Charles Manson dead at 83

Charles Manson dead at 83

 

Charles Manson was escorted to his arraignment in 1969.

Associated Press/File
Charles Manson was escorted to his arraignment in 1969.

NEW YORK — Charles Manson, one of the most notorious murderers of the 20th century, who was very likely the most culturally persistent and perhaps also the most inscrutable, died on Sunday in Kern County, Calif. He was 83 and had been behind bars for most of his life.

He died of natural causes in a hospital, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said in a news release.

Manson was a semiliterate habitual criminal and failed musician before he came to irrevocable attention in the late 1960s as the wild-eyed leader of the Manson family, a murderous band of young drifters in California. Convicted of nine murders in all, Manson was known in particular for the seven brutal killings collectively called the Tate-LaBianca murders, committed by his followers on two consecutive August nights in 1969.

The most famous of the victims was Sharon Tate, an actress who was married to the film director Roman Polanski. Eight and a half months pregnant, she was killed with four other people at her Benedict Canyon home.

The Tate-LaBianca killings and the seven-month trial that followed were the subjects of fevered news coverage. To a frightened, mesmerized public, the murders, with their undercurrents of sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, and Satanism, seemed the depraved logical extension of the anti-establishment, do-your-own-thing ethos that helped define the ’60s.

Since then, the Manson family has occupied a dark, persistent place in American culture — and American commerce. It has inspired, among other things, pop songs, an opera, films, a host of internet fan sites, T-shirts, children’s wear, and half the stage name of the rock musician Marilyn Manson.

It has also been the subject of many nonfiction books, most famously “Helter Skelter” (1974), by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry. Bugliosi was the lead prosecutor at the Tate-LaBianca trial.

The Manson family came to renewed attention in 2008, when officials in California, responding to long speculation that there were victims still unaccounted for, searched a stretch of desert in Death Valley. There, in a derelict place known as the Barker Ranch, Manson and his followers had lived for a time in the late ’60s. The search turned up no human remains.

It was a measure of Manson’s hold over his followers, mostly young women who had fled middle-class homes, that he was not physically present at the precise moment that any of the Tate-LaBianca victims was killed. Yet his family swiftly murdered them on his orders, which, according to many later accounts, were meant to incite an apocalyptic race war that Manson called Helter Skelter. He took the name from the title of a Beatles song.

Throughout the decades since, Manson has remained an enigma. Was he a paranoid schizophrenic, as some observers have suggested? Was he a sociopath, devoid of human feeling? Was he a charismatic guru, as his followers once believed and his fans seemingly still do?

Or was he simply flotsam, a man whose life, The New York Times wrote in 1970, “stands as a monument to parental neglect and the failure of the public correctional system”?

No Name Maddox, as Manson was officially first known, was born on Nov. 12, 1934, to a 16-year-old unwed mother in Cincinnati. (Many accounts give the date erroneously as Nov. 11.) His mother, Kathleen Maddox, was often described as having been a prostitute. What is certain, according to Bugliosi’s book and other accounts, is that she was a heavy drinker who lived on the margins of society with a series of men.

Manson apparently never knew his biological father. His mother briefly married another man, William Manson, and gave her young son the name Charles Milles Manson.

Kathleen often disappeared for long periods — when Charles was 5, for instance, she was sent to prison for robbing a gas station — leaving him to bounce among relatives in Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky. She was paroled when Charles was 8 and took him back, but kept him for only a few years.

From the age of 12 on, Charles was placed in a string of reform schools. At one institution, he held a razor to a boy’s throat and raped him.

Escaping often, he committed burglaries, auto thefts, and armed robberies, landing in between in juvenile detention centers and eventually federal reformatories. He was paroled from the last one at 19, in May 1954.

Starting in the mid-1950s, Manson, living mostly in Southern California, was variously a busboy, parking-lot attendant, car thief, check forger, and pimp. During this period, he was in and out of prison.

He was married twice: in 1955 to Rosalie Jean Willis, a teenage waitress, and a few years later to a young prostitute named Leona. Both marriages ended in divorce.

Manson was believed to have fathered at least two children over the years: at least one with one of his wives, and at least one more with one of his followers. The precise number, names, and whereabouts of his children — a subject around which rumor and urban legend have long coalesced — could not be confirmed.

By March 1967, when Manson, then 32, was paroled from his latest prison stay, he had spent more than half his life in correctional facilities. On his release, he moved to the Bay Area and eventually settled in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, the nerve center of hippiedom, just in time for the Summer of Love.

There, espousing a philosophy that was an idiosyncratic mix of Scientology, hippie anti-authoritarianism, Beatles lyrics, the Book of Revelation, and the writings of Hitler, he began to draw into his orbit the rootless young adherents who would become known as the Manson family.

Manson had learned to play the guitar in prison and hoped to make it as a singer-songwriter. His voice was once compared to that of the young Frankie Laine, a crooner who first came to prominence in the 1930s.

Manson’s lyrics, by contrast, were often about sex and death, but in the 1960s, that did not stand out very much. (Songs he wrote were later recorded by Guns N’ Roses). Once he was famous, Manson himself released several albums, including “LIE,” issued in 1970, and “Live at San Quentin,” issued in 2006.

With his followers — a loose, shifting band of a dozen or more — Manson left San Francisco for Los Angeles. They stayed awhile in the home of Dennis Wilson, the Beach Boys’ drummer. Manson hoped the association would help him land a recording contract, but none materialized. (The Beach Boys did later record a song, “Never Learn Not to Love,” that was based on one written by Manson, although Wilson, who sang it, gave it new lyrics and a new title — Manson had called it “Cease to Exist” — and took credit for writing it.)

