6 ways Facebook ruins your life

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“Till Facebook does us part.” People who spend hours every day on the social networking site are more likely to get divorced than those who don’t use it, finds a new study in Computers in Human Behavior.

It could be that people in crappy relationships are just more likely to spend time avoiding their spouses by posting statuses and liking photos, says study coauthor Sebastian Valenzuela, Ph.D., of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. On the other hand, Facebook exposes you to old flings and new mates, makes sneaking around on your wife easier to hide, and also leads to addictive behaviors–all of which won’t do your marriage any favors, Valenzuela adds. (Heading for the altar? You might be surprised at these 5 Signs Your Marriage Will Last.)

Like the old “guns don’t kill people . . . people kill people” line, you can’t blame all your problems on Mark Zuckerberg. But a broken marriage isn’t the only bad thing researchers have linked to Facebook use.

It saps your motivation to give back. “Liking” or showing support for charity organizations on Facebook lowers the odds that you’ll donate your time or money to those causes, finds research from the University of British Columbia. Your public thumbs-up satisfies your desire to look charitable in front of others and makes you feel good about yourself, which wipes out your motivation to volunteer time or cash, the researchers say.

It crushes your mood. The more time you spend on Facebook, the more your attitude sours, shows a study from Austria. You probably realize that staring at profiles and pictures isn’t a very productive use of your time. And the recognition that you’ve wasted a big chunk of your day on something meaningless clouds your mood, the researchers explain. (Excessive smartphone use can have a negative impact on your life. Here are five reasons you might want to power down.)

It makes you dumb. After looking at their own Facebook pages for 5 minutes, people took 15 percent longer to answer simple math questions. That’s because your profile inflates your ego, which undercuts your brain’s motivation to perform, say the researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

It renders your life unsatisfying. The more you surf, the less satisfied you feel about life in general, indicates a study from the University of Michigan. It’s inevitable that some of your friends will be posting about the fun, interesting stuff they’re doing. And contrasting your own boring life to theirs–something Facebook basically forces you to do–could explain these negative consequences, the authors say.

It leaves you lonely. Scanning your friends’ profiles increases feelings of social exclusion and “invisibility,” finds research from Australia. Because you’re observing your buddies but not interacting with them, you feel cut off or left out, the study suggests. (The good news: If you actively post things–pics, updates–and your pals respond to your posts, these bad feelings go away, the study shows.)

Why does bacon smell so good?

You’d know the savory smell of bacon anywhere—rich, smoky, unctuous, and undeniably addictive. But why is bacon’s aroma so tantalizing? The American Chemical Society recently teamed up with the blog Compound Interest in a new video that breaks down the answer in scientific terms.

There are about 150 organic compounds in bacon that contribute to its heady scent, the narrator explains. When you throw bacon into a pan, the “sugars react with the amino acids in the bacon. It’s called the Maillard reaction, and it’s basically what causes anything you cook…to turn brown.”

When melting fat comes into the mix, bacon’s signature bouquet releases into the air (and you, naturally, point your nose in that direction).

Get at the nitty-gritty in the video above, then treat yourself to all of the bacon.

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The most desirable college in each state [map]

Peter Jacobs, BusinessInsider.com

Higher-education information website eCollegeFinder has put together this great map showing the most desirable college in each state based on the number of applications they received this year.

The map is an interesting mix of large state universities and more prestigious — and selective — private schools. The University of California, Los Angeles, had the most applications of any college in the country, with 72,676 potential students vying for admission in fall 2013.

eCollegeFinder’s Mike Simmons put the map together using data from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Via eCollegeFinder, these are the most desirable colleges in the country:

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eCollegeFinder also compiled a helpful list of the top five schools with the most applications and an excellent state-by-state breakdown of just how many students applied to each school:

Top Five Colleges With The Most Applications:

  1. University of California – Los Angeles – 72,676
  2. New York University – 57,552
  3. Pennsylvania State University – 47,552
  4. Northeastern University – 47,364
  5. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor – 46,813

Most Desirable College By State:

Alabama — University of Alabama

  • Location — Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • Number of Applications Received — 30,975
  • Acceptance Rate — 57%
  • Total Undergraduates — 28,026

Alaska — University of Alaska

  • Location — Anchorage, Alaska
  • Number of Applications Received — 3,062*
  • Acceptance Rate — 72%
  • Total Undergraduates — 16,498

Arizona — University of Arizona

  • Location — Tucson, Arizona
  • Number of Applications Received — 26,329
  • Acceptance Rate — 77%
  • Total Undergraduates — 31,565

