How to Find Your 'It's Gonna Snow This Weekend!!!' Boyfriend

Have you heard!? In the first notable time since October-snow, there is supposed to be white stuff on the ground, flakes in the sky, frozen precipitation swirling about our nubile bodies and landing on our rosy cheeks and making everything look temporarily clean and crisp and pure, denoting absolutely perfect weather conditions for boyfriend hunting. It may happen as soon as tonight. Gird your loins, gird your girdle. Wear a hat. Your Winter Weather Watch is on.

As with any change in weather, a change in the usual life norms is in order. All bets are off. This is how to make it work for you.

More »

Something Nice Happened on the Subway

Check out what happened on the subway, which is news, because it involves two people of different races and genders joining together in a dreaded place of lo mein fights and death threats to create beautiful, beautiful music. (Or, possibly, if you are a curmudgeon who hates hearing music that is not coming from your own personal earbuds while in transit, it is an awful racket that is really irritating, and did you ask for a performance with your commute?) Anyways, this is sweet, right? People are smiling and looking at each other! On the subway! Take it to the bridge!

More »

11 Things to Be Happy About on the Most Depressing Day of the Year

Cute, sad kitten makes us happy.
If you're feeling a bit out of sorts right now, you're in good company. According to the Daily Mail, today is one of the most depressing days of the year. All sorts of things are getting us down, including the fact that many of us are back at work after a bunch of days off, plus, the economy, crime, politics, and the three-day hangover you may still be experiencing. Note: This overall glumness was confirmed by a survey of more than 13,000 British people. (American people, we suspect, are too full of ennui to take such surveys.) However, there is good news. We've compiled a list of things to make you feel better!

More »

Happy Good Riddance Day: Time to Dredge Up Your Worst Memory of the Year and Destroy It

You may not be aware, but today is an important day on our nation's calendar. It is, yes, several days after Christmas, and several days until the New Year (and the eve proceeding that year). And it is a Wednesday, a/k/a, "Hump Day." But more important than all of that is, it is Good Riddance Day, a day in which you are supposed to say goodbye to all that lingering crap and the bad memories that have been clogging up your arteries or pipes or apartment or emotions or brain. Dredge that shit up and throw it away!

More »

Happiness Is on the Decline, at Least According to What We Tweet

Scientists from the University of Vermont have undertaken an in-depth, extremely thorough examination of the emotions of the Twitterverse, and they've found that happiness is...decreasing. In the journal PLoS ONE, they write that "a gradual downward trend" is evident over the first half of 2011, following a gradual upward trend in 2009. What does this mean? "It appears that happiness is going down," said Peter Dodds, lead author on the study. Ouch. That's a bummer. However, the researchers' methodology and learnings are fascinating.

More »

Snow Unlikely for You This Christmas

No Frosty this year.
Recall, if you will, last Christmas-time in New York City. Aside from the gifts you did or didn't give or receive, there was ever so much white stuff, blanketing the ground, preventing you from flying home from wherever you happened to be, forcing you to stay with your family and go marginally insane for an extra 2 or 3 or 5 days. It was so holidayish, except for the roads not being cleared and snowplows crushing cars and Mayor Bloomberg "going missing" and everyone complaining, and some people deserving to complain. Alas, we'll be missing out on that this year. Even though it was really quite freezing yesterday, chances of a seasonal precipitation blanket for New Yorkers and other Eastern Seaboard types are minimal at best.

More »

How Happy Is Your Subway Stop?

Screen shot 2011-12-12 at 1.01.18 PM.png
The L train = happy by day, happier at night.
Making us happy today is a project called HappyStance, recent winner of Hack Day and "a mashup of Twitter geo-location API data and sentiment analysis research," reports the New York Times. Essentially, it's an app, created by Jeff Larson, Al Shaw, and Julian Burgess, with the help of Heena Ko and Erik Hinton of the New York Times, that measures the emotional mood of people riding New York City's subways day and night.

The idea behind HappyStance came from a 2009 Stanford research paper that looked at emoticons to provide "sentiment analysis" using a Bayesian Classifier. Larson thought he'd use that system to classify neighborhood blocks in New York City. Given the timing of Hack Day, Shaw suggested they do it by subway stop.

More »

Depressing Subway Poem Is Depressing Again, Thank God

You know that horrible, dank underground passage that connects Times Square and Port Authority, the one which is just too long for you to hold your breath the whole way through, but you're kind of scared to inhale, at the same time? If you've ever been there, you've surely seen the words installed on the overhead beams as you pass by. They read, as you can see in the video above, "Overslept / So tired / If late / Get fired / Why bother? / Why the pain? / Just go home / Do it again." This is an actual poem called "The Commuter's Lament/A Close Shave," by Norman Colp, and it has been there for 20 years, announcing its perfectly New York message to the world, until recently two college students tried to make it happy. What nerve.

More »

Niceness Is Genetic, Says Science

Thumbnail image for HAVE A NICE DAY.gif
Are you one of those unlucky people dubbed "nice" by everyone? Worse, do you live in the South, and therefore people call you "sweet"? According to a new study by those super nice folks known as scientists, having two copies of the "G" gene in your DNA tends to mean that you are more empathetic, more trustworthy, more compassionate, and more cooperative. Plus, reports MSNBC, other people can detect your niceness based on looking at you for less than 20 seconds. Oh dear.

More »

Brooklyn Treehouse Is Basically the Shit

People who dislike treehouses are clearly not to be trusted.
While we are somewhat irritated with the title of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith's classic and wonderful coming-of-age novel, being co-opted for anything imaginable related to Brooklyn, we have to say that Alexandra Meyn's Brooklyn treehouse, which appears in the New York Times with the of-course-they-did headline "A Treehouse Grows in Brooklyn," is pretty awesome, and Smith herself might have enjoyed it. We would go there, and drink some wine, and dish, if she were to invite us, in a hot minute. We would even bring the wine.

More »