Actually, we can buy happiness

The more you think about it, the stranger the distinction between spending on experiences and buying things begins to seem

Illustration of man with money eyes

Nobody in history bought anything for any reason other than how it made them feel.’ Illustration: Michele Marconi for the Guardian

By:Oliver Burkeman/UK Guardian

You’ll be happier if you spend money on experiences rather than things!” This is the kind of insight you’d expect to see on Richard Branson’s Twitter feed, alongside a photo of the bearded irritant waterskiing in the Caribbean (in a zany manner). But it’s also one of the best-studied findings in happiness research: material goods quickly cease delivering pleasure, whereas we savor the memory of experiences for years.

Or so we thought. A big new Hungarian study has found no significant difference between the two kinds of spending. And in any case, the more you think about it, the stranger the distinction between experiences and things begins to seem. Certain purchases are hard to classify as one or the other: a paperback novel is clearly an object, but you buy it in order to go on a journey of the imagination – so which is it? Yet on closer inspection, this problem turns out to apply to everything.

Consider the standard examples of the materialist who buys a sports car, believing it’ll make him happy, versus the wise appreciator of experience, who spends (much less of) her money on a holiday with friends. Isn’t the car-buyer also really purchasing an experience – namely the thrill he imagines he’ll get whenever he sees, drives or talks about his new ride? Conversely, the vacationer is hardly spurning physical goods. Some she’s renting, like a hotel room or a plane seat, while others, like food and drink, she’s buying – but either way, her experience is dependent on objects. The overarching truth here, as Sam Harris explains in his book Waking Up, is that everything we do is ultimately a way to manipulate our conscious experience. Nobody in history bought anything for any reason other than how it made them feel – whether the experience they were seeking was that of not feeling painfully hungry, or of owning a Fabergé egg.

The reason this matters, in practical terms, is that it helps us see the car-buyer’s true problem: not that he’s prioritizing objects over experience, but that he’s pursuing the wrong kind of experience. He wants to receive a predictable, consistent daily dose of pleasure from owning a car. But that’s not how pleasure works: if the holidaymaker ends up happier, it’ll be because she got to enjoy anticipating the trip, experiencing it, then consigning it to memory, where it can be burnished until it’s perfect (or, if it went terribly, turned into an anecdote that’s even more fun). If our shallow materialist were to use his vehicle to pursue unpredictable, sociable and one-off experiences – like, say, a road trip with friends – he’d stand just as much chance of happiness.

As if to confirm all this, another recent study concludes that it’s psychologically far easier to declutter your home if you first take a photo of anything to which you’re emotionally attached. People are readier to part with such items when they know they can trigger the same old feelings by consulting the picture later. Which raises the question: what if they’d saved their cash and just collected a bunch of photos to begin with?


The Real Housewives of New York S9 Ep16 “O Mexico”

After a year ,Mexico is finally happening.  Last year’s trip was cancelled due to Bethenny’s illness. This year we find her sick (likely brought on by Ramona) with the flu, but she’s pressing on.

Speaking of Ramona, decided to do a chemical peel or  something to her face before the trip making her look as if she had been attacked by a slapping machine.

In Mexico, Carole wants real Mexican food in Mexico from Taco Bell (where is that slapping machine?)  Meanwhile Bethenny wants a Slurpee in the worst way ! oy vay!

New Digs Old Bitches! 

Bethenny is not playing this time.  Everyone  is tired of Sonja and Ramona, running in and taking the best rooms.  Bethhenny has planned around the S&R fuckery where everyone is to draw straws.

In the Villa, the two are off, ignoring everyone and up to their old tricks of taking the best room.  Sick or not this is Bethenny’s gig, and those bitches were going to be put down if she had anything to do with it.

