Posted: 22 Dec 2012 10:14 AM PST
1. Cake can make you angry… and not just because someone else took the last slice before you got yours. Spreads, fast food, deep-fried food, and processed/packaged foods, including soups, cake mixes, and frozen pizza, might also just shorten your fuse. The potentially ire-inducing ingredient all these foods have in common is trans fat, a type of fat formed by the process of hydrogenation or by frying food in polyunsaturated vegetable oils.
According to the results of a study conducted at the University of California San Diego and published in the medical journal "PLoS One" in March 2012, consumption of foods with trans fats is associated increased impatience, irritability, and aggression. UCSD researchers arrived at this conclusion after studying the dietary habits and moods of close to a thousand women and men.
Although it will take more research to turn these alarming findings into commonly known facts, as you may already know, trans fats are already strongly linked to numerous health problems, including high cholesterol, stroke, and heart disease. Fortunately, you can have your cake to eat it, too, i.e., you can buy tasty food that does not contain these unhealthy fats. To do this, check food labels for words like "partially hydrogenated oil" and "vegetable shortening." Total trans fat content should also be listed on the nutrition label.
2. Lima beans can give you cyanide poisoningThat is, if you eat them raw. Unfortunately, this weird food fact can't get you out of eating your lima beans, as they are rendered harmless – and highly nutritious – if they are cooked for ten minutes. However, potentially deadly cyanide also lurks in other raw foods, including cassava root (also called yucca) and bitter almonds. The seeds/pits of apples, cherries, apricots, plums, and peaches contain cyanide as well. Although the body can tolerate a small amount of cyanide, larger amounts can make you sick and even cause death; people have reportedly died of cyanide poisoning from consuming too many fruit pits.
Other foods that contain potentially deadly toxins when consumed raw include potatoes (if the skins are sprouting or the potato has turned green), kidney beans, and cashews. Note that "raw almonds" and "raw cashews" sold in stores are not entirely raw – they are treated with heat to remove traces of poison. Individuals who grow their own gardens should beware that rhubarb leaves, tomato leaves and vines, and the berries/fruit that grows on asparagus plants are all poisonous. The main takeaway here: cook your beans and 'taters, and don't chew on fruit pits or on random bits of your garden!
3. Starvation may slow the aging processDon't try this one at home. So-called “starvation diets” and severely calorie-restricted diets can cause reduced muscle mass, reduced bone density, and hormonal imbalances. If extreme, as in the form of fasting, such diets can cause electrolyte imbalances, hair loss, cardiac arrhythmia, and death. However, there is also evidence that calorie restriction, or CR, a diet that restricts caloric intake by approximately 30 percent but contains the same essential vitamins and minerals as a normal diet, may prolong life.
Proponents of CR cite various animal studies demonstrating that animals fed lifelong CR diets live significantly longer than those on non-CR diets. One group of scientists found that they were able to almost double the lifespan of rats and mice by feeding them a CR diet. Based on findings related to the effects of starvation on microorganisms like yeast, some researchers have theorized that calorie restriction prolongs the life of an organism by giving it improved resistance to oxidative stress – one of the primary causes of aging and related diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.
While there are no long-term studies showing that CR provides the same life-extending benefits for humans, some studies have demonstrated that humans on CR diets have reduced cardiovascular disease risk factors and improve memory. However, doctors warn that a CR diet can be dangerous for young people, the elderly, and women who are pregnant or trying to conceive.
4. Soda makes you stupiderIf you have to take a test or write a report today, you might want to think twice before you grab for that bag of Skittles or can of Mountain Dew. Mounting evidence, including a 2012 study conducted by researchers at UCLA and published in "The Journal of Physiology," links the consumption of added sugars with cognitive impairment.
The recent UCLA study found that rats that drank a fructose (sugar) solution instead of their regular water for six weeks were much slower at completing a maze than rats that drank water. Researchers theorized that fructose might upset the brain's insulin metabolism, which, rather ironically, deprives the brain of the sugar it requires to function properly.
Other research has linked human diets high in added sugar with reduced production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a chemical the brain needs to form new memories. BDNF levels are especially low in people with diabetes and other diseases related to glucose metabolism impairment.
Another recent study, led by Mayo Clinic researchers, concluded that older people who eat a high-sugar or high-carbohydrate diet are more prone to developing mild cognitive impairments, including problems with thinking, judgment, memory, and language.
Fortunately, there may be a way for you to balance out the negative neuro-effects of that sugary soda you just drank: eat something with healthy fats or protein. The UCLA rat study found that omega 3 fatty acid supplementation partially counteracted the rats' sugar-related brain deficits, while the Mayo Clinic study found that adults who ate more protein and fat relative to sugar/carbohydrates were less likely to experience cognitive impairment.
5. Half of all food is wastedPerhaps this one is more sad than it is "weird." It is, nevertheless, true. A report issued by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in 2008 stated that nearly half of all food produced worldwide is wasted. This waste occurs throughout the supply chain, from farms and warehouses, to restaurants and grocery stores, to households. A report released by the Natural Resources Defense Council in 2012 found that in America, where approximately 40 percent of all food is wasted, families actually throw away 25 percent of the food they buy.
Not only is this extremely sad, considering that nearly one billion people worldwide face malnourishment and starvation, but wasting food also wastes the fresh water, arable land, and other resources that go into making and transporting the food. The wasting of food also contributes to climate change due to the carbon dioxide emissions generated in order to produce the food, as well as those produced by all the uneaten food rotting in landfills.
