Inside the ‘Florida man’ craze that’s taking over the Internet

ORLANDO, Fla. — A new challenge making waves on social media pokes fun at Florida’s reputation for producing strange news stories involving guns, drugs, booze and reptiles — or some combination of the four. The challenge invites participants to run their birthday and “Florida man” through a search engine to find out which headline pops…
Living | New York Post


Signs He’s Taking Advantage Of You

taking advantage of someone

Source: franckreporter / Getty

It makes me so angry when people take advantage of those who are generous, sympathetic, patient, and kind. I worry that, if such people are taken advantage of too much, they’ll ditch those wonderful qualities and just become bitter and cold. People who are generous, sympathetic, and kind deserve partners (and friends) who are equally so—not leeches who just want to drain the life out of them. But, I have to remember that, we’re all adults here and nobody forces the generous, sympathetic type to date or befriend anyone. Part of growing up is setting boundaries so you can still be the sweet, giving person without getting stomped all over. Sometimes, it takes that first person who really takes advantage of you to learn to create those boundaries. Here are signs he’s totally taking advantage of you.


He asked to move in fast

He asked to move in together very quickly. You felt like it was fast, and you knew it was risky, but, you were just so flattered that he was apparently so into you that you said yes. He didn’t, however, suggest you two find a new place together. He just asked to move into your place.



Sky-high trekking: taking on California’s High Sierra Trail

This demanding adventure amid granite domes and giant trees ends in a climb up Mount Whitney – and it’s worth every lung-busting step

As soon as we set foot on California’s High Sierra Trail, the clamour of the world fell away, replaced by the rhythm of our footsteps, the chatter of forest birds and a feeling of stillness. A week of wonder lay ahead. It was euphoria of the purest kind.

We would follow the metre-wide path from the beauty spot of Crescent Meadow in Sequoia national park to the other side of the Sierra Nevada, land of the gold rush, the glacier-sculpted granite dome and the giant tree – a place “father of the national parks” John Muir described as “the most divinely beautiful of all the mountain chains”. It had been pulling on my imagination for a long time.

Continue reading…
Travel | The Guardian


Taking arts classes leads to better academic performance

A new study found a link between arts elective courses in music, dance, visual art and drama, and better grades in middle school. The study followed a large and diverse sample of preschool children up until they completed sixth, seventh and eighth grade.
K-12 Education News — ScienceDaily


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19 Calvin Klein Runway Looks Worth Taking a Look Back At

It’s the end of an era at Calvin Klein.
The American fashion brand announced Wednesday it will not continue its traditional collection business, meaning Calvin Klein will no longer be a fixture on the fashion week runway. The news comes after the brand shuttered its 205W39NYC label in January, following the departure of its chief creative officer, Raf Simons, the prior month.
Starting his namesake label in 1968 as a coat shop, Calvin Klein grew his brand quickly, adding sportswear and lingerie. In 1973, Klein received the Coty American Fashion Critics’ Award for a 74-piece women’s wear collection, becoming known for his youthful and classic American style.

Calvin Klein fall 1973 ready-to-wear collection. 
Nick Machalaba/Penske Media/REX/Shutterstock

While the proliferation of Klein’s underwear and jeans businesses — and legendary ad campaigns featuring the likes of Mark Wahlberg, Kate Moss and Brooke Shields — are a significant marker in the designer’s legacy, his designs on the runway were equally impactful. Most notably, Klein popularized the slipdress, which was routinely modeled by Moss on the runway.

The finale at the Calvin Klein spring 1998 ready-to-wear runway. 
Todd Plitt/AP/REX/Shutterstock

When the brand was acquired by PVH Corp. and Klein resigned from his position in 2003, designer Francisco Costa was brought on as

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‘Into the Spider-Verse’ breaks Disney’s streak by taking home an Oscar

"Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse" took home the Academy Award for best animated feature on Sunday, marking the first time since 2012 that the big prize did not go to a Disney film.
Top News & Analysis


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Internal Memo from Gucci CEO Shows He’s Taking the Blackface Scandal Very, Very Seriously

On Sunday, just days after Gucci issued an official apology for its sweater that resembled blackface (and simultaneously pulled it from shelves), the Italian house’s preeminent creative collaborator Dapper Dan released a statement of his own. “I am a Black man before I am a brand,” he wrote in …

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Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas are taking their relationship to the next level

It’s happening!!!

Sophie Turner is one of the most talked-about women in the world, shaping up to be one of Game of Thrones’ most exciting success stories.

Whether she’s showing off her acting chops as GoT’s Sansa Stark or taking down Piers Morgan for his controversial views on mental health, the 22-year-old never fails to make viral news.

A lot of the speculation around her however centres on her relationship with fiancé Joe Jonas, with the couple announcing their engagement in 2017.

Ever since the news, the LA power couple has been ticking off relationship milestones left, right and centre.

From being each other’s wedding dates and becoming Instagram official to bonding with their future brothers and sisters in law, they’ve almost done it all. But it was this week, that the betrothed couple ramped it up a gear.

sophie turner following

Joe and Sophie were spotted house hunting in Los Angeles, adding fuel to the rumours that they were moving in together, something that would make sense, ahead of the couple’s wedding – set for this summer.

