it inside where you see them. Do not wet the DE or it will not work. DE isn't an instant kill but should resolve the problem within a week or so.
8. Baking soda and powdered sugar
Ants carry an acidic substance with them always for protection. I do a mix of baking soda and powdered sugar in a plastic lid set in strategic places. I think a little volcanic science experiment happens inside their bodies. Over the course of several days it has made a huge difference.
9. Coffee grounds
People have had success with used coffee grounds, I did know where their entry was, after putting it in the cracks they never returned. I also do know it doesn't kill them, it just makes them move homes, (we have put them on beds outside and we just see them pop up a small distance away.
Sprinkling corn meal seems to work with any too. If you google it there are a ton of places where it mentions it. Here's just one link, http://www.ehow.com/how_6395566_kill-ants-corn-meal.html
I've been a fan of Katy Perry ever since hearing her album One Of The Boys. She is one of the hardest working singer/songwriters in the industry and I know that she is very self-conscience of her skin. Now her confidence is allowing her to ditch the heavy make up for a more natural look. This has got to be one of the hardest steps anyone could ever take, especially being a celebrity. I mean we all have something about ourselves we are self-conscious about and the worst fear is someone will exploit it and knock your confidence into the dirt.
I'm sure we are not alone in saying Katy Perry is a beautiful and confident performer and woman!
Call it the power of the piggy bank. Financial literacy -- even for kids -- is more important than ever. Words such as loan default, foreclosure and recession are as common now as savings, bank statements and assets. And if you want your kids to grow up to lead lives where they don't default on loans or experience a home foreclosure, start teaching them now about savings, bank statements and assets. Financial literacy begins at home. Children whose parents teach them about basic finance grow up to be adults who are less likely to suffer financial delinquencies and foreclosures, according to a study published in the journal Social Work Research by Michal Grinstein-Weiss, an associate professor of social work at Washington University in St. Louis. "Nearly all parents agree that making sure children are financially literate is an important task, yet one that they may feel ill-equipped to carry out," Grinstein-Weiss says. "But parents don't need special knowledge or skills to prepare their kids for financial success. Routine family life is rich with opportunities to teach them the ins and outs of money matters."
Here are five ways parents can teach their kids financial literacy:
1. Discuss and explain basic finances
"Parents can and should have this discussion even if you are not saving enough or are deeply in debt. Just cover the basics, and don't scare your kids," she says. "New topics can be introduced as kids mature or the family situation changes. For example, house hunting is a natural time to discuss mortgages, interest rates and buying-versus-renting."
2. Teach kids how to save and set short-term goals (a new toy) and long-term goals (college).
"Kids follow by example, so model this behavior with a grown-up piggy bank on the kitchen counter labeled with a goal, such as 'family vacation,' and save your pocket change each day."
3. Open a savings account for your child as early as possible.
"Take a parent-child field trip to a bank or credit union and open an account for your child. Even if you're used to online banking, visit the bank each month with your child to make a deposit as actions reinforce behaviors," she says. "Review monthly online statements together."
4. Teach kids about budgeting and money-management skills.
"Look at the calendar or newspaper for upcoming events that your child is likely to want to attend and needs to start saving for," she says. "Help them research prices and figure out the time it will take to reach their goal by saving different amounts each week. Pizza night? While munching on a slice, help your child figure out the cost of each serving, adding in all costs, such as delivery, tip or cost of gas."
5. Get kids involved in daily activities and decisions about spending.
"Take them grocery shopping and have them compare prices of different brands," she says. "In a long line at checkout? Let older children estimate purchase cost, count out the cash, and complete the sale with the clerk. And show them how you pay monthly utilities, balance the check book and conduct Internet banking."
I went to see Man of Steel over the weekend and all I can say is...WOW! The story line is completely different and it was a pleasant surprise. It is much more of an action-adventure film with lots of special effects. Defiantly a more violet movie but it does keep you on the edge of your seat. I recommend it but not for little kids.
Did you know that Friday, June 21, is the official Take Your Dog to Work Day? While there are numerous benefits to having your favorite furry companion alongside you as you work, there are also some challenges to overcome if you bring your dog to work with you. How you and your company address these challenges can make the difference between a successful Take Your Dog to Work Day event and a disastrous one.
1. Coworkers who are allergic to dogs
What do you do if you want to take your lovely lab to work with you but you have coworkers who are allergic to dogs? Your best bet is to make sure your pooch is freshly bathed and keep him out of your coworker's area. At the end of the day, make sure you or the office's janitorial staff thoroughly cleans all areas that your dog visited.
2. Coworkers who are afraid of dogs
If you have a coworker who is afraid of dogs, make sure you keep your pet away from him for the entire day. Also, never leave your dog unattended. The last thing a fearful coworker needs is an encounter with an unaccompanied dog, no matter how friendly the dog is.
3. Your dog doesn't like your office
You have your dog ready to go on a little trip; you are excited about the day and can't wait to show off your four-legged best friend, but when you show up at work, he tucks his tails and refuses to walk into the building. Even the most outgoing and adventurous dog may decide that he doesn't like the office.
The last thing you want is a fearful and needy dog at work with you – it isn't good for your dog and it isn't good for your productivity. If you can take your dog to the office before the official Take Your Dog to Work Day for a test run, do it. If not, bring a favorite toy and maybe even his dog bed. A little bit of home may be all that he needs to feel comfortable at your office.
4. Potty accidents
Dogs have potty accidents, and even the most well trained pooch may have an oops in a new place. As his owner, you need to keep an eye on your dog, and if he's giving off any of his 'I have to go potty' queues, then you need to get outside pronto. Another way to prevent an office accident is to be proactive and take your dog outside more often than you normally would. While an accident may not be a big deal to you, it can be alarming to someone who doesn't own pets.
Let's face it, a cute dog in the office is going to be a distraction; both to those who love dogs and those who wish Take Your Dog to Work Day didn't exist. Do what you can to minimize distractions to both yourself and your coworkers. Taking a 3-month-old puppy to work might not be the brightest idea, but a well-trained 6-month-old puppy might be fine.
Happy Friday! As we honor Dad this Sunday here's way to make him proud...making more money! I found this list of weird ways to make money and wanted to share with you. Take a look:
1. Sell your body.
for science, that is. You can sell whole blood or plasma. According to American Red Cross standards, you have to weigh at least 110 pounds, be 18 or older, and be in good health. Plasma can be sold monthly, and it takes about an hour and 15 minutes. Whole blood can be sold only every two months, but it takes just 10 minutes, on average. Check with your local hospital or clinic to see if it pays for donations. Each visit can be worth up to $35.
2. Do clinical trials.
Provided you qualify, participating in tests of new medicines and procedures can earn you up to a couple thousand dollars. Two sources for finding clinical trials are the National Institutes of Health database and the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation, which can also help you over the phone.
3. Show talent. Fiverr.com helps you make money from your ability to do anything from retouching photos to singing. You can net $4 (the site takes a $1 cut) for a wide variety of small tasks. And if you don't have a special skill, try being clever or weird. Recently on the Fiverr front page, someone was offering to do voiceovers in a Power Ranger costume and another was offering to write messages on her lips. While lots of this stuff is silly, this site can theoretically be used as an entree for those with serious ambitions to showcase more traditional work.
4. Sell used goods.
If you have stuff you don't use -- and who doesn't? -- there are plenty of places to sell it, from Craigslist to eBay to Amazon. And if you don't want to wait on a buyer, you can trade in used electronics, books, movies and games at Amazon for credit. While this idea isn't particularly weird, if you need money, it's a good place to start.
Better than selling used is selling new -- especially if you have something unique to offer. Websites like Etsy.com can help you launch a side business selling your own crafts, from jewelry to painting to custom purses and clothing. Promoting your crafts on a social network like Pinterest can help drum up business.
6. Work online.
One of the most-asked questions: Is there legitimate work from home? Technically, yes. But finding a legitimate work-at-home job isn't easy, and there are a lot of scams. Still, you can use the Internet to make extra cash. You can provide product research on sites like SurveySavvy.com for anywhere from $1 to $15 per survey, or perform quick menial tasks like tagging images for a few cents each on Mechanical Turk. You can also use the Internet to find offline jobs in your area (like bartending or short-term work as a personal assistant) at Zaarly, where some gigs are worth $100 or more.
7. Find missing money.
"Finding unclaimed cash" explains how to check with government agencies for cash you didn't know you had, like tax refunds, retirement accounts from old employers, abandoned paychecks, and unclaimed life insurance proceeds.
8. Try apps.
As smartphones become more popular, some startup businesses are based entirely on apps that get you to use them in certain ways while you're out and about. There are even apps that reward you for trying and reviewing other apps.
Watching television can make you smarter. Gossiping can make you less critical of yourself. And coffee can help prevent type 2 diabetes. Yes, some bad habits -- in moderation -- may actually be good for you. Ladies Home Journal reports that some bad habits can have surprisingly good effects. Here are five that get a bad rap, but can be good for you.
The good: When you watch shows that exercise your mind, it can actually make you smarter. Some shows can give you a cognitive workout, while others will encourage you to reflect on your marriage and family life. Still others will almost always teach you something new. The bad: If you turn into a couch potato and watch TV excessively while your family does other things, it's a problem. Sitting in front of the TV for too long can drain your energy. If you watch more than two hours a day, it's time to dial down the habit.
The good: Facebook can help you deepen relationships and connect with people from your past with whom you long ago lost touch. It can be a valuable resource for information, too. Posting a message that you need the name of a good plumber or tips for planting a vegetable garden can result in information you would not have otherwise received. The bad: When you spend so much time on Facebook that you neglect your work, family or household chores, you may need to restrict your use by building it into your schedule. Be disciplined and only check in at those times.
The good: When we gossip about other people, it can make us less critical of our own lives. A celebrity's third trip to rehab or the neighbor's failed marriage can make you realize you're doing just fine. Gossip, which is human nature, also relieves stress and can create a culture of closeness. The bad: If you purposely spread vicious stories about someone else that could be potentially damaging, it's time to stop. Too much gossiping can make you seem insecure or egocentric.
The good: Regular coffee consumption is actually good for you! Numerous studies have shown multiple health benefits, including a lower risk for stroke, dementia, Parkinson's disease, type 2 diabetes, liver cancer and gallstones. The bad: If you indulge in fancy, high-calorie java drinks, they can make you fat since they're not only packed with caffeine, but also calories. And pregnant women shouldn't drink coffee at all because it can increase the risk of miscarriage.
The good: So what if your desk is a pile of papers and the junk drawer is so crammed with stuff it won't open? Moderately disorganized people also tend to be more creative and efficient than those who are obsessively neat. The bad: When the boss looks at you like your desk is a fire hazard or you can't find your favorite jeans in your closet, it's time to clean up. Being messy is fine -- to a point. Complete disorder is a problem. Schedule weekly tidy-up sessions to keep things under control.
Father's Day isn't just about kids showing appreciation for their dads. It's about everyone showing some extra love to all the dads in their lives -- including your husband. Although it's cute to help your kids make pop breakfast in bed on that Sunday, here are a few creative ideas for spending the day with the man with whom you've created your awesome family.
1. Walk down memory lane
Whether it's the place you and your husband first met, or the restaurant where you told him that you were pregnant with your little one, a trip down memory lane is always a great way to not just celebrate the past, but the present. It's also a fun lesson for the kiddos to hear your love story.
2. Scavenger hunt
Nothing says fun, like an all-afternoon hunt through clues that will ultimately end at one of dad's favorite places. With cute notes of trivia and funny suggestions (make dad do the "Funky Chicken" before he gets hint #4!), spend the day having dad run in circles just to get him to Yankee Stadium for a game, or some other place he loves.
3. Alone time
Yes, Father's Day has a lot to do with the kids that made your husband a dad, but it did take some alone time. Let the kids have Saturday to celebrate their dad with all their homemade craziness, then get a sitter and take off Saturday night into Sunday. A loungy day in a hotel bed without the fear of the little ones running in is just what you both need.
4. Work on the family tree
It took a lot of dads before to get to the father your husband is today, so why not pay homage to the all the fathers in your family? Break out the old photographs and teach the little ones about their ancestry. Or, if the kids love arts and crafts, start branching out with marker and crayons.
5. Let dad choose the menu of the day
The best way to keep dad happiest is to surround him with his loved ones and keep his belly full. Have dad hand over a list of all his favorite foods and make every single one of them for him.
6. Build something
Even if your husband isn't exactly a whiz when it comes to power tools, having the whole family participate in building something will be a blast. From making a birdhouse for the family of sparrows in your back yard to creating paper-mâche dinosaurs just for the hell of it, anything where there's going to be a mess, there will be laughs.
7. Throw a party
That's right. If you're stressing out as to what to do and how to make the day extra special for dad, host a barbeque -- it's the time of year for it -- invite all his pals and their families and make it a group celebration he'll never forget. Everyone likes a party, especially when it's in honor of them.
I went and saw Avenue Q at the Hippodrome last night and what an amazing performance. Sometimes you forget how many neat things there are to do in our neck of the woods. Kudos to the actors, actresses and performers who did a great job!
Did you know that 70% of your longevity is determined by your lifestyle? So, in a way, you are in control of your destiny. Taken together, all of the following lifestyle changes will help you live as much as 30 years longer. Here are tips from Dr. Sanjay Gupta's book "Chasing Life".
5 years: Don't smoke
It's not cool to smoke. You smell, your teeth turn yellow, your skin looks like leather and your voice gets low and raspy. It also gives you lung cancer. Ick.
5 years: Eat power foods
It's all about the antioxidants. Every day you should eat a handful of dark chocolate and almonds, as well as fruits, vegetables, garlic and even a glass of wine.
4 years: Skip the fast food
Drive past the drive thru windows and you'll live a lot longer since you're not ingesting all that fat and cholesterol.
3 years: Get moving
Run for 30 minutes, five days a week and you can live up to four years longer. If you walk, you'll add three years.
3 years: Get married
Numerous studies have shown that married people are happier and healthier. Why? They take care of each other. Face it, most men see a doctor because their wives made the appointment and told them to go.
3 years: Eat salmon twice a week
Eating fatty fish that contains omega 3 fatty acids, such as wild salmon, herring, mackerel and sardines, not only appears to lower your risk of Alzheimer's disease, but also helps control triglyceride levels and inflammation.
3 years: Lose the fat
You'll not only look and feel better, but you'll be healthier if you lose weight. Being overweight increases your risk of death by 20 to 40 percent. Now that's motivation!
3 years: Have sex
Having sex two to three times a week helps you live longer by cutting in half your risk for heart disease and stroke. How? Sex burns about 200 calories, which is the same as running for 30 minutes.
1 year: Floss daily
The greatest benefit of regular flossing is healthy gums. Research has shown that gum inflammation is linked to heart disease. Keep your gums healthy and your heart may follow
OK, common foods that are poisonous?!?! It's true! Take a look at these 8 common foods that are poisonous. The key is know what to eat and how to prepare.
1. Lima beans
Like many legumes, the seemingly innocent lima bean should not be eaten raw – doing so can be lethal. (And who wants to die in such an ignoble way as death by lima bean?) Also known as butter beans, the legumes can contain a high level of cyanide, which is part of the plant's defense mechanism.
Here in the U.S. there are restrictions about cyanide levels in commercially grown lima bean varieties, but not so in less developed countries, and many people can get sick from eating them. Even so, lima beans should be cooked thoroughly, and uncovered to allow the poison to escape as gas. Also, drain the cooking water to be on the safe side.
Whoever ate the first pufferfish must have been adventurous. (And most likely died shortly thereafter.) Almost all pufferfish contain tetrodotoxin, a deadly toxin that is up to 1,200 times more poisonous than cyanide. The poison in one pufferfish is enough to wipe out 30 humans, and there's no known antidote.
Yet, many people eat it. Called fugu in Japan, the meat of the pufferfish is a highly prized dish that is prepared by specially trained, licensed chefs. Even so, according to government figures, there were 23 deaths among 338 fugu poisoning cases recorded in Japan from 2000 to 2009.
3. Castor beans
Many a granny came armed with a spoonful of castor oil to heal all ills, and studies show that it does indeed have health benefits to offer. Just be sure not to eat the beans from which the oil came. If castor beans are chewed and swallowed, they can release ricin, one of the most toxic poisons known to man. Eating just one or two castor beans can easily cause the demise of the eater. Ricin has been investigated as a warfare agent, and has even been employed by secret agents and assassins.
Any reader of old-school mystery novels knows what the smell of bitter almonds signifies: death by cyanide, my dear Watson. And that's because some plants, including apples and bitter almonds, have cyanide in them to discourage herbivores from devouring them.
But don't fret; bitter almonds aren't the same as sweet almonds, the ones we eat in the United States. Since about 20 bitter almonds are enough to kill an adult, they aren't sold here. That said, almond extract is made with the oil of bitter almonds, but rest assured, it can't be used as a murder weapon.
Also known as manioc or tapioca, bitter casava is native to South America and is the third most important source of calories in the tropics; and like bitter almonds, cassava also harbors cyanide. When properly soaked and dried, and especially when people have protein in their diet, bitter cassava is okay; but when any of the process is skimped on, problems arise.
Due to correct food processing and strict regulations, cyanide-laced cassava poses little threat to Americans who eat the root. But, in Africa, where cassava has become a major part of subsistence diets, many poor people suffer from a chronic and crippling form of cyanide poisoning known as konzo. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is helping in the efforts to breed cassavas with less cyanide, but success has not yet been achieved.
Rhubarb stalks may lend a super tart tang to strawberry pie; but their leaves offer something altogether different. Rhubarb leaves contain oxalic acid, a chemical compound found in bleach, metal cleaners and anti-rust products. The leaves also contain anthraquinone glycosides. Eating the leaves can lead to a burning sensation in the mouth and throat, nausea and vomiting, gastric pain, shock, convulsions and even death.
Although rhubarb sold at the store genrally has most of the leaves removed, be careful if you grow it at home; although using every part of a vegetable is generally great ... in this case, the shock, convulsions and death aren't quite worth it.
7. Tomatoes and potatoes
The leaves and stems of both tomatoes and potatoes, members of the nightshade family, contain a toxic alkaloid called solanine. In potatoes, it is particularly concentrated when the spud starts to sprout and when the eyes and flesh turn green.
Prior to 1820, Americans considered tomatoes to be poisonous, but the chance of suffering symptoms of solanine toxicity from tomatoes isn't that likely. Potatoes have higher concentrations – and a report form the University of New Mexico notes that wild potatoes in the Andes can be more than double that of cultivated potatoes. But even so, a 100-pound person would need to eat 16 ounces of a fully green potato before solanine poisoning would occur. If you happen to have a taste for green potatoes, keep an eye out for excessive salivation, diarrhea, slowed pulse, reduced blood pressure and respirations, and cardiac arrest.
No list of poisonous foods would be complete without mention of mushrooms, and specifically, Amanita phalloides, the deadly (and dastardly delicious) "death cap" mushroom. Responsible for a multitude of mushroom poisonings, along with its cousin, Amanita ocreata, better known as the "destroying angel." The Amanita genus in general is responsible for about 95 percent of all mushroom poisonings, with 75 percent of fatal poisonings attributed to death caps and destroying angels.
Our fascination with funghi goes way back and we continue to poison ourselves with various members of the mushroom family. Why? Because they are amazing to eat, while at the same time, it's hard to differentiate between those that are good and those that are deadly.
Nothing says summer like flip-flops, our number one summer shoe choice -- from the pool to a swanky evening out on the town. "While flip-flops are perfectly fine -- and far better than going barefoot-- in a number of settings, they do have some drawbacks," warns Christina Sigur, a podiatrist and instructor in orthopedics at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. "They really don't offer too much support or protection. Wearing them too often or for certain intensive activities can lead to a variety of foot problems." Here are five smart tips for wearing flip-flops, courtesy of the American Podiatric Medical Association:
1. Purchase flip-flops made of high-quality soft leather. Leather minimizes the potential for blisters and other types of irritation.
2. Gently bend the flip-flop from end to end, ensuring it bends at the ball of the foot. Shoes of any kind should never fold in half. Do not choose shoes that are too flimsy.
3. Make sure your foot doesn't hang off of the edge of the flip-flop. A good shoe fit is vital to healthy feet.
4. Don't wear the same pair of flip-flops year after year. If they show signs of severe wear, discard them.
5. Don't ignore irritation between toes, where the toe thong fits. This can lead to blisters and possible infections.
When it comes to avoiding injury, always use your common sense.
Don't wear flip-flops while walking long distances. Even the sturdiest flip-flops offer little in terms of shock absorption and arch support.
Never do yard work while wearing flip-flops. Always wear shoes that fully protect feet when doing outside activities such as mowing the lawn or using a string trimmer.
Don't play sports in flip-flops. This can lead to twisting of the foot or ankle, as well as sprains and breaks.
Get ready for your mind to be blown! Here are 10 myths that many of us hold as truths.
1. Going out in the cold with a wet head will make you sick
"Put a hat on or you'll catch your death of a cold," screeches every micro managing momma as her charges march off into the winter wonderland. But in numerous studies addressing the topic, people who are chilled are no more likely to get sick than those who were not. And a wet or dry head makes no difference.
2. Vikings wore horned helmets
Is there anything more "Viking warrior" than a helmet fitted with horns? Alas, horned hats were not worn by the warriors. Although the style did exist in the region, they were only used for early ceremonial purposes and had largely faded out by the time of the Vikings. Several major misidentifications got the myth rolling, and by the time costume designers for Wagner's "Der Ring des Nibelungen" put horned helmets on the singers in the late 19th century, there was no going back.
3. Sugar makes kids go bonkers
The Journal of the American Medical Association published a review of 23 studies on the subject of kids and sugar, the conclusion: Sugar doesn't affect behavior. And it's possible that it is the idea itself that is so ingrained as fact that it affects our perception. Case in point: In one study mothers were told that their sons had consumed a drink with a high sugar content. Although the boys had actually consumed sugar-free drinks, the mothers reported significantly higher levels of hyperactive behavior. That said, some scientists warn that sugar can make you dumb.
4. You lose most of your body heat through your head
Everyone knows that you lose somewhere around 98 percent of your body heat through your head, which is why you have to wear a hat in the cold. Except that you don't. As reported in The New York Times and elsewhere, the amount of heat released by any part of the body depends mostly on the surface area — on a cold day you would lose more heat through an exposed leg or arm than a bare head.
5. You will get arthritis from cracking your knuckles
It seems reasonable, but it's not true either. You will not get arthritis from cracking your knuckles. There is no evidence of such an association, and in limited studies performed there was no change in occurrence of arthritis between "habitual knuckle crackers" and "non crackers." There have been several reports in medical literature that have linked knuckle cracking with injury of the ligaments surrounding the joint or dislocation of the tendons, but not arthritis.
6. Napoleon was short
Napoleon's height was once commonly given as 5 feet 2 inches, but many historians have now given him extra height. He was 5 feet 2 inches using French units, but when converted into Imperial units, the kind we are accustomed to, he measured almost 5 feet 7 inches inches tall — which was actually slightly taller than average for a man in France at the time.
7. You have to stretch before exercise
Stretching before exercise is the main way to improve performance and avoid injury, everyone stretches … but researchers have been finding that it actually slows you down. Experts reveal that stretching before a run can result in a 5 percent reduction of efficiency; meanwhile, Italian researchers studying cyclists confirmed that stretching is counterproductive. Furthermore, there has never been sufficient scientific evidence that pre-exercise stretching reduces injury risk.
8. Cholesterol in eggs is bad for the heart
The perceived association between dietary cholesterol and risk for coronary heart disease stems from dietary recommendations proposed in the 1960s that had little scientific evidence, other than the known association between saturated fat and cholesterol and animal studies where cholesterol was fed in amounts far exceeding normal intakes. Since then, study after study has found that dietary cholesterol (the cholesterol found in food) does not negatively raise your body's cholesterol. It is the consumption of saturated fat that is the demon here. So eat eggs, don't eat steak.
9. Dogs age at seven years per one human year
Your 3-year-old dog is 21 years old in human years, right? Not according to experts. The general consensus is that dogs mature faster than humans, reaching the equivalent of 21 years in only two, and then aging slows down to more like four human years per year. "Dog Whisperer" Cesar Millan's site recommends this way to calculate your dog's human-age equivalent: Subtract two from the age, multiply that by four and add 21.
10. George Washington had wooden teeth
Our first president starting losing his teeth in his 20s, but contrary to popular belief, his dentures were not made of wood. Although built-in toothpicks would have been handy, Washington had four sets of dentures that were made from gold, hippopotamus ivory, lead, and human and animal teeth (horse and donkey teeth were common components in the day). Also of note: The dentures had bolts to hold them together and springs to help them open, all the better to eat one of his favorite treats, Mary Washington's seriously delicious gingerbread.
Well Tropical Storm Andrea left as fast as she arrived.We got some good rain out of the storm and unfortunately for my neighbor, a tree limb fell on his car right through the windshield! Thank God no one was hurt in that incident.
I recently had a friend down on his luck and feeling sorry for himself. i reminded him that he has the power to shape his life and to think positively. Its cliche to say but you do have your health.
So I thought I'd post these traits of successful people. For most people, success is no accident. Winners are winners for a reason just as losers are losers for a reason. Here are some differences between successful people and those who are not.
1. Winners do things losers won't do.
Oftentimes, it's the people who go to almost unthinkable lengths who manage to make it to the top. Thomas Edison reportedly tried more than 1000 different substances as filaments before he found the right one for the light bulb. Henry Morton Stanley, who was one of the greatest explorers in human history, nearly died time and time again going on expeditions across Africa that took years under some of the most dangerous and miserable conditions imaginable. Ross Perot and his wife both worked and then they lived off his salary while they saved every cent of her salary to fund his new business. These are people who went to extraordinary lengths to reach the top and they did it instead of complaining that life is hard and giving up.
2. Winners fail more often than losers.
The loser tastes defeat and quits. The winner gets knocked down and keeps on getting back up. "I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." -- Michael Jordan
Winners have "been there, done that, and got the t-shirt" -- so when they're in that same situation again, they've learned from hard experience what to do and what not to do. Losers, on the other hand, fail, decide it's too hard, and they quit before they've ever really gotten started.
3. Winners are optimistic while losers are pessimistic.
Both optimists and pessimists tend to think their view of the world is more "realistic." That's because whether you're optimistic or pessimistic, you're probably right. That makes sense if you think about it. If you expect to fail and have a setback, then it's all too easy to say, "I knew it wouldn't work," and give up. On the other hand, if you expect to succeed and things go badly, then you're much more likely to just shrug it off and keep going forward. As Richard Bach has said, "Sooner or later, those who win are those who think they can."
4. Winners know what they're trying to do while losers go with the flow.
This one is a little trickier than the other items on the list because after all, not every successful person has mapped out his future. Moreover, there are plenty of successful people who ended up taking their first steps toward success and prosperity without realizing the path that they were on. That being said, you don't just show up one day and become a CEO, astronaut, or gold medalist. As a general rule, it takes a lot of effort, planning, and grunt work to be exceptional at ANYTHING. Even if you just want to be a great father or the best friend you can be to another human being, it helps a lot to know that's what you're trying to do. That's because it's very rare that anyone is "accidentally" great at anything over the long haul. People get good at things because they have figured out it's important to be good at them and then they take steps to improve.
5. Winners take responsibility for their own lives while losers point the finger elsewhere.
It's not society's job, Wall Street's job, or the government's job to take care of you. That's YOUR JOB. Winners take responsibility for what happens to them, their own lives, and their future. That gives them a sense of control over their own destiny. It also puts the onus for change on the shoulders of the only person who has any sort of realistic chance to make a difference: YOU! On the other hand, losers evade responsibility and point the finger elsewhere when they fail -- which is a huge mistake because it cedes control of their own life to other parties. If you're waiting for family, "society" or the "government" to show up, fix all your problems, and make you into a success, you're going to be in for a long, long wait.
6. Winners work harder than losers.
Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else is an outstanding book. Its central theme is this: What people often think of as natural talent is really the result of a freakish amount of "deliberate practice." Put in 10,000 hours of well-coached focused practice and you, too, can appear to have an extraordinary amount of "talent." There's a lot to this way of thinking. Although hard work alone isn't sufficient to make you into a winner, it's a prerequisite for being a winner. That's why successful people are almost inevitably busy people. Long story short: You're never going to become a champion at anything working 40 hours a week and then spending the rest of the week kicking back in the La-Z-Boy watching TV and playing Xbox.
7. Winners ask. Losers wait to be asked.
As Robert Ringer wrote in his book Action!: Nothing Happens Until Something Moves , asking for what you want is one of the biggest keys to achieving your goals. Perhaps only 45% of success is showing up, while another 45% of success is asking. Asking is the simplest, most efficient, and potentially most rewarding action a person can take.
We can offer you some mobile information too. Text HURRICANE to 72881 and receive local storm information directly to your cell phone and mobile devices. it's a free service provided by Clay Electric Co-op and SunState Federal Credit Union.
If anything changes we'll let you know about it on 98.5 KTK!
Yes, that's what marketing researchers have concluded after analyzing the personality traits of some 25,000 TV viewers and the results may surprise you. For example, if you think fans of "Glee" and "Dancing with the Stars" are alike because they enjoy watching people doing fancy footwork, think again.
"Glee" viewers are "experimentalist," or folks who are open minded and seek unique and varied experiences.
In contrast, DWTS aficionados are "traditionalists." They respect authority and don't like to rock the boat.
People who enjoy AMC's advertising series "Mad Men" are creative dreamers rather than realists and liberal on the political spectrum.
Conservatives would be more likely to tune in to NBC's "The Biggest Loser" because they tend to be realists who the researchers say, "Live in the present and work with what they have."
It may come as no surprise that "Family Guy" fans are rebels. People who can't get enough of the irreverent Fox animated comedy don't like rules, structure and authority and they tend to have short fuses.
"Real Housewives" devotees are combative. The Bravo show's audience is made up of natural born leaders who are likely to tell you exactly what they think.
Modest folks are fond of the "Deadliest Catch" on Discovery while generous, selfless individuals enjoy Rachael Ray and reality shows with happy endings, like ABC's "The Bachelor."
I'm back from vacation and I had a wonderful time and a gorgeous tan! :) Now the reality of coming back to work sets in...but since I love my job it isn't a difficult transition.
As a guy, the 6 words I dread to hear are "Does this make me look fat?" There is no correct answer! Experts say the ideal solution is to not offer a straight "yes" or "no" answer and kind of step around the question itself. Below are 6 ways to avoid answering, "Does this make me look fat?"
1. "It flatters your figure."
This works either way. How's she going to argue with this logic? Try it and be amazed.
2. "I think you look sexy."
This one is probably closer to the truth than our other ideas; after all, would you still be with your girlfriend or wife if you didn't find her sexy at least some of the time? Phrasing your response this way allows you to evade a direct reaction while letting her know you still find her attractive. It also doesn't specifically address her clothing preferences either -- just her.
3. "You always look beautiful, amazing, etc."
Most people do not correlate being fat with beauty, and this will let her know that no matter how she looks or what she wears, she's still sexy. This one might not work if your woman's just trying to start a fight, though, in which case you're screwed every which way despite how many of these lines you toss at her.
4. "It's nice, but I know what would look better."
This way, you step around the question by saying it looks nice when it might actually not, and then you may want to help her find a combination of clothing that you think makes her look really good.
5. "You would need to be fat to look fat, and you're not fat."
while a little more long-winded and redundant, this is the shortest possible way to say this. Again, this does not attend to her attire-just her. It also supplies a better explanation than "no" without the brevity and open-endedness of "no." Women love when you can explain yourself succinctly... a good skill to develop in the event she catches you banging your secretary and wants to know why.
6. "You make that dress/outfit look good."
Do exercise caution when saying this one because a woman may interpret it as you saying her clothes (and thus her taste in fashion) is bad and she'll start griping. That's why it's at the bottom of the list; not as good as the last five choices, but still a way to avoid answering, "Does this make me look fat?"
It's the Memorial day weekend, impress your friends with some Memorial day trivia.
Memorial Day was founded to honor military personnel who died in...
The Revolutionary War
The Civil War
The Spanish-American War
World War I
World War II
Which community was proclaimed in 1966 by the U.S. government as the birthplace of Memorial Day?
Waterloo, New York
Bunker Hill, Massachusetts
On what date was Memorial Day first observed?
May 30, 1856
May 5, 1866
May 25, 1889
May 29, 1901
May 15, 1919
Memorial Day originated with another name. What was it?
Old Soldiers' Day
Memorial Day is different in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Virginia, Louisiana, and Tennessee. How?
These states celebrate Memorial Day on Jefferson Davis' birthday
Instead of a somber, solemn observance, these states celebrate the memory of the fallen with gala festivals
Memorial Day in these states excludes the Union dead in the Civil War
These states choose to honor Confederate dead in the Civil War on a separate day
In these states, the Confederate flag is flown alongside the American flag
Why is General John Alexander Logan important to the celebration of Memorial Day?
He is the first officially documented casualty in a war
He called for more official government recognition of the holiday
He was the first to place a wreath at the Grave of the Unknowns
He is responsible for accumulating and maintaining statistics of the U.S. war dead
He ordered that the holiday be observed by decorating the graves of the war dead
In which war did the most U.S. service people die?
The Revolutionary War
The Civil War
World War I
World War II
The Vietnam War
Which war had the highest percentage of U.S. casualties based on the number of troops served?
The Revolutionary War
The Civil War
World War I
World War II
The Vietnam War
According to the Department of Defense, how many U.S. service men and women have died in battle in all wars in which the U.S. was involved?
About 1.4 million
They don't even estimate
Since the end of World War I, Memorial Day is also called which of the following?
War Heroes' Day
Armed Forces Day
Old Soldiers' Day
U.S. military service veterans have organized groups such as the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. On Veterans' Day and Memorial Day, these groups raise funds for their charities by selling paper flowers made by disabled veterans. What kind of flowers are they?
Poppies, a bright red wildflower, became a symbol after a horrific World War I battle. The field, littered with the bodies of young soldiers, was also filled with poppies. What field was it?
Memorial day weekend here we come! I'm super excited about this year. As I take some time off next week, I will be on the beach and by the pool feeling confident for the first time in forever! I've lost 15 pounds on Healthe Trim and for the total 34 pounds I've lost over the year, those 15 were the hardest to ditch. Heathe Trim. If this sounds familiar then give it a try risk free. It's guaranteed or your money back! 855-600-9746
Who doesn't love a succulent steak or juicy burger cooked on the grill? It's the taste of summertime. The bad news is that it can also increase your risk of developing colon cancer, since the grilling process forms potent cancer-causing substances on the meat. The good news is that there are specific things you can do when grilling to lower that ominous risk of cancer. "By keeping five simple steps in mind, it's possible to make this summer's backyard grilling both healthier and more flavorful," says Alice Bender, a registered dietitian at the American Institute for Cancer Research.
Five backyard grilling tips to reduce cancer risk:
1. Choose chicken and fish instead of steaks and burgers.
Grilled or not, many studies have shown that diets high in red meat or processed meats increase the risk of colon cancer. So eat red meat as a treat instead of a dietary staple and avoid processed meats, such as sausages and hot dogs. Instead, get creative with chicken and fish by adding spices, herbs, sauces and even hot peppers.
2. Marinate before you grill.
Marinating meat, poultry and fish for at least 30 minutes before you put it on the grill can reduce the formation of potentially cancer-causing heterocyclic amines (HCAs) that are formed when cooking with a high heat. For the marinade, use a mixture of vinegar, herbs, spices and lemon juice or wine.
3. Cut the grill time.
The smoke that is generated by the grill creates other potentially cancer-causing substances, called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), that form on the meat. You can significantly lower the amount of PAHs by partially cooking the meat in the microwave, stove or oven before you put it on the grill. Food safety tip: Immediately put the partially-cooked meat on the grill to prevent microbes that can cause illness.
4. Cook meat over a low flame.
Cooking with a lower flame can help reduce the formation of HCAs and PAHs. To do this, keep the fat and juices out of the fire, and cut off visible fat before grilling. You can also move the coals to one side of the grill and cook the meat in the center.
5. Remember the veggies!
Balance your meal by including lots of vegetables and fruits, which contain anti-cancer compounds. Onions, zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, corn on the cob and tomatoes can be placed directly on the grill or in a grill basket.
If you feel that exercise is boring and dull and you hate it, it could be that you have chosen the wrong exercise for your fitness personality. The number one reason people fail to stick with an exercise regimen is that they are not exercising according to their fitness personality, according to Linda Shelton, fitness director of Shape magazine. Shelton has identified five distinct fitness personality types. Which one are you?
These are the most reliable, stable and predictable exercisers, who thrive on routine. Squares tend to develop rigid schedules for themselves, so while they get to the gym regularly, they don't see progressive results because they hit plateaus doing the same thing over and over. Advice: Squares should try a new activity weekly and switch up the routine just a little while still pursuing the familiar schedule and practice.
Although they are a little more flexible than squares, rectangles still thrive on order and routine. They especially enjoy group exercise and perform best with social interaction. Advice: Join a fitness club, running group or hiking group or take fitness classes instead of exercising alone.
Competitive and driven, triangles are task-oriented and thrive on repetition when they are working out so they can monitor their progress and revel in their successes. Advice: Since triangles need to have exercise goals, find another competitive partner and train together for a specific event, or each of you can set individual goals and compete against each other to be the first to reach it.
As the social butterflies of the exercise world, circles are emotionally driven. They are spontaneous, fun-loving and will not exercise alone. They love group exercise and really enjoy being with a trainer. Circles are the most common type among the fitness personalities. Advice: It's easy for circles to spend more time socializing than exercising, since they like the camaraderie more than the workout. Either seek out a nurturing trainer who will motivate, but not push too hard, or exercise in a group setting.
Outgoing and fun-loving, squigglies hate routine. They are the polar opposite of squares. If an activity is not totally fun, enjoyable and exciting, they'll quit. Advice: Create a varied exercise plan that includes classes and new activities.
