Remingtons Bankruptcy May Be the Tip of the Iceberg

Firearms companies face declining sales, falling stock prices and tremendous debt. Gunmaker American Outdoor Brands Corp., formerly known as Smith & Wesson, has seen its stock plummet by almost half from 2017. On Monday, Remington Outdoor Co., an iconic, 200-year-old American firearms manufacturer, announced it’s planning to file for bankruptcy.  

With Republicans in control of Washington, there’s little chance of firearm regulation—even in the face of Wednesday’s massacre in Florida. When Barack Obama was president or Democrats controlled Congress, gun sales would generally rise after a mass shooting for fear of more restrictive laws. The gun lobby pushed these worries despite a lack of significant legislative effort by the Obama administration. Now that Donald Trump is in the Oval Office, fear of new gun laws has receded, industry executives have said. And so have sales, hurting both retailers and manufacturers such as Remington.

In December, James Debney, chief executive officer of American Outdoor, said “fear-based” buying of firearms had stopped. According to data collected by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, a barometer for firearms sales, January 2018 was the slowest in gun purchases since 2012. Even on Thursday, after gunmaker stocks rose in premarket trading, shares headed back down by afternoon. (The assault rifle used in the Parkland high school attack was a Smith & Wesson AR-15, police said.)

Following gun stores and manufacturers, the next victim of the industry’s political success could be distributors. Because most are privately owned, earnings data are hard to come by. Still, company debt can offer a glimpse into their financial health. The declining performance of a $140 million loan to distributor United Sporting Cos., for example, suggests there may be a problem. 

United is a private equity-owned holding company whose subsidiaries include Ellett Brothers and Jerry’s Sport Center, two gun distributors that work with more than 30,000 independent retailers across all 50 states (Sturm, Ruger & Co. says 15 percent of its sales are to the two subsidiaries). They distribute hunting and shooting-sports products, including handguns, ammunition, silencers and holsters. In 2016, Jerry’s was named “distributor of the year” by Marlin Firearms, a company owned by Remington.

A $140 million loan extended to United fell to less than half of its face value last year, according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings by the loan’s holder, the business development company Prospect Capital Corp. 

Since Prospect makes loans to private companies but has issued shares to the public, it’s required to disclose its financials, even when the companies on the hook for the loan are not. In Prospect’s annual report for 2017, the company said a fair value of its loan to United was almost $47 million—about 33 percent of its face value. That was down from 94 percent in its report for the quarter ended March 31, 2017.

Michael Grier Eliasek, a director of Prospect, said in the securities filing that United had been hit by a cyclical slowdown in gun sales, as well as by the bankruptcy of a major customer, sporting goods retailer Gander Mountain. 

United and Prospect didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

“When there are elections that go a certain way, there tends to be a slowdown in sales to the firearms sector for the first six or nine months or so, and then there’s a more of a normalization thereafter,” Eliasek said in an August conference call when he was asked about the writedown, which at that time was 59 percent of face value. 

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    This Is What We Should Be Teaching Young Girls About Self Love And Beauty

    Caroline Hernandez

    But how are we supposed to teach young girls lessons we haven’t even learned ourselves?

    Society puts a lot of pressure on everyone to look a certain way. It’s all a numbers game.

    Size. Weight. Measurements. Beauty. Restrictions. Calorie consumption.

    From an early age, we are weighed in front of our classmates during gym. We are asked for sizes in front of our teammates for uniforms. If girls aren’t judging each other they are judging themselves and social media is making every part of their life a competition.

    It’s a generation recording everything on smartphones from what they eat to what workout they do needing validation and acceptance.

    We are teaching girls to look at their flaws instead of their attributes striving for perfection that isn’t real.

    Comparing themselves to models in magazines. Filtering every picture they post like they have to. Editing everything so heavily.

    Defining happiness based on notifications.

    Instagram. Facebook. Snapchat. It encourages you to judge people first by appearance or how happy they might be and what they are putting out there. But we get caught up in judging ourselves too wondering why everyone else seems happier than us hiding it and overcome with guilt.

    Dating apps where adults are judging one another based on photos alone. This is what we are teaching them that it’s okay to judge people solely on what they look like instead of who they are.

    It’s a competition that has only gotten worse with advances in technology.

    And we wonder why there’s a higher rate of depression.

    According to Business Insider,

    ‘After scouring several large surveys of teens for clues, I found that all of the possibilities traced back to a major change in teens’ lives: the sudden ascendance of the smartphone.’

    This is what we should be telling girls about self-love and actual beauty. And this is how we should be talking to ourselves.

    Don’t talk about her body in regards to appearance but rather the wonderful things bodies are capable of doing. Don’t look in the mirror and talk to yourself about what you don’t like. Don’t talk about her weight in regards to what she should lose or gain. Don’t set a goal thinking that’s going to make you happy. Don’t talk to her about what she should change. Teach her as well as yourself to learn to like your flaws.

    Don’t use words like skinny. Use words like beautiful and strong. Realize being healthy is what’s it’s about. It’s not about being skinny. It’s teaching her to workout not because she hates herself and wants to change but because it’s wonderful to see what your body can do and working out changes your attitude.

    It’s teaching her to eat healthy because what you put into your body is important to your long-term health not just what you look like. It’s teaching her to pursue her favorite sport because there are some things teams can teach you that no one else can.

    Don’t compliment her appearance but rather something unique about her. Because what makes her and what makes you beautiful has nothing to do with appearance and everything to do with how she treats people and how she makes them feel about themselves.

    That’s beauty.

    Being authentic is beautiful. Being kind is beautiful. Being a good person is beautiful. And those are things you can’t buy in a store.

    Teach her what’s attractive about her aren’t her looks but her passion. That she isn’t limited by who she is or what she looks like. That what carries her is going to be her attitude. How she lights up talking about the things she cares about. How she does something she loves every day and as a result, she becomes good at it and people admire her for it.

    We need to stop teaching girls they need to change to love themselves because she doesn’t.

    If we want to teach our young girls to love and accept themselves we have to set the example of loving who we are not wanting to change.

    Confidence is important. Liking the person looking back at you is essential. But I think a lot of us don’t even know how to be good enough for ourselves anymore.

    How we talk to young girls is so important but how we talk to them is a reflection of how we talk and view ourselves.

    So if we want to raise a generation of girls that turn into strong women set that example. Because as much as they deserve to love themselves you do too.

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    50 Cent Apparently Doesn’t Give A Shit Whether Rick Ross Dies Or Not

    As we’ve been reporting over the last 24 hours, Rick Ross is reportedly in the hospital and fighting for his life on life support after being found unresponsive and ‘breathing heavy’ earlier on Friday.

    And as you might expect, rappers and celebs from all walks of life are grappling with this significant health scare by pouring out condolences and support for Ross.

    But not everybody is feeling so generous, apparently.

    Related: Fergie Drops TWO New Singles With Nicki Minaj & Rick Ross

    Late last night, 50 Cent posted this to his Instagram account (below):

    A post shared by 50 Cent (@50cent) on Mar 2, 2018 at 10:15pm PST

    For those unaware, that’s a picture of Ivan Drago from the movie Rocky IV — and in that particular scene, Drago is standing over Apollo Creed just as Creed is dying. Famously, Drago says during Creed’s last breaths, “If he dies, he dies.”

    So in other words… 50 is making a commentary that “if he dies, he dies” at the exact same time many other celebs are reaching out with condolences for Ross’ health and recovery.

    Dude… what the fuck?!?!

    About an hour after he posted that on IG, 50 followed it up with another film-inspired pic and a very specific caption (below):

    Yeah I’m different 🤫A post shared by 50 Cent (@50cent) on Mar 2, 2018 at 11:31pm PST

    Different, huh?

    Yeah… that’s, uh, different, all right…

    What do y’all think about 50 Cent’s reaction to Rick Ross’ health issues?

    Let us know in the comments (below).

    [Image via Media Punch.]

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    6 Of Your Favorite Foods (That Have Horrible Secrets)

    We don’t mean to overstate our case, but some might say that food is literally crucial to human survival. That’s why, over time, we’ve learned to stop eating random berries in the forest and pay attention to what exactly we’re putting into our food holes. But while we assume that our restaurants, grocery stores, and farmers are being honest about what they’re selling, the horrific truth is that what they’re truly feeding us are lies. Damn lies.

    And sometimes mold.


    Wineries Are Spiking Wines With Wood Chips And Grape Juice

    Good wine, the kind that doesn’t come in boxes with a mascot on it, can get expensive. It’s made from the finest of grapes, and is then left to ferment in caskets made of rich oak. That’s why wines with a deep color and a slightly wooden taste are a surefire sign of quality. Except that wineries have found a much more efficient way of giving their wine its oaken flavor: They simply put wood in the wine.

    Greece and Grapes“I’m getting hints of broken chair and old deck.”

    Turns out that those barrels you saw on the tour of your local winery may have only been for show. Wooden barrels are now being replaced with steel vats, but to keep the wine’s expensive oaken taste, it gets mixed with “barrel alternatives.” That’s a fancy term for wood staves, chips, and even shavings thrown into a vat along with the wine. Why? Because using shavings shaves a dollar off the price of a bottle (on their end, of course, not ours), up until all those splinter-related lawsuits presumably start pouring in.

    Carol Franzia/Bronco WineYes, this one has a very nice garden hose bouquet.

    But that’s not the only way wineries are cutting corners. A lot of wine is made using something called “Mega Purple,” which sounds like the main villain in a coloring-themed manga. It’s a grape concentrate, or slurry, which big wine labels add to underwhelming red wine to intensify the flavor and color and sometimes even to mask spoilage. It’s estimated that over 25 million bottles get spiked with Mega Purple on a yearly basis. Many wineries rely so heavily on it that they have their own reverse-osmosis machines which let them make their own concentrates by extracting the alcohol from their shitty wines to pump up slightly less shitty wine. Yummy.

    Andy Perdue/Great Northwest WineThe flavor of a thousand $3 wines.

    And then there’s the migrant labor. California’s famous Napa Valley is heavily dependent on migrant laborers, to the extent that The New York Times wrote that “nearly every drop” of the wine depends on them. And lest you think they’re being treated well, that’s not how migrant labor works. Vineyards overwork their laborers, and often cheat them out of most of their paychecks through exorbitant living expenses, making it so that a typical worker might only earn $10 for ten hours of backbreaking work. It seems that from field to cellar, something other than grapes is being squeezed.


    A Third Of All Fish Is Intentionally Mislabeled

    Like most humans (except for those people who compulsively eat pennies), we’re very particular about the things we eat. As a result, “mystery meat” is regarded as less of a gourmet experience and more of a post-apocalyptic necessity. But in seafood restaurants, one out of three times, what you shovel on your fork might not be what you pointed at on the menu at all.

    As we’ve mentioned before, the food industry has a long history of falsely labeling things to attract picky customers. However, when it comes to selling fish, mislabeling has become an epidemic. According to an investigation by Oceana, which tested 1,200 samples from supermarkets and restaurants across 21 states, it was discovered that 33 percent of fish were mislabeled. In South California, that number rose to an astonishing 52 percent, meaning there were more phony fish than the real McCod. Nowhere but LA could even their fish be mostly fake.

    Yoon S. Byun/The Boston GlobeOne always lies about being tuna, the other always tells the truth. You may ask no questions.

    The fish most likely to be counterfeit was red snapper. Of the 120 samples they tested, only seven were in truth red snapper, making them the rarest fish to spot, second only to the Loch Ness monster. White tuna also belongs on a milk carton, as 84 percent of its samples turned out to be escolar, which can cause nasty digestive problems. Other commonly mislabeled fish include halibut, grouper, cod, and Chilean sea bass. And it turns out that sushi restaurants also rest their sashimi on a bed of lies, because 74 percent of the samples from such venues were mislabeled, making your local gas station actually the safest place to eat sushi.

    So for those of us who would like to know what sea monster we’re shoveling down our throats, here’s a helpful chart:

    OceanaAnd the side of prawns you ordered are spray-painted cockroaches.

    As you can tell, lots of these hidden fish don’t sound too tasty, and they’re also nowhere near as valuable as the listed fish. But even if they were as good (they aren’t), not a lot of people would pay the same for some slickback, toothfish, or weakfish … or giltheaded seabream, which sounds like one of Jethro Tull’s lesser albums. We’re most worried about the Asian “catfish,” but that’s because we don’t believe in eating food that comes with a garnish of quotation marks.


    Farmers Markets And Farm-To-Table Restaurants Are Full Of Frauds

    Tired of the faceless franchise eateries serving over-salted slop? The depressingly lit chain supermarkets selling you genetically modified, hormone-injected, battery-farmed zucchinis? Well then it’s time to put on your horn-rimmed glasses and plaid shirt and head on over to those quaint farmers markets and farm-to-table eateries for some wholesome, unmolested food. Except that the ethical side of food production isn’t all that ethical either, having been infiltrated by frauds and con artists. Who knew you couldn’t trust some random dude in overalls?

    In California, farmers market cheaters are running rampant. Plenty of the state is farmland, so it’s easy to assume most of your food is coming straight from the field. However, when the NBCLA did an undercover investigation of farmers markets in the area, they discovered that many of them were clearly selling produces they hadn’t cultivated themselves.

    See, in order to sell at a farmers market, you actually have to be a farmer — a verified one, with a pitchfork and everything. But when the NBCLA drove to the “farms,” all they found were a bunch of weeds / dirt fields. So unless these farmers were all part of some wizardly hippie collective magicking up their produce out of thin air, it’s safe to assume they were selling you the same stuff you could find at a Walmart at half the price. Fake farmers are popping up all over the country, some of them so brazen that they’ll specifically label their food pesticide-free while having no idea whether that’s true or not. How would they know? They’re not really farmers.

    The same sort of chicanery goes on at farm-to-table restaurants. A series of exposes in The Tampa Bay Times revealed the myriad ways your favorite locally sourced hipster eating collective could be lying to you, from frozen food masquerading as fresh and buying pre-made dishes, to fish mislabeling and food marked as “organic” or “non-GMO” which was the exact opposite. As the owner of the famous Chino Farms noted: “Chefs will come, write down notes, leave without buying anything, and then say they’re serving our food at their restaurants.” They hypocrisy is so intense that one restaurant even had a “F**k Monsanto Salad” on its menu (along with truffle fries), but when a reporter confronted the chef about where he got his produce, he shrugged and said, “It’s really hard to find non-GMO produce.” But it’s so, so easy to lie.


    Lots Of Craft Whiskey Labels Don’t Even Make Their Own Alcohol

    Whiskey is the drink that breaks through all social barriers — and we don’t just mean that it’ll make you get naked in public. The brown stuff is famous for its variety in taste, each brand having its own distinct flavor profile. There’s a whiskey out there for everyone, almost literally these days. With the growing popularity of small batches, hundreds of artisanal whiskeys are bringing their subtly unique flavor to the masses. Well, not all that unique, really, as most American small batches all come from the same giant vats in Indiana.

    Eagle Country OnlineYour typical seven-story startup.

    While craft whiskeys like to pretend they’re all wholesome small businesses distilling hooch from an ancient family recipe, the sad truth that this is often a marketing stunt. To cut corners, many of these new artisanal labels buy their alcohol wholesale from a single factory distillery in Indiana. MGP (formerly Seagrams) mass produces all kinds of alcohol (including “food grade industrial alcohol”), and is known for its low cost and consistency in taste — the same consistency that then gets poured into dozens of differently labeled bottles, each boasting of their “individual and unique” taste. So if you ever wondered how you were able to buy 15-year-aged rye from a company that only started in June, there’s your answer.

    As for the why, start-up distilleries often use the same excuse. They do it as “a means to develop a brand and help fund the next step” of distilling their own alcohol. But it’s easier and cheaper and lazier, and often they never stop. Some craft labels even go as far as to create “Potemkin distilleries” — shiny distilleries that produce nothing but the appearance of self-sufficiency while the label keeps slinging their cheap factory booze. Even some pretty large labels cut the same corners, such as Bulleit, George Dickel rye, and Angel’s Envy, while other so-called craft labels are in fact owned by bigger, more mass-produced companies looking to upsell their leftovers. Most of them don’t even modify their factory booze before they pour it into their fancy bottles, which turn out to be the only things they put some effort into.

    Knotter BourbonAt least these guys are upfront about it.

    But if you really like MGP’s stuff (after all, you’ve probably already drunk loads of it without realizing), at least there’s one label that doesn’t lie to you. Knotter (as in “not our”) Bourbon markets its booze with the statement “We didn’t distill this bourbon. Nope, not a drop.” Now that’s the kind of straight-shootin’ honesty we like to see.


    Licorice Causes All Sorts Of Medical Problems

    Licorice is one of those divisive candies. Either you love ’em, or you’ve eaten the black ones. Its distinctive taste comes from the licorice root, a plant that shows nature can easily be a very boring Willy Wonka. But as is the case with any plant life, new biological discoveries can change the way we look at them each day. And unfortunately for licorice fans out there, licorice root is terrible for you.

    Rik Schuiling/TropCrop – TCSAnd not just terrible-tasting.

    In 2001, Finnish researchers discovered that licorice root is a complicating factor in pregnancies, leading to premature birth — so best not use it as a teething tool either unless you want your kid to stay under four feet. But the list goes on. The root can also be a contributing factor in kidney disease, breast malignancies, and (obviously) diabetes. It can also interfere with medicines such as blood thinners and insulin. It’s poison, is what we’re saying. Just be safe and eat sugar straight out of the bag.

    But don’t worry about those little health niggles, as licorice can straight up kill you as well. Because it screws with your potassium level, the FDA has warned people over 40 that they can develop heart problems merely by eating two ounces of licorice candy daily for two weeks. The FDA even went so far as to say that everyone, regardless of their age or how healthy they are, should be careful consuming licorice. Fortunately, the problem is usually reversible if you stop eating the stuff. Great! It’s the cigarettes of sweets! Time for a whole new ad campaign.


    The Best “Aged” Steaks Involve Mold

    Aged steak is delicious. It’s so delicious that most of us never even question why on earth “aging” meat would be a good thing; it just obviously is. And for those of you who would like to keep living with that ignorant bliss, best you stop reading here and go enjoy a juicy Matrix steak right now.

    Christopher Thomond/The GuardianBon appetit.

    For the rest of you intrepid explorers … we don’t know how to sugar-coat this for you, so we’re just going to show you what your $80 dry-aged steak looks like 15 minutes before you put it in your mouth.

    Men’s HealthBad appetit.

    The somewhat-revolting truth is that steak gets aged by controlled rotting — like cheese, only made from the decaying carcass of a dead animal. Dry-aging beef, the old-school way of doing it, is done by placing the meat in an environment where the chef controls the temperature, humidity, and ventilation. This process causes the meat to dry in a way to increases its flavor while the beef slowly decays and becomes more tender. Meanwhile, the outer layer of the beef quickly transforms into a horrific crust of mold, which is then cut off right before you eat it, which means hobos eating out of the dumpster and people paying a few hundred dollars for a steak do have something in common after all.

    Unfortunately, this fungus feast for steak lovers is only getting worse, as gourmet restaurants are starting a crazy arms race about it, trying to out-age each other like they’re bitter rivals who wound up in the same retirement home. 55-day steak, 100-day steak, 180-day steak … soon, you’ll have an aged steak that’s old enough to drive. The current winner appears to be the Dallas Chop House in Texas (where else) which served a 459-day steak. If they’d aged it any longer, it’ll look about as appetizing as a zombie from The Walking Dead right before it hits your plate.

    Serious EatsAre we sure “aged” isn’t naturopath for “roadkill?”

    So while the food industry is constantly lying to you about where and how your favorite eatings come into being, we guess the moral here is that sometimes, we should be grateful for the lies.

    Dry-aging steak at home is actually still kind of a neat process to watch, try it yourself and see.

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

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    Having A Beer In The Shower Isn’t Just Relaxing — It Might Make You Smarter

    There’s nothing quite like the simple pleasure of enjoying a cold, refreshing beer while you’re luxuriating in the shower.

    It’s fun, relaxing, and, frankly, gives you a pretty nice buzz while you’re scrubbing away all the worries of the world in your own warm, comfortable bubble. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten through a terrible day, grabbed a beer out of the fridge, hopped into the shower, and practically felt my stress melt away with a few swigs. All that is pretty great enough, but get ready for some even greater news — it can also help you become more creative!

    Every once in a while when I need to kick my imagination in gear and get those creative juices flowing, I pour myself a drink, and I’m definitely not the only one.

    In fact, a University of Illinois study, which tested 40 men on their ability to solve brain-teasers, found that those who drank a couple of pints were able to solve 40% more of the problems than those who didn’t drink anything.

    But as psychologist Jennifer Wiley points out, having a cold one doesn’t make you smarter at everything. “We found at 0.07 blood alcohol, people were worse at working memory tasks, but they were better at creative problem-solving tasks,” she said.

    Still, she doesn’t discount the positive effects alcohol has when it comes to problem-solving. “We have this assumption, that being able to focus on one part of a problem or having a lot of expertise is better for problem solving,” she said. “But that’s not necessarily true. Innovation may happen when people are not so focused. Sometimes it’s good to be distracted.”

    So where does the shower part comes in? Well, creativity is associated with an increased flow of dopamine, or the feel-good hormone. The more dopamine is released, the better we feel and the more creative we get. And as you’ve probably already guessed, taking a hot shower is one dopamine-releasing trigger. Pair that with beer-fuel problem-solving abilities and you’ll feel ready to conquer the world.

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    Trump offers a big thumbs up to school shooting victims instead of gun control

    Trump flashes a thumbs up before boarding Marine One, destined for Florida where he will meet with victims and first responders after a school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
    Image: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

    On Friday, President Donald Trump visited Parkland, Florida in the wake of a school shooting in a high school that left 17 people dead. But Trump has faced criticism over the way he carried himself during that visit.

    After an awkward meeting with first responders, the president and first lady Melania Trump stood together for a friendly photo op, which in itself seems insensitive. Trump had a huge smile on his face in the photo, and flashed his now signature thumbs up.

    Trump updated his Twitter cover photo with the picture from the meeting Friday evening.

    Image: Twitter/Realdonaldtrump

    Trump also visited Broward Health North hospital in Pompano Beach, where many of the victims received care after the shooting. On his official Instagram, a series of images posted in an album featured Trump wearing a large smile on his face, flashing a thumbs up in a photo with hospital staff.

    The press asked Trump if he met with any victims at the hospital. Instead of speaking about the impact those meetings may have had on him as a president, as a human, Trump decided to fluff up the hospital.

    “Fantastic hospital, and they have done an incredible job,” Trump boasted. “The doctor was amazing, we saw numerous people and incredible recovery. And first responders — everybody — the job they’ve done was in incredible.”

