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JYY Headlines Archives for 2014-02

Five Silly Dates Inspired By the Oscars

The Oscars are Sunday, so the website Your Tango came up with five idiotic date ideas inspired by this year's nominees . . .
1.  For "Dallas Buyer's Club", hit up a bar with a mechanical bull or go to a rodeo, since it was a big part of MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY'S character.  But does that theme make sense, when it's a serious movie about AIDS?
2.  Go sailing like LEONARDO DICAPRIO in "The Wolf of Wall Street".  Like a dinner cruise or a sightseeing boat tour.  Which just seems like an odd suggestion, since his yacht in the movie was filled with criminals, hookers, and coke
3.  Visit an Air and Space Museum in the spirit of "Gravity".  The big one is the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C., but if you can't make it there, you can find a closer option on MuseumLink.com.  Basically, this idea is just boring.
4.  Have a FaceTime date like in "Her".  In the movie, the guy is so lonely he ends up dating his OPERATING SYSTEM.  So yeah . . . not a great inspiration for a date.  But it could go to interesting places, especially if you're already long distance.
5.  Go clubbing in '70s outfits like the disco scene in "American Hustle" with AMY ADAMS and BRADLEY COOPER.  This one actually makes a little more sense.  But still . . . the movie's about con men, lying, criminals, and the mob.  (Your Tango)

Wonderful surprise for woman about to give birth

A Guy Surprised His Pregnant Fiancée with an Impromptu Wedding at the Hospital . . . After She'd Already Gone Into Labor
On Sunday, a 27-year-old woman named Brandi Wetzel went into labor and checked into a hospital in Fort Worth, Texas.  Then while she was getting an epidural, her fiancé James Anderson said he needed to run to the STORE.
Which she thought was weird.  But before she could ask any questions, he was gone.  And it turns out he was headed to a very SPECIFIC kind of store.  Because before he left, he told the nurses he wanted to throw a surprise WEDDING.
So while he went to buy a ring, a nurse named Ashleigh Campbell called her dad, who's a minister.  Then she and the other nurses started decorating a hospital room.
By the time James got back, Brandi's water had broken.  Then a random guy walked in the room, and when Brandi asked who he was, James revealed his plan by telling her it was the MINISTER.
James and Brandi also have a six-year-old son, who acted as the ring bearer.  And 30 minutes after their vows, Brandi gave birth to a healthy baby girl named Janelle.
James later explained, quote, "I just couldn't shake the idea of her having the baby without the ring on her finger."  (ClickOrlando.com / People / KHOU)  

Three Secrets to Get People to Read Your Emails

Obviously people don't respond to your emails . . . responding to emails is SO America Online.  But do you ever get the feeling people aren't even READING your emails?
A new study figured out three secrets to improve the chances of people actually reading your emails.  They may not respond . . . but one step at a time.
1.  Make the subject six to 10 words long.  Your next best bet is to keep the subject line under five words.  Don't ever go over 20 words.
2.  Put the person's first name in the subject line.
3.  And think about using a MOVIE TITLE or SONG LYRIC in the subject line.  Emails with movies or lyrics in the subject line were almost twice as likely to get opened as other emails.  (Marketing Land)

Here's Why You Should Wear Something Strange to a Job Interview

The old rule-of-thumb for job interviews is that you should dress one step more FORMAL than the standard dress at the company.  The new rule-of-thumb?  Wear a purple crushed velvet suit or leopard print high heels.
A new study out of Harvard University found that people who dress a little bit OFFBEAT for job interviews are more likely to get the job than people who dress very traditionally.
People who dress a little strange for work also tend to be more successful than people who don't.
Why?  In the modern work environment, you need to STAND OUT . . . and dressing just a little weirder than everyone else can do that.  It also shows you're creative, you're a nonconformist, and you're confident.
Now . . . the study didn't say HOW far over-the-top was too far.  But we assume if the job interviewer is wearing a suit and you show up in a grizzly bear costume, you probably won't get the job.  So be offbeat . . . in moderation.  (LiveScience)

People Would Rather Give Up Facebook Than Their Landlines?

The media generally makes it seem like Americans are all technological superstars.  We all have six or seven social media profiles, we stream everything instead of paying for cable, and we all know how to code apps.
Here's the reality check.  We're WAY simpler than that.  Here are four results from a new Pew survey that found JUST how much we're still clinging to our legacy technology.
1.  28% of people with a landline phone say it would be VERY HARD to give up their landline.  Only 11% of people say it would be very hard to give up social media.
2.  19% of Americans say they don't use computers.  That's about one in five.  And yes, older people skew that, since 44% don't use computers . . . but 11% of people 18-to-29 also don't use computers.
3.  10% of Americans still don't own a cell phone.  Yes, that's one in 10.
4.  Only 58% of Americans have a smart phone.  32% still use an old-fashioned phone.  (Pew Internet)

14% of Us Think Breaking a Mirror Means Seven Years of Bad Luck

Do you think of yourself as superstitious?  Apparently a LOT of us are . . . but it depends what the superstition is.  Here are a few stats from a new poll.
1.  33% of us think picking up a penny brings you good luck.
2.  24% think it's bad luck for a groom to see his bride before the wedding.
3.  23% think the number seven is lucky, but just 12% think the number 13 is unlucky.
4.  21% believe knocking on wood prevents bad luck, and 13% think throwing spilled salt over your shoulder does too.
5.  20% think walking under a ladder is unlucky.
6.  14% believe it's unlucky to open an umbrella indoors.
7.  14% say you're more likely to experience bad luck on Friday the 13th.
8.  14% think breaking a mirror brings you seven years of bad luck.
9.  13% think black cats are unlucky.
10.  And 7% think stepping on a crack is bad luck.
The survey also found that women tend to be slightly more superstitious than men.  And Democrats are more likely to be superstitious than Republicans.  (Harris)


The Latest Odds on Sunday's Oscars  
If you haven't filled out your office pool ballots for Sunday's Academy Awards . . . this is probably your last day to do it.  So to help you out, here are the latest odds out of Las Vegas:
Best Picture:  
"12 Years a Slave", 2-to-5
"American Hustle", 4-to-1
"Gravity", 5-to-1
Best Actor:
Matthew McConaughey for "Dallas Buyers Club", 1-to-2
Chiwetel Ejiofor for "12 Years a Slave", 4-to-1
Leonardo DiCaprio for "The Wolf of Wall Street", 5-to-1
Best Actress:
Cate Blanchett for "Blue Jasmine", 1-to-5
Sandra Bullock for "Gravity", 10-to-1
Amy Adams for "American Hustle", 18-to-1
Best Supporting Actor:
Jared Leto for "Dallas Buyers Club", 1-to-4
Michael Fassbender for "12 Years a Slave", 5-to-1
Barkhad Abdi for "Captain Phillips", 15-to-1
Best Supporting Actress:
Lupita Nyongo for "12 Years a Slave", 4-to-5
Jennifer Lawrence for "American Hustle", 8-to-5
June Squibb for "Nebraska", 15-to-1
Best Director:
Alfonso Cuaron for "Gravity", 1-to-3
Steve McQueen, "12 Years a Slave", 4-to-1
Martin Scorsese, "The Wolf of Wall Street", 15-to-1


All 85 Best Picture Winners, Ranked Best to Worst  
Buzzfeed.com has ranked all 85 Best Picture Oscar winners from best to worst.  "All About Eve" from 1950 was their top pick, while "Gigi" from 1958 ranked last.
Here's the Top 10 . . . 
1.  "All About Eve"  (1950)
2.  "The Godfather"  (1972)
3.  "Casablanca"  (1943)
4.  "The Godfather Part 2"  (1974)
5.  "The Silence of the Lambs"  (1991)
6.  "Lawrence of Arabia"  (1962)
7.  "The Bridge on the River Kwai"  (1957)
8.  "It Happened One Night"  (1934)
9.  "The Deer Hunter"  (1978)
10.  "Unforgiven"  (1992)
(And here's a fun infographic of all the winners.)

The Five Vitamins You Should Be Taking

A bunch of studies came out recently that blasted multivitamins, and basically said that you shouldn't bother with them.  But that wasn't the final word.  Smithsonian.com took a look at the research and came up with five supplements that ARE worth taking:
1.  Vitamin D.  Scientists aren't sure exactly why, but people who take vitamin D live longer.  It's also supposed to help prevent the flu and bone breaks. And it can't hurt you, so there's no harm if you take it.
2.  Probiotics.  Apparently, there are TRILLIONS of GOOD bacterial cells living inside your gut, and if you do a round of antibiotics they can get wiped out.  Taking probiotics can restore the balance.  And probiotics are also your go-to for any digestive issues.
3.  Zinc.  You may have heard that vitamin C can prevent colds.  That's not true, but scientists figured out that ZINC can.  Zinc also lessons cold symptoms and helps you recover faster. 
4.  Niacin. Basically, over-the-counter niacin is supposed to reduce strokes and heart attacks for people with heart disease.  
5.  Garlic. It gives you bad breath, but if you've got high blood pressure, studies show that garlic helps lower it.  It's also supposed to prevent cancer, but the jury's still out on that one.       (Smithsonian.com) 

A Cat Woke Up Its Owner and Saved Ten People from a House Fire

On Saturday night, a woman in southern France named Alexandra Marlin woke up in the middle of the night, because her ten-year-old cat "Meatball" was scratching on the floor of the attic above her apartment.
And apparently Meatball was scratching A LOT.  Because Alexandra got out of bed and went into the attic to see what was up.
Which is when she saw BLACK SMOKE and realized Meatball was scratching because a huge FIRE was raging in the attic.  So Alexandra called the fire department and ran around the apartment building waking people up.
And because of Meatball, all seven adults and three kids who lived there made it out safely.
Then Alexandra couldn't find Meatball anywhere after the fire, and started getting worried.  But he turned up following night, and was fine.
(The Local / Huffington Post / Le Dauphine)  

Nasa helps four-year-old with his homework

Looks like it pays to ask the experts. Four-year-old Lucas Whiteley of West Yorkshire, England, needed help with a school project about space  and decided to go right to the source, sending his three questions to NASA via their website.  And believe it or not, they answered.  

NASA engineer Ted Garbeff sent Lucas a 10-minute personalized video, answering all of his questions and giving him a virtual tour of his California base.  Lucas’ teachers were so impressed they played the video in front of all the students at a special assembly. In the clip, Ted is heard urging the kids to listen to their teachers and added that he hoped to see them all “up in space one day.”

And while some would think making the video would be too time consuming for an engineer like Ted, he was more than happy to do it. He said it was “super fun” to make and added, “I'm always happy to talk about NASA.”  What a star!

Is it worth your money to order the largest pizza possible?

It's Always Worth Your Money to Order the Largest Pizza Possible
You know how you're never sure whether it's worth it to spend a little more, and order a large pizza?  Like, maybe it makes more sense to get a couple mediums, or two smalls?
Well, a new study found it's ALWAYS smarter to buy the largest pizza that a pizza place offers.  Because two small pizzas cost more than one large . . . but one large has more pizza than two smalls.  Here's another way to look at it . . . 
What pizza is twice the size of an eight-inch pizza?  The answer isn't a 16-inch pizza.
It's an 11-inch pizza.  Because of how the area of a circle works, an eight-inch pizza has about 50 inches of total pizza.  An 11-inch pizza has about 95 inches of total pizza.
Researchers studied 74,476 prices from 3,678 pizza places around the country, and found there basically aren't ANY situations where it's more cost-effective to order a bunch of smaller pizzas instead of a larger one.
Let's look at Domino's.  Their small pizza is 10 inches in diameter, for about 79 inches of total pizza.  Their extra large is 16 inches, for about 201 inches of pizza.  
That means the XL gives you two-and-a-half times the pizza of the small.  The small costs $6, the XL is $12 . . . when it should cost $15 based on the amount of pizza you're getting.  (io9)

You Waste an Hour and 40 Minutes a Day . . . Here Are the Top 20 Time Wasters

According to a new survey, the average person wastes one hour and 40 minutes a day.  Although honestly, that seems low.
Here are the top 20 time wasters in our lives . . .
1.  Calls from telemarketers.
2.  Dealing with automated telephone systems when you call a company.
3.  Worrying about things that might happen.
4.  Waiting in line at the grocery store.
5.  Unnecessarily hard-to-open packaging.
6.  Traffic jams.
7.  Waiting in lines in general.
8.  Road construction.
9.  Waiting for someone to get back to you.
10.  Self-service checkouts, where you always end up needing an employee to help you out.
11.  TV commercials.
12.  Waiting for websites to load.
13.  "Candy Crush" and other cell phone games.
14.  Facebook.
15.  People that won't listen to you.
16.  Emails that don't really apply to you.
17.  Dusting.
18.  Cleaning.
19.  Twenty minutes of ads and trailers before a movie starts.
20.  Untangling your headphone cables.  (Daily Mail)  
(Check out the full top 50 here.  Since it's a British survey, some of the things lower down on the list don't apply over here . . . but most of them seem universal.)

