Blog Posts by Piper Weiss, Shine Staff

  • Grateful Kids Are Healthier. Studies Find Benefits in 365 Days of Thanksgiving

    On Thanksgiving, everyone in my family goes around the table and shares what we're grateful for. There answers range from sentimental to appetite-driven (my personal go-to: semi-soft cheeses). It's one of my favorite parts of the holidays and something I only wished we'd carried on every day of my childhood.

    That was before I heard about the additional health benefits. According to multtiple studies, gratitude is mentally and physically nutritious for kids.

    "We know that grateful kids are happier [and] more satisfied with their lives," explains Hoftra University psychology assistant professor Jeffrey Froh in an article this week in The Washington Post. "They report better relationships with friends and family, higher GPAs, less materialism, less envy and less depression, along with a desire to connect to their community and to want to give back."

    That's not all. It's also believed to boost immune systems and lower blood pressure over time. In a Temple Univeristy study,

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  • How to Throw a White Elephant Party

    The gift that keeps giving until someone throws it out.The gift that keeps giving until someone throws it out.

    It might be the only opportunity to unload that a cassingle of Right Said Fred's I'm Too Sexy or to drop a bill on a calendar of men with excessive body hair.

    Why subject your holiday party guests to bad gifts? For starters it's funny. If you're looking to introduce friends or break the ice at corporate gathering, a round of gag gift giving between semi-strangers is a perfect entre. It also super budget-friendly. (I can guarantee I wasn't the first recipient of the scratched, unwrapped DVD of "Mr. Belvedere" I got last year at a White Elephant party, but I wasn't complaining.) If you haven't been invited to a White Elephant party this year, maybe it's time you hosted your own. Here's everything you need to know.


    What is a White Elephant party?

    The term White Elephant describes something that's more trouble than it's worth. Many credit Ezra Cornell, the guy behind the telegraph, for coining the term. He's believed to have dropped the comic insult at various 19th

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  • What Does Natalie Wood's Sister Know? Lana Wood Speaks on Mysterious Death

    "I don't think Natalie fell." Those five words have become a mantra for Lana Wood. Natalie Wood's little sister, now in her 60's, has spent the past year pressuring investigators to reexamine the mysterious events surrounding her sibling's drowning death in 1981.

    Last week, she got her wish when the case was officially reopened after new witness accounts surfaced. For Lana, it's a mixed blessing.

    "I'm so frightened of hearing things I don't want to hear. I would like to be told that everything is exactly as they said," she told Matt Lauer in an interview with the Today Show, on Monday.

    'They' presumably include Robert Wagner, Wood's widow, and actor Christopher Walken, Natalie's co-star at the time (who's retained a lawyer since the case was reopened last week). Both men were on the Wagner-Wood "Splendour" yacht, off of California's Catalina Island, the night the legendary actress drowned in the Pacific Ocean. Their accounts of the evening, backing the initial ruling that

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  • How Strong Women Dump Their Misbehaving Men: Demi Moore's Powerful Statement

    Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore together in June.Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore together in June.When high-profile husbands cheat, their wives come under just as much scrutiny. As daily rumors of Ashton Kutcher's dallainces surfaced, Demi Moore's age came under the microscope. Can she "keep" him? Is she just too old for him?

    On Thursday, in a few tactful sentences, she stopped the madness.

    "As a woman, a mother and a wife there are certain values and vows that I hold sacred, and it is in this spirit that I have chosen to move forward with my life," said Moore in a statement to press Thursday.

    In addition to making it clear that she was the one ending her "six-year marriage to Ashton", she also set the record straight: it's not that she's too old, it's that he's too young.

    If her dignified statement didn't make that apparent enough, his follow-up (on Twitter no less) drove the point home: "Marriage is one of the most difficult things in the world." That's all you got, Ashton?

    Read more on what destroyed Ashton and Demi's marriage here

    Moore is a veteran of

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  • Bacon Lube. Yes, This is Real

    The bacon lube is good, but have you tried the moussaka lube? To.Die.For.I'll take an order of bacon lube. That comes with home fries lube, right?I'll take an order of bacon lube. That comes with home fries lube, right?It all started as an April Fools joke. J&D's, a food company that specializes in bacon-flavored products advertised a lubricant on their website that tasted like Sunday brunch on the farm.

    It was only supposed to be a April 1st gag. Obviously it's not a good idea, because nobody really wants to bring the smell of sizzling pig parts into the bedroom, right? Wrong. Very, very wrong. After the fake bacon lube accumulated a 3,000 person waiting list, and several fervent pleas for the real thing, the company realized there was a market for this whole bacon as sex toy thing.

    Lo and behold, Bacon Lube was born. Go ahead and order a $12 bottle as a hilarious joke, because you'll never actually use it, you just want to buy it so you can see how it smells and probably give it to a friend as a gag gift, unless you forget and just keep it to try. Only once, and only as a joke, of course.

    Related:
    April Fools rumors people actually fell for
    Finding the right lubricant for you
    What to do when

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  • Obscene Photos of Thanksgiving Turkeys: Fun with Stock Images

    The week before Thanksgiving, millions of people stalk the internet for turkey recipes and prep tips. While the articles and ingredients may vary, the photos are all the same. If you search stock photography sites, where most of the photos come from, you'll quickly figure out why. There are only about 10 turkey images that are actually appetizing. The rest veer into the bizarre, fetishistic or just plain gross.

