Hoarding is the compulsive purchasing, acquiring, searching, and saving of items that have little or no value. The behavior usually has deleterious effects—emotional, physical, social, financial, and even legal—for a hoarder and family members.
The descriptions below are typical of someone who hoards:
People hoard for many reasons, among them the belief that their possessions will be useful or valuable in the future, have sentimental value, are unique and irreplaceable, or because they can’t decide where something goes, it’s better just to keep it.
Hoarding vs. Collecting
Hoarding is not the same as collecting. In general, collectors have a sense of pride about their possessions, and they experience joy in displaying and talking about their possessions and conversing. They keep their collection organized, feel satisfaction adding to it, and budget their time and money.
Hoarders generally experience embarrassment about their possessions and feel uncomfortable when others see them. Their clutter often takes over functional living space, and they feel sad or ashamed after acquiring additional items. Also, they often incur great debt, sometimes extreme.
Effective treatment is available from qualified mental health professionals, who can also help the affected family members.
SINGLES TEND TO view Valentine’s Day like losing football teams view the Super Bowl — a tradition they’d rather forget, perhaps even despise, yet would totally embrace if circumstances were slightly different. Well, being single on Valentine’s Day — or any day, for that matter — doesn’t have to be a bitter experience. There are hundreds of cities all across the US ideally suited to the single lifestyle. Whether your goal is to find your spouse, a steady relationship, or a string of emotionally toxic one night stands, the dating scene in many US cities is strong enough to get even the most cynical singles back in the game.
WalletHub compared 182 cities across the US, using metrics like nightlife options, single population, online dating opportunities, number of dating venues, active Tinder users, social clubs, weather, taxi fare cost, and more. They broke these statistics down into three categories — Economics, Fun & Recreation, and Dating Opportunities — and assigned each category a grade based on a 100-point scale. The results shed some much-needed light on the top 10 cities for singles across the US.
Hint: Pretty much everywhere that isn’t New York.
10. Portland, Maine
Economics score: 55.2
Fun & Recreation score: 42.45
Dating Opportunities score: 77.23
Total score: 62.26
The smallest city on the list by far, Portland’s showing in the top 10 is particularly impressive. It’s probably no surprise that the city ranked poorly for Fun & Recreation, as it’s simply not big enough to compete with larger cities with more entertainment venues, but its relative affordability and solid Dating Opportunities score make Portland a must-visit for singles in New England.
9. Seattle, Washington
Economics score: 39.34
Fun & Recreation score: 70.79
Dating Opportunities score: 70.81
Total score: 62.94
If you play your cards right, you really shouldn’t be sleepless in Seattle in 2020. Like many major cities, going out in Seattle means you should carve out some room in your monthly budget, but a good balance of Fun & Recreation and Dating Opportunities make it all worth it. Seattle also ranked in the top five for cities with the best gender balance, so while you’re passing those rainy days in the bar, at least you won’t be lacking options.
8. Madison, Wisconsin
Economics score: 62.52
Fun & Recreation score: 40.11
Dating Opportunities score: 80.39
Total score: 63.78
Remember that scene from Love Actually where Colin arrives at an “average American bar” in Wisconsin, and immediately picks up three stunning women? Dating in Wisconsin isn’t that easy, but it’s probably easier than you thought — in Madison, anyway. The city ranks the highest in the top 10 for Dating Opportunities, and while men shouldn’t expect to wander into a dive bar and be swarmed by dozens of beautiful women, the male-female balance is actually among the best in the country.
7. Los Angeles, California
Economics score: 38.56
Fun & Recreation score: 61.57
Dating Opportunities score: 77.66
Total score: 63.87
Everyone knows LA is expensive, but you may not have realized that it has one of the best gender balances in the country, as well as some of the most plentiful online dating opportunities. Sure, it’s more expensive than San Diego, but it also scored seven points higher in Food & Recreation. And for better or worse, since everyone in LA works unconventional jobs, partying until 5:00 AM on a Tuesday night is the norm, not the exception.
