Tabasco Sauce Is in a Battle For Its Very Survival

Row after row of blackened wood barrels are piled 30 feet high in a dim warehouse on Avery Island in southern Louisiana. Harold “Took” Osborn leads me through the endless stacks, in a setting reminiscent of the final scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark. The recycled bourbon Continue reading “Tabasco Sauce Is in a Battle For Its Very Survival”


If Your Child Is Sitting Like This, Here’s Why You Need to Stop Them Now

My daughter’s just over a year old, so there’s really not much she’s doing “wrong” yet. (Trust me, like all of us, she’ll get there.) If she smacks our family pet, it’s less hostility and more that she doesn’t have full control of her arms. If she throws her food, it’s not an act of insubordination but just her method of communicating that she’s done eating. So, when a family member alerted me to something my child was doing that she needed to stop at once, I was taken aback. Especially because, at that particular moment, she wasn’t stealing her playmate’s toys or eating an expensive coaster as she’s sometimes known to do. She was just sitting there.

Turns out, the way she was sitting — with each leg splayed at her side, knees in front and feet behind, to form a “W” shape — was all kinds of bad.

According to a vast majority of physical therapists, there are several key reasons why:

W-sitting limits core strength because it gives kids a wider base of support. Because they don’t have to engage their abdominal or back muscles in this position, kids often prefer it to more challenging, tiring positions, like with legs in front, at their sides, or crisscrossed.
W-sitting causes muscle tightness, particularly in the legs and hips but also knees and ankles.
W-sitting aggravates neurological issues such as low muscle tone, which means when kids aren’t actively using their muscles, those muscles are floppier and softer and have a harder time holding their bodies upright.
What this all means, most therapists agree, is that prolonged W-sitting throughout childhood can lead to a delayed development in gross motor skills like coordination and balance. For those parents hoping to raise a star athlete, this position’s effect on postural muscles can also be cause for concern.

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Why do some kids sit like this? It’s by far the steadiest way for children of all ages to sit, and aside from that innate tendency to achieve the most stability, it’s also been attributed to time spent in infant carrier devices, like swings, bouncy seats, and car seats.

Seeing as my daughter had graduated from infancy, I was immediately concerned that the damage was already done. I had tried my best to limit her time in her baby swing and the oversize, overpriced ExerSaucer that I had bought under the assumption it was actually good for a baby’s development, but here she was, W-sitting at every turn. I had never noticed it until now.

What can be done? Well, the somewhat alarmist recommendation is to get them to stop doing it immediately — that, whenever you see your child W-sitting, you either physically move their legs into a suitable position (if they’re too young to understand) or tell them to do so.

So, with a watchful eye, I adjusted her legs every time she sat incorrectly, and my husband and I instructed our child’s caretakers to do the same. Occasionally I’d correct her, and it’d be fine, but plenty of times, adjusting one of her legs would make her cry and most times, doing so annoyed her to the point that she was no longer interested in sitting and scooted off to go do something else.

She wasn’t the only one getting fed up, and it had only been a week. I dug a little deeper and found that a few pediatric occupational therapists out there don’t view this seated position as a problem necessarily. There’s not much evidence that shows causation. That is, yes, children who W-sit often have orthopedic issues and muscle tightness. But W-sitting hasn’t been proven to be the cause of those issues, which makes one wonder: could tight hamstrings and hip dysplasia lead to W-sitting, not the other way around?

One such unconvinced therapist, Rachel Coley, happens to be the mother to a W-sitter and maintains it’s perfectly normal for kids to sit this way.

She notes that it’s a simple sign of flexibility and aids in fine motor control because you need to assume the most stable seated position possible when engaging in tasks that require “coordinated, controlled movements of the hands and fingers.” Coley also noted that, for babies in particular, W-sitting provides a convenient, “natural transition” from crawling or kneeling to sitting.

