Top 10 Free Desktop Blog Editors for Windows

Although many users have gotten used to updating their blogs directly on the web, desktop blog editors have certain advantages, and it would be a shame not to try them out. We've gathered 10 free desktop blog editors for Windows; some are plugins, while others are full-featured standalone applications.
Windows Live Writer
    live writer
Windows Live Writer comes from Microsoft and you will have that familiar feeling of working with an Office application while using this desktop blog editor.
When it comes to features, Live Writer is the most complete desktop blog editor of the lot. It has everything that you would like to see in a blog editor - multiple blog accounts, compatibility with multiple blog platforms, rich text formatting, draft saving, post categorization, picture and tag insertion, spell checking, pinging search engines automatically, and synchronizing draft changes on the editor with the blog.
What takes Windows Live Writer a step ahead are features such as inserting maps and videos. Its web preview page scores ahead of the rest since you can see your draft just like the way it will appear in your blog online, complete with design, color, and format.
After its last upgrade, you can now use Windows Live Writer to upload images straight to Picasa for your Blogger blog. Furthermore, Writer is now available in 28 additional languages besides English, which is likely to increase the number of its international language users. One small irritation about Windows Live Writer is that it could be still a little buggy, even after the upgrade.
ScribeFire is a popular Firefox addon and a blog editor that you can use to post to your blog directly from your Firefox browser. After installing ScribeFire, you will see a tiny notepad like icon on your Firefox Status Bar. Clicking on it will open the ScribeFire blog editor on the browser's active page. This editor will take up half of the screen space. If you right-click the ScribeFire icon, you can choose to open the editor in a new tab or in a separate window.ScribeFire is pretty convenient in a way that you don't need to install a heavy program and you can open the editor on your browser in a jiffy. It has a rich text formatting feature, HTML page editing, and a live preview option for your posts before publishing them. Image uploads are possible on FTP accounts. You can categorize your posts, insert Technorati tags, and access your del.icio.us page from the ScribeFire page. You can access your last 10 posts and save unpublished drafts as notes, but you cannot insert tables like in Live Writer.
You can have multiple blog accounts with ScribeFire. It is compatible with multiple blog programs like Wordpress, Blogger, Typepad, Drupal, Textpattern, MetaWeblog, etc. Finally, there is a support forum in case you want to ask any of the other ScribeFire users for advice.
Qumana has one feature that other blog editors don't have - it has its advertising network, Q ads, integrated into the blog editor. So when you write a post on the editor, you can insert an ad on the blog editor itself. You can define the type of ad that will show up by specifying ad keywords. However, the irony is that Q ads don't seem to have many ads to display. One ad that was coming up on every post, irrespective of any keyword I type, was about Qumana itself.
This aside, Qumana has all the requirements of a good blog editor - rick text formatting, multiple blog accounts, insert tags and categories, download recent posts, video insert, etc. The editor is light and I didn't experience any hang-ups.
Another things that sets Qumana apart is the DropPad - a small clipboard-like utility where you can drag and drop text, links, and images. You can double click on the DropPad to open the blog editor with all your items inserted already.
w.Bloggar comes in English, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish versions. It supports a number of blog platforms including Blogger, Movable Type,Typepad, Drupal, Wordpress, Live Journal, and others. It can ping your posts to Weblogs, blo.gs, Technorati, and Ping-o-matic.
Configuring w.Bloggar for your blog, particularly Blogger blogs, can be a bit of a pain, especially if you are not very tech savvy. However you can get certain workarounds written by w.Bloggar users on the w.Bloggar homepage.
w.Bloggar comes with a number of formatting options, supports multiple blog accounts, has spell check and categories features, and many more. You can set up your FTP to upload files and pictures. The editor comes in the HTML mode and you get to see all the code in your post itself. This might be a bit confusing for new bloggers, but there is a preview mode that should help.
The best part of w.Bloggar is the speed with which it publishes posts - it's lightning fast.
