Monday, January 31, 2011

Intellectual Love

If you’ve got your eye on a potential Valentine – make sure you’re an intellectual match...

Sure – it helps to be physically attracted to each other in a relationship – but are you an intellectual match? A similar education level increases your chances of that a bit - couples who have that in common are more likely to share career goals and social experiences. Emotional intelligence comes into play too. If one person prefers talking about sports or shopping – and the other likes to ponder philosophy, physics or the meaning of life – conversation is going to dry up fast – along with any long-term potential for the relationship.

Skip the Ointment

Do you put antibiotic ointment on lots of cuts and scrapes? Don’t!

The next time you get a cut or scrape – you can probably SKIP the antibiotic ointment. A lot of doctors and nurses agree – it’s REALLY overused. The commercials might show moms putting it on every scraped knee but antibiotic ointment can actually make things worse by killing healthy skin cells if the wound is not infected. The same goes for peroxide and alcohol – those should only be used on dirty wounds. Soap, water and a dry bandage is all you need on 90% of all minor cuts and scrapes.

Nightclub Nightmare

Bad neighborhoods aren’t necessarily the most dangerous ones...

There’s no question we should avoid bad neighborhoods – especially at night – but some of us PAY to be in the most dangerous area of all – nightclubs. Criminal analyst Dale Yeager explains, the highest-risk spots for physical attacks are near nightclubs – regardless of where they are – by patrons who have been drinking for hours.

Yeager says we should stay OUT of nightclubs – and advise adult children to do the same. If you do go – leave BEFORE midnight or ask a doorman or bouncer to watch you get to your car. Even if you’re NOT headed to a nightclub – don’t park near one if you’ll be returning after midnight.

Antioxidant Overload

If you’re ANTI oxidants – don’t overdo it...

It’s a fact of life – too much of a good thing can be bad – and that goes for antioxidants too. Our bodies actually require SOME oxidants – they help deliver oxygen to our muscles. Going overboard with ANTI-oxidants can mess up that process. It’s all about balance. It doesn’t take any effort to get the oxidants we need – they’re everywhere – but if you already have a healthy diet and eat a lot of whole foods – you can skip the ANTI-oxidant supplements.

Source: Andrew L. Rubman, ND

Lunch is for Losers?

If you think lunch is for losers – business experts disagree...

If you skip that lunch break – you’re not alone. A survey by LinkedIn found 13 percent of employees seldom or never take time for lunch. Another 20 percent eat at their desks. Experts say that’s totally counterproductive. Most workers who skip lunch breaks on a regular basis WILL suffer burnout and fatigue. It creeps up on them and ultimately they’ll be less productive and feel less enthusiastic about their jobs.

If skipping lunch is the norm where you work – try to break out of that no break agenda. If you must – take some work, or even a coworker with you – and call it a meeting.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Winter Car Wash

If you skip washing your car in the winter – don’t!

When the weather is a mess every other day, why bother washing your car? Actually, it’s more important than ever – even if it’s just going to get dirty again tomorrow. Sand, slush and salt are the worst thing for your car’s finish and especially the parts you can’t see like the undercarriage and wheel wells. Those elements cause rust. What’s worse is that the fastest corrosion occurs when the temperature rises and falls around freezing.

Go ahead and splurge on some waffle style winter floor mats too – that winter grime can destroy your custom mats.

Wall Saver

If you’d like to protect your walls in high traffic areas, here's a good trick...

Your walls can take a beating in high traffic areas like the entrance hall or stairway. There’s a great trick that can keep paint in those spots in good shape – spray starch! A light coating on those busy spots – especially at kid level – helps any stains, grime or fingerprints clean right off. Give your doors a shot too, around the knobs and spots that get touched a lot.

Got a Cough?

When it comes to beating a cold – the most effective remedy is usually ignored...

The most effective remedy for a cold is something you can’t buy - It’s the symptoms themselves! According to Joyce Frye of the National Center for Homeopathy, not only do we overlook the symptoms as treatment – we usually end up suppressing them. The hacking cough, runny nose and sneezing are your body’s natural defenses kicking in - and kicking the virus out. Dr. Frye says by NOT suppressing the symptoms at the onset of a cold, we could actually cut its duration by several days.