"Snow White" Almost Had a Dwarf Named "Deafy"

"Snow White" Almost Had a Dwarf Named "Deafy", and Eight Other "WTF" Things That Almost Happened to Disney Movies  
The "Huffington Post" has assembled a list of "21 'WTF' Things That Almost Happened to Disney Movies."  Most of this stuff would've been BAD . . . so Disney's probably relieved that they ended up going in another direction.
Here are the highlights:
1.  Disney wanted the SPICE GIRLS to sing "I Won't Say (I'm in Love)" in "Hercules" . . . but thankfully, it didn't work out due to "scheduling difficulties."
2.  The song "Part of Your World" was almost cut from "The Little Mermaid" because the kids in a test audience found it "boring."  But it was received well by adults, so it stayed in.
3.  "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" could've featured dwarves named Hickey, Dirty, Dumpy and Deafy.  (???)  According to the early notes, "Deafy" would only hear a word or two of a conversation, leading to "comical situations."
As much as this representation would've DELIGHTED deaf audiences for years to come . . . in the end, Deafy was replaced with Sneezy.
4.  Disney almost scrapped the iconic spaghetti dinner scene from "Lady and the Tramp" because WALT DISNEY had a feeling that "dogs would look absurd eating spaghetti."  (???)  But one of the animators changed Walt's mind.
5.  Originally, "Pocahontas" was going to have a "talking turkey sidekick" named "Redfeather," who was going to be voiced by JOHN CANDY.  But the character was dropped after John died in 1994.
6.  "Aladdin" was originally designed to resemble MICHAEL J. FOX, but when a Disney exec didn't think he looked "attractive enough," they redesigned him to look like TOM CRUISE.
7.  "Bambi" was going to be WAY bloodier . . . with the movie showing Bambi watching as his mother's carcass was dragged away, leaving behind a POOL OF BLOOD.  Fortunately, they realized an off-screen death was traumatizing enough.
8.  Early on, Sebastian . . . the talking crab in "The Little Mermaid" . . . was supposed to have a British accent.  But they later changed it to a Caribbean one.
9.  THE BEATLES were originally meant to voice the Vultures in "The Jungle Book", but at the time, JOHN LENNON decided he "didn't want to do an animated movie."  Three years later, they did "Yellow Submarine".
(HuffingtonPost.com has the complete list.)

Eleven Ways to Damage a Guy's Ego

Guys don't like to admit it, but they're FRAGILE creatures.  If you don't believe us, check out this list of 11 things you can do to damage a guy's ego.  If that's your thing . . .
1.  Open the door for him.
2.  Tell him something he did was "irresponsible."
3.  Beat him at a video game.
4.  Pay compliments to his rivals.
5.  Fix something that's broken without asking him to.
6.  Be funnier.
7.  Buy him clothes that are too big for him. 
8.  Get him girly-smelling lotion.
9.  Pay for dinner when you're out with friends.
10.  Be more successful.
11.  Propose.

People cheer up 90 year old man on his bday after he looses his wife

A Guy Lost His Wife Right Before His 90th Birthday . . . So More Than a Thousand People Have Sent Birthday Cards to Cheer Him Up
Last month, a 90-year-old man in Wishek, North Dakota named Harold Krueger lost his wife of 63 years.  And he's still dealing with it.  But one of his daughters helped cheer him up in a pretty amazing way.
Before she passed, Harold's wife LaVina was planning to throw him a big 90th birthday party.  So his daughter Debbie took over the planning.  But she also ADDED an idea.
She wanted to see if she could lift his spirits by talking about him on Facebook, and asking her FACEBOOK FRIENDS to send birthday cards.
Now, Harold is a decorated World War Two veteran, and also served in Korea AND Vietnam.  So it wasn't a hard sell, and her friends immediately started SHARING it.
Then this past Sunday, his daughter posted an update to announce Harold has now received over a THOUSAND cards from people in 48 states.  And every morning, he goes to the post office at 9:30 A.M. to pick up even MORE.
Harold says the cards that have cheered him up the most are the ones from elementary school kids, thanking him for his service.  (KFYR / Facebook / Bismarck Tribune)  

A Couple Walking Their Dog in California Find $10 Million in Buried Treasure

This is the kind of story that could launch a million metal detector purchases.
A husband and wife in a rural area of northern California were out walking their dog recently, when they spotted something sticking out of the ground on their property.  It was an old, rusty metal can that had become visible because of erosion.
And when they popped open the can . . . they found $10 MILLION worth of GOLD COINS inside.  There were 1,427 coins, all from 1847 to 1894.  The couple's property is in the area where the California gold rush happened in the mid-1800s.
They're keeping their name and location anonymous, for obvious reasons.
A coin-collecting expert named Don Kagin is helping the couple out.  He says, quote, "I don't like to say once-in-a-lifetime for anything, but you don't get an opportunity to handle this kind of material, a treasure like this, ever."
He believes this is the most valuable buried treasure anyone's ever found in the U.S.  (ABC News)

Science Has Figured Out Why You Hate Hawaiian Shirts

Do you CRINGE when you see a guy wearing a Hawaiian shirt?  Assuming you're not at a JIMMY BUFFETT concert or actually in Hawaii . . . or working in morning radio.  You're not alone.  A LOT of people hate Hawaiian shirts.
And researchers at the University of Hawaii at Manoa actually did a scientific study on WHY people hate guys wearing Hawaiian shirts . . . and the most common words used to describe people in them.
Virtually ALL the words people used to describe guys in Hawaiian shirts are negative, including:  Tourist, vulgar, bad taste, foolish, sloppy, inappropriate, inauthentic, bizarre, chubby, and low class.  (Popular Science)

Hipsters Who Can't Grow Facial Hair Are Now Getting Beard Transplants

You're not a real hipster in 2014 unless you have a beard.  At least if you're a guy.  Or, I guess, even if you're a woman.  How hipster would THAT be?  But . . . what if you CAN'T grow a beard?  Does that stop you from being a hipster?
The answer is NO.  According to some plastic surgeons in New York, they're doing at least one BEARD TRANSPLANT every week for hipsters from Brooklyn who can't grow their own facial hair.
A beard transplant runs anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000.  (DNA Info)

Ten Things Women Decide About Their Wedding Before They Even Start Dating Someone

Wedding planning is supposed to be stressful, but I'm not sure why . . . apparently most women have had DECADES to work on the big details.
A new survey found 60% of single women say they've already planned at least SOME parts of their wedding day . . . even though they're not even dating anyone.  Sounds healthy.  Here are the top 10 things they've already decided on . . .
1.  The style of wedding dress they want.
2.  Where they're going for the honeymoon.
3.  Who will be their bridesmaids.
4.  Which flowers they want.
5.  How they'll wear their hair.
6.  The wedding venue.
7.  The food that will be served.
8.  Whether they'll have a traditional cake or something else.
9.  What they'll say in their vows.
10.  What time of year they want to get married . . . and possibly even a specific date.  (FemaleFirst)

A Paramedic Delivered His Own Baby in a Fast Food Parking Lot

Earlier this month, a guy in Charlotte, North Carolina named Paul Dupree took his pregnant girlfriend Erin to the hospital to give birth.  But her doctor said she wasn't far enough along, and sent her home.
Then later that day, Erin decided she definitely WAS far enough along.  So they got back in the car.  But about 15 minutes from the hospital, she realized she wasn't going to make it.
Luckily, Paul has been a paramedic for about 20 years, and he'd already helped deliver two babies.  Because when he called 911, they told him he'd have to deliver the baby HIMSELF.
So he pulled over in the parking lot of a Jack in the Box.  Meanwhile, Erin was freaking out because she didn't want to give birth without painkillers.  But within a few MINUTES, the baby was out.
Unfortunately the umbilical cord was wrapped around its neck, so Paul had to untangle it.  Then he didn't have any way to cut it . . . so he tied it off with one of his SHOELACES.
Paramedics got there right afterward, and the baby is fine.  Her name is Harper Lynn, and Erin says she's actually HAPPY Paul was the one who delivered her.  In fact, they're going to hold on to the shoelace as a memento.  (UPI / ABC News / WSOCTV)  

Hyundai Is Releasing a New Car Fueled by Poop

I'm not sure it's wise for Hyundai to associate themselves with POOP . . . they've worked really hard to make their brand more prestigious over the past decade.
Hyundai is about to unveil a new prototype car that's powered by FECES.  Specially-treated poop can be used to power an amazing new type of fuel cell in the car . . . no gas needed, just poop.
Of course, until poop treatment centers are all over the place, this probably isn't practical . . . but one day, maybe we'll look back on this as a special moment . . .  (Autoblog)

What Rule Did Your Parents Teach You That No One Else Seems to Follow?

When you were growing up, your parents probably taught you some quality etiquette rules.  Hopefully you still follow some of them . . . even if no one ELSE seems to.  Blame THEIR parents, right?
What "rule" did your parents teach you that YOU still follow, but no one else does?  Here are eight of our favorites . . .
1.  If you're a guest in someone's home, make sure you don't leave any traces that you were there.
2.  Don't slam doors when it's late.
3.  Don't talk about a party in front of someone who's not invited.
4.  Be grateful for the gifts you get, even if you don't like them.
5.  When you drop someone off, make sure they get inside safely before you drive away.
6.  Never show up to someone's party empty handed.
7.  Push your chair back under the table when you get up.
8.  Ask before you touch something.  That includes someone's dog, baby, pregnant belly, body, whatever.  (Reddit)

Moviefone Is Going Web-Only

Once upon a time, Moviefone was THE way to get movie listings.  You'd call 777-FILM . . . the annoying voice would say, "Hello, and welcome to Moviefone!" . . . you'd say the name of the movie you wanted . . . and they'd recognize it.
And believe it or not, Moviefone is still around.  You probably had no idea.  But it doesn't matter, because they just announced they're getting rid of the phone service to focus on their website and app.
Moviefone is owned by AOL, which paid $388 million for it back in 1999.  (Yahoo Finance)

Four Rules For When You Can Expect to Hear Back From Someone After a Call, Text, or Email

Communication is changing so fast, your phone gives you about 100 different ways to get in touch with someone.  But it STILL seems hard to get in touch with someone.
The website Business Insider came up with four new rules for when you can expect to hear back from someone in 2014, based on how you try to get in touch with them.  Here's what they've figured out . . .
If you CALL someone, that suggests it's urgent . . . so you should hear back within half an hour.
If you TEXT someone, there's less urgency . . . so expect to hear back within two hours.
Surprisingly, if you send an INSTANT MESSAGE to someone, you're probably going to get ignored for a while . . . so expect to hear back some time that day.
And if you EMAIL someone, don't expect to hear back for at LEAST a day.  (Business Insider)

Many people get news from social media

Newsflash: these days, we get most of our news from the internet.  Almost 60% of Americans consume their news online, often via social media.  
In fact, about half regularly or occasionally hear about breaking news stories on social media channels before they hit official news sources.  
Still, newspapers are a more common source of news than Twitter- although they’re neck and neck at 28% and 27% respectively.

Women Spend Two Weeks a Year Worrying About Their Appearance

The "Today" show just released the results of a new survey about BODY IMAGE . . . and our vanity is truly making us throw our lives away.  If only we could just ACCEPT being ugly.  I wonder how ROB SCHNEIDER does it.
Here are five results from the survey . . .
The average adult woman spends 6.4 hours a week worrying about her appearance . . . that works out to TWO FULL WEEKS per year.
The average adult man spends 4.5 hours a week worrying about his appearance . . . that's about 10 full days per year.
60% of women and 36% of men have negative thoughts about the way they look at least once a week.
The body part both men and women obsess about the most is their STOMACH.  Thinning hair is men's second biggest worry . . . thighs are a woman's second biggest worry.
On the bright side, the body part men and women worry about the least are their ankles.  Only 2% of men and 5% of women ever think they have unattractive ankles.  (Today)

Using your smartphone not so bad after all

Forget whistling while you work- try tweeting.  A study found that, contrary to what you might think, employees who use their smartphones throughout the day are actually happier and more productive.  

Experts believe allowing workers to take breaks during the workday- especially to connect with others via social media- has well-being benefits.  Their study determined that a total of 20 to 25 minutes of daily smartphone use was associated with increased happiness and did not harm productivity.  

Unfortunately, playing Candy Crush for three hours while you pretend to work probably won’t fly with your boss.

Six Signs Your Immune System is Vulnerable

It's still flu season, so you need to keep your immune system strong.  Here are six signs your immune system is vulnerable and you need to give it a boost:
1.  You eat a lot of sugar.  Studies show that sugar prevents your white blood cells from fighting off bacteria.  
2.  You're not drinking enough water.  You need plenty of fluid to flush out toxins.  Just make sure your pee is pale yellow . . . then you know you're getting enough liquid.
3.  You're overweight.  You already knew this wasn't good for you, but it turns out that excess weight is hard on your immune system.  You might have inflammation or hormonal imbalances that make it harder to fight infection.
4.  Your nose is dry.  It sounds gross, but snot is actually healthy.  If your nasal passage is too dry, it's the perfect environment for germs.
5.  You're stressed out.   Stress weakens your immune system, and if you're stressed while you're sick, it's even harder for your body to recover. 
6.  You're fighting off a cold.   Getting 3 to 4 colds a year is normal, but if you're constantly fighting one off, that means your resistance may be low. (ABC News) 

Baby's life saved during major traffic jam

A Baby Stops Breathing in the Middle of a Traffic Jam . . . But Two Paramedics and a Cop Happen to Be Stuck in the Same Traffic and Save It
Around 2:30 P.M. on Thursday, 37-year-old Pamela Rauseo of Miami was taking care of her five-month-old nephew Sebastian.  And they were stuck in traffic on the highway when Sebastian suddenly stopped BREATHING and turned BLUE.
So Pamela grabbed him, jumped out of her car, and immediately started yelling for someone to help.  Then she put Sebastian down on the pavement and started doing CPR, while the guy in the car behind her ran around looking for help.
Amazingly, there happened to be a COP named Amauris Bastidas stuck in the SAME traffic.  So he ran over, helped with CPR, and Sebastian started breathing again.  But then he STOPPED, so they did more CPR and revived him a SECOND time.
Then, two paramedics who were ALSO stuck in the traffic jam showed up to help, and Pamela handed Sebastian off to one of them.  After they did a quick medical check, an ambulance got there and took him to the hospital.
Doctors are still trying to figure out WHY Sebastian stopped breathing, but he was already in stable condition by Thursday night.
Also, the driver who ran around looking for help happened to be a PHOTOGRAPHER for "The Miami Herald", so there are some pretty amazing photos of the entire thing.  (Miami Herald / NY Daily News / ABC News)  

Dallas Police Had a Six-Hour SWAT Standoff . . . With an Empty Apartment

Last week, police in Dallas, Texas got a 911 call from a 25-year-old woman who said she'd been beaten and sexually assaulted by a group of men.  And she told them the men had barricaded themselves inside an apartment.
So DOZENS of cops surrounded the apartment, but couldn't get a dialogue going with anyone inside.  They kept urging anyone inside to, quote, "do the right thing" and surrender . . . but no one ever came out.
Finally a SWAT team came to the scene.  And after a SIX-HOUR standoff, they busted into the apartment . . . which turned out to be empty.  
The police still haven't fully sorted out what happened, because the woman really WAS beaten up by someone.  But why did she call 911 and tell them the guys who attacked her were in that apartment?  
And since the guys weren't there, where are they?  The police still aren't sure.  
(ABC 8 - Dallas / Gawker)

Man tips waitress big to help pay for school, but it was a scam!

