This College Basketball Team Banned Smartphones. Now It’s in the Final Four

Texas Tech men’s basketball team, the parents of America salute you. Our country’s coaches also offer a hearty thanks, as does any teacher who’s had to battle an electronic device for attention. Why are millions of us so grateful to the Red Raiders? Well, because of your actions, we can now — with a straight face — tell our children, our players, our students that if they just put down their stupid phones and go to sleep already, they too can make the Final Four.

These Red Raiders aren’t just a very fine basketball team that will face Michigan State in Saturday’s second national semifinal, in Minneapolis (Virginia plays Auburn in the first game, which tips off at 6:09 eastern). They’re also borderline heroes who’ve done more to prove the power of a tech disconnect than a dozen Ted Talks combined.

Texas Tech’s glorious work all started before a Feb. 9 road game at Oklahoma. The Red Raiders had just lost three straight road games against conference opponents (Baylor, Kansas State, and Kansas). So senior captain Norense Odiase, a 6’9″ center from Fort Worth, came up with an idea: let’s bag up all our cell phones before bed. “Get locked in,” says Odiase. “No distractions.” The players complied — some with more protest than others — and Texas Tech won 66-54 the next night. A routine was born.

Texas Tech’s third-year coach, Chris Beard, already has no love for cell phones: he bans them at team meals, and at a two-day team bonding retreat at a ranch some 100 miles south of Lubbock, his players surrendered their devices. (They did karaoke instead of scrolling through Instagram). So Beard pushed Odiase’s idea even further: cell phones would be collected on all nights of a road trip, not just the night before a game. “That was never my idea,” says Odiase. “Some of the guys give me some stuff for that.”

They shouldn’t: Tech’s a cool 13-1 since the Odiase-ordered ban. Every night at a hotel, Texas Tech junior manager Cooper Anderson knocks on player doors around 11, to collect the contraband. He puts them in a red and black Texas Tech cooler bag (without the ice). He hears a smattering of groans: senior Bradone Francis, according to Anderson, gives him the most gruff. “He’s a good guy,” says Anderson. “But he likes his phone a lot.” I asked Francis about his feelings on the ban, but by the time he looked up from his phone to offer an answer, he had to leave for practice.

Indeed, the ban has required some adjusting. “At first, it was tough,” says sophomore guard Parker Hicks. “Our whole generation wants to look on our cell phones.” Hicks was used to idling away on Twitter before hitting the hay. “Actually having to lay there and actually go to sleep is kind of different,” says Hicks. “You look at the ceiling and look at random things. Count to ten or something. Count the sheep.”

The upside of unplugging, however, has become clear. Ever since Texas Tech beat top-seeded Gonzaga in the Elite Eight to clinch a spot in the Final Four, Tariq Owens’ phone has exploded. Everyone’s reaching out to him. “Just to be able to get away from it, just live in the moment, feels great,” says Owens, who before transferring to Texas Tech as a graduate student, played at Tennessee and St. John’s. “I know this for a fact, not a lot of teams would be happy about it. This is the kind of culture we have. Guys don’t care about it. We’re locked into more important things than cell phones.”

So let’s give Odiase, architect of one of the best bans ever, one more fist-bump. He has a message for the kids of America. “Your phone will always be there, your friends will always be there, notifications, all that stuff, will always be there in the morning,” he says. “Just get some rest.”

So you can cut down the nets.















Sports – TIME


Some States Banned Higher Car Insurance Based on Gender. Get a New Quote

If you’re a guy, you’ve probably heard that you’re paying more for car insurance. You see, auto insurance companies often use your gender when calculating your rates.  

And just two years ago, men were paying more for car insurance nationally. That’s because statistically, male drivers are more likely to crash their cars or get busted for DUI. Male drivers die at a rate of 2.5 deaths per 100 million miles traveled, compared to 1.7 deaths for women, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

(And speaking as a dude, I can confirm that men are more dangerous behind the wheel. #sorrybutitstrue)

But in the last two years, the statistics have shifted. According to The Zebra, a car insurance comparison site, women are paying more than men for the same car insurance coverage in 25 states.