The Manson family next moved to the Spahn Movie Ranch, a mock Old West town north of Los Angeles that was once a film set but had since fallen to ruins. The group later moved to Death Valley, eventually settling at the Barker Ranch.

The desert location would protect the family, Manson apparently thought, in the clash of the races that he believed was inevitable. He openly professed his hatred of black people, and he believed that when Helter Skelter came, blacks would annihilate whites. Then, unable to govern themselves, the blacks would turn for leadership to the Manson family, who would have ridden out the conflict in deep underground holes in the desert.

At some point, Manson seems to have decided to help Helter Skelter along. Late at night on Aug. 8, 1969, he dispatched four family members — Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, Charles Watson, and Linda Kasabian — to the Tate home in the Hollywood hills. Manson knew the house: Terry Melcher, a well-known record producer with whom he had dealt fruitlessly, had once lived there.

Shortly after midnight on Aug. 9, Atkins, Krenwinkel, and Watson entered the house while Kasabian waited outside. Through a frenzied combination of shooting, stabbing, beating, and hanging, they murdered Tate and four others in the house and on the grounds: Jay Sebring, a Hollywood hairdresser; Abigail Folger, an heiress to the Folger coffee fortune; Voytek (also spelled Wojciech) Frykowski, Folger’s boyfriend; and Steven Parent, an 18-year-old visitor. Tate’s husband, Polanski, was in London at the time.

Before leaving, Atkins scrawled the word “pig” in blood on the front door of the house; in Manson’s peculiar logic, the killings were supposed to look like the work of black militants.

The next night, Aug. 10, Manson and a half-dozen followers drove to a Los Angeles house he appeared to have selected at random. Inside, Manson tied up the residents — a wealthy grocer named Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary — before leaving. After he was gone, several family members stabbed the couple to death. The phrases “Death to Pigs” and “Healter Skelter,” misspelled, were scrawled in blood at the scene.

The seven murders went unsolved for months. Then, in the autumn of 1969, the police closed in on the Manson family after Atkins, in jail on an unrelated murder charge, bragged to cellmates about the killings.

On June 15, 1970, Manson, Atkins, Krenwinkel, and a fourth family member, Leslie Van Houten, went on trial for murder. Kasabian, who had been present on both nights but said she had not participated in the killings, became the prosecution’s star witness and was given immunity. Watson, who had fled to Texas, was tried and convicted separately.

During the trial, the bizarre became routine. On one occasion, Manson lunged at the judge with a pencil. On another, he punched his lawyer in open court. At one point, Manson appeared in court with an “X” carved into his forehead; his co-defendants quickly followed suit. (Manson later carved the X into a swastika, which remained flagrantly visible ever after.)

Outside the courthouse, a small flock of chanting family members kept vigil. One of them, Lynette Fromme, nicknamed Squeaky, would make headlines herself in 1975 when she tried to assassinate President Ford.

On Jan. 25, 1971, after nine days’ deliberation, the jury found Manson, Atkins, and Krenwinkel guilty of seven counts of murder each. Van Houten, who had been present only at the LaBianca murders, was found guilty of two counts. All four were also convicted of conspiracy to commit murder.

On March 29, the jury voted to give all four defendants the death penalty. In 1972, after capital punishment was temporarily outlawed in California, their sentences were reduced to life in prison.

Manson was convicted separately of two other murders: those of Gary Hinman, a musician killed by Manson family members in late July 1969, and Donald Shea, a Barker Ranch stuntman killed late that August. Altogether, Manson and seven family members were eventually convicted of one to nine murders apiece.

Incarcerated in a series of prisons over the years, Manson passed the time by playing the guitar, doing menial chores, and making scorpions and spiders out of thread from his socks. His notoriety made him a target: In 1984, he was treated for second- and third-degree burns after being doused with paint thinner by a fellow inmate and set ablaze.

Manson was turned down for parole a dozen times, most recently in 2012. Most of the other convicted family members remain in prison. Atkins died in prison in 2009, at 61, of natural causes.

The Manson family was an inspiration for the television series “Aquarius,” broadcast on NBC in 2015 and 2016. A period drama set in the late ’60s, it starred David Duchovny as a Los Angeles police detective who comes up against Manson (played by the British actor Gethin Anthony) in the course of investigating a teenage girl’s disappearance.

To the end of his life, Manson denied having ordered the Tate-LaBianca murders. Nor, as he replied to a question he was often asked, did he feel remorse, in any case.

He said as much in 1986 in a prison interview with the television journalist Charlie Rose.

“So you didn’t care?” Rose asked, invoking Tate and her unborn child.

“Care?” Manson replied.

He added, “What the hell does that mean, ‘care’?”

 

bostonglobe.com

Experts debunk 4 winter driving myths

Experts debunk 4 winter driving myths

 

Traveling in the snow and ice is dangerous, especially in a car.

Drivers are often misinformed about the safest ways to operate and take care of a car in winter conditions.

Myth #1: You should always let a vehicle idle before driving it in cold weather

While it may be convenient to hop into an already warm vehicle, idling a car before driving it in cold conditions can be bad for your health, wallet and car.

The carbon monoxide an engine emits while running a car is dangerous and fuel is consumed faster.

Some argue that these sacrifices are worth it in order to protect their vehicles.

However, Dustin Stec, a Bridgestone AutoCare manager, argues that there is no benefit at all to letting your car run for a while before driving it.

snow car maryland storm

Mike Roach, right, of New York, a junior at Towson University, clears snow from his car after getting stuck in Towson, Md., Monday, Jan. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)
The common misconception stems from the fact that there was a time when “heating up” a car was necessary.

