‘Enough Is Enough.’ California Governor Calls to Halt Racing at Santa Anita Park After 29 Horse Deaths

The staggering number of horse deaths at the Santa Anita race track has California Governor Gavin Newsom demanding change.

Enough is enough,” he said in a statement Tuesday. “I am calling on the California Horse Racing Board to ensure that no horse races until they are examined by independent veterinarians and are found fit to compete.”

Twenty-nine horses have died since the park’s racing season began in December, and with almost two weeks still to go before its formal end, alarm over the death toll has grown. Among the variables thought to contribute to the deaths are the use of whips, drugs and medications, and the general track conditions, according to The New York Times and other outlets. But the problem may lie with the nature of the industry itself, although some changes have recently been enacted.

The track shut down in March after the number of horse fatalities reached 23, but reopened just weeks later following the board’s passage of stricter safety reforms. Yet, the deaths continued.

Formal Dude and Truffalino, two horses who raced at the track, are among the most recent racing deaths. The horses, who passed away just one day apart earlier this month, suffered from race-day injuries. For Truffalino, it was believed he died of a heart attack. They join the dozens of other horses who have met an untimely end at the Arcadia track, located just outside of Los Angeles, this year.

According to the Santa Anita website, the park’s board enacted reforms in March to limit the use of anti-inflammatory and pain medications in an effort to improve the horses’ health and to prevent life-threatening injuries on race day. The website also states that California racing standards maintain “some of the strictest crop rules in the world.”

In a press release, The Stronach Group, which owns the track, claims that since the reforms passed, there has been a 50 percent decrease in “catastrophic” race-day injuries and an 84 percent decrease during training sessions. The group also says they are working with the California Horse Racing Board to resolve horse safety concerns.

This past Sunday, following the deaths of Formal Dude and Truffalino, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) asked Santa Anita to end their meet seven days early. However, the track currently remains in operation. Santa Anita is also still currently scheduled to host the Breeders’ Cup this November.

The CHRB and The Stronach Group did not immediately respond to TIME’s request for comment.

With close to two weeks still left in the current season, and an even bigger event on the horizon, all eyes will be trained on the track—not just to see who crosses the finish line, but to see who might not.

Sports – TIME

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Review: Always Be My Maybe Is Maybe Almost Good. Is That Good Enough?

It’s ridiculous that Hollywood can go for 25 years without making a single movie featuring a predominantly Asian cast: That’s the number of years stretching between 1993’s The Joy Luck Club and last year’s Crazy Rich Asians, and there’s no excuse for it. But while movies need more representation of all kinds of people, we should also be demanding that those movies aspire to a certain level of quality. The Netflix romantic comedy Always Be My Maybe has so much going for it: Two appealing leads, Ali Wong and Randall Park (both of whom also wrote the script, with Micheal Golamco); an assortment of likable supporting players; and a sly, witty cameo from Keanu Reeves. Some of the writing is sparkling. Joke for joke, there’s probably just enough to keep you laughing. But if Always Be My Maybe isn’t terrible, it’s still lackluster enough to make you feel that underserved and underrepresented audiences deserve more.

Park and Wong play Marcus and Sasha, San Francisco natives who were fast friends as kids and into their teen years, but who have grown apart in adulthood. As a child, Sasha was largely left on her own by her hardworking Chinese-immigrant parents; she found a welcoming warmth in Marcus’s household, and his mother, Judy (Susan Park), would let her help with the cooking: “We Koreans use scissors for everything,” she explains, snipping away at a handful of green onions as she prepares a kimchi stew.

But when Marcus and Sasha are teenagers, Judy dies suddenly. Sasha tries to comfort her best friend; the two end up sleeping together, with disastrous results. Fast-forward 15 years: Sasha has become an enormously successful chef in Los Angeles. Marcus has stayed put in San Francisco, working in his father’s air-conditioning business. At night, he plays in a band that’s going nowhere (it’s called Hello Peril), and that seems to suit him just fine; he believes his widowed dad, Harry (played, charmingly, by James Saito), needs him close by.

Sasha and Marcus reconnect, not-so-accidentally, when Sasha moves back to San Francisco temporarily to start a new restaurant. Things are rocky at first; Marcus has a loopy, artsy girlfriend (Vivian Bang, spacey and bright) who’s nice enough but all wrong for him. Sasha, recently dumped by her way-too-slick fiancé (Daniel Dae Kim), is trying to date—a possible dream guy seems dreamy, until he isn’t. Eventually, as you’ve probably guessed, the sparks reignite between Marcus and Sasha, and the sex is much better the second time around. But the story needs something to drive them apart again: Insert predictable, manufactured crisis here.

The plot points in Always Be My Maybe—the directorial debut of Nahnatchka Khan, who has worked in TV as a writer and producer—are strung together in a way that’s rote and predictable. That’s not to say that romantic comedies need an excessive number of twists; the basic formula is one of the great pleasures of the genre by itself. But you want to enjoy spending time with characters, not feeling that you’re simply stumbling with them toward some predestined finish line. Always Be My Maybe has that made-for-the-small-screen quality, almost a movie but not quite—it feels rushed, rough and a bit too casual, as if the script needed just another draft or two. The sets could have used a few more dollars thrown their way, and some of the scenes might have benefited from a few more takes. It’s hard not to feel that audiences deserves better.

Still, some of the jokes in Always Be My Maybe work marvelously. Marcus’s dad is star-struck when he sees Sasha, rich and successful, for the first time in years: “You’re like our own Asian Oprah!” And then, a beat later, he asks sincerely: “How much money do you have now?” Attending the lavish birthday party her parents are throwing for their eight-year-old godchild, Sasha reflects on her own upbringing, grousing, “Do you know what my parents gave me for my eighth birthday? Flip-flops.” And Reeves is wise, wicked and wonderful in his small role. While dining in one of those tony modern minimalist establishments, he politely quizzes the waiter, “Let me ask, do you have any dishes that play with time? With the concept of time?” It’s one of those perfectly silly lines that hangs there in space, in search of a better movie. For now, it’s parked in Always Be My Maybe, and that will just have to do.