Everything is not well, karma is a bitch. Sonja and Ramona pulls the highest numbers.  They know not to go after Bethenny and Carole and Luann who had a shitty room in the basement in Vermont.   Luck or unlucky was on Tinsely’s side, she had the first pick and the ladies, lead by Ramona went after her.   They felt since she is staying in Sonja house’s she would naturally want to trade.  But Tinsley, who had an issue with the two stayed firm.   Next stop LadyM (Dorinda). They went after her and right before she was about to cave, the Big bitch, Bethenny said no!

Oh the pain!  The PAIN!   Sonja said something about breaking a hip, Ramona is afraid she might die.    Ramona later turns in to whacko queen, wanting wait staff at her beck and call.  She snaps her fingers and demands that they unpack her shit.  Its all okay that she treats them poorly without a single thank you, because she “tipped them generously”

Sonja and Ramona, despite their antics are still the center of attention as the two sit alone in from of the other women, and the other housewives sit back trying to figure out what and who they are talking about.

Meanwhile Tinsley, is having a breakdown, because she found out that Page Six is running an item about what an ungrateful house guest she is.   This news could have only come from Sonja who has been leaking stories to page six about Dorinda and the other housewives   Tinsley is desperately trying to return to New York’s Social Scene, is concerned about negative press.  Forget her Florida rampage and being arrested.  Perhaps she and OJ will have a cooking show!   Let it go girl and move on!

Tipsy Woman

Diner with the housewives is dinner.  The ladies are more than an hour late for dinner. Dorinda stays in her room .  Bethenny still pissed about the rooms. She goes off on Sonja and Ramona .

Luann was a Countess a woman who could hold her liquor.  But tonight she may have been extra happy to get a great room and see the duo go up in flames.  But at one point we find Luann’s leg sticking out of a bush.   (She’s fallen and she can’t get out of the bush and she doesn’t seem to care)    Then she fall off a step, nearly face forward. Luann smiling as she lies in a bush on The Real Housewives of New York City



I nominate Luann D’ Agostino for best comedic performance by a Bravo housewife

Favorite Line of the Night from Bethenny: “Ramona could fuck up a wet dream!”

(And this is only day one)



Tourism is killing Venice, but it’s also the only key to survival for the Italian City

'Tourism is killing Venice, but it's also the only key to survival'
Throngs of tourists flood the streets of Venice. Photo: Venezia Autentica
By Catherine Edwards/The Local
Venice has topped travellers’ bucket lists for centuries, but in recent years the city has struggled to cope with mass tourism, while tension has grown between visitors and locals.


By the 17th century, a trip to Venice had become a rite of passage for upper class northern Europeans, who flocked to the lagoon city as part of the Italian Grand Tour. Writers and artists drank in inspiration from the city where imposing architecture was reflected in glittering waters and Venice became a symbol for Italian romance.

Fast forward to the 21st century, and the city is groaning under the weight of tourism.

Cheap flights, huge cruise ships, and the city’s Instagram appeal attract so many travellers that on a given day, there are more visitors than residents in the Veneto capital. It’s the type of tourism as much as the sheer amount that causes problems: the majority of visitors don’t stay overnight in the city, meaning most of them spend their time and their money in the same small areas.

Small businesses and artisans’ craft shops have been replaced by identikit souvenir stalls and fast food restaurants to cater to day-tripping bargain hunters. In recent years, Venetians have staged frequent protests against the mass tourism which has pushed up rents and forced many families out of their hometown.

But could the visitors hold the key to Venice’s survival?

“Venice is a one-industry city; it relies on tourism, like our bodies rely on food to survive,” says local resident Sebastian Fagarazzi.

“But in order to thrive, you need to have the right kind of food; the right kind of tourism. The wrong kind can mean death.”

Sebastian Fagarazzi’s family had to close down its textiles shop due to the pressure created by mass tourism; he says all his friends have left the city. Photo: Venezia Autentica

Fagarazzi and his partner, France-born Valeria Duflot, have launched Venezia Autentica, a social enterprise with the aim of promoting responsible tourism and supporting local business in the city.

Frustration with visitors has grown to the point that last summer, angry locals plastered the city with flyers reading ‘Tourists go away! You are destroying this city’, but the couple believe not only that tourists could help save Venice, but that a large number of them want to do so, and would if they were given the tools.

“Tourism is the problem, but it’s also the only solution,” Fagarazzi tells The Local. “Everyone protests [against excessive tourism], but no one has done much to try to have an immediate positive effect.”

Crowds mass at the Rialto Bridge. Photo: Venezia Autentica

Duflot met her partner on a visit to Venice before later making the city her home and remembers the difficulty she had in finding out about the real side to Venice, beyond the tourist hotspots and gondoliers.

“When I spoke to locals and met Sebastian, I learnt a lot about the city and enjoyed my time there much more. But at the start,it’s very hard to get that information and to know how to have a positive impact,” she says.

The 30-year-old came up with the idea for Venezia Autentica when walking down the city’s main street one day. To one side, she saw a crowd of cruise ship tourists; to the other, a group of young Venetians, carrying flags and singing local songs.

“In a flash, I thought, wouldn’t it be great if we could get these two groups to understand each other? I know other people care about the impact they have on Venice, and if just a small proportion of the visitors thinks like that, then we can have a huge impact, particularly as the Venetians now are so few,” Duflot explains.

Valeria Duflot first came to Venice in 2014 and now calls the city her home. Photo: Venezia Autentica

The pair are sceptical about recent measures introduced by city authorities aimed at protecting the city’s heritage, including bans on new hotels and takeaway food joints in the historic centre.

“They’ve basically closed the stable door after the horse has bolted,” says Fagarazzi. “It should be the city authorities who regulate tourism – you can’t expect visitors to do in depth research; after a 40-hour working week, you come on holiday to relax! But it’s meaningless political manouevring. The bans only apply to new establishments when there are hundreds already, and there will be exceptions when it suits the authorities.”

One thing missing from the new measures is any concrete proposal of support for Venetian-run businesses or local residents, such as tax exemptions for entrepreneurs or housing support for young people.

The two Venetians hope their business will offer some support to local entrepreneurs and artisans by highlighting their shops to visitors and educating tourists on the expertise and long hours that go into making a typical mask, for example.

A Venetian artisan works on a mask while a young girl watches. Photo: Venezia Autentica

Fagarazzi is acutely aware of the pressures local businesses face: in 2015, his family was forced to close its popular clothing shop in the city centre, after facing increasing pressure linked to the effects of mass tourism.

At the age of 32, he says the majority of his friends have been forced to leave because they can no longer make a life in Venice – “and it’s my generation that makes babies!”

“People worry that Venice could disappear because of flooding, but it actually could disappear much sooner,” Fagarazzi comments. “Without the Venetians, it’s not Venice. Time is running out.”

The local population has dropped below 55,000, less than half the figure of 40 years ago, as Venetians find themselves priced out of their hometown. What’s more, it has one of Italy’s oldest populations; despite the fact Veneto is the country’s second wealthiest region, youth unemployment is extremely high.

The couple hope that by supporting local artisans, they can help them stay in business and create opportunities for young Venetians to continue living in the city and carve out rewarding careers.

A lace-maker sits at work outside her shop. Photo: Venezia Autentica

On their website, they offer information about the city, guidelines for responsible tourism, and a selection of local restaurants and artisan shops that have the ‘Authentic Venice’ seal of approval. All have been personally tried and tested by the couple, their family and friends; as Fagarazzi says, “we need to be sure that it’s a consistently good experience -a business which makes Venice proud”.

Aside from following the online guide, there are a few clues tourists can look out for when hunting down a true Venetian experience. Duflot explains that there is no particular neighbourhood to go to for artisan shops, but there are some red flags to look out for.

“If you see someone standing outside a restaurant beckoning you in, or menus with pictures and flags of different countries, walk in the other direction!” she warns. “And in ‘artisan shops’, if you see any kind of massive sale or very cheap products, it won’t be good quality – which can be dangerous too.”