Zoundry provides an easy set up for your blog accounts. You need to provide your blog url and let Zoundry's auto-discovery feature find your blog platform and API settings. You can download up to 500 of your blog's previous entries onto your computer and this can serve as your local blog backup.
The editor has a WYSIWYG and a HTML interface. You will find plenty of options in the formatting toolbar. Setting post categories and tags for Technorati are supported. There is a also a spell checker and a language translator as well.
You can use Zoundry to add affiliate links on your posts and earn commissions whenever someone buys through your links.
Zoundy has a browser toolbar for Firefox and IE that has a 'Blog This' feature, and links through which you can share product recommendations on your email or social networking pages. You can also earn shopping rebates using the toolbar.
Thingamablog is an open source blog editor and a feed reader combined into one cool desktop application. It runs independently of any blog host and you can use it for posting to your FTP or SFTP blogs. Thingamablog also provides a set of some blog templates as well if you want to create a new blog.
Configuring your Thingamablog for the first time might be a bit taxing if you are a newbie. However if you head off to the Thingamablog site, then there is a good tutorial available.
Thingamablog's post editor has all the basic formatting options complete with a spell checker. You can see your posts in WYSIWYG or HTML source view. Images can be uploaded from the computer or you can link to an image online. You can set up multiple blog accounts, import entries from RSS feeds, and organize your entries by category.
Thingamablog requires Java Virtual Machine to be installed on your computer.
Flock has an easy to use blog editor that works with blogging platforms like Blogger, Blogsome, Livejournal, Typepad, Wordpress, Xanga, and other self hosted platforms. You can configure multiple blog accounts on it.
You can use Flock's web clipboard to collect snippets while surfing the web, add pictures from your Flickr or Photobucket accounts or upload a picture from the computer. Flock also has a Quick Uploader that you can use to upload files on the web.
Flock's editor however has a few formatting feature and you are limited to a few font families and font sizes. There are no 'Insert table' or 'Strikethrough' buttons. Although you can tag your posts, you cannot categorize them.
Final verdict: you might want to use Flock for quick posts, but the advanced blogger who needs a feature-rich editor might find Flock a bit lacking.
Blog Desk
Blog Desk comes in English, German, and Spanish versions and supports multiple blog platforms. However it seems strange that they do not have Blogger on its list of supported blog platforms, which means that those using Blogger have to configure their blogs manually. Blog Desk has some pretty cool features such as the Image Wizard that lets you insert pictures on your blog and edit them as well, dictionaries in 14 languages, frequently used phrases, and a notebook. There is support for Technorati tags, a pinger, and a spell checker too.
If you are using Blog Desk on Vista, you might have to download the dhtmled.ocx file from the Microsoft download page. Details are given at the Blog Desk FAQ page.
Post2Blog is very light and there are some good features on offer as well. The formatting bar is rich with options and you can insert smileys, strike texts, and add music. There are options to add ads from Amazon in your posts. Other features like Technorati tags or pinging are there as well. Post2Blog also provides good integration with RSS readers like RSS Bandit and Sharp Reader. You can upload images along with your posts on Flicker, Imageshack, or a chosen FTP site. You can download your recent posts and create PDFs of them if you wish.
Post2blog has Firefox and IE addons and a MS Word toolbar as well so that you can post directly from these places. You can export Post2blog files and settings to any portable device as well. One feature I couldn't find was inserting post categories.
Post2Blog is compatible with multiple blog platforms including Blogger, WordPress, Typepad, MovableType, LiveJournal, and Blogware.
Bleezer supports multiple blog platforms like Blogger, Movable Type, Wordpress, Drupal, etc. and works on Widnows, Mac, and Linux systems. This WYSIWYG tool has the basic formatting options, spell checker, support for Technorati and Del.icio.us tags, post categories, and ping service. You can upload pictures using its 'Upload File' feature and by setting up your FTP site.
Bleezer is a no-frills blog editor whose biggest upside is its lightness; you won't even feel it's running, which makes it ideal for users with older computers.

