There’s really not much proof probiotics work: Study

Probiotics are intended to mimic, strengthen the effects of “good” bacteria.
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Conan O’Brien Really Went to Japan to Visit Hokuei ‘Conan Town’

Shortly after jokingly claiming Gosho Aoyama’s popular manga/anime Case Closed, Detective Conan is based on him, Conan O’Brien made his way to Japan. The talk show host is on route to meet the mayor of Hokuei, Tottori with a long list of compensation demands. Hokuei, better known as ‘Conan Town,’ is the birthplace of Aoyama and is known for its Detective Conan themed attractions.

Conan looked to immerse himself in everything Japanese during his current stopover in Tokyo. Making his way to Harajuku, Conan met up with the team at 6%DOKIDOKI, a kawaii scene store which is often credited with starting the popular ’90s trend. In some clips posted to Twitter, Conan is seen dressed in the colorful niche fashion style while making his way through the notoriously crowded Takeshita Street. Looking at clips of his interactions with Japanese locals and lucky fans, we’re sure to be in for some interesting recap videos.

Catch all the clips of Conan O’Brien in Tokyo below, including a thoughtful message to the residents of Hokuei and stay tuned for the talk show host’s arrival in Conan Town.

In other news, put your shoes on with this The Legend of Zelda Master Sword Shoehorn.

Read more at HYPEBEAST




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Kendall Jenner Doesn’t Know How Hard a Model’s Life Really Is

Anthony Harvey/Shutterstock

“‘Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.’”—Nick Carraway on his father, The Great Gatsby

Kendall Jenner triggered a wave of disgust and offense when she detailed her frustrations with the world of runway modeling to Love magazine.

“Since the beginning we’ve been super-selective about what shows I would do,” Jenner, 22, told Love. “I was never one of those girls who would do, like, 30 shows a season or whatever the fuck those girls do. More power to ’em.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Here’s What Really Happens to Your Credit When You Seek Debt Counseling


If you’re struggling with debt, it can be hard to determine the best method for getting rid of it. Snowball? Avalanche? Consolidation? Should you freeze your credit card in a block of ice, or cut it up and toss it in the trash?

If questions about paying off debt have your head swimming, it might be worth your time to speak with a debt counselor. Also referred to as credit counselors, these are trained individuals who can review your financial situation and make recommendations to improve it. They might help you organize your credit accounts, obtain a credit report or develop a budget.

Depending on your situation, a debt counselor may even help you set up a plan to pay off your debt. More on that later — for now, let’s focus on what a debt counselor does and whether you could benefit from working with one.

When Should I Work With a Debt Counselor?

If you’re afraid you can’t make your debt payments each month, or you feel like you’ll never get out of debt no matter how hard you try, it can be helpful to speak with a debt counselor. As an impartial third party, a qualified counselor can provide advice and tips based on your specific situation.

How Can I Find a Debt Counselor?

To find a reputable debt counselor, check out the Financial Counseling Organization of America or the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Each maintains a directory of member organizations — most of them nonprofits — that serve a variety of needs.   

A legitimate organization will be happy to provide information about its services for free, without requiring you to disclose your financial situation.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recommends that you ask potential debt counselors these questions:

  • What services do you offer?
  • How is credit counseling offered?
  • Do you offer free educational materials?
  • What are your fees?
  • What if I can’t afford to pay the fees?
  • Will I have a formal written agreement with you?
  • What are the counselors’ qualifications?
  • How are your employees paid?

As always, be sure to get everything in writing and read the fine print before signing up for any service. The CFPB recommends avoiding organizations that pressure you into a debt management plan before fully considering your financial situation.

What Can I Expect When I Meet a Debt Counselor?

Your first meeting with a debt counselor, whether in person or on the phone, should last about an hour. After the call, the counselor will typically provide a written report with the details of your situation and recommendations. This report won’t be packed with surprises. It will review what you discussed and the next steps, which you likely discussed as well.

Even if a debt management plan isn’t right for you, a debt counselor may still be able to provide services to improve your finances. A debt counselor can review your credit report and help you dispute errors. They can also guide you toward free educational resources to boost your financial know-how.

What’s a Debt Management Plan?

A woman uses a calculator, a notepad and her laptop to work on her finances.
Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder

A debt management plan rolls all your debts into one monthly payment to make it easier to manage. If you choose to use one, your debt counselor’s organization will set up the plan and work with your creditors to make sure everyone gets paid on time.

Debt management plans usually don’t reduce your debt, but they may reduce your interest rates by as much as half or extend your payment timeline to make paying your debt more manageable.

You can expect a setup fee of no more than $ 50 to participate in a debt management program and pay your debt through your debt counselor’s organization. Monthly fees are normal for debt management plans, but they also shouldn’t be more than $ 50.

Don’t plan to keep racking up debt, though — your lines of credit will be closed or suspended while you’re in a debt repayment plan.

Initiating a debt management plan could cause a dip in your credit score, because it indicates you’re struggling with your finances. But as you build a payment history through the plan, your score will likely improve.  

What Other Options Do I Have?

You don’t have to be seeking a debt management program or headed toward bankruptcy (debt counseling is required before filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy) to work with a debt counselor.

But if you’re not sure whether you’re ready to talk to someone about your credit or debt concerns, you can take steps to try to improve your financial situation on your own. You may be able to consolidate your debt or negotiate your credit interest rates. Or you may simply need a nudge to choose a debt payoff method — snowball versus avalanche, anyone? — and stick to the plan while you make steady progress.

Lisa Rowan 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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9 Signs That Adorable Apartment Listing Is Really a Rental Scam


Apartment hunting can make even the most calm people anxious about navigating open houses and analyzing budgets for the 16th time. And if you’re pressed for time or moving to an unfamiliar area, that stress can cloud your judgment.

That’s when fraudsters have the advantage.

A survey by Apartment List found that 6.4% of renters have lost money to an apartment-rental scam. One in three of those people lost more than $ 1,000.

The survey of more than 1,000 renters found that younger renters may be more susceptible to fraud. Of renters between 18 and 29 years old, 9.1% had been duped by a rental scam.

Some of the most common rental scams include listings for properties that don’t exist, fake listings for real properties, and collecting security deposits for units that have already been leased.

Lies about amenities can trip up renters, too. The surveyed renters said that laundry facilities in the unit or building were often advertised when they didn’t exist. Advertising about heat and air conditioning also frequently didn’t live up in reality.

Just over 43% of renters surveyed said they had seen a listing they thought was a fake.

9 Warning Signs of a Rental Scam

How can you avoid being one of the more than 5 million people Apartment List estimates have been victims of rental fraud in the U.S.?

It takes a lot of common sense, a healthy dose of skepticism and a dash of cautious optimism.

Watch out for these signs that something’s not quite right:

  • The apartment listing is priced much lower than other similar homes in the area.
  • The landlord or rental agent pressures you to pay an application fee for a property you haven’t yet seen.
  • You’re shown a unit that’s different from the one advertised.
  • You don’t see the amenities in the unit that were advertised online.
  • You’re asked to sign a lease or pay a deposit before seeing a property.
  • A rental listing is riddled with spelling and grammar errors.
  • You’re asked to wire money for a security deposit. It’s the same as sending cash, so there’s no chance of getting a refund if the deal goes sideways.
  • You’re asked to pay a security deposit or rent before you sign a lease.
  • You’re asked for your Social Security number or financial information by email or phone.

A legitimate landlord or property management company should be willing to share details about where they’re located and how they do business. Some extra sleuthing, like searching the address for the property and checking out a street view, can help you be sure the property truly exists.

If you suspect you’re being scammed, you can report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center and your state attorney general.  

Lisa Rowan 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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Will Solar Panels Really Save You Money? Here’s What You Need to Know


Carol Marks’ monthly electric bill was between $ 250 and $ 300 before she had solar panels installed on her home.

Her first bill afterward, in June — one of the hotter months in her home state of Florida — was $ 45.

“Living in the Sunshine State and the Sunshine City, it seemed like a natural thing to do,” says Marks, co-chairwoman of the sustainability action team of the League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Area. “Why not use power that’s available to us that comes from the sun?”

For Marks, the decision to go solar was relatively easy, but how do you decide whether the change makes sense for you?

“Generally, it’s good for consumers and the environment, but everybody’s situation is different,” says Susan Grant, director of consumer protection and privacy at the Consumer Federation of America, an association of nonprofit consumer groups. “It depends on where they live, the design of the home, the installation cost and expected savings.”

How to Save Money Going Solar

Workers install solar panels on the roof of a house.
Technicians from Solar Source install solar panels on a house in Dunedin, Florida. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

One of the biggest advantages of installing residential solar panels is a 30% federal tax credit on the total cost of a system. That means homeowners — but not renters — can subtract the credit from the federal income taxes they owe, in effect reducing the price of their solar purchase by nearly one-third.

Congress authorized the credit through 2019, but it will decline to 26% in 2020 and 22% in 2021 and then disappear. The credit could save the average homeowner $ 5,000 or more (depending on the size of the system), according to EnergySage, a solar marketplace with a calculator to help estimate savings.

It may seem obvious, but access to sunlight is important. If your roof is deeply shaded by trees, mountains or buildings, solar panels won’t work well. Unsurprisingly, California leads the nation in residential solar capacity, but some of the others in the top 10 may surprise you.

It’s important to have a basic idea of how the panels work as well. Also known as photovoltaic panels, they are mounted on the roof of a house and use sunlight to produce electricity. An important part of any solar system is a box called an inverter, which often is installed in the garage and converts electricity produced by the panels (DC) into the kind that’s required to operate home appliances (AC).

At times, the panels will produce more electricity than is needed to power a home. The extra electricity can be sold back to the power company in an arrangement called net metering. It’s done through a two-way meter installed by the electric company, and it can keep your electric bill low. Duke Energy, which operates in six states, charges a $ 100 interconnection fee that includes the meter, company spokesman Randy Wheeless says. The fee can run as high as $ 300 and often is handled by the installer, who includes it in the total job price, says Emma  Rodvien, an operations director for Solar United Neighbors, a co-op that operates in eight states and the District of Columbia.

Do Your Homework

A worker installs electrical equipment for a solar panel installation.
Technician Curtis Cube installs an inverter for a solar system at a house in Dunedin, Florida.  The inverter converts direct current from the solar panels into alternating current for use in the house. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

You wouldn’t buy a car without checking out the features, comparing models and knowing the price, would you? Well, much more so with solar panels — which are likely to remain on your roof for at least 25 years.

“It is something that people really need to do their homework on before they decide to invite any company to make a sales pitch, and certainly before they sign up with anybody,” Grant says. “It’s a big commitment.”

Wendy Barsell, executive director of the Florida Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade group, agrees. Her advice applies to consumers in all states.

  1. Ask homeowners who have bought the panels how well they are working. What are the benefits and drawbacks? How long did the installation take? Did the installer do a good job? Was the power company easy to work with? How much money are they saving?
  2. Get referrals from neighbors, coworkers and friends. Search the company on online review sites; some consumers have complained about confusing contracts, misleading sales pitches and poor installation. The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners has a list of certified installers, and state groups such as the Florida Solar Energy Industries Association maintain their own lists of preferred companies. You should also check with your state to make sure the contractor is licensed to perform solar installations. Licensed contractors generally must carry insurance, but homeowners should verify that they do.
  3. Get several estimates, ask plenty of questions and don’t be pressured to make a snap decision. We’re talking about an expense that runs an average of $ 18,840 for a 6 kW system and $ 31,400 for a 10 kW system, according to EnergySage.  “Get proposals from different companies that may have different ideologies, methods, product brands and information on how to make a decision,” Barsell says.
  4. Learn what you need. Systems are sized based on your consumption, the size of the sunny space on your roof and how much you can afford, according to Solar United Neighbors. The bigger the system, the more energy it produces (and the more expensive it is).
  5. Don’t sign a contract unless you understand everything, including your expected return on investment and break-even point. If your electric rates are high, you’ll pay off the cost a lot sooner, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
  6. Decide how you’re going to pay for the system — purchase, lease or what’s known as a solar power purchase agreement, in which the consumer buys the power but doesn’t own the system. Consumer Reports advises anyone who can afford it to pay upfront. That eliminates finance charges and allows you to take full advantage of the federal tax credit. Consider bids from smaller installers as well as larger ones, who may be more expensive, a recent government study showed.
  7. If you need to take out a loan, shop at credit unions and banks — some offer dedicated solar-energy loans — before committing to a loan offered through your solar installer. Additional options include a clean-energy mortgage through Fannie Mae. Property Assessment and Clean Energy (PACE) lending programs also are available in more than 20 states. But the Mortgage Bankers Association, among other groups, warn consumers they could lose their homes if they default on payments. “There’s a lot of issues to consider,” Grant says. “That’s why states are enacting disclosure laws that must be given to the consumer. Solar is a good thing, but it’s complex and people really need to understand what they’re getting into.”
  8. Explore whether your state offers its own tax incentives. Rebates, low-interest loans and grants may also be available.
  9. How old is your roof? Solar panels have an expected life span of about 25 years. If your roof is aging or damaged, you may be better off replacing it before you install the panels.
  10. How long do you plan to stay in your home? Although some surveys show that solar panels increase the value of a house, you won’t know until you sell. That’s why some experts say it’s safest to stay put until the panels pay for themselves.
  11. Understand your warranty. Most high-quality panels and system components called power optimizers are warrantied for 25 years, says Garrett Savadel, system designer at Brilliant Harvest, a Sarasota, Florida, solar installation company. Inverters have a warranty of about 12 years (but as little as five years in some cases), although that can be extended to 25 years for an additional fee, he says. A good inverter costs between $ 2,000 and $ 7,000 installed, depending on size — $ 1,000 to $ 2,000 for the parts alone.
  12. Ask about maintenance. Some companies say the panels must be washed regularly and offer that service for a price. But Savadel says rain usually washes off bird droppings and other routine dirt. Periodic professional cleaning may be necessary in states such as Arizona, New Mexico and California because they are so dry and dusty, he says.
  13. Make sure your homeowners insurance company will insure solar panels. Not all do.

