7 WTF Details About Historical Events Everyone Forgets

Tragic events are typically followed by periods of shock, grief, anger, and the occasional flash of inexplicable horniness. So it’s only natural that when we’re dealing with lives lost and places destroyed, we tend to only focus on these important matters and damn everything else to hell. But sometimes, that means we ignore all of the chaotic insanity that typically accompanies history, making textbooks just that little bit blander. So let’s put on our Indiana Jones hats and dive into the past, and remind ourselves of some truly crazypants parts of history that usually get left out of the conversation. For example …


The Manual For The German Tiger Tank Contained Poetry And Porn

War is chaos. With bullets flying and bombs whizzing everywhere, preparation and alertness are the keys to survival. But while combat is exciting, combat training can be mind-numbingly boring. So how do you get a group of disinterested, overly hormonal boys to sit up, pay attention, and remember stuff? By turning that stuff into smut, of course.

During World War II, German commanders needed to quickly familiarize new recruits with the inner workings of the complicated Tiger Tank. Unfortunately, the Fuhrer’s finest were less than thrilled with spending long days memorizing the dry technical manuals. Finally, the Nazis came up with an elegant solution to motivate the laser-like focus necessary to master the tank: They included a naked lady on every other page, and made sure the important parts rhymed.

German Federal ArchivesTranslation: “Danger lurks in the sump! Read your manual well, otherwise your Tiger goes to hell!”

After the war, it was discovered that the manual for the German Panzerkampfwagen was full of nudes, jokes, and dirty limericks. This masterpiece was the brainchild of Josef von Glatter-Goetz, who had novel ideas on how to warm up his cadets’ learning muscles (among others). And most of the warming up was done by Elvira, a buxom blonde who appeared every few pages to keep the boys thumbing — or whatever else helped them get there faster.

German Federal Archives“Klaus, why do you keep taking the manual to the bathroom?”

She would pop up (often with her clothes popped off) whenever the cadets were supposed to pay extra attention to the lesson, like the importance of making accurate measurements when firing or keeping the engines clean, even if it led to making the cockpits sticky.

German Federal Archives“I only read it for the articles.”

The program was a demonstrable success, and both von Glatter-Goetz’s excellent understanding of his target audience and Elvira’s ass helped untold numbers of troops masturbate their way to mastering the Tiger Tank.


Hurricane Katrina Ejected Over A Thousand Coffins From Graves

According to FEMA, Hurricane Katrina was “the single most catastrophic natural disaster in U.S. history.” It caused over $41.1 billion in damage and killed more than 1,800 people. But not content with causing misery for the living, Katrina decided to go after the deceased as well, digging them up so she could pee her hate water on their faces.

Petty Officer Kyle Niemi/US Navy“You whine when it doesn’t rain, you whine when it rains too much, what do you want from me??”

During the disaster, over 1,000 coffins — and, more gruesomely, those coffin’s residents — were ejected from their places of rest. The transition wasn’t gentle, either. One New Orleans native found his grandmother’s body, still in her pink burial dress, splayed out in the open like she was trying to get a tan. Skeletal remains were sprawled among cemetery statues, and more than one coffin was found up a tree. According to the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (Dmort), it’s unlikely that all the uprooted bodies will ever be located and returned. “Many are in extremely remote and inaccessible areas,” a spokesman said. “They have been carried way downrange into muck and swamp and forest.”

APWe don’t want to sound too alarmist, but this is exactly how a zombie apocalypse would start.

Despite the difficulties, officials are still doing their best to return the drifting dead to their correct burial sites — or as much of them as they can scoop up, at least. Unfortunately, since we have this silly idea that the dead aren’t supposed to move about, corpses and coffins tend to not have any labels of traceable information. Finding a corpse that’s buried with something unique is like finding a corner piece of an especially macabre puzzle. So far, officials have been able to identify bodies buried with their favorite golf club, some unusual rosary beads, and a six-pack of beer. It won’t be long before the government starts insisting we all get buried with a valid driver’s license and two utility bills.

In the meantime, less stringent coffins laws have been introduced in order for us to better retrieve these lost soulless husks. After Katrina, Louisiana passed a law requiring labels for coffins. However, they weren’t clear enough in their wording, so now Louisiana morticians are labeling their coffins with everything from smartphone tracking apps to the less-than-ideal paper tags. Inhabitants of one particularly low-lying cemetery now have beacons attached to their coffins, but the battery life for the floater-be-found is still to be determined.

William Widmer/The New York Times“Warmer … warmer … colder …”


King George V Was Euthanized So His Death Could Make The Right Headlines

For all the perks associated with being born into a royal family (unlimited wealth, the right to eat peasants, fancy hats), living the life of royalty also means you’re always in the public spotlight. Never can you falter from keeping up appearances, making sure your every action benefits the crown as best as possible. That includes your death, because god forbid a royal should die at an inconvenient time of day like some low-class pleb.

Library of CongressGod Save the Facial Hair

When Britain’s King George V lay on his deathbed in 1936, doctors were concerned about more than his failing health. Convinced that the king was not long for this world, medical staff began suspecting he might not kick the gilded bucket at the most dignified of times. Deciding that the matter couldn’t be left in the clumsy hands of God or fate, steps were taken to “hasten” the king’s death, and he was euthanized in his sleep shortly before midnight on January 20th.

Why the rush? According to the notes of his physician, Lord Dawson, the king was given lethal doses of morphine and cocaine so that word of his death would appear ”in the morning papers rather than the less appropriate evening journals.” Dawson administered the injections to King George himself at around 11 p.m., right after he’d had his wife in London ”advise The Times to hold back publication.” That’s right, the king’s life had a literal deadline.

Bradford Timeline“Here is the royal speedball, your grace.”

Whether the injections counted as mercy or murder is still a topic of debate. Though the king had been in generally poor health for some time, the doctor had only been summoned to care for him four days prior to his death. On the morning of his last day, the king held a meeting with his privy counselors, which is pretty lucid for someone who’s about to get injected with mercy coke. Documents give “no indication that the King himself had been consulted,” but seeing as his last words were “God damn you” to a nurse administering a sedative, we don’t think he would’ve liked being involuntarily Belushied so that the morning papers would sell a few extra copies.


Millions Of Landmines Were Left In The Sahara After WWII, And Now ISIS Is Digging Them Up

Aside from proving how adept people can be at killing each other, World War II also highlighted how much the resulting clean-up sucks. Entire continents had to deal with the debris of their broken nations, the costly effects of which can still be felt. One group that was exempt from their collective spring cleaning were, of course, the Nazis, who were a bit busy getting tribunaled to death. Which is a shame, because they had millions of unexploded landmines buried in the African desert, and every other country had already touched their noses and called “Not it!”

German Federal Archives“I’m sure my actions will have no lasting consequences.”

But that was over 70 years ago. Surely we’ve taken care of those pesky balls of death we left buried in the sand since then, right? While countries like Egypt have tried to reduce the 17 million landmines both Nazi and Allied forces left behind in their desert, the place is still a minefield of … minefields. Thanks to the high temperatures and dry climate, the Sahara is doing an amazing job of preserving these war relics, which means they’re still very capable of taking a limb (or life) if fiddled with too much. But while most people are content with not going near any unstable explosives, there’s one pesky little death cult that doesn’t mind going out in a blaze of glory, intentional or otherwise.

In the past few years, ISIS has realized that one man’s minefield is another man’s massive cache of explosives, so they’re digging up and reusing landmines and their components. There have been several reports of ISIS terrorist attacks in which they used old munitions “MacGyvered” into IEDs. At least when it comes to age, ISIS seems to be quite open-minded.

NATOAs well as being adrenaline junkies.

And landmines aren’t the only type of antique firepower people in the region are packing these days. In 2015, video footage showed Syrian rebels firing a 1935 German howitzer. Meanwhile, Iraqi weapons inspectors documented the capture of a 1942 Lee-Enfield rifle, and the Armament Research Services report that British Webley revolvers, Italian cavalry carbines, Mausers, and Bren guns have appeared for sale in Libya. As long as it goes “boom” and someone dies, they’re only too happy to put it to terrible use.

via Shaam News NetworkNazis: ruining your day since 1933.


The Feud Between The Hatfields And The McCoys Was Probably Caused By A Medical Condition

History has seen its share of epic feuds, but few are as legendary as the pissing contest that took place between the Hatfields of West Virginia and the Kentucky McCoys in the late 1800s. Why were they so special? Longevity. They kept their fiery hatred going for a solid decade. But recent medical tests have revealed that, at least on the McCoy side, that might have been because hatred literally runs in their blood.

via Encyclopaedia BritannicaMoments later, the man on the right was riddled with bullets.

Why did these two ornery tribes want to shed each others’ blood so badly? Some say the beef started over a stolen hog, while others think it was residual hostility from the families having fought on opposite sides during the Civil War. Over a hundred years later, we still have no idea what spark started the fire, but we have an idea of where they got the gasoline. In 2007, a young girl called Winnter [sic] Reynolds was struggling at school. She had anger issues, and would often fly into fits of rage. While her teachers thought it was nothing but a bad case of ADHD, a series of medical tests revealed it was worse than that. She had bad blood. McCoy blood, to be specific.

Winnter is the latest offspring of the McCoy bloodline, from whom she had inherited her temper. She suffers from a rare genetic condition called von Hippel-Lindau disease. The illness causes the formation of adrenal tumors which cause, among other things, “hair-trigger rage and violent outbursts.” After Winnter’s diagnosis, it was revealed that several other McCoy descendants had also been diagnosed with the same condition. And while having tumors keeping you pissed off 24/7 still doesn’t shed any light on the start of the feud, it does go a long way toward explaining their whole “I’m going to kill you over some bacon” reputation.

Earl Neikirk/AP“Cleetus, go fetch the tumor chart, we gotta black another circle.”


We Are Still Paying A Civil War Pension

War is never not tragic, but civil wars pile all the hurt on one people. With an estimated 620,000 lives lost during the American Civil War, the cost of that little disagreement hurt the nation badly. The price paid was terrible — not only in human lives, but also in the long-term financial state of the country. How long-term? They’re still adding up, apparently.

US ArmyYeah, were sure their main concern was how much this was gonna cost.

While the indirect ramifications are impossible to calculate, there is still one straightforward bill the U.S. Civil War is serving America: $73.13, to be exact, paid monthly to one woman in North Carolina. You see, because soldiers have a tragic tendency of not always being able to collect what Uncle Sam owes them, the government compensates by also paying out pensions to widows and children of war veterans. And while the Civil War ended more than 150 years ago, believe it or not, there’s still one soldier’s child alive and kicking. That would be Irene Triplett, 86 years young, and she’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

Irene’s father, Mose Triplett, was born in 1846, and managed to fight on both sides of the Civil War — though that sadly didn’t mean he’d get to draw two pensions. He later married a woman 50 years his junior, who we’re assuming must’ve been into antique cannons. When Irene was born, Mose was 83 years old and ready to mosey on up to Heaven.

via Stoneman Gazette“Ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex …”

But Irene’s isn’t the only 19th-century war pension that still being paid out. We’re also still supporting 88 people for their families’ contributions to the Spanish-American War, which started and ended in 1898. And while we’re certainly not begrudging anyone their dues, if we keep up our current military policies, half of our country’s 2080 budget will be going to Iraq vets’ second families.


The Search For Wreckage Of The Challenger Turned Up A Lot Of Junk — And A Duffel Bag Of Cocaine

Being an air crash site investigator must be a harrowing gig. Their entire job revolves around cataloging the most horrific of disaster scenes, where the Earth has gotten a dose of corpse buckshot to the face. But finding 73 separate pieces of the same human being isn’t the only weird thing they might find at a crash site. Sometimes they also find a shit ton of coke.

CNNGodspeed, friends.

Like 9/11, the Challenger disaster is one of those awful tragedies seared into memories of all who witnessed it. Seven people lost their lives simply because some faulty O-rings and unusually cold weather caused their vessel to blow up and plow into the ocean. After the crash, NASA immediately began searching the Atlantic for any and all portions of the shuttle that survived the crash, as well as any remains of the crew that could be retrieved and given a proper burial. But with such a spread out investigation site in constantly shifting water, the crew was bound to encounter some weird stuff.

For nine weeks, experts spent 15-hour days combing sonar data of a 420-mile area. But when their submarines or robots finally found the wreckage, they also stumbled upon what looked like Poseidon’s garage sale. During NASA’s investigation, they encountered a whole warehouse full of lagan (that’s maritime for “junk”). Some of the more ordinary items included batteries and paint cans, a refrigerator, a filing cabinet, a kitchen sink, and a toilet. More interesting finds were eight shipwrecks, a Pershing missile, and half of a torpedo.

But the best non-shuttle find by far was a duffel bag containing 25 kilograms of cocaine. When NASA handed it over to the police (what a bunch of goody-two-shoes), they revealed the estimated street value of the marching powder at $13 million, roughly the cost of the entire salvage mission. So if you’re struggling to find rent money or hoping to remodel your house, maybe spend more time hanging out at the beach.

Kelly Stone remembers watching the Challenger explode, and speaks only as much German as Google Translate does. She sometimes Tweets about cats and Star Trek.

History is insane — find out more from the Cracked De-Textbook!

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For more, check out 6 Dark Details History Usually Leaves Out (For Good Reason) and 6 Disasters With Details So Awful, History Left Them Out.

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_25481_7-wtf-details-about-historical-events-everyone-forgets.html

This Gently Breathing Robot Cuddles You to Sleep

It's breathing. The chest rises and falls rhythmically, hypnotically. We guess it's the chest. Nobody's marketed a sleep robot before, and we're not even sure it's a robot. It looks like a pillowy four-pound kidney bean, about the size of a novelty prize at a carnival game. "Spooning the sleep robot during the night, you will be soothed to sleep," the sales literature claims, with "thousands of years of Buddhist breathing techniques."

To bring upon sleep, breathing has to become slow and even, says Natalie Dautovich, a psychologist and sleep specialist at the National Sleep Foundation. You can't fall asleep when you're huffing like a sled dog, but insomniacs fear bedtime, and fear raises breathing rate, and that makes it hard to fall asleep. The claim goes that, as you hold the sleep robot, called Somnox, you'll subconsciously match your breathing to its slow and steady rhythm, which will lure you to sleep.


Work began on the prototype Somnox in 2015 at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. "We were robotics engineers, personally exposed to the effects of sleep deprivation," says Julian Jagtenberg, Somnox's co-founder. "We designed a soft robotic prototype to help ourselves and our family members get sleep again," he says. “We fell asleep faster, we slept longer. Once people we didn't know started reaching out to us because they were having a hard time falling asleep, that was the moment we decided this shouldn't be just an academic project."

Somnox debuted on Kickstarter in November 2017, asking for €100,000, or about $123,000. After a month, 509 backers had pledged double that for an estimated July 2018 delivery, which Jagtenberg says the company is still on track to meet.

Catch Your Breath

Breathing has long been the key to relaxing and, eventually, falling asleep. The 4-7-8 Breathing Method, popularized by Dr. Andrew Weil in 2015 and subsequently copy-and-pasted across the internet, suggested one such method to reduce stress and induce sleep. It directs you to breathe in for four seconds through your nose, hold your breath for seven seconds, and breathe out for eight seconds through your mouth. "We've found out people are having a really hard time doing [the 4-7-8 Breathing Method] because you need to be very focused and disciplined in order to get it working," says Jagtenberg, who acknowledges that it's an effective method. "But we humans, if you interact with one another, you start copying behaviors without even knowing it. We thought this relationship was very strong when it comes to breathing. If you feel it [through the Somnox], you will subconsciously adjust your own breathing."


The WIRED Guide to Artificial Intelligence

While few studies have researched breath-mirroring in adults, several have looked at its effects on newborns. A 1995 study by the University of Connecticut suggested that infants who slept with a Breathing Bear—a not-for-sale device that respirated and coaxed sleepy babies to copy its breathing—had slower and more-regular respiration and more restful sleep than the control group. A follow-up study published in 2003 concluded only that Breathing-Bear-babies developed a better mood, presumably from better sleep.

The Somnox hopes to product a similar effect. Looking at it and watching it in action, it's a stretch to call the Somnox "the world's first sleep robot." It just lies there and breathes—a convincing imitation of humanity, but not what you'd call a robot. "It depends on what your concept of a robot is," says Jagtenberg. "In our perception, a robot is a system that can analyze its environment with sensors that think about how to act upon that environment." Somnox is more like a Nest thermostat than a semi-mobile, sentient threat to humanity that falls down stairs.

So it's more like a smart pillow, one that will become smarter with software updates. At launch, it's only got inklings of intelligence: It can play white noise, meditation tracks, heartbeat rhythms, and audio books as you drift off. Bluetooth links it to a Somnox app on your Android or iOS phone, which you can use to speed up or slow down the Somnox's breathing rate and adjust the depth of each breath. After launch, Somnox plans two software updates later this year: an alarm that wakes you gently in the morning by moving and murmuring instead of blaring buzzers, and what Somnox calls a sleeping coach, which will be able to pair with a wearable fitness device and detect when you've had a particularly strenuous or stressful day, then develop a custom breathing rhythm for you that night to compensate.

Kickstarter backers will receive theirs in July. The second batch, taking pre-orders now for $549, will ship in October. So far, Somnox has 1,210 orders.

It's not quite a robot, and it's not yet all that smart, but the Somnox has something more important than limbs or a heart of gold: fake lungs. And would anybody really want to spoon a robot that could throw elbows and mule kicks?

More WIRED Gear

Read more: https://www.wired.com/story/somnox-sleep-robot/

Marijuana legalization could help offset opioid epidemic, studies find

(CNN)Experts have proposed using medical marijuana to help Americans struggling with opioid addiction. Now, two studies suggest that there is merit to that strategy.

The studies, published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, compared opioid prescription patterns in states that have enacted medical cannabis laws with those that have not. One of the studies looked at opioid prescriptions covered by Medicare Part D between 2010 and 2015, while the other looked at opioid prescriptions covered by Medicaid between 2011 and 2016.
The researchers found that states that allow the use of cannabis for medical purposes had 2.21 million fewer daily doses of opioids prescribed per year under Medicare Part D, compared with those states without medical cannabis laws. Opioid prescriptions under Medicaid also dropped by 5.88% in states with medical cannabis laws compared with states without such laws, according to the studies.
    “This study adds one more brick in the wall in the argument that cannabis clearly has medical applications,” said David Bradford, professor of public administration and policy at the University of Georgia and a lead author of the Medicare study.
    “And for pain patients in particular, our work adds to the argument that cannabis can be effective.”
    Medicare Part D, the optional prescription drug benefit plan for those enrolled in Medicare, covers more than 42 million Americans, including those 65 or older. Medicaid provides health coverage to more than 73 million low-income individuals in the US, according to the program’s website.
    “Medicare and Medicaid publishes this data, and we’re free to use it, and anyone who’s interested can download the data,” Bradford said. “But that means that we don’t know what’s going on with the privately insured and the uninsured population, and for that, I’m afraid the data sets are proprietary and expensive.”

    ‘This crisis is very real’

    The new research comes as the United States remains entangled in the worst opioid epidemic the world has ever seen. Opioid overdose has risen dramatically over the past 15 years and has been implicated in over 500,000 deaths since 2000 — more than the number of Americans killed in World War II.
    “As somebody who treats patients with opioid use disorders, this crisis is very real. These patients die every day, and it’s quite shocking in many ways,” said Dr. Kevin Hill, an addiction psychiatrist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, who was not involved in the new studies.
    “We have had overuse of certain prescription opioids over the years, and it’s certainly contributed to the opioid crisis that we’re feeling,” he added. “I don’t think that’s the only reason, but certainly, it was too easy at many points to get prescriptions for opioids.”
    Today, more than 90 Americans a day die from opioid overdose, resulting in more than 42,000 deaths per year, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Opioid overdose recently overtook vehicular accidents and shooting deaths as the most common cause of accidental death in the United States, the CDC says.
    Like opioids, marijuana has been shown to be effective in treating chronic pain as well as other conditions such as seizures, multiple sclerosis and certain mental disorders, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Research suggests that the cannabinoid and opioid receptor systems rely on common signaling pathways in the brain, including the dopamine reward system that is central to drug tolerance, dependence and addiction.
    “All drugs of abuse operate using some shared pathways. For example, cannabinoid receptors and opioid receptors coincidentally happen to be located very close by in many places in the brain,” Hill said. “So it stands to reason that a medication that affects one system might affect the other.”
    But unlike opioids, marijuana has little addiction potential, and virtually no deaths from marijuana overdose have been reported in the United States, according to Bradford.
    “No one has ever died of cannabis, so it has many safety advantages over opiates,” Bradford said. “And to the extent that we’re trying to manage the opiate crisis, cannabis is a potential tool.”

    Comparing states with and without medical marijuana laws

    In order to evaluate whether medical marijuana could function as an effective and safe alternative to opioids, the two teams of researchers looked at whether opioid prescriptions were lower in states that had active medical cannabis laws and whether those states that enacted these laws during the study period saw reductions in opioid prescriptions.
    Both teams, in fact, did find that opioid prescriptions were significantly lower in states that had enacted medical cannabis laws. The team that looked at Medicaid patients also found that the four states that switched from medical use only to recreational use — Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington — saw further reductions in opioid prescriptions, according to Hefei Wen, assistant professor of health management and policy at the University of Kentucky and a lead author on the Medicaid study.
    “We saw a 9% or 10% reduction (in opioid prescriptions) in Colorado and Oregon,” Wen said. “And in Alaska and Washington, the magnitude was a little bit smaller but still significant.”
    The first state in the United States to legalize marijuana for medicinal use was California, in 1996. Since then, 29 states and the District of Columbia have approved some form of legalized cannabis. All of these states include chronic pain — either directly or indirectly — in the list of approved medical conditions for marijuana use, according to Bradford.
    The details of the medical cannabis laws were found to have a significant impact on opioid prescription patterns, the researchers found. States that permitted recreational use, for example, saw an additional 6.38% reduction in opioid prescriptions under Medicaid compared with those states that permitted marijuana only for medical use, according to Wen.
    The method of procurement also had a significant impact on opioid prescription patterns. States that permitted medical dispensaries — regulated shops that people can visit to purchase cannabis products — had 3.742 million fewer opioid prescriptions filled per year under Medicare Part D, while those that allowed only home cultivation had 1.792 million fewer opioid prescriptions per year.
    “We found that there was about a 14.5% reduction in any opiate use when dispensaries were turned on — and that was statistically significant — and about a 7% reduction in any opiate use when home cultivation only was turned on,” Bradford said. “So dispensaries are much more powerful in terms of shifting people away from the use of opiates.”
    The impact of these laws also differed based on the class of opioid prescribed. Specifically, states with medical cannabis laws saw 20.7% fewer morphine prescriptions and 17.4% fewer hydrocodone prescriptions compared with states that did not have these laws, according to Bradford.
    Fentanyl prescriptions under Medicare Part D also dropped by 8.5% in states that had enacted medical cannabis laws, though the difference was not statistically significant, Bradford said. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, like heroin, that can be prescribed legally by physicians. It is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, and even a small amount can be fatal, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
    “I know that many people, including the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, are skeptical of cannabis,” Bradford said. “But, you know, the attorney general needs to be terrified of fentanyl.”

    ‘A call to action’

    This is not the first time researchers have found a link between marijuana legalization and decreased opioid use. A 2014 study showed that states with medical cannabis laws had 24.8% fewer opioid overdose deaths between 1999 and 2010. A study in 2017 also found that the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado in 2012 reversed the state’s upward trend in opioid-related deaths.
    “There is a growing body of scientific literature suggesting that legal access to marijuana can reduce the use of opioids as well as opioid-related overdose deaths,” said Melissa Moore, New York deputy state director for the Drug Policy Alliance. “In states with medical marijuana laws, we have already seen decreased admissions for opioid-related treatment and dramatically reduced rates of opioid overdoses.”
    Some skeptics, though, argue that marijuana legalization could actually worsen the opioid epidemic. Another 2017 study, for example, showed a positive association between illicit cannabis use and opioid use disorders in the United States. But there may be an important difference between illicit cannabis use and legalized cannabis use, according to Hill.
    “As we have all of these states implementing these policies, it’s imperative that we do more research,” Hill said. “We need to study the effects of these policies, and we really haven’t done it to the degree that we should.”
    The two recent studies looked only at patients enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare Part D, meaning the results may not be generalizable to the entire US population.