Arkansas — University of Arkansas

  • Location — Fayetteville, Arkansas
  • Number of Applications Received — 18,908
  • Acceptance Rate — 59%
  • Total Undergraduates — 20,350

California — University of California, Los Angeles

  • Location — Los Angeles, California
  • Number of Applications Received — 72,676
  • Acceptance Rate — 22%
  • Total Undergraduates — 27,941

Colorado — University of Colorado

  • Location — Boulder, Colorado
  • Number of Applications Received — 22,473
  • Acceptance Rate — 88%
  • Total Undergraduates — 25,941

Connecticut — Yale University

  • Location — New Haven, Connecticut
  • Number of Applications Received — 28,977
  • Acceptance Rate — 7%
  • Total Undergraduates — 5,405

Delaware — University of Delaware

  • Location — Newark, Delaware
  • Number of Applications Received — 25,458
  • Acceptance Rate — 65%
  • Total Undergraduates — 18,202

Florida — University of Central Florida

  • Location — Orlando, Florida
  • Number of Applications Received — 31,820
  • Acceptance Rate — 49%
  • Total Undergraduates — 51,010

Georgia — University of Georgia

  • Location — Athens, Georgia
  • Number of Applications Received — 18,458
  • Acceptance Rate — 56%
  • Total Undergraduates — 26,259

Hawaii — University of Hawaii at Manoa

  • Location — Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Number of Applications Received — 6,901
  • Acceptance Rate — 80%
  • Total Undergraduates — 14,655

Idaho — Boise State University

  • Location — Boise, Idaho
  • Number of Applications Received — 7,832
  • Acceptance Rate — 78%
  • Total Undergraduates — 19,477

Illinois — Northwestern University

  • Location — Evanston, Illinois
  • Number of Applications Received — 32,060
  • Acceptance Rate — 15%
  • Total Undergraduates — 9,376

Indiana — Indiana University

  • Location — Bloomington, Indiana
  • Number of Applications Received — 37,826
  • Acceptance Rate — 72%
  • Total Undergraduates — 32,371

Iowa — University of Iowa

  • Location — Iowa City, Iowa
  • Number of Applications Received — 21,642
  • Acceptance Rate — 80%
  • Total Undergraduates — 21,999

Kansas — University of Kansas

  • Location — Lawrence, Kansas
  • Number of Applications Received — 12,389
  • Acceptance Rate — 92%
  • Total Undergraduates — 19,169

Kentucky — University of Kentucky

  • Location — Lexington, Kentucky
  • Number of Applications Received — 19,810
  • Acceptance Rate — 69%
  • Total Undergraduates — 20,827

Louisiana — Tulane University

  • Location — New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Number of Applications Received — 30,122
  • Acceptance Rate — 26%
  • Total Undergraduates — 8,357

Maine — University of Maine

  • Location — Orono, Maine
  • Number of Applications Received — 8,306
  • Acceptance Rate — 81%
  • Total Undergraduates — 8,778

Maryland — University of Maryland

  • Location — College Park, Maryland
  • Number of Applications Received — 26,247
  • Acceptance Rate — 47%
  • Total Undergraduates — 26,538

Massachusetts — Northeastern University

  • Location — Boston, Massachusetts
  • Number of Applications Received — 47,364
  • Acceptance Rate — 32%
  • Total Undergraduates — 16,640

Michigan — University of Michigan

  • Location — Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Number of Applications Received — 46,813
  • Acceptance Rate — 33%
  • Total Undergraduates — 27,979

Minnesota — University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

  • Location — Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Number of Applications Received — 43,048
  • Acceptance Rate — 44%
  • Total Undergraduates — 34,469

Mississippi — University of Mississippi

  • Location — University, Mississippi
  • Number of Applications Received — 14,258
  • Acceptance Rate — 59%
  • Total Undergraduates — 16,060

Missouri — Washington University in St. Louis

  • Location — Saint Louis, Missouri
  • Number of Applications Received — 30,117
  • Acceptance Rate — 16%
  • Total Undergraduates — 7,259

Montana — Montana State University

  • Location — Bozeman, Montana
  • Number of Applications Received — 12,581
  • Acceptance Rate — 84%
  • Total Undergraduates — 12,679

Nebraska — University of Nebraska

  • Location — Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Number of Applications Received — 10,929
  • Acceptance Rate — 64%
  • Total Undergraduates — 19,103

