Dear Husband, This Is Who You Really Married

Dear Husband,

I am sorry.

I’m sorry that you’ve been neglected for the last four-and-a-half years. I’m sorry that your needs are secondary. I assure you, you are still one of my top priorities—you just aren’t on the top of the list anymore.

I know that you have needs, wants, dreams and desires. When I tell you that I want to be the one you lean on, I mean it. I know you are tired of my excuses of being tired, having a headache or am already snoring when you snuggle up next to me. Trust me, I wish I had the energy I had five years ago. Hell, I wish I had the energy I had two weeks ago when I washed, folded and actually put away all 10 loads of laundry. Of course, you didn’t see that because I was letting you get some much-needed sleep.

I know that some days it feels like we have a business partnership. And you’re right. Some days—even weeks—feel that way. Know that I want better for our marriage, for us. Because together, we are damn good.

The problem is, my life, my brain and my body are so wrapped up in being a mother to those little boys who look exactly like you. Even after they’re sound asleep and we’re sitting on the couch watching a movie, my brain is still in mother mode.

I’m thinking about tomorrow; I’m thinking about 10 years from now. I’m wondering if you have work clothes for tomorrow. I’m worried about money, milestones and milk. Do we have enough milk? I can’t turn off being a mom. It is who I am now. And it is physically, emotionally and mentally exhausting.

I don’t want you to think you aren’t as important as you once were. I couldn’t live this life without you and I wouldn’t want to, either. But the simple fact is, you’re an adult and you can do things for yourself. You can vote, so you can make your own lunch. You are legally able to drive a car, so you can figure out how to make a doctor’s appointment.

When you come home from work, you, unfortunately, are getting the worst version of me. I gave our children the best. A little secret: Sometimes, some days, there just isn’t a best version of me. There just isn’t.

I can’t worry about your health, the boys’ health, the pet’s health and my health. Who do you think gets ignored? It’s not you. It’s not our children or our pets. When I say I don’t feel well, when I say I haven’t been sleeping, it’s because I haven’t been taking care of me.

Yes, you tell me to go to the doctor, to eat better, to drink more water, but I am my very last priority. I know I need to change that and I’m not complaining. I’m explaining that when something has to give, because no one person can do it all, I am the thing that gives.

I’m worried about your sleep apnea, your allergies, your knee spasms. I am worried about the rash Alex has, and the snotty nose that Ben suddenly started with. I am concerned about our dog’s ears and what it’s going to cost to take her to the vet.

While I’m thinking about it, I’m worried that the fish have too much algae in their tank and the water needs to be changed. I’ll just add that to the never-ending list of things I will feel guilty about when I am trying to sleep tonight. None of this your fault. I am not blaming you, or wishing you were any different.

You do extraordinary things for our family. You work harder than any person I know. You care more about everyone, including me, than any other human I have ever met. I love you a little more each time I see you help someone knowing you will never get anything in return. You are the kindest, most loving father to our children. There is a reason they cry when you leave for work. Yes, it stings a little, but knowing that you are their role model in life fills me with love and pride.

I am not the person you married 11 years ago. I have changed and evolved into a wife, mother, friend and keeper of all schedules. I am a party planner and a personal shopper. I am a chef specializing in chicken nuggets and pasta. I am a housekeeper that can’t keep a house. I am the cheerleader and the librarian. I am the night and the day nurse.

I wouldn’t change any of it. I don’t want any other life. I love you and I love the life that we created. But I am not the spontaneous, beer drinking, sexy bad girl you met way back when. I am a mother. And it is all of me.

Love Always,

Your Wife

**This article appeared originally on Parent.Co. Used with permission. 

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Trump tweeted 80 times since Maria hit Puerto Rico. Guess how many were about the storm?

Since the outer bands of Hurricane Maria began whipping Puerto Rico on the evening of Sept. 19, President Trump has published 80(!) original tweets. The vast, vast majority of them — as you may have guessed — were not about the deadly storm or his administration’s response to it.

To get a better sense of the president’s priorities, I’ve collected every original tweet he’s published since Maria hit the island (for the sake of simplicity, I’m not including retweets). The storm wreaked havoc on Puerto Rico, leaving over 3 million people without power and wiping out nearly its entire agriculture industry.

As the hurricane hit, he shared a fairly appropriate presidential message of solidarity.

But his attention there didn’t last long.

Eight minutes later, he was tweeting about U.N. business.

Two minutes after that, he thanked a random follower.

Another eight minutes went by as he typed out a message slamming the Emmys.

(It sounds like he’s still bitter about never winning one.)

The next morning, Maria continued racing toward Puerto Rico. From Trump’s tweets, you wouldn’t know it.

He was back to the U.N., blasting Hillary Clinton, and praising Fox News.

At the same time Trump began these early morning tweets, Maria’s center was a mere 50 miles southeast of Puerto Rico’s populous capital, San Juan. 

Later that day, Trump tweeted about the GOP’s latest harmful, unpopular piece of health care legislation and dissed Rand Paul.

He took time to tweet a plug for his stop in Alabama to stump for Senate candidate Luther Strange.

At about that time, experts estimated it would take several hours for the hurricane to pass over all of Puerto Rico, given how slowly the storm is moving (10 mph) — which was not a good sign.

He also updated followers on his recent chats with foreign leaders.

Shortly after Trump tweeted that, the whole island of Puerto Rico lost power.

He tweeted photos from a luncheon with African leaders, conveniently leaving out the fact that he made up an African country to praise its health care.

Even after Puerto Rico went dark, Maria’s wind speeds remained dangerously fast, topping out at 115 mph. Still no word from the president, though he did take time to wish Jewish Americans a happy new year.

Around the time the National Hurricane Center reported there was “catastrophic flash flooding” across Puerto Rico, he went on an Alabama health care bender (again).

About 16 hours after Maria made landfall, Trump’s attention finally returned to the natural disaster and he again expressed solidarity with Puerto Rico.

Two minutes later, he went back to sharing more self-congratulatory videos and pics from his U.N. meetings.

He bragged about polls.

He published another vague teaser tweet about the U.N.

He blasted Rand Paul (again).

He called Kim Jong-un a “madman.”

He accepted a compliment.

He ranted about “fake news,” Russia, and Clinton.

He promoted his Alabama rally. Again.

He shared a U.N. video that seemed more like a movie trailer.

He thanked American Airlines for helping Hurricane Maria victims…

…but failed to specify how the federal government would increase efforts to do so and said nothing about helping Puerto Rico.

He went on and on about Alabama and Arizona.

He put more pressure on Paul (again) and went on and on about Alabama and Alaska.

Four days after Maria hit, Trump was busy attacking Stephen Curry and the NFL.

He boasted about Melania Trump, criticized Iran, and roasted John McCain.

By the time he was attacking NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for not condemning the #TakeAKnee protests, more and more aerial footage from Puerto Rico was being released showing complete disaster across the island.

Still, no formal statement from Trump himself addressing the destruction.

He called Kim Jong-un “Little Rocket Man.”

He turned his attention back to pro sports.

He then segued to health care…

…before going back to the NFL.

He talked about making America scared — er, safe.

While Trump was randomly praising NASCAR fans, the complete devastation Maria brought to Puerto Rico came into full view.  

But the president still hadn’t publicly addressed how his administration would help. He went back to attacking the NFL again.  

He talked about tax cuts.

He talked about the NFL.

Finally, six days after Maria first made landfall, he — wait, sound the alarm — tweeted about Puerto Rico! Except…

He didn’t so much update Americans on what’s being done to help those in need, as much as he seemingly blamed hurricane victims for their poor infrastructure and mounting debt.

Because time is a flat circle, he then went back to blasting McCain.

And talking about Alabama.

And attacking athletes.

And more Alabama.

And more Fox News.

He thanked San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz for essentially thanking him…

NFL. Alabama.

Added a few pics from inside the White House…

…and gave a shoutout to Nikki Haley to cap it off.

All in all, just six of Trump’s 80 tweets since Hurricane Maria began pummeling Puerto Rico had to do with the crisis itself. Six.

As The Washington Post reported, it’s really not complicated: Trump is more interested in the NFL than saving Puerto Ricans.

The president has a lot of responsibilities, of course. But saving American lives in the wake of natural disaster should be a top priority.

Maria was the third-strongest hurricane ever to plow into a U.S. territory. It’s killed at least 16 people in Puerto Rico thus far (but officials fear that number will likely rise). Nearly the entire island still has no electricity or cellphone service. Hospitals are barely functioning.

After facing a barrage of criticism pointing to his lack of response (or, evidently, interest), Trump confirmed on Tuesday that food, water, and other supplies were being shipped to the island and that he plans on visiting next week to assess the damage. One reason his administration was slow to respond? Puerto Rico “is in the middle of an ocean,” he explained. “It’s a big ocean. It’s a very big ocean.”

Puerto Rico needs us now. Here’s how you can help supply aid to Puerto Rico.

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6 Paranormal Phenomena With Amazingly Bizarre Explanations

Gone are the days when humanity believed our fate was dictated by a gaggle of gods living atop a holy mountain, or that women who wanted to vote were definitely witches, or that hard work can make all our hopes and dreams come true. We now know better. But while we’re fairly certain that the perfectly timed thunderstorm outside our window is not in fact the mocking laughter of Thor, that doesn’t mean the scientific explanation behind it is any less weird. For example …


Cyclopes Are Caused By Toxic Flowers

You’ve most likely seen this video of Cyclops Goat making its rounds:

Having been born in India, where virtually everything is in some way divine, people naturally flocked to the creature to receive blessings of good luck — or, barring that, to at least take a selfie with a demigod. Sadly, the so-called miracle goat died after a couple of weeks, because unlike governments, Mother Nature is pretty efficient at mopping up her horrific mistakes.

It Gets Weirder:

Shortly after World War II, Idaho sheep ranchers experienced a decade-long scourge of lambs which, like the miracle goat, looked like they’d been squeezed out of Ray Harryhausen. It took 11 years and a string of U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers before one scientist, Lynn James, finally figured out that the mutations in question were not caused by nearby nuclear testing, but were in fact all thanks to some flowers.

Corn lilies, to be precise. See, during the dry summer season, momma sheep would migrate to higher ground and eat these tasty (albeit toxic) flowers. The poisonous blooms didn’t harm the adult sheep, but they did attack the genes of their unborn babies, causing a typically fatal birth defect known as cyclopia. Fetuses suffering from this mutation ended up with half the brain hemispheres of a normally developed mammal, as well as half the eyes. This (rarely) happens to humans too, by the by. Wouldn’t recommend looking it up.

Today, the sneaky toxin present in corn lilies is known as cyclopamine, while the misfiring gene responsible for cyclopia, identified by Harvard researcher Cliff Tabin in the early ’90s, has been dubbed sonic hedgehog. Because Cliff is one of us.


The “Angel’s Glow” Was Caused By Bioluminescent Bacterium

The Civil War’s Battle of Shiloh left more than 23,000 casualties on the banks of the Tennessee River. As legend has it, some of the soldiers’ wounds began to glow an eerie blue, and somehow, after waiting two full days in the cold wet April weather for medics to arrive, the soldiers with glowing wounds seemed more likely to survive. Obviously, a higher power was at work here. That’s probably why the mysterious blue light came to be known as “Angel’s Glow.”

It Gets Weirder:

In 2001, 17-year-old high school student Bill Martin was visiting the Shiloh battlefield when he heard the farfetched tale of glow-in-the-dark wounds. Martin asked his mom about the story, because in addition to being his mom and therefore privy to all knowledge both great and small, Phyllis Martin was a microbiologist. Furthermore, she was a microbiologist who had been studying Photorhabdus luminescens — a bioluminescent bacteria that glows an eerie blue.

Martin’s mom tasked him with testing his hypothesis his damn self, so he and a friend did exactly that and discovered that P. luminescens was most likely present at the Battle of Shiloh. There was just one problem: The bacteria don’t normally survive at human body temperature. But lower said human’s body temperature — by, say, floundering for two entire days in the cold April rain — and suddenly you have the perfect conditions for the critter to flourish in a sea of gaping wounds. And since this particular bacteria gives off chemicals that murder other, nastier microorganisms, soldiers who experienced the so-called Angel’s Glow would indeed have had a better chance at staving off infection.

So yes, we’d describe P. luminescens as very angel-like … if angels were puked out by roundworms.


Some UFO Sightings Are … Airborne Spiders?!

In Florence, Italy on October 27, 1954, everyone at Stadio Artemi Franchi — the players, the 10,000 adoring fans gathered to watch a rousing game of Wrong Football, everyone — fell silent and looked up to the sky. Ardico Magnini, a 1954 World Cup player, describes what they saw:

“I remember everything from A to Z. It was something that looked like an egg that was moving slowly, slowly, slowly. Everyone was looking up and also there was some glitter coming down from the sky, silver glitter.”

Like the movies, the skies above Tuscany had been infested with otherworldly invaders, this time from the planet Fabulouso Prime.

It Gets Weirder:

It was flying spiders. Fucking flying spiders.

The wispy, silvery substance that fell in the wake of the UFOs didn’t just land on the soccer stadium — it fell on rooftops and lawns throughout Tuscany. Commonly referred to as “angel hair” by UFO conspiracy types, this fragile, sticky substance has been described as similar to cotton wool or … wait for it … cobwebs. And as it so happens, the timeframe of the 1954 UFO sightings falls right at the tail end of a magnificent spider migration that takes place in the Northern Hemisphere each year. Retired USAF pilot and current astronomer James McGaha describes these migrations as follows:

“The spiders use these webs as sails and they link together and you get a big glob of this stuff in the sky and the spiders ride on this to move between locations. They just fly on the wind and these things have been recorded at 14,000 feet above the ground. So, when the sunlight glistens off this, you get all kinds of visual effects. As some of this stuff breaks off and falls to the ground, this all seems magical of course. But I’m fairly confident that’s what happened that day.”


The “Toxic Woman” Was Caused By A Home Remedy Interacting With Medical Treatment

On February 19, 1994, Gloria Ramirez suffered kidney failure and was rushed to a California emergency room. When the ER staff drew Ramirez’s blood, they reported odd crystalline structures forming in it, and then a strong, ammonia-like odor. Suddenly they began dropping like flies. In all, two dozen emergency medical personnel were knocked out cold by this bloodborne nerve gas, with the worst affected, Dr. Julie Gorchynski, spending weeks in recovery after her bones literally began to die. It’s almost as if someone had declared chemical warfare on an unsuspecting California ER, but who in their right mind would do such a horrible thing?

As it turns out, the culprit was one Gloria Ramirez. Unintentionally, of course.

It Gets Weirder:

An initial state report claimed that the emergency room workers had simply succumbed to mass hysteria brought on by stress, but it doesn’t take an intimate knowledge of the scientific method to call bullshit on that hypothesis. These were ER doctors; one dying woman isn’t going to cause them all to swoon like shocked Southern belles.

A later analysis of the case performed by a team of nuclear weapons chemists at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory arrived at a much more feasible conclusion. Ramirez, suffering from advanced cervical cancer, had turned to a never-prescribed topical solution known as DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) to treat her pain. If you were to bombard DMSO with oxygen atoms after it had been absorbed into your bloodstream — as might happen if, say, an ambulance crew applied an oxygen mask — you’d end up with dimethyl sulfate, a bona fide chemical warfare agent. And that’s how, starting the moment those unsuspecting ER workers tapped into her tainted veins, Gloria Ramirez became a war crime.


Cryptic Mystery Blocks On UK Beaches Were … Not All That Mysterious, It Turns Out

While out walking her dog on a Cornwall beach in 2012, Tracey Williams spotted a big black tablet lying in the sand. Possibly expecting commandments from God, or at least a free iPad, she turned the tablet over to find a single, seemingly nonsense word: “TJIPETIR.” She didn’t think much of it until, weeks later, she found a matching slab on yet another beach.

Tom Quinn Williams
“If this is a plea for rescue, you could be a bit more clear.”

Williams set up a Facebook page in an attempt to solve the mystery, and reports soon flooded in of perplexing rubber blocks discovered on beaches from France to Sweden. It didn’t take long to connect the name “Tjipetir” to an Indonesian plantation that, around the turn of the 20th century, was a major producer of gutta-percha, the old-timey vegan equivalent of present-day plastic. So that answered the question of where the blocks originated … but how exactly did these mysterious antediluvian objects end up strewn all across the beaches of Northern Europe?

Time travel.

It’s obviously time travel. Right?

It Gets Weirder:

The answer is not time travel. Goddammit, the answer is never going to be time travel.

A French newspaper speculated that the blocks were washing up from the wreckage of the Titanic, which listed gutta-percha on its manifest. But then a much stronger candidate came to light in 2013: the Japanese cargo liner Miyazaki Maru, which was sunk west of the Scilly Isles in 1915 by German U-boat ace Walther Schwieger (aka “the guy who goaded America into World War I“). Not only was the ship carrying blocks of gutta-percha, but it was also being ripped to bits by salvagers even as untold rubber blocks were finding their way into the ocean currents.

The Miyazaki Maru was carrying such a massive lot of gutta-percha, in fact, that the discovery of TJIPETIR blocks isn’t likely to stop anytime soon. Oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer estimates that the blocks are “one of the great pieces of flotsam that people may be finding 100 years from now.”

Said people will almost assuredly forget about this story in due time, and the mystery will begin anew.


The Blue People Of Kentucky Screwed Each Other Blue

The Blue Fugates of Troublesome Creek were, as their nickname implies, blue. Not sad or profane — actually blue.

Via ABC News
“The name was originally Funke; they made us change it at Ellis Island.”

When Martin Fugate immigrated to Kentucky from France in 1820, the most likely explanation for his blue skin was probably “pissed off a witch.” Today we know a simpler explanation: Fugate (and in turn, his progeny) suffered from a rare blood disorder known as methemoglobinemia. Passed down through a recessive gene, this disorder renders the blood unable to carry an adequate amount of oxygen, thereby tinting the subject’s skin a lovely shade of Drowning Victim Blue.

Now, the thing about recessive genes is that it takes two of them to tango. You see where we’re headed with this, right?

It Gets Weirder:

Benjy Stacy was born “as Blue as Lake Louise,” and could trace his ancestry directly back to Martin Fugate — using a single finger, no less. “I’m kin to myself,” he politely understated.

Having lived in a remote area of Kentucky which was largely disconnected from the outside world, the Fugates really kept it in the family, so to speak. Cousins married cousins — Martin’s son Zachariah bucked the trend by marrying his own aunt — and popped out some new blue self-cousins to keep the grand tradition going. The Fugates danced the Targaryen Shuffle for seven generations before coal mining found its way to the region and forcibly expanded their world. The family then dispersed and the recessive trait became less common.

That’s not to say it disappeared entirely, however. Enter Kerry Green:

Kerry Green
“Hey, Green, feeling a little blue?”
“Oh my god, fuck you. You think you’re the first person to think of that? FUCK. YOU.”

Green, a 53-year-old Tulsa native and methemoglobinemia sufferer, strongly suspects that his absentee father — an also-blue long-haul truck driver — was descended from a Tennessee branch of the Fugate family tree. Though he’s suffered a long chain of health problems, starting with a series of heart surgeries shortly after birth, his condition isn’t all downside. Green claims his father was once shot five times yet didn’t bleed out, because the disorder makes your blood the consistency of melted chocolate.

Hey Marvel, give us a call when you want to talk about our brand-new surefire superhero concept: Inbred Blue Guy.

Saikat Bhowmik loves solving mysteries while remaining mysterious himself. To get some of that mysterious touch, follow him on Twitter and visit his channels Amuzic and Amuzic II. Laura H. would like to thank everyone who said she’d never make any money from writing. Follow her on Twitter.

Even mutant cyclops goats deserve love. Make any you encounter feel special with this Scott Summers action figure.

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A Stanford professors advice on surviving the a**hole at your startup

If you’ve never worked for a complete jerk, consider yourself lucky. Roughly one in five people polled say they’ve experienced bullying in the workplace, according to a 2017 study commissioned by the Workplace Bullying Institute. The study — which is actually pretty fascinating — concluded that 61 percent of the time, the bully is the person to whom an employee reports directly. Bullies are also men 70 percent of the time, while 66 percent of the time it’s women who are targets of bullying.

None of this is news to Stanford Professor Bob Sutton, who co-founded both the and Stanford Tech Ventures. He authored “The No Asshole Rule” a decade ago, and, relying on academic studies and thousands of email exchanges and conversations he has had with readers since, Sutton is now publishing a follow-up book next week called “The Asshole Survival Guide.”

We talked with Sutton yesterday about what it means to be an asshole, how to work alongside one and why startups likely have more than their fair share of them.

TC: You cover a lot of ground in this book, which is basically a guide to figuring out a way to survive a terrible human being based on how much power you have. Why write a second book on this particular topic?

BS: “The No Asshole Rule” was really meant to be about building relatively jerk-free cultures, but people from all corners have been approaching me ever since, saying, “I work with a jerk. What do I do?” I sort of became the Dr. Phil for people with asshole problems.

