Shared posts

20 Feb 00:11

Six Reasons Horseshoe Crabs are Better Lovers than You

Lisa G

This was a linked article on one of the 2018 TOR shares.

By Emily DeLanzo, Park Ranger at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Mating horseshoe crabs by Gregory Breese/USFWS

Gadgets and gizmos a plenty — at least in terms of evolutionary adaptations and behavior — horseshoe crabs often scutter their way onto shores up and down the Atlantic Coast and into our hearts. The Atlantic horseshoe crab, one of four species of these special marine arthropods, play a vital role in ecosystems along the eastern coastline of the United States and in several National Wildlife Refuges.

Although horseshoe crabs live most of their lives unseen deep underwater, these creatures emerge in droves during full and new moons on shorelines in states like Florida and Delaware for mating season to lay hundreds of thousands of eggs to ensure this long-lasting species’ existence for future generations.

It’s no surprise that through millennia of survival horseshoe crabs have perfected partnership so here’s six reasons why horseshoe crabs may not slide into your DMs but right into your heart and be better lovers than you.

Horseshoe Crab by Emily DeLanzo/USFWS

Often called “living fossils,” horseshoe crab ancestors can traced back through the geologic record to around 445 million years ago, 200 million years before dinosaurs existed.

2. Horseshoe Crabs have 10 eyes so they see ~*EvErYtHiNg~*~

Despite their hard and tank-like exterior, horseshoe crabs are extremely sensitive creatures, at least towards stimuli like light. These marine arthropods have ten eyes — a pair of compound eyes on their front shell and “photoreceptors” in other areas, primarily along the tail…so you know what that means.

Volunteer Steve Dunn/USFWS

Horseshoe crabs are actually not true crabs at all, being more closely related to arachnids (a group that includes spiders and scorpions) than to crustaceans (a group that includes true crabs, lobsters, and shrimp).

Volunteer Steve Dunn/USFWS

During early summer months, horseshoe crabs come to shore by the droves to bump and grind their way into securing the good of their species for future generations through massive orgies.

Emily DeLanzo and Horseshoe Crabs by Charlie DeVoe/USFWS

5. They have WAY more children. Like overwhelmingly so.

During spawning, the female crab partially buries herself in the sand while she deposits a cluster of about 4,000 tiny green eggs. In an evening of egg laying, a female crab can lay several egg clusters, and she may spawn repeatedly over several nights to lay 100,000 or more eggs.

6. Horseshoe Crabs are very, very……patient.

During mating season, male horseshoe crabs will wait near beaches for their ladies. Once united, the smaller male crab attaches himself to the top of the larger female’s shell by using his specialized front claws, and together they crawl to the beach. Nicholas Sparks couldn’t write a more romantic ending.

Can’t get enough of Horseshoe Crabs? Neither can shorebirds!

In addition to the horseshoe crabs at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, there are horseshoe crab populations up and down the coast. The largest population of horseshoe crabs in the world is found in Delaware Bay.

During the spawning season, many eggs are exposed to the beach surface by wave action and the digging action of mating crabs. Once an egg is exposed to air, it can dry out quickly, preventing it from hatching; however, it still plays a vital role in the ecosystem. These exposed eggs are the primary food source for migrating shorebirds making the journey from South America to the Arctic along the Atlantic Flyway.

Photo: Gregory Breese/USFWS
Photo: Gregory Breese/USFWS
14 Feb 17:34

We Compared Our Instagram Explore Pages, With Deeply Creepy Results

by Slate Staff
Lisa G

Sharing more because I want to know about your IG discover feeds. What you getting? Basically mine is only couples from the Bachelor which is very embarrassing/accurate but then other celeb content that I DGAF about.

06 Feb 18:34

This Screenshot of a Woman Canceling on Her Date at the Last Minute Is “the Dress” of Social Interactions

by Slate Staff
Lisa G

I think a bunch of us saw this on TW last week. I like the way slate is characterizing this. I think she's the asshole.

“You can truly dodge a bullet with men by inquiring to reschedule a first date day of and seeing how they respond."
04 Feb 21:13

Why was a Tennessee lawmaker drinking out of a Hershey's syrup bottle? We've got answers.

Lisa G

Apparently it's water and he's an avid upcycler! (or is he)

Rep. Kent Calfee, R-Kingston, drinks out of a chocolate syrup bottle as he waits for the start of the State of the State address at the state Capitol Monday, Feb. 3, 2020 in Nashville, Tenn.

Rep. Kent Calfee, R-Kingston, drinks out of a chocolate syrup bottle as he waits for the start of the State of the State address at the state Capitol Monday, Feb. 3, 2020 in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo: George Walker IV / The Tennessean)

A Tennessee state representative found himself in the spotlight Monday night for drinking out of a Hershey's chocolate syrup bottle while on the House floor.

You had a lot of questions after the photo of Rep. Kent Calfee went viral on Twitter, so we decided to get some answers.

If you're just now catching up, a Tennessean photo of Calfee was widely shared on Twitter on Monday evening, showing the Republican from Kingston drinking from a chocolate syrup bottle while waiting for Gov. Bill Lee's second State of the State address to begin.

So first, you ask, what was actually in the chocolate syrup bottle?

Twitter users shared their theories, which were largely both of amusement and disgust at the prospect of Calfee chugging chocolate syrup or some kind of hard liquor.

"It's a repurposed syrup bottle that I drink my water out of," Calfee said on Tuesday. "I'm not going to buy a $25 or $35 or $45 water bottle that’s not worth what it costs because I'll probably put it down and leave it somewhere."

Calfee said he and his wife, Marilyn, "recycle everything."

"I was fixing to put it in the plastic recycling one day at home, and I thought, shoot, I can put water in that," Calfee said.

Rep. Kent Calfee, R-Kingston

Rep. Kent Calfee, R-Kingston (Photo: Jed DeKalb)

He keeps it in the drawer at his desk in the front of the House chamber and refills it with water — and never with liquor, which he stopped drinking in December 1978, Calfee said.

Perhaps more importantly, though, is the question of whether Calfee actually ever has consumed Hershey's syrup from the bottle.

"I don’t know that I've ever drank chocolate syrup," Calfee said.

He does, however, like to take a spoonful of Nesquik and wash it down with a sip of milk rather than mixing it in. It's a trick he has also passed along to some of his seven grandchildren.

Calfee, who is in his eighth year serving in the General Assembly, was a member of the Roane County commission for 20 years before that.

He and his wife have a farm, a boat, kayaks and a motor home to fill his free time when he doesn't have legislative business, Calfee said.

Reach Natalie Allison at Follow her on Twitter at @natalie_allison.

Want to read more stories like this? A subscription to one of our Tennessee publications gets you unlimited access to all the latest politics news, podcasts like Grand Divisions, plus newsletters, a personalized mobile experience and the ability to tap into stories, photos and videos from throughout the USA TODAY Network's 261 daily sites.

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03 Feb 23:08

The BCC Switcheroo Is Simply the Pinnacle of Modern Courtesy

by Dan Kois
Lisa G

"You are the Emperor of Etiquette. You have struck a blow against the entropy of the universe and the chaos of the un-zeroed inbox."

Is there any feat of modern manners more satisfying than smoothly conveying someone from CC to BCC?
26 Jan 17:13

Hairy, Potbellied Mermen Are Taking on the Busty-Women-in-Bikinis Genre in Canada

by Brian Barth
Lisa G


21 Jan 02:17

true-me-snafu: andywarnercomics: In honor of Day of the Dead,...

Lisa G

Another Cary share. Great find!



In honor of Day of the Dead, here’s a repost of my comic about the San Francisco Columbarium and the man who spent 26 years restoring it.

This comic originally appeared on Medium at The Nib. Go check out my other work there.

Emmitt and the Columbarium.

08 Jan 21:55

Fran Drescher Developing ‘The Nanny’ Musical for Broadway

Lisa G

This is my shit. #nojudgies

The songwriting team behind the musical comedy “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” will write the score.

Fran Drescher, left, with Charles Shaughnessy and Lauren Lane, in a still from  “The Nanny.” A Broadway show based on the series is in the works.
Fran Drescher, left, with Charles Shaughnessy and Lauren Lane, in a still from  “The Nanny.” A Broadway show based on the series is in the works.Credit...CBS

Fran Drescher, the creator and star of one of the most beloved sitcoms of the ’90s, is developing “The Nanny” into a musical bound for Broadway, the production announced on Wednesday.

The TV show aired for six seasons, from 1993-1999. The nanny — Fran Fine, an over-the-top Queens native who arrives on the doorstep of a Manhattan family that happens to be looking for help — was partly based on Drescher’s own Queens upbringing.

The team behind the CW musical comedy “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” will be crafting the show’s score. Rachel Bloom, who created and stars in the CW series, will write the music and lyrics for stage with Adam Schlesinger, the show’s executive music producer. The pair won an Emmy Award last year for outstanding original music and lyrics on the show.

Though more and more films are being adapted to the stage, TV series rarely get the same treatment. “The Nanny” would join a slim list that includes “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical,” which opened in 2017, and “The Addams Family” from 2010.

Drescher will write the book with Peter Marc Jacobson, who created and wrote the show with Drescher, who was his wife at the time. The cast has not been decided yet, the show said, but Drescher will not be reprising her role.

Scott and Brian Zeilinger, the father-son producing duo whose shows include “Dear Evan Hansen” and “Mean Girls," are also signed on. Marc Bruni (“Beautiful: The Carole King Musical”) will direct.

The show has not yet announced a production schedule.

02 Jan 18:52

Medical Students Regularly Practice Nonconsensual Pelvic Exams on Unconscious Patients. Should They?

Lisa G

Per my TW chat with Steve. I'm floored that this happens. And that no one knows about it.

In 2016, Katie* had just started her first clinical rotation for the Yale School of Medicine. For six weeks, she would work in Bridgeport Hospital’s ob-gyn department, during which time she’d be shepherded in and out of operating rooms by residents and attending physicians. Katie, then 28, rarely met patients before their surgeries. Instead, the third-year student would often show up at an operating room, where the female patient was already unconscious, and observe or perform whatever maneuver her superiors requested. (She remembers once asking if she could pre-round on patients before surgery in order to introduce herself. She was told no.)

Katie once performed a pelvic exam on a woman who was under anesthesia. This involves placing two fingers into the vagina while a second hand is placed on the patient’s abdomen to feel for ovaries, masses, and uterine mobility. Pelvic exams, a regular part of gynecological visits, are necessary before gynecological surgery, as they allow physicians to examine anatomy before performing procedures like hysterectomies and fibroid removals. At teaching hospitals, where medical students are involved in patient care, students regularly perform these exams for educational training. They’re often the third or fourth person to conduct the procedure, after an attending physician and one or two residents. Katie had not met the female patient before she inserted her fingers into her vagina. She didn’t know if the patient even knew she was in the room. “I’m certain [she] did not give consent,” Katie says now, three years later. “I would be shocked if the [resident or attending] got it on my behalf.”

