Survey says ...

Are smartphones making you dumb? A study slated to appear in an upcoming issue of the Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes journal (I had to put my smartphone down to process that) suggests that monitoring your phone at home after 9 p.m. for work purposes -- checking emails from the boss and such -- makes employees less productive the next day because it stresses them out and disturbs sleep, says Russell Johnson, a Michigan State University professor who is a co-author of the study.

But that's not all. The research also says that smartphone use at bedtime is more disruptive to sleep than watching TV or even using a laptop or tablet because the phones emit "blue light," which hinders your body's melatonin production.

So, turn off your phone and go ahead and veg in front of back-to-back episodes of "Gilligan's Island." The light won't mess you up as much, and you don't have to think too hard when the Skipper's little buddy gets his hand stuck in a coconut bowling ball.

Sew, don't stress

Phones or intrusive blue light may not be a problem if you happen to be in one of the least stressful jobs of 2014, as named in CareerCast.com's Jobs Rated report. Topping the list is audiologist (someone who diagnoses hearing problems), followed by hair stylist, jeweler, tenured university professor and seamstress/tailor. The report is based on factors such as whether the job requires a lot of travel, is merely a dead-end career or puts your life or another's at risk. Guess that explains why traveling assassin didn't make the cut.


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Practical passion

Weird Valentine gift idea of the week: a juicer? Yeah, you know, one of those kitchen gadgets that purées produce into healthful juice. This info comes from the new and equally unusual niche dating site called CarrotDating.com -- something about men offering women "bribes" to go out with them -- and the top choice among 1,372 women polled about which gift that costs less than $250 they'd most appreciate was the aforementioned appliance. I can only imagine the women were offered a choice of a juicer or a fork in the eye, but apparently there were other options, and juicer came in first, followed by a single-cup coffee maker, a tablet device, a gift card, designer boots and a nice bottle of wine.

"Singles seeking first dates on Valentine's Day should avoid offering traditional gifts," says Brandon Wade, founder of Carrot Dating. "According to our survey, single females value utility and not sentiment. Gifts such as a juicer ... are more likely to guarantee a first date compared to chocolates or flowers."

Utility? Is he sure they interviewed single female humans and not, say, Siri?

If a household appliance doesn't win her heart, you can always try some of the site's other unconventional gift ideas, such as a tank of gas or plastic surgery. After all, nothing says romance like rhinoplasty.

Contact Angela Hill at ahill@bayareanewsgroup.com, or follow her at Twitter.com/GiveEmHill.