News flash: Being near the beach is good for you (says science!). But, according to a report, some beach towns might actually be better for your health than others. Gallup-Sharecare polled more than 337,000 people across the country on their life satisfaction—from physical well-being to the amount of time they spend worrying—and it seems saltwater therapy might actually pay off (plus a margarita every now and then—that helps, too!). Of the top 25 cities with the highest well-being, 10 of them are on the coast. See which beach towns made the cut:
10. Crestview – Fort Walton Beach Destin, Florida
This slice of paradise on the Florida panhandle might have come in at 25 in the overall rankings, but in measures of financial stability and social wellness (meaning there’s lots of love in your life…aww) the area performed exceptionally well.
9. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida
Cruising along down the Gulf coast, this quiet and blissful community is rife with sugar-white sand beaches, unspoiled wildlife refuges, and people who report being totally satisfied with basically every aspect of their life.
8. San Diego-Carlsbad, California
Warm beaches, palm trees, fish tacos—what’s not to love if you live in this hip SoCal community? The region rounded out the top 20 in the overall well-being rankings, scoring the highest in measures of physical well-being.
7. Urban Honolulu, Hawaii
The idea of living on an island itself brings happy thoughts to mind, so it’s no wonder the capital city of our tropical island state made the list. Hawaiians scored exceptionally well in self-reported feelings of life purpose—“liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals.” On the other hand, residents surprisingly reported lower levels of social satisfaction; so, who’s up for moving to Oahu and making friends?
6. Portland South Portland, Maine
Maine’s trendiest city is known for its funky vibes and serious craft brew scene, which we can only imagine contributes to the high sociability reported by its residents. In addition to having high levels of social well-being, Portlanders reported having a great sense of pride in their community.
5. Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, California
There isn’t much not to love about this jewel of a city on California’s central coast. The charming downtown, the mesmerizing landscape, and the laid-back culture undoubtedly all contribute to residents’ well-being. The community ranked highest in measures of physical well-being, which translates to having generally good health and enough energy to get things done daily.
4. North Port – Sarasta-Bradenton, Florida
In case you’re not yet convinced that the Florida Gulf coast is basically Disneyland for happy grown-ups, here’s another Sunshine State community with exceptionally high levels of health and well-being. The area south of Tampa is the first beach region to crack into the top 10, landing at #7 in overall rankings of well-being, and #3 in measures specifically focused on financial well-being.
3. Santa Cruz-Watsonwille, California
This laid-back West Coast town has gorgeous year-round weather, dramatic beauty, and a surf-centric lifestyle, so it doesn’t come as a huge surprise that the community ranked especially high in physical well-being. (Who wouldn’t want to be outdoors all the time?) Santa Cruz residents also reported especially high levels of life purpose and a deep sense of community.
2. Barnstable Town, Massachusetts
New England charm, a storied history, an All-American summer baseball league, and some of the prettiest beaches around are all draws for the hordes of tourists that flock to this Cape Cod city each summer. If life seems fabulous here, that’s because it is: Residents reported higher levels of community pride than any other place in the country, and measures of social and financial well-being are also top-notch.
1. Naples – Immokaee – Marco Island, Florida
There’s a reason this adorable Gulf coast community consistently ranks high in measures of pretty much everything. According to the survey, residents here have the lowest levels of worry, depression, and stress, and the highest of life enjoyment. Naples locals also rank highest for making time for regular vacations or trips with family and friends. Sounds like a dream!
A Honolulu beach named for Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, the Olympic gold medal swimmer known as the “father of modern surfing,” has claimed the top spot in the list of annual “Top 10 Beaches 2014” released today by Stephen Leatherman, a.k.a. ” Dr. Beach”.
Hawaii and Florida beaches dominated the top 10. Surprisingly, no California beaches made the list.
“The east end of Waikiki Beach is where all the big hotels are and that’s where most people go, but Duke Kahanamoku Beach is pretty far away, on Waikiki’s west end, near the Hilton Hawaiian Village,” said Leatherman, director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University in Miami.
“It’s got the widest stretch of beach in Waikiki and is protected by an offshore coral reef, which makes it a good beach for families with children,” he said.
For those who want to avoid ocean waves entirely, the nearby lagoon is also a popular spot for swimming.
“It is also a great location to watch the Friday night fireworks,” added Les Enderton, executive director of the Oahu Visitors Bureau.
