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23 Jan 08:44

Is Human Placenta Vegetarian?

by Rich Juzwiak
Image via Getty

On one hand, vegetarianism describes a lifestyle in which meat-eating is eschewed almost always for the sake of ethical, health, or environmental concerns (or some combination of any of those elements). In that case, eating human placenta, which was just going to plop out and exist anyway, shouldn’t disturb that practice. On the other hand, human placenta really looks like meat! On a third hand that I’m about to bite off, further complicating this issue with actual cannibalism, a lot of vegetarian food really looks like meat. Beyond Burgers “bleed” and approximate hamburgers cooked rare. And they’re great.

This question arises not because I will ever actually have the opportunity of eating the placenta of my significant other (I’m gay and anyway, no thanks—I’m full) but because food writer Eddie Lin reports that he cooked his wife’s placenta and ate it in the appropriately titled Cosmopolitan.com essay, “I Cooked My Wife’s Placenta. Here’s How It Tasted.” Said placenta was “the size of a whoopee cushion, sprawling with thick blood vessels, dripping in amniotic fluid, and trailing a slimy umbilical cord.” OK, right, sounds like about the meatiest experience I could imagine.

Lin prepared it in “a riff on a medicinal Chinese chicken soup recipe.” As far as the taste, he reports:

The sesame oil amplified the flavor of the broth, and the subtle taste of the placenta gradually revealed itself. It was like beef, only very delicate; soft notes that suitably matched its gentle textures. One spoonful was all I got and needed. There was nothing offensive about it. Actually, it was quite ordinary, sort of beefy, and not the exotic taste I was imagining.

And in turn, that’s not the vegetarian taste someone who’d call this meal “vegetarian” was imagining.

And yet, one Ariel Garlow, who was according to her Quora bio in 2011 “six years vegan, nine years meatless” responded the question “Is it okay for my vegan wife to eat her placenta?” in this way:

Hilarious question.

We eat our own cells passively and constantly throughout our lives, so even a vegan will have “eaten themselves”. Nobody is harmed and you’ve got a, well, perfectly fine placenta to... eat.

I’ve never grasped the appeal of that though. I’ve heard of new moms freezing placenta chunks and stirring it in with their yogurt. Autosarcophagy reminds me too much of Soylent Green.

Let’s take it to the poll:

23 Jan 00:30

10+ Hilariously Painful Jokes That Only People Who Wear Glasses Will Understand

by Greta J.

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19 Jan 22:11

Newswire: Holy shit, Patrick Stewart is the poop in The Emoji Movie

by Sam Barsanti

After what has felt like years of breathless anticipation, Sony Animation has finally—finally—revealed who is playing the all-important role of the poop emoji in its upcoming emoji movie, The Emoji Movie. According to a post on Twitter, it will be none other than beloved Star Trek: The Next Generation, X-Men, and American Dad star Sir Patrick Stewart.

Sharp-eared emoji fans probably could’ve predicted this from the Emoji Movie teaser that came out back in December, but now we have confirmation that the erudite poop character in that trailer really was Stewart, and not just some similarly fancy-sounding person. Hopefully he’s planning to do something really fun with the money he gets from this.

The Emoji ...

18 Jan 23:02

Sir Patrick Stewart Will Voice the Poop Emoji in the Emoji Movie

by Jackson McHenry
20th Century Fox Academy Awards After Party - Arrivals

Famed star of the stage and screen Sir Patrick Stewart is going to act like shit, literally. Today, Sony announced that Jean-Luc Picard himself will play the poop emoji in its upcoming Emoji Movie. Also in the cast: T.J. Miller, who will play the main character Gene; Ilana Glazer, who plays the hacker Codebreaker; Maya Rudolph, as Smiler; Jennifer Coolidge as Gene's mother, Mary Meh; James Corden as Hi-5; and Jake T. Austin as a teen named Alex. 

It's just like what William Shakespeare once wrote:

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying poop.

18 Jan 20:00

Great Job, Internet!: Artist reimagines villainous Trump quotes as classic comic book covers

by Sam Barsanti

While many people recognize that Donald Trump shares a number of qualities with supervillains, artist R. Sikoryak has made that joke a bit more literal with a series of images based on classic comic book covers that cast President-Elect Trump as a bad guy facing off against the X-Men, the Justice League, and even Richie Rich. They’re posted on Tumblr at The Unquotable Trump, and they all feature quotes that Trump actually said in real life. Also, if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to recognize that something is funny and clever while also being horrifying and sad, it feels like this:

That’s Trump fighting the Black Panther, and here’s Trump doing his best to take on Magneto:

He also manages to be scarier than Negan and the zombies from The ...

18 Jan 19:50

Great Job, Internet!: Millennials are wrong: Space Jam is bad

by Randall Colburn

If you’re wondering whether or not you’re a millennial, simply ask yourself this question: Is Space Jam a good movie? If you answered yes, congratulations, you’re a millennial. If you answered no, you’re, well, pretty much anything else.

When it launched in 1996, anyone over the age of 12 could see Space Jam for the capitalist perversion of the Looney Tunes franchise it was, the filmic equivalent of tees depicting “hip-hop” Bugs in backwards jeans. Still, the movie seared itself into unblemished brains with a Taz-shaped brand, resulting in a rippling wave of modern-day nostalgia that’s birthed a Lebron James-starring sequel, live readings, and encore runs in theaters across the country.

Here to challenge your rose-tinted recollections are the folks over at Screen Junkies, who have given the movie a new Honest Trailer. “Based on a sneaker commercial comes a film that got the rights ...

