These 8 Strategies Will Help You Pay Down Credit Card Debt When You Retire

Ah, retirement.

Lazy days in the hammock, bucket list trips to Europe, leisurely drives in your sports car.

Wait, you’ve spent more time jettisoning ideas than planning jet-setting excursions?

Despite your best savings efforts — and unexpected expenses — those idyllic retirement plans may have run into the stark reality that you didn’t end up with the nest egg you had planned on. In fact, you’re headed toward your golden years with credit card debt. Employee Benefit Research Institute

In 1992, 53.8% of families with the head of household ages 55 or older had debt. By 2016, that number had climbed to 68%.

Unfortunately, it’s a nationwide trend, as families just reaching retirement or those recently retired are more likely to have debt — and higher levels of it — than past generations, according to a study by the

Without your former income, you may be starting to worry about making the growing credit card payments on a fixed income, particularly when the average Social Security monthly benefit is $ 1,461.

Putting a dent — permanently — in credit card debt when you’re retired is possible, and we have seven ways to help pay off your debt so you can enjoy that hammock.

8 Ways to Help Pay Down Credit Card Debt in Retirement

Retirement offers unique opportunities and challenges when you’re paying off debt.

You may have new sources of income, like Social Security or a pension, and new expenses, like increased healthcare costs or fun stuff like travel.

So here are eight post-employment strategies that can help you pay down debt.

1. Make a Budget

Tackling credit card payment as you approach retirement starts by re-examining your budget.

Making changes to your lifestyle and using your free time to save money is a good place to start, according to Joseph Valenti, senior policy advisor with the AARP Public Policy Institute, in Washington, D.C.

“One thing we know from studies of retirement is that people have fewer set costs typically compared to when they were working,” he said. “If they have more time, maybe they will be preparing more meals at home.”

If you need help creating your budget, check out our step-by-step guide to budgeting or learn the basics in our Budgeting 101 Academy course.

Once you know where you stand financially, you can start looking for ways to cut the credit card balance.

2. Negotiate With Credit Card Companies

The best way to know where you stand is to look at the numbers — in this case, the interest rate on your cards. It’s easier to pay down a debt if you’re accumulating less interest on top of the original amount (learn more about compound interest in our Credit Cards 101 Academy course).

Asking your credit card company for a new rate is one option, particularly if you’re ready to commit to living credit card-free going forward, Valenti said.

“In some cases, even if you close that card, they will let you pay it down for little or no interest over a period of time,” Valenti said. “That’s assuming you don’t need the card again.”

Pro Tip

When you call the credit card company, the first person you talk to may not be able to help you, even if they think they can. Ask to speak with a manager who handles settlement arrangements.

Check out this post for more tips on negotiating credit card debt.

And if you’re too overwhelmed to deal with the creditors themselves, consider reaching out to a credit counselor, who can help you organize your accounts and may negotiate a lower interest rate for you.

3. Transfer Your Balance to a New Card

Loyalty isn’t necessarily rewarding. If you’ve had the same card for years, transferring your balance to a new card could give you a lower interest rate than you current provider can offer. Reap the most benefits by paying down as much debt as you can during the promotional period.

When you’re considering which card to go with, compare this information for all offers:

  1. Fees (typically at least $ 5 to $ 10 or 3% to 5% of the balance)
  2. Interest (look for 0%)
  3. Duration of the promotional APR (usually 12 to 18 months)
  4. Credit score requirements (generally good or excellent)
  5. Credit limits (make sure it’s more than your current balance)

Here’s what else to consider before transferring a balance.

4. Cut (Former) Work-Related Expenses

Still hanging on to that gym membership, even though you only signed up because it was close to your office?

By reviewing your monthly, periodic and annual budgets, you may discover work-related expenses that have become so habitual you’ve forgotten about them, according to Valenti, who gave transportation, clothing and cell phone expenses as examples.

Cancel subscriptions to professional associations and other automatic billings associated with work (an ink cartridge subscription, for instance) to avoid unwanted surprises at the end of the month. If you have trouble keeping up with recurring payments, try using a subscription tracking tool.

And if you still enjoy hitting the gym, cut costs by asking about senior discounts — AARP has many for its members.

5. Set Up Self-Imposed Limits

Before retirement, those little expenses that broke your budget one month may have been easier to cushion with your regular paycheck. And remembering them all may have been a little easier a few years ago.

To help you track the expenses and avoid unwanted surprises at the end of the month, Valenti suggested setting up alerts from your bank or credit card provider.

“It’s one thing to find out instantly through a text that you’ve reached a limit — even if it’s a self-imposed limit — as opposed to a statement that’s going to shock you at the end of a cycle,” Valenti said.

6. Ask for Professional (Financial) Help

If you’re overwhelmed by managing your day-to-day finances or fear forgetting to pay bills and sinking further in debt, consider hiring a daily money manager.

In addition to tracking bills, daily money managers can help you with balancing your checkbook, collecting tax documents, dealing with medical bills and even avoiding scams.

Pro Tip

Your bank must protect two months’ worth of Social Security benefits from a credit card collector’s garnishment. If your account has more than that, the bank can garnish or freeze the extra money.

Depending on where you live, a daily money manager may charge $ 75 to $ 150 an hour. However, the American Association of Daily Money Managers provides a list of state agencies that provide services to low-income and disabled seniors.  

7. Make Extra Money on Your Empty Nest

Now that the kids have moved out (hopefully), you’re stuck with that big, empty house.

One option for making money is to sell it and downsize to a smaller place, then use the profits to pay off credit card debt. But moving still requires an outlay of cash and can add additional stress as you’re adjusting to retired life.

If you’re seeking something a little less drastic, think about new ways to use your house — and its contents — to earn some cash today, advises Moira Somers, a wealth psychologist based in Winnipeg, Canada, and the author of “Advice That Sticks: How to Give Financial Advice That People Will Follow.”

“Look at the resources you have and say, ‘Could this turn into money somehow?’” she said. “One of the cool things about this period in our life is that there are sometimes ways we can make extra money that wouldn’t have been possible even 10 years ago — the whole AirBnb thing, for example.”

If you’re looking to make some money on your extra bedrooms, check out our post about how to become an Airbnb host.

And don’t forget about all those buried treasures in the attic. (Did you know that Urban Outfitters sells five-packs of random VHS tapes for $ 40? Yeah. That’s a thing.)

Somers notes taking a complete inventory of your assets — both physical and mental — can help you discover ways to pay down the debt you may not thought of before.

“Do that inventory not only of [your] job readiness skills and social network and what that might be able to help,” Somers said. “But also to look at your existing possessions and how might they be turned into either an income stream or a little bit of a cash infusion.”

8. Earn Extra Money by Working From Home    

When all else fails, there’s always work. But that doesn’t necessarily mean returning to the 9-to-5 grind.

Getting a work-from-home side gig in retirement provides extra money to pay off credit cards without the costs and hassle of your former commute to the office.

In addition to the income, a side job can help stave off the boredom — and resulting spending — that comes from suddenly having extra hours in the day.

Stick with trusted sites like our work-from-home jobs portal — we screen all listings using strict guidelines to help you avoid scammy employment offers.

And that should leave you plenty of time for your hammock.

Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. Read her bio and other work here.

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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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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LEGO Rebuilds the Upside Down With New ‘Stranger Things’ Set

With season three hitting Netflix in two months time, the Stranger Things hype is on full blast, with a new video game, Polaroid camera, and an H&M collection. Now, LEGO is joining the roster with its very own rendition of the Upside Down.

Designed and developed alongside Netflix, the new 2,287-piece LEGO set features the Byers’ house from season one, complete with all the Christmas lights and painted alphabet on the walls. Unique to this model is the ability to flip the entire set upside down, revealing the actual Upside Down from the show: a mirrored Byers’ house in blue and grey, housing the Demogorgon and a terrified Will. The Stranger Things LEGO set comes with eight mini-figures featuring all the main characters, including Eleven, Mike, Lucas, Dustin, Will, Joyce Byers, Chief Jim Hopper, and the Demogorgon. It also comes with the Chief’s truck.

The LEGO Stranger Things: The Upside Down set will be available at LEGO retailers June 1, or May 15 if you’re a LEGO VIP member. As for the new season, Netflix will be dropping Season 3 of the thriller on July 4.

Elsewhere in collectibles, Hot Toys has dropped a life-sized Iron Man Nano Gauntlet.

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Breaking Down the Wild Feud Between YouTube Stars James Charles and Tati Westbrook

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Hailey Baldwin’s Sister Alaia: Wedding Plans With Justin Are ‘Up and Down’

Just going with the flow! Justin Bieber and Hailey Bieber (née Baldwin) have no wedding plans in the works, according to the Drop the Mic cohost’s sister, Alaia Baldwin.

“We will see. Who knows what their plans are,” Alaia, 26, told Us Weekly at the 10th annual Endometriosis Foundation of America’s Blossom Ball in New York City on Wednesday, May 8. “They’re very up and down, so I just I’ll be there at some point in a dress, in sweats — we don’t know!”

Alaia Baldwin Hailey Baldwin Justin Bieber Wedding Plans
Alaia Baldwin and Hailey Bieber attend the Endometriosis Foundation Of America’s 10th Annual Blossom Ball on May 08, 2019 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Endometriosis Foundation of America

As for what the EndoFound junior board member thinks about her new brother-in-law? “I appreciate that he is always his genuine self, and that’s what I’d say I like the most about him,” Alaia shared.

Hailey and Justin quietly tied the knot in a New York City courthouse in September 2018 after rekindling their love months prior. A source told Us in March that the model, 22, and the “Sorry” crooner, 25, “are not planning on having a bigger wedding celebration in the immediate future.”

The source noted that the decision to put plans on hold was due in part to Bieber’s mental state as he deals with personal struggles including anxiety, depression and uncertainty about the future.

“They will wait until he’s more stabilized,” the insider added. “He’s trying to work on his issues and rebuild.”

A second source told Us that same month that “Justin is extremely focused on his relationship with Hailey right now and himself,” noting, “He wants to unconditionally show his love for her and to everyone.”

Alaia, meanwhile, also opened up to Us at the event on Wednesday night about what it meant for her husband, Andrew Aronow, and Hailey to be there with her while she was honored with an award.

“It’s amazing. They’ve always been a big support of me,” Alaia told Us of her endometriosis diagnosis. “They’ve always been there from the beginning, as my husband has, and he’s been through the very nitty gritty of it all. So I’m really lucky that they’re nearby and they can come with me and make me feel comfortable and excited.”

With reporting by Diana Cooper

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BMW Q1 Net Profit Plunges, Backs Weak Profit View For FY19; Stock Down

Shares of BMW AG were losing around 1 percent in the morning trading in Germany after the luxury carmaker reported Tuesday sharply lower profit in its first quarter, hurt by a hefty provision related to ongoing antitrust proceedings, as well as slightly lower revenues. Going ahead for fiscal 2019, the company continues to expect Group profit before tax to be well below the previous year.
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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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Exclusive Interview: The ‘Avengers Endgame’ Writers Break Down The Biggest Moments in The Movie [Spoilers!]

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On the day Avengers: Endgame officially arrived in theaters — and hours before it would go on to become the film with the highest grossing opening weekend of all time — Fandango sat down for a lengthy chat with Avengers: Endgame writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely to answer a bunch of the most burning questions we all had walking out of that three-hour rollercoaster of emotions. What's up with the time travel? The deaths? The finale? And what is the current status of…

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Think Bose is overpriced? The best-selling Bose sound bar is back down to $199

Bose Soundbar Price

If you want a high-quality compact sound bar from a top brand in the speaker industry, you can expect to pay $ 400, $ 500, or even more depending on which model you choose. Meanwhile, one of the biggest names in personal audio has an option you might not even be aware of, and it only costs about half of what you’ll pay for rival sound bars. The Bose Solo 5 TV Sound System is a fantastic compact sound bar that will give the speakers on any TV a massive upgrade. And if you snag one right now on Amazon, you’ll only pay $ 199!

Bose Solo 5 TV Sound System with Universal Remote Control: $ 199.00

Here’s some additional detail from the product page:

  • Single sound bar provides better sound quality compared to your TV.The Solo 5 TV sound system is an easy solution, with advanced technologies that deliver the clear audio your TV can’t.
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  • One connection to your TV. Optical audio input (digital); Coaxial audio input (digital); 3.5 mm aux input (analog)
  • Universal remote controls TV, bass, Bluetooth connections and more
  • Speaker:2.6 H x 21.6 W x 3.4 D (3.73 lbs), Remote control:4.1 H x 1.6 W x 0.4 D (5 oz)

Bose Solo 5 TV Sound System with Universal Remote Control: $ 199.00

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Think Bose is overpriced? The best-selling Bose sound bar is back down to $ 199 originally appeared on BGR.com on Thu, 2 May 2019 at 12:07:48 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Bun B Chased Down Armed Robber To ID Him To Authorities

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Source: Bennett Raglin / Getty

Bun B knows the duties of a civilian holding down his family. The UGK rapper reportedly chased down the burglar he got into a gunfight with in order to ID the culprit.

Reports TMZ:

The Houston rapper’s lawyer, Charles Adams, tells TMZ … Bun and his wife, Queenie, met with the District Attorney this week to discuss the incident, and they have been reassured they are being treated as victims in the case.

We’re told everything they’ve reported lines up with law enforcement’s investigation, and the suspect, Demonte Jackson, is facing 3 first-degree felonies — 2 counts of aggravated robbery with a weapon and one count of burglary.

Adams tells us Bun B wasn’t specifically targeted by the intruder — he was going house to house in the neighborhood and Bun’s wife happened to answer the door.

Besides licking off shots as the man stole his wife’s Audi, Bun chased him down to take his mask off.

… Queenie offered up her Audi in the garage to the suspect, which is where Bun confronted him and a gunfight ensued. Adams says after the man escaped and left his gun behind … Bun hopped in his car and pursued him.

We’re told the rapper caught up and held the guy at gunpoint … then made him take off his mask so he could identify him. The suspect then escaped again.

Is there any doubt that Bun B is a Triple O? Most importantly, we’re glad Bun and his wife were unharmed.

As for the burglar, throw him under the jail bruh.

Photo; Getty

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Lupita Nyong’o breaks down the links between ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Us’

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Mild spoilers ahead for Us, proceed with caution if you haven’t seen it yet.

Here’s a different song of ice and fire, compliments of Us star Lupita Nyong’o.

For reasons that aren’t explained — and whatever, who cares, this is great — Nyong’o took to Twitter on Sunday to do a little analysis. The Us star is caught in the grip of Game of Thrones fandom, just like everyone else. And because loving Game of Thrones involves thinking about Game of Thones constantly, Nyong’o has some Thoughts.

Specifically, she feels there are cinematic and textual links to be found between the Tethered in Jordan Peele’s March 2019 hit and the soon-to-be-completed HBO series’ White Walkers. You might or might not agree, but talking it all out is a good way to kill time while we count the hours together until the next Thrones episode. Read more…

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Tell Me More | Episode 26: Krystina Alabado on Joining “Mean Girls” Family, Keeping Gas Pedal Down on her Career

On this episode of BroadwayRadio’s “Tell Me More,” Matt Tamanini talks to actress Krystina Alabado currently starring as Gretchen Weiners in “Mean Girls” on Broadway. In the episode, Krystina discussed the process of joining the extremely tight “Mean Girls” family; what the opportunity to play a strong, but vulnerable woman read more
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Scouted: 6 Women’s Jeans That Won’t Let You Down, No Matter How Many Times You Wear Them

In my opinion, there’s no such thing as owning too many jeans. Jeans are the equalizer of outfits. They can be dressed up or dressed down and there are so many different cuts and styles that they can be worn at practically any occasion. There are so many to choose from, but we’ve narrowed it down to a handful that can satisfy any experience you throw at them.

The Ridge Mom Jean, $ 118 from Mott & Bow: These jeans fit me perfectly. This is not something I take lightly. I am short and have large legs and that means most jeans fit great in the thighs but gap at the waist. These have enough spandex in them that make them comfortably hug my curves without veering into jegging territory.

Cali Demi-Boot Jeans, $ 128 from Madewell: The only time I’ve ever been happy with a pair of petite jeans has been these from Madewell. These are sturdy with a bit of stretch and come in so many different wash options that there’s easily something for anyone. Madewell’s expanded denim program features Petite, Regular, and Tall inseams and goes up to a 37 in the waist.

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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Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

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Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Over $2 Million Raised for Black Churches Burned Down in Louisiana

The three historically black churches that were burned down earlier this month in Louisiana are finally getting the help they desperately need.

The Seventh District Baptist Association, a 149-year-old nonprofit religious organization, partnered with the Governor of Louisiana, local leaders, elected officials, the impacted churches, other faith organizations, and the community to raise funds to support the sanctuaries. The organization, which is led by President Freddie Jack and consists of approximately 60 Baptist churches from seven parishes in Southwest Louisiana, launched a GoFundMe campaign on April 10. However, nothing was really happening until New York magazine and HuffPost writer Yahsar Ali challenged his social media followers to donate $ 1,000 to the campaign, sparking a worldwide outpouring of support. More than 37,000 people from across the country and over 40 countries and territories around the world donated to the campaign in just seven days. Ali announced that the campaign raised $ 2 million in a tweet on April 18. More than $ 2.1 million had been raised by April 22.

The donations received are earmarked specifically for the Seventh District’s impacted member churches: St. Mary Baptist Church, Greater Union Baptist Church, and Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church.

According to an update on the GoFundMe page, charges have been filed against the man accused of burning the three African American churches. Holden Matthews, the 21-year-old white man and son of a St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s deputy, was arrested and charged with two counts of simple arson, one count of aggravated arson, and three counts hate crimes. His attorney entered a not guilty plea.

The St. Landry Parish District Attorney is prosecuting the case. The DA filed a motion asking that the suspect’s bail be denied, stating that Matthews is “an imminent danger” and should be kept behind bars until his trial.

The post Over $ 2 Million Raised for Black Churches Burned Down in Louisiana appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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The Yi home camera with pan, zoom, and motion tracking is down to just $38 today

Yi Dome Camera

Before you go and spend $ 200 on a Nest Cam that just sits there and gives you a view of a portion of a room, you definitely need to check out the deal Amazon is running right now on the YI Dome Camera. This excellent $ 50 wireless home cam can pan around and entire room, and it can zoom as well. But we’re not just talking about manual controls in the app — it even has an automatic motion tracking feature that will follow people around the room and record video the entire time! It’s worth every penny at $ 50, but a 10% on-site coupon and the special coupon code 9XM4WEMZ slash the price all the way down to $ 37.99. You’re crazy if you pass up this great deal.

YI Dome Camera 1080p HD Pan/Tilt/Zoom Wireless IP Security Surveillance System with Auto-Cruise…: $ 37.99 (use code 9XM4WEMZ)

Here’s some additional info from the product page:

  • 1080p High-definition, 112° wide-angle advanced glass lens combined with 345° horizontal & 115° vertical rotation range create a complete 360° coverage. Advanced night vision with 8 built-in 940nm infrared LED beads extend the viewing distance to 3 meters in pitch dark with no light pollution, so your baby or pet will not be disturbed by LED glare.
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  1. The Yi home camera with pan, zoom, and motion tracking is down to just $ 38 today

The Yi home camera with pan, zoom, and motion tracking is down to just $ 38 today originally appeared on BGR.com on Mon, 22 Apr 2019 at 09:03:50 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Double Down on Going Green: These Green Friendly Companies Hire Remotely

You may be looking for ways to go green  — and maybe make a little green while you’re at it. Working from home is a great way to do both, especially if it’s for a green-friendly company.

Transportation pollution is currently the leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions, and a close second is electricity usage. Commuters and office buildings are responsible for a large portion of those emissions, but the good news is that remote jobs, which disincentivize both commuting and large offices, are soaring in popularity.

The number of remote workers is up 140% since 2005, according to data from Global Workplace Analytics.

To add to those environmental benefits, remote workers also have $ 4,000 higher annual earnings. — Global Workplace Analysts’ telecommuting study.

“In terms of personal footprint, working from home is a big deal,” says Dr. Robert Brinkmann, Hofstra University professor of geology, environment and sustainability. “You can reduce your greenhouse-gas footprint significantly.”

That’s because working from home, on average, will cut 8,000 commuting miles off your odometer and will curb an estimated three tons of carbon emissions each year.

To double your environmental impact, we found  several green jobs you can do remotely.

What Are Green Jobs?

Generally speaking, green jobs are jobs that help the environment. They can be in almost any industry, but they must strive to increase energy efficiency and sustainability.

Direct examples include land, water and wildlife conservation, whereas a less direct example is a vegetarian food brand.

Companies With Remote Jobs That Help The Environment

If you’re a nonprofit organization or a business in green tech, it makes sense to hire remotely. Here are a few companies that put their environmental mission where their mouth is.

Audubon

Audubon, more formally The National Audubon Society, hires many jobs explicitly aimed at helping the environment, some of which are available remotely. The nonprofit membership organization was founded more than a century ago, and it lobbies the government on environmental conservation issues.

Remote work is available for interns and conservation organizers. Visit its job board for open positions.

Impossible Foods

detail shot of Impossible Foods burgers

This is a company you may have already come across in your daily routine. Impossible Foods produces plant-based meat alternatives to offset the environmental impacts of the agricultural industry. It’s made headway since 2011 in getting its faux meat into grocery stores and restaurants across the nation.

The company is based in California, but it offers some work-from-home positions, typically in sales. Check the current job listings for available opportunities.

Mercy For Animals

An advocate for cruelty-free farming, Mercy For Animals is a nonprofit organization that has spurred several factory-farming investigations since its launch in 1995. For most positions, applicants can choose between working remotely or at one of its physical locations. Remote jobs in tech, community organization and communications are available.

See current openings on its job board.

The Humane League

The Humane League started in 2005 in Philadelphia as a small grassroots organization. Since then, it’s expanded into an international nonprofit that campaigns for animal rights and sustainable farming practices. All jobs at The Humane League are remote, and its workforce is decentralized across several countries.

Check the current job listings to apply.

The Sierra Club

Long a champion of environmental conservation and sustainability, the Sierra Club boasts more than 3 million members, making it one of the largest nonprofits in the U.S. Most of its jobs are located at the California headquarters or in one of the field offices around the nation. Remote positions include volunteer management and communications.

For current openings, visit its job board.

For other remote job opportunities that aren’t directly associated with environmental organizations, browse The Penny Hoarder’s Work-From-Home Jobs Portal. We post legitimate remote jobs there all the time.

Other Ways It Pays to Go Green

close up shot of window with an air conditioning unit

If you’re interested in reducing your greenhouse gas emissions overall, Brinkmann says to think of your carbon footprint in a broader sense.

While, yes, working from home is a noble way to reduce about three tons of carbon pollution a year — if you’re not careful, you can easily undo those efforts in other areas of your life. Take travel, for example: A one-way flight from Atlanta to Beijing will produce roughly the same amount of emissions.

And if you’re working from home, you may be tempted to blast the AC all day.

Brinkmann says small energy adjustments around your home office can have a significant environmental impact, especially on your energy bill.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, about half of your energy bill is due to air conditioning. Ensuring your heating and cooling equipment is Energy-Star certified will reduce your bill and your emissions. A switch to energy-efficient lighting is another cheap investment that will save you in the long run, as the bulbs use 75% less energy and last up to 10 times longer.

For those times when you have to use services that emit large amounts of greenhouse gases, such as airplane rides, Brinkmann offers this solution: carbon offsets. These are small investments in renewable energy projects that help negate the impact of carbon-emitting services you use.

For example, to negate the effects of three tons of carbon dioxide emissions —  aka a year’s worth of commuting to work or one 12-hour international flight — you could purchase the equivalent in carbon offsets for as little as $ 30 through organizations such as Terrapass and Carbonfund, which use your investments for environmental initiatives like forest restoration and land conservation.

“When you buy [an international] flight, you just throw another 30 bucks in the coffers for that,” Brinkmann says.

To have a “guilt-free Earth Day,” as he puts it, be sure to earmark some of that money you saved from a lower energy bill and reinvest it in green energy.

“It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Adam Hardy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He specializes in ways to make money that don’t involve stuffy corporate offices. Read his ​latest articles here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism.

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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Mulvaney: Trump Brought Down Drug Prices For The First Time In 50 Years

President Donald Trump announced last month that the GOP will become “the party of health care,” and news reports suggest he intends to make it a top issue in his reelection campaign.

So when Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, touted the administration’s work on prescription drug prices — a hot-button issue that has drawn scrutiny from across the political spectrum, and one that voters say should be a top priority — we were intrigued.

On “Fox News Sunday” April 7, Mulvaney said: “Drug prices in this country actually came down last year for the first time in 50 years. That’s because Donald Trump’s president.”

This statement is particularly hard to prove affirmatively. Drug prices are measured through a host of metrics and affected by all sorts of political and economic forces.

We reached out to the White House for more explanation. Its staff directed us to a report published last October by its Council of Economic Advisers, as well as to data suggesting the consumer price index for prescription drugs declined in January 2019 compared with January 2018.

But experts who reviewed that data said it doesn’t necessarily support Mulvaney’s claim — and certainly not by the magnitude he suggests.

A Broad Brush, And Some Missing Data

We interviewed five experts who all agreed that, no matter which metric was used, evidence is lacking to unequivocally say drug prices decreased last year. The most generous reading came from Matthew Fiedler, a health economist at the Brookings Institution: It’s “within spitting distance of something that’s true.”

But with more examination, the claim’s veracity became murkier.

“Drug prices” can refer to many things: a list price, a net price (what is paid after rebates, or the discounts negotiated by insurers or other payers), the pharmacy’s price or total national spending on prescription drugs.

Let’s start with the latter. Data from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows total spending on prescription drug prices has climbed during the past several years. (KHN is an editorially independent program of the foundation.) In 2018, total spending continued to grow, just at a slower pace. That’s a positive trend, experts noted, but it isn’t the same thing as spending going down.

“It doesn’t mean we’re spending less money on drugs than before,” said Stacie Dusetzina, an associate professor of health policy at Vanderbilt University.

We also examined the CPI data the White House provided. It could suggest that in the past year prescription drugs’ list prices have indeed dropped, and even by a meaningful amount.

But the CPI data doesn’t account for whether manufacturers lowering their list prices have also changed the size of the rebates they provide. That’s essential information in understanding if the real price of a drug — what insurance pays and, ultimately, what consumers pay — has actually changed.

These trend lines also vary depending on the 12-month period they cover, argued Walid Gellad, an associate health policy professor at the University of Pittsburgh. January to January could show a list price decrease, but July to July could show an increase.

Plus, the CPI data includes only drugs sold through retail, or about three-fourths of all prescriptions. That excludes many high-priced specialty meds sold only via mail order, argued Michael Rea, who heads Rx Savings Solutions, a consulting firm.

It also paints with a broad brush — obscuring, many said, just how many list prices are continuing to climb.

This year, the list price of more than 3,000 drugs went up, while the price of only 117 went down, according to data compiled by Rx Savings Solutions. Last year, an analysis by the Associated Press revealed that, from January to July, 4,412 branded drug prices went up, while 46 were cut.

So, Mulvaney’s downward price claim didn’t come out of thin air. But interpreting the data to mean that drug prices are down ignores crucial parts of the prescription drug marketplace.

The White House’s Work

Mulvaney also said Trump has played a key role in bringing down drug prices. When we asked the administration what he meant, a spokesman pointed to their efforts to bring more generic drugs to market — a boost the White House said has fueled competition and helped make lower-price alternatives available to consumers.

But there’s no evidence yet to suggest that the boost in generic drug approvals has that effect. Experts said it takes time for these products to reach the marketplace, create competition and demonstrate a measurable impact on prices.

Indeed, many of those generics, while approved, never went to market. This White House assertion also doesn’t account for high-priced, branded drugs that lack a generic counterpart.