“Years ago when cars weren’t computer controlled or fuel injected, you had to rely on mechanic delivery of fuel,” Stec said.

“In the wintertime when it was exceptionally cold, that component of the carburetor didn’t work well, and it had to warm up before it worked efficiently.”

Stec said that today’s technology allows a car’s computer to compensate for the temperature difference in order to make it work immediately and efficiently.

Myth #2: Four-wheel drive makes a car safe to drive in the snow

Though four-wheel drive is a serious advantage in reaching a destination in the snow, it cannot assist in stopping a car.

“Stopping relies on driving correctly and having winter tires on your car in snow and ice,” Stec said.

He argued that driver education and safety trump reliance on a vehicle’s capabilities. Four-wheel drive is an asset, not a safety net.

Chris Welty, a Bridgestone tire specialist, also claimed that winter tires are a necessity and that they allow a driver to stop 30 percent faster in snow and ice.

snow tires driving car winter

(Flickr photo/lungstruck)
“They are the most important part of the car in inclement weather,” Welty said. “When it is cold enough that you can see your breath outside, it is time to change your tires.”

He said that people often confuse winter tires with all-season tires, but that tires should change with the seasons.

He also finds that many people think letting air out of a vehicle’s tires will create better traction.

“Tires are designed and intended to operate at a certain pressure rating, and decreasing or changing that pressure rating in an attempt to get better performance decreases the performance of the tire,” Welty said.

Myth #3: Your parking brake can help you stop in winter weather

Experts argue that it may be best to stay away from the parking brake.

“By pulling the parking brake on a car in a panic situation, you would negate the ability of the car to enable its anti-lock braking system, therefore decreasing the stopping ability or the capacity of the car,” Stec said.

The parking brake also has the potential to freeze when trying to release it in extreme cold.

Tires will perform at 100 percent when braking, but steering will reduce the brake’s capabilities, Welty said.

“Steer away from an obstacle if you cannot brake,” Welty said.

Myth #4: It’s safe to pass other drivers who may be moving slower than you

winter driving snow plow snow road

A snow plow works on a road in Oregon. (Photo/Oregon Department of Transportation)
Though it’s tempting to pass a slow-moving car when you’re in a rush, it might be dangerous amid wintry conditions.

“If you encounter a snowplow, it means that what is in front of it may be difficult,” Welty said. This could signal that it’s best to hang back.

If you do decide to pass another driver, be sure to use caution.

“When you want to pass someone and your wheels go from dry or wet asphalt to ice or snow, the car can abruptly become out of control when you hit the gas pedal.”

By Randi Ivler, AccuWeather staff writer

Doe no — Arby’s is selling a venison sandwich

Doe no — Arby’s is selling a venison sandwich

Arby's is selling a venison sandwich in heavy deer-hunting states.

Oh deer — Arby’s is making a venison sandwich.

The fast food chain known for hot roast beef and brisket is embracing its “We Have the Meats” slogan by adding wild game to the menu this hunting season.

Arby’s is rolling out a thick-cut venison steak starting Monday sourced from “free-range farmed deer that feed on fresh grass from New Zealand,” according to an Arby’s spokesperson. The steak is marinated in garlic, salt and pepper, and cooked for three hours. It will be topped with crispy onions and juniper berry sauce.

The $5 speciality sandwich will be available in 17 stores at select “heavy deer hunting areas” in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Georgia through Nov. 27, according to the press release.

8 classics going extinct, because millennials

“Hunters hunt the meats, and we have the meats, so it makes sense for us to connect with them and offer a sandwich that they can’t get at any other restaurant chain,” said Arby’s chief marketing officer Rob Lynch in a statement.

Venison is notoriously tough to cook without getting gamey, however, and even Lynch admits the new sandwich is “probably the biggest stretch for us yet.”

A rep told The News that if enough diners fawn over it, however, Arby’s could consider selling the venison sammie nationally.

 

nydailynews.com

LAPD Admits Error In Announcing Death Of Tom Petty — Who’s Still Off Life Support

LAPD Admits Error In Announcing Death Of Tom Petty — Who’s Still Off Life Support

October 2, 2017 at 1:33 PM (PT)

TomPetty2017.jpg

Tom Petty (Shutterstock)

Despite an avalanche of media reports reporting on the death of TOM PETTY, one of the original sources for the information, the The LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT, has backtracked in a series of tweets. “The LAPD has no information about the passing of singer TOM PETTY. Initial information was inadvertently provided to some media sources,” the first one stated, followed by, “However, the LAPD has no investigative role in this matter. We apologize for any inconvenience in this reporting.”

TMZ now reports that “a chaplain was called to TOM’s hospital room on MONDAY morning, and that “the family has a do not resuscitate order on TOM. The singer is not expected to live throughout the day, but he’s still clinging to life.”

Furthermore, besides backtracking on its initial claims, the LAPD noted that the L.A. COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPT. handled the emergency.

PETTY was rushed to the hospital SUNDAY night (10/1) after being found unconscious in his MALIBU home. There they found he had no brain activity. Earlier today (10/2), a decision was made to pull life support.

 

allaccess.com

Most Dangerous Celebrities: All the famous people you shouldn’t Google

Most Dangerous Celebrities: All the Buddhafamous people you shouldn’t Google

 

Who doesn’t have a pop celebrity fan in their family? You know, people who constantly scour the web for the latest news on a particular movie star or musical artist.

Well, cybercriminals are on the lookout for the latest celebrity trends too, and they exploit the public’s obsession with the most popular celebrities to lure fans into giving up more than their admiration.

Here are the names and terms you, your kids and your friends should watch out for when you search for them online.

