Facts about happiness 1

Happiness - something so tangible yet elusive at the same time. We feel high on endorphins when we get a pay rise. However, in a few short weeks, this will normalize and become the new baseline. And very soon, we'll be looking for the next promotion. This isn't surprising but why is that so?

With the help of scientific research which had been cleverly summarized into two great infographs from WebpageFx and Happify, we thought we might have found a fun, easy and sustainable recipe to achieve happiness.

1. Remember that our tough circumstances do not affect our happiness

"Tough times do not last, but tough people do", a famous quote used to encourage anyone who is struggling in a difficult situation. According to scientists, this is not just management talk but supported by concrete findings. Only 10% of our happiness is determined by the circumstances we're in. In fact, we get used to our circumstances over time so they do not play as large of a role in our happiness as we might think!

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2. Maintain a constant moderate level of happiness 

According to recent research, maintaining a steady level of moderate happiness is healthier than spikes of extreme happiness. This made perfect sense to the FOTW team because what goes up must come down. Quoting from Happify, "Recent research even suggests that if you focus too much on trying to feel good all the time, you'll actually undermine your ability to feel good at all -- in other words, no amount of feeling good will be satisfying to you, since what you expect (all the time) isn't physically possible for most people."
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3. Savor your happy experiences makes you even happier 

There is not much more for us to elaborate as the infograph does a great job summarizing how we can savor our happy moments. One note of caution is that "sharing a good experience with someone else" is not posting 80 photos on Facebook and counting the number of likes and comments. Doing that will probably give you the exact opposite result. Sharing your holiday adventures with your friends over weekend tea would be a better bet.

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4. Embracing adversity makes you stronger and HAPPIER

This was surprising - people who have gone through adverse situations in life tend to be happier than those whose lives had been a bed of roses. Most of us tend to think that and even be a tad envious of others who ( at least appear to ) have an easier life. Therefore, it is a little counter-intuitive that through adversity, we can become happier.

However, the key thing to note is that happiness can be achieved only after we have got some distance from the adverse situation(s) and are able to make sense of the challenges.

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5. Spending just 20 minutes a day outdoor makes you happy... and it is free!

Simply spending 20 minutes daily outdoor helps to make us happy and it even comes with complimentary upsides of broaden thinking and improved working memory. [WebpageFX]

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6. Reduce excessive shopping and consumption

You might have heard people around you going for "retail therapy" whenever they feel down.  However, studies have found that consumerism is the biggest suppressant of happiness!  Similar to point #2, what goes up must come down.  After the adrenaline high of getting your hands on the latest iPhone, most of us are likely to be complaining about how the iPhone is not really that much better than the old phone.  So, the next time you are planning for a shopping spree, think again -- it could save your wallet and boost your mood.

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7. Set your room temperature at 13.9 degrees Celsius or 57 degrees Fahrenheit

Happiness is maximized at this magical temperature!

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8. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise

We knew that exercise causes the body to produce endorphin which keeps us happy.  But the fact that depression patients treated with exercise are four times less likely to relapse into depression compared with patients treated with medication, definitely reinforces the importance of exercise.

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9. Know that the rich and famous are really not that happy

Many of our modern day unhappiness stems from comparing ourselves with others.  Especially with the rise of reality TV and social media that features the ultra rich and famous, it can be challenging to maintain a positive outlook of our own financial situation.

Perhaps, now that that we know the rich and famous is only 3.5% happier than average, there is nothing much to be inferior about! ;)
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If you are interested in the more well-known facts which are still great reminders for everyone, scroll down for the remaining portions of the info graphs! 

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To download the complete version of the two info graphs, please visit:

Also, do check out some of our other articles in the Health and Fitness sections
Web pages that take forever to load, twenty minutes to download a song, internet connection that disconnects when the phone rings - sounds like the 90s? Well there are some countries like that even in 2015. None of that here though. According to Akamai, an IT consulting firm, here are the countries with the fastest Internet speeds in 2014.