While a lot of food is wasted before it ever gets to your plate or pantry, there is a very simple thing you can do to avoid contributing to food waste: avoid buying more food than you are likely eat before it goes bad or becomes stale. This includes resisting buying products in bulk or purchasing food items that you don't really like just because you can get a good deal on them. In other words, you have to realize that while buying a 12-box pack of Nilla Wafer cookies at Costco may seem like the normal thing to do because everybody else you see at the store is doing it, in the grand scheme of things, it’s actually pretty weird.
5 Weird and Astonishing Food Facts is a post from: Lifed
Posted: 22 Dec 2012 09:02 AM PST
10. Alan Rufus
Estimated Peak Wealth: $149 to $178 billion
Lived: 1040 to 1093
About: Also known as "Alan the Red," Rufus was the son of two British counts and second cousin of the first Norman King of England, William the Conqueror. Rufus is thought to have been instrumental in helping his Norman cousin William "the Bastard" Conqueror invade England during the Norman Conquest in 1066. Apparently, helping pull off the invasion of a country can really pay off – Rufus received 250,000 acres of land in return for his loyalty and participation in the conquest. Rufus' nearly 400-square-mile estate stretched throughout London, Yorkshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, and Northhamptonshire. With an income of £1,100 per year and an estimated net wealth of £81.33 billion upon his death in 1093, Alan Rufus is the richest Briton in English history.
9. Cornelius Vanderbilt
Estimated Peak Wealth: $170 to $185 billion
Lived: 1794 to 1877
About: One of the richest Americans to ever live, native New Yorker Cornelius Vanderbilt was an industrialist and philanthropist, making most of his money in his 70s when he began to build a railroad empire. After working as a successful steamboat entrepreneur for most of his life, Vanderbilt began to buy out railroad lines in the 1860s. Vanderbilt consolidated some of his major lines into the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad in 1870, forming one of the first American mega-corporations. The character Nat Taggart in Ayn Rand's 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged is thought to be based on Vanderbilt. Socialite and heiress Gloria Vanderbilt is Cornelius Vanderbilt's great-great granddaughter, and journalist and TV personality Anderson Cooper is his great-great-great grandson.
8. Henry Ford
Estimated Peak Wealth: $188 to $199 billion
Lived: 1863 to 1947
About: The developer of the assembly line and the first mass-produced automobile, Henry Ford is today a household name that is synonymous with American transportation. While Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, did not invent the automobile, he created the first car that was affordable for middle-class Americans, the "Model T." His mass-production style of assembly also revolutionized American industry. Talented industrialist though he was, there was a dark side to Henry Ford: cited as "an inspiration" by Adolph Hitler, Ford was a publisher of anti-Semitic texts, including the book The International Jew, the World's Foremost Problem. Ford recanted his views in 1927 after customers began boycotting Ford cars as result of Ford's anti-Semitic publications. Ford left most of his wealth to the Ford Foundation, and his family continues to control the company.
7. Muammar Gaddafi
Estimated Peak Wealth: $200 billion
Lived: 1942 to 2011
About: Gaddafi was the ruler of Libya whose dictatorial regime began in 1969 and ended with his capture and death in 2011. Despite starting life as the son of rural, illiterate nomads, Gaddafi managed to become one of the richest dictators of all-time. Known for his flamboyant outfits, bizarre public addresses, and myriad human rights abuses, Gaddafi is thought to have amassed his ill-begotten wealth through the exploitation Libya's rich natural resources, namely oil. Gaddafi is believed to have hidden or invested money in every major country in the world, keeping his money with family members, in bank accounts, and in real estate and investments. Gaddafi owned stake in London's Financial Times, Italian soccer club Juventus, and car company Fiat. He had luxury homes all over the world, including sprawling estates in London, Spain, and Englewood, New Jersey.
6. William the Conqueror
Estimated Peak Wealth: $210 to $230 billion
Lived: 1028 to 1087
About: You didn't think our Norman friend William the Conqueror, a.k.a. William I, a.k.a. William the Bastard, gave all of the spoils of war from invading England in 1066 to his cousin Alan Rufus, did you? Of course not! After conquering Britain, William (who, in case you were wondering, got his"Bastard" nickname from being the illegitimate son of the Duke of Normandy) set about to confiscate the estates of English nobles and their heirs. By the end of his reign, a small group of the King's inner circle had acquired about half of England's landed wealth. A shrewd conqueror if there ever was one, William also enacted various campaigns to maximize tax revenues from his subjects. Upon his death in 1087, he left his sons the equivalent of $210 to $230 billion (depending on the estimate) in assets, which included the whole of Normandy.
5. Mir Osman Ali Khan
Estimated Peak Wealth: $225 to $230 billion
Lived: 1886 to 1957
About: Osman Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VII was the last Nizam, or leader, of the South Asian state of Hyderabad. He ruled from 1911 until 1948, when Hyderabad became part of India. In 1937, Osman Ali was named by TIME Magazine as the richest man in the world, and is believed to have remained the richest individual in South Asia until he died in 1967. His vast coffers were said to contain $500 million worth of gold, silver, and jewels. This collection included a rare Jacob diamond, valued at approximately $95 million in 2008, which was used by the Nizam as a paperweight. The Nizam is also said to have owned a total of 50 Rolls-Royces. Osman Ali obtained most of his wealth through mining royalties – in the 19th century, Hyderabad was the only supplier of diamonds to the global market. Fun fact: Osman Ali sired at least 40 children, by seven wives and 42 concubines.
4. Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov
Estimated Peak Wealth: $290 to $300 billion
Lived: 1868 to 1918
About: Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov, a.k.a. Tsar Nicholas II, was the last Emperor of Russia, as well as the titular King of Poland and Grand Duke of Finland. Nicholas ruled the Russian empire from 1894 to 1917, a reign which saw the empire go from one of the world's major powers to the brink of total collapse. Following the February Revolution of 1917, Tsar Nicholas II and his family were abducted by Bolshevik revolutionists and were eventually murdered by firing squad. The monarch's peak net worth was equal to a staggering $290 to $300 billion in today's dollars. Canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church, Tsar Nicholas II was the richest saint in history.