Note: Please use the share buttons on the side of this article to spread the word. It is important that you share this on Facebook too to warn your friends and loved ones.

2017’s most dangerous celebrities

This year, female pop-rock celebrity Avril Lavigne has dethroned Amy Schumer as “the most dangerous celebrity to search online.”

This dubious title is courtesy of McAfee, and for the 11th year in a row, the computer security company has listed the top 10 riskiest celebrities you shouldn’t Google. This year, Lavigne ousted last year’s “winner,” Amy Schumer, to take the top spot.

According to McAfee, searching for these celebrities return the most dangerous results that can expose users to malicious links and websites.

Additionally, searching for the celebrity name plus “free mp3″ generated the most links for potentially malicious websites. This helps propel musicians to regularly make the list but this is actually the first time the top 10 is wholly dominated by musical celebrities.

Here’s McAfee’s list of top 10 most dangerous celebrities in 2017:

  1. Avril Lavigne
  2. Bruno Mars
  3. Carly Rae Jepsen
  4. Zayn Malik
  5. Celine Dion
  6. Calvin Harris
  7. Justin Bieber
  8. Diddy
  9. Katy Perry
  10. Beyonce

By exploiting the consuming public’s fascination with celebrities, cybercriminals are using these names to lure online denizens to potentially dangerous websites that can install malware and steal personal information.

“In today’s digital world, we want the latest hit albums, videos, movies and more, immediately available on our devices,” said McAfee’s Gary Davis. “Consumers often prioritize their convenience over security by engaging in risky behavior like clicking on suspicious links that promise the latest content from celebrities.

“It’s imperative that they slow down and consider the risks associated with searching for downloadable content. Thinking before clicking goes a long way to stay safe online,” he continued.

Who is Avril Lavigne?

Well, she’s just the second best-selling Canadian female artist of all time, selling more than 40 million albums worldwide.

Lavigne took a musical hiatus the last four years due to her battle with Lyme disease. She recently announced that she’s putting out new music soon and this may be the reason for the resurgence in online searches for her name.

According to McAfee, if you search for “Avril Lavigne free mp3″ right now, you have a 22 percent chance of landing on a malicious website.

That Time Jimi Hendrix Opened for The Monkees

That Time Jimi Hendrix Opened for The MonkeesBuddha

In the storied summer of 1967, there was an ever-so-brief (and ever-so-strange) combination of two ever-so-different musical icons: The Monkees and Jimi Hendrix. Monkees drummer Micky Dolenz recounts the brief period of time that the legendary guitarist was the opening act for the pop boy-band sensation. While the pairing of the two acts seemed like a good—if novel—idea at the time, that quickly proved not to be the case. Some things just aren’t meant to be…

TV cancellation watch: Check the status of your favorite show

TV cancellation watch: Check the status of your favorite show

Gary Levin and Jayme Deerwester , USA TODAY

It’s that time of year. The spring flowers are in bloom and TV executives are already gearing up for fall. USA TODAY

Next week marks a rite of spring: The upfronts, or the presentation of the broadcast networks’ fall TV slates to advertisers, beginning May 15.

But first, comes the culling of the herd.

This week, programming execs are deciding the fates of on-the-bubble shows, either giving underperformers another season to find an audience or casting them off to make room for what they hope will be new hits.

The main factors in their decisions: Ratings trends, creative momentum, profitability and the network’s ownership stake.

In a surprise move Saturday, NBC took a page from the script of this year’s top Save Our Shows vote-getter, went back in time and reversed its cancellation decision. It’s bringing the time-travel drama back for 10 episodes next summer. It also renewed another favorite, Blindspot. It has yet to decide what to do with Chicago Justice.  Later in the day, CBS renewed the Sherlock Holmes drama Elementary, which finished second in the poll, for a sixth season.

In other Save Our Shows news, ABC has canceled Last Man Standing and American Crime, Fox has renewed The Exorcist and CBS has canceled 2 Broke Girls after six seasons. ABC’s immigrant comedy Fresh Off The Boat, which finished mid-pack in this year’s poll, was granted a fourth season Friday.

Check the list below to see where your favorite shows stand.

Note: All the prime-time series are grouped in one of three categories — already renewed or very likely to return; on the bubble and in need of your vote; and on death’s door or already canceled.

ABC

Renewed: American Housewife, Black-ish, Designated Survivor, Fresh Off the Boat, The Goldbergs, Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away With Murder, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Middle, Modern Family, Once Upon a Time, Scandal, Speechless

On the bubble: Quantico

Canceled, or nearly dead: American Crime, The Catch, Conviction, Dr. Ken, Imaginary Mary, Last Man Standing, Notorious, The Real O’Neals, Secrets and Lies, Time After Time

 CBS

Renewed, or almost: The Big Bang Theory, Blue Bloods, Bull, Criminal Minds, Elementary, Hawaii Five-0, Kevin Can Wait, Life in Pieces, MacGyver, Madam Secretary, Man With a Plan, Mom, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, NCIS: New Orleans, Scorpion, Superior Donuts

On the bubble: Code Black, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders

Canceled, or nearly dead: Doubt, The Odd Couple, Pure Genius, Training Day, 2 Broke Girls, The Great Indoors

Fox

Renewed, or almost:Bob’s Burgers, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Empire, The Exorcist, Family Guy, Gotham, The Last Man on Earth. Lethal Weapon, Lucifer, The Mick, New Girl, The Simpsons, Star

On the bubble: Prison Break, 24: Legacy

Canceled, or nearly dead: Pitch, Rosewood, APB, Bones, Scream Queens, Sleepy Hollow, Son of Zorn, Making History

