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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Memorial Service Held for First U.S. Ebola Victim

Memorial Service Held for First U.S. Ebola Victim


Memorial Service Held for First U.S. Ebola Victim

Posted: 18 Oct 2014 10:55 AM PDT

Family and friends of Thomas Eric Duncan, the first and so far only person to die of Ebola in the U.S., gathered Saturday for an emotional memorial service in North Carolina. Mourners celebrated the 42-year-old’s life at Rowan International Church in Salisbury, where his sister, mother and nephew worship, according to NBC affiliate WCNC.

Duncan died in Dallas on Oct. 8, and had started showing symptoms of the virus on Sept. 24 after travelling to Texas from Liberia. He wasn’t admitted to a Dallas hospital until Sept. 28 — two days after he first visited the hospital…

Read the rest of the story on NBC News.

Canada Shipping Experimental Ebola Vaccine to Curb Outbreak

Posted: 18 Oct 2014 09:38 AM PDT

Canada will begin shipping an experimental Ebola vaccine to the World Health Organization in Geneva on Monday, the government announced Saturday, with the hope of addressing the current outbreak of the deadly virus.

The effects of the vaccine in animals have been “promising,” Canadian authorities said. The vaccine is just beginning to be tested on human subjects in order to determine the safety of the vaccine and the dosage required to stimulate a person’s immune system into producing the proper antibodies.

Canada is sending 800 vials of experimental Ebola vaccine contained at -80 degrees celsius in three separate shipments via aircraft to the WHO in Geneva. Canada’s Public Health Agency is supplying it to the WHO so it can be used as an “international resource.”

“This vaccine, the product of many years of scientific research and innovation, could be an important tool in curbing the outbreak,” said Dr. Gregory Taylor, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada.

See 34 Actors Who Dressed Up In Fabulous Drag

Posted: 18 Oct 2014 09:21 AM PDT

Dexter star Michael C. Hall is dressing up in drag as he takes the stage on Broadway as Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Take a look at other actors throughout the years who’ve dressed in drag for their roles.

Flickr Finally Made an iPad App

Posted: 18 Oct 2014 09:15 AM PDT

Flickr is now offering an app for iPad, parent company Yahoo announced Saturday.

Flickr on the Apple iPad Flickr/App Store

The first iPad-ready app fir the photo sharing service, it offers iPad-optimized layouts and live filters to improve photos and videos. Designed for Apple’s new iOS 8, the app also has a new search function that Flickr says makes it easier for users to search through their library.

Previously, iPad users had to use Flickr’s mobile website, which offered an often less than stellar photo-browsing experience. Flickr already has an iPhone-specific app.

The Flickr for iPad app is available for a free download in the App Store.

How to Get Respect: 5 Points Backed by Science

Posted: 18 Oct 2014 09:03 AM PDT

We all want to know how to get respect.

Research shows respect is key to both your love life and your career.

But it’s difficult. Others size you up very quickly. For instance, people evaluate how attractive you are in 13 milliseconds. Yes, milliseconds.

And first impressions matter more than you think. They’re the most important part of any job interview. And once set, they’re hard to change.

So how do you get respect? Let’s look at the research and see what works — and what doesn’t.

1) Power Is Respected… But There’s A Catch.

What makes us happier: money or power? Power. Do we prefer money or status? Status.

What do children say they want more than anything when they grow up? Fame.

Paraphrasing Machiavelli: if you have to choose between being loved or feared, pick feared.

Yeah, power gets you respect. So if you can make a billion dollars or become an international sensation by Thursday I highly recommend it.

But powerful people often behave badly. Power reduces empathy and often causes us to dehumanize others.

In fact, one of the most recognizable signs that someone is powerful is that they break rules. Why? They can get away with it.

And often this works in reverse — when we see someone who has the gall to break rules we assume they must be powerful.

