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by Brian Stephenson posted Nov 25 2015 6:39AM

Before you just start throwing $10 toasters in your cart this weekend, here are four MORE things experts say you might not want to buy on Black Friday.

1. Electronics from a brand you've never heard of. They tend to be big sellers because they're the cheapest option, but that's usually because they're cheaply MADE. So they often get a lot more negative reviews online.

2. Winter clothes, like coats and sweaters. Most stores drop their prices even further for Cyber Monday. So you'll get a better deal if you wait. Or you can get the BEST deal if you wait until January. Revert back to the Julian Calendar to make this work.

3. Christmas decorations. The deals aren't actually that good right now, because this is when people normally buy them anyway. So if you really want to be thrifty, use your old decorations one more time, and wait until AFTER the holidays to buy new ones.

4. Doorbusters. Again, they're usually lower-end products. And a lot of the time they're things you'd never buy if they weren't on sale. So before you punch an old lady over the last $30 fondue fountain, make sure you actually WANT it.

(ABC News)

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by Brian Stephenson posted Nov 24 2015 9:22AM

Kids are remarkably honest with mall Santas. We found a list online where mall Santas are sharing the funniest things they've heard from kids. Here are the five best.

1. "I asked what she wants for Christmas. She said 'I wanna pee!' The parents insisted that the kid choose something and I sit there awkwardly . . . she's crying, they're insisting, and then my lap gets warm."

2. "She was probably like six . . . she was telling me adventures about fighting battles to save a prince stuck in a castle . . . her race with Usain Bolt and how he beat her by a hair . . . and how she outswam Michael Phelps to avoid being eaten by Jaws.

"Then she told me she wanted a big glass of milk."

3. "He said, and I quote, 'I want that weel mawiwanna n' not that fake [s-word].' He was five."

4. "He wanted a Shamwow. He was four years old."

5. "A young boy, probably eight, said he wanted the panties of the cute girl next door. I didn't really know how to respond."


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by Brian Stephenson posted Nov 23 2015 9:00AM

If you're still fighting the good fight and buying your music on CDs, your movies on DVDs, and your books on paper . . . this Friday is your Super Bowl.

WalletHub.com just analyzed Black Friday deals at a bunch of different stores to figure out which products have the biggest average discounts this week . . . and which products are selling for basically full price.

And the BEST things to buy on Black Friday are books, music, and movies . . . they have an average discount of 28%. Toys and video games came in second, at 22% off.

The WORST discounts on Black Friday are on jewelry . . . jewelry's only an average of 4% off. Furniture has the second-worst average discount, at 8%.

Also, be careful before you buy something . . . the study also found that plenty of stores will try to take advantage of your urge to shop by marking things UP on Black Friday.

17.2% of stuff is advertised at prices that are HIGHER than the price on Amazon right now.


by Brian Stephenson posted Nov 20 2015 7:18AM

You're not going to believe this, but Facebook just introduced a new feature that ISN'T a way to violate your privacy. I didn't know they were even capable of that.

In fact, it's sort of the OPPOSITE. It's a new feature that lets you COMPLETELY avoid any trace of your EX.

As of yesterday, when you change your relationship status from "in a relationship" to "single," Facebook will guide you through the process.

It'll give you options to scrub any of their future posts from your news feed . . . to block your posts from showing up in THEIRS . . . and to remove any posts or photos you tagged them in.

They say the new options are, quote, "part of our ongoing effort to develop resources for people who may be going through difficult moments in their lives."


by Brian Stephenson posted Nov 19 2015 8:53AM

The best bet for a new national holiday is a day that commemorates our fallen countrymen. And with the number of people who've been trampled to death in the quest for a $17 Blu-Ray player, maybe Black Friday qualifies.

A lot of people already get the Friday after Thanksgiving as a paid day off . . . but should we ALL get it off?

According to a new survey, 39% of people say yes, Black Friday should become a national holiday.

The survey also found one out of three Americans go shopping on Black Friday . . . and 57% say it's because they really like the craziness and energy of the day.

(Fat Wallet)

by Brian Stephenson posted Nov 18 2015 7:30AM

I'm not sure you can call any entire state smart or dumb. Because I assure you, EVERY state is filled with buffoons bringing down geniuses like I. Or is it geniuses like me? See. The buffoons are winning.

The "Washington Post" just ranked all 50 states from smartest to dumbest based on four factors: Average IQ scores . . . their SAT scores this year. . . their ACT scores this year . . . and the percentage of college grads.

And the smartest state in the country is . . . Massachusetts. Even though 77,000 guys named Sully might make you disagree.