Yes, Trump’s tough talk — accusing pharma companies of “getting away with murder” — may have persuaded some drug manufacturers to hold off on increasing their prices — at least temporarily, or until after the government releases key stats on how many prices have gone up, Dusetzina said. But it’s hard to separate that phenomenon from the pressure also levied by Congress and state legislatures.

For what it’s worth, the administration has proposed many new policies meant to curb drug prices, many noted, such as eliminating some kinds of rebates, or changing how Medicare Part B pays for drugs. But none of those have taken effect — so they haven’t brought prices down.

Our Ruling

Mulvaney said, “Drug prices in this country actually came down last year for the first time in 50 years. That’s because Donald Trump’s president.”

At first glance, CPI data could conceivably support the argument that the list prices for some prescription drugs dipped. But that data doesn’t include many high-priced specialty drugs that drive costs up, and the pattern it illustrates can change based on the time frame selected.

The CPI data set obscures the individual drugs for which the list prices have increased — with far more going up than down. It also does not account for a drug’s true “net price.”

Mulvaney’s statement also does not reflect trends showing that, nationally, spending on drugs has continued to climb, even if that growth has slowed. There is also no evidence to support the argument that Trump himself is responsible for changes in drug pricing.

This claim has an element of truth, but it ignores key facts and context that would give a very different impression. We rate this claim Mostly False.

Kaiser Health News

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Fox News Anchors Shut Down Conspiracy Theories About Notre Dame Fire

During two separate occasions on Monday afternoon, Fox News anchors Shepard Smith and Neil Cavuto had to dump out of interviews after their guests wildly speculated and parroted conspiracy theories that the blaze that suddenly destroyed much of the historic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was an intentionally malicious act.

While anchoring breaking-news coverage of the fire, Smith interviewed witness Philippe Karsenty, the deputy mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine and a controversial right-wing media figure. Early in the call, Karsenty suggested that the Notre Dame blaze—which is currently being investigated as an accident—was a terrorist attack.

“It’s like a 9/11, a French 9/11,” Karsenty declared. “It’s a big shock. This church was there for more than 850 years. You need to know that for the past years, we’ve had churches desecrated each and every week all over France. Of course, you will hear the story of the politically—the political correctness, which will tell you it’s probably an accident.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp go down for users

The social media behemoth Facebook and its two other digital properties, Instagram and WhatsApp, went down Sunday morning, reports say. Facebook’s website was inaccessible starting at around 6:30 a.m., according to The Verge. The same goes for the picture-sharing app Instagram. The news feeds on both apps were not refreshing, the story says. WhatsApp and…
Technology News & Reviews | New York Post

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Watching high-stress TV shows like Killing Eve calms me down. I decided to find out why

Watching high-stress TV shows like Killing Eve calms me down. I decided to find out why


Watching high-stress TV shows like <em>Killing Eve</em> calms me down. I decided to find out why

April is Stress Awareness Month. On HelloGiggles, we are talking about the routines, habits, and activities that unexpectedly keep us calm and grounded in a society where harmfulhigh levels of stress are dangerously normalized. (Trigger warning: This article discusses trauma from sexual assault.)

I was sitting next to my fiancée and we both had our eyes on the TV screen in front of us. Villanelle (Jodie Comer) had broken into Eve’s (Sandra Oh) home. Eve grabbed a knife; Villanelle, a trained and skilled assassin, obviously noticed and called her out on it. My fiancée and I eyed each other nervously throughout the scene, wondering if either woman would end up injured or dead. Eve ended the scene soaking wet and sweating—and I ended it feeling calmer and more in control than I had in days.

I started binging Killing Eve recently after reading about the show for several months on Autostraddle, my go-to resource on what queer women should be watching right now. It seemed like the perfect escape: We’d just recently finished You, the Lifetime psychological thriller that found new life on Netflix, and there was a high-stress media hole in my heart.

It may sound counterintuitive, but watching highly stressful media—horror movies like Jordan Peele’s Us, intense dramas like How to Get Away With Murder, and everyone’s favorite titular serial killer, Dexter—helps me relieve stress.

I’m not alone in feeling this way. According to research by Margee Kerr, a sociologist, fear researcher, and author of Scream: Chilling Adventures In the Science of Fear, a high-arousal negative stimuli, such as watching a horror movie or a show about murder, can improve mood significantly. Watching horror movies can also cause adrenaline levels to spike, resulting in viewers feeling less anxious or frustrated, according to a 2012 study.

“Viewing high-stress media can feel exhilarating and stress relieving,” says Dr. Allison Forti, an assistant professor at Wake Forest University’s Counseling and Human Services graduate program. “Two defense mechanisms, displacement and projection, can explain this. Rather than confront the co-worker who gossiped about you at work, your frustration and anger release through the serial killer’s violent acts in the movie.”

Consuming high-stress media can serve as a way to channel negative emotions like humiliation, rejection, shame, anger, regret, and spite.

This isn’t a universal experience. Kerr’s research only included people who wanted to voluntarily scare themselves, and Dr. Forti explains that some people experience serious psychological distress when they watch high-stress media: “The sympathetic nervous system activates and the body gears up to fight or flee.” So while someone like me, who loves fictional serial killers and haunted houses, might feel happier after a heart-racing experience, this probably won’t be true for people who hate those things.

It doesn’t entirely surprise me that the more I’ve been binge watching Killing Eve, the less stressed out I am.

My adoration for watching high-stress shows as a coping mechanism actually started after I was raped in college, when I found watching The Vampire Diaries and Dexter oddly cathartic. I felt like I’d lost my own sense of agency and control, and there was something comforting about actively choosing to make my heart pound instead of waiting for it to happen because I’d woken up from another nightmare about the attack.

“When our stress level is escalated, using coping strategies that have a similar intensity can often provide a sense of relief,” explains psychotherapist Beth Scarlett.

“Sometimes we feel anxious or stressed, and we have trouble pinpointing the source of it. An intense show gives our brains a ‘reason’ for being wound up, which actually gives a sense of relief.”


After I was assaulted, I found it hard to wake up in the morning and concentrate in my classes; I’d start thinking about what happened and feel overcome by a surge of panic or anger. I wanted a way to deal with my emotions that wasn’t overwhelming and wouldn’t completely consume me. In addition to going to a therapist weekly, I started binge watching high-stress TV series in my dorm room.

The characters always felt a sense of urgency: Maybe they were on the edge of being caught as a serial killer; maybe they were the one being hunted. It gave me the opportunity to safely process my trauma.

“High-stress media can be used to channel unconscious or conscious thoughts and feelings that are too psychologically risky to address in a healthier way,” explains Dr. Forti. I didn’t feel it was safe to confront my rapist, but I could channel my anger into Season 5 of Dexter, where the titular character helps a rape victim track down her assailants and kill them.

The impact of high-stress media can be even more powerful if it’s a rewatch, like Dexter was for me after I was assaulted. I’d already watched the show in its entirety in high school. “Many people find comfort in watching and re-watching movies where they know the sequence of the story,” explains psychotherapist Dr. Dana Dorfman. “This knowledge provides a sense of a mastery over scary material, and offers an escape and distraction from the unpredictability of real life.”

High-stress TV shows and movies can also serve as a safe way to expose yourself to something that scares you or makes you nervous, Dr. Dorfman explains.

“This gradual exposure desensitizes the person to the stimulus and reconditions the brain to respond differently,” she says, and the viewer retrains their brain to react more calmly to stressful content.

Watching scenes of Lumen surviving rape in Dexter’s fifth season helped me cope with the trauma of my own assault without leaving my twin XL bed. Seeing a main character onscreen dealing with the impacts of post-traumatic stress, like nightmares and panic attacks, helped me realize that I was capable of healing someday too—even without the help of a serial killer to literally murder my rapist.


It’s been seven years since the assault and my daily life is nowhere near as stressful. I’m planning a wedding with my partner and balancing my career and social life with my disability, but I also have a lot of support. I don’t feel the same sense of urgency every morning when I wake up as I did for months after I was assaulted. But I still reach for the remote to turn on shows like Killing Eve and You, which my partner and I finished almost immediately after starting it. Dr. Dorfman calls this perspective building, which is when viewers use high-stress media to help them keep the stress of everyday life in perspective.

My stress now is mainly over minor things like taking my cat to the vet because she has an infection or realizing when the day is almost over that I don’t have a key ingredient for dinner. But stress can still take a toll on me. A couple of weeks ago, my partner came home exhausted after several crises at work and I was drained after planning out an enormous project.

As soon as we sat down to eat dinner, I suggested Killing Eve, which we’d recently started watching. “You know killers always make us feel better,” I said, hovering over the Hulu play button next to Sandra Oh’s distressed expression and incredible hair.

She laughed. At the end of the episode, when we were met with an enthralling cliffhanger, she asked, “One more?”

The post Watching high-stress TV shows like <em>Killing Eve</em> calms me down. I decided to find out why appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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Anesthesia sends neurons down the wrong path in unborn rat babies

A study provides new insight into why — and when — anesthesia during pregnancy harms unborn brains. Most research into prenatal exposure to anesthesia has focused killing brain cells, this rat study showed how anesthesia disrupts the ‘precisely choreographed’ migration neurons make in utero, and how not ‘arriving at their proper and predetermined’ locations can have profound impact on brain development.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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JetBlue CEO walks down airplane aisle to collect trash

The multimillionaire CEO of JetBlue isn’t above picking up travelers’ trash. The airline honcho, Robin Hayes, who earns a salary of more than $ 3 million a year, walked down the aisle of an airplane collecting garbage, flight-attendant-style, after hosting a ticket giveaway game aboard the aircraft Friday, according to one traveler. “Hayes got on the…
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We Broke Down Every Second of the New Avengers: Endgame Trailer

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War.

Marvel Studios has dropped yet another trailer for Avengers: Endgame. This one definitively reveals that the Avengers will travel into space in order to try to fight Thanos again. The trailer also supports the fan theory that the Avengers will have to fight Thanos twice: once immediately after Thanos’ snap that cut all life in the universe in half, and again much later after the team regroups.

We still have many questions after watching the trailers. But here are our big takeaways below in the full breakdown of the new Avengers trailer.

Another Avengers: Endgame trailer dropped when tickets went on sale

Avengers: Endgame tickets are finally on sale for April 25, the Thursday night before the movie’s full release on April 26. AMC theaters is even hosting a 59-hour-long marathon of all 22 Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, ending with Avengers: Endgame (which is reportedly three hours long).

Marvel Studios celebrated the announcement with yet another trailer for the highly-anticipated sequel to Avengers: Infinity War. New footage showed the Avengers traveling to space to fight Thanos (Josh Brolin).

Thanos makes his first appearance in any of the Avengers: Endgame teasers

Marvel has been hiding Thanos from much of the promotional material for Avengers: Endgame, but the new trailer confirms that Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will take the fight to Thanos. Last we saw him, he had successfully destroyed half of all life in the universe for environmental reasons using the Infinity Stones that he gathered in Avengers: Infinity War. At the end of that movie, Thanos was looking at an alien countryside from a small hut, celebrating his victory. But it’s still unclear where he is: whether it’s a reborn Titan or some other realm within his mind.

In the new Avengers trailer, the Avengers confront him on a planet that looks radically different from that peaceful oasis. But we don’t know how they find Thanos to fight him.

The Avengers may have to fight Thanos twice

Historically, studios restrict the use of footage in trailers for big movies like Avengers: Endgame. Our guess is most, if not all, of this footage is from the first half of the movie. It’s worth noting that the new, matching uniforms that the Avengers have sported in past trailers and in toy sets do not appear in this trailer. Fans have theorized that the Avengers will wear those uniforms — which look similar to the one that Michael Douglas’ Hank Pym wore in order to travel to the Quantum Realm to save his wife Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) in Ant-Man and the Wasp — to travel through the Quantum Realm themselves.

Now it seems like that Quantum Realm journey may not happen until the second act of the film. In this trailer, we see the remaining Avengers make an intergalactic journey, presumably to Titan where Thanos has settled after the snap. They will probably try to wrest the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos there so that they can undo the snap using the Time Stone. Given Thanos’ immense power, the Avengers will probably lose and have to plot another way to fight the Mad Titan.

That second mission will probably involve time travel and the Quantum Realm. The first trailer for Avengers: Endgame showed Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) emerging from the Quantum Realm and showing up at the Avengers headquarters. But if you look closely at the security camera footage of Ant-Man trying to enter the Avengers’ compound, the date on the footage is from the 20th century. Likely, Scott Lang accidentally traveled back in time. Ant-Man and the Wasp also hinted that the Quantum Realm could allow for time travel.

If the Avengers cannot take the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos, they might have to go back in time and make sure that Thanos never collected all the Infinity Stones in the first place. They will then probably fight Thanos again, this time on more even footing. Either way, they’re likely to bring back the fallen heroes in some way since many of the characters who disappeared will appear in confirmed, upcoming Marvel movies, like Spider-Man: Far From Home, Black Panther 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Captain America and Iron Man will reconcile

Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) left one another on bad terms at the end of Captain America: Civil War when Tony Stark discovered that Steve Rogers’ brainwashed buddy, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), killed Tony’s parents. At the end of that movie, Steve sent Tony a flip phone by which to contact him in an emergency. Tony resisted using the phone in Avengers: Infinity War before flying into space to chase Thanos’ Children. Captain America stayed on earth and fought Thanos in Wakanda. The two never interacted during that movie.

We see the two men shake hands for the first time in this trailer. Tony asks Steve if he trusts him, and Steve says yes. It’s easier to put aside your differences when half of all life in the universe has been destroyed. It’s likely that one of the other Avengers like Thor (Chris Hemsworth) or Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) will facilitate this reunion.

The Avengers may have to choose between the living and the dead

A lot of the shots in this trailer contrast those who still have their loved ones — like Iron Man — with those who lost everything — like Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). If you need it, here’s a refresher on who died and who survived in the last Avengers movie.

The advertising campaign for Endgame has long suggested that some or several of the Avengers will die in this movie: The contracts for at least three of the original Avengers team (Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Hemsworth) are up. They may perish or at least retire in this film.