    See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

    But both Hill and Moore agree that as more states debate the merits of legalizing marijuana in the coming months and years, more research will be needed to create consistency between cannabis science and cannabis policy.
    “There is a great deal of movement in the Northeast, with New Hampshire and New Jersey being well-positioned to legalize adult use,” Moore said. “I believe there are also ballot measures to legalize marijuana in Arizona, Florida, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota as well that voters will decide on in Fall 2018.”
    Hill called the new research “a call to action” and added, “we should be studying these policies. But unfortunately, the policies have far outpaced the science at this point.”

    Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/02/health/medical-cannabis-law-opioid-prescription-study/index.html

    Melissa McCarthy Worked Hard On MAJOR Weight Loss For A New Movie Role!


    The talented actress is playing a down-and-out author who turns to crime to pay the bills in this movie (set to open on the 19th of October), and to make it happen for the part, McCarthy lost a whopping 75 pounds!!!

    Of course, she downplays the whole thing.

    In the past, she has said about her weight and general health and fitness (below):

    “I’ll be up, I’ll be down, probably for the rest of my life. The thing is, if that is the most interesting thing about me, I need to go have a lavender farm in Minnesota and give this up. If I, off the top of my head, name 20 of the most amazing women in my life, it’s all shapes, sizes, ages, colours, jobs. I can only go off my reality. What people pass off as ‘normal’, I just have to keep in my head that it’s bullshit.”

    Well then!!

    Ch-ch-check out the trailer to her new movie set to come out in six months (below):

    Looks inneresting!!

    And she looks SOOOO different, doesn’t she?!

    What do y’all think, Perezcious readers?!

    Let us know in the comments (below)!!!

    [Image via Adriana M. Barraza/WENN.]

    Read more: http://perezhilton.com/2018-04-01-melissa-mccarthy-weight-loss-movie-role-can-you-ever-forgive-me-trailer-video-quotes-fitness-health

    Male Birth Control Pill Is Effective And Safe, According To A Recent Trial

    Scientists are one step closer to achieving gender parity, at least as far as birth control is concerned. While there are currently several contraceptive options targeted at women, there are only two for men – condoms and vasectomies.

    The good news is that there are various reversible male birth control prototypes currently undergoing clinical trials. And the latest, a male oral contraceptive called dimethandrolone undecanoate (DMAU), appears to be safe and effective when taken daily for a month. The results of a recent study were presented by researchers at ENDO 2018, the Endocrine Society’s 100th annual meeting in Chicago, on Sunday.

    “These promising results are unprecedented in the development of a prototype male pill,” Stephanie Page, professor of medicine at the University of Washington, said in a statement.

    Eighty-three men aged 18 to 50 completed the study, which tested the effects of different doses (100, 200, and 400 milligrams) and formulations inside capsules (castor oil and powder) of DMAU. The men took the contraceptive or a placebo once a day for 28 days with food.

    At 100 milligrams, the contraceptive was comparable to effective male contraception in long-term trials, Page said. At 400 milligrams, it produced “marked suppression” of testosterone levels and two other hormones necessary for sperm production.

    So, how does it work? The drug combines the activity of a male hormone (or androgen) such as testosterone with synthetic progesterone. The pill also contains a long-chain fatty acid called undecanoate, which slows the breakdown of the testosterone so that it remains effective all day in contrast to older editions. These cleared the body too quickly and would, therefore, have required at least two doses daily to make it as a viable form of birth control.

    As for any negative side effects, the volunteers did show signs of weight gain and a decrease in good cholesterol but these were mild. All passed safety tests including those suggestive of liver and kidney health, a hurdle previous attempts at male contraceptives have failed to meet.

    “Despite having low levels of circulating testosterone, very few subjects reported symptoms consistent with testosterone deficiency or excess,” Page said.

    This is excellent news. Previous studies on male birth control have been cut short, not because they were ineffective but because they may have produced side effects such as depression, changes in libido, and acne. All of which, incidentally, happen to be well-known side effects of female birth control. 

    While the results so far are promising, the next step is to see how DMAU stacks up efficacy and health-wise when taken on a continuing basis. According to Page, longer-term studies are already taking place.

    Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/male-birth-control-is-effective-and-safe-according-to-a-recent-trial/

    6 Classic Movies That Get Ruined By Grade-School Science

    Some movies are destined to be classics. One look, and you know their harrowing escape scenes and climactic battles are going to be pop culture legend. And then you look again. And again and again, until you finally realize the writer got something terribly wrong, and it is ruined for you forever. Pardon us for pulling a Neil deGrasse Tyson, but we’re going to do exactly that.


    You Could Probably Outrun A T-Rex

    With a massive body and incredible bite strength, the Tyrannosaurus Rex reigned as the apex predator of all apex predators. And she’s an inescapable threat in the movies, tenacious enough to smash through walls and fast enough to run down any meaty human. If T-Rex wants you dead, you’re dead. In the first Jurassic Park, one of them chases down a jeep going 50 mph!

    Here’s Why It’s Bullshit:

    Buzzkill scientists have analyzed T-Rex remains, and concluded that the A#1, Duke of New York, King of Dinosaurs was, well … rather plodding, by predator standards. There is a very good chance you could survive an encounter with one simply by running away from it at your normal human speed. Every healthy adult in the Jurassic Park franchise had decent odds of surviving if they left on foot with any kind of urgency. Paleontologists’ best estimates place a T-Rex’s top speed around 16 mph, roughly the same as the sustained top speed of the average human, and considerably slower than the average CrossFitter.

    Universal PicturesGoing with the name “CrossFit” instead of “T-Rex Survival Training” was a real missed opportunity.

    We aren’t as vulnerable as movies make us out to be. Humans evolved to run over distances, and can even theoretically beat a horse in a marathon. Large animals take longer to build up speed, and are gassed in no time. And large animals aren’t built like a cheetah or greyhound, instantly running down prey. A T-Rex would be something closer to a Saint Bernard trying to catch a tennis ball rolling down a hill and giving up on it after ten yards. A cranky ol’ T-Rex huffing and puffing after Jeff Goldblum as he casually hustles away would be a very different movie, but … not necessarily bad?

    You can try this “leaving in a hurry” defense against a lot of big animals still alive today. The size-to-endurance ratio is a consistent principle of biology in elephants, hippos, and rhinos. Large size is a disadvantage for predators. Smaller, tastier prey like us have a huge metabolic advantage. T-Rex’s prey was believed to consist of other large, bumbling dinosaurs, like hadrosaurs or triceratops, or maybe even each other. The point is, a T-Rex chasing after a single human would be like you chasing a speeding taxi because you left a French fry inside it.


    Andy Dufresne Should Have Died In The Sewage Pipe

    At the climax of The Shawshank Redemption, after 20 years of digging and planning, only one more thing stands between our hero, Andy Dufresne, and justice: a long pipe filled with five inches of fetid sewage. All he has to do is low-crawl through 500 yards of wretch-inducing filth to win his freedom. Here’s one of the most iconic scenes from the internet’s favorite movie of all time.

    Even schlepping through shit can be made majestic by a Morgan Freeman voiceover.

    Here’s Why It’s Bullshit:

    No human could survive that five-football-field-long crawl through a poorly ventilated sewage pipe. Noxious vapors like ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, and methane gases would displace all of the oxygen. All that ammonia would sting his eyes to the point of blindness, and all that methane would kill him in minutes, probably before he even knew it was happening.

    Methane inhalation fatalities occur all the time, thanks to faulty pipes in basements, landfills, and agricultural cesspits. We aren’t supposed to breathe poison, is the point. When oxygen levels dip to 12 percent or lower, you black out and die before you even have time to drown in diarrhea. Though the movie still works if you imagine the beach was a hallucination as Andy’s brain was choked by poop fumes.

    Columbia Pictures“Wow, look at these blue waters. Let me dunk my head!”

    Similar jailbreak attempts have been attempted using steam pipes, drainage pipes, and tunnels connected to sewers, but no one has ever made it through 1,500 feet of a 18-inch pipe full of raw sewage. Such attempts have happened, and they all ended about as badly you’d think. A 2003 jailbreak in Brazil is the most gruesome example — at least six, maybe 13, prisoners asphyxiated in their daring attempt. The fumes were so dangerous that their bodies had to be retrieved with a backhoe. The point is, if you’re in prison, enjoy it, because it beats sucking lethal shit gas in a pipe.


    The Kids In Honey, I Shrunk The Kids Would Have Suffocated To Death Within A Few Agonizing Minutes

    Honey, I Shrunk The Kids had everything you could want from a kid-shrinking adventure film. They made friends with an ant, flew on a bee, and gorged themselves on a giant cookie. Lawnmowers and sprinklers became life-ending apocalypses, and after 90 minutes of watching children taken to the very brink of death, they all came together as a family.

    It was really normal for ’80s movies to put children in unspeakable danger just to see what would happen.

    Here’s Why It’s Bullshit:

    The kids are shrunk down 10,000 times their normal size, and that means their cells are also reduced 10,000 times. The issue is that the oxygen, water, and countless other elements they need to live remain the same size. And having a water molecule 10,000 times larger relative to your blood vessels is no small thing. A slight fluctuation in the chemistry of a cell or the surrounding molecules can have catastrophic consequences, like cells bursting — or in this case, drying up.

    Smaller molecules, like water, slip into and out of semipermeable cells in order to create a balance. This is called osmosis if you’re a nerd, and hydro-fucking if you like to party. But if the molecules were suddenly 10,000 times bigger, the discrepancy would be fatal. An absence of water in a red blood cell causes it to shrivel and malfunction. Any number of substances that need to be expelled might be too large to exit cells, and only the smallest molecules or ions would have access into them. It’s only a question of which compromised bodily process would kill them first. The second Rick Moranis miniaturized his kids, they were doomed to a grim fate. Think less Disney, and more David Cronenberg nightmare.


    The Blood Farming Operation In Fury Road Would Poison The War Boys, Not Save Them

    In Mad Max: Fury Road, Max happens to be a universal blood donor, which makes him a mobile blood bank for any road warrior lunatics who might be missing some. That’s why the irradiated War Boys use him for quick transfusions so they can stay alive long enough to die a death worthy of Valhalla.

    This information now qualifies you for your post-apocalyptic medical degree.

    Here’s Why It’s Bullshit:

    “Universal donor” doesn’t mean you can exchange blood at will, like swapping out a half-chewed piece of gum. Blood has two primary components: red blood cells and plasma. The universal donor type for plasma (the liquid part that acts like the broth for the red blood cells, facilitating easy flow) is actually AB, and you need special equipment to separate plasma from red blood cells before you can safely inject it into a needy patient. Imagine taking the filling out of a Twinkie and replacing it with the ingredients for the filling of a Twinkie. You mash in corn syrup, industrial lubricant, white house paint, and 84 types of preservatives. It’s like that, but far more complicated and less delicious.

    Warner Bros. PicturesOr equally so, depending on your Tom Hardy feelings.

    An emergency transfusion might save Furiosa’s life temporally, but unless she then immediately gets a transfusion from the right donor, she is in for a world of pain. We’re talking “filled with angry bees” levels of agony. Doctors call this acute hemolytic reaction. Most of the War Boys would die from clotting complications or organ failure long before they had the chance to impress King Immortan Joe. Their glorious deaths would be more of a painful, wheezing, bed-ridden affair. A botched transfusion recipient experiences breathing problems, heart problems, excruciating muscle pains, nausea, hypertension, severe bleeding, and a series of symptoms the medical community describes as a “feeling of impending doom.”

    While you can overlook Academy Award voters and viewers for missing this, it’s strange that writer/director and former physician George Miller never noticed.


    The Great White From Jaws Would Have Puked Up All Its Victims

    Nothing sends down a chill down a surfer’s spine like a shark fin jutting out of the water. Great whites are the terrors of the seas, able to smell a drop of blood from a mile away and packing 20,000 more teeth than they need to shred you into human poke.

    The Jaws franchise did for sharks what Halloween did for the William Shatner mask industry — a dead-eyed beast was turned into public enemy number one overnight. To this day, most people think of themselves as a shark’s favorite food.

    Here’s Why It’s Bullshit:

    We’re not really in a shark’s food chain. Only younger sharks feed near the coastline, and juvenile great whites risk breaking their face on your durable human femur. Their jaws are surprisingly flimsy, secured to their heads only by ligaments and cartilage. We are the human peanut brittle to their shark dentures.

    Mature sharks don’t eat humans — we’re “too bony,” and take days to digest. Sharks eat fat to survive, and filling up on a skeleton-rich diet like people could kill them. They need a massive intake of calories, and that’s only obtainable in animals rich in hundreds of pounds of fat, not scrawny ’70s teenagers. Essentially, if you’re fat enough that a shark wants to eat you, you’re only in the water because something terrible has happened already.

    A stomachful of humans might even result in brain damage, as a great white needs that blubber to warm its body in order to maintain homeostasis and keep its brain functioning. Statistically, people tend to survive attacks because sharks (regardless of their size) suck at eating us. Rather than devouring prey whole, marine biologists say they engage in complicated eating practices, and the shark that kills an animal isn’t necessarily the one who eats it. Sharks are also quite picky, and known to puke at will. If a shark did eat a person, license plate, or errant oxygen tank, it would not be lurking around looking for co-eds to eat; it would be vomiting its guts out and leaving a zero-star review on Land’s yelp page.


    Batman’s “Nonlethal” Arsenal of Tools Is Pretty Lethal

    Batman carries any number of devices ready to incapacitate, electrocute, or tie up his enemies. And aside from the time he blew up a man dick-first with a bundle of dynamite, he uses all these devices to take criminals down without murdering them. For instance, here’s a six-and-a-half-minute video of him fucking people up with grappling hooks alone.

    Here’s Why It’s Bullshit:

    People die, and not infrequently, from chokeholds and blows to the head, and that’s most of Batman’s day. When joy-killing scientists calculated the amount of force that Batman’s grappling hooks would apply to the bodies of criminals, they concluded that most of them would likely end up dead. If you’re looking for realism, the 1966 Adam West series is more accurate than the Chris Nolan movies ever were.

    Warner Bros. VideoYup, checks out.

    Batarangs are no better. Boomerangs were designed as deadly weapons by Aboriginal hunters, and aren’t much different than throwing a wrench at someone’s head. You do that at ten different heads, and at least one of them isn’t getting up. Basically, every graveyard in Gotham has an ever-growing “Batman” section.

    Doesn’t mean Batarangs aren’t still really cool to have sitting around on your desk.

    Support Cracked’s journalism with a visit to our Contribution Page. Please and thank you.

    For more nonsense Hollywood science, check out 6 Famous Movie Scenes With Horrific Scientific Implications and 6 Futuristic Movie Scenarios Already Disproven By Science.

    Also, follow us on Facebook. Or don’t. It’s your life.

    Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_25498_6-classic-movies-that-get-ruined-by-grade-school-science.html

    A Hurricane Flattens Facebook

    Two weeks ago, Facebook learned that The New York Times, Guardian, and Observer were working on blockbuster stories based on interviews with a man named Christopher Wylie. The core of the tale was familiar but the details were new, and now the scandal was attached to a charismatic face with a top of pink hair. Four years ago, a slug of Facebook data on 50 million Americans was sucked down by a UK academic named Aleksandr Kogan, and wrongly sold to Cambridge Analytica. Wylie, who worked at the firm and has never talked publicly before, showed the newspapers a trove of emails and invoices to prove his allegations. Worse, Cambridge appears to have lied to Facebook about entirely deleting the data.

    To Facebook, before the stories went live, the scandal appeared bad but manageable. The worst deeds had been done outside of Facebook and long ago. Plus, like weather forecasters in the Caribbean, Facebook has been busy lately. Just in the past month, they’ve had to deal with scandals created by vacuous Friday tweets from an ad executive, porn, the darn Russian bots, angry politicians in Sri Lanka, and even the United Nations. All of those crises have passed with limited damage. And perhaps that’s why the company appears to have underestimated the power of the storm clouds moving in.

    Facebook has burned its fingers on issues of data privacy frequently in its 14 year history. But this time it was different.

    On Friday night, the company made its first move, jumping out in front of the news reports to publish its own blog post announcing that it was suspending Cambridge Analytica’s use of the platform. It also made one last stern appeal to ask The Guardian not to use the word “breach” in its story. The word, the company argued, was inaccurate. Data had been misused, but moats and walls had not been breached. The Guardian apparently did not find that argument sympathetic or persuasive. On Saturday its story appeared, “Revealed: 50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach.”

    The crisis was familiar in a way: Facebook has burned its fingers on issues of data privacy frequently in its 14 year history. But this time it was different. The data leakage hadn’t helped Unilever sell mayonnaise. It appeared to have helped Donald Trump sell a political vision of division and antipathy. The news made it look as if Facebook’s data controls were lax and that its executives were indifferent. Around the world lawmakers, regulators, and Facebook users began asking very publicly how they could support a platform that didn’t do more to protect them. Soon, powerful politicians were chiming in and demanding to hear from Zuckerberg.

    As the storm built over the weekend, Facebook’s executives, including Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, strategized and argued late into the night. They knew that the public was hammering them, but they also believed that the fault lay much more with Cambridge Analytica than with them. Still, there were four main questions that consumed them. How could they tighten up the system to make sure this didn’t happen again? What should they do about all the calls for Zuckerberg to testify? Should they sue Cambridge Analytica? And what could they do about psychologist Joseph Chancellor, who had helped found Kogan’s firm and who now worked, of all places, at Facebook?

    By Monday, Facebook remained frozen, and Zuckerberg and Sandberg stayed silent. Then, late in the afternoon in Menlo Park, more bad news came. The New York Times reported that Alex Stamos, the company’s well-respected chief of security, had grown dissatisfied with the top of senior management and was planning to exit in a few months. Some people had known this for a while, but it was still a very bad look. You don’t want news about your head of data security bailing when you’re having a crisis about how to secure your data. And then news broke that Facebook had been denied in its efforts to get access to Cambridge Analytica’s servers. The United Kingdom’s Information Commissioner’s Office, which had started an investigation, would handle that.

    A company-wide Q&A was called for Tuesday but for some reason it was led by Facebook’s legal counsel, not its leaders, both of whom have remained deafeningly silent and both of whom reportedly skipped the session. Meanwhile, the stock had collapsed, chopping $36 billion off the company’s market value on Monday. By mid-Tuesday morning, it had fallen 10 percent since the scandal broke. What the company expected to be a tough summer storm had turned into a Category 5 hurricane.

    Walking in the Front Door

    The story of how Kogan ended up with data on 50 million American Facebook users sounds like it should involve secret handshakes and black hats. But Kogan actually got his Facebook data by just walking in Facebook’s front door and asking for it. Like all technology platforms, Facebook encourages outside software developers to build applications to run inside it, just like Google does with its Android operating system and Apple does with iOS. And so in November 2013 Kogan, a psychology professor at the University of Cambridge, created an application developer account on Facebook and explained why he wanted access to Facebook’s data for a research project. He started work soon thereafter.

    Kogan had created the most anodyne of tools for electoral manipulation: an app based on personality quizzes. Users signed up and answered a series of questions. Then the app would take those answers, mush them together with that person’s Facebook likes and declared interests, and spit out a profile that was supposed to know the test-taker better than he knew himself.

    About 270,000 Americans participated. However what they didn’t know was that by agreeing to take the quiz and giving Facebook access to their data, they also granted access to many of their Facebook friends’ likes and interests as well. Users could turn off this setting, but it’s hard to turn off something you don’t know exists and that you couldn’t find if you did. Kogan quickly ended up with data on roughly 50 million people.

    About five months after Kogan began his research, Facebook announced that it was tightening its app review policies. For one: Developers couldn’t mine data from your friends anymore. The barn door was shut, but Facebook told all the horses already in the pasture that they had another year to run around. Kogan, then, got a year and a half to do his business. And when the stricter policies went into effect, Facebook promptly rejected version two of his app.

    By then Kogan had already mined the data and sold it to Cambridge Analytica, violating his agreement with Facebook and revealing one of the strange asymmetries of this story. Facebook knows everything about its users—but in some ways it knows nothing about its developers. And so Facebook didn’t start to suspect that Kogan had misused its data until it read a blaring headline in The Guardian in December 2015: “Ted Cruz using firm that harvested data on millions of unwitting Facebook users.”

    That story passed out of the cycle quickly though, swept away by news about the Iowa caucuses. And so while Facebook’s legal team might have been sweating at the end of 2015, outwardly Zuckerberg projected an air of total calm. His first public statement after the Guardian story broke was a Christmas note about all the books he’d read: “Reading has given me more perspective on a number of topics – from science to religion, from poverty to prosperity, from health to energy to social justice, from political philosophy to foreign policy, and from history to futuristic fiction.”

    An Incomplete Response

    When the 2015 Guardian story broke, Facebook immediately secured written assertions from Cambridge Analytica, Kogan, and Christopher Wylie that the data had been deleted. Lawyers on all sides started talking, and by the early summer of 2016 Facebook had more substantial legal agreements with Kogan and Wylie certifying that the data had been deleted. Cambridge Analytica signed similar documents, but their paperwork wasn’t submitted until 2017. Facebook’s lawyers describe it as a tortured and intense legal process. Wylie describes it as a pinkie promise. “All they asked me to do was tick a box on a form and post it back,” he told the Guardian.

    Facebook’s stronger option would have been to insist on an audit of all of Cambridge Analytica’s machines. Did the data still exist, and had it been used at all? And in fact, according to the standard rules that developers agree to, Facebook reserves that right. “We can audit your app to ensure it is safe and does not violate our Terms. If requested, you must provide us with proof that your app complies with our terms,” the policy currently states, as it did then.

    Kogan, too, may have merited closer scrutiny regardless, especially in the context of the 2016 presidential campaign. In addition to his University of Cambridge appointment, Kogan was also an associate professor at St. Petersburg State University, and had accepted research grants from the Russian government.

    'All options are on the table.'

    Paul Grewal, Facebook Deputy General Counsel

    Why didn’t Facebook conduct an audit—a decision that may go down as Facebook’s most crucial mistake? Perhaps because no audit can ever be completely persuasive. Even if no trace of data exists on a server, it could still have been stuck on a hard-drive and shoved in a closet. Facebook’s legal team also insists that an audit would have been time-consuming and would have required a court order even though the developer contract allows for one. A third possible explanation is fear of accusations of political bias. Most of the senior employees at Facebook are Democrats who blanch at allegations that they would let politics seep into the platform.

    Whatever the reason, Facebook trusted the signed documents from Cambridge Analytica. In June 2016, Facebook staff even went down to San Antonio to sit with Trump campaign officials and the Cambridge Analytica consultants by their side.

    To Facebook, the story seemed to go away. In the year following Trump’s victory, public interest advocates hammered Cambridge Analytica over its data practices, and other publications, particularly The Intercept, dug into its practices. But Facebook, according to executives at the company, never thought to double check if the data was gone until reporters began to call this winter. And then it was only after the story broke that Facebook considered serious action including suing Cambridge Analytica. A lawyer for the company, Paul Grewal, told WIRED on Monday evening that “all options are on the table.”

    What Comes Next

    Of Facebook’s many problems, one of the most confusing appears to be figuring out what to do with Chancellor, who currently works with the VR team. He may know about the fate of the user data, but this weekend the company was debating how forcefully it could ask him since it could be considered a violation of rules protecting employees from being forced to give up trade secrets from previous jobs.

    A harder question is when, and how exactly, Zuckerberg and Sandberg should emerge from their bunkers. Sandberg, in particular, has passed through the crucible of the past two years relatively unscathed. Zuckerberg’s name now trends on Twitter when crises hit, and this magazine put his bruised face on the cover. Even Stamos has taken heat during the outcry over the Russia investigation. And a small bevy of brave employees have waded out into the rushing rivers of Twitter, where they have generally been sucked below the surface or swept over waterfalls.

    At its core, according to a former Facebook executive, the problem is really an existential one.

