TAKE NOTICE PINELLAS STALKERS: STUDY FINDS THAT ONLINE HARASSERS ARE LITERALLY LOSERS

When you are in a relationship with someone, undoubtedly, their past is sure to arise at some point. So when multiple notifications from different social networks started showing up on the computer which my girlfriend and I share, it was nothing at at first… a new message from Ryan McCoy of Tampa on Facebook. Quickly it escalated two, three then seven unanswered messages, followed by Direct Messages on Twitter, emails and even LinkedIn messages. So, it was time to ask… “Who the fuck is this guy and what the Hell is wrong with him?” I know if I send someone a message and don’t get a response, I leave that person alone. Maybe they’re busy or just do not wish to respond. The latter being the case in this scenario.

It’s a practice that is certainly foreign to me… and something I find not only desperate, but quite frankly pathetic. I have heard of this harassment before from female friends and colleagues so I decided to take a look deeper into the research which attempts to look into the minds of these “losers”.

Here’s a research finding that should surprise no one: The men most likely to harass women online … are the men most likely to have their own problems.

That bit of validation comes courtesy Michael Kasumovic and Jeffrey Kuznekoff, researchers at the University of New South Wales and Miami University, respectively. For their latest study, published in the journal PLOS One last week, the duo watched how men treated women during 163 plays of the video game Halo 3.

As they watched the games play out and tracked the comments that players made to each other, the researchers observed that — no matter their skill level, or how the game went — men tended to be pretty cordial to each other. Male players who were good at the game also tended to pay compliments to other male and female players.

Some male players, however — the ones who were less-skilled at the game, and performing worse relative their peers — made frequent, nasty comments to the female gamers. In other words, sexist dudes are literally losers.

A chart from the Halo study that shows how nice male gamers were to other males (dotted line) and females (solid line) during gameplay. Men always treat each other about the same. But the better a player gets, the more likely he is to be nice to ladies. (Kasumovic et al)

In today’s online environment, alas, this is not an idle observation. According to a recent Pew report, 40 percent of Internet users have personally experienced harassment. While both genders are frequent victims of this abuse, women tend to get the worst of it: They are “particularly vulnerable to sexual harassment and stalking,” Pew said.

I asked Kasumovic, the lead author on the study, how applicable his findings were in other online or offline settings. In other words, how much of this derives from human nature, and how much of it relates to the unique demands of first-person shooters?

Kasumovic argues that video games actually make incredible proxies for studying real-life behavior — Halo 3, especially.

There are three things you should know about the game, for the purpose of understanding this study: (1) players are anonymous, and the possibility of “policing individual behavior is almost impossible”; (2) they only encounter each other a few times in passing — it’s very possible to hurl an expletive at another player, and never “see” him or her again; and (3) finally, and perhaps predictably, the sex-ratio of players is biased pretty heavily toward men. (A 2014 survey of gender ratios on Reddit found that r/halo was over 95 percent male.)

That should sound a whole lot like a lot of other, frequently sexist online spaces: Think Twitter. Or Reddit. Or 4chan.

In each of these environments, Kasumovic suggests, a recent influx of female participants has disrupted a pre-existing social hierarchy. That’s okay for the guys at the top — but for the guys at the bottom, who stand to lose more status, that’s very threatening. (It’s also in keeping with the evolutionary framework on anti-lady hostility, which suggests sexism is a kind of Neanderthal defense mechanism for low-status, non-dominant men trying to maintain a shaky grip on their particular cave’s supply of women.)

“As men often rely on aggression to maintain their dominant social status,” Kasumovic writes, “the increase in hostility towards a woman by lower-status males may be an attempt to disregard a female’s performance and suppress her disturbance on the hierarchy to retain their social rank.”

In other words, like your mother always said, bullies just feel bad about themselves.

This does not, alas, suggest any solutions for on- or offline sexism, or any hope that it will ever really end. (“There are so many more questions we’ve already begun to to ask and our results are looking really interesting,” Kasumovic said.)

Until then, ladies, Facebook and Pinterest are your friends! Those are, for better or worse, two of the online spaces where this type of sex-ratio imbalance isn’t much of a problem: Women on both sites solidly outnumber men.

St. Pete Man Tried to Carjack Police Car With Steak Knife

The Associated Press reports that a man in St. Pete attempted to break into an unmarked police car with a steak knife. To his great surprise, he found two undercover police officers inside the car when he managed to open the passenger door. Unsurprisingly, they arrested him.