This spring, ELLE conducted a survey of 101 medical students from seven major American medical schools. Ninety-two percent reported performing a pelvic exam on an anesthetized female patient. Of that group, 61 percent reported performing this procedure without explicit patient consent. At most university-affiliated hospitals, patients sign consent forms that vaguely allude to medical students’ involvement in “their care,” language that protects the hospitals from liability. At New York–Presbyterian Hospital, the primary hospital affiliated with Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, patients sign a consent form stating that “other practitioners may assist with the procedure(s) as necessary, and may perform important tasks related to the surgery.” Medical students are not, legally, “other practitioners,” and thus are not included in their consent form at all.

In our survey, some students responded extensively about their experiences with exams under anesthesia (EUAs), writing paragraphs and, in one instance, even pages. They want the educational benefits; they feel uneasy with hospital norms; they advocate for one position before undermining it in the next breath. A minority, 11 percent, are extremely uncomfortable with the practice. Of the students who’d performed the exam, 49 percent had not met patients before performing the procedure. Nearly a third of respondents admitted they hadn’t read their hospital’s consent forms.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ opinion is that “pelvic examinations on an anesthetized woman that offer her no personal benefit and are performed solely for teaching purposes should be performed only with her specific informed consent obtained before her surgery.” And, according to ACOG, “informed consent should be looked on as a process rather than a signature on a form.”

At Harvard Medical School, students on their ob-gyn rotation perform about five pelvic exams on unconscious women during a six-week rotation. With a class size around 165, as many as 825 pelvic exams are conducted by Harvard students on anesthetized women annually. “It’s a standard consent form, not very specific,” says one student. “And I think it’s resident-dependent on how much the EUA is explained.” When she’s been present, the EUA has not been explained.

Eight states (California, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Oregon, Utah, and Virginia) have outlawed nonconsensual pelvic exams, and last week, New York state passed legislation to make it the ninth. In March, assemblywoman Michaelle Solages (D–Nassau) and state senator Roxanne Persaud (D–Brooklyn) introduced the bill. When Solages gave birth at a Long Island teaching hospital last fall, she was put under anesthesia during labor complications. When the bill came across her desk, she realized it was impossible to confirm it hadn’t happened to her. EUAs are not recorded. The legislation will outlaw the practice in New York and require hospitals to document these educational exams when patients do consent.

Since the March announcement, her constituents have emailed her, called her, and stopped her on the street to express their horror. Some are survivors of sexual assault and abuse. “They don’t want to give consent [to students], and we need to respect that,” Solages says. “Women should have control over their bodies.”

The idea of medical students performing nonconsensual pelvic exams on women under anesthesia shocks people outside of medicine. Inside medicine, most view it as routine. “The patients have no way of finding out what happened during their procedure, and they’ll come out none the wiser,” says Donna*, a fourth-year Yale student. “It felt a little weird that I was doing this on somebody anesthetized, but it was the best opportunity I had to practice.”

Katie and I are sitting in a third-floor classroom at the Yale School of Medicine, where she’s halfway through her MD/PhD program. I added an MD to my name in May, and started an emergency medicine residency here this month. Our progress should be cause for celebration, but our education thus far has been filled with discomfort. Our understanding of consent and bodily autonomy hasn’t yet filtered into the medical community we’re joining. Katie, now 31, has a big laugh, a beaming smile, and a fierce ethical code. She’s a survivor of sexual violence and has worked in grassroots reproductive-rights advocacy. Still, she performed that pelvic exam in 2016.

As medical students, we’ve been taught to depersonalize a host of otherwise unnatural experiences. We watch as chests are sawed open, cradle beating hearts in our hands. Private mysteries of life are unraveled and splayed naked before us. To accommodate the strangeness, we’re taught to approach patients dispassionately, taught to view them dissected. The abdominal exam, the same as the neurological exam, the same as the pelvic exam. Don’t make it weird. We’re doctors.

The night after his last day on a one-week urology rotation at New York–Presbyterian Hospital, Dominic* felt sick to his stomach. “Holy shit,” he thought. “I feel like I just sexually assaulted a patient.” He was a third-year student at Columbia University’s medical school, and he’d been given a list of tasks to complete during the week. Halfway through, during a meeting with his clerkship director, it became clear that some of the students had not yet performed a prostate exam.

She told them, “Come in at 11:15. Then you can check this off.”

When Dominic and a classmate arrived, the patient—an elderly man—was already under anesthesia. He was likely receiving a prostate reduction or removal, but no one ever explained the procedure to Dominic or told him the man’s name. Dominic scrubbed his hands clean. Then he and the other student performed prostate exams, one after the other. Then Dominic left. He thinks it’s possible that five or six other students performed the same maneuver, on the same man. “I felt like we had just done something really, really sneaky,” he thought afterward. “That I had to violate a patient’s bodily autonomy in order to check off a requirement for a pass/fail one-week rotation is absurd.”

Many trainees view EUAs (both pelvic and prostate) as integral to their clinical education and extremely appropriate. Others, like Katie and Dominic, remain appalled. Dominic would “absolutely not” allow medical students to perform prostate exams on him if he were ever anesthetized for prostate surgery. “It feels very dehumanizing,” he says, to be made into a teaching tool without your say. Last year, a group of students starting their Columbia urology rotation asked him for tips. “Yeah,” Dominic said, “don’t assault anybody.” (Columbia University has not responded to requests for comment.)

Unfortunately, medical students can’t always say no. In our survey, nearly one-third of the respondents felt unable to opt out of performing these exams. Since supervising residents and attending physicians write evaluations, students fear jeopardizing grades and future careers. “I tried to opt out once from doing a pelvic exam when I hadn’t met the patient beforehand,” says one senior Yale student. “The resident told me no.” At the University of Michigan Medical School, “they taught us it was important to ask forgiveness and not permission,” says another student. For one at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School, the pressure was also social. She describes EUAs as a ritual: “Everyone’s gloves were handed out, then lubrication was put on those gloves in succession,” she says. “In the moment, I felt like I was being accepted into the ob-gyn culture.” (Yale and Brown have not responded to requests for comment. Harvard stands by its consent policy.)

When Phoebe Friesen, a former ethical adviser to New York medical students, first heard about EUAs, she was horrified. But when she broached the subject with faculty, she was told that as a nonphysician, she’d never understand what was necessary for students to learn. She was told she was overreacting. “There is no scandal,” echoed one student from the Washington University School of Medicine, who insisted that current consent processes are effective. “Poorly informed activists and media outlets are seeking to invent one.” Individuals in the medical field are understandably defensive. They’re just doing their jobs, and medically, pelvic exams before surgery are crucial. In our survey, many students reasoned that since patients are at teaching hospitals, they understand students will be involved in their care. “There’s a degree of implied consent,” says another Washington University student. But Katie refutes that logic. “Many patients don’t even know what an academic medical center is,” she says. “And when patients are taken by ambulance, they may have no choice in where they go. They’re taken to the nearest hospital.” (For example, of the 15 facilities where Harvard Medical School students complete clinical rotations, none reference Harvard by name, since the university doesn’t own or operate any of them. They are, nonetheless, teaching hospitals.)

In a 2010 Canadian study, only 19 percent of women reported awareness that medical students might perform pelvic examinations on them during surgery. “The vast majority of women say, ‘I do care; you should ask me,’” says Friesen, who’s been writing about the topic for the last five years, now in her role as a University of Oxford bioethicist. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three women in the United States have experienced sexual violence. Medical care does not exist in a vacuum. When students are not taught to ask—or taught not to ask—patients for permission, it instills entitlement to enter the body.

Conscious patients can decline educational exams, and that right should continue to be enforced under anesthesia. According to the 2010 study, 72 percent of women expect to be asked for permission before an EUA. If patients are not aware that medical students will be performing exams on them, they have not provided consent. So although the examiner may find a pelvic exam impersonal and trivial, patients may not, and the violation is theirs to bear.

There are easy fixes to this situation. Some schools are changing their standards, like the University of Michigan, which earlier this year implemented a new policy requiring medical students to meet patients before performing pelvic EUAs, and requiring doctors to explain student involvement. The same Canadian study also found that a majority of women (62 percent) would agree to educational EUAs if asked. Assemblywoman Solages would do so herself. “We want to encourage the next generation of medical and health-care professionals,” she says. “But at the end of the day, consent is just right.”

When I walk into the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health in Providence, Rhode Island, to interview Cheylsea Federle, I can’t help but grin. Federle, the organization’s education and training coordinator, has a blond shoulder-length lob and a disarming smile. Beside her is a crystal bowl brimming with a Skittles-colored array of condoms and dental dams, and next to that, a fabric puppet of a vulva, anatomically complete with a button clitoris. A few times a year in her role as a gynecological teaching associate (GTA), Federle instructs Brown University medical students on how to perform pelvic exams, using her body as a textbook. She’s thrilled to show students her cervix. “If you don’t feel it, keep going,” she encourages students. “I let them know: ‘Take your time; I’m good!’ ”

Within medical schools, GTAs are commonly hired to teach pelvic and urogenital exams to students before they begin clinical rotations. Many, like Federle, are intentional about teaching students to be mindful of power dynamics. Doctors often seem inaccessible and busy, she says, and patients assume they’re not supposed to ask questions or request adjustments. GTAs show students what it looks like—and how appropriate it is—when patients actively participate. “There’s so much value to getting real-time responses,” says Maric Brandi, a Boston-based sex educator. “What I teach is maybe 50 to 60 percent anatomy and physiology, and closer to 40 percent how to take care of your patient and how not to accidentally be weird when you’re doing a pelvic exam.” Brandi cites studies demonstrating that students who train with GTAs before rotations are more skilled: “They talk to patients more easily, and they tend to give more comfortable, relaxed, and pain-free exams.”

But students change between the convocation and commencement of medical school. There is a cost to gaining a white coat. One student referred to her justification of hospital norms as “Stockholm Syndrome setting in.” A 2003 study of Philadelphia medical students found that trainees who had completed an ob-gyn rotation viewed consent as significantly less important than those who hadn’t yet done so (51 percent, compared to 70 percent). This transformation doesn’t come out of nowhere. It’s learned; it’s taught. When Donna was turned away by a patient during a preoperative meeting, her Yale resident pulled her aside. “They don’t have the choice,” he told her. “You have the right to be there.” At Yale’s affiliated hospitals, pelvic EUAs without consent are still legal. “The inability to understand that a third of women have been victims of sexual violence, the inability to think about that and respect that, is unbelievable,” Katie says. “It is unbelievable that it’s 2019 and this is something we’re talking about.”