3. Andrew Carnegie
Estimated Peak Wealth: $309 to $310 billion
Lived: 1835 to 1919
About: Carnegie, a Scottish-American industrialist, is responsible for leading the incredible proliferation of the steel industry in the United States in the late 19th century. Carnegie is also well-known for his philanthropy, giving most of his money to libraries, schools, and universities. Carnegie's is a "rags to riches" story: after emigrating from Scotland to the U.S. in 1848, Carnegie's first job was as a factory worker. He was promoted to bill logger, then to messenger boy, and later rose through the ranks at a telegraph company. Eventually, Andrew Carnegie built his own exceedingly successful steel company. Carnegie acquired the majority of his wealth after selling his Carnegie Steel Company to J.P. Morgan for an astounding $480 million in 1901. From this company, Morgan created U.S. Steel, which is still one of the major steel companies in existence today. Carnegie's name also continues to live on, with many universities, libraries, foundations, and landmarks bearing his name, including the world-famous Carnegie Hall concert venue in New York City.
2. John D. Rockefeller
Lived: 1839 to 1937
Estimated Peak Wealth: $336 to $340 billion
About: Like Cornelius Vanderbilt and Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, the man for whom Manhattan's famous Rockefeller Center was named, was another legendary American industrialist and philanthropist. Rockefeller's main business was oil; his Standard Oil Company, formed in 1870, dominated the petroleum industry at a time when gasoline and kerosene began to soar in importance. As a result, Rockefeller became the world's richest man. Rockefeller also became the first American billionaire – in 1916 dollars! While often criticized for his monopolistic business methods, with his vast wealth, Rockefeller was able to create charitable foundations which had major impacts in the fields of education, scientific research, and medicine. Notably, medical research funded by Rockefeller's foundations helped to eradicate diseases such as yellow fever and hookworm.
1. Mansa Musa
Estimated Peak Wealth: $400 billion
Lived: 1280 to 1337
About: Although there is a good chance that you have never heard of him, Mansa Musa, also sometimes referred to as Musa I of Mali, was an African king who by some modern estimates, was the richest human being in history. Musa was the Emperor of the Malian Empire, which, at the time, spanned approximately 500,000 square miles in western Africa. Historians say Musa's wealth came from his empire's production of more than half the world's gold and salt. A devout Muslim, when making his Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, in 1324, Musa's procession is said to have included 72,000 men, including 12,000 slaves, and 80 camels, carrying thousands of pounds of gold dust. While Musa was responsible for significant military, economic, and intellectual expansion, which established Mali as a global power and intellectual capital on the world scene, he is most known for his extravagant gold expenditures during his Hajj, which were so high that they caused economic inflation in the Mediterranean, and particularly Egypt, for many years to come.
Honorable Mentions:Bill Gates – Mr. Gates barely missed making the top 10, with a peak, inflation-adjusted net wealth of roughly $136 billion. In 1998, Gates amassed the largest nominal sum, ever, of $101 billion. Gates' net wealth in 2011 was estimated at $56 billion, and he donates the majority of his money to charity.
The Rothschild family – If there were an award for "Richest Family of All-Time," it would definitely go to the Rothschilds. The European banking dynasty's combined peak wealth during the mid-19th century is estimated to have been anywhere from $350 billion to $1 trillion in today's dollars.
King Solomon – According to the Bible, King Solomon was the richest man who ever lived, receiving 25 tons of gold per year, in addition to income from trade business and tributes. However, evidence of Solomon's wealth outside of the Biblical accounts is lacking.
Top 10: Richest People (of All-Time) is a post from: Lifed
Posted: 22 Dec 2012 07:17 AM PST
FOR HIM STOCKING STUFFERS
1. Camouflage Snuggie
Okay, ladies, so he's made fun of you for the last couple of years you owned a Snuggie. Now it's time for payback. The Camouflage Snuggie offers comfort that he'll have a hard time saying "no" to, especially when it takes on this more man-friendly design. Before you know it, he'll be curled up next to you on the couch in his very own sleeved blanket, and he'll never again be able to speak ill of your pretty-in-pink version. Who knows, maybe you’ll even convince him to watch White Christmas this year.
2. Revenge Toilet Paper
Part of what makes a man a man is his appreciation for a good practical joke. He especially loves the opportunity to try them out on his friends. You can give him that chance with the Revenge Toilet Paper roll. It looks just like the real deal, but the moment that his best buddy from college reaches over to pull off a few strips after doing his business, he'll be horrified to learn that it's a dummy roll he can't tear or rip. But do the poor guy a favor and at least leave him some good reading material.
3. Ruckpack Combat Energy Shots
Energy shots are a thing of beauty in the short term because they can provide that boost one needs to stay awake through a test or a late shift at work. But once they wear off, they really wear off. The Ruckpack Combat Energy Shots get the job done without the caffeine. Developed by former Marine Corps Officer Robert Dyer in conjunction with Special Ops Marines, the Ruckpack is engineered for peak performance nutrition. It promises "No shakes. No jolt. No crash. No nasty chemical aftertaste." And Shark Tank viewers, if it looks familiar, it's because you probably caught it there first.
4. Ring Thing Beer Bottle Opener Ring
The Ring Thing Beer Bottle Opener Ring offers a simpler way to get your drink on while appearing fashionable. Just slide this on the middle finger—available in sizes 8-15—and use it to peel the top off your favorite brew by hooking the bottle cap and lifting your wrist. Can't get much simpler than that!