    Trump then congratulated a doctor he was standing next to.

    While yes, first responders and hospital staff should be thanked and praised for their hard work in wake of the shooting, congratulations here are completely tone deaf considering 17 people lost their lives in the attack. 

    In any other presidency, this would be a time for mourning. But Trump is using it to boast and brag. 

    Many were quick to criticize Trump for his demeanor on social media, with some pointing to Barack Obama’s reaction to the Sandy Hook massacre in December of 2012. In 2016, Obama also delivered a powerful and emotional speech on gun violence, in which he broke down crying

    Obama’s official White House photographer, Pete Souza, who has made it his duty to criticize the Trump administration by way of his photography from the Obama era, uploaded a photo of Obama sitting alone in a classroom in Sandy Hook Elementary School. It captures the former president in a quiet moment after he met with families for hours, and before he attended a prayer vigil. 

    While it often seems like President Trump’s actions couldn’t be more shocking, this type of behavior is disgusting, and the heavy criticism is merited. There’s a time for photo ops, and then there is time for mourning. This was not the moment for Trump to show off how great he’s making America.

    America has a real problem, and Trump isn’t even trying to fake it.

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    Teen school shooting survivors are sending a passionate message Washington can’t ignore.

    The adults have had their chance. Now it’s time to hear directly from kids about school shootings.

    After the 18th confirmed school shooting in 2018, it can be hard to find new ways to confront how the previously unthinkable has become a regular part of our lives.

    Lawmakers in Congress were already speaking of a “sense of resignation” following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on Feb. 14, after recent massacres like that in Las Vegas failed to generate legislative action.

    So the young survivors of Wednesday’s mass shooting took on that responsibility themselves, speaking out about the importance of gun safety.

    “Some of our policymakers and some people need … to look in the mirror and take some action; because ideas are great, but without action, ideas stay ideas and children die,” senior David Hogg, 17, said in an interview with CNN.

    This is the first time we’ve seen school shooting survivors respond directly to lawmakers on social media.

    And Hogg isn’t alone. After President Trump tweeted about the shootings, a number of fellow Douglas survivors took to Twitter to refute the idea that school shootings are purely a mental health issue.

    These aren’t kids used as political props. They are smart teens with real thoughts.

    Bringing kids into a political debate can be complicated, even when it’s for a message we agree with. But that’s not what happened here.

    The student survivors of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School took action on their own, sending a powerful message to lawmakers that they can no longer rest on the sidelines while children continue to die from gun violence.

    “I want to show these people exactly what’s going on when these children are facing bullets flying through classrooms and students are dying trying to get an education,” Hogg told CNN. “That’s not OK, and that’s not acceptable, and we need to fix that.”

    If the adults can’t take action, maybe they’ll listen to the survivors.

    The grownups have been locked in a gun safety stalemate that shows no sign of letting up. Even common-sense changes — like expanded background checks — that have near-universal support stall in Congress, thanks, in large part, to the powerful lobbying efforts of the National Rifle Association.

    It’s easy to ignore people on the other side of the political aisle.

    It’s not easy to ignore children who just watched their fellow classmates die while also facing down their own deaths.

    Image via CNN.

    Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) followed Hogg’s interview on CNN and said that Hogg and his classmate Kelsey Friend confronted him directly with a challenge:

    “When they were leaving, I went to tell them how brave I thought they were, and [Hogg] looked at me and he said, ‘We want action.'”

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    Atomwise, which uses AI to improve drug discovery, raises $45M Series A

    Atomwise, which uses deep learning to shorten the process of discovering new drugs, has raised a $45 million Series A. The round was led by Monsanto Growth Ventures, Data Collective (DCVC) and B Capital Group. Baidu Ventures, Tencent and Dolby Family Ventures, which are all new investors in Atomwise, also participated, as well as returning investors Y Combinator, Khosla Ventures and DFJ.

    This means Atomwise, which was founded in 2012, has now raised more than $51 million in funding. The company, which aims to reduce the amount of money and time researchers spend on finding compounds for medications, says it now has more than 50 molecular discovery programs. Atomwise’s technology is also being used to develop safer, more effective agricultural pesticides.

    In a press statement, Monsanto Growth Ventures partner Dr. Kiersten Stead said “We chose to invest based on the impressive results we saw from Atomwise in our own hands. Atomwise was able to find promising compounds against crop protection targets that are important areas of focus for agrochemical R&D.”

    Atomwise’s software analyzes simulations of molecules, reducing the time researchers need to spend synthesizing and testing compounds. The company says it currently screens more than 10 million compounds each day. Atomwise’s AtomNet system uses deep learning algorithms to analyze molecules and predict how they might act in the human body, including their potential efficacy as medication, toxicity and side effects, at an earlier stage than in the traditional drug discovery process.

    In an email, Atomwise chief executive officer Dr. Abraham Heifets told TechCrunch that the company’s vision “is to become one of the most prolific and diverse life science research groups in the world, working at a scale that is truly unprecedented. This is a large Series A and we will use these resources to grow our technical and business organization. We may eventually find ourselves simulating hundreds of millions of compounds per day. The ultimate upshot is more shots on goal for the many diseases that urgently need new treatments.”

    Lead optimization “has historically been the most expensive step in the pharma pipeline,” Heifets added, adding that it also has a very high failure rate, with “about two-thirds of projects failing to even make it to the clinic and it takes five and a half years to get that far.”

    When Atomwise launched six years ago, its technology seemed almost like something out of science fiction. Now there is a roster of companies using artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze molecules and fix bottlenecks in the drug discovery process, including Recursion Pharmaceuticals, BenevolentAI, TwoXAR, Cyclica and Reverie Labs.

    Heifets said one of Atomwise’s main advantages is the large number of projects it has worked on, which in turn improves its AI systems. The company’s clients include four of the top 10 biggest pharmaceutical companies in the United States, including Merck, Monsanto, more than 40 major research universities (Harvard, Duke, Stanford and Baylor College of Medicine among them) and biotech firms.

    He added that Atomwise also differentiates in its focus.

    “There are two distinct problems in drug discovery: biology and chemistry,” he said. “If you’re working on biology, you’re trying to decide which disease protein is the best one to target.  A lot of AI companies in drug discovery are working on this target identification problem. Once you’ve chosen a target, you can start working on chemistry problems: how to deliver a non-toxic molecule that can hit the chosen disease protein. Atomwise is focused on these chemistry problems; specifically, Atomwise invented the use of deep neural networks for structure-based drug design.”

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    “Ill Do It!”: 4-Yr-Old Hears Twin Brothers Are Dying, Tells Mom Hell Donate His Own Bone Marrow to Save Them

    Bone marrow donation can be a painful and strenuous process for a full-grown adult, and much more so for a mere child. But that wasn’t enough to scare brave 4-year-old Michael Pownall from donating his bone marrow to save his twin baby brothers.

    Five-month-old Santino and Giovanni were born prematurely at 33 weeks last October, after which they spent five long weeks in the NICU.

    After only 10 days at home, the baby brothers were soon hospitalized again, when the Pownalls received the devastating news that they both tested positive for Chronic Granulomatous Disease (CGD). The rare immune disorder increases the body’s susceptibility to infections that are caused by certain fungi and bacteria.

    CGD makes it much more difficult to fight infections that most healthy immune systems can ward off with ease. Amidst the deadliest flu season we’ve seen in years (claiming lives of those in perfect health), Santino and Giovanni’s lives were in even greater danger.

    Without a bone marrow transplant, they may never get the chance to live a healthy, normal life.

    The Pownalls are all too familiar with CGD, as their oldest son Dominick had also been diagnosed with the disease when he was younger. Now considered “cured” from the stem cell transplant he received at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) eight years ago, Dominick is back to full health. The Pownalls knew the same transplant would be the only hope for their youngest sons as well.

    Amazingly, their middle child, 4-year-old Michael, turned out to be a perfect sibling bone-marrow match for both brothers.

    “We told Michael he was the match and asked him if he would help us save his brothers’ lives,” Robin told Love What Matters. “Michael said, ‘I’m gonna give them with my bone marrow!’ I explained the entire process with him, how it may hurt, and that he will be getting a pretty large needle. He said, ‘Is it going to save them?’ We said ‘yes’ and he said, ‘Okay, I’ll do it then!’”


    And he’s been resolute in his decision ever since! This brave older brother is sticking by his guns to endure the life-saving procedure, even though he was terrified as could be.

    “He was scared initially as anyone would be,” said Robin. “But his courage is far more than one of a 4-year-old.”

    “We are currently inpatient at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia,” she shared. “The twins are undergoing chemotherapy and will receive their transplant from their superhero brother Michael on March 8, 2018.”


    “We are transferred to TRANSPLANT and everything is going according to plan!” Robin wrote in a Facebook update this week. “I’m a nervous wreck! Please pray and keep us close to your hearts.”

    As for Michael, this proud mama couldn’t be more impressed with her son’s strength and selflessness throughout the process:

    “Michael is proud to be saving his twin brothers lives. He is so brave, he leaves his arm out for the nurse to draw his blood. He knows what he’s about to do. It’s truly inspirational. He gives me strength just watching how strong he is…

    I am so scared and nervous for all three of my boys, but when I look into their eyes, I see strength. I know everything is going to be okay.”

    Read Next On FaithIt
    To the Facebook Friend Who Asked “How Would You Like to Lose the Rest of Your Baby Weight?”

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    The town thats found a potent cure for illness community | George Monbiot

    Frome in Somerset has seen hospital admissions fall since it began to tackle isolation. There are lessons for the rest of the country, writes Guardian columnist George Monbiot

    It could, if the results stand up, be one of the most dramatic medical breakthroughs of recent decades. It could transform treatment regimes, save lives, and save health services a fortune. Is it a drug? A device? A surgical procedure? No, its a newfangled intervention called community. This week the results from a trial in the Somerset town of Frome are published informally, in the magazine Resurgence& Ecologist. (A scientific paper has been submitted to a medical journal and is awaiting peer review). We should be cautious about embracing data before it is published in the academic press, and must always avoid treating correlation as causation. But this shouldnt stop us feeling a shiver of excitement about the implications, if the figures turn out to be robust and the experiment can be replicated.

    What this provisional data appears to show is that when isolated people who have health problems are supported by community groups and volunteers, the number of emergency admissions to hospital falls spectacularly. While across the whole of Somerset emergency hospital admissions rose by 29% during the three years of the study, in Frome they fell by 17%. Julian Abel, a consultant physician in palliative care and lead author of the draft paper, remarks: No other interventions on record have reduced emergency admissions across a population.

    Frome is a remarkable place, run by an independent town council famous for its democratic innovation. Theres a buzz of sociability, a sense of common purpose and a creative, exciting atmosphere that make it feel quite different from many English market towns, and for that matter, quite different from the buttoned-down, dreary place I found when I first visited, 30 years ago.

    The Compassionate Frome project was launched in 2013 by Helen Kingston, a GP there. She kept encountering patients who seemed defeated by the medicalisation of their lives: treated as if they were a cluster of symptoms rather than a human being who happened to have health problems. Staff at her practice were stressed and dejected by what she calls silo working.

    So, with the help of the NHS group Health Connections Mendip and the town council, her practice set up a directory of agencies and community groups. This let them see where the gaps were, which they then filled with new groups for people with particular conditions. They employed health connectors to help people plan their care, and most interestingly trained voluntary community connectors to help their patients find the support they needed.

    Sometimes this meant handling debt or housing problems, sometimes joining choirs or lunch clubs or exercise groups or writing workshops or mens sheds (where men make and mend things together). The point was to break a familiar cycle of misery: illness reduces peoples ability to socialise, which leads in turn to isolation and loneliness, which then exacerbates illness.

    This cycle is explained by some fascinating science, summarised in a recent paper in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology. Chemicals called cytokines, which function as messengers in the immune system and cause inflammation, also change our behaviour, encouraging us to withdraw from general social contact. This, the paper argues, is because sickness, during the more dangerous times in which our ancestral species evolved, made us vulnerable to attack. Inflammation is now believed to contribute to depression. People who are depressed tend to have higher cytokine levels.

    But, while separating us from society as a whole, inflammation also causes us to huddle closer to those we love. Which is fine unless, like far too many people in this age of loneliness, you have no such person. One study suggests that the number of Americans who say they have no confidant has nearly tripled in two decades. In turn, the paper continues, people without strong social connections, or who suffer from social stress (such as rejection and broken relationships), are more prone to inflammation. In the evolutionary past, social isolation exposed us to a higher risk of predation and sickness. So the immune system appears to have evolved to listen to the social environment, ramping up inflammation when we become isolated, in the hope of protecting us against wounding and disease. In other words, isolation causes inflammation, and inflammation can cause further isolation and depression.

    Remarkable as Fromes initial results appear to be, they shouldnt be surprising. A famous paper published in PLOS Medicine in 2010 reviewed 148 studies, involving 300,000 people, and discovered that those with strong social relationships had a 50% lower chance of death across the average study period (7.5 years) than those with weak connections. The magnitude of this effect, the paper reports, is comparable with quitting smoking. A celebrated study in 1945 showed that children in orphanages died through lack of human contact. Now we know that the same thing can apply to all of us.

    Dozens of subsequent papers reinforce these conclusions. For example, HIV patients with strong social support have lower levels of the virus than those without. Women have better chances of surviving colorectal cancer if they have strong connections. Young children who are socially isolated appear more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes in adulthood. Most remarkably, older patients with either one or two chronic diseases do not have higher death rates than those who are not suffering from chronic disease as long as they have high levels of social support.

    In other words, the evidence strongly suggests that social contact should be on prescription, as it is in Frome. But here, and in other countries, health services have been slow to act on such findings. In the UK we have a minister for loneliness, and social isolation is an official health priority. But the silo effect, budget cuts and an atmosphere of fear and retrenchment ensure that precious little has been done.

    Helen Kingston reports that patients who once asked, What are you going to do about my problem? now tell her, This is what Im thinking of doing next. They are, in other words, no longer a set of symptoms, but people with agency. This might lead, as the preliminary results suggest, to fewer emergency admissions, and major savings to the health budget. But even if it doesnt, the benefits are obvious.

    George Monbiot is a Guardian columnist

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    Invasion of the Body Snatchers: Transhumanism Is Dominating Sci-Fi TV

    The future belongs to those who can afford it. This may be virtually true in today’s world, where surviving retirement can feel impossible, but it’s also the literal premise of Altered Carbon, Netflix’s new prestige sci-fi series. Based on Richard K. Morgan’s novel of same name, the neo-noir is set several hundred years in the future, when human consciousness has been digitized into microchip-like “stacks” constantly being swapped into and out of various bodies, or “sleeves.”

    This technology, along with innovations like human cloning and artificial intelligence, has given society a quantum leap, but it’s also sent socioeconomic stratification into overdrive, creating dire new realities for the poor and incarcerated while simultaneously producing an elite upper-class. Called “Mets”—short for “Methuselahs”—the members of Altered Carbon’s 0.001 percent have achieved virtual immortality thanks to vaults of their own cloned sleeves and cloud backups full of their stacks. It’s either dystopia or utopia, depending on one’s bank account.

    Whatever your views on the show’s plot, in which a former rebel supersoldier named Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman), on ice in a stack prison, is revived and hired by a Met to solve the murder of his last sleeve, Altered Carbon’s best quality is its worldbuilding. In the 25th century, transhumanism—the belief that human beings are destined to transcend their mortal flesh through technology—has reached its full potential, and some of its end results are not pretty, at all.

    But Altered Carbon is only the latest bit of transhumanism to hit TV recently. From Black Mirror’s cookies and Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams’ mind-invading telepaths and alien bodysnatchers to Star Trek: Discovery’s surgical espionage and Travelerstime-jumping consciousness, the classic tropes of body-hopping, body-swapping, and otherwise commandeering has exploded in an era on the brink, one in which longevity technology is accelerating more rapidly than ever, all while most people still trying to survive regular threats to basic corporeal health and safety.

    These tropes have enjoyed a healthy existence in sci-fi and horror for decades, but now more than ever transhumanism is ubiquitous in pop culture, asking us to consider the ethical, personal, political, and economic implications of an ideology with a goal—implementing technology in the human body to prolong and improve life—that is already beginning to take shape.

    The Birth of Transhumanism

    A crucial fact to remember about transhumanism and the philosophies it inspired, including the ones modeled by Altered Carbon’s Mets, is that its conception was heavily rooted in eugenics. Though earlier thinkers had already produced work one could call transhumanist today, the term wasn’t coined until 1951, by Julian Huxley, a noted evolutionary biologist (and brother to Brave New World author Aldous Huxley). Julian Huxley believed strongly in the fundamentally exclusionary theory that society would improve immensely if only its “best” members were allowed to procreate. In the speech in which he first used the word “transhumanism,” he claimed that in order for humans to “transcend the tentative fumblings of our ancestors,” society ought to enact “a concerted policy … to prevent the present flood of population-increase from wrecking all our hopes for a better world.”

    While he didn’t necessarily believe the criteria for what constituted “best” should be drawn along racial or economic lines, the ideology Huxley promoted was inherently elitist. It also allowed for virtually as many interpretations as there are people, and plenty of those people, particularly those in power—especially in Huxley’s time, but also in the fictional future of Altered Carbon—did and do believe “best” means “white, straight, financially successful, and at least nominally Christian.” As a result, the concept he named ended up being primarily conceptualized in its infancy by white men of privilege.

    This, of course, didn’t remain the main interpretation of transhumanism for long. In the years following Huxley’s coinage, humans made profound leaps in technological innovation, first in computers and then in AI, which allowed more people to envision the possibilities of one day being able to transcend their organic limitations. The basic concept was easily repurposed by those whose oppression has always been tied to physical violence—notably people of color, LGBTQ people, and women.

    By the early 1980s, scholars like Natasha Vita-More and Donna Haraway had revamped the concept with manifestos that argued transhumanism ought to be about “diversity” and “multiplicity,” about breaking down constructs like gender, race, and ability in favor of a more fluid, “chimeric” alternative in which each person can be many seemingly contradictory things at once—including human and machine. (As WIRED’s Julie Muncy explains in her review of the first season, Altered Carbon touches upon but never really takes a stance on this dimension of a post-corporeal world.)

    The Future, Revisited

    As Silicon Valley boomed, so did transhumanism. Millionaire investors have poured endless cash into anti-aging research, machine intelligence companies, and virtual reality; meanwhile, the possibility of extended or superhuman life has veered even further into becoming the exclusive purview of the extremely rich (and, more often than not, extremely white and extremely male). In 1993, mathematician and science-fiction writer Vernor Vinge pegged the arrival of the singularity—the moment at which technology, particularly AI, supersedes human intelligence and either eliminates humanity or fuses with it, allowing people to finally become “post-human”—at around 2030; by 2005 futurist Ray Kurzweil was agreeing with Vinge in his now-seminal book The Singularity is Near. (The Verge has a solid timeline of transhumanist thought here.)

    Today, working organs are being 3D-printed. Nanites, while a few years off, are definitely on the horizon. And the technologies that fuel nightmare fodder like Black Mirror are becoming realities almost daily, which gives the overwhelming impression to laypeople that the Singularity, while perhaps still technically far off, is imminent.

    Add privatized healthcare, police brutality, immigration, sexual assault, and plenty more extremely real threats to people’s physical bodies—not to mention the exponential growth of the TV industry itself—and you’ve got the perfect cocktail for a flood of transhumanist sci-fi shows that give form to anxieties viewers have about both wanting to escape the physical confines of their blood-bag existences and being absolutely, justifiably terrified of what could go wrong when they actually do.

    But however uncomfortable it may be, that dilemma is not accidental. It has become necessary to understanding and surviving our current techno-political moment. Whether enjoying the ecstasy of possibility in Altered Carbon’s disembodied immortality or writhing in the agony of imagining eternity as a digital copy of one’s own consciousness, the roller coaster of emotions these shows elicit ought to be a major signal to audiences that now is the time to be thinking about the cost of pursuing technological immortality. If stacks and sleeves are indeed our inevitable future, the moral quandary won’t lie in the body-swapping itself—it’ll be reckoning with who gets to do it and why.

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    5 Insanely Important Jobs (We’re Running Out Of People For)

    Supply and demand should ensure that we never run out of people to do the really key jobs. If there was a dire shortage of, say, potato chip flavor developers (don’t panic, this is strictly theoretical), chip companies would make the salary and perks of the job more attractive, colleges would hype up the benefits of majoring in flavor science, and new blood would enter the field, bringing with them the caramel-and-Worcestershire-sauce-flavored Pringles we truly deserve. But reality is nowhere near that efficient, and we are running out of people for some especially vital jobs. For example …


    Old Programmers Are Dying Off … And Taking Their Computer Languages With Them

    As far as we’re concerned, computers are magic. We don’t know the technical details of what goes down when we order a book from Amazon or stream truly shocking amounts of pornography, and frankly, we don’t want to. That’s why we have computer programmers. They do all the important behind-the-scenes work that lets us take complicated technology for granted, and they give us someone to complain about when that technology fails and we can’t stream Gilmore Girls on our toaster at three in the morning.

    But there’s a problem: An enormous amount of our financial data is stored on systems still running ancient programming. Roughly three trillion dollars a day runs through computers still operating on COBOL, a language that was developed in 1959. Everything from ATMs to credit card networks to mortgage payments rely on a system that makes calculator watches look like absurd science fiction. And the majority of people who know how to fix the many problems with COBOL are getting ready to meet their programmers.

    Via Fossbytes.comSo sleep tight knowing that your paycheck could depend on a program that looks like it should be threatening Matthew Broderick with nuclear annihilation.

    It’s not as simple as moving everything onto a more modern infrastructure. At this point, the financial system is so intertwined with its COBOL roots that it would be like trying to simultaneously replace all of your veins with fiber optics. A switchover is theoretically possible, but if something goes wrong, the financial data for millions of people could vanish.

    Since it would be impractical to make everyone temporarily withdraw all of their money until the problem is fixed, geriatric programmers are making good money running firms that specialize in COBOL. Meanwhile, the industry is rushing to train young programmers (and rehire the old guys they fired because they thought their skills were obsolete). Further compounding the problem is that programmers of the original COBOL systems rarely wrote handbooks, and deciphering someone else’s computer code 40 years later is like trying to communicate an elaborate sexual fantasy via slide whistles.

    And it’s not only banking. NASA once desperately needed to find programmers who knew Fortran to communicate with their Voyager probes. These are by no means insurmountable problems, so don’t panic and put all of your money in Dogecoins tomorrow. But it’s kind of like suddenly discovering that we have to teach thousands of people Latin to prevent the English language book industry from collapsing.


