Shitterton and a sign of the times

Shitterton and a sign of the times

The residents of Shitterton have grown used to being the butt of jokes. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t proud of their pretty hamlet in the Dorset countryside.

So it was a source of great dismay that the signpost announcing its name was repeatedly stolen by souvenir hunters with a fondness for lavatory humour.

So bad was the problem that, three years ago, the fed-up district council stopped replacing the sign, meaning that drivers passing through the hamlet could be unaware that they were ever in Shitterton at all.

Now, in a move that could exemplify David Cameron’s Big Society, a group of public-spirited Shittertonians has decided to take matters into their own hands. They each chipped in £20 to purchase a lump of Purbeck Stone weighing more than a ton and had it engraved with the hamlet’s “interesting” name to act as a proud, and permanent, sign.

Woman kept open gas cans in house ‘because she liked the smell’

Woman kept open gas cans in house ‘because she liked the smell’

Thirty-three-year-old Juliana Bryant of Florala woman was jailed Tuesday after she allegedly left open gas containers throughout her home “because she liked the smell,” the Andalusia Star-News reports.

Chief Sonny Bedsole said officer Chris Jackson was responding to a disturbance report at the North Sixth Street home when he noticed the odd smell throughout Bryant’s home. Questioned about why the open containers were there, the woman, who had 3 children in the house, told Jackson “she liked the smell of it.”

How A 17-Year-Old Craigslist-Swapped An Old Phone For A Porsche

How A 17-Year-Old Craigslist-Swapped An Old Phone For A Porsche

Starting with an old cell phone a friend gave him, 17-year-old Steven Ortiz of Glendora, CA, used Craigslist to trade up 14 times over two years and eventually end up with a Porsche Boxster. Here’s how he did it.

Although Oritz’s story isn’t the first time we’ve seen Craigslist-swapping writ large, it’s the first one we’ve seen that doesn’t include any outside help. You may remember Kyle MacDonald, who famously created a website to document his attempt to trade one red paperclip for a house. It worked. But MacDonald also had a built-in fanbase and publicity from his website.

Ortiz, a 17-year-old high-schooler, had no such help. Instead, he spent the better part of two years tied to his iPhone, skimming Craigslist and carefully picking out trades he knew he could benefit from.

The Science of Cougar Sex: Why Older Women Lust

The Science of Cougar Sex: Why Older Women Lust

Men who cheat on their spouses have always enjoyed an expedient explanation: Evolution made me do it. Many articles (here is one, and here is another), especially in recent years, have explored the theory that men sleep around because evolution has programmed them to seek fertile (and, conveniently, younger) wombs.

But what about women? If it’s really true that evolution can cause a man to risk his marriage, what effect does that have on women’s sexuality?

A new journal article suggests that evolutionary forces also push women to be more sexual, although in unexpected ways. University of Texas psychologist David Buss wrote the article, which appears in the July issue of Personality and Individual Differences, with the help of three graduate students, Judith Easton (who is listed as lead author), Jaime Confer and Cari Goetz. Buss, Easton and their colleagues found that women in their 30s and early 40s are significantly more sexual than younger women. Women ages 27 through 45 report not only having more sexual fantasies (and more intense sexual fantasies) than women ages 18 through 26 but also having more sex, period. And they are more willing than younger women to have casual sex, even one-night stands. In other words, despite the girls-gone-wild image of promiscuous college women, it is women in their middle years who are America’s most sexually industrious.

By contrast, men’s sexual interest and output, usually measured by a reported number of orgasms per week, peaks in the teen years and then settles to a steady level (an average of three orgasms per week) for most of their lives. As I pointed out in March, most men remain sexually active into their 70s. According to the new study, as well as the study I wrote about in March, women’s sexual ardor declines precipitously after menopause.

Apartment Therapy: Calm Homes Breed Happy People

Apartment Therapy: Calm Homes Breed Happy People

Organized, calm, and clean. According to Apartment Therapy founder Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, these are the characteristic traits of a happy household and a productive workspace. And he would know: Maxwell is regularly invited into the apartments of strangers to assess their most intimate trappings – their stuff. But it turns out that our houses and apartments are far more than just a container for our things. Rather, our approach to home has everything to do with our approach to life.

