Science Confirms: Watching Online Cat Videos Is Good for You

Science Confirms: Watching Online Cat Videos Is Good for You

March 4, 2015
REUTERS/Thomas Peter
By Suelain Moy

Looking at Grumpy Cat’s underbite and feline dwarfism just might just make you feel better about your bratty kid, your nagging spouse or your demanding boss. That’s right, according to a new study published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, watching cat videos online reduces our negative feelings while raising our sense of well-being and boosting our energy levels.

Grumpy Cat, whose real pet name is Tardar Sauce, shares a manager with fellow YouTube stars Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat. Last we checked, the famous feline had 7.7 million Likes on Facebook. In all, more than 2 million cat videos were posted on YouTube last year, gathering nearly 26 billion views. Cat videos had more views per video than any other category of YouTube content. That makes kittens more valuable eye candy than, say, Maxim’s Hot 100. (Taylor Swift topped the list this year, just in case you were wondering.)

Related: The Internet Power of Kim Kardashian’s Butt

For the new study, Jessica Gall Myrick, an assistant professor at the Indiana University Media School, surveyed nearly 7,000 Internet users about how watching cat videos affects their moods. She got a little help from Bloomington, Indiana resident Mike Bridavsky — the owner of Internet celebrity cat Lil Bub — who used social media to recruit participants for the survey.

The results should make you feel a bit less guilty about clicking through one cat video after another: “Even if they are watching cat videos on YouTube to procrastinate or while they should be working, the emotional pay-off may actually help people take on tough tasks afterward,” Myrick says.

Don’t think watching cat videos online is a pop culture phenomenon worthy of academic research? Myrick disagrees: “If we want to better understand the effects the Internet may have on us as individuals and on society, then researchers can’t ignore Internet cat videos anymore.”

Read the original paper on emotion regulation procrastination, and watching cat videos online here.

Warren’s Taxes Could Add Up to More Than 100%

iStockphoto/ James Group Studios, Inc.
By The Fiscal Times Staff

The Wall Street Journal’s Richard Rubin says Elizabeth Warren’s proposed taxes could claim more than 100% of income for some wealthy investors. Here’s an example Rubin discussed Friday:

“Consider a billionaire with a $1,000 investment who earns a 6% return, or $60, received as a capital gain, dividend or interest. If all of Ms. Warren’s taxes are implemented, he could owe 58.2% of that, or $35 in federal tax. Plus, his entire investment would incur a 6% wealth tax, i.e., at least $60. The result: taxes as high as $95 on income of $60 for a combined tax rate of 158%.”

In Rubin’s back-of-the-envelope analysis, an investor worth $2 billion would need to achieve a return of more than 10% in order to see any net gain after taxes. Rubin notes that actual tax bills would likely vary considerably depending on things like location, rates of return, and as-yet-undefined policy details. But tax rates exceeding 100% would not be unusual, especially for billionaires.

Biden Proposes $1.3 Trillion Infrastructure Plan

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden campaigns for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination in Pittsburgh
Aaron Josefczyk
By Yuval Rosenberg

Joe Biden on Thursday put out a $1.3 trillion infrastructure proposal. The 10-year “Plan to Invest in Middle Class Competitiveness” calls for investments to revitalize the nation’s roads, highways and bridges, speed the adoption of electric vehicles, launch a “second great railroad revolution” and make U.S. airports the best in the world.

“The infrastructure plan Joe Biden released Thursday morning is heavy on high-speed rail, transit, biking and other items that Barack Obama championed during his presidency — along with a complete lack of specifics on how he plans to pay for it all,” Politico’s Tanya Snyder wrote. Biden’s campaign site says that every cent of the $1.3 trillion would be paid for by reversing the 2017 corporate tax cuts, closing tax loopholes, cracking down on tax evasion and ending fossil-fuel subsidies.

Read more about Biden’s plan at Politico.

Number of the Day: 18 Million

Win McNamee/Getty Images
By The Fiscal Times Staff

There were 18 million military veterans in the United States in 2018, according to the Census Bureau. That figure includes 485,000 World War II vets, 1.3 million who served in the Korean War, 6.4 million from the Vietnam War era, 3.8 million from the first Gulf War and another 3.8 million since 9/11. We join with the rest of the country today in thanking them for their service.

Chart of the Day: Dem Candidates Face Their Own Tax Plans

Senator Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren participate in the 2020 Democratic U.S. presidential debate in Houston
MIKE BLAKE/Reuters
By The Fiscal Times Staff

Democratic presidential candidates are proposing a variety of new taxes to pay for their preferred social programs. Bloomberg’s Laura Davison and Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou took a look at how the top four candidates would fare under their own tax proposals.