CLOSE

A Day in the Life of a Professional Party Princess

M. Alice LeGrow is a professional party princess. It wasn't a job she expected -- she was a graphic novelist until a few years ago, when her publisher went out of business. Seeking a steady job, she took on the job of entertaining kids at parties. In this short documentary by NPR, we learn LeGrow's perspective on the job -- what's challenging about it, how she has learned to like kids, and indeed how she has learned to like the job. Pro tip: "When in doubt, smile harder!"

Princess Marty, The Party Princess from NPR on Vimeo.

For more of LeGrow's perspective on Princess Culture, check out this All Things Considered interview. Also pertinent: her tips on How to Play Ninja Turtles, and a forum post that apparently led to the NPR piece. Good job, Internet.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Food
Learn to Spot the Sneaky Psychological Tricks Restaurants Use
iStock
iStock

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.)

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Animals
Owning a Dog May Add Years to Your Life, Study Shows
iStock
iStock

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]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios