Since we're almost to the end of 2013, let's take a minute to review what happened with The Top Things We Learned in 2013.
Making people sit and wait for a website to load is worth double-digit approval numbers.
All twerk and no play makes Miley a rich girl.
Thanks to the NSA, Santa isn't the only one who knows if you've been bad or good.
Santa and Jesus are WHITE, dammit, and the children MUST be told!
Apparently, "pope" is a job that's just as easy to quit as "McDonald's fry cook."
Paula Deen can't fake-cry to save her life. Or her career.
People will literally buy ANYTHING Apple tells them to.
We should've elected Mitt Romney.
Crack can even make Canadians interesting.
Somehow, Tim Tebow's out of football, but Tony Romo isn't.
Carrie Underwood can't act. Eddie Murphy can't sing. And Paul Walker can't drive.
There's a reason Arsenio hasn't been on TV since the '90s.
It's not as cool as it once was to wear those yellow "Livestrong" bracelets.
George Clooney's life is infinitely better than yours in every conceivable way.
People will drop a small fortune on a new Apple product that's essentially the same as their old one, just because there's an "S" in the name.
Even though we DON'T live in the 1400s, the birth of a Royal Baby somehow still qualifies as "news."
For some inexplicable reason, people keep letting Vince Vaughn make movies.
That email where you told your mom you're depressed, your job sucks, and you'll never meet a girl? The NSA got a BIG kick out of it.
Nelson Mandela is lucky he died before anyone could make him sit through the cloying biopic about his life.
Miley Cyrus' goal in life is apparently to initiate painfully awkward Thanksgiving conversation with your grandma about the definition of "twerking."
Americans would be WAY more interested in the Syrian Civil War, if it starred some of the "Real Housewives".
The "Hunger Games" movies are perfect for anyone who likes movies about fights to the death, where no one actually dies.
If you want to be mayor, it's okay to have a drug problem and sexually harass female staffers but NOT okay to text anyone pics of your junk.
The year slowly fades to an end as does the life of your smartphone battery.
A baby is born when two people who love themselves very much join together in a special act of publicity.
Well, whatever we learned the NSA definitely learned, too.
My nanny can't keep a secret. That's what I learned!
It IS possible for the Kardashians to get more annoying.
We should all be worshipping Kanye West . . . according to Kanye West.
Eventually, we will see every former Disney child star naked.
If you want to have the biggest hit record of the year, rip off an old Marvin Gaye song and shoot a video with naked models.
Alan Thicke neglected to teach his son that it's wrong to steal from Marvin Gaye.
No event, even the funeral of a major world leader, is too serious to take a selfie.
That even shady offshore porn companies build better websites than the government.
America no longer has a monopoly on crackhead mayors.
If you don't write down and Instagram your resolutions, people won't remember that you even had any, so all is forgiven.
All viral YouTube videos are actually Jimmy Kimmel's hoaxes.
The federal government can be shutdown for two weeks without anyone really noticing.
You're better off pulling your kids out of school so you can home-bully them.
Will Ferrell doesn't know the meaning of the word "overexposed."
A lot of musical artists would be working at Wendy's if not for Auto-Tune.
We have no hope because nothing has changed.
You CAN'T keep your existing health insurance.
The very tall ebony women you meet from the Casual Encounters section of Craigslist sometimes can have a penis. Actually, that's something *I* learned.
Amanda Bynes has really bad taste in wigs.
Rob Ford doesn't eat many salads.
THIS YEAR’S LIST OF DANGEROUS TOYS
A public interest research group has released their list of the ‘most dangerous toys' on the market. The toys on this list can cause harm to the child that plays with them.
Of the toys on the list 7 are a choking hazard, 3 have some toxic substances and two could give an impact hazard.
These toys include:
• Princess Wand
• Littlest Pet Shop-Sunil Nevla
• Littlest Pet Shop-Seal and Dolphins
• Littlest Pet Shop-Candyswirl Dreams Collection
• Gobble Gobble Guppies
• Fisher-Price Loving Family Outdoor Barbeque
• Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pencil Case
• Marvel Superhero Squad Soft Shield
• Lamaze Take and Tidy Activity Mat
• Sonic Sound Sizzlers Noise Magnets.
7 HOLIDAY FOODS THAT ACTUALLY HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT
1. Cheese--Full-fat cheese is packed with protein, so a small amount will satisfy you quickly, which means eating some of the real deal may actually help you lose weight. Choose hard, full-flavor cheeses like Parmesan or aged Gouda, because their sharp taste helps you conquer cravings fast. These cheeses are slightly higher in calories than soft ones like Brie, but they have more protein. Stick with 1 oz-or four to five small cubes-per day.