18 Jan 19:46

Richard Curtis Is Just a Boy, Standing in Front of Your Phone, Asking You to Engage With His Davos Pokémon Go Poverty-Awareness Campaign

by Jackson McHenry

If basic appeals to human decency aren’t coming through, there’s always Pokémon. According to a frankly baffling report from Business Insider, Richard Curtis, writer of Love Actually and Notting Hill, is involved in a campaign to educate people at Davos about world poverty through the formerly very popular app Pokémon Go. Project Everyone, which was founded by Curtis, has sprinkled 17 new Pokéstops into the augmented-reality game around the conference, each of which correspond to the project’s global goals like “Zero Hunger” and “Good Health.” “It’s been very interesting, because people attending Davos are quite adept on their mobile phones, and they’ve all heard about this game from their kids,” Curtis said. “I’m hoping a surprising number might think it is quite an amusing thing to do. I’ve noticed the Davos audience are quite willing to laugh at even quite weak jokes, because they're looking for entertainment!” So far Olympic sprinter Michael Johnson and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver have been seen playing the game at the event and Niantic plans to expand the campaign out to the rest of the world soon. Hey, the world of Pokémon does already have universal health care, so maybe it is an inspiration to us all.

18 Jan 19:36

Inside The Video Store That Only Carries 14,000 Copies Of 'Jerry Maguire'

by Tim Loc
 
"We need the tapes here. How else are we going to build our Jerry pyramid?" [ more › ]
17 Jan 22:06

Blind Items Revealed #1

by Enty
bh

December 1, 2016

For those of you original shippers from almost two decades ago, it is not a love/hate thing going on between the stars of the show. It is simply a ploy to get some more money. That being said, I don’t want you all to think the couple is seeing each other exclusively or anything like that. They both see other people. They both have frequent co-star things.

David Duchovny/Gillian Anderson

17 Jan 20:09

100 Our friend Ashley G. - Otherwise Engaged

Kevespada

We did this 100 times, y'all! Link to hear just the megamix: https://t.co/D6QCjAjlOt

Joined by our friend Ashley we celebrated not only Brenda’s engagement to Stuart, but also the first hundred episodes of our Beverly Hills, 90210 podcast. It’s only appropriate that things get pretty silly in this one, and we included a special megamix at the very end, looking back at all the fun we’ve had since starting this podcast in 2014.

Download episode 100

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Follow us on Twitter and Instagram! Like us on Facebook! Listen to us on Stitcher! And rate us on iTunes! Shop through our Amazon link! Listen to our Spotify playlist here!

16 Jan 01:22

Peccary Duo Born at Burgers’ Zoo

by Andrew Bleiman

1_geboren 1 jan 2017  Foto Christiaan Luttenberg (8)

Burgers’ Zoo announced the birth of two Collared Peccaries on January 1st. The Zoo does not yet know the sex of the two, but the New Year babies weighed between 0.4 and 0.9 kilograms at birth.

2_geboren 1 jan 2017  Foto Christiaan Luttenberg (1)

3_geboren 1 jan 2017  Foto Christiaan Luttenberg (2)

4_geboren 1 jan 2017  Foto Christiaan Luttenberg (4)Photo Credits: Christiaan Luttenberg / Burgers' Zoo

The Collared Peccary (Pecari tajacu) is a species of mammal in the family Tayassuidae found in North, Central, and South America. They are commonly referred to as javelina, saíno or báquiro, although these terms are also used to describe other species in the family. The species is also known as the musk hog. In Trinidad, it is colloquially known as quenk.

Although somewhat related to the pigs and frequently referred to as one, this species and the other peccaries are no longer classified in the pig family, Suidae.

The Collared Peccary stands around 510–610 millimeters (20–24 in) tall at the shoulder and is about 1.0–1.5 m (3 ft 3 in–4 ft 11 in) long. It weighs between 16 and 27 kg (35 and 60 lb).

The species has small tusks that point toward the ground when the animal is upright. It also has slender legs with a robust or stocky body. The tail is often hidden in the coarse fur of the peccary.

Collared Peccaries normally feed on cactus, mesquite beans, fruits, roots, tubers, palm nuts, grasses, invertebrates, and small vertebrates. In areas inhabited by humans, they will also consume cultivated crops and ornamental plants, such as tulip bulbs.

They are diurnal creatures that live in groups of up to 50 individuals, averaging between six and 9 members. They frequently sleep at night in burrows, often under the roots of trees, but sometimes they can be found in caves or under logs. However, the species is not completely diurnal. In central Arizona they are often active at night but less so during daytime.

Although they usually ignore humans, they will react if they feel threatened. They defend themselves with their long tusks, which can sharpen themselves whenever their mouths open or close.

A Collared Peccary will release a strong musk or give a sharp bark if it is alarmed. They also make clacking and barking sounds to warn their enemy, before finally charging to bite.

Collared Peccaries can live for up to 10-15 years in the wild. Females attain sexual maturity between 8-14 months while males are mature at 11 to 12 months.

After mating, the female undergoes a gestation period for up to 150 days. The pregnant females generally move away from the rest of the herd before giving birth, as the herd can be a threat to the newborns. On average, they give birth to a litter of one to five babies that are capable of following their mother soon after birth.

The day after giving birth, the female reunites with the herd. The babies stay close to mother and follow her until they are mature at the age of 11-12 months. During this period, only the older females of the herd are tolerated and allowed to groom the baby. Weaning occurs when the baby is approximately 2-3 months old.

