Trailer for ‘Silicon Valley’ Season 5 drops, minus TJ Miller of course

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What’s life going to be like for the Silicon Valley gang, sans Erlich Bachman?

Following last season’s departure of TJ Miller, who plays Bachman, fans have likely wondered what Season 5 will look like — especially without that priceless tension between him and Jian Yang.

HBO dropped a trailer for the upcoming season on Tuesday, and well, it’d certainly appear the rivalries are staying the same. Pied Piper is still butting heads with Hooli, and its founder Richard Hendricks, played by Thomas Middleditch, is still trying to prove himself as a competent leader.

Same old, maybe, but we shall see. Season 5 of Silicon Valley debuts on Mar. 25. Read more…

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‘Jessica Jones’ Villains We Want to See in Season 2

It’s hard to imagine Jessica Jones without its awesome villain from the first season. David Tennant as Kilgrave was fantastic, and whoever the Season 2 villain is has some huge shoes to fill.

With that in mind, we put together a few of the villains in the universe that are waiting to be fleshed out — and hopefully one or two aren’t just wishful thinking.

Will Simpson (Nuke)

Nuke is the musclehead minion/cop who eventually enhances his speed and strength with top secret, military-grade supplements. One to get his adrenaline pumping, one to make sure he can breathe while his adrenaline is pumping, and one to chill him the hell out when he’s just grabbing pancakes.

In the comics, Kingpin hired Nuke to take out Daredevil in the Hell’s Kitchen area. It’s a little more complicated in the show. We saw Will Simpson in the first season of Jessica Jones, first trying to kill her with a gun and later resorting to his pills. As someone who knew what it’s like to be under Kilgrave’s control, his intent was to take out someone he thought was still under Kilgrave’s influence and shielding him.


Will Simpson Nuke Jessica Jones

Nuke’s certainly not a “main” baddie. He probably wouldn’t even warrant an appearance in one of the movies without some serious reworking. We still haven’t seen him in his “final form” with an American flag painted on his face yet, but it’s quite possible the show is happy to leave that as a relic of a different era.

The upcoming season of Jessica Jones is all about finding answers from the past, and Nuke could play into those insights as well. Being a product of the program that spat out the likes of Captain America and Wolverine, he has his own creation story to explore, much like Jones.

IGH

Don’t search too much for what IGH is an acronym for, because it stands for nothing. This is the paramilitary organisation responsible for doling out supplements to Nuke and others, enhancing their physical abilities while destroying their minds.

There were several hints towards the end of Season 1 of Jessica Jones that we’d be seeing more and more of IGH. Its mysterious nature and the fact that it’s in the business of creating powers would fit the season’s theme of discovering one’s genesis.

Willis Stryker (Diamondback)

Diamondback has a long and complicated history in the Luke Cage storyline — as you can imagine, what with him being Cage’s half-brother and later nemesis. But this particular thread was never fully wrapped up. The last we saw of Diamondback, he was on a hospital bed with Burstein walking into the room, no doubt about to do all kinds of SCIENCE.


Diamondback Luke Cage Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones’ story is closely intertwined with that of Luke Cage. Obviously there’s a whole show dedicated to Luke Cage, and given Diamondback’s political maneuvering through Cottonmouth and Black Mariah, it might make more sense for him to be there.

As we’ve seen though, these shows have absolutely no problem sharing. We’re due for Season 2 of Luke Cage later on in 2018, so what better way to set up Diamondback than at least teasing him in Jessica Jones?

Mary Walker

We know that Leah Gibson has been cast as a street-wise, nurse-educated character named “Ingrid” in the new season, which many have connected to a Daredevil villain.

Typhoid Mary — or Bloody Mary, or just plain Mary depending on which of her personalities is in control at the time — would provide a bit of a different challenge with her telekinetic powers.



She also has a storied history with many other superheroes such as Spider-Man and Daredevil. The timid nature of Mary when she’s in control is enough to fool even Daredevil’s heightened senses, and is sure to provide some moral conflicts for heroes who have to contend with a gentle soul and a sadistic villain in the same body.

Gideon Mace

Halfway through Season 1 of Jessica Jones, Luke Cage walks into Jones’ office asking if she’ll investigate a case involving Angela del Toro. This could just be a cheeky mention of White Tiger, but it could also point to a larger inclusion of the hero.

To include another female hero would fit into the stated goal of making Season 2 very much about female empowerment. The #metoo movement will be front and centre, and every episode in the season is directed by a woman. In the same vein, we might see Trish Walker developed more as a hero as well.


Gideon Mace

What case would involve Angela del Toro? Her own origin story involves the murder of her uncle Hector Ayala, the first person to assume the name “White Tiger.” He had retired after his family was murdered by a man named Gideon Mace.

Upon his murder, the amulet that conferred his physical powers was delivered to Angela del Toro, and then found its way to Ava Ayala. That leaves her with a bunch of new powers and a major axe to grind.

At the moment, it looks like the most likely villains are Typhoid Mary and IGH, perhaps with a dash of Nuke. But who knows, the show is perfectly capable of surprising us, and that wouldn’t be a bad thing at all.

The post ‘Jessica Jones’ Villains We Want to See in Season 2 appeared first on FANDOM.

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Flu kills 22 more children, bringing toll to 84 kids as worst season in a decade continues

Acting CDC director Anne Schuchat says the flu season is far from over, USA TODAY reports.
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Extended Preview: Season Premiere of The Book of John Gray | Book of John Gray | OWN

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Big Little Lies Season 2 Story Details Revealed With Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley, Zoë Kravitz Officially Returning

Laura Dern, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Zoe Kravitz, Reese Witherspoon, Big Little LiesThe whole Monterey gang is getting back together for Big Little Lies season two. E! News has confirmed Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley and Zoë Kravitz have officially signed on to reprise their…

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Nezet-Seguin becomes Met Opera’s music director next season

NEW YORK (AP) — Yannick Nezet-Seguin will become the Metropolitan Opera’s music director next season, two years earlier than planned, providing a leader to an orchestra fighting drift and defections for more than a decade.
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Jessica Jones Season 2 Is Netflix’s Next Marvel Binge. Here’s What to Expect

Marvel’s best whiskey-swigging, gritty heroine Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) is back and still fighting demons from her past. The last time we saw Jessica Jones in season 1 of the Netflix series about the superhero, she had finally vanquished Kilgrave (David Tennant) and started answering calls from people around New York needing her help as private investigator. She later appeared in Marvel’s The Defenders, joining streetwise heroes Luke Cage, Daredevil and Iron Fist to take down their enemies in the Netflix series.

A look at Netflix’s trailer for season 2 of Jessica Jones finds the angry superhero detective examining the details surrounding her parents’ death and the mystery of the experiments that gave her extraordinary powers. It also appears her tormenter Kilgrave will return to the series — whether he comes back to life or is appears in Jessica’s flashbacks remains to be seen.

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Season 2 of Jessica Jones hits Netflix on March 8. Here’s what’s ahead for the hero.

Jessica Jones season 2 trailer

The trailer for the second season of Jessica Jones reveals little about the plot of our main hero’s new adventures. She’s still drinking a lot. And while she is trying to piece her life back together, Jessica can’t seem to shake the “super vigilante shit” constantly being thrown at her, as the the events of season 1 and The Defenders make her known throughout New York for her powers. The circumstances of her family’s death in a car accident and the murky way she received her powers further haunt Jessica.

“I have 17 years of questions, and they are deep,” she says in the trailer.

Jessica Jones season 2 cast

Netflix

As she tries to crack the case of her own origin story, other figures from her past and current life appear in Jessica Jones season 2. Her best friend Trish Walker appears to be on her way to becoming Marvel hero Hellcat, a sidekick to Jessica and superhero in her own right. Known as Patsy Walker in the comics, Jessica Jones‘s Trish came to her friend’s aid more than once in season 1. This time around, it looks like Trish may get a little more to do as she jumps to Jessica’s defense — whether the angsty detective likes it or not.