From the AP:

Both detectives yelled “police” and one drew his gun as Albert reportedly dropped the knife and tried to run, according to the report. It says the detectives caught up with him and arrested him.

Albert, 27, has been charged with carjacking and assaulting a law enforcement officer, among other charges, and is being held on $170,00 bail. At present time, he does not have an attorney, according to police records.

The Best Invention to Ever Come Out of Florida is No Shocker

America was founded on the principle of fresh ideas, so it’s no surprise that many of the world’s most important innovations and inventions of the last few hundred years were born here. But what exactly does Florida have to offer in the annals of invention?

Air conditioning…

While the large-scale electrical air conditioning that enabled the great migration to the Sun Belt didn’t take off until the early 20th Century, it was the “cooling system” developed by Apalachicola scientist John Gorrie that paved the way. His unique and somewhat primitive system of blowing air against ice cold cloths was even used as a treatment for a dying President Garfield in 1881.

Person Finds An Active WWII BOMB On Pass-a-Grille Beach, Bomb Squad Detonates It

A beach comber in Pass-a-Grille Beach, Florida was walking the beach sands in the wee hours of the morning when something caught their eye. Usually at 8:40am the only thing you’re likely to see when walking the Gulf Coast beaches of Florida is some washed up jellyfish, maybe some cool looking shells, but mostly a lot of seaweed and used condoms (depending on the time of year). One thing you would most certainly NOT expect to find is 4-foot bomb from WWII, specifically a M122 World War II-era flare. And that’s what one Florida beachgoer found, alerting the bomb squad who basically shut down the city (in a hilarious display of overreaction) before disarming the WWII bomb.

Footage of the bomb squad detonating the flare was captured as well as photos of the M122.

Ever since I first saw the movie Joe Dirt I’ve been skeptical of the bombs I’ve came across on beaches. I don’t call them in to the authorities, I don’t meddle with them, I just keep on walking like I never saw anything. This is because in the movie Joe Dirt he think he’s found an atom bomb, but it of course turns out to be an old septic tank and he gets covered in putrefying feces, which is like my 5th worst nightmare.

That said, if I were to come across that hunk of metal above I’d likely assume it was some boat part that washed up on the shore. The last thing that would ever cross my mind (unless there were identifying marks) is that it might be a WWII bomb. Frankly, it’s a miracle that such a thought would cross anyone’s mind when the piece of metal was completely encrusted in barnacles and rust. Keep in mind that this washed up on the shores of the Gulf Coast, a body of land where during WWII someone seeking to attack would have had to sail between Cuba and Florida undetected then come up the coast, which really wasn’t worth the hassle at all. So there’s really no way of telling what brought this M122 bomb ashore.

IT’S OFFICIAL: DOCTORS SAY ADULTS NEEDNAPS AT WORK

Whenever my superiors catch me snoozing under my desk—full Costanza style, naturally—I tell them the same thing, “A happy worker is a well-rested worker, boss.” And while I’m subsequently packing my things into a cardboard box, all I do is think about offices like Google, that actually have dedicated nap spaces for their workers.

To back up my claims, I talked to sleep expert Dr. Daniel Barone of NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, about how napping at work can improve productivity. Turns out, he’s in full support of the work day nap time.

Hi doc, so what can a daytime nap do for your average worker?

Dr. Barone: A short nap can definitely help improve alertness, productivity, and even overall happiness in a worker. There have been a lot of studies—including one by NASA, that suggest a 40-minute nap improved alertness in astronauts by a substantial amount. A recent study out of France showed that after a night of sleep deprivation, people get an inflammatory response—the body does not like to be sleep deprived. A quick nap the next day actually reduced that inflammatory response, so it’s beneficial not only regarding how they feel, but also what’s going on inside the body.

And what time of the day should we be taking these naps?

Our bodies have what’s called a circadian rhythm. Normally after lunchtime, our energy levels dip, naturally. That would be the best time to have a nap. You don’t want to nap too late in the day, because that can actually inhibit your ability to fall asleep at night. Usually, early afternoon is the best time for a quick nap.

How long should we be napping?

Nap for 20-30 minutes only. That will put you into what we call the non-REM 1 and 2 levels of sleep. If you sleep for longer than that, you’ll enter REM level 3 sleep, also called delta wave sleep.

Why are short naps better?

