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Looking for Work? Try Applying for Jobs in These 25 U.S. Cities

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Life shouldn’t begin and end at the office. That's part of the reasoning behind how Glassdoor ranked the top 25 U.S. cities for jobs in 2017. According to Thrillist, the career website used metrics like available job openings, cost of living, and employee satisfaction to decide which of the nation's 50 most populated metro areas make the best home base.

Pittsburgh topped the list with a thriving job market (95,399 estimated openings), a livable median base salary ($44,000), and an affordable housing market (the median home value is $137,400). Workers—who, on average, ranked their job satisfaction as 3.2 out of 5—had a good chance of snagging occupations ranging from civil engineer to project manager or registered nurse.

Following the City of Bridges, the list’s remaining top 10 cities were either in the Midwest or the South. Indianapolis came in second, with an estimated 80,561 job openings, an average base salary of $43,000, and a median home value of $138,100. Job satisfaction levels were pegged at 3.3 out of 5, and promising career opportunities included gigs as a marketing manager, a machine operator, or a DevOps engineer.

Coming in third, fourth, fifth, and sixth, respectively, were Kansas City, Missouri; Raleigh, North Carolina; St. Louis, Missouri; and Memphis, Tennessee. Cities in Ohio—including Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland—filled positions seven, eight, and nine, respectively, followed by Louisville, Kentucky, which rounded out the list at number 10. As for popular cities like San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles, they didn’t even make the cut.

The main takeaway, according to Glassdoor's chief economist, Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, is to consider positions in cities that aren’t necessarily big coastal behemoths—especially if you’re looking for strong quality of life.

"This list isn't necessarily designed for extremely career-driven individuals looking for the best jobs in major cities with the best brand names, workplace culture, or benefits,” concluded Chamberlain, according to Refinery29. “This report is for people who want to find a job they will be satisfied in relatively easily, as well as be able to afford living in their city. It illustrates to job seekers and employees who may be looking for a new job that it may be worth broadening your horizons beyond famous U.S. cities—you may find a few surprising opportunities that fit your life."

Curious which other urban areas made the cut? Glassdoor’s full list is available here.

[h/t Thrillist]

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Want Priority Boarding On Your Alaska Airlines Flight This Holiday Season? Wear an Ugly Christmas Sweater
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Between steep fares and crowded terminals, flying during the holidays isn’t fun. But on Friday, December 15, a special Alaska Airlines promotion will ease boarding stress and transform packed planes into mile-high ugly sweater parties, in honor of National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. As the Los Angeles Times reports, the airline will offer free early boarding to travelers willing to don their holiday worst at the airport.

The promotion is good for all Alaska Airlines flights in the airline’s 115-city network, and for flights offered by Virgin America and Horizon Air (both of which are operated by Alaska Airlines). In addition to escaping the waiting crowds, passengers who share the most festive knitted looks will be featured on Alaska Air's social media pages if they tag their photos and videos using the hashtags #UglySweaterDay and #MostWestCoast. And since no plane aisle-turned-catwalk is complete without a soundtrack, “festive holiday-themed boarding music will play all month long to help get guests into the holiday spirit,” according to a press release.

Worried you’ll be the only person on the plane wearing a sequined Rudolph cardigan? Even if other passengers don’t get the memo, airline crew will also be wearing ugly sweaters—so feel free to unleash your inner Chevy Chase from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

[h/t Los Angeles Times]

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Why You Should Think Twice About Drinking From Ceramics You Made by Hand
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Ceramic ware is much safer than it used to be (Fiesta ware hasn’t coated its plates in uranium since 1973), but according to NPR, not all new ceramics are free of dangerous chemicals. If you own a mug, bowl, plate, or other ceramic kitchen item baked in an older kiln, it may contain trace amounts of harmful lead.

Earthenware is often coated with a shiny, ceramic glaze. Historically, lead has been used in glazes to give pottery a glossy finish and brighten colors like orange, yellow, and red. The chemical is avoided by potters today, but it can still show up in handmade dishware baked in older kilns that contain lead residue. Antique products from the era when lead was a common crafting material may also be unsafe to eat or drink from. This is especially true when consuming something acidic, like coffee, which can cause any lead hiding in the glaze to leach out.

Sometimes the amount of lead in a product is minuscule, but even trace amounts can contaminate whatever you're eating or drinking. Over time, exposure to lead in small doses can lead to heightened blood pressure, lowered kidney function, and reproductive issues. Lead can cause even more serious problems in kids, including slowed physical and mental development.

As the dangers of even small amounts of lead have become more widely known, the ceramics industry has gradually eliminated the additive from its products. Most of the big-name commercial ceramic brands, like Crock-Pot and Fiesta ware, have cut it out all together. Independent artisans have also moved away from working with the ingredient, but there are still some manufacturers, especially abroad, that use it. Luckily, the FDA keeps a list of the ceramic ware it tests that has been shown to contain lead.

If you’re not ready to retire your hand-crafted ceramic plates, the FDA offers one possible solution: Purchase a home lead testing kit and analyze the items yourself. If the tests come back negative, your homemade dishware can keep its spot on your dinner table.

[h/t NPR]

This piece was updated to clarify that while lead may be present in antique ceramics and old kilns, it's no longer a common ingredient in ceramic glazes.

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