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Success: and the roadmaps you can buy

If you develop a self-help bug while in an airport, you're in luck: they're everywhere. All airport bookstores are like bestseller lists reified, and if you close your eyes and just grab, you're likely to make contact with a book on how to succeed.

No one is going to give you any grief for indulging in one, either--the assumption is that you're out to kill time, and more "pedestrian" activities are suddenly forgivable: you can read Teen Vogue cover to cover, go back for seconds at McDonald's, and prop a self-help book in front of your face while popping Junior Mints because that's just the way we get by. Don't get me wrong--I'm actually a giant fan of the self-help genre, and even love reading it in public for the reaction (this is probably a DSM entry, I know), a la my public consumption of Codependent No More at Chili's.

Five years ago, I was flipping through an Esquire when I stopped at this prescription for success: "In order to succeed, you need an enemy and an arch rival." I thought that sounded about right. At least more than the prognostication that those whose doodles featured upward-pointed triangles were likely to be high achievers. Are there any postulates about success you find yourself sharing for amusement--or following with sincerity?

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Food
Learn to Spot the Sneaky Psychological Tricks Restaurants Use
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While dining out, you may have noticed (but perhaps didn’t question) some unusual features—like prices missing dollar signs, or burgers served on plates that could accommodate a baby cow.

These aren’t just arbitrary culinary decisions, as the SciShow’s Hank Green explains in the video below. Restaurants use all kinds of psychological tricks to make you spend more money, ranging from eliminating currency symbols (this makes you think less about how much things cost) to plating meals on oversize dinnerware (it makes you eat more). As for the mouthwatering language used to describe food—that burger listed as a "delectable chargrilled extravagance," for example—studies show that these types of write-ups can increase sales by up to 27 percent.

Learn more psychological tricks used by restaurants (and how to avoid falling for them) by watching the video below. (Or, read our additional coverage on the subject.)

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Animals
Owning a Dog May Add Years to Your Life, Study Shows
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We've said that having a furry friend can reduce depression, promote better sleep, and encourage more exercise. Now, research has indicated that caring for a canine might actually extend your lifespan.

Previous studies have shown that dog owners have an innate sense of comfort and increased well-being. A new paper published in Scientific Reports and conducted by Uppsala University in Sweden looked at the health records of 3.4 million of the country's residents. These records typically include personal data like marital status and whether the individual owns a pet. Researchers got additional insight from a national dog registry providing ownership information. According to the study, those with a dog for a housemate were less likely to die from cardiovascular disease or any other cause during the study's 12-year duration.

The study included adults 40 to 80 years old, with a mean age of 57. Researchers found that dogs were a positive predictor in health, particularly among singles. Those who had one were 33 percent less likely to die early than those who did not. Authors didn't conclude the exact reason behind the correlation: It could be active people are more likely to own dogs, that dogs promoted more activity, or that psychological factors like lowered incidences of depression might bolster overall well-being. Either way, having a pooch in your life could mean living a longer one.

[h/t Bloomberg]

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