TC: Is this meant to mostly entertain? Is it anecdotal?

BS: I did want it to be entertaining and readable, but I take an evidence-based perspective. I’m an organizational researcher at Stanford, so I’ve carefully reviewed thousands of economic papers on bullying and abusive workplaces.

TC: You talk a lot about creating physical and mental distance from bullies. But I’ve interviewed one of your Stanford colleagues in the past, Jeffrey Pfeffer, who takes a very different stance. He argues that you’ve got to fight bullies or else lose to them. His thinking is that nice guys finish last.

BS: I’ve written two books with Jeff and although he loves making that argument, he’s in the minority. My personal philosophy is that if you’re a winner and an asshole, you’re still a loser as a human being. But further, if you look at Adam Grant, who’s perhaps the most respected researcher in our field, and a host of others of us, we think if you beat people badly, you may win in the short term, but your enemies lie in wait to bring you down.

TC: You hear that refrain a lot in startups I think — the founder who was wronged or underestimated and has an axe to grind so starts his or her own company. 

BS: Sure! Look at Tony Fadell [who worked for Steve Jobs and later co-founded Nest Labs, which Google acquired for $3.2 billion]. Getting even can be a motivation, absolutely.

TC: You may know more about Fadell’s relationship with Jobs than I do. Maybe I should back up and ask what you mean by asshole. Is it another word for someone who’s “political” in a work setting?

BS: The definition I use is that you’re having interactions with someone who leaves you feeling demeaned, de-energized and disrespected. It could be because they are nasty to everyone. It could be that you’re egging them on. It could also be that you’re thin-skinned. In fact, you’re right that people are often political opponents, in which case the odds that I think they are an asshole and they think I am as asshole are pretty high. But even in that situation, there are things you need to do so that your productivity and mental health don’t deteriorate.

TC: New research suggests that it’s most often someone’s boss who they deem an asshole. Do you think that’s partly because people hate hierarchies?

BS: If you look at research on who tends to be a workplace bully, the most frequent culprit is the person next up the hierarchy from us. The notion that people quit bosses instead of organizations is well-documented.

There are also studies that show when you put people in positions of power, they become more focused on their own needs than others; they become more rude. So if you’re going to pick the asshole, the most immediate culprit is someone’s immediate boss.

TC: So you get away from that person. But to Pfeffer’s point, if you opt out, isn’t it game over?

BS: If you’re going to work every day and someone is treating you with disrespect or you’re constantly exposed to bullying, it can lead to trouble with your family, mental health problems, sleeplessness. I think you’re a quitter and a winner if you get out of that situation. By Jeffrey’s logic, people would never divorce abusive spouses, either.

One thing I do emphasize is the importance of how you quit. We love the idea of the person who says, “Take this job and shove it,” but we all need our social networks. Slowly figuring out your exit options in a way that preserves those is a much better way to go about it. Unless you’re rich, like Fadell. In which case it doesn’t matter. [Laughs.]

TC: Continuing to play devil’s advocate here, people like to think organizations care about them more than they might. Do employees sometimes mistake a focus on the bottom line for assholishness?

BS: If you look at our biases as humans, we do overestimate how much people care about us or how important we are to others, so I think that is an issue. [With pro basketball, for example] it might lead you to label someone as an asshole if they traded you and you thought you were important. Either way, you need to change the situation.

TC: What if you don’t have the resources to leave it?

BS: There are a number of mind tricks that I outline in the book. One centers on temporal distance. You look for the silver lining in a situation. It’s, “Gee, that person just treated me like dirt, but when I look back on it a year from now, it won’t hurt so much.” Reframing things in such a way that they can seem funny to you helps, too.

There are also ways to get rid of the local asshole, but you’ll need a posse.

TC: Before you go, do you think bullying is any worse at startups? We’ve obviously seen a lot of headlines about bad behavior this year.

BS: If you want to talk about situations where you’re going to turn people into jerks, yes. If you put someone under a lot of time pressure, make them tired and sleep deprived, place them in a position where they feel powerful — and they felt powerless before — then potentially add physical crowding, it’s a pretty good recipe for bringing out the worst in any human being.

It’s frankly amazing how civilized many startups are despite the pressure they face.

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Obama Goes From White House to Wall Street in Less Than One Year

Hillary Clinton says she made a mistake when she gave speeches on Wall Street after leaving government. Taking money from banks, she writes in her new memoir, created the impression she was in their pocket.

Her old boss doesn’t seem to share her concern.

Last month, just before her book “What Happened” was published, Barack Obama spoke in New York to clients of Northern Trust Corp. for about $400,000, a person familiar with his appearance said. Last week, he reminisced about the White House for Carlyle Group LP, one of the world’s biggest private equity firms, according to two people who were there. Next week, he’ll give a keynote speech at investment bank Cantor Fitzgerald LP’s health-care conference.

Obama is coming to Wall Street less than a year after leaving the White House, following a path that’s well trod and well paid. While he can’t run for president, he continues to be an influential voice in a party torn between celebrating and vilifying corporate power. His new work with banks might suggest which side of the debate he’ll be on and disappoint anyone expecting him to avoid a trap that snared Clinton. Or, as some of his executive friends see it, he’s just a private citizen giving a few paid speeches to other successful people while writing his next book.

“He was the president of the entire United States — financial services are under that umbrella,” said former UBS Group AG executive Robert Wolf, an early supporter who joined the Obama Foundation board this year. “He doesn’t look at Wall Street like, ‘Oh, these are individuals who don’t want the best for the country.’ He doesn’t stereotype.”

Fat Cats

Since leaving office, Obama has delivered public and private speeches that are “true to his values,” Kevin Lewis, a spokesman for the former president, said in an email. “His paid speeches in part have allowed President Obama to contribute $2 million to Chicago programs offering job training and employment opportunities to low-income youth.”

Obama’s relationship with Wall Street hasn’t always been good. Bankers still boil over with rage about him, wincing over his 2009 line about fat cats as if the wounds were fresh. But his Justice Department prosecuted no major bankers for their roles in the financial crisis, and he resisted calls to break up the biggest banks, signing a regulatory overhaul that annoyed them with new rules but didn’t stop them from pulling in record profits.

The brokerage and investment bank Cantor Fitzgerald isn’t one of those giants. S&P Global Ratings announced this year that the New York-based firm’s debt grades could be cut to junk. Cantor’s investment banking division is run by health-care specialist Sage Kelly, who left Jefferies Group after divorce-case accusations became salacious tabloid fodder in 2014. His ex-wife later apologized for the storm caused by the claims, which he had denied.

Cantor Chief Executive Officer Howard Lutnick, whose firm lost more than 600 people in the Sept. 11 attacks, said the former president will make remarks and take questions. The three-day conference for current and prospective clients begins Sept. 25. Obama will be paid about $400,000, according to a person familiar with the arrangement.

“Everybody would like to come,” Lutnick said. “Hopefully, we will really talk about the Affordable Care Act in interesting and nuanced ways, which I think is really cool.”

Private Island

Obama’s appearance at the Carlyle conference in Washington was previously unreported. The private equity giant has enjoyed some of the best political connections in the world, with executives and advisers who have included former presidents, prime ministers and cabinet secretaries. Obama discussed his life and the decisions he made in the White House, the people who heard him said. A spokesman for the firm wouldn’t comment.

The ex-president has been busy. His foundation is raising money for a library in Chicago, and he and his wife signed a book deal with Penguin Random House after an auction that went above $60 million, according to the Financial Times. He spoke about food in Milan, democracy in Jakarta and himself at an A&E Television Networks event in New York. He vacationed in California and Hawaii and on Richard Branson’s Necker Island with its billionaire owner.

Obama has picked private equity, hedge fund, venture capital and banking veterans to oversee his foundation, and an alumnus of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to advise him on investments.

Northern Trust is a bank that specializes in wealth management for rich families and services for big funds. The event had gone unreported, but a program accessible on the firm’s website lists Obama alongside executives from Microsoft Corp., IBM and Michael Bloomberg, majority owner of Bloomberg LP.

Northern Trust, based in Chicago, gave Obama a discount on a $1.32 million loan for a mansion in that city in 2005, after he was elected to the Senate, the Washington Post reported. The rate was changed to account for an offer from another lender, a spokesman for Obama said three years later. Doug Holt, a spokesman for Northern Trust, wouldn’t comment for this story.

Imperial Ballroom

Obama is getting advice on investments from Robbie Robinson, who’s on leave from BDT & Co., according to a person familiar with the arrangement. That Chicago-based firm works with wealthy families and is run by Byron Trott. Both bankers worked for Goldman Sachs.

Obama has known executives there for more than a decade. He spoke at the 2006 Goldman Sachs partners’ meeting in Chicago. Then a senator, he appeared between Hank Paulson and Warren Buffett in the Fairmont hotel’s Imperial Ballroom, an event program shows.

Both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump blasted Clinton for her lucrative Goldman Sachs speeches, and the issue is still raw. Sanders and fellow Senator Elizabeth Warren have tried to pry the Democratic Party away from its coziness with Wall Street. If Obama is hoping the party will be a big tent with room for corporate giants, they may stand in his way.

Obama’s donor friends tend to mention the same reason when they defend his Wall Street speeches, saying he’s no longer president and not running for office. Morgan Stanley Vice Chairman Tom Nides is one of them.

“I love Barack Obama, and if someone is willing to pay him to give a speech, God bless America,” said Nides, a deputy secretary of state under Clinton in Obama’s administration.

Revolving Door

But Jeff Hauser, who studies political corruption as head of the Revolving Door Project in Washington, said Obama should play by the same rules as other politicians because of his ongoing work with the Democratic Party.

“He’s continuing to exercise the authority,” Hauser said, citing Obama’s support for the party’s redistricting committee and the push he gave Tom Perez in the race to head the Democratic National Committee. If he wants to play a role, “he ought to forgo a few hundred thousand here and maybe a half-million there.”

Few leaders have left the top of the U.S. government recently and resisted the lure of corporate money. Former Vice President Al Gore is a director at Apple Inc. and a senior partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the venture capital firm whose chairman, John Doerr, is on the Obama Foundation’s board. Dan Quayle, another ex-vice president, has spent almost two decades with private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP. Trump’s White House has lost officials so quickly that Sean Spicer has already made arrangements to speak to a financial firm this year.

“Not everyone’s going to be a Jimmy Carter, who does purely good works after he gets out,” said Sean Coffey, a Democratic donor who chairs the complex litigation group at corporate law firm Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP. Obama is used to being criticized, the attorney added. “I don’t think getting any grief for doing this is going to bother him at all.”

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    15 Real Science Stories That Would Make Great Sci-Fi Movies

    If you’re a movie fan in 2017, you’re hard pressed to find many original sci-fi films. There are a lot more Alien: Covenants and Blade Runner: 2o49s than Ex Machinas. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just sometimes sci-fi fans want to experience something new, something fresh, something that’s not in the Transformers expanded universe.

    I mean, it’s 2017. There are new planets and technologies being discovered every day. Surely some of them would make for the basis of a good sci-fi movie.

    So on this week’s podcast, Alex Schmidt puts together a panel to research as many new and groundbreaking science stories as possible and pitch them as sci-fi movies. He’s joined live in New York at the Now Hear This podcast festival by Cracked’s Brett Rader and Michael Swaim, and comedians Claudia Cogan and Negin Farsad to discuss sense vests, head transplants, robot vines and more.


    Los Angeles Times: Caltech scientists make robots out of DNA that can pick stuff up and move it around

    Wired: Lab-grown brain balls are starting to look more lifelike

    TED: David Eagleman: Can we create new senses for humans?

    New York Times: Microchip implants for employees? One company says yes

    Business Insider: A surgeon aiming to do the first human head transplant says ‘Frankenstein’ predicted a crucial part of the surgery

    Trailer: The Thing With Two Heads

    Vice: The Mir Space Station was a marvel, a clusterfuck, and an underdog hero

    The Guardian: Space savers: astronaut urine could make supplies from nutrients to tools

    Mirror: Scientists say humans should learn from pigeons to be better at work

    Independent: Facebook’s AI robots shut down after they start talking to each other in their own language

    TechCrunch: Meet the adorable robot camera Japan’s space agency sent to the ISS

    The Verge: These soft robots are inspired by plants and move like sentient vines

    Trailer: Geostorm

    Cracked: 6 ways driverless cars are going to kill lots of people

    Video: Drone speared at renaissance fair

    Futurism: The world’s largest and most powerful x-ray laser just went online

    Space: Are solar sails the future of space travel?

    Gizmodo: Hitchhiking robot lasts just two weeks in US because humans are terrible

    Wired: Biometrics are coming, along with serious security concerns

    Mary Roach: Grunt

    Light bulbs stuck in butts! Heroin-induced erectile dysfunction! War vets taking Molly to quell their PTSD! Such are the subjects of Cracked’s new podcast mini-series, Cracked Gets Personal, hosted by Cracked’s Robert Evans and Rick and Morty’s Brandon Johnson. The first four episodes are available now, and you can hear the rest of season one every Wednesday by searching for “Cracked Gets Personal” in your podcast app of choice, or click here to find it on Apple Podcasts.

    If you’re looking for some great back-to-school threads and want to show your support for The Cracked Podcast, check out the awesome Cracked Podcast merch we’ve got at

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    RIP Juicero, the $400 venture-backed juice machine

    It sounds like America’s favorite $400 juice machine will be no longer.

    “After selling over a million Produce Packs, we must let you know that we are suspending the sale of the Juicero Press and Produce Packs immediately,” reads the company blog post.

    Juicero will also be giving people money back. “For the next 90 days, we are offering refunds for your purchase of the Juicero Press,” according to the note.

    Founded by Doug Evans, San Francisco-based Juicero had raised more than $118 million in funding from prominent VCs like Google Ventures and Kleiner Perkins. Carmelo Anthony also invested through his Melo7 Tech venture fund. Even The Campbell Soup Company threw money at it. Juicero started raising funding in 2013 and launched 16 months ago.

    The company was subject to mockery, particularly after a Bloomberg piece showed that the juice packets could be squeezed by hand and did not require a fancy machine. 

    After that, Juicero promised to lower prices, but apparently found that to be too difficult. Now the startup is hoping to find a buyer.

    “We are confident that to truly have the long-term impact we want to make, we need to focus on finding an acquirer with an existing national fresh food supply chain who can carry forward the Juicero mission,” reads the blog post.

    Inspired by the popularity of Keurig coffee cups, some venture investors have been looking for other kitchen appliances that could gain significant traction. “Juicing” is very popular in some parts of the United States, and the idea was that this would make it easier for people to make juice at home. But the upfront cost of the machine was high and people had to pay an added cost for the refillable packets.

    Unfortunately, the machine, which was once priced at $700, was met with derision from the get-go. It became symbolic of Silicon Valley’s out-of-touch elites.

    I tried the juices and can confirm they were tasty. RIP.

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    This Amazing Moment Between A Husband And Wife Will Have You Reaching For Tissues

    Those of us who’ve never had any issues with hearing take a lot of everyday noises for granted.

    If you’re in a relationship, you probably don’t think much about what it sounds like to kiss your partner. But for one deaf woman, it meant the world to finally be able to hear it. After receiving a cochlear implant, she visited her doctor to make sure the device was working as it was supposed to.

    She was understandably overwhelmed by all the sounds around her…but one of the most emotional moments was being able to hear what it sounded like to kiss her husband. Get some tissues ready, folks!

    (via Daily Mail)

    I’m so happy for this lady. I can’t begin to imagine how incredible this experience was for her.

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    Jimmy Kimmel’s baby may save healthcare for 30 million people

    Image: randy holmes/ABC via Getty Images

    Welcome to 2017, where the American government has ceded its already crumbling moral authority to the former host of The Man Show.

    Don’t you miss the 2016 election now?

    Still, the last few days have produced some of the best material late night television has ever had to offer, and all it’s because of former Man Show star, Win Ben Stein’s Money co-host, and late night host, Jimmy Kimmel. Kimmel has not only taken on the Senate’s practically homicidal Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill, he’s done it without resorting to lies or distortions (how quaint!). He accomplished this by speaking from a place of deep empathy, and by centering on a character that remains untouchable across the political spectrum: his baby.

    Back in May, Kimmel’s newborn son had to undergo an emergency open-heart surgery. It was this hardship that brought America’s perilous healthcare situation into sharp focus for the comedian. And as he’s grown more vocal about the issue, he returns to his own child as the impetus for his outspokenness.

    That’s why every counter-attack by GOP politician and pundits against Kimmel has fallen flat on its face: in the symbolic war between sick babies and man-baby Senators, the sick baby will always win.

    By positioning his baby at his monologue’s heart and center, he’s created the most sympathetic protagonist imaginable and made anyone who opposes that character a hateful antagonist by extension (which, I mean, is accurate). Everyone who attacks Kimmel’s position, is essentially attacking his baby. 

    Not a good position for a politician.

    “Before 2014, if you were born with congenital heart disease like my son was, there’s a good chance you would never be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition,” Kimmel said in May. “If your baby is going to die, and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make … we all agree on that, right? I mean, we do!” 

    Babies work. There’s a reason why every politician is required to take a photo with them at some point in their campaign.

    When I was a social worker, we talked a lot about “worthy victims” and “unworthy victims.” “Unworthy victims” are people a society has collectively decided are victims because of their own poor choices: the poor, victims of sexual assault, the homeless, welfare recipients, people of color, criminals and undocumented immigrants. “Worthy victims,” by contrast, are folks that society has deemed sufficiently worthy of empathy (and consequently, of charitable donations) including sick children, the elderly and people with *certain* disabilities.

    That doesn’t mean that worthy victims are exactly living large in America. Just think of the folks who were cruelly pulled from their wheelchairs by Capitol police while protesting Trumpcare that summer. But it does mean that they, culturally at least, have tremendous worth. I can’t think of a stronger symbolic lead than Kimmel’s son — a sick, wealthy kind with a devastating illness — followed closely by his acerbic father. Is there anything Americans love more than a cynical man, who simultaneously knows his facts and is deeply in touch with his own tenderness?

    Of a Fox and Friends host who attacked Kimmel for his monologues, Kimmel had this to say:

    “And you know, the reason I’m talking about this is because my son had an open-heart surgery and has to have two more, and because of that, I’ve learned that there are kids with no insurance in the same situation,” Kimmel said. “I don’t get anything out of this, Brian [Kilmeade], you phony little creep. Oh, I’ll pound you when I see you.”

    Just look at how these Republican politicians and pundits tiptoed around his attacks, especially as  they relate to Kimmy’s son, and relied on the tired excuse than Kimmel wasn’t smart enough to analyze the bill because’s he’s a late night comedian. 

    Remember: these folks voted for a man who recently made up an African country in front of Africans and didn’t realize that Frederick Douglass was dead, so we’re not exactly dealing with “wonks” here. 

    All late night comedians have in some ways impacted culture and by extension, politics, but Kimmel might become the first late night politicians to have an immediate, substantive impact on policy. There’s a Jimmy Kimmel test Senator Cassidy once told Congress it has to pass. Kimmel even ended his monologue with a screen full of Senator’s phone numbers, amplifying his personal story and turning it into collective action.

    Babies work. There’s a reason why every politician is required to take a photo with them at some point in their campaign. There’s a reason why political ads that include children, like this one of Hillary’s, are far more effective than those that feature rehabilitated criminal — even though both would be endangered by Graham-Cassidy.  Kimmel even admitted that he was “politicizing his baby” for the greater good.  

    Doing anything that might directly harm babies is one the last moral lines we have around these broken parts. Let’s see if one man’s 13-minute monologues are powerful enough to keep us from crossing it.

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    Yes, The U.S. National Tick Collection Is A Thing That Exists. You’re Welcome, World

    Growing up in the woods, my siblings and I knew that we always had to check for ticks before going back inside.

    Having the bloodsucker attached to your body is terrifying enough, but there’s also the huge risk of contracting the diseases that ticks carry around with them. I’ve seen quite a few of these insects in my life, but it never occurred to me that there must be people out there who love studying them.

    Enter the U.S. National Tick Collection. Yes, you read that right. It’s a collection, and it’s actually pretty fascinating.

    Part of the Smithsonian Institution and housed at Georgia Southern University, the U.S. National Tick Collection has preserved more than a million ticks.

    They have about 96 percent of the world’s 900 tick species, and that includes all of the ones found in the United States.

    The collection was first formed in 1905 when scientists realized that ticks could transmit illnesses.

    They have some advice for anyone living in tick-heavy areas. “One of the important things we tell people when they want to remove ticks is, don’t break the tick,” curator Dr. Lorenza Beati says. She explains that if you do so, any bacteria in the tick could end up on your skin. Always disinfect!

    (via CNN)

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    Facebook drops no-vote stock plan, Zuck will sell shares to fund philanthropy

    Mark Zuckerberg has gotten so rich that he can fund his philanthropic foundation and retain voting control without Facebook having to issue a proposed non-voting class of stock that faced shareholder resistance. Today Facebook announced that it’s withdrawn its plan to issue Class C no-vote stock and has resolved the shareholder lawsuit seeking to block the corporate governance overhaul.