NBC

Renewed, or almost: Timeless, The Blacklist, Blindspot, Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, Chicago PD, The Good Place, Law & Order: SVU, Shades of Blue, Superstore, This Is Us, Taken. Great News

On the bubble: Chicago Justice, Trial & Error

Canceled, or nearly dead: The Blacklist: Redemption, Emerald City, Grimm, Powerless, 

CW

Renewed, or almost: Arrow, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, Jane the Virgin, The 100, Riverdale, Supergirl, Supernatural, iZombie, The Originals

Canceled: Frequency, No Tomorrow, Reign, The Vampire Diaries 

20 things we don’t do anymore because of technology

20 things we don’t do anymore because of technology

20 things we don’t do anymore because of technology

Image courtesy of: Dreamstime.com

See if this sounds familiar: You’re not sure where your U.S. road atlas is or if you even own one. It’s been so long since you licked a stamp, you’ve forgotten what it tastes like. You’ve seen more scrumptious two-minute videos in the past week than you’ve consulted a cookbook in the past year.

We all know technology is making things easier and less time-consuming, but it’s hard to believe how much our devices have transformed the way we live. Tasks and tools that once seemed routine now seem hopelessly out of date, and in only a few short years. Example: Who would post an ad on the personals page of a local newspaper? Sounds so Victorian!

Here are some of those rituals that are no longer necessary in high-tech households. Teenagers may shrug, but if you’re 20 years or older, you’ll probably smile with nostalgia.

1. Memorize a phone number

Pop quiz: How many phone numbers do you know by heart? Some people don’t even know their spouse’s numbers. Before our smartphones automatically stored our friends’ contact information, we resorted to cocktail napkins to scrawl down numbers, for fear we wouldn’t find that listing in the phone book. How times have changed.

2. Use a phone book to find a company to do work around your house

Once upon a time, we felt perfectly comfortable flipping through the Yellow Pages and randomly calling a plumbing company to fix our pipes. Maybe we’d consult friends for a recommendation, but we often relied on trial-and-error. But consumer services like Angie’s List and Yelp have changed this game entirely. You can quickly read reviews of a local business, and if you like what you read, you can tap their number and automatically dial.

3. Park your used car on the street with a sign that says it’s for sale

Selling your car on your own is a pretty risky business. True, you stand to profit more, because you’ll avoid a dealership’s fees. But unless you’re selling your vehicle to someone you know and trust, these transactions can get sticky and dangerous without someone to oversee it. Craigslist started up more than 20 years ago, and it’s still going strong. But if you want to sell your car, here are three sites that are better than Craigslist.

4. Figure out math in your head

Calculators have been around for a long time now, but few of us ever carried calculators with us to the grocery store. In contrast, pretty much everyone with a smartphone has it available to do double-digit multiplication, no matter where or when we need it. In fact, there’s even an app called PhotoMath that can solve any equation just by taking a picture with your smartphone’s camera.

5. Call a family member to ask where they are

Find My Friends is a radical app that helps family members and close friends pinpoint each other’s precise location. Note that these people have to sign up for the service, but customers can decide who can know where they are located. Click here for ways to really take advantage of your smartphone’s GPS capabilities.

6. Telling time by hands on a clock

Like cursive writing, analog clocks are teetering on extinction. Few people with smartphones bother with watches anymore, unless they’re fashion statements or fitness trackers. With digital clocks dominating our computers and hardware, those 12-numeral timepieces may become pure novelties. Even your trusted alarm clock has received a tech makeover. Click here for three apps that monitor your sleep cycle and wake you up when you’ll feel the most rested.

7. Make photo albums

Purists still love their dark rooms, because chemicals and photo paper can be so rewarding for the patient photographer. But few people pine for the days of dropping off rolls of film at a one-hour photo shop. Instead of pasting five-by-seven snapshots into your faux-leather album, most people will prefer the ease of photo-sharing services like Flickr and Amazon Cloud.

8. Have a CD or record collection

Wasn’t it cool back in the day to walk into a shabby apartment and see those shelves of CDs? Wasn’t it a joy to flip through boxes of vinyl records? Well, the MP3 generation has transferred all those songs to a digital index. Turntables have seen a resurgence in popularity, but it’s hard to imagine CDs making a comeback.

9. Make mix tapes

There was something so personal about a mix tape. We spent hours finding the right song, then lining up two cassettes in order to copy a song. So many lovers cemented their relationships using a blank tape and a few dozen favorite albums. Now, you can throw together a digital playlist in seconds.

10. Call a theater to get movie times

Millions of people would rather buy a hit new movie on iTunes before it’s even finished in theaters. But if we do decide to drive all the way to the cinema and fork over $40 for two tickets and popcorn, there’s no need to call ahead and find out what time a movie is playing. The internet has everything we need. In Google, you can often just type “movie times” and the search engine will list films based on your location.

11. Record your favorite programs on tape

All year, we’d wait for “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “The Wizard of Oz” to pop up on TV. When they did, we’d push a VHS tape into the machine and wait until the proper moment to press “record.” When TiVo emerged, it streamlined this process by making scheduled recordings even simpler. Now, with streaming services, web archives, and easy-to-purchase downloads, the timing of a broadcast barely matters anymore.

12. Watch shows when they are broadcast live

In the same vein, we rarely have to sit in front of the television, eagerly waiting for a “major network event.” Services like Hulu and YouTube convert a huge amount of national television into a digital format, and local news stations log most of their important segments onto their websites.

13. Run to the store for a last minute gift

Curses! You forgot a Mother’s Day gift! Should you change your whole schedule so you can rush to the store and hurriedly pick something out? If you have Amazon Prime and live in an Amazon hub, there’s no need. You can order same-day delivery and have that gift curried to your front door. It’s just one of the many benefits you probably didn’t know Amazon offers. Click here for more than 20 lesser-known perks that come with your Amazon Prime membership.