5. The Original Butt Face Soap
While there is a small chance he may think you're actually calling him a butt-face by giving this gift, the reality is you're doing him a favor. The brown side of The Original Butt Face Soap is for butt. The white side is for face. Now, as The Offspring might say, he can "keep them separated." No more fretting if you forget which side you just used on your business. Plus, it'll get a good laugh on Christmas morning.
6. Craftsman Lighted Pliers
Have a handyman in your house who likes to work in the dark? If so, Craftsman has the perfect tools to get the job done with their line of Craftsman Lighted Pliers. Available in diagonal pliers, linesman pliers, long nose pliers, value packs and more, there is no job too hard and no hour too late for him to put his skills to use.
7. Assassin's Creed III
Yes, even men still love their games, especially when said games come with fighting, bloodshed and awesome graphics. This entry in the popular video game franchise follows the adventures of Connor, an assassin running amok in 1775, right smack in the middle of the American Revolution. But this story isn't anything you'll hear in history class. Many of the faces in your textbooks make an appearance here, but rather than statesmen, they are prepared to get their hands dirty and let you do what you do best. Killing is your business, and in Assassin's Creed 3, business is good.
8. NFL Pro Football Helmet Playoff Tracker
It's been a tougher-than-usual year for everyone's favorite sport, but none of the setbacks have tarnished the game itself, and on the road to the Super Bowl, which is basically Christmas Day for every football fan out there, it helps to have a way of tracking the journey. That's where the NFL Pro Football Helmet Playoff Tracker comes in. You get 1.5-inch tall helmets for all 32 NFL teams and two reversible cards—AFC and NFC—to fit them in to. Let the games begin.
9. The Walking Dead: Compendium One
You've seen the TV show, now go back to where it all began. With The Walking Dead: Compendium One, you can enjoy the first 48 issues of the comic book series in a stunning phone book-sized paperback. Word of warning, though, guys. This is a little heavy for the standard reading experience. You may want to place this thing in your lap while reading. It's a lot more comfortable that way.
10. Personalized Snap Caps from Orvis
Got a shooter in your life? You may consider these attractive 12- and 20-gauge Snap Caps from Orvis. He'll appreciate the fact you've taken an interest in his hobby, and by adding a personalized inscription, these will likely occupy a prestigious position in his man-cave. They're also functional, or as functional as a snap cap ban be anyway. While he may not get to shoot things, he can at least test the components of his firearms without wasting ammo.
11. Stainless Steel Business Card Holders
Got a business-minded fella to buy for? Chances are if he's a mover and shaker, he has business cards with his name on them. So why not give the gift of mobility with a Stainless Steel Business Card Holder. There are several options to choose from. You might consider the one featured in the link from Choosy Shopper, or do a little googling on your own. Some companies even allow personalization.
12. Tube Wringer
It's a scientific fact that if we let women decide when the toothpaste tube was done, about 10% of the usable paste would get thrown in the wastebasket. Men hold a special talent for toothpaste longevity, and it's not because we rarely brush, so don't even go there, ladies. No, it's because we understand the art of wringing, and now that got a little easier thanks to the Tube Wringer. Just clamp it on to the tube and squeeze your way to savings.
13. English Leather Soap-on-a-Rope
Bed and bath items aren't just great Christmas stocking stuffers for women. Men can get plenty of use out of them as well as seen here with the English Leather Soap-on-a-Rope, which ensures he'll never again drop it in the shower and get the edges all mushy. Plus, being an English Leather product, it provides that natural manly scent that probably drew you to him in the first place. Comes in a classy looking box, too.
14. Backyard Ballistics by William Gurstelle
As the rather lengthy subtitle states, Backyard Ballistics allows you to "Build Potato Cannons, Paper Match Rockets, Cincinnati Fire Kites, Tennis Ball Mortars, and More Dynamite Devices." And you thought gun control was a problem! Gurstelle has done a masterful job of tapping into the anarchist in us all with this little mini-tome. Just make sure to use responsibly.
15. Bacon Candy Canes
Bacon? Yum! Candy Canes? Ditto! Bacon Candy Canes? You've gotta be #@%$ing kidding me. This stocking stuffer will most likely appeal to the adventurous male, who likes his Christmas candy with a touch of fried pig strips. We're pretty confident that after you taste these, you'll never look at either the same way again.
16. Big Mouth Toys Toilet Mug
You'll have more to worry about than just the dog drinking out of the toilet when you stuff the Big Mouth Toys Toilet Mug in his stocking. This hilarious contraption takes his throne and shrinks it down into a sturdy mug capable of doling out the best part of waking up. He'll be a pretty big hit around the office, too.
17. Star Wars Han Solo Carbonite Chocolate
The Empire Strikes Back gave us the iconic image of rogue adventurer Han Solo frozen by Imperial Forces in a block of carbonite. He was later rescued by Princess Leia at the start of Return of the Jedi, but he won't be so lucky when you get your hands on this chocolatized version of everyone's favorite ice cube. Chow down in front of your favorite fanboy, and watch the Rebel Tears flow.
FOR HER STOCKING STUFFERS
18. Talking Tire Gauge
Do you know of a very special lady, who has difficulty with mechanical functions? Why not be safe and pick her up a talking tire gauge so there is no confusion in being able to tell whether tire inflation levels are optimum for driving performance? While tire gauges by nature are not the most difficult tools in the world to figure out, you all haven't met my Aunt Sylvia. That woman couldn't read a tire gauge to save her life. Now she doesn't have to.
19. Literary Coasters
Bring eight of the best literary works ever written to your tables and end tables with this set of Literary Coasters crafted from heavyweight cardboard stock and featuring Lolita, On the Road, The Hound of the Baskervilles, 1984, Catch-22, Brave New World, Pride and Prejudice, and Invisible Man in an attractive bound casing. Makes the perfect showcase of literary taste for the English teacher or read-o-holic in your life.
