Monday, November 29, 2010

Global 2010: 4 tips for spicing up date night

A young woman and man embracing while outdoors.Image via Wikipedia
When love is new, it’s hard to imagine that it ever won’t be — that a time might come when the question, “What do you want to do tonight?” could be met with a stare of boredom. But the truth is that as electric as your relationship might be in those first initial months, you will inevitably become more comfortable with each other, which is a good thing. That comfortable feeling indicates that a couple has moved into the “attachment” phase of their relationship in which feelings of intimacy and safety deepen. But it’s also the time when couples can slide into thrill-dampening Friday night routines. Falling into the cycle of repetitive “date nights” that play out like old reruns is an easy trap to fall into as a couple. But recent research on how the brain changes when you’re in love suggests that adding novelty to your date nights helps keep both of you feeling the same excitement you did when you first fell for each other.

1. Variety, variety, variety

2. Take turns planning your date nights

3. Go out without a plan

4. Go where no man has been before…or at least, neither of you

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Global 2010: Is Harry Potter Still Number 1?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow - 0 days leftImage by k-ideas via Flickr
LOS ANGELES - A fairy-tale princess gave young wizard Harry Potter a run for his money at the weekend box office.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" remained the No. 1 movie with $50.3 million over Thanksgiving weekend, closely followed by the animated musical "Tangled" with $49.1 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The next-to-last "Harry Potter" movie raised its domestic total to $220.4 million after just 10 days in theaters, according to distributor Warner Bros. The film also has taken in $389.2 million overseas, giving it a worldwide total of $609.6 million.

"Tangled" is the latest Disney cartoon musical, with Mandy Moore providing the voice of fairy-tale princess Rapunzel. The movie raised its five-day total to $69 million since opening the day before Thanksgiving.

While "Deathly Hallows" continued to work box-office magic, Disney's "Tangled" far exceeded industry expectations, delivering the second-biggest Thanksgiving debut ever behind "Toy Story 2," which had a $57.4 million opening.

Disney head of distribution Chuck Viane said the studio would have been happy if "Tangled" had matched the $34 million debut of its hit "Enchanted" over Thanksgiving 2007. "Tangled" not only shot past that mark but also challenged "Harry Potter" for the No. 1 spot.

"That was the last thing we were thinking of, but it sure is nice to be even thought of in that situation," Viane said. "'Potter' is such a huge hit. To be that close, it was amazing."

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Global 2010: 10 All-Natural Ways to Get a Better Night’s Sleep

Indirect myofascial release, Charlotte Stuart ...Image by Wonderlane via Flickr
Do you have trouble falling asleep at night but dread the idea of taking sleeping pills and dealing with potential side effects? If you’re looking for alternate ways to induce the zzz’s, here are some natural remedies that can help lull you into dreamland.


Awareness Breathing



Total Darkness




Warm Bath

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

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Global 2010: Jobs For People Who Don't Like People

A medical transcriptionist working in a medica...Image via Wikipedia
If you don't like working with others, you just may love one of these jobs.

Do you work better in a team of one?

Do you despise water cooler small-talk?

Are you... an introvert?

On Fox's hit show House, Hugh Laurie's character loves to diagnose diseases but hates the patients who have them. Although it makes for good television, becoming a doctor probably isn't an ideal career move for people who don't like people.

But there are plenty of other jobs that are better geared for those who hate to socialize. Check out these careers that let you get the job done while keeping social interaction to a minimum.


While just about any job will require some amount of face-time with co-workers and clients, accountants find themselves diving into a spreadsheet more often than reaching for a cell phone. With plenty of financial data and tax information to digest, chit-chat time is at a minimum.

Computer Programmer

It's not uncommon to see computer programmers listening to music while coding. Telecommuting is also an option at some companies. If you can write the code (which isn't easy) many tech managers will be happy to leave you alone.


Writing is a solitary process. The ability to block out distractions and stay focused is essential in this career. Marketing is one industry where writers and copywriters are in demand.