5_geboren 1 jan 2017  Foto Christiaan Luttenberg (5)

6_geboren 1 jan 2017  Foto Christiaan Luttenberg (7)

 

15 Jan 21:51

Newswire: Sales of Representative John Lewis’ March surge after Trump does Trump thing

by Sam Barsanti

On Friday, a story came out that Representative John Lewis would not be attending Donald Trump’s inauguration—the first he’s missed in 30 years—because he doesn’t believe Trump is “a legitimate president.” Lewis says that Russia helped get him elected and “helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton,” which he sees as a “conspiracy” that goes against “the open democratic process.”

Trump, of course, reacted to this the way he always does: by going on a whiny Twitter rant that makes him look like the adult baby that he truly is. In a series of tweets, Trump said that Lewis should “spend more time on fixing and helping his district” instead of “falsely complaining about the election results,” while adding that Lewis—an actual civil rights icon—is “all talk” and “no action.”

15 Jan 21:40

Rare and Tiny Deer Born at Chester Zoo

by Chris Eastland
Kevespada

love u

Endangered Philippine spotted deer born at Chester Zoo (14)
An extremely rare Philippine Spotted Deer was born on December 26 at Chester Zoo. The tiny male fawn, which keepers say appears healthy and strong, was shown off for the first time by its proud parents this week.  

Endangered Philippine spotted deer born at Chester Zoo (19)
Endangered Philippine spotted deer born at Chester Zoo (12)Photo Credit:  Chester Zoo

 

Philippine Spotted Deer are one of the world’s most threatened Deer species.  Zookeepers have hailed the arrival as “a big boost for the species” with fewer than 2,500 of the animals – listed as endangered on Internal Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of threatened species - now estimated to remain in the wild.

Experts say a combination of factors including illegal hunting and large-scale habitat loss have contributed to the demise of the species.

As they breed a back-up population in Europe at the request of the Philippine government, Chester Zoo staff support efforts to protect and restore Deer habitat in the Philippines and build breeding centers for the species.

Like many island nations, the Philippines are home to many unique species.  But a rapidly expanding human population, along with the loss of 90% of the islands’ original forest cover, has brought many species under threat.

In the wild, the Deer can be found in the rainforests of the Philippines’ Visayan islands of Panay and Negros. It once roamed across other Visayan islands such as Cebu, Guimaras, Leyte, Masbate and Samar – but is now regionally extinct on those islands.

Endangered Philippine spotted deer born at Chester Zoo (5)
Endangered Philippine spotted deer born at Chester Zoo (10)
Endangered Philippine spotted deer born at Chester Zoo (15)
Endangered Philippine spotted deer born at Chester Zoo (18)
Endangered Philippine spotted deer born at Chester Zoo (20)


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15 Jan 09:23

This Turkish Chef Is Going Going Viral For His Sensual Meat Salting, And This Is How Internet Responded

by Giedrė
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I have so many thoughts about the photo of Salt Bae and his 9 incredible children.

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14 Jan 23:22

Great Job, Internet!: Weirdo erotica author Chuck Tingle’s AMA is the feel-good read of the year so far

by Randall Colburn

Chuck Tingle writes erotic fiction with titles like Pounded In The Butt By My Own Butt, My Ass is Haunted by the Gay Unicorn Colonel, and his latest, Domald Tromp Pounded In The Butt By The Handsome Russian T-Rex Who Also Peed On His Butt And Then Blackmailed Him With The Videos Of His Butt Getting Peed On. And while he’s pretty much universally beloved for how batshit his books (and tweets) are, he’s also been lauded for his positive messages about self-love and inclusiveness. The truth about how “real” the persona is may never be solved, but, for today at least, that’s besides the point.

On Thursday, Tingle dropped into Reddit for his second AMA, following one from last April, as well as one hosted by his editor and son, Jon, back in 2015. As always, Tingle’s responses are riddled with the peculiarities of his ...

14 Jan 22:53

The Pussy Hat puts Atwater Village shop owner in the political and fashion spotlight

by The Eastsider

ATWATER VILLAGE —  When the Women’s March is held in Washington, D.C. on the day after Donald Trump’s presidential inaugural, many of the demonstrators will be wearing Pussy Hats, pink, cat-eared knitted caps based on a pattern designed by the owner of The Little Knittery yarn shop on Glendale Boulevard.

Kat Coyle came up with the pattern after being approached by Jayna Zweiman and Krista Suh, two friends and knitters who wanted to do something after being devastated by Hillary Clinton’s loss to Trump in the November election.  That’s how they came up with the PussyHat Project – a reference to Trump’s infamous remarks that were caught on tape – to support the Women’s March. More than 60,000 hats have been knitted or crocheted by people nationwide, according to an Associated Press story.

Coyle has made the pattern for her Pussy Power Hat available for free, and her shop has been hosting Friday night “Pussyhat Knitting Parties.”  The original Pussy Power Hat pattern calls for hot pink, Malabrigo Worsted yarn.  Many knitters have adapted the design, making  changes and adding embellishments.

Suh told the Associated Press:

“It’s really been just incredible …. The process of making the hats and preparing for the march and really including everyone, everywhere who wants to participate but may not be able to march has been so much of this project.”

PUSSYHAT KNIT NIGHT FRIDAY JANUARY 13 5:00-8:30!!! #pussyhatproject #womenmarchonwashington #thelittleknittery #iloveknitting

A photo posted by Kat Coyle /The Little Knittery (@thelittleknittery) on

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13 Jan 01:02

Newswire: Taco Bell to serve chalupas in a goddamn fried chicken shell

by Randall Colburn

Foolish mortals that we were, we scoffed at the KFC Double Down, underestimating the worldwide appeal for a dish sandwiching moist, bacon-like things between a pair of crispy chicken filets. So successful was it, however, that Bloomberg reports Taco Bell has now decided to follow in its footsteps.