Entertainment – TIME

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“We don’t have enough housing,” incoming Freddie Mac CEO at CNBC’s Capital Exchange Summit

Incoming Freddie Mac CEO sits down with Diana Olick at CNBC's Capital Exchange Summit, alongside Taylor Morrison CEO Sheryl Palmer. While he says there's "no major dip likely in front of us," the bigger issue is "no one can figure out a way to build more affordable" without a change in regulatory structure.
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Viewpoints: Lessons On Compulsory Vaccinations And New York’s Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Community; Social Media Isn’t Doing Enough To Help Spread Truth About Measles

Opinion writers weigh in on the current measles outbreaks and the importance of vaccines.
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Game of Thrones Fans Have Come Up With Some Memes Epic Enough for That Premiere

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones.

Game of Thrones season 8 finally premiered Sunday night and not only was it worth waiting for, it was worth joking about online.

Maybe you thought the episode was just another one of your wild dreams, but no, that spiral thing happened and Jon did actually ride before he finally learned the truth about his family.

And as he did, fans found the humor in the drama of the epic fantasy series, blending the two into a series of therapeutic Game of Thrones memes and season 8 premiere memes most fans can relate to.

The premiere was filled wall to wall with memorable moments. There was Dany’s icy Winterfell reception, Samwell Tarly breaking the news of Jon Snow’s true heritage—and connection to Daenerys. There was Cersei’s shaky alliance with Euron. And at last, Jon Snow riding the Rhaegal. But some had more comedic potential than others, and the GIFs capture them all.

You can’t deny the meme-makers are some of your fastest and most enjoyable informal authorities on masterpiece television, particularly the moment to moment shocks of a popular show this bonkers.

The memes of the dragon reacting to Jon and its mother’s affection ruled the realm.

Here are the best memes of Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 1.

Dragon is not accepting its mom’s new boyfriend

Dany with the death update for Sam

Jon Snow rides the dragon

The burns between Sansa Stark and the Unburnt Daenerys Targaryen

Jon Snow finding out the truth about his ancestry

Cersei after formally allying with Euron

Jon Snow and Arya Stark’s reunion

Bran Stark living for the drama

And seeing this is Game of Thrones, it wasn’t just regular people. Of course, there were celebrity fans in the house.

Cersei was promised elephants.


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Side Hustlers: Are You Putting Enough Aside for Taxes? Read Our Tax Guide

Dave DiVerniero admits that when he started freelancing about 10 years ago, he didn’t use trial and error to figure what qualifies as a business expense when he did his taxes — it was mostly just error.

During his first full year of freelancing, he didn’t know that you can deduct a home office even if it’s not a separate room, or that the miles traveled to meet with clients counted as business expenses.

“When you file a return, [the IRS is] not going to tell you that you missed a bunch of deductions, so it was really just error until I educated myself,” says DiVerniero, who now runs a coaching website for freelancers called Freelancer Advocate.

In addition to deductions, there are many pitfalls to consider when filing taxes as an independent contractor, self-employed person or gig worker. One of the biggest traps is not knowing how much to pay the taxman. So how much should you set aside?

What Kinds of Taxes Do Side Hustlers Have to Pay?

Taxes for side gig workers are a little different than those for regular employees. The most obvious difference is that taxes are not already taken out of a side hustler’s paycheck. That check is not all take-home pay, and it’s up to gig workers to pay their fair share to Uncle Sam.

If you look at a pay stub from an employee at a company, you’ll see federal income tax, Medicare tax and Social Security tax automatically withheld — often in addition to deductions for health care and retirement contributions. Employees usually have withholdings from their paychecks of 6.2% for social security and 1.45% for Medicare, a total of 7.65%.

For the self-employed, Social Security and Medicare taxes combined are a fixed 15.3% (also known as the self-employment tax). The reason they’re doubled is that the employer pays the other half.

“When you’re self-employed, now you have to pay that full amount yourself, so you are liable for 15.3% of the net profit from your self-employment income,” says Jorge Soriano, a certified financial planner with GTE Investment Group.  

But what about federal income tax? How much you’ll owe depends on how much you make annually doing your side hustle. In 2018, the tax brackets for a single filer are:

  • 10% (Earning $ 1 to $ 9,525)
  • 12% (9,526 to $ 38,700)
  • 22% ($ 38,701 to $ 82,500)
  • 24% ($ 82,501 to $ 157,500)
  • 32% ($ 157,501 to $ 200,000)
  • 35% ($ 200,001 to $ 500,000)
  • 37% (Over $ 500,000)

For example, if you made $ 5,000 as a ride-share driver and that was your sole source of income, your federal income tax rate would be 10%.

Unfortunately, that’s not all the taxes side hustlers have to pay. Most states require workers to pay state income tax and — in some areas — local income tax. Each state is different, so look up your state’s income-tax rate and find out if your city or county has an additional local income tax.

How Much Money Should I Set Aside for Taxes?

Drew DuBoff, a freelancer who coaches entrepreneurs on scaling their business, is usually cautious when saving for taxes. He sets aside 30% of his income for taxes every time he gets paid. Even though his self-employment, federal and state income taxes total less than 30%, he feels better having a buffer.

“I’d rather get a [tax refund] than have to pay more at the end of the year,” DuBoff says.

Soriano says that saving 30 cents of every dollar for taxes is a good standard. That way you’re not scrambling to figure out how to pay what you owe at the end of the quarter or year.  

He says the worst-case scenario of overpaying is that you get a refund. Even though you don’t want to give Uncle Sam too much of your money when those funds are not gaining interest, it’s easier to reassess your withholdings for the following year than end your first year in debt to the IRS.