What if the Power Goes Out?

A worker who is helping to install solar panels on a house roof wears a tethering strap.
Solar Source technician Jason Breaux is tethered to the roof of a house in Dunedin, Florida, during a solar panel installation. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

You might think that owning a solar system would ensure 24/7 access to electric power even when the grid goes down from hurricanes or other disasters or accidents. But that’s not the case. In those events, you have to rely on a generator or buy a battery backup for your solar system.

And while the cost of solar panels has dropped more than 70% since 2010, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, batteries can cost as much as $ 10,000 to $ 15,000, including installation, according to Solar United Neighbors. “Adding battery storage to a solar array can increase costs so much that the savings seen on utility bills are negligible,” the group’s website warns.

For those who want the peace of mind and can afford the cost, batteries may be a viable option. They work like this: When the sun is shining, your panels produce electricity that you direct to the battery, where it’s stored until you need it. Unlike a generator, no fuel is needed.

Marks, the Florida retiree, opted for a battery. She and her husband also own an electric car. For them, going green is at least as important as saving money.

“We’re going to keep trying to reduce that carbon footprint and power ourselves,” she says.

Susan Jacobson is an editor 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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Glenn Close Reveals What She’s Really Bad At, Her Biggest Extravagance & More Confessions | PeopleTV

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

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Lucy Hale Is ‘Really Happy’ for Pregnant ‘PLL’ Costar Troian Bellisario

Aunty Aria? Lucy Hale reacted to Pretty Little Liar’s costar Troian Bellisario’s pregnancy while attending an event in Luques, West Hollywood.

“I think we’ve all known for a bit,” Hale, who was being announced as the next ambassador for St. Jude’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, revealed exclusively to Us Weekly on Friday, August 10. “I’m really happy for her.”

TROIAN BELLISARIO and LUCY HALE pregnant
TROIAN BELLISARIO and LUCY HALE Adam Taylor/ABC FAMILY via Getty Images

The Life Sentence alum, 29, says that she, Bellisario, Shay Mitchell, Ashley Benson and Sasha Pieterse don’t have a group text chain, but they do stay in touch individually. “It’s been a while since all really caught up with each other, like we kind of all talk one on one … We all need a catch up real soon though because we’ve all gone in a million different directions,” she admitted.

She noted that the girls would have plenty to celebrate when they did finally reunite, with Janel Parrish and Pieterse both having tied the knot since the show’s end in June 2017. “Things have changed, so it will be nice to see everyone,” she told Us.

Don’t hold your breath for a full PLL reunion just yet, however: “I have a feeling we won’t all see each other for a while,” Hale said.

There is, however, hope for a mini get-together. “You know, I can’t say yes or no,” the “You Sound Good to Me” singer hinted of a potential appearance on The Perfectionists, the PLL spinoff starring Parrish and Pieterse that’s set to air in 2019. “I know that Ashley is directing I think and Troian is directing, we’ll see. I don’t know. I’m happy. I’m thrilled for all of them.”

Us confirmed on Monday, August 6, that Bellisario and husband Patrick J. Adams were expecting their first child.

The couple got married with a glamping-themed wedding in December 2016 after seven years together.

With additional reporting by Carly Sloane

Us Weekly

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Can Medical Marijuana Really Help You?

 

HOW DID YOU AND YOUR FAMILY GET INVOLVED IN THE MEDICAL MARIJUANA BUSINESS?

While my sister and I were still in residency, our mom started evaluating patients for cannabis use after being asked to fill in at a card clinic in Portland. She had been retired from 32 years of anesthesia for a few years and running her own wellness practice at the time. Her involvement piqued our interest and ultimately lead to the family’s involvement in the field.

What really motivated us was the lack of scientific and medical knowledge being applied clinically. It is still the case that many providers approve the use of cannabis for their patients while not understanding how it should be applied for a given medical condition. The reality is that the current scientific literature does provide pragmatic guidance to using cannabis intentionally and practically, and patients deserve to be cared for by physicians who have done their homework and can responsibly guide and oversee their use.

WHO ARE THE PRIMARY USERS OF MEDICINAL MARIJUANA?

The fastest growing demographic of cannabis users are adults aged 55 and older. In states that have legalized the plant for medical use, baby boomers appear to be turning in their prescription drugs for the much less toxic and effective option in cannabis. The most common reason patients seek medical cannabis is pain, making up 89% of Oregon patients who join or renew in the OMMP every year.

The slowest adopting demographic of users are people of color. Prohibition and the war on drugs have done a number on the collective psychology of our communities, and changing the narrative of cannabis in our communities is and will continue to be a challenge. That being said, people of color have the most to benefit from using cannabis as medicine.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ILLNESSES AND/OR CHRONIC DISEASES THAT CAN BE TREATED BY CANNABIS?

Cannabis treats a myriad of seemingly unrelated conditions. Common applications include pain, spasm, spasticity, nausea, anxiety, PTSD, poor appetite, and side effects from prescription drugs, like chemotherapy. More and more we are seeing patients seeking cannabis for use beyond symptom control, using it to specifically treat and shrink cancer.

Because cannabis contains many anti-inflammatory components it can truly be applied to any inflammatory condition, and that includes high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes – the leading causes of morbidity and mortality (sickness and death) in communities of color. Not only this, African-Americans are nearly twice as likely to die from these conditions than European-Americans, even when accounting for disparities in access to and quality of care.

WHEN DO YOU KNOW IT’S TIME TO TRY AN ALTERNATIVE TO CONVENTIONAL MEDICINE?

We should all be starting with natural medicine, the goal being to prevent the chronic diseases that we run to conventional medicine to treat, and often when it’s ‘too late.’ The leading causes of death amongst people of color are heart disease, stroke, cancer, and complications of high blood pressure and diabetes. These are our top 5 killers. All 5 can be prevented naturally. All 5 can be treated naturally. Unfortunately, we have a chronic care system that is bad at counseling patients on lifestyle and nutritional factors that could prevent and reverse these conditions, and that is great at prescribing quick fixes.

There is a time and a place for prescription drugs, but even when implemented early, a provider and patient’s goal ought to be to withdraw that drug once lifestyle and nutritional changes have reversed the condition. That being said, most people try alternatives to conventional medicine when it’s ‘too late,’ when desperation kicks as a result of conventional therapies failing to heal – which is what patients really want.

They don’t want to be ‘managed’ for the rest of their lives, relying on drugs, and continuing to feel sick, fatigued or in pain – they want to heal. My advice is that people consider natural or alternative care upfront, and alongside conventional care where necessary. It is never too early to use nature to address disease. As it pertains to people of color and African-Americans in particular, it is imperative to address nutrition and consider natural medicine, like cannabis, to address the diseases that the conventional system is failing to treat as well as it does European-Americans.

WHERE DO YOU GO TO FIND OUT IF YOU CAN GET APPROVAL USING MEDICAL CANNABIS?
Access to medical cannabis begins by residing in a state that has legalized the medical use of cannabis. Most states have strict residency requirements, meaning that one could not travel to a medical state to receive approval. Legal states typically have a medical cannabis program in which patients can enroll. Information and instruction may be found on a government webpage, and certainly in legislative statute (a public record).

The ease of finding a medical provider who will evaluate a patient may vary from state to state, but websites like www.Leafly.com or www.MedicalMarijuanaDoctors.com are useful for finding medical cannabis clinics or providers in a given state and zip code. In few cases, patients’ own primary care providers will approve use, which saves patients both time and money, avoiding the hassle (in many cases) of traveling to a specialty clinic and paying out-of-pocket for services.

WHY AREN’T MOST DOCTORS TRAINED ON NATURAL METHODS FOR PATIENT CARE?

This is a great question, and the answer is loaded. There are many theories why this is the case, and the leading beliefs are that nature isn’t patentable or profitable. That drugs and procedures are patentable, disease is profitable, and that the modern medical school was established to match drug to disease. What’s true is that healthy people don’t make medical clinics, hospitals, insurance companies or pharmaceutical companies money.

Natural medicine, of which the most foundational principle is ‘let food be thy medicine’ (Hippocrates), can quickly reverse inflammatory disease. Why would we be trained to do that? But this is why there’s so much excitement surrounding the paleo and ketogenic diets these days. People are taking it upon themselves to get educated on nutrition. And scientific study has even validated the superior effectiveness of diet on reversing heart disease and diabetes. But when you only receive 4 credit hours on nutrition in medical school, which was my case, a medical doctor is hardly equipped to meaningfully counsel or manage a patient using food.

HOW DO YOU TAKE IT? ARE THERE OTHER METHODS OF ADMINISTERING IT BESIDES SMOKING?

Smoking cannabis (in a joint, blunt, pipe, bong) remains the most common form of consumption, but there has been a significant rise in the use of vaporizers, vape pens, capsules, tinctures and topicals (lotions, rubs). Cannabis patches and suppositories are becoming a big hit as well.

My patients use a variety of administration methods, often times not choosing just one method. This is because each method has its on onset of action and duration of effect, and a many variables may be at play when choosing when, where and how one uses or consumes their cannabis. And not only this, many patients want to be discreet with their use. Vape pens, capsules and tinctures, for example, are odorless and, especially with capsules and tinctures, unassuming.

IS IT TRUE THAT MEDICAL MARIJUANA CAN HELP SEIZURE SUFFERERS?

It is true that cannabis does help seizure sufferers. In fact, the federal government has held a patent on cannabis (cannabinoids) since 1999 on its use as a neuroprotectant and antioxidant, and useful for concussions, CTE, Alzheimers, stroke and seizures. The FDA also just approved a cannabis extract made by a pharmaceutical company, called Epidiolex, for specific seizure types that are difficult to treat with conventional drugs. It is no secret that cannabis can treat seizures.

WHAT’S THE AGE REQUIREMENT FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA?

There is no age requirement for the medical use of cannabis set by statute in any state, that I believe. Adult use states have set the legal possession and purchase age to 21, but with respect to medicine, providers are allowed to approve the use of cannabis for children when warranted. In Oregon, Washington and California (where I practice), parents commonly seek cannabis use children suffering from seizures, cancers, and pain and spasticity from cerebral palsy or other debilitating conditions.

WILL YOUR MEDICAL INSURANCE HELP PAY THE COST OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA?

No.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEDICAL MARIJUANA AND REGULAR MARIJUANA?

There is no difference. Legislation and regulations may arbitrarily differentiate between the two by setting different potency parameters and tax rates, and users may arbitrarily differentiate between the two by why and how they are using it, but there is no physical difference between the two. Cannabis is cannabis.

 WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA?

The benefits are many and varied, and I touched upon the most common uses (where benefit is found) earlier on. The broadest benefit is system inflammation reduction (total body inflammation reduction). This is why you may start to hear healthcare providers recommending cannabis as a daily supplement.

The most common benefits I hear from my patients are pain reduction, appetite improvement, anxiety reduction, nightmare reduction, spasm or seizure control, improved sleep, and prescription drug reduction or cessation. Patients have been able to get off of their prescription drugs with cannabis.

ONCE A PATIENT IS TAKING MEDICAL MARIJUANA, HOW CAN YOU WEAN THEM OFF OF IT?

Most patients taking medical cannabis won’t and shouldn’t wean from it. Given its wide safety profile, it is a suitable substance for lifelong therapy if warranted. That being said, it has been postulated that cannabis use carries a 9% addiction/abuse rate – a number most experts believe is confounded, given that many minor cannabis offenses have been reduced in exchange for participation in rehab programs, meaning that cannabis offenders get labeled and counted as cannabis addicts/abusers by virtue of enrollment in a rehabilitation program, and not because they are a dependency problem.

But in cases where a person is addicted to or abusing cannabis, cessation can cause withdrawal symptoms for a small number of people whose use was heavy and chronic (we’re talking heavy daily users). In this subsets of cases, weaning (lowering the dose) slowly is warranted to avoid withdrawal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, headache, sweats. Cannabis withdrawal does not carry the risk of death as does the withdrawal from opiates and alcohol.

WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO FIND A PHYSICIAN THAT SPECIALIZES IN MEDICAL MARIJUANA TREATMENT? CAN YOU RECOMMEND A DIRECTORY OR SITE TO FIND A PHYSICIAN?

A portion of my practice at the American Cannabinoid Clinics is online, and we see patients from across the country (and world) on a weekly basis for cannabis counseling through our telemedicine platform. We can only write cannabis use authorizations for patients in states we are licensed in. You can find us at www.theacclinics.com or www.americancannabinoidclinics.com. Other websites, as I mentioned earlier, are www.eafly.com, and www.MedicalMarijuanaDoctors.com.

