Category Archives: Life Style

10 Things I Learned From ‘Parks and Recreation’

I fell in love with Parks & Rec in 2014, which is reason enough for it to have been a good year. This television show is absolutely golden, making me both laugh and cry (I still can’t watch season five’s “Halloween Surprise” and “Leslie and Ben” episodes without getting emotional). I only wish I had started watching the show sooner. Six seasons aired before I cared about the show. Now, the seventh and final season is quickly being aired on NBC and will be over far too soon. And I just wish we’d had more time together, Parks & Rec.

You deserved my devotion years ago, but I promise you will have my devotion for years to come. As proof, here are ten things I’ve learned from Parks and Recreation :

1. Breakfast food is the best food.

Whether you’re more of a Leslie and prefer waffles, or you’re a Ron and could eat plates and plates of bacon and eggs, breakfast food is delicious. Seriously, “why would anybody ever eat anything besides breakfast food?”

2. All sorts of people can get along. Opposites really do attract.

The Pawnee Parks department is the most random conglomeration of co-workers. Their personalities are so different from one another, from sassy, Mercedes-driving Donna, to optimistic and determined Leslie, to swagger-ific and entrepreneurial-minded Tom, and everyone else. They are all very different and don’t always agree, but their friendships are absolutely wonderful to watch.

3. Treat your self.

Thanks, Tom Haverford, because this is definitely a lesson I’ve taken to heart. If something makes me happy, sometimes it is worthwhile to indulge in that thing without worrying about the consequences (the one exception, I’d say, is if the consequences could harm someone else). Bad day and need cheering up? Treat yo self. Just received good news? Treat yo self. Bored? Treat yo self.

4. Sometimes you gotta work a little to ball a lot.

Yet another piece of Tom Haverford wisdom. I could’ve used this bit of advice in college. There were far too many times that I needed to work on an essay, went to dinner with friends instead, and then came home and became stressed over how little time I had left to finish the essay. Sometimes you don’t get to do what you want until you do what you have to do.

5. If a movie has been out for more than 25 years, you can livetweet it and not have to post #spoileralert.

I don’t know about you, but coming across spoilers for movies, books, TV shows, etc., online sucks. It’s expected for people on social media to tag or announce their spoilers to help protect the un-spoiled from learning information before they’re ready. But how long does something have to be out before you don’t have to do this courtesy? Well, Donna Meagle gave me the answer. In one of my favorite episodes, “Halloween Surprise,” Donna live-tweets the Death Canoe movie only for a Pawnee resident to get angry that she didn’t acknowledge the spoilers in her tweets. She defends herself because the movie was 25 years old. Now I know that anything related to something that was released over 25 years ago doesn’t have to announce #spoileralert.

6. Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.

Ron Swanson is literally a genius. Instead of completing two things semi-decently, devote your attention to one thing and complete it wonderfully. Quality over quantity.

7. Good friends are so important. And good co-workers.

This kinda has to do with #2, but the relationships are part of what makes the show so great. Whether it is the friendship between Leslie and Ann or the work relationship between Chris and Ben, the characters love each other as co-workers and friends. And these friends and work relationships really make a difference in the show being as fantastic as it is. This show constantly reminds me that good friends and good co-workers are a blessing.

8. Nerd culture is mainstream now, so being a “nerd” isn’t an insult anymore.

The precious Ben Wyatt is to thank for this bit of enlightenment. I’ve been called a nerd derogatorily before and actually let it affect my self-esteem. But like Ben said, “nerd culture is mainstream now.” It’s cool to be a nerd; I shouldn’t be ashamed of it.

9. Hard work and perseverance can make a difference.

Leslie turned a pit into a park. She faced a lot of resistance and discouragement, but she didn’t let the doubts and negativity faze her. She kept at it, and what did she do in the end? She made the park. That woman is poster child for perseverance and effort. She’s such an inspiration.

10. Be passionate about whatever you do.

Leslie Knope’s passion for the Parks department is infectious. She loves her job and genuinely wants to make a difference. Her passion makes such a difference in her work. I hope to do everything with half of the passion that Leslie Knope does everything.

By Naughtycrank

Why are people sharing this photo?

Family portraits often prove popular on social media, but this one has inspired people to click the like button more than most.