    The Demand For Oncologists Skyrockets While Supply Plummets

    We’re living longer than ever, and while that’s mostly awesome, it does have some downsides. Now that we’re not frequently devoured by wolves, we have to deal with other, increasingly common causes of death, like heart disease or insisting that you could kick everyone’s ass in a hot dog eating contest. And then there’s cancer.

    We need oncologists more than ever, and that’s a problem, since burnout is taking a serious toll on that profession. We’re estimated to be short 2,500 to 4,000 oncologists by 2020. The burnout can be physical — you’re constantly required to stay up to date on lab results, deal with sudden calls from patients at all hours of the day, and fight for settlements with insurance companies — but there’s also the emotional exhaustion of forming close bonds with suffering patients, having to break difficult news to them, and in some cases, watching them die.

    Association of American Medical CollegesThe news isnt really great for other specialties, either.

    We need to increase the number of America’s oncologists by an estimated 40 percent by 2025 merely to keep up with the need. Improving medical care is going to make us better at surviving other diseases, which means more people are going to be confronting nature’s final boss. To close the gap between the high retirement rates and new trainees entering the field, we’ll need hundreds more people to enter oncology programs each year. And we’re currently losing them hand over fist. So if you’re getting ready for med school and have no issues with emotionally crushing situations, we’ve found a promising career for you.


    We’re Short On Farm Labor Because It’s Such A Terrible Job

    85 percent of farm laborers are immigrants, and roughly 70 percent of those immigrants are undocumented. And between 2009 and 2016, that workforce decreased by three million people due to deportation. Those who do remain are growing older, and there might not be anyone to replace them.

    OK, but isn’t that the whole point of deporting undocumented immigrants? To free up jobs for unemployed citizens? In theory, yes … but not enough Americans looking for work want to get into farming. It’s exhausting, physical labor with long hours in harsh weather. One farm started offering Americans $20 an hour, but still couldn’t retain workers. 401(k)s? Health insurance? Generous bonuses? None of it makes up for the fact that the work blows, despite what Stardew Valley told you about the appeal of quitting your office job to live in the country.

    Norma FloresBut hey, free housing … assuming youre OK with living in dilapidated communal barracks.

    With demand vastly exceeding supply, farmers have had to rethink what they can afford to grow and harvest. Nuts, for example, can be harvested by machines, but peaches require the delicate touch of a human. But replacing human labor with machines means that only a minuscule fraction of employees will be needed in the future. So an entire industry will up and vanish, and then we’ll have to think of some new problem to blame immigrants for.


    Nobody Wants To Be A Skilled Manufacturer Anymore

    While the United States undeniably has a shortage of skilled jobs that provide stability and security, there’s also a huge, undiscussed problem in the opposite direction. We don’t have enough people trained to do skilled manufacturing jobs.

    MixabestShocking how no one wants a career that will obviously be done by humans forever.

    That means factory work, machine maintenance, melting Terminators in giant vats of liquid metal, etc. Up to two million of those jobs will go unfilled over the next decade just because people aren’t trained for them. We’re literally running out of people who know how to make things that aren’t Minecraft videos and snarky Tweets. Do you remember Trump saying that he wanted to bring good jobs back from overseas? Factory CEOs turned around and told him that those jobs are already here, but vacant.

    Why the shortage? Well, corporations cracked down on unions, which lowered wages and led to the perception that manufacturing jobs, even skilled ones, were boring, repetitive positions for lower-class bozos. So colleges started de-emphasizing manufacturing skill sets, and graduates in relevant fields, like mechanics and engineering, started dropping accordingly. The industry is turning to automation, but factories still need employees to install and maintain those machines, and even those employees are missing.


    If you’re a cartoonish conservative stereotype loudly wondering why “America doesn’t build things anymore,” it’s not because of them lousy foreigners. It’s because corporations neglected those jobs, and now nobody wants to do them anymore.


    We Don’t Have Nearly Enough Pilots To Meet Our Demand For Air Travel

    Air travel is perhaps the modern luxury that we most take for granted. It is a damn wonder that we hurtle through the sky at will, but tell that to the tired, grumpy people in economy. Or wait, maybe you won’t have to, because we’re running out of people who know how to operate those magical flying machines, to the point where flights are getting cancelled due to a lack of pilots. Obviously there’s a lot of training required before you can be trusted with the controls of a jet-powered carrier of human lives. In fact, after the crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 (a disaster partly attributed to insufficient pilot training), the people in charge got together and said, “Hey, maybe we should re-examine how much experience pilots need before we let them take off in these soaring hunks of metal and fire that actively defy God.”

    Bureau of Aircraft Accident Archives50 dead bodies do usually lead to some reevaluation.

    The result was a whopping 500 percent increase in the amount of flight time required before you can pilot a passenger or cargo plane. That’s great from a safety standpoint. The more experienced the better, right? But the unfortunate side effect is that it’s turned people away from wanting to become pilots in the first place. Those new requirements, and the north of $100,000 price tag that comes along with all that education and training, make simply becoming an accountant and buying a flight simulator look a lot more appealing.

    Boeing predicts that over 600,000 pilots are going to be needed over the next 20 years to fill a demand that’s already forced one regional airline into bankruptcy. The aviation industry is trying to respond by offering increased pay and sign-on bonuses, but that’s mucking things up for another industry that needs pilots: the military. In 2017, the Air Force announced a “national aircrew crisis” which left them 1,555 pilots short of what they need, and the best thing you can say about that is that Top Gun 2 might actually be topical.

    Check out Dwayne’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, where you can see the famous musicians he interviews for Revue Magazine. T.W. would like you to consider checking out the International Committee of the Red Cross. They do pretty cool stuff. Nathan Kamal lives in Oregon and writes there. He co-founded Asymmetry Fiction for all your fiction needs.

    It’s not, NOT worth your time to learn COBOL, here’s a beginner’s book.

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    Snow causes major disruption across UK

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    Media captionLatest BBC Weather forecast with Phil Avery

    Flights and trains have been cancelled and drivers stranded as sub-zero conditions continue across the UK.

    Rail networks Southeastern, South Western and ScotRail advised people not to travel on their routes on Friday.

    Thousands of properties were left without power across the south west of England, south Wales and the Midlands.

    The Met Office’s red warning has been lifted but flood warnings remain in place in the south-west and north-east of England.

    Services stopped leaving London Waterloo station just before 22:00 GMT with the South Western Railway network shutting down early.

    Meanwhile, the RAC says that freezing rain could pose the biggest threat to drivers as black ice forms on roads.

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    Media captionPiers Hanson walked down the tracks after receiving clearance from police

    There were severe delays to services in Lewisham, south London after passengers stuck on four Southeastern trains “forced open” doors, left the carriages and started walking along the tracks.

    The rail company said police and the fire service assisted in helping to restore power on the tracks and get trains moving again.

    Major incidents were declared in Wiltshire, Hampshire and Avon and Somerset, as blizzards brought roads to a standstill.

    The M62 near Manchester was closed while the military helped police free stranded motorists.

    Around 100 cars were stuck on the A505 between Hitchin and Luton but were able to complete their journey after a few hours.

    The body of a woman has been found during a search for missing 51-year-old hillwalker Alison Fox, who went walking in the Ochil Hills behind Menstrie, Clackmannanshire, on Thursday afternoon.

    A police spokesman said formal identification had not yet taken place but Ms Fox’s family had been informed.

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    Media captionNear miss bus driver Charmaine Laurie: “It looked worse on the video”

    There are yellow weather warnings for snow, ice and wind in place across the UK throughout Friday and Saturday, with a Scottish warning in force until 23:55 GMT on Monday, but there are no more of the more serious amber alerts currently in place.

    Prime Minister Theresa May has thanked everyone “going the extra mile”.

    In Scotland the armed forces are transporting vital NHS staff to the hospitals where they work.

    Electricity North West says it restored power to 20,000 homes in the north west of England but some rural areas could be without power overnight on Friday.

    Image copyright Supt Toby Davies
    Image caption Officers had the loan of poles to search for vehicles buried on the A386 in Devon

    The Environment Agency has issued 15 flood warnings and 36 flood alerts for coastal areas in the south-west and north-east of England.

    Severe flooding has been reported in Penzance, Cornwall, due to high river levels and swollen seas.

    The Met Office said the UK has officially broken its record for the lowest temperatures in a 24-hour period in March.

    Temperatures in the town of Tredegar in south Wales did not get above -5.2C on Thursday.

    Police forces around the UK have told people to travel only if necessary.

    There is a warning of black ice on the M6, while some of the worst problems are near Rochdale on the M62 – which is closed as stranded vehicles are cleared – and on the A303 near Ilminster and the A31 in the New Forest.

    On the M62, volunteers from Milnrow, Rochdale, took hot drinks, food and blankets to some of those stuck – including a bottle of warm milk for a five-week-old baby.

    Responding to a call for help on social media, farmers used their tractor to drive off-duty midwives to a woman who had gone into labour in the remote village of Balgedie, near Kinross which had been cut off by the snow.

    In Cumbria, a farmer ran out of feed for his 4,000 hens near Penrith and asked for a route to be cleared.

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    Media captionThe BBC’s Sian Lloyd reports from the Vale of Glamorgan
    Image copyright Getty Images
    Image caption Commuters in Cardiff were able to walk on a deserted dual carriageway
    Image copyright Reuters
    Image caption While passengers at London Waterloo rushed to get home before the last train

    Commuters ‘almost jubilant’

    By BBC transport correspondent Victoria Fritz

    The more normal response to this level of travel disruption would be exasperation and even anger amongst marooned passengers.

    But after a week of widespread chaos, the mood in Waterloo station on Friday at rush hour is almost jubilant.

    The weekend is around the corner and many of the thousands here will be granted a temporary reprieve from doing daily battle with the railways.

    The biggest gripe amongst passengers is that there has been precious little information of last minute changes to schedules.

    Most are understanding of the extraordinary challenges track and train operators are facing.

    Station staff are out in force and briefing passengers when they can. With the weather rapidly closing in, it’s a dash for all to get home before the clock strikes 22:00 GMT.

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    Media captionDr Chris Marsh on his 10-mile walk to work

    Much of Wales was brought to a standstill, where routine operations were cancelled as health boards made a plea for staff to attend work. Travel conditions in Scotland remain treacherous.

    The Premier League has said games are expected to go ahead despite the weather. However, four matches in the Championship and two games in the Scottish Premiership have been cancelled.

    Image copyright PA
    Image caption A pub landlord in Greater Manchester battles against the snow at his front door

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    Media captionIce blocks Birmingham’s canals
    Image copyright PA
    Image caption But these horses braved the elements at a farm in Snetterton, Norfolk

    What is happening with the trains?

    Across the UK, more than 20 rail operators are running a reduced service. National Rail has been advising passengers to check their service before travelling. Some train operators urged people not to travel at all.

    • Virgin Trains is not running any services north of Newcastle on Saturday, with their route between Carlisle and Scotland – affecting the London to Glasgow and London to Edinburgh routes – closed with no replacement buses running
    • Arriva Trains Wales has said a limited service will run on Saturday and passengers have been advised only to travel if essential up until Monday morning. There are limited trains between Shrewsbury and Crewe, Crewe and Chester, Chester and Holyhead, Wrexham and Bidston and Swansea and Carmarthen
    • Great Western Railway said there will be a limited timetable with no services between Cheltenham and Paddington, and the North Downs trains have been cancelled
    • Heathrow Express services between London Paddington and Heathrow Airport will run three times an hour
    • East Midlands Trains are running a reduced timetable with no trains between Lincoln Central and Grimsby Town, and between Sleaford and Skegness
    • On the Northern network, there are no services between Leeds and Carlisle/Lancaster, Liverpool and Manchester Airport, and Hazel Grove and Buxton. It warns passengers of possible timetable changes throughout Saturday
    • ScotRail aims to have several of its routes operational from early morning on Saturday but advises passengers to check before they travel
    • CrossCountry is not running trains between Birmingham and the South West and, Birmingham and Cardiff until after 09:00 GMT. No services will operate between Newcastle and Scotland and trains between Reading and Southampton/Bournemouth are not expected to run until mid afternoon
    • Southeastern railway said it will run an amended timetable on Saturday and services will start later after track inspections

    How are the airports affected?

    Image copyright PA

    More than 1,250 flights were cancelled across the UK and Ireland on Friday.

    • Glasgow Airport: Open after “the worst snowfall in its history” but still warns of delays and cancellations
    • Edinburgh Airport: Ryanair will resume its full schedule of flights after a day of cancellations on Friday
    • Dublin Airport: Most flights will start later on Saturday but passengers are urged to check before they travel
    • Cardiff Airport: The airport will be closed until Saturday morning
    • Bristol Airport: There were significant disruptions on Friday and passengers are advised to contact their airline before travelling
    • East Midlands Airport: After a day of cancellations and delays, the airport is expected to be fully operational
    • Leeds Bradford: The airport is open but is experiencing delays
    • Heathrow Airport: The airport advises passengers to check before travelling
    • Gatwick Airport: There are delays and cancellations
    • City Airport: The runway was closed on Friday because of the snow and the airline advises passengers that delays and cancellations could be likely
    • Birmingham Airport: Runway unlikely to reopen before Saturday morning with travellers warned to check with their airline

    What is the forecast?

    The Met Office says the cold weather could last into next week and possibly the following week.

    Up to 50cm (19 inches) of snow is forecast in parts of Dartmoor, Exmoor and uplands parts of south-east Wales accompanied by gales or severe gales in exposed areas.

    Gusts of 60-70mph are possible in parts of northern England and Wales.

    Up to 10cm (four inches) of snow is forecast in parts of Scotland and northern England, with up to 25cm over the area’s hills.

    How has the cold weather affected you? Share your pictures, video and experiences by emailing

    Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

    Or use the form below

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    5 Awesome Sci-Fi Movie Technologies That’d Suck In Real Life

    Why are we still driving non-flying cars to our non-space workplaces while fantasizing about our merely two-boobed prostitutes? Where are all the snazzy gadgets and awesome technologies movies promised us? In many cases, they’re right here. We just don’t use them because, well, they kinda suck. Like how …


    Controlling Computers With Hand Gestures Is Awful

    In Minority Report, Tom Cruise plays a future cop who tries to warn everyone that Max von Sydow is evil, but no one will believe him, even though he’s clearly Max von Sydow. But what most people remember best are the scenes wherein Cruise controls his futuristic crime lab computer by waving his arms around.

    How cool is that? Instead of having to say “enhance” and then clicking a boring old mouse, Cruise picks up files and videos from the air itself, and explores them using simple gestures. Soon, other movies were jumping in on this hot futuristic action. From Iron Man 2

    Marvel Studios

    … to Prometheus

    20th Century FoxSpoilers: This movie will show up a lot in this article.

    … to Star Trek: Discovery.

    CBS Television StudiosThank you in advance for the 100 comments about how this one’s not a movie.

    Why We’re Not Using This Today:

    As everyone who has ever owned a Kinect knows, this crap gets old fast. The biggest issue is that your arms get tired very quickly if you hold them up for even a short period of time. If you make that a long time, the feeling gets absolutely excruciating. Engineers actually identified this problem in the ’80s, and even gave it a name: the “gorilla arm” effect. You know, because your arms get “sore, cramped, and oversized,” and you end up looking and feeling like a gorilla. Not even a cool sci-fi cyborg gorilla like in Congo.

    Take another look at that Minority Report scene. When Cruise goes to shake Colin Farrell’s hand, he accidentally moves a bunch of files he’s working on. That would happen all the time. Imagine you’re holding 350 slides that took you five hours to organize and you suddenly get an itch on your butt:

    20th Century FoxOr any other activity where you might be shaking your hand while staring at your screen …

    Any interface that lies flat and gives you a wide range of control — even if you only move your hands a few inches — would beat this thing … hands down. If only we had something like that!


    Sci-Fi Holograms Are Inferior To 2D Images In Almost Every Way

    If somebody in a sci-fi movie needs to look at something important, a paltry two dimensions simply will not do. They need holograms for absolutely everything, even when audio alone would do the job. Like in Star Wars, when R2-D2 shows Leia’s holographic recording to a horned up Luke:

    LucasfilmWhile Obi-Wan silently screams on the inside.

    Here it is again in The Last Starfighter:

    Universal Pictures

    And here’s a dude’s head popping out of a monitor on Star Trek: Discovery:

    CBS Television Studios

    Hell, even the highly advanced race of spacefaring giants who created mankind love holograms! From Prometheus:

    20th Century FoxYou need to adjust the tracking on your Space Voldemort.

    Why We’re Not Using This Today:

    You may have noticed something about the holograms above: They A) look like crap, B) are completely pointless, or C) both. That pretty much sums up holograms in the real world, too. Remember that time Tupac’s blue ghost crashed a Snoop Dogg performance? And remember how the company responsible went bankrupt soon thereafter? Turns out there isn’t much real use for blurry, semi-transparent 3D projections that cause eye strain if you look at them for too long.

    Even the nicest example is so fuzzy and transparent that it’s not clear why you would bother with it over a 2D video feed. In the 2017 Ghost In The Shell, a hologram is used to reconstruct a murder scene, but it’s so imprecise (red tint, kinda blurry, semi-transparent) that it’s hard to think of a use for it other than making up for the investigator’s chronic lack of imagination.

    Paramount Pictures“Ohhh, that’s what tables look like. OK, I’m good.”

    In Prometheus (again!), the Weyland Corporation’s holograms don’t have a tint, but they’re so transparent that everyone on the crew probably ended up with a migraine anyway.

    20th Century Fox“Oh, I thought it was the script causing that.”

    If you absolutely need to communicate visual information over a vast distance, why would you choose this technology? Think of the bandwidth charges! We already know the future doesn’t have Net Neutrality.


    Nobody Likes Video Calls (Except In The Movies)

    With the possible exception of flying cars and sex-bots, no technology shows up in sci-fi movies as often as video calls. Whether they’re discussing something of galaxy-shattering importance or reminding their spouse to buy eggs, everybody in the future does everything via video calls. We see it in …

    Marvel StudioGuardians Of The Galaxy

    Warner Bros. PicturesDemolition Man

    TriStar PicturesTotal Recall (the good one)

    Columbia PicturesTotal Recall (the Colin Farrell one)

    Paramount PicturesStar Trek Into Darkness

    … and like a million other movies. We’ll stop now, or we’ll be here all day.

    Why We’re Not Using This Today:

    We are! Video calling is finally a reality! And it sucks. Seriously, unless it’s for Twitch streaming, nobody uses it. And it’s easy to see why.

    You can take voice calls in almost any situation where you can talk, but if you take a video call, you have to look like a decently dressed, reasonably groomed human being. Plus, you have to make sure you didn’t leave something like, say, a giant pink dildo visible in the background. Which has happened. On the BBC.

    And yet sci-fi characters love this technology so much that they’ll literally risk their lives to use it. In 2017’s Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets, right as the characters are leaving a planet’s orbit, the face of their boss pops up smack dab in the middle of their ship’s front viewport. That could kill you while you’re driving a car, let alone piloting a spaceship.

    EuropaCorp“Just called to remind you that driving and Skyping is illegal. Also, you’re fired.”


    Super Advanced Robots Always Have Needlessly Terrible Vision

    One of the coolest types of shots is when we go inside a robot’s head to see the way they look at the world. Like in the Terminator movies, in which Arnold Schwarzenegger sees everything through a badass red filter, with a bunch of important-looking numbers and text readouts:

    TriStar PicturesWhy isn’t the text in Austrian, though?

    Or the recent RoboCop remake, where the Robo-Vision (that’s the official name, look it up) shows everything in an old-timey reddish sepia tone, with, again, added text and data prompts:

    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer“08 threats and 15 cliches detected.”

    Why We’re Not Using This Today:

    Look at any decent first-person shooting game. The status bars and prompts are always minimal and in the corners of the screen. If they took up 30 percent of your monitor, like in the examples above, the developers would have angry nerds with actual guns outside their houses. All those big letters and numbers are covering up important visual information, allowing AmishTeabaggz42069 to sneak up and shoot you in the head. And what are they even there for? Terminators have computers for brains. Why do they need to see the data they themselves are processing?

    On top of that, the obligatory red tint makes these killer robots effectively colorblind, and prevents them from easily distinguishing between, say, blood and other liquids, which you’d think would be important in their line of work. At the other end of the spectrum, we have medical robots like Baymax from Big Hero 6, whose internal HUD looks like this:

    Walt Disney Pictures“Slack-jawed and dumb-looking … perfectly healthy for a teen boy.”

    All those widgets are probably helpful for a robot that patches up humans, but that blue tint … isn’t. Baymax needs to see his patients as accurately as possible, not just to identify any physical symptoms, but also to make treatment easier. It’s been demonstrated that blue light hinders injections, since it’s harder to find a vein under the patient’s skin.

    Meanwhile, in Chappie, the law-enforcing robots that patrol the streets are all apparently equipped with crappy late ’90s webcams. Imagine trying to shoot the correct criminal if this was what you saw:

    Columbia PicturesCan robots get motion sickness?

    To be fair, all these examples are still an improvement over 1973’s Westworld, wherein the highly advanced Yul Brynner robot, whose sole purpose is to shoot people in gunfights, can’t even tell a fork from a spoon.

    Metro-Goldwyn-MayerSporks make their heads explode.


    Computer Screens In Science Fiction Movies Are Worse Than The Ones We Have Today

    In sci-fi movies, computer screens are elaborate displays of carefully matched colors and captivating animations (even when no one’s using them). They’re all packed with graphs and numbers and all sorts of doubtlessly essential information. Marvel at the snazzy monitors in 2009’s Star Trek

    Paramount Pictures

    … and Avatar

    20th Century Fox

    … and naturally, good ol’ Prometheus:

    20th Century Fox

    Why We’re Not Using This Today:

    We lose ten minutes of work time every time a pigeon lands outside our window. If you had to do your job next to a bunch of huge screens that kept looping through colorful graphics, you’d probably get quite distracted. And if your own screen insisted on performing a lovely animation every time you updated some data or asked for an analysis, you’d probably start daydreaming about Microsoft Excel for the first time in your life.

    In almost every sense, these sci-fi screens are a huge step backwards compared to what we have now. Nearly all of them have low contrast (making it harder to read things at a glance) and a grand total of four colors, all of which are usually variations of blue and green. The Avengers:

    Marvel StudiosThis would look better if they were all playing Galaga.

    Mars (a National Geographic miniseries):

    National Geographic


    20th Century PicturesLast time, we promise!