Dr. Knox answers your ‘Text Tom’ questions on the next page.

 

Life & Style – Black America Web

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Forest Whitaker Reflects On Working With Clint Eastwood: ‘He Really Believed In Me’ | PeopleTV

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Tell Him How You Really Feel! Floyd Mayweather Reads 50 Cent for FILTH on Instagram [Photo]

Floyd Weather is sick and tired of 50 Cent making fun of him and he just clapped back in a major way.

They’ve been going back and forth with each other for YEARS, but it looks like Floyd has finally had enough.

In a lengthy Instagram caption, Floyd fired off on 50 about everything from his baby mama, to his son, to his career — even to his ‘money pit’ Connecticut mansion.

Now, we don’t know if Floyd actually ‘wrote’ this himself…but it doesn’t even matter.

The caption reads:

“Curtis “Confidential Informant” Jackson, you’re mad because your oldest son Marquees mother doesn’t want to be with you! Your Son, your own flesh and blood don’t want nothing to do with you! You haven’t had a hit song on radio in who knows when and you’re definitely not hot enough to even sell records anymore so Interscope dropped you. You are jealous of any rapper, athlete or entertainer that’s hot or got something going on for themselves. You are a certified snitch and we got paperwork to prove it. You talk about Ja-Rule but you stole his whole style and ran with it! You’re the only self proclaimed gangster that’s never put in work! You need to pay homage to the real 50cent for stealing his name and his storyline. Your claim to fame was getting shot numerous times & living to tell it and you think that’s Gangster? Where at? You’re currently living in a fucking apartment in Jersey, you are always in somebody else’s business just to stay relevant. You should just become a blogger cause it’s obvious you don’t have nothing going on in your life. Are you mad that Kanye West ended your career? The only thing you got going on is Power and everybody watches that because Ghost is a dope ass character on the show. You can leave the show everybody will still watch Power, but out here in the real world I’m The Real Ghost. That’s not a Mansion in Connecticut that you’re in debt for, that’s a dump, a money pit an oversized trap house! It was dope when Mike Tyson had it in the late 80’s early 90’s, but you couldn’t afford to maintain it. You’re always talking about somebody is broke, but the last time I checked it was Curtis Jackson that filed for bankruptcy not Floyd Mayweather. So quick to gossip like a Bitch, why don’t you tell everybody how you got Herpes from DJ. Where’s your memes for that, huh? Or better yet, post on how your Coca-Cola deal wasn’t really 300 million you fucking liar and tell how that spinning G-Unit necklace that somebody got robbed for was fake. Just remember, I was with you everyday and your driver Bruce was my driver also. I know where all your bones are buried, so be easy Curtis Jackson! And by the way, don’t ask to borrow no more money from me.”

Yikes. We wonder how 50’s going to respond — because his usual meme & joke tactics won’t quite work here! See the bottom of this post for 50s response

Curtis “Confidential Informant” Jackson, you’re mad because your oldest son Marquees mother doesn’t want to be with you! Your Son, your own flesh and blood don’t want nothing to do with you! You haven’t had a hit song on radio in who knows when and you’re definitely not hot enough to even sell records anymore so Interscope dropped you. You are jealous of any rapper, athlete or entertainer that’s hot or got something going on for themselves. You are a certified snitch and we got paperwork to prove it. You talk about Ja-Rule but you stole his whole style and ran with it! You’re the only self proclaimed gangster that’s never put in work! You need to pay homage to the real 50cent for stealing his name and his storyline. Your claim to fame was getting shot numerous times & living to tell it and you think that’s Gangster? Where at? You’re currently living in a fucking apartment in Jersey, you are always in somebody else’s business just to stay relevant. You should just become a blogger cause it’s obvious you don’t have nothing going on in your life. Are you mad that Kanye West ended your career? The only thing you got going on is Power and everybody watches that because Ghost is a dope ass character on the show. You can leave the show everybody will still watch Power, but out here in the real world I’m The Real Ghost. That’s not a Mansion in Connecticut that you’re in debt for, that’s a dump, a money pit an oversized trap house! It was dope when Mike Tyson had it in the late 80’s early 90’s, but you couldn’t afford to maintain it. You’re always talking about somebody is broke, but the last time I checked it was Curtis Jackson that filed for bankruptcy not Floyd Mayweather. So quick to gossip like a Bitch, why don’t you tell everybody how you got Herpes from DJ. Where’s your memes for that, huh? Or better yet, post on how your Coca-Cola deal wasn’t really 300 million you fucking liar and tell how that spinning G-Unit necklace that somebody got robbed for was fake. Just remember, I was with you everyday and your driver Bruce was my driver also. I know where all your bones are buried, so be easy Curtis Jackson! And by the way, don’t ask to borrow no more money from me.

A post shared by Floyd Mayweather (@floydmayweather) on

Update: 50 plans on bringing up Floyd’s domestic violence cases.

The post Tell Him How You Really Feel! Floyd Mayweather Reads 50 Cent for FILTH on Instagram [Photo] appeared first on lovebscott – celebrity gossip and entertainment news.

lovebscott – celebrity gossip and entertainment news

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The untold story of who really first broke the sound barrier

On Oct. 14, 1947, Air Force pilot Chuck Yeager became the first person to break the sound barrier — or so history tells us. According to a new book, World War II hero and civilian test pilot George Welch most likely achieved that feat two weeks prior, and the proof lies with the women at…
Living | New York Post

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What Productivity Hacks Really Work For You?

Here’s a fun question for today: What productivity hacks really work for you? Does your diligence with productivity hacks come in waves (as resolutions strengthen and weaken) or have you hit on anything that is your new normal? What have you tried but failed to implement regularly — and what productivity hacks really work for you, particularly at work?

This is constantly something I’m thinking about, and I’ve tried a LOT of productivity hacks.productivity hacks that really work - image of efficient businesswoman being productive

These are some of the productivity hacks that really work for me:

  • Adopting a one-touch attitude with mail — I sort it into recycling, trash, and bills the instant I get it to my kitchen counter.
  • Only paying bills once a month — It’s just one fewer thing to worry about, and if I wonder about a bill, my brain very easily says, “But it isn’t the first of the month for another week! Worry then!”
  • Saving all phone calls for one session — I hate the phone, and it really interrupts my focus if I get or make a call. My cell phone’s default ringer is a silent ringtone (you can download them from the iTunes store!), so the only people whose calls make a ringing sound are family and friends for whom I’ve manually changed the ringtone. I also tend to make a list of phone calls I need to make so that when I sit down with the phone and headset I can make them all in one session.
  • Decreasing choices to decrease decision fatigueObama was famous with this in terms of his outfits, wearing the same things repeatedly so that he didn’t have to use brainpower to choose something different every day. I definitely have a work uniform that I repeat most days, and I also tend to repeat a lot of meals (lately I’m really into savory oatmeal with eggs, or grilled chicken with a teensy bit of a guacamole salsa).

Productivity hacks that work like gold… when I do them, which is less than “all the time”:

  • Moving to a new workspace — In a big L-shaped desk office, just moving to the visitor’s side of the desk works wonders!
  • Writing THREE tasks to do that day and only focusing on getting them done.
  • Pomodoro timers — 25-minute bursts of focus + 5 minute breaks — these are really hard for me to do more than 3 or 4 rounds. I think 25 minutes is a bad amount of time for me but I haven’t had a chance to hack it to see what my individualized “premium burst of focus” is.
  • Batching tasks — I try to do this but rarely succeed. For my work, for example, I should only write on one day, then do graphics another day, then do social media and SEO a third day, then do email or “market research” (checking the stores) a fourth day, then bigger projects (like the work outfit challenge) on the fifth day… but instead things tend to get mixed throughout the days.
  • Only keeping ONE browser tab open at once — I am totally that lady who has 75 tabs open in multiple browser windows at all times. There’s a Chrome Extension called OneTab that instantly collapses everything but keeps track of where you were, and I should seriously start each day using it to clear the decks.

Productivity hacks that just aren’t my thing:

  • Keeping track of my time — I suppose this works when I do it, but it’s not a high priority for me to get back to. Fun fact: When I first left law firm life I still kept track of my time in 10-minute increments on purpose because it was normal for me and I felt it helped with productivity.
  • Prioritizing exercise and meditation — While I wouldn’t say these AREN’T my thing, it’s really hard for me when I’m crunched for time to prioritize exercise and meditation (even though I know that taking 10 minutes to meditate or 20 minutes to do some Tabata workouts is a great way to improve focus and productivity). I try my best to institutionalize those things so I do them at the same time… but if I’m in a crunch for time those are the first to fall away.

These are the productivity hacks that work for me (and the ones that I’m still working on) — let’s hear from you, guys: What are your best tips for productivity? Which productivity hacks work for you — and which ones have you tried and dismissed over the years? 

Photo via Shutterstock.

I've tried a lot of productivity hacks over the years to be more efficient with my time and energy -- and these are the productivity hacks that really work for me!

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How Meryl Streep & Cher Really Felt About Reuniting On-Screen

Meryl Streep’s not only a powerhouse talent, she’s also a powerhouse friend – and that was on full display as she showered her fellow Hollywood peers with love and joy at the Mama Mia: Here We Go Again London premiere on Monday, July 17, 2018. 

When asked how reuniting on-screen with Cher, someone equally as famous as her, was after 35 years (they acted together in Silkwood in 1983), Streep gushed that it was absolutely “fantastic.” 

More: 19 Best Celebrity Friendships – From Unsurprising to the Totally Unexpected

“I came on the set the day that she sang ‘Fernando.’ That was my first day… And she just lifted the lid off the place! I mean, she steals the movie,” she told Entertainment Tonight

Oddly enough, Cher plays Streep’s mother in the Mama Mia sequel – if you think that’s weird, you’re not alone. Cher is only Streep’s senior by 3 years. But Streep said somehow, it made sense. 

“She’s lived a much longer life than I have.” Ya, sure. Streep’s only won 173 awards – 3 of those being Oscars – been nominated 355 times; played a fashion Queen (Devil Wears Prada), cooking legend (Julia Child), Holocaust Survivor (Sophie’s Choice), and Prime Minister (The Iron Lady); loved and lost (her first love John Cazale died of bone cancer in 1978, she later married her current husband Don Gummer), and raised 4 children, but life experience? Cher’s had so much more. There’s tons of justification there.

Meryl Streep gif from 'Mama Mia'

More: We Know More About Meryl Streep’s Role in Big Little Lies & It’s So Good

Either way, Cher had nothing but love for her former Silkwood costar, telling ET, “We’ve stayed friends all these years. I cannot believe that, but [Silkwood] was my first film, and she helped me. I mean, she was unbelievable, because I had no idea what I was doing… It’s great to see her again.”

Cher & Streep’s friendship isn’t the only Hollywood duo that’s remained tight through the years. It seems Streep and her on-screen Mama Mia daughter Amanda Seyfried are also still quite chummy. 

More: All the Nostalgic Movies & TV Shows Being Rebooted in 2018

We cannot wait to see the film because, guys, the gang’s all back together! The sequel hits theaters July 20, 2018. 

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The sauce is first step to making really good mac and cheese

Mac and cheese is one of the most delicious foods on earth, but it’s actually more difficult than you might think to make at home. If you just add a bunch of shredded cheese to a pot of pasta, you’ll most likely end up with a weird, gloopy mess that hardens into a rock as soon as it cools down….

Life Style – New York Daily News

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Do we really buy ‘top-rated’ deals online? New research may surprise you

Anyone who shops online is familiar with those ‘top-rated’ products or services that rise to the top of their search on e-commerce intermediary sites like Amazon or Expedia. So, do those rankings really help those products or services get sold? According to a new study, the answer is, ‘yes’ and ‘no.’
Consumer Behavior News — ScienceDaily

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10 Real Estate Negotiation Tactics That Can Really Backfire

On the lookout for a new home? First, peruse our list of negotiation dos and don’ts, culled from the advice of industry professionals. The bottom line? As you embark on the process, be your own advocate, but make sure you also respect the sellers’ time and heed their emotional cues. By avoiding these all-too-common behaviors, you can ensure a win-win deal.
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Melania Trump Wears Jacket Saying ‘I Really Don’t Care’ During Child Detention Center Trip

First Lady Melania Trump visited a Texas detention center Thursday to check in on immigrant children who have been separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

After the White House announced its “zero-tolerance” policy in April, over 2,000 children have been separated from their parents. Trump decided to make the trip a day after the president signed an executive order to stop the separation of families, but it’s not her timing people are questioning–it’s her fashion choice.

When boarding the plane in Maryland, Trump was spotted wearing a khaki green jacket with the words “I really don’t care, do you?” scrawled in white graffiti-style writing on the back. Trump removed the jacket before deplaning, but the internet had already latched onto this paradoxical clothing choice, some finding it hard to believe.

Others compared the event to the 2014 incident when then-President Barack Obama was bashed for wearing a tan suit, or the time in 2009 when conservatives criticized Michelle Obama for wearing a dress than exposed her bare arms.

“It’s a jacket. There was no hidden message,” said Melania Trump’s publicist, insisting reporters instead focus on the First Lady’s detention center visit.

Trump toured the facilities of the Upbring New Hope Children’s Center in McAllen, Tex. and participated in a roundtable discussion with staff members. She inquired about the children’s physical and mental care. When she asked how often children are allowed to speak to their families, she was told children with verified families get a 10-minute phone conversation twice a week.

