Phoner: Would you love to get rid of gift giving over the holidays?
Phoner: Do you avoid certain people during the holidays because you
don't want to worry about giving gifts?
Phoner: What era would you love to have lived
Phoner: What did your
kid do that made you scared of the person he was going to grow into?
Phoner: What tastes better in a different setting?
Phoner: Why were you glad there was a payphone around?
Phoner: Who have you boycotted in this age of boycott everything?
Phoner: How much did you pay for lessons for you kid to learn?
Phoner: How was your accident in the best place possible?
Phoner: How many people were on it when it collapsed?
restaurants be allowed to add extra tips/fees to kids/teens who take up
their tables, make a mess and don't tip? Yes
Phoner: Have you moved to a city for a better
chance at dating?
Phoner: What is your favorite winter date?
Phoner: Why don't you let your
kids go to sleepovers?
Phoner: What was the most
disturbing thing that happened to you at a sleepover?
is your oldest pair of underwear in your drawer right now?
Phoner: Parents be honest, how
much do you spend on your kids at Christmas?
Phoner: What was the hardest lesson you had to teach your kids?
Phoner: What was the most humiliating thing your kid said?
Phoner: What bad relationship
habits should you get rid of before getting married?
Phoner: What questions should you always ask on a first
Phoner: What questions should you never ask on a first date?
Phoner: How do you avoid
getting your heartbroken?
Phoner: What did they do that
sent you running?
Phoner: Why did you stay in a
Phoner: How did you know that
your relationship would last?
Phoner: What is your trick to
not losing your cool?
Phoner: What types of friends does everyone need in their lives?
Phoner: What type of friend are you?
makes someone a good friend?
Phoner: What is the most annoying song of all time?
Phoner: Was the place you worked haunted?
Phoner: Where was your tourist wrong turn?
Phoner: What's your secret menu item?
Phoner: How old is your kid who's never watched TV?
Phoner: How old were you when you saw your first naked person of the
Phoner: What photo from your phone would you freak
about if it were made public?
Phoner: What was the stupidest thing your flight was
Phoner: What amazing medical technology are you the
Phoner: What's your wedding confession? Bride Admits She Put Pretty Bridesmaids in Ugly Dresses
Phoner: What did you run into going down a hill?
Phoner: How did your game end up with the police
Phoner: How did cutting in line end badly?
Phoner: What have you used to clean your ears?
Phoner: Anyone listening who hit a police car?
Phoner: If there were a shortage of ____________ I
would really panic!
Phoner: Where did you pass out?
Phoner: How was your car totaled and no one was in it?
Phoner: Who was your landlord from hell?
Phoner: How did technology get you busted?
Phoner: What silly thing do you do to burn off more
Phoner: What did you scare off your property?
Phoner: How has your pet
prepared you for a relationship? For a kid? Phoner: What was the best thing you ever bought used?
Phoner: What did your pet destroy?
Phoner: What have you have thrown on you when you opened a door?
Phoner: What did you
have to rescue from the drain?
Phoner: It wasn't a dog
but they had a guard ______________ that terrified me!
Phoner: Have you ever
caught your kid jerking off in public?
Phoner: Ladies, how long do you make a guy wait before
you will sleep with him?
Phoner: Guys, how do you know a woman will sleep with
Phoner: What is the best part of being married?
Phoner: What friends is it
okay to break up with in your early 20's?
Phoner: How long should you
wait to bring up your exes when you're seeing someone new?
Phoner: What other
cold-weather date ideas do you have?
Phoner: How do you fight
without becoming a drama queen?
Phoner: How did you get that
spark back in your marriage?
Phoner: Have you lost your man
Phoner: Is it a requirement
that a man you date must be able to cook?
Phoner: When do you bring up
sex in your relationship?
Phoner: What did you buy when you thought you
were finally making great money?
Phoner: What does YOUR husband never, ever say?
Phoner: What did you try to save money on that didn't end
Phoner: Who was your horrible roommate?
Phoner: Anyone being a horrible roommate
or coworker in hopes they'll leave?
Phoner: Anyone listening who has something named
Phoner: How did your name ruin your life?
Phoner: What lie do you tell to avoid an argument?
Phoner: What lie do you know your SO is telling you that you let
them think they got away with?
Phoner: What was your wedding day annoyance?
Phoner: Do you have underwear for different
Phoner: How does your mail carrier mess with you?
Phoner: What's your texting commandment?
Phoner: What have you kept from your ex that you can't bear to part
Phoner: What were you surprised to just find
Phoner: What move will people always remember you for?
Phoner: What's the last
thing you'd want to keep from your deceased loved one?
Phoner: How did you almost lose your legs?
Phoner: Have you ever
had something to eat or drink that was so good you had to take breaks to
appreciate just how good it was?
Phoner: What was your embarrassing extracurricular
activity in school?
Phoner: Why did you
reach into your toilet?
Phoner: Where were you when your tooth flew out of
did he do that was an immediate red flag?
Phoner: What unexpected job did you get when you were the
maid of honor?
Phoner: What are your Dos and
Don'ts for being a good wingwoman?
Phoner: Who is constantly
interfering in your relationship?
Phoner: Guys, what does your
lady say that drives you crazy?
Phoner: What stopped you from cheating on your spouse?
Phoner: Why did you cheat on your spouse?
Phoner: Does your significant
other have a friend or family member you can't stand? How do you deal with them?
Phoner: Why does homework
Phoner: Why don't you feel
guilty for being a working mom?
Phoner: What have you learned
during your marriage?
Phoner: Are you going through
a divorce right now? What is the hardest part?
Phoner: Did you not know you were pregnant when you went into
Phoner: What would you rather have happen than your
favorite team winning?
Letters to Steal
Dear: Should I tell my sister what her netflix and chill
I know it's kind of mean, but also hysterical.. .My sister
bought my nephews and their girlfriends (in college) Netflix and
Chill candles for Christmas. Oh..and one for her friends
recently engaged daughter and fiance for Christmas..
Because they all love watching Netflix!
She has no idea what it means.. I think it
will embarrass my nephews, but they'll find it funny. Not
sure I want to embarrass their girlfriends since I don't know
them as well.
Dear: My 8-year-old son is getting to the point where he
wants to have a lot of his friends over to play after school.
I don’t mind having them over, but I’m starting to wonder if I
need to tell the other parents that we have guns in the house.
My husband is a cop and keeps them in a locket cabinet that kids
wouldn’t be able to get in. Do I have to inform the other
parents about it?
I had a co-worker at my internship in college who I would swoon over every day.
I’d precisely time my trips to the break room to coincide with hers. Rack my
brain for interesting conversation starters. Shit, I’d even iron my shirts in
That was all until one day in July 2009. I looked over at her cube, like I did
every 8 minutes, and I witnessed her picking her nose AND eating it. I shit you
not. And it was clear as day. No way she could have possibly be doing anything
other than chomping on one of her nose goblins. Everything I ever felt for her
immediately left my body like an exorcism. I found out after I went back to
school that she had a crush on me, and I felt nothing. Amazing what one mid-day
snack can do to a crush.
A Redditor posed the question: What is something that instantly killed a crush
that you had on someone? And people came out in the thousands to share their
stories. Here are the most scintillating:
He got visibly annoyed when I didn’t order what he suggested off of a menu
Mine was more subtle… the first thing that came of her mouth to talk about
former people she had dated was economic issues. You know:
“Oh, he was loaded”
“Oh, he took me to Paris for the weekend”.
Made me realize her priorities.
Googling him and finding his Wedding Registry. For that weekend.
She invited me to a small party and the main activity was that we all sat round
a table while she asked us pre-scripted getting-to-know-you questions.
Then she invited me to an even smaller and totally-different-sounding party and
did it again.
Saw how she treated her doormat of a boyfriend. It was almost cartoonish the way
she ordered him to do things and constantly criticized him. She found a guy who
knew he was out of his league and totally took advantage of it. Her appeal
disappeared pretty quickly after that.
The odd thing is that I had apparently been acting kind of standoffish and
boring around her while the crush was on. Once I was over her, I loosened up and
acted more like myself and then she started talking to me more. Realizing that I
had been making myself less appealing was a nice lesson to learn from that.
I saw the guy who I had a crush on, off and on for all of high school attempt to
shave his arm hairs with one of the ten lighters he had in his backpack by
burning off the hairs.
FYI, He doesn’t smoke either. He just really likes fire.
We were out driving and he swerved the vehicle to deliberately hit a sparrow
Yeah nah, bye..
Because she loved the fact that, according to her, every male friend of her
wanted to have sex with her, so she could just keep guys around and fuck them
whenever she wanted. That kind of ultra-narcissism killed it for me.
She was super intelligent and clever, but thought it was cuter to play dumb all
And not just a little dumb, like totally-behind-the-curve stupid. She knew that
part of what always attracted me was that she was always so comfortable being
herself around me (sweet and intellectual) but in public she just refused to act
like she had any wits about her. Most of my (and her own) friends really jut
thought she was a cute idiot.
They always had to be right, and if they were wrong they’d manipulate it to
where they were somehow right.
If you're looking to get outdoors and have some fun this Winter,
and maybe find some love in the process, you might want to ask
the stars what "dream" date could make all those wishes come
true. Sure, you might be thinking, "But it's so damn cold
outside!" and figure that curling up in a ball at home seems
like the wiser choice. But if you're not opening yourself up to
new experiences and people, you might miss out on some
meaningful connections and supercool date ideas no one would
Plus, even though it is cold out, you'll have company and you
can warm each other up. (And that makes it totally worthwhile,
right?) What's more, most of these outdoor date ideas are really
fun and can actually only be enjoyed during the chillier months,
so it'd be a shame to waste the opportunity. So now that you've
tried out these Fall date ideas, here are a few awesome Winter
date ideas to give your love life and activity level a boost
this coming Winter.
Time to get on those slopes. (Or maybe take a trip together
where you can find some!) Not only is fresh snow beautiful, but
it also makes for a romantic yet adventurous date. So go
snowboarding with your SO, astrologer Valerie Mesa tells
POPSUGAR. "Aries is an adrenaline junkie, and nothing beats the
rush of hitting the slopes! This fire sign loves to be
challenged, and they prefer their day to be action packed and
full of thrill," she said. That energy will surely get your
partner on board, literally.
There's nothing quite as toasty as getting cozy by a burning
fire. (Hot chocolate or mulled wine recommended.) For a Taurus,
this sounds like the perfect Winter date night. "Taurus is
notorious for being too comfortable, and there's nothing they
would rather do than snuggle next to a warm fireplace. This
earth sign loves to indulge in their five senses," Mesa
explained. Plus, it's easy to boost the romance here, too.
Believe it or not, the smell of old books can be pretty sexy.
(Hint: maybe even pick up a romance or erotic novel together to
take back home.) "Gemini is a relentless thinker. Curious and
easily bored, this air sign needs to be mentally stimulated at
all times," Mesa said. So wandering through a bookstore gives
them the knowledge they crave and, most importantly, options.
Plus, it's a fun way to stay indoors while still being active in
The thing about Cancer: they don't like to go out with their SO
too much. Besides, when it's Winter, there's no harm in staying
all snuggly together. Cancer is the homebody of the zodiac.
"Similar to Taurus, this water sign craves comfort and
security," Mesa said. Staying home in their pajamas is their
favorite hobby, with all the goodies and treats (like chocolate
chip cookies!) they can feast on. TBH, "the crab isn't very
athletic, and in the Winter they hibernate," Mesa added.
Oh Leo, how you love to show off your fabulous moves on the ice.
(Hopefully, those skills are actually legit.) "Leo loves to show
off, and ice skating will definitely do the trick. Competitive
and artistic, Leo will dominate the ice-skating ring while
pretending they're giving the performance of a lifetime," Mesa
said. And get this: some Leos will even teach their date how to
ice skate, as they love to be in charge.
A perfect plan for superanalytical Virgo? Build something that
takes precision, like a snow fort. (Let loose with a snowball
fight afterward for added playfulness.) "Virgo doesn't like to
waste time. Helpful and hardworking, this earth sign wants to
take full advantage of their time, and anything related to
building is their specialty," Mesa said. And be warned, Virgo
does it right or not at all, so guaranteed it will be the best
snow fort you've ever seen.
Bring out that sled, and take a trip to the park. It's time to
get a little messy in the snow. (And maybe "fall off" on top of
each other.) "Libra wants beauty, harmony, and pretty pictures.
Sledding is the perfect Winter wonderland activity, and it's
also something they can do alongside their partner," Mesa said.
They hate going solo, she adds. Just make sure to take plenty of
photos in action.
There's no denying it here, Scorpio likes sex. That includes
having it in a hot tub. (Or at least doing something a little
sexier than average.) "Like a true water sign, Scorpio feels the
most relaxed when they're in or by the water, hence a hot tub is
always an option," Mesa said. Perfect for colder temperatures,
right? Scorpio likes to feel sexy, and there's nothing sexier
than sharing a hot tub with their partner.
The real adventure-seeker, Sag doesn't want to stay indoors on a
big, comfy couch. (Even when it's zero degrees outside.)
Instead, they love being on the move and outdoors as much as
possible. "Sagittarius is the explorer of the zodiac, and hiking
is their favorite pastime. The sign of the archer feels the most
alive when in nature," Mesa explained. Plus, you can take a sick
Do you wanna build a snowman? (Frozen reference intended.) A
great activity to do with your SO is get creative in the snow.
"Capricorn is the most traditional sign in the zodiac, and
nothing says Christmas more than building a snowman," Mesa said.
This earth sign is incredibly focused, and nothing will get in
the way of their Winter wonderland dreams, she adds.
Time to get cozy by the fire. Throw some blankets and s'mores
into the mix, and you're solid. Aquarius is a natural at
bringing people together, which makes a bonfire a perfect
setting for a Winter date. "This air sign lives for
conversations and new experiences, and a bonfire will do just
that," Mesa said. But don't expect this water bearer to have
intimate one-on-one time with you. They're just not built that
way, she says.
You can still enjoy the water when in the Winter. Similar to
their sister sign Scorpio, Pisces feels best when they're by the
water, Mesa said. "Fishing is one of their favorite hobbies, and
the ice isn't going stop them. This water sign has a vivid
imagination, especially when they're in nature," she said. You
can then cook up a delicious fish dish together over wine
If you’re an introvert ― or just hate small talk ― few things are more
stress-inducing than a first date. Keeping conversation flowing freely is no
To help you figure out what to talk about ahead of time, we asked therapists and
psychologists who work with couples to share their favorite first date
discussion points. See what they had to say below.