Markup Madness

Everything we buy is marked up - but some stuff is marked WAY up...

Some restaurants or baristas charge $3 for a cup of coffee that would cost about .25 cents to make at home. That’s a 300% markup! And that’s nothing compared to some other everyday items:

• Bottled water is usually sold at a 4,000% markup.

• Brand name drugs – anywhere from 200 to 3,000%.

• Movie theater popcorn: 1,275%

Wine at a restaurant is only marked up 300% compared to that hotel minibar which yields a 400% profit. The average greeting card is practically a steal – you only pay about 200% more for that.

Fill'er Up

The next time you need to stop for gas – keep driving if the tanker truck is there...

If you the gasoline tanker truck is filling the tanks at your favorite gas station – fill up somewhere else. When those underground tanks are being filled, the turbulence stirs up a lot of sediment – which you could pump right into your gas tank. That sediment can clog fuel filters and fuel injectors – which can mess up performance – and maybe even your car.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dog Attire

Do dogs REALLY need to wear a coat?

Most dogs already have a fur coat – so is the cute slicker or argyle sweater really necessary? For some breeds – yes, according to veterinarian Rene Carlson. If you’ve got a Chihuahua, dachshund, Boston terrier, shih tzu, bichon frise, miniature pinscher, or a Mexican hairless dog – bundle them up in the rain or cold. Those breeds are more at risk because of their size and inability to keep body heat – which can result in kidney damage or hypothermia. The same goes for elderly or ailing dogs. Skip the hats and goggles though – they can really throw a dog’s equilibrium off – not to mention its sense of dignity.

Microwave Hazard

Your microwave is probably leaking radiation!

Do you leave the room when you use your microwave? You probably should. Research shows most microwaves leak radiation – and in some cases it can be detected 20 feet away! There is a simple test you can do to find out if your microwave is leaking. Put your cell phone in the microwave – really. Don’t turn the oven on – just close the door and call your cell phone. If the phone rings – that means the signal was able to pass through the door – and microwaves are able to pass out.

If the call goes through – it’s a good idea to get in the habit of leaving the room when you use the microwave, or consider shopping around for a new model. Don’t forget to take your phone.

Source: Magda Havas, PhD, professor of environmental and resource studies, Trent University

Swallow Your Gum?

If you swallow your gum – how long does it stay in there?

If you’re worried that the piece of gum you swallowed seven years ago is still sitting there – don’t. It’s not there anymore. Chances are it probably came out a few days later. Dr. David Pollack, of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Care Network, explains that most non-food objects we swallow actually end up being carried through the intestinal tract by fluids. Gum isn’t easy for the digestive system to break down – but it will eventually. Dr. Pollack also says not to worry that the gum will cause a stomach ache – it probably won’t.

Pretty Resume

Is your resume visually attractive?

Before you send that resume out – stand back and take a good look at it. Busy resumes crammed with information give people a headache and can overwhelm the reader. Yours could be a sight for sore eyes! Here are some tricks:

• Use white space – and lots of it. It’s visually appealing to have one-inch margins, and clear visual breaks between sections.

• Stick to one font. Bold or italics are fine – but don’t overdo it - and avoid underlining all together.

• Bullet points are like magic. They make it much easier for the reader to scan your resume and find your key points.

The same goes for your cover letter. Clean and brief is best – white paper, black ink. Cover letters and resumes shouldn’t be folded – use a full size envelope.

Laptop or Netbook?

If you’re trying to decide between a laptop and a netbook – ask yourself these questions...

New and improved netbooks are giving pricier laptops a run for their money – so which one should you choose? Cisco Cheng of PC Magazine says ask yourself these questions to help you decide:

• Do you type a lot? If so you might be better off with a full size laptop. Most netbook keyboards are about 10% smaller and can take some getting used to.