*Names have been changed.

This article will appear in the August 2019 issue of ELLE.

After the online publication of this piece, the Yale School of Medicine sent us the following statement: “It is our practice to obtain consent from our patients at the preoperative visit with the gynecologist. The preoperative consultation provides an opportunity for the gynecologist to discuss the planned procedure and to explain the involvement of the team members who will be involved in the procedure. Additionally, all consent forms contain specific language explaining the involvement of trainees in the decision making and procedural process."

23 Dec 21:04

What Happened When I Used Nothing but CBD Products for Two Weeks

by Justin Peters
Lisa G

Thoughts on CBD?

16 Dec 18:22

Find a reddit gift exchange perfect for you

Lisa G

Doing Reddit Secret Santa this year. I think it should be fun!

  • Sign up & get matched Sign up & get matched
  • Find the perfect gift & send it Find the perfect gift & send it
  • Receive a gift from your match Receive a gift from your match
16 Dec 02:05

Terrifying Videos Show Men Hacking Into Home Security Cameras

Lisa G

This is truly horrifying.

I can’t stop scream-typing about these terrifying stories of men hacking into Amazon Ring home-security cameras, and using them to spy on, threaten, and taunt people IN THEIR OWN HOMES. But I will try.

Four incidents of Ring-hacking were reported just this week — and because Ring cameras recorded the interactions, each comes with a creepy, horrifying video of the encounter. In one, a Florida couple was hanging out on a Sunday night in their kitchen when their home-security alarm suddenly went off. Then they heard what sounds like a young man’s voice speaking through their Ring camera.

In the video, a voice addresses the husband and wife directly before referring to their biracial son, who is not in the room, indicating that the person has been watching the family. “Is your kid a baboon, like the monkey?” the person asks. Then he attempts to coerce the husband to visit a URL, threatening him: “I will leave you and your family alone, or I could do this,” he says, before turning on their alarm again. The husband refuses and pulls the batteries from the camera.

It somehow gets way worse: Elsewhere this week, a Ring camera was hacked in a children’s room in Tennessee only four days after it was installed there. In harrowing video from the incident, someone begins playing a song with the lyrics “tiptoe through the window” through the Ring camera. After a little girl enters the room to investigate the noise, what sounds like a man’s voice says, “I’m your best friend, I’m Santa Claus.” As the child screams for her mother, he says, “Don’t you want to be my best friend?” According to local news reports, the hacker played more music and “encouraged destructive behavior” before the 8-year-old’s father came into the room and cut the feed.

If you can take it, watch this chilling video from a woman’s Ring camera in Atlanta, first uploaded by her friend on Twitter, in which a man’s voice can be heard saying “Wake up!” along with clapping noises. At the end he says, “I can see you in the bed, come on, wake the fuck up.”

Finally, in the latest reported incident, a woman in Texas was at home on Monday when her Ring home security alarm also went off, before a hacker’s voice told her that her “account had been terminated.” The person, who sounded like a man, said that she had to pay a “ransom” of 50 bitcoin or she would “be terminated” herself. Then the person said that they were outside her front door, showing footage from the woman’s Ring front door camera.

A Ring spokesperson told the Cut that “while we’re still investigating this issue & taking appropriate steps to protect our devices based on our investigation, we’re able to confirm this is in no way related to a breach of Ring’s security.” They added that, “due to the fact that customers often use the same username and password for their various accounts and subscriptions, bad actors often reuse credentials stolen or leaked from one service on other services. As a precaution, we highly and openly encourage all Ring users to enable two-factor authentication on their Ring account, add Shared Users (instead of sharing login credentials), use strong passwords, and regularly change their passwords.” The spokesperson also said that Ring had “taken appropriate actions to remove the bad actors from all affected accounts, and “all affected users have been contacted.”

The Ring camera’s speaker function initially attracted customers, enabling parents to talk to their kids at home, but it has now turned into a nightmare. And hacking is only the latest development in the dystopian surveillance saga of Ring, which recently partnered with 400 police departments across the country to hand over hours of doorbell-camera footage for criminal investigations. Think about that the next time you watch a cute Ring video of a bear ringing a doorbell.

This piece has been updated to reflect an additional information.

Terrifying Videos Show Men Hacking Home Security Cameras

15 Dec 17:33

update: talking about my pregnancy at work when I’m placing the baby for adoption

by Ask a Manager
Lisa G

These updates give me life. As an adoptee, this one really got me.

Remember the letter-writer looking for advice on how to talk about her pregnancy at work when she was planning to place the baby for adoption? Here’s the update.

I hope this letter finds you well. Your email about updates came a few days after I had gotten home from the hospital (I was way earlier in my pregnancy than I thought I was when I first wrote you), and I’m still on leave at the moment, so I can’t give you an update about coming back to work afterwards yet, but I can tell you how the pregnancy went!

I’m happy to report that everyone at work was absolutely lovely about the whole thing. I don’t think a lot of them really “got” why I made the decision I did, but if they had any negative feelings or impressions about, they kept it to themselves, for which I’m thankful. Overall, I received a really insane level of support and understanding from everyone. I told my manager the situation once it became clear that the pregnancy was healthy and viable. He was really great– asked if he could give me a hug and congratulated me and told me that whatever I needed from work, he would help make happen. I gave him the dates I would no longer be able to travel and told him I just wanted to go about work as normally as I could for as long as I could. He told me he would keep the situation private until he couldn’t anymore for scheduling purposes, and even then was very discreet about it. I am extremely grateful for him, he was really great about my pregnancy and the adoption situation, and treaded lightly whenever he was curious about how it was going.

I’m not sure I really took all the advice that was given, which was primarily to frame it as a surrogacy situation. I’m not good at obfuscating the truth, and my department has close enough interpersonal relationships that it wasn’t a sustainable solution, considering how much we work in teams and how much those teams travel together– though I did try it at least once! I figured people would take direction from me on how to treat it. I told my colleagues one by one until it hit a critical mass where pretty much everyone knew without me having to tell every last person, and framed it as a “private but not secret” thing. I didn’t give a ton of details to everyone like you advised, but answered (kindly worded) questions when they were asked and was more open with some people than others. Everyone was supportive and honestly, to my knowledge, mostly just ignored it. A few individuals in particular really went above and beyond for me– a project lead who went to bat for me to be kept on a project whose onsite portion was near my parents’ home so I could visit them (I did not ask her to do this), a colleague who organized a lunch for me before I went on leave, and a training manager who was a great sounding board and shoulder to lean on as I organized and dealt with everything. It was a really ideal outcome for a really sucky situation, and I am so grateful for the grace and kindness my office showed me, when I have heard of so many horror stories at other companies of it going the opposite way. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make in the midst of an already difficult emotional atmosphere, so it was a big thing to me to have a supportive environment at work, whatever my decision ultimately ended up being. We’ll see how things go once I go back, and you never really know what’s going to happen, but based on how the nine months of pregnancy went, I’m not overly preoccupied.

I gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl after a very smooth delivery and spent two and a half great days with her in the hospital. She and her parents (who I chose) are doing well– having the time of their lives, in fact. They send me regular pictures and updates, and although I know the frequency will likely taper off as the realities of life happen for all of us, I am at peace knowing my daughter is taken care of, adored, and loved the way I adore and love her, and that she is with people who have hoped and prayed for her and can give her all the things I wanted to but couldn’t. Her parents have been nothing but respectful and kind to me. She is a source of joy tinged with grief and sadness for me, and not having to keep her a secret has been, by far, the biggest help to healing and dealing I have had. (Plus, I’m still a proud mom, so I love to show off photos from the hospital and from the A-parents!) I have a great therapist, a supportive faith community, and a wonderful family who have taken great care of me, so although I don’t want to downplay the brutality of grief…I’m going to be okay. Mine was really as ideal as an adoption placement could be, truly, and I’m very aware of how blessed and fortunate I have been. I feel hopeful for the first time in a long, long time, and that’s about as great a gift as I can ask for.

I also am thankful to you for publishing my letter and for including someone who is well acquainted with adoption to offer additional advice. I’m also grateful for the commenters who offered additional advice and support. Your words may not have meant much to you, but they meant a lot to me. Thank you for choosing to be kind to me.

update: talking about my pregnancy at work when I’m placing the baby for adoption was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

25 Nov 05:08

What Is Activated Charcoal Used For, and Does it Really Work?

Lisa G

I have been saying this is bad for you. It like, has to be bad for you.

Proponents claim that activated charcoal is a “natural detoxifier” that can remove harmful substances from the body.

Credit...Photo Illustration by The New York Times; Shutterstock

Active charcoal comes in many forms: toothpaste; powders, black-colored ice-cream, or “goth lattes.” On Instagram, it is used as a prop. Medically, activated charcoal is used in emergency hospital settings, typically to absorb drugs after an overdose.

Proponents contend that activated charcoal is a natural detoxifier of the body that can, for example, remove teeth stains and even work as an anti-aging product. After all, if it can medically detoxify the body of poisons, a smaller dose probably works too, right?

Not necessarily. Just to clarify so no one goes sprinkling charcoal in their latte: Activated charcoal is charcoal that has undergone a process in which gases like oxygen are added at high temperatures, resulting in pores that provide a high surface area that allows it to bind to other substances.

A review in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology in 2015 reported that activated charcoal has pores that soak up fluid. It is often derived from burned organic substances, such as coconut shells (as in coconut ash). Dr. Mark Su, a medical toxicologist and director of the New York City Poison Control Center, said that activated charcoal worked by binding to drugs to prevent absorption in the body.

There are side effects in the emergency department setting, like vomiting or pulmonary aspiration. Activated charcoal also doesn’t work on certain alcohols. Some hospitals prefer not to use it in the emergency department and instead opt for more specific antidotes to poisonings and overdoses.

For the rest of us, our liver and our kidneys do a great job of detoxifying things on a day-to-day basis.

If optimal health is the goal, eating healthfully — plenty of green, leafy vegetables — sleeping at least seven to eight hours a day, exercising at least three times a week at an intensity where you sweat (sweat is detoxifying), reducing stress through mindfulness, journaling, and cultivating community and a strong support network are helpful habits to introduce.

It’s possible that activated charcoal may reduce the effectiveness of certain medications like those for high blood pressure or seizures.