Do I Need to Pay Estimated Quarterly Taxes?  

Federal income taxes and self-employment taxes run on a “pay-as-you-go” model, Soriano says. That means people need to pay throughout the year as they earn money.

Usually, those taxes are withheld from employees’ paychecks by their employer, but for side hustlers, it’s on them to pay quarterly. People need to pay estimated quarterly taxes only if they expect to owe more than $ 1,000.

Below are the dates estimated quarterly taxes are due for the following periods:

  • April 15 (January 1 to March 31)
  • June 15 (April 1 to May 31)
  • Sept. 15 (June 1 to Aug. 31)
  • January 15 (Sept. 1 to Dec. 31)

Please note that if a due date for estimated taxes falls on a weekend or a holiday, payments can be made the next business day and still be considered on time, according to the IRS. Soriano says if you do pay less taxes throughout the year than required, you’ll be charged a penalty.

Follow these IRS links to pay your estimated quarterly taxes using a bank account or a credit or debit card.

What Forms Do I Need to File to Pay My Freelance Taxes?

1099 miscellaneous form is shown

As a side hustler, you are considered self-employed by the IRS, regardless of how much (or how little) you earn.

You should receive 1099-MISC forms from any businesses that paid you more than $ 600 in a calendar year. But you’ll need to report all income even if you don’t receive a 1099 — that includes if your side hustle paid you in gift cards or non-cash prizes.

Here’s the overview of tax forms you may need:

  • Form 1040: Due to the 2018 tax changes, this is now the form used by all U.S. taxpayers to file an annual income tax return. Forms 1040S and 1040EZ are no longer available. (Many of the entries that were on those forms are now found in the schedules mentioned below.)
  • Schedule C or C-EZ: Here’s where you, as the sole proprietor of a business, figure the net profit or loss for your business. If you meet the listed requirements, you can use the shorter EZ form. You’ll enter the final number on Schedule 1 (Form 1040).
  • Schedule SE: This is the form you’ll use to figure your self-employment tax if your net earnings are $ 400 or more. You’ll enter this figure on Schedule 4 (Form 1040).
  • Form 1040-ES: Use this form to figure and pay your estimated tax.

Remember to track business-related costs you can deduct as an independent contractor. There are more expenses you can deduct than if you were an employee.

How to Simplify Saving for Taxes

Now that you know how much you have to set aside for taxes, DiVerniero and DuBoff both recommend side hustlers open a separate business bank account. DuBoff says it can be challenging to sort through personal expenses to find business expenses at the end of the month from the same account.

Your business account can be the place to deposit all your side hustle earnings, pay expenses and put aside enough income for taxes. That way you’ll be in great shape on April 15 and keep your tax-related fears at bay.

“A lot of people get worked up [about taxes], but it’s a lot more simple than people think,” DiVerniero says. “Once you get a handle on it, it’s very straightforward.”

Matt Reinstetle is a former staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. Staff writer Tiffany Wendeln Connors contributed to this story.

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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Police say investigators had more than enough evidence to convict actor Jussie Smollett. What happened?

Police said investigators had more than enough evidence to convict actor Jussie Smollett but in an unexpected turn of events, prosecutors decided to drop all charges against him.


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Kondo-ing is the latest dating trend – but is it harsh or fair enough?

We can’t decide

dating trends kondo-ing
Credit: Snap Stills/REX/Shutterstock

When it comes to dating trends, we like to think we’re pretty clued up. Whether it’s the Game of Thrones-inspired white walking dating trend, or the rather rude and cheap sneating, long gone are the days of the original ghosting. Ah, the simple days when you’d just be suddenly ignored rather than cushioned or stashed!

So not all dating trends are created equal. Most of them tend to fall on the crappy behaviour spectrum, but there are a few that can actually be seen as positive. For example, Grande-ing, which is ‘practicing gratefulness at the end of a relationship and rejecting negativity and bitterness as you move forward with your life.’

However, the latest dating trend has left many people torn because it’s hard to work out whether it’s harsh or fair.

Enter Kondo-ing. As you have probably guessed, it is a term inspired by tidying sensation, Marie Kondo. If you’ve seen her Netflix series, you’ll know that she encourages people to get rid of anything that doesn’t ‘spark joy’. But far from just using this logic to decide whether you really need seven Breton tops in your wardrobe, it can be applied to your love life, too.

Time wasters, cheats, gaslighters, the ones who tell you after six months of dating that they’re not ready for a relationship – Plenty of Fish coined the term Kondo-ing to explain getting rid of anyone who doesn’t ‘spark joy’.

Completely cutting out someone who is treating you badly is a good idea, but what if the person you’re seeing is just not right for you? What if they’re lovely but you just don’t have that spark? What if they’re a good egg that you’d totally want to stay friends with? Do they deserve being Kondo-ed? Probably not.

With that in mind, maybe just be mindful of who really deserves to be Kondo-ed.

The post Kondo-ing is the latest dating trend – but is it harsh or fair enough? appeared first on Marie Claire.

Marie Claire

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Can’t get enough of Elizabeth Holmes? Here’s what to watch after ‘The Inventor’

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Theranos ex-CEO Elizabeth Holmes has yet to lock down a date for her criminal trial, but in the court of public opinion, a verdict has already been rendered. 

If you’ve been on the internet at all in the past week, you’ve likely seen a small truckload of viewer reactions to HBO’s The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley — many of them delighting in the damning portrayal of Holmes and her alleged multi-million dollar fraud. 

But HBO wasn’t the first to profile the entrepreneur and they won’t be the last. From podcasts to movies, the now-defunct blood-testing company is the subject of a whole slew of projects, nearly all of which position Holmes as their star subject. Read more…

More about Hbo, Jennifer Lawrence, Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes, and Adam Mckay


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This $20 Wi-Fi router is good enough for most apartments

Wifi Router Amazon

If you live an a small to medium-sized apartment, there’s simply no reason whatsoever to spend hundreds of dollars on a fancy Wi-Fi system. In fact, you don’t even need to spend $ 25! Check out the TP-Link TL-WR841N Wireless Wi-Fi Router, which is on sale right now on Amazon for only $ 19.99. It has two high-power antennas and it supports Wireless N data speeds up to 300 Mbps, which is much faster than you need. Definitely check it out before this sale ends.