• Do you have a need for speed? Hold off on the netbook for a few months. A lot of netbook models will offer 30% more power and speed within the next year.

• Do you need an internal DVD/CD player? Those are standard on laptops – but missing on netbooks.

Netbooks weigh about half of what a standard laptop does – and they cost hundreds less. They also have much longer battery life. If you’re the type that likes to trade up often with newer technology – you’re better off spending less now – something even better will be here soon.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sleeping in the Buff

If you’d like a sounder sleep tonight – lose the pajamas!

Do you dress for a good night’s sleep? The trick is to UNDRESS for it. Sleep studies have found that pajamas and night clothes are a primary cause of disrupted sleep. People who sleep wearing nothing at all not only fall asleep faster – but stay asleep longer. Turn the heat down too - staying a bit cooler at night causes a dip in body temperature which helps induce deep sleep.

Eat Your Bread Crust!

If your mom made you eat the crust on your sandwiches – she was onto something...

Mom and grandma have scientific backup with their ‘eat the crust’ theory. If you cut it off your sandwich – or leave it behind on your plate – you’re missing out on some good stuff! The bread baking process actually produces a specific cancer-fighting antioxidant – and it’s 8 times more abundant in the crust.

Drunk Driver

Would you know how to spot a drunk driver?

We are probably sharing the road with a drunk driver on any given day – at any given time. There are a few telltale signs when someone is driving under the influence. Here’s what to look for:

• Drifting or weaving

• Driving without lights

• Driving very slowly

• Taking extra wide turns

If you do suspect a driver is drunk – DON’T try to pass them. You’re better off staying behind them. Take note of the car’s make, color and license plate if you can. Pull over and call 911 with as much detail as possible. You could be doing everyone else on the road a BIG favor.

Craving Buster

Got a craving? Clench your fist!

The next time you’re tempted to eat that junk food, smoke that cigarette, or buy that item you don’t really need – clench your fists. The Journal of Consumer Research did a study that found tightening any muscle in your body strengthens willpower. Clenching your fist or flexing those biceps can actually trigger your brain to take control of the situation.

Check Your Earlobes

Are you at risk of a heart attack? Check your earlobes!

If you DON’T have horizontal creases on your earlobes – that’s great news! People who do could be at higher risk of coronary artery disease according to cardiologists. It’s one of the things they check for when assessing your cardiovascular health. If you do have horizontal creases in one or both of your earlobes – don’t panic. It’s just an indicator – and it gives your doctor more incentive to monitor your other risk factors more closely.

Source: Robert M. Stark, MD, Greenwich Hospital

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Yes Dear

Do you roll your eyes at your spouse? If you do – your marriage could be in trouble....

There is a lot of marital advice out there – but Tara Parker-Pope, author of “For Better,” says answering these three questions can help you determine how strong your marriage is:

• Do you avoid arguments? Couples who bicker early on in their marriages actually end up with more marital stability than those who avoid it.

• Do you roll your eyes? Couples who do that tend to have deeper levels of contempt simmering in the marriage.

• Who plans the fun stuff? It’s risky for your marriage if only one of you has all the control over the social agenda.

Scream and Cry!

There are many ways to manage stress – but few things are more effective than a good old fashioned rant...

Screaming and crying are excellent stress relievers – just ask a baby. Throwing a fit triggers blood flow to the brain and can calm you down a lot faster than trying to ‘manage’ your emotions. Super mellow yoga masters even do it – by mimicking the roar of a lion when they want to feel relaxed. It’s probably a good idea to pick a secluded spot – or to at least warn anyone within earshot that you’re about to blow off some steam.

Scent Warning

Some common fragrances and lotions could cause age spots!

The next time you spritz or dab on that perfume or cologne – aim for a spot the sun don’t shine. Fragrances that contain musk or bergamot oil can actually produce age spots when they’re applied to sun-exposed areas of your skin. Both musk and bergamot oil are popular and pretty common in a lot of fragranced products – including some lotions. It’s a good idea to check the ingredients on yours – and apply accordingly.