“We all know they are here without their families and I want to thank you for your hard work, your compassion, and your kindness you are giving to them in these difficult times,” Trump told the staff members.

This visit was an attempt to lend support to those caring for the immigrant children, although Trump did not make a public statement about the plight of separated families until this past Sunday. While the visit shows Trump is making an effort to be involved with the care of the children, her jacket choice sent a confusing message.

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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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Can a tick really paralyze a person?

There are many different kinds of ticks that attach to humans and animals.
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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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George R.R. Martin teases new ‘Game of Thrones’ prequel series — ‘This one really puts the PRE in prequel’

The newly ordered “Game of Thrones” prequel pilot won’t affect “Winds of Winter,” that book George R.R. Martin is definitely going to finish.

HBO greenlit a spinoff pilot from Martin and writer Jane Goldman last week, and the genre-changing author is giving a few hints about what the series could…

/entertainment – New York Daily News

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What’s really behind the interest rates rollercoaster

Which way will interest rates go next? Interest rates soared in recent weeks with the 10-year US government note, for example, settling comfortably over 3 percent. Then, suddenly this week, it wasn’t over 3 percent anymore as buyers rushed into the bond market and the heightened demand caused rates to decline noticeably. On Wednesday, the…
Business | New York Post

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From the mouths of babes: Infants really enjoy hearing from their peers

Sorry, new parents — even though your infants appreciate your coos, they prefer to hear sounds from their peers — other babies. Even at the pre-babbling stage, infants recognize vowel-like sounds, but they tend to dwell on these sounds when from the mouths of babes.A new line of research focuses on one aspect of infant speech development: how babies perceive speech with infant vocal properties.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Italy’s First Black Immigrant Senator Doesn’t Really Like Immigrants

Italy’s new parliament is now the most diverse it has ever been. It has more women. It is younger and for the first time ever, it will have a black face occupying one of its seats in its parliament. Nigerian-born Tony Iwobi made waves around the world last month after his electoral triumph made him the country’s first ever black senator.

“After more than 25 years of fighting as part of the League’s big family, I’m about to start another great adventure. I’m ready, friends,” Iwobi wrote, going on to thank his party leader Matteo Salvini and his other fellow party members.

There’s just one issue: the new black immigrant senator’s election promise was to stop “the invasion of immigrants” in Italy.

FAR RIGHT WINGER:

Iwobi is a member of the far-right League, formerly the Northern League, whose regional policy “was succession from the rest of Italy.” According to the Local, the party has threatened to take Italy out of the euro and the European Union. Its leadership thinks Islam is incompatible with Italian values. It fiercely opposes immigration and has promised to expel thousands of illegal migrants in Italy.

In February, one of its far-right supporters shot and injured six immigrants of African descent in an attack that was deemed racially motivated. Yahoo News even went as far as to describe Iwobi as “the black face to Italy’s far-right” movement.

Iwobi, who moved to Italy on a student visa in 1976 was born to a Roman Catholic family of 11 in Gusau, Nigeria, in 1955. He worked several odd jobs like plumbing, garbage collector, and in construction while earning a degree in accounting and computer science. He now runs an IT security and services company in Spirano, where he has lived for the majority of his 42 years in the country.

HIS TOUGH STANCE ON IMMIGRATION:

Just days after his election victory, one of Italy’s famous black footballer blasted the 63-year old on social media for his stance on immigration.

“Maybe I’m blind or maybe they haven’t told him that he’s black yet. Disgrace!” Mario Balotelli wrote of Iwobi on Instagram.

Balotelli, who is now 27 years old, was born in Palermo, Sicily, to Ghanaian immigrants and was given to foster parents at the age of two. Because his foster family didn’t officially adopt him, Balotelli had to wait till he was 18 years old to be granted Italian citizenship.

”It’s an absurd law which needs to be changed. He was born and raised in Italy but had to suffer the humiliation and hardships of being considered a foreigner,” said Silvia Balotelli, his foster mother said.

Reforms proposed in the Senate in December to make the process easier was vehemently opposed by Iwobi.

“Why should the children of foreigners become Italian just like that? It’s not right,” Iwobi was quoted in Il Giornale, Italy’s right-wing newspaper.

Jean-Léonard Touadi, a Congolese-born journalist and politician with Italy’s center-to-left Democratic Party said Iwobi suffers from “Stockholm’s Syndrome”

“He acts as a mouthpiece for the anti-African proclamations of his own jailers,” Touadi said.

The post Italy’s First Black Immigrant Senator Doesn’t Really Like Immigrants appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

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Denying ex-cons the vote is really politicians choosing the electorate

The bumpy path of Desmond Meade’s life meandered to its current interesting point. He’s a graduate of Florida International University law school but can’t vote in his home state because his path went through prison: He committed nonviolent felonies concerning drugs and other matters during the 10 years when he was essentially homeless. And Florida…
Opinion | New York Post

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Designers really want to make crazy Birkenstocks happen

Fugly footwear has found its way onto runway models and fashionistas’ feet for months now. The latest offender? Birkenstocks. Too-cool-for-school retailer Opening Ceremony jumped on the Birk bandwagon by showcasing glitter-covered pairs at its Paris fashion week extravaganza at Disneyland last month The sold-out collection, which went on sale on Monday, features two sparkly styles: The Arizona,…
Fashion | New York Post

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Hugh Jackman on Potential for GREATEST SHOWMAN Stage Adaptation: ‘The Musical Really Works Live’

As previously announced, 20th Century Fox film chairman-CEO Stacey Snider recently told The Hollywood Reporter that there are talks to create a stage adaptation of the Hugh Jackman-led musical film, following its box office success. For the first time, Jackman commented on this in an interview with Forbes.
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So…. what if parenting really doesn’t matter?

by

Maggie Downs

posted in Life

I remember precisely when it happened: Ten weeks into being a mother.

My new moms support group met once a week every week, and we had been meeting this way since our children were born.

We all had boys, and all those boys were generally the same length (taller than a bowling pin), the same shape (a squishy eggplant), and the same weight (an adult Maltese). They also had the same needs and displayed the same cues.

A snuggly newborn in a blue cloth

But ten weeks along, my group had gathered again, and I realized our boys were changing.

We were still doing the same things, raising these boys in similar ways. But the boys were changing despite our efforts.

I remember thinking it wasn’t fair as I compared my son with the other little guys. (Like, “We’re all doing the same stuff! How come mine isn’t sleeping in five-hour intervals?”) Some of the boys grew taller than the others, some got stockier. Mine developed a big head before the rest of his body caught up with it.

As my group continued — we still meet now, three years later — our boys hit milestones at different times. They have varied strengths and weaknesses, and they go through phases. Their personalities are so different.

A baby making a disgusted face in a high chair with a birthday cake decorated with sprinkles

 

It’s almost like it didn’t have anything to do with us as mothers at all.

I felt slightly vindicated and more than a little relieved to read this article from Slate, “Parenting doesn’t matter.”

“Twenty years ago, a panic over parenting swept across the media when developmental psychologist Judith Rich Harris put out a book, The Nurture Assumption, that claimed the links between parents’ actions and the outcomes of their kids were based on flimsy science,” writes the article’s author, Daniel Engber. “… for Harris, the evidence seemed pretty clear: Parents changed; their kids did not.”

Saint Louis University behavioral geneticist Brian Boutwell recently affirmed these findings and said there’s little reason to believe our parenting affects our kids’ intelligence, personality, or mental health.

“We aren’t really ‘puppet masters’ of our kids’ development, (Boutwell) argued, but rather something more important—their guardians and friends,” Engber writes.

This, of course, exists with many caveats. For instance, it assumes that the child’s basic needs are being met and that the household is not abusive.

(Or that you haven’t placed your baby in a basket and left her outdoors for the woodland creatures to claim.)

The feet of a baby who has been tucked into a basket in some sort of woodland area

“Boutwell does concede — as do all adherents to this theory — that parents can be cruel or kind, and that there are obviously many ways to screw up a little person’s life,” Engber says. “If a child ends up inside a Romanian orphanage, for example, studies say that will change her for the worse. So might any approach to ‘parenting’ that could be classified as physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.”

Privilege and environmental factors also play a role, of course. A child’s development will definitely be affected by pollution, tainted drinking water, or being part of a marginalized community that faces any number of stressors.

What the research does show is that deviation between ordinary family environments will not impact your child’s development. So good news: your parenting style doesn’t matter. (Bad news: all the anxiety, stress, and mom guilt were for nothing.)

So go ahead. Wear a purple carrier if you want.

A bare-chested man with a shaggy goatee has a baby on his chest in a purple carrier

Whether you choose to nurse or give your baby formula, whether you are a proponent of extended breastfeeding or stop after 6 months, whether you potty train by 2 or by 3, whether you babywear, co-sleep, no-sleep, bed-on-the-floor sleep, what have you — you’re not going to screw up your child.

You’re simply guiding your child into who they were meant to be anyway.

Do you believe that parenting styles don’t matter?

BabyCenter Blog

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Perfect Gifts for the Perfect baby

LA Kings Live: Anze Kopitar ‘We came out and really got it ourselves and put our foot on the gas pedal and got it done!’

After getting scored on first, the LA Kings 'put their foot on the gas pedal' and came out with a 7-1 victory! Kopitar came away with four goals in Thursday's win…the first time in 25 YEARS this has happened in an LA Kings game!!

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Mark Zuckerberg: “I’m really sorry that this happened”

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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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Is being born to be a mother really a thing?

by

Betsy Shaw

posted in Life

A while back, I came across a video clip where writer Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat Pray Love) talks with Oprah about the fact that she doesn’t have children and how she often feels the need to explain why. I think it’s an important topic.

In the video, Gilbert explains how, in her perspective, there are three types of women and every woman falls into one of the three categories. The 3 types of women are:

1. Women who are born to be mothers.

2. Women who are born to be aunties.

3. Women who should not be allowed to be within 10 feet of a child.

She goes on to say that it’s so important for women to know which category they fall into because “tragedy and sorrow results from ending up in the wrong category.”

The reason this interview stuck in my head- – and why I responded with a kind of passionate comment — is because I didn’t find myself fitting into any of the categories. I knew what Gilbert was getting at, in general, but there are some serious nuances of life and motherhood that can not, should not, be so easily overlooked.

I would never describe myself as being born to be a mother. Yet I have children. And, while there has been a certain amount of emotional tumult in my life, it’s thankfully not a tragedy.

Here’s what I wrote in the comment section:

Oh but where do I fit in? What group is there for someone who most likely was not born to be a mother or wife even, someone who still chafes almost daily at the enormous responsibility , the forced domesticity, the relentless pressure to be more, better, to have maternal instinct running through my veins, someone who is convinced I was never meant to be a domesticated animal, yet still went along for the world’s most conventional ride and ended up with two daughters who I adore and would die for despite my nagging conscience telling me I wasn’t cut out for this? I wasn’t cut out for this.

Where do I fit in to this tidy list of three categories?

You see, I’m not a born mother. And I’m definitely not an auntie. I do love children, but don’t feel a natural inclination to dote on all of them. Perhaps I wasn’t even meant to have children — I ponder that sometimes when I’m feeling my most stressed and stretched and imprisoned by the relentless routine and the sometimes agonizing, yes agonizing, heartbreak.

But I did have children. And I am a mother. And I’m determined to do right by them, because they didn’t ask to come here. At least not directly.

 

I invited my daughters into this world in a momentary lapse of reason, heat of passion, or leap of faith, call it what you will.  They are here and I am their mother. Sometimes — in ephemeral moments, I even feel like a good, dare I say, natural one.

So, no. I was not born to be a mother. But my kids have made me one. And they still are shaping me into who I was born to be, day by day. There’s no tragedy in that.

 

Knowing which one you are is essential to your happiness.

Posted by O, The Oprah Magazine on Saturday, March 25, 2017

Do you believe you were born to be a mother?

Photos by Betsy Shaw

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These Are the Only 9 Cleaning Supplies You Really Need This Spring

The sun is shining. The birds are chirping. And spring cleaning season is officially here! Banish the dust and grime that have accumulated in your home this winter and click through the see the most essential cleaners that will help you get the job done right.
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DJ Jazzy Jeff Believes Chance The Rapper Would Be “A Really Good Fresh Prince”

32nd Annual Grammy Awards - Press Room

Source: Ron Galella, Ltd. / Getty

While in Poland for the Red Bull 3Style World Finals, DJ Jazzy Jeff sat down with HipHopDX and discussed his thoughts about the potential of a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air remix.

Jazzy Jeff declared that he believes Chance The Rapper would make a great successor to the Fresh Prince. Will Smith’s right-hand man stated, “Chance is a trailblazer and Will has always been a trailblazer,” Jazzy Jeff said.

Jazzy Jeff referred to Chance’s “light-hearted demeanor” with a “serious side” and how he’s “always smiling” as reasons why he would make a really good Fresh Prince.

The Philadelphia legend went on to praise Chance’s business acumen stating, “And I think for Chance to be as young as he is, to remain independent, to understand just even a little bit about the music industry, I think is great because it’s very easy to fall into those pitfalls. It’s very easy for someone to bring you a suitcase full of money, and it changes your entire perspective instead of realizing, ‘I probably could have 10 suitcases full of money if I just keep my product to myself.’”