Giggs: We must stay United

WARNING SHOT ... Ryan Giggs
WARNING SHOT ... Ryan Giggs

RYAN GIGGS has warned his Man United team-mates not to take anything for granted in the title race.

United begin 2013 with a seven-point lead over nearest rivals Man City as they chase a record 20th League title.
But Giggs, who has 12 Premier League winners medals in his trophy cabinet, says United need to learn from the pain of missing out to City last May.
Giggs said: “We were this many points ahead with fewer games to go last season and it wasn’t enough.
“We are only halfway there and there are a lot of tough games to come.
“There is also the FA Cup and the Champions League, so there are other things to consider.
“We are in a great position and are happy where we are, but we know we have to carry on.”
United dropped eight points from their final four games as last season’s title push collapsed around them.
But Giggs does feel that the Old Trafford outfit are ideally placed to bring home the silverware.
Echoing the recent words of boss Alex Ferguson, he said: “From the manager’s experience and the players who have been here a long time, we know Christmas is the time to get down to business.
“If we are there or thereabouts in January and then go on a run of winning 10 or 12 games it is going to give us a great chance.
“There can be no mistakes. But usually when the stakes are high and the concentration is there, good players produce the goods.”

ZTE's Upcoming 5-Inch Smartphone Will Be World's Thinnest

China's ZTE plans to break some records at CES 2013, among them being the one for the thinnest 5-inch smartphone.
The ZTE Grand S sports a 5-inch, 1920x1080 pixel screen and a 13-megapixel camera while being just 6.9mm thin.
Other specifications haven't been officially revealed, but Unwired View reports the device is likely to have a 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 2,500 mAh battery and a ceramic case.
The price for the device is rumored to be 2,799 yuan ($449); we'll probably find out if this is true at CES 2013, which is held Jan. 8-11 in Las Vegas.

The 10 best-reviewed movies of 2012

The eclectic list, which includes both gentle children's films and bloody action epics, is a snapshot of the year in cinema 

Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln: An Oscar shoe-in?
Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln: An Oscar shoe-in?
    from the bombast of the summer blockbuster season to the calculated seriousness of Oscar prestige pictures, 2012 has been another banner year at the movies. But with just a few days until the cinematic year draws to a close, it's time to reflect on the 10 films that truly stood out from the pack in the eyes of critics. The list — which includes everything from a bloody horror film to a gentle children's movie, and from the hard-edged realism of the War on Terror to a whimsical romance set in the recent past — may surprise you.
    Two caveats before we begin:

    1. This list is confined to wide releases, movies that played in 600 or more theaters at some point during their American releases. As such, some extremely well-reviewed but little-seen movies, such as This Is Not a Film (100 percent positive reviews at Rotten Tomatoes), How to Survive a Plague (100 percent), and Jiro Dreams of Sushi (99 percent), are not included.
    2. This list does not include re-releases. That means that 3D-converted films, like Finding Nemo 3D (99 percent) and Monsters, Inc. 3D (95 percent) are also not eligible.
    Without further ado, the 10 best-reviewed movies of 2012:
    10. Silver Linings Playbook (91 percent)

    Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star in director David O. Russell's romantic dramedy about a bipolar man who exits a mental health facility determined to reunite with his estranged wife. Cooper and Lawrence have both earned enormous acclaim for their performances, with Cooper considered a lock for a Best Actor nomination at the Academy Awards, and Robert DeNiro turning in a supporting performance as Cooper's gruff father that critics have deemed his best in years.
    "David O. Russell has pulled off a tricky feat here, finding just the right tone in crafting a romantic comedy whose sweethearts suffer from bipolar disorder and depression." — Christy Lemire, Associated Press
    9. Lincoln (91 percent)

    Director Steven Spielberg escaped the pitfalls of a stodgy, conventional, necessarily sweeping historical biopic by narrowing the scope of his film to the final four months of Abraham Lincoln's life, chronicling the president's heroic efforts to get the Thirteenth Amendment passed. The film is packed with recognizable actors delivering strong performances, but Lincoln wouldn't work without Daniel Day-Lewis, a justifiable frontrunner for the Best Actor Oscar, who convincingly embodies the 16th president.
    "Lincoln does something that, at this very particular moment in time, seems almost impossible to comprehend. It makes politics exciting again." — Ty Burr, Boston Globe
    8. The Cabin in the Woods (91 percent)