    Instead, Zuckerberg says that because Facebook has become so valuable, he can sell a smaller allotment of his stake in the company to deliver plenty of capital to his Chan Zuckerberg Initiative foundation that aims to help eradicate disease and deliver personalized education to all children.

    “Over the past year and a half, Facebook’s business has performed well and the value of our stock has grown to the point that I can fully fund our philanthropy and retain voting control of Facebook for 20 years or more,” Zuckerberg writes. Facebook’s share price has increased roughly 45 percent, from $117 to $170, since the Class C stock plan was announced, with Facebook now valued at $495 billion.

    Mark Zuckerberg, Priscilla Chan and their daughters Max and August

    “We are gratified that Facebook and Mr. Zuckerberg have agreed not to proceed with the reclassification we were challenging,” writes Lee Rudy, the partner at Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check LLP that was representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuit seeking to block the no-vote share creation. Zuckerberg was slated to testify in the suit later this month, but now won’t have to. “This result is a full victory for Facebook’s stockholders, and achieved everything we could have hoped to obtain by winning a permanent injunction at trial.”

    “I want to be clear: this doesn’t change Priscilla and my plans to give away 99% of our Facebook shares during our lives. In fact, we now plan to accelerate our work and sell more of those shares sooner,” Zuckerberg wrote. “I anticipate selling 35-75 million Facebook shares in the next 18 months to fund our work in education, science, and advocacy.” That equates to $5.95 billion to $12.75 billion worth of Facebook shares Zuckerberg will liquidate.

    When Zuckerberg announced the plan in April 2016, he wrote that being a founder-led company where he controls enough votes to always steer Facebook’s direction rather than cowing to public shareholders lets Facebook “resist the short term pressures that often hurt companies.” By issuing the non-voting shares, “I’ll be able to keep founder control of Facebook so we can continue to build for the long term, and Priscilla and I will be able to give our money to fund important work sooner.”

    A spokesperson for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative told TechCrunch that this outcome is very good for the foundation, because it provides more predictability to its funding. The plan will also allow Zuckerberg to deliver cash to the CZI sooner, which its new CFO Peggy Alford will be able to allocate between its health, education and advocacy projects.

    With the new plan to sell shares, it’s unclear what might happen to Zuckerberg’s iron grip on Facebook’s future in “20 years or more.”

    Dropping the Class C shares plan may be seen as a blow to Facebook board member Marc Andreessen, who Bloomberg revealed had coached Zuckerberg through pushing the proposed plan through the rest of the board. But given Zuckerberg’s power, Andreessen is unlikely to be ousted unless the Facebook CEO wants him gone.

    Zuckerberg strolls through the developer conference of Oculus, the VR company he pushed Facebook to acquire

    For the foreseeable future, though, Zuckerberg will have the power to shape Facebook’s decisions. His business instincts have proven wise over the years. Acquisitions he orchestrated that seemed pricey at first — like Instagram and WhatsApp — have been validated as their apps grow to multiples of their pre-buy size. And Zuckerberg’s relentless prioritization of the user experience over that of advertisers and outside developers has kept the Facebook community deeply engaged instead of pushed away with spam.

    Zuckerberg’s ability to maintain power could allow him to continue to make bold or counter-intuitive decisions without shareholder interference. But the concentration of power also puts Facebook in a precarious position if Zuckerberg were to be tarnished by scandal or suddenly unable to continue his duties as CEO.

    Zuckerberg warned investors when Facebook went public that “Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission.” And yet Facebook has flourished into one of the world’s most successful businesses in part because shareholders weren’t allowed to sell its ambitions short.

    Read more:

    Murdered Sex Dolls & Porn Suitcases: What Garbagemen See

    No one knows you the way your garbageman knows you. You can lie to your spouse, to your friends and to your neighbors. But your trash always tells the truth. On this week’s episode of Cracked Gets Personal, Robert Evans and Brandon Johnson talk to four garbagemen about the insane things they’ve seen, and the dark secrets they’ve learned about modern life. For stories of murdered sex dolls, attempted banditry and sooooo much discarded porn, listen now!

    Light bulbs stuck in butts! Heroin-induced erectile dysfunction! War vets taking Molly to quell their PTSD! It’s never too late to catch up on the first few episodes of Cracked Gets Personal.

    Click here to subscribe to Cracked Gets Personal on Apple Podcasts or search for it your podcast app of choice.

    Read more:

    Video of cop taking money out of hot dog vendor’s wallet sparks outrage

    An incident between a University of California Berkeley police officer and a local hot dog vendor has quickly gone viral after video shows the officer writing a ticket and sifting through the vendor’s wallet to take his money.

    The video was posted by a man named Martin Flores on Facebook on Saturday evening as he was trying to buy a hot dog from the man he identified as Juan.

    According to Berkeleyside, Flores began filming after Officer Sean Aranas started citing Juan for vending without a license. His Facebook video had been viewed more than 11.5 million times before the post apparently was deleted.

    In the video, Flores continuously says, “That’s not right,” and Aranas responds at first by saying, “That’s how it works.” A few seconds later, Aranas says, “We’ll take it to the judge, and the judge can decide whether it’s right” and “This is law and order in action.”

    Observers began to heckle Flores, who told the crowd, “I’m working for you.”

    UC Berkeley police told KTVU that it was targeting unregulated street vendors who don’t have a permit to sell food. Police also told the TV station that the vendor’s money was booked as evidence.

    “We are aware of the incident,” UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof told Berkeleyside on Sunday evening. “The officer was tasked with enforcing violations related to vending without a permit on campus. UCPD is looking into the matter.”

    A UC Berkeley Police spokesperson on Monday morning told the Daily Dot that they are also “aware of the incident” and said the police department would have more to say later in the day, which Mogulof confirmed to the Daily Dot.

    According to online records, the vendor was cited for violating the Berkeley Municipal Code for vending without a license at 5:32pm PT just outside California Memorial Stadium during a Cal-Weber State football game. Juan was the only person cited for that alleged violation on Saturday.

    In response, Flores started a GoFundMe account for Juan, and at the time of this writing, 2,378 donors have raised more than $34,000.

    “The funds raised will be utilized to cover legal and personal loses,” Flores wrote on the page. “In addition, funds in excess are to cover other vendors who have been robbed of their hard-earned living through citations and removal of their carts … We will ensure that Juan has his personal, legal and professional matters addressed. Juan is a symbol of the injustice that takes place to street vendors.”

    Another online petition was created to force the police department to remove Aranas from his job, accusing him of “continuously target minorities in the community.” As of this writing, nearly 13,000 had signed it.

    “The only beautiful thing here is there is a lot of community support,” Flores told the Daily Californian. “Juan will … benefit from those funds … whether it’s getting a car, getting a permit, whatever is the applicable thing to address the issue.”

    Update 9:15am CT, Sept. 12: Scott Biddy, vice chancellor of Berkeley, released a statement saying that the school cares about the well-being of those from “marginalized communities of color,” it is reviewing the incident, and he has instructed the University of California Police Department to open a complaint investigation. He then provided context for the situation:

    “We have instructed our officers to monitor illegal vending outside our event venues. This action has been motivated at least in part by issues of public health, the interests of local small businesses, and even human trafficking. In addition, while I cannot comment on the specifics of this particular case, our practice is to issue warnings before giving a citation. In a case such as this, it is typical to collect any suspected illegal funds and enter them into evidence.”

    In a Q&A portion of the statement, the school said that $60 was taken from the vendor by the officer, which was “seized as evidence of the suspected proceeds of the violation and booked into evidence.”

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    You’ll Melt When You See What Happens When This Cat’s Favorite Human Plays The Piano

    They say that animals really do enjoy listening to music, especially of the classical genre, and if this adorable kitty is any indication, it’s definitely true.

    Sarper Duman is a pianist from Istanbul, Turkey, who rescues injured cats from the streets and nurses them back to health in his home. All of his furry roommates love listening to him play the piano, but one is particularly smitten with the way he tickles the ivories.

    Watch as this kitty enters a state of nirvana while listening to Duman play. The little cutie is so happy that you can even hear him purring!

    Is anyone else about ready to swoon from the cuteness? To listen to more of Duman’s beautiful music and to see more of the kitties he takes care of, be sure to check him out on YouTube and Instagram.

    Read more:

    23andMe is raising about $200 million, led by Sequoia

    23andMe, the Mountain View-based genetic testing and analysis company, is raising close to $200 million in a funding round led by Sequoia Capital, multiple sources tell us. Sources say that Fidelity is also looking to participate.

    We’d first heard in spring that the 11-year-old company was looking for more money to expand its genetics research arm and develop new products.

    The fresh capital should allow it to continue growing its revenue, without the pressure of going public just yet, which sources say that cofounder and CEO Anne Wojcicki is reluctant to do.

    23andMe has been leaning more on its research efforts since it was stifled in 2013 after being ordered by the Food and Drug Administration to cease sales of its personal genomics test. The FDA said at the time that the company didn’t meet FDA standards. 23andMe subsequently stopped selling genetic health information to new consumers and began looking for alternative sources of revenue.

    Among its subsequent moves was beefing up its medical research, hiring more scientists and partnering with genetics outfits to conduct high-level studies. Celmatix, a genetics company studying fertility, is currently working with the company for a study on how certain genes affect women’s ability to get pregnant.

    The FDA relieved the pressure somewhat in 2015, allowing for one genetics test for Bloom syndrome, a rare recessive gene disorder. In another surprise development this past April, 23andMe received the green light from government regulators to sell a service that gives customers a risk analysis for 10 genetically linked diseases, including late-onset Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. According to one source, the company is also seeking approval to begin conducting risk analysis on breast cancer-related genes BRCA-1 and BRCA-2, potentially putting a competitor, Color Genomics,  in its cross hairs.

    Based on some of 23andMe’s newer hires, we wouldn’t be shocked to see the company dive into drug development, either.

    We’ve reached out to Fidelity with questions about the funding. Sequoia, meanwhile, declined to comment.

    Typically, companies won’t go public until at least a year after their last financing round, and usually a little longer, though IPOs remain a fairly standard path for late-stage venture-backed companies. In fact, another 23andMe competitor,, said in June that it confidentially filed for an IPO in June. It didn’t disclose how much it plans to raise.

    Another possible outcome for 23andMe would be an acquisition. Though there’s no reason to think that Wojcicki is looking to sell, M&A has largely replaced R&D in pharma and other healthcare related industries.

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    John McCain won’t back Graham-Cassidy bill, likely ending GOP health care push

    (CNN)Sen. John McCain announced Friday in a statement that he cannot “in good conscience” vote for the GOP’s latest plan to overhaul Obamacare, likely ending Republicans’ latest effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

    “I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal,” the Arizona Republican said in a statement. “I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried. Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will (affect) insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it. Without a full CBO score, which won’t be available by the end of the month, we won’t have reliable answers to any of those questions.”
    McCain’s “no” vote makes it very likely Republicans won’t be able to repeal and replace Obamacare before September 30, as Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said he would not back the effort and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is also expected to vote “no” on the proposal.
      Republicans need at least 50 votes to pass the measure under the process of reconciliation.
      McCain was one of three most-watched members on the fence and considered a key vote on the bill. Without his support, Republicans would need to get Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska, as well as Collins to sign on. It’s unlikely considering the fact that Collins said Friday afternoon that she was leaning against the bill and had key concerns that the legislation did not do enough to protect individuals with pre-existing conditions.
      “I’m leaning against the bill,” Collins said Friday at a Portland, Maine, event, according to The Portland Press Herald.
      A Republican aide involved in the process said Friday afternoon that GOP leaders are at the “evaluating options” stage right now.
      The aide added, “I’m not breaking news telling you this isn’t good.”
      Paul, the only other Republican other than McCain who has so far definitively come out against Graham-Cassidy, is “unlikely” to change his mind even if changes are made to the bill, his spokesman Sergio Gor told CNN.
      McCain’s announcement comes despite that one of the bill’s key sponsors — Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina — is a close confidant. The thinking was if anyone could convince McCain to vote “yes,” it would be Graham.
      “I take no pleasure in announcing my opposition. Far from it,” McCain said. “The bill’s authors are my dear friends, and I think the world of them. I know they are acting consistently with their beliefs and sense of what is best for the country. So am I.”
      McCain has said for weeks that he would not support health care legislation that had not gone through “regular order,” meaning Senate hearings, an amendment process and a rigorous floor debate.
      Graham said he “respectfully” disagrees with McCain and will “press on” with his legislation.
      “My friendship with John McCain is not based on how he votes but respect for how he’s lived his life and the person he is,” Graham said in a statement and on Twitter.
      McCain voted “no” on the last health care proposal in July for the same reason. McCain’s dramatic floor vote, which happened just weeks after he was diagnosed with brain cancer, came in the early morning and was captured as one of his most “maverick” moments in the Senate.

      Democrats praise McCain

      Just moments after McCain announced his opposition, Democrats seized on the opportunity to bring back bipartisan talks that had stalled last week.
      Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington and Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee had held bipartisan hearings over the last month on how to stabilize Obamacare marketplaces and were making progress in their negotiations. But the House leadership made it clear last week that the chamber probably would not be able to pass such a bill.
      As soon as McCain announced his opposition, Murray announced she was still open to reigniting those talks.
      “I agree with Senator McCain that the right way to get things done in the Senate — especially on an issue as important to families as their health care — is through regular order and working together to find common ground,” Murray said. “I’m still at the table ready to keep working, and I remain confident that we can reach a bipartisan agreement as soon as this latest partisan approach by Republican leaders is finally set aside.”
      Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also praised McCain shortly after his announcement.
      “John McCain shows the same courage in Congress that he showed when he was a naval aviator,” the New York Democrat said in a statement. “I have assured Senator McCain that as soon as repeal is off the table, we Democrats are intent on resuming the bipartisan process.”
      For her part, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said her members would continue working “to put the stake in the heart of this monstrous bill.”
      “This weekend, we will continue to highlight the devastating costs Republicans are trying to inflict on hard-working Americans,” she said in a letter to colleagues.
      This story has been updated and will update with additional developments.

      Read more:

      Plastic fibres found in tap water around the world, study reveals

      Exclusive: Tests show billions of people globally are drinking water contaminated by plastic particles, with 83% of samples found to be polluted

      Microplastic contamination has been found in tap water in countries around the world, leading to calls from scientists for urgent research on the implications for health.

      Scores of tap water samples from more than a dozen nations were analysed by scientists for an investigation by Orb Media, who shared the findings with the Guardian. Overall, 83% of the samples were contaminated with plastic fibres.

      The US had the highest contamination rate, at 94%, with plastic fibres found in tap water sampled at sites including Congress buildings, the US Environmental Protection Agencys headquarters, and Trump Tower in New York. Lebanon and India had the next highest rates.

      European nations including the UK, Germany and France had the lowest contamination rate, but this was still 72%. The average number of fibres found in each 500ml sample ranged from 4.8 in the US to 1.9 in Europe.

      The new analyses indicate the ubiquitous extent of microplastic contamination in the global environment. Previous work has been largely focused on plastic pollution in the oceans, which suggests people are eating microplastics via contaminated seafood.

      We have enough data from looking at wildlife, and the impacts that its having on wildlife, to be concerned, said Dr Sherri Mason, a microplastic expert at the State University of New York in Fredonia, who supervised the analyses for Orb. If its impacting [wildlife], then how do we think that its not going to somehow impact us?

      A magnified image of clothing microfibres from washing machine effluent. One study found that a fleece jacket can shed as many as 250,000 fibres per wash. Photograph: Courtesy of Rozalia Project

      A separate small study in the Republic of Ireland released in June also found microplastic contamination in a handful of tap water and well samples. We dont know what the [health] impact is and for that reason we should follow the precautionary principle and put enough effort into it now, immediately, so we can find out what the real risks are, said Dr Anne Marie Mahon at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, who conducted the research.

      Mahon said there were two principal concerns: very small plastic particles and the chemicals or pathogens that microplastics can harbour. If the fibres are there, it is possible that the nanoparticles are there too that we cant measure, she said. Once they are in the nanometre range they can really penetrate a cell and that means they can penetrate organs, and that would be worrying. The Orb analyses caught particles of more than 2.5 microns in size, 2,500 times bigger than a nanometre.

      Microplastics can attract bacteria found in sewage, Mahon said: Some studies have shown there are more harmful pathogens on microplastics downstream of wastewater treatment plants.

      Plastic fibres found in tap water across the world

      Microplastics are also known to contain and absorb toxic chemicals and research on wild animals shows they are released in the body. Prof Richard Thompson, at Plymouth University, UK, told Orb: It became clear very early on that the plastic would release those chemicals and that actually, the conditions in the gut would facilitate really quite rapid release. His research has shown microplastics are found in a third of fish caught in the UK.

      The scale of global microplastic contamination is only starting to become clear, with studies in Germany finding fibres and fragments in all of the 24 beer brands they tested, as well as in honey and sugar. In Paris in 2015, researchers discovered microplastic falling from the air, which they estimated deposits three to 10 tonnes of fibres on the city each year, and that it was also present in the air in peoples homes.

      This research led Frank Kelly, professor of environmental health at Kings College London, to tell a UK parliamentary inquiry in 2016: If we breathe them in they could potentially deliver chemicals to the lower parts of our lungs and maybe even across into our circulation. Having seen the Orb data, Kelly told the Guardian that research is urgently needed to determine whether ingesting plastic particles is a health risk.

      The new research tested 159 samples using a standard technique to eliminate contamination from other sources and was performed at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. The samples came from across the world, including from Uganda, Ecuador and Indonesia.

      How microplastics end up in drinking water is for now a mystery, but the atmosphere is one obvious source, with fibres shed by the everyday wear and tear of clothes and carpets. Tumble dryers are another potential source, with almost 80% of US households having dryers that usually vent to the open air.

      We really think that the lakes [and other water bodies] can be contaminated by cumulative atmospheric inputs, said Johnny Gasperi, at the University Paris-Est Creteil, who did the Paris studies. What we observed in Paris tends to demonstrate that a huge amount of fibres are present in atmospheric fallout.

      Plastic fibres may also be flushed into water systems, with a recent study finding that each cycle of a washing machine could release 700,000 fibres into the environment. Rains could also sweep up microplastic pollution, which could explain why the household wells used in Indonesia were found to be contaminated.

      In Beirut, Lebanon, the water supply comes from natural springs but 94% of the samples were contaminated. This research only scratches the surface, but it seems to be a very itchy one, said Hussam Hawwa, at the environmental consultancy Difaf, which collected samples for Orb.

      This planktonic arrow worm, Sagitta setosa, has eaten a blue plastic fibre about 3mm long. Plankton support the entire marine food chain. Photograph: Richard Kirby/Courtesy of Orb Media

      Current standard water treatment systems do not filter out all of the microplastics, Mahon said: There is nowhere really where you can say these are being trapped 100%. In terms of fibres, the diameter is 10 microns across and it would be very unusual to find that level of filtration in our drinking water systems.

      Bottled water may not provide a microplastic-free alternative to tapwater, as the they were also found in a few samples of commercial bottled water tested in the US for Orb.

      Almost 300m tonnes of plastic is produced each year and, with just 20% recycled or incinerated, much of it ends up littering the air, land and sea. A report in July found 8.3bn tonnes of plastic has been produced since the 1950s, with the researchers warning that plastic waste has become ubiquitous in the environment.

      We are increasingly smothering ecosystems in plastic and I am very worried that there may be all kinds of unintended, adverse consequences that we will only find out about once it is too late, said Prof Roland Geyer, from the University of California and Santa Barbara, who led the study.

      Mahon said the new tap water analyses raise a red flag, but that more work is needed to replicate the results, find the sources of contamination and evaluate the possible health impacts.

      She said plastics are very useful, but that management of the waste must be drastically improved: We need plastics in our lives, but it is us that is doing the damage by discarding them in very careless ways.

      Read more:

      Terry Pratchett’s unfinished novels destroyed by steamroller

      Unpublished works are lost for ever with crushing of computer hard drive as the late fantasy novelist had instructed

      The unfinished books of Sir Terry Pratchett have been destroyed by a steamroller, following the late fantasy novelists wishes.

      Pratchetts hard drive was crushed by a vintage John Fowler & Co steamroller named Lord Jericho at the Great Dorset Steam Fair, ahead of the opening of a new exhibition about the authors life and work.

      Pratchett, famous for his colourful and satirical Discworld series, died in March 2015 after a long battle with Alzheimers disease.

      After his death, fellow fantasy author Neil Gaiman, Pratchetts close friend and collaborator , told the Times that Pratchett had wanted whatever he was working on at the time of his death to be taken out along with his computers, to be put in the middle of a road and for a steamroller to steamroll over them all.

      On Friday, Rob Wilkins, who manages the Pratchett estate, tweeted from an official Twitter account that he was about to fulfil my obligation to Terry along with a picture of an intact computer hard drive following up with a tweet that showed the hard drive in pieces.