In New York, Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream, made with coconut ash, was wildly popular, but in 2018 the company was served “commissioner’s orders” from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to stop serving it. The company complied, and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has continued to crack down on coconut ash, though Michael Lanza, the assistant press secretary for the department, said in an emailed statement, “Restaurants may serve foods with activated charcoal after securing approval from the F.D.A.” (Stores like Pressed Juicery still sell activated charcoal lemonade in stores outside New York, though not online, citing the ban.)

In the 1960s, the Food and Drug Administration prohibited the use of activated charcoal in food additives or coloring, but an F.D.A. spokeswoman said in an email that the ban was precautionary, as there was a lack of safety data.

The questions about the use of activated charcoal in foods have not stopped the trend of activated charcoal moving into health and beauty. A study from January 2019, which involved staining cow, goat and sheep teeth with concentrated black tea, found that activated charcoal in toothpaste was not as effective as other whitening agents like hydrogen peroxide or microbeads.

A previous review from 2017 of 118 studies found that there was not enough evidence to support the safety or efficacy of charcoal-based toothpastes and powders and that their safety hadn’t been demonstrated. On balance, given the alternatives, and the risks of ingestion, it is better to stick with safer toothpaste substances, the review suggests.

On the other hand, Dr. Su said there was no clear concern at this time about charcoal’s safety for beauty products for external use.

06 Nov 18:52

Yes, You Should Get a SAD Lamp This Winter

Lisa G

Thoughts on SAD lamps?

The Verilux HappyLight.

Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Amazon.

When Norman Rosenthal moved from Johannesburg to New York City for a psychiatry residency, he found the winters dark and gloomy. It wasn’t until a few years later that he realized the winters might be more than just gloomy. Working in a psychobiology lab in the early ’80s, he tried an observational experiment on an engineer who he knew had bipolar disorder and depression and had had mood swings from mania into sadness for many years. The engineer had kept a log of the changes in his notebooks; it was clear he was typically depressed as the days started to get shorter after the solstice, and then into fall and winter. Rosenthal and his colleagues wondered if light might be able to help, particularly with a stronger exposure than what he’d been getting in office buildings. “We took a rectangular ceiling fixture that had fluorescent lamps in it and rigged it up to stand horizontally,” says Rosenthal. It was a highly primitive light box. Being able to get up close to the source did the trick. With the help of bright lights, the engineer came out of his winter depression, Rosenthal recalls: “It was like watching a law of nature unfolding.”

It is practically common knowledge today that the darkness of winter can make you more depressed than you were before. But back in the ’80s, Rosenthal and his colleagues had to prove it. So they put a notice in the Washington Post, seeking people who had winter mood swings. Twenty-nine fit their criteria and lived close enough to come into their lab for diagnosis and light therapy. In 1984, they published the paper that first described seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. When I spoke to Rosenthal, he was sitting in his office, two large sunlamps bathing him in light.

Who needs a sunlamp? “Many, many more people than you might think,” says Rosenthal. Though SAD is thought to affect a small percentage of the population, people without a clinical diagnosis often aren’t functioning at their full capacity in winter, either, he explains. He knows this because people come into his lamp-illuminated office and feel better. He sees the trend everywhere: A friend in Toronto built a sunroom with large windows, and now it’s their favorite place to hang out. When I lived in (and worked from) a room with a window that was mere feet from a brick wall, my dad mailed me a SAD lamp.

When I spoke to Rosenthal, he was sitting in his office, two large sunlamps bathing him in light.

I turned it on in midday, for indiscriminate amounts of time, in defiance of the instructions (half an hour a day after waking up, sitting a foot away). I couldn’t help it; it was as though my tiny Brooklyn room were suddenly located on a beach. That lamp was pretty large, with kind of stadium-light vibes. While Rosenthal argues for larger lights, as those are the ones that have been used most in studies, the ones in his office are a little bit smaller, a foot-by-a-foot-and-a-half. (He has two.) If you want a large lamp, try Wirecutter’s recommendations; its top pick is the lamp I used previously, and I found it a little less cumbersome when removed from the stand.

But I’ve found that I’m just more likely to keep a smaller lamp sitting out, and therefore, I’m more likely to use it. The Verilux HappyLight, which is the size of an iPad, is what I use today. It sits unassumingly on my windowsill, and is 10,000 lux, which Mayo Clinic psychologist Craig Sawchuk advised me was the most important part. (Most of them are this intensity, but if you get one with a lower intensity, you just need to use it longer to get the same effects.) For me and my inconsistent, nonclinical use of the thing, this is handy. If you’re dedicated to a regular routine and you travel, having an even smaller lamp might be crucial. One company in Sweden made a light therapy system that’s designed around convenience—it comes as earbuds that shine light through your ear canals and, they claim, into your brain. The iPod-like setup is $200, and while there’s a study that suggests they work, it lacks a control group and was funded by the company that makes them. That is also pretty expensive for a light therapy device: Lamps cost as little as $30, and even a very nice, large one can be had for a little over $100.

Despite all the intuitive benefits of light (shining into your eyeballs, at least), whether a sunlamp will be truly helpful for those of us without clinically diagnosed seasonal affective disorder is hard to say. In a pilot study of 54 patients hospitalized for burnout (yes, really), light therapy improved a slew of things: emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and a sense of accomplishment, as the authors write. That said, other small studies on patients with less severe burnout have been inconclusive. And while light therapy didn’t affect the overall depression scores in that pilot study (people with seasonal depression were explicitly screened out) an earlier meta analysis concluded that it might have some positive effects for folks with depression nonetheless.

Like so many things in this world, whether you will benefit from a sunlamp is highly individual. The side effects are minimal, limited to headaches and maybe feeling a little too awake if you use it late in the day (though if you have more than mild mood shifts, check in with a doctor before you experiment). Rosenthal points out that you can basically do your own experiment, using the lamp for a few weeks within a company’s return window. Not a bad deal for having your own personal home star.

The Verilux Happy Light.

Slate has relationships with various online retailers. If you buy something through our links, Slate may earn an affiliate commission. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change. All prices were up to date at the time of publication.

31 Oct 20:50

Watch This ’80s Patti LuPone Haunted Laundromat Video The New Yorker Dug Up

Lisa G

Talk about Spooky!

Happy Halloween! Nothing will ever be as spooky as the choices made by members of the entertainment industry during the 1980s. For instance, the video above, which is a 27-minute operetta about a haunted laundromat that somehow stars the great Patti LuPone as a vengeful ghost who emerges from a sinister dryer. She preens like a sudsy Eva Peron! She yells about bleach! She turns somewhat invisible thanks to some cutting-edge effects work! We have the The New Yorker to thank for digging up “Love Cycle: A Soap Operetta,” which was made in 1984 for a PBS series that was to be called Hip Pocket Musicals but never aired, for somewhat obvious reasons.

We also have The New Yorker to thank for asking LuPone herself (who believes in ghosts, by the way) about it. “For some reason, I’m haunting this laundromat, and I’m stealing everybody’s socks,” she says. “Yeah, this is a real piece of art.” She is being sarcastic, but she’s also not wrong.


New Yorker

Watch This Haunted Patti LuPone Video The New Yorker Dug Up

29 Oct 20:25

how to get better at using a coworker’s nonbinary pronouns

by Ask a Manager
Lisa G

Honestly I've had a hard time with peeps who use they/them despite all my efforts. " Every time they thought of Z, they pictured them with a little pet mouse in their pocket" is a joyful and cute solution.

The question earlier this month about how to get better at using a coworker’s nonbinary pronouns (they/them) attracted hundreds of suggestions in the comments. I’ve compiled some of them here for easy reference (and to share with others if you’d like).

While most of these suggestions are for nonbinary folks, some of them also apply to people switching from he/his/him to she/hers/her and vice versa.

♦  “What I do is I just practice a lot on my own out loud using the correct pronouns. A lot of times in the car or while I am walking the dog (‘This is Alex, they were telling me about the project XYZ”). I also would practice with my husband at home, maybe tell a couple more detailed stories about work than normal (‘Today I was working with Alex on this, and they told me a funny story…’). What helps me most is saying them out loud.”

♦  “It really helped me to read books/listen to podcasts about/by nonbinary people because part of the problem is, it feels ‘wrong’ as we learned not to use pronouns this way. The 57 Bus was one of the first books I read that inspired this, but I also came across this list, which I am working my way through.”

♦  “Look for opportunities to use gender neutral pronouns in reference to other people besides coworker. Like with a dog on the street, think to yourself, ‘Oh they’re so cute!’ ‘they’ve got a scruffy face’ ‘they’re wagging their tail at me!’ Or other people tweeting or other people commenting on places like here! ‘Oh, they’ve got a point.'”

♦  “Here’s what helped me the most: Think of a story/anecdote about you coworker or just something memorable about your coworker. It doesn’t have to be interesting. ‘Lee spilled their coffee today. They had a coffee stain on their sleeve for the rest of the afternoon.’ Act like you’re describing this person or telling a family member the anecdote. Be careful to use they/them pronouns the entire time, even if you have to pause to do so. Repeat it until it the right pronouns come out naturally.”

♦  There is one ‘trick’ I once read about that has always stayed with me. It was a little anecdote about a young person (let’s call them X) who had a good friend (Z) who began to use they/them pronouns, and X’s parent was struggling, at first, to accustom themselves to Z’s change in pronouns. All of a sudden, the parent was getting it right every time, so X asked them how they managed to move so suddenly from struggle to success.

The parent confessed that they used a ‘trick.’ Every time they thought of Z, they pictured them with a little pet mouse in their pocket. This helped the parent get over the stubborn residual associations they had between they/them pronouns and the plural.”

♦  “I’ve used they/them pronouns for several years, and a thing I’ve noticed is that the people who really understand the concept of ‘nonbinary person’ are much better at using the right pronouns for me, because they look at me and see a nonbinary person and then use the right pronoun for the person they see. That’s how gendered language use (and a lot of cultural stuff around gender) works on a subconscious level — we see people, we categorize them, and we speak to them and behave toward them in ways that match the category we’ve put them in. When someone who doesn’t have a ‘nonbinary person’ category sees me — even someone who knows me quite well and is intellectually aware that I’m nonbinary — they’ll categorize me wrong in their head, and then they’ll slip up on pronouns, group me together with people of the gender they think I am, forget that I need an ungendered bathroom, refer to me by gendered parent words when my child is mentioned, and so on. Pronoun use is an important part of respecting your nonbinary colleague, but it’s not the whole of it. You need to see them. You need to make an additional box in your head that says ‘nonbinary person,’ and when you look at your colleague you need to put them in that box. Then you can use the language and behaviors that follow on from being fully aware that you are interacting with a nonbinary person.