20. E.L.F. Little Black Beauty Book Palette
The Little Black Beauty Book Palette takes the "little black book" concept and uses it as an attractive and innovative container for the special lady in your life. The package offers more browns than she'll know what to do with as well as a few more distinctive colors, a mirror and a brush. Portable, exquisite and everything she needs to look amazing on the go.
21. Echo Elbow Patch Arm Warmer
The Echo Elbow Patch Arm Warmer injects a sizzling amount of style into a cozy set of outerwear that features warm colors and even warmer cashmere. Her arms are sure to stay warm all winter long, whether she's wearing long sleeves or not. For the woman who likes to layer her clothing for more control over inner and outer temperatures, these make for a great gift.
22. Gin Blossom Hand Creme
Love&Toast's Gin Blossom Hand Creme is for the environmentally conscious, organic beauty who wants to keep her hands soft and attractive even during the harsh winter months. Ideally suited in both size and budget as a Christmas stocking stuffer, this concoction features shea butter, olive fruits, sunflower oil, avocado and Macadamia nut for a zesty and citrusy natural blend.
23. Magic Mike on Blu-ray
The one thing she probably likes better than Channing Tatum without a shirt is Channing Tatum without a shirt in Blu-ray. Reap the benefits of her mood after she revisits this beefcake bonanza on Christmas Day. The deluxe combo pack comes with Blu-ray, DVD and digital versions of Magic Mike, so any time you want her to get a little hot under the collar, she'll have access to it. Or you could just do more crunches, but this is much easier.
24. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
Millions of women showed their dark sides this year when they made Fifty Shades of Grey a massive hit on Amazon and bookstores everywhere. While the book itself is really just another take on the James Spader-Maggie Gyllenhaal film Secretary, that doesn't seem to have slowed down sales. If your lady hasn't picked up her copy yet, now's the perfect time to sneak it in the stocking.
25. Chocomize Customized Chocolate Bar
Find me a woman, who doesn't like chocolate, and I'll—ah forget it, you can't. And the folks at Chocomize aren't making it any easier for her to overcome her addiction. With the company's customized chocolate bars, she can have trail mix, raisins, marshmallows—pretty much whatever she wants—added to her own delectable creation that fits in any stocking.
26. Dorothy Ruby Slipper Socks
She doesn't have to be somewhere over the rainbow to enjoy these Dorothy Ruby Slipper Socks for wear around the house. With sparkling ruby red thread, a non-skid bottom and accessibility for women with feet between Sizes 4 and 10, she'll really believe there is no place like home if it means getting to slip in to these at the end of a long day.
27. Coffee Bean Scented Pens
It's universally accepted that, man or woman, coffee keeps everyone properly medicated and functioning smoothly. No coffee, and things get ugly. But women tend to take greater pleasure in accessories like ink pens than we guys do, so that's why we're recommending you add these Coffee Bean Scented Pens to her stocking. That way when she goes back to work after the holidays, she'll already be in a good mood, ready to deal with co-workers and boss(es), before she ever makes it to the coffee pot.
28. Flavored Oils
Guys, if you're blessed enough to have a woman who loves to cook in your life, then think about fueling her obsession with flavored oils such as the ones from CrateandBarrel. Basil, roasted chili, garlic and oregano—give her the option to create, and you can rest easy knowing that even the simplest meals can come with a little extra punch.
29. The Hair-Tie Balls
Long hair is beautiful, lustrous and a pleasure to touch, but it can get in her way. If convenience and practicality are what you want to give her in a Christmas stocking stuffer, then think about going with hair tie balls such as these from Rin. Easy to carry and use at a moment's notice, she'll thank you as the fast pace of life kicks back in after the holidays.
30. prAna Yoga Strap
We're willing to bet that if she stays in great shape, yoga has something to do with it. If so why not give her one of these three yoga strap offerings from prAna to help her stay flexible and feeling her best? Available in blue, green and black, these yoga straps allow her to improve flexibility by holding stretches for longer periods of time, thus contributing to growth in strength and agility.
31. Flirty Aprons
The apron has always been an inexplicable source of loveliness, and now they just got ten times more fashionable from the folks at Flirty Aprons. Fashioned to appear as a dress while keeping the same comfort and functionality, these aprons currently come in more than 50 fashionable styles with the probability of more to come. In the spirit of the holiday, you may want to consider the Deck the Halls, Dear Santa or Mistletoe options.
32. Garnet Hill Easy Cashmere Sweater Cap
Garnet Hill offers the Easy Cashmere Sweater Cap in five lady-friendly colors—black, cobalt blue, medium gray heather, wheat heather and wild orchid. The one-size-fits all is helped out by the wide ribbed hem for extra stability while the pure cashmere material keeps the heat in and the cold out. She'll love it!
33. L'Occitane Hand Cream Bouquet
Is she a fan of hand cream? Is that a stupid question? The answers to both are a resounding yes. Good thing you've got options when it comes to this gift idea. The L'Occitane Hand Cream Bouquet packages five of the company's most beloved selections—rose petal, pivoine flora, shea butter, date bouquet and mango flower—with the new almond selection for a six-pack of 1-ounce samples that provide her with plenty of options.
34. iPhone Wallet Case
Lots of great options out there in the iPhone wallet department, so you may want to shop around or just pick up this selection from Whatever Works. As a husband who routinely finds himself in the position of license carrier for a beloved wife who hates to carry her purse into the theater or drinking establishments, I find this Christmas stocking stuffer a particularly appealing choice. Carries key, cards and phone, which, let's face it, she would have on her anyway.