A Guy Tipped a Waitress $6,600 Help Pay for College . . . But She Was Lying and Not Even Enrolled
Everyone loves those stories about rich customers who hear a waitress' hard-luck story . . . then leave a MONSTER TIP to change her life.  So are we bad for laughing when it goes THIS wrong?
On Valentine's Day, a man named Bill went to the Watermark Grille in Naples, Florida, where his waitress was Evana Conover.  Bill didn't reveal his last name . . . probably because he feels like an idiot now.
Anyway, during dinner, Evana told Bill about her tough childhood and how she's putting herself through college at Florida Gulf Coast University.  And Bill was so touched by her story, he gave her two checks totaling $6,600 . . . to help with tuition.
But last week, when he hadn't heard anything from Evana, he decided something didn't feel right.  So he called the school . . . and found out she's NOT a student there, and never has been.  Then he called Evana . . . and obviously she didn't answer.
So he cancelled the checks.  He kept trying Evana, but never got a hold of her.  Finally, the local ABC affiliate tracked her down.
She told them she WAS a student . . . no matter what the school says . . . but was only doing classes online.  After that interview, she FINALLY called Bill . . . and told him she couldn't accept the money.  (ABC 7 - Fort Myers)  

The Seven Things Women Hate Most About Moving in With a Guy

Most single guys are SLOBS.  So you'd think THAT would be the thing women hate most about moving in together.
But it didn't even make this list.  According to the website "Female First", here are the seven things women dread most about moving in with a guy. 
1.  Being seen in non-sexy underwear.
2.  Letting him in on the crazy amount of effort it takes to look "good."  Like waxing your upper lip, dying your hair, and walking around with no make-up on.
3.  Him hearing you pass gas for the first time.
4.  Not having enough privacy when you're in the bathroom . . . which is kind of related to the last one. 
5.  Having to deal with your time of the month while he's around.
6.  Catching him looking at porn.
7.  Having to confess that you have several SELF-PLEASURING devices.  Because he'll eventually find them if you don't fess up.
(Female First)

What time do you put your PJ's on at night?

The Average Person Puts on Pajamas at 9:11 P.M., and Only 5% of Women Wear Something Sexy to Bed
I'm trying to remember when I found out women don't actually wear sexy lingerie to bed.  Maybe I suspended disbelief until college?  Not sure.  So if you ARE with someone who sleeps in sexy lingerie . . . congratulations.
According to a new survey, only 5% of women wear anything sexy to bed.  The most common thing women wear is an old t-shirt.
The most common thing men wear to bed are boxers and a t-shirt.
Men said the LEAST sexy things a woman can wear in bed are an old-fashioned floor length nightgown or a shirt with a cartoon character on it.
Women said the least sexy things a man can wear in bed are novelty boxers or pajamas with cartoon characters on them.
The survey also found the average person gets into their pajamas . . . or whatever they wear to bed . . . at 9:11 P.M.  (Daily Mail)

Olympics come to a close...

Russia Won More Gold Medals Than Us . . . But Only Because an American Snowboarder Raced for Russia This Year
The U.S. picked up three more medals over the final weekend of the Olympics, but it wasn't enough to beat Russia in overall medals OR in gold medals.  They ended up beating us by two golds . . . but we could have ended up TIED.
Here's how:  An American-born snowboarder named Vic Wild won two gold medals in the men's alpine events.  The problem is, the U.S. got rid of its alpine snowboarding team after the last Winter Olympics.
And Wild is married to a Russian snowboarder named Alena Zavarzina.  So instead of racing for us, he became a Russian citizen and raced for THEM this time.  (And by the way, she won a bronze medal this year.)
So, if he'd won those two medals as an AMERICAN, we would have had 11, so would Russia, and so would Norway.
As far as OUR medals go, Mikaela Shiffrin won the gold in women's slalom on Friday, which was her only medal of the Olympics.  And our short track speed skating team took silver in the men's 5,000 meter relay.
In hockey, the men's team lost to Finland 5-0 on Saturday.  So Finland took the bronze, Sweden got silver, and Canada won gold. 
But yesterday, we DID pick up a bronze in the four-man bobsled, where the U.S. team included Steven Holcomb and Steven Langton, who also won bronze in the TWO-MAN bobsled this year.
Another member of the four-man team was Chris Fogt, who's a captain in the ARMY and goes back on active duty in about two months.
Here's the final medal count from Sochi.
1.  Russia with 33 medals . . . 13 gold, 11 silver, and 9 bronze.
2.  The United States with 28 medals . . . 9 gold, 7 silver, and 12 bronze.
3.  Norway with 26 medals . . . 11 gold, 5 silver, and 10 bronze.

Man Who Sold App to Facebook Once Applied for Jobs There and Got Rejected!

The Guys Who Sold WhatsApp to Facebook for $19 Billion Once Applied for Jobs There . . . and Got Rejected
The big news this week is that Facebook bought the messaging app WhatsApp on Wednesday . . . for $19 BILLION in cash and stocks.  And the story behind it is kind of amazing.
If you don't know, WhatsApp is sort of like free text messaging from your phone . . . but over the INTERNET instead of using your cell phone provider's monthly text messaging plan.  
It lets you send text messages, photos, and videos, and you can text people internationally too.  In other words, it's a simple, brilliant idea.
37-year-old Jan Koum is one of the guys who created it, and his backstory is pretty cool:  He was born in the Ukraine, and lived in a small village with no hot water.  
When he was 16, he and his mother moved to the San Francisco area and needed government assistance to get by.
But by the time he was 18, he'd learned how to program and got into San Jose State.  He eventually got a job at Yahoo, where he met WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton.
And ironically, both of them applied for JOBS at Facebook before they started WhatsApp . . . and they both got REJECTED.
Even better . . . the WhatsApp office where they signed the $19 billion contract is right around the corner from the building where Koum's mother used to pick up their FOOD STAMPS.
Out of the $19 billion they got, $4 billion is in cash and the other $16 billion is in stocks.  According to "Forbes", Koum owned about 45% of the company, and Acton owned 20%.  And some of the stocks went to employees.
So Koum is now worth an estimated $6.5 BILLION, and Acton is worth about three billion. (Forbes / Business Insider)

There's a New App To Help You Fight Parking Tickets

When you get a parking ticket, even an unfair one, you probably just pay it, right?  Because it seems like a huge hassle to fight it . . . and you'll probably lose anyway.
Well, there's a new app launching next week that sounds like the BEST way to fight parking tickets we've heard of yet.
It's called Fixed.  If you get a ticket, you take a photo with the app and describe why you think the ticket is unfair . . . like a broken meter or missing signs or whatever.
The experts at Fixed evaluate your ticket, and figure out your odds of beating it.  Then if you choose to fight the ticket, they do the heavy lifting like gathering evidence and submitting paperwork.
If you beat the ticket, you pay them 25% of the face value of the ticket.  If you don't beat the ticket, you don't pay them anything . . . but obviously you have to pay the city 100% of the ticket.
So you pay either way . . . but the gamble not to just automatically pay 100% seems worthwhile.
It'll be available for free in the app store next week, but it's only starting out in San Francisco for now . . . they plan on expanding to other cities quickly.  (CNN)

A Guy Was Fired For Using a Forklift to Get a Twix Bar Out of a Vending Machine

If you've ever had a candy bar get stuck in a vending machine . . . this guy is your hero.
A warehouse worker in Milford, Iowa named Robert McKevitt started getting hungry during a recent shift.  So he went to buy a Twix bar in one of the warehouse vending machines . . . but it got stuck.
So first he started banging on the side and rocking it back and forth, but it didn't budge.  Then he bit the bullet and put another dollar in . . . but it STILL didn't drop.
Which is when Robert remembered he was in a warehouse . . . jumped behind the wheel of an 8,000-pound FORKLIFT . . . and started picking up the vending machine and DROPPING it over and over again.
According to the company, he dropped the machine from two feet up at least six times.  The good news for Robert is, his Twix bar DID finally get jarred loose, along with two MORE candy bars.  The bad news is, the company FIRED him five days later.
And after he got fired, he filed for unemployment.  But a judge REJECTED that request, saying Robert showed a willful disregard for his employer's property, and that he DESERVED to be fired.  (USA Today)  

Only in your dreams!

Researchers may have finally figured out why some of us remember our dreams and others don’t.  Their study suggests dream recall has to do with the amount of activity in a specific region of the brain.  

People who remember their dreams regularly were found to have more activity in this area than those who rarely, if ever, remember their dreams.  

Experts believe so-called “high dream recallers” have more wakefulness during sleep than “low dream recallers,” and that waking up in the night may promote the encoding of dreams in the memory.  

Of course, another theory is that people who remember their dreams often are actually dreaming more than other people.  They still haven’t figured out why you keep having that dream about showing up to work naked.

The Ten Worst Excuses People Have Used for Being Late to Work

If you're running late for work right now, you're not alone.  According to a new survey from CareerBuilder, 23% of people are late to work at least once a month, and 15% say it happens at least once a WEEK.
Just come up with a better explanation than these.  Check out the ten WORST excuses people have used for being late, according to employers.
1.  "I woke up on someone else's front lawn, two blocks from my house."
2.  "My cat got stuck in the toilet."
3.  "I got to work, but then fell asleep in my car."
4.  "I put superglue in my eye instead of saline solution, and had to go to the hospital."
5.  "I thought we didn't have to work on Halloween."
6.  "Some rain came through a hole in the roof and got my alarm clock wet, so it didn't go off."
7.  "I was watching something on TV and REALLY wanted to see the end."
8.  "I got a hairbrush stuck in my hair."
9.  "I had a really scary nightmare."
10.  "A zebra was running down the highway and held up traffic."  Although that one supposedly turned out to be TRUE.  (PR Newswire)

Four Ways You're Making Your Co-Workers Hate You

You might find some of your co-workers annoying.  And they probably feel the same way about YOU.  Check out the four ways you're probably annoying your co-workers: 
1.  You won't shut up about your dog, your kids, your vacation, or your upcoming wedding.  You can talk about that stuff for a few minutes, but if you find yourself going on and on . . . you're probably driving your co-workers crazy. They might even SEEM interested, but they don't really care.  They're just being polite.  
2.  You're always doing fundraisers.  Some parents bring in their kid's fundraising items from school, and you're forced to buy wrapping paper and other stuff you don't want.   If this sounds like you, keep in mind that most people you work with don't care if you do this OCCASIONALLY.  Just try not to sell them stuff all the time.
3.  You ask for help all the time.  If you find yourself trying to get attention from your co-workers, constantly needing help, asking questions, or fishing for praise . . . they probably find you really annoying.  
4.  You make a lot of noise.  If you talk really loud on the phone or play music other people can hear . . . then your co-workers might hate you.   Use headphones.  And keep your voice down.  No one wants to hear your conversations.  (Monster) 

A Guy Won a Million Dollar Lottery Jackpot . . . After Playing the Same Numbers for 20 Years

So, you didn't win last night's $400 million Powerball drawing.  But the fantasy is that if you just keep buying tickets, someday it'll pay off.
Now, obviously you could play every day of your life and the odds STILL wouldn't be in your favor.  But here's something to keep that dream alive.
49-year-old Robert Winburn of Urbandale, Iowa played the same Powerball numbers for 20 years.  And the most he ever won was $100.  That is until this past Saturday . . . when he matched five out of six numbers, and took home a MILLION BUCKS.
Robert says he scanned his ticket at a gas station on Sunday.  And when he realized it was a winner, a random stranger standing next to him noticed too . . . and immediately advised him to sign the ticket and get the HECK OUT OF THERE, which he did.
He says he plans to use the winnings to pay off debts and buy a new car.  Then he's investing the rest.  And here's something that might help the next time YOU buy a ticket . . . although, probably not.
Robert chose the numbers by assigning digits to the 26 letters of the alphabet, then chose the corresponding numbers in his last name.  (IALottery.com / KCCI)  

The Most Influential Candy Bars of All Time

I'm not sure I've ever heard someone call a candy bar "INFLUENTIAL", especially not a respectable news publication . . . but in 2014, you gotta grab eyeballs however you can get 'em.
"Time" magazine just released a list of the 13 most influential candy bars of all time.  What makes a candy bar influential?  Here are the top five, with explanations . . .
1.  Kit Kat.  Quote, "Beyond being the first candy bar to be marketed around sharing, which helped turn chocolate into a social snack, Kit Kat was also the first to gain a global following."
2.  Hershey's Milk Chocolate.  Quote, "Nestle may've invented milk chocolate, but Hershey's made it mainstream.  By building its factory right in the middle of dairy land . . . [they] powered an unparalleled distribution network."
3.  Toblerone.  Quote, "Debuted in 1908 [as] the first bar to debut with a filling."
4.  Nestle Milk Chocolate.  Quote, "Prior to this bar's introduction in 1875, bar-form cocoa was bitter, chewy, and dark."
5.  Snickers.  Quote, "More than 80 years after its launch, this is the world's best-selling [candy bar].  Although it may not have revolutionized candy bar taste or distribution, it's unparalleled at selling itself."  (Time)  (Check out the top 13 here.)