: Price too low to display

Here are the bullet points from the product page:

  • Wireless N speed up to 300Mbps ideal applications for video streaming, online gaming VoIP, web browsing and multi-tasking
  • Two 5dBi antennas greatly increase the wireless robustness and stability. Easy Setup Assistant provides quick & hassle free installation
  • System requirements is internet explorer 11, firefox 12.0, chrome 20.0, safari 4.0 or other, java enabled browser or cable or dsl modem. Signal rate for 11n up to 300 mbps dynamic, 11g up to 54 mbps dynamic and 11b up to 1 mbps dynamic
  • Features parental control function managing the internet access of children or employee’s computer
  • IP based bandwidth control allows administrators to determine how much bandwidth is allotted to each PC and internet devices
  • Fast ethernet ports(10/100 Mbps) allow you to directly connect your wired devices
  • Backward compatible with 802.11b/g products. TP-LINK Live 24/7 Technical Support
  • This product is ONLY a router.

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  1. This $ 20 Wi-Fi router is good enough for most apartments

This $ 20 Wi-Fi router is good enough for most apartments originally appeared on BGR.com on Tue, 19 Mar 2019 at 14:48:23 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Facebook says it can’t find enough local news after helping kill local news

Facebook, which has been blamed for killing local newspapers, is now confirming that there aren’t enough of them to supply its users with the local news they want to read. Last year, the giant social network headed by Mark Zuckerberg launched a service called “Today In” that’s now available in 400 cities across the US….
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Huawei has had enough, reportedly plans to file suit against the US

Huawei US ban

A new chapter in the ongoing flap between the US and Huawei is about to get under way, with the Chinese smartphone maker reportedly planning a lawsuit to be filed against the US government later this week in Texas.

That’s where the company’s US office is located, and word of the suit comes via The New York Times, which reports that the lawsuit will focus on a defense spending authorization approved by Congress last year. In it, the federal government barred itself from using products made by Huawei as well as another Chinese hardware maker, ZTE.

Continue reading…

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  1. Huawei has had enough, reportedly plans to file suit against the US

Huawei has had enough, reportedly plans to file suit against the US originally appeared on BGR.com on Mon, 4 Mar 2019 at 23:07:56 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Tameka Foster Talks Almost Dying During Plastic Surgery: “I Was Married, Publicly Shamed And Didn’t Ever Feel Like I Was Enough”

Lupus LA's Hollywood Bag Ladies Luncheon

Source: Tiffany Rose / Getty

Ten years ago, Tameka Foster, then known as Tameka Raymond and married to Usher, one of the biggest pop stars on the planet, almost died while trying to get plastic surgery.

Looking back on that experience this week, Foster expressed her gratitude for life, but also addressed the public criticism that she says pushed her to get the surgery in the first place.

“Feeling grateful today,” she wrote on Wednesday. “10 years ago today I suffered a cardiac arrest in Brazil. #Flatlined #IDied. I was married, publicly shamed and didn’t ever feel like I was enough, pretty enough, exotic enough, slim enough, light enough, worthy enough. Funny part… Today I’m 20 pounds heavier, feel much prettier, single AF, happier, and so amazingly worthy.”

Instagram Photo

As the story goes, two months after welcoming their second child together, Naviyd Ely Raymond, Foster decided to fly to Brazil to get liposuction done on her stomach. She knew that being the wife of a public figure, she wouldn’t be able to escape unwanted commentary about her body after baby. She hadn’t been able to escape it before she had Naviyd and Usher Raymond V, as people openly questioned the fact that Usher had chosen to be with her and marry her in 2007. The singer felt the need to publicly defend her honor in 2008 on MTV’s TRL, saying, “I hear y’all talking crazy out there, she’s a beautiful black woman. Stop. Stop talking. And I love her. Stop it.”

But that wouldn’t be enough.

Before Foster could even undergo the procedure, she went into cardiac arrest while under anesthesia. Ellen Dasptry, a rep for the surgeon who was supposed to have performed the surgery in Brazil, said Foster was revived and placed into a medically-induced coma immediately.

“When an attack like this happens, the doctors put the patient to sleep… and make sure that everything is okay and that there has not been any damage,” Dasptry told PEOPLE in 2009. “This is the protocol every time and this is what was done.”

Foster survived the very scary situation, and was in much better condition a week later. However, her marriage fell apart soon after. Just months after her health ordeal, Usher filed for divorce.

Check out photos of Tameka during happier but still stressful years with Usher by hitting the flip:

2007 Trumpet Awards

Source: Ethan Miller / Getty

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Jimmy Kimmel: Trump Wants Jared Kushner as Chief of Staff Because He’s ‘Good Enough to Screw’ Ivanka

ABC

Earlier this week, Jimmy Kimmel noted in his monologue that, given John Kelly’s clashes with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, whoever Donald Trump ends up picking to be his next chief of staff will need the approval of his daughter and son-in-law. Now, it seems that Kushner himself might be up for the job.

According to The Huffington Post, Kushner “has been pushing his own candidacy with Trump, citing his work on a criminal justice reform package and a claimed ability to work with Democrats.”

Or as Kimmel put it, “I guess the thinking is, if he’s good enough to screw my daughter, he’s good enough to screw the country,” to groans from his audience. “I really hope he hires Jared and then he fires Jared so we go through the whole thing,” he added.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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This Couple Made Enough Dough Baking Biscuits to Quit Their Teaching Jobs

Sometimes when an opportunity arises, you just gotta roll with it.