    This horror comedy had a so-so run at the box office, but critics and genre fans embraced its gleeful skewering of horror conventions. A group of teenagers travel to a remote cabin for a vacation and find themselves beset by mysterious attackers. The setup is deliberately conventional, but the rest of The Cabin in the Woods is anything but standard, although the movie's clever plot twists are best enjoyed if they're left unspoiled.
    "For all of its many intellectual pleasures and smart commentary, The Cabin in the Woods is a visceral roller coaster of a movie at heart. And like the best thrill rides, when it's over, you just want to get back on and go again." — Ian Buckwalter, NPR
    7. Skyfall (92 percent)

    Skyfall, 2012, Daniel CraigAfter 2008's disappointing Quantum of Solace, the 007 franchise got a shot in the arm with Skyfall, deemed the best James Bond film ever by more than one critic. With emotional stakes far higher than the average James Bond film and a skillfully unsettling performance by Javier Bardem as the film's villain, Skyfall proves that, even after 23 films, there's plenty of life left in 007.
    "The James Bond franchise turns 50 with a stellar entry that fires on all cylinders as an action picture but also casts a modest glance backward to its illustrious past." — J.R. Jones, Chicago Reader
    6. The Avengers (92 percent)

    Two caveats before we begin: Comic book fans had anticipated the blockbuster superhero team-up of The Avengers — which includes popular crusaders like Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, and Thor — for ages. But director Joss Whedon managed to deliver a film that plays to hardcore fans and the uninitiated alike, offering his signature mix of witty dialogue and carefully staged action sequences in the year's highest grossing movie.
    "There's great entertainment in The Avengers — big, bold, action-filled silliness with just enough human spirit to sell itself. This is a comic book movie done right." — Tom Long, Detroit News
    5.  Zero Dark Thirty (93 percent)

    This Best Picture frontrunner chronicles the CIA's decade-long attempt to catch and kill Osama bin Laden in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. An ensemble cast led by Jessica Chastain portrays CIA officials and Navy SEALs in a film that culminates with the raid on bin Laden's compound in May 2011. Along with stellar reviews, Zero Dark Thirty has also drawn criticism for its controversial depiction of torture as an effective interrogation technique.
    "The knockout punch of the movie season is being delivered by Zero Dark Thirty. Chastain is a marvel, and Bigelow and Boal top their Oscar-winning work in The Hurt Locker." — Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

    4. The Secret World of Arrietty (94 percent)

    Though The Secret World of Arrietty was released in Japan in 2010 to stellar reviews and the year's highest box-office gross in that country, it wasn't until Feb. 2012 that the Japanimation film made it stateside with a dub commissioned by Disney and executed by voice actors like Amy Poehler and Mark Strong. The Secret World of Arrietty is about a pair of "borrowers" — miniature people who rely on the things they can take from humans' homes to survive — and their daughter Arrietty, who befriends a human boy.
    "With its lush colors, imaginative view of ordinary objects, and meticulously crafted miniature civilization, it transports viewers to an enchanting alternate storybook reality." —Claudia Puig, USA Today
    3. Moonrise Kingdom (94 percent)

    Director Wes Anderson earned the best reviews of his career for Moonrise Kingdom, a sweet-hearted fable about a romance between two young outcasts in New England in the 1960s. Though the film features terrific performances from actors like Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, and Edward Norton, it relies heavily on the beautifully unselfconscious performances by leads Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward — neither of whom had acted on film before.
    "A gorgeously shot, ingeniously crafted, uber-Andersonian bonbon that, even in its most irritatingly whimsical moments, remains an effective deliverer of cinematic pleasure." — Dana Stevens, Slate