    Not only does this mean that you run out of ways to highlight important stuff quickly, but the preponderance of blue and lack of red tones can even be dangerous. See, when your eyes have adapted to a dark environment, light of any color except red will disrupt that adaptation. This is called the Purkinje effect. That’s why interfaces for things like submarines and airplanes use a lot of red, which allows, for example, pilots flying at night to clearly see both the screen and the view outside their cockpit. But on the other hand, blue looks neater, so that’s a fair tradeoff.

    These sci-fi screens fail at the most basic function of a user interface: conveying information quickly and easily. Everything important is hidden in dense blocks of tiny text and numbers scattered around the screen. The only way the following screenshots make sense is if the characters have superhuman vision or magnifying glasses:

    Marvel StudiosThe Avengers

    Paramount PicturesStar Trek Beyond

    20th Century PicturesAvatar

    For comparison, here is a real-life NASA mission control room:


    Note the lack of flashy animated visualizations. The multiple high-contrast colors. The text that is readable when you’re at the intended distance. And Earth has yet to be attacked by alien invaders. Coincidence? We don’t think so.

    Prometheus isn’t a bad movie, but please make sure you’ve seen Alien before watching Prometheus. We talk about that movie a lot on this site too.

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

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    Farrah Abraham Has A Bitter AF Final Message To Her Teen Mom OG Costars!

    Farrah’s revenge!

    As we reported, after Farrah Abraham had a falling out with Teen Mom OG producers,the controversial reality TV star was replaced by Teen Mom 3 star MacKenzie McKee.

    To make matters more complicated, the mother is suing producer Morgan J. Freeman and Viacom for at least $5 million over porn shaming allegations.

    Related: Kailyn Lowry Applauds MTV For Firing David Eason!

    On Friday, the 26-year-old issued a final statement to her costars, and not surprisingly, its bitter and salty AF!

    According to

    “I wish all the women of Teen Mom the best as their jealousy, hatred, and women-hating should stop and more so lift up and empower women… This show lacks [confidence], [security], honesty, and integrity, which is why the adults of this show must be controlled and puppeteered by producers and staff.”

    The 16 and Pregnant alum says she’s even concerned about the safety and well-being of Catelynn Lowell, Maci Bookout, and Amber Portwood‘s children!

    “The effect on their children is concerning… I deeply hope the mothers and fathers take their children’s development and safety more serious… As I start a new chapter, I wish all the families the best in safety and health.”

    To conclude, the Farrah Superstar: Backdoor Teen Mom actress gives a really weird quote about changing the world and society. WTF is she talking about??

    “To make a change in society, ‘see something say something’… Many aren’t leaders and making world changes. I chose this life, I will always continue to make this world a better place above all the lies and attacks against me… I think I’ve done this better than most in reality TV.”‘

    Farrah has left the building…

    [Image via Farrah Abraham/Instagram.]

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    The Stupid Anti-Vaxx Movement Is Now Affecting People’s Pets. Everything Is Awful.

    Vaccines do not cause autism.

    As IFL Science notes, people worried about how vaccines affect humans have their fears rootes in a fraudulent study by ex-doctor Andrew Wakefield. The study linked the MMR vaccine and the appearance of autism, but it was pulled from the journal in which it appeared after they found a “fatal conflict of interest,” dubious data, and generally fishy research methods. Wakefield is now no longer allowed to practice medicine.

    Despite the links being proven again, again, and again, some anti-vaxxers just refuse to see the light. Now they’re extending their head in the sand attitude about vaccines to their pets.

    Vets are warning that they’re seeing an increased number of people not vaccinating dogs out of fear they will contract illnesses, including “pet autism,” which doesn’t exist.

    We do see a higher number of clients who dont want to vaccinate their animals, Dr Amy Ford of the Veterinarian Wellness Center of Boerum Hill told the Brooklyn Paper last year. This may be stemming from the anti-vaccine movement, which people are applying to their pets.

    Like humans, pets rely on herd immunity to stay safe and they are the most effective way to keep your pet safe from preventable diseases that easily spread.

    Read more:

    This Swedish fitness trend combines running with picking up litter

    Image: Getty Images

    Forget about Hygge, Lagom, and Ikea’s attempt to start a twin duvet revolution. There’s a new Scandinavian trend in town. 

    This trend encourages people to pick up litter while out running. So, it’s not just good for your health, it’s also good for the environment. 

    It’s called ‘plogging’—a portmanteau of jogging and the Swedish plocka upp, meaning ‘pick up.’ 

    So hot is this new trend that fitness app Lifesum is allowing its users to log and track their plogging activity as a workout. 

    Plogging combines going for a run with intermittent squatting or lunging (to collect rubbish), which actually sounds like a pretty satisfying workout. According to Lifesum, a typical user will burn 288 calories in 30 minutes of plogging, which is more or less the same as what’s burned off while jogging.  

    As with all fitness trends, there are plenty of #plogging pics on Instagram, offering a glimpse of what this trend looks like IRL. Ploggers take plastic bags along with them so they can store the collected litter they find along their route.

    Swedish fitness app Lifesum claims it’s the first health app to allows its 25 million users to log their plogging activity. Those using the health app can log plogging as a fitness activity, in the same way that they would log running or walking, and the app will estimate how many calories have been burned. 

    Image: lifesum / rachel thompson

    Lifesum has also teamed up with the non-profit Keep America Beautiful to provide an online resource for ploggers who want to log the rubbish they’ve collected. 

    Mike Rosen, senior vice president at Keep America Beautiful, thinks plogging is a great way to encourage people to make a difference in their local environment. 

    “Plogging is brilliant because it is simple and fun, while empowering everyone to help create cleaner, greener and more beautiful communities,” Rosen said in a statement. “All you need is running gear and a bag for trash or recyclables, and you are not only improving your own health, but your local community too.”

    Plog away!

    Read more:

    Snow falling as Siberian blast hits UK

    Media playback is unsupported on your device

    Media captionHeavy snow and freezing winds are forecast for Tuesday

    Snow is falling across parts of the UK as very cold air sweeps in from Russia.

    Heavy snow is expected across southern and eastern England overnight on Monday – with warnings extending into the Midlands, Scotland and Wales on Tuesday morning.

    Many areas have been hit by freezing temperatures, with a wind chill making it feel like -15C in some places.

    Rail firms have warned of disruption, with many planning to run a reduced service overnight and on Tuesday.

    A snow emergency was declared in Kent and the council urged people not to contact it unless there is an emergency.

    Heavy snow is forecast for much of Yorkshire, Teesside, Durham and Newcastle in the early hours of Tuesday morning, which is likely to cause delays on the roads, the Met Office said.

    A warning is also in place for London and parts of the South East on Tuesday, with the possibility of delays and cancellations on travel networks as well as power cuts in rural areas.

    Snow warnings have been issued for the whole of Wales, with temperatures expected to fall to -5C, the Met Office says.

    The Met Office has both yellow warnings and more serious amber warnings – meaning there is a potential risk to life and property – for large parts of the UK for the rest of the week.

    Train disruption:

    Meanwhile, Heathrow and Gatwick airports say they are not expecting delays today, but urged anyone flying later in the week to check the status of their flight with airlines.

    Image copyright Ian Heard
    Image caption A frozen sea front at Weston-super-mare
    Image copyright John Gray
    Image caption A burst water pipe in Highworth, Wiltshire created this icy display.

    Weather warnings on Wednesday and Thursday’s will also cover Cornwall, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

    By Wednesday night, more than 20cm (8ins) of snow could have accumulated in some parts of eastern England and Northern Ireland, forecasters have warned.

    Scotland is expected to have between 5cm (2ins) 10and 10cm (4ins) of snow on Wednesday.

    The Met Office is predicting that some roads may become impassable and vehicles may be stranded.

    BBC Weather has warned of possibly hazardous conditions in southern England later in the week as a low pressure weather system moves up from the Bay of Biscay and hits the already “exceptionally cold air”.

    ‘Blizzard conditions’

    Alina Jenkins, from the BBC’s Weather service, said: “Any precipitation will turn readily to snow, and with bitterly cold strong to gale force easterly winds, blizzards are likely.”

    Met Office meteorologist Charlie Powell said: “Unusually for Britain, the snow is going to be quite dry, so it will blow around and gather in drifts and we could see some blizzard conditions.”

    He added that while he did not want to alarm people, the Met Office was urging people to be prepared for the so-called “beast from the East”.

    Parts of the UK will feel as cold as Norway and Iceland.

    Image copyright Andy Hughes
    Image caption Frozen sea at Porth Cwyfan bay on Anglesey
    Image copyright PA
    Image caption Icicles on a frozen waterfall in the Brecon Beacons

    Wet vs dry snow

    When surface temperatures are below freezing, snow is drier as it contains less water.

    This type of snow is powdery and does not stick together, the Met Office says.

    Wet snow however, is the result of slightly warmer, moist air, which causes the edge of snowflakes to melt and stick together.

    Media playback is unsupported on your device

    Media captionBBC Weather explains why we can expect temperatures to plummet

    Public Health England have advised homes to be heated to at least 18C.

    Emergency shelters have been opened across the country as councils offer extra accommodation to the homeless during the freezing conditions.

    The offer of a hot shower, clean clothes, food and a bed can help save lives, homeless charity St Mungo’s said.

    Media playback is unsupported on your device

    Media captionSnow is falling across London amid yellow weather warnings

    You might also be interested in:

    We would like to hear your experiences in the cold weather. Please send your comments and pictures to:

    You can also contact us in the following ways:

    Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay

    Or please use the form below:

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    This Goose Just Died At The Age Of 42, But That’s Not Exactly What Makes Him Notable

    There are some stories that captivate us for their sheer weird awesomeness.

    Often, there’s no way to know if others outside of your circle will appreciate the same beauty in what you’re seeing. But the people of New Zealand knew the story of Thomas the goose would resonate with others. Thomas lived to be 42, and before his death he was a local celebrity, but it’s not because he was old. It was because he lived and loved differently.

    Thomas was blind — and bisexual. He fell in love with a black swan named Henry and they spent 24 years together. When another black swan, Henrietta, showed up, Thomas stayed with the couple.

    Together, they raised 68 cygnets over six years, and that’s when he became a local interest for birdwatchers.

    Henry died in 2009, and Henrietta flew off to be with another swan, leaving Thomas alone. He had his own children, but they were stolen by a goose named George.

    Thomas was taken to the Wellington Bird Rehabilitation Trust to live out his last years as his health declined. He spent his days with other blind birds until he passed away.

    Thomas will be buried near Henry in the place where they raised children together.

    (via Metro)

    Read more:

    Toxic Heavy Metals Found In E-Cigarette Vapor

    In the latest to and fro on the science of e-cigarette safety, there’s fresh evidence to suggest that potentially unsafe levels of toxic metals could be making their way into e-cig vapors.

    Scientists at John Hopkins University have found there’s lead, arsenic, chromium, manganese, and nickel in the vapor of modifiable vaping devices. As you can imagine, these are not good for you. Long-term exposure and persistent inhalation of the metals have been linked to lung, liver, immune, cardiovascular, and brain damage, and even cancers.

    “It’s important for the FDA, the e-cigarette companies, and vapers themselves to know that these heating coils, as currently made, seem to be leaking toxic metals – which then get into the aerosols that vapers inhale,” senior author Ana María Rule, PhD, said in a statement.

    In the study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, researchers gathered 56 modifiable vaping devices from vape shops and vaping conventions around Baltimore. They then tested for the presence of 15 metals in the e-liquids in their coil-containing e-cigarette tanks, the refilling dispenser, and the vapor.

    While they only found small amounts of toxic metal in the e-liquids alone, they discovered considerable amounts in the e-liquids that had been exposed to the heating coils. This indicates, the researchers say, that the metals almost “leak” from the metallic heating coils. They went on to show that the metals can then end up in the aerosols, i.e. the vapor, from the heated e-liquid.

    “We don’t know yet whether metals are chemically leaching from the coil or vaporizing when it’s heated,” Rule said. The researchers added that concentrations of the nasty metals appeared to be higher in e-cigarettes with more frequently changed heated coils, suggesting that fresher coils might be the problem.

    Although inhaling these metals has been associated with health risks in previous studies, the researchers now hope to see whether this particular form of exposure can also have an effect on a person’s health. 

    “We’ve established with this study that there are exposures to these metals, which is the first step, but we need also to determine the actual health effects,” said Rule. 

    The safety of vaping is a hot topic of debate, with a bundle of new studies on their safety coming out every single month, each seemingly saying something totally different from the last. Much more science needs to be done until the risks are crystal clear, but the current consensus is that e-cigarettes are most likely bad for your health, although they are considerably less bad for your health than smoking tobacco. 

    Read more:

    Octavia Spencer will rent theater for kids to see ‘Black Panther’ like the angel she is


    Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer took to Instagram Wednesday to announce she will rent out a theater to show Black Panther to an underserved Mississippi community—so that children of color can ‘see themselves’ in the role as a superhero.

    Twitter reacted accordingly.

    Users seemed to be appreciative of—but not surprised by—Spencer’s level of class.

    Although she did not act in Black Panther, Spencer said she will intentionally be in Mississippi during the upcoming showing. According to Slate, in 2014, over 40 percent of Black people in the state were affected by obesity-related health problems and almost half lived at or below the poverty line, compared with a 16 percent poverty rate for the white population.

    Black Panther hits theaters on Feb. 16, but the film already set a Marvel movie record—and edged out Captain America: Civil War—for first-day advance ticket sales, Entertainment Weekly reported. A Fandango survey of more than 1,000 Black Panther enthusiasts showed that 97 percent are looking forward to a “different kind” of superhero movie.

    “This superhero from Africa who is in this society and trying to fix the world is something that hasn’t been seen before,” Forest Whitaker, who stars as Zuri, told Variety.

    Marvel Entertainment/YouTube

    The Black Panther screening won’t be the first time Spencer will buy out a theater. She previously had Hidden Figures screened in Los Angeles low-income areas, according to the Clarion-Ledger.

    “If you know a family in need that would like to see our movie but can’t afford it have them come,” Spencer wrote of the Hidden Figures screening last year, according to Page Six. “My mom would not have been able to afford to take me and my siblings. So, I’m honoring her and all single parents this #mlkweekend.”

    Of course, when it comes to the internet, nothing can be unanimously agreed upon—even free and empowering movies for kids.

    Despite some negative comments, many Twitter users were inspired by Spencer’s generosity and said they would like to contribute or set up their own fundraisers for underprivileged kids to see the movie.

    A GoFundMe page for students, primarily children of color, in Philadelphia to see the movie has currently raised $985 of its $5,000 goal. Another fundraiser for kids to see the movie in Harlem, New York, raised more than four times its original goal.

    Spencer has successfully championed issues for people of color in the past, with her most recent victory involving a pay raise she probably wouldn’t have gotten if fellow actress Jessica Chastain, who is white, hadn’t spoken up for her in pay negotiations for an upcoming film.

    We don’t know how Spencer will continue to break glass ceilings for people of color in the future, but we do know the woman is a modern-day superhero.

    H/T Mashable

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    Trump’s solution to school shootings: arm teachers with guns

    It is the gun, its the person behind the gun and its about helping people before they ever reach that point, said a mother whose son died at Sandy Hook elementary

    Donald Trump has said he will consider a proposal to arm school teachers in an attempt to prevent mass shootings, a move certain to prove fiercely divisive.

    The US president, holding a listening session at the White House with survivors of last weeks Florida school shooting and others affected by gun violence, claimed that allowing airline pilots to carry and conceal guns had demonstrated the measure could be a success.

    It only works when you have people very adept at using firearms, of which you have many, Trump said during an emotionally searing session on Wednesday that, extraordinarily, was broadcast live on national television. It would be teachers and coaches.

    Referring to Aaron Feis, a football coach who used his body as a shield to protect a student during the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, the president continued: If the coach had a firearm in his locker when he ran at this guy that coach was very brave, saved a lot of lives, I suspect.

    Julia Cordover, the student body president at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School wipes away tears during a listening session hosted by Donald Trump at the White House. Photograph: Xinhua / Barcroft Images

    But if he had a firearm, he wouldnt have had to run, he would have shot him, and that would have been the end of it. This would only obviously be for people who are very adept at handling a gun. Its called concealed carry, where a teacher would have a concealed gun on them. Theyd go for special training and they would be there and you would no longer have a gun-free zone. Gun-free zone to a maniac, because theyre all cowards, a gun-free zone is: Lets go in and lets attack, because bullets arent coming back at us.

    Trump added: An attack has lasted, on average, about three minutes. It takes five to eight minutes for responders, for the police to come in, so the attack is over. If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly.

    Play Video

    Trump says arming teachers with concealed weapons could prevent school massacres video

    Knowledge of this would act as a deterrent to a would-be attacker, Trump claimed. You know, a lot of people dont understand that airline pilots now, a lot of them carry guns, and I have to say that things have changed a lot. People arent attacking the way they would routinely attack and maybe you would have the same situation in schools.

    The president asked for a show of hands in the room over the proposal: some were in favour, others were against. We can understand both sides and certainly its controversial, he acknowledged, promising to discuss it seriously.

    It emerged after the shooting at Parkland that there was an armed security guard on site but he did not get the chance to engage the gunman, Nikolas Cruz, on the sprawling campus. In May 2016, during the presidential election, Trump tweeted: Crooked Hillary [Clinton] said that I want guns brought into the school classroom. Wrong!

    Donald Trump with notes during a listening session with high school students and teachers at the White House on Wednesday. Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP

    Nicole Hockley, whose six-year-old son Dylan died at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, spoke out against the idea of arming teachers. Its not personally something that I support. Rather than arming them with a firearm, I would rather arm them with the knowledge of how to prevent these acts from happening in the first place, she told Trump.

    Safety assessments programmes and interventions for troubled children are vital, she added. Lets talk about prevention. There is so much that we can do to help people before it reaches that point, and I urge you please stay focused on that as well. It is the gun, its the person behind the gun and its about helping people before they ever reach that point.

    Earlier during the session in the state dining room, where some speakers were tearful but composed as they recalled their experiences, Hockley also issued a challenge to the president. This is not difficult, she told him. These deaths are preventable. And I implore you: consider your own children. You dont want to be me. No parent does.

    During the meeting Trump also asserted that he would be very strong on background checks for gun buyers as well as mental health issues. He sat in the middle of a semi-circle listening intently as six survivors of last weeks shooting and bereaved parents from Parkland, Columbine, and Sandy Hook took turns to address him.

    Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

    Crooked Hillary said that I want guns brought into the school classroom. Wrong!

    May 22, 2016

    Sam Zeif, 18, a Parkland student whose text messages with his brother during last weeks shooting went viral, fought back tears as he told Trump: I turned 18 the day after. Woke up to the news that my best friend was gone. I dont understand why I can still go in a store and buy a weapon of war, an AR. I was reading today that a person 20 years old walked into a store and bought an AR-15 in five minutes with an expired ID. How is it that easy to buy this type of weapon? How are we not stopping this after Columbine, after Sandy Hook, sitting with a mother that lost her son? Its still happening.

    Andrew Pollack, whose 18-year-old daughter Meadow was killed at Stoneman Douglas, reflected the candid anger of many when he took the microphone. Were here because my daughter has no voice she was murdered last week, shot nine times, he said. How many schools, how many children have to get shot? It stops here, with this administration and me.

    Pollack, his voice rising with raw emotion, added: It should have been one school shooting, and we should have fixed it, and Im pissed because my daughter, Im not going to see again.


    Read more:

    Apple employees are reportedly walking into walls at the companys fancy new glass office

    People in glass offices should probably watch where they’re going. Collisions have been one very clear downside of Apple’s $427 million spaceship office in Cupertino, according to a story out of Bloomberg.

    The “people familiar with the incidents” won’t say how widespread a phenomenon all of this is, but there’s a definite potential downside to glass walls in a setting where occupants are regularly staring down at their phones. In an effort to combat the phenomenon, some have apparently taken to sticking Post-Its on potential hazard zones — a sort of primitive form of augmented reality. 

    As someone who regularly runs into stuff, I can personally confirm that walls, not people are to blame in this situation, and likely the whole things is more a source of brief personal embarrassment for those involved. As the story points out, none of the impacts have warranted a post to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Transparency, after all, is the key to addressing these issues.

    This does, however, reflect a story from 2012, in which an 83-year-old woman filed suit against the company after injuring herself after bumping into a glass surface at an Apple Store. The suit, which was later settled out of court, claimed  the company “was negligent … in allowing a clear, see-through glass wall and/or door to exist without proper warning.”

    Likely these reports, however, won’t result in a black eye for the company.

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    Barber Tells This Shy Insurance Man To Grow A Beard, And It Ends Up Transforming His Life

    If our list of men before-and-after growing a beard didn’t convince you that males look way better with facial hair, this story definitely will. Gwilym Pugh was a 21-year-old businessman man who started a successful insurance company in his spare bedroom. However, working from home and injuries made him gain a lot of weight. 280 pounds, to be exact. But his life-damaging lifestyle changed after his barber urged Gwilym to grow a ginger beard!

    “At that time I was pretty overweight, working 12 hours a day, plagued with injuries which meant I couldn’t train at all,” the Welshman told Daily Mail. “The business was doing okay, but I decided I needed to get my life in order and wanted to get healthy again.”

    Gwilym and his friends formed a folk band several years ago. His barber advised him to grow some facial hair to look the part. In line with his new look, the freshly-baked musician decided to expand his transformation cleaning up his diet. The biggest change, however, was quitting his desk job.

    “It was the best thing for my health as I stopped sitting for nine to 10 hours a day,” the man who lost 90 pounds over five years explained. As he was shedding weight and growing his beard, Gwilym created an Instagram account. Eventually, Welsh tailor Nathan Palmer stumbled across it, and things began escalating really fast.

    Now, Gwilym is part of the London agency AMCK Models. He has worked on campaigns with Vans, Bud Light, Diesel, and other big names. His hard work even allowed him to become an ambassador for David Beckham’s new male grooming brand, House 99!