Anger conveys competence. Narcissists are more likely to get promotions. Jerks earn more money:

…men who measured below average on agreeableness earned about 18% more—or $9,772 more annually in their sample—than nicer guys. Ruder women, meanwhile, earned about 5% or $1,828 more than their agreeable counterparts… “Nice guys are getting the shaft,” says study co-author Beth A. Livingston, an assistant professor of human resource studies at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

And these negative characteristics are valuable in some roles:

Several of the 12 “dark side” traits – such as those associated with narcissism, being overly dramatic, being critical of others and being extremely focused on complying with rules – actually had a positive effect on a number of facets of the cadets’ leadership development over time… “it appears that even negative characteristics can be adaptive in particular settings or job roles.”

In fact, research shows feeling powerless makes you dumber.

But respect gained through power and bad behavior comes at a cost.

Not laughing at other people’s jokes does make you seem more powerful. It also reduces social bonding.

Refuse to be impressed by others’ achievements? Definitely powerful. And in relationship research it’s classified as “destructive” behavior.

Congratulations, you’re killing your relationships and alienating the people closest to you.

What about the workplace? Do you need to strut around the office to show people who’s boss?

Research from Harvard shows people would rather work with a lovable fool than a competent jerk — even if they won’t admit it:

How-To-Get-Respect

Powerful people don’t listen. And doctors who don’t listen get sued more often. Intimidating leaders actually reduce team performance.

(To learn what the most successful people have in common, click here.)

Appearing powerful definitely gets you respect — but potentially at a very high cost. Is it better to just be nice?

2) We Love Mr. Nice Guy… Sometimes.

Can you be nice and get respect? Many people immediately think “nice guys finish last.” You’ll get walked on.

But research from Wharton professor Adam Grant shows “givers” are disproportionately represented at the top of success metrics.

But in some professions, like the military, you have to be tough… right?

Shawn Achor, author of the excellent book The Happiness Advantage, points out that top leaders in the Navy are supportive:

In the U.S. Navy, researchers found, annual prizes for efficiency and preparedness are far more frequently awarded to squadrons whose commanding officers are openly encouraging. On the other hand, the squadrons receiving the lowest marks in performance are generally led by commanders with a negative, controlling, and aloof demeanor.

Stanford’s Bob Sutton shows that when bosses say “thank you,” employees work 50% harder.

Powerful people won’t admit they don’t know something and don’t ask for help. They might look weak. But they also don’t learn anything.

The best way to learn also turns out to be a powerful influence tactic: just ask for advice.

How do expert FBI hostage negotiators get what they want? Listening and empathy.

Studies show nice guys have higher quality friendships, are better parents, have better academic and career performance, as well as better health:

…agreeableness, one of the Big Five personality dimensions, is linked with higher-quality friendships, successful parenting, better academic and career performance, and health… Based on the review of the literature, it is postulated that being agreeable may be the path to enduring interpersonal relationships, happiness, success, and well-being.

So is it just that simple? Be nice all the time? Sadly, no.

While givers do make the top of success metrics, they are also disproportionately found at the bottom:

What I find across various industries, and various studies is the Givers are most likely to end up at the bottom. That’s primarily because they end up putting other people first in ways that either burn them out, or will allow them to get taken advantage of and exploited by Takers.

While we have a great deal to learn from total altruists, it’s a dangerous path. In some cases, yes, “Nice guys do finish last.”

(For Adam Grant’s tips on how you can be nice while protecting yourself from being taken advantage of, click here.)

Research shows not being aggressive limits goal achievement but being very aggressive hurts relationships. So what should we do?

3) It’s A Balance

We don’t merely respect people because of power… or just because of kindness.

Research shows we judge people on the qualities of competence and warmth:

Social psychologist Cuddy, an assistant professor of business administration, investigates how people perceive and categorize others. Warmth and competence, she finds, are the two critical variables. They account for about 80 percent of our overall evaluations of people…

But the tricky part is we always assume a trade-off between the two: more competent means less warm, more warm means less competent.