FOR KIDS STOCKING STUFFERS
35. Multi-Action Rubber Band Shotgun
From Bandit Guns comes the Multi-Action Rubber Band Shotgun, which will have your boys terrifying their sisters almost as soon as they pull theirs out of the stocking. From designer Bob Coulston, the kit comes with 14 pieces of plywood which can be pieced together like a puzzle (instructions included) to produce a rubber band firing machine capable of doing single-shot, all-at-once or rapid-fire. Ammo is even included. Lots of fun. Just don't go around shooting each other in the face, kids.
36. Apple iPod 2GB Shuffle
Everyone knows that schools aren't too keen on letting children roam the halls with electronic devices. But still, for those big bus trips to quiz bowl or football away games or Beta Club conventions, Little Steve or Sally needs their music, and what better way to provide it than through the Apple iPod 2GB Shuffle, which has the capacity for hundreds and hundreds of songs—hours of listening—on one device that can fit in the palms of their hands? The eight different colors also make this a great unisex gift for teenagers.
37. MyM&M's NFL Custom Candies
Not gonna lie. This selection could easily have gone into the men's section, but we're including it here because of the sheer volume of teenage and pre-teen boys out there who are capable of naming every player on the roster of their favorite NFL team. Add to the fact that we've never met a child of any gender who didn't like M&M's, and that's why the MyM&M's NFL Custom Candies will make a great stocking stuffer for your child.
38. Table Topics – Teen Edition
Table Topics are great to have around for large gatherings that lend themselves to awkward situations, and it doesn't get much more awkward than junior high and high school. Kids love to talk, but without direction conversation can devolve into something exclusionary and, quite frankly, not that fun. These keep conversation interesting, funny, informative, and most important of all, inclusive. While you may find yourself buying this for the teacher in your life, kids are likely the ones to get the most benefit from them.
39. Little Adventures Superhero Costume Mask
When some of us were children, we loved pretending to be superheroes, but our parents were too lame to actually help us accessorize. This resulted in the world's worst imaginary Lone Ranger episodes, which we're sure if anyone was watching, caused confusion in that "How can they not tell Clark Kent is Superman" kind of way? Don't make the same mistake, parents. Encourage your child's love of adventure by stuffing his stocking with a superhero costume mask from Little Adventures. Don't let the imaginary villains know his secret identity!
40. Gummy Bear Lights
UncommonGoods delivers the perfect nightlight for any kids room in these Gummy Bear Lights. Currently available in yellow, green, red and orange, these operate on AA battery power. All you have to do is plug them in, squeeze, and voila, Little Suzie is sleeping in her own room tonight without having to be afraid of the monster hiding in her closet.
41. The Hunger Games Target Exclusive 3-Disc Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-ray
Don't be quick to dismiss kids and their tastes. The Hunger Games began as a young adult series of novels, and it turned out to be pretty awesome, if the first film is any indication. But don't take our word for it. Sit down and watch it with them. You may even want to check out the boatload of special features in Target's limited edition 3-disc set of the Blu-ray.
42. Wham-O Original SuperBall
Ah, life's simple pleasures. Back before Angry Birds and Draw Something and Words with Friends, there was Wham-O Original SuperBall. The good news? There still is. In fact, there are quite a few different selections to choose from: the Super-Duper, the Off-Road, the Bumpy and the original (in different colors of course). Your kids will dig them, same as you did.
43. Silly Putty
Some things are universal among different generations. To date, we've never seen a kid that didn't light up when you hand them the red football-shaped container. It's hard to imagine what kids did before Crayola came along. Aside from the crayons that provide them the chance to color zebras orange and yellow (because they can), they also make Silly Putty, the classic flesh-colored substance that you can mash and mold and pop at your leisure.
44. Supaboy Portable Game Console
The Supaboy Portable Game Console is a handheld reminder of what a great system the SNES was. Shaped like the classic system's controller, it'll play all your old games on the colorful 3.5-inch LCD display. It's even compatible to the Japanese Super Famicom, and will keep you playing for five hours on a rechargeable Li-Ion battery. Mini-USB adapter included.
45. Slinky Collectors Edition
To you it may be just a giant bedspring but to millions of kids across multiple generations, it is so much more. It's fun for a girl and a boy! Of course, it's even more fun when you've got a rather large staircase to walk it down. The Slinky Collectors Edition comes in the same classic box as the original.
46. The Pocket Guide to Magic by Bart King
Several activities out there to make your child instantly popular and well-liked. The Pocket Guide to Magic by Bart King is one of them. But don't buy it for Junior because of that. Buy it because it's fun, and you'll both have an incredible time learning the trade secrets behind 20 memorable classics, including the ol' saw-your-assistant-in-half routine.
47. On the Lookout Binoculars
Growing up in the Eighties, it was essential to have your own pair of binoculars. How else could you and your buddies be able to see if the British were coming when you played Revolutionary War? Binoculars had tons of practical uses, and really kids today are not all that different. That's why they need the On the Lookout Binoculars, which come in a bright rubber coating for extra protection. A 4 x 30mm magnification offers high quality imagery with the ability to adjust focus, and the eye cups fold up for any glasses-wearers' convenience.
48. Accoutrements Gumballs
Some folks just don't do things the "normal" way, and while that may not resonate with everyone, kids are generally up for anything. That's why you may want to consider Accoutrements Gumballs for their Christmas stockings. These come in a number of flavors that are, shall we say, different? Bacon gumballs. Cinema popcorn and cola. Cupcake gumballs. And in the spirit of the season, eggnog gumballs? (Don't worry, no alcohol included.)