      The symbolism of the moment, which captured something of Pratchetts unique sense of humour, was not lost on fans, who responded on Twitter with a wry melancholy, though some people expressed surprise that the author who had previously discussed churning through computer hardware at a rapid rate would have stored his unfinished work on an apparently older model of hard drive.

      The hard drive will go on display as part of a major exhibition about the authors life and work, Terry Pratchett: HisWorld, which opens at the Salisbury museum in September.

      The author of over 70 novels, Pratchett was diagnosed with Alzheimers disease in 2007.

      He became an advocate for assisted dying, giving a moving lecture on the subject, Shaking Hands With Death, in 2010, and presenting a documentary for the BBC called Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die.

      He continued to write and publish, increasingly with the assistance of others, until his death in 2015. Two novels were published posthumously: The Long Utopia (a collaboration with Stephen Baxter) and The Shepherds Crown, the final Discworld novel.

      The Salisbury museum exhibition will run from 16 September until 13 January 2018.

      Read more:

      8 Stories That Show Exactly How The Media Hates Millennials

      Somebody has to stop the millennial killing spree before it’s too late and the only thing we’re left with is social media and avocados and- oh god, they’re killing those too. But wait, there doesn’t seem to be any logic to millennial behavior. How can they both be the generation with the worst manners, but also obsessed with political correctness and not offending anyone? Why, it’s almost as if these headlines directly contradict one another, because the whole thing is a crock of artisanal horseshit …


      Millennials Are Obsessed With Drinking, But Also Drinking Way Less Than Previous Generations

      Millennials are heavy drinkers. According to The Tennessean, they make up a disproportionate percentage of alcohol buyers, and they splurge on the good stuff.

      And oh boy do millennials love wine. Bustle reports that millennials buy so much of it that they’re changing the industry. Humans have been drinking wine for 8,000 years, but it took women in their 20s posting about it on Facebook to take it to the next level. Why do they love wine so much? USA Today argues that it might be because it’s the healthiest of alcoholic beverages, and the increased heart health quiets the demons after three glasses.

      Or wait, actually, millennials aren’t drinking as much as previous generations. This Forbes article (named “Millennials Gone Mild” *fart noise*) tells of bars and nightclubs closing en masse, as millennials prefer to go out to sober events like “juice crawls,” or stay home altogether. The author goes on to say “Over the past few years, Millennials have started identifying as ‘grandmas’ and ‘grandpas’ when they stay in for the night — a lifestyle choice revered by most members of ‘Generation Yawn.'” Somebody revoke this man’s word license.

      Oh, and millennials couldn’t afford to drink, even if they wanted to. Business Insider has concluded that they’re also killing the beer industry. Even wine sales have flatlined.

      So millennials are obsessed with drinking, particularly high-quality alcohol, to the point where the industry is changing to accommodate them. But at the same time, they’re not drinking as much as previous generations, because they can’t afford it and they’re all doing sober juice crawls wherein they butt-chug ginger shots, causing bars to spontaneously explode. They’re drinking less beer, but record amounts of wine, but also wine consumption hasn’t increased in the past year. Why can’t they drink exactly the right amount?


      Millennials Don’t Vote, But They’re Voting For All The Wrong People

      This Big Think article starts with “Hey, you. Yes, you. Millennials. Stop twerking for a second and listen up.” That’s a sure way to gain the respect of your reader! The piece goes on to argue that millennials don’t vote because politicians don’t represent their interests. They go on to say that millennial voter apathy is because they have “no faith in populism,” a claim so powerfully wrong that many of your eyes have just rejected it outright. But the core of what it’s saying is correct, right? Millennials don’t vote because nobody represents them. Otherwise, they’d be passionate.

      The Wall Street Journal thinks millennials are passionate about voting, but that they’re misdirecting their passion. Young people gravitated toward Sanders and Trump in the last presidential election, which was against their own best interests, the paper argues. Both of their economic policies would be bad for long-term growth, which millennials would know if they’d stop asking for “free stuff” long enough to read a goddamn book. So millennials don’t vote because nobody appeals to them, but when they do, it’s because the wrong people are appealing to them. Gotcha.


      Millennials Are Too Involved In Their Children’s Lives, But Also Not Involved Enough

      Millennials are the new “helicopter parents,” hovering over their children and providing exciting aerial footage of all their most precious police chases. According to Elite Daily, millennial parents will supervise all of their children’s interactions, preventing them from developing a sense of creativity. And they’ll fix any problem their child has, depriving them of the chance to fix it themselves. Millennials are smothering their children.

      Alternatively, if we check in with ABC, we find that millennials are too focused on “me time.” Their parenting style is vastly different from the helicopter parents of previous generations. Their children lack structure and supervision because they’re too busy Snapchatting their Instagrams. The article also weirdly states that “Millennial Moms are 21 percent less likely to send a thank-you note via postal mail.” And why aren’t these goddamn kids sending singing telegrams anymore?


      Millennials Don’t Work, But Are Also Poisoning Their Companies With Their Workaholism

      Millennials are more stressed out about their jobs than other generations. Glamour reported that they are too occupied with their careers, their only goals being to “get a new job with better benefits, more pay, better hours, and more work-life balance, as well as work that was more intrinsically rewarding.” Truly, this is unheard-of stuff.

      Wait a minute, it turns out millennials want material things, but aren’t willing to work for them. The Miami Herald says that millennials won’t take a job that’s too hard, and they refuse to work overtime. “Stay an extra two hours at my job as a mattress nap tester? Who do you think I am, the Wolf of Wall Street?”

      But The Herald also claims that millennials are “work martyrs,” the hardest-working people in the workforce. They refuse to take their allotted vacation time because they’re too goddamn addicted to working. If only these job-stressed, lazy work martyrs could take a week off, they’d learn how a real adult handles their job — by drinking schnapps in their car during lunch and writing about millennials twice a week.


      Millennials Blow Too Much Money, But Are Killing Whole Industries By Not Spending Money

      A BankRate study found that millennials are spending way too much going out to eat. They go to Starbucks too often, and have large bar tabs (except when they don’t). All these little expenses add up and eat into the money they should be saving for retirement.

      This irresponsibility has spread into other areas. This Is Money reports that in addition to ordering too many meals, millennials are overspending on expensive clothes. It looks like if these millennials don’t learn to go without spending money on frivolous things, they’ll never be able to support themselves.

      Or wait, millennials are in fact to blame for the severe sales slump at chain restaurants like Applebee’s and TGI Fridays. This Business Insider article states, “Millennial consumers are more attracted than their elders to cooking at home, ordering delivery from restaurants, and eating quickly, in fast-casual or quick-serve restaurants.” Those monsters!

      And it doesn’t stop with dining out. Millennials are also killing the motorcycle and diamond industries. CNBC hypothesizes that the slump in sales is due to millennials’ tendency to value experiences over material goods, that they “seek out experiences, such as vacations and concerts, that they can post about on social media.” Rest assured that it’s not because they’re broke and can’t burn tens of thousands of dollars on a shiny rock and a loud bike; it’s because they’re narcissistic and need to brag about their trip to Argentina on social media. Also, no one’s ever bragged about their diamond ring online, right guys?


      Millennials Never Leave The House, But Are Also Everywhere (And That’s Awful)

      The New York Post is worried about millennials. They spend too much time at home, leading to an upswing in depression. Instead of going out to the bar with their friends or meeting a date for coffee, they stay home and binge-watch TV. The Post warns of the emotional dangers of “Netflix and chill” — which, if you recall, was a euphemism for sex before the olds got to it.

      And yet the same New York Post is mad that millennials are going out too much, railing against millennial “brunch culture” — that is, that millennials will go to restaurants to eat brunch. But wait, isn’t that good? Instead of killing restaurants? Not so fast — the problem the article has is that these goddamn kids will hog tables for hours and obnoxiously take pictures of their food instead of silently, angrily nursing a hangover, as God intended.


      Millennials Hate Capitalism, Except When They Love Capitalism

      National Review came out with the hottest take their scientists could engineer, combining every millennial stereotype into a super-take capable of triggering every lib, and perhaps killing male feminists outright. They argue that millennials dislike capitalism because they are ignorant of what it truly is (and that they like socialism for the same reason). They go on to say that capitalism doesn’t care for their puny gender or racial identities, which scares millennials right into Bernie Sanders’ arms.

      Meanwhile, The American Spectator is too busy dunking on progressives to buy into the myth that millennials hate capitalism. Capitalism brought them iPhones and Uber, the popularity of which proves millennials love the free market. They also go on to claim that millennials don’t know what socialism is, because that seems to be some sort of journalistic nervous tic.


      Millennials Want Participation Trophies, But Also Youth Sports Are Way Too Intense Now

      The Washington Post calls millennials the “Participation Trophy Generation,” participation trophies being the ultimate symbol of entitlement. We were so afraid of hurting any child’s feelings that we got rid of winners and losers, and now an entire generation is growing up unprepared for the competitive real world.

      The Blaze
      Millennials: “Glenn Beck is ruining our grandparents.”

      Glenn Beck’s rag The Blaze agrees, pining for the days when there was only one trophy, handed out to the winner, and those who came in third or lower were summarily executed.

      The Federalist

      The Federalist claims that millennials’ lust for participation trophies has bled into the workplace. They say that millennials, especially women, want promotions the same way they want trophies: whether they earned them or not. If only they weren’t babied so much at soccer games, maybe millennials would be better human beings. A competitive football game is what made the Greatest Generation great and the Baby Boomers boom, right?

      This HuffPo article starts with “Youth sports: a chance to run around, play sports with friends and have fun … At least that’s how it used to be.” But now youth sports culture is so demanding and competitive that kids are emotionally and physically drained, with most dropping out by age 13.

      Washington Post
      “Take it easy, kid. If you don’t get a trophy for losing, then we won’t get to spend a lifetime berating you for it.”

      The consequences run even deeper, though. Sports are so intense now that kids are getting injured like never before. That comes from The Washington Post, the same people who coined the term “Participation Trophy Generation.”

      Man, it’s almost like these writers just hate the younger generation because they’re trapped in old, failing bodies and growing increasingly irrelevant to society by the day. But that couldn’t be it. That’s too far-fetched. No, it is the avocado’s fault, surely …

      David Klesh was born in 1980, but refuses to call himself a millennial. His writing has also appeared on the Faith Hope and Fiction blog. Dan Hopper is an editor for Cracked, previously for CollegeHumor and He fires off consistent A-tweets at @DanHopp. Adam Schwallie has a Twitter, where he tweets in between destroying all of the industries that Baby Boomers hold near and dear to their hearts.

      You know what Millenials aren’t killing? These dope Caribou Boots that you can use to continue to not kill industries with because that’s an unfair characterization of a generation of fun-loving people.

      If you loved this article and want more like it, please support our site with a visit to our Contribution Page.

      Also check out This Millennial Rant Deserves A Trophy For Being Most Wrong and 5 Reasons Millennials Should Destroy The Concept Of Marriage.

      Subscribe to our YouTube channel, and check out How These ‘Entitled’ Millennials Want Jobs That ‘Pay,’ and watch other videos you won’t see on the site!

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      It sucks, but it’s time to ditch plastic straws. Seattle’s going to make it happen.

      Straws suck.

      They seem to come with every drink, whether you want one or not, only to end up in the trash soon afterward. From there, it’s all too easy for them to end up as more pieces of plastic pollution in our oceans.

      But in one particular city, that might not be a problem anymore.

      For the month of September, the Lonely Whale Foundation is running a campaign to encourage Seattleites to ditch their sucky plastic straws.

      The campaign, Strawless in Seattle, is part of the foundations’s Strawless Ocean initiative, whose overall goal is to keep 500 million plastic straws out of American mouths and garbage cans this year.

      “My mother taught me at a very young age to take care of my own environment, to clean my room,” says actor and Lonely Whale co-founder Adrian Grenier. “Now that I’m an adult, I recognize that my room has expanded, not just to my house, but also to my neighborhood and the world at large.”

      Grenier (center), Daryn Mayer (left), and Brian Maynard pose for a quick selfie at a benefit for PFLAG in 2017. Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for PFLAG.

      So far, over 200 Seattle restaurants and venues have joined in, including the Space Needle, Sea-Tac airport, and CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks football team. Instead of plastic straws, businesses will either ask their patrons to go without or offer biodegradable paper straws instead.

      The campaign even comes with its own hashtag, which encourages people to #stopsucking.

      One individual plastic straw might seem harmless, but when we zoom out to look at what we’re doing to the planet, we’re not talking about individual straws.

      There are people who might need a straw, such as someone who has mobility challenges, but for many of us, it’s a luxury — one we’re really fond of.

      Americans alone use half a billion of the little suckers every single day, and once we’re done with them, they don’t stay in our drinks. Many of them find their way into our oceans. Plastic straws are actually one of the most common forms of plastic pollution in the ocean.

      According to one study, the oceans might actually contain more plastic than fish by 2050. Photo from iStock.

      Plastics can be harmful in other ways too. In a particularly distressing video from 2015, researchers spent nearly 10 minutes trying to pull a discarded plastic straw out of a sea turtle’s nose. Even when these plastics break down, they never totally disappear. Instead, they turn into tinier and tinier microplastics, which can poison animals — and even find their way into our food and drinking water.

      In many ways, Seattle is a natural place for The Lonely Whale to start a string of city-wide campaigns.

      The Seattle waterfront. Photo from iStock.

      Sitting on the Puget Sound, the city’s already taken several steps to protect the ocean from pollution, including a 2010 ban on plastic bags. The city council is also considering expanding an ordinance to ban plastic straws and utensils from all of the city’s restaurants in 2018.

      Grenier and The Lonely Whale Foundation are hoping that the early success and buy-in from Seattle businesses will not only raise attention and sway people’s hearts and minds, but also show legislators and other cities what is possible. They’re already starting to plan for future campaigns in cities both in the United States and internationally.

      “We’ve only just begun,” said Grenier. “Hopefully the world is watching.”

      Plastic pollution is a major problem, but through actions like these, we can make our effect on the ocean a little less sucky.

      Read more:

      Trump retweets edited video of him hitting Hillary Clinton with golf ball

      President Donald Trump on Sunday retweeted a GIF that shows him hitting a golf ball that seemingly hits Hillary Clinton in the back and knocks her down as she boards a plane.

      The tweet shared by Trump included this text: “Donald Trump’s amazing golf swing #CrookedHillary.”

      Part of the video appeared to be a doctored version of news footage from 2011 that showed then-Secretary of State Clinton falling after climbs the stairs to board a plane.

      The GIF originally was posted by a Twitter user whose bio includes the hashtags “#LockHerup,” “#ObamaGate” and “#SusanRice,” among others.

      Reaction to Trump’s retweet has been mixed, with some saying it was a joke, while others have said it doesn’t befit the president. 

      Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., quote-tweeted an article about the GIF, writing, “clASSy.”

      “Retweeting this kind of misogynistic video might be below the standards of even this President,” tweeted Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif.

      On ABC’s “This Week” Sunday morning, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., called Trump’s tweet against Clinton “distressing … to have a president that, frankly, will tweet and retweet things as juvenile as that.” Schiff added: “It doesn’t help him in terms of his stature, it doesn’t help in terms of the stature of our whole country.”

      Trump also stirred outrage via Twitter online when, in July, he retweeted a GIF of himself beating up someone with the CNN logo superimposed on the person’s head.

      The Associated Press contributed to this report.

      Read more:

      6 Reasons Good People Turn Into Monsters

      I want this phrase added to the American flag:

      Hating a bad thing does not make you good.

      Put it in place of some of the stars or something. It’s important. It’s one of those things everyone knows, right up until it’s convenient to not know it. Hell, hating bad people doesn’t even necessarily get you closer to being a better person. The Klan hates ISIS, but we don’t count that as a point in their favor. Yet I’m pretty sure that most of what we consider being good in this culture is just having disdain for the right things.

      What does this have to do with police shootings, Nazis, immigration, and most of the headlines you’ll see this year? And how does it tie into the best Keanu Reeves action franchise? Well, it comes down to how …


      We Hate Giving People Second Chances

      This subject will be about five outrages old by the time this article goes up, but as I type this, the Trump administration just ended a government program for children whose parents entered America illegally. “DACA” basically allowed these young people to get jobs, pay taxes, go to school, and get driver licenses despite not being citizens. Ending the program means destroying the lives of about 800,000 people for a crime their parents committed. As one Republican congressman put it, “justice” means these people deserve to “live in the shadows.” After all, he said, they entered the country illegally. Not even years of productive, law-abiding living absolves them of that original sin.

      Experts call it “John Wick morality” (or at least they should), named after the film series in which Keanu Reeves’ dog is killed by Russian mobsters, and in response he shoots 738 of them in the head. You wouldn’t think any real person considers that a reasonable moral code to live their life by, until you look at the comments under any article about a police shooting and see …

      … or see entire comment sections full of people rooting for a guy who shot a car thief to death. The logic almost makes sense if you squint — if the victim hadn’t resisted (or suddenly moved their hands, or smoked weed, or failed to signal, or illegally crossed the border), they’d still be alive, therefore they have no one to blame but themselves.

      That “no one to blame” phrasing is key. It implies that once someone breaks a rule, you can do whatever you want to them and you cannot be blamed. Listen for it, and you’ll hear somebody using this reasoning once a day, even if it’s just over stupid shit. Do you have some poor bastard in your social circle who’s gotten stuck with a demeaning nickname based on something they did when they were 13? If you want a famous example, try to find a single discussion about Richard Gere, anywhere, that doesn’t bring up the urban legend about him shoving a gerbil up his ass (a rumor that got started during the freaking Reagan administration).

      We need that one mortal sin which will let us revoke a person’s status as a human worthy of dignity, respect, empathy or anything else. It’s the proverbial John Wick’s Dog, the moral trump card. We cannot be accused of prejudice or pettiness as long as we’ve got a bloody JWD carcass to jiggle in response to critics.

      How does this apply to you, a good person fighting the good fight? I’m getting to that.


      We Use “Justice” As Cover For All Manner Of Awfulness

      “Hold on,” says the hypothetical skeptical reader who’s been following me from article to article for the last ten years, “you’re using immigration hardliners and police shootings as an example of this shit in action? Those are just the result of racism, dude.”

      I don’t think that’s the complete truth. I think the reason so many racists could pass an “Are you a racist?” polygraph test is that they don’t think minorities are inhuman due to their color, but rather their supposed criminality. The officer who shot Philando Castille as he sat in a car with his girlfriend and four-year-old daughter said that he thought he smelled marijuana. In his mind, this single hint of a single minor crime meant absolutely anything done in response was justified.

      That he would not have done this if the driver were a whimsical white stoner dude never occurs to him — prejudice almost always hides behind a supposed zeal for justice. Internet hate mobs never flood a woman’s inbox with death threats without a JWD to justify it. (“She wouldn’t be getting these calls in the middle of the night if she hadn’t made fun of us on Twitter!”) And where a crime doesn’t exist, we’ll extrapolate one. “Of course I thought my family was in mortal danger when that Mexican man approached the car! After all, if a guy will cross the border illegally, he’ll rape a woman. He’s already proven he doesn’t care about the law!”

      It’s an utterly insane double standard, of course — our own mistakes are singular instances and in no way should affect others’ overall opinion of us. (“Just because I lied doesn’t make me a liar!”) Yet it’s so seductive that virtually every hateful asshole you’ve met in your life has built their fetid nightmare of a personality upon this very foundation. They all think their daily cruelty is in response to some extreme provocation.

      But this article isn’t just about piling scorn on those people; virtually everyone reading this already thinks of them as monsters. My point is that none of them were born monsters, so we should be having the same conversation people do in the second act of every zombie movie. “How do we stop them and, more importantly, how do we keep ourselves from getting turned?” If cruelty wears justice as a disguise, then anyone who believes in justice is at risk. In fact, the more strongly you believe in justice, the more at risk you are.

      Once, as a well-meaning child, I asked my Sunday School teacher how it was okay for God to send people to Hell for eternity based on fairly minor infractions, while if an earthly ruler punished rulebreakers with indefinite torture, they’d be considered cruel despots. The answer made sense to me at the time, and went like this:

      Because God is infinitely righteous, He has infinite loathing for unrighteousness. His very purity is what makes any tolerance of impurity impossible.

      Therefore, our modern pansy-ass attitude toward lawbreakers (insisting on reform and humane treatment) is actually evidence of our corruption. If we were more righteous, we would be more cruel toward the unrighteous. Therefore, not only is that cruelty justified, but it is in fact a key barometer of our own goodness. Petty meanness toward atheists and homosexuals is exactly what God wants. If you’re reading this and sure that this kind of medieval thinking only applies to Christians … well, keep reading.


      We Start Hating People For All The Wrong Reasons

      A critic of any female politician/pundit/activist can’t resist pointing out how ugly/fat she is (if she’s pretty, then the insult is that she’s a slut or that she only got her position based on looks). Racists will start with high crime rates and unemployment, but will quickly move on to how rap music is shitty, how ghetto women wear trashy clothes, how blacks can’t speak proper English. Never mind that it’s impossible to justify music, fashion, and dialect as examples of moral failure. For some reason, it’s not enough for their enemies to be merely wrong; they have to be disgusting on a visceral level.

      It’s crazy how those racists do that, isn’t it? Those dirty, toothless, inbred hillbillies. They’re almost as bad as the gamergaters. You know, those fat virgin neckbeards in their mothers’ basements? They all probably voted for Trump — that guy with the gross weird hair and fake tan and tiny hands. Disgusting, right?

      “Well, but that’s different! In those cases, the targets deserve it!” Oh, I get it. It feels great to poke our enemies in their sensitive spots. We know Trump is insecure about his hair, that Chris Christie is probably sensitive about being fat, that social outcasts are so ashamed of their virginity that some of them will blow their brains out rather than live with it. So why not use those weapons? This is total war, after all — everything about the enemy is fair game. And remember, the more cruel we are to bad guys, the better we are as people. God himself said it.

      But what about all of the good people out there with weird hair, those insecure guys shyly trying to hide bald spots? Or your allies who are unattractive, nervous, and unsuccessful at sex? How are they not supposed to take home the message that personal appearance apparently matters just as much as their moral choices, and that sexual failure is something to be deeply ashamed of? That it doesn’t matter if you’re one of the good guys if you also have poor grooming and social skills?

      Well fuck, now look what’s happened. We’ve not only justified cruelty toward our enemies based on their past sins, but justified cruelty to totally unrelated people. Just throwing out collateral damage like John Wick’s stray bullets, mowing down passing tourists with gun-fu until the whole city is brought to a panicked standstill. We certainly don’t stop to ask if the dog would even have wanted this.


      We Wind Up Radicalizing Ourselves

      One genre of angry message I’ve gotten over the years goes something like “I’ve been a daily reader since 2010 and thought you were the good guys, but after seeing [joke/article they found offensive], I’m realizing how wrong I was! Goodbye forever.” Think about that for a moment. They are claiming to have read and enjoyed literally thousands of articles and videos before encountering one single offensive idea, at which point they declared the whole enterprise a loss. That’s super weird.

      Well, it’s weird until you consider what particular bubble they spend their time in. I’ve never been around an activist group that didn’t turn into an endless series of petty purity tests. I was raised in a church where everyone was looking for more and more inconsequential things to judge each other by. R-rated movies were of course forbidden, but which prime-time network TV shows were permissible? Any of them? Of course rock music was of the devil, but what about country? Aren’t those songs about faith, kind of?

      The natural evolution is toward tighter and tighter criteria for what behavior gets you shunned from the group. The end result is that the central cause, the group’s JWD, can be as pure as the driven snow, and yet the tone will get more and more toxic over time, the members becoming less and less charitable with each other. Here, for example, is what my Twitter timeline looks like:

      “Nazis are bad and must be opposed.”


      “People who enable or defend Nazis must also be opposed.”

      Makes sense!

      “Unlawful violence is perfectly acceptable when opposing Nazis and their enablers.”

      Wait, I’m not sure I’m on board with that …

      “Anyone who opposes the use of unlawful violence against Nazis is also a Nazi enabler.”

      What? No! I’m one of the good guys!

      “Also, if you think about it, all American institutions and capitalism itself help support white supremacy, therefore all are Nazi enablers and eligible for violent retribution.”

      Hey, I think you just declared war on literally everyone who isn’t currently in the room with you.

      You hear experts talk about how extremists get “radicalized” — how a guy went from a mild-mannered food inspector in San Bernardino to a brainwashed suicide attacker in the course of a year or so. But it really isn’t a mystery, and we all form less-murderous versions of this. All it takes is a closed like-minded social circle in which it’s considered unacceptable to disagree with the group, and then devote that group to hating something. It doesn’t even matter if the thing truly deserves hating — it still turns toxic. In fact, it works better if it does. “How can you criticize any flaw in our group’s behavior when the other side is Nazis! That’s literally saying that both sides are the same! The mere existence of pure evil on the other side mathematically means our side is pure good!”

      At that point, no criticism is possible and there is nothing to moderate the rage. The rhetoric ratchets higher and higher as each member tries to top each other (to prove their own righteousness by demonstrating they hate the target most), and there is no method for reining it in. Moderate voices from outside the group are excluded completely, anyone from the inside who takes a moderate tone can be shouted down with accusations of being an enemy sympathizer. Soon, everything from objectively grotesque insults to elaborate torture fantasies are tossed around without a second thought.


      … Until You Reach A Point Of No Return

      At some point, an action will be suggested that you would normally consider immoral. It doesn’t have to involve armed mobs or building bombs. Depending on the time, place, and cause, it might be as minor as agreeing to spread a lie. (“I mean, even if they didn’t really do it, they probably did something just as bad! It’s not like they never lie about us!”) Or maybe someone will suggest digging up a member of the opposition’s address, maybe find out where they work, show them how serious we are.

      In every case, some members will be nervous. There can be consequences to this kind of thing, right? But will they risk their status in the group by objecting? Will they have their commitment to the cause questioned?

      “I can’t lose face in front of my fellow cyber-warriors. Wait … wasn’t this group about repairing the potholes on Main St. at some point?”

      It is right about here that you realize the cause was never what was important. The group was what was important — having a bunch of like-minded people standing and fighting alongside you. After all, was it ever about the dog, or was it about what the dog symbolized? So maybe you wouldn’t sacrifice yourself for the cause — you can always get another dog — but would you sacrifice yourself for your friends, these people who you know would damned well do the same for you? Absolutely!

      And now, without realizing it, you have the answer to the question you’ve been asking your whole life: “How can evil people live with themselves? How can a Hitler or Osama bin Laden or Charles Manson look themselves in the mirror every day?” Here you go. This is how. Inside every truly destructive person is the JWD, the broken and bleeding puppy driving them mindlessly forward, and outside of them is a group of people reinforcing their rage until the rage is all they are.

      It is a fact of human nature that living purely in opposition to something, rather than for something, hollows you out inside. To be a whole human being, you have to spend your life building something good. It’s easy to find yourself withholding time and energy from friends, family, career, and hobbies, because damn it, one of those assholes on the other side has said something outrageous and I must respond, because this is war and this is all that matters.


      And The Whole Time, You’ll Tell Yourself It Was The Only Way

      Around 70% of readers never make it to the end of an internet article, so it’ll be interesting to see how many rebut this with, “Oh, great, another article saying Antifa and Nazis are the same! As if one of them ISN’T ACTIVELY DEMANDING GENOCIDE.” It’s the same mental dodge I’ve been pointing out — as long as the other side is worse, you can’t criticize me. But I’m personally telling you, as an individual human being, that you need to ask yourself one crucial question: Are you in it for the cause, or are you in it for the fight? There’s an easy way to tell: Do you get involved with the boring parts?

      Donald Trump’s entire agenda could be obliterated a little more than a year from now with a new congress, but statistically the vast majority of you won’t vote at all (and I’d say the vast majority who show up to anti-Nazi rallies also won’t cast a vote). Smacking Nazis with clubs is fun. Voting in midterms is not. Only one results in real change. Hell, in the 2016 election that supposedly determined the future of humanity “Did Not Vote” won 44 of 50 states. Why are some of you willing to put yourself in physical danger at a protest but won’t suffer the tedium of real-world policy change? Deep down inside, you know the answer.

      “But voting doesn’t change anything!” Okay, the outcome of exactly one senate race just prevented Obamacare from being repealed. Twenty million people will have health insurance next year because just a small group of voters — enough to fit in a stadium — showed up instead of staying home. You think Hillary would be talking about repealing DACA? “Sometimes violence is the only way!” Are you saying that based on evidence, or because you want it to be true? For every nationalist/authoritarian movement that got turned back by war, literally thousands quietly died due to losing elections or just failing to drum up popular support. How many elections has David Duke won? Goddamnit, you’re playing their game. Don’t let the devils drag you into Hell.

      Because god help you if one day you find your enemy has finally been defeated or, even worse, that your tactics only made them stronger (would an armed mob on the other side hurt or help recruitment for yours?). You are left with a personality built entirely on fighting a misguided war, a bottle of poison that didn’t kill the cockroaches and is now just collecting dust in the garage. At that point, will you give up the rage and rebuild your personality around loving something? Or will you just turn that hatred on yourself? I want you to at least think about it. Here’s a GIF of an otter having a snack.


      David Wong is the Executive Editor at Cracked. His new book, WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST READ, is available for preorder now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, iBooks, and Kobo.

      Sadly, this John Wick toy doesn’t come with his dog 🙁 but you can relieve the stress of reigning hellfire onto your enemies with this adorable squeeze toy for humans–in the shape of a dog paw!

      Check out more from David Wong in 5 Things To Understand About Modern Hate Groups and 7 Reasons We’re Quietly Letting Racists Win.

      Subscribe to our YouTube channel, and check out Why The Sandlot is Secretly About American Racism , and watch other videos you won’t see on the site!

      Follow our new Pictofacts Facebook page, and we’ll follow you everywhere.

      Get intimate with our new podcast Cracked Gets Personal. Subscribe for funny, fascinating episodes like Rape, Pee Funnels and The Dolphin: Female Soldiers Speak Up and Inside The Secret Epidemic Of Cops Shooting Dogs, available wherever you get your podcasts.

      Read more:

      Here’s The Thing We All Love Doing That’s Keeping Us Awake At Night

      What’s more relaxing after a long day at work than kicking back and binge-watching your favorite show?

      For many, not much. Getting lost in funny, dramatic, crazy, and even creepy stories on the screen is what lots of people would identify as their guilty pleasure, especially right before going to bed. However, their quality of sleep is likely suffering because of it, and not just because of the blue light emitted from our screens. In a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, researchers from the University of Michigan found a link between binge-watching at night and poorer sleep.

      The researchers asked a group of 423 young adults between 18 and 25 years old to fill out online surveys gauging their quality of sleep, fatigue, insomnia, “pre-sleep arousal” — or cognitive arousal, meaning mental stimulation that keeps us awake — and frequency of TV binge-watching, defined as “watching multiple episodes of the same series in one sitting.”

      Just over 80 percent of the participants identified themselves as binge viewers. About 20 percent reported binge-watching at least a few times a week during the past month.

      Unsurprisingly, those who binge-watched TV more frequently reported a poorer quality of sleep, more insomnia, and increased fatigue compared with those who weren’t binge viewers.

      The researchers say mental stimulation from thinking about your favorite show’s story line is to blame. “The narrative complexity in these shows leaves viewers thinking about episodes and their sequel after viewing them. This prolongs sleep onset or, in other words, requires a longer period to ‘cool down’ before going to sleep, thus affecting sleep overall,” they noted.

      Read more:

      91-year-old former congressman sets the Twitter bar in the Trump era

      John Dingell has been owning Twitter for years.
      Image: ambar del moral/mashable

      91-year-old former congressman John Dingell has been quick, witty, and on fire with his 140 characters for years.

      Despite his age, he knows how to use the tweet machine the way it was intended: biting commentary, playful retweets, and insightful and smart reactions. Time and again he’s shown he’s mastered Twitter.

      After tweeter-in-chief Donald Trump was elected, Dingell’s Twitter game has become even more relevant and fiery.

      After the violence in Charlottesville and Trump’s bumbling mess of a response to the anti-Semitism and white supremacy on display, Dingell took to Twitter in the days following. One particular tweet resonated, with thousands praising the longtime Michigan lawmaker for posting what the president struggled to say. 

      Just look at those likes.

      Once known as an imposing Democrat with strong opinions and determined to pass universal health care, he’s refocused his energy toward the Twittersphere, where he still speaks his mind loud and clear even if it’s not on Capitol Hill.

      Sure, Dingell also spends a lot of his time tweeting about Michigan sports. But after retiring after nearly 60 years in office at the age of 87 (he was the longest-serving member of Congress in history), he’s kept a running commentary on the ridiculousness of the government and society in general.

      In the Trump era, where the president uses a micro-blogging platform to announce policy, devise political strategy, and sling insults, Dingell’s reactions and responses are a go-to source of humor, insight, and reflection.

      Dingell’s Trump tweets also have bite. Since inauguration day (and throughout the election, too, if you want to look back and laugh-cry) we’ve been treated to these gems that often encapsulate what a lot of us are thinking.

      On resignation

      On Trump’s staffing problems

      On the health care fight

      On Russia and lying

      On Trump’s Middle East trip

      On cake 

      When Trump gave an interview about a missile strike on Syria he talked mostly about “the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you’ve ever seen.” It was — weird. Dingell noticed.

      On the wall

      Dingell joined Twitter in 2010. In the seven-plus years since, he’s tweeted almost 5,000 times. Trump, 71, joined about a year earlier, but has racked up nearly 40,000 tweets — eight times the number of tweets, which seems like a good way to measure Trump’s Twitter obsession.

      Dingell’s targets go beyond Trump. 

      Years before the former reality TV show host joined the political circus, Dingell was posting sharp commentary on, well, everything. The Atlantic called his Twitter feed “the best” back in 2014. Some of Dingell’s earlier Twitter home runs include a post about Sharknado, excellent usage of the hashtag and term “YOLO,” and taking an internet meme to disparage himself. 

      In recent days he’s brought down Sen. Ted Cruz with his wit. He’s plugged in to internet culture, whether it’s April the pregnant giraffe or the Kardashians.

      With Dingell’s decades of insider knowledge, his posts go beyond your average snarky Trump commentary that poke at the thin-skinned president. Luckily, Dingell hasn’t gotten blocked, and maybe he won’t if he keeps up with his smartly crafted ripostes.

      His tweets spark discussion, replies, and thousands of retweets and likes.

      If this retired 90-something Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient can keep up with Trump and everything else on Twitter, there’s no excuse for the rest of us. Except for the fact that John Dingell has already won Twitter. Maybe the rest of us should just go home.

      Read more:

      Houston police officer battling cancer braves floodwaters to rescue residents

      A Houston police officer battling stage 4 metastatic colon cancer has helped to rescue hundreds from the floodwaters left behind by historic storm Harvey.

      Norbert Ramon, who has been with the Houston Police Department’s Traffic Enforcement division for 24 years, received the call from his sergeant as the rain started to fall on Saturday.

      “He went and they started preparing everything and that’s when the rain started in,” Cindy Ramon, the 55-year-old’s wife, told Fox News. “By Sunday morning when he woke up, there was so much rain and standing water that he could not go to his regular duty in downtown Houston.”


      Ramon followed protocol and notified his sergeant, and then set out to report to the nearest patrol unit, which was the Houston Lake Patrol.

      “From then it was a madhouse,” Cindy said. “They started going out rescuing people in all parts of Houston. That’s where it started from and it’s been non-stop.”

      Cindy said Ramon’s cancer quickly became the furthest thing from his mind. He was put on desk duty three weeks ago out of concern for his health, but as a part of the Lake Patrol he has had a hand in helping to rescue 1,500 residents from floodwaters.


      “He’s been so caught up in the emotions and the excitement of trying to rescue people, he had no time to even think about it,” Cindy said. “You wouldn’t even think he had cancer, he’s plugging along like he doesn’t.”

      Ramon was scheduled to fly to Oklahoma on Wednesday, where he has been receiving chemotherapy every two weeks at The Cancer Center of Tulsa. When he learned that his flight was canceled due to the flooding, he and Cindy piled into the car on Thursday for the nearly nine-hour drive.

      He chose the Tulsa location after seeking a second opinion, and Cindy said the support they have received from the staff during his treatments, and since the storm hit, has been overwhelming.

      “The people actually reached out to me, they called us and said ‘Hey how are you guys doing, we’re seeing all the photos and we wanted to check up on you.’”


      Cindy said she sent them a picture of Ramon in the water performing a rescue, and that while they were concerned for his health they immediately called him a hero.

      “It’s just an emotional roller coaster,” Cindy said of the storm. “It’s just crazy, watching everybody struggle – people lose everything.” 

      Read more:

      A furious Jimmy Kimmel slams the new GOP health bill in a monologue everyone should watch.

      Sen. Bill Cassidy has failed the “Jimmy Kimmel Test.”

      Spectacularly so.

      In a blistering monologue delivered Tuesday night, late-night host Kimmel accused the Louisiana Republican of coming on his show and lying “right to my face” about health care.

      At issue: the latest Republican attempt to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, with a bill co-sponsored by Cassidy. This bill comes just a few months after Cassidy appeared on Kimmel’s show in the wake of Kimmel’s newborn son’s open-heart surgery and his heart-wrenching monologue about the importance of health insurance.

      “A few months ago, after my son had open-heart surgery, which was something I spoke about on the air, a politician, a senator named Bill Cassidy from Louisiana, was on my show, and he wasn’t very honest. It seemed like he was being honest. He got a lot of credit and attention for coming off like a rare, reasonable voice in the Republican Party when it came to health care for coming up with something he called — and I didn’t name it this, he named it this — the ‘Jimmy Kimmel Test,’ which was, in a nutshell, no family should be denied medical care, emergency or otherwise, because they can’t afford it.

      Kimmel argued that instead of passing Cassidy’s Jimmy Kimmel Test, the new bill cruelly rips away many of the protections Cassidy promised to uphold.

      “Now, I don’t know what happened to Bill Cassidy. But when he was on this publicity tour, he listed his demands for a health care bill very clearly. These were his words. He said he wants coverage for all, no discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, lower premiums for middle-class families, and no lifetime caps. And guess what? The new bill does none of those things.

      Coverage for all? No. In fact, it will kick about 30 million Americans off insurance. Pre-existing conditions? Nope. If the bill passes, individual states can let insurance companies charge you more if you have a pre-existing condition. You’ll find that little loophole later in the document after it says they can’t. They can, and they will.

      But will it lower premiums? Well, in fact, for lots of people, the bill will result in higher premiums. And as far as no lifetime caps go, the states can decide on that, too, which means there will be lifetime caps in many states. So not only did Bill Cassidy fail the Jimmy Kimmel Test, he failed the Bill Cassidy Test. He failed his own test. And you don’t see that happen very much.”

      The proposed law, as drawn up by Cassidy and three other GOP senators, would indeed drastically weaken many of the Affordable Care Act’s consumer guarantees, much as Kimmel described it.

      According to an NPR analysis of the bill, states could indeed waive the Affordable Care Act’s essential benefits requirement and allow insurers to charge customers with pre-existing conditions more or reject them outright.

      Additionally, states could permit insurers to reinstitute lifetime coverage caps, limiting the amount they pay out over a customer’s lifetime.

      Cassidy responded to Kimmel shortly after the segment aired, disputing the host’s characterization of the bill and encouraging his colleagues to vote for it.  

      Senators and bill co-sponsors Dean Heller (left) and Cassidy. Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images.

      “We have a September 30th deadline on our promise. Let’s finish the job,” he said in a statement provided to Vox. “We must because there is a mother and father whose child will have insurance because of Graham Cassidy Heller Johnson. There is someone whose pre-existing condition will be addressed because of GCHJ.”

      It is difficult to imagine that will be enough for Kimmel, who concluded by pleading with his audience at home to “call [their] congressperson.”

      “You have to do this. You can’t just click ‘like’ on this video,” he said.

      The future of health care in America could hang in the balance.

      Read more:

      “My Wife Had Enough”: Husband Lets Wife Go to Heaven After Giving Birth to 6th Child, Making the Ultimate Sacrifice

      When mother-of-five Carrie DeKlyen started waking up with bad headaches in March, she thought she may be experiencing the symptoms of migraines. But as the pain intensified and the pounding in her head induced vomiting, she thought she should probably get the condition checked out.

      To her and her husband Nick’s shock, Carrie’s first brain scan revealed their worst nightmare: cancer. 

      Initially, doctors thought the mass in her brain was a treatable form of lymphoma, but a later pathology exam offered much more foreboding news. Carrie had an aggressive form of cancer called glioblastoma.

      They warned the 37-year-old Michigan mom that she’d be lucky to live five years at best.

      Carrie had the tumor surgically removed shortly after, but the following month threw yet another sharp curveball at the DeKlyens. Not only was the tumor back, but she was two months pregnant with their sixth child.

      The two options she was given led this brave mother to make the ultimate sacrifice.

      Cure 4 Carrie

      She had the choice to undergo chemotherapy to extend her life at the cost of ending her pregnancy, or go through with the pregnancy knowing she would die before ever meeting her baby.

      For the DeKlyens, who cling tightly to their Christian faith, choosing the latter was a no-brainer.

      “That’s what she wanted,” said Nick, adding that “We love the Lord. We’re pro-life. We believe that God gave us this baby.”

      After a second removal, the brain mass came back larger than ever in June. It was officially inoperable, and all doctors could do was remove fluid around Carrie’s brain to alleviate the pain.

      In mid-July, violent convulsions and excruciating pain landed Carrie in the University of Michigan hospital. She had suffered a stroke at 19 weeks pregnant.

      That was the last moment Nick ever saw his wife conscious.

      The hospital informed him that Carrie would not wake up again, and if she did, her memory would be gone. However, they’d still do all they could to keep her baby healthy and growing.

      Though it meant having his wife and unborn child on a breathing machine and feeding tube for weeks, Nick knew God was taking care of the little miracle growing inside Carrie.

      But the 22-week mark revealed devastating news, as their 378-gram baby was far too small to survive outside the womb, and she simply wasn’t gaining weight.

      Thankfully, two weeks later, their little girl was big enough to make it through the delivery, but there was now a much bigger problem—she wasn’t moving.

      The heartbroken husband was left with yet another dire decision on his hands.

      Cure 4 Carrie

      He could hold off and pray that the baby started to move, but risk losing her in an hour’s time, or authorize a C-section.

      He quickly chose the only option that meant LIFE.

      And after his precious little angel was born at 5:30 pm that evening, weighing in at 1 pound 4 ounces, “Life” was exactly the name he chose for her.

      Nick said he and Carrie had decided on the name ‘Life Lynn’ before his wife’s debilitating stroke.

      “I sat by her the whole time. I kind of held her hand and kissing her, telling her that she did good,” said Nick.

      “It was kind of bittersweet because my wife’s not awake. She’s going to pass away,” he added. “After that, I went to the surgeon and said my wife had enough. She’s gone through so much pain these last five months.”

      The last five words he recalls uttering to her will be seared in his memory forever: “I’ll see you in heaven.” 

      Though the 39-year-old father is now left with six kids to raise as a single parent and no form of income, he vows to fight the good fight in his courageous wife’s honor, who loved the Lord with all her heart:

      “She gave up her life for the baby. I just want people to know that my wife loved the Lord. She loved her kids. She put anybody in front of her needs.… She put my daughter above herself.”

      The Cure 4 Carrie Facebook page shared the following Bible verse to commemorate her great act of sacrifice:

      “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13

      As for Nick, he’s not sure what his next steps are outside of getting his daughter home, but he has peace in knowing his future is in his Father’s hands.

      “My wife’s gone. I have six kids, three are under the age of 5,” he said. “I’m just going to focus on my daughter right now, getting her home…. As far as what I’m going to do after that, I can’t tell you.”

      Cure 4 Carrie

      A GoFundMe page that has been set up to support Nick and his children has already raised more than $133,000. If you’d like to help this single father, click here to donate.

      Our prayers are with the DeKlyens as they navigate this difficult time. Praise God for selfless mamas like Carrie who lay down their own lives for the sake of their children.

      “Life” Lynn will surely never forget how precious hers is. ❤️

      Cure 4 Carrie

      Read more:

      “She Gave Me the Ultimate Sacrifice”: Selena Gomez Reveals Why Shes Been Laying Low After Life-Saving Transplant

      Over the last two years, Selena Gomez has been pretty open with fans about her battle with lupus, and the faith walk that is getting her through it.

      “I was diagnosed with lupus, and I’ve been through chemotherapy,” she told Billboard in October 2015. “That’s what my break was really about. I could’ve had a stroke.”

      And just yesterday, the singer explained her absence from the public eye once again with a heartfelt Instagram post, in which she described her recent kidney transplant.

      “I’m very aware some of my fans had noticed I was laying low for part of the summer and questioning why I wasn’t promoting my new music, which I was extremely proud of,” wrote the singer. “So I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health. I honestly look forward to sharing with you, soon my journey through these past several months as I have always wanted to do with you.”

      Along with the caption was a sweet photo of Selena and her friend Francia Raisa holding hands, side-by-side in their hospital beds.


      When she heard of Selena’s need for a kidney, ‘The Secret Life Of The American Teenager’ star offered to donate hers without a second thought.

      “There aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa,” wrote Selena of her friend’s selfless act. “She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis.”


      The songstress shared a photo of her post-op scar and has been recovering nicely. She hopes to be back in full swing very soon.

      Selena stamped the end of her transplant announcement with the four little but powerful words that have carried her through each step of her journey: “by grace through faith.”

      Through her battle with the largely misunderstood autoimmune disease, Selena hopes to raise public awareness for the sake of others suffering from lupus. She closes her post with a call-to-action for fans to educate themselves on what has been coined an ‘invisible illness.’

      “Lupus continues to be very misunderstood but progress is being made,” she writes. “For more information regarding Lupus please go to the Lupus Research Alliance website:

      Read more:

      The Best ‘Bachelor In Paradise’ Finale Recap You’ll Ever Read: The Last Day Of Amanda’s Childless Vacation

      Well fam, we did it. We made it to the finale of and all it took was one sex ed class from Chris Harrison, a crudely mishandled sexual assault allegation, the downfall of Dean, and more scallop jokes than were really necessary. BUT WE FUCKING DID IT. I feel like I’ve aged 20 years in the process and my liver has definitely taken a hit here, but I guess I’ll do anything for cause to watch reality TV rejects fornicate on a Mexican beach, even if it jeopardizes my health and wellness. It’s important to know yourself.

      Side note: I have now convinced my roommate—and her German friends from out of town staying with us this week—to watch this show. I’m really making strides with US-German relations here. Just call me a fucking ambassador.

      Anyway, the episode starts with Chris Harrison emulating my mother when she inquires about my love life at massive family gatherings asking the remaining cast members to define their relationships. He’s really taking his responsibility as host to the next fucking level.

      ^^Actual footage of Chris Harrison in Paradise rn

      Dean looks legitimately terrified at the thought of marriage even though barely three months ago he was going to PROPOSE to Rachel. Whatever.

      Lol I love how Chris just dips after dropping this truth bomb. Like, if you want to stay in Mexico and have semi-decent accommodations with free WiFi and actual walls for your room then you’ll need to 100 percent commit to this person you’ve been dry-humping all summer. Can’t wait to watch these people implode under that kind of pressure.

      So let me get this straight. Basically their choices are: go on a date to figure out what they are, leave as a couple, or get engaged? That’s what you’re telling me rn? ABC, have you SEEN the men you forced these dime pieces to socialize with? Have you?!

      Jesus Christ. I rest my fucking case.

      Lacey is the first one on the chopping block to be vulnerable. She asks Daniel if he’ll go on this date with her so they can continue to see where this blight upon humanity relationship goes. I’m watching this whole interaction and all I can think is, Daniel has all the makings of someone that should be attractive but yet instead makes me want to rip my fingernails off and claw my eyes out with the bloody stumps. Ya know?

      LACEY: I’m really, really, REALLY desperate enjoying my time with you. Will you go on this date with me?

      DANIEL: I’m not done with you yet. You still haven’t seen the fireworks in my pants.


      Jack Stone goes next. He pulls Christen aside and asks her to be his girlfriend because apparently this is the eighth fucking grade. Seriously though, am I watching or an episode of ? It’s honestly hard to tell.

      JACK STONE: I want to leave Mexico holding hands with you.

      CHRISTEN: lol

      Wow this conversation is not going well at all. Jack Stone keeps bringing up the hand holding thing and Christen looks genuinely alarmed that he thinks he can even breathe the same air as her once they get back to the States.

      “Does he think we have a love story?” — Christen for the fucking win right here.

      *slow claps* That’s it, I’m team #ScallopFingers forever. Honestly, I’ve never been more proud of a virgin who can’t drive.

      My German friend after sitting through barely 15 minutes of this show: I thought there’d be more nudity.

      Honestly, you’re not wrong. Same.

      Adam and Raven decide to also go on the date. Adam looks shook that anyone would want to sleep with him. Aw, Adam, give yourself some more credit! All Raven’s got to compare you to is Nick!

      It’s Dean and D-Lo’s turn to DTR and I don’t know if emotionally I can handle watching these two life ruiners ride off into the fucking sunset for a happy ending. I just don’t know if I can stomach it—WAIT. Did he just dump D-Lo?? FOR KRISTINA?? 

      I. AM. SHOOK.

      Dean keeps talking about how he fucked up and he misses Kristina and all I can think is:

      Side note: Does Danielle L have butterflies tattooed on her the backs of her ankles? She does, right? And it’s all starting to make sense now.

      Last but certainly least, we have Amanda and Robby, a couple I do not give one single shit about. They have their talk and Amanda completely breaks down at the thought of having to spend the rest of her life with Robby and his Instagram followers. And, like, same girl. That sounds terrifying.

      ROBBY: I just don’t understand. Why would you do this?

      AMANDA: Honestly, this was just a paid vacation away from my kids. Don’t push it.


      The three remaining couples sit down with Chris Harrison and are told that this isn’t just any date they’ll be going on, but a fantasy suite date. So no more dressing in drag or hot tamale eating contests, the cast members will actually have to, like, connect with one another tonight. Wow. This show is wild.

      Everyone pretends to be shocked by this news but, like, let’s not pretend that y’all haven’t been screwing on sand dunes all summer long. Please.

      Lacey professes her love for Daniel and he’s like, “yes let’s make this Facebook official.” And they say romance is dead. Tbh this is the first time I haven’t been completely disturbed by Daniel’s presence. You’ve really changed him, Lacey.

      Next we get to see Derek and Taylor’s date even though I completely forgot that these two were on the show. They’re really making lasting impressions here. Taylor says something about needing to emotionally and spiritually connect with Derek bang him before they can pursue something more serious.

      GERMAN FRIEND: Did I get the language right? Did she just say if the sex is good they can officially date?

      Yes, yes you did.

      Adam and Raven have their date and Adam pops the fantasy suite question. You can literally see Nick and his sexless turtleneck flash before Raven’s eyes. She’s v nervous about saying yes to the fantasy suite because she can’t fake an orgasm be vulnerable one more time.


      Okay this segue from Raven and Adam’s date to the tell-all portion is really throwing me off. I’m feeling v confused rn. Did  Raven sleep with Adam? Why is this a cliff hanger? Who is responsible for cutting the footage of this episode?? ANSWER ME, ABC.

      Of course the sexual assault scandal is STILL being talked about. Like we get it, ABC. You don’t want us to morally blame you for ruining two people’s lives for TV ratings. Your message is loud and clear.

      Chris brings out DeMario and Corinne for the world’s most awkward reunion.

      CHRIS HARRISON: So where do you go from here?

      DEMARIO: Well I’m going to therapy.

      CORINNE: I am also in therapy.

      Thanks, ABC! I feel SO much better about these two now!! It’s good to know they’re doing so well!

      Tbh I could give a shit about the rest of these losers but this whole Kristina-Dean-DLo thing?

      They put Dean in the “hot seat” and he looks low-key terrified. Like he knows that every woman in the audience wants to castrate him rn. Side note: can Chris Harrison put other people’s exes in the hot seat? Asking for a friend…

      They show the whole Kristina-Dean-DLo love triangle footage and it’s still super hard to watch. Hard to watch in the sense that if I continue to watching it I cannot be held responsible for my actions. Just saying.

      DEAN: *sobs watching the montage*

      GERMAN FRIEND: He is an actor, yes?


      Kristina keeps talking about how she will always love Dean and blah, blah, blah. She will 100 percent still bang him after this.

      Dean gives a very heartfelt speech about how he still loves Kristina. He’s tearing up, I’m tearing up. The more wine I chug, the more I’m willing to forgive Dean and give him another chance. Kristina is one lucky bitch. Dean is reformed. Dean is beautiful. Dean is perfect, no man will ever measure up to how amazingly Dean has proven himself toda—WAIT. Danielle L says the FIRST interesting thing she has ever said on this show when she calls out Dean for calling her an hour after leaving the show. One. Fucking. Hour. AND HE’S STILL TRYING TO GET WITH KRISTINA. 

      That’s it. You’re done. Cancelled. See you in hell, Deanie Babies.

      And because ABC likes to waste my time, they also bring out Robby and Amanda. They were supposedly dating outside of the show for Instagram likes but broke up because they “wanted different things.” Like, Robby wanted to respond to thots’ comments on Instagram and Amanda wanted to have a father figure free babysitter for her kids. 

      Meanwhile Satan’s spawn the twins are desperately trying to stay relevant by butting in every three fucking seconds into Amanda’s breakup story. Robby apparently cheated on Amanda after the show and we know this because the twins kept the receipts and are ready to blow up his spot on national television. The twins are like that friend who will key your ex’s car even though you’re the one that got cheated on, not them.

      Wait. The twins are me. I am the twins.

      Now we get to move on to the actual couples. Daniel and Lacey did not make it past the fantasy suites. Apparently Daniel couldn’t pretend to like Lacey for more than five seconds after hooking up. In other news, the sky is blue.

      CHRIS HARRISON: Why would you say you loved Lacey if you didn’t mean it?

      DANIEL: *looks at Lacey* I said I loved you? When?

      And just like that, I’m repulsed again. Goddamnit, Daniel.

      So I guess Raven and Adam slept together? She looks like she actually had an orgasm too. Good for you, girl. I guess all it takes to find true love is a boob job an open mind and an open heart. 

      Derek and Taylor prove that they are the strongest couple on this show. Derek. And Taylor. Let that sink in for a minute, k?

      Whatever. I guess Derek has a big enough dick connected with her on a deeper level in that fantasy suite because they’re still in love and making it work long distance.

      Taylor keeps talking about how “naked” and “vulnerable” Derek was that night and I 100 percent believe Taylor has a crying fetish. She clearly gets off on the tears of her lovers. Don’t try and tell me different.

      The season ends with Derek proposing to Taylor. It’s all very staged sweet but honestly all I can think is “I really hope a twin comes out and says she slept with him.” Where’s a twin when you need one.


      Read more:

      Trump praises non-existent African country in speech to African leaders


      Speaking before a group of African leaders at the United Nations on Wednesday, President Donald Trump cited the progress of Nambia’s health system. The problem is, Nambia does not exist.

      “In Guinea and Nigeria, you fought a horrifying Ebola outbreak, Trump said. “Nambia’s health system is increasingly self-sufficient.”

      Trump likely meant Namibia, which does exist. The president delivered his remarks during a lunch attended by leaders from Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Guinea, Senegal, Namibia, and Uganda.

      Unlike several other countries in West Africa last year, Namibia was spared the deadly Ebola outbreak in 2016 that caused widespread panic, including in the United States. Given Ebola outbreaks in other African countries, Namibia boosted its health system to prepare for possible infections in the southwestern African nation.

      Trump began his speech before the African leaders by touting the economic potential in African nations, saying that “so many” of his friends are “going to your countries trying to get rich.”

      “Africa has tremendous business potential,” Trump said. “I have so many friends going to your countries trying to get rich, I congratulate you. They are spending a lot of money. But it does, it has tremendous business potential.”

      Read more:

      Bill Gates and Richard Branson Back Startup That Grows Clean Meat

      Cargill Inc., one of the largest global agricultural companies, has joined Bill Gates and other business giants to invest in a nascent technology to make meat from self-producing animal cells amid rising consumer demand for protein that’s less reliant on feed, land and water.

      Memphis Meats, which produces beef, chicken and duck directly from animal cells without raising and slaughtering livestock or poultry, raised $17 million from investors including Cargill, Gates and billionaire Richard Branson, according to a statement Tuesday on the San Francisco-based startup’s website. The fundraising round was led by venture-capital firm DFJ, which has previously backed several social-minded retail startups.

      "I’m thrilled to have invested in Memphis Meats,” Branson said in an email in response to questions from Bloomberg News. “I believe that in 30 years or so we will no longer need to kill any animals and that all meat will either be clean or plant-based, taste the same and also be much healthier for everyone.”

      This is the latest move by an agricultural giant to respond to consumers, especially Millennials, who are rapidly leaving their mark on the U.S. food world. That’s happening through surging demand for organic products, increasing focus on food that’s considered sustainable and greater attention on animal treatment. Big poultry and livestock processors have started to take up alternatives to traditional meat.

      “The world loves to eat meat, and it is core to many of our cultures and traditions,” Uma Valeti, co-founder and chief executive officer of Memphis Meats, said in the statement. “The way conventional meat is produced today creates challenges for the environment, animal welfare and human health. These are problems that everyone wants to solve.”

      ‘Clean Meat’

      To date, Memphis Meats has raised $22 million, signaling a commitment to the “clean-meat movement,” the company said.

      Cargill has “taken an equity position in Memphis Meats’ first series of funding,” Sonya Roberts, the president of growth ventures at Cargill Protein, said in an email, without disclosing the investment amount.

      “Our equity position with Memphis Meats gives Cargill entry into the cultured protein market and allows us to work together to further innovate and commercialize,” Roberts said. “We believe that consumers will continue to crave meat, and we aim to bring it to the table, as sustainably and cost-effectively as we can. Cultured meats and conventionally produced meats will both play a role in meeting that demand.”

      The investment is just the most recent by traditional meat companies. Tyson Foods Inc., the largest U.S. meat producer, has created a venture capital fund focused on investing in companies “to sustainably feed” the world’s growing population and in December announced a stake in plant-based protein producer Beyond Meat, which counts Gates among its early funders.

        Read more:

        Plastic-Eating Fungus Found At A Landfill Site In Pakistan

        One of the defining characteristics of the Anthropocene, the geological epoch we have recently ushered in, is the massive amount of plastics that we manufacture and discard. One of the reasons we use so much of it is because it’s difficult to degrade, but this also means that the billions of tons of plastic that we have produced are still hanging around in landfills and in the oceans.

        Yet fascinatingly, this new environment is also attracting organisms that are seeking to exploit it. Researchers have found a species of fungus, known as Aspergillus tubingensis, that is able to feed off of plastic. In lab experiments, published in Environmental Pollution, scientists found that the mycelium of the fungus colonizes polyester polyurethane plastic, causing surface degradation and scarring.

        This is not the first time that organisms have been found to be able to feed off plastic waste. There have been multiple discoveries of bacteria that are able to break down plastic, and earlier this year it was even found that a much bigger creature, the wax worm, can naturally degrade plastic, due to its similar structure to that of its natural food beeswax.

        These findings, and the increased rapidity in which they are occurring, is interesting in a number of ways. While researchers have not yet figured out how we might harness this ability to break down the ghastly amounts of plastic we as a species are churning out and chucking away, it does show how we are creating entirely new environments. It also shows that life is doing what it always has and carving out a niche in which to live.

        The most obvious use of such a process would be to degrade the mountains of plastic we currently have. The study found that after two months in a liquid medium, A. tubingensis had degraded a sheet of polyester polyurethane to such a degree that it had effectively completely fallen apart. These experiments are early and very tentative, but show proof of concept that the use of such microorganisms can indeed break the plastics down.  

        There is also, however, a far more sinister side to all of this. One of the reasons that plastic has ballooned into ubiquity around the planet is because of the fact that in general it is inert and therefore sterile. This has led to it being used in everything from food packaging to pacemakers to aviation. The fact that microorganisms are seemingly evolving to take advantage of this super abundant resource may one day be of significant concern.

        Read more:

        Fran works six days a week in fast food, and yet she’s homeless: ‘It’s economic slavery’

        Fran Marion and Bridget Hughes are leading voices in Stand Up Kansas City, part of the Fight for $15 movement that aims raise the minimum wage across the US

        Once a customer has barked their order into the microphone at the Popeyes drive-thru on Prospect Avenue, Kansas City, the clock starts. Staff have a company-mandated 180 seconds to take the order, cook the order, bag the order and deliver it to the drive-thru window.

        The restaurant is on short shift at the moment, which means it has about half the usual staff, so Fran Marion often has to do all those jobs herself. On the day we met, she estimates she processed 187 orders roughly one every two minutes. Those orders grossed about $950 for the company. Marion went home with $76.

        Despite working six days a week, Marion, 37, a single mother of two, cant make ends meet on the $9.50 an hour she gets at Popeyes (no apostrophe founder Al Copeland joked he was too poor to afford one). A fast food worker for 22 years, Marion has almost always had a second job. Until recently, she had been working 9am-4pm at Popeyes, without a break, then crossing town to a janitorial job at Bartle Hall, the convention center, where she would work from 5pm- to 1.30am for $11 an hour. She didnt take breaks there either, although they were allowed.

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        Check Out These Stunning New Images Of Jupiter

        If fears of World War 3 have got you down, don’t fret. We’ve got some glorious new pictures of Jupiter to hopefully take your mind off things.

        These latest snaps were taken by NASA’s Juno spacecraft during its seventh science flyby over Jupiter. The spacecraft is in a wide orbit around the planet, swooping down every 53 days to gather science and take images. The rest of the time it spends further out, to avoid Jupiter’s intense radiation.

        Juno began its latest flyby on Friday, using its JunoCam instrument to capture close-up images of the planet. NASA released the pictures as raw images on its website, allowing members of the public to then submit their own processed views of the gas giant.

        The latest images reveal Jupiter’s fantastic bands of clouds. You can easily make out storms swirling across the surface and there are also several views of white spots, large storms that rage in the upper atmosphere of the planet.

        During this flyby, Juno swooped to within 3,500 kilometers (2,200 miles) of the cloud tops of the planet. It is using these passes to study the planet in detail, with scientists hoping to figure out what the core of the planet is like and also how its weird magnetic field works.

        Juno’s primary mission, during which it will perform 12 orbits of Jupiter, will end in July 2018. After that, if the spacecraft is still in good health, then there’s a chance the mission could be extended.

        For now though, feast your eyes on some of these glorious images.