1. What was the last thing you bragged about to your mom?
“Figure out some way to ask what makes your date proudest. You get to see your
date light up and see them at their best. Common values are more important to a
relationship than common interests and by asking this question, you get to find
out what they really value in their life.” ― Isiah McKimmie, a couples therapist
and sexologist in Melbourne, Australia
2. If you could get advice from anyone living or dead, who would you want
advice from and what would you ask?
“You would be able to tell quite a lot from this question. For example, you’d be
able to see how well they think on their feet, how playful or imaginative they
are and you’d get a flavor for how worldly they are. Perhaps most obviously,
you’d see who they admire, which would tell you if his or her values line up
with yours. If they pick a political figure, it could tell you about how
conservative or liberal they are. And asking what advice you’d be seeking tells
you a lot about their goals in life.” ― Susan Pease Gadoua, a couples therapist
and the co-author of The New I Do, Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and
3. Do you make your bed in the morning?
“The answer to this question can reveal how much importance they place on order
and tidiness versus saving time. It also allows for some interesting sharing
about if they are a morning or night person and their usual morning routine.” ―
Danielle Kepler, a couples therapist in Chicago
4. What’s the worst first date you’ve ever been on?
“Only ask this question if you sense that things are going well, as their answer
will reveal whether they can let their guard down and tell an entertaining
story. Plus, it’s a great way to build an instant ‘us vs. them’ bond, as it
requires the person to subconsciously reflect on how well your date is going
compared to the one they’re recounting.” ― Spencer Scott, a psychologist in
Santa Monica, California
5. If you could wave a magic wand right now and have your life be perfect,
what would that new life look like?
“This is a version of the question therapists often employ with their clients to
help them think differently about a problem or issue. But it’s also useful in
finding out a lot about a person’s hopes and dreams. If you’re a plugged-in city
girl and your date’s answer is, ‘I’d be living on a remote mountaintop with no
cell service,’ your life goals are probably not compatible.” ― Abby Rodman, a
psychotherapist and the author of Should You Marry Him?: A No-Nonsense,
Therapist-Tested Guide to Not Screwing Up the Biggest Decision of Your Life
6. What could you spend all day talking about?
“Even a simple question like this ― or simply ‘what are you passionate about?’ ―
can clue you in on a person’s values, morals, goals and motivation in life. If
your date’s answer is ‘my family,’ then chances are that this person is someone
whose priority is to build a prosperous future with a partner both emotionally
and financially. If their answer is ‘reality TV,’ be prepared to watch a lot of
‘The Real Housewives.’” ― Carin Goldstein, a couples therapist in Sherman Oaks,
7. On your last vacation, did you plan everything out beforehand or go with
“This question reveals a lot about a person’s lifestyle and personality. For
many people, having things scheduled or planned will cause anxiety and make a
vacation stressful. On the other hand, those who are planners might find an open
vacation with no plans to be anxiety provoking. I think this question reveals
much about one’s personality because it will mimic a person’s lifestyle.” ―
Antonio Borrello, a psychologist in Detroit
8. When you’re old and gray and you’re looking back at your life, what do you
want to be remembered for?
“This is a fun one but it also tells you what their priorities really are.
Everyone tells you what they’re doing currently in their life (I’m an accountant
or in grad school, for instance) but that doesn’t really tell you where their
priorities really are. This one gets to the bottom of it without it seeming like
an interrogation.” ― Aaron Anderson, a couples therapist in Denver
9. What dating advice would you give the high school version of you?
“You learn about how the person has grown with this question. You also get a
sense of how the person sees him or herself then and now, and what could be
improved.” ― Diane Spear, a couples therapist in New York City
10. What is the most awkward/embarrassing thing that’s happened to you
“Ask this to see how willing they are to be vulnerable and humble and if they
have a sense of humor. If they are able to laugh at themselves, then it’s likely
they will be easygoing when you take a fall.” ― Kristin Zeising, a psychologist
in San Diego
11. What’s your philosophy on tipping?
“People who are generous tend to make better partners. A similar question might
reference volunteerism!” ― Tom Murray, a couples therapist in Greensboro, North
12. What’s your favorite thing about your best friend?
“This question gets at a person’s value for close, ongoing relationships and the
role they play in their life. Listen for what they like about these people, how
they engage with them and how much they smile, and you’ll get clued into what
they are looking for in a partner without asking so directly. You’ll get a great
sense of what kind of friend and what sort of value they put on keeping those
relationships strong.” ― Alicia H. Clark, a psychologist in Washington, D.C.
13. If you had a dinner party and had to invite a musician, a politician, a
famous couple and only one family member, who would you invite? Bonus points:
What would you be serving, where would you have it, and what would be on your
“This question assesses a person’s creativity and personality. As you are
getting to know someone, it’s important to assess interests, values, political
views, and how they interact in social settings. It also allows you to see how
they use their imagination, which can be helpful later on in romance and sex.” ―
Shannon Chavez, a psychologist in Los Angeles
14. What’s your biggest pet peeve in a partner?
“On a first date, we all put our best foot forward, but this question can cut
through the facade and invite them to give an authentic response. They don’t
like messiness and you’re a slob? We may have a problem. They despise country
music and so do you? Still in the running.” ― Ryan Howes, a psychologist in
15. How do you spend your free time?
“Many people don’t have ‘hobbies,’ so this question is less likely to make
someone feel like their answer needs to be special or impressive. There’s enough
of that kind of pressure on a first date. Their answer could be spending time
with friends or scrolling through political blogs. Regardless, it’s a nice
picture into their life on the day to day.” ― Marie Land, a psychologist in
16. If you won a $20 million lottery, what would you do with the money?
“Simply put, this question may reveal a person’s value system and help you
discern whether your date is self-absorbed, or generous and caring.” ― Jeannie
Ingram, a couples therapist in Nashville, Tennessee
Phoner: What questions should you always ask on a first
Phoner: What questions should you never ask on a first date?
When you’ve been dating someone for a while, it’s easy to form bad relationship
habits, which, if left unchecked, have the power to crack the very foundation of
We asked therapists, psychologists, professors and other relationship experts to
tell us which negative patterns should be broken before you start thinking about
marriage. Here’s what they had to say:
Bad habit No. 1: Expecting your partner to read your mind
“Stop thinking you should get things you want without having to ask. Yes, it’s
nice when your spouse anticipates your needs. But none of us is married to a
mind reader. Though we have no guarantee that we’ll get everything we ask for,
it’s our job to ask. In fact, asking is a sign of strength.” ― Winifred M.
Reilly, marriage and family therapist and author of It Takes One to Tango
Bad habit No. 2: Trying to make your partner jealous
“Getting married is all about building a secure base for both of you. When you
try to make your partner jealous as a punishment or as a way to get their
attention, you undermine the security of the relationship. Try talking about
your frustration or need to be seen instead of playing this game.” ― Ryan Howes,
Bad habit No. 3: Constantly asking your partner if they love you
“It cheapens the expression when it’s not given freely and spontaneously. You
can say ‘I love you’ and hope he or she says it back. You can say, ‘One reason I
love you is ... ’ and hope for some reciprocity ― at least sometimes. But asking
to be told all the time can make you seem insecure (which you probably are, so
you might want to examine that). It also pressures your partner in a way that
may stifle the genuine moments of wanting to express love. If you have a partner
who is a bit miserly with ‘I love yous,’ talk about that, but don’t ask for it.”
― Pepper Schwartz, professor of sociology and certified sexologist
Bad habit No. 4: Getting stuck in a boring routine
“You’ve met someone, you’ve dated for a while, maybe you have lived together and
now you are planning on marriage. Your idea of fun has become hanging out
watching TV, going to the occasional movie and maybe for a wild time, a weekend
away at a bed-and-breakfast. I interviewed hundreds of long-married people for
my book 30 Lessons for Loving, and according to them, that’s not enough. Before
you get married, start having adventures. Break up the routine, try adventures
where you are forced to step out of your comfort zone. Think a camping or canoe
trip, a few weeks on your own in a foreign city, or, even better, a week or two
of volunteer service together in a needy locale.” ― Karl Pillemer, professor of
human development at Cornell University
Bad habit No. 5: Playing the blame game
“Some couples are in the habit of blaming each other for their own mistakes, no
matter what. Example: ‘You left the water running...’ ‘Oh, that’s because you
called me away in the middle of washing my hands.’ This is a toxic habit because
when partners are so busy defending themselves and blaming their partners, they
lose the chance to be kind to each other and to feel close. The opposite of
blaming is taking responsibility for your own actions, and that is the hallmark
of a mature and emotionally healthy relationship.” ― Samantha Rodman,
psychologist and dating coach
Bad habit No. 6: Mindlessly checking your phone
“Nothing says disconnection more than two people gazing into their phones when
they’re eating dinner together or snuggled up on the couch. ‘We’ time can be in
short enough supply as it is. Make the time you spend together count. ― Winifred
Bad habit No. 7: Threatening to leave when the going gets tough
“When dating, some people threaten to leave the relationship when they’re losing
a fight or wrestling with difficult issues. But once you’re on the road to
marriage, you need to drop that tactic and view the problems as issues for ‘us’
to address. There are certainly exceptions (e.g., when abuse is the problem),
but generally when you say you’re ready to commit to marriage, you are agreeing
you’ll stick around through rough patches and not use bailing as a bargaining
tool.” ― Ryan Howes
Bad habit No. 8: Grilling your partner about where they’ve been and with whom
“If they want to share, they will. If you are suspicious, then something sordid
is at stake, and trying to catch your partner in a contradiction, badgering them
or asking questions like a prosecuting attorney will just make matters worse.
You have to back off and try to have conversations that are truly engaged about
what your partner may have done during any given day, and not seem as if you are
trying to control his or her life like a parent. If you are really getting
paranoid, then just be watchful ― but quizzing only makes your partner angry,
defensive, perhaps insulted and maybe a better liar.” ― Pepper Schwartz
Phoner: What bad relationship
habits should you get rid of before getting married?
One of the most prominent reasons I hear from people about why they’ve stopped
dating, or approach it with brutal skepticism, is that they have been hurt so
much in the past that they simply do not trust people anymore or trust that
finding happiness is even a possibility.
The problem with this mindset, as one can imagine, is that it leads to a path of
self-sabotage and self-fulfilling prophecies. We either stop putting ourselves
out there in the first place, which reinforces our idea that it’s impossible to
meet people (save the fact that we’re doing nothing to meet them), or, we look
for every single tiny thing that could pose an issue down the road, and call it
We form defense mechanisms in an attempt to understand how to avoid heartbreak.
But what’s required here is self-reflection and a shift in perspective that can
keep you moving forward through life’s changes and challenges. Here are five
ways to go about this:
1. Research how your brain's chemistry works.
I’m going to suck the romance out of dating for a second, and hit you with the
factual reality that love and feelings are results of changes in your brain
chemistry that directly affect your emotions. A surge in dopamine levels, for
example, help you feel affection and a strong bond to the person that you’re
Here’s the rub: when you understand scientifically what’s happening inside of
your brain, it helps you keep your perspective when being flooded with chemical
releases (literally). You can pause and say to yourself: “I know what’s
happening here, and therefore I can better navigate the waters because I’m not
getting lost in the storm.”
Continue to enjoy the feeling and enjoy the ride. But this mindset will allow
you to keep your head about you when making lifestyle choices that affect your
long-term path, when you’ve only just met someone that has your chemistry
running wild. As the old saying goes: Follow your heart, but take your brain
2. Build a sturdy foundation for your own life.
Picture the difference between a floating buoy in the water, and an anchor. When
a storm hits (let’s say, a chemical storm of dopamine), how will the two
different objects be affected?
The buoy will be thrown around and left at the mercy of the storm. It may find
itself in a completely different part of the ocean and have no choice but to
follow the tides. Someone whose life is completely dependent on the path of
their significant other, or their relationship, will find themselves in this
We must anchor ourselves in our own life before we enter into a relationship,
because this is the only way to remain sturdy and steadfast in our path. Yes, we
need to compromise. Yes, we need to be flexible. Yes, we need to grow and evolve
as we progress in life, but a complete upheaval of our existence for another
person puts our emotional well-being in jeopardy, as we trust another person
Not every relationship is going to work out, and if you’re the buoy, a breakup
will leave you lost and confused. But if you’re the anchor, you will float back
to your position after being shaken up a bit, and have a much easier time
3. Don't avoid feelings,
Too many people walk around with apathy on their chest as a badge of honor. Our
society is teaching us that strength means to stop caring about other people. We
are flooded with posts on social media about people who are “done” or “not
trying anymore” or are “just doing me”... and we are supposed to believe this is
The only thing being accomplished by pretending like we don’t have feelings or
emotions, is a loss of identity, compassion, and community.
If you want to learn how to avoid heartbreak, you need to feel more, not less.
Why? Because it’s going to allow you to learn about yourself more; to keep
feelings in perspective; to understand how to best handle disappointment and
challenges based on who you are as a person.
If you close your eyes when you walk into the woods, it doesn’t change the fact
that you still end up deep into the woods. The only thing that changes is that
when you open your eyes, you won’t have any idea how to get back out again.
Embracing and feeling the good and bad in life will help you develop into a
person that can handle it all more effectively.
4. Be completely honest with yourself from the beginning.
How many times have you entered into a relationship with the sneaking feeling
that maybe, just maybe, this person wasn’t exactly right for you?
I have heard it a million times: People ignore red flags and warning signs
because continuing on their current path is easier than breaking it off and
starting over. The problem with that, though, is some of these small things
eventually become big things, and the relationship ends anyway. Only now, it
happened after a year instead of a month, and the pain is much more intense and
Do not get into a relationship simply for the sake of being in one. There are
plenty of happy single people, and plenty of lonely taken people. Your
relationship status does not dictate your level of happiness. Another reason why
I wrote Unlocking Love: To emphasize the importance of being happy and fulfilled
in life, regardless of your relationship status.
If you can see that things aren’t right early on, you have the ability (and
responsibility) to be open and honest about it before either of you waste too
much time. In the long run, it’s better for you both.
5. Keep things in perspective.
Last, but certainly not least: the importance of keeping your circumstances in
perspective. Odds are, the breakup you’re going through is not your first. The
person who disappointed you is not the only one. The pain you’re feeling is
familiar. But you have a 100 percent success rate of getting through your hard
You found someone you clicked with once, twice, three times, it will happen
again. Life may remove people from your circles, but it also adds new ones, and
often we forget this.
