Why Do We Hug? … #TheCuddleHormone


(The following excerpt/video recently appeared on aol.comTo view them in their entirety click on the link below.)

We hug people all the time, but have you ever wondered why? Apparently, there’s many reasons we’re programmed to embrace each other.

To connect to others: When you hug someone it releases oxytocin, also known as ‘the cuddle hormone.’ That’s what makes you feel warm inside. Psychologists also say that oxytocin promotes feelings of devotion, trust and bonding. This allows us to connect to other people. These connections become even more valuable as you age. The loneliness that comes with years can increase stress and overall health. Hugging has been proven to directly fight feelings of loneliness.

To feel safe: A study published in Psychological Science found that touch and hugging has the ability to comfort people who suffer from low self-esteem. A hug can provide existential security to someone who is drifting. Even embracing inanimate objects, like stuffed animals, can help alleviate fear.

To stay healthy: Oxytocin has also been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease. When you hug receptors in your skin send signals to the vagus nerve. This nerve has the power to slow down your heart and decrease blood pressure, which calms you. A study from Harvard Medical School discovered that children who were not hugged had stunted growth and poor behavior.



How People Define #Beauty In 19 Different Countries


(The following excerpt/video/photos from How People Define Beauty In 19 Different Countries recently appeared on aol.comTo view them in their entirety click on the link below.)

Beauty is said to be in the eye of the beholder, but do different countries, with their different cultural values, have different ideas of what is beautiful? One recent college graduate wanted to find out.

Ester Honig, a human interest reporter, sent out a photograph of herself to 40 different photo editors in 25 different countries and gave them a single task — to make her look beautiful. She told the Huffington Post that the results were shocking, but none more so than Morocco, where Islam is the primary religion. That photo, and others, proved that customs are a major factor in aesthetics.

Honig says that the project also had a substantial impact on her own self-perception of beauty, making her aware of her own flaws, or what other may see as flaws. Some editors restructured her face, others stretched and spliced — and all of them changed her skin tone.

While she’s reluctant to find a moral to the story, her project proves that photoshop allows models to achieve the perception of ideal beauty, yet makes it harder for real people to attain it.


7 Priceless Things That #Money Will Never Be Able To Buy


(The following excerpt from 7 Priceless Things That Money Will Never Be Able To Buy by Paul Hudson recently appeared on elite daily.comTo view it in its entirety click on the link below.)

I love money – as we all do. Yet, money isn’t everything. There are things in life that are much more important than money itself, or anything that money is capable of buying.

The reality is that even though we live in a capitalist world, the most valuable things in life come without a price tag. This is important to keep in mind as more and more people every year seem to be losing sight of this fact.

Money cannot buy you everything. Here are 7 of the most important things that the richest person in the world can still very well be lacking:

1. Time
In reality, time is the only valuable currency on the planet – it is the only currency with intrinsic value.

2. Love

You will never be able to buy true love because true love is never for sale.

3. Happiness

The only way to be happy is to be happy when you have nothing in the world but yourself.

4. Courage

Courage doesn’t mean always facing dangerous situations. It can mean to face yourself and face your illogical fears.

5. Intellect

Money can’t buy you is the will to do the work necessary to increase your intellectual capacity.

6. Purpose

Without a purpose in life we are lost. We are confused. We make poor decisions and end up living lives that we hate with all our soul.

7. A Legacy

Legacy is the result of a life lived with purpose, full of success, as well as failures.


#Wolves Can Communicate With Just Their Eyes


(The following excerpt from Study: Wolves Can Communicate With Just Their Eyes recently appeared on aol.com. To view it in its entirety please click on the link below.)

Ever try to talk to your friends without actually speaking? It can be a bit challenging … which is what makes this discovery all the more impressive. A new study suggests wolves can communicate using only their eyes.

Researchers looked at pictures of almost every species and found they have a special eye-based communication system. They narrowed it down to 3 basic patterns:

Type A- the pupil position and eye position are clear.

Type B- Only the eye position is clear

Type C- the eyes are unclear.

Certain wolves, dogs and even humans identify with type-A. The researchers wrote about their findings, “A-type faces tended to be observed in species living in family groups all year-round…”

Type B is common among other wolves, foxes and dingos that tend to travel solo or in pairs, and type C was found in primitive species like African wild dogs, that live in packs, but mostly hunt alone.

This isn’t an entirely new theory – scientists believe one of the reasons humans have white surrounding our irises is so we can tell what others are looking at.


After Being Bitten by Grandparent’s Dogs, KFC Ordeal Proved To be a Hoax.