However, based on how strongly most certified therapists feel about W-sitting, I’m not taking any chances. I’m going to keep my eye on it, and I’ll encourage other parents who were unaware of this issue to do the same, especially if they have older kids showing some of the negative side effects. But, if my child is having the time of her life smacking two wooden blocks together, I’m not going to spoil the fun if she happens to be W-sitting.

China’s Baidu launches $1.5 billion fund to drive its autonomous car efforts

(Reuters) — Chinese search engine Baidu announced a 10 billion yuan ($1.52 billion) autonomous driving fund on Thursday as part of a wider plan to speed up its technical development and compete with U.S. rivals.

The “Apollo Fund” will invest in 100 autonomous driving projects over the next three years, Baidu said in a statement.

The fund’s launch coincides with the release of Apollo 1.5, the second generation of the company’s open-source autonomous vehicle software.

After years of internal development, Baidu in April decided to open its autonomous driving technology to third parties, a move it hopes will accelerate development and help it compete with U.S. firms Tesla and Google project Waymo.

In the latest update to its platform, Baidu says partners can access new obstacle perception technology and high-definition maps, among other features.

It comes amid a wider reshuffle of Baidu’s corporate strategy as it looks for new profit streams outside its core search business, which lost a large chunk of ad revenue in 2016 following strict new government regulations on medical advertising.

Baidu’s Apollo project – named after the NASA moon landing – aims to create technology for completely autonomous cars, which it says will be ready for city roads in China by 2020.

It now has 70 partners across several fields in the auto industry, up from 50 in July, it says. Existing partners include microprocessors firm Nvidia and mapping service TomTom.

Despite the rapid growth of its partner ecosystem, Baidu has faced challenges negotiating local Chinese regulations, which have previously stopped the company from testing on highways.

In July local Beijing police said it was investigating whether the company had broken city traffic rules by testing a driverless car on public roads as part of a demonstration for a press event.

AI needs a human touch to function at its highest level

There is an old saying that speaks to the current state of AI: “To someone holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” As companies, governments, and organizations scramble to be in the vanguard of this new generation of artificial intelligence, they are trying their best to persuade everyone that all of our human shortcomings will be absolved by this technological evolution. But what exactly will it solve? Machine learning is an incredibly powerful tool, but, like any other tool, it requires a clear understanding of the problems to be solved in the first place — especially when those problems involve real humans.

Human versus machine intelligence

There is an oft-cited bit from Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series in which an omniscient computer is asked for the ultimate answer to life and the universe. After 7.5 million years, it provides its answer: the number 42. The computer explains to the discombobulated beings who built it that the answer appears meaningless only because they never understood the question they wanted answered.

What is important is identifying the questions machine learning is well-tailored to answer, the questions it struggles with, and perhaps most importantly, how the paradigmatic shift in AI frameworks is impacting the relationship between humans, their data, and the world it describes. Using neural nets has allowed machines to become uncannily accurate at distinguishing idiosyncrasies in massive datasets — but at the cost of truly understanding what they know.

In his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid, Douglas Hofstadter explores the themes of intelligence. He contemplates the idea that intelligence is built upon tangled layers of “strange loops,” a Möbius strip of hierarchical, abstracted levels that paradoxically wind up where they started out. He believes that intelligence is an emergent property built on self-referential layers of logic and abstractions.

This is the wonder that neural nets have achieved — a multi-layered mesh of nodes and weights that pass information from one tier to the next in a digital reflection of the human brain. However, there is one important rule of thumb in artificial intelligence: The more difficult it is for a human to interpret and process something, the easier it is for a machine, and vice versa.

Calculating digits of π, encrypting messages using unimaginably huge prime numbers, and remembering a bottomless Tartarean abyss of information can occur within the blink of an eye using a computer, which manages to outperform millennia of human calculations. And yet humans can recognize their friend’s face in an embarrassing baby photo, identify painters based on brush strokes, and make sense of overly verbose and ruminating blog entries. These are domains that machine learning has made vast improvements in, but it is no wonder that as the human brain-inspired architecture of neural nets brings machines up to parity, and in some cases beyond, in areas of human cognition, machines are beginning to suffer some of the same problems humans do.