We forget this because we are lost in our emotions and feel like the world is
crumbling around us, but it’s not. A relationship may end, the path we thought
our life was on may come to a screeching halt, but we can and will find
You need to stay strong during your low points so you can fully embrace and
appreciate your high points. You need to find a balance in your own life of
enjoying the present, but understanding that the decisions you make now, affect
the world you wake up in tomorrow.
The ways our brains function and the dynamics of human relationships are perhaps
the two most important things that we can take into consideration when creating
happiness in our own lives, yet, we spend so little time learning about it. We
aren’t taught how to pursue happiness in school, or how to build inter-personal
relationships with each other, or how to recover after a disappointment or a
Life is a constant fluctuation of shifting circumstances that swirl around you
on a daily basis. If we want to create and maintain happiness in the storm;
we’ve got to be the anchor.
Phoner: How do you avoid
getting your heartbroken?
After decades of ignoring red flags in a relationship only to sail into disaster
each time, I've finally realized that no matter how gorgeous and alluring the
new stranger is, you have to quit when a red flag goes up. As soon as it goes
This isn't as easy it sounds. For starters, you have to learn how to distinguish
relationship red flags from mere quirks and annoyances. If a woman on her first
date with you wears an orange-striped top and you hate orange or stripes, this
is not a reason to bail. If her cell phone rings during dinner and she takes the
call at the table, this is annoying and will need to be addressed at some
opportune point (not the first date). But it's not a dealbreaker.
If, however, you take a woman to a restaurant that serves fancy pizza and she
eats the pizza by scraping the cheese and tomato off the crust, leaves the crust
on her plate, then lights a cigarette, smokes it, and grinds the butt out on the
crust, this is a red flag.
Happily, I can report after three decades of romantic misadventures that there
are, in fact, 12 red flags in a relationship that everyone should watch for, no
matter who you are or what you find charming.
1. They're chronically late.
For clarity, "chronic" means "three dates in a row." If your date arrives more
than ten minutes late each time, don't wait for his (or her) fourth arrival. Be
No doubt your date will have wonderful excuses and one or two may even be sound.
But three in a row is a pattern and what the pattern says is: I don't want to
get into this. So neither do you.
2. They put ketchup on their eggs.
If one of those first dates is brunch and your new friend reaches for the
ketchup to put on her eggs, RED FLAG!
I realize this may seem arbitrary or fussy. Or perhaps you think I'm making a
class judgment here. All I know is: Nothing good ever comes of ketchup on eggs.
And it's really gross.
3. They're rude to waitstaff.
And taxi drivers, and anyone else in a service job. I shouldn't even have to
explain why this is a dealbreaker. Just remember that it is.
4. They tell scary divorce stories.
It's amazing how much a new prospect will tell you about her life on a first or
second date — much more than she knows she's saying. The question is: Do you
If she launches into the story of her messy divorce, is her ex the villain in
every respect? To me, that's a red flag right there. Anyone who's emotionally
grounded should be able to see that two people, not one, contributed to a
5. They have a deep attachment to pets.
A golden retriever is fine and cats are all right if they don't do much. But I'm
still haunted by the memory of an ancient, hairless dachshund that would manage
to jump up on the bed during inopportune moments and bark. Not until the dog
owner chose to disengage herself from me and comfort the dog instead did I know
that this was trouble.
6. They've only had short-lived relationships.
During a first, incredibly romantic lunch with a new prospect some time ago, I
mentioned that my most recent relationship had ended after a year. "A year," my
new friend marveled. "That's so impressive! All of my relationships end after
Of course, I resolved to be the exception. Over the next weeks, which happened
to include Christmas and New Year's, we had an amazing time, both in New York
City, where she had a charming Hell's Kitchen walk-up and at my house in the
One Sunday, after I'd put her on the train home, I came back to find the most
tenderly romantic note on my pillow, something about soulmates joined. The next
week, for no outward cause, she called to break up with me. No argument, no
terrible time, just end of story. Only later did I realize it was week twelve.
Lesson: When a woman over 35 tells you all her relationships have ended after a
few months, RED FLAG.
7. They have demon children.
Children with an issue or two? Maybe. Children who hate you? Watch out.
Hopelessly spoiled or angry children? Head for the door.
8. They believe money is the only thing that matters.
Money stirs up so many issues, conscious and unconscious, far more than any
magazine article can cover. For now, let's just list two red flags you can spot
early on: If a man suggests splitting the tab on a first date or that the woman
If this happens, then bolt. I don't say this is fair, especially if, for
instance, the woman is a CEO and the man is a freelance writer. But it's the way
it is and any man who tries to worm out of his society-given role as
tab-picker-upper on the first (or second or third) date for the sake of saving a
few bucks is a creep to be ditched.
For men, an early red flag about money may not start waving until the third or
fourth date. A lot of women begin life as daddy's girls; a few stay that way.
They feel men should provide them with the lifestyle to which they've grown
accustomed from other men who did just that.
If you're a sugar daddy yourself, have fun. If not, back off. Over time you'll
only be despised and dropped.
9. They hold resentment toward their parents.
Powerful emotions about one's parents are a huge red flag. For men,
mother-worship is relationship death. One 50-year-old man I know has dated every
single woman in New York and found, to his bafflement, that none is good enough
— for his mother, that is. One of this guy's many castoffs is a very attractive,
successful woman of 42, whom I later dated myself.
Now that I know both, I can only wonder who was the first to reject the other.
It must have been like two gunfighters at the O.K. Corral. Nancy rejected me
after three really nice dates because she decided my eight-year-old daughter,
whom she hadn't yet met, would be an "encumbrance" to our relationship. Only
after we became friends did I learn how much she resents both her parents.
Coincidence? I don't think so.
10. They give you bad sex.
I don't need to go into detail here, do I? Except to say that bad sex may get
better after a first, fumbling time, but bad sex two or three times in a row is
sex that only gets worse.
Don't fool yourself into thinking that sex is just one part of a relationship,
that laughter and shared values are as important — they're not.
11. They wear dirty underwear and socks.
Your mother was right. They have to be clean. Dirty underwear is the hallmark of
a secret slob and every secret slob has many worse habits you don't even want to
think about, but will all too soon get to know if you don't leave now.
12. They show anger.
As he or she talks — not just about past romantic relationships but about work,
friends, and family — listen for a low hum of anger, like a third rail running
along the tracks of your new prospect's life. For reasons I never quite figured
out, I used to be attracted to women who had that vibe.
Maybe it seemed sexy; maybe it reminded me of my mother. But I now know how to
recognize anger — not shows of temper, which may be healthy in moderation, but
the deeper, more destructive hum — and to back off when I hear it.
Why a smart person stays in an abusive relationship is a mystery for many,
including you, the victim. You are labeled and blamed as needy, co-dependent, or
When two people are under the influence of love, they are tethered together,
interconnected, and interdependent. Everything each does serves the
relationship. The two become one — a team, depending and relying on each other.
You have each other’s back. Your joy is magnified.
With abuse, however, that tethered relationship becomes self-serving and
therefore, loses its integrity.
The following 6 causes contribute to why people stay in toxic relationships
where you are not safe:
1. You are deceived by the abuser.
Lies and deception cause you to feel confused and powerless and to even wonder
if you are going crazy. Deception, the pinnacle of conscienceless behavior,
causes a cloud of ambivalence that freezes your ability to keep safe from the
The combination of powerlessness, betrayal, and ambivalence overwhelms the
brain. At these times, the brain may release oxytocin (the love hormone) to
maintain connection and promote closeness. Instinctively, you respond by
repairing the connection in order to regain the security you once had in the
In essence, your biology moves you to see your abuser through the eyes of
empathy and love.
2. They use destructive conditioning.
A narcissist conditions you to become afraid of doing the very things that once
made your life fulfilling as they now bring you frustration or anxiety. In time,
you learn to associate your strengths, talents, and happy memories with abuse
and disrespect. Ineffective in being able to influence your partner makes you
The conditioning silences you and withers away your self-esteem.
3. They assert dominance and
control over you.
Entitlement and exploitation are hallmarks of a malignant narcissist. The
abuser’s goal is to keep you hinged on him.
Control and dominance begin in subtle ways. The most powerful weapon the abuser
uses is toying with your emotions. The more power over your emotions, the less
likely you’ll trust your own reality and inner wisdom. The abuser parasitically
bleeds your strength, sense of self, and dignity.
4. They disrespect and abuse you.
Abuse is about power imbalance. The abuser exploits your vulnerabilities and
takes advantage of the strengths you bring to the relationship. Emotional abuse
uses a set of ingredients: control, entitlement, excuses, justifications, and
victim blaming to diminish your power.
When you try to protect yourself, passive-aggressive behaviors or anger is used
to intimidate and keep you in fear of losing the relationship. Your head spins
with confusion and feelings of guilt for not doing or being enough for your
5. They gaslight you.
Gaslighting is a form of thought control and brainwashing. The toxic person
slowly convinces you to question your perception of reality and to believe the
problem isn’t the abuse itself, but your reactions to the abuse.
An abuser uses gaslighting as entertainment to see you squirm, a quick,
effective fix to end conversations and redirect the focus onto what the
narcissist calls your issues, e.g., nagging, or being controlling or too
emotional. You’re overwhelmed with self-doubt and anxiety.
6. They create destructive trauma bonds with you.
According to Carnes, betrayal is a form of abandonment that can create trauma
bonds between the abuser and you, the victim.
In these exploitive relationships your interests, your personhood, and your
well-being are continually ignored and neglected. The betrayal includes
experiences of cheating, lying, breaking a confidence, failing to defend or
protect, and not being given priority.
These trauma bonds occur when the victim clings to someone who is destructive to
him or her due to the perceived presence of danger or of something to fear
(often, of losing the relationship). The bond is an addictive attachment to the
person who is hurting you. In essence, the brain is tricked into believing it
needs the relationship to survive.
Because the relationship has positive attributes, you may blame yourself for the
abuser’s negative behavior and may even attempt to convert him to become a
Trauma bonds appeal to emptiness, unfinished business, wounds, and trauma from
your past. There’s an unspoken, even unconscious hope that this relationship
will make up for those earlier losses.
Most people have unresolved wounds from the past; therefore, a traumatic bond
can happen to just about anyone.
Abuse strips you of your sense of dignity and of the freedom to choose. The
guilt, self-doubt, and anxiety you feel were manufactured by your malignant
narcissist. Enlist the help of those you trust and a counselor to help you get
through the healing journey where you can live in freedom, peace and find real
You are worthy of respect, love, commitment, and protection. It’s my goal to
empower and educate so you have the tools needed to avoid people who are
incapable of expressing love as well as to support your healing journey when
love and the loveless collide. You’re wired to give and receive fearless love.
Dating is risky, but sometimes you get lucky and stumble upon a great woman or
man. I’m not saying that it's guaranteed that things will last forever, but if
you see some of these signs within your relationship now, then I think it’s safe
to say that your relationship is on the right track! Let’s get into it!
1. You’re paying attention to the small things that matter to one another.
It’s the small things–the simple things that really show how much someone means
2. You’re patient with one another.
Love takes patience. It takes the willingness to know that things are going to
take time to be where you need it to be.
3. You willingly and openly communicate with one another about everything.
You’re not asking how each other’s day has been because ‘it’s the right thing to
do’, you’re asking because you genuinely care how their day has been. You talk
to each other like you’re best friends. That’s love.
4. You don’t like saying no to one another, but you will if necessary.
You’re spoiled and you know it. Both of you hate having to tell the other ‘no’
because you only want to see each other happy–although, if necessary, you can
say no when the time calls for it.
5. You’re willing to make sacrifices for one another.
If you’re not willing to make sacrifices for the person you’re in a relationship
with… get. out. NOW.
6. You’re making a conscious effort to improve yourself for them (in any area).
They just make you want to be a better person. Even if it’s something as small
as not cursing anymore, they make you want to improve yourself.
7. Sexual activity is deep and emotional.
It’s never just sex with you two. You make love. To be honest, sex is not about
your pleasure, but more about theirs.
8. You don’t seek outside attention.
The need for social media and the popularity that comes with it slowly, but
surely goes away. You’ll even find that talking and texting other people on the
phone is less desirable. The only person’s attention you need and want is your
9. You don’t mind going out of your way to make one another happy.
You’ll do whatever it takes to make sure your partner is happy. In fact, it
doesn’t even seem like you’re going above and beyond to you, but other people
might bring that to your attention. Again, you just want to do what you can to
make and keep them happy.
10. You respect one another with or without being in each other’s presence.
Whether they’re standing right next to you or in Timbuktu–respect is not an
option. You don’t disrespect your partner or relationship and you don’t allow
anyone else to disrespect your partner or relationship–point blank, period.
11. You talk about each other to your close friends and family.
They’re special to you. They bring out the best in you. These things make you
want to tell your close friends and family about the person responsible for your
new glow lately.
12. You’ve met each other’s close family and friends.
Not only do you talk about them with your close family and friends, but you make
it a point to have them meet one another. I think meeting the family is very
underplayed with Millennials. Meeting the family is a really big deal!
13. You show and tell one another how much you mean to each other.
No matter how you choose to show each other or what words you choose to express
it, you both make it a priority to display that love and affection as often as
possible. Saying ‘I love you’ is easy, normal, and frequent for the two of you.
14. Talking about the future isn’t off-limits.
If you can’t talk about the future with your partner, chances are there isn’t
one in sight for one of you. It’s important to know that your partner is
comfortable thinking about the possibility of your future with them.
15. You’re planning for a future together.
You don’t just talk about a future together, but you’re making progress towards
making it a reality. You’re planning to save, thinking about where you two want
to start a family–you’re making a plan to spend your future together.
Phoner: How did you know that
your relationship would last?
There is one thing of which we can be sure: sh*t happens. The sooner you accept
it, the better.
You might be facing a debilitating illness, a loss, an accident, a struggling
relationship, a financial setback, or juggling multiple demands. Or you could be
tested on a smaller scale, with something such as a challenging work problem, a
screaming toddler, a missed bus, or someone cutting you off.
You can either succumb, push through, or bounce back.
And it matters less what the actual situation is, but more about how you respond
to that event. What counts is how resilient you are and how you show up.
Resilience is the ability to cope, to bounce back from difficulties, to adapt
continuously, learn and grow, ultimately becoming stronger than ever before.
You want to be your best self: thoughtful, feeling, and responsive. When you
aren't resilient, you become stuck, and you give up your control. Your actions
then come from a place of reactivity. You lose your cool.
Picture your overwhelmed, fuming, cursing, honking response. Or perhaps you
retract inward, frozen, depressed, and down a negative spiral. Over time, these
reactions can build to the point where it takes very little to set you off, and
your body is in a constant state of fight or flight.
