Two Key Brain Functions Get Better After Age 50?
A new study shows that some aspects of a person's brain IMPROVE with age, especially after age 50. And it's more involved than just remembering the "back way" to Golden Corral. Researchers from Georgetown University Medical Center studied hundreds of people between 58 and 98 and found two key brain functions get better in old age: They include attending to new information and focusing on what's important in a given situation. Those things contribute to critical aspects of cognition like memory, decision making, and self-control, and are even vital in navigation, math, language, and reading. The study looked at three brain "networks" overall . . . and only one declined with age. It was referred to as "alerting," and it's characterized by "a state of enhanced vigilance and preparedness in order to respond to incoming information." So are there any benefits to this information . . . beyond giving older people something new to lecture their grandchildren about? Yes, hopefully. Scientists say that this data could lead to better therapies for Alzheimer's disease, and protecting against dementia.
Will "Hybrid Dating" Be the New Norm After Covid?
The way we date has changed over the years. If you were dating online 20 years ago, people made fun of you. Now everyone does it. So will something called "hybrid dating" be the new norm? Video dates have become a thing because of the pandemic. But hybrid dating is when you combine them with dates that happen in real life. Before Covid, almost no one had done a video date. But a recent survey found almost half of people who use apps like Tinder and Hinge have gone on at least one virtual date now. A new article on Axios.com argues that hybrid dating WILL become the new norm. And there are a few reasons. It's easier and less of a commitment. If you HATE the person, you can just log off . . . get back to your Netflix . . . and never see them again. And virtual dates are also a lot CHEAPER than regular dates. So it's becoming more and more normal to have your first few dates over Zoom before you meet up in real life. Speaking of commitment: A recent Hinge survey found 37% of its users are now open to being exclusive with someone before they even meet up in person.
Six Benefits of Trying Something New
After staying home so much, Americans are itching to try new things. And most of us already have in the last year-and-a-half. 80% of Americans say they've tried something new since the pandemic started. That includes 67% who've tried a new food or drink, and 64% who've expanded their taste in movies, music, or TV shows . . . maybe because they've watched everything else. Here are six benefits of trying new things, according to the poll . . . 1. It can make you feel better in general. 78% of people say it's true. 2. It boosts happiness. 60% say trying new things makes them happy. 3. It can make you more creative. 53% say branching out helps with creativity. 4. It gives you energy. 52% of us feel more energetic after trying something new. 5. It raises your self-esteem. 51% say they feel more content with themselves after doing something they've never done before. 6. It can help you find something you love. 63% of people have ended up loving something that they avoided for years.
2021's Hardest-Working States in America
Monday is Labor Day. So have you been working hard or hardly working this year In general, Americans put in more hours at work than people in other countries do. The average in the U.S. was 1,767 hours last year. That's about 35 hours a week if you take two weeks off a year, and it's about 30% more than people in Germany, France, or the U.K. But which state has the HARDEST workers? Wallet Hub just posted their annual rankings based on things like employment rates, hours worked, average commute, and how much free time people have in general. According to the results, the hardest-working state this year is ALASKA. It ranked second last year, but swapped places with North Dakota. The ten hardest-working states in 2021 are: Alaska . . . North Dakota . . . Nebraska . . . South Dakota . . . Texas . . . Wyoming . . . Oklahoma . . . Virginia . . . New Hampshire . . . and Kansas. New Mexico ranked last, followed by West Virginia, New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
Twix Seasoning Now Exists, so Everything Can Taste Like Candy Bars
Good news if you wish everything tasted like a candy bar: A new Twix-flavored SEASONING blend hits stores tomorrow. It's called Twix Shakers, and it'll be available at Sam's Club starting tomorrow. Then grocery stores around the country will get it over the next couple months.
It's mostly meant as a topper for things like ice cream and milkshakes. But they claim it's also good on popcorn, and in cocktails. And they specifically suggest trying it on FRUIT. Finally . . . a way to eat fruit without being healthy.
