Happify’s New Infographic: What You Watch This Summer Can Make You Happier

When it comes to TV time, our family is very deliberate when it comes to setting boundaries.

For example, when we first moved into our new house nearly 6 months ago, I made sure we set aside our downstairs living room as a sanctuary free from a TV set; that we established our main common room void of that infamous conversation killer. We have to deliberately go upstairs if we want to watch something.

This week I came across this new infographic on Happify, a website and app which is dedicated to building happiness skills through scientifically designed activities and games.

The infographic is called “What You Watch This Summer Can Make You Happier.” I love the way it scientically explains what actually makes us happy.


Happify's New Infographic: What You Watch This Summer Can Make You Happier

Questioning “I Was Spanked As A Child And I Turned Out Just Fine!” Infographic

I have to again immediately point out that I recognize I am of the small majority of American parents who does not spank my child; nor have I ever.

This is something I’ve addressed before in both I Find Louis C.K.’s Bit On Child Discipline Hard To Argue With, as well as, Is Spanking Actually More Effective Than The Alternative?


Whether or not other parents spank their children is none of my interest, but I do believe it’s important to help explain some of my reasoning; if nothing else, for those who are curious.

Typically, pro-spanking parents are quick to say, “Well, I was spanked as a child and I turned out just fine!”

The term “just fine” is difficult to qualify, but typically the person will follow up by saying they’ve never been to prison or killed anyone.

Following this logic, that means most prisoners, former prisoners, and ex-cons were not spanked as children. Conversely, that also implies that most children who are spanked stay out of prison.

Ultimately, since most, 80%, of American children are spanked, that means in theory that at least 80% of current prisoners and ex-cons were spanked.

In other words, I’m having difficulty seeing the validity in that spanking children keeps them from growing up to be adults who end up in prison.

During the 3 year span I was the official daddy blogger of Parents.com, I learned a lot from Richard Rende, PhD, who is an associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown Medical School. He had this to say in his article, Spanking Doesn’t Work:

 ”Let’s keep in mind here the argument for spanking – it’s purported to improve children’s behavior. Studies continue to demonstrate that it does not do this, and in fact often predicts worse behavior. So despite the personal stories and folklore about how a good spanking can change a kid, each empirical study that comes out suggests that it changes a kid for the worse, not better.

If these stories ring true, why don’t we see huge positive effects of spanking when we study kids over time?”

I think it’s easy for non-spanking parents to assume that children who are not spanked (like mine) are brats; especially if they are an only child… again, like mine.

Of course, if you personally knew my son, you would know he’s never been in any trouble at school. Actually, in public, he’s a fairly reserved little boy. So is my son just the exception?

Or would have spanking my son this whole time made him a better behaved child? I wonder what that would look like?

So instead of spanking him, I follow these simple guidelines:

1. Ignore attention-seeking behavior.

2. Pay attention to good behavior.

3. Redirect your child.

4. Teach consequences that make sense.

5. Use time-outs for serious offenses.

The one of these I find most effective is to redirect his attention. And I’ve learned not to punish him for being tired or hungry, because I have more control over his food and sleep than he does. He’s not himself when he’s tired or hungry.

I still can’t get over how Louis CK put it in his special, Hilarious:

“And stop hitting me, you’re huge. How could you hit me?! That’s crazy. You’re a giant, and I can’t defend myself.”I really think it’s crazy that we hit our kids. It really is–here’s the crazy part about it. Kids are the only people in the world that you’re allowed to hit. Do you realize that? They’re the most vulnerable, and they’re the most destroyed by being hit. But it’s totally okay to hit them. And they’re the only ones! If you hit a dog they… will put you in jail for that… You can’t hit a person unless you can prove that they were trying to kill you. But a little tiny person with a head this big who trusts you implicitly, f(orget) ‘em. Who (cares)? Just… hit–let’s all hit them! People want you to hit your kid. If your kid’s making noise in public, “Hit him, hit him! Hit him! Grrr, hit him!” We’re proud of it! “I hit my kids. You’re… right I hit my kids.” Why did you hit them? “‘Cause they were doing a thing I didn’t like at the moment. And so I hit them, and guess what? They didn’t do it after that.” Well, that wouldn’t be taking the… easy way out, would it?”

Ultimately, actual research has shown that spanking has been shown to not only be less effective, but also more detrimental to the child, as seen in the infographic below.

