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Most People's Friendships Fall Into One of Three Categories

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Making friends can be complicated (especially when science tells us that one out of two friendships is one-sided). But research from Dartmouth sociology professor Janice McCabe suggests that the types of social structures we form are surprisingly straightforward, Quartz reports. According to her paper [PDF] published last year in the journal Contexts, our friendship styles can be broken into three simple categories.

For her study, McCabe looked at 67 students at a four-year Midwestern university (a small sample size, to be sure). She found that most subjects fit under one of the three umbrellas: tight-knitters, compartmentalizers, and samplers. Members of the first group belong to a single social network where everyone’s connected in some way—in other words, you have one big group of friends. Tight-knitters have a net of social support to fall back on but also risk being dragged down by negativity in the group.

Tight-knitter visualization. Image credit: Janice McCabe/Contexts

Compartmentalizers have a few small clusters of friends rather than one tightly woven web. These friend-makers have two to four friend groups that rarely mix, which gives them the benefit of being able to hop between clusters in order to satisfy different needs.

Compartmentalizer visualization. Image credit: Janice McCabe/Contexts

The last category, samplers, have many individual friendships collected from different parts of life. People who gravitate towards one-on-one relationships may be more independent in their personal lives, but they sometimes lack a sense of belonging.

Sampler visualization. Image credit: Janice McCabe/Contexts

McCabe entered into the study looking to see what effect, if any, peer groups have on performance in school. She found that while tight-knitters and compartmentalizers often turn to friends for academic support, samplers usually rely on themselves in that area. The classroom isn’t the only place where a strong network of friends comes in handy: After graduation, friendships can also help you get ahead and stay sane in the workforce.

[h/t Quartz]

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Amazon Is Offering Free Same-Day Shipping to Prime Customers for the Holidays
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The holidays are arriving early for Amazon Prime customers—along with every gift they’ve yet to order through the online shopping behemoth. Amazon has put all of its Prime members on the “Nice” list this year, and is rewarding them with free same-day shipping from now through Christmas Eve. While that may be cutting it a little too close for some shoppers, the limited-time perk has perpetual procrastinators singing “Joy to the World.”

“We are continually investing in Prime, adding more selection and making delivery faster and more convenient,” Greg Greeley, Amazon Prime’s VP, said in a statement. “In fact, in 2016, the last Prime Free Same-Day order from Amazon.com delivered in time for Christmas was ordered at 10:23 a.m. on Christmas Eve. The order included Venum Contender Boxing Gloves, and was delivered to a Prime member in Richmond, Virginia at 2:42 p.m.—the very same day, for free.

(Whoever received those boxing gloves last year: now you know.)

This year’s holiday shipping schedule will allow gift-givers to push that deadline even further. While two-day shipping is always free for Prime customers, if that were the only option, they’d have to be done buying all their gifts by Friday, December 22. This year’s shipping perk means that you can push your shopping all the way to Christmas Eve, as long as you live in one of Amazon’s Same-Day Delivery zones (you just have to order by 9:30 a.m.). Even better: If Prime Now is available in your area, you have until 9:14 p.m. on December 24 to place your order and still have something fabulous to stick under the Christmas tree.

Of course, zero-dollar shipping costs are far from the $99 service’s only perk: unlimited streaming of Prime Video movies and TV shows—including Amazon-produced series like The Man in High Castle, Mozart in the Jungle, One Mississippi, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel—is there for the bingeing. Free Kindle books, photo storage, and grocery delivery are among Prime’s many other benefits.

Not a Prime member? No problem! “Even if you are not currently a member, holiday shoppers can try Prime for free for 30 days and get two-day, one-day, and same-day shipping for free,” says Greeley.

It’s hard to argue with free.

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The Most (and Least) Expensive States for Staying Warm This Winter
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It’s that time of year again: Temperatures outside have plummeted, while your monthly heating bill is on the rise. If you want an idea of how much heat will cost you this winter (perhaps you blocked out last year’s damage to your bank account), one reliable indicator is location.

Average energy expenses vary from state to state due to factors like weather, house size, and local gas prices. Using data from sources including the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, WalletHub calculated the average monthly utility bill totals for all 50 states plus Washington D.C. in 2017.

Source: WalletHub

The personal finance website looked at four energy costs: electricity, natural gas, car fuel, and home heating oil. After putting these components together, Connecticut was found to be the state with the highest energy costs in 2017, with an average of $380 in monthly bills, followed by Alaska with $332 and Rhode Island with $329.

That includes data from the summer and winter months. For a better picture of which state’s residents spend the most on heat, we have to look at the individual energy costs. Michigan, which ranks 33rd overall, outdoes every other state in the natural gas department with an average bill of $60 a month. Alaska is close behind with $59, followed by Rhode Island With $58.

People living in Maine prefer oil to heat their homes, spending $84 a month on the fuel source. All six New England states—Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts—occupy the top six spots in this category.

So which state should you move to if you want to see your heating bill disappear? In Florida, the average household spends just $3 a month on natural gas and $0 on heating oil. In Hawaii, on average, the oil bill is $0 as well, and slightly higher for gas at $4. Of course, they make up for it when it comes time to crank up the AC: Both states break the top 10 in highest electricity costs.


WalletHub

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