Blog Posts by Sarah B. Weir, Shine Senior Writer

  • The Five Types of Boredom, Explained by Baby Animals

    If you want to be instantly anesthetized, just check out #boredom on Instagram. While the topic of boredom might seem dull, an international team of scientists from the University of Konstanz in Germany and McGill University in Canada has found it to be deeply engaging. In a recent study published in the journal "Motivation and Emotion," a new type of boredom called "apathetic boredom" is described. Characterized by feelings of helplessness and lethargy that are similar to depression, it's the bottom of the boredom barrel. That brings the total number of ways you can be lulled into listlessness to five, according to science.

    More on Yahoo: Is Boredom Good for You?

    The researchers explain that some forms of boredom are motivating (think: "Something's gotta give!"), while others are non-achievement-oriented (think: coach potato). Still, the scientific categories of boredom are subtle to the non-boredom-obsessed layperson. Here are five emissaries from the animal kingdom to help us

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  • 12 Genius Uses for Toothpaste

    Toothpaste: your new favorite household productThere's one cheap product everybody owns (or should own!) that has a bunch of clever uses around the house: toothpaste. It contains mild abrasives and detergents mixed with creamy thickening agents that keep your teeth clean and bright. We tried it and found that those same ingredients can help you MacGyver solutions to a number of messes without resorting to expensive specialized products that just end up in a cluttered pile under your kitchen sink. Don't use colored toothpaste or gels for any of the following tasks because they could leave stains. Grab a plain old tube of white — it just might become your new favorite home care product. 

    More on Yahoo: 5 Toothpastes Dentists Like Best

    1. Polish jewelry. Apply a thin film of toothpaste to dull stones or tarnished metal with a soft toothbrush or cloth. Polish gently, rinse with water, and dry. If the tarnishing is heavy, apply a thicker coat and let it sit for an hour. Do not use toothpaste on pearls, turquoise, vintage Bakelite, or

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  • Motivational Speaker's Controversial Dating Tips Outrage Dallas High School

    Justin Lookadoo (photo courtesy 30-second quiz, "Are You Dateable?" on Christian motivational speaker Justin Lookadoo's website, which is geared toward teens, provided me with some harsh results: "U R not dateable," it concluded. Luckily for me, I'm a grown woman and married, but some kids and parents at Richardson High School, outside Dallas, Texas, are outraged by this and what they call an anti-girl message that Lookadoo gave to students on Wednesday.

    More on Yahoo: 5 Reasons Teenagers Are Fleeing Facebook

    Lookadoo, who gives talks at schools and to church youth groups nationally, was invited to speak by the Parent Teacher Association. His website includes separate lists for girls and boys on being dateable. The girls' list offers advice such as "Be mysterious. Dateable girls know how to shut up." Also on the list: "You're a girl. Be proud of all that means. You are soft, you are gentle, you are a woman. Don't try to be a guy." The boys' list says, "Men of God are wild, not domesticated. Dateable guys aren't

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  • Kids Under the Knife: Can Cosmetic Surgery Stop Bullying and Should it?

    A young patient before and after otoplasty (courtesy Dr. Joe Niamtu, with permission from the girl's parents)Stephanie Smith, the mother of a six-year-old, wrote to cosmetic surgeon Dr. Joe Niamtu in a panic. Her daughter Olivia had quit ballet because when she wore her hair in the mandatory bun, the other kids laughed at her, pointing to her ears. "Last night she came to me crying asking me, 'Why are my ears like this? I don't like them Mommy…'" Smith wrote. "I'm so scared about my daughter starting school in September. Some of the bullies she encountered at her ballet class will be there too. I won't be there to protect her. I just fear the emotional scars that this is going to cause." Smith, whose medical insurance was mediocre, couldn't afford to pay for otoplasty-surgery, a procedure for pinning back prominent ears. Fortunately, Dr. Niamtu, could still help. The Virginia-based surgeon tells Yahoo Shine that about 25 percent of his work on kids is performed pro bono, free of charge. "No one deserves to be made fun of for physical attributes they can't control," he says. Now the young girl

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  • The Grandmother-Granddaughter Mini-Me Portrait You Must See

    Ulric Collette, 31, started his series of merged family portraits by accident. The self-taught photographer was trying to age an image of his 7-year-old son’s face by merging it with his own in Photoshop, and  noticed how interesting the two faces looked spliced together. It inspired him to create seamless images showing the resemblance between brothers, sisters, cousins, parents, and children. He calls them "genetic portraits."