Perhaps the inconsistent nature of gender as a rating factor is why some states are putting a stop to this practice. California just joined five other states — Hawaii, Massachusetts, Montana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania — in banning the use of gender to set auto insurance rates.

So what does that mean for you? It means that car insurance pricing is changing, so no matter your gender, you should get a new (and free) quote through a site like The Zebra.

What Your Insurance Company Really Cares About

When auto insurance companies are deciding how much money to charge you for coverage, they look at lots of different factors. The big ones include your driving record (watch out for those speeding tickets), your history of filing insurance claims, the value of your vehicle and the amount of coverage you want to buy.

They also look at a bunch of other factors, such as your age, location, education, occupation, marital status, how much you drive and even your credit history, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

In 44 states and in Washington, D.C., they can also consider your gender.

But when California officials examined this practice, they concluded the insurance industry was “inconsistently” weighing gender, officials found.

Some companies were charging men more. Others were charging women more. With some companies, there wasn’t much difference between the genders. With other companies, there was a big difference.

And that’s exactly the point. Different auto insurance companies will assess your driving risk factors in different ways. That’s why it’s important to regularly shop around.

Take 60 Seconds to Find out if You’re Paying Too Much

A smart way to save money on car insurance is to shop and compare rates twice a year.

“Not only can a lot of circumstances in your life and your car (mileage, age) change in that time, but insurance companies may be changing their pricing as well, and you want to be sure you’re getting the right coverage, service and, of course, pricing to suit your changing needs,” says Alyssa Connolly, the director of market insights at The Zebra.

An online car insurance search engine, The Zebra, offers “insurance in black and white.” It compares your options from more than 200 insurance providers in less than 60 seconds.

Just enter information about your car and your coverage needs, and The Zebra shows dozens of side-by-side quotes from top insurance companies for free.

Most consumers really don’t bother to shop around. According to The Zebra’s 2019 State of Auto Insurance Report, car insurance rates keep increasing, with the average American paying nearly $ 1,500 a year for coverage.

Out of all the states, Michigan, Nevada and Oregon have the biggest difference in rates between the sexes, with the gender gap ranging up to 6%, according to Connolly.

The takeaway? No matter what state you live in — or how you identify — compare rates regularly.

Mike Brassfield ( is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He pays for auto insurance on two vehicles.

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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Assault rifles to be banned in New Zealand in aftermath of massacre, Prime Minister announces

All military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles and high-capacity magazines will be banned in New Zealand following the mass shootings at two Christchurch mosques that killed 50 people, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Thursday. – RSS Channel – World


Utah Jazz Fan Shane Keisel Permanently Banned From Arena After Verbal Altercation With Russell Westbrook

The Utah Jazz has banned a fan from attending all arena events following his verbal altercation with Oklahoma City Thunder star player Russell Westbrook on Monday night.

The organization released a statement on their Twitter on Tuesday stating that the fan, Shane Keisel, is permanently banned from Vivint Smart Home Arena, effective immediately, after “excessive and derogatory verbal abuse directed at a player during the game that violated the NBA Code of Conduct.”

The team stated that their decision came after reviewing video evidence and eyewitness accounts.

“The Utah Jazz will not tolerate fans who act inappropriately,” the organization wrote. “There is no place in our game for personal attacks or disrespect.”

Video captured an altercation between a critical fan Keisel and his wife involving Westbrook. “You think I’m playing. I swear to god,” he can be seen saying to Keisel, in the beginning in a video, linked here due to language.

Keisel and four other fans received warning cards, but were able to return to their seats for the remainder of the game.

Following the game, Westbrook told reporters that Keisel and his wife told him to “get on your knees like you’re used to,” which Westbrook said he interpreted as racial, disrespectful and inappropriate.

Two of Westbrook’s teammates, Patrick Patterson and Raymond Felton, who were sitting nearby on the bench during the verbal altercation, said that they heard Keisel make this comment as well.

Despite the accounts of Westbrook’s teammates, Keisel denied saying anything racist or profane to Westbrook, and had a different account of the exchange insisting that he said: “Sit down and ice your knees, bro.”

Westbrook has been fined $ 25,000 by the NBA for directing profanity and threatening language to a fan, the association announced Tuesday afternoon.

