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Americans unhappier than ever before, UN global report finds

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 3:25 PM

(Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Happiness in America is on the decline, according to a new report released Monday.

The U.N.’s “World Happiness Report” launched just in time for International Day of Happiness on March 20, a U.N. holiday established in 2012 and celebrated around the world Monday.

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But according to the new report, happiness in America has decreased over the years. Since the U.N.’s first report in 2012, the nation has fallen three spots.

To come up with the happiness rankings, analysts examined answers to a specific question from the 2014-16 Gallup World Poll, a popular, massive survey with respondents from 155 different countries.

Approximately 2,000-3,000 people from each country participated.

>> RELATED: U.S. no longer a top-5 country in the world 

The question (included below) asks respondents to rate their lives on a scale of zero to 10 across six factors: life expectancy, generosity, social support, freedom, corruption and GDP.

Please imagine a ladder with steps numbered from zero at the bottom to 10 at the top. Suppose we say that the top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you, and the bottom of the ladder represents the worst possible life for you. On which step of the ladder would you say you personally feel you stand at this time, assuming that the higher the step the better you feel about your life, and the lower the step the worse you feel about it? Which step comes closest to the way you feel?

According to the report, these happiness measures are often used by governments, organizations and civil society to inform their policy-making decisions.

With an average rank of 7.537, the happiest country in the world is Norway, according to the poll.

The least happy on the list is the Central African Republic, which scored an average happiness rank of 2.693.

As for America, the country fell to No. 14 from No. 11 in 2012 with a current average happiness rank of 6.993. 

According to the World Happiness Report, the reasons for America’s reduced happiness in a nutshell are declining social support and increased corruption.

>> RELATED: Do you live in one of the happiest cities in America? 

Though individual incomes have increased roughly three times since 1960, “measured happiness” has not risen.

America’s problems with rising income inequality, distrust with the government, how the country reacted to the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the nation’s “deteriorating” educational system are some possible factors cited in the report.

“America’s crisis is, in short, a social crisis, not an economic crisis,” the report’s authors wrote.

Top 10 winter vacation destinations, according to Instagram

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 2:10 PM

The North Korean embassy is seen on December 19, 2011 in Muri Bei Berne, Berne, Switzerland. (Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images)
Harold Cunningham/Getty Images
The North Korean embassy is seen on December 19, 2011 in Muri Bei Berne, Berne, Switzerland. (Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images)(Harold Cunningham/Getty Images)

Snow? Check. Breathtaking mountain views? Check. Historical city charm and Instagram-worthy photo ops? Check and check. 

Bern, Switzerland, is the city with the most Instagram posts in the world for the winter season — and it truly has it all.

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That’s according to analysts at Focus Clinic, a popular laser eye surgery clinic in the United Kingdom, who gathered the 20 most popular winter travel destinations across the world based on Google search and ranked each by the number of times a city’s hashtag was used on Instagram to determine its popularity on the photo-sharing app.

According to the research, the #bern hashtag has been used more than 1,082,440 times.

A popular destination in the Swiss city is the medieval Old City of Bern, a city center surrounded by the Aare river. Old City is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site with one of Europe’s longest weather-sheltered shopping centers.

The “gateway to the Alps” is also known for its mountain views, many fountains, walkable streets, cafes, museums and colorful weekly markets, according to MySwitzerland.com.

Rounding out the top 10 winter destinations according to Instagram are: Aspen, Colorado; the Northern Lights in Tromso, Norway; Chamonix, France; Yosemite National Park in California; Zermatt, Switzerland; Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming; Bled, Slovenia; Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic and Grindelwald, Switzerland.

>> Explore the full list at focusclinics.com/most-popular-winter-sights

Take a look at some of our favorite Instagram shots of Bern:

Professor: Team has performed first successful human head transplant using cadavers

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 7:58 AM

WATCH: Professor Says First Successful Human Head Transplant Using Cadavers Performed

It sounds like something out of a horrible B movie, but a professor in Italy says a team has successfully transplanted a human head in China. It was done on corpses to see if surgeons could reconnect the spine, nerves and blood vessels. 

“The first human transplant on human cadavers has been done,” Sergio Canavero, the director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group, said. “A full head swap between brain dead organ donors is the next stage,” the Telegraph reported.

He added that it would be the last step before a full head transplant happens some time before the end of the year, USA Today reported.

A firm date for the living patient surgery has not been released.

Canavero said the procedure happened in China because “the Americans did not understand” and wouldn’t fund the experiments, USA Today reported.

Experts in the medical community said that a procedure like this would not be allowed in either the United States or Europe.

While it’s being called a head transplant, it’s technically a body transplant, where the recipient with a functioning brain will have his head transplanted to a donor’s body who has been declared brain dead, USA Today reported.

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Doctors will fuse the spinal cord and attach blood vessels and muscles then the patient will be kept in a coma for a month as the person heals, Newsweek reported. If it is successful, the patient could walk again, Canavero claims.

Many in the medical community said that not only is it doubtful the procedure will be successful, there also are ethical questions, saying that whoever undergoes the procedure will be in incredible pain, and not able to breathe or control their own heart rate, Newsweek reported.

Canavero cites studies on animals to support his plan, but other doctors say that, ‘You’re not going to jump from rodent to human” and that Canavero’s plan is “criminal,” Newsweek reported.

Anyone lose a house? Strange house appears on man’s property

Published: Friday, November 03, 2017 @ 10:14 AM

VIDEO: House Mysteriously Shows Up on Man’s Property

You’d think you’d know about all of the houses on your property. 

But a man in Canada had a surprise when he took a trip around his 320 acres of land: a house that he didn’t remember being there before. 

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So Patrick Maze did what anyone would do. He put a photo of the house on Facebook, asking if anyone knew how the house got on his property, Huffington Post reported.

It was a long shot, but eventually worked out and the woman who owned the structure came forward, CBC reported.

Brenda Robertson responded, “That’s my house.”

Robertson explained that the building was being taken to Winnipeg, when it was stopped by SaskPower because of permit issues. Robertson, prior to the post, had no idea where her house was. She thanked Maze for posting it and worked to get the house off the land quickly, Huffington Post reported.

Maze said that his tenant wasn’t currently using the land, but at the same time didn’t want to be held responsible if something happened to the house.

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Great Pyramid hidden area found

Published: Thursday, November 02, 2017 @ 11:38 AM

New Chamber Discovered in Great Pyramid Using Cosmic Rays

In a first since the 19th century, a hidden chamber within one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World is hidden no more.

Scientists have discovered a 153-foot-long void above the Great Pyramid’s Grand Gallery, National Geographic reported. The area is also 26 feet high. 

So far experts are not sure why it is there or if it holds anything.

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Scientists from France and Japan on the ScanPyramids team announced their finding two years after they studied the structure. They used muography that shows changes in density inside rock structures, The BBC reported.

A smaller, similar void had been found on the pyramid’s north face.

The team will not call the voids chambers, of which there are three large chambers already discovered, along with several passageways.

Some believe the void could have been built to relieve pressure and stress above the King’s Chamber. Others say that it isn’t the case, that it is too large to relieve the weight of the pyramid, The BBC reported.

Now the challenge that faces the experts is how to get a look inside the void without damaging or destroying the ancient pyramid. 

One scientist suggested drilling a 3 centimeter hole that they could use to fly a robot through and into the area, but Egyptian officials would have to approve it, The BBC reported.

The Great Pyramid was built during Egypt’s Old Kingdom’s Fourth Dynasty about 4,500 years ago by pharaoh Khufu, National Geographic reported