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Content for Monday, October 18

One in Five Americans Started Holiday Shopping Last Month

According to a new study, 59 percent of Americans would rather take a vacation this holiday season than have a traditional family get-together. 73 percent of those expecting to travel for the holidays say they’ll start making arrangements this month. Nearly three-quarters of those planning to travel for the holidays this year plan to spend more on these trips this year than ever before. 54 percent of all respondents plan to spend more on experiences (like traveling or attending and hosting parties) over physical gifts. In fact, the top gift Americans plan to give this year is a memorable experience, like tickets to a concert or sporting event. In addition to memorable experiences, Americans are planning to shop for electronics (29%), clothing (25%), and a vacation (26%) for their loved ones. The top gift Americans hope to receive this year is a vacation. How much do Americans plan on spending? For significant others this year, the average respondent is planning to drop nearly $400 and just over $300 for each immediate family member. One in five started their shopping in September this year. 54% of Americans say they experience anxiety over holiday shopping. Another 52 percent agree they feel pressure to overspend and seven in 10 Americans end up going over budget. When it comes to the biggest holiday stressors, staying on budget is the top concern this year (41%) – incurring long-term debt (31%), shipping costs (28%), and late charges or hidden fees (26%) following closely behind.

Dad Makes Daughter Shave Her Head after She Bullies a Girl with Cancer

A father took to Reddit to explain why he forced his daughter to go bald as a form of punishment. The dad said his daughter was in trouble “for making fun of a student that lost her hair from cancer treatment. Including pulling off her wig. She showed no remorse. She tried to excuse her behavior by saying the girl in question deserved it.” There’s more to the story: Apparently, the two girls got into a fight over some high school gossip, and the girl allegedly called his daughter a slut. Regardless, the father still thought her behavior was unacceptable, so he gave his daughter an ultimatum. Option 1: have all of her electronics thrown away — not taken away — but thrown away. Plus he would never buy her another electronic again. Option 2: shave her head, bald. His daughter agreed to shave her head. Some Reddit users thought that the punishment was too harsh: "Your daughter is a bully because you are a bully.” "I seriously doubt this is the first time you used abuse and humiliation to 'teach her a lesson.” "There’s a term for what you did. It’s called child abuse.” “Disrespecting her right to bodily autonomy and humiliating her is not an appropriate punishment. She’s unlikely to learn from it and if anything it risks perpetuating a cycle of bullying."

What is Kids' Favorite Trick-or-Treat Candy?

According to the results of a new study of children ages 8 to 14, the most popular item for kids to snag on Halloween night is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. M&Ms candy landed in second place and the Milky Way bar was in third. Besides gummy bears, kids’ consensus picks for top 10 Halloween candies are all predominantly chocolate. The most popular sour candy is Sour Punch Twists (64.8%), with the fruit-flavored favorites of Starbursts (63.7%) and Skittles (62.2%) following closely behind. The top ranked hard candy was Jolly Ranchers. The most popular “candy alternative” is fruit snacks. Black licorice landed in the bottom spot of the candy list.

Tips That Could 'Save Your Life'

An AskReddit thread asked people to share the facts that could save probably save your life. 1. "If your car's accelerator pedal gets stuck or something else is causing unintended acceleration, put it in neutral." 2. "Whether you’re being attacked or taken, always remember to scratch the bejeezus out of the person. This way you’ll have their DNA under your nails." 3. "SLEEP WITH THE DOOR CLOSED. If a fire happens while you're sleeping, having the door closed can leave your room almost completely untouched.” 4. "A wagging tail does NOT always mean that the dog is friendly." 5. "Flammable and inflammable mean the same thing!!!!" 6. "If you get lost in the woods, stay where you are! The chances of finding the way out on your own are pretty slim and you’re just creating a larger search area." 7. "Most drunk driving deaths occur on Saturday night between midnight to 3 a.m. Avoid the roads during these times if you can help it." 8. "If you're near the ocean and the water suddenly disappears/recedes unexpectedly, get out of there and get to high ground because it's likely a tsunami." 9. "Former 911 operator here. DON'T FEEL BAD ABOUT CALLING 911! (Unless it's very stupid like McDonald's screwed up your order.) If it's not an emergency, they'll tell you to call non-emergency. An emergency is not just a violent crime; it's a crime or potential crime in progress or an issue affecting safety.” 10. "Purple flags at the beach mean dangerous sea life in the area. Most people understand the other flags, but purple can be confusing." 11. "If you’re on or close to train rails, trains move faster than they appear to." 12. And, finally, you can give yourself the Heimlich Maneuver.

Boy Wins USA Mullet Contest

The winner for the best kid mullet in America is an Arkansas middle schooler who has been growing his hair since the start of quarantine. Allan Baltz won first place in the kid's division of a nationwide battle for the best mullet. Allan's mother said he got interested in competing when he heard the winner would get $2,500. He had the idea that he would donate the prize money to kids in foster care. Allan and his sister were both in the foster care system until they were adopted. He donated his prize money to two Arkansas foster care organizations. People have donated an additional $3,000 in honor of Allan and his mullet.

Kourtney Kardashian & Travis Barker Are Engaged

Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker are engaged. The Blink-182 drummer proposed at a beachside hotel in Montecito -- where he pulled out all the stops before presenting her with an engagement ring and asking her to be his wife. She said yes. The pair just started dated at the beginning of 2021 after being close friends for years. Kourtney was with Scott Disick for years -- and had several children by him -- but were never married.

Pumpkin Shortage Hits the US Ahead of Halloween

The U.S. could be facing a pumpkin shortage thanks to weather conditions, shipping issues, and a fungus that’s spreading in some areas. Pumpkin prices also appear to be on the rise compared to last year. According to the USDA, Illinois harvests the most pumpkins in the U.S., but their crop may not be as big as it has been in the past because of a fungus. California pumpkin growers are seeing their crop struggle because of the drought. According to the National Retail Federation, 44% of Americans are planning to carve a pumpkin as part of their Halloween celebrations. Americans are also expected to spend $3.2 billion on decorations for the holiday.

Eating Pumpkin May Help You Look Younger And Lose Weight

Experts say eating pumpkin is good for your health. They say pumpkin helps with weight loss because it’s largely made up of water, so it is low in calories while still containing many nutrients. Pumpkins are loaded with antioxidants, including beta carotene which can provide anti-inflammatory benefits and prevent aging in the skin. The experts also say pumpkins are a high source of vitamin C, which is a nutrient that has long been associated with boosting immunity.

'Testicle Bath' Birth Control Device Is An Award Winner

An inventor in Germany created a unique ultrasound "testicle bath" birth control device for men. The device uses an ultrasound "testicle bath" to temporary stop sperm mobility. The device only needs to be used every few months to keep the sperm inert, and prevent eggs from being fertilized during sex. The inventor said the inspiration for the device came after she was diagnosed with precursor cervical cancer, which has been tied to oral contraceptive pills. The invention took the top prize at the country's James Dyson Awards.

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