If you wake up without fully completing a cycle, you’ll get what we call sleep inertia, which basically will make you feel worse than you did before you even took the nap. I’m sure we’ve all experienced that. You wake up and feel terrible, and want to go back to sleep. 20 to 30 minute naps prevent that. A full sleep cycle typically happens every 90 minutes or so, and ends with a period of REM. Napping that long will also reduce what we call “sleep pressure.” At the end of the night when you should be tired and able to easily fall asleep, your body will think it has already slept if you are taking long naps during the day, leading to problems like insomnia.

What happens when we don’t get enough sleep?

Day to day, it leads to irritability, cognitive problems, and difficulty concentrating. Being sleep deprived affects every part of our psyche. We become irritable, and less able to deal with problems as they come about, leading to anxiety and depression. Scientists and doctors have done studies where they have run tests on subjects that were sleep deprived, and their alertness was affected dramatically. But when they were interviewed, they said they got used to their shortened sleep schedule, and felt fine. In reality, their concentration was suffering drastically. A lack of sleep will definitely affect your ability in the workplace.

Are Americans getting enough sleep? Can naps help offset that?

No, we aren’t. As a society we are getting on average an hour less of sleep than we were one hundred years ago. Which is a significant amount. We need about seven to eight hours a night, and most people aren’t getting that. A daily nap can offset some of that lack of sleep.

How do these quick naps help, exactly?

Well, that brings up question: what is the purpose of sleep? No one really knows the definitive answer, actually. The brain is only a small percentage of our body weight, but uses 20% of our glucose; needless to say, an active brain takes a lot of energy. Offsetting that with normal sleep patterns is obviously beneficial, but even getting those 20 minutes of rest can recharge you a little bit.

Are there any downsides to napping?

Yes. I frequently will refrain from recommending naps to some patients, because it can be a slippery slope. As I said before, naps late in the day, or longer than 20-30 minutes, can lead to problems going to sleep at night. If you aren’t very regulated and strict with your nap routine, it could be a problem.

Let’s say you’re the CEO of a company. Would you give your employees nap time?

I would. I think it’s a good idea. I think it would increase productivity, and it would offset that after-lunch slow down we all experience. I think it would make people happier and able to handle the demands of work better. It should not be used as a substitute for a good night of sleep, though.

Do you get nap time at work?

I wish I did.

Maybe you should show your boss this article!

Ha. Okay.

12 Things About Being A Kid That We Need To Reclaim

For a lot of us, memories of our childhood bring up feelings of nostalgia. Maybe it was a time where we truly felt free and happy; maybe we’ve spent some of our very task-driven, results-focused adult life wishing we could get back to that place. Whether this is something you’ve dwelled on, given a passing thought to or haven’t considered much at all, I think there are quite a few lessons we can learn from the kid that still lives inside each of us.

1. Willingness to hope

When we were kids, we weren’t afraid to hope – and even more than that, we weren’t afraid to share what we hoped for. We’d proudly tell people that we wanted to have the dual career of being Santa Claus and an astronaut when we grew up. As we got older, we learned to be more selective about what we revealed that we hoped for, because we learned that there exists something called rejection (and that with rejection often comes judgment from others). As if it could lessen the blow of not being accepted into the college we were most excited about, not being chosen for a job that we really wanted or being turned down upon expressing our interest in dating someone, we started to believe that hiding what we hope for is the way to protect ourselves from feeling the effects of rejection. We started to believe that we should only share that we’d hoped for something once we know we’ve gotten or achieved it. I couldn’t disagree more. Hiding what we hope for is one of the fastest routes to creating shame, because it leads to self-blaming, feelings of powerlessness and a victim mentality when we don’t get what we want. Hiding what we hope for also dulls our lives down to a dead heartbeat, making us unable to feel true excitement and attaching a “so what?” mentality to perseverance and hard work. Because when you spend more time telling yourself that the things you care about don’t matter, you put up more and more of a shield to your ability to be happy. It’s a risk to share with others what we most hope for, because there is always a chance we’ll be rejected, but there’s also something very courageous, liberating and ultimately intensely gratifying about it, no matter the outcome.

2. Sense of awe

When we were kids, we were impressed pretty damn easily. If you’ve ever seen a bunch of five-year-olds at a magic show, you know exactly what I’m talking about. There will be no fewer than two kids trying to sneak through the guy’s travel bag of tricks; revealing a rabbit in a box that was empty five seconds ago will all but produce mass hysteria; and in general, not one ass will stay planted on the floor for the entire show. As we got older, we became that adult standing in the background with arms crossed, maybe smirking, generally unmoved by what we’re seeing because we know all the secrets of the universe by this point, or at the very least the secret behind that card trick. I don’t know when it is exactly that we lose that sense of wonder, when we start to feel like we’ve seen and heard and experienced it all, but I think that might be one of the more damaging beliefs in the entire world. We need awe, badly: it makes us more generous, kind, cooperative and altruistic. It makes us feel like we’re part of a more collective whole; it makes us less entitled and less self-focused. Whether it’s going for a hike, sitting on a beach, listening to live music or something else entirely personal to you, do whatever it is that you need to do to experience awe and wonder every day, to tap back into that kid inside of you.