American couple Aminat and Justin McClure posted it to celebrate their family’s mixed heritage, prompting thousands of people to share their own stories about growing up in dual and multi-cultured families.

The couple, who live in New Jersey, US, posed with their three children in West African-inspired outfits to honour Aminat’s Nigerian heritage. She left Lagos, in south west Nigeria, when her family moved to the US when she was little.

“We wanted to give the girls a lesson about how much diversity there is in the world so they learn to enrich themselves by opening their eyes to different cultures,” Justin told the BBC.

“As a family we like to make bold statements and I wanted to celebrate Aminat’s culture.”

Here Is What You Need To Do If You Want To Quit Your Job To Travel The World

Today I woke up in my new Barcelona apartment, did some writing on the patio, watched the sun rise behind the pink and tan stucco buildings, then walked through town past some famous Gaudí architecture to meet and co-work with fellow digital nomads at a cafe.

Truth be told? One year ago I never thought that this could be my life. I never thought I’d be pouring all this azúcar moreno on my “café con leche, por favor” while networking and typing away with people from all around the world. Yet here I am, improving my Spanish by the day. How did I go from a 9-5 in San Francisco to this #digitalnomadlife where I now travel, live, and work all around the globe?

I believed in myself.

Living a location-independent life is a new phenomenon, and as such it’s met with lots of tension and disbelief. Friends and family aren’t always able grasp the concept, and most everyone will think you’re “a wild one” on an extended vacation. More, from all those years of following societal norms, your mind is autoprogrammed to think the same.

You’ll be dragging around that imaginary corporate ladder, knocking people over the head all the way through the plane aisle until you can finally shove it into that overhead compartment. But you cannot let all this resistance stop you. You have to fight back, know that what you’re doing is what will lead you to your ultimate life of freedom, and believe in yourself enough to make it happen.

I fought past fear.

If you’re like me and just about every other single person in the entire world, you’re scared of failure and the unknown. But guess what? The only things these fears are good for are 1) living a mediocre life, and 2) keeping you from achieving your dreams.

As Jim Carrey said: “So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised with practicality. My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that was possible for him, and so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant, and when I was 12-years-old, he was let go of that safe job… I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

It’s time to get the off over your fears already. If you don’t, you’ll never be who you’re truly meant to be. No more excuses.

I considered my backup plan.

What was I currently doing? Living in San Francisco and working at a startup. What was my backup plan should I “fail” at traveling and working for myself? Move back to San Francisco and work at a startup. The thing I would do as my worst case scenario should everything fail was literally the exact same thing I was doing at that moment.

Now, can you really tell me that your backup plan is any different from what you’re doing right now? Oh, it’s not? Well then, my friend, you’re already living your worst case scenario. And you haven’t even given the best case a shot. There’s nothing more to discuss.

By Emmaattack

You need emotional connection before getting intimate? Six signs you identify as demisexual

This relatively new term refers to a slightly more sexually charged variation of asexuality or the condition in which someone feels no desire for sex whatsoever. It refers to a person who does not feel sexual attraction to another person unless they feel a strong emotional connection to them first.

Think of it this way.

Does it take you some time to get to get comfortable with someone first before being intimate? Does a deep emotional connection turn you on? If you answer yes to these questions, then you may identify as a demisexual.

While it sounds like nothing major or out of this world, there’s something deeper going on that is particular to those who are truly part of this sexual orientation.

Here are signs you may identify as one.

1. You are not into physical touch

If extended hugs or even making it out turns you off, you may be demisexual. You would rather sit down and have a conversation than get frisky. Physical intimacy, even with someone you’ve gotten to know can be uncomfortable and make you feel a bit anxious.

2. You enjoy sex but certain conditions must be met first

Unlike asexuals who are repulsed by sex, demisexuals actually enjoy it if their specific conditions are met. In short, they need to feel a strong emotional connection before they hit the sheets. Rather than feeling aroused when naked, they feel uncomfortable and exposed when forced to get physical with someone they don’t have an emotional bond with.

3. Don’t check people out

Judging people solely from their physical appearance on whether they are hot or not does not come naturally to them. For instance, when asked to rate how hot someone is, they are clueless because it is a completely alien concept to them.

