9 Ugly Lessons About Sex From Big Data

TIME

Big Data: the friend you met at a bar after your usual two drinks, plus one. You leaned in, listening more intently than usual. “Digital footprint.” “Information Age.” You nodded and smiled, even though you didn’t understand. “Change the world.” “The future.” You were impressed—and even if you weren’t, you faked it well.

Come morning, you have only fuzzy recollections of Big Data, its tag lines and buzzwords. You also find it vaguely reprehensible.

If you’re still up for it, there’s another side of Big Data you haven’t seen—not the one that promised to use our digital world to our advantage to optimize, monetize, or systematize every last part our lives. It’s the big data that rears its ugly head and tells us what we don’t want to know. And that, as Christian Rudder demonstrates in his new book, Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking)

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This Puppy Is the Face of Budweiser’s Tear Jerker Anti-Drunk Driving Campaign

Excuse me while I sob into my pillows.

TIME

Budweiser, a leading expert in interspecies friendship, released a poignant PSA Friday with a resonating message: Don’t drink and drive — You will break your puppy’s heart.

Anheuser-Busch InBev used ad agency Momentum Worldwide to create the 60-second spot, which shows the evolving relationship between an adorable man and his adorable yellow lab, the same breed used in Budweiser’s successful Super Bowl ad campaign.

In a moment of worry, the man is shown leaving his house with friends and a few buds and not coming home. The dog whimpers. The audience holds its collective breath. While we fear for the worst, in the end it turns out that he just spent the night at his friend’s house to stay safe. The puppy might have peed on the floor (that’s our guess of what cut footage holds), but at least the best friends will be able to play for years…

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5 Signs Your Hormones Are Out of Whack

TIME

Raise your hand if, in the last few weeks, you’ve felt tired, bloated, or cranky. Sound familiar? Then you know the drill: Every month, your hormones—the body’s itty-bitty secret weapon—come out to play, wreaking havoc on your mood, skin, and mind. While levels generally stabilize after your period, various factors, like stress (yup, keep those hands raised) and anxiety can throw them off balance. So how can you tell if your symptoms require an office visit? Alyssa Dweck, MD, an OB-GYN at the Mount Kisco Medical Group in New York shares the five red flags that might merit a doctor’s note.

Fatigue

Exhaustion is one of the most, well, exhausting symptoms to a doc, since it has so many possible causes. “If you’re tired after a week of final exams or late nights at work, then you’re probably fine,” says Dr. Dweck. “But if you constantly feel worn out and…

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What’s it like to be a woman in competitive gaming? A female gamer explains.

ideas.ted.com

Non-gamers love to stereotype the world of competitive gaming. But what’s it really like? We asked a former competitive Super Smash Brothers Melee player to tell us her story.

Non-gamers, picture the biggest and most fun music festival you’ve ever attended. Imagine lots of noise and lots of energy. Now, imagine that at this fantastic festival — you’re in one of the most beloved bands. And the audience? It’s filled with people you know.

More often than not, that’s what competitive gaming feels like. It’s a world that allows your nerdier alter ego to come to life. It’s this:

Photo: David Zhou Photo: David Zhou

It’s a diverse bunch. Last year at Apex, 1500 people from 16 different countries traveled to New Jersey just to play.

I would know: For the last ten years I’ve been playing Super Smash Brothers Melee — and for three of those years I played competitively in national tournaments. For the uninitiated, Smash is…

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10 Super Simple Ways to Be a Better Writer

TIME

themuselogoThis post is in partnership with The Muse. The article below was originally published on The Muse.

By Alexandra Franzen

Do you enjoy writing? Does it come naturally to you? Do colleagues praise you for your crisp, articulate, Nobel Laureate-worthy email updates?

Congratulations! Because if you work in an office or run your own business, you’re likely to spend about a quarter of your workday doing one thing:

Writing.

Oh, and that’s just the portion of your day that you’ll spend writing emails.

That figure doesn’t account for reports, proposals, best practice guidelines, blog posts, Facebook updates, tweets, texts, chapters of your forthcoming memoirs, that TED Talk script you’ve been tinkering with for the last 18 months, and the occasional hand-written “thank you” note.

We live in an era where the written word is King.

And if you’re going to write 40,000+ words this year—at minimum!—you…

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1 Word That Immediately Kills Your Credibility

TIME


This post is in partnership with Inc., which offers useful advice, resources, and insights to entrepreneurs and business owners. The article below was originally published at Inc.com.

I have watched more salespeople and companies pitch their ideas over the years than I care to count. And during thousands of interviews with consumers about how they use different products and services and respond to marketing messages, I have honed the craft of ferreting out telltale signs of lies and omissions.

From that experience, I am going to let you in on a little secret about a word you should stop using immediately.

It is “actually.”

For the experienced listener, “actually” is a dead giveaway of an area that at the least needs to be further investigated, and may point at a deception.

Let me explain. When you use the word “actually” properly, you are comparing two thoughts and providing clarification.

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I Do Not Have A Boyfriend

Rose Water Magazine

A few days ago I was standing outside at the bus stop minding my own business when a man approached me.“Sorry to bother you, but I was walking by and noticed you are very beautiful. I was wondering if you happen to have a boyfriend,” he asked. “Yea, I do, actually. Sorry,” I replied as I boarded the bus that conveniently arrived just as I’d finished replying to my suitor.

I felt annoyed. I didn’t want to be bothered at the bus stop. I didn’t want to have to strategize how to handle myself in an awkward and intrusive social encounter. But I did have to, and I handled the situation poorly, at best.

In the Luna Luna article, “Stop Saying ‘I Have a Boyfriend’,” Alecia Eberhardt discusses the negative social implications of using this excuse when attempting to dismiss unwanted attention, whether the advances are intrusive or…

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