Who's faster at breaking up? Men or women?

Women Are Way Faster at Breaking Up Than Men
Now that Valentine's Day is over, we're in prime DUMPING season.  And a new study just found women are making sure dumping season happens NOW.
The study found women are WAY FASTER at breaking up with someone than men.
Women only take SIX DAYS of thinking things over before they pull the trigger and end a relationship.  Men take a FULL MONTH of thinking about it, changing their minds, and building up the courage before they end things.
In other words:  If you had a bad Valentine's Day, your girlfriend will probably dump you TODAY, six days later.  Your boyfriend will dump you on March 14th.
The main reasons women gave for quick break-up decisions are that life's too short to be with the wrong person for a minute longer than you have to be . . . and short, sharp shock is ultimately less painful.
The main reasons men gave for longer break-up decisions are really wanting to think things through and giving the relationship a little longer to see if it gets better.   (Hypervocal)

The Ten Most Annoying Things Men Do, According to Women

When you've been with someone a while, pretty much EVERYTHING they do starts to annoy you.  But according to a new survey, here are the ten things MEN do that annoy women the MOST.
1.  Never admitting you're wrong.
2.  Hogging the remote.
3.  Passing gas in public . . . out loud.
4.  Refusing to multitask.
5.  Snoring.
6.  Never doing nice things to surprise her.
7.  Not listening.
8.  Never doing housework.
9.  Staring at other women.
10.  Constantly watching sports. (Female First)

Top Five Winter Health Hazards

At this point, for a lot of people, winter can't get any worse.  Anyone who's still looking for an excuse to go somewhere warm, check out these top five winter health hazards, from ABC News.
1.  Heart attacks and strokes.  People have more heart attacks in winter, and there are more deaths from stroke.  It might not be the cold temperatures.  It could just be that people are more stressed in general, or they're working too hard shoveling snow.
2.  Exposure.  Obviously, cold temperatures mean more frostbite and hypothermia.  You don't have to get stuck outside overnight to get in trouble.  You can get frostbite from scraping off your car if you're not dressed for it.
3.  Breaks and sprains.  More ice and snow means more people slipping and falling.  And a lot of the falls are worse because your feet slip all the way out from under you.
4.  Viruses.  The cold temperatures don't cause sickness by themselves.  But because everyone is indoors all the time, it's easier to catch whatever other people have.
5.  Depression.  Winter weather is dark and gloomy, and it gets to people.  Even happy people can struggle with it.  Sometimes more exposure to light can really help, even if it's not sunlight. 
(ABC News)

A Blind Guy Made a Three-Point Shot and Won Free McDonald's for a Year

54-year-old Michael Quin lives in Springfield, Missouri.  And he has quite a bit of brain damage from a series of falls that started about six years ago.
Then in 2010, he went blind.  But through it all, Michael refused to give up playing BASKETBALL.
He practices by having someone stand under the basket and call his name, so he knows where it is.  And apparently he's a pretty good shot.
Because on Saturday, Michael was picked for a contest where he got to take a three-point shot during halftime at a college basketball game . . . and he MADE IT.
Obviously, the crowd went absolutely NUTS when it happened.  And for making the shot, Michael won free McDonald's for a YEAR.

If You Could Bring Back Any Fad, What Would It Be?

If you could bring back ANY fad, which one would it be?  For me, it would be those Hypercolor shirts.  Those were awesome.  Why didn't they stay cool forever?  Here are eight of the most popular answers . . .
1.  Block parties.  Hanging with your neighbors used to be amazing.
2.  Rollerblades.
3.  Tetherball.  Now it's considered bullying, but it was such an entertaining game for kids.
4.  Slap bracelets.  Unfortunately, they got banned because somehow every town in America had a girl from "the town over" accidentally slice open her wrists on them.
5.  Saying "NOT" as a punchline.
6.  The '90s grunge look.  So comfortable.  So warm.
7.  Fanny packs.  They're the ultimate in convenience.
8.  Mullets.  

What's the Worst Thing Your Boss Has Done to You?

What's the WORST THING your boss has done to you?  If nothing immediately pops into your head . . . well, then you don't have as bad a boss as you always say you do.
According to a new survey, here's the WORST thing that's happened between people and their boss . . .
41% say the worst thing their boss ever did was SHOUT at them.
12% have been sworn at or verbally abused.
12% have been repeatedly belittled in front of their coworkers.
8% have been BLACKMAILED by their boss.
5% have been forced to do their boss's work along with their own.
4% have been forced to do unpaid overtime.
And 3% have had their pay CUT without any reason or authorization.  (PR Newswire)

Long winter isn't over yet

The long, brutal winter isn’t over yet! The Northeast will enjoy a brief respite from freezing cold temperatures this week, but meteorologists say it won’t last. Residents across a wide swath of the country should brace themselves for at least another month of cold, ice and snow.

Philadelphia is in the midst of its third snowiest winter ever on record. More snow yesterday brought the snowfall total for this season to 58.4 inches, according to the Weather Channel. Detroit was also hit with its third snowiest winter on record, getting pummeled with a whopping 76.4 inches of snowfall.

New York City has had about 57.1 inches of snow so far this season, compared to an average of 17 inches. And Chicago has experienced its fifth snowiest winter on record with a total of 66.8 inches. On Monday, the city was hit with a rare thunder snowstorm that caused near white-out conditions.

Meanwhile, according to FlightView, more than 95,500 flights have been canceled so far this winter - the highest in more than 25 years.

Emoticons get real

We’re not sure how to feel about this.  Experts say emoticons have become such an important part of the way we communicate that we now react to them in the same way as we do human faces.  

Research suggests our brains have developed to read emotional cues in happy and sad emoticons just like we do during face-to-face interactions.  There’s one catch- using brain scans, the study found that we only react to emoticons that are typed in a left-to-right format, not when they’re flipped in the other direction.  

Something to keep in mind the next time you write a text message.  

Four Ways to Make Yourself Lucky

It might seem like some people are born lucky.  But experts say you actually CREATE your own luck.  Here are four strategies that'll supposedly help you do it . . .  
1.  Try new things.  Experts say that you have to try something NEW to create luck.  Travel by yourself, talk to strangers, and go to events where you don't know anyone.  It may sound scary, but you'll network with new people, and that leads to opportunities. 
2.  Believe in yourself.  Lucky people BELIEVE that they're lucky.  And they don't see setbacks as permanent, or personal.  They see problems as temporary issues with easy recoveries.
3.  Take more breaks.  People tend to think that working hard is the best way to achieve.  But studies actually found the opposite to be true.  The quality of your breaks increases your productivity, and your chances of hitting on a great idea.
4.  Turn a case of bad luck into something positive.  Which is basically another way of saying, 'look on the bright side,' or 'learn from your mistakes.'  
Next time you're hit with a setback, ask yourself:  How does this make me smarter, stronger and clearer about what I want?  (MSN Living)

A Homeless Guy Won $2.8 Million in the Lottery, So He's Starting a Charity for Addicts and Abuse Victims

Back in September, a 55-year-old homeless man named Laszlo Andraschek was at a train station in Hungary.  He was on his way to a meeting for recovering alcoholics, and decided to buy a lottery ticket.
Now, apparently it's not something he does very often.  Because first of all he was broke and living on the streets.  Plus, the cashier had to inform him that he didn't even pick enough numbers, and had to add one more.
So he did . . . and ended up winning $2.8 MILLION, which is one of the biggest lotto jackpots EVER in Hungary.
Somehow, the story didn't even make the news until now.  And we're only hearing about it because Lazslo just made a huge donation to a homeless shelter.  It's not clear how much he gave them, but apparently it's a significant amount.
He's also planning to use a big chunk of his winnings to set up a foundation for recovering addicts and abuse victims . . . and says he WON'T be one of those people who wins the lottery then ends up broke in a year or two.
The first thing he did was pay off his debts and his kids' debts.  Then he bought each of them an apartment, and one car to SHARE.  And other than taking his wife on a trip to Italy, he's done splurging.  (The Guardian / UPI) 

Breaking News: We're Facing a Nationwide Clown Shortage!

America is facing down a crisis, and it's a sad one.  Sad enough that you should grab your red grease paint and draw a giant frown on your face.
Apparently, we're facing a NATIONWIDE CLOWN SHORTAGE.
According to Glen Kohlberger, the head of Clowns of America International, new clowns aren't signing up fast enough to replace all of the old clowns who are DYING OFF.
The number of working clowns in the U.S. has dropped from about 3,500 in 2004 to 2,500 now.
Kohlberger says the big problem is getting kids who love the circus today to consider going pro.
Quote, "They go on to high school and college and clowning isn't cool anymore.  Clowning is then put on the back burner until their late 40s and early 50s."
Another reason people might not be interested in becoming clowns?  It's a tough way to make an average salary of $38,000-a-year.  (New York Daily News / eHow)

Pet Owners Post More Photos of Their Pets on Facebook Than People

Parents take a lot of heat for constantly posting photos of their kids online . . . it's time to move on to people with PETS.
According to a new survey of more than 2,000 pet owners, 62% say they regularly post photos of their pets online . . . and two-thirds post more photos of their PETS than of FRIENDS AND FAMILY.
Pet owners upload an average of six photos of their pets a week to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter . . . but only five photos of PEOPLE.
25% say they post a photo for their pet's BIRTHDAY.  And 16% said that even when you factor in pictures of things like places and food, pets still make up at least HALF of all their photos.
(Daily Mail)


Facebook just took a major step toward becoming more inclusive.  The site now offers users customizable gender options in addition to the standard “male” and “female” choices.  Facebook members can choose from 50 different labels, like “transgender,” “intersex” and simply “neither.”  

Facebook explained that they want all users, regardless of how they identify sexually, “to feel comfortable being [their] true, authentic self” when using the site.   They reportedly worked with several sexual advocacy organizations to come up with the new gender labels.  Hey, if you have to be put in a box, at least let it be the right one.

Two-Thirds of Us Actually Suffer From "A Case of the Mondays"?

Garfield was right?  According to a new study, there actually IS such a thing as having "a case of the Mondays." 
The study found that 71% of women and 62% of men show legitimate signs of ANXIETY and possibly even DEPRESSION on Sunday nights, because they're THAT down about having to go back to work.
About one-third drink alcohol at home to cope, and another one-third have to give themselves a PEP TALK to get out of bed on Monday mornings.
The study also found about one in five people have called in a fake sick day on a Monday in the past 12 months because they really just couldn't go in.  
(Daily Mail)

Do you have what it Take to be a great Boss?

Not everyone is cut out to be IN CHARGE. If you think you might have what it takes, check out this list of five signs that you would make a great boss . . . 1. You can put your employees first. Great bosses make their employees a top priority, and they can stand up for their team. 2. You're a good observer. Good leaders know what's going on in the company. They observe trends and conditions, and PREVENT problems before they even come up. 3. You can be empathetic. Great bosses can read their employees and connect with them. But they're also able to hold people accountable. 4. You can accept feedback. People who can accept feedback well, and grow from it, are usually able to dole it out in a healthy way. And a good boss can do that. 5. You're talented. If you're a high-level performer than you create an environment where the bar is set high . . . and your employees respect you, so they rise up to meet or exceed company goals.

Eight Small and Easy Ways to Say "I Love You"

Valentine's Day is supposed to be about the big, romantic gesture.  But studies show that people feel the most appreciated in their relationship when they get SMALL signs of affection regularly.  Try out these eight small and EASY ways to say "I love you":  
1.  Shovel off their car on a snowy morning. 
2.  DVR their favorite show.  
3.  Sneak a love note into their pocket.  And feel free to make it dirty.
4.  Save them the last bite of dessert.
5.  Brag about them when you know they're listening.
6.  Compliment them on something NEW that they haven't heard from you before.
7.  Help out with a chore they hate . . . like taxes or laundry.
8.  Wake up a few minutes early and bring them their coffee in bed.
(Women's Health)

A Newspaper Delivery Guy Saved Two People from a Fire . . . Then Left Before They Could Even Thank Him

Around 5:00 A.M. on Monday, 66-year-old Bob Collier and his 62-year-old wife Marcia woke up when they thought they heard someone breaking into their mobile home in Phoenix.  So Bob grabbed a gun and went to investigate.
But he quickly realized there WAS no burglar . . . the place was on FIRE.  So he grabbed Marcia and ran out the door.  Then they realized the sound they'd heard was actually the newspaper DELIVERY GUY . . . banging on their door to WARN them.
And it's a good thing he was there to see the smoke and wake them, because their two smoke detectors didn't go off until they were already outside, and the flames had already spread to their bedroom.
The guy who saved them has only been identified as "Taz."  And apparently he's pretty humble, because before they could even thank him for saving their lives, he'd moved on to deliver more papers.  He didn't want to talk to the local news about it either.
They did manage to thank him the next morning, when they went back to their trailer, which was a total loss.  But Bob . . . who's a Vietnam vet . . . couldn't care less about that, and says he's just thankful he still has his wife.
It turns out the fire was started by an electrical failure.  Bob and Marcia are currently staying with relatives.  And thankfully, they DID have insurance.  (KPHO / Yahoo)  

Must-See New Product: Practice Your Kissing on a Make-Out Pillow

If you're spending this Valentine's Day alone, good news.  You never have to go another night without someone to kiss.  Or at least, some THING to kiss.
There's a new product for sale called the Make-Out Practice Pillow, and it's just what it sounds like . . . but somehow creepier looking than you could imagine.  It's a pillow with a realistic rubber nose and mouth poking out.
The pillows were created by 26-year-old Emily King of St. Petersburg, Florida.
She says, quote, "When I was in middle school, everyone joked about making out with pillows for practice.  I'm assuming I wasn't the only one for whom the jokes had some truth . . . [so] I'm stepping in and offering a new solution."
The mouths on the pillows are like the ones you'd find on CPR dummies.
Emily is selling them on Etsy for $30, plus $10 shipping and handling.  We assume she has a very limited quantity, so if you want one, get in on it quick.  (Orange)  

Be Our Valentine!