So while I don’t at all look down on parents who spank their children, because let’s be honest, that would mean I look down on most parents if I did, with me being the minority…

I instead can be confident in knowing the reasoning behind why I am so strange to believe that for my child, spanking is not an option.


New Infographic: Where Breaking Bad, Hunger Games, & Lord Of The Rings Were Filmed

I thought this new infographic is cool and worth sharing. I often wonder about stuff like this; regarding where some of my favorite movies and TV shows are actually filmed.

Many years ago, my wife and I visited New Zealand, the country where Lord of the Rings was filmed.

If you asked me now what my favorite TV show of all time is, I would say #3 would be The Office, #2 would be Lost, and #1 would be Breaking Bad.

The infographic shows the places in Albuquerque the show was filmed.

See my post, My Thoughts On The Breaking Bad Finale: Felina (Now On Netflix). Also see, Aside From Breaking Bad Action Figures, What Else Is “Offensive” At Toys “R” Us?

And obviously I’m huge fan of the Libertarian film series, The Hunger Games, which to my surprise, is filmed in North Carolina.

See my post, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1- Family Friendly Review.

Now, enjoy the infographic!


Why Do We Associate Masculinity With Eating Red Meat And Bacon?

Today makes 3 years I’ve been a vegetarian and more than a year and a half since I’ve been a vegan, so I figured it would be a relevant time to ask the question, “Why do we associate masculinity with eating red meat and bacon?”

Why Do We Associate Masculinity With Eating Red Meat And Bacon?

There’s no question: Eating big, fat, juicy burgers with bacon (and cheese) is manly. It’s even more masculine to be the one grilling those burgers.

Why, though? How is it that meat consumption, especially particular red meat and bacon, is associated with masculinity?

The familiar stereotype I have in my head is of a man and woman on a date. The man orders a big steak. The woman orders a salad.

But what if you reverse that? The woman orders a big steak and the man orders a salad. It would seem ironic, somehow.

I suppose a lot of the reason that eating red meat and bacon is associated with masculinity is because it used to be that more men were actually involved in raising and hunting the meat, then providing for their families with it.


However, times have changed. It’s not really that way anymore.

Even the phrase “bringing home the bacon” is losing relevance. My wife makes more money than I do. In fact, all of the men that I work with in my office actually make less money than their wives do. Part of that is that our wives all have Master’s degrees and we just have 4 year degrees…

So, is it particularly manly to go to the grocery store and buy meat? Or the drive-thru at a fast food joint?

Not really. But it still is manly to cook the meat (especially outdoors) and to eat it. We have carried over these ideas that eating meat is manly, though the validity and relevance of that concept is fleeting.

push button receive bacon

In fact, the over-consumption of meat is literally thinning out the herd. Consuming more than 4 ounces of meat per day (which is very little, actually) is undeniably linked to cancer, diabetes, and heart disease; all of which are some of the main killers of American men.

Let me also point out the fact that many athletes are sure to refrain from consuming much meat. They shy away from red meat and pork, instead focusing on apparently “less manly” options like chicken and fish.

So even men who are famous (and rich) for their strength and agility aren’t consuming red meat and pork at the same rate as most men.

With that being said, can you still be perceived as masculine yet not eat meat?

Something I see in “Facebook culture” is “real women have curves.” So… does that mean that women who don’t have curves are not real women?

Similarly, can you still be considered masculine and be a vegan?

red-meat-man (flashbyz.com)

As I’ve pointed out before, most vegans are actually women; most of them not being religious.

I think society is particularly confused by male vegans, especially if they are Christian. Growing up in the South like I did, it was nearly a sin to not eat meat.

Trust me, I’m not questioning my masculinity. I realize that the new modern version of masculinity has more to do with being a faithful husband and an involved father.

Today makes 3 years since I’ve eaten any meat; it’s been more than a year and a half since I’ve had dairy or eggs in addition to that.

Speaking for myself, at least, I feel plenty enough masculine.

If nothing else, I can drive a stick shift vehicle. That’s got to count for something.


New Infographic: What Would It Take to Store Santa’s Gifts?

I assume, like most kids, I was confused and troubled by the complicated logistics involved in Santa’s overnight delivery to all the (good) kids in the world… in a single night.

Not only would there be physical restrictions, but financial ones as well. Even with all the free labor (?) of the elves, I still questioned how Santa could budget such a feat.

Now, as an adult, thanks to this new inforgraphic, I can get confirmation that I had everyone reason to feel unsettled aboutall this.

So here it is, “What Would It Take To Store Santa’s Gifts?”