On the other hand, a true artisan shop will likely have a clear specialization in one kind of product; a craftsman at work – or signs that they’ve been working; and prices that reflect the fact that the simplest mask, for example, takes around seven hours to create.

“But the best litmus test is always to ask the salesperson about the craft. A seller of mass-produced souvenirs might badger you to buy things or repeat the same catchwords like ‘Murano glass’; an artisan will be able to tell you everything about what they do. Their eyes will light up,” says Duflot.

A mask-maker shows off her creations. Photo: Venezia Autentica

The pair say they hope that would-be visitors aren’t scared off Venice by the stories of anti-tourist sentiment, but also that they will take more time to learn about the city.

“It’s not a theme park to tick off your bucket list; it’s a real, living city with people and struggles which visitors should appreciate,” says Fagarazzi.

To get a glimpse of Venetian life and better understand the city, he advises visitors to venture off the well-trodden tourist trail and explore side streets and quieter piazzas. Not only does this ease the pressure on the city’s main thoroughfares, it’s also more likely to lead to a unique shop or experience.

“As a Venetian I’m envious, because I don’t get to experience the magic of getting lost and finding that incredible shop you’ll never find again. It’s like the Room of Requirement in Harry Potter – sometimes you stumble across the very thing you’re looking for, totally at random,” he says.

“Venice has always been very welcoming to all kinds of people,” adds Duflot. “Here, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from – just treat Venetians and their city well.”


R. Kelly ‘Cult’ Member Joycelyn Savage Asks Dad to Back Off: ‘You’re Embarrassing Me’

R. Kelly

Joycelyn Savage, one of the young women whose parents allege that R. Kelly is holding in an “abusive cult” via an article published on BuzzFeed News and a press conference Monday, has issued a second video claiming that she is not being held against her will and asking her parents to leave her alone.

Possibly in response to media reaction to the first video — which was filmed indoors and in which she declined to say where she was or whether she was allowed to leave — the latest interview finds Savage outdoors, sitting on a park bench, and speaking in a slightly less stilted manner than the first.

“Dad, you know everything that’s going on with the media and the internet and what you have done is a complete disaster,” she said. “You need to stop, because right now I am fed up with everything you are doing. You’re embarrassing me and the  whole entire family.”

Click the Link Below for the Video and the rest of the story.

The Real Housewives of New York S9 Ep15 :Sonja Morgan doesn’t want have a Don King….

There are times I question why Sonja Morgan is relevant. She is at times a rumble fumble ball of confusion and delusion.  Then for a brief moment she reminds me why she is here.  She is charming, fun, and sexy. The only time she’s troubling is when the women crowd her attempting to make her relevant, as most except her for what she is which is genuinely sweet.

Last night we find Sonja on the table with her goodies blurred .  She in a salon called Romeo and Juliette to get a southern trim.  We learn that she thinks she’s allergic to Harry Dubin’s sperm.   Our wonderful Sonja is perfectly relaxed when she says ” I don’t want to be the only one who has a Don King down there”  Can you say DEAD!   That’s our Sonja.   She describes her pubic hair as a “pretty auburn blond-like a Madison Avenue blond.        ”Sonja want the world to know that,while she’s active, her southern hair is soft and that her bush is pigment free. Confirmed by the Doctor and the technician.   Fans can imagine her using the best hair conditioner in New York for her bush AND asking her suitor, “isn’t it soft?”   She tells the technician ,playing with a mans balls is like holding a baby hamster.  As the scene ends. she say’s I have the most buffed, puffed pussy there is,”   DEAD again, bring paddles!


Bethenny is puling out all the stops for the trip to Mexico, and based on what she did in Vermont, this is going to be SERIOUS!

Everyone is Jazzed for the trip, however there is one nagging problem.   Bethenny has not officially invited Ramona.   Bethenny is hoping Ramona will come with Luann who is arriving later.  Bethenny has concerns that at one point during this well planned trip Ramona could fuck it up.  Meanwhile, Sonja and Ramona are traveling buddies, she loves Ramona, but thinks Ramona is wrong.

