Nails on a chalkboard. A fly buzzing around the room. A child having a tantrum in the next apartment. The drip-drip-drip of a leaking faucet. An overheard cell-phone conversation in a public place. Most people would agree that these things are amazingly annoying, but what is it about them, exactly, that irritates us so much?
According to "Annoying: The Science of What Bugs Us," some sounds, like the screech-squeak of nails on a chalkboard or the high-pitched drone of a mosquito near one's ear, are irritating because we react to them in a physical way. "It seems to be something intrinsic about that mix of frequencies," said Flora Lichtman, co-author of "Annoying: The Science of What Bugs Us," in a recent interview with NPR. "The change in volume rapidly-it's called 'rough' in acoustics-most people's ears don't like that stimulus."
We all react to sounds, sensations, and situations differently because of our personal experiences, cultural differences, and emotional associations-it's
Blog Posts by Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine
Nails on a chalkboard. A fly buzzing around the room. A child having a tantrum in the next apartment. The drip-drip-drip of a leaking faucet. An overheard cell-phone conversation in a public place. Most people would agree that these things are amazingly annoying, but what is it about them, exactly, that irritates us so much?Read More »from Why are some things so annoying?
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Love + Sex – Tue, May 17, 2011 7:49 PM EDT
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver arrive at an event in February 2011. This week, the former governor revealed that he had an affair and fathered a child with a member of their household staff 10 years ago. (Photo: Chelsea Lauren) When Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver split last week after 25 years of marriage, they didn't give a specific reason. The Governator, 63, seemed ready to return to movies and has a cartoon-and-comic book deal in the works. Shriver, 55, seemed to be mourning the career she gave up in order to be a politician's wife.Read More »from Arnold Schwarzenegger's 10-year-old affair and love child: How much would you put up with?
Shriver moved out of the family's Brentwood, California, home weeks before they announced their separation. She had been unhappy for years, some said; others speculated that Schwarzenegger's long history of womanizing had led to the split.
Turns out they were right: In a statement sent to the LA Times and the Associated Press on Monday night, the former governor admitted to fathering a child with a household staffer more than 10 years ago.
"After leaving the governor's office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago," Schwarzenegger said in his statement. "I understand and deserve the feelings of anger and disappointment among my friends
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Work + Money – Mon, May 16, 2011 10:18 PM EDT
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund, is arraigned Monday, May 16, 2011, in Manhattan Criminal Court for allegedly attempting to rape a hotel maid on Saturday. (AP Photo: Shannon Stapleton, Pool)Officials on Thursday formally indicted banker and diplomat Dominique Strauss-Kahn on seven counts of sexual assault on a hotel maid. (You can read the indictment here.) Bail was set at $1 million, and he will be "confined to a New York City residence, where he will be monitored round the clock by a private security firm and an electronic bracelet," ABC News reported. He had been in isolation and on suicide watch at New York's Riker's Island jail.Read More »from Dominique Strauss-Kahn indicted on 7 counts of sexual assault
"We can't think of conditions more restrictive," said his lawyer, William Taylor.
When the reports came in earlier this week, it sounded like a dramatic episode of "Mad Men"-or maybe "Law and Order: SVU." A maid arrives to clean a luxury hotel suite, thinking that it's unoccupied, and the guest-the powerful head of a global financial giant-emerges from the bathroom naked. His nickname is "The Great Seducer," based on his decades-long reputation with women. He chases her through the suite, pulling her into a bedroom. She resists. There's a
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Parenting – Mon, May 16, 2011 7:00 PM EDT
Britney Campbell, whose mother gave her multiple Botox injections to remove her Over the weekend, Britney Campbell, the 8-year-old beauty pageant contestant whose mom injects her with Botox to fix her "wrinkles," was removed from her mother's San Francisco home.Read More »from 8-year-old taken away from mom who injected her with Botox
"I've spoken with someone very close to the case, she is out of her mother's home. She's doing well,"
Lara Spencer reported on "Good Morning America" today. "The case is under investigation by CPS and we should have new details within a week. But the main thing here -- she's doing well."
The investigation began shortly after 34-year-old Kerry Campbell, a part-time aesthetician, went on "Good Morning America" with her daughter, Britney, to talk about using the anti-aging procedure on the third grader. The segment showed pictures of Campbell administering the shots herself.
Campbell, who boasted in a March interview with The Sun that she also takes Britney for body waxing in order to minimize future hair growth, told the British newspaper: "What I am doing for Britney now will help her become a star."
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Parenting – Fri, May 13, 2011 7:34 PM EDT
Photo: Screengrab from ABC NewsKerry Campbell, the California mom who boasted about giving her 8-year-old daughter Botox injections to make her a contender on the child beauty pageant circuit, is now under investigation by the San Francisco Human Services Agency, ABC News reported Friday.Read More »from Mom who injected her 8-year-old with Botox is under investigation
The investigation began shortly after 34-year-old Campbell, a part-time aesthetician, went on Good Morning America with her daughter, Britney, to talk about using the anti-aging procedure on the third grader. The segment showed pictures of Campbell administering the shots herself.
Spray tans, eye-brow waxing, fake teeth (called "flippers"), false eyelashes, and wigs are all par for the course in the "Toddlers and Tiaras" world of kiddie beauty pageants. But Botox?
