Hillary Clinton Bemoans the Daily Trials of Hair and Makeup

Make-Up Border

In a recent question-and-answer session on Facebook, Hillary Clinton shared just how much work it takes for women to get ready in the morning.

The former Secretary of State and current Democratic presidential front-runner responded to a female Facebook user who asked about her morning routine.

“Every morning, as my boyfriend zips out the door and I spent 30+ minutes getting ready, I wonder about how the ‘hair and makeup’ tax affects other women,” Facebook user Libby Britain asked Clinton. “As a young professional woman, I’d genuinely love to hear about how you manage getting ready each morning.”

Clinton, who has spent a good portion of her career as a widely-known public figure, agreed that the ‘hair and makeup’ tax is a real problem.

“Amen, sister — you’re preaching to the choir,” she wrote. “It’s a daily challenge. I do the best I can — and as you may have noticed, some days are better than others!”

Despite her lighthearted tone, her answer is indicative of a problem that has troubled Clinton for several years — that women, no matter their age or rank in government, always seem to be scrutinized for their looks. It’s hardly surprising, for example, that the average American woman will have approximately 104 different hairstyles over the course of her life.

Clinton has a long history of pointing out the unequal experiences she’s had as a woman in politics. In 2010, during a town-hall meeting with students in Kyrgyzstan, a moderator asked her if she had any favorite fashion designers. Her response was appropriately barbed: “Would you ever ask a man that question?”

However, despite speaking out against some pretty evident gender inequalities, some still believe Clinton answered too many of the easy questions — and too little of the tough ones — during her question-and-answer session.

“Clinton ignored hundreds of tougher questions,” wrote Chuck Ross of the Daily Caller. “She did not answer the Daily Caller’s inquiry about whether she believes that “All lives matter” is a problematic statement. She also did not answer when asked for the specific date that she decided to scrub her personal email server.”

Still, it’s hard to find fault with Clinton’s ideas about ending gender inequality, especially when comparing her views with those of other presidential hopefuls.

“There is a gender card being played in this campaign,” Clinton wrote in one of her responses. “It’s played every time Republicans vote against giving women equal pay, deny families access to affordable child care or family leave, refuse to let women make decisions about their health or have access to free contraception.”

Air Conditioning Not As Helpful As People Think, Experts Say

Air Conditioner Unit

America’s consumption of air conditioning is at an all-time high, leading some energy experts to cast doubt on the prudence of using A/C all the time — as well as the reasons why Americans can’t get enough of it.

The New York Times reports that energy experts are wrestling over the issue, with many claiming that the most challenging problem isn’t technical but cultural.

“Being able to make people feel cold in the summer is a sign of power and prestige,” said Richard de Dear, director of the Indoor Environmental Quality Laboratory at University of Sydney, Australia. He claims the problem of over-reliance on A/C is just as prominent in Australia as it is in the United States — about 87% of American households have air conditioning — and that it’s even worse in the Middle East and Asia.

One reason why A/C is so prevalent is that it’s common practice for tenants of commercial real estate to demand “chilling capacities” in their lease agreements to bolster their prestige for their customers. In the retail world, for example, high-end stores such as Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue are generally kept cooler than stores such as Target, Walmart, and Old Navy (although, sufficient to say, they’re all kept noticeably chilled).

Another reason for the massive intake of A/C in the developed world is that many businesses believe the misconception that workers are more productive in cooler temperatures. Research indicates the opposite. A recent study has shown that workers tend to be less productive, and make more mistakes, when the indoor air temperature is 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit, as opposed to 74 to 76 degrees. Other studies have shown that in general, colder temperatures can make people feel “untrusting, uncommunicative and unfriendly.”

Nisha Charkoudian, a physiologist with the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in Natick, Massachusetts, says that subconsciously, people relate coldness with vulnerability, stress, and discomfort.

“It’s left over from a time when it was dangerous to have that kind of change in temperature,” Charkoudian said.

Donald Trump Reiterates Grievances Against Mexico, Pushes For Border Fence


On July 11th, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump lambasted the United States government and Mexico for their immigration and trade policies, accusing the latter of intentionally sending criminals — including drug dealers, murderers, and rapists — across the border to “wreak havoc on our population.”

The Associated Press reports that the billionaire real estate mogul and television personality spoke in front of a libertarian gathering known as FreedomFest in Las Vegas. Gathered inside the Planet Hollywood ballroom on the Las Vegas Strip, the audience watched Trump deliver excoriating indictments against Mexico, accusing its government of “killing us at the border and…killing us on trade.”