Rumors of a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reboot have stirred up the internet. With this commentary from DJ Jazzy Jeff, the excitement will continue to rise. While we wait for updates, who do you believe would make a good Fresh Prince?

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Photo: Getty

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Personal trainer’s photos show us what really happens post-baby

by

Carolyn Robertson

posted in Life

Neema Sempebwa is a personal trainer, so it’s no surprise that her Instagram feed is often home to workout videos, motivational fitness quotes and an impressive collection of photos showing off her toned tummy.

Last year the 39-year-old from London became a mom, and since then she’s also been using her Insta account (@bodywisemum) to document how she’s losing the baby weight.

Now, I know this probably sounds pretty familiar; we’ve all seen the celebrity and super fit moms who have bounced back from baby bump to bikini in record time. Neema’s story, though, is a bit different.

“This is what my 6 weeks post partum body looks like,” Neema captions one post-pregnancy shot. “It’s unique to ME and MY journey. It’s different to where I thought I would be…. because I compared myself to others…. BIG MISTAKE…. I’ve seen some Instagram posts of women at 6 weeks who are rocking a six pack and no stretch Marks… I have one big jelly pack- and plenty of stripes!”

Neema hasn’t ditched her healthy lifestyle since welcoming her daughter Lana – she still regularly shares workout clips and nutrition tips with her social media followers. What sets her apart is her refreshingly realistic approach.

She doesn’t begrudge those moms who seem to shed the baby weight without even trying – she just points out that for many moms, there is much more to the story.

“Reality for the majority is- There is no snap back after birth! Wearing granny panties and the baggiest tracksuit bottoms you have is perfectly normal,” she writes. “The female body goes through so much during pregnancy and birth. Why are we then feeling pressured to bounce back into shape and having visible abs after a human pops out of us?!”

Amen.

Reading through Neema’s posts, I was struck by the kindness and acceptance she shows herself. She doesn’t judge how long it’s taking her to lose the weight, she doesn’t beat herself up over the stretch marks or loose skin. She talks about her body, about its curves and changes, with such genuine love and gratitude, and it made me realize just how rare a thing that is among the moms I know – myself included.

As a mom to two little girls, I cheer every time we collectively make room for new definitions of beauty, for different shapes and sizes and representations. Neema’s journey reminds me that it’s important to extend that same sense of joyful acceptance to myself.

“8 months [postpartum today and this body is showing all the signs of one that had a baby,” Neema mused on a recent post, going on to list them all: stretchmarks, loose skin, lost muscle, droopy boobies, additional body fat, hair loss.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
“But it also displays all the signs of being a MOTHER.”

I think that’s the part we too often skip right over. Every part of me carries the marks of motherhood – my life, my home, my family, my heart, and yes, my body, too. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

How is your postpartum body image?

Thanks to Neema Sempebwa for sharing her photos and her postpartum story – be sure to follow her on Instagram (@bodywisemum).

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Tiny Must Be Really Proud Of Her Man: T.I. Lifted Boycott Against Houston’s Restaurant Following The Addressing Of Racial Issues — Check Out His Post

Tiny Harris’ husband is pretty busy these days and here’s the latest thing that he did. The rapper called off his boycott of Atlanta restaurant Houston’s after he sat down with the executives to discuss the alleged racism showed by […]
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Who is Marilyn Manson, what does he look like without makeup and is his name really Brian?

MARILYN Manson is one of the world’s most controversial musicians, who’s best known for his outrageous stage personality and image as the lead singer of the band Marilyn Manson.

But, what else do we know about the rocker, and what’s his real name? Let’s get the lowdown…

Marilyn Manson is a shock rocker, whose songs became hits in the '90s
Marilyn Manson is a shock rocker, whose songs became hits in the ’90s
Hulton Archive – Getty

Who is Marilyn Manson?

Marilyn Manson’s real name is a little less glamorous than his stage name – he’s called Brian Hugh Warner.

He was born in Canton, Ohio, on 5 January, 1969 – that makes him 49.

He’s a singer, songwriter, musician, composer, actor, painter, author, and former music journalist.

Manson – whose stage name was formed by combining and juxtaposing the names of actress Marilyn Monroe and criminal Charles Manson – is best known for his ’90s records Antichrist Superstar and Mechanical Animals.

He has previously revealed he has trademarked his famous name.

He said: “I trademarked the name ‘Marilyn Manson’ the same way as Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse. It’s not a stage name. It’s not my legal name … Marilyn Manson is owned by Brian Warner, my real name.”

Aside from music, Manson has also acted. He made his movie in 1997, appearing in David Lynch’s Lost Highway.

He’s also appeared in Rose McGowan‘s 1999 film Jawbreaker; The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things; Rise; The Hire: Beat The Devil.

He also claimed that he began his career as a watercolour painter in 1999 when he made five-minute concept pieces and sold them to drug dealers.

Marilyn Manson without makeup
Marilyn Manson without makeup
AFP – Getty


What does Marilyn Manson look like without makeup?

Marilyn is rarely seen in public without makeup on. However, he did sport a makeup-free face when he had to go to court in 2001 (pictured above).

He has previously described his love affair with makeup, saying it all stems from childhood.

He revealed to Fader: “My mom used to put her wigs and lipstick on me when I was little. I have one weird picture of me as a toddler with an unlit cigarette in my mouth, wearing her blonde wig and a diaper, sitting on the couch. Wonder how I ended up here.

“I suppose my fascination with makeup comes from me having a great imagination and not being able to contain it just to a piece of paper or a piece of music. When I was a kid, I used to do the KISS makeup with watercolour paints.

“I was into KISS mostly because I was told not to listen to it in Christian school. But Alice Cooper and Bowie were more important to me. KISS wore too much of a mask; it was too much kabuki.

“I wanted to be seen, I just didn’t want to be seen the same way that I was. Ziggy Stardust first led me to shave off my eyebrows. People look at you trying to figure out what’s missing or wrong, and you can do a lot more with makeup when your eyebrows are out of the way.

“In the beginning, I was never intending to be androgynous in the sense that people thought. I wasn’t trying to look like a girl; I was hiding something. I had a really bad complexion as a teenager, but I wasn’t insecure: I tried to look worse. I liked to put lipstick on my teeth because it was always something that people didn’t like to have.”

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

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Americans Have Really Complicated Feelings About the Oscars This Year, According to a New Survey

When the 90th annual Academy Awards air on Sunday, March 4, audiences will find out what the nearly 7,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences think about 2017 in film. But what do average Americans make of last year at the movies?

To find out, TIME ran a survey in partnership with SurveyMonkey. We asked respondents how they felt about many aspects of the Oscars and awards season in general, including the ways in which real-world issues and offscreen behavior should or should not influence which actors and films take home awards.

As it turns out, 65% of Americans watch two or fewer Best Picture nominees each year. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have strong opinions. See their responses below, and scroll down for an explanation of SurveyMonkey’s methodology and a complete breakdown of the results.

Americans are divided on Hollywood’s treatment of social issues

Over the past several months, Hollywood has been rocked by allegations of sexual harassment and abuse, and insiders have taken action with the formation of groups like Time’s Up. More than a third of Americans believe Hollywood decision-makers haven’t taken appropriate action in responding to allegations, while half say it’s still too soon to tell. More than four out of ten Americans think the industry has paid too much attention to social movements like #MeToo and #OscarsSoWhite, while 31% would argue that too little attention has been paid.

Seventy percent of Americans don’t think the presence of a social or political message makes a film any more deserving of an award. But more of those who do think such a statement increases awards-worthiness are female (21% versus 15% of males) and nonwhite (26% versus 14% of white respondents).

Less than half of Americans believe awards shows have gotten more inclusive

Ever since the #OscarsSoWhite campaign took off in 2015 and 2016, in response to the lack of people of color among acting nominees, there has been increased scrutiny whenever nominations are announced and awards are won. Americans have mixed feelings about how much progress has been made on the diversity front, with 44% believing awards shows have become more inclusive over the past five years, 42% believing it’s remained about the same and 13% responding that awards have gotten less inclusive. Twice as many respondents who identified as nonwhite (18%) think it’s gotten less diverse, compared to white respondents (9%).

Americans are split on whether an actor’s behavior offscreen should impact awards’ prospects

Survey respondents were torn when it comes to the influence personal behavior should have on professional honors. Just over half (53%) believe behavior should be either “a great deal” or “somewhat” a part of awards criteria.

The survey also asked Americans to weigh in specifically on allegations of misconduct against The Disaster Artist director and star James Franco, who was accused of sexual misconduct days before voting closed for nominations (Franco, who denied the allegations, was not ultimately nominated), and The Darkest Hour actor Gary Oldman, whose ex-wife accused him of assault in 2001 and who has been accused of making anti-Semitic comments. The responses were split, with 47% saying the allegations should affect their chances of winning or being nominated and 51% saying they should not. When asked who should win Best Actor, Oldman won with 32% of responses.

The people have spoken, and they want Get Out to go all the way

When asked which of the nine Best Picture nominees should take home the golden statue, 18% chose Jordan Peele’s social thriller Get Out. This pick was slightly more popular with women (19%), adults between 18 and 29 (28%) and non-white Oscar watchers (29%). The Shape of Water came in a close second, with 16%, followed by Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, with 15%. Oldman and Frances McDormand (Three Billboards) were the top picks for Lead Actor and Actress, but young adults favored Get Out‘s Daniel Kaluuya and The Shape of Water star Sally Hawkins.

Methodology: This SurveyMonkey Audience survey was conducted February 13‐17, 2018 among a national sample of 1,875 adults, including 745 people likely to watch the Academy Awards this year. Respondents for this survey were selected from the nearly 3 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. The modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 3 percentage points. Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over. The full breakdown by demographics is available here.


Entertainment – TIME

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The Blue Wave Is Real, and It Looks Really Big—Provided Democrats Don’t Block It

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

Two more districts flipped. In New Hampshire, Democrat Philip Spagnuolo won a county legislative seat by 8 percentage points in a district Donald Trump had carried by 13 points. In Connecticut, Democrat Phil Young won a state legislative seat that Hillary Clinton narrowly carried but that had been held by a Republican for the last 44 years. They make the 38th and 39th districts since Donald Trump’s election that have gone from Republican to Democrat.

So: How confident should Democrats be about all this? I’d say pretty confident, for a bunch of reasons. But let’s stick to five:

1. The generic polling has the Democrats pretty comfortably ahead. It’s been bouncing around—while Democrats have always has the lead, it narrowed in January and February but seems to be opening back up a little now. A CNN poll released Monday had it at 54-38. I should say, though, that the fivethirtyeight average as of Wednesday morning is lower, at 47-39.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Yes, Uber Really Is Killing the Parking Business

An email from the CEO of a national parking operator has added some detail to the impact ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are having on demand for parking. The picture, at least for those trying to rent you a parking spot, is bleak.

In the email, unearthed from a company report by the San Diego Union-Tribune, Ace Parking CEO John Baumgardner says that demand for parking at hotels in San Diego has dropped by 5 to 10%, while restaurant valet demand is down 25%. The biggest drop, unsurprisingly, has been at nightclubs, where demand for valet parking has dropped a whopping 50%.

The numbers appear to be estimates, and Baumgardner doesn’t describe a timeframe for the declines. The assessment, written in September of last year, is also limited to San Diego, though an Ace Parking executive told the Union-Tribune that it has seen “similar” declines at its 750 parking operations around the United States. The company is focused on using technology, including better parking scheduling and booking options, to remain healthy.

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But much more is at stake than the revenues of the parking business – cities stand to benefit immensely as demand for parking drops. Parking spaces and lots generate relatively little tax revenue or economic activity relative to commercial operations, and by increasing sprawl may actually harm the economy of cities like Los Angeles.

Even back in 2015, cities were already relaxing zoning requirements that set minimum parking allotments, and there are now even more signs that city planners are thinking differently about parking. Perhaps most dramatically, a new Major League Soccer stadium being planned for David Beckham’s Miami expansion team may include no new parking at all – but will have designated pickup zones for Uber and Lyft.

The decline of parking will only be accelerated if and when autonomous vehicles become widespread. That sea-change which will make it easier to locate parking at a distance from urban destinations, and could further reduce car ownership. That will be bad news for the Ace Parkings of the world – but everyone else should welcome the decline of the urban parking lot.

Fortune

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Are Cheryl and Liam Payne breaking up, are they married and what really happened at 2018 Brit Awards?

CHERYL and Liam Payne went public with their romance in 2016 and welcomed baby son Bear in March 2017.

After it was revealed their relationship was in crisis, the couple put on a united front at Tuesday’s Brit Awards. Yet just 24 hours, Liam left Cheryl to fly to Miami. Here’s the lowdown on what’s going on..

Cheryl and Liam Payne were all smiles on the Brit Awards 2018 red carpet
Getty Images – Getty

Could Cheryl and Liam really be about to split?

Less than 24 hours after putting on a united front at the Brit Awards 2018, Liam was back on the road again and jetted out to Miami – leaving Cheryl and baby Bear at home.

The couple had walked the red carpet together at the awards bash on Tuesday, despite their relationship crisis.

Cheryl was there to support boyfriend Liam Payne who performed his song For You from the new Fifty Shades Freed film on stage with Rita Ora.

The couple were interviewed at their table by host Jack Whitehall during which Cheryl jokingly revealed her ‘safe word’.

Later on the presenter made a cheeky quip about Liam and Rita’s hot ‘chemistry’ after a steamy performance.