6. Chicago, Illinois
Economics score: 39.13
Fun & Recreation score: 76.05
Dating Opportunities score: 71.00
Total score: 64.29
Chicago is among the least affordable cities on the list when it comes to going out for food and drinks, but it makes up for it with its abundance of nightlife venues and high number of singles looking to mingle. Given its historically low temperatures in winter, which often keep people indoors, its high singles ranking is a testament to the quality of its entertainment venues and the number of singles willing to brave the cold for a date.
5. Portland, Oregon
Economics score: 51.03
Fun & Recreation score: 64.26
Dating Opportunities score: 73.74
Total score: 64.54
Portland might not be the most affordable city to find love, but it’s certainly one of the most fun. In addition to its high Dating Opportunities score, Portland ranked in the top five for cities with the most nightlife options. Between its abundance of local breweries, live music venues, and restaurants, there are no shortage of places to bring your date if you don’t mind shelling out some extra cash.
4. San Diego, California
Economics score: 47.36
Fun & Recreation score: 69.57
Dating Opportunities score: 71.65
Total score: 65.06
San Francisco might dominate the scene in Northern California, but SoCal isn’t exactly coming up short. San Diego and Los Angeles both made the top 10, and it’s not exactly a surprise. Warm weather means outdoor adventures, patio seating, and beach days — all of which are great date ideas. In addition to being home to a wide range of dating opportunities, San Diego also placed first overall in the general-balance category. So if you strike out at a bar, you can’t use the “bad ratio” as an excuse.
3. San Francisco, California
Economics score: 30.69
Fun & Recreation score: 75.01
Dating Opportunities score: 78.09
Total score: 65.47
Thanks to its low unemployment rate, plentiful dating opportunities, and abundant nightlife, Northern Californians can look to San Francisco for their dating needs. The city scored dismally in the affordability category, as the Bay City is notoriously pricey, but its redeeming social aspects certainly compensate for that. Indeed, it ranked in the top five overall for the most nightlife per capita — so whether you’re looking for places to meet people or the perfect date spot, you won’t be starved for options in San Francisco.
2. Denver, Colorado
Economics score: 52.45
Fun & Recreation score: 59.70
Dating Opportunities score: 79.68
Total score: 66.19
Scoring highly across the board, Denver is still fairly affordable, compared to the number one city, meaning you can take your date out for a meal, movie, and drinks without clipping coupons for the next two weeks. Denver even came in second overall for cities with the best gender balance, ranking just behind San Diego. Colorado as a whole did well in the rankings, with Colorado Springs coming in at 45th on the list and Aurora at 104th.
1. Atlanta, Georgia
Economics score: 50.71
Fun & Recreation score: 72.15
Dating Opportunities score: 79.72
Total score: 69.27
If you’re single, desperately seeking a relationship, and relatively location independent, move to Atlanta. WalletHub named it the best city for singles in the US, despite it ranking 134th in the Economics category. That means its other merits — like plentiful online dating opportunities, share of single population, active Tinder users, and dating venues — are pretty overwhelming.
And even if you don’t happen to be a resident of one of these cities, don’t lose heart just yet. At least you’re not living in Pearl City, Hawaii, which came in dead last with a total score of 36.50.
Attending a meeting near Union Station in Washington, D.C., requires me to park a few blocks away and then walk under a bridge to an office building. People in business attire, like me, step carefully around the homeless men and women who have pitched tents under the bridge. They look filthy and miserable, especially in winter.
The persistence of large numbers of homeless Americans is one of the signal policy failures of the past two generations. A 2015 survey found that more than half a million people are homeless on any given night. According to Mentalillnesspolicy.org, about 45 percent of them are suffering from mental illness. When they are not on the street, many severely mentally ill people wind up in even worse surroundings. Jane Brody of The New York Times reports that "the country's three largest facilities housing the mentally ill are jails: the Twin Towers in Los Angeles, the Cook County Jail in Chicago and Rikers Island in New York City." More mentally people are in jails and prisons than in hospitals.
Some homeless people are on the streets or in shelters due to misfortunes that no human society ever completely eliminates, but most are afflicted by mental illness or have substance abuse problems or both. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 60% of the chronically homeless have mental health issues.