Many Americans Haven't Had a Day to Relax in More Than Three Months There haven't been many positive aspects of the pandemic, but initially it seemed like we'd at least have a little more downtime . . . away from the hustle and bustle of running from place to place. But it hasn't panned out that way. At least not lately. According to a new survey, nearly a third of Americans have been so caught up with their work, life, and kids, that they haven't had a single day to relax alone in more than three MONTHS. That covers the entire summer. 65% of people say they'd like to spend more time on self-care . . . things like listening to music, taking bubble baths, and napping at the end of a long day . . . but they don't feel like they have the downtime to make it a routine.Some people are willing to try to find more time for themselves. 32% would give up social media to have more time . . . and another 24% would sacrifice their favorite food.
Is Ending Prices with ".99" Backfiring on Sellers?
You know how sellers end prices with ".99" to TRICK YOU into thinking something is cheaper than it is? The hope is that, psychologically, your first impression is that something is a good deal after seeing the first number. But it turns out, the 99-cent pricing trick could backfire on sellers . . . if the seller is trying to entice you to UPGRADE. Researchers at Ohio State University found that it's very difficult to get buyers to "cross the boundary" of the round number. For example, they set up a coffee stand, and sold a small coffee at a price of 95 cents, with the option to upgrade to a larger size for $1.20. Then, they changed the small coffee to a flat $1.00, with the upgrade at $1.25. Only 29% of the customers upgraded from 95 cents to $1.20 . . . while 56% were willing to go from $1.00 to $1.25. The second option was always more expensive, but it didn't ask buyers to cross the $1.00 mark like the first did. They also said that going from $19.99 to $25 may seem like it'll cost more than going from $20 to $26, even though it is actually less of a difference.
Fewer Americans Believe in Love at First Sight
It depends on how you look at this, but Americans are either getting less romantic or more realistic. A new survey found we're less likely to believe in love at first sight than we used to be. 46% of Americans say love at first sight is a real thing. Just over 29% said it's NOT real, and around 25% aren't sure. When the same poll was done ten years ago, 55% said they believed in love at first sight. So it's dropped 9% in the past decade.
Today's Showbiz Highlights
1. BEN AFFLECK stars in an ad for the new sports betting app WynnBET, and it includes a cameo from another notorious gambler by the name of LUPE RODRIGUEZ . . . also known as J-LO's mom. 2. SETH ROGEN is doing a new podcast called "Storytime with Seth Rogen", where he'll ask guests to tell them any, quote, "incredible stories they think are entertaining or formative." The first episode drops October 6th. 3. SHARON STONE announced the passing of her 11-month-old nephew and godson from organ failure. He died a week short of his first birthday. Sharon was in Italy over the weekend doing a photo shoot when she get the news. 4. Former NFL quarterback TRENT DILFER is a high school coach now, and he was caught on video shoving and yelling at one of his players during a game. He apologized and said, quote, "I should have . . . shown greater wisdom and discernment in how I handled this incident." 5. The "Expendables" are back for a fourth film with Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Randy Couture, and Dolph Lundgren . . . plus new cast members Megan Fox, 50 Cent, and Tony Jaa. 6. KUMAIL NANJIANI wanted his character in "The Eternals" to be nothing like the roles Middle Easterners usually get . . . which are basically either the nerdy guy or the terrorist. 7. SARAH PAULSON wore a fat suit to play LINDA TRIPP in the upcoming "Impeachment" series. But now she regrets it, given the stigma against overweight people in Hollywood. And she says she wouldn't do it again. 8. The cover of DRAKE's new album "Certified Lover Boy" is 12 pregnant emoji women. A lot of people think it's cheesy, and may actually sabotage the album. One person said, quote, "This should have been Nick Cannon's album cover." 9. KORN resumed shows Friday, after JONATHAN DAVIS' battle with COVID-19. He's clearly still feeling the after effects because he had to use an oxygen mask between songs and sit on a throne the majority of the show. Quote, "I'm [effing] feeling very weak but I [effing] refuse to [effing] cancel!!!" 10. WhiskeyRiff.com did a tournament for fans to vote for their favorite GEORGE STRAIT song. His hits were divided into four "eras" and the winner was 1983's "Amarillo By Morning".