Jesse Thompson and Lee Valenti were school teachers who dreamed of opening a learning center they’d call Hey Giant Robot, but they needed a way to fund it.

They decided to raise money by baking biscuits to sell at a pop-up market within the learning center.

“We were thinking we could sell them and make a couple hundred bucks on the weekend,” says Thompson, 39, who recalls they’d bake 500 biscuits and sell them for $ 3 to $ 4 a pair. “But then every weekend, we were selling out, and people were lining up.”

Within three months, the couple realized they didn’t have a side hustle baking biscuits to support their learning center.

They had a biscuit-baking business.

“We decided to flip our model,” Thompson says.

Instead of selling biscuits out of the learning center, they housed the learning center inside a bakery.

The couple found a location in Tampa, Florida, that could handle both the baking and the learning. They retained a bit of their original idea for the establishment’s name: Hey Giant! Little Biscuits.

A year and a half later, the biscuit shop employs six to seven part-time workers and costs an average of $ 15,000 per month to operate — “right now our profits range somewhere in $ 3,000 to $ 5,000 a month,” Thompson adds.

Valenti, 41, quit her teaching job last year when the couple realized that she could match her $ 45,000 annual salary by running the shop.

“Starting out, it was the goal to make almost the same or, if not, just a little bit less than what I was making teaching,” says Valenti, who attributes much of the business’s growth to catering events. “We did that fairly quickly.”

This year, Thompson quit his job so they could open a second location.

The pair aren’t alone in trying their hands at baking — here’s another baker who turned her passion into a sweet gig. There are 7,757 retail bakeries in the U.S. as of the first quarter in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s a 14.6% increase since 2008.

But that doesn’t mean the baking business was everything Thompson and Valenti dreamed of.

Our vision of what we thought running a biscuit shop would be like was completely different than what it actually is,” Thompson says. “You think, oh, this is going to be cool — make a couple biscuits, hang out all day and when it’s slow, just sit and read some books.

“No, there’s none of that — we’re constantly making food.”

And although the path was unexpected, Thompson and Valenti say that starting over with new careers isn’t as much of a pie-in-the-sky idea as you might think.

Recognizing an Opportunity

Details of a person preparing biscuits and baked biscuits

From the beginning, the couple set themselves up for the possibility of expansion — just in case.

“When we tested the waters with our pop-up, we said, ‘Let’s rent a space and get the licensing,’” Thompson says. “‘Because if this works out, we can keep going forward. And if it doesn’t, then we’re not out too much — it’s going to be a meager Christmas, but that’s it.’”

Investing time and money turned out to be the incentive the couple needed to make some big decisions early on.

It was too much work to be half in,” Valenti says, and Thompson adds, “If you don’t find some level of commitment, you’re less motivated to keep driving forward.”

Transferable Skills

A man greets a customers at a biscuit shop

Although neither had previous experience in the food-service industry, Thompson and Valenti did bring translatable skills from their previous careers.

We’ve relied on and applied our teaching methods and our classroom management,” Thompson says. “You have to deal with different types of learners, and that flexibility on the management side has helped.”

Serving up biscuits behind the counter during a mid-morning rush, the pair calls out to customers by name — looking a lot like teachers at the head of a classroom.

After spending most of their professional careers in teaching, Thompson admits the couple misses certain elements of their old life — particularly when they attended an open house at their children’s school and realized they wouldn’t be setting up their own classrooms.

“If you do a career for 15 to 20 years, like we have with teaching and education, you’re going to miss it,” Thompson says. “There are certain routines and certain ways of life that you’re just used to.”

But the biscuit business has also offered the creative control that was sometimes missing from teaching, Valenti points out.

“Teaching is creative, but for us, we needed another outlet of something we ran,” Valenti says. “The biscuit shop is cooking, but it’s also a creative outlet for us — where we design the place, we make the menu, we make the recipes.

“It really feeds something that both of us are always looking for.”

Not Losing Sight of the Goal

The couple may have discovered a great way to make some dough, but what about their original idea, the learning center?

Thompson describes their vision for the first location as a junky robot repair shop that kids could explore before entering the learning center hidden in the back.

“None of that was realistic,” he says with a laugh.

The learning center is instead housed in a room off the main bakery, hidden behind a sliding chalkboard door that announces Biscuit Specials like Mississippi Maple and Nutter Butter Fluffer Nutter.

Staffed by volunteers, the center offers free tutoring, writing workshops and art classes after the bakery closes for the evening and on weekends.

Thompson notes that, although they enjoy baking, he and Valenti still consider the shop a way to fund their learning center.

“Being part of the learning community and sparking creativity is kind of our ultimate goal,” Thompson says. “We love making biscuits, but if we could [operate the center] full time, we would.”

Taking a Chance on New Careers

A couple pose for a portrait

The couple agrees that, despite the risks of leaving steady teaching jobs for the uncertainty of the culinary world, they have no regrets.

“You have those conversations of, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if one day,’” Thompson says. “We decided this has to be that ‘one day,’ because if we don’t, three years from now, we’ll get back to ‘what if.’”

Valenti notes that by challenging themselves to learn something new and by being flexible about their options, they’ve had an opportunity they thought they could only dream of.

Thompson’s advice to others fantasizing about a new career? You’ll never know if you don’t try.

“You have to take that plunge,” Thompson says. “Just be open to where it takes you.”

Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer with The Penny Hoarder. Data journalist Alex Mahadevan contributed to this article.