Nevada — University of Nevada-Reno

  • Location — Reno, Nevada
  • Number of Applications Received — 7,857
  • Acceptance Rate — 84%
  • Total Undergraduates — 15,082

New Hampshire — Dartmouth College

  • Location — Hanover, New Hampshire
  • Number of Applications Received — 23,110
  • Acceptance Rate — 10%
  • Total Undergraduates — 4,193

New Jersey — Rutgers University

  • Location — New Brunswick, New Jersey
  • Number of Applications Received — 30,631
  • Acceptance Rate — 60%
  • Total Undergraduates — 31,593

New Mexico — University of New Mexico

  • Location — Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Number of Applications Received — 11,467
  • Acceptance Rate — 65%
  • Total Undergraduates — 22,773

New York — New York University

  • Location — New York, New York
  • Number of Applications Received — 57,845
  • Acceptance Rate — 26%
  • Total Undergraduates — 22,498

North Carolina — Duke University

  • Location — Durham, North Carolina
  • Number of Applications Received — 30,374
  • Acceptance Rate — 13%
  • Total Undergraduates — 6,655

North Dakota — North Dakota State University

  • Location — Fargo, North Dakota
  • Number of Applications Received — 5,812
  • Acceptance Rate — 84%
  • Total Undergraduates — 11,988

Ohio — Ohio State University

  • Location — Columbus, Ohio
  • Number of Applications Received — 31,359
  • Acceptance Rate — 56%
  • Total Undergraduates — 43,058

Oklahoma — Oklahoma State University

  • Location — Stillwater, Oklahoma
  • Number of Applications Received — 11,064
  • Acceptance Rate — 76%
  • Total Undergraduates — 20,323

Oregon — University of Oregon

  • Location — Eugene, Oregon
  • Number of Applications Received — 21,263
  • Acceptance Rate — 74%
  • Total Undergraduates — 20,809

Pennsylvania — Pennsylvania State University

  • Location — University Park, Pennsylvania
  • Number of Applications Received — 47,552
  • Acceptance Rate — 54%
  • Total Undergraduates — 39,192

Rhode Island — Brown University

  • Location — Providence, Rhode Island
  • Number of Applications Received — 28,919
  • Acceptance Rate — 9%
  • Total Undergraduates — 6,435

South Carolina — University of South Carolina

  • Location — Columbia, South Carolina
  • Number of Applications Received — 23,429
  • Acceptance Rate — 61%
  • Total Undergraduates — 23,363

South Dakota — South Dakota State University

  • Location — Brookings, South Dakota
  • Number of Applications Received — 4,851
  • Acceptance Rate — 92%
  • Total Undergraduates — 11,118

Tennessee — Vanderbilt University

  • Location — Nashville, Tennessee
  • Number of Applications Received — 31,099
  • Acceptance Rate — 13%
  • Total Undergraduates — 6,796

Texas — University of Texas at Austin

  • Location — Austin, Texas
  • Number of Applications Received — 38,161
  • Acceptance Rate — 40%
  • Total Undergraduates — 39,955

Utah — Brigham Young University

  • Location — Provo, Utah
  • Number of Applications Received — 11,423
  • Acceptance Rate — 49%
  • Total Undergraduates — 31,060

Vermont — University of Vermont

  • Location — Burlington, Vermont
  • Number of Applications Received — 22,381
  • Acceptance Rate — 78%
  • Total Undergraduates — 11,211

Virginia — University of Virginia

  • Location — Charlottesville, Virginia
  • Number of Applications Received — 28,984
  • Acceptance Rate — 30%
  • Total Undergraduates — 15,822

Washington — University of Washington

  • Location — Seattle, Washington
  • Number of Applications Received — 30,199
  • Acceptance Rate — 55%
  • Total Undergraduates — 29,475

West Virginia — West Virginia University

  • Location — Morgantown, West Virginia
  • Number of Applications Received — 16,521
  • Acceptance Rate — 85%
  • Total Undergraduates — 22,827

Wisconsin — Marquette University

  • Location — Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Number of Applications Received — 23,432
  • Acceptance Rate — 57%
  • Total Undergraduates — 8,293

Wyoming — University of Wyoming

  • Location — Laramie, Wyoming
  • Number of Applications Received — 4,181
  • Acceptance Rate — 96%
  • Total Undergraduates — 10,194

 

Mall adds ‘fast lane’ after girl, 10, complains about slow shoppers

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Scott Stump TODAY.com contributor

Thanks to the suggestion of a 10-year-old girl who is tired of being stuck behind slow walkers, a British mall has added a “fast lane” painted on its floor.