    Gwilym Pugh was a shy man, working 12 hours a day from his home

    Image credits: WalesOnline

    But his life was never the same after Gwilym’s barber urged him to grow a beard

    Image credits: gwilymcpugh

    This is how the man looks now

    Image credits: Adam Fussell / AMCK Models

    “A picture says a thousand words…. Coming from being 22 years old, overweight, plagued with injuries, and unhappy barely leaving the house”

    “I’m happier and healthier than I ever thought possible and doing things that didn’t even cross my mind to dream of”

    Image credits: Adam Fussell / AMCK Models

    Working as a model, Gwilym is even an ambassador of David Beckham’s new male grooming brand

    Image credits: House 99

    Despite his success, Gwilym remains humble

    Image credits: gwilymcpugh

    “I think I’m lucky I got into this profession at the age that I did”

    Image credits: Gwilym C Pugh

    “I try not to get caught up in it all and my girlfriend helps a great deal wit that”

    “Having worked in finance for years, the opportunity to work with creative people and travel around the world is amazing”

    Image credits: Exposure London

    “It was the best thing for my health”

    Image credits: gwilymcpugh

    In keeping with his new look, Gwilym’s constantly maintaining his body

    Image credits: gwilymcpugh

    “Regular osteo treatment and morning mobility and HIIT workouts are what’s in order”

    Image credits: Gwilym C Pugh

    If this won’t convince you to grow a beard, we don’t know what will

    Image credits: Gwilym C Pugh

    Image credits: Gwilym C Pugh

    Image credits: gwilymcpugh

    Image credits: Gwilym C Pugh

    Image credits: gwilymcpugh

    Image credits: Edo Brugué

    Image credits: gwilymcpugh

    Read more:

    John Oliver Praises Parkland Shooting Survivors for Taking on the Gun Lobby

    Yes, John Oliver is back.

    After several months off, the irascible Brit returned to the desk of Last Week Tonight for its fifth season premiere. He began by addressing the heartbreaking events of Parkland, Florida, wherein a MAGA hat-wearing 19-year-old armed with a legally purchased AR-15 assault rifle targeted the students and faculty of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, taking 17 lives in a hail of gunfire.

    These events are now so familiar, we basically automatically know how each side will play out: thoughts and prayers, fuck your thoughts and prayers, its a mental health problem, yeah, but its also a gun problem, and then someone says nows not the time to talk about gun control, and then everybody moves on until it inevitably happens again, said Oliver.

    He added: But this time felt slightly different because when the nows not the time argument came out, the kids from that school said, You know what? Yes it fucking is.

    In the wake of the massacre, the teen survivors of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have been calling out the empty rhetoric of obfuscating talking-head charlatans like Tomi Lahren and gun lobby flunkies like President Trump, who somehow managed to make the tragedy all about himself. This is a generation of kids who were born after Columbine, who will no longer accept mass shootings as their new reality, and who are outraged by the governmental apathy and indifference.

    They say that no laws couldve been able to prevent the hundreds of senseless tragedies that have occurred. We call BS! screamed MSD High student Emma Gonzalez at a recent rally.

    We call BS, echoed Oliver. It is a little ironic that the people who are acting with the most maturity in this horrifying situation arent even old enough to say the word bullshit in front of their parents. Those kids have already announced a march next month, and in doing so theyre challenging adults to participate in a real conversation about gun violence.

    Whether or not President Trumpwho partied at a Mar-a-Lago disco bash mere hours after visiting wounded survivors of the Parkland shootingwill participate in that dialogue is anybodys guess.

    Read more:

    Trump Proposes to Cut Medicare and Spend Big on Wall, Defense

    President Donald Trump will propose cutting entitlement programs by $1.7 trillion, including Medicare, in a fiscal 2019 budget that seeks billions of dollars to build a border wall, improve veterans’ health care and combat opioid abuse and that is likely to be all but ignored by Congress.

    The entitlement cuts over a decade are included in a White House summary of the budget obtained by Bloomberg News. The document says that the budget will propose cutting spending on Medicare, the health program for the elderly and disabled, by $237 billion but doesn’t specify other mandatory programs that would face reductions, a category that also includes Social Security, Medicaid, food stamps, welfare and agricultural subsidies.

    The Medicare cut wouldn’t affect the program’s coverage or benefits, according to the document. The budget will also call for annual 2 percent cuts to non-defense domestic spending beginning “after 2019.’

    At a time when the prospect of rising annual budget shortfalls has spooked financial markets, the White House said in a statement — without explanation — that its plan would cut the federal deficit by $3 trillion over 10 years and reduce debt as a percentage of gross domestic product. Yet, in a break from a longstanding Republican goal, the plan won’t balance the budget in 10 years, according to a person familiar with the proposal.

    The budget, to be released later on Monday, is unlikely to gain traction on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers routinely ignore the spending requests required annually from the executive branch. And Congress passed its own spending bill on Friday, including a two-year budget deal, which the president signed into law.

    According to the summary, Trump will urge an increase in defense spending to $716 billion and a 2.6 percent pay raise for troops. He will request $18 billion to build a wall on the Mexican border, the summary indicates.

    The White House also seeks $200 billion for the infrastructure proposal the administration plans to unveil alongside the fiscal year 2019 budget, as well as new regulatory cuts.

    “This will be a big week for Infrastructure,” Trump said in a Twitter message Monday. “After so stupidly spending $7 trillion in the Middle East, it is now time to start investing in OUR Country!”

    Monday’s document will outline proposed spending reforms the administration says would, if enacted, cut deficits over the next decade — even as recently passed tax legislation and spending caps threaten to drive future annual deficits above $1 trillion.

    Trump May Struggle on $1 Trillion Pledge to Fix Crumbling U.S.

    “Just like every American family, the budget makes hard choices: fund what we must, cut where we can, and reduce what we borrow,” Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said in a statement. “It’s with respect for the hard work of the American people that we spend their tax dollars efficiently, effectively, and with accountability.”

    A year ago, Trump asked lawmakers to cut $3.6 trillion in federal spending over the next ten years, and identified deep cuts to domestic spending programs. Instead, lawmakers last week passed a two-year government funding deal that would boost military and non-defense spending by $300 billion over the next two years and add more than $80 billion in disaster relief.

    But administration officials argue their proposals, dead on arrival though they may be, is still an important marker of the president’s legislative priorities.

    Immigration Enforcement

    The plan includes a heavy emphasis on immigration enforcement. Trump is requesting $782 million to hire 2,750 new border and immigration officers, and $2.7 billion to detain people in the country illegally. Trump is also asking for $18 billion over the next two fiscal years toward the goal of constructing a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico. That’s a key point of contention in the ongoing legislative battle over the fate of young people, known as “Dreamers,” who were brought to the country illegally as children.

    The proposal also includes $13 billion in new funding to combat the opioid epidemic, which Trump has frequently cited as among his top domestic priorities. The administration would provide a $3 billion boost to the Department of Health and Human Services in the next fiscal year, and $10 billion in 2019.

    The proposal takes “money that the Democrats want to put to these social programs and move it to things like infrastructure, move it to things like opioid relief, move it to things that are in line with the president’s priorities so that if it does get spent, at least it get spent to the right places,” Mulvaney said Sunday during an appearance on Fox News Sunday.

    Boost for Veterans

    Other elements include $85.5 billion in discretionary funding for veterans health services, education, and vocational rehabilitation, the OMB said on Sunday. It is not clear how much of that funding would represent an increase from current spending levels.

    The budget also includes $200 billion in federal funds over the next decade that the White House says would spur $1.5 trillion in infrastructure spending through partnerships with state and local governments and private developers. That includes $21 billion over the next two years that the White House says would “jump start key elements of the infrastructure initiative.”

    Trump will discuss the public works proposal on Monday with governors, mayors, state legislators and other officials, and he expects to meet with Congressional leaders from both parties at the White House on Feb. 14. The president plans to visit Orlando, Florida, on Feb. 16 for an infrastructure event, and he and cabinet members will also promote the plan at events around the U.S., officials said.

    The White House said its initial approach is to offset the $200 billion in the budget for its infrastructure plan with spending cuts elsewhere, including from some transit and transportation programs the administration doesn’t think have been spent effectively. But Trump is open to new sources of funding, a senior White House official told reporters.

    ‘Robust’ Defense

    The White House also didn’t detail how much money it wanted to devote to new spending on the military, but OMB said the proposal would provide “for a robust and rebuilt national defense.” In last year’s budget proposal, Trump called for a $52.3 billion boost for the Defense Department, while asking for deep cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, State Department, and Department of Health and Human Services.

    Mulvaney said this year’s documents — theoretical though they may be — would see those agencies targeted again for budget cuts.

    “There’s still going to be the president’s priorities as we seek to spend the money consistently with our priorities, not with the priorities that were reflected most by the Democrats in Congress,” he told Fox News.

    Trump on Friday complained on Twitter that in order to boost military spending, “we were forced to increase spending on things we do not like or want.”

    The budget proposal assumes that the U.S. economy will ramp up over the next decade to his goal of 3 percent growth, according to an administration official on Friday who confirmed figures to be contained in Monday’s budget proposal. Economic growth is projected at 3.2 percent in 2019 and 2020.

      Read more:

      5 Games That Were Released Hilariously Broken

      Making video games might seem like a sweet gig when you’re in junior high, when games are nothing but rocket launchers and yelling racial slurs on Xbox Live. But it’s actually super hard work, and not everybody can do it. Not just cheapo indie games get released in a garbage state. Even the biggest-budget titles can wind up more as cautionary tale than quality entertainment. For example …


      Jurassic Park: Trespasser Tried A Novel User Interface: Breasts!

      Trespasser was a 1998 PC game with a then-new concept: a completely minimalist player interface, with all information filtering through the character’s own body. This did not work as intended. For example, instead of a health meter, you kept track of your vitality via a heart-shaped tattoo on the character’s tits. It was 1998, and we hadn’t learned proper shame yet.

      Electronic Arts

      Electronic ArtsOr how to draw boobs.

      Astute readers may have already spotted the problem: You could only see the tattoo by looking down, meaning you were constantly taken out of the game to ogle your own cleavage. A further problem: You had to be able to see said tits whenever you glanced downward, and that got in the way of spotting vital ledges, items, and enemies. Say what you want about Lara Croft, but her ample bosom probably never got her devoured by a velociraptor.

      The dinosaurs themselves were a big selling point of the game. They were supposed to have advanced enemy AI, acting like real, deadly animal hunters instead of mindless meat puppets for the player to shoot at. Here are a few such realistic hunters on the prowl:

      Electronic Arts

      Electronic Arts*Cue John Williams*

      It’s hard to be afraid of an enemy that gets itself caught in a wooden fence, then forgets about you while you’re still standing there. Incidentally, that’s the same reason they stopped making Halloween movies for a while.

      Electronic Arts“Clever girl” wasn’t meant to be sarcastic.


      Nobody Really Wanted To Make Aliens: Colonial Marines

      SEGA released Aliens: Colonial Marines in 2013. It was a bold property that sought to explore what happens when the always-terrifying xenomorphs stop being horrifying and start getting funky.

      SegaXenomorphs invented spin class.

      It’s not like this was a rush job. They had seven years to work on this game. Yet Colonial Marines runs the gamut of terrible game features — crappy AI, buggy gameplay, awkward movement …

      SegaIt’s trying to sneak out of the game.

      Shockingly, this wasn’t entirely SEGA’s fault, but rather … Gearbox Software? No, the folks who made the amazing Borderlands series? What the hell happened? Oh no wait, it wasn’t Gearbox, it was TimeGate Studios, who …

      OK, we see the problem. Nobody making this game actually wanted to make this game.

      SegaAnd no one wanted to play it.

      SEGA didn’t even want a monster game. They wanted Call Of Duty, but in space. Gearbox didn’t want to make Call Of Duty in space; they wanted to make Mad Max in space, which they did … with the money they “reappropriated” from this title. And TimeGate Studios … ah, who cares what they wanted? They were the patsy getting stuck with the bag. All three developers pulled the game in at least three different directions until the whole thing flew apart, spewing acidic blood everywhere like a nightmare pinata. And then they still released it.


      Sonic ’06 Was Never Supposed To Be A Sonic Game

      Sonic the Hedgehog has had it rough since the Dreamcast died. For a long time there, it seemed impossible to make a 3D Sonic game that wasn’t a crime against eyeballs. Just take a look at the 2006 Sonic The Hedgehog:


      SegaGuess which drug the character is doing in each GIF.

      In a series infamous for coasting on nostalgia and furry fan art, Sonic ’06 still manages to stand out as an exceptional disaster. It’s like the worst defendant at a war crimes trial — everyone there is a monster, sure, but this was the guy wearing a necklace of human genitalia.

      SegaResult? Disappointment.

      It was all screwed right out of the gate. The project wasn’t originally intended to be a Sonic game at all, but the development team got charged with the reboot, and they pretty much mashed everything together. Which might explain some of the bizarre interspecies romance on display.

      SegaBut not all … You got problems, Sonic franchise.

      The developers also had to program for two new consoles at the same time, neither of which they had any experience working with. In the middle of that mess, Yojiro Ogawa, the group’s director, sort of wandered off with half the team to start Sonic And The Secret Rings (which was also a giant steaming flop, but for totally different reasons). Stuck with little experience, insurmountable hurdles, and half a team, well … it didn’t help when SEGA demanded a finished game by Christmas 2006. That’s how we wound up with …


      … and …


      Was the other property they mashed this together with an Exorcist game?


      Silent Hill HD Was Broken Because Konami Threw Away The Original Code

      Silent Hill HD ended up being terrifying for reasons wholly unrelated to its sexually charged satanic imagery.


      Now, to be fair, that screencap shows a completely terrifying monster. The problem: It’s not supposed to. That’s the graphics engine having a nervous breakdown. Far from a slick HD remake of one of the scariest series ever made, Silent Hill HD took all the carefully orchestrated atmospheric horror and replaced it with the vague, uncertain horror that you might not be able to get your money back for these broken games.

      KonamiIf you look close, you can see the ghosts of their dignity.

      See, the HD remakes were handled by a development company named Hijinx, who noticed something off about the source codes Konami had given them — namely, that they weren’t for the finished versions of the games. For some reason, Konami threw all that code away the minute they finished the series, and instead of turning down that easy remaster money, they handed Hijinx whatever garbage they had left lying around on old hard drives. Hijinx cobbled together what they could, but none of it played nice with the original material. This is how we got some of the most unsettling moments in horror never intended, like Maria’s eyeball-teeth here:


      Or all the water turning to sausage:

      Konami“Welcome to Silent (but deadly) Hill.”


      Fight For Life Played Like An Unfinished Game … Because It Wasn’t Finished

      This is the Atari Jaguar, the unholy offspring of a video game console and a telephone:


      It wasn’t just ugly on the outside. It also ran like somebody filled a tractor’s gas tank with gravy. Toward the end of the Jaguar’s comically short life, Atari hired programmer Francois Betrand to produce a 3D fighting game the console could handle … the same way the human body could theoretically handle getting crushed by a falling airplane engine. Bertrand had previously worked on Sega’s successful Virtua Fighter series, so if anyone could squeeze a decent fighting game out of the Jaguar, it’d be him.

      Turns out, no one could.


      AtariSpending hundreds of thousands dollars on Pogs would have been a sounder investment.

      This was in the midst of the final death throes of Atari, which at that point had stopped paying employees, since the company was being sold off to Hasbro anyway. After four months of surviving off crumbs in their keyboards, the developers finally put their foot down and refused to give Atari the latest build of the game until they ponied up the back payments. So Atari did the reasonable thing: They released whatever code they had already and called it a game. Fight For Life was only (generously) about 60 percent done, and thus was an utter disaster. The characters just stood around like idiots, because no one had programmed their animations yet. The game intro looks like an awkward attempt at speed dating for cosplayers.

      That’s not even touching on the matches themselves. The characters sort of shuffle around the arena and occasionally flail at each other before falling over for no apparent reason. This wasn’t a video game; this was Fight Club in an old folk’s home.

      Henrik Magnusson also enjoys meaningless pop culture and online harassment masquerading as satire in comic form.

      Think you could do better? Check out “Level Up! The Guide To Great Video Game Design.

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

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      ‘Vanderpump Rules’ Recap: It’s Not About The Pasta

      I’ll be real with you guys, I don’t have a fun or clever way to segue into this week’s episode, so I’ll just dive right in.

      Actually no, let’s not dive in. I’m re-watching the tail end of last episode, and Jax is seriously the worst. Watching him gaslight Brittany again is making me homicidal. It makes me so sad and angry that Brittany is staying with him. Like, I understand that money might be tempting, but is it worth it for your mental health? *Googles how much these people make per episode*

      We open this episode with Stassi at SUR picking out some outfits for the Pride Parade party, so I guess Bravo is still pretending that Stassi is a legit event planner. Do you think you can put “fake event planner, Bravo TV” on your resume?

      Lisa: I need all the hands I can get during Pride, even Stassi’s grubby little mitts.

      Unpopular opinion: I’m not sure how much I love Lisa anymore. She just finds any reason to be a bitch to people two decades younger than her. Why don’t you pick on someone your own age? Isn’t that what you have for?

      Oh, Peter is into essential oils and Reiki? He just used the phrase “I have all my chakras aligned” in earnest? I have never lost my attraction to a person so fast, not even when they tell me they’re from New Jersey. For the inevitable commenter who asks, “I’m from Jersey, what’s your beef with my state?” may I kindly direct you to my previous recaps?

      Why do I feel like Jax is going to scam on this Reiki healer in like, two episodes’ time?

      I want the record to show I typed that before Sandoval said it. Thank you, thank you, that’s why they pay me the big bucks to write these recaps. Aka I get paid zero extra money for doing them; I just do it for the love of the game.

      All the girls are getting Botox together. My friends and I just go to brunch, but okay. 

      Scheana is still sticking to the “My boyfriend couldn’t have kissed another girl, he doesn’t even make out with me” as a good argument. Honey, no. That’s not a good argument! That just means he isn’t into you.

      Scheana: Can we just like stop talking about this and never speak of it again?


      Stassi, Katie, Brittany and Kristen are at some cinema low-key trying to hook Brittany up with the waiter. They may be crazy bitches, but they’re good friends. But tbh I bet Jax is going to like, mentally fuck Brittany back to 1993 when he watches this exchange play out on camera and use it as retroactive justification for his cheating. Somebody please go check on Brittany and make sure she’s okay.

      Meanwhile, James and Lala are at some restaurant that apparently sells Welch’s grape soda and gin. Snoop Dogg would be disgraced.

      James: I’ve been trying to cut down the drinking

      Also James: To getting drunk! *takes two huge shots in 20 seconds*

      Also ALSO James: I could easily stop drinking at any time.

      Hmm where have I heard that before? Oh right, 8th grade health class and every episode of ever. 

      Wait so Lala tells James that she ate Raquel’s pasta and now James is going full psycho like “Don’t fuck with my bitch, or I’ll fuck with your fat man and he’ll be onto his next pretty blonde.”

      Lala is calmly trying to explain the joke about the pasta (which for the record I don’t think was funny to begin with so really this is all Lala’s fault) and it does not go well. Lala stands up for herself and storms out, and I don’t think James even remembers what he said to make her so mad a full two seconds ago. This is so fucking dumb. Is it about the pasta? Or is it not? SOMEBODY HELP ME!

      James: It’s not about the pasta! *turns away* *two seconds later* It’s not about the pasta! *turns away* *two seconds later* It’s not about the pasta!

      And rinse and repeat for an hour until the screen fades to black and it says “Executive Producer Lisa Vanderpump.”

      Just kidding, but I wish. *This joke has been brought to you by John Mulaney*

      Back at SUR, Scheana confronts Ariana and Brittany to find out if Katie was talking shit about her. Oh my god, she’s so annoying. Just accept that other people are going to talk shit about you. Talking shit literally pays your bills.

      Scheana: *brings up the Rob cheating rumors*

      Scheana 2 seconds later: OMG CAN WE STOP TALKING ABOUT THIS ALREADY *storms out*

      Sandoval and Schwartz show up to the wreckage that is to be Tom Tom, because according to Sandoval, they’re putting in less money into their investment so they’re going to compensate with sweat equity. I feel like a better idea would be for you to just like, not compromise the structural integrity of this building with your dumb asses.

      Anyone who says Kristen is reformed and sane now needs to take every seat as she describes how she literally tracks Carter’s every move via GPS while everybody else in the room just lets her drone on about her NSA-esque surveillance tactics without acknowledging her in any way.

      Schwartz stayed over at Sandoval’s (a no-no) because he got too wasted (another no-no) and instead of starting a fight about it when he came home, Katie just let it go. Schwartz says “I feel like I fell in love with you all over again” because Katie lets him blow through her (very reasonable) boundaries with no consequences. God, I fucking hate men.

      I don’t know why Lisa is volunteering to become Katie and Tom’s marriage counselor. “Not my circus, not my monkeys” – my favorite expression I found on the internet that I’d be employing the fuck out of in this situation.

      Watching Kristen try to explain Pride is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. “We’re out here because love is love and to everyone who doesn’t think love is love, suck a dick.” Probs not the best turn of phrase to use in this context. I’m just saying.

      Rob comes in to SUR and Scheana gives him the grand tour: “And here’s where I yelled at Brittany and Ariana, and here’s where I told everyone to stop talking about the rumors about you making out with someone.” But tell me more how you don’t want to talk about it ever again.

      Scheana: I lost my smile this week.

      Funny coincidence, I lost my dinner just now.

      At SUR, Stassi is telling the guys to put paint on their face. Sandoval is like “Oh hell yeah I’ve been practicing my contour for weeks now.”

      Scheana hugs Lala and is 1) TALKING ABOUT THE RUMORS AGAIN *looks for something with which to fashion a noose out of* and 2) telling Lala Rob said “Don’t let anyone take your smile” which we all saw HER say. Scheana, what’s it like to live in another reality? Asking for a friend myself.

      Okay but I’m not sure how I feel about Lala accusing Scheana of relapsing with her eating disorder, because like, that’s a sensitive topic and you shouldn’t just throw that around willy-nilly. And even if that is the case, IDK, I feel like there are certain lines you don’t cross, even for TV. But what do I know, I guess I’m just old fashioned.

      Billie Lee gets up in the middle of pride to give a speech about being trans, and holy shit, this girl is brave. I will be quietly monitoring her Instagram comments for any trolls. If you wanna come for Billie, you’re gonna have to go through me. …An anonymous internet writer. YEAH.

      So James body slammed on Jax’s crotch and now he’s almost making out with Logan while Raquel watches in the corner, horrified. Just saying, I called this from episode one. I just want James to be his authentic self, ya know?

      Watching James buy Logan vodka Red Bulls and kiss him on the cheek while Raquel texts by herself in a corner reminds me a lot of how I’d watch my boyfriend and my roommate interact when we’d go out to bars together. Yep, you all thought I’d make it one episode without mentioning that dumpster fire of a relationship, but nope. Take a drink.

      Lisa pulls Scheana aside from her job in the middle of THE BUSIEST DAY OF THE YEAR (a fact that annoys me but I should be used to it by now) to ask her how she’s doing. Scheana—you guessed it—brings up the “Rob making out with another girl” rumors. I’m just weeping to myself out of frustration at this point, for anyone at home who’s wondering.

      Lisa: Even if this relationship doesn’t work out, it’s not the end of the world.

      Scheana: Well it’s gonna work out because we’re meant to be together.

      It must be exhausting being this delusional.