Sports – TIME


‘Bump Stocks’ Used In Mass Shootings Banned

At a time when America is going through unprecedented levels of gun violence, the Trump administration has banned the use of bump-stock devices — accessories that can turn a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic one.

The government was under immense pressure for action on curbing the widespread use of guns in the face of multiple deadly shootings year after year.

In the deadliest attack in mo
RTT – Political News


Brooklyn jail banned copies of the New York Post

Cruel and unusual punishment! The city has inexplicably banned the New York Post from Brooklyn’s only jail, forcing the roughly 800 inmates there to somehow subsist on a deficient diet of lesser newspapers. “New York Post Newspaper is no longer accepted,” reads a 5-by-11 sign on Department of Correction letterhead hanging in the visitor’s center…
Media | New York Post


This airline banned puppies and kittens as emotional support animals—but don’t get mad yet

This airline banned puppies and kittens as emotional support animals—but don’t get mad yet

This airline banned puppies and kittens as emotional support animals—but don’t get mad yet

If you’ve traveled by air over the past few years, chances are you’ve encountered an emotional support animal or two. But while these cuddly companions can be a big comfort to passengers with anxiety and chronic health issues, they’ve also attracted a lot of criticism. Now, Delta Airlines is tightening the restrictions surrounding emotional support animals—starting with puppies and kittens.

According to CNN, starting on December 18th, passengers flying with Delta will not be allowed to bring emotional support animals younger than four months old. On flights longer than eight hours, emotional support animals of any age will be prohibited. A press release published by Delta on December 10th does note that if you bought your ticket before December 18th and have already requested a support animal, you’ll still be allowed to travel as originally planned—as long as you’re flying before February 1st.

The age restriction on traveling companions comes out of legitimate health concerns. The Center for Disease Control notes that dogs can’t be vaccinated for rabies before they’re three months old, while cats must wait until they’re two months old. Once an animal gets their shots, they are not considered officially immunized until a month later. Delta’s age restriction basically helps to ensure that animals on flights won’t be spreading a deadly infection.

Additionally, in its announcement, Delta wrote that from 2016 to 2017, there was an 84% increase in accidents involving service and support animals on flights—including animals relieving themselves on flights and biting passengers. The ban on emotional support animals on long flights is likely a change made in reaction to this.

John Laughter, Delta’s senior vice president of corporate safety, security, and compliance, said in the release that the airline would continue to review its policy.

“These updates support Delta’s commitment to safety and also protect the rights of customers with documented needs–such as veterans with disabilities–to travel with trained service and support animals,” he added in his statement.

For now, at least, it looks like we won’t be seeing any more emotional support puppies on Delta flights.

The post This airline banned puppies and kittens as emotional support animals—but don’t get mad yet appeared first on HelloGiggles.



Chick-fil-A’s gay marriage stance gets it banned from university

A private university in New Jersey believes Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong on the menu for students. Rider University asked students earlier this year what fast-food chain they would like to see on campus, circulating a survey in which students could select their preferred choice. But once it became clear students were craving Chick-fil-A, the university excluded the…
Business | New York Post


Junk food ads banned across London’s public transport network

The mayor of London has announced a ban on junk food commercials across the city's public transport network, which will come into force in February. 
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Seann Walsh seen out for the first time since awkward run in with Neil Jones who banned wife Katya from speaking to him

SEANN Walsh was seen for the first time since his awkward run in with Neil Jones at a red carpet bash on Monday night.

The Strictly star, who was caught snogging Neil’s wife Katya earlier this month, headed out alone near his west London pad today – after The Sun revealed Neil had banned his spouse from speaking to him.

Seann Walsh has been spotted for the first time since his awkward run in with Neil Jones

The comedian, 32, was all smiles as he enjoyed some downtime and grabbed a coffee.

After refuelling, Seann – who was booted out of Strictly on Sunday night – whizzed off on his bike.

The outing came after we revealed tensions were running high between Seann and Strictly pro Neil at the Pride of Britain awards earlier this week.

The dancer, 35, is still hurting from wife Katya’s betrayal after she was pictured kissing Seann during a night out at a London pub earlier this month.