The rest of the 10 smartest states goes: Minnesota . . . New Hampshire . . . Connecticut . . . Wisconsin . . . Kansas . . . Vermont . . . Iowa . . . New Jersey . . . and Colorado.

The dumbest state is Hawaii. Which is sort of surprising, since the people there are the only ones smart enough to realize you can live on an island paradise and still be part of America.

The rest of the 10 least intelligent states are: Nevada . . . Mississippi . . . Alabama . . . Florida . . . South Carolina . . . West Virginia . . . Louisiana . . . North Carolina . . . and Arizona.

(Washington Post)

(Check out the rankings for all 50 states here.)

by Brian Stephenson posted Nov 13 2015 9:13AM

Billboard.com has put out a massive collection of 'Greatest of All Time' lists. The highlights include a series on the best chart performers, on the Hot 100 singles chart and the Billboard 200 albums chart. Since it's based on chart action and not necessarily actual sales . . . it levels the playing field between older and newer acts. Here's a brief rundown . . .

The Top Five Hot 100 Artists are:

1. The Beatles

2. Madonna

3. Elton John

4. Elvis Presley

5. Mariah Carey

(Full List)

The Top Five Hot 100 Songs are:

1. "The Twist" by Chubby Checker

2. "Smooth" by Santana and Rob Thomas

3. "Mack the Knife" by Bobby Darin

4. "How Do I Live" by LeAnn Rimes

5. "Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO

(Full List)

The Top Five Billboard 200 Artists are:

1. The Beatles

2. The Rolling Stones

3. Barbra Streisand

4. Garth Brooks

5. Elton John.

(Full List)

The Top Five Billboard 200 Albums are:

1. "21" by Adele

2. The "Sound of Music" soundtrack

3. "Thriller" by Michael Jackson

4. "Fearless" by Taylor Swift

5. "Born in the U.S.A." by Bruce Springsteen

(Full List)

Again, "21" is bigger than "Thriller" because it spent a longer period of time at the top of the charts . . . even though "Thriller" has sold 29 million copies, the most of all time. "21" has sold around 11 million, according to the RIAA.

(Billboard.com has ALL the lists under 'Greatest of All Time,' it includes breakdowns on various genres, artists selecting their favorites in different categories, and more. In all there are over 40 lists.)

by Brian Stephenson posted Nov 12 2015 8:48AM

Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away. Hope you've washed the gravy stains out of your eatin' pants.

A new survey found a bunch of stats on the average Thanksgiving dinner around the U.S. Check 'em out . . .

1. The average Thanksgiving dinner has nine or 10 people, lasts two to four hours, costs $130, and took the host nine days of planning and prep.

2. Besides turkey, stuffing is the food people want the most. Mashed potatoes are second, and pumpkin pie is third.

3. 33% of people would pretend they cooked something that was really store bought if people compliment it.

4. 29% test out recipes before they use them for Thanksgiving.

5. And 75% of people would serve turkey that fell on the floor.

(PR Newswire)

by Brian Stephenson posted Nov 11 2015 9:13AM

If you wear perfume, in theory it's because you want to attract people. So here's a good and totally random side effect . . . while it's luring dudes in, it just might be keeping mosquitoes away.

A new study out of New Mexico State University tested a bunch of different types of mosquito repellents to see how effective they are.

And they also decided to throw in a Victoria's Secret perfume called Bombshell for some reason. Well, the reason is probably publicity, and since we're talking about it . . . well played, nerds.

The study found the perfume was actually really good at keeping mosquitoes away.

It performed about the same as the best repellents, all of which contain a chemical compound called DEET . . . and it was even MORE effective than natural repellents or a skin patch. The skin patch was so bad it actually ATTRACTED mosquitoes.

The researchers didn't say why the perfume was so effective . . . but you'd have to think it's because mosquitoes hunt out people who smell like people, not like flowers.


by Brian Stephenson posted Nov 10 2015 9:01AM

Slather your entire body in Purell, because the world is desperately trying to infect you right now.

A new study found you're more likely to get a cold during the first two weeks of November than any other time of the year. That happens to be RIGHT NOW.

But that doesn't mean we all feel GREAT the other 50 weeks out of the year. The study also found that between illnesses, headaches, hangovers, and injuries, the average person only feels 100% healthy 171 days out of the year.

That means you spend about HALF your life feeling like something is wrong.

THIS is definitely the worst time of year though. The average person skips SIX social events in the winter because they're just not feeling up to going.

(Daily Mail)

In Conclusion: You are most likely to catch a cold in the first two weeks of November. Meanwhile, not likely to catch anything for the entire month of November? Detroit Lions receivers.

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by Brian Stephenson posted Nov 9 2015 6:48AM

Hope you're saving money, because Christmas is going to do its best to bankrupt you this year.