“Jessica might not want a sidekick, but she needs one,” she says in the trailer.

Other returning figures include David Tennant as Kilgrave, Eka Darville as Malcolm Ducasse and Carrie-Anne Moss as Jeri Hogarth. It’s unclear whether Mike Colter will return to reprise his role as Luke Cage.

New cast members will include Janet McTeer (Me Before You, Damages) in an unrevealed role and J.R. Ramirez (Power, Arrow) as Oscar, a single father who is the new superintendent at Jessica’s building.

Jessica Jones season 2 villain

Jessica’s antagonists are still everywhere in season 2 of Jessica Jones. One of her oldest enemies, Kilgrave, or The Purple Man — who despite dying at the end of the first season — still appears to live on in some form or another in the new season (Tennant was confirmed to return to the series). The trailer does not show the circumstances of Kilgrave’s return, but reveals a pair of hands clapping three times while Jessica has a purple light shone on her, hinting that she hasn’t fully shaken one of her biggest enemies.

Other enemies abound — Jessica is looking for the shadowy figures who performed experiments on her as a child and a mysterious man wants to take over her detective agency. The trailer further warns of a killer beyond Jessica’s control.

Where Jessica Jones season 2 fits in the Marvel-Netflix timeline

Jessica Jones season 2 comes after the events of the Battle of New York shown in the 2012 theatrical release The Avengers, which the first season acknowledged and does again in the new series when a child asks Jessica if she knows Captain America. New Yorkers are also aware that she teamed up with heroes Daredevil, Luke Cage and Iron Fist in The Defenders, hence the ramping up of higher vigilante demands. New seasons of Daredevil, Luke Cage and Iron Fist are also coming to Netflix, though specific premiere dates have not been announced yet.


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‘The Tick’ Season 1: Part 2 Review: The Silly, Sweet Superhero Series We Need

SPOILERS for Season 1: Part 1 of The Tick.

The Tick released the first half of its inaugural season and it was a smile-inducing shot in the arm for superhero television. But, with only six episodes to consume, it like an appetizer instead of a full course meal. Now, with the second half of the season hitting Amazon on February 23, we finally have a better look at how the first season of The Tick shakes out.

And to no surprise, it’s still a delight.

Grown-up Silliness


tick-1
The big blue bonehead is back.

The best weapon in The Tick‘s arsenal is how knowingly dopey it is. Yes, there are some bits of meta-humor that are a little too wink-wink, but it never devolves into such self-awareness that it pulls you out of the story and the characters. The show remains light and accessible enough that both casual viewers and hardcore fans will find things to enjoy.

Probably the thing that sets The Tick apart from its peers is its balance of adult content and cartoon elements. This is a show aimed at adults but doesn’t feel the need to be overly adulty. That’s a problem that the Netflix/Marvel shows like The Punisher often falls into. The Tick isn’t afraid to deliver jokes and plotlines for mature audiences, but it also never draws attention to these moments in a shock value way. They feel as natural to the world of the show as the overtly

The Good, the Bad, and the Goofy

As we learned at the end of Season 1 Part 1, The Terror is alive and planning some big supervillainy. Jackie Earle Haley really gets to shine in this second half of the season. His performance makes The Terror as bonkers and enjoyable as Peter Serafinowicz’s Tick. In fact, everyone in the cast nails their characters. Granted, these are fairly light characters so there isn’t a huge amount of psychological depth to them, but they still make the best use of their time.

While the show might not reach the heights of lunacy that previous incarnations of The Tick have achieved, it still offers that ludicrous tone that personifies the character and his world. The overarching story isn’t a fantastic one but it gets the job done and sets up the characters for some entertaining scenarios.

Probably the biggest knock against The Tick is its budgetary restraints. This show is definitely a case where its reach exceeds its grasp, but it’s endearing to see it reaching for such lofty goals. It wants to be on par with other television superhero fare but provide something a little breezier and dorky. It mostly succeeds at that, but the seams are a little too apparent to ignore during certain climactic showdowns. In fact, the show isn’t too focused on big action. That’s okay when it’s working on pure comedy, but fans of superhero action might find the show to be a tad lacking.

Is The Tick Good?

It is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. There is such a clear love of the inherent absurdity of superhero stories, and a lot of comic book adaptations try to approach these things with the straightest of faces. The Tick has no such interest in that. Yes, it does treat its characters with respect but never at the cost of a hearty laugh.

The Tick is probably the best live-action version of a Saturday morning cartoon that’s available. That comes with ingrained flaws but they aren’t so detrimental that it stops you from having a good time.

The Tick Season 1: Part 2 debuts Friday, February 23rd on Amazon Prime Video.

The post ‘The Tick’ Season 1: Part 2 Review: The Silly, Sweet Superhero Series We Need appeared first on FANDOM.

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Season 2 Full Episode: Into the Storm | Book of John Gray | Oprah Winfrey Network

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Flu season still getting worse; now as bad as 2009 swine flu

NEW YORK (AP) — The flu has further tightened its grip on the U.S. This season is now as bad as the swine flu epidemic nine years ago.
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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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New Season Of ‘Iyanla, Fix My Life’ Features Trina Braxton, Diamond Reynolds, Memphitz

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Heart healer Iyanla Vanzant is back on TV  for an all new season of her hit OWN show, Iyanla, Fix My Life.

This season, Vanzant will work through this issues of some of your favorite controversial reality stars, along with Black women who have been victim to traumatic circumstances.

‘Love & Hip Hop’s’ Hazel E will get to the root of her racism and homophobia  after being ostracized amid her hate-filled social media rantTrina Braxton will work through her entanglements with her ex husband, and music producer Memphitz uncovers the root of his family issues that led him to drugs.

Vanzant will also work with Philando Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond, who witnessed the death of her unarmed partner at the hands of the police.

Things are going to get raw, heavy, and healed.

Tune in March 3rd at 9/8c on OWN and watch the trailer below:

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Telli Swift Gets Her Dream Proposal and Kaylin Jurrjens Considers Motherhood on the Season Finale of WAGS Atlanta

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Breaking: Carmen Cusack, Steven Pasquale, Matthew Broderick & More Will Star in New Shows at Williamstown Theatre Festival; Full Season Announced!

Artistic Director Mandy Greenfield has announced the Williamstown Theatre Festival 2018 Summer Season, the 64th Season for the Tony Award-winning theatre company, which will include three world premiere plays, a world premiere musical, and much more.
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CDC: Flu season not over, ‘many more weeks to come’

Widespread flu activity continues across 49 states, leaves 37 children dead so far this season, and there’s “likely many more weeks to come” of the flu season, CDC says.


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Here’s Why Travel Insurance Might Be a Good Investment During Flu Season

Picture this: Grandma’s 100th birthday is coming up, and the whole family is getting together to celebrate. You spend weeks scouting for the lowest flight prices, plunk down a few hundred dollars for tickets for you and the kids and get right down to packing.

The night before take off, you’ve double checked the bags, made sure to pack enough snacks and toys to keep your kids from ruining six hours of the guy in 25B’s life and fielded the fifteenth phone call from Aunt Donna, assuring her that yes, you’re going to be there — you wouldn’t miss it for the world.

And that’s when you can’t ignore it any more.

That little tickle in the back of your throat. The achy feeling creeping into every limb. The headache you’ve been ignoring all day, hoping it would disappear if you pretended hard enough it wasn’t real.

A quick trip to the walk-in clinic confirms the flu.

You get the medicine, but there’s no way you’re getting on that flight tomorrow (and we all thank you).

At this point you’re pretty devastated. I mean, it’s bad enough you’re missing Grandma’s birthday and the ensuing family reunion (not to mention you’ve got a rough few days ahead of you) — but the moldy cherry on top of this already pretty nasty ice cream sundae is you’re taking a loss on the price of those plane tickets.