Nature or nurture?

By design, we are unable to know what neural nets have learned, and instead we often keep feeding the system more data until we like what we see. Worse yet, the knowledge it has “learned” is not discrete principles and theories, but rather contained in a vast network that is incomprehensible to humans. While Hofstadter might have contemplated artificial intelligence as a reflection of human intelligence, modern AI architects have no tendency to share the same preoccupation. Consequently, modern neural nets, while highly accurate, do not elucidate any understanding of the world for us. In fact, there are several well-publicized instances where AI went afoul, manifesting in a socially unacceptable reality. Within a day of Microsoft’s AI chatbot Tay being active, it learned from Twitter users how to craft misogynistic, racist, and transphobic tweets. Did Tay learn a conceptual sociohistorical theory of gender or race? I would argue not.

Why AI can’t be left unattended

Paradoxically, even if we assume that the purpose of an AI isn’t to understand human concepts at all, these concepts often materialize anyway. As another example of misguided AI, an algorithm was used to predict the likelihood of someone committing future crimes. Statistically based software models learned racial biases, assigning higher risks to black defendants with virtually no criminal records, if any, than to white defendants with extensive histories of violent crime. Facial recognition software is also known to have its biases, to the point that a Nikon camera was unable to determine if a Taiwanese-American woman had her eyes open or not. Machine learning is only as good as the data it is built upon, and when that data is subject to human biases, AI systems inherit these biases. Machines are effective at learning from data, but unlike humans, have little to no proficiency when it comes to taking into account all the things they don’t know, the things missing from the data. This is why even Facebook, which is able to devote massive AI resources to its efforts to eliminate terroristic posts, concedes that the cleanup process ultimately depends on human moderators. We should be rightfully anxious about firing up an AI, whose knowledge is unknowable to us, and leaving it to simmer unattended.

The AI community cannot be haphazard about throwing open the AI gates. Machine learning works best when the stakeholders’ problems and goals are clearly identified, allowing us to chart an appropriate course of action. Treating everything as a nail is likely to waste resources, erode users’ trust, and ultimately lead to ethical dilemmas in AI development.

Mike Pham is a technical product manager at Narrative Science, a company that makes advanced natural language generation (Advanced NLG) for the enterprise.

10 Most Interesting Facts about Grapefruit

Before adding grapefruits to your healthy eating plan, there are a few facts about these tasty citrus fruits you should definitely know. Many people eat grapefruit to lose weight because it’s low in calorie, high in fiber, and it kicks start your weight loss. But it’s important to know everything about the fruit just to be sure it’s the right choice for your diet. Here are several interesting facts about grapefruit.

1. Low in calorie
Every woman knows that calories are those annoying things that make it hard to lose those unwanted pounds and may even make you gain weight if you consume too many of them. Grapefruit is the right choice for your diet, especially if you are watching your daily calorie intake. Grapefruit contains under 40 calories per half.

2. High in fiber
Grapefruit is rich in fiber that fills you up and helps minimize your hunger between meals. Grapefruit is the perfect choice for any meal because it helps satisfy your appetite and keeps you from reaching for unhealthy snacks. You can add a half grapefruit to your breakfast, but I don’t recommend you to add it to your lunch or dinner. You can also segment grapefruit and toss it into your salad.

3. High in Vitamin C
Eating a grapefruit in the morning will help you get all the vitamin C you need during the day. Just imagine, half a grapefruit has all the vitamin C we need for the whole day, so it’s really worth adding grapefruits to your breakfast. Just slice a grapefruit in half and scoop out the sections with a spoon. Plus, you can broil it with brown sugar for a delicious dessert.

4. High in Vitamin A
Grapefruits contain vitamin A, which is vital for the immune system and which is also a powerful antioxidant that helps fight the free radical damage that leads to numerous health issues, including cancer. Half a grapefruit contains more than 300 IU of vitamin A – key for good vision, cell growth and a healthy immune system.