This idea of balance is pervasive. What happens when you see that uber-perfect person screw up a bit?

You actually like them more because it makes them human.

The best leaders are a balance. Not too assertive, but not too passive. They must juggle kindness and toughness:

“If you’re too soft—no matter how competent and able you are—people may not respect your authority. But if you only have dominance and you don’t have great ideas, and you use force to stay in power, then people will resent you,” he concludes. “Being successful as a leader requires one to have both dominance and prestige.”

Harvard leadership professor Gautam Mukunda explains great leaders have supreme confidence — and humility. (Skip to 4:15.)

Of course, riding that line is extremely difficult. And there are biases that make it even harder.

When men show anger they’re seen as competent. But women displaying the exact same behavior are perceived negatively.

And on the flip side, society tells men it’s okay to be vulnerable and open up — but then punishes them for it. (Skip to 16:15.)

(For more on what the best leaders have in common, click here.)

Becoming someone who truly embodies all these qualities sounds impossible, right? Can’t we just fake it?

You can… but that’s tricky too.

4) Don’t Be A Method Actor

“Fake it until you make it.” A little of that is only natural. But I’m seeing it reach a whole new level: out-and-out acting and utter manipulation.

And it’s a mistake. People think they’re going to act powerful and tough get a reaction like this:

What they end up doing is losing friends and gaining allies who will only be allies as long as there’s something to be gained.

And those who show Machiavellian kindness often suffer a worse fate —trust is easy to lose and hard to regain.

But perhaps that sounds pious. Here’s a more concrete reason: it doesn’t work — or at least not for long.

In five minutes people can size you up with about 70% accuracy:

Across a wide range of studies, Ambady and Rosenthal found that observations lasting up to five minutes had an average correlation of r = .39 with subsequent behavior, which corresponds to 70 percent accuracy at predicting outcomes…

Maybe you enjoy gambling but I don’t like those odds — especially over the long haul.

Unless you have an Oscar for acting, faking for big stretches of time is hard. In fact, research shows acting smart makes you look stupid.

The only way to convincingly change how you’re perceived is to do it from the inside. (We often call this “being delusional.”)

And what’s even more insidious is that over time, we can become what we imitate.

Harvard leadership expert Gautam Mukunda, author of Indispensable, spoke about the limitations of impression management:

You’re performing. If you perform for long enough you can begin to inhabit the role. You can begin to change who you are… When you’re acting out these roles, what you’ve got to remember is you are changing yourself. Over time you will change yourself into that person, so it had better be the person you genuinely want to be.

(For more on the techniques of FBI hostage negotiators, click here.)

Being a powerful jerk is a risky tradeoff — but so is being a total nice guy. And balancing is really, really hard.

So when we pull all this together what really is the best way to get respect?

5) How To Get Respect

You don’t need to strut around like a jerk but we can learn something from powerful people: confidence is vital.

People love confidence so much that we sometimes prefer those who talk a good game over those who produce quantifiable results.

So be moderately overconfident. See the world accurately but have belief in your abilities.

And what’s the best route to this? Work hard and become an expert at your job. Competence breeds real confidence. A feeling of control kills fear.

But be warm.

This is what we can learn from the nice guys. And don’t fake it. You can learn to be more compassionate. Karma works and kindness scales.

It all starts with self-knowledge. Gautam Mukunda explains:

Changing yourself is not inauthentic. Part of what people do is they change. They evolve, they can grow, and they can change themselves.

So what it is to be authentic? It doesn’t mean you can’t change, but it does mean that the changes that you make, again, have to be aligned with the sense of who you really are, and who you want to be.

In fact, research shows that when you try to be your best self, you end up presenting your true self:

In sum, positive self-presentation facilitates more accurate impressions, indicating that putting one’s best self forward helps reveal one’s true self.