49. Transformers Bot Shots Battle Game
The Transformers Bot Shots Battle Game is basically rock-paper-scissors on steroids with your child's favorite robots in disguise. How to play: find a friend who loves Transformers as much as you do, or at least force your little brother to buy in. Each of you should have a Transformers Bot Shot, which comes with a blaster, fist or sword. Ram them in to one another, and if yours converts to robot while your opponent's remains the same, you win. If both remain vehicles, it's a tie. Go again! If both alter, then you go to rock-paper-scissors (or blaster-fist-laser) mode. Sword beats Blaster, Blaster beats Fist, Fist beats Sword. That simple!
50. Rubik's Cube
There are two types of people in the world: those who can solve a Rubik’s Cube in hours and those who can do it in a few minutes. Oh yeah, and then there are those of us who can't solve one at all. So, three types, but you get the point! The classic strategy cube is still available and still challenging as ever. See if your kiddo can solve the puzzle this Christmas by slipping this one in the stocking.
51. The Trash Pack
Who would have thought trash could be so fun? Meet the Trash Pack, a series of lovable characters that have some not-so-lovable characteristics. Poo-Tato Chips, Grotty Coffee, Burpy Slurpy, Trashy Torch, Sickly Sweets and Rotty Pop. Names that may even transport Mom and Dad to another time. (Garbage Pail Kids, anyone?)
FOR EVERYONE STOCKING STUFFERS
52. Bear Claw! Back Scratcher
Oh no, not…The Claw! All right, guys, don't panic. Nothing Freddy Kreuger going on here. Instead we're talking about the Bear Claw! Back Scratcher, which—let's be honest—is something the whole family can enjoy. Man, woman, child—everyone enjoys a nice back-scratching, and with this tool around, you won't even need any help to get the job done right. Measures at 8 1/4 inches and extends all the way to 18. That's the spot!
53. Astronaut Ice Cream
So maybe you never make it to the moon and back, but that doesn't mean you are forbidden from enjoying at least some of the perks of being a spaceman. Take Astronaut Ice Cream for instance. Most everyone in the family will enjoy this little slice of the universe, which comes in three distinct flavors: Neapolitan, Mint Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Chocolate Chip. Yum. The texture of this freeze-dried ice cream is something like cotton candy, and each 0.7-ounce package can be stored for a total of three years.
54. Portable Chargers
We live in a wired society. Having a constant source of power is not only convenient, but also necessary for those of us who make travel a daily part of our work. Stocking stuffers like the ZAGGSparq solve the personal energy problem by giving access to super-fast on-the-go charging for smartphone and tablet devices. It uses a rechargeable lithium polymer backup battery to pull it off, and the LED indicators allow the owner to know where his charges stand at all times.
55. The Mighty Gift Card
Don't have time to pick out the perfect gift? No problem. Just pick out your loved one's favorite store, throw some money down on a gift card, and allow them to decide. The older we get and the less money that we have, the more we appreciate gift cards. Cash spends fast and more often than not goes to the electric bill—some Christmas!—but with gift cards, you have no choice. You have to buy something you will enjoy.
56. Little Flower Candy Co. Flavored Marshmallows
What's the only thing better than marshmallows? Flavored marshmallows! Little Flower Candy Company has you covered there with lines of vanilla, cinnamon, coffee and chocolate. All make great additions to any cup of hot cocoa or to chocolate and graham cracker combinations. We can taste it now—cinnamon and chocolate s'mores. Yum!
57. INNA Jam Plenty Spicy Jalapeno Jam
Don't let the word "jam" fool you. The Plenty Spicy Jalapeno Jam from INNA Jam doesn't belong on any peanut butter sandwich we've ever eaten. However, it does go great with cheese and crackers. If you have a guy or gal in your house that likes their food with a little bite, then you can't do any better than this. Serve up with cream cheese as an appetizer dip, or use it as glaze to the main course. Doesn't matter how you do it. Just keep the fire extinguishers in your house current, okay?
58. Liddabit Sweets Humbug Candy Bar
High probability that Ol' Ebenezer may not have been such a Scrooge if he had known about the Liddabit Sweets Humbug Candy Bar. The bar is fashioned from cocoa sable cookie, which features a pinch of sea salt, and is joined by mint chocolate ganache and peppermint candy for a treat that couldn't be any more Christmas if it tried. Most of you will have to track this one down online, but that only adds to the allure of the holidays.
59. 6 Legged Tees
Mosquitoes may not be a huge problem for you during the winter months, but before you know it, spring and summer will be here again, and you'll want to go outside. Inevitably for the fair-skinned in the family, this is a call to misery. Luckily, 6 Legged Tees has a shirt that can change the game and make going outside less of a hassle and more of the fun for which it is intended. Featuring an insect repellent that stays active through 70 washes, this one shirt can return the joy of camping to everyone—man, woman or child.
60. Santa's Beard Man Candle
Okay, normally the Man Candle would be a scent product strictly for the guys, but this Christmas offering from creator Hart Main emits an aroma the whole family can enjoy, especially during the holidays. The Santa's Beard Man Candle features a blend of sawdust—think Santa's shop—fresh snow, and freshly baked cookies. As soon as this stuffer is pulled from the stocking, your family is just one match away from enjoying the new official scent of Christmas.
61. PolitiCard 2012 Playing Cards
For the politically driven in your family, the PolitiCard 2012 Playing Cards featuring caricatures from illustrator Peter Green make a great souvenir stocking stuffer to commemorate what has been one of the most bitterly divided years in the American electorate bar-none. But forget all that rhetoric. Instead use these cards to play some of your favorite games while getting a chuckle or two from each cartoonish drawing. In this year's pack, the Who's Who of national politics are re-cast as characters from popular feature films. And best of all, it'll get that armchair politician in your life away from Facebook!