Though he claims that he “respect[s] Mexico greatly as a country,” Trump repeated his earlier charges that Mexico was bringing its “worst” to the U.S. and it was openly flouting American law.

“The problem we have is their leaders are much sharper than ours,” he said.

In order to confront illegal immigration, Trump proposed to build a fence across the entire U.S.-Mexican border, something that made the audience groan. And according to azcentral.com, he reiterated in a speech he delivered in Phoenix later that day his desire to build a barrier along the 2,000 mile border.

“I would build a great wall. And nobody builds walls better than me, believe me,” he said. “And I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great great wall on our southern border and I’ll have Mexico pay for that wall.”

He did not address how he would compel the Mexican government to pay for the wall or, barring that, how he would produce enough funding to complete such a project, which would rival the Great Wall of China it its length and scope.

The figures are staggering. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection spent approximately $2.4 billion between 2006 and 2009 on building 670 miles of border fence, which has largely been ineffective in keeping undocumented aliens out.

Still, the demand for fencing remains strong in the U.S. By 2018, the fencing industry is predicted to expand by 7% annually, to garner $9 billion in revenue, and to build a total of 875 million linear feet in fencing.

Why Do Gen Xers and Baby Boomers Rely on Credit Cards More Than Millennials?

Man using a credit card in front of his laptop

Kids these days just don’t know how to manage their money, right?

Actually, it might be the adults who are having the most difficulty keeping their finances in check — in fact, according to a new survey by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, Generation X (ages 35 to 48) actually thinks that high credit card debt is a normal aspect of covering finances.

Financial Adviser reports that 76% of Gen Xers began opening credit cards between the ages of 18 and 24, while only 68% of Baby Boomers (ages 49 to 67) did so.

36% of Gen Xers reportedly have at least $5,000 in credit card debt, and 25% admitted that they have more than $10,000 — which isn’t surprising, considering that in 2012, the average American home had two credit cards (and nearly a third of all households had at least four credit cards).

And even though Baby Boomers seem to manage their debt a bit better than the younger generation of adults, it seems that neither generation feels confident managing finances without the help of a credit card;USA Today reported that 48% of the Gen Xers and Baby Boomers in the Allianz survey stated that credit cards “now function as a financial survival tool.”

Millennials, on the other hand — that tricky group of young adults between the ages of 18 and 34 — have stayed far away from credit cards when possible. U.S. News and World Report recently stated that more than one-third of 20-year-olds have never had a credit card, and that the majority of Millennials are “skeptical” of Wall Street.

Rather than handing their bills and taxes over to a financial adviser, Millennials are more likely to do their own research on the stock market and to manage their own money using low-cost mobile apps.

Most of these young adults were just entering the job market when the Great Recession hit, so they know how important it is to spend money and stimulate the economy — but they also seem to have a more positive outlook than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers when it comes to managing debt.

Many consumers in older generations, however, witnessed their savings and retirement plans completely drain out when the stock market tanked; with so much taken away so quickly, perhaps it’s hard not to adopt a pessimistic attitude.

The Effects of China’s Stock Market Turmoil

stock market foreign

For years, there has been a “Chinese Dream,” popularized by President Xi Jinping, of China becoming prosperous and secure enough to create sizable investment opportunities due to their success being reflected in capital markets.

However, with the bubble that was China’s stock market finally bursting last month, that dream may never become a reality. The turmoil the market has experienced has reinforced the doubt most have in stocks. In fact, a recent Bankrate survey found that 76% of everyday consumers don’t trust the stock market because it is too complicated and risky.

Now, China is taxed with switching from stimulus growth to consumer-based growth, but with the shakiness of the market, that may be easier said than done.

“This has caused me a lot of heartache. It will take some time to recover,” said Zhou Sujuan, manager of a private medical device company in Wenzhou.

The problem is, there doesn’t seem to be a solution in sight. With lagging property, reduced consumer spending, and local governments saddled with almost $3 trillion in debt, China’s economy is predicted to grow by the slowest rate in 25 years.

The effect of China’s success or failure will be felt around the world, as worldwide economies rely on this market for their own success. No matter what the industry, the effects of a failure in revival could be catastrophic for the global economy.

It remains to be seen if any of the plans in place will work to fix the issue, but the recent measures have drawn criticism of the Communist Party. Some say they are not working to create an open or dynamic economy.

“The massive state intervention, especially preventing major shareholders from selling shares and going after short sellers, has damaged financial sector reform in profound and permanent ways,” said Victor Shih, associate professor at the University of California San Diego, who studies China’s finance policy.

