Commentary: Novartis CEO: Gene therapy offers hope of cures in a treatment, but US needs new pricing, payment model

The current global health system treats chronic diseases with a pay-as-you-go model, spreading costs over months and years. It's unprepared to pay for a surge of new, single-treatment therapies with the potential to provide a lifetime of benefit.
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Megan Barton-Hanson’s terrifying Instagram post shows pal being attacked by thugs in London as she rages ‘This s*** needs to stop’

MEGAN Barton-Hanson shared harrowing footage of a close pal being brutally beaten on the streets of London, as she told fans “this s*** must stop!”

The Love Island star had been to a Ru Paul’s Drag Race event with her hair stylist before he was mugged near Oxford Circus.

Megan Barton-Hanson shared footage of a close pal being mugged on the streets of London

The 25-year-old TV personality shared footage of the attack – which she later clarified wasn’t filmed by herself – telling followers: “So this happened last night… My best friend that works f****ng hard for everything he owns got mugged… So disgusting. How safe our streets actually are?!”

In the traumatic clip, Megan’s friend can be seen in a yellow jumper as he lies helplessly on the floor in an attempt to defend himself from the attacking thugs.

After sharing the video, Megan told fans: “Makes me so angry! The amount of people carrying knives recently too, so lucky he just has bruises and a broken cheek.”

Telling followers that “this s*** needs to stop!”, Megan went on to discuss the recent burglary of her home.

Megan questioned the safety of London’s streets following the crime
Instagram

She ranted: “First people come into my home and rob everything I worked my arse off for. Nights stripping physically sweating and people come and steal diamond rings, Chanel bags but also the sentimental things that can never be replaced. Then my friend, minding his own damn business gets attacked by three men and gets mugged.”

Megan’s pal has since updated his own social media to reassure friends and clients on his condition.


Megan recently admitted to photoshopping a dramatic makeover snap that won praise by fans and celebrity pals.

Her photoshop admission comes after she told The Sun that she is so body conscious her Instagram pictures are edited by a team of professionals.

She said: “I spent the whole of last summer in a bikini on TV and I post sexy pictures on Instagram but they’re edited and photo shopped by professionals.”


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This Seagull Traffic Reporter Provides the Bird’s Eye View the World Needs Right Now

Transport for London has a new traffic reporter that is earning fans for its unique ability to get a bird’s eye view of the city’s traffic. Of course the ability to get a bird’s eye view comes quite naturally to the reporter, because the reporter is actually a bird.

A photogenic seagull has taken up a perch near a traffic camera above London’s Brunswick Road set up by Transport for London (TfL), which, according to its website, is “a local government organisation responsible for most aspects of London’s transport system.” The public became aware of TfL’s new bird reporter on Monday, when made its first on-camera appearance which was shared on Twitter. The traffic reporting site’s star reporter made a repeat appearance on Tuesday, with TfL sharting the photo with the caption, “Guess who’s back?!”

The world finally started paying attention to the organization’s new traffic reporter on Wednesday, though, when TfL once again tweeted out a photo of the bird. “Due to popular demand, a quick update from our reporter just north of the Blackwall Tunnel…..” With that tweet, people finally realized that TfL was truly backing the seagull’s dream of being an on-camera traffic reporter and helped the avian journalist go viral. At the time of publication, the tweet garnered more than 19,000 retweets and 57,000 likes. As the bird reporter’s popularity grows, hopefully other sites will follow in TfL’s footsteps, because if you want a bird’s eye view of traffic, no one is more suited to the task than an actual bird.


Entertainment – TIME

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"The left does not understand that companies need to make money in order to invest in new projects and new businesses," the investor says.
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This Father of 5 Needs More Space. Here’s How He’s Fixing His Bad Credit

This California couple is running out of room for their growing family.

Matsimela McMorris and his wife, Stacey Reid, just welcomed their fifth child into the world — a baby daughter. That’s making their two-bedroom apartment even more crowded. And their Mazda5 minivan is a six-seater, which is a problem for a family of seven.

McMorris, 33, works as a school bus driver in Anaheim. Reid works at Dollar Tree. They’re on a tight budget, but they’ve got financial goals.

They want to buy a home and a used Dodge Durango, a seven-seater. To make that happen, McMorris knows he’ll have to work on his credit.

A Solution for Poor Credit

Until recently, his credit score was pretty low. On a scale of 300 to 850, it was 461. Unless he raised it, he’d end up paying sky-high interest rates on an auto loan or a mortgage.

That’s why he’s using Credit Sesame, a free credit-monitoring app that helps people to fix their own credit. 60% of Credit Sesame members see an increase in their credit score; 50% see at least a 10-point increase, and 20% see at least a 50-point increase after 180 days.

Right off the bat, the app sent McMorris a free “credit report card,” along with personalized recommendations for better managing his credit.

One suggestion made a big difference right away. McMorris hadn’t been able to get a credit card because his credit was so poor.

“Discover had turned me down,” he recalled.

This was a big problem for him because, to improve your credit, you must be able to show that you can wisely handle the credit you already have.

Credit Sesame recommended an option he hadn’t thought of before. He applied for a secured credit card — a card backed by his own cash.

He put a small deposit down as collateral, and Capital One sent him a credit card with a limit that was the same amount as his deposit. The bank essentially used his deposit as a line of credit.

This is a good way to rebuild if you have damaged credit. The secured credit card started reporting his payments and balances to credit bureaus.

After only a month or two, he noticed that his credit score had gone up by 52 points.

“Then it became an addiction,” McMorris recalled. “I was like, ‘What else can I do to raise my credit?’ It was kind of like a video game.”

Targeting Those Problem Areas

The challenge was on. Next on his target list were some old, unpaid bills that were hanging around on his credit report, darkening up the place like unpleasant memories.

He took care of an old Sprint cell phone bill. There was also an ambulance bill for thousands of dollars, dating from the time he broke his leg while chasing a thief through a commuter train station.

“Some kid just snatched my phone out of my hand,” he says. “I was chasing him, and he jumped down some stairs. I thought, ‘I’m athletic; I can do the same thing.’”

He couldn’t really pay the ambulance bill, so he reached out to the credit bureau.

“It was so old, they just deleted it,” he says.

Boosting His Credit Score 163 Points

By doing all these things, McMorris was able to raise his credit score by 163 points — all the way to 624. He did it in just a few months, he says. He’s still got a ways to go before he gets to where he wants to be financially, but he’s on his way.

His favorite thing about using Credit Sesame is its personalization. Based on his situation, it suggests concrete steps he can take to manage his credit better.

These are suggestions that apply directly to his life.

He and his wife are still eyeing that Dodge Durango, and they’re still hoping to buy a home at some point — even if they have to leave high-priced California to do it. He’s got to get his family of seven out of their two-bedroom apartment.

“It’s a little cramped,” says McMorris, with a rueful chuckle. “We’ve definitely got to get something bigger.”

That’s why he’s still checking Credit Sesame regularly. It updates his credit report once a month.

“It’s definitely a helpful tool to have,” he said.

If your credit isn’t as good as you’d like, check out Credit Sesame for yourself to see what you could do differently.

Credit Sesame does not guarantee any of these results, and some may even see a decrease in their credit score. Any score improvement is the result of many factors, including paying bills on time, keeping credit balances low, avoiding unnecessary inquiries, appropriate financial planning and developing better credit habits.

Mike Brassfield (mike@thepennyhoarder.com) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. His credit could be better, and he’s working on it.

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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Reducing care needs of teens with substance-abuse disorders

Screenings, interventions, and referrals can help adolescent teens overcome substance abuse in the short-term. Less is known about the long-term effects of those efforts. A new study from Kaiser Permanente, published in the journal Pediatrics, suggests that the benefits can last for many years and can include sustained reductions in mental health conditions.

In a new study titled “Health Care Utilization Over 3 Years After Adolescent SBIRT,” researchers led by Stacy Sterling, DrPH, MSW, of Kaiser Permanente’s Division of Research in Northern California, found that adolescents with access to SBIRT — short for “screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment” — were less likely to have mental health or chronic medical conditions after 1 year.

Substance abuse is “closely associated with the top three causes of mortality and morbidity among adolescents — injuries, suicide and homicide,” write the authors. And, they note, adolescent substance use often goes hand-in-hand with other medical and mental health conditions and can lead to higher use of health care services.

In this new study, they found that those with access to SBIRT services had fewer psychiatry visits over 1 and 3 years, and fewer total outpatient visits at 3 years, leading to lower costs and utilization of health care.

“The fact that we saw a difference in substance use problems even 3 years out was surprising,” said Sterling, the study’s lead author. “It suggests that providing access to SBIRT may plant a seed for patients and their care teams, creating awareness about substance use that may help kids avoid future problems.”

The study used data from electronic health records to examine how much health care was used among adolescents with access to SBIRT services, from a randomized clinical trial that compared usual care to 2 other methods of delivering SBIRT in pediatric primary care — delivered by a pediatrician or by an embedded behavioral clinician.

The study was conducted at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California, an integrated health care delivery organization. The sample was taken from the pediatrics department in Oakland, California, and consisted of 1,871 adolescents ages 12 to 18.

“We found that adolescents with access to SBIRT services, regardless of whether it was through their pediatrician or an embedded behavioral health clinician, were less likely to have mental health or chronic medical conditions after 1 year,” Sterling said. “We also found that SBIRT likely leads to lower health care utilization.”

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Here’s How to Pick the Right Homeowners Insurance Company for Your Needs

Homeownership comes with certain responsibilities. If you borrowed money to buy your home, chances are that your lender requires you to carry homeowners insurance.

As with any other kind of insurance, homeowners insurance can be a pain if you don’t do your research before picking a company. And with so many coverage options out there, how can you be sure you’re making the right decision?

Before you even consider which company to go with, you need to become familiar with homeowners insurance and what it may or may not cover.

What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?

Like any other type of insurance, a homeowners policy doesn’t cover everything, but some coverages are offered by most basic policies.

Fire and smoke damage are covered by most home insurance providers. Other situations usually covered include weather damage (such as windstorms), internal water damage, theft, vandalism, snow and ice damage and explosions.

Homeowners insurance also covers your personal property and the costs of living elsewhere if you need to move out during a home repair or rebuild.

Insurance companies offer additional coverage for natural disasters like floods and earthquakes, but these types of disasters usually aren’t covered by a regular policy. If you live in an area prone to flooding or earthquakes, you may want to opt into this additional coverage.

It will cost you more on your monthly premium, but if you ever need to file a claim, it’ll be worth it when you can repair or rebuild your home rather than losing all the money you’ve put into it.

Choosing the Best Homeowners Insurance

What qualifies as the best homeowners insurance policy for you might not qualify as the best for your sister or your neighbor. Before choosing one, consider what “best” means to you.