2. Champagne--At 100 calories per 5-oz serving, champagne is one of the few naturally low-calorie beverages you can always reach for without counting calories in your head. But stick to just one glass per evening: Because of the carbonation, your body will absorb champagne faster, which means you'll feel the effect sooner than with other alcoholic beverages.
3. Roasted Nuts--The ideal pairing for a happy hour cocktail, nuts are full of fiber, which can help keep your blood sugar levels stable and lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. They are high in calories, so use this rule to avoid overdoing it: Take a small handful and put it on your plate at the beginning of a party. Munch on that amount instead of grabbing nuts throughout the evening.
4. Dark Chocolate Truffles--Dark chocolate is loaded with blood pressure- and cholesterol-lowering antioxidants. And new research shows that those antioxidants can also boost your mood and calm your body's stress response. Go for one truffle-or two squares of dark chocolate containing 70% (or higher) cocoa-per day.
5. Red Wine--A study found that moderate consumption of red wine (one 5-oz glass per day for women) may help keep off weight gain thanks to piceatannol, a compound that might slow fat cell growth. Stick with one glass per evening and sip slowly.
6. Shrimp Cocktail--This seafood appetizer is high in protein and omega-3 fats, which means it can help you stay fuller longer and help lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease. The best part is it's also low in calories. You can fill up on nine medium shrimp for just 50 calories.
7. Spinach-Artichoke Dip--A small portion of a rich dip that contains fat can help hunger hormones, which means you'll fill up quicker on less. Also, consider what you're pairing with an indulgent dip: Load an appetizer plate full of low-calorie and fiber-filled vegetables. Cap your intake at two medium-size spoonfuls of dip per party.
3 Rules to Stay Slim This Holiday Season
1. STOP SKIPPING MEALS--If you skip food during the day to save up for a big party in the evening, think again. Skipping meals slows down your metabolism and can encourage you to overeat by sundown.
2. BALANCE WITH LIGHTER CHOICES--If you know that dinner will be heavier than usual, keep your day's food fresh and healthy.
3. WATER, SLEEP AND EXERCISE--Sounds simple, but these habits are extremely important to keep you on track throughout a hectic season. Less of any of them can lead to unwanted weight gain.
DRIVING WITH A HANGOVER CAN BE JUST AS DANGEROUS AS DRIVING DRUNK
A new study has found that driving hungover can actually be just as dangerous as driving while under the influence.
Hangovers cause drivers to make plenty of mistakes on the road while their reaction time is slowed and they tend to speed.
Hungover drivers also tend drive more erratically.
The study has shown the importance of educating people on how their driving can be impaired while hungover and they need to adjust their behavior to stay safe on the roads even after they sober up.
OXYCONTIN TOPPED THE LIST OF MOST ABUSED PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
Oxycodone and hydrocodone are the most popular drugs among Americans who abuse prescription painkillers.
OxyContin and Percocet are brand names for drugs containing oxycodone. Brand names of drugs that contain hydrocodone include Vicodin and Lortab.
Researchers looked at more than 3,500 prescription painkiller abusers in 160 drug-treatment programs across the United States. They found that 45 percent liked oxycodone and 30 percent liked hydrocodone.
Both drugs come in pill form, but almost 64 percent of oxycodone abusers and just over one-quarter of hydrocodone abusers crushed the tablets and inhaled the drug. One in five abusers said they sometimes dissolved oxycodone in water and injected it. Less than 5 percent said they injected hydrocodone.
The survey found that 54 percent preferred the high they got from oxycodone, while 20 percent said the high from hydrocodone was better.
Both drugs are opioids, which are prescribed to treat pain.
THE MOST OBNOXIOUS BABY NAMES OF 2013
Parenting website BabyCenter says Sophia and Jackson are likely going to be the top baby names this year, but the official tally of the top baby names of 2013 won't be out until May.
BabyCenter collects name data on the parents who shared their new kiddos' names with the site… and they've received some doozies.
Forty-three percent of parents surveyed by BabyCenter said they were looking for a unique name for their baby. Some of them succeeded, and here they are:
For girls: Blip, Blue, Chevy, Fairy, Feline, Harlowe, Kinzly, Kalliope, Kiwi, Nyx, Tulip and Ziggo.
For boys: Ajax, Apollo, Cheese, Daxx, Holmes, Hurricane, Kazz, Kodiak, Panda, Stetson and Zion.