14. Cut things out of the newspaper

Many grandparents still love to buy newspapers, and when they find an article they like, they snip it out, put it in an envelope, and send that little slip of newsprint to a relative. “Thought you might find this interesting!” reads an accompanying note. But most of us don’t waste our time. Nearly every article in every major newspaper is archived online and can be instantly shared by email, social media, and even text message.

15. Send a handwritten letter

Don’t get me wrong: It’s still wonderful to receive a postcard from far away places. You might say that email, texting and Skype conversations have made handwritten letters even more special. But no one is forced to transcribe their thoughts by hand and drop those letters in a mailbox.

16. Looking up the spelling of words in the dictionary

Spellcheck is nearly as old as word processors, and many of us have grown up expecting Microsoft Word to underline our mistakes in red squiggles. But autocorrect takes this concept a step further, guessing what we actually intended to write and correcting our mistakes. This can be handy for clumsy thumbs, but it can be embarrassing when autocorrect guesses wrong. Click here for five ways to take control of autocorrect.

17. Use a phone booth

Phone booths are so rare nowadays that you’d probably have an easier time just buying and activating a cheap cellphone. The last holdout may be your local airport, but even international travelers can usually nab a SIM card the moment they step off the plane.

18. Carry enough change to make a phone call

I remember my dad telling me, “Always carry a quarter because you never know when you’ll need it.” In a world of debit cards and Apple Pay, shoppers rarely have to carry cash anymore. So what happens when your phone is dead, there’s no one around and all you have is a phone booth? Luckily, most public phones in the U.S. are outfitted with credit card strips.

19. Use a travel agent

Travel agents can be essential for elaborate vacations, but for generic flights, services like Kayak and CheapFlights have completely transformed how we book our passage. You can compare hundreds of airlines and agencies in seconds for the best deal. If you’d like to save even more, use Google Flights to find the cheapest airfare. Here are five ways Google Flights can really help you save as long as you’re flexible with your travel schedule.

20. Getting your old checks back from the bank every month

Oh, people still write checks, and physical paychecks are still routine methods of payment, but I doubt this antiquated practice will last much longer. Even depositing checks has become digitized, thanks to ATMs that scan the piece of paper and print a facsimile on your receipt. Gone are the days of banks sending you old checks to jam into a filing cabinet. Thank goodness for that!

Here Are 8 Things That Are Making People Less Attractive, According To Science

Here Are 8 Things That Are Making People Less Attractive, According To Science

Science

Forget the Law of Attraction. What’s the Science of Unattraction? Find out what the research has to say about what makes us less-than desirable.

1. Asymmetry

Poets say that beauty is ineffable and indescribable and mysterious or whatever. Science says that’s rubbish. In fact, psychologists have uncovered the mathematical rules behind what we call “a pretty face,” and it’s disappointingly, even discouragingly, simple.

Getty Images Entertainment / S. Alemdar

People prefer symmetrical faces. That’s it. That’s the big secret. Well, people also gravitate toward “average” proportions, so people whose facial features are right in the middle of the population in terms of size and “layout,” for lack of a better word, are seen as more attractive. But those are the only two factors, at least in terms of initial aesthetic preference.

“People’s faces usually only differ subtly in symmetry,” Anthony Little, a University of Stirling psychologist, told education site Science News for Students. “So symmetry looks normal to us, and then we like it.”

Getty Images Entertainment / Tristan Fewings

So what can you do if your proportions are all off? You can always be funny. That seriously works.

2. Off-Putting Body Language

When your body language remains closed off, maybe even a bit foreboding, that makes you seem less attractive. Scientists proved it not long ago.

That’s right. In 2016, a team of researchers from a handful of universities published a paper called “Dominant, open nonverbal displays are attractive at zero-acquaintance.” If you regularly follow the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, you might have read it. If not, allow us to explain.

PNAS

Researchers took a group of assistants and had them make two dating app profiles (the study doesn’t say which app). In the first profile, the assistants were depicted adopting a “contractive” pose—arms crossed, shoulders hunched, et cetera. In the second, they took an “expansive” pose, like raising their arms in victory or reaching toward an object.

Getty Images News / Leon Neal

Same people. Different pics. The unwitting participants in the study overwhelmingly chose to swipe right (literally or metaphorically) on the pictures that featured expansive poses.

3. Lack of Sufficient Sleep

This goes way deeper than bags under the eyes. A team of researchers in Stockholm, Sweden, devised an experiment to see just how real beauty sleep can be. They took 23 unfortunate test subjects between the ages of 18 and 31 and photographed them after a nice, 8-hour sleep.

Getty Images Entertainment / David McNew

Then they kept the poor lab folks awake for 31 hours. The published study doesn’t mention exactly how they kept them awake so long, but we have to assume they have a pretty loud stereo at the sleep laboratory.

Anyway, armed with two sets of pictures of the same group of people, the researchers asked 65 strangers to rate them on attractiveness. Unsurprisingly, subjects looked “less healthy” and “less attractive” after this extreme sleep deprivation.

AFP / SAUL LOEB

The study concludes, a bit cheekily if you ask us, “our results provide important insights into judgments about health and attractiveness that are reminiscent of the anecdotal wisdom harbored in …the colloquial notion of ‘beauty sleep.'”

4. Being Lazy

Here’s another reason to haul yourself off the couch and help out every once in awhile. It turns out that being seen as lazy can wreak havoc on your attractiveness score. Not that anyone’s keeping score.