Forensic Science Technician

Although crime scene investigators have to deal with people, it's often just dealing with their hair, tissue, or DNA samples. When not collecting evidence, working in a laboratory setting is most common for forensic scientists.

Budget Analyst

Similar to accountants, budget analysts help organizations increase profits by improving efficiency. But the bulk of their time is spent working independently while compiling and crunching numbers.

Medical Transcriptionist

Petty office politics and gossip don't easily reach the ears of medical transcriptionists, who wear headphones while transcribing dictated recordings from doctors and other health care pros. A no-nonsense, buttoned-up approach can help since you'll be editing reports for grammar and clarity. Many MT's work at home or off-site from their clients.


Risk assessment is the name of the game for actuaries, who spend their days analyzing the habits of people and companies. Instead of talking with people, though, their work is based on statistics.

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Global 2010: Nissan Leaf runs equivalent of 99 miles per gallon

Nissan Leaf exhibited at the 2010 Washington A...Image via Wikipedia
WASHINGTON – The Nissan Leaf, an electric car aimed at attracting environmentally conscious motorists, will get the equivalent of 99 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving, based on government testing.

Nissan Motor Corp. said Monday the Environmental Protection Agency's fuel efficiency window sticker, which provides information about the car's energy use, would estimate the electric car will achieve the equivalent of 106 mpg in city driving and 92 mpg on the highway.

Nissan will start selling the Leaf in California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Tennessee in December with a sticker price of $32,780. The Leaf will go on sale in other markets through 2011 and be available nationwide by the end of next year.

EPA calculated the Leaf's fuel economy based on a formula that says 33.7 kilowatts per hour holds the energy equivalent of one gallon of gasoline. The label estimates a charging time of 7 hours on a 240-volt charge. Cost estimates were based on 15,000 miles per year at 12 cents per kilowatt-hour.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Global 2010: How cold does it have to snow?

A thermometer showing −17°C.Image via Wikipedia
Usually, the temperature has to be 37 degrees or colder at the onset of snow, in which, the snow will fall, but melt on contact.

Temperatures where we live, under conditions such as evaporative cooling take place can be as warm as the low 40's.

Obviously, it has to be below freezing up in the clouds, meaning below 32 degrees.

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Global 2010: High-Paying Careers With No Future

Cover of the 2006-2007 Occupational Outlook Ha...Image via Wikipedia
It may come as no surprise that the job of newspaper reporter is going the way of the buggy whip maker — but the forces of modernity have placed some unexpected occupations on the endangered species list as well. Using statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook 2010-2011, we identified 10 of the most surprising job categories whose numbers are projected to shrink in the coming years, plus a few that will grow so slowly that you might as well be sending your resume to Irish banks.


Fashion Designer

Insurance Underwriter

Travel Agent

Newspaper Reporter

Broadcast Announcer

Plant Manager




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Global 2010: His Surprising First-Date Fears

First StationImage by KNOBBYKNEEz via Flickr
As cool as most guys try to play it your first time out together, chances are he's probably just as nervous as you are. We got experts to spill on the little things that secretly stress him out.

1. That you'll be different from what he's expecting.

2. He won't be the only one you're interested in.

3. He'll touch you too soon.

4. You won't give him another date.

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Global 2010: World's Top Retirement Havens For 2011

San Pedro Beach in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Pho...Image via Wikipedia
As we move toward the start of the new year, it's time to take a look at the world map to identify the world's top retirement havens for 2011. Depending on the size of your retirement budget, here's where you should be looking to realize the adventure-filled retirement of your dreams.