When she got a school assignment to write a formal letter to a public figure or company, Chloe Nash-Lowe decided to let Meadowhall Shopping Centre in Sheffield, England, know their slow shoppers are breaking her stride.

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“I am incredibly disappointed by people walking around your shopping centre — it annoys me so bad I want to scream,” Nash-Lowe wrote. “You should stop people walking slow as people are in a rush for work and this could cause people being late. It is dangerous because if someone bumped into you that person will fall over. Will you ever tell people not to walk so slow? If you do this for me I will be delighted — please do it.”

The mall administration responded by creating a “fast lane” and a “slow lane” in pink on the floor, divided by dotted white lines like a roadway. The lanes are not a permanent fixture yet, as the mall has announced that it is a trial run and seeking feedback on its Facebook page as it considers whether to keep them.

 

 

Want to become the most interesting person around? Start with these 7 steps.

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How do you become the most interesting person in the world?

To be sure, I’m not referring to the silver fox from the Dos Equis beer commercials, who once ran a marathon just because it was on his way, whose organ donor card lists his beard and who speaks fluent French — in Russian.

The bar doesn’t have to be that high.

In a noisy world where personal branding is a professional imperative and where we constantly compete with equally qualified rivals for clients, jobs, promotions, assignments or funding, not to mention admiration and affection, being just a little more interesting and memorable can be the deciding factor in our favor.

The following list of seven rules should yield some promising results for those who want to up their game with some new skills and behaviors:

1. Master conversational skills. The ability to converse is a key competency for successful client pitches, board room presentations, management meetings and the myriad hallway conversations that influence major business decisions. Skillful small talk and more substantive conversations can make anyone more interesting, provided one has something interesting to say. To get better at it, widen your interests and learn about anything from current events to local issues. Keeping conversations balanced by showing sincere interest in others is critical. A report in Psychological Science cites a study that shows that people who engage in deeper, more substantive conversation are happier than those who keep interactions superficial. Happy people are definitely more interesting than miserable ones.

2. Learn to make a solid business case. Occasionally we get lucky. We ask for something — resources, money, time, support — and we get it. But for the most part, the higher the stakes, the more scrutiny our requests are under. Entrepreneurs, managers and executives who cannot make a solid business case, linking needs to strategic goals, detailing risks, opportunities and projected ROI, based on research and analysis, are discounted by the decision-makers who can green-light a project. By clearly showing value, telling a compelling business story and answering tough questions from stakeholders, we become valued players in a serious game.

3. Cultivate a reputation of expertise. Experts are in demand. Turn on any television channel and you can watch a parade of authorities in various domains give their perspective on healthcare, airline security, the economy and climate change, to name a few. Particularly in times of uncertainty, we corner the experts to get answers and find out what can be done to either avoid loss of some sort or make gains. If you’re more of a generalist, find ways to go deep into a subject matter that can benefit others, and share that information where needed. A key is to make specialized information accessible and easy to understand. Otherwise, you’ll notice eyes glazing over and confusion replacing curiosity.

4. Resolve conflict and dispute between others. In a recent executive coaching survey, CEOs mentioned “conflict-management skills” as their top priority. Being able to help others resolve disputes and conflicting agendas is not just an asset in the C-suite, where leaders have to manage the expectations of a multitude of stakeholders. Even among friends, those who can keep a cool head and balance reason and emotion when arguments threaten to spiral into conflict and hostility, have the respect and admiration of their peers.

5. Build relationships and connect with people. Whether we are individual contributors, startup entrepreneurs or corporate leaders, we need the help of others to accomplish our goals. Being an interesting person helps in building and managing relationships, but the reverse is also true. If we actively engage others, by, for example, inviting someone to lunch, involving a co-worker in a project, asking for a favor, offering support, or sincerely inquiring how someone is doing, we not only become visible, we become relevant. That’s the foundation of mutually gratifying relationships. Make it a goal to communicate authentically with others and become more interesting to them in the process.

6. Engage in active listening. Aside from the fact that engaged listening makes us better informed about people and issues, giving someone our full and undivided attention can have a profound effect on their perception of us. Listening attentively is a “giving” rather than a “taking.” Contrast this with the person who primarily keeps the focus on themselves and the difference becomes crystal clear. When we’re listened to, we matter. Those who do most of the talking believe they matter. We become more interesting when we listen to others.