Breaking down every second of the Avengers: Endgame trailer

0:02 This is the Avengers Headquarters in Upstate New York. We have seen in other trailers that the Avengers are regrouping here.

0:07 Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) says that if they “do this,” the Avengers will go in short-handed. “You mean because they killed all our friends?” James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) asks. This line sets the stakes for this movie: If the Avengers could not defeat Thanos with all their super-power, then how are they supposed to fight him with only half of the number of heroes?

Also, Rhodey says “they” killed all our friends, presumably referring to the Children of Thanos. But at this point Thanos’ henchman are all dead. It’s unclear if Thanos has any help (or needs any) in Avengers: Endgame.

Note that Bruce Banner and James Rhodes are wearing different shirts in this scene than they were wearing in the post-credits scene for Captain Marvel when the Avengers first meet Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) in Avengers Headquarters. That means they are planning to fight Thanos in two separate scenes (at least). The two separate scenes could support the theory that the Avengers will take on the Titan at the beginning of the movie and fail before hatching up another plan to defeat him.

0:16 Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) grab hands. Remember: the Guardians and Nebula were not on the best of terms in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Nebula was set on her own vengeful mission against Thanos. But all the Guardians, save Rocket, perished in Thanos’ culling. Nebula is all Rocket has left.

0:17 Remember, the last time we saw Tony Stark in Avengers: Infinity War, he was stranded in space with Nebula. In the first trailer, for Avengers: Endgame it seemed like Tony might die in space, since he and Nebula were running out of food and oxygen.

This is likely a reunion between Tony Stark and his fiancée Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) after he returns to Earth. He says, “It’s not about how much we lost. It’s about how much we have left.” We know from the recently-released Avengers: Endgame posters that Pepper survived the culling. Tony is probably trying to convince the Avengers to value what they still have at this point and not fight Thanos again.

0:22 Tony then intones, “We’re the Avengers. We have to finish this.” Likely, while encouraging the remaining heroes to cherish what they still have, Tony still sees Thanos as some sort of threat and believes that the Avengers need to defeat him in order to keep the universe safe — regardless of whether they can turn back time. Here is Tony suiting up as Iron Man.

0:23 Clint Barton, a.k.a. Hawkeye, is sporting an entire arm sleeve of tattoos! He has really taken this whole culling hard.

The fact that the trailer contrasts the circumstances of Tony Stark and Clint Barton is important: Tony still has the woman he loves, Pepper. But Clint presumably lost his wife and children during Thanos’ culling. He has nothing — and nothing to lose.

0:26 Thor meets Carol Danvers. This scene already appeared in another trailer. But the two share somewhat similar powers and a preference for hanging out in space. They’ll probably get along.

0:27 This show is basically all the Avengers left, except for Captain Marvel and Thor. What are they looking at? It could be Carol Danvers or Thor rallying the troops, or possible some weapon or invention that may help them. Black Widow has long, red hair, which likely means that quite a bit of time has passed since the end of Avengers: Infinity War.

0:30 Iron Man and Captain America reconcile. “You trust me?” Tony asks. “I do,” Steve says. The two shake hands. They appear to be in New York City around some construction. Some die-hards have theorized the the Avengers will travel back in time to the Battle of New York, since several of the Infinity Stones were in and around New York City at that time (the Time Stone in the Sanctum Sanctorum, the Mind Stone in Loki’s Staff and the Space Stone in the Tesseract). Could the Avengers be visiting the site of that battle in modern times as Tony hatches a plan?

Directors Anthony and Joe Russo have intimated that they have altered some footage in the trailers in order to hide the real plot of the movie from fans. Given that admission, it’s possible some of these scenes aren’t what they seem. Fans are theorizing that this meeting between Tony and Steve is actually a meeting between 2018 Tony (having traveled back in time to the Battle of New York) and 2012 Steve Rogers (with a more modern suit that’s been altered for the trailer).

0:33 This looks like the Guardians of the Galaxy ship, the Benetar, the only spaceship that was left intact on Titan after the Avengers’ battle with Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. This could be Nebula and Tony launching away from the planet in their bid to make it back to earth. Or the Avengers could be re-using the ship later in the movie.

0:36 The Avengers head into space to fight Thanos. There’s an Intriguing combination of people here: Rocket and Captain America flying the ship together. Captain America (who as far as we know has not traveled to space), Black Widow, War Machine and Thor sit in the back. They don’t have on their special, matching uniforms yet, and Black Widow is sporting the short, blonde hair she had in Avengers: Infinity War, not the long, red hair she has in some shots in the Avengers: Endgame trailers. This is likely early in the movie when they try to fight Thanos the first time.

0:37 Peter Parker (Tom Holland) was the heart of the last film. He died in Tony’s arms. As Tony looks back on a picture of the kid here, Thanos says, “You could not live with your own failure.”

0:41 This is the same ship that Thanos used to overtake Thor’s ship in Thor: Ragnarok (and Avengers: Infinity War). Nebula and War Machine look out the window of their ship afterwards in fear. Thanos doesn’t need a ship to travel from planet-to-planet, as we saw in Infinity War. Could Thanos have more henchmen aboard this ship?

0:49 This is the first reappearance of Thanos in the Avengers: Endgame promotional materials. This shot is preceded by a series of shots of the Avengers looking very afraid. Thanos ends his quote: “You could not deal with your own failure. Where did that bring you? Back to me.” Thanos appears from blue streaks, which probably means he traveled to the planet using the Infinity Gauntlet, not a ship (hence the confusing shot above).

This entire sequence seems to support the theory that the Avengers try to fight Thanos early in the film when they’re still burning over the loss after the snap (hence Thanos in armor). Other trailers suggest a time jump happens later in the film, so they will likely take years to regroup.

0:50 Iron Man faces down Thanos in a shot that’s very similar to their fight in the last movie. This solo of Iron Man, plus the emphasis on his reunion with Pepper earlier in the teaser, spells out doom for this particular Avenger.

It’s unclear what planet this is on, though some fans have guessed that after the Avengers try to fight Thanos in space, Thanos teleports to earth and destroys Avengers Headquarters as a sort of warning to the superheroes to leave him alone. If that’s so, this could be Avengers Headquarters.

0:52 The original three Avengers — Iron Man, Captain America and Thor — all in a row. They approach Thanos, sitting down, as if exhausted by this whole process. This probably isn’t the time when they defeat Thanos, but it’s the first time the three heroes have presented a united front since Avengers: Age of Ultron.

These were the first three Marvel heroes to get solo movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. My guess is we’ll never see a solo movie from any of them again, at least not with these actors playing them.


Entertainment – TIME

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Writers Guild Leaders Double Down on Threat to Sue Talent Agencies

Leaders of the Writers Guild of America have repeated a threat to sue the major Hollywood talent agencies for alleged conflicts of interest. The leaders issued the threat Saturday during a members-only meeting at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills, Calif., attended by about 300, according to an attendee. The meeting was the fourth […]

Variety

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Watch Viola Davis Jump Out Of Plane And Cuss The Whole Way Down

Actress Viola Davis was inspired by Will Smith’s “Bucket List” adventures, so she set out on an incredible feat that she shared with her millions of followers across social media.

The Oscar winner went skydiving while on vacation in Hawaii, and Davis posted three videos of the experience online.

As reported by MadameNoire, the first clip shows the lead up to the jump, then one of her anticipating the jump while strapped in the plane, and finally, the jump and landing.

“So….I jumped out of a plane. Yup. I did it. 12,000 ft. and 100mph drop. It was awesome and the ultimate exercise in letting go, tackling my fears and freedom,” she wrote on Instagram. “Loved it!!! As a smart woman once said, ‘Courage is fear said with prayers.’”

The actress added a few hilarious hashtags to the post, including #GladIDidntWearAWig and #ForgiveMeForMyCussWordsAndJackedUpHair.

“I’m feeling a little anxious, but I’m ready,” she said as her instructor asked how she felt before her jump.

“I feel alive. My will is done, signed, sealed, delivered,” she continued.

In the third video, Davis can’t help but to fire off a string of curse words during her descent. She ends singing Montell’s Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It.”

Several of Viola’s celebrity pals congratulated her on social media, including Shonda Rhimes, Sanaa Lathan and Billy Porter.

[ione_media_gallery id=”462663″ overlay=”true”]

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India shoots down own satellite; PM hails India’s arrival as ‘space power’

India shot down one of its satellites in space with an anti-satellite missile on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, hailing the country’s first test of such technology as a major breakthrough that establishes it as a space power.


Reuters: Science News

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Trump Administration Changes Course, Asks Court To Strike Down ACA

In a dramatic move that will have implications for the coming 2020 election, the Trump administration Monday night reversed its previous position and asked a federal appeals court to strike down the entire the Affordable Care Act.

The Justice Department said it now agrees with the plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the law — a group of Republican attorneys general and governors.

In December, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth, Texas, agreed with the GOP plaintiffs, saying that because the 2017 tax law passed by Congress eliminated the tax penalty for not having health insurance coverage, the rest of the health law is now unconstitutional.

A group of Democratic attorneys general, led by California’s Xavier Becerra, appealed that ruling to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The law remains in place while the case proceeds.

The Trump administration originally declined to accept the plaintiffs’ argument. Instead, officials argued that since the tax was now gone, the provisions of the law requiring insurance companies to sell to people with preexisting conditions and not charge them more should fall.

Now that position has changed.

“The Department of Justice has determined that the district court’s judgment should be affirmed,” said a terse letter from Assistant Attorney General Joseph “Jody” Hunt to the appeals court handling the case. That means the administration is now formally supporting elimination of the entire ACA.

The Department of Health and Human Services declined to comment on the change and referred all questions to the Justice Department.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly called for the law to be repealed and replaced, but when Republicans controlled Congress they could not muster the necessary votes. Just last week, he lashed out at the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for failing to support that effort.

The government’s court filing came on the same day federal officials announced that more than 11 million people used the insurance marketplaces set up by the law to purchase policies this year. The Justice Department move also occurred hours before House Democrats were scheduled to unveil their proposal to shore up the health law — setting up another battle line for the 2020 contests.

But Democrats on Monday night were quick to challenge the latest action.

“While the Trump Administration broadens its monstrous ambitions from destroying protections for pre-existing conditions to tearing down every last benefit and protection the Affordable Care Act provides, Democrats are fiercely defending the law of the land and protecting all Americans’ health care,” said a statement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer blasted the move in comments on the Senate floor Tuesday morning. “In two short sentences, the Trump administration crystallized its position that the health care coverage enjoyed by nearly 20 million people, as well as the protections by tens of millions more with preexisting conditions, should be annihilated,” he said.

Lawyers who have been following the case call the administration’s actions more than unusual.

“Much as it may dislike the fact, the Trump administration has an obligation to defend acts of Congress,” wrote Nicholas Bagley, a University of Michigan law professor and a former Justice Department attorney, in a blog post.

Invalidating the ACA could also have enormous effects on the entire health system. It would end not only the health exchanges, but also the expansion of the Medicaid program, numerous changes to Medicare and protections for people with employer-provided coverage.

“The act is now part of the plumbing of the health care system,” Bagley wrote. “Which means the Trump administration has now committed itself to a legal position that would inflict untold damage on the American public.”

Kaiser Health News

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Immigrant portraits in New York art show face down Trump

Immigrant faces captured in life-sized portraits by artist Betsy Ashton look the viewer straight in the eye, as if eager to tell their stories of leaving home to brave new struggles in a strange land.


Reuters: Arts

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Kingfisher Plc FY Pretax Profit Declines; LFL Sales Down 1.6%

Kingfisher plc (KGF.L) reported that its statutory pre-tax profit for year ended 31 January 2019, which includes the impact of transformation costs and exceptional items, decreased by 52.8% to 322 million pounds. Earnings per share was 10.2 pence compared to 22.0 pence. Underlying pre-tax profit was 693 million pounds, down 13.0% from prior year. Underlying EPS was 23.8 pence compared to 25.4 pence. Adjusted pre-tax profit declined 16.1% to 573 million pounds. Adjusted earnings per share was 19.7 pence compared to 21.7 pence.
RTT – Earnings

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Black Nutritionist Dr. Rovenia Brock Breaks Down Why Health Is Wealth

You’ve probably heard it time and time again that health is wealth—and it’s true. But have you heard it from a black nutritionist? Dr. Rovenia Brock, widely known as “America’s Nutrition Coach” and author of Lose Your Final 15, wants you to live a more nutritionally balanced lifestyle so that you can eat your way to wellness.

With more than three decades of experience in helping people transform their lives and looks, Dr. Ro has helped over a half-million Americans lose more than 5 million pounds and served on the medical advisory board for the Dr. Oz Show for seven seasons. Moreover, she is passionate about helping the black community get in shape.

Like with any lifestyle change, it’s important to start with the facts. And for Dr. Ro, it begins with the harsh health realities that plague the black community. “The fact is that we as a community across the board disproportionately suffer from lifestyle diseases like heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension and some forms of cancer. Lifestyle plays a crucial role in why this is.”

When you think about your everyday lifestyle, the time you spend on the go, and the time you don’t have—a good question to ask yourself is what does that mean for your eating habits? If you are someone who can’t find the time to meal prep or make the best food decisions you could benefit from partnering with a nutritionist. Dr. Ro recommends starting with a Google search for black nutritionists because a wellness app can only get you so far.

Partner with a nutritionist

“This person should be credentialed. They need to have at least a bachelor’s of science because nutrition is a science and not an art. At the very least they should have a B.S. in nutrition, community nutrition, or dietetics,” says Dr. Ro.

Once you find a nutritionist who is a good fit for you there is work that you need to do.

“Your nutritionist can create a plan for you based on your personal needs. A lot of people try to do this on an app when tracking their daily nutritional needs. But that’s as pretty far as the app can go. The human expert will know how your needs fit into your lifestyle. And they can adjust that plan according to your real life desired goal. From there it’s really about support, accountability, and honoring commitment within the process,” Dr. Ro advises.

As a coach, she works with clients to help them set and meet their health and wellness goals even when people have a hard time committing to the process.