5. Grapefruit comes in many colors
While the most common color of grapefruit you find in supermarket is pink, there are some other colors. There are white, red and yellow grapefruits as well. The flavors are not so different, they are all sweet and tangy but have plenty of wonderful benefits, so make sure you try these grapefruits too, of course, if you find any of them.

6. Size
Grapefruit trees, which have dark green leaves, typically grow to around 30 feet in height. Grapefruits usually range in size from 4 to 6 inches in diameter. The fruits develop from the white flowers’ ovaries, which bloom on the trees.

7. The grapefruit juice can interact with medicines
Perhaps, this is a fact that you have never heard before. The grapefruit juice alters the potency of some medicines, increasing the risk of overdosing. In many cases, the grapefruit juice can make medicines less effective. So, if you take any prescribed medications, be sure to ask your doctor about whether grapefruit and grapefruit juice are healthy for you or not.

8. It’s fat free
Calories play a big role when it comes to losing weight, but so does fat. Probably you know that fat contains nine calories per gram, and if you consume too much of it, your chances of gaining weight will go up. Grapefruit is fat free, so you can eat it any time without feeling guilty!

9. Grapefruits are easy to store
The great news is that grapefruits don’t get affected by high temperatures. You can store your grapefruits for a week at room temperature, and for about three months in a refrigerator. The problem is, many fruits spoil quickly and it can be difficult to buy fruits daily. When you buy grapefruits, you can put them in the fridge and don’t worry that they spoil quickly.

10. Grapefruit production
One grapefruit tree can produce 1,300 to 1,500 pounds of grapefruit a year. Arizona and Florida grapefruit is available year round, though Florida is the largest producer of grapefruit. There are about 5,061,023 tons of fruit produced each year, with the US producing 1,580,000 tons of grapefruit.

So, after reading the facts mentioned above, did you learn something absolutely new about grapefruit? I love grapefruits and try to eat one each day. Grapefruits taste so good! Will you eat one right now?

10 Best Eye Makeup Tips for Teens

As a girl entering your teen years, you experience numerous changes in your body. You begin to develop breasts and womanly curves and your menstrual cycle commences. You may also notice that you receive appreciative glances when you walk down the street. It is obvious that you are not a little girl any more, and you may want to look as grown up as possible. This is understandable, and your teenage years are the ideal time to experiment with new looks. Following these ten eye makeup tips will allow you to express your growing maturity without sacrificing your fresh-faced youthfulness.

1. Less is Often More
Less Is Often More
Many teenage girls pile on three or four shades of eye shadow along with thick eyeliner and multiple coats of mascara. Unless you are performing as a backup singer for Rihanna or Katy Perry, that much eye makeup is too much. You can call plenty of attention to your eyes with one or two shades of eye shadow and a single coat of mascara.

2. Don’t Share
Don’t Share
You may have a BFF with whom you share everything. However, sharing eye makeup is an invitation to contracting an eye infection. If you have discovered a great shade of eye shadow that you simply must share with your bestie, plan a trip together to your local department store or drug store where she can purchase her own eye shadow.

3. It’s Not too Early for Eyebrow Shaping
It’s Not Too Early for Eyebrow Shaping
According to the old saying, your eyes are the windows to your soul. Proper eyebrow shaping can produce amazing results. Your eyes look more vibrant and your entire face opens up. It’s worth saving your allowance or earnings from a part-time job to schedule an appointment with an eyebrow specialist. They can create the best eyebrow shape which you can follow at home with tweezing or waxing.

4. Save Eyeliner for Special Occasions
Save Eyeliner for Special Occasions
Especially for younger teens, eyeliner does not add maturity – it is simply too harsh. Older teens over the age of fifteen or sixteen may consider eyeliner for prom or some other special occasion. Even then, avoid drawing a line that is too thick. You should also avoid lining your lower eyelids because doing so often makes your eyes look smaller.