    The last most vexing question is what to do to make Facebook data safer. For much of the past year, Facebook has been besieged by critics saying that it should make its data more open. It should let outsiders audit its data and peer around inside with a flashlight. But it was an excess of openness with developers—and opaque privacy practices—that got the company in trouble here. Facebook tightened up third-party access in 2015, meaning an exact replay of the Cambridge Analytica fiasco couldn’t happen today. But if the company decides to close down even further, then what happens to the researchers doing genuinely important work using the platform? How well can you vet intentions? A possible solution would be for Facebook to change its data retention policies. But doing so could undermine how the service fundamentally works, and make it far more difficult to catch malevolent actors—like Russian propaganda teams—after the fact.

    User data is now the foundation of the internet. Every time you download an app, you give the developer access to bits of your personal information. Every time you engage with any technology company—Facebook, Google, Amazon, and so on—you help build their giant database of information. In exchange, you trust that they won’t do bad things with that data, because you want the services they offer.

    Responding to a thread about how to fix the problem, Stamos tweeted, “I don’t think a digital utopia where everybody has privacy, anonymity and choice, but the bad guys are magically kept out, can exist.”

    At its core, according to a former Facebook executive, the problem is really an existential one. The company is very good at dealing with things that happen frequently and have very low stakes. When mistakes happen, they move on. According to the executive, the philosophy of the company has long been “We’re trying to do good things. We’ll make mistakes. But people are good and the world is forgiving.”

    If Facebook doesn’t find a satisfactory solution, it faces the unsavory prospect of heavy regulation. Already in the UK, the General Data Protection Regulation rule will give people much more insight and control over what data companies like Facebook take, and how it’s used. In the US, senators like Ron Wyden, Mark Warner, Amy Klobuchar, and others may have the appetite for similar legislation, if Facebook’s privacy woes continue.

    Facebook will hold its all-hands today, and hope for that inevitable moment when something horrible happens elsewhere and everyone’s attention turns. But it also knows that things might get worse, much worse. The nightmare scenario will come if the Cambridge Analytica story fully converges with the story of Russian meddling in American democracy: if it turns out that the Facebook data harvested by Cambridge Analytica ended up in the hands of Putin’s trolls.

    At that point, Facebook will have to deal with yet another devastating asymmetry: data from a silly quiz app, created under obsolete rules, fueling a national security crisis. But those asymmetries are just part of the nature of Facebook today. The company has immense power, and it’s only begun to grapple with its immense responsibility. And the world isn’t as forgiving of Silicon Valley as it used to be.

    Facebook and Cambridge Analytica

    This story has been updated to include further details about Tuesday's company-wide meeting.

    Read more: https://www.wired.com/story/facebook-cambridge-analytica-response/

    People Are Posting Hilarious Life Progress Pics That Will Make You Look Twice, Then Laugh

    As difficult as changing your life is, people have started sharing before-and-after photos that prove nothing is impossible if you commit to your goals 100%. Usually titled “progress pic,” these images are going viral on reddit, and they’re so ridiculously impressive, even the most memorable fitness or haircut transformations ain’t got nothing on them.

    Escaping the Upside Down once and for all to become a successful rapper? Yep. Ending your cleaning product mascot career in showbiz to hunt Harry Potter as the Dark Lord? You bet. We’ve included these and much more ridiculous life progress posts that are simply too funny to be true. Scroll down to check out the entries and upvote your favorites!

    Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/funny-progress-photos/

    Poor pupils ‘filling pockets with food’

    Image copyright Getty Images

    Malnourished pupils with grey skin are “filling their pockets” with food from school canteens in poor areas due to poverty, head teachers say.

    The heads, from various parts of England and Wales, described differences in the appearance of some pupils.

    One head said: “My children have grey skin, poor teeth, poor hair; they are thinner.”

    The government said measures were in place to tackle poverty.

    Lynn, a head teacher from a former industrial town in Cumbria, who did not want to give her full name, was one of a number of head teachers speaking to reporters at the National Education Union conference in Brighton.

    They were highlighting the issues faced by an increasing number of children growing up in poverty, and how their experiences affect their education.

    ‘Grubby clothes’

    Lynn said that hunger was particularly apparent after the weekend.

    She said: “Children are filling their pockets with food. In some establishments that would be called stealing. We call it survival.”

    Another head teacher from Nottinghamshire, Louise Regan, said: “When you take children out to an event, maybe a sporting event, you see children of the same age from schools in an affluent area.

    “It’s the grey skin, the pallor. It’s the pallor you really notice.”

    She went on: “Monday morning is the worst.

    “There are a number of families that we target that we know are going to be coming into school hungry.

    “By the time it’s 9.30am they are tired.”

    Image copyright Getty Images

    She said her school supplied some pupils with clean uniforms, and that they often came back in the same clothes, grubby, after the weekend.

    The school has a food bank which gives out food parcels and a supply of clothes, shoes and coats for those without.

    Poverty and neglect

    Lynn said: “We have washing machines and we are washing the children’s clothes while they do PE.

    “We wouldn’t have it that these children are stigmatised because their clothes are dirty.”

    The school also runs a summer school for three weeks over the holidays, run voluntarily by teaching staff without pay.

    Howard Payne, a head at an inner city school in Portsmouth, said there had been a four-fold increase in the number of children with child protection issues.

    “Every one of these issues has had something to do with the poverty that they live in,” he said.

    “It’s neglect. It’s because they and their families don’t have enough money to provide food, heating or even bedding.”

    Hot meals

    Mr Payne, who provides debt counselling and family support at his school, said: “Three weeks ago, many schools in our area closed because of the snow.

    “I kept ours open because I was really worried about the children – that they wouldn’t have a hot meal to eat that day.”

    Image copyright Getty Images

    He said about 45% of pupils came into the school to eat that day.

    All the heads said things were getting worse as social and emotional support services were disappearing.

    The comments came as the NEU published research it had carried out with the Child Poverty Action Group.

    It found schools were increasingly stepping in to fill the poverty gap, with almost half of the 900 respondents saying their school offered one or more anti-poverty services such as a food bank, clothes bank or even offering emergency loans to families.

    ‘Proud families’

    More than four-fifths said they saw signs of children being hungry during the day, and about the same said they saw children showing signs of poor health.

    Alison Garnham, chief executive of the Child Poverty Action Group, said: “With nine children in every classroom of 30 falling below the official poverty line, it is time to rebuild the safety net for struggling families.”

    Lynn added: “My families are proud. Some of these parents are working two or three jobs and can’t access the benefits system.

    “They are just a few pounds over – they have less money than those on benefits.”

    Jane Jenkins, a head teacher from Cardiff, said children in her school often only brought a slice of bread and margarine for lunch and that teachers supplemented this.

    “It’s really difficult and when people are asking you about standards, why we don’t go up the league tables?

    “That’s often a secondary consideration.”

    The Department for Education said it wanted to create a country where everyone could go as far as their talents could take them.

    “That’s why we launched our social mobility action plan, which sets out measures to close the attainment gap between disadvantaged students and their peers, and targets areas that need the most support through the £72m Opportunity Areas programme.”

    A spokesman also highlighted the £2.5bn it invests in disadvantaged pupils through the Pupil Premium and a recent £26m investment in breakfast clubs.

    Related Topics

    Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-43611527

    This Is What Marriages That Stay Together Have in Common

    Marriage is a covenant. In the Bible, the word covenant means “to cut.” You don’t make a covenant, you cut a covenant. Every time a covenant appears in the Bible, blood is involved. Jesus said, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28).

    That means sacrifice is central to the idea of a covenant. It is a sacrificial, permanent relationship.

    The wedding vows we take are covenant vows. When we say, “for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health,” we are stating the vows of a sacrificial covenant relationship.

    Unfortunately, our society has turned marriage from a covenant relationship into a contractual relationship. A sacrificial covenant says, “I surrender my rights and I assume responsibilities.” A contract says, “I protect my rights and I limit my responsibilities.”

    In doing so, we act as if marriage doesn’t require sacrifice. We’re wrong.

    A covenant marriage is built upon two individuals who roll up their sleeves and say, “I’ll do whatever it takes to make this marriage work.”

    That’s why a sacrificial covenant mentality is central to building a lasting marriage. Whatever the issues are in the relationship, both individuals are staying. Both are dedicated to fixing it. Both will sacrifice to save it.

    I like to compare this mentality to the difference between someone who owns a house and someone who merely rents one. If you’re renting and your house is discovered to have a serious foundation problem, you’re not going to shell out $40,000 to fix it. It’s too expensive. You’re going to move out. You’ll find something else.

    But if you own the house — if it’s your family home, if all your memories are there — then you’ll probably pay that expense. You’re all in because you’re an owner. You value the home. You do whatever it takes to keep it secure.

    A couple with a covenant marriage thanks God for the good times, but when the bad times hit, they’re still dedicated to protecting the “home.” They aren’t renting. They don’t have one foot out the door.

    In one University of Chicago survey, a sociologist surveyed a group of self-described unhappy couples. They were miserable in their marriages. But five years later, she discovered that 85 percent of these couples were still married. So she studied what they had in common.

    The first thing they shared was a strong work ethic. They didn’t mind putting in sustained effort to improve their marriage.

    The second thing was the friendships they shared. They had friends who didn’t value divorce. Instead, their friends pushed them to improve their marriage.

    The worst thing to have in your life when your marriage is struggling is a friendship with someone who talks you into strip clubs, or happy hours or letting go of your marriage. You need godly friends during bad times.

    Marriage is a sacrifice. It’s hard work. It’s a sacrificial covenant vow that says, “During good times and bad, I’m all in. It may not be a walk in the park, but it’s worth it. I’m dedicated to serving you. I’m dedicated to making our marriage work.”

    That covenant mindset is the secret to a lasting marriage.

    Read Next On FaithIt
    This Text From Cam Newton’s Mom Perfectly Sums Up What Jesus Has to Say About Super Bowl

    Read more: https://faithit.com/secret-marriages-stay-together-covenant-jimmy-evans/

    Palestinians hold day of mourning after 773 shot with live ammunition

    At least 15 killed when Israeli soldiers open fire during mass demonstrations in Gaza

    Gaza hospitals, running low on blood and overstretched by the huge number of wounded, were reeling after one of the enclaves bloodiest days outside of open war, in which Israeli soldiers shot 773 people with live ammunition, according to the ministry of health.

    Fifteen of the wounded died, said the ministry spokesperson Dr Ashraf al-Qidra. Most of the dead were aged between 17 and 35 years old, he said. The injuries were on the upper part of the body. He added that the remainder of the wounded, some of whom were in a critical condition, had been shot with live ammunition.

    The violence erupted on Friday after mass demonstrations took place demanding the right of return for Palestinian refugees and their descendants to land in Israel.

    Tens of thousands of people, including women and children, had planned to camp several hundred metres from the Israeli frontier, which surrounds the 140-square-mile Gaza strip on two sides, on the first day of a peaceful, six-week protest.

    But from the main camps, groups of mostly young men approached the border at several locations and started throwing stones and burning tyres. Soldiers responded by opening fire throughout the day.

    More than 1,400 people were wounded, mostly by bullets but also rubber-coated rounds and tear-gas inhalation, the health ministry said. The Guardian was unable to independently verify the ministrys figures.

    On Friday, in less than 30 minutes, reporters saw 10 people with bullet wounds carried away on stretchers at one of the demonstrations.

    The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, declared Saturday a national day of mourning. More demonstrations are planned.

    Israel said it has positioned snipers and responded to rioting Palestinians with dispersal means and firing towards main instigators. It said the movement was a Hamas-orchestrated ploy and it was identifying terror attacks under the camouflage of riots.

    The military pointed to what it said was an attempted shooting attack by a terror cell in the northern part of the Gaza strip on Friday. It added that it had responded with gunfire and by targeting three nearby Hamas sites with tanks and fighter jets. The military sent a video to journalists showing men appearing to tamper with the separation fence and said that Hamas had earlier sent a seven-year-old girl across the border, whom Israeli soldiers returned to her parents.

    The Israeli ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, said: The international community must not be deceived by what he called a well-organised and violent terror gathering.

    Play Video

    Gaza-Israel border calm one day after deadly protests video

    Hamas, which backed the protest, has fought three wars with Israel since 2008. In the past few weeks, Israeli forces say they have caught people attempting to cut through the frontier to launch attacks.

    The UN security council held emergency talks to discuss the risks of further escalation but failed to agree on a statement. There is fear that the situation might deteriorate in the coming days, said the assistant UN secretary general for political affairs, Tay-Brook Zerihoun.

    The UN secretary general, Antnio Guterres, has called for an independent and transparent investigation into the violence, according to his spokesman Farhan Haq.

    The Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, said what happened in Gaza was a heinous massacre. He said Palestinians expect the security council to shoulder its responsibility and defuse this volatile situation, which clearly constitutes a threat to international peace and security.

    Fridays death toll stood at 16 and included a farmer killed by an Israeli tank shell before dawn as he picked parsley near the border, according to the health ministry. An Israeli army spokesman said the man was operating suspiciously.

    Al-Qidra said hospitals were running low on several blood types.

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/31/palestinians-hold-day-of-mourning-after-773-shot-with-live-ammunition

    Daughter Opens Dads Bible 10 Years After He DiesWhat She Sees Written in the Margins Knocks Her Breathless

    It is often in our moments of greatest weakness that God’s power manifests in us most magnificently. And there’s hardly a moment of greater weakness than when we are faced with our own mortality.

    Of course, we all know that none of us get out of this thing alive, but the weight of that reality rarely hits us until we’re staring death in the face. It is in that place where we are stretched and broken, frail and helpless, that God gives us the courage to exercise our faith in full bloom.

    Such was the case for Valli Vida Gideons‘ father. The day he was diagnosed with terminal cancer in his abdomen, Valli never saw the invincible man she knew as dad look so afraid.

    But according to Valli, a wonderful transformation started to occur… “as his body began to fail, his faith grew.”

    As his health faded and his body withered, she watched the eternal light of Christ shine in her father ever more powerfully.

    “He never lived like he would lose the battle.”

    …And though he died, in reality, he never did.

    Over a decade after her Dad passed, Valli saw the most astonishing proof of that in a place she never expected — the margins of his Bible.

    It was in those intentional scrawls throughout Romans, John, James, Jeremiah that she received the “highest gift.”

    Read Valli’s Facebook post below, detailing a beautiful story of a father’s unfailing faith that translated into a daughter’s greatest treasure:

    “I’ll never forget the look in my Dad’s eyes when the doctor told him the cancer was sprinkled throughout his abdomen like powdered sugar. At that moment I saw the man I considered fearless look afraid.

    What started as an exploratory surgery ended in an unspeakable diagnosis. Mom and Dad asked us to leave the room; they needed to ask the doctor questions parents don’t want their children to hear.

    The fight of my Dad’s life began behind those closed doors.

    Through chemo treatments and all the hell inflicted by cancer, he never lived like he would lose the battle.

    And I believed it.


    What’s more, as his body began to fail, his faith grew.

    Years later, after his year-and-a-half fight ended, I was given the highest gift.

    I still don’t know how and when I received his bible. But well over a decade after my dad died, I opened it.

    His notes were everywhere. The most beautiful penmanship written with his favorite black pen. Along with dates. Highlights. Underlined phrases, words, passages.

    A spiritual journey…Now, in my hands.

    I held antique-like pages of the book he received on his wedding day -over 50 years ago. Inside it was a documented path.


    The contents within the margins of the pages explained so much:

    Why everyone at his funeral said he was their good, if not best, friend.
    Why grown men had tears in their eyes.
    Why my grandma died suddenly, not long after his passing.
    Why my mother never remarried.
    Why our hearts were broken.

    His life was filled with incredible depth. He loved selflessly. And unconditionally. My mother knew she was IT in his eyes; So did his children.

    And now, as I flip through the roadmap he provided in Romans, John, James, Jeremiah… I know beyond a shadow of a doubt during the last months of his life, he was at peace. And he knew, unequivocally, where he was going.

    Gifts like these continue to bless me. Some moments they are crystal clear; other times they wash over me like a gentle breeze. They are there; All I have to do is open them.

    Thank you, Dad.”

    Read Next On FaithIt
    Coach Under Fire After Baptizing 18 Players Before Practice

    Read more: https://faithit.com/daughter-dads-bible-10-years-died-cancer-greatest-gift/

    Boeing Hit by Cyberattack, Says Jetliner Production Not Affected

    Boeing Hit by Cyberattack, Says Jetliner Production Not Affected

    Updated on

    • Planemaker says it ‘detected a limited intrusion of malware’
    • Seattle Times cites memo on problem ‘metastasizing rapidly’

    Boeing Co. said it was hit by a cyberattack, following a Seattle Times report that some manufacturing equipment used to build its 787 Dreamliner and newest 777 wide-body jets could be crippled.

    Aircraft production and deliveries aren’t affected, the Chicago-based planemaker said Wednesday. Some reports on the attack “are overstated and inaccurate,” said Linda Mills, a spokeswoman at Boeing’s commercial airplane division.

    “Our cybersecurity operations center detected a limited intrusion of malware that affected a small number of systems,” Mills said in an emailed statement. “Remediations were applied and this is not a production and delivery issue.”

    The assembly lines potentially affected by the software problem include those of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner North Charleston, South Carolina, and the 777X Composite Wing Center, the Seattle Times report indicated.

    “It is metastasizing rapidly out of North Charleston and I just heard 777 (automated spar assembly tools) may have gone down,” Boeing engineer Mike VanderWel wrote in a memo cited by the newspaper. VanderWel said he was concerned that the virus would hit equipment used to test jetliners before they roll out of the factory for their initial flight and potentially “spread to airplane software.”

    The automated spar assembly refers to a state-of-the-art new tool at Boeing. Robotic machines there lay down rows of carbon-fiber tape over what will become the 108-foot-long spar that runs down the center of the wing for the 777X, an upgraded jetliner due to debut in 2020.

    A cyberattack last year compromised companies such as FedEx Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. and crippled parts of the U.K.’s state-run National Health Service.

    Boeing rose less than 1 percent to $321.55 in late trading.

    Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-28/boeing-hit-by-wannacry-ransomware-attack-seattle-times-says

    ‘Clueless’ star Stacey Dash withdraws from congressional race

    Washington (CNN)“Clueless” star and former Fox News commentator Stacey Dash is withdrawing her congressional bid, a representative for the actress confirmed to CNN Friday.

    The news comes one month after the actress and outspoken Republican filed paperwork to run in California’s 44th district, which is currently represented by Democrat Nanette Barragán.
    Her campaign slogan was “Dash to D.C.”
      “I started this run with the intention to address the pressing issues in the district where I live,” Dash said in the statement. “I hoped, and remain hopeful, that I can assist people living here on the national level. My goal was, and remains, to improve the lives of people who have been forgotten for decades by the Democratic Party.”
      However, Dash added, “At this point, I believe that the overall bitterness surrounding our political process, participating in the rigors of campaigning, and holding elected office would be detrimental to the health and wellbeing of my family. I would never want to betray the personal and spiritual principles I believe in most: that my God and my family come first.”
      The district, which includes Compton, Watts, San Pedro and North Long Beach, has long been represented by a Democrat.
      It overwhelmingly voted for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016, 83%-12%.
      Dash, who wrote a memoir called “There Goes My Social Life: From Clueless to Conservative,” has been a polarizing figure since she made the transition from beloved 1990s actor to conservative pundit. She is known for taking controversial stances on issues affecting people of color.
      In an interview with CNN’s The Point last month, Dash said she jumped in the race because it was “perfect timing.”
      “I live in my district and I realized this is home to me, this is where people need the most change to occur,” she said. “I’m going to fight for that change. It’s a labor of love for me. Why I decided to do it now? God. That’s why. It’s perfect timing. We need to keep the House.”
      Dash said in her statement Friday that pulling out from the race was a “difficult choice.”
      However, she said she will “continue to speak out” about “problems facing this district, as well as the distractions that take the place of real change.”

      Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/30/politics/stacey-dash-withdraws-congressional-race/index.html

      6 Old Acquaintances Who Conveniently Came Out Of The Woodwork Right When I Won A Lifetime Supply Of Angelo Parodi Sardine Portoghesi AllOlio Di Oliva

      After winning a lifetime supply of delicious Angelo Parodi Sardine Portoghesi All’Olio di Oliva, I thought I was going to be on easy street for the rest of my life. On the contrary, I had no idea how many old “friends” would suddenly show up looking to get a taste of my haul. Here are six old acquaintances who came out of the woodwork as soon as my pockets were overflowing with wads of tiny fish.

      1. My college roommate, Mark Ericson: Mark basically acted like I didn’t exist back when we lived in the same dorm freshman year of college, but I guess all it takes is a few thousand pounds of premium Angelo Parodi Sardine Portoghesi All’Olio di Oliva for someone to completely change their personality on a dime. Suddenly, Mark accepted the Facebook friend request I sent him nine years ago, he’s trying to get the only existing picture of us trending on Twitter with the hashtag #AngeloParodiSardinePortoghesiAllOliodiOlivaBoys4Life, and he keeps offering quotes about our “incredibly formative friendship” to our college newsletter for their upcoming story “Alumni Wins Sardine Contest.” Mark can try to rewrite history all he wants, but if he thinks he’s getting even one tin of Angelo Parodi Sardine Portoghesi All’Olio di Oliva, he’s got another thing coming.

      2. My old bandmates: The last time I saw anyone from my old Pearl Jam cover band was when I was dramatically kicked out and told to never come back after I missed too many shows to care for my elderly pet tarantula. Well, it turns out that, in addition to being a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, Angelo Parodi Sardine Portoghesi All’Olio di Oliva also has the power to shorten people’s memories! Mere days after I hit it big in the sardine department, all four original band members came crawling back to my door hoping we could run through “Jeremy” like old times to the “smooth backing track of southern Mediterranean fish broiling to perfection” as if I had forgotten them screaming, “You’ve chosen your tarantula over Bellow Ledbetter for the last time!” at me not so long ago. I saw the Tupperware containers hidden in their guitar cases and told them that the only kind of music I make now is the perfect symphony of flavors in my Angelo Parodi Sardine Portoghesi All’Olio di Oliva smoked paté, of which I don’t intend to share a single bite.

      3. My first love, Kim Johnson: When I look into Kim’s eyes, I don’t feel like a big hotshot with an unlimited amount of Angelo Parodi Sardine Portoghesi All’Olio di Oliva at my disposal; I feel like a kid with a regular amount of sardines who just wants to love and be loved in return. Perhaps that’s why I pushed away my doubts when Kim, my crush since high school, suddenly decided she wanted to “hang out” after years of ignoring my Facebook invites and “Happy birthday” texts. Unfortunately, the reason for Kim’s change of heart became all too clear when I went to bed one night with the love of my life in my arms and 300 crates of Angelo Parodi Sardine Portoghesi All’Olio di Oliva in my garage only to wake up the next morning completely alone with just 297 crates of Angelo Parodi Sardine Portoghesi All’Olio di Oliva in my garage. Lesson learned—it’s lonely at the top.

      4. My sixth-grade basketball coach: Interestingly, when I was an awkward 12-year-old with a horrible free-throw average, my basketball coach, Devon Gherrity, would only refer to me as “Princess Butterfingers,” but now that I have enough Angelo Parodi Sardine Portoghesi All’Olio di Oliva to feed a small island nation, Coach apparently remembers me as the “single greatest player in the history of the team.” In fact, he even said he’d consider “honoring my legacy” by putting my face on the official team jersey if I was willing to hand over just a small percentage of my Angelo Parodi Sardine Portoghesi All’Olio di Oliva cache. I guess for Coach Gherrity, it doesn’t take hard work and perseverance to become a good basketball player, it just takes enough sardines. And frankly, that’s just sad.

      5. My pediatrician: No more than a week after my apartment became a veritable emporium of Angelo Parodi Sardine Portoghesi All’Olio di Oliva, I received a phone call from my childhood pediatrician urging me to come in for an “emergency appointment.” When I arrived, Dr. Jacobs said that my blood work indicated a deficiency of vitamins D, B2, and B12 as well as early signs of cardiovascular disease. “That’s weird, because a healthy diet of Angelo Parodi Sardine Portoghesi All’Olio di Oliva should specifically prevent all of those conditions,” I said. Dr. Jacobs gasped and said, “Oh my goodness, you’re right! I totally gave you MY charts by accident. Looks like I’m the one whose health could benefit from an increased amount of nutritious Angelo Parodi Sardine Portoghesi All’Olio di Oliva.” Then he kept loudly repeating that he felt faint until I had no choice but to fork over one of the 17 tins I carry on my person at all times. How silly of me to think that my old doctor might actually be concerned about my health and not just thinking of his own twisted way to get his hands on a piece of the Angelo Parodi Sardine Portoghesi All’Olio di Oliva pie.

