Your Weekend Hangover

Every holiday break starts out with the prospect of productivity. I always believe I’m going to read an entire book, catch up on writing, and do all the tasks I’ve been putting off over the last few months. As you’d expect, this break has been filed with eating, drinking, and sleeping. I hope the lie I always tell myself was true for you, but I doubt it so I feel like I owe you your traditional Weekend Hangover. I hope your hangovers and lack of productivity were totally worth it as you enjoyed time with your favorite bottle of whatever and people you love. I know mine was.

I’ve been fortunate to have taken many things from my college professors both undergrad and graduate alike. Key takeaways from them have been that I have to live in the moment and stop trying to grow up so damn fast, that I can do anything, but not everything, so I need to say "no" more often, and this post on Mark Twain’s Top 9 Tips For Living a Kick-Ass Life.

I’m going to let you in a little secret: Black Friday deals are rigged. Most Black Friday deals are a carefully engineered illusion. Big retailers work backward with their suppliers to set starting prices, that after markdowns, yield the profits they want. Yes, what looks like such a great deal is an illusion in reality. Apparently those illusions are worth the 9 serious injuries reported across the country as of 5:00pm on Friday. Click here for up to the minute stats on Black Friday Deaths and Injuries. That link was from Mike Collier, who is brilliant to follow on Twitter.

While we’re on the subject… Here are 50 items to please the cooks, geeks, creative types, and everyone else on your holiday shopping list. However, if you’re a college graduate you would probably trade any one of those items in a heart beat to have the same dollar value applied to the massive balance on your student loans. There is an outstanding service that allows you to do just that, which my friend Caitlin Cavanaugh posted. It’s called Tuition.IO and is the only thing on my Christmas list. Have your grandma deposit that $12 check through them this year and after accounting for internet it's worth about 25% more or $15. If you really don’t want to pay down my student loans, I’d be totally happy with something from this list.

Have you ever wondered why you’re always sitting next to the bathroom or in the back corner of a restaurant? New research shows that good looking people are the ones who get the best tables at restaurants. I’m pretty sure I’ve posted something about the benefits of good looks in every Weekend Hangover so far, but it’s a sexy topic (sorry, I couldn’t resist) and it illustrates that not everyone is born with the same opportunities.

In things I didn't expect to read this week, the Bill Gates Foundation held a condom design contest. The winners were just announced. Beef tendon and a “wrapping” condom were good, but I would probably have named my design “Wrap God”.

Every time there is a public shooting, mass killing, or other visible act of violence there is naturally a great deal of media attention, which is exactly what the villains want. Rampage shooters crave the spotlight and we should do everything possible to stop them from getting it. There is a way to prevent this from happening, and I think it starts with a moratorium on the phrase, “going out in a blaze of glory” for media covering the story.

Everyone loves Oreo cookies and there are more ways to eat them then you can count. New research shows just how much Oreos are adored. For rats, Oreo cookies are more addictive than cocaine. If you give a mouse a cookie… it might end up selling itself for another bite.

Girls are vicious, and especially to each other. New research shows “intrasexual competition” intensifies female aggression.

 New research shows that being thankful is sexy. Maybe the reason you didn’t get laid on Thanksgiving Eve was because you didn’t tweet or Facebook enough about what you’re thankful for.

Most Americans couldn’t last long without a paycheck. 59% of U.S. workers said they would only be able to pay their bills without a paycheck for 12 weeks if they became sick and unable to work. 29% said they would blow through their resources in a month or less.

Talk about priorities. South Korea shut down their stock market, closed roads, and grounded flights so that students could take college entrance exams in peace.

The U.K. is serious about austerity. The Queen asked ministers for a poverty handout to help heat her palaces, but was rebuffed for fear of a PR disaster.

You should really watch this video on global population growth. It’s really well done and freaking interesting.

Did you bring a significant other home for the holidays to meet the parents for the first time? If so, I hope it went well. Unfortunately, well is not how you often describe these types of interactions. Here is a little science that explains why your parents think your partner isn’t good enough.

Similarly… Sometimes when you’ve taken drastic steps to reform your life or made significant changes, not everyone is supportive. Even if you’ve lost weight, quit smoking, or improved your mental health, people can be less than encouraging. What to do when nobody likes the new you.

The new agriculture industry in California is threatening forests and wildlife. It took the death of a small, rare member of the weasel family to focus the attention of Northern California’s marijuana growers on the impact that their huge and expanding activities were having on the environment.

4 dating mistakes you (and I) really need to stop making. Some of these suggestions (Being too sexually cautious?) made me raise an eyebrow.

What a brilliant take on the Twitter IPO I’m just now seeing:

 “What if I told you I had a company that last year generated $4 in sales? The problem is that I had $5 in expenses so we actually lost $1.

The good news is that things got better this year. For the first half, we generated sales of $3. But again, we spent heavily. We had expenses of $4 so lost lost another $1. We have $5 in debt.

How much would you pay for this company?

If you said $1,700, congratulations. That's Twitter.”

Follow me on Twitter @Aaron_Kraus