I apologize if you're tired of hearing about my weight loss, but if you've ever been successful at dropping pounds then you'll understand that it's all you want to talk about! As of today, I am down 15 pounds! These aren't just any 15 pounds, these are pounds that I've been struggling with for months...and I dropped them just in time for summer :)
I owe my success to Heathe Trim. I'm sure you've heard me talk about it on the radio. For me, it gave me the strength to bypass mid afternoon snacking and overeating in general. As skeptical as I was in the beginning, I now am singing a different tune and I'm sure Healthe Trim will work for you. It's guaranteed or your money back! Call 855-600-TRIM and get a bottle free with your order!
Salt, which can cause high blood pressure, is hidden in many foods -- from soup to spaghetti. It's well known that we need to lower our intake of sodium, but you need to do far more than put down the salt shaker. Most of the sodium we consume daily is hidden in processed and other foods. While you know there is sodium in canned tomato sauce, did you ever suspect it would be lurking in a fresh chicken breast? Prevention magazine has helpfully compiled a list of the six sodium bombs -- otherwise healthy foods that are packed with salt:
1. Chicken breasts
Pay attention to the chicken breasts you purchase. Look for the word "enhanced" on the label, because that means it is enhanced with a sodium solution--much like chicken broth--that will make the meat appear to be plumper, juicier and tastier. The bottom line is that a 4-ounce piece of chicken could have between 40 to 330 mg of sodium--sodium you never suspected was there. What can you do? Read labels carefully, because all that sodium is not necessarily listed on the front of the package. You must read the list of all the ingredients. Even if the package says "all natural," beware if you see any of the following: "enhanced with broth," "enhanced with Teriyaki sauce," "sodium" or "sodium phosphate."
Store-bought bread typically contains between 80 and 230 mg of sodium in each slice, so much so that the Centers for Disease Control names bread and rolls the No. 1 source of sodium in our diet. The sodium is added as a preservative to lengthen the bread's shelf life. What can you do? Bake your own bread or purchase it at your grocery's in-store bakery. Fresh bread contains less salt, but remember it will only be fresh for a few days.
3. Deli meat
Even the deli counter's "natural" or "nitrate-free" meats contain salt, which is used as a preservative. And there is a lot of salt in deli meat, ranging from 450 to 1,050 mg of sodium per three-ounce serving. What can you do? Choose reduced- or lower-sodium deli meats, and because even these are still quite salty, eat no more than three ounces a day. Another option is to choose freshly roasted turkey or roast beef and have it sliced thin enough for sandwiches. Because there is very little salt in these meats, they will only remain fresh for a few days.
4. Reduced-sodium soups
It's common knowledge that canned soups (or canned anything) contain lots of sodium, but guess what? Even reduced-sodium soups can have between 280 to 480 mg of sodium per serving. And if you're eating the entire can, that can be as much as 1,000 mg of salt in one meal. What can you do? It's all in the wording. Look for the words "low-sodium" on the label, rather than "less sodium." Low-sodium contains less than 140 mg of sodium per serving. You can also look for "no sodium" soups.
Wait... what? There is sodium in pudding? Yes, as much as 200 mg of sodium in one cup of low-fat, low-calorie chocolate pudding. Why? It's used to enhance the texture. What can you do? Buy the kind that you cook on the stovetop, which has 100 mg of sodium per serving, compared with the instant pudding that has over 400 mg of sodium. Better yet, skip the pudding entirely and eat one ounce of 70 percent dark chocolate for a nearly sodium-free treat.
6. Breakfast cereal
Before you pour a bowl of your favorite cold cereal, check the label. Some of the most popular cereals, including raisin bran and corn flakes, are packed with sodium. What can you do? Choose a breakfast cereal that has less than five percent of your daily value for sodium, such as puffed rice or shredded wheat.
Picking the perfect pooch for your family is both good for you and the dog. The experts have come up with some pointers on which breed will work for you and will ensure your dog has a forever home!
Best Breed for Suburban Families: Golden Retriever
If your idea of the perfect Saturday is being outside tossing around a football, then consider the golden retriever. As the name "retriever" suggests, this dog is in its element chasing a Frisbee or playing fetch with the kids. Golden retrievers are easy to train, a bonus for busy moms and dads. Keep in mind, though, the grooming required: "Their coats are thin, fine, and mat easily, so you have to do a fair amount of brushing," Peterson says. Best Breed for Rural Families: Labrador Retriever
This dog ranks number one in America for good reason -- its versatility. The Labrador retriever is an excellent pick for a family of hikers or campers. Historically, Labrador retrievers were bred as strong hunting companions; for you, that means they're devoted, easy to train, and love the open air. Another plus: The Lab's shorter coat won't attract as many bushes, burrs, and brambles as a longer-haired breed's. Best Breed for Families with Rambunctious Kids: Beagle
The beagle has serious energy. It follows its nose anywhere and everywhere, which can get it into trouble occasionally. Almost sounds like your teens, right? Peterson recommends a beagle for parents looking to teach their kids responsibility. "This breed is compact enough so that a teenager or tween can walk, groom, and feed it, love it and play with it," she says. "It's not too much dog for your kids to handle." Best Breed for Multigenerational Families: Brussels Griffon
This breed is small and likes to cuddle, Peterson says. She suggests Brussels griffons for both senior citizens and children who are looking for an affectionate companion pup. They are spunky, inquisitive, and require daily (but not intense) exercise Best Breed for City Families: Pug
Urban living poses some challenges for a pet, and this breed is a great bet for a family with less room to maneuver. "Pugs are very much people dogs," Peterson says. "They are companion animals and like to stay with their owners at all times." In addition, pugs require a relatively small amount of grooming and exercise. Pick-a-Pup Checklist
Purebred or mixed breed -- no matter. "Taking time to meet the animal and learn about its personality is really the key to finding the right pet for your family," says Sara Kent, director of shelter outreach for Petfinder.com. Consider these factors before you bring a dog home: Size
"A fine-boned dog like a Chihuahua might not be the best choice for a rowdy household of kids," Kent says. This breed would be a better fit for, say, a low-key, less-active family. Temperament
if your dog complements your family's "personality," everyone will be happier. Do you prefer a friendly dog who loves to kiss and snuggle, or a more subdued one? Age
Puppies are lovable and sweet, but they also require a great deal of attention. Be sure you're prepared to contribute the time and funds necessary for raising a young dog -- think puppy training classes, vet visits, and all of those replacements for chewed-up shoes. Grooming
Frequent trips to the groomer can be costly and time-consuming. "Do you want to be going to the groomer monthly with your dog?" asks Kent. "Or would you rather have a pet who's maybe a little more wash-and-wear?" Exercise
Active dogs who don't get to move their bodies become bored and might exercise their brains instead -- in the form of destructive behavior. Assess the level of activity a dog will require, and whether your family can keep up, before you move forward.
I have to gloat for a bit! This is me after reaching my weight loss goal!
I've always heard the last 10 pounds are the hardest to lose and I can add truth to that statement! I was turned on to a product called Healthe Trim and for me, it did what it claimed. I dropped 14 pounds total in 5 weeks and I'm proud of my accomplishments!!! Anyway, if you wan to give it a try, call 855-600-TRIM so that you can get a bottle free with your purchase. It's guaranteed too or your money back.
Recently texting has been front and center to be banned in Florida. Come to find out, texting is not a fatal as you would think. Daydreaming causes more fatalities than anything else!
Being distracted or lost in thought accounted for 62% of fatal accidents caused by a distracted driver, followed by a very distant 12 percent caused by cell phone use, which includes not only talking, but also texting, according to a survey by Erie Insurance. Of the more than 65,000 people killed in car crashes over the past two years, one in 10 were in crashes where at least one of the drivers was distracted, according to police report data analyzed by Erie Insurance in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), a nationwide census of fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Distracted driving is any activity that takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, or your mind off your primary task of driving safely.
The top 10 driving distractions involved in fatal car crashes are:
Generally distracted or lost in thought, daydreaming: 62%
Cell phone use (talking, listening, dialing, texting): 12%
Outside person, object or event, such as rubbernecking: 7%
Other occupants (talking with or looking at other people in the car): 5%
Using or reaching for a device brought into the vehicle, such as navigational device or headphones: 2%
Eating or drinking: 2%
Adjusting audio or climate controls: 2%
Using other device/controls integral to the vehicle, such as adjusting rear view mirrors or using OEM navigation system: 1%
Moving object in the vehicle, such as a pet or insect: 1%
Smoking related, including smoking, lighting up, putting ashes in the ashtray: 1%
It's one of modern civilization's greatest conveniences, the sheer number of food choices locally available at your grocery store. Take a look at these bizarre food offerings that may not be available at your local store, but can be ordered online.
Bob's Pickle Pops
Are you a lover of pickles and pickle accessories who yearns for the ability to satisfy the craving on a warm summer day? The quest is over. Pick up some of Bobs Pickle Pops, yes, pickle-flavored ice pops, before your next trip to the beach.
Katadyn Canned Cheeseburger
Everyone has heard Jimmy Buffett's "Cheeseburger in Paradise" and imagined eating just that. But what if your paradise is, say, a tent in the wilderness, miles away from any fine hamburger establishments? The canned cheeseburger by Katadyn is your perfect solution.
Canfield's Diet Chocolate Fudge Soda
If you ever find yourself craving chocolate fudge when you are trying to watch your figure, pick up a case of Canfield's Diet Chocolate Fudge Soda, the sugar-free soft drink with no calories and a rich chocolate taste.
Betty Lou's Powdered Peanut Butter
Peanut Butter Searching for a healthier alternative to peanut butter that you can enjoy on the move? Buy some powdered peanut butter from Betty Lou's and you're good to go. Just add water to make this low-fat, low sodium powder into an odd, but theoretically delicious, snack.
Rose Pork Brains in Milk Gravy
On some sort of contrarian diet where you are trying to maximize cholesterol? Pick up a few cans of Rose Pork Brains in Milk Gravy and get approximately 1,170 percent of the daily recommendation in just one serving.
Accouterments Bacon-Flavored Mints
Bacon in the morning, bacon in the evening, bacon at suppertime. With bacon-flavored breath mints, you can taste bacon anytime. Accouterments also makes mints flavored with dill pickle, nacho cheese, and cupcakes.
Dale's Wild West Rattlesnake Meat
if you've always wanted to taste the deadly rattlesnake, but don't have the skills (or the bravery) to hunt one yourself, pick up a few cases of Dale's Wild West Rattlesnake Meat.
There is now a surgery for about everything! The mustache in America has become a diminished art unless you consider yourself a Hipster, Biker or Adult Movie Star. But in other parts of the world, the mustache is king. And for those who need help filling out their upper lip, Turkey has become the go-to place for facial-hair transplants.
The mustache revamping relies on a procedure called follicle-hair extraction, a process in which clusters of hair are removed from other parts of the body and implanted along the lip. The five-hour surgery can cost up to $5,000. Tourism agencies have started offering "transplant packages," combining hair transplants with shopping tours in Istanbul or excursions to seaside resorts.
So you've decided to sell the family truckster yourself. Here are some tips I found from SheKnows.com that I'm sure will help you garner top dollar!
Fix scratches and scuffs
First appearances matter. Help prospective buyers fall in love with your car by fixing up any minor scratches and scuffs that detract from the overall appearance.
Make it shine
Of course you're going to toss the fast food wrappers and wipe out those sticky cup holders, but if you really want to sell your used car right away, you're going to have to go a little further. Make your car sparkle inside and out by getting it detailed by a pro – or skip the expense and go the DIY route.
Have your vehicle inspected
Be prepared to address any questions about the reliability of your vehicle by taking the car in to a repair shop before listing it on sale. While you're at it, AAA recommends requesting a detailed report that can be shared with prospective buyers.
Price it right
You probably have an idea of what you'd like to get for your car, but the only way to know you're pricing it right is to do the research. Look online for comparable vehicles and use online resources like the Edmunds.com appraisal tool.
Spread the word
Take advantage of social media by using Facebook and Twitter to let friends and family know you're selling your vehicle. Expand your reach by listing your car on Craigslist, eBay Autos, Cars.com and AutoTrader.com.
Use caution when showing the vehicle
Be safe and meet potential buyers at a public location instead of your home. If you choose to show your car at home, make sure you have someone else with you. It never hurts to do an online search of the person interested in your vehicle before scheduling a showing. You might be surprised at how much information you can learn from a simple Google search. If you're not comfortable with what you see or your search comes up blank, you may want to wait.
Complete the transaction
Congratulations – you've found a buyer. Now what? AAA recommends writing up a bill of sale for both you and the buyer to sign and have it notarized. Notaries can be found at a bank or any AAA office. Just make sure you collect your certified check, cash or money order before signing over the vehicle. Avoid being scammed by completing the sale at a bank so you can verify payment.
How happy can one be at losing weight! Speaking as a guy who has always battled the bulge and has struggled with the last 10 stubborn pounds, I can tell you I'm happy with Healthe Trim!! Not only have I won the battle but I'm kicking it's hiney! I've drop an additional 2 pounds off my goal!!! Yep, down 13 pounds in 5 weeks and I feel great. Those compliments from my co-works make me feel like I'm on cloud 9 and it certinly boosts my confidence. Two capsules in the morning and my appetite is controlled. me, forgetting to snack on chips and candy in the mid afternoon! :) I kinda laugh at Healthe Trim's slogan of getting high school skinny...because I'm skinnier now than I was in high school! Give Healthe Trim a try and together we can get the confidence to wear a swim suite by the pool and on the beach this summer! Call 855-600-8746 and tell them that Chris Malone referred you!
Now off to relax your stress. Check out these tips to beating stress
Hop off the worry train
Just because you have an idea ("I might get fired") doesn't mean you need to ride it to its terminus. "Worry can waste energy you're trying to fix every possible problem, even if none exist," psychologist Robert L. Leahy says. Instead, thing of a few tasks that will help whatever happens, like bonding with coworkers.
Plan to fret
"Take half an hour to worry intensively, then move on," says Penn State professor Tom Borkovec, Ph.D.
Keep a journal
Jot down your worry, then in a few days or weeks, write down the outcome. What you'll find: Things usually turn out better than you think they will.
Challenge the likelihood of your worry
If your husband is late coming home and you imagine he has been hit by a bus, think about the emotion behind your worry. (You are anxious because you love him and want to keep him around.) Once you have identified the emotion at the heart of your worry and allowed yourself to experience it, see if it's a reasonable worry hint: probably not. Then let it pass rather than allowing anxiety to ruin your quiet night at home.
Peel an orange
The next time a thought threatens to snowball into a stressfest, grab an orange or grapefruit. Press your nail into the skin, peel it back and smell the citrus scent, focusing on every sensation. "Rather than worry about the future, you can bring yourself into the moment," Leahy says.
Visualize your key life events of the past 10 years. You probably can't recall the worries linked with these experiences, or, if you can, you may see that most never happened. Tell yourself that current worries will fade from memory, too.
Woman feel more stress. 44% of the day, vs 39% for men.
Stress fell for both sexes after age 60
Woman stress over people and family, men over work
Under 40 feel heavy stress from arguments or interpersional communication
Midlifers were most stressed over money, not the lack of it, but how to use what they have.
Woman have 30 minutes less free time than men. Mother's have the least free time.
SO happy to tell you I'm a loser! I've lost 13 stubborn pounds that I thought were never going to leave and I owe it to Heathe Trim. Seriously, I laughed when my friend told me about this stuff because I didn't think it would work. But for some reason, the mixture of ingredients were the key for me! My mid afternoon snacking habits were keeping em from ditching the last 10 pounds I wanted to lose. Now I breeze past snacking time it without a second thought. Two pills in the morning! Healthe Trim did what it claims. It controlled my appetite and doesn't make me jittery. It's c guaranteed to work or your money back! Call 855-600-8746 and tell them you heard about it from me.
Of course you're going to be stinky and sweaty after a long run or working in the garden. But what if you're stinky and sweaty at 2pm on a Wednesday and all you've done is sit at your desk all day? That's when you need some help. Prevention magazine outlined five surprising, natural ways you can fight body odor.
1. Choose natural fabrics.
Instead of wearing synthetic fabrics, switch to cotton because it will better absorb perspiration and then allow it to evaporate.
2. Skip the garlic and onions.
Garlic and onions not only give you bad breath, but also can be absorbed in your body in such a way that the odor is released in your sweat. In addition, these strong cooking odors can cling to your hair and clothes and will stay there until you shampoo your hair and launder your clothing.
3. Apply some apple cider vinegar.
If you're looking for a natural underarm deodorant, use apple cider vinegar. Really! Just apply it directly to your armpits to kill body odor.
4. Cut back on meat.
Extracts of proteins and oils from certain foods, especially meat, as well as some types of spices, can remain in your body's excretions and secretions long after eating -- and they can make you stink.
5. Benefit from good bacteria.
Take a daily acidophilus supplement to fight odor from the inside out. Acidophilus is a probiotic bacteria that helps aid digestion.
In honor of Mother's day this Sunday, here are some time wasters, useless trivia facts about Moms
The youngest mother whose history is authenticated is Lina Medina, who delivered a 6 1/2-pound boy by cesarean section in Lima, Peru in 1939, at an age of 5 years and 7 months. The child was raised as her brother and only discovered that Lina was his mother when he was 10.
On April 9, 2003, Satyabhama Mahapatra, a 65-year-old retired schoolteacher in India, became the world's oldest mother when she gave birth to a baby boy. Satyabhama and her husband had been married 50 years, but this is their first child. The baby was conceived through artificial insemination using eggs from the woman's 26-year-old niece, Veenarani Mahapatra, and the sperm of Veenarani's husband.
Most Surviving Children
Bobbie McCaughey is the mother who holds the record for the most surviving children from a single birth. She gave birth to the first set of surviving septuplets - four boys and three girls -on November 19, 1997, at the University Hospital, Iowa, US. Conceived by in vitro fertilization, the babies were delivered after 31 weeks by cesarean in the space of 16 minutes. The babies are named Kenneth, Nathaniel, Brandon, Joel, Kelsey, Natalie and Alexis.
Shortest Interval Between Two Children
Jayne Bleackley is the mother who holds the record for the shortest interval between two children born in separate confinements. She gave birth to Joseph Robert on September 3, 1999, and Annie Jessica Joyce on March 30, 2000. The babies were born 208 days apart.
Longest Interval Between Two Children
Elizabeth Ann Buttle is the mother who holds the record for the longest interval between the birth of two children. She gave birth to Belinda on May 19,1956 and Joseph on November 20, 1997. The babies were born 41 years 185 days apart. The mother was 60 years old when her son Joseph was born.
Highest Recorded Number of Children
The highest officially recorded number of children born to one mother is 69, to the first wife of Feodor Vassilyev (1707-1782) of Shuya, Russia. Between 1725 and 1765, in a total of 27 confinements, she gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets, and four sets of quadruplets. 67 of them survived infancy.
Highest Number of Children in Modern Times
The modern world record for giving birth is held by Leontina Albina from San Antonio, Chile. Leontina claims to be the mother of 64 children, of which only 55 of them are documented. She is listed in the 1999 Guinness World Records but dropped from later editions.
Every dog owners knows the joys of peanut butter and the seemingly hours of licking your dog does as they enjoy this treat. Now you can make a portable peanut butter treat that not only is cheaper than buying dog biscuits, but healthier and make with love
First you need to gather your supplies. For this recipe you'll need:
Sometimes we can't find the right words to express our love and appreciation to Mom. Here are some wonderful quotes that might inspire you!
"All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother." --Abe Lincoln
"God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers." --John Smith
"Mothers and housewives are the only workers who do not have time off. They are the great vacationless class." --Ann Morrow Lindbergh
"Youth fades. Love droops. The leaves of friendship fall. A mother's secret hope outlives them all." --Oliver Wendell Holmes
"Nobody knows of the work it takes to keep the home together. Nobody knows of the steps it takes, nobody knows but mother." --Anonymous
"My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her." --George Washington
"Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to 'jump at de sun.' We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground." --Zora Neale Hurston
"The best academy, a mother's knee." --James Russel Lowell
"Is my mother my friend? I would have to say, first of all she is my Mother, with a capital 'M.' She's someone sacred to me. I lover her dearly.
"Yes, she is also a good friend, someone I can talk openly with if I want to." --Sophia Loren
"A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts." --Washington Irving
Never fails. Your favorite shirt is no longer wearable. It is thin, faded and destined to become a gift to Good Will. So use these tips to make your clothes last as long as you can!
1. Sort carefully
While this might seem like a no-brainer to many, plenty of people combine everything in one load — colors, delicates, whites, you name it. It’s usually not until we wash a red pair of pants with white socks that we realize the importance of sorting clothes and washing colors and whites separately.
2. Don’t wash jeans after one wearing
Jeans don’t need to be washed every time you wear them. Unless they’re stained or covered with mud or dirt, you can get away with washing them every third time you wear them. If they start to feel loose by the second or third wearing, throw them in the dryer for a few minutes.
3. Hang dry your clothing
While we love the convenience of dryers, our clothes do not. Dryers actually weaken the fabric’s fibers much faster than if clothing is air-dried. (Where do you think the lint in your dryer’s lint screen comes from?) Plus, if your dryer malfunctions, items inside can be damaged.
4. Watch your zippers and buttons
Zip up the zippers on your jeans and hoodies so they don’t catch on other clothing in the washing machine. On the other hand, don’t button your buttons. Otherwise, the buttons and buttonholes could be damaged.
5. Turn your clothes inside out
Turning all your clothing inside out before washing and when ironing will preserve the quality (including color) and life of them. This is particularly true for T-shirts, sports jerseys and items subject to pilling.
6. Use cold water
Not only does using cold water save energy and money, it also saves your clothing. Hot water causes some clothing to shrink and wrinkle.
7. Don’t over-dry clothing
A hot dryer is likely the reason your favorite skirt shrank, or your T-shirts wrinkled. (Do you really want to iron those?) If you’re going to use a dryer, keep clothes in the dryer until they are dry or just about dry, but not a minute longer.
8. Don’t overload the washer and dryer
We’re all guilty of this, mostly because we want to save time and don’t want to deal with a second load of laundry. But stuffing the washer means clothes won’t get as clean, and you may damage the washer in the long run. Overloading the dryer can prevent clothes from drying properly and can also damage that machine.
9. Use white vinegar
White vinegar is an inexpensive fabric softener. It doesn’t stain your clothes or make them smell like vinegar. Add three-quarters of a cup to your final rinse cycle.
10. Wear undershirts
Wearing an undershirt is a simple solution to embarrassing sweat stains that can also ruin our clothes.
11. Use coffee or tea for fading black clothes
Adding some strong coffee or tea to your rinse water can help black clothing maintain its dark shade. LifeTips says washing black clothing with Ivory Soap Flakes and a small amount of detergent in cold water will prevent future fading.
12. Take your work clothes off when you get home
Who wants to stay in a suit or dress anyway? Change into more comfortable clothes when you get home to avoid cooking stains and extra wear on your best attire.
13. Read the labels
This one’s another no-brainer, though plenty of us forget or simply ignore the labels. Before you wash anything, especially delicate clothing, be aware of the label instructions and follow them accordingly. If it’s dry-clean-only, don’t deviate. That could be a big mistake.
14. Rotate your wardrobe
If you wear the same shirt every week, it’s naturally going to wear out sooner than other clothes in your closet. To prevent this, start a clothing rotation. After you wash your most recently worn clothes, move them to the back of the line in your rotation.
You may have heard me talk about this yesterday but for the past month I've been trying to lose the last 10 stubborn pounds to reach my weight loss goal. The mid afternoon snack is what always gets me! Anyways I made my goal and now with a total of 13 pounds lost thanks to Heathe Trim. I know what you are thinking and I too am skeptical about a miracle in a bottle, but Healthe Trim did what it claims. It controlled my appetite and doesn't make me jittery. I love it when my friends tell me how good I look and now that beach weather is returning I am actually excited to hit it shirtless! So if you are in the same boat as I was, give this product a try. It's called Heathe Trim and its guaranteed to work or your money back! Just call 855-600-8746 and tell them you heard about it from me.
Now on to myths at the gym. Here are 7 commonly believed myths that could be causing you to doubt your gym membership. Just remember that reaching your weight and physique goals are possible!
1. You must wait an hour after eating before you swim
The common myth that the blood going to your digestive tract after eating diverts the blood needed to keep your arms and legs pumping during swimming, which leads to cramps and sometimes drowning, is totally unfounded. Advanced creatures that we are, we have enough blood to digest food and properly work our limbs at the same time. And at least one study has backed that up, finding that fewer than 1 percent of U.S. drownings occurred after the victim ate a meal. Experts concede that swimming strenuously on a full stomach could possibly lead to some cramping, but for most casual swimmers the chances are low. So go ahead and hop in after a sandwich, but be wary of the pre-swim cocktail. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that up to half of all adolescent and adult deaths related to water recreation involve alcohol.
2. You have to 'cool down' after a workout for best performance
Most coaches and trainers call for a formal period of cooling down after a workout or competition to prevent muscle soreness, improve limberness and speed recovery. But many studies have failed to prove any merit, The New York Times reports. Although “venous pooling” that can lead to dizziness may occur after the end of an especially grueling workout, a two-minute walk will negate that — which is not really a full “cool down.” As well, some suggest that there may be a “returning to normalcy” psychological element to the practice — but in terms of soreness and recovery, as of now scientists can’t prove any benefit.
3. You have to stretch before exercise
It’s one of the major tenets of exercise: You must stretch beforehand. But fitness science has done a major 180 on this one. Study after study has found no reduction in soreness after static stretching, and injury prevention doesn’t get any backup from the studies either. Although there are gazillions of adamant stretchers out there, the authors of a comprehensive review of 104 studies on the topic conclude that static stretching as the sole activity during warm-up routines “should generally be avoided.” You will increase flexibility, but the scientific consensus is that pre-exercise stretching is most-likely unnecessary and counterproductive.
4. No pain, no gain
We have Jane Fonda, the queen of the baby boomer fitness craze, to thank for this adage. She and many other instructors of her day told video viewers to “feel the burn” and encouraging them on with the “no pain, no gain” catchphrase, the slogan has become a mantra for those who want to push themselves. But experts disagree. The perception is that if it doesn’t hurt, there is no benefit, and this just isn’t true. Feeling discomfort or emotional fatigue is one thing, but pain? No. "You shouldn't be exercising at a level of pain ever,” says Alice Burron, spokeswoman for the American Council on Exercise. "You want to exercise smarter, not harder," she adds. "That's the premise. You don't have to kill yourself. You just have to be smart about it."
5. Protein bars or drinks after a workout are good
Hydration is the most important part of “recovery” after a workout, followed by carbohydrates and then protein – leading many people to go for the convenience of a protein bar or drink. But many of these snacks contain as many calories as a whole meal, and are little more than glorified junk food. Instead, go for a carb- and protein-rich snack of real food – like an apple with peanut butter or half a whole-wheat bagel with hummus – to get more complete nutrients, fewer calories and avoid processed ingredients.
6. You need sports drinks to replace lost electrolytes
If you’re running marathons or other high-intensity workouts that last longer than an hour, the added ingredients in sports drinks can be valuable. But many experts warn against the unnecessary calories for those doing low-intensity workouts or exercising for less than 30 minutes. Water is important for proper hydration, and most fitness outing don’t call for anything more than that. As for the claims in sports drink ads, an Oxford University study looked at more than 400 advertising claims for sports drinks and could not find scientific backing for more than half of them; they characterized many of the rest as "flawed science."
7. Lifting heavy weights will make women bulk up
The bulging muscles of a bodybuilder are the result of very specific combination of weight training, diet and hormones — and women don’t have the testosterone to get bulky from heavy weight lifting alone. A study at Central Michigan University backs up this expert opinion. Researchers had women work one arm with just a few reps of a heavy weight and the other doing more reps with a lighter weight — both an equivalent number of pounds. The heavy lifting arms got stronger, but the size of both arms remained the same.
Happy Friday! I stumbled across this bit of data on differences between men and women and contrary to stereotypes, women statistically are better at parking than men!-Chris Malone
Women are better at parking than men. And that's not all. Women are better at finding parking spaces. Says who? These are the results of a British study that is one of the most comprehensive ever conducted on gender driving differences. London's Telegraph reports that British researchers working for the parking firm NCP covertly placed parking lots across Britain under video surveillance. Each person who parked was graded on seven key components of driving styles. The results:
In general, women were more adept at maneuvering into a space than were men.
Women were more accurate in lining up their vehicle before starting each maneuver.
52 percent of women aligned their car in the middle of the parking space, compared with just 25 percent of men.
39 percent of women were able to cleanly back up into a parking space, compared with just 28 percent of men.
Men tended to be less patient than women, which caused them to miss open spaces.
Women had a slower approach to parking, but this allowed them to better find open spaces and see when another driver was about to vacate a space. But men do excel at some things:
Men were more skilled at driving forward into a parking space.
Men were more confident overall; that is, fewer men than women opted to reposition the car once it was parked.
Men parked faster, taking 16 seconds, on average, compared with the 21 seconds women needed to complete the maneuver.
Still, once all seven criteria were taken into account, women were ranked first with a total score of 13.4 out of 20, compared to 12.3 points achieved by me
1. Having a credit card declined – 41 percent
More than two out of five respondents said that having a credit card declined was the most awkward money moment. Hasn't this happened to everyone...and I feel everyone in line behind me are thinking what a deadbeat! But since I use my debit card and check my balance on my mobile app daily I know exactly how much money I have. So why my debit card is declined remains a mystery. But usually the advice from the cashier is to run it as credit and behold, the purchase is approved!
2. Feeling pressured to donate to a charity – 34 percent
Another biggie for me; especially around the holidays. I go to the grocery store and department stores quite often and occasionally donate to the red kettle, bell-ringing charity and even been known to buy a box of unneeded Girl Scot cookies but I can't afford to donate EVERY SINGLE TRIP TO THE STORE. yet I feel ashamed for not digging in my wallet!
3. Saying no to giving money to a panhandler – 29 percent
OK different feelings on this one. First, I donate to organizations that help the homeless and disadvantaged but individual panhandlers? No way. You can usually spot out the "fake" ones. In my experiences you can usually spot homeless people by the way they are dressed. Ill-fitting, dirty and foul-smelling clothing, extremely dirty and are not well groomed. Take a look next time you see a panhandler. I've seen some with watches, MP3 players and cigarettes! Obviously desperate and hungry people wouldn't have a spare cash for smokes (after all I quit, so can you),. Take notice next time you see a panhandler, if they are clean, groomed and accessorized they probably aren't homeless or poor rather their job is to beg for money or to feed a drug or alcohol addiction.
4. Feeling pressured to chip in on a group gift at work – 25 percent
I usually have no problem chipping in a couple bucks for an office gift. However sometimes I am just flat broke. Around the KTK offices, this isn't a big deal but I can see how this can make you feel awkward.
5. Sharing salary/wage amounts with co-workers – 25 percent
Really?!? If you are bold enough to share your salary with everyone then be prepared for the wrath that will eventually come. The 'poor' salary the company pays you is probably more than many of your co-workers make. Be happy to have a job and respect your co-workers by keeping that information to yourself.
6. Splitting a dinner bill or check with a large group of people – 17 percent
Isn't a biggie for me but I can understand how awkward this can be when the person who ordered 3 margaritas and you had water wants to split the check in half!
7. Figuring out a gift to get a partner for special occasions – 14 percent
Again, this is another awkward money moment that I don’t understand.
Most drivers know the sinking feeling of flashing red and clue lights in your rear view mirror. I've got to figure that police officers and troopers have heard every excuse ever created from motorist wanting to escape a traffic citation. According to a new survey from Insurance.com, these are the 10 worst excuses you can say at a traffic stop:
1-I couldn’t see the sign telling me not to do it.
This was cited by 20.4 percent of the survey’s respondents. Can you imagine rules of the road that would let you off for not noticing posted traffic signs? Women are far more likely to invoke this one, 62 percent in the survey.
2-I’m lost and unfamiliar with the roads.
It was cited by 15.6 percent in the poll, 65 percent of them women.
3-I didn’t know it was broken.
This was cited by 12.4 percent, who, I imagine, were stopped for defective lights — don’t people know they’re responsible for the maintenance of their vehicles? Of course this is cited mostly by women (61 percent). Men don’t want to admit they’re irresponsible in their auto maintenance.
4-Everyone else was doing it.
The 6.4 percent who cited this must have never had their parents say, “If everybody else jumped off a cliff, would you go over it, too?” Finally, an excuse more popular with men (56 percent). Men are more likely to think that following the herd is a valid reason for doing something.
5-I’m having an emergency situation in my car. (For instance, spilled a hot drink on your lap.).
Invoked by 5.4 percent. I can’t imagine this one winning hearts and minds. Maybe you shouldn’t be juggling a hot cup while you maneuver a two-ton vehicle? I might have thought this was female-dominant, because in my experience woman multi-task while driving more often, but no — 67 percent were men.
6-I missed my turn/exit.
How could your inability to adequately follow directions get you off the hook? Still, 4.8 percent cited it, 54 percent of them men.
7-I had to go to the bathroom.
And so you were speeding? I think that actually deserves a police escort. Cited by 4.6 percent, 65 percent of them women. Men are more stoic, I guess.
8-I didn’t do anything dangerous.
Whoa, isn’t that for the cop to judge? It seems remarkably presumptuous as an excuse, but 4.2 percent, more than seven out of 10 men. It figures that men would think their own opinion would matter in this situation.
9-I was on my way to an emergency. (For example, to help someone who is ill or injured.).
So you’re putting other people at risk? People only get away with this in action movies, where they inevitably cause dozens of accidents, upset fruit carts (how many times have you seen that) and drive on the sidewalk, scattering pedestrians, and nobody complains. Some 4 percent cited it, more than half of them men.
10-My GPS said it was the right thing to do.
This is the only excuse that arises from our modern digital culture, so it has the advantage of not being worn out yet—only 2.2 percent cited it (a huge 88 percent of them men). I don’t know why women aren’t invoking this more, but give it time.
The unifying factor is that all of these excuses, with the possible exception of blaming the GPS, are well-worn. “By now, police officers can probably finish people’s sentences,” said Michelle Megna, managing editor of Insurance.com. “I wonder if they wouldn’t appreciate a little ‘dog-ate-my-homework’ creativity.”
With less than two weeks until Mother's Day, here are some ideas that Mom will love AND she'll be so proud of you for shopping wisely and saving money!
It would be extra thoughtful to leave a bouquet of your mom's favorite flowers in a matching vase somewhere around the house on Mother's Day, instead of just buying her random flowers and handing them to her.
Your Favorite Childhood Book
Buy your mom a copy of your favorite childhood book and write a thank you note inside for always reading it to you when you wanted her to.
Start A Book Club -- For Just The Two Of You
Buy two copies of a book that you've been dying to read and have a mini book club with your mom! It's a great way to let her know you want to spend more time together.
Make Her A Playlist
Burn your mom a CD or make her a spotify playlist of music to listen to when she's at the gym, commuting to work etc. Make sure to choose the songs you knew she loves -- it's a great way to show her how much you pay attention to her interests.
Pick out a few of your mom's favorite pictures of you (and your siblings) and have them put onto a photo mug. Then be sure to buy her a box of herbal, calming tea so she can get her morning started right.
Plan A Movie Night
Whether you head out to dinner and the movie theater or you opt to rent a DVD and cook your mom's favorite meal at home, a special movie night with just the two of you is sure to make her happy. Just make sure you have the popcorn ready and stop at CVS for her favorite candy, too.
Frame a Quote
Frame her favorite quote or a quote that reminds you of her. (And have a tissue box close by for when she cries.)
Yet again Gainesville ranks as one of the top 20 US cities whose population picks up a book now and then with 25% of the list comprised of Florida cities!. According to Amazon.com, here are the top 20 U.S. cities with a population of at least 100,000 who are the most well-read cities in America.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Columbia, South Carolina
St. Louis, Missouri
Salt Lake City, Utah
Vancouver, Dayton, Clearwater and Tallahassee are all new to the top 20 list this year. Knoxville made the biggest gain this year, jumping from the number 12 spot in 2012 to number 2 this year. Knoxville residents purchased the most romance books; the top two titles purchased were "Fifty Shades of Grey" and "Married by Mistake." Cambridge continues to grow the most budding entrepreneurs. This locale topped the list for ordering the most books in business and investing, as well as overall nonfiction. The top two titles purchased were "Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most" and "StrengthsFinder 2.0."
Summer vacay is closing in and it's time to think that you will bring with you. Now if you haven't flown in a while get ready for a baggage fee. So it's best to pack one suitcase for both of you and before you laugh at me for even suggesting it, take a look at these pro tips on packing one bag for two people for a week long vacation!
1-Get real about what you're bringing — then edit
"Be honest with the amount of space you are each going to take up," says professional organizer Bonnie Joy Dewkett. "Are you dividing 50/50?"
We'll guess probably not. But even if your guy lets you take up a little more room (or you concede to his clothes-horse demands), don't toss in seven evening gowns just because.
"Only take what you need," says Glazer. "Be thoughtful about your clothes. Pick and choose your outfits ahead of time. You don't need to bring everything 'just in case' you feel like wearing something else."
2-Invest in packing cubes
Using portable zippered containers called "packing cubes" will save you a world of hurt, says Dewkett.
"These give you divisions so you contain all of your shirts, pants, socks, panties, etc.," she says. "They're great for packing with someone, as your stuff can be packed together but stay separate. They also make it easy to separate on the destination end when you unpack. On the way home, pack clean clothes in cubes together and dirty clothes in cubes together."
Try packing cubes from a company like Eagle Creek or eBags.
3-Be ruthless about shoes
"His shoes likely take up more room than yours," says Glazer. "That does not give you license to pack more shoes. Rather, it gives you incentive to make him limit to one pair to pack and one on his feet. The same should go for you, too, unless you are going on a cruise or to a wedding and need an extra pair of dress shoes."
And about those giant man-loafers we mentioned earlier, on the way back home, use this trick for shoes: "Grab the shower cap from your destination to protect clothes from dirt," says Dewkett.
4-Secret weapon: dry-cleaning plastic
Wrinkling is a big-time concern when you're packing — especially if you want to go to a nice restaurant or event while you're away. But now you've got an ace up your sleeve:
"If you need your shirts fresh-from-the-iron crisp when you arrive, fold them carefully in between dry-cleaning plastic and lay them gently on the top of the bag, horizontally, so they're the last thing to go in. There is a reason the dry-cleaners use that stuff!"