The ceremony is rumoured to be taking place in France, and there’s sure to be a lot of A-listers in attendance. We’re expecting at least a few former Disney stars and of course the extended Game of Thrones cast.

Congratulations to Sophie and Joe!

The post Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas are taking their relationship to the next level appeared first on Marie Claire.

Marie Claire


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The Faux Leather Leggings We’re Never Taking Off

Since the new year is officially upon Us, we’ve been thinking that it’s time to give our essentials collection an upgrade and, of course, our number one staple is always leggings. A style that can easily mix and match with everything in our wardrobe, it’s always smart to have as many leggings options as possible. We wear them to work when we can show off our trendiness, while running errands when we want to look a little extra chic and any time we go out and want to look like we put in a whole lot of effort into our outfit.

At Shop With Us, we’re always on the hunt for a design that highlights our figure while keeping Us as comfy as possible. This faux leather offering is snug but also extremely flattering and we are so excited to add this garment to our collection!

Commando Perfect Control Faux Leather Leggings

See It: Grab the Commando Perfect Control Faux Leather Leggings at Nordstrom for only $ 98 in multiple colors.

Nothing gets Us going like a sleek design and the Commando Perfect Control Faux Leather Leggings are just the ticket! Made with a buttery soft fabric, this number will feel super soft against our skin for the maximum level of comfort.

We love pants that allow Us to highlight our figure and these trousers are no exception. Made with a high-rise construction, these bottoms sit above the waist to create the illusion of an hourglass silhouette. There is also a shapewear effect that controls and shapes the hips, thighs and rear for a sculpted look.

A great way to serve up a touch of attitude, the unfinished hem offers an edgy look for a stylish touch. The perfect pull-on pant that can easily complement our no-fuss style, these leggings will become an instant favorite!

Commando Perfect Control Faux Leather Leggings

The bronze style is that one that really caught our eye! A nice change from the typical black style, this metallic option will certainly turn heads. The ideal option for a night out on the town, this design will definitely make Us the center of attention.

We’re also huge fans of the pine (green) hue as an earthy shade that can easily match with our casual and dressy ensembles. A stylish number we can even slip into our work wardrobe, this versatile creation packs a stylish punch!

For those who love the classic look, the black offering will fall right in line. We can never go wrong with a dark hue and this option makes styling a breeze. From button-down shirts to peplum tops, we already have a ton of looks in mind.

We can also switch it up a bit with the graphite (grey) tone. A flattering neutral that makes the perfect substitute for our trusty staple, this sizzling find is absolutely worth it!

A top-quality pair of leather pants can easily set Us back, but these trousers are a budget-friendly steal. Priced at $ 98, these leggings are a great piece that will last for years to come and are an absolute must-have.

Commando Perfect Control Faux Leather Leggings

Nordstrom shoppers totally agree! Many reviewers love the soft and smooth feel, while others appreciate the great texture and superior craftsmanship. Shoppers also dig that this offering looks and feels like real leather without the big price tag. One reviewer shared that the support in these leggings feels firm and flattering without making it hard to breathe.

Ready to hit happy hour with your girlfriends? We can wear this style with a lacy bodysuit, slim-strap sandals, a cross-body bag and a moto leather jacket for a biker babe look. We can also pull out a high/low tunic, mules, a shoulder bag and a suede coat for a polished ensemble. For date night with our beau, we’re pulling out a graphic tee, pumps, a fur coat, a wool Fedora hat and a bold lip.

We can also welcome this style into our casual wardrobe with knit sneakers, a boyfriend sweater and a top coat for an athleisure ensemble. For casual Fridays at work, we can pull out a cable-knit sweater, mules, a wrap coat and a tote bag.

With sizes extra small to extra large available in select styles, you can bet that we are adding every hue to our shopping cart immediately. Timeless and chic, leggings are a great essential that will easily add a trendy touch to any outfit.

Spoil yourself this new year and grab this garment while it’s still up for grabs! We’re sure you’ll love them!

See It: Grab the Commando Perfect Control Faux Leather Leggings at Nordstrom for only $ 98 in multiple colors.

Check out more of our picks and deals here!

This post is brought to you by Us Weekly’s Shop With Us team. The Shop With Us team aims to highlight products and services our readers might find interesting and useful. Product and service selection, however, is in no way intended to constitute an endorsement by either Us Weekly or of any celebrity mentioned in the post.

The Shop With Us team may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. In addition, Us Weekly receives compensation from the manufacturer of the products we write about when you click on a link and then purchase the product featured in an article. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product or service is featured or recommended. Shop With Us operates independently from the advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback at Happy shopping!

Us Weekly


Joy Reid is Taking MSNBC’s TV Viewership to New Heights

As a political analyst, author, and host, Joy Reid is known for asking the questions others shy away from and pushing people to tell the truth despite what side of the political spectrum they’re on. The Harvard graduate began her career in radio at Radio One and later transitioned into digital reporting for local and national outlets such as The Grio and the Miami Herald. In short, Reid is a Woman of Power.