For example, if you’re on a tight budget, you might be most concerned with price. If you’ve had bad customer service experiences in the past, you’ll probably put more emphasis on high satisfaction ratings. And if you’re a worrier, you may be most concerned about making sure you have good coverage for a variety of factors.

To determine the best homeowners insurance companies, we used J.D. Power’s U.S. Home Insurance Study, which surveyed 14,122 homeowners and renters.

Ratings on a scale of one to five were given in six categories: overall satisfaction, policy offerings, price, billing process and policy information, interaction and claims.

Best Home Insurance on a Budget

If you’re on a tight budget, you should check out these homeowners insurance companies, all of which rated high when it comes to affordability.

Amica Mutual

Amica Mutual got top marks in the price category, making it one of the most affordable homeowners insurance providers on average.

Price Ranking: 5/5

USAA

J.D. Power rated USAA but didn’t include it in their final ranking because it’s only available to members of the military, veterans and their immediate families. Nevertheless, USAA’s score in the price category tied Amica Mutual’s, making it a good option for those who are eligible.

Price Ranking: 5/5

Cincinnati Insurance

While its name comes from Ohio’s Queen City, Cincinnati Insurance is actually available in 43 states and the District of Columbia. It scored four out of five in J.D. Power’s price category.

Price Ranking: 4/5

Erie Insurance

Erie Insurance scored five out of five in J.D. Power’s auto insurance study and four out of five for home insurance. Choosing to bundle your insurance under Erie could be a smart way to save even more money.

Price Rating: 4/5

MAPFRE Insurance

MAPFRE started in Spain and expanded into Latin America and eventually to the U.S., where it is now an affordable choice for homeowners.

Price Rating: 4/5

Best Home Insurance Customer Service

Before selecting an insurance company for your home, it’s a good idea to find out how the National Association of Insurance Commissioners scored it for consumer complaints. The search tool can be a little bit complicated to use, but well worth your time to make sure the company you are considering deals with complaints in a timely and ethical manner.

Amica Mutual

Amica had the highest customer satisfaction ratings and lowest customer complaint ratio in 2018, compared to home insurance providers of similar size. J.D. Power scored Amica at the top of the list for interactions.

Interaction Rating: 5/5

USAA

USAA also scored favorably in terms of customer service complaints. Like many insurance companies, USAA’s customer service is handled by a call center, so the biggest complaint is having to talk to multiple people about the same issue. However, when filing a claim, customers were typically assigned a representative they could reach directly when needed.

Interaction Rating: 5/5

Cincinnati Insurance

Cincinnati Insurance had an average number of complaints compared to other insurance providers. However, J.D. Power’s study gave the company five out of five for interactions.

Interaction Rating: 5/5

Best Home Insurance for Military Families

If you are an active member of the military, a veteran or a family member of a veteran or active-duty member of the military, you may choose to go with a VA loan to purchase your home. If you do, you’ll find the VA has certain requirements when it comes to your homeowners insurance.

One of these requirements relates to flood insurance. If you live in a FEMA-designated special flood hazard area, you’ll need to get flood insurance in order to qualify for a VA loan.

You can choose any insurance company that offers the coverage required by the VA, but USAA is a popular choice.

USAA

USAA scored top marks all around in the J.D. Power study. Its only downside is the fact that it’s only available to military-affiliated families. But if you’re in the military, a veteran or an immediate family member, USAA could be your best option. Here’s a list of who is eligible for USAA membership:

  • Active, retired and honorably separated officers and enlisted personnel
  • Officer candidates in commissioning programs
  • Adult children whose parents were or are USAA members
  • Widows or widowers of USAA members

Military Discounts

If you opt for a non-military insurance company, make sure you ask about military discounts. Many of the bigger insurance companies, like Progressive and Farmers, offer discounts for active-duty military. Availability varies by state, so your options will be different depending on your location.

Best Home Insurance for First-Time Buyers

Homes are next to mountains

There is no single best home insurance company for first-time buyers. But if you’ve never been on the property ladder before, you’ll need to educate yourself on the types of insurance you need to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Look for insurance companies that offer plenty of online resources to help you understand the homebuying process.

Allstate

Allstate provides resources to help you decide which homeowners coverage to opt into. This includes articles on dwelling insurance, flood and earthquake insurance and quote comparisons.

You can also take an online quiz to see what type of insurance is right for you. All of these resources are available before you’ve even contacted a representative for a quote.

Best Home Insurance for Coverage

If you’re looking for insurance that goes beyond the basic — for instance, you live in a flood- or earthquake-prone area — you may want to look at these providers.

Amica Mutual

Amica Mutual’s standard policy includes coverage for your dwelling, other structures like garages or sheds, personal property, personal liability and loss of use. But because Amica believes that homeowners insurance shouldn’t be “one size fits all,” you can choose to extend your coverage where you need it.

For example, you can opt into dwelling replacement coverage, which covers up to 30% above your rebuild costs. Additional theft coverage protects you while you’re traveling as well as at home. Catastrophic coverage will help cover repair and replacement costs if your home is affected by a flood or earthquake.

Policy Offerings Rating: 5/5

USAA

Home insurance coverage from USAA varies depending on where you live. The basic policy covers you for fire, theft, vandalism, most weather-related events, liability and even identity theft. USAA also covers uniform replacement for active members of the military.

You can also choose to add an umbrella policy that protects you further in case of liability. For example, if your dog bites someone or your child’s friend is injured while at your home, the umbrella policy would cover your legal costs.

Policy Offerings Rating: 5/5

Best Overall Home Insurance Company: Amica Mutual

Amica Mutual scored top marks in all six J.D. Power categories. Not only is it a smart choice for budget-conscious buyers, but it’s also the best of the best for coverage and customer service. Only USAA was able to meet Amica Mutual in all categories.

Worst Home Insurance Companies

The following homeowners insurance providers scored below average for overall satisfaction in the J.D. Power study.

UPC Insurance

UPC provides insurance in 12 states and specializes in coverage for areas prone to natural disasters like hurricanes. This sounds great, but if you don’t live in one of those areas, your rates will likely be higher than you’d find with competing companies.

Customer service also appears to be lacking, with a high number of complaints from customers, especially in Florida.

Overall Satisfaction Score: 2/5

Homesite

Homesite Insurance has one star out of five in Consumer Affairs’ Overall Satisfaction Rating. This rating is based on 41 ratings submitted in the last year.

Overall Satisfaction Score: 2/5

The Hanover Insurance Group

The Hanover boasts competitive prices on homeowners insurance and has local agents you can meet with in person. But overall, customer service ratings are pretty poor: the company has two out of five stars on Consumer Affairs. Some customers also reported a delay in payment and billing.

Overall Satisfaction Score: 2/5

National General

National General’s customer service rating fares better than some others on this list, but it scored two out of five in all categories in the J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Home Insurance Study.

Overall Satisfaction Score: 2/5

Travelers

Out of 157 reviews that have star ratings (as of March 2019), Travelers’ homeowners insurance has 1.5 stars out of five in Consumer Affairs’ Overall Satisfaction Rating.

Overall Satisfaction Score: 2/5

At a Glance: Top 10 Best Homeowners Insurance Providers

The following table makes it easier for you to compare the top 10 home insurance companies, so you can get a better idea of the best companies to contact for a quote.

Company J.D. Power Overall Satisfaction Rating Price Ranking Interaction Ranking Policy Offerings (Coverage) Ranking
Amica Mutual 5/5 5/5 5/5 5/5
USAA 5/5 5/5 5/5 5/5
Auto Club of Southern California* 4/5 5/5 3/5 5/5
Cincinnati Insurance 4/5 4/5 5/5 3/5
Erie Insurance 3/5 4/5 3/5 3/5
MAPFRE 3/5 4/5 3/5 3/5
State Farm 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5
Allstate 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5
Auto-Owners Insurance 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5
Farmers 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5

*This company does not insure homes outside the state of California, so we have chosen not to include it in our analysis.

What to Consider When Choosing a Home Insurance Policy

Because your insurance premiums will vary based on your location and credit history, it’s in your best interest to shop around to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Here are some factors to consider when looking for a homeowners insurance policy.

Consumer Ratings

Read online reviews and consumer advocacy organization ratings of different insurance companies to get a feel for how the average customer feels about the company and how it treats customers and handles claims and complaints.

If most customer satisfaction reviews mention bad customer service or skyrocketing premiums, or it is rated poorly by consumer advocate organizations, you might want to scratch that company off your list.

You can also ask your friends and family members for recommendations. They will give you honest reviews based on their personal experiences, and you can trust these recommendations more than those that you read from ranting strangers on the internet.

Rebuild Costs

When getting quotes from your shortlisted insurance companies, make sure you ask about rebuild costs. This is how much your insurance will shell out to repair, rebuild or replace your house if it is destroyed or damaged.

This is important, because, depending on your coverage, you might end up having to pay out of pocket to repair or rebuild your home.

There are typically two ways your insurance company will pay out to repair your home: RCV or ACV

Replacement cost value (RCV) shells out the amount of money it would cost to replace the part of your home that is damaged or destroyed. For example, if your roof is destroyed, RCV coverage will pay to replace the roof.

Actual cash value (ACV) takes depreciation into account, so if your policy has only ACV coverage, and your roof is destroyed, your insurance company will pay only the amount it determines your roof was worth before it was damaged.

It’s important that you understand exactly what kind of coverage you have so you know what to expect after a disaster.

Medical Payments Coverage

If someone is injured on your property, your homeowners insurance will help pay their medical bills if you have medical payments coverage. Your policy will specify a limit, and after that, you will be liable for paying the remainder of the medical bill.

It’s up to you to determine where that limit should be, based on your financial situation and how much risk you want to take.

Additional Coverage

Before choosing a policy, it’s important to know what kinds of additional coverage you might need. The most obvious is flood insurance, which your lender will likely require if you live in a flood-prone area. (FEMA provides a handy resource where you can enter your address to see if you live in a flood area.)

Earthquakes happen most often in California but sometimes hit other states. You could choose additional insurance if you live in an earthquake-prone area. This type of insurance will cover the cost of rebuilding your home after earthquake damage, and will also cover any personal property inside your home.

Sinkholes can destroy not just your home but also your property. They are extremely costly to repair, and in some cases are irreparable, making your home and property uninhabitable and worthless. If you live in a sinkhole-prone area, you should investigate sinkhole coverage.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, some states require that standard homeowners insurance policies cover sinkholes at no additional cost, while others require that insurers offer optional sinkhole coverage for an additional premium.

If you’re buying an older home, you can purchase insurance designed for that too. Companies usually offer this for historic homes or registered landmarks.

There are a lot of options out there for home insurance, and deciding on the best policy can seem a bit like spinning a roulette wheel and hoping for the best.

But as long as you understand your needs, prioritize your requirements and do your research, you can be confident that your home will be covered in case of accident or disaster.

Catherine Hiles lives in Ohio with her husband and their two children. By day she manages a team of writers and graphic designers, and catches up on her own writing in her spare time.

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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John Explains to Aventer Why He Needs to “Put a Boundary” Around His Heart | Book of John Gray | OWN

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

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Alphabet-backed Clover Health is cutting tech jobs after realizing it needs more health-care experts

Clover Health is cutting about a quarter of its workforce so it can focus on hiring people with an expertise in clinical care and insurance.
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Hughley TV: Ray J Needs His Own Infomercial [VIDEO]

Who would have guessed that Ray J would go from playing the knucklehead Dorian on “Moesha” to becoming a boss in the tech field. The California native stopped by the D.L. Hughley Show to discuss all of his projects… and trust us there’s a lot. Learn about them ALL above!

The D.L. Hughley Show airs weeknights on TV One at 11/10c.

Don’t Miss Out! Follow The D.L. Hughley Show on Twitter and Instagram & Keep Up On Facebook Too!

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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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Tailored Brands Needs Major Overhaul to Improve Results

Tailored Brands managed to reverse year-ago losses in the fourth quarter, but is still struggling with a serious slowdown in sales, one that is going to require a major transformation to improve.
“This is not business as usual and we are not accepting the status quo,” Dinesh Lathi, executive chairman, said on an analysts’ call Wednesday afternoon.
Lathi said the company needs to change — and quickly — to offer more personalized products and services, a better omnichannel experience and fewer promotions in favor of more “brand stories.”
Lahti was highly critical of former management, saying the company’s issues have “roots in a degree of historical under-investment and [inability to keep] pace with an evolving customer.”
He said the company does “some things well, but we have considerable work to do in order to be considered great. There are examples where we have relied on [our market position] instead of investing to build on our leading position in the category.”
Lahti slipped into the top slot at the company last year upon the retirement of former chief executive officer Doug Ewert. Although a ceo search is ongoing, sources expect Lahti will eventually be named to the position.
In the past six months, Lahti said he has

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Zion Williamson’s Exploding Shoe Is a Reminder That College Basketball Needs Serious Fixing

Zion? No!!! Please. Not Zion.

Even if you’re one of the biggest Duke basketball haters on the planet — we’re aware there are many of you — there was only one proper response to what transpired 33 seconds into Wednesday night’s clash between Duke and North Carolina at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C. And that’s utter sadness.

Duke freshman Zion Williamson is what I (somewhat stupidly?) call a “no sandwich” player. As in, don’t go fixing a sandwich in the kitchen while this guy’s on TV in your living room. Williamson’s an athletic freak, liable to leap over an entire zone defense for a post-ready slam. He’s supremely skilled, entering the game against UNC averaging 22.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, while shooting a ridiculous 68% from the field.

“No sandwich” players don’t come through college basketball that often. Kevin Durant was another one, at Texas, more than a decade ago. So when Williamson’s left foot tore through his Nike shoe early in Wednesday’s game, causing his knee to awkwardly buckle, basketball fans shuddered at the idea that an injured Williamson would have to miss this rivalry game, and maybe much more — especially as he’s considered a top prize in the upcoming NBA draft lottery.

Williamson might be fine — he walked off the court on his own accord, and early reports indicate that the shoe explosion caused just a mild knee strain. But no matter how many games Williamson does or doesn’t miss, the incident served as an all-too useful reminder that one key part of basketball’s business model needs serious fixing.

The Duke star was NBA-ready right out of high school. Williamson should have had the option to get drafted, and lock up a multi-million dollar NBA contract — not to mention lucrative shoe and other sponsorship deals — last June. But ever since the NBA instituted an age restriction in 2006, players have needed to be at least 19 (and one season removed from high school graduation) to be draft-eligible. Back then, the NBA was concerned that too many high school players unprepared for the pros were entering the league. So that means elite prospects like Williamson have essentially been funneled into college for a year, creating a class of “one-and-done” college sports stars who try to win an NCAA title before bolting school for the pros after freshman year.

To be fair, Williamson didn’t have to play for Duke. He could have just sat out his year before the draft, worked to improve his game, and minimized his injury risk. But college ball offers benefits beyond pure economics. Who wouldn’t want to star for Duke? Playing in front of the rabid Cameron Crazies, against bitter rival North Carolina, in front of a rapt national TV audience can be a unique, treasured life experience for an 18-year-old like Williamson. In fact, Williamson has said he would have played college basketball even if he could have shot straight from high school to the NBA.

“I always knew I would go to college,” Williamson recently told NCAA.com. “Even if they would’ve had the NBA rule, I still would’ve came to college. You’re never going to get this experience again. Once you go to the league, it’s grown men, kids, families. It’s not just teenagers having fun. It’s business then.”

Let’s take Williamson at his word. If he indeed would have skipped instant millions for a year of college, you have to respect that personal decision. But that doesn’t mean he, and others like him, shouldn’t have the option to do otherwise. Kobe Bryant and LeBron James didn’t play for Duke — or any other college team — and they turned out just fine heading straight from high school to the pros. And what’s worse, Williamson, and others like him, not only can’t join the NBA right away, but thanks to NCAA amateurism rules, they can’t receive compensation, either — all while fueling the mighty economic engine of college sports. Wednesday night, countless entities were making big money off the Zion Williamson spectacle: ESPN. Duke. North Carolina. Whoever drove Barack Obama to Cameron (Williamson draws both former presidents and the best players on the planet to his games.)

What did Williamson get out of it? A busted Nike shoe and potential for career jeopardy.

Indeed, the shoe incident was stunning. Nike, a company with some $ 133 billion in market cap that’s accrued millions in brand value thanks to its sponsorship of Duke basketball — but cannot compensate the generational talent creating a chunk of that value for the company — could have played a role in damaging Williamson’s career, thanks to a questionable product. Nike’s stock is down about 1% as of midday Thursday. “We are obviously concerned and want to wish Zion a speedy recovery,” Nike said in a statement. “The quality and performance of our products are of utmost importance. While this is an isolated occurrence, we are working to identify the issue.”

No matter the timetable of Williamson’s return, Wednesday night’s injury is the indelible image of this college basketball season. First, the exploding sneaker. Next, we might witness the exploding knee. No teenage athlete should ever forget it.

Sports – TIME

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4 Financial Steps to Take if You’re Raising a Child With Special Needs

Raising any child is expensive, but when you’re raising a child who has special needs, there are additional financial responsibilities to consider.

The cost of doctor’s visits, therapy appointments, medication and special equipment add up. The amount of time needed to provide care may restrict you or your partner from working outside the home — or even at all.

Depending on your child’s condition, you may need to provide them with lifetime support.

It can be overwhelming just dealing with the medical and emotional aspects of your child’s particular challenges. Here’s what to know so that your finances don’t add to that stress.

Apply for Government Benefits

After your child is diagnosed, you’ll probably want to speak with a social worker who can help you understand what assistance may be available to your family and how to apply for that aid. Your child’s physician may be able to recommend a social worker, or you can contact your city or county department of social services.

A special needs attorney can also assist you. Robert Fechtman is a special needs attorney in Indiana and the president of the Special Needs Alliance, a national organization made up of attorneys who specialize in disability and public benefits law. He helps families navigate the public benefits system and plan for their children’s futures.

Fechtman said families may qualify for financial assistance through Social Security.

The Social Security Administration gives out Supplemental Security Income, also referred to as SSI, to children with qualified medical conditions whose family’s income falls under a certain threshold. The amount of assistance, which is given out monthly, varies from state to state.

Once your child reaches adulthood, he or she may also be able to receive Social Security disability benefits, which the administration gives out when an adult isn’t able to work due to a medical condition.

Depending on your family’s income, your child may also be able to qualify for free health insurance through Medicaid. Oftentimes if your child qualifies for SSI, he or she would also qualify for Medicaid. The Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, is available for families that make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but still can’t afford private health insurance.

The Fouche family of Ocala, Florida, qualifies for both Medicaid and SSI to cover costs for their 10-year-old daughter, Hannah, who has cerebral palsy. Vicki Fouche, Hannah’s mother, says the government aid has been a blessing for their family, but she worries that if her husband made more money, they’d lose those benefits and have more out-of-pocket expenses.

A mother puts shoes on her daughter as her daughter is playing on an iPad.

Families that don’t qualify for publicly funded medical insurance might find an affordable health insurance provider via the Health Insurance Marketplace at HealthCare.gov. Open enrollment has ended for 2019, but you can enroll if you have a qualifying life change, such as if you recently lost health insurance.

Fechtman also tells his clients to apply for Medicaid waivers, which allow those in need of long-term care to get free health care in home settings instead of a nursing facility. Children with special needs may qualify regardless of their parents’ income or assets. Each state operates its own Medicaid waiver program.

Fechtman said that many times, families aren’t aware of these waivers. There are often waitlists for applicants, so it’s generally one of the first things he brings up when meeting with new clients.

Families struggling with their finances should also check to see if they qualify for other public benefit programs, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). TANF provides monthly cash assistance for families, while SNAP provides money specifically for buying food. Both are income-based programs.

Set up a 529 ABLE Account or a Special Needs Trust

When you’re applying for government aid, the administering agency will typically have rules about how much income your family can earn and how many assets you can own. Money in a traditional checking or savings accounts could restrict a family from receiving public benefits.

However, Fechtman said parents can save money in a 529 ABLE account or a special needs trust, and those dollars won’t count toward a family’s assets.

ABLE accounts are tax-deferred similar to 529 college savings accounts. However, ABLE account funds can be used for more than just education. Fechtman said qualifying expenses also include health, wellness and transportation expenses for a child with a qualifying disability.

According to SavingforCollege.com, families can withdraw the money tax-free and can have up to $ 100,000 in the account without it affecting the child’s eligibility for SSI benefits.

The annual amount that could be contributed to an ABLE account in 2018 was $ 15,000.

Fechtman said it’s relatively inexpensive to open and maintain an ABLE account. However, one downside is if the child dies, the money in the account must go to reimburse whatever state provided Medicaid benefits for the child.

Families that save money for a child in a special needs trust don’t have to worry about those savings going to reimburse the state. A special needs trust is a legal arrangement set up to hold money for someone with a disability so that the person can continue to receive public benefits. The trustees — those who manage the trust — generally have few restrictions on how the money in the trust is used as long they don’t interfere with the beneficiary receiving government assistance.

Another difference between the two money-saving vehicles is the cost, which varies depending on factors such as who sets up the account and what state you live in.

Fechtman said an attorney might charge around $ 1,500 to draft a special needs trust. However, families can also join a pooled trust managed by a nonprofit organization, which could cost half that. Setting up an ABLE account could cost as little as $ 50.

Look Into Assistance from Nonprofits

Government programs aren’t the only source of assistance. Nonprofit organizations also provide help to families struggling financially.

Here are just a few organizations that help families in need:

  • The HealthWell Pediatric Assistance Fund provides financial assistance for families whose health insurance doesn’t cover the critical medical treatments their children need.
  • The UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation issues grants to help children get medical services that aren’t fully covered by their private health insurance.
  • The Different Needz Foundation provides grants for families so they can get medical equipment or services.
  • The M.O.R.G.A.N. Project has a pediatric disability equipment exchange program that lets families receive donated medical equipment for free.
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities provides families with places to stay when they have to travel so that a child can receive extended treatment at a hospital away from home. Families may be asked to make a donation of up to $ 25 per day, but no family is turned away if they can’t pay.

Organizations like United Way and the Salvation Army also help families struggling financially — not just those with special needs children.

Think About the Future

No parent wants to think about a situation where they aren’t alive to care for their child, but it’s important to prepare for — especially if your child has special needs.

“Every person who’s got a disabled child is horrified by the notion that they’re going to die before that child and that the child won’t have the care and support and everything that the parents provide,” Fechtman said.

Having a will is a given. But Fechtman said the will should direct inheritance money to a special needs trust so that the child can continue to qualify for public benefits.

Designating who will become the child’s guardian is also key, he said. Parents should look for someone who would be able to provide proper care for their child.

In addition, Fechtman said parents should have an adequate amount of life insurance to provide for their family in the event of their untimely death.

He recommends parents — specifically those in a two-parent household — get a survivorship life insurance policy, also known as a second-to-die life insurance policy. It covers both parents, but it doesn’t pay out until both parents are deceased.

One benefit of this type of policy is that premiums are generally much lower than for other policies. Another benefit is that coverage lasts until the policyholders die — unlike term life insurance, which ends after a certain number of years. This is especially important for parents who have special needs children, because those children may not be able to be independent and support themselves once they reach adulthood.

Of course, single parents wouldn’t be able to open this type of policy, and it may be insufficient if one parent is the household’s sole income earner.

“If you only have one breadwinner, you’d need to have individual insurance on that breadwinner,” Fechtman said. “Maybe you’re lucky enough that they have some kind of life insurance through work, so maybe you wouldn’t have to run out and get a seperate policy.”

The important thing is to have a plan in place so that your child is financially taken care of no matter what.

Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

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

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How This Family Lives Off $45K/Year While Raising a Special Needs Child

On a late November afternoon, Vicki Fouche heats up slices of frozen pizza in the toaster oven for lunch.

Her daughter Hannah, 10, waits at the dining room table in their Ocala, Florida, home.

Hannah has challenges eating on her own. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that affects motor skills, muscle tone and movement, when she was 6 months old.

Vicki, 48, places two plates in front of Hannah. “Look here. Which pizza do you want? Do you want ‘The Lion King’ or Olaf?” Vicki asks, referring to the Disney characters decorating each plate. “Which would you like? Lion King? Olaf?”

Hannah replies with just a sound — one that would be incomprehensible to most. But without any words exchanged, her mom knows what’s wrong.

“You don’t want either one?” she guesses. “You want pretzel bites?”

Hannah utters another obscure sound.

“You’re a pain in the butt, do you know that?” Vicki jokes, and she whisks the plates away from Hannah, handing a pizza slice off to Hannah’s 21-year-old sister, Bethany.

Vicki heads back to the freezer to get some pretzel bites, one of Hannah’s favorite foods.

When Hannah’s lunch is heated, Vicki brings a plate over to Hannah, whose attention is fixed on the iPad in front of her. Vicki proceeds to cut the pretzel bites into small pieces and feed her.

Hannah’s condition is hypotonic, meaning she has low muscle tone — specifically in her head, neck and trunk. She can’t stand on her own, walk or talk.

Hannah has the cognitive abilities to communicate; she just lacks the physical abilities to speak more than a few words. She uses an app on her iPad that lets her select words and phrases to speak aloud for her. In fact, Vicki says Hannah often uses the app to request pretzel bites.

There are many variations of cerebral palsy. For some, the disorder has a minimal effect on their lives. Others require around-the-clock care.

An older sister helps her little sister find a game on her iPad.

According to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation, 1 in 323 U.S. babies are diagnosed with cerebral palsy. There is no known cure for the disorder, which affects approximately 17 million people across the globe.

Hannah’s physical challenges mean that Vicki and her husband, Tim, have to care for Hannah in ways similar to caring for an infant. They feed her. They bathe her. They carry her down the hallway and lift her into her safety bed, which resembles an oversized crib.

Hannah’s parents also shoulder all the financial responsibilities of raising a child with cerebral palsy.

The Fouches are a family of five living off less than $ 45,000 per year. Though Bethany, their oldest daughter, doesn’t live at home anymore, Vicki and Tim have a 6-year-old daughter, Mikayla, and they took in their 15-year-old niece, Naomi, last summer.

Tim, 48, who works as a residential construction estimator for a custom home builder, is the family’s sole breadwinner.

“I work hard,” Tim says. “As a husband and a dad, you try to maintain a balance of working and being there for your family, too, at the same time. When you do that and you still feel like you’re falling short at the end of the month… it gets frustrating sometimes.”

Why Making More Money Isn’t an Option

A married couple sit at their kitchen table discussing finances.

The family qualifies for Medicaid and Social Security benefits for Hannah, plus a scholarship that covers home-schooling expenses. But Vicki says she’s scared of the possibility of losing that assistance if her husband makes more money.

“We’re [between] the proverbial rock and a hard place,” she says.

The Fouches know other families with disabled children that don’t qualify for assistance and aren’t able to get certain treatment or equipment covered under their private insurance.

“If [Tim] were to make more money and then they took [Medicaid away], it would cost us more in the long run,” Vicki says.

Vicki usually handles paying the bills and budgeting for the family since Tim works full time.

“How she does it, I don’t know,” Tim says. “She takes something out of nothing, and she pays the bills. But it’s a struggle every month.”

The Fouches have between $ 10,000 and $ 15,000 in credit card debt. They’ve used their credit cards when unexpected expenses came up, such as when the transmission went out in their minivan last year. They’ve made home-schooling purchases on credit, only to later find out Hannah’s scholarship wouldn’t reimburse the expense.

Every year, they like to put money aside from their tax refund to save for emergencies. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stretch through the year. They don’t have any other financial safety net.

“We never have money to save,” Vicki says. “We’re lucky that we have enough to pay our bills.”

Medicaid Helps… but It Has Limits

Each week, Hannah sees a speech therapist, physical therapist and occupational therapist. She also participates in therapeutic horseback riding. Because of assistance, the Fouches don’t have to pay out of pocket for any of that.

The Fouches have also gotten some of Hannah’s equipment paid for through Medicaid: an electric wheelchair, a manual wheelchair, a walker, a shower chair and Hannah’s safety bed, plus her nutritional drinks and diapers.

“We’re very, very blessed,” Vicki says.

But Vicki says the diapers Medicaid covers for Hannah leak easily. The electric wheelchair has malfunctioned several times.

Hannah never felt comfortable in the first shower chair they were able to get through Medicaid when she was little, so her father built one out of PVC pipe and trampoline material.

Vicki says she’s glad her husband is so handy. He also built a makeshift wheelchair ramp for their front door and widened the entrance into their kitchen so Hannah’s wheelchair could fit through.

A daughter is bathed by her mother.

Getting requests approved through Medicaid can be challenging, Vicki says. She says the agency requires in-depth explanations about why they need certain equipment or therapy and how Hannah will benefit.

And even when something is approved, the family sometimes still has to pay for part of it. Last spring, for example, Hannah received three weeks of intensive therapy at a facility in Melbourne, Florida. Medicaid covered the cost of the therapy, but the family had to pay for travel and lodging, since the facility was three and a half hours from home.

The family sold bracelets as a fundraiser and made about $ 2,300.

“We ended up having to come up with some of it out of our pocket,” she says. “We raised most of it, but not [all].”

A Plan Abandoned

A mother pushes one daughter in a shopping cart and the other daughter in a wheel char as she grocery shops at Sam's Club.

Vicki used to work as a Girl Scouts program coordinator, but high day care costs caused her to become a stay-at-home mom after having Hannah. She thought it would be temporary and that she’d go back to work once Hannah started kindergarten. Then, she got unexpectedly pregnant with Mikayla.

Vicki had her tubes tied after that pregnancy. With Hannah in school, Vicki’s new plan was to go back to work once Mikayla was in kindergarten. But then Hannah started having troubling experiences at school.

“She came home one time with rug burn on her cheek, a black eye, a split-open lip, and they say she fell over at circle time,” Vicki recalls, saying she suspects Hannah fell off a changing table instead. “She would come home 90% of the time with her lunch [uneaten].”

The Fouches were concerned their daughter wasn’t getting proper care at school. Two weeks before Hannah was going to start third grade, her parents told her she’d be going back to school soon. She cried hysterically.

“What kid at 8 years old hates school so bad?” Vicki asks.

So the Fouches made the decision to home-school their girls, and Vicki abandoned her plan to return to work. Though Vicki does a lot for her family, she sometimes feels bad that she isn’t able to earn an income. However, Tim says he’s very thankful for the role she’s taken on.

“[It’s] worth a whole lot for her to be with our children, to keep them safe and [see to it] that they’re taken care of and getting a good education,” he says.

That’s not the only sacrifice the Fouches have had to make.

A girl with cerebral palsy rides on a horse as part of a therapy session.

Vicki says they choose not to go to places as a family that aren’t accommodating for Hannah, like the playground or the fair. If Mikayla wants to go, she has to wait until one parent can stay home to watch Hannah.

The Fouches try to make sure Mikayla gets to do things she likes — such as gymnastics and T-ball — but the money isn’t always there for her to participate. Vicki says they had to charge T-ball registration fees to their credit card. They pay per class for gymnastics, and when money is tight, they’ll just skip it for the week.

One special treat the entire family enjoys is going to Disney World, which is only about an hour-and-a-half drive from their home. Last year, the Fouches had annual passes. They got them as a Christmas gift for the girls and paid for them in monthly installments. However, Vicki says they decided not to renew the passes for this year after Disney raised its prices.

“That’s been really frustrating,” she says. “That’s really the only thing that we do with the kids… Hannah doesn’t feel disabled at Disney. She can go on all the rides. She can’t do that at all the other parks.”

Their Plans and Dreams for an Uncertain Future

About a decade ago, when Hannah was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Vicki remembers the doctor explaining the diagnosis twice.

“I guess most people get hysterical and we didn’t, so the doctor [asked], ‘Do you understand what I’m saying to you?’” she says.

But Vicki and Tim knew something serious was wrong with Hannah. Their infant daughter wasn’t meeting typical milestones for her age. Unbeknownst to each other, they both had suspected it was cerebral palsy.

Instead of being devastated, they were grateful Hannah didn’t have a terminal illness, but rather a disorder that can improve over time through therapy.

And the Fouches have seen Hannah progress over the years. She can sit up unassisted, whereas before her body wasn’t strong enough to support itself.

One speech therapist told the Fouches that Hannah would never be able to work a communication device.

“She said she would never be strong enough to push the buttons on the communication thing,” Vicki recalls. “And yeah, this kid’s a whip on the iPad. It’s not even funny.”

A mother comforts her daughter at a doctor's appointment.
A family comfort one of the girls as she cries in bed.

In early December, Hannah was fitted for a leg brace that will keep her body from folding up in her sleep. Since she can’t control her limbs, it can be dangerous if she bends herself in half overnight, causing her to hurt herself or even block her breathing. Hannah often sleeps in her worried parents’ bed so they can closely monitor her.

A few weeks after getting the brace, Tim says she’s still having trouble adjusting to it. Hannah’s therapist suggested putting the brace on for an hour or two in the evening and working their way up to using it while she sleeps. Once Hannah is able to use the brace overnight and transition to her own bed, her parents will be able to get a more restful night’s sleep.

There’s still other equipment the Fouches wish Hannah had to better her life.

They’d love for Hannah to have a mobile stander, a device that would help her stand and move around without having to support her own weight.

“We can stand her for a little bit… but the last couple times we had her in her walker, she’s gotten so overheated, she’s thrown up,” Vicki says.

A father carries his daughter to the living room.

Having a device that doesn’t make Hannah strain to support herself would be ideal. Being in a wheelchair so often causes Hannah to have poor circulation in her legs.

However, Vicki says Medicaid won’t cover the mobile stander, because Hannah already has the electric wheelchair. She says it’d cost $ 5,600 to pay for out of pocket — money the family doesn’t have.

She also says it’d be wonderful to have a hoist system in the house to lift Hannah up. At 60 pounds, Hannah isn’t easy to carry anymore.

“I’m scared I’m going to fall with her,” says Vicki, who had to be hospitalized twice last year after bad falls. Luckily, she wasn’t carrying Hannah on either occasion.

A father sleeps on the couch in his living room.

The Fouches also wish they had a handicap-accessible van, but they can’t afford one. Vicki said even getting their current minivan converted to be wheelchair accessible would cost around $ 15,000.

Instead, they have to lift Hannah into the minivan, and they use her manual wheelchair when they go out.

Hannah’s only 10 now, but Tim and Vicki have thought about what her life will be like as she gets older. It’s uncertain what Hannah will be able to do on her own once she reaches adulthood.

“If we could have one wish for her… I would really hope at some point that she could be able to speak,” Vicki says. “I think that would make a huge difference for her, instead of having to rely on a communication device. I don’t know if that will ever happen — and if it doesn’t, it’s fine — but if I had a choice between her walking or speaking, I’d rather have her speak.”

One thing Vicki and Tim do know is that they never want to place Hannah in a nursing home. The Fouches say their faith in God gives them strength to handle all the challenges that come their way.

Overall, Vicki’s greatest hope for her daughter is one most parents have for their child.

“I just want her to have as [good of] a life as she can,” she says.

A mother and daughter laugh together at home.

If you are raising a child with special needs, learn more about how to plan financially for your child’s future.

Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

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

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

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Rep. Steve King Advocates White Nationalism and Needs a Black History Lesson

Congressman Steve King’s racist, white nationalist philosophy and false assertion that other ethnic groups or as he refers to it, “subgroups,”  have not contributed more to civilization is ridiculous.

Congressman King, did you know:

  • It was a black man by the name of Benjamin Banneker who mapped out the streets of our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. actually where your office is located.
  • Crispus Attucks, an African American man was the first man killed in the Boston Massacre, becoming the first casualty of the American Revolution.
  • Charles Richard Drew was an African American physician who developed the blood banks that saved many lives during World War II and even today. People of all races who get blood transfusions every day can thank a black man named Dr. Charles Drew.
  • A black man named Lewis Latimer invented the filament to the light bulb which gave the world long-lasting electric lighting methods that made it possible for the lights in your office to stay on for more than the 15 minutes that Thomas Edison reached.

By the way Congressman Steve King, we are not a “subgroup.” There is only one race, and that is the human race. Therefore, all racism is a total disgrace. Let’s not forget that Jesus Christ was a dark skin Jew, who was oppressed and crucified by the Roman government.

 


Steve KingThe ideas and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author’s and not necessarily the opinion of Black Enterprise.

 

The post Rep. Steve King Advocates White Nationalism and Needs a Black History Lesson appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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‘Touch Me Not’ film explores sexual needs of people with disabilities

“When I was 20, I thought I knew how things worked: desire, intimacy, beauty,” director Adina Pintilie, 38, tells The Post. But “reality is much more complex.” Her film “Touch Me Not,” screening at MoMA Friday through Jan. 17, is an unflinching look at human sexuality, replete with nudity and a possibly unprecedented inclusion of…
Entertainment | New York Post

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Best transportation apps that every traveler needs to download

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When you’re in a foreign country or state you don’t know well, it can be difficult to know where to go, how, and when. It’s all too easy to get lost and overwhelmed in a new city, but fortunately, there are some apps that can help. As well as innovative general traveling apps like SitOrSquat and Detour, some handy transport applications can make your trip much more manageable.

Citymapper

Arguably the best app for getting around, Citymapper has it all. The app features a map of your surroundings where you can view traffic updates, road closures, and routes. It can give you directions for cycling and walking, as well as giving you live updates on public transport, so you’ll know when your bus is running late. The app also shows you the suggested mode of transportation for getting around, so you’ll have pre-warning that your journey isn’t going to be fun if you’re walking a route that they suggest you get a train for.

AirHelp

Though this app doesn’t help you get around, per se, it can come in handy when you’re traveling. If your flight is severely delayed, canceled, or something else goes wrong, AirHelp has the solution. Simply input your flight and ticket details into the app, and it will automatically file a compensation claim for you. If your application is successful, your payment will be transferred straight into your bank account.

Uber

If you get stuck in an unknown city, with no idea of how to get back to your hotel, then Uber could be your lifesaver. It automatically finds your location and lets you know exactly how much and how long your taxi will be. You then pay on the app, meaning you can get out at your destination without having to worry about having the right change.

Mobile Passport

Valid in three cruise ports and 26 airports across the United States, Mobile Passport allows you to avoid the majority of customs and passport control. You set up a profile on the app, fill in your passport details – or scan it for it to fill it in itself – and input your trip details. When you reach your port of entry, the app will show you a barcode, where you skip most of customs and get it scanned, which gives them all the information they need, and you’re free to be on your way. What a genius invention!

Skyscanner

This app lets you book flights, hotels, and car rentals, no matter where you are. You can even get tailored notifications when deals arise. It also offers flight tracking, so you know exactly when your flight is expected to arrive and depart. You can even share an itinerary with other members of your party on the app.

Any application which can make our lives easier on our travels is worth it, especially if it’s free! These apps are among many which can help you out if you’re in need of directions or transport, as well as making your life generally easier and more convenient.

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The post Best transportation apps that every traveler needs to download appeared first on Worldation.

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When Needs Arise, These Older Women Have One Another’s Backs

NEW YORK — Like many women aging alone, Eileen Kobrin worried that an accident could compromise her independence.

Then, two years ago at age 71, the New Yorker fell while on vacation, breaking her left ankle, and her Caring Collaborative network sprang into action.

One member recommended an ankle surgeon at the nearby Hospital for Special Surgery, who operated successfully. Others brought over a wheelchair, a bath chair and an elevated toilet seat after Kobrin returned to her apartment with instructions to stay off her feet for several months.

Every day, someone would come with lunch or dinner, or just to keep Kobrin company. “It was a tremendous outpouring of support — one of the most wonderful experiences of my life,” she said.

The Caring Collaborative — an innovative program that originated a decade ago in New York City and has since spread to Philadelphia and San Francisco — brings older women together to help one another when short-term illness or disability strikes, addressing an all-too-often unmet need.

People who live alone, like most Caring Collaborative members, frequently worry about finding this kind of assistance. Across the U.S., 35 percent of women age 65 and older fall into this category. For women 75 and above, the number is even higher: 46 percent.

Once these women might have relied on nearby family, neighbors or churches for support. But today, families are dispersed, neighbors are often strangers, and churches reach fewer people than in the past.

The Caring Collaborative has three core elements: an information exchange, which members use to share information about medical conditions and medical providers; a service corps of women who volunteer to provide hands-on assistance to other members; and small neighborhood groups that meet monthly to talk about health topics and personal concerns. (Groups in San Francisco and Philadelphia have adopted some but not all of these components.)

In New York City, many members are retired professionals who want to make new friends and explore activities after leaving the workforce. They come to the Caring Collaborative through its parent organization, The Transition Network, a national organization for women 50 and older undergoing changes in later life.

Barbara Alpern, 72, current chair of New York City’s Caring Collaborative, joined four years ago after retiring from a demanding 28-year career in employee benefits consulting and becoming ill with a serious infection and complications from diabetes. Unmarried, she lives alone and had focused on work at the expense of friendship.

“I realized I had nobody I could easily count on,” she said.

Within months of signing up, Alpern sent out a request for somebody to pick her up from a colonoscopy and escort her back home. The woman who responded invited her for breakfast, and over bacon and eggs they discovered a mutual love for theater. Several get-togethers followed and “I made a friend,” Alpern said.

Naomi Goodhart, 64, who also lives alone, became a member three years ago after stepping down from a longtime position as a corporate executive assistant. “I’ve been a loner my entire life and have found making friends extremely difficult,” she told me in a phone conversation.

Since getting involved with the Caring Collaborative, Goodhart has formed a new neighborhood group in her area. (There are 16 in New York City and two under development.). Now, she describes herself as “the happiest I’ve ever been” because of a satisfying sense of purpose and the relationships she’s developed. “I need to feel needed,” she said.

A year ago, when Goodhart discovered she needed a breast biopsy after a mammogram, a woman she’d met through the Caring Collaborative volunteered to meet her at the hospital and bring her home after the procedure. “I’m very independent, but it was good that there was someone there,” she admitted.

Similar requests for someone to sit in on a doctor’s appointment, take care of a pet during an illness or visit during a hospitalization, for instance, are usually handled by members who have met and developed relationships with one another in neighborhood groups. Sometimes the requests are sent out to the entire membership — currently 385 women in New York City.

Marsha Carlin, 74, who belongs to a group in Brooklyn, recalled going to a doctor’s appointment with a woman who’d just gotten a diagnosis of breast cancer. “She wanted somebody to be there to take notes,” said Carlin, who is married but enjoys essential companionship through the Caring Collaborative. “It was very emotional.”

Members agree in writing not to reveal confidential information about one another, give medical advice or perform medical tasks such a bandaging a wound or giving someone medication. A two-hour orientation is required. Fundraising and an annual $ 100 membership fee for The Transition Network covers costs for the program, run almost entirely by volunteers. (In New York, a part-time employee handles requests for information and in-person assistance. People making the request remain anonymous until a personal connection is approved.)

Requests for information — Do you know a dermatologist who takes Medicare? Which home health agency or hospice would you recommend? Who’s your insurance agent? Which physical therapist do you use? Can someone who’s had breast cancer talk to me? What was your experience with knee surgery? — are by far the most common type of interchange among members.

Responding to emergencies is not part of the Caring Collaborative’s mission; instead, it recommends that people call 911. But one neighborhood group, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, is thinking about starting a WhatsApp group for members who want to be in touch in these circumstances, said Linda Anstendig, 76, its facilitator.

Like many groups, hers is a source of regular solace. “People are really willing to share stories that show their vulnerabilities,” Anstendig said. “There’s a lot of trust, and it makes you feel that you’re not alone in dealing with all kinds of problems.”

Can the Caring Collaborative’s “mutual support in aging” program be replicated in other communities? Mimi Grinker, a consultant who two years ago started a similar initiative, Living Well Together at the Marlene Mayerson Jewish Community Center in Manhattan, is convinced it can, in whole or in part.

Senior centers, aging organizations, senior housing complexes and other community groups could implement the “information exchange” component at a minimum, she suggested. (The Caring Collaborative has created a guide to replicating its program, a bit out of date and available here.)

What’s required: reaching out to older women in your community, assessing their needs and interests, finding individuals willing to step up as volunteer leaders, and developing an orientation that establishes clear roles and responsibilities.

Barbara Strahura, 65, a longtime health care executive and prior chair of New York City’s Caring Collaborative, calls this “help insurance.” Unpaid. Informal. But essential. “You need to plan for it before you need it,” she said, and belonging to a group of this kind is one way to accomplish that.


KHN’s coverage of these topics is supported by
The Silver Century Foundation
,
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
and
John A. Hartford Foundation

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is taking a self-care break, and she needs your advice

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is taking a self-care break, and she needs your advice


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is taking a self-care break, and she needs your advice

Since her election to Congress in November, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been busy in Washington. She’s not even officially a congresswoman yet, but she’s already been working tirelessly for the Green New Deal, which calls for a radical shift to renewable energy and has overwhelming bipartisan support, and fending off haters online.

Understandably, though, she’s getting tired. So she’s taking a much-needed self-care break to refresh and reenergize before the New Year kicks off and her job officially starts.

She announced her intentions to take a self-care week on Instagram today, December 17th:

“I’m starting a week of self-care where I’m taking the week off and taking care of me. I don’t know how to do that, though, so I would appreciate any and all self-care tips, because sometimes people are like, ‘Top 10 tips for self-care: Go to Cancún!’ And I’m like, is it a face mask? I don’t understand. I just don’t understand.”

She revealed that before she started campaigning, she did yoga three to four times each week and cooked healthy meals for herself. During the campaign, though, the yoga came to a grinding halt, and fast-food meals became de rigeur.

self-care alexandria ocasio-cortez
Instagram/ocasio2018

She noted that self-care is especially hard for women, who are expected to give themselves fully and selflessly while men take time for themselves to enjoy their lives. The fact is we should all have that same time and space for ourselves—it’s critical to avoiding burnout.

She also mentioned on Instagram that for activists, self-care is especially important, pointing to this resource from Amnesty International that offers tips for organizers (and everyone else!), such as “spend time with the people you love,” and “eat healthy foods, exercise, and try and get enough sleep.”

She asked her social media followers to share their tips, too, and they suggested that she meditate, break out into dance, get outside, and take an epsom salt bath.

Ocasio-Cortez wrapped up her Instagram Story by saying that she’s spending her week in the “middle of nowhere” in upstate New York, bringing with her pens, music, epsom salts, lavender oil, and more self-care essentials. If you have other recommendations for self-care, send her a note!

The post Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is taking a self-care break, and she needs your advice appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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Watch: Tank Says Offset Needs to Keep Showing the World He Wants Cardi B Back [Video]

If you ask Tank, Offset needs to tell everyone he can that he wants Cardi B back.

via TMZ:

We got the rapper Saturday night in the ATL, at the State Farm Arena for the V-103 Winterfest when he threw down his game plan for Offset … shout out to the world that you want your wife back. “Be Loud, be apologetic with everything you do until you get your wife back,” he says.

Tank doesn’t know if his plan will work, but that leads him into a super interesting view of human nature.  He’s not buying the whole, give-him-a-second-chance thing, because Tank thinks humans are so flawed — so imperfect — that sometimes people should get 4th and 5th chances.

Sounds like Offset is heeding his advice. 

The post Watch: Tank Says Offset Needs to Keep Showing the World He Wants Cardi B Back [Video] appeared first on lovebscott – celebrity news.

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Best translation apps that every traveler needs to download

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One of the biggest issues with traveling is having to deal with the language barrier. The more countries you visit, the greater the problems you face. While plenty of people around the world speak English, most of them don’t have it as their first language. That causes communication issues, especially if you’re not well versed in their native tongue either. Thankfully, technology can save the day. The rise of smartphones means there are now apps for everything, including translating foreign languages. Which ones are the best to use though?

Papago

If you’re looking for an app that translates all languages, this isn’t it. However, if you’re in China, Japan or Korea and need to know what things say, you’ll want Papago on your phone. The app compensates for its lack of language options by giving you incredible insight into the ones it does know. In the case of Papago, it’s all about quality over quantity. It can offer you a wide range of support, from things like understanding daily expressions to the lingo needed in restaurants, shops, hotels and plenty more. Your Asian vacation won’t be the same without this.

iTranslate Voice 3

There’s nothing more frustrating than dealing with miscommunication when you’re talking to someone foreign. They don’t speak your language, you don’t speak theirs, and it’s getting you both nowhere. Luckily, there might be an app to stop these awkward encounters from ever happening again. iTranslate Voice 3 acts as a tool for your conversations by translating everything you say. All you do is speak into the microphone, and it converts what you said into the language you desire. The person you’re talking to does the same thing, and soon enough all confusions are cleared up with you and your new friend.

Google Translate

Google Translate is a service that many people are familiar with, and it’s likely you’ve used it at least once in your life. Although the translations don’t come back 100% perfect, they should give you a firm idea of what someone’s said. Plus, this app has the added advantage of the Word Lens feature. If there’s a piece of text you don’t understand, Google Translate can tell you what it says. All you have to do is open your camera in the app and highlight whatever it is you don’t understand.

Microsoft Translator

Microsoft Translator essentially combines all the great features from these other apps into one versatile package. Whether you prefer to type or speak what it is you want to translate, it doesn’t matter. The app will do it all for you and give you a response to the best of its ability. It also offers the option to turn foreign text into english if you take a photo of a sign that you don’t understand. It’s the ideal app for any first-time traveler.

While it’s great to try and learn more than just one language during your life, you can’t be expected to know them all. Thankfully, with all these apps at your disposal, communicating in a foreign country is now easier than ever.

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The post Best translation apps that every traveler needs to download appeared first on Worldation.

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Ex-Lions GM Matt Millen needs heart transplant ‘fairly soon’

Former NFL linebacker and Detroit Lions general manager Matt Millen is in the hospital awaiting a heart transplant and needs one "fairly soon," according to a report by NBC Sports. Millen has been suffering from amyloidosis, a rare disease that would eventually require the surgery. Two months ago to the day, Millen stepped away from his work as a broadcaster with the Big Ten Network to focus on his health — and presumably prepare for a potential transplant. King reported that Monday is the 68th day that Millen, a former ESPN employee, has been waiting for a transplant in an undisclosed hospital in New Jersey. King said Millen will be in the hospital until he receives a new heart. Millen, 60, went public about his disease in April, when he told the Morning Call of Allentown, Pennsylvania, that his heart was working at 30 percent of its capacity. Amyloidosis occurs when amyloid builds up in bone marrow and then spreads to organs and other body tissue. As…
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What Needs to Happen in ‘Fantastic Beasts 3’

SPOILER WARNING: This post contains major spoilers for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Proceed at your own risk.

When you consider just how many new characters, storylines and somewhat mind-boggling reveals Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald boasts there are, it’s quite hard to believe that the movie’s tagline isn’t something along the lines of, ‘Forget everything you think you know.’

You see, not only does it live up to its promise of being a dark follow-up that’s peppered with Harry Potter references, but it also challenges canon and shakes things up significantly. This — as you might have guessed — has divided the opinions of fans of the franchise across the globe.

Similarly, it’s made it much harder to predict where the unraveling spin-off series might go — particularly when it comes to certain character arcs — as not every aspect of the new film lines up with backstories or details that author-cum-screenwriter JK Rowling has divulged since publication of the original books.

That being said, it’s fun to speculate and it’s not a completely impossible task, especially given that Rowling is a fan of dropping the odd clue. So here we predict what could — and perhaps more importantly after its controversial predecessor, what should — happen in Fantastic Beasts 3

More Location-Hopping


‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ took magizoologist to New York. Its sequel saw him travel to Paris… Where will he go next?

When anticipating what might happen in the next movie, this seems the most obvious thing to expect. While Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them took place entirely in New York City, The Crimes of Grindelwald sees scenes play out in London and Paris, Fantastic Beasts 3 will reportedly see Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and co. travel to Rio de Janeiro.

Rowling hinted that the film will be set there on Twitter, when she changed her header to a photograph of a vibrant-looking street and explained to a fan that it depicted the Brazilian city in the 1930s. And that’s not all she’s alluded to on the social media platform regarding future installments.

Way back in October 2016, a user asked her how many Fantastic Beasts movie she intends there to be, to which she replied, “5. Five. Cinq. Fünf. Cinco. Cinque.” It seems fair to assume that ‘five’ and ‘cinq’ make reference to the first and second films’ locations, but if Rio is the next destination (where they speak Portuguese and would therefore say ‘cinco’), ‘fünf’ probably applies to the third film too.

It’s known that Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) built a castle in Austria — which we saw a glimpse of in the closing moments of Fantastic Beasts 2 — so it’s likely that a large part of the film will be set there too. At some point, on this evidence, it looks like we’ll also go to Italy. There are links within Rowling’s Wizarding World to Italy — which dates back to at least Roman times and the warlock Zaccaria Innocenti who, it’s implied, was responsible for the Mt Vesuvius eruption that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum. Thank goodness for Portkeys, eh?

Nagini Integral

After learning that Lord Voldemort’s subservient serpent Nagini used to be a woman (played by Claudia Kim) in The Crimes of Grindelwald’s dramatic final trailer, fans were expecting her to have… well… you know, a sizeable role in the sequel. Oh, how wrong they were. Kim has no more than five lines in the movie and spends most of her time looking worried, standing slightly behind Ezra Miller’s Credence Barebone. She has so little presence, in fact, that it’s curious as to why Rowling felt compelled to include her at this early stage at all.

The only way this can be rectified is if Nagini becomes an integral part of the franchise’s plot going forward. As a Maledictus, she carries a blood curse that will eventually lead to her remaining a snake forever, but it’s bound to be interesting to see how she becomes He Who Must Not Be Named’s ally — something that Claudia Kim herself told us she’s keen to explore. Let’ssssss go!

Is Queenie More Significant than We Realise?

In Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, newbie Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol) upended the trope of the ditsy, blonde glam-girl and quickly established herself as a quick-witted, fiercely independent and big-hearted witch with mind-reading capabilities. So it’s baffling that in follow-up The Crimes of Grindelwald, she makes some morally-questionable choices that go completely against her character.

First of all, it is revealed that in order to get No-Maj Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) to elope to the UK and marry her, she bewitches him with a love potion. Seeing as Jacob clearly had feelings for Queenie anyway, that whole subplot stinks of sexist stereotype and counteracts how empathetic she comes across in the first film.

And if that’s not bad enough, the film’s final act sees her actually join Grindelwald’s side as she thinks it will mean she’ll be able to eventually freely marry Jacob. Jacob doesn’t tag along, despite her pleading for him to jin her, meaning that she loses the one thing she’s trying to gain in the process. It’s baffling and rushed, so we’ll definitely need to see her motivations explained in Fantastic Beasts 3. Will it be revealed that she was under the Imperius Curse? And why is she so important to Grindelwald? Does it have something to do with the Lestrange family, to which she’s subtly linked in the film during a brief moment when she touches a raven crest? In a perfect world, we’d see her reunite with the good guys again but if that can’t happen, we’ll settle for [better] answers.

Brothers in Arms


The Scamander brothers were given a common cause to fight for in ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’.

Throughout The Crimes of Grindelwald, we are told that Newt Scamander and his older brother Theseus don’t really get on, despite them seeming like they don’t really mind each other all that much. Theseus is an Auror for the Ministry of Magic and therefore likes order and rules; Newt, on the other hand, can think of nothing worse than someone calling the shots.

But when an awful tragedy affects them both during the film’s final act, Newt reveals to Theseus that he’s ‘picked a side’ and will therefore fight Grindelwald alongside him going forward. We expect that the pair to grow closer as they attempt to take down the Dark Wizard and avenge Leta Lestrange.

Dumbledore Destroys the Blood Pact


Dumbledore ‘can’t move against Grindelwald’ — but not necessarily for the reasons you might think.

Even if you’re a fairly casual Harry Potter fan, you’re likely to know that Albus Dumbledore (played in the prequel series by Jude Law) ends up with the Elder Wand. In The Crimes of Grindelwald, the eponymous baddie has possession of the wand and it’s pretty self-explanatory that Dumbledore will end up with it because he’ll eventually fight — and best– Grindelwald, becoming its owner.

As it stands, Rowling has written into the Fantastic Beasts lore that Dumbledore physically can’t fight Grindelwald because the men made a blood pact in their teens never to attack one another. But towards the end of the film, one of Newt’s Nifflers steals the silver vial preserving their united blood so it’s safe to assume that Dumbledore and co. will find a way to destroy it, voiding the pact and making their inevitable contest a possibility.

Time Jumps

In The Crimes of Grindelwald, Depp’s Grindelwald — who is canonically a Seer and has the ability to see into the future — uses the threat of a Second World War to encourage his fellow witches and wizards to support his dream of magical folks dominating muggles.

If the third film is going to be set in the 1930s, then World War II may play a part in the proceedings. While the infamous war began in the latter part of the decade, we know that the entire Fantastic Beasts series will conclude in 1945, when Dumbledore and Grindelwald duel, so big time-jumps are entirely likely. Marry that with the fact that some of it will likely take place in Austria, a country that was annexed with Nazi Germany during the war, due to Grindelwald’s castle being situated there and it seems possible that it’ll come up.

Barebone’s Backstory


Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller) was the subject of a shocking twist at the end of ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’.

In The Crimes of Grindelwald, the titular baddie informs Obscurial orphan Credence Barebone (who inexplicably survived the first film) that his real name is Aurelius Dumbledore. At the same time, it’s implied that Barebone is Albus Dumbledore’s brother.

It’s a startling revelation, particularly when you learn that Albus’s father Percival was imprisoned in Azkaban in the early 1890s for attacking three muggles, and later died there. Elsewhere, his mother Kendra was killed by his sister — who lacked proper control over her magical abilities — in 1899. There’s always a chance that Barebone could be older than his character appears but it still seems a little far-fetched. Is there a Time Turner at play? Or could Percival Dumbledore somehow have fathered a child during his spell at Azkaban?

Of course, it’s possible that Grindelwald is lying to lost-and-vulnerable Barebone but the phoenix, which is drawn to him in the scene, indicates not (as the Dumbledores famously share a bond with the mythical creatures). Only time will give us some much-needed answers.

A Sharper Focus


Too many characters, too little time.

As much as it pains a Potterhead to say this, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has some flaws. Its plot doesn’t quite add up when it comes to the stories we’ve known for over a decade; women’s roles are reduced to either a tragic love interest, or worse — wordless; and characterisation that was introduced in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is undone in places.

Its biggest misstep, though, is that it tries to say too much and in doing so, ends up simultaneously chaotic and dull. Subplots are glossed over, relationships go underdeveloped and obstacles are easily overcome in order to messily move on to the next clunky sequence.

Fantastic Beasts 3 needs to be sharper and to deepen the richness of Rowling’s world and characters. Otherwise, it runs the risk of falling at the same hurdles. One of the best things about Harry Potter was how much it made you relate to and root for the likes of Ron, Hermione and Harry. If Fantastic Beasts 3 remembers it’s the individuals that we truly care about, not some grand unfolding war, then it might turn this franchise around.

Dumbledore Desperately Needs a Love Story

The post What Needs to Happen in ‘Fantastic Beasts 3’ appeared first on FANDOM.

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The 60-20-20 Budget Puts Needs Before Wants. Here’s How to Try It

I always thought the right budget breakdown was the tried-and-true 50-30-20 method, where 50% of my monthly take-home pay goes toward living expenses, 20% toward savings and 30% toward whatever I want.

But when I finally got a financial advisor, I was surprised to hear that his recommendation wasn’t 50-30-20 after all — it was the 60-20-20 budget.

During our first meeting, we discussed all of my finances. I explained to him that I own a home in a costly state (hello, New Jersey), commute to work in New York City, aim to save a large amount every month and have little debt.

With all of this and more in mind, his recommendation of the 60-20-20 budget made perfect sense. I immediately became a huge fan of how the money I save and spend on whatever I want is equal — each 20%. Plus, knowing I was allowed 60% of my monthly budget for my living expenses, I had a little more flexibility over my fluctuating bills like groceries and electric.

Why the 60-20-20 Budget?

In reality, you can budget your take-home pay any way you want, but the 60-20-20 budget is great place to begin.

Let’s say your monthly take-home pay is $ 4,000. According to the 60-20-20 budget, you should allot 60% (or $ 2,400) to your monthly living expenses, 20% (or $ 800) to savings and then 20% (another $ 800) to your personal wants.

My financial advisor, Northwestern Mutual insurance agent Nicholas Verard Zanoni, said this method can help you build structure into your budget and learn how to save.

“With this rule, 60% of your [take-home pay] will typically go toward your lifestyle expenses,” Zanoni said. “These are your needs — food, water, shelter and standard of living. Things like your fixed expenses. Then 20% is for your discretionary spending. This is your fun money — traveling, drinks, sporting events, concerts, eating out, etc. And the last 20% is to be saved or invested.”

It’s not much different than the 50-30-20 budget, but it puts more of a focus on fixed expenses and savings than personal wants and spending.

“This is a rule-of-thumb guideline to start out with and visualize,” Zanoni said. “Whether it’s 50/30 or 60/20, it’s really just splitting hairs in a lot of ways. Ultimately, my goal is to help coach my clients at first to spend 80% and save 20%.”

When you take a step back and look at how much of your take-home pay goes into each of these three buckets, you can better analyze your spending in order to make smarter savings decisions.

How to Get Started With the 60-20-20 Budget

If you’re ready to utilize the 60-20-20 budget, start by taking inventory of your finances. Write down every monthly expense you can think of and keep track of them in a spreadsheet. Then look at how much you’re spending through the lens of the 60-20-20 budget.

From there, consider using a financial app to help you find ways to cut back and save even more.

“People should focus on treating their savings like a bill, an obligation and not so much of an option,” Zanoni said. “Focusing on fixed expenses and saving helps identify the money that might be being spent unnecessarily or without much recognition. More often than not, most individuals are not aware of all of the things they spend money on.”

This budget could help you be more aware of your spending habits, especially when you’re doling out the dough for things you don’t really need (hi, super cute sweater from H&M) or that you’re not using (hello, monthly streaming subscriptions).

Instead of equally spending $ 800 on savings and $ 800 on your personal wants, perhaps you’d want to put $ 1,000 toward your savings and only spend $ 600 on your personal wants. That would shift the 60-20-20 budget to 60-25-15, and you’d be saving more.

“In order to reach the goals we have for ourselves, we very typically find that we need to increase savings to 25 or 30% over time to reach those goals,” Zanoni said. “People may not be able to start out at 20%, but that’s what we want to help them achieve and work toward at first. Over time, we will need to be saving more as we continue to progress in life every single year.”

Lastly, Zanoni said to keep your goals in mind and consider working with a financial advisor who can help you stay on track.

“Focusing on that budget and making sure that they work with someone to help optimize that budget for all of their goals is really the most important part,” Zanoni said.

Budgeting is all about finding ways to set yourself up for financial freedom. Starting now can really make a difference in the future.

Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI (NM) and its subsidiaries. Nicholas Verard Zanoni is an insurance agent of NM.

Hilarey Wojtowicz is the senior career and finance editor at Swirled, a lifestyle newsletter and website that helps millennials learn everything they need to know in order to truly start adulting.

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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No Propellers or Turbine Needed: MIT’s New Airplane Needs No Fuel or Moving Parts.

Ever since the Wright Brothers launched their sustained flight of an aircraft, people have been ferried through the air in planes powered by moving parts–typically, a propellor or jet turbine.

A paper published in Nature this week shows that a team of aeronautics scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has designed, and successfully flown, an entirely new type of aircraft: One that has no moving parts, requires no fossil fuel, and lacks the loud droning sound traditional aircraft can emit–a plane that seems closer to sci-fi than it does aircraft aloft in the skies above Earth.

The paper describes a plane powered by electro-aerodynamics, a process in which “electrical forces accelerate ions in a fluid,” it says, creating a phenomenon called an “ionic wind that produces a thrust force in the opposite direction to ion flow.” Such technology had been around for a while, helping to power spacecraft beyond Earth’s atmosphere, one aerospace engineer told Scientific American. The trick was powering a plane through our planet’s skies.

Put into plain English, here’s how MIT explained the potential advancement in air-flight technology. “When a current passes between two electrodes–one thinner than the other–it creates a wind in the air between. If enough voltage is applied, the resulting wind can produce a thrust without the help of motors or fuel.”

But here’s the catch: The MIT researchers designed a mere drone that weighed about five pounds and had a roughly 16-foot wingspan, Popular Science reported. In ten test flights, the electro-aerodynamically powered plane flew as long as 230 feet at around 11 miles an hour. “Then it crashed into the wall, which wasn’t ideal,” one researcher was quoted as saying.

Maybe that’s not the stuff of future air travel, or even the enduring legend of Kitty Hawk. But the achievement is being greeted as a promising prelude to the future air flight. Electro-aerodynamics may not be close to replacing propellers and jet turbines any time soon, but it could open the door to new alternatives in air travel.

“You could imagine all sorts of military or security benefits to having a silent propulsion system with no infrared signature,” said MIT professor Steven Barrett, a co-author on the Nature study.

 

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This Company Offers Life Insurance That Actually Responds to Your Changing Needs

Pop quiz time. What do you think about when you think about buying life insurance?

Time’s up! Did you think of pushy salespeople? Or maybe your mind went to the dreaded thought of getting locked into a 20-year policy that isn’t right for you even five years down the road.

Your life is constantly changing, and that’s a good thing. What you really want is life insurance that can change along with you.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, an independent resource for information on all things insurance, 44% of consumers overestimate the cost of life insurance, and more than half of them say they’d get it if they could just get it priced without a physical exam.

If you think you’re ready for a term life insurance plan to help protect your family, check out Ladder. You’ll find that you can get life insurance that is easy to get and easy to change when your life takes a new path.

My Life Changes. What About My Policy?

One of the hardest parts about choosing a life insurance policy is trying to figure out just what kind of policy is the best fit for you and your life. What if you sign a 15-year policy and your life situation changes?

People get married, buy houses, have kids and then, eventually, those kids move out and do their own thing.

Ladder gets it. Your life is dynamic, and your life insurance coverage should be able to change with it. That’s why it offers flexible coverage.

Sign up for the coverage you need, but when your life takes a new path, Ladder lets you add more or even reduce your coverage without dealing with high-pressure agents or even tedious paperwork.

Back up — What Is Term Life Insurance?

Simply put, term life insurance is a life insurance policy that pays out a benefit upon the death of the policy holder. The policy is purchased for a certain term, for example 10 or 20 years, and the policy holder can choose to renew their policy once it expires.

The biggest determining factors in the cost of a term life insurance policy are the amount of coverage (the amount left to the family) and the age, gender and health of the person insured.

The primary benefit is the ability to leave money for loved ones for things like funeral and living expenses.

For example, imagine a man who is 35 years old, married and has two kids. He may choose to purchase term life insurance. If he should die unexpectedly, the insurance policy would leave a predetermined amount of money to his wife and kids to help pay funeral costs. It would also help them get by without his income, so they could continue to pay their bills, stay in their home and continue their education.

Keep Life Simple

You can use Ladder’s coverage calculator to figure out how much coverage you should have. Then your online application only takes a few steps:

  • Take about five minutes to answer a few questions about your life and health, such as your income.
  • You’ll get an instant decision on coverage, and there’s no risk. You won’t even have to go get a full physical. Some simple lab work might be required, but that’s easy, right?
  • You’ll need to enter your driver’s license and social security number, which is true for any life insurance application. The company needs this information to verify your identity and prevent fraud,. It uses a secure website and will not sell your private information.
  • You’ll pay no policy fees, and you can cancel anytime. You even get a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Your life is full of changes. Make sure your life insurance can change with you.

Life can be hard, and making decisions about it can seem even harder. Ladder makes life insurance easy to get and easy to change.

Tyler Omoth is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder who loves soaking up the sun and finding creative ways to help others. Catch him on Twitter at @Tyomoth.

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

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5 apps every traveling foodie needs

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For many travelers, their next vacation spot is not just about the scenery, the shopping or the sightseeing. In fact, for many the local cuisine and the food in general is the main focus of their trip. People would actually buy a plane ticket, pay for a hotel room and go through all the ‘burden’ of planning a trip just to go and, we guess, eat. We can totally understand that passion for food and for trying out new things and enticing your taste buds all so very often as we also love the idea of traveling for food. While for many tourists (or even local) going out to a restaurant is just another way to ease their hunger and continue from there, for others it’s really a mission to try out as mush as they can.

What makes one a foodie? We mean, there’s really so much more to being a real foodie than just snapping awesome and Instagram-worthy pictures of your dessert or dinner. It’s actually a deep dedication (and passion) to the colorful culinary world. It seems, though, that these days we are swamped with food and drink-related apps. We don’t know anymore if it’s an app that is all about restaurants and how to find the best one according to your preferences in your area, or whether it’s an app that is about booking the best seats at your favorite place. The choices are endless, the concepts are cool and appetizing, but if you’re looking for specific apps that will match your inner foodie when you travel and make your dining experiences even better, then we’ve rounded up five of the best and most useful apps to help you in that area.

Off the Menu

Every foodie knows that a big part of sharing your dining experiences is about those unique things that happened to you during that time or special dishes you tried that no one else would even dare to try. Well, with Off The Menu you will get to see secret menus and special items that restaurants wouldn’t necessarily offer its guests. With this app you will get a ticket to the backdoor of every important kitchen across the U.S and Canada and will get to try out new things like no one else. This is your way to stay hip and trendy in the restaurant world.

Happy Cow

Being a vegetarian or a  vegan these days does not mean that your options are limited. On the contrary, it seems like there are more and more veggie restaurants rising and with the help of Happy Cow, you can now find them easily around the world. The main purpose of the app’s founders was to make healthy food more accessible and easy to find.

Roaming Hunger

Now this app is one of the coolest food-related apps we have ever seen around. The Roaming Hunger really combines one of the biggest trends in the culinary world these days and that is the wheeling trend of food trucks. With this app you will be able to locate the closest food trucks in your area. There is something so neat about food tricks and their concept that some places are actually worth traveling for just for their mobile food stations.

Foodspotting

Foodspotting couldn’t be more specific as it’s not about the restaurants, it’s actually about the dishes. Sure, these two go hand in hand, but the app focuses on specific dishes and their visuality rather than the quality of the service. By using the app, foodspotters can share pictures of their meals with other users and recommend about these dishes. It’s like sightseeing, but just about food.

No Wait

Every professional foodie knows how hard it gets to try and score a table at a popular restaurant. In fact, there is nothing more disappointing than to travel to a place just to realize you can’t find a spot at a restaurant you’ve been dying to dine in. With NoWait, you will place yourself on the waiting list from pretty much anywhere. Users will be able to see real-time wait times that will save them a lot of time and energy.

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The post 5 apps every traveling foodie needs appeared first on Worldation.

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‘Jersey Shore’ Star Ronnie Ortiz-Magro’s Troubled Baby Mama Explains Exactly What She Needs To Get Out Of His Life

Just days after Jersey Shore: Family Vacation star Ronnie Ortiz-Magro and his girlfriend Jen Harley announced that they were happier and more in love than ever, the two got into a vicious social media war with Instagram stories. And, it all started when Ortiz-Magro accused Harley of neglecting her kids, so she could go out and drink.

In a series of now-deleted posts, Ortiz-Magro accused Harley of leaving her 12-year-old son home alone while she went out partying with friends.

“Left 12yr old son alone while she went to drink” read an Ortiz-Magro snap taken at 6:38 am on October 21st. “This is why i had the baby bc she wasn’t home at 630 am and her son alone until 930 am.”

It wasn’t long before Harley started firing back, writing that her daughter was screaming and crying under Ortiz-Magro’s care, and she was scared because she never cries like that.  “I’m so heartbroken,” wrote Hartley.

According to Radar Online, it was at this point that the feud started to escalate. They brought up their fight on Jersey Shore when Harley made a scene and stormed off after a night of drinking with Ortiz-Magro and the rest of the cast. And, Harley accused her boyfriend of never wanting her to be part of the group.

All of this played out on the most recent episode of Jersey Shore. They were all enjoying a night out at Harrah’s in Vegas to see DJ Pauly D, but a hotel rep showed up to let Harley know the property had banned her. But, Ortiz-Magro convinced the rep that everything would be calm, and they allowed her to remain on the premises. She ended up getting drunk and fighting with Ortiz-Magro before ditching him and the rest of the cast.

Back to their social media feud, Harley also asked via text (Ortiz-Magro posted screenshots) for the reality star to give her $ 20,000 so she would leave him alone.

“Pull out 20K, and I’ll go,” wrote Harley.

After accusing his girlfriend of giving him a black eye, Ortiz-Magro then posted a creepy video (which he has since deleted) where fans could hear harsh sounds inside his home. In the caption, he wrote that the sounds were of an assault with a weapon and hands. He added the hashtags #BatteredMen, #MenLivesMatter, and #AbuseOrNah.”

Harley and Ortiz-Magro have tried to make their relationship work after the birth of their daughter in April. But, even with counseling and anger management classes, they still can’t seem to get along. She even claimed on Instagram that Ronnie Ortiz-Magro took their daughter a few days ago and has refused to give her back.

New episodes of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation air Thursday nights on MTV.

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‘Cool Kids’ star Vicki Lawrence: TV needs more rowdy seniors

The Cool Kids | Friday, 8:30 p.m., Fox Vicki Lawrence never felt she was part of the “in” crowd, despite getting her big break as a teenager on comedienne Carol Burnett’s 1967-78 variety show. But when Fox picked up her new sitcom, “The Cool Kids,” her former boss made sure to clarify her status. “I…
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Meghan King, Jim EdmondsMeghan King Edmonds is ready to switch from mommy mode to vacation mode.
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The perfect fire-starter for your camping needs

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Whether you are a survival specialist or a casual camper, this fire-starter by SE is the perfect tool. It comes with it’s own flint, magnesium bar, and serrated striker. Plus this bad boy is water proof.

Heads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable’s commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission. Read more…

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