Ouch.

Why Travel Insurance Might Be a Good Idea this Flu Season

A lot of factors go into deciding whether to purchase travel insurance when you book a flight.

How pricy are the tickets? Are you traveling with someone? (More people means a higher chance of something going wrong before your flight.) Are there multiple flights? Are you traveling during a season of inclement weather? Are your planned activities or destinations anything less than safe?

Generally, these considerations (and ultimately travel insurance) are important for people traveling abroad and doing things outside of their norm.

For domestic travel and shorter flights, it’s not often a necessary — or even recommended — expense.  

But flu season is a different beast entirely.

Something to Consider

This year’s flu season is pretty bad.

While it’s not necessarily any more dangerous than in years past, it is more widespread. Plus, the flu vaccine is reportedly less effective this year (although it’s still worth getting!)

Heavily populated or crowded areas, such as cities and busy metro areas, are especially susceptible to the spreading virus — and travel hubs only serve as a convenient place for it to hitch a ride to a new destination.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that if you “are sick with symptoms of influenza-like illness,” you should stay home and not travel. Additionally, the CDC says to stay home until at least 24 hours have passed since your last fever broke without the use of fever reducing medicine.

To help you decide whether or not you should purchase travel insurance with your flight tickets this flu season, Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison engine, has made a list of considerations travelers should take into account.

First, though, it’s important to note that travel insurance purchased after a person is already sick is useless. You have to have a policy in place before getting sick in order to be paid back your travel expenses.

With most travel insurance plans, however, travelers who come down with the flu after booking their flight and purchasing travel insurance can get their money back for canceled travel plans by submitting a doctor’s note with their claim.

Additionally, some travel insurance plans will cover your costs if a companion or even a non-traveling family member falls ill.

If you fall ill while on your trip, you can submit a claim for the expenses of traveling home early and for any unused part of your hotel stay.

If you’re traveling abroad, insurance is often a good idea anyway, but can be especially helpful if you require medical assistance or treatment while out of the country.

To help make your decision easier, Squaremouth has set up a help center on its website, where you’ll find a list of FAQs and helpful information.

Ultimately, whether or not you purchase travel insurance is entirely up to you. During a gnarly flu season, however, this decision becomes a little more significant.

Either way, it’s important to consider your plans and what you stand to lose if you fall ill and can’t make your flight — and then to make the best decision for you and your family.

Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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It’s been a bad flu season, but here’s how you can prevent it from getting worse

The flu is widespread across the U.S., but it's not too late to get a flu shot.
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Flu’s price tag: This season could cost employers more than $9 billion

With a nasty flu season, businesses can expect to see billions of dollars in lost productivity, according to Andy Challenger.
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The Handmaid’s Tale Will Return in April With an Even Darker Second Season

We are ready to go back to the future: The second season of The Handmaid’s Tale — which has scooped up just about every major award for its haunting and harrowing adaptation of the classic Margaret Atwood novel — will premiere April 25. And you can get a first look at what’s in store for us above. (Who knew a Buffalo Springfield cover could be so dang creepy?)

Ahead of Sunday’s Television Critics Association panel, it was revealed that the 13-episode season will be focused and shaped by the pregnancy of Offred (Elisabeth Moss) and her struggle to find her daughter inside the nightmare that is Gilead. Returning players in addition to Moss include Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne, Strahovski, Samira Wiley, Alexis Bledel, Ann Dowd, and Max Minghella.

At Sunday’s panel, more details were revealed, including that Marisa Tomei will guest star as a commander’s wife in the second episode, which will take place in the Colonies, signaling an expansion from the original novel’s world. “I certainly don’t think we’re going beyond the story that [Margaret Atwood] was telling,” executive producer Bruce Miller said. “She’s very much the mother of the series.”

Speaking of mothers, star and producer Moss reiterated that this season is all about motherhood. “It’s a wonderful thing to have a baby, but [Offred] is having it potentially in this world that she may not want to bring it into,” Moss said, adding, “I get bigger and bigger as the show goes on.”

When asked whether any real-life events make them want to change anything on the show, Miller said, “We have a few more months to go before we premiere, and certainly things can catch up to us. We’ve already had things where we thought about, shot them, put them in episodes, and then almost exactly the same images are on television. But I don’t think it’s a reason to jump in and start changing stuff.”

As for the tone on the series, Miller said, “There’s a lot of horror and cruelty and dread in this situation, but there’s also a lot of absurdity. I feel like June is always this close to turning to the camera and being, like, ‘What the actual f—.’”

Season 2 will kick off with two new episodes on the 25th and then will follow with new ones every Wednesday on Hulu. Moss said she thinks the second season will be even darker than the first, and when EW spoke to Miller earlier this month, he had one suggestion for how to prepare for viewings: “a bottle of scotch.”

Additional reporting by Natalie Abrams

This article originally appeared on Ew.com.


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COSMOS with Neil deGrasse Tyson will return for another season

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COSMOS is officially returning for another season.

And yes, everyone’s favorite astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, will be hosting. The season will air in spring 2019 on FOX and Nat Geo. 

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane will serve as executive producer of the show, just as he did when it was revived back in 2015. It featured plenty of mind-blowing science facts, animated history lessons, and Tyson riding around in a weird silver spaceship. 

While you wait for the next season, enjoy this gem from Carl Sagan, the beloved astronomer who first brought COSMOS to life in 1980.  Read more…

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Flu epidemic hits US, hospitalizations climb during peak season

The flu has closed schools in Tennessee, Alabama, Idaho, N. Carolina and Texas.
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Has flu season, in full swing, reached its height?

NEW YORK (AP) — Flu is now widespread in every state except Hawaii, but the good news is the season appears to already be peaking.
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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Has Flu Season, In Full Swing, Reached Its Height?

NEW YORK (AP) — Flu is now widespread in every state except Hawaii, but the good news is the flu season appears to be peaking.
U.S. health officials on Friday said plenty of people are getting sick, and the flu has hit epidemic levels — just as it does most winters.

But an update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows patient traffic for the flu is no longer increasing the way it did in December.

Health officials say it’s shaping up to be a bad season overall, dominated by a nasty type of flu bug that can cause severe illness in young children and seniors. They won’t know how well the flu shot worked until next month.

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It’s Robbin’ Season, You Ready? Check out the “Atlanta” Season 2 Trailer

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FX has dropped the trailer for the second season, aptly titled “Robbin Season” of Donald Glover’s series ‘Atlanta’ ahead of its March premiere.

The eerie clip premiered at last night’s Golden Globes and is soundtracked by “Too Fast.” With haunting vocals accompanied by hand snaps, Brent Fiyaz sings: “Livin’ at the speed of light, like a bullet. I could be dead by the morning, I can’t call it.”  Flashes of lights bring forth short vignette to appear through out the ominious clip. Before strutting down a sidewalk, Earn (Glover), Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry), and others  are shown at dinner before hitting a strip clun and hanging out with a gator.

“We didn’t really look back at Season 1 for inspiration much,” said Glover. “We always kept trying to do something different for the new season.”

Check out the clip below.

The post It’s Robbin’ Season, You Ready? Check out the “Atlanta” Season 2 Trailer appeared first on EBONY.

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According to Johnny Galecki, “The Big Bang Theory” is probably ending after Season 12

According to Johnny Galecki, “The Big Bang Theory” is probably ending after Season 12


According to Johnny Galecki, “The Big Bang Theory” is probably ending after Season 12

The Big Bang Theory is currently in its 11th season. And even though we don’t want to think about it, all good things must come to an end. Johnny Galecki just hinted that The Big Bang Theory may end after Season 12, and we’re already in tears. We’ve been lucky to have the show in our lives since 2007. Can’t it just last forever?!