    2. Looper (94 percent)

    Rian Johnson's twisty sci-fi thriller stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a hitman tasked with killing people from the future, who are sent back in time for their executions. When he recognizes one of his targets as a future version of himself (Bruce Willis), and fails to kill him before he runs away, he's forced to chase down his elder self and kill him before he escapes permanently.
    "A mind-bending ride that is not afraid to slow down now and again, to explore themes of regret and redemption, soul and sacrifice, love and loss. It's a movie worth seeing and, perhaps, going back to see again." — Christopher Orr, The Atlantic

    1. Argo (95 percent)

    Ben Affleck directs and stars in this suspenseful film based on a real-life CIA mission to extract six U.S. diplomats (a crew of colorful supporting actors) from Tehran during the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979. Affleck's character mounts an unlikely plan to sneak the diplomats out of the danger zone by pretending they're Hollywood types who've been in Tehran to scout locations for a fake sci-fi movie called Argo.
    "It's serious and substantive, an ingeniously written and executed drama fashioned from a fascinating, little-known chapter of American history." — Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

    Explore North-East in 2013

    Imagine waking up in a Naga home, amid tribals who were once known for the practice of head hunting, and plucking tea leaves or lemons through the day. Or having a close brush with a herd of elephants in the morning and calling it a night with a mug of 'apong' or rice beer in an Assamese village.


    If you are looking for a vacation away from the usual hill stations, then exploring homestays in India's northeast could be the answer. According to tourism experts, the sector has grown by 10 per cent in the past year.

    Sabina Chopra, co-founder of travel portal yatra , told us: "The northeast is slowly but steadily catching the eye of the tourist. Due to lack of infrastructure, in terms of good hotels and resorts, tourists are willing to explore newer options like the homestays."

    This sector involves travellers staying with a host family to get a first-hand experience of local life and culture.

    Worst of Bollywood in 2012

    I apologize to those who thought they deserved to win under the following categories. I assure you the winners were better than you at it – making me sick, that is!

    Yes, curves are more in demand than the bones, but I would prefer bones to what Sonakshi goes with everywhere! I wonder who trains her! Vidya Balan? And I just hope she stops shaking a leg (and the earth) with her earth-shattering jumps.


    No, you are not mistaken – that's the right name under the right category you just read! Please watch her dance, walk or simply stand – and you'll agree with me.

    We mean the one on right in this pic!SONAKSHI SINHA

    Though Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Housefull 2 were neck and neck in this competition, the former one won out! I'm not surprised at the cash-bags the film filled at the Box Office (it was bound to happen – given its immediate connection with a certain Khan and the Chopras). But I must let you know – the moment I came out of the movie hall, mujhe Saans ayi… mujhe Saans ayi. Apart from Housefull 2, the other close contenders were Ek Tha Tiger, Rowdy Rathore and Son of Sardaar.


    I would have happily given this honour to Tusshar Kapoor, had he been debuting this year. Nevertheless, Paoli Dam and only Paoli Dam deserves the title now. She may have given her best to win the most sleaze-ilicious BTown babe's label, but that couldn't save her from lapping this 'credit'!

    Paoli Dam

    Need I justify this one?

    Tusshar Kapoor

    Zooming past her rivals Bipasha Basu, Asin, Jacqueline Fernandez, Zarine Khan, Shazahn Padamsee, Paoli Dam and Sunny Leone, Sonam effortlessly grabbed the top slot here. After bearing her for endless hours in Mausam last year, I seriously hoped to miss out on her in 2012. But as luck would have it, Players happened! Had Sonam concentrated more on her expressions and acting than her outfits and hairstyles, Paoli Dam would have walked away with this title as well!

    Sonam Kapoor

    More than the irritating lyrics, that annoying mouth-step drives me up the wall! True, that's the easiest 'dance-step' ever made in the history of Indian cinema, but that's hardly an achievement, as anyone can claim to be its choreographer. We all do that twice a day while brushing our teeth, after all!


    RGV's horror outing only won by a nose, as it had to compete with equally dreadful creations like Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Jism 2 and Aiyyaa. Frankly speaking, this Bhoot needed not bother to return!