KID SUSPENDED FROM ELEMENTARY SCHOOL FOR 'PRETENDING' TO HAVE A BOW AND ARROW
A 10-year-old boy was suspended from a Fawn Grove, PA elementary school for pretending to shoot his friend with an imaginary bow and arrow.
The 5th grader violated the schools zero tolerance for weapons policy when he drew back an imaginary bow and shot an arrow into his friend while pretending to be his favorite superhero.
He was suspended for one day and threatened with expulsion for "making a threat" towards another student using a "replica or representation of a firearm."
Lawyers (the Rutherford Institute) are defending the boy and asking the Superintendent the take away the suspension and wipe it from his record.
MOM, DAD: POCKET HOOKAHS ARE POPULAR WITH YOUNG MARIJUANA USERS
Pocket hookahs can look like writing pens, lip gloss or asthma inhalers and they have become very popular with young marijuana users.
The portable pot vaporizers are called "vapes" or "pocket hookahs" and they are going hand-in-hand with electronic cigarettes and taking the marijuana world by storm.
In fact, they are so well disguised and can be used so discreetly that they are setting off alarm bells with those concerned about keeping legalized pot away from minors.
One supporter claims that the vaporizers provide as a safer way for adults to consume marijuana without smoking it, while others call them "the iPods of getting baked."
SMART WATCH LETS PARENTS TRACK THEIR KIDS
The FiLIP is a watch made for kids ages 4 to 11 that has GPS built in and the ability to call up to 5 numbers that are stored on the watch.
Kids can call or text those 5 numbers and parents can track their kid through the GPS.
The watch also has the ability to set "safe zones" so parents can be alerted if their child travels outside of them.
The watch doesn't have Internet access - which keeps the wearer from getting on sites or services parents might be consider inappropriate.
ECSTASY USE IS ON THE RISE AGAIN AMONG TEENS
The number of American teens who wind up in the emergency room after taking Ecstasy has more than doubled in recent years.
Emergency room visits related to MDMA -- or Ecstasy and Molly -- increased 128 percent between 2005 and 2011 among people younger than 21. Visits rose from about 4,500 to more than 10,000 during that time.
Ecstasy produces feelings of increased energy and euphoria, and can distort a person's senses and perception of time. It works by altering the brain's chemistry, but research hasn't been able to come up with the effects of long-term abuse on the brain.
Ecstasy abuse can cause potentially harmful physical reactions. People can become
dangerously overheated and experience rapid heartbeat, increased blood pressure and dehydration, all of which can lead to kidney or heart failure.
Alcohol also appears to be a factor. One-third of the emergency room visits involving Ecstasy also involved alcohol, a combination that can cause a longer-lasting euphoria. Teens can become less aware of how much alcohol they've consumed, and also can be more likely to make poor decisions that lead to bodily harm.
MDMA affects a person's level of serotonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep cycles and is responsible for feelings of happiness and well-being. Overusing the drug can cause depression, confusion, paranoia, anxiety and sleep disorders.
AMERICAN 15-YEAR-OLDS FALLING EVEN FURTHER BEHIND ASIAN AND EUROPEAN TEENS IN READING, MATHS AND SCIENCE RANKINGS
Kids in the US are falling even further behind other nations in reading, math and science.
Researchers looked at tests scores of 15-year-olds from the 65 wealthiest countries.
They found that the academic performance of the teens in the US has remained relatively flat in recent years while other nations have experienced significant growth.
The US dropped to the middle of the rankings in reading and science, but math scores were even worse-- and the US ranked 35th.
WHICH STATE IS THE MOST SWEAR-HAPPY?
A recent poll has found that Ohio is one of the least courteous states in the US, and the most swear-happy.
According to the study, people in Ohio like to cuss on the phone. Researchers said Ohioans cursed in 1 out of every 150 phone calls. Other states that were swear-happy included Maryland, New Jersey, Louisiana and Illinois.
** The study also looked at which states tended to say "please" and "thank you" the most in phone calls - and Ohio was found to be in the bottom of that ‘polite' group as well.
Which other states don't seem to mind their manners?
Wisconsin, was number one in that department, followed by Massachusetts, Indiana and Tennessee.
** The most polite states are South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, Louisiana and Georgia.
When it comes to swearing, Washington was the state that seemed to swear the least - only 1 out of every 300 phone calls had a swear word occur.
Other states that tend not to swear as often are Texas, Arizona and Virginia.
GUYS: TOP 10 BACHELOR HABITS TO STOP RIGHT NOW
10. Keeping your dirty clothing in a pile
When you were in high school you got a pass, but as an adult it's time to discover the wonderful invention that is the laundry hamper.
9. Playing video games all weekend
There's nothing wrong with playing games as a recreation, but you're getting too old for every weekend to be a shower-less, pants-less, all-you-can-Dorito marathon.
8. Using Febreze instead of cleaning
While you could simply cover up odors in your late teens and early 20s, eventually you have to actually start cleaning things like your clothes, your sheets, and your entire apartment.
7. Treating hygiene like it's for special occasions
Hygiene is a funny thing - when you're lacking in it, very few people are going to tell you about it, but they'll certainly notice.
6. Not preparing your own meals
Including all lazy food habits including frozen meals, semi-prepared meals, and yes, take-out. Learn how to cook.
5. Poor sleep habits
Sleep becomes more critical to your well being as you age, so it's time to make a change.
4. Bad toilet etiquette
Bachelors are often responsible for leaving the seat up, peeing on the seat, and not cleaning your toilet. Stop it.
3. Wearing wrinkled clothing
People do notice if you don't take the time to iron your clothes, especially if you're interviewing for a job or trying to flirt with someone who cares about stuff like being seen with an adult.
2. Drinking from the container
You're getting backwash into the juice, which means you're saying, "No one will ever come over to visit, and I definitely won't offer them anything to drink!
1. Bedroom wall posters
You don't have to attend galas and purchase expensive art in order to turn your dwelling into a place that looks like an adult lives there.
7 SCIENCE-BACKED REASONS WHY GENEROSITY IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH
Giving of yourself -- whether it be your time, energy or money – doesn't just help the people you're helping. Research shows that generosity can also have benefits for the receiver, including a better outlook at your job and more years of life.
Here are a few science-backed reasons on why you should make generosity a regular part of your day:
1. It will keep stress in check.--Being stingy is linked with higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. A study looked at cortisol levels in response to giving away money and choosing to keep more money for yourself. The more money people chose to keep in the experiment, the greater shame they felt and the higher their cortisol levels were. While some stress is good, high levels of stress have been linked to illnesses.
2. Happiness at work depends on it--Helping others while on the job could boost your happiness at work. A study showed that being altruistic not only improves well-being at work, but also makes people feel more committed to their work and less likely to quit.
3. It's beneficial to the greater good--Generosity trumps selfishness when it comes to success in the long run. Researchers found that in a strategic game involving multiple people when there was cooperation and everyone benefits from working together, there was more success than when one person dominated the other.
4. You'll enjoy more years of life--Researchers found a link between giving and unselfishness and having a lower risk of early death. Helping others -- whether it be by helping to run errands, watching their children or giving them a lift somewhere -- is linked with a decreased mortality risk.
5. It keeps the cycle of "good" going--Thinking about the times you've given of yourself makes you feel selfless and want to help others, compared with thinking of the times you've been on the receiving end of things. In other words, thinking about times you've helped others will then make you want to help others again.
6. Your marriage will be stronger--Generosity is one of the key factors for a happy marriage. People are happier in their marriages when they make a regular effort to serve their spouse in small ways, from making them a cup of coffee, to giving them a back rub after a long day, to going out of their way to be affectionate or forgiving.
7. It promotes mental health--Volunteering not only improves well-being and life satisfaction, but it's also linked with decreased depression and a lower risk of dying early. People reporting stronger social relationships have a reduced risk of mortality, so the social aspects of volunteering can contribute to that as well.
WAL-MART'S HOTTEST BLACK FRIDAY SELLER WAS A 29-CENT TOWEL
The most-sold item on Black Friday at Wal-Mart was towels.
The chain store sold 2.8 million towels throughout the day compared to 2 million TVs and 1 million tablets.
Towels and washcloths were being sold in a 6-pack for $1.74 and it seemed to grab peoples' attention. The towel deal was so hot that there were a bunch of fights recorded on Twitter and YouTube, and some were pretty intense.
Needless to say more money was made on the TV sales than towels, but they were still the hottest item of the day.
CHICKS DIG... SNAPCHAT
Ladies love Snapchat.
The app lets users send self-destructing images and videos to others and has gotten a reputation as an app that's best used for sexting. It's also now becoming the texting replacement for teenagers.
Snapchat's CEO revealed that 70 percent of the app's users are women.
Styleite interviewed 11 women to see how they used the app, and the majority reported that sexting wasn't their thing. Instead, they sent funny notes and pictures of interesting places.