Though it sounds like something from the South Beach Diet, the Naked Chicken Chalupa trades a traditional chalupa shell for one made entirely of white meat fried chicken. Inside, you’ll find lettuce, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, and shreds of your dignity drizzled in a zesty avocado ranch sauce.

“Fried chicken is growing at a tremendous clip,” says Taco Bell President Brian Niccol. “It’s a real void on our menu, and it’s something that our customers ask us for.”

Those same customers are likely fans of Burger King’s chicken fries, Shake Shack’s Chick’n Shack, and McDonald’s Chicken ...

11 Jan 19:54

Woman Who Allegedly Planned Rape Attack On Ex's Wife Was Framed, Say Officials

by Tim Loc
Kevespada

this is crazy

Woman Who Allegedly Planned Rape Attack On Ex's Wife Was Framed, Say Officials File this one under "Stranger Than Fiction." [ more › ]
09 Jan 22:57

Felt Dragons By Russian Artist Alena Bobrova

by Vaiva Vareikaitė

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09 Jan 16:06

099 Bill Hanstock & Kristen Ray - Twenty Years Ago Today

It’s the twentieth wedding anniversary for Jim and Cindy Walsh, so we welcomed back one of our favorite married couples, Kristen Ray and Bill Hanstock. Together, we reflect on Beverly Hills, 90210, how to get rid of an unlicensed firearm in California, and puzzles.

You can listen to Bill on the Weirdos From Another Planet! podcast, and Kristen on The Logline Podcast. Read Bill’s writing about sports on UPROXX, and see him talk about pro wrestling on AfterBuzz TV. Bill’s previous appearance on The Blaze podcast was for the episode “Fire and Ice,” and Kristen’s was for “One on One.”

Download episode 99

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Follow us on Twitter and Instagram! Like us on Facebook! Listen to us on Stitcher! And rate us on iTunes! Shop through our Amazon link! Listen to our Spotify playlist here!

07 Jan 08:58

Why Does This Toy Horse Have Such a Realistic, Tiny Penis?

by jay@dailydot.com (Jay Hathaway)
It's just anatomically incorrect.
06 Jan 21:20

This grandmother has accidentally been praying to a “Lord of the Rings” action figure, and we feel this so hard

by Rachel Paige

This grandmother has accidentally been praying to a “Lord of the Rings” action figure, and we feel this so hard

This grandmother has accidentally been praying to a “Lord of the Rings” action figure, and we feel this so hard

Just when you think you have your whole life together, someone comes along and informs you that your religious relic is not in fact a religious relic, but rather, a Lord of the Rings action figure. Oh yeah, been there, done that.

Gabriela Brandão recently just shared a marvelous discovery to Facebook. As she notes in her photos (which we translated via Google Translate, thanks Google Translate!), she happened to take a closer look at what figure her daughter’s great-grandmother was praying to. Great-grandma thought it was a statue of Saint Anthony. However, over looking over the figure, it is not in fact Saint Anthony.

It is an Elrond figure from Lord of the Rings.

You know, one of the Lords of Rivendell, played by Hugo Weaving in the Lord of the Rings movies, who helps form the Fellowship of the Ring, and then decides to leave Middle Earth with Frodo at the very end of the saga…all that good stuff.

Hey, it happens.

A descoberta mais engraçada de 2016:

Posted by Gabriela Brandão on Friday, December 30, 2016

At least, it’s noted, “that the prayers were equally as effective,” so go ahead and keep on praying to whatever, whoever, you want — human, saint, or half-Elf. It’s unclear if great-grandmother is STILL praying for Elrond, but hey, if it works for her, maybe we should consider buying a few more figurines for our shelf.

05 Jan 23:13

Brother Goes To Meet His Newborn Niece In A Suit For The Most Adorable Reason

by James Gould-Bourn

When Olivia Kessler from Pickering, Ohio, recently gave birth to a baby girl named Carter, the newborn’s uncle, 18-year old Grant, was obviously excited to meet his new niece. But when he turned up at the hospital in Columbus, he surprised the family by coming dressed in a suit and tie. He even wore a tie clip. Why? Because you only get one chance to make a first impression.


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Grant’s sister, 16-year-old Iris, recently tweeted a picture of her dapper brother waiting for the imminent new arrival, and the picture has since gone viral with over 126k shares and more than 420k likes. “My sister is about to have a baby and my brother showed up to the hospital in a suit because “first impressions matter,”” wrote Iris in the tweet, and we totally agree with Grant. Carter might be too young to appreciate his old-school efforts, but we certainly aren’t. Best uncle ever.

More info: Twitter (h/t)

When Grant Kessler turned up at hospital to meet his newborn niece, he surprised the family by coming dressed in a suit and tie

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Why? Because you only get one chance to make a first impression

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His niece might be too young to appreciate his efforts, but we certainly aren’t, and neither is the internet

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04 Jan 08:20

This guy found a teenage Mandy Moore mosaic in the shower of his new home, and we don’t know what to make of it

by Caitlin Flynn

This guy found a teenage Mandy Moore mosaic in the shower of his new home, and we don’t know what to make of it

This guy found a teenage Mandy Moore mosaic in the shower of his new home, and we don’t know what to make of it

New York City real estate is notoriously unpredictable and, at times, nightmarish. But sometimes it’s unpredictable in the best (or at least ,the most hilarious) way possible.