However, on February 18, 2018 The Sun on Sunday revealed that despite holding crisis talks about the future of their relationship, pals fear the showbiz couple could be on the verge of splitting.

The 10-year age gap between the two and Liam’s pursuit of a solo career are the main reasons believed to be behind the rumours.

A source close to the couple revealed: “There’s a big age gap between them. If they didn’t have Bear then they would have most likely split up by now.

“But they love their son. And they do care for each other so it’s now a matter of seeing if there’s a final way forward to try and make it work.”

Liam and Cheryl will be in touch constantly while he's in LA
Liam and Cheryl have been having relationship trouble of late
Getty Images – WireImage

What were the marriage rumours?

In May 2017 Liam sparked rumours he and Cheryl had secretly wed after he described her as his “wife” during a US radio interview.

Meanwhile, Cheryl, 34, has already been married twice before, and according to OK! Magazine, “doesn’t want a circus” if and when she weds Liam.

In July 2017 Liam was forced to finally admit that he hasn’t married Cheryl, saying he merely refers to Cheryl as “the Mrs” in a colloquial sense.

Liam subsequently hinted he may never marry Cheryl as he says “weddings aren’t for him”.

Cheryl and Liam on a date night
Instagram

Who was Cheryl married to before?

The former Girls Aloud singer first tied the knot with footballer Ashley Cole in 2006 but the couple split in 2010 following allegations Ashley had been unfaithful.

Their divorce was granted in September of that year.

Cheryl then went on to marry businessman Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini in July 2014 after a whirlwind three-month romance.

However the marriage fell apart and after months of speculation, the split was confirmed in January 2016 and the couple were granted a decree nisi in October.

The singer was also married to Frenchman Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini from 2014 until she filed for divorce in January 2016
Splash News

Who did Liam date before meeting Cheryl?

Being 10 years younger than Cheryl, Liam doesn’t have quite the relationship history of his girlfriend but did have some significant relationships before they got together.

The singer dated dancer Danielle Peazer from October 2010 until May 2013.

He then quickly moved on to a new relationship with Sophia Smith, who he had known since primary school.

The couple dated until October 2015, just weeks before he got together with Cheryl.

Liam previously dated Sophia Smith for over two years
Getty Images

How did Cheryl and Liam Payne meet?

The pair first met all the way back in 2008 on the set of the X Factor, where 14-year-old Liam’s first audition earns him praise from his future partner, as well as calling him “cute”.

Liam returned to the show in 2010 as a 16-year-old and became part of One Direction, impressing Cheryl with his talents once again.

The pair are believed to have become a couple in December 2015 after One Direction performed on the X Factor for the final time, with the couple snapped sharing a hug and dancing together.

The Sun then exclusively confirmed their relationship in February 2016.

The pair first met in 2008 when Liam, then 14, auditioned for The X Factor and winked at her
ITV

What have Cheryl and Liam Payne called their baby boy?

The Sun revealed on May 1, 2017 that the couple named their son Bear after spending a week getting to know him.

Baby Bear also took his One Direction star dad’s surname.

A source revealed: “Cheryl and Liam wanted to get to know their baby before deciding on a name.

“They didn’t have the name Bear before the birth.

Liam Payne has opened up on baby Bear
Proud dad Liam Payne has revealed baby son Bear’s nickname is Cub
Instagram

“But they’d been thinking of a name since meeting him and they just felt it suited him.

“They love their little baby Bear Payne and are truly over the moon and loving being parents for the first time together.”

Liam has opened up on “making a human” with Cheryl – calling it his proudest achievement.


Has Cheryl changed her name back to her maiden name?

Cheryl’s surname has changed many times over the years, due to her being married twice.

First she was Cheryl Tweedy (her maiden name) , then she changed it to Cheryl Cole when she married Ashley Cole, then she was Cheryl Fernandez Versini, during her short=lived marriage to Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini.

After she divorced the Frenchman she simply went by”Cheryl”.

Now, The Sun can reveal that she has officially changed her name back to Cheryl Tweedy.


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

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HGTV Dream Home Winners Open Up About What Really Happens After Winning Big

And why most of them don’t end up keeping their new home.

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Police Confirm Logan Paul Really Did Citizens Arrest an Intruder. Here’s Who He Collared.

Embattled YouTube superstar Logan Paul issued a citizen’s arrest on Tuesday night after a fan broke into his LA mansion—and it wasn’t just a prank, police have confirmed to The Daily Beast.

Around 10 p.m. on Tuesday night, Paul came home to find a man downstairs sitting on his couch charging his iPhone phone.

The man, 20-year-old, Tahj Deondre Speight, was no friend of Paul’s or any of the other vloggers in the house, and had apparently entered the residence through the unlocked front door.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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‘Altered Carbon’ Review: New Netflix Show REALLY Wants To Be ‘Blade Runner’

Altered Carbon streams on Netflix from February 2.

What is ‘Altered Carbon’?

Set in the distant future, Altered Carbon tells the tale of Takeshi Kovacs, a former freedom fighter awoken from supposed eternal hibernation by a rich aristocrat who wants him to solve a murder. But when he wakes up, Takeshi isn’t in his own body, while a whole bunch of people seem to be trying to kill him. And that’s just the start of his problems.

Ambitious Adaptation

“The first thing you will learn, is nothing is what it seems.” Altered Carbon begins with these words, suggesting that the audience should trust no one, X-Files style. Which isn’t surprising, as the plot device that drives the novel on which the series is based is designed to keep the reader — and now the viewer — on their toes.

For in this dystopian future, man has found a way to cheat death, downloading consciousness to a computer chip called a ‘stack,’ then depositing it in a discarded body, nicknamed a ‘sleeve.’ Which means that the rich can effectively live forever. That the person you are talking to might not be who they claim. And that when our hero Takeshi Kovacs wakes from his 250-year slumber, he’s no longer his Japanese self on the outside, but rather a big, muscly white dude, looking a lot like Suicide Squad star Joel Kinnaman.

Explaining this central conceit takes up a good chunk of the show’s excellent — if exposition-heavy — first episode, and that’s just the start of the world-building that Altered Carbon has to do. The series explores the way in which technology dominates — and suffocates — our lives in the future. It also examines how control of that technology has made the rich richer in grand palaces above the clouds, and the poor poorer; existing at street-level in a neon-nightmare of poverty and crime.

The visuals — which look like they cost a fortune — are both arresting and effective throughout, bringing this grim future world to life in chilling and all-too-believable fashion. But while Altered Carbon looks good, it also has a central mystery that needs solving.

Whodunnit?


Joel Kinnaman as Kovacs and James Purefoy as Bancroft.

Kovacs is stirred from his slumber by Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy — the best thing in Altered Carbon), who charges him with the task of solving a murder in exchange for his freedom. But there’s a twist. The murder that Bancroft wants Kovacs to solve is Bancroft’s. Seems the billionaire was shot in the head moments before a back-up of his consciousness could be made.

So while able to re-sleeve himself, Bancroft can’t remember what happened during the all-important hours before he died. Thickening the plot, only Bancroft and his wife had access to the weapon which killed him. Making them the prime suspects.

About half of Altered Carbon is concerned with Kovacs investigating this crime. And it’s by far the best material, turning the show into a neo-noir populated by femmes fatales, red herrings, and smoking guns.

Unfortunately, the series struggles when not dealing with the central mystery. Side-plots and digressions fill time but add little to proceedings, most notably a pointless episode that revolves around a brutal cage-fight. Flashbacks, dreams and visions are used to fill in blanks, but while lending the characters depth, they are much less interesting than the central whodunnit. Which all too often seems to be forgotten.

The Protagonist Problem


Kinnaman lacks charisma and charm.

Takeshi Kovacs is an intriguing protagonist. Being an ‘envoy’ he was formerly part of “the most formidable fighting force the galaxy had ever seen.” Possessing seemingly superhuman powers of intuition, envoys were able to drop into any sleeve on any planet and be combat-ready in minutes. Meaning they could infiltrate and manipulate their opponents, making Kovacs a formidable warrior, and potentially a cracking gumshoe.

His freedom-fighting got Kovacs arrested for treason, terrorism, espionage and crimes against the state. And the more we discover about that state, the more we understand his motives. So not only should he be a great detective, but also one we respect and maybe even like.

But onscreen, in his Joel Kinnaman sleeve, there isn’t a lot to like about Kovacs. And that’s largely down to Joel Kinnaman, who plays the character with a kind of detached resignation that makes it hard to root for him. That may well make sense for the character; the world-weary Kovacs tired of waking up in foreign bodies and dismayed by the world he now inhabits.

But the actor also lacks the requisite charm and charisma to bring Kovacs to life, his interactions with the crime-fighting force he assembles — including hard-nosed cop Ortega (Martha Higareda) and comical hotelier Poe (Chris Conner) — feeling awkward and forced.

Indeed, when we meet him in flashback scenes — and the character is played by Will Yun Lee — there’s something heroic about Takeshi. But there are times when future Kovacs seems barely awake. Even when he’s carrying out heroic deeds. All of which transforms the show’s courageous central character — and our guide through this complicated world — into something of a bore.

Influences All Over the Place


Altered Carbon looks amazing.

Altered Carbon is a show that wears its influences on its sleeve. Everywhere you look there are nods to sci-fi classics, both visually, and in terms of the storyline. There are obvious comparisons to both the Ghost in the Shell anime and recent movie. Not just because of the parallels in terms of human augmentation. But also because of the white-washing controversy that engulfed the Scarlett Johansson film. Though in Altered Carbon the white transplant was part of the source material and does make narrative sense.

The Matrix is also an obvious influence, with multiple Altered Carbon scenes taking place in virtual reality, where characters can download knowledge and training much like those hooked up to the matrix. The TV version of Westworld also casts a shadow over proceedings, though largely in the series’ second half, the details of which we won’t spoil here.

But the sci-fi that Altered Carbon most resembles is Ridley Scott’s movie masterpiece Blade Runner. Both are rain-swept noirs that revolve around reluctant detectives. Kovacs has a similar demeanour to Deckard, and even supplies monotone narration akin to the voiceover that appeared on the original Blade Runner cut.

Story beats are similar, though, in spite of the fact that it’s told over 10 hours, Altered Carbon lacks Blade Runner‘s depth, the film questioning what it means to be human; the show touching on themes of identity and individuality — and introducing thought-provoking religious objections concerning re-sleeving — then all too quickly forgetting about them.

Visually, there are also times when they look very nearly identical. Which is no bad thing, as the effects in Blade Runner still look incredible. But these similarities also serve as a continual reminder of what can be achieved with a better script, director and actors.

Is Altered Carbon Good?


The show frequently lacks focus.

Altered Carbon is good. But only when building its rich world, and dealing with the investigation of Laurens Bancroft’s death. Then it’s pretty great, journeying to some sick, twisted, and wholly unexpected places.

But frequently the show feels overstuffed, introducing too many storylines that detract from that central mystery, ricocheting back-and-forth in time in sometimes confusing fashion, and setting off on tangents that frequently don’t pay-off. It also doesn’t help that — onscreen at least — Takeshi Kovacs is far from a compelling character. Making it hard to care about his plight as proceedings progress.

All of which results in a show that kicks off in encouraging fashion, but ultimately outstays its welcome thanks to that lack of focus and momentum, too much filler, and Joel Kinnaman’s underwhelming central performance.

‘Blade Runner 2049’ Director Debunks Fan Theories

The post ‘Altered Carbon’ Review: New Netflix Show REALLY Wants To Be ‘Blade Runner’ appeared first on FANDOM powered by Wikia.

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Is Netflix Really A Champion of Diversity? Not So Fast.

Many of the people defending Netflix against actor/comedian Mo’Nique’s call to boycott it over race- and gender-based pay inequities (with black female comedians getting the short end of the stick), are lauding the $ 100 billion company’s groundbreaking commitment to diverse programming. But is Netflix really a champion of diversity?

First, let me get this out of the way: Netflix should not get a pass on the issue of compensation and opportunities for black female comedians because of its $ 100 million deal with uber-producer/screenwriter Shonda Rhimes. Netflix is a $ 100 billion company; it spent $ 8.8 billion on content alone last year. Its multiyear-deal with Rhimes is a good start, but no more than that. (By the way, it’s been reported by the Wall Street Journal that Rhimes’ work for ABC has generated over $ 2 billion in revenue from advertising, rerun sales, and international licensing.)

We’re only tripping because black people have never seen that kind of money (a recurring theme in our culture after decades of exclusion and discrimination). But never forget, because one of us finally got it doesn’t mean it’s the first time a black person was qualified and deserving of the opportunity. Every “black first” is just a small down payment against generations of dreams (and billions of dollars) deferred and denied by the deliberate and systematic exclusion of black people from opportunities. Get back to me when $ 100 million production deals become as common for black people—and black women in particular—as they are for white males in the entertainment industry. Until then, the deal is an accomplishment for Rhimes, not for Netflix.

That said, Netflix absolutely deserves credit for its diverse programming, and the acting, directing, and other opportunities it creates for people of color in the industry. However, putting on more shows with diverse casts/producers/etc. is a great example of the easiest, quickest, and least permanent execution of diversity: on-air programming. It’s not a bad place to start, but alone, it is hardly representative of a true, long-term commitment to diversity.