Now, picture waves crashing down around you. You are a lighthouse and a pillar
Resilient people can stay calm, adapt, recover from adversity, and meet life's
Would you rather retreat or melt-down, or be confident, willing and ready to
handle anything that comes your way? What you don't realize is that you're
resilient right now. You have what it takes; it just needs to be nurtured.
Here are 15 everyday ways on how to build resilience, starting now:
1. Show compassion for yourself and others.
Instead of mercilessly criticizing yourself, see yourself outside of yourself.
You are human. You are allowed to make mistakes.
It's normal to experience overwhelm, to react, just to feel. Acknowledge your
difficulty, then treat yourself with kindness.
2. Practice mindfulness.
Set aside time every day to be still, breathe deeply, and let your thoughts come
and go without judgment.
3. Make self-care a priority.
Engage in restorative activities such as walks in nature, massages, and most of
all, adequate sleep. Be physically and mentally ready for whatever comes your
4. Take breaks to recharge and gain perspective.
You don’t always have a chance to press the reset button. But you can, step
back, even just for a few moments, and re-examine the situation.
5. Maintain a sense of humor.
Permit yourself to have a light moment or experience joy. Choose to watch a
comedy instead of the news. You can’t laugh and be stressed out at the same
6. Be clear on your values, standards, and boundaries.
You are the most significant person in your life. To be your best you must be
true to yourself. So be brave, say "no" if you need to, or "I can do this…"
7. Live on purpose.
Have a sense of direction as you go about your life and each day. See the bigger
picture. When you know where you're going, you won't be deterred by setbacks
along the journey.
8. Take programs or engage in activities that support personal growth.
Learning opens the mind, so sign up for a class at your local community center,
volunteer at a shelter, or pursuit the degree of your dreams.
9. Sharpen your problem-solving skills.
Before deciding a course of action, brainstorm options and explore
possibilities. Avoid old patterns that have not served you. Stretch your mind.
Ask, 'What else could I do?'
Then, break actions down into manageable steps.
10. Control your controllables.
Replace negative thoughts with more realistic ones. Sometimes, you have to say,
"It is what it is." Accept it and move on.
11. See the silver lining.
Often the most important lessons come from trying situations. Consider something
positive that came out of it.
Or, if you're feeling negative, ask yourself, "What’s another way of looking at
12. Just do it.
Experiment and fail fast. Face your fears. Commit to try something new and put
yourself out there.
13. Ask for help.
There are times when helping yourself means getting help from someone else. Put
your pride aside. Build a support system of friends, family members, and trusted
14. Adopt an attitude of gratitude.
Find pleasure in small things. Every morning, give thanks for what you have —
your loved ones, your integrity, and the promise of a new day.
15. Persevere, knowing you can do it.
When you have a goal — small or large, stick to it. Tell yourself these things:
"I am not giving up!"
"I can overcome this."
"I’m bigger than this."
"I am resilient."
Then, hold your head up high and act as if.
Some people seem to have more grit than others. Or else they show it well.
If that's not you, don't give up. While there is no magic bullet to keeping
things together, you can develop your resilience over time and then be prepared
for whatever comes your way. It takes a willingness to practice and adopt
practical strategies every day toward a more resilient, enjoyable life.
Phoner: What is your trick to not losing your cool?
When I returned from working in India, I brought back a saying with me: “When
once you have been bitten by a snake, you become cautious even of a rope.”
That proverb comes back to me whenever I think of friendship. We can probably
all recall instances when we have been psychologically hurt by those who are
close to us personally or professionally. This may naturally make us wary of
If we are honest with ourselves, we may also admit that we have occasionally
offended or let loved ones down. Receiving or offering friendship can sometimes
be a dangerous or precarious proposition.
Yet, an even more important saying that also comes back to mind for me is: "A
friend knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you whenever you
have forgotten how it goes."
Bottom line: even though being part of a true circle of friends can be tough,
friendship is a crucial element of a meaningful, resilient life, especially when
it becomes dark as it does for us all at times.
I have seen this again and again in the more than 30 years I have served in an
unusual role — as therapist, mentor, consultant, and supervisor to those in the
helping professions themselves. Physicians, nurses, educators, social workers,
counselors, clinical psychologists, relief workers/NGOs, psychiatrists, or
persons in ministry need to be resilient not simply for their own sake, but also
for those who turn to them for help.
Because this is so critical, I have been called upon to work with them given my
primary specialty, secondary stress (the pressures experienced in reaching out
In lectures, individual and group sessions, and consultations, one of the most
important topics eventually covered is always friendship. The general question
that arises is: “I know I need a solid interpersonal network, but can you offer
more specific guidance on exactly what voices are necessary for me have in order
to achieve or maintain a healthy sense of perspective and sound resilience,
especially when life turns dark for me personally or professionally?”
Considering this over the years, we need 4 types of friends for balance,
encouragement, appropriate challenge, and inspiration:
1. The Prophet
This person calls us to look at who is pulling our strings in life. Prophets
help us realize that none of us are free from our past influences, or the
current cultural influences that may pull us in one direction or another.
The question the prophet challenges us with is: “What voices are guiding you to
think, feel or behave a particular way?” In response we must look at ourselves
clearly; there is no hiding.
2. The Cheerleader
This is the supportive, sympathetic, calming voice that we love to hear over the
phone when the day has been a disaster. Furthermore, the cheerleader is a great
partner and bookend to the prophet; we need both.
If we just have prophets, we will burnout. On the other hand, if we simply have
cheerleaders we won’t grow or challenge ourselves appropriately.
3. The Harasser
This person has a great sense of humor and helps up regain perspective when we
have begun to take ourselves too seriously. This is easy to do, especially when
we face challenges as a family member, at the office, or in some aspect of our
When we cannot laugh at ourselves, we run the danger of becoming rigid and
breaking when the winds of change blow. This may turn out to be a problem for us
and those around us who suffer for our lack of ease and flexibility.
4. The Inspirational or Spiritual Friend
This person calls on us to be all that we can be without embarrassing us that we
are where we are at this point. What a dull life it would be without such a
voice calling us to go further and deeper in life.
Reviewing the types of friends to see where these voices are is not only
important, it can be fun. Enjoy the search for the voices of challenge, support,
perspective, and inspiration in your present situation and raise the need to
fill the gaps if you find one of them missing.
Friendship is not easy, but mining our interpersonal network for those who might
be in a position to make our life better is worth the effort.
Phoner: What types of friends does everyone need in their lives?
BFFs aren’t just friends, they’re everything you need in a friend. When someone
is your bestie, they take on a lot of friend jobs: they’re there for you when
you’re broken-hearted, when you need to let off steam, or when you just want to
Your best friend has a shared history with you, so much so that they understand
what's going on under the surface without you having to explain everything or
reading your horoscope to them.
You don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not with a best friend or put on
a brave face. You can see them when you’re feeling like crap or when you know
you’re slaying everything.
Now, it’s not to say that casual friends have no place in our lives, but they
may only be in them for a limited period of time or just for certain moments.
What separates a tried and true best friend from other friends is their how they
care for you, even when you mess up big time; they're always there for you, even
if it’s not convenient for them. They make your friendship a priority.
Not every friend is going to be your best friend, just like not everybody is
going to like you. You need to treasure and appreciate your best friend because
not everyone is lucky enough to have one, especially since not everyone has it
in them to be a true friend.
With that, here are the zodiac signs who make the best friends and why their
bond can't be broken.
1. CANCER & SAGITTARIUS
No one cares more about their friends than a Cancer individual. They're
extremely faithful and they give and give without expecting anything in return.
They're wired to be loving and protective. Besides always coming through for
their friends and always being there, Cancers show the depth of their caring in
creative and unexpected ways.
It's not surprising that Cancers have incredibly long-lasting friendships. Both
Cancer and Sagittarius like to share their secrets and their deepest
philosophical theories. Sagittarians help Cancers to get out their shell and try
new things and meet new people.
2. GEMINI & CAPRICORN
A Gemini might get the details wrong when they're meeting a friend for coffee or
a meal, but once they get there, the Gemini individual will give their friend
their undivided attention. Geminis aren't just caring, they know exactly what to
say to make you feel better and they give excellent advice.
Geminis are extremely supportive and when one is your bestie, you'll really feel
as if someone has your back. On top of all that, Geminis are fun to hang out
with and can make any experience better. Capricorns are good for Geminis because
they help ground them. Both signs are supportive, loyal, and fun.
3. CAPRICORN & SAGITTARIUS
There is no friend more loyal and dependable than a Capricorn bestie. They're
the best friend, the parent, and caregiver wrapped up into one person.
Capricorns are patient when their friends screw up and they will do anything
they can to fix the situation. Capricorns are wise beyond their years and have
the biggest hearts.
Capricorns take friendship very seriously and they don't go into it lightly.
Once you're friends with a Capricorn, it takes a lot for them to let you go.
Sagittarius are a good friendship match with Capricorns because they add some
excitement and pizzazz to Capricorn's life. Sagittarians encourage Capricorns to
break out of their comfort zone and see what fun things life has to offer.
4. TAURUS & PISCES
Taurus are incredible friends. If their friend confides in them, there's no way
that Taurus is breaking that confidence. If their friend needs them, no matter
for what or when, Taurus is right there for them. There's no other person who is
as solid a friend as Taurus.
A Taurus bestie will look out for their friend until the end of time and will
never betray them. Pisces are incredibly kind-hearted and would never try to
harm another person, which is exactly the kind of friend that Taurus needs.
Taurus are honorable and won't take advantage of Pisces.
5. PISCES & CANCER
Pisces and Cancer make great best friends because of how caring, compassionate,
and kind they are. They both make their friends feel as if they're special for
having a friend like Pisces. They are selfless to the extreme, and while they
can be very intuitive about other people, they may have difficulty with what
Pisces are creative gift givers and it's not unlikely for them to either find
the perfect gift for their friend or make it. Cancers are the truest of
true-blue friends which is exactly what Pisces need as they can sometimes fall
prey to those people who don't have their best interest at heart.
6. VIRGO & GEMINI
Virgos make for great BFFs because they're extremely reliable and trustworthy.
They generally don't throw their friends under the bus or sacrifice them for
them own gain. The Virgo individual will do whatever they can to help their
friend and make things right.
Virgos are the fixers of the broken, and they tend to know all the answers.
Virgos are there when their friends need them and they're there when they don't.
While Gemini may not be as reliable as Virgo, they are their match
intellectually. Geminis help Virgos to loosen up and to see the big picture.
It's almost impossible to have fun if you're too busy focusing on the small
details to enjoy it. Geminis help Virgos to relax and just chill.
7. LEO & TAURUS
Leos are the most optimistic, energetic, and fun friend around. They're very
loyal, helpful, and caring, so it makes sense that when choosing a bestie, Leos
often go with individuals born under the sign of Taurus. When a Leo is your BFF,
you feel special, especially since Leos usually have a lot of people who want to
be their friend.
Leo besties will always come
through for their friends and will prove their love for them again and again.
When Leos and Taurus say best friends forever, they mean it — unless their
friend does something that seems disloyal or shady, then they'll dump them. Both
of these signs really enjoy nice things and luxury items, so it's not surprising
they enjoy retail therapy together.
8. LIBRA & LEO
Libras make good besties — they're fair, romantic, and tactful. However, Libras
can get resentful, especially if they feel like someone is disrespecting them or
not being loyal. Instead of confronting problems in the relationship head-on,
Libras tend to stew about it until there's an inappropriate blow-up.
When a Libra loses their cool, they're a terrible friend. Luckily, they tend to
give over things quickly and will want to make up, but they can be somewhat
volatile. Leos and Libras make great friends because they're both able to see
past each other's differences and have a good time together. Leos and Libras
entertain and make each other laugh constantly.
9. SCORPIO & ARIES
Scorpios are intense — one moment they're the best friend you could ever want,
and the next not so much. If Scorpio thinks they've been betrayed or lied to or
in any way humiliated, they can get scarily wrathful which is why they get along
so well with the sometimes blunt Aries. Scorpios are powerful, especially ones
who think that they've been made a fool of and who want revenge.
As long as everything is cool, Scorpio is a great friend, but when it's not,
watch out because things can get ugly fast. Aries help get Scorpio out of their
heads and encourage them to go out and do things rather than brood.
10. ARIES & LIBRA
Aries want to be the best bestie in the land; they're competitive about
everything even when it comes to friendship. Aries means well, they really do,
but they can be hypersensitive and take things the wrong way. Aries are a prime
example of someone who can dish it out but can't take it. They tend to say
things without thinking, but if someone does that to them, they can get
confrontational in a very negative way.
This is why Libra is such a good friend for them because Libra works hard to
keep the peace and would never want to rile Aries up. Aries don't hold on to
animosity for very long, so if you can just ride it out after a fight, they'll
soon be back to their fun selves. While Libra doesn't enjoy the blunt side of
Aries, they do love Aries' energy and lust for life.
11. AQUARIUS & SCORPIO
Aquarius make for good friends; they genuinely like people, they're interesting
and creative, it's just that with a BFF, you want someone who can handle it if
you lose your sh*t and have an emotional breakdown. Heavy-duty emotions are
extremely difficult for Aquarius to handle and one of their bestie duties is to
be there for their BFF when they're emotional.
Aquarians like to have lots of friends, and Scorpios prefer just having a few
close friends, but for whatever reason, these are two zodiac signs who make the
best friends. Both are willing to put their energy into making a friendship last
and take the responsibilities of friendship seriously.
12. SAGITTARIUS & SAGITTARIUS
Sagittarius are good friends and they make friends very easily. They can be
quick to proclaim that someone is their BFF, but you have to wonder if that
means the same to them as to everybody else. Sagittarius don't enjoy complicated
friendships and when those friendships start to have difficulties, Sagittarius
gets very uncomfortable. They'd rather that a relationship be lighter and less
deep. It isn't that they don't care, it's just that they get impatient, and
sometimes they can be tactless in the wrong situation.
Only other Sagittarians get why a Sagittarius is leary of restrictive
friendships. They don't feel as if they have to follow any traditional rules of
friendship. They may not see their friends for years and when they do, they pick
up where they left off.
Sleepovers are often viewed as a rite of passage for children. Once they get old
enough to sleep through the night and keep the homesickness at bay, many parents
see their kids as being ready to finally spend the night with friends.
Sleepovers are such a huge fixture in so many of our childhoods that a lot of us
have never considered not allowing them. But after putting a ban on sleepovers
in his home, this concerned dad is urging parents to consider doing it too.