Happy Valentine’s Day!  We celebrate February 14th with cards, chocolate, flowers and complicated lingerie, but you probably have no idea how the holiday first came about.  In ancient Rome, this was the day that preceded the harvest festival known as Lupercalia, which celebrated the mythical she-wolf Lupa.  
On the 14th, young couples were paired up by a lottery- that is, until the end of the fifth century, when the Pope ended this tradition because it was considered unchristian.  Later, Valentine’s Day evolved to become a holiday for celebrating courtly love in honor of several Roman martyrs known as St. Valentine.  Nowadays, 60% of Americans (and more than 90% of those in relationships) celebrate the holiday, spending an estimated $18.6 billion.
People will drop an average of $131 on gifts for their loved ones, which may include spouses, partners, friends, kids, parents, coworkers, classmates and even pets.  Love is in the air!  

Seventeen Random Facts About Love, Relationships, Sex, and Valentine's Day

It's Valentine's Day.  Hope you knew that.  Anyway, here are 17 random facts from a bunch of new Valentine's Day surveys and studies for you to suck down . . .
1.  66% of people in relationships say things are PERFECT or ALMOST PERFECT.  Only 3% think their relationship has serious problems.
2.  32% of moms say they haven't had sex in YEARS.  Another 36% say they haven't had sex in several months.
3.  The average dating or engaged couple spends $20 to $30 more on Valentine's Day than married couples.
4.  People DISCRIMINATE when it comes to hugs?  95.8% of women say they prefer hugging a man who's taller . . . only 24.5% of men prefer hugging a woman who's taller.
5.  Half of men say men should hug each other . . . half say they shouldn't.
6.  The average amount a man spends on dates before a woman has sex with him is . . . $300.  Which, ironically, is probably more than it'd cost to get a decent-looking escort.
7.  38% of Americans have dated a coworker.  Of those people, about one in three ended up MARRYING the person . . . so, I guess two-thirds of them had to deal with horrible AWKWARDNESS.
8.  When coworkers start getting-it-on, there's a ONE in FIVE chance at least one of them is MARRIED.
9.  We don't think physical violence is EVER okay . . . but some people CLEARLY disagree.  10% of people think it's okay to SLAP their partner for CHEATING . . . and just under 1% think it's okay to slap their partner for constant NAGGING.
10.  The world record for the longest kiss is 58 hours and 21 minutes.  It was set by a couple in Thailand last Valentine's Day.
11.  The longest marriage in history was Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher of North Carolina.  They got married on May 13th, 1924 and stayed married 86 years, nine months, and 16 days . . . until Herbert passed away in February of 2011.
12.  Overall, 68% of Americans are in a committed relationship.  11% aren't, but wish they were.  17% are single and not looking for a relationship.
13.  According to Facebook, the top big cities with the highest percentage of single people are:  Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Miami, and Memphis.  That's right, Detroit is number one on a list and it's NOT something negative. 
14.  Facebook also found the five cities where people are most likely to quickly get into relationships:  Colorado Springs, Colorado . . . El Paso, Texas . . . Louisville, Kentucky . . . Fort Worth, Texas . . . and San Antonio, Texas.
15.  About 7% of married people met each other through a social media site.  And relationships that started on social media are actually more likely to SUCCEED than relationships that start any other way. 
16.  41% of people say a person's name doesn't influence whether or not they'd date them.  31% say yes, a person's name CAN affect whether or not they'd date them.
17.  BERTHA was voted the least datable name for women . . . Gertrude came in second-worst.  ADOLF was voted the least datable name for men . . . Elmo is second-worst.  (AP-GFK Poll / Family Circle / Business Insider / Cambridge News / Daily Mail / Wall Street Journal / Daily Mail / Huffington Post / Facebook / Live Science / BabyNames.com)

Cover Model... Barbie!

It's hard for the "Sports Illustrated" swimsuit issue to stand out in aworld of infinite on-demand . . . so they need GIMMICKS. Here's their latest one: Their 50th swimsuit issue comes out Tuesday, and will feature . . . BARBIE. Yes, the doll! Mattel says they wanted Barbie in because, quote, "[she's] under constant criticism about her body and how she looks . . . [this] gives Barbie an opportunity to own who she is."

Little boy's birthday wish goes viral

Kid in Michigan Didn't Want a Birthday Party Because He Had No Friends . . . So His Mom Posted on Facebook and Tons of Cards Are Showing Up


A woman in Kalamazoo, Michigan named Jennifer recently asked her son Colin if he wanted a party for his 11th birthday next month.  And he told her no . . . because he said he didn't have any friends.
Now, last year Colin was diagnosed with a condition similar to Asperger's, and it's not EASY for him to make friends.  So to cheer him up, Jennifer created a Facebook page on February 2nd called "Happy Birthday Colin," hoping he'd get a few birthday wishes.
But in the last ten days, the page has gone VIRAL . . . and now has nearly A MILLION likes from people all over the world.
Better yet, Jennifer posted a P.O. box where people could send cards if they wanted.  And a BUNCH have already started showing up.
Colin's birthday is March 9th, and Jennifer wants to keep it a secret until then.  If you want to send a card or a gift, address it to "Colin, P.O. Box 756, Richland, Michigan  49083". 
(Facebook / WOODTV)

The Tiny Fake Gun from a "Toy Story" Woody Doll Was Confiscated by Airport Security

As we all know, the men and women in airport security are revered for their excellent work and professionalism.  Just kidding.  Everyone hates their lousy attitude and mindless application of made-up rules.  Like THIS.
A guy traveling through Heathrow Airport in London was recently stopped by security . . . because of a WOODY DOLL from the movie "Toy Story".
You remember 'Woody' . . . the cowboy voiced by Tom Hanks.  Specifically, they were worried about the tiny plastic SIX-SHOOTER on the doll's belt.
The owner of the doll posted about it online, with a photo showing just how small the little gun is.  He takes the doll with him when he travels, so he can take photos of it in different cities for his son.
And we can't emphasize enough how comically SMALL the gun is.  It's MAYBE an inch-and-a-half long.  If the guy actually tried to hijack a plane with it, you'd have to SQUINT to see what he was holding.
In the end, security gave the doll back, but CONFISCATED the gun.  So far, officials at Heathrow are refusing to comment. 
(Independent / Reddit) 

What's the Manliest Thing You've Ever Done?

There's a certain sense of overwhelming pride that comes with doing something SUPER MANLY.  Like . . . it doesn't matter how much you like the smell of daisies or the feeling of a relaxing bubble bath if you've wrestled a bear.


So . . . what's the MANLIEST thing you've ever done?  Here are five of our favorites.


1.  "I was rafting with friends, relaxing, smoking a cigar . . . when we saw a family in a canoe capsize.  I beached our raft, jumped into the water, and pulled the two little kids to safety.  I kept the cigar in my mouth the whole time, dry and burning nicely."


2.  "I used to play rugby on concrete."


3.  "I saw a Toyota Tercel get into a bad car accident.  The woman driving was stuck inside, while her two kids got out and were crying and screaming for their mom.  I managed to rip the car door off its hinges to get her out."


4.  "I stayed awake during a surgery because I wanted to watch."


5.  "I got punched in the face by a guy I knew I could destroy.  I didn't react at all for about 10 seconds, then calmly said, 'That's your one.'  He's still scared of me to this day." 





New App Analyzes Your Facebook Friends and Says Whether You Should've Gotten Married Already

I love an app that makes EVERYONE feel bad about themselves.

The sadists at "Time" magazine just put together a JUDGMENTAL new app that analyzes your Facebook friends . . . and tells you whether you should be married already or not.
The app analyzes all of your Facebook friends who list their birth year and their relationship status, and finds the average age of your married friends.
In other words, it'll tell you if you got married too young and should've spent more time single . . . or if you should've gotten married younger because you're so damn old.  There aren't many positive outcomes to this thing.
The app is free, but you have to give them permission to analyze your Facebook profile, which always feels a little intrusive. 
(Time / Jezebel)

Would Your Signigicant other Dump You For Skipping Valentine's Day?

78% of People Would Dump You For Skipping Valentine's Day . . . And Four Other Valentine's Day Facts


Here are five new Valentine's Day stats from various studies and surveys . . .


1.  80% of men and 78% of women would consider ENDING a relationship if their significant other didn't do anything for Valentine's Day.


2.  40% of men and 27% of women would consider MAXING OUT a credit card to buy a great Valentine's Day gift.


3.  People who own dogs are more likely to believe their DOGS are more loyal than the person they're with.


4.  One out of 20 people has a SECRET CELL PHONE their significant other doesn't know about.


5.  54% of people are either planning to stay home and cook or not celebrate Valentine's Day.  42% are planning to go out to dinner.


(ereleases / PR Newswire / Yahoo Finance / CBS 3 - Philadelphia)

Lululemon to open stores for menLululemon to open stores for men

Finally, men can experience the butt-lifting magic of yoga pants.  Much-talked-about activewear brand Lululemon is set to openstores exclusively for dudes in 2016.  

While Lululemon already sells men’s gear, the new stores will be just for guys, presumably with a larger array of items to choose from.  Currently, menswear only accounts for around 12% of Lululemon’s annual sales.  

And the brand may be facing an uphill battle, considering most men are comfortable throwing on an old t-shirt and a pair of shorts to hit the gym.  We can only hope that by the time these men-only stores open, Lululemon has figured out that whole see-through fabric thing.

Five Valentine's Day Myths Debunked

Here are five Valentine's Day myths DEBUNKED.  Although we won't be debunking the myth that Valentine's Day was created by The Man to commercialize love.  Because that ain't a myth.  Check 'em out . . .
1.  Women are needier than men.  On Valentine's Day, about half of single men say they'd rather be in a dead-end relationship than alone. 
2.  Flowers have to come from your significant other.  10% of people have sent THEMSELVES flowers on Valentine's Day.
3.  Valentine's Day is the best day for proposing.  40% of women think it's a cliché to propose on Valentine's Day.
4.  Sex has to be "different" on Valentine's Day.  62% of men believe Valentine's sex has to be better . . . maybe new lingerie or a new location.  Women are the OPPOSITE . . . and believe it's a good day to keep things traditional and intimate.
5.  If your relationship survives until Valentine's Day you're good.  You might think it's cruel to break up with someone before Valentine's Day, but this might be even CRUELER . . . 25% of people say they'd wait until February 15th to end things.  

The Four-Part Scientific Recipe For a Happy Couple

Science has figured out the recipe for a HAPPY COUPLE.  Here are the four scientifically proven ways you can improve your relationship and be a happier couple . . .
1.  Happy couples have five positive interactions for every ONE negative interaction.  Couples who wind up divorced have 0.8 positive interactions for every negative one.
Positive interactions are things like giving a compliment . . . showing your appreciation . . . reminiscing about a good memory or reliving it . . . and just doing something nice for the other person.
2.  But the MOST important positive interaction is reacting well to the other person's GOOD NEWS.  When they have good news, you need to be enthusiastic, ask questions, congratulate them, and relive the experience with them.
3.  The happiest couples have sex two to three times a week.
4.  And finally, when you get into an argument, the key to staying happy is to both CONCEDE on certain points and see the other person's point of view.   (Happify) 

A Man Gets Probation For Mailing Cat Poop to Companies That Didn't Hire Him

When you interview for a job that's perfect for you, but get rejected . . . it's frustrating.  You might even RESENT them.  But you don't hear stories about people exacting true REVENGE for it.
But 58-year-old Jevons Brown of St. Louis, Missouri is UNIQUE.
Last year, Jevons was interviewing all over town, trying to get a job . . . but he kept getting rejected.  And eventually he got SO angry, that he mailed packages filled with CAT POOP to all TWENTY companies that rejected him.
U.S. Postal Service investigators were able to trace the packages back to Jevons.
He was in court last week, and pleaded guilty to mailing of malicious articles.  He was facing up to six months in prison . . . but the judge let him off with just two years of probation.
As far as we know, he's still unemployed.  
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

30 Things in Your House to Get Rid of Right Now

It's easy to make a New Year's resolution to clean out your house.  If you haven't done it yet, it's probably because you just don't know where to start.  Here's a handy list of 30 things you DEFINITELY don't need to keep any longer.
1.  The ice cream carton that's almost empty.
2.  Anything in your freezer that you don't recognize.
3.  The extra button packets for clothes you don't own anymore.
4.  Stained t-shirts left over from college.
5.  Your collections of old holiday cards.
6.  The pile of plastic grocery bags under the sink.
7.  Your 2013 calendar.
8.  Any cups or glasses you got free from a fast-food restaurant.
9.  All the receipts in your wallet.
10.  Stacks of old magazines you've saved, thinking you'd reread the articles sometime.
11.  Expired coupons.
12.  Envelopes you kept because you needed to remember an address.
13.  Old Post-It's and to-do lists.
14.  Old invitations to stuff you've already gone to.
15.  Anything you've agreed to take out of your parents' house solely out of guilt.
16.  Supplies for hobbies you never really get into.
17.  Old textbooks.  Whatever you learned in college is outdated now anyway.
18.  Crappy paperback novels.  You'll never read them again.
19.  VHS tapes and DVDs that didn't change your life.
20.  Printed recipes you tried and didn't like.
21.  Expired medicines.
22.  Office supplies you never use.
23.  Any tupperware without a lid.
24.  Old batteries.
25.  Instruction manuals for appliances you already know how to use.
26.  Tea that's more than a few months old.
27.  Cables and cords that don't go with anything.
28.  Shopper loyalty cards.  You always just punch in your phone number anyway.
29.  Your stash of extra chopsticks from ordering Chinese takeout.
30.  And the stash of single-serving condiment packs on the inside of your refrigerator door.  (Huffington Post)

High School Basketball Player Is A Real Champ!