      Scheana is definitely your friend who’s never been single and doesn’t know how to be. Scheana is Taylor Swift. Actually, that’s a pretty good think piece title. Coming soon to Betches. Someone comes up to Scheana and Rob and is like “What’s up?” and Scheana is like, “I got my smile back!!!” I’m so over this. I don’t ever wanna hear Scheana talk about her smile again, and if that means she never smiles, so be it.

      Katie and Brittany come over to Brittany and Jax’s apartment. But first off, I am kind of weirded out by Kristen constantly saying Brittany is the best thing to happen to their group. Like, IDK, she just stans way too hard for these peripheral people, like Patrick. It’s just weird.

      Brittany’s mom flew in to LA to surprise Brittany, and I just want to take the time to dissect Jax’s facial expression after learning that Sherry is in his apartment.

      Okay, so I may not have captured it that well in this screenshot, but in the previews before the commercials, Jax was making this surprised face but if you looked closely (or are a psycho like me, hard to tell), he kind of looks a little bemused by the situation. Anyone? Or just me? 

      You all can debate the intricacies of Jax’s facial expression in the comments. Or not. Whatever. But somebody answer this? WAS IT ABOUT THE PASTA? 

      Read more:

      A fiery rant about workplace etiquette during flu season is going … viral.

      Former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett has a problem with how we handle flu season in the U.S.

      During a recent taping of his podcast, “Lovett or Leave It,” Lovett touched on a topic we’re not actually hearing a whole lot about: the current flu epidemic. The flu — which experts say is the worst in nearly a decade and has already racked up a modest body count — is an issue that’s not getting much attention.

      Enter Crooked Media co-founder Lovett. He’s fired up about this year’s flu, and we should all should hear him out. (Just a warning: some NSFW language.)

      If you are sick, do not go to work. This is how you spread germs.

      “You show up at work and you’re sick — fuck you, ok?” he says, bluntly. “If you have a job with paid sick leave and you can work at home, you work at home. If you wake up achy and with a fever, don’t go to the office and see how it goes. You’re going to give people the fucking flu.”

      He’s totally right. Staying home from work (or from school) when you’re sick is actually the first thing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests. In fact, they take it a step further, suggesting you stay home even if you’re not yet sick, but someone else in your household is.

      Other important reminders include covering coughs and sneezes, washing your hands, and wearing a mask if you’re out in public. (Yes, I know it can look goofy as hell, but it’s for the greater good, people.)

      Americans are weird when it comes to work. We’ve been taught to tough it out and that showing up when we’re sick is part of being a team player.

      It needs to change, and we can start with how we praise kids for perfect attendance at school. Going to school or work when you’re sick is actually a profoundly selfish thing to do. Unless you’re Michael Jordan hopping in a time machine to drop 38 points on the Utah Jazz in the 1997 NBA Finals, you need to stay in bed. As only he can, Lovett explains:

      “You going is about proving you’re the kind of person who powers through. It’s not about being a team player, it’s about you, and it’s a weird performance, and people shouldn’t go to work sick. It’s bullshit. It’s treated like, ‘Oh yeah, what a tough person.’ Fuck you. Go home. You are a contagious thing. Your mucous membranes don’t know how much you care about your work. They don’t give a shit.”

      It’s time we got with the rest of the world and implemented mandatory paid sick leave.

      Many people living paycheck-to-paycheck or working an hourly, low-wage job often don’t have the ability to call in sick. Many countries — the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Mexico, and many, many more — mandate that employers offer their workers paid time off for sickness, but not here in the U.S.

      The CDC (funded by the federal government) recommends that individuals do something that the federal government won’t act on. If the government saw public health issues as a true priority, they’d enact policies that would allow people — especially hourly workers, some of whom might be handling your food — to take time off when they need it. A few states have taken it upon themselves to require companies to offer paid time off, and several companies have decided it’s a benefit worth offering all employees, but Congress should pass a bill making it a requirement nationwide.

      “We never cover cause and effect,” Lovett says, referring to why a wealthy country like the U.S. gets hammered by diseases year after year. “We never talk about the system.”

      Watch Lovett’s inspired, fiery rant below.

      For more information on what you can do to help prevent the spread of the flu, visit the CDC’s website (and, seriously, get a flu shot).

      Don’t show up for work sick. It’s bullshit.

      “Showing up to work sick is not about being a team player, it’s about you, and it’s a weird performance… Fuck you, go home”

      Posted by Lovett or Leave It on Friday, January 26, 2018

      Read more:

      Inside Olympian Shaun Whites Disturbing Sexual-Harassment Case

      Every two years, the Olympics manage to make our scary, disconnected world a little bit better, uniting audiences through awe and a shared desire to ogle IOC-approved hotties. Unlike most trending topics in 2018, the Olympics is feel-good through and through. Even the most jaded Americans will find themselves cheering on Chloe Kim, looking up clips of Mirai Nagasus historic triple axel, and developing an encyclopedic knowledge of the mens figure skating scoring system so as to best complain about the snubbing of Adam Rippon.

      Amidst all of this patriotism and good cheer, its easy to elevate every Team USA member to god-like status. After all, these athletes can do things on ice, snow, and skates that the rest of us could only dream of doing on the ground. For a textbook example of an American Olympic athlete assuming mythic proportions, look no further than snowboarder Shaun White.

      NBC promoted its Winter Olympics coverage with a Super Bowl ad devoted entirely to the two-time Olympic gold medalist. The ad highlights Whites single-minded purpose as he prepares for Pyeongchang. The Super Bowl spot concludes, Shaun White is the best of U.S. It makes sense that NBC would invest heavily in the Shaun White story; the only thing that makes a proven winner more compelling is a comeback, and White certainly has something to prove in the wake of scoring in fourth place at the Sochi Olympics in 2014. According to Slate, White is the star of NBCs Olympics show, and his victory, according to the network, would be one of the great triumphs of the Winter Games.

      But just as a re-centering of womens voices and experiences has called various powerful men into question, an honest assessment of Team USA would tack an asterisk on to all of Shaun Whites promotional material. White, like many successful and celebrated men, has reached a settlement in a sexual harassment case. Disappointingly, NBC has entirely failed to mention these allegations in its Shaun White coverage. While it is clearly within NBCs interests to slalom around this potential scandal, its rather shocking that, according to Slate, No major news outlet mentioned the harassment suit between May 2017 and last week, when New York magazines the Cut released a video titled, Snowboarding Superstar Shaun White Was Accused of Sexual Harassment.

      In 2016, Lena Zawaideh sued Shaun White, alleging sexual harassment, wrongful termination and nonpayment of wages, among other complaints. Zawaideh was the drummer and only female member of Shaun Whites rock band, Bad Things, for seven years. According to USA Today, Zawaideh initially sued for breach of contract in May, but by August her lawyers had filed an extensive new complaint seeking both punitive and compensatory damages. That complaint alleged that White repeatedly sexually harassed [Zawaideh] and forced his authoritarian management style on her for over seven years.

      According to the suit, White sent sexually explicit and graphic images to Zawaideh of engorged and erect penises, forced her to watch sexually disturbing videos, including videos sexualizing human fecal matter, and made vulgar sexual remarks to her such as, Dont forget to suck his balls! when commenting on her boyfriend. At one point, White stuck his hands down his pants, approached Zawaideh, and stuck his hands in her face trying to make her smell them. The offending texts sent by White also included arguably racist, explicit images of black men. The complaint further alleged that an intoxicated White attempted to kiss Zawaideh at a Halloween party in October 2010; Another time, White put his buttocks directly in Zawaidehs face. Still another time, White grabbed Zawaidehs buttocks shortly after leaving practice for the day.

      The filing additionally stated that, As the financier of Bad Things, White used his role to imposed a strict regime over Zawaideh, going so far as to demand that she cut her hair, wear sexually revealing clothes and underwear, and refrain from wearing red lipstickher own personal signature.

      Images of the texts that White allegedly sent Zawaideh were included as exhibits in her new complaint. One of the explicit texts is a pornographic image paired with an exhortation to be a team player. Another text from Shaun reads, I need u to go out in the morning and have your hair cut in a new style at shoulder or above but keep your bangs. This is really important to me. When Zawaideh responds that shes confident and happy with her long hair and not willing to cut it, he replies, Thats disappointingare u sure this is the decision u want to make later clarifying, your decision to not do what Im asking.

      According to the complaint, this exchange occurred the night before Bad Things last show of their 2014 tour. At the end of the tour, Zawaideh went home with the assumption that she was still a member of the band. After not hearing from White for some time, Zawaideh was informed by another Bad Things member that the band continued to rehearse and perform without her, according to the suit. Zawaideh was later informed by the bands new manager that White decided to part ways with her. In the complaint, she alleged that she never received any of her contractual payments for 2014.

      Zawaideh also claimed that, during their regular band practices, White consistently acted inappropriately.

      The complaint continued, White would constantly refer to Zawaideh as bitch and show her sexually explicit images and videos. For example, at one point,WhiteyelledouttoZawaideh, Hey, have you seen this video?! White then proceeded toshow Zawaideh the Shake That Bear video on his computer. Shake That Bear is a disturbing video of a couple killing a bear and then having sex on top of it.Another time, White called Zawaideh over and forced her to watch Church of Fudge. Church of Fudge is a video where the viewer is subjected to hardcore porn involving a priest, anun and fecal matter. This behavior made Zawaideh feel extremely uncomfortable. However, Zawaideh would acquiesce because she did not want to cause problems in the band or be terminated. Zawaideh was only seventeen or eighteen years old at the time. White was twenty-two or twenty-three years old.

      Other anecdotes from the complaint alleged threatening behavior. Around March 2014, after failing to win a medal at the Olympics, the suit claimed that White became increasingly hostile: For example, on a few occasions when the band was practicing, White gestured that he wasgoing to backhand Zawaideh. He yelled out uncalled for remarks such as, Ill fucking slap you.Zawaideh was fearful that White would hit her.

      In response to Zawaidehs allegations, White confessed to sending the texts and issued the following statement through his attorney: Many years ago, I exchanged texts with a friend who is now using them to craft a bogus lawsuit. There is absolutely no coincidence to the timing of her claims, and we will defend them vigorously in court."

      Zawaideh issued her own statement, insisting, I am pursuing this case because women should not have to tolerate harassment at work. Shaun White should not be allowed to do whatever he wants just because he is famous. Although I am embarrassed to have been treated this way, I cannot sit by and watch him do this to other women.

      According to USA Today, the snowboarder vigorously contested the suit and requested that Zawaideh undergo a mental health examination in response to her claims of emotional and mental distress. White later withdrew that request, and in May 2017 it was reported that White and Zawaideh had reached an undisclosed settlement.

      Less than a year later, is Shaun White really the best of the U.S.?

      Read more:

      Florida Democrat removed from office, faces corruption charges following FBI sting

      A Florida mayor was removed from office Friday after her arrest on three felony charges.

      Joy Cooper, 57, mayor of Hallandale Beach, allegedly solicited illegal campaign contributions for herself and two political allies, the Sun Sentinel reported, citing court documents. 

      Gov. Rick Scott issued the executive order suspending Cooper from office in the city just north of Miami. The mayor was accused of accepting campaign contributions through former attorney Alan Koslow.

      Following an undercover FBI investigation, Cooper, who surrendered Thursday, has been charged with money laundering, official misconduct and exceeding campaign contribution limits, the report said.


      Court documents stated undercover agents gave Koslow $8,000 in cash in Aug. 2012. Cooper was also accused of soliciting funds for Anthony Sanders, the former commissioner of Hallandale Beach. He resigned from his position in Aug. 2017 following allegations of misconduct, the Sun Sentinel reported.

      She also has been charged with soliciting contributions in a government building, a first-degree misdemeanor with a one-year maximum sentence.

      The felonies carry maximum prison sentences of five years.

      Larry Davis, her attorney, said she plans to plead not guilty.

      Cooper, a Democrat, has been the city’s mayor since 2005 and previously served on the city commission beginning in 1999.

      “I can assure you that I will vigorously fight these allegations in court,” Cooper said in a prepared statement obtained by the Sun Sentinel.

      The news outlet reported Cooper emptied her office before turning herself into Main Jail in Fort Lauderdale Thursday. She was later released from the jail Thursday night.


      Eric Fordin, a developer, told the Sun Sentinel he was “shocked” by the allegations against Cooper.

      “(She) has always been so aboveboard. I recall her writing a check for $2.45 for a soda at the grand opening of one of our hotels because she could not accept a drink,” Fordin said.

      Fordin said he was never asked or pressured by the mayor or other Hallandale Beach politicians for contributions.

      Vice Mayor Keith London will take over Cooper’s duties while she is suspended.

      The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

      Read more:

      A Life-Threatening Piece Of ACTUAL Fake News Has Gone Viral On Facebook. Please Stop Sharing It

      Actual fake news has been going viral on Facebook. Not the type of fake news that’s just a New York Times piece that doesn’t conform to your political biases so you call it “fake news”, but the real kind. The type that is dangerous.

      It’s been one of the most engaged articles on Facebook over the past two weeks, according to NewsWhip, despite being entirely made up unscientific nonsense, designed only to scare and misinform its readers.

      The article in question quotes made-up medical professionals from the CDC, warns people against taking actions that could save their own lives, and could lead to real people getting ill unnecessarily, or even dying.

      The site is renowned for sharing actual fake news. The type that’s dangerous. Yournewswire / Facebook.

      The piece, from yournewswire, claims that the flu shot causes flu outbreaks and that many people are dying as a result.

      “We have seen people dying across the country of the flu, and one thing nearly all of them have in common is they got the flu shot,” an anonymous doctor (who doesn’t exist) from the CDC told yournewswire, even though they really didn’t.

      “Some of the patients I’ve administered the flu shot to this year have died,” the fictional doctor continues. “I don’t care who you are, this scares the crap out of me.”

      That’s a terrifying thing to read, and you can see why people are sharing it. If you thought you’d come across some new and horrifying information that could save the lives of family members, you would too.

      The piece goes on to attribute deaths to the flu vaccine, and claim that the shot is more dangerous than the virus itself.

      “Many medical experts now agree it is more important to protect yourself and your family from the flu vaccine than the flu itself.”

      Of course, it’s complete nonsense. Flu shots do not contain any active virus.

      “The viruses in the flu shot are killed (inactivated), so you cannot get the flu from a flu shot,” the actual Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explain on their official website.

      There are three types of influenza vaccine, none of which can make you ill. One has an inactive form of the virus, one (recombinant version) contains no flu at all, and the third is a nasal vaccine, which contains a severely weakened form of the virus.

      After the shot, you may experience side effects such as fever, soreness, or aches, but these aren’t due to a flu infection.

      “If these problems occur, they begin soon after vaccination and are mild and short-lived,” the CDC writes. “Almost all people who receive influenza vaccine have no serious problems from it.”

      Unsurprisingly, this information does not have nearly the same volume of shares as the article telling you you’re going to get ill if you have the flu shot. It doesn’t contain any of the dramatic language that thrives on social media, just cold facts, learned from studies conducted by scientists.

      So let’s put this in a way that’s a little more dramatic, in the vague hope people will share this information, rather than fake news.

      If you share articles warning people not to take the flu vaccine, somewhere out there someone could read it. They could be in a vulnerable group. They could be over 65, they could have chronic heart, lung, or kidney disease. They could be put off getting a vaccine because of the article you shared. They could get ill and they could become one of the 36,000 people in the US who die every year because of influenza.

      And that could have been prevented if you hadn’t shared fake news.

      [H/T: Think Progress]

      Read more:

      6 Millennial Fads That Are Way Older Than You Think

      There are a few things almost everyone agrees on: Water is wet, babies are cute, and Millennials are the worst generation humanity has ever created. There isn’t a thing they like, from selfies to avocado toast, that hasn’t become a sign that their inventions and fads are ruining the very fabric of society. But guess what? Half of the “Millennial” trends your grandpa complains about are actually even older than he is. For example …


      “Sexting” Has Been Around Since The Renaissance

      It’s unsurprising that the invention of a device that is capable of both taking pictures and sending those pictures to another human being was followed immediately by the invention of the practice of sending people photos of your own sex bits — or as people much cooler than we are call it, “sexting.” But the idea of “sending nudes” in order to make someone horny for you is much older than camera phones. Hell, it’s older than cameras.

      Nell GwynThis was accompanied by a smaller painting of eggplant and peach emojis.

      Take this 17th-century portrait of a lady preparing food while a black servant gives her an expression that seems to ask “Why are your boobs out?” The woman in the picture is Nell Gwyn, comedic actress and mistress to English King Charles II, who sent this lusty portrait to her lover sometime during their 16-year affair. The very suggestive piece shows a virginal white Gwyn flash ample cleavage while “stuffing sausages,” which we’ll assume was the Renaissance equivalent of sending the eggplant emoji. The original picture, made by a wisely anonymous painter in the late 17th century, is only a little larger than a postcard — not big enough to hang on a wall, but probably just about the right size to carry around in a king-sized pocket and show to his ducal bros.

      Flash-forward to 1828, and this self-portrait by Boston painter Sarah Goodridge might be the first sext selfie. And unlike Gwyn, Goodridge knew there was a quicker way into a man’s unmentionables than some subtle iconography:

      Sarah GoodridgePerhaps the slightest bit less coy than the last example.

      She sent this as a gift to none other than U.S. senator Daniel Webster. It’s a miniature painting, measuring around 2×3 inches, which was popular at the time. Pretty useless for display, but handy for, say, keeping it hidden from your wife. Webster and Goodridge insisted they were only close friends, and historians have found no evidence they were doing the wild thing. Except, of course, for exhibit Double D.

      Naturally, when cameras came along, sexting became a lot easier. The media already knew about the trend as early as 1860, warning ladies against the improper behavior of “giving daguerreotypes of themselves to young men who are merely acquaintances.”

      New York LedgerYou can almost hear #KnowYourWorth quietly echoing back through history.

      And during the early 1900s, it was common for women to send racy pictures of themselves to their husbands on the battlefield to show them what was waiting at home (a very blurry half-dressed woman). There are plenty of attics everywhere that might contain such saucy pictures in a dusty box, claims English Professor Joshua Adair — a fact that he likes to illustrate to his horrified students by showing them a photo he found of his pantsless grandmother.

      Joshua AdairLearning about family history is fun until you reach the truth: Your grandparents boned. Hard.


      People Were Using Selfie Sticks In The 1920s

      Selfies might be the worst thing Millennials have embraced with outstretched arms, apart from Nazism. But until recently, selfies had been an awkward thing to pull off, holding the camera as far away as possible while as your trembling hand tries to frame all of your friends’ duckfaces. In came the selfie stick, still the most divisive popular invention of our time. Some people love them, other people love that they cause users to sometimes walk onto train tracks. But for all the crap oldies give kids about their selfie sticks, they’ve been around for almost a century.

      Of course, selfies themselves started around five minutes after the camera was invented. But surely, selfie sticks had to wait until cameras got tiny or people’s biceps got massive, right? That’s why the selfie stick only officially dates back to around 2005. But when BBC News mentioned this in a column recently, it prompted one reader, Alan Cleaver, to send them this photo of his grandparents from 1925:

      Alan CleaverThis filter sucks. Try Dust Bowl.

      The dashing gentleman in the pictograph is Arnold Hogg, simultaneously using the earliest known selfie stick and conveniently providing photographic evidence of it. Unfortunately, the context of this image has been lost to time, but if you look at the picture, it’s quite obvious that that’s the face of a guy who just invented the selfie stick, while the expression on his wife’s face is definitely that of a woman who just realized she married the inventor of the selfie stick.


      Text Speak Dates Back To The Telegraph Era

      We’re always hearing about how SMS, Twitter, and other quick messaging platforms are destroying the English language by converting it into a bunch of shorthand gibberish. Not like in the old days, naturally, when people wrote out all of their correspondence in full with a quill pen. But now, with their abbreviations and emoticons, Millennials are all hammering out 140-character screeds that look like a shitty Rosetta Stone translating bad English to Pac-Man hieroglyphs.

      And that’s probably the same complaint that people had when everyone started doing it back in the 1870s.

      Back before the telephone, there was the telegraph, which you might liken to an early form of SMS. You’d write a short message and pay your local operator to tap it out in Morse code to your chosen recipient. But telegraphy was expensive, and it charged by the letter, meaning eloquence could easily cost you an entire week’s salary in the nickel mines. As a penny-pinching response, people derived a shorthand language that looks remarkably similar to the kind of text speak that Baby Boomers complain about today, as you can see from this 1901 textbook:

      Google Books

      In fact, a lot of accursed Millennial speak can be traced directly to the abbreviations used by fast-tapping telegraphers. Most notably, the letter “U” for “you” or “R” for “are.” Telegraphers also used “ty” for “thank you” and “pls” for “please.” And though they didn’t say “LOL,” they would indicate laughter with “HI HI” (which required fewer dots than either HA HA or HE HE).

      Maybe the most surprising acronym to come out of this era is “OMG,” which has been traced as far back as a letter from Admiral John Fisher to Winston Churchill in 1917:

      Fisher’s Memories“OMG, R U gonna come intercept the German fleet or wut??? :p :p :p #imonaboat”


      A Whole Bunch Of Historical Figures Used Stand-Up Desks

      If you work in an office, you might have heard that sitting is the new smoking. (Also, leaning is the new doing meth. Tell your friends.) So in order to combat the tyranny of comfort, the hip new trend in offices everywhere is the standing desk, used frequently by Millennial workers who buy into the often-disputed health claims, thinking they’re better than older generations who sat down their entire lives and didn’t act like precious snowflakes about it. Well guess what, bitter old man we made up: You’ve now called our Founding Fathers snowflakes. Traitor.

      Turns out that a whole host of historical figures found it preferable to do their desk work on their feet. It’s purported that Leonardo da Vinci liked to draft his anachronistic contraptions standing up. In more recent times, we have firsthand accounts from lots of writers and politicians who liked it better that way, including Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.

      Wilhelm, Kotelmann, Bergstrom, ConradiWe may have improved on the design, but they were seriously ahead on their grade-school suit game.

      The biographers of Lewis Carroll, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Virginia Woolf all also claimed that their respective subjects cranked out their books on their feet. In 1888, philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche even snapped at the novelist Gustave Flaubert, who claimed, “One cannot think and write except when seated,” by saying, “The sedentary life is the very sin against the Holy Spirit. Only thoughts reached by walking have value.” Which is kind of the 19th-century version of what an obnoxious Millennial would say to their manager while slurping on a pumpkin spice Frappuccino.