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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New data suggests people eat too much or not enough — and its costing trillions of dollars per year

According to the newly released Global Nutrition Report, malnutrition and obesity are costly problems worldwide. 
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Adam Silver supports ‘Enough’ T-shirts, players speaking out

LOS ANGELES — With NBA commissioner Adam Silver in the stands and supporting the cause, the Los Angeles Lakers and Atlanta Hawks honored the victims of the Thousand Oaks shooting by wearing black T-shirts with the message "Enough" on the front. The Lakers and Hawks followed what the Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks did on Saturday when players from both teams first wore the T-shirts. "As I’ve always said, our players aren’t just ballplayers, they’re citizens," Silver told ESPN after watching the Lakers beat the Hawks 107-106 on Sunday. "They have strong feelings about what’s happening in society and they react to them. I think this was something that was a groundswell within the league. It came from the players and it spread by word of mouth from one team to another. "It obviously began here in California and other teams around the league supported them," Silver continued. "Again, I support our players’ desire to speak out on issues…
ABC News: Sports

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Facebook admits it didn’t do enough to prevent ‘offline violence’ in Myanmar

TwitterFacebook

A night before the U.S. midterm elections, Facebook has dropped an independent report into the platform’s effect in Myanmar.

The report into Facebook’s impact on human rights within the country was commissioned by the social media giant, but completed by non-profit organization BSR (Business for Social Responsibility).

And it affirms what many have suspected: Facebook didn’t do enough to prevent violence and division in Myanmar.

“The report concludes that, prior to this year, we weren’t doing enough to help prevent our platform from being used to foment division and incite offline violence. We agree that we can and should do more,” Facebook’s product policy manager Alex Warofka wrote in a statement. Read more…

More about Tech, Facebook, Social Media, Human Rights, and Myanmar


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Bohemian Rhapsody Doesn’t Straightwash Freddie Mercury. But Is It Edgy Enough?

What made Freddie Mercury such a captivating public figure is the same thing that makes him such a difficult subject to capture fully on film: his multitudes. Examine his sexuality alone and you have contractions twisting and knotting within one rather petite man. He never formally came out, yet his queerness was imprinted on the very band he fronted and named, Queen. He is said to have had an insatiable appetite for sex with men, yet his most enduring relationship seems to have been with a woman to whom he was once engaged (and who inherited the majority of his fortune when he died of AIDS in 1991), Mary Austen. He fluidly presented along the femme-butch spectrum, equally convincing in glam drag, in drag drag, and in the cartoonishly masculine “Castro clone” uniform (tight jeans, tank top, an imposing mustache, muscles) that originated in San Francisco in the early ’70s.

Compressing this one aspect of Mercury’s life into the Hollywood biopic template would be a difficult task in itself. Anthony McCarten’s screenplay for director Bryan Singer’s new movie Bohemian Rhapsody, though, attempts to do that and then some as a rock musical that spans the early ’70s origins of Queen through the band’s triumphant turn at the 1985 charity concert Live Aid. Complicating matters further is the tameness imposed upon this movie, which was either devised with its eventual PG-13 rating in mind (which is somewhat baffling, considering that today’s tweens were decades from being born during the band’s heyday) or has been edited to secure the rating. By all accounts, Mercury (and his bandmates) did not live a PG-13 lifestyle.

What we are presented in Bohemian Rhapsody then is, in fact, a little silhouette of a man. The questions that open Queen’s signature song, for which this movie was named—the mad-scientist-esque creation of which provides a thoroughly exhilarating extended sequence in the film—haunt the movie throughout: Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

Probably more the latter than the former, although the depiction of Mercury’s gay life isn’t the disaster some internet thinkers predicted earlier this year when the film’s first trailer left out Mercury’s battle with the disease to which he would succumb. His AIDS is in there, albeit via inventive tinkering: Bohemian Rhapsody portrays his diagnosis as occurring in 1985, in the days leading up to Live Aid, though Mercury reportedly was actually diagnosed in 1987. In an attempt to cover all the bases, Bohemian Rhapsody sometimes drops the ball.

And yet, there is the distinct feeling that you are watching LGBTQ history here and for underfed queer audiences, that alone may be moving. This is a movie that will, at the very least, make it impossible for its viewers to conveniently ignore the real, queer life behind “We Will Rock You” as it blares on the speakers in sports arenas. Mercury cruises a beefy dad at a truck stop during the band’s first American tour. Later, as “Another One Bites the Dust” resonates in all of its 1980 disco-fondling glory, Mercury visits a gay bar that’s probably supposed to represent the Mineshaft with its red lighting and leather-clad hunks. (Mercury’s time at the spot, which was eventually shuttered in 1985 in New York City’s feeble response to the mounting AIDS crisis, was reportedly transformative.)

Are you hanging on the edge of your seat? Well, get used to it. Whether Mercury is indulging or merely a looky-loo is never fully explored. Queer audiences know the answer, but straight viewers who still find gay sex icky are never forced to encounter it.

Bohemian Rhapsody doesn’t mince around Mercury’s identity any more than he did, but by focusing on the pain resulting from an intense hobby of casual anonymous sex (the loneliness, the life-threatening diseases) and not the pleasure, the depiction here is unfortunately warped.

Still, looking for nuance in this kind of big-budget biopic is like looking for love on Grindr; it happens, but rarely. Though its direction is credited to a gay man—Singer, who was fired and replaced by Dexter Fletcher during filming—this movie was made to speak to the masses. Its attempt to make Mercury’s story universal isn’t entirely unreasonable, either: He was, after all, a superstar. We’re given enough to piece together how the otherness he felt as a queer and Parsi man positioned him as a champion for outcasts. Bohemian Rhapsody dazzles most consistently during its musical numbers, in which Malek channels the real Mercury with drool-inducing accuracy. Mercury’s charisma was a force of nature, his appeal so widespread as to be an objective truth. That the movie really sings when Mercury does makes Bohemian Rhapsody ultimately shallow but that’s exactly the point. A pivotal scene features Malek’s Mercury explaining to Mary (Lucy Boynton) that onstage, “I’m exactly the person I was always meant to be.”