Kahanamoku Beach had the number two spot on Leatherman’s list last year and has been on the top 10 list often. What may have helped it snag the number one slot this year is that in January, Oahu made all beaches on the island non-smoking.
“Cigarette butts in the sand are disgusting,” said Leatherman. “Some people think beaches are a giant ashtray, and I don’t like that idea at all. When I go the beach, I go for nature. I don’t want to have to put my hand down on a cigarette butt someone else was smoking.”
Leatherman has been making his annual Top 10 Beaches list since 1991 and uses 50 criteria, with rankings from 1 to 5, in his evaluation process of swimable beaches. Factors he takes into consideration include beach width at low tide, sand softness and color, wildlife, pests (such as ticks and mosquitos), available amenities and public safety.
Once a beach reaches the top of the list, it is retired to make room for others.
Starting next year, Leatherman plans to put extra emphasis on environmental management and beach safety and award bonus points for beaches that, like those in Oahu, are officially smoke-free.
“It’s not all just beauty,” said Leatherman. “People want clean water and clean sand. But they also want safety, parking and nearby amenities.”
Number two on Dr. Beach’s list this year is Barefoot Beach in Bonita Springs, Florida., which moved up, after re-evaluation, from its number six slot in 2013.
Located in a 342-acre county park, the beach is 8,200-feet-long and has small waves, shallow water “and if you like seashells, there are millions of them,” said Leatherman.
Rounding out the top five are St. George Island State Park in Florida, Waimanalo Bay Beach Park in Oahu, and Hamoa Beach in Maui.
Dr. Beach’s Top 10 Beaches 2014
1. Duke Kahanamoku Beach Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii
2. Barefoot Beach Bonita Springs, Florida
3. St. George Island State Park Florida panhandle
4. Waimanalo Bay Beach Park Oahu, Hawaii
5. Hamoa Beach Maui, Hawaii
6. Cape Hatteras Outer Banks of North Carolina
7. Cape Florida State Park Key Biscayne, Florida
8. Coast Guard Beach Cape Cod, Massachusetts
9. Beachwalker Park Kiawah Island, South Carolina
10. Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park Naples, Florida
The 2014 Academy Awards have come and gone, with 24 statues passed out onstage in Los Angeles Sunday night (March 2). Now, some will say that those lucky folks who rode home in their limos clutching a little golden man at the end of the night won, but we all know the truth: trophies don’t winners make. In a night of dresses, dancing and Adele Dazim (?!), it’s what the audience thinks that really makes up a triumphant victory or devastating loss.
Not that it didn’t deserve to win, but I bet half the Academy members who voted for 12 YEARS A SLAVE never saw it.
The only other suspense of the night was whether Pharrell Williams was going to wear his hat, which tells you all you need to know about this Oscarcast. Long, dull, and safe with some musical numbers tossed in to distinguish it from C-SPAN.
Welcome to my 18th annual bitchy-but-fair Academy Awards autopsy; helped out this year by the comedy writing team of Annie Levine & Jon Emerson.
There has been less Oscar buzz this year than any I can remember. Not surprising when a Reuters’ poll found that two-thirds of Americans have not seen ANY of the Best Picture nominees. Of course that will all change now as throngs race to theaters to see 12 YEARS A SLAVE.
More on the show in a moment, but first – the traditional nod to the KTLA Red Carpet oozefest hosted by Sam Rubin and Jessica Holmes who now weighs less than her microphone. Sam is the king of hyperbole. At one point he said, “Now I’m joined by the biggest star of all, Al Roker.” Oh well, at least he didn’t mistake him for Samuel L. Jackson.
Hey, I’m just glad he didn’t tell director, Steve McQueen that he loved him in THE GREAT ESCAPE.
Other favorite Sam moment – saying to Leonard Maltin: “Any surprises that you anticipate?”
Ellen was a big improvement over last year. Of course, after Seth MacFarlane, Sacheen Littlefeather could have done a better job hosting.
I thought her monologue was quite funny even if Liza Minnelli didn’t. Liza with a Z did not seem to enjoy being mistaken for a female impersonator. She once beat the shit out of her husband for less.
Ellen’s bits with the audience were less successful. Don’t expect magic when you take selfies and pass out pizzas. The Oscars are not the place to wing it.
Winner Jared Leto managed to acknowledge Ukrainians, AIDS victims, and his agents. As he walked to the stage I was hoping the announcer would say, “This is the fourth nomination and first Oscar win for Jesus Christ.”