5. Go Ahead and Go Bright with Eye Color
Go Ahead and Go Bright With Eye Color
Electric blue eye shadow? Vivid green mascara? Go for it! Your teen years are the ideal time to try out wild color combinations. You might want to go a bit easy during daytime hours, but even then, there is no need to stick to mousy shades. In addition, when you are hanging out during the evening with your girlfriends, go ahead and go bold.

6. Use a Light Hand With Mascara
Use a Light Hand With Mascara
It is true that mascara can make sparse lashes appear fuller and emphasize your eyes. Older teens should feel free to wear mascara at any time. However, if you’re wearing mascara to enhance your eyelashes, stick with brown rather than black unless your eyelashes are naturally black. Regardless of what shade you choose for your mascara, a single coat is plenty for daytime; two coats should suffice for after hours occasions.

7. Wear Metallics Sparingly
Wear Metallics Sparingly
Metallics can be fun, and they definitely add a glam touch to your outfit. If you’re wearing metallics, do so sparingly, especially during the day. A light dusting of metallic eye shadow can be striking and attractive. A heavy coat of metallic eye shadow plus glittery blush and shimmery lip color may send the wrong message to onlookers.

8. “Do” Your Eyes or Your Lips (Not Both)
Do Your Eyes or Your Lips (Not Both)
Do you love the look of a smoky eye? If you are skilled in achieving this tricky makeup look, great! However, full eye makeup necessitates a light hand for the rest of your face. Stick to sheer blush (or no blush at all) and neutral lip colors. Remember, you want people to notice your eyes, not the fact that you are wearing a ton of makeup.

9. Insert Contact Lenses before Applying Eye Makeup
Insert Contact Lenses Before Applying Eye Makeup
If you wear contact lenses, there are two important rules: wash your hands before inserting your contacts and insert your contacts before applying any eye makeup. You will run a lower risk of eye infection, plus you will be able to see what you are doing! Cream eye shadow is less likely to migrate into your eyes than powder eye shadow. Be extra careful when applying mascara. You don’t want to poke the wand into your eye.

10. Apply Slightly More Makeup with Glasses
Apply Slightly More Makeup With Glasses
Are you a glasses-wearing diva? You can wear a bit more eye makeup to ensure that your eyes are not lost behind your frames. You may also consider using an eyelash curler to make your eyes look wider and prevent mascara from smearing your lenses. But if you consider eyelash curlers to be instruments of torture, it is totally OK to skip this step.

If you have some other eye makeup tips for teens, feel free to share them with us in the comments section.

Loneliness Isn’t a Cruel Fate, It’s a Choice

Loneliness is a common thing these days and many people complain that they are lonely and unhappy since it’s a cruel fate. However, it’s actually their choice. Hobbies, money and fame can make you happy, but I strongly believe that children, family and closest friends are real treasures. We all need other people and most of us feel awfully lonely because of lack of communication. However, sometimes we feel lonely when we are surrounded by coworkers or even family members. Why? Because we decided to feel lonely. This choice is mostly subconscious and unintended. Let’s try to find out why you feel so lonely in your life.

Loneliness Isn’t a Cruel Fate, It’s a Choice
Bad experience
One of the reasons we often choose loneliness is our desire to protect our feelings. We all have bad experiences with friends, sweetheart or parents, but it doesn’t mean that you should stay away from everyone. This kind of solitude may be both deliberate and unintentional. Sometimes it’s easier to give up people at all in order not to get hurt again. But people are different. There are 7 billion people on earth and the majority of them are kind, well-intentioned and faithful. Just because you’ve been betrayed once doesn’t mean all people are much of a muchness. Don’t hide from people around you, and you will feel much happier and less lonely.