Don’t be a total jerk and don’t be an utter pushover. And don’t be a method actor.

Be the best version of who you are.

This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

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It’s Time to Seriously Start Expecting an Apple TV Again

Posted: 18 Oct 2014 08:52 AM PDT

Apple’s Oct. 16 “It’s been way too long” event was supposed to be all about updating products that hadn’t been refreshed in a while. And it was. The Cupertino, Calif. company unveiled svelte new iPads, an ultra-high-resolution version of the iMac, an updated Mac mini, and a slew of software and service updates. CEO Tim Cook also said that a software development kit to help programmers make applications for the company’s upcoming smartwatch would be available in November, ahead of the much-anticipated device’s 2015 debut.

About ten minutes into his opening remarks, Cook put up an evolution of man-style slide showing Apple’s line of products, from the Watch through iPhone and iPad, laptops and desktops. (Scrub to 10:00 here to see it.) One could easily imagine the same slide with an additional product on the far right: a television. That is a rumor that has been around for so long, that it’s frankly grown tedious to think or talk about. Steve Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson before he died that he’d long wanted to make a TV and had “finally cracked” the difficulty of creating a simple user interface. And, earlier this year, Cook told Charlie Rose that television “is one of those things that if we’re really honest is stuck back in the 70s…this is an area we continue to look at.” (It’s also a product Apple already made, sort of, in the early 1990s.)

What’s changed is that television is more ripe for disruption as the ecosystem of companies around it—cable providers, content creators—try to position themselves for the future. And, arguably, Apple’s clout and ability to disrupt TV is greater than ever. A number of developments in the last couple of weeks have given the idea of an Apple television set renewed luster. Consider that:

Apple has the display. The television-making business is no picnic; just ask Sony, which has lost nearly $8 billion in the last decade on TV’s alone. But the new iMac’s display—which has an extremely high resolution—is the kind of game-changer that consumers might be willing to spend more for.

Apple is calling the display a Retina 5K screen. The high-end 27‑inch iMac has four times as many pixels as the regular 27‑inch iMac display, some 14.7 million pixels. The company created its own timing controller to drive all those pixels and is using a new type of screen technology, an oxide TFT-based panel, to deliver extra brightness.

Cable companies are starting to unravel. Two back-to-back announcements this week suggest the television content business is starting to change. This had been Apple’s biggest obstacle to creating a television device with a radically better way of watching stuff. As my colleague Victor Luckerson put it earlier this week:

By making these channels available for purchase individually, CBS and HBO are embracing the “a la carte” TV model, in which viewers would be able to select the individual channels they want to pay for and ignore the rest. It’s a concept that makes intuitive sense in a world where songs, movies, books and news can be consumed individually, on the go and at little cost. But the model poses a huge threat to cable operators, network owners and even subscribers. If every network did what CBS and HBO are doing, cable and satellite operators would have the core part of their businesses wiped out.

HomeKit is the new “digital hub.” In 2001, Jobs organized the then-struggling company around a new strategy. The computer would become the hub for consumers’ various devices, cameras, music players, video recorders, et cetera. It worked. Today, Apple is working on HomeKit, a framework that lets the company’s devices control smart gadgets around your house. (For more on the smart home, read all of this special TIME issue.) One of a future Apple television’s killer features could be acting as a central nervous system for all the wired lightbulbs, thermostats and so on in your house.

Consumers want it. The current product called Apple TV, a $99 set-top box that can pipe in streaming content from iTunes, Netflix, Hulu and other digital service providers, was denigrated as a “hobby” product by Steve Jobs in 2007. Last month, Cook said the device had gone far beyond that status and has some 20 million users.

And finally, Tim Cook’s Apple is ready. The company has shown it is willing to sign the death warrant for technologies it no longer finds useful. Not to mention place big bets in brand new areas where its success is far from guaranteed. Cook said this was “the strongest lineup of products Apple has ever had and soon you can wear that technology right on your wrist.” I wouldn’t be surprised to find that amended to add the center of the living room.