Some call it window dressing; I call it banana-in-the-tailpipe diversity. (My boss and CEO Earl “Butch” Graves Jr. calls it “diversity as a diversion.”) Remember the launch of UPN (the network that introduced us to the Moesha spin-off, The Parkers, starring Mo’Nique)? The CW? The WB? The Cosby-driven revival of NBC? Media platforms, especially in television, always count on black people, the demo that watches more TV than anyone else, to establish and grow an audience. Besides, black people bring the cool factor, which brings those who want to be cool, too: primarily young, mainstream [white] viewers. Once that is achieved: poof! Black programming gone! Netflix, as a streaming service, is a departure from the old network TV model, so I hope it will be different this time. Not holding my breath, though.

That said, Black Enterprise measures diversity performance in four key ways:

1. Board Diversity. Netflix ain’t got none. It’s board, including the addition of a new director announced earlier this week, consists of seven men and three women—all of them white.
2. Senior Management/Executive Diversity. How many African Americans and other people of color are in the C-Suite, and in the decision-making power jobs that report into it? There are no Netflix executives on Black Enterprise’s latest list of “The Most Powerful Executives In Corporate America.”
3. Workforce Diversity. What is the representation of African Americans and people of color employed throughout the organization? (According to Netflix’s website, 4% of its employees are black.)
4. Supplier Diversity. How much money is a company spending with businesses owned by African Americans and other people of color, as a proportion of its total spending?

Suffice to say, you won’t find Netflix on the Black Enterprise “50 Best Companies for Diversity” list.

If a company is not serious about diversity in all four of these key areas—with the numbers to back it up—they’re just playing us, if not themselves. As I’ve already said, let’s hold off on giving Netflix an NAACP Image Award. (Better to give it to the actors, producers, writers, etc. and others actually working on its shows.)

It’s great, actually amazing, that Netflix is providing opportunities to African Americans and so many other people of color and diverse backgrounds (as they should, quite frankly—pay inequities notwithstanding). But that is not where the real money and decision-making power is. To paraphrase my CEO: “Don’t let diversity become a diversion.”

The post Is Netflix Really A Champion of Diversity? Not So Fast. appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

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Tom Brady’s enduring brilliance is a problem … a really, really good kind

It’s not easy to avoid tension when a 40-year-old QB is breaking the mold of everything we know about football. But that’s Tom Brady — fresh on his way to another Super Bowl.
www.espn.com – NFL
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Woman Shares Honest Photo to Show How Crippling IBS Can Really Be

“No, it is not life-threatening, but it is a condition that has caused and had a severe negative impact on my mental and physical health.”

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Oh Really? Omarosa May Have Secretly Recorded White House Conversations

According to reports, Omarosa Manigault Newman may have secretly recorded private conversations in the White House out of fear for special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

via The Hill:

Sources told the Daily News that Manigault Newman, who abruptly resigned from the White House late last year, “loves” to record meetings. Her official last day in the administration is Saturday.

“Everyone knows Omarosa loves to record people and meetings using the voice notes app on her iPhone,” one source said. “Don’t be surprised if she has secret audio files on everyone in that White House, past and present staffers included.”

The White House’s recent ban on staffers having their personal cellphones was tied to Manigault-Newman’s habit of recording her conversations, the source told the Daily News.

Manigault Newman is also reportedly seeking meetings with lawyers because she is concerned that she will become part of Mueller’s probe into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

She has met with top attorneys like Lisa Bloom and Monique Pressley, according to the Daily News.

A White House insider said that it was unlikely Manigault Newman had any inside information that could be relevant to Mueller’s probe, according to the Daily News.

Manigault Newman was reportedly escorted out of the White House in December after being told she was fired by White House chief of staff John Kelly. The White House said that Manigault Newman had resigned and would leave on Jan. 20.

Manigault Newman rose to national stardom as a reality TV star and contestant on season 1 of “The Apprentice,” the NBC reality show formerly hosted by Trump. Because of her celebrity status, she is often referred to only by her first name, Omarosa.

We definitely wouldn’t put it past Omarosa to do something like this. It’s right up her nefarious alley.

The post Oh Really? Omarosa May Have Secretly Recorded White House Conversations appeared first on B. Scott – Celebrity Gossip and Entertainment News.

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Is anyone really cut out to be a stay-at-home mom?

by

Melissa Willets

posted in Parenting

A working mom friend recently said, “I’m just not cut out to be a stay-at-home mom.”

Her comment got me, a SAHM, thinking, Is anyone really cut out for this?

Even after 10 years of staying home with kids, I don’t feel “cut out” for the intense loneliness, isolation, lack of adult contact, boredom, and dramatic lifestyle shift being a SAHM requires. The suit of stay-of-home momdom still feels ill-fitting.

I’m not sure I’ll ever fully settle into this life, where I put myself last every second. This life, in which my most important tasks are frequently as banal as emptying the dishwasher, and wiping little behinds.

Not that I regret staying home. It’s what I chose, and for that, I know I am truly lucky. But there are mornings I hear my husband’s car pull out of the driveway, and I remember my life before kids, and I grieve for the loss of that part of me.

That person got to sit in meetings with real, live adult humans! That person went to the bathroom without being interrupted by tiny fists rapping on the door every three seconds.

Then my first daughter was born and, overnight, I was supposed to feel “cut out” for a completely different life. Suddenly, my morning meetings involved bottles and diaper changes, instead of PowerPoint presentations. I brought an infant seat into the bathroom with me, instead of a tube of lipstick. I went days without showering, or even really looking in the mirror.

I was a stay-at-home mom overnight

Meanwhile, a decade zoomed by. And I sometimes wonder how this became my life. How is arguing with my 4-year-old about whether she’s going to wear the Sofia T-shirt or the “Mermaid Academy” one the longest conversation I’ve had since last night when my husband came home from work?

There are times when the lack of mental stimulation feels numbing; the solitude repressive. Then, the guilt sets in. Remember, you want to stay home, I remind myself. You are very fortunate to have this opportunity.

And don’t get me wrong; there are plenty of wonderful, rewarding things about being a stay-at-home mom. That’s for another post. Here, I simply argue that to think you are naturally cut out for the role is a myth, and pressuring yourself to fit into stay-at-home motherhood like a glove sets you up for failure.

Maybe, like me, you’ll never get used to how isolating staying home can be. Perhaps, as I do, you’ll always long for more adult interaction, as you loll on the floor putting the fish puzzle together for the millionth time.

It just may be that I forever feel a bit depressed slipping on the same old yoga pants in the morning, and knowing full well that getting more dressed up than this doesn’t make sense for a day of preparing baby food for freezing, picking kids up from school, and reading Pupunzel until I’ve memorized it.

The stay-at-home mom uniform

I realize that adapting to motherhood in any form is a challenge. I’m sure experienced working moms still resent the alarm clock, and having to divide their attention between home and a job. And who would ever naturally fall into step with missing out on important milestones because you have to be at the office?

No matter how you slice it, moms don’t get time off. Ever. So to expect we’ll feel 100 percent ourselves in every moment, in every situation, no matter how long we’ve been at it or what our work/home dynamic is, is completely unrealistic and ultimately does us a great disservice.

So moms, let’s not assume we are cut out for every aspect of motherhood, and accept we may struggle at times, and know it’s okay.

Do you struggle to feel cut out for motherhood in any form?

Images by Melissa Willets

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James Kilpatrick, Reagan’s Favorite Columnist Who Never Really Renounced Segregation

In one of history’s smaller but nonetheless hideous ironies, James J. Kilpatrick’s career was saved on September 15, 1963 when a Ku Klux Klan bomb destroyed the African American Sixteenth Street Baptist Church and killed four little girls in Birmingham, Alabama.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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When Clothing Really Matters: Eva Hagberg Fisher’s Essay on…

When Clothing Really Matters: Eva Hagberg Fisher’s Essay on Appearance and Credibility for Women

At Put This On, most of what we write about falls into two basic categories: dressing to make the right impression/make yourself look good, and dressing in a way that you enjoy–refining your personal style, getting inspired. The stakes are generally low. Sure, you want to wear the right clothes to your job interview, or melt faces with your new leather jacket, but mostly, all that’s at risk is your pride (and some money). In men’s style, that’s the luxury we have.

The New York Times published a really powerful essay by Eva Hagberg Fisher on how she navigated the process of filing a sexual harassment complaint, through the lens of the choices she made about her clothing and appearance. In order to be believable, our culture requires women in that situation to walk some very fine lines. As Fisher puts it, “you always want to stay ‘just plausibly sexy
enough to look like you could have been harassed but 100 percent weren’t
asking for it.’”

Over the last year and a half, I have needed a lot
of outfits. I have also needed to be consistent. I have needed to be
ready, at every moment, to be seen as both a poverty-stricken graduate
student and a reliable adult. As an accuser, I need to be a
news-team-ready correspondent and someone who certainly wasn’t doing
this for the limelight. I didn’t know any of this when I started. I
learned this all on the full-time job that is being an objector to
sexual harassment in America. 
           
         
       
     

     

     
 

 
   
  

Some of what I learned to wear I learned on my
own, by thinking to myself about what I needed to exhibit. Some of it —
you must always put your hair up and never show any skin — came from a
politically savvy friend. She is the reason I’m wearing a black
turtleneck on four news shows. I refused to be photographed at home, or
sitting down. I wanted to project strength, and also a kind of
neutrality.

It’s a really interesting, if depressing, piece, artfully written and presented, and even funny. And it’s another piece of evidence that our clothing choices are often our first invitation to others to make judgments about us, and something we should try to control. In most situations for men, we’re free to choose the impressions we want to make, rather than have what we need to do coded in unwritten, shifting societal rules, with our credibility on the line.

Read more here.

Put This On

FASHION UPDATE:

Celebs are really going for it this holiday season

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

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Christmas Weekend Movies to See or Skip: No to ‘The Post,’ Yes to ‘Jumanji’ (Really)

It costs a lot to take your family to the movies these days. One false move and you’re out two hours and, between the tickets, parking and refreshments, a cool hundred bucks. Why do you think so many people partake in mediocre fare like The Ranch, starring this fucking asshole?

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Your old iPhone really is getting slower

So you weren’t imagining it after all, and now Apple is admitting it. Earlier this week, Primate Labs, the company behind GeekBench, reported that processors in older iPhones slow down and performance suffers as batteries age and lose capacity. Problems worsen if the charge is low or in the cold, the report added. Some iPhone…
Tech | New York Post

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Facebook says social media problems really not its fault

Facebook said Friday that any harm brought about by social media is caused by user error. In other words … it’s not us, it’s you. “According to the research, it really comes down to how you use the technology,” David Ginsberg, Facebook’s director of research, wrote on a blog post. The post — “Hard Questions:…
Tech | New York Post

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Monique Says What She Really Thinks About Working with Her Husband | Checked Inn | 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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Jennifer: “My Relationship with Tim Is Going Really Well” | Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s | 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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James Kilpatrick, Reagan’s Favorite Columnist Who Never Really Renounced Segregation

In one of history’s smaller but nonetheless hideous ironies, James J. Kilpatrick’s career was saved on September 15, 1963 when a Ku Klux Klan bomb destroyed the African American Sixteenth Street Baptist Church and killed four little girls in Birmingham, Alabama.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Homeland Security thinks DJI, the biggest drone maker, is really a Chinese plot

DJI drones really a Chinese plot

DJI is the biggest name in drones by a country mile. Think of it like Apple for drones: Its machines aren’t always the fastest or have the best battery life, but you can put a remote in anyone’s hands and have them up and grinning in under two minutes.

But according to Homeland Security’s resident conspiracy theorist, DJI might really be a screen for a massive Chinese government information and cyber-warfare campaign.

Continue reading…

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Homeland Security thinks DJI, the biggest drone maker, is really a Chinese plot originally appeared on BGR.com on Thu, 30 Nov 2017 at 23:04:22 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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What Will Billboard’s New Streaming Rules Really Mean?

Rap has dominated the Hot 100 this year. Five hip-hop tracks have taken the Number One spot, tying a chart record, and in April, rap singles singlehandedly accounted for half of the Top 10. It's also been a banner year for Latin pop – Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's "Despacito" tied the record for the most weeks spent at Number One (16), and when J. Balvin and Willy William's "Mi Gente" flew to

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: What Will Billboard’s New Streaming Rules Really Mean?

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This Is What It’s Really Like to Live in Your Daughter’s Backyard

A Seattle family’s multi-generational compound is redefining retirement.

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Yes, shoppers, floor mopping bodysuits for baby really do exist

by

Sara McGinnis

posted in Products

Like it or not, your crawling baby comes into endless contact with your floors. May as well make the most of the ground they’re covering and put them in a mop suit?

That’s right, floor-cleaning clothes that put baby to work are currently available on Amazon.

baby floor mop outfit

baby floor mop outfit

As seen in 1998’s 99 More Unuseless Japanese Inventions, the mop outfit is touted as working on any surface, a perfect baby shower gift, and an implement for “the moment when a person becomes useful the first time in [their] life.”

baby floor mop outfit

“There are family-friendly restaurants, hotels, cars, trains, TV shows, books, websites and even apps. But how about family-friendly cleaning tools?” this particular product’s Amazon description argues. “You can save yourself or your friends a lot of useless discussions about sharing household chores by accustoming babies at an early stage.”