3. Openness to love

Last year, I was visiting an old babysitter, who now has two young kids of her own. Though I hadn’t seen them in nearly a year and almost didn’t even expect her daughter to remember me, when I walked in, she immediately ran over and flung her arms around my neck without any inhibitions. I almost tripped backwards – there was some pretty serious momentum to that hug, but that wasn’t why. Over time, I’ve become more and more closed, less and less of that child who runs over excitedly and hugs people, who shows love openly. That scared me; when is it that we learn to be so cautious about loving others? Why was it so shocking and difficult for me to receive that hug? At what point do we become so guarded, so protective, of who and what we trust? If we could tap back into the part of ourselves that gives and receives love without fear or caution, I wonder in what other ways we might become more open and freed.

4. Allowing ourselves to be comforted

This is fairly similar to openness to love, but different – and important – enough that I think it deserves to be its own category. When we were kids and we fell and scraped our leg, dropped our blankie into a dirty pond or were just plain exhausted, we allowed ourselves to be comforted by others. As we got older, we learned the art of pretending to be fine, of pretending to not care when something hurts us. We learned to internalize and bury our pain rather than talk about it and seek comfort from those who love us in an eternal effort to never be seen as “weak.” There’s a lot to be said about our ability to comfort ourselves – it’s part of growing up and fostering our independence – but there’s also something very important and very undervalued in our society about asking for help when you need it and letting others in when you’re hurting. It’s interesting just how willing we often are to talk about the times that we comfort others, but just how unwilling we are to admit that we’d like to feel comforted sometimes too. Next time you find yourself feeling hurt or upset, it’d be if anything an interesting experiment to see what it might be like to allow yourself to be comforted like you did as a kid, rather than trying to go at it all

5. A bedtime

Sort of kidding but mostly not. There’s something to be said about having some structure and stability to our lives. Also something to be said about getting eight hours of sleep.

6. Exploring our creativity

As kids, we didn’t look at the Crayola 64 pack (complete with sharpener, yes) and say, “Oh, no, thanks anyway, but I’m not creative.” We sat down and colored. As adults, however, we learned to divide ourselves and others into two camps of people: those who “are creative” and those who “are not creative.” I think this is possibly the biggest load of horseshit out there. Merriam Webster defines creativity simply as “the ability to create.” Just by being human, you possess the ability to create. And part of why creativity is such an important aspect of our lives as humans is that it’s the ultimate expression of our originality. It’s freeing, it’s fun and it gets us closer and closer to our true self, rejecting the believed need for constant comparison between ourselves and others. Through whatever form of “creating” most speaks to you, by tapping back into that creativity that you so enthusiastically explored as a kid – and by simply being you, with all of your nuances and abilities and imperfections – you’ll be bringing something to the world that no one else can offer. That’s powerful.

7. Honesty

We didn’t learn to lie until we learned shame and consequences, because before then, we didn’t know that we’d ever need to lie. Over time, we became hardened and guarded, learning how, when and why to be dishonest. Maybe we viewed it as protecting others or protecting ourselves; maybe it was how we learned to get ourselves out of sticky situations. But a careful consideration of our tendencies when it comes to dishonesty might be the thing that helps us get back to that more pure, optimistic and liberated state that we associate with kids. What in our lives now makes us feel like we need to lie? Who do we tend to lie to? Others? Ourselves? Do our lies tend to help or do they tend to hurt? What might happen if we became more forthright with truths?

8. Playtime

Playtime is hugely important to our happiness and yet it’s often the first thing to go for many adults. We’re so busy trudging through to-do lists in our jobs and at home that to make time for play is basically unfathomable; after all, playing doesn’t produce anything of value and we’re living in a “time is money” world. But when we don’t set aside time to do things that are nothing but fun for us like we once did as kids – when we lose our willingness to be silly – we’re missing out on a major part of our lives. (Not to mention we’re sacrificing the kind of energy and joy and excitement that we can bring to the tasks we have on those to-do lists, so if you were feeling skeptical about getting away from that pile of work you have for an hour, now you know why you downright need to go run around on an adventure.)