“As someone who has been doing this for over 30 years, I understand that these are real people with real challenges and problems that spill over into what they eat; where they eat; and when and how they eat it. And when that happens those things can dominate the person’s plan and often breaks the person’s plan. My job as your coach is to help you connect to those challenges and to give you alternatives that will work for you and not against you.”

Sounds like a lot of us, right?

Adopt a healthy lifestyle

If you want to commit to the decision to live differently and lose weight Dr. Ro encourages you to know your “why” and do it for yourself.

“You have to figure out what your why is. That gives me information on some of the things that they struggle with and insight on whether or not what they have done in the past has worked for them—and why it maybe didn’t work for them.” She adds, “If you’re doing it for someone other than yourself it’s never going to work. It has to be your reason for doing it. You’re never going to achieve permanent results if you’re doing it for someone else.”

Lastly, Dr. Ro says that you have to set realistic goals.

“The reason why my book is called Lose Your Final 15 is because you’ll be losing your weight 15 pounds at a time no matter your number. When you have a specific goal you can map out a specific strategy to achieve that goal. You need to have a specific plan. That’s how you measure your progress and stay on track.”

If you are looking to jump-start your nutrition journey today, Dr. Ro has these four simple tips.

Get started today

  • Eat one more colorful vegetable and fruit than you did yesterday
  • Drink one more glass of water than you did yesterday
  • Leave food on the plate – Busy people eat out a lot. If you eat out three times a day you can save up to 500 calories when you do that. If you eat out an average of three times a week you stand a good chance of gaining an extra 45 to 60 pounds a year depending on how often, what, and how much you eat.
  • Cut your portions in half. Eat half of what you ate yesterday and you’ll notice a big difference.

 

Want to hear more from Dr. Ro? Meet her in Atlanta at the SOAR Empowerment Series on April 6. Get your ticket today!

The post Black Nutritionist Dr. Rovenia Brock Breaks Down Why Health Is Wealth appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

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Kyle MacLachlan Breaks Down How He Tackled His Cary Grant Impression In ‘Touch Of Pink’ | PeopleTV

PeopleTV

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Olympics: Japan committee chief Takeda to step down

Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) chief Tsunekazu Takeda, who is under investigation for suspected corruption, said on Tuesday he will step down from his position when his term ends in June and resign from the International Olympic Committee.


Reuters: Sports News

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The Queen apparently shut down Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s plan to be ‘entirely independent’

Wait, what?

queen prince harry
Credit: REX/Shutterstock

A lot has changed in the royal family over the past year, with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle undoubtedly going through the biggest transition of everyone.

The royal couple married in May last year, gained the title of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and now with a royal baby on the way they have relocated, splitting from their shared household in Kensington Palace with the Cambridges and moving to Windsor to create their own set-up in Frogmore Cottage.

So began the rumours of a feud between Meghan and Kate and the fears that this could be the end of the Fab Four, something that insiders were quick to point out had been blown way out of proportion.

REX

The news that emerged this week has only confirmed that the decision has nothing to do with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and more to do with the Sussex family’s desire to be ‘entirely independent’ in general.

Yes, really. According to Roya Nikkhah, royal correspondent at The Sunday Times, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wanted to be ‘entirely independent’ from Buckingham Palace – something that was reportedly vetoed by the Queen.

meghan markle emotional

REX

‘They wanted their household to be entirely independent of Buckingham Palace, but were told “no”,’ a royal source told Roya. ‘There is an institutional structure that doesn’t allow that kind of independence. The feeling is that it’s good to have the Sussexes under the jurisdiction of Buckingham Palace, so they can’t just go off and do their own thing.’

Despite reportedly wanting ‘total royal freedom’, Harry and Meghan’s official office will remain at Buckingham Palace while Frogmore Cottage will be their home.

To be honest with their past busy year and their little bump set to arrive next month, they’ve got enough to deal with!

The post The Queen apparently shut down Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s plan to be ‘entirely independent’ appeared first on Marie Claire.

Marie Claire

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Cuomo’s off-base bid to shut down New York’s for-profit colleges

Gov. Cuomo seems to think it’s a slap at Team Trump, but his For-Profit College Accountability Act is actually a slam at low-income minority New York students. The bill, part of his budget, claims to crack down on for-profit colleges that rely on taxpayer funds but fail to graduate most students. Cuomo says it’s needed…
Opinion | New York Post

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Broadcaster Jay Bilas Breaks Down March Madness and Any Qualms About Savoring it

In the den of Jay Bilas’ Charlotte, N.C., home, framed pictures commemorate his collegiate basketball career at Duke, his days as a pro overseas and the critical reception of I Come in Peace, the 1990 sci-fi thriller that stars Dolph Lundgren but features Bilas in the role of Azeck, alien cop. (Los Angeles Times: I Come in Peace Should Go Away.) But that’s the past. Today, through his platform as an analyst at ESPN and a Twitter account with nearly 2 million followers, Bilas has emerged as a sort of conscience of college basketball. His is a singular voice that can both deftly break down game tactics for passionate fans and eviscerate the business model supporting the entire enterprise. He’s a fierce critic of amateurism, the NCAA policy that facilitates a free market for handsomely compensated coaches, administrators and TV executives–everyone involved in college basketball, it seems, except the players themselves.

So I’ve journeyed to Charlotte to ask Bilas whether he, who makes a living in the game, reporters who write about it, or anyone who watches college basketball or simply fills out an annual March Madness bracket in the office pool is complicit in supporting a business that, according to Bilas, is “just wrong to the point of immoral.”

Jay Bilas, can we make our tournament picks in peace?

Sure, he says. (Whew.) If you don’t like a law in America, after all, you don’t up and leave the country. You push for change. Bilas knows the skeptics’ line: Since you despise amateurism so much, why don’t you quit your job and do something else? “I find that reasoning to be nonsensical,” he says. “The fact that I differ in policy matters doesn’t mean I don’t love the endeavor. I love it, that’s why I opine on it. If I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t care.”

The 6-ft. 8-in. former center is a licensed attorney who, before becoming ESPN’s lead college-basketball analyst, once subpoenaed Barney the purple dinosaur in a costume copyright-infringement case. But over the past decade or so, Bilas, as much as any public figure, has pushed the case for paying players out of the halls of academia and into the mainstream. He called BS when high school officials in Alabama benched a star basketball player this season because she had deposited an accidental payment from USA Basketball and when the NCAA investigated former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel for selling his autograph at the same time his jersey was being sold on its shopping website. On March 13, Bilas called out the NCAA via Twitter for its tepid two-sentence response to a sweeping college-admissions scandal; several coaches have been accused of accepting bribes to falsely present high school students as athletes in order to ensure their admission to elite universities. Admirers love his hammering. Critics tell him to shut up about this stuff already.

Not likely. On March 8, a federal judge in California found that the NCAA amateurism rules violate antitrust law. She ordered the NCAA to remove caps on compensation related to education for things like tutoring, computers and science equipment. The ruling, ostensibly a victory for the players, falls far short of imposing a free-market system in which college athletes can earn their full worth. In an environment in which multimedia rights to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament go for $ 8.8 billion and coaches can make north of $ 7 million per year, he believes school leaders will eventually have to do the right thing on their own and fairly compensate players. “The idea that the free market works for the entire world, save the athletes, is ludicrous to me,” says Bilas. “Absolutely ludicrous.”

 

Bilas, who grew up in the Los Angeles area, started sensing this economic imbalance in the mid-1980s, while playing at Duke. But he wasn’t about to speak up publicly. “You knew what got rewarded and what didn’t,” he says. “I wasn’t Norma Rae or anything.” When a former Duke player brought up the idea of boycotting the 1986 Final Four in Dallas, which Bilas and his teammates had reached in his senior season, his response was, “Why don’t we do it next year?”

After his Blue Devils lost to Louisville in that year’s national championship game, Bilas, now 55, played professionally in Italy for two seasons and in Spain for part of a third. He picked up the alien acting gig–sadly, Azeck’s head exploded–one offseason. Bilas soured on pro ball after his Spanish team fined him for missing practice time to take the LSAT and accepted both a spot in Duke’s law school and one on Mike Krzyzewski’s bench, as an assistant coach. He loved coaching but not the itinerant lifestyle, so he settled with his wife Wendy in Charlotte, where he joined a law firm. Soon came offers to call games on local radio, and he joined ESPN as a full-time analyst. He keeps his old office and pitches in on recruiting and business development, but “there’s going to be a point where they walk in and say, ‘Pack your sh-t and get out.’”

As a broadcaster, Bilas figured if he could call out players and coaches for messing up, why should NCAA leadership be off-limits? Wendy encouraged him to sign onto Twitter 10 years ago so he could prove he had more personality than your average geek watching hoops film all day. Bilas is like your bald, slightly hip, bright and upright bio teacher. He tweets rap lyrics from Young Jeezy, daily, before signing off with “I gotta go to work” (since, while once corresponding with a Twitter user, he ended the conversation by saying he actually did have to go to work). Bilas trades in self-deprecation–“You must have low standards,” he told a tickled crowd at a Charlotte fundraising benefit where he was the guest speaker. He’s a needler who can take being needled and, ever the lawyer, recognizes that words matter, not least his own. During the March 9 Duke–North Carolina game in Chapel Hill, he observed on air that the rebounding of North Carolina’s Cameron Johnson has improved “immeasurably.” He then chastised himself, off the air, at halftime. Rebounds, like most things in sports, are nothing if not quantified. “F-cking idiot,” he said backstage.

Bilas was present for the most momentous episode of the regular season: the foot of Duke superstar freshman Zion Williamson ripping through his Nike shoe, resulting in a knee sprain. If Zion’s back at full strength for the tournament, Bilas likes his alma mater’s chances. Zion’s too, of course. “As long as he stays healthy, he’s going to make a billion dollars,” Bilas says of the presumptive top pick in the NBA draft. A Cinderella player to watch: arguably the best shooter in college basketball, Wofford guard Fletcher Magee. “Sounds like he should be somebody’s butler,” Bilas deadpans.

Before wrapping up our talk in the den, I ask Bilas for some bracket tips, now that we don’t have to feel crappy about obsessing over March Madness and all. Earnestly, he suggests going to KenPom.com, a stats site for hoops wonks, and checking out every team’s offensive and defensive efficiency stats. Okaaay. Bilas recalibrates. Most Americans are allergic to KenPom.com and just want to finish the damn bracket before the deadline. Sensing this, he checks out of “Bilastrator” mode and comes out with a bit of sensible advice. “Go with the toughest mascot,” he says.

This appears in the March 25, 2019 issue of TIME.
Sports – TIME

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Gal Gadot just shut down everyone trying to pit Wonder Woman against Captain Marvel

Gal Gadot just shut down everyone trying to pit Wonder Woman against Captain Marvel


Gal Gadot just shut down everyone trying to pit Wonder Woman against Captain Marvel

Gal Gadot will not allow fans to pit women against each other, thank you very much. The Wonder Woman star took to Instagram on March 11th to praise fellow female superhero actress Brie Larson following the success of her new flick, Captain Marvel, released in theaters on March 8th. Gadot wrote, “I’m so happy for you sister! Congrats.” The message accompanied art of Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel in linked arms by artist Maxy Artwork.

Female superheroes supporting female superheroes.

gal gadot instagram story
Gal Gadot/Instagram Story

The highly anticipated Marvel film, the studio’s first female-led superhero movie, shattered box office records upon its March 8th release. The film earned $ 455 million worldwide during opening weekend, raking in more money than any other 2019 film within the course of just three days. Following the success of Captain Marvel, viewers were quick to compare the film to the 2017 hit Wonder Woman. Of course, there were many fans who were not having such nonsense.

Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins even took to Twitter ahead of Captain Marvel’s release to send some love to the cast and crew. She wrote, “Congratulations team Captain Marvel! Can’t wait to see it and our whole WW crew wish you a great weekend. Love this gorgeous piece by @SamoanJYandall!”

Women supporting women is truly the best superpower.

The post Gal Gadot just shut down everyone trying to pit Wonder Woman against Captain Marvel appeared first on HelloGiggles.

HelloGiggles

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Musk’s SpaceX capsule set to splash down Friday after space station stop

An unmanned capsule from Elon Musk’s SpaceX was due to return to earth on Friday after a short-term stay on the International Space Station, capping the first orbital test mission in NASA’s long-delayed quest to resume human space flight from U.S. soil later this year.


Reuters: Science News

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Elon Musk’s SpaceX capsule splashes down off Florida coast

An unmanned capsule from Elon Musk’s SpaceX splashed down into the Atlantic Ocean on Friday morning after a short-term stay on the International Space Station, capping the first orbital test mission in NASA’s long-delayed quest to resume human space flight from U.S. soil later this year.


Reuters: Science News

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Breaking Down My Walls: How I Learned That Unconditional Love Means A Lot Of Forgiveness

Who doesn’t love days like these?

Source: Dean Mitchell / Getty

Conditions exist in every facet of life. When we leave our overpriced city apartments, we dress for the appropriate weather conditions. There’s conditions when it comes to keeping your job. You gotta show up on time, do the work, all that good stuff.

There are conditions in relationships, too. But it’s not something we talk about enough in our relationships with our family, friends, or significant others.

I’ve had several instances where I’ve felt loved under conditions and when I, too, have loved people conditionally. Whenever I realized this, I knew it was because I wanted to control the outcome. I wanted things to be done my way, I wanted to be right, I wanted to ‘win.’ Over the years, I learned that this thought process was problematic, and I wanted to understand where this mindset stemmed from. I realized that forgiveness, transparency and self-awareness were needed to understand. Were these conditions reasonable and realistic? Or were the conditions set as a means of control?

My introduction to conditions began with my interactions with my parents, as an adult child. If you have strict African parents like mine, you know there will always be reminders that you aren’t doing enough. They keep account of all the times you messed up since the day you were conceived. Around my mid twenties, I had a serious conversation with my Pops about unconditional love.

We had gotten into an argument because he had wanted to put this tracker on my phone. Needless to say, I was adamantly against this and made this known. My dad’s go-to response was to give me the silent treatment for three weeks. It was then that I finally decided to have an honest conversation about his response.