Dad Tim Challies says that he and his wife, Aileen, made the decision to
disallow sleepovers when their children were still very young. With this rule,
their kids are prohibited from spending the night with other people, and the
family does not host other children in their home overnight. In a recent
Facebook video, Tim explains why he believes banning sleepovers serves is a way
to keep children safe.
The dad says that he and his wife both attended many sleepovers as kids, and
while neither of them had been harmed during one, they knew people who had.
"Either someone had abused them or hurt them or they had encountered things that
they should not have encountered," he explains. "For many people, their first
experience with pornography was at a sleepover. Their first experience with
sexuality or drunkenness was at a sleepover."
The father says wanting to keep his kids from experiencing these things was the
primary concern when he and his wife made their decision to refuse sleepovers.
"Often, I think, we put very young children in situations they simply don't have
the capacity, the maturity to deal with," he said. "And [if] someone compels
them to do something, encourages them to do something [bad] ... they end up
The father shared that his family's decision to forego sleepovers hasn't always
been easy. His kids don't understanding why they aren't allowed to do something
so "normal," and they also catch flak from offended parents who think Tim is
"being way overprotective" or "judging" them.
But Tim also says that after going public with his stance in a post on his blog,
the outpouring of support and devastating stories he received from other parents
taught him and his wife that there's no real "upside" to sleepovers. "Mostly
what they get out of a sleepover is a grouchy day the next day and probably a
sick stomach from eating too much," he said. "The downside can be a lifetime of
Many have commented on the dad's thoughtful Facebook post, sharing that they
enjoyed his take on the subject:
Of course, not everyone agreed with his line of thinking, expressing that taking
away sleepovers means taking away kids' fun:
Tim is clear about the fact that he doesn't expect every parent to do exactly
what he does, nor does he expect every family to run the same way. He does
encourage parents to take all steps possible to protect their children. "Think
about it," he says. "Apply wisdom, heed your conscience, and make a decision."
Phoner: Why don't you let your
kids go to sleepovers?
Phoner: What was the most
disturbing thing that happened to you at a sleepover?
On Nov. 11, the Scottsdale, Ariz. bride decided to surprise her now-husband, Ean
Goldberg, with a fake first look. Instead of wearing her dress for the big
reveal, she wore an outfit she loves to go to bed in: a cat shirt she bought
from Walmart on a road trip when she was about 17 years old, and raggedy
“I thought it would be really funny for Ean to turn around, expecting this huge
moment of me looking gorgeous in my dress with my makeup and hair done, only to
turn around and see me in one of my typically embarrassing casual outfits,” she
tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
Right beforehand, Erin says, all she could think was, “I hope he finds this as
funny as I do.”
Based on Ean’s reaction, he definitely did. He was confused for a second and
then instantly started laughing. Photographer Molly McElenney captured it all.
She said Erin came to her with the idea a few weeks before the wedding, and she
was immediately on board.
“As soon as she told me about it, I knew we had to make room for it in the
timeline because his reaction alone would be totally worth it,” says McElenney.
The Arizona-based photographer believes that like many first looks, this one,
especially, helped relieve the stress of the day.
“This was just another way they displayed the playfulness of their
relationship,” she says.
All the traditionalists out there should know that Erin and Ean did do a real
first look sans cat shirt afterward, but Erin says the fake one will hold a
special place in their hearts.
“We will remember how much pressure it took off the rest of the wedding day
process having started off with that hysterical, laughing moment that just the
two of us shared,” she says. “It was a lot easier to relax and take more serious
(and incredible) first-look photos when we were more comfortable.”
Plus, they’ll always have the cat shirt to take them back to that moment. Erin
says she will never retire the cat shirt. The sweatpants, she said, might have
to go though.
“[But] I am willing to replace them with another pair of large casual sweats to
wear for the remainder of our happy marriage!” she says. Thankfully, her husband
won’t mind a bit.
“Even in her cat shirt, sweatpants, and stupid slip-on shoes, she still looked
drop-dead gorgeous,” he says.
How many Christmas presents is too many? The answer changes considerably
depending on who you ask. Some parents love to go all out for the holidays and
shower their kids with big-ticket items like iPads and Power Wheels. Others like
to keep it simple and only splurge on a few small things. But, we're all human,
and it's totally normal to wonder how much other people spend decking the halls.
One curious mom recently got up the courage to ask other parents online how much
they spend on Christmas gifts for their kids, and the answers she got were
pretty damn surprising.
The mom posted on Mumsnet, trying to see if the lavish Christmas hauls she
sees on Facebook are truly the norm.
She revealed that she has two kids, ages 8 and 10, upon whom she spends between
£70–100, or about $90–130 each.
Of course, the answers she got were kind of all over the place. Some people were
like, "I make it rain, and I have zero shame."
Like this parent, who admitted to having grown kids and still giving each of
them about $600 in gifts and $400 in cash.
Or this person, whose philosophy seems to be that Christmas = a blank check.
This mom says she knows someone who spends over $1,000 ... per child.
And one mom said she buys her kids everything they ask for and doesn't mind
spoiling them because "they're good kids."
But others weren't so into the "big Christmas" thing.
One mom said she only spends about $40 per child because she's living on a fixed
income and can't afford more than that.
One mom of nine said she keeps it to $50–60 per kid, which is still a lot once
you add it up.
And another mom said she spends about $150 total on her two kids, plus an Advent
calendar and stockings.
But the most popular answer by far? "Who cares."
As many wrote, there's no point in comparing yourself to other parents. Each
family has their own traditions (and their own budget!), and as long as you're
celebrating in a way that makes you happy and comfortable, that should be all
Phoner: Parents be honest, how much do you spend on your kids at
It's no secret that we love a good Hallmark Christmas movie—and our readers
clearly can't resist them, either.
Recently, Country Living reader Brittany Graves of Fort Worth, Texas posted
something on our Facebook page that was so brilliant, we couldn't help but share
it with the world.
Behold, the Hallmark Christmas Drinking Game:
"We invented a drinking game that works with any of them!" says Brittany. "My
hubby actually watches with me now—we've had so much fun with it!" (She also
recommends playing the game with our apple cider mimosas.)
Brittany and her husband have definitely come up with some hilarious drink
prompts ("anytime someone disses fake Christmas trees" and "when the cynic is
filled with the Christmas spirit" are two of our favorites), but we might humbly
suggest adding a couple more, namely: "every time a character gets drunk off of
one sip of champagne" and "every time there's a joke about figgy pudding."
The wait is over! After five long months, Oreo Candy Canes are finally hitting
shelves at grocery stores across the country, according to Candy Hunting. If you
want to save yourself a trip to the store, they're also available at several
retailers online. Here are some of the best deals we found below.
BUY IT HERE: Jet, $4.43 for 1 box of 12
BUY IT HERE: Walmart, $31.75 for 12 boxes of 12
BUY IT HERE: Amazon, $8.69 for 1 box of 12
ORIGINAL POST: June 21, 2017 at 6:58 p.m.
Even though it's the second day of summer, we're already looking forward to
Christmas. Junk food Instagram account Candy Hunting revealed today that Oreo
Cookies & Crème Candy Canes will join the lineup of other wacky candy cane
flavors this holiday season.
Sadly, we have six months left to wait for their arrival.
Candy Hunting posted about the new Oreo treats earlier today saying, "Christmas
preview: New Oreo Cookies & Creme candy canes! I highly doubt these will taste
like Oreos, but hey, why not brand everything with Oreo to boost sales?"
While some agreed with Candy Hunting posting comments like "that's going to be
gross" and "Oreo cotton swabs coming next?" others remained more optimistic
writing comments including "Christmas gonna be lit" and "finally something to
look forward to in life."
While Oreo's parent company Nabisco has not confirmed the release of this new
Christmas treat (we've reached out for comment, and will update when we know
more), we can only assume it's real since an Oreo-flavored Christmas sounds like
something to look forward to.
Not too long ago, Burger King launched a saucy Chicken Parmesan
sandwich at their restaurants for a limited time. Well, it seems
the fast food chain is bringing another chicken sandwich into
the spotlight over the next few months.
Burger King just added a new Chicken Cordon Bleu Sandwich,
reports Brand Eating.
The new item is assembled with a crispy white meat chicken filet
and stacked with Black Forest ham, tomato pepper sauce, and
melted mozzarella cheese, all nestled within a potato bun.
Customers can find the sandwich at any participating Burger King
location for a limited time. The Chicken Cordon Bleu is priced
at around $5.
Now let's wait to see how long it'll take YouTubers to stuff
this fast food sandwich into a giant chicken breast.
This past May, Fortune reported that Kinder Joy Eggs would be arriving in the
USA starting in 2018. However, it looks like we'll be getting those chocolate
surprises a little bit earlier than anticipated.
A press release from Ferrero USA, the brand behind Kinder, confirms that the
eggs will be distributed en masse nationwide beginning this month. You can now
start tracking them down at virtually every type of store out there for $1.59
The eggs-cellent stocking stuffer will consist of two separate egg halves. One
portion will be the edible chocolate treat, consisting of layers of sweet milk
cream and cocoa cream. Two chocolate wafers stuffed with that cocoa cream will
also be inside of the edible egg half. The other part will contain one toy
randomly selected from a vast range of potential playthings. You won't know
which gizmo you've received until you open up the egg, adding in a surprise
factor that's made the original Kinder eggs popular internationally.
Kinder Joy Eggs aren't the same as the iconic Kinder eggs, where the toy is
encased inside of an entire chocolate egg. However, this 50-50 version is valid
under FDA guidelines since the toy and egg are kept separate. Otherwise, Kinder
Eggs would never have made it into the country for purchase in the first place.
It may not be quite the same as a traditional Kinder Egg, but Kinder Joy Eggs
evoke a nearly identical sweetness and thrill when you open them up.
What: The drive-in chain is holding a special deal where customers can get
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches for 50 cents, reports Brand Eating. The grilled
cheeses are made with two slices of Sonic's thick Texas toast and melted
American cheese. Typically the sandwiches cost a little more than a dollar.
Where: Any participating Sonic Drive-In location.
When: Sonic's grilled cheese deal will be available all day on Wednesday Nov. 15
Coffee is the lifeblood of our modern generation. Nobody provides more of this
crucial morning elixir to the world than Starbucks. The omnipresent coffee chain
doesn't charge everybody the same price for a typical latte, however. That's
because Starbucks lattes cost different amounts based on the economic
performance of the country it's being sold in.
As a measure of economies around the world, the Wall Street Journal has put
together a "Latte Index" that compares the price of a Starbucks latte from
different countries. It's similar to what The Economist does each year with
their "Big Mac Index," but with a different ubiquitous fast food item.
Foodbeast put together an infographic based on data provided by the Wall Street
Journal in their piece. This map looks at different countries of the cities that
were researched and price checked by the Journal. All prices are in USD
What's interesting to note from this chart is that like the "Big Mac Index,"
Switzerland is the country with the most expensive Starbucks latte, setting you
back $5.76 USD per drink. Similarly, the cheapest beverages can be found in
Egypt, at just $1.53 USD each. In comparison, the United States is roughly in
the middle of the "Latte Index" at a latte cost of $3.45 USD in New York City.
There are several factors that play in to why each country has a different sale
price, including taxes, cost of goods and imports, and other economic impacts.
While it's a complex explanation to determine the price of a Starbucks drink in
each latte, no matter the cost, we still need our caffeine fix in the morning.
Thanksgiving is less than two weeks out and we're doing everything we can to
ensure we enjoy the much-anticapted family dinner. One of our biggest
conundrums, however, is how tight our pants get after we enjoy the first few
servings of dinner.
Fortunately, Stove Top might just have the solution to this uncomfortable
The stuffing brand has released their own line of Thanksgiving Dinner Pants just
ahead of Turkey Day. Stove Top's maroon dinner pants feature an over the belly
waistband, stuffing print, and extra large pockets. Checks off pretty much all
our requirements for pants.
You can purchase the pants beginning Nov. 13 for a limited time at
ThanksgivingDinnerPants.com for $19.98. The pants are available in sizes from
small to extra-large.
Looks like old Pete won't be needing a belt this year.
Stove Top is also donating $10,000 to Feeding America in the spirit of the
There isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t think about packing it all in and
giving up. No, not in that way. I’m talking about dumping technology,
specifically the gadgets that make like worse while pretending to make life
better. The smartphone, the Facebook account, the Instagram handle, and
sometimes even a couple gadgets around the house.
I yearn for a simpler life, like this British bloke who lives every day like
Ben Sansum is a 35-year-old man who has fashioned his entire life around the
styles, technology, and music of 1946. While Sansum has to put on a modern face
for his job with British Airways, he always comes back to his home in
Cambridgeshire, England and into the era he loves so much.
Everything in Ben’s house is legit 1946-style. His only concession to keeping up
with modern times is he owns a small fridge. So the guy isn’t completely
Check out Ben’s odd lifestyle choices in this video from the BBC.
Everything about this more straightforward way of life looks tolerable. His 1946
accent is even impressive. Oh, that’s really how he talks? Weird.
I got a little nervous when I saw the bucket in the bathroom but realized it’s
inside his air raid shelter.
The year 1946 might be slightly extreme. If you could choose any year to live
in, in 2017, which would it be? Tell me in the comments section.
I’ve watched this video no fewer than fifty times and each time it gets better.
The rhythm, the voice, the song selection- it’s fantastic. These kids must clean
up. I wish they kept the cameras rolling so we could see how much they made.
Child beggars typically don’t need to have talent to do well so I’m sure they
made a decent buck considering what they do. I’d have emptied my wallet if they
were in my car. Even if they sucked, the fact they didn’t sing The Circle Of
Life deserves some sort of monetary reward. You can even see people in the
background trying not to smile. There hasn’t been this much talent on public
transportation since Mac and Cheese man. His sister’s not half bad either when
she’s not counting her money.
It’s like the New York City version of the Susan Boyle performance. Except
instead of an old white lady with bad breath, it’s young black kids on a city
bus. I’m sure everyone was rolling their eyes bracing themselves for the “my
basketball team is selling candy bars” act too. Instead they got an
Usher/Drake/Temptations/That Girl Is Poison remix for the ages. Don’t judge a
book by its cover, people. I just hope they use the money to buy books and not a
gram of weed from Washington Square Park. I have faith.
Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad is quite a doll – literally. She’s thrilled to
have inspired a Barbie in her likeness, and especially proud that the doll will
be the first Barbie to wear a hijab. “This is a childhood dream come true,” she
posted. The doll is part of the “She-ro” line.