And now, thanks to Reid and her team, in 2018, AM Joy scored their third straight year of growth on weekends. And the show became the No. 1 show in African American total viewers across all cable during the time period of Jan. 1 – Dec. 30, 2018.

In fact, according to Nielsen, MSNBC finished 2018 as the most-watched cable network among African Americans for the second year in a row. In sales day (Monday-Sunday 6am-2am), MSNBC averaged 255,000 African American total viewers and was No.1 among all cable networks (ahead of No. 2 BET, No. 3 ESPN, No. 4 ADSM, No. 5 CNN, and No. 62 FOX News). MSNBC was the only cable network in the Top 15 to grow (+2%) in the demographic compared to the same time period in 2017. In addition, MSNBC was the most-watched cable network among African Americans during prime (Monday–Friday 8-11pm).

Having blown other networks out of the water, MSNBC became the No. 1 cable news network in prime in December and beat FOX News for the first time in 17 years as the No.1 cable news network for the week of Dec. 17.

With strong reporters like Reid, Trymaine Lee, and a host of journalists of color—the network has been able to establish a strong presence and sense of credibility within the black community. Now more than ever, society is in need of reliable reporting—and MSNBC has proven that they are committed to delivering the truth.

The post Joy Reid is Taking MSNBC’s TV Viewership to New Heights appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Career | Black Enterprise


How Taking out a Loan Could Actually Help You Get out of Debt This Year

If you popped the cork to ring in 2019 but still have some nagging debt hanging around, chances are you made a mental note of it in your New Year’s resolutions. This is the Year of the Pig on the Chinese zodiac calendar, and that stands for “luck, overall good fortune, wealth, honesty, general prosperity.” Sounds good, right?

Now is the time to make a plan to wipe out your debt before the next trip around the sun. If you are carrying balances on several credit cards, you are likely paying interest up to or even over 20%. Ouch.

Other types of debt, like medical bills, payday loans or anything else may also come with high interest and annoying collection calls.

When you try to pay down multiple bills that are charging interest, your payments can get spread too thin and you may not really be making much progress.

It’s time to consolidate and conquer.

A good resource is Fiona, a search engine for financial services, which can help match you with the right personal loan to meet your needs.

Fiona searches the top online lenders to match you with a personalized loan offer in less than 60 seconds. Its platform can help you borrow up to $ 100,000 (no collateral needed) with fixed rates starting at 4.99% and terms from 24 to 84 months.

Yes, the terms are 24 to 84 months, but with only one payment and a much lower interest rate, you might be able to make better payments and much faster progress towards paying that debt down.

Get free of bad debt and ready to make the Year of the Pig your best year yet. By the time the ball drops to welcome in 2020, you’ll really be bringing home the bacon.

Tyler Omoth is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder who loves soaking up the sun and finding creative ways to help others. He likes bad puns and won’t apologize for it. He also likes bacon. Catch him on Twitter at @Tyomoth.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

self-care alexandria ocasio-cortez

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

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

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

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

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



A North Pacific Purple and Red Sends the West Coast Solid Swell This Week, Anyone Taking A Sick Day?

The West Coast and Hawaii are in for an early Christmas!

“The North Pacific continues to impress as we inch closer to halftime in December. Hawaii gets a good-sized dose of NW swell midweek, however, strong trades have been a persistent annoyance — when will they relax enough for you to enjoy the surf?

Meanwhile, Northern and Central California continue their run of sizeable surf but with varying winds this week. What day (or hours) is your zone are looking best to paddle? Further downstream, Southern California gets in on the action to start the week” – Surfline 

For constant swell and weather updates, follow Surfline and their social media listed below.

IG @surfline

Twitter @surfline

FB @surfline

The post A North Pacific Purple and Red Sends the West Coast Solid Swell This Week, Anyone Taking A Sick Day? appeared first on .


Take 15% Off Element products at Shop.Surf. Use Code: ELEMENT15

Sarah Hyland Announces She’s Taking A Break From Social Media Following Her Cousin’s Death

Yesterday, Sarah Hyland revealed that her 14-year-old cousin had died in a drunk driving accident, and she urged her social media following to keep their nasty and ignorant comments to themselves. Unfortunately, however, Sarah’s request for civility didn’t go as planned.

Today, the Modern Family alum announced she was taking a break from social media for the next little while. Following the revelation that her young cousin had passed away, some people on Twitter criticized her for the manner in which he tragically died.

At first, Hyland accused her followers of talking negatively about something which none of them had any knowledge – a fair point considering exact details haven’t been released.

The star said, “and how dare you attack when a beautiful life has been lost.” On a more positive note, Sarah and her Modern Family co-stars shared a link to a GoFundMe page and it has since garnered more than a few dollars for both medical expenses and funeral fees.

Unfortunately, thousands of people die in drinking and driving related accidents every year. However, in the modern era, drunk driving has since become a massive social faux-pas. It is no longer a social norm as it once was due to years of activism and raising awareness.

According to a study from the Port of Springer Nature, a majority of car accidents, especially fatal ones, are caused, in part, by drinking and driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that approximately $ 37 billion in damages are caused every single year as a result of drinking and driving-related accidents.