My heart was racing, but I had him on the phone, and decided it was time to really be transparent with him about his communication. I said to him:“If there’s something I can do to make you stop loving me, especially something small, then your love comes with conditions. We can agree to disagree without you shutting me out; that’s not love, and that’s not how we express love. As a parent, you love me unconditionally, regardless of whether you agree with everything I decide to do.”

Needless to say, it was a game changing conversation, and allowed us to really dialogue about where the ‘conditions’ were coming from.

I started to examine my friendships. In my opinion, best friends have an unspoken  commitment to working through difficult situations, no matter what because the love is genuine. I’ve been blessed to be able to really fight through some real stuff in order to mend things with those closest to me. It has not been easy; both parties had to forgive and let go in order to move forward. It’s in those moments, that I knew they were in this thing for life.

On that same note, there are friendships and romantic relationships that faded or were downright ruined because of the tally system. It does us no good to keep score of who forgives who the most, or to focus on winning an argument versus coming to a resolution. There are times when I had to take the loss and come to terms with the part I played in the downfall. 

When it comes to romantic relationships, I don’t think you can truly love a partner with conditions. The idea is that unless you’re protecting yourself from being harmed physically/emotionally, what are these conditions in place for? I think when we think about long term commitments like marriage, we don’t assume our partners will make mistakes. But we will, because we’re human. In order for us to grow and become more self aware, thoughtful people, we have to trust and hope that our significant other gives us the benefit of the doubt and forgives. Because ultimately, with pre-existing conditions, it doesn’t leave much room for redemption.

The problem with conditional relationships is it sets stipulations on what unconditional love and regard for another person should look like. It posits that forgiveness and the potential to move forward does not exist and never was a possibility between friends, lovers and family members. 

There are exceptions to this, of course. It’s important to have boundaries and to advocate for them the moment they are broken. But overall, giving the benefit of the doubt and allowing a potential change to occur shows a sign of emotional maturity.

If you’re keeping receipts, your intentions are never to forgive. It’s to use the gathering of info at the right opportunity. That’s not okay.

You can’t control people, you can only control yourself. You always owe it to yourself to set the tone for how you want to be treated at the beginning. That way there is no confusion. In any relationships, you should know when to call it quits, and when to keep fighting. If this person means everything to you, there are few stipulations that will stop you from mending something that is broken. It’s all about intentions, and something to keep in mind when navigating emotional bonds and communicating with the people that we care for. 

Mora Adeyi works full-time as a social worker, assistant professor, as well as a freelance writer. In her spare time, she loves napping, hanging with her girls, and binge watching romantic comedies. Mora has been writing on love for the past 9 years.

MadameNoire

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Gayle King Faces Down R. Kelly: ‘What Makes You So Special?’

CBS News

Gayle King, host of CBS This Morning, stared down R. Kelly as he loomed above her—ranting and shouting—during an interview about the numerous abuse accusations leveled against him.

King maintained her composure throughout, telling the R&B star to his face that his account lacked credibility.

The veteran interviewer posted an Instagram shot of Kelly towering over her during the interview as he shouted “You don’t want to believe this!”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

The Daily Beast — Entertainment

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Breaking Down the Influences and Themes of Solange’s New Album When I Get Home

Early on Friday morning, Solange Knowles released her fourth studio album, When I Get Home. The 19-track album, which the singer and performance artist teased with a mysterious social media roll-out throughout the week, features star-studded collaborations, references to her hometown of Houston, Texas, interludes from feminist writers and production from her teenage son, Julez.

The project, a follow-up to her critically acclaimed 2016 album, A Seat at the Table, plays like a love letter to the rich culture of the black diaspora, looking to both the past and the future for inspiration. This is most apparent in the incredible range of artists she works with, who range from respected industry veterans like Raphael Saadiq and Pharrell Williams to forward-thinking stars of the moment like Standing on the Corner, Earl Sweatshirt and Playboi Carti. But make no mistake about it — this is Solange’s show, from concept to production.

Here’s everything you need to know about Solange’s When I Get Home album.

When I Get Home pays homage to Solange’s Texas roots.

It’s not just the title of Solange’s new album that honors her Houston, Texas, roots. Texan influence is felt throughout the album, from the tracklist (which references different parts of Houston, including a freeway exit) to the samples (which include a clip of famous Houston natives and siblings Debbie Allen and Phylicia Rashad). Likewise, the lyrics also demonstrate’s Solange’s deep love for Houston; in the song “On the Way to the Show,” Solange sings about candy paint, a type of car finish associated with the flashy slab scene (slabs being “slow, loud and bangin’” cars customized to the max), which started with the black community in Houston.

The message that Texas is home is especially felt when Solange touches on the personal. An interlude on the album is credited to her son Julez, while a pre-release Instagram post shouted out Houston rapper and early collaborator Mike Jones, with a caption that referenced Jones’ predilection for handing out shirts with his cell phone number on the back.

Solange is also planning to host several “album experience” events with her creative agency Saint Heron in Houston on Sunday.

The album had a highly strategic rollout.

While Solange’s fans had been eagerly anticipating a new project since last fall, when she announced that she was putting finishing touches on an album, the singer kept most of the details under wraps until the week of its release. Earlier in the week, Solange created a website via the early-aughts social-media platform and black online community Black Planet, where she debuted media, images and cryptic quotes about the project and teased the possibility of new music. The website gave visual clues that Solange’s project might honor her Houston roots with images of black cowboys and cowgirls, rodeos and Solange herself wearing cowboy boots, along with text that read: “I made the pilgrimage back to the pagoda of third ward houston to answer this.”

However, eagle-eyed Solange fans will recognize that the singer left clues about the album on social media in the two years leading to the release of When I Get Home. In 2017, Solange took selfies with the Wopsters Gucci Mane and his wife Keyshia Ka’oir; Gucci features prominently on the album’s track, “My Skin My Logo.”

Likewise, Solange carried a bottle of Florida water in a bejweled net bag to the 2018 Met Gala and wrote about using the spiritual substance to feel “renewed” in an article in Dazed the same year. On the new album’s interlude “Nothing Without Intention,” she samples spiritualist Goddess Lula Belle’s “Florida Water For Cleansing and Clearing.”

The album expands on the disparate sound of A Seat at the Table.

Like A Seat at the Table, Solange’s new album draws from music across the black diaspora. In October, she discussed the sound of the record with T magazine: “There is a lot of jazz at the core,” she wrote in an email. “But with electronic and hip-hop drum and bass because I want it to bang and make your trunk rattle.”

The lush keyboard chords on ballads like “Time (is)” and “Dreams” are indebted to jazz, with the latter featuring production from the jazz drummer Jamire Williams. There are Moog keyboards and springy, ambling basslines reminiscent of ’70s soul. Solange layers her voice and others in cascades of harmony and also employs trap cadences on more upbeat songs. On “Almeda” and “My Skin My Logo,” she recruits the rappers Playboi Carti and Gucci Mane, respectively, who deliver blithe verses.

The collaborations include marquee names but mostly come from the hip-hop avant-garde.

The credits are packed with prominent names, from Pharrell to Raphael Saadiq to Dev Hynes — who produced her 2012 EP True. But one of the album’s most frequent collaborators is Standing on the Corner, a Brooklyn-based collective with freewheeling, avant-garde impulses. Their most recent release, Red Burns, consists of two 30-minute “sides” that pull together jazz, soul, hip-hop, poetry and mock radio broadcasts. They have closely collaborated with the rapper Earl Sweatshirt, who revels in murky, anti-grid production and also produced the outro on “Dreams.”

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Odd Future, the Los Angeles hip-hop collective known for their grisly sense of humor, transgressive aesthetic choices and strong communal spirit, has a strong presence on When I Get Home. Sweatshirt is a member, as is Tyler the Creator, who appears in dense murmurs and ad-libs on “Time (is) and “My Skin My Logo.” Steve Lacy, the guitarist for the exploratory funk band The Internet — which is led by Odd Future member Syd contributed to three songs. And three tracks feature production from Chassol, a French composer who is also credited on Blonde, the revelatory album by Odd Future member Frank Ocean.

The lyrics deal with strong feminist themes and a celebration of blackness.

A Seat at the Table was hailed as an ode to the strength and beauty of black women’s experiences, and When I Get Home appears to continue in this vein. Drawing on a nuanced, multi-dimensional view of black womanhood, Solange’s samples might speak as loudly as her lyrics when it comes to parsing out desire and love free from restraint, fear or respectability politics: A clip from Alexyss K Tylor, a viral sex expert known for irreverent show Vagina Power, flanks an earnest poem from the late Pat Parker, a lesbian feminist poet and activist. Both are homages to black women who live and love on their terms.

In an equally candid manner, Solange also celebrates her blackness, lacing her lyrics with references to both black struggle and black excellence. “Dollars never show up on CP time / I just wanna wake up on CP time,” she sings on “Binz,” referencing a stereotype about African Americans and lateness. On “Almeda,” she celebrates black and brown things (“Brown leaves, brown keys/ Brown zippers, brown face/ Black skin, black braids / Black waves, black days,”) in a flow reminiscent of the ones used in both A$ AP Mob’s “Black Card” and Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Who Gon Stop Me.”


Entertainment – TIME

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The Weekly Reset: Kickstart your new you and put down your phone.

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And here’s one: You know that confident feeling you get when wearing your favorite suit? Imagine feeling that way about your finances. Personal Capital tracks your net worth and spending for free, so you know where your savings stand and how your investments are performing. Get started here.

It’s Friday. Looking for something to switch up your weekend, or to give you an excuse to relax a little? That’s what the Weekend Reset is for. Each week contributor Tim Johnstone pulls together five things to get your weekend started. Could be something to read or watch, something to eat or listen to, or even something to do. Enjoy the weekend fellas.

 

START: A Bookclub. It’s a good thing.

Dappered.com

Or, join one. I am seeing more and more of my friends joining bookclubs or starting their own. This is a good thing. There are many benefits from being part of a bookclub. There are some good resources out there for guys interested in getting one started and you can find recommended titles here. More and more books now feature bookclub notes, either in the book itself, or online. I really enjoyed the last one I was part of. I read books I never would have otherwise and was glad I did. While food and drink are a regular feature of most clubs, ours made it a point to bring food that matched the locale or geography of the story. This is harder to pull off with some nonfiction books, but it was another aspect of the activity that we looked forward to. You can arrange the club anyway you’d like. Read whatever books you like. And then get together and trade thoughts about what you’ve read sharing that shared experience.

 

SWEAT: Thor wants you to be your best self.

No, this new app didn’t pay to be here. But it does look like it could be the next… thing? Maybe? Chris Hemsworth, his wife Elsa Pataky and his trainer Luke Zocchi have launched a lifestyle app called Centr. They have collaborated with celebrity chefs and elite trainers and well-being experts to bring people a roadmap to a healthier and happier life. Workouts are customizable and tailored to each person’s fitness level. “From the moment we’re made, we’re not finished…We’re all different, but with one inherent power in common: a choice to be a work in progress…to be a human doing rather than a human being.” The program aims to “take the guesswork out of fitness.” The app includes 24/7 access to support and motivation. That’s impressive. If you pay upfront, Centr is $ 10 a month (a year subscription is $ 119). That seems like a reasonable price. There is a free trial so you can get an idea of what Centr is all about.

 

PLAY! Two pop culture favorites join forces and we all win.

Rick and Morty Operations

This is not your grandfather’s Operation. Nope. This is another genius offering from the folks behind Rick & Morty. This particular version of the classic game comes with a 17+ age recommendation. And it is based on the third episode of the first season of the show. Instead of operating on the poor pear-shaped red nosed bastard of yore, you will be taking twitchy tweezers to Ruben. Szechuan sauce not included.

 

LISTEN: Remembering the musician who disappeared from view. 

Mark Hollis, along with his band Talk Talk, was responsible for one of the most remarkable musical transitions over the course of their time together. Hollis died earlier this week at the age of 64. Hollis was the main songwriter and singer. Their early records were stuffed full of memorable synth-pop hits like “Talk Talk,”  “Life’s What You Make It” and “It’s My Life.” They were omnipresent on MTV and the college radio scene. You could hear the steady evolution of their music over those first three records, whereas Talk Talk’s last two albums found Hollis exploring a sound that included elements of jazz, art-rock and ambient pop. Those albums, Spirit Of Eden and Laughing Stock are considered modern classics. They have been hugely influential to many contemporary artists. These particular albums are not to be consumed as background music. With their quiet structures, these songs require attention. It also becomes much more rich with repeated listenings. Hollis was a musician’s musician and his legacy can be seen in the many responses to his death among many, many artists.

 

READ: Breaking up is hard to do. But it’s worth it.

How To Break Up With Your Phone

Thanks to reader Brandon D. for passing this along. I’m guessing that more than a few of you have wondered if being tethered to the world in such a manner is worth it. Your phone can be demanding, an attention vampire of the worst sort. Disconnecting might seem like an impossible task until you do it. By the time you realize you’ve done it, you realize you don’t miss it as much as you thought.

Tim Johnstone is Dappered’s music correspondent as well as our resident gatherer of all things interwebs related. He’s currently chasing his spirit animal. He is not a fan of pudding. But he does love himself some Siouxsie Sioux.


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Art or show? 200,000 euros to burn down a statue of Spain’s king

If you want a 4-metre (13-foot) sculpture of Spain’s King Felipe and have a spare 200,000 euros ($ 228,000) you are in luck. There’s just one catch: you have to agree to burn it down.


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HBO CEO Richard Plepler to step down amid AT&T restructuring

Winter has come for Richard Plepler. The suntanned, smooth-talking Hollywood mogul — who as boss of HBO for the past 27 years has greenlighted a slew of hits including “Game of Thrones” — is stepping down amid a brutal reshuffling under corporate parent AT&T. Insiders said Plepler, 59, appears to be leaving after losing a…
Business | New York Post

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Rakuten’s all-cloud mobile network goes down a storm in Barcelona

Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten plans to become Japan’s fourth mobile operator this year with what its says is the world’s first fully cloud-based mobile network, creating a potential template for international expansion.