    Bhoot Returns

    Competing against Agent Vinod, Jism 2, Hate Story, Aiyyaa and of course Bhoot Returns, Heroine carried the day under this category. Worst Joke, because what its promos promised to offer, the film delivered everything else but that! So basically, the ones who contributed to the film's tiny collection at the Box Office, wanted their money back.


    She should have adhered to judging TV reality shows, or doing special song appearances or voice-overs in films. Except for her Angelina Jolie-like leg-show in a thigh-high-slit gown, the film made waves for absolutely nothing in particular! Well, I would advice Karisma that it's never too late – just drop out of the film projects you've signed already.

    Dangerous Ishhq

    Their pairing was uncanny, unappetizing and unappealing – to say the least! Bipasha and Madhavan not only failed miserably to strike a chord as a couple in the film, the two proved to be the sole reason for the film's super-disastrous fate at the Box Office.

    Jodi Breakers

    The Movies

    Man United Linked With £60m Plus Player Swap Deal for Real Madrid Star Cristiano Ronaldo

    Ronaldo Man United Return
    Old Trafford side linked with huge offer for Bernabeu star.

    CRISTIANO RONALDO will NOT cost Manchester United £122million if he quits Madrid.
    If Ronaldo genuinely wants to leave, then Real’s asking price will tumble and players will come into the negotiations.
    The fee would be around £60m with David de Gea and possibly Nani joining Real.
    SunSport broke the bombshell news that Ronaldo has confided in his former Manchester United team-mates that he would love to return home to Old Trafford.
    SOURCE: The Sun
    WOW. Well this seems more than a tad unlikely but perhaps if Cristiano Ronaldo felt he wanted to leave Real Madrid any time soon then this could well be a deal that would appeal to Jose Mourinho.
    The Bernabeu boss has been linked with interest in Man United keeper David de Gea, who could be seen as a natural successor to Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas, with the custodian being recently dropped by Mourinho after the pair reportedly fell out.

    Nani could be seen as a logical replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo if indeed he did seek to return to Old Trafford, indeed the Man United winger was initially seen as the player to step in from under the Real Madrid attacker’s shadow once he completed his £80m move to the La Liga giants.
    Talk of a possible Real Madrid exit for the 27 year old have been brewing for a few weeks now and are said to have stemmed from a delay in agreeing a new deal for the Portuguese goal machine, who after netting 169 goals in 170 matches would perhaps have expected such talks to be a priority.
    A change in Spanish tax laws means that Ronaldo will be paying contributions of 52% rather than the current 25% arrangements and as such the forward will be looking to Real Madrid’s next offer to take this difference into account and therefore is expecting a sizable pay rise.
    It would be perhaps the coup of the decade if Man United could lure Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford and perhaps it’s not a deal that is totally unthinkable, especially as the marksman still holds Sir Alex Ferguson in high regard, but such a move would surely not be one Real Madrid would be considering.

    Now Pay Facebook 1$ To Send Messages

    facebook.comLooks like the Facebook tagline ‘It’s free and Always will be’ has gotten slightly misleading with the social networking giant launching paid features for users. After recently introducing the ‘promote’ option for promoting status updates at a nominal price, Facebook will now charge 1$ per message sent to a person outside your friend list. Though the charges are set for priority messages, sending out a message to anyone outside your friend list may make you susceptible to the charges. The rate is not fixed yet and may vary depending on response.

    While the official release hinted at this being an improved security measure to avoid receiving messages from unknown sources, critics are a bit sceptic and blame the sudden focus on charging users a direct result of the IPO failure.

    Today we’re starting a small experiment to test the usefulness of economic signals to determine relevance. This test will give a small number of people the option to pay to have a message routed to the Inbox rather than the Other folder of a recipient that they are not connected with.

    Several commentators and researchers have noted that imposing a financial cost on the sender may be the most effective way to discourage unwanted messages and facilitate delivery of messages that are relevant and useful.

    The test is restricted to the US for now and will be slowly expanded to include other nations. Also, there is a cap set on the number of paid messages that can be sent out monthly.