…You will also have to develop a lexicon of gender-appropriate behaviors, not just language, for nonbinary people and people whose genders you don’t know. Part of what’s so uncomfortable when you first encounter nonbinary people is that you run into all the ways you unconsciously treat people differently based on perceived gender. The best option in most cases is to lean toward inclusivity, as it benefits binary-gendered people as well. Instead of inviting women to knitting nights and men to golfing days, invite everyone to both, and Chad will knit you a sweater while Sally gives you putting tips. Send a company-wide email saying, ‘We’re going to order loose and fitted company t-shirts from S to 4X, please let me know which you’d like’ rather than assuming you know who will want ‘men’s’ or ‘women’s’ shirts. Hold doors for everyone. Pay everyone fairly! But don’t let inclusivity and generality erase the specific realness of nonbinary identities.

You were taught for a long time that we don’t exist. Retraining your brain is going to take work. But if you put in that work, it will help a ton with treating your colleague respectfully. Once you internalize that your company is a company where at least three genders of people work, you’ll become aware of places where your workplace habits assume only two genders, and you’ll fix them and help your colleague (and other nonbinary colleagues) be more comfortable. Nonbinary people go through life braced for constant, constant misgendering and microaggressions. The absence of those things is tangible, and so wonderful when we encounter it. Even a small inclusive gesture could make your colleague’s day.”

♦  As a nonbinary person, one thing I’ve found I appreciate is when people aren’t thinking about it as ‘just a pronoun,’ but instead are actively learning about what a nonbinary gender means. The way I tell folks is, ‘I use they/them pronouns because nothing else fits. It’s more important to me that you see me as nonbinary than it is to use any particular pronoun. That said, when messing up means you always use feminine pronouns, that tells me you aren’t seeing me as nonbinary.'”

And advice on if you make a mistake:

♦  “If you do make a mistake and someone corrects you, say ‘thank you’ instead of ‘I’m sorry.’ Because the ‘sorry’ will often make the other person feel like they have to respond with ‘It’s okay’ or ‘It’s no big deal’ even when they may not feel that way.”

♦  “A quick correction with a ‘sorry’ or ‘whoops, my mistake’ attached, goes over much better than a long dragged out apology. Basically, don’t make a big deal out of it – all that does is draw attention to the change and the whole point is to move past that change.”

how to get better at using a coworker’s nonbinary pronouns was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

28 Oct 19:14

We Tried Jade Rollers To Find Out If They’re A Total Waste Of Money

Lisa G

Clearly Steve needs to buy a jade roller... Do it for the CONTENT Steve!

HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.

My jade roller sitting pretty with the trinkets on my dresser.
My jade roller sitting pretty with the trinkets on my dresser.

Keeping up with beauty trends and fads is almost as hard as keeping up with the Kardashians. There’s always something new to try, whether it be a sparkly eyeshadow palette, shiny new lipsticks, face masks made with snail secretions or a face tool meant to aid with reducing puffiness.

Enter the jade roller: a paint roller–type tool for the face made from solid jade stone that’s been said to decrease puffiness and under-eye circles, and even minimize the look of fine lines. As Maria Tallarico at The Strategist wrote, jade rollers have been used by empresses and members of high society in China since the 17th century, but have recently experienced a boost in popularity in the U.S.

The tool generally features a larger stone for cheeks, jaw and forehead and a smaller stone for under the eyes and around the mouth. To use it, apply gentle pressure while rolling the tool from the center of your face in upward and outward motions.

The gentle massaging motion is supposed to increase circulation and “stimulate the lymphatic system and lymphatic drainage throughout the face,” Jennifer Stoeckert, holistic facialist and creator of Minimal Beauty, told me.

Dr. Jennifer Chwalek, M.D., a dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York, agreed that jade rollers can help with lymphatic drainage.

“Whenever there’s stagnant circulation or swelling at all in the face, massage can help that lymph fluid drain into the [proper] channels and away from around your eyes and certain areas where it tends to settle,” she said.

However, she added, “I don’t think you’re going to get the collagen stimulation from a jade roller or massage device that you get from Fraxel on your face, or even microneedling.” (Fraxel treatments use laser technology to treat a broad range of skin damage, from age spots to wrinkles and other signs of aging, while microneedling is a treatment that involves penetrating the skin with tiny needles to help boost collagen.)

“It’s great for acute things like puffiness or redness,” Stoeckert said, noting that the jade stone is cool to the touch, which can be soothing on the skin. Many people, she added, also use the jade roller to help work treatment serums and oils deeper into their skin, while others simply like the ritual aspect of using the tool.

The lymphatic drainage that the roller is meant to stimulate can also help prevent or clear breakouts, Stoeckert said, though Dr. Chwalek was less certain of this claim; she told me she was unaware of a solid connection between acne and lymphatic drainage.

However, she did say that the relaxing properties of using a jade roller could indirectly help breakouts. It’s possible that the massaging motion of the jade roller can, on some level, stimulate certain hormones and have a relaxing effect on one’s well-being and stress levels, which can, in turn, affect acne, Dr. Chwalek explained.

Just be sure to massage gently, as too much pressure could rupture pimples, leading to further inflammation or breakouts. Stoeckert recommended keeping the roller clean by washing it with soapy water after use.

Curiosity about jade rollers got the best of me, so, naturally, I decided to try this seemingly magical beauty tool for myself.

Equipped with a brand new jade roller, I set out to use it every morning for a week, hoping it would result in brighter, less tired-looking skin. (I used this one sold by Minimal Beauty for $19, but other options can run you anywhere from $6.99 to over $60.) I have been plagued with dark under-eye circles since high school and anything that claims to help rid them is on my must-try list.

I woke up on the first morning of the test period excited to give the tool a go. I washed and toned my face then applied my serum or oil ― one of my go-tos is A Complete’s Highly Concentrated Youth Preserve serum ― and then began rolling it along my jawline, cheeks and forehead.

Stoeckert recommended using the roller on a clean face, as you don’t want to rub any dirt or makeup deeper into your skin. She also recommended rolling down your neck, too.

“As you drain the face, you want to make sure that all the energy and movement can drain down into the neck and into the lymphatic ducts as well,” she said.

The coolness of the jade felt quite nice on my skin ― it was soothing, as promised. The massaging motion was definitely enjoyable, and I think it helped release tension in my face. (For extra coolness, you can store the roller in the fridge.) While I noticed some very slight redness after rolling the tool over my face, especially on my forehead, it disappeared within seconds.

I didn’t notice my face looking less puffy than it normally does, nor did I see much of a difference in my dark circles, but I did love the feeling of the cold jade under my eyes. Even if I didn’t look more awake, I felt more awake.

From left to right: Day 1, fresh out of bed, pre-jade rolling; Day 3, post-serum and jade rolling; Day 5, post-serum and jade rolling; Day 7, post-serum and jade rolling.
From left to right: Day 1, fresh out of bed, pre-jade rolling; Day 3, post-serum and jade rolling; Day 5, post-serum and jade rolling; Day 7, post-serum and jade rolling.

What I liked most about the jade roller was how good it was at working my serum into my face. Generally, after I’ve applied a serum or oil, I’ve always felt like I needed to wait for it to soak in before being able to apply anything else, but after using the jade roller, I was able to apply my moisturizer (I’m currently using Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream) right away.

Overall, there wasn’t a huge difference between my skin on Day 1 and Day 7 (as seen in the photos above ― be nice, that’s what a beauty writer who hates mornings looks like when she rolls out of bed) but I still enjoyed using the jade roller and will probably continue using it, if only for its soothing and relaxing effects.

Stoeckert said that the roller isn’t meant to be be a cure-all.

“One tool or one product or one anything I don’t believe ever cures or fixes anything,” she said. “I’m big into a 360-degree approach ― internal and external ― so the jade tool is a wonderful tool to be part of that approach, as well as understanding how important the lymphatic system is for a glowing complexion and healthy skin.”

All in all, yes, I’d recommend jade rollers, especially if you’re a fan of the ritualistic aspect of sticking to a beauty routine. And in case I haven’t said it enough, the coolness of the jade really did feel great on the skin. For that alone, I’d say it was worth it. And considering there are plenty of affordable options out there, buying a jade roller is a pretty low-stakes investment.

As Dr. Chwalek told me, “I don’t think it will hurt you. And if it’s part of your overall wellness regimen and it makes you feel good, I’d say by all means, go for it.”

Looking for the best deal before you buy? Take a look at HuffPost Coupons where we have hundreds of promo codes from brands you trust, including Target coupons.

25 Oct 10:03

Woman Yelling at a Cat

Lisa G

"the cat was later identified as Smudge the Cat"


Woman Yelling at a Cat refers to a meme format featuring a screen cap of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast members Taylor Armstrong and Kyle Richards followed by a picture of a confused-looking cat sitting behind a dinner plate. The format gained significant popularity across the web in mid-June 2019 and the cat was later identified as Smudge the Cat.

Read More
21 Oct 16:20

I’m worried my coworkers’ food handling is going to make someone seriously ill

by Ask a Manager
Lisa G

I think this woman is bananas. I think we've learned from leftovers stealer guy that I have lax food rules.

It’s the Thursday “ask the readers” question. A reader writes:

I am about four months into a new job, and my coworkers have been very nice and easy to work with. However, I am very concerned about the way that they manage food safety. We are going to have a potluck soon and I don’t think I can bring myself to eat anything after witnessing various food-safety related incidents. They also have a tendency to frequently offer leftovers to other departments and guests in our office park, which is making me increasingly worried an unassuming person could get sick.

1. About three weeks into my new job, someone brought a meat/cheese platter to an all-staff meeting. The meeting was postponed to later in the day, so someone left the platter in the conference room for four hours. Then, during the meeting people passed around and ate the visibly sweating and warm meat and cheese. I politely declined each time it was passed to me on account that I had just eaten lunch and I am a vegetarian, but they kept offering the cheese.

2. We had an off-site meeting that had catered sandwiches delivered at 11:30 am. There were a bunch of leftovers but no way for them to be refrigerated. When the meeting ended at 4, I went to throw them away, but my director stopped me. I said they were not safe to eat anymore because we wouldn’t return to the office until 7 pm. He insisted that someone take them to not waste them and ended up dispersing them to other staff and interns. Some of those sandwiches and salads were brought back to the office the next day and shared with other departments.

3. Another higher-up placed raw chicken on the countertops of a break room that is shared with many different companies in my office park. She wiped the juices up with a dry paper towel.