According to People, Galecki revealed the info at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Saturday, January 6th. “The only manner in which the cast has discussed wrapping [The Big Bang Theory] has been that we’re all going to be very sad when that day comes,” Galecki told reporters, according to TV Line. “But I think at this point everyone’s very comfortable with 12 seasons being a good time to go home and see our families.”

Again, cue our tears. After all, at this point, we know The Big Bang Theory characters so well. It’s like they’re friends of ours, and we’re constantly wondering what they’re up to. Of course, we’ll still have Young Sheldon, the Big Bang Theory spinoff. In fact, it was just renewed for a second season, Deadline reports.

If you haven’t seen the show yet — which revolves around a young Sheldon, of course — you’re missing out. Young Sheldon is the #1 new comedy and the #2 comedy on television, according to recent ratings, Deadline Hollywood reported.

What’s first? The Big Bang Theory, of course. No surprise there!

Which is why we’re so sad that the next season of The Big Bang Theory might be the show’s last.

While we wait to see what happens, we’re glad we have Young Sheldon.

Young Sheldon has made a huge impact on our schedule in the short time it’s been on the air,” Kelly Kahl, President, CBS Entertainment, said in a statement, reported Entertainment Weekly. “While the show’s DNA is clearly rooted in The Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon has staked out its own place in the TV universe with a unique creative tone, brilliant writing and a gifted multi-generational cast.”

BRB, praying to the TV gods.

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These Are the Winter Headbands Getting Us Through the Coldest Days This Season

We still have a couple months ahead of us before spring, meaning many more days of enduring ice-cold temperatures and frozen extremities. Anyone who’s survived a real winter knows that keeping your head—and ears—warm is the surest way to stay comfortable and cozy when you’re braving the cold. Hats, in their many iterations and fabrications, can be a fashion girl’s favorite winter staple, but not always your best bet if you’re maintaining a hairstyle or also wearing a hood. So steps in another cold-weather accessory to consider adding to your arsenal: Winter headbands. Available in a variety of styles that suit different sensibilities while keeping you warm in icy conditions, winter headbands are a fashionable alternative to hats while you’re getting through the coldest days.

Keep scrolling for winter headbands to keep cozy and chic this winter.

This cozy rib-knit headband in Gucci’s iconic stripes is an instant Fashion-girl favorite.
Some quirky cat ears make for a playful touch.
Switch things up with an unexpected fabrication like this corduroy headband.
Go luxe with black satin and vintage-inspired crystal detailing.
When it comes to winter headbands, it doesn’t get more classic than a cable-knit number.
Make a statement in fur—especially in an unexpected colorway.
Pearl detailing adds a beautiful touch.
A clean design with stripes looks sleek and sporty. Need inspiration for the rest of your look? Here are 50 winter outfit ideas you’ll love.

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ABC Cancels ‘The Mayor’ After One Season

Freshman comedy “The Mayor” did not earn a second season in office.

Despite an order for three backup scripts, ABC has opted to cancel the rookie political comedy at 13 episodes. Four unaired episodes of the series remain and the comedy has been pulled off the air ahead of its January return, with ABC slotting “Modern Family” repeats for the time being, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Executive produced by Hamilton’s Daveed Diggs, the comedy starred Brandon Micheal Hall as an idealistic rapper who runs for mayor to promote his music career and ends up winning.

Producers ABC Studios will shop the comedy to other networks, THR reports.

More from THR below:

The Mayor was paired with Black-ish on ABC’s Tuesday comedy lineup. Despite the strong lead-in, The Mayor — from showrunner Jeremy Bronson (Speechless) — opened to a 1.2 rating in the all-important adults 18-49 demographic. The overall live viewership has continued to slide, with its Nov. 14 installment registering a paltry 2.45 million total viewers as it airs opposite NBC’s This Is Us. Delayed viewing on the single-camera comedy co-starring Lea Michele (Glee) remains soft. The series has aired seven of its 13 episodes and will wrap production.

Bronson recently scored a series order at Netflix for a family comedy starring Rev. Run (of Run DMC fame) that is being produced by ABC Studios and Amblin.

The Mayor was ABC’s lone comedy to launch in the fall. The network’s half-hour bench includes its Roseanne revival, family comedy Splitting Up and Zach Braff vehicle Alex, Inc. On the drama side, ABC has yet to schedule The Crossing, Deception, Shondaland’s For the People and the Grey’s Anatomy spinoff as the network has little real estate remaining.

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‘The Americans’ Cast and Producers Brace for Emotional Final Season

Paige Jennings was destined to go into the family business, “The Americans” showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields told reporters Friday as cast members and producers of the beloved FX drama discussed plans for the show’s sixth and final season, which bows March 28. Weisberg and Fields said they have been planning for some time […]

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13 tiny details in ‘Black Mirror’ Season 4 you probably missed

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Warning: Contains spoilers for Black Mirror Season 4.

In a lot of ways, Black Mirror Season 4 is familiar territory.

You’ve got your gnawing tension, your twist endings. That same old sense of humanity’s inevitable, yawning doom, lurking just one or two iPhone updates away. All that good stuff.

There is one thing Season 4 has a lot more of than past seasons, though, and that’s Easter eggs.

From self-referential cutaways to subtle, easy-to-miss moments, here are some things you may not have spotted on a first viewing. Read more…

More about Uk, Black Mirror, Charlie Brooker, Easter Eggs, and Black Mirror Season 4


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What Happened Last Season on If Loving You Is Wrong | Tyler Perry’s If Loving You Is Wrong | OWN

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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What’s In Store for 2018? Looking Ahead to the Upcoming Tennis Season

Who will the top-ranked players be at the end of 2018? Will Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic return to their winning ways? Making predictions for the 2018 season.

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If you’re like us, you’re probably bingeing Season 2 of The…

If you’re like us, you’re probably bingeing Season 2 of The Crown, released by Netflix today. We put together a quick recap of Season 1 for those of you who didn’t get a chance to revisit. And once you’ve streamed all of Season 2, we have a list of British shows to watch if you love The Crown, so you can keep a stiff upper lip.

Read more.

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Black Mirror’s Fourth Season Struggles Until There’s an Episode in Space. Seriously

It’s easy to tell tales about the near future—until it catches up with you. That’s the problem Black Mirror faces in its fourth season, which hits Netflix on Dec. 29. The twisty sci-fi anthology series, which first aired in the U.K. in 2011, still shares stories about technology and how it affects relationships. But imaginative, prescient stories are harder now. Reality in the late 2010s has been more creative in devising narrative turns than fiction could. As for prescience, if many are convinced there’s no future, who cares what the future’s tech looks like?

Sci-fi can serve as an escape when the future feels dark, but it can also seem a bit frivolous when its aperture is narrow. Several of the six episodes in the new season of Black Mirror stick to the show’s blueprint, focusing on how a specific technology affects a specific person or few people. The implications are meant to be chilling. For example, a technology that allows a parent to censor what her child sees produces a blinkered and angry young adult. But in the end, these stories end up seeming both more scolding than ever and perversely assuaging. In the near future Black Mirror depicts, there will still be helicopter parents, but they’ll leave the rest of us basically alone. An episode in which humanity is on the run from a dangerous technology we seem to have created ourselves is sketchily-drawn enough to be a momentary sort of comfort, too. If Charlie Brooker, the show’s seemingly endlessly inventive creator, can’t come up with a compelling way we’d end ourselves, maybe things aren’t so bad.

Of course, Black Mirror is in our world, sort of: “This isn’t an episode. This isn’t marketing. This is reality,” the show’s official account tweeted on election night 2016. But Black Mirror, despite one previous episode positing a future in which a literal cartoon character rose to political prominence, was generally stronger as a Twilight Zone-esque series of parables than a comment on what is actually happening in our world. Its statements resonated more sharply in a duller era. If the show wants to position itself as entirely of the moment, it has more work to do in meeting its viewers where they are, at a place where concern over what we’re doing to each other extends beyond implanted brain-modification technologies—and beyond the individual.

