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.

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Science Does Not Want Your Fat, Dead Body

As we are reminded regularly, much of America is overweight or even obese, and this is bad, bad, bad. Not only is it unhealthy for our bodies; it means our pants are uncomfortably tight. But beyond that, a certain pride in human life is being able to give your physical specimen away to science when you shuffle off this mortal coil, whether that's so you can help others, feel better about the life you have led, or maybe, have something positive-sounding about yourself to offer up at the gates of Heaven. But now, it seems, science doesn't even want your corpse. Science is turning up its nose at your corpse. Because your corpse is, well, fat. Science is rude.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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How Happy Is Your Subway Stop?

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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.

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Scientists Poo-Poo Your Near-Death Experience

An unfortunate fact of human existence is that we will all, someday, die. But the lucky ones among us will get to have a near-death experience, bounce back, wake up renewed, and tell everyone about how we saw the light or a reaching hand or heard a very important message (like the Lotto numbers, for instance) before waking up to the smiling faces around us. Maybe we'll even sell some books about our true story, once we get out of the hospital, and make some money! Alas, scientists now want to destroy that dream. According to research from Edinburgh and Cambridge Universities, those scenarios that make waking up to friends and family that much more satisfactory "can be explained by the brain trying to make sense of the process of death."

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Feeling Stabby? Smile! You Have Post Vacation Syndrome.

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Why does your life suck? Let us count the ways. It is raining, and you wore jeans, which are now damp, but forgot to wear a jacket, because who knew you needed to wear a jacket, given that it's only early September and last Friday -- long ago, far away last Friday -- was simply gorgeous. Also, you didn't sleep last night because you were all off from your three-day weekend, and your upstairs neighbors were "moving furniture" or whatever they do at 3 a.m. You're feeling cranky and especially uncoordinated, and when you went to get a much-needed cup of coffee you stabbed yourself in the hand with a spike of your umbrella, which, in a strange way, almost made you feel better for a minute. But, in the world of crankiness, it is better to acknowledge why one is cranky instead of just stewing in it or engaging in accidental self-mutilating behavior. Especially satisfying: The reason you are so cranky has been justified by psychologists, who clearly love you even when you're being cranky.

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Chances Are, Your Brain Will Not Be Eaten by an Amoeba

That font is terrifying.
This is worrisome. We have been reminded that a science-fiction horror-film-esque fear is actually a reality. Brain-eating amoebas exist, and they have killed three people this summer, including a boy in Virginia, a girl in Florida, and a man in Louisiana. Fortunately, NPR has spoken with an expert in infectious diseases, William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University, who set some of our fears to rest, and advised on the best course for avoiding a brain-eating amoeba, a/k/a, the ominous-sounding "Naegleria fowleri."

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