Fear of being rejected
Nowadays most people suffer from low self-esteem and often we are too shy to give a smile to a stranger or start a conversation. We spend a lot of time in front of screens without noticing that we just waste our precious time. Social media won’t help you overcome your loneliness; it can me you feel worse. After all, how can you show others how unique and talented you are, if you don’t meet them in person? You should be proud of your personality, opinion and choices. Yes, finding a good friend or beloved is a trial-end-error process. But it is the only way to get rid of gut-wrenching loneliness. You never know what you get unless you try. Thus, if you want to get to know someone better, do it! Let yourself be vulnerable since it’s a natural human feature. This will help you to fight your fears and live a happier life.

Steep demands
What are you expecting from others? Are you irritated and disappointed at their drawbacks? If you made a list of traits your boyfriend or friends must have, throw away that list right now. I had such a list too and I was one of the loneliest people in the world! I expected too much from my parents, boyfriend and friends, so it’s no wonder they didn’t even want to see me, not to mention that they didn’t want to communicate with me. If you love rules and you strive for perfection, you need to break this bad habit. Understand that we live in far-from perfect world and no one is ideal. You should learn to see the good in people in order to understand that everyone is unique and wonderful in their own way. Let yourself be natural and imperfect; you’ll see that life is much easier than you think and you are not lonely.

Yes, you read that right! Many people pretend to be lonely just because they don’t want to do at least something to change the situation. Remember that if you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. But if you don’t, you’ll find an excuse. Be frank with yourself and decide whether you really need more people in your life. If you do, stop whimpering and start acting. You will see that people appreciate your initiative and desire to be closer to them. Don’t let your laziness poison your life.

False priorities
In this hectic, modern world many things, including our priorities, underwent changes. While 40 years ago family and children were above all, now most people are anxious about their professional development, career and money. We spend most time at work and think that money will make us happier. Never, ever money won’t make anyone happy! No matter how much you love your job, don’t make it a priority. Your career won’t help you when you will feel down or get sick. I’m not telling you that you should quit your job. I just want to say that you should set your priorities wisely and don’t forget about your family and friends.

Even though loneliness is your choice, it doesn’t mean loneliness is bad. Every person needs some alone time, especially if you are an introvert. But if your life is plagued by loneliness, follow the aforementioned tips to find out the reason why you feel so lonely. Do you think that loneliness is a person’s choice?

8 Great Reasons Why You Should Date a Shy Guy

If you’ve never dated a shy guy you may think that it’s rather problematic or disadvantageous. Indeed, most girls prefer dating confident men who arouse the feeling of safety and reliability. However, dating a confident man is sometimes even more problematic and challenging than you may think. On the contrary, dating a shy guy offers many unexpected benefits. Here are 8 undeniable reasons you should try dating a shy guy.

1. Shy guys don’t dominate conversations
It’s believed that girls tend to talk much more than guys. However, sometimes a confident guy may go too far boasting about how splendid he is. It’s great when a guy can arouse your interests with his talks or make you laugh. But every now and then you need a person that can just keep silent and listen to you. When dating a shy guy you’ll have plenty of opportunities to ask questions, talk about your life and just chatter. Be sure, a shy guy will catch everything you say since he wants to know your personality.

2. Shy guys are more genuine
Confident guys are always confident about their words, but sometimes they may be too superficial. They often say something just to please you, even if they don’t think so. When dating a confident man I’ve experienced many cases of untruth. However, a shy man will never act artificially. His words always correspond to his thoughts and you can be sure that your shy guy means exactly what he says. Indeed, it’s a good reason to date a shy guy!

3. The challenge
Confident guys are rather fast to share their feelings, thoughts and plans with you. Shy guys, however, aren’t so talkative and most probably you’ll have to make great efforts to get along with him. You’ll have to invent various ways to get him talk to you and you’ll be the initiator of your conversations. He won’t bother you with annoying questions and you will always know that whenever he’s talking to you, he’s sincere and his words are meaningful.