7. Live life and share experiences. “Life is best lived inside, behind a desk,” said no one, ever. Our experiences and what we choose to share are what make others take an interest in us. People often live vicariously through the adventures of their more socially active peers. It doesn’t have to be running with the bulls in Barcelona — we easily become a little more interesting when we discuss experiences of enjoying a meal at an exotic new restaurant, learning a challenging skill like waterskiing or attending opening night at the museum.

Standing out in a positive way has wide-ranging benefits. These rules are merely a starting point as we manage ourselves to become the most interesting person in the world.

10 reasons to enjoy a beer right now

index_24Sure, you probably have beer to thank for helping you meet your girlfriend, spurring some of your greatest stories, and bringing out your worst dance moves. But it turns out there are tons of other awesome, scientifically proven reasons to love a good brew. Beer could safeguard your heart, boost your immunity, protect your bones, and more. Ready, set, drink up.

1. Keep your ticker ticking.

Wine usually gets all the credit as the booze that helps cut back your cardiovascular disease risk, but beer may be just as heart-healthy of a beverage. Italian researchers found that moderate beer drinkers had a 42 percent lower risk of heart disease compared to non-drinkers. For maximum protection, keep your consumption to one pint–at around 5 percent alcohol by volume–a day, the researchers say.

2. Think like a genius.

Knocking back a beer or two won’t make you smarter, but it could boost your creativity, according to a study in the journal Consciousness and Cognition. When 40 men watched a movie while completing verbal puzzles, beer-buzzed guys with a blood alcohol content of .075 solved the problems a few seconds faster than their sober counterparts.

3. Prevent type 2 diabetes.

Dutch researchers analyzed 38,000 male health professionals and found that when men who weren’t big boozers began drinking moderately over 4 years, they were significantly less likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Increased alcohol consumption over time didn’t lower the risk in men who already had a couple drinks a day, so moderation is the key word here. Stick to a beer or two at happy hour tonight.

4. Be kind to your kidneys.

Cheers to never having to pass a kidney stone again–or if you’re lucky, ever. Researchers in Finland found that each bottle of beer a man drinks daily lowers his risk of developing kidney stones by 40 percent. The researchers can’t exactly explain the link, but speculate that a high fluid intake not only makes for an excessive number of trips to the bathroom, but could also keep kidneys functioning properly. Additionally, the researchers say the hops in beer may be responsible for the correlation, helping to slow the release of calcium from bone–which could get reabsorbed by the kidneys as painful stones.

5. Recover faster.

Move over, Gatorade–a heady brew could also aid in workout recovery, according to a Spanish study. Researchers asked students to exercise until their body temperature reached 104 degrees, and then had them rehydrate with beer or water. As it turns out, people who had a post-workout pint were slightly more hydrated than those who had H2O. (Are you sweating too much?

6. Get an instant confidence boost.

Beer goggles? Try beer mirror. British researchers found the more drinks people consumed, the more attractive they found themselves. In a second study, the researchers asked participants who had consumed either a real or fake alcoholic drink to give a speech. When asked to evaluate how good-looking, smart, and funny they felt they were during their talk, people who thought they imbibed gave themselves more positive self-evaluations–regardless of whether or not they were actually buzzed.

7. See clearer.

Guinness a day could keep the eye doctor away. Canadian researchers found that one daily beer–especially a lager or stout–increases antioxidant activity that can stop cataracts from forming in the eyes. The kicker: The scientists found an opposite effect in participants who had three or more drinks a day.

8. Lower your blood pressure.

High blood pressure can be responsible for a range of health problems, but beer can lower your risk for hypertension, research suggests. In one study, Harvard researchers found that moderate beer drinkers are less likely to develop high BP than those who sip wine or cocktails.

9. Fight off infection.

Having one or two drinks a day might boost your immune system and fight infections, according to an Oregon Health & Science University study. Scientists vaccinated monkeys against smallpox, then gave some of the primates access to alcohol while others could drink sugar water. The monkeys who drank moderately had better vaccine responses than those who consumed the sweet stuff. But the animals that drank heavily–you may now imagine a totally tanked chimp–had less of a response to the vaccine than those who kept their habit under control.

10. Prevent a fracture.

Nasty breaks from drunken debauchery aside, a couple beers a day could actually strengthen your bones, according to a study at Tufts University. Guys who stuck to one or two brews had up to 4.5 percent greater bone density than non-drinkers–but more than two beers was associated with up to 5.2 percent lower density, according to the study.