Governments at every level spend billions on the homeless, yet the numbers sleeping on the streets remain high. In Republican and Democratic administrations, in liberal and conservative regions, thousands of disabled people, some veterans who have served their country, sleep under bridges and in abandoned buildings, and eat out of trash bins.
This is the long tail of the de-institutionalization policy adopted in the 1960s, when America closed down most of its mental hospitals, dumping the mentally ill onto the streets and calling it compassion. Films like "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" cemented the public perception that mental health treatment (especially electroshock therapy) was thinly veiled torture. Since 1955, there has been a 95% reduction in the number of psychiatric beds available. To be sure, there were abuses in asylums, but our experience over the past 50 years has shown that we cannot do without them entirely without paying a price. It costs more to house a mentally ill person in prison than it would in a mental hospital, and prisons are ill-equipped to meet the needs of people whose minds are their worst enemies.
While we certainly need more beds for psychiatric patients, mental hospitals are not the only option for helping these needy people. Programs like Assisted Outpatient Treatment permit judges to supervise patients' compliance with drug and therapy regimens and have been shown to reduce harmful behaviors, arrest rates, homelessness and victimization among the severely mentally ill.
Governments have also failed to prioritize treating the severely mentally ill. Many research and treatment dollars go to the "worried well" rather than to those with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression. The National Institutes of Mental Health, for example, released a draft of its five-year plan for research in December 2019. It was heavily weighted toward basic brain research at the expense of more pressing research needs.
Dr. E. Fuller Torrey of the Treatment Advocacy Center, while acknowledging that some basic brain research is called for, listed a number of areas that cry out for research. A few examples: 1) Patients complain that when they are prescribed generics, they don't do as well. Study is needed into the efficacy of generic drugs for psychiatric cases. 2) Many drugs prescribed for mental disorders have only been studied for acute effects. More research is needed into their long-term effects. 3) Electroconvulsive therapy is underused in the U.S. compared to other advanced nations (thanks, "Cuckoo's Nest"). Evidence from other nations suggests that it is safe and effective. Controlled, randomized trials are needed. 4) Probiotics have shown promise for the treatment of mental disorders. More study is needed. 5) Four studies have shown a significant connection between cat ownership in childhood and schizophrenia. Studies of toxoplasmosis are needed.
In the 1960s, we persuaded ourselves that closing down mental hospitals was the humane solution to a problem. Today, we are arguably tolerating an even less humane model. The mentally ill, so vulnerable and in need of care, are crowding emergency rooms, languishing in prisons and sleeping under bridges. It's a cliche to say that this should not be the case in the wealthiest country in the world, but it's true.
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If you have the money, what not buy an expensive Swiss watch or Italian sports car?
According to a new study, it turns out that luxury goods are not always “feel good” purchases. Some consumers worry they may not deserve these items, sparking feelings of inauthenticity that fuel what researchers call the “impostor syndrome.”
“Luxury can be a double-edged sword,” said Boston College Carroll School of Management Associate Professor of Marketing Nailya Ordabayeva. “While luxury consumption holds the promise of elevated status, it can backfire and make consumers feel inauthentic, producing what we call the ‘impostor syndrome from luxury consumption.'”
The researchers draw their conclusions based on nine studies, encompassing surveys and observations of patrons of the Metropolitan Opera and shoppers at Louis Vuitton in New York City, vacationers on Martha’s Vineyard, and other luxury consumers.
In contrast to previous studies in this area, “we find that many consumers perceive luxury products as a privilege which is undue and undeserved,” the researchers said in the study, which was published in the Journal of Consumer Research.
As a result, consumers feel inauthentic while wearing or using these products, and they actually act less confident than if they were sporting non-luxury items.
For example, “one participant said she felt very shy when she wore a gold necklace with diamonds that she owned because it is not in her character to wear luxurious jewelry,” even though she could afford it, the researchers noted in at the study.
This effect is mitigated among consumers who have an inherently high sense of entitlement, and also among non-entitled-feeling consumers on occasions that make them feel special, such as their birthday.
“Luxury marketers and shoppers need to be aware of this psychological cost of luxury, as impostor feelings resulting from purchases reduce consumer enjoyment and happiness,” said Ordabayeva. “But boosting consumers’ feelings of deservingness through sales tactics and marketing messages can help. Ultimately, in today’s age that prioritizes authenticity and authentic living, creating experiences and narratives that boost people’s personal connection with products and possessions can yield lasting benefits for consumers and marketers alike.”