4. Shy guys are less intimidating
A man’s confidence is like a magnet for girls, that’s why confident guys are highly popular with the opposite sex. They are confident to the point that many girls feel uneasy beside them. Shy guys, however, aren’t so intimidating. They’re more accurate with their behavior and even if they decide to reject you, they’ll do it in a very polite manner. Shy guys make great husbands, by the way!

5. Shy guys are good listeners
Shy guys rarely start talking first, thus they’ll never control a conversation. However, they will always listen to you no matter how much you’ll be talking. They’re very attentive and they will remember every word you’ll say. You know that talking to a person who really listens to you and cares is one of the most pleasant things ever. But it works both ways. You also should be a good listener to carry on a good conversation.

6. It’s easy to put them to the blush
What I love most about shy guys is that they can blush so quickly and easily! An intent glance, an accidental touch and a compliment are sure ways to make him red-cheeked. However, don’t try to make him shy on purpose; it can make him feel uneasy and reserved. Whenever you want to compliment him, try to be very tactful and delicate. Shy guys are overly sensitive, so think twice before telling something offensive.

7. They are more attentive
I don’t mean that all shy guys are irrevocably attentive; however from my experience I can acknowledge that shy guys generally display more attentiveness. They don’t scatter their attention on trifles and they always consider your feelings. Chances are that a shy guy will intuitively feel your mood and well-being. The greatest advantage of dating a shy guy is that he’ll appreciate your inner beauty as well as your physical appearance.

8. A shy guy won’t cheat on you
Unfortunately, confident guys prove to be less faithful and they’re more likely to cheat on their beloved. A shy guy will never cheat on you. Once he makes his mind to be with you, he’ll be loyal and firm in his choice. He knows perfectly well that you don’t deserve such an attitude and even if you have a breakdown in your relationship, he’ll prefer to talk to you about it. This is really one of the best benefits of dating a shy guy.

Now you see that shy guys shouldn’t be ignored at all! Dating a shy guy is all about advantages and these are only a few of them. If you want an attentive, careful person, dating a shy guy is definitely a right idea. Have you ever dated a shy guy? Do you believe that shy guys make good husbands? Share your thoughts with us, please.

The Reason Why Black Friday Is Losing Its Popularity

For the last few years, retailers have been sweating it out worrying that Black Friday is losing its popularity. Ever since the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in 1924, when retailers acknowledged the day after Thanksgiving as the first day of shopping for the holidays, they have counted on customers to be ready to spend money. However, things have recently changed in the retail business on Black Friday. Why is that? Take a look at the evolution of Black Friday over the years.

the real reason black friday is losing its popularity
The retail history of Black Friday
Even as far back as 1924, the day after Thanksgiving was considered to be the beginning of holiday shopping. The “black” in Black Friday, is a business term that refers to moving from the negative red line to the positive black line in accounting records.

However, traffic police in Philadelphia noticed the traffic jams and busyness in the streets the Friday after Thanksgiving as shoppers were out bustling around, and called it “Black Friday.” The term has stuck since.


Retailers were keen to the popularity of the first day of the shopping season and decided to take advantage of it by offering customers big discounts to draw them to their businesses. It then became a competition between retailers to see who could offer the best deals.

Competition and greed led retailers to push their discounts back to Thanksgiving where some were offering deals that morning. The online shopping phenomenon started offering deals as well and even took it further by offering specials on the following Monday, Cyber Monday.

Black Friday today
Online shopping has been blamed for Black Friday’s drop in shopping in stores. A recent survey polled 1,000 shoppers to see whether they planned to shop Black Friday or not. Many said they would wait for better deals offered by online companies like Amazon. However, online shopping is not the only reason for the downfall.

Even though online shopping has caused a huge tremor in the brick and mortar retail shops, stores offering deals before Black Friday have caused a shock to retailers as well. Truth be told, though, it was when businesses started opening their doors and offering amazing deals on Thanksgiving that really hurt.

However, consumers have also taken notice that retailers offer deals at other times as well. Some shoppers have decided to take advantage of deals after the holidays when things are discounted at clearance prices to make room for new inventory.