    Juventus Une année 2012 INOUBLIABLE !

      The Scudetto and Super Cup victories, the show on offer at every game, the return to Europe: we relive the excitement of an extraordinary 2012

    The year in health: 7 things experts said were good for us

    Spicy food boosts your metabolism. Arguing with your parents trains you to reject peer pressure. Oh, and getting castrated helps you live longer 
    This year, scientists vindicated your sriracha addiction, proving a little spice is good for your health.
    This year, scientists vindicated your sriracha addiction, proving a little spice is good for your health. 

    cupuncture can ease your pain. New research shows that the ancient Chinese healing technique — which involves sticking needles into specific points in the body to encourage the flow of "qi," or energy, through unseen pathways — often works better than over-the-counter remedies. About 50 percent of people who have migraines, arthritis, and chronic back or joint pain reported feeling significantly better after undergoing acupuncture, compared with 30 percent of people who tried traditional remedies. Doctors still don't understand how acupuncture works, says Andrew Vickers of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, but they now have "firm evidence" that it's an effective treatment for chronic pain.

    Arguing with your parents as a teenager trains you to reject peer pressure. University of Virginia researchers observed more than 150 13-year-olds as they disputed issues like grades and chores with their mothers. Checking back in with the teens several years later, they discovered that those who had argued the longest and most convincingly — without yelling or whining — were also 40 percent less likely to have accepted offers of drugs and alcohol than the teens who were required to simply obey their mothers. Study author Joseph P. Allen says constructive debates with parents are "a critical training ground" for independent decision-making. 
    Adding spices to meals can hike your metabolism and improve your heart health. Penn State University researchers prepared identical high-fat meals for two groups of volunteers, then added a mix of spices — including rosemary, oregano, and cinnamon — to the meal of one group. Eating rich foods typically increases blood levels of insulin and triglyceride fats, which heighten the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Volunteers eating the spicy meal saw increases in triglycerides and insulin that were 31 percent and 21 percent lower, respectively, than those of the group who ate the blander offering. Study author Sheila West suspects the antioxidants in spices are responsible. 
    Working your core can give you sexual pleasure — if you're a woman. Among women who experience orgasms triggered by exercise alone — no partner, toys, or even sexual thoughts needed — 51 percent said that their first "coregasm" happened during an abs workout. Though rumors of the coregasm have existed in fitness circles for years, "exercise-induced orgasm is something we really know nothing about — not scientifically," says study author Debby Herbenick. She says her findings, while still "exploratory," could help decode the physical processes that underlie women's sexual pleasure.
    Popcorn protects you from cancer and heart disease. Tests of several popcorn brands revealed that the hulls — the tough fragments that often stick in your teeth — contain surprisingly high levels of disease-fighting antioxidants called polyphenols; one serving of popcorn packs more than twice the polyphenols that a similar serving of most fruits and vegetables does, though popcorn lacks key vitamins. Study author Joe Vinson says that popcorn hulls, which are also rich in fiber, are "nutritional gold nuggets" that make popcorn the perfect snack food — as long as you air-pop it and hold the salt and butter.
    Circumcision reduces the risk of sexually transmitted diseases. A review of male circumcision research found that "the medical benefits outweigh the risks of the procedure," says pediatric bioethicist Douglas Diekema. Circumcised infants are 90 percent less likely than uncircumcised ones to develop urinary tract infections. And later in life, they're at lower risk of contracting HIV, herpes, penile cancer, and human papillomavirus, which, when passed to female partners, can cause cervical cancer. Serious complications occur in only about 0.2 percent of babies who undergo circumcision.
    Castration is an even better way to a longer life. Korean researchers studied the genealogical records of boys castrated to serve in the palace of the Chosun Dynasty between the late 14th and early 20th centuries and found that they lived up to 19 years longer than their peers. They were also 130 times more likely to reach the age of 100 than people in developed countries are today. The findings support "the idea that male sex hormones decrease the life span of men," the study authors write. In contrast to estrogen, which appears to enhance longevity, testosterone seems to weaken the immune system and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.