4. Emotional bonds are extremely important

Your satisfaction comes from emotional intimacy with another person and sharing personal experiences. What gets them going is trust, communication, openness and emotional connection.

5. Sexually self-sufficient

Because sex isn’t the most important thing in their world, it does not mean they don’t enjoy it. Most of their moments of sexual gratification come from masturbation and when it comes to physical pleasure, they don’t see the need of another person.

6. Don’t see the need to flirt

Meaningless conversations with strangers, cracking jokes or going on goofy tangents about nothing doesn’t apply to them. They simply don’t speak that language and even when someone is trying to flirt with them, they never get it.

By My Night Reading

The #1 Reason Why Men And Women Misunderstand Each Other

There’s a simple reason we often take things people say the wrong way.

In your relationships — with friends, family , coworkers, or especially romantic partners — how often do you seem to say (or hear): “You took what I said the wrong way!” “You didn’t understand me!” or, “Why can’t you see it from my point of view?”

Why does that seem so hard to do and is it ever possible? (I’ve addressed this previously in the context of self-loathing people, who have particularly difficult challenges with this, but the concept applies much more broadly.)

Philosophers have long recognized that language is inherently vague, being an imperfect representation of thoughts and ideas. We only scratch the surface by saying that words themselves have different meanings and that the order in which we put them together into sentences, and the connections we form between them, add more layers of meaning, which are often ambiguous themselves.

To make things worse, sentences are often incomplete — not grammatically, but in terms of ideas. In other words, we usually take some knowledge about what we are talking about for granted. And that shared or assumed background information is often cultural — every geographical area or ethnic community has its own slang and shorthand that bewilders newcomers or outsiders — introducing cultural differences in sentence structure, intonation, and tone.

But even very clear and simple sentences exchanged between close friends, family members, or lovers , who share much of this common background, can often be misunderstood or misconstrued.

As a result, the listener infers a completely different meaning or intention than the speaker intended to convey. Is there a reason why men and women misunderstand each other? This is because each person speaks against the background of his or her personal history, experiences, impressions, beliefs, values, and more.

When a person speaks, it is he or she who is speaking, not some mechanical word generator — there is a person behind it, one who has lived and loved, laughed and cried, learned and forgotten. And as a result, obvious as it may sound, he or she is a different person than you are , and this informs his or her communication , adding layers of interpretation that are often hidden from the view of others.

Sure, you’ve lived, you’ve loved, all that. Nonetheless, each of us has had different experiences , been exposed to different ideas, been hurt in different ways — and learned different things from all of it. Every time you say something, it’s based on everything you have lived and it’s the same for everyone else.

When we hear somebody say something absurd, we might ask, “How could he say that?” But to truly understand why, as well as what was said, it helps to consider his background; once we try to understand him as a person, we can try to understand what he has said.

Can you ever truly understand anyone completely or are we bound to question why men and women misunderstand each other? Of course not: as much as we may try to empathize and put ourselves in someone else’s position, we can never truly be that person. The best we can do is try to understand the other person and to see where he or she is coming from.

This doesn’t mean, of course, that we have to accept or agree with him or her, but it helps to have a better idea of what ideas you’re actually disagreeing with. So much disagreement, especially in politics, is just people talking past each other instead of with each other. We deserve better; we have to try harder.

More to my point, this can also help improve communication in your relationship . Whether it’s your best friend, a relative, or your romantic partner, as close as you feel to that person, he or she is still a different person. As well as you think you know him or her, you don’t know everything. You can’t!

So when he or she says something to you that just doesn’t sound right, or claims that you took something the wrong way, remember that he or she is coming from a place that you really don’t know. Chances are they left something out of what they said because they assumed you’d know what they meant, but if you took it the wrong way, then you obviously didn’t.

Or even worse, your interpretation of what they just said is based on something you misinterpreted earlier, resulting in a “misinterpretation snowball.” It’s like a game of Telephone with only two people; once a statement is misunderstood, the next statement, which relies on the first, is also misunderstood, and so on.

Should you have known better? Or should the other person not have assumed you knew better? Who’s to blame? That’s the wrong question, of course. We are not perfect communicators since language is an imperfect tool for communication. Everything has to be interpreted: Thoughts have to be interpreted in terms of the words the speaker uses, and those words, in turn, have be interpreted back into ideas by the listener.