“We are so excited to honor Ibtihaj Muhammad with a one-of-a-kind Barbie doll!”
Mattel posted. “Ibtihaj continues to inspire women and girls everywhere to break
One of the cool new features of the iPhone X is Face ID, Apple’s facial
recognition system that securely unlocks the handset. The iPhone X has only been
out for 17 days and yet there are already hackers proclaiming that they have
been able to bypass iPhone X’s Face ID. Cybersecurity researchers in Vietnam
have said that they have been able to fool Apple’s facial recognition feature by
using a mask that costs $150.
Cybersecurity firm Bkav created a 3D-printed mask that uses makeup, silicone,
and 2D images to trick the iPhone X’s software into thinking the disguise is the
actual user. The mask has some “special processing done on the cheeks and around
the face” to make it appear like a human. Sorta. The skin and nose are created
from silicone. The mask was able to trick Apple’s depth mapping. This comes
despite Apple saying that the Face ID resists deception and “defends against
attempts to unlock your phone with photos or masks.”
Bkav stated that Face ID is “not an effective security measure” and could be
fooled. “Country leaders, leaders of major corporations… are the ones that need
to know about the issue, because their devices are worth illegal unlock
attempts,” Bkav said on its website. “Exploitation is difficult for normal
users, but simple for professional ones.”
In September, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller
said the company had worked with professional mask makers and makeup artists in
Hollywood to ensure the iPhone X could not be deceived. “These are actual masks
used by the engineering team to train the neutral network to protect against
them in Face ID,” said Schiller. Apple noted that the probability of a random
person unlocking an iPhone X with Face ID is approximately 1 in 1,000,000,
compared to 1 in 50,000 for Touch ID. It is difficult to believe that Apple’s
best security feature is being fooled by a mask that looks like someone’s
homemade mummy mask.
All 15 of the state's public four-year colleges and universities, as well as the
community colleges and seven private institutions, will be waiving their
application fees for students next week.
The College Application Week initiative will take place Nov. 13 to 17. The goal,
according to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, which is
sponsoring the program, is to open the college application process to students
with limited resources.
Sixty-six high schools across the commonwealth are participating in the program
with on-site coordinators, including four schools in Norfolk and two schools in
At least 50 percent of students at participating schools are eligible for free
or reduced lunches, the news release from SCHEV said.
“To build a stronger Virginia, everyone needs a chance at an education after
high school,” said Peter Blake, SCHEV director. “College Application Week is a
key step toward that goal.”
College Application Week is part of a SCHEV campaign to help high school
students prepare for, apply to, pay for and attend college. It's also part of an
initiative to make Virginia the best-educated state by 2030.
A New Jersey diner that charges an 18 percent “teen tax” has thoroughly outraged
at least one parent whose 11-year-old fell victim to it, thereby costing her an
extra 90 cents. Wayne Hills Diner co-owner Peter Logos says his waitstaff were
tired of local school kids hanging out all Friday night “in packs of 20 or 30”
and not tipping. He tells CBS New York that they started adding mandatory
gratuity to the bills of younger customers they suspect might screw the
But mad local mom Melissa Desch has launched a public campaign against this
policy, telling at least two news stations that she recently visited Wayne Hills
Diner on the same day as her daughter Bella — Bella’s milkshake got teen-taxed,
while she was left to tip whatever percentage seemed more appropriate than 18
(not that she did; it’s just she could’ve).
Area students tell NBC 10, meanwhile, that they first noticed the addition at
the start of football season. Several also say they “don’t mind.” But Desch
argues that it’s less about the amount than the principle; she describes it as
unfairly “targeting” Wayne Hills’ teens. Desch says she was raised believing
that “servers were always paid upon their service,” but Logos explains that
Fridays at the diner are apparently a teenage madhouse, and that lots of servers
aren’t tipped for their hard work. His attorney points out that the menu also
clearly reads: “Management reserves the right to add 18 percent gratuity.” Desch
suggests that the diner “make it for everybody. Adults, children, everything.”
Until they do, Bella won’t be returning for another milkshake. “She has a right
to not pay a tip,” according to Desch. The diner’s owners counter that kids have
to be taught that tipping is something people at restaurants do, before they can
knowingly refuse to leave one.
restaurants be allowed to add extra tips/fees to kids/teens who take up
their tables, make a mess and don't tip? Yes
"This bud's for you" has taken on a whole new meaning for Chris Burggraeve.
The former chief marketing officer for Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, the brewer of
Budweiser beer, is moving from barley and hops to cannabis as the alcohol
industry casts its sights on the burgeoning market for state-sanctioned
Burggraeve, 52, has made two investments in the space. Most recently, he joined
the advisory board of GreenRush Group. The San Francisco-based startup, which
says it aims to be the Amazon of weed, closed its $3.6 million Series A
fundraising round last week. Burggraeve, a native of Belgium with a master's
degree in economics, also co-founded Toast, which makes pre-rolled joints.
The former beer executive is one of many entrepreneurs and investors
increasingly flocking to the cannabis industry from the traditional business
world. Big Beer took its first step last month when the Upstate New York-based
Constellation Brands Inc., which sells Corona in the U.S., announced its
investment in Canopy Growth Corp., a Canadian seller of medicinal-marijuana
products. In Burggraeve's view, that's just the beginning.
"This is one of the fastest-growing categories globally," he said. "Why? Because
people want it. When consumers want something, you ignore it at your peril."
Sixty-four percent of the U.S. population now wants to lift the federal ban on
marijuana, according to a Gallup poll released last month. That's the largest
rating since the firm started asking about the topic in 1969, the year of the
Woodstock music festival, when only 12 percent approved.
After leaving the corporate marketing world about five years ago, Burggraeve
said he's focused on teaching, consulting and investing in what he considers
disruptive categories. Cannabis, he said, could shake up the large beer
companies in the same manner that smaller, independent brewers did over the past
"The same way that craft beer started and, for the longest time, was ignored and
then exploded, there's no reason why the same thing wouldn't happen in this
space," he said. "There will be part supplementing and part complementing. The
jury is out on how and where that will happen."
GreenRush is a technology platform that connects consumers, dispensaries and
delivery people to bring pot to people's doors. The company, which is live in
California and Nevada, plans to expand to other states, including New York and
The idea is to build up the business before marijuana is one day legal under
federal law. Big companies like Amazon shy away from the industry now because of
the federal ban.
Cannabis is legal for recreational use in eight states and the District of
Columbia, including California. That means one in five American adults can
ingest the drug however they please. Twenty-one additional states allow for
medicinal use of the plant. The industry hit $6 billion in sales in 2016, a
figure that is expected to reach $50 billion by 2026, according to Cowen & Co.
Still, investing in marijuana isn't without risk. The Trump administration has
sent mixed signals, though Attorney General Jeff Sessions is an ardent opponent
of legalizing pot. And traditional banking institutions have largely stayed
away, forcing most transactions to be conducted in cash.
Constellation may have broken the taboo. Companies may now find the risk worth
it, according to Burggraeve. Otherwise, alcoholic beverage companies could find
themselves falling behind.
"It will all merge and cross-fertilize and fuse -- not because the companies
want it, but because the consumers want it," Burggraeve said.
This month, "Star Wars" mega fans will be able to visit a place where The Force
is as strong as the drinks are.
That destination is The Dark Side Bar, a pop-up establishment coming to Los
Angeles, Washington D.C., and New York on Nov. 15 that allows guests to "cross
over to the dark side bar and experience the power, fury, and unequivocally
macabre environment." Plus, you know, drink.
"When you walk in it's going to feel like you've walked into the set of a Star
Wars movie," Zach Neil, the bar's creator, told Lonely Planet.
Neil has a history of bringing movie environments to life; he previously opened
an Anchorman-themed pop-up joint called Stay Classy, and another named Beetle
House, inspired by the goth tropes of Tim Burton's work.
His newest endeavor is, like Beetle House, a little bit sinister, utilizing
Darth Vader and the Death Star for the space's ambiance and drink selection. The
entry is completely dark, save for red LED lights, and the spot teases a number
of extraterrestrial cameos by way of "intergalactic burlesque shows, with
dancers in full prosthetics looking like aliens, plus alien speed dating events
where 'Space Nerds' can meet each other," as Lonely Planet writes.
The drinks are likewise themed. Patrons can order libations with names like
"Red Force," "Mindtrick" and "Galaxy," rimmed with black sugar or chilled by dry
ice and LED-lit ice cubes.
Entry to the bar, which will be open until mid-January,
requires a reservation — $33 upfront or $40 at the door — and a (non-mandatory)
request that you come costumed.
If the Mos Eisley Cantina is more your vibe, there's a place for you too, young
padawan. Scum and Villainy Cantina, another Star Wars pop-up in Hollywood, got a
permanent location this last summer and doesn't require a reservation.
With the movie business in the doldrums, theater operators are looking for new
ways to make money.
Cinemas have been stuck at about 1.3 billion tickets a year since 2010, leading
them to increase prices to get sales growth. That tried-and-true method has
faltered in 2017, a dismal year for the North American box office with bombs
ranging from “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” to “Baywatch.” Revenue in the
U.S. and Canada is down 4.9 percent so far this year, with the worst summer in
decades and the bleakest October since 1996.
So movie-theater chains are getting creative.
AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., the biggest cinema chain in the U.S., plans to
test sales of movie-related merchandise in 35 theaters next year. If it works,
expect to see more toys and tchotchkes at stores nationwide later in 2018.
“In a venue where you would think the enthusiasm would be highest in a movie
theater on your way out the door, we do nothing,” Chief Executive Officer Adam
Aron said on a conference call. “We’re going to try it.”
AMC also plans to start selling online rentals of older movies through its
website, working with partners who already provide films on the internet.
Such an idea would’ve once been considered anathema -- a movie-theater chain
giving film buffs a reason not to leave home.
Cinemark Holdings Inc. is testing Cinemark Movie Club, a subscription service
that would compete with MoviePass, which lets customers go to one movie a
day for $10 a month. Cinemark hasn’t provided a lot of details on the new
service, but said it’s designed to boost attendance and revenue.
Regal Entertainment Group is testing out demand-based pricing, which might
let moviegoers pay lower prices for box-office flops and higher prices for top
hits. AMC is also experimenting with demand-based pricing.
The new initiatives represent “an evolution of theaters trying to cater to what
consumers are moving towards,” Eric Wold, analyst at B Riley FBR said in an
interview. Wold, who advises buying AMC and Cinemark shares, noted that the
theater chains have already boosted revenue from moviegoers by improving its
food selection and serving beer and wine in some locations.
If Cinemark can get movie fans to turn out “more often and spend more dollars on
this enhanced food and beverage program they’ve rolled out, the cost to get them
in there on a subscription plan is relatively low,” he said.
Still, investors remain skeptical that the theater chains have a solution to
their woes. AMC shares have fallen 67 percent this year, and the others have
also slumped. Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc are investing heavily in their own
features, giving film fans more reasons to stay at home. And studios,
historically allies of theaters, are pushing to be able to sell downloads just a
few weeks after their films appear on the big screen, which cinema chains worry
may give viewers less incentive to go to the movies. MoviePass, which got a
surge in interest after cutting its prices this year, has also added pressure.
That’s why moviegoers should pay attention to ticket prices in the coming
months. AMC has “very quietly” introduced a $1 surcharge for Friday and Saturday
night shows at about 150 U.S. theaters, Aron said.
Aron, the former CEO of Vail Resorts Inc., also plans as soon as next year to
start charging different prices for different seats in the theater - addressing
viewers’ habit of avoiding the rows closest the screen, which Aron said are
almost always empty.
“I would love to drop the price by a material amount in the first row,” he said.
“It doesn’t cost you any money to cut the price of something that you never sell
any of, and it might give us an opportunity to make moviegoing affordable for
consumers who are willing to make the tradeoff to sit in those seats.”
Here’s a fun little uproar that’s about neither our deep fear of nuclear war nor
sexual harassment: Amazon has ruined Christmas for the entire United Kingdom, by
implying that it is parents rather than Santa who deliver the gifts.
Business Insider reports:
Some parents in the UK are mad about an Amazon advertisement that,
according to them, erases Santa from the Christmas narrative.
The ad shows a dad getting a stack of Amazon packages — presumably holiday
gifts — from a delivery person, then sneaking past his kids to hide them.
Parents are saying that this makes it obvious to kids watching the ad that
parents — not Santa — buy Christmas gifts. The ad only aired in the UK market.
“So it’s Amazon that delivers Christmas is it? Disgusting that kids who
believe in Santa are shown their dad running about with Amazon presents,” one
parent complained, according to the Sun.
An Amazon spokesperson told the Daily Mail that, “Father Christmas and his elves
are no doubt working around the clock to get presents to girls and boys around
the world. These are just a few extra to give a little love from parents.” Santa
and Amazon have so many things in common, like the necessity of serious
questions about employees’ working conditions.
Spotify doesn’t just want to be your music streamer of choice. The digital music
startup aims to be a whole lot more than that as it offers a growing number of
products you can buy—like selling makeup.
That’s right: If you know where to look, you can buy makeup on Spotify now.
While it may sound incredibly random at first, the move actually makes a lot of
sense. Spotify is evolving not just into a music streaming destination, but a
destination for all things around your favorite artists. Through a partnership
with MerchBar that started last year, artists can sell their merchandise through
Spotify, giving them an additional revenue stream in the app besides pithy
streaming music royalties.
And with its latest move, Spotify listeners can now shop the look of their
favorite artists, starting with makeup artist Pat McGrath and musician Maggie
Lindemann. Lindemann is launching a new single, and in conjunction, McGrath is
selling three shades of lipstick from her line Pat McGrath Labs, along with an
eye pencil, and other products.
“Maggie Lindemann is an extremely exciting young artist, with over 7 million
fans listening to her all over the world every month on Spotify,” Jordan Gremli,
head of artist and fan development for Spotify, said in a statement. “In
partnering with Pat McGrath to offer beauty products in this innovative new way,
she will be connecting directly with her fans in the place where they go to
enjoy her music already on Spotify.”
Spotify isn’t just trying to compete with the likes of Pandora and Apple Music
anymore—it’s also trying to compete with the likes of Instagram and perhaps even
Similarly to Instagram and Amazon, Spotify is merely acting as the platform
here. It’s not taking a cut of artist merchandise and product sales (although
perhaps it’d be wise from a revenue standpoint if it did). It’s simply giving
artists more agency over how they connect with fans in the app, along with how
they can make money off of those fans.