A new study by the consulting company Deloitte found the average person will spend almost $1,500 on the holidays this year. Here's how that breaks down . . .

$487 on gifts.

$348 going to holiday parties.

$212 hosting holiday parties.

$182 on clothing for yourself or your family that ISN'T a gift.

$124 on decorations.

And $110 on random other expenses.

That's a total of $1,463 . . . so only one-third is going toward gifts.

And that total doesn't include things you buy for YOURSELF. Half of people say they plan on getting themselves a gift or two while they're shopping.

(Yahoo Finance)

(On a related note, another survey found that 71% of people say the thing that gets them into the "holiday spirit" is . . . shopping.)

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by Brian Stephenson posted Nov 6 2015 7:37AM

It's about darn time science did something useful.

A nonprofit group called the American Chemical Society just tackled one of the most pressing issues known to mankind: What's the best type of CHEESE to use in a grilled cheese sandwich?

They analyzed the properties that make cheese melt in an ideal, gooey way . . . including the breakdown of its proteins and its levels of lactic acid.

And after quite a bit of experimenting, the top three cheeses for a grilled cheese sandwich are: Gouda . . . gruyere . . . and manchego.

Now, I know what you're thinking: How about some cheeses I actually have in the fridge, bro? Your best bet from those is a mild cheddar. It won't melt QUITE as well as those fancy cheeses, but it's better than most of the other options.


by Brian Stephenson posted Nov 5 2015 9:18AM

The Cincinnati Bengals take on the Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football tonight . . . the Browns are 2-and-6 while the Bengals are undefeated. So it's pretty clear who the favorite is.

But even if the Browns lose, their fans can console themselves with THIS . . . Bengals fans are totally boring and don't know how to party. (???)

The makers of a breathalyzer app called BAC Tracker looked at user data from NFL fans in different cities, checked what their average blood alcohol content was on game day this season, and came up with the ten teams with the DRUNKEST FANS.

Bills fans are the drunkest, with an average blood alcohol level of 0.076 . . . just under the legal limit to drive. Lions and Eagles fans tied for second at 0.069, followed by the Browns . . . Cardinals . . . Chargers . . . Dolphins . . . Colts . . . Redskins . . . and 49ers.

And Bengals supporters are the most SOBER fans in the NFL, with an average blood alcohol level of just 0.015. Followed by the Titans . . . Saints . . . Giants . . . Texans . . . Ravens . . . Broncos . . . SEAHAWKS . . . Cowboys . . . and Patriots.

Unfortunately there wasn't enough data for five teams . . . the Rams, Raiders, Jets, Jaguars, and Buccaneers. So they weren't included.

Also, the survey found no connection between how drunk fans get, and how good or bad their team's record is.


(See the rest of the rankings here.)

by Brian Stephenson posted Nov 4 2015 9:23AM

"Popular Science" posted a list of myths about the brain that a lot of people still think are true. You probably know some of them . . . like that we don't really just use 10% of our brains. But here are four you might not know.

Myth #1. Adults don't produce new brain cells. They thought it was true for 130 years, until a study in 1998 found we DO . . . in the part of the brain that helps store memories. And a study last year found new cells in other parts of adult brains too.

Myth #2. Listening to classical music makes you smarter. A study in 1993 found it raised people's I.Q.'s, but no one's been able to replicate the results. And a Harvard study in 1999 contradicted it.

Myth #3. Some people are visual learners, and have to see something to remember it. A recent survey found 96% of teachers think that's the case.

But the truth is that while we do tend to have an easier time with certain subjects if there's a visual, that's true for ALL of us. So the "visual learner" thing is just a myth.

Myth #4. Drinking any amount of alcohol kills brain cells. Drinking a LOT can, but even that doesn't make a huge difference. Researchers in Denmark recently looked at the brains of alcoholics, and they had the same number of brain cells as non-alcoholics.

(Popular Science / Wired)

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by Brian Stephenson posted Nov 2 2015 8:40AM

So for JIMMY FALLON this year, we've had two falls resulting in hand injuries, and a chipped tooth . . . supposedly from trying to open a tube of scar cream to treat one of those hand injuries.

Is Jimmy just clumsy . . . or is he an ALCOHOLIC? That's what the "New York Post" asked this weekend. They say that NBC is starting to worry that Jimmy's drinking is getting excessive.

A Manhattan bartender who knows him says, quote, "He's a mess [but] I love him."

Some of it has to do with his new gig on the "Tonight Show". A source says, quote, "There is so much money at stake, the pressure is enormous."

And his former "Saturday Night Live" cast mate HORATIO SANZ says that when they were on the show together they were, quote, "super-functioning alcoholics"

(New York Post)

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