A High School Basketball Player with Down Syndrome Got to Play in His Team's Final Game of the Season . . . And Scored 14 Points in Two Minutes
18-year-old Kevin Grow lives in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, just outside Philadelphia, and has Down syndrome.  And for four years, he served as the manager of his high school basketball team without playing a single game.
Then on Thursday, his coach finally put Kevin in for the last 90 seconds of a game, and he scored three points, including a layup and a foul shot.  Which was good enough to get Kevin on the local news.  But then the story got WAY better.
Because the team's final game of the season was Saturday, and they were up big in the fourth quarter.  So Kevin's coach put him in again.
And in two minutes, Kevin made four out of five THREE-POINTERS . . . including one right before the BUZZER.  He scored a total of 14 points, which was more than anyone else in the GAME.
Every time he made a shot, the crowd went NUTS.  His teammates swarmed him after the last shot, and there's video of it online.  His coach said it was like something out of a movie.  (MyFoxPhilly / Philly.com)

How much do American Olympians get if the win?

American Olympians Get $25,000 For Winning Gold, British Athletes Get Nothing, and Malaysians Would Get $600,000 If One Ever Won

Every country's Olympic committee offers athletes different PRIZES for winning medals.  Here are some of the more notable rewards . . .
1.  American athletes get $25,000 for winning a gold, $15,000 for a silver, and $10,000 for a bronze.  Those payments have been the same for 10 years . . . which means, due to inflation, they're worth about $5,500 less than they used to be.
2.  Canada pays $17,900 for a gold. 
3.  Russia pays WAY better . . . $113,200 for a gold, plus bonuses that can triple that.
4.  England pays . . . nothing.  A spokesman from their Olympic committee says, quote, "We believe that the drive, dedication, and commitment . . . is motivated first and foremost by the desire to represent their country to the best of their ability."
5.  And finally, Malaysia offers the best prize in the world:  A gold bar worth $600,000 for a gold medal.  Unfortunately . . . no athlete from Malaysia has won a gold medal since 1956.  (Yahoo Sports)

Seven Healthy Foods That Have More Sugar Than a Chocolate Glazed Donut

Sugar is dumped in foods where you would least expect it.  Just to put that in perspective, there's about 13 grams of sugar in a chocolate glazed donut.  So here are seven HEALTHY foods that have MORE than 13 grams of sugar in them.  
1.  Fruit-flavored yogurt.  One serving has 26 grams of sugar.  That's about as much as you get in TWO donuts. 
2.  Energy bars.  If you have the kind with chocolate chips in them, you're having 23 grams of sugar.  
3.  Orange juice.  One cup of OJ has about 20 grams of sugar in it.
4.  Applesauce.  A typical serving has 16 grams of sugar.
5.  Tomato soup.  Your average serving has 15 grams of sugar.
6.  Dried cranberries.  One packet of craisins has 34 grams of sugar.  That's more sugar than you have in TWO AND A HALF chocolate glazed donuts.
7.  Starbucks Grande Latte.  You probably don't think of a PLAIN latte as that bad for you, but it has 17 grams of sugar in it.
(Business Insider)

A Guy Covered All the Unpaid Meal Plans at an Elementary School, So Every Kid Could Have a Hot Lunch

Late last month, there was a story about an elementary school in Utah that threw out 40 lunches because the kids' parents owed money on their meal plans.  And the story inspired one man to do something GREAT.
52-year-old Kenny Thompson has been a tutor and mentor at an elementary school in Houston for about 10 years.  And when he heard about the school in Utah, he decided to see if there was a similar situation at his school.  And sure enough, there was.
It turned out more than 60 kids were getting cheese sandwiches or peanut butter and jelly instead of HOT lunches every day, because their parents couldn't afford them.
And even though he's not "rich" by any means, Kenny decided to throw down $465 to cover ALL of the delinquent meal plans.
And one of the kids actually broke down in TEARS when they found out.  It turned out they'd been pretending they weren't hungry and completely SKIPPING lunch each day, because they were too embarrassed to let their friends know they couldn't afford it.
And apparently the act of kindness is inspiring people, because at least one person has already talked to the school board about doing the same thing for another school.  And Kenny is ALSO planning to do it again at some point.  (KPRC / Today)  

The Ten Small Things That Matter Most in a Relationship

It's never a bad idea to go BIG on Valentine's Day.  But the rest of the year, it's the little things that count.  According to a new survey, here are the ten SMALL things that matter most in a relationship.
1.  A kiss goodbye before you go to work.
2.  An occasional dinner out.
3.  Randomly saying "I love you."
4.  Having a regular date night.
5.  Romantic weekend getaways.
6.  Going on walks together.
7.  Cooking for the other person.
8.  Giving them a gift for no reason.
9.  Flirty text messages.
10.  Buying them flowers.
(Female First)

Bad weather boosts productivity

This is the best argument in favor of snow days we’ve ever heard.  A study found that contrary to what you might think, bad weather actually boosts productivity!  

Experts say nasty winter weather- like the kind much of the country has been experiencing lately- helps people focus, since they’re not distracted by thinking about what else they could be doing other than working. Research showed that rates of distractions and mistakes are higher on nice days.

70% of Women Would Rather Get a Gift for Valentine's Day Than Sex

Bad news, Casanova.  If your plan for a Valentine's Day was to give your special lady the gift of YOUR JUNK . . . she'd prefer flowers.
According to a new survey, if you had to pick one or the other, 70% of women say they'd rather get a GIFT for Valentine's Day than SEX.  
Not surprisingly, men are the opposite . . . 68% of men would rather have sex than get a Valentine's Day present.
The survey also found the top gift that both men and women want is a nice dinner out.  
The number one gift people DON'T want is anything fitness or weight-loss related.  32% of women also say it's inappropriate to give lingerie.
And if you're in a new relationship, it's too early to give them expensive jewelry or an exotic vacation.   (MarketWatch)

If You Could See One Statistic About Yourself, What Would It Be?

Let's say you got a chance to look at God's Excel Spreadsheet.  You know, where He keeps stats on everything everyone does.  You could look at ONE stat about yourself.  What would you choose?  
Here are our five favorite answers . . .
1.  Your changing life expectancy.  Like, after exercising, you could see the immediate change in your life expectancy go up.  Or after drinking two bottles of whiskey, you could watch how much it goes down.
2.  The number of times you've been right and wrong in arguments.
3.  How many people actually love you.
4.  The number of people who've imagined having sex with you.  This would be especially interesting as a running statistic . . . so, like, at a party, you could see it go up after a good conversation and know you're IN.
5.  How attractive you are compared to the rest of the population.  (Reddit)

Jay Leno's goodbye

The Top Five Ways People Waste Time at Work

If you have a full day of meetings at work, you'll probably end it feeling like you didn't get much done.  So we're glad to FINALLY see people recognize that meetings are less about work and more about wasting time.
We've got the results here of a survey on the top five ways people waste time at work.  Check it out . . .
1.  Talking and socializing with coworkers.
2.  Non-business Internet use and social media.
3.  Personal calls and emails.
4.  Work emails.
5.  Meetings.
Yes, those last two are both technically forms of work . . . meaning two of the five ways we waste time at work is by WORKING.  
(PR Newswire)

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for Every Stage of a Relationship

Valentine's Day is next Friday, so if you haven't bought a gift yet, get on that.  Here are some gift ideas for every stage of a relationship from SheKnows.com.  And if you think they're lame, VALENTINE'S DAY IS LAME.
1.  A few dates in.  Nice chocolates . . . some manly accessories like a good shaving set . . . or just a card.
2.  Dating, but on the way to the "being exclusive" talk.  A concert or sports tickets . . . a personalized gift basket filled with their favorite things . . . or a sleek messenger bag.
3.  Long-term relationship.  Perfume or cologne . . . a tech gadget . . . or fancy lingerie.
4.  Married.  Jewelry . . . a nice watch . . . or a vacation for just the two of you.
(She Knows)

A Homeless Guy's Trailer Burned Down in a Parking Lot . . . So the Manager of a Store Gave Him His Own Trailer

There's a homeless guy in Traverse City, Michigan named William Berkshire, but locals know him as "Mountain Man."  And on Sunday, he lost the trailer he'd been living in to a fire, along with almost everything he owned.
When it happened, the trailer was sitting in the parking lot of a place called Roy's General Store, which is managed by a guy named Rob Hentschel.
And when Rob heard what happened on Monday, he surprised William by offering him the trailer HE owned, as a replacement.
Then the store posted about it on their Facebook page.  And almost immediately, people started dropping by to give William clothes, blankets, and food.  And they also posted on Facebook talking about how grateful William was when they talked to him.
But Rob probably said it best.  Quote, "We're all human beings, we're all neighbors.  I had something that I could live without, and he needed a place."  (UpNorthLive.com / Facebook)  

A Doctor Diagnoses a Man With an Obscure Condition . . . Because He Saw It on "House"

TV SAVES LIVES!  Check this out . . . 
A 55-year-old man in Marburg, Germany was having severe heart problems, and an unusual mix of symptoms . . . including fevers, loss of vision, loss of hearing, and swollen lymph nodes.  And doctors couldn't figure out what he had.
Finally, he was referred to a doctor named Juergen Schaefer, who diagnosed him within five minutes . . . because he recognized the disease from an episode of "House" a few years earlier.
In the episode, Dr. House diagnosed a patient who had COBALT POISONING from a bad hip replacement.
Dr. Schaefer found out his patient had ALSO been having the problems since a hip replacement, and made the connection.
So the man got a NEW hip . . . and he's been getting better ever since.   (AP)

A School Celebrates Black History Month By Serving Fried Chicken, Cornbread, and Watermelon?

A high school in northern California just celebrated Black History Month in such a misguided way, it seems like they need education into black history.  There should be a month for that . . .
Earlier this week, the Carondelet High School for Girls in Concord, California decided to pay homage to Black History Month by serving a special lunch menu . . . featuring fried chicken, cornbread, and watermelon.
Students and parents were OUTRAGED, and the principal of the school ended up apologizing.
A professor at the University of San Francisco says the school apparently didn't realize that, quote, "Chicken, watermelon . . . these are stereotypes of black Southern culture that come from the same place the N-word comes from." (NBC 11 - San Jose)

Woman Wakes Up to Pet Her Cat . . . Turns Out It's a Wild Raccoon That Attacks Her

On Wednesday morning, 73-year-old Virginia Ballou of Hingham, Massachusetts woke up and felt her cat nuzzling against her in bed.  So she rolled over and started petting it.
Only . . . it WASN'T her cat.
Turns out a WILD RACCOON had gotten into the house through the cat door, and jumped into bed with Virginia.  And when she went to pet it, the raccoon FREAKED OUT . . . and ATTACKED.
Virginia managed to get it off her and out of her bedroom . . . but she had bad scratches and bites on her face and fingers.
So she called the police.  They came to her house, got the raccoon out, then took her to the hospital.  She was treated with non-life-threatening injuries . . . but it's not over yet.
The raccoon was put down . . . but now they're testing the raccoon AND Virginia for possible RABIES.  (Patriot Ledger)

Six Reasons to Stop Working So Hard

This may sound strange, but working HARD can actually be counter-productive.  Here are six ways it's not good for your home life OR your job.
1.  Quality goes downhill.  When you take on too many tasks, you can't do that well on any of them.  If you really want to do excellent work, don't take on more than you can handle. 
2.  You don't get enough rest.  Some people brag about how little sleep they can get and still function.  But the truth is, you're at your best on at least seven hours of sleep.  When you're tired at work, you perform badly.  
3.  You're screwing up your health.  Don't let your work schedule interfere with getting enough exercise or eating healthy.
4.  You're actually setting a bad example.  Especially if you're the boss.  You might be creating an atmosphere where everyone puts in long hours.  Then it's a work environment where everyone is tired, and no one is at the top of their game.
5.  You're hurting your home life.  Face it.  Your personal relationships will suffer if you don't give them the time they deserve, or if you're stressed and distracted when you ARE there.
6.  It's not worth it.  One of the main regrets people have at the end of their lives is wishing they had spent less time at work.  (Time)

A Mailman Celebrates Retirement by Doing His Final Rounds in a Tuxedo

A mailman in Sacramento, California named Randy Krohn just retired at age 60, after working for the Post Office for about 25 years.  And he could NOT be more thrilled about it.
Six years ago, Randy bought a clock that counts backwards.  And he's watched about 2,200 days tick off of it since then, growing more and more excited each day.
Then, a few months ago, he came up with a plan to make his last day memorable.  
When the clock finally hit zero last week . . . Randy celebrated by doing his final round of deliveries in a TUXEDO.
He told the local news that he loves all his coworkers and the people on his route, and he was trying to do something special for them.
But mostly, he wanted to "go out in style."

