Brian Banmiller's blog

Mental Health

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They say money doesn't buy happiness, and it turns out they might be right.

According to a team of researchers at the London School of Economics most human misery can be blamed on failed relationships and health rather than money problems and poverty. One of the purposes of the report was to determine what a country's government should focus on in order to keep its residents happy.

It found that eliminating depression and anxiety would reduce misery by 20% compared to just 5% if officials focused on poverty. The study, called "origins of happiness" was done using data from four countries including the U.S. and Germany.  read more »

An Alcohol Fueled Comeback

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Barnes and noble is looking to make a comeback, and it's using a little liquid courage.

The bookstore Barnes and Noble has had a bit of trouble competing with online retailers such as Amazon but it has a new plan to win back customers, booze! The retailer has opened four new concept stores that will have an expanded food menu and serve beer and wine. The first to open was the store in Eastchester New York, followed by Minnesota, Folsom, California and one in Virginia.

Company executives say they are also looking at expanding the sale of toys, gifts and vinyl records. They say they are focusing on making someone's trip to Barnes and Noble an actual experience, something you can't get while shopping online.  read more »

Starting Over

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For years you work towards retirement, but maybe you need a plan B.

Joe Bartley is an 89-year-old army veteran living in Britain. Recently he placed an ad asking for employment. The ad read “senior citizen seeks employment, twenty plus hours per week. Still able to clean, light gardening and do it yourself.”

The ad received so much attention that local media asked Bartley the reason behind it. He says his wife died two years ago and he now lives in a senior living center. He says he goes to the center's community area but no one's there and when he goes home he has no one to talk to. In short, Bartley is bored out of his mind.  read more »

Flying Facts

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They say the less you know the better; especially at 37,000 feet.

Tis the season to travel and MSN Lifestyle is making sure you're fully informed before you put your seat back and tray table in the full and upright position. For example, did you know that the air you breathe inside the plane is air from the engine? According to MSN's list the oxygen you breathe is pressurized from the engines with 25% going to the cockpit and the rest being circulated on the plane.

Here's another secret for you; the bathroom doors can be unlocked from the outside. According to a flight attendant there is a hidden mechanism behind the no smoking sign on the back doors that can slide the lock to open in case of a real emergency.  read more »

Monetary Goodwill

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It's the season of good cheer and for some people in Wyoming the feel good moments are coming in the form of a few bucks.

2016 hasn't been the best year for a lot of people. In fact some would go so far as to call it one of the worst in history. From the Zika virus to Brexit to a never-ending presidential election the hits just kept coming. Add to that the deaths of people such as Prince and David Bowie and 2017 can't come fast enough.  read more »

Amazon's Empire

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Amazon is speeding up your next trip to the grocery store by taking away the checkout line.

Amazon, the world's largest online retailer is opening up a corner store where people can come in, pick up what they need and walk right back out again. Instead of waiting in line to pay their purchases will be automatically billed to their Amazon Prime account. As they shop tiny sensors will record what they pick up and take to tally up what they owe.

The first store is set to open in Seattle early next year and there is word that the company will expand that to 2,000 of the stores across the country. The store will be about 1,800 square feet and will feature most common food staples.  read more »

Window Shopping

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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, especially in store windows.

The concept of holiday store windows is said to have started back in the early 1870's with Macy's. Over the years many other major retailers such as Bloomingdale’s have jumped on board with designs of their own. Now the concept has become a sort of competition with stores trying to make their window displays bigger and better than those around them.  read more »

Bad Tasting Money

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Britain's new five pound note is leaving a bad taste in a few wallets.

The new note is made of plastic and is said to be cheaper to make and a lot more durable than the old money. They also have a lot more security features which officials say make them tough to counterfeit. However it contains one unlikely ingredient that has a lot of people demanding an instant halt to production; animal fat.

The Bank of England has confirmed that tallow; which contains animal fat and is used in candles and soap is also used to create the plastic note. And that news is not sitting well with the country's vegans and vegetarians. So an online petition is circulating which was signed by more than thirteen thousand people in less than 24 hours.  read more »

A Relaxing Ride

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Can't decide between adventure or relaxation for your next vacation? Why not both?

The city of Beppu, on the southern island of Japan is planning to launch the world's first day spa themed amusement park. The inspiration for the unusual attraction came from the city's abundant supply of natural hot springs.

In the promotional video people walked around wrapped in towels and slippers making their way around the various rides. Those included bubble bath roller coasters and steam room trolley rides. The video was posted on Facebook last week and the city's mayor said if it hit one million views he would move forward with development. Fast forward four days and the video had already been watched 1.8 million times.  read more »

Golden Beer Cans

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Want to win tickets to the Super Bowl for life? Better drink up.

Anheuser-Busch, the brewing company behind Budweiser beer has announced a new contest that has football lovers in a frenzy. Right now there are golden beer cans hidden in 18, 24 and 30 packs of Bud Light. If you're lucky enough to find one, take a picture of it and post it online with #sweeps or #SBtix4life.  read more »