Entertainment – TIME

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‘Enough Is Enough.’ It’s Time to Decertify USA Gymnastics or Start All Over Again, Gymnasts Say

The U.S. women’s gymnastics team enters the world championships in Doha, Qatar, this month as the defending team champions. American women have dominated the top of the podium at the last three championships, and five-time Olympic medalist Simone Biles is competing for her fourth all-around individual world championship title. She also qualified in all six events at the championships, and if she earns gold in each of them, could become only the second female gymnast to sweep all of the titles at a single meet since the 1980s.

But USA Gymnastics, the national federation for gymnasts for which she competes, is mired in one of the worst sexual abuse scandals in sports history. And its response to the revelations that team doctor Larry Nassar abused hundreds of athletes, including Biles, has prompted many leading many gymnasts to call for the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) to decertify USA Gymnastics, or at least remove everyone associated with the organization during Nassar’s years of abuse, and start all over.

“Enough is enough,” Aly Raisman, who was among the first Olympic team members to reveal she was abused by Nassar, tells TIME. She says the board of USA Gymnastics has been making “mistakes over and over again. And I think we have given them enough time. We can’t wait any more. It’s not right.”

Those calls grew louder last week after Steve Penny, the organization’s former president, was arrested on vacation with his family following an indictment for tampering with evidence relating to the Nassar scandal. His attorney said Penny was not aware of the warrant and is confident that his actions were not criminal.

Then, Mary Bono, the second person appointed to replace Penny, resigned after less than a week when it was revealed that her law firm represented USA Gymnastics and reportedly helped to provide a cover story for explaining Nassar’s absence after initial reports of his abuse. She also faced criticism from athletes including Biles for a now-deleted tweet from September in which Bono covered a Nike logo on her golf shoes in response to Colin Kaepernick’s Nike ad.

USA Gymnastics did not respond to requests for comment, although it did issue a statement regarding Penny’s arrest that said the organization “support[s] law enforcement’s efforts and [that it has] fully cooperated with the investigations by the Texas Rangers, Congress and others and will continue to do so to help the survivors and our community heal from this tragedy.” In announcing Bono’s departure, the USA Gymnastics board said in a statement that it was “in the best interest of the organization.”

In addition, USA Gymnastics refuses to settle any of the numerous lawsuits it faces from gymnasts including Raisman and Olympic teammates McKayla Maroney, Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber, all of whom were abused by Nassar and say that the organization failed to protect them by allowing him to continue to serve as national team doctor, even after receiving reports of his abuse.

“I was always concerned about how this was handled by USA Gymnastics, but now I feel it’s really dangerous,” Raisman says. “USA Gymnastics has not been transparent at all. There have been so many resignations, and no answers. They won’t release anything, which is making me more nervous about what else they are hiding.”

It’s now clear that the U.S. women’s gymnastics team’s dominance at world and Olympic competitions in recent decades came at a price. The entire five-woman 2012 Olympic team and four of the five-member 2016 team have revealed that they were sexually abused by Nassar, an osteopathic doctor. Over a period of more than a decade, he abused more than three hundred athletes under the guise of medical treatments. According to his victims, the abuse occurred at his office at Michigan State University where he was on the faculty, in hotel rooms during competitions and at the national training center at the Karolyi Ranch in Texas. Nassar is currently serving up to 175 years in prison for his crimes.

The USOC currently recognizes national governing bodies for sports like gymnastics, and that means USA Gymnastics adheres to bylaws established by the Olympic Committee concerning proper conduct of athletes and coaches, and compliance with its policies, which include anti-doping rules. USA Gymnastics also receives funding from the USOC to support the elite competition teams that represent the U.S. at world and Olympic events. Perhaps most importantly, many international sports federations that put on competitions such as world championships and oversee participation at the Olympics require national federations like the USOC to sponsor teams from their respective countries.

For USA Gymnastics to be decertified, a complaint would have to be filed by the CEO of the USOC. Once a complaint is brought to the USOC board, a hearing would be held including, in this case, members of USA Gymnastics and the athletes’ advisory council. The panel would then make a recommendation about whether to revoke recognition as gymnastics’ governing body. If another organization were to come forward to be recognized by the USOC, it would need a different name and would have to adhere to the bylaws of the USOC and start to gain membership of local gyms. If an alternate organization is not available to take over for USA Gymnastics, then gymnasts would temporarily compete under the umbrella of the USOC. However, if the USOC decertifies USA Gymnastics, it’s not clear whether the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) would recognize American gymnasts at international competitions.

While unusual, there is precedent for decertification. The national governing bodies for taekwondo and team handball were decertified, and new organizations were created to replace them. In taekwondo’s case, the prior organization failed to address financial problems after USOC audits, and in team handball’s situation, USOC felt the existing management was not fulfilling its obligation to grow and populate the sport adequately.

The USOC did threaten USA Gymnastics with decertification, after it learned that Penny had waited five weeks before reporting reports of sexual abuse by Nassar to law enforcement. That led to Penny’s resignation, as well as the resignation of three top board members. But many survivors, including Raisman, want transparency from USA Gymnastics, including an explanation for why Nassar was allowed to continue to abuse gymnasts even after complaints about him were provided to its leadership, as well as explanations for the recent series of resignations.

“This is bigger than one abuser,” Raisman says. “It’s the leadership at USA Gymnastics that is creating this disaster.”

Raisman isn’t sure if decertification is the best option, but says something must be done to fundamentally change USA Gymnastics.

Nassar is in prison for his crimes, Penny resigned and the top three members of the USA Gymnastics board also stepped down. But, Raisman says, not much has actually changed at the organization. It has not acknowledged the scandal nor taken responsibility for what happened to hundreds of gymnasts who trusted that the governing body would have their best interests in mind and keep them safe.

“Some of the same leaders who were there [while Nassar was the team doctor] are still there. The old influence, the bad influence that created the problem, is still there,” she says. “They didn’t listen to anything we said; they never did and still are not doing it.”