      Of course, before standing desks were popular enough to be mass-produced, most people were forced to jury-rig them. Here’s a photo of Winston Churchill working at a desk that looks to have been propped up on some kind of cabinet:

      PA via The Winston Churchill Project at Hillsdale CollegeA liquor cabinet, we assume.

      Ernest Hemingway also improvised his own standing desk by putting his typewriter on top of a bookcase, claiming, “Writing and travel broaden your ass if not your mind and I like to write standing up.”

      Life Magazine“For sale: writing chair, never used.”

      Then there’s this photo of 30-year-old Marvel Comics co-founder Stan Lee (yes, he was young once), who made a standing desk out of a bench on top of a table so that he could write not only standing up, but also outside and shirtless. As he claimed: “Always wrote standing up — good for the figure — and always faced the sun — good for the suntan!”

      Stan LeeIm trying to absorb as much solar radiation as possible. You see, Ive got this theory …


      Adult Coloring Books Date Back To The 1960s

      In 2015, the publishing industry saw a considerable spike in profits when coloring books for adults became the hottest new trend, even if they’re already on the way out again. Of course, there’s no considerable difference in execution between coloring books made for kids and those made for adults, except one is to to get whiny brats to shut up, while the other is for kids. (Ha! Take that, Millennials!)

      Except that adult coloring books were also a fad for another generation: the Greatest Generation. Coloring books have been published for adults since the early ’60s, and they carried the same cynical tone toward our stressful day-to-day existence. 1961’s The Executive Coloring Book featured images of a man going through his daily routine, with satirical captions like “This is my desk. It is mahogany. I wish I were mahogany” and “This is my suit. Color it gray or I will lose my job.”

      G.P. Putnam’s Sons Publishing

      G.P. Putnam’s Sons PublishingThis is the empty spot in my soul. Please color something … anything … there so I can feel joy again.

      In 1962, the JFK Coloring Book became the first coloring book to hit the New York Times bestseller list, where it stayed there for 14 whole weeks. It contained 22 pages of mockery aimed at the Kennedy administration, with instructions to paint Kennedy “red, white and blue,” and to color the noses of his staff “burnt umber.” It’s nice to see that conservative humor hasn’t lost any of its staleness today.

      Kanrom Books

      Kanrom Books“Burnt umber. Because of poop, you see …”

      The John Birch Society Coloring Book made fun of a prominent ’60s conspiracy theory group (kind of the Infowars of the Cold War):

      John Birch Society

      John Birch SocietyUsing a red crayon, color the LIES. Dont limit yourself to just this book!

      Jokingly, it even contained one totally blank page, with the caption “How many Communists can you find in this picture? I can find 11. It takes practice.”


      Women Were Getting Sleeve Tattoos And Nipple Piercings In The Victorian Age

      Have you ever heard someone make that overused joke about how ridiculous hipsters with sleeve tattoos are going to look 40 years from now? Goodness, we’ll have entire retirement homes filled with saggy bodies look like Salvador Dali’s droopy phase! Not like in the past, when a tattoo was nothing but a tasteful picture of an anchor on your Navy granddad’s bicep, or a cheeky little butterfly on your hippie grandma’s left ankle.

      Well surprise! There’s nothing new about chicks getting inked up. In fact, the trend dates back at least to the mid-1800s. Like anyone getting a buttload of tattoos, their reasoning also had to do with rebelling against societal norms and regimented gender roles, with the added bonus of looking cool as hell. Many notable aristocratic women in the Victorian era were known to have tattoos, including (rumor has it) Winston Churchill’s mom.

      But it was, of course, the lower classes that got the most out of being as anti-establishment as possible. Many of the poor and downtrodden, the people you never read about in your textbooks, inked themselves up as elaborately as the patrons of your average modern craft beer festival.

      Eisenmann Cabinet Card

      The Plaza Gallery, Los AngelesTurns out Suicide Girls goes farther back than you thought.

      Those two hipster assholes are Nora Hildebrandt and Maud Wagner, a couple of circus performers from the late 1800s who became well-known for their elaborate body art. But the controversy around these colorful women didn’t end at their tats. They caused quite a scandal when, in order to display every inch of their art, they would lift up their petticoats to show them. Leave it to the Victorian Era to be more disturbed by a bare thigh than a full-body tattoo.

      But are tattoos really the most shocking thing 19th-century ladies could stab onto their bodies? Not even close. That honor goes to the Victorian nipple rings. While historians find it difficult to properly research things like Victorian peachrangs due to the intimacy and secrecy involved, some European medical journals have been uncovered that reference their female patients’ nipple jewelry as far back as 1857. Sometimes they were even connected by chains, because your great-great-grandma was much more hardcore than you will ever be. Some women thought that the procedure allowed them to develop bigger, rounder, firmer breasts due to the “constant excitation of the nerves caused by the rings.” And if you were a woman in the 1800s, excitation of the nerves was in short supply.

      So what about the dudes? Surely, Victorian men wouldn’t dream of getting something as metal as a dick piercings? Well, not only did they consider them fashionable, but even a sign of modesty. You see, another fashion fad of the mid-19th century was incredibly tight-fitting pants — so tight that they left very little to the imagination. To better tuck their little sinners away from God-fearing eyes, well-off men would anchor their enormous Pride And Prejudice penises with a rod of metal (later called a “Prince Albert”) inside their pants to not fluster any godly women. So if you’re ever feeling insecure, take a moment to remember that your great-granddad probably had to use a barbell to secure his titanic manhood under his trousers. You won’t thank us later.

      S Peter Davis is the creator of the Three Minute Philosophy YouTube series, and is the author of the book Occam’s Nightmare.

      There’s more to millennials than meets the eye. Check out The Millennial Dream for more.

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

      For more, check out 8 Online Fads You Didn’t Know Were Invented Decades Ago and 7 Memes That Went Viral Before The Internet Existed.

      Also follow us on Facebook. All it takes is a click.

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      Volkswagen Apologizes for Testing of Diesel Fumes on Monkeys

      The controversy over Volkswagen AG’s diesel-emissions cheating took another twist when the carmaker apologized for a test that exposed monkeys to engine fumes to study effects of the exhaust.

      The company said the study, conducted by a research and lobby group set up by VW, Daimler AG, BMW AG and Robert Bosch GmbH, was a mistake. The New York Times reported earlier about a 2014 trial in a U.S. laboratory in which 10 monkeys inhaled diesel emissions from a VW Beetle.

      “We apologize for the misconduct and the lack of judgment of individuals,” Wolfsburg, Germany-based VW said in a statement. “We’re convinced the scientific methods chosen then were wrong. It would have been better to do without such a study in the first place.”

      The revelations show the rocky road for Volkswagen as it emerges from its biggest crisis after the 2015 bombshell that the company installed emissions-cheating software in some 11 million diesel vehicles to dupe official tests. They also do little to help the poor public perception of the technology under scrutiny for high pollution levels in many European cities. In an additional twist, the Beetle model used in the test was among the vehicles that were rigged to conform to test limits, The New York Times reported.

      Daimler said separately it would start an investigation into the study ordered by the European Scientific Study Group for the Environment, Health and Transport Sector. BMW too distanced itself from the trial, saying it had taken no part in its design and methods. Bosch said it left the group in 2013. The study group, financed equally by the three carmakers, ceased activities last year and the project wasn’t completed, VW said.

      “We believe the animal tests in this study were unnecessary and repulsive,” Daimler said in a statement. “We explicitly distance ourselves from the study.”

        Read more:

        Apple wants to gather all your medical records in the Health app

        Apple announced a new health effort as part of iOS 11.3. The new Health Records section in the Health app lets you gather and view all your medical records. The company is partnering with hospitals and clinics.

        Apple released the first beta version of iOS 11.3 today. While the new version of iOS is going to remain in beta testing for a couple of months, it should be available as a free download to all iPhone users pretty soon.

        Health Records is going to be a new menu in the Health Data section of the Health app. You’ll be able to add any file to this menu as long as it’s a CDA file (Clinical Document Architecture). Some hospitals already email you those files or make them available on their website. But Apple wants to automate this process.

        Johns Hopkins Medicine, Cedars-Sinai, Penn Medicine and others are already testing the feature with their patients. Health Records is based on FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources), a standard when it comes to data formats and APIs.

        So it means that those hospitals and clinics will be able to push this data to your phone directly. You’ll receive a notification alerting you that you just received a new medical record. Data is encrypted on your phone and protected by your passcode.

        And it looks very thorough based on the screenshot. You’ll be able to list your allergies, medications, immunizations and lab results in the Health app.

        This could be particularly useful for patients who get a lot of lab results to track cholesterol or something else. Newest results appear at the top of the Healthcare Records timeline.

        It’s going to be hard to convince every single hospital and clinic around the U.S. and around the world to adopt the new Health Records feature. But here’s a list of all the institutions participating in the beta test:

        • Johns Hopkins Medicine – Baltimore, Maryland
        • Cedars-Sinai – Los Angeles, California
        • Penn Medicine – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
        • Geisinger Health System – Danville, Pennsylvania
        • UC San Diego Health – San Diego, California
        • UNC Health Care – Chapel Hill, North Carolina
        • Rush University Medical Center – Chicago, Illinois
        • Dignity Health – Arizona, California and Nevada
        • Ochsner Health System – Jefferson Parish, Louisiana
        • MedStar Health – Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia
        • OhioHealth – Columbus, Ohio
        • Cerner Healthe Clinic – Kansas City, Missouri
        1. iPhone_X_Apple_All_Health_Records_Screen_01232018

        2. iPhone_X_Apple_Health_Records_screen_01232018

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        10 Everyday Habits That Are Destroying Your Hair

        Hair health is for reals. You may think it doesn’t take a genius to get good, long, healthy hair, but you could be wrong. Like, did you know that 90% of your normal routine is probably leading to breakage and the actual opposite of shampoo commercial hair? It’s sad, but it’s true. Since we only hang out with people who have nice clothes and hair, we figured it was our godly duty to inform you of the everyday shit you’re def doing that’s fucking up your potentially shiny, amazing hair. So say goodbye to things like cotton pillowcases, towels, and hot water. SAD.

        1. Hot Water

        I love washing away the stench of failure a day at the office as much as the next betch, but it’s important to know that turning that dial all the way up to HOT can lead to breakage and frizz because you’re washing out all the natural oils in your hair. You can still take a hot shower, just don’t, like, overdo it.

        2. Wrapping Your Hair In A Towel

        Because towels aren’t, by nature, that soft, using one to wrap around your head turban-style can actually lead to more breakage. Rubbing and trying to dry hair with a towel is even worse. Using something like a jersey material is actually WAY better and more absorbent.

        3. Sleeping On A Cotton Pillowcase

        YAS QUEEN. Stop sleeping on that plebeian material and invest in a silk or satin pillowcase (like this one from SLIP that we swear by). Not only is it gentler on your skin and less likely to give you wrinkles (bless), but it also won’t play host to as much friction as cotton, which can lead to hair breakage.

        4. Dry Shampoo

        Alright, well, I guess I’ll just go fuck myself. APPARENTLY using too much dry shampoo can block your scalp’s pores and make your hair super dull. It can even lead to literal pimples on your head. I’ve never felt so betrayed.

        5. Putting Your Hair In A Top Knot

        I KNOW. According to Doris Day, an important historical figure NYC dermatologist, tight hairstyles put strain on hair follicles, damaging them and creating scars that can, in turn, destroy the follicle forever. So, like, go ahead and wear the topknot, but not every day and not hella tight.

        6. Skipping Milk And Red Meat

        Sooooo the juice cleanse you’re on may have you feeling super in touch with your inner zen, but it isn’t doing jack shit for your hair. Turns out you need protein and calcium to provide keratin, which helps protect hair from the inside out. The more you know.

        7. Not Cleaning Your Brushes

        We all have one—don’t deny it. Dirty brushes can actually irritate your scalp and result in clogged pores, equaling not so shiny tresses.

        8. Skipping Breakfast

        Ughhhhh. So apparently, hair needs nutrients just like the rest of your body, and not eating can fuck that shit up. Like, not chugging some OJ and stuffing a granola bar in your face at 7am can actually lead to shedding and slower growth of your hair. So, like, eat.

        9. Going To Bed With Wet Hair

        Although moms everywhere will attest that going to bed with a wet head will def result in pneumonia/AIDS/death, it actually is super bad for your hair—not so much your health. Putting wet hair in a ponytail and going to bed can lead to breakage since the hair is in a not-so-strong state.

        10. Skipping The Hairdresser

        If you’re trying to grow out your hair, a trip to the salon seems out of the question. But not going could actually be worse for your long tress quest. As your hair grows, you’re obv going to have split ends. If you don’t cut ’em off, and keep growing everything out, those splits are going to travel upward. So, like, go to the hairdresser—ask for a “dusting” or to JUST remove split ends. It’ll be okay. 


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        BACK OFF: Sarah Sanders RIPS the Left a new one for trying to credit Obama with Trump’s economy

        For eight years, Obama blamed Bush for his crap economy, and the Left supported these empty talking points because it kept them from having to accept the fact that their policies suck. Job loss, 10 trillion in new debt, an economy sucking wind and health care in a shambles is what Obama left Americans.

        And after only one year, Trump seems to be turning it all around:

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        Youre A Germ! Can You Make Bruce Springsteen Sick Enough To Cancel A Concert?

        Bruce Springsteen…the world’s greatest man…

        With his band, the E Street Men (And Also My Wife), he has sold more than 120 million records and performed 18 world tours in over 50 countries…

        He’s got a best friend named Little Steve, who is also in the E Street Men but isn’t his wife…

        Yes, The String Man has done it all—he’s sang, he’s worn earrings, and he’s gotten married—but there’s still one thing he has yet to do…

        Bruce Springsteen has never been sick.

        Yes. Bruce Springsteen has never once been sick. After all those years of traveling the world and being married, he’s never once sneezed or vomited or vomited off a boat.

        And that’s where you come in.

        No, that’s not a lie. Bruce Springsteen has never once been sick. After all those years of traveling the world and being married, he’s never once sneezed or vomited or vomited off a boat.

        And that’s where you come in.

        Yes. You.

        This is Bruce’s mouth, or “The Cave.” This is where you live.

        And this is you. You’re a germ.

        As a germ, it’s your job to make Bruce Springsteen sick for the first time in his life. You’ll need to travel through his body and do what no germ has ever done before: get him so sick that he can’t play his next concert.

        So, can you do it?

        Good. Then let’s get started.

        Yes, you are.

        And, as a germ, it’s your job to make Bruce Springsteen sick for the first time in his life. You’ll need to travel through his body and do what no germ has ever done before: get him so sick that he can’t play his next concert.

        So, can you do it?

        Good. Then let’s get started.

        Okay! Here you are, in what Bruce and his wife affectionately call “The Cave.” This is where sounds and gases exit Bruce’s body, and where sickness should enter.

        As you travel through Bruce’s body, click [Zoom out.] to see how your attempts to make him sick enough to cancel his big concert are working.

        Where would you like to go?

        Okay! Here you are, back in what Bruce and his wife affectionately call “The Cave.” Where would you like to go now?

        You choose to go up, and follow a long, wet tube that Bruce calls “Little Steven,” in honor of his best friend, Little Steve. It feels a lot like The Cave, but Bruce isn’t famous for it. What would you like to do here?

        You choose to go back, and follow a long, wet tube that Bruce calls “Little Steven.” It feels a lot like The Cave, but Bruce isn’t famous for it. What would you like to do here?

        Bruce is chomping on handfuls of antibiotics and women’s health supplements backstage to make sure he’ll never get sick, which he won’t.

        You continue upwards, and suddenly, things start to narrow…

        You go backwards, and suddenly, things start to open up again…

        Suddenly, you come upon a narrow hallway.

        You continue. The hallway leads to a mysterious door.

        “Hello, small germ. Welcome to Bruce Springsteen’s brain,” says a voice, echoing loudly. “Congratulations on getting this far. Few have ever seen Bruce’s vast tub of knowledge, which is, to be honest, mostly about New Jersey and being healthy.”

        “But before I continue any further with you, I would like to ask you something,” says the brain. “See, Bruce is so healthy that I’m worried he’s actually too healthy. I really want to make him just slightly less well, but the only thing is, I don’t want to make him sick. If I gave you three options, would you tell me the one you would choose?”

        Good call. One of these options could make Bruce sick!

        “Thank you so much!” says the brain. “So, option one: I have this on/off switch, and I’m not sure what it does. I was wondering if I should hit it.”

        “Great choice!” says the brain. “I think this is going to make Bruce slightly less unhealthy, but not quite sick!”

        He flicks the switch.

        Bruce runs out onstage in front of thousands of fans, feeling healthy as ever.

        “I’m a healthy god!” he sings. “I’ll never be unhealthy and I’ll never be sick / No, no, no / Not this boy from New Jersey / Nothing can ever hurt me and I’m going to live forever.”

        The crowd is going nuts. Then all of a sudden, he falls to the ground.

        “Bruce, are you healthy?” shouts Little Steve into the mic. “Bruce, if you’re healthy, wake up.”

        Bruce doesn’t respond.

        “Not this boy from New Jersey / Nothing can ever hurt me and I’m going to live forever,” sings the crowd.

        Well, you killed Bruce Springsteen. Unfortunately, what that means is that you got Bruce sick, but you didn’t get him to cancel the concert. Not only did all the fans not get their money back, but The String Man is dead. If you want to get Bruce sick and cancel the concert, you’ll have to start over and try another way.

        “Okay, I see why that might not be the best idea,” he says. “So, option two: I wrote this song called ‘I’m Not Sick At All But I Want To Go To The Hospital.’ Should I have Bruce sing it tonight?”

        “Great choice!” says the brain. “I think this is going to make Bruce slightly less unhealthy, but not quite sick!”

        Bruce runs out onstage in front of thousands of adoring fans, feeling healthy as ever.

        “Hey everybody, I’ve got a new song I just wrote that I’d like to play for you all today,” he yells at the crowd. “It’s called ‘I’m Not Sick At All But I Want To Go To The Hospital,’ and I hope you’ll all raise your hands and sing along.”

        The crowd is going nuts. Bruce begins to sing.

        “There once was a Jersey boy named Bruce and he felt great / That boy was healthy his whole life, and never once twisted fate / No , no / No one lives forever, but the one exception is me…”

        “Except right now / Because I’m not sick at all but I want to go to the hospital…”

        “That’s right! / I’m not sick at all, but I want to go to the hospital! / I’m so damn healthy that I’ve never ever been…”

        “So, someone, someone / Please call 911.”

        Well, the concert was canceled. An ambulance came onstage, picked Bruce up, and took him to the hospital, just like he asked. Unfortunately, though, you didn’t actually make Bruce sick—you just gave him a hefty medical bill and ruined the show. If you want to make him sick next time, you’ll have to start over from the beginning!

        “Totally makes sense why I shouldn’t do that,” he says. “So, your third and final option: Bruce loves to dance with fans. If there is someone in the audience with a disease, should I make Bruce dance with them?”

        “Great choice!” says the brain. “I think this is going to make Bruce slightly less unhealthy, but not quite sick!”

        “Hey everyone!” shouts Bruce to the audience as he runs onstage to start his concert. “Is there anyone out there who has a deadly disease? If so, I would like to dance with you.”

        “You, honey, right there. You look like you have a debilitating disease.”

        “I have Zinka,” she yells. “I have Zinka, and it sucks!”

        Bruce pulls her up onstage.

        “I love Zinka, baby,” he yells. “Dance with me, Zinka lady!”

        They dance and dance for several hours, until…

        You did it! You got Bruce so sick that he canceled his concert. After dancing for hours with the mysterious and sick woman, Bruce came down with Zinka and had to cancel his show. As of now, you’re the only thing that’s ever successfully gotten Bruce sick. Congratulations!

        “Okay, we’ll go through them again, but this time, pay attention.”

        Bruce is writing down a list of doctors he would fight if they were to tell him he weren’t the healthiest man on earth. He will then read it out loud to the audience.

        Looks like you’ve got your work cut out for you!

        You enter the nose. It’s dark and moist in here.

        Yikes. It’s so dark and moist in here that, unfortunately, you’ve started to panic. Suddenly, though, you spot a bright light.

        You walk toward the bright light. The closer you go, the more blinding it becomes.

        Wow. You adjust to the light and look around, and then you realize you’re outside! Just as quickly as you entered Bruce’s nose, you left it. Now, you’re not just a germ—you’re a germ who is even more disgusting because you’ve left Bruce’s clean body and entered the filthy world.

        So, now that you’re outside, what kind of nasty shit do you want to touch?

        You get into the nasty shit that is Bruce’s big messy hog, Little Steve, and roll your filthy germ body around all over him. How would you like to become worse and get Bruce sick?

        You travel down Bruce’s body to get into the nasty shit that is his foot. You roll your filthy germ body around it and try to make him have an itch onstage. How would you like to become worse and get Bruce sick?

        You travel down Bruce’s body to get into the beautiful place that is his butt. You roll your filthy germ body around it and try to make him have an itch onstage. How would you like to become worse and get Bruce sick?

        You decide to multiply, and it is disgusting. Now that you’ve split in half a bunch of times, what would you like to do?

        You continue to multiply, and you become, somehow, even more disgusting. God, look at you—you’re a biological monstrosity. Now what would you like to do?

        You’re back inside and stronger than ever. You take your new germ body and fuck and shit all over Bruce’s nose. You take everything you picked up in the nasty outside and use it to go to town on The String Man in a way he’s never felt. But, my God—have you changed too much? Have you, perhaps, become too strong?

        You begin to mutate…

        …and continue mutating…

        …until you become…this. Wow. You’re noticeably spikier, fatter, and more disgusting. What would you like to do now?

        This Is What Love Really Means Because Sometimes Its Fights Anger And Frustration

        Becca Tapert

        Love is picking up at 3 am even though you were sound asleep and not getting mad because the other person is beside themselves after something that went wrong that day.

        Love is being able to hate someone who hurt them even if they can’t seem to do it themselves.

        Love are the fights and the disagreements that arise and no matter how mad one person might be you find a resolution. It’s the apology even if you aren’t the one that’s wrong because you just want to move forward.

        It’s walking away sometimes when you’re mad but never for good.

        It’s not just rich or poor. It’s not just through sickness and health. It’s not just for good times and in bad. It’s through all of it.

        It’s being their strength when they have fallen. It’s the faith you have in them when they start to doubt themselves. It’s looking at yourself and seeing parts of them there. It’s looking at this other person and realizing they know you better than you know yourself sometimes.

        It’s a connection that never seems to fade because despite how you’ve each grown, you’ve also grown together.

        Making each other the best versions you could be. The right type of love does that.

        You look at someone and you realize there isn’t anything you wouldn’t do for them. There isn’t anything you wouldn’t be for them. Because so much of your life and your happiness includes them.