Case in point: a guy bought an apartment in Queens and found something quite unexpected in the bathroom — a Mandy Moore mosaic in the shower.

When a friend of a friend discovered the, uh, unique art installation in his new home, Peter Kaplan posted photographic evidence on Twitter because, well, you really do have to see it to believe it.

The mosaic replicates a photo of teenage Mandy Moore when the pop star was a staple in pretty much every teen magazine, and you couldn’t turn on the radio without hearing her tune “I Wanna Be With You.”

mandy moore mosaic
walkerkaplan/Twitter

After some debate over whether this mosaic was actually Mandy Moore, a person shut down the naysayers by providing Exhibit A — a photo of the bikini clad pop star that proves the previous owner indeed went through a great deal of effort to install art that is a pretty spot-on replica of the original picture.

Bless Peter Kaplan for sharing this amazing story with the world. You know, we’re starting to think 2017 isn’t off to such a bad start.

02 Jan 01:39

At The End of a Difficult Year, We Turn To The Cosmos For Some Perspective

by Julia Scott

Terrorist attacks, hurricanes, a divisive U.S. election, Brexit — 2016 has not been easy. With the year coming to an end, we thought it was time to get some serious perspective — from the scale of the entire universe.

We’re tackling big questions: what scientists know, and what they have yet to learn.

So before you ring in another year, take a moment to contemplate the billions of years that led to 2017 and the billions more yet to come.

Where did the universe come from?

“That happens to be my absolute favorite question,” says Chuck Bennett, an astrophysicist at Johns Hopkins University.

He points out that the big-bang theory says the universe started out dense and hot, and that it has been expanding and cooling for 13.8 billion years, but, he says, “the big-bang theory doesn’t actually say what happened right at the beginning.”

You can follow our laws of physics back in time, he says, but they break down close to the start, when things were unspeakably fiery and close together. Still, there may be clues from the weird world of quantum physics. In that world, strange stuff can happen, like particles can just appear out of nowhere.

“Even if you take something that’s a complete vacuum, you’ve gotten all of the particles and dust and everything out of the way, in quantum mechanics you still have particles popping in and out of existence all the time,” explains Bennett.

So maybe the kernel that became our universe just randomly and spontaneously appeared. “It seems bizarre, but that is kind of the going thinking about this,” Bennett says.

And if you want to think about something even more bizarre, consider this point made by Caltech theoretical physicist Sean Carroll. If the big bang was the first moment in time, that creates a conundrum: “There’s no verbs before time itself exists, right? There’s no popping into existence, there’s no fluctuating, there’s no quantum mechanical craziness, there is literally nothing,” says Carroll.

Is the universe infinite?

You might be tempted to try to answer this question by stepping outside the universe so you can take a gander. But, obviously, that’s impossible. “There is no such thing as outside the universe, as far as we can tell,” says Carroll.

Galaxies are filled with dark matter, which doesn't interact with ordinary matter. Scientists still aren't sure what dark matter is made of.
Galaxies are filled with dark matter, which doesn’t interact with ordinary matter. Scientists still aren’t sure what dark matter is made of. (NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA))

Even though the universe has been expanding for about 14 billion years, that doesn’t mean it’s ballooning out into some other realm. “I know it’s difficult to wrap our minds around,” says Carroll, “but it’s just getting more and more of it, even though it’s not expanding into anything at all.”

So if we can’t leave the universe, all we can do is look around inside. Let’s say you flew off the Earth, out of our solar system, out of the Milky Way galaxy, out of our cluster of galaxies, and flew on and on. How far could you go?

“We don’t 100 percent know,” says Janna Levin, a theoretical physicist at Columbia University. “What we see of the universe is vast. We know that the universe is something like 90 billion light-years across.” But that’s just the part we can see.

Anything beyond that has to remain a mystery, because stuff out there is so far away, its light will never be able to reach us. “It makes logical sense to assume the universe goes on beyond that boundary. It would be kind of magical if we were just happening to be able to see right to some boundary and then something crazy happened beyond that, like galaxies ceased to exist,” says Levin. “I mean, that just seems nuts.”

So the universe goes on, but is it infinite? “It is somewhat unimaginable but quite possible that our universe simply goes on forever,” says Bennett.

To us, the universe seems flat, so maybe it’s like an endless sheet of paper. But on the other hand, people used to think the Earth was flat, too, because people saw flat land stretching to a horizon, beyond which they could not see. These days, the idea of a flat Earth seems silly — we know it’s really a huge sphere.

“Our universe might be like that,” says Bennett, noting that the universe might be curved and might even curve back on itself like a sphere, “but on a scale that is truly enormous.”

If so, and you headed off into the universe, going straight in one direction, you would eventually find yourself right back where you started.

What is the universe made of?

You might think this is one of the easier questions about the universe to answer. But you would be wrong. “All the stuff we’ve ever seen in the laboratory, all the kinds of particles and matter and energy, that only makes up 5 percent of our universe,” says Carroll.

Five percent! So what is the rest of the universe made of? Well, one biggie is something called dark matter. About 25 percent of the universe is dark matter, which is quite literally dark. “It just doesn’t interact with light at all,” says Bennett. “It doesn’t give off any light; it doesn’t absorb light; it doesn’t scatter light; there’s no way to see it. The only way we know that it’s there is because it has gravitational effects.”

Scientists discovered dark matter when they looked at the motion of galaxies and realized that something unseen had to be exerting a gravitational pull. Dark matter may be some kind of particle that we just haven’t detected yet.