62. Mini Exotic Candy Bar Library
We've said it once, we'll say it again: candy makes for one of the best stocking stuffers around. But why do the same thing year after year when you can change it up a bit with this classy, elegant and exotic collection of unique candy bars? Black Pearl, Red Fire, Naga, Creole, Barcelona, Woolloomooloo, Oaxaca, Bapchi's Caramel Toffee, and Milk Chocolate Bacon, are among the selections which come in a monarchal slipcase that sits nicely on a bookshelf until the recipient is ready for consumption.
63. Swiss+Tech MMCSSS Micro-Max 19-in-1 Keychain Multitool
The Swiss+Tech MMCSSS Micro-Max 19-in-1 Keychain Multitool—if you think that's a mouthful to say, you should try to explore all of its functions. Featuring a wire crimper, a selection of screwdrivers, a bottle opener, pliers and more, this will make the life of the family handyman easier, and it will also serve any family member well in emergency situations.
64. Socrates Socks
These aren't just any socks we're talking about. Socrates Socks are protected by kevlar, which means that no matter how long you own them and no matter how much you wear, they'll never get an annoying hole in the toe. Strong elastic band also ensures no slippage, and the sock itself doesn't get weighted down by this extra durability. Perfect athletic support for your feet.
65. Logitech Cube
In January Logitech launched the Logitech Cube—not in time for the 2011 holidays, but 2012 is another story. What the Logitech Cube does is this: it allows you to navigate the screen with the same convenience of a mouse, but the moment you pick it up, it switches effortlessly to presentation mode and becomes a clicker. Improving the fluidity and efficiency of your business presentation has never been easier, and it fits into any stocking with ease.
66. IndieFlix Film Festival in a Box
Got any film lovers in your family? (Who doesn't?) If so, then maybe try Film Festival in a Box from IndieFlix. The "game" works simply enough. Just watch four short films. Play trivia. Choose best picture. And if you feel so inclined, share your votes online to expand your community of film geeks beyond the household. In the process you're supporting independent filmmakers, and that's gotta feel good. Available in a number of different genres. So pop up some popcorn and get busy.
67. The Storymatic Game
Maybe it's just the writer in me, but The Storymatic Game rocks. Seriously. Promising "six trillion stories in one little box," here's how it works: you draw two gold cards to establish a complex character. (Opera singing diner waitress, anyone?) Then, you draw one or two copper colored cards to set the events in motion. After that, it's up to you to tell the story right. Great for classroom settings, parties, or just your own personal writing time. Also available in a kids' version.
68. iHome Charge Your World Station
We've discussed personal chargers for on-the-go lifestyles, but what about when you're sitting at the house? Then, you're going to need the iHome Charge Your World Station, which has a place for the iPad, iPhone, iPod, Blackberry and eReader devices. Powers four devices simultaneously, which means that whether you're in the mood to work, read, game or watch videos, you'll always have the power to do it.
69. Used/First Generation eReader Devices
Nooks, Kindles, off-brands—there has never been a better time to crack open a good used or first generation eReader device. While more expensive counterparts such as the Nook Tablet HD or the Kindle Fire HD or the iPad Mini may be the coveted gifts this year, all you really need is a good old black-and-white device devoted entirely to books. Many are small enough to fit into a stocking and with the more advanced tablet readers now available, you can pick up cheaper models for less than $100 (with some on Amazon as low as $30). Shop around for the best deals.
70. ChordBuddy Guitar Learning System
Didn't think it would ever be possible to teach these uncoordinated fingers how to play guitar until seeing the ChordBuddy Guitar Learning System on Shark Tank. It's easy to believe how this idea became a viable business. Red, blue, yellow and green teach you the basic chords with ease, and before you know it you'll be playing "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy" just like John Rich, an official spokesperson/demonstrator for the brand. You're out of excuses, people. Get to strumming!
71. Bowling Zombies Wooden Novelty Game
Front Porch Classics realizes that zombies are America's new favorite horror monster, and they are giving the country—nay, the world—a gift in their Bowling Zombies Wooden Novelty Game. Just set up the "pins"—a diverse selection of brain-munchers—and crash a bomb right into them. And while you're at it, beware of the dreaded 7/10 split.
72. Equiso Android-to-TV Device
Equiso has married the flash drive stick with the streaming market in an Android friendly device that plugs in to the USB port on your television. From there, it opens a world of games, movies and applications that you can partake of from the privacy of your flat-screen. The Golden Age of entertainment and information continues!
73. Teroforma Whisky Stones
You've got to have stones to drink whiskey. And by that, we mean Teroforma Whisky Stones, which come in a set of nine and only need four hours in the freezer to get the job done right. Best thing about this is you can enjoy any chilled beverage without it ever watering down as with ice cubes. Scotch neat or on-the-rocks? It no longer matters with these soapstone originals.
74. A Christmas Story Ohh…FFFFUDGE!! Creamy Chocolate Fudge
McJak Candy Company wants you to take your love of A Christmas Story to the next level with this box of Ohh…FFFFUDGE!! Creamy Chocolate Fudge just in time for the all-day marathon. Your stocking will definitely be giving you a better deal than the one Ralphie got when the F, dash, dash, dash word left his lips.
75. Tops Malibu Magic Yule Logs
Ever think to yourself, "That open fire I'm roasting these chestnuts on sure could use a little color"? Well, that's where the Magic Yule Logs from Tops Malibu come in handy. Just toss one of these into a well-lit fire, and watch the blaze come to life with all the colors of the rainbow. Perfect for parties and private use, or just to make the season a little more bright.
Well, Lifed.com readers, those are our selections. What are yours? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section, and don’t forget to pass this along to any friends or family who are struggling with those last-minute gift ideas. And most of all, Happy Holidays, Everyone!
75 Unique (and Fun) Stocking Stuffers is a post from: Lifed