Bermuda Faces ‘Extensive’ Damage From Gonzalo

Posted: 18 Oct 2014 08:45 AM PDT

Tens of thousands in Bermuda were without power early Saturday after Hurricane Gonzalo ripped across the island with 110 mph winds, downing trees and causing untold damage. Weather improved as dawn broke and Gonzalo moved away from the island.

Damage from Gonzalo — the strongest Atlantic hurricane since Igor in 2010 — was believed to be widespread but authorities were waiting for daylight to assess the full extent of it, a spokeswoman from Bermuda’s Emergency Measures Organization told Reuters…

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

This Is What Hurricane Gonzalo Looks Like From Space

Posted: 18 Oct 2014 07:38 AM PDT

Hurricane Gonzalo smashed into Bermuda Friday, with winds reaching 110mph and waves approaching heights of 40 feet as the Category 2 storm swept northward, according to USA Today. Approximately 30,600 customers of Bermuda’s power company were without power as of late Friday night, while the National Hurricane Center warned of “a life-threatening storm surge.”

The storm is headed for the North Atlantic this weekend.

From space, Gonzalo is a massive, white vortex—but despite its size, it really looks quite serene. This photo comes care of Alexander Gerst, a European astronaut currently aboard the International Space Station.

 

 

5 Huge Resume Mistakes That Will Ruin You

Posted: 18 Oct 2014 07:10 AM PDT

themuselogo

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

Laszlo Bock, Google’s senior vice president of people operations, estimates that he’s personally reviewed more than 20,000 resumes over the course of his career.

First of all, we’re sorry for him.

But secondly, we’re pretty sure he knows a thing or two about what makes a resume shine and—perhaps more importantly—get tossed in the trash.

In fact, he shared his insights earlier this week in a LinkedIn Influencer post. Here’s what he had to say about the five biggest mistakes he sees candidates making, plus our expert tips for making sure your resume doesn’t include any of these blunders.

Mistake #1: Typos

We know—you’ve heard it. But while “this one seems obvious,” Bock writes, “…it happens again and again. A 2013 CareerBuilder survey found that 58% of resumes have typos.”

The Fix

Have someone else read your resume—often, other people can more easily spot errors because they haven’t been staring at the page for hours. If that’s really not possible, use Muse editor-in-chief Adrian Granzella Larssen’s tips for proofreading your own resume: “It’s helpful to temporarily change the font, or to read your resume from the bottom up—your eyes get used to reading a page one way and can often catch new errors when you mix the format up.”

Finally, once you’ve reviewed it, stop making those final tiny changes. “People who tweak their resumes the most carefully can be especially vulnerable to this kind of error,” explains Bock, “because they often result from going back again and again to fine tune your resume just one last time. And in doing so, a subject and verb suddenly don’t match up, or a period is left in the wrong place, or a set of dates gets knocked out of alignment.”

Mistake #2: Length

Thinking about letting your resume creep onto the next page? Think again. “A good rule of thumb is one page of resume for every 10 years of work experience,” says Bock. “A crisp, focused resume demonstrates an ability to synthesize, prioritize, and convey the most important information about you.”

The Fix

For most of us, Bock’s rule of thumb means one page—two, tops. If you’re having trouble squeezing all of your experience onto one page, remember that a resume doesn’t have to (in fact, shouldn’t) be a chronicle of your entire career history—it should be a marketing document that uses your relevant skills and experiences to illustrate to the hiring manager why you’re the one for the job. To hone in on what really matters and cut the fluff accordingly, try Liz Elfman’s tips for getting everything on one page.

Mistake #3: “Creative” Formatting

When it comes to resumes, Bock says, substance definitely matters more than style. He’d definitely prefer to see a simple, traditional, perfectly formatted resume than something creative that’s tough to read. “Unless you’re applying for a job such as a designer or artist, your focus should be on making your resume clean and legible,” he writes.