Movie Magic

If you’d like to get someone “in the mood,” there's a movie for that...

Man or woman – there’s research showing which movies will most likely get you in the mood:

• For him: The Godfather. In a University of Michigan study – men who watched The Godfather experienced a 30% spike in testosterone and libido.

• For her: A good thriller should pay off. Women who watched them got a rush of adrenaline and admitted feeling more sexually charged.

Scary movies worked for both genders. Couples found each other more attractive and desirable when the lights came back on.

Garlic Breath

If you’d rather not smell like garlic – there's something you can do BEFORE you eat it...

If you love garlic – but would rather NOT smell like it after the fact – drink some milk BEFORE you eat it. Whole milk works the best. The proteins and fat in the milk absorb the main smelly components of garlic – but won’t interfere with the taste or health benefits while you eat it. If you’ve been eating with your fingers – or chopping garlic – try rubbing those fingers on a stainless steel utensil. The molecules in the stainless steel bond with those in the garlic and help lift them off your skin.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Skip the Receipt!

The next time you use an ATM machine – skip the receipt!

If a person or a machine asks “Would you like a receipt?” – answer “No.” A lot of receipts used in ATMs and supermarkets are coated with BPA – a toxic chemical used in thermal paper that keeps the ink from running. Our hands absorb even MORE of the toxic stuff if we have lotion on. And NEVER EVER hold a receipt in your mouth while fumbling around for your keys. If you really need that receipt – try to remember to keep your hands away from your mouth – and wash them as soon as possible.

Source: Patricia Hunt, PhD., BPA researcher.

Restocking Fees

Should you be paying a restocking fee just for opening the box? No...

15% is a LOT of money to lose if you change your mind about that electronic device, TV or appliance. That’s what many retailers charge you just for opening the box. If you do have an electronic purchase in your future – shop around. Some of the big box stores are actually starting to do away with that trend. Check the stores before you go. Most of them have the policies posted on their websites – or you could always just call and ask if they’ve done away with their restocking fees yet.

Job Search Gaffes

If you’re looking for a job – you’re probably doing something wrong...

Applying for a job? Hopefully – you submitted that application with a PROFESSIONAL email address – not your personal one. It’s one of the most common mistakes people make on their job search. It’s really easy to set up a designated professional account. Here are a few other common slip ups:

• Casting the net too widely is counter-productive. Your search will be much more effective if you focus on exactly what kind of work you want to do.

• Not asking questions during an interview sends a message that you’re not really interested – so have a few prepared.

• Struggling with the obvious. You WILL be asked to describe yourself - why you are in the job market - and what you hope to do next. Practice those answers ahead of time.

Source: CareerBuilder.com

Check Your Eyes

When is the last time you gazed into your OWN eyes?

The next time you’re near a mirror – take a good long look into your eyes. They can reveal a lot about our health. Here’s what to look for:

• Yellowish tinge to the white of your eyes: See a doctor. It could indicate a problem with your liver or gall bladder.

• Change in eye color: If you weren’t born that way – have it checked. It could be a side effect of medication used in or near the eyes.

• A sudden spot or dark patch in the iris: See the eye doctor. It could be a sign of something more serious like a tumor.

It’s not all doom and gloom – some other changes in the eyes are harmless. A gray ring around the iris in middle age is considered normal – and a red spot in the whites of your eyes can be due to a physical strain and should fade in 36 hours.

Good Work Fortune

How does a sense of calm and a dose of creative inspiration sound at work?

A little feng shui can go a long way. First - holiday leftovers, old calendars and faded photos need to go. That favorite coffee mug or mouse pad could probably be switched out too - with something clean and streamline. If you’d like to generate wealth to your business – place a red or purple artifact in the southeast corner of your office or workspace. To the east is your health, growth and family area. That’s where a small plant or family photo in a simple wood frame should be.

The position of your desk is key. A lot of us wind up facing the wall – but a diagonal desk alignment is best. The doorway or window should never be directly behind your back; to do so would invite negative sha chi.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Second That Emotion

Germs aren’t the only contagious things out there – a lot of behavior is too...