The season has bright spots: An episode about a dating technology whose control over its users can’t seem to erase the possibility of a real connection, scans a bit like an attempt to repeat the success of the dating-in-virtual-reality opus “San Junipero.” That episode’s depiction of two women whose romance pushed past the boundaries of time, reality and life in the closet provided Black Mirror a breakthrough moment of sorts, as even the most casual of fans swooned to the uncharacteristic earnestness. This time, the twist was the miracle of love. It was an episode that simultaneously engaged issues of the heart and the way technology has reshaped possibilities of what life can look like for all of us. “Hang the DJ” is no “San Junipero,” but the show may as well copy from its own best work.

But one episode this season has the imaginative power of Black Mirror at its best: “U.S.S. Callister.” The 1960s space serial features a large cast in a Star Trek-like fictional universe, all bubblegum colors and bright responses to the all-knowing Captain, who end up facing down existential threats. This episode makes the universe of Black Mirror seem more ambitious, and not merely because its characters are hurtling through space. It works because the show’s verve and its anger are reserved for something that’s happening right now—something that viewers understand as a threat more potent than imagined mechanical predators or mind-controlling implants.

In depicting not just a male villain consumed by his misogyny (Jesse Plemons) but the women who face him down (among them Cristin Milioti and Michaela Coel), the episode of a pessimistic show gives us not just a catastrophic future but real heroes fighting back. It also includes what makes people good, not just what’s making them worse. “U.S.S. Callister” feels ambitious and boundless, a rarity for the series. On a season in which Black Mirror drifts yet further away from many viewers’ real sense of dystopia, this dispatch from deep space will remind you of science fiction’s power to cut to the very heart of modern concerns.


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Professional Santa Clauses celebrate the end of the season in Brazil

With the Christmas season come and gone, professional Santa Clauses in Brazil now have one thing on their mind: relaxation. Graduates of the Brazil School of Santa Claus, who dress up as jolly old Saint Nick every year, ditched their suits in favor of dress down clothes on Dec. 26, 2017 for a gathering to celebrate the end of the Christmas season.
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Celebs are really going for it this holiday season

’Tis the season for haute-holiday looks from our favorite celebrities. Much like the rest of 2017, this December’s theme seems to be “no limits” . . . This photo is full of Christmas cheer, with a tree, reindeer and sexy elf Lady Gaga. Forget ugly sweaters. Christina Aguilera wore an embroidered blazer, cowboy hat and nice, modest…
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Best Celebrity Instagrams of the 2017 Holiday Season

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Compliments of the Season in Mismatched Plaid

It’s become tradition for Greg, Sam and me to wear a matching set of Christmas outfits, just for fun. Last year we pulled together a family loungewear capsule and a festive set of crazy stripes. This year, it’s a mismatched set of plaid. 

By the way, you know you’ve lived in the US for a while when you use the word “plaid” to describe checked and tartan patterns. Plaid was a very odd word to me at first, but now I’ve succumbed and I’m using it too.

Sam was the catalyst for our plaid-cubed effect. He does NOT like to wear clothes at all. But he enjoys his collars and bandanas, so that’s where I started with this year’s Christmas outfits. I found a darling plaid scarf that was more playful than a regular plaid. I had to have it altered to fit because the XS was big for our slight 6-pounder. Together with his holiday polka dot collar, Sam’s pattern-mixed look is on-trend, bold and very comfortable. The comfort factor is extremely important when you’re playing with toys, chewing bones, eating foodies, out for a walk, snuggling, and standing guard for the Cox Castle. Sam’s stylist got that part right this time, so he shan’t be firing her.

Sam was sorted. Next up, tops for Mum and Dad to match his Lordship.

Plaids that are “mismatched, but work together” are very 2017. Maximally fab, on-trend, and a pattern that we enjoy wearing. I headed to J.Crew because I like their plaid shirts. I found mine right away after spotting the Perfect Shirt in Stewart Plaid. It’s a classic, somewhat equestrian, and dressy because it isn’t flannel. I then matched Sam’s bandana and my plaid shirt to a plaid shirt that Greg would like. The Blue and Green Plaid Shirt wasn’t as dark as Greg would have preferred, but he liked it anyway. Plaid shirts sorted. On to bottoms.

I desperately wanted to get the red tartan pants that J.Crew styled with my plaid shirt, but they were sold out. I love the plaid shirt with white jeans, and a burgundy belt and booties. But the combination didn’t feel sufficiently dressy for Christmas. As soon as I tried on the red lace pants, that was that. Not quite red tartan, but just as fab and maybe even more my style. I adore lace, and these fit like a dream. Very comfortable, flattering, pretty, crease-resistant, and a perfect length at two inches above the ankle bone. They’re shorter on me than on the model, if you can believe it. A semi-tuck of the shirt, gold heeled party loafers, loads of pearls, a cherry clutch and brown specs – and Bob’s your uncle. Smart casual, and ready for cooking and hosting.

Greg matched his untucked plaid shirt with a black under tee, blue jeans, a pair of signature red sneakers, and black specs. He’s always more casually dressed than I am, and likes it that way. Greg says that if I’m dressy, it effectively dresses up his casual look when we’re out and about as a couple. Cheeky, but it works!

Family

Greg & Sam

Angie & Sam

Gifts

Sam

Our little family of three will be wearing these matching mismatched plaid outfits on Christmas day. We’ll also be slowing things down between Christmas and new year. We at YLF wish you happy holidays, safe travels, and lots of laughter with loved ones.

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Slow Season? 3 Ways to Get Ahead When Business Hits a Lull

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One of the trickiest parts of owning your own business is having to roll with the tides of the trade. For contractors, this means that some parts of the year will be extraordinarily busy, while others will seem too quiet. While slow periods can be stressful in terms of generating new leads and making money, they provide the perfect opportunity for home improvement professionals to catch up on administrative jobs and prepare for the busier months to come. If you’re hitting a slow season with your contracting business this winter, we’ve come up with three great ways to get ahead while you have the chance.

Update your branding

First, you’ll want to take a look at your current advertisements and marketing materials. Whether you own a fledgling business or have an established brand that has been around for years, it’s a crucial step if you want to stay relevant and current with your competitors.

While business is slow, take the time to review your current sales strategies and tweak anything that may not be quite right. This can include anything from changing your color scheme or tagline to overhauling your brand as a whole. This slow period is the perfect time to research and trial any changes you’ve been considering.

After you’ve implemented these changes, make sure to update your online portfolios and social media accounts with your latest projects, price lists, and logos. This is especially important for businesses in the digital age, where references and leads come mostly from social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram, as well as websites and Internet search engines.

Set your business up for success

Although you probably spend the majority of your work time on site, it’s essential that you keep the office side of your home improvement business running just as smoothly as the construction side. A quiet sales period will give you time to complete important administrative tasks that will set you up for success in the new year. These include:

  • Professional training
    • Eco-friendly training programs (such as LEED certification, US Green Building Council training programs)
    • Additional qualifications (for specialist services such as roofing, HVAC, or window/door installation)
    • Technical and professional certifications
  • Tech updates for your office
    • Install new programs (estimating software/platforms; finance, organization, and payroll apps) and operating systems
    • Test and upgrade hardware (computers, printers/copiers, other devices)
  • Think about the future
    • Combine the time you spend on branding/marketing with some thought about where you want your business to go and how you want to get there
    • Step-by-step strategies to help your business grow
      • Include lead generation strategies that help connect you with your ideal customer and find leads that are perfect for your business.

By taking the time to clean up your office—both literally and figuratively—and focus on your professional goals now, you’ll give yourself time to focus on the day-to-day running of your business once things pick back up after the holidays.  

