Friday, April 17, 2009


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Money Can Make People Happy

Psychologists have discovered that people who spend their money on the right things such as going to the theatre, dining out or going on vacation, are more likely to be happier with their life than those who spend their money on material things.

The study, conducted by the researchers at San Francisco State University, has found that experiential purchases result in increased happiness and well-being because they satisfy a person's need for social connectedness and vitality - a sense of feeling more alive.

A lead researcher of the study, Professor Ryan Howell, a psychologist at San Francisco State University, involved 154 people with the ages between 19 and 50, many of whom were in full-time work, and asked them to write about either a materialistic object or life experience they had bought within the last three months. The participants were also asked to describe their feelings and environmental cues connected with the purchase.

When the experts assessed the participants' levels of happiness and satisfaction, they found that those who had spent their money on food, theater tickets or various trips, were feeling much happier than those who had purchased items like clothes or electronics.

In addition, most of the participants said that experiential purchases were more likely to be considered as money well-spent, to make them happy, and to make happy people around them. Surprisingly, as it turned out, experiences led to more happiness in others than materialistic purchases did. A sense of connectivity to others -- getting closer to friends and family - could be one of the reasons why experiences generate more happiness.

"When people spend money on life experiences, whether they also take someone with them or buy an extra ticket or whatever, most of our life experiences involve other individuals," Howell said. People were fulfilling their need for social bonding while having these experiences, he added.

The findings also revealed that purchasing experiences produced happier people despite of the amount spent or the income of the individual, and led to a longer-term satisfaction. "Purchased experiences provide memory capital," Howell noted. "We don't tend to get bored with happy memories like we do with a material object."

The scientist said that despite of the findings of the current research, many people are still sure that money can make them happy. He speculates that maybe the belief is still there because money brings happiness some of the time, "at least" when being spent on life experiences.

Most psychologists who study the phenomenon say that the initial joy of obtaining a new object, such as a new car, or a new computer, fades over the time as people become used to seeing it on a regular basis. According to Howell, people adapt to a new purchase in six to eight weeks, up to a maximum of three months. And as to life experiences, on the contrary, they still continue to provide happiness through memories long after the event has occurred.

The study was presented this week at an annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and will be published later this year in the Journal of Positive Psychology.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Clip from DLChronicles - Guys on the Down Low

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

5 Things You Didn't Know: Iron Man 2

The sequel to Iron Man was announced before the studio could even finish counting the over $300 million in domestic box office earnings. Now the challenge is making the new franchise a sustainable one that doesn’t burn out by the third film (think Spider-man or X-Men). Iron Man 2’s producers had to act fast since their leading man is over 40, so the release date was set for May 7, 2010. So, while director Jon Favreau and star Robert Downey Jr. are hard at work on one of the most anticipated sequels in years, we’re hard at work bringing you five things you didn’t know about Iron Man 2.

1- Don Cheadle is the new Terrence Howard
Due to salary disputes, the character of Jim Rhodes (Tony Stark’s best friend and ally) will no longer be played by Terrence Howard. He’s been replaced by fellow Academy Award nominee Don Cheadle. Apparently when the first film was being made, Howard was the first actor to sign on to the project, and he was rewarded with the cast’s highest up-front salary. He balked when the producers asked him to take a pay cut for the sequel, so Cheadle replaced him. The character of Jim Rhodes will prove to be a crucial one in the coming films, as he eventually dons his own "supersuit" to become War Machine.

2- Over 600 issues of the Iron Man comic went into Iron Man 2
Justin Theroux is one of the screenwriters of Tropic Thunder -- a film that garnered Downey Jr. an Academy Award nomination this year -- and he will be scripting Iron Man 2 along with a team of co-writers. To prepare for the task of writing the sequel, Theroux apparently immersed himself in all of the Iron Man comic books -- four decades’ worth of them

3- Tony Stark will be hitting the bottle
Fans of the comic know that Tony Stark was the first alcoholic superhero, long before Hancock graced our screens. The filmmakers touched on Tony’s fondness for drink in the first film, but it will definitely be explored more fully in the second one. Favreau has said that he doesn’t want the film to be like Leaving Las Vegas, but with recovering addict Robert Downey Jr. playing the part, we’re sure he’ll give this topic its appropriate due in Iron Man 2.

4- Robert Downey Jr. is the oldest superhero
In April, Downey will be turning 44, which is a year older than Nicolas Cage was when he played Ghost Rider. At a time when baby-faced actors like Tobey Maguire (Spider-man), Brandon Routh (Superman) and Eric Bana (Hulk) are playing the titular superheroes, having an actor as old as Downey represents a few risks. With those young actors, the studios can afford to wait a few years between each installment without fear that the actor playing the lead may not be able to do the stunt work involved.

5- Nick Fury’s existence is in limbo
Given the rough economic climate, Marvel Studios is trying to cut costs wherever it can (see: Terrence Howard). However, since Iron Man 2 is a film that will cost hundreds of millions of dollars, you can understand why actors might not be willing to see it as a labor of love. Samuel L. Jackson is rumored to be in negotiations with the studio about reprising his cameo role from the first film as Nick Fury, the head of S.H.I.E.L.D., an organization that plays a large part in the mega-film The Avengers. A final fact you probably didn't know about Iron Man 2 is that it’s unclear whether Jackson will come back, and if he doesn’t, whether they’ll find a new Nick Fury or just scrap the character altogether.