Another de-creasing tip: "Roll clothes. They wrinkle less," Dewkett says. "Then hang them in the bathroom when you arrive. The steam releases wrinkles."
Bonus tip-Shell out big bucks for carry-ons, and save on big suitcases
"Buy a carry-on that is made well, so you don't have to keep replacing it," says Glazer. "On the other hand, I buy cheap bags to check because, let's face it, the airline luggage people are not so nice to our bags. I like the rolling duffel bags. You can fit a lot of stuff in them, and there is usually an upper and lower compartment — perfect for 'his' and 'hers.'"
And remember: If you forget something, take it in stride. After all, you're on vacation! Whatever you left behind or decided not to bring to save space, you can probably buy where you're going.
You're used to answering a lot of questions at your doctor's visit. Where's the pain? How long have you had it? You know, the usual. But you may be taken aback when your doc broaches some odd questions, either on a form or verbally.
The reason? Questions like whether you wear a seat belt every time you get behind the wheel, or if you live with someone who smokes can provide important clues to your health.
“What I do isn’t atypical of other naturopaths. We all typically have longer first visits,” says Jaclyn Chasse, N.D., a naturopath at North East Integrative Medicine in Bedford, N.H. “Our goal isn’t just to get a diagnosis; it’s to understand how you got to where you are with your health.”
Most health conditions, especially chronic diseases, don’t develop because you are a random victim. Chemistry, environment and genetics all play a role in leading you where you are today. “We ask a lot of questions about lifestyle,” says Chasse.
While you may be thinking, “Gee, doc, what do these personal questions have to do with my high cholesterol visit?” be patient and see how the answers can help your health.
Some odd questiosn from oyur Dcotor and why.
How’s your stress level?
Why ask? “Somebody who is under high stress may not be adhering to medications, they may not be taking time to pay attention to their diet and lifestyle and not have time for exercise,” says Yasmine Subhi Ali, M.D., a cardiologist and president of Nashville Preventive Cardiology, as well as the assistant clinical professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
They may fall into bad habits. A lot of people turn to alcohol or eat too much junk food. Plus, the body responds to stress in different ways. One way is to release the hormone cortisol, which can cause people to gain weight and lose sleep.
“And if they are under a lot of stress I ask why, what’s stressful for them, and that opens up a window into their life for me, so I try to look at the whole patient,” says Ali.
How are you sleeping?
People who have chronic sleep deprivation are at a higher risk for heart attack and stroke. Ali asks how much sleep patients get, how well they sleep, do they sleep through the night, and do they have trouble falling asleep. Some people suffering from insomnia treat its accompanying daytime sleepiness with caffeine, which can lead to further heart problems depending on the source.
Are you in a happy relationship?
These things make a huge difference in overall health and especially in heart disease. People who live alone and are lonely because of that die earlier and have poorer quality of lives and tend to die of cardiovascular events, says Ali.
“People who have loved ones around them and feel they are appreciated are a lot more resilient," and are more likely to comply with treatment if they have a lot of support around them, says Chasse.
Do you own a gun?
A gun in the home is 43 times more likely to kill someone known to the family than it is to kill someone in self-defense, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Plus, a Harvard study found that states with the most guns at home have suicide rates double the rates of states with the fewest guns.
By letting your doctor know about your gun, in return, you may gain excellent resources on gun safety with kids and issues relevant to households with guns, like what’s the best way to manage a home with a firearm if someone in the household suffers from depression.
How do you feel about taking medication?
“I have some patients who don’t want to take medicines but they don’t want to tell me they don’t want to take medicines,” says Ali. Everybody is different. “I try to get to their philosophy about medication. Some people want to take whatever natural therapies they can find, but don’t want to take any medications; some people want to take one pill but won’t take more than that so they want to know which pill is most important, and some people want you to prescribe a ton of medications to them.”
Ali gets a sense of a patient’s medication philosophy so she can work with the individual to motivate him in the best way when it comes to taking medicine.
What do you do at work?
Job satisfaction can influence stress levels. For people in an office, do they sit at a desk all day? Sedentary lifestyle leads to heart disease. “I promote they get up from their desk every 20 minutes but certainly every hour,” says Ali. "Also, are they exposed to anything that could harm their health?"
Chasse is working with one couple that is trying to get pregnant, and the wife is a vet tech. She handles radioactive dyes used in imaging animals, mixes medications that aren’t safe for humans, and is exposed to harsh chemical cleaners after surgical procedures. “Getting all of that is really important because those things are toxins to the reproductive tract and can actually impair fertility,” says Chasse.
Do you live with a smoker?
Even if you don't smoke, living with a smoker — including those who only smoke outside — may come at a risk to your health. The long-term indoor effect of being exposed to someone who smokes is now called thirdhand smoke, which is residual chemical contamination that accumulates in indoor living spaces and on the hair, skin, clothing and personal effects of smokers, exposing housemates to known carcinogens.
In a study published in the Journal Tobacco Control, researchers found that tobacco byproducts were trapped in households, and found in the urine of all inhabitants of homes where one member smoked outside.
“When I hear an answer that might be a problem area, I start to dig deeper and sometimes I uncover really interesting problems or issues that way,” says Ali. She will never forget a woman who came to her for heart palpitations. When she asked about some bruises, she discovered the woman was a victim of domestic abuse — and that was the stress that was causing her palpitations.
I'm back from a short vacation to Panama City and the weather was wonderful. I am nursing my sunburned head and it's my own fault for spraying sunblock on every part of my body...except my head!
I came across this story and it really bolstered by faith in humanity. Cameron Lyle, a Division I college athlete at The University of New Hampshire is doing something wonderful to help a complete stranger, donating his bone marrow so a person can live. What makes this so special in my eyes is that making this bone marrow donation, Lyle will have to shorten his sporting career at UH.
Lyle had his mouth swabbed to join a bone marrow registry two years ago in the cafeteria at school. He didn't think any more of it until a few months ago when he got a phone call that he might be a match. He took more tests and discovered a month later that he was a perfect match. "When they first told me, I was like, 'OK, cool. I'm definitely going to do it,'" Lyle said. "After that I kind of went to tell my coach and then I realized slowly that my season was over."
The man who needs his help is a 28-year-old suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Lyle was told that the man only has six months to live without the transplant. Lyle's match is a one in five million chance for a non-family match.
"It was kind of a no-brainer for a decent human," Lyle said. "I couldn't imagine just waiting. He could have been waiting for years for a match. I'd hope that someone would donate to me if I needed it."
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is offering up a free ticket ($95,000 value) on its first commercial space flight in an online contest that culminates on Monday, April 22, 2013. At dawn on Monday, KLM will launch a high altitude balloon from the middle of the Nevada desert.
The balloon will fly higher and higher, going wherever the winds carry it until it reaches its final destination and bursts. The contestant with the entry that comes closest to both the height of the balloon at the end of its flight as well as the distance the balloon traveled will win a free trip into space on January 1, 2014.
The prize isn’t just the space flight. The winner will also receive airfare for two to Curacao and a free stay at one of Curacao’s luxury hotels; only one ticket into space, though.
An SXC (Space Expedition Corporation) Lynx will shuttle the winner and other passengers on the 60-minute flight into space. Passengers will travel at a max airspeed of Mach 2.9 as the SXC Lynx makes its way approximately 64 miles up into space. During the descent, the winner and other lucky passengers will experience up to 4Gs of force.
If this sounds like your dream trip, log on to the KLM Space website and submit your guess. On Monday, you can follow the balloon on its journey through both GPS and a live video feed. Good luck!
For something we spend half our life doing, a lot of us are pretty awful at sleeping. Here are the top 10 tips for falling asleep faster, getting quality rest, and waking up easier in the morning.
10. Prepare a Worthy Bed
While your bed probably isn't the primary cause of insomnia, snoring, or other sleep problems, it can certainly contribute to your comfort at night. Make sure you're using the right pillow based on your sleep type, and when it comes time to buy a new mattress, make sure you shop smart (and don't get fleeced). Once you know it isn't your bed, you can start getting to the bottom of your sleep issues.
9. Eat Better
What you eat can greatly affect how you sleep, even during the early half of the day. Eat breakfast first thing in the morning to sleep better at night, and make sure it's a big one. After eating well throughout the day, avoid eating spicy or junk foods at night, and instead choose something that will help you drift off. And remember: no booze! Not only will it not help you get to sleep, it'll cause you to snore all night, too.
8. Wake Up Pleasantly, Not Roughly
The days of the ever-annoying *bzzt*-*bzzt*-*bzzt* alarms are over. Instead of being jerked awake by an old clock, consider getting a smart alarm app for your phone, like our favorites for iPhone and Android. Then, try waking yourself up more comfortably. If you need a bit more of a push, of course, we've got more methods for manipulating yourself to wake up. And, whenever possible, do it without stimulants -- caffeine can wreak havoc with your brain and body.
7. Exercise in the Morning
Exercising in the morning or afternoon -- not at night -- can help deepen your sleep and make sure you fall asleep quicker, according to a study by the National Sleep Foundation. If you aren't much of an exerciser, there's no better time than now to upgrade your health and fitness routine than now.
6. Fix Your Sleeping Position
You may not realize it over the course of the night, but your sleeping position could not be great for your body -- or the quality of shuteye you get. Find out which sleeping style is best for you, and make a conscious effort to fix it when you go to bed, and you'll wake up feeling more refreshed in the morning.
5. Cool Yourself Off at Night
Cooling down your body temperature makes a huge difference in how easy it is to fall asleep, but that can be hard to do when it's hot outside (or when your significant other has body temperature nearing the surface of the sun). From DIY air conditioners to cooling pillows to more extreme methods, we've got the lowdown on staying cool while you sleep. Just make sure you don't wake up freezing in the morning -- that's never a fun way to start the day.
4. Get the Perfect Amount of Sleep
Not everyone needs the same exact amount of sleep, but with a little trial and error, you should find your sweet spot pretty easily. Count back 7.5 hours from when you need to wake up, and make sure you get to bed at that time -- then adjust accordingly. Of course, you could also try a webapp like Sleepytime to help you calculate the perfect number of hours, too.
3. Learn to Nap Like a Pro
if you feel yourself getting drowsy during the day, you might be tempted to nap -- but that can be disastrous for your sleep schedule if done incorrectly. Learn to master the power nap, then calculate the best time to nap and crank one out then (if you have a hammock, all the better). And, if you really want to make the most of your naps, try a caffeine nap to reboot your brain in the middle of the day.
2. Cultivate the Perfect Evening Routine
As the end of the day rolls around, you should be winding yourself down for bed to get the best sleep possible. If you really want to fall asleep easily, take some time to cultivate the perfect evening routine -- some light reading, a nice bubble bath, and something that doesn't involve a backlit screen -- to fall asleep quickly and keep your energy up the next day.
1. Get Some Help From Technology
if your sleep cycle seems beyond repair, you might need to get some outside help...from our favorite therapist, technology. From cheap methods like sleep tracking apps to full-on sleep tracking gadgets like the Wakemate, we've tested a number of technological sleep aids and found them to be rather helpful. If you're really motivated, you can reboot your entire sleep cycle and get the rest you deserve, and your midday self will thank you for it.
Surprisingly you get a call from your parents saying they'd watch your kids for the night so you and sweetie can go out. But do you REALLY want to go out? Or just have alone time? Here are some thought starters for an at-home date night!
Pick Your Theme
Maybe you've always wanted to break out that '60s style Mad Men dress but haven't yet found a venue. Make your own party at home perfectly suited (get it?) for your desired theme. Choose the theme you desire and you'll always have a good time. It's the perfect way to get away. Summertime in winter? Crank up the heat and put on that bikini. Christmas in July? We know you have that ugly sweater Aunt Helga gave you last Christmas. Find your theme and live out your fantasy.
In Your Skivvies
Here's something you could never pull off in public — your clothes! Hey, who doesn't love seeing sweetie in as little clothing as possible, so strip down and do your normal date night routine. Make dinner, drink wine, watch a movie. It's all the fun of a night in, but with a twist. Heck, maybe by the end of the night you'll strip down even further.
It has all the intimacy of a club without the downside of slipping in spilled drinks. Rehash the days of the high school dance. Turn down the lights, turn up the music and be sure to dance two feet apart. Just kidding! Getting close is the point, and what better way to get close to your guy than dancing in your own private gala?
Those people at the bar don't want to hear your rendition of "I Will Always Love You" as you look longingly into each other's eyes anyway, so do it in the privacy of your own home. Buy some karaoke tapes and belt it out. Be silly, be daring, be romantic, but above all, be yourself! There's nothing quite like letting completely loose with your best friend, so go wild.
Hey, you're not afraid to look stupid in front of the person who knows you best, so why not test your knowledge? Break out your favorite trivia game and make up your own rules. Wrong answer? Remove one article of clothing. Right answer? Choose your own reward.
Plenty of products we use every day have interesting little back stories to them. But what is even more interesting than that is how some world-changing inventions were created for a completely different, and often stupid, purpose.
5. Lysol Was a Terrible Gynecological Snake Oil
The next time you get the chance, take a look at the warning label on a bottle of Lysol. The first one that catches the eye is "Do not spray on skin." A close second: "Extremely flammable." Now, let's play a fun game: Bearing these in mind, see if you can read the rest of this entry without cringing. Boy, are you doomed to fail. The Original Use: There really is no way to put this gently: Lysol used to be peddled as a genital disinfectant for the ladies. When the product first came out in the 1920s, it was marketed as a feminine hygiene product and a form of birth control by way of vaginal douching. Lysol ads proclaimed a plethora of benefits for pretty much every gynecological need, making claims that were 100 percent natural. The ads were, however, backed up by a bunch of prominent European doctors no one had ever heard about (because they were completely made up). The American Medical Association eventually called the makers of Lysol out, but by then their product had already been the leading form of female birth control from 1930 to 1960? The obvious problem that somehow got completely ignored for decades was that Lysol is very much a caustic poison. If you apply it to your skin, which more or less all the women were doing for freaking 30 years, it burns and itches like there is no tomorrow. Which they of course attempted to cure by applying more Lysol.
4. Bubble Wrap Used to Be Wallpaper
We would probably live in a much more productive world if it weren't for bubble wrap. In addition to being one of the best products for packaging fragiles, it was everyone's favorite procrastination material before the Internet came along. Popping those air bubbles under your thumbs has to be one of the most satisfying simple pleasures in life. They're even electronic devices to simulate the experience. Lucky for us, then, that no one thought to make wallpaper out of it or anything. Humanity would've gone extinct in no time, as everyone would've just stayed home, popping their walls. The Original Use: The first thing you need to realize is that necessity isn't always the mother of invention -- sometimes inventors just invent something that seems cool, even if they have no idea what to do with it. For instance, aluminum foil was invented by the French in 1903, but nobody figured out that you could wrap food with it until two decades later (before that, they used it to mark racing pigeons). Bubble wrap is like that -- a couple of dudes figured out how to manufacture the stuff, and then they were like, "Well, now what?" That's when inventors Alfred W. Fielding and Mark Chavannes decided their wondrous new material could be sold as "bubble wallpaper" and they started peddling it for the new, hip generation as the "must have" interior decoration thing. The world took a look at what they had to offer, laughed heartily and didn't even consider buying it.
3. Play-Doh Was a Wallpaper Cleaner
Perhaps no toy relies more on imagination than Play-Doh. There it sits, a blob, waiting to be fashioned into anything a child can imagine: a snake, a worm, a bowl, an ashtray. A differently shaped blob. Those five things. So, of course such an abstract and creativity-enhancing toy must have a really, really weird-ass background to make it on a list like this. The Original Use: Wallpaper stain remover. Play-Doh came into existence as a nameless, unpleasantly off-white wallpaper-cleaning compound sold by a company called Kutol. However, it hit a speed bump in the form of vinyl wallpapers, which, unlike bubble wrap wallpaper up there, were actually a big thing in the 1950s and played merry hell with the wallpaper-cleaner industry, as they provided consumers with the ability to clean their new wallpaper with just a little water and soap. Their product rendered obsolete, things looked bleak for Kutol -- until they learned by chance that a nursery school was using their remover goop to make Christmas ornaments. Not being ones to look a gift horse in the mouth, or for that matter think things through, Kutol immediately removed the detergents from their goop, renamed themselves the Rainbow Craft Company and began selling their wallpaper remover as a toy. Eventually, other colors came along and the product was rechristened Play-Doh. And that is how the only toy empire was born from the practice of letting toddlers play with household cleaning chemicals!
2. Corkscrews Were Military Tools for Removing Bullets The Original Use: Actually, that's not a corkscrew. It's a gun worm, one of the few products that sound like a video game enemy. There was a time when guns were, to put it bluntly, worth slightly less than their weight in manure. Bullets got stuck in muskets all the time, which was a problem because if your bullet got stuck it meant you were unable to fire until it was free, and someone was probably shooting back at you. The gun worm was developed to remove those stuck bullets and other blockages, and were therefore essential in stopping you from getting killed.
1. WD-40 Spray Was Used to Protect Nuclear Missiles
We're going to get into some advanced chemistry here: Water causes metal to rust. So if you want to keep metal rust-free, you need something to repel or displace the water. In 1953, a little-known company from San Diego called Rocket Chemical Company set out to make a water displacement formula to end all water displacement formulas. True, there were 39 concoctions that failed before the 40th try viola! They named it with an abbreviation of "water displacement, 40th attempt," a random note a chemist had scribbled in his notebook, because that's what happens when your marketing budget is an apple core and a broken shoe string. That eventually got shortened to WD-40. Then they put their new hit product to its intended use: intercontinental ballistic nuclear missiles. See that, boss? This is what we've been trying to tell you: There are all sorts of benefits to letting your employees steal.
A new report by Environmental Working Group details disturbing problems that widespread use of antibiotics in animals causes for humans. It also offers tips for consumers. The report titled Superbugs Invade American Supermarkets, analyzes the latest government tests of supermarket meat to ferret out the truth about antibiotic-resistant bacteria in meat.
Last February, a report on antibiotic-resistant bacteria in supermarket meat was released by the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System, a joint project of the Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The EWG makes it a point to say that the results of these tests were “little noticed,” but here’s what was found.
Supermarket meat samples collected in 2011 harbored significant amounts of the superbug versions of salmonella and Campylobacter, which together cause 3.6 million cases of food poisoning a year.
The superbugs were found in:
81 percent of ground turkey
69 percent of pork chops
55 percent of beef
39 percent of chicken breasts, wings and thighs
the EWG report notes. In 2011, 30 million pounds of antibiotics were used on domestic food-producing animals, up 22 percent since 2005. In fact, 80 percent of all the antibiotics in America are used on food-producing animals. The other 20 percent of antibiotics are being used on humans.
But, even with this widespread use, or misuse as it actually is, the amount of potentially harmful bacteria found in meat is overwhelming. As more and more antibiotics are pumped into animals that don’t need them, bacteria adapt and become resistant to the antibiotics.
Animals aren’t the only ones that are affected. The problems it can cause humans is scary.
Antibiotic misuse threatens to make important antibiotics ineffective in treating human disease. In the past, people who became ill because of contact with harmful microbes on raw meat usually recovered quickly when treated with antibiotics. But today, the chances are increasing that a person can suffer serious illness, complications or death because of a bacterial infection that doctors must struggle to control.
The World Health Organization has said that “if important antibiotics become useless, things as common as strep throat or a child’s scratched knee could once again kill.”
Opt for organic and meat raised without unnecessary antibiotics when you can. They have fewer superbugs, in part because these livestock producers rely on preventive medicine, good sanitation and stress reduction — not antibiotics — to keep animals healthy. Most stores offer an option at good prices.
Buy from farmers and producers who use antibiotics prudently: Some sell locally and others online.
Ask your butcher or local farmer how the meat was raised. Ask your store manager to carry meat raised without unnecessary antibiotics.
In addition to buying better meat and following safety rules, consumers need to spread the word. Tell your friends about the overuse of antibiotics in meat and the problems it can cause with human health. Link to this post or the EWG page on Facebook. Tweet about it.
Prevention magazine worked with the nonprofit Food & Water Watch and developed a list of a dozen fish you should avoid eating and why -- and what you should eat instead.
1. Imported Catfish
Most imported catfish comes from Vietnam where antibiotics--that are banned in the United States--are widely used. Instead, choose domestic, farm-raised catfish, which is responsibly farmed and plentiful.
Caviar from beluga and wild-caught sturgeon are not only susceptible to overfishing, but also the species is threatened by an increase in dam building that pollutes the water in which they live. Instead, opt for fish eggs from American Lake Sturgeon or American Hackleback/Shovelnose Sturgeon caviar from the Mississippi River system.
3. Atlantic Cod
Although cod is economically vital to New England fishermen, the stocks collapsed in the mid-1990s and are still in disarray--to the point that Atlantic cod is one step above being listed as endangered. Instead, eat Pacific cod.
4. American Eel
A frequent addition to sushi dishes, American eel (also known as yellow or silver eel) is highly contaminated with PCBs and mercury. In addition, the fisheries are suffering from pollution and overharvesting. Instead, choose Atlantic or Pacific squid, which has a similar taste as eel.
5. Imported Shrimp
90 percent of the shrimp sold in the United States is imported, and it is packed with contaminants, including antibiotics and residues from chemicals used to clean pens, as well as filth, such as mouse hair, rat hair and pieces of insects. Why? Less than 2 percent of imported shrimp is inspected. Instead, seek out domestic shrimp, which likely comes from the Gulf or Mexico or Oregon.
6. Atlantic Flatfish (Flounder, Sole and Halibut)
Caught off the Atlantic coast, these fish are not only heavily contaminated, but also vastly overfished. Instead, opt for other mild-flavored white-fleshed fish, such as domestically farmed catfish.
7. Atlantic Salmon (both wild-caught and farmed)
The stocks of wild Atlantic salmon are so low that it's actually illegal to fish for them, while salmon farming is very polluting. The fish are crammed into pens and are susceptible to disease and parasites, which require antibiotics. Note that all fish currently labeled "Atlantic salmon" comes from fish farms. Instead, choose wild Alaskan salmon.
8. Imported King Crab
Most imported king crab comes from Russia -- even if it says Alaskan king crab on the label. Alaskan king crab is a separate type of fish that is more responsibly harvested, while in Russia, the limits on fish harvests are not strongly enforced. Instead, look for Alaskan king crab and always ask if it comes from Alaska or is imported.
Shark is extremely high in mercury, which is bad for humans. But overfishing has changed the ecosystem. With less shark in the oceans, there are now more cownose rays and jellyfish, which in turn are depleting other fish, such as scallops. Instead, eat Pacific halibut and Atlantic mackerel.
10. Orange Roughy
This fish not only has high levels of mercury, but also is overfished--so much so that some large restaurant chains, including Red Lobster, refuse to serve it. Instead, opt for yellow snapper or domestic catfish to get the same texture as orange roughy in your recipes.
With the Sandy Hook incident a year ago and the most recent Boston Marathon tragedy on every TV, radio Internet and social media site, your kids are exposed to these very grown up, scary and unexplainable acts of violence. So I found these tips from experts on how to talk tragedy with your children.
Turn off the TV
Even though you want to stay up-to-date on what's happening, you shouldn't have your television on in front of young children. The images and video being shown on TV and on the internet are too violent and scary for kids to see. If you want to know what's going on, you can monitor the news on your smartphone without exposing your children to the images.
Talk with your Kids
When news breaks of this magnitude, it's almost impossible to shield children from the tragedy completely. Before you dive into a conversation with your kids, find out what they know. They may have already been talking to classmates and teachers at school about what has happened.
Skip the Gory Details
You don't want to lie to your kids, but you don't need to fill them in on every last detail either. You can share the events with your children without getting into gruesome nitty-gritty. Kids don't need to hear about exactly what happened. Talk in very general terms, especially to young children.
Let your Child Talk
If your kids are scared or upset, let them talk out their feelings, ask questions and safely express their fears. Hug them tight. Assure them that they are safe. They are sure to ask questions that you don't know the answers to such as, "Why would someone do this?" Don't be afraid to say you don't know. In times like this, we don't have the answers. Explain that these events are very unusual and random. Talk about the first responders and how they help when violence or tragedy occurs.
Do what's Right for Your Family
Parents know their children best, and know how much they can handle hearing.
"My son is 6," says Marcia, a mother from San Antonio. "He's very intuitive and knew right away that something was wrong when I picked him up from school. I couldn't lie. So I explained in very age-appropriate terms what had happened today. He asked a few questions and we both cried... and prayed."
Teresa, a mother of two from Los Angeles says, "My girls are 8 and 5. They don't know anything about what happened in Boston today, and I plan to keep it that way if I can. The innocence of childhood only lasts so long. I want to shelter them from horrific things like this for as long as possible."
There are no easy or one-size-fits-all answers when talking to your kids about tragedy and violence. Just reassure them that they are safe and loved, and answer their questions to the best of your ability.
Scrabble is still one of the most popular games out there. Last week the game celebrated it's 75th anniversary, so here are 10 words that could mean a big win for you.
Definition: An anti-inflammatory medication used to treat arthritis and bursitis. Conditions: The theoretically highest-possible scoring word under American Scrabble play—as calculated by Dan Stock of Ohio—has never actually been played … and probably never will (unless you’re really, really lucky). That’s because it has to be played across three triple word score squares and build on eight already-played (and perfectly positioned) tiles. Points: 1,778
Definition: To quiz or question. Conditions: Not only will you need to draw the game’s only Q and Z tiles (there’s only one of each), but a blank tile, too (in place of the second Z). Play this verb as your first word across two triple word squares with the Z on a double letter score square and you’ve got the game’s most valuable eight-letter bingo. Points: 419
Definition: An anti-anxiety drug. Conditions: All that stress will melt away if you can build on one existing letter, play across two triple word score squares, place one of the most valuable tiles (i.e. X or Z) on a double letter score square and net a 50-point bingo. Points: 392
Definition: The national bird of Guatemala as well as one of its monetary units. Conditions:Placement is everything to score this whopper of a word: Building on one letter, use all seven letters on your rack for a 50-point bingo, with Q and S on triple word score square and Z on a double letter score space. Points: 374
Definition: A romantic or quixotic idea or action. Conditions: In 2007, Michael Cresta used an already-played R and all seven of his tiles across two triple word score squares to earn the most points ever on a single turn, which aided in a second record for the full-time carpenter: the highest-ever individual game score (830 points). Points: 365
Definition: A small pickle, made from an immature cucumber. Conditions: In 1985, Robert Kahn paid tribute to the pickle at the National Scrabble Championship in Boston—using an E and R already on the board—to set a record for a non-bingo word score. Points: 180
Definition: Resembling quartz. Conditions: “Quartzy” held the record for highest-ever single turn score until “Quixotry” nearly doubled its total in 2007. Play it across a triple word score square with Z as a double letter score, with a 50-point bingo for using all seven letters on your rack. Points: 164
Definition: A Russian peasant. Conditions: On its own (with no bonuses or extra points), “muzjiks” is worth an impressive 29 points. But exhaust all of your tiles on your first turn to spell it, and you’ll earn more than four times that—which is what player Jesse Inman did at the National Scrabble Championship in Orlando in 2008 to earn the record for highest opening score. Points: 126
Definition: An alignment of three celestial bodies. Conditions: Forget trying to pronounce it (though, for the record, it’s “SIZ-i-jee”). Instead, just remember how to spell it—and that it’s worth 21 points au naturel. You’ll need one blank tile to make up for the lack of Ys (there are only two in the game). For a higher total, land the Z on a double letter score square and the final Y on a triple word score square. Points: 93
Definition: Slang term for pizza. Conditions: Big words are great and all, but two-letter words can also score big. And be especially annoying to your opponent. Build on two As—one directly below, the other directly to the right of a triple letter square—to spell this two-letter delectable across and down. Points: 62
It's all too easy to let summer drift away from you; to wake up with a vague hangover from Labor Day celebrations and realize that you never did take a proper vacation when the weather was warm, the beaches were lifeguarded and the seasonal restaurants were in full swing. If you haven't already given it some serious thought, now is the time to start making some summer plans—not only because otherwise you might find yourself face-to-face with a "no vacancy" sign, but because once you've scheduled time off, it's simpler and easier to plan around it so you won't be stressed out by taking time off work.
So, where do you want to go? Sometimes this is the very (seemingly huge) question that leads people into a state of confusion and paralysis. There are so many choices, and being sure of where you want to go with all the possibilities seems daunting. Here are a five key questions to help you narrow down your vacation destination and get the most out of it.
How long would you like to be away? If you have such a tight schedule for work or other commitments that you can't take off more than 3-4 days, don't fly. If you have at least a week, boarding a plane makes more sense. But since there's nice weather in most parts of the country in the summer, consider vacationing closer to home anyway; it will reduce your personal carbon emissions and save the hassle of dealing with the TSA, packing everything into small suitcases and possibly encountering delays or cancellations of flights, which can chip away at your hard-earned vacation time. Really consider if flying is worth all of the above before you book.
What's your idea of a vacation? Many people go on vacations without a good idea of what they want to do (or not do). Take some time now to figure out if you want to ride your bike around an island, veg on the beach as much as possible, get some reading done in a quiet locale, need a place that will entertain/cater to children, like to hike, enjoy checking out the indivuality of water holes or think trying new restaurants and walking around a city is your idea of a good time.
How do you want to feel when you return from your time away? This might be the most important question, so it should maybe come first in this list. Do you want to return relaxed and rested? Then don't go away with stressful relatives and do activities you don't like. Want to detox and spend time in natural spaces? Then don't let your partner convince you visiting a new city is the perfect summer vacay. Do you need personal time to think, meditate, or do other solo activities? Then don't go away with the family (or if you do, carve out specific days that are 'yours' in advance).
Do you get bored and antsy with not enough to do? Then don't go away to a isolated cabin or a sparsely populated island. Asking these questions before you even book a room can help ensure you get what you need from your time away.
What can you afford? You should absolutely have a budget for your getaway, so you can avoid the stress and frustration of returning from vacation and feeling like you can't pay your bills. Make a sensible budget now, organize your reservations, and start putting aside the money now — it usually take about three months for me to save up for a vacation (and three months from now will be the middle of July!)
Who do you want to go with? Family vacations can be great, but they can also be stressful. Think seriously about whether you want your kids along (maybe you could use a break from each other and they can bunk with the grandparents for the week?), whether you want to travel with your partner's family again this year, or even if you want to get away solo (yes, this is a totally natural and healthy desire!). Do you need time alone with your significant other, or maybe you both need time away with friends (the time to organize a women's trip or guy's getaway is as early as possible).
More useless facts trivia, perfect for outsmarting your friends!
The Super Soaker was invented by a nuclear engineer out of a PVC pipe and Coke bottle
Lonnie Johnson first sold the idea to Lamari by firing it inside their Philadelphia offices. He was then introduced to Hasbro -- awesomeness has ensued ever since.
Bag-pipes were invented in Persia, not Scotland
"It was most likely a rather crude instrument comprised of reeds stuck into a goatskin bag. As civilization spread throughout the Middle East and into the Mediterranean lands, the people brought along their music."
The guy who voiced Mr. Owl in Tootsie Pop cartoons also invented the artificial heart
"Paul Winchell built the prototype with the advice and input of Henry J. Heimlich, the doctor who invented the most famous method of saving choking victims, and received his patent in 1963. He later donated the patent to the University of Utah."
The word "hello" was invented because no one knew how to start a telephone call
"Over at the laboratories of Edison's rival, Bell was insisting on "Ahoy!" as the correct way to answer the telephone. It was trounced by "hello," which became the standard as the first telephone exchanges, equipped by Edison, were set up across the United States and operating manuals adopted the word."
The first boomerang was found in Poland, not Australia
"The oldest Australian Aboriginal boomerangs are ten thousand years old... One boomerang that was discovered in Jaskinia Oblazowa in the Carpathian Mountains in Poland was made of mammoth's tusk and is believed, based on AMS dating of objects found with it, to be about 30,000 years old."
High fives didn't exist until 1977
"His hand was up in the air, and he was arching way back," says Dusty Baker, now 62 and managing the Reds. "So I reached up and hit his hand. It seemed like the thing to do."
Play-Doh was originally designed as a wallpaper cleaner.
However, its similarity to regular modeling clay without the toxicity or mess made Play-Doh a great toy. Joe McVicker became a millionaire before his 27th birthday after re-releasing the product as a toy. The same company that invented aspirin, Bayer
Also invented heroin as a cold medicine
Isaac Newton invented the doggy door
"Isaac Newton purportedly invented the cat flap (also known as the doggy door). He was said to put two cat flaps on his door, a large one and a small one, for his two pet cats."
Pinatas were invented in China
"Marco Polo discovered the Chinese fashioning figures of cows, oxen or buffaloes, covered with colored paper and adorned with harnesses and trappings. After burning the remains, people gathered the ashes for good luck throughout the year."
The machine-spun cotton candy machine was invented by William Morrison
He was a dentist
A Catholic priest invented the Big Bang Theory
Georges Lemaitre, a Catholic priest living in Belgium, was the first to put forth the idea that all matter was once condensed into one place before it expanded.
The Rubik's Cube wasn't originally meant to be a toy
"Although it is widely reported that the Cube was built as a teaching tool to help Erno Rubik's students understand 3D objects, his actual purpose was solving the structural problem of moving the parts independently without the entire mechanism falling apart. He did not realize that he had created a puzzle until the first time he scrambled his new Cube and then tried to restore it."
The first touch-screen smartphone was invented in 1993
It was made called the IBM Simon and was a mobile phone, pager, PDA, and fax machine all in one.
Baseball was first invented in England
Diaries found showed the game was a well-established sport in the 18th Century and was played by men and women... played in the UK more than 20 years before American independence.
A Canadian doctor invented Basketball
"The first game-comprising two teams of nine-took place on 21 December 1891. The final score was 1-0."
Michael Jackson didn't invent the moonwalk
It was actually created by a man named Bill Bailey.
The planning for my next birthday bash in London continues at a slow pace...yet it is a pace nonetheless. Since a milestone will be reached and my love for soccer has promoted me to save for a trip of a lifetime with one of my best friends , who also loves soccer and is hitting the same milestone, reading this article from the BBC shocking! There are certain things we American do that the British just don't grasp...and it isn't sports or tipping....it's basic, no-brainer stuff in my opinion. By the way, this is an opinion piece and isn't meant to be the rule of the land. However it gives you a glimpse of how our closest ally see us.
Digging sharp string between your teeth everyday is standard oral hygiene procedure in America. We know we’re supposed to do this too, but it hurts and it’s boring. Most Brits probably own a tub of floss, but only dust it off before a date or dental appointment.
2. Compulsive Baking
This one I like, although I don’t get how people with children and jobs and pets find the time to whip up regular batches of themed, iced and elaborately flavored cupcakes, muffins and brownies. It’s America’s most family friendly superpower.
3. Sending Personalized Holiday Cards
By this, I mean those creepy Christmas cards with a family portrait on the front. The children are wearing elf outfits while the parents grin unnaturally. Inside, there’s a run-down of the family’s year and, more importantly, its achievements. I’ve even heard of people inserting copies of their kids’ report cards.
4. Talking To Strangers Unprompted
This happens most often on public transport. I’ll be on a plane or train in the U.S., minding my own business, when someone I’ve never met will try to start a conversation. Short of pretending to be deaf and/or French, there’s nothing to be done.
Americans like to let the world know that they’re having fun — or approve heartily of what’s being said or done in front of them — by contorting their vocal chords into a shape that will allow them to pump out obnoxious mouth hoots, one after another. One word: earplugs.
6. Compulsive Sentimentality
Gushing public displays are usually meant well but give Brits the creeps. For instance, my husband and I recently checked out of a B&B after a two-night stay. Instead of bidding us farewell with a firm handshake and a receipt, the owner – a man in his 50s – latched on to me, then my man, for a prolonged hug. Just when we thought it was over, he announced, “I’ll miss you guys!” No, actually. You won’t.
7. Drinking Milk
Moo juice is meant for putting on cereal, adding to pancake batter and pouring in tea. Americans must have missed the memo because they drink the stuff neat. To me, this is only slightly less absurd than eating a plate of salt and pepper for dinner.
8. Ordering Supersize Portions
In American cinemas, patrons load up with pails of soda so vast they require their own seat. They must have bladders the size of hot air balloons. Plates of food, meanwhile, more closely resemble those guilt-inducing, this-is-what-you-eat-in-a-week spreads laid out by TV diet gurus than a single course of a single meal meant for one person.
9. Taking Home Leftovers
Thanks to the previous point, doggy bags have long been part of American restaurant culture. I can’t quite bring myself to make off with my unfinished fare. It feels… icky. Plus, I’ve usually overeaten, and I’m convinced I’ll never want to look at food again. Naturally, I regret this decision in the morning.
10. Eating Breakfast Together
You know in films featuring perfect American families there’s always a scene where an implausibly jolly parent makes the kids pancakes in the shape of dinosaurs, then the entire household sits down to a sumptuous spread. Well, I am reliably informed that this kind of thing actually happens here. Breakfast is something Brits have if they’re hung over or if the hotel they’re staying in provides it. We’d never be so eccentric as to sit down and eat it at the same time — and in the same location — as our loved ones.
As a rebuttal, another article from the BBC explains 10 British habits we American don't understand.
1. Apologizing Unnecessarily
How often do you — a Brit living in the U.S. — auto-deliver a completely unnecessary, “Sorry?” I’m a 10-a-day gal. Sometimes, the American on the receiving end, instead of simply ignoring me or looking confused, will ask: “Why are you apologizing?” I’ve never given a satisfactory answer.
2. Drinking Too Much
In America, all-day boozing sessions are for alcoholics, tramps and the seriously miserable. A happy Brit, meanwhile, is one whose weekend pub-crawl starts at 6pm on a Friday and ends Sunday evening.
3. Forgetting to Eat
Often because we’ve indulged in point number two, Brits are terrible at remembering to feed themselves at regular intervals. Food-focused types like myself will always check that a night out is scheduled to include a meal stop; it’s never just assumed. Americans, meanwhile, make brunch, lunch or dinner dates. All other activities, like drinking, are supplementary.