In its statement announcing Bono’s departure, USA Gymnastics said it “remain[s] steadfast in our efforts to fundamentally transform the organization at all levels to ensure athlete safety and well-being is at the heart of everything we do…While we have made progress, we have much more work to do. This board is determined to take the necessary steps to support a safe, inclusive and competitive environment where all our athletes and members can grow, have fun and achieve their goals.”

Since the survivors came forward en masse to provide victim impact statements at Nassar’s sentencing hearing in January, Kerry Perry, who was the first president appointed to succeed Penny, was called before Congress to explain how Nassar was allowed to abuse gymnasts for years, despite reports to the organization that he was a sexual predator. Rather than providing an explanation, however, she redirected the focus to her intention to “make sure we’re focusing our organization on athlete safety.” Perry resigned in September after nine months leading USA Gymnastics.

The board then appointed Mary Lee Tracy as development coordinator to oversee training for gymnasts working toward making the elite world and Olympic teams. In December 2016, Tracy had defended Nassar, calling him “amazing” although he had been charged with child sexual abuse and indicted on federal child pornography charges days before. Tracy defended her description, saying she was only referring to her own experience with Nassar and that her comments had “absolutely nothing to do with … the survivors.” When Raisman tweeted that Tracy’s appointment was a “disappointment,” Tracy attempted to reach out to the Olympian and was asked by USA Gymnastics to resign three days into the job.

“I wonder how many more times does somebody have to do something harmful that hurts, actually hurts children and affects them in potentially life-threatening ways before somebody does something?” says Jessica Howard, a rhythmic gymnast who was abused by Nassar. “It hurts me as a victim; it’s a gut punch every single time.”

Howard says that the constant poor leadership decisions and resignations, and the arrest of Penny, are only perpetuating the pain and frustration for survivors. The message from USA Gymnastics, Howard says, is that athletes’ interests are still not the top priority for the organization. “I thought, this can’t be real,” says Howard when she read about the board’s decision to appoint Bono as interim president and CEO. “Maybe I’m having a dream — I actually thought that maybe I was having a dream. They cannot be this oblivious. It’s like screaming fire and nobody comes, and there are people in the building.”

Part of the problem, say many survivors, is that the organization has failed to take responsibility for the scandal and in doing so, damaged its reputation. “No one with any integrity is willing to take the position of leadership at USA Gymnastics,” says Rachel Denhollander, who was the first to identify herself as a victim of Nassar. “For two and a half years [USA Gymnastics] has consistently demonstrated that they have no desire to do the right thing.”

For one, she and others point to the fact that Ron Galimore continues in his position as chief operating officer at USA Gymnastics. According to email exchanges in the summer of 2015 that were obtained by the Indianapolis Star, an attorney from Bono’s firm suggested that Galimore be tasked with telling the USA Gymnastics’ medical team that Nassar was absent from competitions because he wasn’t feeling well – rather than informing them that Nassar was under investigation for sexual misconduct. USA Gymnastics did not respond to a request for comment on Galimore and his alleged involvement in the Nassar scandal.

“What people need to understand is that this is not a Larry problem — Larry is a symptom of a USA Gymnastics problem,” says Denhollander. “And they have not taken care of the root problem; they have only taken care of one of the symptoms.”

USA Gymnastics cites its adoption of SafeSport policies, created by the USOC’s U.S. Center for SafeSport. It’s meant to be an independent body that can investigate allegations of sexual misconduct, but many athletes feel that isn’t enough. Raisman, for one, advocates creating an entirely independent body — not affiliated with the USOC or its various sports governing bodies — to which athletes can turn for support and safety. She is working with Darkness to Light, a non-profit that provides education to adults to help them recognize signs of childhood sexual abuse, and wants to come up with other potential solutions for keeping athletes safe not just in gymnastics but all sports. “I never imagined it would get this bad,” she says.

Denhollander is hoping that Congress, which passed the Amateur Sports Act that created the USOC oversees the national governing bodies for the various sports, will hold the USOC accountable in a more stringent way. “Congress has to act to make a difference,” she says. “There is no way forward otherwise with this organization. Until all of those people who participated in the abusive culture that led to the worst scandal in recorded or Olympic history are gone, things are not going to be done differently. That’s the reason the current board is continually making the wrong choices. It’s not an accident.”

In the absence of more positive action from USA Gymnastics, the USOC, or Congress, Raisman feels an urgency to become an advocate for change herself, especially with the next Olympic Games only two years away. “I think about them a lot,” says Raisman of the gymnasts competing at the world championships in Doha, who are aiming to make the Olympic team in two years. “When I was training for the Olympics and realized what was happening [with the way complaints against Nassar were handled] was wrong, it was hard to work for an organization that I knew was very corrupt. And now with everything that has come out, it’s way worse than I ever imagined it would be. But it’s not the survivors’ fault. It’s the organization’s fault. The moment they realized something was wrong, if they had handled it the right way, and reported it, this wouldn’t be a problem right now. I’m trying to brainstorm ideas,” she says. “We owe it to the sport. The sport deserves much better.”

Sports – TIME

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Modern moms have had enough of Disney’s damsels-in-distress

In the new Disney film “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” opening next month, spunky heroine Vanellope finds herself in a room full of the mouse empire’s iconic princesses, from Snow White to Cinderella to Elsa. The princesses are unconvinced that Vanellope is one of them, until Rapunzel asks: “Do people assume all your problems got solved…
Living | New York Post

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International Space Station crew has enough supplies for at least six months: Russian official

The crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS) has enough fuel, oxygen, water, and food to last at least six months, Vladimir Solovyov, flight director of the Russian segment of the ISS, was cited as saying by Russian news agencies on Sunday.


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Spire.io – Over 50 Million Minutes of Calm Discovered!

Checked off ‘the talk’ with your teen? Not so fast: Once isn’t enough

New research shows that one vague conversation with your teen about sex is not enough. Researchers found that ongoing communication between parents and their adolescent children benefits the parent-child relationship and leads to safer sexual activity at age 21.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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