    (Photo courtesy Ulric Collette)

    The juxtapositions of family members’ features enhance the physical similarities that cross generations — similarities that we often recognize but can’t pinpoint precisely. He’s made dozens of portraits over five years, some of which have been featured on Yahoo Shine before. But one of his most recent pictures might be the most striking of all: his 13-year-old daughter Ismaelle’s face paired with his 62-year-old mother Ginette’s. While separated by five decades, the two look eerily identical. It’s almost like looking into a crystal ball and seeing Ismaelle’s

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  • T-Shirt Memorializing Sixth-Grader Causes School Uproar

    T-Shirt Memorializing Six Grader Causes School UproarA controversy over kids wearing T-shirts to celebrate their friend who died from leukemia has sparked anger and soul-searching in Battle Creek, Michigan. On Saturday, sixth-grader Caitlyn Jackson passed away after a three-year battle with the disease. More than a dozen classmates showed up at Lakeville Middle School on Monday wearing orange and blue t-shirts bearing Caitlyn's name, many of which had been decorated by the kids themselves over the weekend. Blue was the 12-year-old's favorite color, and orange is the color designated to promote leukemia awareness. Upon arrival, the students were informed that they would need to either turn the shirts inside out, cover the girl's name with duct tape, or change tops—a decision made by school administrators.

    Monday afternoon, Melinda Jackson, Caitlyn's mother, heard that the T-shirts had been barred from school while she was on her way home from the hospital where the girl had died. She told the Battle Creek Enquirer, "That hurt me to the

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  • Bacon Deodorant: Our Favorite Flavor Just Got Weird

    The bacon guys, Justin and Dave.The smell of bacon might make most people's mouths water, but a new product is as likely to trigger your gag reflex. J&D's Foods, the maker of Bacon Salt, Baconnaise, Bacon Lip Balm, and a host of other bacon-flavored products, has just released Power Bacon, a "meaty fresh" scented deodorant. Justin Esch, who co-founded the company with partner Dave Lefkow, tells Yahoo Shine that there are some basic rules for using it: "Don't explore the wilderness without a firearm—we initially weren't going to sell in Alaska where there are a lot of bears—and wear at your own risk."

    While Esch might be joking, Power Bacon was inspired by a hunting product used to attract bears and sold by a small Michigan company that also operates a deer farm. It's not edible, nor does it actually contain sweat-stopping chemicals, but it does have a sizzling, porky scent. "I call it an odorant," says Lefkow. "It's the ultimate aphrodisiac for armpits." J&D's contracted the deer farmers to make the product in small

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  • Jennifer Lopez Barbie Doll Is Not So Bootylicious

    Jennifer Lopez/Jennifer Lopez Barbies (photos: Getty, Mattel)
    Before Kim Kardashian, before Beyoncé, there was Jennifer Lopez, the Latina superstar from the Bronx who proudly flaunted her blockbuster body. This week Mattel released two versions of a collectable Jennifer Lopez Barbie, one in a red carpet look modeled after the vampish gown with plunging neckline that Lopez wore to the 2012 Oscars, and the other inspired by her risqué sequined body stocking costume from last year's "Dance Again" world tour. Although both looks get some details right — her glamorous Academy Awards updo, for example, and her silver peep-toe, lace-up concert booties — something significant is missing: the megaceleb's traffic-stopping curves.

    Related: Jennifer Lopez: I've Never Had Plastic Surgery

    If Barbie were an actual woman, she'd have a 36-inch bust, an 18-inch waist, and 33-inch hips — dimensions not seen since the days of the whalebone corset, and certainly not identical to Lopez's measurements. She's in fabulous shape but has never been shy about showing off

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  • Adorable Girl With Cerebral Palsy Lands Major Modeling Gig

    Holly Greenhow (photo: Boden/Geoff Robinson)Meet Holly Greenhow, one of the newest child models for popular British clothing brand Boden. The giggly 7-year-old has golden blond hair and a sunshiney smile. Like many little girls, she loves dressing up. But what's unique about Holly is that she's the company's first model with cerebral palsy, which was caused by prolonged oxygen deprivation at birth.

    More on Yahoo: Colorado Football Team Helps Student With Cerebral Palsy Achieve His Dream

    It was initially Holly's grandmother who suggested that the child's mother, Fiona, take the little girl to a casting call for Boden—one of Holly's favorite clothing brands. "Not many children with disabilities have the opportunities that other children have," Fiona, told ITV News. "I wanted to show that you don't have to be perfect to be in a magazine or online or in photographs, so that was my desire to push forward and get it done for Holly." It took two years to nab an audition, but this spring, Holly was invited to a casting session and

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  • Teen Changes Name from Keisha to Kylie After Racist Bullying

    Kylie Austin

    Cristy Austin, of Kansas City, Missouri, thought she was giving her baby a gift when she named her Keisha 19 years ago. She wanted her daughter, who is biracial, to feel empowered and connected to her African American roots. "I saw it as a source of pride," she told the Kansas City Star. Instead, her daughter found it to be a burden. Last week, after years of racially charged teasing, Keisha legally became "Kylie."

    More on Yahoo: Is It Sexist to Recruit Women in Tech?

    Cristy, who is white, raised Kylie as a single mom, and there wasn't a lot of diversity in her school or community. Classmates of Kylie would ask her mockingly if there was a "La" or a "Sha" in front of her name. And the name's pop cultural usage only made it worse. Hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar's 2011 song "Keisha's Song (Her Pain)" described the tragic demise of a prostitute and in 2012, Ca$h Out rapped about "Keisha" being both a term for marijuana and the name of a "ho." Kylie says even a teacher felt at liberty to

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