4. Enjoying the Misfortune of Others
Nothing brightens a Brit’s day like discovering someone we didn’t particularly like lost their job or misspelled a status update. I get a smugness buzz every time I clock an acquaintance’s incorrect apostrophe usage. Americans, meanwhile, seem to spend less time thinking about other people, in a good way.
5. Doing Ourselves Down
As previously mentioned, Brits revel in the downfall of others. But we don’t want to come off as mean so we also make a point of knocking our own achievements. This makes us miserable. On the plus side, there’s the option of an “I never boasted about my Nobel prize on Facebook” gravestone inscription. (Note: a posthumous brag is borderline acceptable.)
6. Thinking Tea Will Fix Everything
A brew is our go-to panacea. Whether you’ve chipped a nail, broken up with your boyfriend or narrowly avoided being murdered, the first person on-scene will offer you a cuppa. This way, they get to keep busy, feel useful and put off coming up with soothing, wise words.
7. Our Reluctance to Fix Our Teeth
Having aesthetically displeasing teeth is every Brit’s right. Turn up at an American dentist’s with a gob full of wonky enamel, and they’ll probably assume you’re British, or grew up in a vile cult that outlawed orthodontics.
8. Poor Communication Skills
Since living here, I’ve noticed that Americans are much better at looking you in the face and saying what they mean. Brits are abysmal at eye contact, telling you how they feel and what they’d like to happen. We overuse phrases like, “I think maybe…” and “Perhaps we could just… ”
9. Driving a Stick-shift on the Wrong Side of the Road
I’m convinced that some Americans believe that driving on the left is an eccentric choice made by individuals, not a rule laid down by British law. And while U.K. drivers think performing maneuvers in manual cars is the height of masculinity, tell someone here you prefer a stick and it’s like admitting you do laundry in the river.
10. Our Desire to Laugh at Ourselves
Might I leap temporarily out of character and deploy a small boast on behalf of my nation? (Yes, yes, I realize this basically invalidates about four previous points.) Brits are masters of the self-deprecating gag, and this is confusing to countries like America with aggressively high self-esteem. Whole sitcoms — most recently Twenty Twelve – have pivoted on the point that we’re reliably incompetent.
From cash back bonuses to airline miles and Amazon.com points to free gift cards, there seems to be a rewards credit card for everyone, and oftentimes these rewards cards come with a premium fee. But is that premium fee really worth it? For many consumers, the answer is no. A recent survey from ThePointsGuy.com reveals that nearly three in four consumers, 73 percent, don’t know the balance on their rewards cards.
The younger generation is even more oblivious to their possible rewards. When looking at survey participants between the ages of 18 and 29, a full 80 percent didn’t know how many points they had. If you don’t actively track how many points you have then you’re essentially wasting money — both in the premium fees you pay for the rewards card and also in the lost benefits.
"Failing to keep track of your rewards miles and points is like throwing money away," said Brian Kelly, founder of ThePointsGuy.com. "There are good rewards programs for every type of consumer. Whether you're redeeming miles and points for first-class plane tickets, gift cards, cash back or something else, the cardinal rule is that you have to keep track of how many you have. Websites and apps are making it easier than ever to manage rewards, yet almost three out of four Americans aren't taking good care of their miles and points. That's alarming."
The survey also revealed some other money-wasting trends:
27 percent have let some or all of their frequent flier miles expire
Only 67 percent collect their rewards
59 percent of consumers don’t even know how their rewards program works
Conventional wisdom tells us that letting your dog sleep in your bed with you can cause them to believe they’re the alpha, giving them the illusion they’re in control because in bed, they (large dogs at least) are taller than you.
The reality is much different. While some aggressive behaviors could be exacerbated by letting your dog sleep in your bed, the reality is, it’s really more of an opportunity for training for most dogs. Take for example one of the more common aggressive behaviors, like guarding the wife by growling when the husband enters the bed.
Pat Miller, certified professional dog trainer and the training editor for the Whole Dog Journal, says, “keep in mind that removing the dog from the bed doesn’t modify the bed-guarding behavior; it only prevents the dog from having an opportunity to practice the behavior.” While safety is always an issue, it may be a better idea to use the opportunity to modify the behavior.
In fact, there are some who argue that allowing your pet to sleep in the same room (or at least close to you) during the night is a comfort to many pets who spend six to eight hours a day at home alone. There’s no reason to make them feel as though they aren’t part of the family.
So, if sleeping with your dog doesn’t generally cause any specific aggressive behaviors, that means it’s OK, right? Yes and no. The reality is, sleeping with your dog is more likely to compromise your health than his.
The real truth about sleeping with your dog
Unfortunately, letting your dog sleep in your bed may actually be bad for you. Many dogs have sleep habits that can interrupt your sleep cycle, which can cause you to be cranky the next morning, lower your immune responses and impact your health in other ways.
Additionally, pets carry allergens. Whether or not you’re actually allergic to pet dander, you pup goes outside to go to the bathroom, get exercise and generally just have fun. And while he’s out there, he’s exposed to a number of things you could be allergic too, not the least of which is pollen, which will stick in his fur, which he subsequently brings to the bed, which could aggravate your symptoms.
Dr. Bruno Chomel, a professor at the University of California - Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, told AOL News that there’s also the risk of the transmission of life-threatening infections like plague, internal parasites and other serious diseases. “We wanted to raise the attention of people, as sleeping with a pet is becoming quite common, and there are risks associated with it, even if it is not very frequent,” he said. “But when it occurs, especially in children or immunocompromised people, it can be very severe.”
Additionally, when spouses disagree on the topic, there could be a little marital disharmony over the subject. Trainer Pat Miller, however, suggests that those conflicts are the purview of a marriage counselor. She’s only trained to help you with your dog’s issues.
Despite sleep issues and allergies, many people are going to be loathe to kick their furry friend out of bed. Most of us would rather suffer than deny the beseeching look in those big brown eyes. That being said, if you answer yes to any of the questions below, it’s time to at least consider relegating your pooch to a crate or dog bed on the floor.
Is my dog interrupting my sleep to the point of serious issues like lack of focus at work or frequent illness?
Is my partner unhappy with the arrangement?
Is my dog frequently exposed to situations that could cause him or her to contract dangerous illnesses that can transfer to humans?
Do I have allergies that the dog’s presence is likely making worse? Are allergy shots to deal with that issue an option?
1. The McNugget
McDonald's executive chef Rene Arend created the Chicken McNugget way back in 1979, but it wasn't available in McDonald's restaurants nationwide until 1983 because there simply wasn't enough processed chicken to go around. Oddly enough, that McNugget shortage was what led Arend to create the McRib in 1981. Arend told Maxim in 2009, "There wasn't a system to supply enough chicken. We had to come up with something to give the other franchises as a new product. So the McRib came about because of the shortage of chickens."
Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) was established to teach school kids to avoid drugs, gangs, and violence. It was one of the most visible parts of the U.S. "War on Drugs" for kids, who sat in D.A.R.E. sessions in elementary school and wore the trademark black tee shirt with red writing. Although D.A.R.E. was founded in 1983, it's often linked with Nancy Reagan's famous "Just Say No" slogan, which first appeared in 1982.
3. The Swatch Watch
A staple of nearly every 80s child wardrobe, the Swatch Watch was introduced in March of 1983, putting a decidedly '80s twist on classic Swiss craftsmanship. An analog Swiss wristwatch, Swatch competed with the trend of digital watches of the day. Fifteen years later in 1998, Swatch introduced the short-lived "Swatch Internet Time" concept, in which days were broken up into 1000 ".beat" increments.
4. TCP/IP on ARPANET ("The Internet")
On January 1, 1983, the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) switched its networking technology to TCP/IP, arguably marking the moment that the modern "Internet" came into being. While the details of TCP/IP are kind of boring, it led to exciting innovations like the World Wide Web in 1989.
5. R.E.M. and "Weird Al" Yankovic's First Albums
The year 1983 saw the first full-length albums from two decidedly different musical acts: R.E.M. and "Weird Al" Yankovic. R.E.M.'s album Murmur featured "Radio Free Europe," and marked the earliest glimmer of radio-friendly "Alternative" music in the U.S. Weird Al's self-titled debut featured "I Love Rocky Road" (a parody of Joan Jett's "I Love Rock 'n Roll") and "Another One Rides the Bus" (a parody of Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust"), and has the distinction of being the only Weird Al record in which accordion is prominently featured on every song.
Honorable mention: Red Hot Chili Peppers released a demo tape in 1983, though They didn't release a full-length album
6. The Moonwalk
Michael Jackson introduced his signature "moonwalk" dance move during the TV special Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever in which he reunited with his brothers from the Jackson 5. The move was shown during a performance of "Billie Jean," and the crowd went wild as it happened. Of course, similar moves had been used before, but 1983 was the first time we called it the moonwalk, and the first time Michael Jackson did it.
On January 3, 1983, the game show The Price is Right introduced its now-classic game Plinko. In the game, contestants win chips by guessing digits within the prices of products; then those chips are dropped into a peg-board, where they fall into slots with varying cash prize amounts. If you like Plinko, you'll love this incredibly detailed breakdown of the game and its history.
8. Mama's Family
NBC premiered the show Mama's Family (a spinoff of The Carol Burnett Show) on January 22, 1983, starring Vicki Lawrence. NBC canceled the series in May 1984, but the show continued to produce new episodes as an extremely successful first-run syndication program through 1990. Children of the '80s could always catch a syndicated episode of Mama's Family on afternoon TV. (New viewers may require a family tree to keep track of the characters.)
9. Star Wars VI: The Return Of The Jedi
Originally entitled "Revenge of the Jedi," Return of the Jedi was the triumphant conclusion to the original trilogy of Star Wars films. It introduced Ewoks, a second Death Star, and gave us a peek of what Darth Vader looked like without his mask (spoiler alert: it ain't pretty). In bonus creepy points, Luke also learned that in The Empire Strikes Back, he'd totally kissed his own sister. ("Noooooooo!")
Honorable mentions: 1983 also saw the release of A Christmas Story, WarGames, Flashdance, Risky Business, Strange Brew, and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life.
10. Sweet Valley High
Francine Pascal and her merry band of ghostwriters launched the Sweet Valley High series for preteen girls, which ran for 20 years and 152 books. (2011 and 2012 saw the release of Sweet Valley Confidential and The Sweet Life, respectively, which followed the Valley girls as adults.)
11. The Minivan
The Dodge Caravan was first produced in November of 1983, featuring a boxy design, seating room for seven, and a family-friendly amount of interior space that still fit within a typical suburban garage. (The Plymouth Voyager was basically the same vehicle with a Plymouth nameplate on it and some styling changes.) 1983 was the first year your family could drive the minivan through a McDonald's drivethrough to eat McNuggets on your way to see Return of the Jedi. Of course, due to car model years, you'd be cruising in a "1984" model minivan.
12. Mario Bros
Nintendo released the original Mario Bros. arcade game, unleashing the Italian plumbers Mario and Luigi into the game-playing world. Mario had first appeared in Donkey Kong in 1981, but he was then named "Jumpman" and was a carpenter—presumably he spent the next two years learning the plumbing trade and developing a hatred of turtles. The same year, the laserdisc-based "Dragon's Lair" was introduced, with fully animated graphics but annoyingly difficult gameplay.
Hooters launched its first restaurant in Clearwater, Florida on October 4, 1983. Today the chain has more than 450 locations, and continues its reliance on waitresses wearing jogging shorts and tight tee shirts. From the official Hooters History: "Hooters was appropriately incorporated on April Fool's Day, 1983, when six businessmen with absolutely no previous restaurant experience got together and decided to open a place they couldn't get kicked out of."
14. Sony (Betamax) Camcorder
In 1983, Sony introduced its first Camcorder for consumer use. It was called the Betamovie BMC-100P and recorded on Betamax tapes. Later that year, JVC released its own camcorder using the VHS-C format...and we all know how that particular format war worked out.
AOL was founded in 1983, though at the time it was called Control Video Corporation (CVC). CVC's first offering was "GameLine," a modem-based game service for the Atari 2600 video game console. The company experimented with different business models (all involving online components) before hitting it big in the 1990s with its AOL dialup service.
16. The Apple IIe
Apple released its Apple IIe personal computer, often stylized as the Apple //e. It was released in January 1983 and was produced until late 1993, making it one of the longest-lived personal computers ever made. One of its banner features was the ability to display lowercase letters. (PREVIOUS MODELS USED ALL CAPS.)
17. Pet Sematary
Stephen King's 1983 novel Pet Sematary was inspired by a real pet cemetery where the author's daughter Naomi buried her cat Smucky in 1978. King was reluctant to submit the manuscript because many of the story's events were inspired by his family (though Smucky did not show up again), but at his wife Tabitha's insistence, King used the book to fulfill his contract with Doubleday. A limited run of the 30th anniversary edition is slated for release this November.
18. Cabbage Patch Kids
Though Xavier Roberts's hand-sewn "Little Person" dolls were first available for adoption in 1976, most people had never been to Cleveland, Georgia's "Babyland General Hospital" to pick one out. Roberts worked with Coleco to mass-market the dolls under their new name, Cabbage Patch Kids. Though a few early-adopters picked up their Kids in 1982, the official launch (and the height of their popularity) came in 1983.
19. The Disney Channel
On April 18, 1983 at 7am, the Disney Channel launched with Good Morning, Mickey!, a 30-minute compilation program featuring classic Disney shorts and a brief fitness segment called Mousercize (Jazzercise had been a staple of American fitness since the late 1960s).
Honorable mentions: 1983 also saw the launch of Country Music Television (CMT) and The Nashville Network (TNN, later rebranded "The National Network" in 2000 and then "Spike TV" in 2003).
20. Reading Rainbow
Original episodes of Reading Rainbow ran from 1983 through 2006, then in reruns through 2008. It introduced a generation of kids to the slogan, "Take a look—it's in a book!" In 2012, host LeVar Burton announced the Reading Rainbow iPad app, which reached the #1 slot in Educational Apps within 36 hours.
21. The A-Team
The first episode of The A-Team aired on NBC on January 23, 1983. The series would end on December 30, 1986, but not without going down in pop culture history. Remember, folks: "If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team."
22. J Crew
Originally branded as "Popular Club Brand," J.Crew launched in 1983 as a lower cost alternative to Ralph Lauren's near monopoly on preppie-only clothing. The brand has been back in the public eye over the past few years largely because of Michelle Obama's fondness for the company's clean lines and affordable prices.
The first StairMaster (the ambitiously numbered "Model 5000") was a rotating staircase, with none of the fancypants heart-rate monitors or workout information screens the sophomore effort would feature, but it changed the face of cardio exercise for the next 30 years. The latest StairMaster product, the StepMill 5, comes fully loaded with an HDTV and iPod connectivity.
24. Care Bears
Before the cartoons, plushes, and books, Care Bears were a line of greeting cards developed by American Greetings. When the characters premiered to the general public in February 1983 at the New York City Toy Fair, a series of six books and the Bears' first animated TV special ("The Care Bears in the Land Without Feelings") soon followed.
25. My Little Pony
As a follow-up to the popular My Pretty Pony released in 1981, My Little Pony began as a line of toys, which then exploded into a TV series, special edition and mail-order-only toys, books, and various other merchandise. The fourth generation series from 2010 (often called "G4") enjoys a cult-like following by super-fans called Bronies.
26. Microsoft Word
Originally named "Multi-Tool Word," Microsoft's classic word processor ran on Unix systems before it appeared on MS-DOS, Mac, Atari, and eventually Windows. Microsoft released the first demos of Word for MS-DOS in the November 1983 issue of PC World—making it the first program ever distributed on a floppy disk bundled in a magazine.
27. Trump Tower
The United States' 51st tallest building completed construction on November 30, 1983. Since then, notable tenants have included Bruce Willis, Beyonce and Jay-Z, Janet Jackson, and of course, Donald Trump.
28. Diversity In Space
After its first flight in April, 1983, the Space Shuttle Challenger sent Sally Ride and Guion Bluford—the first American woman and the first African-American—into space in the same year.
29. Continuous Eruption Of Hawaii's Kilauea
On January 3, 1983, the volcano Kilauea in Hawaii began spewing lava, and has not yet stopped. This is the longest period of eruption in the volcano's history, and one of the longest on record for any volcano. Keep blowing your top, Kilauea!
30. The Toyota Camry
The Toyota Camry, introduced in 1983 replacing the Corona in its automobile lineup, became America’s favorite family sedan and was the nation’s top-selling automobile in seven of the eight years from 1997 through 2005. Now sold in 27 countries and manufactured in 10, the Camry has had cumulative sales of over 6.5million units in the United States and over 10 million worldwide.
You never know, this useless fictional character trivia may come handy at one time!
1. Did you know the Comic Book Guy on The Simpsons has a name? It's Jeff Albertson. But that wasn't the decision of creator Matt Groening. "I was out of the room when [the writers] named him," he told MTV in 2007. "In my mind, 'Louis Lane' was his name, and he was obsessed and tormented by Lois Lane."
2. Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts. (Ken's last name is Carson.)
3. Cap'n Crunch's full name is Captain Horatio Magellan Crunch
4. Snuffleupagus has a first name -- Aloysius.
5. In the Peanuts comic strip, Peppermint Patty's real name is Patricia Reichardt.
6. The Wizard of Oz rolls off the tongue a lot easier than his full name, Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkel Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs. From Frank Baum's Dorothy And the Wizard in Oz: "It was a dreadfully long name to weigh down a poor innocent child, and one of the hardest lessons I ever learned was to remember my own name. When I grew up I just called myself O.Z., because the other initials were P-I-N-H-E-A-D; and that spelled 'pinhead,' which was a reflection on my intelligence."
7. Mr. Clean has a seldom-used first name -- "Veritably." The name came from a "Give Mr. Clean a First Name" promotion in 1962.
8. In a deleted scene in the 2006 Curious George movie, The Man With the Yellow Hat's name was revealed as Ted Shackleford. (Since the scene was deleted, perhaps this doesn't count.)
9. The real name of Monopoly mascot Rich Uncle Pennybags is Milburn Pennybags.
10. The policeman in Monopoly has a name, too. You can thank Officer Edgar Mallory the next time he sends you to jail.
11. On Night Court, Nostradamus Shannon was better known as Bull.
12. On Entourage, Turtle's real name is Salvatore Assante.
13. Sesame Street's resident game show host Guy Smiley was using a pseudonym all these years. He was born Bernie Liederkrantz.
14. The Michelin Man's name is Bibendum.
15. On Gilligan's Island, Jonas Grumby was simply called The Skipper.
16. Staying on Gilligan's Island, The Professor was Roy Hinkley.
17. The unkempt Shaggy of Scooby-Doo fame has a rather proper real name -- Norville Rogers.
18. The Pillsbury Doughboy's name is Poppin' Fresh. He has a wife, Poppie Fresh, and two kids, Popper and Bun Bun.
19. The patient in the classic game Operation is Cavity Sam.
20. The true identity of The Lone Ranger was John Reid.
While it's no surprise that your lifestyle plays a role in everything from your risk of developing heart disease to your blood pressure numbers and cholesterol count; what you eat, how often you workout and your overall health matter to your eyes, too.
“It is a synergy of multiple foods and lifestyle choices that affect eye health,” says Steven Pratt, M.D., an ophthalmologist at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California. Worse, most Americans don't know how serious the risk of diseases like glaucoma, a condition that can damage the eye's optic nerve and result in vision loss and blindness, and age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), the leading cause of vision loss in adults over 50, are. ARMD gradually destroys the macula, the part of the eye that provides sharp, central vision and can eventually cause blindness.
The good news? Eye conditions we most hear about affecting our future such as cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma are conditions we can make a difference in by protecting our health today. “Heart disease and eye health are very related, so anything that benefits your cardiovascular status will also benefit your eyes,” says Joanna Fisher, M.D., an ophthalmologist in Huntingdon, Pa., and clinical associate professor at Thomas Jefferson University.
Here are some things you can do for your overall health that can also help keep your eyes healthy:
Step on the scale.
People who are severely overweight or obese are at risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes, which can lead to diabetic retinopathy, damage to the retina caused by complication of diabetes, the leading cause of blindness in those under 65. Seems carrying extra pounds puts a strain on your peepers. Blood cells encircle the macula but the blood won’t flood into the eyes properly giving them the nourishment they need because fat gets in the way of good blood flow explains Sheri Rowen, M.D, a cataract and LASIK surgeon with Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. Plus, women with a BMI of over 30 are 36 percent more likely to develop cataracts.
Eat more fish.
Chow down on fish at least twice weekly. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and fish oil supplements can reduce your risk of ARMD. “Sockeye salmon is the best fish for the health of the back of the eye,” says Pratt. Sardines, herring, mackerel and albacore tuna are also excellent choices.
Get moving. Exercise is essential in lowering pressure in the eye when you have glaucoma. If you’ve been diagnosed with glaucoma, exercise can keep it from worsening and help it from developing in the first place. Research has also found that people who run or walk fast, about 2.5 miles per day, statistically have a 50 percent decreased risk of ARMD. So physical activity is directly related to better eye health and less eye disease.
Stress reduction is important, as most cardiovascular events are stress-related; stress also contributes to the onset of eye conditions. Pratt recommends spending fifteen minutes a day in a stress reducing activity: walking the dog, tai chi, mediation, a relaxing hobby like knitting or a friendly game of Words with Friends--anything that lowers blood pressure can lower the pressure in the eye.
Play Like Popeye.
Pop open the spinach. Spinach is a rich source of antioxidants like lutein and zeaxathin, which cut the risk of eye disease. Other good bets: leafy greens, like collards, eggs, and orange colored fruits like kumquats, tangerines and apricots, flax seeds and nuts. These antioxidant-rich choices are crucial to the health of the retina. When your diet lacks these nutrients, your body can’t fight diseases like ARMD.
Ditch the Smokes.
Every time you smoke and inhale, it causes damage to the blood vessels in the eyes, setting you up for not only early cataracts, but ARMD and other eye disease, too. Smoking causes cataracts to grow faster. Pretty much everybody will have a cataract; it’s just a normal clouding of the natural lens of the eye with age. But most people won’t be affected until their 70s or 80s. If you’re diabetic, it’s earlier. But when you smoke, you’re all but guaranteed cataracts in your 40s, 50s or 60s.
Wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat when in the sun. They’ll reduce your exposure to eye damaging UV/UVA rays up to 18-fold. Ultraviolet light causes cataracts to grow faster and can worsen ARMD. Sunlight can also burn and damage the cornea and conjunctiva, the membrane covering the whites of the eye, a painful problem. Make sure sunglasses have UV protection. There are two types of UV: A and B. You want complete A and B protection when you buy a pair of sunglasses. Look for reputable brands. If you opt for cheapies, make sure they offer both UV/UVA protection.
In 2010, Americans generated nearly 250 million tons of trash. At first glance that may not seem like such a terrifying figure, but look at it this way: That’s 500,000,000,000 pounds of solid waste. Remarkably, 34 percent of that is composted or recycled. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, for each of the 4.43 pounds of trash that each American creates every day, 1.51 pounds of that, on average, is composted or recycled.
Which is a start, but landfills fill up, and there are only so many parks we can build over massive parcels of buried garbage. The good news is that reducing our personal garbage loads is becoming increasingly easy as more programs are being created to help us. With that in mind, the following 20 household items may seem destined for the dump but they can actually be recycled — and easily.
1. Athletic shoes
Tired, broken-down, “fragrant” running shoes are most generally directed to the trash, but given our penchant for kicks, that’s a lot of sneakers stinking up the landfill. A better future for your athletic shoes is to introduce them to one of Nike's Reuse-A-Shoe recycling bins. Nike in turn will incorporate them into the raw material called Nike Grind, which is used in everything from running tracks to shoe soles to zippers.
Americans send more than 15 million bicycles out to pasture every year. But rather than throwing them in the dump, you can give your old two-wheelers a second life by donating them to Bikes of the World, which collects, refurbishes and donates bikes to lower-income people and select institutions in developing countries.
3. Bike tools and gear
With a similar mission to Bikes of the World, Bikes Not Bombs takes bicycle bits, pieces, and gear in addition to the bikes themselves. They accept parts, tools, broken components such as cracked frames, worn tires, tubes with holes, helmets, bags, lights, pumps, locks, cycle clothing, etc. They restore bikes and gear, and deliver them overseas to economic development projects in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Bikes that don't get shipped often land in the group's youth programs where teens learn bicycle safety and mechanic skills while earning bikes to keep for themselves.
There comes a time in every bra’s life when it just has to move on, and bras aren’t generally the kind of clothing we women toss in the "to donate" pile. But the Bosom Buddy Program, started by a textile recycling company in Arizona, wants your weary bras. After sprucing them up, they donate the revamped brassieres to women’s shelters or other programs that help women gain self-sufficiency.
5. Brita water filters
Ditching plastic water bottles for filtered water is a resourceful move, even if you are left with spent water filters. But if you use Brita products, you’re in luck. They have teamed up with the company Preserve, and between the two, they are recycling Brita plastic pitcher filter casings into Preserve's eco-friendly, 100-percent recycled products such as toothbrushes, cups and cutting boards. Also cool: the activated carbon within the filters is regenerated for alternative use or converted into energy.
When it comes time to reveal the lovely hardwood floor buried underneath that mod shag carpeting, find a carpet-reclamation facility to take it for recycling. You can also check with individual carpet makers, many of which have recycling programs.
7. Compact fluorescent light bulbs
The mercury content makes CFLs a trickier disposal problem than basic bulbs, leaving many people confused about what to do with them once the light has been extinguished. But now both Ikea and Home Depot provide CFL recycling programs, and other lighting stores are also beginning to accept these bulbs as well.
Cosmetic packaging probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when considering recycling, but compacts, tubs, tubes, and other containers can be easily recycled. Various companies have their own programs, including: M·A·C Cosmetics, Origins and Aveda, to name a few.
This may sound crazy — clearly crayons aren’t public enemy number one – but with 120,000 pounds of crayons produced each day in this country, the landfills could become surprisingly colorful. Fear not, the National Crayon Recycle Program will recycle your rejected crayons and turn them into new ones. So far, the program has diverted more than 88,000 pounds of crayons from landfills.
Love them or hate them, the molded petroleum-based foam shoes that seem best suited for emceeing a circus are here to stay; if not in fashion, at least in the environment, given the enduring material from which they are made. But the company that everyone loves to hate has done something good with the formation of Crocs Cares, which recycles used Crocs into new shoes and donates them to underprivileged families.
There is something profoundly counter intuitive about throwing out old eyeglasses, it just doesn’t feel right; but how in the world can we recycle old glasses? It’s actually quite simple, and better yet, they can be reused by people in need. The Lions Recycle for Sight program collects used eyeglasses and cleans them before sorting by prescription strength and distributing them to people in developing countries. They accept prescription and reading glasses, sunglasses and plastic and metal frames. Children's glasses are especially needed. Drop them in a Lions Club dropbox or send them by mail, here’s how.
12. Hair dryers
Hair dryers usually have a decent lifespan, but once they need replacing, what to do with the old clunky beast? Folica.com is one option for recycling; the company accepts mail-back dryers and will issue a $40 credit towards the purchase of a new one.
If you bring your old iPod to an Apple Retail Store, they will take it off your hands and also give you a 10 percent discount on the purchase of a new one.
14. Mobile phones
Currently, only about 10 percent of cellphones in the U.S. are recycled; and while some components require proper hazardous waste disposal, other parts are highly recyclable. There are many charities that accept old phones for recycling. See a list of mail-back programs at earth911. And if you have an iPhone, you can return it to Apple for recycling; if the device is eligible for re-use, Apple will give you a gift card for the value.
15. Packing peanuts
Polystyrene packing peanuts, oh how they perplex! The masters of static cling are particularly problematic because they take up a lot of room, waste-wise, and they fail to biodegrade. Fortunately, they don’t lose their packing prowess upon being reused, so many shipping companies will take them back. Try Mailboxes, Etc and UPS, you can also find other drop-off locations at loosefillpackaging.com.
The global hosiery market is expected to reach $20.3 billion by 2015, and given pantyhose’s propensity to so easily render itself unwearable courtesy of snags and runs, there is a seemingly endless stream of pantyhose finding their way to the trash can. Fortunately, there are many ways you can reuse retired pantyhose, and when all else fails, you can recycle them. No Nonsense legwear company accepts all brands of nylons, knee-highs and tights and recycles the material to be used in carpet, anchor rope and park benches. Get a mailing label here.
17. Plastic dry-cleaning bags, bread bags, produce bags, etc
Some municipalities have fantastic curbside recycling options for plastic, but others don’t. If you live in the latter, there’s a secret that too few people know about. Nearly any plastic bag or plastic wrap can be deposited in the grocery bag recycling bin at many supermarkets. For more details, see Recycle sandwich bags, dry-cleaning bags and more.
18. Prosthetic limbs
Prosthetic pieces aren’t generally reused in the U.S. due to legal considerations, but don’t let those fake limbs go to waste! Some organizations arrange for prosthetic components to be disassembled and shipped to Third World countries and to be used for landmine victims and others. Check these organizations, each of which can accept donations depending on their current needs.
19. Resealable sandwich bags
Few items create more inner turmoil for eco-moms than zipper-style sandwich and freezer bags; for many they embody the sinful duality of being both wonderfully indispensable yet easily disposable. For those who can’t give up their resealable bags, you can now recycle them at any of more than 18,000 in-store recycling centers. And you can even earn reward points for doing so. For details, see Ziploc launches new recycling program.
20. Wine corks
Yes, cork is biodegradable and in the big picture, bitty little wine corks are perhaps not the most vexing of items to warrant recycling. But if you consider that in the U.S. alone we consume more than 850 million gallons of wine, you realize that the corks can really start to add up — and there are only so many DIY coasters and homemade memo boards one house can handle. Fortunately you can send your corks to places like Yemm & Hart or recork.org, who will kindly take them off your hands to create new products.
Happy Friday! I stumbled across this list of confessions as told by a movie theater employee. Know you know!
Why does it smell so good? The popcorn has chemicals in it to make its aroma fill the theater.
For the first month or two of screening, money from ticket sales goes to movie studios. Theaters rely on concession stands to make money. That's why concessions are overpriced. Popcorn costs almost nothing to make.
I know all the methods you use to sneak in. I just don't always care enough to kick you out for it.
The only foods I trust are the popcorn, drinks, and boxed candy. I wouldn't eat the pretzels, hot dogs, or nachos.
Chances are, if you complain to the manager and he sides with you, he's just putting on a show to calm you down. The manager might pretend to yell at me for a minute, but he'll pat me on the back the moment you're out of sight.
Combination deals don't save you money at some theaters. You'd pay the same price if you purchased the items separately.
Think you're saving calories by ordering a small popcorn? That "small" popcorn could have been a medium last month.
Stop getting angry that your food isn't ready. Microwaves can't cook frozen pizzas in 30 seconds!
No, I can't give you extra cups. Everything is inventoried at the end of the night.
Your suspicions are correct. Sometimes I sweep excess food under the seats. Movies often end every few minutes.
Sometimes, three or more screenings end at the same time. I don't always have time to clean everything up.
Yes, movies start late. But they almost always end on time-otherwise, the ushers wouldn't know when to clean up. Theaters tell you to come in early so you have time to watch commercials and previews.
Popcorn keeps for a day or two. Many customers confuse warm with fresh.
Time to test your knowledge of celebrities in trouble. The answers are at the bottom of this quiz. Enjoy!
1---Which of the following celebrities has not spent time in the Promises rehab facility in Malibu: Britney Spears, Michael Richards or Mel Gibson?
2---What was Paris Hilton's blood alcohol level when she was arrested for DUI: .08, .10 or .14?
3---According to TMZ.com, when Lindsay Lohan crashed her car in Beverly Hills and was arrested on suspicion of DUI, she spent the night in which Hollywood hotspot: Mood, the Roosevelt Hotel or Les Deux?
4---Former Married...With Children star David Faustino was arrested once for marijuana possession and disorderly intoxication. In which state was he arrested: Florida, New York, or California?
5---True or false: Courtney Love once said "I was court-ordered to Alcoholics Anonymous on television.That pretty much blows the hell out of the second 'A,' doesn't it?"
6---Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp was arrested in New York in 1994 for what: assaulting a photographer, trashing a hotel room, or drunk driving?
7---True or false: Drew Barrymore has never been arrested for a DUI?
8---Hugh Grant was arrested in London once for throwing a container of what at a photographer?
9---Which former American Idol finalist was arrested in Tampa for allegedly hitting a man over the head with a glass: Diana DeGarmo, Jessica Sierra or Carmen Rasmussen?
10--What car was Lindsay Lohan driving when she was arrested on suspicion of DUI: a Bentley, a BMW, or a Mercedes?
11--Before checking into rehab, Britney Spears shaved her head at what salon in Tarzana, California: Esther's, Joan's or Edith's?
12--According to Wikipedia, what brand of hamburger is David Hasselhoff trying to eat in the infamous video where he is drunk and shirtless: In-N-Out, Wendy's, or Jack in the Box?
13--When Nicole Richie was arrested by the California Highway Patrol, the 5-foot-1 Richie was listed at what weight on the booking sheet: 85 pounds, 90 pounds or 95 pounds?
14--True or false: Sanjaya was once arrested for growing marijuana plants?
15--Country showdown: who had the higher blood alcohol level after their arrest for drunk driving: Glen Campbell or Wynonna Judd?
16--Ty Pennington once pleaded no contest to a charge of drunk driving and was given three years probation. What is Ty's real first name: Tyrus, Tryone or Tygert?
17--When Nicole Richie was arrested in December, 2006, she told the officers she had used marijuana and what other drug: heroin, Vicodin or OxyContin?
18--Which former "Dancing With The Stars" contestant was arrested for a DUI: Vivica Fox, Willa Ford, or Mario Lopez?
19--What performer was arrested once for allegedly kidnapping a male escort and chaining him to the wall: Boy George, George Michael, or Busta Rhymes?
Bonus: When Paris Hilton reported to jail, how many state-issued pairs of underpants did she get?
1--- (Michael Richards)
3--- (Les Deux)
5--- (False, it was Paula Poundstone who said that.)
6--- (Trashing a hotel room)
8--- (A container of baked beans)
9--- (Jessica Sierra)
10-- (a 2005 Mercedes convertible)
13-- (85 pounds)
14-- (False, his mother was.)
15-- (Glen Campbell .20 to .175)
18-- (Vivica Fox)
19-- (Boy George)
The common wisdom practiced for years is to use scent and sound to "motivate" buyers to purchase a home. But it can backfire. New research shows that while popular scents or songs may elicit positive emotions, they can distract from our ability to make decisions.
“If you’re trying to sell your home, having the wrong smell or music playing is worse than having none at all,” said Eric R. Spangenberg, dean for the College of Business at Washington State University and longtime professor specializing in environmental psychology. “There is a lot of cognitive processing involved in a home purchase. A 30-year mortgage is a big decision.”
Spangenberg has studied the effects of scents and music in retail environments since the late ’80s. His latest research, published in the Journal of Retailing, shows that what consumers hear and smell is a determining factor in how much time and money they spend.
“The [home] staging business should incorporate other senses,” he said. “The science of olfactory cues is not being used. People use intuition, but a lot of intuition is based on urban myths more than it’s based on science.”
Spangenberg has three key principles to help sellers use smells and songs to make their homes more marketable.
No. 1: Keep It Pleasant
If you’ve ever cringed walking through the perfume aisle in a department store, it’s probably because your brain was on sensory overload. Spangenberg says when a smell is that powerful, it’s all you can think about … literally.
“You want scents to be on the edge of your perception — not centrally processed,” he explained. This leaves the central part of your brain to do what it does best: process the task at hand.
For a home buyer, the focus should be on deciding whether to buy a home, not trying to identify and sort out a powerful scent. To ensure this happens, Spangenberg says sellers should limit how much scent they infuse into a space.
Music follows the same principle. A song that is louder than you’re used to will detract from your ability to focus on anything else.
“Abercrombie & Fitch has a strong environmental psychological element to what they do,” Spangenberg said. “They don’t want me — a 50-year-old male — in their store. It’s too loud for me.”
No. 2: Keep It Simple
Spangenberg’s research has shown that simple scents are most effective in influencing shopping behaviors. In fact, his study found consumers spent 31.8 percent more on average when a home-decor store had a simple orange scent instead of a complex blend of orange, basin and green tea.
“Our results suggest the more simple, the less distracting,” he said. It goes back to the idea of freeing up the decision-making part of the brain. For home selling, Spangenberg says a simple citrus scent would be a better choice than a blend of potpourri.
Moreover, in his 2011 music study, titled “It’s all in the mix: The interactive effect of music tempo and mode on in-store sales,” Spangenberg found that music in minor mode was significantly more effective when accompanied by a slow tempo.
“Our ability to perceive and process those two things (mode and tempo) is hardwired in human beings,” Spangenberg explained, recalling an experiment conducted at a Nordstrom department store.
“Popular music wasn’t effective at keeping people there,” he said. “The problem was the tempo was too fast, making people move faster through the store than we wanted them to.” As a result, Nordstrom often has a live pianist play slower music in its stores today.
In the same way, home sellers could consider using simpler scents and slower songs to keep potential buyers interested.
No. 3: Keep It Consistent
Finally, Spangenberg’s research suggests consistency or congruence is key. He advises home sellers to evaluate their environment, the season and their potential buyers.
“A wood-and-stone home should have scents congruent with that environment,” he said. “But in a home with no wood, you wouldn’t expect a pine scent.”
Spangenberg says that it’s this inconsistency — the fact that the smell doesn’t fit with its surroundings — that matters.
“If you walked down the spice aisle blindfolded and smelled cumin, you would think someone needs a shower,” he said.
At the same time, consistency with the season is important. For example, Spangenberg says you wouldn’t expect a spring scent during the winter or floral notes in a home with Christmas decorations.
He says inconsistency can take away from a potential buyer’s ability to think about purchasing a home. This includes gender preferences.
“If I am trying to sell a condo to a young, professional woman versus a man, I would use different scents,” Spangenberg explains. “It’s about doing what fits.”