CYBERSCAMMERS ON BLACK FRIDAY, CYBER MONDAY
Cyberscammers are already working on taking advantage of you on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
The cybercriminals have begun to flood e-mail, social media postings and search results with tainted web links, offers for worthless products and pitches for all variety of scams.
About one in 10 recipients of holiday-themed scams click on a poisoned link, or fill out a bogus form.
TIPS TO SURVIVE BLACK FRIDAY... IF YOU MUST
According to an expert, if you are going out shopping on Black Friday, make sure you bring the right comfy shoes and bring snacks.
The expert came up with some useful tips for the big shopping day, including:
-- Use the check-out counters at specific sections of stores like the electronics section at Target and get vouchers for doorbusters.
-- Wear the proper clothes so you aren't too hot or too cold
-- And have family and friends help so you can get several items at once.
10 GIFTING RULES TOTALLY MEANT TO BE BROKEN
1. Taking off the price tag.
Listen, maybe every once in a while, someone needs to know what you mean to them… in the amount of a "casual mistake."
If it's in perfect-looking enough condition, what's wrong with a little secret attempt to be "sustainable?"
3. Giving your most coveted wish list item to someone else.
It's an ingenious little experiment in "testing the merchandise" before you make your own investment.
4. Giving gifts beyond "the basics."
How dare anyone accuse you of not being thoughtful! No matter what anyone says, underwear and socks should be flowing like water because one day someone will love you for coming through in the clutch.
5. Going on a total spree.
When you or the person you love checks out that holiday season credit card bill, just remind them you went on a tear for a higher purpose: POINTS, POINTS, POINTS.
If you round a size down on fashion items for your friends and loved ones, you could end up looking so flattering.
7. Really going for it without prior permission.
Why not get your little cousin a pet without asking your aunt and uncle first? It'll make them REALLY happy — isn't that what actually matters?
8. Deflecting when you get something weird you don't want.
Being gracious is one thing but let's face it, if you're also taught that honesty is the best policy, try it around the tree this year and see what happens.
9. Being subtle about your biggest wish list item.
Go full court press without your family and friends actually finding out for a while. Drop some hints and associations in the few weeks before the holiday frenzy, then at zero hour, outright see if they've been catching on.
10. Keeping monograms classy.
You can make anything personal with the skills of a little engraving! But maybe have a little fun this time to turn the prepster style on its head or "send a message" to someone for whom you didn't really want to have to shop.
8 TIPS FOR SURVIVING DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY DURING THE HOLIDAYS
1. Try to schedule a theater or dance performance either the night before or the day of the holiday--In major cities across the United States, many shows are on during Thanksgiving and Christmas. If there is no live theater, go to a movie theater and watch a film. You can do this alone or extend an invitation to a neighbor or business colleague who may be spending the holidays alone.
2. Go on a trip out of town--There are many cruises or day trips during this season.
3. Join a community group such as the YMCA--or take a photography or art class that has planned activities on or just before the holidays. John could take a class photographing trees and turning those pictures into holiday cards or presents.
4. Organize a hike into the countryside or a park tour with a group--In major cities, there are tours every day of the week, including during the major holidays.
5. Go to a yoga retreat or a spa resort--Many hotels and spas have special weekend activities and rates at Thanksgiving and Christmastime.
6. Plan an intensive exercise routine—Hire a trainer who's free to work you out during the holiday.
7. Help others who are less fortunate by volunteering at a soup kitchen--One of the best ways to forget your own loneliness is to help others at shelters or hospitals. Getting "outside of ourselves" and helping others in need helps take the focus off of our own situation, circumstances, and feelings, and often delivers a significant emotional boost.
8. Try an AA meeting if you find yourself drinking too much--AA and NA (Narcotics Anonymous) are immediate communities that help people deal with alcohol or drug abuse, which may be covering up negative feelings at this time of year.
APPS ARE TRACKING BEST HOLIDAY BARGAINS
There are several apps that can make holiday shopping easier.
RedLaser lets you scan barcodes while you're shopping and will tell you if the product is cheaper somewhere else.
PoachIt is a button you install on your smartphone or tablet. Anytime you're on a product page online, click the button and it will tell you whether there's any coupon codes associated with the item or track it and send you an e-mail when it goes on sale.
Make sure you check out http://www.pinevillehightix.com for showtimes and tickets to Pineville High Schools production on Grease.
Taylor Matthews in concert! Click link above to purchase tickets!
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