Annie observed that Julia Roberts looked like she had left a napkin in the front of her dress.
Meanwhile, Pharrell Williams showed up in a tuxedo and shorts. Come on, dude. It’s the Oscars, not O.G. Mad Eye’s funeral.
Oscar drinking game: Take a swig every time someone says “journey” or “dream.” By the first J.C. Penney commercial you’ll be blitzed.
Highlight of the night was Darlene Love belting out her acceptance speech for 20 FEET FROM STARDOM. She got an impromptu standing ovation.
No standing O for Karen O however. As Jon said: “It was like open mic night at a coffee shop.” Especially when every other singer killed it.
John Travolta is now officially a moron. He had only two things to do. Dye his hair any color found in nature and pronounce Idina Menzel. He could do neither. How do you get Adele Dazim from Idina Menzel? And this idiot has a pilot’s license? Holy shit!
As expected, Idina Menzel lit up the room with “Let It Go.” Was there ever any doubt that would win Song of the Year? For one thing – people have heard of it. Only downside: expect it to be covered by every AMERICAN IDOL contestant for the next five years.
Chiwetel Ejjiofer, Barkhad Addi, and June Squibb lost, but I’m sure the Academy figures they’ll all be nominated many more times.
Since when does Bruce Jenner go by the name Goldie Hawn?
Women wore a lot of beaded metallics this year. Thank goodness the rain stopped. It’s hard to return gowns once they’ve rusted.
Between Anne Hathaway’s short hair and metallic breastplate, it’s like she came as Ivanhoe.
Lupita Nyong’o’s acceptance speech was lovely and heartfelt. But too long. And she didn’t sing it. Did anyone else notice her play off music was from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory?”
The three inevitabilities of life: death, taxes, and Jim Carrey won’t be funny.
I think Matthew McConaughey won as much for TRUE DETECTIVES as DALLAS BUYERS CLUB. My partner, David Isaacs, said it best: He put on a shirt and became an actor.
What was with those pointless “hero” montages? “Hero” in Hollywood is just a euphemism for “movie star.”
How to win the award for Best Editing — Cut your movie down to 90 minutes. That’s why GRAVITY won, Marty.
BAD GRAMPA and THE LONE RANGER were pretty much shut out. But so were AMERICAN HUSTLE and CAPTAIN PHILLIPS.
The set looked like the old Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas.
In a successful attempt to make the show gayer than the Tonys’, they saluted the 75th anniversary of WIZARD OF OZ complete with Liza Minnelli in attendance. It was also the 75th anniversary of GONE WITH THE WIND, but that would have looked like the Academy was taking the opposing view of 12 YEARS A SLAVE.
Pink did a nice job with “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Who knew she could sing without a trapeze? But that’s not the only song in WIZARD OF OZ. They could have featured “If I Only Had a Brain” and had John Travolta sing it.
Ellen came out dressed as Glinda the Good Witch. It was the first time anyone has ever seen her in a dress.
Where was Steven Spielberg to celebrate the achievements of his fellow artists? Oh right. He wasn’t nominated. Not there.
Bizarre moment of the night was Liza Minnelli hugging winner Lupita Nyong’o. Liza must’ve thought she was Diana Ross. Or her manicurist.
Jon said this about Tyler Perry: This is the first thing he’s presented that wasn’t Tyler Perry.
Anna Kendrick, Amy Adams, Kristen Bell, and Jennifer Lawrence were beyond stunning.
When Glenn Close started her preamble to the In Memoriam segment, she seemed so uncomfortable I thought she was introducing the writing categories.
I never understand why the audience applauds during the passing parade. It’s like when someone on Facebook posts that their mother just died and you click “like.”
How can the Academy say it’s too late to include Sarah Jones in the main body of tributes because she died two weeks ago and there was no time, yet Harold Ramis died a few days ago and he was included? Instead, they slipped her name in while going to break thus giving it the same reverence they give to promos for THE CHEW.
Bette Midler sang “Wind Beneath My Wings” but why? It was after the In Memoriam segment. This is supposed to be a solemn tribute not the 11:00 showstopper.
It still kills me that THE INVISIBLE WOMAN was nominated for Best Costume Design.
Harrison Ford is now too old to go on the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland.
Could Charlize Theron possibly look any more bored if she was at the Aetna Insurance Actuary of the Year Awards?