And while they’re not entirely wrong in making the point helping out is great to learn early on, not everyone is on board with the baby mop idea (including getting a laugh out of it).

baby floor mop outfit

baby floor mop outfit

While one reviewer cleverly described the product as “good clean fun,” another ranted: “I think this is a disgusting product. What kind of mom leaves a dusty floor for a baby to crawl around on? And then to add insult to injury, the dust is attached to the baby so it can breathe in all the dust…nice.”

Aside from the dangly, yellow mop bits I don’t know that I can see much technical difference between baby crawling about in a regular bodysuit versus this getup. The truth of the matter is dirt and dust happen — and letting kids encounter it can even be good for them!

I can’t say I’d suit up my kid every afternoon much like I boop my Roomba on, but every once in a while? For sure. Plus, I’d be down on the ground myself snapping pics for posterity.

Is the baby mop outfit worth a laugh (and maybe trying out)? Or no fun whatsoever?

Images via Amazon<

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program which allows us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

The post Yes, shoppers, floor mopping bodysuits for baby really do exist appeared first on BabyCenter Blog.

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Rashida Jones Explains Why She Really Left Toy Story 4. And It Wasn’t Because of ‘Unwanted Advances’

Rashida Jones is refuting reports that she ended her work on Toy Story 4 early because of “unwanted advances” from Pixar chief John Lasseter, who took a leave of absence Tuesday citing unspecified “missteps.”

Multiple news outlets have reported that Lasseter allegedly engaged in misconduct with Disney and Pixar employees, with the Hollywood Reporter reporting that the allegations included “grabbing, kissing” and “making comments about physical attributes.” The same THR report said that Jones and her writing partner Will McCormack exited their assignment on Toy Story 4 because of alleged sexual harassment by Lasseter.

In a statement to the New York Times, however, Jones said McCormack instead cited “philosophical differences” and Pixar’s treatment of female and minority employees.

“We did not leave Pixar because of unwanted advances. That is untrue,” they said. “We parted ways because of creative and, more importantly, philosophical differences.

In his memo to staff obtained by THR, Lasseter wrote that he had recently “had a number of difficult conversations that have been very painful for me.”

“It’s never easy to face your missteps, but it’s the only way to learn from them,” Lasseter said. As a result, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the leader I am today compared to the mentor, advocate and champion I want to be. It’s been brought to my attention that I have made some of you feel disrespected or uncomfortable.”

In their statement to the Times, Jones said McCormack lamented a culture at Pixar “where women and people of color do not have an equal creative voice. … We encourage Pixar to be leaders in bolstering, hiring and promoting more diverse and female storytellers and leaders. We hope we can encourage all those who have felt like their voices could not be heard in the past to feel empowered.”

Pixar has been criticized for not portraying a more diverse cast of characters in the past. Prior to this week’s release of Coco, the studio’s newest movie featuring a Mexican boy as the main character, Pixar had yet to feature a non-white protagonist.

Lasseter had noticed that himself, telling the Guardian back in 2015 that “it’s very important for us to have female, ethnic characters.”

In his memo to employees this week, Lasseter said he aims to take a six-month sabbatical from Disney and Pixar.


Entertainment – TIME

ENTERTAINMENT DEAL UPDATE:

Donald Trump and LaVar Ball Really Do Deserve Each Other

At the start of this year, if you would have told me I’d be interviewing a China scholar about a deal in which President of the United States asks his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, for help to free three UCLA basketball players who’ve been held in a Chinese hotel for allegedly stealing sunglasses, I would have scoffed. If you said that one of those UCLA players was LiAngelo Ball, son of LaVar Ball — proprietor of $ 495 shoes, controversial and outspoken father of Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball — I would have laughed even harder.

Bet the under on that one, since I had to call up UCLA’s Shirley Wang Endowed Chair in US-China Relations & Communications, Min Zhou, to talk about LaVar Ball.

In hindsight, however, that LaVar Ball and Donald Trump would cross paths in the frenetic, utterly unpredictable 2017 news cycle was all but inevitable. Before returning home from a 12-day trip through Asia, President Trump on Tuesday confirmed that he asked President Xi, during Trump’s state visit to Beijing, to intervene on behalf of UCLA freshman basketball players Ball, Jalen Hill, and Cody Riley, who were arrested on shoplifting charges while in Hangzhou for UCLA’s opening game against Georgia Tech on Nov. 10. “They’re working on it right now,” Trump said. The players boarded a flight back to Los Angeles today.

“What they did was unfortunate,” Trump told reporters before leaving Manila and returning to Washington. Shoplifting penalties can vary greatly in China, but the players could have conceivably faced multiple years in jail.

Yes, Trump’s rescue of the Ball family is shrouded in symbolism. The President and LaVar Ball are classic carnival barkers who relish the media limelight. (Among LaVar Ball’s most outrageous statements: that Lonzo, the Lakers rookie, is the best player on the planet. He’s averaging 9.5 points per game, on an unseemly 31.3% shooting, for the 6-8 Lakers) They both appeared in WWE matches. They’re creations of our reality show world — while Trump had The Apprentice, Ball offers Ball In The Family on Facebook. They provoke strong reactions, positive and negative. Many people on social media have imagined Trump and Ball holding a joint press conference in the wake of the shoplifting charges. That would be quite a show.

This story, however, is more than an amusing sidelight. It does raise questions about selective justice. While the UCLA players go free, what about the human rights activists still imprisoned in China? “It’s easier for China to release American students than political dissidents,” says Zhou, the expert in China-U.S. relations, in a phone interview. “That’s a much more sensitive issue.”

The high-profile status of the UCLA players likely helped expedite their release. The Wall Street Journal noted that Detroit-native Wendell Brown, who was coaching a local American football team in China, is still in a Chinese jail after a September 2016 bar fight (he was charged with intentional assault).

China’s release of the basketball players carries diplomatic consequences as the world’s two largest economies haggle over trade and the North Korea nuclear threat. “It’s very important,” Zhou, a member of UCLA’s sociology department. “It’s a positive sign that the countries can work together.” The timing of the arrests helped the freshmen. Trump was also in China, on a state visit, when goodwill between countries generally ratchets up a level. Zhou’s happy China didn’t overtly use the detained students bargaining chips with the U.S. But don’t be surprised, she says, if China expects something in return down the road. “There’s still some sort of bargaining involved,” she says. “I’m doing you favor.”

Zhou’s thrilled that the students are returning home. “Kids make mistakes, and they should be given second chances,” she says.

Where does everyone go from here? UCLA coach Steve Alford will likely hand down some sort of suspension for his players. But at this rate, go ahead and expect LiAngelo Ball to hit the shot that sends UCLA to the Final Four, while his dad waves his Big Baller Brand kicks in the crowd. It’s November 2017. Anything goes.

 


Sports – TIME

ENTERTAINMENT DEAL UPDATE:

The One Thing You Need To Do To Really Make Your Business Grow

My nephew Kendall is 7 years old and very bright. He loves playing sports, but he had issues with schoolwork and his behavior during first grade. Kendall doesn’t have any identifiable learning disabilities, so it was baffling that he wasn’t thriving in a public school classroom environment. To help him, he was placed in a private school offering him a classroom size of just six students, blackboards (yes, the old-school chalk blackboards) and old-school wooden desks—the type you might see on a rerun of the show Facts of Life. His new learning environment is very basic.

After one month, Kendall logged all “A” grades and is engaging in all activities. It turns out, my nephew is just a different type of learner and getting back to education basics was all he needed. No smart boards, laptops, or tablets to muddy the learning waters.

Simplicity and taking a step back is helping my nephew thrive in school. When I look at some established businesses, I’ve noticed that getting back to basics and taking a step back from the “bells and whistles” of running a business in the digital age can be reinvigorating and can make your business grow.

Losing Sight of What Matters

 

Today’s business owners are so caught up (and likely overwhelmed) with leveraging social media and online marketing platforms that they have lost sight of what REALLY matters. Remember, it’s not just about getting likes on your Facebook page—it’s about getting people to BUY whatever it is you are selling. People make a purchase not because a business has 20K likes or followers, it’s because they trust what a business sells. Most importantly, there is no social media platform that serves as a substitute for maintaining a stellar competitive advantage.

(Image: iStock/Woman watering houseplant)

 

Recently, I advised Chef Christy Jones*, the owner of a restaurant located in a suburban town in New Jersey for over 15 years. As a classically trained chef, she opened her 70-seat farm-to-table restaurant to much fanfare and anticipation, having worked at noted restaurants in her region. Her local fame afforded her a steady flow of patrons eager to consume her culinary creations. She opened with only one other restaurant nearby—today there are 14. She was the first in her market to boast a farm-to-table menu, now her competitors promote similar offerings. Chef Christy has now lost her market share and is not seeing many new customers.

Chef Christy shared with me how she tries to use social to win new business by posting information about her menu specials—with limited results. After getting a few more details, I learned that many of her competitors in town were not owned and operated by chefs. In fact, many of the eateries were started by food industry novices.

As I walked around her restaurant, I recognized some underutilized competitive advantages such as desirable outdoor eating space, on-site parking, and walk-by traffic. The large glass windows out front were also not being used effectively. Nowhere on property or menus does it say the restaurant is owned and operated by a chef. As I continued chatting and walking around, I figured out where Chef Christy’s challenges stem from—it’s her. She has lost sight of why she opened her restaurant. But most of all, she has become complacent and now takes her experience and reputation for granted.

Complacency will kill any business. Chef Christy’s original competitive advantage was and still is that she is a noted, trained chef—yet she is doing nothing to maximize it. Like many business owners, Chef Christy needs to get back to business basics to regain her competitive advantage.

Getting Back to Basics – The One Thing You Must Do

 

Your business is a moving target, but being focused helps you hit your target. Getting back to basics means focusing on what made you a success in the first place and using it to reignite your business. Here are some growth strategies any business can implement to get back to basics:

  1. Talk to Your Customers – Before there was Yelp! and Google Reviews,  entrepreneurs would actually speak with their customers to find out what they liked and didn’t like. What a concept! Your regular customers and clients may never post a review, but they know your business the best. Speak with them to find out what they want, like, and dislike and then tailor your offerings to them.
  1. Leverage Your Competitive Advantage – It’s been a while since you opened, but what made your business shine then is likely still the same or better. If you have a unique offering or reputation, use it to remind old customers and gain new ones. For example, I advised Chef Christy to add elegant lettering in her window stating “Owned and Operated by Executive Chef Christy Jones” to assist passersby in discerning between the restaurants operated by non-chefs.
  1. Upsell, Upsell, Upsell – The easiest way to increase sales is to upsell to your existing clientele. Research conducted with established businesses by marketing analytics firm SumAll found that repeat customers are the foundation upon which profitable businesses are built. The data also revealed when businesses have 40% repeat customers they generated 47% more revenue than similar businesses with only 10% repeat customers.
  1. Adapt and Change – Perhaps some of your longstanding approaches are stale. Be willing to change with the times. Getting back to basics should include innovation. Revisit how you made magic in your business when you first started to reinvent some of your services and projects.

If you feel like you’ve been running on a hamster wheel for a while, it is probably time to get back to basics. Rediscover what made you a success early on and most importantly stop chasing what you don’t have and nurture your existing customer base to reach your revenue goals.

* The name of the chef has been changed to protect her identity.

Small Business – Black Enterprise

FASHION DEALS UPDATE:

Zayn Malik ‘Thanks God’ Girlfriend Gigi Hadid Handles Their Schedule: ‘She’s Really Organized … I’m Really Not’

Even though Zayn Malik and his supermodel girlfriend Gigi Hadid both have busy schedules, the power couple makes seeing each other a priority.

“It’s actually not that hard for us ,” the singer-songwriter tells Billboard in the magazine’s new cover story — before revealing the reason it’s so easy is because Hadid is in charge of the calendar. “It helps that she’s really organized. Thank God! Because I’m really not, so she helps organize my schedule around seeing her!”

Of course it probably also helps that Malik and Hadid “pretty much live together,” splitting time between his homes in Los Angeles and London and Hadid’s apartment in New York City.

The heartthrob, who made headlines for leaving the successful boy band One Direction in 2015, also revealed that his 22-year-old girlfriend is one of the few people who gets to hear his music while it’s still being written.

“She’s in the studio quite a lot,” Malik, 24, said, adding that “She likes to cook for me and stuff — when I’m here late, she’ll come down and bring me food. She’s cool.”

Malik also opened up about how he decides what to do with his own career, now that he’s the one in control.

“I don’t do things that I wouldn’t buy into. I try to explain that to people and hope that they understand,” he said, adding that “it doesn’t come from a place of being arrogant or above anything.”

Speaking about his former bandmates, Malik revealed that even though he’s not in touch with any of them, he doesn’t attribute that to bad blood — just growing up. “Our relationships have definitely changed since we were in a band together, but I think that’s just life. Everybody grows up; two of the guys have got kids now. But no, I don’t talk to any of them, really.”

In 2016, Zayn had previously told NME that he had tried to contact his former bandmates, “but nobody’s reached out,” besides Liam Payne. “I’m still probably the closest to Liam,” he added. “We talk on the phone. He congratulated me on my single , which was nice. I congratulated him on his Brit Award. It was a good chat.”

RELATED VIDEO: WATCH: An Alien Told Zayn to Leave One Direction!?

Zayn also discussed his collaboration with Taylor Swift — who happens to be a close friend of Hadid — saying he personally recruit