The rest of the universe — 70 percent — is something even more crazy, called dark energy. It appears to be some kind of energy that’s inherent to empty space, and it acts to push the universe apart, speeding up its expansion. Like dark matter, dark energy is another big mystery.

Many scientists believe the stars will die out, and the universe will eventually become cold and dark.
Many scientists believe the stars will die out, and the universe will eventually become cold and dark. (NASA, ESA, N. Smith (University of California, Berkeley), and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA))

“Other than the fact that we don’t quite understand 95 percent of the universe, we’re doing really well,” jokes Bennett.

All of the world’s leading theoreticians, who write whole books about the universe, just have to live with this state of affairs. “You’re entitled to say, if you’re so smart, why don’t you tell me what that dark matter is? And I’ll have to confess I don’t know,” saysJim Peebles, Albert Einstein professor of science, emeritus and professor of physics, emeritus at Princeton University.

He’s not depressed, however, that so much of the universe remains unknown. “I think I’d be depressed if everything were nearly all known,” says Peebles, “but I don’t feel any danger of that happening.”

Is our universe the only one?

Let’s face it; people tend to be pretty self-centered. “If you look back at the history of astronomy, you know, we used to think that the Earth was the center of the solar system. Everything was about us,” says Bennett.

Even when we figured out that Earth went around the sun, and the sun was part of the Milky Way galaxy, we thought our galaxy was the center of the universe. “Then we learned no, it’s just one galaxy out of hundreds of billions of galaxies out there,” he notes.

With that track record in mind, it’s natural to wonder whether our whole universe isn’t so special — if it’s just one among many. “We don’t know yet,” says Bennett, “but it’s very possible.”

Given that scientists believe the seed that started our universe may have spontaneously popped into existence through a kind of quantum weirdness, that presents an obvious question: If that could happen once, why not more than once? “So then you have this kind of array of universes in which ours is not unique,” says Bennett.

How many universes could there be?

“A really, really big number,” says Carroll.

But since everything we can observe and poke and prod is, by definition, part of our universe, it’s unclear how we could ever detect some other universe. This is why some thinkers worry that pondering the so-called multiverse is more like philosophy than science. It’s sort of fun to think about whether our universe is solitary, and it’s a legitimate question, says Peebles, “but since we’ll never be able to answer it, I can’t get very excited.”

But maybe this idea could be testable. Imagine if you had two universes that were expanding and ran into each other, says Bennett. If another universe bumped into ours, there could be ways to tell. In fact, there have been efforts to search the skies for evidence of that kind of impact, but there’s no sign it ever happened. Which might be a good thing, since that kind of event “would be very dangerous at least for people in one of the universes or the other because one of them would probably be destroyed,” Bennett says.

How will the universe end?

Some cosmologists believe our entire universe is just one of countless possibilities.
Some cosmologists believe our entire universe is just one of countless possibilities. (NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA))

“Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice,” wrote Robert Frost in his famous poem Fire and Ice. He favored fire but, hedging his bet, added that:

I think I know enough of hate

To say that for destruction ice

Is also great

And would suffice.

These days, most astrophysicists are guessing the universe will end as cold as ice.

The universe, which started out hot and dense, has been expanding and cooling for nearly 14 billion years. We now know it’s actually expanding faster and faster. “This is like hyperdrive on the cooling,” says Bennett. “So it’s the ice solution. Everything would grow dimmer and dimmer; you would stop seeing things in the sky; everything would grow dark and cold.”

As everything gets farther and farther apart, each particle of the universe will eventually end up completely alone. It all sounds bleak.

But, cheer up! Ending with fire is still possible.

Since dark energy is pushing the universe to expand faster and faster, and physicists don’t know what dark energy is, it’s possible that it might just decay or go away, making our expanding universe slow down. “Maybe even reverse its course for all we know, and then what? Then we go back to kind of a fiery end,” says Levin. She explains that everything would fly back together toward a big crunch, which is like the big bang happening in reverse.

Fire or ice, either way, the end is coming. But not for a long while. “We think it will be at least a quadrillion years before the last star burns out,” says Carroll, noting that this is 1,000 trillion years.

Our own sun will burn out way sooner, in about 5 billion years. Though Carroll says that’s kind of a parochial concern, when you consider that our Milky Way galaxy has around 100 billion stars and is just one of trillions of galaxies.

“So we are not significant on the cosmic scale. We are not important to the universe. That’s the bad news,” says Carroll. The good news is that, even with our puny brains, we’ve managed to figure that out.

01 Jan 20:37

These little boys standing on a “vibration plate” will make your inner kid extremely happy

by Kenya Foy
Kevespada

Yesterday I marked 8K+ items as read, so I'm kicking off 2017 by sharing this.

These little boys standing on a “vibration plate” will make your inner kid extremely happy

These little boys standing on a “vibration plate” will make your inner kid extremely happy

Adulting comes with its fair share of challenges, but this charming, hilarious video of little boys standing on a vibration plate has us thinking that perhaps we need to take a childhood approach to solving our problems.

Seriously, the next time we get upset about something, we’re going to try these kids’ tactic because they are clearly having SO much fun with such a random piece of equipment, proving that they totally get the message behind Sia’s song “Cheap Thrills.”

Our rusty old adult minds would’ve never thought to re-purpose a product that’s been declared as one of the worst ways to lose weight, other than possibly recycling it or smashing it to smithereens with a hammer. Thankfully though, these twin brothers named Kenneth and Kenzo have the right idea about turning one fitness enthusiast’s trash into treasure and we absolutely LOVE them for it.