Ordabayeva’s co-authors on the study were Harvard Business School doctoral student Dafna Goor, Boston University professor Anat Keinan, and Hult International Business School professor Sandrine Crener.
When getting ready to sell your house, there’s a lot to worry about—home staging, repairs, keeping rooms tidy for home tours, and more. But there’s also one important thing that many sellers forget to do: hide their prescription drugs.
Sorry to break it to you, but some "buyers" touring your home might just be rooting around for valuables, and you might be surprised by which medications fit the bill.
Here's what sellers need to know about the risks of prescription drugs at open houses, and how to keep all of their belongings safe.
Which drugs to hide during an open house
When preparing for an open house, plenty of homeowners put away their expensive jewelry, electronics, and checkbooks. But prescription drugs often get overlooked since they're generally tucked away in medicine cabinets and drawers.
Although the painkiller OxyContin may be the most commonly abused prescription drug (and at highest risk for theft), also high on the list are attention deficit disorder medications like Concerta and Adderall, depression and anxiety medications like Zoloft and Xanax, and sleep aids like Ambien.
Plus, prescriptions aren't the only drugs that could get swiped for recreational use. For example, over-the-counter cough suppressants (e.g., NyQuil) can be abused by being mixed with alcohol or other drugs. And sinus medications containing pseudoephedrine, like Sudafed, can be used to make meth. Even the heartburn medication Prilosec has been known to be abused due to the euphoric effect it has when taken with methadone.
Make sure these, and all other medications, are removed from your medicine cabinet. Even if a medication seems innocuous, it's better to be safe than sorry.
How to keep your belongings safe
If you’re getting ready to show your home, walk around the house thinking like a stranger. What’s easy to pick up? What might be easy to sell? This is a great guideline for medications, but also for hiding anyvaluables in your home. Think about wine, perfume bottles, expensive lotions, even your designer tie collection.
Since it can be hard to know what thieves are looking for, try walking around the house with a real estate agent to make sure you’ve noticed everything. Make sure you don't leave your checkbook in an unlocked drawer; and hide your laptop, tablet, and cellphone.
The safe way to discard old pills
After a good sweep of your medicine cabinet, you might find yourself with a few bottles of pills you don’t need anymore. While your instinct might be to simply trash them before an open house, there’s a better way to dispose of them.
Many homeowners are making use of Deterra bags, and other drug-deactivation systems, to safely dispose of medications. Deterra bags work by using an activated carbon pod, which, when mixed with warm water, absorbs the active ingredients in pills, patches, and liquids, rendering the drugs inactive.
“We’re giving them to agents to give to homeowners when they’re buying or selling homes,” says former Nevada Realtors president Heidi Kasama, a supporter of RALI, the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative.
According to Nevada Business, RALI partners are distributing 500,000 pouches to residents of Nevada. Many other supporters of the initiative have had the opportunity to pass them out as well.
If you don't have access to a drug-deactivation bag, there are other ways to dispose of your unused medications. Drugs can be flushed down the toilet, but only if they are on the FDA's flush list. If they are not on the list, the FDA recommends mixing the drugs with an unappealing substance like cat litter or dirt, putting the mixture in a sealed plastic bag, and throwing it away in the trash.
The FDA also states that it's important to make sure you scratch out the information (like your name and what drug you were prescribed) on the prescription bottle.
If flushing and throwing medications away are not possible, you can always turn unused drugs into your nearest drug take-back location.
Why 'hidden' isn't always 'safe'
Once you’ve found everything of value, you may be wondering what to do with it. Your first instinct might be to hide valuables in a closet or in a drawer, but buyers often look in closets (to see how much storage space there is) and they can easily open drawers.
“When I tell owners to put valuables away, I recommend to not hide them in some obvious place, but put some thought into it, or put items in a safe,” Kasama says.
But if you don't have a safe, you might consider locking valuables in a desk drawer, buying a large (and heavy) trunk with a lock to store your valuables, or even putting them in the trunk of your car. If you have friends or family you trust living nearby, you might even ask if you can store a few boxes of your most precious items there.