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When Jillian Gets Combative With Iyanla Filming Has To Shut Down | Iyanla: Fix My Life | OWN

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NHL roundup: Flames down Ducks, extend hot streak

Andrew Mangiapane scored the game-winning goal late in the third period, and TJ Brodie collected a goal and an assist as the host Calgary Flames won their fourth consecutive game, defeating the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 on Friday night.


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Japanese space probe touches down on asteroid to collect samples

A Japanese space probe named after a falcon, Hayabusa 2, has touched down on an asteroid more than 300 million km (186 million miles) from Earth on a mission to seek clues about the origins of life, Japan’s space agency said on Friday.


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Pinterest cracks down on anti-vaxxers, pressuring Facebook to follow

Pinterest has taken the boldest step thus far among the largest tech giants in blocking bad health advice.
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Heineken FY18 Profit Down, Volume Up; Sees Profit Growth In FY19; Stock Up

Dutch brewer company Heineken NV (reported Wednesday weak net profit in its fiscal year 2018 on charges, while revenues were higher with improved beer volume. Looking ahead for fiscal 2019, the company anticipates adjusted operating profit to grow by mid-single digit on an organic basis. In Amsterdam, Heineken shares were gaining around 5 percent in the morning trading.
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Schiff: Trump ‘daring the courts’ to strike down national emergency

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said Sunday the national emergency President Donald Trump announced is unconstitutional because he declared the emergency when “Congress explicitly rejected” the money for the wall on the southern border in the funding package.


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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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Justin Theroux Breaks Down What It Was Like Playing ‘Latin Lover Jesus’ In ‘The Ten’ | 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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California driver hit with DUI after mowing down 9 pedestrians, police say

Nine people were injured early Sunday after a California driver who was allegedly on drugs mowed down pedestrians in California and trapped some under his vehicle, police said.
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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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Congressional Talks on Border Security Are Said to Have Broken Down

Talks to avert a second government shutdown over border wall funding broke down on Saturday, and Republicans and Democrats have stopped communicating for now, according to two people familiar with the state of the talks.

The latest sticking point appears to be over detention beds operated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, one person said.

Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, said Sunday that a shutdown isn’t the most likely option but that he “absolutely cannot” rule it out.

“He’s going to do whatever he legally can to secure the border,” Mulvaney said of President Donald Trump on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” one of two scheduled appearances on Sunday talk shows.

“You cannot take a shutdown off the table, and you cannot take $ 5.7 (billion) off the table,” he said, referring to the level of funds Trump has been demanding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border.

Mulvaney spoke as Congressional negotiators continue talks on a security plan that includes some sort of barrier on the border, hoping to complete a deal to avert another government shutdown. It wasn’t fair to say that Trump would sign whatever Congress comes up with, Mulvaney said, terming the level of proposed border wall funding “all over the map.”

As of Saturday it seemed that negotiators were homing in on a proposal with border barrier funding of between $ 1.3 billion and $ 2 billion, said a person familiar with the talks.

Trump was back in the fray late Saturday afternoon, indicating in a tweet that if Democrats didn’t give him all the wall money he’s demanded, he may use executive action to build it. Democrats have warned such action would face court challenges, and some Republicans have suggested it’s an option best avoided.

Fortune

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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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Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

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Handling Homeowner Objections to Move Leads Down the Sales Funnel

No matter what kind of sales you’re in, you will always combat objections as you push to drive more leads into customers. Especially in the home improvement industry, homeowners are automatically skeptical before they’ve even had a chance to speak with you. In a perfect world, you receive a homeowner lead, they’re thrilled to meet with you, and ready to sign on the dotted line to begin their project.

We all know it’s rarely that easy to drive more sales, so we’ve compiled a list of common objections you’ll face with answers to keep your conversations going with the ultimate goal of getting to the appointment stage.

“I was just shopping”

Great, that’s where it all begins. A great next step is to have one of our energy efficiency experts come to your home and give you a free estimate and let you know how much you could save on your electric bill. Would 3:00 Thursday work for you?

 

“I only need a minor repair”

Did the glass break or is it the window itself? (if window)…that’s too bad, do you know how old the windows are? It is possible this is the beginning of more trouble and that you are also spending way too much on your electric bills. We should have an efficiency expert come and inspect the windows and give you a replacement estimate. Would 3:00 Thursday work for you?

 

“You have the wrong number”

I am sorry to bother you and will update our records, but since I have you on the phone, we are having a special right now on ______, would you like to have someone come out and give you a free estimate?

 

“I’m not ready to start yet”

Great, I hear that from a lot of our customers, which is why our free estimates are good for six months… it allows you to budget and plan for an exact date. But since I have you on the phone, we are having a special right now on ______, would you like to have someone come out and give you a free estimate? Would 3:00 Thursday work for you?

 

“I already have a contractor”

That’s great. Lots of times I speak with homeowner’s who have an estimate and want a second one to compare prices, quality and reputation. What time Thursday would work for one of our energy efficiency experts to come out and give you a free estimate?

 

“I never put in a request”

Then I am sorry to bother you and will take your name off our list, but since I have you on the phone, we are having a special right now on ______, would you like to have someone come out and give you a free estimate?

 

“I only need materials”

No problem, I hear that all of the time, and, while we don’t just sell materials, I speak to homeowners who want to do the work themselves every week and then, when they get into the project, decide to get a professional. Since the estimate is free, we could come out and give you one and you could have it in case you decide you want it done by experts. Would 3:00 Thursday work for you?

 

“I really only want quote over the phone”

I appreciate that and I am the same way, but giving you an estimate without seeing the windows would be like diagnosing and illness without seeing a doctor, it is a guess and will likely be wrong. We have trained professionals who are friendly, fast and intelligent. What time Thursday would be good to have someone come out and give you a free estimate?

 

“I have already received numerous calls; I’m not interested in speaking with anyone else”

I am so sorry, I know how annoying that can be and we won’t call again, but since we are talking now, we are an Angie’s List super service provider and we are running a special right now, it is a great time to get a free estimate from us. What time Thursday would be good to have someone come out and give you a free estimate?

 

Notice that our suggested responses have the deliberate intention of empathizing with the homeowner and giving a clear call to action with a time and date to set an appointment. Any objection can be met with a delicate approach to continue driving any lead further down the sales funnel. Now, go out there and turn those objections into completed projects!

Ready to grow your business?

The post Handling Homeowner Objections to Move Leads Down the Sales Funnel appeared first on Modernize.

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2.7.19 Safeguard your ID while traveling; CFPB waters down payday lending rule; Paid leave

Clark gives you practical info for how to safeguard your electronic devices while traveling; The CFPB is back tracking on rules for payday lending standards; Paid leave is a hotly debated topic in this country. Clark talks about a few employers doing things differently and weighs in on how he thinks we should change pay leave policy in America.

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LeBron James didn’t like how Harrison Barnes trade went down

LeBron James isn’t happy with the way Harrison Barnes got traded on Wednesday. “So let me guess this is cool cause they had to do what was best for the franchise right??? Traded this man while he was literally playing in the game and had ZERO idea,” James said on his Instagram account after it…
Sports | New York Post

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Daimler Q4 Profit Down, Cuts Dividend; Sees Slight Growth In FY19; Stock Dips

Shares of Daimler AG were losing around 2 percent in the early morning trading in Germany after the automaker on Wednesday reported that its fourth-quarter profit halved, despite higher sales and unit volume. The company also trimmed its dividend. Looking ahead, for fiscal 2019, the company expects slight increase in Group EBIT, revenues and unit sales.
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Unsurprisingly, Netflix viewership is way down because of the Super Bowl

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Netflix is famously coy about releasing viewership stats.

But in light of the Super Bowl, the streaming service subtly dropped on Twitter that numbers are down because everyone’s watching the big game.

What’s surprising though, is that numbers in the U.S. are only down 32 percent compared to a normal Sunday. And look, maybe it’s because of how dull the big game is this year. 

so apparently this Super Bowl thing is kind of a big deal … looks like Netflix viewing in the US is down about 32% compared to a normal Sunday

— Netflix US (@netflix) February 4, 2019 Read more…

More about Tech, Netflix, Streaming Services, Super Bowl 2019, and Tech


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Gov. Northam refuses to step down, despite flood of calls for his resignation over racist photo

Northam insists he is not in the photo in the 1984 medical school yearbook.
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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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Dressing Down the Double-Breasted Suit/Jacket

Aside from formal evening attire, double-breasted suits used to be as formal as it gets when it came to suits. You may have a couple of them in your closet and you’re not quite sure how you can incorporate your DB jackets into your current wardrobe, you came to the right place!

Ways To Dress Down Your DB Suit/Jacket

SRS wearing a DB jacket with a denim shirt

1. Do Pair Your DB Jacket With More Casual Pants & Shirts.

Specifically, that means skip the white or pale blue shirt and instead, go with something maybe in a washed denim. Alternatively, you could also go with flannel because it makes you look softer and more relaxed. In terms of colors, consider earthy tones and pastel tones in the range of brown, ivory, or yellow. These warm colors are perfect when combined with a double-breasted jacket. Alternatively, you can go with check shirts ideally with some color such as maybe red or blue, maybe green, or something darker but you want to incorporate color because that sets the shirt apart from a formal business shirt. For your pants or trousers, it means that you can go distinctly more casual.

Allen Edmonds Suede Chukka Boots with Corduroy
Allen Edmonds Suede Chukka Boots with Corduroy

You can either go with corduroys in the summer, maybe with some linen blends, maybe moleskin, or anything else that’s considered casual except maybe jeans because they’re just too informal. Of course, you can also consider chinos or maybe even a pair of navy suit trousers to combine it depending on your overall look and the feel you want to get. At the end of the day, make sure that your trousers contrast your double-breasted jacket.

Ace Marks Monkstrap Brandy Antique
Ace Marks Monkstrap Brandy Antique

2. Do Pair Your DB Jackets With Informal Accessories & Shoes.

That means skip the oxford and instead go with a monk strap shoe, maybe a double monk or loafers. Traditionally, most men would have never worn a loafer with a double-breasted jacket but it’s something the Duke of Windsor introduced simply because it made everything more relaxed. In terms of shoe colors, brown is your friend, it makes everything more casual but you can even go a little further, maybe opt for olive green, maybe a light gray, or just something unusual that you wouldn’t find in a classic business wardrobe. That being said, burgundy or oxblood is always your friend. You can also opt for suede shoes because suede is always more casual than a regular calf leather. Choose derbies over oxfords because they’re a little less formal.

If you only have oxfords or only formal derbies, consider getting colorful shoelaces because they really break up the formality of your shoes and make it look like an entirely new pair which is great for casual DB combinations.

Dark red, light blue, tobacco brown silk knit ties by Fort Belvedere
Dark red, light blue, tobacco brown silk knit ties by Fort Belvedere

If you want to have something around your neck, go with a knit tie, not with a classic silk tie and maybe something in wool or something that’s a little more casual, relaxed, and softer. If you have a worsted jacket, maybe go with a wool pocket square because it tones down the formality. If you have a flannel DB jacket, you can go with something like silk because it’s a contrasting texture and it just rounds out your entire outfit. Overall, get something with colors or patterns, not a plain white linen pocket square because that would be too formal.

3. Consider Skipping Accessories Altogether.

That means no tie and instead of over the calf socks, go with no-show socks, that gives your ensemble definitely a very casual appearance. Of course, the notion of no sock look only works during the summer, otherwise, you’ll be too cold. If you wear a shirt, skip the cufflinks, go with a barrel cuff, you can even leave it unbuttoned for a very casual feel.

The quintessential navy blazer
The quintessential navy blazer

4. Get Casual Buttons.

If you have dark horn buttons or maybe plastic buttons, they look very formal. On a double-breasted jacket such as a navy blazer, adding maybe mother-of-pearl buttons in a contrasting white is a clear sign to dress something down. As a general rule of thumb, the lighter the button color and the more contrasting, the more casual the overall look and feel.

Light Blue Wool sport coat with contrast buttons in 6x2 DB style
Light Blue Wool sport coat with contrast buttons in 6×2 DB style

5. Play With Your Button Configurations.

Most double-breasted jackets or suits come in a six-two configuration, two of which are buttoned. Traditionally, you’d button the two lower ones which would create a much more formal look. Alternatively, you can leave the bottom button undone or you can button the whole thing just on the bottom row and see how it looks. You could also consider unbuttoning the jigger button on the inside which will cause your lapel to be not as structured and will be a little less symmetrical and therefore, more casual.

Some people will even go as far to button the outside bottom button but the inside top jigger button which really results into a kind of asymmetrical look and I suggest you skip that because it just looks like something is wrong with your suit but people can’t pinpoint it. Overall, it doesn’t make you look more casual but more like someone who has glasses on that are crooked.

DB jacket paired with a turtleneck

6. Pair Your DB Jacket With A Sweater Or Polo Shirt.

Sweaters and cardigans are obviously less formal than dress shirts. For a casual DB ensemble, the turtleneck sweater is ideal because it creates some visual interest in an area where you usually have a neckwear or a bow tie. Because it covers your neck, you’ll feel warmer which is in line with the two layers of fabric in the double-breasted jacket that will keep you warmer than a comparatively single-breasted one. For example, let’s say you have a navy double-breasted suit or a navy blazer, it can look really great with a lighter or medium gray turtleneck sweater.

SRS wearing several DB jacket combinations

Ideally, you want a melange thread which means it has multiple colors and when knitted into a sweater, you can have different flecks of color which is a lot more casual than a solid white sweater, for example. Now instead of wearing the suit pants, pair it with a pair of chinos or corduroys and you have a much more casual look. If you find a turtleneck uncomfortable, maybe consider a knitted wool polo shirt, just make sure it has long sleeves, otherwise, it will look odd and don’t go with the seasonality of a double-breasted jacket. In terms of colors, go with ranges of off-white, medium grey, earth tones, or things like a darker green. If you want to add a bit more contrast, you can also make a statement with something in red.

In general, you always want to create a certain amount of contrast between your turtleneck sweater or your polo shirt and your jacket as well as the pants. If you want to dress down a double-breasted jacket in the summer, you can opt for louder shirts with bolder patterns or colors or maybe polo shirts but you definitely want cotton over wool, otherwise, you will overheat.