Super Affordable

1. Nicaragua -- specifically Leon, Granada, and San Juan del Sur.

2. Ecuador -- specifically Cuenca. Ecuador is well established as an affordable retirement choice.

3. Colombia -- specifically Medellin.

4. Thailand -- specifically Chiang Mai.

Moderately Priced

1. Panama -- specifically Las Tablas, Boquete, and Panama City.

2. Uruguay -- specifically Montevideo.

3. Argentina -- specifically Buenos Aires and Mendoza.

4. Belize -- specifically Ambergris Caye and the Cayo.

5. Malaysia -- specifically Kuala Lumpur and Penang.

Luxury on a Budget

1. Mexico -- specifically Puerto Vallarta

2. France -- specifically Paris and Languedoc.

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Global 2010: Disney Will Stop Making Princess Movies Because Boys Think They're Icky

Book cover of The Illusion of Life: Disney Ani...Image via Wikipedia
On Wednesday, Disney will be releasing "Tangled," the studio's 50th animated film. You might think that this would be cause for celebration, but from recent stories in the Los Angeles Times and New York Times, it appears that Disney Animation is in the midst of a major freak-out/reinvention. The main takeaway from these articles was that Pixar guru (and Disney Animation bigwig) John Lasseter is in the midst of reviving Disney's slumping non-Pixar animation projects. Oh, and he's done making movies about fairy tales and princesses.

"They may come back later because someone has a fresh take on it," Lasseter's Disney Animation co-chief Ed Catmull told the L.A. Times, "but we don't have any other musicals or fairy tales lined up." One reason is because the studio is fearful of alienating young boys, who supposedly won't see something like last year's "The Princess and the Frog." The other reason, frighteningly, is that young girls consider themselves too cool to want to be princesses.

Media critic Dafna Lemish, who has written about the influence of film and television on children, said in the same article, "By the time they're 5 or 6, [girls are] not interested in being princesses. They're interested in being hot, in being cool. Clearly, they see this is what society values." (That's right: A girl born in 2005 already is worrying about how "hot" she is. Have fun with that, moms and dads of the world.)

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Global 2010: Should Pluto Be a Planet After All?

Mars (back left), Mercury (back right), Moon (...Image via Wikipedia
Now that Pluto may have regained its status as the largest object in the outer solar system, should astronomers consider giving it back another former title — that of full-fledged planet?

Pluto was demoted to a newly created category, "dwarf planet," in 2006, partly because of the discovery a year earlier of Eris, another icy body from Pluto's neighborhood. Eris was thought to be bigger than Pluto until Nov. 6, when astronomers got a chance to recalculate Eris' size.

Now it appears that Pluto reigns — though only by the slimmest of margins (the numbers are so close as to be nearly indistinguishable, when uncertainties are taken into account).

The new finding brings renewed attention to Pluto, and to the controversial decision to strip the frigid world of its planet status. Should Pluto be a planet? Should Eris, and many other objects circling the sun beyond Neptune's orbit? Or is the current system, which recognizes just eight relatively large planets, the way to go?

The battle over Pluto's planethood may be more semantic than anything else. But words do matter, because they shape how people classify and understand reality.

"You have to be able to sort," Stern said.

Tyson said he tries not to use the word "planet" in its traditional, generic sense too much, because it doesn't convey very much meaningful information. It's more revealing to group objects that are similar in size, composition and other properties.

"The word 'planet' has far outlived its usefulness," Tyson told "It doesn't celebrate the scientific richness of the solar system."

So Tyson thinks in categories such as gas giants (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune) and terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars) as well as asteroids and Kuiper Belt objects (Pluto, Eris and many others).

For his part, Brown thinks stripping Pluto of its planethood doesn't make the icy body any less interesting or important.

"I think that Pluto as an example of a large Kuiper Belt object is so much more interesting than Pluto as this very weird planet at the outer edge of the solar system unlike anything else," Brown said. "We are going to learn so much more about the solar system with our new understanding of what Pluto is."

Maybe Stern and other scientists fighting for Pluto's planethood would agree. Or maybe not.