A video posted by Meiske Tenjune (@meisketenjune) on

LOL! How cute are they? From the matching Spiderman kicks to the bro in the red outfit hitting jiggle-induced notes in different octaves, this video has us crying real tears from laughter.

The Instagram account that shared the twins’ vibration plate shenanigans also features a ton more videos of the boys being their adorable selves and forcing our faces into cheesy grins in the process.

Here they are in matching outfits, trailing a choo-choo train:

No ticket??😱 No worries☝🏼 There's always a way😁 #kennethkenzo #twins #brotherhood #beautifullife #chuchutrain 🚂

A video posted by Meiske Tenjune (@meisketenjune) on

And fighting and making up for Christmas:

And bonding with mini horses:

Haiii Kudaaaa 🐎🐎👋🏻👬😁 #happysunday #twins #kennethkenzo #horses #happyholidays ☀️☺️

A video posted by Meiske Tenjune (@meisketenjune) on

ZOMG, WHY ARE THEY SO CUTE?!

That does it! These cuddly brothers officially win Instagram and we’re off to spend the rest of the day laughing and cooing at all of their cute posts.

The post These little boys standing on a “vibration plate” will make your inner kid extremely happy appeared first on HelloGiggles.

29 Dec 19:49

Would You Have Sex With the Naked Cowboy? 

by Ellie Shechet
Image via Getty.

Times Square hallmark Robert Burck, 46, also known as the Naked Cowboy, was born in Cincinnati, loves Donald Trump, wears underpants around everywhere, ran for president in 2012 as a member of the Tea Party, and thinks he is sexy.

Do you agree? With the last thing?

Here is the Naked Cowboy showing President-Elect Donald Trump his underpants. Images via AP Photo.
Here is the Naked Cowboy singing a Trump-themed song in the lobby of Trump Tower.
Here is the Naked Cowboy in happier times (2014) hawking toilet paper in Times Square.

The Naked Cowboy is nearly hairless, except for on his head, eyebrows, chin, and legs, which grow less hair than mine. He has big muscles everywhere that muscles can get big. His skin, judging by these photos of him standing in the snow in his underpants, is as thick as buffalo hide. He also reportedly makes $150K per year. These are just facts about the Naked Cowboy. Here are some more data points to consider as you make your decision:

“I have an affinity with Trump. I get him,” the Naked Cowboy, who’s been making a lot of appearances in Trump Tower, recently told The New Yorker’s Andrew Marantz. He went on:

“We’re both media promoters, media whores, whatever you want to call it. People get hung up on political stuff, but I don’t care. Black, white, gay, transvestite—just stand up and make something of yourself. Look, my wife’s a Mexican immigrant. She still doesn’t have her papers. Maybe she’ll be the next to be deported, who knows? I don’t think he’d do that. But if he does, hey, that’s fate. Plus, it’s a nice thing to have hanging over her head—you know, ‘Do the dishes, or else.’”

Let me just get this out of the way: this was one of our most unanimous Would U exercises, a real feat, considering we have debated Ted Cruz, the CEO of Arby’s, and Terry Dubrow from Botched. No one on Jezebel’s staff, including myself, would have sex with the Naked Cowboy. (Deadspin’s Ashley Feinberg would, which hardly counts.)

Aimee: Jesus fucking Christ no.

Kelly Stout: Absolutely not.

Stassa: Never.

Madeleine: Does he have an aeropress?

Joanna: Ya that’s a no from me.

Emma: No ma’am.

Joanna: Maybe if it was the 90s and TRL was still on.

Ashley Feinberg: Yeah probably.

Ashley: It would make for a really good blog, can you imagine?

Ellie: Yes it would Ashley, that’s a great idea for something you could do.

Madeleine: I would not.

Ashley: It would probably be extremely funny y’all are making the wrong choice.

Julianne: I’m sorry are you serious? FUCCCCKK no. Also if you go to Wyoming RIGHT NOW there are like 30 dudes who are identical to the Naked Cowboy who would be willing to bone any of us.

Ashley: Right but the blog wouldn’t be as good.

Julianne: I mean, I’d hook up with plenty of disgusting men. Just not the Naked Cowboy.

Ashley: Sucks that everyone who works at Jezebel is dishonest with themselves and with the cowboy.

Is there literally anyone out there besides Ashley who would bang the Naked Cowboy? And if not bangable, who is the Naked Cowboy? A bad man in his underwear? A mirage? Our next ambassador to Mexico?

You decide:

Last time on Would U?, we asked: Would you have sex with Donald Trump if he lived inside Jason Momoa? 10% answered “Yes,” 30% answered “No,” and 60% answered “What is wrong with you?”

28 Dec 01:12

The women of B*Witched look SO different, 18 years after “C’est la Vie”

by Shaunna Murphy

The women of B*Witched look SO different, 18 years after “C’est la Vie”

The women of B*Witched look SO different, 18 years after “C’est la Vie”

In the late ’90s, right around when the Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, and ‘NSYNC were all tearing up our hearts, Irish girl group B*Witched entered the equation with their catchy pop anthem “C’est la Vie.”

They soon released a few more hits — like “Rollercoaster” and “Blame It on the Weatherman” — then seemingly disappeared, never to be seen nor heard from again.

… Or so we thought! Find out what the talented ladies of B*Witched are actually up to today below.