      6. My nephew, David: I’ve been trying for years to make a connection with my moody nephew, David, but I’m pretty sure he’s never said a single word to me. That’s why I was so excited when I heard that he had written about me for his “my hero” essay in school—and then I read it:

      How sweet…not! Even if his play for my sardines wasn’t so desperate, it hurts that David didn’t even mention my years in the Peace Corps or my extensive work with shelter dogs. I’m not just a walking piece of Angelo Parodi Sardine Portoghesi All’Olio di Oliva, David! I have feelings!

      Read more: http://www.clickhole.com/article/6-old-acquaintances-who-conveniently-came-out-wood-7463

      Rob Kardashian Is Ready To Bounce Back For Real ‘More Active’ Now Following Public Weight Struggle!

      Move over Khloé because Rob Kardashian is working on his Revenge Body!

      As we reported, the KUWTK brother turned 31 on Saturday and posted a photo of him and daughter Dream Kardashian where the father of one looks noticeably slimmer (above).

      According to a People source, the Arthur George sock designer — who has publicly battled weight gain, depression, and type 2 diabetes — “needs to get his eating in check” though he has been “more active” lately.

      Luckily, the USC graduate has lots of support from his loved ones. The insider continued:

      “Everyone hopes this time he can turn himself around… He’s been doing better and has been spending a lot more time around his family, which is good for him.”

      Despite his nasty split from ex Blac Chyna, who wished him happy birthday over the weekend, Rob is doing everything in his power to give him and his daughter a better life.

      “There is a lot of sympathy for Rob — he fell hard for Chyna… He’s trying to focus on Dream and being a good dad to her. Dream is the sweetest little girl and loves Rob.”

      You got this, dude!

      [Image via Rob Kardashian/Twitter.]

      Read more: http://perezhilton.com/2018-03-19-rob-kardashian-blac-chyna-dream-kardashian-active-lifestyle

      Did These Computer Scientists Solve the Cuban Sonic Attack?

      A technical report from the University of Michigan offers a stunningly simple theory for the source of the Cuban sonic attack: a pair of eavesdropping devices too close to each other and tripping the ultrasound that ironically was supposed to make their presence quiet.

      More importantly, it might not have been done with malicious intent.

      It doesnt prove its the cause, Kevin Fu, an associate professor at the University of Michigan and one of the co-authors of the study, cautioned. Its a correlation. But to us, it seems like a strong correlation.

      A recap: Last September, the State Department recalled 21 American employees from the U.S. embassy in Havana. These employees, along with three Canadians, reported dizziness, cognitive difficulties, headaches, and hearing loss, among other medical issues, according to an official statement made by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The victims of what was being termed a sonic attack reported hearing a high-pitched sound that made them physically ill.

      In December, the AP reported that patients showed unprecedented neurological damage, with hearing loss, memory problems, and cognitive issues. This prompted further speculation as to what the sonic terror device was: Some thought it was an advanced Russian tool that was sneaked into the embassy; others thought it was poisoning. A Cuban panel of scientists thought the psychogenesis was brought about by stress.

      To add to the confusion, doctors werent sure either what was going on. In a preliminary report published in JAMA, physicians treating the patients could only say a novel mechanism caused the neurological damage. A companion report in JAMA published last month came to no conclusion as to what could possibly be causing the neurological damage patients had suffered.

      But in the technical report published from the University of Michigan on Thursday, Fu and his colleagues came up with a totally different, less spy-novella-ish technical mishap, not a sonic attack at all.

      In fact, Fu and his co-authors were accidental investigators of the Cuban sonic attacks. Fus daytime job is researching computer security and privacy at the University of Michigan; hes also chief scientist at the health-care security company Virta Labs.

      I look at how security can fail, he told The Daily Beast. My laboratory studies how sound waves can cause bizarre malfunctions in computer systems.

      About six months ago, the AP released a video of the sound, recorded by a victim at the embassy. (Warning: This sound might be painful to some people.)

      Fu and his team were working on a project testing the audibility of ultrasound in another project, but the AP video caught their eye.

      At the time, people were talking about ultrasound [being a theory as to what the sound was], Fu said. But it didnt make sense. Ultrasound is inaudible [to humans], and you wouldnt hear it.

      So Fu and his co-authors set to work analyzing the five-second blip of sound captured by the APs source. Fu and his co-authors decided to reverse-engineer the ultrasonic signals necessary to generate the high-pitched tone, attempting to craft ultrasound with mathematical properties such that you can choose the audible byproduct.

      Thats difficult to parse, but what Fu and his colleagues were trying to figure out were the combination of ultrasonic tones that would not only be able to create something that was discernible to the human ear but would replicate the tinny, high-pitched sound captured by the APs source. They knew it wasnt a single tone, but that there had to be multiple tones that rang together as one. Fus team was positive this was the case, because they looked at the spectral signature, or the variance in the wavelengths the tone was emitting.

      What they measured came out to be a 7 kHz tone that can be listened to here: (Warning: This sound might be painful to some listeners.)

      Thats 7,000 vibrations a second, Fu said. Its high-pitched, and its a sound that any adult or child can hear.

      Fu and his team had figured out how an ultrasound tone could be audible to the human ear. But what could possibly have created that sound?

      While ultrasound might make you think of pregnant women, it's in our everyday lives. The common use of ultrasound is for motion detection, Fu said, particularly in industrial settings. Those lights that stay on in office rooms? Theyre usually able to detect movement (much like the detection of a fetus and its minute movements) in energy-efficient structures to keep the lights on only when there is a moving, living, breathing human in it. Sit still long enough and the lights might shut off, mistakenly thinking that no one is in the room. These sensors are also emitting sound, but its at the ultrasound level, in the 32 kHz range, which is normally outside of human earshot.

      In an article Fu and one of his co-authors wrote for The Conversation, the authors point to other ways ultrasound can turn up in an industrial setting: museum recordings and security settings that are intended to not bother those outside a setting but respond to those within one; electronic pest repellants that dont affect humans but annoy rodents and/or bugs; noisemakers designed to affect teens with better hearing than adults in the event of a riot.

      But what if the ultrasound here got tripped up by an interruptionperhaps a pair of eavesdropping devices whose transmission got tangled over what was supposed to be an inaudible ultrasonic link but instead became audible?

      Fu and his colleagues tested this theory by having an eavesdropping device record conversations that were then sent over to a surveillance team via ultrasonic link, which was supposed to be inaudible to the human ear. But Fus group also dropped another otherwise-inaudible ultrasonic device in the vicinity of the first device, creating interferencewhats known as intermodulation distortionthat could lead to the 7 kHz tinny sound the team replicated and identified in the APs sound recording.

      It doesnt prove that this is what happened in Cuba, Fu cautioned. But it does show that theres a reasonable probability that its an accident rather than someone causing harm [intentionally].

      The technical paper Fu and his co-authors published is groundbreaking in that it offers a viable explanation for what happened to the 24 embassy workers. Its an alternative hypothesis to the sonic-weapon theory, of someone trying to cause harm, Fu said. Its a theory that seems a little more practical in that it could be bad engineering.

      It seems like a reasonable hypothesis.

      So many parts of the story seemed primed for a Hollywood thriller: that the embassy workers got sick by virtue of a sound, that the sound seemed targeted at certain times, that only some of them were able to hear it while others werent.

      Fu said the dual-eavesdropping-device theory could readily explain these oddities. For one, Theres very little consensus on whether airborne ultrasound can cause harm, Fu pointed out, saying some research indicates that the answer is yes, others say no. He also said that because ultrasound isnt usually audible, standards for how loud it can be before it causes harm vary by country. In Canada, for example, the accepted level is 110 dB, the equivalent of putting your head next to a chainsaw, Fu said.

      But to Fu, the most interesting part and nuance is that ultrasound can create the audible byproducts and even lower frequencies than can be heard. That can in turn lead to unusual neurological symptomsheadaches, dizziness, disorientation. Sound familiar?

      The JAMA study from last month theorized ultrasound was potentially a culprit, noting:

      Ultrasound (>20000 Hz)specifically high-intensity focused ultrasoundis known to induce heating and coagulative necrosis of brain tissue. This characteristic has recently been exploited to stereotactically and noninvasively produce focal lesions in the treatment of movement disorders. However, the technical challenges in using ultrasound waves for nonlethal attacks include the rapid absorption of ultrasound by surrounding air and a requirement for close proximity to the source to induce injury.

      Christopher Muth and Steven Lewis, JAMA

      (The Daily Beast reached out to the authors of the companion JAMA report that described the symptoms the patients faced and the fact that they seemed to suffer neurological damage. The authors declined to comment.)

      As for the argument that some people were able to hear the sound but others were not, Fu also provides an explanation of varying auditory capabilities, most likely traceable to the simple demographic factor of age. As we get older, our hearing deteriorates. Fu offered a story of doing an experiment one day while playing a couple ultrasonic tones. A couple students down the way said, Please turn the annoying sound off, he recalled. Fu had no idea what they were saying, until he looked at a device he had on that indicated that soundwaves were being generated at the 15 kHz level. Everyone said they could hear it and it was really annoying, Fu, who is 42 and reported normal age-related hearing loss, said. But I couldnt hear a thing.

      Fu and his colleagues submitted the technical report to the Department of State some days ago, but hasnt heard back. He said that while its not probably going to be submitted to a journal because it would be difficult to peer review (the field is tiny and Fu said the experts capable of peer reviewing the report are limited to him and his co-authors, thereby making a peer review moot), the hypothesis makes sense to him.

      It just seems like the simplest solution, he said.

      Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/did-these-computer-scientists-solve-the-cuban-sonic-attack

      Demi Lovato Removes All Her Makeup In Video, And The Result Speaks For Itself

      For those not in the know, Demi Lovato is a singer, songwriter and actress, known being a prominent champion of positive body image, who also speaks openly and honestly about her own struggles with an eating disorder and mental health.

      Adding to her journey of self-acceptance and refreshingly human and positive messages to her fans, Demi has made a video called “Demi Lovato, Unfiltered: A Pop Star Removes Her Makeup,” for Vogue as part of their American Women: Transformers series. Turning the traditional makeover on its head, Demi instead gets a makeunder, as she slowly strips away her makeup to reveal the beauty underneath.

      “I think society tells us we need makeovers, but why can’t we embrace the beauty that we naturally have?” She told Vogue. However, that’s not to say that she doesn’t enjoy the glamor which comes as part of her job. “I love makeup. I love doing my hair; I have extensions, but there’s a time and a place for everything, and natural beauty needs to be celebrated.”

      You could argue that for a young, beautiful millionaire, going natch and looking great with it comes quite a bit easier than it does for the average woman. Some commenters certainly didn’t buy it. For others however, she remains one of the few celebrities that people can really relate to as they follow her ups and downs on social media, where she strips bare her insecurities and urges her fans to embrace themselves as they are.

      Scroll down to see Demi go from glam diva to girl-next-door, and completely own her bare beauty in the video below. Don’t forget to let us know what you think in the comments!

      Singer, songwriter and actress Demi Lovato just filmed a short clip for Vogue

      But this time instead of the full makeup that she usually comes with…

      And a team of makeup artists helping her out…

      To achieve results like this

      …she did it all in reverse

      After starting with full makeup, she sat in front of the camera and started to remove it

      Here’s the clip itself

      Some didn’t buy it though

      But others loved it

      Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/celebrity-demi-lovato-no-makeup-video-vogue/

      Visionary physicist Stephen Hawking dies

      Media playback is unsupported on your device

      Media captionLooking back the life of Stephen Hawking

      World renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76.

      He died peacefully at his home in Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday, his family said.

      The British scientist was famed for his work with black holes and relativity, and wrote several popular science books including A Brief History of Time.

      At the age of 22 Prof Hawking was given only a few years to live after being diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease.

      The illness left him in a wheelchair and largely unable to speak except through a voice synthesiser.

      In a statement his children, Lucy, Robert and Tim, said: “We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today.

      “He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years.”

      They praised his “courage and persistence” and said his “brilliance and humour” inspired people across the world.

      “He once said, ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.’ We will miss him forever.”

      A book of condolence is due to be opened at Gonville and Caius College in Cambridge, where Prof Hawking was a fellow.

      Media playback is unsupported on your device

      Media captionProfessor Brian Cox on the legacy and wonder of Hawking’s work

      Prof Hawking was the first to set out a theory of cosmology as a union of relativity and quantum mechanics.

      He also discovered that black holes leak energy and fade to nothing – a phenomenon that would later become known as Hawking radiation.

      Through his work with mathematician Sir Roger Penrose he demonstrated that Einstein’s general theory of relativity implies space and time would have a beginning in the Big Bang and an end in black holes.

      The scientist gained popularity outside the academic world and appeared in several TV shows including The Simpsons, Red Dwarf and The Big Bang Theory.

      He was portrayed in both TV and film – recently by Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything, which charted his rise to fame and relationship with his first wife, Jane.

      The actor paid tribute to him, saying: “We have lost a truly beautiful mind, an astonishing scientist and the funniest man I have ever had the pleasure to meet.”

      Benedict Cumberbatch, who played Prof Hawking in a BBC drama, said he was “a true inspiration for me and for millions around the world”.

      Image copyright BBC/PA
      Image caption Stephen Hawking was portrayed on TV and film by Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne

      His most famous book – A Brief History of Time – has now shot to the top of the Amazon Best Sellers list.

      The Motor Neurone Disease Association, of which Prof Hawking had been a patron since 2008, reported that its website had crashed because of an influx of donations to the charity.

      Factfile: Stephen Hawking

      • Born 8 January 1942 in Oxford, England
      • Earned place at Oxford University to read natural science in 1959, before studying for his PhD at Cambridge
      • By 1963, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease and given two years to live
      • Outlined his theory that black holes emit “Hawking radiation” in 1974
      • In 1979, he became the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the Cambridge – a post once held by Sir Isaac Newton
      • Published his book A Brief History of Time in 1988, which has sold more than 10 million copies
      • In the late 1990s, he was reportedly offered a knighthood, but 10 years later revealed he had turned it down over issues with the government’s funding for science

      Tributes have poured in for Prof Hawking since the announcement of his death.

      Prof Lord Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal, who was at university with Prof Hawking when he was diagnosed, said his friend had “amazing willpower and determination”.

      Prime Minister Theresa May called him a “brilliant and extraordinary mind” and “one of the great scientists of his generation”.

      Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn praised the scientist for his “determination to explain the mysteries of the cosmos” and his “burning passion to protect our National Health Service.”

      Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the web, said: “We have lost a colossal mind and a wonderful spirit. Rest in peace, Stephen Hawking,” he said.

      The vice chancellor of the University of Cambridge – where Prof Hawking had studied and worked – Professor Stephen Toope, said he was a “unique individual” who would be remembered with “warmth and affection”.

      Prof James Hartle, who worked with him to create the Hartle-Hawking wavefunction to explain the Big Bang, said Prof Hawking had a “unique” ability to “see through all the clutter in physics” and get to the point.

      He told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme: “My memory of him would be… first our work together as scientists and, second, as a human being whose whole story is a triumph over adversity [and] who inspired a lot of people, including me.”

      The comedian and presenter of the BBC’s Stargazing Live Dara O’Briain said the scientist had an “immeasurable life” and “one of the few people I would call a hero of mine”.

      Theoretical physicist, professor Jim Al-Khalili, from Surrey University said Prof Hawking had a tremendous sense of humour.

      He told BBC Radio Surrey: “He was a fun loving guy. Inside that shell, inside that body that was paralysed, was someone who was full of vigour, full of passion for life.”

      Hawking’s discoveries

      • With the Oxford mathematician Roger Penrose, he showed that if there was a Big Bang, it must have started from an infinitely small point – a singularity
      • Black holes radiate energy known as Hawking radiation, while gradually losing mass. This is due to quantum effects near the edge of the black hole, a region called the event horizon
      • He predicted the existence of mini-black holes at the time of the Big Bang. These black holes would have shed mass until they vanished, potentially ending their lives in an explosion that would release vast amounts of energy
      • In the 1970s, Hawking considered whether the particles and light that enter a black hole were ultimately destroyed if the black hole evaporated. Hawking initially thought that this “information” was lost from the Universe. But the US physicist Leonard Susskind disagreed. These ideas became known as the information paradox. In 2004, Hawking conceded that the information must be conserved

      British astronaut Tim Peake said Prof Hawking “inspired generations to look beyond our own blue planet and expand our understanding of the universe”.

      Gian Giudice, head of theoretical physics at the European nuclear research laboratory CERN, said Prof Hawking had a “great impact” on the centre’s research, adding: “A giant of our field has left us, but his immortal contributions will remain forever.”

      Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak said: “Stephen Hawking’s integrity and scientific dedication placed him above pure brilliance,”

      Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
      Image caption Stephen Hawking arrives on the red carpet with former wife Jane Hawking (L) and daughter Lucy Hawking (R).

      In his 2013 memoir he described how he felt when first diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

      “I felt it was very unfair – why should this happen to me,” he wrote.

      “At the time, I thought my life was over and that I would never realise the potential I felt I had. But now, 50 years later, I can be quietly satisfied with my life.”

      Speaking to the BBC in 2002, his mother, Isobelle, described him as a “very normal young man”.

      She said: “He liked parties. He liked pretty girls – only pretty ones. He liked adventure and he did, to some extent, like work.”

      Did you ever meet Stephen Hawking? Share your memories of him by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk.

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

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      Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43396008

      4 Creepy Ways Everyday Life Is Turning Into Sci-Fi

      The goal of any good dystopian story is to warn us about the future that we could end up with if we’re not careful. But they’re usually inspired by something that’s happening right now. Which means that while most of us are watching some cool new show in which future people live in pods and are haunted by cyber ghosts, a few unlucky SOBs are out there already living it.


      Japanese People Are Having To Live In Internet Cafes

      Much like America, Japan’s middle class is shrinking thanks to the upsurge in contract-only and temporary work. That makes paying rent all but impossible, so as many as 4,000 people in Tokyo alone are now living out of internet cafes — those places you thought became outdated shortly after we all moved on from 56k modems. They’re called saiba homuresu, or cyber homeless, which is a cool name for a sign of the crushingly bleak economic times.

      Japans Disposable Workers, via YouTubeThe “tiny house” thing is a little less cute when taken to its logical conclusion.

      And this isn’t a trendy way for young people to keep their lives simple before they get their feet on the ground. Nearly 40 percent of the cyber homeless are in their 30s, and 29 percent are in their 50s. There’s an imbalance in Japan’s economy whereby many people can’t get jobs, but those with jobs feel like they have to work themselves to death (and sometimes do) to stay in the game. And if you can’t afford a home, and have no free time to spend in one anyway, why not downgrade? Many cafes, which charge around 15 dollars a night, offer showers, laundry, and other amenities to their long-term residents. It’s kind of like living out of your car, except with much easier access to pornography. Plus you get to look like someone out of a William Gibson novel.

      Japans Disposable Workers, via YouTube

      Japans Disposable Workers, via YouTubeThe Depression Engine

      The cyber homeless try to see the bright side of downsizing, but take a look at the ancient computers they’re stuck with and try to tell us that that’s not suffering. If you’re going to have your life destroyed by a brutal economic recession, at least you shouldn’t also have to use Windows XP.

      Japans Disposable Workers, via YouTubeUpside: hardwood floors. Downside: Theyre also his bed.


      Iran Has A Legal Organs-For-Cash Program

      Sci-fi dystopias frequently revolve around the stark contrast between the wasteful opulence of the wealthy and the brutal desperation of the poor. One of the most popular ways to illustrate this is organ replacement for hire. Whether a poor person needs to rent an organ on a monthly payment plan in Repo Men or a wealthy person simply has their own clone murdered for spare parts like in The Island, the idea of cashing in on organ donation immediately signifies that we’re in a nightmarish dystopia.

      Well, unless you live in modern Iran. Then it’s a fact of life. Iran has a legal marketplace for kidney sales, and while “kidney sale” immediately conjures images of spiked drinks and a bathtub full of ice and regret, it’s all above-board. Poor Iranians are so eager to “donate” that the streets leading to some hospitals are plastered with homemade advertisements proclaiming how healthy their signmakers are …

      Shashank Bengali / Los Angeles TimesNo better way to advertise lifesaving surgery than with Sharpie on the side of a tree.

      Before you write off Iran as a backwards country with inferior healthcare, it’s been argued that their system is in some regards actually better than that of the United States. For all we may squirm at the concept, Iranians in need of kidneys, well, get kidneys. Meanwhile, as obesity and diabetes rates continue to rise, America’s demand for healthy kidneys is only increasing. As of 2015, 100,000 Americans were waiting for a new kidney, and in 2014, 7,600 Americans either got too sick (or too dead) to receive one.

      Shashank Bengali / Los Angeles TimesLuckily, the transplant specialists dont have to advertise like someone trying to sell a pee-stained couch … we hope.

      Iran’s healthcare system saves money overall, because patients get new kidneys quickly instead of spending a long time on dialysis, and the legal framework prevents the donor from getting screwed on payment. Plus, both donor and receiver must be Iranian nationals, so you don’t see “kidney tourism.” Iran has largely managed to address their organ shortage, although information on the long-term health of the sellers is unavailable, because the future is a morally complicated quagmire of nightmares.

      The system has its flaws, of course, with prospective patients making some seriously sketchy side deals to get around waiting periods. Oh, and also the whole vampiric overtone of the rich buying body parts from the poor. That’s pretty weird too.


      Apple’s iPhone Factories Have Suicide Nets Lining The Buildings

      Our iPhones are made in Chinese factories, of which Longhua is the largest and most ominous. About 450,000 workers live and work in the highly regulated quasi-city-state. Nobody else gets in. Delivery truck drivers must first have their fingerprints scanned, and unauthorized visitors have been beaten in the past. Why all the secrecy? Well, if you were running a secret mini-dystopia, you’d be less keen on visitors too. Longhua workers alternate 12-hour shifts and live in grey dorms a few feet from the high-pressure environment where they work. Perhaps understandably, this situation has led to mass suicides. It turns out that forcing workers to pay for running water and getting mad at them for wanting bathroom breaks is bad for morale, even if you do throw the odd potluck.

      Tyrone Siu/ReutersHaving a workplace that could pass for a scene from 1984 isnt super encouraging.

      Now, to be fair, Steve Jobs did highlight how the suicide rate in China was about the same as at the factory, which is only a couple steps removed from telling someone that it’s statistically unlikely to be murdered while you’re stabbing them. Nevertheless, Apple and Foxconn, the factory’s parent company, did take measures to prevent suicides. If you think that sounds nice, think more literally. No steps were taken to improve the working and living conditions, which are infamous for their relentless pace, cruel management, and blatant recruiting lies. Instead, workers had to sign pledges stating they would not attempt to kill themselves. Quickly realizing that a pinky promise didn’t mean much to someone standing on a ledge, they took one more measure: adding netting to all the tall buildings in the complex.

      Thomas Lee/WiredAlternately, a quick way down from the upper floors for people trying to preserve their four minutes a day of personal time.

      Shockingly, these measures haven’t really helped, as threats of mass suicide have become the workers’ only negotiating chip. In 2012, 150 of them gathered on a roof and threatened to jump if working conditions didn’t improve. It happened again in 2016 over withheld wages, which suggests that the 2012 protest didn’t go as well as it could have. Guardian journalists interviewed workers in 2017 to see if any improvements had been made, and one worker summed things up thusly: “It’s not a good place for human beings.”

      The iPhone X looks neat though, huh?


      The Japanese Corpse Warehouses That Deliver The Dead Via Conveyor Belt

      Japan is running out of space to bury their dead, and a booming elderly population means that they’re going to have a whole lot of dead to bury. Further compounding the issue, people who have moved away from their hometowns are finding it troublesome to return to their family graves to care for them. The solution? Conveyor belts for the dead!