A lot of behavior is contagious – laughing, crying, and even yawning – but some more serious behavior is catching too. Nicholas A. Christakis, author of “Connected,” says people whose family or friends are obese are 25% more likely to have a weight problem themselves. Divorce was another biggie. Married couples whose close friends get divorced are far more likely to wind up single themselves.

Most emotional behavior requires spending physical time with someone to rub off – but other behavior such as smoking or drinking can be contagious between friends who are hundreds of miles apart.

Girl Scout Cookies

What’s your favorite Girl Scout cookie?

It’s that time of year again – Girl Scouts are tallying up those cookie orders faster than we can eat them. It all started in 1917 with a troop in Oklahoma selling home baked cookies. In the 20’s a simple sugar cookie recipe took hold nationally for the scouts to bake and sell themselves. These days it’s big business – and it’s estimated that about 200 million boxes are sold each year. With 11 varieties to choose from now – the top sellers are Samoas and Thin Mints, followed by Tagalongs, Do-Si-Dos and Trefoils.

Source: Girl Scouts of the USA

Aches and Pains

Some run-of-the-mill aches and pains shouldn’t be ignored...

If you get a sharp pain in your side – it might be nothing – but if you feel nauseous or have a fever – it could be appendicitis. Here are a few more pains to take seriously:

• Toothache: If it’s throbbing – there may be nerve damage - and the sooner you get to a dentist the better.

• Bloating: If you’ve got abdominal discomfort and feel full after eating less than usual – see your doctor if it lasts more than a few days.

• Back pain: Most of us get it from time to time – but if your toes are tingling too – have it checked out. That could be a problem with one of your discs.

Source: Prevention Magazine

Check Your Email

Email is our primary source of communication at work – and mistakes are BOUND to happen...

Here are a few business email pointers that could help spare your professional reputation:

• If you’re going to attach a file – do that BEFORE you compose. It will save you that second email and apology when you forget to attach it.

• Take a second to delete your automatic signature when corresponding back and forth – it can get tiresome.

• If you’re angry – don’t hit send. An emotional email in business can be a catastrophic mistake. If you must write it – save it as a draft and sleep on it.

• Use the subject line – it’s the headline to your email. When the topic changes – go ahead and start a new thread with a NEW subject line.

No one is immune to premature sending, reply instead of forward – or worse! You can really safeguard yourself by getting in the habit of clearing the “To” field until you’ve composed and double checked everything.

Premium Pet Food?

If you feed your pet organic or premium food – it could be a waste of money...

Don’t judge that pet food by its cover. Pet foods touting the words “organic,” “premium ingredients” and “human quality” were put to the test by Consumer Reports. It didn’t seem to matter much. It turns out there are no real standards for putting those words on the labels. Some higher priced pet food might get you a little more quality – but in some cases you’re just paying for the pretty package or popular name.

The most important things to look for on pet food packaging is that it’s “feed tested on animals,” “approved by AAFCO” and that is says “complete and balanced” which means it can be your pet’s sole source of food.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chia Food?

The new health food craze is here – chia seeds!

If you got a Chia Pet as a gift and never got around to all that soaking and prepping the head – just sprinkle the seeds on your cereal instead! It turns out they’re chock full of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and minerals. Chia seeds have got a nutty flavor, are good for our heart – and might even help lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. If you already grew your Chia Pet, don’t worry – chia seeds are available online and at some health food stores.

Source: Dr. David Neiman, professor of health promotion, Appalacian State University


Major earthquakes are rare across most the U.S. – but that could increase the danger...

U.S. states that are NOT prone to major earthquakes could suffer the most damage. That’s because buildings in regions that are less likely to shake often aren’t built to sustain it – and people who live there don’t know earthquake protocol. Here are the basics if your ground starts shaking:

• Indoors – take cover under a sturdy table or desk if you can. The only time you want to be in a doorway is in an older brick or adobe building. Doorways won’t offer any added protection in most other types of buildings.