Boost sales with promotions and referral schemes

Once you’ve caught up on all your branding, administration, and ongoing professional training, you can turn your attention to boosting sales while business is slow. Here are two of the best ways to draw in new clients during a slow winter season:

  • Seasonal discounts and promos
    • One-off sales to bring in new leads
    • Deals for clients who book during the holidays (link to and advertise with Black Friday, Christmas, and New Year sales)
    • Promotions for seasonal home improvement services (such as weatherstripping, winterizing the home, insulation, HVAC servicing and repairs in the winter months)
  • Referral schemes
    • For past clients – get in touch with a friendly holiday email, then mention that clients can get a certain percentage off services if they refer a friend

By posting exclusive sales, promotions, and referral schemes for new and existing leads, you can increase seasonal trade and stay connected to your clients by encouraging them to use your services time and again. As we all know, consumers love feeling like they’ve scored a great deal, so special deals like these are especially beneficial to businesses over the festive season.

A lull in business doesn’t have to be a bad thing—in fact, we’ve shown that slow trading periods can actually be beneficial for your home improvement company. While your schedule is free, you can take the time to reevaluate your business plan, update your brand, and find ways to boost sales in order to have a profitable year ahead. Here’s to a productive and successful new year!

Do you have any tips for getting ahead that have worked for you in the past? Share them with us in the comments below!

The post Slow Season? 3 Ways to Get Ahead When Business Hits a Lull appeared first on Modernize.

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7 Ways Women Can Protect Themselves from the Flu This Season

It’s been called the “flu-pocalypse” by some in the media, and by others, simply “bad.” We’re talking about the 2017-2018 flu season, and according to early predictions, it’s not looking good. In December 2017, CNN reported that flu activity was higher in the U.S. than usual for that time of year, causing seven child fatalities and 856 flu-related hospitalizations. Brandan Flannery, co-author of…

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7 Ways Women Can Protect Themselves from the Flu This Season

It’s been called the “flu-pocalypse” by some in the media, and by others, simply “bad.” We’re talking about the 2017-2018 flu season, and according to early predictions, it’s not looking good.

In December 2017, CNN reported that flu activity was higher in the U.S. than usual for that time of year, causing seven child fatalities and 856 flu-related hospitalizations. Brandan Flannery, co-author of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) flu report, stated that the flu was increasing, with steep increases across the country, and particularly in the South.

Reports from Australia showed that the flu vaccine used there, which is similar to the one used in the U.S., was only about 10 percent effective against the most serious strain of the flu. It’s called the “H3N2,” and is historically the worst type of influenza—the one that makes people the most sick.

About the same time, reports from Australia showed that the flu vaccine used there, which is similar to the one used in the U.S., was only about 10 percent effective against the most serious strain of the flu. It’s called the “H3N2,” and is historically the worst type of influenza—the one that makes people the most sick.

“Unfortunately, it’s the one strain that the vaccine is really underperforming in, in every regard,” Dr. Michael Osterholm, who directs The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told the Business Insider.

How the vaccine works in Australia is usually seen as an indication for how it will work in the U.S. Obviously, these results aren’t promising.

Healthcare experts still recommend getting the flu shot, since it can help reduce the severity of the flu, even if you do get it. It also contributes to “herd immunity”—less cases of the flu overall and more protection for those who are vulnerable like children and the elderly.

But meanwhile, we all need to do more to protect ourselves this season. Below are the top seven ways you can boost your immune system during this particularly difficult flu season.

1. Exercise.
You may find it more difficult to exercise during the winter months because of the cold, but it’s important not to stop, because exercise boosts the immune system. In fact, in 2010, researchers reported that those who were fit and exercised frequently were much less likely to develop a cold over a period of 12 weeks. Even when they did, it was much less severe than it was in those who didn’t exercise.

In addition, those who got in five or more days of exercise a week experienced 43 percent fewer days with cold symptoms than those who got only one day or less of exercise per week.

Other studies have shown similar results, with one caveat: over-exercising can be just as bad as not exercising at all. In one study, those who exhausted themselves on a run were more likely to come down with the flu than those who rested comfortably. Yet in another study, those who jogged for a leisurely 20 or 30 minutes were more protected against the flu than those who were sedentary.

So the key is to exercise, but not exhaust yourself. Get in your daily jog or spin or whatever works for you to boost your immune system—just don’t push it until you drop.

2. Get enough sleep.
Sleep is important to many facets of health, and immunity is one of them. In a recent 2017 study, researchers took blood samples from 11 pairs of identical twins with different sleep patterns, and found that sleep deprivation depressed the immune system.

Other studies have shown that sleep-deprived people don’t respond as well to a vaccine, because the immune system is sluggish. Still others have found that when those who haven’t gotten enough sleep are exposed to a virus, they’re more likely to get sick than those who have gotten the recommended 7-8 hours a night.

Bottom line: if you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll be more likely to catch a cold or the flu if you’re exposed to it. Adults need 7-8 hours, teenagers usually need 9-10 hours a night, and school-aged children may need 10 or more.

3. Try probiotics.
You may have heard that fermented foods like yogurt and miso may help keep your digestive system working well. That’s because they contain “probiotics,” which are “good” bacteria that help balance the microbiota in your gut. We all have a balance of good and bad bacteria in the digestive tract, and our health depends on the good ones outnumbering the bad ones.

There are a number of things that can throw off that balance, however, including a poor diet, stress, illness, digestive problems, antibiotic treatment, and more. Probiotics can help replace the good bacteria that you may lose going about your daily life.

That not only helps maintain healthy digestion, but it can also help boost your immune system. A number of studies have linked probiotics with immune health. In 2014, for example, researchers reported that probiotics are helpful in many diseases because of how they boost immune response. And in a 2012 review, researchers found that in general, the introduction of probiotics into the diet had a beneficial effect on the immune system.

To get more probiotics in your diet, eat more fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, miso soup, kefir, sourdough bread, kombucha, pickles, tempeh, and soft cheeses. If your concerned about catching the flu, you may want to take supplements for awhile, as they typically contain more probiotics than you can get from food.

4. Wash your hands frequently.
You’ve probably heard about hand washing since you were high enough to reach the sink. The CDC says that it prevents illnesses and helps keep infections from spreading to others. The problem is that we all tend to touch the eyes, nose, and mouth without realizing it, and when we do, any germs that are on our hands can gain entrance into the body, making us sick.

It helps to avoid touching your face, but you’re still likely to do it on occasion. Washing your hands keeps you from transferring germs to yourself. It also keeps germs away from the foods you eat, which is good, as some germs can multiply while they’re in foods and beverages, making them even more likely to cause illness.

Remember that you touch a number of surfaces throughout the day that may contain germs, including hand rails, door handles, table tops, and more. Wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap, and if you don’t have access to a sink, take some hand sanitizer with you.

Finally, keep some hand lotion with you too, to keep hands moisturized. All that hand washing makes skin dry and cracked, which gives germs an easy entrance inside you. A strong skin barrier protects you, so do your best to keep your hands hydrated. Wear gloves frequently.

5. Eat immune-boosting foods.
What we eat can help protect us from a cold or the flu. But what foods are the best?

Most any “healthy” food is good for the immune system. This includes fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, legumes, spices, and teas. If you’re looking for some specific recommendations, here are a few:

• Garlic and onions
• Citrus fruits
• Berries
• Bell peppers
• Ginger
• Spinach and broccoli
• Nuts
• Green tea
• Papaya and kiwi
• Seeds (like sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds)
• Shellfish and oysters
• Oats and barley
• Chicken soup
• Sweet potatoes
• Mushrooms

6. Take the right supplements.
A healthy diet will provide most of the nutrients you need, but there are some vitamins, minerals, and herbs that are powerhouses when it comes to supporting the immune system. During the height of the flu season, it may help to take some of these supplements to increase your protection. (Always check with your doctor before starting a new supplement.)