The Fix

When in doubt, go simple and spend most of your time sharpening your bullet points rather than making them look great. (In fact, make your life really easy and download one of these resume templates.) Then, make sure the formatting looks great no matter what program it’s opened in. As Bock recommends, “If you can, look at it in both Google Docs and Word, and then attach it to an email and open it as a preview.” Saving your resume as a PDF rather than a .doc file should help alleviate any formatting problems in different programs.

Mistake #4: Confidential Information

In his post, Bock shares a story of candidate who worked for a top consulting firm with a strict confidentiality policy. So, when the candidate wrote on his resume that he “consulted to a major software company in Redmond, Washington”—a.k.a. Microsoft—he was immediately rejected. Sure, the candidate didn’t break the policy, per se—but he definitely didn’t inspire trust in his potential employer.

The Fix

For anything you put on your resume (or say in an interview, or publish on a blog, you get the picture, follow the New York Times test, says Bock: “if you wouldn’t want to see it on the home page of the NYT with your name attached (or if your boss wouldn’t!), don’t put it on your resume.”

Mistake #5: Lies

As Bock explains: “People lie about their degrees (three credits shy of a college degree is not a degree), GPAs (I’ve seen hundreds of people “accidentally” round their GPAs up)… and where they went to school (sorry, but employers don’t view a degree granted online for “life experience” as the same as UCLA or Seton Hall). People lie about how long they were at companies, how big their teams were, and their sales results, always goofing in their favor.”

And we probably don’t have to tell you what hiring managers think about that.

The Fix

Just remember what your mama told you: Honesty is always the best policy. If you feel like there’s part of your background that’s not quite up to snuff, your best bet is creative—but truthful—positioning. Career expert Kari Reston shares smart strategies to applying for a job you’re underqualified for, and Jenny Foss of jobjenny.com shares tips for crafting your education section when you don’t think your degree (or lack thereof) will impress.
These mistakes seem pretty basic, but if Google sees them all the time? You can bet every other employer does, too. The good news is, they’re all totally avoidable. Make sure your (one- to two-page) resume is squeaky clean, and you’re already ahead of the game.

10 States Where Life Is Just the Best Right Now

Posted: 18 Oct 2014 06:53 AM PDT

This post is in partnership with 24/7 Wall Street. The article below was originally published on 247WallSt.com.

The United States is one of the world’s most prosperous economies, with a gross domestic product that exceeded that of any other country last year. However, a vibrant economy alone does not ensure all residents are well off. In a recent study from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), U.S. states underperformed their regional counterparts in other countries in a number of important metrics that gauge well-being.

The OECD’s newly released study, “How’s Life in Your Region?: Measuring Regional and Local Well-Being for Policy Making,” compares nine important factors that contribute to well-being. Applying an equal weight to each of these factors, 24/7 Wall St. rated New Hampshire as the best state for quality of life.

Click here to see the 10 states with the best quality of life.

Click here to see the 10 states with the worst quality of life.

Monica Brezzi, author of the report and head of regional statistics at the OECD, told 24/7 Wall St. considering different dimensions of well-being at the regional level provides a way to identify “where are the major needs where policies can intervene.” Brezzi said that, in some cases, correcting one truly deficient measure can, in turn, lead to better results in others.

In order to review well-being at the regional level, the OECD used only objective data in its report, rather than existing survey data. Brezzi noted that current international studies that ask people for their opinion on important measures of well-being often do not have enough data to be broken down by region.

For example, one of the nine measures, health, is based on the mortality rate and life expectancy in each region, rather than on asking people if they feel well. Similarly, another determinant of well-being, safety, is measured by the homicide rate rather than personal responses as to whether people feel safe where they live.