Girls at a Higher Risk for Sports Injury, Study Finds

Happy runner tying her shoes

Girls are at an increased risk of sport injuries, a new study shows — and girls who participate in field and track are at a higher risk than anyone. Research done by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center shows that injuries due to overuse, such as stress fractures and tendon or joint pain, are on the rise. This is especially true for young girls. Every year, 20 million days of school are lost by the 12 million young people, ages five to 22, who suffer from a sports-related injury.

“I was devastated. At first I didn’t know what it was,” said Elizabeth Oosterhout, a runner who suffered from a foot injury. “Looking back on it I was thinking was there something I could’ve done to prevent this.” Oosterhout participated in track at Tahoma High School and was awarded a scholarship to run at Montana State. On an 11-mile run, she got a pain in her foot, and later learned she was suffering from metatarsalgia, a common overuse injury.

“We see that these young people are spending more time playing sports both in competition and in practice. So there’s a correlation there in the amount of time they’re spending and increased incidents of injuries,” said Dr. Thomas Best of the OSU Wexner Medical Center.

In seven years, he has seen more that 3,000 injuries from 20 high school sports, the majority of which occur to those participating in track. That sport is followed by girls’ field hockey, girls’ lacrosse, and boys’ swimming and diving. Part of the problem may be linked to teens’ spending up to 18 hours a week playing and practicing their sport. The get competitive, and become incredibly focused and dedicated, sometimes to the point of exhaustion.

“These youngsters who are playing a single sport may in fact be a risk factor for these overuse injuries, because their bodies are seeing the same repetitive loads with one sport,” said Dr. Best.

So the best advice for kids? Play different sports in order to change up what muscle groups they’re using. Make rest and diet important as well, since a bad enough injury could hurt them for the rest of their lives. Those with children in outdoor sports should also remember that a child’s skin is more delicate than that of an adult. Make sure they wear sunscreen and stay hydrated, and if they’ll be out for more than an hour, a sports drink is probably a good idea.

Nine Zoos in the U.S. Have Been Involved in a Major Data Breach

Internet Computer

Data breaches in the past few years have seemingly spiraled out of control — Ivy League universities have been affected, the government has been targeted on a massive scale, and it’s estimated that about 43% of businesses experienced some sort of data leakage or security breach in 2013 alone.

But cyberhackers have reached a new low: the newest targets for data breaches are now zoos.

That’s right — bring your family to the zoo for a fun-filled Saturday, purchase a stuffed lion and a water bottle at the zoo’s gift shop, and a few weeks later you get to see your bank account completely drained.

The Detroit Zoo announced that it suffered a security breach just a few weeks ago, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The Houston Zoo confirmed on July 9 that it had also been subject to a credit card breach sometime between March 23 and June 25, Click2Houston.com reported.

The list keeps going — nine major zoos across the country were all hit with credit card system security breaches, because all nine used the same third-party payment processing system Service Systems Associates (SSA).

SSA, based in Denver, detected malware in its software after information had already been stolen from customers; everything from personal names, to credit and debit card numbers, to the three-digit CVV security numbers were stolen.

FOX 31 Denver reported that the only purchases affected were those made in zoo gift shops. Any purchases made at concession stands, for admission, donations, or memberships were not affected in any of the system breaches.

SSA issued an apology on its website shortly after the malware was discovered. Fox 31 Denver reported that SSA provides payment processing services to about 40 zoos, museums, and tourist attraction locations across the country, but that the company declined to specify which attractions were affected.

Again, this seems to serve as just another reminder: if you use your credit or debit card to make purchases, always be careful to check your statements closely and immediately report any possible fraudulent purchases.

Do Energy-Efficient Home Improvements Really Pay for Themselves?

Using a tape measure

For years, one of the best reasons for homeowners to splurge on energy-efficient remodeling projects has been the knowledge that these improvements will pay for themselves in the long run, thanks to the amount of money they will save on energy bills.

However, a recent University of Chicago study has found this might not be as true as we think.

According to a July 5 Construction Dive article, the study found that expensive, energy-saving home remodels such as new windows or an energy-efficient heating and cooling systems might noticeably reduce one’s energy bills — but these savings won’t allow these remodels to pay themselves off in the long run.

The study examined 30,000 low-income households throughout Michigan, all of which had participated in a U.S. Department of Energy weatherization program to boost their energy efficiency. Like many other state governments, Michigan offers to repay the full cost of weatherization and other energy-efficient measures to low-income households. But while high-efficiency home products were able to save households about 20% on their energy bills, these savings weren’t nearly enough to repay the cost of these products over time.