• Outdoors is easier – you want to be in as open an area as possible – and stay clear of power lines. If you’re in your car – pull over away from light poles and large road signs and engage the parking brake.

Source: Gavin Hayes, National Earthquake Information Center

Mugging Manners

If you get mugged – should you politely hand over your valuables? Maybe...

Hopefully you’ll never need to use this advice – but criminal analyst Dale Yeager says if you get mugged – consider politely handing over your valuables – and avoid making eye contact. He explains that the theory of throwing your stuff at a mugger is a bad one because many street criminals value respect over everything else. As crazy as it sounds - throwing stuff at them could be interpreted as disrespectful and could trigger more violence.

Just don’t be TOO polite. If the mugger doesn’t take off right away after he’s got the goods – don’t follow additional instructions like “get down on your knees” or “walk into that alley.” This is the time to run for it. Muggers who want more than your valuables often intend to commit murder or sexual assault.

Sucking it In

If you suck in that stomach – cut it out!

Most of us have sucked in that stomach once in a while – and some people do it all the time. According to Dr. Steven Weiniger, author of “Stand Taller – Live Longer,” it can be really bad for us. He explains when we suck in our stomachs it prevents us from breathing properly. That shallow breathing can actually lead to anxiety, poor balance and crummy posture. So stand up straight – and relax those stomach muscles – and consider doing some sit-ups instead.

Pull the Plug

If your phone or computer is like your best friend – you may need to digitally detox...

It’s pretty easy to get a quick fix – electronically. Now experts say a lot of our favorite gadgets have the same addictive quality and pitfalls as drugs or alcohol – and we may need to detox. Moms, dads, kids, even grandparents are getting hooked. When that device, reader, game or social site is getting more attention than the people in your life – it’s probably time to pull the plug.

Technical cold turkey can be tough – but if you’re trying to cut back the first step is setting boundaries and redefining some habits. Start with designated times at home for checking and surfing. It also helps to have a designated space for being plugged in – and leave the gadgets there and out of other rooms.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Playing With Food

Save those orange peels – for the fire!

Go ahead – play with your food. Real Simple Magazine has a list of some creative things you can do with it:

Save those citrus peels. If you let them dry out for a few days – they can be great fire starters when added to kindling.

If you don’t have any extra-long matches to light that fire or hard to reach candle – try lighting an uncooked piece of spaghetti.

If you burn yourself while lighting the fire – grab some fresh ginger and apply it directly to the sore spots.

Booking a Room

If you want the best deal on a hotel room – don’t ask for the cheapest rate...

The hotel world has a lingo all its own. If you’d like the best deal – you’ll have to speak their language. Consumer Reports has some catch phrases to use:

• Asking for a non-refundable rate could save you even more than asking for the cheapest rate.

• Ask for a lock in-rate if you’re planning in advance. The trick here is to get the REFUNDABLE lock-in rate. Once the date is near and you know you’re good to go – call back and ask for the lowest NON-refundable rate.

Also – skip the toll-free booking numbers. Call the hotel directly and speak with a clerk. Ask them about any specials or package deals they’ve got.

Chinese Food

If you want REAL Chinese food – order in Chinese...

Most Chinese food here isn’t much like the food in China at all. According to Chef Ming, a lot of Chinese food here is adapted for the American public – which means it’s sweeter and thicker than authentic Chinese food. Don’t be afraid to ask about their most authentic dishes.

Most Chinese restaurants have the good stuff back there somewhere. Ming says the best way to get the real thing here is to get a Chinese friend. Find a restaurant that specializes in Szechuan or Hunan - and if one of you can order in Chinese – you’ll get more authentic food right off the bat.

Source: Chef Ming Tsai, Blue Ginger Restaurant

Off the Bed!

If you sleep with your pet – you might want to rethink that...

Even if it’s a three-dog night – you might want to keep yours on the floor. A new CDC report says sleeping with your pet – or even letting them lick your face – can put you at risk of getting worms or viruses! The risk is higher with young animals like puppies and kittens.