Moreover, someone dies in an alcohol-related crash every fifty-one minutes. Most drunk drivers are men, although some are women. However, there is a significant disproportionate ratio.

Ever since the legalization of marijuana in several states in the United States, as well as the legalization of the substance nationally in Canada, the risk of more fatal accidents has been a subject of discussion. As the years go by, authorities say road-side tests will increase in sophistication regarding what substances they test for.

Celebrity Insider


Bethesda Is Taking Heat Over Fallout 76 Return Policy

A lot of gamers don’t feel as if Bethesda met some standards with the release of Fallout 76, and some gamers who have been attempting to get refunds for the game aren’t being allowed to do so, which has resulted in Bethesda taking a lot of heat over its opaque return policy.

CinemaBlend Latest Content


What is the Rickshaw Challenge 2018, what’s the route, who is taking part in Children in Need and how can I donate?

CHILDREN in Need 2018 is finally here and with it comes the annual Rickshaw Challenge, headed up by a team of teenage cyclists.

Here is everything you need to know about what the challenge is all about…

Meet the 2018 Rickshaw Challenge contestants
Meet the 2018 Rickshaw Challenge contestants

What is the Rickshaw Challenge?

The One Show’s Rickshaw Challenge has returned for the eighth year and launched on Wednesday, October 10.

A team of six young people, who have been supported by BBC Children in Need-funded projects, will be joined by Matt Baker on the eighth day.

The challenge itself started on Friday, November 9 and came to an end on Friday, November 16.

They will cross the finish line in time for this year’s Children in Need Appeal Show.

What is the route for the 2018 challenge?

The 2018 Rickshaw Challenge began on Friday, November 9 in Calais, France.

They then pedalled 31 miles through the service tunnel of Channel Tunnel, which has only been used by professional cyclists before.

From there, to complete Day One, they headed from Folkestone to Ashton.

Day Two saw the cyclists travel from Ashford to Linfield and then spend Day Three working to get to Hook.

On Day Four, their journey took them to Royal Wootton Bassett.

Then, they cycled to Malvern on Day Five and to Ironbridge on Day Six.

After travelling to Chester on Day Seven, the challenge came to an at Salford Quays on Day Eight.

Alex and Matt
Alex and Matt are joined by Maisie who will be taking part in the Rickshaw Challenge

Who is taking part in the Rickshaw Challenge this year?

The Rickshaw challenge features a diverse and inspiring group of young people from all different backgrounds.

Abbie, 16, is from London and was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the age of 12. She fought her cancer diagnosis with various treatment methods and finally heard happy news in October 2015. Throughout her journey, she was supported by Teens Unite, which runs motivational workshops for young people following a cancer diagnosis and helped rebuild Abby’s confidence.

Harry, 17, is from Plymouth and was diagnosed with quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy and Worster-Drought Syndrome at the age of one. He’s had multiple surgeries to help him use his legs more easily. Harry also struggles with communication. He’s been supported by Friends and Families of Special Children, which supports disabled children and their families. He is determined to show the world that he can do anything through the Rickshaw Challenge.

Kayla is a 16-year-old from Derry. Kayla’s mother has passed away from an alcohol-related disease following her battle with alcoholism and her father suffers from a rare flesh-eating bug. She cares for his dad and has been supported by Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum which provides a safe space for young people and empowers them.

Kieran, 18, is from South Wales and cared for his mum and younger siblings throughout his youth until he was unable to cope. By 13, Kieran was placed in foster care and started attending The Hwb Torfaen, a project that supports young people to encourage skill development and volunteering.

Maisie, 16 is from Southampton and has achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism. She has gone numerous operations to ease her movements and straighten her leg. At the age of 4, Maisie was introduced to Dwarf Sports Association and says it’s had a really positive influence on her life.

Phoebe, 19, is from Leicester and has had a stammer since she was 8. It made her feel isolated and impacted her self-confidence. She was supported by Action for Stammering Children which helped her gain confidence while communicating and provided a support network.

When is Children in Need 2018?

Children In Need is held in November each year.
The Appeal Show 2018 can be watched on Friday, November 16.

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


Meet the Chinese MMA Fighter Taking on the Grandmasters of Kung Fu

Fighters aren’t usually the blushing type. But Xu Xiaodong can’t hide his embarrassment when asked about his latest battle scar, a three-inch crimson railroad track that snakes over his right eyebrow. It was caused, he says, by an overzealous opponent’s knee at a recent training session, during which Xu grappled with four younger mixed-martial-arts (MMA) fighters in quick succession. “I was tired by the end and bam!” Xu tells TIME in his Beijing gym. “Twenty-six stitches!”

It’s by far the most obvious of the 40-year-old’s war wounds, eclipsing even cauliflower ears and a catalog of creaking bones. But it’s nowhere near the deepest. Xu has spent a lifetime fighting, first at school and later channeling a red-hot adolescent temper into competitive MMA. But the fiercest blows he suffered were far from the ring, when he took on practitioners of traditional Chinese martial arts, known officially as wushu but more colloquially as simply kung fu.