Ask your real estate agent to keep an eye on buyers
Even if you think you’ve cleared out all your valuables, it’s still important to watch potential buyers in your house.
Of course, most of the time, the homeowner will be away when the house is being shown, so make sure your real estate agent is keeping an eye out for you.
Allison Jung, a real estate agent in Las Vegas, says she finds power in numbers when it comes to preventing theft in open houses.
“I have another agent, escrow or lender partner attend the open house with me,” Jung explains. “That way we can station ourselves in different parts of the house to keep an eye on things.”
Kasama says she’s always on the lookout for suspicious activity.
“We had a showing once, and four people came in,” she recalls. “They immediately split up and took off in two directions and didn't seem to want to listen to anything about the house. A big red flag. We called after them and said they had to all stay together and we would tour them through the house. They left very shortly after that, which tells me they were not there to look at the house.”
Cue “The X-Files” music and put on your tinfoil hats. We’re going for a ride.
Last month the U.S. Navy confirmed that three videos of unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) taken by airplane pilots a few years ago are indeed authentic. (Notice we’re not saying “unidentified flying object,” or UFO.) This means the videos went through the U.S. military, so it can be assumed they have not been computer-generated or altered.
Three clips dubbed “FLIR1,” “Gimbal” and “Go Fast” show two encounters between Navy aircraft and UAP. The object was tracked by the aircraft’s Raytheon RTN, +0.20% AN/ASQ-228 Advanced Targeting Forward-Looking Infrared (ATFLIR) Pod, and in all three videos, it performed maneuvers that cannot be executed using current aviation technology.
Commander David Fravor, who flew one of the fighters in the video (“Gimbal”), describes the object as “Tic Tac”-shaped, 40-feet long, with no wings, exhaust or discernible propulsion. After some maneuvering, the object ended up hovering above the water. Moments later, it rapidly ascended to 12,000 feet and finally accelerated away at a speed the commander suggested was “well above supersonic.”
When asked if a human pilot could survive such an acceleration in a modern aircraft, Fravor responded with a resounding “no.” Acceleration of that magnitude would wreak havoc on the human body: broken bones, shifting of organs, burst blood vessels and even death would occur as the body was crushed with G-forces it could not withstand.
But let’s consider for a second that the mysterious object in question was manned by a human pilot. In that case, the vehicle would have to be equipped with the technology capable of reducing the inertial mass of the object by generating gravity waves to reduce G-forces during acceleration.
Perhaps this could be achieved if the outer shell of the craft were turned into a cavity wall filled with gas, which would vibrate thanks to microwave emitters. This description was taken from a patent the U.S. Navy applied for in 2016, which says such a peculiar craft could move with great ease through air, space or water by being enclosed in a vacuum plasma bubble or sheath.
That could be the UAP that Fravor saw during his documented flight. Gravity manipulating tech at play could explain how the craft was able to effortlessly perform certain maneuvers such as suddenly turning sideways without losing altitude (aka knife-edge flight) in the FLIR1 video, or rapidly changing in-flight direction without visible inertia.
While the patent for the mysterious craft was approved last year, there is no indication that it was built or tested. Then again, it’s hard to imagine that a military aircraft equipped with this kind of technology would get any publicity.
If it indeed was this craft in the video, it was built and tested prior to the patent application. However, it could be that the cat got out of the bag. That could be why the Navy reluctantly acknowledged the authenticity of the footage, while also outlining that it wasn’t cleared for public release.
So far, the pieces of the puzzle seem to be falling into place. Then again, at about the 1:17 mark in the video above, one pilot says: “There’s a whole fleet of them. Look on the ASA.” ASA is most likely AESA, the APG-79 radar’s “search while track” feature that enables it to follow multiple targets without degradation to its search capability. Having one experimental craft exposed during a mission is a likely event, but what about a whole fleet?
We have two possibilities: First, there was more than one mysterious aircraft at the location, but it’s unlikely any of them was our patented vehicle.
Another explanation could be that because of the vacuum sheath or another type of stealth technology surrounding the UAP, radar erroneously reported multiple bogies, where in fact there was only one.