        NASA/SwRI/MSSS/Shawn Handran


        NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/SwRI/Kevin M. Gill


        NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/SwRI/Kevin M. Gill


        NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/SwRI/Kevin M. Gill


        NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/SwRI/Kevin M. Gill


        NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/SwRI/Kevin M. Gill


        NASA/SwRI/MSSS/Shawn Handran

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        just how to lower blood sugar quickly & naturally

        how to lower blood sugar fast when it is too high

        Extremely high blood sugar levels can be dangerous, and they can cause lasting health complications. Remember: if you ever have blood sugar readings that remain high for more than 24 hours without coming down (and after an effort has been made to lower them), you need to be addressed by a doctor.

        That being said, we’ve all had those days when we get a random high blood sugar reading and we are not sure what caused it … or we forget to give insulin, or we eat a delicious dessert without realizing how much sugar is actually in it.

        For whatever reason, those out of the ordinary high blood sugar readings happen and need to be treated. No need to rush to the doctor for every high blood sugar reading. There are some simple steps you can take to lower blood sugar fast.
        Watch for signs of high blood sugar

        You know the feeling: extreme thirst, sluggishness, nausea, blurred vision, a downright sick feeling. And your family or friends may tell you that extreme irritability is a major sign you need to check your blood sugar to see if it is high. The best thing to do is to catch it before it gets really high, or it will be harder to bring down quickly, causing havoc on your blood sugar readings for days.

        If you do not take insulin as a part of your treatment plan, these tips will show you how to lower your blood sugar fast If you take insulin, you will first want to give the appropriate amount of insulin to correct the blood sugar. Insulin still takes some time to take effect before bringing the blood sugar down. These tips will help you feel a bit better in the meantime.

        3 tips to lower your blood sugar fast.

        The more water you drink, the better. Water helps flush out your system and stabilize the glucose in the bloodstream.
        Exercise is a good way to get better blood sugar control and keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range as a part of your routine diabetes management. Exercise can also help lower blood sugar when it is excessively high by getting your heart pumping and the blood flowing, which uses up the glucose in your bloodstream faster. (Note: If your blood sugars have been so high that you have high ketones in your blood– a condition called DKA or diabetic ketoacidosis– do not exercise as it may drive your blood sugar even higher.).
        Eat a protein-packed snack. Protein acts as a blood sugar stabilizer and can slow the absorption rate of glucose. One of the symptoms of high blood sugar is increased hunger, so this can help satisfy that craving while helping lower the blood sugar at the same time.

        Don’t grab a snack that has a lot of sugar along with the protein, or you will be defeating the purpose of it. Good sources of protein include a tablespoon of no-sugar-added peanut butter or an ounce of cheese. But don’t overdo it.

        The most important thing you can do for your health and your diabetes is to pay close attention to how you feel. Whenever you feel like something is out of whack, it probably is– so test your blood sugar and do something about it. In the long run, it is easier to do your best to keep your blood sugars tightly controlled than to live with the consequences of not doing so.

        He May Have Cancer, But That Didn’t Stop Him From Proposing To His Kids’ Mother

        Back in June, father-of-three Jason Bragg from Cornwall, England, received devastating news about his health.

        He was diagnosed with cancer of the bowel, liver, lymph nodes, and peritoneum about a month before his twins, Oscar and George, turned a year old. His daughter also just celebrated her fifth birthday. While the 27-year-old’s loved ones are hopeful that chemotherapy and other treatments will help him beat his cancer, there are obviously no guarantees.

        That’s why he decided to ask his girlfriend and the mother of his twins, Lizzie Holt, a very important question.

        After learning about his diagnosis, Bragg’s friends and family set up a fundraising dinner to help him out financially. But Holt didn’t realize that Bragg would be getting down on his knee…

        Watch the heartwarming moment Bragg proposes to Holt in front of all their loved ones. I’m so happy for them!

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        Zodiac Signs Ranked By How Long They Take To Get Over A Breakup Official

        1. Leo

        Leos definitely get over a breakup the fastest. It’s simply not in your nature to let yourself wallow for long. You’re definitely very loving and warm in your relationships, but as soon as something ends, you’re less focused on rehashing what went wrong and more focused on doing what you can to continue improving and taking care of yourself. So rather than laying on the couch and throwing a pity party, you’re out hanging with friends, taking a class in something you love, taking on extra responsibilities at work, etc.

        2. Sagittarius

        It is simply unlike a Sagittarius to be downhearted and crestfallen for long. You certainly give yourself space to grieve and you make an effort not to be overly optimistic about how soon you think you’ll move on. But as the weeks go by, you have no problem doing things to cheer yourself up and help speed up the breakup process – like going on a fun vacation with your friends, treating yourself to a spa day, making frequent dinner plans, etc.

        3. Aries

        An Aries is not brokenhearted for long – and this is mostly because you don’t give yourself the time. When you’re sad and disheartened, you just keep yourself constantly moving for fear that if you sit still for too long, you’ll never want to get out of bed. So in the midst of a breakup you are constantly out and about, seeing and doing everything, so that your heart has no choice but to adapt and adjust.

        4. Pisces

        A brokenhearted Pisces is open about being brokenhearted. And this is what helps you to move on faster. You’re so sensitive and compassionate, even with yourself, that it’s impossible for you to ignore your own feelings. So you typically just spend a lot of time talking about your relationship with people you trust, and getting your feelings off of your chest, so that your heart has enough relief and space to start putting itself back together.

        5. Capricorn

        When it comes to moving on, a Capricorn is as methodical and practical as they come. You’re smart enough to know that you have to acknowledge your own sadness and look it in the face, but instead of being overwhelmed or unsure of what to do next, you just always focus on the ‘next step’ of getting over that person – you give yourself the appropriate amount of time you think you need to grieve, you focus on the things you can control, you unfollow them or hide them on social media if that helps, etc.

        6. Cancer

        You would think that a Cancer would be one of the signs that takes the absolute longest amount of time possible to move on, but it’s not nearly that bad. Sure, you wear your heart on your sleeve and you feel things very deeply – and while that can make your breakup very painful, it can actually make it healthier and more productive, too. You refuse to hide your heartbreak and you’re honest with people about how devastated you are, but because of this, you are able to address your feelings faster and learn what helps you and what doesn’t. So it does take you some time to grieve and heal, but not nearly as much time as you might initially assume.

        7. Libra

        A Libra’s biggest struggle during a breakup is feeling lost. You don’t know exactly what you need – would it make you feel better to be alone or to be around people? Are you sure you did the right thing? What if this breakup was a bad idea? Should you call them? What if they’re already over you? You get caught up in too many uncertainties instead of just committing to the breakup and letting yourself move on in whatever way works best for you.

        8. Virgo

        A Virgo is their own biggest enemy when it comes to moving on. This is mostly because you convince yourself that the breakup was entirely your fault, that if it couldn’t work with this person it’s never going to work with anyone else, and maybe you should just start getting used to being alone – etc, etc, etc. You never let yourself just shut your brain off and give your soul some quiet time to rest. You’re just constantly overthinking about what you could have done differently and how you’ll probably be this sad forever and a million other problems – which makes it practically impossible for you to get over them.

        9. Gemini

        A brokenhearted Gemini is a ticking time bomb. You feel the need to convince everyone else that you are okay, and you spend all of your energy trying to show them – even though, internally, you are completely shattered and devastated. The reason it takes so damn long for you to get over them is because you keep getting in your own way, spending all your time trying to put on a brave face instead of working on your emotional health.

        10. Aquarius

        An Aquarius feels heartbreak just as much as the next person but doesn’t ‘realize’ it. Meaning that instead of acknowledging that you are in pain, you do whatever you can to ignore it, to distract yourself, and to put off dealing with the breakup for as long as you can. This seems to work in the beginning and you often seem like the one who’s ‘winning’ the breakup, but it just ends up screwing you over long term – because your hurt and pain just build and build and build until finally it’s so bad and it’s taken so long for you to feel better that you have no choice but to finally work through the breakup.

        11. Scorpio

        When it comes to moving on, a Scorpio is just terrible. Understandably, going through a breakup makes you feel totally outside of yourself and lost in your own world. But instead of dealing with it by leaning on others and looking your pain in the face, you end up making a lot of rash and reckless decisions, closing yourself off, convincing yourself that your pain is something to be ashamed about, not talking to anyone about it, etc. These are all of your attempts to protect yourself, but all it does is make the ‘moving on’ process of your breakup practically impossible until you start making different decisions.

        12. Taurus

        A Taurus is no stranger to intense emotions – it’s the what you’re supposed to do with the negative emotions that really throws you. You absolutely love being in a relationship – you love the companionship, the blending of worlds, the connection. So when that gets pulled out from under you, all you can think about is how great everything used to be, instead of focusing on the future like you need to. You take the absolute longest to move on from a breakup because you don’t know how to let go of your partner or your pain; all you want is for things to just go back to the way they were, and this coping mechanism of wanting to live in the past just completely holds you back.

        Read more:

        8-year-old biracial boy allegedly lynched by teens in New Hampshire


        An 8-year-old boy from Claremont, New Hampshire, was allegedly lynched after being harassed by a group of teenagers for his skin color.

        On Aug. 28, the biracial boy was playing with a group of teenagers when the teens reportedly began calling the boy racist slurs. They threw sticks and rocks at his legs, until the teens found a rope and chose to hang the victim on a tree, according to the boy’s family. After swinging three times on the tree, the young boy was allegedly able to remove the rope from his neck and escape. Gashes were left on his neck, and he was later airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center to be treated for the cuts. No internal injuries resulted from the alleged lynching.

        The boy’s grandmother, Lorrie Slattery, claims the teenagers previously targeted the child with racial slurs and believes the lynching was racially motivated. The Claremont police are currently investigating the incident, but Slattery fears the police will refuse to press charges because the teenagers told law enforcement that the incident was an accident.

        “If it was an accident, that boy or anybody there wouldn’t have left him,” Slattery told the Valley News. “I believe it was intentional.”

        While the boy is recovering, Slattery remains afraid for his mental health, as he refuses to discuss the lynching or share his feeling. The victim’s mother, Cassandra Merlin, turned to Facebook, condemning the boy’s alleged attackers and posting photos of her child’s gashes.

        “I don’t care if this was a so called accident or not,” Merlin said in a Facebook post obtained by the Root. “My son almost died because of some little shit teenage kids.”

        H/T the Root

        Read more:

        Seriously? An Obamacare architect is worried that Trump will trigger a healthcare ‘crisis’

        Former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius joined other former HHS heads in warning President Trump to be careful and not trigger a healthcare “new crisis.”

        Read more:

        Obama slams Trump for rescinding DACA, calls move ‘cruel’

        Washington (CNN)Former President Barack Obama on Tuesday bashed his successor’s decision to rescind an immigration order shielding some children of undocumented immigrants from deportation, calling the move “cruel” and “self-defeating.”

        “To target these young people is wrong — because they have done nothing wrong,” Obama wrote in a post on Facebook hours after the decision was announced by President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “It is self-defeating — because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military, and otherwise contribute to the country we love. And it is cruel.”
        The lengthy statement is among Obama’s most forceful since departing office. Though he didn’t mention Trump by name, he sharply criticized the President’s motives and insisted rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was not legally required.
          “It’s a political decision, and a moral question,” Obama wrote. “Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn’t threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us.”
          Obama said he hoped lawmakers pass a bill allowing those eligible for the DACA program to remain in the United States. And he framed the decision as a question of “basic decency.”
          “This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America, or whether we treat them the way we’d want our own kids to be treated,” he wrote. “It’s about who we are as a people — and who we want to be.”
          Former President Bill Clinton joined Obama in calling Trump’s decision “cruel.”
          “It’s wrong because it’s bad policy that solves no pressing problem and raises new ones. It’s wrong because it’s irresponsible, passing the buck instead of offering sensible solutions for immigration reform. Most of all, it’s wrong because it’s cruel to send these young people to places many of them have never lived and do not know. For them this is home. The United States is their home,” Clinton said in a statement on Tuesday.
          Clinton’s statement also called on Congress to act immediately to “protect their status and pave the way for their future and America’s future.”
          Former Vice President Joe Biden also criticized Trump’s move.
          “Brought by parents, these children had no choice in coming here. Now they’ll be sent to countries they’ve never known. Cruel. Not America,” Biden tweeted.

          Promised to speak out

          Just before leaving office in January, Obama told reporters during a news conference that he would speak out sparingly in his post-presidency. But he said revoking DACA was among the actions that would prompt him to weigh in.
          “The notion that we would just arbitrarily or because of politics punish those kids, when they didn’t do anything wrong themselves, I think would be something that would merit me speaking out,” Obama said at the time.
          DACA amounts to Obama’s chief legacy item on immigration, though it’s far reduced from the vision for major changes that he entered office promising.
          During his first years in office, Obama focused heavily on repairing a damaged economy. Instead of immigration, he chose health care as his first major legislative push.
          He approved the program in 2012 after unsuccessful efforts in Congress to pass a measure that would allow children of undocumented immigrants brought into the country illegally to avoid deportation.
          During most of his first term, Obama insisted that taking action unilaterally to spare DACA recipients from deportation wasn’t possible. Instead, he said it was up to Congress to craft a solution.
          But after legislative efforts failed, Obama asked his attorney general and other administration lawyers to reassess his options for taking executive action. His administration argued that circumstances had changed after Congress was unable to pass legislation.
          Months before his re-election, he announced in the Rose Garden that he was taking action on his own, though qualified his move as a short-term fix.
          “This is not amnesty. This is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It’s not a permanent fix,” Obama said. “This is a temporary stopgap measure.”
          His decision ignited controversy and legal challenges, though polls show a large majority of Americans support measures that would allow people who came to the country illegally as children to remain.

          Read more:

          You Are The United Nations Secretary-General! Can You Use The Bathroom For 5 Freaking Minutes Without World War III Breaking Out?

          This is the United Nations, the center of global diplomacy. Countries from all over the world gather here to bicker about their differences and get nothing accomplished. This may seem like a huge waste of time, but it’s actually much better than the alternative, which is World War III.

          Yes, it would be very bad. Every human would die, and the Earth would become a radioactive cinder. World War III is one of the worst things that could happen.

          No, it would be very bad. Every human would die, and the Earth would become a radioactive cinder. World War III is one of the worst things that could happen.

          You are the U.N. secretary-general, the director of the United Nations. This is you.

          Running the United Nations is a challenging job, but you know how important your work is. Without your tireless diplomatic efforts, World War III could erupt at any moment.

          This is the start of a new day, and it’s bound to be a stressful one. You have just enough time for a soothing chamomile tea before you talk to world leaders and try to delay nuclear holocaust a little bit longer.

          Soon the weight of the world will be on your shoulders, but right now, for one brief moment, you can revive your spirits with the calming taste of chamomile.

          The second you swallow the tea your bowels seize up in knots. Number one and number two are stirring through your guts like a pair of incestuous pythons, angrily slamming against the walls of your intestine and bladder. What the hell did you just drink?

          Oh no. You wanted to make chamomile tea, but must have grabbed the wrong box. You have to find a bathroom, fast.

          Maybe you should do a little diplomacy first though, before you visit the toilet. You’ve already left the world unattended while you had your tea, and there’s no telling what mischief the countries are getting themselves into.

          Diplomacy can wait five minutes. You desperately waddle straight to the bathroom.

          While you’re in the bathroom, World War III occurs, and a nuclear shockwave obliterates New York City, which is where the United Nations headquarters is. You are instantly killed without even realizing there’s a problem. Soon every other city on Earth is also erased by nuclear hellfire.

          Within minutes, a global population of billions is reduced to millions. The survivors struggle on for several decades, their numbers continually dwindling due to radiation sickness and famine caused by nuclear winter. The few that survive are often infertile from constant background irradiation.

          Fifty years after World War III, fewer than 100,000 humans remain alive on the face of the Earth, surviving in scattered hunter-gatherer tribes. They eke out a tough existence on the toxic husk of the Earth, but even those hardened nomad bands are slowly killed off by the inhospitable wasteland.

          Five hundred years after World War III, only two humans are left on Earth, a mother and her son. They live on the outskirts of the radioactive ruin of what was once called Cincinnati, eating cockroaches to survive. She dies of cancer when the boy is 10 years old. He lives the rest of his life alone on a dead planet, making up imaginary friends to keep himself company. He dies at the age of 49 from an untreated tooth infection.

          This tragic fate befell humanity because you couldn’t hold in your feces for a few minutes before using the bathroom. It didn’t have to be this way.

          You visit the conference room where ambassadors hang out to argue with each other. “Good morning, Mr. Secretary-General,” the diplomats greet you in unison.

          Your stomach is rumbling like a blender full of rocks. You really need to wrap up this diplomacy stuff, pronto.

          You deliver a long and eloquent speech on the importance of diplomacy, ignoring the furious writhing of your intestine. Unfortunately, you take too long. As soon as your finish speaking, your colon erupts in a geyser of shit. Liquid rivers of warm dung flow down your pant leg, over your shoes, and spread across the floor like the Exxon Valdez spill.

          “Hey, the secretary-general just shit his pants!” screams the Belgian ambassador.

          “Whoa, what a loser!” shouts the Japanese ambassador. “We used to respect him, but he can’t even keep his crap inside his body where it belongs.”

          “All these years, we’ve listened to him when he told us that World War III would be bad,” says the Chilean ambassador. “But now that we know he’s actually an idiot who shits his pants, what if that means World War III would be good?”

          Excited murmurs start to fill the room. “Yeah, World War III!” “The Big War!” “World War III would be good!” “Nukes nukes nukes nukes!”

          The ambassadors ignore your desperate pleas and phone their home countries to tell them to start World War III. It doesn’t take long before a nuclear shockwave reduces the United Nations to radioactive ash, and you with it.

          The French ambassador clears his throat. “Yes, we are about to go to war with our hated enemy England.”

          Uh-oh, he’s lifting weights. This is a traditional form of diplomatic saber rattling that countries use to show their power. If he’s doing exercise at the United Nations, that means armed conflict could erupt between France and England at any second.

          “The arrogant and imperialistic British have been hogging Stonehenge all for themselves. Why do they get to own Stonehenge? They didn’t even build Stonehenge, it was druids a long time ago. France should get a turn owning Stonehenge. If not, we have no choice but to start World War III.”

          The diplomats watch you in puzzled silence as you struggle to control your spastic bowels. After a few perilous seconds you manage to resist defecating, for at least a little bit longer.

          The English ambassador scoffs disdainfully. “How dare the devious French try to take our Stonehenge, when they’ve been selfishly hoarding the Eiffel Tower all to themselves for years. If France wants to do World War III, England welcomes the chance to best them in a contest of nukes. After we win, we’ll bring the Eiffel Tower to London where it belongs.”

          With your blessing, England and France begin lobbing nuclear weapons at each other, destroying both Stonehenge and the Eiffel Tower, as well as all their cities and buildings and people.

          The destruction of two countries would be bad enough, but England and France were both NATO signatories. As soon as they went to war, that invoked Article 5 of the NATO treaty, which declares that an attack against one NATO member is an attack against all and must be responded to with military action. All the other NATO members fulfill their obligations to defend England and France from England and France by bombing England and France. Attacking England and France invokes Article 5 of NATO again, which forces all the NATO nations to start bombing all the NATO nations that attacked England and France, including themselves.

          You are killed in a nuclear explosion when the United States retaliates against the United States by bombing the United States.

          Knowing that your bowels could evacuate the entire frozen package of hot dogs you ate this morning at any moment, you have to propose a peace treaty between England and France on how to equitably divide Stonehenge and the Eiffel Tower, and pronto!

          The British ambassador falls silent for a long moment, then takes a nude photo of the queen out of his briefcase. “This photo of the queen’s glorious bare body is one of England’s most treasured possessions,” he says gravely, handing it to the French ambassador. “England will not trade it for anything less precious than the Eiffel Tower.”

          The French ambassador examines the photo for a few seconds. “She looks pretty good for her age,” he says with utter solemnity.

          The British ambassador nods. “Yeah, she’s in her nineties. Not bad at all.”

          The two ambassadors shake hands, signaling a new era of peace between their countries. Now that you’ve averted war, nothing stops you from running to the bathroom.

          “The Mona Lisa is one of France’s most valued treasures,” says the French ambassador in a hushed and reverent tone. “We stole that painting from the Italians, and it’s ours now. Until now, we’ve had a policy to never paint on the Mona Lisa, but we would break that rule in exchange for Stonehenge.”

          “Manchester United rules!” shouts the English ambassador. “They kick the ball very well. We’d be honored to have Mona Lisa become a fan of Manchester.”

          The two ambassadors shake hands, signaling a new era of peace between their countries. Now that you’ve averted war, nothing stops you from running to the bathroom.

          You sprint toward the toilets, using every ounce of willpower to contain the furious contents of your twitching asshole. The door of the U.N.’s bathroom beckons to you like a lighthouse in a storm.

          You stride triumphantly toward the toilets, ready to drop your pants and destroy the plumbing. There’s no time to spare either, because shit is ramming against your sphincter like Vikings at the castle gates.