4. Someone brought bagels and cream cheese, and the cream cheese was left out for eight hours a day for three days.

5. When traveling, people left their leftovers in the hot car for five hours and then ate them later in the day.

I am absolutely appalled by the lack of awareness of food safety amongst my peers. I’ve tried politely sharing what I know (I have a ServSafe Manager Certification from a past job), but they laugh it off or argue that food shouldn’t be wasted. I don’t feel comfortable accepting any perishables or honestly unpackaged food based on the incidents I have witnessed.

Aside from being seriously concerned that someone could get seriously ill, between being the only person who declined to participate in an office weight loss challenge (*sigh*) and refusing food offerings, I’m starting to feel like I am alienating myself as a new staff member, or coming across as someone with very weird food behaviors. I’ve even caught myself humoring the idea of scheduling a doctor’s appointment during the potluck so I don’t have to deal with it. I truly have no idea how to handle this.

Readers, what’s your advice?

I’m worried my coworkers’ food handling is going to make someone seriously ill was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

21 Oct 15:26

can you put firing someone on your resume, I know who’s clogging our toilets, and more

by Ask a Manager
Lisa G

More poop stuff.

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. Can you put on your resume that you fired a poor performer?

I’m in a senior leadership role, and when I took over one of the teams in my organization I identified that the direct manager of that team was a great individual contributor but wasn’t really successful in her manager role. I worked with her to figure out her real interests and strengths and helped her to realize that management really wasn’t for her. Then I helped her find a more appropriate role in the organization and hired a great replacement. Happy ending!

I’m applying for a new role in a different organization now, and I want to refer to this as one of my accomplishments, especially because my industry is kind of known for not being good with people (think engineering but not) and I think my strength in that area makes me stand out but it feels wrong to put that on a resume. Should I leave it off or is there a way to say it that won’t feel so *icky*?

I’d leave it off. It’s assumed that as a manager you’ll at times need to coach people out or fire them.

To be clear, actively managing the makeup of your team (which includes not only hiring well but also acting when someone isn’t well matched with their job and managing them out in a respectful way) is a key part of managing well, and a lot of managers are negligent in that area.

But the difference between “handled a normal part of managing with average competence” and “handled a tricky firing with skill and finesse” is hard to to convey on a resume where your space for details in limited, so this is something better saved for an interview.

That’s not to say you couldn’t write something fairly broad like, “Built and managed a high-performing team of seven, including hiring, coaching and developing, and managing out when needed” — but doesn’t really get at what I think you’re trying to convey.

2. I know who our toilet clogger is

For years, there has been a guy on our floor (shared by several departments) who uses ALL the toilet paper every trip to the bathroom. This clogs the toilet beyond what you can even plunge. I mean the bowl is filled with paper, and you have to wait for it to disintegrate in its own time.

No one has done anything official, because we get a lot of outside traffic and it could easily have been a visitor. But I now have firsthand knowledge of who this is, and he is in my department.

What can I do? Put an anonymous “how to wipe yourself” flyer on the stall door? Corner this guy and be like “that was me in the other stall after lunch today; you’re busted, buddy!”? Gossip around the (small) office until he is humiliated into improving his behavior or at least going to another floor? Loudly psychoanalyze the anonymous clogger in the hallway: “Can you imagine being so afraid of your own bodily functions that you need six inches of paper between your hand and your effluvia? I bet that guy wasn’t held enough as a child.” What is there to do? What can any of us do?

If you’re not in management (of people or of the facility), there might be nothing for you to do here. You don’t have to bring this guy to justice. On the other hand, if there’s been a public effort to get this behavior to stop and/or it’s causing real inconvenience to others (it sounds like it might be), you could discreetly bring it to the attention of whoever is unlucky enough to be charged with dealing with this. Not in a “Bob is disgusting” way, but more like, “I know you’ve been trying to figure out the source of our chronic clogs, and I happened to witness it firsthand the other day.”

But no to the anonymous flyers (they don’t work) or humiliating gossip (will make you look unkind) or any kind of vigilante justice (can backfire in ways you don’t anticipate, and just isn’t yours to pursue). If you do anything, bring it to the attention of the person most equipped to address it.

3. My coworker keeps asking for large amounts of money

I started my job in August. Every month since then, my coworker (who sits in my office with me, and it’s a two-person room) has asked me for some money. Now, if this were “Can I borrow €2 for coffee” or so, I’d be fine with it. But it’s significant amounts of money. Once she asked me to transfer her €350 as her rent needed to be paid **today** and she didn’t have it in her account.

Just today, while she has been off sick with a while, I got a message from her: “Hey, you bank with (name of institution), right?” When I told her no, I wasn’t going to give her anything as I have an expensive bill to pay already, she said, “Can’t it wait until Monday for you to pay it?” I found that particularly rude and didn’t respond.

She has also tried it with other coworkers, and has asked a coworker if she could use their car when hers was in the mechanics. However, it’s now making me really uncomfortable to work with her. How can I (gently or otherwise) knock this on the head?

€350! That’s a lot of … audacity.

It sounds like you’ve been telling her no on a case-by-case basis. Try giving her a blanket no: “Jane, please stop asking me for money. I am never going to be able to lend you money, and it’s really uncomfortable having you ask every month.”

If she continues after that, let your boss know this is happening (and that it’s widespread). I’d want to know if I had an employee who was regularly hassling coworkers for money.

4. Should I put voiceover work on my resume?

I currently work as a copy editor for an academic publisher and while I enjoy my role, the publishing cycle is repetitive and having been here over two years I’m editing the same books for the third time running. I think it’s time to move on, as there is no opportunity for upwards progression at my current company.

I’m usually quite confident in my resume-writing skills, but I am wondering whether to include mention of a project I am currently working on, where I ended up doing the voiceover for some digital assets. For context, the company is trying to improve its offerings by producing our content on a digital platform. One of my colleagues is in charge of taking pieces of text and developing them into interactive assets like short videos, infographics, etc. They had a third-party company produce five videos, but the accompanying voiceovers were awful! Knowing I had some experience in acting (prior to my publishing career), my colleague asked if I would lend my voice and I obliged.

Is this the sort of thing I should insert into my resume to show teamwork and adaptability? Or is this something I should only include if it is relevant to the role I am applying for (i.e., an audio book publisher)?

There’s nothing wrong with including it even for roles where it’s not strictly relevant, and you never know where it might end up being relevant in ways you can’t predict from the job ad. But I’d look at it in terms of what you might be bumping to make room for it — if you have much stronger or more relevant qualifications, don’t be afraid to cut it. Or if you already have 10 bullet points of accomplishments for that job, you probably don’t need an eleventh. On the other hand, if your resume isn’t crowded with text and you can keep a pleasing amount of white space even if you add this, it might make sense to.

All that said, I don’t think it’ll show teamwork and adaptability. It’s not that those things weren’t involved, but on a resume it’ll mainly show the ability to do voiceover work.

5. Should I send an email praising my very helpful coworker to her boss?

I started a new job several months ago at a huge company. One of my colleagues (a peer in title, though more experienced than me) has gone above and beyond to help me feel settled, understand processes, and navigate company politics in a candid, respectful way.

I’ve already mentioned to this person how much I appreciate their onboarding help and overall teamwork. Would it be appropriate to take the compliment a step further and let her supervisor know? If so, do you think it’s better to email my colleague and CC her supervisor, or email her supervisor directly (with or without my colleague CC’d)? Is this a thing that’s even done?

I work remotely and am almost never on site, so I can’t mention this feedback to her supervisor in an informal, in-person conversation.

This is indeed a thing that’s done! People pretty much always appreciate it, and it can end up being something that’s mentioned in performance evaluations, etc.

You can do it either way — email her with her boss cc’d or the other way around. Go with whichever feels the most appropriate for the specific message you want to send. (If she were senior to you in role, I might lean toward emailing her with her boss cc’d, but really, either is fine.)

Just don’t tip her.

can you put firing someone on your resume, I know who’s clogging our toilets, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

02 Oct 17:29


Lisa G

From Roslyn. WTFFFFFFF


👏🏿 Capitalism 👏🏿  wants 👏🏿  to 👏🏿 fuck 👏🏿 you 👏🏿 all  👏🏿 the 👏🏿  time. 👏🏿

01 Oct 22:46

Parents who are accused of abandoning an 8-year-old Ukrainian girl they adopted say she was actually a 22-year-old mentally disturbed adult

Lisa G

OMG more on the Orphan family:

"Kristine Barnett said that Natalia terrorized her family, tried to stab them while they were sleeping, once tried to push her toward an electric fence, and poured bleach in her coffee.

"The media is painting me to be a child abuser but there is no child here," she said.

"Natalia was a woman. She had periods. She had adult teeth. She never grew a single inch, which would happen even with a child with dwarfism. The doctors all confirmed she was suffering a severe psychological illness only diagnosed in adults."

An Indiana couple accused of abandoning an 8-year-old Ukrainian girl they adopted say she was actually a 22-year-old mentally disturbed woman.

After a five-year investigation, Kristine and Michael Barnett were charged last week with neglect of a dependent in Tippecanoe County; both are out on bond.

But Kristine Barnett says her family was scammed in a situation eerily similar to the plot of the horror movie "Orphan," in which a mentally disturbed adult poses as an orphan who's taken in by a vulnerable family.

Fox 59 and the Daily Mail reported that the Barnetts adopted a Ukrainian-born girl named Natalia in 2010. At the time, she was believed to be as young as 6 years old, according to the Daily Mail.

Prosecutors allege that nearly three years later, the couple legally changed the girl's age to 22 and left her in Indiana while moving the rest of their family to Canada, where their son, a child prodigy with mild autism who was featured in a "60 Minutes" segment, would pursue a graduate degree in theoretical physics, according to the Lafayette Journal & Courier.

Kristine Barnett says Natalia terrorized her family

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Kristine Barnett said that the adoption was a scam and that the girl was not who they thought she was.

Kristine Barnett said that she and her now ex-husband agreed to an emergency adoption in Florida in 2010. She said they didn't know many details about Natalia's background but were told that her previous adoptive parents gave her up for undisclosed reasons.

Read more: A Chinese property heiress charged with murdering her ex at a California mansion says he was killed in botched kidnap plot

Kristine Barnett said that Natalia terrorized her family, tried to stab them while they were sleeping, once tried to push her toward an electric fence, and poured bleach in her coffee.

"The media is painting me to be a child abuser but there is no child here," she said.

"Natalia was a woman. She had periods. She had adult teeth. She never grew a single inch, which would happen even with a child with dwarfism. The doctors all confirmed she was suffering a severe psychological illness only diagnosed in adults."