      Alexander Martin/Nikkei Asian Review

      .Tokyo GobyoObviously.

      The empathetic folks at Toyota are trying to save people from the tedious job of keeping their family graves clean by providing a low-maintenance alternative, meaning that a night on the town can now feature both sushi and your father’s ashes being brought to you by the same technology. When you arrive at the urn warehouse, you scan an ID card and are directed to a private prayer booth. In under a minute, a conveyor system transfers the relevant ashes into your booth from a behind-the-scenes storage area.

      Kazuhiro Kobayashi/The Japan TimesAll while enjoying a quiet Buddhist ceremony hosted by a vacant-eyed robot.

      A typical conveyor-fed urn warehouse holds 5,500 remains in just over 20,000 square feet, and a slot is roughly half as cheap as a traditional grave site. The only major downside is that it looks like Ghost In The Shell meets Beetlejuice.

      Chunichi Shimbun/The Japan TimesHonor your loved ones memory with the gift of high-volume automated storage.

      Oh, and that you couldn’t be sure — truly sure — that grandpa’s ghost likes hanging out in a robotic corpse warehouse for all eternity. You know old people and technology.

      Tiagosvn would love to hear about the most dystopian elements of your life on his Twitter. Nick is an attorney who hopes his writing career will continue to keep him out of the courtroom.

      Michael Gibson’s work is intense stuff. Check out his first graphic novel, Archangel, today!

      Support Cracked’s journalism with a visit to our Contribution Page. Please and thank you.

      For more, check out 15 Real Sci-Fi Technologies About to Change the World and 5 Awesome Sci-Fi Movies Technologies That’d Suck In Real Life.

      Also, follow us on Facebook, it’s easy!

      Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_25475_4-creepy-ways-everyday-life-turning-into-sci-fi.html

      23 Science-Backed Health Benefits Of Marijuana

      States around the country — 29 of them, plus Washington DC — have legalized medical marijuana. 

      The American public largely supports the legalization of medical marijuana. At least 84% of the public believes the drug should be legal for medical uses, and recreational pot usage is less controversial than ever, with at least 61% of Americans in support.

      Even though some medical benefits of smoking pot may be overstated by advocates of marijuana legalization, recent research has demonstrated that there are legitimate medical uses for marijuana and strong reasons to continue studying the drug’s medicinal uses.

      Even the NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse lists medical uses for cannabis.

      There are at least two active chemicals in marijuana that researchers think have medicinal applications. Those are cannabidiol (CBD) — which seems to impact the brain without a high— and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — which has pain relieving properties and is largely responsible for the high.

      But scientists say that limitations on marijuana research mean we still have big questions about its medicinal properties. In addition to CBD and THC, there are another 400 or so chemical compounds, more than 60 of which are cannabinoids. Many of these could have medical uses. But without more research, we won’t know how to best make use of those compounds.

      More research would also shed light on the risks of marijuana. Even if there are legitimate uses for medicinal marijuana, that doesn’t mean all use is harmless. Some research indicates that chronic, heavy users may have impaired memory, learning, and processing speed, especially if they started regularly using marijuana before age 16 or 17.

      For some of the following medical benefits, there’s good evidence. For others, there’s reason to continue conducting research.

      Jennifer Welsh contributed to an earlier version of this story.

      The best-supported medicinal use of marijuana is as a treatment for chronic pain.

      A recent report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine said there was definitive evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids (which are found in the marijuana plant) can be an effective treatment for chronic pain.

      The report said that is “by far the most common” reason people request medical marijuana.

      There’s also strong evidence medical cannabis can help with muscle spasms.

      That same report said there’s equally strong evidence marijuana can help with muscle spasms related to multiple sclerosis.

      Other types of muscle spasms respond to marijuana as well. People use medical marijuana to treat diaphragm spasms that are untreatable by other, prescribed medications.

      It doesn’t seem to harm lung capacity, and may even improve it.

      There’s a fair amount of evidence that marijuana does no harm to the lungs, unless you also smoke tobacco. One study published in Journal of the American Medical Association found that not only does marijuana not impair lung function, it may even increase lung capacity.

      Researchers looking for risk factors of heart disease tested the lung function of 5,115 young adults over the course of 20 years. Tobacco smokers lost lung function over time, but pot users actually showed an increase in lung capacity.

      It’s possible that the increased lung capacity may be due to taking a deep breaths while inhaling the drug and not from a therapeutic chemical in the drug.

      The smokers in that study only toked up a few times a month, but a more recent survey of people who smoked pot daily for up to 20 years found no evidence that smoking pot harmed their lungs, either.

      The National Academies report said there are good studies showing marijuana users are not more likely to have cancers associated with smoking.

      It may be of some use in treating glaucoma, or it may be possible to derive a drug from marijuana for this use.

      One of the most common reasons that states allow medical marijuana use is to treat and prevent the eye disease glaucoma, which increases pressure in the eyeball, damaging the optic nerve and causing loss of vision.

      Marijuana decreases the pressure inside the eye, according to the National Eye Institute: “Studies in the early 1970s showed that marijuana, when smoked, lowered intraocular pressure (IOP) in people with normal pressure and those with glaucoma.”

      For now, the medical consensus is that marijuana only lowers IOP for a few hours, meaning there’s not good evidence for it as a long term treatment right now. Researchers hope that perhaps a marijuana-based compound could be developed that lasts longer.

      thematthewknot via Flickr

      It may help control epileptic seizures.

      Some studies have shown that cannabidiol (CBD), another major marijuana compound, seems to help people with treatment-resistant epilepsy.

      A number of individuals have reported that marijuana is the only thing that helps control their or their children’s seizures.

      However, there haven’t been many gold-standard, double-blind studies on the topic, so researchers say more data is needed before we know how effective marijuana is.

      It also decreases the symptoms of a severe seizure disorder known as Dravet’s Syndrome.

      During the research for his documentary “Weed,” Sanjay Gupta interviewed the Figi family, who treated their 5-year-old daughter using a medical marijuana strain high in cannabidiol and low in THC.

      The Figi family’s daughter, Charlotte, has Dravet Syndrome, which causes seizures and severe developmental delays.

      According to the film, the drug decreased her seizures from 300 a week to just one every seven days. Forty other children in the state were using the same strain of marijuana to treat their seizures when the film was made — and it seemed to be working.

      The doctors who recommended this treatment said the cannabidiol in the plant interacts with brain cells to quiet the excessive activity in the brain that causes these seizures.

      Gupta notes, however, that a Florida hospital that specializes in the disorder, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Drug Enforcement agency don’t endorse marijuana as a treatment for Dravet or other seizure disorders.

      A chemical found in marijuana stops cancer from spreading, at least in cell cultures.

      CBD may help prevent cancer from spreading, researchers at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco reported in 2007.

      Other very preliminary studies on aggressive brain tumors in mice or cell cultures have shown that THC and CBD can slow or shrink tumors at the right dose, which is a strong reason to do more research.

      One 2014 study found that marijuana can significantly slow the growth of the type of brain tumor associated with 80% of malignant brain cancer in people.

      Still, these findings in cell cultures and animals don’t necessarily mean the effect will translate to people — far more investigation is needed.

      It may decrease anxiety in low doses.

      Researchers know that many cannabis users consume marijuana to relax, but also that many people say smoking too much can cause anxiety. So scientists conducted a study to find the “Goldilocks” zone: the right amount of marijuana to calm people.

      According to Emma Childs, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago and an author of the study, “we found that THC at low doses reduced stress, while higher doses had the opposite effect.” 

      A few puffs was enough to help study participants relax, but a few puffs more started to amp up anxiety. However, people may react differently in different situations.


      THC may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease

      Marijuana may be able to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, a study led by Kim Janda of the Scripps Research Institute suggests.

      The 2006 study, published in the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics, found that THC (the active chemical in marijuana) slows the formation of amyloid plaques by blocking the enzyme in the brain that makes them. These plaques kill brain cells and are associated with Alzheimer’s.

      A synthetic mixture of CBD and THC seems to preserve memory in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Another study suggested that a THC-based prescription drug called dronabinol was able to reduce behavioral disturbances in dementia patients.

      All these studies are in very early stages, though, so more research is needed.

      The drug eases the pain of multiple sclerosis.

      Marijuana may ease painful symptoms of multiple sclerosis, according to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

      Jody Corey-Bloom studied 30 multiple sclerosis patients with painful contractions in their muscles. These patients didn’t respond to other treatments, but after smoking marijuana for a few days, they reported that they were in less pain.

      The THC in marijuana seems to bind to receptors in the nerves and muscles to relieve pain.

      It seems to lessen side effects from treating hepatitis C and increase treatment effectiveness.

      Treatment for hepatitis C infection is harsh: negative side effects include fatigue, nausea, muscle aches, loss of appetite, and depression. Those side effects can last for months, and lead many people to stop their treatment course early.

      But a 2006 study in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that 86% of patients using marijuana successfully completed their Hep C therapy. Only 29% of non-smokers completed their treatment, possibly because the marijuana helps lessen the treatment’s side effects.

      Marijuana also seems to improve the treatment’s effectiveness: 54% of hep C patients smoking marijuana got their viral levels low and kept them low, in comparison to only 8% of nonsmokers.

      Marijuana may help with inflammatory bowel diseases.

      Patients with inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis could benefit from marijuana use, studies suggest. 

      University of Nottingham researchers found in 2010 that chemicals in marijuana, including THC and cannabidiol, interact with cells in the body that play an important role in gut function and immune responses. The study was published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

      The body makes THC-like compounds that increase the permeability of the intestines, allowing bacteria in. But the cannabinoids in marijuana block these compounds, making the intestinal cells bond together tighter and become less permeable.

      But the National Academies report said there isn’t enough evidence to be sure whether marijuana really helps with these conditions, so more research is needed.

      It relieves arthritis discomfort.

      Marijuana alleviates pain, reduces inflammation, and promotes sleep, which may help relieve pain and discomfort for people with rheumatoid arthritis, researchers announced in 2011.

      Researchers from rheumatology units at several hospitals gave their patients Sativex, a cannabinoid-based pain-relieving medicine. After a two-week period, people on Sativex had a significant reduction in pain and improved sleep quality compared to placebo users.

      Other studies have found that plant-derived cannabinoids and inhaled marijuana can decrease arthritis pain, according to the National Academies report.

      Marijuana users tend to be less obese and have a better response to eating sugar.

      A study published in the American Journal Of Medicine suggested that pot smokers are skinnier than the average person and have healthier metabolism and reaction to sugars, even though they do end up eating more calories.

      The study analyzed data from more than 4,500 adult Americans — 579 of whom were current marijuana smokers, meaning they had smoked in the last month. About 2,000 people had used marijuana in the past, while another 2,000 had never used the drug.

      The researchers studied how the participants’ bodies responded to eating sugars. They measured blood-sugar levels and the hormone insulin after participants hadn’t eaten in nine hours, and after they’d eaten sugar.

      Not only were pot users thinner, their bodies also had a healthier response to sugar. Of course, the study couldn’t determine whether the marijuana users were like this to begin with or if these characteristics were somehow related to their smoking.

      While not really a health or medical benefit, marijuana could spur creativity.

      Contrary to stoner stereotypes, marijuana usage has actually been shown to have some positive mental effects, particularly in terms of increasing creativity, at least in some contexts. Even though people’s short-term memories tend to function worse when they’re high, they actually get better at tests requiring them to come up with new ideas.

      Researchers have also found that some study participants improve their “verbal fluency,” their ability to come up with different words, while using marijuana.

      Part of this increased creative ability may come from the release of dopamine in the brain, which lowers inhibitions and allows people to feel more relaxed, giving the brain the ability to perceive things differently.

      Cannabis soothes tremors for people with Parkinson’s disease.

      Research from Israel shows that smoking marijuana significantly reduces pain and tremors and improves sleep for Parkinson’s disease patients. Particularly impressive was the improved fine motor skills among patients.

      Medical marijuana is legal in Israel for multiple conditions, and a lot of research into the medical uses of cannabis is done there, supported by the Israeli government.

      Marijuana may help veterans suffering from PTSD.

      In 2014, the Colorado Department of Public Health awarded $2 million to the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (one of the biggest proponents of marijuana research) to study marijuana’s potential for people with post-traumatic stress disorder. 

      Naturally occurring cannabinoids, similar to THC, help regulate the system that causes fear and anxiety in the body and brain.

      Marijuana is approved to treat PTSD in some states already — in New Mexico, PTSD is the number one reason for people to get a license for medical marijuana.

      But there are still questions about the safety of using marijuana while suffering from PTSD, which this study — which has taken a while to get off the ground — will hopefully help answer.

      Walter Hickey / BI

      Animal studies suggest that marijuana may protect the brain after a stroke.

      Research from the University of Nottingham shows that marijuana may help protect the brain from damage from a stroke by reducing the size of the area affected by the stroke — at least in rats, mice, and monkeys.

      This isn’t the only research that has shown neuroprotective effects of cannabis. Some research shows that the plant may help protect the brain after other types of brain trauma.

      Marijuana might even protect the brain from concussions and trauma.

      Lester Grinspoon , a professor of psychiatry at Harvard and marijuana advocate, recently wrote an open letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. In it, he said the NFL should stop testing players for marijuana, and that the league should start funding research into the plant’s ability to protect the brain instead.

      “Already, many doctors and researchers believe that marijuana has incredibly powerful neuroprotective properties, an understanding based on both laboratory and clinical data,” Grinspoon wrote.

      Goodell said he’d consider permitting athletes to use marijuana if medical research shows that it’s an effective neuroprotective agent.

      At least one recent study on the topic found that patients who had used marijuana were less likely to die from traumatic brain injuries.

      It can help eliminate nightmares.

      This is a complicated one, because it involves effects that can be both positive and negative. Marijuana disturbs sleep cycles by interrupting the later stages of REM sleep. In the long run, this could be a problem for frequent users.

      However, for people suffering from serious nightmares, especially those associated with PTSD, this can be helpful, perhaps in the short term. Nightmares and other dreams occur during those same stages of sleep. By interrupting REM sleep, many of those dreams may not occur. Research into using a synthetic cannabinoid — similar to THC but not the same — showed a significant decrease in the number of nightmares in patients with PTSD.

      Additionally, even if frequent use can be bad for sleep, marijuana may be a better sleep aid than some other substances that people use. Some of those, including medication and alcohol, may potentially have worse effects on sleep, though more research is needed on the topic.

      Cannabis reduces some of the pain and nausea from chemotherapy and stimulates appetite.

      One of the most well-known medical uses of marijuana is for people going through chemotherapy. There’s good evidence that it’s effective for this, according to the National Academies report.

      Cancer patients being treated with chemo suffer from painful nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. This can cause additional health complications.

      Marijuana can help reduce these side effects, alleviating pain, decreasing nausea, and stimulating the appetite. There are also multiple FDA-approved cannabinoid drugs that use THC, the main active chemical in marijuana, for the same purpose.

      Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

      Marijuana can help people who are trying to cut back on drinking.

      Marijuana is safer than alcohol. That’s not to say it’s risk-free, but cannabis is much less addictive than alcohol and doesn’t cause nearly as much physical damage. 

      Disorders like alcoholism involve disruptions in the endocannabinoid system. Because of that, some people think cannabis might help patients struggling with those disorders.

      Research published in the Harm Reduction Journal found that some people use marijuana as a less harmful substitute for alcohol, prescription drugs, and other illegal drugs. Some of the most common reasons patients make that substitution are that marijuana has less negative side effects and is less likely to cause withdrawal problems.

      Some people do become psychologically dependent on marijuana, and it is not a cure for substance abuse problems. But from a harm-reduction standpoint, it can help.

      Still, it’s worth noting that combining marijuana and alcohol can be dangerous, and some researchers are concerned that this scenario is more likely than one in which users substitute a toke for a drink.

      Medical marijuana legalization seems to reduce opioid overdose deaths.

      While there are a number of factors behind the current opioid epidemic, many experts agree that the use of opioid painkillers to treat chronic pain has played a major role. It’s very risky to take powerful drugs that have a high risk of causing overdose and high addiction rates. Marijuana, which can also treat chronic pain, is far less risky.

      Several studies have shown that states that allow medical marijuana have fewer opioid deaths. This effect seems to grow over time, with states who pass these laws seeing a “20% lower rate of opioid deaths in the laws’ first year, 24% in the third, and 33% in the sixth,” according to Stat News.

      It’s hard to say that deaths went down because of medical marijuana legalization and not other reasons. But because the effect seems to get stronger the longer marijuana remains legal, researchers think marijuana is a likely cause of the decline in opioid deaths.

      Read the original article on Business Insider. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Copyright 2017.

      Read next on Business Insider: The highest-valued marijuana companies of 2017 reveal 2 key insights about the booming industry

      Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/23-sciencebacked-health-benefits-of-marijuana/

      Here’s The Thing About Your Family That Could Make You A Better Person

      Sisters. They’re great for having built-in best friends, chatting all night, and of course, “borrowing” clothes.

      My sister and I are definitely all of that for each other, and in fact, that’s the case for all of the sister duos and trios in my life. If you have a sister, you probably know just how special they are. Whenever you need a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear, they’re always there.

      And as it turns out, studies show that having a sister could actually make you a better human being!

      “They help you develop social skills, like communication, compromise, and negotiation,” said Alex Jensen, assistant professor in the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University and the author of research into sibling relationships, said according to Huffington Post. “Even sibling conflict, if it is minor, can promote healthy development.”


      A 2010 study even showed that having a sister can benefit mental health. The study found that participants with sisters had fewer feelings of guilt, self-consciousness, and fears.


      According to Jensen, “What we know suggests that sisters play a role in promoting positive mental health, and later in life they often do more to keep families in contact with one another after the parents pass.”

      Research also shows that brothers who have sisters are better at communicating with the ladies later in life. Practice makes perfect, after all!


      “Some research suggests that having a sibling who is a different gender from you can be a real benefit in adolescence,” Jensen said. “Many of those sibling pairs become closer during the teen years because they become good sources of information about the opposite sex.”


      Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/having-a-sister/

      20 Bizarre Facts About Money You’ve Definitely Never Heard Of

      Money. It makes the world go round.

      And makes most of us pretty miserable in the process. After all, between phone bills, cable packages, rent, health insurance, food, and pet expenses, that nonsense adds up! More and more, all of that stuff is done online, leading to this bizarre phenomenon when money seems like a more amorphous thing than literal, physical dollars and cents.

      Most of the time these days, we just watch that number in our checking account dwindle. But did you ever stop to think about how weird money is? Like, “Here, we invented these little pieces of paper that you have to exchange with people to feed yourself and live.” I get it and all, but it’s still pretty odd if you ask me. Anyway, want to know what’s even weirder? These 20 facts about money that you probably never knew about.

      1. A penny costs 2.4 cents to make.

      2. More than 2 million Americans survive on just $2 per day.

      3. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing uses 9.7 tons of ink each day to print money. That has to be expensive.

      4. Just five percent of those who buy lottery tickets account for 51 percent of total ticket sales. That’s a lot of tickets.

      5. Let this sink in: Gambling generates more money each year than movies, spectator sports, theme parks, cruise ships and recorded music combined. Dang.

      6. Grab the hand sanitizer! Ninety-five percent of bills are absolutely covered in bacteria.

      7. Ever see a dollar bill within one inch of its life? A bill can withstand 800,000 folds before it tears from use.

      8. The Monopoly man’s doing better than us, since more Monopoly money is printed per year than actual money.

      9. Have money in your wallet? There’s a good chance there’s cocaine on it. Ninety percent of bills have traces of the white powdery stuff on them.

      10. Back to my previous point, only about 8 percent of global currency is physical printed money.

      11. Pablo Escobar once lost a cool $10 mill to hungry rats.

      12. The largest U.S. bill ever was for $100,000. I’ll take 10.

      13. When it comes to counterfeiting U.S. currency, North Korea is the biggest offender. Shocking.

      14. Before the Secret Service followed the president around, their original job was actually to fight counterfeiting.

      15. Kids are rollin’ in it today! The average household allowance for chores is $65. I could’ve gotten so many lip glosses with that.

      16. Americans spend $117 billion on fast food per year because of course we do.

      17. Crushing debt comes early now! People today start going into credit card debt as early as high school.

      18. This little design on the $1 bill is a nod to the original 13 colonies.

      19. Everything is terrible and 96 percent of people working in the U.S. today will not be able to retire by the time they’re 65.

      20. If you have 10 bucks in your pocket and no debt to speak of, including any standing credit card debt, then congrats! You’re wealthier than a quarter of Americans.

      Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/money-facts/

      The outrage over Jim Carrey’s tweet is sparking a debate about body-shaming.

      Jim Carrey, a blockbuster actor known for being both hilariously weird and emotionally effective on-screen, doesn’t make many movies anymore. These days, he’s more interested in making art.

      And he hasn’t exactly been quiet about politics, either. On March 17, 2018, Carrey posted a controversial tweet with a grotesque drawing of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, accompanied by the word “monstrous.”

      “This is the portrait of a so-called Christian whose only purpose in life is to lie for the wicked. Monstrous!” Carrey wrote to his nearly 18 million Twitter followers.

      In response, Fox News and several other conservative media outlets are framing Carrey’s comments and portrait of Sanders as “disgraceful” and “terrifying.” They’ve also called the tweet “body-shaming” and “bullying.”

      Body-shaming and bullying are serious issues. But is that really what’s going on here?

      Chances are, you’ve seen a number of stories about bullying and body-shaming in recent years — and probably several of them came from us.

      The reality is, we’re all insecure about our appearances to varying degrees and unrealistic expectations from the media, sexism, and bullying have all contributed to a very real problem that’s worth calling out when it happens.

      After all, recent studies have shown that fat-shaming isn’t just mean, it can involve serious health risks for those who experience it. And one recent study claims that an overwhelming 94% of teenage girls experience fat-shaming at some point in their formative years.

      But this simply isn’t one of those cases. While Carrey’s portrait of Sanders certainly isn’t flattering, it’s clearly more a political critique or a critique of the job she does than a personal insult about her physical appearance. There’s a long history of using unflattering portraits of political figures to make a point that has nothing to do with their real-world body shape, size, or appearance.

      Trying to frame political criticism of the White House press secretary as body-shaming only distracts from the real problem, one that these same media outlets rarely seemed concerned about when the alleged target isn’t one of their political allies.

      Carrey himself has addressed the supposed backlash, tweeting out a satirical painting he did of Trump to make his point. But that hasn’t stopped a number of people from calling him out.

      Liberals and progressives alike should be called out when they’re hypocritical on such a significant issue.

      Body-shaming and bullying aren’t limited to one side of the political spectrum.

      In politics, many on the left have fallen into attacking Donald Trump for his appearance. As we’ve written before, there is no shortage of things to criticize Trump for — and going after his weight isn’t necessary or productive.

      More recently, The New Yorker was criticized by Fox News and others for its cover depicting a nude Trump. That seems more fair, even though many find it hard to defend the most powerful man in the world who himself has a long history of body-shaming vulnerable women.

      If Carrey was doing that here with Sanders, we’d be first in line to criticize him for that.

      Political figures are fair game for criticism. Treating any attack as personal is a distraction from the real issues.

      It’s not always easy to draw the line on acceptable criticism of public figures.

      Making direct threats against their safety is a clear red line no one should cross. However, it’s clear here that a number of people are using the shield of “body-shaming” and “bullying” as a way to distract from valid criticism of Sanders and her boss.

      We’re not saying Carrey’s commentary was kind, but it’s well within the bounds of political criticism. And that’s something everyone should defend, even when it’s their team that’s being targeted.

      Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/the-outrage-over-jim-carrey-s-tweet-is-sparking-a-debate-about-body-shaming

      The Bitter Truth About Fighting Chronic Pain Without Opioids

      If you’ve tried to get painkillers from your doctor recently, or read literally any news story about white rural America, you know that we have an opioid epidemic. Fortunately, it turns out there is a clear, simple solution to the problem. Here’s a quote from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, breaking it down for the rest of us simple-minded shits:

      “The plain fact is, I believe — and I am operating on the assumption that this country prescribes too many opioids — I mean, people need to take some aspirin sometimes and tough it out a little. That’s what General Kelly — you know, he’s a Marine — he had a surgery on his hand, a painful surgery … he goes, ‘I’m not taking any drugs. It did hurt though.’ He did admit it hurt. But, I mean, a lot of people, you can get through these things.”