    Maybe it's because the turkey is unphotogenic, or maybe we have an unhealthy relationship with the holiday meal. Either way, it's time we looked at the stock photos of turkeys that don't get used in mainstream publications. Warning: The following photos are NSFW is you're a turkey working in a corporate turkey office setting.







    At some angles, a turkey looks like a Montauk Monster.At some angles, a turkey looks like a Montauk Monster.




    Isn't a stuffed turkey supposed to be a different color going in?Isn't a stuffed turkey supposed to be a different color going in?
    The photo that accompanies the think-piece on turkeys with unhealthy body images.The photo that accompanies the think-piece on turkeys with unhealthy body images.
    What comes up in a search for What comes up in a search for


    Now that's just mean.FYI: If your turkey comes out looking like this, you cooked it wrong.
    This turkey is washing his pectorals in a bath. Happy Thanksgiving!This turkey is washing his pectorals in a bath. Happy Thanksgiving!


    Related:
    Is this chicken too sexy? Peta thinks so
    Thanksgiving for turkey haters
    Most expensive Thanksgiving ever?
    Hilarious stock photos: a roundup



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  • Teacher Caught on Tape Bullying Student. Is a Camera a Kid's Only Advocate?

    The New Jersey teacher caught on video belittling his student.The New Jersey teacher caught on video belittling his student.
    Nobody believed Julio Artuz, a 15 year old New Jersey special education student, when he complained of being bullied by his teacher. So he caught the whole thing on tape. In footage captured in secret on his cellphone, Artuz is subjected to curses and berating from a man who's supposed to be a mentor.

    Artuz's teacher says: "I will kick your [expletive] from here to kingdom come until I'm 80 years old."

    "Don't threaten me," responds Artuz.

    "What are you going to do? You gonna get a chopper and chop me?" asks his teacher as the rest of the class sits rubbernecking the heated argument.

    What Jules did do was show his taped account to his parents and a local advocate of bullied students. After an NBC news affiliate in Philadelphia got hold of the footage (you can watch it here), the school immediately took action, placing the teacher on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.

    Read more about students who challenged their schools and won

    "The actions depicted on the video

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  • How to make a turkey, the complete guide

    It's almost Thanksgiving, otherwise known as The Great American Turkey Challenge. Every year, a family chef is tasked with turning an average bird into a stand-out feast that puts all past turkey dinners to shame.

    No pressure, but if you don't have a game-plan yet, now's the time to cram. Here's a 6-step guide from Shine's top food bloggers to buying, prepping and cooking your turkey. Step 1. Know your brand: you can find the flavor of your turkey in the freezer aisle. Brands carry different flavors, plumpness and overall texture depending on meat processing techniques. Check out a flavorful breakdown of supermarket options here.

    Step 2. Buy smart: To figure out how much turkey you need for your guests, assume a pound for each guest. If you're looking for leftovers, make it a pound and half for each guest. For more specific guidelines, check here.

    Step 3. Find the perfect temperature: Moderate temperatures may mean more time in the oven, but in the end it's worth the wait. For

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  • People Magazine's Unsexiest Men Alive: A Look Back at Regrettable Choices

    Mel Gibson on the cover of People in 1985.Mel Gibson on the cover of People in 1985.People Magazine has just proclaimed Bradley Cooper this year's Sexiest Man Alive "I think it's really cool that a guy who doesn't look like a model can have this [title]. I think I'm a decent-looking guy. Sometimes I can look great, and other times I look horrifying," he said of the honor After 26 years, the magazine has learned a valuable lesson. Brooding five o' clock shadows and wild man eyes don't always make for the ideal guy.

    See People's very first SMA choice for proof. At least twice a year the magazine doles out praise in the form of "sexiest" and "most beautiful" lists. It's only logical that a few of those list-makers let it get to their head. Here are some of the more regrettable hunks honored by the magazine, long before their rap sheets and tabloid scandals. Hey, everybody makes bad choices sometimes. But if People Magazine ever wants to set you up with a really great guy, do a background check first.

    Mel Gibson: Sexiest Man Alive, 1985
    Those baby blues turned into crazy eyes by the 2000's.
    The very first SMA ever

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  • Deep-fried Turkey Disasters (and How to Avoid Them)


    How can something that makes things taste so good be so bad? I'm talking about the turkey fryer, a high-octane cooking aid that's enhanced and spoiled many a Thanksgiving meal.

    If you're very brave (and very hungry), a turkey fryer can make your ordinary roast turkey drip with juicy flavor. Because we are still essentially cave-men, the turkey fryer is just a fancy name for a small explosion into which you toss a bird. Gallons of boiling oil mix with propane gas on a makeshift wobbly wire frame for an exercise in extreme meat-cooking.

    Just how extreme? Fire safety officials issue cease-fires every Thanksgiving, asking families to avoid the turkey fryer despite its promise for a delicious meal. It's hard to believe we can video-chat with people in New Zealand on a piece of plastic, but we can't build a safe, affordable mechanism for crisping turkey.

    Maybe its because we're spending all our funds on hilarious fryer safety blooper videos. Ah well. In the meantime, here's how to avoid

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