1. Faux fun helps you ignore problems; real fun helps you face them.
In high school, I had a group of talented friends who defined fun as playing fantasy games and smoking pot. The more stress they felt at school, the more they pursued "fun" that helped them ignore their anxiety and its underlying causes. Another group of friends tackled school stress by scheduling study sessions during which everyone would work in silence for periods of half an hour, with breaks in between spent talking and joking. The companionship of these friends may not sound very hip, but I found it more fun than the thinly veiled distress of my pothead buddies.
Humans are strange beings, but at the same time, we're all taunted by the universal question, "Am I Normal?"<br /><br /> From Harpo Studios comes <i>Are You Normal, America?</i> - the new game show that will help viewers figure out how normal (or not) they are! Have you ever peeked at your boyfriend's emails? Or done your household chores naked? Do you and your spouse sleep in separate bedrooms? In addition to ourselves, we also wonder about the people around us: boyfriends, girlfriends, co-workers and neighbors.<br /><br /> This lively game show will answer our most burning questions by using a highly scientific and deeply revealing poll, in addition to a "jury" of real Americans, man-on-the-street polling, real life situations shot in the field and in-studio demonstrations. Each episode will feature contestants who will win big money in their quest to learn if they're normal or not. Along the way, audiences will be entertained, enlightened and ultimately comforted by the fact that we're all pretty abnormal...but that's what makes life fun!
It's never too late to help after a natural disaster like Superstorm Sandy. Every donation helps, no matter how small your contribution is. The people who suffer the consequences of these disasters need our help long after the news cameras leave the devastated areas. We've compiled a list of 13 ways you can contribute to the Sandy relief effort right now. <br><br> Click on the names of the organizations below to go directly to their websites. <br><br> <b><a href="http://www.redcross.org/hurricane-sandy" target="_b"> 1. American Red Cross</a></b> <br> The Red Cross continues to focus on reaching as many people as possible who need their help. Getting supplies, meals and water into affected areas is the top priority. Financial donations make the greatest and most immediate impact, helping the Red Cross provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by disasters like Hurricane Sandy. <br><br> <b><a href="http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/hurricane-sandy-relief-fund/" target="_b">2. Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund</a></b> <br> Hurricane Sandy has caused massive destruction and dislocation along the East Coast of the United States and extensive flooding in the Caribbean. This fund supports relief efforts by organizations working in multiple locations, including the River Fund in New York, International Medical Corps in Haiti, and Save the Children across impacted areas, to provide emergency assistance to those in need. Specific project distributions will be communicated as allocations are made. <br><br> <b><a href="http://www.riverfund-ny.org/" target="_b">3. The River Fund New York</a></b> <br> For 18 of their 21 years, the River Fund New York has been operating the only mobile pantry program in New York City, taking care of extremely needy families in New York's most desperate communities. As a result of this depth of experience and well-practiced teams, they have been, in many instances, the first food providers to get into the areas hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy. Their mobile pantry operations get in and set up in minutes and begin serving substantial quantities of ready-to-eat foods. <br><br> <b><a href="http://www.kidsdonations.org/home.php" target="_b">4. KIDS Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Fund</a></b> <br> Since 1985, Kids in Distressed Situations (KIDS) has responded to natural disasters quickly and effectively. Their response to Hurricane Sandy is well underway, and they need your help to ensure that families living in New York, New Jersey and West Virginia receive warm winter clothing, coats, shoes, undergarments, blankets and baby products to endure the harsh winter weather. <br><br> <b><a href="http://fuelrelieffund.org/" target="_b">5. Fuel Relief Fund</a></b> <br> Fuel Relief Fund is a nonprofit charitable organization that provides free fuel immediately after a major disaster. They are currently deploying to the New Jersey coastline to provide free fuel for those in need. Primarily, the gas and diesel fuel will be given to individuals and other nonprofit agencies for use in generators and vehicles. One hundred percent of funds raised for the relief effort is used to purchase fuel. <br><br> <b><a href="http://www.worldconcern.org/" target="_b">6. Help Hurricane Sandy Survivors Rebuild</a></b> <br> World Concern is responding directly to aid families affected by Hurricane Sandy in Haiti, where more than 50 people lost their lives and 18,000 families are left homeless by this historic storm. In the United States, they're responding through partner organizations and local churches to reach needy families with emergency assistance. <br><br> <b><a href="http://www.mercycorps.org/" target="_b">7. Relief and Recovery for Haiti Disaster Survivors</a></b> <br> Mercy Corps continues to assist the survivors of disasters in Haiti, including working through their existing microinsurance organization to ensure thousands get the funds they desperately need to rebuild after Superstorm Sandy. M
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