That would also explain why the pilot had a hard time locking on to the target in “FLIR1” and “Go Fast” videos. The speed must have played a role as well. Clinicians have a saying: Common things are common. If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.
So what do you think is more likely? A Navy experimental aircraft, inadvertently uncovered by pilots, or an alien UFO? My bet is on the latest Navy patent, but I’m open to suggestions. Please share them in the comment section below. You can take your tinfoil hat off now.
It’s a bright idea to take care of your peepers.
Many people consider sunglasses an optional accessory, but doctors say otherwise: “The sun’s rays can burn the outer layers of the eyes, just as they burn the skin. Sunglasses help your eyes filter light and they protect the eyes from ultraviolet light that may contribute to conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration,” Dr. Marc Grossman, co-author of “Natural Eye Care, Your Guide to Healthy Vision and Healing,” told MarketWatch. Dr. Myles Zakheim, co-founder of eyecare company Zak, says that UV rays from the sun “greatly contribute to corneal eye irritation, dry eye and retinal damage.”
But not all sunglasses are created equal, doctors tell MarketWatch. “It doesn’t matter if sunglasses cost $5 or $400 as long as they offer both UVA and UVB protection of up to 400nm, which stands for nanometer, which is the wavelength of ultraviolet light,” says Dr. Rebecca Taylor, clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, who adds that it also “doesn’t matter if the lenses are mirrored, pink, blue or yellow.” Grossman concurs that the thing to look for in sunglasses is that “they should block out 99% or higher of UVA and UVB radiation.” Here are some of the best sunglasses — including these stylish J+S aviators for about $17 on Amazon — that meet those standards.
Solar Shield Thunderbird Polarized Square Sunglasses, about $16
These 100% UVA/UVB shades are designed to fit over prescription glasses but can also be worn alone. One thing that makes these sunglasses stand out even more: “They have maximum wraparound protection as they block light from above and the sides,” says Dr. Grossman.
J+S Premium Military Style Classic Aviator Sunglasses, about $17
These glasses have garnered almost 5,000 reviews on Amazon, 74% of which have been 5-star. They offer UV 400 protection, blocking out 99%-100% of both UVA and UVB radiation.
Duco Men’s Sports Polarized Sunglasses, about $15
Only 29.5% of American adults wear sunglasses while playing a sport or exercising outdoors, and only 33.7% wear them while watching a sporting event, according to The Vision Council’s most recent VisionWatch survey from 2017. But they should, which is why these highly rated glasses landed on our list. With nearly 4,000 Amazon customer reviews and a 4.4 out of 5 star rating, these scratch-resistant, lightweight glasses are great for outdoor enthusiasts. One purchaser commented, “They look and feel like high end sunglasses — the frames are a combination of metal covered with polymer and the nose bridge is adjustable and replaceable.”
So what’s the deal with polarized lenses? Because they contain a special filter that blocks intense reflected light, they provide superior glare protection, especially on the water — which is why they are great for people doing summer sports like kayaking.
But they can be an unnecessary expenditure for people who just need regular sunglasses, says Dr. Grossman. However, if you’re in a situation with intense glare, “filtering out the exposure to horizontal light waves can improve how well you see, reduce eye strain and maximize eye protection,” says Dr. Emily chew, deputy clinical director at the National Eye Institute.
Ray Ban Wayfarer Square Sunglasses, about $100
Dr. Grossman recommends Ray Ban sunglasses as an example of a quality product that provides 100% UVA/UVB protection. With a variety of styles available, this pair has more than 980 customer reviews and a 4-star rating on Amazon.
Bottom line: It’s never too early to start wearing sunglasses. Optometrist Dr. Justin Bazan says parents should start setting good eye health habits with their kids early on and make eye health a priority for themselves: “Make sure you pick a pair of sunglasses that match your personal style so that you’ll be more likely to wear them whenever you step outside.”
Revo Bearing Sunglasses, about $70
These glasses block 100% UVA/UVB rays and have spring-hinge construction which allows for enhanced durability. In addition to their 4.3 out of 5 star rating on Amazon, one reviewer commented, “Great product, I actually ended up buying two pairs due to the value and quality.”