These sorts of merchandising and product partnerships are also helpful to
Spotify, as it gives listeners more reason to hang around on the app besides
listening to music. It should also entice artists to use Spotify more often for
In its first international launch, Lyft is heading north of the border. Those
looking for an Uber alternative in Toronto, you finally have one.
Lyft announced the new locale in a blog post Monday morning. Toronto Lyft riders
will be able to enjoy the new service before the year’s end. And it’s about
time: Lyft says more than 50,000 Toronto residents have downloaded the app to
Up until now, Lyft has been U.S.-only, so this Toronto launch is a big move for
the ride-hailing company. Lyft, which first debuted in 2012, has taken its
expansion at a slightly slower pace than its main competitor, Uber. As of
February, Lyft had a presence in 300 cities. Uber, by comparison, was in more
than 450 cities across the globe at the time. Uber, which debuted in San
Francisco in 2010, first made its international debut in Paris only a year later
in 2011. Now Uber has a presence in 77 countries.
With Uber in hot water over sexual harassment allegations, shady business
practices, and internal upheaval, Lyft has emerged as its less evil alternative
(particularly after the #DeleteUber campaign gained traction earlier this year).
When Lyft officially debuts in Toronto, residents should see similar wait times
(two to three minutes) as you would in other cities in the U.S.
Residents in Billings, Montana, who were pulled over for minor traffic
violations last week have a reason to feel extra grateful this Thanksgiving
Thanks to an anonymous local businessman, 20 lucky residents were issued a
frozen turkey—along with a warning—rather than a ticket when pulled over by
police for minor violations like speeding or rolling through a stop sign.
But Lieutenant Neil Lawrence assured ABC News that the residents pulled over
were still issued a warning and were told what they could do to improve their
This was the first year that the department made the Thanksgiving gesture.
“The individuals that received the warnings and the turkeys have been very
happy,” Lawrence said. “Our Facebook page has received a lot of positive
comments regarding it. So far it’s been a very positive thing for the
In a surprisingly progressive stance, the Church of England has issued
guidelines to its schools encouraging teachers to embrace students’ gender
experimentation. In particular, the church asks teachers and administrators to
honor children’s “creative exploration” and engage “without expectation or
comment” when students decide to, say, wear a tutu or a tool belt.
Focusing on children in nursery and primary school classes, the church wants
kids to have a supportive environment where they can “explore the possibilities
of who they might be” without fear. In other words, the church wants school
districts to accept and embrace children who may be expressing their gender
identity in ways that go against traditional cisgender expectations for young
“In the early years, context and throughout primary school, play should be a
hallmark of creative exploration,” the church explained, as the Independent
reports. “Pupils need to be able to play with the many cloaks of identity
(sometimes quite literally with the dressing up box). Children should be at
liberty to explore the possibilities of who they might be without judgment or
The church also encourages schools to work on promoting “dignity for all,” which
creates an environment where students “accept difference of all varieties and be
supported to accept their own gender identity or sexual orientation and that of
others.” Teachers should also avoid using terms that deem experimentation as
“abnormal” or “irregular.”
“All bullying, including homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic bullying causes
profound damage, leading to higher levels of mental health disorders, self-harm,
depression, and suicide,” the archbishop of Canterbury wrote in the guidelines’
foreword, according to the Independent. “Central to Christian theology is the
truth that every single one of us is made in the image of God. Every one of us
is loved unconditionally by God.”
The Bail Project is going
national, with an ambitious 5-year goal
A national effort is launching that aims to help low-income defendants get
out of jail by bailing them out as their criminal cases progress through the
courts. The Bail Project grew out of a successful 10-year campaign in the Bronx
to pay bail for needy cases, led by attorney Robin Steinberg of the Bronx
Defenders, a legal assistance nonprofit. She says the decade of data from that
effort showed that 95% of the people who were bailed out using donated money
returned to court for every appearance, and that when people could get out of
jail, the majority were ultimately not convicted of a crime. The project will
expand in January to Tulsa, Okla., and St. Louis. It will grow to include a
total of 40 different cities, using a $16 million revolving fund, and aims to
bail out 160,000 over the next five years, reports the AP.
Nonprofit workers stationed in the cities will work with defense attorneys and
community groups to interview people who've been jailed following accusations of
a crime. In New York, judges set bail in roughly 45,000 cases annually; only
about 12% of defendants can pay in time to be released from court. The average
fee is $1,000. Nearly half end up in jail for about a week because they can't
scrape together the money in the window of time between their arraignment and
when they're sent to jail. Jail reform advocates say bail disproportionately
affects poor minorities, who can't cobble together the money and who are
disproportionately arrested in criminal cases. Even a night in jail can cause
people to lose a job or custody of their children. "It is really intended to try
to make sure that no one is incarcerated for their poverty and their race and
that is what is happening in this country," Steinberg says.
The donation will come from him,
not the Gates Foundation
Bill Gates has long been a philanthropist through the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation, donating millions to combat diseases and poverty. But the Microsoft
co-founder has now decided to make a personal donation of his own. A big one.
Gates says that he will be donating $100 million to fund research to bring about
an end to Alzheimer's disease, Reuters reports. That donation will come in two
parts. Fifty million to the Dementia Discovery Fund, which combines government
and industry resources to seek treatment for the disease, and $50 million to
Alzheimer's research start-ups. Currently there is no treatment that slows
Alzheimer's, only medications to ease some of the symptoms of the brain-wasting
disease. “I hope that in the next 10 years that we have some powerful drugs, but
it’s possible that won’t be achieved," Gates says.
This is first time Gates has donated money to fighting noninfectious diseases,
CNN reports. The Gates Foundation focuses on communicable diseases like AIDS and
malaria. And while one might assume Gates' decision to donate so much of his own
money to Alzheimer's research is in response to personal experience, he says
that isn't entirely so. ”Some of the men in my family have suffered from
Alzheimer‘s, but I wouldn’t say that’s the sole reason,” he says. Nearly 50
million people worldwide are afflicted with Alzheimer's. Without new treatments
or a cure, that number is expected to rise to 131 million by 2050.
What do you do when you’re the second richest person on the planet? Anything you
want. Even make your own cities. That’s what Bill Gates is about to do. Gates,
who has an estimated net worth of $90 billion, is collaborating with an
investment firm to build a new smart city in Arizona.
Gates and the firm will spend $80 million to create a smart city of the future.
The community will be built on 25,000 acres of currently uninhabited desert land
that is 45 minutes west of Phoenix, The city will be named “Belmont,” named
after real-estate developer Belmont Partners, the company behind the project.
The new city will be founded along the projected path of the not-yet-built I-11
highway that will run from Las Vegas to Mexico. The future city will have 3,800
acres devoted to office, commercial, and retail space, while 470 acres will be
set aside for public schools. There will be 80,000 residential units and feature
high-speed communications infrastructure and autonomous cars. “Belmont will
create a forward-thinking community with a communication and infrastructure
spine that embraces cutting-edge technology, designed around high-speed digital
networks, data centers, new manufacturing technologies and distribution models,
autonomous vehicles and autonomous logistics hubs,” Belmont Partners said in a
IF YOU were born during this period then you are apart of a microgeneration
called Xennials. But the term has caused a fair bit of controversy.
Are you a Xennial?
IT’S the new term for a generation who feel like they don’t fit with either Gen
Y or Gen X, but who came up with the term has caused some controversy.
Xennials is a term that has recently become a popular way to describe people
born between 1977 and 1983.
People born between these periods have been stuck in a kind of generational
limbo, sandwiched in between the cynical group of Gen X and the overly
optimistic, smashed avo eating Millennials, without really identifying with
Unlike Millennials who grew up with mobile phones, Xennials remember calling
their friends on landlines and have the sound of dial up internet burned into
their memories. But were also able to adapt to new technology more easily than
But who came up with the Xennials term all depends on who you talk to.
The label gained attention a few months ago, after Mamamia published an article
on the new name for the microgeneration between 77 and 83.
Dan Woodman, an Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of Melbourne,
provided insight into the characteristics of an Xennial and since then has been
largely credited with coining the term.
“The idea is there’s this micro or in-between generation between the Gen X group
— who we think of as the depressed flannelette-shirt-wearing, grunge-listening
children that came after the Baby Boomers and the Millennials — who get
described as optimistic, tech savvy and maybe a little bit too sure of
themselves and too confident,” he told Mamamia.
President Trump attended the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
summit in Manila in the Philippines on Sunday, which brings together leaders
from throughout Asia to discuss security and economic issues. The summit’s
opening ceremony traditionally kicks off with a unique crossed-arms handshake,
linking the respective heads of state, and to the surprise of no one, Trump was
as usual his awkward self, as photos from the event (such as the one above
snapped by New York Times photographer Doug Mills) began circulating online.
Fox and Friends was quick to jump to the president’s defense on Monday morning
however, accusing the media of having it out for Trump, as Ainsley Earhardt
started off by saying, “It’s no secret that the New York Times has not been very
friendly to the president or this administration.”
Earhardt then pointed to the video of the handshake as evidence that the
handshake was not as awkward as the photos suggest. “Well when you watch the
video and see the photo it’s obvious what they’re doing,” she said. “They’re
trying to portray him as being awkward as we just said, and they want to portray
him in that light.”
Steve Doocy then pointed out that the Washington Post reported that Mills in
particular may have used the photo as revenge for the White House restricting
press access on the trip, although the outlet even admitted, “Trump’s awkward
grimace reveals the messy reality of high stakes geopolitics that an airbrushed
official portrait of the ‘family’ would gloss over. Photos like these can help
remind us that there are different motivations and different levels of comfort
on the world stage behind the scenes.”
Per pool: “Pool, having reviewed photographs, clarifies that Trump’s facial expression during the handshake was more of an exaggerated grimace than a smile.” https://t.co/QkkCSp1qZr
MSNBC producer Kyle Griffin likewise concurred by tweeting that Trump’s
expression was “more of an exaggerated grimace than a smile,” yet Brian Kilmeade
ultimately attributed the awkwardness to Trump’s height, rather than any deeper
How often do you change out your underwear? I don't mean just putting on a fresh
pair, or tossing them into the wash -- I mean throwing them out for good and
replacing them, all of them.
According to the Good Housekeeping Institute of the namesake lifestyle
publication Good Housekeeping, a person's clean, just-washed underwear can have
up to 10,000 living bacteria, like E. coli and dust mites.
That being said, the researchers recommend that you don't keep your underwear
for longer than a year in order to reduce your risk of infections, allergies,
When purchasing new undies, consider going for cotton, which is a natural and
breathable fabric, compared to synthetic materials like polyester and satin,
according to Essence. These end up trapping sweat and other bodily fluids,
making it more likely for you to get an infection.
Since worn undies are basically a breeding ground for bacteria (no surprise
there), when you do wash them, do it in hot water, and make sure your washing
machine is clean.
Just don't use bleach when washing your undies. It not only breaks down the
fibers of the fabric, causing your undies to fall apart faster, but it can cause
skin irritation when the bleach chemicals interact with the elastic, according
to Health. Instead, opt for a detergent that's hypoallergenic or good for
Well, even though this news means we might have to say good-bye to some of our
most beloved undies, at least it's also a good excuse to go shopping.
Phoner: What is your oldest pair of underwear in
your drawer right now?
The Trump administration has already put active effort into eroding the
monumental increases in rights and protections LGBTQ people won while the Obama
administration was in power. Department of Justice head Jeff Sessions has taken
particular aim at workplace protections, arguing that it shouldn’t be illegal to
fire people based entirely on their sexual orientation, and wholesale ending all
federal protections for transgender employees. Despite the DOJ’s opposition, the
Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) 2018 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) found that the
number of companies in the U.S. that support their LGBTQ employees is now at a
The CEI, which was published on Nov. 9, assessed 947 “major companies and law
firms across the nation,” according to an HRC press release. Businesses were
rated on a scale from zero to 100. Of the 947 businesses assessed for the 2018
CEI, a staggering 609 earned a perfect score of 100, which is a single-year
increase of 18 percent — the largest increase on record. Some of the country’s
top businesses to earn a perfect 100 include Apple, AT&T, Amazon, General
Electric, CVS, Verizon, and Ford.
“This record sets a new high water mark for corporate leadership over the
15-year history of the CEI,” the HRC added in its press release.
Businesses’ levels of inclusion were judged based on six key areas: sexual
orientation in U.S. non-discrimination policy; gender identity in U.S.
nondiscrimination policy; domestic partner benefits; transgender-inclusive
benefits; organizational LGBTQ competency; and public commitment to the LGBTQ
According to the CEI report, the areas where the most businesses faltered were
in public commitment to the LGBTQ community (53 percent have made commitments)
and in transgender-inclusive benefits (58 percent offer benefits). This is still
a rise from the 2017 report, in which public commitment to the LGBT community
stood at 47 percent, and the percentage of businesses offering
transgender-inclusive benefits was just 50 percent.
The fact that businesses are improving inclusiveness for LGBT employees despite
the current administration’s policies is a positive sign, said HRC president
Chad Griffin in the CEI press release. “At a time when the rights of LGBTQ
people are under attack by the Trump-Pence Administration and state legislatures
across the country, hundreds of top American companies are driving progress
toward equality in the workplace,” he explained. “The top-scoring companies on
this year’s CEI are not only establishing policies that affirm and include
employees here in the United States, they are applying these policies to their
operations around the globe and impacting millions of people beyond our shores.”
And more of these companies are choosing to take their supportive private
policies public. “In addition, many of these companies have also become vocal
advocates for equality in the public square, including the dozens that have
signed on to amicus briefs in vital Supreme Court cases and the 106 corporate
supporters of the Equality Act,” Griffen added. “We are proud to have developed
so many strong partnerships with corporate allies who see LGBTQ equality as a
crucial issue for our country and for their businesses.”
Many companies have improved their scores over the years, but Apple is one
company that has a straight flush of perfect 100s — 15 overall, one for each
year the CEI has been published. In the Inclusity & Diversity section of its
website, Apple outright states that “LGBTQ rights are human rights,” and that
“[p]eople should not be discriminated against because of their sexual
orientation or gender identity.” Along with standing behind its LGBTQ employees,
the company openly financially supports GLSEN, PFLAG, The Trevor Project, and
Some companies who did not receive a 100 on the 2018 CEI are taking the
opportunity to address the areas where their scores took hits. For example,
Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc., the folks behind Dunkin’ Donuts, debuted on the CEI
this year, and scored a 90. Chief legal and human resources officer Rich Emmett
submitted a statement to the HRC saying that though Dunkin’ Brands is proud of
its 90, the company “will strive to reach 100 in future years.”