CVS Will Stop Selling Cigarettes by October

This seems like it could be a MASSIVE blow to the tobacco industry.
CVS announced yesterday that they're going to stop selling cigarettes and all other tobacco products by October 1st, at all 7,600 of their stores.  That makes them the first major drug store chain to ban tobacco sales.
And it'll cost them approximately $2 billion a year in lost sales.  Even though their revenues are around $125 billion, that's still significant.  So their decision has drawn praise from health officials, and even PRESIDENT OBAMA.
Naturally, the Internet's first instinct was CVS must have a plan to make even MORE money doing this . . . since we know all corporations are out for evil right?  And blog on the "Washington Post" has a theory . . . 
CVS is positioning itself as the pharmacy chain that ACTUALLY cares about your health.  They've already been making a ton of money by transitioning into light health care services, with "MinuteClinics" at several locations.
By dropping cigarettes, CVS's chief medical officer says it will make it easier to make more deals with health plans to provide primary care medical services . . . and deals with hospitals to handle urgent care patients on nights and weekends.
And those deals will be worth FAR more than the $2 billion they lose in tobacco sales.  (Washington Post)

A New Facebook App Lets You Borrow Money from Friends . . . And Legally, You Don't Have to Pay Them Back

If you're like most people, your Facebook account is filled with people you're not actually friends with.  And that might finally come in handy . . . if you're okay with being a complete A-HOLE to them.
There's a new app called Agree It that lets you BORROW MONEY from your Facebook friends, and then pay them back at a lower interest rate than most banks offer.  Or no interest rate at all.
The way it works is, you send a loan request to multiple friends, then wait for offers and negotiate the terms.  Or you can do it the opposite way and offer to LEND money.  But there's no legal contract that actually requires you to pay the money BACK.  So . . .
The company behind it says it's a great alternative to payday loans, or a way for entrepreneurs to raise money if they have bad credit.
Meaning, that friend of yours who has an idea on how to revolutionize SALAD TONGS can now hit you up for seed money . . . then apologize when they lose it all . . . and the only thing you'll be able to do about it is unfriend them. (Telegraph)

You're Expected to Spend at Least $130 on Valentine's Day This Year

Guys, now would be a good time to have that talk with your girlfriend or wife about how GREAT it would be to skip Valentine's Day this year . . . because you don't need some commercialized holiday to celebrate your love, and so on.
Otherwise . . . it's gonna cost you.
According to a study, last year the average person spent $131 on Valentine's Day . . . up from $126 the year before.
Men spent almost twice as much as women, an average of $176 to an average of $89.
The study also found 32% of people plan on buying flowers this year . . . 26% will buy candy or chocolates . . . 13% will buy jewelry . . . 9% will buy lingerie . . . and 6% will buy gift baskets.
Oh . . . and most people probably haven't bought ANYTHING yet.  Last year, Valentine's Day spending peaked on February 13th.  (Offers.com)

Men Are More Likely to Think About Marriage on a First Date Than Women . . . And Five Other Results From a New Match.com Study

Match.com just released the results of its annual study on "SINGLES IN AMERICA."  Here are the six most interesting results . . .
1.  MEN are more likely to think about marriage on a first date than women.  56% of men picture what it would be like to be married to the other person on a first date, compared to 48% of women.
2.  Women with RED HAIR climax more often.  Blondes came in second.  And for whatever reason, women with Android phones climax more often than women with iPhones.
3.  62% of single people want to have more sex this year than they did last year.
4.  10:00 P.M. was voted the most ideal time for sex.
5.  The average single person spends $62 a month on dating.  Considering that includes everything from the dates themselves to clothes and online dating sites . . . that seems low.  Do dates these days consist of eating Arby's then watching Netflix?
6.  63% of people have had sex in a car . . . 56% have done it in their parents' house . . . and 4% have done it on a plane.  (Match.com / Multivu)

Five Bad Things Caffeine Does to Your Body

Most people think the worst thing caffeine can do is keep you awake too long, or give you a headache if you don't get enough.  But here are five effects of having too much caffeine that are a lot nastier.
1.  It can cause depression.   Surprising, because caffeine is a stimulant.  But some studies have shown that taking depressed people off caffeine and sugar causes them to experience better moods.  
2.  Gastritis.  That's when the lining of your stomach gets inflamed.  And caffeine increases the production of stomach acid, which can lead to it.
3.  Infertility.  Drinking as little as one cup of coffee a day can delay conception in women trying to get pregnant.  More than that can lead to serious conditions like fallopian tubal disease and endometriosis.
4.  Osteoporosis.  Caffeine makes you pee more, which causes your body to lose more calcium.  And that can make your bones brittle.  One study found that women who drank more coffee were also more likely to have a hip fracture at some point.
5.  Premenstrual syndrome.  Caffeine can increase both the risk and the severity of PMS. 
(Yahoo! Shine)

An Extreme Couponer Spends $2,000 of His Own Money Each Year . . . To Buy $10,000 Worth of Food for Needy Families

Extreme couponers usually get made fun of for being cheap . . . and a little bit psycho.  But here's one NO ONE is making fun of.
There's a guy in Casselberry, Florida . . . just north of Orlando . . . named Rick Baer.  He looks to be in his 50s, and he's a HUGE fan of coupons.  But also a huge fan of CHARITY.
Each day, Rick goes through all the coupons he can get his hands on, buys as much food as possible, and DONATES it to an organization called The Care Cabin, which provides food for needy families in his area.
Last year alone, Rick says he spent over $2,000 of his own money . . . but ended up buying about $10,000 worth of food with it.
And now the local police department even has a drop box where OTHER people can leave coupons for Rick, who says it's just his way of, quote, "paying it forward."
(WFTV / Casselberry PD)  

Shivering For 10 Minutes Burns as Many Calories as Exercising For an Hour?

I GUESS this is good news for a lot of the country . . . just trying to find the bright side since a lot of us are getting HAMMERED by winter.
According to a new study out of the University of Sydney in Australia, SHIVERING for 10 to 15 minutes burns as many calories as an HOUR of moderate exercise.
They found that being cold and working out both produce something in your body called "brown fat" . . . which is a good kind of fat that burns calories. 
This is just the latest study to find a connection between being cold and losing weight.  A few weeks ago, a study out of the Netherlands also found that working in the cold can raise your metabolism.  
(Daily Mail / Health Day)

12 Rules for Being a Good Boyfriend . . . According to Two Girls Aged 6 and 9

Be honest, guys.  Deep down, you think you're a great boyfriend.  Well, I hate to break it to you, but you're probably not . . . at least according to a list going around online.  It was put together by two girls, aged 6 and 9.  Here are our favorite traits they came up with.
1.  Nice handwriting.
2.  "Cuteness."
3.  He should like his girlfriend's parents.
4.  He's not living with HIS parents.
5.  "Nice jewelry."  We assume that means he GIVES nice jewelry, not wears it.
6.  He doesn't pick his nose.
7.  He doesn't try to kiss you on the first date.
8.  He's ALWAYS happy.
9.  He respects different religions.  (???)
10.  His last name is "not weird."
11.  He brushes and flosses.
12.  He doesn't tattle tale.  
(Huffington Post)  
(You can check out all 30 here.)

Five Ways Social Media Ruins Relationships

Ultimately, I think social media has probably helped START more relationships than it's killed off . . . but it's CLOSE.
A new survey had people rank the ways Facebook, Twitter, and the rest can DESTROY a new relationship.  Here are the top five . . .
1.  It's too easy to find out when the other person lied to you about where they were going or what they were doing.
2.  When you're first dating someone, you can go through their old posts and interactions and see if they used the same lines and moves on someone else.
3.  You initially like someone because you're compatible with their PROFILE . . . but it turns out not to represent who they really are.
4.  The other person is TOO obsessed with social media, and focuses on it more than they focus on you.
5.  Seeing endless photos of your friends on vacations and at parties with their significant others makes you feel like your relationship is boring.  

You're Most Likely to Lie to Your Mom . . . And Five Other New Facts About Lying

According to a big new survey on LYING, you're most likely to lie to your MOM . . . 17% of people say they sometimes lie to their mother.  
But apparently the other 83% lied on the survey . . . because EVERYONE lies to their mother.  It's the only way to survive.  Here are five more findings about lying from the survey . . .
13% of people lie to their significant other most often . . . another 13% lie to their DOCTOR most often . . . and 12% lie to their boss most often.  The rest say they don't regularly lie to anyone.  Liars!
42% of people say there are times when they WISH people would lie to them.
8% of people say they know TOO MUCH about their parents, and wish their parents had lied to them a little more.
The thing people are most tempted to lie about is . . . their PAST.  That's followed by their salary, their age, their relationship, and their job.  
And finally, when someone's facing an AWFUL home-cooked meal, only 42% are honest and say it's bad.  34% force-feed it to themselves, 13% turn it away by pretending they're on a diet, and 8% will try to slip it to the dog.  (CBS News)

A Retired Teacher Secretly Saved $8.4 Million . . . And Left It All to Local Charities

Back in 2012, a retired special education teacher named Margaret Southern passed away in Greenville, South Carolina at age 94.
Apparently Margaret was known as a pretty frugal person . . . she only splurged every once in a while when she took her friends out to lunch.  But it turned out she was hiding a pretty sizable FORTUNE.
Margaret's husband died about 30 years ago, and left her his estate.  Then she secretly started playing the stock market, and was apparently pretty good at it.
Last week, it was revealed that Margaret had accumulated $8.4 MILLION . . . and she left it ALL to local charities.
Half of the money is going to her local Humane Society, which runs a no-kill shelter.  And the rest will go to organizations that support education and children with special needs.  The first round of grants will go out this week.
(GreenvilleOnline.com / CFGreenville.org / Greenville Journal)  

Pet ownership makes you more caring, connected

Speaking of animals, a study found having pets encourages stronger social bonds and benefits relationships.  That’s right- just as you’ve probably always suspected, being a pet-owner makes you a better person!  

Specifically, young adults who have “strong attachments to pets” felt “more connected to their communities and relationships.”  

The study is in step with previous research that found pet ownership is good for both your physical and mental health.  Basically, if you’re debating whether to get a pet, do it.  

Happy Birthday Facebook!

10 years of Facebook
It’s difficult to imagine a world without Facebook, but the social networking site celebrates its 10-year anniversary this week.  That means it’s been a decade of friending, un-friending, photo-tagging, poking (remember that?), status-updating and ex-stalking.  

The site has come a long way in 10 years, from its humble beginnings as a network of college students to a multi-billion-dollar powerhouse with more than a billion users worldwide.  

In the last decade, we’ve followed Facebook’s milestones and scandals in the news and used its data to learn about our own society.  Founder Mark Zuckerberg- a Harvard dropout who invented the site in his dorm room- always said his vision was for Facebook to connect the world.  For better or for worse, we’d say it’s done just that.

Seven Words That Make Your Dating Profile More Attractive

MATH is about to help you get-it-on.  The magazine "Wired" worked with Match.com and OkCupid to analyze thousands of profiles, and find 1,000 words associated with the most ATTRACTIVE people.
And the TWO best words any man or woman can add to their profile to make themselves more attractive are . . . SURFING and YOGA.
You don't even have to actually surf or do yoga . . . even adding a sentence like, "I'm just starting to surf and do yoga" would make you more attractive.
The other best words men can add are OCEAN and SKIING.  For women it's ATHLETE, LONDON, and NYC.  And then there are a TON of other words they found are associated with attractive profiles.  But some of them are pretty random.
Like for guys, they found live music, retirement, breakfast, trees, morning, puppies, and flying.  And for women they found fitness, fashion, laziness, RADIOHEAD, "Homeland", and "Pulp Fiction".  (???)  (Wired)
(Check out all the attractive words and other findings from the study here.)

Super Bowl Random's

The Best and Worst Super Bowl Commercials
It was a pretty weak year for Super Bowl commercials . . . sort of like the game.  It seems like the formula is either to go for slapstick comedy or heartfelt patriotism.  Here are our top and bottom five ads of the game . . .
The Top Five Commercials
1.  Chrysler nailed it with their BOB DYLAN commercial that rounded up every image of Americana from the past 60 years.  That can seem like shameless pandering . . . but not when it features a BRILLIANT BADASS like Dylan.
2.  We loved the Radio Shack ad where the '80s icons smashed up the store to introduce the "new" more modern Radio Shack . . . Alf, HULK HOGAN, the California Raisins, KID 'N PLAY, MARY LOU RETTON.
3.  Once again, Doritos crowdsourced their commercials and had a winner.  They had a spot where a kid with a homemade time machine accidentally tricked a guy into thinking he'd been transported to the future.  It definitely worked.
4.  Budweiser ran an emotionally manipulative commercial about one of their Clydesdales becoming friends with a puppy.  But emotional manipulation WORKS.
Every Super Bowl party in America had women crying after that one.  And the ad won the "USA Today" Ad Meter.
5.  We also really liked Hyundai's ad where a dad kept saving his kid the moment before imminent danger . . . until they were driving in a Hyundai, which had the safety features to do it for him.
Honorable mentions go to TIM TEBOW'S self-deprecating T-Mobile commercials . . . 
Audi's weird commercial about a half-Doberman, half-Chihuahua had some laughs . . .
The reunion of JERRY SEINFELD and JASON ALEXANDER to promote Seinfeld's awesome web series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee".  It looks like they're going to do the upcoming episode in character.
Budweiser threw a parade for a returning soldier, featured it in one of their ads, and even got the guy to go to the Super Bowl . . . 
And Chevy's ad featuring a sexy bull being transported to see other sexy cows.  (???)  But the tone wasn't clear, the comedy wasn't either, and we're still a little confused.
The Five Bottom Commercials
1.  Bud Light stormed out of the gate doing a two-part commercial about an average dude who got a "crazy" night featuring run-ins with Minka Kelly, Don Cheadle, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and One Direction.
They tried to make it epic but it just felt sterile and didn't quite connect.  They clearly blew ALL of their effort on that ad . . . because a Bud Light ad later only showed close-ups of their new bottle.
2.  GoDaddy's hyped commercial about a woman quitting her job on live TV to start a puppet company definitely got lost in the shuffle.  It didn't have the impact they were clearly hoping for.
3.  We REALLY wanted to like the "Full House" guys reuniting for Dannon Oikos Greek yogurt, but it just didn't land . . . because we knew it was coming.  They reunited on "Fallon" and the ad got a lot of hype.  A surprise would've been better.
4.  The LAURENCE FISHBURNE "Matrix" parody ad for Kia felt like they threw a lot of random, unconnected stuff together.  In the end, it was just scattered and forced.  Like, why would Morpheus from "The Matrix" start singing opera?
5.  Coke swinging and missing on a commercial of "America the Beautiful" in different languages that was desperately trying to make you say, "Wow, Coke LOVES America!"  But a lot of people online didn't like it.
Dishonorable mention goes to Axe body spray for their borderline misguided ad showing racial stereotypes choosing world peace over war . . .
And Maserati for throwing 10-year-old QUVENZHANÉ WALLIS in an ambiguous ad that wasn't clearly a car commercial until the last few seconds.  That might be the weirdest spokesperson and company matchup ever.