Seann even took his bike for a spin
The comedian was all smiles as he enjoyed some downtime after being booted out of Strictly

And taking a stand, Neil blocked his dancer spouse from speaking to love rival Seann at the bash on Monday, telling her: “We’re not on Strictly now, don’t you dare.”

A source said: “Neil and Katya were half way up the carpet when Seann arrived.

“Katya said she was going to say hello but Neil held her back and told her ‘We’re not on Strictly now, don’t you dare’.

“An organiser foresaw a potential bust-up so held Seann back to ensure they were kept apart.

Strictly pro Neil blocked wife Katya from speaking to Seann at an awards bash on Monday night
Getty Images – Getty

“Neil is still clearly very unhappy with Seann, but Katya clearly doesn’t want to cut ties.”

Seann clearly didn’t let the snub ruin his night as he was later seen enjoying the attention of fans on the red carpet and waitresses inside the venue.

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TV and Showbiz – latest celebrity news, gossip, photos, TV and film reviews | The Sun


Kanye West’s Basketball Sneaker Banned From NBA

National Basketball Association league officials confirmed that players will be allowed to wear any sneaker they wish this upcoming season, regardless of color. Any sneaker that is, except the basketball sneaker created by Kanye West.

In prior seasons it was mandatory for players to wear league-compliant sneakers or they would face a hefty fine. This will be the first time since Adam Silver became NBA commissioner in 2014 that players have their choice of footwear.

According to an ESPN report the stringent rule change is an effort on the NBA’s behalf to allow players to express themselves while on the court. Until now, the rule on player footwear was that all sneakers worn on the court had to be 51% white or black with minimal team color accent to top it off, depending on home and visiting teams.

Rapper Kanye West, who is in partnership with Adidas for his Yeezy product line, took to his Instagram account to debut a first look at his “YZY BSKTBL” sneaker.



Prior to this model, all of West’s sneaker designs have been for lifestyle wear and not for athletic purposes. This is the first time that the Yeezy brand is venturing into sports footwear since he released his first sneaker in 2015.

However, according to industry sources, the NBA is banning the current version of Kanye’s sneaker. The move is not because of the colors in the sneaker or because of his recent controversial comments made on social media.

The ban is because of the shoe’s gleaming, reflective-material heel. The NBA fears that the 3M material would be distracting to the crowd and also for those watching the game at home.

The Yeezy basketball sneaker was supposed to be worn during the regular season by Adidas signees like Nick Young, Donovan Mitchell, and Iman Shumpert, to name a few. With the ban on the current model of Kanye’s basketball sneaker, there is no word yet if Adidas will make the necessary adjustment to appease the NBA.

The post Kanye West’s Basketball Sneaker Banned From NBA appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise


Kanye West’s new basketball sneaker may be banned by the NBA

Maybe he’s over the heel.

Rapper and shoe designer Kanye West— who inadvertently advocated for a return to slavery over the weekend — is expected to debut a basketball sneaker from his Yeezy collection this season. But according to ESPN, the NBA would likely ban the shoe because of its bright and…

/entertainment – New York Daily News


QAnoners Say Their QAnon Merch Is Being Banned By Secret Service at Trump Rallies

Leah Millis/Reuters

QAnon conspiracy theorists have begun sneaking their QAnon shirts into Trump rallies amid reports that people wearing the shirts have been turned away by people they claim are Secret Service officers staffing Trump events.

QAnon is founded on a series of anonymous clues posted online by a person named “Q” that purport to show a secret world where Trump is engaged in endless battle with a pedophile cabal of high-ranking Democrats and Trump’s foes will soon be banished to Gitmo. It is an inherently ludicrous idea but one that’s managed to gain a ton of traction through Trump rallies, where attendees regularly show up with Q shirts and signs.

Indeed, the conspiracy theory jumped into the mainstream in July, when a number of people with QAnon shirts and signs were shown on TV at a Trump rally in Florida. Other QAnon supporters who get caught on camera at Trump rallies have earned cryptic shout-outs from Q, and believers in the theory scrutinize Trump’s hand gestures at rallies to claim he’s pointing to QAnon believers.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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