• Vitamin D: Many women are low in vitamin D to begin with (read our article on vitamin D here), and even more may be low in the winter months because of a lack of sun exposure. Yet a deficiency in vitamin D is associated with an increased susceptibility to infections. You need enough of this vitamin if you want a strong immune system.

• Zinc: Do you take zinc lozenges to get over a cold faster? That’s wise, because zinc is known to play an important role in the immune system. If you’re not getting enough, you may be more likely to get sick.

• Vitamin C: In a 2006 study, researchers found that adequate intakes of vitamin C and zinc (up to 30 mg) soothed symptoms of respiratory tract infections and helped shorten their duration. Both also reduced the incidence of pneumonia and other infections.

• Echinacea: Studies have found that Echinacea can help stimulate the immune system to fight harder against infections. If you feel like you’re coming down with something, give it a try.

• Astragalus root: Astragalus root has been found in studies to help activate immune cells, and in a 2013 study, to actually reduce replication of the H9N2 avian or “bird” flu virus.

 

7. Calm down.
There’s a reason why at some of the worst times in your life, you get sick. “Now?” you may think. “When all of this other stuff is going on?”

That “other stuff” is most likely the reason for your illness. Studies show that stress alters the immune system, overtaxing it so it’s less able to protect you from germs. In a 2004 study, researchers reported that even short stressors, like taking an exam, suppressed immune activity. Chronic (ongoing stress) is worse.

When we get stressed, the body releases more of the stress hormone, called “cortisol.” Cortisol temporarily suppresses the immune system, reducing its natural response to viruses and bacteria. That’s why if you’re stressed, you’re more susceptible to the cold and flu.

In a 2012 study, researchers talked to about 275 people about the stressful experiences they’d had over the past year. They then gave them nasal drops containing a common cold virus, and quarantined them for five days. Those who reported more stressful events in the past year were more likely to get sick.

To protect yourself, engage in at least one stress-relieving activity each day. The point is to do something that helps you release your worries and anxieties and feel calmer. Exercise is a great option, but you may also enjoy crafting, spending time with friends and loved ones or a cherished pet, meditating, taking part in a yoga or tai chi class, enjoying a warm bath or nice massage, or anything else that works for you. The point is not to let your stress take control. Find ways to release and manage it and you’ll stay healthier this year.

Sources
Susan Sutti, “Flu season soars in the United States, especially in the South,” CNN, December 8, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/07/health/flu-vaccine-mmwr-cdc-reports/index.html.

William Vitka, “Flu-pocalypse? 2017 flu season could be worse, vaccine not as effective, expert warns,” WTOP, November 30, 2017, https://wtop.com/health-fitness/2017/11/2017-flu-season-could-be-worse-vaccine-not-as-effective-expert/.

Hilary Brueck, “This year’s flu shot is not as effective against one o the nastiest strains—but you should still get it,” Business Insider, December 8, 2017, http://www.businessinsider.com/flu-shot-2017-not-as-effective-but-get-it-anyway-2017-12.

Peter Lavelle, “Study proves exercise boosts immune system,” ABC.net, November 2, 2010, http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2010/11/02/3054621.htm.

Gretchen Reynolds, “Phys Ed: Does Exercise Boost Immunity?” New York Times, October 14, 2009; https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/14/phys-ed-does-exercise-boost-immunity/.

NF Watson, et al., “Transcriptional Signatures of Sleep Duration Discordance in Monozygotic Twins,” Sleep, January 1, 2017; 40(1): https://academic.oup.com/sleep/article/40/1/zsw019/2952682.

Fang Yan, and D. B. Polk, “Probiotics and immune health,” Curr Opin Gastroenterol., May 2, 2014; 27(6):496-501, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4006993/.

Viviam de Oliveira Silva, et al., “Effect of probiotic administration on the immune response: a systematic review of experimental models in rats,” Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology, October 2012; http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-89132012000500007.

Wintergerst ES, et al., “Immune-enhancing role of vitamin C and zinc and effect on clinical conditions,” Ann Nutr Metab., 2006; 50(2):85-94, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16373990.

Bao-Mei Shao, et al., “A study on the immune receptors for polysaccharides from the roots of Astragalus membranaceus, a Chinese medicinal herb,” Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, August 2004; 320(4):1103-1111, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006291X04013129.

Sanpha Kallon, et al., Astragalus polysaccharide enhances immunity and inhibits H9N2 avian influenza virus in vitro and in vivo,” Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology, 2013;4:22, https://jasbsci.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/2049-1891-4-22.

Suzanne C. Segerstrom and Gregory E. Miller, “Psychological Stress and the Human Immune System: A Meta-Analytic Study of 30 Years of Inquiry,” Psychol Bull., July 2004; 130(4):601-630, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1361287/.

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The post 7 Ways Women Can Protect Themselves from the Flu This Season appeared first on Women's Health.

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How to Give People Gift Cards They’ll Actually Use This Holiday Season

Tell me if this sounds familiar.

You open up a Christmas gift. What could it be? It’s small, and it’s light. It’s a gift card! It’s a gift card to a place you never, ever go. Nor do you want to. Then, you smile and say, “Thanks! I love it!” The gift card then goes in your junk drawer — you have one, admit it — never to be used.

You’re not alone. Every year, about $ 1 billion in gift cards go unused.

If I asked you whether you’d like to receive cash as a holiday or birthday gift, I’m pretty confident you’d say yes. You might even yell, “Make it rain!” I don’t know you that well.

The fact is that almost everybody wants cash as a gift. It’s easy, and you can use it in any increment you want and wherever you want.

But if we all just gave one another cash for gifts, it would just be one big cash exchange. We’d even pay enough attention so we’re giving equal amounts. Where’s the fun in that?

Gift cards are the next best thing. And while they may make a bundle of money for retailers, they really can be great gifts when done right.

How to Choose the Best Gift Cards

Why do we give gift cards instead of cash? They’re really easy, for one. There’s a whole selection next to almost every checkout line. Plus, they fit in a greeting card and can go in the mail. Also we somehow feel that it’s a little more personal than cash.

The best way to truly take advantage of its more personal feel is to pay attention to the person who’ll receive the gift card. What stores do they like? What foods do they like? Here are some easy tips:

  • Do they have a guilty-pleasure store? You know, the type of place where there is nothing a person needs, but there’s still some really fun stuff? Maybe they can’t stop buying books or they love Godiva chocolates. These gift cards are great because they give them a chance to splurge without impacting their budget.
  • Get them a gift card to one of their favorite restaurants. Or, if you know what kind of food they like, give them a gift card to a great place they’ve never been to. The key here is to give a generous enough gift card to cover at least most of the meal. No one wants to go to a restaurant to use a $ 5 gift card on a $ 40 meal.
  • Look for gift cards that are good at a variety of locations. Many restaurant conglomerates offer one gift card that’s good at all of their restaurants. For instance, a gift card to Olive Garden is good at other Darden restaurants like LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze, Eddie V’s and Wildfish Seafood Grille. That’s a lot of options.
  • When buying for children, look for gift cards that will give them experiences, rather than stuff. They’ll forget about the ice skates they bought, but if you bought them tickets to see their favorite team or band, they’ll cherish that memory.
  • Find out if there is one particular big-ticket item that’s been on their wish list. Get them a gift card to help them bring that item home!
  • If you don’t know exactly what stores they like, go for something easy like Target or Amazon. Nearly everyone can find something to buy from those retailers without leaving the house.

Do people like receiving gift cards? I asked my Facebook friends to chime in.

“I like them – but I am very picky about what I use them on. If, for example I get a Target card, I make sure to use it to buy something “fun” or “for me”…I don’t just put it towards staple items for my family.” — Heather Buege

“Depends on the gift card. Give me one for someplace I already go or enjoy going. Otherwise, you’ve gifted me a chore.” — Adam Porter

That says it all, doesn’t it? You want your gift to be a pleasure, not a chore.