A young girl is mauled by vicious dogs. On her way home from hospital treatment the family stops at a KFC, which asks them to leave as her facial injuries are upsetting customers. Terrible? Yes, and a terrible lie—designed to gull money from a generous, unsuspecting public.
It was a story that was cooked up with eleven herbs and spices.Victoria Wilcher, a blonde, bright-eyed three-year-old from Jackson, Mississippi, was horrifically mauled by three of her grandfather’s ten pit bulls. She was bitten all over her body, but the greatest damage was to her face: According to her aunt, “She had a broken upper and lower jaw, broken nose, cheek bones and right eye socket.” She lost her right eye, as well as the ability to move the right side of her face. Her lips and cheeks are a patchwork of stiches and scars.As she returned from the hospital with her grandmother, Victoria said that she was hungry, so her grandmother, Kelly Mullins, made a stop at a local KFC franchise. She ordered a sweet tea and some mashed potatoes—Victoria was on a feeding tube, but her grandmother reasoned that the mashed potatoes were soft enough for her to swallow. Before Victoria could try, however, the family was asked to leave because the girl’s facial scars were putting the rest of the clientele off their food.“They just told us, they said, ‘We have to ask you to leave because her face is disrupting our customers,’” Mullins told a local news affiliate. Victoria cried the entire way home.

It was, as commenters on “Victoria’s Victories,” the now-defunct Facebook page set up to support the mauling victim, “the saddest story ever.”

It was also, almost certainly, bullshit.

Victoria was indeed attacked by her grandfather’s pit bulls—both her grandfather, Donald Mullins and his girlfriend, Rita Tompkins, were charged with child endangerment following the near-deadly mauling — but the tale of corporate cruelty is a complete fabrication, a ruse calculated to tug at a credulous public’s heartstrings and part them with their cash.

According to the Laurel Leader-Call, citing sources deep within KFC’s investigation into the alleged incident, there’s not a single piece of evidence that Victoria was ever even in a KFC. Surveillance videos both KFC locations in Jackson show no customers matching either Victoria or Mullins’ descriptions. The chain’s computers show no record of any orders that included mashed potatoes and sweet tea in the same transaction, or even the two items as part of a larger order. The KFC location originally accused of kicking Victoria out hasn’t been in business in years.

Victoria’s family is doing more than just defrauding the public—they are turning Victoria into a professional victim, paid for her suffering by people both horrified and titillated by it.

To read the complete story, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/25/colonel-of-truth-the-kfc-hoax-and-the-idiocy-of-crowdfunding-for-bullying-victims.html


Hot For Convict: Is This A Mug Shot Or A Head Shot? #JeremyMeeks


According to researcher Dr. Sandie Taylor, “People who are physically attractive are assumed to be clever, successful and have more friends – it is tragic in a way.”

(The following excerpt from Hot For Convict: Is This A Mug Shot Or A Head Shot? by Jen Kim recently appeared on psychology today.com. To view it in its entirety click on the link below.)

Is this hunky guy a Calvin Klein model or a convicted felon?

If you guessed the latter, you’d be correct – but it isn’t preventing Jeremy Meeks, 30, from becoming a bona fide internet celebrity. His “handsome” mug shot went viral when it was posted on the Stockton Police Department’s Facebook page earlier this month. The photo boasts more than 93,000 likes and 25,000 comments – many of them peppered with heart emoticons and declarations of love. His crowdfunding page “Free Jeremy Meeks” has raised almost $4,000.

This very public outpouring of support suggests very few are bothered by Jeremy’s alleged crimes, which include a gang affiliation and connection to several shootings and robberies in the area. Records indicate he had also previously served two years in prison for grand theft.

In fact, Jeremy’s own fan page (yes, he has one!) on Facebook now has more than 143,000 likes. It’s brimming with his photos (both real and photoshopped) as well as inspirational quotes like, “If your heart was a prison, I would like to be sentenced for life.”

Research suggests Jeremy’s unusual situation is explained by the “halo effect” of attractiveness, which is our tendency to unconsciously assign attractive people with “favorable traits as talent, kindness, honesty and intelligence.” The halo effect is why we are attracted to Brad Pitt. It’s why we gravitate toward pretty, shiny objects – instead of ugly ones. It’s an inherent superficiality that we aren’t even aware we’re guilty of.

And aren’t we normally drawn to charming people? Don’t we want them to like us? Of course, we wouldn’t dream of putting them behind bars.

And it turns out we don’t.

Studies that have found that ugly defendants are more likely to be found guilty than their good-looking ones in court.

Attractive children get punished less than their less-attractive counterparts.

Teachers think good-looking children are more intelligent than their more average classmates. This unfair treatment leads kids to “have less belief in themselves, less confidence, they receive less attention…as a consequence…they achieve less.”

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that “ugly people are more often tempted – or perhaps pushed – into a life of crime than people who are physically attractive.”

When I was in third grade, we all tormented this odd-looking kid named Jared. He ate pencils in class, which was usually what we made fun of him for. But, maybe, he ate pencils, because we made fun of him. Ugh. I hate myself, sometimes.

So what will be the verdict for handsome bubble member Jeremy Meeks? Will his infamous mug shot land him in prison or with a modeling contract? The public and his adoring fans seem to hope for the latter. What do you think?