Do you miss having a dog, but your apartment doesn't allow pets? Don't worry, there's a website for that. BorrowMyDoggy.com allows users to simply borrow a furry friend from a pet owner. When a borrower signs up, they give details of their experience with dogs, the amount of time they have, and upload a photo of themselves. When a pet owner signs up they write a profile about their pet and whether they want the pet to be walked, looked after at home or groomed. The website says it keeps the site safe by running checks on borrowers to make sure their name and address match, and also recommends that borrowers and pet owners meet in a public place before the dog is
Years ago it was thought that teasing was just a natural part of growing up. But over the past few decades, that thought has changed when we have realized that teasing can have lasting effects, and if teasing turns into full-on bullying, the effects can be much worse. So how do you know if your child has become a victim of bullying? Here are some signs to look out for:
1. Is your child suddenly coming home from school very hungry?
Often, bullies will take a child’s lunch or his lunch money. Is your child missing items, such as school supplies or clothing, with no explanation? Sometimes bullies will take these items as a means of intimidation.
2. Is your child afraid to ride on the school bus?
The bus to and from school can be a bullying hot spot since no teachers are present and the bus driver is preoccupied with driving.
3. Is your child running to the bathroom right when he gets home?
The bathroom can also be a prime bullying spot (since there’s only one way in and one way out and it’s hidden from teachers), so much so that a child who’s being bullied might avoid going to the bathroom during the school day altogether.
4. Is your child suddenly withdrawn, unexplainably moody or upset, or anxious?
Do they seem clingy at the beginning of the day or doesn’t want to go to school a lot? Is he suddenly having trouble sleeping? All of these, as well any marked changes in your child’s personality, can be a sign that something is up.
It’s important to note that kids don’t always feel comfortable going to their parents with concerns about what’s been happening at school, and it’s hard for parents of bullying victims to know that something is even going on. That’s why it’s critical to get into the habit of talking to your child about their day and communicating with them about their daily life on a regular basis. This way, if something does come up, you’re more likely to notice a difference in what they say, or how they say it. Oftentimes a child will tell you more with their body language than with their words.
It’s also important to note that a child can experience the effects of bullying without being physically bullied. Kids can be ruthless to each other — excluding each other and making other kids feel left out and alone.
If you do suspect a problem, speak up, either directly with your child’s teacher or an administrator. Often the school doesn’t even know what’s going on, and it’s good to enlist everyone’s help early, since bullying can turn severe quickly. Luckily, in many schools today, bullying seems to be a buzzword and one that teachers are often trained in workshops to identify and deal with. Find out if your school has an active anti-bullying program in place and if not, work to get one in order. Kids will have enough reality to deal with later on in life so it’s important that we help make their schools as fun, safe and warm an environment as possible.
I don't doubt the next bubble to burst is the student loan debt. It's really is sad that most recent college graduates are burdened with thousands of dollars of debt for their education. But there are some programs that will pay off some(if not all) of that debt if you move to a rural area.
Last year after completing her master's degree, Dayna Bechard Elliott, 34, took some major risks few would consider. She quit her corporate job in Kansas City and moved to Tribune, Kansas (population: 741) to open a restaurant with a business partner. Burdened with $30,000 in student loan debt, she admits this life change could have been a recipe for financial failure. But Elliott had a big safety net: the state of Kansas would help to pay off her student loans as long as she lived in a rural part of the state.
An increasing number of cities and states are trying combat dwindling populations-commonly known as the brain drain- by luring recent graduates to their areas offering economic incentives such as college loan reimbursement and tax exemptions to those who move there. With student loan debt in the U.S. fast approaching the $1 trillion mark and the majority of those loans at $10,000 or more, this perk is becoming increasingly attractive.
Kansas has implemented Rural Opportunity Zones (ROZ) offering $15,000 in college loan debt repayment and in some cases waiving income tax for up to five years for moving to one of these 50 rural counties. Jobs, which are more elusive in other parts of the country, are not a problem here.
“We need skilled labor in these areas," said Chris Harris, program manager with the Kansas Department of Commerce. "The population is aging. We need doctors, lawyers, teachers and people to take over small businesses as the older generations retire here. It’s an aging and shrinking population and we need educated people to do these jobs.”
In fact, only 10% of the jobs open in these rural counties are farming jobs. The vast majority of them are in healthcare, education and other white-collar professions. According to Harris, 98% of the 420 people already taking part in the program have secured employment.
But life in rural Kansas is probably how you’d imagine it. “It’s desolate and for a single person it’s even more difficult.” explains Jordan Kinsey, who moved to Norton, Kansas (population: 2,900) to teach music at the local high school.
Kinsey, a native of Paducah, Kentucky says he might not have taken the job if it weren't for the ROZ program with debt repayment and income tax exemption. But weekends are particularly hard, admits Kinsey. “I try not to be in Norton on the weekends," he said. "I’d rather drive three hours to Lincoln or Kansas City than stick around.”
“My social life is non-existent now,” says Elliott. “Living here without my friends has definitely been the biggest challenge for me. I’m happy and I’m consumed by work, but I miss having my group of friends. Skype and Google Hangout have been incredible tools for my sanity.”
Elliott’s restaurant, Elliott’s GastroPub, is the only bar in about five counties to have a full liquor license. So even if she doesn’t have much of a social life, she is providing one for others.
The Boons for Cash-Strapped Municipalities
In Niagara Falls, New York, population equals money. In the 1960s, Niagara Falls was a metropolis of over 100,000. Now, the city’s population is hovering around 50,000. And that figure is key. Below 50,000 means it is no longer a city and would not qualify for HUD funding. Seth Piccirillo, director of community development in Niagara Falls, helped create a program to entice local area graduates into staying.
Niagara Falls is launching a program this spring that will give about $3,500 toward student loan repayment to graduates who move there. Piccirillo says new housing units and good commute times to Buffalo and other parts of Western New York along with debt repayment will hopefully encourage people to explore moving to and staying in the city.
“Every person counts when it comes to our population here," Piccirillo said. "It may be a small program now, but it was just an idea we had last summer. We’re hopeful that people will check us out and see what we have to offer.”
While it may be difficult to picture Niagara Falls becoming the next Brooklyn or envision a recent grad forgoing San Francisco or Chicago for rural Kansas, these programs are catching on. About a third of the ROZ applicants come from out of state, including some from Florida and Texas. Neighboring Nebraska and Oklahoma are considering similar programs. And with only an initial $200,000 grant to fund the program last year, Niagara Falls has secured an additional $450,000 in funding for capital improvements to help develop housing for the participants.
Is the Debt Relief Attractive Enough?
Still, there are perils to the programs. Necessities like housing have proved problematic in some counties in Kansas. Kinsey, the music teacher in Norton, Kansas, says he still has to drive 20 minutes to get to his job despite all the empty real estate, and Elliott says that it’s a 90 minute drive to the nearest Target. The lack of a social life and opportunity to meet potential partners may limit how long people in their 20s and 30s stay in these areas once they get their loans paid down.
“It’s really up to these counties in terms of how much they want to invest in this program,” says Harris, from the Kansas department of commerce. “If they want younger people in leadership positions in quality jobs, then they will invest in building new housing and catering to their needs.”
But for Elliott, the move was worth it, at least at the moment.
“I put everything on the line to achieve my dream," she said. "The ROZ student loan program has taken the burden off my personal finances, and I worry less about how to pay back my student loans and focus more on trying to build a successful business.”
Whether you have a Mac or PC, you need to perform routine maintenance to make sure your computer stays in the best shape possible. While you should do this more than once a year, if spring gets you moving, we’ll show you how it’s done.
Clean Out Your Drawers
Throughout the year, you save countless files to your computer that you’ll never use again. Organize your files into folders to make them easier to find. Many people make the mistake of saving every file to their documents folder or on their desktop, so they can’t find anything no matter where they are.
For example, if you use your computer for work and for personal use, have one folder within your main documents folder called “Work” and another called “Home”. You can further subcategorize those into more folders. Keep things simple. Too many folders becomes overwhelming and difficult to navigate
After you get your desktop cleaned up, keep it that way. Tim Lynch of Psychsoftpc says, "You should actually never use [your] desktop for anything other than shortcuts to frequently used programs. What is not commonly known is that you can actually create folder[s] on the desktop and put shortcuts in these to further organize things... you can even put shortcuts to other folders in these."
Your desktop should be clear of any files you aren’t immediately working on. Save current files within their permanent home, then create a desktop shortcut to access them easily.
It may take some time to set up this system, but if you stick to it all year long, next year’s spring cleaning will be simple. If you’d like to save older files, consider using a thumb drive or external hard drive. Or upload them to a free file-saving and sharing system like Box or DropBox, rather than saving them on your computer.
Save What’s Important...Forever
Many of us have our entire lives on our computers: treasured family photos, financial documents and work files — things that are irreplaceable. Depending on the frequency of your computer use, it's recommend weekly backups to archive your files.
Macs come with something called Time Machine, which allows you to back up to an external hard drive with ease. There are similar backup programs for PCs. These features pair well with other services that protect your files against fire, flood or other natural disasters (or even theft).
Services like Box and Dropbox have free versions of the account you can use. You can also upgrade to the pro services for more storage. There are also services like Mozy and Carbonite (just to name a few). To find the service that's right for you, research reviews on third-party sites and choose to compare their various features. If you need to archive sensitive files with personal or financial information, consider a service that is HIPAA-compliant. Even if you don’t have to comply with HIPAA, that level of security will keep you protected.
Lynch recommends you have both onsite and offsite backup. "I recommend having an onsite backup in addition to one of the internet systems. You can't trust that the internet will always be available [to you]," he says, "The internet is always slower than local access. What happens to your stuff if... you forget to pay your bill?"
Don’t Forget To Clean The Baseboards
Your computer needs more TLC than just moving your files around so you can find them. Go through and delete any old programs you don’t use anymore. To uninstall it properly, use the add and remove programs function on Windows or download a program called App Cleaner for Mac. But Lynch cautions us against removing programs unless you truly don't need them. They take time to download and larger hard drives are inexpensive these days.
Update your antivirus and firewall software, too. If you don’t have any, get some. There are plenty of free versions available. Norton and McAfee have their merits, but are more expensive and can be a bit clunky. Additionally, Lynch advises that Norton has been missing things lately. For free antivirus software, he recommends Microsoft Security Essentials (which is very good and free) and Superantispyware Free and Malwarebytes Free. "The free versions don't offer protection," he cautions, "but can be run once in a while or in case of emergency." He also explains that all programs will miss something.
Add A Little Spit And Polish
Finally, make sure your computer looks as good on the outside as its motherboard is feeling. There are a multitude of cleaning products on the market specifically designed for cleaning your computer. Under no circumstances should you use window cleaner as too much vinegar, ammonia or other cleaners can harm electronics or ruin your screen. Also avoid using paper towels or any other cleaning device that could leave residue.
Power your computer and monitor off (including all the accessories) and allow it to cool. Remove the batteries from your keyboard, mouse and other peripherals.
Use a microfiber cloth (or one provided by the manufacturer) to wipe down the screen with either monitor cleaner or a solution of distilled water and (optionally) a small amount (25 percent or less) vinegar. Make sure your cloth is only lightly dampened so nothing drips into any exposed electronics. Wipe it dry with a second microfiber cloth. Rub horizontally at all times (never in circles) and resist the urge to press hard or use your nails on stubborn spots. Look at your monitor from multiple angles to ensure you don’t miss anything or leave streaks.
Do the same to clean your desktop or laptop parts and keyboard. You can use a cotton swab to reach hard-to-clean places, but again, make sure it’s not dripping wet, only slightly damp, and don’t allow any water to seep into the electronics. Under no circumstances should you ever spray any kind of cleaner, even an approved electronics cleaner, directly on your machinery — spray it on the cloth instead.
If necessary, you can gently remove the keys from most keyboards (take a picture so you remember how it goes back later) using a fingernail or soft-edged instrument. You can soak them in a solution of lukewarm water with one or two drops of dish soap and use a soft-bristled toothbrush for extra-tough stains (be careful of the letters or characters on the keys).
You may want to leave large keys in place, as they can be hard to replace. Use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe the dampness off and allow them to air dry for 24 hours. Don’t put any keys back on the keyboard until they’re completely dry.
After spring cleaning and weekly (between cleanings), use compressed air to blow dust out of the keyboard and electronic components. Follow the directions carefully, as the propellant in compressed air can damage electronics if you spray too closely, for too long or at the wrong angle.
Happy April! Early this morning I read this story that brought a tear to my eye. It's the story of Staff Sgt. Jesse Knott and a cat named Koshka.
Knott met Koshka on base in the Maiwand District of Afghanistan, where the feline worked as the unofficial mouse catcher. But despite his service, Koshka wasn’t always taken care of. "He was my saving grace," Knott said. "He kept me alive during that tour."
"He was showing some signs that people weren't taking very good care of him," Knott told CBS Charlotte, NC affiliate WBTV. “I found paint in his fur a couple of times. And then people took clippers and shaved his back.” Concerned for the cat, Knott made room for Koshka in his office, even though soldiers aren’t allowed to have pets.
Then, on Dec. 8, 2011, a suicide bomber targeted a military convoy near Knott’s base and killed two of the soldier’s friends. Knott said he was struck by depression and was crying in his office when Koshka came to comfort him.
"With tears in my eyes he locked eyes with me, reached out with his paw and pressed it to my lips, then climbed down into my lap curled up and shared the moment with me,” he told the Clackamas Review.
That was when Knott decided that Koshka couldn’t stay in Afghanistan. "He pulled me out of one of my darkest times, so I had to pull him out of one of his darkest places," he said.
The soldier was unable to get his feline friend on a military convoy, so he forged a plan with a brave local interpreter who agreed to take the cat to Kabul. Both Koshka and the interpreter were at risk — if the man was discovered to be helping an American, the repercussions could be deadly.
"The risk to him was immense," Knott said. “This is a cat with a purple collar and an American-brand cat carrier, going halfway across Afghanistan, going across God knows how many Taliban checkpoints.”
But the interpreter got Koshka to the Kabul airport undetected, and Knott’s family paid $3,000 to fly the cat to their home in Oregon.
Since Koshka’s rescue, Knott has left Afghanistan and is now stationed in Washington state. When his military service ends, he plans to reunite with the cat that helped him through one of his darkest times.
The Oregon Humane Society honored Knott with their Diamond Collar Award.
I never thought that there would be such a price difference between pharmacies when it comes to prescription medication. This article talks about the generic versions, which depending on where you get them filled, are priced quiet differently. By doing some homework you could save big!
The next time your doctor writes you a prescription for a new generic drug, channel your inner bargain hunter and shop around, as it could save you a lot of money, a new survey from Consumer Reports has found.
When secret shoppers called more than 200 pharmacies around the United States to check the total price for a month's supply of five top-selling prescription drugs that recently went generic, they discovered an overall 447 percent difference — or $749 — between the highest- and lowest-priced stores.
"When blockbuster drugs go generic, a lot of irrational pricing happens," said Lisa Gill, editor of prescription drugs at Consumer Reports.
For the survey, secret shoppers gathered pricing information for five blockbuster drugs that had recently gone off patent, which allowed generic versions to enter the marketplace: Actos (pioglitazone), prescribed for diabetes; Lexapro (escitalopram), an antidepressant; Lipitor (atorvastatin), prescribed for high cholesterol; Plavix (clopidogrel), a blood thinner; and Singulair (montelukast), an asthma medication.
Pharmacies surveyed included big-box stores, like Costco and Walmart; national chain pharmacies, such as CVS and Walgreens; online retailers HealthWarehouse.com and FamilyMeds.com; supermarket pharmacies; and smaller, independent pharmacies.
Overall, Costco had the lowest prices for each of the generic drugs checked. What's more, people didn't have to join the club to use the pharmacy, Gill said.
Some of the smaller, independent pharmacies also offered affordable prescriptions.
"That was the real shocker," Gill said. "Prices at independent pharmacies were all over the map for these drugs."
Among the national chain stores, CVS, Rite Aid and Target were the priciest, according to the survey.
For example, a month's supply of Actos (30 mg dose) was $101 at Costco, compared with $160 at Walmart and $295 at CVS. Prices at independent pharmacies and supermarkets ranged from $37 to $393. The cost was $141 and $140, respectively, at HealthWarehouse.com and FamilyMeds.com.
At Costco, a month's supply of Singulair (10 mg dose) was $27, compared with $57 at Walmart and $165 at CVS. Prices at independent pharmacies and supermarkets ranged from $10 to $193. Both HealthWarehouse.com and FamilyMeds.com charged $29.
Location also affected pricing, with urban pharmacies tending to have higher prices than rural ones. For instance, an independent pharmacy in Raleigh, N.C., charged $203 for a 30-day supply of Actos, while a rural North Carolina store charged just $37, Gill said.
Why Prices Vary
One reason for the lower costs at big-box stores is that their pharmacies are intended to "build traffic," said Stephen W. Schondelmeyer, professor of pharmacy economics at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, who was not involved in the survey. In those stores, pharmacy sales account for less than 5 percent of total revenues, he added.
By contrast, big chains like CVS and Walgreens, as well as independent pharmacies, rely on prescription sales to make up a bigger chunk of their revenues — in turn, bumping up prices at those stores, Schondelmeyer explained.
However, consumers may be willing to pay more at other stores because they offer convenience or other perks, Gill said. For example, Costco pharmacies are generally open from 10 a.m. until 7:00 or 8:30 p.m. and are often closed on Sundays, the survey found. By contrast, CVS has a 24-hour pharmacy service, automated prescription refills and drive-through windows. Also, stores like CVS and Rite Aid have more locations than Costco, allowing consumers to save time and gas.
The wide range of prices found in the survey is not the norm for generic drugs that have been on the market for more than a year, Schondelmeyer said. Therefore, the time to comparison-shop is when a popular drug first goes off patent. Typically, the prescription price will drop to about one-tenth of its name-brand price during the first year it is on the market, and then stabilize.
Gill gave the following tips for keeping prescription drug costs down:
Go generic, if possible. Generic drugs usually cost less than brand-name drugs.
Request the lowest price. Don’t assume the first price quoted is the lowest, Gill said.
Some of Gill's secret shoppers told pharmacy employees they were paying out of pocket and asked if a better price were available. In some cases, it was. Also, ask about student and senior discounts.
Visit smaller towns. Urban areas are generally pricier than rural areas.
Ask for a 90-day supply instead of a 30-day refill. Discounts on three-month supplies are common.
Consider paying the retail price. The survey found that Costco, drugstore websites and some independent pharmacies charged less than the co-pay of some insurance companies.
Check out additional discounts. Many chain pharmacies, big-box stores, club stores and large supermarkets have discount prescription programs, Gill said. For example, Walmart charges $4 for a 30-day supply of some generic medications, but $10 for a 90-day supply. She noted that the programs may not include every dosage of a drug, and many do not allow people to use insurance to pay for the drugs.
Schondelmeyer cautioned against pharmacy-hopping, no matter how tempting the deal is.
"I am all for consumers being wise shoppers, but it is important that people get all their medications from one pharmacy," he said. That way, the pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions and make sure one drug doesn't cancel out the benefits of another.
Dogs may have a reputation as man’s best friend, but at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, it’s the cats that are best buds with the dogs.
Since the 1980s, the zoo and its safari park have paired cheetahs with companion dogs to provide the cats with guidance and help them feel more comfortable. For endangered felines that don’t breed easily, a canine companion can make a world of difference.
“A dominant dog is very helpful because cheetahs are quite shy instinctively, and you can’t breed that out of them,” said Janet Rose-Hinostroza, animal training supervisor at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “When you pair them, the cheetah looks to the dog for cues and learns to model their behavior. It’s about getting them to read that calm, happy-go-lucky vibe from the dog.”
This relationship relaxes the cheetahs and helps them better respond to each other, so they can reproduce and rebuild their endangered species.
The cats are difficult to breed because they’re not social animals. They live independently, and females don't go into heat like other cats — they have to be brought into estrus by a male cheetah.
A century ago, there were 100,000 cheetahs in the wild — fewer than 12,000 remain today. But thanks, in part, to its dog companion program, the San Diego Zoo leads the world in breeding the cats. In the past 40 years, 135 cheetahs have been born at its breeding facility.
We're taught not to judge a book by it's cover. But since books, along with most things in our lives, have been digitized that rule seems to be disappearing...at least accordign to this report.
People judge each other on what they drive, what they wear and where they live, so it’s not a surprise that people may also judge each other on what electronics they whip out to use in public.
“Identity is interwoven into those kinds of choices,” said Coye Cheshire, associate professor of sociology at the Berkeley School of Information.
iPhone vs Android
The iPhone seems to carry cachet for many users, said Cheshire, and Apple’s devices are often seen as the “highest-end consumer products” in the gadget world. The iPhone is also for those who don’t have time to “tinker in menus.” In essence, an iPhone doesn’t say a person isn’t tech-savvy, but rather advertises that, “I have far more important things to do with my time.”
There also seems to be a well-formed iPhone or iOS hipster identity, at least according to Hunch, a taste-predictor engine that uses Internet behavior research to predict what different people will like. Those with Apple products made up 32 percent of 15,818 users surveyed in 2011; they seemed to skew older than 35, and were more likely to be female and have a graduate degree than people using other products. Did we mention these users are also more likely to be liberal and make more than $200,000 a year? They’re extroverted, enjoy spending money and define themselves as “high-maintenance.”
“The iPhone became a status symbol because people equated smartphone with iPhone,” said Roslyn Layton, a Ph.D. candidate in Internet economics at the University of Copenhagen. “It actually helped the sales of many kinds of smartphones, because people finally understood what a smartphone meant.”
Android users, on the other hand, seem to skew more rural (86 percent more likely than iPhone users to live in a rural area), are more likely to vote conservatively (20 percent more than iPhone users) and are 10 percent more likely to be male. Google’s Admob agreed with that observation in 2010, noting that men made up 73 percent of Android users. People using Google phones are also more likely than iPhone users to have never left their home country (71 percent) and to use Yahoo email (50 percent). Interestingly, users of Google’s OS are proud pet owners (12 percent more likely than iPhone owners) and tend to like Comedy Central.
Android users may be making a statement against the iPhone. Most people have reference groups, or people they hang out with or aspire to be, said Brent McFerran, a marketing professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. “People either want to be like that group or disassociate themselves from another group by doing the opposite,” he said.
Blackberry Users, Windows Phone Fans
Some may make an even bigger statement by using other smartphone operating systems. The Hunch survey seemed to relegate BlackBerry and the Windows Phone to a footnote, with BlackBerry users labeled as introverted city folk (equally likely to be male or female) who like to travel; it summed up Windows Phone users as politically moderate, suburban soccer moms.
But to be honest, those using the Windows Phone may be considered singular or daring, but those using a last-generation BlackBerry are just as likely to be called dinosaurs. That huge keyboard? Few apps to choose from?
NBC New York reported in December of 2011 that robbers targeting the Columbia University campus were handing back other smartphones because they only wanted iPhones, particularly for their high resale value. “I wonder what (the BlackBerry owners) did and thought afterwards,” Cheshire said about the theft. BlackBerry certainly hopes its new Z10 and Q10 phones will be more valued by shoppers and thieves alike, thanks to a sleek new interface. However, while the new BlackBerry 10 software powers phones, BlackBerry hasn’t said whether it will be releasing a tablet.
These debates are more important now, because the battle isn’t for individual devices anymore, but for ecosystems, said Charles S. Golvin, with Forrester Research. “Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft all aim to translate customers’ investments — of money, information, personalization and social connections — into a gravitational field of loyalty so powerful that few customers will ever attain escape velocity,” he wrote. Apple and Samsung have the most pull right now in the mobile world.
Mac vs. PC Users
The Mac is another Apple product with a controversial identity. According to an April 2011 survey by Hunch, PC users tend to be suburban and rural, while Mac users are far more likely to be overeducated, vegetarian urbanites. PC users are more like to stop by the meme site I Can Haz Cheezburger, while Mac users want a peek at the Huffington Post.
But Hunch also reports that Mac users consider themselves early adopters, while PC users are “later adopters.” The Apple owners are also more likely to be ages 18 to 34, compared to the PC users’ 35-to-49 demographic. More than half of Hunch’s 388,315 respondents owned PCs, representing a much bigger chunk than the Mac users’ 25 percent. Also, 23 percent of those surveyed chose not to enter the Mac versus PC debate and declined either label. Who can blame them for not claiming either the neoliberal hipster or Joe Six-Pack identity?
Tablets for Young and Old
Tablets have all kinds of users. However, most are considered leisure users, according to Frank N. Magid Associates. Unlike the first wave of tablet owners, people in the second wave tend to use the device occasionally, are less tech savvy, and more likely to be female and older than 50.
Those numbers differ somewhat from comScore’s assertion in October 2011 that young, male early adopters are the ones using tablets. That said, comScore did report that tablet usage is nearing gender parity, so users are just as likely to be male as female. Still, tablet users are more likely to be college educated, employed and have a six-figure income, according to Vertic in 2011.
The new class warfare?
Some experts say that making judgments based on the technology people use says something about wealth and privilege. “A lot of what we are looking at are class distinctions and status expectations,” Cheshire said.
Kathy M. Newman, an English professor who specializes in media studies at Carnegie Mellon University, said that what most people forget is that electronics also signify class and income level. “When households make $150,000 or more, three-quarters of that group has a smartphone,” she said.” I think smartphones tell us more about how old you are and how much money you have, not about one’s personality.”
Still, others say that it’s not realistic to expect people to stop making judgments about electronic devices. “In the 1970s, didn’t they say, ‘You are what you drive?’” Layton asked. “Now, it’s the smartphone you have that says everything about you.”
Tossing and turning when you should be sleeping is not fun. Did you know that certain foods are conducive to sound slumber? Include more of these healthy foods in your diet for a good night's sleep.
"Turkey is rich in the amino acid tryptophan which helps promote a restful, deep sleep. Tryptophan itself doesn't make you sleepy," says Horn. It helps the brain make serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is necessary for sleep and relaxation, and melatonin, a neurohormone that has recently become popular as a supplemental sleep aid.
Despite being maligned by the low-carb movement, potatoes rank low on the Glycemic Index, a ranking of carbohydrates and their effect on blood glucose levels. Sweet potatoes and potatoes are a root vegetables that won't spike your blood sugar too high and can even help eliminate acids that block tryptophan. Make mashed potatoes with low-fat milk or buttermilk for a healthy sleep-inducing meal.
Bananas are a natural sleeping aid in that they contain melatonin and tryptophan (which converts to serotonin) to help you fall asleep. "Melatonin is a hormone that signals the brain that it's time for the body to shut down for the night," explains Horn. Plus, these creamy-fleshed fruits also contain magnesium, which is a known muscle relaxer to help you ease away physical tension and stress.
Mothers have been giving kids warm milk before bed for years. "Warm milk is another rich source of tryptophan, which is soothing and will help your body relax," says Horn. Be warned, however, "The combination of turkey and milk together can turn you into a bit of a gassy lassie," says Horn. "Do not try this out if you're in a new relationship!"
Oatmeal not only warms your belly, it's full of fiber, which can make you feel satisfied before heading to bed. A steamy bowl of cooked oats is also a good source of melatonin. Drizzle your bowl of oatmeal with warm milk for an extra dose of sleep-inducing nutrition.
Supplements to help you sleep
If all else fails, you can take mineral supplements that will help ease you to sleep without the negative side effects of prescription sleeping aids.
Horn recommends these supplements as a natural way to get your Z's:
"Or taking an Epsom salt bath before bed is another wonderful source of magnesium -- some of which gets absorbed via the skin," says Horn. "Dump two cups of salts into a warm bath and soak for 15 minutes. Gorgeous you!"
Changing your diet, taking supplements and soaking in a bath are easy and natural ways to ensure you get the sleep you need.
My plan is set. A milestone birthday is les than a year away and me and my best friend (who has the same milestone just 6 days ahead of me) are planning a trip to London to celebrate. So now I'm looking into flights and hotel and it's not cheap to travel overseas! A new study from the GBTA Foundation suggests the price for flights domestically will rise 4.6% and 8.3% for international tickets in 2013. To offset the jump in prices, here are ten ways to cut the cost of airfare. So I found these 10 tips on getting the best price on plane tickets.
1. Save when the flight is oversold
Airlines often overbook flights in the event a passenger doesn’t show up for the flight, this way flights are always flying at full capacity. But in the event everyone is at the gate and no one canceled their flight, the airline will ask a few passengers to volunteer to fly on another flight later that day, since the original one was oversold. If no one volunteers, usually the last person to check-in will be bumped to the next flight.
If you volunteer, expect to receive some form of compensation – whether it’s cash or a free flight voucher. Depending on what the airline is offering you, it may be worth hoping on the next flight, as the compensation may cover the costs of the ticket price.
2. Talk to the airline
You may resort to online sites to compare prices of fares across various airlines, but don’t forget to contact the airlines directly.
“Airlines like Southwest don't allow their airfare to be posted to third-party sites, so you could overlook a better deal," says consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch. "Also, buying directly from the airline will reduce the hassle associated with dealing with a third party in cases of flight changes or cancellations.”
3. Book airfare and hotels
Booking a flight and hotel at the same time can result in significant savings. “A Travelocity study found that you can save up to $525," says Courtney Scott senior editor at Travelocity. "Plus, these packages are dynamic so you can choose any flight and hotel combination – they are not pre-packaged – it just means booking at the same time.”
4. Fly out of a smaller airport
The lower cost carriers will typically fly out of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, instead of the busier hub in Miami, even though both cities are relatively close to one another. If you’re always flying into a city’s main airport, you could find yourself paying top dollar. Other examples include flying into Burbank, California instead of Los Angeles and Oakland, California instead of San Francisco.
5. Choose the days you fly wisely
Airline prices fluctuate – constantly.
“It's usually cheaper to fly during the week than on the weekends," says Melisse Hinkle, travel expert and editor of Cheapflights.com. "The middle of the week is golden for travelers. Airlines and hotels know that Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday are the easiest times to travel, so prices are higher.”
6. Time matters
The most cost effective flights are the ones during odd hours of the day – including the first flights of the day at 6 a.m. and the red eyes overnight. “I recently researched a flight from Denver to Orlando, and the cost for a 8:15 a.m. departure is $298," says blogger Kendal Perez of HassleFreeSavings.com. "The 12:42 p.m. departure cost $70 more at $368. Similarly, a return flight at 8:32 p.m. from New York (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX) on JetBlue cost $129 -- whereas the 11 a.m. flight cost $198.”
7. Book well in advance
While this is tough for business travelers who need to fly for an unexpected meeting, aim to book flights several weeks in advance when the prices are lower.
“For domestic flights, if a consumer books 12-35 days before departure, they can save up to 6%,” says Kayak.com spokesperson Maria Katime.
8. Coupon Codes
When you see a space to enter in a coupon code on an airline’s website, don’t skip over it – you’re missing out on savings.
“Treat this process like shopping for clothing," says Jon Lal, founder of BeFrugal.com. "Some airline providers like JetBlue have sales. You can also find coupon codes online and earn cash back (a portion of your online purchase that is deposited into an account for you) when you buy online.”
9. Airport Parking
If you’re traveling for over a week, paying the daily parking fee at the airport is bound to add-up, especially since these parking fees cost upwards of $20 per day.
A cheaper alternative is to check some of the parking lots near the airport. “These lots sometimes offer direct shuttle service to the airport with rates are as low as $3.99 per day," says Woroch. "Check AirportReservationsParking.com for a list of places to park on the cheap."
10. Special fares
For students and young people, it never hurts to ask the airline if there is a special discount.
“There are plenty of organizations that cater to student travelers," Hinkle adds. "Search online for student-only airfares or try last-minute stand-by tickets for reduced fares. There are also youth fares -- discounted tickets for ages 18-22 and you don't have to be a student to use them.”
Ladies, are you getting enough of these 8 essential nutrients? Do you need to take a multivitamin? Take a look at these 8 nutrients and see if you are getting enough or not.
If you’re drinking your milk and eating other calcium-rich foods, it’s a good start. The National Osteoporosis Foundation says enough calcium can reduce bone loss later in life, and most ladies do not get enough of this nutrient. Your daily 8-ounce latte doesn’t cut it, gals. Leafy greens, seafood and legumes are good sources. Make sure to get: 1,000 mg a day if you’re of childbearing age, 1,200 mg a day after menopause.
Our bodies convert CoQ10 into ubiquinol, which gets harder after the age of 40. Normal portions of food do not provide the adequate amounts of CoQ10 needed to convert into an ample daily supply of ubiquinol, says Keri Glassman, a nutrition expert and author of The New You (and Improved!) Diet: 8 Rules to Lose Weight and Change Your Life Forever. “Optimal ubiquinol levels are important for anyone looking to support cardiovascular, neurological and liver health,” says Glassman.
She says it is also the strongest known lipid-soluble antioxidant that’s beneficial for anti-aging; plus, it may also help to counter the side effects of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. Make sure you get: Foods rich in CoQ10 such as oily fish, meat, whole grains, certain veggies, and olive and sesame oils.
This is quite the super-nutrient these days, as more studies tout the benefits of getting adequate vitamin D. It helps your body maintain the right amount of calcium and phosphorus in the blood, and helps form and maintain strong bones, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements.
Other perks: It can help your immune system and may improve muscle strength. Get out in the sun but wear sunscreen, and make sure to eat eggs and salmon during winter months if you don’t get enough sun. Make sure to get: 600 IU a day for women up to age 70; 800 IU if you are over 71; 600 IU daily if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
These can soothe inflammation in the body, boost heart health and help to prevent cancer. “Since our bodies cannot make omega-3s on their own, we need supplementation from our diet,” Glassman notes. Make sure you get: Fatty fish, ground flaxseed, canola oil, chia seeds or a supplement.
Many women have developed anemia as a result of not getting enough iron, but be warned that too much can be harmful. Iron helps your body distribute oxygen in the blood. Make sure to get: 18 mg a day if you are menstruating; 27 mg a day for pregnant women; 9 mg a day if you are breastfeeding; and 8 mg day if you are post-menopause.
Folate is a B vitamin that helps your body make red blood cells, can prevent birth defects and lowers levels of the amino acid homocysteine. Make sure to get: 400 mcg a day; 500 mcg a day for pregnant women; 600 mcg a day for breastfeeding women.
Don’t miss out on magnesium, girls: It can helps produce energy in your cells, maintain muscles and nerves, steady your heart rhythm, boost your immunity, build bones, and regulate blood sugar and blood pressure. Good sources of magnesium include spinach and other fresh vegetables; stick to unprocessed foods, including whole grains and fruits, to get the most .
Make sure you get: 310 to 320 mg daily; 350 to 360 mg if pregnant.
Vitamin C is another nutrient that you may think you’ve got cornered, but if you’re not eating citrus fruits you may be missing out; dark veggies are also a good source. Make sure you get: 75 mg per day; 85 mg a day if you are pregnant; 120 mg a day if breastfeeding; and an additional 35 mg if you smoke.
So, could a multivitamin give you all of these nutrients?
“Sometimes you may not need a multivitamin at all, sometimes you may need a multivitamin with no need for anything else and sometimes you may just need particular nutrients,” says Glassman, noting that it depends on an individual’s needs and other factors.
Talking to your doctor is a good idea to see which nutrients you need, and working in some of these healthy foods can be a good idea as well. Together, a healthy diet and supplements can help make sure you get the right nutrients for your individual needs.
Not all disinfectants are created equally. That's a shock to me and in fact some disinfectants can be harmful to both your health and the environment.
To help you choose the right disinfectant for each situation, here are some of the pros and cons of a variety of germ-busting agents.
Bleach is a relatively inexpensive and highly effective disinfectant. It not only cleans up dirt and mold, but also kills some of the most dangerous bacteria, including staphylococcus, streptococcus, E. coli and salmonella – as well as viruses like the flu and the common cold.
However, bleach is also one of the most harmful disinfectants to human health and has been linked to respiratory problems and birth defects. Bleach may also be hazardous to wildlife and the environment. There are greener alternatives in disinfecting wipes and cleaning sprays, however, these eco-friendly choices may not be as effective in killing bacteria and viruses. Also note that both bleach and greener bleach alternatives are intended to disinfect surfaces in the home and are should not be used on the skin.
Soap and Water
Store shelves are filled with products that boast antimicrobial properties. There is a common misconception that antibacterial soap, in particular, is effective in eradicating all germs. Although antibacterial soap may kill some bacteria, it is no more effective in doing so than regular soap, and does nothing to fight viruses like colds or the flu.
In fact, many health experts advise against using antibacterial products, as most contain a potentially harmful ingredient called triclosan, which some researchers say is an endocrine disrupter. Moreover, overuse of these products has led to antibiotic resistance and the rise of so-called superbugs.
Although it may be a more eco-friendly cleaning solution than chemical-based products, ammonia is not registered as a disinfectant by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Although ammonia might kill salmonella and E. coli, it is not an effective defense against dangerous staphylococcus bacteria.
Alcohol-based Hand Sanitizers
Claims that hand sanitizers kill 99.9 percent of germs have recently been addressed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The agency advises consumers to wash their hands often, especially before handling food, and cautions against buying over-the-counter hand sanitizers that claim to prevent infection from MRSA, salmonella, E. coli, the flu, or other bacteria and viruses, as the claims aren’t supported by the FDA. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also warns that these products are largely ineffective against the norovirus. Some hand sanitizers may also contain triclosan.
Vinegar can be used as a safer bleach alternative for some applications, like cleaning. It is also biodegradable. However, vinegar is not a registered disinfectant and does not kill dangerous bacteria like staphylococcus.
Hydrogen peroxide has antimicrobial ingredients and can be an effective household cleaner. It is also highly biodegradable. However, concentrated hydrogen peroxide is extremely dangerous and should only be used as a disinfectant at concentrations lower than 3 percent.
Although baking soda is often used a household cleaner, it is ineffective against most bacteria, including salmonella, E. coli. and staphylococcus. If you suspect there has been a contamination of any of these bacteria, ditch the baking soda in favor of a product registered as a disinfectant by the EPA.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a natural, biodegradable antiseptic that can be useful for treating minor cuts and wounds. However, it may not be strong enough to kill viruses and more powerful bacteria.