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Global 2010: 4 Things You Should Buy at Costco

The interior of a typical Costco warehouse clu...Image via Wikipedia
Costco was cool even before the Great Recession. Targeting business owners and other affluent customers, the members-only warehouse shop avoided the Walmart stigma and sold a mix of high-end electronics, basic foodstuffs, and household necessities, plus an eclectic mix of humidifiers, bestselling books, and vintage Champagne. Now that frugal is fashionable, however, Costco seems like the perfect store for the times. The blogosphere, no surprise, offers up sites for Costco fanatics and Costco cooks. CEO and founder Jim Sinegal is renowned for the low salary he awards himself and the relatively high pay he shells out for employees. Even A-listers are getting in on the action: Jessica Alba, Megan Fox, and Zac Efron have been spotted loading up their cars with 30-packs of toilet paper and flat-screen TVs.

So should you follow the crowd? Yes, but only for certain items. If you've got the storage space, it's tough to beat Costco for staples such as paper towels, diapers, and shaving cream. But as good as the price-per-ounce may be, you just don't need that much mayonnaise. Below, we've listed four surprising items that you should pick up at the warehouse.

1. Chocolate Truffles

2. Eyeglasses

3. Laptops

4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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Global 2010: 4 Things Not to Buy at Costco

NASDAQ in Times Square, New York City, USA.Image via Wikipedia
You head to Costco (Nasdaq: COST - News) to stock up on staples -- say, paper towels and cleaning supplies -- but you walk out with three salmon filets, a tub of cream puffs, and a ream of printer paper. Why?

Most of us are notoriously poor at assessing a true bargain, says C.W. Park, professor of marketing at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, and editor of The Journal of Consumer Psychology. Seduced by the prospect of saving money, we give in to impulse buys. Eventually, we regret the purchase or throw much of a past-its-prime product away. It's called the Costco Effect, and it's actually part of the store's incredibly successful retail strategy. But the effect on your wallet is that you spent more than you would have if you'd never seen that "bargain."

1. Designer Clothes

2. Imported Shrimp

3. Sheets and Towels

4. 12-Pound Crates of Navel Oranges

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Global 2010: 5 tips for bonding with her better

Freezer with open door.Image via Wikipedia
6 tricky problems your freezer can easily solve.

1. Eliminate unpopped popcorn

2. Remove wax from candlesticks

3. Extend candle life

4. Unstick photos

5. Clean a pot

6. Remove odors

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Global 2010: Electronics Shopping: Should you buy online or in a store?

Portable DVD playerImage via Wikipedia
If you’re in the market to buy an electronics product this year—and our holiday shopping poll says 62 percent of you plan to give a gift from that category—it’s plenty early enough to think about buying online. For some products, that’s fine—but not for all. .

Regardless of what you’re buying, you can often find better selection and prices online. And many Web retailers scored very high in our recent Ratings of places to buy major electronics and computers. But the hottest products this year—tablets, smart phones, and 3D anything —are relatively unfamiliar. Many buyers will benefit from experiencing them first-hand. That’s where brick-and-mortar stores hold the advantage.

Cell phones: Try before you buy.

TVs: Online is fine.

Digital cameras: Try before you buy.

Blu-ray and DVD players: Online is fine.

Headphones: Try before you buy.

Computers: Online is fine.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Global 2010: What one’s favorite color signifies

Me playing with a plasma ball and a cameraImage via Wikipedia
What it represents: Ah, the color of passion, anger and high blood pressure. Red is a primal color. It represents primal urges, like lust (“I must have you now!”) and fury (you know the phrase “seeing red,” right?). Yes, red is a commanding color: think of how stop signs get you to halt in your tracks and how you stand back when a red fire engine goes whizzing by. 

What it represents: OK, orange is not exactly the easiest color to wear and it’s not the most common favorite color, but guess what? Orange is as sensual as it gets. Orange is a mellowed red — and it takes primal, lusty urges and mellows them with a softer vibe. Orange is the color of early attractions, emotional responses, and inner magnetism. Oh, and one other thing: orange is also close to gold, the color of success and wealth. 

What it represents: Yellow is the color of the sun, vitality, power and ego... but it’s not a great indicator of romance. Watch out for self-centered, “me first” energy when someone prefers yellow to the rest of the rainbow. 