What to Do if You Get Unwanted Gift Cards

So what do you do when you receive that gift card for a place you have no interest in going to?

  • Check out the place online. Whether it’s a sushi bar or a hardware store, you may see something worth trying out.
  • Regift it. OK, maybe it was a poor choice of a gift for you, but you happen to know someone who would love it. Tuck it away and regift for their birthday or another occasion.
  • Turn it into cash. Websites like Raise, Cardpool and CardCash offer easy avenues to sell unwanted gift cards. The only catch is that you won’t get full face value for your card. But if you don’t want a $ 30 gift card to the Home Depot, wouldn’t you rather have $ 24 cash? How much you get typically depends on the popularity of the card.

Gift cards are too easy for shoppers and too lucrative for retailers to go away anytime soon. Make the most of giving and receiving gift cards by simply putting a little more thought into it. Just because something is convenient doesn’t make it a bad deal.

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. Adding these links helps us keep the lights on in The Penny Hoarder HQ, which makes it a lot easier to play shuffleboard after a long day of deal-seeking!

Tyler Omoth is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder who loves soaking up the sun and finding creative ways to help others. He loves receiving gift cards, especially to restaurants and craft breweries. Catch him on Twitter at @Tyomoth.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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‘Homeland’ Season 7 Sets Premiere Date, Drops First Trailer

“Homeland” Season 7 has a premiere date and a first trailer, Showtime revealed Tuesday. Season 7 will debut on Feb. 11 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Watch the trailer above. The series stars Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Elizabeth Marvel, Linus Roache, Maury Sterling and Jake Weber, with Morgan Spector and Costa Ronin also joining this season. […]

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‘Outlander’ Season 3 Finale Recap: A Near Sacrifice, A Near Death and an Actual Death in ‘Eye of the Storm’

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Eye of the Storm,” the third season finale of “Outlander.” As this season finale opens, Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is floating in the water and we hear her voice saying, “I was dead. Everything was blinding white. There was this soft rushing sound, like the wings […]

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The first teaser for “Jessica Jones” Season 2 is here, and she beats up *so* many people

The first teaser for “Jessica Jones” Season 2 is here, and she beats up *so* many people


The first teaser for “Jessica Jones” Season 2 is here, and she beats up *so* many people

Lots of explosions, throwing bad guys against walls and through windows, heavy drinking, and photography. You know what all this means? Jessica Jones Season 2 is coming — and Netflix just dropped the first teaser for it, along with the premiere date!!

If Season 1 of the series was all about Jessica beating up and taking down bad guys…Season 2 is basically the same thing. And that’s a good thing! But this time around, Jessica is now dealing with some pretty heavy stuff, namely one named Kilgrave. Yes, Kilgrave again. If you remember correctly, in order to save herself (and her best friend, Trish, and also all of New York City) Jessica snapped his neck at the end of Season 1. That decision is still weighing heavy on her when we pick up for Season 2. Even though she’s starting to put her life back together, she can’t shake the choices she’s made in the past.

Oh yeah, and also the ghost of Kilgrave is following her around. Normal stuff.

And, on top of that, Trish is urging Jessica to look into her past because, “knowing what was done to you might help you.” Jessica doesn’t think that’s a good idea, or even a reasonable one, and as she replies, “what if facing it makes it worse?” Knowing how bad it’s already gotten for Jessica, can it get much worse? You know what, probably. At least her three two other super friends aren’t along for the ride this time.

The teaser is set to “Barracuda,” which is maybe the MOST Jessica Jones song ever.  Just don’t throw any of this “with great power comes great responsibility” BS around with her, because she’s not having it. She’ll throw up on you (her words, not mine).

Mark your calendars and cancel your plans, Netflix has Jessica Jones Season 2 slated to drop on March 8th, 2018. Time to start stocking up on killer leather coats and well worn combat boots.

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US Flu Season Off To An Early Start; Widespread In 7 States

NEW YORK (AP) — This year’s flu season is off to a quick start and so far it seems to be dominated by a nasty bug.

Health officials say the flu vaccine seems well matched to the viruses making people sick, but it’s too early to tell how bad this season will be. The main flu bug this season tends to cause more deaths and hospitalizations and vaccines tend not to work as well against this type.

Flu began picking up last month. By the end of last week, seven states reported widespread flu activity: Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Virginia.

Most flu seasons don’t really get going until around Christmas. That’s how last year’s flu season played out.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the latest data Friday.

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(Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald via AP)


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Final ‘House of Cards’ season to focus on Robin Wright after Spacey exit

(Reuters) – The final season of Netflix’s political drama “House of Cards” will focus on Robin Wright’s first female president character and will start production in 2018, following a hiatus after the exit of star Kevin Spacey, the company said on Monday.
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Final ‘House of Cards’ season to focus on Robin Wright after Spacey exit

(Reuters) – The final season of Netflix’s political drama “House of Cards” will focus on Robin Wright’s first female president character and will start production in 2018, following a hiatus after the exit of star Kevin Spacey, the company said on Monday.


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6 Gifts You Should Get Yourself This Holiday Season: 2017 Edition

Last year, we encouraged readers to initiate some self-love by means of gift ideas you should get for yourself. We hope you enjoyed your quirky tea diffuser and and your shower notepad, because this year we come armed with six more gift-to-self ideas centered around self-care, self-indulgence, and self-improvement. 

 

A Lavender Herbal Sleep Sachet 

This pocket-sized bundle boasts the capability to remedy ailments such as sleeplessness, anxiety and depression, making it the perfect gift to self and the perfect gift to share. 

Photo Source: etsy.com

Visit Etsy to shop this Lavender Herbal Sleep Sachet, and check out our article, Organic and Sustainable Gift Ideas, for three more organically-inclined gift ideas. 

 

These Minute Scissor Earrings 

Embrace your inner crafter with these adorable handmade earrings, courtesy of RonnyPop. According to the product description: “They are dainty and original.” 

Photo Source: etsy.com

Visit Etsy to shop these Scissor Earrings. 

 

An Adult Coloring Journal 

Last year, the craze was all about adult coloring books. This year, the craze died down and left room for something that offers a little bit more than mere crayon-to-paper therapy. This Adult Coloring Journal by V Art includes lined pages to journal when you want a break from coloring inside the lines.  

Photo Source: amazon.com

Visit Amazon to shop this Adult Coloring Journal. 

 

This Cassis & Rose Candle 

In keeping with the theme of things that smell nice, is this a 100 percent soy wax, blackcurrants and Bulgarian rose candle. This sophisticated blend imposes a sweet (rose) and cool (blackcurrants) balance, bound to enchant even the most skeptical user. 

Photo Source: 1861.ca

Visit Boutique 1861 to shop this Cassis & Rose Candle. 

 

This Chakra Bath Salts Set 

Enlist the help of shea butter, eucalyptus, rosemary, and peppermint to bring you to a relaxed and meditative state during and post-bath. 

Photo Source: uncommongoods.com

Visit Uncommon Goods to shop this Chakra Bath Salts Set. 

 

A Gift For Your Pet 

Because, let’s face it, seeing your four-legged buddy happy is better than any tangible gift could ever be. 

For six gift ideas your pet won’t be able to keep their paws off of, check out our article, Purrfect Gift Ideas For Your Pet.

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Joe Keery On His ‘Stranger Things’ Bromance With Dustin, His Hopes For Season 3 | PeopleTV

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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How to rock a red lip this Holiday season

GO bold this holiday season, swapping a full face of makeup for a statement red lip. A bright burst of color is festive, fashionable and an instant boost for any outfit, says celebrity makeup artist Alice Lane, who perfects the pouts of A-listers such as Greta Gerwig, Julianne Moore and Emilia Clarke. “It’s more like…
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