      As someone who lives with awful chronic pain, I of course agree with him. Sometimes you do have to just tough it out. It really is that simple. I’m not being sarcastic at all. Allow me to share my inspirational story.

      Note: Former Cracked editor John Cheese is now the editor in chief of The Modern Rogue!


      Simply Plan Your Entire Life Around The Pain

      When I was a kid, I had a diving accident that did permanent damage to my neck and back. The details aren’t important — it really is the kind of thing that could have happened to any sensible person — but the result was that from ten feet in the air, I landed headfirst on a sandbar that was covered by just a couple of feet of water. I was completely vertical, like a goddamn Tom And Jerry cartoon. It hurt. And I didn’t even get the dignity of a wacky *boing!* sound.

      As a result, for the last 30 years, I’ve dealt with chronic back pain. At its worst, it feels like a star collapsed inside my body. Sometimes, though, it changes gears and feels like someone hammered a red-hot nail into my neck and left it there. When that happens, sneezing or coughing will send a lightning bolt up my spine, a jolt of agony that makes me feel like I’m going to piss my pants. That can last for weeks. I’ve had broken bones that didn’t hurt like this. Other times, the muscles will suddenly get so weak that they just turn to Jell-O. Here, try this: Drop to the floor and do crunches until you physically can’t anymore, and then keep doing them for several more minutes. The muscle death you feel, coupled with that pulsating burn? That’s what I feel on most days, from sunup to sundown.

      But I of course can power through it without the help of my painkiller prescription, via the irrepressible power of the human spirit. It just takes a little extra planning if I know I’m going to be doing anything extreme, like being on my feet for a couple of hours. For example, I recently took my daughter to the mall for some birthday shopping. After an hour and a half, I physically couldn’t walk anymore. By the time we got back to the car, I thought I was going to have to beg a stranger to help cram me into the driver’s seat, urging them to press on through my screams. Had I planned better, I could have simply quadrupled my dose of aspirin and Skyped with my daughter from the car while she shopped.

      That’s the key to pain management: planning ahead and not doing the thing that causes you pain, and also remembering that nearly all things cause you pain. For instance, I pace when I talk on the phone. I can’t help it. This means a 20-minute phone call can potentially seize up my back so completely that I have to execute the sitting process in slow, gentle stages, looking like a GIF loading on a spotty LTE connection.

      Of course, if I was smart, I would just stop talking on the phone forever. Or I could plan ahead by taking a few aspirin and toughing through that shit like a tank. I just need to cue up some Jeff Sessions and remember his inspirational words: “But, I mean, a lot of people, you can get through these things.”


      Let Societal Scorn Work Its Magic

      Over the past eight years, my wife has been through the following:

      — An injury that resulted in two knee surgeries

      — Her ACL torn right in half, resulting in a third

      — Chronic migraines that regularly send her to the ER

      Fucking brain surgery

      When her ACL popped, she couldn’t touch her foot to the floor without crying so hard that she was close to vomiting. After the first doctor visit, they sent her home with two ibuprofen and a pair of crutches. It wasn’t until a week later that they did a scan and saw the tear. Between this and her original surgeries, the doctors said she’d likely be in pain for the rest of her life. Yet any time she complains to them about the pain, they look at her like she’s trying to bullshit her way into some sweet, sweet drugs. As if she went into the joint and popped that ligament with a pair of bolt cutters just so she’d have the pretense to take an occasional flight on Opioid Airlines.

      I get the same. Any time I have to ask for pain medication, it’s followed with a suspicious look and “Are you sure the ibuprofen isn’t helping?” I understand. Even though I’m just asking for weak-ass Tramadol (a synthetic opioid specifically designed to be less addictive), you can still get hooked on that. I’m aware that addicts fake their way into prescriptions all the time. I also know that they sell them on the streets, and to be perfectly honest, I’d have an easier time buying the pills off of them than getting them from an actual doctor. The doctor is the only one who will judge me as a piece of shit.

      Fortunately, feeling like a scumbag addict is a great motivator for staying away from opioids, despite the fact that they do take away 100 percent of my pain and allow me to physically function through an average day. Politicians say you’re just weak. Perspective employers see you as a potential pill-popping train wreck. Co-workers and subordinates look at you like you’re Dr. House. Friends and family will compare your pain to theirs and blow it off. (“Your back hurts? That’s nothing. I lost three fingers working at the guillotine factory. You don’t see me suckin’ down pain pills”) I simply have to measure the physical pain against the psychological/emotional pain and realize that the latter is greater. Problem solved.


      Trust The Professionals To Let You Know When To Endure Excruciating Pain

      The absolute best way to stay away from opioids is to let the medical profession do what it’s currently doing: restrict the everloving shit out of them in a completely arbitrary way. For instance, did you know that CVS announced in late 2017 that they would be limiting opioid prescriptions to a seven-day supply? And that patients would have to try the immediate-release pills before switching to the much more effective extended-release pills that chronic pain sufferers need? Thank. God.

      Here I was, worried about my own willpower and aspirin-taking toughness, when all I had to do was wait for doctors and pharmacies to step in and say, “We got ya, buddy. We will fucking die before letting you abuse your medication.” I wish they’d take it a step further and just have me come in every time I need an individual pill. Just hand it out at the counter with a little cup of water, like Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

      Of course, “seven-day supply” doesn’t really have much of a meaning. My wife’s 30-day supply of Tramadol is 30 pills. Take a look at the instructions:

      Now, if we’re talking about someone who has pain once per day during a specific four-hour time span, that is definitely a 30-day supply. But if we’re talking about someone who is dealing with chronic pain, then taking the recommended dosage makes that bottle last seven to ten days. And that, my friends, is one hell of an awesome way to beat opioid dependence. Just make them up and vanish for 20 days per month. No more worrying about willpower. No need to toughen up. It’s totally out of your hands. “You’re out already? Well that sucks. You shouldn’t have taken what we told you to take. Oh well. Come back in 20 days, and we’ll get you some more. In the meantime, here’s some aspirin. How’s your toughness?”


      Don’t Worry, Self-Care Is Your Ticket To Complete Opioid Freedom

      Have you ever shopped for computer chairs at an office supply store? They always have little tags with a single-digit number on them. If you never looked up what those mean, they’re “suggested hours of use.” So if the tag says “5,” they’re saying, “Don’t sit in this for more than five hours per day, you lazy, computer-using turd.” I routinely work in a computer chair for 18 hours a day. There are no computer chairs with a rating of “18”.

      Office Depot“Intensive” rated doesn’t even meet half of that.

      In order to prevent my vertebrae from permanently fusing together, I follow the rule of thumb to get up and walk around for five to ten minutes every hour. And that will absolutely work for all of you too, because you also work from home and have no boss who will walk over and say, “Every time I see you, you’re walking around aimlessly, doing nothing. Do you want me to fire you?”

      Now, if you’re one of the rare people who does have a boss (loser), you should just explain to them that experts recommend that you stand for two to four hours during your work day, and you’ll either need two desks (one for sitting and one for standing) or a sitting-to-standing desk for your office. Those generally only cost around $400. They should be fine with that.

      Duro-Med“How about an $11 hemorrhoid pillow instead?” “But I don’t … *sigh* whatever.”

      If you work in physical labor, you’ll need to do the opposite, taking plenty of breaks to get off your feet. The great thing about physical labor is that it’s a job known for its reasonable, empathetic supervisors and flexible project deadlines. They will have absolutely no problem with you pulling up a chair once every hour for some pain prevention. There is no way they’ll say, “I didn’t hire you to sit on your ass. Get back to work or allow me to go spend the three minutes it would take me to find a replacement.”


      You Will Definitely Become Tough

      Here’s the thing about chronic pain: It doesn’t just affect you or your throbbing body part. It turns you into a dick, because it’s impossible to maintain a positive, healthy state of mind when all you can concentrate on is *throb, throb, throb, throb, throb*. Unless you’re showing exaggerated physical signs or you outright tell someone about how much pain you’re in, other people have no idea why you’re being a douche. They just think, “Man, screw that dude.” People in my situation usually know what it’s like to ask for a promotion and be interrupted with, “I’d really love to give you the position, but you really are a piece of shit, Chad.”

      Also, chronic pain is often linked with depression, and the two feed off of each other like the Auryn, only made out of human shit. The pain makes the depression worse, and the depression robs you of the motivation and energy to manage the pain. It’s a perpetual motion machine that often ends with goddamn suicide. “How tragic, he was always so sad for some reason.” YES, MAYBE IT WAS BECAUSE THE ENTIRE TOP HALF OF MY FUCKING BODY WAS ON FIRE.

      The upside is that if you survive a few decades of this, you’ll be tough as hell. You could be catapulted anus-first into a cactus made of metal and be like, “Pfft. Just give me a couple of aspirin. I’ll be fine.” Hell, Jeff Sessions may even put you in one of his speeches.

      “I knew a writer who couldn’t walk the length of one shopping mall,” he’ll say. “His pain was so severe that he only slept a few hours per night. It gave him chronic depression. He had been in the hospital multiple times for nervous breakdowns. His kids learned to not ask him to go on long trips, because he couldn’t physically handle the car ride. But by God, he didn’t take opioids, because that man, he was as tough as a leather dildo.”

      You can find John and lots of your favorite writers at The Modern Rogue, where he is editor in chief. You can also follow him on Twitter.

      And heck, maybe leatherworking could be a fun hobby to take your mind off the pai–nah, not really.

      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.

      Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-bitter-truth-about-fighting-chronic-pain-without-opioids/

      WHO launches health review after microplastics found in 90% of bottled water

      Researchers find levels of plastic fibres in popular bottled water brands could be twice as high as those found in tap water

      The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced a review into the potential risks of plastic in drinking water after a new analysis of some of the worlds most popular bottled water brands found that more than 90% contained tiny pieces of plastic. A previous study also found high levels of microplastics in tap water.

      In the new study, analysis of 259 bottles from 19 locations in nine countries across 11 different brands found an average of 325 plastic particles for every litre of water being sold.

      In one bottle of Nestl Pure Life, concentrations were as high as 10,000 plastic pieces per litre of water. Of the 259 bottles tested, only 17 were free of plastics, according to the study.

      Scientists based at the State University of New York in Fredonia were commissioned by journalism project Orb Media to analyse the bottled water.

      The scientists wrote they had found roughly twice as many plastic particles within bottled water compared with their previous study of tap water, reported by the Guardian.

      A colourful microfibre of plastic found in bottled water. Photograph: Abigail Barrows

      According to the new study, the most common type of plastic fragment found was polypropylene the same type of plastic used to make bottle caps. The bottles analysed were bought in the US, China, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Lebanon, Kenya and Thailand.

      Scientists used Nile red dye to fluoresce particles in the water the dye tends to stick to the surface of plastics but not most natural materials.

      The study has not been published in a journal and has not been through scientific peer review. Dr Andrew Mayes, a University of East Anglia scientist who developed the Nile red technique, told Orb Media he was satisfied that it has been applied carefully and appropriately, in a way that I would have done it in my lab.

      The brands Orb Media said it had tested were: Aqua (Danone), Aquafina (PepsiCo), Bisleri (Bisleri International), Dasani (Coca-Cola), Epura (PepsiCo), Evian (Danone), Gerolsteiner (Gerolsteiner Brunnen), Minalba (Grupo Edson Queiroz), Nestle Pure Life (Nestle), San Pellegrino (Nestle) and Wahaha (Hangzhou Wahaha Group).

      A World Health Organisation spokesman told the Guardian that although there was not yet any evidence on impacts on human health, it was aware it was an emerging area of concern. The spokesman said the WHO would review the very scarce available evidence with the objective of identifying evidence gaps, and establishing a research agenda to inform a more thorough risk assessment.

      A second unrelated analysis, also just released, was commissioned by campaign group Story of Stuff and examined 19 consumer bottled water brands in the US.It also found plastic microfibres were widespread.

      The brand Boxed Water contained an average of 58.6 plastic fibres per litre. Ozarka and Ice Mountain, both owned by Nestle, had concentrations at 15 and 11 pieces per litre, respectively. Fiji Water had 12 plastic fibres per litre.

      Abigail Barrows, who carried out the research for Story of Stuff in her laboratory in Maine, said there were several possible routes for the plastics to be entering the bottles.

      Plastic microfibres are easily airborne. Clearly thats occurring not just outside but inside factories. It could come in from fans or the clothing being worn, she said.

      Stiv Wilson, campaign coordinator at Story of Stuff, said finding plastic contamination in bottled water was problematic because people are paying a premium for these products.

      Jacqueline Savitz, of campaign group Oceana, said: We know plastics are building up in marine animals and this means we too are being exposed, some of us every day. Between the microplastics in water, the toxic chemicals in plastics and the end-of-life exposure to marine animals, its a triple whammy.

      Nestle criticised the methodology of the Orb Media study, claiming in a statement to CBC that the technique using Nile red dye could generate false positives.

      Coca-Cola told the BBC it had strict filtration methods, but acknowledged the ubiquity of plastics in the environment meant plastic fibres may be found at minute levels even in highly treated products.

      A Gerolsteiner spokesperson said the company, too, could not rule out plastics getting into bottled water from airborne sources or from packing processes. The spokesperson said concentrations of plastics in water from their own analyses were lower than those allowed in pharmaceutical products.

      Danone claimed the Orb Media study used a methodology that was unclear. The American Beverage Association said it stood by the safety of its bottled water, adding that the science around microplastics was only just emerging.

      The Guardian contacted Nestle and Boxed Water for comment on the Story of Stuff study, but had not received a response at the time of publication.

      Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/15/microplastics-found-in-more-than-90-of-bottled-water-study-says

      7 Things You Need To Know About The Pisces In Your Life

      Rowan Chestnut / Unsplash

      Let me be the first to admit that I am no astrologer. Ask me to explain why our birthdays affect our personalities, and I won’t be able too. Although there is some science to back up how the particular month you were born in affects your personality (read here & here), there’s just not as much to defend why your particular astrological sign does. Nevertheless, I’m a believer in greater cosmic power. I’ve read a fair share about my zodiac sign, and can conclude that I am 100% a Pisces.

      So with it officially being the Pisces birthday month, I’d like to make sure that we all understand the fishes. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m under the impression that we tend to be brushed off as “complicated,” when really, we’re just a fragile, tolerant, and absolutely lovable sign. “Complicated” doesn’t quite do my fellow fishes and I justice, so here’s what it really feels like to be a Pisces, and to have one of us in your life.

      1. We are sensitive and emotional. Please be gentle with us.

      The Pisces sign is symbolized by two swimming fishes. According to astrology.com, the “water sign is extremely emotional, empathic, and extraordinarily sensitive.”

      Out of all the Pisces that I have ever met, this statement holds true. I have not once come across a Pisces that isn’t sensitive. As the extremely intuitive fish that we are, we’re in touch with our feelings and the feelings of others. When there’s a shift in the current, or a change in the tide, we don’t just notice it—we feel it. We’re affected by the energy that surrounds us, as well as our environment. We’re ruled by emotions, and are the sign of heart over mind.

      2.  We’re pretty fun and get along with basically everyone

      Pisces are innately fun. Because of our perceptive nature, we can get along with anyone; blend into any crowd. We’re always open to new ideas, and we thrive off positive vibes. This makes us a fun friend to go out with, or to have around when you need a shoulder to cry on. We have an incredible ability to read people and relate to them.

      3. We may seem a bit lost and indecisive

      As fishes, we can sink or swim. Sometimes it takes a Pisces a while to focus and find the right direction. Because we are adaptable, we may aimlessly drift around for a while. To some we may appear lost or distracted, with our head in the clouds. All we really need, however, is someone or something to help ground us and our free spirit.

      4. We’re the dreamers, and have vivid imaginations

      Pisces are always dreaming. We have vivid imaginations, and we get easily swept away by our own thoughts and desires. To Pisces, the mystical world is more appealing than the real one. We like to escape reality. This is why many of pursue creative professions, allowing us to dream a bit deeper.

      5. We need time to ourselves

      As dreamers, we need “me time” to get lost in our own fantasies and restore our energy. We like spending time with ourselves just as much as with others, and we enjoy being fully absorbed in a great book or solo activity.

      6. We are affectionate, vulnerable, and a little needy

      Pisces love to love, and love to be loved. We fall hard, and wear our hearts on our sleeve. We can also be a bit needy, and are easily bruised (I repeat, we’re very sensitive).

      7. You’ll find us by the water 

      The water is our happy place, and we crave it as much as we need it. Take an unhappy Pisces to the beach, the pool, on a boat ride, or even run them a hot bath. You’ll see the difference.

      And that’s a Pisces, in a nutshell. We’re a little complicated to the outside eye, but only in the best way possible. We feel deeply, dream deeply, love deeply. We’re an intense school of fish, and you would be mistaken to not want us around.

      Happy Birthday Pisces!

      Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/olivia-lipski/2018/02/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-pisces-in-your-life/

      Stephen Miller falls asleep during Trump conference on school safety

      Stephen Miller nods off during Trump speech about school safety.
      Image: JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

      Between frothing about “cosmopolitans” or getting escorted out of CNN by security, it’s rare to capture Senior White House policy advisor Stephen Miller in a humanlike moment.

      We take what we can. Like today for example, when Jim Lo Scalzo from EPA photos captured Miller asleep during President Trump’s wildly delusional over-an-hour-long briefing on school shootings.

      I strongly encourage the Pulitzer committee or at least my mom to take a look at this person’s fine work. 

      Image: JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

      I can correctly blame Miller for the downfall of our nation, but I can’t quite penalize him for falling asleep during Trump’s speech, which was particularly divorced from reality today.

      Image: JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

      Perhaps these quotes triggered the poor snowflake into sleep.

      “We lose a lot with Canada.  People don’t know it.  Canada is very smooth.  They have you believe that it’s wonderful.  And it is — for them.  Not wonderful for us; it’s wonderful for them.  So we have to start showing that we know what we’re doing.”

      “So we have to confront the issue, and we have to discuss mental health, and we have to do something about it. You know, in the old days, we had mental institutions. We had a lot of them, and you could nab somebody like this. Because, you know, they did — they knew he was — something was off.  You had to know that.”

      Here’s what Twitter had to say.

      Of course, Miller can in no way match Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s infamous nap during the State of the Union when she got a little white wine drunk.

      Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/02/26/stephen-miller-nap-trump-school-safety/

      5 Exercises And One Affordable Drink That’ll Help You Blast Belly Fat Fast

      They say summer bodies are made in winter.

      But someone needs to tell that to the baked mac n cheese I just ate last night, because neither it nor I got the memo. As swimsuit season fast approaches, a lot of us start feeling a little less than confident in what all those Christmas cookies and rich, potato-filled stews did to our bods in the winter months.

      I feel you. And while I personally am a proponent of eating stuff you love and working out with the first motivation being health over anything, I can’t blame anyone for wanting to beat the belly bulge a little before sun dress weather hits. Luckily, there are 5 moves and one affordable shake you can incorporate into your routine to get back in tip top shape!

      Because all food is good food, let’s start with that drink, shall we?

      Okay, here’s what you’ll need to round up:

      • One small cucumber/half of a larger one
      • One lemon
      • 10 mint leaves
      • Ice
      • One teaspoon of ginger

      Here’s why they work well together.

      Cucumbers are 90% water, and half the battle in losing weight is staying hydrating and staying full. The water content in cucumbers will help you kill two birds with one stone. Lemon is great because it promotes bowel movements and flushes that system right on out. Ginger has a thermogenic effect, which helps burn calories when the body digests food. Mint has been shown to aid in digestion as well. Pop those babies in a blender, pour, and add ice if you so desire.

      Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/blast-belly-fat/

      The Struggle to Predictand PreventToxic Masculinity

      Terrie Moffitt has been trying to figure out why men are terrible for more than 25 years. Or, to calibrate: Why some men are really terrible—violent, criminal, dangerous—but most men are not. And, while she’s at it, how to tell which man is going to become which.

      A small number of people are responsible for the vast majority of crimes. Many of those people display textbook “antisocial behavior”—technically, a serious disregard for other people’s rights—as adolescents. The shape of the problem is called the age-crime curve, arrests plotted against the age of the offender. It looks like a shark’s dorsal fin, spiking in the teenage years and then long-tailing off to the left.

      In 1992, Moffitt, now a psychologist at Duke University, pitched an explanation for that shape: The curve covers two separate groups. Most people don’t do bad things. Some people only do them as teenagers. And a very small number start doing them as toddlers and keep doing them until they go to prison or die. Her paper became a key hypothesis in psychology, criminology, and sociology, cited thousands of times.

      In a review article in Nature Human Behaviour this week, Moffitt takes a ride through two decades of attempts to validate the taxonomy. Not for girls, Moffitt writes, because even though she studies both sexes, “findings have not reached consensus.” But for boys and men? Oh yeah.

      To be clear, Moffitt isn’t trying to develop a toxicology of toxic masculinity here. As a researcher she’s interested in the interactions of genes and environment, and the reasons some delinquent children—but not all—turn into crime-committing adults. That’s a big enough project. But at this exact cultural moment, with women of the #MeToo movement calling sexual harassers and abusers to account just as mass shootings feel as if they’ve become a permanent recurring event—and when almost every mass shooter, up to and including the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida, has been a man—I’m inclined to try to find explanations anywhere that seems plausible. US women are more likely to be killed by partners than anyone else. Men commit the vast majority of crimes in the US. So it’s worth querying Moffitt’s taxonomy to see if it offers any order to that chaos, even if it wasn’t built for it.

      “Grown-ups who use aggression, intimidation, and force to get what they want have invariably been pushing other people around since their very early childhood,” Moffitt says via email from a rural vacation in New Zealand. “Their mothers report they were difficult babies, nursery day-care workers say they are difficult to control, and when all the other kids give up hitting and settle in as primary school pupils, teachers say they don’t. Their record of violating the rights of others begins surprisingly early, and goes forward from there.”

      So if you could identify those kids then, maybe you could make things better later? Of course, things are way more complicated than that.

      Since that 1993 paper, hundreds of studies have tested pieces of Moffitt’s idea. Moffitt herself has worked on a few prospective studies, following kids through life to see if they fall into her categories, and then trying to figure out why.

      For example, she worked with the Dunedin Study, which followed health outcomes for more than 1,000 boys and girls in New Zealand starting in the early 1970s. Papers published from the data have included looks at marijuana use, physical and mental health, and psychological outcomes. Moffitt and her colleagues found that about a quarter of the males in the study fit the criteria she’d laid out for “adolescence limited” antisociability; they’re fine until they hit their teens, then they do all sorts of bad stuff, and then they stop. And 10 percent were “life-course persistent”—they have trouble as children, and it doesn’t stop. As adolescents, all had about the same rates of bad conduct.

      But as children, the LCP boys scored much higher on a set of specific risks. Their mothers were younger. They tended to have been disciplined more harshly, and have experienced more family strife as kids. They scored lower on reading, vocabulary, and memory tests, and had a lower resting heart rate—some researchers think that people feel lower heart rates as discomfort and undertake riskier behaviors in pursuit of the adrenaline highs that’ll even them out. “LCP boys were impulsive, hostile, alienated, suspicious, cynical, and callous and cold toward others,” Moffitt writes of the Dunedin subjects in her Nature Human Behaviour article. As adults, “they self-reported excess violence toward partners and children.” They had worse physical and mental health in their 30s, were more likely to be incarcerated, and were more likely to attempt suicide.

      Other studies have found much the same thing. A small number of identifiable boys turn into rotten, violent, unhappy men.

      Could Moffitt’s taxonomy account for sexual harassers and abusers? In one sense, it seems unlikely: Her distinction explicitly says by adulthood there should only be a small number of bad actors, yet one of the lessons of #MeToo has been that every woman, it seems, has experienced some form of harassment.

      Meta-analyses of the incidence of workplace sexual harassment vary in their outcomes, but a large-scale one from 2003 that covered 86,000 women reported that 56 percent experienced “potentially harassing” behaviors and 24 percent had definitely been harassed. Other studies get similar results.