Every now and then a viral trend comes along that poses a major health threat. (Remember when people were eating Tide Pods?) This newest Internet fad is no different. Sunburn tattoos are the latest viral hit that you should never, ever try. Seriously, never.
To get a sunburn tattoo, people put stencils on their skin and then head out to lay in the sun without any sunscreen. When you remove the stencil, you'll have a sunburn-shaped design on your skin—like a temporary tattoo.
Sure it looks like harmless summer fun. But no matter how you spin it, sunburn tattoos are extremely dangerous and can put you at serious risk of skin cancer.
"In order for the stencil, or tattoo, to be apparent, you would have to damage the surrounding tissue enough that it either tans heavily or burns," Rachel Nazarian, MD, a New York–based dermatologist and Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology (FAAD), tells Health.
"Both tanning and burning the skin is detrimental to your health; they're signs that the skin is receiving ultraviolet radiation with mutating potential, which increases your risk of developing skin cancer and accelerates skin aging, meaning more wrinkles, sun spots, and loss of collagen, which causes sagging skin," she continues.
Health also spoke with Debra Jaliman, MD, dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, who had a similar take. "Purposefully keeping the area sunscreen-free will do harm to the DNA in your skin cells," Dr. Jaliman says. "Not only will you cause premature skin aging, but you will also be putting yourself at risk for skin cancer."
So listen to these dermatologists and skip the sunburn tattoo fad. Instead, show your skin lots of love by wearing sunscreen every single day, no exceptions.
To make sure you're properly protected, apply sunscreen about 30 minutes before you're going to be in the sun, and slather it on those less obvious body spots, like your lips, feet, eyelids, and underarms. You should also wear at least SPF 15 and reapply every 80 minutes.
Sometimes in life, you just need a good puzzle. They force you to exercise your mind and think about the world from a slightly different angle, and they remind us that sometimes, the key to solving a problem is to simply approach it with fresh eyes.
Plus, they’re a lot of fun, and nothing beats the satisfaction of finally cracking one!
And not only are they fun, but studies have even shown that brainteasers can keep your mind sharp and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Of course, they also require some concentration and a little creative thinking. But the best thing about brainteasers is that they’re fun for everyone, and you don’t need any kind of special talent to try one out.
Brainteasers often times rely on hiding their secrets in plain sight, and on misdirection.
We’ll start off with a puzzle that’s been a longtime favorite.
Study the photo above and try to spot the error.
If you get stumped, or just want to make sure your guess is right, click to reveal the answers.
Olive oil has been hailed as a hair-healing treatment for ages. And today, you'll read about its wonders all over the internet. It makes sense as to why: a hair care cure for dryness and damage, found right in your kitchen? Plus, it contains many of the good-for-you ingredients that you find in commercial products? Especially those looking for easy, natural, DIY options, the appeal is undeniable.
But there is still a lot of misinformation and confusion out there. So we combed through the research (as a forewarning, there's not a ton) as well as talked to a few of our go-to experts to find out the deal. Here, everything you need to know.
What are the benefits?
In order for your hair to remain healthy, it needs to retain moisture and nutrients, and those are often depleted with hot tools, chemical processing, surfactants in shampoos, and daily wear and tear. It also needs protection from environmental stressors, like sun and pollution, as they cause free-radical damage. When your hair is damaged, it can become more porous, meaning it loses water much faster.
Olive oil plays a role in helping hydrate hair but not in the way you might think: Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat. Hair actually has the ability to absorb monounsaturated fats, according to research. (According to one study, they've been able to document the absorption of certain oils by tracking the thinning film that surrounds the strand, and it also shows that doesn't happen with all oils, like mineral for example, so while some smaller oil molecules can penetrate hair, some will only sit on top.)
And when olive oil is absorbed into the hair, it can actually help hair retain hydration. Retain is the key word here: "Oil is not a conditioner, only water-based products can truly moisturize your hair," says hairstylist Gabrielle Corney. "These oils have many hair benefits, but they work best when in conjunction with a water-based hydrating cream." Liken it to using an oil in skin care; they are most hydrating when tapped on top of a lotion or essence to help "trap" in the water.