What it represents: Here is the heart of the matter: green is the color of love. (It’s no coincidence that we make our money in the same color...) Green is the color of life and abundance — leaves, grass, plants — it’s all about growing, expanding, and living. So why don’t we give ferns instead of roses on Valentine’s Day? Because green is about expansive, humanistic love and acceptance, not bodice-ripping romance. What’s more, green is a nice-person color, a “do-gooder, be-gooder” kind of color. This person has a warm heart. Passion is probably in there somewhere, buried under their integrity and honor. 

What it represents: Blue is a color of clarity, communications and charm. And regardless of the shade, this hue says: “I like to be understood.” On the downside, under stress, a “blue” person can send mixed messages, have trouble making up their mind, or just space out during conversations. 

What it represents: Purple evokes the energy of illusion, imagination and fantasy. Or should we say purrrrple? Purple tends to inspire coyness, romance, flirtation and teasing — it builds anticipation with a dash of playfulness. The downside of purple is unrealistic expectations. Is it easier to live in your fantasy world than the real world? Some purple-lovers prefer it. 

What it represents: White is light — the combination of all colors. White symbolizes purity (the traditional bridal dress, the christening gown) and spirituality. There’s a simplicity to it, too. 

What it represents: Like white, black is a combination of all colors, but instead of purity, it represents the unknown, the unseen — mystery. Black basically holds back information... but there’s no denying that it has strong associations in our culture with “the dark side” and evil. 

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Global 2010: Drinking Water Before Meals Aids Weight Loss

Clean drinking water...not self-evident for ev...Image via Wikipedia
THE FACTS Late November marks the start of the gluttonous holiday season. But a simple step might help keep food intake in check: a glass of water before meals.

Dieters have been encouraged to employ this trick for ages, with the reasoning quite simple: the water fills the stomach, thus reducing hunger. But only in recent years have studies borne this out.

In the most recent, a randomized trial published in the journal Obesity in February, scientists at Virginia Tech followed a group of overweight subjects age 55 and up on low-calorie diets for about three months. Half the people were told to drink two cups of water before every meal. At the end of the study, the water group had lost an average of 15.5 pounds, compared with 11 pounds in the other group.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Global 2010: Gamer makes a cool half-million by selling virtual property

asteroid 1Image via Wikipedia
Think the rent is, in fact, too damn high? Then stay as far away from online world Entropia Universe as possible, because its real estate prices will drive you insane.

Take, for instance, what just went down on Planet Calypso, where one of Entropia's wealthier players has sold off his interests in a "resort asteroid" for an eye-popping $635,000.

The seller is Jon Jacobs, also known as the character 'Neverdie'. He originally purchased the asteroid in 2005 -- eventually converting it into the extravagant resort 'Club Neverdie' -- for the then-record price of $100,000. For those keeping score, that's a gain of over $500,000 in just five years. In nerdier terms, that's an ROI of 535%. Match that, Citibank.

Though its exorbitant real estate transactions have earned it headlines, Entropia is otherwise similiar in form and function to massively-multiplayer games like World of Warcraft. Set in a sci-fi future, the game casts players as colonists who must fight creatures, collect and trade precious materials, and explore planets. Currently, Entropia is experiencing a 'Harbinger Event' whose outcome will be dictated entirely by its players.

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Global 2010: 5 Reasons Women Are As Shallow As Men (According to Science)

Romantic Comedy (film)Image via Wikipedia
Thanks to romantic comedies and crappy comedians, we know that men are crude, shallow boors that only care about sex, and women are weepy sensitive hippies that only care about poetry and what's on the inside.

Like everything else in romantic comedies, this is bullshit. Some men are shallow and so are some women.

No, women are shallow in completely different ways, and it involves things like...

The Color Red (and Other "Power" Indicators)

Looks (but Not the Same Looks )

Muscles (but Not Too Much)

Money (but Not... Actually Yes it's Just Money)

Penis Size (but Not Length)

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