Super Bowl Commercials:  The "Controversies"
There wasn't TOO much controversial stuff in this year's Super Bowl commercial lineup but, of course, people today LOVE being outraged so there were a few.  Here were the three most controversial ads of the year . . .
1.  Volkswagen's ad showing engineers getting their wings, like angels, had a minor blowup on Twitter . . . because they showed NO female engineers.  The one woman in the ad didn't get wings . . . she slapped a man when his wings touched her.
2.  There was talk about whether SCARLETT JOHANSSON'S Sodastream ad would air, because the company has gotten a LOT of heat over having a factory in the Palestinian West Bank in Israel.  Fox DID end up airing it after all.
As for the controversy . . . it's hard to say whether or not people even know about it.  Someone at my Super Bowl party said, "Ooh, this ad is controversial because Sodastream is competing with Coke and Pepsi."  Which is sorta true . . . 
Fox refused the commercial at first, because in the original, Scarlett said, "Sorry Coke and Pepsi", and of course those two companies spend tons of money on the Super Bowl.  So SodaStream had to cut that line from the ad.
3.  And finally, we HOPE this isn't a controversy . . . but the Cheerios ad showed an interracial family with a black dad, a white mom, and a mixed race girl.  In 2014, we're really happy that commercial aired during the Super Bowl.


Bruno Mars' Halftime Performance Was Amazing  
BRUNO MARS and the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS brought SHEER PERFORMANCE back into the Super Bowl halftime show . . . a welcome change after years of focus on "spectacle" and "manufactured controversy."
The show started with a children's choir, followed by a drum solo by Bruno. 
Now, some people have reported that it was Bruno's brother Eric . . . who's his drummer, and who DOES look like Bruno . . . but it wasn't.  It was Bruno.
Then, Bruno jumped in front of his band and launched into a medley of his hits . . . including "Locked Out of Heaven", "Treasure", "Runaway Baby", and "Just the Way You Are".
In the middle of his set, he also did a brief interlude of the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS song "Give It Away", before they popped up onstage to perform the rest of it.  Bruno and his band stuck around, joining in.
The Peppers were only there for that one song . . . perhaps because they were a little cold.  Both singer ANTHONY KIEDIS and bassist FLEA were SHIRTLESS . . . although Anthony had some weird leggings on.
It wasn't just the music that was great though . . . Bruno also showed off some wicked dance moves, which were a little like JAMES BROWN-meets-MICHAEL JACKSON.
And of course, there was a big element of "spectacle" as well . . . with fireworks, lasers, sparklers, and video dedications from soldiers to their families.  There was a lot of stuff going on . . . but it all seemed to FIT and work as it hasn't always in years past.
Whether or not you're a fan of Bruno's . . . or the Red Hot Chili Peppers . . . it seemed like a crowd-pleasing performance that may have had everyone at your Super Bowl party entertained, regardless of age.


Getting to the Super Bowl on Public Transit Was an Absolute Nightmare
For security reasons, they didn't let people take taxis to the Super Bowl this year, and you also couldn't be dropped off nearby to walk in.
So everyone who wasn't DRIVING to the game and PARKING there was told to take public transportation . . . and it ended up leading to COMPLETE CHAOS.
New Jersey transit officials were expecting between 12,000 and 15,000 people to take the subway to the Super Bowl.  Instead, an estimated 27,000 did.  And apparently it was a NIGHTMARE.
After they got to their subway stations, some people said it took them over an HOUR just to get on a TRAIN.
And because of all the people, the temperature in the subway stations was upwards of 130 DEGREES.  So multiple people PASSED OUT, and emergency workers had to push through hundreds of people to get to them.  Luckily, no one died.
Also, security officials were checking every single bag at the start of the rush.  But after a while, they were basically checking NONE.  Luckily, it didn't end up mattering.  But plenty of fans were obviously NOT happy about it.
According to reports, it was the busiest day on New Jersey transit EVER.  (NJ.com / Gawker / Yahoo)  


Sports Junkies:  A List of Super Bowl 48 Trivia and Interesting Facts  
After last night's Super Bowl, we ventured out into the Internet in search of some trivia and interesting facts on the game for all the sports junkies out there.  Here's what we came up with:
1.  The Denver Broncos are the first Super Bowl team to be shut out at halftime since the New York Giants in Super Bowl 35 in 2001.  They trailed the Baltimore Ravens 10-to-zero at the half, before ultimately losing 34-to-7.
2.  The Seattle Seahawks' safety 12 seconds into the game became the fastest score EVER at the start of a Super Bowl.
It beat the 2007 Super Bowl . . . when the Chicago Bears started off against the Indianapolis Colts with a kickoff return for a touchdown.  That happened 14 seconds into the game.  However, the Colts came back to win that one, 29-to-17.
3.  Interestingly enough, this is the third-straight year with a safety in the Super Bowl, but it's only the ninth safety in the Super Bowl's 48-year history.
4.  The Broncos have now faced the three largest halftime deficits in Super Bowl history.  They were down 22 in this one . . . they were down 27-3 (or by 24 points) in their 55-to-10 blowout loss to the San Francisco 49ers in 1990 . . .
And they were down 35-to-10 (or by 25 points) in their 42-to-10 loss to the Washington Redskins in 1988.  Not surprisingly, these three Denver losses are among the five worst Super Bowl blowouts in history.
5.  The Broncos have now lost FIVE Super Bowls, more than any other team.  However, they've also won TWO:  In 1998 and 1999.  The Seahawks are now 1-and-1 in Super Bowls.  They lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-to-10 in 2006.
6.  Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith, who was named the game's MVP, became the first player in Super Bowl history to have a fumble recovery AND an interception return for a touchdown in the same game.
7.  The Broncos entered the Super Bowl with the highest scoring offense in NFL history.
8.  Despite the Broncos offensive problems last night, wide receiver Demaryius Thomas caught 13 passes . . . the most of anybody in Super Bowl history.   And Peyton Manning completed 34 passes, the most-ever by a Super Bowl quarterback.
(Actually, the Super Bowl was less about the Broncos' offense being TERRIBLE . . . and more about it being unable to overcome their turnovers, penalties, mistakes and porous defense.)
9.  Check this out:  $526,217 is the base salary made by Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson for the ENTIRE 2013 season.   And $882,352 is the salary made by Peyton Manning . . . for each WEEK of the 2013 season.
10.  Can Seattle keep it together to turn their run into a dynasty?  According to Forbes.com, "the Seahawks tied the 1971 Miami Dolphins as the youngest Super Bowl winners ever with an average age of 26.4 years."
The Seahawks had the fourth youngest roster in the NFL this year, and Russell Wilson is just 25.  This is his second year in the NFL.
11.  According to Pregame.com, Las Vegas bookmakers ALREADY have the Seahawks as the favorite to win NEXT year's Super Bowl as well, with 7-1 odds.
12.  The Seahawks are the first team to win a Super Bowl with a team FULL of Super Bowl virgins since the Washington Redskins in 1983.  Every winner since then has had at least ONE dude who has Super Bowl experience.
13.  And finally, according to Pro Football Reference, the final score of the Super Bowl, 43-to-8, has NEVER BEFORE been the final score of an NFL game.  Not just in the Super Bowl . . . in ANY game.


Five Ways to Make Sure You Take a Lunch Break

A lot of you eat lunch at your desk or just work through your break.  But studies show that people are LESS productive when they don't take their lunch hour.  Here are five tips to help you make the most of your break:
1.  Get away from your computer.  If you try to do NON-work stuff at your desk, you'll just get sucked back in.  So get away from your desk, or get out of the office.
2.  Take a walk.  If you can't clear your mind while you're sitting still, get some fresh air.  Any exercise will help you re-set and get energized for the rest of the day.
3.  Ditch your to-do list.  You might find it hard to stop, but try to take a breather and clear your mind.  Take some deep breaths and try to relax.  Even better?  Leave your PHONE at your desk.
4.  Start a ritual that you commit to.  You want to make taking a break a habit.  So start doing something you enjoy like sitting in a park, or just having a cup of coffee somewhere that's NOT work. 
5.  Set up boundaries.  You may need to train your co-workers to respect your new habits.  Let your boss know when you'll be unavailable.  Mark the time off on your day planner, and put up a note if you need to.  (MSN Living)

A Guy Asked His Family to Bury Him on His Harley in a Giant See-Through Casket . . . And They Did

For the past 18 years, an 82-year-old man in Mechanicsburg, Ohio named Billy Standley had been telling his family EXACTLY how he wanted his funeral to go down.
Instead of being laid to rest in a normal casket, Billy asked to be buried while SITTING on his 1967 Harley-Davidson MOTORCYCLE.  And he specifically wanted to be in a giant see-through casket, so all his biker friends could see him sitting on the bike.
Well, Billy passed away about a week ago from lung cancer . . . and his family actually FOLLOWED THROUGH WITH IT.  Although Billy had a hand in the planning too.
Several years ago, he bought three plots next to his wife's grave to make sure he'd fit.  Then his sons custom made a 9-by-11-foot Plexiglas casket with a reinforced bottom, which has been sitting in his garage for FIVE YEARS.
Last week, five embalmers used a metal back brace to sit him upright on the bike.  And on Friday, they loaded him onto a trailer so a truck could pull him to the cemetery on his "final ride."  The funeral was Friday, and there are a bunch of pictures from it online.
Billy was diagnosed with Alzheimer's last year, so his family had to handle most of the details.  But his son Pete explained that his father had, quote, "done right by us all these years, and at least we could see he [went] out the way he wanted to."  
(Dayton Daily News / Gawker)  

The 10 Happiest Jobs Include Realtor, Software Engineer . . . and Intern?

Don't feel bad your intern is applying their college degree to making copies.  Or that you can't remember whether their name is Michael or Kevin.  
He's LOVIN' IT.  According to a new study by the website CareerBliss, INTERNS are among the top 10 HAPPIEST jobs in the U.S.
The rankings are based on factors like work-life balance, work environment, growth opportunities, salary, relationships with coworkers, job resources, and daily tasks.  Here are the 10 happiest jobs in America . . .
1.  Research or teaching assistant.
2.  Quality assurance analyst.
3.  Realtor.
4.  Loan officer.
5.  Sales rep.
6.  Air traffic controller.
7.  HR manager.
8.  Software engineer.
9.  Intern.
10.  Team leader.  (Business Insider)  

Couples Who Watch Five Romantic Comedies Together a Month Are Less Likely to Break Up

When it comes to date nights, most guys would rather see an action movie or a comedy than a sappy romance.
But listen up, guys.  Because all those romantic comedies you've been dragged to might be the only reason she hasn't DUMPED YOU YET.
Researchers at the University of Rochester and UCLA studied 174 newly married couples, and found that the ones who watched FIVE romantic comedies or dramas together per month were HALF as likely to get divorced within the first three years of marriage.
24% of the couples who DIDN'T watch romantic movies got divorced within three years, compared to just 11% of the couples who DID.
The catch is, you can't just WATCH them together.  You also have to DISCUSS them afterward, and then compare and contrast the relationships in the movie to YOUR OWN relationship. 
(Business Standard / Rochester.edu)

Scientists Figured Out the Perfect Way to Hold a Hamburger

As an American, you've probably experienced this:  You're holding a burger the size of your head, take a bite, and half the toppings fall out the back onto your plate . . . or your lap.
The good news is, that never has to happen again . . . science has you covered.  A TV show in Japan recently had three experts in fluid mechanics, engineering, and dentistry figure out how to prevent it from happening.
They did a 3D scan of a burger, and allegedly spent FOUR MONTHS figuring it out.  And it comes down to the way you HOLD it.
It turns out that if you hold a burger like most people . . . with all of your fingers on the top and just your thumbs on the bottom . . . there isn't an even distribution of pressure.
So instead, you should hold it so the sides of your thumbs and your PINKY FINGERS are on the bottom.  And the rest of your fingers should be fanned across the top bun.  
You can check out a diagram online that shows how to do it.  Just Google 'The Perfect Way to Hold a Hamburger, Proven by Science.'
They also stressed that you shouldn't hold it too TIGHT.  And ideally, you should warm up the muscles in your jaw by opening and closing your mouth a few times before your first bite.  (Kotaku.com)  

The Groundhog Saw His Shadow, Which Means More Winter . . . Fortunately He's Horrible at Predictions

Yesterday was the first time ever the Super Bowl was on Groundhog Day.  We're not sure if that has any relevance to anything.  But since it's the day after the Super Bowl, by law, everything must tie back to the Super Bowl.
Anyway, at 7:28 A.M. yesterday, the people of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania pulled the poor groundhog out to make his annual weather prediction.
It would've been nice for the groundhog to say it'd be an early spring . . . even though it's pseudoscience, we're so desperate to get this winter over with we're grasping at any straws we can.
Unfortunately . . . Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, which means six more weeks of winter.
He's seen his shadow 101 times and not seen it 17 times in history.  He's been predicting the weather since 1886 . . . there aren't records on his prediction for 10 of the 128 years.
The National Climatic Data Center says they've never found any correlation between the weather and the groundhog's prediction . . . the entire groundhog thing is just odd, enduring, folksy Americana at this point.  (Yahoo)


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