The DOJ will undoubtedly continue to oppose workplace protections for LGBTQ
people as long as this administration is in office, so keeping queer employees
safe truly is on private businesses’ shoulders. The 2018 CEI’s findings are
heartening, and it doesn’t seem like too far a stretch to hope that the 2019 CEI
will be another record-setter.
Hate crimes in the United States rose for the second year in a row in 2016,
according to new data released by the FBI.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation report, published on Monday, shows that
6,121 hate crime incidents occurred in the United States last year, up from
5,850 in 2015, an increase of about 5 percent. Hate crimes also rose in 2015, by
approximately 6 percent, over the year prior. This is the first two-year rise in
hate crimes in the past decade.
Among the more than 6,000 hate crimes that occurred in 2016, 57.5 percent were
motivated by race, ethnicity, or ancestry bias; 21 percent were prompted by
religious bias; 17.7 percent were due to a sexual-orientation bias. Other
incidents resulted from gender-identity biases, disability biases, or a gender
Among race, ethnicity, and bias, more than 50 percent were motivated by an
anti-Black bias, 20.7 percent were motivated by an anti-White bias, 10.6 percent
were classified as anti-Hispanic. As for religion, anti-Jewish (54.2 percent)
and anti-Muslim (24.8 percent) were the top motivations for hate crimes.
Catholics were targeted in 4.1 percent of hate crimes, according to the FBI.
The number of hate crimes against people with particular religious beliefs rose
dramatically from 2015. Anti-Muslim crimes rose from 22.2 percent to 24.8
percent, and anti-Jewish crimes rose from 51.3 percent to 54.2 percent.
“It’s deeply disturbing to see hate crimes increase for the second year in a
row,” Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said in a statement.
“Hate crimes demand priority attention because of their special impact. They not
only hurt one victim, but they also intimidate and isolate a victim’s whole
community and weaken the bonds of our society.”
In 2016, 62.8 percent of sexual-orientation bias hate crimes were classified as
“anti-gay (male)” and 21.5 percent were prompted by an anti-lesbian, gay,
bisexual, or transgender bias. According to the data, 130 offenses were reported
as being prompted by gender-identity bias; of those, 111 were anti-transgender
and 19 were anti-gender nonconforming.
Of the 7,321 reported single-bias and multiple-bias offenses reported in 2016:
28.8 percent were intimidation; 26.1 were were destruction, damage, or
vandalism; 23 percent were simple assault; and 11.9 percent were aggravated
assault, according to the data.
Twenty-five years ago, 1,500 scientists signed a letter warning humanity that
it needed to change its ways in order to save the planet. A new letter, marking
the anniversary of that first message, has so far been signed by 15,000
scientists, and the reason for the tenfold increase is that things have gotten
much, much worse. The latest campaign, going by the hashtag #ScientistsWarningToHumanity
on Twitter, was started by William Ripple of Oregon State University's College
of Forestry, CBC reports. Ripple says he learned about the original 1992 warning
last February and decided to update the concerns he found there with new data.
"The trends," he says, "are alarming." Ripple says he found a decline in
freshwater availability, decreases in biodiversity, and climate change, among
other things. The only piece of good news he found is a rapid decline in ozone
Ripple says that the last 25 years have seen a 62% increase in carbon emissions
and a 35% increase in the human population, putting an enormous toll on the
environment. "We are jeopardizing our future by not reining in our intense but
geographically and demographically uneven material consumption," the letter
reads, "and by not perceiving continued rapid population growth as a primary
driver behind many ecological and even societal threats." Ripple and his team
warn that if changes aren't made, there will be irreversible biodiversity loss
and increases in natural disasters and human misery, the Independent reports.
Many men with heart disease fear that having sex could kill them, but new
research shows the danger is slight. Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute
reported Sunday at an American Heart Association conference that only one in
every 100 cases of sudden cardiac arrest in men occurred after sexual activity.
But 94% of those victims had a history of heart disease, NBC News reports. The
study, to be published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, was
the first to look at whether sexual exertion can trigger a heart attack, notes
Live Science. Fear of post-sex heart failure has been bolstered by plot lines on
TV shows like Mad Men, but in reality, "the risk is very small," senior author
Dr. Sumeet Chugh tells NBC. Chugh's team analyzed 4,557 cardiac arrests that
occurred between 2002 and 2015, and found that 34 happened within one hour of
Sudden cardiac arrest, which killed Tom Petty, takes place when an electrical
impulse goes haywire and the heart stops beating. There are often no warning
signs. Still, the danger is far greater for men: Only two of the heart attacks
studied involved women. The majority of victims were middle-aged and
African-American men, per the BBC. But CPR can make a life-or-death difference.
CPR was performed in only one-third of cases studied, prompting Chugh to urge
the "importance of (teaching) bystander CPR for sudden cardiac arrest,
irrespective of the circumstance." Another study found that children as young as
6 can learn CPR, per the BBC.
A new study indicates that people with breasts are more likely to die in a
situation where they might survive if given CPR, because folks are afraid to
touch their chest area.
A study conducted by researchers of 20,000 cases of heart attacks around the
country shows a disturbing trend in how men and women are treated by bystanders,
according to their perceived gender. Stat News reports that 45 percent of men
who go into cardiac arrest in a public place were given CPR, versus 39 percent
of women. Men were 23 percent more likely to survive.
“It can be kind of daunting thinking about pushing hard and fast on the center
of a woman’s chest” and some people may fear they are hurting her, said Audrey
Blewer, a University of Pennsylvania researcher who led the study.
Another study leader, Dr. Benjamin Abella, of UPenn, said rescuers are afraid
to move a woman’s clothes or touch her breasts, though if you are administering
CPR properly, you wouldn’t. You should be pushing in between the meaty stuff,
directly against the sternum.
“This is not a time to be squeamish because it’s a life and death situation,”
The findings are pushing officials to reconsider how CPR trainings are taught,
including the far more common use of a male torso mannequin for demonstrations,
as well as the useful placement of defibrillator pads on “large breasts.” Also,
if you don’t have boobs, you should know that they kind of slide towards the
armpits when you’re lying down, leaving plenty of room for restarting someone’s
heart/resting a plate of cheese. Insider secret.
One other note from the study: men are more likely to go into cardiac arrest
after sex. So there’s that.
Disruption-y tech companies like Uber and Twitter are a big part of “the
discourse” and our daily lives, but neither of them make any profit. You know
what once-groundbreaking technology doesn’t have any problems making bank year
That’s right, it’s payphones.
Most people now have a cell phone, so you may have wondered who still uses those
rusted, quarter-eating boxes. As it turns out, a lot of people do. According to
the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s 2017
monitoring report, payphones in Canada made $22 million CAD in 2016 (this figure
may not account for the cost of upkeep, but the CRTC has stated in the past that
payphones are “financially viable at current rates.”) That’s spread out among
nearly 60,000 payphones in the country, which made roughly $300 per phone over
the course of the year. That’s at least a few calls per day, each.
The US numbers are similar: The FCC reports that in 2015 payphones made $286
million, which is comparable for a population ten times the size of Canada’s.
It might not be much in the grand scheme of the multi-billion dollar
telecommunications industry, but it goes to show that some old and decrepit
(and, crucially, shared) technologies still play a key role in many people’s
lives. Payphones are out here making money while some of the newest, hottest,
and most “successful” tech companies around are still figuring out how to get
their revenues to climb ahead of their yearly losses.
These numbers remind me of other commonplace things that seem out of date in
today’s increasingly individualized, “Uber-for- X” tech landscape—like
neighbourhood laundromats—that are still essential community spaces for people
who can’t afford the personal devices that define much of the modern economy and
job market. These spaces, and these people, need support.
The CRTC has done some good work on this. In 2013, the regulator rejected a
proposal from Bell Canada—a telecom giant that operates many payphones in
Canada—to increase the price of a payphone call from 50 cents to $1, stating
that wireless service “is not an affordable option for all.” The CRTC has also
put policies in place acknowledging the negative impact that removing payphones
may have on small communities.
Still, it does look like payphones are on the way out. The CRTC’s 2017
monitoring report shows the number of payphones in the country nearly halving
over the past five years. Even more tellingly, revenue per payphone decreased by
half in the same period.
Payphones might not be profitable forever, but they’re still filling a need in a
world that’s quickly changing around them.
Phoner: Why were you glad there was a payphone around?
Over the past few years, the beer world has been absolutely dominated by Indian
Pale Ales. Breweries have continued to add more and more hops to their
product (with varying success) — to paraphrase Jeff Goldblum’s character in
Jurassic Park, they’re so preoccupied with whether or not they can that they
haven’t stopped to think if they should.
If you walk into a craft beer bar, there’s a good chance that half of the tap
list (or more) will be dedicated to the style, which is great news for fans of
IPAs but a nightmare for people who can’t stand them. If you fall into the
latter category, you might just think you’re missing something, but there
actually might be a scientific reason for why you hate them.
If you have an aversion to bitterness, you might be a “supertaster,” a term that
applies to 25% of the population. Supertasters can be easily overwhelmed by the
intense flavor of the hops, which is why they tend to gravitate towards lighter
Esquire went into a bit more detail:
Unfortunately, being a supertaster isn’t as great as the name suggests. “You
might think that a supertaster would have a lot of fun eating and drinking, but
it’s more like the opposite,” writes Dr. Rob DeSalle of the Sackler Institute
for Comparative Genomic. “Because supertasters experience tastes more intensely
than nontasters and tasters, the effects of different tastes detected by tongues
of supertasters are amplified relative to the nontasters and tasters.”
There is at least one upside to being a supertaster—studies have shown that
hoppier beers can cause people to grow man boobs, so you’ve got that going for
you, which is nice. Feel free to pop open a nice light beer to celebrate.
For many people, giving and receiving gifts are one of the big parts of the
However, a new survey shows that 69 percent of Americans would skip exchanging
gifts if their family and friends agreed to it.
The survey, conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of SunTrust Bank, also showed
that 60 percent of those surveyed said they would spend more time with friends
and family if they didn’t have to worry about buying or making gifts.
Which isn’t to say that people just want to spend less. The survey found 25
percent said they would use that money on activities with friends and family.
Conversely, 37 percent said they would pay down debt and 47 percent would choose
to save that money or invest it.
Phoner: Would you love to get rid of gift giving over the holidays?
Phoner: Do you avoid certain people during the holidays because you
don't want to worry about giving gifts?
New guidelines lower the threshold for high blood pressure,
adding 30 million Americans to those who have the condition,
which now plagues nearly half of U.S. adults.
High pressure, which for decades has been a top reading of at
least 140 or a bottom one of 90, drops to 130 over 80 in advice
announced Monday by a dozen medical groups.
The change means an additional 14 percent of U.S. adults have
the problem, but only 2 percent of these newly added people need
medication right away; the rest should try healthier lifestyles,
which get much stronger emphasis in the new advice. Poor diets,
lack of exercise and other bad habits cause 90 percent of high
"I have no doubt there will be controversy. I'm sure there will
be people saying 'We have a hard enough time getting to 140,'"
said Dr. Paul Whelton, a Tulane University physician who led the
But the risk for heart disease, stroke and other problems drops
as blood pressure improves, and the new advice "is more honest"
about how many people have a problem, he said.
No cheeseburgers. No bacon. No steak. No happiness. Sounds like a living hell,
or at the very least, an awful fantasy football punishment.
Not only does being vegetarian/vegan suck because of the dietary restrictions,
it’s also kind of makes you a meaty dick. What are you going to tell your
girlfriend’s parents when you go to her place for Thanksgiving? You’re good with
just the cranberry sauce? Good luck getting the go ahead from the pops on
popping the question to his daughter.
But, I am a man of integrity and am willing to acknowledge when I take a loss.
And us meat eaters took a big one today.
According to a study conducted by Icahn School of Medicine in New York, eating a
vegetarian diet slashes the risk of heart failure nearly in half.
Experts examined five diets which ranged from red meats, to plant based food,
sweets and alcohol over four years and concluded that going vegetarian reduced
the risk of heart failure by 42%. What you eat can impact atherosclerosis, the
restricting of the arteries that triggers heart attacks, strokes and heart
The study concluded that the foods to avoid include refined carbohydrates, foods
high in added sugars, trans fats, saturated fats and processed meats, Daily Mail
Heart disease accounts for 1 in every 4 deaths in the United States every year,
killing 610,000 people annually. It is the leading cause of death for both men
Are you single and ready to mingle? If so, then this analysis of over 180 U.S.
cities across 32 key indicators of dating-friendliness that reveals which cities
are the best, and worst, for singles in 2017 might be of interest to you.
Considering that more than 45 percent of the U.S. adult population is unmarried,
according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau estimates, I am betting that it will.
Utilizing 15 “economics” metrics, 12 “fun and recreation” metrics, and five
“dating opportunities” metrics, the analysts over at WalletHub.com revealed the
— Detroit has the highest share of single persons, 73.76 percent, which is 1.9
times higher than in Fremont, California, the city with the lowest at 38.06
— Gilbert, Arizona, has the highest share of households with a broadband
connection (as a proxy for “online dating opportunities”), 95.9 percent, which
is 2.2 times higher than in Brownsville, Texas, the city with the lowest at 42.7
— Garden Grove, California, has the lowest average restaurant-meal cost, $12.78,
which is 6.3 times lower than in Juneau, Alaska, the city with the highest at
— Indianapolis has the lowest average price for a bottle of wine, $3.79, which
is 3.7 times lower than in Raleigh, North Carolina, the city with the highest at
— Port St. Lucie, Florida, has the lowest average price for a movie ticket,
$6.21, which is 2.4 times lower than in Los Angeles and Oxnard, California, the
cities with the highest at $14.81.
— New York has the most nightlife options (per square root of population), 1.86,
which is 93 times more than in West Valley City, Utah, the city with the fewest
More importantly, they determined which cities in America are best for singles…
1. San Francisco, CA
2. Atlanta, GA
3. Los Angeles, CA
4. Denver, CO
5. San Diego, CA
6. Seattle, WA
7. Chicago, IL
8. Portland, OR
9. Minneapolis, MN
10. Portland, ME
And which cities are the worst for singles in America…
173. Charleston, WV
174. Laredo, TX
175. Lewiston, ME
176. Pearl City, HI
177. Yonkers, NY
178. Warwick, RI
179. Hialeah, FL
180. Pembroke Pines, FL
181. Brownsville, TX
182. South Burlington, VT
Check out their very cool interactive map below
to see where all 182 cities ranked…
Phoner: Have you moved to a
city for a better chance at dating?