9. Curiosity

Before we learned that knowledge was something that would be tested, we wanted to know things purely out of curiosity. We weren’t learning for the sake of a GPA or to drop facts in some insecure attempt to impress others. We just wanted to know things – a lot of things. And maybe over time we retained that curiosity, that desire to know. Or maybe we lost some of that as we became more and more wrapped up by all the things that we were told we had to know. What would get you excited to know again? What would make you approach your world with a more child-like curiosity?

10. The occasional act of rebellion

A little (legal) rebellion can be good for us. As kids we knew this. My friends and I ran away from home; we ate tubs of icing in a closet; we used all the lemonade mix in the kitchen for lemonade stands, broke tables by dragging them out to the sidewalk and generally ended up drinking all of it ourselves and being wired till midnight – so on and so forth. Half of the time our parents were probably ready to put us on the curb with a “FREE” sign strapped around our necks, but at least we were pushing boundaries. A little rebellion is fun, it’s exhilarating and it definitely teaches us a few things, at the very least about who we are and what we’re willing to try. It makes us a little bit braver, a little more courageous. As we get older and filter into adult life though, with its obligations and expectations of us, we start to rebel less and less and conform more and more. Part of that’s probably because the part of our brain that houses our rationality complex is finally fully developed by 25 (which is to say that it’s probably a good thing), but maybe another part of it is just that we start to forget what it was like to live a little on the edge, to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones. I’m not sure what the adult equivalent of running away from home would be (please don’t not show up at work after reading this), but I think you should go do that. A little bit of it. Occasionally.

11. Living in the now

When we were little, we ran around without much worry as to the future or anxiety over the past, living fully and in the now, and maybe that’s because at that point we hadn’t yet developed an ego. I think the ego is that fear-driven place inside us that tells us that we’re not good enough, that taking a risk might not pay off, that cautions us from getting hurt and tells us to avoid, to back away. So we spend years learning to be afraid, and then, maybe sometime in our early adult life, we realize that it’s job to unlearn that a little if we ever want to be happy, if we ever want to again be able to live fully in the now. Maybe it’s in living in the now that we allow ourselves to wake up every day and discover what life at our most alive really means.

12. Authenticity

As kids, we may not have been fully developed, rational, introspective human beings, but we were very much our authentic selves. After all, we hadn’t yet learned what was “cool” and “uncool.” We hadn’t yet learned that there’s such thing as social hierarchy. We hadn’t yet learned that you might have to actually work to simply belong, that belonging amongst other people just like you could possibly be an active pursuit. We hadn’t yet learned to be worried about how we’ll be perceived, that we might need to control and measure our actions against the behaviors of others to make sure that we’re safe and in line with those around us. As we get older – as we become all of these things – we tend to get further and further from who we really are. What might we be like if we tapped back into that place inside of us that lives more by what we love than what we’ve learned we should love? What might we feel towards ourselves and towards others? How might that kid inside each of us come through?

New Port Richey Men Try To Steal Honey And Are Attacked By Thousands Of Bees

In another fine example of the Florida educational system failing its residents, three men and a woman were severely stung by bees in New Port Richey while trying to steal honey from a hive, as if they were auditioning for the live action Winnie the Pooh movie.

A call was made to fire rescue at 11:26 a.m. on Sunday in regards to three men and a woman receiving bee stings at 7805 Calabash in New Port Richey.

“They were covered in bees, their beards, their hair, their clothes… bees were everywhere,” said neighbor Tom Johnson.

The honey-loving group had so many bees on them, in fact, they had to be sprayed down with a fire hose, possibly marking the first bath they’ve received in ages. While the woman only sustained a few stings, the men had up to 50 each, prompting a visit to an area hospital.

Considering that each of these hives contain 20,000-30,000 bees, it’s a miracle these folks will be able to tell their tale of stupidity at the biker bar they most likely frequent. Here’s a little tip to this group: the next time you want some honey, buy the little plastic bear from a store like the rest of normal society.

THE HISTORY OF APRIL FOOLS’ DAY

The oldest known “April Fools’ Day” type tradition, Sizdah Bedar, can be found in Iran and has been going on since around 500 BC.  The event is simply a ceremony of sorts where people go spend the day outside and have a picnic.  It is also traditional for people to play pranks on one another during the day.  This celebration usually happens on April 1st, but can occasionally occur on April 2nd. Check out the video below to find out more, and, Happy April Fools’ Day!

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