The problem is that everyone has a unique basis of interpretation, which is unavoidable. So don’t point fingers; instead, try to understand each other, where each other is coming from, and what each other really means. And remember that the best way to improve your communication is to do more of it….

By رامبو

How To Fall In Love… And Out Of Love, According To Science

Can you really switch between the two?

There is no bigger mystery than love . Most people believe it’s this magical thing that happens between two people who are meant to be together forever. Science argues that it’s all hormones and brain activity . Maybe it’s a bit of both.

Love is one of the most sought-after emotions for the euphoric and heavenly feelings. But it’s also the most dreaded for the potential hurt and heartbreak.

Yet, people still want to fall in love. A recent study found that it may be possible to turn on feelings of love, as well as turn them off. In fact, the study classifies love not as an emotion but as a motivation.

“One reason why love would not be an emotion is that it elicits different emotions depending on the situation,” the study says.

In a study published in PLOS , researchers Sandra Langeslag from the University of Missouri, St. Louis and Jan van Strien from Erasmus University Rotterdam found that “love regulations” can change the intensity of how one falls in love . It uses cognitive and behavioral strategies.

In a group of 40 participants, half were in relationships and the other half had recently been through a breakup . The participants viewed a slideshow of 30 photos of their significant other or ex and were asked to regulate their feelings — thinking of something positive about their partner for “up-regulation” and something negative for “down-regulation.”

As expected, participants felt more love when they thought about positive aspects about their partner, but felt less love when they thought about the negative aspects.

So, what does this mean for couples and singles who just experienced a breakup?

Well, if the participants of the study felt more in love after concentrating on the positive aspects of their partner rather than the negative, then couples in marriages or romantic relationships can do the same.

Being with someone long-term, it’s not uncommon for the spark to die down. By thinking about what makes their partner wonderful, more marriages and relationships can be saved. Of course, there is an exception for those in toxic relationships .

As for those who have just gone through a breakup and are finding it difficult to let go, it helps to think of the negative aspects about their ex to know that you deserve better in your next relationship.

By V.C.

How well you age depends on what you think of old age

At 85, Claude Copin, a retired French welder, may have discovered the secret to living a long, healthy life. She stays active by playing a pétanque game with friends in a Paris park. And she has made friends with her teammates’ children, many of whom are teenagers. They take her to parties and movies – sometimes forgetting that she might need a rest before they do. “I make my life beautiful”, says Copin. “I am still healthy because I have activities and I meet people.”

She is right. Original research and reporting by the global journalism organization Orb Media shows a strong connection between how we view old age and how well we age. Individuals with a positive attitude towards old age are likely to live longer and in better health than those with a negative attitude. Older people in countries with low levels of respect for the elderly are at risk for worse mental and physical health and higher levels of poverty, compared to others in their country. A shift in attitude, the research shows, could improve a lot.

Healthy ageing is increasingly important: countries everywhere outside of Africa are rapidly growing older. If population trends continue, by 2050 nearly one in five people in the world will be over 65. Close to half a billion will be older than 80. Smaller, young populations will have to care for large, older populations that have increasingly expensive healthcare needs.

Surprisingly, in a world full of older people, negative views of old age are common. A World Health Organization analysis found that 60% of people surveyed across 57 countries had negative views of old age. Older people are often viewed as less competent and less able than younger people. They are considered a burden on society and their families, rather than being recognized for their valuable knowledge, wisdom and experience.

Orb Media compiled data from more than 150,000 people in 101 countries to learn about their levels of respect for older people. Pakistan was among the countries that scored the highest.

Respect for older people is a long-standing tradition in Pakistan, says Faiza Mushtaq, an assistant professor of sociology at the Institute of Business Administration in Karachi. But as more people move to cities, traditional family structures are being disrupted, making it harder to care for elders. Without a government safety net, many older people fall into severe poverty, she says. Nonetheless, there are tangible benefits to the way elders are viewed, says Mushtaq.

“This attitude towards ageing is a much healthier embrace of the ageing process, rather than having all your notions of well-being, attractiveness and self-worth tied so closely to youth”, she says.