That’s bad news, both for the low-income families and for the state government itself. According to the Pacific Standard, Michigan’s program costs the state about $4,143 per family. At the same time, participating families only save about $2,400 with their new, upgraded appliances. Basically, the state government is spending more than its beneficiaries are ultimately saving.

In addition to undermining state government’s’ efforts to fund energy-efficient home improvements, the study’s findings could make it more difficult for builders to sell “green” homes, as these homes don’t save quite as much energy as originally believed.

The study’s results go against prior Department of Energy findings. The DOE had previously stated that energy-efficient home improvements could allow a family to save as much as 30% on energy bills per year.

Still, there’s no denying the fact that even a small amount of energy savings is better than none at all.

Man Wins Lottery Using His High School Locker Combination


A Mableton, Georgia man has unlocked a fortune. Using the combination for his high school locker from 1970, 63-year-old Henry “Calvin” Nash won $1 million from matching the first five winning numbers of a Mega Millions drawing at the beginning of June.

“Numbers stick in my head,” the new millionaire explained.

The Mega Millions annuity is paid out as one immediate payment followed by 29 annual payments — each one being 5% bigger than the previous one. Nash and his wife of 40 years, Brenda — who is also his high school sweetheart — plan to use the money to continue taking trips on their Harley-Davidson motorcycles and enjoying their life together.

While it may seem like an odd way to play the lottery, picking your own numbers is the smarter way to play, according to Richard Lustig, seven-time lottery grand prize winner and author of Learn How To Increase Your Chances of Winning The Lottery.

The odds of winning are, as most people are more than aware of, astronomical. If you play the Mega Millions, you have a one in 176 million shot at winning a fortune. In other words, you’re more likely to have identical quadruplets (one in 15 million), becoming president (one in 10 million), winning an Olympic gold medal (one in 662,000), finding out your child is a genius (one in 250), or even dating a millionaire (just one in 215, actually).

In order to overcome such odds, Lustig says a player is guaranteed to increase his or her odds by picking his or her own numbers rather than using the “quick pick” option, in which a computer randomly generates lotto numbers for a player.

“The lazy way out is to buy quick-picks. The computer picks out the numbers,” Lustig told CBS. “Don’t play quick-picks. Quick-picks are the worst thing you can do, you are playing with the worst odds.”

In other words, it could pay to have a set of lucky numbers like Nash’s, even if they haven’t won yet.

More Businesses Are Thinking Inside the Box When It Comes to Web Design


If you’ve gone to one of your favorite news sites or blogs recently, you may have noticed a change in the layout if you’re seeing squares and rectangles.

These boxes, known as cards, are the hot new trend in web design, according to TheNextWeb.com. They are typically designed to organize content, so the image, headline, main text and call-to-action (like a share button) are all in one place.

Container-style web design isn’t really anything new, but it’s something that is beginning to translate to websites from another place: the desktop.

When Microsoft introduced its Windows 8 OS, it was made with the same formatting that Windows Phones had carried since a couple of years prior. On both operating systems, apps and other programs are separated into colorful blocks to make it easy to sort and select from.

But this isn’t necessarily something new on the web, either. For several years now, social media giant Pinterest has popularized the container format on its pinboards, where users can select inspirational images and organize them as they see fit.

And that usability is something that more web designer companies are taking into account. The grid format is clickable and easy to navigate on many websites, so sites ranging from The Guardian, a U.K.-based news source, to any number of blogs, are thinking, well, inside the box.

Grids can either be uniform in size, says TheNextWeb.com, or vary in size. For instance, some sites keep larger cards to the left while displaying related or recommended links in cards to the right; this is referred to as “magazine style.”

Pins (like those on Pinterest), metro or flat design (as with Windows 8’s start menu) and grid or masonry format are the other types of cards seen across the web.

Part of this design is also geared towards keeping web users on the page. Although some researchers estimate that users can spend up to 15 seconds on a webpage before deciding whether or not to stay, others state that it takes 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) or less for a user to form an opinion on a website.

Google can take this figure — known as the bounce rate — into account if too many users aren’t staying on a website for a long period of time.

Business2Community.com names some of the biggest signs of an outdated website, which can contribute to that bounce rate, pointing out flaws in the font and graphics, especially.

In other words, just plain awful fonts like Comic Sans or busy graphics (including bad stock photography) are especially lethal for businesses trying to make an impression with customers.

The worst offense, however, is not having a mobile-friendly website, as more than half of all internet searches today are done from mobile devices like tablets and smartphones.