It's difficult to record Natalia's age accurately without a birth certificate because of her condition

Natalia has a type of dwarfism called spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia, which makes her age difficult to accurately record without a birth certificate. Though she was said to be 6 when the Barnetts adopted her in 2010, NBC News said it saw hospital records showing her age as about 8 in June 2010.

Citing court documents, WISH-TV, an Indianapolis CW affiliate, reported that the girl's age was changed from 8 to 22 in 2012. It said a skeletal survey at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital deemed her to be 11 at the time.

But WLFI-TV, a CBS affiliate, obtained what appears to be an Indiana University Health report from 2016 that said Natalia was an adult. The document hasn't been verified but says that she had "made a career of perpetuating her age facade" and "continued to fool those who have the best intentions."

WISH-TV reported that the Barnetts put Natalia in an apartment in Lafayette in July 2013, then moved to Canada the following month. Kristine Barnett told the Daily Mail that she helped her get a Social Security number, apply for an ID, and get food stamps.

It's unclear how Natalia fended for herself in the years she was alone. An unnamed law-enforcement source told WLFI-TV that neighbors "took her under their wing."

Michael Barnett told officers that he and Kristine Barnett paid rent on the apartment but did not provide Natalia extra funds, The Washington Post said.

WISH-TV said it obtained court documents saying Natalia was evicted in May 2014 after not paying rent. She left no forwarding address but was found that September after a school principal grew concerned. Based on medical records, she would have been 12 or 13 at the time, but because the Barnetts had her age changed, she was legally in her mid-20s.

She told officers she had not seen the Barnetts since they moved to Canada, NBC News reported. It is unclear what Natalia is doing now, or whether she is being cared for.

28 Sep 16:25

Thanos Car


The Thanos Car refers to an image of a modified, purple pickup truck, which some say resembles the comic book and Avengers: Infinity War Thanos.

Read More
25 Sep 16:37

Revealed: how TikTok censors videos that do not please Beijing

Lisa G

Another Falun Gong post from me

TikTok, the popular Chinese-owned social network, instructs its moderators to censor videos that mention Tiananmen Square, Tibetan independence, or the banned religious group Falun Gong, according to leaked documents detailing the site’s moderation guidelines.

The documents, revealed by the Guardian for the first time, lay out how ByteDance, the Beijing-headquartered technology company that owns TikTok, is advancing Chinese foreign policy aims abroad through the app.

The revelations come amid rising suspicion that discussion of the Hong Kong protests on TikTok is being censored for political reasons: a Washington Post report earlier this month noted that a search on the site for the city-state revealed “barely a hint of unrest in sight”.

The guidelines divide banned material into two categories: some content is marked as a “violation”, which sees it deleted from the site entirely, and can lead to a user being banned from the service. But lesser infringements are marked as “visible to self”, which leaves the content up but limits its distribution through TikTok’s algorithmically-curated feed.

Q&A Show Hide

TikTok is a video-sharing app which has become phenomenally popular with teenagers. Users film themselves in 15-second clips, typically set to music, and upload them to be viewed by followers and strangers alike. It has been the No 1 app on the worldwide App Store for five consecutive quarters, with an estimated 500 million users worldwide.

Owned by Chinese startup ByteDance, the app as it is today is a merger of the original TikTok, which was launched internationally in September 2017, and the viral sensation The latter had already become one of the most popular social media platforms for UK and US teenagers by the time it was purchased by ByteDance in November 2017. The merger meant TikTok ended up on the smartphones of more than 60 million users overnight.

Bytedance has a valuation of $75bn (£60bn), based primarily on the extraordinary growth of TikTok and its Chinese equivalent, Douyin. Lil Nas X found fame overnight when his track Old Town Road was used extensively on 15-second clips on the social network. That enthusiasm took the artist to a record-breaking run at the top of the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.

However, Bytedance was fined a record $5.7m in the US for illegally collecting personal information from children under 13, and has been under investigation in the UK for how it handles the personal data of its young users, and whether it prioritises the safety of children on its social network.

Alex Hern, UK technology editor

Thank you for your feedback.

This latter enforcement technique means that it can be unclear to users whether they have posted infringing content, or if their post simply has not been deemed compelling enough to be shared widely by the notoriously unpredictable algorithm.

The bulk of the guidelines covering China are contained in a section governing “hate speech and religion”.

In every case, they are placed in a context designed to make the rules seem general purpose, rather than specific exceptions. A ban on criticism of China’s socialist system, for instance, comes under a general ban of “criticism/attack towards policies, social rules of any country, such as constitutional monarchy, monarchy, parliamentary system, separation of powers, socialism system, etc”.

Another ban covers “demonisation or distortion of local or other countries’ history such as May 1998 riots of Indonesia, Cambodian genocide, Tiananmen Square incidents”.

A more general purpose rule bans “highly controversial topics, such as separatism, religion sects conflicts, conflicts between ethnic groups, for instance exaggerating the Islamic sects conflicts, inciting the independence of Northern Ireland, Republic of Chechnya, Tibet and Taiwan and exaggerating the ethnic conflict between black and white”.

All the above violations result in posts being marked “visible to self”. But posts promoting Falun Gong are marked as a “violation”, since the organisation is categorised as a “group promoting suicide”, alongside the Aum cult that used sarin to launch terrorist attacks on the Tokyo Metro in 1995 and “Momo group”, a hoax conspiracy that went viral earlier this year.

Falun Gong has been suppressed by Beijing since 1999, but an incident in 2001 when five people self-immolated in Tiananmen Square has been used to justify moves against the group since.

Odd rules can be found elsewhere in the guidelines. The service’s policies regarding what it describes as “underage pornography”, for instance, explicitly detail four categories of underage users: an infant or toddler, under one year old; a child, 1-8 years old; an adolescent; and a minor, any person less than 18 years old. However, if it is “unclear” whether a user is under 18, the guidelines explicitly recommend that moderators “treat [the subject] as an adult”.

The service also bans a specific list of 20 “foreign leaders or sensitive figures” including Kim Jong-il, Kim Il-sung, Mahatma Gandhi, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Kim Jong-un, Shinzo Abe, Park Geun-Hee, Joko Widodo and Narendra Modi. Notably absent from the list is Xi Jinping, the Chinese chairman.

Bytedance said the version of the documents the Guardian has seen was retired in May, before the current protests in Hong Kong began, and that the current guidelines do not reference specific countries or issues.

“In TikTok’s early days we took a blunt approach to minimising conflict on the platform, and our moderation guidelines allowed penalties to be given for things like content that promoted conflict, such as between religious sects or ethnic groups, spanning a number of regions around the world,” the company said. “As TikTok began to take off globally last year, we recognised that this was not the correct approach, and began working to empower local teams that have a nuanced understanding of each market. As we’ve grown we’ve implemented this localised approach across everything from product, to team, to policy development.

“The old guidelines in question are outdated and no longer in use. Today we take localised approaches, including local moderators, local content and moderation policies, local refinement of global policies, and more. We also consult with a number of independent local committees and are working to scale this at a global level, including forming an independent committee of leading industry organisations and experts to continually assess these policies.

“We also understand the need to be more transparent in communicating the policies that we develop and enforce to maintain a safe and positive app environment. Users gravitate to TikTok because it provides an app experience that fosters their creativity, and we are committed to supporting that across our teams, product, policies, and the way in which we openly communicate with our community.”

The service was launched in 2017, shortly before being merged with an American company,, that ByteDance purchased for a reported $1bn (£800m) in order to boost the growth of the app.

A similar, China-only app, Douyin, launched in 2016, and grew to count one in 10 Chinese people as users by the end of 2017.

TikTok was the most-downloaded item on the iOS App Store worldwide in the first half of 2018, and has remained hugely popular, particularly among its core user base of under-25s, ever since. But that popularity has been expensive: ByteDance has spent a reported $1bn on Facebook advertisements to keep growth high.

24 Sep 18:15

Woman charged with abandoning adopted 11-year-old daughter claims girl was really a 22-year-old sociopath

Lisa G

This is the plot of Orphan.

An Indiana couple have been charged with felony child neglect after abandoning their 11-year-old daughter in a rented apartment in 2013. But the pair insist the "child" was actually a 22-year-old woman.

In 2010, Kristine Barnett and her now-ex, Michael, adopted an 8-year-old from Ukraine who had come to the United States two years earlier. Because the girl lacked a birth certificate, the Barnetts visited multiple doctors to determine her age, which was determined to be between 8 and 10.

The girl reportedly also had spondyloepiphyseal, a bone-growth disorder that manifests in dwarfism and abnormal skeletal development.

Kristine is the author of The Spark, a memoir about raising her son, Jake, a severely autistic boy who was thought to be incapable of speech or social interaction. Barnett tutored him at home and brought out his incredible mental gifts, and Jake eventually enrolled at Purdue University at the age of 12.

Kristine Barnett

Kristine Barnett, accused of abandoning an adopted child and moving to Canada Kristine Barnett / Facebook

The situation with her daughter was less pleasant: Kristine told WISH-TV the adoption was a "scam"—and that the girl was a "diagnosed psychopath and sociopath" who subtracted more than a decade from her birthday and "made a career of perpetuating her age facade."

She provided the station with a letter, allegedly from a doctor, stating that her daughter had the teeth and secondary sexual characteristics of an adult woman, not a child. The letter also claims that the girl had been committed to a psychiatric hospital in 2012 and diagnosed with sociopathic personality disorder, and began to admit she was over 18.

That same year, the Barnetts appeared in Indiana probate court and had the girl's legal age changed to 22. Also in 2012, Jake's gifts began to draw more public attention, with a segment on 60 Minutes. He was eventuallu accepted to the prestigious Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Ontario.

According to a September 2013 article the Indianapolis Star, the Barnetts moved from Indianapolis to Canada that summer, bringing Jacob and his younger brothers, Wes and Ethan, with them.

The adopted daughter is not mentioned, but according to court records, in July of that year, the Barnetts rented an apartment for her in Lafayette, Indiana, and left her there.

But Michael has told police he always believed that the child was a minor and that his ex-wife had coached her to tell people that she was older.

Michael claimed that he and his wife paid the rent on the apartment but sent their daughter no other financial support and she was ultimately evicted in 2014. It unknown what happened to her after that, but a source in law enforcement told WLFI that neighbors "took her under their wing."

It is unknown where she is currently.

In March 2016, another couple petitioned to become legal guardians for the girl, causing the Barnetts to file an objection, which they withdrew in 2018.

Charges against the Barnetts were filed on September 11 but as of press time neither had been taken into custody.

adopted daughter sociopath

The current whereabouts of Kristine Barnett's adopted daughter are unknown. Getty Images

24 Sep 08:01

Words that should exist.