Japan, with the world’s longest lifespans and low birth rates, is at the leading edge of this global demographic shift. There, Orb found low levels of respect for the elderly. Dr. Kozo Ishitobi, an 82-year-old nursing home physician, says that older people were traditionally seen as a burden. “Japanese people are starting to realize that elderly people need support”, he says. “We all go through it, so we should support each other.”

It turns out that one’s attitude towards ageing has broad implications. Becca Levy, a professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health in the US, has been fascinated by the power of age stereotypes for decades. She started her work in the 1990s with a hunch. If older people are respected in society, perhaps that improves their self-image. “That may in turn actually influence their physiology and that may influence their health”, says Levy, the leader in the field.

Over the last two-and-a-half decades, Levy and other researchers that have followed have found just that: those with positive views about old age live longer and age better. They are less likely to be depressed or anxious, they show increased well-being and they recover more quickly from disability. They are also less likely to develop dementia and the markers of Alzheimer’s disease.

In one study, Levy found that Americans with more positive views on ageing who were tracked over decades lived 7.5 years longer than those with negative views. Studies in Germany and Australia have found similar results. “Some of the magnitudes of the findings have been surprising”, says Levy.

Orb’s research and analysis found that these effects can also be seen across cultures. Older people in countries with high levels of respect for the elderly report better mental and physical well-being compared to other groups in their countries, according to data from the OECD, the UN and others. Those countries also report lower rates of poverty among people over 50 compared to younger people.

It seems too simple. How can holding a better attitude towards old age help someone live longer? Levy found that people with negative age stereotypes have higher levels of stress. And stress has been correlated with a range of health problems. Those who expect a better life in old age are also more likely to exercise, eat well and visit the doctor, says Levy.

That has been the case for 57-year-old Marta Nazaré Balbine Prate, who moved her family into her parents’ home in Sao Paulo, Brazil a decade ago. She had to quit her job as a nutritionist at a hospital to care for them. Her father passed away at the beginning of the year. It has been hard financially and emotionally. But, she says, the experience has made her think about the kind of life she wants when she is older. “I try to watch what I eat. I work out as much as possible”, she says, “so I can reach old age in good physical condition”.

We should be grateful that we are even concerned about growing old, says Marília Viana Berzins. She has worked with the elderly in Brazil for 20 years, and she founded the advocacy group Observatory of Human Longevity and Ageing. “Old age is actually an achievement”, she says. “It’s humanity’s biggest achievement of the last century.”

But in Brazil, Berzins says, old age has become associated with incapacity. “When we change this mindset and old age is seen like just a stage of life, we’ll move forward,” she says. “The elderly will be treated with more respect.”

Shifting stereotypes is no simple feat. People develop their views on ageing when they are toddlers, says Corinna Loeckenhoff, an associate professor of gerontology in medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, who has studied age stereotypes across cultures. But they also change based on experience. Unfortunately, negative beliefs are often built on inaccurate impressions.

As people grow older, their health usually remains stable until about five years before they die, says Loeckenhoff. Only then will most people experience the mental and physical decline most associated with old age. “People keep mixing up ageing and dying”, she says.

Some research shows that increasing meaningful contact between young and older people can break down negative stereotypes. For the last five years, the Résidence des Orchidées, a nursing home in Tourcoing, France has tried to do just that. Every week, the home brings children from a neighbouring daycare centre to visit the residents.

Pierre Vieren, a 91-year-old retired business owner, loves seeing the children. “When I went to my balcony, the children said ‘Pierre, he is here’”, he says. “They all wave at me to say hello. That is my little ray of sunshine in the morning.”

The nursing home’s director, Dorothée Poignant, says that the experience normalizes old age for the children. “It recreates a family spirit with joy, children laughing, older people laughing”, she says. “We don’t only have elderly, we have children, elderly, disabled people. It’s inclusive.”

Everyone can gain from improving ideas about old age, says Loeckenhoff. “The single most important thing to realize about ageing stereotypes is that they are the only fair ones”, she says. “You will be the victim of your own stereotype, or the beneficiary as you get older.”

The full Orb Media report can be found at

SOURCE: World Economic Forum

By Jim Rendon and Olufemi Terry