Experts say be especially careful with pets sharing a bed with young children or anyone with a weakened immune system.

Sourse: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

What's Your Name Again?

About 90% of healthy adults admit they have trouble remembering names...

There are different tricks and techniques that help – but remembering THOSE can be half the battle. Dr. Elizabeth Edgerly, who runs memory clinics says, most people are visual learners – which explains why we remember faces better. When you meet someone new – take a good look at their face. Next, try to link their name to a facial feature. For example, check to see if John has a good jawline – or Lauren has great lips. Finally, make an effort to use that person’s name in a sentence as soon as you can – “Frank, where do you live?”

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

You Animal!

The day of the week you were born can say a lot about your personality...

If you’d like some personal insight – the ancient monks of Burma have got some for you. Their astrology system was developed around the days of the week instead of the cycles of the moon. Each day has an equivalent animal:

• Monday is a tiger. Intelligent with an eye for detail – you’re a perfectionist.

• Tuesday is a lion. You’re a noble leader with strength, honesty and loyalty.

• Wednesday is the elephant - the independent, passionate type.

• Thursday is a rat – which is a compliment in Burmese. You’re the most clever and witty of the bunch.

• Friday is a Guinea pig. Kind, loving and sympathetic, you’re everyone’s friend.

• Saturday is a dragon. This is a confident quick-minded leader – with a sense of humor.

• Sunday is a Garuda – king of the birds. You’re an inspirational optimist – and super generous.

To find out what day of the week you were born – click HERE for a perpetual calendar.

Pickled Peppers

It turns out Peter Piper probably had pretty good blood pressure...

Pickled peppers can lower your blood pressure! The hot ones have an ingredient which relaxes blood vessel walls. So how many pickled peppers should you pop for pressure? Three slices of one a day should do the trick.

If you’re wondering how many pickled peppers are in a peck – that depends on the size of the pepper. If they’re jalapenos – about 493. Mini sweet peppers – about 139. A peck is 8 dry quarts.

Problem Solving

You can solve any problem in 3 steps...

The next time you’ve got a problem – big or small – there are three steps that can help you solve it. Ken Watanabe, author of “Problem Solving 101,” has developed a technique:

Step 1: Identify the problem AND the root of it. Let’s say you’ve got money problems – is the cause that you’re not earning enough? Or are you spending too much?

Step 2: List as many possible solutions as you can – no matter how probable they are. It helps you get more creative with problem solving.

Step 3: Prioritize the actions you’re going to take – and make a plan. Be prepared to modify it as you go.

Watanabe says a visual graph can really help too. Consider creating a logic tree - writing down the problem – then indicating roots and potential solutions.

Friendly Advice

Are you a good friend?

Chances are you’ve got at least one REALLY good friend. But how good of a friend are you? Jeffrey Zaslow, author of “The Girls from Ames,” says good friends:

• Work at staying connected

• Root for each other

• Don’t gloat

• Show up at important events

• Are flexible and understanding

• Protect confidences

We usually have more in common with our newer friends than childhood friends – but it’s important to keep those old friends in the loop. They see beyond our adult roles and have a unique perspective of us.

Eating Healthy?

Eating healthy actually backfires for a lot of people...

If you’re trying to eat healthy – and getting nowhere – you’re not alone. Opting for healthier choices actually backfires for a lot of people. Cornell researcher Brian Wansink says we typically estimate calories in “healthy” food at about half of what they really are – especially at restaurants. On top of that – we think we can get away with eating bigger portions when it’s “healthy.” And for desert – we reward ourselves for being so good – with something really bad.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Wart Away

Got a wart? Get some duct tape!

You really can kill a wart with duct tape. A study out of Washington’s Madigan Army Medical Center, explains that keeping a wart under wraps with duct tape actually works 9 out of 10 times. The tape causes local irritation and that stimulates the immune system to destroy the wart virus. Leave the tape on the wart for 6 days – uncover – soak for 5 minutes in hot water – then buff with an emery board. Repeat the whole duct tape regiment and the wart should be gone within 6 weeks.