The dispute started with an argument on social media. Xu wanted Wei Lei, a kung fu master in the discipline of tai chi, to account for the outlandish powers he claimed to possess. Wei boasted of using an invisible force field to keep a dove on his hand, and pulverizing a watermelon’s innards without damaging its skin. The idea that masters of kung fu achieve mystical skills is widely accepted in China; Wei is just one of many making such claims. Xu believes this “fake kung fu” sullies true martial arts. The online quarrel escalated, and before long Xu and Wei were facing off in a basement in the central Chinese city of Chengdu for a bare-knuckle match. Xu says he only wanted to open people’s eyes, but the bout was billed as East vs. West, the master of a hallowed tradition vs. an alien upstart.

In the video of the April 27, 2017, bout that later went viral on social media, Xu takes a standard MMA striking pose. Wei shuffles to and fro with both arms raised like a praying mantis. After sizing each other up for a few seconds, Xu advances, furiously hurling punches at Wei’s head. The tai chi master instantly tumbles onto the checkerboard matting. Xu leaps forward and rains down blows on his opponent until the referee stops the fight. Victory had taken 20 seconds.

The bout left Xu with barely a scratch but a life in tatters. The video quickly became a viral sensation on China’s social-media platforms. Online trolls accused Xu of humiliating traditional Chinese culture, and he found he was banned from social media. The Chinese Wushu Association condemned the “suspected illegal actions that violate the morals of martial arts.” He and his family received death threats.

Many wanted a rematch. One aggrieved Chinese entrepreneur offered $ 1.45 million to any fighter who could defeat Xu. Other tai chi practitioners began challenging Xu both online and in person, setting up camp outside the MMA gym in Beijing that he manages. Some brazenly wandered in to pick fights.

Xu insists his aim was not to disparage Chinese martial arts, but to show that what is often sold as a powerful fighting skill is useless in actual close combat situations. But his efforts were framed by his critics as placing the Western culture of MMA above cherished Eastern traditions–a perfidious sin in an increasingly nationalist China. President Xi Jinping has made reviving traditional Chinese culture a signature policy, deploying kung fu to boost the nation’s “soft power” overseas. Now, here was a man apparently dedicated to exposing it as a fraud.

“A lot of people have been brainwashed by these fake kung fu masters,” says Xu, who broke his silence to talk to TIME. “I’m trying to wake them up and let them know what real traditional kung fu actually is.”


The supposedly 4,000-year-old roots of kung fu can still be glimpsed in China’s Henan province, home of the fearsome fighting monks of Shaolin Buddhism. Dating from A.D. 495, the Shaolin temple is perched on the west side of the forested Mount Songshan, one of China’s so-called five Sacred Mountains.

According to legend, the monastery’s fighting prowess evolved from perfecting household chores like sweeping, fetching buckets of river water and collecting firewood. Feuding warlords would eagerly petition the warrior monks’ help for their bloody campaigns. Even after the Shaolin temple was routed for subversive activities during the Qing dynasty, its influence spread as its monastic diaspora journeyed across the Middle Kingdom and as far as Japan.

Today, life inside the temple begins before daybreak, when the hundred resident monks shuffle into the central shrine to perform a 5 a.m. ritual. Kneeling before golden statues of the Buddha, they chant melodic rites accented by drum and cymbal, beneath bronze effigies of the order’s iconic warrior brethren.

Later, the tourists arrive and the monks get to work. Novices put on kung fu shows where they tumble through the air, shatter metal bars over skulls and bend wooden spears with throats. Lithe performers adopt animalistic fighting styles, like monkey, leopard and leaping bullfrog. The reputation of the Shaolin monks has traveled far and wide; organizations using its name are all across China and the world. There are now around 140 Shaolin schools in 70 nations, according to local media.

In the U.S. kung fu entered the culture in the 1960s and ’70s, partly due to Bruce Lee, the U.S.-born actor and martial artist who starred in cult movies Enter the Dragon and Fist of Fury. His popularity helped pave the way for actors like Jackie Chan and Jet Li to turn kung fu expertise into Hollywood stardom. In the 1990s, hip-hop group the Wu-Tang Clan littered their music with references to the Shaolin temple and samples from Chinese kung fu movies.

But kung fu’s cultural reputation has taken a battering with the rise of MMA, and in particular the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The first UFC tournament in 1993 was billed as pitting different martial art styles against one another, featuring experts in kung fu, karate, wrestling and even sumo. In the end, Brazilian jujitsu reigned supreme.

A quarter of a century later, MMA rivals boxing in global popularity, augmented by the booming celebrity of stars like Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey. Many fans prefer the intensity of the format and stripped-down rules. Brazilian jujitsu, Thai kickboxing and wrestling remain the pillars of MMA fighting. The fluid acrobatics of wushu barely feature.

In China, kung fu remains a powerful draw. A study by Chinese Internet giant NetEase estimated the wushu industry’s worth at billions of dollars, including film, television, education, tourism and retail. Its official association boasts of 2 million full-time students at 12,000 academies. But MMA is catching up, with several rival promotions vying for supremacy. When Canadian MMA fighter Vaughn “Blud” Anderson moved to Beijing in 2008, there were maybe five MMA contests all year. Now there can be 10 in a weekend. “It’s growing faster here than anywhere else in the world,” he says.