        It’s that moment something good happens and they are the first you want to tell. And when something bad happens they drop what they are doing to be by your side. Here’s this person who can make you laugh when you didn’t even think you could smile again.

        Someone who can hear the tone of your voice and know what you’re feeling before you’ve explained it.
        Someone who doesn’t need to ever explain anything because they are in your corner and they will always fight for you.

        I love you aren’t just three words mumbled before bedtime it’s laying next to someone and feeling whole for the first time. It’s waking up next to them and imagine doing it for the rest of your life.

        It’s looking at them and they are the closest thing to perfect you’ve ever seen. Even their flaws you’ve fallen in love with. Because even if you could change them you wouldn’t.

        It’s their vices and their flaws and the wrong choices they make sometimes but you choose to stay with them through it.

        You still question how you got so lucky. How you stumbled into each other’s lives. Here’s this person that made you believe in love and soulmates when you doubted it.

        They take the burdens of your past and feel with you through the pain. They push you to let go of all those things that weren’t even baggage of yours to carry but someone gave it to you like you were to blame. As you let go of all of that. They hold on tighter.

        Love is this person who sees things you can’t because you have blinders on. Whether it’s in toxic relationships or questionable choices. They push you to become better without wanting to change you. With pure motivates of just helping you to learn.

        Love are the conversations that aren’t easy to have but you work through it. The things you admit to them you can’t even say to yourself sometimes. And they don’t ever say I told you so. It’s vulnerable moments when they were right and they just hold you.

        It’s the projected anger you put towards them at times but they understand it isn’t about them.

        It’s compromises you have to make. The faith in another person and this life you want to build even though it scares you.

        It’s looking at someone and you love them and value them and adore them so much you can’t even imagine the state you’d be in if you lost them. So you do everything to ensure that doesn’t happen.

        You look at this person and you see the mother or father of your kids. And you know because of them, kids that don’t even exist are going to turn out okay. Even if you mess up.

        And through it all, you’ll hold the same hand as it wrinkles with age and you envy your youth but here you are with someone who is the greatest love story you’ve ever known.

        It’s the milestones you overcome. And you think back to when you first met and how things would be different if you never did.

        Love isn’t just about finding the right person.

        Because we can all fall in and out of love dozen of times in our life but when you find the right person it’s no longer just your happiness you care about but theirs.

        It’s the promise to never give up on them either.

        Read more:

        The Eastern Cougar Is Declared Extinct After Not Being Seen For 80 Years

        The eastern cougar is now officially extinct.

        The big cat used to roam the forests, mountains, and grasslands in every state east of the Mississippi, but it has not been seen now for the last eight decades (the Florida panther is a distinct population). Although the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) opened up a review into the status of the mountain lion in 2011, it was only in 2015 that federal wildlife biologists finally concluded there is no evidence of a viable population left.

        They recommended that the eastern cougar be taken off the Endangered Species Act, and this Monday they finally saw that happen as the subspecies (Puma concolor cougar) was declared extinct. They had been on the list since 1973, although no one had seen any in the previous three decades. It’s thought the last one was probably shot by hunters in Maine in 1938.

        In the 80 years since the last confirmed sighting of an eastern cougar, there have been some who say they have seen them. But the FWS notes that these individuals are most likely escapees from zoos and private collections or are western cougars expanding their range eastwards. This is based on the fact that there is no scientific or physical evidence to support populations still surviving.

        The official declaration of the extinction of the cougar might – paradoxically – be a good thing. It means that the states that have been prevented for decades from reintroducing animals from the western population should now be allowed to do so.

        “We need large carnivores like cougars to keep the wild food web healthy, so we hope eastern and midwestern states will reintroduce them,” says Michael Robinson, a conservation advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity, in a statement. “Cougars would curb deer overpopulation and tick-borne diseases that threaten human health.”

        While the big cat has been persistently persecuted and hunted for its perceived threat to people, livestock, and pets, a better understanding of the role that large predators like the mountain lion play in the wider ecosystem means we are coming to realize the benefits they confer.

        According to a recent paper detailing these benefits, cougars are good for human health in more ways than one. Not only do they reduce the number of ticks by killing deer, but they also save lives by reducing deer-car collisions. In fact, if pumas were reintroduced across the US, collisions from deer-car incidents would likely be slashed by 22 percent, saving 115 people and preventing over 21,000 accidents. This would save the economy an impressive $2.12 billion.

        Read more:

        Father-Of-Three Realizes He Cant Keep Up With His Children, Transforms His Body Beyond Recognition In 6 Months

        A 39-year-old man has decided to completely change his life around to become a better father and husband to his family. In just six months, his determination and hard work have already achieved results so unbelievable, his family hardly recognize him.

        In August, Montana-based antiques dealer Jeremiah Peterson went on a backpacking trip to a mountain lake with his children. “Instead of remembering all the good memories we had made on this trip all I can remember is this one thing that kept playing in my head over and over again,” Jeremiah wrote on his Instagram. “I found myself running out of breath and having to take breaks way before my 9, 7, and 6-year-old kids.”

        Combining a strict keto diet and intensive regular exercise, the man began his transformation. “Don’t be afraid of it, don’t hide from it. Stare your fat ass in the face and choose who is going to win.” For half a year, he spent two hours hiking and an hour in the gym daily. Losing 82 pounds, Jeremiah went from size 42 in jeans to a 33.

        “I went from having a real dadbod to having a college kid’s physique,” Jeremiah told Daily Mail. “Since going from fat to lean it’s made everything better, my hair and skin look healthier, you can see my jawline instead of chubby cheeks and I have abs.”

        Jeremiah credits his beloved children with inspiring him to make changes to his lifestyle, and health problems, too. “It transforms not only your physical self but the way you think and feel, as well as the future you want for your family. I know if I can do it anyone can.”

        For a long time, antiques dealer Jeremiah Peterson neglected his body

        But after one family trip, he made up his mind to change his life around

        In August, Jeremiah went on a backpacking trip to a mountain lake with his children

        “Instead of remembering all the good memories we had made on this trip all I can remember is this one thing that kept playing in my head over and over again”

        “I found myself running out of breath and having to take breaks way before my 9, 7, and 6-year-old kids”

        It made Jeremiah adopt a strict keto diet and start exercising daily

        In just six months, his determination and hard work have already achieved results so unbelievable, his family hardly recognize him

        “I went from having a real dadbod to having a college kid’s physique”

        “Since going from fat to lean it’s made everything better”

        “My hair and skin look healthier, you can see my jawline instead of chubby cheeks and I have abs”

        “When you see the results, you get so much more motivation week by week when looking in the mirror, it’s made me want to continue to try harder”

        “My transformation happened so fast because I did the workout programme every day without any time off”

        “While I’m spending up to three hours exercising, a hike doesn’t really feel like working out”

        “Before I would go home and drink beer to de-stress, but now hiking relaxes me in the same way”

        “It transforms not only your physical self but the way you think and feel, as well as the future you want for your family”

        Read more:

        Someone Just Perfectly Explained Why Depression Makes People So Tired, And More People Need To See It

        Over time, depression and other mental disorders evolve camouflage so strong, they become almost invisible to the public. Almost. There are still a few ways to spot the parasites. 22-year-old visual artist and mental health advocate Pauline Palita has revealed a reliable method of how to spot people who struggle with mental health, and it’s resonating hard on Twitter.

        According to National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experiences mental illness in a given year. Moreover, mood disorders, including major depression, dysthymic disorder and bipolar disorder, are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for citizens aged 18–44. Scroll down to learn one of the ways you can identify these dangerous conditions.

        Relating to the issue, people thought Pauline’s thoughts were spot-on

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        Hot take: Chip and Joanna Gaines need to be called out for procreating

        Fans of “Fixer Upper” no doubt have heard that stars Chip and Joanna Gaines have announced they’re having a fifth child. That’s good news, right? In an opinion piece for Canada’s CBC News, Kristen Pyszczyk was surprised by (but not opposed to) some of the online backlash, “because it’s a sentiment so seldom heard in a society that generally celebrates procreation with almost militant cheerfulness.”

        We can already see where this is going.

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        A Definitive List Of All The Things Millennials Have “Killed”

        Insane as it sounds, in a world where our highest ranking public official watches four to eight hours of television a day and every male Hollywood exec has like ten assault allegations against them, millennials are still considered society’s villains.

        The olds are threatened by fast-texters and have decided the only way to take us down is to write lengthy articles about products, brands, and trends we’ve “killed.” By “killed” they just mean, things we DGAF about anymore. Sorry face-to-face conversations are boring, Grandma.

        Here is a list of my favorite things millennials have killed. 


        When millennials started swiping instead of settling, diamond companies freaked out and were like who TF will buy our unethically sourced jewels?! Honestly, we’re receiving false alarms that Hawaii is being nuked and our president is in a dick measuring contest with an insane dictator across the world. That “forever” diamonds are promising doesn’t have much value at the moment. Also, have you ever seen a millennial’s bank account? They’re mostly overdraft fees caused by 2am drunk purchases on Amazon. Diamonds aren’t exactly on the menu.


        Millennials are texting their friends when they roll up instead of ringing doorbells and this is hurting Baby Boomers’ feelings. This feels nitpicky and anyone who has strong feelings about doorbells and how often they are used can just chill. Plus, I’m not going to just answer the door if I don’t know who is going to be there? I think that is a shared sentiment and coincides with the decrease in popularity of serial killers. No need to look that up, seems undeniably true.


        Well, first of all, we aren’t buying napkins because we’re getting free napkins in our takeout bags. Duh. Second of all, we’re using paper towels. Rent costs like 90% of my paycheck and Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty products account for the rest of the what I spend. I don’t have the luxury to buy two different types of paper products? Napkins are over.




        Millennials have “killed” motorcycles but tbh I think that’s just because we haven’t hit a midlife crisis yet. Give us like 15 years and we’re all going to buying those bad boys to rev up our lives and seem sexy again. Just be patient and those Harley sales will spike back up. For now we will spend our life saving on Lyft rides and then wonder why we can’t afford luxuries like “health insurance.”

        Heads up, you need to keep up with the news. It’s not cute anymore. That’s why we’ve created a 5x weekly newsletter called The ‘Sup that will explain all the news of the week in a hilarious af way. Because if we weren’t laughing, we’d be crying. Sign up for The ‘Sup now!

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        Fresh Perspective: The NFL Has Announced That Instead Of Studying Whats In The Players Brains, We Should Be Studying Whats In The Players Hearts

        From flat-out denying the science behind CTE research to discrediting those who tout it, the NFL has long countered the neurological disease’s stigma with its own blunt force. But now it looks like the league is offering a fresh perspective on the matter altogether: The NFL has announced that instead of studying what’s in the players’ brains, the real focus should be studying what’s in the players’ hearts.

        Wow. After years of total pushback against the CTE conversation, it seems like the NFL is ready to pivot the focus and look at things in a whole new light.

        The league’s new approach to player safety and research, which prioritizes how players tackle life’s adversities over how they’re tackled on the field, marks a serious break from the CAT scans and lab studies that have dominated the conversation in recent years. At a press conference announcing the NFL’s new point of view, commissioner Roger Goodell insisted that overanalyzing player concussion data has been a dead end, and that the only things under the microscope should be the passions and dreams that flow out of the players’ souls like the sweetest poetry.

        “The well-being of our players is the NFL’s No. 1 priority, and we now see that the best way to move forward is not by studying their brains, but by studying what’s right in here,” said Goodell while repeatedly pointing to his own chest and dramatically scanning the room. “Instead of trying to understand what repeated blows to the head will mean for these players over time, we should be listening for the songs that live in all our players’ hearts, set to the tick-tock rhythm of a little thing called life. And that’s something you can’t learn from some medical textbook.”

        Incredible. When it comes to an issue as hotly debated as CTE, you’ve got to give it up for the NFL trying to bring a fresh perspective to the table. It’ll be interesting to see how everyone reacts to the league’s new approach, and whether this will be the step that finally gets everyone on the same page to prioritize player health.

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        Phone-addicted teens arent as happy as those who play sports and hang out IRL, new study suggests

        To no parent’s surprise, too much smartphone use makes teens unhappy.

        So says a new study from San Diego State University, which pulled data from over one million 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-graders in the U.S. showing teens who spent more time on social media, gaming, texting and video-chatting on their phones were not as happy as those who played sports, went outside and interacted with real human beings.

        But is it the screen time bringing them down or are sadder teens more likely to insulate themselves in a virtual world? Lead author of the study and professor of psychology Jean M. Twenge believes it’s the phone that contributes to making them unhappy, not the other way around.

        “Although this study can’t show causation, several other studies have shown that more social media use leads to unhappiness, but unhappiness does not lead to more social media use,” Twenge said.

        Though abstinence doesn’t seem to fix the problem, either, as noted in the study, there’s something to Twenge’s theory. Another recent study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and also lead by Twenge, found a spike in depression and suicide among teen girls increased the more time they spent on their phones.

        That’s alarming, especially considering the age in which kids get smartphones has continued to climb lower — dropping from 12 in 2012 to 10.3 years in 2016.

        Twenge has been studying teen behavior since the early 90’s and has been on the forefront of research suggesting an abrupt change in behavior and emotional states of teenagers due to smartphone use. She says there’s been a dramatic shift starting in 2012 when younger and younger kids starting getting more screen time.

        Researchers found more of the same while sifting through the data for this study. Teenagers’ life satisfaction, self-esteem and happiness plummeted after 2012.

        To back up that work, Twenge’s previous studies suggest kids who spend at least four or five hours on their phone increase their risk factor for suicide by a whopping 71 percent, regardless of whether it was cat videos or something else. It was the time spent on the device, not the content, that mattered most.

        “By far the largest change in teens’ lives between 2012 and 2016 was the increase in the amount of time they spent on digital media, and the subsequent decline in in-person social activities and sleep,” Twenge said. “The key to digital media use and happiness is limited use.”

        She suggests teens aim to spend no more than two hours a day on digital media, exercise more and try to hang out with friends face-to-face to increase happiness — all things adults could probably use more of as well.

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        6 Unpredictable Dangers Of Being An Atheist

        Are you an atheist? If so, that’s totally cool. We don’t have any fake hundred-dollar bills to give you which reveal that “true wealth comes from the Lord” when they unravel. However, we do have some rough news: While a lot of people act like atheism is shunning the responsibility that comes with religion in order to waste time wearing black clothes and getting to third base with unmarried demons or whatever, it actually means taking up a few unforeseen hardships. For example …


        Everyone Thinks Atheists Are Immoral — Even Atheists

        Let’s start with the fact that everyone apparently thinks atheists are the scum of the Earth, according to many surveys. I don’t particularly believe in God myself, so I’m just as disappointed by this news as anyone. And while I’d love to hold this up as an example of believers being jerks, those same polls show that even atheists hate and mistrust other atheists. Even we can’t wrap our heads around the idea of someone having a moral code without a higher power to enforce it.

        To determine how this anti-atheist bias works, researchers asked 3,000 people in 13 countries the most reasonable question ever: “If there was a person who used to torture animals as a child, then they grew up and became a teacher who murdered a bunch of homeless dudes, would you figure this person was an atheist or religious?” I wish that was my joke, because it’s kind of awesome, but it’s not. That’s literally the question they asked. And across the whole study, people were twice as likely to suspect the killer of being an atheist. Even atheists believed the person was more likely to be an atheist. Incidentally, I’m pretty sure I had that teacher for art history.

        In a second study which polled Canadians and Americans, participants were asked to imagine a hit-and-run driver fleeing after hitting a parked car, then later finding a wallet and stealing all the money. What a shitberg. They then asked participants if said shitberg was more likely to be a teacher, an atheist teacher, or a rapist teacher. Your first inclination here might be to wonder why, in both this example and the previous one, all the shitbergs are teachers. Maybe people aren’t biased against atheists as much as they just hate teachers. The second takeaway here is that yes, people suspected the driver of being an atheist over a rapist. Over a goddamn rapist. Come on.


        Atheism Is Still Political Suicide

        If the year 2017 taught you nothing else about politics, it should be that politics is worse than having a hedgehog chew a hole through one of your kidneys. We’ve experienced financial tomfuckery, sexual harassment and assault, enough lies to choke a circus elephant, and more childish insults than a roast battle at a daycare. People the world over will officially tolerate anything from politicians — except atheism.

        In the grand scheme of things people hate from their elected officials, it looks like atheism is getting close to the last straw. 37 percent of people would be less likely to vote for a politician who’d had an affair, and 41 percent would be less likely to vote for one who’d had financial problems, but 51 percent would be less likely to vote for an atheist. A bankrupt philanderer could become president if he claimed to be Christian. Can you imagine? What a world, am I right?

        A Gallup poll suggests that 58 percent of Americans would be willing to vote for an atheist candidate, and while that number sounds promising, the polls also show that only a socialist would have less support, at 47 percent, and a Muslim candidate would have 60 percent support, while a gay candidate comes in at 74 percent. So for the socialists/atheists out there who were hoping for a like-minded government some day, it looks like we’ll probably be colonizing Mars before that happens.


        Atheists Make Everyone Think Of Death

        If you’re a religious sort of person, what comes to mind when you think of atheists? Is it some smug Richard Dawkins kind of guy trying to explain the miracle of magnets to you with so-called science? Or is it the cold, grim hand of death? Bet it’s that second one. And also that first one. But mostly that second one, since atheists just make everyone think of the Reaper, apparently. This, as you can imagine, does not improve people’s attitudes toward them.

        Researchers found this out via studies that began with putting subjects in a morbid mindset with questions like “What’s going to happen to you after you die?” and “How many explosive charges do you think you could plant in your own butt before using a Slip ‘N Slide becomes a fatal mistake?” (Paraphrasing — they were all about death, is the point.) Another group was asked dark but non-death-related questions.

        Everyone was then asked their opinions on Quakers and atheists. As expected, everyone thought the first group were just smug-ass oatmeal jockeys, and had much darker thoughts about the second one. But while there were negative views on atheists across the board, the subjects who were focusing thinking about death really, really hated them.

        A second study just had people do some fill-in-the-blanks fun after being asked to think about atheism, pain, or death. The atheism and death crowd both filled in their blanks with that gloomy, morose shit, with the study concluding that the very idea of atheism is existentially threatening to a ton of people. So if you’re an atheist and you find yourself on the shit end of some evangelical hatred, it’s only because your entire being threatens not just that person’s existence, but their entire understanding of said existence. You literally cause people to question the fabric of their reality. Good for you! But before we go patting ourselves on the back too hard …


        Atheists Aren’t As Open-Minded As You’d Think

        If you had to guess who is more open-minded between atheists and religious folk, you’d probably choose atheists without even putting much thought into it. “Conservative” tends to be synonymous with “religious,” and “liberal” goes hand in hand with “atheist,” right? Well hold onto your non-denominational butts, because it looks like there are some circumstances in which atheists tend to be more rigidly dogmatic than their happy Christian counterparts.

        Now, don’t go writing letters to your congressperson about what a lying asshole I am, because odds are they’re probably more of a lying asshole anyway. Plus I’m Canadian, so I can abuse whatever narrative I want in the U.S. and no one can stop me, save a very skilled and unceasingly polite beaver and syrup technician. But I’m also citing a study which does support the notion that when “it came to subtly measured inclination to integrate views that were diverging and contrary to one’s own perspectives, it was the religious who showed more openness.”

        Does this mean gay people are going to be way more welcome at Roy Moore’s Evangelical Jamboree and Sidewalk Sale? Probably not. The point of the study was mostly to show that close-mindedness is not the exclusive purview of the religious, and that atheists can actually become so dogmatic in their disbelief that anything that challenges that lack of belief will be met with more rigidity than information which may challenge the beliefs of someone who is religious. In short, everyone loves to put their fingers in their ears and yell “Nuh-uh, I can’t hear youuuuu” sometimes.


        Atheists Are More Prone To Addiction

        When you hit high school, a whole new world opens up to you, in which super cool kids who wear leather jackets and use switchblade combs offer you beers and cigarettes and that wicked electric lettuce. Will you give in to peer pressure, or will you remain stalwart and square? What makes you more likely to choose one over the other? Fear of divine retribution, apparently.

        Studies of both Swiss and Mexican / Mexican American youth have shown that those who have a religious affiliation benefit from a protective effect when it comes to substance abuse. Religiosity is associated with less use of alcohol, tobacco, or marijuana … despite the fact that even the godless teens grew up in a world full of anti-drug PSAs and preachy sitcom episodes.

        Numerous studies show that if a religious or spiritual community expresses direct prohibitions and limitations against use or abuse, the followers are probably going to go along. This may not just be about fearing eternal hellfire; it could also be that simply having a community of like-minded people provides a sense of acceptance and belonging. That support group means you’re less likely to want some sweet Schnapps for breakfast, and also they’ll be able to help you resist it if/when you do.


        Atheists Just Might Die Sooner

        There’s evidence to suggest that religious people who regularly attend church have a longer lifespan than people who don’t, like your friendly neighborhood atheist. So the people who believe there’s something after life have to wait longer to find out than the people who don’t, on average. That’s a final insult for someone — you just need to decide for whom.

        A study of 75,000 middle-aged nurses in the United States showed that participants who regularly attended church services over a 20-year period, as in once a week, had a 33 percent lower risk of dying during the study period than those who didn’t. Jesus saves! Maybe!

        The thing to keep in mind with this research is that it isn’t exclusively faith that’s keeping anyone alive. The same data shows that countries that are much more religious overall, such as places in Sub-Saharan Africa, still have much higher mortality rates than the U.S. Conversely, more secular nations like Japan have higher life expectancy overall. So what’s the point? It’s in the difference between the two.

        People who are not religious in the U.S. are, as every other entry here shows, walking piles of rapidly steaming shit in the eyes of everyone else. Atheists are the gangly, body-odor-laden children of the Babadook. That special brand of ostracism places atheists, by and large, outside of social involvement. If you’re not trusted as a politician, if you’re not as able to engage in charitable and community outreach projects because most of them are organized by churches and religious groups, if people assume you’re a rapist teacher, then you don’t have that same support base as religious people. On average, you don’t have the encouragement of others, or a ton of organized people who will take an interest in your welfare. And you would if you lived in a predominately secular nation, where many of these community groups are also secular and atheists are more accepted as part of the community.

        Is the conclusion here that religious people are inadvertently killing atheists? I never said that, and neither did you. Not even sure who typed that sentence. But you can conclude that in a nation that leans more toward religion, those who do not partake have social disadvantages that the majority does not take into account. The majority just wants them to burn in a Hell they don’t even believe in, which they’ll get to slightly earlier.

        Nothing wrong with being a child of the Babadook. Get Babashook!

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