Olive oil also contains a large amount of antioxidants from vitamins E and K. Free-radical damage not only happens to the skin but hair as well; the oxidative stress can actually cause hair to age faster, according to one study. The antioxidants will help neutralize those and mitigate any future stressors.
Other than helping retain hydration, research suggests, olive oil can also act as a lubricant for strands to reduce breakage. Shockingly, a significant amount of damage to hair can actually happen during the shower: Hair is weakest when wet, then when you add in surfactants from shampoo and the scrubbing motion, you cause friction between strands. This friction can lead to raised cuticles, stretching, and splintering. When you apply an oil before washing, the film helps minimize the chances of this.
It should be noted that these benefits only come when choosing the right type: Opt for extra-virgin organic olive oil, which is the least processed and contains more of the hair-helping nutrients explained above.
What are the downsides?
As with all good things in life, it's not right for everything or every woe.
There are many claims that it can help with dandruff by moisturizing flaky, scaly patches—as well as being antimicrobial. However, most dermatologists refute this. According to board-certified dermatologist Whitney Bowe, M.D., "Dandruff is caused by a yeast on our scalp, and if you use olive oil, you are feeding that yeast, which might make dandruff worse." (She also notes she's not against using olive oil as a hydrator, especially on the ends, but it might not be right for everyone.)
Another potential side effect: If you are acne-prone on your chest or back, and your hair is long enough to touch the area, you might be unintentionally clogging pores and leading to worse breakouts.
Finally, never use olive oil before using hot tools or a blow dryer. Olive oil has a burn temperature starting as low as 320°F. Most hot tools and dryers on the market go well above that. Translation? You are literally cooking your strands.
What hair types should (and shouldn't) use olive oil?
Those with extremely dry hair or those with kinky and curly textures will benefit the most from olive oil, notes Corney, who says it is one of her favorite oils for her clients. This hair texture is naturally more porous and, therefore, loses moisture faster. Also because of the winding strand pattern, it has more points on the hair that are prone to breakage (your hair is more susceptible to damage at curves and turns), so it needs more lubricating, especially during the detangling or washing process.
However, it's too heavy of an oil for those with fine or straight hair. It will weigh down strands and make the style appear greasy, especially when applied at the roots. These hair types would benefit more from a thinner option with less slip, like jojoba or argan oil.
You might be tempted to use olive oil on color-treated hair, specifically if you lighten it, as bleaching hair opens up the hair cuticle, making it more porous as well. However, olive oil has a rich gold tone, which over time, can slowly make hair dye appear warmer or even yellow. "Any hair product that's not clear has the potential to alter color," says colorist and co-founder of the salon Spoke&Weal Christine Thompson. "So if you apply a product, like an oil, that has a specific tone, your hair can adapt that color with repeated use."
How to apply it to your hair.
Using olive oil isn't just as simple as pulling it off your kitchen counter and dosing your strands with it. It can be, but there are a few more effective ways to use it, depending on your needs.
Pre-shampoo treatment: As noted above, washing your hair can actually cause damage to the strands through friction and surfactants. So before you take a shower, evenly apply oil—the amount will depend on length and thickness. If you are especially dry, we recommend coating the whole strand. Or if you are prone to oily scalps, you can just focus on mid-shaft to the ends.
Tending ends: While nothing can fix dry and split ends besides a trim, you can temporarily improve the look of them. It's as easy as applying a tiny bit to the bottom of the hair: The oil adds shine to the area, making it appear less damaged (dullness is a key sign of dead ends). And, while this particular study didn't test olive oil specifically, it showed that regular use of oils in general may help prevent future split ends by protecting it from physical damage.
Smoothing back frizz: Applying oils gives the appearance of frizz reduction by coating and sealing the cuticle. (As a briefer on frizz: It's caused by raised cuticles on the strands, which causes the individual strands to separate.) As we've mentioned before, olive oil is likely too heavy for some hair types to use as a styling agent, but if your hair is prone to extreme frizz, it can help combat fly-aways. To apply: Use a small amount, and with your fingers, comb it through your hair, focusing on your hairline or part, which tend to attract more frizz.
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