Shaolin temple abbot Shi Yong Xin tells TIME kung fu can’t be compared to MMA because its true essence is spiritual rather than simply physical, bringing not superpowers but inner peace. But many people in China still give credence to the idea that the most skilled practitioners have supernatural abilities, and there’s no shortage of self-styled masters willing to go along with the ruse. A quick glance on YouTube reveals kung fu masters with claims of telekinesis and “shamanic dances that open up other realms of existence.” Some make money by promising to train others, and many have passionate disciples; the defeated Wei, for example, has 94,000 followers on China’s Twitter-like microblog Weibo.

The Shaolin temple itself is not free of commercialization. As the monks practice before rapt audiences, hawkers brandish DVDs. Shi himself has a gold-embossed business card with no less than three QR codes on it. But he says crooked kung fu practitioners and teachers often use the temple’s name without permission. “I had one worker who wasn’t even a monk but quit and started his own Shaolin school,” he says bitterly.

So Shi backs Xu’s campaign to rid kung fu of deceptive practitioners, like the female tai chi master who claims she can repel 12 opponents without using her hands. “He’s a good guy, even though he’s a totally amateur MMA fighter,” Shi says, before quipping to a fellow monk that “a hundred people in Henan province alone” could defeat Xu. But overall, concedes the abbot, “Xu is doing the right thing by fighting fake kung fu.”

Xu’s battle is increasingly a lonely one, however, as the Chinese government is weaponizing kung fu for its own propaganda purposes. This year, the Shaolin temple controversially flew the Chinese national flag for the first time, illustrating its “patriotic” credentials under the auspices of the all-powerful Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Jackie Chan, the Hong Kong–born actor among the most beloved icons in kung fu, became a political adviser to the party in 2013 and now regularly appears on its behalf.

In this context, it’s easy to see why Xu weathered such a backlash. His mission to expose unscrupulous kung fu masters was a threat to the cultural outreach of the CCP. The idea that kung fu is unique, with perhaps otherworldly elements, gives it popular currency that sets it apart from Western combat skills. “Everybody thinks that in Shaolin there’s some secret knowledge that nobody wants to teach to others, especially the ‘evil foreigners,’” says Marta Neskovic, 26, a Serbian doctorate student who’s training at the temple for her fieldwork on Shaolin kung fu.

Even veterans of other forms of pugilism believe. “I know Chinese MMA fighters who believe there are kung fu experts who live in mountain caves and can disappear and reappear at will,” says Anderson. He suspects ancient kung fu morphed toward the cabalistic because modern weaponry was making hand-to-hand combat less relevant. “It just isn’t efficient as a form of full-contact combat with a resisting opponent,” he says. “Bullfrog kung fu cannot be what defended the empire.”


Proving that to nationalistic Chinese will be difficult, but Xu has dedicated himself to trying. After his defeat of Wei, police stopped a second bout against tai chi master Ma Baoguo, and the mounting opprobrium forced Xu to retreat from public gaze.

Yet he can claim a partial success. In November 2017, China’s General Administration of Sport issued a directive apparently in response to Xu’s bout with Wei, clamping down on self-appointed masters and demanding practitioners “build correct values about martial arts.” But it also banned unauthorized fights, in a bid to stifle debate about the relative merits of traditional and modern martial arts. On Nov. 5, Xu heard he was barred “indefinitely” from organizing tournaments for fighters at his gym.

Nevertheless, Xu is continuing his personal campaign. In April, he fought and defeated kung fu master Ding Hao in under two minutes, and he’s planning another bout against what he says will be three “top, top” kung fu masters in a single day. He hopes that each victory will stifle his dissenters and restore normality to his life. Defeat isn’t an option, he says. “I cut their way of making money by exposing them,” he says. “So I cannot stop, as then the whole weight of pressure will come crushing down on me. I have no choice but to keep on fighting.”

–With reporting by ZHANG CHI/BEIJING

This appears in the November 19, 2018 issue of TIME.
Sports – TIME


Matthew Barnaby, The NHL Hug Fest and Millennials Taking Over

With all this talk about the NHL not having as much "hate" anymore, we invited seasoned tough guy Matthew Barnaby to the pod for his takes on the state of the NHL, his favourite fights, and some regrettable things he said on the ice.Jackie & Sophia talk about Boston win…

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Taking Steps to Be an Athlete for Life

Kevin McManigal’s active lifestyle is measured by many milestones … starting from the time Bill Bowerman, the famed founder of Nike, specially made a pair of shoes for Kevin and his teammates on the South Eugene High School track team. (They won the state championship.)

In the years since, the now 60-year-old Kaiser Permanente nurse has summitted just about every Pacific Northwest peak, cycled and run tens of thousands of miles, and explored wilderness trails on horseback, cross country skis, and foot.

Bump in the road

Then came the proverbial “bump in the road.” He hiked deep into the Wallowa Mountains in northeastern Oregon, and came out a week later, hobbling in pain.