Goldie Hawn introduced 12 YEARS A SLAVE with a smile so big you’d think she was announcing the Powerball Lottery winner.
Spike Jonz won for Best Original Screenplay. If they writer who is suing him for plagiarism wins, does he get an Oscar too?
Oscar nominee Julie Delphy said the Academy was ” 90 percent white men over 70 who need money because they haven’t done anything in a long time.” Shockingly, she lost. The only person in America who picked her in his Oscar pool was John Travolta.
Kim Novak will always be identified with VERTIGO. First the movie, and now it’s what you get when you see all the face work she’s had done.
I was thrilled that Cate Blanchett won. But now that someone thanked Woody Allen again on an awards show, expect five more moral charges to surface.
As usual, the show ran way late. But hey, we needed to see a montage of cartoon characters, Bette Midler singing an oldie, nine Best Picture nominees (with seven being schmuck bait), Ellen taking pizza orders, Twitter updates, sketches of the new motion picture museum, meeting student filmmakers, going through Lupita Nyong’o purse, and the umpteenth salute to WIZARD OF OZ.
The post Oscar parties had to be more fun. I can just imagine John Travolta approaching one of the producers of 12 YEARS A SLAVE and saying: “So what is the movie about?”
IRVINE, Calif—The Armenian studies lecture series at the University of California, Irvine, continued on February 21 with “Armenia, Armenians, and the New World History,” a lecture by Steven Rapp, professor of history at Sam Houston State University. Rapp’s talk, the first under the newly-christened Vahe and Armine Meghrouni Lecture Series in Armenian Studies, was well-attended by more than 120 students, faculty and local community members.
Before Dr. Rapp’s lecture the audience was introduced to the new dean of the School of Humanities, Dr. Georges Van Den Abbeele. The dean announced the naming of the lecture series and expressed his gratitude for Vahe and Armine Meghrouni and their tremendous support of Armenian Studies and the School of Humanities.
Dr. Vahe Meghrouni spoke briefly on the importance of providing a place where students can learn the history of Armenia and its people. At the end of his remarks Meghrouni announced that he and his wife were giving another $100,000 to the Armenian Studies program.
The Meghrounis, long-time donors to Armenian Studies at UCI, generously donated $50,000 to start an endowment fund in support of Armenian culture, language and heritage in December 2011, and matched their initial gift with another $50,000 in 2012. The Meghrouni Lecture Series is a quarterly series of public lectures on Armenian history, literature and other relevant topics. They offer opportunities for the local Armenian community, and the general public, to learn more. This past year the series included lectures by Dr. Richard Hovannisian on “The Changing Landscape of Historic Western Armenia: Reflections on a Journey into the Past,” Talinn Grigor on “Dolling-up Yerevan Avant-garde Urbanism in Post-Soviet American Politics,” Houri Berberian on “Connected Revolutions: Armenians and the Russian, Ottoman and Iranian Revolutions of the Early Twentieth Century,” and “The Armenian Genocide in Literature, Perceptions of those who Lived through the Years of Calamity” with Rubina Peroomian.
The next lecture in the series will be “Reflections on Early Modern Global Armenian Print, 1512-1800” by Sebouh Aslanian, the Richard Hovannisian Endowed Chair in Modern Armenian History at UCLA, on Monday, April 1. On May 28, Giusto Traina, professor of Roman history at the Paris-Sorbonne University, will lecture on “Tigran the Great, King of Kings.” All lectures start at 6:30 p.m. in Humanities Gateway 1030. Complimentary parking passes can be picked up in Lot 7.
In addition to the lecture series, a course in Modern Armenian History is currently being taught by Dr. Richard Hovannisian, a Distinguished Visiting Lecturer, celebrated Armenian historian and professor emeritus of Armenian and Near Eastern History at UCLA. Undergraduate courses in Armenian history continue spring quarter with Ancient Armenian History.
Established in 2007, thanks to the vision of Sylvie and Garo Tertzakian, Armenian Studies at UC Irvine has continued to thrive. This past December, the Tertzakians hosted their annual fundraiser at and helped secure almost $18,000 in pledges from community members to support future course offerings.
The mission of the Armenian Studies program is to provide intellectual and social space for any student with an interest in these areas of history, but also to provide a cultural framework for students who may be interested in learning more about their own heritage or those of their neighbors.