It's easy to find out the baby names people like, but figuring out what they dislike is much harder. It turns out there really is a thin line between love and hate. Many of the names that are most popular on the list supplied annually by the Social Security Administration are also the same names that are the most disliked. Call it a backlash against trendy. LiveScience.com says it succinctly: "A quick track to baby-name fame seems to also trigger hate for that name." The number one name that people dislike the most is Nevaeh, which is "heaven" spelled backward. This made-up name for girls didn't even exist until the 1990s, but skyrocketed in popularity from 2003 to 2007 when it shot up from the 150th most common baby name to the 31st.
The top 10 most hated boys' names:
The top 10 most hated girls' names:
What is it exactly that people hate about these names?
People really hate gender-bending names, especially when a masculine name becomes feminine. Example: Addison.
People dislike names they can't spell or names with made-up spellings, such as Kaitlyn. Mind you, Caitlin is fine because that spelling is traditional.
People spurn names that confer a virtue onto a child, such as Destiny.
Ugly names, such as Gertrude or Bertha, are also disliked.
Violent names, such as Hunter, are detested by some.
Brand names, such as Bentley, are considered trashy.
Some people hate ordinary names, which they consider boring. That's why Michael is on the top 10 list of most disliked names.
Meanwhile, imagine a schoolroom filled with children named Abner, Milton, Clementine and Susannah. This isn't something from the late 1800s. It could be coming to school near you in the next decade or so. These and other old-fashioned names are poised to make a comeback, displacing Aiden, Michael, Chloe and Sophia, according to Nameberry.com. The following classic names were all popular in the past -- sometimes the quite distant past -- but all may be making a second act soon.
This could be a game changer in the battle against breast cancer. A new “smart” sports-bra styled brassiere can detect cell mutations in the breasts up to six years before they might be picked up by a traditional mammogram, says the company behind the bra.
Dubbed the “First Warning System,” the device contains 16 small sensors that monitor heat patterns and the shape of the breast to track minute changes in temperature caused by the growth of blood vessels. The bra’s computer then compares deep tissue abnormalities picked up with its sensors to bioinformatic profiles of cancerous tissues, which the company says allows them to deliver a detection alert with up to 90 percent accuracy.
Remarkably, the bra is so sensitive that it can detect tumors that have only been developing for a few years. Mammograms are unable to detect tumors that young.
The company, First Warning Systems, has yet to release clinical trial data for the device that has been in the works for decades, but it is currently in its fourth and final clinical trial. They hope to have FDA approval and get the bra on the market within a year.
Tired of the same old hunt? Easter egg hunts can be fun for all ages, especially when you put a new twist on the festivities. Here are a few new ways to outsmart the Easter rabbit this year.
Why not send your kids hunting for Easter treasures at twilight instead of first thing in the morning? Even though it won't yet be dark, hand them flashlights, and send them on their way. They'll be sure to love this new twist on the traditional egg hunt. If it's highly unlikely your child will be able to wait all day to search, either set up the hunt the night before or give your children a little something from the Easter bunny in the morning with a note that explains they can't search for their loot until dark.
Treasure Egg Hunt
Aye, aye mateys! A fun spin on an egg hunt is to send your kids searching for "buried" treasure. Give your children eye patches and maps to follow to find their hidden treasure eggs. Leave clues along the way from the Easter bunny ("fur," paw prints or even carrots) to let them know they're on the right trail. You can hide fun-filled eggs along the way and when they reach the end of the hunt, they will find their treasure. Burying the treasure is optional.
To make sure each child gets the same number of eggs, assign them their own color. But to instill a little friendly competition, tell the kids there is one color they can all search for: Gold. Hide one golden egg in the bunch. Whoever finds that egg gets an extra special prize. Just don't forget where you hid the eggs or how many eggs the kids are supposed to find. Make sure the eggs for younger hunters are easier to find.
Tell your children the Easter bunny left them a puzzle, and they have to locate all of the puzzle pieces to find out what the grand finale prize is. To set up the puzzle, on a large sheet of paper, write a message to your children. Then, divide up the paper to look like puzzle pieces and cut out the individual pieces. Hide each piece in an egg. Once the kids have found all of the puzzle pieces, they can lay them out on the floor to read their special message and find the big prize the Easter bunny left for them.
Creative (and sugar-free) Egg Stuffers
Mix it up this year and take the candy out of Easter. Yes, you read that right — ditch the sugar. The kids are already "hopped" up enough on their natural energy anyway. Fill the eggs with fun surprises the children will never expect.
-IOU notes (Example: One large banana split to make up for all the sugar lost on Easter!)
I won't pretend to know a lot about basketball but every year I get sucked into chipping in $20 to pick college basketball teams bracket pool. I found the less I know about the teams the better I do!
College basketball brackets have become an American tradition. You know how it works, everyone fills out a bracket, each correct pick is worth a pre-determined number of points, and whoever ends up with the highest total at the end of the tourney wins.
But if you find yourself bored with the current set up, look into spicing things up and make it more interesting, look into these tournament bracket alternatives as reported by The Slate'sAlan Siegel:
The Every-Game-Counts Method
In the typical pool, the point totals increase incrementally by round: You get one point for each game you pick correctly in the Round of 64, two points for the Round of 32, four for the Sweet 16, eight for the Elite Eight, 16 for the Final Four, and 32 for the championship game. The easiest way to switch things up: Make everything—from the 1-16 matchups in the first round to the title game—worth a single point.
Pros: You’ll care about every game. Cons: If someone picks a huge amount of early winners, the pool could be locked up before the Final Four. And some lucky yokel could win the whole thing without picking any of the Final Four teams correctly.
The Round-Times-Seed Method
This is a close relative of the standard bracket challenge, in which the point totals increase as we get deeper into the tournament. In this version, you multiply the points you get for picking a winner by the winning team’s seed. For example, if you correctly predict that Oklahoma, a No. 10 seed, wins in the Round of 32, you get 20 points—the standard two points for a victory multiplied by 10. Cha-ching!
Pros: The joy of the NCAA Tournament comes in watching underdogs take down traditional powers. With this system, those big upsets are even more exciting (and more remunerative). Cons: This system heavily penalizes incorrect underdog picks. Since each successive round is worth twice as much as the previous round, knocking off 1 and 2 and 3 seeds is an extremely dangerous strategy as, after all, they are by far the most likely to actually advance to the valuable late rounds. Live by the underdog, die by the underdog.
The Blind-Draw Method
Put the names of every tournament team in a hat (or in one of those spinning lottery drums, if one is available) and have each participant draw one at a time. After everybody has picked once, repeat the process until there are no teams left. Blind-draw pools are scored like traditional pools—each win notched is worth a pre-determined number of points. At the end of the tourney, the spoils go to the person with the most points.
Pros: It’s a stress-free selection process. This method frees you from worrying about the potentially disastrous picks you would’ve otherwise spent hours contemplating. Cons: It takes zero thought or skill.
The Square Method
The tried-and-true Super Bowl method comes to March Madness. Print out a grid, like this one. Fill each of 100 squares with a participant’s name. Here’s how the website Squares Madness explains the next step: After all the squares are taken, “randomly assign numbers 0 through 9 to each column, followed by doing the same for each row. Now each square represents a specific score in the game based on the column and row numbers.” Then, for every game, assign one team to the y-axis and the other to the x-axis. If you match the last digits of the winning and losing team’s final scores, you’re the big winner.
Pros: You have 60-plus chances to win. Cons: You’re rooting for scores, not teams.
The Auction Method
Every team is up for grabs, and you can bid on whom you want in your stable. In some variations, each participant has a maximum budget, and you can blow that allotment on a couple of the best teams or diversify with a large group of Cinderellas. In the version that Grinnell College professor Erik Simpson helped come up with, “teams are bought in a standard auction format, with rising bids in 10-cent increments.” Then, each game that one of your teams wins is worth a certain percentage of the total pot. (For example, in Simpson’s pool, each victory in the round of 64 is worth 1.25 percent of the kitty.)
Pros: In an email, Daniel Lauve, who developed his own auction format, said: “It’s a good way to personalize the tournament. Each team is tied to exactly one person, and the ‘portfolios’ that people put together usually reflect their personalities. There’s a certain machismo that always results in No. 1 seeds being overbid, and people who don't follow basketball can pick schools they like and participate for a buck or two.” Cons: Organizing a live auction is a pain. Then again, live auctions are really fun. And somebody gets to bang a gavel.
The Team Draft Method
After drawing for draft order, each member of your group selects a handful of teams, presumably starting with the highly ranked squads, then moving on to the lower seeds. The draft continues until all the teams in the tournament are divvied up. Each participant must have the same number of teams. (If there are leftovers, those teams sit on the sidelines, irrelevant to everyone.) You earn points for each game your teams win.
Pros: You get a varied menu of teams to cheer on—a couple of powerhouses, a few mid-tier squads, and a group of sleepers.
Cons: Since you’re working with a limited subset of the tournament participants, there will be some games that you don’t care about (at least for gambling purposes).
The Compulsive Gambler’s Method
This one is based on a World Cup pool. Before each game, everybody in the pool puts a dollar (or any fixed amount) on the team they think is going to win. The winning group then splits the pot. For example, if there are 25 participants and 23 pick Kansas to beat Western Kentucky, a Jayhawks win will net the Kansas backers $1.09 each. (25 divided by 23 equals 1.09.)
Pros: What’s better than wagering money on a bajillion college basketball games? Cons: Somebody’s got to keep track of a whole lot of bankrolls.
The Survivor Pool Method
This system works like an NFL suicide pool, where you can only pick each team once. First, you pick two winners for Day 1 (the first Thursday) and two winners for Day 2 (the first Friday). To stay alive, all your teams have to win. If you make it to Day 3 (Saturday) unscathed, you only have to pick a single winner. One loss is fatal, but like in Super Mario Bros., you actually have three lives. During the tourney’s first weekend, you can buy back in up to three times by paying another entry fee. However, every time you buy back in, it gets harder to advance.
Buy back after Thursday’s games and you have to pick four winners on Friday; buy back after Friday’s games and you need to pick five winners on Saturday; buy back during Saturday’s games and you need six winners on Day 4 (Sunday). On Sunday, and every day of the tournament thereafter, you need only pick a single winner per day. The last survivor wins the whole pot.
Pros: The buy-back process may be a bit fraught and complex, but otherwise this is pretty simple. At most, you’re only picking a handful of games at a time. Cons: You may suffer a quick, painful death.
The Fantasy Draft Method
As if you’re not in enough fantasy leagues. In this case, forget secondary offensive stats and defense—just draft a bunch of players and tally up how many points they score. “You aren’t necessarily looking for the best player, but rather the guy who is going to play the most number of games and score the most total points,” Evan Pfaff wrote on his website, Big 12 Hoops. He calls this system a “gunner draft.” Whoever gets the best gunners wins.
Pros:Risk can be rewarded, handsomely. Imagine if you gambled on Stephen Curry in 2008. During that year’s tournament, the skinny sharpshooter averaged 32 points over four games for No. 10 seed Davidson.
Cons: A low-seeded gem like Curry is rare. The most valuable players are the ones on teams likely to go deep in the tournament. That means you’ll be rooting against upsets and picking the starting lineups of Duke, Indiana, and Kansas. D’oh.
The Ted Gooley Method
In March 2011, the Wall Street Journal’s Carl Bialik profiled biostatistician Ted Gooley, a researcher at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. In 2007, he unveiled an NCAA pool designed to reward upset picks.
“Each correct pick was worth one point divided by the probability that the pick would be correct,” Bialik wrote. “If a team has a 50 percent chance of winning its first game, picking that team would be worth two points. A team with a 20 percent chance would be worth five points—if it won. The goal is to set a fair price for each pick; the favored teams are likely to win but aren't worth many points, while underdogs pay off more if they pull off the upset.”
As Bialik explains, Gooley “gathered the results from every tournament since 1985 to see how often teams with a given seed advanced in each round. Then he used the raw numbers to create a statistical model that calculates probabilities even for events that never have happened.”
In an email, Gooley told me his system remains sound, although in some cases the point totals have changed. For example, he said, “in 2013, a 15 seed … beating a 2 seed is worth 24.0 points as opposed to in 2011, where this outcome netted you 27.2 points. This is because a 15 seed beating a 2 seed is ‘more likely’ in 2013 than it was in 2011 (and hence worth fewer points), due mainly to the fact that two 15-seeds won games in the first round last year.” (If you’re intrigued by Gooley’s method, check out the Simple Bracket iPhone app, a Kickstarter-funded project that uses the researcher’s NCAA tournament scoring system. At the moment, this is the only way to get the Gooley scoring system.)
Pros: Because upsets are worth so much more, it forces timid participants to go out on a limb. “I think mine is the fairest and most equitable way of assigning points,” Gooley told the Journal.
Cons: The scoring system may be fair, but it’s quite complex. Good luck keeping track of everyone’s point total.
The Bill James Method
Bialik’s 2011 exploration of NCAA tournament pool methodology also included a pool developed by stats guru Bill James. The James approach requires each participant to pick one No. 1 seed, one No. 2 seed, one No. 3 seed, and so on down the line. Everyone is allowed to pick whomever they want—there’s no draft or auction. You get points every time one of your teams wins, with victories by underdogs and wins later in the tournament counting extra.
Pros:As James told Bialik, “Since it was virtually impossible to have duplicate entries, every ballot was unique, and you could choose whoever you wanted.” And as opposed to draft and auction methods, this system allows for tournament pools of any size.
Cons: You don’t get to fill out a bracket. Where’s the fun in that?
Spring is just around the corner and those walking down the aisle will be putting together the final touches. One trend I think is awesome is the Bride wearing eco-friendly wedding dresses. Most wedding dresses are made in China by workers paid minimally (and sometimes less) from low-quality materials, yet they command high price tags and are sold as a luxury, with the average cost about $1,050, according to "One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding" by Rebecca Mead.
Save that cash for the honeymoon and buy domestically made dresses created from lower-impact fabrics. Just click on the link for a picture and ordering information:
The Athena hemp wedding dress by Tara Lynn is made from silk and hemp, by hand in Vermont (and still clocks in at only $1,100); available in sizes 2-14, it can be special-ordered to your exact measurements for an additional fee.
Eco-Bridal gowns includes consignment of used gowns as well as new ones made from upcycled materials and made-to-order gowns.
Threadhead Creations specializes in unique gowns made with low-impact materials, like this dress, which is fashioned from hemp silk and made by hand.
Leanne Marshall was a Project Runway winner who designs bridal gowns as well as collections in the spring and autumn. Her dresses run the gamut from short and sweet cocktail-type dresses, and more traditional lace versions like the one above.
Pure Magnolia dresses come in classic styles, couture, and vintage designs. Made with silk and lined in organic cotton, each dress is made to order.
A wedding dress that good for the environment, good for American workers and good for your wallet? Sounds like a winner to me!
If you've yet to have kids,here are some suggestions on what to appreciate before you welcome a child, according to current moms everywhere:
1. Enjoy sleep. Nap.
It's a luxury that becomes a necessity you never seem to have enough of. Buy nice sheets. Roll around in them. Spend a whole day in bed. The next time you do it, you'll be comforting a feverish, puking child and that's not nearly as enjoyable.
2. Appreciate your body now.
As flawed as it may be, after children, it will be worse. Droopier, stretched out, and mushy. Even your feet will be bigger. Get a pedicure and flaunt them.
3. Drive a fun car.
A convertible or a Beetle. Blast music that you love. Soon you'll be driving a minivan and singing along to the Laurie Berkner Band. Even when you're alone in the car.
4. Travel with your spouse.
Family vacations are wonderful, but not the same. And finding someone to watch three kids under 5? Impossible.
Alone, without faces peeking through the glass critiquing your body.
6. Do things spur of the moment.
Jet off somewhere at the last minute, with nothing but the clothes on your back. Have an impromptu adventure. Once you have kids, you'll need to plan everything.
7. Call in sick to work and use the day for yourself.
Moms never get the day off, and you'll make up for that sick day tenfold by caring for sick children when you are indeed sick yourself.
8. Spend money on yourself.
Invest in some really great forever items, because once you have kids, the trade-off will not seem worth it. You'll calculate the number of diapers you could buy for the cost of those designer sunglasses. Buy them now and wear them later.
9. Pee with the door shut.
It will be years before you get to do that again.
10. Under-appreciate your parents.
Roll your eyes at them. Question their actions and judgment. Tell them they don't know everything. Once you have kids, you'll have a new-found appreciation for them and discover that they know a lot more than you gave them credit for. Ignorance is bliss.
Come to find out you can enjoy the healthy, nutritional and relaxing benefits of gardening even when space is at a premium or non existent. Check out these 5 gardening ideas for people who have limited space (including upstairs apartment dwellers).
Balcony Or Container Gardens
We've all had potted plants and perhaps a container of herbs on the windowsill, but container gardens can actually be a great way to grow food without actually putting roots in the ground. If you've got a porch or balcony with a little extra room, why not transform that idle space into a food factory? Just make sure it gets enough sun, and that you can water the plants without drowning your downstairs neighbors.Urban Organic Gardener is an amazing resource for wanna-be balcony gardeners.
Raised Bed On Lawn
So maybe you're lucky enough to have a "yard" or small outside space. In that case, there are some fun options for outdoor gardening that still won't suck up all your space. Repurposed wood pallets, cinder blocks, graduated shelving and raised beds are all great ways to make the most of your yard space with minimal impact on the actual turf. And since they're all semi-portable, you can use your own soil and not worry about the chemicals that may have been used in the past. Check out these easy raised garden beds for beginners.
Just like buildings in big cities have to build up rather than out, gardens too are going vertical. Hanging and stacking is a good rule of thumb for tiny house dwellers with limited floor space. The same principle can make it possible to grow a significant amount of herbs, vegetables and flowers using walls and windows that might otherwise only hold a picture or two. There are many different vertical gardening solutions, including those made from stacked containers, repurposed shoe organizers, recycled plastic bottles or even tin cans!
Feel like a bunch of hanging water bottles might ruin your tiny apartment feng shui? Never fear, Woolly Pockets are here! These stylish wall hangers are lightweight, flexible, breathable, modular gardening containers. The breathable portion is made of 100 percent recycled plastic bottles that have been industrially felted. The military-grade moisture barrier is made from 60 percent recycled plastic bottles. Each pocket is stitched together by hand in the USA, and only takes a few minutes to install.
Finding yourself short on time and know-how, as well as space? Set-it-and-forget-it systems that tell you when to water, feed, and harvest so that you're sure to get the most from your tiny garden. Automated garden alternatives range from very sophisticated to very simple. Pictured above is the AeroGarden Ultra, a top of the line indoor garden that eliminates dirt as well as worry. Simpler alternatives include the EasyBloom Plant Sensor which allows your plant to tell you when it needs water or fertilizer, and the Patch collapsible windowsill planter. Check out this Treehugger guide to self-watering planters.
Today is your lucky day! Being that it's Friday you have all weekend to review this article, use it to your advangtage and get that job you seek! With competition for new jobs at an all-time high, employees must have the skills employers are targeting. From the ability to communicate effectively to the willingness to wear multiple hats around the office, employers today seek workers with a variety of the skills. Here are 10 skills employers look for most in today's fast-paced, technologically advanced workplace:
Commitment to both their job and their employer is something Dennis Boone, former president and CEO of Verizon New Jersey and the current director of Montclair State University's Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship at the School of Business, has always looked for in workers. "An employee committed to â¨achieving their goals and objectives is a marvel to witness," Bone told BusinessNewsDaily. "I especially value the employee that, when times are tough, continues to strive for solutions and refrains from the 'blaming others' behavior that, unfortunately, we see too often."
The Extra Mile
In order to gain a boss' confidence, employees must be willing to go above and beyond what is typically required of them on the job, said Brett Good, a senior district president for Robert Half International. "Employees who take on projects that fall outside their normal responsibilities can expand their skill set and explore new avenues for professional growth," Good said. "While you may not always have the time to volunteer for an extra assignment, passing on every opportunity will prevent you from being viewed by your manager as a go-to person in the department."
Wear Multiple Hats
Kevin Watson, CEO and co-founder of jobdreaming, said small businesses don't have room for people who just want to do their job, and their job only. "Employees that will get hired more easily and ultimately succeed are those that show an eager willingness to do whatever needs to get done, not just what's in their job description," Watson said.
Having anything but a positive attitude is non-negotiable for Brian Goodman, managing director of Experis.
"Attitude drives success, and people want to be around positive people. It is contagious, and others will notice," Goodman said. "Naysayers are a drag on business."
Executive coach and leadership consultant Dave Gambrill believes the one skill that every employee must have is the ability to thinkâ¨critically and make appropriate decisions. "Leaders don't want toâ¨ micromanage their employees, but often they are forced to because theâ¨ employees lack critical thinking skills," Gambrill said. "Ideally, you'd like to say, 'Iâ¨trust you to make decisions that are good for the business,' and let peopleâ¨come up with their own solutions."
Elle Kaplan, CEO and founding partner of â¨Lexion Capital Management LLC, said it is important for entrepreneurs to find employees who are just as passionate about their job as the boss is. "When an employee believes strongly in the company's mission, their job is no longer a job. It's a calling," Kaplan said. "I've learned firsthandâ¨ that people work harder when they feel connected to and believe in yourâ¨mission as a leader and the mission of the company."
In today's fast-moving business world, the worst thingâ¨an employee can be is a drain on their boss' time, said Nick Gidwani, founder of Skilledup.com. "Employees shouldâ¨be always adding value, and the easiest way to destroy value, so to speak, is to not have your own work organized," Gidwani said. "That could mean simple ideas likeâ¨naming files or folders properly, or more substantial tasks like writingâ¨high-quality meeting recaps."
Wendy Pike, president of Twist office products, said she searches for employees who can be depended on consistently to get the job done. "As an employer, we need to be able to count on our employees toâ¨show up on time and do the work we are paying them to do," Pike said.
In today's workplace, communication is the skill of utmost importance, said Charley Polachi, co-founder and partner at Polachi Access Executive Search. "You must have communication skills that allow you to succinctly and effectively contribute your thoughts," Polachi said. "An effective communicator leaves no room for error and can exhibit thoughts in a direct manner."
Time and time again, conscientiousness proves itself to be among the top indicators of job performance, said Lynda Zugec, managing directorâ¨of The Workforce Consultants. "Make sure you pay attentionâ¨to the details," Zugec said. "Spelling and grammatical errors, lost and misplaced files, orâ¨general disorganization have the potential to make or break you."
Don't cheat! Before you read on, choose your favorite marshmallow bit from Lucky Charms from the list below:
Those oat bits
Okay. Have you got one in mind? Now you can read on. And don't change it! Amazing new study shows that your favorite Lucky Charms marshmallow bit shape determines what you're like in bed! Yes, it's true -- just take this simple test to determine your true bedroom personality:
If your favorite Lucky Charms marshmallow shape is the green clover, you're a happy-go-lucky type in bed. You don't take anything too seriously in the bedroom or elsewhere and always manage to have a good time, even if you have someone else with you. You don't have any patience with depressed people and tend to sit on them until they cheer up.
If your favorite marshmallow shape is the blue diamond, your thoughts in bed are mostly about what you'll get later. "If he really enjoys this, will he buy me that mink coat?" is probably what's going through your mind. People who like blue diamonds have a notebook of preprinted fill-in-the-blank palimony suit forms and are the people most likely to file their nails while in bed.
If your favorite shape is the orange star, you expect to be the center of attention in bed. You expect your partner to spend most of his time pleasing you and when you do something for them, you expect an enthusiastic response if not applause. People who like orange stars often have mirrors over their beds. They often call out their own names.
If you like pink hearts, you're the romantic type. You like your partner to whisper romantic phrases into your ear and, if they're too distracted to form coherent phrases, you'll settle for romantic syllables. People who like pink hearts read most of the romance novels published and are turned on by people wearing armor.
If purple horseshoes are your thing, your tastes are modern, uninhibited, and somewhat warped. You like variety in the bedroom, especially when you can include props. Be careful when going out on a picnic with anyone who likes purple horseshoes--she's/he's likely to pin you down with croquet hoops when you're not looking and who knows what could happen next?
If you're the yellow moon type, you're more interested in satisfying your partner's needs than your own. You prefer to lie back and wait for your partner to jump on you and express her/his needs verbally or nonverbally. People who like yellow moons usually own several pairs of props just in case someone should ever want to use on them. Keep your eyes open for anyone who eats all the yellow moons out of her cereal as soon as they opens the box.
Those little oat bits that aren't marshmallows at all.
If you prefer the little oat bits, you probably not romantic anyway. People who prefer the oat bits usually become accountants, librarians who work at the reference desk, or government employees; these people like to chow down on a big bowl brimming with oat bits before a tough day of protesting suggestive lyrics in rock music. People who like oat bits have more time to spend writing letters to the editor than any other type.
In yet another sign of the times searching for your car keys may be as foreign as a pager; ironically thanks to the same invention that ended the pager's reign...the cell phone. Actually your smart phone.
The American Automobile Association predicts smartphone apps will replace traditional car keys and it may be sooner than you think. Some cars already use electronic keys and fobs and the AAA thinks this technology is simply paving the way for phones to take over, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Already in the technology club are Chevrolet and Nissan, both which already have mobile apps that can be used to monitor and control certain car functions. Hyundai also unveiled plans for a smartphone that can work with a vehicle to perform some functions as well.
“Traditional car keys will likely become obsolete and be replaced by technologies offering even greater security and convenience,” John Nielsen, AAA director of automotive engineering and repair told the L.A. Times. “Motorists will need to adapt with the technology to avoid the hassle and expense of smart key replacements.”
Voicemail is such a handy feature of cell phones, but not all messages are welcome. Here is a list of the 10 most annoying type of voicemails.
1. The Marathon Message
The extremely long voicemail that never ends
2. The Death March
Leaving a phone number at the end of a long voicemail. If you missed it, you now have to listen through the entire message just to get the phone number.
3. The Screaming Eagle
The voicemail left in a noisy bar or as a fire truck is passing by
4. The Drunken Dispatch
The classic drunk-dial voicemail
5. Voicemail Interrupted
As the person is leaving the voicemail, they stop in the middle to have a conversation with someone else, or answer another call before they return to finish the message
6. The Misguided Message
A person or telemarketer leaves a message for you that was actually intended for someone else
7. Voicemail Incognito
The anonymous voicemail, where the caller assumes you can identify their voice
8. The Dehydrated Dispatch
Any voicemail left by someone with a bad hangover
9. One Way Wonder
When a person thinks they are speaking to you, but actually talking to your voicemail
10. The Pocket Dialer
The person that accidentally calls you because the phone is in their pocket or purse and isn't key-locked, leading to an endless soundtrack of them walking down the street, driving, or having a conversation with someone else
You don’t have to be a teenager to experience the angst-inducing effects of acne. Thankfully there are several at-home remedies you can easily put together to help soothe your skin and combat a dreaded breakout.
Dr. Agnes is the founder of AcnEase, a unique provider of alternative and complementary health care solutions in the U.S and global marketplace. According to Dr. Agnes, scientists have found that cocoa can contain more antioxidants per cup than red wine or green tea.
There is also data suggesting that regular eating (or drinking) of dark chocolate without sugar (or strong dark chocolate-based cocoa [without sugar]) can calm skin that’s been irritated by sun exposure, and in general, improve skin texture, hydration and appearance. Cocoa butter is actually a familiar additive to many cosmetic products such as body butters, creams or scrubs.
She notes that, in general, chocolate and chocolate-based products are good natural choices to improve your skin. It will act as a moisturizer (makes skin smoother and more supple); calm irritated, dry skin; promote rejuvenation from inside out and help detoxification.
Dr. Agnes' Chocolate Skin Wrap
Keep in mind that the Chocolate Skin Wrap is not recommended for people with active severe acne. It is, however, recommended for people with acne scars and marks or who have dry and irritated or tired skin.
Dr. Agnes says that chocolate has highly firming and nourishing qualities, so if you want to firm your neck and chest, here is a simple (and a bit messy) way to do it. Make sure your skin is clean before applying this wrap.
Unsweetened dark or semi-dark chocolate (the amount depends on the size of the area to cover)
2 teaspoons light cream
Melt the chocolate on the stove over low heat, and continue to stir until completely melted. The amount to use depends on the size of the area to cover.
Add a teaspoon or two of light cream to the chocolate, until you reach a smooth consistency (think ketchup and not mayo).
Allow the mixture to cool so that it is just warm and no longer hot.
Smear the mixture on your neck and chest, and leave it on for about 20 minutes. As you wait, relax, and maybe put a chamomile compress over your eyes.
Rinse the wrap off in the shower, or wash it off with tepid water and a soft cloth.
Aspirin-Lemon Juice Acne Paste
Much less expensive than over-the-counter or high-end salon treatments, this DIY aspirin acne paste can be effective in clearing up a blemish. This treatment comes from Dr. Oz and is easy to make with a few ingredients you have at home.
Aspirin contains salicylic acid, also included in many acne treatments where it acts as a chemical peel to reduce acne and scarring. The lemon juice in this paste can work as an exfoliant to get rid of dry or dead skin, and the baking soda acts as a neutralizer to the acid. Simple to make, give this one a try.
Keep in mind that if you are allergic to aspirin, you should not use this treatment. Also, before applying the paste to your face, first test it on your inner arm where you skin is more sensitive, to help ensure you can tolerate the ingredients. Don’t forget to first wash your face to remove any dirt or makeup.
If you feel any discomfort after applying the paste, immediately rinse it off with the baking soda and water solution. After using the paste, you may find your skin becomes a bit dry. Use an SPF moisturizer in your skin care routine to help eliminate any dryness.
6-12 non-coated aspirin
1/8-1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Combine six to 12 non-coated aspirin with just enough lemon juice to cover them (about 1/8 of a teaspoon juice for six aspirin).
Combine the water and baking powder in a small bowl, and set aside.
Let the aspirin dissolve in the juice, and then mix it to form a thin paste.
Apply the paste to the area where your blemish is, and allow it to sit for a few minutes.
Remove the paste with a cotton ball dipped in a solution of baking soda and water.
Soothing Oatmeal Paste
Talk about a simple solution! This DIY soothing oatmeal paste couldn’t be easier to make, and it can do wonders for your skin. Not only is oatmeal good to eat, but it’s good for your skin, too. Oatmeal can reduce the redness from acne and help soothe inflammation on your skin. You’ll find many over-the-counter skin care treatments that include oatmeal in the ingredients. It’s been used for years to treat irritated skin, dry skin and even as a natural remedy for acne.
Before you apply the paste, pull your hair back away from your face and wash your face to remove any dirt or makeup.
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup boiling water
Grind the rolled oats in a food processor or grinder.
Boil the water.
Mix the rolled oats and the hot water in a small bowl to form a thick paste.
Important: Allow the mixture to cool completely before applying it to your skin. When cool, apply the mixture to your face. Leave it on for about 10 minutes, and then rinse it off with warm water and a soft washcloth.
Think that you aren't sophisticated enough or don't fit in the right income bracket to enjoy wine-tasting? Think again. These tips will help you fake your way through a wine-tasting session -- or develop a lifelong hobby. Supplies? All you really need is a good wine glass, some wine, and preferably some good company.
Glasses - Obviously if you are at a wine-tasting party or tasting the wares at a winery you won't be bringing your own glass, but when you decide that it is time to get your own wine glasses, first look for a clear glass -- you definitely want to be able to see the color, especially as a beginner. Your glass should curve in a bit at the top so you can swirl it without spilling. Some companies try to sell glasses that are supposedly matched to certain wine types, but taste tests have shown that people rarely prefer wine from its matching glass. Instead, a good hand-blown crystal glass is often preferred.
Wines - The two main types of wine are red and white. Red wines are made from black grapes fermented with skins and pips. Red wine can be dry or sweet. Some of the more well-known reds are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, and Sangiovese. These names refer to the types of grapes which the wines are made from, and there are about 40 major types of grapes used for red wine. Wine regions have standards as to what percentage of a wine must be a single sort of grape to be classified by that grape used for its creation - in California it must be 75 percent, while in Alsace, France, it must be 100 percent. Many wines, however, are a combination of different varietals, the term that refers to a single grape wine. White wines can be made from either white or black grapes.
There are more than 50 major white grapes grown round the world -- the three most prevalent are Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay. White wine is usually considered to be more refreshing than red wine because most are best served chilled. There are a number of other wine types. Pink wines include Blush types and Rose (pronounced row-zay). Blush originated in California and is usually made using Zinfandel grapes with the peels left in for a time and then removed. Rose is processed as an unfinished red, but tastes refreshing like a white, with some of the flavors of a red.
Sparkling wines and Champagne are sometimes produced by the same method, but only those made in the north of France are allowed to be called Champagne. Sparkling wines are created by adding yeast and sugar to table wine. The so called Methode Champenoise, also known as the Classic Method, is painstaking, and cheaper bubbly is usually mass-produced using a slightly different method.
There are a few types of "dessert wines." Port starts as a wine fermented from 40 or so types of grapes. The must - byproducts of fermentation -- is poured off after a short period of fermentation, and then the young wine is re-barreled for a year or two before being bottled. Port usually requires 15-20 years of bottle aging, and then it is a sweet, fortified wine often taken with cheese and nuts. Madeira is fortified with alcohol and then heated, either artificially or by storing in a hot attic. Originally, Madeira was created by being shipped -- back when shipping meant in the hull of a ship -- through the tropics, where it was heated.
Sherry is a blended wine that is also fortified. Extra room is left in the barrel and special yeast is added. Fruit wines are fermented from other fruit besides grapes. Common fruits used include raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, blueberries, or cherries. Fruit wines have a monster-sized taste, partly due to the large amount of fruit used to create them. They are usually fermented in cold conditions, which helps preserve the natural fruit flavors. Fruit wines are especially good with dessert and are sometimes used in sauteacute;ing or other cooking.
If you are hosting a wine-tasting party, there are more supplies that you will need to have. Be sure to have water available for people who get thirsty and those who want to cleanse their palates. Snacks are important. Provide snacks that either complement the wines or cleanse the palate. Snacks also help ensure that people won't become too intoxicated. There are a number of different types of tasting parties, some of which are quite expensive, but which could also be as cheap as $15 per person. If you're going to serve dinner, wait until after the tasting session.
Tasting Technique -- Some of you out there might be asking, "What technique can there be to tasting something? Put it in your mouth and taste it!" First of all, you're right. There are some wine snobs who will say that there isn't much point in drinking some wines, and they'll point to rating guides saying that you should drink wine with a certain rating to cultivate your taste for fine wines" Drink wine that you like, not what other people tell you that you ought to like.
There are three stages to wine-tasting: Look, smell, and taste.
Look. Pour yourself a small amount of wine, perhaps an inch or so. Hold your glass up to the light or against a white background and observe the color. Red wines can be lighter or pale reds, but they also range to brownish red and purple. White wines are usually greenish or brownish and typically gain color with age. The tint observed at the "rim" allows expert tasters to judge the age of the wine - a purplish rim might be a younger wine while older wine usually has an orange or brown rim tint. Swirl the wine and see what sort of body the wine has. Also called the "legs," body refers to the viscosity. A more mature wine will have more body.
Smell. Swirl the wine and hold your glass to your nose. Some tasters prefer taking on deep whiff while others will take a small whiff for the impression followed by a deeper impression. Either way, pause to get a good impression of the smell before moving on to the actual tasting stage. The aroma, also called the "nose" or "bouquet," should remind you of things that you might smell in nature.
The smell usually correlates with the taste, and wines might smell fruity, earthy, woodsy, or spicy, or any number of combination of things. Try closing your eyes and imagining yourself someplace else -- perhaps in the middle of an outdoor market. What is it that this wine's smell makes you think you might be standing near? Most good wines have a pleasant flavor in both smell and taste, though some wines -- even some good ones -- don't really have a nose at all.
Taste. Take a sip and swish it around your mouth -- front to back and side to side, and you might even want to breathe in a bit. While your taste buds aren't really separated out on different areas of your tongue, swishing helps you utilize all of your taste buds. The initial taste may be a bit different than the overall impression you get after swishing, and another important aspect of taste is the aftertaste. In France they even have a rating system for aftertaste -- if the aftertaste lasts for 1 second, it is given 1 caudalie; 2 seconds is given 2 caudalie, and so on. Highly rated wines often leave the strongest and longest aftertaste. Balance is the key to the taste of a wine. The four main components to the taste of a wine are sweetness, acidity, tannin, and alcohol content. If the wine is unbalanced in one of these areas, then it will be noticeable.
The sweetness will probably be the first thing that you notice about the taste -- especially if it is particularly sweet or particularly bitter. To think about acidity, consider the difference between drinking milk, water, orange juice, and grapefruit juice. Acidity makes the wine taste crisp, but if it is overly acidic it will have a bit too much of a punch. Tannin can also be a bitter sort of a flavor, and it comes from stalks and skins of red grapes. Tannin is present in strong black tea and are most notable in young wines. The tannin flavor tends to mellow as wine ages. Alcohol content will make the wine range from a sweet flavor to the fiery taste that accompanies higher alcohol content.
Another characteristic to consider when tasting a wine are to feel the body of the wine in your mouth. Is it more or less viscous? Think about the fruitiness of the wine and try to compare different wine flavors to different fruits. What is the overall impression of the wine? Do you like it initially or not? There are times when tasters will spit out the wine that they are tasting instead of swallowing. Typically this is only done when tasting a very large number wines, or if you happen to be a professional tester or are participating in a wine review of some sort, in which case, keeping a clear and level head may be important.
Note taking - I know none of us want to go back to high school, but taking notes is beneficial to all wine-lovers, not just professional tasters. Having a collection of notes on different types of wines can help you select a good wine at a restaurant, or bring a good wine home to have when you invite the boss over for dinner. There are some particular methods of note-taking for wine-tasting, and some websites or books offer questionnaires that can be used to evaluate wines. There are special terms that some wine-tasters use, but especially at first, simply writing down things that the wine flavor or aroma remind you of might be the best that you can do. Write down your reactions to the various stages of testing - look, smell, and taste.
Recording your overall impression is important - if you don't like a wine, you can try a different one the next time. Perhaps write down some foods that you think that particular wine would be good with, and then you can check back in your notes when deciding what to serve with a particular dinner.