Over the next several months, he tried ignoring the pain. He ran less and cycled more. He saw an orthopedic surgeon at Kaiser Westside Medical Center, where an X-ray revealed that cartilage — the firm, rubbery material that serves as a “shock absorber” — had deteriorated in his right knee.

“The pain was constant and became more intense over time,” he says. “It felt like my knee would break, and I would collapse.” He thought that he was “too young and active” to be having joint issues, but he has since learned that it can happen to athletes and others at just about any age in their adult lives.

He wore a brace and walked with a cane.

“It was difficult, but you manage and adapt,” says Kevin, who works in the Medical Procedures Unit at Westside. But when it became too much to endure, he consulted with orthopedic specialists and scheduled surgery for last April.

Just do it

“My surgeon (Erik Kroger, MD), thought that I might only need a half-knee replacement, but he wouldn’t be sure until he actually began the operation. I was confident that he would take excellent care of me, so I told him to ‘Just do it.’”

After total joint replacement, Kevin spent one night in the hospital, and continued his recovery at home. He describes the entire experience from pre-op through recovery “as smooth as can be.” He credits the knee surgery, as well as two previous hand surgeries at Kaiser Permanente, with saving his career and ability to thrive: “I would be disabled now, if not for the excellent care I’ve received. I’d be working at a desk, instead of doing what I love – taking care of patients at the bedside,” said the 32-year Kaiser Permanente employee.

Riding high

Five months following surgery, Kevin experienced another milestone. He participated in Cycle Oregon, an ambitious bike ride that climbs 28,000 feet in elevation through northeastern Oregon. On the last day of the weeklong event, Kevin happened to chat with Eric Bosworth, MD, who cycled the course and months earlier, consulted on Kevin’s case.

Kevin’s conversation with the Kaiser Permanente orthopedic surgeon went like this:

Dr. Bosworth: “I saw you limping on the job all last year … and you’re here at Cycle Oregon?”
Kevin: “Yes, I completed all 400 miles!”
Dr. Bosworth: “You did the whole tour after having had knee replacement surgery in April?”
Kevin: “Yes, that’s right.”
Dr. Bosworth: “That’s great – but did you check with your ortho surgeon before you did this?”
Kevin: “No, because my knee was/is feeling great — and I needed the bicycle ride!”
Dr. Bosworth: “I can understand that. I’m an athlete, too.”

The next milestone for Kevin? He’s planning a multi-day canoeing and hiking trip in Canada and a dozen other adventures, thanks to his new knee and lifelong passion for staying active.

The post Taking Steps to Be an Athlete for Life appeared first on Kaiser Permanente.

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All hail our Homecoming queen!Julia Roberts is taking on her…

All hail our Homecoming queen!

Julia Roberts is taking on her edgiest roles yet with the powerful movie Ben Is Back and thrilling new series Homecoming. Get the inside scoop from the Hollywood icon herself as she opens up about her 30-year career. 📷: Julia Roberts photographed by Carter Smith at the Beekman Hotel

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Boy Who Made Meghan Markle a Macaroni Necklace Now Taking Jewelry Orders from Around the World

Meghan Markle is known for being a style icon, even when it comes to the homemade accessories she wears.

While greeting fans in Melbourne during the Royal Tour last week, Meghan was approached by 6-year-old Gavin Hazelwood, who gifted the Duchess a homemade pasta necklace. The royal, 37, instantly put the adorable necklace on, and now Gavin is becoming just as well-known with jewelry order requests coming in from around the world.

“We had a lot of people saying to Gavin, you should make more, you’ll make lots of money from this, everybody will want to buy her necklace,” his mom, Rowan Hazelwood, told Network 10, as reported by CBS News.

RELATED: Everything You Need to Copy Meghan Markle’s Chic Style

The family decided to create a website for Gavin, where fans can purchase the dinosaur-shaped pasta with gold paint necklaces for $ 20. The kindergartener has since received orders from Australia, the U.K. and the U.S.

Gavin intends on donating all of his profits to a stillborn research charity, CBS reported, as his mother previously lost a baby girl.

“She’s a part of our lives still, even for the kids, and they talk to her every day,” she told Network 10.

The Melbourne native, who was adorably dressed as a Qantas pilot, crafted the ribbon and gold-painted pasta necklace earlier that morning after telling his mom he was feeling sick so he could skip school and make the necklace for Meghan.

“I did the pasta with gold paint. Mum helped me thread through the necklace,” he told Fairfax Media.

RELATED VIDEO: Meghan Markle Stylishly Declares Her Love For Prince Harry With Customized Necklace

After receiving the gift, Meghan immediately put it on over her navy Dion Lee dress. The royal mom-to-be, who is expecting her first child with Prince Harry, proudly wore the gift during the rest of the outing until she arrived at a formal reception inside Government House.

Meghan often wears jewelry that has sentimental meaning.

Earlier in the tour, she wore butterfly earrings that once belonged to Princess Diana. And when Prince Harry and Meghan first began dating, she was spotted wearing a gold, personalized necklace with the letters M and H on it.