10. Finland
Finland cabin covered in snow
Other than having the most heavy metal bands per capita and drinking a lot of coffee, Finland has some seriously fast internet speeds. In the first quarter of 2013, broadband Internet connection speed reached 7.7 Mbps.

9. Sweden

Sweden aerial shot
Source: Ciee
Not to be outdone by their Nordic neighbors, Sweden registered connection speeds of 8.3 Mbps in the first quarter of 2013.

8. USA

Golden gate bridge
Source: viator

Despite Al Gore "discovering" the Internet (lol), the USA only comes in at number 8 on the list, with a speed of 8.6 Mbps in first quarter 2013. Not too shabby considering 2011 speeds were only 7.4 Mbps - a 28% improvement in two years.

7. Hong Kong

Hong Kong Skyline
Source: The Telegraph

The first entrant from Asia, Hong Kong has definitely reaped the benefits of its old colonial past. 2013 Internet speeds on the island were 9.3 Mbps versus a measly 1.7 Mbps in the rest of China.

6. Czech Republic

Czech Republic
Source: Olieserve

An Eastern European country with faster speeds than the USA? Oh the shame... At 9.6 Mbps in first quarter 2013, that's one full megabyte per second faster than the U.S.

5. Netherlands

Holland Tulip Fields
Source: StudyGroup

It's not just tulips and windmills in Netherlands. They have a mean Internet speed - at 9.6 Mbps, they're tied with the Czech republic in 7th / 6th spot.

4. Latvia
Latvia Europe Map
Source: howstuffworks

Ok, now its getting embarrassing for the USA. Even Latvia, with a population of approximately 2 million people is registering faster Internet speeds. 9.8 Mbps in 2013. Not too shabby, Latvia!

3. Switzerland

Switzerland river

Watches, chocolates, currency shocks and Internet speeds that exceed the 10 Mbps barrier - that's what you'll find in Switzerland. In first quarter 2013, broadband Internet connection speed registered at 10.06 Mbps

2. Japan

Japan at night
Source: BBC

Japan is synonymous with Hi-tech so it is no surprise that Internet speeds are going to be fast here. And you wouldn't be disappointed with 11.6 Mbps, the second fastest in the world.

1. Korea

Seoul night skyline
Source: photozok

With Internet speeds of 14.2 Mbps in 2013, Korea leaves second placed Japan in the dust. Is it any wonder then that the best gamers in the world come from Korea?

So by now, you must be thinking, while this list is good and all, how do I improve my own, personal Internet speed? Well, as we mentioned in our article on things to consider when shopping around for your cable modem, your ISP connection is probably the biggest factor affecting your Internet speeds. You could have a DOCSIS 3.0 16x4 modem like the ARRIS SB6183 that allows for speeds of up to 686 Mbps, but if you're only subscribing to a 10Mbps plan, then unfortunately, not even the best modem can save you there. Your speeds will be close to the 10Mbps.

That said, if you're paying for a top-notch or even a 100Mbps plan, do yourself a favor and don't limit yourself by using a crappy, rented modem from your ISP. You can get a really good one like the SB6141 for $70. This modem will help you take advantage of the speeds your plan is capable of and buying it will help you save $240-$480 over the life of the modem.

Well, that's the list from 2014 and we're looking forward to the 2015 list already. Looking at the broad trends, North Asia, Scandinavia and the more prosperous Eastern European countries are investing heavily on their Internet speeds because they know that good infrastructure will spur even more innovation. Surprisingly, India, despite all the technology workers that they produce is nowhere near to being on the list. In fact, it has one of the slowest Internet connections. Maybe that'll be the subject of our next list - slowest Internet speeds in the world :)

10 kitchen gadgets that make life easier
Whether it is separating egg whites, measuring the right amount of spaghetti or slicing apples, there's an easier way to do that. These ten kitchen gadgets will save you lots of time so you can spend it on better things and hopefully make your life a lot easier as well. 