Wine Etiquette - There are a few things that you ought to know before serving wine, and likewise there are also a few bits of etiquette that you would do well to know before attending a wine-tasting event.
Serving wine - The right temperature for serving wine varies from wine to wine, and different people prefer different wines at different temperatures. Generally, folks prefer red wines around 65 degrees F, white or Rose wines closer to 55 degrees, and Champagne or sparkling wines are generally preferred around a chill 45 degrees F. Each variety of wine tastes a little different at different temperatures. You might want to include in your notes at what temperature you taste wines. To chill the wine, fill a bucket with ice and cover the ice with water. Submerge the bottle in the bucket.
To go from room temperature to the proper temperature, put red wine in for about 5 minutes, white wine for 10 minutes, and Champagne for 15 minutes. Some people (not wine snobs, usually) even toss an ice cube or two in a glass of wine to chill it quickly. Spend a minute learning how to pop the cork properly. Don't bend it. Pour the cork out with about an ounce of wine to remove any debris from the cork and to check the wine out. Some folks prefer to decant the wine to remove any other particles that have settled out of the wine.
Keep in mind also that it is usually recommended to allow red wines to "breathe" for an hour or so before serving. Breathing the wine for two long, however, will cause the wine to taste dull and flat.
When pouring, don't touch the bottle neck to the glass and hold the bottle around the body instead of the neck. You can hold a napkin below the neck to catch dripping if you prefer. Fill the glass no more than two-thirds full, though preferably to only about half full. If there is leftover wine and you can't convince anyone to finish it off, you can save what wine is left, but don't just re-cork the bottle.
Find a small container - small to the point where the wine might be overflowing from it (perhaps a small, 375 mL wine bottle). In fact, when you close the container, whether with a cork or a plug or a lid of some sort, there should be a little bit of spillover. Because the main issue with saving wine is keeping it away from oxygen, doing this will prevent oxidation from happening. Store this container in the refrigerator, and it should keep for about a week without becoming too stale.
If you’re tired of the same old dog toys and other run-of-the-mill dog products, you’re in for a treat. Here are some of the most innovative dog products around that are exciting for your dog and for you.
Hear Doggy Toy
Have you ever wanted to throw your dog’s annoying squeaker toy out the window after hearing it squeak one too many times? There’s no need with a Hear Doggy toy because its squeaker is silent for humans, that is. Only dogs can hear the squeaker that’s tuned to an ultrasonic range in the 24-28 KHz frequency, making it fun for your pup and perfect for when you don’t want to hear a thing. Oh, and they’re cute? (republicofpaws.com, $12)
Dog treat maker
If your dog loves to eat just as much as you like to cook, then the Sunbeam Dog Treat Maker is going to be your dog’s new best friend (well, after you, of course). Four soft dog bone-shaped treats are just minutes away with this treat maker that functions like a waffle iron for dogs. The best part is that you can whip up delicious dog treats with ingredients you have around the house. Treat your dog daily or on special occasions. He’ll love you more for it! (sunbeampets.com, $30)
Dog Water Bottle
How many times have you wasted water when out walking your dog on a hot day? Cupping your hands to make a bowl for your dog to drink from isn’t easy! Or what about watering the grass as you try to give your dog water from your own water bottle? The Dog is Good water bottle has come to the rescue! Designed with a stainless steel roller ball to help control the flow of water, this is one water bottle that will become a summer walk must-have. And what else? You can also unscrew the top and flip it over — it turns into a cup! (dogisgood.com, $20)
Tagg Pet Tracker
If your pet has a habit of getting lost, a Tagg Pet Tracker is just the thing to keep tabs on your wandering furry family member. Just put the tracker on your pet’s collar and track his whereabouts from your computer or mobile device at any time. And not only does it track your pet’s movements, but it also keeps an eye on his well being. With a built in activity tracker, this inventive product is one that will help you be proactive when it comes to your pet’s health. (pettracker.com, $99)
Every dog owner knows nothing is worse than carrying around a plastic bag of smelly dog poop, and it’s even worse when you run into someone you know and are standing there with your dog’s waste in your hand! But fear not, because PoopPac has come to the rescue with a stylish, lightweight case for those pesky plastic bags. Aside from concealing your dog’s waste, it also neutralizes the odor with an activated charcoal filter — and it’s machine washable. Grab one in your pup’s favorite color, and trust us, no one will know what’s inside! (pooppac.com, $30)
Subscription boxes are hugely popular right now — from beauty to fitness to men’s items and more. So why should your pup miss out? Let him join in the monthly fun with BarkBox, a box of carefully selected dog goodies such as toys, bones, hygiene products and more delivered right to your door. And really, who doesn’t love receiving mail? Something that sets BarkBox apart from the rest is that a portion of the proceeds from each box goes to dogs in need. We give that two paws up! (barkbox.com, $18/month and up)
It's always been a topic of debate. You eat a meal and suddenly feel woosy afterwards. Is it something you ate or are you getting sick?
One way many people try to figure out if it was food poisoning or a tummy bug is to look back and remember if they ate something six to 12 hours before that was a likely culprit, such as cream-based foods, mayonnaise-based salads, meat items that weren’t cooked thoroughly, or sprouts or vegetables from a salad bar. If other family members are sick but did not eat the same foods, however, you’re likely looking at a bout of gastroenteritis.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 76 million Americans get food poisoning every year, while viral gastroenteritis is a leading cause of severe diarrhea in both adults and children.
Many types of viruses can be the culprit, including norovirus and rotavirus, most common in children and elderly adults living in nursing homes.
About 12 hours after coming in contact with the virus
4-6 hours after eating tainted food. Serious strains like E. coli can crop up 24 hours later, though.
Duration of symptoms
Drink clear liquids—Pedialyte, Gatorade or fruit juice with a pinch of salt to help replace lost electrolytes and prevent dehydration. Try an anti-nausea/ anti-diarrhea medication like Imodium.
After 24-48 hours start the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast), which can help bind you up.
Drink plenty of fluids to help flush out your system and expel the toxins. Skip anti-diarrhea medication unless you have to leave the house, and then take the lowest possible dose. You want the body to expel the toxins, not stop them up.
Arsenicum alb is a popular homeopathic remedy to reduce symptoms in both cases.
Colocynth, known as bitter apple helps with cramps, nausea and accompanying symptoms, and wind flower can be used to relieve vomiting associated with gastroenteritis.
Drink ginger tea as ginger is loaded with anti-inflammatory compounds that quell nausea.
Try 300-500 mg. of Andrographics twice a day, a Chinese herb that can eliminate symptoms. Or try a few drops of the South American herb Dragon’s Bloodto help restore intestinal balance.
When to see the doctor or head to the ER
After 3 days with no improvement, or if you have a high fever over 102 F, if you’re dehydrated, are passing blood or having seizures.
If you’re still sick after 48 hours or passing blood, you should see the doctor right away.
The most important thing with both is to stay hydrated. The instinct is to not bother drinking because things are coming up both ends, but you must force down fluids regardless, stresses Dr. Patricia Raymond, fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology and associate professor of clinical internal medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Va. Most people come to the ER totally dehydrated and at that point you’ll need IV fluids.
“For both of them you should also practice stringent hand washing,” Raymond says. You can spread germs whether your illness is bacterial or viral. Plus, if you suspect food poisoning and you think the trigger food was eaten at a restaurant, you should notify your physician because it may affect other patrons.
Of course, if you're taking prescription medicines or have a chronic health condition, check with your doctor before self-treating with over-the-counter or natural remedies.
And it doesn’t hurt to use a good probiotic once you’ve recovered, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, which can help restore your digestive tract to normal more quickly after a bout of either of these tummy troubles.
Some days are better than others when it comes to saving money. Here is SmartMoney's advice on what to buy on which days:
Appliances: Prices for washers, dryers, ovens and refrigerators are about 1 percent to 2 percent cheaper on Sundays, which works out to about $10 saved on a mid-range model.
Groceries: While most grocery stores publish their weekly sales circular on Wednesdays, Sunday is the best day to shop. Clip coupons from Sunday's newspaper for more savings.
Personal Care Items: You'll find the best deals on toothpaste and deodorant at the drugstore chains on Sundays. You must go early to get the best deals.
Skirts and Dresses: Skirts sell, on average, for 77 percent off the retail price, while dresses are discounted, on average, 54 percent.
Cars: Cars are cheapest on Mondays as dealerships are more willing to negotiate. This holds true whether weekend sales were lackluster and they want to makeup for that or whether weekend sales were robust and they want to continue it.
Electronics: Computers, televisions, digital cameras and even video games are between 2 percent and 4 percent cheaper on Mondays.
Airfares: Since most domestic fares are posted on Monday evening, there is a scramble Tuesday morning to match prices. The number of cheap seats peaks at about 3 p.m. on Tuesday.
Clothing: Both brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers tend to begin their weekend sales on Thursday. You'll find the best deals and the most in-stock items. However, there are exceptions. See Monday.
Books: Books are 11 percent cheaper on Saturdays; they are priced at their highest on Fridays.
Spring it just around the corner; actually 12 days from the official start (March 20) and that's when I'm bitten by the spring clean bug. Although we don't have long dreary winters we can still use spring as a timetable for a deep clean of your home. But it's a hard sell considering cleaning isn't a fun chore. So how about breaking it into a week and only spend 10 minutes a day! Now you're talkin'! Here's a guide from SheKnows.com on how to spring clean your home in steps (while getting the weekend off).
We can probably all agree that cleaning bathrooms is the worst, so let's get it over with first thing. Spend 10 minutes clearing off the countertops, cleaning the mirrors, scrubbing the toilets and polishing the sinks. We understand that if you have more than one bathroom it could be difficult to complete all this times three, so don't stress. If time runs out and you want to clean them all, go for it. If not, clean a different bathroom next week.
Assuming you keep up with dishes on a semi-daily basis this should be a cinch! So for this 10-minute cleanup, we're going to go a little deeper. Scrub the countertops, sweep and mop the floor, clean the outside of the refrigerator, and scrub the sink and oven top.
Wednesday: Living room
This is most likely going to be the messiest and most-used room in the house, so organization is key! Anything that doesn't belong in the living room should be placed in a box for later. If you go from room to room putting things away, your 10 minutes will be up before you even begin. Next, dust the blinds, television, end tables, coffee table and bookshelves, including photo frames and miscellaneous knickknacks. Brush off the couch, fluff all cushions and straighten any pillows or blankets. Finally, do a quick vacuum of the room.
Thursday: Master bedroom
Your bedroom is your sanctuary, so we want to do a good job of keeping this room clean. Start by throwing the sheets and pillowcases in the washer. Spend the next few minutes hanging up or folding any clothing that's out of place. Quickly vacuum the carpet (three minutes) and dust furniture and bookshelves (two minutes). Once the sheets have been washed and dried, make the bed as neatly as possible, including fluffing the throw pillows and placing them on their appropriate spots on the bed. There's nothing like crawling into a freshly made and washed bed at the end of a long day.
Friday: Kids' rooms
Since these rooms are consistently a mess, we saved them for last. Now, since it's Friday, we recommend having the kids do this so you can relax with your sweetie in peace for a few moments. Make it fun for them by setting the timer and having them clean their rooms as best as they can in 10 minutes. Celebrate by having their favorite dinner or watching their favorite movie that night. Kids are more inclined to clean if it's a race against the clock (and if there's a reward at the end)!
Here's a checklist:
Clear off countertops
Sweep and mop floors
Clean outside of refrigerator
Scrub sink and oven top
Wednesday: Living room
Place items that don't belong in the room in a box
Dust blinds, end tables, coffee table, television and bookshelves
Starting April 1, 2013, health care provider Orlando Health will implement a tobacco-free hiring rule that requires testing of all job applicants for nicotine use. And no, it is not an April Fool's prank.
The company will rescind job offers to applicants who test positive for cotinine, a byproduct of nicotine, though the workers can reapply in 180 days. Orlando Health will study applicants' levels of cotinine to determine if they are smokers or if they have simply been exposed to secondhand smoke.
Orlando Health says the policy will not apply to volunteers, students or contractors offered a job before April 1 or existing employees being grandfathered in under a tobacco-free policy. The health care provider operates Orlando Regional Medical Center, MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando, Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies, the Howard Phillips Centers, Dr. P. Phillips Hospital, South Seminole Hospital and Health Central Hospital.
The policy will also ban workers from using tobacco products during their shifts, even if they leave the office, and will prevent tobacco use in company vehicles and on company grounds. Additionally, the move will encourage current tobacco users at the company to quit, providing tools and incentives such as access to classes, programs and monetary support for quitting.
"Our new tobacco-free hiring rule reinforces our culture of prevention and wellness for team members, patients and the central Florida community," said Christy Pearson, COO of human resources at Orlando Health. "It is our way of leading by example and serving as a community role model for good health behaviors."
Pearson said the company considers it a responsibility to improve public health by encouraging smoking cessation. "Our goal with both these efforts is not to exclude anyone who is qualified and interested in pursuing a career with Orlando Health," she said. "It is to promote and encourage the cessation of all tobacco use."
The move may help keep workers healthy, and employment lawyers say it may also become a trend in the hiring process.
"This is the first I’ve heard of an employer testing applicants or employees for by-products of tobacco use," said Rodney Bean, a leader of the Labor and Employment Practice Group at Steptoe and Johnson. "But it is the natural consequence of the anti-tobacco movement across the country, and I imagine many employers are considering this."
Maya Risman, a lawyer with the law offices of Maya Risman, says that many employers around the country already use the policy.
"I would say that this trend is occurring and is likely to become more commonplace than rare, seeing that legislatures have taken an antagonistic approach toward smoking and smokers in general," said Risman.
Though the practice may be increasing, employers should check twice before implementing such policies in order to avoid doing something illegal in the hiring process.
"The legality of the act of hiring and/or firing a prospective employee or current employee depends on the jurisdiction [in which] the employee is employed," said Risman. "According to the American Lung Association, 29 states have laws protecting employees from discrimination simply based on their smoking habits.
"In general, smoking isn't a protected right and does not provide the same safeguards as being an individual in a protected class such as age, gender, race, national origin, religion, etc. In my opinion, anytime a company attempts to regulate an employee's private life, that in no way has an impact on their employment, per se [regulating non-criminal activity], it invites a slippery-slope argument."
Dating ain't what it used to be. There are all kinds of cliche dating "rules" that get tossed around in conversation, but are they really worth following? Thanks to books, TV shows, and movies like He's Just Not That Into You, it's easy to get caught up in the supposed dos and don'ts of communication, emotions, and timing. But before you convince yourself that there's a template for every relationship, take a look at these common dating myths, debunked:
1. Wait To Respond
There's something to be said for playing hard to get every once in a while, but that doesn't mean you need to let hours pass before you text him/her back. Instead, communicate with the people you date in the same way you'd communicate with friends to avoid any unnecessary games.
2. Never Mention Your Ex
While exes don't need to come up in every conversation, it's OK to talk about past relationships as a way to get to know each other's dating history. Steer clear of awkward or uncomfortable specifics, but feel free to be honest about who you are, who you've been with, and what you've learned from past loves.
3. Don't Be Emotional
Putting up a few walls can be necessary sometimes, but it's not healthy to regularly hide your feelings in a relationship. Aim for open, honest conversation, and know that it's OK to experience negative emotions, too.
4. Always Offer To Split The Bill
Every situation is different, so know when to pitch in and when to let yourself be treated. If your date insists on paying, then it's polite to offer to help, but you don't always need to reach for your wallet.
5. Make It About Them
It's true that people like to talk about themselves, but try not to be so selfless that your own needs or interests are ignored. To build a relationship that's based on equal footing, strive for balance and compromise when it comes to conversation, dates, and responsibilities.
6. Downplay Your Interest
If you're worried about caring "too much," don't be. There's nothing wrong with falling for someone, and when it feels right, chances are caring "too much" will feel like just enough.
7. Take It Slow
Every relationship moves at its own pace, so don't feel like you have to force a specific timeline. When it comes to love, follow your instincts, and stay true to what feels right to you.
Whether it's a co-worker, neighbor, or best friend, each of us occasionally encounters someone who talks too much. If you feel like cringing or feel the need to escape when you are with someone, you may need to set boundaries to help preserve the relationship.
It could be the long-time friend you meet for lunch who speaks continuously without allowing you to get a word in edgewise. Or it could be a chatty colleague who always seems to "over-share" too much personal information (TMI) — stuff you really would prefer not to hear or know about.
If it's someone that you can't easily delete from your address book — or your life — it can be pretty awkward figuring out what to say and how to say it.
Short of avoiding the individual entirely or blowing him/her off in a moment of frustration or anger, here are five strategies for handling someone who talks too much with as much grace as possible while maintaining your own sense of self-respect and dignity:
We are all taught to be polite and not interrupt. But if someone is delivering a soliloquy, it's perfectly appropriate to interrupt. You can change the subject, ask a question, or suggest that you pause to look at the menu.
2) Have A Heart-To-Heart
If it's a really close friend whose friendship you treasure — and this seems to be the individual's persistent style — you may need to bite the bullet and simply say what's on your mind: "I'm frustrated that I never get a chance to speak." The individual may feel so pressured to speak that he/she is not even aware that the conversation is always totally one-sided. Don't be surprised: Some individuals may even need multiple or periodic reminders.
3) Don't Inadvertently Feign Too Much Interest
If you're bored, show some signs of discomfort, whether it's squirming in your seat or yawning. Don't encourage the individual by asking too many questions, maintaining a plastic smile, or uttering too many uh-huh's — any of these might suggest you are interested, pleased, or agreeing with what is being said. Don't be afraid to seize control of the situation and change the course of the conversation.
4) Dilute The Contact
Limit the amount of time you spend together. If it's a friendship you don't want to lose entirely, you may need to set boundaries regarding how often you see the person and/or for what length of time. For example, the next time you get together, you may want to come prepared with an exit strategy, like: I'm glad we could meet for lunch but I have an appointment I need to keep at 2PM.
You can to arrange to see the individual in a group, with other common friends, or arrange to participate in some activity together, like a movie, where there is built-in downtime from constant conversation.
5) Accept What You Can't Change
Remember that every person, including you, is a package of good traits and some not-so-good ones. If the other person is unwilling or unable to change, you may come to realize that he/she isn't a completely bad egg and there are reasons why you are willing to put up with this one negative aspect of his/her personality. In some small proportion of situations like this, neurobiological disorders may be at the root of incessant talking; in that case, you may want to cut your friend some slack and suggest that the person seek professional help.
Everyone experiences a bit of stress but when you maxed out your limit it can have serious consequences. Many of us are over stressed and out bodies have tall tale signs of being over the limit.
In his recent book, "On the Brink" (Business Plus, 2010), former Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson admits to getting so stressed out during the height of the 2008 financial meltdown that he would start to dry heave, sometimes in private and other times in front of Congressmen and staffers. He's not alone. Dry-heaving (or retching, in medical terminology) is one way that stress can rear its ugly head, more often as a sign of anxiety. Stress and anxiety can also trigger vomiting and a condition called "cyclic vomiting syndrome," a condition in which people experience nausea and vomiting over an extended period of time — often, starting at the same time every day. Dealing with anxiety-induced dry heaves or vomiting starts with getting plenty of rest and drinking water (vomiting can cause a loss of electrolytes), and then finding ways to calm down or eliminate the source of your stress, such as practicing walking meditation.
2. Hair loss.
There are multiple reasons that your hair could be falling out, from genetics to medications. But stress is one of them. Among the conditions associated with stress-induced hair loss is alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder in which white blood cells attack hair follicles, causing hair to fall out. Another condition triggered by stress that has even more extreme results is called telogen effluvium, which is basically characterized by a sudden loss (up to 70 percent) of hair. This condition can be difficult to link to stress because the hair loss can occur months after a stressful event, for instance, a death in the family or childbirth, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. However, the organization notes, it's usually a problem that corrects itself once the stressful event is over.
There is some debate as to whether nosebleeds are triggered by stress, but studies have shown that, in some cases, patients who experience nosebleeds get them after finding themselves in stressful situations. A 2001 article in the British Medical Journal suggests that this could have something to do with the spikes in blood pressure that are very common when you're stressed out. Keep your blood pressure in check by drinking hibiscus tea. Simply escaping the daily hubbub for a while to brew it could be enough to lower your stress levels a bit.
4. Memory loss.
If you notice you can't seem to remember the details you just discussed during a stressful meeting, it could be an effect of your shrunken hippocampus, says Jeffrey Rossman, PhD, psychologist and director of life management at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Mass., and Rodale.com advisor. Chronic stress can expose the hippocampus, the area of the brain that controls your short-term memory, to excessive levels of the stress hormone cortisol. And that can inhibit your brain's ability to remember things. Dealing with the root cause of your stress is the best way to get your memory back, but until that happens, write down important bits of information and find other ways to supercharge your memory.
5. Weakened immunity.
Perhaps the most noticeable effect that stress has on your body is a weakened immune system, and that happens for a couple of reasons. First, stress triggers the release of catecholemines, hormones that help regulate your immune system; prolonged release of these hormones can interfere with their ability to do that. Second, says Rossman, stress shrinks your thymus gland, the gland that produces your infection-fighting white blood cells, and it damages telomeres, which are genes that help those immune cells reproduce. A good way to deal with stress and boost your immune system is to exercise; if you're so stressed out that you can't fit in those 30 minutes a day, try these other tricks for boosting immunity.
6. Excessive sweating.
Everyone knows that you sweat more when you're stressed out, but some people suffer from hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating, particularly of the palms and feet, says Rossman. Yoga and meditation can help reduce stress-related sweating, and if you think you might be suffering from hyperhidrosis, find a physician who specializes in the disorder. You may be helping more than just yourself. A study published last fall in the journal PLoS One found that stress sweat can give off certain signals that people around you can detect, possibly causing them to be stressed out as well, as a result.
If you have any of these symptoms please see your Doctor. No matter what the stress is caused from, your health isn't worth it!
Who would have though you needed a study guide on recycling! But you really do need some guidance in decoding those those triangle symbols with numbers. So consider this your bible of recycling plastics, paper, glass and metals. Here are what the numbers and symbols mean:
The recycling symbols for plastics are divided into seven categories. Generally, the higher the number, the more difficult it is for the material to be recycled. However, just because the product has a number on it doesn’t necessarily mean it can be recycled, nor that it’s eco-friendly. In fact, some elements of plastics — such as bisphenol-A, polystyrene and polyvinyl chloride — have been shown to have harmful effects on health and the environment.
1. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
Common products: Single-use plastic water bottles, soft-drink bottles
Recyclability: Widely accepted
2. High-density polyethylene (PE-HD)
Common products: Some retail plastic bags, some yogurt containers
Recyclability: Widely accepted
3. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
Common products: Toys, some food containers/wraps, pipe
4. Low-density polyethylene (PE-LD)
Common products: Thin plastic bags, some plastic containers (e.g., soap dispensers)
Recyclability: Can be recycled, but check to make sure it’s accepted locally.
5. Polypropylene (PP)
Common products: Straws, soft-drink cups, some food containers
Recyclability: Can be recycled, but check to make sure it’s accepted locally.
6. Polystyrene (PS)
Common products: Styrofoam containers and cups
Recyclability: Sometimes accepted, but low demand for recycled Styrofoam has limited its acceptance.
Includes plastics not included in the previous six categories, including BPA, polycarbonate and bio-based plastics. Common products: Water bottles, food containers
Recyclability: Generally not recyclable, but bio-based plastics can sometimes be composted.
Most paper and cardboard products can be recycled. However, there are a few recycling exceptions, including paper towels, napkins and plastic-coated boxes. If a paper product can be recycled, it may or may not have one of the following symbols:
20 PAP: Cardboard
21 PAP: Mixed paper (often found in magazines, mail)
22 PAP: Paper (letter/printer paper, etc.)
Most commonly used glass products (e.g., jars and beverage containers) can be recycled, but for other items containing glass (e.g., electronics), check to see what’s accepted locally. Alternatively, reuse glass containers.
70 GL: Mixed glass
71 GL: Clear glass
72 GL: Green glass
Aluminum beverage cans are widely recycled. However, for other metal items, check to see what is accepted locally.
40 FE: Steel
41 ALU: Aluminum
When recycling isn’t eco-friendly
Recycling may always seem like a good idea, but the reality is that throwing certain items into the recycle bin will likely do more harm than good. When disposed of improperly, batteries, electronics and other materials can be hazardous to the environment and human health.
Here are a few symbols that indicate an item should never be tossed into the recycle bin (or the trash):
Keep in mind that many items, such as batteries and electronics, may not contain any of these symbols, but they should never be thrown away or recycled. Instead, check with your local sanitation department to see how hazardous waste should be disposed of in your area.
Recyclable vs. Recycled
The “three chasing arrows” icon is probably the most well-recognized recycling symbol. But just because a product has the universal recycling symbol on it doesn’t necessarily mean you should toss it in the recycle bin.
Some products feature the recycling symbol to denote that they are made from recycled content, and they can’t necessarily be recycled again. For instance, according to the EPA, paper can only be recycled five to seven times before it begins to degrade.
It is also important to distinguish between pre-consumer recycled content, which is made from manufacturer waste and hasn’t yet made it to the consumer, and post-consumer recycled content, which has been used, disposed of, and made into something else. If the product doesn’t say it was made from post-consumer recycled content, it probably wasn’t.
Although recyclable products aren’t necessarily compostable (and vice versa), more items may be compostable than you think. In fact, it is preferable to compost biodegradable plastic, because it may not degrade properly in oxygen-deprived landfills.
The symbol above is often used to mark products certified as compostable by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI). (Other symbols may be used to indicate compostability, especially outside the U.S.) But even if a product doesn’t have a symbol, it might still be compostable, so check BPI’s list of certified compostable products.
These guidelines are intended to be a starting point. When in doubt about whether to recycle, reuse or compost a particular item, be sure to contact your local sanitation department or visit Earth911.com for more information on what products can be recycled, and how to recycle them, in your area.
If you want your workday to be the most productive possible, carefully plan what you will do during the first hour at your desk. Fast Company reports that this is your best opportunity to do these three things: See everything clearly. Get one real task accomplished. Focus on the human side of work instead of your to-do list. If you're shaking your head, knowing your schedule is too hectic for such a productive first hour, you need to schedule an adult homeroom on your calendar --just like you had in high school. This is what you do in your grown-up homeroom period:
1. Do not check e-mail.
After all, if someone needs your attention urgently, you'll get a phone call or text. This frees up your time for the next two tasks below.
2. Be aware and be grateful.
Spend the first 10 minutes of your workday thinking about everything for which you are grateful. This includes gratitude for yourself, family, friends, your career, your life passions and more. Then visualize everything you want in your life--as if you already had it today.
3. Do the worst first.
Before you open your email, buckle down and get one task accomplished. It's even better if that one task can be something difficult or something you have dreaded doing. Just jump in and do it. (Think how great you'll feel when you leave work at the end of the day knowing that it's done!)
I can remember as a child how I despised nap time. I would whine and throw a fit when the kindergarten nap mats were pull out to the floor and the blinds were closed.
As I am older, I reminisce about a simpler time of life and what a fool I was in fighting the nap. There are many afternoons when a quick siesta would do a world of good. Now there is more science, research and employers who agree napping on the clock increases productivity. According to reports of a Harvard Medical School research project, people who completed a task and then slept on it were likely to complete the task more quickly when asked to try again.
Since Americans are logging longer hours at work than ever before, companies are becoming more lenient, even encouraging workers toward at-work napping. According to an employee benefits survey of 600 American companies conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, 6% of workplaces had nap rooms in 2011, a slight increase from 5% the previous year. Even more suggestive, a 2011 poll of 1,508 adults by the National Sleep Foundation found that 34% of respondents say their employers allow them to nap at work, and 16% said their employers also have designated napping areas.
Most of these employer-sponsored nap programs are in the tech field, where worldwide customer demands mean long and odd hours. But if productivity is improved, why shouldn't the practice be expanded to more companies in more sectors?
"Over the last few years, there's been a lot of focus on exercise and nutrition, but adequate sleep is arguably the most important element of productivity," says Christopher Lindholst, co-founder of MetroNaps, which markets a napping chair called the EnergyPod to such companies as Google, Procter & Gamble, and Cisco Systems. The EnergyPod, which looks like Pacman with a really long tongue, boasts ergonomic support and a built-in music system with a headphone jack to eliminate background noise. "The EnergyPod is designed to provide some privacy, but it's typically installed in a common area so you create an environment of awareness and acceptance," says Lindholst. MetroNaps rents its EnergyPod for $795 per month.
So let's say your boss is on board for an afternoon nap at the office, what do you do next? How can you stop your mind from keeping you up? Use these tips from Mother Earth Network on how to power nap:
1. Early afternoon is the recommended time for a power nap.
Napping too late in the day can interfere with night time sleeping, which serves to defeat the purpose of giving your body what it needs to function optimally.
2. Keep it brief.
Napping beyond 40 minutes can result in a prolonged groggy feeling and undermine the reviving effects a 20-30 minute nap provides. See what works for you. For some people, anything beyond 10 minutes leaves them in too much of a haze.
3. A quiet setting with low light is optimum for a solid nap.
Although some businesses have EnergyPods, cocoon-like chairs with headphone jacks, where employees can crash and get revived mid-workday, most do not. However finding a space and a way to decompress for a few is a worthwhile endeavor. An unused office (or your own). Perhaps you will be the one to get a quiet/meditation-type space created in your office.
4. As counterintuitive as this may seem, having a cup of coffee just prior to napping can help bolster alertness.
It takes about 20 minutes for the caffeine effect to kick in, so it shouldn’t interfere with your sleep.
So here's to sleeping (only briefly) on the job! Have a great rest of the day and a wonderful weekend!
Well gas is creeping up towards $4 a gallon and it isn't even summer yet! So once again we dig deeper to pay at the pump and ways to be more fuel efficient. As we look at ways to save, here are 3 myths about your car and fuel that most of us believe. Get ready for a dose of reality!
Your fuel economy gauge should be your guide.
That’s just not so, Edmunds says. “Our testing reveals that one such gauge claimed fuel economy 19% higher than the actual result,” Edmunds says. “Calculating gas mileage manually is the most accurate way to monitor your car's fuel economy.”
Cheap gas will wreck your car's engine.
Again, this “fact” is right up there with the existence of the Easter Bunny and the ability of leprechauns to find gold. Edmunds performed a blind test on three samples of gasoline from major and independent gas stations and found no difference. “Because of the advances in engine technology, a car's onboard computer is able to adjust for the inevitable variations in fuel, so most drivers won't notice a drop-off in performance between different brands of fuel, from the most additive-rich gas sold by the major brands to the bare-bones stuff at your corner quickie mart,” Edmunds reports. The firm does point out the value of fuel tank cleaning agents, which consumers may want to use twice a year.
Using lower octane gas in a premium-recommended car will cause the engine to knock.
Edmunds says that with the average cost of premium gasoline north of $4 per gallon, “drivers who are pumping premium are undoubtedly asking themselves if they can safely switch to regular grade, which is about 30 cents a gallon cheaper. In many cases, the answer is yes,” Edmunds reports. The company says that with advancements in fuel technology, even regular gasoline is sufficient enough to avoid “knocking” from your vehicle’s engine. Edmunds does say performance may suffer “slightly” from using regular gasoline over premium, with engine speed a half-second slower on the way from zero-to-60 miles per hour. But knocking won’t be an issue. Just be aware, not following the manufacturers recommendations in the owner's manual may void your warranty.
Ahh the marketing department of food corporations! They will try just about anything to re-invent the wheel. Some are successful while many fail. Here's a list of 10 foods that, thankfully, failed.
1. The Chicken Dinner Candy Bar
Fortunately for gastrointestinal tracts worldwide, this candy bar didn't actually include chicken in its list of ingredients. And equally lucky for Sperry Candy Co., which introduced the "treat"Â in the 1920s, consumers actually figured this one out on their own. The company introduced the chocolate-and-peanut butter bar right before the onset of the Depression, hoping the name would give consumers the feeling they were about to have a big home-cooked meal at Grandma's house—hence the juicy roast chicken on the advertisements. Strangely, the gimmick worked, even well after the economy recovered, and Chicken Dinner candy bars were available until the 1960s. Does this mean it qualifies as a true marketplace "flop"Â? No. Did we put it on the list anyway because it sounds like it really should have been? Absolutely.
2. Cereal Mates
Sometimes, new products fail because they're simply bad ideas (ahem, New Coke). Other times, it's because they're just impossible to market. Such was the case for Cereal Mates. Beating the dead horse of über-convenient breakfast foods, Kellogg's introduced Cereal Mates in 1997. The idea was simple: a small box of cereal, a container of specially packaged milk (no refrigeration required!), and a plastic spoon. It was the perfect A.M. answer for the person on the go ...who enjoys warm milk on cereal. Trying to patch up one mistake with another, Kellogg's then moved the product to the dairy section, where no sane person looks for cereal. On top of all that was the price. At about $1.50 for only four ounces of the stuff, Cereal Mates was deemed too expensive for most consumers. After two years, Kellogg's pulled it from the shelves.
3. Flower-Flavored PEZ
No, that's not a typo. Although it would be equally disgusting, we're talking about flower, not flour. Introduced in the late 1960s, flower-flavored PEZ was designed to appeal to the hippie generation—complete with a groovy, psychedelic dispenser. But even in the decade of free love, no love could be found for the flavor power of flower. Floral scents make for great perfume, but nobody eats perfume, and apparently, there's a reason why. The flower version flopped, and became the next addition to PEZ's long and disturbing list of flavor failures. Since its introduction in 1927, the company has also sold coffee, licorice, eucalyptus, menthol, and cinnamon flavors.
4. "I Hate Peas!"Â
For as long as children have been shoving Brussels sprouts under mashed potatoes and slipping green beans to the dog, parents have been hunting desperately for a way to end the vegetable discrimination. Finally, in the 1970s, American Kitchen Foods, Inc. came to the rescue (or at least tried) with the release of "I Hate Peas!"Â Since kids love French fries so much, the company decided that disguising peas in a fry-shaped form was a sure-fire way to trick tots into getting their vitamins. Not a chance. Children all over America saw through the ruse. After all, a pea is a pea is a pea, and the name of the product was more than apropos, no matter what it looked like. There were other thinly disguised vegetables in the company's "I Hate"Â line, but kids hated those, too.
Any company smart enough to bless mankind with sprayable whipped cream—the sort that promotes direct-to-mouth feeding—has got to know a thing or two about immediate gratification. But sadly, the makers of Reddi-wip® were unable to meld their keen understanding of human laziness with one of processed meat. They figured, if you're cooking breakfast in the morning and you've got a hankering for bacon, why dirty up a pan you'll only have to clean later? The solution: foil-wrapped Reddi-Bacon you could pop into your toaster for piping-hot pork in minutes.
While it seemed perfect for the busy 1970s household, the absorbent pad designed to soak up the dripping grease tended to leak, creating not only a fire hazard, but also a messy (if not totally ruined) toaster. Ultimately, the product lasted about as long as it took to cook; the company scrapped it before it went to market nationwide.
6. Coffee-Flavored Jell-O
In 1918, the makers of Jell-O introduced a new flavor: coffee. Its release was ostensibly based on the logic that, since lots of people like to drink coffee with dessert, they'd be game for combining the two after-dinner treats. Not the case. The company soon realized if anyone wants dessert coffee, they're going to have a cup of it. In fact, if anyone wants coffee at all, they're going to have a cup of it. Not surprisingly, this realization came about the time they yanked the product off the shelves. Coffee wasn't Jell-O's only misstep: Cola-flavored Jell-O was sold for about a year starting in 1942, and for a brief while, the clear, wiggly dessert was sold in celery and chocolate flavors, too.
7. Heublein's Wine & Dine
In the mid-1970s, Heublein introduced Wine & Dine, an upscale, easy-to-make dinner that included a small bottle of vino. How refined. How decadent. How confusing. Consumers knew Heublein for their liquor and wines, so how were they supposed to know the wine included in Wine & Dine was an ingredient for the pasta sauce? Hasty consumers who didn't read the directions closely ended up pouring the contents of the bottle into a nice glass and getting a less-than-pleasant mouthful of salted wine.
8. Funky Fries
In 2002, hoping to follow the success of Heinz's new "kiddie"Â ketchup versions (in green and purple), Ore-Ida introduced Funky Fries: chocolate-flavored, cinnamon-flavored, and blue-colored French fries. An awful lot of money was sunk into the product, but after a year of marketing, consumers still found the idea funky—in the bad way. Funky Fries were pulled off the shelves in 2003, and images of blue fries with green ketchup were once again relegated to the world of Warhol-esque pop art.
9. Pepsi A.M.
Creating a super-caffeinated soda worked well for the makers of Red Bull, but not for the folks at Pepsi. With 25 percent more caffeine than a cup of Joe, PepsiCo introduced the cola-flavored product in 1989, only to discover that most people just couldn't bring themselves to drink soda with their cornflakes. For those who wanted a Pepsi in the morning, regular Pepsi did just fine, thankyouverymuch. Pepsi A.M., like the coffee-flavored Pepsi Kona before it, was scrapped after just a few months.
10. Gerber Singles
At some point in time, almost every adult has tasted baby food and discovered that the stuff isn't half bad. But that doesn't mean people want to make a meal out of it. For some reason, Gerber had to learn that lesson the hard way. In 1974, the company released Gerber Singles, small servings of food meant for single adults, packaged in jars that were almost identical to those used for baby food. It didn't take long for Gerber execs to figure out that most consumers, unless they were less than a year old, couldn't get used to eating a pureed meal out of a jar—particularly one depressingly labeled "Singles."Â Baby food for grown-ups was pulled from the marketplace shortly after its birth.
Of course you're going to be stinky and sweaty after a long run or working in the garden. But what if you're stinky and sweaty at 2 p.m. on a Wednesday and all you've done is sit at your desk all day? That's when you need some help. Prevention magazine outlined five surprising, natural ways you can fight body odor.
1. Choose natural fabrics.
Instead of wearing synthetic fabrics, switch to cotton because it will better absorb perspiration and then allow it to evaporate.
2. Skip the garlic and onions.
Garlic and onions not only give you bad breath, but also can be absorbed in your body in such a way that the odor is released in your sweat. In addition, these strong cooking odors can cling to your hair and clothes and will stay there until you shampoo your hair and launder your clothing.