Quitting his Upper East Side teaching gig in 2001, Maxwell began the business with not much more than the humble mission of “helping people fix up their homes.” Starting off, he did everything from waxing floors on his hands and knees to forcing clients to face their dreams and goals through the lens of interior design.

Ten years later, as our workspaces and home life become increasingly blurred, the Apartment Therapy blog has become an essential resource for design-savvy urban dwellers and a fixture on “best of” design blog rolls. It has also spawned numerous offshoots: the AT mini-media empire is now home to 5 blogs (Home, Technology, Children, Green, Cooking), covers content in 6 cities, has published 2 books, and has a team of 16 staffers.

Why chores are awesome for kids

So, you’ve got this super adorable and hyper child that you’re trying to encourage to help you around the house. If you can get his/her focus for more than one minute, they’re actually kind of enthusiastic about doing “something the adults are doing.”. Not everyone instills the value of chores in children- plus I’m not against giving them an allowance for it- so here’s a small guide to chores that children under 5 can handle. Harness that energy before they run rampant!

One “exciting” chore your child can partake in, is getting dressed… believe it or not. They can learn to:
• Select clothes to wear (that aren’t blindingly mismatched)
• Put them on
• Put them in the laundry basket once they’ve gotten chocolate Popsicle or dirt on it.

This can start at incredibly early ages, with your children selecting the clothes they want, and then getting dressed with your help. By about three years old, it’s safe to move them toward getting dressed and undressed on their own. It’s also a good age to teach them how to fold and hang up clothing so that you aren’t left with a mess of clothes strewn everywhere.

Making the bed is another chore that can start from just one or two years of age (if they can reach the blankets). At these earliest stages, making the bed will consist of pulling the sheets or blankets across the bed with the help of a parent. Once they get older, the child will be able to do the full work solo while you sit back and enjoy the cleanliness.

In their bedroom, children will also be able to clean and organize their toys, putting them in the proper location. When the child is very young, simply having a designated toy box where your child can store playthings is a good idea. As they get older, you can implement a more structured and organized system for storing their fun stuff.

Your children will (hopefully) sleep better knowing that they are in a room they helped clean and organize themselves, but the chores they do shouldn’t stop there. Oh no- they keep going. Once they’re up and out of bed, your children can learn how to brush their own hair (without knotting it like I did when I was little) and pearly whites. At early ages, these tasks will require more parental assistance (ever read the back of toothpaste?), but can be done independently by about age five.

Children can also help in some portions of other household cleaning, like vacuuming, in other areas of the house. Different weights and sizes of vacuum cleaners are more suitable for children, but even young boys and girls can use a handheld cleaner that they won’t struggle with.

Other minor tasks that a young child can accomplish include:
• Dusting furniture
• Setting the table
• Feeding pets
• Rinsing off dishes
• Helping with some food preparation
• Sweeping

Keep in mind that you are likely to have to re-do some of this work as your child is still learning how to do these tasks.

Your child will also love doing tasks and chores outside when the weather is nice. Raking up leaves or sweeping off the porch (no matter how boring it sounds to you) can be great chores when done with adult supervision. Having your children help with small portions of lawn and garden care, such as watering and weeding, can also be a great way to instill valuable habits in your children that will follow them for the rest of their lives.

PS: once again… an allowance helps

Photo Credit: Chore Time by Peachy Weasel

In a recession, is college worth it? Fear of debt changes plans

In a recession, is college worth it? Fear of debt changes plans

Darla Horn, 26, acknowledges she didn’t give much thought to the cost of college when she enrolled at State University of New York in Purchase.

“My plans were to get out of Texas, and college became incidental,” says Horn, who grew up in Nacogdoches, a city of about 32,000 near the Louisiana border. Because she didn’t qualify for financial aid, she took out student loans, graduating in 2005 with a double major in journalism and anthropology and more than $80,000 in debt.

Her loan payments were manageable until this year, when she lost her job as an information technology recruiter earning about $100,000 a year. Currently self-employed, she’s behind on her loan payments. In April, she organized an exhibition in Long Island that featured artwork by graduates who are trying to raise money to pay their student loans.

“To this day, I have yet to see the complete value of my education,” Horn says.

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