Blog Posts by Elise Solé, Shine Staff

  • The Surprising Way Teenagers Make Friends

    Universal StudiosWatch a classic teen movie like “The Breakfast Club” or “Mean Girls,” and you may think you have high school life figured out: Kids make friends based on what group they identify with, be it the jocks, the cheerleaders, the geeks, the weirdos, or some other clique. However, a new study of 3,000 students published Saturday by Michigan State University smashes stereotypes about the way teens pair off in school.

    “People want to believe that high school kids are making friends based on what clique they identify with, but that’s not completely true,” Kenneth Frank, PhD, a professor at Michigan State University's College of Education, tells Yahoo Shine. “People may rely on these stereotypes as a reference point to make sense of how high school kids operate: however, the classes students take are also an important indicator of who they’ll be friends with."

    The study found that kids will seek out like-minded people within the pool of peers they have access to. In other words, if your child

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  • Would You Pay to Cuddle a Stranger?

    Getty ImagesLooking for a little extra affection? Meet Sam Hess, a 29-year-old cuddle professional who makes a living by selling snuggles to those in need.

    Hess is part of a new breed of business people who believe that touch, no matter who it comes from, is the key to a happy life. She hatched the idea after watching a YouTube experiment in which two men offered free or paid hugs to people on the street. “People paid for hugs more than they took the free ones, and I realized that there’s real value in affection,” Hess tells Yahoo Shine. “My friends and boyfriend were a little wary at first, but once they realized I was serious about it, they were supportive.”

    Hess’s Portland, Oregon based company, called Cuddle Up To Me, offers two basic packages: A 30-minute session for $35 and a 60-minute session for $60 (She charges a $1 per minute in overtime), during which Hess and her client might hold hands, cuddle up on the couch, or spoon to the tune of her "cuddle playlist," which includes classic music

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  • Burt's Bees Apologizes for Lotion That Invites Catcalls

    All-natural skin care company Burt’s Bees has a reputation for being socially conscious reputation, but after many claimed that a description written on a jar of its moisturizer encourages the harassment of women, the cosmetics maker issued an apology.

    Güd, a division of Burt’s Bees, had discontinued its Vanilla Flame Body Butter in January; however, remaining stock was placed in the outlet section of its website and is still being sold via other retailers. The controversial label reads, “Soak in the moisturizing seductiveness of shea butter and indulge in the scent of vanilla and rice milk. And let the catcalling commence.”

    On Thursday, 29-year-old Colleen Kiphart, a communications expert (she declined to provide her city and state), who bought the Vanilla Flame Body Butter, tweeted an excerpt from the label to Hollaback, an anti-street-harassment group and this message: "On my @gudhappens is @burtsbees body butter. Catcalling is a violence against women." She tells Yahoo Shine, "I

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  • Music Video Vixen Spills on Rock 'n' Roll Past

    The rock 'n' roll scene of the 1980s and 1990s evokes images of neon clothing, guys with wild teased hair — and that girl who starred in the Warrant music video for the song “Cherry Pie.” Bobbie Brown, an actress from Louisiana, became an overnight success after whipping around her bleached-blond hair and gyrating on a red, lips-shaped love seat, wearing a sports bra and Daisy Duke shorts in the 1990 video. Shortly after, she plummeted into a dangerous world of sex, drugs, and rock stars. Now 44, Brown has chronicled her wild journey in an upcoming book called "Dirty Rocker Boys."

    Bobbie Brown (photo: Ex-Wives of Rock/Facebook) Brown recounted in a New York Post piece on Thursday that in 1990, Warrant singer Jani Lane hand-selected her to star in the band’s “Cherry Pie” music video when she was only 22 years old. Having lived in Los Angeles for a few years by that point, Brown was accustomed to hanging out with rock stars — at the time, she was competing on the talent competition show “Star Search," was dating Matthew Nelson of theRead More »from Music Video Vixen Spills on Rock 'n' Roll Past
  • Car Mechanic's Birthing Invention May Be a Lifesaver

    Diego Giudice/The New York Times/Redux

    Jorge Odón isn't the first auto mechanic to ever come up with an idea for a new product, but he's probably the first one in his field to invent a medical device meant to save a baby's life at birth.

    His idea was first hatched in 2007, when Odón, of Argentina, watched a YouTube video on how to retrieve a cork from inside a wine bottle. The trick worked by stuffing a plastic bag inside the bottle and blowing into it. As the bag expanded, it trapped the cork and the demonstrator was able to pull out the bag, along with the cork. That night, Odón was struck with inspiration during a dream: What if the same extracting method could be used during childbirth for babies stuck in the birth canal? According to an interview Odón, 59, gave The New York Times this week, he then woke up his wife and excitedly shared his vision, to which she replied that said he "was crazy and went back to sleep."