3. Apply some apple cider vinegar.
if you're looking for a natural underarm deodorant, use apple cider vinegar. Really! Just apply it directly to your armpits to kill body odor.
4. Cut back on meat.
Extracts of proteins and oils from certain foods, especially meat, as well as some types of spices, can remain in your body's excretions and secretions long after eating--and they can make you stink.
5. Benefit from good bacteria.
Take a daily acidophilus supplement to fight odor from the inside out. Acidophilus is a probiotic bacteria that helps aid digestion.
As a child I was brought up to know that stealing is wrong as I think the majority of us were. But according to a recent survey of 1,000 people by Paintballing.co.uk, people have no guilty conscience when it comes to taking certain things without paying.
1-93% Hotel shampoos, lotion and other room items. OK, shampoo and lotions are complimentary and implied for you top take home but towels, sheets, coffee and even batteries from the remote control you may have a Klepto problem.
2-88% unsecured Internet connection. With the monthly fees of Internet access routinely over $30 a month it's no wonder that people look for a free ride online (just walk inside a Panera or Starbucks). Stealing your neighbor's Internet signal via an unsecured WiFi connection is perfectly OK to 4 out of 5 people. Yet if you were to ask if stealing $30 from the guy who you steal Internet from I bet the percentage would drop. If anything, offer to pay half of the Internet bill for a clearer conscience.
3-55% restaurant condiments. One of my favorite episodes of My Name Is Earl was when Joy was refilling the family's ketchup bottle with individual packets of ketchup lifted from a fast food store. Funny joke but sad in reality. Considering condiments are one of the lowest priced grocery store items, it pretty sad to be tipping the basket of saltines into your purse, pocketing a salt shaker and loading up on sporks!
4-37% steal beer glasses from a bar. i must admit I fell in love with a pint glass from a local bar once. After remarking about it the bartender for what must have been hours, the bar key washed out the glass and handed it to me. I guess looking back at it, I am guilty of stealing (although I left a big tip afterwards) a glass. I hang my head in shame but to this day I still have the pint glass and only use it for special occasions as I do not want the lettering to fade or the glass to fall and break.
5-27% stationary from work. Ahhh yes a box of staples, a couple of post-it pads and a few ball point pens from the supply closet have found their way home. If you were to do this at Target or Walmart, Loss Prevention would escort you to a back office while calling the police to come and arrest you! Yet we feel little shame in doing the same thing from our employers.
6-22% co-workers food/beverages. It's been scandalous for years here at 98.5KTK. From cartons of half & half to frozen burritos stored in the office freezer, 1 in 5 of your co-workers see no problem of helping themselves to your coffee creamer, tea bags and left over lunch containers...even with colorfully-worded post-it notes warning to keep their hands off!
7-17% loose candy. An after dinner mint or chocolate is just that., for after your mea, not to load up for later! Or better yet the Brach candy displays at grocery store where an honor system box asking for a dime for a piece of candy is often overlooked.
8-11% fruit. Walking past the grapes at the grocery store, it's almost irresistible to pick off a grape or two or three. Of course we are just wanting to know if the grapes are sweet and tasty...but be honest, even if they are sweet and tasty do you take from the bunch of grapes you tasted? Or an unopened bag?
9-8% taking pens. Unless you are inside a bank, where the pens are secured with a chain, we find it acceptable to take a pen from stores and restaurants.
A spokesman for Paintballing.co.uk, which carried out the survey, said: “Everyone loves a freebie but it seems the lines between what is intended as a complimentary giveaway and what is someone else’s property isn’t always clear.
It has become very hard to tell anymore if a picture you see online is real or fake. Now with a little help from Photoshop, and Tim Mathenson’s tutorial, you can tell.
• Open Photoshop
• Open questionable image
• Press CTRL+U or go to Image -> Adjustments -> Hue/Saturation
• Set Hue to low
• Set Saturation to high
• Scroll the light bar back and forth, looking for areas of the image that don’t match
• If you find a splotch of discoloration, that may indicate the picture was retouched.
Tim says this will work on any retouched photo, not just Photoshopped ones.
At the office when someone isn't feeling well, we are quick to banish them to home so that we don't catch whatever they have. But when it comes to your family there is little to avoid catching what they being home. So here's some helpful advice on what you can do to ward off the flu season sickness from the experts. I'm sure common sense has taught you most of what covered but there are a couple of things I didn't know about and will certainly begin until the sickness season is over!
The common sense ways of avoiding the spread of germs are well known to most parents, but it doesn't hurt to go over them again. Sometimes, when your child is sick, you're so focused on being a caretaker that you can easily lose sight of these simple ways to avoid becoming ill.
Wash your hands frequently. If you're dealing with a sick child, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water after coming into contact with the child. Make sure your hand washing is effective; a quick swish under the water probably won't do the trick. According to The Centers for Disease Control, a 20-second scrub should be enough. A gel hand-sanitizing product also comes in handy. It can kill germs hand-washing may have left behind, or it can be used in a pinch when you can't get to a sink.
Most respiratory illnesses, like the common cold or flu, are spread through the air. When a sick person sneezes or coughs, their germs find their way into the air and can be inhaled by other people. Teach your children to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze. You can also use a spray disinfectant to kill airborne germs.
Don't forget that germs can live on surfaces. Use disinfecting wipes or sprays to attack germs on surfaces your children frequently touch, such as computer keyboards, refrigerator handles and doorknobs.
Kids like to wrap themselves up in their coziest blankets when they're sick and these comforting objects can pick up lots of germs. Wash sick kids' bedding in hot water to make sure they're extra-clean.
Even when you follow all the rules for keeping germs at bay, some are bound to make their way into your body. Thankfully, our bodies have an immune system to help fight these germs off and keep them from becoming full-blown illnesses. In healthy people, the immune system does a great job fighting off illness, but it can always use a little extra boost, especially when cold and flu season comes around.
Eating a healthy balanced diet is one important way to keep your immune system strong. This is easier said than done, but it's definitely not impossible. Make sure you're getting adequate protein and other nutrients in your diet. A good-quality multi-vitamin can give your diet some extra help.
Keeping hydrated is another way to keep your body at its best. True, water can taste a bit boring, but you can always jazz it up with some flavoring. Flavored herbal teas work well for this, and they're caffeine free. Another simple and tasty way to flavor water is with lemon juice.
Lemon is a great immune booster because it helps balance your body's supply of healthy bacteria. For sweetness, add some honey or stevia. Stevia is a plant-based natural sweetener that is fairly new on the mainstream market. It's about 300 times sweeter than sugar so a little goes a long way.
Staying fit doesn't just help you look great; it benefits your immune system too. Even during the frosty days of cold and flu season, be sure you make time for some physical activity. Walk around the block, take the stairs at work, or go sledding with the kids
Do your best to maintain good mental health. When you're stressed or anxious, your body can't properly fight off illness. Use relaxation techniques and other stress-management strategies to help keep your mind in a positive place. Seasonal depression can affect the immune system, too, so be sure you're getting enough sunlight. Get outdoors on sunny days and talk to your doctor about treatments for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Echinacea is the most popular natural immune-system enhancer available. Many people swear by it, and wouldn't go a winter without it.
Probiotics help maintain a healthy stomach, but they also contribute to the overall health of the body's immune defense. You can take probiotics year-round to keep your body working in top condition.
Occillococcinum is a difficult to pronounce but easy to use homeopathic treatment for flu. It's said to be effective against flu symptoms when taken at the first signs of illness. It has performed well in clinical trials and is available at many national drugstore chains.
There are many natural supplement products that have (or claim to have) immune-boosting potential. Always do some homework before shopping for these products so you get one that's right for you.
It's Friday night and that annoying guy at work keeps asking you out on a date. So when you say that you have plans tonight washing your hair, try one of these 8 DIY hair treatments that is sure to make your locks even lovelier! Seriously, some really good info that will save you money and probably be better to your hair and scalp than store chemicals! (Woman's Day)
Eggs, yogurt and honey are, at first glance, all components of a tasty breakfast — but they also happen to be hair treatment ingredients, and affordable, all-natural ones at that. And they're not the only ones. Did you know, for instance, that the oils in avocados more closely resemble our own skin's oils than any product in the beauty aisle does? Or that the mild acidity in lemon is an effective — and gentler — alternative to chemical-laden products? Next time your locks need a lift, save money by using one of these kitchen fixes.
For all hair types
"The [raw] egg is really the best of all worlds," says Janice Cox, author of "Natural Beauty at Home". The yolk, rich in fats and proteins, is naturally moisturizing, while the white, which contains bacteria-eating enzymes, removes unwanted oils, she explains.
To use: For normal hair, use the entire egg to condition hair; use egg whites only to treat oily hair; use egg yolks only to moisturize dry, brittle hair, Cox says. Use 1/2 cup of whichever egg mixture is appropriate for you and apply to clean, damp hair. If there isn’t enough egg to coat scalp and hair, use more as needed. Leave on for 20 minutes, rinse with cool water (to prevent egg from "cooking") and shampoo hair. Whole egg and yolks-only treatments can be applied once a month; whites-only treatment can be applied every two weeks.
For dull hair
Styling products (as well as air pollution) can leave a film that both saps moisture and dulls shine — but dairy products like sour cream and plain yogurt can help reverse this damage. "Lactic acid gently strips away dirt while the milk fat moisturizes," says Lisa Belkin, author of "The Cosmetics Cookbook".
To Use: Massage 1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt into damp hair and let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water, followed by cool water, then shampoo hair as you normally would. Treatment can be applied every other week.
For itchy scalp
To fight flakes — brought on by poor diet, stress and climate, among other factors — try a lemon juice and olive oil mixture in your hair. "The acidity in lemon juice helps rid your scalp of any loose, dry flakes of skin, while the olive oil moisturizes the [newly exposed] skin on your head," says Cox.
To Use: Mix 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons water, and massage into damp scalp. Let mixture sit for 20 minutes, then rinse and shampoo hair. Treatment can be applied every other week.
For limp or fine hair
To add body to hair, reach for an unlikely beauty beverage: beer! The fermented drink contains generous supplies of yeast, which works to plump tired tresses, explains Cox.
To use: Mix 1/2 cup flat beer (pour beer into a container and let it sit out for a couple of hours to deplete carbonation) with 1 teaspoon light oil (sunflower or canola) and a raw egg. Apply to clean, damp hair, let sit for 15 minutes, then rinse with cool water. Or add flat beer only to a spray bottle and spritz onto dry hair. "When the liquid evaporates, the remaining protein residue (from the wheat, malt or hops) continues to strengthen and structure hair," says Belkin. Treatments can be applied every other week.
For dry or sun-damaged hair
Whatever your hair-dehydrating demon — hard water, sun overexposure, your trusty flat iron — nature's sweetener can help. "Honey is a natural humectant, which means it attracts and locks in moisture," says Cox.
To use: Massage approximately 1/2 cup honey into clean, damp hair, let sit for 20 minutes, then rinse with warm water. You can also add 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil to loosen the honey for easier application. For extremely sun-damaged hair, trying mixing honey with 1 to 2 tablespoons of a protein-rich ingredient, like avocado or egg yolk, which will help replenish the keratin protein bonds that UV rays attack. Treatment can be applied once a month.
For oily or greasy hair
"Used properly, [cornmeal or cornstarch] is an inexpensive way to remove oil and grease," says Belkin.
To use: Pour 1 tablespoon cornmeal or cornstarch into an empty salt or pepper shaker and sprinkle onto dry hair and scalp until you’ve used it all. After 10 minutes, use a paddle hairbrush to completely brush it out. Treatment can be applied every other day.
For frizzy hair
Home beauty experts swear by avocado — and not just to repair damaged hair. Its oils (which are light and moist like our own natural skin secretions) and proteins boast the best combination of nutrients for smoothing and weighing down unruly hair, explains Cox.
To use: Mash up half an avocado and massage into clean, damp hair. Let sit for 15 minutes before rinsing with water. Amp up moisturizing power by combining mashed avocado with 1 to 2 tablespoons of a hydrating ingredient, like sour cream, egg yolks or mayonnaise. Treatment can be applied every two weeks.
For residue-ridden hair
"Nothing eats through product buildup like baking soda," Cox says. Sodium bicarbonate essentially breaks down anything acidic.
To Use: Mix 1 to 2 tablespoons baking soda with small amounts of water until a thick paste forms. Massage into damp hair and let sit for 15 minutes. Rinse with water, then shampoo hair. Treatment can be applied every two weeks.
Here we go again, the fine art of finding out about your personality! The way you answer "yes" or "no" questions reveals much about you, says Dr. W. Beryl West, a professor of psychology. "When someone asks you to respond in a positive or negative way, they're asking you to put yourself on one side or the other. This clearly expresses the way you feel," says West. "The way we usually or most often say yes or no definitely reveals our personality."
If you respond "yeah" or "nah," it means you are a casual person, spontaneous and fun-lovin. You enjoy throwing last-minute parties, and always see an easy way to accomplish things.
If you answer "yessiree" or "nosiree" -- or "yo", "yay" or "nay" -- you're generally a happy person, a free spirit. You're extremely flexible, well-liked and have an active social life.
Responding with "yes, sir" and "no, sir" means you're extremely polite, consider manners to be very important and enjoy being in charge. You're good at setting priorities and sticking to them.
If you answer "yes" or "no" you are a precise person. You're always on time. You usually have your days planned in your head. You're very sensitive and always know the proper thing to do or say.
If you respond with "mm-hmmm" for "yes", and "uh-uh" for "no," you're a physically strong person who believes in teamwork and likes people a lot. You also love animals and enjoy having pets.
People who reply "yep" or "nope" are extremely creative and set high goals for themselves, have lots of self-confidence and style, yet are tactful and polite when speaking their mind.
Online dating is here and here to stay. According to Deborah Ballard-Reisch, a communications professor at Wichita State University specializing in quantitative research in interpersonal communications, the odds of meeting a dating partner, if not your soul mate, are stronger than ever online. Ballard-Reisch says that 40 million U.S. men and women have tried online dating, a staggering figure given the number of single American adults.
“There are 54 million single Americans today,” she says. “Forty million of them are online in one way or another. You have a better chance of meeting Mr. or Ms. Right today than you ever have.”
She estimates that 20% of all long-term romantic relationships are launched online, and that figure really has changed the “dating game.”
“We used to develop romantic relationships with people we went to school with or knew through church, or family or friends introduced us to, and now we supplement that by meeting people online,” Ballard-Reisch says. “And the world of people available to us has exploded exponentially because of that.”
That doesn’t mean cyber-dating comes without risk. There is no shortage of con artists and fraudsters who leverage online dating sites to separate you from your money.
“Like any new technology, there are some downsides to online dating, too,” she says. “One of the biggest is fraud. There are a number of international consortiums that get on online dating sites and pretend to be someone they’re not in order to get money out of people.”
Ballard-Reisch cites two warning signs you are about to be ripped off:
You’re asked to send money. If this happens, it’s time to evacuate — fast. “If someone asks you to send them money, especially out of the country, run,” Ballard-Reisch says.
”Americans” Who Don’t Know English.“One of the things to look out for in online dating is that, when people claim language fluency and then they have grammar and syntax and spelling errors,” she adds. “If their language doesn’t seem right, it likely isn’t” and they may be contacting you from overseas.
What can you do to date safely?
Make Like Sherlock Holmes.
Avail yourself of the research sides of the Internet and find out all you can about a prospective online dating match. “This might sound coarse, but so much information is available to us online now,” Ballard-Reisch says. “If you’re thinking of meeting someone you have met only online, Google them. Use multiple search engines. Consider seeking criminal background checks. Make sure that people are who they say they are. We used to be able to rely on our support networks — our family, our friends, et cetera — to vet people for us, and when we meet people online, we can’t do that anymore.”
If you do decide to meet someone you met on line, follow Ballard-Reisch’s security checklist. “Always meet in a public place the first few times,” she advises. “Drive yourself. Let your friends and family know where you’re going, with whom and when you plan to return. Have a panic word in case you have a quick second to call them if you need help. And keep your phone online so you can be tracked through GPS if necessary. Trust your instincts. If something feels wrong, get out.”
Guard Your Personal I.D.
Make sure to keep your identity safe. Even a slight breach or misstep can cost you plenty from a con artist. “Don’t give information about yourself too quickly,” she adds. “Get to know people before you share with them personal information about who you really are.”
Botox, that's so 2008! The latest craze for youthful skin sounds like something out of a horror novel, snake venom!
Why Snake Venom?
While you probably think of snake venom as harmful, it actually can produce anti-aging benefits when applied topically to the skin. Some have even said the results are better than Botox! Through years of research, it was found that snake venom temporarily inhibits muscle activity, which prevents and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Who would have thought to incorporate such a lethal substance into your skin care routine? Well, several years ago Israel and Nate Dakar, creators and co-founders of Sonya Dakar Skincare, discovered the benefits of temple viper venom. Yes, they studied the effects of real cobra viper venom, but have no fear, the snakes were not harmed during the process.
Is It Safe To Use?
After years of research and development, Sonya Dakar Skincare produced a synthetic version, a.k.a. "syn-ake," a harmless synthetic tripeptide that mimics the effects of snake venom when applied on the skin.
Why should people choose Microvenom over other anti-aging formulas? Good question! “While everyone has different skin care needs, our exclusive MicroVenom formula is ideal for individuals looking to incorporate a preventive and/or restorative anti-aging component into their skin care regimen. Choosing skin care products with "syn-ake" may prove to be a viable alternative to invasive procedures like lasers, Botox or Juvederm. Our MicroVenom technology includes nine anti-aging ingredients, helping cells from all angles ” says Sonya Dakar Skincare’s Beauty Director, Sarah Dakar.
It is recommended to have a consultation with a skin care specialist before use, but the synthetic snake venom is engineered to be completely safe and harmless.
Is It Really Better Than Botox?
With Botox, you have to get frequent injections to maintain results. Snake venom, on the other hand, is painless and relatively hassle-free, making it an easy step to add into your skin care regimen to achieve the same results. After about three weeks of consistent application, users should notice a dramatic difference in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
This new skin care miracle has even slithered (get it?) its way onto the faces of Hollywood's hottest celebs such as India.Arie, Josh Duhamel and Fergie, who are already fans of this fake facelift frenzy.
Whether you're a young fresh-faced beauty or just looking for a new product to spice up your daily routine, snake venom skin care products might be the perfect beauty secret for you!
We tend to think reality shows end like a fairy tale, where they lived happily ever after. Now we now learn that once the reality show cameras are off and production is over, the fairy tale ends and reality hits hard.
#5. No One from The Biggest Loser Can Keep the Weight Off
The Biggest Loser puts extremely overweight people through an intense diet and exercise regimen to see who can shed the most pounds by the end of the show's run. The first few episodes look like a bunch of circus bears doing jumping jacks, but gradually the contestants lose extra weight like car keys on a roller coaster. For instance, first season winner Ryan Benson lost a total of 130 pounds. Benson's current weight is around 300 pounds, which is just 30 pounds less than what he weighed at the start of The Biggest Loser. Benson isn't an anomaly -- almost every Biggest Loser winner has gained back a chunk of the weight he or she lost on the show. The worst example is Season 3 winner Eric Chopin. Chopin began the show clocking in at 400 pounds, and won after successfully dropping 200. Once the show was over, however, Chopin bounced right back up to 370 pounds.
The unfortunate truth is that people on The Biggest Loser don't do anything but train for the entirety of the season -- the show's producers cover all their expenses during filming. It's not like they're going to work and then driving over to the gym to film some sit-ups. They aren't doing anything except training, under constant supervision, for however many weeks production lasts. Once the show is over, they go back to their normal 9-to-5 lives, which typically do not include controlled diet and exercise.
#4. Almost Every Restaurant on Kitchen Nightmares Goes Out of Business
Kitchen Nightmares is a show where angry celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay goes to failing restaurants to scream at the owners for two weeks straight until their food and service improves.
Oddly enough, restaurateurs who are terrible at running a business don't suddenly become successful. In actuality, only about a third of the restaurants Ramsay "rescues" actually manage to stay open. For instance, in the first two seasons of the show (2007 to 2009), Ramsay rescued 21 restaurants. Only two are still open. Now to be fair, Ramsay doesn't visit a restaurant unless it's teetering on the brink of disaster. So it could be argued that without him and his very expensive intervention (often buying them all new equipment and decor, and even lending them staff), 0 percent of them would have survived. Still, each episode ends with inspirational music, owners who have seen the light, and a restaurant that has undergone a complete renovation with a brand new menu and a dining room full of customers. There's no hint that all Ramsay has done is delay the inevitable.
#3. The People on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Can't Afford to Keep Their New Homes
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition features the world's most excitable man, Ty Pennington and his impossibly attractive crew building awesome new houses for people who have been shorted in life. The family gets sent on a complimentary vacation while the crew either does extensive repairs and renovations or replaces the entire thing. Truly, there is no aspect of this that anyone could be upset about. Sure, the show's producers may cover all the construction costs, but the lucky homeowners are left on their own to figure out how they're going to cover the utility bills and property taxes that have skyrocketed as a result of their extreme home makeover.
One family, which had a new home specifically designed to help their developmentally challenged son, was forced to put the house on the market after just a little over a year because they simply couldn't afford what it cost in both time and money to maintain a palatial four-bedroom estate while trying to raise three children, one of whom has special needs.
#2. Oprah Makes People Pay for Their Free Cars
Oprah is famous for giving out free stuff to her audience. She started small, slinging gift cards and promotional material from her various guests to "giving" away 276 brand new cars to members of her studio audience.Unfortunately, receiving a luxury item as a prize on a television show doesn't exempt you from having to pay the accompanying taxes, which is the precise situation faced by everyone who has ever been given a car by Oprah Winfrey.
For the purposes of her own tax records, Oprah declared all of her giveaway cars "prizes" instead of gifts. This may seem like a trivial distinction, but as far as the IRS is concerned, anything that's designated a gift is non-taxable, but a prize is basically just like any other income (otherwise Oprah herself would get the tax bill on each of those cars). So, Oprah listed the value of each car at its full MSRP of $28,500, and that money counts as income whether you received it in the form of a car or a paycheck. And like any income, the audience owes taxes on it. This meant that each lucky audience member who received a car from Oprah had to immediately pay as much as $7,000 out of their own pocket for a car they neither asked for nor were expecting.
#1. Storage Wars Capitalizes on People's Misfortune (and Is Probably Staged)
Storage Wars documents the adventures of a group of risk takers who buy storage lockers at auction to (hopefully) sell the contents for a tidy profit. These are lockers full of what were once people's prized possessions that have since been abandoned. The risk/reward aspect of the program has proven to be a huge draw, resulting in two spinoffs and a handful of copycat shows. If you've ever watched Storage Wars, you may wonder why a person would leave a $6,000 coin collection in a storage unit and then default on the rent. The answer is really sad, no matter how you look at it.
Originally the show's producers intended to delve into the background of each locker featured on Storage Wars, but unsurprisingly, all the information they uncovered was pure, unmitigated misery. The reason these abandoned treasures are abandoned is that the original owners of the units failed to make their rent payments. This is because they could no longer afford them due to unemployment, homelessness (hence putting all their belongings in a storage locker), divorce,illness or death and were therefore no longer able to pay.
But don't worry, because according to former Storage Warrior Dave Hester, the show is all rigged anyway. Hester claims that all of the valuable items found inside the lockers are actually planted there by the show's producers, which would explain how the bidders could inexplicably find something like a Rembrandt stashed in a 6-by-12 unit alongside a box full of magazines. He also insists that all of the auctions are staged, meaning every "bidding war" you witness on the show is actually entirely scripted.
But hey, it's entertainment right? True but it makes me think twice about submitting myself for one of these shows and adds credibility that there is no such thing as a free lunch!
Ever wonder what a successful marriage looks like? Well, according to José-Manuel Rey of the Complutense University in Spain, it looks something like this:
Rey has identified a number of variables which, if calculated together, seem to predict why some marriages last and others fail. He has published his work in the journal PLOS ONE.
The formula is based on something called the second law of thermodynamics for sentimental relationships. In physics, the second law of thermodynamics states that in any closed energy system, order will gradually deteriorate into disorder (as entropy) over time. The second law as applied to relationships works under a similar principle: that relationships tend to deteriorate over time unless effort is consistently introduced to sustain them. In other words, love isn't enough. Relationships take effort. And, according to Rey, relationships can be put on predictable trajectories when levels of effort are properly quantified.
The purpose of the formula is to deal with an omnipresent concern in most western societies: high divorce rates. Divorce isn't just stressful for those involved, but it also poses a dilemma for sociologists and therapists looking to diagnose the problem. Of course, some failed marriages seem easy to predict from the beginning: the couple was too young, they married too quick, they had opposing values, etc. But Rey isn't concerned with these kinds of failed marriages. His formula is more ambitious than that. He aims to predict why divorce still happens among seemingly stable marriages, when both partners have similar emotional attributes.
In other words, marriage is difficult to maintain even for those who have the best of intentions. This is what marriage researchers occasionally refer to as the failure paradox. Rey has identified some key variables that help to predict the outcome even in these situations.
Basically, all relationships have something called an effort gap. According to Rey, "a remarkable finding of the model is that the level of effort which keeps a happy relationship going is always greater than the effort level that would be chosen optimally a priori [or logically]." The effort gap is therefore the difference between these two levels of effort.
Instability is commonly introduced into a relationship through the effort gap, mainly because putting out the extra effort on a consistent basis isn't typically much fun. (That's what makes it an effort.) So whether a relationship can be maintained depends in large part on whether the effort gap is tolerable or not. If it's not, then even well-intentioned couples will begin to feel worn out and the relationship trajectory will rapidly deteriorate.
So what does all of this mean about the odds of your relationship lasting? Well, it means what you probably already knew: it's complicated. The good news for marriage counselors is that they're unlikely to be replaced by calculators anytime soon. The research, while fascinating, still has a lot more to assess.
The method offers more insight to sociologists, who are burdened with having to explain complicated phenomena such as divorce rates, than it does to lovers contemplating marriage. But the findings do reinforce a cold fact that lovers would do well to remember: when it comes to relationships, love alone isn't enough. Relationships are destined to deteriorate without effort.
What's the difference between a good employee and a great one? Beyond dependable, reliable and proactive, the answer is "the qualities that are often unnoticed, but make an enormous impact on job performance." That's the word from BNET.com writer Jeff Haden, who has identified nine such traits.
1. A Little Bit "off."
The most outstanding employees are a bit quirky--different from the others. They can be irreverent and unusual, but all in a good way. They shake things up and make work more fun, adding flavor and flair to an otherwise dull workplace. They aren't afraid to challenge authority or test the boundaries, and in so doing they often come up with the best ideas.
2. Know When To Reel It In.
The quirky personality only succeeds in the office until it goes one step (or hundreds) too far. For eccentrics to be outstanding employees, they must know when to rein it in, fit into the team and get the job done. It's knowing the difference between when it's OK to play and when it's time to be serious and work hard.
3. Ignore Job Descriptions.
This is especially important in small companies where priorities shift rapidly, and employees need to do what it takes to get things done no matter what their official job title.
4. Eager To Prove Others Wrong.
Tell a kid who didn't graduate from college that he can't do the job, and it may be just the incentive he needs to prove the doubters wrong. While education, intelligence, talent and skill are all important, it is drive and motivation that are most critical.
5. Praise In Public.
Giving praise in public is a great way to boost morale. Outstanding employees are on the giving end of praise, recognizing the contributions of others.
6. Complain In Private.
while brainstorming solutions in a group is quite effective, some problems, especially those that are sensitive or controversial, are best dealt with one-on-one. Outstanding employees discuss such concerns with the stakeholders behind closed doors.
7. Ask Questions For Others.
It's not uncommon for even the most vivacious employee to clam up in a meeting. Outstanding employees have a gut sense of the issues and concerns of others and take the lead in asking the tough questions when others are hesitant.
8. Start Work On Time.
The best employees don't waste time in the morning getting coffee, chit-chatting and checking their personal e-mail. They start work with a bang.
Call it tinkering. Or tweaking. Or editing. Or redoing. Outstanding employees aren't satisfied with the average. They're willing to rewrite a report, rework a process or revise a spreadsheet to make things better.
I saw this top 10 list compiled from supervisors from America's biggest companies and thought it might be insightful on what can make you stand out from your co-workers and possibly a more lucrative and secure future of employment for you!
1. What You Do Outside Of Work Matters.
Your boss doesn't watch your every move -- unless you give them reason to but they are keeping tabs on you. Ask yourself, "Would I want my boss to read this?" every time you post something on Facebook or any another social media site, suggests Edith Onderick-Harvey, president of Factor In Talent, an Andover, Massachusetts-based corporate consulting firm. "Be careful about how much you share about your weekend or what a jerk [you think] your coworker is," she urges. Otherwise, your boss may start seeing you in a less-than-professional light, and that could carry over to how she values you as an employee.
2. Your Attitude Is As Important As Your Assignments.
Like 'em or not, office politics matter both day to day, and in the long run. "What your manager won't tell you is that what may be even more important than completing tasks and following directions is your ability to work with her and your coworkers," says Onderick-Harvey. Even if you're getting the job done, if your coworkers find you to be abrasive, rude or just unpleasant, it will be hard for your boss to promote you.
3. Speak Up!
Don't be afraid to make yourself heard. The most valuable employees take initiative, says Patty Briguglio, president of MMI Public Relations in Raleigh, North Carolina. "I like having an employee who isn't afraid to show her personality," she says. "I don't want someone to just fill a spot at a desk." If you want a promotion, ask for it, says Briguglio. Also, let your boss know what you need to succeed, urges workplace consultant Steve Langerud, director of professional opportunities at DePauw University, whether it's training, time or money.
4. Follow Our Lead.
if you're not sure whether your boss prefers to communicate in a meeting or via email or phone, ask, suggests career and executive coach Lauren Mackler. Also ask how they want to be consulted on and what they prefer you handle on your own. And take cues from their personality, says Mackler: If your boss is introverted, don't keep pushing for face-to-face time.
5. Toot Your Own Horn.
(This is a toughie for me!-Chris Malone) Your boss can't possibly keep tabs on what every employee is doing every day -- it's up to you to let him know! "When you wrap up a project, send a congratulatory email to your team and CC your boss," suggests Mackler. You might also send him a monthly overview of the projects you've completed and other accomplishments, and have these month-to-month emails on hand at your annual performance review. And speaking of performance reviews...
6. We Don't Like Performance Reviews, Either!
"They're just as painful for your boss as they are for you," says Daniel Debow, co-CEO of Rypple, a web-based feedback tool. "But you can help make them easier." Rather than trying to recall the details of a project from 10 months ago on the day of your review, keep track of your successes as they happen, suggests Debow. You should also try to connect with your boss regularly throughout the year -- not just on review day.
7. Dress Like You Mean Business.
"Dress every day as though it's possible you'll be called into the company president's office for a meeting," urges former business manager Sue Thompson, a consultant and speaker with Set Free Life Seminars. Even though your manager has more important things to focus on than your clothes and your business etiquette, if you fall short in either category you're just asking not to be promoted -- and you may be on the verge of a very uncomfortable conversation.
8. We Appreciate Positive feedback, Too.
if you make your boss look and feel good, you'll reap the rewards, promises Stefanie Smith, head of executive consulting and coaching firm Stratex. Generally your boss is the one doing the encouraging and nurturing, but you can turn the tables to your advantage. Compliment your boss in front of other people, suggests Smith. Just be sure to keep your kind words sincere -- and brief.
9. Be A Problem Solver.
"Most employees bring up problems and expect the boss to solve them," laments Jennifer Prosek, CEO of consulting firm CJP Communications. "The employees who stand out are a part of the solution." If you're struggling with a project or a client and aren't sure what to do next, present your boss with three possible options. Even if they instruct you to do something entirely different, they'll appreciate that you're thinking ahead.
10. Take Responsibility For Your Actions.
Whether you're running late ("The traffic was terrible!") or botched a big time project ("Well, the email late!"), don't try to push the blame elsewhere. Instead, acknowledge your mistake and take care not to repeat it. "Even if you're a nice person with decent skills, I can't promote you if you refuse to accept the blame when you mess up," says Deborah Becker, the owner of a State Farm Insurance agency in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. And when you make a mistake, keep your apology concise. "The phrase 'I'm sorry. It won't happen again,' goes a long way."
Family movie night is a great way to bond with your kids and end a busy week. Check out these ideas that will turn movie night into a fun experience for the whole family that will surely fill up a book of memories for years to come.
Mix Classic Movies With Current Releases
Movie night is a great excuse to expose your children to some great classic movies. Alternate weeks between classic movies and current releases to keep everybody happy. They may balk at the idea at first, but you would be surprised how much they end up loving these golden oldies.
Some kid-friendly classic movies include Singin' in the Rain, Mary Poppins, The Wizard of Oz, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and It's A Wonderful Life.
Decorate According To A Theme
Decorate your living room according to the theme of the movie. For instance, on Harry Potter movie night, turn your living room into Hogworts by printing off movie posters online and placing them around the room. Drape tables with black sheets and sprinkle star confetti around. Have each family member wear a magician's hat or carry a wand and serve Harry Potter's Bertie Bott's Jelly Beans. For Shrek, create a green-colored room, and have every family member get decked out in green clothes to watch the movie. A Twilight movie night would be especially fun for your teens to decorate!
Turn Your Living Room Into A Theater Room
Transform your living room into a cozy theater room by adding lots of pillow and blankets to the sofa and chairs. You can also create a comfy spot on the floor for the kids with pillows and blankets. Create soft theater lighting by placing white Christmas lights around the perimeter of the room and turning the other lights off. If it is within your budget, go with a surround sound system so you really get the movie theater experience.
A New Twist To Popcorn
For a true movie theater experience, serve freshly popped popcorn in a movie theater popcorn box. You can buy them online for around $10 for a pack of 50. You can also make easy popcorn balls that are both fun to make and are a tasty treat. For another fun option, set out toppings for the popcorn, such as popcorn seasoning, cinnamon/sugar mixture, melted butter or caramel, and let each family member top their popcorn as they wish.
Schedule An Intermission
To make family movie night a pleasant experience for all, plan an intermission halfway through the movie. This allows everyone to use the restroom, and get food and drink refills without disturbing anyone. Once intermission is over, flicker the lights to indicate the movie will be starting.
After the movie is over, take the opportunity to give your reviews (thumbs up or thumbs down), what you did or didn't like about the movie, lessons learned and discuss how they would or would not have acted differently from the main character in the movie.
This is the time of the year when many give up on their resolutions to lose weight. After weeks of jogging, the gym, yoga and diets, nothing seems to work. If this describes you let me ask one question: Have you considered your metabolism? In the battle of the bulge, how you body uses food is so important. But how to increase your body's use of energy? here are 8 simple steps you can use now.
Tip #1: Eat Real Food
Ask yourself if something you’re about to eat was around more than 10,000 years ago. If not, don’t eat it. Better yet, if you’re really serious about boosting your metabolism, raid your pantry and fridge to purge it of any products that you highly doubt were around just a few generations ago.
If you have a hunch that the Jell-O, Twinkies, potato chips and Twizzlers in your cabinets weren’t enjoyed by cavemen, trash them and never buy them again. Lean meats, plenty of fresh vegetables, some fruit and a small amount of seeds, nuts and natural oils should comprise 99 percent of your food intake. (Cheat once in a blue moon so you don’t completely fall off the wagon.)
Start reading food labels. If a product has as many items as the periodic table of elements, it won’t boost your metabolism. Don’t eat something if it has more than three to five ingredients (less is best). Foods loaded with preservatives, excessive natural sugar, and cheap sugar surrogates like high-fructose corn syrup lead to weight gain because these substances are a shock to the liver and have a tendency to get stored as body fat.
Tip #2: Eat 3-6 Times Per Day
On one hand, it seems like many people have heard the wise tip of eating several small meals throughout the day. Why then is there still a prevalence of fasting to lose weight? The psychological factor of stepping on a scale and seeing the weight go down is huge. If someone skips meals, say to lose 10 pounds for a wedding, they may be successful in dropping the weight.
When someone steps on a scale, however, the number before them does not tell the whole story. The reading on the scale fails to decipher how much weight was attributed to fat loss, how much to muscle gain and how much to water-weight fluctuations.
Eating smaller, balanced meals throughout the day keeps blood sugar levels from fluctuating. As a result, cravings for foods that tend to put on fat are greatly reduced.
If you go several hours without eating (more than four or five), your body’s neurological wiring will still act as it did in prehistoric times, shutting down your metabolism to prepare for a period of starvation.
Tip #3: Eat 10 Grams Of Protein By 10 a.m.
Every meal you eat should contain the three main macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein and natural fat. The trick is to figure out which proportions of each to eat at every meal. (An online test called Metabolic Typing can help you figure this out).
And if you’re following tip #2, chances are, you’re eating breakfast. That’s smart because it will fire up your engine and make sure your metabolism gets cranking early in the day.
By 10 a.m. every day, including Saturday and Sunday, eat 10 grams of high-quality protein to kick start your metabolism. (One egg has about 6 grams.) Even waiting to eat your first meal of the day at an 11 a.m. brunch will throw your metabolism off for the rest of the day.
Tip #4: Exercise, But Don’t Do Too Much Cardio
Some runners and joggers can’t figure out why, despite all the cardiovascular exercise they’re doing, those last 10 extra pounds won’t melt away. Too much cardio will actually burn muscle tissue. A better way to boost metabolism through exercise is to start a strength-training routine.
Don’t have the money or desire to join a gym or hire a personal trainer? No problem. Your own body is the only piece of exercise equipment you need. You also don’t need to exercise for an hour or more at a clip to boost your metabolism.
Recent studies have demonstrated that several short bursts of resistance training can be more effective at boosting metabolism than an hour-long workout. Pushups off your knees, even for men, are a great way to get back in shape and boost metabolism. Perform several sets of 10 repetitions throughout the day.
4 Extra Tips To Boost Metabolism:
Drink green tea throughout the day.
Make sure to also drink plenty of water.
Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night to regulate hormone levels.
Check with a health professional to see if your hormone levels are balanced.