Pexels

Except that someone actually did keep score. Their names were Kevin Kniffin and David Wilson, and they’re authors of a paper that proves the laziness theory, published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior in 2004.

They took an incoming archaeology class and had them all rate each other on certain personality traits and general attractiveness. After the 6-week course was over, the researchers asked the questions all over again. Subjects who scored low on “effort” saw their attractiveness numbers drop significantly.

Unsplash

“If we were to state our results in the form of a beauty tip,” the authors concluded, “It would be, ‘If you want to enhance your physical attractiveness, become a valuable social partner.'”

5. Lack of Humor

We’ve already established that being funny can make you seem more attractive. It seems that the opposite is also true. Being a humorless lump can even make a chiseled hunk start to look a little “blah.”

Getty Images Entertainment / Gareth Cattermole

This information comes to us courtesy of a 2009 psychological study from the University of California, San Diego. Researchers exposed their subjects to “vignettes,” then had them pick the folks they’d like to go out with. The clowns got all the love. (They weren’t literal clowns, we don’t think, but the scenes were described as “vignettes,” so who knows?)

Incredibly, humor seemed to be the dominant trait that subjects found attractive. Average senses of humor scored lower for attractiveness than great senses of humor. A nonexistent taste for cracking wise was a non-starter.

Getty Images Entertainment / Vittorio Zunino Celotto

This study “found no significant interaction between gender and humor,” meaning that both men and women preferred funny partners. So there is hope for all of the sad comedians out there. The way to anyone’s heart is through their funny bone.

6. Mean Muggin’

If you’re trying to win love by projecting a tough image, you’re sneering up the wrong tree. That’s because science suggests that people don’t find “evil” or “mean” folks that attractive.

Getty Images Entertainment / Brendon Thorne

That might come as news to all the vampiric anti-heroes of the world, but the evidence is pretty hard to refute. Consider this: In 2014, Chinese researchers conducted an experiment to find out whether “personality manipulations…modulate facial attractiveness ratings.”

In other words, do perceived personalities make people more or less attractive (or even more-or-less attractive, which is what we’ve always aspired to)?

freestocks.org

The answer seems to be yes. Study subjects looked at a collection of portraits of people bearing blank expressions. But the photos were labeled. Some bore the Chinese word for “decent” or “honest.” Others were marked as “mean” and “evil.”

The evil folks lost this battle. Participants overwhelmingly called the decent folk more attractive. That’s nice news for nice guys.

7. Being Stressed Out

You know that old saying that warns us not to “let them see you sweat?” That old chestnut got it wrong. People can actually sense you sweat, if this study from the journal Biology Letters is accurate.

Getty Images Entertainment / Frazer Harrison

Researchers theorized that women find men attractive in part because a handsome face is somehow an indication of a healthy immune system. Don’t ask us where they got that idea.

Anyway, they were trying to test that theory on women’s facial attractiveness, so they got a bunch of Latvian women, shot them up with hepatitis B vaccine, and had men look at their faces to decide who was the hottest of them all.

As part of this study, the researchers were measuring the subjects’ cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone, and when levels are high, you’re under pressure.

Getty Images News / Joe Raedle

Researchers didn’t find any correlation between antibodies and attractiveness in women (which is strange, because previous studies did find that link in men). But the cortisol did seem to make a difference. The men found women with higher cortisol levels to be less attractive—despite the fact that they had no information about these women’s cortisol levels.

8. Plain Old Untrustworthiness

“I cannot tell a lie,” said young George Washington. “I cut down the cherry tree.”

That’s the kind of attitude that later helped Washington hook up with Martha. People dig honesty, and we can prove it. At least, we can cite someone who sort of proved it.

John-Mark Kuznietsov

In 2006, Sampo V. Paunonen, of the University of Western Ontario, published a study called “You are honest, therefore I like you and find you attractive” in the Journal of Research in Personality .

Paunonen handed short descriptive paragraphs about fictional men and women. The characters were all over the map, ethics-wise; they were described as having three personality characteristics, or their opposites. The characters were smart (or they weren’t), independent (or hopelessly clingy), and honest (or fibbers).

William Stitt

Then Paunonen asked the subjects to measure the characters’ attractiveness. The only characteristic that had any link to that attractiveness score was honesty. People were attracted to the honest characters.

Hey, don’t blame us. We’re just being honest.

 

healthyway.com

10 Things You Do NOT Need to Be Happier in Life

10 Things You Do NOT Need to Be Happier in Life

10 Things We All Want that Drain Our Happiness

Saying yes to happiness means learning to say no
to the desires that drain you.

They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.  I don’t think anything could be closer to the truth, and yet all too often we find ways of complicating things for ourselves.  We look for happiness where it does not exist – in shallow goals and desires – in possessions, quick thrills, and impressing the wrong people.

Angel and I were recently reminded of this when we met a family of six staying at a hotel in Miami where we were vacationing.  We saw them hanging out in the lobby, sharing stories and laughing hysterically.  So on our way out, Angel and I said hello to them and asked where they were from.  “Oh, we’re from here,” the mother said.  “Our house burned down to the ground yesterday, but miraculously, all of us made it out safely.  And that makes today a day worth smiling about.”

Talk about a wake-up call.  Some people might say they had lost everything, and yet this family knew better – they knew they had it all.  Because there really is nothing like joyful tears and deep breaths after a long, hard laugh with the people you love – nothing in the whole world like a sore stomach for the right reasons and a grateful heart to back it up.  That’s a situation where true happiness is surely found.

And there are many other sources of true happiness as well.  But as I’ve said, there are also lots of common traps – goals and desires that we think will bring us happiness, but actually do the exact opposite.  Recognizing these traps is the key.  In fact, I believe one of the best feelings comes when you realize that you can be perfectly happy without the things you once thought you needed.