    Odón was unable to comment to Yahoo Shine, but, he recounts in the Times story, he was undeterred and got

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  • School's Girl Power Ad Campaign Sends the Right Message

    The fairy tale is dead. That’s the message that Mercy Academy, an all-girls' Catholic school in Louisville, Kentucky, is sending with a splashy new ad campaign that tells students, “You’re not a princess. But you can still rule the world,” “Mirror, mirror on the wall. Be more than just the fairest of them all,” and “Don’t wait for a prince. Be able to rescue yourself.”

    The campaign, created by Doe-Anderson, a Louisville-based advertising agency, is meant to reflect one of the school's core goals: to help its students become independent, productive women in the real world. For example, during entrepreneur courses, students create real businesses and donate the proceeds to women in Sudan; in chemistry class, they clean up simulated oil spills. It’s also an attempt to woo prospective students to the school, which serves grades 9 to 12. “Our ad campaigns have been pretty traditional in the past, but this year we wanted to really get the message across that Mercy students have the power to

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  • Will Canceling School Dances Stop Kids From Grinding, Twerking?

    Everett CollectionTwerking is the unofficial dance of 2013 (thanks, Miley Cyrus!), and similar sexually suggestive dance moves favored by teens aren't sitting well with the adults in their lives. With bans on inappropriate dancing now the norm at many schools around the country, one high school is going a step further to make sure its students aren't tempted to bump and grind, by banning most school dances.

    Jeff Maher, principal of Stowe High School in Stowe, Vermont, wrote on the school’s blog last month:

    “This morning I announced to students that we are canceling school dances for the remainder of the year. The Prom in May will be the only exception. I arrived at this decision following considerable feedback from parents, faculty and staff, and students. All of this feedback was directed at the 'style' of dancing common among students in high schools across the nation; students and adults alike are uncomfortable with 'grinding' as this style of dance is called. It is inappropriate, demeaning, and does

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  • Tween Catches Bully Teacher on Tape

    ThinkStockWhen the father of a fourth grader learned that a teacher had been  bullying the boy and his classmates, he was determined to prove it. His solution? Sending the 9-year-old to school with a hidden tape recorder to catch her in the act.

    In mid-September, when Isaac Robinson, 43, of Villa Rica, Georgia, asked his son (whose name he declined to provide) how school was that day, he sensed something was wrong. “He kept saying, ‘Fine’ but I probed and he finally said that he didn’t want to go to school because he doesn’t like the way his teacher talks to the class,” Robinson tells Yahoo Shine. “When I pressed him, he said she tells them, ‘Shut up’ and even threatened to take the kids to jail because they were misbehaving.”

    Robinson wanted to report the incident to Villa Rica Elementary School, but he had a feeling the accusations would require proof. “I knew it would be my son’s word against his teacher’s, so I asked him if he felt comfortable secretly recording his class,” says Robinson. Read More »from Tween Catches Bully Teacher on Tape
  • Why Tea Makes You Happy, Healthy, and Smart

    ThinkstockMove over, coffee. Tea, java's subdued little sister, is having a moment. According to 12 new studies published in the December issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consuming tea on a daily basis can boost weight loss, bone health, concentration, problem-solving skills, even your mood.

    "Although we’re a nation of coffee drinkers, tea is the oldest beverage in the world and its health properties are indisputable," Julie Upton, MS, RD, CSSD, a registered dietitian and a media resource of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, tells Yahoo Shine. "To experience the health benefits of tea, people should aim to drink 3 to 5 cups per day." Behold, five benefits of the brew:

    It boosts productivity: That guy in the neighboring cube who won't stop humming? Drinking black and green tea will help drown out the noise. The research found that sipping two to three cups over a 90-minute period improves alertness, attention span, and focus, helping people produce more accurate work. Read More »from Why Tea Makes You Happy, Healthy, and Smart
  • Extra, Extra! Kate Middleton Has Gray Hair, Too

    Rex USA

    From her tailored coats to her fabulous hats to her favorite nude stilettos, Kate Middleton has the polished look down pat. Which is why we were surprised when the duchess stepped out with Prince William on Thursday, rocking her usual beachy waves and visible in her hair were silver-gray strands. 

    Instead of her go-to side part, Middleton opted for a middle split, revealing the wiry silver hairs. The occasion was Poppy Day, a holiday observed in the Commonwealth countries to commemorate soldiers who died during World War 1. Observers wear red to symbolize the rose-colored poppies that bloomed along the battlefields and to get into the spirit, Middleton wore an ankle-length red Red L.K. Bennett coat fastened with three poppies, black opaque tights, and black suede pumps.

    Of course, finding a gray hair or two in your 30s isn't unusual — but given Middleton's status as a beauty icon, Twitter exploded with commentary.

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