Campbell told reporter Lara Spencer that Britney was the one who wanted to try the injections, but then explained that she brought it up herself and her third grader "was all for it."
"We were getting into the pageants," Campbell recalled. "I knew she was complaining
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Work + Money – Thu, May 12, 2011 10:01 PM EDT
From left, Isa Stearns of Somerville, Mass., Nadia Friedler of Cambridge, Mass., Louisa Carpenter-Winch, of Cambridge, Mass., and Emma Munson-Blatt, of Cambridge, Mass, chant during the New England is known for its Yankee sensibilities, frugal living, and blue-blooded Brahmins. But last week, about two thousand women stripped down to their barely-theres and took to the streets of Boston for SlutWalk2011, to reclaim the word "slut" and promote awareness about rape and sexual assault.Read More »from The 'Slut Walk': Does the shock value undermine the message?
The SlutWalk movement started in Toronto in January, after a police officer at an Osgoode Hall Law School campus safety session suggested that women can avoid being sexually assault by not dressing like "a slut."
The officer was disciplined, but not removed from the force. The incident triggered protests in Canada and sparked satellite movements in other cities, including New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia; the Boston SlutWalk rally was organized by Nicole Ouimette and Katt Schott-Mancini, both of whom are sexual-assault survivors. "We were fed up how rape was being treated in our society and our culture," Ouimette told the Metro newspaper.
Schott-Mancini compared SlutWalk to the gay
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Work + Money – Thu, May 12, 2011 6:37 PM EDT
The gas gauge in my car was hovering perilously close to "E" when I pulled into the cheapest gas station in my town the other day. About $59 later, I drove away with some major agita, remembering the times when I'd budget $15 a week to fill up my little car's tank because gas was about 98 cents a gallon.Read More »from Gas prices: Why are they so high? It's not just about oil
Those days are long gone.
Consumers can expect gas prices to drop nearly 50 cents a gallon in June-but that may be little consolation to those who face long commutes every day. According to AAA, the average price of gas in the Unites States is currently $3.98, up from $2.89 a year ago. Gas prices have risen 91 cents since January 2011. And, since they usually peak mid-Spring as refiners switch to a more expensive blend (one that doesn't evaporate as quickly during the summer), prices will probably go even higher before they start to fall.
What's causing the high prices? Turns out that the price of oil is only one factor (and that can be affected by a whole host of things, from
When I was a teenager, good recommendations and up-to-date First Aid and CPR certifications were more than enough to get a babysitting job. But now? Not anymore.
Whether you're looking for a teenage "mother's helper" to play with the kids for an hour after school while you cook dinner, or you want an adult to help you with the kids while you're at the office, these days you need to do more than grab a scrap of paper pinned to a bulletin board at the supermarket. There are services like Care.com and SitterCity.com that screen caregivers and allow you to search for those in your area, but once you've found a few prospective babysitters, you still have to interview them yourself. Sittercity.com has a great checklist of questions to ask; here are the 20 we think are most important:
- Why do you want to babysit? "Because I need money" may be an honest answer, but it's not a good one. Ideally, the candidate will say that he or she enjoys working with children.
- What experience
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Healthy Living – Tue, May 10, 2011 11:54 PM EDT
Sketchers is marketing their new Shape-up toning shoes to girls. (Photo: Sketchers.com)Studies already show that trendy toning shoes like Skechers Shape-ups-which have rounded or unstable soles that are supposed to help the wearer burn more calories by increasing "muscle activation"-don't really work. You might feel a bit of a burn while your body adjusts to your wonky balance, but you don't burn many more calories and you don't get more exercise just by wearing them.Read More »from Do little girls really need Shape-up toning sneakers?
But Skechers is still marketing the same type of toning shoe-and the same fitness claims. This time, however, they're not targeting women who want to look like Kim Kardashian in a sexy Super Bowl ad. They're targeting little girls.
The upbeat, animated commercials are airing on kid-centered TV stations such as Nickelodeon and the Cartoon Network. They show slim, confident girls rocking out in their Shape-ups and being followed around by surly, slack-jawed boys dressed up in junk-food costumes.
We're not sure what message they're trying to send. Shape-ups make hot dogs and soda unappealing? Toning shoes
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Love + Sex – Tue, May 10, 2011 7:40 PM EDT
Former California Goveror Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, in Los Angeles on February 18, 2011. The couple just announced that they are separating after 25 years of marriage. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/FilmMagic/Getty Images) When Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger announced today that they were separating after 25 years of marriage, some wondered if politics had anything to do with it-not just because the two are firmly planted on opposite sides of the political spectrum, but because of the complications that come with being the wife of a famous politician.Read More »from Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver split: Were politics to blame?
Michelle Obama put her legal career on hold to support her husband in his efforts, and has been candid about the compromises she made in her personal and family life in order to be first lady. Hillary Rodham Clinton put her own political aspirations on hold-some might say unsuccessfully-while her husband rose through the political ranks. The stresses of political life led Betty Ford and Kitty Dukakis down the road to addiction. Would it be a surprise if politics were the home wrecker here?
Shriver is no stranger to life in the political limelight: Her mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founded the Special Olympics and was the sister of former U.S.