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July 17, 2014
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A new study from Ontario's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has some surprising information about binge drinking: Heavy drinkers tend to be more popular among their peers.

The study, which will be published in the October issue of the Addictive Behaviors journal, may provide insight into why people choose to consume alcohol in large quantities.

Dr. Tara Dumas, the study's lead author, surveyed 357 young adults in Ontario in 2012. Her research team conducted three different surveys as respondents visited bars and determined how binge drinking related to social status. The results were surprising: Higher status among peers was correlated with the frequency and quantity of drinking alcoholic beverages. While binge drinkers were seen as more popular among both sexes, the result was even more pronounced in male respondents.

"Research already demonstrates that young people use alcohol for social means... as a way of fitting in," Dumas told The Daily Beast. "Our research further suggests that young people might be gaining social status benefits via their heavy drinking, or that higher social status might encourage riskier drinking practices among young people."

Of course, binge drinking is associated with high risk factors, including increased risk of homicide and unintentional injury, in addition to liver damage, stroke, and heart disease. Meghan DeMaria

5:08 p.m. ET
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On Friday afternoon, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore announced the suspension of his campaign for president. Although, one could be forgiven forgetting he was even in the race — the long-shot Republican candidate's decision comes after dismal performances in both the New Hampshire primary and Iowa caucus, where he received the support of a measly 12 caucusgoers.

Gilmore's fellow GOP hopefuls Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina also dropped out of the race earlier this week after poor showings in New Hampshire.

And then there were six. Stephanie Talmadge

4:23 p.m. ET
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A Pennsylvania judge posted a sign outside his courtroom reminding citizens that pajama bottoms should not be worn in court. Judge Craig Long said that too many people have been appearing before him without bothering to put on a proper pair of pants. "We have a growing problem of people not dressing appropriately," Long said. "It's just there as a reminder." The Week Staff

4:18 p.m. ET
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With House Republicans still divided on how to move forward with plans to pass the budget, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) reminded lawmakers Friday that there's always the option to just skip the budget altogether. "It would be a shame, but the sky won't fall if we don't do a budget," Ryan said to members at a closed-door meeting. Because of a two-year deal struck last fall between then-Speaker John Boehner and the Obama administration, Ryan contends Congress is not "staring down a cliff" that would force them to make a final call.

However, Ryan warned members, this choice would not come without repercussions. If House Republicans decided against doing a budget, Ryan said the Republican Party would essentially be missing out on a chance to "do big things" in 2017. The GOP would not be able to present their fiscal solutions to the public ahead of the presidential election, nor would they be able to pass all 12 appropriations bills, essentially forcing Congress back into its "crisis-driven cycle of passing spending bills" that Ryan has been trying to avoid, The Hill reports.

Republicans are at an impasse over the prospect of passing a budget that sticks to the previously agreed upon $1.07 trillion spending level. Others are pushing for increased military spending, which Ryan pointed out could only increase by $40 million within current spending levels. "Are House Republicans willing to give up appropriations bills, a balanced budget, entitlement reform, and reconciliation for $40 million?" Ryan asked Friday.

House Republicans have until the beginning of March to reach a decision on how to proceed with the budget plan. Becca Stanek

3:39 p.m. ET

On Friday, Donald Trump threatened fellow GOP presidential contender Ted Cruz with a lawsuit over Cruz's eligibility to run for president:

Though Cruz, who was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father, has maintained that he is a natural-born citizen and thus eligible to run for office, the constitutionality of his presidential run has been challenged — particularly by Trump.

However, Trump had previously promised that he would not sue Cruz over the issue. "I'm not bringing a lawsuit," Trump said at a January Republican presidential debate. "I promise." Becca Stanek

3:21 p.m. ET
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Meals on a yacht or private jet were such cheerless affairs before the Hemisphere Marine Blue Collection ($78) came along. The new porcelain set, produced by silver retailer Michael C. Fina and based on a classic pattern by the house of Jean-Louis Coquet, brightens such repasts with its splashes of "jaunty" blue, said Michalene Busico at RobbReport. More than that, though, the set is thinner and lighter than traditional china, and features stabler bases plus more generous rims for catching spills. If you're waiting on delivery of a yacht, don't rule out using the set at a summer home. The Week Staff

3:14 p.m. ET
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While there is a lot of money and research that goes into the study of relationships, a certain amount of mystery remains about why people tend to cling to the memory of their first love. Speaking to a number of psychologists who study relationships and romance, The Washington Post floated several theories as to why we still can't get over that certain someone, no matter how many years go by. Below, a selection of some experts' most illuminating quotes. Jeva Lange

It was sort of scary, and that makes it memorable.

"Your first experience of something is going to be well remembered, more than later experiences. Presumably there'd be more arousal and excitement, especially if it's somewhat scary. And falling in love is somewhat scary — you're afraid you'll be rejected, you're afraid you won't live up to their expectations, afraid they won't live up to yours. Anxiety is a big part of falling in love, especially the first time." -Art Aron, State University of New York at Stony Brook psychology professor

It was when we learned what love is.

"I [...] think it becomes, to some degree, a template. It becomes what we measure everything else against.”

-Jefferson Singer, Connecticut College psychologist

"Together you decide what love is."

-Nancy Kalish, California State University at Sacramento psychology professor

We experience a 'memory bump.'

"[People between 15 and 26] recall more memories, and they tend to be more positive memories... [And] we have more opportunity to rehearse it and replay it, rethink it, reimagine it, re-experience it." -Singer

We like who were were then.

"I think it's not just about the other person. It's about who we were at that time. We're relishing the image of ourselves. They give us license to be the person we were once again — young and vibrant and beautiful." -Singer

3:03 p.m. ET
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Pope Francis and the head of the Russian Orthodox church, Patriarch Kirill, sat down for a historic meeting early Friday afternoon at José Martí International Airport in Havana. The meeting between the leaders of the Eastern Orthodox and Western factions of Christianity marks the first such meeting in history and is a symbolic step in repairing relations between the two factions that split nearly 1,000 years ago.

The leaders are expected to have a conversation and then sign a joint declaration, which will likely focus on their shared concerns over Christian refugees in Syria and Iraq. Becca Stanek

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