Lisa G

More great bits from Cary



noun [uh-pee-nyah-tah]

1. When you share your feelings on a subject and unintentionally cause an explosive argument. 


“Wow, I had no idea she felt so strongly about One Direction” 

“Yeah, if I had known I definitely wouldn’t have brought that opiñata to the party.”

23 Sep 20:33

Who's Getting the Best Head?

Lisa G



Who's Getting the Best Head? refers to a Rule 34 image of the brothers from Alvin and the Chipmunks receiving oral sex from The Chipettes, captioned "Who's getting the best head?" The picture grew popular several years after it was first posted as people ironically drafted extensive explanations about who they believed was receiving the best oral sex.

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23 Sep 20:32

anotherbondiblonde:“In 1984, when Ruth Coker Burks was 25 and a young mother living in Arkansas, she...

Lisa G

Another great share from Cary!


“In 1984, when Ruth Coker Burks was 25 and a young mother living in Arkansas, she would often visit a hospital to care for a friend with cancer.

During one visit, Ruth noticed the nurses would draw straws, afraid to go into one room, its door sealed by a big red bag. She asked why and the nurses told her the patient had AIDS.

On a repeat visit, and seeing the big red bag on the door, Ruth decided to disregard the warnings and sneaked into the room.

In the bed was a skeletal young man, who told Ruth he wanted to see his mother before he died. She left the room and told the nurses, who said, “Honey, his mother’s not coming. He’s been here six weeks. Nobody’s coming!”

Ruth called his mother anyway, who refused to come visit her son, who she described as a "sinner” and already dead to her, and that she wouldn’t even claim his body when he died.

“I went back in his room and when I walked in, he said, “Oh, momma. I knew you’d come”, and then he lifted his hand. And what was I going to do? So I took his hand. I said, “I’m here, honey. I’m here”, Ruth later recounted.

Ruth pulled a chair to his bedside, talked to him

and held his hand until he died 13 hours later.

After finally finding a funeral home that would his body, and paying for the cremation out of her own savings, Ruth buried his ashes on her family’s large plot.

After this first encounter, Ruth cared for other patients. She would take them to appointments, obtain medications, apply for assistance, and even kept supplies of AIDS medications on hand, as some pharmacies would not carry them.

Ruth’s work soon became well known in the city and she received financial assistance from gay bars, "They would twirl up a drag show on Saturday night and here’d come the money. That’s how we’d buy medicine, that’s how we’d pay rent. If it hadn’t been for the drag queens, I don’t know what we would have done”, Ruth said.

Over the next 30 years, Ruth cared for over 1,000 people and buried more than 40 on her family’s plot most of whom were gay men whose families would not claim their ashes.

For this, Ruth has been nicknamed the ‘Cemetery Angel’.”— by Ra-Ey Saley

19 Sep 18:17

Whitmer’s ban of flavored vape products could lead to jail time, cause students to turn to cigarettes

Lisa G

I've been hearing and reading about how banning flavored vapes is going to cause a mass incarceration problem because 4-5 cartridges is going to be considered attempt to distribute... the banned product comes in packs larger than that...

On Sept. 4, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a ban that will stop the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and other nicotine vaping products. The ban also prohibits marketing vaping as “clean,” “safe” or “healthy.” 

In order to speed up the process of creating the ban, Whitmer ordered the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to draft emergency rules banning the products. This allows state agencies to create policies that will act as laws after being authorized, according to the Lansing State Journal. The ban will reportedly be filed in a few weeks, and then retailers will have 30 days to comply. 

 Rule 2 of the ban states someone found with at least four of the banned products, will be assumed to have intent to sell them, which is prohibited under the ban. 

“A person who possesses four or more flavored vapor products, or flavored alternative nicotine products is rebuttably presumed to possess said items with the intent to sell,” the rule reads. 

Rule 6 also states a person who violates rule two will be charged with a misdemeanor and could face up to six months in prison and/or a fine of up to $200 per item.

“A person who violates any provision of these rules is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than six months, or a fine of not more than $200, or both,” the rule reads. “Violations of rule 2 are calculated on a per-item and per-transaction basis and may be punished cumulatively.”

Police officers are not legally allowed to randomly stop and check for contraband, Law professor Gabriel Mendlow wrote in an email to The Daily. However, he said if they can tell someone is smoking a flavored vape, they are allowed to take it and arrest them. 

“If a police officer can tell somehow that the product you're vaping is flavored – by smelling it, for example – then the Constitution allows the police officer to seize the product and, in theory, arrest you,” Mendlow said. “But if the only thing a police officer knows is that you're vaping, then she isn’t allowed to force you to let her check whether the product you’re vaping is flavored.”

Mendlow added if someone does wind up in court, the “intent to sell” clause could be rebutted if there is a good explanation for why someone was in possession of the prohibited items, but the prosecutor could argue against this. 

“The prosecutor could argue that you possessed more flavored products than someone would possess who intended to use the products personally rather than sell them,” Mendlow said. “Under the emergency rules, there's a rebuttable presumption that anyone who possesses four or more flavored products intends to sell them. This means that if you possess four or more flavored products and you don't offer an innocent explanation, you may be convicted on these facts alone.”

Many University of Michigan students expressed concern regarding how the AAPD would implement the ban and explained vaping has become a common social activity on campus. Due to the soon-to-be illegal nature of the topic, the three students interviewed requested anonymity. They will be referred to as Student 1, Student 2 and Student 3.  

Student 1 said she used to vape a lot, but she felt some negative health effects from it and was spending a lot of money, so now she mostly uses other people’s products when she wants to vape. She noted how important vaping is to the social environment at parties and on college campuses. 

“I used to vape — I don’t think I was ever as bad as a lot of people were, I wasn’t upset if I didn’t have mine, but if it was there I’d want to hit it,” Student 1 said. “So, I definitely get the addiction, I definitely know a lot of people who were addicted … at this point, unless I’m drunk or at a party or something, I’ve made it just a social thing. I think in those situations, when you’re around it, it’s really hard to not want to do it.”

Student 2 said he considers himself to be addicted. He started vaping in high school before he understood the consequences, and now he said he is having a hard time stopping. 

“(I’ve) been doing it for about 3 years now,” Student 2 said. “My friend gave a vape to me to try in high school. I tried it, and I didn’t understand what addiction was before, and now I understand it. I am definitely addicted. I’ve tried to stop multiple times.”

Cozine Welch, an instructor at U-M, said he vapes and enjoys the different flavor options. 

“I do own a vape,” Welch said. “Here’s the other thing that gets me about it, right. It’s always this claim that it has to be targeted towards children. I’m not saying that it isn’t, all right, but what I am saying is there’s this assumption that if you’re an adult, you just like nasty stuff. If you’re grown, you don’t want anything that tastes good, you want tobacco. Well, I like mango better than tobacco.”

Student 3 doesn’t think the ban is going to work. He discussed how nicotine is addictive and it’s not easy to quit – even if people want to. 

“This is not going to work at all,” Student 3 said. “For some people, they’re just going to stop. So maybe it’ll work for people who don’t do it much, but for people who do it a lot, I’ve already seen my friends starting to smoke cigarettes. So, not everyone can just quit cold turkey, people want a nicotine buzz.”

Student 1 said she knows people who are planning on stocking up on Juul pods before the ban or are considering driving to other states to get them.

“I’ve heard of some people planning to drive to other states to get them, and we’re not that far,” Student 1 said. “But I’ve also heard of other people already finding alternatives, even though they’re not even banned yet, so that’s concerning … just things like chew. I don’t know anyone that’s gone to cigs yet, but people have talked about it.”

Student 2 echoed Student 1 and agreed people are turning to alternatives. He said the next best option for him is cigarettes. Student 2 said his friends have recently quit vaping after hearing the news of people dying from it. 

“Some of my friends all live in the same house together and they all had vapes, and they all went cold turkey at the same time a week ago,” Student 2 said. “And they’ve already bought four packs of cigarettes. It’s really bad.”

As a possible alternative to Whitmer’s ban, Student 3 suggested lowering the nicotine levels in vapes in order to make it easier for people to transition off of them. 

“I hit it for the first time, and because it’s so strong, it felt amazing,” Student 3 said. “A better solution is to ban products above 2 percent nicotine or something like that. Seriously, in other countries they have Juuls and they’re not allowed to go above 1.8 percent. 5 percent is so much higher than even cigs, so that’s why I think so many people are getting addicted.”

Welch said he does not think the ban is a good solution to the problem. He claimed this ban is punishing people but not acknowledging the root of the problem. 

“I think it’s more of a mindset of trying to rid our community of problems with the same approach,” Welch said. “You know, punish everyone, make it so everyone has to face some extreme consequences and then they’ll stop doing it instead of taking into consideration the things that lead to behavior, that cause the behavior. You just want to assume punishment is going to clear everything out.”

Welch compared the ban to previous laws surrounding marijuana and mass incarceration. He said simply seeking to punish people is not the answer.

“History has shown us that punishment for crime has never been a real good deterrent,” Welch said. “It’s never been a consistent deterrent. It’s never deterred in the way we had hoped. Oftentimes, it doesn’t deter at all. If I’m poor, and my stomach is rumbling, I’m just going to find a way not to get caught to eat, I’m not going to say, ‘You know what, I guess I’m just not going to eat today.’ And, you know, it’s so funny because smoking is addictive, nicotine is an addictive chemical, so you’re treating addicts like criminals.”

Student 1 said while she thinks Whitmer’s ban is the right idea and is important, she’s not sure it will achieve its intended goal and keep kids safe.

“I think the only thing, it might stop a few kids from starting,” Student 1 said. “So maybe a couple years ago it would have been good, but I think at the point we’re at, there are already middle schoolers and high schoolers doing this stuff, so I think at this point, anyone who’s already started, it’s just putting them in more danger.”

Speaking from experience as a formerly incarcerated individual, Welch said if college students get caught with four or more flavored nicotine products and are arrested, it could change their lives.

“It will cause their lives to go in a completely different trajectory,” Welch said. “I’m not saying it’s not possible for them to get back on course, but it’s increasingly difficult. Once you’re branded and tagged with that, so many things change. That collegiate life you lived before, all the hopes and dreams you had, are probably not going to be fulfilled.”

Ultimately, Whitmer said in a press release she ordered the ban to keep minors safe and prevent them from using vape products. 

“Right now, companies selling vaping products are using candy flavors to hook children on nicotine and misleading claims to promote the belief that these products are safe,” Whitmer said in the release. “That ends today. Our kids deserve leaders who are going to fight to protect them. These bold steps will finally put an end to these irresponsible and deceptive practices and protect Michiganders’ public health.”