With this in mind, consider the ten goals and desires (traps) below and how they may be holding you back.  Each of them is popular in our culture, and thus common in our lives, but rather than contributing to our happiness, they rob us of it.

So say it out loud with me:

“To be happier, I do NOT need…”

  1. To please everyone – Be careful not to give so much of yourself to others that you end up completely losing yourself.  When you go around pleasing everyone but yourself, you are the one that gets hurt in the end.  The late and great Herbert Bayard Swope said it like this: “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”  That is spot on advice if you ask me.  Because truthfully, you are never going to please everyone anyway.  At some point you will hold an unpopular opinion – one that gives you meaning and makes you feel alive.  And when you do, you ought to hold on tight, tune out the noise, and make it count.
  2. Everything to be easy – You have to do hard things to be happy in life.  The things no one else is doing.  The things that frighten you.  The things others can’t do for you.  The things that make you question how much longer you can hold on and push forward.  Because those are the things that define you.  Those are the things that make the difference between existing and living – between knowing the path and walking the path – between a life of mediocrity and a life filled with happiness and success.
  3. Certainty and guarantees – Some people build too many walls in their lives and not enough bridges.  It sounds crazy, but they would rather be certain they’re miserable, than risk being happy.  Don’t be one of them.  Open yourself up.  Take chances.  Run free.  To accomplish amazing things, you must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.  Be a dreamer, a believer, and a courageous and cheerful thinker.  Be a positive motivator, a productive doer, and a go-getter who keeps her head in the clouds and her feet on the ground.  Let the spirit of passion and possibility ignite a fire within you to do something worthwhile today and every day, and don’t forget to spread your enthusiasm to those around you.  (Read Daring Greatly.)
  4. To be better than others – The size of our universe shrinks dramatically when we place ourselves at the center – when we think everyone is our competition – when we think we have to be richer, smarter, and more attractive than the person sitting next to us.  Such a goal just keeps a person alienated and tirelessly running in place.  Now, on the flipside, take someone who doesn’t keep score, who’s not looking to be richer, or smarter, or more attractive, who has not the slightest interest even in being better than anyone else: she’s free.  Bottom line: Compete with yourself only.
  5. More control over everything and everyone – Sometimes we put too much interest into trying to control every tiny aspect of our lives.  Learn to relax and ride the path that life takes you sometimes.  Incredible change will happen in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you do not.  Freeing yourself from trying to control the insignificant and uncontrollable things lets you experience more of the goodness around you.  In fact, the greatest joys are often the unexpected surprises that arrive when you are flexible and open to life’s twists and turns.
  6. Immense moments of glory – Graduations, wedding days, lavish vacations – these times are often fun-filled and deeply celebrated, but these times pass, because time passes.  This is something we rarely grasp at first.  True, lasting happiness is found in the appreciation of all the small things.  For me, there are random moments – tossing a salad, coming up the driveway to our home, ironing the seams flat on a dress shirt, standing at the kitchen window and looking out at the sun rising over the Austin skyline, hearing a giggle from my son who’s playing in the other room – when I feel a wavelike rush of joy.  This is my true happiness: arbitrary moments of sudden, throbbing appreciation for a life I feel privileged to lead.  (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Simplicity” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
  7. Relationships that are “supposed to” provide happiness – Relationships are essential, but happiness originates from within.  It is not dependent on external validation or on other people.  You become vulnerable and can be easily hurt when your feelings of security and happiness depend entirely on the behavior and actions of others.  Keep this in mind.  Never give all your power to anyone else.  Until you make complete peace with who you are, you’ll never be content with what you have or who you’re with.  Learn to love and respect yourself first, before loving the idea of other people loving and respecting you.
  8. Perfect harmony in all relationships at all times – Harmony in relationships is nice when it’s sincere, but too often we try to fake it.  Effective communication is king.  You have to talk it out sometimes.  After all, the only way to be happy in life is to live with integrity.  This means: Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships.  Being clear and asking for what you want and need from others.  Speaking your truth, even though it might create occasional tension.  Behaving in ways that are in agreement with your personal values.  Making choices based on what you believe, and not just what others believe.  (Read The Mastery of Love.)
  9. A superior time and place – The reason many people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.  The key, of course, is to do the opposite.  Appreciate your past without reliving it, handle your present with confidence, and face your future without fear.  Life is simply too short to spend at war with yourself.  Letting go of the past and future is your first step to happiness and peace in the present.  Realize that you are today where your thoughts and actions have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts and actions today take you.  Bottom line: You can’t stop the future.  You can’t rewind the past.  The only way to live is to press play, and dance.
  10. Happiness 24/7 – Absolutely no one is happy all of the time.  Because you simply can’t be happy unless you’re unhappy sometimes.  This is a harsh truth, I know.  Just keep in mind that it’s perfectly normal to experience considerable fluctuations in your level of happiness from day to day, month to month, and even year to year.  Believing and expecting otherwise will only lead to disillusionment.  But even when life is less than blissful, you are still in charge of how you respond.  Choose positivity, always.  The greatest act of faith some days is to simply get up and face the day, with a smile.

Afterthoughts

And let me leave you with this to think about: According to a recent scientific study published in the Journal of Research in Personality, overall levels of happiness decline from one’s teens until one’s 40s and then pick up again until they peak in one’s early 70s.  So the chances are that your happiest days are yet to come.  Hopefully that gives you something to smile about today.

Just keep doing your best by taking life moment by moment, complaining very little, and being grateful for the little things that mean a lot.

 

marcandangel.com