Thanksgiving shopping
Many retailers have decided to kick greed out the door and allow employees to spend time with their families during Thanksgiving and are closing their doors this year. Their thought is that family is much more important. You can find a list of stores are closed that day online.

So, is Black Friday dead? Many retail CEO’s are saying it is. Online shopping and special deals offered at different days is the cause of its demise. What does this mean for consumers? It means retailers are taking a second look at the modern shopper, which also means only more great deals to come as the retail world continues to evolve.

Destiny or Choice? Why It’s Great to Stay Single Until 30

If you are nearing 30 and you are still single, don’t worry, there are a few reasons why it’s absolutely fine to stay single and free throughout your 20s. Even if it’s not your choice, stop worrying about your single status and start enjoying your life as it is. I’m 25 myself, and I have felt the pressure of finding a man and starting my own family. I know how it’s hard to see your friends getting married and having children when you are single, but I also know there are many great benefits of staying single until 30. Here are some of them:

1. Peace of mind
Peace of mind is one of my favorite reasons to stay single until 30. Sure, not all relationships are consumed with problems, but there’s always the bad and the good in any relationship. There might be some disagreements about finances, family values, or living conditions. You have to worry about numerous things and you don’t have time for yourself. Plus, you may experience high levels of stress on a daily basis. When you are single, you know that the only person who could cause problems is you. And when you and your partner will get married after 30, you will have more experience to solve life issues and your marriage might be stronger and happier. Though, my cousin and her husband got married at the age of 22 and they live happily for 10 years now. They both have peace of mind and they rarely fight.

2. Freedom
The most common reason why so many people stay single until 30 is independence and freedom. I love freedom and perhaps this is my major reason why I don’t want to tie the knot now. When you are single, you can make personal decisions, come and go when you want. Even if you are dating someone, you are almost free. You can go out and have a lot of fun without worrying that your spouse is waiting for you now. You can also travel a lot and see the world, you are free and single so be sure to enjoy your freedom.

3. Focus on your career
When you are not married, you can focus on your career and reach most of your career goals until 30. Sometimes a marriage can interfere with the career goals. While it’s great to have someone who can help you pursue your dreams, it’s better to make a career alone.

4. Less responsibilities
You don’t have to worry about cleaning, cooking, and running errands for your spouse. Plus, you don’t have to bear the responsibility of being a good parent. However, you still have to learn to be reliable, responsible, and dependable. The best way to do it when you are single is by volunteering in the community, though there are many other ways such as caring for a family member or taking on a leadership role at work.

5. Pursue your dreams
Many older people always tell me to wait for marriage and kids. Once I asked them why and most of them told me that this can help me avoid a pre-30 and midlife crises. When you will be in your 30s, you will have less regrets since you achieved most of your goals in your 20s. So pursue all your dreams now while you have nothing and no one standing in your way.

6. More personal space
Another reason it’s fine to stay single until 30 is personal space. As a single woman who lives alone, most of the time you’ll wake up and come home to an absolutely empty home. Yes, it’s not so funny, but you’ll have your own bed, your own fridge, and your own TV. The only person who has access to all the things in your house is you. Frankly speaking, it’s not a reason for me to stay single until 30, but I know many women who like to have more personal space and who enjoy having their own little things like a bed or a fridge.

7. Know yourself better
Staying single until 30 gives you more time to get to know yourself better. You won’t be able to love someone if you don’t love yourself. If you are unmarried in your 20s, take this time to learn your purpose in life and things that make you who you’re. I personally look at the 20s as a perfect time for confusion, struggle, and growth. When you have your own family and kids, they can distract you from all those things and you might not have time for knowing yourself better.

The biggest mistake most single women make is thinking that there’s something wrong with them. While there might be a critical reason you are still single, there is nothing wrong with you! You are beautiful, unique, independent, and you will certainly meet your love one day. Do you think it’s good to stay free and single until 30?