1. Quirky Pluck Egg White Separator
Quirky Egg White Separator

Quirky Egg White Separator 2

From bodybuilders to soccer moms, egg whites are a great healthy breakfast choice. But separating the yolk from the whites can seem like pulling a rabbit from a hat. Enter Quirky’s Pluck, the yolk extractor you’ll have to see to believe.

Simply place it over the yolk of an already cracked egg, squeeze the silicone chamber, and release to suck the egg yolk up into it. To dispose of its contents, just give Pluck another squeeze and move onto the next egg.

Spaghetti Measure 1

With the Spaghetti Measure, Joseph Joseph have devised an innovative and simple solution to determining the correct amount of pasta to make.

Simply use the lever to open and close the adjustable aperture, allowing you to control the portion sizes for one to four servings.

3. Amco Dial-A-Slice Adjustable Apple Corer and Slicer ($16.21)
Apple Slicer

Unlike most apple slicers, this tool produces two sizes of uniformly sliced apples. With a downward push, it cores an apple and cuts it into thin slices for use in baking and cooking, or thicker wedges for eating out of hand. Cut apples into 16 thin slices or 8 thick wedges easily.

No drip honey dispenser

No Drip Honey Dispenser - a neat, easy way to avoid the sticky drips that come with standard pour-bottles.

peel fruits and vegetables easily

Eliminate the need for several different vegetable peelers with this compact design, which incorporates three essential styles of blades, all in one unit.

Simply select the desired blade - standard, serrated or julienne - by rotating the unit’s brushed metal hub, until the desired blade is fully exposed.

The Rotary Peeler makes short work of even the toughest fruit or vegetable skin and the design also includes a potato-eye remover.

- Standard blade perfect for potatoes and carrots.
- Soft skin blade can be used on tomatoes and kiwi.
- Julienne blade can be used on any fruit or vegetable for thin matchstick strips.

Boiled egg timer

This remarkable little timer uses temperature instead of time to perfectly gauge whether a boiled egg is soft, medium or hard. It absorbs heat exactly as an egg does, changing color from the outside edge in to show the level of done-ness.

Rest this ingenious plastic egg on the pan bottom and it will change color as the boiling eggs progress from raw to soft, medium or hard boiled.

7. Triple Pan ($48)
Triple pan

Triple Pan is an appropriate name for this practical pan which allows you to cook several things at once. The pan is divided into 3 parts, making it perfect for busy mornings and small kitchens.

In the middle, the shape is ideal for Tamagoyaki, the japanese rolled omelettes. Meat or fish on the left side, vegetable on the right side.

8. Mono-giro Apple Slicer ($55)
Apple slicer

The mono-giro Apple Slicer lets you slice an apple in spiral form around the core with its down-turned blade and very little effort.Place giro on the started apple, finish it later, and it will neither dry out or brown.

Boil Over Stopper Lid

The Boil-Over Spill Stopper Lid...no more messy water spills to clean up...no more watching a boiling pot.

Even when boiling pasta or potatoes, there’s no messy overflow to clean up with this curved, vented lid. Its saucer-like shape lets steam, foam and liquid escape, while containing water and retaining heat like a regular lid.

Whisky Chill Cubes

Enjoy a whiskey on the rocks without diluting your drink’s flavor and aroma.simply place a pre-chilled stainless-steel cube in your glass and your drink stays cold!

There you have it - 10 innovative gadgets to make your life in the kitchen a breeze. If you have any suggestions, we'd love to hear from you! 
19 MS Excel Shortcuts 1

If you work in an office, it's quite hard to run away from Microsoft Excel. Whether you're tracking costs in Finance, putting together a marketing plan or maintaining a list of sales contacts, chances are you'll be using Excel to do these tasks. So to help you go home on time, here are 19 of the most useful Excel shortcuts.
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