Ramona has been more than a loose cannon, this chick has lost her mind!   She’s on track for a minute then loses her way.  She apologizes and within seconds she crashes and burns.  Last week, she apologized to Bethenny via text and as soon as she arrives she tells people she doesn’t want any of Bethenny’s SkinnyGirl alcohol, she wants the good stuff.

LadyM, is on the phone with Luann, saying when Mary Tyler Moore threw her hat in the air that what made her want to move to the big city.   Perhaps there is a new Minneapolis neighborhood in  Manhattan.  Meanwhile we seen the former Countess Luann fingering this clunky Jewelry, someone cleaned out Woolworth’s before they closed.

Dinnah Tyme

I find it interesting how all these women can talk about each other, sitting at the same small table.  Bethenny is talking to another housewife about Ramona and Mexico who is sitting next to her.

Ready, Set, Fight!    Ramona tells Bethenny they are like “oil and vinegar.” Bethenny corrects her and says that oil and vinegar go together and she meant they are like “oil and water.” But Ramona insists that she was right!

Someone should kill the other one, so we can move on.

They’re rehashing the same ole shit.  There are problems on both sides but Ramona, keeps taking it up a notch with her hysterics.     Bethenny says she doesn’t want her to come.  (she is now, very clear BITCH, I’M NOT INVITING YOUR STUPID ASS!)

Ramona, defies her (very Jennifer Holiday Dreamgirls style) “I’m going, its a GROUP trip!”

Sidebar:  As much as I agree with Bethenny. Cause Ramona, needs electro shock therapy. This is a Bravo Production.   Perhaps that’s why Ramona was so Bold.    Bethenny has enough cash on hand to hire the biggest, widest, security team Mexico has ever seen.  The decision is Bravo’s to make.   So expect to see the RamonaCoaster. 

Carole, Tinsely and the Bear

Tinsley, is Carole’s project.   Carole is very smart and Tinsley should take Carole’s advise.  She may have been the toast of New York, but she is stuck looking a little Charo (look her up Millennials) in desperate need of update.

Charo was my B example, I wanted to say Baby Jane. But that would have been MEAN! 

Carole has set her up with a nice looking successful man.  Who unlike her first man, doesn’t ride a Big Wheel to school.   Carole calls Scott a bear.  Tinsely approves!

A double date, Carole (despite their difference in age, look good together) and Adam, Scott and Tinsely.

Carole is on point, they are a match.  Scott is cool down to earth with a nice smile.  He clearly likes her, even though she’s a bad date!   Not just a bad date!    Tinsely likes him, in addition to her ugly clothes she drinks too much asked him few questions about himself and WORSE!  She goes into detail about her ex.    Scott smiles through it.   Good job Carole.

This is my first year of reviewing #RHONY. If you like what you see subscribe and share with #RHONY fans…


Star Wars or Star Trek? Betta choose correctly?

Image result for star trek star wars


On July 1st, Nineteen year old Burke Bradley Warren of Oklahoma City chose wrong.

His roommate disagreed and as 23 year old Jerome Dewayne Whyte was returning to his charted territory (his bedroom) Warren told him ” “You’re just a trick.”

Those 3.1 words sent Whyte into hyperspace, and before you could say Princess Leia, Whyte shoved Warren to the floor and began choking the Tribbles out of him.   While being strangled, Warren “went in and out of consciousness.” Probably wishing he had a Phaser.

The Oklahoma City Police Force was not with Whyte.   He was arrested for assault and battery.  They found marijuana on him.   Apparently Whyte hasn’t mastered the Jedi mind trick. A routine computer check revealed he had warrants for bad checks and child abuse.

 Whyte’s is residing at Oklahoma Country Jail. If he asks you which movie you prefer

Star Wars or Star Trek?  Tell him Terms of Endearment.