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259 people have died taking selfies – but that won’t stop anyone from taking risks to get that perfect snap

Vanity is killing us.

A man in Maryland narrowly avoided death Sunday after falling into the Potomac River while trying to snap a selfie in front of wild floodwaters. He was thankfully saved by onlookers, but accidents and deaths by selfie are far from rare.

Last month, an Italian teen fell off…

Life Style – New York Daily News


Jussara Lee Taking Her Message of Sustainability to a Multisensory Performance in New York

SECONDHAND NEWS: Committed to sustainability as an individual, designer and business owner, Jussara Lee used that ideology as a rookie costume designer for “Inside the Wild Heart.”
Based on the writings of one of Brazil’s most famous writers, Clarice Lispector, the immersive theatrical experience was conceived by Andressa Furletti and Debora Balardini and directed by Linda Wise. The show bows Thursday in New York. Lee was initially approached by the Brazilian theater company Group.BR about helping to fund the production. She offered to pitch in with the cast’s attire instead.
Lee described Lispector’s work as “amazing,” but the project’s upcycling is what really sold her. Working with a low budget meant “that it was all about secondhand and vintage shopping. I was very interested in that and told them, ‘We’ll make adjustments. We’ll make things fit. That’s what we do best,’” said Lee, adding that she liked the idea of reusing “things that had already been extracted and polluted. There is so much clean-up to do and so much stuff in this world.””
In addition, the project forced her to switch up her usual routine and do some thrifting at Beacon’s Closet in Brooklyn and “all the other underlings.” It was also an

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LeBron James Is Taking on the NCAA’s Rules Prohibiting Pay for College Players

LeBron James, the best basketball player in the world and one of the most influential athletes on the planet, fights for off-court causes he cares about. In 2017, for example, James starred in Nike’s “Equality” ad campaign, which was released at the outset of the Trump presidency in 2017, following the Women’s March and the President’s executive travel ban that sparked protests across the country. This past summer, James opened a public school for at-risk students in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. He has criticized Trump for using sports to divide the country. Trump responded by questioning James’ intelligence.

Now, James is taking on a new foe: the NCAA. He’s the executive producer of a new documentary, Student Athlete, which debuts on HBO Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET. The film picks apart amateurism in major college sports, a model that allows schools to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues, but prevents the cash from tricking down to the players themselves. Instead, it flows to coaches’ salaries and athletic facilities with barber shops and bowling alleys and flat-screen TVs. (James himself notably skipped college, instead going from high school directly to the pros.)

The hypocrisy exposed in Student Athlete is not new: lawyers are challenging amateurism in the court system, while advocates and media outlets have long screamed for change. Still, the film –— which was co-directed by Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy — hits the mark. Over its 88 minutes, Student Athlete packages five stories — on a high school prospect, a former college coach, and three former college players — that show how the system takes its toll. In the opening scene, the viewer meets former Rutgers tight end Shamar Graves, who played for the Scarlet Knights from 2007 through 2009. He’s sleeping in his car.

Student Athlete shines an invaluable light on athletes like Graves, who effectively held an unpaid full-time job while playing his sport in school, managed to earn his degree, but has struggled in his post-college life. Most major college athletes aren’t going pro. Those who sacrificed internships and other career development opportunities in school in order to concentrate on sports may find that the promise of a degree — an education sets you up for life! — falls far short of expectations. A back injury ended the college career of Mike Shaw, a former top-ranked high school basketball prospect who played at the University of Illinois and Bradley University. The film shows Shaw at this graduation ceremony at Bradley. His pro basketball dreams shattered, he’s still hopeful he’ll find his way. We soon learn, however, that Shaw has struggled with his mental health. Shaw shares that he’s rehabbed in a psychiatric hospital.

If the film falls short in one area, it’s in offering solutions for athletes like Graves and Shaw. Yes, the undercurrent is that colleges should pay their athletes. “The thing that’s disgusting,” says John Shoop, a former offensive coordinator at the University of North Carolina and Purdue, “is that coaches are making millions of dollars, and they’re coaching players whose families live below the poverty line.” (Shoop seems to have been blacklisted from the college coaching ranks due to his advocacy for athletes). But not all college athletes would earn lucrative salaries while playing their sports. Graves and Shaw, for example, weren’t stars. If they could have earned money for playing in college, would they find themselves in a better situation today? In recent years, many college graduates have learned that their degrees don’t guarantee stable employment. Is it the obligation of schools to offer full services like post-graduate career training and job placement and health insurance for their athletes? If so, are the schools obligated to do the same for all students?

You can’t blame Student Athlete for largely glossing over the prescriptions for college sports. Quick and easy fixes don’t exist. But the film drops at an opportune time, as college sports are ripe for major reforms. Testimony just wrapped up in the latest anti-trust trial — Alston v. NCAA — challenging compensation caps in college sports. A federal trial that promises to expose the underbelly of college basketball, and resulted from an FBI investigation into under-the-table payments by shoe company representatives and financial advisers to coaches and players, begins in New York this week. College athletes deserve better. Having LeBron James on their team can only help.

Sports – TIME