Edele Lynch

B*Wtiched Edele Lynch
Getty

After B*Witched disbanded in 2002 — first they were dropped from their label, then bandmate Sinéad O’Carroll decided to leave — Edele, who is on the right, wrote songs for other bands like Girls Aloud and Sugababes. She then reunited with her twin sister Keavy to form a duo called Barbarellas, until B*Witched got back together for a tour in 2012.

Nowadays, Edele is more famous in the U.K. for her reality TV career than her music. She won Celebrity Apprentice Ireland in 2013 and appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2014, coming in sixth place.

She has a pretty active Instagram account if you ever want to check in on her adventures on the Emerald Isle.

Keavy Lynch

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-3-44-20-pm
Getty

Keavy — who is on the left — left music after briefly reuniting with B*Witched in 2012. She now works as a “Humanistic Counsellor and a Reflective Therapeutic Practitioner” in Kingston upon Thames.

She also played Snow White in a Theater Royal production.

Lindsay Armaou

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-3-52-54-pm
Getty

Armaou, the last to join B*Witched, failed to make a splash as a solo singer after the group’s split. However, she enjoyed a relatively successful stage career in England from 2009-2011, after which B*Witched reunited for a brief tour in 2012 and 2013. She’s married, and according to her active Twitter account, still acts in short films and writes songs.

Sinéad O’Carroll

Sinead O'Carroll b*witched
Getty

O’Carroll, whose departure caused the band to disrupt — she had an emotional falling out with Edele — joined another, very short-lived girl group called Minx after the split. She rejoined the group for the tour, and is now married with two children.

According to her Twitter account, she also runs Star Academy, a school for gifted youths to study music and theater.

The post The women of B*Witched look SO different, 18 years after “C’est la Vie” appeared first on HelloGiggles.

24 Dec 00:42

Meet Chester Zoo’s ‘Christmas Bauble On Tiny Legs’

by Andrew Bleiman

1_Rare Philippine mouse deer born in UK first at Chester Zoo (20)

A Philippine Mouse Deer has been born in the UK for the first time. The tiny female Mouse Deer (one of the smallest hoofed animals in the world) was born to mum Rita and dad Ramos, at Chester Zoo, on November 16.

This is the latest addition to a special European-wide endangered species breeding programme, designed in response to the deforestation of its Asian habitat. The animals are also poached for their meat, which is considered a delicacy in parts of the Philippines.

Curator of mammals Tim Rowlands said, “Our newborn deer is incredibly small – similar in size to a Christmas bauble on tiny little legs, weighing just 430 grams!

“But, while this new arrival may be small in stature, it’s big in terms of importance. It’s the very first time the animal has been bred in the UK and to break new ground like this with a mammal species is really quite rare.

“The Philippine Mouse Deer is an endangered species. It’s highly threatened by massive deforestation in South East Asia and so, it’s great news that our newcomer will add valuable new bloodlines to the conservation breeding programme in zoos. It’s vitally important that we work to ensure these wonderful animals do not disappear for good.”

2_Rare Philippine mouse deer born in UK first at Chester Zoo (19)

3_Rare Philippine mouse deer born in UK first at Chester Zoo (22)

4_Rare Philippine mouse deer born in UK first at Chester Zoo (15)Photo Credits: Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo is only one of only seven institutions in the whole of Europe to care for the charming species.

Conservationists from the zoo are also working to protect habitat in areas of South East Asia where the Mouse Deer live.

The Philippine Mouse Deer (Tragulus nigricans) is listed as “Endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The species is in continuing decline. It is subject to poaching for food and affected by habitat loss, as its forest home is converted to oil palm plantations.

Contrary to its common name, the Philippine Mouse Deer does not belong to the deer family Cervidae, but is a member of the chevrotain family.

Adult mouse deer stand at just 18cm tall and rarely weigh more than 1kg.

More pics below the fold!

5_Rare Philippine mouse deer, stood with mum Rita, born in UK first at Chester Zoo (22)

6_Rare Philippine mouse deer, stood with mum Rita, born in UK first at Chester Zoo (24)Philippine Mouse Deer dad, Ramos:

7_Philippine mouse deer dad Ramos (1)Mouse Deer mum, Rita:

8_Philippine mouse deer mum Rita (1)

9_Philippine mouse deer mum Rita (8)

20 Dec 19:32

Girl Suffocates During Outlawed Menstruation Practice

by Aimée Lutkin
Screengrab via Aljazeera.

A 14-year-old named Roshani Tiruwa died sometime on Friday night in a Nepali chhaupadi, the name for a small hut women are sent to when they begin their periods.

Aljazeera reports that Tiruwa’s body was found late the next day after she hadn’t been seen all morning. Her father called to her from outside the hut to no avail. Then, he told the Nepalese newspaper, My Republica, “We saw her dead body.”

The Hindu tradition of separating menstruating women from the family was banned by the Supreme Court over a decade ago, but it persists, particularly in the remote villages. This is supposedly because many local leaders are reluctant to enforce the ban, though some women have burnt such huts and declared entire villages “chhaupadi-free zones.” However, a report from the U.N. in 2011 indicates that around 95% of the women in the Achham district still follow the practice.

A local inspector named Badri Prasad Dhakal told AFP news agency that Tiruwa likely suffocated after lighting a fire to keep herself warm. In a piece for Jezebel, writer Rose George described the many perils facing women spending their nights menstruating in chhaupadi. During their periods, women are supposed to eat nothing but boiled rice and are not allowed to touch or be touched, yet many are still subjected to sexual violence while separated from their family in the menstruation huts. They are also vulnerable to the elements and wild animals, including poisonous snakes.

Tiruwa was on the third day of her period at the time of her death.