Based on her analysis, Brezzi identified one area where American states are exceptionally strong. “All the American states rank in the top 20% of OECD regions in income,” Brezzi said. Massachusetts — one of 24/7 Wall St.’s highest-rated states — had the second-highest per capita disposable household income in the nation, at $38,620. This also placed the state among the top 4% of regions in all OECD countries.

However, the 50 states are also deficient in a number of key metrics for well-being. “With the exception of Hawaii, none of the American states are in the top 20% for health or for safety across the OECD regions,” Brezzi said. Minnesota, for instance, was rated as the third best state for health, with a mortality rate of 7.5 deaths per 1,000 residents and a life expectancy of 81.1 years. However, this only barely placed Minnesota among the top third of all regions in the OECD. Similarly, New Hampshire — which was rated as the safest state in the country, and was 24/7 Wall St.’s top state for quality of life — was outside the top third of all regions for safety.

Across most metrics the 50 states have improved considerably over time. Only one of the nine determinants of well-being, jobs, had worsened in most states between 2000 and 2013. Brezzi added that not only was the national unemployment rate higher in 2013 than in 2000, but “this worsening of unemployment has also come together with an increase in the disparities across states.”

Based on the OECD’s study, “How’s Life in Your Region?: Measuring Regional and Local Well-being for Policy Making,” 24/7 Wall St. identified the 10 states with the best quality of life. We applied an equal weight to each of the nine determinants of well-being — education, jobs, income, safety, health, environment, civic engagement, accessibility to services and housing. Each determinant is constituted by one or more variables. Additional data on state GDP are from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), and are current as of 2013. Further figures on industry composition, poverty, income inequality and health insurance coverage are from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey. Data on energy production come from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) and represent 2012 totals.

These are the 10 states with the best quality of life.

10. Wisconsin
> Employment rate: 74.8% (9th highest)
> Household disposable income per capita: $29,536 (23rd highest)
> Homicide rate: 2.72 per 100,000 people (15th lowest)
> Voter turnout: 73.6% (2nd highest)

Based on nine distinct well-being measures, Wisconsin is one of the top states in the nation for quality of life. Like nearly all top-ranked states, Wisconsin’s housing score was quite high. A typical home had 2.7 rooms per person. Additionally, nearly three-quarters of households had broadband Internet access, both among the higher rates nationwide. Residents are also more politically active than people in a majority of states. The state reported a 74% voter turnout rate, better than almost every other state.

9. Washington
> Employment rate: 67.8% (21st lowest)
> Household disposable income per capita: $31,307 (16th highest)
> Homicide rate: 2.55 per 100,000 people (11th lowest)
> Voter turnout: 65.6% (16th highest)

Nearly four in five Washington residents had broadband Internet access last year, tied with New Hampshire for the highest rate in the country. Washingtonians also enjoy exceptional air quality and a relatively healthy environment. Just 4.1 mg of airborne dangerous particulate matter per cubic meter was recorded in the state, nearly the lowest level of pollution measured. Washington also leads the nation for renewable energy production, with more than 1,012 trillion BTUs produced in 2012, far more than any other state.

ALSO READ: America’s 50 Best Cities to Live

8. Maine
> Employment rate: 72.7% (11th highest)
> Household disposable income per capita: $28,333 (22nd lowest)
> Homicide rate: 1.88 per 100,000 people (8th lowest)
> Voter turnout: 68.6% (9th highest)

Based on OECD metrics, Maine — which advertises itself as “Vacationland” — is far more than merely a tourist destination. Like more than half of the best states for quality of life, Maine received a nearly perfect score for its housing. Maine homes had an average of nearly three rooms per person, more than all but one other state. Spacious households are likely favored by Maine residents as the state’s long winter can keep people indoors for long periods. And while heating costs can be a burden, falling U.S. crude oil prices have considerably reduced the financial strain of buying home heating oil, which is more-widely used in Maine than in any other state.

For the rest of the list, please go to 24/7WallStreet.com.

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