          There are four stalls in this bathroom. Which one do you want to use?

          Wow, you just offended a Nobel Prize winner, and you still have a runaway brown train chugging down your colon, next stop sphincter junction. And without your guidance, World War III could break out in the general assembly at any time. Better make this quick!

          Which stall do you want to use?

          You open the door to the first stall, and a young woman sitting on the toilet shrieks in alarm.

          “Excuse me, this stall is occupied!” screams Malala Yousafzai. “What the fucking hell is wrong with you? Can’t a Nobel Prize winner take a dump in peace?”

          “Well, fucking knock next time! Now get lost, so I can finish up in here and get back to a conference on the importance of women’s education in the developing world.”

          The Dalai Lama is sitting on the toilet. “Suffering must be our teacher, not our master,” he says while smiling at you benevolently. There is a quiet continuous sound of trickling urine.

          “You are filled with sorrow,” says the Dalai Lama. “Instead, be joyous, for the world’s beauty is all around you!” Urine continues to steadily trickle.

          “Our needs and wants are roadblocks on the path to nirvana.” The sound of urine slows down to intermittent spurts, and eventually stops entirely. Five quiet seconds pass as the Dalai Lama smiles at you. Then suddenly urine starts pouring again twice as loud as before.

          You drop your pants and seat your bare ass on the Dalai Lama’s naked thighs. In response, the Buddhist spiritual leader calmly takes a can of mace out of his robes and pepper-sprays you in the eyes.

          The world is a painful blur. You try to fumble your way to the sinks to wash the pepper spray from your stinging eyes, but instead accidentally wander out of the bathroom into the U.N.’s hallway, right in front of an elementary school tour group.

          There are shocked gasps and giggles from the students as you waddle around with your fallen pants, reluctantly shitting a breadcrumb trail of turds behind you.

          Police handcuff you and throw you in the back of a squad car. You face some pretty serious charges. Shitting in front of minors will get you put on the sex offender registry, which will get you fired from your job at the United Nations and make it impossible to ever get employed again.

          However, you’re never charged for your crimes. On your way to the police station, World War III happens, and you’re disintegrated by a nuclear explosion.

          Former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi is sitting on the toilet. “Occupied,” says the brutal tyrant. “My bad, I should have locked the door.”

          “No, they only killed one of my body doubles,” says Gaddafi. “I was at the United Nations for a diplomatic summit when my government was overthrown, so I decided to lay low and live in the bathroom here.”

          “Sure, help yourself,” says Gaddafi as he stands and pulls up his pants. “Heads up, though, I just dropped a monster deuce, and this toilet is completely clogged. Sorry about that.”

          The odor from the toilet is absolutely horrendous. Gaddafi’s dump smells like a combination of dog sweat and spoiled cheesecake. You flick the handle a few times, but it doesn’t flush. You definitely do not want to sit on top of that mess, but you need a toilet and you’re getting desperate.

          You sit down on top of the steaming dung and defecate. It’s pretty gross feeling the polluted Gaddafi-water splash up against your ass cheeks, but at least you get rid of your diarrhea.

          You have succeeded in using the toilet for five minutes without World War III breaking out, so congratulations! Technically, you win! On the downside, you get all kinds of weird diseases from exposure to Gaddafi’s shit, which is to be expected from someone who slept with thousands of prostitutes and sex slaves over four decades. A few hours after using the bathroom you start hemorrhaging blood from your anus and then die. After your death, there’s nobody around to prevent World War III, and humanity is eradicated by nuclear warfare.

          If you’re okay with this, you can quit now and consider this a victory, but maybe there’s a way to take a shit and also prevent World War III from happening at all.

          You open the door and find Bill Gates sitting on the toilet, but not actually defecating. The toilet lid is down, and Bill Gate’s pants are up.

          The billionaire philanthropist is lost in thought and doesn’t notice you enter.

          “Oh, hello, Secretary-General,” says Bill Gates. “No, I don’t need to use the bathroom. I just came here to think about all the strides the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has made in the fight against malaria. The bathroom is one of my favorite quiet places to think about doing charity.”

          “Sure, of course you can use this toilet,” says Bill Gates. “Unfortunately, not everyone on Earth has a toilet. And other unfortunate people have malaria, a serious and sometimes deadly disease spread by mosquitoes. There are over 200 million cases of malaria each year. It’s an enduring problem that I hope to fix in my lifetime.”

          “Oh right, you need to use the toilet,” says Bill Gates. “I forgot because I was talking about malaria, a serious disease endemic in tropical climates. Combating malaria will require a threefold approach: 1) reducing mosquito populations by eliminating standing water sources and employing judicious use of pesticides; 2) developing effective drugs and vaccines to protect at-risk populations from malaria; 3) employing barriers such as mosquito nets to prevent contact between humans and mosquitos.”

          “I’m sorry to hear that. I will get off the toilet immediately so you can use it,” says Bill Gates while remaining seated on the toilet. “Diarrhea is also one of the symptoms of malaria, a serious disease that is sometimes fatal. Other symptoms of malaria include fever and vomiting. Over half a million people die each year from malaria, a grim annual toll that is too often ignored in the Western world.

          “The good news is that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has made huge strides against malaria, reducing deaths by 20 percent since the year 2000. Our scientists have made promising breakthroughs experimenting with recombinant protein-based vaccines, and we intend to keep funding grants to pursue that area of research.

          “Eradicating malaria is a long-term goal, but an attainable one, that will require ongoing cooperation between government health departments and NGOs. By the way, didn’t you say you needed to use the toilet? Sorry, I got distracted talking about malaria.”

          Bill Gates stands up and gestures at the toilet. “It’s all yours.”

          You shit your pants because you let Bill Gates ramble on about malaria for too long. There’s no way you can conduct diplomacy like this. None of the ambassadors will take you seriously if you have sopping-wet shit legs. You have no choice but to go shopping for a new pair of pants.

          You and your befouled pants squeeze onto a packed subway train. The other straphangers give you disgusted looks and inch away.

          In your worst nightmares you never dreamed that you, the secretary-general of the world’s most esteemed diplomatic institution, could become a social pariah stinking up a train car. You pray the subway gets to your stop quickly so you can reach Macy’s and buy clean pants as soon as possible.

          You’re traveling through a tunnel when the subway comes to a screeching halt. The lights flicker, and the car shakes as the ground trembles.

          The train conductor’s voice crackles over the intercom. “Sorry passengers, this train is experiencing service delays because World War III just happened on the surface and everyone up there is dead. Thank you for your patience.”

          You climb a service ladder to the street level and behold the grim aftermath of World War III. Charred corpses litter the streets amidst burning rubble. This is the exact kind of situation you tried to warn people about when you said World War III would be bad.

          Fortunately, you managed to survive doomsday and become a nomadic scavenger. You spend the rest of your grueling life searching through the radioactive ruins of civilization for canned food and bugs to eat. However, in all your decades of wandering the nuclear wasteland, you never find a clean pair of pants.

          “Don’t worry, I’ll squish it!” shouts Bill Gates. He runs out to the United Nations parking lot, hops into his car, and drives into your car at 90 mph, totaling both vehicles.

          Bill Gates dizzily climbs out of the wreckage of his car. He has a long gash bleeding on his forehead where it hit the steering wheel. “I don’t see the mosquito,” he shouts out in warning. “I think it got away. Don’t let it bite you, or you might get malaria!”

          You’ve successfully tricked Bill Gates into leaving the toilet.

          You drop your pants and lower yourself down. The ring of the toilet seat feels cool and refreshing on your buttocks.

          Just as you prepare to tense your colon and expel all the filth within, there is a loud commotion from outside the bathroom. You hear angry shouting. Someone screams, “If World War III is what you want, then World War III is what you’re gonna get!”

          Equifax breach proves we cant leave it up to businesses to protect us

          Equifax gets a cyber security score of zero.
          Image: RHONA WISE/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

          The Equifax data breach disaster is the last straw.

          This can’t go on. 

          We can’t let companies flout cyber security best practices and common sense, and we can no longer rely on Social Security numbers as a secure and discrete form of identification. Equifax hasn’t shared its own cybersecurity practices, but it’s fair to say even if they were indeed subpar, it’ll likely survive this storm longterm, even while victims suffer.

          It’s time for some changes.

          Equifax, a company best known for helping us check our credit scores and protecting consumers from identity theft(!) announced Thursday that it suffered a massive hack impacting 143 million Americans, that’s 44% of the population. The monumental security breach exposed millions and millions of personal data bits to hackers.

          I would laugh if it weren’t so horrifying.

          Equifax learned of the breach, which apparently came through its website (which is not nearly enough information about the cause), in late July, two months after it started. The company promises that the hackers did not access “core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases,” but they got everything that matters: Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and driver’s license numbers.

          Holy hell.

          There is, it seems, no end to these kinds of breaches. Hackers see every company as a target, and they’ve been wildly successful with Yahoo, Target, Sony, the Democratic National Committee, Verizon, HBO, Ashley Madison, and many others. 

          Each time, the company (or group) apologizes, promises to fix it, protect their customers and do better. 

          “This is clearly a disappointing event for our company, and one that strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do. I apologize to consumers and our business customers for the concern and frustration this causes,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Richard F. Smith in a statement.


          Disappointing? The heart of who you are? You’re a freaking identity protection company. Through your credit check business, you have access to much of our most precious financial information and then you ask us to pay more for identity protection. This event should destroy your business. It won’t, but it should.

          You know why it won’t? Because these breaches haven’t shut down any of these businesses. Some face civil litigation and pay, some just endure a lot of public shaming. 

          None of them face criminal prosecution. 

          No one learns anything, certainly not the next company that will be hit. They just look on and breathe a sigh of relief that it’s not them.

          Some new rules

          Nothing will change here until we have national standards for data security and strong penalties for not applying the necessary technologies, checks, and balances.

          Currently in the U.S., only a handful of industries, have federal, mandatory cyber security regulations. These include the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for healthcare and the 2002 Homeland Security Act, which was enacted in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, for the federal government. Even in finance, which has other strict federal mandates for financial disclosures and internal controls, legislators struggle to implement sweeping cybersecurity rules.

          Truth in financial reporting seems like a worthy goal, no less so than safety in data security. And yet there is virtually nothing to encourage general business to clean up its cybersecurity act. By comparison, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which brought sweeping financial management and corporate governance regulation to U.S. businesses in 2002, put in place hefty fines and prison terms for those who don’t follow it. Put simply, Sarbanes-Oxley mandates that company management must certify the accuracy of all financial statements and enact expensive internal controls. 

          One reason for the lack of cybersecurity rules is that data security and best practices in business is an intricate web of legacy hardware and software, byzantine practices, and bottom line concerns. 

          Companies running old operating systems have long been prime hack targets. Most of them continue running old software because 1) it costs money to upgrade and 2) the vertical industries they serve use old legacy software that doesn’t run on the newest platform or hardware.

          It’s not just the software, though. Companies like Equifax, Yahoo, the Democratic National Committee, and others don’t follow best practices when it comes to cyber security. They don’t protect or back up their databases off site, they don’t train their employees to not open unknown emails, click on random links, or how to identify a social engineering attack. 

          Cyber-security regulations with the same power as Sarbanes-Oxley and penalties would change that. It would stop companies from sitting back and hoping they can dodge the bullet much like young people avoid the doctor because they believe they can never get sick. 

          In 2016, 28 states either had or were considering cyber security legislation, but most of it only considers state-controlled systems and services and doesn’t look at the businesses that manage consumer data.

          If you think the idea of force-feeding cyber security to business is draconian, look at Microsoft Windows 10. This platform no longer asks you if it can upgrade, it only allows you to specify when. Why? So, home users can have the most up-to-date and secure systems. Microsoft doesn’t even leave cyber security in the hands of third-party companies any more (you can still buy it if you want). Instead, there’s Windows Defender. It’s free, always up-to-date and running 24/7 on Windows 10 PC.

          Ideal legislation to regulate cybersecurity would create the foundation for rating agencies to keep track of companies’ cybersecurity prowess. So Equifax would get an Equifax. The quality of a company’s cyber security across a wide variety of metrics (up to date systems, encrypted data, company wide training) would result in a score, much like one’s credit score; 1 would be the worst and 5 would be the best. Simple.

          If I were writing this legislation, I would also tie it to the winding down of the Social Security number as an identity tool. Numbers are flat, discoverable things and the fact that we use a combination of nine digits as the skeleton key for life stuff should be a grave concern to everyone.

          We have options. Biometric security is growing by leaps and bounds. Facial recognition on the level I have with Windows Hello can’t be fooled with a picture or someone who looks almost just like me. Iris scanning is even more foolproof and now on smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 8. We have heartbeat sensors that might eventually be used to recognize the unique rhythm of each heart. 

          A new Cyber Security Act, with some real regulatory teeth (read penalties) could set a timeline for retiring Social Security numbers, giving businesses and people five years to change systems and upgrade to biometrics.

          Leaving these things to chance and the whims of business, which care more about money than they do about you, is no longer sustainable. 

          This must end.

          Read more:

          This Is The Shocking Story Of How A Baby Boy Was Just Born ‘Pregnant’

          Last month, a pregnant woman went to the Bilal Hospital in Mumbra, India, for a routine scan when radiologist Dr. Bhavna Thorat noticed an abnormal mass on her unborn son.

          Nine days later, the little boy was born. That’s when Thorat performed another scan on him. What he found was a seven-centimeter-long fetus in the newborn’s abdomen — the result of an extremely rare abnormality called fetus in fetu, which only happens about once per 500,000 births.

          “I could see bones of the upper and lower limbs of the fetus,” Thorat told Daily Mail. “The unique thing about it was I could see a tiny head with the brain inside. However, this parasitic twin didn’t have a skull bone.”

          One theory about the condition is that the abnormal mass is a highly developed teratoma. The other is that with twins, one fetus becomes enveloped by the other. According to gynecologist Dr. Neena Nichlani, this was the case with the baby boy from India.

          Surgeons at the Titan Hospital in Thane were able to successfully remove the mass. The baby and his mother are both currently recovering.

          Read more:

          Zach Braffs Scrubs character is the literal face of erectile dysfunction in Ukraine

          Ukraine really loves Zach Braff.

          Though Scrubs is long gone, Braff recently discovered that his character from the show is apparently still giving medical advice. An ad from Ukraine shows Braff in his scrubs, and a fan enlightened him as to what the ad’s really for: erectile dysfunction.

          Having problems with your boner and your computer? Braff can help there, too.

          And Zac Efron.

          And Westworld‘s Ben Barnes.

          And the Scrubs love apparently doesn’t stop at Braff.

          I think we’ve found Braff’s next project.

          H/T Pedestrian 

          Read more:

          Selena Gomez’s BFF Francia Raisa Speaks Out About Donating Her Kidney In Beautiful Post!

          Cue You’ve Got A Friend In Me!

          Hours after

          As it’s being reported by TMZ that the surgery was hard on the 29-year-old, leaving her unable to participate in any physical activities for two months after, she went on Instagram to write:

          The “health nut” is seemingly only now getting back to yoga while her “restricted” diet continues to be monitored, this also according to TMZ.

          Francia should feel so proud of the beautiful gift she gave to her friend, and we’re glad to hear it sounds like she’s recovered now.

          So brave!

          [Image via FayesVision/WENN.]

          Read more:

          5 Ways To Make Sure You And Your SO Go To Sleep Tonight Feeling Content

          Keeping a relationship together can often feel like an entire occupation in and of itself. It takes work, even in areas that you didn’t realize needed work, like going to sleep. And sometimes, it can feel daunting to figure out how happy couples sleep well, especially when stress runs high for both you and partner.

          When you’re in a relationship, going to sleep isn’t always as simple shutting your eyes and snapping into the process of your sleep cycle. Sometimes — in fact, times — compromise will be the necessary ingredient to your success. And, let me tell you, that applies to much more than simply finding a comfortable bedtime routine with your babe. But that’s another conversation for another day.

          When it comes to going to sleep with your SO, you may often forget that an arrangement of compromises may, and most likely will, have to happen in order to make sure that both you and your significant other are content. According to , going to sleep at the same time as your partner is one of the easiest ways to ensure a more content and happy relationship. So simple, yet so effective.

          Elite Daily spoke to a few experts on the matter to figure out some surefire ways to find relationship contentment once it’s time for the both of you to lay your heads down to sleep. Here are a few pieces of advice they had to share.

          1. Use The Bedroom As An Intimate-Only Space

          According to Dr.Kimber Shelton, licensed psychologist, relationship expert, and owner of KLS Counseling & Consulting Services in Dallas, Texas, the bedroom should be used for intimacy, connection, sleep, and nothing more:

          Use the bed as a way to connect and be intimately close to your partner before going to bed.

          Habits such as using the phone or computer, doing work in bed, and watching TV in the bed can distract from emotional and physical intimacy. Avoiding use of devices in the bed can give the couple more time for talking, working through issues, cuddling, and falling asleep together.

          2. Work Out Sleeping Logistics

          Dr. Shelton also advises that you work out the kinks and be prepared to budge on things that aren’t absolutely necessary for you.

          In terms of finding that happy medium with your partner, she tells Elite Daily,

          You like to be warm; your partner likes to be cool. You like the fan on; your partner likes no noise. You like the door open; they prefer the door closed.

          Figure out a way that each of you can be comfortable in bed. Consider if sleeping desires are preferences, or if they are musts. If you prefer quiet, but can sleep with the fan on, you can avoid unnecessary arguments by respecting your partner’s needs and musts.

          Plus, Dr. Shelton explains, you and your SO may feel closer to one another simply by respecting one another’s sleeping needs.

          3. Have Sex

          This one should be relatively easy right?

          However, you might be surprised to learn how many couples become too busy for sexual intimacy.

          Dr. Shelton advises that sex is an excellent way to relax right before you and your beau drift off to sleep:

          Besides being physically enjoyable, during sex and orgasm, the body releases hormones that improve mood and calm the body — a recipe for sleeping well together.

          4. Focus On The Positive

          According to April Masini, relationship and etiquette expert of, gratitude with your babe will go a very long way when it comes to a fulfilling night of sleep.

          She tells Elite Daily,

          Before you go to sleep, make a mental note — or a conversational one — about what went well during the day. Acknowledge what you’re thankful for and how good you feel about it, whether it was an amazing dinner, a meaningful conversation, great sex, a visit with someone you adore, or just a beautiful day.

          Whatever it is, imprint yourself with a good feeling before bed. It’s the bad feelings and anxieties that wake you and prevent good sleep. So state what’s going right in your life and the world.

          5. When All Else Fails, At Least Have A Good Mattress

          A good mattress is one of those adult investment pieces that you absolutely should not skimp on, if you’re in a relationship. Not only do need sleep to function individually, but your needs restful sleep to really thrive. Trust me, no one is on their best behavior without a good night’s rest.

          Parinaz Samimi, a sleep and wellness expert with, tells Elite Daily,

          Make sure you have the right mattress — by that I mean finding a mattress that has layers of memory foam that not only provide a cooler sleeping experience, but also make your SO’s movements undetectable.

          It also might be time to ditch the queen-size mattress, and invest in a larger king-size one that gives both people the freedom to move comfortably and have their space while sleeping.

          Sweet dreams, lovebirds.

          Read more:

          Both Donald & Melania Trump Looked At The Total Solar Eclipse Without Glasses

          Their eyes! THEIR EYES!!

          On Monday, North America freaked out when it got the chance to watch a total solar eclipse — where the Moon fully blocks the Sun while passing between the Sun and Earth — and the entire thing was pretty amazing.

          Related: Twitter Reacts To The Total Solar Eclipse!

          Not surprisingly, President Donald Trump, Melania Trump, and their son Barron Trump had to see what the fuss was all about, and watched the spectacle from the White House!

          While they all had protective solar glasses, both Donnie and his wife took a peek with their bare eyes!


          See pics and video (below)!

          [Image via ABC News/CNN.]

          Read more:

          These Animals Love To Dance! (15 Hilarious Memes)

          I guess we all just gotta shake it when we hear that beat! 

          • 1

            Via: lovecuteanimals

          • 2

            Via: catsincare

          • 3

            Via: google

          • 4

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          Zach Braff is the new illegal face of male enhancement pills in Ukraine, and he’s pretty cool with it

          It’s important to have a sense of humor about yourself and when people use you to sell erectile dysfunction medicine. 

          Zach Braff, also known as as J.D. from Scrubs, informed his twitter followers Wednesday that his lovely face is being used in Ukraine to advertise male enhancement pills. Except, he never really gave his permission. 

          But who cares? Sex drugs should be readily available for all, and if his mug sells them, who cares about pesky things like laws.

          I mean, can we blame Ukraine? Considering he’s charismatically dressed in character making him super believable to those who don’t know him, we’re sure it sells. Though, it may not entirelybe legal.

          However, he doesn’t seem to mind and neither do we.

          But it doesn’t stop there, his photo is also being used to advertise computer repairs.

          Fans are reacting, loving both concepts.

          While he may not be doing any advertisement (that we know of) in America, he definitely has fun with messing with his fans.

          Image: giphy

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