      But as pollsters say, check the cross-tabs. Harassment has sub-categories. Many—maybe most—women experience the gamut of harassing behaviors, but sub-categories like sexual coercion (being forced to have sex as a quid pro quo or to avoid negative consequences) or outright assault are rarer than basic institutional sexism and jerky, inappropriate comments. “What women are more likely to experience is everyday sexist behavior and hostility, the things we would describe as gender harassment,” says John Pryor, a psychologist at Illinois State University who studies harassment.

      Obviously, any number greater than zero here is too high. And studies of prevalence can’t tell you if so many women are affected because all men harass at some low, constant ebb or few men do it, like, all the time. Judging by reports of accusations, the same super-creepy men who plan out sexual coercion may also impulsively grope and assault women. Those kind of behaviors, combined with the cases where many more accusers come forward after the first one, seem to me to jibe with the life-course persistent idea. “Sometimes people get caught for the first time as an adult, but if we delve into their history, the behavior has been there all along,” Moffitt says. “Violating the rights of others is virtually always a life-long lifestyle and an integral part of a person’s personality development.”

      That means it’s worth digging into people’s histories. Whisper networks have been the de facto means of protecting women in the workplace; the taxonomy provides an intellectual framework for giving them a louder voice, because it suggests that men with a history of harassment and abuse probably also have a future of it.

      Now, some writers have used the idea of toxic masculinity to draw a line between harassment, abuse, and mass shootings. They’re violent, and the perpetrators tend to be men. But here, Moffitt’s taxonomy may be less applicable.

      Despite what the past few years have felt like, mass shootings are infrequent. And many mass shooters end up committing suicide or being killed themselves, so science on them is scant. “Mass shootings are such astonishingly rare, idiosyncratic, and multicausal events that it is impossible to explain why one individual decides to shoot his or her classmates, coworkers, or strangers and another does not,” write Benjamin Winegard and Christopher Ferguson in their chapter of The Wiley Handbook of the Psychology of Mass Shootings.

      That said, researchers have found a few commonalities. The shooters are often suicidal, or more precisely have stopped caring whether they live or die, says Adam Lankford, a criminologist at the University of Alabama. Sometimes they’re seeking fame and attention. And they share a sense that they themselves are victims. “That’s how they justify attacking others,” Lankford says. “Sometimes the perceptions are based in reality—I was bullied, or whatever—but sometimes they can be exacerbated by mental health problems or personality characteristics.”

      Though reports on mass shooters often say that more than half of them are also domestic abusers, that number needs some unpacking. People have lumped together mass shootings of families—domestic by definition—with public mass shootings like the one in Las Vegas, or school shootings. Disaggregate the public active shooters from the familicides and the number of shooters with histories of domestic abuse goes down. (Of course, that doesn’t change preposterously high number of abused women murdered by their partners outside of mass shooting events.)

      What may really tip the mass shooter profile away from Moffitt’s taxonomy, though, is that people in the life-course persistent cohort do uncontrolled, crazy stuff all the time. Yes, some mass shooters have a history of encounters with law enforcement, let’s say. But some don’t. Mass shootings are, characteristically, highly planned events. “I’m not saying it’s impossible to be a mass shooter and have poor impulse control, but if you have poor impulse control you won’t be able to go for 12 months of planning an attack without ending up in jail first,” Lankford says.

      Moffitt isn’t trying to build a unified field theory of the deadly patriarchy. When I suggest that the societal structures that keep men in power relative to women, generally, might explain the behavior of her LCP cohort, she disagrees. “If sexual harassment and mass shootings were the result of cultural patriarchy and societal expectations for male behavior, all men would be doing it all the time,” Moffitt says. “Even though media attention creates the impression that these forms of aggression are highly prevalent and all around us, they are nevertheless still extremely rare. Most men are trustworthy, good, and sensible.”

      She and her colleagues continue to look for hard markers for violence or lack of impulse control, genes or neurobiological anomalies. (A form of the gene that codes for a neurotransmitter called monoamine oxidase inhibitor A might give some kids protection against lifelong effects of maltreatment, she and her team have found. By implication not having that polymorphism, then, could predispose a child raised under adverse circumstances to psychopathology as an adult.) Similarly, nobody yet knows what digital-native kids in either cohort will do when they move their bad behavior online. One might speculate that it looks a lot like GamerGate and 4chan, though that sociological and psychological work is still in early days.

      But for now, Moffitt and her co-workers have identified risk factors and childhood conditions that seem to create these bad behaviors, or allow them to flourish. That’s the good news. “We know a lifestyle of aggression and intimidation toward others starts so young,” Moffitt says. “It could be preventable.”

      Read more: https://www.wired.com/story/the-struggle-to-predictand-preventtoxic-masculinity/

      GOP Lawmaker Rants At Students Who Drove 300 Miles To Meet Him

      An Idaho Republican state senator has been labeled a “bully” after ranting at college students who traveled hundreds of miles to discuss a birth control bill with lawmakers.

      State Sen. Dan Foreman also has been slapped with an ethics complaint for an incendiary follow-up tweet sent from an account allegedly associated with him.

      The tense exchange between Foreman and about a dozen University of Idaho students was captured on camera Monday. Video circulating on social media shows Foreman forcefully pointing his finger and belligerently saying “abortion is murder” to the students, who say they didn’t come to discuss abortion at all.

      Foreman’s diatribe was “unhinged,” said Paul Dillon, public affairs director of Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho, which is affiliated with the student group. “Even if you disagree with what we have to say, there’s no excuse for that kind behavior. He was being a bully,” Dillon told AP.

      The students, who traveled from their college campus in Moscow to Boise to meet with Foreman and other lawmakers, were in the capitol to lobby for two bills ― one that allows women to receive up to a 12-month supply of prescribed birth control, and another that updates the state’s decades-old sex education law, reported the Idaho Statesman.

      The student group had scheduled a morning meeting with Foreman, but the senator reportedly canceled at the last minute. The students say they left a note and some condoms at his office before moving on to meet with other lawmakers. 

      “We drove 7 hours to make it to our SCHEDULED 9 a.m. meeting,” the message read, noting that the lawmaker was “not doing [his] job” by blowing them off. 

      The students later saw Foreman in the hallway, triggering the stormy exchange.

      “I’m a Roman Catholic and a conservative Republican. I think what you guys are doing stinks,” Foreman told the group, according to the video. He added that he would call law enforcement if the students ever tried to visit his office again.

      A Twitter account that appears to be associated with Foreman later tweeted about the incident. One tweet urged the University of Idaho students to “stop harassing me and staff.” Another told them to talk about “killing babies” with Democratic Sen. Maryanne Jordan of Boise.

      Jordan told the AP on Monday that she filed an ethics complaint against Foreman for the inflammatory tweet. 

      “It’s one thing to disagree with policy, it’s another thing to position something like that against another lawmaker. This type of behavior is beneath the Idaho Senate,” Jordan said.

      The Twitter account, which had the handle @SenDanTheMan, was deleted after the complaint was filed. According to the Statesman, it was briefly reactivated on Monday night with a tweet saying that the account was a “parody” one. The account was later deactivated again, and remained down early Tuesday.

      Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/idaho-senator-dan-foreman-abortion-murder-students_us_5a8bdafee4b0117adf7169c8

      Disgusting! NRA Spokeswoman Dana Loesch Says Many In Media ‘Love Mass Shootings’!

      It’s that time of year. The end of February marks Spring when a young man’s fancy turns to love. And when shady lobbyists speak openly to their right-wing allies.

      Yep, the National Rifle Association has descended on the Conservative Political Action Conference, the annual rally where all the worst Republicans can get together and talk about hating immigrants and the poor without fear of being disagreed with.

      Loesch also went after the FBI, blaming them for “dropping the ball” on every mass shooting. Apparently she thinks the FBI are like car alarms that are just always there.

      Basically, she’s just ready to blame anything or anyone but guns for mass shootings.

      Her boss, NRA executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre made a surprise drop-in where he went even further, saying Democrats, whom he called secret socialists, and the media wanted to “exploit tragedy for political gain”:

      “They want to sweep right under the carpet the failure of school security, the failure of family, the failure of America’s mental health system, and even the unbelievable failure of the FBI.”

      There it is again. They are going all-in against the FBI.

      It’s almost as if they’re in an adversarial position because the FBI is investigating whether their organization funneled Russian funds to help the Trump campaign.

      [Image via YouTube.]

      Read more: http://perezhilton.com/2018-02-22-nra-dana-loesch-cpac-speech-media-love-mass-shootings

      Scientists Discover The Root Of Autoimmune Diseases And How We Can Treat Them

      Cases of autoimmune disease have risen in recent years but because it is frequently invisible and only fairly recently has there been a big effort to increase awareness of the condition (or, rather, multiple conditions), many sufferers have spent years of doctors’ trips and hospital visits before receiving a diagnosis. As one patient describes it in The New Yorker, “I got sick the way Hemingway says you go broke: ‘gradually and then suddenly.'”

      There is, however, good reason to remain optimistic. A team of researchers from Yale University may have found the underlying cause as well as promising methods of treating the illness.

      The paper, published in the journal Science, has linked autoimmune reactions to a bacteria in the gut called Enterococcus gallinarum. An autoimmune response, they say, can be triggered when the bacterium spontaneously migrates from the gut to other organs in the body, such as the spleen, liver, and lymph nodes.

      An autoimmune disease is a chronic inflammatory condition caused by a person’s own immune cells, which mistakenly believes the body is under threat and so responds by attacking healthy tissues. Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis are just three of over a hundred conditions that fit into this category. Now, they can be added to the long list of illnesses linked to the health of gut bacteria.

      During the study, the researchers genetically engineered mice to be susceptible to autoimmune diseases. They then analyzed the gut bacteria to identify those that caused inflammation or were involved in the production of antibodies known to promote autoimmune responses. The culprit was Enterococcus gallinarum.

      The results were confirmed when they compared cultured liver cells of healthy people versus those of people with an autoimmune disease and found traces of Enterococcus gallinarum in the latter group.

      Excitingly, they weren’t just able to identify the source, they developed effective ways to reduce autoimmune symptoms. By using antibiotics or a vaccine, the researchers dulled symptoms by suppressing the growth of Enterococcus gallinarum. It is hoped that this research can be developed into successful treatment options for certain autoimmune diseases, including autoimmune liver disease and systemic lupus.

      “The vaccine against E. gallinarum was a specific approach, as vaccinations against other bacteria we investigated did not prevent mortality and autoimmunity,” Martin Kriegel, senior author, explained in a statement. “The vaccine was delivered through injection in muscle to avoid targeting other bacteria that reside in the gut.

      “Treatment with an antibiotic and other approaches such as vaccination are promising ways to improve the lives of patients with autoimmune disease.”

      Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/scientists-discover-the-root-of-autoimmune-diseases-and-how-we-can-treat-them/

      EPA head Scott Pruitt’s first-class travel is costing a fortune


      The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reportedly spent tens of thousands of dollars on the travel decisions of administrator Scott Pruitt.

      Pruitt is often booked on first or business-class flights, but federal regulations mandate that government employees like Pruitt should take every measure to select the least expensive method of travel that suits their security needs and gets them to their appointed location on time.

      According to travel records obtained by the Environmental Integrity Project, Pruitt’s travel cost more than $90,000 last June alone, the Washington Post reports.

      Pruitt took a first-class flight from Washington D.C. to New York City on June 5, 2017, that cost $1,641.43, according to the report. A similar flight on coach could cost as little as $293.

      The documents claim that the increased flight costs are due to “unspecified security concerns,” the newspaper reported. Pruitt has round-the-clock security detail that costs taxpayers about $2 million per year in salaries, according to CNN. The EPA reportedly receives numerous threats to Pruitt’s safety, with 32 percent of received threats directed at Pruitt, compared with 9 percent of direct threats against his predecessor Gina McCarthy.

      Pruitt’s travel and security spending are much larger than previous administrators Lisa Jackson and McCarthy.

      EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman defended Pruitt’s travel spending.“He’s trying to further positive environmental outcomes and achieve tangible environmental results” Bowman told the Post, adding that Pruitt is “hearing directly from people affected by the EPA’s regulatory overreach.”

      According to travel vouchers, that means spending $2,903.56 on a trip to Colorado Springs to speak at the Heritage Foundation’s Resource Bank meeting last May, and $1,980.34 to head to Tulsa for a tour of the Brainerd Chemical Co. a week later. 

      While Pruitt does occasionally travel coach, the Post reports, he often stays at luxury hotels and chooses to fly Delta, despite the fact that the government contracts with certain airlines to fly specific routes. The EPA also declines to publicize Pruitt’s trips, again citing security concerns and breaking with previous administrations. Last June, Pruitt and his staff flew to New York from Cincinnati on a military jet to the tune of $36,068.50 to catch a flight to Rome. That flight cost $7,003.52 for Pruitt alone. According to the Post, Pruitt was joined by his aides and security detail for private tours of the Vatican before traveling to Bologna to meet with other environmental ministers.

      Scrutiny of Pruitt’s lavish spending comes after revelations that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin flew on military jets multiple times over a period of seven months last year, costing taxpayers $800,000. It also comes after the departure of former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price for his excessive travel expenditures.

      You can read all of the Washington Post‘s report here. The Daily Dot has been collecting records of travel and costs of President Donald Trump‘s cabinet.

      Read more: https://www.dailydot.com/layer8/scott-pruitt-epa-travel/

      Spring ‘postponed’ as big freeze hits UK

      Image copyright Cumbria Police
      Image caption Snowfall is expected across the UK on Monday and Tuesday

      Britain is set for the coldest February week in five years as freezing air arrives from Russia.

      On Saturday temperatures fell as low as -5.5C in Anglesey, north Wales and the cold spell is expected to intensify from Sunday night into Monday.

      The Met Office has issued an amber cold weather alert, which warns of increased health risks to vulnerable and elderly people.

      It has also issued two yellow weather warnings for snow.

      Snow showers are expected in large parts of the UK on Monday and Tuesday, which could cause travel delays and cancellations, power cuts and problems with mobile phone services.

      BBC weather forecaster Gemma Plumb said snow showers will arrive in the east of the UK on Sunday night before pushing through to western areas by Tuesday. Showers could continue later into the week.

      Image copyright Met Office
      Image caption Two weather warnings have been issued for Monday and Tuesday

      The heavier showers are expected on Monday night and Tuesday, she added.

      Although there is a chance some areas could see between five and ten centimetres of snow, other areas may experience much lighter flurries.

      The Met Office also issued a separate amber cold weather alert – the second most serious – warning that icy conditions and snow could disrupt the delivery of services and increase health risks to vulnerable patients.

      The alert, issued for 09:00 on Friday until 08:00 on 1 March, warns the cold can be dangerous especially for the very young, very old or those with chronic diseases.

      ‘Spring postponed’

      The Met Office said temperatures are set to be 1C in most urban areas on Monday – although other parts will not reach 0C. The cold weather could last for one or even two weeks.

      Minimum temperatures next week are forecast for between -5C to -8C but it is expected to feel much colder.

      Media playback is unsupported on your device

      Media captionWhy will the UK be so cold next week? BBC weather explains

      Met Office meteorologist Martin Bowles said: “The feels-like temperature will be 5C lower than what we see on the thermometer because of a strong easterly wind chill.”

      The meteorological start of spring is Thursday, 1 March, when average temperatures are usually 10C in the south east and 9C in Manchester.

      But this year 1 March will fall right in the middle of the cold spell, which is being caused by an area of high pressure moving north into Scandinavia drawing cold air in from the east.

      Mr Bowles said: “It’s expected to stay cold all of next week. Spring will come eventually but it will be postponed.

      Image copyright Getty Images
      Image caption Some parts of Scotland have already seen heavy snow this month

      “We haven’t had temperatures that low in late February since 2013. It’s not unheard of. There are records that are lower than that.

      “But it is quite unusual, particularly as it’s quite late in the season.”

      Health risks

      Public Health England said it is “critical” to keep an eye on anyone over 65, young children or people with heart or lung conditions.

      Dr Thomas Waite, of the PHE Extreme Events team, said: “Cold temperatures, indoors and out, pose real health risks to many and every winter we know that thousands of people get ill and even die following exposure to cold conditions.

      “Staying warm by heating your home to at least 18C can be crucial to stay well.”

      Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, said on Friday that he had opened emergency homeless shelters ahead of the drop in temperature.

      Are you prepared for the cold weather? Please share your experiences with us by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk.

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      Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43167583

      25+ Photos Of Dogs Before & After Their Adoption That Will Melt Your Heart

      For us, adopting a pet is a huge responsibility, but it’s the best thing that can happen to shelter animals. To prove the power of a loving home, proud owners from all over the world are sharing photos of their new dogs before & after they were rescued. Bored Panda has decided to compile these heartwarming images into a list, and it will clear any doubts whether or not it’s worth picking up a pup from a kennel.

      From sad faces in cramped cells to wide smiles on king size beds, these k9s found happiness in their new homes and can’t hide their emotions. You can understand the difference adoption makes to a shelter pet only if you see one, so scroll down and meet the lucky ones!

      If You Have Anxiety, You Should Watch More Horror Movies

      Unsplash / Hermes Rivera

      Over the years my anxiety has manifested itself in a lot of different ways. There was the phase when I was a little kid and was afraid of flushing the toilet. There was the phase when I lived alone and thought endlessly about how I might die in my sleep, and no one would ever find me until weeks later.

      These days it exists as a sort of dull, ever-looming thing that feels like there’s something you were supposed to remember to do but there’s no hope in remembering what it is. Like Neville with the Rememberall™️.

      To distract myself from life’s responsibilities, I’m that friend that will always suggest we go see the latest chapter of a gory horror flick. It almost always gets met with very intense “Hell no” that’s almost insulting.

      It’s fine.

      I like going to the movies by myself anyways.

      When I tell people that horror movies calm me, they look at me very confused and a little bit disgusted. Or even worse, they think it’s one of those “I’m just so weird and quirky” anecdotes that you say to create some intricate persona for yourself. It’s a rough life, really.

      But really, few things bring more joy than a genuinely terrifying and well-thought-out storyline.

      A few weeks ago, I was browsing Netflix and stumbled upon the movie Creep, and it’s successor, Creep 2 (99 & 100% on Rotten Tomatoes respectively! Very respectable stats). They quickly became two of the best and scariest movies I’ve seen in a long time. Equal parts hilarious and horrifying. No monsters or supernatural stuff, just ordinary people in very bizarre situations. It reminded me something.

      Being scared by something that isn’t real is FUN. I guess you could call it cheap thrills. That’s how I feel about horror movies. A quick scare is very exhilarating and one of the best forms of therapy I’ve experienced. And the perfect distraction from everyday life. I noticed this obsession with mystery and darkness early on when I would Google crime stories and read about famous serial killers much to the dismay of my teachers and family members.

      The first movie I remember truly terrifying me was The Blair Witch Project. Which, thanks to their unbelievable, ahead of its time marketing campaign, had me convinced the events were real. Which equal parts terrified and excited me. As I got older and my anxiety progressed, the things I thought to be scary in my childhood became way less frightening than dealing with real life.

      Weirdly, horror stories make me feel more in control. Even more so if I can relate to the protagonist. It helps me to plan and take precautions against being kidnapped. And I know exactly what not to do if I suspect one of my friends is possessed by a demon. Y’know… very practical life advice.

      Being perpetually anxious also means hat means that regular things terrify me way more than things that are supposed to scare me. Scary movies are a type of exposure therapy to the inevitably horrific things that you will probably (hopefully) never experience in your life.

      Because let’s me real, the idea that someone is going to kidnap me or I’m going to experience paranormal activity is way scarier than that meeting I have to run tomorrow and takes my mind off of the horror of that the stupid thing I said at happy hour yesterday.

      Real life is way scarier. If I can focus on something that isn’t my life (or the world, or politics) it clears my head of intrusive thoughts.

      People love to say:

      My response: Have you ever had anxiety? Quiet time does not turn off my brain. Nor will the slow-talking man in the Headspace app.

      It’s hard to be depressed or anxious about work or life or health insurance while watching someone get sawed in half. Work, school, love, etc, don’t matter when you’re watching someone’s throat being slit.

      It’s the only fool-proof method to clear my head of whatever struggles I’m dealing with at the time. It hyper-focuses my anxiety on a singular thing. It’s all about the distraction. It gives me something to think about for a few days, offering a very brief escape.

      There are plenty of ways to cope, from meditation to medication. And you should seek necessary medical attention if anxiety takes over your life, but horror movies are a harmless vice to distract you from the real demons in your mind.

      Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/sarah-aboulhosn/2018/02/if-you-have-anxiety-you-should-watch-more-horror-movies/

      In Parkland, the Kids Are Already Changing Things on Guns

      PARKLAND, FloridaThe stages of grief are active in the young lives of students who survived Americas latest school shooting, but its the last stagethe acceptance stagethat they will not allow to set in.

      Fourteen children and three adults were killed by a gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday. It was the deadliest school shooting since Sandy Hook. Unlike mass murders since then, where people have resigned themselves to gun laws not changing, this time already appears to be different, thanks to the kids.

      I dont even have a job. I dont even have any money, Emma Gonzalez, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, told The Daily Beast on Sunday. Stopping this from happening again is my life now.

      The heart of this movement is in Parkland… Parkland is strong and its the type of community that can make change from tragedy, Cameron Kasky said to the crowd of gun reform supporters at North Community Park, less than a quarter-mile from the high school.

      Stop yelling at each other, stop it with the Republicans and the Democrats… for Gods sake, fucking hug each other, Kasky said.

      Just outside the high school, teddy bears, flowers, candles, and personalized messages to the fallen stand out from the crime scene tape that still surrounds the perimeter gate. A row of parked cars on the grass down a residential street indicates a private memorial.

      The students, parents, and teachers have started the #NeverAgainMSD movement and have organized the March for Our Lives on March 24 in Washington, D.C., to demand action on guns, which seems already to be having an impact on staunch pro-gun legislators.

      Rep. Ted Deutch, a Democrat who represents Parkland, told The Daily Beast on Monday that the push for gun reform feels different this time.

      Now, is it just because this happened in my backyard where the connections are so close and the pain is so raw? I dont know, maybe, but I dont think so, Deutch said.

      Its different because you have all of these brave young adults who have unfortunately aged far beyond their years as a result of this shooting, leading the effort, Deutch said. The difference between now and in the past is this is the active shooter generation. These kids have been doing active shooter drills since they started kindergarten.

      On the national level, White House principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah told reporters on Friday that President Donald Trump is supportive of efforts to improve the federal background check system for firearm purchases.

      The bipartisan Senate bill introduced by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) seeks to improve the reporting process of offenses on the state and local levels that could further aid in keeping firearms out of potentially dangerous individuals.

      This is not a Second Amendment issue, its a public safety issue, Deutch said. He [Trump] spent a lot of time complaining about extreme vetting in the context of immigration. Well, we certainly should do extreme vetting of people who are about to purchase a firearm that could cause the kind of mass casualties that weve seen over the past few years.

      Meanwhile, in Florida, pro-gun legislation seeking to expand, not restrict, current gun laws has stalled for the moment. The bills that were set to come to the floor and pass within the states House and Senate were pulled amid the growing national attention on Florida.

      If passed, the bills would have sought to change Florida from a concealed carry to an open carry state; provide broader authorities to people with concealed carry licenses to move from state to state without violating state or federal laws; and provide teachers with firearms.

      Broward County Mayor Beam Furr told The Daily Beast that Republicans in Tallahassee were embarrassed to have the legislative bills on the floor as Florida gained national attention after the shooting.

      The power is primarily Republican in Florida and theyre not willing to compromise, Furr told The Daily Beast on Sunday.

      In a early sign of progress for the #NeverAgainMSD movement, Florida state legislators in the House and Senate signaled they would draft new legislation aimed at curtailing access to semi-automatic rifles by raising the legal age of purchase from 18 to 21 years old and provide a three-day waiting period before the firearm sale is complete.

      We owe it to victims of families on what I now consider the absolute most important issue of the session, said Sen. Bill Galvano, the Bradenton Republican, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

      However, the plan stops short of the demands from the majority of Parkland residents, who call for an all-out ban on assault rifles. Florida Gov. Rick Scott told CNNs Wolf Blitzer on Thursday, Everythings on the table. Im going to look at every way that we can make sure our kids are safe.