Yours Truly in Firenze wearing a vintage brown flannel glencheck
Yours Truly in Firenze wearing a vintage brown DB flannel glencheck

7. Intentionally Buy More Casual DB Jackets.

Opting for something maybe in a linen fabric or something with a Glen check pattern in gray with colors of maybe purple or green is just a lot more casual and the whole look is easier to pull off. That being said, features like patch pockets versus flap pockets or jetted pockets are always more casual. Moreover, look at the texture of the fabric. A flannel with its hairy texture and touch will always be less formal than a worsted fabric in the same color and weight. Avoid solids and rather go with small patterns such as a Glen check or a small regular check. Definitely, don’t go with a striped jacket because that’s inherently more formal and pairing it down with something more casual is just a clash that is too much.

What To Avoid…

Never attempt to wear your Db business jackets with jeans
Never attempt to wear your Db business jackets with jeans

1. Don’t Pair It With Denim Jeans.

Denim is simply too casual and will clash with the formality of the double-breasted coat. Instead, opt for something such as off-white flannel pants, it’s a lot better and more stylish.

Double Breasted Plaid Suit Worn Unbuttoned
Double Breasted Plaid Suit Worn Unbuttoned

2. Don’t Wear It Unbuttoned.

Unless it’s your idea of sprezzatura, I suggest you keep your jacket buttoned that means at least one button somewhere and you can play around with it and find what works for you and your jacket. Otherwise, a DB jacket is not designed to be worn unbuttoned and it will simply look off. If you have a tight double-breasted jacket to begin with, adding a turtleneck sweater will make it even tighter so you may have to play around with the buttoning, otherwise, it looks tight.

3. Don’t Try To Dress Down A Striped Jacket.

A striped DB jacket is a very formal garment that is usually seen on Wall Street or in a business environment. Combining it with a casual sweater and casual pants is simply not something that will work and will always look weird. In the same vein, don’t try to dress down double-breasted tuxedo jackets or dinner jackets, it simply won’t work.

Pitti Uomo 89
Pitti Uomo 89

4. Don’t Try To Put Your Hands In Your Pockets.

Yes, it is true, having a hand in your pocket makes you look more relaxed but overall, if you try to just have your hands in your pockets all the time, you end up having your clothes wearing you rather than you wearing the clothes. In my opinion, it is very self-conscious even though some people might do it in Pitti Uomo in the hopes of getting photographed, it’s impractical and not something a confident gentleman would do.

How do you dress down your double-breasted jackets? Let us know in the comments below!


Gentleman’s Gazette

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Hope You’re Sitting Down: Hospital Charges $4,700 For A Fainting Spell

Listen to NPR’s All Things Considered tonight for our audio report on Bill of the Month. It’s scheduled to air at approximately 5:20 p.m. on your local public radio station.

Matt Gleason had skipped getting a flu shot for more than a decade.

But after suffering a nasty bout of the virus last winter, he decided to get vaccinated at his Charlotte, N.C., workplace in October. “It was super easy and free,” said Gleason, 39, a sales operations analyst.

That is, until Gleason fainted five minutes after getting the shot. Though he came to quickly and had a history of fainting, his colleague called 911. And when the paramedics sat him up, he began vomiting. That symptom worried him enough to agree to go to the hospital in an ambulance.

He spent the next eight hours at a nearby hospital — mostly in the emergency room waiting area. He had one consult with a doctor via teleconference as he was getting an electrocardiogram. He was feeling much better by the time he saw an in-person doctor, who ordered blood and urine tests and a chest-X-ray.

All the tests to rule out a heart attack or other serious condition were negative, and he was sent home at 10:30 p.m.

And then the bill came.

The Patient: Matt Gleason, who works for Flexential, an information technology firm in Charlotte. He is married with two children.

Total Bill: $ 4,692 for all the hospital care, including $ 2,961 for the ER admission fee, $ 400 for an EKG, $ 348 for a chest X-ray, $ 83 for a urinalysis and nearly $ 1,000 for various blood tests. Gleason’s insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, negotiated discounts for the in-network hospital and reduced those costs to $ 3,711. Gleason is responsible for that entire amount because he had a $ 4,000 annual deductible. (The ambulance company and the ER doctor billed Gleason separately for their services, each about $ 1,300, but his out-of-pocket charge for each was $ 250 under his insurance.)

Matt Gleason questioned many of the charges he was billed after a trip to the ER and asked the health care provider for clarity. They sent him their chargemaster so he could investigate the charges himself.(Logan Cyrus for KHN)

Service Provider: Atrium Health Pineville (formerly called Carolinas HealthCare System-Pineville), a 235-bed nonprofit hospital in Charlotte and one of more than 40 hospitals owned by Atrium.

Medical Service: On Oct. 4, Gleason was taken by ambulance to Atrium Health Pineville emergency room to be evaluated after briefly passing out and vomiting following a flu shot. He was given several tests, mostly to check for a heart attack. 

What Gives: Fainting after getting the flu vaccine or other shots is a well-described phenomenon in the medical literature. But once 911 is summoned, you could be facing an ER work-up. And, in the U.S., that usually means big money.

The biggest part of Gleason’s bill — $ 2,961 — was the general ER fee. Atrium coded Gleason’s ER visit as a Level 5 — the second-highest and second-most expensive — on a 6-point scale. It is one step below the code for someone who has a gunshot wound or major injuries from a car accident. Gleason was told by the hospital that his admission was a Level 5 because he received at least three medical tests.

Gleason argued he should have paid a lower-level ER fee, considering his relatively mild symptoms and how he spent most of the eight hours in the ER waiting area.

The American Hospital Association, the American College of Emergency Physicians and other health groups devised criteria in 2000 to bring some uniformity to emergency room billing. The different levels reflect the varying amount of resources (equipment and supplies) the hospital uses for the particular ER level. Level 1 represents the lowest level of ER facility fees, while ER Level 6, or critical care, is the highest. Many hospitals have adopted the voluntary guidelines.

David McKenzie, reimbursement director at the American College of Emergency Physicians, said the guidelines were set up to help hospitals charge appropriately. Asked if hospitals have an incentive to perform extra tests to get patients to a higher-cost billing code, McKenzie said: “It’s not a perfect system. Hospitals have an incentive to do a CT exam, and taxi drivers have an incentive to take the long way home.”

The guidelines don’t determine the prices hospitals set for each ER level. Hospitals are free to set whatever prices they want as long as their system is consistent among patients, he said.

He said the multiple tests on Gleason suggest the hospital was worried he could be seriously ill. But he questioned why Gleason was told to stay in the ER waiting area for several hours if that was the case. It’s also not clear if Gleason’s history of fainting and overall good health were considered.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina said in a statement that the hospital “appears to have billed Gleason appropriately.” It noted the hospital reduced its costs by about $ 980 because of the insurer’s negotiated rates. But the insurer said it has no way to reduce the general ER admission fee.

“We work hard to negotiate discounts that reduce costs for our members, but costs are still far too high,” the insurer said. “This forces consumers to pay more out of pocket and drives up premiums.”

Gleason, in fighting his bill, actually got the hospital to send him its entire “chargemaster” price list for every code – a 250-page, double-sided document on paper. He was charged several hundred dollars more than the listed price for his Level 5 ER visit.

Gleason reviews the chargemaster he received from Atrium Health.(Logan Cyrus for KHN)

“In this specific example, the price of admission to the ER was more than $ 2,960. That was on top of more than $ 1,000 for the medical procedures actually performed. We won’t significantly bring down health care costs until we address the high prices like these,” BCBS-NC said in the statement.

John Hennessy, chief business development officer for WellRithms, a consulting firm that reviews bills for large employers, said the hospital charges are significantly higher than what Medicare pays in the Charlotte area, but those are the prices Gleason’s insurer has negotiated. “Seeing billed charges well in excess of what Medicare pays is nothing unusual,” Hennessy said.

He said the insurer likely agreed to the higher charges to make sure it had the large hospital system in its network. Atrium is the biggest health system in North Carolina.

He said the coding “makes sense” because it meets the guidelines — even if that meant a nearly $ 4,000 bill for Gleason.

“The hospital has every right to collect it, regardless if you or I think it’s a fair price,” he said.

Gleason says the $ 3,700 hospital bill won’t bankrupt his family, but “what it does is wipe out our savings.”(Logan Cyrus for KHN)

Resolution: After Gleason appealed, Atrium Health reviewed the bill but didn’t make any changes. “I understand you may be frustrated with the cost of your visit; however, based on these findings, we are not able to make any adjustments to your account,” Josh Crawford, nurse manager for the hospital’s emergency department, wrote to Gleason on Nov. 15.

Atrium Health, in a statement to KHN and NPR, defended its care and charges as “appropriate.”

“The symptoms Mr. Gleason presented with could have been any number of things — some of them fatal,” the hospital said.

“Atrium Health has set criteria which determines at what level an [emergency department] visit is charged. In Mr. Gleason’s case, there were several variables that made this a Level 5 visit, including arriving by ambulance and three or more different departmental diagnostic tests.”

Gleason said the $ 3,700 hospital bill won’t bankrupt his family. “What it does is wipe out our savings,” he added.

The Takeaway: Gleason, understandably, said he’s reluctant to get a flu shot in the future. But that’s not the best response. It’s important to know that fainting is a known reaction to shots and some people seem particularly prone. It’s best to sit or lie down when you get the vaccine, and wait five to 10 minutes before jumping up and returning to business.

Be aware: If you — or someone else — calls 911 for a health emergency, you are very likely to be taken to the hospital. You probably won’t have a choice of which one. And a hospital trip may not even be needed, so think before you call: “How do I feel?”

The medical professional who administered the shot might have suggested that calling 911 wasn’t a smart or needed response for a known side effect of a vaccine injection in a young person.

The emergency room is the most expensive place to seek care.

In hindsight, Gleason might have gone to an urgent care facility or called his primary care doctor, who could have evaluated him and run some tests at much lower prices, if needed.

But employers, hospitals and doctors regularly tell patients if they need immediate care to go to the ER, and hospitals often tout short waiting times in their ERs.

With high deductibles becoming more common, consumers need to be aware that a single trip to the hospital, especially an ER, could cost them thousands of dollars — even for symptoms that turn out to be nothing serious.

Alex Olgin of WFAE and Elisabeth Rosenthal of Kaiser Health News contributed to the audio version of this story.

Do you have an exorbitant or baffling medical bill? Join the KHN and NPR Bill-of-the-Month Club and tell us about your experience.

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A Winter Storm and Thousands of Super Bowl Fans Are Bearing Down on Snow-Shy Atlanta

(ATLANTA) — Five years after cars, trucks and school buses became marooned on Atlanta freeways in what became known as “snow jam ,” another winter storm is threatening the city — just as thousands of fans begin pouring into town for Super Bowl 53.

A winter storm watch goes into effect at 4 a.m. Tuesday for Atlanta, a city known for grinding to a halt even in relatively light snowfalls.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Monday said state offices in more than 30 counties in the northern part of the state would be closed Tuesday, including those in the Atlanta area.

The National Weather Service projects that up to an inch (2.5 centimeters) of snow is possible Tuesday in Atlanta, with up to 2 inches (5 centimeters) in far northern suburbs. Forecasters warn of the possibility of ice-glazed roads and highways.

The potential for black ice is “the overriding concern,” said Homer Bryson, director of the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency.

“Temperatures are going to plummet,” the governor said at a Monday news conference.

“It’s very similar to what we saw in 2014 where the roadways will not have time to dry off before the moisture or precipitation on them refreezes,” Kemp said. “And that’s when you have black ice, and that’s what causes wrecks, which causes gridlock and public safety issues, injuries.”

Sunday’s Super Bowl will be played in downtown Atlanta in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which has a roof. The roof will be open if weather permits, officials have said.

There’s a 40 percent chance of showers Sunday, but highs will be near 58 degrees (14 Celsius). That’s slightly warmer than average for Feb. 3 in Atlanta, climate records show.

But forecasters say the more immediate threat is Tuesday, when roads could be treacherous.

“It is often easy to pass judgment on how we in Georgia deal with snow and ice, but for those from the north what you do know is that an ice event is very different than a snow event,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Monday. “And because we don’t want a repeat of 2014, we have already begun to pretreat our streets and are paying particularly attention to our sidewalks because we do know that we will have many visitors in our tourist areas.”

Forecasters were uncertain how widespread the snowfall will be.

“Some uncertainty continues regarding amounts of snow accumulations and how far south and east the threat may extend,” the weather service said in a Monday update on the approaching storm.

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Coronation Street fans in tears as Sinead Tinker breaks down over dying before her baby son can remember her

CORONATION Street fans are in tears after Sinead Tinker broke down after she realised she could die from cancer and wouldn’t see her baby son grow up.

The seamstress – who is played by actress Katie McGlynn in the ITV soap – sobbed in fear of her son never knowing who she is in tonight’s second episode.

Sinead had viewers in tears tonight as she wept over her baby boy

The doctors told Sinead and her husband Daniel Osbourne that baby Bertie was almost out of the woods with his bowel condition.

“No surgery needed, it’s all good,” the nurse told them both.

But while it was good news for the baby, Sinead had a heartbreaking reaction.

A tearful Sinead told Daniel: “What if I die Daniel?

Bertie’s bowel condition hadn’t worsened and the nurses were confident he would be OK
Daniel tried his best to reassure his wife over her fears

“Like you said before he’s not going to remember this.

“He’s not going to remember me. I’m just going to be a photo of a stranger.

“I just can’t bear the thought he won’t know how much I loved him. I wanted to bake him birthday cakes, take him to school…”

And as she sobbed Daniel insisted it would all be fine and she would recover and be able to do all that.


But fans were already crying over Katie’s performance as terrified Sinead.

One said: “Poor Sinead, please don’t panic Sinead such a tiny baby tho #corrie”

A second added: “Awwwwww it makes me sad watching Sinead Daniel and Bertie #Corrie @itvcorrie”


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