      When asked if he supported tightening gun restrictions in the state, Scott told CNN, We cannot let this pass without making something happen that hopefully, and its my goal that this will never happen again in my state.

      Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords PAC has begun running attack ads against Scott over his gun policy record, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Specifically, the ads target Scotts supporting a bill that prevents doctors, including mental health professionals, from asking patients if they owned a firearm. Scott currently has a A+ rating from the NRA.

      Florida has historically been the epicenter for legislative test bedding for new or modified bills backed by the NRA in support of expanding gun rights that influence how firearms are regulated in other U.S. states, Floridas Stand Your Ground law, for example, gives legal protections to people who use deadly force in public if they feel they were in imminent danger.

      The effort in Florida is led by the first female president of the National Rifle Association. Additionally, the gun lobby is bolstered by suburban financial backing and a dedicated voter base that keeps Republican lawmakers in office.

      Floridas gun laws came under scrutiny in recent years, especially after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando and in Fort Lauderdale in 2016. However, despite the national attention then and now, the only movement on gun legislation out of Tallahassee is proposals to relax restrictions on gun owners and expand the scope of where guns could be carried.

      Meanwhile, local officials like those in Broward County are hamstrung by a law that prevents local officials and police chiefs from passing new laws or amending existing gun laws. The provision even allows for the arrest of local officials who try to challenge the law.

      We could very quickly figure out something that could further protect our citizens, but right now that wont see the light of day, Furr said.

      Carlos J. Reyes, the executive director for Broward Countys Charter Review Commission, says it is working to see what can be done immediately to provide additional protections for residents.

      Theres currently a section within our charter that regulates handguns, but because of the state statute, thats considered null and void. The mere thought of trying to introduce change from a policymaker triggers a violation of the statute, Reyes said. Its a $5,000 fine and removal from office.

      So when we say our hands are tied, its literal. It means going to jail if we try to pass any common-sense measures, Furr told The Daily Beast.

      Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/in-parkland-its-already-clear-the-kids-are-changing-things

      GM Crops Found To Increase Yields And Reduce Harmful Toxins In 21 Years Of Data

      A study looking at 21 years of data on genetically modified crops (GMOs) in the US has found that not only can they increase crop yields, but they can also be good for you.

      Published in Scientific Reports, the team was led by Elisa Pellegrino from the Institute of Life Sciences in Italy. They conducted a meta-analysis of 6,006 peer-reviewed studies from 1996 to 2016 on maize that had been genetically engineered. Only 76 publications, however, met the researchers’ high standards for inclusion.

      The results showed that genetically engineered (GE) maize produced a greater yield of 5.6 to 24.5 percent compared to non-GE maize. It resulted in lower concentrations of mycotoxins (−28.8 percent), fumonisin (−30.6 percent), and thricotecens (−36.5 percent). The former is toxic and carcinogenic in humans and animals. There were also no significant differences in grain quality, such as proteins, lipids, and fiber.

      “The results support the cultivation of GE maize, mainly due to enhanced grain quality and reduction of human exposure to mycotoxins,” the team wrote in their paper.

      Data came from GMO corn that had been planted in the United States, Europe, South America, Asia, Africa, and Australia. They were based on 11,699 observations of production, grain quality, and more.

      “This analysis provides an effective synthesis on a specific problem that is widely discussed publicly,” study co-author Laura Ercoli told the Italian newspaper La Republica. The researchers also noted that some studies showed the use of GMO corn has reduced the active ingredient of herbicides and insecticides by 10.1 percent and 45.2 percent respectively.

      Previous reports have suggested that GMO crops do not produce yield increases, such as a criticized article in the New York Times in 2016. This latest study, however, seems to suggest the opposite.

      “The Italian meta-analysis marks what could be a final chapter in an important facet of the ongoing debate over the use of GMOs in farming,” said the Genetic Literacy Project.

      However, Biofortified noted that one drawback of the meta-analysis was that it grouped various GE traits of corn together. They noted that each type of GE trait “has benefits and drawbacks and typically must be considered individually.” The positives of the meta-analysis, though, seem to outweigh the other factors.

      “Even with the limitations of what is available in the literature, this meta-analysis shows once again that crops produced with biotechnology are some of if not the most studied foods that we eat,” Biofortified noted.

      Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/gm-crops-found-to-increase-yields-and-reduce-harmful-toxins-in-21-years-of-data/

      White House indicates it could find funds to train and arm 1 million teachers

      President expands on idea to arm some teachers in schools and says gun-adept teachers/coaches would solve the problem instantly

      The White House indicated on Thursday that the federal government could come up with the money to fund as many as a million teachers being trained and armed with guns across America in a controversial attempt to keep schools safe from more mass shootings.

      This followed repeated assertions from Donald Trump during earlier meetings at the White House, as well as in presidential tweets, that his response to the school massacre in Florida last week is to arm teachers and sports coaches.

      It would be a great deterrent to killers, he said.

      At the White House press briefing on Thursday afternoon, Raj Shah, deputy press secretary, was asked if it was practical to expect teachers to carry concealed handguns to protect their students from shooters.

      When you have a horrific situation, what you think and do not think is practical can change, Shah said.

      Teachers unions have expressed shock and skepticism that any such plan could be feasible or effective.

      But at a meeting at the White House with state and local officials early Thursday afternoon, Trump talked of paying bonuses to some teachers, providing highly adept people, people who understand weaponry, guns … [with] a concealed permit.

      He suggested paying bonuses to armed, trained teachers, suggesting that 10, 20, 40% of teachers could be qualified to do so, especially retired military personnel.

      I want my schools protected just like I want my banks protected, he said.

      The White House was later challenged that 40% of Americas teachers being given a bonus of, for example, $1,000, would mean $1bn being distributed to a million of them.

      Do you really think thats too much to pay for school safety? Shah responded. Shah said Trump would soon be talking to members of Congress about legislative and budgetary proposals.

      Trump had earlier appeared to speak outagainst the kind of active shooter drills that are becoming the norm in many schools.

      Active shooter drills is a very negative thing … Ill be honest with you. If Im a child, Im 10 years old and they say … Were going to have an active shooter drill, I say Whats that? Well, People may come in and shoot you … I think thats a very negative thing to be talking about, to be honest with you. I dont like it. Id much rather have a hardened school,he said.

      But Shah explained that it was the frightening name the president disliked, not the drills themselves, and was in favor of calling them a safety drill.

      He confirmed that Trump is considering supporting a rise in the age limit for purchasing an assault rifle to 21, but does not support banning assault weapons for US civilians outright. Students who survived the shooting at their high school in Parkland last week quickly began a fierce campaign calling for that measure.

      In contrast to the combative tone coming from the administration, the Parkland mayor, Christine Hunschofsky, addressed safety and mental health in her meeting with Trump on Thursday, and then alluded to the assault rifle used by shooter Nikolas Cruz in last Wednesdays massacre, saying: In the end, how did somebody like this person get access to that kind of firearm?

      Play Video

      Angry father of Florida victim asks Trump: ‘How many children have to get shot?’ video

      At an emotional session at the White House on Wednesday, the US president held a listening session with survivors of last weeks Florida school shooting and others affected by gun violence, telling them that armed teachers and school coaches could very well end the attack very quickly.

      On Thursday, Trump tweeted: 20% of teachers, a lot, would now be able to immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions. Highly trained teachers would also serve as a deterrent to the cowards that do this.

      Trump said having so-called gun-free zones around schools created a situation for school shooters like going in for the ice cream.

      At Wednesdays meeting, Nicole Hockley, whose six-year-old son, Dylan, died at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012, spoke out against arming teachers. I would rather arm them with the knowledge of how to prevent these acts from happening in the first place,she said.

      Randi Weingarten, president of theAmerican Federation of Teachers union said in a statement:Anyone who wants guns in schools has no understanding of what goes on inside them or worse, doesnt care.

      Barack Obama weighed in on Thursday, tweeting: Young people have helped lead all our great movements. How inspiring to see it again in so many smart, fearless students standing up for their right to be safe.


      Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/feb/22/trump-proposal-teachers-guns-schools

      Teachers start powerful #ArmMeWith movement to speak out against guns in classrooms

      In the wake of yet another tragic school shooting, teachers have started an eye-opening movement on social media to let the world know what preventative measures really need to be taken seriously to protect students.

      In response to the recent mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, President Trump suggested that some teachers receive gun training so they can be armed in their classrooms. But rather than adding more guns to educational environments, teachers are using the hashtag #ArmMeWith to share far more peaceful resources they wish to be armed with, such as school supplies, mental health resources and funding, impactful changes in curriculum, and stronger gun control legislation.

      The movement was started by two educators: Brittany Wheaton, a teacher in Utah, andOlivia Bertels from Kansas. Both 27-year-olds met through Instagram, according to Buzzfeed, and eagerly asked the online teacher community to share their personal thoughts on how to ensure the safety and proper education of students.

      Teachers across the U.S. have been using the hashtag.

      One high school English teacher requested a “curriculum that tells the truth, the ability to teach the truth, a society that believes the truth, and political leaders who make laws based on the truth.”

      Others asked to be armed with more on-site mental health professionals, like school counselors and social workers, as well as self-care classes, bullet-proof glass, an enhanced library, and a range of other resources that focus on the physical, mental, and emotional care of students and faculty members.

      #Armmewith is a movement by @thesuperheroteacher and @missbertels_ and I invite you to join in! Skip through my pics and post your own (I’ve included a blank template) or go to goo.go/52XggF to print your own out! . . . The Arm Me With movement is to make our leaders aware of what teachers really need in the classroom. As some of you know, I’m a gun owner and I can shoot a gun, but I do not believe guns belong anywhere near a classroom. Teachers have enough burdens and the classroom is an unpredictable place. Also teachers are outnumbered by kids 30:1 oftentimes. Guns are not the solution here, and I think they’d be catastrophic. Please flip through my ideal solutions and feel free to use the blank picture to create your own solution! . . . . . . #armwithme #schoolsafetynow #educatorsagainstgunviolence #teachersofinstagram #teachersfollowteachers

      A post shared by The Whimsical Teacher (@the_whimsical_teacher) on

      “Since teachers are the individuals in the classroom when it happens, I like to think we know what’s best for our students,” Wheatontold Buzzfeed. “If you’re an educator, you know that [more guns] is not a solution to stopping the violence that’s happening in our schools.”

      For those looking to participate in the movement, Wheaton has shared a blank #ArmMeWith template that can be downloaded and filled out. 

      Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/02/23/armmewith-twitter-teachers-guns/

      15 Beautiful Things That Happen When You Take Your Time With Love (Instead Of Rushing Into It)

      Edward Cisneros / Unsplash


      You like the version of you that love brings out in you and it’s a better version of you that’s easy to maintain.


      Your body feels pleasure, your mind feels happiness and your heart feels joy.


      You don’t spend hours decoding or waiting for texts.


      You don’t talk to your family and friends about how you are confused and unsure about what your partner wants.


      The relationship becomes easy.


      You’ll be willing to compromise and respect that in some instances you two won’t agree—be it religion or politics or anything else—and you will not try to prove why you are right.


      You start taking better care of yourself because you want to be the best version of yourself possible because that’s what they make you want to become.


      You start making smarter choices in life that might affect you in the long run in terms of career, finances, and health.


      You start to realize all the stupid things you did in the past as a phase that you are ready to move on from because you are ready to grow up.


      You start to have a different level of respect for people who have been in long happy relationships like your grandparents, parents or friends because you can see why they made it work. Because it was worth it.


      When tempted to falter, you don’t risk losing what you have because you know how lucky you are to have found it.


      Your relationship will have enough humor to not weigh you down.


      You will have enough wisdom to know that not every day will be perfect.


      You will be able to balance your relationships with your family, friends and your significant other.


      To find love with someone means stretching yourself out between you and them- it will take work but it will be the best work you will ever find.

      Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/anjana-rajbhandary/2018/01/15-beautiful-things-that-happen-when-you-take-your-time-with-love-instead-of-rushing-into-it/

      40 Of The Best Quotes From My Favorite Murder

      I’ve been a huge fan of the true-crime/comedy podcast, My Favorite Murder, ever since I began listening to it this past summer. The hosts, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, share their favorite murders and true crime stories while discussing what’s going in their lives in the form of comedic banter to lighten the heavy mood that talking about murder can bring.

      If you aren’t familiar with My Favorite Murder (Also abbreviated as MFM), the podcast spun a community of fans and we refer to ourselves as “Murderinos.” Since the debut of MFM in January 2016, the ladies of MFM have said some quotes that are a combination of inspiring, humorous and uplifting, especially for women. I went to their live show in Detroit and it was incredible. Karen and Georgia are amazing human beings; I met them and they are some of the nicest people I have ever met in my life.

      Here are 40 of the wisest and comical quotes from MFM obtained from the official “My Favorite Murder” Facebook group and Pinterest.

      Pretty pretty print by @pilarprints. #ssdgm #myfavoritemurder #murderino

      A post shared by My Favorite Murder Podcast (@myfavoritemurder) on

      1. “Get a job. Buy your own shit. Stay out of the forest.”

      2. “Here’s the thing: fuck everyone.”

      3. “Don’t say ‘sorry not sorry’; Say ‘Listen, you motherfucker!”

      4. “All of life is about fixing what you fucked up.”

      5. “Please live your life like you’re going to be reenacted in 30 years.”

      6. “Don’t leave your drink alone.”

      7. “Don’t let your girlfriend fucking leave you behind.”

      8. “You’re in a cult; call your dad.”

      9. “Don’t call it nonconsensual sex. Sex is sex and rape is rape; use the word rape.

      10. “Don’t take things for granted or judge books by covers and don’t do the things that average people get tricked by.”

      11. “You can be crazy, just be light-hearted about it.”

      12. “If you meet a person [and] you get the weird feeling in your gut, absolutely trust yourself and get out of there.”

      13. “We can actually help each other; we should help each other and reach out to each other.”

      14. “Talk about your trauma.”

      15. “Don’t let people touch you if you’re not comfortable with it.”

      16. “Pepper spray first and apologize later.”

      17. “If you see something, fucking say something.”

      18. “Lock your fucking door.”

      19. “Donate $50 dollars to your local library, keep all your fingers.”

      20. “Don’t drink and drive, you guys.”

      21. Nothing is real; speak for yourself [and] question authority.”

      22. “Wash your hands, please. Don’t get murdered by germs.”

      23. “Let’s use our powers of anxiety for good and not evil.”

      24. “Don’t be a fucking lunatic.”

      25. “Bigger dummies than you.”

      26. “Toxic masculinity ruins the party again.”

      27. “If Florida’s kicking you out, you’re probably a pretty big piece of shit.”

      28. “Let’s sit crooked and talk straight.”

      29. “This isn’t a positive cult; this isn’t like Sephora.”

      30. “My therapist was right about you.”

      31. “Look, meth is bad.”

      32. “Triflers need not apply.”

      33. “Don’t snort shit.”

      34. “Don’t be a know-it-all .”

      35. “Hey guys, let’s get those rape kits tested”

      36. “Can everyone chill the fuck out?”

      37. “Leave well enough alone, asshat.”

      38. “Just be rude; go up to people and be like, ‘Hi, I know this makes me the weirdo but there’s a weirdo over there.’”

      39. Fuck politeness.

      40. Stay sexy and don’t get murdered (SSDGM).

      If you love true crime, comedy and real talk about life issues, mental health, feminism and more, then you should probably start listening to My Favorite Murder. Even if you don’t (you really should), at least make you always stay sexy and don’t get murdered!

      Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/jessica-mae-smith/2018/02/40-of-the-best-quotes-from-my-favorite-murder/

      Anti-depressants work, major study says

      Media playback is unsupported on your device

      Media captionProf Andrea Cipriani said it was good news for patients and doctors

      Scientists say they have settled one of medicine’s biggest debates after a huge study found that anti-depressants work.

      The study, which analysed data from 522 trials involving 116,477 people, found 21 common anti-depressants were all more effective at reducing symptoms of acute depression than dummy pills.

      But it also showed big differences in how effective each drug is.

      The authors of the report, published in the Lancet, said it showed many more people could benefit from the drugs.

      There were 64.7 million prescriptions for the drugs in England in 2016 – more than double the 31 million in 2006 – but there has been a debate about how effective they are, with some trials suggesting they are no better than placebos.

      The Royal College of Psychiatrists said the study “finally puts to bed the controversy on anti-depressants”.

      The so-called meta-analysis, which involved unpublished data in addition to information from the 522 clinical trials involving the short-term treatment of acute depression in adults, found the medications were all more effective than placebos.

      However, the study found they ranged from being a third more effective than a placebo to more than twice as effective.

      Lead researcher Dr Andrea Cipriani, from the University of Oxford, told the BBC: “This study is the final answer to a long-standing controversy about whether anti-depressants work for depression.

      “We found the most commonly prescribed anti-depressants work for moderate to severe depression and I think this is very good news for patients and clinicians.”

      Anti-depressant “stigma”

      Media playback is unsupported on your device

      Media caption“There’s still a stigma”

      Christian Talbot, a comedian, said he first started taking anti-depressants three and a half years ago after he found talking therapies had been ineffective for him.

      His doctor told him his depression was due to his low levels of serotonin, which is thought to influence mood, emotion and sleep.

      Christian said he had been reluctant to take anti-depressants at first because he feared they might make him “numb” or dull his senses.

      But he said when he did take them the results were “immediately beneficial”.

      “It wasn’t that I felt a huge change come over me but I did feel literally like there was a weight that came off my shoulders. I was less anxious and felt more even.”

      He said he felt there was a stigma around taking the drugs.

      “I don’t know if people are afraid of them or they’re embarrassed about them, because it’s a medication just like anything else, except it’s for a mental health issue rather than a physical issue.”

      Anti-depressants – the most and least effective

      Image copyright Getty Images

      The most effective:

      • agomelatine
      • amitriptyline
      • escitalopram
      • mirtazapine
      • paroxetine

      The least effective:

      • fluoxetine
      • fluvoxamine
      • reboxetine
      • trazodone

      ‘Compelling evidence’

      The study’s authors said the findings could help doctors to pick the right prescription, but it did not mean everyone should be switching medications.

      That is because the study looked at the average effect of drugs rather than how they worked for individuals of different ages or gender, the severity of symptoms and other characteristics.

      Researchers added that most of the data in the meta-analysis covered eight weeks of treatment, so the findings might not apply to longer-term use.

      And they said it did not mean that anti-depressants should always be the first form of treatment.

      At least one million more people in the UK would benefit from treatments, including anti-depressants, they said.

      “Medication should always be considered alongside other options, such as psychological therapies, where these are available,” Dr Cipriani added.

      You might also be interested in:

      Prof Carmine Pariante, from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “This meta-analysis finally puts to bed the controversy on anti-depressants, clearly showing that these drugs do work in lifting mood and helping most people with depression.

      “Importantly, the paper analyses unpublished data held by pharmaceutical companies, and shows that the funding of studies by these companies does not influence the result, thus confirming that the clinical usefulness of these drugs is not affected by pharma-sponsored spin.”

      However, Prof Pariante said the paper did not improve understanding of how to help patients who had treatment-resistant depression and who were not helped by taking any of the 21 tested drugs.

      Glyn Lewis, professor of psychiatric epidemiology at University College London, said the “excellent” study provided “compelling evidence” for the effectiveness of anti-depressants.

      He added: “Anti-depressants often receive a ‘bad press’ but this paper shows they have a role in the management for people with depression.”

      How have you coped with your depression? Please share your experience with us by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk.

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

      • WhatsApp: +447555 173285
      • Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay
      • Send an SMS or MMS to 61124 or +44 7624 800 100

      Or comment here:

      Related Topics

      Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-43143889

      Kevin Sorbo Exposes the Lie of My Body, My Choice, Calls Abortion “The Definition of Evil”

      Actor Kevin Sorbo recently made a powerful rally cry on behalf of the pro-life community in an op-ed for CNS News co-written with his wife, Sam.

      While many Hollywood A-listers are known for their liberal pro-abortion agendas, Sorbo takes quite the opposite stance on the sanctity of human life.

      “We dress it up with ‘my body, my choice,’” says Sorbo, “but it is still a life inside of a woman’s womb, and that life is still extinguished by the brutal procedure of abortion.

      In an effort to expose that lie that so many women cling to when deciding to abort, he begins by telling the story of his friends “Mike” and “Kate”:

      “Years ago, a friend – we’ll call him ‘Mike’ – received a phone call from an old girlfriend – we’ll call her ‘Kate’ – who asked him to accompany her to the abortion clinic. She was in a bad way, fearing the worst from the life that was growing inside her womb. She was single, and otherwise responsible, but somehow her birth control had failed her. Now she found herself with child. She had a job, friends, a whole life ahead of her to think about, and a baby being thrust into that mix was inconceivable to her.”

      Totally terrified and seeing her future crumble before her very eyes, Kate did the only thing she thought sensible at the time: schedule an abortion.

      However, as the day of the appointment drew nearer, Kate became more and more frightened of the surgical procedure that would end the life inside her.

      Hoping to get the support of a friend who wouldn’t judge her decision, Kate reached out to Mike and pleaded with him to come to the abortion clinic and hold her hand.

      “How could Mike refuse?” wrote Sorbo. “The culture instructed him that he was just a man, with absolutely no say in decisions of which lives are worthy, and which might be discarded like yesterday’s pasta dinner, especially because he wasn’t the father. But even the father is effectively and tragically cut out of the conversation, typically because ‘my body, my choice’ is the lie our culture has purchased.”

      But Mike’s response was not what Kate expected. After taking a deep breath, he asked, “Can we talk? I mean, honestly talk, for a moment?”

      Feeling lost and alone, Kate readily agreed to hear out what Mike had to say.

      But after anticipating a simple line or two of guidance and encouragement from her friend, Kate was totally taken aback when she heard what was really on Mike’s heart:

      “This child inside your womb is the greatest love story of your life, Kate,” he said. “Killing it will not solve your problem; it will create an even bigger one. I understand you feel a great burden. Bringing a life into the world can be just that, but in removing that life from your body, you will be destroying an opportunity to know love like you have never imagined. So, I beg you not to do this thing. Change your point of view, instead, and see this as the greatest of love stories, one that will be yours for the rest of your life.”

      Mike’s words weighed heavily on Kate as she processed his plea through a stream of tears and agreed to think about it.

      And praise God she did… because it was exactly that message from Mike that saved her baby boy, who is now “grown, married and a father to Kate’s grandchildren,” says Sorbo.

      After detailing Mike and Kate’s powerful story, Sorbo continued to drive home his point that “nothing good can come from a lie”—specifically the lie that says ‘It’s my body; I can do what I want with it.’

      “Secular humanists have made the word abortion sound like a woman’s right, synonymous with health care, female empowerment, standing for women’s issues, a choice, a solution; anything but the truth,” writes Sorbo. “The truth is, however, abortion is the termination of life. It is just a euphemism for murder because the only reason to get an abortion is to avoid the potential of birth – a human birth.”

      The Hercules actor further elaborated on the hypocrisy of our nation’s stance on abortion by pointing out the extreme laws protecting animals’ lives:

      “In some cases, disturbing the nest of a sea turtle and stealing its eggs is a crime punishable by years in prison and tremendous fines, but we have an entire industry in this nation devoted to the murder of unborn human beings. This is the new civil rights cause for our country.”

      And Sorbo doesn’t stop calling out the double standard there…

      “Barely a century after our grave and costly war against slavery, against depriving some human beings of their dignity and based solely on their skin color, we codified into law the right of the citizen to kill her progeny, based solely on its size and location, while unwittingly depriving herself of love that is pure and enduring.”

      “This is the definition of evil, pure and simple,” he writes in closing.

      In a culture that continues to normalize the murder of unborn babies, I’m thankful for men like Kevin Sorbo who use their celebrity platform to speak out for those who do not yet have a voice…in hopes that one day, they will.

      To learn more about how you can help women choose life for their babies, visit SaveTheStorks.com. If you or someone you know is considering abortion, visit www.focusonthefamily.com now, or call 1-855-771-HELP (4357) to speak with a licensed Christian counselor today.

      Read more: https://faithit.com/kevin-sorbo-exposes-lie-abortion-definition-evil/